Western areas of the Central Divide
Approx. 100 kilometers west of the Drazi-Zathras road and 50 kilometers north of Delta Third
1435 hrs local 09 December 3080
Major Barry Borton pressed the button on the music player he had installed on the upper wall of his Orion’s cockpit, ending the Mozart that had been playing as his company moved to the expected battle area. The ON2-K was a custom machine, a solid rework of the ON1-K but with completely modernized equipment such as the Streak launcher, Light Barrel cannon and ECM complimenting the double heat sinks. A lighter skeleton had been used to reinforce the machine, the endo-steel replacing portions of the structure that had become compromised over the near four centuries of use it had seen.
That this machine was the oldest platform in the regiment (the serial number of its original 1-K frame being in the low forties) and piloted by the oldest MechWarrior in the regiment… the good-natured poke at his age was not lost on him. Hell, the average age of everyone in his company was fifty… But like most things old in this regiment, if it was here it was still serviceable and capable.
And that adage was about to get proven yet again.
The command channel pinged and he answered it. “Borton…”
[Barry… I suspect our foes have been waiting for us to arrive,] the measured diction of the other older mech warrior among his company, Captain Linton von Beroldingen, came across the speakers. Linton, nicknamed Graf due to the Von in his name and his German lineage that went all the way back to the state of Hesse in the original Germany on Terra) served as Barry’s exec in the company and something of a dry counter to Barry’s sometimes pointed commentary. [I also suspect our waiting for everyone to use facilities before we left might have something to do with it…]
“Hey, listen… when you gotta go, you really should go,” Barry cracked back, a smile on his face. “And its not like they didn’t know we were coming.”
[This is true. Seventy Ton machines tend to resonate the ground some and we have almost a company of them.] Graf replied. [Judging by their markings and equipment, I do not believe they are going to be overly impressed by us.]
Barry looked at the tactical displays. “No, I imagine they won’t be, Graf. At least we outweigh them…” The enemy force in front of them was a mixed bag of machines, sporting the colors of the Ronin- a pseudo merc force the Phoenix Lancers had sparred with in the past. Two clan machines- a Viper and a Hellbringer, were supported by a pair of Trebuchet and on the field more or less opposite his command lance was a full lance of Jenners. The enemy left was a Warhammer, a pair of Daikyu and a Marauder… and judging by the big ass guns on the arms, it looked like that heavy PPC variant Farquharson faced last year. Great…. He thought as he tightened his seatbelts. “And I’m not sure if weight is gonna matter.”
Barry throttled back as the last of the enemy Jenners ran, one of them nosed into the ground after it got picked off by a slug from his Light Barrel and a volley of missiles. Assessing his command, he shook his head at the punishment they took… and the extra punishment they dished out.
On the right flank of his line, the lance of Captain Hera Somers in her Hercules, the rest being a Caesar, Cataphract and a Royal Warhammer had stared down the enemy heavy lance, advancing into the face of the heavy fire coming from them. The two sides exchanged shots through the light woods and hills of that area and neither had really scored terribly much against the other until their Marauder had scored a pair of hits to the leg of Bravo Lance’s leader Sanchez Hachiman and his Helios, who had strayed within line of sight to enemy heavy.
Twin heavy particle cannon had removed its leg and dropped the lighter heavy to the ground. However, Sanchez was not out of the fight- the gauss rifle of his machine, mounted in an arm, eventually was instrumental in putting down the Marauder after it had been worked over by the Warhammer and Cataphract of Hera’s Alpha Lance
Sanchez’s Bravo lance, the only difference between them and Alpha was his machine, had not fared nearly as well. It had suffered an early loss of his lance’s Cataphract to a large amount of long range missile fire removing a leg, a freak instance of a limb being blasted off from internal damage. But it did not prevent the others from giving what they got.
Cookie Bastardi in her Warhammer had weathered the fire from the two enemy Trebuchet and reached the hill they were hiding behind. Standing above them, she shook off their close-range fire and delivered a devastating volley at one before planting her mech’s foot in the head assembly of the other.
Barry’s command lance had squared off against the Jenner force and it turned into a big mess. As his lance spread out some, with Graf in his Royal Thunderbolt anchoring his right, the quartet of enemy lights bore into his force and mad a beeline for him. Bill Grover in the Papa variant of the Modest Motorworks version of the Orion tried like hell to hammer them on their way in, his light particle cannon scoring a targeting computer guided hit to one but it wasn’t enough.
Three Jenners laid into his mech and when the smoke cleared, Barry was still standing. The fourth Jenner had picked a fight with Jack Sprat in his Grasshopper and discovered that was a mistake- the highly accurate pilot blasting away armor over the enemy machine’s SRM ammunition- which set it off in spectacular fireworks fashion.
The Viper and Hellbringer engaged Bravo’s Caesar and failed to do much to it. Graf slipped over to cover him and between the two, brought down the larger of the two Clan-spec machines. The Viper darted between targets, eventually getting tripped up from damage received as it raced among them. The pilot had issues getting up and away from being shot at, taking some more fire as it raced away from the very messy scrum that had developed.
The three Jenners had tried to maneuver to drag him down, but his old Orion simply shrugged off the damage. In the process, Sprat and Grover maneuvered in and ripped up two of the enemy lights. This, combined with the carnage on the other side of the front, caused the enemy light machines to run. When Graf finished off the Hellbringer, it was the punctuation that spelled the collapse of their battleline.
Over on his far right, Hera and company had punched through the lance facing hers with gusto. As the last of their forces on that side fell to her lance’s guns, they began to reorient themselves to face anything coming from the center. And nothing did, as Graf moved past the downed Hellbringer to help Bastardi bring down the other Trebuchet.
Barry, after musing over the winding down of the battle, snapped out of his reverie and called over the battalion net. “Auburn Command, Three Alpha Six…”
[Three Alpha Six, Auburn Command…] Came back the reply from far to the east.
“Auburn Command… The Grumpy Old People own the field. Follow on can come in to secure prisoners and the scrap.”
A chuckle over the line. [Three Alpha, we copy you kicked them off the lawn. Security troops and recovery equipment will be dispatched.]
“Three Alpha copies follow on enroute. We’ll be here… Three Alpha clear.” Barry answered and switched to the Company band. “Everyone… round them up and ride herd till the MP’s get here. There are still two Jenners and a Viper running around; they might have something to say about our taking prisoners.”
One he got acknowledgements, he then relaxed some. He was getting too old for this shit. Maybe after the Blakists were kicked off world again, he’d pack it in. Until then, he’d keep doing this. At least the Lancers had a retirement plan…