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Author Topic: A Warrior's Family  (Read 7542 times)

HFC05

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #30 on: 01 May 2020, 02:01:27 »
Good Story.   Whats a Lancer the mech Lucky died in?

I'm sorry. Lucky's 'mech was a JVN-10N Javelin. I'm not sure why I wrote Lancer. I'm going to correct that. Thank you for reading.

Also more updates are coming soon. I had to slow down, and I've had a few things going on this week. I will have a few more chapters up this weekend.

HFC05

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #31 on: 01 May 2020, 16:57:10 »
Chapter 11
August 3029
Kalathar System jump point.

To her surprise, Anastasia woke up with only a mild headache. She dressed quickly and looked down at the 'Mech charm. She stayed in the private cocoon of her bed chamber and thought about the events of last night. She probably owed Harold an apology for a few things she said, particularly the "better wife" comment. She also considered that maybe she was being a little too forward. She liked being close to Harold, and thought he felt the same way, but he seemed uncomfortable. Now she knew it wasn't that he didn't like her, he just wanted to get to know her before things got too serious.

Anastasia sighed, Harold was a class act, he'd been looking out for her since they met, and last night was an amazing display of constraint and kindness. He even held her hair while she was sick. If Harold wanted her to slow down she'd try, but it was going to be hard for her because she liked to be held, and snuggled, and put her head on his big muscular shoulder. When they were watching the movie and he had pulled her into him that was exactly what she wanted, which was why she was trying to pull him over to her when it happened.

She heard something large hit the deck and knew it was Joker jumping out of the bed above her. She waited a moment. She wasn't ready to deal with him yet. He enjoyed tormenting her, and she had taken his money last night. She also wanted to ask Harold if she owed Joker an apology for anything she had said or done. There were parts of last night that were a little foggy for her.

She opened up her bed chamber and found Hap sitting on the edge of his bed putting on his boots. He looked up at her and gave her a concerned look, "Hey. How are you feeling?"

Anastasia smiled, "Good morning Harold. I'm fine, just a mild headache." She said as she pushed herself off her bed. She wanted to sit with him and talk, really she wanted to get him into his bed compartment, close the door, and curl up under the blankets with him, and figure out their relationship. She was starting to understand how much she really didn't understand about relationships.

She rarely saw or interacted with anyone her own age growing up, and most of her relationships at NAIS were, at best, rivalries. She knew how to keep someone at arm's length. She saw how her parents interacted and they had a wonderful and healthy relationship. Anastasia had no idea of how to go from just meeting someone to what they had. She had also watched her freshman year roommate throw herself at men, get abused, and wonder why her "man of the month" didn't respect her. Anastasia knew her roommate was a fool, but now she knew she was doing similar things with Harold.

"May I sit with you?" Anastasia asked

Hap looked at her confused, "Yes. Of course, you don't have to ask."

She grabbed her boots as she stepped across the hall and sat down next to him. "I think I may need to apologize for some of the things I said or did last night."

"We were both drunk. I don't think either of us are going to remember last night too clearly. We might have said some things we probably shouldn't have, but I doubt there is anything to apologize for."

"Do you think we 'need to slow down'?"

Hap nodded, but instead of saying yes he asked, "You think you could be 'a better wife'?"

Better than the contentious shrew that hurt him and made him hesitant to take a chance on her. Oh easily, Anastasia thought to herself. She nodded, but said, "I probably shouldn't have said that."

Hap smiled, "You're not saying it, but I can tell you definitely think you could be a 'better wife'."

Before Anastasia could say anything Joker entered the hallway.

"Good morning Anastasia!" He said nearly shouting "How are you doing? Last night you weren't looking too good." She knew he was talking loud trying to aggravate her headache.

"Good morning Joker." Anastasia said quietly.

"Take it easy on Anastasia, Joker. She had a hard time sleeping last night." Hap said, "She had that big wad of poker winnings to sleep on."

"Some of that was your money." Joker huffed.

Before they could start fighting Hap suggested they get breakfast. McFinnigan was glad to see Anastasia up and moving. He was concerned she might have had too much to drink. Hap apologized for how the poker game ended and McFinnigan laughed. He reminded Hap the purpose of the game was to get to know them, and he certainly learned a lot. McFinnigan told them that they still had a few hours before they docked with the Jump Ship and he mentioned that would be enough time to repaint the Valkyrie.

Hap got the hint and took Anastasia and Joker down to the 'Mech Bays and got the Valkyrie painted with McFinnigan tartan colors before the ships docked. They cleaned up, packed their few belongings and met McFinnigan and Roweyna at the main hatch.

The Drop Shuttle docked with the Jump Ship and they started to get warnings and information from the Jump Ship. They had about 45 minutes to move between Drop Shuttles. It was a quick trot across several decks of the Jump Ship. but they made it with several minutes to spare.

At the main hatch for the Tir A Nog they were met by a lanky man smoking a cigarette, and a woman that looked like a slightly older and slightly taller version of Roweyna. Unlike her daughter her hair was red with blonde or silver streaks. She gave everyone a warm smile as McFinnigan introduced his wife to everyone and them to Mrs. Elinor McFinnigan. She was extremely likable and gracious. The man was James "Fletch" Fletcher. He was the XO for the mercenary company. He had a no nonsense demeanor and as McFinnigan started walking Fletch went down a list of various business matters.

Elinor and Roweyna started talking like mother and daughter as Joker, Hap and Anastasia followed behind. Anastasia noticed that the mother and daughter began whispering and Elinor gave Harold a few strange looks. Anastasia wondered what Roweyna was telling her mother.

Within a few minutes they found themselves in the galley of the shuttle. It was, like the other drop shuttle, setup like an Irish Pub, except this one had "Fiddler's Green" over the bar. It was full of people. There were families, children, Anastasia even noticed a cat on the bar.

When McFinnigan entered the room it got mostly quiet, a baby was cooing and there were a few young children running around but everyone else was still. He smiled at everyone and shook a few hands as he moved to the dais with its own table at the front of the bar.

The ship's public address system warned the jump was imminent. Hap, Anastasia, and Joker sat at a table in the center of the pub that happened to empty. The ten second count started and parents grabbed children. Roweyna picked up the cat as she sat on the bar stool. There was a low hum and everything started to shake, then everything seemed to stretch and suddenly there was a loud clap. Everything returned to normal. Anastasia had a momentary feeling of sickness, but it passed quickly.

McFinnigan stood up. "As some of you may know we're on our way to Monhegan. We're going to protect the planet's star port for a few weeks so the planet garrison can enjoy the holidays. It'll take a couple weeks to get there, but it will also be easy duty." As he spoke there were cheers from the crowd.

"And no cadets or new lieutenants?" Someone across the pub called out, and there were more cheers.

"We need to talk about that" McFinnigan held up his hands to calm the crowd, "I'm sure most of you have noticed I brought strangers with me. I know some of you are thinking, 'oh no the old man found another stray like David Lee'." There were a few laughs, and Anastasia saw commotion at the table next to them. There was a young Asian man sitting at the table and his table mates were nudging him.

McFinnigan continued, "Well I think we can all agree, David Lee's proven to be a valuable member of this company." There was a few cheers from the table next to Anastasia, "But let me show who I found."

The lights dimmed and wall mounted view screens flicked on. The screens were black but their speakers were on and everyone heard, "Commander, were getting a distress call on the guard channel."

McFinnigna's voice came next, "Aye. Push it into my chamber."

Anastasia heard her voice, "This is Cadet Valois. I'm isolated, and being pursued by a heavy lance. Requesting immediate assistance or evac."

"Do ye have a visual?" McFinnigan asked.

A picture popped up on the screen it looked like it was from a satellite or high altitude recon vehicle. The screen showed a large sweeping forested plain. The screen zoomed in and Anastasia saw her Valkyrie being pursued by the Quickdraw and the Thunderbolt.

Erik's voice came next, "This is a rabbit hunt. We know how this will end, the hounds will rip her apart."

McFinnigan replied, "Aye, perhaps." And they didn't speak for a few moments. Anastasia watched as she tried to out run the two 'Mechs. Instinctively she reached for Hap's hand as she remembered this moment. She was trying to lose the 'Mechs in a heavily forested area by jumping as far as the 'Mech would take her and every few leaps she'd spin around and launch a salvo of missiles at the Quickdraw.

Between the spinning and firing she accidentally jumped into a clearing and the Grasshopper went full throttle and closed the distance with her. As she tried to leap way he fired every weapon he had at her and at the same time the Thunderbolt hit her with his large laser and long range missiles. Although a few of the Quickdraw's lasers missed, and several of the missiles sailed past her, the barrage caught her mid-air. The lasers and missiles melted and blasted armor from all over her 'Mech and the sudden loss of weight and impact from the blows to make her 'Mech start to tumble in mid-air.

"I think that's it commander. She's gonna fall and they'll tear that her apart."

Anastasia's mouth went dry as she remembered her panic trying to keep the 'Mech upright. The Valkyrie landed hard on her left foot and the right foot swept backwards like a ballerina. The Quickdraw kept running and Valkyrie hit him with her own missiles and then with a snap of the arm the Valkyrie's medium laser shot a beam right into the Quickdraw's head. It wasn't powerful enough to breach the cockpit but it made the Quickdraw pilot pause.

There was a cheer from the tables around her as the Valkyrie started moving again and the Thunderbolt's laser missed her. Anastasia couldn't believe they were cheering for her.

"Looks like the rabbit hunt is still on." Erik's voice said over the monitor

"That's not a rabbit, that's a fox. It has some teeth and claws, and I dare say the hounds will remember next time they try to corner her." McFinnigan said. It was clear he was excited.

Anastasia heard her own voice start to request help again but this time it was interrupted by Harold. She squeezed his hand and felt the same reassuring pressure. The room full of Mercenaries laughed at the banter between Tuna and Joker as Hap directed Anastasia and yelled at his subordinates.

"Why do you think they aren't moving to help her?" Erik asked.

"Not sure. The FedCom and RDMM were in full retreat to their marshalling point. The fact anyone is still out here is a bit of a miracle."

The screen changed to a tactical view of a topographical map. In a moment it highlighted seven blue triangles and dozens of red triangles. The screen zoomed in on three blue triangles moving west from Anastasia's position. The computer reported it was a Commando, a Phoenix Hawk and a Vulcan.

"I think this is the fox's lance. They seem to have abandoned her. Those damn cadets, why'd they leave her?" There was anger in McFinnigan's voice. The screen zoomed back out then zoomed in on the other blue triangles. It identified the Griffin but the second triangle disappeared a few times before the system marked it, "unknown 35 tons". It struggled with the third triangle before marking it "unknown 50 tons".

"So these are the ones that are trying to help the Fox. That canyon looks like a good place for an ambush. I suspect Hooligan four and his lance are real soldiers, pity those damn bastards that left their lance mate can't see how real professionals work."

The view switched back to the live view. Anastasia watched as the Quickdraw was closely following her Valkyrie until a barrage of missiles hit him just as he landed. The Quickdraw started to deviate its path and the Valkyrie started to get further away from him.

There were more cheers as the recorded McFinnigan laughed, "Aye. They're pros."

There was a third voice. "Looks like the lance moving west is headed toward another drop zone. I have another Leopard on my scanners."

"Aye Hawkins. I should have guessed we weren't the only ones paid to pull these royal ass pains out." McFinnigan said annoyed.

Harold and Anastasia started talking on the radio again, and Anastasia saw herself pause in front of the cliff. The Thunderbolt and Quickdraw shot at her and she ran into the narrow crack in the stone. Just as the Valkyrie got in position next to the Griffin the Quickdraw entered the narrow canyon. Joker's Firestarter jumped out of the smoke and fire and attacked the Quickdraw from behind as there was a low murmur from around the room. When the Quickdraw turned to address the light 'Mech the Hunchback stepped out of the smoke. There was claps and cheers and someone yelled, "That'll teach you to pick on someone your own size."

"Hawkins, I'm looking at the tactical display, these poor bastards are good, but their cut off. Do we have enough fuel to burn to go and grab them?"

As he spoke the Hunchback destroyed the Quickdraw. There were more cheers from around the pub.

"Already made the calculations Commander." Hawkins replied

The camera lost the view of the battle field as the Leopard changed direction. When the canyon came back into view the Hunchback shot its main cannon at the Thunderbolt, but it seemed unphased.

"A Thunderbolts a hell of a machine," Erik said, "With it's thirteen tons of Ryerson 150 armor it can take a couple hits from the Hunchback's AC 20 before the pilot has to worry."

"Aye. It looks like the Firestarter harassed him though so that'll keep him from using his main-" McFinnigan stopped mid-sentence as the Hunchback shot the Thunderbolt again and the Thunderbolt responded by raising its fist overhead and bringing it down on the Hunchback's cockpit. From the higher angle of the Leopard's cameras it was obvious the head was crushed and the pilot was certainly dead.

There were curses and gasps around the room. Anastasia felt Harold squeeze her hand this time. She glanced over at him but his eyes were fixed on the screen, but she could see him blinking away a tear.

The battle continued as the three remaining 'mechs destroyed the Thunderbolt. As the right side of the Mech exploded there was more cheers. The way people reacted made Anastasia felt like they had just won a Solaris VII match. The Leopard dropped altitude again and the camera lost the view of the hill. The screen switched back to the topographical map. There was only three blue triangles now, but there seemed to be more red triangles.

"Commander, they're massing light 'Mechs on their position and bringing in indirects." Hawkins said.

"Aye, Patch me into the guard channel."

The screen went blank and lights came back up.

A dark haired young woman was walking between tables passing out cold pints of dark beer. She set out three in front of Anastasia and her lance mates. As Anastasia looked around she could see several of the men and woman were looking at her and her friends with respect. She got a couple nods and lifted glasses she grabbed her glass and returned the gestures as Harold and Joker did the same.

McFinnigan was back on the dais. "So now you know the caliber of the three MechWarriors I brought into the family. Before I introduce them, let's take a minute for their lance mate. I only saw him for a few moments, but he died a warrior's death. He held his position, fought next to brother and sister, stacked skulls, and gave his enemy hell. Somedays I think it's the best any of us can hope for."

Someone in the back yelled, "Gnó Teaghlaigh" and there were more shouts of the same.

McFinnigan smiled wryly, "Aye that's the Family Business." He drank and everyone followed. "To the family." He said as everyone drank again, "And the ones who can't be with us tonight." He added. Everyone finished their pint and again the dark haired girl was rushing between tables exchanging empty glasses for full ones.

McFinnigan accepted a fresh pint and motioned to Harold to stand. "This is Harold 'Haphazard' or 'Hap' Calahad. He piloted the Griffin. He tells me his strategies tend to be a little random or improvised, but I assure you he has a good head on his shoulder." Hap gave a small wave to the room before sitting down.

McFinnigan motioned to Joker. "This is William 'Joker' Cameron. Ye talk to him for a few minutes and you'll know why they call him Joker. Ye heard him on the radio transmission too. And you can see, like any good prankster and nuisance he's a good Firestarter pilot."

"Hap assigned me to a Firestarter, so I could be just as big a pain-in-the-ass to the enemy as I was to him."

"Aye, and that should tell ye all you need to know about Joker." McFinnigan said. "Now sit down."

As Joker sat down McFinnigan motioned to Anastasia, "Now I know how ye all loved working with the Federated Suns and the Commonwealth's finest cadets and new officers."

There was a collective groan from around the room.

"Aye, and as a good patriarch, I decided we should have one to keep." McFinnigan said magnanimously

There was laughter all around, and the loudmouth in the corner called out, "At least it's a cute one."

Anastasia blushed as McFinnigan replied, "I didn't hire her for her looks, or because she gave some sob story, Brendan. This is the Valkyrie pilot that eluded, harassed and, in the end, led two greater 'mechs and probably more experienced MechWarriors into an ambush. She might come from one of those elitist and entitled schools, but I assure you, she's a hard worker and has a place among us. This is Anastasia Valois. Now, welcome your new brothers and sister into the family."

Everyone was on their feet in an instant and Anastasia felt overwhelmed as men and woman from all over the galley came up and introduced themselves, congratulated her and Harold and Joker, and shook her hand or gave her a hug. She couldn't keep track of half the names or who the people were. There were also lots of children of all ages. It was the most bewildering thing for her.

HFC05

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #32 on: 01 May 2020, 16:59:18 »
August 3029
Edwards System

Eventually food was served, it was classic fish and chips with squishy peas. The various groups broke off to their regular spots, and Anastasia, Harold and Joker found themselves alone for a moment. Joker poked at his peas with his fork, "It looks like someone forgot to add water to the pea soup concentrate."

Before Hap could answer Fletch sat down at their table. He had a pint and a cigarette in one hand. "Let me personally welcome you to the family. I'm James Fletcher the company XO. Everyone calls Fletch."

"Hello Jimmy-" Joker started to say.

"Shut up." Fletch snapped. He took a drag of his cigarette then continued, "The old man probably spent the last few days filling your heads with ideas that this family of his is damn near a charity that runs on kindness and home brewed beer, and everyone bakes each other's bread and sometimes we fight if someone offers us enough money.

Fletch's tone somehow got more serious, "Let me assure you, this is a professional mercenary outfit that has a notorious reputation for audacious lightning raids, and high risk, high intensity combat operations. We've worked for every major house, and if we're offered enough money there isn't too much we won't do. Are any of you going to have a problem with any of this?"

"No Sir!" Hap replied for his Lancemates.

"We'll see." Fletch said as he took another drink, then leaned forward again. "The Commander said-"

Fletch stopped and looked over his shoulder. There was a man with a blank look staring at Anastasia.

"You want something Dillon?" Fletch barked

"I wanted to ask Anastasia to dance." Dillon replied

Fletch looked up and cocked his head to the side, "There's no damn music, Dillon."

"Well I wanted to be the first-"

Before Anastasia could say "No." Hap held up both their hands and said, "She already has a dance partner." Anastasia wasn't sure what to make of that. She appreciated the gesture, but she had a great deal of practice telling men, "no".

"Uh, what about the second-" Dillon started to drawl.

"Get the hell out of here Dillon." Fletch yelled. Fletch took a long pull on his cigarette sighed heavily. He looked annoyed as he said, "Like I was saying the Commander said you" He pointed the two fingers that held his cigarette at Harold, "were going to be the lance leader for his recon lance. I want you to know that he doesn't usually let a new hire command a lance."

"Noted. Thank you sir."

"Stop calling me sir, and stop sitting up tall. You're not a Lieutenant or Leftenant or officer in the AFFS, you're a Mercenary, grow a beard. I see you've already decided to make mistakes with this one." He pointed at Anastasia and then took a long drink. He gave Hap a smirk "Don't look so shocked. I married into McFinnigas's Armored Circus. Let me set you straight on a few things"

He looked around the room and then spoke in fluent Russian.

A tall blonde modelesque woman walked up to the table and sat down on Fletch's lap. "This is my wife Tatyana." Not only was Tatyana gorgeous, she was wearing a plaid skirt and a low-cut blouse that was tailored to snugly fit around her thin waist and ample breasts.

"Hello" She purred with a thick Russian accent and gave everyone at the table a warm smile.

Tatyana took Fletch's cigarette and started smoking as he continued, "I used to be a fast tracking officer in the LCAF. Any of you ever remember General Horzdof? No. It was about ten years ago, probably before your time. He got caught accepting bribes and giving preferential military contracts to companies he owned stocks in. I was a Lieutenant Colonel and his Aide De Camp. When he went down I was pushed out of the military. I wasn't part of his schemes, so I kept my pension, but I was out."

Fletch took a drink, "I had plans to make general myself, and never made time for a life, and only had a few friends. All I knew was how to pilot a 'Mech and work LCAF bureaucracy. When they kicked my ass to the curb I was at a loss. Then one day I meet the she-wolf, here, at a bar."

"I am Volchitsa." Tatyana told them, as she exchanged Fletch's cigarette for his beer.

"Sorry. Her call sign is Volchitsa, Russian for she-wolf. So I meet her, thought at first she was some type of honey pot for Capellan intelligence. Shows you how desperate I was. We start talking and one thing leads to another and she re-introduces me to Kelly."

Fletch paused to light up another cigarette. "We'd hired McFinnigan to do personal security for the general when he wanted to tour the front. So I asked Kelly if he could use a disgraced LCAF Sr. Officer. He signed me on the spot. Even stranger Tatyana wasn't a spy, she just liked washed up bitter old men."

"Dah. I have a thing for bitter old men. Reminds me of my father." Tatyana said as she returned his beer.

Fletch shrugged, "A little while later I asked Tatyana to marry me." She laid her head on top of his, and for a moment Fletch appeared less mean. "My point is fraternization rules in a house army is a good idea, you don't want senior leaders pressuring junior subordinates into things, but now you're in a mercenary company with a pretty flat hierarchy. As long as you can keep your domestic disputes outside the cockpit, and not piss off your lance mates, no one really cares what two adults do. "

"I go put Sophia in bed now." Tatyana said as she kissed Fletch and gave him a tender squeeze.

He leaned back and watched her go, then looked back at the three of them, "Having said that, here are things you can't do. Don't screw around with anyone's wife or husband, or cheat on yours. Kelly and Elinor are serious Catholics, and they don't put up with that shit. Honestly, it's corrosive to the unit too."

He took another draw of his cigarette, "Don't use drugs unless the doc gives them to you. Also I know it looks like we're all alcoholics, but you need to stop drinking eight hours before mission time. Don't get caught lying, cheating, or stealing either, once the old man feels he can't trust you, he's going to release you from your contract." Fletch finished his pint and held it up to catch the eye of a bar maid.

"So fight hard, be a good family member, help out, and avoid adultery, drugs, lying, cheating, stealing, and drunk 'mech piloting and you'll make good money here." Fletch took another long draw on his cigarette, "Screw up, and I'll come down on you like an Atlas's fist."

There was a pause, then Hap asked "Is anyone going to have a problem with me getting a lance?"

"Mostly no. Like I said, usually the old man makes you earn the right, but you've already led half your lance in combat, and you were an AFFS officer. They saw you in action, they know you got the chops."

He received a new beer and stood up. "Now for the moment I've been looking forward too." He looked around and saw a crowd around a table in the corner. He motioned for them to follow as he started walking. When people noticed Fletch they cleared a space for him, he still had the air and bearing of a senior officer and even in this wild bunch it commanded respect. In the corner they could see a tall burly man sitting across the table from a short young woman with olive brown skin and silky black hair that was in a neat bun pinned to the back of her head with what looked like large steel pins.

The woman was wearing black track pants, and an olive drab tank top. On her shoulder was a tattoo of the Cerillos flag. She also had "La Familia" tattooed in script on one wrist, a cross on the other wrist, and the Virgin Mary could be partially seen on the back of her right shoulder. On the table were several large bottles one half filled with a clear alcohol, dozens of shot glasses, and a substantial pile of C-bills.

"Grizz, Mags, why don't you two call it a night?" Fletch suggested.

"What are they doing?" Anastasia asked

Grizzly, the burly man, carefully picked up a full shot glass. He looked at it blearily eyed, "Well we were going to scorpion wrestle, but the doc and the load master wouldn't let me bring scorpions on the ship." He said as he threw the shot back, and swallowed hard.

"Because they're candy asses." Mags said as she carefully lifted a shot glass and drank it. Then slowly set it down. For a moment it looked like she was about to lean out of her seat, but she caught herself.

"No, because no one wants to travel across the galaxy in a ship infested with scorpions." Fletch said.

"Then why the hell do we have a cat?" Grizzly asked

"One, because I can't trust you ****** not to try and bring shit like scorpions on a ship. Two, because it's Rowena's cat and the old man can't tell her no." Fletch replied

"Oi! What's this about me?" Roweyna called from across the pub.

"Just talking about your cat, we all think it's a lovely beast." Fletch called out as Grizzly slammed down another shot of alcohol.

"Very good." Roweyna sang out and went back to talking to her mother.

The man next to Fletch giggled, "Oh! Yer talkin' 'bout the boss's daughter's pus-."

"I swear to god I'll throat punch you Smitty." Fletch threatened.

Mags took another drink. Slammed the glass down and then pounded her fist on the table as she tried to swallow. Once she got the liquor down she smiled wide at her table mate.

Grizzly took another glass and threw it back. He choked it down and gave Mags a toothy grin, and promptly collapsed under the table. Mags smirked and held the table edge as she carefully looked under it. Satisfied she had won she took the money and shoved it into her bra as she gingerly stood up.

A few people exchanged bills and started to pull the big man out from under the table as an old man with a large khaki military bag that had a faded cross painted on it kneeled down beside Grizzly. He pulled out an IV bag as he looked over his shoulder at Fletch, "This shit has to stop," He then looked around the crowd, "one of you idiots is going to get alcohol poisoning and then I'm going to in act the three drink minimum again."

There were groans around the room and Joker whined, "Oh man, even in a mercenary outfit, one guy shits his pants and everyone has to wear diapers."

Fletch sighed, "Well it's not one guy, and the Doc is right. I should have stopped it, but sometimes they need to blow off some steam, and it's fun to watch." Fletch took another draw on his cigarette and then pointed at Mags, then pointed at the ground in front of him.

She looked sullen as she slowly walked over, "Yes, Fletch."

Fletch smiled like a cat that had caught a mouse, "Oh Mags, I think I finally found the solution to one of my biggest problems, which is you."

"Who are these fools?" She glowered at Hap, Anastasia and Joker

"Well this is Joker and Valois, they're your new lance mates. And this is Hap, he's your new your Lance Leader. Hap, Valois, Joker, this is Marietta Maria Rose "Mags" Camacho."

"No f'n way. Commander McFinnigan said I was just going to be on my own spotting for Hammer lance."

"Yes, until we found a new recon lance. Which we did, so it's your lucky day. Actually it's my lucky day, because now you're Hap's problem." Fletch laughed evilly.

"I saw the video. They pilot slow ass 'mechs." Mags nearly shouted.

Anastasia and Hap exchanged looks. "You know were right here, and our 'mechs aren't that slow."

"They are compared to my Jenner." She snapped then looked at Joker, "What are you looking at?"

"I think I'm in love." Joker said.

"Did your 'mech take too many hits to the head?"

"Oh it's a like a match made in heaven. I feel like one of those dating services." Fletch cackled, "Mags, show your new lancemates to their berths. Which I hope you cleaned out like I ordered you."

Mags turned took a few steps and almost fell over. Joker caught her and she said, "Hey what are you trying to do? Cop a feel or steal my money? Either way I'll cut you."

"Fantastic" Fletch said as he walked away chuckling.

"What have we gotten ourselves into?" Anastasia asked Hap as they followed Mags and Joker

"An Armored Circus" Hap said shaking his head.
« Last Edit: 17 May 2020, 07:24:24 by HFC05 »

ThePW

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #33 on: 01 May 2020, 18:18:00 »
*LOL*

DOC_Agren

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #34 on: 01 May 2020, 18:18:40 »
Well Mags and Joker are either going to endup besties or 1 of them ends up with a crushed throat.

Either way well done
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

HFC05

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #35 on: 08 May 2020, 16:59:59 »
Chapter 13

Hap had never been on an Excalibur class drop shuttle. As he followed Mags he was surprised how big it was. Hap had been on Leopards and Union shuttles, but those were small cramped vessels. They had already passed several decks designed for infantry squads and vehicle crews. Mags mentioned most of the families and couples had the larger suites. She eventually led them to their berthing area. Like the Leopard it was a series of sleeping chambers built into the walls. Mags took them to the last four chambers near a T juncture. She drunkenly motioned around her while mumbling this was their section.

Mags started to undress and Hap instinctively looked away. He glanced at Anastasia. She was looking at Mags in disbelief. "Pardon me, Mags, where's the ladies head?"

She motioned to the hallway and the left. Anastasia took her go-bag and turned left at the juncture. Hap choose a bed chamber and found clean sheets and blankets in his wall locker. He busied himself making his bed and not looking at Mags as she completely undressed changed clothes and climbed into the bed above Hap.

Joker had been watching Mags as she changed. He also started undressing in the hall. Anastasia returned with one arm strategically covering her chest.

"Hello Anastasia." He said as he turned to face her.

"You're a pervert." She eyes flashed as she walked around him.

Joker turned to keep facing her, "I might be a pervert, and you might be a little prettier than Tatyana, but she has those legs that won't quit, and that huge rack, so she'd beat you in a beauty contest."

"Rack?" Anastasia asked as she opened her wall locker.

"Boobs. Her boobs are bigger than yours." Joker laughed as he pantomimed holding large melons.

Mags pushed open her bed chamber, "Hey dumb ass if Fletch hears you talking about Volsheyka's tits, he's going to throat punch you."

Joker laughed, "Good looking out, lancemate. And just so you know your boobs are pretty nice too."

"When I'm sober, and there's only one of you, I'm going to cut you." Mags groaned.

"Mags, are you going to be okay?" Hap asked as he stopped making his bed to look at her.

"I've been drinking for a long time. I just need you all to shut up so I can sleep." She growled

Joker walked away toward the male head whistling. Anastasia turned to Hap, "I'm starting to understand now what it means to be part of this unit, and I'm not sure if it's good or bad." She turned around and put her things into her wall locker. As she opened her bed chamber she let out a hurt gasp. Hap couldn't see her bed chamber but he could sense whatever it was had immediately gone too far.

Hap stood up and looked over her shoulder. On her bed was part of a 'Mech's hand welded to form a rude gesture. Leaning against the Mech was a strangely dirty looking stuffed rabbit holding a sign that read, "Screw you Jerry". There was also soiled laundry spread all over the sleeping chamber.

"Who's Jerry" Anastasia cried quietly as her shoulders drooped.

Mags started laughing uncontrollably, "Oh my god, I forgot all about the middle 'mech finger joke with Jerry and Crow, and I wondered what happened to Mr. Fudgeypants."

Hap looked at the mess on the bed. Mags confirmed this was between two other MechWarriors and had nothing to do with Anastasia, but she was still in the middle of it. He didn't want to touch the laundry or the stuffed rabbit. The 'Mech hand looked heavy, and he wasn't sure he could lift it. Joker came back around the corner.

He saw the look on Hap and Anastasia's face, and then looked at the bed. He immediately giggled. "Wow Anastasia, we've only been here a few hours and already someone's sick of your shit."

"But I'm not Jerry." Anastasia answered.

A red headed 'MechWarrior with a red beard and clear blue eyes jogged up. "Oh. I'm sorry. Yeah, this is my mistake. When we heard we were getting new Mechwarriors I should have cleaned all this up."

"Why would you do this?" Anastasia asked.

"Well, see this started a while back with me and Jerry. I'm Eugene Harrison, I pilot the Catapult in Hammer lance, which is the Fire Support lance. Call sign is Crow. So one time Jerry and I-"

"Eugene or Crow." Hap interrupted, "I'm Hap, nice to meet you. I'm sure we'll laugh about this in the morning, but right now we all just want to get to sleep. So why don't you help me clean this up-"

"Yeah we're going to need an Ammo cart to move the hand, its super heavy. The Mech techs probably won't let us have one until the morning." Crow replied.

"Where am I going to sleep?" Anastasia asked.

"You can sleep in my bed." Crow offered.

Hap didn't need to look to feel the cold stare that Anastasia was giving Crow.

"Oh, no. Sorry. I didn't mean it like that, I was gonna…see there's an observation deck on deck 2, it has a bunch of recliners, we call it the 'Dog House' for when a husband needs a couch to sleep on because he upset the misses. I guess wives could sleep there too…" Crow started to ramble.

"Crow, brother, stop. Anastasia can have my bed, and I'll sleep in the dog house, but first thing tomorrow you get this all cleaned up, and get Anastasia a new mattress." Hap said firmly.

"Yeah, yeah sure man." Crow said and then held out his hand. As Hap shook hands with him Crow looked at Anastasia and shrugged, "Sorry, about this whole thing. Good to meet you." He told her.

Anastasia sighed, "I accept your apology, just please clean it all up tomorrow."

Crow nodded and left, and in a moment Hap was the only one in the hallway as Joker climbed into his chamber, and Anastasia got into Hap's bed. Hap opened his locker and started putting his things away. He glanced at Anastasia sitting on his bed with cross legged. She was looking up at him.

"Can we talk for a moment?" Anastasia asked

Hap nodded as he sat down, "That little joke seemed to really effect you, at least for a moment."

"It reminded me of some of the jokes they played on me on the academy. I thought I was passed all that, I could already tell some of the mercenaries were crazy, but I didn't think them cruel. Then I saw that hand, for a few seconds I felt like I was back at NAIS. It took a moment to realize this wasn't about me."

Hap nodded, "I thought the same thing, but it was a pretty mean trick. Are you going to be okay?"

"If I say 'no' will you stay here, tonight?" Anastasia asked.

Hap looked at her, "I don't think that's a good idea Anastasia." Even if it was something he wanted.

"Harold, I've been looking forward to some peace and quiet all day. I'm sure you have too. You don't want to sleep in 'the dog house.' Let's just agree to keep our hands to ourselves, and we'll be fine."

Hap hesitated, then said, "I have been trying to get you alone and talk for the last couple days."

Anastasia smiled, "See. It's perfect, we can talk tomorrow, and we'll be rested, sober, and all alone."

"The all alone part is what I'm afraid of." Hap sighed, "Promise to be good?"

Anastasia smiled and nodded eagerly, "I'm always good." Hap noted something mischievous in her tone

Hap shook his head, "Let me change and get ready for bed." He quickly prepared himself and in a few minutes they were enclosed together in the bed chamber, under the same blankets, back-to-back and comfortable. Anastasia was pleased with herself. This was exactly what she wanted, Harold all to herself. Tonight they'd sleep close to each other, and tomorrow they'd figure out their relationship.

As Anastasia started to fall sleep Hap adjusted himself, rolled onto his back and pushed Anastasia closer to the wall. Anastasia got comfortable again and then Hap started snoring. This irritated her, mostly because his snoring hurt Anastasia's idea that Hap was the perfect man. She tried to sleep but he was too loud. Obviously there were ways to fix this, so it wasn't a deal breaker, but it was annoying.

Anastasia tried to elbow him, but he didn't stop the snoring. She rolled over and gave him a good shake, and pushed him back over toward his side of the bed. Hap responded by rolling toward her, wrapping his arms around and pulling her to him. For a moment Anastasia wasn't sure what was happening,

Hap slipped on arm under the pillow to support her neck and the other arm rested on her side. In the confusion she had one arm on his waist, but her other arm was pinned between them. Harold seemed to go back to sleep almost immediately. Anastasia wasn't sure if he had even woken up.

Other than her pinned arm she was very comfortable. Anastasia certainly liked being held close, and he had stopped snoring. Anastasia decided not to disturb Harold. She was happy, and felt content. She slept for a little while, but woke up as her arm went numb. She was trying to adjust herself and move her pinned arm, when Hap pulled her closer and said, "We should make pancakes for breakfast."

"How about crepes?" Anastasia answered without thinking as she continued to get comforteable.

Hap shook himself awake and asked in surprise, "Anastasia?"

"Harold, how many woman do you bring into your bed?"

Hap exhaled, "Sorry. We agreed to keep our hands to ourselves." He helped her turn around and for a moment Anastasia was disappointed to think that Hap was going to turn away from her again, but then he pulled her back into his chest. He laid his arm on top of hers and intertwined their fingers and wrapped their arms around her waist. She had to stop herself from cooing in delight. She felt secure, comfortable, and very special, but her heart was beating like she was sprinting for a fitness test.

Hap's head was right behind hers, "It's been a long time since I shared my bed, Anastasia. I guess I was half asleep and holding you made me think I was holding my ex-wife. When I was married there was a time when Kasara and I would make up from a fight, make love, hold each other through the night, then the next morning make breakfast and spend the day together. Maybe we'd have a picnic, or go out to the theater or dancing. Then we'd be fine, like we were just married again. But, a few days later we'd be fighting again, and the fights got nastier and it took us longer to make up."

"Oh." Anastasia replied, "I'm sorry I asked."

"Don't be." Hap said, "but it's why I want us to take thing slow. Which is sort of ironic right now."

"Yes, it is ironic. What happened to keeping our hands to ourselves?" Anastasia teased, she was so comfortable and happy, even hearing Hap talk about his ex-wife was just a minor annoyance.

She could feel Hap shrug as he said, "It wasn't working. It's a small space, so I either need to go-"

Anastasia pulled on Hap's arm so that he was hugging her tighter, "You're not going anywhere Harold."

"-Or we're going to have improvise something else." Hap said. "But we should sleep now."

Anastasia was too excited to sleep, "What did you and your ex-wife fight about?"

"Same thing most couples fight about, money, time, sex, kids. Somedays it was just whatever we found."

"Really? You seem so easy going."

Hap groaned, "When you really know someone, you'd be surprised how easily you can provoke them."

"Joker seems to excel at that." Anastasia said

"Joker tends to figure out ways to annoy people, but what he does is mostly at a surface level." Hap squeezed Anastasia, "Over the last couple days you've been trying to snuggle up to me or hold my hand. I suspect you're the sort of girl that likes to be held. It's a way you know you're adored and cherished."

Anastasia had never thought of that before, but he was right. She was certainly feeling cherished at the moment. "Aren't most women?"

"Kasara wasn't. She preferred quality time, and experiences. She was also an extrovert and wanted to be out with her friends. That's not to say she didn't like being held, but she was happiest when we were doing things together, especially the things she wanted to do, outside the house."

"Okay. Can we not talk about your ex though?"

"I'm trying not too." Hap paused, "My point was, you like being held, now imagine you married a man that refused to hold your hand, or sit next to you, or let you sleep in his arms. How would you react?"

"I would…" Anastasia was puzzled. She pushed herself more into Hap, and pulled his arm around her tighter. "I wouldn't accept that, or I'd resent that. It would be like you were saying you didn't love me." Anastasia paused for a moment, then asked, "You didn't do that to your ex-wife did you?"

"Not on purpose." Hap said reluctantly, "I've had a lot of time to think about some of my mistakes. If I had been smart, or paying attention, I could have avoided some of our problems, or just not have married her. But, back to us. I've only known you a few days, I like what I've seen so far, but I hardly know you. I don't know your middle name, birthday, your favorite color, or favorite food. Which is why-"

Anastasia interrupted, "It seems a little trivial, but Maria, March eighth, burgundy, and croquet madam with onion soup, and what about you Harold?"

Harold meant to tell her they should get to really know each other before things got physical, instead he answered, "Fredrick, September ninth, blue, I guess, and probably a good thick steak with a baked potato with sour cream and chives, and grilled broccoli."

"Mmm, There is nothing like a good rare steak. What about desert?" Anastasia liked this game.

"I'm not much a desert guy, but my mom used to make this apple pie from scratch. One of the few times she'd go all, and it would take her all day to make. That has my favorite desert. What about you?"

"A good apple pie is delicious. Abuela would take tart apples and mix them with a cheese cake the she wrapped it in a tortilla and fry it, and coat it with cinnamon and sugar. For me, though, I love a good chocolate fondant, especially when it doesn't melt on your plate but just dissolves in your mouth."

"I was thinking you were going to say something gourmet with some expensive and rare ingredient."

"Like crème brulee on top of a kincha compote?"

"Yes. Exactly. Isn't kincha addictive and illegal?"

"Have you never had it? It's so good you won't care how addictive or illegal it is." Anastasia said excitedly.

"Considering it only grows on one planet that is hotly contested between the Free World's League and the Capellan Confederation I've never seen or had it. Even imitation kincha is too expensive for me."

Hap could feel Anastasia settling in and for a moment He thought she was going to sleep, but she said, "You're worried we won't be happy because I'm high class, expensive, and I sound pretentious."

"Not pretentious, you told me you like hamburgers over steak tar-tar, and you made tuna noodle casserole into something I could crave, which I guess was a little fancy, but-I'm just, I'm just getting to know you, and I still like everything about you. We really should continue this in the morning."

"Agreed, but I want you to know, that I may like some of the finer things, but I don't need those things, there are other things I need." She said as she squeezed his arm. "Good night Harold."

"Good night" Hap mumbled as he held her close and enjoyed the smell of hair, and her warmth and softness, he even liked the soft murmurs she made as he squeezed her. He also knew if he didn't put a stop to this soon, that they wouldn't have much choice in how things would go, and he could only hope it wouldn't end in disaster.
« Last Edit: 08 May 2020, 17:03:33 by HFC05 »

HFC05

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #36 on: 08 May 2020, 17:00:26 »
Chapter 14

Hap heard a loud bang and felt Anastasia jump. It took him a moment to remember why Anastasia was in his bed, and what was going on. He felt the rush of mixed feelings for how he wanted to get to know her before things got physical and the enjoyment of holding her, and wanting to be more intimate.

As he sorted his thoughts, Hap could hear voices talking in the hallway outside his chamber, he figured it was Crow taking care of the mess on Anastasia's bed. He was partially relieved to know she had a place to sleep and disappointed at the same time.

Anastasia moved Hap's arm so she could read his watch, then carefully tucked his arm back around her.

"What time is it?" Hap asked

"Just after 0700." Anastasia replied as she pulled the blankets around her tighter.

Hap tried to reach up and turn on the light, but Anastasia held tightly onto his hand. He pulled harder and she grabbed it with his free hand. In a moment they were wrestling and Hap was surprised that Anastasia was stronger than he would have guessed. She giggled as he struggled, but eventually Hap managed to pin her arms with a bear hug and get his hand free and flipped the lights on.

Hap loosened his grip and Anastasia pushed herself onto her side. They looked at each other eye to eye for a moment. Hap noted that her hair was disheveled, and there were streaks of red mixed in with the chestnut and dark brown hair. Her brown eyes were soft and doe like. He could faintly see brown freckles across her cheeks and nose. She was gorgeous and everything about her was soft and inviting.

Anastasia blew a few stray hairs out of her face "Was that really necessary?"

"Manhandling you, or turning the light on?"

"The lights." Anastasia said. "The manhandling was fun."

"I thought you'd want to get up and start your day. I think your bed just got cleaned off."

"I heard, but I'm happy here, Harold." Anastasia said as she laid her head on Hap's chest.

Hap rubbed her shoulder and enjoyed the moment then asked, "Why do you insist on calling me Harold and not Hap?"

"When we first met, I thought 'This man saved me, and he's handsome.' You had your hands on my shoulders, and I was waiting or hoping you would sweep me off my feet. When you said your name was Harold, but everyone calls you Hap. I didn't want to be like everyone to you, I want to be special."

"Then a few seconds later you were annoyed with me when I asked you about your friends."

"Mmm, yes, I was a little mercurial at that moment. In my defense, I was going through a lot that day, and my lack of friends is always a sore subject, but I thought we had a connection, I still think that."

"We have a connection, and you want to be swept you off your feet? I don't want to make fun of you, but you sound like a sappy drama holo."

"Harold, if I tell you something, would you keep it to yourself?"

"Certainly." Hap said. If it were anyone else he'd have been joking, but he really did want her trust.

"I like romance novels. I know they're terrible, and only slightly better than fan fiction, but when I get tired of reading technical things, I just relax with a horrible Harlequin novel."

Hap looked at her confused, "You're kidding. I can't believe you enjoy something so…tawdry."

Anastasia shook her head. "It's not that, it's romance, and relationships, and love at first sight-"

"And heaving chests and quivering members." Hap added

"Yes there's that." Anastasia agreed sheepishly, "but there's more. It's the happily ever after. I know it's foolish but I like them. When I first saw you, you smiled, you put your hands on my shoulder, and for a moment it seemed like one of those scenes. I don't know if that makes me foolish, or a hopeless-"

"A paradox." Hap said. Anastasia raised a questioning eyebrow, so he explained, "I understand you crave intimacy but you are careful who you let close. I also understand you don't want to be pre-judged by a call sign, especially when you can quote military doctrine better than the instructors I had at Albion."

"There's a reason why NAIS is considered a better school." Anastasia said with a smirk.

Hap chuckled, "I'd bet you're better than some of the instructors at NAIS, but it isn't just that. You work hard, and study hard, you're intellectual. The paradox is you're secretly enamored with romance novels, and you fantasize about unrealistic relationships with people you hardly know."

"First, not people, you. That's important. Second, you are just as enamored by action holos as I am of romance novels." Anastasia corrected. "And we both know they are just as stupid and unrealistic."

"You're just as enamored with action holos as I am, and besides they're great cinema." Hap replied

"They are, in fact, terrible pieces of cinema. I enjoy them, but I'm not enamored."

"Well then I'm not enamored either." Hap quickly replied

"Too late you already admitted it."

"Damn" Hap said sarcastically and squeezed her.

"Third, I'm a young women, I'm allowed to read dumb novels where people fall in love at first sight, get swept off their feet, have witty repartee, and have whirlwind romances that end happily ever after."

"Alright, but you were fantasizing all of that about a total stranger, you hardly knew me."

"Hardly knew you? I had known you for a good hour, or at least thirty minutes."

"And it took you four days to get into my bed? That's a lifetime in those books you read."

"Oh? So you're an expert on Harlequin novels now? When did you stop reading Harlequin novels?"

"Very clever. Really what's important here is I don't want a relationship based on first encounter feelings. In my experience, those don't last. You want a relationship that lasts right?"

Anastasia sighed, "I do, but I also want a relationship with more of this, more of you holding me."

"I think we're getting ahead of ourselves. I think we need to work on other things first."

"I've read a lot of books and seen a lot of movies, usually the other things are-" There was a commotion outside the sleep chamber and Hap and Anastasia could hear Joker and Mags arguing. "I don't want my first time to be where everyone can hear us, or know what we are doing."

Now Hap raised a questioning eyebrow, "You need to read different books. I wasn't referring to that. I was talking about how relationships have emotional and psychological aspects. If it's all physical, then that's all you have, but if you want it to last you need the emotional and psychological connections."

Anastasia frowned, but before she could respond there was a banging on the door. Hap rolled it up to find Joker squatting beside his bed. "Hey Ana-Oh. Hap, I was looking for you." He tilted his head to see Anastasia, "Good morning Anastasia." As he smiled and laughed. "Fancy, meeting both of you here."

"Good morning Joker." Anastasia said as she threw herself down and pulled the blankets up to her chin.

"I thought you told me fraternization was a bad idea boss." Joker teased

"Well people gotta sleep somewhere Joker, and her bed had that mech hand in it." Hap answered

"Yeah, Crow just hauled that thing off, and all that other stuff. So are you and Anastasia-"

"What did you need, Joker?"

"Crow mentioned we should get breakfast, and that Fletch would probably be looking for us. I tried to get Mags up but she told me to 'Eff off'."

Hap nodded. He turned over to Anastasia, "You want to change in here, or are you going to the head?"

"Here. Could you get my things, please?" Anastasia answered. "They are on third shelf of my locker."

Hap slipped out of the bed and stepped across the hall to Anastasia's locker. He found her coveralls folded, and a gray sports-bra laid out on top. Everything in her locker was neatly folded and laid out on the various shelves. Hap was still living out of his bag, and he knew Joker's locker looked like someone had tossed a grenade in it. Hap handed Anastasia her clothes and closed the berthing chamber door.

Hap banged on Mags door. The door was instantly thrown open, and a sleepy-eyed Mags angrily looked around then saw Hap. "What?"

"We're getting ready to go get breakfast."

"Eff off." She said as she started to close the door.

Hap caught the door. "Hey, if you're not feeling well, I understand. You drank a lot last night. If it were me I know I'd be feeling pretty bad."

She looked at him cautiously, "What are you saying?"

"Joker can grab you a breakfast plate." Hap said with a nod in Joker's direction.

"Why do I have to bring her breakfast?" Joker complained.

"Don't whine Joker, If you were feeling weak because you drank too much I'd-" Hap said

Mags sat up with a wince and a groan, "Who are you calling weak?" She asked

"Yeah, and what are you saying about me whining?" Joker added

"Shutup puta." Mags snapped as she jumped off her bed. "I'm not weak, no one has to bring me shit." She told Hap. She then turned to wall locker and cursed under her breath as she grabbed a bundle of clothes and a hygiene bag and headed toward the ladies head.

Joker looked at Hap, "What's a 'puta'?"

Anastasia opened up the door to Hap's berthing chamber, gave Joker a mean smile and said, "female dog." As she walked past him and brushed up against Hap on her way to the head.

Joker looked at Hap quizzically, "Female dog? Does that makes sense to you?"

"Puta means bitch, as in Mags was calling you a bitch." Hap explained

"Mags is a bitch." Joker replied, "Why is Anastasia so happy." His eyes got wide as he looked at Hap, "Did you and her work out some of your sexual frustrations?"

"Remember when I said, 'before this is all over I'm probably going to have to kick your ass'?"

"Maybe you and Anastasia didn't do anything, because you still have some frustrations." Joker said, "What do you think of Mags?"

"Well she's a tough girl that wants to prove she's better than all the men around her. The real question we need to be asking is if she actually means it when she says she's going to cut you."

"Yeah I think Mags is cute too." Joker said.

Hap sighed, "I got my hands full with Anastasia, she has a high school girl crush on me, and I'm trying to figure out this new life as a mercenary. Do me a favor today and try not to annoy Mags or Anastasia. I could really use the time to straighten out things with Anastasia, and get our lance together."

"Not piss off off Anastasia? It's so easy, I mean just now she didn't even curse. I gotta mess with her."

Before Hap could answer Mags and Anastasia returned. "We need to hurry, they only serve breakfast till 0900, and it's almost 0830." Mags said as she tossed her bag on her bed and kept walking. Joker quick stepped to get beside her and Anastasia and Hap followed behind.

They arrived at the galley with a few minutes to spare. Breakfast was scrambled eggs, porridge and an arrangement of breads, cold meats and raw fruits and vegetables. Hap and his lance mates were joined by Crow and another MechWarrior named Rolph Horsteng. Rolph was in his 40s had been a 'Mech tech until somehow he managed to collect the parts to a Trebuchet. Rolph was short but stocky. He had short curly gray hair, a handlebar mustache and steel blue eyes.

Both men were friendly and Hap found himself in an easy conversation with them. Joker and Rolph even teased each other. Mags quietly ate her breakfast and, in spite of her act everyone knew she was hurting, but her general demeanor made them just leave her alone. Anastasia was quiet and seemed to be deep in thought. Hap caught her eye a few times, but she just shrugged.

The conversation went on and Hap's mind drifted to Anastasia. She was naïve, and young, and beautiful and she was clearly infatuated with Hap, and Hap would be lying if he wasn't also infatuated with her. He didn't want to push her away, but it was going to be hard to not let anything get any more physical, and his concept of being a professional Mechwarrior made him question if this relationship was a good idea. On the other hand if he had to spend every waking minute with someone he'd rather it be Anastasia than Joker.

Fletch came up, he had a large cup of coffee and cigarette in one hand. "Crow, Rolph, take our new recon lance to the training deck. I want to familiarize them with our equipment and run them through a few drills." Crow nodded and stood up as he finished his coffee.

Hap couldn't believe this mercenary unit had that sort of tech. "Does the unit have training simulators?"

"Sorta." Crow replied as he scratched the back of his head, and started walking.

"More like we took a bunch of broken mech cockpits and wired 'em to holo viewers." Mags explained

"They work fine." Rolph defended, "Besides I like to think we took the skulls of our enemy and made them into something useful."

"Daddy and I almost built something like that, but Mother told us to just find a trainer with a 'Mech stable, instead of wasting time and money on a 'science project'." Anastasia quietly told Hap as everyone started walking out of the galley.
« Last Edit: 16 May 2020, 05:14:58 by HFC05 »

HFC05

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #37 on: 08 May 2020, 17:02:09 »
Chapter 15

They went down a few decks and entered a large vehicle bay. There were several ground cars and trucks, a large recovery vehicle and a few random 'Mech and vehicle parts, plus several large storage containers. All were chained down or locked into anchor points on the deck. Near the back end of the deck was an assortment of command couches, partial cockpits, power cables, tables, holo projectors, a large cylinder marked "Lennox 60" that had dozens of power cables plugged into it. The couches and tables were arranged in a circle around the cylinder. It was noticeably warmer on this part of the deck.

At the table was an assortment of computers, computer parts and screens. There was a skinny young man and a teenage girl dressed all in black with electric blue hair and too much makeup. Crow led them up to the table. "Hey Codey, Mal, these are the new Mechwarriors."

The young man stood up. He was tall, lanky, wearing baggy clothes and had a short hair and a scraggy mustache. Hap introduced Anastasia, Joker and himself. He nodded to Hap, "Hello. I'm Codey, the master electronics tech for McFinnigans, and this is Malicious Logic, but we call her 'Mal', she's our main programmer." He motioned to the young woman.

Mal turned to look at them. She was wearing lipstick that matched her blue hair. Her black clothes, heavy eye-liner, makeup and hair made her skin look paler. She gave them a quick wave said, "Hey" and turned back to her screen.

Next to them was a table that was bowing under the weight of a large holo viewer and a group of large screens behind it. There was a muscular dark skinned man standing by the holo. Hap remember him from last night, he was Yorik Tomax. The holo projector next to him showed a map with four blue triangles, and a four red triangles. Hap glanced around and could see four teenagers sitting in some of the simulator cockpits.

"Alright, alright. Form up. Noah, get in that square formation." Tomax yelled, "I swear to god, I'll make MechWarriors out of you even if it kills you." Tomax spoke like a Drill Sergeant.

Tomax watched as the blue triangles started to form into a loose square. "Alright let him have it." He said quietly to Codey and Mal and the red triangles moved to engage the blue triangles. The young MechWarriors yelled and tried to coordinate with each other.

Tomax looked over to the new MechWarriors, "Let me finish with these younglings, then we'll get you guys in there. Mal can start loading your 'mechs into the system while these boys get schooled."

Tomax looked back at the tactical display, then switched one of the sider monitors to display technical information on one of 'mechs. "Conner, you're left side is nearly blasted to hell, turn your 'mech."

As Mal loaded the new Mercenaries 'mech configuration into the system Codey explained the cockpit configuration and how it simulated their 'mech and the holo projector in front of the cockpit would generate an exterior view. The system could be configured to allow the warriors to fight each other or could generate Opposing Forces (OpFor) or friendly forces for different scenarios. The computer generated 'mechs were AI driven, but Mal and Codey could give them some direction, or tell them who or what to target, seek, or avoid.

Once Hap, Anastasia, Mags, and Joker were comfortable Fletch showed up and started putting them through drills. Crow and Rolph also participated and Tomax allowed the younglings to watch how the new Recon lance responded to their scenarios. Hap was glad to hear Tomax compliment their activities to the young trainees.

Fletch kept them busy for the whole day with various drills and scenarios, and a few inter-lance match-ups. Throughout the day other MechWarriors in the company showed up and ran through some of the same drills or fought them.

Fletch and Tomax felt the lance looked good, but each corrected Mags for running ahead of her lance mates. She preferred to go fast, be aggressive, and use her 'Mech's speed and agility to its greatest advantage. Hap tried to explain they needed to stay together, mass firepower, and wait till the right moment to use her 'Mech's superior swiftness to flank, or pursue an enemy. She didn't agree but after Fletch and Tomax yelled at her she at least complied during the training.

Through the day the new mercenaries learned the basic structure of the company. McFinnigan and Sons was arranged into four lances. The main lance was Dullahan lance. It was a pursuit and raiding lance that consisted of Medium and Heavy 'Mechs that had the ideal balance of speed and firepower. It was similar to Hap's recon lance, except the Mechs were bigger, and slightly slower. The pursuit lance was McFinnigan's main lance because raids were their core business.

Crow and Rolph were part of the Fire Support lance, it consisted of 'Mechs that had indirect fire weapons as their primary weapon systems. Everyone referred to them as the hammer lance. They would stand at the edge of the battlefield and rain down missiles on the enemy. One of the roles of Hap's recon lance was to spot for Hammer lance.

The final lance was the command and assault lance. All the Mechs in this lance weighed 80 tons or more and were generally used for defense or full scale assault and destruction. They rarely took to the field, but when they did it was for jobs where point defense, or overwhelming damage and devastation were a contractual requirement.

Fletch and McFinnigan would also organize Mission Tailored Force Package depending on a contract or a specific mission. Fletch pointed out to Hap that his Griffin was a pretty useful 'Mech so he shouldn't be surprised when he was mixed into one of these packages.

They finished at dinner time, and Hap was happy they had met and worked with most of the MechWarriors from the company. He now knew most of the men and woman he would be fighting with and he was feeling better and more confident about his decision to join the mercenary outfit.

After dinner Crow invited them to play Spades. They led them down to a lounge on the same deck as their berths. Like poker, it was something Anastasia had never played. Hap explained the basic rules to her, and they paired off against Crow and Rolph.

Crow and Rolph proved better than Hap and Anastasia and after a few hands they decided to sit out. Joker got Mags to be his partner and they were better competition for the members of the Hammer lance. Hap decided to watch because he enjoyed the general trash talking and camaraderie of the spade game. Anastasia sat next to him, and leaned on him while they watched the game.

David Lee, the company's other Valkyrie pilot, tried to talk to Anastasia about the model of 'Mech they shared. Anastasia gave him a few succinct answers until he decided to leave her alone. Hap wasn't sure if David was trying to flirt with Anastasia or if he was just being friendly. He also wasn't sure if Anastasia was being awkward or if she didn't want to talk. Hap suspected David was being friendly, but Anastasia was so used to pushing people away she didn't always know when or how to make small talk.

When Hap announced he was going to bed Anastasia did the same. They started back to their berths, but being new to the ship they got lost. As they retraced their steps Hap asked, "What do you think?"

Anastasia shrugged, "Most of these mercenaries are pretty good, or at least competent. I wish Mags would listen and stay in formation, or just stay within optimal LRM range of the lance."

"She'll figure it out." Hap replied. "I used to have the same problem with Joker. I'd pair him off with Lucky and tell them to stay within a few hundred meters of Tuna and me. Just so I could cover him, and we could quickly close when they found the enemy. We usually found ourselves in a lopsided square."

"A 'lopsided square' like a parallelogram? That's not doctrinal." Anastasia said.

"Yeah, a parallelogram. It was terrain and 'mech type dependent, so technically that's doctrinal."

She pursed her lips, and gave her head a small shake, "Not really. What we really should do is form a wedge. Place me on point with my advanced sensor package, have you and Joker behind me, and then have Mags trailing behind you."

"That sounds good, except I think I should be on point, because my armor is heavier." Hap said.

"No. Your Griffin's weapons are all long range so my medium laser makes up for your lack of short range, and give you that extra standoff to keep your PPC effective. Joker and Mags have highly maneuverable 'Mechs so they can quickly flank the enemy while we fix them at range. The wedge formation allows us to adjust to terrain and quickly bring our maximum fire power to bare."

Hap could see her point. "Why didn't you bring this up earlier?"

"Because Joker would have made some glib comment, and Mags would argue that her 'Mech is fast so we should keep up, or tell me to find better tactics for her 'Mech's speed. It's just giving them an opportunity to mock me, but if you suggest it, they won't question it." Anastasia said.

Hap was quiet for a moment. "You want to be my assistant lance leader?" Hap asked

"Giving me some title isn't going to make them listen to me."

"I know, but I actually need an assistant lance leader to give me advice, and more importantly to do the things I don't want to do, like fill out paperwork."

Anastasia's eyes narrowed, "We're in a mercenary company, how much paperwork can there be?"

"Doesn't matter because you're my assistant lance leader now, so you'll be doing it."

Anastasia shrugged, "The jokes on you, I actually like filling out paperwork."

Hap chuckled, "of course you do." They turned a corner and found themselves in their berthing area.

"Does assistant lance leader come with any perks, like private meetings?" Anastasia asked suggestively

"Uh…if it's necessary, yes." Hap said as she stepped into his personal space.

"Good, because if you're going to off load unpleasant tasks to me, and if I have to put up with Joker's terrible jokes, and Mag's threats I'm going to need some time alone."

"Okay, that's not a problem." Hap replied as he sat down on his bed.

"With you." Anastasia said as she sat down next to him.

"Anastasia, we'll spend time together. I do want a relationship with you, I just want to make sure we let our relationship grow in more ways than just the physical. And, you really need to figure out how to be friends with Joker and Mags. Honestly you might have it easier than me getting past Mags tough-girl exterior. Maybe you should talk to her and see if you two don't have something in common."

"Like shoes or clothes?" Anastasia said sarcastically, "I hardly think she knows what good shoes are, and her style, such as it is, could charitably be called 'tactical'."

"To be fair all I've seen you in is boots, military coveralls and an oversized T-shirt."

"That's because it's all I had in my 'Mech or what I could get from the Company store." Anastasia replied, "When we get to a civilized world, I assure you I'll dress differently. Although I don't really follow fashion trends. At least not the current wide shoulder nonsense. It looks ridiculous on me."

Hap laughed at Anastasia's annoyance, and gave her a gentle squeeze on the shoulder. Hap said, "This is our unit now. Joker is a pain in the ass, and Mags is undisciplined, but when the fighting starts I'm sure they'll have our backs. Besides the company is more than just Joker and Mags. Crow seems nice."

"The guy that put a mech hand in my bed?" Anastasia replied

"That was a misunderstanding, and he apologized. What about David Lee, he's seems friendly?"

Anastasia gave Hap a questioning look, "I'm not sure if he's being friendly or trying to be more than a friend. Either way conversations with him are awkward, even for me."

Hap shook his head, "Dillon also seemed to try and talk you up."

"I don't want to be mean, but Dillon's a…he's a simpleton. He's also made it clear that I still owe him a dance. I'm a little surprised he's a MechWarrior, but he seemed capable in the simulator."

"His lance leader was in the simulator next to mine. Fiona coaches him, not anything excessive, but she tells him which target to engage, and where to stand. His Dervish is mostly indirect fire, so it works."

Anastasia nodded, "So, are you going to be like Mother, and tell me that I need to make more friends?"

"Well not after you say it like that. No. However, I was impressed by everyone we met today. Usually Mercenaries have a reputation for being undisciplined, psychotic, and poor quality warriors. Everyone today, even Dillon, seemed pretty good. I'm also sort of enjoying the family atmosphere."

"I preferred the big bureaucracy of the AFFS, an organization spanning galaxies that a girl could get lost in. Everyone here wants to talk to me, and I just want a quiet place to read, or talk to you."

"Yeah, but no one is calling you Princess."

Anastasia shrugged, "That's true, I suppose. On a different subject, I still owe you something."

Hap looked at her confused, "What?"

"We had that wager. I lost when we played highest card to see who would get your blanket."

"Oh that. Yeah, I almost forgot about that."

"I really don't like being indebted to anyone, even you. Please tell me what I owe you. I could bake you something, or if you want some of my winnings from that night, just name it. If it were anyone else I'd be worried you'd ask me to do something degrading, but I know you're not that kind of man. "

Hap gave her a strange look, "What do you consider degrading?"

Anastasia gave him a startled look, "Harold, no. Just no. Whatever you're thinking the answer is no."

"I'm just curious. You don't use obscene language, but I know the books you read. So I have to wonder."

"I read 'those books' occasionally, and I think you know what is, and is not, degrading."

"One person's degrading sex act, is another's good time." Hap replied, as Anastasia gave him a sour look. "What if I got a luxury hotel room with good room service, and invited you to a topless weekend?"

Anastasia's eyes narrowed, "Would it be both of us, or just me."

"How about if I were just as undressed as you were?"

"If we're alone, and it's something you're willing to do, it's probably not degrading." Anastasia said. "Is that what you want? You want to see me nearly naked? That seems counter to what we talked about."

"I do want to see you naked, but I'm willing to wait, I'm not going to trade in this debt for something that I'll probably get eventually if I play my cards right. That would be foolish."

"What's foolish is if you keep talking about what degrading things I might or might not do."

"Alright Anastasia, I'm not going to take advantage of you. I was just taking the opportunity to learn about you and what you think about certain things, like sex, and how I should treat you."

"I like to be held, and cuddled. I don't like to talk about degrading sex acts."

Hap nodded, "Alright, I'm sorry. I thought I was being clever, but I may have gone too far."

Anastasia nodded, and her tone and looks softened, "Harold, I know you're not someone who would risk our relationship for a few moments of base pleasure, but I don't want to think about this." She sighed and added, "I'm just going to bake you some cookies tomorrow. Do you like chocolate chip?"

"Well actually I prefer chocolate cookies with peanut butter chips, but I didn't agree to accept that for the wager. I think we really need to talk more about what is or isn’t degrading.” Hap teased her.

Anastasia looked at Hap for a long moment before saying, “You’re getting the cookies, and I’m going to bed now. Next time we wager, I’m going to make some stipulations, like an expiration period, and limits. We’re not doing this again. Good night.”
« Last Edit: 08 May 2020, 17:07:30 by HFC05 »

HFC05

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #38 on: 15 May 2020, 16:25:55 »
Chapter 16
October 3029
Monhegan System

It took over a month to get from the Klathandu system to Monhegan system. After completing the last jump they still had a three day trip from the system jump point to the planet Monhegan. In the month of jumps Hap, Anastasia, and Joker were assimilated into McFinnigan and Sons. They continued to train with the other mercenaries daily, and during their chores they worked with other members of the family, everyone from techs and spouses, to children and other MechWarriors.

Hap thought having the children and families around was a little crazy. He asked Fletch about it and he replied, "I know it looks asinine, but it keeps a lot of costs down and it gives the Company a lot more reach and sustainment than Mercenary units that are twice or three times the size. There has been some harrowing moments where the drop ship has come under fire, or our supply dump got overrun, but we all agree having our families around is worth it. Makes the boys and girls fight a little harder too."

Hap couldn't argue with any of that, and he knew that between the home cooking and things like the training modules he was enjoying a lot of luxuries he didn't usually have on a deployment.

Hap was integrated into the leadership as well. McFinnigan's staff meetings were actually poker games. Kelly swore he had learned this from the great Patrick Kell himself. When anyone asked Kelly how or when he met the leader of the Kell Hounds he couldn't give a straight answer, but the poker game staff meeting was an institution for the McFinnigan and Sons mercenary company.

During the poker games Hap got to know the company's leadership. The Hammer Lance leader was Fiona "Angel" McFinnigan. She was Kelly's younger cousin and didn't have the same accent as the rest of the McFinnigans. Also, unlike her cousins, she was tall, and had black hair. As the Fire Support lance leader she believed that combat should really be based on the skills of meticulous long range professionals, not brawling belligerents punching and kicking in the mud. Hap found her to be a sarcastic professional.

The Pursuit lance leader was Kelly's nephew Patrick "Shillelagh" McFinnigan. He was the other founding member of the Mercenary Company. He was nearly forty and came across as cynical and war-weary. Hap could see the family resemblance between Patrick and Kelly, except Patrick was slightly taller and broader of chest. Patrick also had a long scare running down the left side of his face and his right shoulder and arm had large burn scars. He didn't say much, but Hap noticed he certainly could drink.

During the games Hap learned that Tomax was a retired Sergeant Major in the AFFS. Retirement didn't suit him and so he signed on with McFinnigan to pilot an Awesome. When Kelly learned Tomax had been an AFFS drill instructor Kelly made him the mercenaries lead trainer.

The staff was rounded out by Jessica Lan. She was a sixtyish year old short stocky Asian woman from the Capellan Confederation. She had a broad face, an easy smile and her once black hair was now silver and gray. She came across as kindly older aunt or grandmother type and served as the primary purchasing agent and negotiated supplies and equipment for the company. Hap initially thought she was only a purchasing agent, but she also piloted an 85 ton Stalker. Her call sign was Ahjumma.

Fletch, Elinor, and Roweyna were also in attendance for the staff meeting. Kelly held them weekly with the topics of discussion ranging from supply issues, training, crew morale, gossip, the company's status with the Mercenary Review Board, and new contracts. Like everything McFinnigan did the meetings seemed chaotic and ad hoc, but were somehow remarkably effective.

When Hap wasn't in meetings his time was divided between training, getting to know the rest of the mercenaries, and Anastasia. Their relationship was progressing slower than Anastasia had hoped. Anastasia had to concede that Hap was correct about boundaries and how they really couldn't sleep together without getting more intimate and she made it clear she just wasn't ready for that, yet. Hap was balancing learning to be friends and trying to be as close as Anastasia liked. They also struggled to find quiet spaces where they could talk and spend private time together.

Anastasia found the ships library and raided it for books on dating, marriage, or anything on maintaining an intimate relationship. When Hap was in a staff meeting or pulled into a game of chance Anastasia would usually sit in the corner of the lounge reading her books and ignoring the mayhem around her.

After weeks of travel Anastasia was struggling with the changes in her life. First she felt that her and Hap weren't getting enough quality time together, and they never had any privacy. Second, she didn't feel particular close to her lancemates, and third, she was very worried about her mother.

Today was especially bad. Anastasia had missed an easy shot in the simulator, and her lance failed to complete its objective. Joker and Mags ensured she knew it was all her fault all day long. After dinner she ended up stuck cleaning all the dishes, and it was a staff meeting night so Hap would be gone.

On top of this she was also annoyed with the dating book she was reading. She decided to take a shower and go to bed. She had also found a Harlequin novel in the library, so she decided to indulge in her guilty pleasure in the privacy of her sleep chamber, rather than being teased or annoyed by her fellow crazy mercenaries.

She found the berthing area completely empty, and Joker had left his locker open. When Anastasia tried to close it for him the leg of his coveralls got in the way. Anastasia folded the leg in, and noted the terrible mess of his locker. Clothes and hygiene items were everywhere, He had also acquired some pornography that he had taped inside the door. Anastasia shoved everything in, and slammed the door closed quickly.

Anastasia gathered her things and went to the shower. She took her time to dry her hair, braid it, and debated if she would risk going back to her bed without a bra. She remembered her first night with Hap and Joker and decided it wasn't worth it, but she figured she could get away with just her long night shirt. She stepped into the hall and heard voices.

When she came around the corner she was surprised to find half the MechWarriors of the company. Mags and Joker were sitting on Mag's bed, and David Lee and Dillon were sitting on her bed. Crow and Grizzly had brought their camp chairs into the crowded space, and Rolph was leaning against the wall. Anastasia was glad to see Hap alone his bed, but a little dismayed by everyone else.

Anastasia pulled nervously on her braid. She had gone through multiple psychological and personality tests at NAIS and knew she was an introvert. It never occurred to that it might cause problems for her until she was in situations like this. She knew she had to work through this. Anastasia mumbled a greeting to everyone as she crossed the hall to Hap's bed. She felt self conscious in just her sleepwear so she grabbed his poncho liner and wrapped herself up in it. As she sat down Hap pulled her close to him.

As Anastasia settled in she realized she had walked into the middle of a "the best recon 'Mech" argument. This was another long running and endless source of debate for her peers. She wasn't sure where it started, but as she got comfortable Grizzly looked up at Mags and scoffed, "If the Jenner is the perfect recon 'Mech, then why was your daddy able to take one down with an infantry weapon?"

"Because my father was a badass." Mags replied matter-of-factly, "and twice, no three times the man you are. That's how. He shot that Jenner up with infernos till the cowardly pilot ejected. That's how he won a 'Mech and became a 'Mechwarrior again. When he couldn't fight any more he gave it to me."

Anastasia laid her head on Hap's shoulder. She was annoyed to see everyone, but being next to Hap almost made up for it. She was tired, and wished everyone else would leave so they could be alone.

Hap chuckled, "I'll bite, How did he shoot that many infernos to overheat a Jenner?" As he spoke he tugged at the blanket and Anastasia put part of it around his back. Hap and Anastasia adjusted themselves so they could comfortably share the blanket. She felt less annoyed and got comfortable as Hap found her hand and held it.

Mags jumped down from her bed, "My father was a MechWarrior when he was young, but his 'Mech was destroyed and not only was he disposed he was taken a prisoner by the Capellans."

Grizzly interrupted her, "Let me make this short. After a couple of years as a Capellan POW he gets back to Cerillos to find his wife dead from the plague, and his little girl well on her way to woman hood. Well actually I'm sure what he found was his sweet little piggy-tailed chicka had become a brooding teenager well on her way to the violent, cursing, and undisciplined psychopath you see before you."

"Shut the hell-up Grizz or I'll cut you." Mags bawled. Her tone returned to normal. "Like usual Grizz is half right. My father tried to raise me, but being a MechWarrior is all he was good at, so he does the only thing a man in his position can do. He signs back up with the Free World's Leagues Military, leaves me with Abuella, and joins the jump infantry. Then one day, no shit, there my old man was at an ammo dump refueling and reloading."

"No shit? Well now it's a story." Hap said quietly to Anastasia. Anastasia was glad to at least have this time with Hap. Unfortunately this was emblematic of how the last couple weeks had been.

Mags continued "As he's getting his jump pack refueled this Jenner jumps out of the woods and starts shooting. So my old man loads an inferno round in his SRM launcher and hits the Jenner with it. Then he ran behind a smoking crate of missiles-" As she talked she pantomimed shooting and running.

"Just stands behind a burning box full of high explosives like it's nothing." Grizz told everyone

"Shutup, you weren't there, and yeah, he stands behind the box like it was nothing to him, 'cause he has cojones, unlike you. So he reloads and pops off another inferno. By now the poor bastard is trying to locate my dad, but my old man was quick and cunning. Dad loads up another inferno and hits the Jenner again. The Jenner pilot goes crazy and starts shooting everything. That is when my dad hits him one last time, and the pilot panics, ejects, and when the battle was over, Dad got the Jenner."

"So the Jenner is the best recon 'Mech, as long as you don't overheat it?" Hap asked

"Yeah. Can you think of a 'Mech that is as fast and heavily armed as a Jenner?"

"You forgot the toilet paper for armor." Grizzly added.

"You didn't need armor if you're fast." Mags replied

"Hey, what was your dad's original mech, the one he lost?" Joker asked, as he reached out to help her onto her bunk.

"An urbanmech." Mags said quietly.

"An urbanmech? The worst mech every made!" Joker howled and almost let go of her hand.

"Now wait" Rolph said, "An urbanmech can kill you just as dead as any mech. In the city, or canyons, or tight terrain, an Urbanmech pilot can be the king of death mountain."

"Joker you know this from working with Tuna and his Hunchback. If we could get that monster's autocannon into the right place and he'd blow an enemy to hell. That's how we took down that Thunderbolt and the Quickdraw." Hap told him

"Yeah, for the price, the Urbanmech is a good mech for defense ops." Rolph replied.

"Alright fine, so what do you think is the worst mech?" Joker asked

"I think every 'mech is good if you put it in the right role." Rolph replied. "But if I had to say… never liked the CGR-1A1 Charger, more than half its mass is taken up by its fusion reactor, it has less armor than a Marauder, and it's only armed with half a dozen small lasers. I get it's supposed to 'charge in' and start punching but it only has 10 tons or armor so it's going to be torn apart before it closes to melee range."

"Yeah, but isn't it just as good in the city as an Urbanmech?" Griff asked

"Not for that cost. I heard the HRB fixed it with the -SB Challenger refit, but the 1A1 is too specialized."

"Hey, back to recon 'Mechs." Joker said, "I think the best is the Phoenix Hawk LAM 'cause it's a 'Mech and an aero fighter. I mean imagine a mech where you can find the enemy, hit 'em, then fly off."

"Land-Air-'Mechs aren't real man." Crow said shaking his head.

Anastasia mind drifted as she wondered if she could convince Hap to spend some time with her, maybe if she could talk him into a "plutonic slumber party". She thought it would really turn her bad day around if they could spend a couple hours talking, then have him hold her through the night.

"Anastasia you seem to know a lot from your studies at NAIS, what do you think?" David Lee asked.

Anastasia was surprised to hear her name mentioned, she had to think for a moment to remember what they were talking about. "Land-Air-'Mechs? They're real, or at least they were. They had a display of a Phoenix Hawk LAM in its hybrid state at the Heroes of the Federation exhibit at the New Avalon national museum. The LAM on display had been part of a raid on Tybalt in the 2990s."

"Yeah brother, and I heard the CO for Crescent Hawks piloted one. Of course no one has heard from him since Pacifica got invaded by the Kuritans." Grizz told Crow.

"I've seen a lot of mechs man, and I've never seen one that can turn into an aero fighter." Crow replied.

"One day, back at Albion, we asked one of the instructors about LAMs and he said, 'why would someone want to pilot a 'mech that's bad at being at being a light mech and bad at being an aerofighter'. Then he ordered us out to the parade field and made us do extra drills for 'wasting his time'." Hap said.

Everyone laughed and then Hap said, "Rolph you seem to know a lot about mechs."

"Yeah, Rolph fixed a lot mechs long before he cobbled together his Trebuchet." Grizz said.

"So what Mech would you pick if you could have any Battlemech?" Hap followed up

"Anything?" Rolph asked with a whistle, "I mean if anything it's probably a Highlander HGN-732."

"A Highlander, like the old man pilots?" Grizz asked looking surprised

"No. A 732 is the original Star League era Highlander. It was a deluxe version the Commander's 'Mech. The 732 had double heat sinks, protected ammo bins, and instead of an AC 10 it had a Gauss rifle. It was a beast of a machine."

"The old man's Highlander is a beast even without all that." Grizz replied.

"What's a Gauss rifle?" David Lee asked.

Rolph's eyes lit up, "It's an autocannon, but it uses magnets, so it's super heavy, but it packs a punch like an AC 20, but it has the range of an AC 2. Oh! And, it doesn't generate any heat."

"Man that has to be bullshit." Grizz replied, "What makes you think something like that was ever real?"

"One of my 'Mech tech buddies had signed on with the mercenary company from the Aurigan Reach area. They discovered a star league cache and found an old Star League era Highlander and sure as shit, it had a Guass rifle. He was asking me about how to fabricate ammo."

Grizz laughed, "Really, your 'buddy'? Hap, Anastasia, you gotta understand, Rolph knows a shit ton of things about a shit ton of 'Mechs, but sometimes he gets tricked with bullshit like this."

Anastasia shook her head, "A gauss rifle is considered LosTech, but it's certainly real."

"How are they real? How do magnets make an autocannon shell go?" David asked.

"The theory is pretty simple. A gauss rifle doesn't fire a shell. It fires a solid slug, about the size of a rugby ball made of iron alloyed with something else magnetic like cobalt or nickel." Anastasia replied, "The rifle has a series of magnets to draw the shell. When the rifle is fired the magnets are activated in sequence and the round is propelled at near hypersonic speeds. The muzzle velocity was greater than a class 20 autocannon, and the size of the round was so large that it could nearly sheer off a ton of armor."

Everyone was quiet for a moment then Grizzly looked at Dillon, "Did you understand any of that?"

"Yeah. Magnets shooting rugby balls made of iron." Dillon replied. Everyone laughed including Anastasia. She knew Dillon was one of Kelly's "charity cases". He might be a simpleton, and lack the prerequisite intelligence to pilot a 'Mech in most house armies, but he seemed capable. He was also a loyal member of the family, and they took good care of him. Anastasia had to smile at the joke Dillon made at her expense, of course no one was sure if he was joking or trying to sound smart.

"I don't want to hear any more about weird aero 'Mechs, or have the Professor lecture me on LosTech miracle weapons. Anyone up for some poker?" Grizzly asked as he stood up and started folding his chair. There were murmurs of agreement and everyone except Hap and Anastasia started to leave.
« Last Edit: 16 May 2020, 05:14:00 by HFC05 »

HFC05

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #39 on: 15 May 2020, 16:26:42 »
Chapter 17
Everyone left the berthing area and Hap turned to Anastasia, "You want to join everyone for cards?"

"No, not really, I'd rather spend some time alone with you. Can we do that?"

Hap nodded as he took off his boots. While taking off his coveralls he asked, "How's your day going?"

Anastasia got comfortable on the bed, and replied, "Badly. All my missiles went wide when I targeted the locust, which made us fail our mission. Then I had to do all the dishes, and the book I'm reading implies our relationship is doomed."

Hap cozied up next to her, "So now you think our relationship is doomed?"

"The book said statistically first love romances between teenagers end in breakup. " Anastasia said

"We're not teenagers" Hap said as he pulled her back so they could rest their backs on the bulkhead.

"I'm nineteen, but you're right it's not the age. Really the problem is the book said the same thing you told me about taking things slow, building a relationship, ensuring we know each other and want the same things in life." Anastasia said with mock sorrow as she got comfortable.

"What's wrong with that?" Hap asked

"Nothing really, but it shows how impatient I am." Anastasia said. "I want a whirlwind romance."

"No you want a relationship that lasts, but you want it right now." Hap told her.

"I'm not sure if I like how much you hear what I mean, and not what I'm saying." She said sarcastically.

"So are you annoyed with yourself, or everything around you?" Hap asked.

"Little bit of both. I'm annoyed we haven't had more time together. I feel our lives have been on pause for weeks, and I'm worried about my Mother. Do you think we've been reported MIA or AWOL?"

Hap thought for a moment, "It's hard to say. Unless we got tracked leaving the planet, we're probably considered MIA. That assumes the RDMM is sending out reports though, they might not be."

Anastasia nodded, "They've likely gone comms silent, either way I'm certain Mother is worried sick."

"When we land at Monhegan we can send her a message and let her know you're okay." Hap said, then flashed a wolfish grin "and you can also tell her about all the new friends you've made recently."

"Mother would love to know I actually have friends." Anastasia said thoughtfully ignoring his sarcasm.

"Even if they are psychotic bloodthirsty mercenaries." Hap said with more sarcastic excitement.

"That's almost how she describes most lobbyists and politicians, and she's surrounded by them every day." Anastasia replied. "Although I don't really feel that close to anyone except you."

"Just so you know, In spite of your hard work, you're generally well liked. David was commenting last week how you've stopped giving him cold stares and now you actually talk to him. Crow and Rolph think you're a pretty good MechWarrior. Mags and Joker like you as much as they like anyone. Oh, and Dillon is still convinced you owe him a dance, so you got that to look forward too."

"I remember he asked me to dance our first night on the Tir na nOg and I guess I didn't give him a definitive 'no'. Would you just tell him I'm your girl?" Anastasia pressed herself closer to Hap.

"I tried to but he said, 'after me and Anastasia and dance, we'll see'."

Anastasia sighed contentedly and put her head on Hap's shoulder, "I wouldn't worry too much about him. I don't think one dance is going to change my mind about how I feel about you."

"But I shouldn't let him get a second dance with you?" Hap said

"Oh I wouldn't." Anastasia replied with a laugh. "Seriously though, I probably won't have too much to say to Mother about anyone except you."

"I thought our relationship is doomed." Hap said with a chuckle.

"You know it isn't. You and I are going to make this work, because where else would you find someone as charming and attractive as me?" Anastasia teased

"I hear the Canopus Magistracy has girls that…"Hap stopped as Anastasia gave him a warning glance. "Yes Anastasia, we're going to make this work, but one of these days we're going to have to talk about why around everyone you're quiet, but when it's just you and me your…suddenly very confident."

"Harold, it's not that I get more confident, rather I'm always thinking these things, but when it's just us I feel comfortable enough to say them." She said, then grinned and added, "Now hold me."

"Our relationship may not be doomed, but I'm starting to worry I am." Hap put his arm around her.

"I have this book you should read. It has a chapter about how long term committed relationships are not 'mutual pain and suffering death pacts'." Anastasia said.

"Yeah, you can't divorce your way out of a death pact." Hap joked.

"It also has another chapter about how marriage is a 'no fail mission'." Anastasia said.

Hap gave Anastasia a bemused look "What sort of books are you reading?"

"Anything I can find on relationships. That particular book was the 'Warrior's Guide to Marriage'. It's really a relationship self-help book. It didn't have anything unique, but it put everything in a pretentious context of war or battle." Anastasia told him with a laugh. "Most of the books are pretty derivative, but there was a book you might like is the 'linguistics of love' it talked about some of the things you mentioned. How everyone says 'I love you' or how they want to be told 'I love you' in their own way."

Hap nodded, "After the divorce someone recommended that book. I read it, and realized I studied psychology, but I never tried to learn anything practical. After the divorce I started to work on how to improve myself and how to understand relationships. That book was good, but I'm curious about all the information you had the gauss rifle, do you have a lostech technical readout?"

"No. At NAIS I had access to the Halstead Station library and the Helm memory core." Anastasia said.

Hap couldn't believe she had casual access to two sources of rare information on lost technology. "Can any NAIS cadet access those things?"

"Not exactly. It required special permission from the Dean of the College of Engineering, and a professor had to sign off on what I wanted to research. Normally it would have required an extensive background check too, but my father's company was one of several that had been approached to attempt to recover the gauss rifle for the Federated Suns."

"I thought your Dad's company just made advanced sensor packages."

"Dad's company is…complicated. He would tell you it is a practical R&D company. Dad had an odd way of looking at problems and finding strange solutions. For all his brilliance though, he usually looked for simple problems that people took for granted and tried to make things that could easily turn a profit."

"So, what's the story with the advanced sensor package on your Valkyrie?"

"You understand how standard sensors work?"

"Sure, the sensor broadcasts an energy wave and interprets the interference for the targeting system."

"Right. The sensor antenna is designed for a specific wavelength based on some ancient star league standard. Some mechs are designed to be hard to scan, and there are ways to jam it. So Dad removed the antenna on my Valkyrie and replaced it with struts that he embedded with a grid of wires that would work as antennas. He programmed the system to energize the right amount of "antenna" to scan an object based on the optimal wavelength for the range. It has the advantages of about 20% greater range than most standard sensors, it can't be jammed, and it can give the same fidelity of information at any range. He also fixed the Valkyrie's 'quirky' sensor problems, and he made it a refit kit for several mechs."

"Alright, I'm not sure I understand all that, but I'm starting to see your Dad's genius. I wouldn't have thought money was a problem, though. I assumed your mother's title came with wealth and riches."

"It does, she can tax her holdings as she sees fit, and she is also the sole landlord for some major portions of Hazelhurst's starport and capital city, and we have investments that go back centuries. My family was granted holdings on Hazelhurst after it was taken from the Outworld's alliance."

"So why did your Dad focus only on projects that would 'turn a profit'?"

"He was looking to subsidize his real project, which was to make a competitive technology to ComStar's Hyper Pulse Generator network, and that's extremely expensive."

"Okay, now I'm starting to suspect your Dad was one of those eccentric genius types."

"Look at it from his perspective, what do you think ComStar is?"

"Never thought about it, but I'd say they're an intergalactic telecom that flirts with being a techno cult."

"First, problems that people 'never thought about' were the ones Dad was looking for. Second, ComStar is a techno cult that has a side business as the only intergalactic telecom. Dad would often tell me everything about that situation was wrong. He didn't trust ComStar and suspected they used their access to everyone's messages to meddle in the affairs of every major house."

"That sounds a little conspiratorial. I mean if that were true wouldn't someone catch them at it?"

"What could you do if you caught them? They have a monopoly on intergalactic communications. Even if you're a powerful House Lord, you have to use them to control your empire. This is why Dad thought some competition would make them honest. He was also a patriot for the Federated Suns, so if the government wanted to pay him to develop it exclusively for the Federated Suns he would have been happy to do that too. Which is the other reason he wanted to work on government projects."

"What did your mom think of your Dad's theories?"

"She loved her eccentric genius. Mother spent most of her time around the political elite, which were, as she put it, generally a bunch of back stabbing sycophants and liars. Dad just wanted to solve problems, and make things better. I think he also liked solving puzzles. Mother loved him, and found his conspiracy theorizing to be part of his mad scientist charm."

Hap laughed as he asked, "So were you and your dad able to recreate a gauss rifle?"

"No, and it wasn't just us, we were part of a team. There were members of Team Banzai, scientist and engineer fellows from NAIS, and a few professors and grad students. The military even pulled an ancient Fury tank out of some vault so we could see its gauss rifle. Team Banzai was more interested in the tank's C2 computer system so they mostly focused on that, but the rest of us were working on the rifle."

"So is the team about to bring the gauss rifle back into production?"

"Probably not. Dad and I were working on the massive capacitors needed to store the energy for the magnets, and the magnetic coil mechanism. We also had to ruggedize everything, since most 'Mech warriors find themselves using their weapons as clubs when they run out of ammunition."

"It's a proven technique."

Anastasia rolled her eyes, "Once you go to all the work to build one of these weapons, you start to realize how dumb that is. Anyway, Dad had contacted me and told me he had a new idea and wanted to send me the data to have the team start making composite materials. Before he sent the data he…"

Anastasia got quiet and Hap gave her a few moments before asking, "How did your father die?"

Anastasia shook her head and breathed in a wet sob, "There was an accident in his workshop." She took another moment to control her voice. "It was a large explosion. Mother said there was almost nothing left of the workshop, and half the windows in the house were blown out."

"Did your dad keep a lot of explosive or flammable materials in his workshop?"

Anastasia could only shake her head as the tears slid down her cheek. Hap knew it was time to stop asking questions. He pulled her close and she buried her head in his chest. Hap held her as she quietly wept. He could feel her tears soak through his t-shirt.

"Not so overconfident now am I?" Anastasia said with a laugh as she used a dry part of Hap's shirt to dab her eyes. "I wasn't able to go to his funeral because of the deployment to Klathandu. I cried myself to sleep every night for weeks, and I thought I was over this." She sighed, "Does this pain ever go away?"

Hap shook his head "When my father died my sister made all the arrangements for the funeral, because I wasn't there. I made it though, and then afterwards all his fellow techs and friends threw him a wake at his favorite bar. I drank with them through the night and they told stories about my Dad, told me how proud my Dad was of his MechWarrior son and they gave me a ration of shit because they were techs and I was MechWarrior."

Hap's eyes misted over, "I broke down a few times that night too, but after that I thought I'd be good. I mourned the man, I celebrated his life, I thought that would be it. About a week later I wanted his advice on something and then I remembered he was gone. The day I won the gyro in that game, I wanted so bad to let him know. When I got promoted to Leftenant he was the only person I really wanted to tell." Hap let out a ragged breath of his own, "I don't think it ever really stops hurting."

Anastasia gently wiped a tear away from his cheek. She looked like she was about to say something, but instead just wrapped her arms around him and pulled him to her. After a moment she reached over and closed the sleeping chamber door.

Without speaking they got under the blankets and continued to hold each other. This time Anastasia made sure not to let her arm get pinned. After a few minutes she sat up, modestly removed her bra under her shirt, and then laid back down with her back to his chest. Hap pulled her close to him in a comfortable embrace. As she sighed Hap thought she whispered, "I love you."

Hap wasn't sure what he heard, and jokingly thought to himself, "you wish she said, 'I love you'". That is when he realized he truly loved her. Obviously she was in his bed, and they weren't having sex. He remembered his dad telling him "the only women you'll ever share a bed with and not make love, is your wife." Hap thought it was joke when his Dad said it, but he learned how it can be true. Hap knew this wasn't sustainable for very long. Anastasia had told him she wanted her first time to be special, Hap wondered if that meant her wedding night, or if they just needed a nice comfortable private space.

Hap tried to imagine a future with Anastasia. She was certainly one of the smartest people he knew, but not like an insufferable know-it-all, well some times she was, but it was tolerable. A few weeks ago Hap had pointed out she was naïve about relationships and her response was to read and learn everything she could in the meantime. Hap figured this was something she learned from her intellectual father, or maybe she was just inherently curious.

He wondered about her relationship to her mother. If the Countess told her to come home would she? What would Hap do? He had signed a contract with the McFinnigans, he thought he should honor that. Of course he had also sworn an oath of loyalty to the Federated Suns. Even though his options were limited to death or capture, he could be still charged with violating his oath and other military crimes.

Hap recognized that was beside the point. He and Anastasia loved each other, they needed to figure out what they were going to do about that. Of course Anastasia had made it clear that their relationship was a foregone conclusion to her. She was going to be Hap's 'better wife' and if his Dad's cynical joke was any indication, she was well on her way.

This brought up another point, Anastasia had proved to be pretty determined and Hap assumed once she made a decision he'd have to go with it, or it'd be a fight. He wondered if he could put up with that. Hap started to wonder about a dozen other things he thought were charming now but might annoy him later. Hap realized what he was doing and forced himself to stop souring himself on their relationship.

Hap hugged her and wanted to tell her how he felt. She murmured something unintelligible, but it sounded happy. Hap had no idea if she was awake, but he didn't care, they would talk in the morning, and settle everything once and for all.
« Last Edit: 16 May 2020, 05:12:50 by HFC05 »

Hawkeye Jim

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #40 on: 15 May 2020, 19:27:29 »
Too much sex, not enough violence. Been several chapters since anyone got killed.

HFC05

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #41 on: 15 May 2020, 19:59:23 »
Too much sex, not enough violence. Been several chapters since anyone got killed.
It's a struggle to move people across these systems. K-F drives only let you jump 30 light years, and then wait a few days before you can go again, and we're moving from the Draconis March to the Capellan March. We're getting there, but it is a bit of a journey.

I had to choose between using narration to instantly put them where they're going, or try to build the relationships along the way. I went with the relationships, maybe that was a bit of mistake. I'm also trying to develop a bigger plot line and story, these conversations work into that. Once we get to Monhegan I don't plan to move them, like this, for awhile, and there will be more Mech combat.

It's still a couple chapters before we get back in the 'Mechs, so be patient, or just check back in a couple weeks. Either way, I appreciate the comment and thanks for reading.
« Last Edit: 15 May 2020, 20:03:32 by HFC05 »

XaosGorilla

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #42 on: 15 May 2020, 20:14:04 »
Odd, I didn't mind the character development.  Different strokes for different folks i guess. 

I was concerned that I'd missed something when Anna went to a "birthing" chamber,  but then i realized you were probably trusting spell check too much. Not a big deal.

shadowdancer

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #43 on: 15 May 2020, 21:07:47 »
Like the story. Battletech is just not battles!
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HFC05

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #44 on: 16 May 2020, 04:26:59 »
Thanks XaosGorilla and Shadowdancer, that's good feedback too. I was worried I was losing my audience. I went to bed last night looking over my notes, and what I had written so far and debated extensive re-writing or reshuffling of certain scenes.

I had been concerned about the pacing of the story, but like I wrote, the space travel mechanics of the Battletech universe creates an interesting constraint/opportunity for anyone creating stories and scenarios in the game universe.

Last week no one commented on the chapters, which had been atypical of previous posts. However, we're all busy, and maybe no one saw anything to comment on. I tend to be a bit of a lurker myself, so I wasn't too concerned. I saw the view count increase. This meant several people were looking at the story. I just wasn't sure if it was a quick scan, and them saying, "boring" or if they were just waiting for more.  I really do value the feedback. 

As always I'm grateful that anyone has the patience for my typos, grammar, and spelling problems (I'll fix the birthing typo). That anyone is indulging me at all is a little humbling for me. For those that are still reading, thank you so much. If you're waiting for me to make more war and less love, be patient. If your more interested in the relationships and characters stick around, I like most of them and will keep building on to them.

Thanks again.
« Last Edit: 16 May 2020, 05:11:37 by HFC05 »

worktroll

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #45 on: 16 May 2020, 04:54:45 »
Soldiers, warriors, support staff, civilians - they're all people. MechWarriors (and tankers and pilots) aren't Space Marines - and we like it that way  :thumbsup:
* No, FASA wasn't big on errata - ColBosch
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* Because Battletech is a conspiracy by Habsburg & Bourbon pretenders - MadCapellan
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* It was a glorious time for people who felt that we didn't have enough Marauder variants - HABeas2, re "Empires Aflame"

EAGLE 7

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #46 on: 16 May 2020, 09:28:51 »
Keep writing good stories like this and some of the Lurkers will come out of the shadows, dark corners, and do it long enough even have comments from the grognard who live in the walls.
Although you mentioned gauss rifles so that may have scared them off.
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Iron Grenadier

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #47 on: 16 May 2020, 14:21:18 »
I'm liking the story as well. Given the character development is a little focused but then it's still very early in the story.

Would like to see a TO&E of the unit as well, if nothing else than an easy reference to go back to for the readers.

Hawkeye Jim

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #48 on: 16 May 2020, 15:14:45 »
I like the story, just not much for romance. Guess I'm in the mood for some serious violence.

ThePW

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #49 on: 16 May 2020, 15:45:46 »
Thanks XaosGorilla and Shadowdancer, that's good feedback too. I was worried I was losing my audience. I went to bed last night looking over my notes, and what I had written so far and debated extensive re-writing or reshuffling of certain scenes.

I had been concerned about the pacing of the story, but like I wrote, the space travel mechanics of the Battletech universe creates an interesting constraint/opportunity for anyone creating stories and scenarios in the game universe.

Last week no one commented on the chapters, which had been atypical of previous posts. However, we're all busy, and maybe no one saw anything to comment on. I tend to be a bit of a lurker myself, so I wasn't too concerned. I saw the view count increase. This meant several people were looking at the story. I just wasn't sure if it was a quick scan, and them saying, "boring" or if they were just waiting for more.  I really do value the feedback. 

As always I'm grateful that anyone has the patience for my typos, grammar, and spelling problems (I'll fix the birthing typo). That anyone is indulging me at all is a little humbling for me. For those that are still reading, thank you so much. If you're waiting for me to make more war and less love, be patient. If your more interested in the relationships and characters stick around, I like most of them and will keep building on to them.

Thanks again.

Sometimes we don't want to flood the story with unnecessary BS (like posts like mine). I for one, like the details between...

snakespinner

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #50 on: 16 May 2020, 18:31:55 »
Your writing a story about a unit, they don't go into battle everyday of their lives.
Enjoying your story, keep up the good work. :thumbsup:
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Iron Grenadier

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #51 on: 16 May 2020, 19:14:13 »
I like the story, just not much for romance. Guess I'm in the mood for some serious violence.

Well I figure since the story has been good, the battles should be pretty good too.

If not, we can tar and feather HFC05.  :beatdown: :beatdown:



(NOTE - just kidding as long as the story continues it's all good  ^-^ )

shadowdancer

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #52 on: 16 May 2020, 21:41:05 »
Sorry most of the time I am a lurker. I have followed the story every time you have posted something new. I enjoy reading but am not one to make any comment. I have played Battletech since 1985. Have most of the source books and novels. A lot of half stories from the Catalyst fiasco. Part of the reason that I have stayed with it is the rich stories about the whole Battletech universe. Romance battles and all!
Wishing the Worse on your Enemies
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HFC05

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #53 on: 17 May 2020, 07:20:34 »
Table of Organization and Equipment (TO&E) McFinnigan and Sons
Mercenary Unit: McFinnigan and Sons
Unit Symbol: Celtic knot with three loops around a Harp, a Skull and a Mace
Company Motto: gnó teaghlaigh (gaelic for Family Business)
Unit Size: Reinforced Battlemech Company (4 Lances)
Jump Ships: None
Drop Shuttles: Excalibur class "Tir na nOg", Leopard class "Phaidin"

Unit Leadership
Unit Commanding Officer: Kelly McFinnigan
Unit Executive Officer: James Fletcher
Lance Leader (Assault Lance): Kelly McFinnigan
Lance Leader (Pursuit/Raid Lance): Patrick McFinnigan
Lance Leader (Fire Support Lance): Fiona McFinnigan
Lance Leader (Recon Lance): Harold Calahad
Medical Doctors: Jackson Morgan (MDMS), Leslie Morgan (MDGP)
Master Pilot: Matthew Mitchellin
Master Mech Tech: Eric Heilezberg
Master Trainer: Yorik Tomax
Quartermaster: Jessica Lan
Legal and MRB Relations: Roweyna McFinnigan

Assault Lance "Anvil"
HGN-733 Highlander - Pilot: Kelly McFinnigan
CP-10-Z Cyclops - Pilot: James "Fletch" Fletcher
AWS-8Q Awesome - Pilot: Yorik Tomax
STK-3F Stalker - Pilot: Jin-seon Jessica "Ajumma" Lan

Pursuit/Raid Lance "Dullahans"
DRG-1G Grand Dragon - Pilot: Patrick "Shillelagh" McFinnigan
WVR-6M Wolverine - Pilot: Gerald "Grizzly" Villon
KTO-18(Modified*) Kintaro - Pilot: Tatyana "Volchitsa" Fletcher
VLK-QA Valkyrie - Pilot: David Lee

Fire Support Lance "Hammer"
JM6-A JagerMech - Pilot: Fiona "Guardian Angel" McFinnigan
CPLT-C4 Catapult - Pilot: Eugene "Crow" Harrison
TBT-5N Trebuchet - Pilot: Rolph Horsteng
DV-6M Dervish - Pilot: Dillon "Big D" Rowel

Recon Lance
GRF-1N Griffin - Pilot: Harold "Haphazard" Calahad
VLK-QA(Modified**) Valkyrie - Pilot: Anastasia Vallois
FS9-H Firestarter - Pilot: William "Joker" Cameron
JR7-D Jenner - Pilot: Marietta Marie Rose "Mags" Camacho

*KTO-18 Modifications:
- Removal of LRM5 and Ammunition
- Additional Jump Jets to left and right torsos
- Additional Armor to front left and right torsos

**VLK-QA Modifications
Original Sync Tracker Targeting and Tracking system and Lynx-Shur communications system replaced with: Vallois Solutions experimental Agile Adaptive Aperture (AAA) Synthetic Radar Array, Vallois Solutions Targeting and Tracking systems, and Vallois Solutions Comms package.

HFC05

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #54 on: 17 May 2020, 07:40:17 »
Thanks everyone for the outpouring of support. I apologize for not posting a TO&E earlier, I had seen those in other people's stories, and not put two and two together.

Also I didn't mean to call out all the lurkers, obviously I want to put out a story people want to read, so it's good to know that people are enjoying it, or what they're thinking about it, but now I also know that no response (with an ever increasing view count) is probably a good sign as well. I'm still new to this community and learning, but from what I've seen I do like how everyone has been very positive and supportive (even when they crave more death and destruction).

If the "clutter" of comments and conversation is distracting for your enjoyment of the story I'm on Archive of Our Own and Fan Fiction dot net. It's the same story title and the same author's name. If you can't find me, send me a message I'll reply with the links. I generally update all three about the same time.

Again, thanks for reading. I'll get back to writing now so we can hopefully get to the "good bit" (whatever that is for you) sooner rather than later.
« Last Edit: 17 May 2020, 15:52:37 by HFC05 »

DOC_Agren

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #55 on: 17 May 2020, 17:46:35 »
So Anna Dad was taken out by Comstar Holy Shroud operations I see..  Them Bastards.

So I wonder if the Mad Scientist had a hidden "data" dump that he used, after all he already didn't trust Comstar.

Also can we have a "CBT" breakdown of exactly what the Vallois Solutions Electronic Hardware does in her Valkyrie.  I know you fluffed it earlier, but those of us following what to know how good it is on the "table top"

And I like that we see how this "Family" is coming together, will make the next losses more hurtful.
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

HFC05

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #56 on: 17 May 2020, 18:57:19 »
The Agile Adaptive Aperture (AAA) Synthetic Radar Array concept is based loosely on work done by real world Georgia Tech. (Search for "Agile Adaptive Antenna George Tech). They describe a muti-band, multi radio antenna in a box, ideal for software defined radios, but I've seen some applications of their work that imply it has significantly more uses.

From a "classic" board game perspective I would also probably give a +1 to hit or +1 on the Missile table (or both). However, this could be used similar to a Guardian ECM suite (block or jam a NARC Missile Beacon or Beagle Active Probe), but I would generally make that an ability the 'MechWarrior has to choose to perform. If they are jamming something they can't fire weapons that turn.

Keep in mind too this is 3029, the technology renaissance of Inner Sphere is about to happen, but not quite yet. So there is a lot of nascent technology ideas out there, that may not pan out (assuming COMSTAR lets them grow at all). So this system is a rudimentary ECM suite as a side effect, but generally it's just an enhanced Targeting and Tracking suite.

I've been playing the 2018 PC BattleTech (perhaps you've noticed the references) where you can detect mechs outside your LOS, and sensor lock them. I would say the AAA would increase your range to detect by 20% or 30%. I'm not sure what variation of BattleTech that game mechanic is used. (Back in the 80s if you had LOS and they were in range, you took the shot).

I'm hesitant to go into too much detail because I haven't played the board game in awhile so I'll throw that out there and let your imagination run with it. In the story so far you can see where Anastasia can detect mechs before everyone else. There is also another scene I'm working on where she scans a lake bed, but she has to "tune" her AAA to do it.

Also I don't plan to use this like a "sonic screwdriver" or a "main deflector dish" but I'm going to stop talking about it now, just in case I write myself into a corner and need to use this thing as an amazing and totally not convenient and contrived solution.
« Last Edit: 17 May 2020, 19:27:09 by HFC05 »

worktroll

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #57 on: 17 May 2020, 19:22:06 »
Check out the Beagle Active Probe on www.sarna.net - that's the canon "improved sensor" system. While not up to the functionality of the HBS game, it does allow spotting hidden units, which is not necessarily a bad thing ;)

It's also entirely probable that people were working on different systems at the time - they may never have seen full production due to reliance on expensive & hand-built parts, unsuitability for being whacked about by enemy fire, or the unexpected death of the project leader ...  :-X
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Iron Grenadier

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #58 on: 17 May 2020, 23:42:31 »
I would give it the "Improved Sensors" quirk -
https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Design_Quirks#Improved_Sensors_.5BBT.2C_AS.2C_SBF.5D

And perhaps the Variable Range Targeting quirk

DOC_Agren

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Re: A Warrior's Family
« Reply #59 on: 18 May 2020, 01:29:01 »
also if you are looking for idea see Sigil story about his primary Mech

and I might be 1 of the people who not into HBS so those reference points aren't there for me.  I do remember if you can see them, you can try a shot at them if you got range and ammo to waste
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