Desert Strip Delta One Alpha
Southern badlands of Ashton
The company of white battlemechs showing up as the Blakist troops got close turned their assault into a rout, the fanatic faction’s mechs realizing they were not the powerhouse here as they turned to retreat.
And it was a surprisingly organized retreat, as the faster platforms broke off in good order. The mid-range sped ones, didn’t fare as well. A Battlemaster, which had ranged ahead of their line was caught out and suffered for it. No less than a half dozen Gauss slugs and assorted high-energy weapons crashed into it- the damage overloading the machine’s gyro and causing it to fall.
Two Celestial-class Omnis also suffered a similar fate, though one fell through the removal at range of its head. The battle armor that was with them became the target of every available short range missile on that side of the field… and within minutes, they became a non-factor. The Viking support battlemech, was caught up to as it retreated and after a volley hammered it to the ground, its pilot surrendered as a full lance of mechs surrounded him.
Warrington, in the command bunker, watched the feed with concern and no little awe. The newly arrived force was certainly powerful- and definitely matched the colors of the earlier forces faced. But here, they arrived as allies… would they stay such?
As the Blakist forces retreated further, the new arrivals broke off pursuit. As some of the base security troops collected surrendered pilots, the largest of the mechs approached the field’s command building. Turning its guns away from the structure, the cockpit hatch opened up and its pilot began to dismount. Warrington, seeing this, left the bunker and headed outside. Least he could do was meet the man…
“Sir!” The Comms officer called as he was leaving. “Major Farquharson said his company will be in the area within twenty…”
Warrington paused. “Give him the route of travel of the retreating Blakists and patch him into the Drone Feed. Maybe that crazy highlander can head them off… or find where they have been hiding…”
Outside, the pilot of the mammoth Assault Mech had reached the ground and he waited by his machine. Base Security personnel had him under watch, which was proper… Hollister had no illusions over the remaining firepower of the local armored vehicles versus his machines. If a fight broke out, it was even odds that the carnage would be extensive and while his mechs might win the field, what was left would not be able to stop anything bigger than a recon lance.
No… he was here to negotiate. And maybe more…
Coming out of the building was an older gentleman in combat armor and fatigues. No rifle to hand but a large caliber pistol sat comfortably on a hip. Hollister watched him approach with a careful eye. “Apologies for not getting here sooner…” He commented in a non-committed tone.
Colonel Warrington stopped ten feet from the Mech Warrior. “No worries…” He replied as he assessed the man before him. Taking note of the SLDF-style coolant vest and fatigues, it more or less confirmed to him what McCormack had been going on about. This guy was a living image out of a damn history book- to include rank insignia and patches. “While we’d have done ok, your help was greatly appreciated. You would be Colonel Hollister?”
“I am,” Hollister replied.
“Colonel Jim Warrington, Commander of the Phoenix Lancer’s Armored Regiment… and I am pretty sure you are here for more than a social call- or to shoot Blakists.”
Hollister chuckled at that. “You would be correct, Colonel. I believe you have some of my people… and I am here for them. AS well as for discussion on a few other things you might find surprising.”
Warrington nodded. “While we got them, they aren’t here. Never left our main base, actually…” At the frown on Hollister’s face, Warrington continued. “News of their being moved was leaked to ferret a mole… And I’m hoping the bastard got found…”
Hollister nodded. “Leaks can be an issue.”
Warrington motioned toward the building. “If you will accompany me, I can get a video feed up to where they are so you can see for yourself they are ok… and perhaps discuss what else you are looking to speak on. Noone gonna mess with your mech.”
Hollister smiled slightly. “Very well…” Lifting a small com device up to his mouth, he spoke. “Hallis, I am in consultations… Condition Orange until notified otherwise.”
[I copy Condition Orange]
Hollister returned the device back to his hip. “Lead on, Colonel.”
Along the Route of Retreat
Major Farquharson scanned the sensors after his force formed up. IT would be a hard run to catch the Blakists in the side but worth it. That he and the rest of Charlie weren’t able to get to the field was one thing… but at least he would get to shoot some Blakist assholes anyway.
Like everyone else, he too was interested in the mystery of these supposed Not Named showing up on Centaurus. Why here and why now? Damned inconvenient, it was… and it was going to bring problems here. All of the Command elements knew it… though it did help that their appearance allowed for learning of some cross-purpose assholes in the ranks.
That there was any… was annoying but not surprising. That some of them owed fealty to the Word… well, that made his blood boil. Rooting them out was the job for McCormack and her spies. His job was to shoot whatever he was pointed at… and here was opportunity to do so. Despite still needing to heal from his last combat mission, he was out here. He knew he needed to heal up more but it was Blakists who showed up yet again here.
And he was not going to miss out on givin’ any Blakist a kickin’, cracked ribs or not.
“Ok, lads and lasses… we got some kickin’ to be doin’… “He said over the network. “Looks like sassenach bastards are heading for that mining complex showing on the map. Let’s see if we can stop ‘em there.”
A com-light lit up, indicating his daughter,Destiny, in her Panther was looking to speak to him on a private channel. Sean answered his daughter’s call. “Yes, wee- one?”
[Dad… that’s not a mine. Well… not just a mine.]
“What ye talkin’ about, child?”
[If that is the same place, its also an old Storage Facility under the mountains there. Auntie Leslie showed me on a map last year when we went exploring out here. Said it’s a mine with these weird doors in a wall under there. Said they are closed and likely have been for some time. Said she hasn’t had time to go looking herself… Dad, I would think the Colonel knows of it; he likes old places like she does.]
“Then why dinnae anyone else know of it?”
[You’d have to ask Auntie Leslie, Dad. I think if it was talked about, treasure hunters and stupid people would go looking for it. Loose lips… only reason I am telling you is because we are by it ‘n it looks like they are running for it. Soyou you need to know about it. Maybe they know of it?]
“Les and her damn secret squirrel shite,” A grumble. “She’s not wrong… and these are Blakists. Who the hell knows what they know? What other surprises might there be, eh?”
[Dad… to quote Auntie, do you really want that answer?]
Sean was quiet. “No… I don’t. Though I expect we are going to find out soon…” Seeing a priority com light blink, he signed off with his child. “DeeDay, gotta go. Priority Call.”
Sean changed comm channels. “One Mike Charlie Six”
[Sean… I have some info for you about that area…]
“Tinney, I already know about the mines and what’s there… Destiny told me- she got it from her Aunt.”
Silence across the net. [Well ok then;. No one knows what exactly is in there, Sean. And if they get in there, I’m not sure I want to find out. As much as we know about what was left here, there is still too many odd things being found that no clue was even hinted at.]
[Like Tris and her people finding another hidden complex up on the side of Mount Ren? Company sized facility with a repair bay?]
“By the saints…”
[I know, Sean. So many hidden facilities… The Third’s Commander had to know what was here back then; I swear the old SLDF was worse than five-year-old children hiding easter eggs… and of course, no complete records.]
“Lad, I’d have said dementia patient putting away laundry…”
[That… Anyway, you have got to try to stop them from getting inside. For all we know, there is a battalion of mechs in Storage Status in there; and yes, it was on the list to investigate at some point… and got missed. I’ll take the hit for that one…. But you gotta do you best to keep them out of there.]
Sean was quiet for a long moment. “And if they get inside?”
[There is a reason every Lancer Mech pilot has that gear bag and has to qual on small arms every year…]
“I knew you were gonna say that..” Sean replied. “Ok… I’ll do me best. But we are talking later, Colonel Tinney. On record and off afterward.”
[I expect nothing less, Sean… I’m going to lock Leslie in the Archives after this though. We really need to find out more of what’s here. No more putting it off… Lancer Six out.]
Sean glared out of his Marauder’s cockpit. This intercept got a bit more dangerous. Hell, life in general around here got a hell of a lot more dangerous. “New Orders from On High,” He called into the company net. “Keep them out of the Mines…. I’ll explain later.”