Late afternoon, 2 October 3079
The battle to stop the retreating Word of Blake battlemechs was fierce- and given the fanatical nature of the Blakists combined with the extreme hate for them from the Lancers, it was to be expected.
Major Farquharson maneuvered his custom Marauder around a hillside alongside his BlackJack bodyguards to reveal the slower Blakist machines into sight. As he settled his sights on a Blakist Awesome, he heard the mad giggle of his daughter as she used the Clan-Tech Large Pulse on her Panther to savage a enemy Mongoose.
Missing the enemy Assault mech, he muttered a few curses in Gaelic as the overview map showed two Blakist light machines managing to enter the mines. “Shite… Clarkson, get to that entryway and block it…” He ordered over the net. “Someone stop that Celestial from getting in there… Bastard probably has a key…”
[On it… just got to get by the Awesome…] The other Panther pilot, Warrant Officer Snyder, responded as he sent his machine into a dead run by the extremist machine, triggering his weapons as he did so and slagging some armor in the process.
The Awesome, buggered by more than a few targets, was distracted by the hits and its particle cannon shots went wide right as he targeted the Major. Its companion machines, a Thunderbolt and a Trebuchet, also fired up various targets as they tried to make it to the mines. The other Blakist machines fought desperately as the noose closed. A Blakist Stinger and and the other Mongoose managed to get into the tunnel of the mines as their brethren attempted to slow the advancing Lancers.
Destiny cored out the Mongoose she shot at earlier, ripping out its center in a blaze of energy and short-range missile fire. [Take that, Cat-Snake!] She crowed over the net. [Meanies get what they deserve!]
Sean shook his head as he adjusted position. Ah Child… Not fun if its you… He thought as the Blakist Thunderbolt turned to face him. “Ah laddie, You should have ran…” He muttered as the enemy Heavy came towards him, its weapons attempting to hammer him and missing- though not by much. “Boys, give him some attention…” He said across the lance channel as he dumped everything into the approaching machine- his cockpit heat level rising a bit from the weapon discharges.
The two Blackjacks- nicknamed Frick and Frack by Major McCormack- were twins hailing from the former St Ives Compact when they joined fifteen years ago and had always piloted these machines (DB models). As such, they were very competent pilots and when working together, they rarely missed what they shot at. And as ordered, they unloaded on the Thunderbolt, their own heat levels rising but the results were worth it as not a thing missed…
Between the Brothers and the Major’s weapons fire, the Thunderbolt visibly shuddered and fell over in front of Sean’s machine. As it landed, the good Major delivered a kick from his heavy machine into the downed Blakist. The results… were impressive, as his Marauder’s foot connected with a Thunderbolt head assembly.
Looking up from the carnage his kick did, he saw that his light lance had managed to dispose of the enemy Malak, Cicada and Trebuchet as they made a break for the Tunnel. The Cyclops fell to the firepower of the short-range weapons sported by the modified Griffin in his command. All that was left of the Blakists at this point on the surface was that damned Awesome. And it was not going to go without a fight. But then, he wasn’t on planning to let it have much ability to fight. “Slag that thing!” He called over the net and everyone who could shoot the machine, did so.
It was overkill. The mechs of Charlie Company, all of them sporting either minor efficiency upgrades (better heat dissipation) to their loadouts or salvaged Clan Weapons, cut loose on the Word of Blake assault class machine. And the results were devastating. When the smoke cleared, just about all the armor was scoured off the battle-mech and there was very little of his frame that was undamaged. The carnage was that…. Horrific.
As the Mechs of Charlie Company spread out to check the other downed machines and investigate the opening, the news that came over the coms wasn’t good.
[Major…] The pilot of the Wolverine, Warrant Officer Campbell, called over the coms. [Two got in. That Stinger and the Mongoose… and I think the Malak pilot hoofed it in while we were killin’ the Awesome. Casey put a pulse laser ahead of the Treb pilot so he’s under watch right now.]
Sean let out a bunch of invective before he activated his mic. “Oh so ye thought a Celestial pilot was nae gonna be able to run, didya?” His Highlander burr entered his speech when he was annoyed. “There is even odds they are them Manei idjits.. which means they take punishment like a Marian Hegemony gladiator”
[Major, I saw a fast-moving man running like he was being chased by hounds. Casey saw him and the Treb pilot running- he was able to get his Pulse shot in the way to stop the Treb guy.] Campbell replied. [If we got to go in after them, I’ll go. I’m the one who missed ‘im]
Sean cursed a bit for a moment then answered his troop. “Oh I suspect we have to go in and dig ‘em out. I want to drop the openings… but I dinnae think Himself would like that…” He replied. “Old Tech and all that… Bloody SLDF and their hidden bolt-holes.”
[Understood, Major. I’ll get with the others and then get my gear out. And what do you mean, Bolt Holes? Is this…]
“Aye. I got the news just as we were engaging… and from an unlikely source, let me tell you. Get ye gear ready- I’ll be there in five. Got to let Himself know what’s what right now.”
Sean stopped his machine by the opening to the mine as he pulled up the Command Channel. “Lancer Command, One Mike Charlie”
After about five seconds, [Lancer Command…]
“Three got in. And one of them is a problem child…” He answered.
[Sean… that’s not good. Precentor or the Celestial?] Came the reply.
“The Malak pilot. Bugger popped his hatch and hoofed it in. The other two are Mongoose and a Stinger. Militia pilots we think. We captured their Precentor- he’s currently snoozing… and four other pilots.”
[Well, thank the gods for small favors- I think Reyna might want to ask him questions… Sean-]
Sean cut him off. “I know… you want us to dig the buggers out. Any idea what that facility *might* be before we go in like damn fools?”
[Still working on that. Les thinks it might be a facility like what Tris found…]
Sean closed his eyes, thinking on what he had seen in the one Facility he had been in when he came to the Lancers at the end of the Civil War. That facility had been pretty solid and its equipment, while somewhat worn from use (it had been a found facility about ten years before), was still in excellent shape and had plenty of internal sensors. Its security features were sound too- the reinforced mech doors that would need several Luxor Class D Autocannon hits to blast through it on a good day was a feature he remembered. The man-sized doors though… a proper command code or a really top-notch slicer could manage that. If it wasn’t on a Code-Hopper setting. Then there was the supply rooms… Oh, if this was an untouched facility, Blakist troops locking themselves in here would be bad.
“Tinney, you know I want to just collapse the tunnels, right?”
[I do… and I don’t blame you. But if its got a back door, we need to know before they come out it. And if there is machines in there capable of being powered up…]
“… the last thing we need is a bunch of League Era Lynx, Thugs or worse to come boiling out of here. We’re going, we going… How fast can you get a platoon of troops out here? We do have prisoners… and you know there is likely Blakist friends out here.”
[Working on it- Conigliaro is currently up in the air with most of our Aerospace chasing a Blakist Dropship away along with making sure CAP is in place… but there should be a full platoon of power armor from the 5th on its way to you via Karnov. If you don’t see it escorted by a trio of Peregrine’s, shoot it down.]
Sean paused in his action of opening his hatch. “Are we that penetrated?”
[No I don’t think so… but until we know where the hole is, I count on nothing.] Tinney replied. [I’m waiting for word from Leslie on that. She said her network was on to something.]
“Right. I will let everyone know- I trust ye are gonna tell Warrington?”
“Alrighty then. Here’s hopin’ this dinnae go stupid.”
[Good luck, Jarhead… This is going to get worse before it gets better… I have a teleconference with a group of Myths shortly. You are not going to believe what brought them here…. Or why they want to talk.]
“Sounds fun. Wanna trade?”
[If I could…. Command out.]
Tossing the tethered gear bag out of its stowage space, Sean climbed down the rope ladder to the ground. Once there, he opened up the bag and donned the light bodyarmor and webgear within. Activating his comms set to the Company net, he began to brief everyone on what was going on as he loaded weapons and stowed spare rounds. By the time he had his weapons set, Campbell along with Jun and Quiang Feng (aka Frick’n’Frack) had come over to him.
“…And that’s why we have to dig this buggers out. Any questions?”
Silence was his answer for about four seconds. [Dad…]
“I’ll be fine, Child. Just because I haven’t been a ground marine in fifteen years dinnae mean I forgot how,” Sean answered. “And I have the Feng brothers with me. I’d worry more for them Blakists in the tunnels.” He glanced over at the lightly armored Blackjack pilots who smiled back at him as they bowed slightly. “Anyone else?”
Six seconds passed. “Okay then. Chief Colt, you have the Chair till I get back or another Lancer officer shows, Aye?”
[Aye, Major.] Colt, the pilot of the Rifleman, answered. [Anyone shows that isn’t us, they will get what for…]