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The Golden Pen Event!


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#1 Bill Bullet

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 07:36 PM

START!
YOUR!!
STORIES!!!

Post your story below for consideration
No edits may be made after posting
No submissions accepted after 13:00 EST Saturday July 25th
For the sake of keeping clutter to a minimum, please only post your stories in this thread from now on.
Feel free to comment, ask questions, thump your chest excitedly, etc. in the "Rules" thread!

Good Luck, Have Fun!

Edited by Bill Bullet, 21 July 2015 - 06:54 PM.


#2 Soulstrom

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 10:15 AM

My submission for the contest.
Title Undetermined

Spoiler



Google Doc: https://docs.google....dit?usp=sharing

Edited by Soulstrom, 23 July 2015 - 08:14 PM.


#3 Rip Snorgan

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 08:48 AM

I got a start on something that I'm pretty happy with. Hoping I have time to finish it before the weekend. :wacko:

#4 TygerLily

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 11:54 AM

Here is my story! Please let me know if the link permissions are incorrect. Thank you!

https://docs.google....dit?usp=sharing

EDIT: Added the story in the spoiler as well. Appreciate any comments!

Spoiler

Edited by TygerLily, 25 July 2015 - 06:37 AM.


#5 Scout Derek

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 12:43 PM

Hmm looks like I'll take a shot at this, I'm typing one up as of now

Can't type one, not enough time

Edited by Scout Derek, 24 July 2015 - 10:11 PM.


#6 Rhaythe

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 06:40 AM

BattleTech: "Deathgrip"
Google Doc: link

Click below to reveal story in its entirety:
Spoiler


#7 Timicon

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 05:20 PM

Damn, if I had known about this thread sooner, I definitely would have written something up for submission; now I am just kicking myself, since being a writer for a living (travel/tourism freelancer), I missed out on a nice opportunity to share something new with everyone. :-(

I hope you will hold these more often, Bill mate!
(and if you do, give me a heads up :-p)

#8 Timicon

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 04:42 AM

Not sure how to post it any other way like the others, but here is mine:

Per last will and testament the final hours of Leif Tanner's death, proudly facing the drongo of all House, the Davions, on the planet Corey. Although it was a close battle, Leif was finally overwhelmed by five Davions 'Mechs against his already smashed up Hunchback (Harumi) HBK04J. With only one large laser left and heat shutdown imminent, over-ride went into effect as two more shots from the large laser continued to score hits against a badly damaged Centurion and, as his last laser finally got sot out from under him as his torso got shredded, Leif knew it was the end. With the over-ride computer and critical damage indicator klaxons blaring all around the cockpit, deafening him, Leif felt his right leg buckle as an Panther added a PPC shot in relation to a Wolverine's auto cannon fire. With the heat build-up too much and the last of the LRMs stored in his right leg begin to cook off, causing the entire 'Mech to shudder violently and pitch into a forward fall that would either shatter the cockpit in contact or explode immediately as the artillery he called in seconds ago rained down their fire and destruction.
The Panther, its left arm completely blown away and limping badly on a right leg leaking 'Mech coolant at an alarming rate, swung around to cover its lance mates, as the Wolverine pushed itself away from a rock face, black smoke billowing from its many vents all along its chassis. Another 'Mech, a Shadow Hawk from another lance, hit its jump jets and scaled a rock face, its rear left torso now completely gone, its engine shielding all but visible.
But all of the enemy Davions survived, but the experience would prove invaluable for them in future battles. And Leif did not care. His thoughts lay elsewhere in his final moments. Of being back on his home world of Boardwalk, spending his childhood in the small farming community of Tara and wandering the bush land and streams surrounding the country side - his country side. Staring up at the clear stars on a warm Spring night by the water's edge, having already decided to be more than just a Servant in the Great Capellan Confederation, but a proud Citizen and at the rank of Assistant Force Leader, the journey ended.

#9 SourKraut91

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 01:43 PM

(I felt an homage to the greatest game ever made was required. As such, here it is.)

Looking over the burning wreckage of a Jade Falcon Hellbringer, I grimaced at the realization that while I had won it was only just so. My right torso was completely stripped of armour and the internal structure was damaged. The CASE unit that housed my LRM ammo was damaged and I had lost all my heat sinks there as well. The only useful thing left there was the Endo-Steel skeleton and myomer muscles that held the right arm in place. I was considering asking command for permission to withdraw for refit when the decision was made for me.

“This is HQ to any available units. We have 'Mechs down at nav gamma. Bravo Cadet reports four Summoners on-site. Bandits are hostile. Repeat, bandits are hostile.”

Having just finished with nav delta I realized that I was only a few hundred meters from gamma. Quickly changing frequency to the command channel, I made my intentions clear to command. Even before I got through however, I had already set my nav computer for the most direct route to gamma.

“HQ, this is Alpha Assault. I'm on my way, bearing zero-two-five.”

Perhaps it was that they felt no further instruction was needed. Perhaps it was my intentional use of contractions. Either way the trashborn Star Colonel who was giving the orders did not respond. As if to make up for the silence, Betty piped in with an update of my route to nav gamma.

“ETA thirty four seconds.”

Just as I began rounding the final bend to my destination, my comms were punctuated by a rather panicky sounding mechwarrior.

“Alpha Assault, this is Bravo Cadet. I've got bandits all over me g-get down here.”

The boy was clearly not paying attention to his surroundings as I was in plain view for the second half of his request for aid. His cockpit even looking straight at me when his torso scanned from left to right.

“Sit tight Bravo 3, I've got visual.”

Some of his training clearly stuck though as my impromptu star-mate began explaining his current combat readiness. Or lack-there-of in this case.

“Alpha hip actuator's out. Targeting systems damaged. I'm in bad shape”

I was about to order him to begin withdrawing while I covered him but again I was preempted as both my eyes saw a shadow move behind a stone pillar and Betty announced what I had already guessed.

“Enemy detected”

As if to hammer the point home in the most redundant way possible, Bravo Cadet decided that he too needed to warn me of the danger.

“Reading two of 'em, beyond the rise”

Part of me wanted to ask him if he knew that a Summoner was directly behind him or if he was simply taking the piss. Deciding that it was simply easier to deal with the threat then get out of here, I held the sarcasm out of my response.

“Roger, I've got 'em.”

Tracking the Summoner was as easy as looking up as the 'mech leapt into the air. Weather the warrior intended to simply avoid my weapons or actually land on the hapless Cadet was never known. It was at the apex of his jump that my cross hair finally tracked over the center of the 'mech. Betty, helpful as always, was kind enough to let me know that I had achieved a solid lock.

With the finality of a hangman pulling a lever, I squeezed the firing stub letting loose a storm of man made lightning in the form of two PPC's. Instantly, my cockpit was flooded with blistering heat as my remaining heatsinks struggled to compensate for the two powerful energy weapons. The heat was so intense that I began panting much like my Clan's namesake. Refusing to succumb to the intense discomfort, I watched as the energized particles slammed into the Summoner. The result was spectacular as the energy found its way into already exposed wounds along the left torso, licking at the inner components. That was all it took for the stored ammo for the LRM to touch off. In a brilliant flash of light and flame the 'mech vanished from existence. Only parts raining from the sky bearing witness to its passing.

Taking my first full breath since the Falcon warrior appeared, I realized something was very wrong. My lungs burned from the heat that still permeated my cockpit. Even with half my heatsinks gone it should still have started to dissipate by now.

“It's got a lock on me! It's got a lock on...”

I was not given the time to dwell on the issue as the panic stricken voice boomed through the comms. I watched, unable to do anything as LRM's streaked past my cockpit and tore into the side of Bravo-Three. The effect was instant and eerily similar to my fight with the Summoner as the missiles exploded inside the crippled Timberwolf. Fire blossomed from the stricken 'mech as heatsinks were destroyed and ammo cooked off. Finally the seventy five ton 'mech shuddered and slumped to the ground.

Following the propellant trail left by the missiles to their source, I found myself staring at yet another Summoner. This one in much better shape. Bringing my seventy five ton Omnimech to bear, I marched toward the Falcon warrior in defiance of the inevitable. Betty, undaunted by the current situation once again provided me with the targeting data I would require for this last fight.

The heat was still impossible to fight with. This left me with only my machine guns as a final option against the Falcon heavy 'mech. Letting loose with both simultaneously, I watched with mounting worry as the rounds simply glanced off the still armoured 'mech. Worry turned to dread as the Summoner raised its arm mounted PPC in what it hoped to be a killing blow. As fate would have it though, my weapons finally found purchase in the thinner plates of the PPC's casing, shredding the delicate inner working of the energy weapon. With a shower of sparks and discharged energy the weapon blew out it's own housing and was left a slagged wreck. With my weapons finally wearing down the thicker armour on the torso, I pressed my advantage. Instead of simply bouncing, my bullets were now finding holes in the armour that they could begin tearing apart the inner structure.

Realizing that the situation was quickly falling out of their favour, the Falcon warrior began backing away, twisting his torso to spread the damage from my onslaught. “Warning. Ammunition levels, critical.” The warning failed to register in my mind as my opponent raised his left arm to fire the LB 10-X autocannon it housed there. As his 'mech was not looking at me the shot was blind so therefore went wide. Moments later he vanished behind a stone pillar. Surely welcoming the cover, if only for a moment.

I watched as the Summoner came out from the other side, turning to face me in surely was our final exchange. Lining up my weapons with the now open torso, I once again pressed the firing stubs.

Click-click... “Weapons depleted.” Quickly changing over to my PPC's, I finally realized the problem. When I had fired on the first 'mech, the PPC's shielding had been destroyed, along with the internal shielding of my reactor... All of my weapons were gone and my 'mech was moments away from catastrophic failure.

A feeling of utter hopelessness enveloped me as the realization that I was going to die set in. Oddly, it did not last. The heat didn't seem as uncomfortable and the fear and exhaustion I had felt seemed to vanish with the realization that this was the end.

“Alpha Assault, this is HQ. What is your situation?” I couldn't help but laugh bitterly at the ironic timing. Not even bothering to answer, I watched as the Summoner leveled his autocannon at me. Closing my eyes, I never even knew he fired.

“Alpha Assault, this is HQ. What is your situation? Please comply...”

Edited by SourKraut91, 24 July 2015 - 11:35 PM.


#10 xX PUG Xx

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 03:28 PM

I have written this very quickly tonight, in appreciation of Bills effort in promoting the Fan Fiction side of our little community.

It is based loosely around the "alternative" timeline we find ourselves in now with Community Warfare and the possible events that could have came about if ComStar had failed at the Battle of Tukayyid

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

25th July 3050
Nanking
Federated Commonwealth

Tamara Cole cursed under her breath as the Clan PPC caught her Griffin on the left shoulder ‘another one of those and I’ll lose a launcher’ she thought to herself, twisting the ‘Mechs torso and angling to a stand of trees. The battle had been raging for over an hour now and showed no sign of abating, the Wolf’s wanted this world and it seemed there was little The Corp could do to stop them. Only two months previous the planet had been so far from the frontlines with the invading Clans that it was laughable to conceive of a full Galaxy of OmniMech’s assaulting it.

“Yeah and ComStar was a peaceful organisation, with no Armies hidden up their sleevies” Tamara spoke aloud “Say again Six?” came a reply over the tactical channel “I said where’s the ComGuard when you need them?” she replied, trying to cover her faux pas. “Well the last any of us heard, they were licking their wounds on Ingress. Not much left of them once the Clans were done but you’d think they would still try and help.” Came another voice over the channel but this one Tamara didn’t recognise. The loss of Terra to the Clans after the Battle of Tukayyid had gutted ComStar as surely as the battle itself had almost destroyed their military arm; the ComGuard. A month long battle on the little known farming planet had pitted one hundred and forty four Regiments of the ComGuard against twenty five Galaxies of Clan warriors, the largest single battle the Inner Sphere had ever seen.

Since then the Clans had swept through all defensive lines and now threatened the Federated Suns, Tamara’s Unit, The Corp, had turned into a hodgepodge of solo Warriors, demi-Companies and Lances from over a dozen different commands and nations. The Clan juggernaut had sundered most lanes of travel from one side of the Inner Sphere to the other without extensive detours via circuitous routes. Even then the occasional raid from one House sponsored Unit or Mercenary group flared up and made cross border travel a logistical nightmare. So stranded Warriors or small Units merged together with the age old premise of safety in numbers but all it seemed to do was draw the attention and wraith of the Clans.

Tamara cursed the ComGuard, ComStar and the Clans in one long expletive filled tirade, remembering to turn off her mic pickup beforehand, then switched it back on and called to the 2IC of the short Company around her position “Gunderson get us some air support, we’re pushing to the foothills and we’re going to punch a hole back to ours lines.”, “Roger that Six” Gunderson replied and went quiet for about sixty seconds, time enough for Tamara to take stock of her ‘Mech. The Griffin was showing massive losses of armour protection across the front left side torso and right leg, while one of the Medium class lasers on the right arm had been gutted. Before she could begin to worry too much about her lack of ammunition Gunderson’s voice came back over the tactical frequency “I'm not sure what the Armoured Cav have left but it’ll be here in ten minutes, they promise to throw back the puppies enough to let us break out” Tamara sighed, at least they had a chance “Roger that Gunderson, all commands; be ready to push for the hills, form up in an echelon right and push hard. Focus on my primary, Heavies and Assaults first, stick together and keep moving”. The chorus of affirmatives buoyed her and she watched as the timer counted down to the air cover arriving, then the sky tore apart.

The screams of incoming artillery were drowned out by the crash and boom of the explosive warheads kicking dirt, shrapnel and ‘Mech armour into the air. One shell impacted directly through the cockpit of a hapless Blackjack Medium ‘Mech, the machine toppled to the ground with wisps of smoke trailing from the gutted head assembly. The tactical frequency became a mess of overlapping reports and panicked calls for help; Tamara tried desperately to figure out what direction to move her command, then they appeared.

Over a rise two kilometres away a full Trinary of Clan Wolf OmniMech’s stormed over the low hills and pressed toward Tamara’s position, fronted by a Star of deadly Daishi Assault class ‘Mechs. The distinctive glow of coil discharge from Gauss rifles heralded the arrival of a half dozen basketball sized, hypersonic metal slugs; the effects were devastating. A pair of ageing JagerMech Heavy ‘Mechs were caught by five of the incoming rounds, the first ‘Mech simply disintegrated as three of the slugs tore through the paper thin armour on the side torso and breached the physical shielding of the Fusion engine. The pilot attempted to bank the reactor but when the escaping heat began to cook off ammunition for the ‘Mechs triple UAC5 weaponry; she punched out just in time to escape the growing blossom of explosions ripping the ‘Mech apart from the inside. The second Jager took two rounds through the cockpit, an almost impossible shot at the range but the decapitated ‘Mech faltered mid step and toppled over; the sickening crunch of crushed armour broke Tamara from her shock induced stare “ All commands; break cover and retreat. Forget about getting to the foot hills, those Daishi’s will tear us apart; check your tactical map and rendezvous at grid reference Alpha-seven-six-niner. Confirm” a handful of voices called an acknowledgement and Tamara knew she wouldn't be hearing the missing voices again.

As she began to move her Griffin out of the treeline she caught movement in the sky to the West of the Clan formation, four AeroSpace fighters dove through the clouds and angled across their line of advance. Each fighter let loose with a PPC and followed up with a flurry of Medium class lasers as the ranges dwindled in the blink of an eye. Just as Tamara was breathing thanks to the four Armoured Cavalry pilots, another two Lances of Heavy fighters broke through the murky cloud ceiling at different angles and criss-crossed the now stalled Clan Wolf OmniMech’s. “Gunderson just how many ‘fighters did the Cav say they had left?” as she waited for the answer Tamara watched as a Ryoken OmniMech disappeared in a golden firestorm; the fusion reactor breaching its containment in spectacular fashion. Gunderson came back on the tactical frequency and she could tell from his tone that he was worried “Six, those aren't the Cav. They lost all three of their fighters to antiaircraft fire just after launching. We have no idea who they belong to but shouldn't we use their work to get ourselves out of here?”

Before she was able to reply a wailing, droning noise filled the airwaves and Tamara cried “What the hell is that?” but nothing seemed get past the tone and she noticed the cloud cover directly above the Clan Wolf formation begin to roil and bubble, the dark grey clouds then began to glow blue. She watched amazed as a trio of huge Excalibur DropShip’s emerged with cargo bay doors open, raining autocannon, laser and missile fire along with JumpJet equipped BattleMech’s on top of the Clanners. ‘Who in the hell are they?’ She thought to herself and then noticed an amber light flashing on the communications console, slapping the key to open a channel she herd the distinctive tones of a Scottish accent

“The Star League Defence Force sends its greetings an’ the Black Watch wid like tae offer oor assistance. Let’s throw these Clanners back tae where they came frae”

#11 Deux

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 04:14 PM

i know it might be two short...and prolly wont win lol but oh well here goes.

Midnight
Overlord dropship "The Crows Nest"

Red free floated out of the lift into the Nests Mech bays. Six years ago Red had been a tech working at Helion Mech depot. During one of his shifts he had just finished putting the final touchs on a refit pack on a 75 ton Orion battlemech,when the mech raid sirens went off. A lance of medium raider mechs had been spotted closing on the factory,probably looking to steal parts and componentry.

Red had jumped into the Orion and marched it out to face the raiders, as the local militia mechs were 20 minutes out. By the time the Militia arrived they found Red sitting on the foot of the badly damaged Orion, but all around him were the burning remains of the enemy mechs. It was at this time the mech jockey buzz grabbed hold of red, he quit his jump and joined up to a minor merc company,were he was a techno warrior responsible for alot of his units inventive loadouts.2 years later he was noticed and recruited by the The Crows.

"Hey Prop, we have finished the dock up to the Dropship Heavens Star. They have appropriated all the functions mechs in the command to be redistributed to less ravaged units, and left us a ship full of broken ones that maybe with a wish and a prayer we can salvage a company from."

Prop just grunted, dark circles under his eyes from lack of sleep and the strain of his shattered command. "Also it looks like your hammer is scrapped, we could only use it for parts".

"So what's does the damage look like.?"
Red scratched his head,"Well your the only hunchie slotted pilot we got, so we should be able to get one of those up and running for you." Prop sighed and shook his head." Well atleast it's a ride"

Red reached into his vest pocket and pulled out a sealed envelope and handed it to prop."also sealed orders were delivered to you"

Prop took the envelope and opened it." Alright red assemble everyone in the command room 15 minutes and we we disscuss what's happening."

15 minutes later the surviving warriors were gathered around the large command table with prop sitting at the lead." Ok folks I just received word from command, we are jumping back to Robinson,for rest and rearm. We are going to be brought up to full strength but in the mean time we are are going to help garrison the planet as command will be moving other Regimental Combat Teams forward."

Everyone sat in silence, for a house unit this was almost as bad as being told they were only good for garrisoning backwater worlds where they will be buried and forgotten ."Next for the time being,we are reasigning the unit in to one company.

Shaw will be heading up the Reserves with the few replacements we will be getting, now you have 5 days till we jump,I suggest you get to know your mechs.dismissed."

No one moved...all eyes turned to Prop, each persons eyes said it all. Everyone wondered if this was the end of their combat careers.

#12 Bill Bullet

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 06:14 PM

DUE TO SOME CONFUSION ABOUT EDITS, I HAVE CHANGED THE RULES TO ALLOW EDITS TO STORIES UNTIL THE DEADLINE EXPIRES ON SATURDAY AT 13:00 EST. ALL THOSE WHO HAVE POSTED STORIES SO FAR WILL BE INFORMED OF THIS CHANGE VIA PM.

EDITS MADE AFTER 13:00 EST ON SATURDAY 7/25/15 WILL RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION.

#13 cgibboney

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 07:31 PM

I wrote this as if I was writing home to my parents within the Battletech universe. Telling them about my adventures and exploits during the Darkages. It was fun to write and I like this character writing the letter home.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Mother,

I hope you have been getting my correspondence since I dropped out of N.I.A.S. I haven’t received any letters back and I hope you guys are still not upset at me. I know dad pulled a lot of strings to get me in there, and it was a great learning experience, but just not for me. The instructors were too hard and I broke. How is Angelica, I know she looked up to her big brother. She must think I am a failure too. Tell her not to worry.

I know last I wrote you I was working mining gigs on asteroids, but I received a piloting job. That should make you proud. I have been in this outfit named the Fire Cougars for about two months now. Yes; they are a mercenary group and we work out of Galatea so it is legit. I like it, we get paid ever week and I have been on four missions already. My lance-mates are all veterans of the Jyhad and I am the rookie. They do not let me forget it either. I even get to pilot a Hunchback. That is what Dad piloted, right?

The Fire Cougars are relatively new; so you and Dad might not have heard of them yet, but we have all the fixings of a regular merc group. I love riding the dropship down to planet side and the rush for a few seconds when my mech is free-falling. I do not want you to worry, I have only dropped hot once, and the rest were way out beyond perimeter defenses. The last mission was awesome, I thought we were dead to rights, but we pulled a win out of nowhere.

My lance-mates are fun guys. Their names are Cramer, Dylan, and Peter. I am not allowed to use their call signs, so for now those are the names I will be using. Cramer is a hot head and a risk taker. Dylan makes up for Cramer’s death wish by being overly cautious. Dylan is also the lance commander. They have known each other for a long time, but they do not talk about their past very often. Last is Peter, he is a jokester and he is my closest friend. He is around my age and we took to each other quickly.

It started like any other normal mission, a calm drop with expected resistance. I was in a new Hunchback, Cramer was in an old pre-Jyhad era Atlas, Dylan piloted an old but refurbished Raven for scouting, and Peter was in a Madcat that was retrofitted with sphere tech. We encountered resistance early when we stumbled upon some infantry and a couple of light hover tanks protecting a checkpoint that wasn’t on our maps. After that skirmish was takin care of we proceeded towards the objective, an old water treatment plant on a Draconis planet.

Cramer never listens, arrogant as always he begins to move up the hillside. Dylan updates our tactical maps with his from the scans. “Ambush!” he calls out. The snakes were waiting for us over the hill. Well I am sure dad has told you from his many war stories, you don’t just stop an Atlas once it’s in motion. Cramer’s Atlas crested over the hill and immediately started taking fire. Peter was moving in for a flank and Dylan was trying to avoid long range missile fire. Not knowing exactly what was on the other side I knew I could not let him be the only target up there.

I crested over the hill to his left and promptly see three medium mechs firing upon Cramer. I lined up a shot with my autocannon and nervously fired an alpha strike at this poor guy in a Wolverine luckily taking out his right arm from that dumb action. This guy was moving in to engage the Atlas and didn’t even see me. Now he was less of a threat to everyone without his weapon arm. I glanced across the hilltop to see what else we were up against. My cautiousness cost me, because I was now the target of a Catapult that was previously targeting Dylan.

Missiles reigned down upon me and there was no cover up here to hide behind. I also knew that I couldn’t leave Cramer up here engaging three abused but still functional mechs. While I tied up the enemy Hunchback in a firefight I took volley after volley of missile fire, severely damaging my autocannon and my left arm as I held it above my head to shield it from missiles. By the time Peter came out of the woods to surprise the Catapult, shutting him down rapidly; Cramer finished the blackjack off. The pilots and support staff quickly surrendered after that.

All and all, it was intense. Good thing they surrendered when they did; apparently they had two old Rommel tanks parked at the gates to the water treatment plant and PPC defensive turrets. Little did they know that we were close to surrender as well. Cramer’s Atlas couldn’t move anymore and only had an autocannon left. I only had a medium laser on my right arm remaining. Dylan might as well have been a pair of walking legs. The only thing we had going for us is the Madcat took no damage. Did I mention that Peter is extremely lucky?

Cramer still will not admit that it was a stupid move but he has to be regretting it at some level. Maybe he is just that hard headed. I even got a recommendation of valor from my commanding officer that was watching from a UAV. It isn’t a medal or anything, just recognition. Better than a swift kick in the ass, like dad always said. I hope you guys proud of me now. I get leave at Christmas and was hoping I could come home this year. Please write me back, not being able to talk through the H.P.G. sucks and I don’t even know if you are getting these letters.

Well it is lights out now, I will write again soon.

Sincerely and with love,

Charles

#14 Harper Steel

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 09:12 PM

21st May 3050
Nadir Jump point
The Rock System

The Clan Warship NightWarrior, a Carrack-class transport, materialized into being sending out a cascade of neutrinos in every direction. The 300,000 ton vessel was over 300 meters long and 100 meters at its widest, studded with windows, sensors and weapon ports. The NightWarrior was painted in a light gray that reflected The Rock systems yellow sun brightly off her hull. There was a huge Clan Wolf symbol painted on both sides of the majestic ship that appeared a bright blood red in the starlight. Dozens of tiny diamonds of light sparkled from hundreds of porthole and window spread out along both flanks of the vessel. With a crew of one-hundred-sixty-five and almost that many passengers and over 70,000 tons of cargo, the NightWarrior was crowded. With the protective armor cover fully retracted the sunlight beamed through the huge twenty foot tall bridge windows bathing the bridge in yellow light. The bridge had two stories of rows of the many stations and sub stations along the back wall facing forwards. A stairs and catwalk crossed in front of the massive bridge window, it had a railing for quick weightless travel from one side of the rows top tier to the other. There was a large round, raised platform in the center of the huge bridge. It was the ships main halo-hpg platform, used for real-time communication with the rest of Clan wolf. Behind that was a large halo-table use for strategic and tactical planning, the ships three primary officers were all standing around the table.
There was a three-dimensional representation of the star system currently being displayed and the officers were talking and pointing out spots in the system. A communications officer called out," Sir I have Wolf System Control on comms they are ready to upload our in system navigation plot."
"Very well", replied the captain as he turned away from the halo-table, "Navigation prepare to receive upload."
"Sir Navigation ready", came the instant reply.
" Comms signal Wolf System control that we are ready, Navigation once you have the upload confirm our course then program the auto-systems and take us in system. Engineering section I want the solar sail deployed and both the Lithium-fusion batteries and the Kearny-Fuchida Drive fully recharged. We are in a Hostile space people I want this ship ready for action at a moments notice." The last part was meant for the bridge as a whole.
" Sir," Communications spoke up again," I have a message from Wolf High Command for you."
The ships captain walked with a slight ripping sound from his Velcro-booties over to the Communication station.
Up on the right side of the catwalk floated two figures, Star Colonel Greystoke stood with his mate Star Captain Ambush, Both lightly touching the toes of their Velcro-booties to the deck. Grey and Ambush had been reassigned to the Training Command and ordered to the Inner Sphere. Both had been silently watching The Rocks sun, It was the first Inner Sphere sun they had seen, and it was a moment they were sharing together. Many of the Clans felt about the Worlds of the Inner Sphere like how 20th century society felt about the Garden of Eden, It was a mythical sacred place. Greystoke reached up and wiped his eyes, for some reason they were leaking, he looked at his life long friend and she too had eyes that glistened. He smiled at her, looking back at the vista of stars," Just think all those suns are of the Inner Sphere. The worlds our ancestors fought to protect, the worlds the great father fought for, and that Nicholas Kerensky was born on."
"I know," She replied," and one of them is Terra."
Greystoke noticed the NightWarriors captain down below next to the ships communication station, the man motioned for Greystoke to come down.
"Stay here and enjoy the view I must see what our captain requires," Grey said as he let go of Ambushes shoulder and kicked off the floor. The Wolf warrior crossed the distance to the halo-table with expert zero-g precision. Flipping upright he landed next to the Man. He was a Star Captain so technically Greystoke outranked him but it was the Star Captains ship so Grey deferred to him.
The Captain leaned towards Grey and lowered his voice," We have received a distress signal from one of Wolfs HPG repeater stations core ward of OberonIV. Wolf Command has asked our charge status and combat readiness. We have the charge in our lithium-fusion batteries to make the jump, But the call is yours as this is a Combat Operation."
"Signal Wolf Command were are in rout and jump us as soon as the HPG navigation station is ready," Star Colonel Greystoke said without hesitation.
The Captain nodded and began barking out orders to his officers, the ship would quickly be prepared for combat. Grey kicked off of the deck and floated straight up, twisting so he faced his mate, She had been watching and was already inbound to his position floating with her arms out stretched in front of her. Grey let her float by and at the last minuet he grabbed her legs being pulled behind her and slowing her progress. The two slowed and slowly descended together to land in front of the bridge exit hatch. Star Colonel Greystoke sent Star Captain Ambush to prepare their Sibkin and Cadets for battle, while he stayed on the bridge, telling her he would join her shortly. Grey floated back to the Captains side.

As soon as the universe reformed around the NightWarriors Captain he began barking out orders," Helm engage pre-plotted orbital insertion course, Sensors scan for hostile vessels, Communications I want a line to the Repeater station open at all times."
"Sir," the sensor station officer spoke up urgently," I have two jumpships in orbit, They have detected us and are already furling their solar sails."
"Sir," this was the communications officer," we have coded communications between the ships and ground forces."
Greystoke was standing nearby the ships Star Captain listening and watching, the man turned to grey," You had better get to your dropship Star Colonel this might get bumpy." Star Colonel Greystoke smiled and shook the Star Captains hand before kicking off through the exit hatch. Star Colonel Greystoke and Star Captain Ambush were escorting a Trinary of new Sibs and Cadets to the Inner Sphere. Ready in their Battlemech drop cocoons snuggled in one of the two Union Class dropships locked into the NichtWarriors docking collars. On the upper mech deck was the Star Colonels mech, next was Star Captain Ambush, fretting in her cockpit wondering where Grey was. Then in place around the deck was Cadets, Cale Swift, 9Iceman9, and Ansolloc. On the deck below starting with three battlemech cocoon's around the middle dropship core was Cadets Arbeon Wolf, Gryphon and Hinz. And on the outside ring of mech cocoons was Sibkin Krymsin, Cypher, Caryle, Xaxanoulis, Kreatus Lucina and Varrus Meridius.
Back on the bridge the lights had been turned to red to reflect battlestations, the light made the Star Captain's grim features seem demonic. Both of the enemy Jumpships had begun accelerating up out of orbit in an obvious attempt to escape. One had turned and was heading away from the planet at a 90 degrees angle, its main drive sending a massive jet behind the ship. the other one was accelerating around the planet attempting to put it between the enemy jumpship and the NightWarrior.
"Sensors picking up several contacts lifting out of the atmosphere, Six in total. Sir, They are enemy leopard class dropships, they are attempting to reach the fleeing jumpships," the sensor officer reported.
"Weapons Officer you are free to fire on those ships as soon as you can," The captain said then turned back to the sensor officer," Are the jumpships slowing down for the dropships."
"Neg."
"Killer whale missiles away, Targeting Jumpships first sir," the weapons officer reported first, then." Second volley away targeting dropships."
The Carrack Class ship bucked twice as two volleys of the huge self propelled missiles were launched. The ship then began to shudder as the Navel Auto cannons and Navel ERPPC's opened fire at maximum range on the first enemy jumpship.
The bridge was quiet as the first jumpship continued to get larger in the main viewscreen, then bright spots began to blossom across the enemy ships flank.
"Direct hits with ACs ,Sir," then more explosions but they showed a tint of blue. " ERPPCs hits to, Sir."
Then the enemy ship seemed to shudder and both ends began to separate in the center, then a bright flash flared from the break destroying the ship.
" Killer Whale missile hit sir, enemy ship destroyed," the weapons officer echoed what everyone had seen.
The captain had moved over to stand next to the sensor officer who was leaning over his techs station.
"Will the dropships make it to the other jumpship," The Captain asked.
looking up at his commander the officer replied," The first one to lift off has taken and intercept course around the planet and he should make it, but as fast as he is accelerating he can not have a full load of battlemechs. The others have no chance now."
The tech said to both officers and pointed to the screen," Four of them have turned back towards the planet, one has changed course coming towards us now. The other three will make it into the atmosphere before our missiles reach them sir."
Then the Communications officer spoke up," we are receiving a surrender request from that ship Sir."
Smiling the Captain said, "Good send a heave to order to them with orbital coordinates so we can pick them up. Weapons officer, self destruct the second wave of missiles."
"Aye, Sir, message sent."
"Aye, Sir, missiles destroyed."
On the sensor screen the dropships dot of light winked out and its telemetry data simply read destroyed. " Humm," The Captain said to the sensor officer," They must of had a deadmans self-destruct. Any enemy message they received would destroy the craft.
"Helm put us into an intercept orbit for that fleeing jumpship, Docking control launch our Dropship, lets get our Trinary on the Ground. Six enemy Leapord Class dropships could mean as many as twenty-four enemy battlemechs. And signal Star Colonel Greystoke and inform him of his odds and wish him good hunting."

Twenty-Four hours later after a brutal ground campaign and the last enemy Jumpship in orbit was destroyed. Star Colonel Greystoke sat in his battered Timberwolf Omnimech, The old machine had served him well over the years. His mate Star Captain Ambush1 reminded him on more than one occasion he spent more time with his Timberwolf than his wife. Marriage was still an old Terran tradition the Clan trueborns still honored. The lowercasts had always used marriage and even still followed many different religions. The Founder of the Clan Nicholas Kerensky had never meant for marriage to be phased out of the trueborns life but in the early years of the Clans it seem that would be the case. However over the preceding decades trueborns began to revisit many older terran traditions along with creating many new ones of their own.
Looking around the dusty cockpit Grey noticed several new cracks along the bottom of the forward windshield.
"Humm, those are new," he said aloud. Greystoke often caught himself talking to the Omni as if it was alive.
" Well why shouldn't I treat you like your alive, Old Girl, You've saved my life more times than I can count," He told the machine.
The cockpit comm unit beeped then crackled something unintelligible. Frowning Grey hit the comm panel with his right fist, it buzzed static and then a clear voice came through.
"Star Colonel we have finished cleaning up the last of the stragglers, no bondsmen were taken. As we surmised they are committing suicide rather than being taken," Star Captain Ambush1 reported. " Cadets Caryle, Xaxanoulis, Kreatus Lucina , Varrus Meridius and myself are returning to the group."
"Aff, Star Captain, move instead to our dropships, we are almost done here and I want to get to Wolf command as quickly as possible," The Old Wolf warrior responded.

Greystoke and Ambush had only had a few moments of peace in the Inner Sphere before the never ending battles that marked a warriors life returned. They had been redirected to an unnamed system with a Wolf HPG repeater station. The stations main purpose was to pickup HPG traffic and boost it and redirect it to another station further along the Exodus Road, this insured almost instantaneous communication between the Clan Home Worlds and the occupation zones in the Inner Sphere.
Greystokes transport ship, a Carrack-class transport, named NightWarrior, Had been redirected to the system to stop an Inner Sphere units raid. The enemy had two jumpships in orbit and after two short space battles the Clan Warship had triumphed. Greystoke and Ambush had led a Trinary of Wolf Sibkin and cadets to the ground and defeated the enemy mechs trying to steal clan secrets. They had no unit markings and their mechs had been rigged to self destruct rather that being captured. Grey was tired and sore, he had spent the last twenty-four hours in his Timberwolf, leading the defense and then cleanup of the station. He was ready for a sonic shower and a long promised dinner with Ambush in the Inner Sphere.
Triggering his mechs Comm unit he selected, 'All unit', and bradcast to his Trinary.
"All mechs return to our Dropship and prepare to leave this station, We are done hear Wolves lets get into the Inner sphere and join the push to Terra."
A string of 'Seyla's' came across the channel as his Sibkin and Cadets moved to obey.

Edited by DeejayM, 24 July 2015 - 11:52 PM.


#15 BafGandalf

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 09:52 PM

Hope you like this.



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#16 Chafe

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 10:14 PM

Massive props for organising this Bill, awesome to see so many great entries coming in.

Mines a bleak tale of a war weary mechwarrior, hope you enjoy it.

Find it here: https://docs.google....dit?usp=sharing


Included here for completeness but the forums ruined the formatting and sprayed tags all over it:
(now reformatted for readability)
Spoiler

Edited by Chafe, 30 July 2015 - 08:10 PM.


#17 Wild_Alaskan

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 10:25 PM

If only I'd heard about this sooner...

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#18 VoodooLou Kerensky

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 11:28 PM

Pretty cool thing to do

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Good luck everyone!

#19 Ronyn

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 11:46 PM

Beans.

That was the meal I had eaten. Beans. I would have thought that the stories may have been true. People that know their last meal is their next have been given the choice of their favorite. That's what the books said at least. Not here, not this time, not now. I close my eyes and pretend it wasn't beans, but one of the many buffets at Solaris. I concentrate until I can almost taste it. That is until the drumming footfalls echo in the distance and I break my own spell.

My eyes open and I squeeze the control stick in my hand. I don't do anything but feel the pressure in my hand. Not yet. Soon, but not yet.

Now all I have is the taste on my tongue of the starches left behind and the uneasiness in my stomach from those damned beans. The chill has begun to set in, they said it would. Not only the cold seeping into the darkened cockpit, but the dreaded loneliness I feel in my chest. I'm going to die alone out here on this frozen world and no one will know about it until some salvage crew pries my corpse from the wreckage in search of a quick cred. I hope when I go the damned engine blows. Then there won't be much left for anyone.

I can't use comms, that would give away my position. I can't start the engine to get some heat in here, that would give away everything else. What use is a sacrificial lamb if he's already met the butcher before the wolf has a chance to chase him?

I clasp my hands together and rub them against each other. I close my eyes and give a heated blow onto the digits, it helps, even if only a little. With my hands still together, I bring them to my lips and keep my eyes closed while I give a quick prayer. I don't really know to whom, just someone or something that might eventually be able to hear. To be honest, I don't care. In less than a few minutes, I'll be food for the worms. I only hope Laura will be safe. I can still taste her lips when I think about it. It's sure as hell better than the beans.

The reverberations in the distance bring me back. They are closer now, constantly on the move. I can feel the tremors in the battlemech's gyro's. I can even begin to pick out the individuals now. They said it would be two Stars. That's what they said the Clans called them, Stars. Five mechs per Star and double that. Each one capable of reigning their own specific array of death on me. A shiver works its way up my spine.

Thirty minutes. That's how much time Laura and the others said they needed before they could reach the Hyper Pulse Station. The Com guards promised that if we could make it, they'd help us in any way they could. I only hope they know what they are talking about. I told them I could give them three minutes, maybe five tops. I know the route I plan to take once I have their attention. Up the old cliff out passed Saunders Pass. If I can make it to the cliff, I may be able to take one or two of them with me, with a hefty injection of luck that is. They say luck favors the bold, I sure as hell hope that's true. Even I know that this Hermes isn't going to be able to take much more than a single hit, so we stripped out everything it had. I've only got a single short ranged laser left and the original flamer and that's only good enough to get their attention. But it can run, and that's what I intend to do with it.

Rocks in the cave above my head begin to break loose. I hold my breath as if they may be able to hear me if I did breathe. I can hear them, each individual one. Hundreds of tons of metal and it's marching over top of the old mine that I'm hidden inside of. Good thing I've never been claustrophobic or I'd be screaming bloody murder right about now.

My hand hovers over the ignition switch and I count backwards from ten. When I reach five I finally let out my breathe. How long was I holding that? The last mech has already passed overhead and I know, it's now or never. If the convoy is ever going to make it, I have to do this. I flip the switch and almost instantly I feel the hum and heat of the antique 270. It's old, older than I am by far and it takes a moment before I feel any response in the controls. But they are there, and it wants to run, I can feel it. That's what this baby was made to do. Flames of the gods stenciled onto the sides couldn't make this baby any faster.

The massive footfalls overhead haven't noticed me yet, at least they give no indication they have. I guess that's a good thing. I inch the Hermes into the moonlight and peer above me toward the edge of the valley wall. I can see the last of the hulking giants illuminated at the edge of the hilltop trees. It's back is turned as it continues onward toward the convoy that carries my family, friends and most of all, Laura. These clanners can't be allowed to take her. I've heard stories about what they do to hostages. The very thought of my beloved living the rest of her days as an indentured slave makes my blood begin to boil.

I take one last deep breathe and hover the sights over where I saw the last mech disappear into the woods.Without a second thought, I thumb the trigger and then immediately activate the flamer to light the trees above the hill and below alight. They are most certainly going to know I'm here but they are going to have a hell of a time finding me.

I have only begun to take the first of my many steps when the first mech pushes through the fire. I see a pulse of light and the Hermes shudders. Red lights illuminate the interior for a moment and the readout notifies me that the entire right arm has been stripped of everything, including the lone laser and my only hope of providing an offense, as meager as it was.

Two more of the lumbering beasts push through the fire and that is the last I stay to notice. The roar of the engine vibrates into the cockpit as I push the engine harder than it has done in my lifetime. With the wind at my back and the flamer pulsing to life with every step of the way, I send an open comms to any that will hear me.

"Catch me if you can Clanners. Tonight you lemmings are gonna ride the trail of fire with me straight to hell!"

#20 R 13

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 12:27 AM

A slight embellishment of some pseudo-actual shenanigans...from the other perspective.

Battlemech actuators, as with all mechanical systems, have limits. Engineers design the actuators to perform to specified limits. The manufacturers dutifully print those limits in the technical manuals distributed with each new ‘mech. War college professors and instructors, in-turn, drill these same printed limits into their cadets minds such that they are not questioned….never questioned.

This indoctrination, while necessary for continuity in military schools, can lead to unfortunate bouts of one-dimensional thought. After all, the difference between a good commander and a great one lies in one’s willingness to test limits…

The whump of a large chunk of slush on his cockpit glass jarred Corporal Darren Rogers out of his trance. Shaking his head to clear the cobwebs, Rogers checked his sensors and location marker. His lance, on point for the rest of Able Company, had arrived at the edge of search grid G9, less than a klick away from where the satellite feed indicated the unidentified dropship had gone to ground.

“Able 1, this is Bird-Dog, we have reached the target grid. We show nothing on scope.” As he throttled back and awaited a reply, Rogers scanned the terrain. The former access road snaked up the steep incline in front of him, barely discernable under the snow. To his left, on top of a steep crag, he could make out the icicle-adorned remains of a Star League era communications array. To his right rose a sheer granite wall; part of a jagged ridgeline separating the valley he had just traversed from a large basin on the other side. That basin sheltered the derelict fire base in which Able Company anticipated finding their quarry.

The radio crackled, “Able Company, this is Able 1. We are in formation. Everyone weapons hot, the engagement zone will be grid Fox 10”. Rogers throttled-up his Orion, falling into formation as his lance’s Raven took point, bringing its advanced sensors to bear.

The plan was straightforward…most good ones are. Protected by a near-vertical ridge, the basin only provided two points of egress that didn’t involve walking off a 100-meter cliff. A recent avalanche had closed one of those. All Able Company had to do was use the last viable exit as a chokepoint and force the enemy to either sit, besieged, in the abandoned fire base or walk straight into a firing line.

Whump! Rogers jumped a bit as another, larger, chunk of slush slapped the Transpex and re-solidified as it slid down his viewplate.

“Why is there friggin’ slush?!” the corporal thought aloud. “It’s got to be negative 60 C out there!”

Hell, the only time he had ever seen anything resembling liquid water this far north was underneath a…..

His blood ran cold as his mind struggled to process the implications of that thought. He forced himself to pull back on the right ‘stick and started to look up towards the cliff face. His radio crackled again.

“Able 1, this is Bloodhound….I’ve got something on sens…”

The snow in front of Rogers’ Orion exploded, flash frosting his viewplate. Reflexively switching to thermal imaging as a string of expletives streamed over the now-open channel, Darren froze.

Bloodhound’s Raven had utterly ceased to exist, its mangled carcass crushed into the snow and barely recognizable. Avalanche? Rock Slide? No…That boulder is moving and it looks like a..

“F$%king Banshee!! Open fire! Open fire! Spread out!” Able 1’s frantic voice barked.

Before any of them could react, more massive gouts of snow and ice shot up around and among Able company’s now-scrambling ‘mechs as more assailants “splashed” in their midst. The Banshee had already managed to cut Roger’s Orion nearly in half with a withering hail of autocannon fire. That ‘mech’s onslaught was now joined by fusillade of missiles, lasers, and particle beams from every direction.

Within two minutes not a single ‘mech from Able Company remained functional. Coolant streamed down the slope through runnels in the snow packs, ‘mech limbs, shards of armor, and shell casings littered the otherwise pristine white floor of the valley. Reactor shutdown klaxons still blared from several fallen ‘mechs, and a large snow-melt swimming pool marked where one reactor’s safety measures had failed.

The Orion’s hulk lay on its back, half shaded by the cliffs as the sun set behind them.

“Impossible!” thought Corporal Rogers for the dozenth-or-so time, as he stared upwards towards the spider-webbed Transpex; status indicators illuminating the eerily-quiet cockpit like some number of hateful holiday lights.
All but one of those demon pilots managed to keep his ‘mech upright and moving after a 100 meter vertical drop. That should have destroyed the actuators. Everything he’d read at academy said that what just happened was impossible. Yet here he was, left arm numb, right ankle dislocated, lying on a frozen mountain in half of an Orion.

He tried again to reach his radio toggle.

Loosening his harness to get another inch, his fingertips just reached the toggle when the coms crackled for a final time. Rogers froze at the gravelly, accented voice…

“Jenga, mudderf%&kahs.”

Edited by R 13, 25 July 2015 - 12:31 AM.






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