Legends and Myths Thirty Two- the 2nd Battle of Barbados (part three b)

The lull on the western front lasted roughly an hour.

  In that hour, the Lancer reinforcements in the form of Major Kassing’s Striker Company arrived as well as reloads for Alex’s remaining machines.  As the reloads were being handled, Chuck had a quick conference with the Dragoon company commander.

  “Alex…” He called out from down below her Nightstar. “Got a minute?”

  Looking down from where she stood on top of her machine with a set of binoculars, the woman replied. “Yeah…”.  Going over to the rope ladder, she climbed down to the ground. “I know this is a shitshow, Chuck…”

 Kassing waved off the comment as he stuck a fat cigar in his mouth and adjusted his old Cavalry Trooper Stetson- a relic of his time in a Davion Guards Cavalry unit.  “Bah!” he snapped. “This sort of shit happens, Hunter.  Ain’t no one immune; I’ve been on the receiving end of a potential bitch slap and pulled it out by the skin of my teeth with no little luck.  Hell, I watched Tinney look like he was about to get slapped silly in the bad old days and he manages to find a weak spot in the other guy’s plan to come out smellin’ like a rose.  It’s what I love and hate about working for him- he defies odds like it ain’t no big deal while the rest of us have to work at it.  So, it is not your fault. it’s just been a goddamn while since we’ve stepped in shit, and it happened to be you in the barrel.

  Anyway, what are we lookin’ at for Test Tube Types?” He asked.  “Big surprises?”

 Alex shook her head at Kassing’s confidence.  The man was crazy, but he was one of John’s oldest friends… and he knew what he was doing.  Maybe if she heard the same from all of the others, it might make getting beat sting less.  “Right now, they had left a Storm Crow, a Loki, a mod’d Kodiak, an Ursus, a Grizzly and a beat to hell Timberwolf.  There was a Piranha of all things runnin’ around too.  All of them have some heavy energy-based weapons but they did show a large number of light barrel cannon.  If they didn’t get resupplied like us, then they should be short ammo.  Not counting on it though; I mean, if we can get bullets, why can’t they?”

 Kassing listened. “Smart thinking… just because you can, doesn’t mean they can or can’t,” he replied. “I would count on them getting ammo at the very least.  Any mech reinforcement should take time to get to them.  I say should as it all depends on speed.” He said. “I would expect a full star of something to be added to the mix by the time we get back there.  As long as it isn’t like an Assault Star full of Warhawks, I’m pretty sure we have this.”

 She blinked. “Really?”

A chuckle. “Really… everyone who can take it has Semi-Guided rounds missiles in your weapons.  My four TAG boys are pretty good at plantin’ a dot in the middle of a mech’s chest so if we get a lock, that Clanner is getting a beat-down,” Chuck paused as an alert chime rang.  “Time to roll, ammo in the last of your machines is in.”

 Alex looked over at the Archer, who was just shutting the reloading hatches for its Class Twenty launchers. “That was fast!”

 “Yep.  I asked for the fastest hands when I came to reinforce you.  Figured we would need to be quick about it,” Kassing replied with a shit-eating grin.  “Let’s go show these genetic anomalies what it means to get in a street fight….”

  Alex smiled, knowing what he was going to say next, having heard if from Tinney a few times.  “Because a street fight is a brawl an’ there Ain’t no rules in a brawl…”


Over the next ten minutes, the two Lancer commanders led their troops forward and back into the killing field that was the ground near the filtration plants.

  The remaining clan forces had spread out some, taking up some decent overwatch positions as they waited for either a Lancer counterattack or reinforcements.  What they got was both as a monstrous Assault Star entered the area.  While it wasn’t the feared Warhawk star Kassing had joked about (there was one of those machines in this star) there was some serious beef on its way in.

 A Gargoyle, an Executioner, a Nova and a Cougar complimented the aforementioned Warhawk; and the reinforcements were running for all they were worth to get into the fray.

 Alex saw this and ordered her troops to find good overwatching positions to support Kassing’s men in their effort to pick off the weaker numbers of their foes.  And for the most part, the battle played out along what they both thought it would.

  The advanced Super Locusts did their jobs well early, with planting TAG on several clan machines.  The resulting havoc from accurate LRM fire   The clan command, realizing what was going on with the smaller machines, began to hunt the four battlemechs- knowing if they killed them they hindered some of the power of the mercenaries.

  This of course opened them up to punishment from the non-missile machines of the Lancers.  And it was telling.  As the monster Star of reinforcing Omnimechs reached the battlefield, the original seven defending machines were reduced to two- the previously slammed Timber wolf and a lucky-as-hell Loki. The two remaining members of the original force backed off under the guns of their newly arrived backup.  Which was fine, as said backup now began to take fire from the Lancers.

  First to feel Lancer fire was the Warhawk. A Super Locust gambled and lit up the machine with TAG and paid for his work with the clan machine removing his entire torso area.  In the process of doing that, some sixty missiles rained down on him and knocked him over.  The pilot didn’t manage his fall well and was stunned as a result.

  The rest of the star attempted to kill the other Super Locusts, with mixed results.  A second Super died under the focused attention of the Omnis but not before the newly arrived Nova earned immense amounts of LRM fire- homing in on the electronic tagging by the nearby Super.

 As this went on, the Clans were exacting a bit of revenge for the punishment they were taking.  Both of the Lancer Axmen were brought low but not before they finished off the crippled Ursus, having destroyed the Grizzly earlier that tried to slow them down.  The Gargoyle managed to sneak a lucky hit onto the Mauler, destroying the arm-mounted ammunition bay for the Light Autocannon that machine carried but not before it helped drop the Kodiak that was trying to get after the Archer which had been raining missiles down on his star mates.

It was just after the Kodiak dropped that Chuck gambled with a communications call.  While he knew what he had could take what was left of the Clan troops, the Lancers would take losses they really could not afford… and it was pretty apparent that the Clanners thought this was the front to take down.  Or that they had the mechs to throw at it.  Either way, it was time to see if they could be bluffed into a back-down.  He knew the naval battle was done at this point, that fight having resolved itself when he was on his way here.  He was betting the Clan Command didn’t know.  Or Did and knew the power of a Naval Bombardment.  Not that he had permission to use one… but the Clans didn’t know that.

And he was counting on it.

Setting the frequency to the last known General channel of the clans on his secondary comm-gear, he called out.  “Clan Commander Clan Commander…  Care to Parley?”

Alex heard this over the Lancer net and comm’d Chuck on the side.  [Dude!]

Check replied. “I got this, Alex…  Right now, I’m working a bluff; we can beat ‘em but I got doubts on what we’ll have left afterwards…”

  Alex answered after a few seconds. [Yeah… I see what you mean.  I’m down to a lance of my company and I’m not happy about it.]

“Alex, I get it…  and I want that pound of flesh for you too… but I also want us to survive getting it…”

The Clan commander finally answered. [What, Dezgra Scum? You want to surrender?]

 Chuck laughed.  “You’re funny, Star Captain.  I’m offering you the opportunity to back off and get off our land with your remaining lives before I nuke the shit out of you.”

 A sputter.  [You won’t dare use a nuclear weapon! That’s against your OWN Laws of War!]

 Kassing smiled inside his neurohelmet; the choice of word had gotten the man’s attention, as he wanted… “who said anything about using an actual nuke? It was a term only… though I’m told an orbital bombardment from a Black Lion has just about the same effect on a target; you stay on this location and I get to find out if that’s true…” He said.  “So, I am offering you the opportunity to leave with your lives.”

 Silence on the other end for a moment… which meant Chuck had planted the right doubts in the clanner.  He knew what was left of his company and Alex’s could take what the clan had left here- but it really would be a damn mess- and counterproductive.  For BOTH sides.  And maybe this guy figured it out too.

[Fine.  We will back off… but if you try to reclaim this area, the deal is off and you won’t get the chance for your bombardment as you too will be in the bullseye.] The Star Captain replied. [This area remains No Mans Land.]

  Chuck let out the breath he had held.  This will work… He thought. And someone else can deal with forcing the issue. “Good enough for me… the machines that are down stay.  Including that Warhoawk; you can get the pilot, of course.”


 “I can still blast it to scrap while he’s down…”

 Some more sputtering. [Very well, dezgra… it remains as unclaimed isorla.]

 “I can work with that.  Whoever wins overall here can have it… We will advance no further.” He replied.  Not like we were going to but he don’t know that.

[Done.] The Clan commander snarled and the enemy machines began to back off, the savaged Nova limping away.

  Chuck took a deep breath.  He really didn’t want to try and drop what was left of the clan troops; while he had confidence in his crew, he knew the damage to be taken in return would make any victory a bit pyrrhic.  Not a thing any sane commander wants.

He glanced at the status panel that showed his company’s state and grimaced.  Here’s hoping Hollister has a plan, he thought. We are going to need a refit if we have to hunt these bastards.

Legends and Myths Thirty One- 2nd Battle of Barbados Part Three (a)

As her company backed off of the Water Site, Alex triggered a volley of shots from her Nightstar at a pursuing Clan Machine, sending it packing.  Even as she did so, she cursed the situation she found herself in and chided her poor deployment decision along with assumptions….

  Going into the battle by the Water Filtration systems the expedition had set up a few days past, Alex had deployed her troops line abreast.  Somewhat standard Lancer style, with solid overwatching fire from support machines (in this case, an Archer and a Royal Catapult) to cover or assist flanks. She had sent her mobile machines (a Victor and a pair of Axmen) up her right and positioned her heavy resilient machines (a 4S Battlemaster and a Royal Thunderbolt) on her left supported by the two Rifleman II assault machines in the company.

  She took up position more in the center of the battle line, with the upgraded Catapult K2 and her weirdo Mauler MAL-1K.  It was a solid battle line and should have been just fine for fighting most any enemy she had faced.  I mean, it had worked before… and against the overzealous Clan warriors usually faced..

  The problem became evident when her opponent shifted tactics for a Clan commander.

  On their way forward, the normal spread nature of a clan advance coalesced into a power flanking move, with a handful of their machines being patient and acting as an overwatch force.  What also threw her off… was their patience.  Oh sweet Jesus, were they patient for Clan forces.  The approaching enemy machines set up their side march and used their powerful weapons to advantage, savaging the machines on her left.

  It was not without return punishment they did so- Lancers being Lancers, their accuracy let the attackers know they were in danger too.  But given the size of the machines coming for her troops, it was then the doubts began to creep in as the Clans absorbed the fire coming at them, claiming a Rifleman II as it had defied the three clan mechs pounding it to hammer a Mad Dog..

  Throughout the battle, Alex had a question nag at her as her troops exchanged fire with the enemy mechs.  About fifteen minutes ago, that question finally come up with an answer.  And it was something of a minor revelation… that could be important.  Almost all the machines in front of her were either Common Omnis, findable anywhere… and what wasn’t a common machine, was platforms one would find among the Ghost Bears.

  What really made it odd was that of those machines she *knew* were a prized machine within that Clan (having a drink with that cute Ghost Bear mechwarrior back in Crossroads when they visited helped her knowledge of such) in the enemy forces initially made her mad they might have been played.  But then, it also registered that the weapons on some of them were way wrong.

  Know your Enemy Alex had thought, These ain’t right…  Confirmation on this came in the form of the giant Kodiak firing not one but TWO Light Barrel autocannon as that assault machine closed.  That is when she started really looking at the other machines attacking them- the Kodiak was considered a totem machine and no one monkeyed with its set up like this. This thing had to be a captured machine and fixed with whatever.  It’s the only thing that made sense…

  Three other machines among the attacking forces (a pair of Ursus and a Grizzly) also didn’t match the known designs for the machines- especially as they were NOT omni-mechs.  No, these Ghost Bear Machines were not normal… because the Bears don’t mess with their totem machines.  And all three designs were totems…

“Damn things are customs…” she had muttered as her own Light Barrel cannon blasted at the aforementioned Grizzly.  When she saw a Loki take a ton of punishment and not reveal its innards afterwards, she then knew for sure this was a cobbled together Binary and had ordered a retreat. The retreat order came too late for the other Rifleman II as an Ursus shredded a torso, forcing an ejection.  The Battlemaster dropped a minute before, when what seemed like every enemy machine in range used it for a piñata but not before it ravaged a Madcat some in the process.

As the last of her troops broke contact, she noted the discipline of the Clan troops.  This was another odd bit- Clan mech warriors were famous for over pursuit and these guys weren’t at all… which was against type.  Very against type.  Did she have the luck to draw the smart ones this time?  Damn sure felt like it, considering everything else…

“Operations, Lancer Delta,” She called over the network as she assessed her command.

[Lancer Delta, Operations…]

Steeling herself, she reported in what had transpired.  “Operations, Lancer Delta; Clan forces have pushed us off the Water Filtration sites.  Current Company strength is approximately 60 percent with four losses.  Remaining elements have minor to moderate damage.  Clan forces have suffered substantial damage but impossible to verify overall strength outside a Binary.  Known losses is one Thor class Omni.”  She said.  “Be advised OpFor is using several Modified Ghost Bear designs.”

[Lancer Delta, Operations.  We copy current force is 60 percent and Clan forces possess Water Filtration sites.  Lancer Alpha will be Dispatched to bolster and attempt a re-capture.  Assess and advise ability to Support.]

Alex blinked.  She just lost a front and they now wanted her to go back in?  Just then, she saw the Priority Channel diode on her com panel light up, blinking.  “Receive.  Stand by- accurate assessment shortly.”  Changing channels, she answered the call. “Delta Six.”

[Alex, its John,] In her speakers was the voice of her adoptive dad.  [You alright and what happened?]  There was no anger or accusations in his voice, just concern.

“John, I got took…” She raged.  “I assumed usual stupid and got took…”  Over the next minute, she relayed to Tinney what she and her troops saw then the realization of the changed designs.

[Alex… number one- anyone can get taken by the unexpected.  Given what you describe, I could have and I’m freely admitting this.  But that doesn’t change that you face some weird shit and a patiently creative Clan commander; I guess its nice to know even they can learn] He said to her. [How mauled are your remaining machines?]

“Not bad. I am down four; I lost the two Rifleman Sean and his men found.  The clanners made a point to blast them to scrap.”

 [That’s because they are SLDF machines…  Rare ones too.  But they are machines.  They can be fixed.] He said.  [Rest of your company?]

“Some armor.  Two aren’t even scuffed.”

[Ok…  When you get reinforcements, see about retaking the site- I know that order is coming…  Right now, Hollister is neck deep in alligators so he can’t tell you himself. For what it’s worth, I don’t think the clanners are going to stick around long to set up a camp.  They will either retreat to regroup as no other front is doing well… or reinforce then try and force this flank some more.  I bet the latter more than the former and they won’t expect a counterattack so quickly.  The one thing they won’t be able to do is clean up armor damage… but that isn’t their way.  At least usually…]

  Alex snickered slightly.  “Neither is being patient with a hated enemy.”

 [Alex, we’re just mercs and according to them, just dezgra scum.  They really want Hollister and his men.. we are just in the way.] Tinney replied.  [Our Job is to remind them that we are just as capable as them… and looking by us will get them very dead.]

She smiled slightly.  “Yeah…  speaking of that, I don’t know if all our downed guys got caught.”

[Safe bet is half got taken… and are still in the area.  You’ll get them out.]

“I appreciate the pep talk, John.” She replied. “Helps.”

 [No problem, kiddo… Remember, I wouldn’t have put you in that seat and taken you on this crazy trip if I didn’t think you could handle it.]

“I know.”

[Good… now figure out how much ass you got and get ready to kick someone else’s.  Neither Mike or Chuck will hassle you- it will be one of them coming, I’m sure and neither of them are gonna give you shit.  Dragoon Companies ain’t as easy as everyone thinks…  Talk later.]

“I’m sure we will,” She replied.

 [Lancer Six out]


Back in operations, movement orders were issued as Alex gave an updated assessment of her forces. As a result, Lancer Alpha was heading for the west side along with updated ammo supply where Delta was consolidating while a lance from Charlie headed to the Wolverines on the South side to bolster the company there.  A second lance was preparing to head to the Northern Front, where Hollister was engaging the Clans in their attempt to blast through to the camp.

  The rest of the defensive forces were getting into hidden positions in and around the camp locations.  If ANYTHING broke through, the Lancer Armor was going to give them a giant problem.

On the Clan side of things, each front was either engaged, had reinforcements enroute or was busy consolidating after losses.  The Western Front was assessing its own damage and the decision to hold long enough for ammunition resupply and the reinforcement star to arrive would prove fortuitous for them.  The reinforcements of a trio of Assault Class Omni-mechs and a pair of lighter machines would be valuable for the push.  And the Star Captain in charge of this front was already relishing the glory that was to be had.

  He and his troops had put down four of the Mercenary machines at the cost of one destroyed and two rendered ineffective; not great but he would finish the job as soon as the rearming was complete.  The reinforcement star would see them crashing into the dezgra mercenaries and then into the heart of the Not Named forces.  This would be a cake walk…

(note: this entry is being broken up into two parts as the battle is continuing (the guest commander is here visiting his dad. 🙂 ) And yes, it is a giant mess. As always, a list of the units used to play out this battle are available on request. The Hollister fight will hopefully happen next week.)

Legends and Myths- story so far

The story so far…

The Beginning of this series was a few snippets of battles against various raiders who were plaguing Centaurus during a Rebuilding time for the unit, post Jihad War, in late 3079. Some of its disjointed-ness was due to my not having a solid write up of Lancer history ironed out for this era. I’ve mostly fixed that…)

A lot of confusion was had over a raid by a non-WoB White Armored mech force.  After running into then-Major McCormack’s Dragoon Company, prisoners were taken and the questions over who these guys were began.

  A second battle added fuel to the mysteries surrounding the Potential Wolverine machines.  Making the decision to bait a mole, a trap was laid at a desert base for any takers.  And what was gotten was not expected.

  The Word of Blake attempted to go after the “prize” and as Lancer Armor was hitting them, a Wolverine Force arrived and combat dropped in.  After a short firefight with the Word, the Wolverine troops announced who they were and requested their folks back as well as Refuge.  They were the last survivors of that Not Named Clan that they knew of and had returned to the Inner Sphere in order to avoid dying out in space.

The Lancers took them in… but in doing so, it revealed the mole within their own ranks; family of one of the commanders in Alpha Mech Battalion.

The Wolverines full clan arrived, with all their Jumpships and over a half-dozen warships in various states of capability.  And the integration of the new-comers began.

Another Word-Sponsored raid happened; this was an attempt to kill as many of the Wolverine Civilians as possible.  It was thwarted by the Lancers former Duelist with some Wolverine assistance…

Meanwhile, the Ghost Bears, who have heard of their Return, get an eye-opener of a revelation from their Lore Master as to what may have ACTUALLY happened way back then.  And it forces a re-thinking of stances long held.  Ghost Bears don’t act rashly… this is fact.  But they also don’t like being played for Fools…  and what Nick Kerensky did way back in the day… Oh No.

The decision was made and the Bears send a detachment to Centaurus to both have a normal discussion and a Mech-related one with the Formerly Not Named.  Said discussions happen and it ends well for all sides… with potential for other meetings in the future.

The Snow Ravens also are told of what’s going on by Kabrinski (that would be that trip to the Communications Room after she made the decision….  See what I did there?) and their Khan, a pretty direct person, visits the Wolverines *in person* after doing her own research in Snow Raven Archives…. And getting a similar answer to the Ghost Bears in what was found.

And like the Bears, there would be no Snow Ravens hunting for Wolverine Pelts.

Not long after *THAT* meeting, a discusson on going back to Barbados is conducted.  Both for retrieval of Wolverine Remains and whatever salvage there may be after two centuries…. As well as a Warning Outpost for possible Clan Incursions.  After all, Barbados is on the Exodus Road… which could be used to end run the truce line.

So, a mixed Wolverine/Lancer force is put together and sent to that World… where operations are begun to set up a facility for long term residence.

  It was a week or so in when the Reborn Mongoose, a ploy by Cloud Cobra to both add allies to their side of things among the Home Clans and perhaps use as a cats-paw against the remaining Inner Sphere Clans.  That Wolverine had returned…  the chaos that created helped their efforts event more to make the new clan.  That Mongoose, being a new clan and not named as a signatory to any Truce document with any Inner Sphere power, could be used to go after the Tainted and enemies of the Clans in the Inner Sphere made their creation timely.

 So they were sent down the Exodus Road to perform that very feared End Run, with a two fold goal.  Go after the Wolverines, who could not be possibly all that powerful and punish enemies of The True Star League (aka the Clans).  Reinforcements would be sent eventually, as soon as situation stabilized in Home Space and the Mongoose Force established a location to base from.

The current battles being written about are fights actually being played on the tabletop.  A future story may be a Trial of Grievance between Loremaster Tseng and something/someone Clan Wolf as the ancient secrets are being revealed/long held beliefs are being blown up.  And that battle may involve Colonel McCormack when she is on that promised visit….   That story won’t get written for a while yet.

Legends and Myths Thirty- the 2nd Battle of Barbados (part two)

 On the Southern Front, the battle was well and truly engaged and Captain Daniel Whitfield was thanking the wisdom of the Clan Elders for insisting on coming back to the Inner Sphere.

  Whitfield had been a doubter over The Return but he knew their situation was not tenable at the time.  With their return, so much had happened in the year since, it was almost unbelievable.  He had believed they only needed civil help, that their warfighting skills were fine and would see them win out over anyone.  Two battles against the Mercenaries they were allied with had changed that notion… and the ensuing months of hard training had also tempered those thoughts.

  The Lancer Warfare instructors had repeatedly gone over mission profiles of their battlemechs and how to get the best out of them.  Even odd designs like Hannah Hollister’s Shadow Hawk, a Star League Royal design that more useful up close despite its long range Medium Light Barrel cannon.  Far too much of the Wolverine Doctrines had them close against opponents and stay close, no matter the design.  The Lancer Instructors really stressed the advantages of maintaining range on certain designs, with the flaw of Clan weapons being their utility at all ranges.  As the one instructor put it, too much utility and ability is not always a good thing; leads to mistakes.  There was a time to use that utility- and those times would present themselves.  You just had to pay attention.

  And those lessons were showing themselves in this battle.

  Early on, Whitfield had committed his twomodified Excalibur machines forward, the re-gunning to ClanSpec Gauss Rifle, addition of a Clanspec Extended Range Large Laser and exchange of the secondary LRM Missile weapon to a Multi-launcher gave the fast heavy battlemech a much needed improvement in combat performance at short range.  But it still was not a brawler.  That lesson was driven home by the clan opponent ganging up on the machines quickly.

  The detonation of a Gauss Rifle when a capacitor was struck made the lesson stick.  Backing the two machines off, he committed himself forward to take some of the heat while his two Lynx machines harassed the Thresher and Blackhawk to his front.

  With the Lynxes busy, Whitfield used the Snub PPC of his modified Wolverine to good use, applying damage to distracted Clan opponents as opportunity presented.  The other lesson gained in the warfare classes had already shown results on his left flank.

  Lieutenant Heather Sobral, in her Royal Griffin, had led her lance containing the modified Phoenix Hawk of Christian Mann, the ancient Star Slayer of Mica Frater and the Royal Ostroc of Paddy Bostic up the left flank, running into a Vapor Eagle and a Thresher. Using the lessons on herding, the four shifted and lured the two Clan machines forward, with Mann maneuvering to take a flanking position.

  The exchange of fire between the two sides forced the Clan troops to back off into the woods for some cover.  And Sobral took advantage.  Spreading her force a bit, they enveloped to two machines and flushed them from their cover with accurate fire pouring into the heavy Thresher.  Forced forward out of cover, the heavy clan machine tried to prevent being pincered between the Wolverine machines without much success.

 Mann, seeing the other three pounding the two enemy mechs (the Vapor Eagle was desperately attempting to avoid the Royal Griffin, the clan machine’s head assembly little better than tissue paper at this point) raced for the Clan rear, where an Uller was attempting to snipe with a Gauss Rifle.  Dodging inbound fire, Mann managed to land shots on the Clan machine…. And in the process, forced it from its perch. The next few minutes would see the Uller run from this side of the field and attempt to consolidate with the rest of his Star Mates, who were being worked over harshly by the rest of the company.

Meanwhile, the Fortunes of the rest of the Clan forces were taking a turn for the worse.  A second Vapor Eagle, who had been trying to harass the Wolverine center, caught a collection of cluster munitions from Hannah Hollister’s Shadow Hawk to a rear torso, the damage from the weapon savaging the internals and other armored locations on the fast machine.  Between that and a collection of shots from Whitfield, the punishment proved to be too much to take and the Vapor Eagle tumbled to the ground.

  Whitfield paid for dropping the Vapor Eagle, a Clan Corvis with its Ultra 10 class weapon hammering his right arm and ripping it from his Wolverine.  This damage forced him to back off… but the actions of the Corvis only had stalled their retreat, not stopped it.

While the battle on the Wolverine right had been going on, the rest of Whitfield’s Company had been putting in some work.  The modern Griffin, having backed off to provide ranged support, had been letting its LRMs do some talking.  Frater had gotten her Starslayer to a good supporting location on the Wolverine left and was letting the clan mechs in the middle know about it.  Sobral and Bostic had finished off both the Vapor Eagle and the panicked Thresher, which freed them up to start closing in on the center.

  In the center, the Clan troops had managed to drop an Excalibur via engine damage but not before it wrecked the Thresher in front of him.  Hollister now moved up, lending her lighter weapons to the battle even while letting her Light Barrel do some talking.  Both Lynx machines, bloody from exchanges with the Black Hawk, were now hounding the Ebon Jaguar who had been lending supporting fire the entire time. 

  Brock Kumar, in his Exterminator, continued his cat and mouse battle with what was apparently the Binary Commander’s machine even as the pale white Lynx of Misty Thomlinson stepped up to exchange weapons fire.  Between her and Kumar, the two would force the Clan leader from his perch and help him make the decision to retreat with what was left of his command.

And what was left was not terribly much.  Of the ten machines started with, the Clan troops made a fighting withdrawal with their two Corvis and the Ebon Jaguar as everything else lay broken on the field. Wolverine losses were comparatively light, with the loss of the Excalibur. While there was extensive damage throughout the company, with a crippled Excalibur and Whitfield’s Wolverine sans its main gun, they still had enough ability to hold this front.

 Not that Whitfield wanted to test that ability but given everything, he was pretty pumped; this was his first non-trial battle against a Clan Foe that wasn’t Bandits… and he directed a win.  Time to let Operations know.

“Operations, Charlie Lead.”


A pause.  “Operations, Charlie Lead.  Wolverine holds the Field,” He said, pride slipping into the young Captain’s voice. “Enemy Forces in retreat with 70 percent losses.  Charlie effective Strength is 60 percent due to damage.  Request reinforcement and security troops for prisoners.”

[Operations copies 60 percent effectives due to damage; enemy forces reduced to approximately 30 percent effective strength.  Will be dispatching a demi-company of Phoenix Lancers as reinforcements. ETA about fifteen minutes.”


On the western side of the Zone, Delta Second Battalion took up positions near the Water Purification sites.  A strong Clan force of Medium to Heavy Omnimechs and second line machines was heading that way through a series of foothills per the recon drones.  Major Alex Hunter scanned the screens of the cockpit of her Nightstar and shuddered a tiny bit.  This was her second major engagement piloting this machine, having upgraded from the Black Knight in Colonel McCormack’s company. And she was not as confident in this role as both her CO’s had felt when she was promoted.

  Yeah, she was a good mech warrior and was a good Lance commander, but she didn’t think she rated a larger command.  At least not yet… and her last outing had her shot out of her ride.  But both Colonels (still weird calling Leslie a Colonel yet) felt she had done just fine- and experience in her new machine would come.  Still, she didn’t think that she was all that worthy of both the bigger role and the heavier machine…. But they had faith in her and that was something.  Alex knew they didn’t promote without merit.

  This battle… was going to test her skills at both, she was sure.  “Ok y’all…  this ain’t no simulator and this isn’t ordinary idiots,” she said on the company net with more confidence than she had.  “Y’all know your jobs and y’all know your strengths.  Use them… and let’s cut these bitches… Time for them to LEARN today who WE are and why they done made a big-time error…” She smiled a bit; they were odd words to speak… but they felt right to say.

  She was not as good as her adopted dad with pep talks… but he was busy on the East side with his own fight so there was no consulting him for this.  But Alex had a feeling he’d have approved of what she did say.

As the enemy came into visual range, she shifted in her command couch.  Time to go to work…

Legends and Myths Twenty Nine- the 2nd Battle of Barbados part one

Local Space, Gamma 1551 System

  In the ensuing hours from notification to now, the inbound unidentified warships became identified on their way in.  Per the databases on the Wolverine ships (updated in exchange for navigation records with the Ghost Bears), all three of them had classes identified- and in cases of the two Essex ships, names.

  When hails were finally answered, Commander Callahan could only shake his head at the utter arrogance of the inbound flotilla. Attempts to parley with them were met with curses and diatribes, being called dezgra, and a pronouncement of Death before the inbound ships disconnected communications.  Smartly, the flotilla’s Jump Ships lagged behind their escorts and as they closed on the planet, detached drop ships in an attempt to end run past the Fleet to the world.

  Callahan, noting that he could either go after the dropships with his fighters and the Yukon to deal with them or concentrate all his combat power on the inbound warships and let the ground side deal with the invaders, chose the latter and informed Hollister of the decision.  It was the wiser choice, really; Even with the power of the Mustafa (a Black Lion battlecruiser) and the State of Grace (an Aegis cruiser), fighting a relic like a Du Shi Wang battleship was a long day at the office if they could not flank her- that class of ship was designed for the frontal assault with its armored nose.  Considering it had a pair of Essex destroyers as helper, getting into position would be a chore.

  But one that was doable- the Essex class was not known for taking punishment… and these captains did not seem to recognize that, considering they were not maneuvering to take advantage of their broadside Naval PPCs.


  Within minutes of the engagement beginning, it became apparent that the Inbound crews were not well drilled with their vessels.  The State of Grace struck first as she fired sequentially during a swooping arc to starboard, her guns stabbing out at the right most Essex, the McGrath, as they came to bear.  Naval Lasers and Naval Autocannon Class 10s lashed out at the long range and delivered several hits to the McGrath’s forward areas, stressing the hull hard with the damage.  The return fire was ineffective at best, the Naval Class 20’s having slightly less range than the Class 10 guns.

  The State of Grace’s bridge crew worked like a well-oiled machine, their performance living up to their ships name.  The Aegis cruiser, performing a barrel roll as it shifted off the same plane of the McGrath, began to arc back in to close the distance.  She was going to drop the hammer on this attacking warship… and do it with style.

On the other flank, the Yukon traded fire with the Louis, neither ship getting many strikes in with their weapons, though the Louis managed a class 20 cannon strike on the nose of the Yukon.  But the Lola III class Wolverine ship was far more maneuverable than the Essex and managed to pull a hard shift to port as it rapidly closed the range, opening up with its collection of Naval Lasers and Class 10 cannon as they came to bear in the rapidly dropping distance.

  And that waiting to shift gamble paid off.  The Yukon which had been the last ship to arrive at Barbados way back then, was the first one to gain a kill against a foe here.  Her gunners, all them just waiting to enact vengeance on *someone*, demonstrated murderous accuracy as their shots struck home in the initial broadside volley.  Several Naval Cannon rounds crashed into the front right of the enemy Essex, followed by a trio of Naval Lasers… which proved its undoing.

  The Naval Lasers tore through the opening in the warship armor, burning through decks and causing incredible mayhem within ship.  The last laser to burn through destroyed the primary Life Support of the forward regions of the ship along with inflicting critical damage to the forward thrusters…  which meant the ship was both losing air and was now unable to turn effectively.

  The Louis managed to land several hits on the Yukon, but with nowhere near the effectiveness… and this exchange really showed the differences in training the two sides had.  The attacking Mongoose craft had the most up to date ship but zero practical experience while the Wolverines had ships only recently refurbished but the crews were well drilled. 

In the center….  Callahan ordered a reduction in speed and an orientation shift to a negative ninety facing, presenting his broadsides directly at the oncoming Du Shi Wang.  In essence, he was presenting his broadside in purposely crossing the T of the oncoming battleship with his nose pointed downward.  Knowing the firepower of the Black Lion battlecruiser, he was certain the Mustafa’s gunners would do their jobs well… and lay into the oncoming battleship with maximum accuracy.  It was a gamble, sure… but the large number of Naval Autocannon Class 20 and 30s firing at the monster coming in should do the job.  Not much could withstand twenty naval autocannons firing at it… no matter how large the ship was.  The question now was could the Mustafa take the return fire damage and get out of the way of a potential ramming attack….

  As the Du Shi Wang bored in, Callahan had his gunners fire at will, watching the plot and doing the mental math….   He was aware of the Yukon crippling the Louis quickly, the charge forward and last second shift to bring a full broadside to bear doing the job of rendering the Essex class a non-factor.

 The State of Grace was dancing around her foe, the McGrath attempting to bring her to grips and getting zero success while being picked apart.  He needed to remember to commend Captain Xi for her crew’s performance and remind her one should not play with their targets… no matter how much they might deserve it.

  AS for his own situation…. The Mustafa gunners were not disappointing him, getting solid strikes at medium to long ranges and the return fire, while troublesome, was not critical yet. Best not to let it get there while he could avoid it…  “Helm…  Maximum thrust and fifteen plus five degrees to port. Full Aspect roll”

 “Maximum thrust, Fifteen plus five degrees to port, Full Aspect Roll Aye…”

  As the now streaming-fire battleship continued to close, Callahan’s orders started his battlecruiser moving and shifting to its left at a slight angle.  The Aspect roll was to present the other broadside at the oncoming foe… and fresh armor.  While it would remove the aft side guns from the fire plan, their loss would not affect the situation too much.  Especially with what the sensors were reporting on the condition of the Du Shi Wang.

  And what they were reporting was not good.  Several grav decks were open to space and the entirety of the forward armor was gone.  Indeed, the last volley of weapons fire had scored deep into the internals of the nose sections of the battleship, and she began to drift to her starboard- away from the Mustafa.  Very little return fire was coming from the gravely wounded warship and Callahan noted this as his ship completed his turn.  In fact, he didn’t see ANY return fire at this point.  “Gunners cease fire…  Communications, try and raise that ship.  There is no need for all of them to die out here, no matter how they feel about us.”

“Aye Aye sir”


While the Second Naval Battle of Barbados was going on, the transport ships and their dropships had burned for the world, taking the opportunity to do so while being ignored.  Several Union C and Confederate dropships made their way to the planet below and found landing locations around the Expedition’s site.  Far enough away to not take fire from groundside but close enough to launch an attack upon the Encampment areas fairly quickly.

It was even money which flank was struck first, really.  Colonel Tinney and the Phoenix Lancer Command Company had deployed early, the Dragoon-weight company setting up in the foothills of the East Side of the camp.  The veteran commander spread his troops out across the frontage and pre-planned a few locations for fall back if needed.

 The Command Company was predominantly Assault Weight machines but all of them were C3 Networked.  The prize machine in the bunch was the venerable Phoenix Hawk LAM, a relic of a bygone era and one of the oldest machines within the Lancers.  With the advent of new technology, the machine had received extensive upgrades to weaponry, exchanging standard lasers for pulse versions.  An ECM unit, double strength heatsinks, and a Network slave turned the Land Air Mech into a very capable spotter… and he’d be relying on it somewhat in the coming battle.

  The next lightest mechs were a pair of Grand Dragons– Mark variants of the 7K- and backing them was a Banshee and Command Cyclops. The next lance within the force was a pair of Blackwatch battlemechs that functioned as bookends for the Atlas command mech.  A Marauder II finished out the lance and acted as the forward machine of the four.

  Finishing the company was the last three machines in his lance- a Norguard Industries Hunter Command Series Variant from Terra Nova, a Longbow, and his beloved Highlander. His machine had been upgraded over the years with salvaged clan weapons and that had made many a foe underestimate him.  Add in the Network and it made his company throw-weight that much more potent.  Tinney had a feeling what was coming made his force the right wall to run into.  How well his wall held up would be another matter; it was still Clan-spec weapons he was facing and that had a way of making odds even.

First, though… he figured he would try a bluff.  Not that it had a chance in hell in working… but he had to try.  “Charlotte…  Scan known clan freqs and see if you can find theirs.  I wanna talk to their boss before this gets stupid.  And get that drone up- knowing what’s coming is going to help I think.”

  Warrant Officer Two Charlotte Rowansberg chuckled. [Gotta try…] she said and got to work.  After about a minute, she called over to him.  [Colonel.  Locked it down.  Switch your secondary comset to Zone Bravo Channel 7]

“Zulu Bravo Charlie 7,” Tinney did just that then activated the comset.  “Clan Commander…  Colonel Tinney of the Phoenix Lancers.  Care to talk?”

  A response was not long in coming.  [This is Star Captain Xavier Garcia of the Reborn Mongoose 31st Cluster, Alpha Galaxy.  What do you want, dezgra?] A very young voice was heard, one full of himself.

 Mongoose?  That’s a new one… “Star Captain,” Tinney replied. “I’m offering you a chance to not get you and yours killed for no good reason.  Your fleet isn’t going to leave here unscathed…  and neither are you if you push this.”

 [What makes you think you can beat the might of Mongoose?] Garcia sneered.

 “The fact I have stepped on both Huntress and Strana Mechty…. And lived to tell about it,” was Tinney’s very dry reply. “What have you done?”

  The pause in reply was telling.  When he did answer, the trace of Anger could be heard in Garcia’s voice.  [So you are one who defiled Clan Space with your filth… and I shall enjoy ending your life!]

  “If I had a credit for every time I heard that from a Clansman, I would have enough to buy a warship…”  The Mercenary Colonel retorted with a laugh.  “You know… those ships that are probably burning hulks right now?”

  A snarl was the only reply as the communication channel was ended.  In his headset, Tinney heard the voice of Bobby DuBois, the pilot of the Hunter.  [Colonel, I think you might have struck a nerve there, eh?]

  A sigh. “I might have…  Sounded like a young one, Bobby.  Could be an advantage….”

 [It could, yah, it could…] Bobby said. [If you got on his nerve bad enough, eh, maybe he comes in old school stupid, yah?]

 “Bob, if I got in his head that easy, I think I’m going to be doing Clan Mongoose a favor.” Tinney replied.  “We will see what we see.”


 About five minutes passed as the Lancers, aided by the recon drone visuals, positioned themselves for the oncoming Clan Machines.  And it was a fairly robust force coming their way too- a pair of Dire Wolves of the twin gauss rifle variety, what looked like a Star league era Maelstrom, a Stooping Hawk, a Mad Dog, the very odd-looking Predator, a Black Lanner, a Turkina Prime, a Stormcrow and a Phantom- which was the oddest Omni in the bunch, being usually a Clan Wolf machine.

 Tinney knew most of the machines coming, the Predator being the real oddball to him. And all were fairly deadly.  Especially that twin Gauss Dire Wolf; he’d seen bad things happen to anyone in its way…  If Garcia paced the advance to the speeds of the two Dire Wolves, this would be a very bloody affair as the Damn things were walking hunks of Armor and Guns- designed to be centered around.  If he didn’t keep pace with them though, the odds went against them as the three monsters could be ignored.  At least for a little while.

  “Ok boys and girls…” Tinney said across the company net.  “Pick your targets, coordinate fire and lets show these guys we are no ordinary Mercenary force…  Priority that Lanner and the Phantom- those are the ones likely to give our network fits….”

  Acknowledgements came across the network and within a minute, the battle was joined as both Grand Dragons and the LAM moved up, the hybrid battlemech using its speed to race out and provide targeting information as well as some good sensor data on what exactly was being faced.

Within the first ten minutes of the battle, suspicion of how new his opposing commander was became evident.  In the rush to come to grips with the Lancers, the Clan troops left the three Assault machines behind, which suited Tinney’s battle plan just fine.  One of the Dire Wolves happened to skyline itself in an effort to support his fellows and earned large amounts of LRMs from the Lancer Longbow, which staggered the big Clan machine.

  The Phantom came racing in, making an attempt to break the Lancer lines and was subsequently gunned down by Mika Sakura in her Grand Dragon, the Heavy Particle Cannon tearing through a wounded leg and forcing damage up into a torso.  The quick Omnimech’s subsequent fall finished the job as it plowed into the ground and shredded the remaining torso structure.

  Mika would not escape punishment for that act, as the Predator, the Maelstrom and the Stooping Hawk would go hunting her and their combined fire would put her down.  Doing that would cost the Predator, as targeting data from the Grand Dragon would allow multiple Gauss hits as well as laser fire to carve the machine to literal pieces.

  The Maelstrom, obviously a smarter pilot, would use terrain to his advantage, avoiding too much attention as he traded fire with Charlotte in her Cyclops.  This cat and mouse game would end when Bobby moved up with his Hunter and laid into the clan machine, drawing its attention.

 On the Lancer Left, it was no less bloody an affair but more so for the clans.  The Stormcrow had raced forward with the Black Lanner and was getting ready to find the end of the Lancer line when both Black Watch mechs turned their sights on it.  Using targeting data from the Marauder II that had moved up some for a better angle, the twin assault machines dumped a full volley of Medium Range Missile fire into the Clan Omni as well as multiple Ultra Cannon shots.  This fusillade proved to be far too much for the medium weight Omni to weather and it more or less collapsed in a pile of scrap metal and myomers under the punishment.

  In the center, Tinney had moved to a point just ahead of the Third Lance Atlas and the two of them would lob shots downrange at the advancing Clan Assaults to keep them honest.  The Black Lanner, caught unsupported by the demise of the Stormcrow and hesitancy of the supporting Mad Dog, attempted to use his MASC system to race from the position he was in and take a better location to hammer at the mercenaries.  It was at that point, the clan equipment failed… and caused the legs of the Omnimech to lock up immobile.  This was noted by Mika’s sister Asia, who used her LRMs and Heavy Particle Cannon to slam the internally crippled machine.

  A Black Watch added to the misery as did the Marauder II and the Omni collapsed to the ground.  The Marauder II’s shots removed a leg and arm from the clan mech, effectively rendering it combat ineffective…

  Mind you, the carnage was not all one sided.  The Clan troops in their advance were scoring damage to Lancer Machines, but not enough to counter what they were absorbing.  Eventually, Garcia determined there was something special about the LAM and tried to have the Mad Dog kill it… but the speed of the LAM prevented much more than a lone lucky hit to land.  The Turkina and Dire Wolf advancing up the middle finally reached the Lancer lines, and their firepower was felt.  Asia, who had stuck around too long in one location, absorbed the full firepower of both clan omni-mechs; that there was anything left of her Grand Dragon was a minor miracle… but the damage was far too heavy to remain in the fight and it forced a punch-out.

 By the time the two Assault machines had closed, the jaws of the fire sack trap Tinney had set up for the center had begun to close.  The Right of the Lancer lines had managed to put down the Stooping Hawk in a hail of laser and SRM fire, ripping out its torso and scoring damage to the core internals enough to destroy a gyro.  The Maelstrom went toe to toe with the Banshee and the big Inner Sphere machine withstood the punishment from the former Star League battlemech and delivered its own hammering to it.

  This, with some strikes from the now re-positioned Hunter, proved to be the final straw for the battlemech and it fell to the ground from the raw damage dealt to it, never to rise again this battle as the pilot struck his head, knocking him out.

The other Dire Wolf continued to support the advance of his brother machine and the Turkina but it would become very apparent in the next two minutes that he should have been down *with* them on the advance and not playing sniper.  They might have done more than they would do…

  As the two clan assault machines entered the trap, Tinney shifted his lightly damaged Highlander to a more appropriate location and after seeing the planned repositioning of both spotter and gunner on this flank, triggered all of his weapons as his gunsights settled on the heart of the Dire Wolf in front of him.   This was an all-or-nothing play… And not a single weapon missed….

  Andrea Smithson in the Atlas stepped her machine forward, letting the direct fire weapons pummel the Dire Wolf along with the fire of the Colonel.  Her LRMs went sailing for the trailing Turkina, which was now earning the combined fire of the remaining Black Watch (the other having retired as the damage became too great) and Particle Cannon fire of the Banshee to the Lancer right.  Between everything being fired into the trap, both machines dropped, with the Turkina succumbing to massive cockpit assembly damage and the Dire Wolf having both a leg and center torso region removed in the carnage of fire.

[Colonel…  the last Dire Wolf is retreating…] Andrea called over the company network as she lifted the arm of her Atlas to point.

 And it retreating it was.  The big assault machine turned tail and was running away as fast as it’s lumbering gait could carry it.  The other nine machines of the Binary that had assaulted this front  (the Mad Dog had over committed itself in trying to kill a Black Watch and paid for its mistake a minute before) lay in ruins or so much scrap all over the battlefield…  and for almost no real gain.  Two Lancer mechs were down and one crippled (Asia’s Grand Dragon almost armor-less and her sister’s machine needing both a gyro and an arm. One Black Watch had lost both arms in the battle) but the rest were all combat capable.  The level of one-sided carnage slowly dawned on Tinney as he looked around the battlefield.

  He’d fought in some one-sided affairs before… and usually the side that lost really wasn’t on the level, power wise, of what beat them.  This… this was an almost equal fight in raw power… and the results were not expected.  The Clan Troops did come at them somewhat stupid… and this vexed him.  Were they that blind or did they really think Inner Sphere machines were not capable?

Tapping a key on a console, he spoke into his microphone. “Expedition Ops, Lancer Six.”

After a pause.  [Operations.  Send it.]

“Operations, Lancer Six.  Send some security troops and medical.  We have prisoners.”

[Understood.  Security and Medical.  Lancer Six, how is your operational condition?]

Tinney paused.  “Send munitions.  We are down two machines and a third is crippled… but are otherwise needing just ammunition topped off. I estimate we are 70% strength overall.”

[Operations copy.  Will have assets sent as soon as possible.  Expedition Command requests you to be advised Southern sector currently engaged.  North and West are under warning orders.]

  The Lancer Commander pondered this.  It sounded to him like the Clans had tried for a coordinated attack and didn’t quite manage it…  Thank god for small favors.  “Understood; will be waiting for assets….  Lancer Six out.”

Legends and Myths Twenty Eight

 The following three months after the meeting with the Ghost Bears was a busy time.  The Gift of equipment and parts, over five hundred tons of it, was immediately stockpiled and the technicians began to plot out upgrades to the various surviving machines within the Touman.

 Representatives from the Snow Raven Alliance arrived about a month after the Ghost Bears departure. Rather than be a fight, it was an honest to god peace delegation and an unusual one.  The Bears had sent a courier to Snow Raven Capital and told the Khan of Snow Raven, Lynn McKenna, of their plans, as well as what *they* had found within the oldest writings of both Loremaster and Khan. 

  Khan McKenna had her Loremaster do digging within the ancient journals of the Clan founders upon the recommendation of the Ghost Bears… and the discoveries within were no less than what the Bears had found within theirs.  Found within were similar writings of regret and uncertainty where the Wolverines were concerned… as well as an admission of what had happened to Dehra Dun.  This was earth-shattering information… and being the astute individual that she was (one did not survive being as short as she was in a group of giants that most Clans-men and women were), Lynn McKenna made the decision to address the ancient regrets found within Clan Founder Joyce Merrill’s writings among other discrepancies between Khan Stephan McKenna’s journal and Official Clan History.

  It was these discrepancies that helped this Khan McKenna make the decision to both believe the Bears…. And make a bold statement of her own. As such, Khan McKenna took one of the Fleet Star flagships, the Cameron Class CSR Kerensky’s Hope, along with two other ships, and made her way to the Centaurus System.  That she did so without knowing of how the Ghost Bears fared… was even more impressive.

  Once there and after a semi-tense standoff between the Wolverine Flagship and her ships, Khan McKenna journeyed to Centaurus at the invitation of both Hollister and Tinney.  Once in orbit, she landed directly at the Outpost Castle where she was hosted by the Wolverine Command along with Governor Sodher-Schaller.  Many discussions of history were had, the group joined by both Colonel McCormack and Tinney’s spouse Kristina, on what was known of the events back then, what was guessed at… and the revelations of what Kristina had learned on her interaction with a certain spirit (once the concept of such was known not to be that odd to the Snow Raven Khan).  There was decidedly interesting reactions all around on all the information.

  When Khan McKenna left at the end of a week, it was with a freshly inked Non Aggression Treaty, a copy of the Wolverine Remembrance (now considered to be more accurate than established Clan version for a certain time period) and a general Invitation to conduct Wargames come the future. After all, they were neighbors of a sort… so working together was a smart choice.  Good results for all concerned, to be sure… but it was this discussion on history that opened up other thoughts.

It was the question of Barbados that came up within the Wolverine Hierarchy during the week of talks. It had been the site of the last Battle between the Clan and their pursuers during the Annihilation and it held significance to their history.  In addition, the graves there as well as what remaining salvage there was to be had from the abandoned wrecks.  The debate was that the remains of those who fell should either be properly marked… or dis-interred and moved to the new home of the Clan on Centaurus.

 That the Clans had never visited there since that battle was known- no evidence had been discovered of any return there by any Home Clan and the Snow Ravens had about the best records of naval navigation among all the clans.  The occasional wandering ship had been seen over the years Hollister’s ancestors visited the planet, usually a bandit caste or something from the Inner Sphere- evidence of the (unknown to them) Comstar Explorer Corps mission was the last known landing by anything other than Wolverines- but nothing truly related to the Clans.

  The internal debate among the Wolverine Elders was present and strong; both arguments (for getting and for leaving them there with proper markings) were valid.  It was when Tinney was present at a Clan Council meeting that he learned of the debate… and tossed out the idea of setting up an outpost.  This sort of upset everyone… until Hollister pointed out that it had some merit.  Historically, as per their own ship records, the planet Barbados had been a rest stop for the Original Exodus as well as the fateful stop for their Clan’s own departure.  There was a certain appropriateness to using the location as either a colony or even a remote outpost base. The latter idea had the better merit…

  If they used it, there really was nothing stopping the Clans from eventually coming that direction too.  The Snow Ravens had done so with their relocation to the Outworlds Alliance, after all. Though they didn’t know the significance of the site- it had been a recharge point, it had meant nothing more to them. However, nothing said the remaining home clans would not use the same means to either come after them, the Snow Ravens (they were an abjured clan, after all) or to launch a side strike at other Inner Sphere targets.

  Quickly, an idea was sketched out and after decisions made, the effort set up something there began.

It was quickly learned by Hollister and his folks that the Lancers Engineers were very adept at planning expeditionary bases.  With all the practice they had during Bulldog and in the fight to reclaim their world, the unit’s operational plans were quite updated and assets available in various supply stations all over the world.

  By the end of July, the Barbados Expedition was loaded up on various dropships and once connected to Jump ships, the six-ship flotilla (3 warships, 3 jump ships) began their burn for the jump point out.  Contained within the various drop ships was a substantial force- the Regimental Command Company (with attached Recon Demi-Company), the Second Mech Battalion, a mixed force of Armor, infantry and Battle Armor from the Lancers plus two companies of Wolverine mechs. This comprised half the dropships.  The other half was the Engineer vehicles, equipment and supplies- enough for everyone for eight months on non-supplemented rations.  With local foraging, if the records of the place were still accurate, the eight months could be stretched up to three times that or more.  They were ready for the long haul.

  Hollister was in command of the Expedition, as it was a Wolverine graveyard (so to speak) they were going to.  Tinney coming on this expedition along with the level of Lancer troops was for two reasons… first was the significance of where they were going.  It was a huge deal, both for the history of the place and for its importance to the Wolverines.  He wanted to be there to help- his own experience at running reclamation ops was going to be needed as Hollister’s folks didn’t have the knowledge for it outside of manuals.

  The second reason… if there was a hostile surprise there, the firepower at his disposal would be vital to helping Hollister and his folks.  Tinney knew things were going too well as of late and he was going to stack the deck a bit.  It was why he insisted on three warships instead of one- should something really serious be encountered, having the firepower would be very important.

 One of these days, Tinney was going to realize his habit of stacking a deck last second was really a precognitive thing.  Because, as events would prove, he was right about the clans eventually using the Exodus Road as a back door.


 Right around the start of the year, the Home Clans heard of the Return of Wolverine… and the uproar among them was substantial and yet, as disjointed as anything could be among them.  The chaos of the Wars of Reaving and subsequent absorptions with the resulting squabbling (for lack of a better word) made any sort of proper unified response next to impossible.

  It was not all the clans, however, that were at odds with anything and everything though. Some did play a waiting game and maneuvered to avoid pitfalls of the time… and gain some needed expansion as well as respite. Using the impending departure of Goliath Scorpion as an additional cover, Cloud Cobra’s Khan launched the idea of creating a new clan out of some of their touman, much like the Star Adder’s did with Stone Lion.  The difference would be that the clan created would be that of an old name, Clan Mongoose.

  The Adders would support this idea of their ally, with providing both political and material support for this attempt- mostly those former Jaguars gained during that clan’s destruction/holdings absorptions along with providing the appropriate mechs of both Omni and Second Line. All of the machines were equipment they either did not want (Second Line) or older Omnis just deemed excess.  Along with the donated gear went the last Mongoose Warship, the Du Shi Wang class battleship, the Quicksilver Mongoose.  Also handed to them from the mothballed fleets were a pair of old Essex classes and a Congress class.

 Given the two clans were the largest among the Home Clans, the remaining clans did not oppose the idea and even though the new clan would be viewed as something of a pawn of Cloud Cobra, the creation of the new clan with their assets would only potentially weaken it.  This was agreeable to the remaining Home clans- it meant less direct resistance should any of them fight the Cloud Cobras or Star Adders over various holdings in the future. In addition, the new clan would not be all that big to deal with if needed, now would it?

 And thus, Clan Mongoose was re-born.  Given a world from which to base their new clan on, the new clan’s first quest for respect, as it were, was to follow the now reconstructed Exodus Road route towards the holdings of Snow Raven and the now-rediscovered Wolverines… and teach both a lesson.  No one escapes the fury of the True Clans.  Not the Tainted of the Invading Clans… nor those survivors among the Not Named.

 The reborn Mongoose elected to target the Wolverines first- planning to finish the job started two and a half centuries ago… and use it to springboard after the Snow Ravens.  The rest of the Inner Sphere Clans… would get their due “rewards” eventually, or so both home Clans indicated, once Mongoose had blooded itself and strengthened the skill of their warriors.  With four warships, the new clan should have more than enough firepower to deal with the remaining Wolverines.  After all, there should not be that many of them… and there was no dezgra Mercenary outside of the hated Wolf’s Dragoons who could stand against them.

 The Eridani Light Horse were among a few exceptions- but even those descendants of the Star League Defense Force were no match for a Proper Clan Warrior.

 By March of 3080, the new clan dispatched the mostly refurbished Quicksilver Mongoose and the two Essex ships, the Louis and the McGrath. The Congress class remained above their new home world as security. Two transport jump ships went with the warships, the Union C dropships loaded with the bulk of the new clan’s forces and a pair of Mules with proper supplies.  All the jump ships had Lithium-Fusion batteries, which would cut travel time immensely.

It was going to be a long journey… but one worth making for the expected Glory.

Barbados, Gamma 1551 System
30 October, 3080

  The Combined Expedition had landed about a week ago and located a suitable area for the outpost.  The beauty of modern construction was the rapidity of setting up a solid camp which quickly upgraded to a large outpost.  The facility was capable of supporting up to a battalion of combined arms and with landing zones nearby the entire area was suitable for the large group of forces now here.

  Colonel Tinney stood near the Fortress dropship Corregidor that served as the temporary command structure as work proceeded on the camp.  Recon teams were out and about, scouting areas of known wreckage by using the surveys done by Hollister’s people many years prior.  It was rough going, as many places were quite over-grown and time had a way of helping the land to hide things.  Looking out over the terrain from the slight rise above the camp, he was pleased with the pace of operations… and how well things were going.  Being an old soldier though, their luck in all this was not going to last forever.

  And it didn’t.

  His com chirped.  Answering it, he continued to look around the area.  “Tinney”

[Sir, message from the State of Grace; unidentified ships have just entered the system and appear to be heading for the planet.  Six ships total… three appear to be warships.  Grace is attempting to identify.]

SHIT. “Hollister know?”  He said quickly.

[Sir yessir,] came the reply. [He’s already on his way to the new Camp operations center; he asked to make sure you were notified.]

 “Outstanding.  Maintain the watch and standby for most anything.  Three Jump-ships could be lots of trouble.” He said. “I’ll contact Hollister.”

[Ayeaye, sir]

 Killing the connection, he called the Wolverine Khan.


“Its John,” he began. “Just got word… any guesses?”

 [Clan I am ninety percent sure…] Hollister replied.  [The Word of Blake is doubtful… but you never know, as you have said.] he corrected his assertion even as he said it. [I am ordering all personnel on ground to be ready for action; the Mustafa reports all systems are green.  State of Grace and Denali are running flank screen… Callihan stated if they are warships, they will be taught a lesson.]

 A laugh. “Of that I have no doubt,” He chuckled. “Let me go get in my mech, John.  I have a feeling this will come to shooting soon enough.”

  Hollister was quiet for a hot second.  [You had a feeling, did you not?]

 “Absolutely…  things were going TOO well for my tastes.  Had to be a wrinkle somewhere.”


 “Nope,” he replied as he headed up the Fortress ramp, the various troops and crew now scrambling about.  “Just experience talking, John.  I’ve had one to many perfect situations go to shit for no good reason…  They worked out, sure… but far too often, a wrench gets tossed in the gears somewhere if things are going THAT smooth.  At any rate… My company will be ready- where you want us?”

 A pause. [East side.  My Charlie battle company will have the south if they come that direction- Captain Whitfield is a sound tactician; honor graduate from first Tactica School your instructors ran back in January. Two of your Second Battalion companies will have the other two sides. The rest will be mobile reserve.]

 “Good plan.  Leaves the conventional troops for base defense…  I like it.” Tinney commented. “And I remember Whitfield.  Got his nose bloody with Hartman’s dirty trick but pulled it out in the end.  For what its worth, I have faith in him.”

 [I will pass that along,” Hollister said.  [Hollister out.]