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Dead Man's Hand - A Taste of Ashes (Chapter Cover Art) 1

Chapter 10[]

Dead Man's Hand: A Taste Of Ashes[]

DropShip Bloody Dagger
Low Orbit, Sweet Water
Coventry Province
Federated Commonwealth
10th July, 3057

Doolally listened to the battle unfold and smiled. DeWalt and her band of savages had been growing increasingly difficult to control over the last few months, so sacrificing them to serve as a distraction was no real loss, and meant that the equipment that was the primary target would go all that further. Yeah, losing their DropShip kind of hurt the bottom line, but it had been in dire need of a near complete rebuild, and the few places willing to work with pirates charged a premium for even the most basic of work. Anyways, he already had a replacement, the recently captured Erstwhile, which he had brought along to carry as much loot as they could lay their hands on.

Dropship Re-entry

Bloody Dagger beginning it's descent into the Sweet Water's surface.

All in all, in his mind, everything was going to plan. DeWalt was getting to cause as much mayhem as she wished, but judging by the intercepted radio chatter the bulk of the militia must have used the mercenaries DropShip to arrive ahead of schedule. In far greater numbers than the predominantly light and medium 'Mechs under DeWalts command, but would still be out of the way when he hit the warehouses at the spaceport.

The Bloody Dagger and the Erstwhile had been running silent, as the old saying went. Keeping their power emissions to a minimum to avoid the civilian grade air-traffic control radar. It would never have worked if the militia had access to even a half decent military air-defense system, but Doolally wasn't stupid enough to go near a system with that kind of firepower. Not while there were still planets like Sweet Water ripe for plucking.

"Okay, take us in hard and fast." he ordered his captive pilot, "Screw this up, and I'll chain you naked to a table in the mess, and let the crew do their worst."

Fear caused the young woman to freeze up for a second, but her survival instincts quickly kicked in, and she started the de-orbit burn.

Rogue River, Sweet Water
Coventry Province
Lyran Commonwealth
10 July 3057

Joker had always considered herself to be at best, slightly above average as a MechWarrior. With almost no formal training. Most of her experience being in the form of using every dirty, underhanded trick in the book. A few she made up on the fly to stay, alive she certainly had no delusions of becoming the next Justin Allard or Katrina Steiner. Sure, she had some natural talent, but if her self-proclaimed Fairy Godfather, a man she only knew as a voice on the radio that called himself Thief, was to be be, both of her parents had been MechWarriors, so there was no doubt something in her DNA.

Not that she gave a single flying ****** about her parents, which was apparently exactly what they gave for her. Given her mother had apparently dumped her on her father, who then palmed her off on Sister Lucy at Sacred Heart.

No, Joker had always believed her was a adequate pilot and gunner, and had never put herself in situations that pushed this belief. So, it came as something of a surprise to her when, in her almost outside herself state, she witnessed herself taking down pirate after pirate with a grace and easy that she simply did not recognise. She was aware of the rest of her team, in the chaos around her, watching her back but never getting between her and a kill. Occasionally a militia MechBuster would swoop in, unleashing a devastating burst of autocannon fire before vanishing into the night. One such attack almost ended in calamity for the pilot as a badly damaged Vindicator managed to score a hit with its PPC, even as its reactor when into shut down. The badly mauled strike craft struggled to regain altitude, drawing the attention of a Hermes. Which quickly lined up its two medium lasers for what was sure to be a killing shot.

Joker's Loki strode forward, its left arm PPC ending a stream of ionized particles into the face of the crippled Vindicator, even as she came up behind the seemingly oblivious Hermes. Raising her right arm, she pressed it right up against the back of the far smaller 'Mechs head, and pulled the trigger.

Hellbringer - Loki Heavy OmniMech (Firing ER PPC) (Farseer Animation)

Loki firing it's ER PPC

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