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Deadman's Hand What Price Glory (Story Chapter Art)

Chapter 1[]

Dead Man's Hand: What Price Glory[]

Froese River Valley
Port Author
Clan Smoke Jaguar Occupation Zone
May 31st, 3059

Corporal Jake 'Fumbles' Calvin pushed his battered Commando forward through sheer force of will, even as the Uller chasing him sandblasted his remaining rear armor off with a steady stream of cluster rounds from its LB 5-X autocannon.

Uller OmniMech A (Ruins)

Uller (Kitfox) Light OmniMech

He'd been on the run for two days, since the Jaguars had ambushed and ripped apart Yankee Company of the First Davion Guards. The Captain had given the order to scatter and make for friendly lines as best they could, and Calvin had quickly become separated from the other survivors. He'd spent the entire time playing cat-and-mouse with the elite Trinary that had taken his unit behind the proverbial woodshed and whipped their collective asses. Two days, running on nothing but water, ration bars and adrenaline... and now it seemed like the Clanner bastard chasing him was done playing with his food.

Looking for a good spot to make his last stand, Calvin spotted a narrow canyon leading off the side of the valley propped, and pulled his controls sharply to the left, dodging the emerald beam of an ER Large Laser that would have ripped clean through his barely functional Commando like a hot knife through butter. Instead it detonated a tree, while pulses of azure light nipped at his heels. Finding additional speed from somewhere, he urged his Commando forward, desperately trying to buy time and distance so he could turn and at least make a fight of it.

Commando (MWO Style by Ra-ul)

Commando Light Mech on the Run.

He'd accepted his impending death, but he'd be damned if he wasn't going to make the bastard work for it!

Rounding a bend, he skidded to a halt, his momentum almost sending him sprawling across the loose gravel as he fought to remain on his feet. Ahead of him, not fifty meters away, stood a pristine Loki, painted in woodland camo. He backed up sharply, trying to get his weapons back on line, even as the OmniMech before him raised its arms, seemingly pointed directly at his head. He saw the unmistakable blue glow of particle cannons about to discharge, and closed his eyes.

He heard the twin snap of the weapons firing, and even through his closed eyelids, he saw the blue glare as they twin beams of ionized energy passed within meters of his cockpit. His controls crackled and fizzed as the static charge payed across his ripped and pitted armor, even as they promptly struck the Uller, that had just rounded the corner behind him. The Jaguar certainly hadn't been expecting the attack, and staggered backwards as most of its armor frontal armor was reduced to molten slag, the force of the impact and the sudden shift in its center of gravity forcing the pilot to fight to remain upright.

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

Loki Heavy OmniMech firing it's ER PPC

Not that the Loki was going to give them time to recover, as it quickly followed up with twin beams of emerald light and a long, steady burst from its machine-guns. One of the attacks evidently found something combustible, as the lighter OmniMechs CASE panels exploded off as the unspent ammunition for either its autocannon or SRM launcher detonated. Hell, it could have been both: Calvin was too busy trying to process what was happening to care. Taking advantage of his sudden change of fortune, he spun his Commando round and fired his last reloads of SRM's into the struggling Uller, finishing off the Jaguar machine: it collapsed in upon itself as the internal structure lost cohesion and began to come apart.

A flashing light indicated an incoming transmission on a short-range, point-to-pint frequency. He quickly turned his radio to the appropriate channel.

"I'm sure as hell glad you got the killing blow in." a oddly cheerful voice filled his cockpit, "I hate having to deal with wannabe slaves."

Looking back, Calvin saw that the Jaguar MechWarrior had climbed out of the broken remains of their ride, and was just standing there, waiting for someone to claimed them as a Bondsman.

"I'm just grateful for the save." he responded, his body shaking as the pent up aggression started to leave him, "I didn't think anyone was out this way."

"Yeah, well, we're not, officially speaking here: we only just arrived on this lovely planet, and we were supposed to keep a low profile while we extract some High Value Targets." the voice explained, "You can call me Joker, by the way."

"Calvin. Jake Calvin. Corporal, Yankee Company, First Davion Guards. They call me Fumbles."

"Well, Fumbles, I'd better signal for someone to come collect your new best friend over there, then take you back to our little corner of paradise. Can't promise you that you're be getting back to your unit any time soon, but I can at least offer you a hot meal, a shower, and a bed while we work out exactly what to do with you."

"Best offer I've had all week."

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