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Author Topic: Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)  (Read 4444 times)

dragonkid11

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Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)
« on: 12 July 2018, 05:29:48 »
So, while being a long time lurker on the Battletech forum, I'm also a longtimer forumer on Spacebattle and I wrote a Battletech story there because why not.

Then I realised that I probably should have posted that same story to here as well. I will be posting stories in large walls of words until it get to catch up with the latest chapter. And well, if any of you saw bad grammar, I'm not exactly a native speaker and all I have to doublecheck my words is google autocorrect extension and my not so 20/20 eyesight.

So, let me give you a 'In a nutshell' description of the story. This isn't a story about those amazing mechwarriors that fought on the frontline. This isn't a story about the political action between the feudal lords. This isn't a story about warship captains battling each other in the cold dark space.

This story is about one little guy with the power to fix things and is generally way too obsessed about technology.

Also, heavy AU! You might as well throw all canon knowledge out of the window because things will be very different in this Inner Sphere.

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Salvage Dog 1.1

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1st March 3045
Galatea
Galatea City

For a month or two, I was the big news of the planet.

It’s not everyday news that some ancient Star League facility was discovered and within it, the research team found a couple of stasis tubes.

I was the only one to survive in those tubes, the others either perished or died of system malfunction for the last few hundred years the facility endured.

They grilled me with questions obviously, ‘Why am I here?’, ‘What’s the purpose of this facility?’, ‘Who’s the other members of this facility?’ et cetera. But I can’t answer any of their questions at all as I’m not a person from this world either. All I remembered was going to sleep after doing my usual stuff as a college student in the 21st century and then… this.

I didn’t expect to wake up 1000 years into the future, and I was not ready to be ripped away from my friends and family who I held dearly. That was months ago though, the number of nights I couldn’t stop crying eventually ceased to increase.

Eventually, they realised I couldn’t answer anything and just stopped visiting me. They still left a card for me in case I remembered anything. While I have zero belongings in this new world, the research team was nice enough to pay for a temporary housing, electricity, water and other life necessaries for me to live.

I eventually required to find a job after the research team left for other clues, like a certain infamous Star League facility on Helm.

Actually let’s go back a bit because the history of this Inner Sphere changed a lot.

The first big thing that occurred (or didn’t occur) was Operation Holy Shroud. Before Operation Holy Shroud was conducted by Comstar, a few ROM agents decided to tell all great houses about the operation. Whether it was because of their new found conscience or they found their comrades to be completely insane, nobody was sure. But oh boy, it was an understatement to say the houses were pissed.

For once, all houses focused all their military might onto the Comstar, and every single ROM hideouts were completely demolished. Comstar, in their final act to save themselves, used a form of KF inhibitor and caused every single jumpship that tried to jump within 30 light years of Terra to react explosively.

Needless to say, I sobbed for a couple nights when I found out I can’t even visit Terra.

Afterward, the houses continued to engage war with each other but with Terra locked away from them, it’s kinda hard to be the First Lord. Eventually, the Second Succession War ended way earlier than in original timeline and soon for once, the Inner Sphere have peace. For like a hundred years because the Coordinator cannot coordinate his sanity and cause war to be a common presence in the Inner Sphere once more. Jeez thanks, Draconis Combine.

Still, thanks to this, advanced technology didn’t die off from Inner Sphere and many more people were still alive thanks to this slightly less terrible world. So I guess it’s still a win in a way.

Now, I supposed whichever ****** that brought me to this world didn’t exactly leave me helpless either, as I seemed to have this… ability that allows me to understand and analyse technology. Any tech, no matter how advanced, could be easily understood as soon as I gave them a look or even just a single touch.

The only reason why I didn’t tell the research team about this was due to the presence of this massive fear in my chest of me being taken somewhere for tests to be further conducted onto me. Surprise, even with superpower, I’m still just a young adult that got pulled away from his comfort zone and scared shitless for his dear life.

But even after the research team was gone, I have trouble finding works. Turns out, fame didn’t mean everything when you didn’t exactly have the charisma or even social skill to back it up. Even then, this clearly wasn’t the old Inner Sphere where everyone was desperate for any able body to do things. Hell, I didn’t even have a bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Maybe I made a huge mistake in not telling the research team about my power, but what done has been done and if I have to pay for my mistake, so be it.

But, with my reserve of Kroner given by the research team about to run out, it gave off quite a sign of a grim future for me.

That’s until I met her.

“Hi there.”

It was another day on this planet with another attempt of job searching ended in failure. So, I decided to look at the one thing that still made my heart pounding with excitement.

Battlemech. Specifically, new mechwarrior training with their battlemech.

It wasn’t exactly news that Galatea was called the Mercenary Star. Unlike original timeline, the current status of this planet was due to an old large regimental-sized merc company, who decided that giving new merc combat training as well as establishing an organization to ensure the well being and proper treatment of merc was way more profitable. Eventually, the merc company disbanded, but it certainly showed how well they did with their legacy remained to this day.

So, everyday I came to this hill to see mechwarrior training with their battlemech. Whether they were brand new mech came straight off the factory line, or ancient old mech that has been passed down as family heirloom, battlemech just looked so damn awesome. The way the ground quaked with each step, their arms and torso turned to keep track of their targets, the jumpjets charred the ground with fusion plumes to propel the whole thing, battlemech was such an awesome machine of destruction.

I can only imagine how terrifying it would be to face a battlemech as your opponent though. Unless you are in another battlemech, or swarm of conventional vehicles, or have artillery and aerospace support, or have traps hidden among the terrain, it’s probably pant shitting time.

But yes, I was sitting on this hill for yet another day and suddenly this woman voice came behind me. As I turned around, I quickly noticed two things. One was that the woman has a silver coloured hair, I would have claimed it to be hair dye had I not noticed that her eyebrows were also silver. Two was that badge she has on the sleeve of her short jacket. I could recognise the symbol of the Federated Commonwealth anywhere, but that’s clearly not it. The badge instead has a Lyran fist gripping the Davion sword with sunburst behind both, it was kinda odd.

Actually, I noticed three things. Three was… well, she’s attractive, like undeniably very attractive and very close to my age. Wow, I really need to talk to people more...

With a lack of proper social interaction for weeks, all I could come up was, “Hi?”

It’s not even an assured ‘Hi’, that just sounded awkward. But frankly, I really have no idea who this is.

“What are you doing here?” the woman asked.

Was she a guard or something? Was this a private location? I didn’t notice any sign around, “I was just watching the mechwarrior training. Those battlemechs just look so...amazing.”

Without me noticing, she sat down right next to me, “You want to be a mechwarrior?”

“Well, if I could that would be nice.” I wondered, “But no, I want to work on a battlemech.”

“You meant like a technician?”

“Yes! I want to get my hands dirty inside a battlemech. I want to see how they functioned with all its devices cramped into it. I want to fix a battlemech no matter how far gone it gets. I want to just crawl inside and inspect every little thing in there and… erm…”

By the time I realised how excited I sounded, I could awkwardly look back to the woman who was smiling but clearly weirded out by my statement.

“But well, I don’t think that will happen because nobody wants to hire me.”

“Ehhh, why not?”

“Well, I don’t have a bachelor degree because I have been frozen for a couple centuries. Even if I can understand how everything works with just a look and a touch, nobody wants to hire a nobody.” I ranted.

The woman then took on the thinking man pose as she put her chin on her knees and just hummed. As she got closer to… an answer of some sort, the humming increased in volume and eventually she snapped her fingers as a lightbulb went off in her cranial.

“I got an idea, come!”

With a firm grip, she dragged me off somewhere.

“Oh and by the way, What is your name? I am Michelle!”

Oh so that’s her name, “I’m Drake, just call me Drake.”

“Drake, that is a nice simple name! By the way, do not sit next to that hill next time.”

“Why not?” I asked.

“Sometimes they used live rounds to train and well, shrapnel can go further than most expected.”

Ah…

------

Soon enough, it appeared that she dragged me off to a mech bay hanger, with rows upon rows of battlemechs standing upright within their own bay, each with their own technician team fixing or maintaining these steel beasts.

But she continued to drag me somewhere, into the part of the hanger that got me squeaking internally even harder.

Weapon systems, stacks upon stacks of them up to the roof with as many rows as it could fit within the allocated space. It didn’t matter what weapon type you needed, missile, ballistic, energy, they have it all. Did you want a specific brand? There’s like twenty different type of AC 10 and fifty different type of medium laser here. This was like an IKEA shop of pure DAKKA, and considering people here were putting battlemechs together painstakingly, I’m probably more correct than I wanted to admit.

“100000.” a man with a rough voice demanded.

“Are you serious? That’s way over the normal fee! 75000.” a woman sounded like she was in her 50s argued.

“No chance, you want my team to repair a damage this severe on something this advanced? You will earn the price value but it’s a big one.”

The woman was about to counter back, but then she noticed the tapping noise of our footsteps. First, she looked at Michelle, then she gave me a weird look.

“Who is this?”

“Colonel, this is Drake. Do you not recognize him? He is the Galatea Iceman!”

Is that what people outside of the system has been calling me!?

“Okay? What can he do?”

Michelle smiled with glee, “Drake here told me that he wants to be a technician, and he says he can understand any tech with a look and touch.”

“Uh huh.” she didn’t exactly sound convinced.

“Come on, just give him a chance and maybe a miracle will happen!”

The colonel just sighed, “Fine.”

Michelle then gave me a grin and whispered in my ear, “Showtime.”

With a push on my back, I nearly fell onto the ground. But well, this was a once in a lifetime chance! I will not let it down this ti-she wanted me to fix this!?

Now first of all, this ER medium laser was definitely top of the line. It can draw a higher level of power than anything else in this shop, allowing it to deal more damage, more range while producing not one bit more heat. I meant, I knew that some brands were more capable than others in-universe but it wasn’t simulated on tabletop because it was ten more things to keep track off. Heck, I would almost say this might be the closest Inner Sphere could get to Clan ER medium laser. This thing was exactly that darn good.

Man, this Inner Sphere was strong as all hell. It really made me wonder what would happen if the Clan invaded in 5 years.

The only problem that prevented the ER medium laser from performing well was… well.

It has an open gash big enough for me to put my arm in.

“What the ****** happened?”

“A DC patrol apparently looted an old Hatchetman from a FC militia force.” Michelle explained with a hint of annoyance, “I got surprised.”

I looked back at the laser system and began to analyse it. My mind quickly received more information on the medium laser and soon enough I have an idea on how to fix it.

“I can fix this, but I will need spare part from… there!” I said with my hands pointing up to the top rack of the medium laser section.

“When did I allow you to work in my workshop?” the man grumbled with an ever deepening voice. Seriously, did he gargle pebble or something? “If you want to get up there, get up there yourself.”

The colonel was about to argue but once more she was interrupted by footsteps, this time it was the footsteps of a Commando.

“Come on, get on my hand! Let us go shopping!” Michelle’s cheerful voice came from within the light mech.

And of course, how could I not do that? It’s not riding in a battlemech, but standing on its hand was quite fun too. As soon as we reached the shelf we wanted, I gathered the exact amount of spare parts I required and told her to get me down. Then for the next twenty minutes, my mind seemed to go fully automatic as my hands worked on the medium laser on their own.

I could understand every single step as it unfolded. Replace the high energy capacitors, change out the laser lens, calibrate the lens distance, reconnect the coolant pipe and frayed wires, put back up the cover annnnd viola.

“Done!” I announced as I slammed the casing down.

Michelle was clearly overjoyed, “That was incredible! You did it in twenty minutes with spare parts that probably costed barely anything!”

“That’s 50000 Kroner worth of spare part!” the man corrected, but I have a feeling he’s terribly wrong either way. With a rather dirty hand, he shook my hand firmly, leaving me no chance to let go, “Kid, you got potential. How about you work at my shop for 500 Kroner per mon-”

The colonel immediately slapped down his hand and gripped mine without a single care about the state of cleanliness of my hand, “I will pay you four times the amount of salary with dental plan, work hazard pay and insurance! Also, that’s 5000 Kroner worth of spare part, you cheap ass scum.”

While the two was arguing about the price in front of me, my attention wasn’t really on them. Instead, it was on Michelle, who was skillful enough to make her Commando give double thumbs up at me.

I gave her one back. After all, she practically changed the course of my life with one selfless act from her.

Now, I’m a part of this Mercenary company. Soon I will be having my hands deep in battlemech system as I maintain and repair them. Maybe I will meet new people on the way, checking out new places along the way.

I guessed it sounded like those military recruitment posters, “Meet new people! See new places! Get work experience!” Stuff like that.

But well, this will be a very interesting adventure.
On behalf of the Berserker,
Sure it isn't the most practical 'mech ever designed, but it's a hundred ton axe-murderer. If loving that is wrong I don't wanna be right.

Salvage Dog AU SI Fanfic Thread
Salvage Dog AU Tech Compilation Thread
Salvage Dog AU Battlemech Thread

dragonkid11

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Re: Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)
« Reply #1 on: 12 July 2018, 05:30:38 »
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Salvage Dog 1.2

------

8th March 3045
Galatea
Galatea City

“Oh oh oh! Take some of that too, I craved those so much last trip!” Michelle requested hastily.

It has been one week since the day I met Michelle and I swear, Michelle saw something in me because everyday, she dragged me to places in this city that I didn’t even know about. Man, I really should have got out more.

Right now we are in a mall. Just a normal mall but boy was this place fancy by my 21st century standard. Holographic projections with animated advertisements were everywhere, some even seemed to detect the presence of the customers and have an avatar leading you to the store. There’s even a water fountain in the center of the mall that has water stream directed in midair by ultrasonic emitters, for once a water fountain actually seemed entertaining to me again.

Buying supply for the trip, she said. The cart was almost filled to the top in snacks and desserts while the essential supply such as toothbrush, band-aids and extra socks were all packed at the bottom. But then again, I haven’t been through a several months long journey to… somewhere while she did, so I’m listening to her for now. It was still a concept that hasn’t been stuck in my head yet. A couple months at a dangerous foreign place and you better remember to get everything you need before going on the trip.

But besides that, there’s certainly something to feel good about here.

“That would be… 5 Kroner, sir.” the cashier stated.

I feel so filthy rich right now. It’s like that moment in your life where you saw a snack you wanted as a child but you couldn’t have it everyday because you maybe have like, a dollar in your pocket. Then you realised you are an adult now and you be as irresponsible as one and just buy the shit out of it. It felt amazing.

“Anything else we need to buy?” I asked.

“I think this is enough. Otherwise, we won’t be able to fit it in my car.”

Yup, all my belongings have been packed into a luggage and put into her car already. This was basically the last shopping trip we will be having before the merc group will be leaving this planet.

I have a feeling I’m going to miss this planet.

“Huh, is that…”

She was staring towards someone behind, waving at them to come to us. That person turned out to be a young man that has this Costa-Rican look on his face.

“Hey, Jayson. Making last minute trip too?”

“Yeah.” he bluntly stated, shaking the bag on his hand around, “Who’s this?”

With a hand on my back, she pushed me forward, “This is Drake. The Galatea Iceman!”

“Come on, don’t call me by that name already, Michelle!”

She just snickered at my distress, clearly doing it just for the sake of teasing. Jayson instead leaned his face forward and looked straight at me for a moment.

“Yup, pale skin. You really have been in a stasis tube for a while.”

“Are you a doctor?”

“Nah, but my father is. Learned a couple things from him before going into this line of work.”

Another mechwarrior, I guess.

“Welllll.” Michelle dragged on as she stepped between us, “If there is nothing else, let us get movi-Oh hey, Akira.”

Another person walked in, pushing a cart full of rice, instant ramen and other food items an Asian would purchase. Considering said person was an Asian, that probably wasn’t a surprise.

“Hai, Michelle, Jayson. And you must be… Drake. It’s nice to see a fellow technician around.” she greeted with a hand towards me.

I took it and shook her hand, “Fellow technician?”

“Well, formerly technician, currently mechwarrior, but I still put a lot of work onto my Hunchie Chan.”

Hunchback, right.

“Truth to be told. I haven’t actually worked on any mech yet so…”

“Ha, don’t worry! I’m sure you will manage it.”

Jayson snorted, “Not everyone could ‘manage’ it like you and headshot 4 mechs on your first fight, Akira.”

The other two mechwarriors simply chuckled at the past event. I felt so much like an outsider to this conversation but Michelle tried to put me into it anyway, it still felt nice so it’s not exactly much to complain about.

“Since we are already together, let’s just finish this shopping trip together. What are we still lacking?” Akira asked.

“Well, I got all the what I wanted and you got what you wanted so-ah, wait!” as soon as she finished that, she dragged me off somewhere yet again. Gosh, this happened way too many times for the past week.

As our footsteps started to slow down, it became clear where she was pulling me to.

A gun store.

“I… don’t think I need this?”

“Trust me, it could get dangerous. Packing heat is better than lacking heat.” Jayson explained, “You could still get standard issue firearm from the company but buying something for yourself is more… special.”

Honestly, I just wanted to work on giant robot. I never really thought about actually fighting people to be able to reach the salvage. It’s probably a detachment I’m required to make as I have been living in a peaceful world for my whole life. After all, people rarely appreciated things they have until it was violently taken away from them.

“I think… I could buy a non-lethal firearm?”

“Ah, easy enough. You don’t even need license to get a sonic stunner!” Michelle cheerfully stated.

“Wait, how did you expect me to get an actual gun without a license then?”

She just has this look of spontaneous realisation and looked quite down afterward. Then it turned out the store didn’t even have sonic stunner and the owner was a law-abiding citizen that didn’t like bribery.

I gently patted her back as we all got ushered out of the store, “Come on, I can always get a gun next time… after the trip has finished.”

“Okay…” she drawled.

As much as I liked her adorably sad expression, I still tried to think of something to cheer her like… hmm.

“Now… I do think I still need a little something.”

Almost immediately, she looked downright happy, “Eh, what is it?”

“I’m going to need a jacket just in-” and before I could finish my line, she dragged me off somewhere already.

------
8th March 3045
Galatea
Halsead Spaceport

With the sheer amount of space traffic this planet was handling everyday, construction of multiple airports wasn’t a benefit, it was a necessity. Hundreds of dropships landed on and left Galatea practically everyday, transporting tourists, workers, military equipment, ammunition, data core, food, bulk cargo and other miscellaneous stuff that I forgot.

On top of that, there’s a necessity to separate a spaceport for transporting civilians and normal cargo from a spaceport for transporting merc and military equipment. Besides the obvious safety reason, I guessed the authority here was afraid that tourists might get scared when they saw battlemechs stomping out of a dropship that was right beside them. But really, they came to a planet nicknamed Mercenary Star, what the heck did they expect? That’s practically part of the tourism experience here!

So, here we are! Halsead Spaceport, established by mercenary, for mercenary! Or so it said on the sign at the big front door anyway.

One thing I would say to this spaceport, as well as frankly everything else in Battletech, was that it was bloody huge, but the outside of it was even more ridiculous. Beside the spaceport was dozens of square kilometers worth of flat ground covered in gray plain concrete. About every 500 meters, a landing platform specifically made to handle the intense fusion torch of a dropship thruster were constructed to not just provide a stable platform for a spheroid dropship to land on, but also to vent the fusion plume of its thruster so as to minimize the proximity damage to nearby objects.

For aerodyne dropship, the spaceport has terminal and runway for them much like that of a modern aircraft due to how similar they worked. It probably made transporting people and cargo a less pain in the ass too but the old Mule could carry way more cargo than a Buccaneer per trip and thus remain viable to these days. The airport was also pretty much split in half in serving aerodyne dropship and spheroid dropship so the two different type of dropship service won’t crash together. After all, one has the transport moved to its cargo while the other did it in reverse.

With all our stuff packed in, we took a bus service specifically for transporting people to their dropships. With such a large distance between the spaceport and the spheroid dropships, it’s no wonder they have this service. Eventually, we have arrived under the shadow of a massive dropship. For something as big as a skyscraper, the dropship sure gave one large shade beneath it. Heck, my neck hurt just from trying to see the top of the damn thing.

“So, this is the Snake Eater.”

“Yup.” Michelle confirmed.

It was an old Fortress class assault dropship, made to secure a landing point with its massive array of weapon systems as well as supporting the landing force with its top mounted Long Tom artillery. With its transport capability of a company each of battlemechs, conventional vehicles and infantry, I can see why the merc company picked this dropship as their main flagship. Though from Michelle’s description, it seemed the Snake Eater was modified to carry a company of battle armor troopers too.

I continued, “Then the one beside it was The Snatcher?”

Michelle simply nodded.

The Snatcher instead was a Mule class cargo dropship. Pretty much a necessity for a merc organisation to transport their loot and supply around as almost none of the military transport dropship seemed to have sufficient tonnage spent on cargo bay. But that name sounded… familiar.

“And the Policenaut was way back over there, we went past it already.” she stated.

Finally, the Policenaut was a Triumph class transport dropship. Made to carry a reinforced battalion worth of conventional vehicle and more than a company of infantry. Though it has been slightly modified to also carry a squadron of aerospace fighters instead. With all these dropships together, you can’t exactly say the Qualip’s Phantom is a small merc organisation either.

As we moved up the ramp, a man in his 40s with a big belly walked towards us. Considering his bright orange attire, I would say he’s a technician.

“Hi, Pedro.” Michelle greeted.

“That’s chief technician Pedro to you, young lady.” Pedro corrected, “And this must be the super astech you were talking about.”

Oh, so this guy is my future boss. Time to make a good first impression!

“Erm, hi. I’m Drake. Nice to meet you.” nailed it!

“Hmm. I don’t care if you are a sweet talker or a potty mouth. You are on my team, you better have something to back it up.”

I couldn’t help but fidget on the spot.

“Anyway, get to the crew quarter and pick a spot. Come to the mech bay at 2 PM.”

And then he just left.

Michelle lightly patted my back, “Don’t worry about it. He might look like a hardass but he actually cares about his astechs.”

I guess I should take her words for it… for now.

“Now, let’s get all these stuff onboard! The dropship will launch anytime soon now!”

------
8th March 3045
Galatea
Space

It’s nice to have at least one of my childhood dream to be truly fulfilled, and that’s to reach and see the vastness of space.

As my first time to ever ride a ship to beyond the layers of atmosphere, I was quite surprised to find that not only the noise from the activation of the fusion thrusters was way quieter than I thought, but there’s also barely any shaking as the dropship ascended from the ground.

Considering dropship was also made to burn their thrusters all the way through their travel path for days onward, it’s probably why they have figured out a way to protect the occupants from noise and shaking. There’s actual medical condition that could occur from the constant loud noise and violent shaking after all.

As the dropship rose above the ground, I could see the blueness of the atmosphere slowly diluted into the blackness of space. Stars soon emerged against the black background, decorating the void with countless white dots.

Gosh, I could enjoy this view forever.

The intercom suddenly beeped, “To all Qualip’s Phantom members, we have reached above the atmosphere. Please release yourself from the safety seat now.”

Unlocking the seat buckle, I got off the seat and folded it right back into the wall. All these safety seats were made to ensure the occupant could be somewhat safe from acceleration and maneuver of the dropship. They weren’t perfect, but they worked and I doubted anyone wanted to just stand around while the dropship was doing shit move. At that point, broken bone was the least of your worry.

To my disappointment, I couldn’t magically feel the effect of gravity disappearing as the dropship kept on accelerating towards the jump point. Well, I could always have zero G fun when we arrived at the jumpship later.

Right beside the seat was a TV screen showing what the camera saw on the outside of the dropship, the designer probably made this modification after they found that window wasn’t exactly safe to use in space. Though it wasn’t exactly bad, the screen was so well made that I actually thought it was a window until Michelle showed me that the screen can zoom in onto smaller objects.

I might have lingered at the window screen for a bit too long, as Michelle called me out to get to the mechbay fast. There was just something so mesmerising about the beauty of the stars and the sight of a blue planet.

As I have already changed to an orange jumpsuit, I quickly took an elevator and went down to the mech bay. As its name implied, it was a whole floor dedicated to maintenance and repair of battlemech. Twelve mechs stood proudly at this floor, each with their own dedicated mech bay and tech team. Armor, ammunition and spare part were also placed at the mechbay for ease of repair and resupply.

From lightest to heaviest, Michelle’s Commando, Firestarter, Wolfhound, Phoenix Hawk, Akira’s Hunchback, Kintaro, Wolverine, Dervish, Crusader, Thunderbolt, Zeus and Victor. Quite top heavy for a merc battlemech company, but considering the Qualip’s Phantom originated from a Lyran world, that’s probably not a surprise.

With a single glance, I could already tell that nearly all of these battlemechs has been heavily upgraded with advanced technology. ER laser, pulse laser, Artemis IV, streak SRM, XL engine, endosteel skeleton, light ferro fibrous, you name it, they would probably have it. Though, that Firestarter felt a bit strange to look at for some reasons.

And in front of the Zeus, a small gathering of new astechs was there while chief technician Pedro was standing on a makeshift stage that was basically just a green ammunition bin. The other senior technicians were also standing around Pedro, honestly this whole thing looked like a shakedown process onto the recruits to drill info right into their head. I quickly rushed towards the gathering and tried to look confident.

It didn’t work out.

“Alright, is everyone here? Good” Pedro spoke into the megaphone, “Today, recruit! We welcome you to the Qualip’s Phantom! Now, I don’t care what you do on your break unless it’s actually something illegal, but I want, no, demand you to wake up on time everyday to your workstation even when there’s nothing to do!”

Well, this is off to a great start.

He continued, “When we are out here traveling to our campaign location, get some rest, don’t stress out, you will be doing minimal work here. But out there on that planet we are heading right now, you will be working hard to repair and maintain our equipment and if things start to break down for no good reasons, I’m going to start canning people and kick them out.”

“You might even be sent out onto the field to salvage enemy equipment right off a battlefield. One thing I need to say, and I want it to drill right into your head, is that when you see danger, run. Let the mechwarriors and tankers do their job, you are here to salvage, not fight. Do you know why we suddenly have 20 vacancies for astechs?”

Fear started to settle onto the recruits as they just looked around to see if anyone has an answer. I do, but I don’t want to answer.

“We had an ambush during salvaging. Oh don’t worry, not all 20 of those astech died. Some of them just have lost limbs, we have an insurance policy and prosthetic tech for that.”

I think a couple people in this small crowd is trying to get out of here right now.

“So, next time when danger happens, please run like hell and don’t just stand there. Your life is valuable to us and you, keep it safe.”

I guess… Michelle was right, he did sorta care about his crews underneath all the jackassery.

“Now, you may all dismiss. Wake up 8 AM by tomorrow morning and gather here. Take a break for now.”

With everyone walking away now, I shall take my leave as well and eat something.
On behalf of the Berserker,
Sure it isn't the most practical 'mech ever designed, but it's a hundred ton axe-murderer. If loving that is wrong I don't wanna be right.

Salvage Dog AU SI Fanfic Thread
Salvage Dog AU Tech Compilation Thread
Salvage Dog AU Battlemech Thread

dragonkid11

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Re: Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)
« Reply #2 on: 12 July 2018, 05:31:14 »
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Salvage Dog 1.3

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14th March 3045
Galatea System
Snake Eater
On the way to Zenith point

“Warning, 10 minutes to retroburn sequence. Please secure your belongings in your personal container and make way to the closest safety seats. For technicians, please instruct your team to secure your dedicated unit and its supply before doing so.”

It has been about an hour since that warning kept repeating, with the timer running down further each time. While the rest of the new astechs and I haven’t been assigned to a specific unit, we still helped out securing containers full of supply onto the ground or rack to make sure they don’t float around and crash into things when the dropship turned around for retroburn.

Right, what is a retroburn? While a dropship is perfectly capable thrusting on 1 g acceleration throughout the trip, they still need to slow down so their relative velocity could match with the jumpship at the jump point. I’m having this piece of information repeating in my brain right now because they were hammering it hard into the minds of the astech with a video of work safety in space.

They practically forced us to watch that for hours, and that’s probably necessary because one idiot still couldn’t understand the concept of retroburn even after the video. I hoped that person was not on my team in the future at all. Gosh, 6 days into my work and I’m already getting annoyed with my coworkers.

And I haven’t even properly started working yet!

As I was securing the belts on the last ammunition crate, mechanical arms mounted on the walls of the mech bay extended outward to grab hold of the Hunchback, securing it onto the floor.

“That should do it.” Akira stated.

I gave the belt one last tugging, “Same here.”

The mechtech assigned to Akira’s Hunchback, named Shino Eil, double-checked the belt, he gave me a thumb up when he finished. Honestly, I have no idea what race that man belonged to because he has curly brown hair, tanned skin and green eyes. I’m not even sure if he has full responsibility for maintenance of Akira’s Hunchback because more often than not Akira just worked on her mech by herself.

“We are all set here, Akira” Shino stated.

“Good! Everyone, get to your safety seat.”

The belt clicked when I locked the buckle together, it wasn’t that different compared to a car seat belt beside the fact that it’s a lot tighter and has more belt. A mechanical noise drew my attention and I saw Akira riding the elevator up her mech.

“Where are you going?”

“To the safest seat of all, my own cockpit!”

With a few steps, she climbed onto her mech and disappeared behind the cockpit, I was wondering how do battlemech let their pilot in while maintaining good protection for the cockpit bu I guess having the batch behind the head made sense.

“So, who wants to talk about something? I’m getting bored already.” I said to others around me. It wasn’t just me here after all, the other astechs were here too.

An astech on the other sides of the mech bay started, “What’s the history of the Qualip’s Phantom, Shino? I don’t think I have heard of a merc organization that name themselves after the place they born instead of their name because of their ego.”

“I haven’t been around since the start actually, just 10 years. But I asked the same exact question as you did some years ago and got quite a story to tell.”

That gave me quite an interest in the topic, “Oh? Go on?”

“It was around 30 years ago that the Qualip’s Phantom was born when Colonel Marvick and Major Davion met each other in bar. With her corporate wealth and his knowledge of warfare, they quickly came up with a mech organization that racks up successes in no time. As for the insignia, Colonel Marvick is a Lyran while Major Davion is literally a Davion. It’s quite funny that the Federated Commonwealth is officially established 5 years after they met.”

He continued, “Ever since then, there are three goals to the Qualip’s Phantom. First is to train up Qualip militia members here, so they could get some experience in combat and thereby teach that experience when they were sent back home afterward. Second is to salvage any new tech they could find on the battlefield so the Marvick Defense Corp could reverse engineer and counter it. Third, and my most favourite goals, is to trash any enemy of both Lyran Commonwealth, Federated Sun and now Federated Commonwealth. Lately, the Qualip’s Phantom has also worked for Capellan Confederation one time.”

Wait what, “Capellan Confederation? I thought they were enemy of the Federated Commonwealth!”

“That’s true about 10 or more years ago, now Candice Liao is having a truce with the Federated Commonwealth to deal with Free World League and that truce hasn’t been broken for 10 years. Haven’t you read the news?”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I’m had been frozen for 300 years and has a lot to catch up.”

I left a moment of silence for him to think about my statement, “By the way, is Justin Allard her husband?”

“Huh? Oh yeah.”

Then I presumed Candace Liao probably listened to her husband and made this truce. Of course, learning about the history of this alternative Inner Sphere was one of the first things I did, but there’s only so many questions I could ask before it would sound suspicious.

Well, there was one thing I know, one that nobody was shut up about.

The disappearance of Melissa Steiner, it just happened 2 years ago, when her jumpship suddenly mysteriously vanished when traveling back to Tharkad. The fact that it happened close to Comstar Interdiction zone made it infinitely more suspicious. I swear those white robe jerks are always up to something. I’m not going to doubt that we will be seeing cyborg Melissa clone armies running around in the future.

And of course, Skye started yelling about how Hanse Davion orchestrated this and decided to rebel once more like the whiny child it is. Just like the old Inner Sphere, it seemed that conflict will never end.

When the chatting noise from others started to die down, I noticed that all of them were staring in the same direction. Then I heard footsteps and went full alarm at that.

It was one of the new astech, walking around with earphones on. The same bloody idiot I mentioned before.

“What the hell are you doing!?”

The astech still wasn’t looking at me. At this point, I kinda wanted to just let her get wrecked to teach her a bloody lesson but it seemed I’m just like to interfere with other people’s fate too much.

As soon as I got the belt opened, I immediately ran at her and pulled off her earphone.

“Wh-”

“What the hell are you doing? We are about to have retroburn procedure in bloody minutes!”

“Minu-But I thought there’s an hour left?”

“How bloody long have you been listening to those bloody trashy music you have? The intercom has been yelling about warning for the past hour! Whatever, just follow me right now.”

I pulled her hand towards the safety seats, totally not caring about how bad she felt at the moment. She can feel bad later, it’s better than feeling pure pain because your entire body is bloody broken.

“Last warning, 10 seconds to retroburn sequence.”

“Of course.” I groaned and dashed towards the safety seats.

“10, 9, 8, 7, 6…”

I could almost feel time around me slowed down as adrenaline was pumped right into my vein. The panicking expression of other astechs just looked so detailed right as they reached out in the hope of grabbing me just before the turning procedure started.

“5, 4, 3, 2…”

With all the strength within me, I ran in the hope of reaching the seat in time. Or would be, if it wasn’t for the bloody dead weight that couldn't even sprint.

“1. Begin turning procedure.”

Forget failing at the last moment, we weren’t even close when suddenly the seat moved away from us as we rose up in the air.

The astech obviously, panicked and refused to let go of my legs. Honestly, I’m bloody panicking too but this girl was screaming so loud that my annoyance meter popped the top before the panic did.

“30, 29, 28, 27, 26…”

At the same time, it was also very confusing to think when the whole room rotated around us. With the mech bay floor being close to the center of the dropship, it looked like we were turning within the dropship when in fact the whole ship was turning around us.

God, I want to vomit right now. But I seriously need to think of something to get us to the ground fast.

Oh right, Newton's Third Law. For once, my elementary science class could save my ass.

But there was another problem…

“Bloody let go!” I yelled at the astech.

But all that did was make her hug my legs tighter, “No! If I do that I will fall!”

“We both gonna fall to our death if you don’t let go!”

She was clearly into complete panic mode right now as she didn’t listen to me at all. That left me with one choice.

For the first time in my life, I punched someone in the face, hard.

Her whole body went limp immediately and I shrugged myself off her. Then with a kick, I sent both of us traveling in different directions.

“Grab hold of her!” I called out to a few astechs sitting in another row of safety seats. With 5 people sitting there, they easily caught her unconscious body.

Meanwhile, I landed my ass right onto the ceiling of the mech bay which has now become the floor. This was confusing as all hell.

“10, 9, 8, 7, 6…”

The clock continued to tick as I ran, or rather, hopped towards the closest mech bay. While mech bays are built tall, the battlemechs they stored are quite tall too and if I can reach one of them in time…

Gosh, it just looks so damn weird to see a Commando being upside down.

However, it looked like I made a wrong judgment as the Commando was quite short when compared to the mech bay it was stored in. Just a mere 8 meters in height. But with such a slow turning speed, I could probably hop onto the head and grab onto i-

“1.”

I soon found myself floating in mid air once more, with zero way to control my direction. There was only one line swirling in my mind.

Oh shit.

“Begin retroburn.”

It was less feeling the full force of gravity and more everything else in the room was moving towards me. I found myself slamming full force onto the head of the Commando and the sheer force of the impact left me completely breathless and dazed out. I tried to grab hold onto something as I found myself slipping off the Commando but the smooth armor plating has nothing for me to grab onto-

“Hang on!”

A hand suddenly grasped my wrist, causing my body to swing and slam onto the hull of the Commando once more. Looking away from the cold, hard floor that I could have fallen onto, I saw Michelle staring back at me. Slowly but surely, she pulled me right into the cockpit of the Commando. With my chest in pain and my mind disoriented, I’m just searching for anything as a distraction over what had happened just now.

“So… this is how the cockpit looks like?”

And of course that was the first thing that came to my mind. It really did look like a jet fighter cockpit, with as many buttons, meters and screens as one. The place also smelt like a gym, which considering the normal operating temperature of the battlemech, it made sense.

“You know, you should have said thank you first when someone saved you.”

I chuckled, “Thank you for saving my ass and inviting me into your mech.”

“You are welcome.”

The usual smile on her face really was a welcoming sight with what I had been through. Right now my heart was beating like crazy and I’m not sure if it was caused by my near death experience only. But one question did come up in my mind through all the internal panicking, one that I have been eager to ask but never got the chance to.

“Michelle, be honest with me. What did you see in me when you find me that day?”

It was something I have been thinking deeply for a while. Of all the street she was walking, I just so happened to sit at one and she walked up to me because… why?

“Erm, you do not think it is a bit sudden to ask that?”

“Michelle, I nearly died. If there’s anything, I think that just reinforce the fact that if I have anything to do, I should do it fast.”

Michelle bit her lip before answering, “Okay, that day huh? Well… it was because I saw something familiar in you.”

That made me raised an eyebrow, “Something familiar?”

“Lost in an unfamiliar, strange land and have no idea where else to go. Colonel Marvick brought me out of that place. Now? I want to bring you out.”

At that moment, I saw a face Michelle has not worn before, a face of melancholy towards something in the distant past. I decided that the answer, for now, has satisfied my curiosity.

“Thank you for the answer. I guess we should erm, get out of this cockpit before anyone gets funny ide-Ow ouch!”

The smile on her face quickly twisted into a worried look as I clutched a painful spot on my chest.

“Okay, I need genuine medic help right now because this shit hurts!”

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15th March 3045
Galatea System
Snake Eater
On the way to Zenith point

Broken ribs. Three of them.

Wow, way to go on instantly dispelling my illusion of having main character level plot armor because this shit hurt like hell.

I was wondering if this set a new record on how fast an astech got injured at work but it turned out there was another astech some years that managed to not only get injured in an hour but also severely injured enough that they have to send him to local hospital.

Considering the deadpan tone of Dr. Lee when she told that story to me, I have a feeling I’m actually one of the more mundane cases…

Annoyingly, this was one of the few times in my life that I rather not get sick so I could learn as many things as possible in a short period of time. Sure, rest sounds great, but I rather get up working instead of being stuck on a bed.

And then there’s the… ‘medicine’

“Are you sure I need to drink this everyday?”

“Everyday for the next two weeks.”

It was a cup full of… mysterious white fluid. It’s not milk for sure, even if it tasted like heavily diluted milk. It also does not contain lactose so I won’t get trouble from being lactose intolerant over it. She said that it was something a pharmacy company branded as ‘Bonejuice’ and it’s full of calcium, potassium and other things that help the bone to heal faster.

I also have to drink 100 ml of this three separated times in the morning, afternoon and night everyday. This sucks.

Someone knocked on the door, “Erm, hello there?”

The door slid open and the astech from that day before came in. I could recognize it was her because of that crimson red hair and the bruise I left on her face. After the incident, the colonel reprimanded her for the safety breach and cut out part of her salary for the next 6 months to pay off my medical bill. Honestly, the colonel was being kind of a cheapstake there eventhough the girl deserved that as a lesson.

I, of course, was still slightly mad at her, “What the hell do you want?”

“I’m sorry. I’m just… I’m just here to apologize.”

Don’t get distracted by her sad cute look, don’t get distracted by her sad cute look, don’t get distracted by her sad cute lo-

“No.” I denied.

Success! Also, kinda feeling like a dick right now.

“If you want to apologize, then actually follow the safety instrument. Get better so you won’t get yelled by me again.”

She just looked down, twiddling her fingers as she contemplated what I just said.

“Okay! I will do exactly that, I won’t fail you!”

“Alright, you can leave now.”

The redhead quickly left the room in a hurry and I might have heard something fell onto the floor before getting back up again.

Taking the small cup full of medicine, I quickly drank it down and just swallowed it.

“You know, you should have asked sexual flavours from her.”

I bloody choked, this ****** doctor.

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20th March 3045
Galatea System
Snake Eater
Zenith point

Turned out, the incident on that day kinda paid off for the company. All the other new astechs took it as a lesson as they all have witnessed what would happen if they didn’t with their own eyes. It kinda… gave them motivation to not be the next ****** up.

The redhead astech (Yes, I’m calling her that for now because I have no idea what her name is) also listened well to my word and tried to improve herself in any way possible. All in all, a job well done… for others, because I’m still stuck in the med bay.

Well, technically not stuck now because I’m in a wheelchair, but I did get quite bored in the med bay. TV, radio and smart pad could only do so much to quench my boredom and so I asked Michelle to push me out for a breath of fresh air, or as much fresh air as one could get in a tin can in space.

But there was another reason as to why I want to get out of the med bay.

Today was the day the dropship fleet of the Qualip’s Phantom gets to rendezvous with the old but reliable Invader class jumpship, Zone of the Ender. There’s no way that I’m going to miss a chance to look at such a massive piece of human engineering!

Though, whoever named these space worthy vessels probably played too many games from a certain someone…

As we made my way to a row of safety seats with a great view of the jumpship, I found that one of the seats has already been occupied by a certain someone…

“Oh, hi!”

It was the redhead astech, because of course she would be here.

Oh screw it, the amount of ****** I could give has run out.

Parking the wheelchair next to the row of safety seats, I turned the maglock on to mount the wheelchair onto the floor and buckle up the seatbelt. Man, they really thought of everything in this wheelchair.

Michelle, probably sensed the amount of tension I have right now, sat at the empty seat between both of us.

The astech fidgeted on her seat, “So erm, you are here to see the jumpship too?”

“Yeah.” I unenthusiastically answered.

“So do I! I meant, it’s the first time for me in space so there’s a lot of things for me to learn to look at!”

I simply nodded, “Umhm.”

“And well, we have quite a bad impression of each other at first. So erm, I’m Sarah Manola.”

“Drake, and I’m not the one here that nearly got us both killed.”

She’s looking quite nervous afterward. Maybe I was being too much of a dick there…

A pinch from Michelle quickly crashed my train of thought, with that disapproving look on her face, there’s no doubt as to what she’s thinking.

Right, maybe I’m being a dick here, let’s try to lighten up the mood.

“So, how long have you been sitting here?” I asked.

“About… an hour?”

I think the astech might have taken my word way too seriously.

I sighed, “Sarah, you don’t need to come this early.”

“I know! But what if I forget again and then only realise the whole ship is turning when I bounce around the hull!”

“You could just… listen to the alert more properly? Maybe even set up a clock?”

“That’s definitely a good idea to do… an hour ago.” she stated sadly, “Now I just want to pee so badly.”

“Well, you probably will not need to wait for long because we are here.” Michelle stated as she stared at the window screen.

Both Sarah and I looked at the screen too and saw… just a bunch of stars against the black void.

“Which one is the jumpship?” I asked.

Sarah turned towards me, “What do mean which one, there're only stars here.”

With a tap of the screen, Michelle highlighted every single dropship and jumpship present in the window screen with a red circle around each of them. There were so many circles that they formed a thick red line across the screen with a few dozens strays circle surrounding the line. With another tap, all the circles were gone except for one.

That… definitely gave quite a scale of how much shit you can hide in space without anyone noticing with their eyeballs.

“There!” she pointed.

“Oh yeah, I can see it now. It’s getting larger too!”

The intercom suddenly opened up, “Warning, 1 minute to docking sequence.”

I can feel the dropship maneuvering lightly with its directional thrusters as the jumpship slowly increased in size. When the dropship got closer, I began to understand the true scale of this reality breaking vessel. I think I have mentioned this many times already but people in Battletech verse really like to make things huge. Where dropship is the size of a small building, a jumpship is the size of a skyscraper, a tower floating in space.

What’s even more massive was the jumpsail used by the jumpship to charge the K-F drive. Stretching up to a kilometer in diameter, the jumpsail was a massive, paper thin, donuts shaped solar panel that served to increase the fuel range of a jumpship to near indefinitely or as long as the food supply and spare part lasted.

It was also so massive that as the dropship moved in to dock, the shadow cast by the jumpsail darkened the screen and lasted for a full 3 seconds as the dropship passed through it. You truly could not appreciate the massiveness of these space worthy vessel until you took a ride in one, that I completely understood now.

“Snake Eater docked.”

As the Snake Eater docked onto the Invader, I finally could experience the weightlessness I have been seeking for past two bloody weeks. The only thing preventing me from floating away was the seatbelt.

While I was enjoying this odd feeling, Sarah unlocked her belt and promptly used the handrail to climb straight towards the washroom.

With a click, Michelle's seat belt unbuckled and she floated in a more gracefully way, "I will be right back."

She has clearly used to the feeling of weightlessness as she easily propelled herself down the hallway. 5 minutes later, they came back. Sarah was just covering her face while Michelle was trying to look like she has an unamused look on her face but completely failed to do.

"Follow my instruction, I said." she snickered, "Anyway, the other dropship should arrive anytime soon."

And so we waited. It didn’t take long however for the intercom to announce the arrival of the other two dropships.

“Policenaut and The Snatchers have docked. Commencing jump sequence.”

So this's finally happening, huh?

What followed were ten grueling minutes of just waiting as the K-F drive of the Zone of the Ender fired up and the intercom blared out warnings at an interval. All I could do was watch the jumpsail of the jumpship slowly retracted back into the ship in preparation for the jumping sequence. It didn’t help that a FTL travel was something I have not witnessed before. Seeing rocket flying into the sky was one thing, but teleporting into an entirely different system? I don’t know how to handle that.

“Warning, 30 seconds until jump sequence.”

“So erm.” I said nervously, “How does a jump feel, Michelle?”

Michelle smiled back, “You will know soon enough.”

“Warning, 10 seconds until jump sequence.”

Through the window screen, I can see some sort of field began to manifest around the dropship. First it merely just bent light around the dropship, distorting the shape of the stars and space. Then, white lines began to appear and quickly increase in width until they covered every free space outside of the dropship.

And then, we jumped.
« Last Edit: 12 July 2018, 05:37:50 by dragonkid11 »
On behalf of the Berserker,
Sure it isn't the most practical 'mech ever designed, but it's a hundred ton axe-murderer. If loving that is wrong I don't wanna be right.

Salvage Dog AU SI Fanfic Thread
Salvage Dog AU Tech Compilation Thread
Salvage Dog AU Battlemech Thread

dragonkid11

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Re: Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)
« Reply #3 on: 12 July 2018, 05:32:13 »
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Salvage Dog 1.4

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3rd April 3045
Kessel System
Snake Eater

“Jump sequence completed. Personnel may leave their safety seat now.”

A disgusting feeling of nausea and dizziness afflicted my body as I unbuckled the seat belt. But after three times of feeling even worse in past jumping, I simply got off the seat and stepped onto the floor. With the magboots I wore, I didn’t float off in the air. Though each step was awkward as I have to step with my heel first. Eventually, I made it to the elevator and moved.

All in all, it was just another day at work.

So, let me sum up the events of past two weeks.

Space sucks.

I have read documents and watched videos of astronauts living in space stations but one really won’t acknowledge how difficult it is to live in space until you experience it yourself. It was like achieving my impossible childhood dream only for reality to come crashing down on it like a wave of disappointment.

Everything I took for granted back on the ground came right back to bite me in the ass. The lack of gravity, though fun at first, soon lost its novelty as I got reminded that I have mandatory exercise everyday just to counteract against the weakening and breakdown of muscle and bone.

Even the very basic necessities such as water has changed, turning the simple act of drinking water into a difficult task. The company just handed out water bottle for all the new astechs instead. The water dispenser even has slot for insertion of the bottle just to prevent water from floating out.

Not only that, the very act of cleaning oneself has changed dramatically as we could only use towels to wipe ourselves clean. For the shower room, it has switched to steam-cleaning which can get painfully hot sometimes. It seemed even in 31st century, shower heater has only two settings, normal and Satan’s waterfall.

Thankfully, food hasn’t changed much, as everyone got allocated time to eat at the grav deck on the jumpship. Those short amount of time at the grav deck turned into something precious as I get to eat, drink and… go to the washroom like I was back on a planet.

Yes, even the very act of defecating has changed with zero gravity. And no, I tried to not to think much of it and how the toilet made an incredibly disgusting noise as it vacuumed down the… brown matter.

Whoever that managed to figure out how to produce artificial gravity field all over a spacecraft has my eternal blessing.

Even the jumping sequence, the FTL travel method I wanted to see with my own eyes, has turned out to be nothing more than a headache, literally. It was instantaneous, one second it was all glowing and bending space and then the next we were back to normal, boring, space again.

No staring into the hyperspace, no fantastic view outside of the window screen, nothing. Just instant teleportation that gave me one heck of a headache. It’s called the Transit Disorientation Syndrome AKA your brain was ****** from going through something incomprehensible. For most people, TDS manifested as mild dizziness and nausea that dissipated in minutes. Some people got it worse as they found themselves having headache, diarrhea, vertigo and other nasty stuff.

Thankfully (for the company), none of the new astechs got the worst of the syndrome, but I did need pills to mitigate some of its effects for the first time around because it hit me slightly harder than others. I did eventually get used to the feeling and forwent the pill this time around.

Now of course, zero gravity probably do have some benefits. Most of which I can’t find because I’m still struggling with it but it seemed whoever the hell next door to my room managed to find plenty of advantages of it, loudly, everyday, for the past two weeks. So loud that I have to tell them to knock it off when they were having ‘benefits’ during my sleeping period.

Oh, so the dropship could be designed to handle the thunderous noise of flaring fusion thrusters but they couldn’t soundproof the bloody walls of the crew quarter? I swear if I could get in their room and shine a blacklight on it, the walls, floor and ceiling would look like Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night…

Anyway, let’s get onto something actually relevant.

So, for the past 3 weeks, the Qualip’s Phantom has trained the new astechs in work hazard safety, space work hazard safety, basic firearm training, basic maintenance and repair training. The last part of which interested me the most. After all, I’m here to understand what engineering challenge was required to overcome in order to construct a mech. But it seemed that only senior technicians get to do all the fun stuff while the astechs were just extra manpower.

And thus, with all our basic training completed, the very first actual important task we did for the company was…

Clean everything up.

I didn’t really mind it to be honest. While I got sick of space, doing anything with mech still seemed so fun to me even if it’s just giving it a shiny look. Well, as much as a decades old mechs could shine. It’s not like piloting a mech, but as long as I got to get close to one, I’m golden.

A voice suddenly crashed my train of thought, “Drake, you kinda have been cleaning the cockpit for a long while there.”

“I’m just trying to make sure our mechwarrior could see through the glass clearly, Sarah.”

“They could just see through the external camera system with the neurohelmet.” she countered. “Besides, I finished cleaning my part already.”

I sighed deeply “Alright, alright. I’m coming down.”

“Gosh, you are really obsessed with battlemech.”

I just rolled my eyes at her as I floated down from the railing.

Now, I still slightly dislike her for that incident. But she did actually learn her mistake and further improved upon it. In fact, I could actually trust her reliability on work assignment. That and well, I could only blame myself for having such an odd level of empathy that I could actually feel mental and physical pain for overly hating someone for long period of time. Didn’t stop me from hating the vilest of jerks and that actually gave me a rather high pain tolerance level as well…

A tall guy asked from below, “Why are we even cleaning the mech bay anyway? Aren’t we supposed to do some actual maintenance?”

I gently landed on the floor, “Well, David. I’m not Sonya, but I can tell you that battlemechs aren’t such fragile machine that they need maintenance everyday. Not like they need it anyway with them being stuck in the mech bay. It’s only when they are deployed weekly that they require maintenance daily.”

With each tech team being consisted of one technician and six astechs, David was one of the new astechs hired from Galatea just like both Sarah and I did, while Sonya was our senior technician. The other three astechs in the tech team, Sai Yong, Adel and Teron, were senior members of the Qualip’s Phantom. And yes, that meant my complaint about coworkers a few weeks ago just got fulfilled, bloody Murphy.

Speaking of the senior astechs, one has arrived.

“What’s going on here? Have you guys finished cleaning up the mech?”

“Pretty much done here. I was just answering David’s question.”

Sai Yong placed her hands on her hip, “Yeah, I heard it. David, we have you guys to clean up the place a bit because we will be going into a war zone soon. This might be the last time this place will be as clean as this for a while.”

And yeah, just one more jump next week and we will be entering the latest contest zone between Federated Commonwealth and Draconis Combine.

Kaus Media.

Like a lot of planets in the Inner Sphere, it was quite average with its population, climate, culture and industrial capacity. It was, unfortunately, just happened to be in the way of the Federated Commonwealth in its latest war of ‘liberation’.

I meant, the Federated Commonwealth is one of the nicer faction in the Inner Sphere but I’m not gonna see it through a rose tinted glasses. It might even be possible that everything we do for the next two weeks before we landed on Kaus Media might be the last thing we'll ever do.

Let’s focus on something less depressing instead, “Anything else we need to here?”

“Nothing, you are free to go now.” Sai Yong stated, “Have fun with your free time.”

“What were you seniors doing just now anyway? It was only us and other 4 persons that cleaned this floor.” David asked.

“Well.” she grinned, “I won’t be a senior if I don’t let you guys do the grunt work. Anyway, bye bye.”

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3rd April 3045
Kessel System
Zone of the Ender

“What a bitch.”

For the nth times of the day, David complained once more. It was just three of us here, riding down the elevator to get to the grav deck, but honestly I would rather him to just accept it and shut up.

“Come on, David. It’s just cleaning.”

“I know, but they should at least be there or something!”

Sarah shrugged, “That’s not really needed? We pretty much cleaned up the whole place in an hour and we still get the rest of the day off.”

“Those roombas they have help a lot for sure, even if they only work on flat surface.” I added.

“I don’t know. It just doesn’t feel right to me. I’m here to fix robot, not be a janitor!”

I could only sigh as the elevator opened up. Going to the grav deck wasn’t so easy however as we have to take another elevator to reach different floor of the grav deck and synchronise our relative speed to the rotation speed of the grav deck. As we descended once more, I can feel my gut being pulled down by the artificial gravity and soon we finally arrived at the grav deck.

It would have been nice to feel the effect of gravity and enjoy the smell of food that was being served here but David just kept droning on and on and on. This guy really needs a reality check fast, I have no idea what did he expect from working as an astech but it shouldn't be rainbow and sunshine.

“So, Drake. How was your last match at the battlemech sim?”

At first, I was wondering why did she ask about that since she was my teammate at that match, then I realised she just wanted David to shut up as much as I did.

“Oh yeah, it wasn’t so bad. The mechwarriors have set up a real mechwarriors versus sim players match to welcome the new recruits.”

David immediately turned towards me, “Wait, they did? When did this happen?”

“About two weeks ago, we have been having regular matches almost everyday since then. You haven’t been around, aren’t you?”

“Oh man, I have to join in.”

“Maybe they will let you in for today’s match. Anyway, the sim players won the last match.”

‘Sim players? How? I thought you went up against veterans.”

“There’s a difference between simulation and reality, and the mechwarriors are used to reality. In simulation, you don’t need to worry about ammo consumption or final state of your mech because the match is all that mattered. Mechwarriors are conservative in their approach to the match while the sim players just rush in without a single care. Of course, in term of skill, mechwarriors are a whole new level over most sim player. We barely managed to win because I carried the team in the end.”

Sarah jabbed my side with her fingers for that last statement and I grinned back. Actually, we won because Sarah pushed her armless Charger forward as a decoy while my Wolfhound sent out stream of lasers at the last two mech on mechwarrior side. It was bloody intense when my leg actuators took a hit and I have to clutch the next laser volley at Michelle’s Commando. If the laser didn’t melt right through her cockpit, we would have lost. All in all, Sarah and I still did quite a great job there. Not sure if that means we are mechwarrior material though.

Gotta say though, the simulator felt quite real. The VR environment looked very realistic, the seat vibrated with each step and shook me around from each hit, there’s even a heater blowing hot air at me if I have overheated. But while it felt real, it wasn’t real. The user won’t take damage when their battlemech fell onto the ground, have ammo explosion, or getting shot right in the cockpit. I could feel the seat shook violently but it was just not the same. A lot of features were missing too because the sim players side weren’t using neurohelmet. In fact, the mechwarrior side might have actually gone easy on us without using their neurohelmet.

As David continued to grill me for more answer, I noticed a hand waving at me as we got our meal on the trays.

“Hey Akira.” I greeted as we made our way towards the bench.

“Have a seat, Drake.” Akira offered, “And your friends too, who are these two?”

“Ah, right. This is Sarah, and David. Both are new astechs just like me.”

“Sarah… I think I have heard about you from Michelle before.”

Sarah’s body suddenly took a stunned posture like that of a rodent that saw the shadow of an eagle and sweat started to drip from her forehead.

Rather than sitting down, her whole body seemed to fall onto the seat, “She talked about me? Did she erm, say anything specific?”

Akira quietly sipped a cup of green tea, “Well, she did mention her first impression of you.”

“Oh, okay.” It sounded so quiet coming from her mouth. I kinda pitied her for it, considering I have witnessed what happened that day too. Honestly, Michelle was kinda at fault for that one.

As I was about to take a bite of the sandwich, I noticed David’s shadow was still on me.

“Come on, David. Just sit down.”

“You know a mechwarrior!? Why are you hiding this from me, man?”

‘Because you have never talked with me, you ****** idiot.’ was what I wanted to say but I kept that in my mind instead, “What’s the big deal? I just talk to them, that’s all?”

“They are mechwarrior! And you just talk to them? Wow!”

Akira raised up her hand, “Actually, I was a former technician just like you guys until a mechwarrior I knew pissed me off. Then I stole his battlemech and joined the Qualip’s Phantom. Mechwarriors aren’t some kind of… knight, they are just military personnel who has been trained to pilot a mech. Whether they are actually good at it was another thing entirely.”

“That sounds awesome! Could you tell me more about it?”

At this point, it would take actual blindness to not notice that David was fanboying the heck out of Akira. Actually, even being blind wasn’t enough to not notice it because he’s bloody loud about his interest on battlemech and mechwarrior. I could see that behind Akira’s expression of complete patience hid a boiling irritation that’s also partly directed at me for bringing this guy close to her.

Yeah, I should probably apologise to her afterward for this…

Eventually, David’s enthusiasm could only last so long and we went separated way, mostly away from him. As I was exiting from the washroom, I noticed Michelle sitting alone at a table right next to a window screen.

“You aren’t around with others?”

She was taken aback by my sudden presence, “Oh sweet Kerensky, you spooked me there.”

I might be getting a bit too cheeky for sneaking up behind her like this but I laughed anyway, “‘Oh sweet Kerensky’, really? That’s what you guys said for sweet Jesus now?”

The confused look she gave me looked quite amusing, “Who is Jesus?”

“... That actually explains a lot. Anyway, what were you doing out here alone?”

She looked back to the window screen once more, looking outward for the stars beyond it. “Just looking at the star.”

“I can see that. They are practically the same no matter which system we are though.”

“There is a small but significant difference for every field of star we see. These small difference made every inhabitant of different star systems to see the night sky different, even when they are looking at the same exact thing.”

“So you are saying that maybe if people traveling around the Inner Sphere more, the number of war will decrease?”

I, have no idea whether I got that right or not but she was giving quite a stunned look there, “Wow, that is actually genuinely wise.”

“Hey! I could be wise! Just not all the time.”

“I see you two have been getting along.”

Both of us turned our attention at the new voice and saw the colonel looking right at us.

I quickly saluted, “Colonel Marvick! I meant, madam!”

She just chuckled, “At ease, we don’t do that here, Drake. How do you feel about the time here at Qualip’s Phantom?”

“Great! I was kinda hoping to see some actual actions but the training is definitely necessary.”

“From what I heard from Lexy, you have been devouring through engineering articles related to battlemech construction and maintenance. Good job, keep doing it and I’m sure you will do a great job as an astech.”

Ah right, Lexy. The librarian that handled administration at the data library. And yes, there’s a library on this military vessel. It’s small, but quite useful.

“Thank you, colonel.” I said gratefully, ”And thank you for hiring me as well eventhough I have no degree or anything really.”

Upon hearing that, she just laughed, “Kid, I didn’t have a degree as a mercenary commander and look where I am now? Degree doesn’t mean jack shit if you can’t use it. Experience matters more.”

With a couple steps, she walked towards us and patted our shoulders, “Nevertheless, you two should have some fun because it will be getting quite busy next week.”

As soon as the colonel left our vicinity, Michelle facepalmed, “Argh, she is not even being subtle about it.”

I sighed, “How about we go a few rounds at the sim and beat up some bots?”

“Screw it, let us go and do that.”

The AI in the sim has a very bad day later today.

------

11th April 3045
Kessel System
Snake Eater

As time passed for the past week, I spent most of my time researching engineering articles on not just battlemech, but also conventional vehicle, aerospace fighter and even dropship in case if I ever laid my hand on one of these machines to fix, maintain or salvage them.

I took every notes possible as I asked tips and knowledge from Akira, Sonya, Pedro and other technicians and I practically memorized every armor, ammunition and spare parts we have in the cargo hold that frankly looked more like a labyrinth with how much shit down there.

Of course, I tried to not overwork myself as I spent my free time with others as well. Having intense battlemech sim match with Jayson and Marley, movie night with the rest of the tech team and occasionally star viewing with Michelle, though it’s more like we couldn’t sleep and just decided to stare at a bunch of boring burning fart gas floating in space until we got tired of it.

All in all, it was a fun week. I felt kinda sad for saying this but, being in this world actually got me some real friends out here.

As the K-F field began to envelop the dropship, I steeled myself to be prepared of what is coming.

Because we are going to war.
« Last Edit: 12 July 2018, 05:39:53 by dragonkid11 »
On behalf of the Berserker,
Sure it isn't the most practical 'mech ever designed, but it's a hundred ton axe-murderer. If loving that is wrong I don't wanna be right.

Salvage Dog AU SI Fanfic Thread
Salvage Dog AU Tech Compilation Thread
Salvage Dog AU Battlemech Thread

dragonkid11

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Re: Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)
« Reply #4 on: 12 July 2018, 05:32:43 »
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Salvage Dog 1.5

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16th April 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater

A nice temperate planet, they said.

The brochure seemed to forget to mention that it’s raining season and has bloody bugs everywhere. Even the gravity itself was bad because the planet was just slightly bigger than Earth and thus made my body felt so damn heavy.

But still, gravity is gravity and a breath of actual fresh air that hasn’t been filtered through air scrubber is pretty damn nice. It even helped a lot with the mood I have for the past few days.

Those days when we jumped into the system and traveled towards Kaus Media were some of the most terrifying days ever. Everyday, I was just being paranoid about us being spotted by DC patrol dropships. While we have a squadron of medium ASF and two military dropships with sufficient anti-ASF firepower, we might be in trouble if a Vengeance or Titan spotted us.

My paranoia turned out to completely false as absolutely nothing happened, and we eventually landed close to a rebel base.

Yes, rebel base. Let’s start with the history of Kaus Media a bit.

Like any other border planet in DC territory, the planet was usually conquered by DC after they committed genocide of millions and the people eventually gave up. The sheer brutality of DC made rebel organization infeasible because they would just uproot the entire family tree.

Then came the end of Second Succession War and the planet was at peace for 100 years until DC decided to start shit up again, causing the Third Succession War. As the armies of each state expanded massively, there came a problem in the DCMS. You see, the Coordinator has decided that one of the best ways to prevent his warlords from coming to Luthien for his throne with their massive army is to make them fight each other.

The phrase ‘If it’s not broken, don’t change it.’ came into my mind when Major Davion briefed us about the rebel we will be aiding. Except that the Draconis Combine is broken as ******. When the armies of each state swelled from mere 100 regiments to literally thousands of regiments. The small territorial wars between the warlords have grown into a massively destructive chaos.

People of Kaus Media suffered greatly from these petty wars and had enough of it 20 years ago with the formation of their own rebel force. Assassination, base raiding, false flag operation, you named it, they probably did it. Between the 11th, 33th, 66th Benjamin Regulars and 24th, 45th Dieron Regulars placed on the planet, they have caused quite a bit of trouble for both sides.

Of course, they would have fallen apart years ago if it wasn’t for the Lyran Commonwealth supplying them with war material. Even before for that, it seemed the rebel has some connection with part of the militia forces on the planet.

In conclusion, our merc company was sent here to aid the rebel force in causing as much havoc as possible for the DCMS before the AFFC arrives to mop up everything. There were other merc groups sent all over the planet too but frankly, I have never heard any of them. Briar Patch Guards, Damage Inc, Blackhearts, Black Knight Legion, Black…

How many merc units started their name with the word ‘Black’!? Stop that!

Though I did wonder, what the heck happened to Draconis Combine? At this point, Theodore Kurita should have knocked some sense into it and actually made DC great again. Unless… something happened to him because of Black Dragon shenanigans. There wasn’t a War of 3039 after all. Maybe I should have asked about this the next time I talked with someone…

“You sure spaced out a lot.”

I turned back to the voice, “Yes, yes. Sarah, I have noticed.”

“By the way, David has retrieved the ammunition.”

I nodded, “Got it, I will be right there.”

Just before I got back to work, I looked at the lush green forest within the screen once more.

The place I will be living for two months.

------

The servos of my exoskeleton whined softly as I placed another SRM onto the rack. For the past few weeks, the company has trained us in how to use these exoskeletons as we will require a bit of extra strength to carry things around. It was just a simple exoskeleton rig, strapped right outside of my orange work jumpsuit. With the high gravity level of this planet, I would wear this thing 24/7 if I can.

There’s a reason why we only loaded in the ammunition when we were at the warzone. Any other time, it simply wasn’t necessary at all to load the rounds. And besides, you wouldn’t want things to go horribly kaboom when you make a mistake in poking wrong thing while traveling in a tin can.

With four SRM lined up on the rack, I was about to press a button to call the next empty rack up until I noticed the counter beneath the button was at 100 already.

“100 80mm Javelin Special loaded up! Get us the next bin!” I called out to the other astechs below.

Beside me, Sarah was panting from assisting me in placing the SRM, “Why do we have to put the missiles in manually!?”

“Well, they are quite hefty at 10 kilograms each, I doubt we could get an autoloader that could get this into the mech quickly.”

She sighed as she stared at the other battlemechs, “We really got the short end of the stick compared to the other teams.”

On the other side of the mech bay, the team that serviced Akira’s Hunchback just chatted while an ammo belt continued to feed hundreds of 30mm Pom Pom autocannon rounds into the battlemech by the seconds. Considering the damn AC 20 ate 3000 of those rounds per 3 seconds burst, it’s no wonder it needed so many of it.

“I doubt we are the unlucky one. Maybe more like the middle part of the stick.”

Looking at the team that worked at Major Davion’s Victor, they have one person carefully loading the 125 kilograms ferrous slug with the aid of a heavy duty industrial exosuit. And it’s not like we were the only one that serviced a mech with missile weapons because more than half the mech here used missile weapons with more tonnage spent on carrying ammunition. We got lucky as we only have to load two tons of SRM munition here, not like the six tons loaded into the Crusader there judging by the number of crates below.

“I’m still kinda surprised by how many missiles we could load inside a mech. The battlemech is actually quite spacious inside.”

“That’s because even with all the advancement in explosive material, the ablative armor technology has caught up so quickly that you need lots of it just to deal with the armor. There’s a reason why since the advent of primitive ablative armor, just about every vehicle used by the armies seemed bloated and massive.”

“Ah, so that’s why everything is so big compared to vehicles of a millennium ago…”

“The other 100 missiles have arrived.” David announced as he stepped off the lift, a massive crate of SRM being right beside him.

I then opened up the crate to check its content, “Let’s get this done so our mechwarrior won’t need to wait any longer.”

Just like the 80mm Javelin Special before, the SRM within the crate was nearly made entirely out of metallic explosive. Hard to believe you could improve the explosive power of the missile any further except with better explosive because the entire thing was one massive flying chunk of explosive. Michael Bay would be so proud.

But something was different about this SRM. I can feel it just by touching it. Something was different about the warhead, like a liquid was slushing in the front casing. Seeing there're letters printed onto the side of the missile, I checked that instead and it spelled ‘Javelin Inferno’.

I very nearly dropped that in shock and it could have ended badly for all three of us here.

Sarah peeked over my shoulder, “Inferno SRM?” I didn’t know we have store of it here.”

“Me neither apparently, are we getting the right ammunition?”

David shrugged, “Nope, that’s what Sonya ordered. Please don’t drop it by the way. I have been verbally burned a lot and I prefer that doesn’t happen for real.”

As with all human beings, I’m deeply afraid of being burned to death. Inferno SRM was simply one of the more futuristic instruments of setting things on fire with its inferno gel that burned so bloody hot it could melt metal structure in seconds. Thinking about it, I have always used inferno SRM on tabletop just because it was convenient and versatile. Battlemech, conventional vehicle, battle armor troopers, infantry, it didn’t matter, just burned them all to death.

... I can start to see where did the notion of ‘As long as we win, it didn’t matter what we did’ came from. It kinda… scared me, to say the least.

Though it did make me wonder why Ares Convention didn’t set a ban for incendiary weapons at all but then again energy weapon existed in this universe which would probably set people on fire occasionally anyway.

“Hey, are you guys done yet?”

It was Michelle down there, wearing a full body cooling suit that was basically the signature uniform of a mechwarrior with exoskeleton frame over it. I quietly sighed in relief that this Inner Sphere didn’t lose the technology to produce proper cooling suit at all and frankly, I would have troubles thinking clearly if the skimpy cooling vest was the standard here…

“Not yet, loading in the last SRM bin now.” I stated.

“Okay, I will be waiting down here!”

Right now, I feel uncomfortable. These inferno SRM… was Michelle secretly someone who just want to get the job done fast? After all, I did only knew her for weeks and…

“David, Sarah, can you guys load in the rest? I need to go down there for a moment.”

------

There're questions swelling in my mind right now, questions I wanted to be answered quickly, and yet I was so nervous those words refused to come out. If I have to list out my greatest weakness, it would be that I didn’t want to say any controversial things out of the fear of breaking any friendship I have.

Considering that actually happened over a minor subject that wasn’t commit war crime to kill people faster, let’s just I’m really afraid that it could happen.

But well, here goes nothing.

“So erm, hey, Michelle.”

“Hi, taking a break?”

“Yeah, I double checked everything in your mech by the way eventhough Sonya said it wasn’t needed. It’s your first mission on this planet after all, don’t want anything to go wrong.”

“That is great, thanks!”

Oh, that smile again. Come on, don’t make me feel bad… “Anyway, what was the mission anyway?”

“Supple convoy raid, sounds simple enough. The weirdest thing was the rebel company that will join us in the raid, an entire company of Stingers and Wasps, can you imagine that?”

“You serious? Those things are scouts! They aren’t made for direct combat! Don’t they have anything heavier and as agile like… Javelin?”

“Apparently they have so many of those 20 tonners that they just threw them around like candies. I heard from one of the rebels that if any of them were broken, they just grab one out of the storage.”

“So you guys will be the only pulling the weight then.”

“Us, the Blue lance and the White Lance.”

I chuckled, “I guess any enemy mech won’t be a trouble with Akira around.”

“It would certainly make your job easier when it is time for salvaging.”

‘Right, yeah. Salvaging.”

Annnd I ran out of topic to drag on and now a quiet, nervous mood settled on me, shit.

Dammit, how do I continue with this? It’s not like I could just ask ‘Hey, do you like to burn people to death?’

“You really are not good at keeping a poker face, you know.”

Oh shit, did she see through me already?

She patted my back, “It is not the first time you desperately want to ask me something but could not. Come on, speak it out.”

“Alright then… It’s about those inferno SRM.”

As soon as I mentioned that, her face immediately wore a gloomy look, “Ah that… I only used the inferno SRM against militia battlemech and conventional vehicle. I usually let others deal with infantry when they can and when they can’t, I just ran off.”

I nodded as she continued, “I do not like it either, but if there is any alternative to shut down the enemy fast, I will take it in a heartbeat.”

“Okay.”

The silence between us stretched for a while, with the only noise coming from tech teams working on their mechs. It was a soothing noise after I have listened to it for so long. It meant work, it meant friends, it meant…

“I feel stupid for even feeling bad about this.”

Michelle just stared at me oddly, “Huh?”

“I have been excited about working on a battlemech as a part of the technician team for weeks. I have been learning everything I could from the library to fix battlemech. I have been keeping your battlemech at top condition with the rest of the team. And I was responsible for loading in over a ton of high explosive missiles in your Commando.”

I continued, “And I was worried about whether you secretly have a dark side when death by explosions, bullets and lasers mean ****** all to those that are already dead. When I should have been worried about myself instead.”

“Turns out, I’m not a realist, I’m still bloody naive. I so worked up over doing well in my job that I completely forgot I’m working in a mercenary company whose job is to ruin somebody’s day by killing them. And I’m as responsible as you over every single kill you will get out there.”

“Are you… okay?”

“Honestly? No. But I can handle this, now that I’m not being stupid.”

“All ammunition loaded up.” Sarah panted up on the platform, I might have to apologize to her for leaving her with David later, “You are ready to go, Mechwarrior.”

“Looks like that’s your cue to go.” I said, “Go on, don’t worry about me. I want you to focus, stay safe and get back.”

“Wow, that is so hypocritical.” she laughed, “But thanks, I will get back no matter what.”

With another pat on my back, she walked towards her ride.

I sighed. Because I actually have another question I wanted to ask her about.

Something about her mech just felt… off. Like something in my mind wanted to tell me that something was being amiss here. But well, I just have to live with this feeling until she gets back.

------

You would think precisely controlled nuclear explosions contained within a magnetic shielding would make a lot of sounds but when Michelle’s Commando’s fusion reactor started up, I couldn’t even tell it was on until the mech stood straight.

The floor shook when she took a step forward, it was like watching a building walking. There’s nothing graceful about it at all, and yet I couldn’t do anything but be mesmerized as the Commando walked out of the mech bay with Sonya leading her out via signal light sticks on her hand.

Then the whole dropship rumbled as it wasn’t just her that was moving, the other seven mechs walked out of their mech bay too, each weighing way heavier than the Commando and each stepped harder on the floor.

Two lances lined up at the center of the floor. The Commando, Phoenix Hawk, Firestarter and Wolfhoundas Blue lance with a blue stripe down their left shoulder, while a Hunchback, Kintaro, Wolverine and Dervish formed up the White lance with the same coloured stripe at the same place.

As the bay door opened, the lance leaders of each lance moved out first. Jayson pushed his Phoenix Hawk forward while the Wolverine followed behind. Eventually, the whole lance moved out of the dropship, and when it’s Michelle’s turn, she gave me a thumb up with her mech before heading out.

It’s been 2 hours since then.

They really never mention this part in any of the books, or just about anywhere really. This would be the part of a novel where they cut past all the transporting and rearming and marching skipped straight to the cool battlemech versus battlemech combat scene. Not, you know, showing a guy desperately waiting for someone he knows to come back from a fight alive.

I’m… not remotely good at waiting when I fully expect something bad might be happening right now.

As I was trapped in a loop of depression, I didn’t notice Sarah was here until she stomped right next to me. In her hand were a long submarine sandwich half wrapped in brown paper and a canned drink.

Sitting down beside me, she put the drink down and ripped the sandwich in half, “It’s past lunch already, you should eat something.”

Even with such a delicious smell reaching my nose, my appetite just wasn’t there to enjoy it, “Thank you, I will… eat it later.”

It really wasn’t normal for me to be so worried that I forgot to eat. To start it off, one of the primary ways I dealt with stress was to replace it with fulfillment from eating food. Despite this, I still managed to keep fit for some reasons, it’s odd. But yeah, being so worried that I forgot to eat? It’s bad.

A heavy slap on my back knocked me back to reality, “Come onnnn. Don’t be this gloomy about it! What, you think she would feel good if she saw you like this when she came back victorious?”

“No…”

“Then eat. Even if it’s just for filling up your stomach.”

With a first bite, I could taste the wheaty scent of the bread which was complemented with slices of ham along with fresh sliced vegetables such as lettuce, tomato and cabbage. The mustard sauce that was coating meat and vegetable gave a hint of spice to the overall taste of the sandwich, not too spicy, but still there in the foreground. Each bite got me more and more hungry and I eventually just wolfed down the whole thing.

Of course, swallowing this much food at once without drinking a single drop of water was kinda painful on my dry throat. Seeing that I’m in minor distress, Sarah gave me her drink to clear my throat. It was nice and refreshing but…

“Diet coke, really?”

“What? I like it.”

I just snorted, didn’t even know why, it just felt hilarious, “Maybe I should buy you a can of Pepsi next time.”

“Pepsi? Oh, that company. Good luck, because the Succession War took their secret recipe.”

“... Are you serious? Pepsi got nuked!?”

“Along with the entire planet, all their subsidiaries are gone in the war as well for some reasons. There’s a conspiracy theory that one of them took their rivalry a bit too far…”

Great, an Inner Sphere without Pepsi. Truly the darkest timeline ever.

“Actually, what else do you need to know about the Inner Sphere since you have been missing 300 years of history.”

I shrugged, “Something recent I guess? I have only got out of a stasis tube just a couple months ago.”

“Alright then, let me try to remember because I didn’t exactly get a good grade in history. Oh wait, I have one!”

“Go on.”

“You do know about the Fourth Succession War, right? In 3030, let’s just said there was an unwelcoming surprise to the Federated Commonwealth whe-”

“Figure the two of you are up here.”

The two of us was alerted by the sudden presence of Sai Yong with her shadow towering over us.

“What’s going on?” I asked her since obviously she won’t try to find us if there’s no work to do.

“Get ready, the 1st Company has secured the asset.” she said, “We are going to do some salvaging.”

------

Having a dropship sure is convenient to travel around a planet. Skimming over the top layer of atmosphere decreased the travel time dramatically by allowing the dropship to obtain higher top speed without having to go against air resistance. Accounting in the time to reach above the atmosphere and head back to the surface, the travel time is usually 20 minutes to an hour long for a roughly Earth sized planet. Obviously, it’s longer for bigger planet but only slightly.

When the dropship began to descend past the atmosphere, I got off the safety seat as soon as permission was granted. I couldn’t sit still for the whole trip at all. We were told that the battlemech lances the company sent out have completed their mission, but they didn’t mention if we have any casualty at all.

I did, of course, figured that they would mention the lances being heavily damaged if they wanted us to be prepared on repairing the battlemechs as fast as we could, but I could never shake off my worry like that.

Right now, the whole mech bay was in a bit of an organized chaos.

“Adel, David, prepare the armor plating and ammunition! As soon as we touch down, refill the ammunition and replace any damaged armor plating. We need to send our princess out asap.” Technician Sonya, our tech team leader, handed out our order.

The blonde lady was certainly as experienced in this line of work as her age suggested, but I really doubted anyone would say that straight to her face. I meant, she’s not that old, just around 40, but that would still massively pissed her off.

As all tech teams were readied to service their mechs, I noticed Sonya was talking to someone via an earpiece. Probably Michelle considering Sonya was asking what’s the state of her mech and some other questions I didn’t quite catch.

“Drake, come here.”

Huh, what did she call me for?

She took off the earpiece and handled it to me, “Here, she wants to talk to you.”

“Oh, erm, thanks.”

“Maybe I should request one for you if our mechwarrior wants to talk to you so much.” the old lady chuckled.

Ignoring her comment there, I put on the earpiece on.

“Hello, hello. Testing, testing.” I repeated.

“I can hear you clearly, Drake.”

“Hey, Michelle.” I greeted, “So what’s going on there?”

“Well, we had an ambush.”

My mood might have dropped rather dramatically upon hearing that. After all, that would usually mean a bad thing.

“And erm, your work today is going to be slightly more difficult.”

That’s… peculiar, “Why?”

“We had a bit more salvage than usual.”

As if it was for a dramatic purpose, the bay door suddenly opened as alarm warned people to not get close to it.

“What the hell?”

The scene I saw before me was a complete carnage.

All across the canyon was at least a dozen battlemech carcasses, cockpits shot off, limbs ripped off, torsos were torn open, it made for a rather gritty display of the end of battlemech combat. Not just that, there’s burning husk of immobilised vehicles scattered all over the place, so many of them that I lost count after 20.

And then there’s the… bodies. I couldn’t see clearly from this distance, but I could still see hundreds of camouflaged bodies that were made more obvious by the sheer amount of red covering their uniform.

I didn’t know what exactly stood for a sufficient number of force to repel an expected raiding party of twelve 20 ton battlemechs, but I didn’t expect it to be this.

Now there’s another question dwelling in my mind, if this was what they sent after the lightest battlemech company possible, what will they send against us?
On behalf of the Berserker,
Sure it isn't the most practical 'mech ever designed, but it's a hundred ton axe-murderer. If loving that is wrong I don't wanna be right.

Salvage Dog AU SI Fanfic Thread
Salvage Dog AU Tech Compilation Thread
Salvage Dog AU Battlemech Thread

dragonkid11

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 324
Re: Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)
« Reply #5 on: 12 July 2018, 05:33:14 »
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Salvage Dog 1.6

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16th April 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos

“This is Blue 4. All remote sensors have been placed.”

“Roger that, Blue 4. This is Blue Leader, all units with active probe begin sweeping procedure.”

It was a very standard ambush strategy. Hidden remote sensors were deployed throughout the ambush site to detect the incoming convoy and potentially any reinforcement. All units were then to turn off most of the battlemech system except sensor and life support to maintain a low detection profile and wait for the arrival of the convoy. Four members in the two lances were responsible for monitoring the surrounding with the remote sensors as their active probes could receive and process data from those remote sensors. This tactic won’t really work against forces with advanced ECM protection but it still works against most outdated militia force.

With the road being in the middle of a wide canyon with plenty of trees to hide around, it was easy to set up. Just like any ambush tactic, patience is required. Patience that has been stretched a bit thin after an hour of waiting.

It still wasn’t as bad as waiting for half a day like that time on Lyons. The colonel got so pissed off she just ordered a direct attack on the supply base and interrogated the base commander for the whereabouts of the convoy.

Taking another bite off her sandwich, Michelle boredly waited for the enemy to arrive. It would be nice if anything could distract her right now considering what has been repeating in her cranial for the past hour.

She sighed deeply, it was a rather weird thing to be said by him. It did make some sense, but a mechwarrior should generally still be responsible for their own action. Still, at least he didn’t have a grand illusion of having a great time ahead. Turnout rate for new astechs tended to be bad because of what they will see on field. Things… get brutal in a fight and the aftermath could be horrifying.

While she’s still kinda worried about him, he did say he can deal with it and she will trust him on that.

Though, if she really has to distract herself, all she has to do was listen to the radio signal from the rebel company… for about 3 seconds

The rebel force sent by the rebel command was… not exactly full of the brightest people around. Half of them were completely terrified of their first skirmish because they have barely any training and those are the best one. The rest were either criminals or psychopaths and they sure have a colourful vocabulary on trying to ‘flirt’ with her. One of them thought Akira was with the Drac (Well, she sure was) and nearly shot her.

There’s being amateur and then there’s actively antagonizing your allies. What the hell was the rebel command thinking when they sent this company full of trouble to them? If they kept talking nonstop via the comm, the DC convoy will notice them sooner or later. Chances are the rebel command might have even given them combat drug before this, so they would go crazy against whatever the convoy has for defender.

“Those jerks are racists.” Akira complained, thankfully via a secured frequency only available to the Qualip’s Phantom.

“White 2, don’t think about headshotting them.” Lee, White Leader of the White Lance, insisted.

“Just saying. If you guys want to, I could probably make 3 of them go down at once since they all lined up perfectly like that.”

“Anyone got anything on the sensor?”

“This is Blue 3, nothing.” Smithy reported.

“Blue 4, nothing. I swear if this thing is broken…” Marley stated.

“White 2, no signal.”

“This is White Leader, there’s noth-I got something! Turning up visual feed and sending… now!”

A window enlarged on her HUD, showing the camera feed from one of the remote sensors. As expected, it was a small convoy of at least a dozen transport trucks carrying around a couple hundreds of tons worth of supply to the next militia base down the road around 160 kilometers away with only a company of Goblin was protecting them.

Looks easy, but you never know wh-

“******! Guys, the rebels are charging in!” Marley yelled.

Even without radar, she could clearly see that half of the Rebel’s company were charging straight towards the convoy through the windshield.

“This is Blue Leader, what the hell are you people do-”

“Screw off! Let’s kill all the damn Dracs here for making us wait so damn long!”

“Rogue Leader. Keep your man together dammit!”

There wasn’t any response from the rebel company leader as the rest of the company began to move in for the kill.

What the hell is wrong with the rebel of this planet?

“Should we move in?” Michelle asked worriedly.

“Don’t, maintain a low profile and keep looking at the sensor, I have a bad feeling about this.”

Had it gone like the plan did, the convoy and its defenders would have been flanked on both sides by nearly 2 companies of battlemechs. Now, the rebels are charging head on towards the convoy, all weapons firing at the Goblins. Upon seeing the incoming battlemech company, the transport began to turn around and while the Goblins was surprised by sudden incoming fire, their reply was swift.

Laser, bullets and missiles began to streak across the distance between both sides. While the Goblins’ large laser would carve deep right into the light mechs’ armor, the rebel company maintained top speed and jumped around whenever they can, focusing on evasion instead of landing hits.

Even when their vehicles were hammered with 20mm HE machine gun rounds and bombarded with inferno SRM, the infantry squads within the Goblins quickly moved out and returned fire even as some were already down from stray fire. Each hit was brutal on them, the machinegun rounds will just tear right through limbs and torso and the inferno gel burnt with such intensity that bone could be charred in seconds.

But it’s not to say the Goblins didn’t bring the pain to the rebel company either as even with such high agility, the large laser still scored some hits on the light mechs. Arms were shot off, leg actuators damaged, armor melted from the beam as the distance between both sides closed together.

However, that’s exactly what the rebel company intended in the first place as their jumpjet would give them unparalleled mobility at close range. The rapid jumping movement caused confusion towards their enemies, making them unsure of which light mechs to hit. As the Goblins began to slow down from damage to their tracks and the infantry squads getting ripped apart, the winner of the fight was starting to be obvious.

“Yeah, we can do this! We ca-”

The rebel ceased to exist as a sapphire blue beam melted right through the cockpit of a Wasp and out behind it.

“Dammit, John! I will kill you all!”

2 kilometers away from the battlefield, the team continued to observe the fight.

“Really? Did that guy really say that?” Akira snarked.

Marley snorted, “Where do they think they are in? A military drama? Who the heck kept their comm on open channel and scream like that? You don’t punch harder just because you yell harder.”

“I would admire them for charging in like that… if they aren’t being so unprofessional about it.” Smithy complained.

“Are we really just gonna sit here and do nothing?” Michelle asked worriedly.

“They broke off from the plan they set and refused to listen to us, and their commander is saying nothing at all, so we really can’t be held obligated to save their ass if they ever need a saving.” Jayson stated bluntly.

“Clear the channel, I got something on the sensor!” Marley reported.

“Where?”

“Remote Sensor A1 and A2 detecting movement, they are moving to B2 and B3.”

“White Leader here. Detecting movement at E3 and E4, they are all moving towards the convoy!”

Flanking from left and right sides together? Classic ambush maneuver.

Jayson groaned, “Figure, an ambush on an ambush. How many units are in the reinforcement?”

“I spot 8 mechs and at least a company of vehicle here along with battle armor squads coming from the east.”

“4 mechs, 12 vehicles and a company of BA from the west.”

“Blue Lance will handle the west side, we are closer here. White Lance, can you handle the east side?”

“Ha, with Akira’s around. Those 8 mechs might as well be scrap.” Lee boasted.

“Rogue Leader, this is Blue Leader, enemy reinforcement is coming your way, you might need to bail your people out now.”

Once again, there wasn’t any response.

“Just what is wrong with this rebel company?”

“Nevermind that. Move out, Blue Lance, we have a job to do.”

And yet for some reasons, she couldn’t shake off the feeling that something was terribly wrong with the rebel.

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With another kick, the rear section of the last Goblins dented inward and smoke started to fume out of the chassis. With all enemy forces surrendered, the rebel cheered.

“Yeah, we did it! I can’t believe it!”

“We don’t need help from some darn mercs or the AFFC, we can save our planet ourselves!”

“I just can’t believe we survived our first skirmish!”

“Well, not exactly everyone.”

Had it gone to plan, the chaos caused by the sudden appearance of twelve light mechs would have caused panic throughout the enemy rank. While the Stingers and Wasps are fast, the primary tool to evade enemy fire would be their jumpjets and using them up close will make them incredibly difficult to hit by conventional vehicles.

Instead, half the team decided to charge straight in and the other half have to follow in or the plan will fail. Right now, four rebels were dead and another six have severely damaged mechs. Now they have to wait for the salvage team to arrive, so they could get the supply back to their base.

“So, what do we do with the prisoners?”

While the rebel was brutal with their attack, some infantrymen and women were still alive from the ambush, a handful out of 12 squads of 7 members fireteams.

“Give them the usual pitch of joining the rebel or something?”

“I have a better idea.”

A burst of machinegun rounds quickly obliterated the remaining infantry, the sandy ground painted red with their blood.

“What the hell are you doing!? Those are militias, not the DCMS!?”

The rebel shrugged, “Who cares, they work for them anyway? What, you gonna shoot me for that, go ahead!”

“Hey!” a rebel called out to them, “Does anyone notice where did Rogue Leader go?”

The rebel angrily sent a kick to a wrecked Goblin, “Who cares about that silent ******! Who the hell introduce themselves as their callsign anyway, such a creepy bastard.”

“Erm, guys. We have company.”

As the rebel looked up from the bottom of the canyon, more and more DC units emerged from the ridgeline. The DC mechs, Strider, Raptor and Wolf Trap, all heavier than the Stingers and Wasps the rebel used, lined up their weapons along with two companies of Tokugawa and Manticore and nearly a hundred Raidens.

“Oh shit.”

First volley of the crossfire torn half of the company apart, some were too stunned to even move in the hope of evading incoming fire while others were simply unlucky in the face of overwhelming firepower.

Michelle couldn’t help but sigh at the senseless death of the rebels, “I feel bad for using them as bait.”

“Don’t be, it’s their decision for not listening to our warning. Now everyone moves in!” Jayson ordered.

With pedals to the throttle, both lances moved in behind both DC Battalions, completely unaware of their presence.

“Blue 3, Blue 4, TAG the Raidens!”

Tight beams emitted out of the TAG unit on the Firestarter and Wolfhound were pointed right behind the Raidens. With a combined salvo of homing and standard Arrow IV missiles always set sail seconds ago from the Chaparrals of the Sixth Company located 20 kilometers away from the fight, the missiles landed at the target almost immediately.

Nearly 3 squads of Raiden were instantly obliterated by the Arrow IV, their occupants crushed within their crumbled suits. The other two Arrow IV landed among the vehicle formations, the wheels of the Tokugawas were blown right off from the chassis.

Before the Wolf Trap could even turn around, laser and missile salvos from the whole lance torn holes on their rear armor. Michelle didn’t exactly remember the weak point of every single existing Battlemech, but she did remember why Wolf Trap was only in production for 10 years some 50 years ago.

As soon as the internal was exposed, two Wolf Traps immediately exploded as their vulnerable ammunition bin were ignited by weapon fire. With their outdated CASE, the explosion was contained in a torso section rather than venting out of the back. With such severe damage to the frame and XL fusion reactor, the pilots of the Wolf Traps ejected out of their wrecked mechs just before the mech crashed onto the ground.

“Blue Lance, focus on the Tokugawa, we will need to disable them fast!”

With the entire company of vehicles still turning around to face them, the whole lance opened fire on their rear.

------

3000 rounds of 30mm HEAP rounds torn right into the cockpit of the Raptor and the machine quickly slowed to a halt. Despite the Raptor was moving at 120 km/h with thick tree cover around, Akira was still able to nail the mechwarrior at a whole kilometer simply because…

“Bullshit.”

“Yeah, I know right, Silva? Raptor in a militia force? I thought Draconis Combine only hands out Panther and Jenner to militia forces.”

“That’s not what I-”

“Manticore to the right.”

With an AC 20 burst from Akira’s Hunchback to blow off the armor and Silva’s Dervish sending streak SRM salvos straight into the internal, the Manticore was quickly disabled.

“That’s about 6 of them down.”

A PPC bolt streaked past between them.

“If they actually get out when they are immobilised.”

Akira spun her mech around to fire the TAG at the Manticore, an Arrow IV quickly landed right on top of the tank. Crews of two other Manticores quickly climbed out of their tanks and ran off.

“And besides, it has been nearly 50 years since its debut. I would be surprised if none of it made it to militia forces. And we are getting rather deep into DC territory, they might have pulled out all stopgaps to slow the advance of AFFC.”

“Then again, the AFFC did show how ineffective wave attack is with outdated mechs 15 years ago.”

The sound of gunfire cut through their conversation, “White 2, White 3, stop your chatter and start shooting already!”

They both unenthusiastically sighed, “Yes, Lee.”

About 500 meters away, Lee pushed the pedal to jump into the air as missile salvos were locked onto his mech. With a thrust assisted spin, every single missile coming from the Manticore impacted fresh armor on his mech. As soon as the lock-on warning ceased, he turned back to the Manticore and fired burst of rounds from his ultra AC 5 and inferno SRM salvos from his SRM 6. The autocannon rounds hammered against the heavily damaged Manticore, stunning the crew and as the inferno SRM sent its payload over the vehicle, the crews started to panic as the heat seeped into the crew compartment.

Right as he landed on the ground, Lee pushed his Wolverine forward. With the right arm cocked, he took a swung at the side of the Manticore. Just before impact, triple medium pulse laser stabbed deep into the armor and retracted backward right as he drove his fist deep into the Manticore. It was pretty clear whatever inside the Manticore was very non-functional as he was arm deep into the hull.

As he struggled to pull the arm out, the Strider that has been annoying him throughout the fight has once again fired missile from its NARC launcher. He couldn’t be sure what the missile contained until it burst opened to release a bola. The bola tied around his mech’s arm and torso, making it even hard to pull the arm out.

Once again, he detected lock-on warning as the Strider pointed its TAG against him. Those semi-guided missiles the Manticore used was quite devastating when they hit. Thankfully, it quickly ended right as the Strider received a lethal dose of streak SRM salvos all over its hull, making the missiles launched from hidden Manticore landing all around him.

“Thanks, White 4.”

A Kintaro emerged out of wood and pulled his arm out of the Manticore.

“Don’t do that silly trick again. I can’t be there all the time.”

“Come one, Sayori. You always have my back.”

“You said the same thing to Silva too…”

A Strider suddenly landed behind them and fired every single one of its weapon at them. The medium laser missed, but the streak SRM salvos seemed to bend around the terrain to land at them. It wasn’t exactly much damage though as Lee simply fired inferno SRM at the Strider. All six of the missiles hit and the Strider’s pilot promptly punched out as heat spiked in his mech.

“That’s the last of the Strider.”

“So much for the worst modularmech in history.”

Two Raptors supported by two Manticores and four squads of Raidens began to move towards them, but before they could do anything, Arrows IV rained down upon them and bombarded their position. The Manticores were immediately disabled while the Raidens were torn apart by the fragmentation and overpressure from the Arrow IV. Right as the Raptors were thinking about running, a Hunchback shot one mechwarrior right out of his cockpit and punched another square in the face.

“That’s more than half of the enemy defeated.” Akira stated, “I wonder how’s the Blue Lance doing, they should have it easier with less enemy after all.”

------

Tens of thousands of micro submunitions exploded across her whole mech, wiping the paint job clean off to expose the plain gray beneath it. Marley could feel her shoulder aching in pain as a chip from the armored windshield hit it, but with the chip stuck on her suit and not in her, she was quite thankful for her thin and yet protective cooling suit.

She sent down her wrath upon the offending Tokugawa, plasma burning as hot as the sun scorched the hull of the Tokugawa, little was obvious about what’s going on inside the vehicle until its rear armor blew off to vent the explosion from its ammunition storage. With a kick at the back of this vehicle, more smoke started to fume out of the vehicle and the crew escaped.

She let the crew walk away and searched for her next target, she’s not that cruel of a person. One squad of Raidens turned their attention towards her, thinking that she was an easy prey. It seemed that for all its usefulness, people kinda forgot that the Firestarter has a modularmech version that weighs 10 tons heavier and packed more guns and armor than the old Firestarter.

And she has one right here.

While she didn’t like the new generation of energy weapon because of the heat they caused, more of the old was just fine with her and with six medium lasers split on her arms, she made a short work of two Raidens. The next she dealt with by cooking the trooper with three of her forward mount flamers and the last she just threw onto the ground and stomped hard onto the battle armor.

Suddenly, she felt her whole mech shuddered from impact as the damage readout of her mech showed severe damage on her right arm. As she turned towards the threat, the Wolf Trap took a swing at her. She was barely able to dodge the arm and saw the fist of the Wolf Trap barely scraped past her windshield. The Wolf Trap fired its autocannon once more but she slammed its cannon barrel away with the left arm. With another incoming punch, she blocked it with the damaged right arm. It turned out to be too much as the forearm broke upon impact, rendering all weapons on that arm useless.

Jumpjets flared as she tried to get away from the Wolf Trap but now it gave the Wolf Trap the distance needed to shoot her down. The submunitions from the LBX autocannon detonated all over the legs, damaging the jumpjets mounted on them and causing her to crash back to the ground. As she landed hard on the ground, the Wolf Trap fired everything at her. Autocannon rounds, LRM salvos, laser fire, she didn’t how much sailed past her and how much torn her armor apart, but she did know she has to fight back.

The three medium laser on her left arm jabbed deep into the Wolf Trap’s shoulder, twin small pulse laser peppered hot craters on its chest, and the remaining flamers further cooked the Wolf Trap. When the Wolf Trap fired again, she turned around and slammed her back against the DC mech. It was a trick she developed a while ago, way too risky to use normally. It basically turned the jumpjets on her Firestarter into more flamers. With the additional of an actual rear mounted flamer, the Wolf Trap’s heat rose dramatically.

And yet, the DC pilot will not back up.

“What the hell is wrong with you!?”

As if to answer her reply, the Wolf Trap reared its arm again and fired the medium lasers.

“I got you!”

And from behind the Wolf Trap, SRM salvos exploded all over its back. It was a surprise to both the Wolf Trap’s pilot and her, as nothing on her sensor showed the Commando was there. Whatever tech she requested to be installed made her mech completely invisible on radar.

The DC pilot, obviously pissed, turned around to fire at the Commando, but another salvo of inferno SRM put its action on hold. Whatever the pilot was planning was halted as fire burned all over his mech. Through the thermal sensor, Marley was kinda wondering how in the world was the mech still functional. The heat could only rose up for so long and the cockpit of the Wolf Trap suddenly burst into flame. The pilot screamed for help as the fire burned his flesh, only for his only reply to be a punch straight into the cockpit.

As Michelle pushed her Commando’s fist back, the Wolf Trap fell on its back and promptly exploded.

“That… took a lot longer than I thought.”

There was only silence from Michelle.

“Oy, Blue 2, come in?”

“Nothing, I am fine. I just need a moment.”

Both of them were alerted when a mech landed right behind them, it was one of the Stinger from the rebel company.

“Excellent work out there.” the Rogue Leader commented.

“Where the hell are you when your men are dying!?” Michelle angrily demanded an answer.

“Someone needs to convince the convoy to stay. Besides, they are the worst of the worst, both in training and personality. It’s not really a big deal if their life has to be sacrificed for greater good of Kaus Media. Honestly, they won’t really adjust back as a member of society after this.”

As a merc, she sometimes adopted a ‘Just work’ personality to deal with situations like this, but this guy just smelt like trouble.

“Now that the DC force is either dead or running. I will try to find if there’s any survivor still stuck in their mechs or have run away.”

And as quickly as he appeared, the Stinger jumped back into the canyon. Something was different about that Stinger, like it was slightly bigger or something.

“This is Blue Leader, it’s done. Secure the perimeter until the dropship has arrived.”

“Roger.”

But she figured that it’s not in her payroll to ask about that.

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16th April 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater

“Gosh, those rebels sound like a complete dick.”

While I never really doubt Michelle’s piloting skill, to see her Commando coming back in a near pristine state after such a massive skirmish was quite amazing. However, the Commando still suffered enough damage that I have to shape and weld new armor plating to be fitted on her mech.

“Complete dick? Where did you get all these colourful swear words?” Michelle laughed.

“Trust me, you don’t want to listen to my whole vocabulary of it.”

With that, I’m back to focusing on welding the armor plating together. Though, it’s not really me that did the welding, it was the welding machine that did the job automatically.

It was this part of the Battletech-verse that I have the most question, how in the work did armor get welded together without causing weak point? Any welding procedure that melts the welding point on the process such as arc welding and laser welding will easily create a weak spot for the armor to break apart easily.

Then it turned out the question was already answered a millennium ago with a method called magnetic pulse welding. It was a process that used magnetic force to join two metal components. It can finish the process in microseconds, it can weld part together without making a brittle welding point, and it did everything without blinding people and produce toxic waste. After a thousand years of improvement, this thing basically works like magic. All I have to do was give the computer an instruction and it quickly made the shape I wanted.

“Sonya, I’m done here.”

“What, done? You work real fast, kid. I haven’t even put the last two pieces you made onto the mech yet.”

“Huh? I thought we were basically using the same machine to do the same job?”

“Kid, your fingers were flying when you set the instruction for the welding machine. I have never seen someone capable of making a new instruction that fast.”

Oh, it’s my power at work again.

“Actually, why don’t you take over this for me?”

I shrugged, “Well, if you insist.”

With the old lady stepping aside, I quickly set in new instruction for the mechanical arms in the mech bays. Within minutes, the robotic arms picked up the new armor plating and welded it onto the chassis of the Commando, covering the green myomer bundle beneath the hull once more. Even as I got the job done fast, I was actually kinda sad that I will never be able to see the polymer layer beneath the armor get welded together by ultrasonic welding. The polymer layer served as a protection against the environment by acting as a sealant, though its effectiveness was dramatically decreased when a phenomena known as ‘big ****** hole’ happened to it.

With her arm folded, Sonya smiled at me, “10 minutes, and you fixed everything. That was actually impressive.”

“Well, nearly everything. Sarah, have you done with cleaning the arm yet? I kinda need to put the new armor on the arm.”

“Erm, I’m erm.” she stuttered.

The left hand of the Commando was… still mostly covered in a layer of blood. I meant, I should be horrified but that just looked like someone overdrawn at a blood bank.

“Abel, take over for her. Sarah, take a break for now.”

As Sarah stepped off the platform, it’s very obvious that she was a bit scared.

‘Hey, you okay?”

“Yeah, it’s just… I know my father mentioned these moments before but they felt a lot stronger when it’s in front of you.”

“Your father was an astech?”

She looked away, “Yeah, something like that.”

With a bucket full of detergent, Abel easily cleaned the blood off with an extended scrubber. That detergent… worked quite effective and soon the blood was cleaned off, leaving just the roomba to clean the dripping liquid off the floor. As the diluted fluid continued to drip, I noticed a piece of something fell onto the floor.

It was a row of teeth with gum still attached to it.

I quickly pushed Sarah out to the bay door.

“Huh, what?”

“Let’s just get some fresh air.” I insisted, “Michelle, you wanna go as well?”

She looked back at her mech, her eyes lingering at the hand for a moment, “Yeah.”

As we hung around the bay door, all the wrecked hulls of vehicles and battlemech were kinda distracting when one tried to enjoy seeing the lush green tree and breathing fresh air that wasn’t polluted with the smell of burnt metal and propellant.

Look like we can’t take a break from the war at all.

“So, what now?” Sarah asked.

“Now, we wait for others to get their job done.” I answered, “Then we go salvaging.”
On behalf of the Berserker,
Sure it isn't the most practical 'mech ever designed, but it's a hundred ton axe-murderer. If loving that is wrong I don't wanna be right.

Salvage Dog AU SI Fanfic Thread
Salvage Dog AU Tech Compilation Thread
Salvage Dog AU Battlemech Thread

dragonkid11

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 324
Re: Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)
« Reply #6 on: 12 July 2018, 05:33:43 »
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Salvage Dog 1.7

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16th April 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
The Snatcher

“That’s one big truck.”

It didn’t take long to complete repairing the Commando as it was the lightest and most lightly damaged mech came out of the fight before. Soon enough, the tech team made their way to The Snatcher in order to get this massive truck out. As I looked over the interior of The Snatcher, there're two words I could use to describe this vessel.

Organized mess.

It was a Mule after all. I have always wondered how do people in Battletech store so many multi-tons items in a dropship and now I know. It seems volume will be a luxury very soon when this thing is filled to the brim.

“This is called a Savior Repair Vehicle.” Sonya explained, “It’s an engineering vehicle made for field repair but it can also be used to transport salvage.”

Before Sonya even finished her explanation, David was already sitting behind it, “Wow, I would take this over that truck we took a ride before anytime.”

“If we are under attack, run away from the vehicle. It’s a giant target and DCMS love it.” Abel instructed bluntly.

David’s face turned pale for a moment.

“Listen well.” Sonya spoke with a louder voice than usual, “Salvage is important for the company, but your own life is far more important than a bunch of scraps. I couldn’t stress this enough, but always run away when there’s danger.”

She then climbed into the Savior, “Now get in and earn our worth!”

The whole team quickly did so and I’m really surprised by how spacious the inside of the Savior’s cabin is. Then again, this is a 60 tons engineering vehicle and so it doesn’t really need to confine itself to military standard size for compactness. Before I could check the back of the cabin, Sonya stepped onto the pedal and the vehicle quickly left The Snatcher.

To be out on an alien world was… kinda a boring experience when it basically looked like Australia with more trees.

Not that I have ever been to Australia, but I guess the lifeless surface of Mar or Venus looked way more interesting to me.

Once again, the wrecked hulls of vehicle, mechs and battle armors scattered all over the canyon made a distracting sight to my eyes. For something that has occurred on the very first day we landed on soil, it was just something I couldn’t get used to this soon. And then there’s the matter of actual bodies…

I wouldn’t want to look at them too much, the human anatomy class has fed me way too much detail about the human body already. Vehicular scaled weapons, even the smaller one such as machine gun, has a brutal effect on a human body. The sandy orange ground was stained with crimson wherever a body lied, and already I can see a local species of ‘flies’ swarming over the body. Yet, the rebel salvage team just looted weapons and ammo off the body like it was nothing disturbing.

I supposed there’s still something normal with me when I felt disgusted instead of wanting to pick everything off a floor like the kleptomaniac I was in video games. Speaking of the rebel, most of the supply convoy our battlemech company has been secured was already gone, presumably driven back to the rebel base. I guess the rebel needs those supply badly.

Even with all enemies defeated, the company couldn’t be sure that the enemy won’t retaliate for the ambush. So right now the field was surrounded by three companies of vehicles and a couple dozens battle armor troopers, along with whichever battlemech that has been repaired such as Michelle’s Commando that was otherwise fine besides lacking paint on the replaced plating.

Besides that, since the vehicle companies didn’t get sent out, the vehicle tech teams were out on the field to drag those wrecks back to The Snatcher. Seeing them work let me guessed what we will do when we reached our salvage. One tech team was in the process of removing the bodies, while the other that has finished was cutting out the track with a laser torch to remove excess mass off the vehicle. The last team I saw was already moving the hull onto their own Savior to get it sent back to the dropship.

“Sonya, how many Savior does the company have?”

“Four is enough for our usual skirmish.” she answered, “If we need more, we are either lucky or the company is in a bad situation.”

Well, that was not quite the answer I was looking for, but she was speaking from experience so…

Yeah, figure the Qualip’s Phantom would have bad luck sometimes.

Finally, the truck has stopped and the team walked out. Right behind the truck was what I could only describe as ‘box with chicken legs’ which kinda described quite a few mechs in BT verse.

David stroked his chin, “Huh, a Strider. Didn’t think I would see one this soon.”

‘Wait, Strider?”

“You were frozen for three centuries, right? The Strider was a modularmech manufactured by DC in 3008 back when everyone was scrambling to catch up on advanced military technology.”

Modularmech? Is that what they called omnimech here? I guess it would make sense since the Clan isn’t here yet.

“Unfortunately, the developer has kinda gone overboard on using basic tech and it basically becomes the worst modularmech in history.”

“Single heatsink?”

He nodded, “Though I heard the Owens is being a contender for being the worst too since it has barely any pod space too.”

“Was the basis behind modularmech originated from the Mercury?”

This time, he smiled widely, “Yeah, yeah! It’s also why some people called it Freddiemech because…”

Sai Yong covered his mouth, “Don’t sing, enemy might still be around. You are not a bad singer, but a dead singer won’t sing for long.”

Well, that was another reality check for him. But still, it seemed like all states in the Inner Sphere was quite literally fifty years ahead. Would this mean that the Clan will also be fifty years ahead too? There’s still a lot for me to find out in this universe.

“Stand back from the vehicle.” Sonya ordered as the stabilizers on the four corners of the Savior lowered onto the ground. Then, the mobile field base raised up from the back of the truck and formed a three-sided wall around the fallen mech.

“Sai Yong, Abel, Teron, teach the new recruits how to salvage a mech.”

The three seniors saluted and called us over to the Strider. With the mech fallen on the ground, it was easy to climb on top of it, but with David being the most eager of us all, he has already made it to the top by the time the rest of us caught up. With him being the first up there, he quickly opened the hatch and went inside.

Almost as soon as he got in, he screamed.

Sarah and I quickly climbed in to drag him out of the cockpit, the smell of a roasted pork soon reached our nose. I quickly realised it wasn’t pork at all.

Sai Yong sighed, “That’s what happens when you don’t listen to your senior at all. Now, I’m going to show you three how to properly remove body. Watch carefully and burn it into your forehead.”

As if it was just our usual training class, she demonstrated to us on the removal of body from salvageable vehicle. It was a bit more detailed than I wanted. After all, this sounded like something one would learn from a cartel clean up crews than a bunch of mechanics. Meanwhile, during the lesson, David was too busy exposing his lunch to sunlight because he was vomiting.

“Finally, you shove the body into the body bag feet first and zip it.”

I tried not to notice the crackling sound when she put the corpse into the bag and be aware of just how charred the body was.

Sarah raised up her hand, “So, how do we deal with the body after-”

Sai Yong threw the body onto the ground.

“-ward… Nevermind.”

“If you are wondering, the body bag is biodegradable. Now then, let’s teach you the next step.”

And now we are moving to actually salvage the damn thing. The lesson she taught here was simpler, remove any explosive first, then get the whole thing back to the base. The primary explosive one would find in a vehicle was the ammunition, which thanks to the fact that the Strider wasn’t a hundreds years old model and also a modularmech, made the whole process easy by allowing us to just remove the ammunition bin as one.

Next, was to check for booby trap. Just so the mech won’t spontaneously explode when it was onboard our dropship and sent us all back to the ground at terminal velocity. Afterward, we just placed the mech onto the Savior with a crane and drove back to The Snatcher.

After nearly a month of anticipation, I have finally salvaged my first mech.

And it actually felt kinda great, like I’m actually doing something eventhough I still felt very icky about the removing corpse part. The trip back to the base was a bit pleasant this time, even when I’m still seeing things one would expect from a war zone.

I think, despite everything that has happened, I’m starting to get used to this.

------

“This one is still standing?”

With us back on the field, our next target was an intact Raptor that only has its cockpit smashed inward.

Teron sighed, “Looks like Akira’s handiwork again. You can see how her shot came from the side and went right into the cockpit. I’m surprised this mech hasn’t crumbled apart yet with the cockpit being smack in the middle of its torso.”

Sai Yong pointed, “Look carefully, not all her AC 20 burst went into the cockpit, it just barely skimmed it. Not enough to destroy the mech, but enough to kill the mechwarrior.”

“That’s just bullshit.”

She turned towards us, “Anyway, it’s you juniors’ turn.”

By juniors, she meant just Sarah and me because David was taking a break at the medbay.

With a bodybag and gas masks handed to us, she pushed us towards the mech and cheered us on. Since the mobile field has already been set up, we just have to take the platform up there to reach the cockpit. While the windshield was smacked open, we rather not get cut up by the glass shard so we both entered via the hatch instead.

The body inside the cockpit looked like he walked onto a train track right as a train came by.

“Oh god, do we have to pick those pieces off the floor?” Sarah asked in horror.

“Yup.” I sadly agreed.

It was at that moment that I’m very glad about the fact that my work gloves were very thick and I can’t feel the texture of things through it. After we struggled a bit in trying to shove the body into the body bag because it was in the middle of falling apart, I noticed something odd about the cockpit.

I poked my head out of the broken windshield, “Hey, Sonya. The console on the cockpit is still intact!”

“Your point?”

“And we have a neurohelmet here, so I think one of us here could just drive the mech back to That Snatcher.”

Sonya hummed in deep thought for a moment, “Go for it. The bill is on you if you crash it.”

“No problem, madam!”

Now, I just need to put on the helmet…

… That was previously worn by a dead person.

“Sarah, how about you be the pilot this time?”

She looked shocked, “What, why me!?”

“Well, you kinda mentioned that you learned stuff from your dad, so I thought that would mean that your family has a mech of its own because there’s nothing better than fixing the real thing to learn, right?”

“I… did actually.” she answered hesitantly, “That’s actually quite spot on. Screw it, give me that helmet.”

After handing her the neurohelmet, I moved behind the seat and opened up a panel.

“Oh right, battlemech tends to have a safety mechanism. Do you know how to-”

I slammed the panel shut, “Done.”

“Huh. Alright, here goes nothing…”

I nearly fell when the mech suddenly stood straight up, the air in the cockpit warmed up as the screens on the console came back to life. Then, I heard the onboard computer spoke the words that I could recite from memory everyday no matter what.

“Reactor online, sensors online, weapons online. All system nominal.”

“Why are you shivering?” Sarah asked.

I sighed in relief, “A great need of mine has been fulfilled.”

“Okay…”

With a flick of a switch, she activated the external speaker, “Sonya, this mech is ready to move out.”

“That must be a world record in turning a salvage into an operational vehicle.” she smiled, “I will contact the HQ to make sure they won’t get surprised.”

Considering we have an open cockpit now, a surprise to the vehicle company might turn fatal really fast…

“Well then, we are off!”

Stepping on the pedal, the Raptor leaned forward and ran with full throttle. I was actually quite surprised by how stable the mech was even when running at top speed, it’s probably to make sure people won’t puke all over the cockpit from dizziness. I also noticed although the cockpit felt warm, it’s not exactly so hot that we would be cooked alive because we weren’t wearing cooling suit. Then again, the cockpit now has two holes to vent the heat.

Sarah giggled behind her gasmask, “Oh yeah, I have missed this for way too long.”

With the windshield gone, the air blew into the room, further cooling down the cockpit as we moved at 120 kmph. The whole thing moved like it was a sports car with legs. I really couldn’t help but cheer loudly as we moved back to the dropship. After all, I’m finally riding in the cockpit of a mech, even if I wasn’t the one driving it.

“Sarah, I’m gonna take a look from the hatch.”

“No problem!”

With the hatch already up, I climbed halfway out of it and enjoyed the surrounding view.

“So this is how a mechwarrior see the world, huh?”

Now, I’m not looking from the ground like a person. Now I’m looking at a view that’s only granted to the men and women that piloted these giant war machine. With the rhythmic thumps of each footstep the Raptor made, I kinda wish that this moment won’t end at all.

But still, I have a job to do.

When I climbed back into the cockpit, I noticed one thing was amiss.

I told Sarah to stop the Raptor and I promptly threw out the bag of corpse. We quickly went back to the dropship afterward.

------

16th April 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater

Almost half an hour after we have salvaged every single piece of DC military equipment on the field, the militia has finally sent in their reinforcement either in the hope of recovering the salvage or destroy anyone that’s salvaging it.

Unfortunately for them, they were too late. In fact, they were so late, I didn’t even get to see them with my own eyes.

All I could see was the ‘surprise’ the colonel ordered us to plant after we finished salvaging. Even at over 30 kilometers, I could see a giant cloud of smoke and shockwave blooming out from the ground.

It’s about 6 hours since then.

Right after the dropship landed back in the forest, all tech teams have moved onto the next stage of salvaging, the processing. First, our technician of the team, AKA Sonya here identified which part was still salvageable and which part wasn’t. It wasn’t really hard to do that part. A little burnt but otherwise okay? Yes. Has bullet holes in it but still repairable? Yes. Literally a solidified mass of molten metal? No.

Next, we used the utility arms in the mechbay to take off all usable parts off the chassis like a surgical incision. It’s kinda like being a fisherman or butcher, you cut all the nice fatty meat and bone out, then you dumped all the unwanted stuff back out into the wild.

I did raise concern over leaving behind all these empty frames because last I checked, military equipment didn’t grow on tree, but my concern was disregarded as the DCMS would need to search hundreds of thousands of square kilometers of uninhabited forest for any signs of activities.

Finally, all salvaged components were delivered to The Snatcher, the company’s main cargo hauler, for storage. The company actually have a whole crew at The Snatcher just for transporting and checking on the salvage whenever required.

Right now, it’s past our working hour. I found it ironic that for someone that was so lazy, I actually requested permission to repair some of the components we have salvaged today. It didn’t get past though, Sonya actually called me out on this as I could overexert myself and get tired when we actually have to work overtime.

There was another reason why I tried to opt for working overtime, I have to figure out the military tech level of the current Inner Sphere. Just guesstimating it by looking through the inventory the Qualip’s Phantom has wasn’t enough, I required a wider set of examples to figure out the whole picture. So far, I found tech that wouldn’t be out of place for a frontline regiment in the 3067 era, but adding in the fact that the 1st company has only fought militia force so far, the mainline regiment might even have better equipment. Would it be possible for them to have 3075, 3085 or even Dark Age era technology? I don’t know.

“How’s David?” I asked, spinning my fork into the pasta.

“He’s still sick after seeing that… body today.” she answered quietly, “I can’t believe we still have the appetite to eat dinner after what we saw today.”

I leaned back on my chair, “The body needs its fuel after all, there’s no shame about it.”

With that said, I slurped my fork clean and chewed down on the pasta. The mood of the dining hall today wasn’t exactly nice however despite the complete victory the 1st Company has over the militia. From what I could gather with bits and pieces my ears picked up, a lot of the senior crews were worried about the advance tech level the Militia was found to possess. Facing frontline regiment with good tech was one thing, having militia force with same tech level even if inexperienced could go terribly wrong fast for the company.

“Still, that Raptor… I asked Jayson about it, and he said the company never really fought militia force this well equipped. They usually found some mechs or vehicles with basic field upgrade kits installed and that’s it. If this is the first fight the company will have, I wonder what will we see in the future.”

“Maybe, but that’s what the combat personnel should worry about, right? We are just astechs, what we should do is focus on what we can do to make sure the company doesn’t fall.”

She sipped her drink, “Yeah.”

“Yo, juniors.” a familiar voice called us out, “Where’s the tall one?”

“Still in the med bay. Is there something you need?”

She stuck her tongue out, “I don’t just talk to you guys when I need something. But I do need you to sit around because the boss wants to say something?”

“The boss? You meant Sonya?”

She shook her head around, “The colonel.”

Suddenly, the intercom blared harshly, “Testing testing, 3, 2, 1. Okay, looks towards the stage, everyone.”

With that said, I turned my way towards the stage set in the dining hall, I supposed they ran out of space to put everything, so they installed a stage here and called it a day. Standing on the stage while being flanked by banners with Qualip’s Phantom insignia hanging from the top, Colonel Marvick carried a mike in her hand with Major Davion on her side.

“First, I have heard there’s a rumour being spread around, a rumour about DC force being better equipped than expected. That rumour, I can confirm is true. The militia force the 1st Company had fought was found to process massive amount of Star League tech and beyond.”

She continued, “However, the mission remains unchanged. We will continue to conduct raids upon the Kaus Media Militia and DCMS force as we have one unparalleled advantage. The rebel has informants that have infiltrated deep into the local force and they knew practically every single movement the local force made. Besides, having the militia force possessing advance tech would mean better salvage value for everyone.”

A couple crews laughed and clapped at that.

“After the AFFC has wrapped up the invasion of Kessel, Sabik, Moore and Vega, Kaus Media will be their next target and they will be here very soon. So, let’s earn our salvage by hitting as many bases as possible and have the AFFC mop up the scrap!”

Most of the crew in the dining hall began to cheer and applaud but the colonel hasn’t finished her speech yet.

“Not only that, everyone here will have 30% share of our total profit for the duration of this campaign! So do your job well and everyone will go home with massive bonus!”

This time the whole crew went wild, most people here worked for the sake of getting more credit out of a high risk job after all.

Sarah tapped my shoulder, “30%? That sounds like a lot, wasn’t the colonel supposed to be stingy?”

“That is because her daughter is on the line.”

We turned around and saw Michelle sitting right behind us.

“Her daughter?” Sarah asked.

“Sarah Marvick, a leftenant in the 44th Lyran Guard RCT, which was sent as part of the invasion force on Kessel. The Colonel wants to make the invasion of Kaus Media a bit easier for her. That is why she and I chose this mission for the company.”

That made me raised an eyebrow, “Wait, you too?”

“I was adopted by the Colonel 15 years ago. I consider Sarah as my own sister and I cannot just sit there when I am a mechwarrior too.”

The look of concern on her face told me something else, “Something tells me that’s not the only reason.”

“Well, there was something else but that is more a family issue and I rather not talk about it.”

Oh… that’s bad, “Sorry about that.”

She sighed deeply, “It is alright. I am sure those two will figure out something in the end. By the way, how is my mech?”

“Its ammunition bins are full, its damage has been repaired, and we gave it a splash of a new paint job!” Sarah excitedly explained, “It’s ready to go!”

Michelle stood up from her seat, “Good, that is what I want to hear. You guys are gonna be working on her more often than you like for the next few weeks.”

“Oh don’t worry, we are up for the challenge.” I boasted.

Right before she left, her lip curved into a smile, “That is what I want to hear too.”
On behalf of the Berserker,
Sure it isn't the most practical 'mech ever designed, but it's a hundred ton axe-murderer. If loving that is wrong I don't wanna be right.

Salvage Dog AU SI Fanfic Thread
Salvage Dog AU Tech Compilation Thread
Salvage Dog AU Battlemech Thread

Dave Talley

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Re: Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)
« Reply #7 on: 12 July 2018, 21:23:32 »
dont worry about linguistic issues, its no worse that trying to decipher native speakers of english on three continents

damned fun little story so far
Resident Smartass since 1998
“Toe jam in training”

Because while the other Great Houses of the Star League thought they were playing chess, House Cameron was playing Paradox-Billiards-Vostroyan-Roulette-Fourth Dimensional-Hypercube-Chess-Strip Poker the entire time.
JA Baker

DOC_Agren

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Re: Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)
« Reply #8 on: 12 July 2018, 22:14:48 »
ping
nice story hope for more
"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!"

dragonkid11

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Re: Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)
« Reply #9 on: 13 July 2018, 07:14:16 »
------
Salvage Dog 1.z (Interlude 1)

------

7th July 2959
Hector
Near orbit
Cage’s Pride McKenna-class Battleship

“How many did we lost?” Khan Avarn Taney asked.

SaKhan Steven Cage raised up his datapad, “2nd Hector Cavaliers and 5th Hector Cavaliers have lost approximately one star of omnimechs each but the 8th Hector Cavaliers have suffered a near total casualty. Overall, the Zeta Galaxy is at 65% strength and I would recommend reinforcing the Zeta Galaxy with the shattered clusters of the Delta Galaxy. After all, Delta Galaxy has not been seeing action since their catastrophic defeat on Tranquil and they require new warriors to fill their rank.”

“That makes it the second trial of possession the Zeta Galaxy faced in a month.”

Even with the sight of the white homeworld before him, the Khan of Clan Ice Hellion could only be disappointed with the casualty. There will always be a steady stream of new sibkos to finish their trial of position, but they will lack the experience of a veteran warrior.

“We need a new direction before these wounds mounted up and let the other Clans sunk their claws at our throat.” the Khan grimaced.

“I believe it will be sometimes before that would happen. With the Coalition taking actions against the Pentagon, the most they will consider our clan would be as mere training practice or annoyance.”

Avarn sighed, “I hate it when you are right, saKhan.”

“But unfortunately, the war between both sides will still finish eventually and we will be focused or even be absorbed as one of the weaker clan when they finally turn their attention towards us.”

“What about Clan Blood Spirit or Clan Fire Mandrill?”

Johnny shook his head, “Maybe they will be targeted first, maybe we will be targeted first, we should assume the worst with the damn snake as the coalition leader and them as the Pentagon front.”

The Khan stood up from the chair and walked to a cabinet mounted on the wall. Grabbing a bottle of whiskey out of the cabinet, he opened the bottle and poured the orange liquid into a glass.

“I would not advise drinking alcohol when a clear mind is necessary.”

“Great, now you sound like Loremaster Moore. I am going to need this for what I will be saying next.”

Walking towards the other sides of the room, he looked upon the two portraits of past Khans of the Clan Ice Hellion. On the left was Khan Stephan Cage, the founder of Clan Ice Hellion, the other was Khan Jason Wick, the second Khan of Clan Ice Hellion.

The current living Khan downed the glass in one go, “You know what was the last thing Khan Jason Wick said to me? ‘To be quick as lightning and strike at first opportunity.’ That was the worst piece of advice he could ever give to me.”

“It is one thing to see the next minute in a trial, it is another to see the next year in the future of our Clan. Now, right as we are mending our wound from acting in haste, the other Clans are constantly sending us trials to weaken us forever, making sure that we will never rise above our nest.”

The Khan turned back to the saKhan, “While the other Clans are busy fighting each other, we really need a new direction. One that we must not act in haste and fail again as it would spell the end of Clan Ice Hellion.”

“I do have one thing in mind, one that many Clans have succeeded in.”

That piqued the attention of the Khan, “Which is?”

“We have to leave the Kerensky Cluster.”

The shattering crash of the glass resonated in the room, “Steven, that is exactly what I meant by acting in haste. We cannot just leave like those in the Pentagon!”

“The Founder’s dream is already dead when he called for a trial of annihilation on them despite they excelled over the other Clans simply because they were not doing what he wanted!”

The Khan’s face twisted in anger, “SaKhan, take those words back or I will have a trial of grievance against you whether augmented or right now!”

“If I need a trial to convince you, so be it!”

With the atmosphere quickly turned from somber to tense in seconds, both men took a stance in the room, readied to lurch at each other at a moment’s notice.

But the Khan eventually relaxed and put down his fists, “Shit, you are serious.”

The saKhan let down his stance too, “I suppose there is some truth to Khan Jason Wick last words if he was not such a moron to let his keshik into that ambush.”

“Oh wow.” the Khan laughed, “You are always the most level-headed of us all back in the sibko enclave and yet you seem to never think when you say such painful words.”

The saKhan nodded, “I suppose that is true with all the trials of grievance I have won.”

“Well then, how do you suggest that we should start this… self-exile?”

“First, I would suggest we sent a small expeditionary force to search for underdeveloped colonies that are not only weak in defense but could also be easily converted as new Clan Ice Hellion territory with either a show of force or appreciation.”

“Appreciation? Like Clan Ghost Bear?”

The saKhan shrugged, “What we are doing right now was not so different from what the bear did after all.”

“Fair point.”

“Though I would suggest a show of appreciation first then force because all these colonies established themselves far away from the Inner Sphere because they want to escape the authority of the great houses and… maybe even the Star League. It would be bad if we end up like Clan Steel Viper.”

The saKhan continued, “For the second point, we will need to get additional dropships and jumpships to transport the technician and laborer caste. I would suggest we get these ships by leasing them from Clan Diamond Shark, we could offer them the territory we gained on Marshall or New Kent from our successful trials of possession seeing as we have no use for those territories. Even if we have to offer them fruitful territories on Barcella or Atreus, we will be leaving the cluster soon anyway.”

The Khan nodded, “That certainly sounds like a solid plan, but where would you search for these colonies?”

The saKhan uttered one word.

“Home.”

------

16th January 2960
Hector
Hector Hospital Facility Alpha

The Khan pounded his chest as the coughing finally ceased, “Continue.”

“As I was saying, the expeditionary force has found the perfect place for the establishment of new Clan Ice Hellion colonies. The people here are quite happy when we utterly destroyed the presence of dark caste in the surrounding systems.”

“That is a great news I have been waiting for so long to hear about.”

The hologram of the saKhan flickered, “However, the proximity of the colonies to the territory of a great house could be a potential hazard the Clan might needs to face in the future.”

“It will not be the Clan Ice Hellion way if we do not make a plan that looks completely insane.”

The saKhan laughed, “It seems no matter how, the Clan Ice Hellion will always head towards danger one way or another.”

“But really, is that place the only one you could find, quineg?”

“Aff, trying to conquer periphery states would mean fighting territories that already have established effective authority and armed force. Data on other established colonies have also been lost or not available to the public thanks to the effect of the Succession Wars.”

“To construct new colonies at the former territory of that blasted state… The irony will be rich if we ever succeed in this.”

“There is one thing I have to mention however. After a single visit to the successor states, I can say for a certain that even if all the Clans are united together, we will barely be able to put a dent in the successor states’ armies now, and they are still growing in size and tech.”

“I have seen your report. Nearly 500 Kerensky-damned regiments and that are just the battlemech for each state. The Founder’s dream looks more and more unrealistic as I read down the report.”

“For the Clans to ever have a chance in finding on equal ground with the successor states, we will need territory, infrastructure and military equal to that of the successor states and that will take centuries to catch up. Or if we want to fight smart, focus down on the successor state that all other states hate on.”

“Steven, focus. We are here to find a new home, not wage a new war.”

“Aff, my Khan.”

“And one more thing, it seems I will not be living long enough to see the new colonies.”

The saKhan was shocked to hear this, to see him on bed was one thing, to hear him saying that was another, “How!? Is your enhanced imaging implant acting up again?”

“Neg. There appears to be a third party in the war between the Coalition and the Pentagon and they have decided to not just violate zellbrigen but also the ancient and useless Ares Convention. The same party has also decided to target everyone, we are lucky that the virus attack we have only affected those with specific gene instead of the entire population.”

No, saKhan Steven Cage thought.

“Unfortunately, I have that gene.” the Khan stated, “For every day since I have contacted this virus. I can feel my sense dulling and my muscle weakening. It will not be long before an elder of the laborer caste could overwhelm me.”

He continued, “SaKhan Steven Cage, you must make sure our Clan can complete its journey to its new home, quiaff?”

The saKhan held back his tear as he said one word, “Aff.”

------

21st June 2960
Tamaron
Ashton ‘Mech Production Complex

Just 10 more kilometers, the Khan thought as he and four other Arctic Cheetahs charged straight at five pings on the radar.

As the light mech star jumped over the hill, they saw three Timber Wolves and two Mad Dogs in blue and gray colour already waiting and aiming for them. Even before they have landed, the combined fire of the whole Clan Coyote star has already slagged one leg off an Arctic Cheetah while another lost an arm.

Seeing two mechs were already crippled, a Mad Dog closed in for the kill. More than 50 ruby beams immediately cut the omnimech into ribbons, it was frankly overkill but for the operation today, the warriors of Clan Ice Hellion cannot fail here.

Armed with over 10 ER small lasers, with some warriors even opted to remove the targeting computer to fit more lasers and heatsinks, the custom configuration Avarn was absolutely brutal at close range. With the virus taking over their minds and bodies, the Khan has personally ordered this custom configuration so every single warrior joined in this massive trials have one goal.

To kill every last one of Clan Coyote warrior in front of them.

Focusing fire on crippled Arctic Cheetah, the Clan Coyote warriors abandoned zellbrigen and efficiently torn the Arctic Cheetah apart. But that still left four Arctic Cheetahs to melt another Mad Dog apart, this time the frame remained intact but the warrior within has already been incinerated.

Just as the warriors of Clan Ice Hellion thought it will be an easy trial, a lightning bolt of a PPC punched right through the cockpit of one Arctic Cheetah and another has its fusion reactor shot to hell as medium pulse lasers and streak SRM salvos shattered its armor.

Khan Avarn Moore stepped hard on the pedals and activated the jumpjet, sending his mech through the air above the Timber Wolf. As his mech leaped through the air, he aimed down and shot straight into the cockpit of the Timber Wolf. At such close range, he could see the Clan Coyote warrior popped like a bloody balloon as the laser pierced through the windshield.

Even without looking on his radar, the Khan can tell that he was the last one left when an explosion occurred behind him. The Khan activated the jumpjet once more right as weapon fire from the last two Timber Wolf came down on his position. Landing right behind a Timber Wolf, the Khan focused his laser onto the back of the mech, turning the fusion reactor into a molten slag.

Right as he was about to leap once more, his mech shuddered and fell onto the dry brown dirt. The Khan raised his head up and felt the left leg of his mech was in a bad shape through his enhanced imaging. Even with a bleeding forehead, he pushed his mech off the ground to face the pristine Timber Wolf in front of him.

Stepping hard on the pedals, he jumped towards the Timber Wolf and gambled everything on this one last push by firing all eleven of ER small lasers mounted on his mech’s arms and torso. The Timber Wolf answered with its own alpha strike, firing all its lasers, missiles and even machine gun rounds right at his Arctic Cheetah.

He can feel his mech was being torn apart around him as the Timber Wolf landed shots after shots, salvos after salvos. The arms were shot off, the armor was breaking apart, even the windshield has spiderweb cracks as machine gun rounds hammered it.

And his own salvos did not cripple the Timber Wolf like he expected.

Every single one of his laser punched right through the cockpit and deep into the mech’s reactor. The Timber Wolf then slowly, but surely, collapsed onto the ground.

The trial was over.

“This is Khan Avarn Taney, Ashton ‘Mech Production Complex has been captured.”

As he had just shot the star colonel of the Clan Coyote cluster stationed on this planet, there was no one but his own force to reply to.

“This is Star Commander Rachel, Drennan Industriplex captured.”

“This is Point Commander Ivan, Star Commander Kelly is dead, Landen, Picuris and Zuni 'Mech Production Complexes is captured.”

Suddenly, an unknown signal was broadcast into his mech and the hologram image of Khan Judas Levien of Clan Coyote appeared in front of him.

“You are playing with fire, Khan Avarn Taney.”

“Ah good, I am going to require something else to warm me up since my bottle of whiskey has appeared to have shattered and dripping all over my cockpit.”

It was right about now when another drop of orange liquid fell on his head, it was getting slightly annoying but still somehow calming for him.

“I don’t care abo-”

The Khan of Clan Ice Hellion raised up his hand, “Ah wait, wait a minute.”

Slowly, he put his hand down the pocket on his chest and…

“Hah, I knew I have a backup flask here!”

“Stop this childishness an-”

Without a single care to his words, Khan Avarn chugged his flask and raised a single finger towards the Khan of Clan Coyote like he was a whiny sibko.

“Listen here, you damn birdbrain! When my force has finished up the Coalition for aiding Clan Cloud Cobra, they will be back to Tamaron and you will not be able to win another trial with your subpar cluster!”

“That is like, one week later, quiaff? Enough time for my force to do what we want here.”

“What actual planning could possibly be bouncing within that tiny avian cranium of yours!?”

“A lot better than your emotion driven wailing feast.”

The Khan of Clan Coyote was taken aback by that statement.

“When Loremaster Moore found out why you are behind all these dezgra attacks, it made me laugh for how utterly selfish and childish it is.”

“Childish? You dare call my revenge childis-”

“Or what do you want me to call it? Terrifying? I am sure that is what most Clans thought after all the bioweapon plagues your force has unleashed killed millions upon millions of people. You expect people to be horrified, to be angry, to be in despair. I’m just gonna come to your home planet and laugh at you for being such a pathetic Khan.”

Right before Khan Judas could speak of word of his hateful ranting, Khan Avarn pressed the mute button and began to move his mech towards the manufacturing facility.

He was a bit surprised that the Khan of Clan Coyote has such a long breath that he has been raging for nearly 20 minutes as his mech slowly make it to the destination with a crippled leg.

As he finally reached the facility, he unmuted the Khan and chugged the remaining drink down his throat.

“Done yelling like a rabid wolf? Good.”

“I AM NOT A-” he muted the Khan again.

“You want to know why that, despite all the atrocities Clan Coyote has made, I still came to your home planet with a proper trial of possession rather than just bombard everything from the orbit?”

The Khan of Clan Ice Hellion grinned, “It is so I can be smug about it when I am dead and you remain alive with shame. Oh, and by the way, things will a little hotter than usual on Tamaron.”

With the press of a button, he cut off the signal from the idiotic Khan of Clan Coyote. With another press of a button, he opened his comm to every single Clan Ice Hellion frequency channel.

“Warriors of Clan Ice Hellion on the surface of Tamaron, complete your mission!”

All living warriors of Clan Ice Hellion on Tamaron uttered a single word as one.

“Seyla!”

------

21st June 2960
Tamaron
Near orbit
Cage’s Pride McKenna-class Battleship

Looking down from the orbit, Steven Cage could see miniature suns flashing on the brown surface of Tamaron for a split second before a dusty cloud rose above the nuclear detonation. On the far side of the planet, the floating debris of what used to be Omega Orbital Production Plant continued to orbit around the planet. For a moment, Steven would feel his eyes turning blurry but closing his eyes seem to do the trick.

The sound of the sliding door opening behind him made him aware of a new presence in the room.

“Khan Steven Cage.” a familiar female voice called out to him.

“Loremaster Sandra Moore, is everything ready?”

“All factory facilities have been deconstructed and stored onboard, all technician and laborer caste have been transported to the new colonies on schedule, every single cache we could get our hands on has been emptied. It is just the naval star we are currently on now.”

“Very well.”

With one last look, he looked down onto the surface of the planet. Already the mushroom cloud has settled and no longer visible on the surface.

“Order the Star Admiral to begin departure. We are going home.”
On behalf of the Berserker,
Sure it isn't the most practical 'mech ever designed, but it's a hundred ton axe-murderer. If loving that is wrong I don't wanna be right.

Salvage Dog AU SI Fanfic Thread
Salvage Dog AU Tech Compilation Thread
Salvage Dog AU Battlemech Thread

Shadow_Wraith

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Re: Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)
« Reply #10 on: 13 July 2018, 08:32:38 »
Nice story and looking forward to more

dragonkid11

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Re: Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)
« Reply #11 on: 14 July 2018, 08:12:09 »
------
Salvage Dog 2.1

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18th May 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater

The electronic clock rang harshly.

Putting aside the 185mm HEAP gyrojet shell that I have been using as a pillow of sort, I went on with my usual morning routine. You know, like brushing my teeth, putting on my work attire, getting real annoyed by the banging noise right behind the wall, eating breakfast. Do they really have to do this every day in the morning and night? How in the world do those two have so much energy!?

And yet I still can’t be bothered to remember their name properly to even complain about them. If I remember correctly, it’s something Pelham and I can’t even remember the girl’s name. Nevertheless, I have to be on time for work and I’m off to the mech bay.

As I made my way to the elevator, I saw David catching up behind.

“Hey, Drake!” he greeted.

“Sup, David.”

Unlike the annoying person I knew a month ago, the man in front of me has changed.

------

19th April 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater

“And here to another victory!” Jayson declared as everyone toasted with cans of cheap beer.

Me? I have coke instead. With their supply convoy intercepted and then the reinforcement they sent being bombed, the militia base collapsed when the Qualip’s Phantom hit them at the breaking point. It was kinda sad with how fast the base surrendered, and we made off with tons of advanced techs as salvage. That’s why I can’t get drunk now, I still have to get up early and cut those salvage up to keep The Snatcher’s cargobay nice and neat.

While everyone was drinking, nobody really drank so much that they will be having hangover as tomorrow is still a work day for them too. Well, all except one.

“What the hell are you doing, David?”

“Drinking.”

“Yeah, I can see that with so many cans around you.” did this guy seriously got drunk from 3 ****** cans of beer?

Instead of talking back, he remained quiet and stared off to the distance.

“Alright, tell me what’s happening.”

“I can’t believe I signed up for this job without realising what I will be facing.” his voice cracked up depressively.

I sighed from the sheer annoyance I felt.

****** it.

I wrenched the half-finished can of beer from his hands and threw it into a garbage bin.

“What, hey!”

“Go to the medbay and talk with the therapist, I don’t know who but I do know there is one there.”

“Right now!? I thought you will give me a pep talk or something!”

“What? You expect me to give you a pep talk? I can’t even take control of my own life, let alone yours which is absolutely your own responsibility to handle.”

“I… alright.” he said while sloping his shoulders, “How do you think of them anyway? The mechwarriors?”

I looked towards Michelle and others as they drank and talked with each other, “For the Draconis Combine, they are dishonorable mercenary working for terrorists that seek to destabilize their authority. For the Federated Commonwealth, they are loyal mercenary working to liberate a world from the control of an awful dictatorship.”

“Yeah but, what about you?”

I grinned at him, “For me, they are my friends.”

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18th May 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater

“Any plan to have another music show this week?” I asked.

“It’s hard to get the band together but I will try.” he grinned.

Yeah, a rock and roll band that sounded like it was stuck in the 80s. I have no idea how, but he somehow arranged enough members and musical instrument to have a music session in the dining hall almost every week. Apparently, he actually made a band once. Unfortunately, without mentioning any name, the bassist found the drummer making out with the guitarist who was the bassist’s boyfriend. It didn’t end well for the band afterward.

At the very least, David looked happy with the band. Telling him to see the therapist worked after all!

... I just hope that the therapist didn’t give him a bag of weed and called it a day.

When the elevator has arrived at the mech bay layer, a familiar face showed up.

“How’s your day, Stella?”

“Great, getting ready to work?”

As for why I know her? Let’s just say Marley screwed up more than usual one time.

------

27th April 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater

“What the hell happened to this mech!?” I asked.

Just less than an hour ago, the 1st Company has finished yet another diversionary raid. A simple go in, shoot a bunch of things, and then go out ops. No salvaging, sadly. Everyone in the Blue, White and Red lances was walking out of that fight fine except for… well.

“Apparently, those militia jackasses were really afraid of the flamers.” Sarah answered.

This Firestarter in front of me which has both its arms and one leg ripped off, apparently the whole Blue Lance has to drag the mech back to the dropship. With the rest of the company suffering minimum damage because the militia was such a bad shot, Stella, who is the mechtech of Marley’s Firestarter, requested our help for getting the mech repaired by tomorrow.

I did wonder how are we supposed to do that until David reminded me that the Firestarter is the modularmech variant. I’m actually surprised that I completely forgot about that, but then again I wasn’t really a fan of omnimech on the tabletop game.

Well, sure was. Because when Stella asked us to rebuild the right arm of the Firestarter with the available omnipod we have, I was stunned but how freaking easy it was to put it back together. It’s not exactly ‘snap and go’ but it was certainly a lot easier than trying to fix the messy, compact innards of a battlemech. Now I wish every single battlemech in the world is an omnimech!

That wasn’t the only thing I found out either.

“What is that? Is that a machinegun?”

After salvaging so many 20mm machineguns from militia’s vehicle, it was hard not to notice that machinegun being an odd one from the rest just by the fact that it has four of them mounted together in a quad mount array.

“Oh? This?” Stella pointed, “This is a special modular machinegun array made by one company only, the Marvick Defense Corp.”

“Marvick Defense Corp? The one the colonel owned?” I asked.

“Technically yes, but I think her brother handles everything there. Anyway, this modular array allows up to four of MDC 20mm Marvick Autoguns to be mounted together in a compact module. Unfortunately, this also means that one direct hit is all it takes to destroy the entire machinegun array.”

Modularity, it has always been one of the signature trademarks of Marvick Defense Corp. It allows for part commonality between same class of weapon such as the 30mm Pom Pom AC which can be put into the whole AC family class. Though for ultra and LBX AC, the company gave them different calibers each with 35mm and 40mm, not just because the advanced AC require different barrels and feed systems, but also because the different caliber won’t cause the tech teams to be confused and load the wrong ammunition.

For missile launcher, it was just a matter of slotting in more missile tube and loading system together. It’s not like literally welding two SRM 2 together to make one SRM 4 like I saw on one Sabaku Kazehovercraft, whichever idiot did that killed off the entire vehicle crews. The lock on system for entire missile launcher also has to be connected together so the missiles would actually lock on properly as a whole salvo.

"Well this sure sounds convenient. Is the company making a lot from this?" I asked.

She shook her head, "Sadly, no. It is such a simple upgrade system that every other weapon company including those at the ****** DC side copied it in less than a year after the company started to sell it. It's not like the company could sue them either."

Ah... That's unfortunate.

Though, come to think of it. There was still one thing odd about this machinegun array...

“So, you put 4 of them together? Won’t that make the Firestarter overweight since that would be 4 tons worth of machinegun with two MG arrays on each side torso?”

She tilted her head in confusion, “4 tons? The latest version manufactured a decade ago has lightened the machinegun by up to 50% just by switching out the mechanical actuators in the turret ball with myomer!”

Wait, what!? Does that mean these machineguns are comparable with Clan version of machineguns!?

“Holy shit, that’s a massive benefit. Why doesn’t everyone switch out the mechanical actuators of everything else with myomer too?”

She sighed, “Sadly, everything else generated so much heat upon firing that the performance of the myomer deteriorates rapidly. Even the class 2 autocannon and small laser burn through myomer strands like nothing.”

I crossed my arms on my chest, “It will be decades before the weapon system will be lightened then?”

“Maybe, though the Federated side of the Federated Commonwealth already did something similar by developing the light AC class which cut down on barrel length as well as incorporating advanced metallurgy around three decades ago.”

Then I supposed the next key for 100% beneficial upgrade with no drawback would be to find a heat resistant myomer to work as turret actuator for every single weapons system in the Inner Sphere. That would also serve as the next big step for IS factions to catch up with the Clan.

Still, to think the Inner Sphere was catching up with Clan tech so rapidly…

This is definitely a changing world.

------

18th May 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater

“Hey, Drake. Can you come and take a look at the leg actuator for a moment? Something weird is going on with it.” Alfred, technician of Major Davion’s personal ride, the Victor, called out to me.

“I will be right there after I’m done putting this laser back together!”

After working with the company for months, people started to recognize my skill. As long as I have the materials, I can put practically everything back together quickly and efficiently. But most of the problem people asked to fix wasn’t just major repair or modification.

It’s the little problem. The little quirk in the system that people have no idea what caused them and how to even fix it. Software error, odd vibration, loose parts, malfunctioning actuators, usually the tech teams would just give up fixing these problems as these problems came with the vehicle in the first place.

I ended up being the only person out of the entire technician department that can fix these quirk and put them down permanently. I’m not even sure how did I manage that, all I knew was that I just have to look at something and sooner or later I will figure something out.

I put the panel back in place, “That should do the trick.”

He patted me right on the back, “Thanks, kiddo.”

So far, I have got my hands on just about every single battlemech in the mechbay, even the tanks, aerospace fighters and battle armors have experienced my fixing touch. Words really got around that I can fix just about everything.

Well… almost everything.

Akira’s Hunchback… has a bit of a history with the company. When Akira’s kill count continued to rise at a ridiculous rate, her tech team tried to replace the AC 20 with a gauss rifle.

As soon as she turned the mech on, the gauss rifle exploded for what appeared to be absolutely no damn reason.

Then they tried to upgrade the AC20 with a UAC 20. The very first and last target of the UAC 20 was a poor militia Locust that received an overkill dosage of over 22000 35mm HEAP rounds to the cockpit as the ultra autocannon refused to stop firing and completely melt down from the sheer heat.

Then they gave it a LBX 20 AC and erm… It worked, it just that it’s not being the mass cockpit destroying warmachine anymore. But for some reasons, the tech team noticed via the guncam that there’s a disproportionate number of infantry getting their heads blown off before the rest of the submunition pellets annihilated them.

Now they gave it back the AC 20 and completely gave up on trying to modify the hunch, anywhere else was fair game though.

When they asked to check the machine out, I was okay initially. But when my fingers were just an inch away from the Hunchback, my body was covered in goosebumps and cold sweat started to drip from my forehead. It’s like I can feel some sort of presence within the machine, a very bad and demonicpresence.

I quickly stepped away from the machine and told the team I can’t do it. I’m not a superstitious person, but I am not going near that machine as right now, it seems to be possessed by a ****** techno demon or malignant AI. For all I know, It might even be constantly creating an electronic noise that when converted to spectrogram would show a bunch of pentagrams, the number ‘666’ and a certain marine that’s too angry to die.

But at the very least, I don’t need to face that problem now. However, there’s still one difficult maintenance issue I have to solve.

“Soo, Drake. How is my mech?” Michelle asked.

I sighed deeply, “Not ready.”

------

4th May 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater

“Null signature system!?”

Sonya sighed, “Yes.”

Another week, another battle, another repair and resupply, but this time the Commando finally got more damage than just superficial armor damage. A PPC bolt punched right through the armor on the right arm, melting part of the endosteel structure and burning right through the myomer strands. More than just that, it fried the electronic component that consisted part of the null signature system installed throughout the battlemech.

“How the hell did you guys get one!?”

“We found it at a small Star League cache at Lyon where we found one Exterminator equipped with it. Oddly enough, everything else was your basic Royal SL variant battlemechs.”

“Okay.” I said, “Did you find any spare part at all for the null signature system?”

“We did.”

Yes!

“Except we are about to run out of it.”

Shit.

“So, let me get this straight.” I said, “You want me to repair a top secret super advanced Star League tech that even now is still very difficult to manufacture with no spare part.”

She nodded.

“And I’m the only one that can do that because as far as anyone else concerned, this shit is a complete blackbox tech.”

She nodded again.

“How the heck did you shove that into the Commando in the first place?”

“Very difficultly.”

Okay, I just need to figure out how to fabricate some bloody heat baffles, emission absorbers and ECM amplifier with absolutely ****** all spare parts. How hard could it be?

------

18th May 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater

Two ****** weeks.

Two ****** weeks of spending nearly all my free time and even overtime just to get this shit done. On top of that, nobody else could help me because none of them knew anything at all about the null signature system.

Even after I got everything finished, putting it back into the Commando was yet another difficult task. I have to mate the null signature system right beneath every square foot of the armor so the system would operate at maximum effectiveness and that was frankly incredibly difficult to do.

But at the very least, I finally got it finished.

“There, finally done with it.”

Michelle smiled, “Gosh, thanks a lot, Drake.”

“How have you managed without it for the past two weeks?”

“It is not really a big deal. I only use it when I have to. More often than not I just leave it turned off.”

I just stared at her in disbelief.

“Michelle, I spent two ****** weeks trying to make spare parts for the null signature system with nothing but ****** scrap. I spent some ****** time that I could have used to sleep on trying to fix that shit.”

I might have come off a bit angrier than usual but seriously, I felt like my hard work was being wasted here.

“Erm, okay?”

“Seriously, don’t shove all these experimental crap in your mech if you aren’t going to use them often. You are going to make your mechtech cry if they put so much ****** effort into making your baby work but you just won’t use them to full potential!”

“Okay, okay. Calm down. I’m sorry!”

I sighed, “Whatever, it’s finished. I’m just ****** tired right now. Get in there and finish your mission and good luck.”

I quickly walked away to take a breather. Despite being a different planet, the evening sky of Kaus Media was still a beautiful orange colour with two of the four moons of Kaus Media, Ajax and Yanu, rising up in the background. At least there’s still something calming about this planet despite all the warzones I have been to.

“Hey.”

Without facing the person behind me, I already knew who she is, “Sarah.”

“I talked with Michelle a bit. She didn’t know you were the only one that can make null signature system component from scratch.”

I sighed once again today, “Maybe if she didn’t shove that damn system in her mech, that would be great. The company has fought Capellan before, right? They should probably have some salvaged stealth armor in store or something.”

“That would depend on if they can fit the stealth armor in her Commando or not.” she said, “Why don’t you just take a nap? You have been overworked as hell and we can definitely handle the rest of the maintenance today.”

I groaned, “Fine, I guess I will take a nap or some shit. Don’t screw up something and make me fix it tomorrow, okay?”

She gave me a thumbs up, “No problem! Get to your nap already, you deserve it!”

I might have been experiencing high level of exhaustion or something as I started to have blackout in memory when I made my way up to my room, but eventually I made it and just take off my work attire and slammed myself onto the bed. With the 185mm shell as a pillow, I went to sleep pretty damn fast.

I love this job, but ****** does it demand a lot from me. Then again, I did get twice the salary compared to other astechs.

Still, I hope for the very least that thing will get better from now on.
On behalf of the Berserker,
Sure it isn't the most practical 'mech ever designed, but it's a hundred ton axe-murderer. If loving that is wrong I don't wanna be right.

Salvage Dog AU SI Fanfic Thread
Salvage Dog AU Tech Compilation Thread
Salvage Dog AU Battlemech Thread

dragonkid11

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 324
Re: Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)
« Reply #12 on: 15 July 2018, 21:38:59 »
Sorry for not having an update yesterday, i was struggling with my phone which is working fine in everything except for not being a bloody phone.

Anyway, here's the latest chapter. Finally caught up!

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Salvage Dog 2.2

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20th May 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
10 kilometers away from The Snatcher

“That looks like Smithy’s work.” David pointed.

It was yet another day at work as we were out here to salvage the result of our armed force victory. As usual, we were the first one to be out of dropship because Michelle always took the least damage during a battle and I’m not exactly thrilled about it.

I gotta be honest. Since the Qualip’s Phantom has never taken a mission close to an urban area in this campaign so far, everytime I get off the dropship, it all looks the bloody same. Same tree, same dirt, same Australia feel despite not being Australia. It was getting kinda boring eventhough I liked salvaging wreckage.

So bored in fact, all of us out on the field decided to try guessing which of the mechwarriors took down the enemy mech.

“Nonono.” Sarah disagreed, “That level of damage looks like it came from a large pulse laser which is in Jayson’s Phoenix Hawk.”

“And then so soon afterward, he jump-kicked a Daimyo right in the head? That sounds really difficult and impressive.”

I shook my head, “Nah, it looks like he was jumping and accidentally stepped on the Daimyo.”

“What about that Flashman there?”

The flashbulb-shaped mech has a crumbled size torso, crushing its oversized XL engine. It looked more like blunt trauma than weapon fire that caused such damage.

“Looks like Major Davion gave someone a fist sandwich.” I concluded.

“The Flashman isn’t such a bad mech really, but to see a whole company of them getting sent to the militia force…” David said.

Sarah shrugged, “Eh, good thing we have the artillery and vehicle companies around to deal with their charge.”

“Speaking of vehicles, that Flashman must have been done in by the Manticore Company.”

Certainly looks like it. All the forest camo the Flashman has seemed to have burned off right around the impact point, laser burn wasn’t intense enough to cause that…

“Hold the hell up, does anyone actually know Major Davion’s first name?”

Let’s just say the man’s mysteriousness increased dramatically when both of them couldn’t answer it. I might need to ask other people about that later.

“So, what about that?” David pointed.

It was four upgraded Hunchbacks fallen outward like something in the middle wiped them out, all four of the Hunchbacks have their cockpits sh-

“Akira.”

“Sai Yong, what!? You can’t just do that!” I yelled at her.

“Do what? It’s obviously her.”

“You have to at least describe what she did to get these kills!” Sarah demanded.

“Alright alright. She waddled her Hunchback around like a drunk and delivered cockpit kills around like she was winning the lottery.” she described without any seriousness about it.

The very fact that Akira might have done exactly just that made me even more annoyed.

“How about this one then? Who do you think did this?” David asked.

It was a Nightsky, a Federated Commonwealth mech that somehow got here in a DC militia force. Its axe blade arm was completely shot off and ended getting lodged deep into its shoulder, destroying the XL engine in the process.

“Michelle.” I said.

Everyone looked at me weirdly.

“Trust me, if there’s anyone that would do this in the company via battlemech kung fu or something, it’s her.”

Sonya clapped her hands together, “Enough chit chatting, get to work!”

“Yes, madam.” we all said in unison.

First salvage of the day, a Hunchback with a dual PPC mount replacing the autocannon. It looked to be that this was a new variant rather than a retrofitted variant with a custom shoulder mount instead of cutting more hole into the frame. While the seniors handled the body this time, we the three juniors checked the mech for any booby trap.

Pure energy vehicles were just so easy to salvage, you really didn’t need to work hard on checking for non-existent ammunition and booby trap as the mech tends to be so stuffed with heatsinks, any mechanic would yell at you for trying to put a bomb in there as it made their work difficult.

Still, this thing looked… interesting. It has a dual PPC mount, which is pretty Kuritan as they love the shit out of PPC. The PPC were connected to external PPC capacitor for extra firepower, a bit odd and difficult to use for a militia force. But what was truly odd about these PPC was the way they were built.

A PPC works on the same principle as gauss rifle, using electromagnetic force to propel a projectile. Unlike gauss rifle, PPC does this with charged particles and isn’t ****** magical in efficiency. So in a way, the blueprint for a PPC would look almost same as a gauss rifle. You have the capacitor, the barrel and et cetera.

The normal PPC has a standard length barrel and width. ER PPC has a narrower barrel backed by tougher material to further focus and accelerate the particles, enough that the feedback effect won’t occur at close range. A snub nose PPC has a shorter barrel but also a narrower barrel to accelerate the particles faster but lose power rapidly at further range, also preventing feedback effect in the process. Heavy and light PPC basically plays around with different power rate and bore width. As a result, both of these PPC could maintain the same range as the standard PPC with only the final damage value changed.

But this PPC in front of me not only has different barrel width, it also has dozens of barrels. Some kind of LBX PPC? But LBX submunitions only scatter when the shells explode just meters away from the target to ensure maximum damage. This PPC would be suffering high damage lost at long range, not that it would matter much if the pilot used this Hunchback like your usual close range combatant.

This was a good haul today, cutting up this Hunchback later would be so fun!

I was startled when my comm suddenly beeped.

“This is Snake Eater! To all personnel outside, head back to the dropship now! DC dropships inbound from the orbit!”

You know the feeling of having something so unexpected that your mind ceased to think the how or why or what have occurred? I’m having that feeling right now.

All those drills we conducted back when we were traveling on the jumpship barely prepared me for this situation at all as my mind went completely blank.

It was just abrupt. There’s simply no time to think at all but to run.

“Everyone, get on the truck now!” Sonya yelled.

I supposed the training still did something after all as my body started running before I could even comprehend the situation. Jumping off the mech 4 meters above the ground hurt my feet but at least that pain reminded me that I’m still alive enough to run the hell away.

“Argh!”

Upon hearing the painful yell, I quickly turned back and saw Sarah lying on the ground while clutching her feet.

“Shit, David gets over here!” I called out to him, and the man himself quickly rushed over to us.

“What happened?” he asked.

“My leg is broken thanks to the high ****** gravity!”

“I don’t think so, it’s probably an ankle sprain.’ I corrected, “David, you carry her right, I go left. Ready?”

He nodded.

“3, 2, 1. Lift!”

With both of us carrying her, we quickly made it to the Saviour and Sonya hit the gas as soon as we got on.

“Ah shit. Teron, get the medkit!”

“Sai Yong, what do we do!?” I asked.

“Just put her on the row of seats there!” she pointed, “You two get to the front and give Sonya two extra pairs of eyes.”

“Does HQ know what dropships are inbound?” I asked as we moved to the front of the Saviour.

“Unknown, but it looks like a big ****** fleet.”

As soon as we got to the front seat, my legs finally gave way and I slumped back onto the seat.

“That was ****** intense.” I cried as my lungs gasped for air.

David sighed in relief, “Yeah.”

“First time for everything, kid.” Sonya stated, “Buckle up, this is going to be a rough ride.”

I quickly buckled up my seat belt and attempted to slow my heartbeat. But no matter what I did, my hands refused to stop shaking in fear and my breathing was completely out of control. Just like everytime something big has occurred, I will be constantly panicking until the situation has resolved it.

Suddenly, at the back of the cabin, Sarah screamed.

“It’s just ice, no need to be so dramatic.”

“You aren’t the one in ****** pain here, Sai Yong.”

Despite everything, I just felt like laughing all of a sudden, “Should we like erm, check on her or something?”

“Maybe later…” he stopped, “Did you hear that?”

It was the sound I have heard in movies way too damn often, the sound of something fast falling from the sky and it sounded big.

“Incoming! Get down!”

As I ducked beneath the window, the shrieking outside was replaced by the roaring noise of fusion jets, scorching the ground beneath it. Eventhough I was sitting in a 60 tons vehicle, I could still feel the whole thing shaking as the object landed on the ground.

Through the window, I saw a Wolverine standing right outside of the vehicle. It was obviously a variant of the five centuries old design, the bulky angular ferro fibrous armor and the massive katana at its left hand showed the difference easily.

And it’s pointing its arm cannon at us.

I wish I could make a joke about the predicament I’m in right now, but I couldn’t. There was something fearsome about the battlemech being a walking warmachine, like the very sight of one on the opposite side of yours would cause a primal fear like that of fire, while having one on your side would make people in awe of it and feel invincible. And right now, this Wolverine is about to blow us to smithereens.

Shit.

Thousands of submunitions suddenly struck the Wolverine, scratching its armor and ruining its paint job in the process. A full lance of Pattons moved down from the hill and kept on hammering the Wolverine with their LBX 10 AC. The Wolverine jumped right as laser fire from the Pattons passed through its previous location. As it sailed through the air, the Wolverine aimed its arm cannon down and fired dozens of thin PPC streams. The Patton’s tread was immediately torn right off from the blast and stopped cold in its track.

As soon as its feet touched down on the ground, the edge of the Wolverine’s katana blurred like a high speed object and with a swing, the blade cut clean through the AC barrel of the Patton. Just before the Wolverine could swing its katana again, salvos of missile interrupted its coup de gras.

It was Michelle’s Commando charging straight at the Wolverine, MASC and supercharger running at full power. Running at more than 200 kmph, her small light mech slammed hard into the Wolverine like a cannonball. From just one hit, the Wolverine went from fully operational to severely damaged, turning the situation around. And yet all I could think of is how many hours I will have to spend on fixing that wrecked shoulder.

In a fit of panic, quad machineguns mounted at a ball turret beneath the Wolverine’s cockpit splattered out bullets at her. The Commando raised one of its arms to protect her cockpit from the stream of bullets and another arm fired laser and SRM salvos at the Wolverine. The laser shot right at the ball turret, melting the whole machinegun assembly and the SRM have struck something important as ammunition explosion blew its rear armor right open.

Seeing it’s taking too much damage, the Wolverine jumped backward and fired everything it got. Streak SRM salvos launched out of its shoulder while PPC streamed out of its arm cannon like a shotgun blast. Thankfully for Michelle, the target wasn’t her as Jayson launched his Phoenix Hawk towards the Wolverine. While hastily repaired, his mech was still sufficiently armored to weather the damage and he quickly sent back his own weapon fire. Pulse laser beams and machinegun rounds came out of its arms, further wrecking the Wolverine’s armor.

The Wolverine’s pilot changed his mind yet again as his mech jumped towards Jayson’s Phoenix Hawkwith the blade out, the edge blurring with desire for a cut. As soon as it’s able, the Phoenix Hawk jumped back just in time to dodge a swing of the katana. Trying to keep the Wolverine back, Jayson fired all his weapons at the Wolverine again. While that didn’t succeed, a lucky laser shot burned right through the hand actuator of the Wolverine and with another swing, the hand along with the blade was torn off from the momentum. But he couldn’t dodge the blade this time and the katana was lodged right into the leg of the Phoenix Hawk.

With the leg actuator locked up from the damage, the Phoenix Hawk tumbled back onto the ground as it landed. Seeing an opportunity, the Wolverine dashed forward with its PPC arm up to shoot him but LBX submunitions shells from the Pattons quickly disabled it.

And all of that happened in barely a minute. Yet in my mind, it felt like it lasted way longer than it did. I suppose that’s the effect of adrenaline running through my bloodstream at this very moment.

With her mech in a better shape, Michelle hurriedly pushed her mech forward and pulled Jayson’s Phoenix Hawk up just as another three Wolverines jumped into view.

“Keep on moving, we can handle this!” she said through the radio.

While David and I were busy viewing the spectacle of a real battle to worry about dying, Sonya was still driving the Saviour back to where the dropship was as fast as its tracks can take us. As we got closer to the dropship, we started to think we will be safe there.

But we weren’t as the enemies got there already.

Everyone else that wasn’t kilometers away from the dropships was fighting an onslaught from at least three whole companies of elite battlemechs. Pattons, Manticores and Demolisher painted in Qualip’s Phantom colour tried to hold the red tide at the bay while the Partisans engaged anti-air fire at the ASF strafing above to support our Lightning ASF. Even the Chaparrals were at such close range that they can fire their Arrow IV directly at the DC mechs.

The 1st Company, as haphazardly repaired as they were, fought against DC mechs as good as they could but these clearly aren’t your run of the mill militia force. As soon as Akira’s Hunchback shot straight into the cockpit of one Panther, the other three Panthers around her fired their PPC straight at her massive AC mount. The ten barrels of her AC 20 were visibly melting from the PPC salvos.

For the first time ever, even the dropships were firing upon the attackers. The massive battery of weapons the dropships have would have frightened the DC force away, but then from beyond the cloud, an Overlord, a Seeker and two Intruders came down with gun blazing. Even without that, the DC Dragoncompany has been hammering the dropships at the edge of their range with their ER PPC. Their speed boosted by MASC and supercharger allowed them to dodge incoming attack with ease.

While everyone was occupied with the DC force in front of them, I caught a glimpse of DC Triumph descending behind our dropships. Great, another battalion of heavy tanks on top of everything.

“Are we going to lose?” David asked fearfully.

I don’t know how to answer his question. And frankly, I was too distracted by the massive attack to notice a Panther barreling its way towards us. With its arm cannon up, the Panther fired its PPC at us and I saw dozens of PPC beams impacting the side of the Saviour like a blossom. I nearly smashed my face onto the window when the vehicle suddenly skidded out of control on the dirt ground.

“Everyone! Out! Now!” Sonya yelled.

I felt a bit sorry when I just kicked the door open and ran out of it without even checking on my friends. By the time I realised it, I looked back to see all of them out of the vehicles with Abel and Teron carrying Sarah out of the Saviour. Behind them, MRM salvos launched out of the Panther’s chest quickly finished off what’s left of the Saviour. I’m thankful that the Saviour was fusion powered otherwise we all would be caught in the resultant explosion already.

“Run. Keep running!”

I really didn't understand the meaning of fear until all I could do was running for my life. Without a layer of protection between me and the metal monster, I might as well be naked right now as the Panther slowly turned towards us like the pilot within was sadistically enjoying this.

As the Panther raised up its PPC at us again, I really thought it was the end for all of us until a squad of Sparrowhawk BA jumped onto the battlemech. The Sparrowhawk isn’t so unique, they are just a second generation Lyran battlearmor made a few decades ago that have advanced lightweight armor, battle claw and more guns. But they are still just as effective against vehicles such as the Panther that is now struggling to get the battlearmors off its frame.

“Where the hell are we running to!?” David asked.

“Out into the wood.” Sonya said, “If the company is still alive, we can make it back. But for now, we need to head for the wood and rendezvous with other merc or rebel forces.”

It’s not a bad idea but… Everything was fine just minutes ago and even now, it’s hard for me to even think about on abandoning my friends back at the dropship.

When I noticed the distance between me and everyone else started to widen, I unintentionally looked down and saw a huge metal fragment wedged into my thigh.

"Oh" I mumbled, "Oh dammit."

When did that happen, I have no idea. But I did know that I’m losing huge amount of blood and about to lose my consciousness.

As I’m about to call out to the rest of the team, I noticed a battered Wolverine approaching them.

“****** it.”

I then did the stupidest thing possible by pulling out the pistol holstered on my waist and fired at the damn DC mech.

All those days spent on firearm training didn’t do shit to my accuracy but it’s hard to not miss the head of a giant bloody robot. It worked at least, as the Wolverine turned away from the rest of the team and towards me. As the Wolverine stepped towards me, I kept on firing without abandon until the clip went dry. The Wolverine, as if amused by my attempt, lazily raised its PPC towards me.

After having so many close calls today, I actually kinda stop giving shit about whether or not this one will really be the end of me. As blood continued to flow out of my leg wound, my body felt tired and my eyelids felt like they are about to close permanently.

The Wolverine’s arm kept moving towards me as my eyes kept on blinking. You know, a lot of things could really happen in a blink of an eye. It’s just that we can’t see these events not because they happen too fast, but because we were ****** blinking.

I heard a bang, the biggest of them all. So loud, yet so distant. It wasn’t an autocannon, it wasn’t a gauss rifle, it wasn’t artillery either. I can hear the difference between these three just from listening, but I couldn’t tell what caused this loud bang because my ears were ringing from the explosion. Whatever it was, it was also so powerful that I can feel a great shockwave when the sound finally reached me. A pressure so immense, I was knocked down by it and landed flat on my ass.

I finally stopped blinking and saw the DC Overlord high in the sky was cracked open like an egg. Whatever that caused such level of destruction, it left a kilometers long contrail that extended beyond the cloud. In fact, it was so powerful, it dispersed the cloud and showed the blue sky beyond it.

Then a few intense beams of laser seemed to emerge from the blue sky and strike the rest of the dropship. I couldn’t even look the beam directly, it was so bright my eyes hurt just from catching a glimpse of it. But I still can see its result when the Seeker exploded from the laser fire and the two Intruders suffered heavy system failure from it.

I hear another massive bang as a mushroom cloud took shape behind our dropship, the DC Triumph and its payload won’t really be so well after this. The projectile was fast, ridiculously fast. All I could see was its contrail and another hole through the cloud.

With the entire DC dropships suffered heavy damage, the Wolverine’s pilot quickly forgot about me as he seemed confused at the current situation. Then, from the blue sky, I noticed something was falling down from it. Something white and cyan, like it camouflaged itself within the sky. The Wolverine noticed that too and fired everything he has at it.

But even then, the shrieking got louder and louder until the object slowed its descent with plasma jet. As the battlemech landed on the ground, disposable jumpjets were ejected from its waist and it swiftly raised its arms towards the Wolverine. Two PPC bolts and one gauss slug fired out of its arm and the salvo was more than enough to blow off the Wolverine’s arm.

The arm nearly crushed me as it was thrown towards me and so did the blade as it missed me by just a meter to my right. While the Wolverine was trying to fight back against the unknown battlemech, the next salvo from it quickly finished it off.

As my consciousness slowly slipped away into darkness from my blood loss, I could barely hear the heavy footstep of the battlemech coming towards me. When I saw its ugly angular face, I finally realised which mech it was.

An Executioner, how fitting.







The realisation then hit my mind like a brick and I promptly pushed myself up.

“Hold on, how the ****** did you get here!?”

A look of confusion appeared on Dr Lee’s face, “Huh?”

I’m in the medbay apparently, what’s with the recognizable hospital bed and the sterile smell only a medical bay would have. I wasn’t alone here either as Sarah and Akira were shocked when I woke up screaming while many others were down here to recover from their injuries as well.

Dr Lee walked towards my bed, “It’s okay. It’s safe now.”

“Who the hell are those guys!?”

“Those guys? They are the 66th Benjamin Regular, which is kinda odd because the place we attacked before wasn’t in their jurisdiction.” Dr Lee answered.

“No! Who the hell are the other guys?”

“The other… Oh, you meant Alpha Expeditionary Galaxy from Clan Ice Hellion? They are one of the merc deployed here on Kaus Media, but they are kinda a merc on paper only.”

Who, wait, what!?

“Oh no.” Dr Lee calmly said, “Brian, give him some sedate. Our patient here is getting unstable.”

I didn’t need to take a look at the medical monitor to know my heart was beating like crazy from the sheer panic that I'm having right now.

“No wait, I have more questions!”

But with the sedate from the needle, I was soon falling unconscious yet again as I collapsed back on the bed.

As my consciousness faded away, I have come on a conclusion.

Whoever made this universe took a bloody sledgehammer and pummel canon until it’s no more.
On behalf of the Berserker,
Sure it isn't the most practical 'mech ever designed, but it's a hundred ton axe-murderer. If loving that is wrong I don't wanna be right.

Salvage Dog AU SI Fanfic Thread
Salvage Dog AU Tech Compilation Thread
Salvage Dog AU Battlemech Thread

dragonkid11

  • Master Sergeant
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  • Posts: 324
Re: Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)
« Reply #13 on: 18 July 2018, 22:05:21 »
I'm so disappointed at myself for having to spend so much time on just one chapter alone.

Heed my advice, do not write an entire chapter out of exposition because it will screw with your mind on how much information you should give to your readers.

*sighs*

Anyway, it's here. Enjoy

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Salvage Dog 2.3

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28th May 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater
Crew deck

After hesitating for five whole minutes, I gathered my courage and drank my medicine down.

“Argh, bloody disgusting.”

Then, with my remaining uninjured leg, I moved my ass onto the wheelchair and wheeled myself out of my room.

Being stuck in a wheelchair again sucks. This time, there’s no zero gravity to relieve stress on my wound. It kept aching uncomfortably even after I got discharged from the medbay just yesterday.

You know what’s even more bullshit? Me being the most heavily wounded person out of the entire merc roster, more so than the ****** combat personnel who only get bruises and scratches because the Clanner saved our arses in time. That ****** fragment that stabbed into my thigh was actually 6 inches long, it would have gone through my thigh if it wasn’t stopped by my femur. Had it been worse, they will have to amputate my leg to keep me alive.

Christ, I have been accumulating injuries even before the start of this campaign. I still have a slight breathing problem thanks to those broken ribs back then but that’s more psychological than actual issue. Really, I know a story would be more intense when the main character gets injured and solve problems anyway but I’m not made of sterner stuff at all.

But even that still won’t compare to my unsettling feeling about the current state of this Battletech verse, the revelation that the Clan is already here just didn’t feel right...

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21st May 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater
Medbay

“You have no idea what Clan Ice Hellion is?” Sarah asked like I have been living under a rock.

When I first came into this world that I thought was completely fictional, I thought I would have all the metaknowledge in the world to figure out what could possibly be going on behind the scene and estimate the future.

I didn’t expect that knowledge to be so bloody useless that I have this line said straight to my face. If I wasn’t trying to look like I have no idea what’s happening (Which I am but only for like half of the stuff), I would have the face of the most upset man in history.

“No, because nobody told me about them!”

“What about the research team that discovered you?” Akira asked this round.

I gave her a gesture that looked like the halfway mix of shrugging and wanting to strangle an invisible person, “They didn’t say anything either. I guess they were afraid that I would have a heart attack from such a big news because I had one just now.”

I sighed for the nth time today as I pinched my nose to ease my stress. Gosh, I could imagine my blood vessel popping comically on my forehead from stress like a bloody anime.

David raised up his hand, “So… where do you want us to start first because you will be stuck here for a while?”

While I have so many questions, asking specific questions might have raised alarm so I will go for a more general one and work from there.

“Let’s start with who the hell are these people.”

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28th May 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater
Dining Hall

But there’s no point panicking over something that has occurred some times ago, so here I am, eating breakfast while trying to figure out how to work while still stuck on a wheelchair.

“So the reason why we got ambushed that day was that the 66th Benjamin Regular used the militia battalion as a bait? Talk about irony.”

“That what’s the rumour said.” David said as he chewed on a slice of bacon, “It didn’t help that they have some successes.”

Thinking about what would happen to those captured by DCMS didn’t make swallowing down my breakfast any easier.

“Have you hear anything else?”

“Well, the rebel force is getting hammered pretty hard too. Some of the DC regiments have decided to just clear the whole house upon any rumour of rebel spies among them. The information that we rely on is kinda getting more and more inaccurate as days go by.”

Typical of DC, never thinking about the future, always seeing what’s in front of them. Even if AFFC failed to take hold on this planet, the actions done by those regiments would hamper any cooperation with the local for decades onward.

They may think that they can hold this battle out, but the truth is that the whole DC was suffering a slow but inevitable death.

Idiots.

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21st May 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater
Medbay

This quickly reminded me of cutscenes in game. You know, the one that went on for minutes, and kept repeating before a boss fight because the last save point was 10 minutes away? The one that was completely unskippable? And the boss was too complicated for my ten years old brain to fight so I have to keep replaying that part and see the same ****** cutscene everytime.

Yeah, I’m absolutely thrilled right now.

“And here’s the surprise! The Clan Ice Hellion, a techno tribal society that is all focused on producing the best fighters in the galaxy, binding themselves with rites of honors and rituals, and is so single minded on gaining the greatest honor of all even if it results in their death…” she paused for dramatic effect, “... are actually the descendents of SLDF!”

I tilted my head tiredly, “... Okay?”

“Erm, I thought you would be more surprised.”

“Well, I was. But then you mentioned the SLDF, and now it makes sense.”

That got a confused look out of them all.

“Look at the Successor States, every single one of them abandoned the 21st century model of democracy after Terran Hegemony ended and eventually took on a feudal rulership system. ******, Capellan Confederation took a step further and go full China dynasty nasty crap while Draconis Combine decided to model itself after the complete failure of a society that’s the 20th century Imperial Japan with a mix of romanticized version of Sengoku era Japan that looks completely unlike the ****** up that has taken over a third of the Inner Sphere today. No offense, Akira.”

She raised up her hands, “None taken. I already told you guys, insult the DC all you like, I left that state gun blazing for a reason.”

“Now with the Successor States and even the Peripheral States going full feudal, one should have no doubt that the SLDF, who has gone past even the furthest reach of space, would end up taking the form of a society that is even more backward from massive dose of space coo coo.”

“That.” Sarah said with understanding and horror, “Actually makes a lot of senses.”

“That certainly explains why my aunt living at the edge of periphery became a hippy pacifist.”

I just stared at Akira.

“What?”

I rolled my eyes, “Anyway, why did they come here?”

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28th May 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater
Dining Hall

Sarah continued, “They really didn’t like to talk about that, but from what I know, they and the other Clans (And yes, there’s more of them) got themselves involved in a war on the scale of the old Succession War.” she answered, “On what, I have as much clue as you are.”

So in this timeline, the Successor States figured out a way to calm the hell down and actually undergo an era of peace before having another decades long war with each other again, while the Clan found yet another stupid reason to destroy themselves with total annihilation.

It seemed whoever made this universe has a great sense of irony.

Even after days since that exposition, I still shook my head at the stupidity of the Clans.

With David leaving for the washroom, I wheeled myself to the elevator and headed down to the mech bay myself.

It was a bit of a surprise when I found myself face to face with Sarah when the elevator opened up.

“Hey.”

“Hi.”

I moved in, noticed the mech bay floor button has already been pressed and let the elevator closed on its own.

“How’s your leg?” I asked while cranking my neck upward, being in a wheelchair really gave people a new perspective.

“I should be the one asking that!” she shouted in surprise, “It’s fine by the way.”

The ride down the shaft was quite quiet afterward.

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21st May 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater
Medbay

“Alpha, Beta, Delta, Zeta and Theta, these five Expeditionary Galaxies were often sent outside of the Clan Ice Hellion’s territory within the abandoned Rim World Republic region to conduct mission or assignment as well as explore the world outside. But the reality is that they sent people out because their military was seemingly full of glory hounds and they have to kick them out to stop infighting.” Akira explained.

Figure it would drive those warriors insane for not having anyone to fight except themselves for decades onward. But recolonising the former Rim World Republic territory? That’s just ironic!

“One of the rumours I heard is that when the expeditionary galaxy was formed, they have to stop their warriors from having these ‘trial’ things because nearly half of their entire military wanted to be in these expeditionary galaxies. In the end, they figure out how to assign people in the expeditionary galaxy without killing half of their number and set out into the galaxy to kick ass.”

“So, what they are doing out here?”

“Some of them are on secret assignments where they explore the unknown and nobody knew where those assignments went. Most of the time though, they actually legitimately accept mercenary contract, presumably out of boredom.”

Clanner accepting mercenary contract? That’s… that’s outright bizarr-

I’m going to punch someone if it turned out that one of the expeditionary galaxies called themselves the Hellion’s Dragoon.

“Even worse is that they are actually good at it. These Clanners like challenges more than they like credit in their wallets. The harder it is, the more they want it. They even used to have these ‘honor rules’ called zellbrigen, but they quickly abandoned it when nobody that isn’t a Clanner or an idiot use them at all. After fifteen years of combat experience, they have become one of the most terrifying forces in the Inner Sphere.”

------

28th May 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater
Elevator Shaft 3

“Thank you.”

I turned to face her.

“Thank you for saving everyone in the team that day.” she spoke softly, “I really don’t know how you have the courage to-”

“I was bleeding the hell out, practically half death. My brain was also full of ****** and completely deliriously. So I decided the best thing to do at that very moment was to do something incredibly stupid to save my friends’ lives.” I interjected, “You know, like any smart person would.”

That got her turning 180 degrees in mood and snickering.

“To be honest, I was just as afraid of dying like anyone else. It just that when I have gone completely deranged from severe blood loss, I kinda forget what fear means. I don’t think it’s something worth thanking for really, anyone should do their best when their friends are in trouble.”

With a smile hanging on her face, she faced back towards the elevator door as it’s opening, “Yeah.”

------

21st May 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater
Medbay

“What exactly happened 15 years ago besides the start of Fourth Succession War? I kept on hearing people mentioning it before getting cut off like all the bloody times as if some mysterious force is stopping me from knowing things.”

David scratched the back of his head, “For a long time, people have always known there’s someone taking over the abandoned Rim World Republic region, but their complete refusal for any communication or diplomatic meeting makes them a complete unknown. Even more unfortunate was the start of Third Succession War which basically caused the Lyran Commonwealth to all but ignore Clan Ice Hellion that was building up their infrastructure.”

“Then what happened?”

“As Akira said, they were full of glory hounds and after spending decades behind the wall, a whole galaxy got out and started having a trial of possession because that’s the greatest idea ever! Long story short, a short war happened, things didn’t end well for that galaxy and now Clan Ice Hellion and Lyran Commonwealth have a sorta strained peace which gets better as time passed.” David continued, “I hope.”

“Do they… trade anything?”

“Food? Yes. Material? Yes. Entertainment? Yes. Civilian tech? Yes. Medical tech? Yes. Military tech? Haha, no. The only way to get that is by winning a trial of possession against them and the Khan of the Clan Ice Hellion is smart enough to restrict the trial to twice per year to preserve their technological advancement. So far? We have only won one time and Defiance Industries is still trying to crack the secret of Clan ER Medium laser after eight years of reverse engineering.”

I think the biggest question in my mind besides how the trial would work was what the heck kind of entertainment program could a Clan produce? More Adventure of Clan Spaniel?

“How does the trial work?”

“Zellbrigen could be chosen to be on or outright get thrown out of the window, but considering Clan Ice Hellion’s awkward rule, zellbrigen usually get thrown out. Either way, if LC side wins, they get a specific type of Clan tech, if the Clan wins, they get whatever the LC put as a bet. No taking bondsman, that’s prisoner-slash-slave-slash-warrior in Clan term. The trial also often fought with around 8 to 10 points of force at max, the Khan clearly know that having bigger formation is just asking for trouble since we in the Inner Sphere love artillery.”

“One more question if you don’t mind…”

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28th May 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater
Mech bay

“Looks like not even an injured leg will stop you from coming down here.”

Like usual, the rest of the crews were here. The mech bay was still as busy as usual with all tech teams working on their mechs as if nobody was fazed by the ambush.

“The only reason I couldn’t be here a week ago was because the Doctor insisted, Sonya.” I grinned back, “How’s our hanger queen?”

“It has been a pain to put her back together without you around, but we managed.” Sonya boasted proudly, “Sai Yong!”

“Yes, madam!” Sai Yong cheerfully replied as she pressed a button on the console.

------

21st May 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater
Medbay

“So, about the orbital bombardment the DC dropships experienced that day…”

“Yup.” Akira quickly confirmed what was on my mind, “The number of ground force the Clan Ice Hellion has was so low, they could afford to deploy a star of warships for each of the galaxy.”

Sweet Jesus, that meant there are twenty five warships dedicated to the Expeditionary Galaxies already.

“But they only hand out obsolete Star League era warship or Clan grade corvette to the Expeditionary Galaxies while the so called ‘real Clan fleet’ remained within their territory.”

And they have more!? That’s a huge number of warship for a Clan that wasn’t even focused on aerospace superiority. As a matter of fact, that sounded suspiciously way too many...

”So any idea which ship was it that saved us that day?”

“Well, it could be the heavily upgraded old Vincent. The Alpha Expeditionary Galaxy was always so proud of that ship even if it was destroyed by the hundreds in the Amaris Civil War. I heard that the other four ships have gone to fight at Vega. It seems the Draconis Combine is determined to not lose that place.”

A Vincent, are you serious? That ship has less armor than most dropships! But maybe the Clanner actually got smart and gave it the armor it needed.

Then something clicked.

“Is… was the warship fleet why there’s no dropship patrol when we came into the system?”

“5 warships versus a fleet of DC PWS and assault dropper, which one do you think came out ahead?” Akira retorted.

“The one that’s still alive and saving our asses?”

“Well, when you put it that way…”

With all these questions about warships, it did remind me of one more thing to ask.

“Another question, how… many warships are there in Inner Sphere right now by the way?”

“Nobody knows the real number of warship in Inner Sphere to be honest. I mean, nobody knows the true number of house regiments are there either but nobody was sure whether there’s a few dozens or a few hundreds warship per house. You would think with all the warship parades on the core worlds, people would actually start counting them but nope.” Sarah continued.

“It was because the first two Succession War nearly caused them to go extinct, right?” I asked, “Better to keep your enemy guessing how many ships you have then having your world being bombarded simply because they know there’s no warship there.”

“You might be right about that…” Sarah agreed with downcast eyes.

I lied back on my bed as once again, I was overwhelmed by the huge amount of information I have obtained. I’m going to need some time alone just to process what’s going on in the Inner Sphere right now.

I shrugged as best as I could for someone stuck in a bed, “Well, I guess that’s all the questions I have for no-Huh, Michelle?”

“Hey.”

It’s not hard to not notice the door was sliding open when I was facing it directly. As Michelle stepped closer to my bed, I noticed her cheek was covered with a big piece of band-aid like most people I saw after the previous battle. Nobody walked unscathed from that one. Her face was kinda twitching too, but I’m not sure whether it’s from her injury or nervo-

Oh, oh no.

“It’s the null signature system, isn’t it?” I asked with dread swelling in my heart.

“I-wait no, I wanted to say…” she sighed deeply, “Yeah, I screwed up. The left arm was punched off…”



The medical monitor started beeping.

“Don’t jump to get the doctor attention yet, I’m just-” giving up on life, “a bit upset.”

A silence atmosphere emerged briefly before Akira crashed it, “So, your mech is basically toasted now?”

“Unfortunately, yeah…” Michelle sighed, “Going have to downgrade my mech and focus more on evading from now onward.”

“Or get something heavier. That Commando has way too less armor and you have taken one too many hits in this campaign, those DCMS are damn good shot.”

“Hold on.” something flashed within my mind as I cut in, “Michelle, you said you salvaged the null signature system from an Exterminator, right?”

“Yeah?”

“Is the Exterminator a full package one?”

------

28th May 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater
Mech bay

“You have no idea how hard it is to fit all the hologram projector between armor plating without introducing more weak points.” David complained with a hint of proudness.

With embedded cameras all across the frame, hologram projected over the Commando changed into a rough patch of colour that matched with what’s behind it. It looked so bad, it genuinely looked like bad CGI, but from a distance, it’s going to confuse the heck out of eyeball mark I and visual sensors. In a way, this was still so much cooler than null signature system.

“Chameleon light polarization system.” Sarah noted, “It really does look like someone watched too much Predator.”

“You guys still watch it today?”

“If it’s popular to watch something a 1000 years old 300 years ago, why won’t it be popular now?”

“Fair point.”

Puh! Nearly blew my cover when I wanted to say I watched it way longer than 300 years ago.

“How is my mech?”

With all the heavy machinery operating in the mech bay, it was hard to notice the light footsteps of our mechwarrior as she sauntered towards us.

“The CLPS system has been installed as you requested and the new arm is working fine.” Sonya stated, “Don’t break her again, Michelle. She’s gonna stuck as a museum piece if you kept coming back like last time.”

“Warning noted.” Michelle sassed.

“Warning, launch sequence starts in 10 minutes.” the intercom announced with klaxons blowing loudly.

“That’s our cue to get to the seats. Get to it.” Teron said firmly.

Before leaving, I quietly saluted towards Michelle. It was a rather bad salute, imitated from dozens of action movies I watched.

She saluted right back with a smile before ascending to her mech with the elevator.

After that, I wheeled myself to the wall right beside the team and locked the wheelchair onto it with magnetic lock. There, I sat tight and closed my eyes.

Just two to three weeks left.

The feeling of safety in a city, I kinda missed that greatly.

I hope everyone made it out alive to enjoy that feeling once more.

------

Author Notes: Another thing I have to say, do not write on a whim. Plan things out, do not insert things suddenly because it caused me to start getting confused at the flow of plot there. I nearly crashed and burned because of that.
« Last Edit: 19 July 2018, 04:41:21 by dragonkid11 »
On behalf of the Berserker,
Sure it isn't the most practical 'mech ever designed, but it's a hundred ton axe-murderer. If loving that is wrong I don't wanna be right.

Salvage Dog AU SI Fanfic Thread
Salvage Dog AU Tech Compilation Thread
Salvage Dog AU Battlemech Thread

Dave Talley

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Re: Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)
« Reply #14 on: 20 July 2018, 00:11:05 »
doing fine so far
Resident Smartass since 1998
“Toe jam in training”

Because while the other Great Houses of the Star League thought they were playing chess, House Cameron was playing Paradox-Billiards-Vostroyan-Roulette-Fourth Dimensional-Hypercube-Chess-Strip Poker the entire time.
JA Baker

dragonkid11

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Re: Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)
« Reply #15 on: 20 July 2018, 03:11:26 »
Man, I gonna be honest. I kinda hard to notice how much of a sir swear a lot I am until I saw all the asterisk...

I probably need to dial that down, mostly because I get extremely quiet and unfeeling when stressed.
On behalf of the Berserker,
Sure it isn't the most practical 'mech ever designed, but it's a hundred ton axe-murderer. If loving that is wrong I don't wanna be right.

Salvage Dog AU SI Fanfic Thread
Salvage Dog AU Tech Compilation Thread
Salvage Dog AU Battlemech Thread

dragonkid11

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Re: Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)
« Reply #16 on: 23 July 2018, 07:13:06 »
5th June 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
5 kilometers away from Snake Eater

“Patriot Company, Magic Company, continue to fall back! Phantom Company, continue to cover their retreat!” Colonel Marvick ordered as her Zeus laid down covering fire.

All members of the 1st Company wordlessly followed the Colonel’s command as they fired right at the incoming DC vehicles. Michelle’s cockpit spiked in heat as green beams were emitted out of her mech’s arms while the SRM launchers were smoking from releasing its package. The Saracen within the targeting reticle was quickly immobilised by the laser followed by a finishing punch with the SRM salvos.

Not as hot with NSS on. I can handle this heat.

Right as she was aiming for a Saladin, three streams of lightning bolts barely passed over her mechs.

Schrek!, she thought.

Approximately a company of those PPC carriers has bunkered down at the green hill kilometers away from here. While whoever firing those guns have bad aiming skill, getting pummelled by those PPC bolts when they actually hit wasn’t good at all. She didn’t forget the previously found surprise of artillery company hidden in the wood that her lance has to destroy to ensure the safety of the retreat either. This whole mission has gone bad right from the start.

“This is Patriot 10, our track has been heavily damaged! Request assistance!”

Sure enough, she noticed a Patton retreating slower than the others at the formation behind her company through 360 degree external camera system. A new ping on the radar quickly alerted her to the presence of a Saladin. Before she could warn Patriot 10, LBX submunitions struck the side of the Patton and wheels were blown right off the chassis. Accurate pulse laser fire from Jayson’s Phoenix Hawk swiftly disabled the Saladin but the damage has already been done.

“Patriot 10, bail out now! I will cover you!” Jayson’s voice blasted through the channels.

As the crew of the Patton escaped out of their vehicle, he moved his mech in the way of incoming fire, blocking hundreds of 20mm machine gun rounds heading straight for the exposed crews. A Maxim from the 4th Hovercraft Company swiftly rushed in towards the crew and the BA squad within charged out with the machineguns discharging. As the crew moved into the hovercraft, the Sparrowhawk squad aimed their TAG at a Tokugawa just as an Arrow IV sailed over them. The Maxim with the crew and the BA squad quickly retreated right before the Arrow IV blew the turret off the tank.

That makes it the third Patton we lost this week.

“This is Blue 4, I detected lots of movement at 9 O’clock!” Marley reported, fatigue showing in her voice.

“This is Red Leader, how fast are those boogies?” the Colonel asked demandingly.

“More than 100 klicks per hour! Light mech or hovercraft, I can’t be sure.”

“Blue lance, intercept the boogie. To all dropship defend units, light units are heading your way! Take them out!”

------

5th June 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater
Mech bay

The dropships were firing again.

It’s not hard to notice the entire arsenal of the Snake Eater was shooting against whatever DC threw at us as I can feel the floor vibrating from the rhythmic firing like an Orchestra. The heavy discharge of a gauss rifle, the rapid thuds of an autocannon, the mass launching of missiles from their launcher rack and the loud barrage of the Long Tom artillery that shook the entire dropship. These are the only mechanical sounds that could calm my beating heart down right now.

Because everything feels chaotic now.

And by chaotic, I meant a gigantic hovercraft literally flew into the wrong floor and I nearly fell off my wheelchair. A cry for medic came within the Maxim and the medic team on standby moved in for their latest patients. A woman was carried out the back of the hovercraft on a stretcher and her uniform has splotches of red on it. A squad of Sparrowhawk troopers then exited the hovercraft, grabbed a few bottles of refreshments, then climbed right back into the hovercraft.

“You guys are heading out again!?” a medic asked with clear concern.

“Is that even a question? Thompson, move out!”

And just like that, the Maxim left in a gust of wind that almost knocked people over and went straight into the battlefield.

“Christ, it looks bad out there.” David said, with fear.

“I’m going to take a look.” I said, ignoring him and wheeling my way towards a window.

Thing hasn’t been going well at all since weeks ago. As we conducted more raid, it became clear that the DCMS and the local militia has gained a second wind after all but one of the Clan warships have left for Vega. With only one warship in orbit, the local dropship transport could just avoid the warship as it was obvious where it is with rudimentary detection and tracking system.

Oh, the Alpha Expeditionary Galaxy is still unmatched on the planet. But for the rest of us? We are in deep shit.

Over 40% of merc force has either been lost or activated their escape clause before their loss becomes too great (Most were the latter case though, thankfully). The remaining one are either stupid, desperate or us, the stubbornly professional. It’s barely 2 weeks left on our contract, but this campaign seriously took a turn for the worse.

I hope this mission doesn’t ge-

Through the window, a company of militia hovercrafts was heading straight towards here.

Bloody Murphy.

“Incoming DC hovercrafts!” I yelled as loud as I could.

Chief Technician Pedro quickly noticed my cry, “Close the bay door now!”

Just before the door could close in time, I saw streaks of tracers passed through the gap and punched holes on the wall. I didn’t notice if anybody was injured but someone has already called out for a medic. As I looked back at the window, the external camera showed nearly a two battalion of hovercrafts and APC heading straight for us. I can recognise the Scimitars with their long autocannon barrel, the Saracens with its numerous missile launchers and the Saladins with its massive autocannon but I can’t recognize the fourth type that’re armed with laser, missile and a whole bunch of rotary machineguns.

A lost model in canon Succession War? Maybe I could find out if I have more time to look at it but the Demolishers quickly lived up to their name as they got too close. The 40mm Pom Pom Shatterstorm LBX AC 20 was really amazing at just how much AC rounds it could unleash towards the enemy at practically 8 times maximum fire rate of the modern GAU-8 gatling autocannon. The DC hovercrafts simply melted apart from all the AC rounds hammering their armored chassis and the infantries disembarked from their flipped APC disintegrated into pink mist from all the machinegun fire.

“Incoming Artillery! Brace for impact!” the intercom blared.

Before I could even brace myself, the whole dropship rocked like it was suffering from an Earthquake. Only a handhold on the wall stopped me from rolling around on my wheelchair. By the separated vibrations, I counted maybe 6 to 10 separated explosions bombarding the outer shell of the dropship, good thing the Snake Eater was armored with heavy ferro-aluminium plating or else I would notice things falling apart already.

As I pulled myself back to the window, I spotted a company of DC battlemechs skirting around the dropship. Owens, Striders and Raptors, all modularmechs that looked to have configurations that featured a TAG. It was obvious that they were the one spotting for guided artillery rounds.

And that fact was obvious to the 1st Company too as the Blue lance torn right into them.

------

5th June 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
1 kilometer away from Snake Eater

“The DC hovercrafts are assaulting the base!” Michelle reported.

“Forget them, the dropship can handle it. Blue lance, engage the light scouts!” Jayson ordered as he aimed his guns towards a Raptor.

With the whole DC light mech company concentrated at the dropship, the Blue lance viciously dealt their first blow without any return fire. The lance of Raptors closest to them was the first to utterly annihilated. For a light mech, standing still is a mistake. And as Marley’s barrage of medium laser sliced a Raptor apart, that statement was proven right once more.

When the death scream of their comrades finally reached their radio, the remaining militia Owenses and Striders finally turned around right as one of them was getting kicked in the leg by Jayson’s Phoenix Hawk. The Owens, unbalanced by the attack, fell onto cockpit first to the hard dirt. Jayson deemed it harmless and shot at the nearby Strider. The pilot within the fallen Owens tried to aim his TAG towards the dropship again but Smithy put an end to it with a crushing stomp right through the windshield before directing his quad pulse laser at another Owens.

With her CLPS useless at such close range, Michelle turned it off and split her fire at two different DC mechs, trying to direct their attention at her than at the dropship. It worked, as the heat from the inferno gel made the two militia mechwarriors panicked. Within seconds, her Commando closed the distance between her and the two militia mechs, her speed enhanced by the supercharger and MASC.

With the Owens pilot suffering panic, she grabbed the mech by its missile box arm and pushed it onto the ground before firing everything she has at it. Without even confirming kill, she charged straight towards the last Strider, intending to slam it to the ground. However, the Strider moved at the very last second and her blow was glanced off its armor.

With the streak SRM launchers and pulse laser this Strider config has, it was a terrible mistake to expose her back. Luckily, the Strider didn’t notice his entire company was dead except for him and the rest of her lance was directly behind him. The Strider didn’t even get to pull the trigger as a massive burst from the eight machineguns mounted on Marley’s Firestarter triggered an explosion within the mech.

With the fight ended, Jayson quickly reported, “This is Blue Leader, we have finished off the light mech company.”

“Good work, Blue lance. Get to the dropship now, we are leaving!” the colonel replied.

“Alright, Blue lance. Let’s go!”

A ping popped up on her radar. With her rear camera, she saw the Owens she has shot was still moving with a functional TAG.

“Shit!”

“I’m on it!”

Jayson stepped hard on the pedal and jumped his mech right onto the Owens. This time, the Owens was truly dead with its cockpit completely crushed flat, but it has definitely fired the TAG somewhere as the copperhead shells began to turn their course towards them.

He quickly realised the Owens mistakenly shot its TAG at him. Going prone on the ground, he pulled the dead Owens over him to shield against the artillery strike. Nobody could tell whether he survived or not as dust billowed from multiple massive explosions.

“Shit! Jayson!” Michelle yelled in hope of a response.

As the dust finally settled, the rest of the Blue lance was relieved to find his mech heavily damaged but otherwise intact. The Owens, however, was essentially deader than dead as the only piece big enough for Jayson’s mech to hold onto was a crumbled missile box.

“Everyone, I’m detecting more signal than the time we fought on a Kerensky damned live volcano! Let’s get the hell out of here now!” Marley yelled through the comm and the Blue lance quickly headed back to the dropship.

------

5th June 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater
Mech bay

Sweet Jesus, I have never seen Michelle fighting with such ruthless brutality before. Even from the free time between missions, I can see her and every single combat personnel getting high strung from all the difficult missions we have finished. Even the supply was getting stretched with our ammunition supply running low enough that we could only do 5 more sorties and we might need to downgrade the light ferro fibrous armor we used on our mech to all the standard grade armor plating we have salvaged soon. Thankfully, food and medicine supply was not an issue so far, those were a lot lighter than armor and ammo and easy to double up. Thing simply just wasn’t looking up at all.

“Open up the bay door! All personnel, move away from the bay door! Battlemechs coming through!” Pedro ordered with a phone through the intercom.

As soon as the bay door was fully opened, the battlemechs of the 1st company in various states of damage moved in a rush rather the usual slow walk and my body felt like it was being shaken apart from each quake caused by the footsteps. Armor covered in burn scars and bullet holes, gun barrel cut and smashed from enemy fire, myomer bundles exposed to the light outside and yet functionally moving the mech forward. Today’s fight was harder than the last one for sure.

After most of the medium and heavy mechs have gotten into the Snake Eater, Colonel Marvick and Major Davion swiftly took cover at the sides of the door.

“Cover your ears!” Colonel Marvick’s voice came through the external speaker.

Then, I quickly realised two things. One, mech scale weapon fire are stupid loud when someone was firing it right above you. Two, I should really have moved as I saw the UAC 5 mounted on Colonel Marvick’s Zeus’s left arm was spewing out hundreds of empty shell casings above me. Apparently my brain has decided that since I’m still stuck on a wheelchair, I didn’t need to move away on Pedro’s warning myself!

Brilliant thinking, brain! You stupid piece of grey mat-

Thankfully, someone pushed me out of the way as the casings clinked and clanked onto the floor.

“You really should be more careful.” Sarah’s voice came behind me.

“Well, this is a bit ironic.”

“Really? Not even a thank you?” she asked skeptically.

“Maybe we should call even here.”

She just rolled her eyes at me.

A metal screeching noise quickly drew our attention back to the bay door as the Blue lance has finally returned with their lance leader’s mech being dragged back into the mech bay. Even with his mech in pieces, he’s still firing back with pulse laser and machineguns. I’m briefly thankful that machinegun fired caseless round or else we will have to clean thousands of tiny round casings off the dropship.

“Close the baydoor now!” the colonel spoke, her voice sounded robotic, “All dropships lift off ASAP! Secure up the battlemech, we are going for a hard burn.”

------

8th June 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater
Dining Hall

Even as we burned through the atmosphere that day, the DCMS refused to stop there as the onboard sensor detected a full wing of DC ASF heading our way. Fortunately, the Qualip’s Phantom had the same experience a few years ago and has modified their dropship to counter such threat. All three dropships in service of the Qualip’s Phantom has downgraded some of their carrying capacity for more cargo capacity and increased level of firepower and armor.

The heavy vehicle bays of the Snake Eater has been reduced to light vehicle bays to carry the Maxims, a lance worth of heavy vehicle bays was removed in the Policenaut as the colonel deemed they have enough vehicle support, and with the sheer space The Snatcher has as a mule, the question of what you can’t put was easier to answer than the opposite. Funny enough, The Snatcher was actually the most heavily armored dropship here, I guessed the colonel really preferred her loot intact.

But even then, the dropships have suffered damage from the artillery bombardment before and it was only the timely reinforcement from the Dame Dans L’eau that the DC wing was deterred away. It was a whole merc company built to achieve aerospace superiority and escort protection. In this era where even jumpships are fair game, actual aerospace support is important now.

Once again, we are recuperating from the failed raid and the morale just isn’t good right now.

Another yawn left my mouth as if my exhausted look wasn’t obvious enough.

“Not getting enough sleep, Iceman?” Jayson asked while looking at his datapad, probably watching recorded footage of Noisiel Summer Game again.

“Yes and stop calling me that.” I growled, “I’m stuck in a bloody wheelchair and I still have to spend the time I used for my beauty sleep on repairing your mech because even your tech team couldn’t fix everything in that poor Phoenix Hawk of yours that was one shot away from being permanently sent to the scrapyard.”

“Apology to that, I really wasn’t in the best condition that day.”

“Say, when are all those regiments sent to Vega going to be here?” David asked while stabbing a sausage hard with a fork, “They have been delayed for more than two weeks already. We were supposed to be supporting them right now, not fighting for our life on this planet full of trees and insects here.”

“Sometimes, things just don’t go your way. That’s life, and life can be a bitch to handle.”

We both nodded in acknowledgment.

“But what I’m really afraid now is that… whether the Federated Commonwealth is inflicted with victory disease.” I said with fearfully.

“Victory disease? What is that supposed to mean?”

“It’s a ‘sickness’ that has plagued many civilisations before, all of which shared one thing in common. Ignorance.” I explained, “It always happens after a civilisation has so many major successes in a row that they began to believe they were favoured by fate or their deity, or that they were superior to their opponents in some ways. And rather than using the advantages they got from those victories correctly, they began to think they were invincible and did more stupid things until one day, everything collapsed under its own weight.”

“That… isn’t gonna happen to the Federated Commonwealth, right? I meant, nobody has achieved such scale of unification besides the Star League.”

“And the Star League eventually fell apart under its own weight. I lived those time, David. I would be lying if I said I couldn’t see the same syndrome in this era again. To believe that one is greater simply because of their advancement in technology or culture was a completely foolish idea that got a lot of people killed.”

It’s only when I have finished my explanation that I noticed people sitting at the surrounding table were looking at me.

My injured leg suddenly throbbed painfully and I realised I must have stood up during my explanation somehow. Slowly, I sat back down on the bench.

“Sorry about that. I make the mood grim again.”

All I got back was silence, because in a way, people knew that I was saying part of a truth.

------

“Next mission briefing starts in 10 minutes in the dining hall.” the intercom blared once again for the past hour.

I can just hear the groans echoing from both the mech bay and vehicle bay levels even when I physically couldn’t as all the tech teams have been spending days and nights getting all those mechs and vehicles up and running. Hell, some of the replacement vehicles were even brought out of mothballs to replace the lost vehicles. If there were even more vehicle loss, we will have to start figuring out how to cut the good parts out of two tanks and weld them together.

If we failed the next mission, the Qualip’s Phantom might need to seriously consider activating its escape clause.

As I wheeled myself towards the dining hall, Sarah was just so happened to be walking out of hallway intersection.

“Drake.”

“Sarah.”

“So, what do you think the mission is going to be this time?”

“Hopefully not literally swarming us with several regiments of infantry and armor again, Akira was having a field day about it.” I replied sarcastically, it was kinda genius of the militia commander to rush us with waves of tanks because we have a ‘magician’ that can make cockpits disappear in seconds. Still, really bad for us.

Eventually, we made it to the dining hall. The whole tech team was there and Sai Yong has left some space for us to sit, until she remembered I didn’t really require one.

“Everyone in? Good.” with a gesture from the colonel, the crews closest to the door locked them down.

“Let’s get the important part mentioned first. Tomorrow’s mission will be the last of our campaign. After this, we will be burning towards our jumpship ASAP and return to Qualip.” the colonel spoke through the mike, “So I want all of you to do your best for one last time!”

A couple vocal members below the stage started cheering and said some variations of ‘Finally!’, a lot of people here have certainly gotten homesick.

“That’s nice, but what’s the catch?” Teron questioned to himself skeptically.

A green hologram was projected on the wall behind the colonel as the room light darkened. The hologram showed the sight of Kaus Media from the orbit, then zooming down onto the surface before slowly centering onto a military base.

“At tomorrow 0200, we will strike at Yokota military base which housed the 11th Benjamin Regular.” the colonel continued.

“Shit.” no point guessing who said that. I doubted anyone needed a reminder that an ambush DC line regiment nearly wiped out the whole company, and now we will be fighting the regiment right at their home turf? There’s only so many times one could say the word ‘suicidal’ in all variations of human languages.

“Fortunately, we won’t be alone in this mission. Thanks to the coordination effort from our liaison officer, Steve Manlington, this mission will be conducted by a joint force operation.”

The hologram map expanded outward, showing us other strategic targets around the base.

“The Alpha Expeditionary Galaxy, Hellion’s Dragoon-”

I made a very ugly noise.

“Di-did you just hissed?” Sarah asked rhetorically.

“-will be assaulting the Merlin military spaceport 120 kilometers away from the base. They will be causing massive destruction via bombardment with their warships, gunning down anything that moves and generally being a public menace. Thereby diverting attention from the 11th Benjamin Regular, possibly leaving token force at Yokota military base. In the sky, we will be having massive air support from Dame Dans L’eau to ensure that any dropship trying to come back as we engage with base defender will be having a rude surprise.”

With his hand raised up, Jayson asked a question, “Who would be joining us for the base assault?”

“That’s what I’m about to get into. Other merc forces that will be assisting us are the Briar Patch Guards, Crazy Diamond, Winchester’s Tango Fusiliers and the…”

The colonel took a deep breath before continuing.

“Chinatown Brigade.”

Suddenly, the entire hall went nut.

Everyone was yelling or groaning or facepalming, though Sai Yong seemed to yell just because it seemed fun. The only people that have no idea what’s happening were the new guys, us.

“W-what is going on!? Is Chinatown Brigade that bad?” Sarah asked nervously.

Sonya sighed, “They were a part of the CCAF which went rogue after the Capellan Confederation suffered a massive defeat in the Fourth Succession War. As such, they would use extreme underhand tactics that are just around the edge of what’s being considered as warcrime. The last we fought them at Lyons was… not good.”

That bad huh?

Well… I sure hope we wo-

Nope, not even going to finish that line.

------

9th June 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
10 kilometers away from Yokota military base.

“Dragonfly Actual to headquarter, northwest sector is clear.”

“This is headquarter, roger. Report back in 10 minutes.”

“Roger.”

With the Clan Ice Hellion assaulting the Merlin spaceport in full force, one couldn’t help but wonder if this was a gratuitous diversion tactic of a sort. It’s something only a Lyran could think of after all.

Looking up to the moons, she sighed.

Kaus Media has seen better days.

Even with the bright moons of Ajax and Yanu on the night sky, the people of Kaus Media hasn’t forgotten their suffering by the rebellious activities of the merc aided rebels and the constant surveillance and ‘relocation’ done by the DCMS and the ISF.

Chu-i Takao Tomoko was like the countless recruits that have joined the DCMS in the hope that their noble sacrifice on the field would bring a brighter future for the combine and its people. As her service year went by, Takao could feel her loyalty wavered in the cruel reality of war. It wasn’t that she was hopeless about the future of the combine, but rather it could have been better and the Coordinator could have…

No, she can’t speak those words squatted in her mind, that would just invite the ISF knocking on her door.

So many worlds with long and rich history under the combine have been lost in this war already. New Wessex, Kessel, Tukayyid, Balkan, even the Buckminster was under attack from AFFC raid. Then of course there’s Vega, the one system where everyone couldn’t stop talking with the sheer amount of warships being sent there. How many must die for just one planet? What exactly is on Vega?

“Chu-i! Enemy approaching!” one of her lancemates reported.

An attack to the base, right now? “How many?”

“Unknown! We are being jammed by ECM, they could be any-”

Pulse laser suddenly slashed across his Wolverine’s armor before an unknown mech slammed into him. Even with the moons above, Takao couldn’t see the mech at all as though it was invisible to her infrared sensor.

“The enemy has stealth armor!” she warned through the channel.

But that information wouldn’t help the mechwarrior in time as the unknown mech stabbed a blade right through the cockpit, twisting it as it pulled it out. She still couldn’t see the mech, but she can see the crimson blood dripping down the blade through the thermal sensor.

Quickly, the rest of the lance raised up their arms and fired at the mech. However, the mech disappeared as fast as it appeared.

As she jumped to chase after the mech, she opened her channel, “Headquarter, this is Dragonfly Actual, we are under attack by unknown enemy force! Possibly merc! Please advise!”

Nothing came back from the radio.

“Dragonfly 1, we have been jammed! Only laser com would work, we have to get to a high ground!”

With a flick of the trackball, she quickly found a suitable mountain and marked it.

“All Dragonfly units, move to the west hill! I have marked the nav point on the map!”

Right as they reached the bottom of the hill however, she saw a couple flashes from the mountaintop.

The Wolverine right beside her was shredded as blurs of silver balls slammed into him.

Shit, gauss rifle.

“Enemy on the hill! Move back!” judging by the distance between the flashes and the steepness of the hill, there’s at least a whole lance of mechs up there.

“They are everywhere, Chu-i! I can’t get a clear signal at-”

It was a shot to the back, a massive, thunderous bang that shook every tree leaves within this valley. The mechwarrior within would have survived with such a clean shot into the back, but the mech instead crushed the cockpit as it stepped forward.

“Who the hell are you!? Answer me!”

There’s no escape now, not with Coordinator knows how many mechs are there within this valley.

“Sorry.” a voice came behind her.

Before she could turn around, a massive slab of metal cleaved into her cockpit and even went deep into the mech reactor. Pain exploded within her as her cockpit was covered in red stain.

“But I’m the one axing question here.”

The hatchet was pulled out of the Wolverine, like a puppet without string, it fell onto the ground.

“Really, Major? Axing questions? You have said that so many times!”

Please help.

“Look, do you want me to ax you a question or the next idiot that stand in front of me?”

I need help.

“Pft, affirmative.”

Everything hurts, please help.







“This is headquarter, we are under assault by heavy merc force! Requesting assistance! Any assistance!”

“They are going to breach the base defense, Sir!”

“What the hell is that noi-”







A Stinger, slightly bigger than usual, landed among the recently dead mechs.
« Last Edit: 24 July 2018, 00:58:00 by dragonkid11 »
On behalf of the Berserker,
Sure it isn't the most practical 'mech ever designed, but it's a hundred ton axe-murderer. If loving that is wrong I don't wanna be right.

Salvage Dog AU SI Fanfic Thread
Salvage Dog AU Tech Compilation Thread
Salvage Dog AU Battlemech Thread

Shadow_Wraith

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 801
Re: Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)
« Reply #17 on: 23 July 2018, 09:10:14 »
Nice update

dragonkid11

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 324
Re: Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)
« Reply #18 on: 27 July 2018, 08:05:57 »
And here comes another chapter. Took me shorter time than I expected, if I could keep this going, that would be nice.

------

Salvage Dog 2.5

------

9th June 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
7 kilometers above from Yokota military base
Snake Eater
Mech Bay

“Turbulence inbound. We are about to pass through some cloud formations.” the CIC announced.

Michelle snorted, That’s not going to worse than what we will be facing in a minute.

“1st Company!” Colonel Marvick called out through the channel, “The Briar Patch Guards have disabled all turret defense system at the base. Winchester’s Tango Fusiliers and Chinatown Brigade are keeping the remaining defense force busy. Now, we and the Crazy Diamond will strike the enemy at its rear.”

“This will be our last fight on the surface of Kaus Media, let’s make it last into the history of the planet itself!” she declared.

“Roger!” every member of the 1st Company firmly replied.

The whole dropship suddenly wobbled as the hull collided with cloud. Not a problem for her as the battlemech was built to handle more than this but the crews below were not doing so well with it.

“Airdrop ETA, 30 seconds!” CIC announced, “Incoming fire from the surface! Sending our regard now!”

Even in the airtight cockpit of her Commando, she can feel vibration in her seat as the Snake Eater opened up all of its weapon bays towards whatever poor soul below.

The bay door opened, and all she saw was pitch black with streaks of tracers and laser out there.

“Airdrop ETA, 10 seconds!”

She fidgeted on her seat, getting a nice comfortable position and gripped the triggers tightly.

The light signal above the door turned green.

“Go go go!”

The first out of the door were the jump capable mechs. With their built-in jumpjet, they would have a guaranteed safe chance to land on the ground even with incoming fire. If the disposable jump pack on her Commando fails to activate due to weapon damage… Well, it’s best not to think of that.

As she jumped out of the dropship, she can feel her stomach floating as she and her mech began to fall like a rock. Mist fogged up the windshield and quickly condensed into droplets as the velocity meter rapidly increased. Unlike the night sky, down below was a brightly lit battlefield thanks to either functioning light source, energy weapon fire, or poor mother nature being set on fire.

It was quite easy to differentiate where the Winchester’s Tango Fusiliers and Chinatown Brigade were attacking the base. The Winchester’s Tango Fusiliers with their preference for long period raiding and guerilla warfare have most of their mechs and vehicles fitted with energy weapons, where the Chinatown Brigade was… constantly hiding in the dark like the nasty bastards they were with large amount of smoke, stealth system, heavy ballistic, missile and melee weapon usage.

It wasn’t great the last time the Qualip’s Phantom fought them and it still isn’t great now even with them on their side, there are cruel people residing in their force.

While those two merc forces have attracted the attention of the defending DCMS force, the defenders on the surface still decided that some mechs falling from the sky were an easier target than a dropship that was currently tearing up their arse.

Daboku lance down below, take them out!” the colonel ordered.

With 4 kilometers to go, both sides fired at each other. The Daboku below on the surface fired blue streams of accelerated particles from their chest and LRM salvos from their iconic lanky shoulder launchers. The weapon loadout was effective at long range combat but fortunately, at the speed the 1st Company was falling, the only way to hit them was with sheer amount of guns. However, it also meant the 1st Company wasn’t really being efficient at taking them out either.

“This is Centipede Leader! The Arrow IV launchers are awaiting for TAG signal!”

“What!? But your dropship hasn’t landed yet!” the colonel blurted in surprise.

“Don’t need to! The Arrow IV just need a clear path to strike at the heart of the enemy!”

“Crazy bastard.” the colonel chuckled, “Somebody TAG the Daboku already!”

Even if all six TAG available to the 1st Company missed, the Arrow IV barrage would still cause a big enough explosion to stagger the assault lances. Unfortunately for the DC mechs, half of the TAG tight beams landed on their mechs and the large missiles struck directly at them after twisting and turning through the air. From just the first salvo, one of the Daboku has half of it ruined while another was limping, slowing down the already slow assault mech. That’s not even accounting in weapon barrage from the Snake Eater which further tearing the DC lance and the buildings apart.

“For a bunch of artillery crews, they sure are crazy.” Smithy snarked.

“Good for us, they are on the boss’s payroll.” Jayson laughed.

“1 kilometer to go, 1st Company! Activate your thrusters!” the colonel interjected.

With a press of a button, Michelle felt her whole body pressed down by the force of deceleration as the jump pack slowed her descent. It was a gruelling 10 seconds burn, short, yet it was so intense it felt like an eternity. It’s no wonder mechwarrior can’t do these drops too often or else they will start having back problem, nothing 31st century surgery and treatment couldn’t fix, but still worrisome.

Suddenly, she felt her mech landed on the ground, the legs bent down to further decrease the force applied to her body. The seismic sensor spiked as the jump pack detached off her mech. Judging by all the quakes she’s feeling, others were landing around her too. Unfortunate, that wasn’t the only thing the seismic sensor has detected.

Just seconds after the company has landed, a lance of Schiltrons moved out of buildings and fired dozens of MRM and lasers at them. The 1st Company quickly scattered and fired their guns back, disabling one of the Schiltrons. But more vehicles were being detected hiding among the buildings and large spikes in the west shown on the seismic sensor could only mean more mechs were jumping over buildings.

That’s about when the Policenaut finally arrived behind the 1st Company, hovering with its bottom drive to reduce its relative velocity before parking on the spot. When the DC vehicles and mechs showed up, they were surprised to see a second dropship opening fire right in front of them.

It wasn’t much of a fight as the DC rearguards were shocked at the ludicrous amount of opposition they faced at the flank of their base and ended up being devastated by the first barrage. Two Schiltrons, three Panthers and one Wolverine were taken apart by the combined firepower of the 1st Company and Policenaut in seconds, the rest finally did something most DCMS couldn’t even think of.

They ran with their tails between their legs and went deep into the base.

Then, the 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th companies disembarked out of the Policenaut as the Snake Eater finally landed to dismount the 4th and 7th companies out.

With all companies out on the field, the real fight starts now.

------

9th June 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
1 kilometer from Yokota military base

“How’s the battle out there?” I asked.

David pushed his chair towards the console and with the press of a button, the topographic map of the local area on the television screen was switched to the camera view of one of our vehicles out there, fighting the DCMS right at the frontline.

A quick look to the upper right corner would tell me which callsign was set to the vehicle we were currently watching from but from the way the camera quickly showed the demise of two Quickdraws via cockpit destruction, it didn’t take much to guess who was it.

“So bullshit.”

He shrugged, “I know right? Good thing DCMS doesn’t use ECM much or else we will be seeing static. At least everything looks swimmingly for us so far.”

“So far.” I repeated wistfully.

It was apparently a design feature of the Saviour that let it served as a MFB (mobile field base) but really, most of us just used it to watch live footage of war merely kilometers away from us. It was also used to coordinate action with industrial mechs in salvage operation as well as perimeter defense but since we managed to capture this ‘brand new’ Saviour (And a couple additions) from the local militia when they were salvaging stuff, that probably didn’t do so swell.

“Coffee?”

“Ah, thanks. Sarah.”

“Did you add cream and sugar?” David teasingly asked.

Sarah stuck her tongue out, “Add it yourself, I like my coffee black.”

After we took our cup from the stray, she passed it to others in the truck.

When exactly did I start drinking coffee so much? I can’t even remember when did I start chugging it practically every day. Or maybe I kept getting so tired that I drank coffee mindlessly like a zombie? Am I becoming an adult for getting so bloody tired everyday from overwork that I require coffee to survive?

Truly, those aren’t questions that life experience, God or even superpower can answer.

Anyway, after mixing the cream and sugar in, I blew the coffee in the hope of cooling it before taking a sip while watching the chaos of battlefield from a (decently) safe distance. While the livestream gave no sound, I doubted we would want to as even the distant explosion was so loud it could be heard right here in the cabin.

Since when have I gotten used to the sound, smell and sight of the battlefield? I don’t know, I guess I simply got used to it.

“Drake, is it okay for you to come out of the dropship?” Sarah asked with concern and curiosity.

“Huh? Oh, you mean my leg?”

While it has only been a week since I was injured, 31st century medicine was pretty damn good. Stitch? Who needs stitch when you have bioglue that has been patented centuries ago and can help muscle tissue to heal up the cut in significantly shorter time? Healing bone was still the hard part but my leg has recovered to a degree that I can actually walk around as long as I’m wearing an exoskeleton to relieve stress on my leg.

For good measure, I stomped onto the floor with my injured leg right in front of her.

“See, good as new!”

She shrugged, “Alright, if you say so.”

Switching to another camera, I saw yet another Panther getting its shit kicked in. Just how many Panther does the Draconis Combine have?

“David, I have a question.”

“Shoot.” he called as he drank down the rest of his cup.

“Why does the DCMS line regiment used heavily upgraded old mech for their line regiments while the militia regiments get to use the latest stuff?” I asked.

Putting down the empty cup on the table, he started, “First, those Wolverines and Panthers you saw aren’t centuries old, they are brand new. But yes, there’s a resurgence of popularity in the classic old mechs such as the Javelin, Centurion, Trebuchet, Enforcer, Thunderbolt, Warhammer, Cyclops and everyone’s favourite, Atlas in the recent decade thanks to some rather aggressive advertising campaign done by the old companies.

“Like Luthien Armor Works, Defiance Industries, Earthwerks Incorporated and Kallon Industries?” I enquired.

“Yes, like those! For hundreds of years, they have been manufacturing almost the same exact battlemechs and vehicles and weapons with only minor update as the years went by. Let’s just say it was hard for them to adopt new tech when a lot of weapon industries were destroyed in the First and Second Succession War and only a hundred years later did people start having war for real again.”

“New tech and new vehicle design emerged practically every year or even month along with countless new weapon manufacturer that has risen and fall during the Third Succession War. There were so many new techs and new vehicles and new strategies being made on the go, even the large and old corporate couldn’t keep up.” he continued.

He snapped his finger, “Then one of them has an idea. Make an old thing look new again.”

“After analysing decades worth of data, they just redesigned an old mech, refurbish the old plant a bit, and put the mech out of the gate. Not only does each house probably still have stores of spare parts for these old mechs, it would strike a nostalgia factor with old generals who simply have more inclination with these old designs. These mechs are also a proven design with literally centuries of history. Reliability combined with new tech and firepower. It’s not hard to sell these to the house army.”

“Of course, it’s not exactly possible to fill an entire line regiment with just these ‘new-old’ design, so we would probably see something unusual soon.”

That… sounded suspicious familiar.

Looking back to the screen, it seemed Sarah switched the camera view of one of our Pattons as it knocked out the treads off a Tokugawa with its 40mm LBX AC.

“Let’s spice things up a bit.”

“Huh? What do you-hey, what are you doing?” David said in worry.

Opening the command console, my fingers virtually flew over the keyboard as letters and words began to appear on a small window. With my power, I easily understood what I’m doing and quickly used it to my advantage.

With a second, third and final check, I pressed the enter key.

The screen went black for a second before coming right back on with the camera view of yet another vehicle.

“What did you just do?” David asked as I remained silent, “Wait… Wait a minute.”

I held back my giggle as he continued to analyse the camera view.

“That’s not one of ours, did you just hack the camera of a battlemech!?”

This time, I laughed out loud. Oh God, that was so worth it, “Hacking? No. There’s no remote hacking involved. The video is being broadcast the entire time, all I need is hijack the feed.”

That was the easier and shorter explanation, a longer one would require an in-depth explanation of generating an encryption key to unscramble the incoming signal and the more I tried to analyse it in my brain, the more my brain hurt because my power was the one that’s doing all this and not me.

That was confusing.

“But, you...” David stuttered as he tried to make logic of what I just said, “What?”

“Just watch.”

------

9th June 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Yokota military base

The DC Manticore swiftly turned its turret towards him and fired. Had he been looking without a layer of mech grade ballistic glass or even a pair of sunglasses, his eyes would have been burnt out of their sockets as a bolt of lightning propelled out of its gun barrel.

Yet, despite that he could see all the way down into the barrel, the PPC bolt merely grazed over his armor. The surface heat sensor rose up by a few hundreds degree Celsius, enough to melt a cheap infantry gear onto their own body, but not enough to even burn his paint job off.

What a bad shot.

Leaning his mech forward, he stepped onto the pedal and charged. He smiled as the driver of the Manticore realised what his intention is with two blades gripped firmly in his mech’s hand actuators and quickly drove backward as fast as its tracks could carry it.

But with his ground speed boosted by the triple strength myomer incorporated in his mech, it was impossible for the Manticore to run away from him unless something distracted him like...

A small group of infantry fired at him, there’s even a few with missile launchers aimed at him. Like its namesake, his battlemech, Tango, simply evaded missiles launched from the infantry platoon as if he was dancing around them. Even with the Stealth armor off, ghost target trick with the Guardian ECM suite always guaranteed more miss than normal.

I don’t have time to waste on you insect. Go pick something your own size.

But the DCMS infantry was fearless even when being towered by a battlemech. Bullets began to plink harmlessly off his windshield, merely hurting his patience in the process. Dozens of 60mm grenades launched out of his mech’s chest at the press of a trigger and the infantry was promptly showered in a massive rain of shrapnel.

Quickly, he twisted and dashed towards the Manticore. The tank fired its PPC once more along with a salvo of missiles, but he jumped over them both, leaving the hard grey ground scorched black. Soaring through the air, he fired all his pulse lasers at the DC tank, cutting right through its long gun barrel.

As he landed right on top of the Manticore, he stabbed the turret with his twin daggers. Weakened by weapon fire, the dagger easily smashed through the roof armor and went deep into the crew compartment. The blades were glistening under a light source after he pulled them out as blood and coolant began to drip down it.

The computer warned him of an attack from behind and he twisted his mech just before the streams of PPC glanced off his armor. Spinning around to face his opponent, he and the DC Wolverine both brandished their blade, expecting a close range combat.

Then the Wolverine was promptly blown away by a massive explosion, smoke billowing from its chassis as its XL engine was disabled. He turned to face the one that interrupted his fight and saw a Thunder walking out of a massive smoke cloud with more rising out of its massive 152mm autocannon.

“Really, Kela?”

“That’s Hammer-3 to you, Blade-5. You have been taking your sweet ass time playing with your prey.”

Behind her Thunder was numerous destroyed carcasses of various DC mechs and vehicles, the rest of the Butterfly company was already marching forward to seek out fresh targets.

“Hm, what fun would there be if you don’t dance with your enemy for even just a moment?”

“And expose your back to them? How about no.” she declined, “Where’s the major?”

“Don’t you mean Blade 2?” even if she can’t see his face, she can tell he’s snickering from his voice.

“Don’t make me repeat my question.” she grumbled with a silent anger.

“Alright.” he shrugged and pointed towards to his left. It wasn’t obvious at first but after watching buildings exploding and mech limbs flying as well as noticing the trail of destruction left behind, it certainly showed that the major was there.

“She’s in the heat again huh?”

He snorted, “As if there is a time she isn’t.”

Unknown to them, two squads of Kage hidden behind a building was readied to launch an attack on the two mechs. The squads were promptly annihilated as more than a dozen mortars fell on top of them, cracking those armors open with multiple bursts of micro-explosives.

When they finally noticed the explosions and the dead BA troopers, a Catapult waddled in.

“What the hell are you two doing!? Don’t just stand there frozen like Mona Lisa, move!”

He chuckled, “Well, you hear the lady. Let’s go and finish this.”

The two moved ever deeper into the base.

------

9th June 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
1 kilometer from Yokota military base

“You really could see the difference in just how aggressive they are.” Sarah commented, “If you can actually see anything.”

“How in the world did they even fight with all those radar dampening smoke around? Their melee fighters are nuts!” David exclaimed.

“I think they are crazy to begin with.” I said, “The peak operating temperature of triple strength myomer would rise the cockpit temperature to such a degree that the pilot might get heat stroke even with cooling suit on. To constantly use it would be quite… tiring.”

It was one of those things you won’t really think about until you see it in action, triple strength myomer was quite literally something that worked well on paper but when put into practice, it sucked. Sure, being able to cleave giant robot in half with a giant axe is fun but it’s not very practical to use it. Maybe if someone could invent something like a leg warmer for battlemech to not raise the air temperature within the cockpit, then it would be more practical.

“What’s up with all those mech morta-”

“MOBILE MORTARS!” David suddenly yelled and I quickly remembered that he was over a foot taller than me.

“Right, mobile mortar. Why are they using it?”

David sat back down on his seat, “It was a cheap and practical weapon developed by the Capellan Confederation after they got their ass kicked during the opening year of the Fourth Succession War. The project was actually canceled during the reign of Chancellor Maximilian Liao because he didn’t see any point wasting resource on that. Well, after Capellan Confederation have pieces of it chopped off, they need something for what’s left of their army fast.”

He continued, “Nobody would realise the improved version of the mobile mortar would be so damn effective due to its tactical advantage, and since it was easy to manufacture, practically every world in CC has it in their line or militia regiment. They still have other new techs, but they used mobile mortar in just about everything they can shove it into.”

“What are those mortar usually loaded up with?” Sarah asked.

“The usual, anti-personnel fragmentation, air burst, tandem charge, smoke, thunder mine, tear gas, nerve gas, inferno, acid and others. I heard they were also trying to figure how to shove a needler mechanism into a warhead to make an incendiary needle bomb for maximum anti-personnel capability.”

I have never seen a conversation went from normal to warcrime so damn quickly.

I shook that thought off and shot the next question, “So what about the other new tech they used?”

“Well, they have the Lei autocannon that can pack a massive punch in a pinch, Dian Autocannon which basically a more fancy way of saying gauss assisted autocannon that ended being a boondoggle that’s only slightly better than the LBX autocannon it was meant to replace. There’s also automatic vehicular grenade launcher, improved vehicular grenade launcher, mech grade recoilless rifle and MP plasma rifle. Also-”

“Yo, juniors. Head up.” Sai Yong suddenly interrupted.

“Are we finally doing our job? Is someone coming to resupply?” Sarah asked.

“No, unfortunately. We got report that some APC and infantries are running towards us. We got the Partisans around but just a warning in case they got close.”

I looked down towards the pistol holstered on my thigh, got the old one switched out for a laser pistol I found off a dead mechwarrior because I can maintain it.

The last time I shot at something, it was at a metallic warmachine the size of a building. Can I shoot a person? I don’t want to know the answer to that question. But if I need to protect my friends, I hope the answer is yes.

“Abel, you taking watch with the turret?”

The man merely nodded as usual, he really didn’t like saying much at all.

There was then a familiar ache in my belly, the initial sign of hunger began to appear. After taking off my glove, I reached for a pack of ration and opened it up. With ten crackers inside, I split them together with Sarah and David.

I took four, they both took three each.

I took a bite of the cra-

The sound of gunfire pierced into the cabin. Through the window, I saw the quad autocannon on the Partisans turned a few APC into swiss cheese. Infantries tried to run past but most of them were gunned down by the machineguns on the Partisans. Some of them still got through, heading towards us.

“Abel.” Sai Yong called.

“On it.” the man replied and began working on the weapon console.

Every single weapon optimised for anti-infantry role has a rather unique targeting system installed. As more often than not infantry will move in large formation to engage, the targeting system will automatically and easily track the body temperature, heart rate, movement, footsteps and even electronic signal an infantry gear gives off as infantry wasn’t protected by the passive ECM all large vehicles have.

All one has to do was face the infantry and pull the trigger, removing a lot of human gunner agency in the process.

I took a bite of the cracker as Abel pulled the trigger. There was a miniscule vibration within the cabin as the twin 20mm machinegun turret on the rooftop fired at the DC infantry.

Like I said, I got used to it.

------

Author Note: I have made a tech compilation thread over at the fan design section which I will fill up occasionally.

I will also be making a vehicle thread soon after I actually got the new stuff out, can't keep you guys guessing how do all these new mechs truly look like forever after all.
On behalf of the Berserker,
Sure it isn't the most practical 'mech ever designed, but it's a hundred ton axe-murderer. If loving that is wrong I don't wanna be right.

Salvage Dog AU SI Fanfic Thread
Salvage Dog AU Tech Compilation Thread
Salvage Dog AU Battlemech Thread

DOC_Agren

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1619
Re: Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)
« Reply #19 on: 28 July 2018, 04:16:58 »
here to help the links
Salvage Dog Mechs
Salvage Dog Tech
"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!"

dragonkid11

  • Master Sergeant
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  • Posts: 324
Re: Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)
« Reply #20 on: 28 July 2018, 04:48:50 »
Oh thanks, though I put them in my signature already.
On behalf of the Berserker,
Sure it isn't the most practical 'mech ever designed, but it's a hundred ton axe-murderer. If loving that is wrong I don't wanna be right.

Salvage Dog AU SI Fanfic Thread
Salvage Dog AU Tech Compilation Thread
Salvage Dog AU Battlemech Thread

dragonkid11

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 324
Re: Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)
« Reply #21 on: 01 August 2018, 03:57:48 »
Hmmm, really gotta keep the word count in check or else I'm gonna write them too long with too much wasteful wordsssss.

Anyway, next chapter down, enjoy.

------

Salvage Dog 2.6

------

9th June 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Yokota military base

What happened?

As she woke up from her concussion induced blackout, damage reading came from all over her mechs quickly led her to the conclusion that her mech was, to be summed up, half dead. Armor sections all appeared to have orange to red status, the right arm was gone, and she was stuck in a building.

She could hear the actuators whined as she pushed her Commando out of the collapsed barrack. As she steadied her footing, she saw a Ti Ts’ang gesturing to get her to come at her again, its massive axe wedged onto the ground.

Oh right, because I’m an idiot.

------

10 minutes ago

Missiles cascaded out of a Quickdraw’s chest launcher and salvo flew straight at a Wolfhound. Already damaged by laser and missile fire, the weakened armor was breached by the missiles and more explosions within the internal structure.

“Shit, I’m ejecting!” Smithy announced and his radio was silenced after the rocket carried his escape pod out of his mech.

Michelle quickly opened a secure channel, “Snake Eater! This is Blue 2, Blue 3 has ejected!”

“Roger, Blue 2. We will tell Sparrow company to look for him.”

We really aren’t winning without a cost here, she thought as the DC Quickdraw has selected her as its next target.

MRM sailed out of its chest as she ran around it, only two impacts were felt on the armor as the rest went past her. With the CLPS on, she could only fire either the laser or SRM without overheating. She fired both as she figured the Quickdraw will get distracted very soon as a Phoenix Hawk divekicked behind it. The Quickdraw quickly turned around and tried to swing its fists at Jayson’s mech as its missile launcher was reloading only to miss both of its punches.

As soon as fifteen missiles were loaded, it launched the missiles at him only for all of it to miss as the Phoenix Hawk jumped over a building. However, the five pulse laser emitting out of its chest and arms cut deep into the Phoenix Hawk’s arm just before it disappeared behind a building.

Right as the Quickdraw turned back towards her, Marley jumped behind it and fired all her medium lasers and machineguns. The rear armor was punched through and an explosion was promptly vented out of its back. The mech wobbled as the pilot was concussed by the ammunition explosion but both Michelle and Marley didn’t let up on it and kept on firing. Eventually, the Quickdraw fell onto the ground and the reactor signature quickly dropped.

“XL?”

“Thankfully.” Marley sighed, “Who’s next?”

“I… think that is all?”

It wasn’t just the numerous non-functional disabled DC vehicles around them, even the chaos of the battle dwindled down to distant noise.

Is it… over?

As if a narrative was set to dramatically interrupt her train of thought, a massive crashing noise occurred behind some distant buildings.

“Sounds like something is happening, let’s go.”

As they got closer to the sound of battle, multiple pings popped up on the radar. One by one, the pings ceased to exist on the radar after one green ally ping moved right through them. Reading the callsign assigned to the green dot, Michelle quickly realised who it was.

“It is her.” she said with a straining voice, her grip tightening around the handle.

“Who?”

“Her.” she repeated, as if that answer would clear Marley’s confusion.

Major Cherie Wong, formerly a member of the Capellan Confederation Armed Forces (CCAF), she went rogue with the remnant of her regiment, after the end of the Fourth Succession War. While the Ti Ts’angshe has since the start of her service within the 15th Tikonov Lancers was nothing special, she used it to its full effectiveness when her unit has to break through the AFFS force landed on New Hessen.

12 tanks and 8 mechs were destroyed, all marked with massive slash scars, sliced limbs and ended with one huge hit to the crew compartment or cockpit.

The Ti Ts’ang is an old but effective mech, but what truly let the Major won all those battles she has been…

Was that she is a cruel person.

------

“Stay back! Get away from me!” the pilot of a Panther yelled as he tried to jump away.

It didn’t matter whether it was on open channel or not, the Ti Ts’ang in front of him, already went right through all his lancemates, didn’t stop at all even after they pleaded. As his jump jet lifted his mech, his hope was suddenly dashed as the Panther crashed back to the ground. A quick look to the damage readout and he found the left leg was nearly sliced off by laser fire, cutting right into the jumpjet.

He then realised in horror as the nightmare was just about to begin. Triple strength myomer always requires the user to overheat their mech.

Most often done by firing laser.

He looked up and saw a hulk of metal, too thick and wide to be called a blade, coming right towards him.

With his death coming sooner and sooner, adrenaline rushed in his blood and he felt everything was slowing down. First, the windshield cracked as the blade smashed against it, the spiderweb pattern forming on it. Then the glass exploded inward, he can feel hundreds of needle pricks as glass shards impacted against his bulletproof cooling suit. His heart beating faster and faster as he saw the blade coming closer and closer.

Then, smash.

The hatchet went deep into chassis, almost splitting the Panther in half.

On a nearby building, infantry started firing at the Ti Ts’ang, SRM launched from their man-portable launcher. The Ti Ts’ang merely raised up its hatchet towards them and the missiles were absorbed by the dead Panther still stuck to the blade.

Stomping on the Panther’s leg, the Ti Ts’ang pulled the blade out and immediately went for the building. First strike, a downward cut, the whole building shook as if it was struck by artillery, the infantry within stunned by the attack, unable to attack as the blade came back. Second strike, an uppercut, the building was shattered into pieces, massive chunks of concrete sailed in the air along with the infantries, dead or soon will be dead from falling.

Moving onto the collapsed building, the Ti Ts’ang saw an APC, trapped between rubble, and raised up its blade. PPC bolts narrowly missed the Ti Ts’ang as it moved out of the rubble, a Daboku was just down the street, still aiming at it.

The Ti Ts’ang fired back, laser cutting and melting the DC mech’s armor, but it’s nothing the assault grade armor could handle. But then, right as the Daboku fired its PPC, the Ti Ts’ang kicked the APC hard, sending it flying through the air. The DC mechwarrior couldn’t believe his eyes as he saw the APC blown into pieces by his own PPC bolts.

Stunned by his own mistake, he couldn’t see the blade coming for him. But at the very last moment, he was able to turn his mech and only has an arm smashed right off. Strained by the mass loss, the gyro within couldn’t handle the weight change and his mech fell flat on its back.

The pilot could only stare in horror as the Ti Ts’ang raised up its blade, only to be struck by lightning on its chest. It was a Hatamoto-Kaze, armed with a vibrokatana and PPC in different arms, with missiles launchers on its side torso. A glimmer of hope reached the pilot’s eyes, thinking he would be sav-

The Ti Ts’ang stomped on the cockpit and charged head on. The edge of the katana on the Hatamoto-Kaze’s hand began to blur as the DC pilot accepted the challenge. Within seconds, Major Cherie Wong figured out that the DC mechwarrior within the Hatamoto-Kaze has not once fought in melee before.

One, if a person decides to abandon all their ranged weapons and chose to fight in melee immediately, they are either stupid or insane (Which she, admittedly, was very guilty of.) Two, despite being an enlarged version of melee weapon human has once used in warfare, mech-sized melee weapon actually cannot block incoming attack at all. So dodging was more preferable than sacrificing a melee weapon to prevent damage.

But… when striking at a right angle like say, the flat of a blade.

A mech sized vibrosword can be easily sliced in half and so was the cockpit. Dropping the hatchet on the ground, she extended the arm out to grab the cockpit right as it fell. With the mech shaped like a humanoid, the cockpit of the Hatamoto-Kaze was in turn shaped like a human head wearing the samurai signature helmet. It seemed, just like the object it was imitating, when the cockpit was slowly but surely being crushed by the hand, red fluid was gushing out of it too.

When cockpit was completely crushed and the screaming has stopped, the Ti Ts’ang dropped it like it was a broken toy and turned towards the two new pings on her radar.

The major immediately recognised one of them.

“Ah, the speed demon of Qualip’s Phantom.”

Michelle remained quiet.

“Come on, don’t be shy. If you have something to say, say it out loud!”

“We are working together now. Do not provoke your allies.”

She laughed, “I don’t mind an extra danger or two. But I don’t want to cause too much trouble for my commander. Do you?”

“... No.” Michelle answered after a long delay.

“Good! They are probably rounding up the target practices about now.”

“Don’t you mean… prisoners of war?” Marley hesitantly asked.

“I know what I’m saying, girl.”

------

After a battle, a cleanup operation is always necessary to enforce the safety of the salvage team. This is where infantries and BA troopers shine the brightest, even if it isn’t the greatest part of the job. Stragglers that couldn’t retreat in time, remnants lying in ambush, anything to spot them before they become a threat would be helpful, whether it is a pair of eyes or active probe.

20 minutes later and the base has been secured enough to be considered safe enough for the salvage team to move in. There really wasn’t enough time to complete the salvage anyway as the Alpha Expeditionary Galaxy has reported that the DC regiments they were fighting have begun to retreat some 5 minutes ago but having something was still better than nothing.

Most of the POW captured after the battle were non-combat personnel with only a few surviving combat personnel. Technicians, mechanics, aerotechs, astechs, engineers, equipment operators, personnel administrators, logistics officers, quartermasters, communication operators, operations specialists, doctors, medics, combat medics, culinary specialists, postal clerks, intelligence specialists, HPG specialists, counselors, all of them mere non-combatants.

With over several thousands POW being packed into a space smaller than a football field, the five commanders of five different merc organisations have gathered around to discuss the second most urgent issue at hand. (The first being how to divide the salvage)

How to deal with them.

“You can’t be serious, we can’t just kill them all.” Colonel Marvick rejected, Major Davion standing at her side.

“I agree with Colonel Marvick, we can’t commit warcrime here simply because it’s convenient for us right now.” Colonel Liston of the Briar Patch Guards agreed.

“It’s not a warcrime if it’s against an acceptable target.” Colonel Winchester of the Winchester’s Tango Fusiliers countered, “And if nobody here mentions anything here.”

Colonel Rain of the Chinatown Brigade placed the hand of his Pillager on Major Wong’s Ti Ts’ang.

“Colonel Rain has decided that they are all walking dead man, just a matter of whether we need to use flamer, machinegun, pulse laser, inferno, bombardment or good old plasma burn.” Major Wong declared.

“This is all going on our records if kill every last man and woman in this base!” Colonel Marvick argued.

“What would be worse? A bad mark on our record or massive casualty because we let the snakes go only to have them bit us back?” Colonel Winchester asked and Colonel Marvick could only grimace at him.

“Colonel Joeline, what’s your opinion here?” Colonel Liston asked.

Rather than answering his question, Colonel Joeline of the Crazy Diamond turned her Perseus around and walked away.

“Chester, tell the salvage team to get everything they can in 20 minutes. We are getting the hell out of here.”

“Guess she abstained.” Colonel Winchester snorted.

“Now what? It’s 2 against 2.” Colonel Liston said, “Unless someone could come up with a tiebreaker.”

“What’s the point in waiting? Just do it.” Colonel Winchester insisted.

“Now now now, let’s not get hasty.” Major Wong suggested, “We have enough guns here to kill every damn snake here in less than 5 minutes. How about we break the tie with a duel?”

“A duel? Are you serious?” Colonel Liston asked skeptically.

“Serious with an S.” Major Wong confirmed and turned towards Michelle’s Commando, “In fact, I think someone is eager to go for one already.”

“Don’t take the bait, Michelle” Colonel Marvick warned.

“I meant, what else to lose besides losing! If you guys win, you get to avenge for… three?”

“Four mechwarriors.” Michelle corrected with barely contained rage.

“Right, four idiots that decided to stand in my way and you get to prove my point wrong as the POW over there will still be alive and I’m dead! If we win, we get to dangle the fact that you guys have failed in your face as we burn those POW alive.”

Michelle gritted her teeth in anger.

“Michelle, don’t.”

“Look, I can hear that over here anyway, whispering doesn’t help.” Major Wong bluntly stated, “But sure, let’s listen to your commander like the dog that you ar-”

Colonel Rain put the arm down and pushed his Pillager forward, leaving everyone confused and wary of what he’s about to do. Standing between the major and the Qualip’s Phantom, the colonel stood on the side and raised up his hand like a referee about to signal for a start.

“Colonel, I will go. My mech is heavier and I have experience in close combat.” Major Davion requested.

“No you do not. Everyone went against her thought of that and died.” Michelle interjected, “I have fought her before, I know how she works.”

Colonel Marvick hesitated for a moment before giving up, “Fine, no matter what, stay alive.”

“Affirmative.”

Seeing the Commando walking forward, the major pushed her Ti Ts’ang forward as well. With both mechs standing just 10 meters apart, Colonel Rain further raised up his arm and both mechwarriors tensely awaited for the drop.

As soon as he dropped his arm, the Colonel backed off as the two mechwarriors immediately went for each other.

Major Wong quickly went for the killing blow, raising and dropping the hatchet right down onto the Commando. But with a quick sidestep, Michelle evaded the powerful strike. Stepping onto the hatchet to keep it buried in the ground, Michelle raised up the arms right at the Ti Ts’ang’s head.

However, a twist to the handle and the Commando slipped off the hatchet. Unable to rebalance herself quickly, her aim was off during the fall and the lasers in the arms fired off into the distance, missing the cockpit completely.

Finding her footing just before she fell completely, Michelle pushed her Commando to max speed right as the major fired off her laser, missing entirely once more. Knowing she just used those lasers to warm up the TSM, Michelle moved behind her to shoot at her rear torso armor, hoping to disable some actuators before the Ti Ts’ang could swing its hatchet again.

But unfortunately, she didn’t get there in time as the Ti Ts’ang spun around with its jumpjet flaring. Seeing the hatchet coming, she raised up the arms to soften the blow. Warnings blared within the cockpit as the hatchet smashed right into her, her whole body strained against the seat belt in pain as her whole mech was sent flying.

All she knew next was that she hit something hard and passed out.

------

9th June 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Yokota military base
Supply Storage

When I found out there’s a small HPG station here, I was in cloud nine. I’m not even allowed to be close to the jumpdrive when we were traveling on the jumpship, so for me to be able to get my hands on some fancy FTL tech like right now sounded pretty damn awesome.

Sadly, Sonya didn’t even want us to go near it because while a HPG is really valuable, it’s also a building sized device. You really can’t fit it in a dropship besides a really big one. For us mercs, salvaging an entire HPG station is a massive pain in the ass that requires massive amount of resource and time, which we don’t have right now.

But, while we can’t get the HPG…

“There, found it!”

Nobody said we can’t take the spare parts, which are still quite valuable.

“Holy crap, there're crates of it!” David uttered in astonishment.

“How much does each of these parts cost?” I asked.

“10k each give or take.” Sai Yong answered.

“How much does gold cost in kg these days?”

“Around 4k.” David answered, “Oh wow, these things worth more than gold in weight!”

“The resale price is going to be way lower but it is still a good number.” Sai Yong corrected.

With Abel somehow managing to get a small truck in here, we began to load up all the HPG spare parts onto it. I have decided to keep one of these spare parts in my pocket as a souvenir, though I really should have to ask first before doing so.

“Aw man, you guys got here first?”

Down between rows of supply was two astechs like us, except those uniform…

“Which group you guys are from?” I curiously asked.

“Serving the fast and precise Winchester’s Tango Fusiliers, fellow techies!”

“Go on ahead, take some. We can’t possibly take all of these in time.” Sai Yong suggested.

“Wait, really?”

“Yes, really.” she insisted.

The two astechs quickly went to work and carried a crate each away.

“Is it really okay?” David asked in concern.

“The more people rob the dragon blind, the better!”

“Ha, can’t say that’s a bad thing!” I agreed.

As we continued to load the crates onto the truck, Teron finally showed up.

“Where the hell have you been? The washroom? Get these crates in the truck!” Sai Yong demanded.

“I was helping out Sonya, dammit. We found something peculiar in the mech bay.”

“Something peculiar? You mean new tech or something?” I’m interested in what his answer will be.

“No, just a Battlemaster. Except don’t you find it weird that a commanding officer mech remains inactive in the mech bay?”

“A Battlemaster? I heard it’s a favourite of DCMS heavy mech company officer or battalion officer or even general!” David added.

“So what you mean is…” I asked.

“Someone from higher up here didn’t join the battle at all.”

I tasted sweat on my lip as the tension started to rise, “That sounds important, I think you should tell someone about it.”

“Already did. They are probably looking for the missing ‘general’ if he’s still around.”

While it wasn’t even loud at first, we all eventually noticed running footsteps resonating in the storage warehouse. This time, it’s Sarah, who appeared to have been bolting the whole time what’s with how hard she’s panting at the moment.

“Sarah, what’s wrong?”

“Some mercs want to-” she took another breath, “-terminate all the POW.”

I looked back and found that I wasn’t the only one being surprised in terror here.

“Then?”

“Michelle challenged one of them to stop that and they are having a duel right now!”

“Oh bloody damn-arghhh.”

I quickly limped out of the warehouse.

------

9th June 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Yokota military base

I swore to whatever deity out there, if she breaks her mech again, I’m going to make her fix it herself.

As I quickly navigated through this massive military facility that clearly required a vehicle just to make it from one end to another, I couldn’t help but be worried just how much repair work I’m gonna have to do on Michelle’s Commando because as I got closer to the sound of battle, it’s not hard to notice just how brutal whatever attack was being unleashed there.

Moving around a corner, I finally have a visual sight of the battle. It was a battle of David versus Goliath, light versus heavy, agility versus strength. But even if I thought that way, the Ti Ts’ang was clearly made for speed too with how fast it was turning and spinning around just to make sure Michelle’s Commandowas always in front of her.

Then, when my eyes went onto her Commando, I’m absolutely furious. Why? Because there’s a gaping hole where a bloody arm used to be.

While I was angrily stomping the ground, I saw a guy with a megaphone in his hand. Don’t know who, don’t care, I just took it off his hand, turned the volume to the max and took a deep breath.

“Michelle, what the hell are you doing!?”

Every single eye on the field turned towards me as the two duelling mechwarrriors ceased fighting. This was probably the second stupidest idea I ever have, but I’m completely mad right now, so I might as went elbow deep for it.

“Are you seriously!? You broke your damn mech in half for a ****** duel!? We don’t have spare part for the damn stealth system already!”

“Look, I-”

“Saving some bloody POW, I know! But do I look I give a damn? NO!” I took another deep breath, “Actually, screw it. You are a bloody adult and you don’t need another adult to yell at you. You also broke the mech already so whatever!

“But hear this! If you lose this match and die, I’m going to go to hell myself and kick you up into living again so I can beat you down to hell again!” I yelled in a threatening tone, “So win the bloody match already!”

Sometimes, I wondered how much does a battletech emulate the personality of its pilot, as moments after I finished my words, the Commando changed its posture from being on the edge of panic to being relaxed and confident as it quickly turned back to the opposing mech and rushed it.

The Ti Ts’ang’s pilot, apparently too bewildered by my sudden appearance and everything, didn’t notice a fist coming straight for the cockpit. Stunned by the blow, the heavy mech backed off as it struggled to find its balance. But Michelle didn’t give the pilot a chance to relieve as SRM salvos launched from her mech, detonating close to the cockpit.

The Ti Ts’ang staggered as blow after blow landed close to its face, but what finally brought down the pilot was when Michelle decided to just charge and slam the mech down. I could feel the Earth quaked and rumbled as two massive humanoids warmachines fell onto the ground. With her on top of the Ti Ts’ang, the Commando reached behind the head of the Ti Ts’ang and pulled.

Spark began to fly as the cockpit was slowly but surely pulled off, like a head being ripped off from a torso. When all that’s left connecting the head and the torso was a few myomer actuators, she let go of the cockpit and kicked it, sent it skipping on the ground.

With the match finished, she raised up the only arm left high in the air.

“I, Michelle Marvick, is victorious and thereby I declare that we shall not execute the POW!”

There’s a roaring cheer from the Qualip’s Phantom force, but the captured DCMS personnel were even more ecstatic about the whole thing as, after all, they finally got to live for another day and didn’t die horribly.

After I handed the megaphone back to the bemused trooper, Michelle drove her Commando towards and stopped right in front of me.

“So… sorry about the mess.”

“Well, at least you know that and totally won’t destroy it again like the last couple times, definitely.” I snarked, sarcasm dripping from the edge of my mouth, “Still, at least you won. I can’t imagine if you were to lose.”

“Sorry about that too...”

I tried to shrug it off, “It’s okay. It’s a risk comes with the job and… do you hear that?”

It sounded like…

Right as I recognised the noise, Michelle already scooped me onto the Commando’s hand and just ran back to the dropship.

“Incoming missile, take cover now!” someone called out from somewhere, I couldn’t even tell at all.

It was like the ambush all over again, things happening so fast that I couldn’t even comprehend what’s going on. My eyes tried to see the source of the noise, but the missile flew so quickly my eyes couldn’t even track them. Right before the missile landed, my training kicked in and I tried to make myself as small as possible.

Then, a bang. Exactly like that day when the orbital bombardment happened. My ears were deafened from the shockwave even at half a kilometer away.

As I raised up my head, all I could see was the aftermath. All across the base, mushroom clouds were rising up. Not nuclear, cruise missiles. If it was something the DCMS has canonically then it would be the Nekohono’o. But where did it…

You know, I have always wonder if wearing red uniform would make it less noticeable to your enemies or allies when you bleed out. I got the answer today. The shockwave from the cruise missile was immensely powerful, as the warhead was comparable to nuke in power. The POW that’s closest to ground zero were instantly pulverised, there’s nothing of them left beside a massive bloodstain and chips of bone on the ground.

Those were the lucky one.

I quickly turned my eyes away as cries reached my ears. Despite all the explosions, those moans somehow sounded the loudest to my ears. Those injuries, they won’t make it to the next day, they won’t even make it to the next minute. Those were the unlucky one, right at the zone where the damage were severe, but still not enough to instantly kill the victims.

I’m not going to forget that sight anytime soon.

The second salvo was coming in, I didn’t dare to see where they hit as I just bunkered down on the Commando’s hand. All I heard was more ear deafening explosions and I dreadfully hoped I didn’t get hit by one.

Suddenly, I felt myself falling and I was dropped onto the ground hard. Had it not been for the exoskeleton frame, I might have some broken bones. Looking back to the mech, I was about to yell at Michelle until I saw the whole Commando has fallen onto the ground, Michelle herself was already getting out of the cockpit.

“What the hell was that?” I asked, limping towards her.

“I think I have abused it too hard.” she quickly answered.

“Well, shit.” I said tiredly, there’s so much happening today, “At least we are in the dropship now.”

Walking towards an ammunition crate, I sat down on it and leaned back onto a bigger one.

“Okay, I’m just gonna… lie back a bit.”

Even when it sounded absolutely chaotic out there and my heart was beating rapidly from the stress, I still felt so damn tired that I just wanted to take a nap.

I’m really can’t go overnight without some sleep.

------

9th June 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Snake Eater
Mech bay

Someone was apparently nice enough to move me to my bed and remove all the gears that I was wearing last night. That or they sent me to the med bay but then figured I wasn’t really injured or anything so they threw me here because I can smell medicine on my body.

After conducting my usual morning routine, I moved my ass onto my wheelchair and rolled myself towards the mechbay. It was surprisingly quiet, not many people were working down here eventhough the mech clearly required extensive repair. At first, I was worried that we actually suffered tremendous casualty from last night assault but everyone looked far too relaxed for that.

“Hey.”

I turned and saw Sarah waving in her dirty jumpsuit, “Hey, do you remember what happened last night?”

Sarah leaned against a wall, “After you passed out? A bunch of DCMS personnel headed for our dropship and the commander decided to keep them as prisoners for now. The Briar Patch Guards or what’s left of them also got on because their only dropship was disabled by the missile strike.”

“That sounds like a lot of people, can the dropship actually handle that?”

She sighed, “Well, the Mule can, and we have more than enough food supply for a trip away…”

“I sensed a ‘but’.”

“Look out of the window.” she pointed.

And I did, rather than seeing the lush green forest common on Kaus Media, I saw grey concrete wall instead. A really massive one too, it’s so tall I couldn’t even see the top via the window.

“We are at the rebel base now. The Briar Patch Guards had another role in the assault, to rescue some captured rebel members or even merc and they surprisingly found a lot of them in Yokota military base. Normally most of them would have been tortured to death. Now, we are the one doing their job here by sending these rebels back to their base.”

“You made it sounds like it’s a bad thing…”

Her back slowly slid down from the wall and she slumped down on one of the ammunition crates, “I guess I… really want to go home.”

There really wasn’t anything else I could say.

“I want to go back home too.”

------

Author Notes: So, our MC said he got used to the brutality of war. Imma gonna prove him wrong.

Also, the discovery of that there's a BBcode convertor in some other forum I typed, make coping the chapter over so damn convenient.
« Last Edit: 01 August 2018, 07:08:54 by dragonkid11 »
On behalf of the Berserker,
Sure it isn't the most practical 'mech ever designed, but it's a hundred ton axe-murderer. If loving that is wrong I don't wanna be right.

Salvage Dog AU SI Fanfic Thread
Salvage Dog AU Tech Compilation Thread
Salvage Dog AU Battlemech Thread

dragonkid11

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 324
Re: Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)
« Reply #22 on: 04 August 2018, 10:27:16 »
I really have no idea why, but I felt slightly disappointed at the last chapter,

It like, something just doesn't feel right about the writing there, and I seemed to keep getting stuck when writing it, which make for odd pacing.

It's just weird.

Anyway, here's the next chapter. I hope you guys like where this is going.

------

Salvage Dog 2.7

------

9th June 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Rebel base
Layer 1

So, the rebel.

When I heard we are in a rebel base, my mind immediately went to real life rebel such as the French Resistance and Chinese Resistance during WW2. Somewhat funded by the government, but generally limited to guerilla action only. Not like… well… fictional rebels with oddly well maintained base, excellent military equipments and a great band of skilled misfits.

So when I heard the rebel actually occupied a bloody Castle Brian (albeit a half nuked one), it took me a second to actually believe that as it kinda stretched my suspension of disbelief.

Still, a Castle Brian. I actually didn’t expect to see anytime soon and…

Well, I have said it time and time again, but people don’t make thing small in this universe. It’s a giant man-made fortified cave structure carved into a bloody mountain after all.

However, while a Castle Brian is a formidable place to siege due to its terrain, defence and firepower, it’s not exactly undefeatable as with enough orbital bombardment, even mountain would break. The Chinese proverb ‘Dripping water wears away stone’ didn’t come out of nowhere after all.

And that’s why the rebel used it more for its second well known advantage, camouflage.

By keeping the location a secret, the DCMS will have to look through the entire planet just to stumble upon the base. Even then, it’s still difficult to spot a Castle Brian against the natural terrain as no Castle Brians are the same.

Hell, the location was so well kept, we literally only knew it just hours ago when we have to take over the Briar Patch Guards’ mission of rescuing captured rebel members and securing additional secret intel that we cannot be told about.

Anyway, now that the rebel members have returned to their base and the intel has been handed over, Colonel Marvick has granted us all a short two days shore leave before we all left Kaus Media and back to the safety of Federated Commonwealth territory.

It’s not exactly a nice dandy town, but at least for once, the locals weren’t shooting at us!

“I just want to say, this place isn’t a Castle Brian, it’s a Port Castle.”

“There’s difference?” I asked indifferently.

“Of course there is!” David answered with gusto, “A Port Castle has a built in spaceport like the one our dropships have landed in while a Castle Brian doesn’t.”

“Hmmm.” I hummed while contemplating, “I’m surprised they even managed to build one into the side of the mountain. But then again, considering the amount of space available in the base…”

Right as I was considering my next word, we finally exited out of the hallway and found the central market the local guards kept pointing us to. This place was confusing as hell for someone who’s used to not being in a hundreds meters deep underground base like me, it’s like a bloody maze.

But even being deep in the mountain, the market was just like any other one could find at a large village or other underdeveloped places. Hawkers shouting out their price and the greatness of their products, kids running around carefree while playing game with each other, people chatting with each other about what’s going on lately.

This place… smelt like home, in more than one way in fact! God, I want to just bite into those juicy-

“It’s a shame Sarah doesn’t want to come out. This place is pretty cool.”

I knocked myself back to reality and nodded, “She’s probably just being tired from last nig-erm, early morning stuff.”

Speaking of this, there’s a reason why we could be out here instead of spending hours trying to fix the massive wreck that’s Michelle’s Commando.

Well, it kicked the bucket.

No, I don’t mean ‘Oh this Inner Sphere has different standard and does not use hundreds years old mech held together by duct tapes!’

I mean the Commando seriously bought the farm, bit the dust, went belly up and met Lord Kerensky himself. Turned out taking a multi-tons axe head on could do bad things to a battlemech, really bad things like wrecking the frame beyond repair, cracking the fusion reactor open and other stuff that made the whole team wanted to yell at Michelle.

The old lady wasn’t kidding about the Commando relegated to a museum piece if it ever took another big hit for sure.

“Anyone would after what happened last night, Jarvick’s entire team are… gone.”

The only thing I felt bad about was the fact that I can’t even remember who Jarvick is. Is it terrible of me to just see him as yet another casualty on a long list of names because I don’t personally know him? It probably said as much if I were to die instead of somebody else, would I be simply forgotten?

Shaking my head off that bad thought, I inquired about other stuff instead, “Say, David. Who do you think launched the missile strike last night?”

“I have the same question as you! The only one that has cruise missile would be other line regiments, but why would they launch an attack on their own people? They killed more of their own from friendly fire than us!”

There’s just so many questions in my head right now about that attack. Why did they attack us without a single care to collateral or friendly fire? Did the general intentionally left the base and used the personnel there as a bait?

“Nothing on this planet makes sense anymore.”

David begrudgingly nodded, “Speaking of the DCMS, do you know anything about the captured per-”

“Hello there, merc!”

Both of us were surprised when a kid suddenly greeted us. The kid was slightly shorter than me, wearing a sleeveless undershirt and a green jumpsuit with the upper half tied around his waist, short curly red hair peeked out of an officer cap that was probably inherited from his great grandfather a long while ago due to how worn out it looked.

“Both of you appear to be lost and have no idea what amazing thing you could find in Shangri la!”

“... This place is called Shangri La?” David dubiously asked.

“See! You don’t even know what this huge mountain base I live in is called!” the kid chattered, “Clearly you two need a tour guide to give you an amazing journey through the base!”

We both looked at each and wondered if we should really have a 12 years old kid led our way.

“So, what currency does the local use?”

“We mainly used 5mm Loxley armor piercing pistol round for currency since the needle block crash some decades ago but since you two are my first customers, today’s tour will be free!”

They use ammunition for trading? That sounded oddly familiar…

“Wait, we are your first customers?” David asked.

“You guys are the new actual ‘tourists’ in a long while, sometimes there’re new rebel recruits coming from the outside but Marty and her gang always caught them first.” the kid’s lip curled in disdain, “Bitch.”

“So, I guess you could start the tour right now?” I hesitantly asked while trying to ignore such a strong language from a kid. Then again, my mouth wasn’t anywhere clean anyway.

“Ah yes, right away!” the kid said as he turned around, “First, I shall show you our historical mural!”

And thus for the next few hours, the kid enthusiastically explained everything at Shangri La to us.

------

9th June 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Rebel base
Floor 10

“There’s no word I could use to describe my gratitude to the Qualip’s Phantom and Briar Patch Guards for rescuing our captured rebel members.” General Tohka gratefully thanked the two colonels in front of her.

“There’s nothing to thank, general. It’s our job to fulfill our client needs.” Colonel Liston stated.

“Some of you merc always said that but sometimes I do see merc that saw past the money and aimed for something else.” the general said, “I presume both of you will be leaving Kaus Media by tomorrow?”

“That would depend on Colonel Marvick as my dropship is currently…” the colonel sniveled, “Sorry but I have a long history with that Condor.”

“But yes, both the Qualip’s Phantom and Briar Patch Guards will be leaving Kaus Media as our contracts are about to be finished.” Colonel Marvick stated.

The rebel general leaned back against the leather chair, surprisingly intact despite being previously used by her ancestors, and crossed her fingers on her chest, “I presume you have heard the news about Vega from your liaison officer.”

Colonel Liston pointed at Colonel Marvick, “Her liaison officer, yes. My liaison officer was unfortunately severely injured by the missile strike and later deceased.”

“It seemed the AFFC has won.” the general stated.

“At a great cost.” Colonel Marvick added grimly.

“And the DCMS is now in full retreat from Vega. There’s high chance that they will send warships and troops to Kaus Australia due to its valuable germanium mine. As for Kaus Media, the remaining line regiments here might get scooped up to booster defence at Kaus Australia.” the general continued gravely.

“Shouldn’t that be a… good thing?” Colonel Liston hesitantly asked.

“It might be good for the resistance, but there’s also a chance that the DCMS might engage ‘salt the earth’ procedure.”

To say that the Draconis Combine is a sore loser in war has been an understatement of the year for centuries. Even today, many planets still bear marks of nuclear and orbital bombardment at former civilian establishments from the DC fleet, there’s simply too many to be repaired in the span of centuries alone.

“My ancestors ran away from the city of DeGuilles when the Draconis Combine made the sky collapse on them and stumbled upon this Castle Brian out of a miracle. Even now, nobody knows why it’s here but it has more than enough supply and space for us to construct a place for 50000 souls.” the general continued, “The only reason why we began the rebellion decades ago is to prevent the same exact thing from happening again.”

“I understand your feeling.” Colonel Marvick calmly responded, “But our contract is up and my people are tired.”

“I understand, Colonel Marvick.” the general said after much consideration, “However, I would like to ask two things from you, you may reject them if they aren’t acceptable to you. First, I would like to have the remainder of your medicine supply as eventhough Shangri La can produce its own medicine, the demand outstrips the supply these days. Second, I would like you to transport as many civilians away from Kaus Media as possible.”

“I can agree to both requests, is transporting the civilians to Alkaris sufficiently far?” Colonel Marvick agreed

“Anywhere in Federated Commonwealth territory would be fine, how many could you handle?”

“About one thousand cramped in my Mule at max capacity. I would recommend seven hundreds for at least.”

“Only seven hundreds…”

“It would be two thousands if I didn’t have to carry the Briar Patch Guards’ personnel and equipment and the…” Colonel Marvick hesitated, “DCMS prisoners.”

“I understand…”

“Won’t it be a powder keg waiting to be blown up with the oppressed civilians and DCMS prisoners being put together?”

“If only someone’s dropship wasn’t toasted!”

Colonel Liston was about to say something but dropped it, “Are there anything else, general Tohka?”

“No, thank you for your assistance in our matter.”

The two colonels left her officer after she shook their hands as a final agreement.

Leaning back on her chair, she called for a meeting with all rebel commanders in the base. About ten minutes later, almost every rebel commanders she has called forward have reached her office.

Almost.

“Where’s Sarme?”

“Probably stuck in the washroom again just like every last time.” one of the commanders laughed.

Even the general herself smiled a bit but a serious look quickly moved back on her face, “There really isn’t time to waste, let’s start the meeting. Now, as we have discussed last time, I think we need to replan our assault on-”

The door was pushed open.

“You finally came in time fo-”

Blood splattered onto the wall as a laser beam cut through all rebel members in the room. Fluid instantly boiled into pressurised steam by the laser, bursting their bodies open.

A lone figure silently walked away, past all the corpses of guards that have been left bleeding on the ground.

------

9th June 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Rebel base
Layer 5

“And here we have our underground farm! This is just one out of the dozens we have!” Jenny, our kid tour guide, pointed out for us, “With artificial light powered by one of the main reactors spread across the base, we have grown potato, cabbage, lettuce, carrots and many more vegetables!”

“That’s pretty neat!” I said as I looked across the field of greenness.

“We also have multiple sectors for farm animals such as genetically engineered cows and chickens with holographic screens to emulate an open grass field.”

It was a pleasant surprise to me on what technology was employed just for advanced underground farming, “No goats?”

“What’s a goat?” the kid innocently asked.

“A way smaller and thinner cow that go ‘Bawwwww’.” I answered with a simple mimicking.

The kid giggled, “That sounds hilarious.”

“Heh, they do sound like drunkards.” I chuckled.

“But you know, mister…” the kid suddenly changed his expression to a rather serious look, “Most kids around my age don’t really get excited by stuff like this anymore.”

... Huh, “Wait, really?”

“Even your friend looks kinda bored.”

And just like the kid said, David was dozing off and staring at elsewhere, it’s only our silence that brought him back to reality.

“Could it be… mister… that you have been living in poverty your entire life?”

“Wait, what!?” no way, I’m a man from 21st century, of course I’m being amazed by everything here!

“Erm, kid. He used to live on Terra.”

The kid looked at me skeptically, “Maybe he’s a fraud?”

“I’m standing right here!” I shouted.

“Nah, he got frozen for three centuries from some kind of SLDF project, you know the Galatea’s Iceman? That’s him.”

The kid tilted his head in confusion, “Mister, I don’t think it’s wise to believe someone simply because they are older than you, frozen or not.”

Shit, this kid is smarter than both of us!

“But if he’s telling the truth, then wow, maybe Terra actually sucks!”

“Even Terrans suffer from poverty, huh…” David nodded in agreement.

“I’m standing right here…” I drawled tiredly, “Look kid, I know this tour is free but here.”

I gave the kid a bar of chocolate ration, he pushed it back to me.

“Mister, I think you need this more than I do.”

“I’m not that poor!”

Suddenly, alarm blared across the whole base.

“What’s going on?” David asked worriedly.

A few armed guards were moving out, marching right past us as they headed to wherever that required their help.

“Jenny, any idea?”

“Not really, I don’t think I have heard the alarm being turned on besides fire drill. They would announce that if that’s the case.” the kid explained, “It’s odd that they didn’t announce anything via the speakers or hologram projector at all, some command staffs will usually say something to keep us calm if it’s not serious.”

“David, should we head back to the dropship?”

The kid quickly jumped between us, “No no no! I’m your tour guide, no matter hell or high water, I’m going to give you the best Shangri La experience ever! Now, what’s your profession in your merc company?”

“Erm, both of us are astechs?”

“Technician assistants? Then I have a perfect place for you two to visit!”

And thus we let the kid led us to somewhere, again.

------

9th June 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Rebel base
Layer 1

“Eh, retirement!?” Akira blurted.

They were sitting around a small polymer table right beside a drink vendor stall. Besides a plate of shish kebab which they have left nothing other than the skewers, Akira got the closest thing to a tea here while Michelle swirled her glass of fruit punch full of berry flavours around.

“Do not be so loud. It is not the first time I have considered this, I pretty sure I mentioned it to you before.”

“Yeah, but you drank like three shots of PPC that time so it’s hard to hear it clearly between the mumbling and vomiting.”

Michelle revolted in disgust, “So that is why everybody told me to not drink again.”

“So… why?” Akira asked, “Why retire?”

“There are only two ways a merc career can go.” Michelle explained, “Death or retirement. Mostly the former. But ultimately, I am not worried about dying at all.”

“That’s... intriguing.”

“However, I am getting too old to be a mechwarrior.” Michelle stated, “My skill at driving light mech is impeccable but my sense is dulling and I have taken way too many hits in this mission. I am not gonna quit being a mechwarrior entirely, maybe I could be a light mech instructor.”

“I can just imagine it already, all your students are going to suffer motion sickness for their entire course.” Akira laughed, “But… maybe I should start thinking about another career path as well. Mercenary hasn’t been… profitable lately.”

Some have said that mercenary might be a dying career sooner or later in both literal and metaphorical sense. Jobs are getting tougher, militia is getting more firepower, while the houses continue to expand their army and fleet as if their money flows like river. Only the old merc organisations with long, great history such as The Big Mac, Grey Death Legion and others could last to these days. The new merc groups on the other hand kept dying off at an increasingly higher rate. Being a mercenary is simply becoming more and more unsustainable anymore.

Michelle finished her drink, “Way too many of my friends thought that dying on a battlefield was the greatest thing they could accomplish in their life. It is time to change that.”

Klaxons suddenly blew in the base, the atmosphere around them changed as the civilians began to clear the street and head towards safety.

“Huh? What’s going on?” Akira asked.

“Someone might have been murdered.” the kid tour guide they have hired answered.

“Eh? Seriously? To have this happen right as we landed here…”

“Akira, I think we should go.” Michelle suggested.

Hai.” Akira agreed, “Here, Marty. Treat yourself with something nice after this.”

She threw a bunch of bullets at the kid, who deftly caught them in her palms.

“Thanks, have a safe trip!”

However, when they reached the entrance to the spaceport, they and many others were blocked by the guards stationed there. The guards were clearly stressed by something as they kept telling people to back off. At the back of the blockade, Michelle noticed one of the guard was talking with his earpiece. As the conversation finished, he nervously looked back to the blockade.

“Take everyone here to the prison! Move!” the man ordered as he raised up his pistol.

I should not have talked about my retirement, Michelle thought regretfully.

------

9th June 3045
Kaus Media
Hyadamos
Rebel base
Reinforced Weapon Bunker 8

“Oh wow.” I uttered.

“It’s huge.” David added.

“This-” the kid began to explain, “-is a Hellion-55 series naval laser constructed by Boeing Interstellar centuries ago, the same exact model of which could be found in a Lola III warship! Three kilotons of firepower could be delivered anywhere at the speed of light, but with the current targeting system countered by ECM mounted in those big ships up there, it only has 1000 kilometers range.”

It’s one big ass energy gun for sure, nearly 1100 tons of pure laser goodness packed in a 20 meters long cuboid block with dozens of wires and tubes at the bottom of it. Its tip was obviously on the outside, unable to be seen from the inside of the turret housing. With the space available here, the naval laser won’t be able to shoot anything except warships in orbit and extremely unfortunate dropships in the sky as it only has 30 degrees of movement from the center axis.

One would think that a gun massing at 1100 tons would be as big as dropship but It won’t do well to have a dropship sized gun if an enemy ASF squadron could easily target it and destroy it, eh?

The kid then sighed loudly, “That’s if the damn laser could actually fire.”

“Eh, it can’t?”

“The reactor is running on low power mode ever since my people got here and nobody knows how to work with gigantic fusion reactor.”

“Hmmm.” I hummed, “Where’s the fusion reactor? I think I can turn it up to max power.”

“I can show you where the reactor but I rather you don’t touch it at all because I live here.”

“You like here?” I curiously asked, “Does your family live here as well?”

“Nah, they are gone.”

It was then I felt a dagger piercing my heart, I should have known when so many signs were coming up.

“Don’t worry about it, I live on my own just fine. I’m a strong independent kiddo, nothing can stop me from living my way!” Jenny declared, “Now, do you want to see the reactor or not?”

“Well, I do.” I accepted, “But…”

“But?”

“Honestly, it was a lot more fun when you guide us through the town and history of this place. Weapons? I have been seeing plenty of examples for the past few months and… I guess I do miss the comfort of a safe home.”

How long have I been not living the life of a plain civilian but one of a merc instead? Even when I was just out here fixing and maintaining weapons, it really did felt like a sense of safety was missing. And this was a mere two months long campaign too. I probably will never understand how people can be away from their home for months or even years without feeling homesick.

“You must have missed Terra huh? Mister.”

I smiled wistfully, “Yup, it’s a massive dirt ball covered in blue and green. There’s many like it, but I live on it. Or lived. I miss everything on that place, no matter how good or how bad it was.”

I wondered… if people back home have forgotten about me. After all, it has been months since I’m missin-

The kid coughed at me.

I sighed, “Alright, alright, let’s go.”

Hmm, now I felt like I should be asking something here. Something about… oh right!

“Say, do you know anyone here that piloted a Stinger that appeared to be-”

One of the hologram projectors mounted on the wall came back to life. Multicoloured light emitted out of it to form a flat 2D screen in midair. Within the screen, Colonel Marvick, Colonel Liston, Major Davion and liaison officer whose name I forgot walked out of the Snake Eater while a rebel officer walked towards them, both of them have armed guards following them.

I have a feeling I do not like where this is going.

“Sarme, why is he there and not others!?” Jenny uttered.

I looked at the kid, “You know that rebel dude?”

“Yeah, hear he’s a great commander on the field but has a crappy personality that nobody can handle. Whatever meeting they are going to have, it’s a timebomb waiting to be exploded.”

“Rebel commander Sarme, care to explain why you are imprisoning my people?” Colonel Marvick asked demandingly.

Sarme moved forward, his body looked rather lanky for someone of his height. Dressed in the usual rebel uniform that looked to be a mix-match of salvaged military uniform and civilian clothing, the man in his 30s cut his black hair so short it might as well be not there.

“The moment you left the command sector, someone went through the trouble of killing every single commanding officers and guards in that place to leave zero witness.”

“General Tohka is dead!?” the kid gasped.

“The camera system just so happened to suffer malfunction right as the incident occurred and has been repeating videos ever since the assassination has happened.” Sarma continued, “Now, while I do not think you mercs are responsible for this. I do suggest that you should hand over the captured DCMS prisoners to us so we can properly interrogate them.”

The liaison officer, Steve, yes, now I remember his name, stepped forward, “Commander Sarma, I’m sure we can both work out a deal if you let me talk to the liaison office-”

A gunshot rang as the liaison fell down, the sound significantly reduced through the poor sound system connected to the hologram projector. Tension in the room has risen up as armed guards from both sides raised up their rifles at each side.

“The body of liaison officer Sarah Mendel was oddly missing from the scene despite the whole place was covered in blood. There’s only two possibilities, one is that the assassin removed the body, but that’s completely out as the assassin used high power laser to make damn sure the targets are dead. The other possibility is that there’s a mole among LIC and I’m not waiting for the next one to strike.” Sarme declared, pointing his smoking gun at Colonel Marvick, “Now, the prisoners, please.”

“How should I expect you to get any result from the prisoners when you have gunned down a LIC officer without hesitation!? There’s no way I’m handling the prisoners to you, I will interrogate them myself!” Colonel Marvick argued.

“That’s not a request, merc. That’s an order. And you are not going anywhere with those prisoners, the spaceport gate is locked and only by my command will it open.”

The colonel sighed and snapped her fingers.

Suddenly, there’s a blurry object moving across the screen, too fast for the camera to properly catch up. Gunfire completely obscured over all other noise as a gunfight started between both sides. The camera then moved upward as the gunfire slowly ceased, showing a Sparrowhawk trooper pointing its massive machinegun at the head of the rebel commander while the colonel and others slowly retreated back to the dropship.

“Give me three days to interrogate the prisoners on my side, I will be keeping the commander as a bargaining chip for my people once I’m done with the investigating. I would advise the next person in the line of command for the rebel to begin their own investigation as well rather than figuring out ways to threaten us in stupid manner. Dismiss.”

The hologram projector then shut off as if it knew when to conveniently stop streaming.

“So erm, what was the question you were asking?”

“I… have completely forgotten about it.”

“Drake.” David asked seriously, “I think we should ask for a pay raise because ‘Being shit on by unforeseen bullcrap’ is clearly not in the contract.”

------

Author Note: Aggressive diplomacy met superior firepower.
« Last Edit: 04 August 2018, 10:33:35 by dragonkid11 »
On behalf of the Berserker,
Sure it isn't the most practical 'mech ever designed, but it's a hundred ton axe-murderer. If loving that is wrong I don't wanna be right.

Salvage Dog AU SI Fanfic Thread
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DOC_Agren

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Re: Salvage Dog (Battletech AU SI fic)
« Reply #23 on: 05 August 2018, 17:56:59 »
Well that gone pear shaped in a hurry.

Maybe it time to power up that laser array, just the same.
"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!"

 

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