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Prelude To The Purge

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#1 William Draven


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Posted 07 February 2017 - 05:55 PM

Zoey's Nightmare

~Zoey started panicking as she heard the sounds of missile warnings, she dove behind the nearest volcanic outcropping. Her Hunchback, which she had worked on with WIlliam, and named Fury, took damage and lost the left arm as the splash damage from the LRMs came from over the nearby ridge. Her mech was in critical condition, and she tried to reroute power and keep it from overheating and shutting down.

She scoured the battlefield for any allied 'Mechs she could find, seeing all of the Legion of Steel mechs either smouldering messes of twisted metal and debris, or retreating as the Dropship came to evacuate them. She knew running for the Dropship would be the death of her, so she had to stay put. Panicking, she scanned the field again, looking between blinding flashes of magma jets and trying to stay hidden. She heard the loud clanging of BattleMech steps and readied her remaining 2 medium pulse lasers and SRMs preparing for a vengeful last stand. "I will die in battle, not of old age and cowardice!" she growled, preparing to fire.

There was brief relief, however, as she saw Wrath moving toward her.

A communication came through, garbled by the magnetic interference, but still WIlliam.

"Zoey, will you stand and fight as I will, or do you want me to cover you as you make for the dropship? This is where we must part ways if you stay with the Legion." his voice stated, calmly, but with a hint of affection and obvious respect. "You have fought well, and you are free to choose your own path. Mine with the Legion ends here." He finished.

"Like I'd run, William. Let's face the end of this battle together, one way or the other." she stated, proving her warrior spirit to him, and anyone listening.

Looking at the Dropship, she realized the Legion was leaving without them. "To hell with the Legion for abandoning us." she muttered.

Having found her courage, Fury moved to Wrath's side, despite the damage is had sustained, and she saw that Wrath was not much better off than her. The main arm was gone, leaving only LRMs and medium lasers.

"To battle then." William stated with pride in his voice over the commlink. She had made him proud to fight with her.

She saw a full lance of shadowy black 'Mechs approaching, which despite the light in the environment seemed to be black holes in existence. They towered over the Centurion and Hunchback and their weapons had a glow of seemingly supernatural nature to her. As they approached, they seemed to grow larger and larger, the darkness of their forms swallowing their mechs into blackness.~

Zoey snapped awake, drenched in sweat soaking her white tanktop and sheets. She was breathing so heavily that she started getting lightheaded. She closed her eyes again, slowing her breathing to a normal level as icy sweat dripped into her eyes. She opened them again, and looked out the window in her quarters, tiny as it was. It was still night time, or at least before sunrise. She looked to her clock and it read 0200.

"Damn, what a nightmare. Should I talk to William?" she asked herself, as she started to get up to go shower off all the sweat from her nightmare. She wasn't getting back to sleep anytime soon...

#2 William Draven


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Posted 07 February 2017 - 06:06 PM

William's meditation had been broken by knocking on the door to his quarters. The metallic clanging was fairly quiet, but to his senses, heightened by his meditation, it sounded as if someone were attempting to kick in the metal door.

William sighed, ending his meditation early, and walked toward the door, not bothering to turn on lights or grab a shirt. He pressed the switch to open it, only to the female form of Zoey, but shrouded in shadow because of the glare of the hallway lights.

"What do you need Zoey?" he asked, moderately irate from his meditation being disturbed.

"I want to talk. I have to ask you something." she stated uncharacteristically coldly, and with a shudder in her voice.

Sensing the emotions conflicting within her, he ushered her into his room, powering on the lights, and shutting and locking the door behind her. She walked over to his bed, and sat down, legs crossed. William strode over to his desk and sat in the chair, turning it around to face the bed, and leaning back with one leg crossed over the other.

"What is it?" he asked trying to gauge why whe came to his room at this hour in such a state. She was half in her pilot's jumpsuit, with the upper half unzipped to her waist, and a white tank top with a black undergarment underneath.

"After our discussion earlier, I had a troubling thought. Why is a Clanner in IS space? Surely it isn't just for money, as I am sure you were well enough taken care of where you came from. At least as far as basic needs. Why are you really here?" she asked, pointedly, waiting for an answer she knew she wouldn't like.

"In all fairness, that is not your concern, and nothing you should try to find out." he stated matter-of-factly.

"William, I don't think you have a right to hide something like that in a mercenary group. We are supposed to work as a team and with trust for one another. On or off the battlefield, and if you can't, or won't, tell me, I can't trust you, and so help me--" she was interrupted by an emergency alert.

"Attention all MechWarriors! Make preparations for takeoff now! We are headed to battle!" the announcement was made, and a launch countdown was started.

"We'll continue this later." Zoey growled, moving toward the door and showing herself out.

"Perhaps." William stated plainly. He began preparing for launch and any subsequent drops.

Edited by William Draven, 09 February 2017 - 03:37 PM.

#3 William Draven


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Posted 09 February 2017 - 03:37 PM

The drop was executed quickly, and without delay. William and Zoey, paired in a lance as usual with two other Legionnaires, were dropped last. Once their 'Mechs were free of the dropship bay, they could see the battle raging one or two kilometers away. Maintaining radio silence, their lance quickly began closing on the battle, which was taking place between a pair of volcanic vents. With Wrath, William's customized Centurion, leading the charge, the other members followed closely. William briefly ordered the scouts in their lance to move ahead, while he worked on targetting the enemies in the distance.

He activated his advanced zoom, and counted two Clan Stars engaging the other two Lances that the Legion had dropped before them. He acquired target lock on one of the Timber Wolves, and fired off some salvos of LRMs. As the range decreased, he prepared to fire his twin ER Large Lasers that replaced the ER PPC and Medium Laser he used to have on the right arm.

"Zoey, stay as close as you can. If they flank us, I will need your close range weapons to slow them down. The scouts should be fine, as they both have ECM active. If they play it smart, they can flank the enemy and take them down from behind. I did not intend to send them to their deaths, as our allies that had arrived before us seem to have just started the battle and therefore are in fair fighting condition. What bothers me is there are only two stars that I can see. If this battle is the size I think it is, there is a third one lurking somewhere nearby. Hopefully we find them first." he stated in a quiet voice over the radio.

A message from the scouts came in. "Lance leader, there's another group of clan mechs in sector Echo 9. Either they were waiting for our lance, or they haven't noticed us yet. If we can just---" the transmission was cut short by static.

William saw one escape pod launch upwards, from the direction he sent the scouts into.

"Damn. I misjudged the situation. Zoey, we need to move to support our remaining scout before he gets taken down as well." he quietly stated with an authoritative undertone. She was not responding. Perhaps because she was still ill with him over what she had started to find out.

Bringing his Centurion around toward the point where contact with the scouts was lost, he checked Zoey's heading. She was following him and the orders at least. Turning toward the horizon where the battle was, he saw two more escape pods launch and one 'Mech explosion. Whether friendly or enemy, he had no idea, as the sensors were blocked by the magnetic distubances of the volcanic environment, as well as land obstruction between where his lance was, and where the others were.

Just on the other side of the ridge, the three remaining 'mechs, one assault and two heavies, had started losing and started trying to withdraw.

"Hammer One, this is Gamma Lance Leader, requesting pickup, we need to retreat. These 'Mechs are tearing us apart." the leader of the remaining lancemen radioed.

"Retreating already? Cowards..." William muttered to himself as he and Zoey moved into firing position. As they came over a ridge, near a large caldera with multiple rocks jutting at awkward angles from the cedge of the caldera, they saw nine other smouldering 'Mech bodies, only two of which were of Clan origin. Sadly, the Clan 'Mechs were to badly scorched from the battle to identify which clan they were dealing with.

~Impressive, they actually took two down.~ William thought to himself. He didn't have time to figure out if the pods had been launched, as he was now in range for his ER Large Lasers to hit their mark. He fired them in succession, using only one at a time rather than both simultaneously. In an environment this hot, heat managment was critical.

"Zoey, did you locate the missing scout?" he asked with some concern.

"Affirmative. He's gone. Core went critical before he could eject. That was Jorgveldt too..." she stated with sadness n her voice. He was one of the best veteran scout pilots the Legion had, and now he was gone.

"I see. He was quite skilled." WIlliam said, not trying to mock the dead soldier, though his voice was cold and unfeeling.

"Wow..." she simply muttered over the comms channel. ~I guess we don't matter to a clanner like him after all...~ she clenched her jaw in frustration.

"I am moving to engage." she stated flatly, moving toward the ridge. She mentally stopped for a moment, the sounds only of the volcanic activity and hum of her BattleMech's reactor. Deja vu. SHe immediately scanned the horizon to try to find where the LRMs would be coming from, only to feel her 'Mech stagger forward and her systems to malfunction as a Clan PPC round had slammed into the backside of her Hunchback. Fury was not going down, not unless it was against the traitor to the Legion. Against William.

She turned the torso as quickly as the joystick would allow, and fired an alpha strike straight into the cockpit of the Kodiak, praying for a lucky takedown. The hulking mass reeled from the impact, but managed to land a second PPC shot, planting severe damage on the left torso, and almost coring Fury from the splash damage. She fired all of her SRMs once again into the cockpit, her prayer being answered as the cockpit glass shatered and the interior caught fire, burning to the core of the monstrosity in front of her.

The Assault 'Mech buckled from the impact, the core rapidly rupturing, causing the beast to explode. However, she was too close for her own good, and the splash damage from the Kodiak going Critical overheated and exploded half of her ammo reserves, and crippled the right arm, melting the medium pulse laser mounted there. Suddenly she heard missil warnings, recalling her nightmare, she desparately tried to scramble away from them, but the left leg sunk into some lava she had overlooked, fusing the joints together and melting the artificial muscle. She growled as she forced Fury to hobble up to the ridge to gain some form of cover. The missiles landed just barely away from the exposed SRM bank on the left shoulder, tearing the arm off and melting the ammo stores, causing them to detonate. The hull must have been slightly breached, as a steaming hot jet of coolant sprayed her left side, splashing that side of her helmet and burning her left arm. She hissed in pain, as the spray ceased. So far, this was worse than the nightmare.

Having been temporarily blinded on her left side, she tried scanning the battlefield for any hope, just in time to see the Dropship pick up the cowards who called for a retreat.

"Of Course. Burn in Hell Legionnaires." she growled to no one in particular. she caught movement to her right, and she saw a beastly looking Daishi moving toward her. It was missing an arm and the torso points were heavily damaged. From what, she couldn't tell, but she steeled herself for death, not as afraid as she was in the nightmare. At least these 'mechs weren't holes in existence, and she had some prelude to what would happen this day. As she swung the Fury to face the approaching attacker, she saw two brilliant blue beams spear all the way through the damaged right side of the mech, instantly coring it.

She turned to see where the killing blow came from, and of course it was Wrath coming to "save the day" she hissed in disgust. Saved by the Clan Traitor.

After the lights finished skewering the Daishi, a missile salvo from nowhere destroyed the power arm of Wrath and the Centurion was rendered all but useless. At least to her.

She knew what was coming next, but she didn't care to try to beat him to it.

"Zoey, will you stand and fight as I will, or do you want me to---"

"Stow it William, you know who I am. I know what you want to say. I'd rather die than run." she stated, having decided to interrupt him for her own pride.

"Very well. Perhaps I should ask you why you knew, should you choose to associate with me after this." he stated flatly.

"To battle then" he stated with pride and a hint of affection. She had made him proud this day, Even though she was a Stravag.

The two 'mechs formed back up and moved toward the remaining 'Mechs across the caldera from them. There was an entire star of them waiting for them. Odd that they had stopped firing, almost like they were inviting them over.

"Be on your guard, Zoey. They mean to challenge us." he cautioned.

"Challenge? Why?" she asked, not expecting an answer.

"It is our way." stated a female voice on William and Zoey's channel. Apparently they figured out the frequency they were using.

"If we display prowess and honor in battle against clanners, we may have a chance to prove ourselves to be worthy of becoming bondsmen. Which is, to say, indentured servants that, believe it or not, can be accepted into a clan." William explained.

"Indeed. Prove your worth and you may survive." the female Star Captain stated, anticipation obvious in her voice.

"Very well. I accept." Zoey replied, not intending to back out of a fight.

"As do I." William stated, pride and excitement brimming over.

Upon reaching the area designated occupied by the other 'mechs, William noticed the colors of the mechs. They were Ghost Bear MechWarriors.

"I see..." he said slowly. He hadn't gotten a good look at the 'Mechs because of all the ash and soot in the air, and covering entire sections of their BattleMechs.

"Approach us, and power down your BattleMechs." the Star Captain ordered.

"What?" Zoey asked, confused.

"Do as ordered, Zoey. Neither of us can fight well enough to escape, and we have no way off this boiling planet in the first place." William stated, preparing to do so.

"But the trial?" Zoey asked, confused.

"Not here. It will be in Clan space." the Star Captain explained, waiting for them to comply.

"So we are essentially prisoners." she stated matter-of-factly.

"In a sense." William said, pointedly.

Zoey shut down Fury and crossed her arms in frustration, trying to ignore the burns on her left side and the sweltering heat slowly leaking in from the breach. she looked up and saw a Dropship that looked like a big, blue sphere landing to pick them up.

Edited by William Draven, 16 February 2017 - 01:01 AM.

#4 William Draven


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Posted 16 February 2017 - 12:59 AM

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