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Fighting Uphill - Chapter 29[]

Wolves On The Prowl​[]

Colonel Wolf Returns[]

4th December, 3015
Zenith Jump Point, Fort Loudon System
Lyran Commonwealth

"Welcome back, Jaime." Joshua greeted as his brother stepped out of the shuttle. And Jaime did indeed step out of the shuttle because, the WDWS Athena had just finished turning over after jumping into the Fort Loudon system when Jaime's shuttle had arrived. Said shuttle had barely docked when the Athena lit its transit drive and started burning towards the third planet in the system at a steady one gravity.

Aegis Class Heavy Cruiser (3D by psicore)

WDWS Athena, Aegis Class Heavy Cruiser

"Thanks, Joshua." Jaime acknowledged.

"So what is the plan for when we get to Fort Loudon." Joshua asked.

"We go in, kick the DCMS out, move on to the next planet that needs us, and repeat." Jaime replied.

"What brilliant tactical planning, Jaime." Joshua laughed. "No wonder we all follow you."

Reunion with a Waco[]

11th December, 3015
Fort Loudon System
Lyran Commonwealth

Orbital drops were among the riskier moves a mech formation can do. As the name says, mechs are dropped from low orbit or the upper atmosphere, depending on jump jets – ones already installed or externally fitted – to prevent the dropped mechs from hitting the ground too fast. The move was risky because there was a high chance that any given mech would hit the ground too fast anyway. Or that enemy aerospace fighters would catch the mechs mid-air and blow them out of the sky. Or as too often happened, the dropped mechs would land safely, but be scattered over so wide an area that they would be easy prey for the enemy before they could get back together.

But the advantage of the orbital drop was that there was no faster way to get mechs from orbit to the ground in fighting condition. The Lyran defenders on Fort Loudon were being hard pressed by the Kuritans right now, and the orbital drop was the fastest way for the Dragoons to relieve them.

Marauder II (Blackpants Version 1)

Marauder II Assault BattleMech

Natasha Kerensky had done orbital drops before. But this was her first orbital drop with a mech that had built in jump jets. And it was certainly her first drop with a mech that had little winglets that provided some mid-air control over the direction she was falling in. The combination provided Natasha with a degree of control that she had never had before, and she grinned as she literally aimed her mech at one end of the enemy battle line. The rest of Natasha's battalion had been equipped with built in jump jets as well and followed their leader as best they could.

Natasha's grin grew even wider as she realized that not only was she approaching the Combine's battle line from the side, but also from slightly behind it. They hadn't even noticed the Dragoons' arrival yet. There was also a conspicuous absent of Wasp units. A quick zoom in examination of the Combine units showed that they weren't Combine regulars, but some mercenary group, close to a regiment in size.

Using the greater drop control her Marauder II afforded her, Natasha landed right on top of the enemy. Literally. Natasha landed on an enemy Vindicator with a crunching crash that left little of the Vindicator intact and certainly not operational. The Marauder II's legs flexed and bent to absorb the impact of landing, and as it returned to a standing position, Natasha started firing on every enemy mech that she could see. The rest of her battalion landing behind her did the same, at least those that landed in range. Most didn't, but ran as best they could to join the fight as fast as they could.

Although caught by surprise, the other mercenaries quickly rallied and reoriented their battle line to face the incoming Dragoons.

"Wolf's Dragoons!" a voice called out on the open frequency. "You dare fight Waco's Rangers again? Good! Now we'll have our revenge!"

Natasha paused her attacks at this announcement, thought hard for a moment, and then switched her own radio to the open frequency.

"I'm sorry, but you will have to jog my memory." Natasha said pleasantly as she opened fired on a Waco Jagermech. The Dragoons had fought a lot of people since first arriving in the Inner Sphere, many of them mercenaries and Natasha honestly couldn't recall the name of every unit that the Dragoons had gone up against. "Have we met before?"

Where is everybody?[]

28th January, 3016
Port Moseby
Draconis Combine

After Fort Loudon, relieving Meacham and Fatima had been easy. The Combine had pulled back part of their Great Army to defend the Dieron military district from the Lyran and Sun armies marauding in their rear. Dieron itself had come under siege as Davion forces moved up from the now quiet Capellan border to probe the system's defenses.

Port Moseby was different. The Combine had taken it early on, wiped out the previous Lyran defenders before any relief force could reach the planet, and was actually trying to hold on to the planet.

The Dragoons' push into the system was accompanied by more mercenaries as well as new Lyran aerospace and ground units so green that they were practically still wet. But between them and the Dragoon warships, they were able to push out the Draconis fleet, but not destroy it outright. It hung around, ready to make spoiling attacks if the Dragoon ships tried to take up orbital fire support positions, attacks that could destroy one or more Dragoon warships that still had unrepaired armor damage from many many years ago. But they were just out of range enough that if Dragoons tried to chase them down, they'd be led on a futile chase across the system.

The end result of course was a pitched ground battle to decide who was going to own the planet. With the Dragoons forming the core of the liberation force, the ad hoc Lyran force pressed the Combine defenders hard. The smaller merc groups had a wild variety of tactics and fighting styles and competency levels, making them hard for the Combine to predict on what they were going to do as Jaime assigned them to different objectives based on their strengths. It helped that the Combine units hadn't received any reinforcements lately, especially no replenishment of their bug swarm recruits, which seemed to throw some of their commanders off their game.

Jaime of course was leading from the front. Which was a problem because the front had moved on somewhere else while Jaime's lance had been busy. The fighting had been that chaotic. Now Jaime's lancemates were down, although two of them were still alive, and Jaime's mech while still operational had armor that had all the protectiveness of Swiss cheese, was out of ammo, had both arms blown off, and an engine leaking enough thermal radiation to make his cockpit uncomfortably warm. And he was walking with a limp.

All right, Jaime thought. All he had to do was get himself and his two dismounted lancemates back to base camp and they should be fine...

A company of damaged but still very battle ready light mechs topped a nearby rise. They were marked as the Sword of Light, and they spotted Jaime the same instant he spotted them. Stravag. Jaime readied himself to fight in a mech that had no weapons left and would probably go down to a strong sneeze.

The lead Sword of Light BattleMech, a Panther, raised its hand, stopping the other mechs in its companies from attacking. There was a pause as the Combine mechwarriors seemed to not know what to make of Jaime. Finally, their leader spoke.

"Warrior." the presumed leader spoke over the open frequency. "I, Minobu Tetsuhara, Tai-i in command of Reconnaissance Company Gold of the Twenty Second Sword of Light Regiment, samurai of House Kurita, and soldier of the Draconis Combine, honor your prowess and your courage. We shall not kill you now. Return to your forces if you can. Die in battle as a true warrior."*

And with that, the Kuritan mechs turned away to find more capable opposition to fight.

Note from the Author[]

* Credit to Robert N. Charrette for Minobu Tetsuhara's speech that I lifted almost verbatim from Wolves on the Border. The only thing I changed was which exact Regiment that Minobu was working for.

  • Wiki Note: Thus ends the story, Fighting UpHill. The author was unable to continue.

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