Myths and Legends Fifteen

(sorry for delays- life sometimes gets in the way of fun and getting battles that stories are based on…. done. Guest contributor story soon; its being written but for now, here is the latest.)

Outskirts of the Port City of Rahway
Western Coast of Sage
1415 Hours (GMT+4) 25 December 3079

  With the defeat of the mech portion of the attacking forces and their retreat towards a believed landing zone (and Major Kassing with his company waiting there; they were rushed over from Forbes to back Major Clyburn), it left the Lancer Armored companies stationed on Sage to hunt down the invader conventional forces.

And there were quite a few that came out of that Condor.  Several sleek hover-tanks and five IFVs along with their platoons disgorged from the ship and had made their way towards the city when they got word of the defeat of their mech brothers.  At that point, the invaders scattered as Lancer Aerospace had gotten into the air and shot down the Union dropship as it attempted to land closer to the Outpost Castle to collect the retreating attacker mechs.

  It was pretty apparent the raid had gone from bad to worse.

Captain Jenna Murray, the Lancer Scout Armor commander, glanced at her watch as her track roared along.  It had been a half hour since her company had formed up and raced out into the surrounding hills and no contact yet.  Recon drones had revealed the enemy was still trying to figure out where it was going and as of a comm call two minutes ago, they had decided.

  There was an industrial complex- one of the very few on Sage- located on their line of march that the enemy machines were heading toward.  Mostly underground, the concrete slabs served as landing pads for the various dropships that came and went from the facility, a rations packaging and storage site.

  It was going to fall to her reinforced Galleon company to deal with the attackers and their infantry until help arrived.  That she didn’t have grunts of her own was problematic… but that would not last long.  Being Christmas, no one was really ready for a raid and someone errored on who was covering the holiday.  At least that’s what I’m telling myself, she thought as she looked through the commander’s viewfinder.  Bastards wrecked my Yule.  Clicking on her transmit button, she called over to the lead Galleon. “Green Two, Green One…  anything?”

[Green One, Two…  I got nothing so far] Came the response.  [I think we beat them to the comple- waitaminute!  Contact- six hundred meters line of advance!]

“I copy, contact six hundred out… “ Jenna answered as she looked out in the direction Green Two was heading.  “Confirm it…”

[One, Two…  Confirming Contact.  Approximately one company Mixed grav armor- half dozen Bradley IFV, a pair of  Orca heavies and a trio of Sharks]

“Green Two, Green one…  confirm report.  All Lancer elements…  Section formations, weapons free.  Sierra Victor element, overwatch,” Jenna ordered as the company began to maneuver into pairs.

[Sierra Green One, Sierra Victor copies Overwatch.]  The company long guns, a pair of Vedette tanks, maneuvered to take advantage of their weapon range.  The Ultra-class cannon didn’t hit hard for an autocannon, but it could dish damage in a pinch and was murder on hover or grav tanks at range.  And here, the two tanks would be busy…

***

And busy they were.  Murray’s Galleons spread out and created a series of interlocking fields of fire in an effort to limit any breakthrough.  The enemy armor, seeing the net being woven, attempted to plunge the lines with the intent of using their armor and speed to mitigate the possibility of being stopped.

  Unfortunately for them, Lancer Armor Gunnery was ready for them.

  Green Two was the first to strike down the incoming armor, its pulse laser finding the drive of a Shark and shredding it in a blaze of laser energy.  Other Galleons lashed out with their weapons, hammering the ducting fans of several of the gravy tanks and causing grounding of half of them quickly.

  It wasn’t all one sided though.  Enemy laser fire was telling, with their heavier weapons hammering the armor of the Lancer Galleons.   Indeed, Green Four suffered a complete engine failure, a laser from an Orca catching the pack in the right spot to wreck the engine.  White Two and Green Two both suffered track damage, slowing them down but thankfully not stopping them.

But the threat of breakthrough was there and Murray saw it.  “Red Platoon!  Watch the left!” She called over the network, even as her track took fire.

Red platoon adjusted their advance and emerged from the light woods to catch an enemy Bradley attempting an end-around.  Two of them gave chase, knowing the hovercraft was driving into a cul-de-sac of trees from which there was only one exit; the way it came.  The other two moved to support the center, the threat of the hovercraft breaking through with something still a threat.

  The right ride of the Lancer lines was doing pretty well, the sharp eyed gunners of White Platoon placing lasers on the right locations to immobilize the hovertanks quickly.  However, a Bradley didn’t get the memo and managed to haul fan through their lines-  with one of the Vedette’s shots missing by mere hairs.  Said hover IFV raced away and towards what it believed was salvation, along with two other IFV’s that had managed to get through the laser net though not without hits.

Jenna’s Galleon scooted out from the rear of the Orca she had just hammered- the tank immobilized but not dead.  “All elements able to pursue, have at it.  Sierra Victor and Sierra White- collect prisoners as able.” She called over the net even as her track rocked with hits from the immobile Orca.  “And be smart about it!!  Some of these guys ain’t happy…”

[Golf One, Victor One…  Receive.] Came the reply from the Vedette team.  [I think a few taps at range will help- especially as I outrange ‘em]

[Golf One, Red Two…  two IFV’s down to one; send medivac…]

Jenna blanched.  That message meant a cargo hit or a minor explosion in the infantry bay.  Having done medical before becoming a tank commander, she knew the mess that was going to be.  Just then, the Command Net chimed and the speaker began squawking.

[Sierra Golf Command, Geronimo Flight]

“Geronimo Flight, Sierra Golf One…. Go ahead”

[Golf One, Geronimo Flight…  Inbound your location with six Daggers, crunchies aboard… where you want us?]  Geronimo Flight was part of the Air Cav squadron based up over in Sayreville, about a half hour from the Port.  That they made it to the fight was a good thing, considering the prisoners and wounded.

“Geronimo, Golf…  I have one escapee being pursued by elements of Sierra and plenty of prisoners back at the incident site.  If two of you can support my Red Section, appreciated.  Channel Sierra One Three Niner…”

[Golf, Geronimo…  Two heading that way, frequency relayed.]

***

Within ten minutes, the battle had concluded.  The two Geronimo VTOLS had arrived just as the pursuing Galleons had managed to corner the last Bradley and force it to give up.  The rest of the flight came in as the Lancers forced the crews of the hovertanks to give up, the Vedette main gun convincing the various immobilized tanks they didn’t want to be martyrs.

  Geronimo infantry surrounded the lone platoon of enemy infantry that had managed to get to cover and via some creative negotiation, convinced them to give up.  It helped that the surrendering troops were not properly equipped for the inbound snow squall and being notified of its approach was a deciding factor.  No one wanted to freeze to death… and no leader lets their troops do so.

As the Lancer troops gathered the enemy personnel up and away from their vehicles, Jenna sat on top of her track with a smoke and pondered what had been hoped to be gained here.  Between the losses in battlemechs (news of Kassing having made the last of them surrender had just come over the net) and the mess that this battle was, she just couldn’t figure out the why?

  Centaurus was a fairly well defended planet; raids happened, and they tended to be stomped hard… but since the Warships arrived, such events had stopped.  No one other than the Blakists had that kind of firepower to run that kind of force and to her knowledge, what they had left was busy dodging Coalition patrols hunting them.  No, this raid and its apparent target was something else.  Considering these guys faced were known to have been bankrolled by the Word of Blake before, she suspected that there was a connection there.

What it was… was for the intel weenies to figure out.

Author: John T

Warrior-Sage and full time healer. Gamer and Arm Chair Analyst (who isn't these days?) who isn't afraid to read up on what I don't know.

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