Topic: The Great Suwa Incident  (Read 11676 times)

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Iced Fairy

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The Great Suwa Incident
« on: July 30, 2010, 06:01:29 am »
I was asked (well by one person) to continue this from the writing contest.  And while my pride wants me to enter this weeks contest, my brain refuses to consider writing a furry Aya/Kisume fic where Kisume is a werewolf and Aya is an ocelot vampire or something is a good use of time.  Thus I am adding more mech goodness.

I promise no conclusion to the story or fequency in updates.  I do promise conclusions to story arcs.

People who've read the orginal can skip to the second post, where the new stuff begins.

---

Yukari sighed as she stepped onto the bridge.  She loved astronavigation and traveling through space, but it was always terribly boring when the mission actually started.  Everyone fun was on planet, while she and the support crew sat up in space and kept an eye on the jumpship.

Still she loved her ship, Gensoukyo.  And it was hers too, which meant Reimu had to actually listen to her advice.  Reimu's rep as a merc commander may have gotten more job interviews, but the ability to travel with their own ship had gotten a lot more contracts.

Ran gave her a wave as she sat down in the commanders seat.  "Anything up?" she asked.

Ran shook her head.  "Nothing, as usual."

Yukari was about to reply when there was a loud buzz.  Chen jumped up as far as the chair restraints would allow her, before shutting down her game of minesweeper and checking the sensors.  "Yukari!  We have a jumpship at Pirate Point 16 Gamma Alpha.  It's deploying a dropship right now!"

Yukari pressed the alarm button, causing a ear raping claxon to permeate the ship.  "What's their target?  Do they have fighters?"

Ran looked up from her own screen.  "No fighters deployed, looks like the dropships got 2 on it."

Chen made a few more calculations. "Definitely clan origin.  They're headed for objective Alpha.  And at 3Gs too."  The young woman frowned at the screen.  "It looks like... Clan Snow Raven?"

Yukari shook her head in confusion.  "I told Reimu to dig a little deeper into this contract.  Alright, Chen you send a signal to Reimu telling her what's up.  Ran, make sure our point defenses are working and then start scrambling the rest of our ground units."

"Roger!" her two closest friends went to work.

***

Reimu swore as she ran into the mech bay.  She probably should have waited to hear the rest of Yukari's information, but she really wanted to be in her mech before anything else weird happened.

She cursed again as she nearly slipped off the ladder to get to the cockpit, then again when she had to actually think to remember where the startup code needed to be entered.  Finally the machine powered up and Reimu relaxed a bit.  She slowly stood the mech up, letting the neurohelmet use her own balance to keep the machine stable.  As the fusion engine warmed up the cooling vest that comprised most of her wardrobe started doing it's work.

Of course by that point the radio had come back on, and Yukari was already talking.  "Reimu.  The ship's one hour out by our reckoning.  It looks like they're heading straight for you as well.  They don't seem to be fooled by the false sights."

Reimu began moving her mech out of the bay.  "They send out a bachall yet?"

"Doesn't look like it Reimu.  I think they're being polite and allowing us to figure out what forces we can muster before calling."

Reimu grimiced.  "How nice of them.  And it's 'Miko' when I'm in combat Sukima.  Use callsigns like a normal soldier."

"Soldier?" Yukari replied with a laugh.  "I'm just transport.  We'll keep an eye out up here.  Good luck... Miko."

Reimu nodded and cut the channel.  She then checked the rest of her squads.  "Hey Ghost?  You think you can make it here in an time for the battle?"

"Neg Star Captain Hakurei." Youmu replied.  "We were on training maneuvers when the message came.  We are two hours thirty minutes to your position.  My apologies Star Captain."

"Well drop by anyhow, just in case things run into overtime."  Reimu closed that channel then opened up a link to her employer.  "What the hell's going on her Kanako?  Clan Star Raven shouldn't have any forces within twenty planetary systems of here!?"

To Reimu's continued anger 'Planetary Chairman' Kanako's voice remained calm.  Even amused.  "I told you there might be clan entanglements.  What particular clan is immaterial, isn't it?"

Reimu fumed.  "It damn well does matter!  I'd kinda like to know what rules they're playing by!"

Kanako laughed.  "You don't need to worry about that.  Just deal with the ground forces.  Oh, and I heard you were a little short handed.  I'll have Sanae help you."

Reimu groaned.  Just what she didn't need.  Some spoiled noble girl getting herself killed in the front lines.  "That's not necessary.  I can..."

Sanae's voice broke over the radio.  "Don't worry about me Captain Reimu!  I can handle it!"

"It's Miko!  And if you MUST come along you'll follow my orders Newbie!"

"What?  My call sign is..."

There was beep and Reimu saw that a wide beam signal was coming in.  "We'll talk later!  They finally decided to call."

Reimu opened the channel and said calmly and clearly, "This is Captain Reimu Hakurei, of the Youkai Buster mercenary group.  You're in violation of Suwa planetary airspace.  Please relay your intentions."

The voice that responded was high and slightly nervous.  That was odd for a clansman, much less one attacking a planet.  "This is Star, er, this is commander Satori Komeiji.  I am calling a trail of possession for all occupants of the base at our drop location.  Who shall you defend with?"

Reimu thought a moment.  Normally she thought telling your enemies the number of units you had was stupid, but given the size of the dropship, she likely held the numerical advantage.  Knowing her opponents forces could only help.  "I've got a lance of air fighters and two lances of mechs and infantry, mixed."

The voice returned.  "Aff.  We will attack with a star of mechs and a point of aerofighters."  Then the channel shut off.

Reimu nodded.  About what she'd expected, though it was odd they weren't calling out their unit.  "Alright!  We've got bogeys inbound.  Wizard, Warhead!  See if you can bounce them before they become a problem.  Everyone else, follow me outside.  We're here to guard this place.  Not level it."

***

Patchouli slowly eased into the lead position.  She didn't like the look of the upcoming fight.  Downing two Sullas should be easy for her and Nitori, but the dropship in the back looked like it had point defenses of its own.

"Okay Warhead, I'm going to break ahead.  Maybe I can get those two to play with us.  You just do your thing."

"Roger, Wizard," came Nitori's cheerful reply.  The kappa green craft slowed to allow Patchouli to move up a good distance.  Sure enough the two Sulla took the bait.

The first pass was head to head, Patchouli's emerald green lasers sliced some armor off the lead plane, but her enemy returned the favor.  Fortunately the particle beam from her enemies PPC missed.  Sadly her own PPC missed as well.  Patchouli sighed under her breath.  Once again Clantech was proving to be an annoyance.  The enemies Sulla was almost a perfect copy of her stingray.  It wasn't as armored or powerful up close, but it was much, much faster.

Fortunately the pilots fighting her had made a mistake.  They'd kept their planes full throttle, hoping to speed past their foe and circle around.  Patchouli had slowed down allowing her to make a much faster turn.  Her combat suit allowed her to take the High G turn despite her normally frail body, and she ended up right on the lead planes tail, with her targets wing frantically turning to try to cover her friend.

Patchouli opened up with her powerful Sunburst PPC, and swore as the target dodged her blast.  The next few moments were spent dogging the craft as it swerved all around Patchouli's targeting sights.  "Damn it!  Do you have a solution yet Warhead?  Because our friend here apparently can read my damn mind!"

"Wizard break left!" came Nitori's reply.  Patchouli immediately broke left.

There was a massive crash, and she had to fight the stick to stay airborn.  After what seemed like an eternity she managed to get her nose pointed the correct direction.  Her monitors were showing all sorts of bad things in red, and the craft was still handling terribly.  "Warhead, am I clear?"

"You're clear Wizard.  They caught a full spread.  I splashed the first one and sent the second back home to mommy."  Nitori had once again earned her name by managing to catch enemies with blind fired missiles.  Most pilots, Clan or IS, weren't prepared for that tactic.  Mainly because it was insane.  "But, uh... your Stingray isn't looking to hot.  I suggest you bail."  Nitori's voice sounded worried.

"I can hold it," snapped Patchouli.  She took a few breaths now that she was no longer in danger.  "Damn, that other one must have taken lesson from you or something.  I didn't notice her at all."

Patchouli finally looked down at the damage to her craft.  "Warhead, I seem to have a malfunction in my damage sensors.  I can't get a read on my left wing."

"Wizard, your sensors are working fine."

Patchouli paused, then looked out the window.  Sure enough, half her left wing was missing.  "How annoying.  I liked that wing.  Rinnousuke's going to be displeased too."

"Don't tell me you're going to try to LAND that thing?" Nitori cried.

Patchouli frowned.  "Of course I am.  It's flying, so it should not fly just fine."

There was a long pause before Nitori replied.  "Okay Wizard.  I'll stay here and burn my ammo keeping the last bogey honest.  Don't die on me okay?"

Patchouli smiled.  "I promise I won't die until I've gotten my holovids back from Marisa."

***

Reimu looked over the field, studying the terrain for any hint of advantage.  She did a quick swap to infrared, then magres in order to try to spot Aya or the Shanghai team.  Nothing on all counts.

"Warhead to Miko, one splashed one damaged.  Unfortunately Wizard took some serious damage and I'm outta missiles.  I'm afraid they're gonna land."

Reimu sighed.  There really hadn't been much chance of taking out the dropship, but she had to try.  "Good work Warhead.  We'll finish things off here.  You two take it easy."

With slow ponderous steps Marisa Kirisame's black and white Awesome moved next to Reimu.  "Why are you sounding so down boss?  Normally you're spoiling for a fight.  You still being prissy about your new ride?"

"Yeah I am."  Reimu growled.  "I liked my Exterminator.  This things just too new."

Marisa laughed.  "Hey that Albatross isn't like one of those junk Omnis.  Or even that Nodachi that crazy Clan girl stomps around in.  It's tried tech just put together better.  Besides there's a reason that Exterminator went down.  You need something with better armor if you're gonna play decoy."

Reimu sighed.  "Yeah, yeah.  I still liked it better."

Suika laughed.  "Don't worry Marisa.  After this fight she'll know what it's like to play with real power.  Even if my Akuma's more fun."

"Are you going to give us our battle plan soon, boss?" came the calm voice of Alice over the line.

Reimu shook her head.  "Right.  Standard practice.  Me, Oni and Witch shatter their attack.  Tengu and Shanghai assist.  Alice breaks them with fire support."

"What should I do?" came Sanae's voice.

"Stay in the back and shoot any enemy that looks at Alice," snapped Reimu. 

"But...!"

"No buts!  That Shugenja of yours is a back line mech.  Use your C3 to help the fire support and keep outta trouble!"  Reimu gripped the controls to her massive war machine.  "Now get ready, they're gonna drop soon."

As if spurred by her words the enemy dropship entered into a hovering pattern right the moment.  Seconds later, mechs began jumping from it's hold.  The first one out made Reimu's heart skip a beat.  The 100 ton Behemoth outweighed anything in her squad, and was famed for being damn hard to take down.  It was followed quickly by the distinctive shape of a Mad Cat, then a Loki.  The next two mechs out the dropship however looked like no Clan mech Reimu had ever seen.  One was a four legged mech, while the second was a odd light mech that looked sleek and deadly with its laser array.  Her computer took a second before labling them as a Stalking Spider and a Solitare.

Suika laughed.  "Looks like that software upgrade we got from Kanako as part of the deal's paying off."

"Let's see when the computer can't recognize them anymore, Oni." Marisa casually replied.

"Shut up and advance you jokers.  We're seriously outranged here!" Reimu snapped.  She began moving her own Assault Mech forward.

Sure enough the first Mech to fire was the massive Behemoth.  Strangely the pilot fired the mechs massive rifles off in succession, which while intimidating didn't actually help much for accuracy.  One shot slammed into Suika's upper torso, but the impact of that shot caused the next hit to rocket into the arm, and the third shot missed entirely. 

Suika gamely swiveled her torso back forward and continued on course despite the massive armor loss.  In reply she fired off her own PPC which splashed some armor off her foe.  Sadly the Behemoth didn't budge.

"Alright, time to teach the chaos god the power of LOVE!"  With that, Marisa's Awesome opened up with all three PPC shots at the Loki.  That had to have sent the heat in her cockpit soaring, but it's effects on the smaller machine were worth it.  The three beams hit the opponent all across it's torso, sending Loki onto it's back and causing it's return PPC shots to miss into the air.

Reimu decided to play by clan rules for now and fired a shot off at the Mad Cat.  Her laser missed high, but the scattered LRMs impacted the mechs left side.

"Shit!" Reimu yelled as the Mad Cat returned fire with two PPCs.  The beams striped armor from bother her arms causing her machine to rock from the impact.  "What the hell's with all these damn PPCs?  Do these guys not care about heat?"

"They could say the same about us," came Alices mild reply.

Both the Stalking Spider and the Solitare began to move to flank the inner sphere party.  Reimu was expecting them to blow past the three lead mechs and try to engage Alice and Sanae, but they turned in mid run and fired at Marisa's Awesome.  The giant black white machine shuddered as it was struck by a PPC and a large laser.

"Hey!  That's not playing by the clan rules!" Marisa complained.

"Guess these clanners aren't stupid," said Suika casually.

"Apparently not," Reimu muttered.  "Witch, don't let them circle you!  Sanae advance to guard our rear.  Me and Oni will press forward!"

"Yes sir!" replied Sanae.

Sanae Moved forward and fired a quick shot off her two large lasers ripping the tiny Solitare's Left arm right off and eating into it's chest.  But the pilot barely seemed to notice the damage and started running even faster.

The Stalking Spider looked like it was going to finish encircling Marisa, when suddenly a Raven popped out from behind a rock formation and fired a single shot.  "Gotcha!" yelled Aya over the radio.

"Finishing the job," came Alices reply.  The Clan warrior must have noticed the NARC pod's signal and what it meant, because they wisely ejected seconds before the massive Arrow IV missile from Alice's Archer cut the quad mech in two.

"Nice one Alice!" cried Reimu.  But her exaultation was short lived.  The Behemoth turned to where Aya's Raven was moving to cover and fired again.  One, two, three.  The first two shots missed.

The third slammed straight through the Raven's centerline and dropped it on it's back.  Black smoke rose from the fried gyro.

"Hourai team, send someone to evac Tengu!" commanded Reimu.  She then turned her weapons on the Behemoth and slammed the triggers.

This time all her shots went true.  Her large lasers (Pulse and normal) combined with missiles and LBX autocannon fire to rip the top layer of armor off the Behemoth.  Suika then added to the fray with her autocannon and PPC.  After the fire stopped there wasn't a single pristine spot on the mech, but there wasn't a crack in the armor either.

The Loki pushed itself off the ground and attempted to avenge it's losses, sending two PPC beams straight into Marisa's Right Torso.  The armor there disintegrated and the beams started to chew into myomer muscle.

Marisa turned her torso and replied with another triple burst that probably had her computer spitting out shutdown warnings.  However it was worth it.  The attack succeeded, again spashing across the other mech's torso.  The ammo for the Loki detonated sending both arms flying, and the machine collapsed into scrap.

Then the Mad Cat ran up and unloaded a full PPC SRM combination into Marisa's torso.

The Awesome was a mighty war machine, but a full spread of 24 streak SRMs and 2 PPCs smashing into it's center torso went beyond even it's tolerances.  Reimu's heart sank before the Awesome's head split open and sent Marisa rocketing into the sky, seconds before the fusion reactor failed and exploded messily.  "Shit!"

The bad news just kept on coming.  "I could use some help back here," Alice snapped over the radio.  "That Solitaire thing just hit my Ammo.  I've only got the shot in the tubes."

"Newbie kill that thing!" Reimu yelled, while rushing towards the Behemoth.

"I'm trying!  But it's using Alice as a shield!" Sanae yelled back.  "Wait... got it!"  There was a whoosh from Sanae's MRM launcher as thirty missiles sprang across the battlefield.  Through some miracle all but one of the damn things hit.  The Solitaire collapsed to the ground, it's legs and torso a twisted ruin.

At last Reimu and Suika had reached their primary weapons range.  Now it was their turn to open up.  A stream of short and medium range missiles backed by medium lasers tore into the Behemoth.  Yet the damn thing was still standing!  Reimu thought she saw a hole in it's torso armor, but that wasn't dropping it.

Reimu was maneuvering for her next shot when there was a massive roar.  Suika's mech shuddered as a PPC came down from the sky and set off the MRM reloads in her torso.  Fortunately her CASE activated.  But the massive explosion still sent the mech crashing to the ground.

"Suika, you still good?"  Reimu felt cold despite the cockpit's heat when there was no response.

"I got him!" yelled Sanae from behind her.

Reimu looked to her 360 display to see the enemy fighter going down.  "I hope you keep that beginners luck Newbie.  'Cause we're gonna need it."

Reimu started backing away from the Mad Cat and the Behemoth, when Alice spoke up.  "Shanghai team got the target with TAG.  Last shot.  I'm out."

There was a "whoosh" as Alice's last missile flew through the field, guided by the hidden infantry units laser system.  The Behemoth rocked back as the massive missile slammed into it.  It's left arm slowly tore free, then it collapsed down.  Reimu could only pray it was out of the fight.

It was time to end this quickly.  Reimu placed all her weapons over the Mad Cat and sent her heat to the roof by letting off over half of her mechs massive arsenal.  Her Large Pulse Laser joined her medium lasers, auto cannon and SRMs in a cacophony of destruction that washed over the heavy Clan mech.

From the rear Sanae's Shugenja added her own fire.  The PPC missed, but the two large lasers slammed into the mechs rear torso.  The shot should have hulled it.  Instead the mech merely rocked forward.  That did save Reimu's life though, as the machine's massive PPCs slammed into the ground, and it's SRMs only peppered her legs.

Reimu pulled her weapons up to finish the deal, but the damned Mad Cat rocketed into the air on jump jets.

"Huh!?" Sanae cried.  "That's impossible!  There's no way it can have all that and jets!"

"And it should have blown up from overheating too!" Reimu shot back.  "Live with it!"

Suddenly the radio crackled and a wide beam transmission came in.  "Inner Sphere mercenaries, uh... this is Orin.  I challenge the Red White mech to single combat in order to retrieve my comrades and leave the field honorably."

Reimu blinked.  That was odd.  Then she noticed the red light signaling that the Mad Cat had been painted by TAG.  Obviously the pilot didn't know if there was another missile battery in reserve.  "Sorry clan warrior but I refuse.  There's no way I'm letting that machine off planet.  If you surrender however you will be treated honorably, even if you do decide to self destruct your mech."

There was a long pause before Orin replied.  "Come on sis, have a little heart here.  You beat us via numbers here."

Reimu's eyebrow quirked at that.  That was NOT clan speak.  "Sorry.  Take it or leave it.  I'd take the surrender offer.  Even if you take off, we've got more fighters in bound to take your jumpship.

Orin sighed over the radio.  "Guess we lose.  Star Captain's gonna be soooo pissed...."  There was another pause.  "I give."

Reimu blinked again.  Today was turning out to be very strange.

***

Youmu's squad touched down just as Reimu started her debriefing.

As befitted a mech squad after combat her troops were bruised, sweaty, and considering most of them didn't wear much to help mitigate the heat caused by a mech battle, barely decent.  Shanghai team on the other hand was in full uniform, it's leader (after whom the squad was named) sat chatting with Alice, who was the least beat up of her mech team.

Suika on the other hand had a grin, a bottle she'd grabbed from somewhere and a sling for her broken arm.  Marisa had let her cooling vest open and was muttering darkly while staring at the crater where her mech used to be.  Aya was fiddling with her bandages, and Sanae was realizing she a little out of place among the tight knit merc band.

Reimu sighed, she supposed she didn't need to wait for Youmu to give the briefing.  "Looks like we got of lucky personnel wise.  No deaths on either side amazingly.  Materiel wise we did well too, despite the losses.  The Behemoth is salvageable, and that insane Mad Cat is still intact.  On our side only your Awesome is a total loss.  Sorry Marisa."  Reimu managed a smile.  "Though now you get to enjoy figuring out a Behemoth."

Marisa frowned from where whe was sitting down.  "Tch.  Gauss Rifles.  Those aren't nearly flashy enough to be real weapons."

Shanghai laughed.  "Yeah, and they don't give off enough heat to justify walking in on Alice with a soaking wet shirt after training."

Alice halfheartedly smacked her friend, while the rest of the infantry laughed.  Marisa just blushed and looked away.

"Anyways, Aya's mech needs a new Gyro, and Suika's mech has to have that panel that dropped on her bolted back in, but Kourin should have that done in a month.  Good job everyone.  They may have matched us in raw firepower, but we took them down none the less." Reimu paused then looked at Sanae.  "That goes for you too Newbie.  You'll be a fine mechwarrior once you learn to stop questioning orders.  You can tell Kanako I said that too."

Sanae blinked.  "Er, Thanks!  Though why are you still calling me Newbie?"

Suika laughed.  "Because your beginners luck is insane.  Tagging a aerofighter after ascent, and hitting with unguided missiles like that?  Reimu wants to try to milk it as long as possible."

"Hey Captain."  Aya raised her hand.  "Any word on the pilots we took down?  Or what's up with that Mad Cat?"

"We bagged both pilots after ejecting and we caught their dropship crew too.  That insane Mad Cat?  No clue."  Reimu stood up.  "I'm gonna have Youmu and Sakuya question our new bondsmen."

Reimu waved Youmu over and the small girl quickly moved up to her.  "Star Captain," the ghost bear renegade said, "I just got a message from Yukari Yakumo.  Apparently our employer wishes to speak to the prisoners as well." 

Reimu shook her head.  "Dammit must she interfere with our job here too?"  Sanae looked like she was going to speak up in Kanako's defense, but she wisely reconsidered.

Youmu shrugged.  "She also said she would explain what was going on."  Reimu's frown didn't fade.  "And give us a bonus."

"What are we waiting for?  Round up those prisoners and lets go!  Tell Sakuya she's in charge, with Marisa as XO."

***

As the prisoners and their escort walked down the large corridor, Reimu softly moved over next to Youmu.  "So what's your take on, 'em?" she whispered.

Youmu gave the five pilots another look over.  "These are not Clan mech pilots.  The large girl you said was piloting the Behemoth is definitely the child of a Elemental.  The rest... do not act as captured clan warriors do.  They are too calm for having lost to the Inner Sphere."

Reimu nodded at the analysis.  She'd noticed that as well.  Only the Hellbringer's pilot, Parsee, looked angry about their situation.  Orin and the pilots of the Spider and Solitare, Kisume and Yamame, seemed to be mostly chagrined.  Like kids caught with their hands in the cookie jar.  Yuugi, the Behemoths pilot, just seemed to be tired.

The corridor ended in a massive door.  One designed for mech entrance.  Sanae quickly walked to the front and entered a passcode, revealing a large manufacturing room.  At the center of it sat a Marauder, it's front panels opened up and it's fusion engine dismantled on the ground.

Next to the mighty war machine was their employer and a woman in a lab coat with long black hair.  They both turned as the doors opened.  On seeing the prisoners the woman blinked in surprise.  "Orin?  What are you doing at this place?  Were you claimed in another trial?"

Orin gave her nervous laugh again.  "Not exactly Utsuho.  You see..."

"We stole some mechs and came to recapture you in a trial of possession," Yuugi stated.  "Unfortunately, it seems there's a reason such tasks are normally left to the warrior caste."

Utsuho dropped the screwdriver she was carrying.  "What?  Surely the warriors did not approve of this quineg?  If it weren't for your capture you'd be sure to be killed!?  What were you thinking?"

"Neg, Utsuho.  We did not approve of this.  But there was little choice in the matter."

"Star Captain Satori Komeiji?  And Koishi too"  The prisoners turned to see two small Clan Aeropilots being led into the room as well.  These were real Clan warriors, as the drastic size difference attested to.  The lead pilot seemed depressed, while the one following her had apparently moved past depression and gone into acceptance.  Reimu guessed from their similar features that the two were from the same sibko.

Surprisingly Kanako bowed to the two warriors.  "I'm impressed you came all the way out here, but I'm curious as to why you didn't wait for reinforcements before attacking.  Unlike the rest of the fools at the station we raided you two seemed to have some intelligence.  I'm curious as to your reasoning."

Koishi laughed.  "We can not be too smart if we are here as bondsmen, quiaff?"

Satori sighed and shook her head.  "It was a simple matter of logic.  When the Touman finally understands what you've managed to steal from us everyone responsible will be tainted.  Possibly executed.  In addition, by the time a full invasion force get here you'll probably have completed a second prototype and prepared your orbital defenses, quiaff?"

Kanako nodded.  "Yes, I have planned for your Clans retribution."

Satori continued.  "Thus I had no choice but to try to retake Utsuho from you quickly.  I had no wish to see five loyal workers killed for no fault of their own.  A quick raid might have succeeded, causing fewer questions to be asked, but all the Mechwarriors had gotten themselves killed by their stupidity.  Thus I had to conscript techs and scientists."

The clan warriors face fell in shame.  "It seems my actions however were wasteful.  Now we've lost five good techs and the prototype mech."  She looked up.  "While I know I am now no longer a Warrior and simply a bandit, I implore you to spare my subordinates lives.  I ordered them to follow me, they are simply techs and can serve well in that department."

Koishi patted her commander on the shoulder.  "I agreed with your assessment sibkin, otherwise I would have called for a trial of Grievence.  I simply failed to make up the difference."

Reimu snorted.  "Simply techs my ass.  Their tactics sucked but their piloting was spot on.  They'll work as techs but only until I find a seat for them."

All the clansmen looked shocked.  "Huh?" Parsee asked.  "You're keeping us as warriors?"

Kanako coughed.  "Before we get ahead of ourselves, I believe you had an explanation you wanted."

Reimu nodded.  "Yeah!  And a bonus too!"

Kanako smiled.  "Exactly.  First the explanation.  The reason I hired you was because recently I staged a raid on a secret Clan research base.  One owned by Clan Snow Raven."  Kanako looked smug.  "Considering it's value I should probably have lost, but the commander was a fool and managed to put his entire command into a trap.  Those two ladies are the only ones that escaped."

"In the process I captured this lovely scientist here."  Utsuho waved.  "Our friend Ustuho has managed to make the next development in fusion engine technology.  One that halves the size and weight of an engine."

Youmu's eyes opened wide, while Reimu whistled.  "So that's how that damned Mad Cat managed to pack all that armor and extras.  No wonder everyone's running to get the tech back...."

Youmu recovered enough to speak.  "Forgive me Kanako Yasaka, but I have a question.  Clan Snow Raven is noted for it aerospace superiority.  Why is such a important prototype on a mech?"

"Oh that?  Well I just kinda stumbled on to it," Utsuho replied.  "You see I needed the room for the transformation gear."

Reimu's eyes widened, while Kanako chuckled.  "Areomechs.  You've found a way to make viable areomechs."

Kanako nodded.  "Yep.  And now that I have more then one tech to help on the project I might actually get this one off the ground before Suwako comes back with reloads for our Regan defense."

Reimu shook her head to clear it.  "That might help, but we're still going to be facing the full might of everyone from two bit pirates to all the damn Clans.  And they WILL use orbital bombardment.  Even if your system has a 99% success rate you aren't paying us enough to die 1% of the time."

"That's why you're getting a bonus of 15% of the company that's going to sell these engines," Kanako said sweetly.  "Assuming you stay of course."

Reimu walked over and held out her hand.  "Agreed, partner."
« Last Edit: May 21, 2011, 06:06:01 am by Iced Fairy »
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Iced Fairy

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Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2010, 06:13:12 am »
Satori Komeiji stared quietly at the ceiling, wondering what her fate would be.

Somewhere in the back of her mind there was a tiny voice suggesting she fly into a gibbering panic.  Fortunately generations of selective breeding for stoic pilots had given the Komeiji line the ability to ignore that voice.  Admittedly that had caused other issues in the blood house, but those quirks were usually ignored in favor of the ability to keep a cool head under fire.  If nothing else it scared their enemies.

Still, she was human to some degree.  Satori could not help but worry about what the future held.

Koishi face popped into her field of vision.  “Commander Komeiji, you seem far too grim for someone who realized they will not be executed.  You should enjoy this while it lasts.”

Satori sat up and looked at Koishi.  “I am not your commander anymore Koishi.  In fact I am likely no longer a Komeiji.  And while we are unlikely to be executed now, I do not have any idea how we shall fare in the future.”  She frowned deeply.  “I know little of the inner sphere outside of the briefings we were given.  And you know how poor those briefings were.”

“Aff Satori.  But why borrow troubles?  We are all alive right now.  That is all that matters at this moment,”  Koishi laid down beside her.  “When that changes we can worry.”

Satori sighed, then smiled.  “I'm not sure if you have demonstrated why you did not get nominated for a bloodname or why you are more worthy of one then I.”

Koishi giggled.  “Satori, you and I both know my refusal to dye my hair is why I was not chosen for a bloodname.”

Satori smiled slightly in return.  For all their claims of superiority the clans were as superstitious about signs of age as Salem was about witches.  Koishi's stark white hair was either an omen of death or a sign of genetic failure to the eyes of most clansmen.

Satori however considered it just another quirk of her closest friend.  The two sibkin had been in the same unit since birth, and wingmen since they'd become warriors.  And while that closeness had been part of the reason Satori had been assigned to the backwater research base that started this whole mess, she wouldn't change anything about that choice.

Other choices however she was uncertain about.

“Um...  Star, er, Satori,”  Satori turned to see Utsuho standing next to her, along with the rest of the draftees.  “While I was not in serious danger, I wish to thank you for coming to rescue me.  It is good to know I am valued.  And...  I missed my friends.”

There was a knock at the door.  Satori stood and instinctively moved to the front of the band.  The calm she felt when Koishi came to stand beside her was balanced out by the oddity of Yuugi moving to her other side.  Despite her willingness to break taboo, she still was terribly uncomfortable about allowing freeborn as warriors.

The door opened to reveal the slight form of the woman Satori had guessed was second in command of the mercenary group.  “Greetings.  My name is Youmu Konpaku.  I have some questions for you, if you choose to answer them.”

Satori nodded.  “And if we do not?”

Youmu shrugged.  “Standard narco interrogation of course.  Though I imagine you will have no problems with answering our questions.  After all it is not like you have a chance of returning to the Clans, quineg?”

Satori closed her eyes in pain.  “Neg.  There was little chance of that anyway.  This is too big a failure to let the other clans know about it.”

Utsuho spoke from behind her, “Hrm?  You are suggesting that they would purge the research facility just because the guardians fell to superior forces?  That seems... lame.”

Orin sighed.  “The Khan can't let anyone know about the facility birdbrain.  We aren't even supposed to be in the Inner Sphere.  If it's a choice between us and the clan guess who gets the short end of the stick?”

“Unyuu?” Utsuho looked confused.

“Tch.  How does she manage to devise such brilliant machines while being so dumb?” Parsee muttered.

“In any case,” Youmu interjected, “I doubt the questions will touch on anything you do not care to cover.”  She took a moment then continued.  “Firstly I would know the casts you held before becoming bondsmen.”

Orin spoke up.  “Yuugi, Parsee, Yamame, and I are techs.  Okuu and Kisume are the scientists.”

“Though as this was a shorthanded lab we've been forced to do mixed work,” Kisume added.

Youmu nodded.  “Good to know.  With the production facilities on this planet we will soon be able to start mass producing those engines you have designed, but the areomechs still need testing.  For now you will all be assigned to that.”  The woman pulled out a clipboard and marked something off.  “Second, how soon will your clan be able to attempt a serious assault?”

Satori briefly considered refusing to answer, but she really had no desire to die for her Khans failure to properly guard his research labs.  “To raze this planet?  A full year.  The forces sent earlier destroyed our hyper pulse generator, so I was forced to use slower methods.  The touman is probably learning about the raid right now.  It will take a little time to assemble an invasion force, and at least nine months in jumps to make it to the inner sphere.”

Youmu nodded again.  “Good.  The Star Captain will be pleased to hear that.  Lastly I wish to know why your base was so poorly guarded if it had such important work?”

Satori bit her lip.  To speak about the Khan the way she wished to in front of an outsider was... distressing still.  She tried to think of a polite way of explaining things.

Koishi on the other hand decided to prove once again that she just didn't care about politics and subtly.

“Because Khan Cyrus is an idiot,” she stated sweetly.  “He designed this research center as a dumping ground for scientists he had no faith in, techs with odd records, and ideas that the clans disliked.  For example aeromechs are considered trash, as they make our breeding efforts meaningless.  The touman does not want to mix mechwarrior and pilot genes.  However he set it as far away from our Homeworlds as possible so if we did find something it would be 'safe' from spies.”

Youmu smirked.  “And the surat forgot about the Inner Sphere entirely.  Amusing.”

She made one final note then put her pencil away.  “Very well.  Now I shall tell you your status.”

“You are all bondsmen of the planet Suwa, specifically the Youkai Buster regiment.  You will assist our mech production program until completion of the testing phase.  After that you will be tested in various fields for piloting aptitude, and offered enlistment should you be willing to swear loyalty.” Youmu grinned again.  “I shall explain that more later.  For now I will be showing you your permanent lodgings and introducing you to your supervisors.”

“Then we'll review holovids of the battle.  Training commander Eiki wishes to comment on your performance, and ask you how those new mechs handle.”

***

The wail of a harmonica sang through the “saloon” the mercenary group had occupied.  Shanghai mostly ignored it, carefully aiming at her target.  She held her breath, then struck.

The pool ball slammed into the 9 ball with a resounding crack, sending it careening into the eight ball.  The eight ball succumbed to the laws of physics and politely fell into the left corner pocket.  She smiled.  “My win again girls.”

Alice sighed.  “Today is not my day.  First my mech, now this.”

Hourai simply frowned at her twin sister.  “You know it takes all the challenge out if you don't the other players have a turn.”

“Nonsense.  Keeping you two from beating me the same way's the challenge,” Shangahi replied.  Normally she'd take it easy on her fellow players, but Alice played on a completely different skill level, and Shanghai and Hourai had been forced to play brutally to keep up.

Still she knew how annoying it was when she got thrashed like that.  “Come on sis, don't sulk, it makes us too easy to tell apart.  I'll buy you a drink.”

“If you two really wanted people to tell you apart you'd stop color coding yourselves,” Alice pointed out.

Shanghai laughed and reached up to tighten her red bow, while Hourai checked her blue one.  It was really the only way to tell the twins apart physically.  They'd had quite a bit of fun with that when they were younger.  “Well we gave up on that trick when you started to be able to tell us apart.”

“No point in it after that,” Hourai added dryly.

Shanghai slid into the booth followed by Hourai, while Alice sat down across from them.  Shanghai was just about to call for a round when her pager went off.  “Ugh...  Not again.  How'd I let you talk me into this job again?” she asked Alice.

Alice shrugged.  “No clue.  You two just followed me home.  Not my fault.”

Hourai stood to let her sister out.  “We'll save the seat for you in case you make it back quickly.”

“Thanks sis.”

****

Authors notes: Technical data can be found here.

Speaking of technical data I suppose I should ask if it would be better in this thread, or in a side thread.

In addition I'm torn between the Stackpole "consistantly mediocre" style, that covers more characters, and the Victor Milan character driven style, which is a little more awesome if I can do it right, but covers way less characters and is a lot slower.  I may try for a medium between the two like this set.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2011, 05:41:12 am by Iced Fairy »
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Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2010, 10:09:19 pm »
I'm loving how this is going to begin with, and the character count thus far does't seem to be too cluttered, not at all. I especially like Shanghai and Hourai, but that should be expected from me. I'm of course eagerly awaiting more. Please continue!

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Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2010, 11:09:11 pm »
I love this, too.  I'm not too informed on space battles and stuff, but this looks really accurate and stuff.  I'm following this story.

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Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2010, 11:54:54 pm »
I love this, too.  I'm not too informed on space battles and stuff, but this looks really accurate and stuff.  I'm following this story.

MechWarrior isn't actually about space-battles, it's mostly ground combat. In the Battletech universe (MechWarrior and Battletech are one in the same) most space-faring ships (namely, the Jump Ships) are 'Lostech', which is exactly what it says; lost technology. Fighting in space is a real good way to piss the rest of human civilization off and make them allllll come after you - damaging a Jump Ship is taboo of the highest order. They just can't be made anymore, because no one knows how it was done.

As such, there are all kinds of rules to combat that have to be followed; different fighting styles from different noble houses have, over time, caused the territories that follow them to divide in 'Clans'. The Inner Sphere that's mentioned here isn't a Clan per se but more just a giant organization of systems and noble houses. Earth is still around, of course - but it's like, super-neutral, as it is the seat of human civilization and directed by... erm, I forget their name. But they're pretty/kinda important.

All in all, Battletech is fucking awesome and I'm loving this.

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Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2010, 12:15:16 am »
Thanks for this.  I know too little of Battletech, but it was a blast to read all the same.  I love all the little personalized touches the girls lend with their machines and roles.

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Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2010, 05:44:35 am »
Oh hey, people did read this!  Madness.  Anyway I'm glad to see that.  I hope I can convey some of the details of the setting without breaking into too much exposition (though I'll probably add exposition to the end just in case for those nerds like me who like those things.) 

Quote
Earth is still around, of course - but it's like, super-neutral, as it is the seat of human civilization and directed by... erm, I forget their name. But they're pretty/kinda important.
ComStar.  Speaking of which....

---
Prison Planet: Hokai

Kogasa Tatara took a quick glance to check her target.  The man behind the desk seemed completely oblivious to his surroundings.  Excellent.

With a sudden leap Kogasa sprung through the doorway.  Her target was caught completely by surprise, nearly falling out of his chair.  With a few quick strides she moved up in front of the desk, and yelled “Boo!”

The man spent a few more seconds being shocked.  Then confusion set in.  “Gotcha, Corporal Ao.”

Unfortunately her victim didn't look as pleased.  “Did you find that amusing PFC Tatara!”

Kogasa blanched a bit at the sudden hostility.  “Uh... yeah?  I mean it was an interesting surprise right?  Something to keep us all alert?”

“Interesting, eh?”  The man sneered.  Kogasa was beginning to think she'd made a mistake.  “You like surprises don't you PFC Tatara?”

Kogasa nodded nervously.  “Well, deception and ambush are the best tactics for infantry in the modern battlefield....”

“Battlefield?” The man snapped.  “PFC Tatara let me tell you something.  If you're here you aren't going to see a battlefield unless the Lyran Alliance needs cannon fodder.  Because this is where they send the screw ups!  So keep your mouth shut and your head down, and you might get enough of a pension to get off this rock after your tour of duty is up.”

The man smiled evilly.  “But if you're looking for training, I do have something for you.”  The other soldier placed a flashlight on the table.  “You can practice being stealthy while checking solitary.  The Lieutenant saves power costs by keeping the place dark at night.  I'm sure you'll enjoy three hours of training.”

“Um...  What am I supposed to do?” Kogasa asked.

“Make sure no one's dead or escaped.”  The man pushed a button and one of the metal doors behind him opened.  “Now hurry up.  I'll probably open the door when you get back.”

Kogasa considered protesting, but she had a feeling any more discussion would only give the guard more time to think of a real punishment.  She simply nodded, then moved into the hallway that had just opened up.

The door proceeded to seal shut behind her leaving Kogasa in blackness.  She turned on her flashlight in time to see the door in front of her opening, revealing four floors of dark cells.

The work was mind numbingly boring.  The prisoners were mostly asleep, and none of them payed too much attention to her.  She figured the other guards probably took their personal issues out on prisoners who looked at them for too long.  She'd been hoping to run into someone on this moon who had a sense of humor, or who at least wasn't a sadist.  But it was looking more and more like she was the only one.

“Three years of anti mech training and I'm stuck as a glorified hall monitor.  Surely there are better ways to get rid of me then this?”  She muttered.

“You seem troubled, child.”

Kogasa started at the words.  She checked the cell to see a serene looking woman sitting in a meditative posture.  The young woman briefly considered following her training and not talking to the woman.  But then she remembered that she'd learned that from holovids, since they hadn't trained her for this job at all.

“Yeah I guess I am.  Though I have to say you seem to be in more trouble then I am.”

“Why would you say that?”  The woman asked with a slight smile.

“Well... I'm at least on the outside of the cell.  That's got to be better, right?”

“Ah, I fear you're mistaken.  They've forgotten about me here.  I imagine there are only a few people who remember my existence, or even what my crimes were,” the woman's smile faded slightly.  “You have to deal with your peers and military rigamarole.  You've got far more worries then I do these days.”

Kogasa sighed.  “Was that supposed to be uplifting?”

The woman giggled.  “Ah no, I'm sorry.  It was meant to be enlightening.  I fear I'm a bit out of practice.  I guess I should leave that to the Order of the Five Pillars.”  She shook her head.  “In any case, while you have more to worry about, you also can aspire to much more.  Perhaps the Wisdom of Blake can aid you.”

Kogasa gave the woman an odd glace.  “You must have been here a while.  You know most of the 'Wisdom of Blake' is stolen quotes from other philosophers.  Heck Com Star is secular now.”

The woman shrugged.  “Isn't the wisdom found in the words, not who said them?  As for the state of my former organization....  Well I cannot fault their actions entirely.”

“In any case,” the woman continued, “if platitudes aren't your thing perhaps I could listen to your troubles?”

Kogasa paused and gave the woman a long look.  “You sure you aren't a spy for LOKI?  I'd really hate to face court martial.”

“Well you should talk to someone.  If not me then perhaps a family member?”

Kogasa sighed then turned to sit against the wall.  “Can't send anything to family members.  Mom's dead, and my dad was with the big invasion force.  Went AWOL and joined a rogue unit when he learned Katrina Stiener had back stabbed Victor Davian during whole event.”

She turned off the flashlight and closed her eyes.  “So it doesn't matter that I placed first in my class at the academy, or that I've never really lived with the guy.  I'm politically dangerous.  So I get to guard a prison most people don't even know about, filled with prisoners just annoying enough to oubliette but not enough to actually hide away.  And all my fellow guards are failures as human beings who got sent here because they couldn't make the grade or were so annoying they got promoted to this hellhole.  So here I am, no family, no country, and no friends, talking to a prisoner about my life's failures....”

The was the padding of footsteps, then a soft thud as the prisoner sat down on the other side of the door.  “I wouldn't say you have failed.  You've just been dealt a poor hand.  You'll just have to keep playing your best so that when your luck changes you can start winning.”

Kogasa sighed again and turned on her flashlight.  “I guess I should Thanks for the chat, Mrs Prisoner.  I feel better at least.”

“Peace of Blake be with you,” the voice replied as Kogasa continued her rounds.

---

Leopard Class Drop Ship: Shikigami

Shanghai nodded as the last of her squad sat down in the dropships tiny briefing room.  “All present ma'am.”  She checked her crews attitudes to make sure they weren't burnt out.  They all looked annoyed, well except for Yorihime, but alert.  That was good.

Shanghai looked over at the three pilots who were accompanying them.  Normally Reimu grabbed Marisa and Sakuya for these small missions, while leaving Youmu in command.  Sakuya was a master at solo missions, and Marisa, while technically the merc companies XO, was actually far better in the front lines then in command.

This time however it seemed that Sakuya had been replaced by the new girl, Sanae.  Shanghai suspected their employers heavy hand in this, but the infantry commander was willing to give the kid the benefit of the doubt for now.  Sanae might even have a needed skill set for the mission.

Reimu gave the troops a glace of her own.  “Good.  I'm sorry to rip you off leave so fast, but we've got a very small window for this operation.  Sanae here will be giving the briefing.”

Sanae stood up and looked at the small group nervously.  “Um, well first let me explain about the timing thing.”

“Please,” said Yorihime dryly from beside her sister.  “I hadn't even made it off base before I got called back.”

Sanae looked even more nervous at the yakuza princesses harsh tone.  “Yes!”  The young mech pilot pulled up a star map of the Inner Sphere.  “Um, as you know, the planet Suwa is two jumps past the Periphery.  That means, until very recently, it took two weeks to travel here from the nearest star system, and it's over three months pure space travel to the capitol of Tharkid.  In addition, while technically under Stiener rule, the planet has basically been lost as a rounding error, so we're effectively a independent nation.  And though we're above the truce line, if that even matters anymore, the Clans don't, er didn't, know about us either.”

“Our distance was our greatest strength.  It allowed us to stay anonymous and out of the Succession Wars.  However our accidental raid on the Clan research facility is going to end that.  Now we need to rely on the new technology we can create and our orbital defenses.”

Rin Satsuki looked at the map.  “But why do we need to go on a mission?  You've got the scientists you need, and there's no way this Leopard's carrying off enough materials to be worth a damn, even with the space we're saving only taking three mechs instead of four.

Sanae nodded.  “We've got scientists yes.  But we don't have experienced pilots.  Aeromech piloting is something no one trains, because until recently the things were worthless.  If the nation of Suwa is going to be relying on that technology, we're going to need aeromech pilots to teach our troops how to fight with their new machines.”

Marisa's chimed in.  “So we're gonna steal us a pilot.”

“Um, forgive me, but kidnapping doesn't breed a willingness to help here in the Inner Sphere,” Tokiko stated mildly.  “At least not often.”

Sanae smiled.  “That's why we're rescuing someone instead!”  A slide of a long haired middle aged woman appeared next to the star chart.  “This is Byakuren Hijiri.  One of the few known Aeromech aces.  She was a Com Guard at Thukayid, but she joined Word of Blake when the split happened.”

Reisen Nisei frowned at that.  “Um, isn't word of Blake filled with crazies?”

“Well yes, but she apparently quit when she realized that.”  Sanae pointed towards the area of Terra.  “She was forming a split sect, when the Chaos March mess happened.  She and her followers managed to shatter two regiments of LAF and Fed Com troops to defend a monastery they were trying to fight over.”

Of course as you can imagine that didn't go over very well, which is why after they were finally captured Byakuren was sent to rot on the prison moon of Hokai.”  Sanae pointed at a much nearer star.  Shanghai's blinked at those words, then a hole started to grow in her stomach.

“Which we've just established a command circuit to.  With the Gensoukyou's batteries we can get to the planet within a day and get off it within the week.”

Marisa smiled grimly from her seat.  “So since we'll be sitting on Makai for a week before our smash and grab, we were wondering if we could crash at your place Shanghai?”

“Home again, home again....”  Shanghai sighed.  “Sure why not.  It's not like I could drop by the planet without Shinki knowing anyway.  You will let me get messages from Hourai and Alice though.  She'd be furious if I didn't bring word from them.”

Reimu shuddered.  “Yeah.  Please don't make that woman angry.  She's far more dangerous then any guards at a second rate prison.”

---

In the very unlikely chance anyone knows the timeline, this event takes place after the armies of the IS return from destroying clan Smoke Jaguar, but before things go crazy after that..

Meet the Infantry: Shanghai's now no longer nameless squad is almost perfectly themed.  All of the people except for Rin Satuski (who'll be using her last name) are from offical works other then the games.  I considered adding Kasen, but I may have a use for her later, so I took Rin from Hourai's squad, which is composed of characters that aren't real.  (ie. Sasha and Mitori).  Rin's sort of a dual natured girl in that respect.

Jump Ships warp space around them, allowing them to hop from star system to star system.  The travel is instantaneous, but the range is limited, and the engines need a weeks worth of solar power to jump again.  A newly designed battery can hold an additional weeks worth of charge to allow two jumps in rapid succession, but travel between planets is still incredibly time consuming.  The only way to speed it up is to have your drop ship switch jump ships after each jump.  This is the command circut Sanae is speaking about.  It's easy for small drop ships to catch a ride then large ones, which is why Reimu's only bringing a squad of infantry and three mechs.

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Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2010, 12:42:42 pm »
Went AWOL and joined a rogue unit when he learned Katrina Stiener had back stabbed Victor Davian during whole event.

I can almost vaguely remember the book this happened in.

Or wait, was that the plot of MechWarrior 4? I forget. I gotta play these again.

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Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2010, 11:13:19 pm »
Satori carefully took the time to make sure the wires were all cut and ready to be soldered together before stepping back.  It seemed odd to be fixing the very machine she had helped destroy, but the concept of irony wasn't completely foreign to her.  Her checks complete, she nodded to the man who seemed to be running the mech bay.  “This section is done.”

Koishi stepped back from her section of the wing as well.  “This section is done as well.”

The man in tech garb, Rinnousuke he had said, checked the cuts and then nodded his approval.  “Good.  We'll set the wing in place then and then hook up the wiring tomorrow.”  He blew a whistle then yelled out, “All clear!”

Satori and the others quickly cleared the area as a massive mechanical arm came down and lifted the aerofighter into the air.  The replacement wing was swung into place, and a new crew began attaching it.

Satori turned from the sight as Rinnousuke approached.  “Good work today.  I'm surprised you two know so much about repair.  I thought you left that to the techs.”

Satori raised an eyebrow.  “Perhaps the other clans do things differently, but no warrior worth the title in the Snow Raven clan would be unable to perform basic maintenance.  A pilot without a machine is hardly a warrior at all.

Orin laughed.  “And where we were stationed there was not enough techs to go around.”  Satori frowned at her while Koishi laughed as well.

Utsuho took a pull from a water bottle then sighed.  “That facility was understaffed at all levels.  Were it not for Satori Komeiji and Koishi here I would have done most of the testing on the Timber Wolf Aero version myself.”

Which, Satori reflected, probably explained why she was taking the sheer madness of the Inner Sphere so well.  She’d been forced to spend so much time with the lesser caste members to avoid waste, she’d become fond of them.  Possibly more fond of them then she was of many of her fellow warriors.  After a few days adjusting she was almost glad the incident had happened.  It was becoming more and more obvious to her that she no longer fully believed in the clan ways.

Satori shook her head slightly to clear it and turned to her attention back to the conversation.  “It’s nice to have a full crew to work with.  In fact you seem overstaffed,” said Kisume.

Rinnousuke nodded.  “We are.  Most of the techs are currently off duty just like you are.  Until Chairman Kanako gets the ferrofibrous armor we need in we can't really do anything.  All the mech plants are changing their assembly lines too, so there's no work for our astechs either.”

The clan pilots thoughts on that matter were interrupted by the arrival of a large group of mercenary warriors.  Satori recognized the white haired girl that talked like a clan warrior, as well as the green haired Eiki, who was apparently the training commander for the mech group.  One of the shorter warriors, barely taller then her or Koishi, walked straight up to her.  “So you and your sister are the ones who knocked Patchy out of the sky eh?”

Satori couldn't repress a shudder at the word 'sisters.'  She was slightly more open minded about freebirths then many Clan warriors, but it was still a curse in her mind.  She settled for very clearly stating, “That term is incorrect.  We are sibkin, not family.  Our relationship does not fit inner sphere mores because it is not the same as anything you would choose to link it to.”

Satori made a mental note to start looking into what the assumptions the Inner Sphere would make about her and Koishi, as well as the rest of her former lesser caste assistants.  As a former bloodnamed warrior she knew how dangerous politics could be, and assumptions were one of the biggest pitfalls of politics.  It would not do to have a misunderstanding lead to one the groups deaths.

The woman blinked while Youmu smiled slightly, then regained her haughty air.  “Whatever!  That doesn't matter.  I'm Remilia Scarlet, of the scarlet devil wing.”  She pulled a taller red haired woman to stand next to her.  “Koakuma and I want to see how well you fly in person.”

It was odd, Koishi mused, how easily these inner sphere warriors swapped mentally between her status as bondsman and warrior.  In any case, she could tell that Remilia there was looking for a challenge, even if Koakuma looked more cautious about the whole affair.  She wondered how aggressive the inner sphere warrior was in the cockpit.  “I would be glad to accept your training challenge pilot, but I fear my aerofighter did not survive the battle.  And I doubt you would give me a fighter, quineg?”

“You are correct,” Eiki said, “which is why you'll be using simulators.”

Eiki pointed to the assorted clan techs and scientists.  “I'd also like to see how well you mechwarriors do in a fight that isn't just a open field.”

Satori found herself reflexively stiffening again and forced herself to keep her mouth shut.  Parsee however voiced some of her thoughts for her.  “Not nearly as well, as most of our training was done using simulated AI instead of against real targets.  We were lucky to have that vid game contraband about.  Otherwise we would have had to train against Clan AI.”

“Ayayayaya”  Aya burried her face in her hands.  “You're telling me I got shot down by a bunch of amateurs trained by Immortal Warrior games?”

“Yep!” Orin helpfully stated.  “But to be fair, we trained for a month straight.”

Eiki's smile matched Youmu's now.  “Now I'm really interested in seeing you in action.  Follow me down to the locker room.  I want to get this simulation started as soon as possible.”

Kisume looked questioningly at the trainer.  “Locker room?  Why?”

“We use full simulation for everything except serious cockpit impact,” Eiki said.  “You're going to need cooling jackets, because we're going to pump heat right into the simulators.”  She smiled.  “Oh, and I'll be putting you on a ‘desert planet’ to boot.”

This time it was Youmu's turn to groan.  “That is not necessary for a simple practice run quineg?”

“Heat management is an important part of mech combat,” Eiki replied with a stern look.  “And you pilots need to be ready for updrafts in atmosphere.”

“'Yamaxandu' strikes again,” muttered Remilia.

***

Eiki Shiki looked over the monitors.  She believed you could learn a lot about a person from their reactions to combat, and the best way to see their reactions was to look at their body language.  Watching the mech could show you the mistake, watching the cockpit might tell you why they made it.

The aerospace fighter duel had been pleasantly dull.  Both sides had played everything by the book until the end, when desperate measures had been required.  Remilia still snapped a few childish insults about, and the clan warrior Koishi seemed to stick too close to her lead, but Eiki was fairly certain she could iron those mistakes out later.  Or at least get them to the point where they were quirks and not flaws.  Still Remila and Koakuma were both double aces, and Satori had to be a hotshot even in the clans to get a bloodname.  There wasn’t much to see, because they were good enough not to need to improvise.

Now the fun part began.

Eiki checked the monitors of each of the clan pilots.  She nodded with approval when she saw most of them had brought appropriate desert clothing, but had stripped down to the standard vest and shorts for mech combat, except for Yuugi, who's unique mech generated so little heat even in combat as to make the issue moot.  She wondered which pilot had thought of that.  Youmu's squad of course had done so as well, because they knew Eiki was fanatical about treating simulators as close to the real thing as possible.

She switched her view to the holotable as the mechs deployed into the desert city.  She also opened a channel to the clan mech pilots.  “I'll be acting as your support for this mission mechwarriors.  We Youkai Busters operate in 6 mech configurations, or level 2 units.  This allows us to fill out the squad with infantry or armor.  However we're currently looking for people who can handle dual role aeromechs, so you won't be acting in concert with Rika, Hourai or Lily in this mission.”  She checked the mech readouts before continuing.  “In addition Orin and Utsuho, your mechs have been toned down from their upgraded forms.  You can't rely on technology alone.”

“Your goal is to eliminate all enemy mechs in the industrial complex in front of you.  Intel states there are two scout mechs in addition to 4 heavy and assault class mechs.  You have the advantage of clan technology, but they're defending.” Eiki checked the pilots faces again.  Utsuho, Kisume and Orin seemed relaxed.  Yamame and Parsee looked determined.  Yuugi looked stern.  Eiki nodded.  “Begin your assault.”

Eiki then flipped open the other channels so she could hear both sides radio chatter.  Youmu of course was already giving orders.  “Firefly, Wolf, scout.  Sparkles, move to support.  Hunter and I will take the left and right flanks respectively while Butterfly uses grid fire.”

“Sir!” Replied Momiji as she moved her Wolfhound up to scout.  Wriggle followed for a bit in her Firefly before sneaking into a parking garage to gain some height.  Flandre's modified Hunchback II followed the two at a safe distance, using the buildings for cover.

After a few moments the clan force began to move out as well.  Parsee seemed to be their lead.  “They are going to try to ambush us.  Kisume, Yamame, scout the area as a pair.  When you find a target, fall back and tell us so we can move to assault the area in force.”

“Aff!” Replied Yamame, before jumping her Stalking Spider to the top of a roof.  Kisume began dashing her Solitare into alleyways to keep up with the surprisingly stealthy mech, while the four others followed.  Eiki nodded to herself.  While the mech forces were closely matched, Utsuho's alternate Turkina was built for assault.  Meanwhile on the opposing side, Yuyuko's Viking was built for fire support.  The defenders could afford to split up, while the attackers could not.

The instructor continued to circle the map, as the two forces moved towards their inevitable conflict.

***

Utsuho felt terribly odd as she piloted her Turinka through the simulated streets.

The mech itself seemed fine.  In fact she liked the mech a lot.  It was a copy of the Turinka she reverse engineered from the Jade Falcon design, and it had the bird like legs that she preferred.  The humanoid mechs didn’t maneuver right in her mind.

Still she’d piloted many mechs, and flown fighters as well, but actually going into combat seemed wrong somehow.  She wasn’t a warrior, she was a scientist.  And while she knew the stats of her beloved mechs inside and out, actually shooting people with them wasn’t really her department.

She’d asked Orin how her friend had managed to handle the disconnect.  Orin had rather flippantly replied, “Just think of it as training for a warrior position.  The clan lets freebirths become warriors, so as long as it’s training for that it’s fine right?”

“But didn’t you assault this world?” Utsuho had asked.

“Well it was very active training,” her friend had replied with a catlike grin.

Utsuho wasn’t as good at rationalization as Orin was.  But she wasn’t going to question  the matter that much either.  If she was told to pilot the mech in combat she’d give it a shot.

Just so long as she was still able to do her research on the side.

Kisume's voice crackled through the radio.  “Augh!  Someone just shot at me!”

Orin immediately started her Timber Wolf towards where Kisume was, with Yuugi and Utsuho not far behind her.  “Right!  We're moving to support you.”  Her blood started pumping.  She knew should should have been terrified.  She was supposed to be completely outclassed in mech combat.  But right now all she felt was a drive to fight.

“I see it.  There is a Firefly in the parking garage.  I have him!”  Yamame's mech took to the skies, then dropped down again, crashing through the garage's high ceiling.

“Dammit!  There’s another mech blocking my escape route!” Kisume yelled over the com.  “It’s a Wolfhound.  And there’s another one moving in to surround me!”

“Run past them and find somewhere you can take advantage of your range,” Parsee said.  “No Inner Sphere mech can match your speed.  We’ll move up and clear them out if they do not pursue you, and flank them if they do.

Utsuho rounded the corner to see Kisume began her mad dash.  The light mech began to tear up the concrete as it rapidly accelerated past 80 kilometers per hour.  A flurry of laser shots tracked after her, but even a master marksman had problems leading a mech moving at that speed.

The mech that had shot at her friend stalked into the clearing ahead.  Utsuho’s actually felt fear as she saw the Wolfhound’s movements.  Utsuho considered herself a decent pilot, but her mech still moved like a machine.  This mech with seemed like a giant metal werewolf turned infantryman.  It fluidly dashed to cover, then set up it’s large laser so it could fire while minimizing return targeting solutions.

That brief moment of fear vanished quickly as Orin and Parsee kicked their mechs up to full speed and began a pincer maneuver.  All three of the Clan mechs outweighed the Wolfhound by at least 30 tons.  A incredibly skilled warrior could face down a single overweight mech, but defeating three mechs all at once was impossible even if they were being piloted by amateurs.  With that thought Utsuho slowed her advance.  She wanted a stable firing platform so she could catch the Wolfhound when it began retreating. 

However the enemy did not retreat.  Instead it gamely fired it’s large laser at Orin’s Timber Wolf, scouring the paint and melting about a ton of armor.

Parsee’s Hellbringer fired off a PPC that blackened and melted the low factory building the Wolfhound was using for cover.  Meanwhile Orin twisted her torso back and fired off two of her Streak SRMs. 

Utsuho wondered about the tactic for a second, but she realized the wisdom of that technique as the missiles curved down to rain on the hiding Inner Sphere mech.  Streak missiles were guided and only fired when the computer had a solid lock.  By angling them Orin had managed to curve some of the missiles past the Wolfhounds cover.  The small mech shuddered at the impacts on it’s head and shoulders, then crouched even lower behind it’s barrier.

No true warrior would need to team up on a foe like that, but then again, Utsuho and her friends weren’t real warriors.  Besides, the Inner Sphere mercenaries wouldn’t follow those rules either.

With that thought Utusho checked her radar.  Most mechs were hard to see on sensors, but her Turkina had an active probe that was useful in hunting down ambushers.  She saw Yamame and the Firefly dueling in the parking garage, as well as her allies and the pinned Wolfhound.  She also saw another mech signature moving in fast.  “Incoming!  Parsee!  To your left!”

The three warriors turned just in time to see a Hunchback IIC enter the open area.  Utsuho winced at the sight of the machine.  The Hunchback was a medium mech, but the huge ultra autocannon it carried was the match for her own Turkina’s main gun.  A full hit could breach the armor of any Mech on the battlefield, and was easily capable of instantly destroying Parsee’s Hellbringer.

With that very thought the massive autocannon opened up full bore.  Somehow Parsee however saw the shot coming and used her jumpjets to slide slip the massive destruction.  Once again the Hellbringers PPC opened up, smashing into the Hunchback dead center.  The enemy mechs sudden stagger and the cloud of black smoke indicated the giant machine’s gyro had taken a hit.  Another strike like that would leave the machine unable to stand.  “Nice move Parsee!” cried Yuugi over the com.

Then there was a shriek and a massive rumble.  Parsee may have dodged the shot, but the cannon still hit something.  The building behind Parsee had taken the full brunt of the Hunchback’s rage, and it could not hold.  Utsuho could only stare in shock as the twelve story building collapsed, right onto Parsee’s Hellbringer.

As the shockwaves from the collapse hit, Utsuho instinctively jumped.  In the back of her mind she could hear Yuugi swearing over the com and Orin calling her back, but she didn’t conciously think about those things.  She found herself landing on the rubble facing the Hunchback.  She casually flicked her crosshairs over the mech and pulled the triggers.

The twinned large and medium pulse lasers on her left arm sent a stream of blue shots into the Hunchbacks left side and arm, while the streak SRMs in her left missile pod smashed into the mechs midline and head.  As the mech staggered back her own massive autocannon opened up.

The Hunchback had speed and power, but it paid for that in armor.  Utsuho’s massive cannon capitolized on the PPC shot Parsee had gotten off earlier to rip the enemy mech apart.  The mechs fusion reactor went Nova before the lack of containment caused it to flicker out, leaving only a circular burn on the concrete.

Utsuho cried out in shock as the heat from her attacks kicked in.  It felt like she had just jumped into an oven.  There was an automatic shutdown alarm and Utsuho rapidly slapped the override button.  She’d made a mistake firing all her weapons like that.  In a real battle that would cost her.
Fortunately right now the only opponents near her had other problems.  The Wolfhound tried to break away but Yugi’s triple gauss rifles and Orin’s PPCs left the mech a shattered mess.  This pilot managed to eject.

Utsuho looked at the steaming rubble that had buried Parsee’s mech.  If this hadn’t been a sim she would have died here.  Did Utusho really want to become a warrior?  To join this violent world?
She shook her head.  She was already part of this violent world.  She had been from the moment the mechwarriors at her outpost had decided to issue a batchall to the unknown warship that had jumped in system.  Now that she was a bondsman to Kanako Yasaka war would come to her and friends no matter what.

But she would meet war on her terms.

“Yamame report your status.  Kisume, we have eliminated the enemies here.  Please return.”
***
Kisume frowned at the request.  “I can’t comply Utsuho.  I am engaged with a Viking.  If I break it will destroy me with long range fire.”  As if to emphasise the point the enemy mech fired a full salvo of it’s missiles.  Kisume had to put on a bit more speed to keep ahead of the explosions.

Yamame’s voice came on after.  “I have this Firefly.  Go on ahead.”

“Aff.” Utusho’s voice said.  “We will be there soon Kisume.”

Kisume felt great relief at that.  She could circle the Viking all day really.  In fact she’d already moved inside the mechs minimum range, forcing the pilot to hot load her missiles.  Sadly she wasn’t able to hit those missiles to make the Viking pay for that choice.  Her foe was a support mech, but it was still a 90 tonner.  Her light salvos would take some time to break armor.  And that gave the enemy the time it needed for it’s friends to show up.

Kisume fired off another large and medium laser salvo, and swore when the beams missed entirely.  The Viking’s pilot was good.

That knowledge helped Kisume realize something was up when the Viking’s next shots hit the ground. 

“Why would you...!”  Kisume suddenly remembered missile mechs could fire mines as well.  “I’m not falling for that!”

The move she planned was crazy, but it was her only chance.  She jumped her mech, purely using her leg strength.

Somehow it worked.  Her massive speed allowed her to cross the minefield and somehow she managed to not fall straight on her face at the landing.  Her heart rose as she started running again. 
She could make it to the next alleyway and out of this deathtrap!

Then time seemed to freeze as a massive shadow came out of the alleyway.

The Penetrator was a poor mech for this “desert” environment.  But it was still incredibly dangerous, especially to a light mech like the Solitare.

Kisume tried to change direction, but the six medium pulse lasers in the enemy mech lashed out before she had a chance to.  The alley filled with a mass of green knifelike pulses that ripped her armor
to shreds then snapped off her left leg.

Fortunately Kisume had been reaching for the eject button as soon as she realized she couldn’t dodge.  The simulator didn’t actually eject her, but it did a fair impression of the impact of ejecting followed by an overhead view of her now pilotless mech running headfirst into the Penetrator.

She sighed at her second loss.  “I hope it dents her armor.”

***

Wriggle snarled as she jetted out of the way of another PPC blast.  The parking garage was rapidly turning out to be a bad idea.  Normally any mech that could follow her in here was weaker or less agile then her firefly.  But with it’s four legs the Stalking Spider actually put less mass on the ground then it’s two legged cousins allowing it to move around with no worry about falling through.  In addition it’s low profile and odd armoring prevented Wriggle from just shooting through the weak rear armor.

The only good thing about the match up was that her mech could torso twist while the four legged mech couldn’t.  That had allowed her to get in a few hits safely.  But she was running out of tricks, and that ER PPC on the spider would eat her little mech alive.

“This is Hunter,” Sakuya said over the airwaves.  “We’ve lost Sparkles and Wolf.  You need to pull back Firefly.”

Wriggle swore.  Flandre and Momiji down already?  That was a terrible showing.  “Roger.  I’m going to jet out.”

Wriggle fired a salvo from her LRM launcher.  The spider mech dodged but the missiles blew a nice hole in the wall.  Wriggle continued her spiral around her foe, then kicked her mech into reverse and triggered her jets as well as two lasers to keep her foe occupied.

The attack seemed to work.  The Spider’s PPC missed.  A few missiles hit but wriggle managed to keep her mech under control.

Then Wriggle gasped in horror.  The enemy mech jumped after her, it’s strange form seeming to run through the air, like a real spider lunging after it’s prey.

Wriggle held down the triggers to her lasers but she couldn’t see if they hit or did any damage.  The spider fired as it leaped, and this time the PPC hit.  The fireflies LRM supply touched off causing the simulator to shake wildly before going black and showing a “You are Dead,” screen.

Wriggle sighed and pulled off her helmet.  “Damn.  Those guys could make a fortune as spokesmen for those vid games they trained on.  Seriously what the hell did they buy to make them that good?”
« Last Edit: September 01, 2010, 01:07:36 am by IcedFairy »
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Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2010, 06:53:56 pm »
“Yes!” came Yamame’s cry through Utsuho’s helmet.  “The Firefly is down!”

“Well come join the party,” replied Orin.

“Sure thing.”

Utsuho watched in her 360 display strip as Yamame began moving along the skyscrapers to meet up with them.  There was no reason in rushing forward when they could get a scout mech to pinpoint their foes.  Of course this time they’d stick closer together, but between Yamame and Utsuho’s own active probe they’d be much more likely to avoid traps.

Just as Yamame was making the last jump to get to their position Utsuho’s board lit up.  The scientist peered at the readouts then slapped the com channel open.  “Yamame get down!  You are being painted by four missile batteries!”

There was a roar from down the street and a massive volley of rockets arced towards the small four legged mech.  Utsuho swtiched to her machine guns in a futile attempt to shoot some of the missiles down, but there were too many even for a dedicated anti-missile system.

The barrage pounded the flying mech, tumbling it’s gyros and sending it crashing to the ground.  One of it’s limbs ripped off, either from the missiles or the crash, and the SRMs within touched off.  Utsuho could only stare.

“Yamame!  Report!” Yuugi called out.  “Are you OK?”

Eiki’s voice cut in.  “Systems show she’s okay, but her mech is out due to impact.  We’re sending infantry to ‘evac’ but you’ll have to keep the enemy away from the area.”

Utusho let out a relieved sigh.  Then mentally castigated herself for getting so worked up over an exercise.  Still it would be good thing to learn.  “No worries control.  We are to take the city aff?  That should give the infantry plenty of time.”

Orin laughed.  “Aff!  Let’s win this so Yamame can relax.”

“Aff, but do we have any clues as to where they are setting up their trap?”  Yuugi asked.

Utsuho checked her screens again and smiled when she saw a red dot moving away.  “No.  But I have caught their missile platform’s broadcast frequency.  What say we go and start our own trap?”

***

Despite being a scientist Utsuho had never been good outside the field of reactor design and materials theory.  Thus it always surprised her at how well 95 tons of mech could sneak up on other mechs.  She supposed this was why infantry was so important even in the age of mechs.

However neither side had infantry in this fight, and now it was time to punish the other side for it.

Orin was taking rear guard, both to keep her lighter mech protected and because Orin could run circles around any surviving mech on the field.  Utusho took a few breaths to steady herself stepped around the corner, Yuugi following immediately behind her. 

The Viking that they saw on entering the street whirled around far faster then a machine of that weight had any right to.  However, Utsuho and Yuugi still got their shots off.  Two of Yuugi’s massive gauss rifles hit, and Utsuho added to the damage with her own long range missiles and large pulse lasers.

The giant enemy machine staggered under the assault that ravaged it’s front armor.  Utshou wasn’t skilled enough to tell where the arms stopped and the torso began, but her computer painted a swath of yellow rends all across the Vikings front armor.  She even saw a red spot where their damage must have mixed with Kisume’s to actually tear through.

There was a massive roar, and the mech seemed engulfed in smoke and fire.  Utusho briefly thought it had exploded, but then every alarm in her cockpit went off.  She barely had time to note that a full 70 LRMs were headed at her mech when the wave of fire hit her.

It felt like getting hit by a rock slide.  Utsuho felt pain from her restraining straps as the cockpit bounced about, then she screamed as one of the moniters exploded.  When the noise ended she found herself looking up at the sky, her mech having obviously gone down in the exchange.

“Utsuho!   You are alright quiaff?” came Orins voice through the radio.

“Aff!” she yelled back quickly.  “Pursue that mech!  We can’t let it rejoin the others!”  Then she set about righting her machine as Orin ran past her.

“Who blows up their own training simulators for realism?” she muttered darkly as she regained her feet.

She saw Yuugi and Orin take another wave of fire from the Viking, but they got their own shots in too before it managed to hide around the corner.  Utsuho slammed down her throttle.  “Follow but keep an eye out.”

“Aff,” replied Yugi as she turned the corner.

As soon as she did her massive mech was rocked by a wave of missiles.  But worse Utsuho was sure she saw a PPC beam and some lasers in the assault as well.  It seemed that their enemies had already linked up.

Yuugi had apparently been expeting this barrage however, as she did not fall.  As the Behomoth’s Armor shattered she once again fired all her gauss rifles.  Meanwhile Orin sped her own mech around the corner, unleashing both PPCs and SRMs.  There was a massive explosion as someone's ammunition went off.

Thus Utsuho was unsurprised when she turned the corner and saw the Viking’s left half wreathed in smoke.  It shooting half a second later did surprise her.  Fortunately her surprise reflex was to tighten up on her triggers.  The heat in her mech jumped slightly, but she was rewarded by seeing the other half of the mech explode, followed by the pilots ejection.

At that same moment the head of Yuugi’s mech split open as a stream of missiles hit it.

“Freebirth!” Utusho screamed as she looked for her final opponents.  At the far end of the alley was a Penetrator and something her computer was identifying as a No-Dachi.  She sneered at the sword the mech held, but decided not to take chances with the mechs other weapons.  “Orin can you handle the Penetrator?”

“Yep!” sang out her friend as she dashed her Timber Wolf into a side street.

That settled in Utsuho’s mind she began moving forward to meet the No-dachi.  The No-dachi sped up in return, while firing a PPC blast that narrowly missed.  Utsuho could have fired her own long range weapons of course, but she wanted to keep her heat down for the Alpha strike.

Another PPC blast shattered some armor on her right leg, then her autocannon finally got in range.
Utsuho opened up.  Once again her heat warnings freaked out, and her cockpit felt like a sauna.  However the autocannon ripped into the enemy mechs left chest and arm, shattering it’s PPC in mid shot.  The lasers and SRMs only added to the damage.

The enemy mech managed to return fire, But Utsuho dodged most of the unguided medium range missiles.  The lasers that hit just dinged her right guns armor.  She smiled.  Her enemy had to be running hot from that.

Then her eyes widened.  The enemy mech suddenly sped up to an impossible speed.  It seemed to leap across the short distance between them, sword raised.

Utsuho panicked and held down the triggers again.  The cockpit became almost unbearable then there was a sharp crack and a jolt.  The next thing Utsuho saw was an overhead view of the battlefield from her “ejection.”  Her Turkina exploded “beneath” her from overheating, and the No-Dachi was knocked backwards.

It didn’t matter though.  From her new vantage point it seemed that Orin’s speed hadn’t managed to give her enough of an edge against the Penetrator.  The heavier mech was missing an arm, but the Timber Wolf was down a leg and obviously shut down.

Utsuho sighed as the sim pod opened, then shivered as a blast of cool air hit her.  She idly wondered how her performance had been.  Not that she was warrior quality of course.

***

Parsee burned with shame.

She knew it had been pure bad luck that had taken her out of the fight, just like it had been poor luck that had gotten her original Hellbringer destroyed.  But that didn’t take the sting away.  She had failed.  Again.

Still she would not run.  Her fellow bondsmen were chatting with the mercenary warriors.  Both congratulating on their successes and explaining their mistakes.  Occasionally Yuugi would give her a look, but that almost made the matter worse.

Finally the trainer arrived.  Eiki smiled at the room.  “A passable run.  You did better then expected given the scenario was weighted against you.  I’ll be doing a quick review now, then going over the details in a couple of hours, after I review the battle ROMs and after you all get cleaned up."

“First off, for you clansmen.  Your early plan was sound, but you became too aggressive afterwards.” 
The woman turned towards her, and it took all of Parsee’s energy not to run away.  “I noticed you were commanding the troops at the start Parsee.  Your intitial deployment was very well done, and I think you’d do well in a tactical position of you had better situational awareness.  As is I...”

Parsee could keep silent no longer.  “I thank you for your kind words warrior, but that is unnecessary.  I will return to my position as tech.  Good day.”

“Parsee!” Orin called out after her as she stalked out of the waiting room.  Parsee ignored her.

Technically Parsee was a prisoner, so her wandering about unsupervised could be considered an escape attempt.  However given there was nowhere to run to, and that the mercenaries didn’t really care if she did run it was unlikely anyone would shoot her.

Parsee was almost disappointed by that.

Arriving at her quarters Parsee stepped inside and killed the automatic lights.  She then collapsed face first into her bed.  Tears burned in her eyes.  The thought ‘tears are unbecoming of a warrior’ flashed through her mind.  Snarling she punched the bed, once, twice, then over and over again, reveling in the pain that began to flow up her fists.

She was considering whether to start ripping the bed apart with her hands when the door swished open.  Parsee jumped up and glared at the shadowy figure in the lit doorway.

“You should have stayed,” Yuugi said calmly.

Parsee growled and rushed the larger woman swinging hard.  Of course her fist just slapped harmlessly into the cooling jacket Yuugi was wearing.  Not that Parsee had a chance to make Yuugi flinch, even with her full genetically modified strength behind it.  With that final failure she went limp.

“Why!?” Parsee muttered.  “Why should I stick around and listen to her tell me what I already know?  That I am a failure as a warrior!  A mistake of the breeding program.  Inferior even to techs and scientists.”

Yuugi took hold of her arms and gave her a shake.  “She said you were perfect other then your lack of awareness and your poor luck.”

Parsee shuddered.  “It doesn’t matter if it’s just luck or not!  I have been in combat situations three times Yuugi!  Three!  And every single time my mech has been destroyed before I dealt any real damage to my foes!”  Parsee closed her eyes hugged her arms around herself.

That was a mistake.  She once again saw the interior of her cockpit as the systems sputtered and died one by one.  She remembered screaming as she desperately tried to get what was now a 55 ton paperweight to move or fight at all.  She then saw the dismissal and scorn on her teachers face as she was informed she had failed, even though the only damage her mech had suffered was a simple chip popping out.  She was no longer a warrior, just another tech.  A tech like the one who’s incompetence had doomed her.  A servant to those who were worthy.

She rubbed at the scar on her arm that she’d gotten from the fight afterwards.  “The first time was luck.  I had hoped the battle against the inner sphere would redeem me.  But I failed there as well.  Then I failed again today.  I can no longer call that luck.”

“Besides luck is a part of the battlefield as well.  If I am unlucky I shouldn’t  be in a mech.”

She closed her eyes.  “I could not stand being in there with those freebirths who have surpassed me in every way.  They will be piloting mechs, fighting in battle, doing everything I could not do.”  She found herself grinding her teeth, and forced herself to stop.  “I think I hate them for that.”

Yuugi pulled her close, “Do you hate me as well Parsee?”

Parsee flung her arms around the larger woman.  “I hate you most of all.”

The kiss she gave Yuugi afterwards took most of the bite out of her words.

***

Afterwards, Parsee found herself staring at the ceiling.  She wondered why she always let Yuugi past her guard.  Maybe it was because as the child of two warriors Yuugi had understood her failures.  Or maybe it was because Yuugi was willing to listen to her pathetic complaints without going mad.
There was a rustle from the bed beside her, and Parsee’s musings were washed away in a wave of jealousy.  “You are going to the briefing, quiaff?”

“Aff,” replied Yuugi.  “Will you join me?”

Parsee continued staring at the ceiling.  “I thought I made my position clear.”

She could tell from Yuugi’s hesitation that the other woman was not pleased with the answer.  “If I said that the instructor wanted you to join mission control would you change your mind?”

Parsee sat up and stared Yuugi in the eyes.  “What?  Why?”

Yuugi shrugged.  “She said that you still seem passable as a tactician.”

Parsee pulled the blankets up around her.  “And do you think that would make things better?  I will still be sitting back at home while everyone else fulfills their destinies as warriors.”

“True.  But it wouldn’t be worse,” Yuugi smiled.  “And I would feel better knowing you were still guiding us.”

There was a long pause.

Finally Parsee sighed.  “Very well.  I suppose we should shower first.”

Yuugi laughed.  “Aff.”

Parsee stood up and sighed as she headed towards the shower.  Why did she let Yuugi talk her into these things?
« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 07:59:33 pm by IcedFairy »
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Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2010, 07:14:51 pm »
Authors Notes:

On mech choices.  Utsuho's Turkina was chosen both because of it's bird like features, but because of the very large cannon it has on it's right arm.  On that note Flandre's Hunchback was chosen for similar reasons.  It's designed to get to things and blow them up, and it has the heaviest weapon in existance to do it with.

Yuyuko got a Viking because I thought it's shape looked kind of like Yuyuko's fan spread, and because there's nothing quite like 70 tiny missiles to match butterfly spam.  Sakuya's Penetrator was chosen because of the 6 pulse lasers that do a good job of imitating knife spam.

If you can't guess why Wriggle is piloting a Firefly I can't help you.

Youmu got the No-Dachi because of the sword, and because of the triple strength myomer which allows her mech to speed up incredibly when it passes a certain heat threshold.  That's what surprised Utsuho, because the Clans don't have that technology.

While hopefully I got some of Parsee's backstory through to those who don't know the setting well, I figure I can explain more about that as well.  Clan "trueborn" warriors are all test tube babies, raised with the rest of their batch from birth to be the best combatants in their field.  Those that fail out are relegated to inferior castes to live out their lives.  The transition from "best of the best" to support crew is rather jarring, and usually poorly handled.

Kasu

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Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2010, 07:41:08 pm »
I love this fic so much you don't even know.  Keep up the awesomeness.

Apparently, Thomas the Tank Engine isn't one to take crap from anyone.

Iced Fairy

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Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2010, 01:34:25 am »
Planet Makai, Lyran Aliance

The Makai spaceport was busy.

Usually a backwater like Makai would get almost no traffic.  The world was mostly jungle, with the capitol city, Pandemonium, being in the only temperate zone.  Add in the huge prison complex on the moon of Hokai and it was not a place people wanted to visit.

However it was a place people wanted to trade with.  There was a lot of agricultural wealth on this planet, and food and medicines harvested from the jungles kept all of the more urbanized planets within two jumps running. 

Thus the space port was always filled with Overlord class dropships, each unloading the heavy industry Makai needed to run, then getting filled to the brim with goods to transport out.  The tiny Leopard class dropships like the one that dropped them off were less common, but still out in force.

Of course, Shanghai noted, her squad didn't exactly look like any of the spacers going about their business.

Shanghai smirked as a crowd of fuel techs stopped their idle chitchat and just stared at her crew.  One that broke into a smile when Reimu shot her a dark glace.

“Do you have to carry those swords with you wherever you go?” Her commander asked sharply.

“Yes ma'am,” she replied cheerfully.

Marisa laughed.  Sanae did as well but it was more nervous.  “Um actually I'm a little more worried about the tattoos...”

Yorihime just raised an eyebrow slightly and smirked.  Toyohime hid her chuckle behind a fan.  “Don't worry.  Anyone smart enough to know what these mean is smart enough to know we aren't a threat or an easy victim.”

“Probably,” Reisen added as she folded her own tattooed arms.

Shanghai rolled her eyes.  Reisen was always a worrywart.  Still that was a good trait in a comm tech, and an even better one in a lookout.  It was probably something she'd picked up in her time as a 'rabbit,' as the yaks called their petty thieves.  And no matter how panicked the girl sounded, she never backed down under fire.

Marisa just kept walking, “I'm sure they get weird people all the time around here.  So long as we go about our business they'll forget about it fast.”

Marisa turned out to be mostly right.  Customs gave them a bit of a hard time, but mainly because the teams paperwork was deliberately designed to look out of date.

The officials worked themselves into a tizzy over the discrepancies, figured out what the differences  were between the new and old documents, and then confirming they all matched up.  Of course by then they'd forgotten to authenticate the papers themselves to make sure they weren't forgeries, but hey, that what you get when you pay your security guards barely more then minimum wage.

Tokiko met them at the exit gate with a hovervan.  Shanghai gave her demo master a friendly nod then chucked her gear in the back.  “Do you need me to drive, or were my directions clear enough?” Shangahi asked.

Tokiko smiled briefly.  “This city was actually planned by someone with a brain, so we should be fine.  Not like those crazy Drac cities with their 2-3-4 Chou 3-2 street garbage.”

“Alas, our illustrious coordinator only has so much time for his great reforms, thus fixing street naming was not among them,” replied Yorihime with a shrug.

As the mech pilots started piling into the hovercraft Shanghai felt someone tap her on the shoulder.  Figuring there was only one person who could sneak up on her like that Shanghai stepped back away from the rest of the crew and quietly asked, “What is it Rin?”

Rin Satsuki materialized next to her.  The squads second sniper had an almost supernatural ability to avoid attention.  Shanghai was almost certain that most people who saw the group leave would have missed her entirely.  Still Rin glanced about to make sure no one was looking before replying, “There was another suspicious ship in addition to our own.  Another Leopard class.  Looked like it was designed to hot drop mechs onto the field.  Paint jobs old, but there's some obvious Com Star mods on it.  Might be nothing but....”

Shanghai nodded almost imperceptibly.  “You get film?”

Rin nodded in return.  “Two shots only.”

“We'll check them out at home then.”

Rin raised an eyebrow.  “Is that safe?”

Shanghai smirked slightly in reply.  “Don't worry.  Everyone there is loyal to Mother first, God second and country third.”  Seeing the rest of the crew had just embarked she began moving to board the craft herself.  “If that.”

***

If there was one thing that stayed constant throughout history, it was that a true warrior never missed a chance to sleep.  A good commander knew, if their troops didn't fall asleep as soon as they had nothing better to do, then they were getting soft.

Shanghai didn't say this out loud of course.  She respected the mechwarriors of the battalion too much to really try to rub their noses in it.  After all, while less frequent then Shanghai's training, the “Yamaxandu's” drills made everyone suffer equally.

The fact that Reimu was a Colonel to her mostly honorary Lieutenant 1st class was another factor.

Admittedly Shanghai probably should be catching some Zs with her squad, but she had other things on her mind.  She was going to be spending a week at home, something she looked forward to, and feared equally.  There was no chance she'd be able to sleep.

Deciding that just staring out the window and worrying wasn't helping, she decided to do something more productive.  “Hey newbie.  You got any questions about us?”

Sanae started and turned away from where Marisa and Reimu were probably going over supply details.  “Oh!?  Is that alright, I mean, I wouldn't want to pry.”

Shanghai could barely keep herself from giggling.  It seemed impossible that Sanae could hit so many of the 'new girl' cliches, but she did.  “Well I won't give away anything private, but I'd like of you to think of us as something more then 'the infantry.'  Especially if you're going to be running around with our crew instead of the royal guard or whatever.”

After all, Shanghai thought to herself, Mechwarriors that liked the infantry were less likely to shoot missiles near them during firefights.

Sanae looked worried for a bit more, then finally gave in.  “Okay!  Um, well, are those three really Yakuza?” she asked pointing at the trio.

“Indeed,” Toyohime said her eyes flickering open.  That was the other trick of the true warrior.  Waking up fast.

“My sister and I were the daughters of an influential businessman on the moon of Tsukimi.  Reisen here is my sisters pet.”  Toyohime stretched a bit.  “We were requesting a former associate of my father's company to return to his employment, when the Nova Cats invaded.”

Shanghai didn't add that this 'request' had apparently required man portable SRM launchers and autopistols.  Neither the sisters, Eirin, Kaguya or either of the Reisens were talking about the matter.

Instead she continued the narrative.  “We'd been picked with three other groups to help guard that moon.  We got lucky at the start.  The Clans always underestimate mercs and no one was expecting the yakuza to have mechs lying about.”

Sanae gaped.  “The Combine Mafia had mechs?”

“A full company.”  Shanghai shrugged, “Dracs take their organized crime seriously, apparently.”  Toyohime smiled smugly.

“Anyway between us and the yakuza we actually managed to knock them about a bit,” Shanghai sighed.  Bbut then they called in their bombers.  We only had one air wing, so they blew the crap out of us.  Destroyed most of the city too.”

Toyohime continued, “When the DCMS regulars lost the fight for the worlds surface Reimu ordered a full evacuation, offering space on her ship for anyone still alive.  We surviving yakuza figured we wouldn't be treated well if we were captured, so we escaped along with some of the local defenders, and the surviving mercenaries from the other bands.”

Shanghai frowned at the memory.  Reimu had held them together surprisingly well, and they'd managed to avoid a lot of deaths, but it was still a brutal beating.  “Yeah, we nearly didn't make it too.”  She reflexively crossed herself.  “Clans did their best to keep us from our ship.  Poor Chen lost her mom when the command deck took a hit, and she had to pilot the whole dropship from auxiliary, with only Sango and Flan as backup.”

Shanghai shook her head to clear the bad memories.  “Anyway that's how our resident princesses joined up.”

Sanae bowed her head to Toyohime.  “Thanks for telling me.”  She then turned her head to Shanghai.  “So, um, about you.  You just crossed yourself.  Are you Catholic?”

Shanghai winced as a stab of guilt went through her.  “Er, something like that.”  Looking out the window she could see they were very close to their destination.  “We're about to arrive at my old home in fact.”

“Oh right!  You came from this world.”  Sanae looked out the window.

The hovercraft slowly came to a stop in front of a moderate sized building with a good sized yard.  The building looked aged, but not run down, and the garden was well maintained.  Around the place was a wrought iron fence with a gate.  Above that gate sat a very worn placard, proclaiming the place to be “Our Lady of Bethlem's Children's Care Center.”

As Shanghai's crew awoke, Sanae turned from the window to ask.  “An orphanage?  And isn't that contraction for Bethlehem the source of the word Bedlam?”

Shanghai couldn't help but smirk.  “Yeah, but don't mention that around Yumeko, or she'll give you a time out for sure.”

Kasu

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Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2010, 08:54:13 pm »
Did you just incorporate Sango into your fic?  :3

Apparently, Thomas the Tank Engine isn't one to take crap from anyone.

Iced Fairy

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Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2010, 10:15:52 pm »
Did you just incorporate Sango into your fic?  :3
WIth permission even!   :V

Special operative Sango is a master of submarine combat.  However no one needs a mercenary sub commander who doesn't own a sub.  So she uses her underwater demo and ship piloting talents as a member of Hourai team instead.

Iced Fairy

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Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2010, 02:27:30 am »
Shanghai laughed as Reisen once again fell under Yuki and Mai's tag team techniques.  “You know if you keep losing Reisen, we'll have to give them your position.  Even if they are 10.”

Reisen glared at her boss.  “That's not fair!  I'm a scout.  These two are clearly heavy weapons specialists, OW!”

Reisen began trying to get Yuki's grip off her ear while Shanghai laughed.  Yorihime just shook her head.  “Please try not to break Reisen, she's fragile,” the woman said.

The two terrors obligingly let go and bowed.  “Yes, Miss Watatsuki.”

As the now freed Reisen obligingly followed the young girls back to where the rest of the orphans were Toyohime waved Shanghai over.  As Shanghai approached Yorihime asked sotto voice, “Sir, I have a question about this place.”

Shanghai quickly glanced about.  “Ask away.  I think I know what you're wondering.”

“Well first off, that woman Yumeko, Shinki's assistant.  She's a former spook isn't she?”

Shanghai smirked and nodded.  “LOKI agent.  Wasted someone in public and had to be retired.”  She smiled wider at Yorihime's incredulous glance.  “What, you don't think they just dumped criminals here, did you?  Witness protection program, spooks that need to go into hiding, political embarrassments.  They all end up here.  Mom's an old agent herself actually, though she retired legitimately.”

Yorihime looked around then asked carefully, “It seems somewhat stupid to hide out in a place staffed by enemy intelligence.  What am I missing?”

Shanghai's smile turned rueful.  “You're forgetting how often the Lyran alliance offs it's Archons.  They've had more civil wars then the Draconis Combine, and more bloody ones at that.  No one sent here is trusted anymore.  In fact mom's been having a private feud with LOKI for the past 15 years.  LOKI picks up orphans you see and trains them to be, well people like Yumeko.  Shinki thinks that's a little messed up, so she doesn't allow anyone she thinks is from LOKI to adopt a kid.  It's why the kids here are so old, and why there aren't all that many of them.”

Shanghai shrugged.  “Have to admit that probably saved me and Hourai.  I think she's still a little disappointed we went into the merc business, but it's better then spook work.  Especially now that the civil war's broken out again.”

Yorihime nodded slowly.  “Indeed.”  The woman closed her eyes for a moment.  “Though with that in mind perhaps we're abusing their hospitality a little.  After all it won't be too hard to track us back here.”

Shanghai twitched a little.  “Yeah, but we told mom when we showed up.  She agreed to the plan herself.”

“Brave woman,” Yorihime said.

“Dangerous too,” Shanghai added.  “I think she's almost hoping something goes wrong.”

***

Yumeko shook her head as she began cleaning.  LOKI had been slipping since she was out.  Too much tech based tricks, not enough actual spy skills.  It was nice not having to deal with lostech, but it made people lazy.

Case in point, instead of having multiple listening points they only had one.  Which meant anyone bugging them in return could shut off their calls to HQ when they found something.  Leaving them isolated and alone.  The fact that Shinki had been able to place a bug on their phones at all was a bad sign, but sometimes the opposition gets lucky and it's always best to prepare for that.  Otherwise things like, say, Yumeko overhearing them catching on to the moon attack would happen.

A bigger mistake was of course, picking the 5th floor for this little hideaway.  If they were pressed for time it would have been excusable, but they had been engaged in an intel war with Mother Shinki for some time.  They should have had someplace where you could jump out the window and not die.

Lastly of course they should have been ready for someone to kick in the door and toss in a tear gas grenade before knifing them all, but that's a little harder to defend against.  You should be trying to make that not an option, not dealing with it after it's happened.

Yumeko sighed and drew patterns on the walls with her bloody knife.  “It's so boring these days.  I want to stab someone who's fighting back.  Or at least have a fair practice match.”

She then frowned when she realized what she was doing.  LOKI encouraged their field agents to develop sociopathic behavior in some cases, but Shinki had pointed out that wasn't a good thing to practice in civilian life.

Yumeko shrugged.  Well she could work on her mental issues later.  Right now it was more important to warn everyone else.

She cleaned her knife and began walking back to the orphanage.

***

“Vacation's over!  Grab your things!” Marisa yelled as she barreled down the hallway.

Shanghai immediately jumped up and barked out to her crew, “Check possessions everyone, then place them in the hall.  Rin, Tokiko, and Toyohime start loading the van, Reisen, Yorihime help the kids pack.

Sanae looked out into the hall with a confused expression.  “What's happening?”

“Mission's compromised,” Shanghai stated simply.  She shrugged.  There was a reason SNAFU started with 'Situation Normal.'  She'd been almost expecting this.

Sanae's eyes grew wide.  “But we still need 2 days to charge the batteries!”

Shanghai shrugged.  “Hot jump.  We probably won't crash.”

As Sanae stared mother came into the hallway.  “Ah I see you've already heard,” Shinki said, “If it wouldn't be too big a bother could you help the kids after they're done, Shanghai?"

“Already on it, mother,” Shanghai replied.

“You always were a smart girl,” Shinki said with a smile.

She then turned to Sanae, “Excuse me Miss Kochiya, but I'd like to request asylum in your country, for me, the staff and the children.”

Sanae finally pulled herself together.  “Um, on the behalf of Planetary Chairman Kanako I accept.”

Mother smiled.  “Thank you very much, Miss Kochiya.  Now you should probably finish packing.  It'll be a day before they connect the bodies to this house, but you want to be done with your mission by then.”

Sanae managed to pull herself together enough to ask, “Are you really sure you want to come with us?  I mean, our planets probably going to be in danger from, well, everyone eventually.”

“Every planet is in some danger,” Shinki said solemnly.  Then she smiled again.  “Besides some of my cute children are already planing on living there for some time.  It will be nice to have the family together again.”

“Oh, right!  Well we're happy to have you join us,” Sanae said with a smile of her own.

Shanghai just sighed internally.  Shinki was nice, but she'd kinda moved out of home for a reason.  Oh well they could still hide in the barracks most of the time.  “Well I'm going to go grab my stuff.  It'd be bad if the kids beat me to the punch.

***

Getting all the kids into the vans and out the doors was a serious time waster, but it really didn't matter.  Chen had to get everything on the Shikigami ready for launch anyway, so they weren't getting off the ground any faster.  The tower was probably a little confused at their early exit, but strange things happened with jumpship travel, so it wouldn't be questioned until they diverted course.

On board the dropship Shinki had quickly restored order and led the children into the crew's sleeping quarters, while Shanghai and her team began their preparations.

Shanghai nodded as her chest protector locked into place then turned and helped lock in Tokiko's armor.  Shanghai team used what was considered scout armor, and while it wouldn't protect against mech weapons, it allowed near perfect movement and a great deal of protection against anything not designed to be armor piercing.  In addition it blurred their IR signatures.

Some scouts claimed that any armor restricted movement too much.  That was fine if you never engaged the enemy, but Shanghai team was supposed to fight in addition to spotting.  The youkai busters had been asked to clean out everything from planetary defense stations to enemy jumpships.

Which is why they all also carried at least one sword, or a full set of knives in Tokiko's case..  It was possible they'd end up in a zero G fight, and blazing away with a rifle in that environment was just stupid.  Gyrojet pistols could work, but they were terrible in atmosphere.  Better to have a backup weapon that had some use in combat.

Shanghai finished checking her straps then called out.  “Shanghai squad, report.”

Toyohime nodded.  “Shanghai two.  Armor ready.  Chute ready.  Autorifle, submachinegun and pistol checked.  Ammo at standard.  Grenades, four mixed.”

Yorihime saluted.  “Shanghai three.  Armor ready.  Chute ready.  Autorifle, grenade launcher and pistol checked.  Ammo at standard.  Grenades, thirty launch type, mixed.”

Reisen jumped to attention.  “Shanghai four.  Armor ready.  Chute ready.  Shotgun and pistol checked.  Ammo at standard.  Grenades, four mixed.”

Tokiko checked her straps again.  “Shanghai five.  Armor ready.  Chute ready.  Autorifle and pistol checked.  Ammo at standard.  Comgear all green.  Two satchel charges ready.”

Finally Rin just said calmly.  “Shanghai six.  Armor ready.  Chute ready.  Rifle ready.  Ammo at standard for normal armor piercing and TAG.”

Shanghai returned the salutes she got then activated her comlink to Reimu's mech.  “Shanghai squad is all green.  Ready to move out.”

Reimu's voice came in through her helmet, “Roger.  Newbie and Witch are also green.  Stand by for mission status.”

Shanghai began the long wait.  This was the worst part of a battle.  Sitting and waiting for the navy to settle things to decide if you got to fight, or if you just died in transit.

Most of her troops stood their quietly.  Tokiko tended to pace, while Reisen fidgeted a lot.

Then Chen came on the comm.  “Miko, we have a situation!  Apparently someone else is making a run on the moon!”

“What the fuck!?  Who is it?” Reimu asked.

“I'll steam the conversation!” Chen said.

There was a burst of static, followed by a voice stating, “Flight 241 delta, you are off course!  Change your flight path!”

The reply was cold.  “No control, we are on course, for the glory of Blake!  Those who oppose our sacred mission will be crushed.  Stay out of our way.”

“Are you insane!  We-”

“Cut that,” Reimu said.  “Well we won't have surprise.  New plan.  Shoot the Lyrans and the Blakies if they get in our way.  Get Byakuren out alive.  Any sign on our new foes?”

There was a pause then Chen said, “Looks like they're deploying 3 fighters and a drop pod.  Can't confirm type at this range.”

Shanghai sighed, and Marisa put their thoughts into words.

“Welp, we've gone from SNAFU to FUBAR.”

There was a long pause, then Reimu said, “And thank you for not saying 'it can't get worse' Newbie.”

“Give me some credit, Reimu,” Sanae replied.

***

Kogasa tumbled out of her bunk as the alarms went off.  After a moment of staring at the offending machinery she quickly put on her clothes and ran towards the armory.  As she did a voice came over the loudspeaker, “We have two dropships incoming, one has launched fighters the other is known to be carrying mechs.  All troops report to battle stations.  This is NOT a drill, repeat this is not a drill!”

Kogasa swore.  “Mechs? Oh great, they'll just flatten the place from a distance...”

Still she didn't stop.  It was better to be out fighting then sitting inside the prison waiting for some stray PPC beam to vaporize her.  Besides, maybe she was wrong and one of those mechs would get close enough for her to take it on.

Unfortunately she had no idea where her battle station WAS.  It had been part of the training she'd missed because her superior officer had decided eating a bullet was better then working here.  Still the armory was step one anyway.  Maybe she could get some orders there.

“PFC Tatara reporting for duty!” she said with a salute as she reached the armory.

The supply sergeant gave her a look and tossed a pack and a rifle on the desk.  Kogasa looked at it for a long moment.  The rifle was automatic yes, but it had only 4 spare clips in the pack, and the pack had a single satchel charge and a re-breather to help with the weak atmosphere.  “That's it?”

“Deal with it PFC!  Now get moving, they'll need troops at the north side,” the sergeant yelled.

Kogasa grabbed the kit and moved.  But she wasn't happy.  “Aren't I supposed to have body armor, and maybe a superior officer telling me what to do?” she muttered to herself.

Then she smiled a little as she saw the silver lining.  “Well if I don't have an active superior, no one can tell me not to do what I need to do!”

She set her re-breather then rushed out into the cold moon's “morning.”  She had to find an ambush spot.  One where she could put that satchel charge to good use....

Esifex

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Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2010, 03:46:17 am »
Special Commando Kogasa is awesome. <3 karakasas
Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2010, 03:55:01 pm »
Kogasa ! Kogasa! I cant wait to see her in action.
I have...a terrible need...shall I say the word?...of religion. Then I go out at night and paint the stars.

Dan-Heron

  • Evil Chibi-Dan -doesn't bite-
Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2010, 05:47:37 am »
well, this is more awesome than I thought it would be. I'm liking the backstories you have been giving. Short and to the point, no need for endless flashbacks huh.

I have no idea about Mechwarriors's story, but you're easily filling in the space for me.
so much evil it's poisonously healthy!

Be the Ultimate Ninja! Play Billy Vs. SNAKEMAN today!
Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2010, 06:14:32 am »
Personally, on the Stackpole vs. Milan issue, I think that Aaron Allston found a good mix between character focus and number of characters. For fanfiction, it helps that, since the characters are already established, less time is needed to get readers familiar with them.

Anyways, I know nothing about Mechwarrior lore, but, like the above poster, you're able to provide enough information that I'm able to get a grasp of the situation and climate without the story being too dry. I had a little trouble trying to figure out which characters go in which group (the Shanghai group is particularly confusing), but I think I have it down pat now.
Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2010, 01:14:29 pm »
I like this story, I'll be following it.

Iced Fairy

  • So like if you try to hurt alkaza
  • *
  • I will set you on fire k'?
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Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2010, 02:39:18 am »
Shanghai hit the ground with a roll.  Paradrops were much easier on low gravity moons like this.  No winds to slam you into a tree branch or anything.  Still you had to absorb impact somehow, and the chute wasn't going to do all the work.

When she stopped she hit the release cords and stood up.  Checking around it seemed like the rest of the squad had made it down as well, without even a sprained ankle.  Excellent.

“Squad ready?”

“Ready!” came the reply.

“Sych watches at 9:20 local time on my mark....  Mark.”

Shanghai gave the terrain another look over.  “See any good posts Rin?”

Rin pointed.  “There.”

Shanghai spotted it as soon as she looked.  An old water tower, probably part of a training ground stood distant from the prison.  There was a guard position up there, but no one was in it currently.

“Agreed.  We move there then approach the prison from that direction with your support.”

The group quickly bounded across the landscape of Hokkai.  Within a minute they'd reached the tower, and Rin had scrambled up it.  After a little longer her voice came in over the radio, “Position secure, targets set.  Waiting for your command.”

“Take out a few on the opposite side.  We'll move up while they redistribute men.”  Shanghai knew that having your sniper act before engaging the enemy was dangerous, but she figured the infantry here wasn't academy level.  Also the mech battle would be scaring people as well.

Apparently she was right.  Rin reported no problems, and when her crew cleared the final hill between the water tower and the prison there were only two guards at the entrance.

Shanghai checked the mech battle to make sure Reimu was still winning.  There was a lot of swearing, but it seemed that things were under control.  Returning her focus to the matter at hand, she pointed Toyohime to the left one then took aim at the right one.  Her rifle cracked three times, immediately followed by Toyohimes.  Both figures went down.

Reisen was already in the lead as the squad broke into a run.  The scout reached the door, whipped out a prybar and popped it open in one fluid move.  Alarms were sounding inside, but there was a battle going on so that was hardly anything new.

The place seemed to be a laundromat.  Shanghai saw the stairs and immediately signaled the team to go up.  That would help Rin cover them.

The wisdom of this choice became immediately apparent when they kicked in the door to the third floor.  Four men with autorifles turned towards them as they entered.  Reisen cut down the near one with her shotgun, and Shanghai took out two with her rifle, but the rest of the team couldn't fire for fear of hitting the others.

Then the window next to the man exploded and he collapsed to the side.

“One confirmed Rin,” Shanghai said as way of thanks.

She continued moving next to the windows as far as she could, letting Yorihime and Tokiko cover their flank as they moved, while Toyohime covered their rear.  As they moved panes of glass would occasionally shatter, as people moving down hallways were taken out by Rin.  A couple of times the blast of one of Toyohime's grenades went off, and twice she was forced to pick off someone out of Tewi's range.  But all in all their progress was easy.  The guards were disoriented still and poorly equipped.

Finally they were forced to move into the building.  Reisen checked around the corner, waved the crew forward.  As she checked the next corner a hail of bullets forced her to duck back.  “There's a squad behind a barricade!” the scout yelled.

Shanghai nodded.  “Reisen flashbang.  I'm left, Yorihime right.”  Reisen immediately pulled out a grenade and flung it around the corner.

The squad had polarized visors so they could afford to keep their flashbangs on short timers.  As soon as the grenade went off Shanghai rolled low to the left side of the corridor and opened up full throtle with her rifle.  She tagged a few idiots still standing, but most had retreated behind the barricade.

She'd expected Yorihime to fire off a few rounds then toss another 'nade.  Instead the woman ran forward, leaped off the ground, and used the low gravity to kick from the wall to the ceiling.  As her target profile changed she unloaded her own gun over the barricade.

Shanghai frowned at the theatrics, but it had worked.  She resolved to handle it in the debriefing and instead moved to secure the now open control room.

After a quick sweep she said, “Clear.”

Toyohime barred the door they'd entered, while Reisen started on the prison lock.  Meanwhile Tokiko started mining all the entrances they didn't plan to use with her satchel charges.

After a few second Reisen called out, “Lock's open.”  Shanghai nodded then took up position behind their lookout.  Reisen counted to three, then kicked in the door.

The first thing Shanghai saw when she entered was a huge man.  At least 7 feet.  Unlike the troopers they'd been taking out previously, this man was in body armor, but without a helmet.  He was bald and had a scar across his throat.  Machinegun flashes from further in indicated he wasn't alone.

Reisen's opening shot sent him staggering backwards, but he was far enough away to make the shotgun's buckshot more of a nuisance then a threat.

Shanghai yelled, “Yorihime suppress the other enemies!” as she ran to support Reisen, who was falling back.

The man, strangely, rushed forward as well.  As Shanghai lined up her gun he grabbed one of the cell doors and wrenched it open.  Shanghai slammed into the makeshift riot shield and her gun went skittering over the side of the walkway.  However, she wasn't going to scramble about and get shot. As the man pulled the door shut she rolled forward and drew her vibrosword.

The huge man leaped back nimbly, but the she still managed to hack the front of his gun off.

She was going to rush in and finish the job, but the man tossed the useless gun at her, forcing her to parry.  As she did the man ripped a chunk of the railing off and held it in front of himself like a club.

Shanghai fell back into her preferred stance.  This was going to be harder then she expected.

---

Marisa swore as her Gauss rifle missed again.  She hated this new mech.  While she knew that a Gauss Rifle had all the power of her old ER PPCs at almost none of the heat they had one huge disadvantage in her mind.  Okay, two disadvantages.  One they weren't flashy.

Two they were fucking slow.

Sure they fired at something like 5 times the speed of sound, but Marisa was used to the speed of light.  Thus she was constantly failing to correct enough for her projectiles.

And it didn't help that these three aeromech pilots were good. 

Her mech shuddered as the Pheonix Hawk made another strafing run at her.  The large and medium lasers on the plane couldn't really hurt her too bad.  But she was slowly getting nibbled to death.  Reimu wasn't doing much better either.

And since their enemies refused to switch to mech form, where their lighter models would get blasted apart, Marisa and Reimu had been mostly just wasting fire into the sky.  They knew how to force bad moves, and use their numbers and speed to keep Marisa and Reimu from hitting.  Much like the armor of old, Mechs hated dealing with fighters. 

“There any good news Miko?” Marisa asked as she missed another long range shot.

“Well Newbie is toasting the garrison mechs,” Reimu said.

Sanae's voice came over, “Yeah.  There's only one left.  A tough little Shadow Hawk.  But the pilot sucks.  I should break it and be back to help you in a jiffy.”

“Good.  There's no word on reinforcements for anyone, so I'm jettisoning my standard ammo.”

Marisa perked up a bit at that.  Reimu's Albatross had an LBX autocannon.  She usually used solid shot, but she could also switch to a fragmentary shot that worked like a large shotgun.

The advantage readily became apparent as the next two planes passed in.

Marisa managed to make one break, but at the cost of leaving her back open to the other.

However when the aeromech swooped for the kill Reimu opened up.

Aeromech's had one big weakness.  Unlike real aerofighters, they have to use air jets, not pure fusion rockets.  Which means they need large air intake ports.  Air intake ports that perform poorly when debris gets in them.

As the aeromech hit Reimu's autocannon fragments it's engines burst into flame.  The pilot ejected immediately, proving they were no fool.  The aeromech itself flew a good distance before exploding on the ground.

“One down, two to go!” Marisa said.  She frowned though as she watched the other planes pull back out of Reimu's range.

“Alright, I got the last mech.  Moving to su...” Sanae's reply washed out in a wave of static as a massive explosion occurred behind the prison.

Marisa swore.  “Why can't anything go as planned?”

---

Kogasa flinched as the mighty war machine exploded.  What was worse was it was the last allied mech on the field.

Fortunately she was mostly protected.  While a lucky shot could kill anyone she'd dug in under a heavy loading truck.  In theory the Shadow Hawk could have stood on it without Kogasa having to worry.

She needed that shielding, if her plan ever came to fruition.

The massive Shugenja inspected it's kill, then turned to leave.  Kogasa's heart briefly sank, then rose again as it began moving towards her hiding place.

The huge metal monster took a hit from a shoulder mounted SRM, and returned fire with a startling barrage of missiles.  Whoever had fired that was certainly dead.  While using mech weapons on infantry was overkill, their foes could afford that.  Which is why poping out and trying to fight those machines in the open was stupid as all hell.

As the Shugenja passed an old natural gas container Kogasa pushed a button.

As her radio signal reached it the satchel charge went off with a loud bang.  The mech pilot probably didn't even hear it.

The natural gas container made a much bigger bang.  Then it's three fellows joined in.

The Shugneja was engulfed in the explosions.  Kogasa felt the earth quaking, even as distant as she was, and debris bounced off the giant carrier she was hiding under.

As the flames died down the ammo started cooking off in the Shugenja, like an oversized string of firecrackers.  Then Kogasa noticed it was missing a leg.  As the mech began to topple the head split open and the pilot ejected into the sky.

Kogasa sat in stunned silence for a few more moments before jumping out of her hiding place and pumping her fist in the air.  “That's right!  Surprise Bitch!”

As she visually started tracking the pilots decent she realized she ought to be trying to capture the enemy warrior.  So with a wide smile she checked her rifle, then began to run towards where the enemy was descending.

She bounced across the low gravity world for a good five minutes, the last two working on where she thought the pilot had landed, now that Kogasa's victim wasn't overhead anymore.  All around she saw signs of panic and fear, but that wasn't her problem.  Even if the battle was lost, she'd killed a mech.  None of the blame would fall on her!

Finally she reached some work barracks, where the prisoners would perform tasks suited to low G work.  As she did she saw a figure in a cooling suit duck into one of those barracks.

Kogasa frowned.  This could be bad.  Rushing a person in a fortified position was a good way to get shot.

Looking around she saw two fellow soldiers hiding behind one of the other workshop buildings.  She waved them over.  “Quick!  There's a downed pilot over here!”

The two looked worried, but they came over anyways.  “Is it one of ours or one of theirs? A man wearing corporal tags asked.

“One of theirs.  I need someone with a grenade to flush them out,” Kogasa said.

“Right.  Cab, you handle it.”

The second man nodded, and the three LAF soldiers moved to storm the building.  Kogasa raised her rifle as Cab pulled the pin, tossed the grenade... and bounced it straight off the wall back into their midst.

Kogasa didn't waste any time complaining but simply jumped as far away as she could get.  She heard the corporal yelling, “You idiot!”  Then there was a massive bang, she was slammed to the ground, and her ears started ringing.

After a few painful moments Kogasa decided she was alive and sat up, nly to be greeted by the sight of a figure in a cooling suit pointing a gun at her.  The ringing in her ears slowly faded enough for her to hear, “...me?  I'm taking you prisoner!  Drop your gun and surrender!”

Kogasa looked for a way out but there wasn't one.  She slowly unslung her autorifle and tossed it aside.  Then she started to cry.  “Why does the universe hate me?”

The pilot looked confused for a moment before shrugging and motioning with her gun, “Um, I'm sorry, but I need you to stand and move along while I make my escape, or I'll have to shoot you.  No offense.  Uh, don't worry though, I'm pretty fair to prisoners, at least, I plan to be.  But you're my first so...”

Kogasa just pulled herself to her feet and let the madwoman with the gun guide her.  Apparently there was no use fighting her bad luck.
Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2010, 06:00:29 am »
That WAS a good surprise. Also, I don't blame the dude for screwing up the grenade throw: in video games I'm terrible with grenades (thankfully, not in real life).

Though, now that I think of it, that was probably more because of Newbie's miracles...

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Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2011, 12:47:11 am »
Shanghai used her saber stance to poke and cut at her foe.  With a real sword this would be a waste, with a vibroblade it was the best strategy.  Committing to an attack would leave her open to the huge man's fists, or the railing he'd appropriated.  Her vibrosword could cut straight through anything it's edge hit, regardless of force.

Her opponent sadly seemed to know that as well.  He caught her attack with a hard parry to the edge, forcing her to step back.  She responded with a cut towards his feet, stopping his advance.

She focused her eyes at his chest, trying to read his body's movements.  As she did she noticed a faded nametag on the armor.  'Unzan.'  Well, it seemed this Unzan was quite skilled.

She advanced again with a thrust that she turned into a slash.  Unzan's parry lost him a foot off his makeshift club when she changed her attack.

In response the massive man stomped on the broken walkway.  Shanghai was unbalanced by the shaking and immediately tumbled backwards in a roll.  She felt some relief when the smashing attack designed to break her skull slammed into the ground in front of her instead.

Standing, she switched to a two handed kendo stance.  She need control to beat this foe.  She began advancing, slowly cutting at his arms and weapon.  Forcing him to yield ground.  Because eventually he wouldn't be able to retreat.

“Unzan!” someone yelled from above her.  Shanghai sensed what was going to happen next, and flung herself off the causeway.  She hit the ground and rolled as twin machineguns on full auto tore apart the causeway where she'd just been standing.

Her shoulder was hurting, and she'd lost her gun for sure now, but she couldn't stay put.  She ran towards the opposite causeway, hoping that the mysterious gunner wouldn't be able to get a firing position before Yorihime caught them.  The sound of Tewi's shotgun going off at least indicated that Unzan was going to be pinned for a bit.

She made it to beneath the causeway and opened up radio.  “Report!”

“Back area is clear,” said Toyohime.

“Reisen and I managed to pin the two spec ops so you're clear from them.  They don't look Lyran,” Yorihime said.

“I've got the cell number we're looking for.  Number 182,” Tokiko replied.

“Right, I'll find the target.  Everyone else keep the enemy locked down.”  Shanghai ran down the corridor, then checked the next cell number.  183.  Wait a second...

She turned around and ran back to the cell she'd dropped down next to in the first place.  She put her face to the grate and yelled, “Are you Byakuren Hijiri?”

There was a pause then a woman's voice said, “I am.  Are you here to kill me?”

“No, we're breaking you out.  We need an aerofighter pilot you see.  Now stand back.”  Shanghai swung her blade at the hinges.  There was a ear piercing scream as metal clashed with metal, and her sword shuddered with the impact, but the cell door slowly collapsed into the hall.

The woman revealed was in fairly good shape for someone who'd been locked up for however many years.  The only noticeable oddity was her hair had gotten that strange gradient color effect from having been bio dyed and then left untreated for a while.

The woman smiled at her despite the occasional gunfire.  “Well miss, I suppose I'll trust you.  I'm not sure what help one old warrior can be, but I'm sure this is merely part of the blessed Blake's plan.

Shanghai was glad her faceplate hid her raised eyebrow.  “Sure.  Anyway we need to move out.  There's another group here, and they might be here to kill you.  And given that one of them can rip these cell doors off their hinges, they have a decent chance of succeeding if we stick around too long.

Byakuren's looked surprised at that.  “Wait, was he around 7 feet, with a scar on his neck?”

Shanghai nodded as she started moving.  “Yeah, friends of yours?”

Byakuren laughed, then to Shanghai's shock, stepped into the center of the prison hallway.  “Ichirin!  Unzan!  You can stop now!”

There was a pause in the gunfire.  Then a woman's voice rang out, “Commander Byakuren!?  You're free?”

“I think there's been something of a misunderstanding,” said the newly freed prisoner.  “Please tell Shou to get in contact with the leader of these mercenaries.”

Byakuren looked at Shanghai.  “You are mercenaries right?  Forgive me if I assumed too much.”

Shanghai shook her head and opened a radio channel.  “Boss, things are a little weird.  Looks like these guys might be friendly after all....”

----

Reimu narrowed her eyes as the two remaining craft circled.  She hoped that meant she had the advantage. 

Her radio crackled.  “Mercenary mechwarriors.  It is possible our attack on you was hasty.  We are only looking to acquire one prisoner.  After that we will leave the system.  If your objectives do not oppose that of the Blessed Blake, then we have no wish to continue this battle.”

Marisa's sigh came over the encrypted channel.  “Whatta you wanna bet they're after her?”

“No odds,” Reimu replied.  She switched to open broadcast.  “We're here for Byakuren Hijiri.  If you're after someone else we don't care.”

The aeromechs circled away to set up for another pass.  “It is unfortunate that you allow money to blind you to truth and justice.  We will have Hijiri, and no one will stop us!  By the will of Blake!”

“The will of Blake won't save you from my autocannon,” Reimu muttered while moving behind cover. 

Sadly, the two aeromechs zoomed in on Marisa.  Once again Marisa misjudged her Gauss rifle fire, and suffered more armor damage from the air strike.  Reimu quickly adjusted her barrel to fill the enemy's flight path with shrapnel, but the two aeromechs finally transformed, using their jets to glide into a crater.

Reimu sighed.  “Dammit, that Pheonix Hawk can snipe.  And the crater's big enough to allow them lots of takeoff vectors.  We've gotta rush them now!”

“Right!”  Marisa whirled her machine around and started an earth shaking advance.

Reimu started her own charge, doing her best to keep as many boulders between her and the like enemy position as she could.  Sure enough her caution was rewarded, as large and medium laser fire began streaking out from the crater as the two mechs popped their guns out like giant metal riflemen.  Reimu smiled as she and Marisa got closer.  There was no way the two light mechs could down either of her mechs in time!

Suddenly the infantry channel crackled to life.  “Boss, things are a little weird.  Looks like these guys might be friendly after all....”

“Why the fuck are they shooting at me then!” She replied.  “They said they were after Hijiri too!”

“Apparently this is her old unit.  They're here to rescue her,” Hourai replied.

The open channel came to life again.  “Mercenary commander.  We wish to discuss terms for surrender.”

Reimu slowed her mechs advance.  After a few calming breaths she replied.  “We accept your surrender.  I am Colonel Reimu Hakurei of the Youkai Busters.  I will give your unit full honors so long as you aid our escape.”

“This is Lieutenant Shou Toramaru of the Blessed Wing aeromech unit.  I accept your terms.  Might I ask how you intend to escape?”

Reimu considered the matter.  “You have a ship outta here?  My jumpship can carry two dropships if needed, but we only have one jump ready.”

“We have a ship on contract, but I doubt it is going in the same direction as you are.”  There was a pause.  “I have word that Murasa has successfully returned to our dropship.  We're capable of holding off the fighters while your infantry and the escaping prisoners evac to your dropship.”

Reimu nodded.  “Sounds like a plan.  I'll tightbeam you our raidio frequency so your Murasa and our Chen can coordinate.”

She clicked over to Hourai.  “Looks like we got everything got talked out on this end.  You have the target?  If so find Newbie, pack up and leave!”

“Got it.  Rin's got a lock on Newbie, so ETA is 20min.”

---

Kogasa was wondering if it was possible to die from shame.

“I caught a prisoner!” the green haired mechwarrior said while pointing at her.  “I think she's the one that took out my mech too.”

The woman wearing a colonel insignia shook her head and sighed.  “This mission wasn't about taking prisoners Sanae.”  The woman frowned.  “But now that she's here we have to take her, or Loki'll narco interrogate her for all the info on our ship.”  The commander finally looked at her.  “Congratulations PFC Kogasa.  You're the prisoner of the planet Suwa, which continues to not exist officially.  Betray us and Reisen here will shoot you.”

Kogasa sighed.  “Understood.”  Seeing as she had no weapons or mean of escape she nodded politely at the tattooed infantry woman with the shotgun who smiled and waved her forward.  Kogasa allowed herself to be directed to a seating room, where the passengers could strap in and wait out the high G launch.   

To her surprise several small children were playing at the front of the room when she entered.  Two matronly figures stood watch over them, while three more mercenaries chatted in the back.

“Ah!  It's one of the enemy!”  I small black haired girl ran between Kogasa and the rest of the kids.  “Don't worry Mai.  I've got this one!”

Kogasa stepped in and waited to be pointed towards a seat.  “Ahahaha...  I'm kinda already a prisoner kid.”

The one woman with odd gradient hair stepped forward.  “Ah, that voice.  You were the one who spoke to me while checking the cells weren't you?”

Kogasa started as she recognized the voice of the prisoner.  “Ah!  It's you.  Then this whole operation was getting you out?”  Kogasa sighed again.  “Man, you were right about me having to be more worried then you.”

The woman nodded serenely.  “So it seems.  However perhaps your luck will change.  You seemed like a nice person when we spoke.  I'll see about arranging better accommodations then I had at least.”

“Are you taking in strays again commander?” one of the mercenaries piped up.

The other matronly woman chuckled.  “It seems we have something in common, Ms Hijiri.”

“Why is everyone standing in the goddamn doorway?” the commander's voice called out from behind her.  “We're escaping remember?”

Kogasa waved weakly to the freed prisoner and followed the beckoning sword point towards the back, where she was pushed to the middle of the seating row.  She strapped herself in then smiled weakly at Reisen.  “So, planet Suwa.  Is it better then that moon?”

“Nice place.  Very temperate,” Reisen said with a smile.  Her voice lowered.  “So while the tin men all sit in the front, you wanna tell us how you took out Newbies mech?”

Kogasa briefly weighed whether or not admitting to blowing up someones war machine was a bad idea, but given she'd probably face the firing squad if she managed to get back into Lyran territories, she decided it was best to look useful to these people, whoever they were.

Not to mention the fact that it had been a sweet kill.

“Well you see, I'd noticed they'd allowed a lot of the natural gas tanks to run empty, which means there's a lot of fumes....”

----

Planet Suwa

Nue whistled happily as she hopped out of the cargo bay.

Hiding in the storage area of the Word of Blake transport for three days had been annoying as all hell.  Hiding inside a dropship fighting a space battle had been terrifying, even if the fight had been totally one sided.  Waiting for the Jumpship to recharge at some lame ass system for another two days had been utterly terrible.  And then there was the interminable day long trip down from orbit.

But now she was back on solid ground.  And the people she'd been tracking had piled out of the dropship so fast she was able to just walk out.

From here out it was simple.

She walked away from the dropships towards an alleyway that was moderately sized, decently lit, and the quickest path between two hangers.  Something some people would avoid, but anyone in a hurry wouldn't feel too bad about cutting through.

She could tell immediately by the flags around her, and the fact that the port seemed to be handling mostly domestic traffic that this place wasn't on the maps.  No way in hell that any small world would out and out own this many dropships.  This was good and bad.  It meant security would suck, but getting a message back would be hard.

Still Nue was gonna stick to the numbers.  Mug someone for their papers, forge a new set off the ones she stole, get a starchart and call in her bosses.  It might take a while, and she might run up a bigger bill then normal, but that was okay.

After all, when the Word of Blake found out where Byakuren Hijiri and her errant crew had escaped to, they'd be willing to pay a whole lot.


----------
Quote
Warning: this topic has not been posted in for at least 14 days.

Psh, like that'll stop me!

Anyway, I finally had some free time, so I decided to finish this up.  Why you ask?  Well 1 because I have a reputation to keep.  2 - Because I had ideas for more mecha fights.  And 3 - Because when Touhou 13 comes out they're gonna get paradropped into the next storyline.

I know.  I'm crazy.

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Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2011, 12:59:07 am »
I can't believe I forgot about this. >_<

Twas awesome though!  Keep up the good work.

And 3 - Because when Touhou 13 comes out they're gonna get paradropped into the next storyline.

I know.  I'm crazy.
Naw.  It just means you're badass when supplied with something new.

Apparently, Thomas the Tank Engine isn't one to take crap from anyone.

Hanzo K.

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Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2011, 06:53:26 am »
Mechwarrior.
Hell yeah.
I remember playing in the Battletech simulators they had at GenCon-Indy!
I was a consistent ace, even though I never took home a trophy ever.
But hey! I don't need a trophy to prove that I'm an Ace!
All in all, great fic, I'm looking forward to the next installments.
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Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2011, 09:20:32 am »
Iced updated!

<3

Iced Fairy

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Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #27 on: March 22, 2011, 05:27:39 pm »
Reimu looked out across the auditorium that Kanako had commandeered for her speech.  She felt a little nervous looking across the sea of faces.  Not because she was afraid they'd abandon her, but because this was going to be a big divergence from their old way of life.

She took a deep breath, then walked onto the stage.  The chatter that had filled the seats before quieted down quickly.  She gave her command a single nod, then moved to the podium.

“Alright Youkai Busters, there've been a lot of rumors flying about.  And a lot of them are probably true.  I'm here to confirm them, not deny them.”  She gestured to stage left, and waited until Kanako had walked on before continuing.  “I've agreed to sign on with Kanako Yasaka in defense of the Suwa system for the foreseeable future.”

She allowed a few moments of whispering before continuing.  “I know a lot of you are going to be a little worried at that.  Most of us became mercenaries because the nobles of the Inner Sphere can't be trusted.  That was why my mother became a merc, and it's why I've stayed one.  However this time is different.  Not only is planet Suwa not a huge bureaucracy that considers units like ours acceptable losses, we're getting a slice of the pie.”

Reimu pressed a button on the holoprojector allowing the details of the contract to appear on the holoscreen above her.  “We're getting 50% control of the Suwa Ironforge Mech Production plant, as well as a grant of the Eastwood lands for our home base in perpetuity.  The shares of the plant will be split as per the unit's contract, though if any of you want to terminate your contracts now we'll give you full cash equivalent.”

“In short Kanako here, wisely, isn't just asking us to be a garrison unit.  She's offering us status as an elite house unit,”  Reimu leaned on the podium.  “And quite frankly we'll never get a better deal then this.  In 15 years Suwa's going to be the equal of the Capellan Confederation.  Past that?  I don't know, depends on how bad the Lyran Alliance rips itself apart and if the Jade Falcons keep killing off their entire army with clan infighting.  But it may end up as a new great house.”

“But worrying about 15 years from now is kinda a waste since if we don't help out the whole place is gonna get glassed in a year.  This mission isn't gonna be a sinecure, but the pays more then we'll earn anywhere else,” Reimu flipped the slides to the area that Kanako had granted her.  “We're getting a home planet.  In fact some of us already have family setting up here,” Reimu pointed over to where Shinki and her crew were.

“So that's the deal.  I'll answer any questions you got.”

Sango's hand was first in the air.  Reimu smiled.  “No Sango, they don't need a submarine captain.”

“Damn,” Sango sighed as she sat back down to everyone else's laughter.

Youmu stood next.  “Star Captain, will you remain in command?”

“Damn straight.” Reimu nodded.  “We have the most experience of any unit on the planet.  The only reason I haven't been promoted is because Kanako's only calling herself a Lt General.”

“We getting a pay raise for this?” Marisa asked with a grin.

Kanako stepped up at that question.  “Considering you're already getting paid more then my personal guard?  No.  Though I'll be happy to match your salary to theirs if you insist,” Kanako said with a grin.

Marisa shook her head quickly.  “Nah, it's cool.”

There was a pause, but no one else came forward.  After a minute Reimu nodded.  “Okay!  Now I'll explain our new deployments.  First off we'll be starting on training Aeromech pilots.  Fortunately we've got 6 qualified pilots joining us.”  Reimu indicated where the Word of Blake expatriates were sitting.

Ichrin stood at that.  “Um, forgive me, but I'm not actually flight qualified.  Unzan is though.”

Byakuren also rose.  “I too must apologize.  I will not engage in war again.  I will train any pilots you want, but I fear I no longer have the reflexes to engage in fighter combat.”

Reimu frowned, then shrugged.  “Still a full wing is better then what I was expecting.  That is, if you willing to fly under my command?”

Shou stood and bowed.  “Indeed.  Your actions seem to be advancing humanity towards the dream of Jerome Blake.  It would be an honor to assist you in that worthy struggle, especially given the services you have rendered to us.”

“Okay.  We think we can have a full company of the new Aeromechs ready within 4 months.  I want all those positions filled.” Reimu looked up.  “So we'll be testing for anyone with skills in mech and fighter piloting.  That includes you bondsmen, if you want to get rid of those cords faster.”

“That'll probably leave us with a single air wing, since fighters are harder to come by.  We'll still have 4 level six units though, with Sanae and possibly some other regulars joining us.”

Reimu turned off the holoprojector.  “So now you know what's up.  You've got two days of vacation to decide if you wanna stay with us.  Then I'm putting you into the Yamaxandu's hands.”

She smirked at the groan that rippled through her regulars.  She was taking a big risk by introducing all these new pilots to the unit.  But she had confidence that Eiki could make them a unified fighting force.

---

Utsuho didn't fully wake up until she stumbled out into the cold.  Her foggy mind attempted to collect all the data to figure out what was happening.

First it was raining.  Second she appeared to be in combat fatigues.  Thirdly alarms were blaring.  And last was that everyone else seemed to be out here as well.  Not just her fellow bondsmen, but all the members of the mercenary outfit, including the techs.  Most seemed to be just as confused as she was, though some of the infantry were standing around doing stretches.

“Orin, do you have any idea what is occurring?” she asked.

Orin shivered in the rain.  “Neg, though I know I don't like it.”

“Combat drill,” Parsee said with a note of grudging respect.  “Welcome to the life of a warrior.”

Utsuho began to question her desire to join the upper caste.

The doors to the compound burst open again and two figures stumbled out, followed by a third.  “I don't care who you are!  Prisoner, Planetary Chairman or God!  Everyone's running today!”

Kanako and Kogasa seemed to recover from their confusion quickly and moved to join the rest of the group standing around in the rain.  Utsuho suddenly realized the commander of the mercenaries was out there as well.

Satori glanced at her and nodded.  “Indeed.  The commander must be the strongest warrior quiaff?  Thus she will prove herself along with the rest of us.”

Eiki looked around for a bit then dashed off to a trailer.  There was silence for a minute, then a loud crash, followed by a figure being thrown out the door of the trailer.  “You lazy ass Komachi!  You had advance warning about this drill!  Maybe running it in your pajamas will help you wake up!”

Komachi stood up a tried to rearrange her tank top and shorts into something that might have been modest if it weren't pouring rain.  “You're such a slave driver boss.  I was gonna be up soon....”

Eiki hopped out of the trailer and slammed the door behind her.  “Shut it Komachi!  All of you, get down to the course!”  She started jogging towards an obstacle course.

“Well, I guess there's only one way we're gonna get this over with so we can get dry, quiaff?” Orin said with a yawn before following the crowd.  Okuu hurried after her friend.

The courses starting area was capable of holding the full mercenary company, but only just barely.  Especially since the techs, like Eirin, Rinnousuke and the other Reisen were all here.  Even the jumpship commander was out of the field.  Add in the armor crew members, like Rika and Orange and you had an impressive number of people.

She found herself next to the Lyran bondsman, a short woman in a white Word of Blake uniform, Satori, and the Komachi woman.  She couldn't help but ask, “Forgive me warrior, but why did you oversleep if you knew the exercise was coming up?”

The tall woman chuckled quietly.  “You'll learn soon enough after swimming in those fatigues.  My outfit's gonna be way more comfortable then.”

Utsuho's thoughts on that matter were interrupted when Eiki started yelling at them from the front.  “Alright!  You old members should know the rules, but I'll repeat them for the new kids and the stupid.    You all must run this course.  There's no skipping any obstacle.  You can bust up the course as much as you want but you'll have to repair it afterwards!  I'll be running as well, and if I lap any single one of you, the whole unit gets to do it again!  Understood?”

“Yes Ma'am!” replied the mercenaries. 

“Right!  You can go when I blow the whistle!”

Eiki started off with a ground eating jog.  She crossed the first obstacle, a tire run, then blew the whistle.  The entire regiment began jogging after the trainer.

All that is except for Parsee.  Utsuho watched with wide eyes as the woman took off in a sprint.  The fallen warrior dashed through the tires, then ran up to where Eiki was working on crossing several logs over a mud pit.  Parsee jumped up on the same log Eiki was trying to cross on and immediately started making the log spin.

Utsuho blinked in surprise as both of the women became unbalanced and fell into the mud.

“Ahahaha!  Nice one clanner!” Komachi yelled from beside her.  Similar shouts of approval came from where the infantrymen had gathered.

“This is allowed?” Utsuho asked.

Satori nodded briefly before pushing her small legs to keep up.  “Expected.”

“You guys are strange,” the small mousy woman muttered.  “But if it means we don't have to run again....”

Further conversation was cut off as they reached the tires and started the course for real.

Utsuho was in fairly good shape for a scientist.  Amusingly that was probably because of her time on a space research platform.  Being forced to exercise every day to keep up one's muscle strength was a strong incentive to stay fit.  Thus the tires weren't a big problem.

As she reached the logs she noticed some of the bigger members were holding them still, to make the crossing easier for the rest of the unit.  Across the way Yugi had started reaching down and pulling up those who had still fallen in the mud for some reason or another.  Parsee was one of the first out, and she'd already continued on to the next obstacle.  Sadly Eiki had gotten out of the mud sooner, and was already past it.

After crossing Utsuho made it to the pool.  Sadly there seemed to be no trick here.  She dove in and started swimming across, marveling at the uniforms ability to absorb even more water.  She would have sworn the rain had already made the cursed thing hit it's saturation point.

She started towards a series of barbed wire posts that stretched around a curve, when the sound of automatic weapons fire ripped out.  Utsuho hit the ground quickly, wondering who was firing at them.   

“Ahaha.  Don't worry.  The turret can only fire over the wire.”

Utsuho turned her head to find a short green haired girl crouched next to the barbed wire post.  “Daiyousei, at your service.  Don't worry.  Fairy Squad will take care of this obstacle.”  The woman frowned and looked down towards the turret.  “Assuming Cirno remembers what wires to cut...”

There was a few more bursts of machine gun fire, then the distinctive sound a machine expiring and letting out the smoke that was universally known among techs to power every gadget.

Daiyousei smiled and snipped the barbed wire with a cutter she'd aquired from somewhere.  “Here you go!  Have a good run now!” she said before hopping up and running along the defunct obstacle.  Utsuho jumped up and followed.

The rest of the obstacles were similarly cleared with a combination of trickery, teamworks, and sadly sheer determination.  Still Utsuho was generally miserable and had a stitch in her side as she reached the final stretch.

Finally she got to the two meter wall.  She glanced down at Satori who had kept next to her despite the difference in height.  She leaned down and cupped her hands next to the wall.  “Star Captain if you'd help me up from the top....”

Satori nodded.  Komachi moved across from Utsuho and held out her hands for the mousy girl.  “Here.  You help too Nazarin.”

Nazarin and Satori both hopped up with a good boost from the two taller women.  Then Nazarin called back, “There's ropes on the other side to get down!  I'm gonna cut it and swap it to the front.”

“Good plan!” Komachi replied.  Soon Satori had lowered the first rope and Utsuho was oner and heading towards the finish line.

Crossing it she collapsed under a tree.  It probably wouldn't stop much of the rain, but it gave her an excuse to sit.  Still she felt somewhat pleased.  She'd survived this mess.  And from the looks of things Eiki wasn't going to lap anyone, even though only so many people could use the ropes to get over the final wall.

She nodded politely to Rinnousuke as the tech finished his own run and sat beside her.  “I am surprised your crew was out here too.  Why are you doing warrior training?”

“Hm?”  Rinnousuke took a few breaths before looking over at her.  “That's a strange thing to say.  It's not like invaders won't shoot at me just because I'm working as a tech.”

“That's not the way of the clans,” Utsuho replied.

“Really?  Aren't they coming here to wipe this planet out in order to get rid of you?”  Rinnousuke shook his head.  “Don't mistake overconfidence for morals.”

Utsuho blinked then slowly nodded.  “Perhaps you are right.”  She pondered for a few more moments as Orin finished and came to join her.  “Well this at least makes my choice easier.”

Orin looked over at her.  “How so?”

“If they demand this much training from the techs we might as well go the extra mile and become warriors quiaff?”

----

Kogasa grabbed a nearby handkerchief and sneezed into it.  “Phew.  Can I get checked for a cold while I'm here?” she asked.

She was mildly relieved when all the people present laughed at the joke.  The woman that was obviously a spook was creeping her out, but they at least had a better sense of humor then her last bosses.

“I'm sure we can check that out.  It's not like we aren't going to be monitoring all your other vials,”the long haired nurse replied.

Kogasa nodded, then shivered a little as Reisen put a sensor pad on her skin.  “You know this is the first time I've actually seen a 'bunny ears doctor.'”

Reisen sighed and batted at the offending accessory.  “I lost a bet with Master Eirin.”

Reimu coughed to interrupt the conversation.  “Ms Tatara, you understand you've put us in a bit of dilemma.    We can use good infantry, and anyone who can take out a mech solo is good infantry.  On the other hand people who drop their old allegiances within two days aren't exactly trustworthy.”

“I understand.”  Kogasa said.  “If it makes you feel better this has been a long time coming.  You can ask Byakuren about our chat.”

“We did.  Which is the only reason why I'm willing to consider this at all,” Reimu replied.

She nodded at the doctor.  “Reisen here is our resident psychiatrist.”  She then indicated the sinister looking woman.  “Yumeko here is a former Loki agent, so she knows how they think.”  Reimu indicated the polygraph machine and syringes to the side.  “So we're going to give you a stage two narco interrogation.  We might go to stage three if you fail baseline testing.”

Kogasa's heart beat faster.  She'd done a stage one interrogation once as part of basic training, and had spat out all sorts of secrets while in a drugged haze.  She was probably going to be really messed up with a stage two.  And a stage three was like a nightmarish coma.

“Of course, I understand you may not want to go through with that,” Reimu said politely.  “So you have a choice.  Get interrogated now, or work your way into our trust over a year or so.”

Kogasa took a deep breath.  “I'll take the interrogation.”

“Heh, surprising.  Well good luck,” Reimu gave her a nod, then stepped out.

Reisen finished putting on the sensors, then pulled out a syringe.  “Okay.  Close your eyes if you need to.”

“I'm not scared of needles, doc,” Kogasa replied.

The shot stung briefly but the drugs kicked in pretty fast.  Kogasa felt like she did right after taking three shots of vodka.  She wasn't drunk yet, but her brain realized it was only a matter of time.

Reisen stood up and moved to the polygraph.  “Alright, let's get some baseline data while the drugs set in.  Your name?”

“Kogasa Tatara.”

Reisen fiddled with some knobs.  “Age?”

“Thirty two.”  Kogasa blinked.  “Er, twenty five Earth standard years.”

“Good, good.”  Reisen flipped a switch.  “So did you imagine me posing in a full bunny suit after seeing the ears?”

Kogasa started.  “Wha~  No!”  She winced as she felt her cheeks flush at the lie.

Yumeko chuckled as Reisen made a quick note.  “Well that's a good baseline.  This might go quicker then I thought.”

Kogasa groaned.  She was going to embarrass herself again.

Kasu

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Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #28 on: March 22, 2011, 07:50:47 pm »
Quick update~

Seems that the training portion of the story is coming up. :3

Silly Sango!  Submarines in space?

Apparently, Thomas the Tank Engine isn't one to take crap from anyone.

Iced Fairy

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Re: The Great Suwa Incident
« Reply #29 on: March 27, 2011, 05:53:55 am »
Reimu flipped through the report then set it down.  “So you're sure she's clean?”

“We're sure she's not a spy for the Lyrans,” Reisen said simply.  “She honestly seems to have a grudge against the LAFF, and Yumeko was certain that she isn't Loki.  They only take orphans, so they always give null tells when talking about their parents.”

“Right,” Reimu nodded then turned to Eiki.  “You think she would be good for Shanghai squad?”

Eiki closed her eyes and thought for a moment.  “I assume Rin's going back to Hourai team right?  That should work well.”

“Hm...” Reimu twitched slightly as Kanako spoke up.  She wasn't used to having anyone else around during personnel meetings.  “Why Shanghai team?”

“Why do you ask?” Reimu returned.  She didn't like being micro-managed.

“I mostly just curious,” Kanako replied.  “Though it'll be good to know when I talk to Sanae later about her impressions.”

Reimu smirked.  “It's because Shanghai team will show how loyal she can be.  The yakuza trio are slow to trust, unlike Hourai's crew, but when they do accept you, you're in for life.  They've actually asked the rest of the team to join the yakuza.  Tokiko almost accepted too.”

“Now Planetary Chairman, I've got a question for you,”  Reimu pointed at Sanae's file.  “Why are you having Sanae pull second string duty in our command, instead of running your personal bodyguards?  She's rumored to be your successor, now that you've effectively succeeded from the Lyran Alliance.  Why isn't she out proving her leadership qualities for the holovids?”

Kanako laughed.  “Because I'm not stupid.”  She smileed and turned away from the mercenary leader.  “I know you mercenaries are better then most of my regulars.  I'm probably your equal, and maybe a company of my elites can match your skills, but that's it.”

“I was going to have her serving under my command, but this is better.  She won't have the same public focus, but she'll get much better training,” Kanako turned back towards Reimu.  “And of course she'll be building ties between this nations leadership and it's most powerful armed force.”

“You must have great confidence in her,” Eiki said, “to be sure that the ties that she makes will be positive and not negative.”

“If she can't become friends with those defending her nation, she'll never become ready to lead,” Kanako said simply.

Reimu frowned.  This sounded a lot like the type of politics she preferred to avoid.  But she couldn't deny it was true.

The mercenary commander resolved to have a long talk with Yukari about their employer.  It'd do the old woman good to stay off that jumpship for a bit anyway.

Reimu shook her head to clear it.  She had other problems right now.  “Well then.  Speaking of personnel; Eiki, who do you think will be getting the aeromechs?”

“I want to test those clan bondsmen we have for fighter skills first, which will sadly have to wait because they're currently teaching our mech specialists how to make real Omnimechs instead of knockoffs, but from our own forces we have the Scarlets and Mokou, as well as possibly a few others.  I'm going to start the Scarlets training tomorrow, though I know they've already begun simulator work,” Eiki replied.

“Really?  Well if they're training now, let's take a look see.”

---

Satori shook her head at her sibkin's antics.  “I do not understand why you are trying to learn the ways of the inner sphere by reading works of fiction.  Those strange holovids will damage your mind.”

“You worry too much Satori Komeiji.  And my reasoning is perfectly clear.  If the Inner Sphere goes through such trouble to waste time with these pursuits, they must find something about them enjoyable,” Koishi replied.

“Perhaps you are correct Koishi, but I think we would be better starting our learning elsewhere.”  Satori gave the other clan pilot her best command look.  “And you do not need to refer to me with the Komeiji name anymore.”

Koishi shrugged.  “You  have not been stripped of it yet Satori Komeiji.  Though I suppose it is considered odd here in the inner sphere,” Koishi smiled at her.  “But I wish to keep some of the clans ways about us.  After all, even with our Khan's failures, we are among the best warriors in creation quiaff?”

This brought out Satori's smile.  “Aff.”

Around this time they reached the locker rooms.  They quickly switched into their flight uniforms, then headed out into the simulator room.  They began looking for the mech simulators, when a voice rang out.

“Ah!  It's you two!”

Satori turned to find the fighter pilot she had faced before pointing at her and Koishi.  Standing next to the short woman was one of the mech pilots who had faced off against the Snow Raven techs and scientists Satori had conscripted.  On closer review they looked to be members of the same sibko.

“Oh.  You are Remilia Scarlet, quiaff?  You fight well.” Koishi said calmly.  “Do not mind us.  We came here to practice our mech piloting skills, as those were not covered in our Clan training.”

“You're planning on becoming aeromech pilots as well?  Hm...  Seems we have competition sister,” the blond woman said cheerfully.

Satori reevaluated the mercenary aerofighter ace.  “You have training with both mechs and aerofighters, Remilia Scarlet?”

The woman smiled and stood a little taller.  “Indeed.  Both Flandre and I are experienced in all forms of combat, as is proper for nobility.  While we specialized in different fields, we're both capable in any military role.”

Flandre chuckled.  “Except leadership roles.  Which is why our maid is a Captain and big sis is just a 1st Lieutenant.”

Remilia flushed brightly enough to match her bloodname.  Koishi and Flandre got a good laugh out of that, but Satori thought it best to allow the mercenary to save face.  “Commanding an aerowing is a different skill set then commanding a ground force.  You should remember that sibkin.”

Koishi gave off a salute of questionable sincerity.  “Understood, Star Captain.”

By this time Remilia had regained her composure.  “So why do you two sisters think you can pilot mechs?” she asked.

“We are sibkin, not sisters.”  Satori figured she would be saying that often in the months ahead.

“And we were the only warriors willing to help Utsuho and Kisume in their experiments.  The controls were designed to our specifications,” Koishi added cheerfully.

“Oh, this sounds interesting...”  Flandre's smile reminded Satori of Koishi's look when the woman had thought of something dangerous.  “Hey sis, how about a match?”

Remilia raised an eyebrow.  “Would that be fair?  After all we still have more hours in the field.”

“No no no.  Me against you sis.”  Flandre pointed at Koishi.  “She'll be my partner, you'll fight with the other girl.”

Satori knew she was doomed as soon as Koishi laughed.  “That sounds like fun.  Shall we, Star Captain?”

Still, it was not the way of the clans to run.  “Which sim pods shall we use, Remilia Scarlet?”

“Ufufufu, those there are set up for linked combat,” Remilia said.  “Try not to slow me down, Satori Komeiji.”

Satori managed a grin of her own.  “Worry more about our opponents, commander.”

---

Koishi frowned at the console layout.  Flandre had claimed it should be similar to the aeromech's mech control configuration, but there were key elements missing.  Like an altimeter.  Koishi liked knowing her height when using jump jets.

Still, at least her short arms and legs could reach all the pedals and buttons.  She would have to learn to cope with all the minor annoyances.

As she finished the machines warm up routines she brought her Timber Wolf to a standing position.  “I am ready, Flandre Scarlet.  What are our plans for this engagement?”

The inner sphere mercenary turned her Hunchback IIC towards where their foes were supposed to be coming from.  “They've got the same machines we do, which means Big sis is going to try to play queen of the hill.  She'll use Satori's long range attacks to punish us while setting up an ambush.  We should sneak up close and try to catch big sis off guard first, then clean up your commander.”

“That sounds fun,” Koishi said happily.  “The rolling hills should give us a chance there too.  I will follow your lead.”

Flandre started off at a decent pace down one of the river beds.  Koishi found the footing here difficult, but her mechs better balance and jump jets allowed her to keep up with the mechwarrior.

While they moved Koishi asked, “Flandre, if I may ask, why do you pilot such a dangerous machine?  It is strong, but poorly armored.”

“I like the power,” Flandre replied simply.  “Besides, our heavies Yuyuko and Sakuya spread out their damage a lot.  We needed someone who could punch through an armor section fast.  It's not as good in this fight, but Remi's using one too, so we aren't at a disadvantage.”

“Hm...”  Koishi considered that.  It sounded like how the Wolves planned their mech deployments, thinking as a pack.  Snow Ravens tended to alter their weapons to fit their target objectives.  Of course these mercenaries didn't have access to Omnimechs.  Perhaps that made a difference.

They stayed quiet the rest of the way.  Finally they reached the point where they'd have to break cover to get any closer.

“Do you see Remilia Scarlet anywhere?” Koishi asked.

“No.  We'll have to try to take out your sister first,” Flandre whispered.  Koishi giggled at that.  It seemed foolish to worry about volume when the radio signal was the same either way.

“I am unsure about this attack though.  Why are we double teaming Satori?  We are each her equal quiaff?”

“What?  It's a two on two.  Remilia's gonna focus fire as well.  War only has rules about who you can fight, not how,” Flandre replied.

Koishi shrugged.  She wasn't totally obsessed with zellbringen.  Fighter pilots occasionally had to take shots as they came after all.  She waved Flandre forward, then when the other woman had made it up halfway she fired her mechs jets to get to the top.

As soon as Koishi cleared the hill Satori immediately reacted, whirling her mech around.  Amusingly she was targeting Flandre.  For some reason Koishi could always get the drop on her sibkin, though it rarely came up.  All three mechs opened fire as Koishi landed.

Flandre's dual fire autocannon ripped into the Timberwolfs right arm and torso.  Several of Koishi's missiles also landed there, sending armor pieces flying everywhere.  Koishi's two PPC beams sliced into the armor of the center torso, sending armor running there.  The massive loss of almost all of the mechs right side armor sent Satori reeling to the ground, but not before she got off her own salvo.

Satori's return fire ripped open Flandre's Hunchback.  Her missiles didn't get a lock, but both PPCs tore into the mechs left torso, melting a hole straight through the massive autocannon it carried.  The rounds remaining inside went off, sending the arm flying.  The mercenary mechwarrior however managed to keep her mech standing.

Koishi stepped forward to finish the matter, as unfair as it seemed, when motion in her rear 360 display caused her to instinctively jet up and to the side.

It was a good move too.  Remilia's shots would have ripped into her torso if she'd let them land in her rear armor.  Instead she merely suffered massive damage to her right leg from the shot.  Sadly, that damage included her jump jets.  As Koishi tumbled to the ground however she heard the lock of her missile systems, so she pulled the triggers.

As she crashed into the ground she saw Remilia take a scattering of SRMs that ripped up a lot of the mechs armor.  Hunchbacks weren't easy to crack, but they were still Medium mechs.  The missiles tore up Remilia's chest armor.

Next to her Satori stood up just in time for Flandre's medium lasers to slice into her torso and set off her missile ammo.  Koishi winced as Satori lost her right arm, then winced again as Satori's return fire blew Flandre's mech apart.  She was in trouble.

Koishi forced her mech to it's feet, with some jump jet assist and opened up one Remilia, just as her two foes fired on her.  She spent the next few seconds trying to keep her mech upright under her foes assault.

When she could look at the battleground again she saw Remilia's CASE had failed, forcing an ejection as the mech exploded.  She also noticed that, while her armor was mostly gone, none of her foes attacks had damaged any internals.  She was lucky neither of them had hit her leg.

She scooted over to try to get a shot at Satori's right torso.  “Let us end this Star Captain!”

Satori seemed to agree because the other warrior whirled in place to keep a good targeting lock and opened fire.

Koishi laughed in triumph as her PPCs stabbed into the gaps in Satori's armor, sending the whole machine tumbling to the earth.  Then she winced as her leg burned off under Satori's return assault.

She gritted her teeth and waited for the inevitable impact.

After the simulator had stopped bouncing around, and the mission end screen came up, she unbuckled her straps and opened up the cockpit.  Mech fighting would take some getting used to.

---

Satori winced as the shower head proceeded to go through the standard phases or freezing and scalding hot before settling on a proper temperature.  She'd have liked to blame inner sphere incompetence for this, but she couldn't.  It seemed to occur everywhere in the military, except on space vessels, where hot water had to be rationed carefully.  There was obviously some psychological reason for it, secretly passed down among the commanding officers responsible for base design.

“How is it every time we fight it's a tie!?” Remilia groused.  “How lucky can you get?  And we both went down first!  Ugh.”

Flandre laughed.  “They did have a 25 ton advantage on us sis.  Plus all the Clan extras.  There's a reason we travel with friends.”

“Aff.  Fighting on the ground seems like much more of a slugging match.  Though I think that being able to transform your mechs will change that,” Koishi said.

Flandre shook her head.  “Not really.  Transforming leaves you open too much.  You pilots are going to have to get used to working with infantry, armor, and artillery in addition to your wingman.”

Satori nodded.  “Quite possibly.  Remember Koishi, we trained against computer opponents.  And clan ones at that.  Our mechwarriors had to learn how to work with Elementals for a reason.  And our new infantry companions will be less armored then an Elemental.”

“They're better at hiding though,” Remilia said. 

“Still, it is something to learn.  As the Remembrance says, 'When it comes to battle, it is better to know too much, then to be ignorant at an improper moment.'” Satori said.

Remilia sighed, “Well as much as it pains me to admit it, you're top class in air and mech combat.  And you seem to be willing to toss off those clan superstitions as well.”  The pilot extended a hand.  “I hope to have you join us in the areomech squad.”

Koishi giggled.  “You are not so bold to assume you are already in quineg?”

Flandre giggled as well.  “What big sis is trying to say is she wants to be friends.”

Remilia started flushing again so Satori quickly intervened by shaking the other woman's hand.  “At times like these I find it easier to simply nod and continue on to your objective.  It is safer that way.”

Remilia Scarlet recovered her equilibrium and shook her hand firmly.  Of course as soon as they broke the shake Koishi hugged her from behind.  “How cruel Star Commander.  Are you saying you were just playing along when you said you loved me?”

Satori sighed.  Sure enough the two inner sphere warriors eyes opened up in shock.  Koishi was never one for subtlety.  Still Satori was somewhat surprised that the inner sphere cared about such things.

Flandre was the first to speak.  “But, you're sisters!?!”

Satori shook her head.  “Now do you understand why I made sure to correct the term whenever possible, Koishi?”

“Aff star captain.  It seems this time you were right.”

Satori turned off the water.  “Perhaps we could exchange some cultural information.  If you have the time.”

There was a long pause then Remilia nodded.  “Yes.  Some explanations would be nice.”

Satori figured this would be a long conversation.

-------

Authors note: While more of the oddities of clan social mores will be covered later, I figure I should explain the big one.  Clan warriors are all test tube babies, and thus while people in the same training group might be related, this is considered mostly inconsequential.  Genetical decent is mostly ignored until the scientists start messing around with your DNA for the next generation.
 

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