Legends and Myths Eighty- The Storm: Khon Kaen’s Pre Drop Briefing (guest story)

Fortress Class Dropship Apocalypse

Zenith Jump Point

1500 Hours 10 December,3080

   The makeshift conference room was so silent that you could hear the sounds of the tech using heavy equipment in the deck under them. A holographic projector showed a three-dimensional image of a small space port, switching points of view from overhead to different cardinal directions.

   Hauptmann-Kommandant Adam Francis Pryme began the planning meeting with a simple statement, “Where do we stand with troops?”

  Kommandant Lori Spector began giving her briefing. Lori was the vision of a Valkyrie, tall statuesque with sandy blonde hair and pale green eyes that could be as gentle as her smile or as intimidating as her scowl. Rumor had it that she once stared down a clan elemental who was in full battle armor. “Two companies of the Legion Battlemech Battalion are aboard the Overlord dropship Armageddon; the rest of the berths have the mechs of the Close Assault Group and the 99th Pursuit Squadron.  The Headquarters Company, my Battalion Command Lance, the 718th Armor Company and the battle armor plus the transports of the Close Assault Company are aboard this dropship.”

    The Kommandant paused for a second, “The Lion dropship Tantalus has the Infantry, armor and battlemechs of the Fire Support Cohort. And of course, the Overlord A-3 Dante’s Limbo is ready with the 36th Interceptor Squadron.  The rest of the Legion is on standby one jump away.  Their dropships are grounded, but they can be at this jump point 3 days after the message is received, the ‘black box’ devices add 30 hours to that estimate.

  The Jump ship Mekstet is on standby charged and ready. SecOps Group Company 3 of the Battlemech Battalion, the 642nd Armor Company and Omega Trinary are running in-house training cycles to keep the troops busy and are ready to go. Both the Czar dropship Shangra La and the Dictator dropship Purgatory will be fueled and ready for launch when ready.”  Spector sat and it was now Pryme’s turn to speak,

 “According to our hosts, the Grey Bolts are, rather, were, apparently secretly working with WoB forces. The Grey Bolts then landed under false pretenses and stabbed them in the back, similar to the way Waco’s Rangers stabbed the Dragoons in the back.  They apparently had the mission to secure a small spaceport.”  There was some murmuring amongst the various commanders which Pryme quieted with a slap of his hand on the table. “If the Wobbies need that spaceport and the Grey Bolts have it, I want it!  Are there any questions?”

    Hauptmann Andrew Garland spoke first. He was a tall muscular man of North American African descent. His dark tan skin showed the scars of battle. “Sir, why do we have to solve their problem?”  As commander of the Close Assault Group, he knew that his troops would probably be in the thick of the fighting, if not the first to go in. He relished a good fight but had long since learned to have a good reason to fight.

    Adam took a moment to ponder the question before answering.  The various commanders looked on as he began, “We have a mission,” he said slowly. “Our job is to get ships and supplies back for the Lyran Alliance; the Mercenary Review Board has already declared the Grey Bolts a rogue unit.”

Every person in the room shuddered. Being Declared a Rogue Unit was analogous to being excommunicated from the Catholic Church. For the unit it meant that there was a bounty the head of the commander and others who committed grave crimes, and that their equipment was subject to immediate confiscation, if you had the ability or the firepower to do so. Being declared rogue was the last step into piracy.

 Pryme continued, “As we know, The Grey Bolts broke contract then stole Alliance dropships and supplies. Their unit is rogue because of the death and destruction they caused doing it. Furthermore, this means there is a bounty on their heads and the battlemechs they now pilot are considered stolen property and now the rightful property of whoever can take them.” Pryme paused to let that sink in; most of the units mech warriors did not own the mech that they piloted. To claim one or more as salvage was like winning the Star League Lottery.

 “Sooooo”, Pryme continued, “If they win this battle against the Wobbies, I don’t think they’ll let us have either our property or the Grey Bolts. As I see it THEIR problem is OUR problem… In addition, should we be successful for this, the Lancers will indemnify, all repairs for our equipment. People,” he said with a smile, “If we’re successful, we get all damage repairs free from the Phoenix Lancers, paid by the Alliance plus a percentage of the cargo for the recovery of the dropships, paid by the MRBC for the Grey Bolts bounties and all the equipment or salvage owned by them is ours to do with as we wish.”

  Pryme leaned forward and put both hands on the table. “One mission, one fight we have to make no matter what and three clients will pay for the mission we’re supposed to be on anyway. Are there any other questions?”

    The subcommanders looked at each other and then looked to their commander for direction. Pryme smiled, “OK then, unit commanders- we undock in one hour, unless things change. We will go with our preplanned operation, the mechs of the Close Assault Group will make a low altitude combat drop onto the Grey Bolts AO from the Overlord, which will be the last to land. All three dropships will land as close as possible the Fortress will land first and give initial artillery support while we offload, but then all dropships will lift off to an elliptical orbit standing by until needed.

 Fire Support Group will take over artillery support and your infantry will move into a position to form a defensive perimeter for the LZ.” Hauptmann Kristin Barracano nodded, her unit contained three OBK 10M Obakemono artillery mechs, each capable of launching two Arrow-IV missiles every ten seconds. She would load two of them with standard rounds and the third with target acquisition rounds to be guided by the SPT N2 Spartan battlemechs in the two legion battlemech battalion companies.

 “Kommandant Spector, inform Commodore Thompson that his dropship and the 36th Interceptor Squadron will take a patrol circuit above the combat zone and deal with any blockade runners and that the 99th Pursuit will be providing CAP over our operations zone and contact our liaison officer for the latest aerial vids of the drop zone.  With my compliments.”  Kommandant Spector nodded to acknowledge. “Once grounded we will advance at best possible speed will relieve you. Hauptmann Garland, your battle armor and vehicles will be the first to disembark so they should reach the edge of the objective just as you drop in. The rest of the battalion will standby, and the Battalion Command Lance and my Headquarters Company will move to act as a reserve unit.  Are there any questions?

 Hauptmann Barracano spoke, “Sir, I hate saying this but what if the Wobbies show up?”

 All the officers present stopped and looked to Pryme. As he looked around him, he knew they just wanted him to say what none of them wanted to admit.  “I’m not looking for another fight with the Wobbies” He said slowly, “if they get in the way, then they’re standing on the train tracks and we are going to give them two choices, run away …………. Or get run over!”

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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