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A Warrior's Family (Chapter Cover Art)

Chapter 80[]

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Desperately Seeking to Contact Father[]

DS Phaidin, Leopard Class 'Mech Carrier DropShip
Necromo System, Capellan Confederation
April, 3030



"Oh, just when things couldn't get any better, there is a Leopard CV coming around Necromo's moon." Hawkins said, "And they're deploying two Aerospace Fighters. It looks like two Corsairs. Probably the ones you and Swanky Bob were trying to take down while Anastasia was tangling with the Phoenix Hawk LAM."

"I thought you and Swanky destroyed the Corsairs." Anastasia said. She was sitting on the floor and comparing the manual schematics to what she could see in the console's access area.

"No." Kate carefully turned the Leopard's nose so it turned on its axis while maintaining the same heading. "They dropped their bombs and overthrusted right the hell away from us. Colonel Norton told us to let them go and support the White Tails. By that time our former 'friends' were engaging a third wave of Capella fighters."

Leopard CV (Underway in Space)

Leopard CV Class Fighter Carrier DropShip

The Leopard CV could now be seen through the Phaidin's viewports. The Leopard CV or Carrier Vessel was similar to the standard Leopard in armament and general dimensions, but the CV was designed to carry only fighters. This meant the 'mech bays were removed and replaced with four aerospace fighter bays, and the two original aerospace bays were moved next to the others. Finally, the bottom of the aft portion of the Leopard CV was removed creating a long tail and wing section.

"Any fighter response from the Capellans?" Hap asked.

"We scrapped so much of their garrison they're probably glad to see us leave." Kate said as she lined up her crosshairs to target the relatively delicate place where the elongated and fragile looking tail of the CV was connected to the rest of the DropShip. "I'll try to pound their mother ship as long as I can keep it in my sights. Back when I was in the Hussars the girls and I called shooting the tail off a Leopard CV 'gelding' it."

"I'm a little afraid to ask, especially since you seem really excited about doing it, but why?" Hawkins said.

"Well, once you shoot off the tail section of a Cee Vee they can't enter atmosphere. So the crew can still do their job, but they can't ever land, or go to any planet and have 'a good time' Technically they can't 'get it down' rather than 'get it up', but you get the idea."

"Yeah I get it." Hawkins answered. "You sorta of have a real mean streak in you."

"You're not the first man to notice." Kate said.

"I kinda of like it." Hawkins responded.

"You might be the first man to say that." Kate answered.

"Alright you two, Hold your fire." Roweyna said, as she shuffled through Colonel Norton's blood soaked and torn papers. "I think they're jest trying to help their fellow traitor break contact. I'm sure there is somethin' here to explain what is going on." Roweyna turned to look at Henry, "Henry, I need ye to fix the radio. I must speak with my Father."

"Yes, Mum!" Henry said, "The diagnostic can't tell me a-thing so we'll just start in the aerobay." He then turned on his heels and briskly marched out of the bridge flanked by Lucas and Smythe.

"Wait." Roweyna called out, she put her boot on Colonel Norton's chest and pulled the knife out. She motioned to the dead man with the knife, "As ye go, throw that nasty thing out an airlock." Henry nodded and motioned to his companions. Smyth grabbed the legs, and Lucas took the cadaver by the shoulders and followed Henry. "And send someone to take Mr. Dobson to the morgue, we'll give him a proper sendoff later."

Roweyna motioned to Sarah, "Joker, Mags, please escort Ms. MacGreggor down to the sick bay." Roweyna turned to the young woman, "Sarah, they are both heavily armed, and if there's any trouble ye jest let them take care of it. "

Sarah nodded as Mags took her by the elbow and guided her next to Joker. Mags, Joker and Sarah started down the hall and Joker said, "I once had a buddy that was too close to a flash-bang."

Sarah jerked her head in Joker's direction, "Was he okay? How long did it take him to heal?"

"I dunno. He was running around screaming and got stepped on by a 'mech."

Mags reached over and punched him as Sarah shook her head, "Thanks, Mags."

Kate had been turning, or spinning the Leopard to track the Corsairs. "You want to even up the odds for the rest of the family?" As Kate spoke both Corsairs were flying directly toward the Tir na nOg and the Chippewa that was retreating from the Stuka. As the 50 ton fighters passed the bridge crew could see the damage to both fighters. They wouldn't survive any sort of extended engagement even with the odds in their favor.

"Damn, you and Swanky Bob really put the hurt on them." Hawkins said.

"The Stuka wasn't designed to play around." Kate said, "I mean it has enough armor where you could, but it's so heavily armed you don't need too. Those Corsairs can take some punishment, but I was surprised they lasted that long. Maybe it's time I finished the job."

Catapult (Animate picture - Firing by TMC Group)

Catapult Heavy 'Mech

"No." Roweyna said, "I'd wager their plan was to destroy the Tir na nOg and escort us, or the Phaidin, to the Colonel's JumpShip. Until we can get control of the ship it's best they think their boys were successful. Besides if I know my father-"

Highlander Assault BattleMech (In Combat - Papercraft Version)

Highlander Assault 'Mech

As she spoke the Tir na nOg rolled over to reveal the open 'Mech Bay again. Dillon in his Dervish had now joined Crow's Catapult and Kelly's Highlander. As the Tir na nOg spun around Dillon, Crow, and Kelly launched their complete complement of one hundred missiles toward the Corsairs.

The two Corsairs broke formation, but the missiles traced their way toward the fighter on the starboard side. As the fighter tried to avoid the missiles there was a flash of Kelly's autocannon. The missiles struck the fighter as the autocannon hit the underside of the Corsair. The Corsair exploded, as his wing mate tried to maneuver away from the 'mech's line of sight.

Corsair Aerospace Fighters (Deep Space - with jumpship behind

Corsair Medium AeroSpace Fighter

"-that will be unnecessary." Rowyena finished. The remaining Corsair and Chippewa moved past the Phaidin as they raced toward the Leopard CV. "We'll jest play along and hopefully they'll let us get ourselves repaired before they try anything."

Kate took off her cooling vest and dropped it on the deck next to her chair as Hawkins turned the screens to project a "forward" view. Hawkins casually glanced over at Kate. She was wearing simple black stretch-fabric top and bottom. Hawkins noticed Anastasia was wearing the same minimal clothes designed to "help" with the oppressive heat of 'mechs and aerospace fighters. Anastasia half crawled into the panel and started to dig into the cables.

"Woah, I'm surrounded by foxy ladies in their underwear while I'm flying a drop ship. It's like I'm in one of those recruiting holovids." Hawkins said.

"Yeah, especially since you're not actually flying anything." Kate said. "Anastasia put your ass down, Hawkins is getting excited and distracted."

"Anastasia, maybe you should-" Hap started to say,"I think I'll go get your coveralls.".

"It would be more helpful if you held a flashlight, mon amour." Anastasia called out as she turned on her side.

Hap took off his own cooling vest, revealing his bare chest and a simple pair of camouflaged shorts. He kneeled between Anastasia and Hawkins and pulled a flashlight out of the tool box.

As Hap tried to look into the panel and focus the light Hawkins squeezed his shoulder and said, "That's right big boy you just get nice and comfortable next to me."

"I'm about to punch you." Hap warned.

"You're going to punch Hawkins, well now I'm getting excited." Kate deadpanned.

"Hey." There was a pop and hiss and Anastasia flinched, "Okay. That's a power cable. A very small and probably not rated to carry high amperage power cable." She moved around, "You two leave my husband alone."

Hawkins and Kate exchanged glances and looked like they were about to tease Hap.

There was another sickening hiss and the lights dimmed, "Oh it's not that wire, this whole back panel is electrified, that's bad, very bad. Hawkins, how are you not dead?"

"Funny you would ask, see when I was young cadet pilot-"

"I dunno think I need to remind you four, that we're on a drop ship we cannot steer, headed toward a jump ship that I'd wager is going to take us somewhere we don't want to go, and we have no way to call for help." Roweyna said as she collapsed into a chair at the Navigation Station.

Kate glanced over her shoulder, "Roweyna you're not looking so good. Why don't I take you down to sick bay, I promise we'll focus and get the controls fixed."

Stuka Heavy Fighter (Battletech Space Wars Game Mod)

Stuka Heavy Aerospace Fighter

There was a proximity alarm, and one of the screens altered to show Swanky pulling close in his Stuka. Roweyna pointed to the monitor. Hawkins flipped a switch and the screens turned transparent again. Swanky had matched vector and heading with the leopard and was just a few dozen meters away. It looked like he was flying straight up from the perspective on the Leopard's bridge, but everyone could see each other clearly.

Swanky pointed to them and gave them a thumbs up and raised both hands at them questioning.

Hawkins pointed to his ear and his mouth and held up his arms in a crossed X.

Roweyna collected a few large sheets of paper and began to hastily write "HIJACK STOPPED, DET 3 & COL N DEAD, CONTROLS & COMMS DAMAGED." She passed them to Hawkins to hold up for Swanky to see.

Swanky nodded and gave them an ok gesture. He continued to fly next to them as he spoke over the radio.

He held up a sheet with "GET HOME QUICK" written on it.

"What does that mean?" Kate asked

"It means as soon as we can we get ourselves to Donegal." Roweyna said, "Now I'm going to sick bay. If anything changes come find me."


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