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Author Topic: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III  (Read 15848 times)

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #210 on: 24 August 2019, 17:58:45 »
Quick point, 120C is 20 degrees over the boiling point. Pryde should be dead.

SMc

I looked it up apparently humans can survive dry air at that temperature for a very short period of that as long as sensitive areas are covered..  Firefighters do it all the time you just need to keep core temperature managed.

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #211 on: 28 August 2019, 18:31:15 »
04/17/3071 Location – St Clair (formerly Detroit), North American Federation, Terra

A battered dark green Summoner G sidestepped a kick from a bone white Thug with markings of the 66th Division of the ComGuards.  It's foot smashed through one of the gray industrial buildings of NACDI (North American Central Defense Industries) leaving a pile of rubble in its wake that scattered infantry that were hiding nearby.  The Summoner leaned back and slammed its left fist into the heavier mech's head crumpling its armored cowling before jumping away and incinerating the hapless infantry below them.

Khan Marthe Pryde felt her Summoner smashing pavement with its impact.  This battle was thrilling among the best in which she had participated.  Annoyingly she was out of ammo for her six four pack SRMs and had been cut off by headhunters.  The rest of her Star was downed or en route to the rear for repair and resupply.  “Req Afour Arty omculo stat.”

“Inco.”
  Marthe jumped away from her current location hiding between large buildings.  The COMGUARD headhunters would be here soon and they would be greeted with Arrow Vs.  By luck and experience she was right.  The damaged COMGUARD Thug and Grim Reaper turned the corner and disappeared under the cluster munitions.  When the dust cleared the building was severely damaged and all that remained of the pair of mechs was shattered metal and torn myomer.

“Serves you right.”  A sudden explosion tore into her Battlemech's left leg followed by smaller ones damaging the hip actuator.  Marthe kept the mech standing and saw the offending unit, an unpainted T-20 King Tiger with a smoking gun barrel (LB-10X) and missile rack (MML-5).  The Summoner fired at the offending unit and tore deep into the MBT's armor.  She was hobbled now and her chances of getting out alive were diminishing.

Summoner ECG-508 hobbled out of the alley and Marthe saw that she was surrounded, the headhunters had still pushed her into their trap and she wasn't going to make it out alive.  The Omnimech's arms tracked on one of the tanks that was leveling its gun barrel at the Khan. 

“Pryde's last stand it is then. 

Seyla.”

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #212 on: 29 August 2019, 17:28:10 »
04/18/3071 Location – Orléans, European Union, Terra

Archon Katherine Steiner watched the sun set over the River Loire from the rooftop garden of the mansion she was using.  A half dozen pleasure craft sailed lazily in the canals but the city was otherwise silent due to the Jaeger Brigade was enforcing a curfew.  She heard a slight knock on the door and turned in her chair to see her young handmaid Taide standing there looking very prim and proper in her blue and white uniform. “Votre mari est arrivé Il vous attend en bas.”

Katherine stood up and walked through the opened door, “Merci”  With that the young woman disappeared down one of the innumerable passageways in this mansion.  She had been here a day but her staff could ably direct her to wherever she needed to go.  Retracing her steps Katherine walked down the grand staircase to see Vladimir Ward sitting in a high backed chair in the lobby.  He was looking quite handsome for a man just off the battlefield.  “Katherine you look lovely.”

She smiled and looked down at her bright blue and more subdued gray dress.  It had been a while since she had been able to wear a dress.  Such a thing had no place on a battlefield or spaceship and she had been on one or the other since New Kyoto more than eight months ago.  A full year on campaign and away from their children seemed so much harder than when they (Katherine, Morgana, Alaric, and Siegfried) were hiding from the Word of Blake on the hidden world of Dagda, now known to the LIC as Archon's Redoubt. 

She still wrote them regularly but her boys were slow to respond as they were busy training to be Warriors on (Kerensky's) Vision.  Their kill credits on Tharkad hadn't been formally counted even with Vlad Ward making a personal challenge to Loremaster of the Clans Daphne Vickers.  Morgana's responses from Donegal diminished over the months which hurt Katherine deeply.

Katherine looked at him, for the first time really thinking about how he was an old man (45) for the Clans.  It had never occurred to her that he was going gray but she saw it now against the blue and gold formal uniform of the Wolf Empire.  The one she  designed with him in mind and carried over to the SLDF's uniforms.  He looked haggard but proud this is what he was born to do.  This campaign was the culmination of what he thought his purpose in life was:  Liberate Terra from the Word of Blake's allies and rebuild the Star League. “You look handsome too husband.  I am glad you could make it even for a little while.”

“A few hours while Rex is put back together.  After that I will catch a shuttle back to Vienna to rejoin the Golden Keshik.”


Katherine's mind was filled with all the wonders she had seen in pictures of Vienna which was so like the Tharkad City of her memory rather than the burned out shell of a once glamorous city it now was.  “We could have met there too.  I have heard it is a beautiful city.”

“It was.  Word and ECA troops still hold parts of it and they are forcing us to cause more collateral than we want.  It would not be safe for the both of us.”

“I can fight.”
“I know Katherine.  I have seen you in action,”
  He kissed her, “but not right now.”

“You know I am going back to be fighting toward Lyons tomorrow.”
“I do.”
  He put his arm out for her, “Let's find dinner dear.  I want to make the most of my very limited R&R time.”
She accepted it and pointed toward where she was certain a dining room was, “As am I.  I know how you feel after a good day in the field and its been almost a week.”

They ate their three course French continental meal hastily speaking with sadness that Jade Falcon Khan Pryde had died, the Clans lost perhaps one of their finest warriors in St Clair.  They were relieved that she had taken half a tank company with her and the Falcons were creeping closer to Devil's Tower and Precentor Martial Koenigs-Cober's base. 

With concern that Ghost Bear Loremaster Noble had been shot down over Australia and what her Galaxy Commanders might do in response.  Dismay that ilKhan West's fate might never be known after his disappearance on Mars, he was certainly dead but had he achieved his last mission or failed no one knew. 

Both were surprised that Grand Duchess Yvonne had convinced the Brotherhood of Randis to come to Terra in support of First Prince Peter Davion's (known to them as Paladin Peter Focht) Mediterranean Campaign.  Even more surprising was that the Brotherhood arrived with the 73rd Cobra Guards of Clan Cloud Cobra aboard the Fredasa corvette BoR Hell Fury.  Vladimir Ward had demanded to know why they were here and not in the homeworlds but had received no response.  They listened only to the former Smoke Jaguar now Randis' Grand Knight Lucas Beckett.

Following dinner they spend some time alone.  Vladimir Ward woke after a brief nap and looked down at the peacefully sleeping face of his wife Katherine in the moonlight.  He dressed in his battle fatigues and kissed her on the cheek before going to the waiting Wolf Patrol car and then to the waiting KR-61 with a group of other Warriors.  He found his aide de camp, Star Colonel DeVega waiting for him there, “How is the liberation of Vienna going Arken?”

“Its ugly Vladimir.  We had to bomb out half the south side of the city.  The Volkswehr is holding firm against our forces along the Danube.”


Vladimir Ward looked toward the East with a predatory smile. “Not for much longer.  We take it at dawn.”

“Aff Khan Ward.  Danube at Dawn.”

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #213 on: 01 September 2019, 22:11:10 »
04/20/3071 Location – St Peters' Cathedral, Cologne, European Union, Terra

Peter walked through the square looking at grand Gothic cathedral reminded of many others he had seen in Lyran Commonwealth space.  Including the one that once stood in the center of Tharkad City until Shadow Primus Naamah ordered the building razed with the rest of the city.  Her death was still was not confirmed but he secretly hoped she was rotting in hell.  That was the only just punishment for all the terror she had inflicted on his homeland and casualties she had so callously caused.  Even the location of the placid Rhine river was similar to that of the New Danube that bisected the metro areas of Tharkad City and Olympia.

Devlin broke him from his awed silence with a harsh whisper and pointed toward a fireteam of troops walking their way with others waiting behind barricades.  “First Prince.  We have Guard Dogs.”

He looked over to the rest of his bodyguard unit, “Don't make any sudden moves Marines.  These Wolves look touchy.”

Peter looked around the see the blue-green uniforms of 141st Federation Marines and the slate gray and red uniforms of the 34th Wolf Force Protection Cluster.  Both sides were carrying similar weapons and armored for war. The Wolf Infantry came alert as their unit came closer and looked toward their commander.  A man with a very serious air about him let his rifle down allowing the sling to take its weight as he walked toward the Federation Marines.

Peter stepped ahead of his protective detail and toward the Point Commander, “We've been ordered to stop anyone attempting to enter this structure by Star Colonel Fox.  Identify yourselves.”

Peter looked over at Captain Stone, “Colonel Fox?”

The stalwart man shrugged his shoulders, “I don't know sir.  I was told she was here.”

“I am Peter Davion, trothkin to Victor, Katherine, and Yvonne, First Prince of the Federated Suns.  I request that you let me through to speak with Star Colonel Katherine Fox.”


“One moment.”  The Point Commander returned to his platoon and called for a huddle with his squad leaders.  Peter was within earshot of the troops but couldn't understand what they were saying in what he presumed to be Russian or a Clan Pidgin. 

Shortly the Wolves came to an agreement and the Point Commander returned, “Only you trothkin.  No weapons in the structure.  Hand them over to Terry.”

A large man stepped forward and took Peter's sidearm and knife before the Point Commander patted him down for security.  “All clear.”

First Prince (Paladin) Peter (Steiner-)Davion {Focht} checked his green and gold formal AFFS uniform and walked in the shadows the nearly two millennium old bell towers of the Cathedral.  Towers and Cathedral had been carefully maintained by generations of people that hadn't forgotten their shared responsibility to their descendants. 

Such thoughts was hopeful and so was he.  The door opened on oiled hinges and he walked into the main hall filled with its many stained glass windows.  Most of which were “modern” in design dating back four centuries to the Amaris Crisis and Fall of the Star League.  Those were dark times for everyone in the Inner Sphere.  A time of constant war that led only to more Wars, that begat more, until the Wars came full circle back to Terra.   He walked as quietly as he could with his combat boots on the stones of the ancient Cathedral toward a lone figure with a blonde braid wearing a gray jumpsuit near the front pews.

He settled in behind her just enough that he could overhear her praying in French.  Peter closed his eyes to do the same but in Italian working his way through the crude rosary carved by his own hands and carried with him since St Marinus on Zaniah.  When he opened his eyes again he looked over to see a very haggard Katherine sitting next to him in her combat jumpsuit.  Without makeup on he could make out many small scars and signs of age on his sister's face that always seemed to look so youthful. 

He could identify some of the patches by virtue of having the Hellion's Khan as a house guest for months and inter-clan standardization for some markers.  Watch Officer, Loremaster Pin, Two Blood drops from her Trial of Position, and three red stars on the left breast that marked her as a Wolf Star Colonel.  'FOX, Katherine' was stenciled on the right side.  “I didn't know you spoke Italian First Prince.”

“I didn't know you had a Bloodname Star Colonel.”

“The most exclusive one in all the Wolf Clan besides Jennifer Winston.  Why are you here?”
“For you obviously.  I wanted to tell you that I forgive you.”


Katherine was shocked, “For what?”
“Everything you had to do when I left.  Everything you felt you needed to do to protect our family.  Whatever you feel guilty about.  I hold none of it against you. 

I am here to help you and hopefully we can heal together.  You don't look well and the future is to important for the past to stand in the way.  We both want our children to be in better place then the one we found ourselves in.”

“My children hate me.  I've been a terrible mother.  They deserve better.”

“Maybe but I doubt that they would agree.  When this is all over you can go back to them with Vlad or bring them to Terra. 

I'm sorry you had to hide them and your husband away for so long must have been torture for you.  I wouldn't have made it this far without Daphne and Victoria.”

“What's changed since Asta Peter?”

“Besides everything.  The whole of the Inner Sphere is waiting with baited breath to see what happens here on Terra.  We are making history.  Let's make the smart choice this time.  We can't atone for the Sins of the Star League in the past but we can make a better one. 

Maybe the whole thing is a fool's errand and we can just live in peace with one another.  The only unknown remains on Sian and he has his own problems to attend too.  Corrine and Franklin have vouched their support for a new Order.  You don't want more Wars Katherine. 

Despite all your exploits in the Wolf Clan you are not a Warrior at least not with a sword but you have immense courage, a quick mind, and a caring heart even if you hide well in public I see it.”


She kept her stony face, he could see her mind working but not to what end.  “I visited the monument to the original Katherine Steiner on Fletcher.  The one you donated money to maintain even when it was under Sun-Tzu's dominion.”

With that her expression broke as if he dropped a dire secret on her this time around, “Did you now?”

“Yes. I saw the signature of Katherine Steiner.  I know you copied it down to the final swirl.”

“I spent the whole transit from New Avalon to Tharkad trying to master each curve.  Of course I couldn't do it while in Tesseraburg, secret identity and all.”

“That Katherine is still in there sister.  I want that for both of us.”

“You never knew her.”
“True but you never really knew me prior to coming back from the dead.  I was an awful person, I'm surprised Victor didn't send me to the other side of the Commonwealth.  He threatened it of course but he wanted to best for me despite all the troubles I caused him.  I'm ever grateful to him for that and it took me a long time to find myself on the Rim.”


At the mention of her brother Katherine teared up.  He mind forgot for a moment that she was on Terra rather than on Tharkad in a similar building.  “Can you tell me about him Peter?  I never really knew our brother, any of them really.  Its something I feel very guilty about.”

Peter embraced her and she broke down in his arms as he gently patted her back.  “Me too sister.  I'm sorry.”

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #214 on: 12 September 2019, 21:42:10 »
05/03/3071 Location – COMSTAR SSRD, Queen Maud Mountains, Antarctica

Shadow Primus Naamah walked swiftly through the large dimly lit corridors of her final redoubt.  Her once beautiful face had a long jagged scar across it now courtesy of a run in with the Former ilKhan Santin West before his untimely end at the hands of a squad of Zombies after he depleted most of his ammo fighting against The Blood’s mutant infantry.

A squad of Tau Wraiths stopped near her with their Mauser laser rifles at the ready.  The visors of their recon helmet were down disguising their mutilated features.  Their white cloaks flowed around them as they paused. “The Ghost Bears are coming Primus.  Thirty minutes.”

“No doubt come to get revenge since for the assassination of Khan Kabrinsky in Lagos.  We both have no home to return to.  The once mighty Clan Ghost Bear dies here with them.”

“Affirmative Primus.”
The Tau's quietly jogged away to their sally ports. 

Alarms blared and the corridors became a frenzy as the remaining Shadow Troops went to their battle stations.  Overhead Ghost Bear Avar and Turk Omnifighters loaded down with bombs raced toward the station and were met with return fire from the few operational Castle Brian's Anti-Aerospace Bunkers. 

The Castle Brian's Sub-capital cannons firing up and bombs falling down created a low rumble through the reinforced concrete floor that could be felt throughout the compound.  Naamah ran toward the main mech bay.  A sterile white space dimly lit from above by flickering lights filled with scavenged machines from Mars and ancient machines retired from active service.  The space was thick with mechwarriors and techs making last minute repairs with maintenance robots and armorers unloading ammunition trucks. 

The paired Rotary cannons of a Hammerhands 6E came to life spinning so loud that it overcame the din as the machine walked out the door to join other heavy weight units.  Naamah dodged the masses of humans, cyborgs, and drones to find her own machine, a Black Hawk KU, that had moved from yesterday's position.

The light gray vehicle crouched on its digitigrade legs bringing the cockpit down very close to the floor.  A pair of white clad techs operating an industrial exoskeleton and the ammunition feed were just closing the door.  They signaled the all clear to the incoming mech-warrior who climbed up the mobile staircase leading to the cockpit.

The Primus closed the canopy and didn't wait for the staircase to be removed before putting on her gear while the machine's thermonuclear core came to full power.  It was bone chillingly cold outside but she was carrying a sextet of clan heavy lasers and quintet of jump jets.  The unit's on-board computer came online with the familiar voice of her 'deceased' AI companion Erebus.  Its voice was comforting to hear even if this construct was a pale shadow of the lost original merely reduced to an improved combat computer and ECM wizard.

As the armored canopy closed she hardly noticed as the AR visor of helmet replaced her outside view.  She maneuvered through the narrow corridors intermittently lit with dim or flickering lights.  The 54th Shadow Division came online and were ready to fight in record time due to the number of omnimechs in its roster.  The mismatched omnipods were hastily assembled but functional, the Clans had pushed past Terra's SDS system faster than anticipated.  Mars was supposed to be a killing field but even the Blakist's ROM had not expected such a heavy assault by the Clans. 

She waited in Hanger Bay 1A before one of the gargantuan doors large enough to allow a Triumph drop-ship to pass into the facility.  The Condor within had brought a large portion of the surviving Shadow Troopers here to draw on the last ditch supplies buried below this desolate land.

The door opened and the hanger temperature dropped to -50*C within minutes from its more habitable 5*C.  Erebus spoke right to her mind, “Ghost Bears are approaching from the West.  Two Galaxies, Rho and Delta.  Advance strike units are already engaged.”  Naamah was pleased to hear those names; based on their intelligence those Galaxies were the last of the Ghost Bear Touman which had been shattered on the Moon. 

Her Black Hawk KU ran out of the tunnel and through another open door to see the bomb craters on the runway and shattered remains of a Turk Omnifighter that managed to crash land.  Naamah lifted her foot and crushed the cockpit the cold metal shattered under the heavy mech's mass.  The pilot was probably already dead due to exposure but it made her feel good crush something underfoot.

The 54th Shadow Division charged out and took up their defensive positions in the treacherous Queen Maud mountains.  The wind howled around them across the dry valleys, Naamah looked through the IR scope but wind blown snow from the interior interfered.  She switched to the Castle Brian's sensor feed and maneuvered with her Demi-Company to perch atop a steep defile. 

Below her a Binary of Ghost Bear mechs worked their way through the restrictive terrain they were led by a fearsome Kodiak.  The powerful assault mech was a favored target for Blakist and Black Dragon artillery.  According to reports there were fewer than a dozen in existence and no more were going to made after Alshain was destroyed by asteroid impact less than two months ago.  “Niko and I call the Kodiak.  You get the others.”

Niko's Pariah, a variant of the Stormcrow, flew into the sky on jets of super-heated air intricately maneuvering his mech in close proximity to Naamah's Black Hawk within the narrow defile.  The dark canyon lit up as two dozen missiles were fired out from the Pariah before it even recovered from the landing on the rocks.  All of them landed true their high explosive warheads blasted armor of the assault mech.  Naamah's lasers slagged one of the clawed arms the myomer bundles below smoking even in the freezing temperature.  The machine crashed to the ground barely catching itself on its remaining arm before attempting to rise from its knees and enact its vengeance on the Blakists.

Naamah's Black Hawk took a Gauss slug from an unknown enemy Mech (Minsk), its missiles corkscrewed toward her machine and the paired AMS systems came to life launching flechettes at incredible speeds to intercept the deadly projectiles.  Niko's Pariah folded in slow motion illuminated in a bright flash before crashing lifelessly to the ground after taking a Gauss slug to the cockpit from an enemy Grizzly killing the Clan Scientist turned mech-warrior.  “That's not a good start.”

The Kodiak pushed itself up and ran to her Black Hawk, the lighter machine jumped away to cover as her squad-mates continued to rain down fire on the bears.  A pair of Ursus mechs attempted to crest the ridge gingerly working their way up the rocks while their electronics attempting to scramble their C3I computers. 

Naamah ordered Erebus to tune her ECM to counter their attempts keeping the VI computer busy while she concentrated on an Arcas.  The mech was a peer competitor but she was the superior pilot and the confined terrain worked to her advantage.  She fired her lasers at the enemy mech dealing damage equal to the dreaded Warhawk in a smaller, smarter, and more mobile platform at least up close. 

Her enemy exploded as swarms of missiles, artificial lighting, and white hot plasma from a Seraph Comminus burned into the rear of the mech piggybacking off Erebus' targeting data.  The heavy machine sustained heavy fire from an unknown enemy but shrugged it off. 

The canyon was filled with a cacaphony of supersonic cracks, missile warheads, and crashing metal.  Despite the night it was bright with white and green illumination flares fired from the Castle Brian and Bears as well as the fiery light of cannons and missiles.  The rocky ground littered with debris from the assault.

Galaxy Commander Michael Hawkins fired his Warhawk paired lasers at a hostile Wolverine 7D spitting at the word.  The medium mech crashed to the ground in mid stride and was eliminated after high explosive missiles blew up its cannon's ammo. 

“Stravag monsters.”

He scanned the battlefield using his EI implant to see past the glare of the illumination flares.  The area was swarming with the enemy and artillery fire from the Castle Brian forced the Ghost Bears to break into Star sized formations.  Half of his own assault Trinary was down, crippled by mines and tandem charged missiles before being overwhelmed by enemy strike tanks and Battlemechs.  His Warhawk stepped through the burning wreck of a Harasser.  His comm line turned yellow, an alert coming in over the local battlenet primarily sustained by freeborn piloted Hades Mechs.  “This is three hundred Bravo.  We need heavy support at Grid 11.”

“Aff.  Star Comm Silva.  GCT en route.”
“Proceed with caution...”
The comm line went dead before the message concluded.

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #215 on: 17 September 2019, 16:30:28 »
The GCT walked forward under heavy fire from hostile weapons bunkers.  Most had been seriously damaged by the remnants of the Valkyrie Aerospace cluster but were still hard targets capable of holding up a Trinary of assault mechs.  A Star of Xerxes fighters flew past over their shoulder dipping low and rapid firing their heavy autocannons.  They pitched up taking hits from ground based flak guns but the Bear fighters maintained control and boosted out of range and back to the atmosphere.

Galaxy Commander Hawkins took in the full scope of the environment under the man-made stars.  It was much like his Clan totem's home territory on Strana Mechdy.  Perhaps they could survive on Terra after the Ghost Bears claimed the title of ilClan.  Such thoughts were far off however; he and his sibkin GC Jill Hawkins of Delta Galaxy were the highest ranking officers in the Ghost Bears now.  They still had to eliminate the last of the Shadow Divisions.  That goal was made easier with the last of the Snow Raven's aerospace units flying overhead. 

Another bright explosion blanketed the area with blinding light and the ground was swarming with infantry, armored and otherwise. “Star Commander deal with them.”

“Aff GC.”
  The six Elementals clinging to his Omnimech hopped off as did the remainder of their star-mates beginning to fire their autocannons before they even hit the ground at the Blakist's Light and Armored infantry.  “Command Star move on we are heading toward the LKL of three hundred Bravo.”

The assault lance took parting shots at the infantry but their weapons were the wrong type for personnel.  They were here to kill Celestials and Demons.

“GC Hawkings of Rho ComTri requesting scan of grid eleven.”
A faint breathless voice came in over his commset, “Aff GC.  Four mikes.”

Knowing the Shadow Divisions were likely to use mines and hidden sally ports to defend their final redoubt the Galaxy Commanders ordered four of the second-line Corax omnifighters manned by Outworld's Pilots to carry them.  A pair of those fighters conducted a high speed pass and the GC could see their afterburners as the units stayed low and level to get a good scan before scrambling back into the atmosphere. 

Hawkins could see the grid scan down link to the HUD of his Neurohelmet.  “Wreckage indicates an ambush on three hundred bravo.  No enemy mechs visibly down.  Likely heavy hitters with good pilots.  Rho ComTri eyes on sensors and watch your shots.  Its narrow there we will have to go in double line.  I take point.”

Michael maintained the lead in the loose Delta formation before it became a tight canyon.  The double line units had to stagger as the rocks were too close for the larger mechs.  This was not a good place for his Clan machines and pilots; both excelled in long range solo combat.  The Word forces though were best in short range, broken terrain, and with healthy backup.  This path was however the only one into the complex not guarded by the heavy Castle Brian bunkers that were holding up his sibsister's offensive and dealing major damage to their air cover.

He cleared the narrow pass and walked into a steep valley only to see an Archangel and Seraph Comminus stand up from their hiding places under rubble and unleash a massive barrage of missiles at his Warhawk.  Michael engaged ultra mode on his autocannon and everything at the largest unit blowing its head off and causing serious damage to the unit.  The Celestial Omnimech tumbled to the ground with crash throwing up stone before he landed on the rocks.

The rest of the Star engaged the Blakist force which was joined by a gray Black Hawk KU and Grim Reaper.  The headless Archangel stood up again and took an Executioner down with it.  Both sides tore into one another with every type of weapon imaginable.  The Clan Warriors even used their machines in melee against the heavy force.  The Black Hawk attempted to jump away from the fray but Michael Hawkins made a miracle shot that caused the unit to lose control crashing into one of the many craters created by the bombing campaign earlier in the night.

Michael Hawkin's Warhawk walked toward his fallen opponent.  The machine's center was flayed open like a brutal surgeon cut out its heart, the gyro was smashed and the fusion core venting ammonia coolant. 

He aimed his cannon at the head and pulled the trigger.

click

No ammo.

The Ghost Bear lifted its foot and stomped the target instead 'freeing' the Shadow Primus trapped inside.

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #216 on: 17 September 2019, 21:43:44 »
05/08/3071 Location – Protectorate Proving Grounds, Donegal, Lyran Commonwealth

Ten year old Morgana (la Fox) and eleven other (pre)-teen girls woke up to the morning bugle of revelry.  The Quonset was cramped and without privacy but was still better than the majority of Tharkad refugees still on-planet.  Each of them dressed in gray-blue fatigues with their first names on the left breast, and reflective strips on the sides and back.  They mustered under her command at the door before jogging toward the marshaling square breathing deep of the cool pre-dawn air.  They caught glimpses of the other uniformed trainees in the pools of white light beneath the light posts.

They stopped at the yard with the rest of the Donegal Junior MRTC (Militia Recruitment and Training Command) that she had been part of for almost a year.  A year that had brought great changes, she was no longer the girl she was at the Battle of Tharkad.  Puberty had struck and she had grown into a gangly but well coordinated teen that could actually fit in an XS cooling vest, do a pull up, confidently take command of others, and handle a proper service rifle.

That battle had produced a large number of orphans some of which wanted to fight back and drew down the LCAF's reserve of pilots, veteran and rookie alike, to fight the Word of Blake.  Some of the seriously wounded ended up on Donegal in cold storage to be treated at the military hospital and were returned to service as trainers. 

The Martial College of Donegal no longer used this old remote facility having moved into a newer one closer to the old capital of Marsdenville, at least when they weren't using the Fox LCS Ian McQuiston which had been reconfigured as a training and system defense vessel after being damaged last year.

The assembled trainees looked toward one of the five elevated stages were the company commanders stood by ready to put everyone through morning PT.  Trainees were put through the grueling warm ups and marched on routes of varying length (the older teens got longer routes) before showering eating and going to their classrooms.  Just because they were displaced, volunteered for, and tested into military training didn't mean they could skip out on secondary school.  It was like any other private school except recess involved combative training and a twice weekly trip to the firing range. 

Today was a test day and Morgana was as usual done ahead of time.  One of the older teens ran into the classroom and handed a note to the Hauptmann proctoring the test.  “Morgana, you're dismissed.  Thomas has orders for you.”

She stood up and quietly walked toward the front to look at the note, a summons from the Commandant.  The girl walked across the central square toward “Uptown” where the few Officers, Training Warrants, and trainee cadets resided.  Everyone towered over her but she held her head high, few knew who she was here other than another blonde girl from Tharkad and that is how she preferred it.  She could have gone to (Kerensky's) Vision with her 'brothers' but chose not to, it was more fun this way.

All of the trainers had cybernetic prosthesis of some sort.  The Jihad and Clan Offensive had not been kind of the LCAF but the organization was rapidly honing an edge that long existed but had been allowed to dull for political expediency.

Morgana found the Commandant's office in the maze of the refurbished Headquarters building.  The heavy dark wood door had 'Commandant Isadora Agravaine' in gilded letters.  She knocked and was give the all clear to open the door and walked toward the desk with the dark haired woman in a dark blue formal uniform giving her a salute and standing at parade rest.  “I am glad you could come so quickly Morgana.  My schedule is quite full for the rest of the afternoon”

“I was already done my test.”
“I figured you would be.  You're a very smart girl.  How would you like to be put in the real Mech training program?  No more simulators.”

“I would love that Commandant.”
  She smiled, “I'm a little young for the real thing don't you think?”

Isadora smiled as well knowing her history, “Except now you are actually large enough for us to safely put you in one.  You just need more practice moving and shooting than you got before last time. 

I've assigned you one of the new Mist Lynx mark twos.  You can get sized and setup with your neurohelmet when it arrives on Wednesday.  Your berth number is three four seven.”

“Recon?”

“Would you prefer something different?”

“No Commandant, I am pleased with the assignment.  How will this change my normal routine?”

“You will still live in the barracks and go to school with the others.  Your weekends will instead be spent on the grounds rather than on basic soldiering skills that you have already mastered.  Additionally you will have access to the bay in your free time, I expect you to use it.”

“I will. 
Thank You Commandant. 
Is that all?”

“Aff.  Carry on Cadet.”


Morgana saluted and exited walking past other more senior cadets that were still using simulators while concealing her excitement at being issued her own mech.

AlphaMirage

  • Warrant Officer
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  • Posts: 746
Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #217 on: 01 October 2019, 17:15:18 »
06/07/3071 Location – Mirny Arcology, Sakha Republic, Russian Far East

Vladimir Ward stood bare chested on a glass covered balcony in the central garden tower fascinated by how green and beautiful everything in this remote Arcology was compared to the Clan Homeworlds.  The Mirny Arcology was over three hundred years old and yet everything was as well-maintained as it was during their time.  Even artificially created nature was superior to what was there, drab buildings and bland formulaic monuments to great Warriors long dead. 

While he was not ashamed of his Clan’s history they had not done anything remarkably close to the glories here in the Inner Sphere.  Soon maybe they would usher in a new golden age of exploration.  Clan Scientists were already capturing as much information from COMSTAR and the Word of the Blake’s archives as they could.  Information thought lost but truly kidnapped and held for ransom as a means to control the leaders of the Inner Sphere to COMSTAR’s end.  The Order was dead now; the Clans controlled the HPGs, the Archives, and they had almost liberated everyone from the Blessed Order and their Word.

While Vlad watched one of the many cable cars glide past him he heard a woman’s voice behind, “Vlad what are you doing up so early?”

“Marveling at how beautiful this place is despite the desolate wilderness outside.”


Katherine closed the door after walking out on the balcony dressed in a lacy white nightgown with her blonde hair still in its nighttime braids. “I am surprised you are up Kat.  I thought you were weary from travel.”

She kissed him, “I have built up my stamina after being together with you the past four months.  It is quite different than before when we just had a few weeks together at the most.  I still do not know if I could keep up our old pace.”

“I am certain we can set some new personal records.  We will have plenty of time together once this war is over.”
  He leaned in and delicately kissed her enough to cause shivers at his touch, “I eagerly anticipate that more than victory on the field.”

“One will have to come before the other unfortunately love.”

“It is only a short matter of time.”


Xander Drake’s authoritative voice broke in over his headset communicator, “Khan Ward, we have a new target but we have to act now or it will be lost.  My Hellions are already in orbit.  Your Wolves are closer to the fight and its going to be a big one.  Downlinking now to your console.”

Both let out a disappointed sigh as their tender moment was interrupted by the grim duties of War.  Vladimir unlocked his console and looked at the Hellions’ surveillance satellite.  A satellite that cut out shortly afterwards but gave a clear video of their zone. 

Vladivostok was swarming with Blakists and they were visibly preparing a gigantic super-submarine the likes of which had never been seen before for departure.  Katherine looked at it with an eye to Strategy, “If that submarine makes it out of Golden Horn Bay we will never find it and secure Terra.  I want in!”

Vladimir grabbed her arms, “Absolutely not Katherine.  Did you see how many soldiers there were?  You are no longer clear to pilot a Battlemech after Cairo.  Six hits and you are medically retired from a neurohelmet.  Your brain cannot take it anymore.

I am not going to let you risk yourself again in a battle zone.  I wish I could say I am sorry but this is for your own good.”


Her eyes were sapphire daggers but Vlad held firm his wife should have never been allowed to pilot a Mech in a combat zone. He had thought deeply about how selfish it was for him to have even made her a Warrior in the first place all those years ago so she could be with him. “How dare you!  You are my husband not my father or brothers.  I will not let you go there without me.”

Vlad shouted toward the door, “Point Leader Eckert come in here please!”

Two officers of the Wolf Patrol entered, one of who had the rank on his cap, “Yes Khan Ward.”

“I am sorry for this Katherine but I have to pull rank here.  Point Leader confine the Star Colonel to her quarters till my return or until she can be released to Major Byrne of the Diplomatic Guard.”

“Yes Sir.”


Katherine seethed, Vlad had never seen her so pissed off and knew it was only the fact that she didn’t want either of them to get hurt that allowed him to hold her now. “You…”

Vlad put his finger over her mouth, “Enjoy the view and keep planning our big day yes.”  He kissed her on the cheek before releasing her.  Katherine watched as the Patrolmen parted to allow Khan Vladimir Ward to exit, “I want you to know that I did this because I love you Kat.  I was sorry every time that I hurt you because of it. 

I will spend all the time I have left in the Inner Sphere making amends when I return, but I must finish what I started all those years ago.  One last battle.  Seyla”

DOC_Agren

  • Lieutenant
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  • Posts: 1458
Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #218 on: 10 October 2019, 17:56:39 »
why do I get the feeling that Vlad won't make it back from this one
"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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