“Sir, I feel I must again protest that you do this alo-“
“This far into the Per-“
“I am aware this is a non-sanctioned drop – if you do not want to be here, feel free to return to the dropship.”
“It’s not that sir, we are simply worried about your exposure this far out. They may just be pirates, Sir, bu-“
“I said noted, son, but if I am going to outfit my pilots in this design, I want to test it myself. Your engagement reports do not give me the info that a real engagement will. Out.”
His lancemates immediately formed a defensive triangle around him – two in front and one in back.
“I may be an old Mechwarrior, but I am not an invalid. Get into a real formation. Now.”
Chastised, they moved back. Operations drilled into them, the Commando moved ahead to scout, while the support Orion moved to the side to screen for attackers. Another Orion held back, ready to support. Getting a feel for his Orion, he scanned left and right, ready for a contact report from his scout.
Suddenly, red triangles popped up with the familiar ‘ping’ following.
“Targets spotted sir, looks like.. six enemy Mechs. Five, wow, Kyudo-D-01s held together by duct tape and tinfoil, and.. a Mackie. I cannot believe I am seeing this. Kyudos are ’custom’ with a medium laser and SRM-4 each. All with very patchy armour, awful colours and skulls – definitely pirates sir.”
“Roger, I’m on the Mackie. Priority targets are the eastern-most Kyudos, Stevenson. Darius, Johnson, you’re on the western-most. I will join you shortly.”
Fifteen LRM shots sailed out of his Mechs chest, as 15 in his side view sailed off towards an unfortunate Kyudo. As he crested the small hill, another 15 LRMs arced out, and the cobbled-together Mackie was already showing red armour. As the second volley hit, the Mech lost its left arm. Closing into range, he let loose with his two medium lasers with his SRMs, and then an AC/10. Just as the Mackie turned to fire, the AC/10 round hit the right torso, blowing up the non-CASEd ammo, rocketing the Mech to the ground sideways – it did not return to its feet. One Kyudo already a smoldering ruin, he turned and saw its twin. Watching as the pilot attempted to get behind cover of the LRMs, he got a glancing shot on the centre torso with his lasers as It disappeared behind the rock - only to see it suddenly fly outward, flat on its face – centre torso nearly cored through. It apparently had not seen the other Orion as it flanked him, somehow, though the AC/10 had certainly not needed a second chance.
“One Kyudo down, two headed your way sir!”
He hooked left, scanning for the approaching enemies – spotting one as it came out from behind a small hillside. His medium lasers drew across its chest, and two of his four SRMs managed to hit the Mech as well. Leading carefully, he fired his AC/10 as the first enemy laser hits began to draw across him. As if a puppet with its strings cut, the Kyudo dropped forward, unmoving – an AC/10 sized hole almost dead centre on it.
“Sir that shot was-“
“Cut the chatter, lad.”
Veteran senses kicking in, he pivoted left and backwards, in time to see the other Kyudo jump out and fire both the medium laser and SRM-4. He replied with three of his four SRMs across the Mech, and two parallel lines of lasers down its left leg – his AC/10 round narrowly missing. He abruptly stopped moving forward and to the left, jammed backwards, then swung right, bringing the circling light Mech into his crosshairs again. This time the AC/10 hit its mark, and the Kyudos leg buckled. The twin medium lasers and SRMs finished the job, cutting both legs off of the Mech.
Shattering the silence, ‘Betty’ calmly informed him:
WARNING! INCOMING MISSILES.
“And so it begins, friends. Let us see what we can really do.”