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Chapter 13 - Can you tell me where can we start over?[]

Blackjack, Lyran Commonwealth
August, 3050


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One of the most important traits for a warrior, or a soldier, is the will to prevail...

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Can you tell me where we can start again (cover art) Chapter Art

The Chameleon is a medium 'mech, and it's a trainer.  It's configurable to provide the illusion of several models of Battlemech for force-on-force training purposes, including exotic computer systems and emitters to simulate a variety of possible enemy designs.

Cadet Henry Ngo figured out one more use for the system.  He'd figured it out in the hours after the Regulars broke and the invaders had already stormed the campus.

You see, if you can look like any 'mech, you can mess with people's heads, but it also presupposes you can look like no 'mech.

He waited around a corner as the chicken-walker configured light-with the firepower of a heavy stalked through the space between the Field House and the 'mech hangars.

He waited, with the system set to reflect even more battle damage than shakey sue actually had.  The illusion was helped by some of the actual damage, the Jade Falcon 'mech was looking for an active, evading, opponent, it walked right past him, presenting thin rear armor and elbows-down mounted weapons, to his medium lasers, machine guns, and fist.

Buzz-saw-blazing fire hit the enemy from behind, and the punch reached the reactor, crumpling it and forcing the release of high-energy plasma cooling and condensing.

He jumped to the next point, passing the ejecting enemy 'mechwarrior in a steep arc to the south.

This of course, ****** any illusion of stealth, and he flicks the board mid leap to reflect a Shadowhawk as he landed.

The others in his cadet platoon had already mostly either surrendered or had been taken down.  Henry was by himself, but he kept the channel open, hoping to hit the frequency of a militia unit he could hook up with.

Landing was going to be a problem-some of those tick-like infantry things were nearby and the bastards spotted him.  Henry did the first thing his instincts said to do-he poured on the speed to evade them.

"Nope, nope, nope...not that stupid. nope..." he muttered and bunny-hopped a section of elevated roadway, almost landing on another one of those damned box-bodied light machines. Opportunity knocks, and Henry opens the door and delivering a swift kick aimed at the thing's backwards knee. A textbook follow-on with his remaining hand/fist actuator, denting the caul-like structure protecting the thing's low-mounted head/cockpit.

He missed the head, but damaged the thing's left weapons-arm, enough to grab it, and twist, while backing away under running load.

More tick-bug-soldiers appeared, one in the air-he swatted with the ripped off arm, sending the armored infantry trooper tumbling off to impact the third story of a commercial building, and then...

They were on him.

The light 'mech was pretty much done, and didn't shoot into the melee, as Henry thrashed, and grabbed at the agile, viciously tough, little armored bug-men.

He managed to stomp one of them before the readouts showed all the actuators in the other leg were offline, followed by armor diagrams going red, then black, and then...his gyro went down mid jump.

He still had an arm, so as he hit, he slapped down and rolled, but it was pretty much over at that point.

"This is where you surrender, Surat." said the Clanner

Henry grabbed the eject handle, and said, "Not done fighting yet." he pulled.

His ejection seat sent him down 19th street, stripping flesh from his legs and mangling his right arm before the malfunctioning zero-zero seat popped the chute, tangling him up further.br>

The vibroblade that cut the hawsers away and peeled the wrecked ejection seat off of him, was accompanied by a young guy, maybe Patrick's age, in a green uniform that wasn't Lyran.  Jade Falcons they said.

"I think you are done fighting now, surat."  the man said, then, "Medtech! Over here!!"


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