Author Topic: The Femme Fatales (Chaos March-era)  (Read 672 times)


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The Femme Fatales (Chaos March-era)
« on: 19 March 2017, 15:12:05 »
In 3055, former Marik Captain Lucille Wren mustered out and, with long time friend Lorelei Falken, traveled to Outreach to become a mercenary. While working with several outfits, the pair saved up enough money to eventually form their own unit. After yet another disastrous blind date, one of about 20 such disasters in just a few months, Captain Wren decided to form her unit with entirely female personnel. As she argued with Falken, "The best MechWarriors in the galaxy are female anyway," pointing out the O'Bannon Sisters, Rhonda Snord, and Natasha Kerensky as her examples.

The Femme Fatales were formed in August 3057, and took their first contract to guard a toy factory that had been raided regularly due to its proximity to Tao Mechworks on Styk. They arrived in system Just as Operation Guerrero began. They were nationalized by the planetary government and participated in both the defense of the planet and the capture of Gan Singh.

Forces, Sept 3057:

Command/Strike Lance:
Captain Lucielle Wren, Born 3020 (Skills: 3/4): WVR-7M Wolverine. From Oriente, FWL
Mechwarrior Pendo Matsuura, born 3030 (skill: 3/4): OSR-2D Ostsol. From Memmingen, FRR
Mechwarrior Sgt. Monica Yakazi, Born 3033 (Skill 4/4): KIM-2 Komodo. From Togura, DC
Mechwarrior Miranda MacLeish, born 3037 (skill 4/5): Custom Griffin. From Alcor, FC(LC)
(the Griffin is a GRF-1N with 10 DHS, an ERPPC, and an LRM-15)

Battle/"Heavy" Lance:
Jr. Lt. Bianca Flowers, Born 3039 (Skills 3/4): BJ-3I Blackjack. From Aspogiros, FWL and Solaris VII, FC(LC)
(BJ-3 with Endosteel to add an extra DHS and max out the armor, MLs are moved from the arms to the side torsos)
Mechwarrior Sgt. Stephanie Kilgour (Skills 3/4): CRD-5M Crusader. From El Dorado, FC (FS)
Mechwarrior Elena Yakazi, Born 3040 (Skills 5/5): WTH-1 Whitworth. From Togura, DC
Mechwarrior Krista Dei, born 3037 (Skill 4/4): PNT-10K Panther. From Carmen, CC

Recon Lance
Sr. Lt. Lorelei Falken, born 3019 (Skills 3/3): SDR-9KA Venom. From Calloway IV, FWL
Mechwarrior Sgt. Ayukawa Romana, born 3025 (Skill 1/1): SCB-9T Scarabus. From Mallory's World, FC(FS) and Solaris VII, FC (LC)
Mechwarrior Anna "Indianna" Jones, Born 3032 (Skill 4/4): JR7-F Jenner. From Indicass, SIC
Mechwarrior Juliet Darkwater, born 3027, (skill 3/4): LCT-1E Locust. From Cate's Hold, MOC


Union—class Dropship Fullerton
Inbound from Nadir Jump Point
Styk, Sarna March
22 September, 3057

Bianca Flowers stared out the window of the dropship at the starfield. The 19-year-old MechWarrior ran her fingers through the huge mane of bright red hair. Her green jumpsuit bore the new rank of a Lieutenant, a Lance commander. How do I get myself into these things? she wondered to herself. Just a month before, she had signed on with the new mercenary unit, the “Femme Fatales”. It was a golden opportunity, she thought at the time. But now she was commanding the Battle Lance in the all-female Unit—she hadn't expected to be so well received.

“All Femme Fatale personnel to the recreation deck.“

Bianca blinked and turned to go the two flights down from her quarters to the rec deck. She walked down the stairs. By the time she arrived, most of the other pilots were already there. Captain Wren had picked her pilots for their excellent skills, not their military discipline. As such, there was a great deal of teasing and fraternization among all the ‘Mech pilots, and no official ‘uniform.’ The unit was run in an informal, laid-back manner than vanished when combat started. Arriving at the rec room, she took a seat with the other pilots of her lance. Elena Yakazi was youthfully exuberant, outgoing, hyperactive and insufferably cute, and just barely 17 years old. Elena had refused the Combine's request that her ancient Whitworth should be updated and left the Sun Zhang academy only weeks before graduating, bringing her sister Monica along. She showed promise, but had never actually been under fire. Krista Dei owned a Panther, though where she got it from, being from Capellan space, was a mystery she refused to divulge. Kris, as she preferred to be called, had soft oriental features, a quick wit, and had a habit of creating silly nicknames for everyone in the unit. She was already calling Bianca "Bonka" and Captain Wren “Wrench", just for starters. She was only 19, the same age as Bianca, a crack gunner and excellent driver. Stephanie Kilgour was a Clan War Veteran from the 10th Lyran Guards, and drove a rebuilt Crusader. Her Marik model was awarded as a replacement for the older model she lost on Twycross. Stephanie was in her 30s, with sandy hair and an olive complexion. Her husband had been killed on Alyina, but she still wore his ring.

After everyone else was seated, Captain Wren entered. Lucielle Wren was 37 years old, young for a mercenary commander. She had built the unit from funds in an inheritance after serving a stint with the Marik Militia. Wren drove a modernized Wolverine. She was tall and striking, with a charismatic air about her. She inspired confidence, even in this untried unit. Standing next to her was Lorelei Falken, the unit's Executive Officer and commander of the recon Lance. She stepped up to the small podium and began.

“Ladies, your attention please.” immediately, all chatter stopped. All eyes were on her. " As you know, we were hired by the New Britain factory complex here. New Britain, as you know, builds toys and models that are shipped throughout the Inner Sphere. Not normally a factory hiring protection, but it lies close to the Tao BattleMech factories on Styk. We were hired to protect against potential wayward raids on the factory by the zhanzheng de guang or Liao raiders. Well, we have news—we've been nationalized. Just last week, the Capellan Confederation and Free Worlds League launched an attack on the worlds of the Sarna March. Several have already fallen, and Styk is bound to be targeted in the next wave."

That set off a commotion immediately. Everyone in the room was speaking at once. Wren held up her hands. "Hold it. Hold it. Lori and I have been discussing this since the news came in a few hours ago. We hopefully have answers to your questions, but please speak one at a time.”

"Has our contract changed?" was the first question, coming from Miranda MacLeish.

Well, I have discussed it with the planetary command and with our employers. Our contract basically remains the same. We are still going to be the defenders of the New Britain factory and the surrounding town. We will have a Liaison officer with the planetary authorities, but we will not be under their direct command. We will be required to help in the general defense of the planet, but our position will still be the city of New Britain, or the factory, if attacked. So it's technically changed to a Planetary Defense rather than Garrison, but the difference in our pay will be made up by the Styk government. However, we're still guarding the same place. As for the FedCom troops, Katherine Steiner has declared the Steiner half of FedCom as the independent 'Lyran Alliance‘ and is pulling all Steiner troops back there. The 3rd Donnegal jumped out on the 17th. When the 3rd left, Styk declared independence and started hiring mercs on Outreach. That was the day we left, two jumps ago."

“Wait a minute,” Bianca interjected. “If the 3rd Donnegal has pulled out, whats defending Styk besides us?”

"Supposedly, The Styk Commonality has hired a motley crew of lance to company-sized merc units, much like ourselves. There is also about a regiment of reservists in the planet's Militia – with tanks, infantry, and maybe a battalion worth of castoff ‘Mechs. The other mercs should be arriving in the next few days. We just happen to be one of the first to arrive."

“I have a question,” Elena piped. "It's a bit embarrassing, but what about ourselves? Several people in the unit are from Marik and Liao space. Does anyone still harbor loyalties to their old units. You, ma'am, and Lt. Falken are from Marik space, and Kris is from Liao. You all served in their militaries. Lt. Flowers is also from Marik space. I just want to know if you'll fight the armies of those you used to serve with.”

Silence filled the room. Monica looked like she wanted to crawl under a chair and hide. All eyes turned and stared at Elena. It was the sort of question you just didn't ask. Mercs fight for who they were paid by.

"I think Elena actually has a valid concern. Surely those down on the planet will share and voice those concerns.“ All eyes turned to Lorelei Falken. "I will say only that I left Marik service in 3055, when Thomas Marik started clamping clown on the freedoms we used to enjoy. Two years of mercenary work has only cemented my dislike of Thomas, and would fight his armies if we have to. My loyalty is to this unit now."

After a moment, Wren spoke. "I agree that Elena has a valid concern, and I won't fool you that I have trepidations about possibly fighting my old friends in the 7th Marik Militia. However, this company is my unit, my creation. I won't get us a tarnished reputation on our first assignment if I can help it. If we are attacked by Free Worlds troops, we will fight back."

"I never had any real loyality to the League," Bianca stated. "Where I grew up it was more the Periphery than Marik space anyway, and I made my reputation on Solaris, and personally avoid politics."

All eyes turned to Krista. “Gosh.“ she stated, stammering just a bit with embarrassment, "I just left Liao service. I never expected to be fighting them, at least not so soon. I was just sick of the constant ‘evil Davion' mentality of the military. I'll fight them if they fight us, though. I’m a merc now, loyal to my paycheck."

"Well, now that that is settled, lets get back to business. To be honest, Styk is going to be attacked, and soon. Face it, we may have the highest concentration of new technology ‘Mechs on the planet. We need to get a lot of practice in as soon as possible. We may have as little as two weeks before a raiding force smashes down on us. Maybe less time than that.

"We will practice in Lances against as many computer simulations as possible to defend the complex. I want this unit performing like a well oiled machine before we have to go into combat.

“Are there any more questions?" There were none. "Okay, dismissed."
« Last Edit: 19 March 2017, 23:34:19 by ScrewySqrl »


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Re: The Femme Fatales (Chaos March-era)
« Reply #1 on: 19 March 2017, 23:36:23 »
As the crowd dispersed, Bianca followed the captain out into the hallway. “May I speak with you privately, Captain Wren?"

“Certainly, Bianca. What's on your mind?"

"Well, ma'am, just before the jump, you made me battle lance commander. With others more experienced, why was I chosen?"

"Well, Elena and Kris are hardly experienced, Bianca."

"But Stephanie is, ma‘am. With almost as many years in the cockpit as I've been alive. Why wasn't such an experienced pilot placed in command?"

“Is that what's been worrying you the last few days? Well, I'll put it to you simply. You out-performed Stephanie in leadership and combat piloting. You've got an incredible knack for tactics, even if you never attended a military academy. You defeated the command lance in simulator battles, despite a severe disadvantage in tonnage and speed. And your people follow you. Stephanie was able to win, but not as as decisively. You've got it. She doesn't. You've also got the best ‘Mech in the lance."

“Best mech? The BJ-3 is a weil designed mech, but the Crusader is larger and more modern..."

"It's more than just ‘well designed‘, Bianca. That little medium ‘Mech of yours performs like a ‘Mech that weighs far more. I doubt any old-tech design lighter than an Assault ‘Mech could defeat it. Especially with you at the controls. Have a little more faith in you and your ‘Mech's abilities, Bianca. You're going to go places."

Somehow, Bianca wasn't entirely convinced. "I hope I can live up to it, Ma'am."

* * *


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Re: The Femme Fatales (Chaos March-era)
« Reply #2 on: 20 March 2017, 02:17:05 »
I remember the previous start to this story.
Hope to see more. O0
I wish I could get a good grip on reality, then I would choke it.
Growing old is inevitable,
Growing up is optional.


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Re: The Femme Fatales (Chaos March-era)
« Reply #3 on: 20 March 2017, 18:52:28 »
New Britain Factory Complex
Styk Commonality
Chaos March
2 October, 3057

Bianca drove her Blackjack around the complex on her patrol. The place itself was a fortress, well built for defense. Apparently raiders over the last several years had mistaken the toy factory for the 'Mech works on the other side of the mountain range just behind the complex. The complex itself was built in a surprisingly defensible position. The city of New Britain was built on a wide mountain plateau. A river flowed by about 600 meters south of the front gates, with a forest of evergreens about a kilometer away. Beyond that was the edge of the town of New Britain, four kilometers away. The walls were 8 stories high, of steel-reinforced masonry, with steps leading up to firing points in the corners. Two kilometers east stood a small mountain, really just one very large hunk of rock sticking a couple of hundred meters out of the rolling plain where the factory was built. Behind the factory, only 60 meters from the north wall, a sheer cliff rose upwards for nearly a kilometer, shielding the complex from all but the craziest of attackers. The rest of the terrain was barren and flat. Already, it was decided that an initial defense would be made from the river to the south, if possible, falling back to the complex to hold out until other mercs arrived if necessary.

"Angel One this is Angel Four, come in."

The voice was that of Krista Dei, Bianca's wingman. Each lance had been broken down into two elements, with 'Mechs either complementing each other or covering each others weaknesses. In this case, it was two like designs complementing each other. The Panther and Blackjack both carried the heavy energy weapon abilities of the lance. Right now, Krista was on top of the “mountain” using her radar. Everyone else was keeping theirs off. No point in broadcasting exactly what was here.

"Angel Four, this is Angel One, go ahead, over"

“I got multiple airborne bogies at long range on radar. They appear to be sub-orbital and burning in."

"Roger that, give me a copy of your feed, I'll radio it in. Then shutdown and move back to the complex. Active radars will be a high priority bomb target."

Bianca had been expecting this for a couple of days now, Liao ships had jumped in the day after the Femmes had landed, right as the bulk of hired mercs landed. They had been running constant patrols since. By now, what had been the Sarna March was rapidly disintegrating. Six worlds had fallen rapidly, and three others had been overrun by guerrilla action. The guerrillas on Styk had staged one attack at the Tao Mechworks manufacturing plant, but the local militia and “The Fighting Trashcans,” a merc lance of Urbanmechs, had driven them off. Several worlds were under siege, although rumor had it that the Woodstock Militia forces had actually defeated Smithson's Chinese Bandits none of the other mercs on planet quite believed that one. Now the Liaos were coming to Styk.

Glancing at the feed, she switched to the command frequency for the company. "Angel One to Nest. Come in Nest." Nest was the factory Security office.

"Nest here, Angel One. Over."

"Angel Four reports multiple inbound Bogies, currently suborbital. Suggest relay to Pirate Haven." Pirate Haven was, of course, the Planetary Command base. "Probable landing point is in the plains about 60 Kilometers south east. Landing ETA is about 30 minutes."

"Roger, Angel One. Will relay.”

"Angel One to all Angels. Take up positions by main gates, be prepared for Aerospace activity in the area." Those DropShips were going to land close, Bianca thought. Too damned close.

Bianca listened to the replies and moved toward the main gate herself, triggering her jump jets to place herself on top of a reinforced mech hanger. Her radio beeped again.

"Angel One, this is Diamond One." came the voice of Captain Wren. “Adopt defensive position D.“

"Roger Diamond One." Switching to the lance frequency, she relayed the order. "All Angels to position D"

Position D was supposedly the last ditch stand position, with all 'Mechs fighting inside the massive hangers. Bianca figured that the captain was getting everyone under cover to prevent the factory from becoming a military target. She hopped off the rooftop and moved inside the factory, just as Krista reached the main gates, hurrying toward the 'Mech hanger. Looking out her cockpit view screen, she could see the dropships inbound now. Seven of them were burning in. Probably a full regiment of 'Mechs inbound to take the planet from the inexperienced Militia. A whole regiment would overrun the Femmes if they all attacked the factory. Better to hide for now.

"Captain," Bianca asked over the command frequency. "Whats the status on the Militia?"

"The aero merc company, the Sky Eagles, have been engaging these guys with fighters since they got into near-orbital space. A full Battalion is moving in now to engage their 'Mechs south of us. New Britain has asked us to get under cover, but they are undoubtedly going to attack us. We are just too close to the landing site. I'm holding an officer's meeting in 3 minutes, be there."

“Yes, Ma‘am." Switching frequencies again, Bianca told Stephanie Kilgour to take over the lance for now, but to stay put under cover until she received further orders.

Bianca climbed down from her Blackjack, leaving it on but requiring a voiceprint to start moving. She removed her flak helmet and the gladiatorial neuropatches that she always used instead of a heavy neurohelmet. Slipping on her jumpsuit over the scant clothing she wore in her 'Mech, she climbed down the ladder and strode into the main security building.

"Okay, What's up?“ she asked to Lori and Wren, who were already there and speaking with Leftenant Heinrich Walabash, the Militia liaison.

“Planetary command is sending a mixed battalion of mercs to cover the landing, as I told you,“ Wren said flatly. "They have also put a combat team of urban troops in New Britain itself. Light infantry with hovertanks.”

"That Battalion is gonna get wiped out. I saw at least seven DropShlps burning in. Possibly a whole regiment landing at once for a secure base." Bianca reported.

"What we need to know is what are we going to do?" asked Wren of Walabash. “They are only 50 klicks out, they are bound to come here. to secure their flanks. What do you need us to do?”

Walabash replied. "The militia plans to fight in the mountains just east of here. We want you to take up a position in the town to maintain a secure flank."

Wren nodded, then turn to her other officers. "The militia promises to reinforce our position if we are attacked, but don't expect much. They're gonna have their hands full."

"Do we have any idea what unit is attacking the planet?" Bianca asked.

"Yes, a merc unit, the 15th Dracon,“ answered Walabash.

Wren tapped a few lines on her palmtop computer, From Jane's Mercenary Guide, 3055 , she read aloud: "They are a 4 ‘Mech Battalion regiment, plus tank and infantry support and full aerospace assets. The Dracon are a former Star League unit, but not as well regarded as the Eridani Light Horse or the Crater-Cobras. They've been in Liao service For 30 years now. Only average quality, Dragoon rating is a low B."

"Not good, but not dire, either," Bianca mused. "More than enough to crush the militia, but not enough for a quick, decisive win given what's been landed on planet. What's our plan at this point?"

"Well, that's what we are going to decide right now. The intelligence feed we are getting indicates they will probably strike the battalion sent to oppose them via an airborne combat drop. We'll probably get a company or two at most sent here to investigate."

"What about airstrikes?"

“Right now the merc aerospace assets are engaged with the Dracon airgroup. There might be a Mechbuster or two left over, but I doubt if we will have access to them. For now, our defenses shouidn‘t have much to worry about Liao airpower.

"Armored assets are another worry though. Mr. Walabash, can we count on your people to offset conventional tanks?“ asked Lori Falken.

"We really aren't equipped with anti-mech ability, Captain." Walabash looked nervous. "It's why we hired you people to begin with. We should be able to handle conventional forces, however."

"Okay, people. We have the intel we need. let's get to work." Captain Wren unfolded a paper map of the surrounding area. New Britain didn't have a holographic combat map. "The Dracon will probably land about here, on the plains just southeast of us." Wren placed some of the BattleMech toys produced by New Britain on the map. "Their main force will probably go against the BattleMech battalion being positioned here in the mountain. A force of some size. Probably not more than a company or so, will be sent to secure the flanks. Probably the city just south of here, and also this factory complex.

"'What we will do is send Lori's lance south to the city, and Walabash's people will set charges on the highway bridge. Lori will link up with the Militia infantry in the city and give us warning when they are approaching. The Command lance will set up on the mountain east of here, while Bianca will position her lance in the woods between the town and the factory complex. Whoever spots them first will become the focal point of the defenses. I suspect we will fall back to the river first off, and from there to the factory complex itself. We will blow the bridge as they come in. Hopefully while they have ‘Mechs on it. Alright, any questions?"

"Yes. What about airstrikes from the Liao Aerospace assets?" This was from Lori.

“Deal with fighters as best you can by keeping scattered and on the move. Use whatever anti-aircraft capability you may have.” Wren glanced at her palmtop. “We're probably out of time if we want to get in position while they are unable to use radar from burn in. Get to your ‘Mechs and move out.. And remember, no plan survives contact with the enemy. Stay flexible!”


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Re: The Femme Fatales (Chaos March-era)
« Reply #4 on: 01 April 2017, 16:51:11 »
New Britain

Styk, Styk Commonality
Chaos March
October 2, 3057

Lorelei Falken drove her Venom through the town , flanked by a pair of Militia hovertanks and Ayukawa Madoka's SCB-9T Scarabus, Madoka, like Bianca, had been in Solaris, where her Scarabus had won a Division II light mech championship. The statuesque woman was quiet and reserved, but was the best marksman in the company. Two blocks over was Juliet Darkwater, a Canopian MechWarrior who drive a LCT-1E Locust. Darkwater claimed to have traded a Warhammer to get the fast recon mech – not that anyone actually believed that. Alongside her was Anna Jones' JR7-F Jenner. Anna hailed from Indicass in the St. Ives Compact, had been nicknamed “Indianna” by Krista Dei, and it had stuck.

“I got something, Lori,” came Ayu's voice. “Looks like some DropShips are shifting from the original landing zone in this direction. Three Union Class dropships.”

"Diamond One, Angel One, this is Bluebird One. Come in."

"Bluebird this is Diamond. Go ahead."

"We have incoming dropships. Three Union class or similar sizes broke off from the rest of the main force, inbound on the south edge of town."

Unions? Wren thought with some despair. A whole battalion would be serious trouble for the Femme Fatales. We can't take that kind of pounding even in the fortifications.

"Roger that, Bluebird, be ready to pull back.“ Wren switched to the militia frequency. "Pirate Haven, this is Diamond One. We have three, repeat three, Unions inbound on New Britain. Require immediate reinforcement.”

"Pirate Haven to Diamond One. We are dispatching air assets to assist. Our main forces are engaged with regirnent's worth of mechs and tanks outside the Tao Mechworks."

"I realize that sir, but we have only 12 mechs and a few dozen infantry. We can't hold off a battalion of Mechs on our own for very long.”

“Things are tough all over, Captain. We're sending what we can. A flight of Mechbusters should be overhead in 5 minutes. Contact Chi flight on Aero Frequency 3. Haven out."

Wren sighed. Not what she hoped, but about what she had expected. "Diamond One to all Ladybirds. Militia is sending us air assets to aid in the attack. I hope its enough. Their land forces are bogged down against the main landing. This looks to be a flanking maneuver, move to preplanned defensive position Beta-Two. Lori, contact Chi Flight on Aero 3."

"Aye, Captain.“ She switched frequencies. "Bluebird One to Chi Flight, Over“

"Chi Flight, reading you."

"What's your ETA to New Britain? Also, what is your TO and E?"

"ETA is 3 minutes. We are a militia flight, a squadron of Mechbuster aircraft. What's the Target?"

"Three Union DropShips, all inbound for a combat drop. Good news is they are hard to miss.“

“Unions?!" came the reply. "That's a tall order, ma'am. We‘ll do what we can."

Lori Falken radioed an acknowledgment to the incoming fighters and set the recon lance moving south of the town center.

Two minutes later, the trio of Unions were hovering just a few kilometers south of the city, and opened their doors for a mech drop.

"Heads up Lori!" came a cail from Juliet Darkwater, currently running point. "Looks like those Mechbusters are overhead."

“Alright, I'll light up one of them." Ayukawa flipped on her Target Acquisition and Guidance gear and targeted one of the dropships as the jets swooped in. Sure enough, six of the Mechbuster Aerofighters had slipped in close to the targeted dropship and pounded it heavily. The Mechbusters' heavy autocannon wreaked havoc on the flank of the beleaguered dropship, with at least one shot scoring a bullseye on the open hanger door. From her vantage point below, Ayu saw the dropship shudder under the explosions and drop out of control into the ground below, several kilometers out of town. Looking back, the two remaining dropships began disgorging their mechs as the Mechbusters were in turn engaged by the surviving dropships. After two of the Mechbusters exploded and a second dropship was damaged, the remaining jets streaked back toward Styk City, their ammo exausted. The fighters had what they could. It was up to the Mech forces now. The Mechbusters’ attack meant the survivors would widely scattered.

“Bluebird One to Nest. One DropShip down. Repeat, one Union shot down! It appears to be a total loss. The others are initiating a combat drop now. Aircraft have withdrawn and are moving back to base. We have maybe 24 inbound ‘Mechs. Enemy ETA to town is about 5 minutes. Moving into position Beta-Three for observation. We need to hit them while they are scattered.”

Swapping frequencies, Lori radioed her lance. "Okay, girls. time to take a looksee so we can help the city's defenders."

From her vantage point a kilometer north of town, Bianca watched the shoot down of the DropShip with awe.

"Bianca, this is Captain Wren, I need you to move to the edge of New Britain itself. Lori is moving in to observe the mechs that survived. I need you there to backstop her. Estimate 24 or so mechs are inbound, but will probably be scattered. I'm moving up myself. Meet at grid coordinates 540, 259. I'm moving to cover you."

"Roger. Moving out.” Bianca switched to her lance frequency, "Okay, Angel One to all Angels, move south to the edge of town and link up with the Militia infantry unit there. Kris, you take point. I'll be 60 meters directly behind you. Steph, you and Elena take positions 60 meters northeast and northwest of me. And keep it tight, we could be facing up to two companies of ‘Mechs. Set speed to 64 klicks. We should be in the city in about five minutes. Move out.”

Switching to the command frequency, Bianca radioed in. "On our way in, Skipper. Lori, Whats the status?"

"ETA to landing site is 3 minutes, I've got a couple of hovertanks from Styk's militia in support of me right now. Visual contact with some Liao ‘Mechs already. ‘Mechs Spotted are a pair of Vindicators, a Warhammer, a Wasp, a Raven, and a Clint so far. Others are in sight, but I cant identify them yet. They appear to be scattered across a wide area. Maybe ten or twelve square kilometers."

"Sounds good to me, Lori. Hopefully we can hit them hard before they can get organized. keep observing, but don't engage until we get there. If they press you, fall back to the city."

“Right." Lori began to move closer to the approaching half dozen mechs. With the addition of the Saladin and Drillson hovertanks from the city, her force would actually have been a close match for the force opposite them, except for the Warhammer. It could strip any of her units of armor in a single salvo, and easily tilted the balance in favor of the Liao mercenaries. Still, she had to try to maneuver around them to identify the other ’Mechs in the area.

"Ayu, kick that Scarabus of yours into high gear. I want you to make an end run around that six-mech force and get me some IDs on whatever is behind it."

“Aye, aye. Moving out."

Ayukawa flipped the switch in her ‘Mech that turned off most of the heat sinks and fired into the air. As the heat rose, the Triple-Strength Myomers kicked in, and she accelerated her 30-ton ‘Mech to an incredibly rapid 184 Kilometers per hour. She raced past the approaching ‘Mechs at a distance of over a kilometer, and sprinted into the rear. At this speed, only a Clan Dasher model could hope to catch her. And the Liaos didn't have any Dashers. She flipped on her ECM gear and the Beagle probe. She was covering a Kilometer every 30 seconds at this rate and soon had the next group of mechs in view.

“Nest, this is Bluebird Three. Second grouping of six ‘Mechs about three klicks past the first one. Jackal, Hunchback, Cataphract, Catapult, Scorpion, Centurion. Another dozen ‘Mechs are beyond 15 kilometers out, out of scanner range."

"Bluebird Three, This is Diamond One. Move back to the city. The ones we know about will be tough enough. No point in you getting so far out that we cant help each other."

“Aye, Captain. Returning.”