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Author Topic: Emerald and Gold  (Read 18849 times)

Drunkninja

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Emerald and Gold
« on: 18 May 2018, 18:39:46 »
I'm starting this project because I want to contribute to Battletechs Universe.  I want to tell a story.  I'm not very confident in my writing skills, but I am confident in my imagination.  Where ever this adventure takes me I hope you all enjoy it as much as I will.

Emerald and Gold

Prologue
Gallis, Magistracy of Canopus
Trolonian Mountains, Persephone Continent
Circa 3020

   
   It had been raining that day.  Monstrous clouds colored dark with gray rolled down from the mountain slopes and doused the forests below with their wet burden.  Lightning danced across the miserable sky and thunder followed.  Wind howled and the cracks in Alexander' home whistled as if screaming for mercy. 
   
   The weather was unrelenting in its attempt to wash away the last piece of the young mans existence.  As he folded the military dress uniform and put it away forever Alex almost wished the storm would finish the job and end it all.
   
   Only turning nineteen two weeks prior the once orphan had dreamed of becoming a famous Mechwarrior.  Joining the ranks of the renowned knights of his time and putting behind him the misery of his lonely childhood.  Those dreams had come to a crashing end on graduation day.
   
   It was true that he had a problem with authority.  He had accepted that fact even before enrolling as a cadet for the Gallis Militia.  Despite never seeing eye to eye with others Alex was determined to show his mettle and make his mark on the universe.  Instructors hated him but they could not deny his natural skill as a Mechwarrior.
   
   Passing the final exam with flying colors the determined teenager had piloted the trainee Shadowhawk flawlessly.  In his minds eye he could still feel the rumble of the machines fusion heart below him as he sat in its command chair.
   
   Even though his marks had been among the best of his class, many people of privilege wished to see him fail.  A nobody, they thought, had no right to become a member of the elite and rise above all others. 
   
   Thunder rolled and brought Alex back to his small home.  He pushed the drawer closed and sealed away the future that was not meant to be.  Looking down he stared at the still damaged skin on his knuckles.  The hand he had used to break the face of that loud mouth brat Stanford.
   
   The planetary govenors youngest son.

   Due to Alexander' quick reaction to undeserved taunts by the wrong person he had effectively destroyed his future.  Tears began to well up in his eyes as he stared a hole into the back of his battered but strong hand.  “What have you done you fool.” Anger welled up inside of him as he spoke to no one but himself.

   Lightning flashed and was immediately answered by the echoing roar of thunder.  Alex turned his head and looked to his door as he had thought he heard something among the storm.  “Let's get on with this.” He spoke again only to himself.  Reaching below the dresser he pulled out a simple oak chest.  Inside was the revolver he intended to be the last thing he ever saw.

   Thud.  Thud.  Thud.  This time it was unmistakable.  He had heard something at his door.  Slowly rising to his feet Alex wiped away the streak marks of sadness from his cheeks and made his way to the only entrance into his small house.

   Opening the door slowly Alex peered out into the stormy night.  Before him stood a young female soaked to the bone and a thankful smile forming on her face.  She raised her arms and held out a package bound in leather.  “Signiture please.” Her small voice squeaked.

   Alex took the parcel under one arm and signed the girls noteputer.  She nodded and turned to hurry off towards her delivery truck.  Closing the door Alex walked back into his home and placed the delivery down on his small kitchen table.   Wiping away rain water from the delivery slip he read -To Alexander Bishop.  From the Estate of Eric Bishop-.

   “...the Estate of Eric Bishop?” he repeated out loud.  So it was true then.  His orphaning was complete as his last known family member was dead.

   When Alex had turned thirteen and was forced to leave the orphanage he learned that he had an uncle.  Eric Bishop had no interest in being family to the young boy, but he was honor bound by his dead brother to set the childs affairs in order.  The older man had appeared at Alex' eviction meeting and told the boy to come with him.  Alexander was given a small home on a tiny plot of land in the mountains that Eric had purchased for him using the meager trust fund his deceased parents had left behind.

   As quickly as his uncle had come into Alex' life, he had left again.  All the young boy had learned about his mysterious family member was that he was a mercenary and that the stars was no place for a child.

   Alex' eyes drifted back toward the  oak chest that still lay on the floor.  Taking a deep breath he sat down at the table turning away from his dark fate to take a moment to see what lay before him in his uncles package.

   Inside the water soaked leathers there was a flight jacket that had been wrapped around a thick folder of documents and a holodisk with projector.  Alex picked up and examined the jacket.  It appeared to be old and smelled of cigar.  Its left shoulder bore the insignia of a Commander.  Its right shoulder had a hole torn into it where a unit patch had likely been.  The most notable thing about the jacket however was that in its front breast pocket there was a nondescript gold ring with a single emerald set in it.

   After setting the likely personal effects of his uncle back down on the table, Alex leafed through the folder.  It appeared to be a stack of legal documents pertaining to the ownership of multiple assets.  Deciding that the holodisk might have more answers he picked it up and slid it into the projector.

   The familiar, weather worn face of Eric Bishop appeared floating above the table like a dismembered head.  The features of his gray, receding hair line crackled with static and his sunken brown eyes looked tired.  Alex couldn't help noticing the new scar that ran along his uncles right temple.  A few moments past as the ghost of a dead man stared back at his nephew before speaking.

   “This message I leave for Alexander Bishop.  I do declare as Eric William Bishop, god father to the beneficiary, that all holdings in my stated name go to my nephew.  All documentation of said holdings will pass to Alexander Bishop and are placed in his name.”  The image flickered for a moment and the demeanor of Eric' face softened.

   “Nephew, I am sorry your life has unfolded the way it has.  There is much I could say, but I will not.  I give to you these two gifts.  The leather jacket belonged to your father, the ring belonged to your mother.  I acquired these after their deaths and now pass them on to you.

   “Forget the past Alexander, there is only the future.  Use what I have given you wisely.  My lifes path was not meant to be yours.  Perhaps my death will allow my forgiveness.  Always remember the stars are no place for a child.”  With that the image faded away leaving the room dark and silent.

   Befuddled, Alex turned off the holoprojector.  “I don't understand” he whispered towards the now gone face of his uncle.  Picking up the folder of paper the youth fingered through the documents again but much slower this time.  Something suddenly caught his eye and he stopped on a particular page.

   Not believing what he was seeing Alex carefully reread the same line over and over again in disbelief.  -Warehouse 3-146 Route 78 Tank Farm Rd. WTH-1.  Warehouse 7-147 Route 78 Tank Farm Rd.  PNT-9R.-  Among the mess of legal jargon he noticed the acronyms.  Having crammed hard just recently for his final exams how could he not notice the technical classification for the Whitworth and Panther battlemechs.

   Thunder rumbled through the mountains once again, but this time at a distance.  The storm was finally passing and the sound of rain fell into a gentle rhythm against the roof of Alexander' home.
« Last Edit: 11 August 2018, 19:19:32 by Drunkninja »

Motsognir

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #1 on: 18 May 2018, 23:40:07 »
Great start. I always love a good origin story.

Drunkninja

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #2 on: 18 May 2018, 23:41:15 »
Please feel free to leave feedback! I'd like to know if I'm on the right track with my writing or not.

Mackon

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #3 on: 19 May 2018, 00:33:31 »
huh, can't recall many fics with a protag from the Magistracy, hope his society/culture gets a look in.

Drunkninja

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #4 on: 19 May 2018, 17:22:24 »
Chapter One
Gambilon, Magistracy of Canopus
Frontiers Isle, Southern Archipelago
February 16 3021


   The Maiden's Voyage was like any other sea port tavern.  Cigarette smoke hovered above the patrons like the mornings fog while half dressed servers floated from table to table fishing for tips.  The smell of salt water permeated everything and those who came and went from there were a hardened bunch.

   Martha McKay fidgeted in her seat, pulling at her low cut blouse for the third time.  Looking down she sighed as she stared at her own cleavage and the way her bra pushed up her middle aged breasts.  “I'm just not cut out for this sort of thing.”  Tugging at the fabric yet again she just couldn't seem to find a way to feel  comfortable in the tight fitting shirt.

   “Get it together girl, you need this job.” It was the same pep talk she had been giving herself now for the past hour.  Picking up the glass of scotch she was nursing Martha took a sip and realized it had gone warm. 

   “More ice cubes mame?” a server asked in passing.  She looked up from her glass and was face level with the servers youthful chest.  The thin fabric left little to the imagination.  Recoiling slightly she couldn't help but think about how it would be easier if she were endowed like the waitress.

   “Yes please” was all she could stammer out.  It wasn't that Martha was ugly.  Being a mechwarrior by trade she had kept fit as war was very demanding of a person.  She just didn't see herself as pretty. 

   While Martha' inner struggle continued on she had missed the moment when the young looking man had sat down across from her.  “Hey there darling.  Would you like that drink topped up?”  The aging mechwarrior brought up her green eyes and leveled them at the intruder.

   “That seat isn't for you lad.  Get a move on, I'm already meeting someone.”  To emphasize her telling him to go away she made a slight jerking motion with her head that tossed her shoulder length brown hair.  It was at that moment she noticed the other man move up next to her left side.

   “Come on now darling, don't be like that.  Me and mah boy here are looking for a good time and you're the best dessert in this rat hole.” The youth curled his lips into a sneering grin, his poorly kept teeth yellow from tabacco.

   “This is your last warning bucko, go to flying fu...” Martha' words were cut short as the larger man to her left tried to muscle his way into the booth next to her.

   She wasn't having any of it.  Taking the glass of warm scotch Martha brought it up hard and smashed it across the big mans nose.  As he recoiled she threw herself back against the wall of the booth, brought up her legs and pushed.  The sailor went flying out onto the taverns sticky floor, crashing into the server who had just been coming back with fresh ice.

   The youth snarled at her from across the table and didn't waste any time before throwing his empty beer bottle. It caught Martha across her mouth causing her head to recoil back against the wall.  Glass shattered and sprayed across the bare skin of her chest.

   No time to wipe off the blood she thought and quickly lept out of the booth.  Bringing her foot down hard on the face of the bigger man trying to untangle himself from the server, Martha spun on her heel and thanked the gods she wore flats out tonight.   She brought her leg up hard into the yellow toothed sailor' abdomen who had chased her out of the booth.  He gasped for air and collasped hard next to his friend.

   And just like that the fight was over.  “My tab is on these ******”  she spat down at the two and stormed out of the bar.  No one, not even the lazy bouncer decided to try and stop her.

   “Excuse me?” A voiced called out after Martha as she stomped away from the tavern.  She spun in place, fist up ready to break the face of who ever dared to ruin her night even further.  She saw another young man walking towards her, in his hands he held her purse.   “You forgot this.”

   Martha lowered her fist and sighed deeply, catching a strong scent of sea air.  She took her purse from the young mans hand and frowned.  “Thank you, but please leave me alone.”  The adrenaline from the fight started to fad and she felt searing pain flare up in her lips.

   As she started to turn away the man persisted.  “Miss McKay?  I'd hate this to be a wasted trip.”  Looking back at the man she saw him holding up a handkerchief to her.  “I'm Alexander Bishop.”  Her eyes widened as she realized this young man was her potential employer.

   Taking the handkerchief she pressed it against her split lip and flinched.  “I'm sorry, this isn't exactly how I thought my interview would turn out.”  She could feel blood soaking through the cloth under her fingers.  “I don't think I'll be welcome back inside if you wanted to sit down.”  Her frown deepened but to her surprise the young man cracked a grin.

   “If you're able we can walk and talk.”  Bishop started down the board walk, his posture straight, hands at rest behind the small of his back.  Martha noted the military bearing of the youth.  “So tell me Miss McKay, what sort of expectations do you have if you join my mercenary unit.  I've seen your file and know your capabilities, but whats in this for you?”

   Of all the questions she had prepared for she hadn't considered that one. “Uh well...please call me Martha.”  She pursed her lips and immediatly regretted it.  “To be honest I need to make a living.  I'm near destitute and there just isn't any work on this rock for a mechwarrior.  So if its a paying job, then I'll be content.”

   Bishop continued to walk and didn't look at her.  “I don't believe you.” 

   Martha stopped dead in her tracks, exasperated.  “What do you mean you don't believe me?  I need to eat just like everyone else!  I came here, dressed like this for christ sakes because i'm desperate.”  She motioned at her ruined clothes with a blood covered hand.  “How dare you say I'm lying!”  Her adrenaline began to rise again.

   Back still turned to her, Bishop calmly continued.  “I watched your fight in the tavern.  You have martial skill.  If you were so inclined you could find work as a bodyguard or in the local militia as infantry.”  He turned to look Martha square in the face.  “But you'd rather starve if it meant you couldn't pilot a battlemech again.” 

   There was something in the tone of his voice.  A certain conviction she recognized.  The red she had been seeing towards her potential employer suddenly drained away and her shoulders slumped.  “I miss it.” Martha admitted to Bishop and also to herself.

   Alexander began to walk again and Martha followed suit.  “The machine I have available is a Panther PNT-9R.  Your dossier said you have some experience in that particular chasis so that's a bonus.  Before I commit to a contract I'd like to stay on world and run training exercises with you to test our compatibility.  During that time we will also be procuring assets that have been in storage for quite some time that's located on various parts of this world. 

   “In the interim between now and our first contract I can't pay you much but you'll be fed, clothed and be able to pilot your battlemech.”  Those last words caught Martha McKay' attention.

   “So....wait.  Does that mean I'm hired?”  The pain pulsing in her lip seemed to diminish. 

   Alexander stopped and extended his hand.  “Lieutenant McKay, I am pleased to welcome you to Bishop's Privateers.”

Dave Talley

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #5 on: 19 May 2018, 22:49:06 »
 nice start
Resident Smartass since 1998
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mikecj

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #6 on: 19 May 2018, 23:21:39 »
So far so good, thanks for sharing
There are no fish in my pond.
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ckosacranoid

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #7 on: 20 May 2018, 09:50:15 »
 not bad to a start. getting ready to blow his brains out to forming a merc unit in just s few days, thats is quite the feat.

snakespinner

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #8 on: 24 May 2018, 22:20:00 »
good start.
What you lack in confidence, you make up for with storytelling ability. :thumbsup:
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Drunkninja

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #9 on: 29 May 2018, 14:47:34 »
*   *   *

   The sound of work was amplified in the impromptu mech hangar.  It wasn't as busy as a normal military facility, but the few techs employed by Alexander were hard at work banging away.  He stood below the Whitworth battlemech his uncle had gifted him and looked up at it, still in awe that it was his.  The techs above meticulously worked to remove heavy rust build up from the machines joints.  The strange storage it had been left in had taken its toll on the Whitworth' composite metals. 

   Red stains streaked down across armor plating and it seemed reminiscent to battle wounds.  Why did you leave them hidden like this Uncle?  Ever since landing on Gambilon and procuring the military equipment from various hidden caches that had been willed to him, Alexander couldn't help but be left with questions. 

   Like the Panther he had secured the week prior, the Whitworth was found hidden in a massive liquid storage tank.  It seems his Uncle Bishop had owned a significant amount of land and had used it to keep military hardware out of sight from prying eyes. 

   But why would a mercenary do that? Alexander' train of thought was broken as Martha McKay cleared her throat to get his attention. Looking to his left he found her standing at parade rest.  He noted she looked much more comfortable wearing grease stained coveralls as opposed to flirtatious bar attire.  “Yes, Lieutenant?” He decided to keep a military bearing despite there only being two of them in his unit thus far.

   “I've completed all of my primary diagnostics on the Panther.  She's pretty old and her electronics have seen better days, but operational is a word I feel comfortable using now for her status.”  Martha sounded proud.  “The Particle Projection Canon is in good shape and it seems your uncle had a sizable store of Short Range Missiles stockpiled here.”  The lieutenants eyes glanced up at the makeshift gantry protruding from the inner wall of the massive storage tank.  Alexander could tell she questioned the circumstances surrounding the equipment's origin.

   As did he.  Instead of allowing the conversation to stray to that topic, Alex decided to distract her with the job update he had received that morning.  “That's good news Lieutenant.  If we stay on our planned schedule we should be ready for a contract I've lined up for us.”  He didn't look at her.  Instead his eyes remained focused on a large piece of debris  that fell away from the Whitworth' lower arm actuator. 

   “Good news indeed! Where are we headed Captain?”  Martha followed Alexander' eyes to the astech who had finally freed the mechs arm of its obstruction.  The leak in the tanks ceiling had done quite some damage.  How much time had passed since you were stored here? “The planetary government of Thraxa has offered up a contract for pirate hunting.  It seems they don't wish to utilize their own battalion on planet for this as its below their notice, but perfect for a small mercenary command like ours.  Once we have boots on the ground we'd be charged with investigating pirate activity in rural areas and back country.”  Alex took the opportunity to size up McKay' reaction.  “It's not glamorous but it's a start.”

   “What about transit Sir?”  Is it included to get us and our gear on world?”  Mercenaries often hoped for the luxury of having paid transportation between jobs.  Alex approved of Martha' concern for logistics.

   “We unfortunately have to pay our own way, but this is an opportunity to get our foot in the door.  Thraxa is known for its independant sentiments and often try to do things on their own.  Getting there and performing well could potentially lead to more work.”  It was a stretch, but a gamble the new leader of Bishop' Privateers was willing to take.

   The conversation was suddenly interrupted by Alexander' lead technician shouting down from the Whitworth' cockpit.  “Um Captain, can ya' come up here for a moment?”  Alex excused himself from Lieutenant McKay and took hold of the chain link ladder hanging down from the battlemechs boxy head.  Making the climb in short order he pulled himself up onto the square shoulder of his mech.  Technician Cole sat in the cockpits hatchway as he waited for the Captain.  The fat tech seemed out of place working in the small confines of the machines head but so far Alex couldn't find fault in his work.

   As Alex walked the few paces towards the tech, the older man started to give him the run down on what was wrong.  “It seems I've run into a snag with programming her boss.  Most of the records she should have had of past service has been wiped, but seems there's still memory being occupied by something.”  The obese man wiped sweat away from his balding head.  “When I try to get into it or get rid of it I get locked out of her systems.  And not just like some systems, Sir.  All of em'.  The old bucket has some weird security in her.”

   Alexander thought for a moment as he saw the frustration and curiosity on the technicians face.  More questions.  But Uncle, do I really want to know the answers?  “Have you tried ignoring it and just move on with the installation?”  Not that Alex overly felt comfortable with the idea, but with a shrinking nest egg there wasn't much time for set backs.

   Cole rubbed his chin to mock a thoughtful expression.  “Well Captain, I suppose if you want to ride around on a potential disastor that's your call.”  Shaking his head the tech got back up on his feet.  “I advise against ordering that, but by the look of ya' I assume you want me to go ahead with the software installation eh'?”

   After a moments consideration Alex simply nodded.  “If there's any other odd problems let me know asap.”  He started back down the chain link ladder, but stopped before Cole crawled back inside the cockpit.  “There wasn't anything strange about the Panther' restoration, was there?”  The tech called back over his shoulder as he descended into the war machines brain.  “No Captain.  That one went smooth as a Crappelan' bare arse.”

   “Very well.  Proceed as intended.”  Climbing back down to the metal floor of the storage tank, Alexander was plagued with questions.  What were you hiding Uncle.  Or, who were you hiding all of this material from?  It just didn't make sense.

   “Everything ok Captain Bishop?”  Martha had waited at the foot of the Whitworth

   “Yeah.  Just a slight hiccup.”  Alex looked across the tanker at the Panther battlemech berthed in a similar makeshift gantry.  “Go run one more diagnostic on your mech' Lieutenant.  I want to make sure it's perfectly operational.”  He paused and then looked back up at his own Whitworth.

   Rust had cracked on places where it had stained the armor plating.  The layers were thick from years of storage, but the restoration process was starting to see results.  Alexander Bishop stared long and hard at the work his technicians had achieved. Between the cracks he could now see the the remnants of a unit' insignia that had been removed years ago.

Motsognir

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #10 on: 29 May 2018, 19:40:55 »
Great update. Got me curious now too.

DOC_Agren

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #11 on: 29 May 2018, 21:08:15 »
I'm interested in who his uncle was or served with
"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!"

Drunkninja

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #12 on: 02 June 2018, 18:57:06 »
Chapter 2
Thraxa, Magistracy of Canopus
Crescent Archipelago
August 2 3021


   Ceresco nervously pulled a drag out of her cheap cigarette again as she looked down at her watch.  He was late.  Out of all the meets in town she had set up with her partner, of course he'd be late to the most important one.  She raked fingers back through her long, unwashed jet black hair and sighed at its unkemptness.  Fidgeting again, more smoke curled up around the asian features of her face as her almond eyes glanced back and forth to see if anyone was watching her.

   From where she stood she could see across the harbor and on the other side a massive cargo ship being unloaded of its sea cans.  Dressed in tight black riding leathers she sat on the grounded hovercycle she had stolen a few nights prior.  Looking at her watch again, Ceresco swore under her breath.  The boat was already half unloaded. 

   “How much for an hour hot cheeks?” a voice questioned from the shadows cast by a large dry docked boat.  Ceresco jerked her head around to see Anton slip out from his hiding place.  “Where the hell have you been!” She snapped harshly despite still speaking in a hushed tone.  “We were suppose to meet an hour ago!  We should already be on our way to prep the machines, not still here confirming the target is gold.”  She flicked her still lit cigarette off the dock.

   “So that a no to the hour?  And here I thought we were trying to fit in with these Canopian filth.”  He shot his partner a sly grin, but it quickly soured to a scowl.  “I was busy losing a tail.  I'm a mechwarrior, not a damned spy.  All this back alley garbage isn't for me.”

   “A tail?  Was it militia?  Clayborne'? Don't tell me they're on to us already?”  Ceresco suddenly felt her leathers chafe her neck as she began to sweat.  They had come too far to only be caught now.  “You did lose them, right? Right Anton?”

   The man exhaled through his nose and looked across the harbor at the cargo ship.  “I'm pretty sure I did.  At any rate it looks like the plan is a go.”  He turned back to Ceresco and pulled a cigarette for himself out of her tight fitting breast pocket.  “You have the netting set up on your Jenner?” She nodded.  “Good.  With my mech loading yours we should be able to make off with a large haul from those supplies.”

   Ceresco cracked a smiled at Anton.  “I might not make a good Canopian, but at least I make a better spy than you.  Hail Caesar.”

*   *   *

   To the untrained ears of the local fishermen the distant thunder sounded odd. To others that had witnessed battlemechs before, they knew they were hearing the cacophony of war.  Long ranged missiles arced back and forth through the sky between Alexander's Whitworth and the pirate Assassin.  Warheads exploded around Alex' battlemech cratering earth as he pushed forward at a desperate pace.  It had been a long day of cat and mouse as him and Lieutenant McKay chased down the two faster pirate machines, but finally they had made headway in trapping the two on a smaller island of the Archipelago.

   After the attack had occured that morning on the shipping yard, the fledgling mercenary unit was able to pick up the thieves trail thanks to a brave news network VTOL.  Unfortunately the reporters had been gunned down after an hour of following the pirates, but it was enough time for the Privateers to mobilize and pick up the chase.

   Now, locked in the dance of death, Alexander found himself in his very first fight for survival.  He maneuvered his Whitworth behind a stand of stunted trees and let loose with another salvo of LRM's from both of his ten racks.  Heat flared up in his cockpit as he watched the missiles corkscrew toward his opponents elevated position.  Blossoms of dirt and fire erupted around the agile Assassin, but Alex' HUD showed him what he wanted to see.  Solid hits along the pirate' right torso and leg.

   “Lieutenant, sitrep.”  Alexander said between clenched teeth as he braced against incoming return fire.  Splintered trees sprayed across his reinforced cockpit glass as they took the brunt of the assault.  The Whitworth' gyro whined in protest as he completed his dodging action and pushed down hard on his foot petals to force the forty tons of metal into the air.  Leap frogging over the now half blasted tree scape, Alex closed more ground between him and the enemy who was slowed by the upper slopes terrain.

   Static crackled before comms came to life with McKay' voice.  “Seems the Jenner wanted to drop its stolen goods off at a dock two kilometers north of your location.  In pursuit but get ready Captain, it's pilot is doubling back.  More than likely to help its partner against you.”  A wave of interference distorted Martha' voice for a moment as she had likely fired her PPC.

   “Roger that.”  Captain Bishop didn't waste any more words.  The Jenner was one of the fastest battlemechs on the modern battlefield and would be on him at any moment. He had to deal with the Assassin and he had to do it now.  Quickly checking his HUD he noted he was still just out of range for his Medium Lasers.  Switching his attention to his topographic map, Alex marked his position on the hillside and adjusted his forward course slightly.  The maneuver he expected the pirate to make was fast approaching and he had to be ready. 

   The roar of missile launchers filled Alexander' ears again as he let loose with another salvo.  Hot air filled the cockpit but didn't dissipate as quickly this time as his jump jets had spiked too much use from the Whitworth' heat sinks.  Most of the warheads detonated harmlessly against a large rock formation the enemy had ran behind but a few found their mark, scarring more of the thin armor of the ancient machine.

   Sensor alarms suddenly caught Alexander' attention.  They had finally picked up the Jenner' approach and painted a bad picture.  The short warning did however allow him enough time to torso twist before the second enemy mech savaged his thin rear armor.  Instead emerald beams cut deep and burnt away protection from his right arm and leg.  Super heated metal vaporizing instantly caused a ghastly aura to briefly engulf the medium mech.

   To compensate for the sudden loss of weight Alex used his forward momentum from his previous jump to leap into the air again.  This time keeping a low arc just above the ground he flew forward while  turning his legs for a braced landing that put his front armor towards both enemies.  Or rather that's what he attempted to do but was quickly reminded of the Assassin' presence.  The pirate had finally closed distance between itself and him and brought its Medium Laser and Short Range Missiles into play.  More armor burned away from the Whitworth' center torso while the more powerful warheads tore open a hole in  the protective plating on the machines boxy left shoulder.

   Gravity became Alexander' enemy and his mech crashed hard into the ground belly first.  Metal twisted and broke as the 40 tons of war material skidded across rock strewn ground.  Inside the cockpit Alex was thrown hard against his restraining harness.  His comms came to life but he couldn't quite make out what was being said as the ringing in his ears drowned out almost all other sound. 

   I need to bring my lasers to bear.  Struggling with the controls Alex desperately tried to prop his Whitworth up on its side as he knew it was now or never.  The Assassin came rushing down the hill at top speed trying to make a break for open ground.  As he lifted his mechs arm to line up a shot Alexander saw the impact of an azure beam smash into the enemies right torso.    The pirates machine contorted for a moment before exploding in a brilliant flash of blinding red then white light.

   Captain Bishop felt a moment of relief.  That quickly changed however as he realized the momentum of what was left of the Assassin hadn't slowed down.  “Oh.....shi......”  The air echoed of crashing metal as the remains of the dead mech smashed at speed into the semi prone Whitworth.  The wind was forced from Alex' lungs as his mech was thrown end over end into a roll down the slope for dozens of meters. 

   After finally coming to a stop Alexander' vision started to blur.  He groggily tried to rub his eyes clear and only accomplished smearing more blood into them.  Before losing consciousness he stared out of his cockpits cracked ferroglass and watched as Lieutenant McKay grappled the Jenner' cockpit with her Panther' hand and bring its leg crashing down to dismember the pirates machine at the hip.  Then darkness took him.

Motsognir

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  • And so there I was...
Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #13 on: 02 June 2018, 21:25:18 »
I enjoy a good'old knife fight with medium lasers. Great to see some classic 'Mechs trashing each other.

mikecj

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #14 on: 03 June 2018, 01:35:23 »
Very nicely done, thanks
There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
"Solve a man's problems with violence, help him for a day. Teach a man to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime." - Belkar Bitterleaf
Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.

PeacMaker03

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #15 on: 03 June 2018, 10:12:26 »
Nice bit of rock'em sock'em smash-up.

Drunkninja

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #16 on: 27 June 2018, 20:49:49 »
Chapter 3
Thraxa, Magistracy of Canopus
Capital City
December 15 3021


   Sleet hammered against the glass windowpanes of the military liaisons office.  The sound was almost hypnotic.  Winter had gripped Thraxa full bore and as Alexander looked outside watching the snow storm blanket the city beyond he couldn't help but remember the mountains on Gambilon where he had been exiled as a child.

   Alex turned and took a savoring sip of the hot chocolate Lieutenant Wilik Fore had offered him before continuing.  “After interrogating the boats Skipper we learned of the pirates base on Freylise Isle.  Apparently they had taken his family hostage to coerce him into service.  It's quite possible the information he gave us cost him their lives.”  Captain Bishop placed his now empty mug down on the desk that seperated him and the Clayborne Commandos officer. 

   “Please continue Captain.”  The liaison to the Privateers simply rested his clasped together hands in front of him on the desk.  The mans posture was perfect and there didn't appear to be a single imperfection with his uniform.  If it wasn't for his campaign ribbons Alexander would have guessed the man only piloted the chair he currently sat in.

   “Just like my report stated, we paid a local freighter to transport our mechs to the island and we attempted to subdue the pirates there.  Unfortunately they had time to saddle up and engaged us with their battlemechs; a Vindicator and Cicada.  We successfully disabled these as the machines were in a state of disrepair and...”  Alex was suddenly cut off by the fat politician that sat to Lieutenant Fore' right. His voice cut like nails on a chalk board.  “Those battlemechs should be handed over immediately to the planetary government!  In times of crisis the need of the people supplant those of a mercenaries greed!”  The mans jowls shook as he attempted to sound full of righteous conviction.

   Before Alex could respond Martha threw in her two cents.  “Our contract states we have salvage rights.  It's not our fault you wanted to pay garbage to chase ghosts and bank on there being no spoils.  Don't talk to us about greed you pig!”  Her words were seething with disgust. 

   The argument was suddenly stifled by Lieutenant Fore breaking his calm demeanor and slapping one of his hands down on top of his desk. “That is enough! Both of you!”  He sharply looked at the Thaxian official.  “Mr. Hoffer, I did not bring you here to dispute the Privateers contract.  You are hear to be a part of this meeting as a representitive of the government and to learn of the potential threat to our world.”  Glancing only briefly at Lieutenant McKay, he looked back to Captain Bishop.  “I expect you to keep your people in line.  Now again, please continue.”

   Alex frowned at his XO and that seemed to be enough of a rebuke to silence her.  Martha shifted uncomfortably in her seat and looked away, her face still flush with anger.  “To be frank, what we found at the island base was disturbing.  There was a stockpile of military supplies, food stuffs and equipment.  All of which we found cataloged in a military TO&E.  The most pertinent piece of information found at this location however was that there is at least one more pirate cell operating on your world.”  He let that sink in for a moment before adding “We also found a time table that the “pirates” were following.  With the evidence we've uncovered, I believe these pirates are in fact a recon force for an invasion.”

   Mr. Hoffer scoffed at the grim news.  “If you're fishing for another contract by using scare tactics don't think that the govenor will be so hasty to indulge you Mr. Bishop.”  The official dropped Alexander' title in an attempt to insult him by ignoring his due rank.  This time Wilik Fore chose to simply ignore the pettiness of his civilian guest.

   “The case you've brought forward certainly cannot be ignored by the Clayborne Commandos or the planetary govenor.  I will bring this to the attention of my superiors now that you've brought me evidence that this may not have been a raid by simple pirates.”  The lieutenant nodded at Captain Bishop.  “You have my thanks.  We would have never known there was a lance of battlemechs operating in our own backyard without your help.”  With that Wilik Fore stood and shook Alexander' hand in a firm grip. “If you plan on sticking around I suggest getting those machines working again if you can. By the sounds of it more work may be headed our way.  Now if you'll excuse us, I need to have words with Mr. Hoffer.”

   Alex nodded and made his way out of the military mans office with McKay close on his heels.  The moment the door had closed behind them Martha' fire returned.  “The nerve of that swine to make such demands!  We saved lives with our actions and all that puppet can think of is what we earned!”  She caught up to her Captain and walked in line next to him.  “There's no way we're giving up those mech', right Alex?  Hell I've already found possible pilots for them.  We just need parts and then...”  Captain Bishop promptly cut her off as they walked past a guard station.

   “Calm yourself Martha.  Don't be fooled by Fore' rank.  He's a man and would likely be in a higher station if we were anywhere but in the Magistracy.  I have faith he will do what is right.”  Alex smirked at his Lieutenant.  “And don't worry, I won't forget how the government is treating us.  If I get an opportunity I'll give them something to think about to salve that garbage attitude of theirs.”

   As the two left their employers building Alex couldn't help but smile.  It was true what he had said. He had no intentions of giving up what he had earned and he intended to earn more.

Motsognir

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  • And so there I was...
Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #17 on: 27 June 2018, 21:10:57 »
Great to see the unit grow. I'm looking forward to seeing just what kind of 'invasion' is put together.

Drunkninja

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #18 on: 17 July 2018, 20:52:06 »
Chapter 4
Thraxa, Magistracy of Canopus
Town of Merdar
December 29 3021


   The lights flickered for a moment in the old tavern and it brought Martha' attention away from her drink long enough to take notice of Alex taking a seat across from her.  It was nice having money again and she had taken tonight to enjoy some revels after meeting with the new mechwarrior recruit.  Unlike the first night she had met Alex, tonight she had dressed fairly casual enjoying the relaxed feel of her jeans and tank top.  Taking a long pull from her beer Martha waited while her Captain ordered his own drink before talking business.

   “How's that old Jenner looking?  Did Cole scrape together the parts?” Martha leaned forward slightly in her seat feeling excited to know if the Privateers would be expanding.  It was an odd feeling for her.  She had been struggling alone for so long, but now under the command of someone who was young enough to be her child, life had taken a turn for the better.

   Captain Bishop shifted in his seat as if adjusting the weight on his shoulds to carry it more comfortably.  “We've purchased the last actuators needed to finish repairs, but they weren't cheap.  Thraxa is just like any other periphery world, you have to know the right people and unfortunately we do not.”  The waitress came back to the table and placed a drink in front of Alex.  Martha watched him savour his first taste and waited for him to continue.  “I understand now why junkers can make a trade at buying and selling parts, maybe we're in the wrong line of work.”  A grin crept across his face and the two exchanged a cheers to that.

   “The interview went well, leagues better than the others.  I think this Liam Grant fellow is our man.”  Martha polished off her beverage.  “Seems he worked as a recon pilot for the Davions before making his way out to the Magistracy.  Didn't ask too many questions about that but he did have papers for an honorable discharge.” 

   Bishop snorted at that.  “That is better than the others.  Nothing but criminals the lot of them.”  His face became serious.  “I've been thinking Martha, I want to know what's wrong with my Whitworth' programming.  I'll be taking another look tonight.”  Alex pulled out money and threw it on the table.  “Drinks on me tonight if you want to give me a hand.”  The seriousness drained from his expression and he got to his feet.

   It was like that every night, Martha knew.  She wasn't oblivious to the fact that her Captain would spend much of his free time sitting in the cockpit of his battlemech.  So far she had left him to his odd solitude, but tonight was the first time he had asked her to join him.  Deciding to leave her revels behind the Privateer mechwarrior got to her feet as well.  “You twisted my rubber arm Captain, shall we?”

   The pair made their way to their ad hoc base in the outskirts of Merdar. The drive was eerie as a thick fog had rolled in over the town from the ocean, their jeeps fog light casting shadows that distorted the landscape into ominous shapes.  Reaching the warehouse where their battlemechs were stored, Martha was surprised to find Cole inside still working on the Jenner' leg she had ruined in her first combat as a Privateer. 

   The three exchanged simple nods as they made their way to Alexander' Whitworth.  Another makeshift gantry had been constructed next to the medium mech that now housed the Vindicator the unit had salvaged more than a month prior.  The Cicada that had been procured with it had been stripped down and moved to storage as the damage done to its fusion reactor was beyond repair with the facilities available on world.  The days of the Star League were gone and high technology with it.  There were no easy fixes, especially in the periphery.

   Martha climbed into the Whitworth' cockpit behind Alexander and felt the machine come to life below them as her Captain went through the motions to animate the colossus.  As the systems came online Lieutenant McKay heard Alex swear.  “The hell is that...” His voice trailed off as he double checked his now active sensors.  “Holy sh.....Martha get to your mech...GO GO GO!”  Her mind frantic she suddenly understood what was happening.  As Bishop put on his neurohelmet she rushed out of the cockpit towards her Panther.

   The pirates had come for revenge.

*   *   *

   Centurion Phobos appreciated the still night as she pushed her Vindicator forward into the fog.  Through her mechs reinforced view screen she could make out the silhouettes of her two lancemates just ahead of her, their shapes half hidden and distorted making them appear more nightmare than man made machines.  It had taken some doing but finally her cell had found the base of operations of the mercenaries that had ruined half of her on world operation.  Legatus Richardson was en-route with his Cohort and her people had lost too many supplies to those damned head hunters already.  It was time to punish them for their meddling.

   Activating the comms that linked her to the Legionnaires under her command, Phobos coolly informed her people “I want to get in and out fast.  Destroy the warehouse, their mechs and equipment.  No survivors if possible.  This should be a milk run people, no mess ups.”  A sound suddenly brought her attention to her long range sensors.  As Centurion Phobos was processing the information she was seeing, a voice came back in her ear.  “My sensors are picking up a fusion reactor coming online!  Why are they in their mechs?”  She heard panic in her mans voice. 

   “Go weapons hot.  Prepare for battle!”  The leader of the Marian Century throttled up her Vindicator to keep pace with the lighter Commando and Hermes.  Thinking back to her reports she knew the mercenaries had yet to field more machines than a Whitworth and Panther, which if that held true, gave her a twenty-five ton advantage.  Despite the surprise attack being foiled, the odds were still very much in her favor.

   A second fusion reactors power up was detected on Phobos' HUD only moments before she saw the first detonations of Long Range Missile fire fall down on top of her Legionnaires Commando.  The explosions blossomed in the nights fog that flared outwards causing ghostly baubles to silhouette the machine.  “Just five more seconds” the mechwarrior said through gritted teeth and then as the target lock rang in her ears Phobos sent off her own flurry of warheads into the blanketed sky, trusting her computer to make them find their mark. 

   Cursing the lack of cover approaching the town, Phobos used her mechs speed to maneuver wide and right to try and spoil any attempt at targeting her.  “There you are!” she almost shouted as a direct line of fire opened up between her and the enemy Whitworth.  Toggling her primary weapon, Phobos could hear the whine of the weapons capacitors build up and discharge her Particle Projection Cannon.  The man made lightning ripped through the cold nights air and smashed into the mercenaries left torso, mangling most of the armor plating located there.

   Comms crackled to life as Legionnaire Lorence made contact in his Hermes.  “Engaging Panther battlemech.  Main target beyond.”  That's all their cards on the field, Phobos thought.  If we can crack the Whitworth quickly then damage should be minimal and we might get some salvage.  As the Vindicator' LRMs finished reloading the night suddenly became day.  The Commando' pilot didn't even have time to scream as emerald lances of laser fire from the Whitworth detonated the Short Range Missiles it had stored within its torso.  The shockwave from the blast rocked the Vindicator and Phobos had to wrestle its controls as her soldiers reactor went critical.

   Shrapnel still rained down across her mech as Phobos fired her PPC again, this time ruining the armor on the mercenaries left leg.  Bringing her own medium laser into play, she scarred a line across the other machines right torso all the while spitting curses after her lost man and material.  She saw the return fire arc up through the air before her ears roared from the impacts of over a dozen missiles exploding against her mechs protection.

   Fighting the controls again to keep her footing, Phobos barked into her comms “Lorence, report!”  There was no answer.  Another flight of missiles let loose from her torso mounted launcher.  “I repeat. Lorence, report!”  Checking her heads up display she could see his mech was still active, but not moving.  “Damn it!”  The pang of target lock sounded and she fired the mechs PPC again, her cockpit becoming a sauna.  The bolt went wide as the Whitworth dodged by taking to the air.  Phobos' mech suddenly lurched forward as alarms started to scream for her attention.  The computer told her the story.  She had been hit by an enemies PPC blast and now she saw the mercenary Panther closing distance.

   Today wasn't the day for Phobos' hopeless battle.  Sweat pouring into her eyes, the once confidant officer decided to break and run.  For what the Vindicator 1AA gave up in armor, it gained in speed.  Neither of the mercenary machines should be able to keep pace so Phobos decided to thread the needle between both enemies and make for an escape towards the coast.  Missiles rained down around her fleeing machine, some impacting her fresh rear armor but it wasn't enough to stop her from living and fighting another day.

Motsognir

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  • And so there I was...
Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #19 on: 17 July 2018, 23:14:26 »
Great action Drunkninja! Its good to see things heating up for our heroes. Keep it coming.

Drunkninja

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #20 on: 18 July 2018, 01:11:32 »
Looking back at my old battle reports for this unit is fun.  Weaving a narrative around those battles is also very interesting. I'm still no where confident in my writing but I sure am enjoying putting this units tale to paper! Hoping to write more tomorrow at work if I have time!

DOC_Agren

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #21 on: 18 July 2018, 10:27:09 »
I like that they were saved by someone doing late night maintance on thier mech
"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!"

chongobongo

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #22 on: 18 July 2018, 12:01:27 »
Nice story . Your writing is all good just keep on rolling.

OpacusVenatori

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  • Honor above all, Except of Vengance
Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #23 on: 19 July 2018, 12:35:57 »
Good stuff! Keep it coming!
While some fight with honor, Others win battles

Drunkninja

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #24 on: 19 July 2018, 17:11:25 »
Chapter 5
Thraxa, Magistracy of Canopus
Town of Merdar
January 20 3022


   Reporter:  “And you say you saw the dropships land?  Who's colors were they flying?
   Old man:  “Those thrice damned Marians!  You'd thick they would have learned last time.  Not that Tamara Centrella did a single thing for us.
   Reporter:  “Do you think Kyalla Centrella will send aid and out do her mother?”
   Old man:  “Who cares! After Tamara had her sister killed who can trust any of them!” -angry shouting in the background-
   Reporter: “Sir, are you saying you welcome the Marian Hegemony?  That's treason!” -more shouting and booing from the crowd-
   Old man:  “Forget the Marians! IMANI FOREVER!!!”
   End of feed.
   January 11th, 3022.  Thraxian Press and Paper News 6.


   Sleet hammered the ground furiously in waves, freezing instantly and caused even the safest walk ways to be treacherous.  Gripping the handle tightly that lead into the makeshift mechbay, Alexander steadied himself as he opened the door and stepped inside off of the icy ground.  Shivering out the cold he made his way towards the group of people gathered around the foot of his Whitworth battlemech.  It had been eighteen hours since he had last slept and it seemed his turn to rest would have to wait even longer.  At 2200 hour he got the word that the Marian invaders were making a move towards the town of Merdar and his base of operations.

   “Captain Bishop!  Well met.”  The familiar voice of Lieutenant Wilik Fore sounded off the walls of the warehouse.  Salutes were given and received quickly as the business of the day took precidence over formality. 

   After the attempted night strike against the Privateers, the Thraxian Military Police were brought in to apprehend a prisoner the mercenaries had pulled out of the mostly intact Hermes battlemech.  Following a thorough interrogation it was revealed that in fact there was an invasion force en-route towards Thraxa and was due in system very soon.  Upon learning of the inbound danger, the Thraxian government quickly drafted up a new contract that was offered to the mercenary group Bishop's Privateers, albeit with much stricter rights on salvage and the direct attachment of Lieutenant Fore to the unit as its Liaison.

   Alexander looked at each of his mercenaries one by one.  There were two new faces, mechwarriors Liam Grant and Brian Swansky.  Grants application had gone smoothly and had been praised by McKay.  Swansky on the other hand had been a snap decision by Alexander once news of Marian jumpships being in system reached them.  Techs from the Clayborne Commandos had been borrowed to rush the repairs of the Vindicator the Privateers had salvaged and Alex needed a pilot.  The best application available was a questionable mechwarrior from Astrokaszy who claimed he wasn't an outlaw but otherwise couldn't prove as much. 

   “Ok people, lets get straight to brass tax here.  The main Marian OpFor has moved against the Clayborne Commandos position in the capital but that doesn't mean we've been over looked.   Lieutenant Fore' pickets have informed us we have enemy forces on our door step.  To our knowledge a reinforced lance has been seen making best speed towards our location.  We are to engage the force away from the town of Merdar and ensure the safety of its citizens.  Any questions?”  Silence was all that answered.  “Alright then, saddle up and lets go make our pay cheque.” 

   The group dispersed with a nearly unison “Yes sir” and headed towards their battlemechs.  Only Lieutenant Fore lingered for a moment.  “The government might not like you Captain, but the Commandos appreciate what you're doing here.”  The officer seemed sincere and took the time to shake Alexander' hand.

   “Thank you Lieutenant.  Its sad that the politicians aren't able to see past our gains to appreciate what we've accomplished for them so far.  That aside, good luck on the field, we're not out of this alive yet.”  The two parted ways and made their way to their own battlemechs.  Alexander decided it was worth storing away what Wilik Fore had said to him for later use.  For now however there was a battle to be won.  Climbing into the command couch of his Whitworth he began the war machines start up sequence.

   It was the better part of two hours before contact was made with the advancing enemy force.  Alexander had his Privateers take up a defensible position among a thick stand of trees thirty kilometers outside of Merdar.  The location was chosen based on the intel received from infantry pickets posted by Lieutenant Fore and the fact that it was along the main highway due south of the town.

   The engagement was much slower paced than Alex was used to.  Both sides had taken up sniping positions and had been exchanging missile and autocannon fire for the better part of half an hour without any sign of giving ground.  The Marian force, who appeared to be hired mercenaries, were anchored around a heavy Jagermech that punished any Privateer who strayed too far from their cover.

   “Commando One, sitrep.”  Alexander slammed his feet onto his foot pedals and took to the air to maneuver out of the way of another missile salvo from the wily Assassin he had been fencing with for too long.  He came down hard in a cluster of young oak trees that soaked up most of the blast from the enemy LRMs.  Static crackled in his ear before Wilik replied with autocannon fire echoing loudly in the background.  “The Jagermech is keeping me pinned down and is slowly taking my Shadowhawk apart.  I'm losing more trades than winning.  Without reinforcements or a heavier machine we'll lose the center if this keeps up.”

   “Wilco.  Dagger,  sitrep.”  More heat spiked in Alex' cockpit as he let loose with only one of his Long Range Missile ten racks.  The protracted battle was taking its toll on his ammo reserves and causing havoc with his heat, which he'd been pushing into the red more and more.  “Commando bogey has taken the bait, Captain.  Taking him to tour the scenic route. “

   It was now or never.  “Roger that.  Now's our chance people.  Commando One, push the center.  Hammer One and Two ignore the Vindicator and crack that Blackjack.  Dagger, take their rear and turn them.  I'll meet you in the middle.  GO!”  Captain Bishop throttled up his Whitworth and broke from cover.  At a full run he shifted his attention from the Assassin and onto the Vindicator Martha had been trading PPC fire with.  Sending two flights of LRM 10s into the air towards it he changed targets again and brought his medium lasers to bear against the heavy Jagermech who seemed briefly stunned by the head on charge by both Magistracy machines.

   His target lock chimed and, staggering his fire, started to slash outwards at the right flank of the larger mech.  The enemies pause only lasted a moment before it opened up on the Shadowhawk who was closing much faster than Alexander' Whitworth.  Lieutenant Fore' armor quickly became a mere memory under the savage barrage of autocannon fire.  The canopy protecting the medium mechs cockpit kicked loose and spat Wilik towards the sky in his ejection seat seconds before his Shadowhawk' reactor split the mech asunder.

   Alarms screamed at Alexander as his mech threatened shutdown.  Slamming the override button he continued towards the center, medium lasers cutting deep into the enemy heavy as its guns now turned on him.  The hail of autocannon fire never came however, as the Jagermech jerked suddenly to the side and came apart at the seams in a savage explosion.  Liam Grant' comms came to life with a cheer and through sweat stung eyes Alex saw the Privateer Jenner sprint past the once enemies rear toward the Assassin that had continued to pour fire into the Captain' flank.

   Taking a precious moment to dial down his heat in take, Alexander assessed the battlefield.  The Blackjack was down with an exposed gyro and not moving.  The Commando was no where to be seen and Alex heard over an open channel Lieutenant McKay demanding the surrender of the Vindicator' pilot who had lost a leg at the hip.  All that remained was the Assassin.  Turning to assist his new mechwarrior, the Captain of Bishops Privateers pushed his ancient machine to full throttle once more.  The controls responded sluggishly due to his heat build up but the heavy foot falls thudding into the snow covered ground reassured him his Uncle' machine was still alive.

   In the distance through his cockpits reinforced glass Alex could see Private Grant' Jenner exchanging fire with the enemy Assassin.  Both machines were pushing their top speeds in an intense dance of death.  After closing as much distance as he needed Alex slowed to a walk and took advantage of the enemy mercs distracted fighting.  Gaining a tight target lock the young leader once more let loose with both of his missile racks, sending a stream of high explosives down range.  Smoke trails drew a white arch across the sky but instead of some fanciful pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, there was a gruesome end every mechwarrior dreaded.  Impact after destructive impact drove the Assassin into an awkward backwards fall as the thin protective armor of the medium mechs cockpit shattered under the onslaught.  Alexander felt a twinge of pity for the warrior as the last attacker was cut down.

   Alexander' people held the field of battle.  In a raggedly dry voice comms were activated and the Captain addressed his people.  “The day is ours.  Well done mercenaries.”
« Last Edit: 20 July 2018, 15:14:47 by Drunkninja »

Motsognir

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #25 on: 20 July 2018, 01:15:09 »
Great to see Bishop’s Privateers still going strong, pulling out the wins.

I hope that they forced a nice pay-packet out of the local government since it sounds like the salvage is going to be light despite the win on this contract.



Ironburk

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #26 on: 20 July 2018, 08:26:49 »
I like this story alot. The fact that you have believable characters and progression in the plot is nice to see. I'm used to super characters or the "becoming an elite mechwarrior over a month with no real fighting" trope. I really want to see where this goes. Thank you for writing.

Drunkninja

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #27 on: 20 July 2018, 19:28:49 »
Chapter 6
Thraxa, Magistracy of Canopus
Town of Merdar
January 23 3022


   The mech hanger was abuzz with activity.  It had taken the better part of a day and a half to pull all of the salvage from the field, have it cataloged and then divided up via a third party voting system that was common practice in the Innersphere.  Alexander was a litter bitter over the whole thing, but he knew that it was a reality he would have to learn to live with. 

   The Prime Mover that had been among the assets his uncle had left him currently acted as an operation table as laborers and astechs crawled over the Vindicator Lieutenant Fore had been awarded to replace his lost Shadowhawk.  It would be an easy fix as Martha more or less had severed its leg at the hip actuator with a PPC blast, leaving the rest of the machine functional.

   Just beyond the massive truck volunteers from town helped with the removal of armor plating that was needed from the Assassin the Clayborne Commandos had also acquired.  The mech lay sprawled on the ferrocrete floor as space in the warehouse turned hangar was in short supply.  A small forklift ferried the plates from a pile that workers had already stripped and brought them to the makeshift gantries where the Privateer machines were being refitted from their damage.

   Alex currently stood in front of the mauled Blackjack he had managed to squeeze out of the whole affair.  He patiently watched his lead technician Cole carefully climb down the scaffolding that had been erected around the machines torso.  “How's it look?” he asked as Cole came close enough so he didn't have to shout over all of the noise.  The chubby man looked back over his shoulder as if appraising the damaged mech while wiping grease from his hands.  “I think I can fix it Captain. It'll take most of the rare parts we have but it's doable.  The Gyro itself is in one piece, but the housing is all shot.”  The tech looked back at Alex.  “Don't get too excited though.  This will take me a while so it's low on the current priority list.

   “Understood.”  Captain Bishop pondered for a moment.  “Strip her armor but leave the weapons.  We'll likely need the plates after the next engagement.  There's no telling how long the fighting will go on so we need to stretch what resources we have.”  It was odd for Alexander to hear himself talking this way.  Just a few years ago he had hopes of becoming a mechwarrior in a planetary militia but now he was commanding man and machine into battle.  It would take some getting use to.

   Cole gave a clumsy salute.  “Yes sir.”  Noticing Wilik now making his way towards him, Alex left Cole to his work and met the Magistracy officer just beyond a shower of sparks that fell from Liam' Jenner.  Dark bruises covered more than half of Lieutenant Fore' face that puffed up around the deep cut he has sustained during his ejection.  Alexander couldn't help but think that now the man looked more like a seasoned warrior than from when they first met. 

   “Sorry again about your Shadowhawk.” Alex blurted out before he could stop himself.  Wilik raised a hand to cut off any further apologies.  “There's no need for that Captain.  It was the right call.  You had your man briefly reduce the enemies number so it was the right time to strike.  It just happens my mech was the heaviest and the proper machine to push the middle.”  He gave a slight shrug that was suppose to pass off the subject lightly where in fact millions of cbills of war material had been lost in seconds.  “That aside, the Vindicator will be a fine replacement.  I'll admit I was never fond of the weapons load out on the Shadowhawk anyway.  It just happens to be one of the only battlemechs still in production in the Magistracy of Canopus.”

   A look of annoyance grew on Alexander' face.  “Well your spoils of war will be at least ready to ride in the next few days.”  He looked back at the Blackjack laying prone on the warehouse floor.  Lieutenant Fore caught the jab at the mornings proceedings.  “I understand your disappointment Captain Bishop, but things don't always go your way.”  Wilik briefly touched his face with his finger tips before letting his hand fall to his side once more.  “It's the way of the universe.  Being a leader is not easy nor will it ever become easier.  You will lose equipment, people and maybe even friends along the way.  Feel grateful for what you have, it may be gone tomorrow.”

   Alex felt slightly ashamed.  He of all people should know how cruel the universe truely was.  His mind brought forward thoughts of his childhood solitude.  “There's something I've been wondering.”  Alexander snapped out of his brief trance to see Wilik staring up at the Jenner battlemech.  “Why haven't you really painted your unit?”  He followed the officers eyes up towards the patchwork armor plates.  Some freshly added, others colored with the light brown paint he had purchased in bulk to keep the cost down.  “You know, I couldn't decide on anything so I just painted them brown.”  He almost laughed at himself.

   “A units identity is a powerful thing.  Knowing who you are is important.  I am proud to call myself a member of the Clayborne Commandos.  I suggest spending some time to come up with something.  If we all get out of this mess alive you might just have a name for yourself.”  Lieutenant Fore turned to get back to over seeing the progress on his new mech.  As he did Alex noticed the colors of the Canopian crest on his shoulder.  Looking back up to the Jenner he recalled the shade of brown his fathers leather jacket was.  Sorry Wilik, that was a personal question.  It was Alex' turn to get back to work, after all they were at war.  Turning to walk back towards his uncles Whitworth he quietly commented to no one in particular “It could use some emerald and gold.”

Motsognir

  • Sergeant
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  • Posts: 105
  • And so there I was...
Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #28 on: 20 July 2018, 21:36:38 »
You’re on fire Drunkninja, the chapters are just rolling out now. Keep up the great work.

Drunkninja

  • Corporal
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  • Posts: 78
Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #29 on: 25 July 2018, 17:07:21 »
Chapter 7
Thraxa, Magistracy of Canopus
Marian Firebase, Target of Opportunity
February 2 3022


   Reporter: Do you think we need the mercenaries or will our home grown Clayborne Commandos carry the day?
   Official Emanuel Hoffer:  I have confiedence our men and women will protect us.  If the mercenaries happen to catch a few bullets that were meant for our people, I'm ok with that.
   Reporter:  Is it true you tried to convince the Govenor to break their contract?
   Official Emanuel Hoffer:  I am of the opinion that the people are more important above all else.
   Reporter:  If our Magestrix fails to send aid, will you push for Thaxian independence?
   Official Emanuel Hoffer:  I'm not one of those ghost Kyalla haters, but I will always do what is best for our world.
   January 19th, 3022.  Thraxian Press and Paper News 6.


   Winter had gripped Thraxa with primal ferocity.  Wind howled and hurled thick snow to the ground in waves that could be likened to the angry seas of ancient Terra.  It was in this whiteout that Bishops Privateers marched to war.  The sky was darkened by night and Alexander was sure that without his Whitworth' advanced navigational systems he and his people would have gotten lost hours ago.

   Orders had come down the totem pole that the mercenaries were to raid a target of opportunity.  Their unique position of not being bogged down fighting in Thraxa' capital city allowed them the freedom to press the attack against a firebase that was supplying munitions to the Marian invaders forward forces.  It was up to Alex and his people to quickly get in and out while destroying as much enemy equipment as possible.

   Maintaining radio silence was an important part of the night operation as surprise would hopefully tip the opening moments of the battle against the superior force and in the young commanders favor.  Intel about the base had stated there were at least two heavy machines controlled by the enemy mercenary unit Blue' Brigade.  Alexander hadn't been very keen on being thrown against a stronger enemy but Wilik Fore had reassured him that between the weather and the fact that he was also being ordered to be a part of the raid the government wasn't trying to wear down the enemy at the expense of the Privateers.

   Alex checked his instruments one more time as the silent march continued.  It wouldn't be long now if the coordinates for their target were accurate.  Staring out his view screen and into the stormy night he took a moment to savor the odd serenity of white haze before the fire fight began.  Just ahead of him the silhouette of Liam' Jenner sauntering forward could be barely seen.

   The rhythmic foot falls of Alex' Whitworth caused his mothers ring to bounce as it hung around his neck on the chain with his dogtags.  Tonight he had decided to wear it for good luck as the strange events of the day prior had left him somewhat shaken.  A local news station had approached the Captain for an interview which at first Alexander thought might be a good idea to counteract a lot of bad press his unit had been receiving from the government.  To give himself a boost in confidence he had decided to wear his fathers jacket as it lent the appearence of having more expereince than he actually had.  The whole affair ended up being a waste of precious time however, as the reporter was relentless in her attack to try and undermine the efforts of the Privateers and paint the Thraxian leadership as being the true reason behind the mercenaries success so far.

   Later that night the letter had appeared.  Mechwarrior Swansky had found the the envelope addressed to “Alexander Bishop” literally on their doorstep leading into the small office building the mercenaries had been using for their barracks.  There had been a question written across its single sheet of paper and also an address.  “Who are you to carry the name Bishop?”  The question had caught Alex off guard but it didn't make much sense to him.  It was the small piece of weather worn, light brown leather attached to the letter however, that had left the empty feeling in the pit of his stomach.

   It was the same material as his fathers.

   Sensors came to life  with contacts that began to populate the Captains heads up display.  Quickly evaluating the information being fed to him, Alex decided they had caught the enemy with their pants down.  Breaking comm silence he spat out orders to his people.  “Go weapons hot, target the ammo dumps, prioritizing the ones near the Warhammer and Rifleman.”  Those two names nearly caught in his throat.  “Get in and get out.  I don't want any martyrs tonight.”

   Throttling up his Whitworth into a run Alex pushed his machine through the storm of snow and into a sudden storm of chaos.  Bringing missile systems online he toggled his computer to stagger his left and right torso mounted launchers fire so that he could target two seperate munition stockpiles.  As the first swarm of warheads took flight from their tubes, Alex watched as an azure bauble of light tore through the whiteout and cast a brief silhouette across the humanoid form of a mech before impacting with an impromptu structure. 

   At that moment, all hell broke lose.

   The explosion that followed sent a shockwave through the blizzard that, for a moment, cleared the surrounding air of snow.  A large cloud of debris flew skyward seconds before the sympathetic explosions caused by the onslaught began.  If it hadn't been for the protective polarization of his cockpits glass, Alexander swore at that moment he would have gone blind.  The night had suddenly turned into day.

   The staccato of small arms fire ricochetting off of his Whitworth' canopy quickly snapped Alexander out of his daze and brought his attention to infantry that were running out of military tents and into defensive cover.  He decided to ignore the ground pounders as a much more troublesome foe presented itself.  Rising up and stepping out of a raging inferno that use to be an ammo dump, an enemy Warhammer brought the Privateer' commander under its guns.  Weighing in at 70 tons the Blue' Brigade mech almost doubled the Captains own weight.  It was a machine to be feared and despite the damage it had taken from the explosion Alex knew that he was in serious danger.

   A blast from the behemoths partical canon ruined Alex' target lock as his right torso nearly lost all of its protective armor.  Reflexively taking to the air, the Whitworth leap frogged to the left just in time to spoil the heavy machines second shot of man made lightning from its other canon.  Mid flight Alex let loose a snap shot with both racks of LRM 10s and then braced his landing, unknowingly taking lives as he did so.  “Any available unit, Leader One needing support.  Warhammer...” His transmission was briefly cut off by the enemies return fire that savaged his mechs left arm mounted laser.  “...Warhammer impeding withdrawl.”

   The temperature of the ancient warmachines cockpit climbed into the red as Alex spiked its fusion reactor again to move the 40 tons of composite material into the air and over the burning wreckage of a Vedette tank that had not survived the munitions explosion.  Short range missile fire rocked the ruined vehicle and threw it up onto its side as Alex made another landing and continued to run his mech at a hard pace.  Torso twisting he stabbed back at the closing heavy with beams of emerald that slashed across its right arm and torso.  Not bothering to check to see what damage he had caused Alex took a hard turn to his left trying to zigzag away from the death incarnate.

   Bursting out of the snowstorm suddenly in front of his Whitworth an enemy Stinger light battlemech fired its hand held medium laser, luckily just missing wide due to Alex' quick turning.  Not wanting to bleed momentum Captain Bishop raised his ruined left arms weapon and with a battle cry only he could hear charged forward and brought it down hard on top of the smaller machine.  Sparks flew and the eerie groaning sound of metal cracking echoed out into the night amid the maelstrom.  The Stinger' 20 tons crumbled underneath the attack and fell to right landing sprawled onto the ground.

   Another massive explosion cracked the air like thunder, the shock wave throwing Alex' already off balance battlemech furrowing into the ground.  Dirt and steam geysered upwards as restraining straps cut deep into Alex' bare arms as they kept him from becoming a broken mess against his cockpit wall.  Sweat and blood blurred his right eye momentarily as he wrestled his controls to pry the Whitworth out of its prone position and get it at least up onto one of its knees.  I have to get up... the Warhammer...just behind me.  Actuators cried out in protest like a wounded animal as the mercenary Captain brought the war machine back to its feet.  Where are you... He glanced at his instruments, still blinking burning liquid from his eye. 

   Alexander' Whitworth staggered slightly as it turned, reflecting his own sense of balance.  The Brigade mechwarrior had been thrown to the ground as well and now struggled to bring the mighty Warhammer upright, its right leg having been mangled from multiple explosions and its fall.  A flash of blue, coherent light entered from Alex' right field of vision, striking the heavy mech low in its torso and vaporizing nearly a ton of metal into steam.  The young commander added all of his weapons to the attack as well, another cry of battle rage escaping his throat until the heat from the barrage choked him to silence.  Warheads impacted and burst with force, peppering the iconic battlemech with fiery death.  One of Alex' two remaining lasers slashed across the exposed myomer muscle of the Warhammer' lower leg and bit into its structural supports.  For a third time the heavy mech crashed to the earth, never to rise again.

   Wilik Fore' Vindicator came into view and swept the battlefield with its weapons looking for its next target.  The Lieutenant had answered Alexander' call for aid.  “Thanks for the assist Commando One.”  The Captains voice was no more than a forced whisper, the heat having scorched his throat.  “Sitrep?”  Alex took a few precious seconds to allow his heatsinks to do their work and lower the temperature of his cockpit to that of a sauna.  “Main munition dumps have been destroyed.  Hammer Two' Vindicator is down.  Hammer One and Dagger engaging Rifleman and Trebuchet.  Orders?”

   The words quickly drew a picture in Alexander' minds eye.  If he called for the withdrawl, he would lose his Vindicator but more importantly one of his people.  As the fledgling Captain wiped his own blood out of his eye, a new fire came to life deep inside of him.  These are MY people.  “We take the base.  Make best speed and engage the enemy.”  There was a pause before Wilik replied.  “Sir?”  Anger began to roil from the leaders resolve that had taken shape in Alexander' soul.  “We leave NO ONE behind.”

   Captain Bishop pushed his haggard Whitworth into a full run as Lieutenent Fore' damaged Vindicator fell in beside him.  The sprint across the field base was quick.  Alex noticed along the way a Wolverine battlemech crumpled over an antique Prime Mover, its cockpit nothing more than a smoldering crater. 

   Approaching the site of the firefight the rest of his Privateers were engaged in, Alex took stock of the situation.  Lieutenant McKay' Panther was taking cover behind a farmers barn which was the only permanent structure near by while the enemies Rifleman spat depleted uranium shells from its only remaining Autocannon down range at her.  Liam Grant' Jenner harassed the Trebuchet at short range as the new recruit danced his machine around the medium mechs laser fire.

   Alex managed to fire one salvo from each of his launchers down field in support of Martha' tough position before alarms screamed in his ears of a target lock.  His Whitworth rocked violently as short range missiles ravaged his rear armor and legs.  Checking his HUD, the computer informed Alex that an enemy Javelin had come out of hiding and now flanked his position.  Triggering his jump jets the Privateers leader stagnated his forward movement by scorching the ground with super heated gas and then twisting his torso during the short hop he swiveled his legs so that he swiftly reversed his facing.  Landing somewhat hard but still upright Alex hot fired his long ranged missiles at the smaller machine.  Not all of the warheads denoted when they made contact with the Javelin as their systems didn't have enough time to arm, but enough did to give the lighter mechs pilot something to think about.

   Lieutenant Fore added his medium and small lasers to the knife fight, cutting away more of the preciously thin armor that protected the mercenary within.  As quickly as the Javelin had appeared it tried to escape, its pilot utilizing the hit and run tactics the machine was designed for.  The mechwarrior never had a chance to make a similar mistake due to putting itself outside the minimum range of the Clayborne' PPC.  Azure energy coalesced and turned a once valuable tool of war into an eruption of super heated metal and fire that caused Alexander to reflexively shield his eyes.

   “I've lost my main weapon.”  Lieutenant McKay' voice came across the comms, veiled pain mixed between her words.  Alex was abruptly reminded of the threat posed by the enemy heavy as the Rifleman speared his Whitworth' already damaged left arm with its large laser and vaporized it into memory.

   “All units, concentrate fire on that Rifleman!”  Captain Bishop barked the order out on an open channel to ensure the opposing pilot knew he was going to die.  Moments after the command, a cascade of fire from all angles engulfed the enemy warrior.  Though a stout design, the Rifleman wilted under the combined fire of the Privateers as it had been already battered from enduring a munitions explosion from the initial attack.  A short range missile from mechwarrior Grant' Jenner found the ammo bins of the larger opponent and caused the last devastating explosion of the death filled night.

   The Blue' Brigade Trebuchet powered down its weapons, the pilot not wanting the same fate as his comrade.