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New Dawn in the Suns (Chapter Cover)

New Dawn in the Sun's - Chapter 12[]

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Celebrations and Deals[]

Maharaja Palace
Basantapur, Federated Suns
July 5th, 3016

Mary Garg stomped down the halls of her fathers palace and nearly kick the door to his office off its hinges. Having just returned home on a two-year maternity leave she was already in a foul mood from dealing with her step-mother, and getting back into shape from giving birth to twins. The last thing she needed was her father interfering with her life further then he already had. Going down to the Mech bay to discover that her Shadow Hawk had been pulled into Trevlu for an upgrade without her knowledge or consent had been the last straw for her strained temper. What she saw when she kicked open the door was enough to make even her temper take a back seat.

Her father, Andrew Brockton, and Prakash Azad where dancing around the room like the teenagers they had been decades ago, singing at the top of their lungs about how they were the champions. Her father was in point of fact waltzing with the portly Prakash, seemingly ignorant of the dignity he spent so much effort, time, and money maintaining, while Andrew spun in a circle as if trying to tango with an invisible partner.

"What the fuck." That was the only response Mary could muster to the scene in front of her. She had thought it was a quiet comment, but it obviously hadn't been quiet enough. Her father bounced, bounce! Over to her and swung her in his arms as if he were twenty years younger and she was still a little girl.

"Mary! Welcome to the celebration!" Roger's grin was infectious, a true grin of mirth rather then the politicians smile he usually had on.

"What is going on?" Mary said as soon as she sort of recovered from her shock.

"We got the contract! The 2D2 is ours!" Andrew cheered, from the floor where he had fallen. "And the Swordsmans endorsed! As many as we can build! We made it… finally."

"2D… two? Is that why 'Mech wasn't in its hanger when I went looking for it?" Mary's smile was more of a predators barred teeth as she turned to fully face her father.

"It was supposed to be a surprise for you when you're cleared to pilot again." Roger answered, ignoring the danger he was in. "I got you the first kit off the production line!"

"You're messing with my ride." Mary stated flatly, remembering that none of the three men she was facing had ever been a 'mech jock. Her father and Prakash had been techs, damn good ones, but still techs while Andrew had done his service as an infantry officer. Why he had chosen that she had no idea, since she knew he was more then capable of piloting a Battlemech.

"It was going to be messed with anyway when you got back to your unit," Prakash, her unofficial uncle, clearly knew her temper was about to blow. "The 2D2 is being implemented across the entire AFFS, every SHD-2D Shadow Hawk is being upgraded."

"Wait, why were you looking for your mech? The doctors told you another two weeks!" Roger said with alarm, clearly worried about his eldest.

"Civilians. No offense to your doctor, but he's used to dealing with pampered princesses whose fathers wont let them break a nail without a visit to the doctor. You raised a real woman, not a spoiled little shit." Mary snorted. "Besides I got an odd message from my CO and needed to blow off some steam before I came to talk to you."

"Somethings up," Andrew seemed to sober up. "You were on the Drac border weren't you? So why would your CO be asking you anything?"

"Because his third battalion was just pulled and reassigned to Colorado to rebuild, and he wanted to know just what the fuck was going on out here that the First Prince was pulling one of his best off the line. Not to mention the second regiment is already in transit to Brockton."

"Chisholm Raiders being moved in this direction…" Roger frowned a bit, the news breaking through his good mood. Then he grinned and deflected. "Makes sense. It's Andrew's fault."

"Andrew?" Mary's voice was syrupy sweet, the same tone she had when Andrew had tried to introduce Harry to her as a potential husband. Mary didn't have anything against Harry, but she would be damned before she let anyone decide for her who she was marrying. Her fathers second marriage might have worked out in the end, but she had watched it nearly explode too many times to believe in arranged matches.

"I might have…" Andrew paused clearly trying to figure out how to say what he wanted delicately before deciding it wasn't worth it. "Gotten a bit blacklisted with the MRBC."

"And?" Mary knew the wily old man, there was more to the story here.

"Well the March Militia was hurting for equipment and without being able to hire mercs I arranged some support for them in exchange for them taking care of a few problems." Andrew replied shamelessly. "It's a mutually beneficial relationship…"

"Christ…" Mary couldn't help but face palm at that explanation. "Did you have to go the most stereo typically Lyran route you could?"

"Well… Speaking of being excessively Lyran have you thought about what you're going to do after your maternity leave is up?" Andrew asked shrewdly.

"NO. Andrew…" Roger seemed alarmed which was unusual.

"She's a Major! And family. Perfect to build our security force!" Andrew defended himself readily.

"Nope. Not happening." Mary shot that idea down as quickly as she could. She loved her family, but she wasn't ready to give up her career to be a glorified security guard. "I'll be either back on the front lines with my regiment or taking a teaching slot."

"Are you sure we can't convince you?" Prakash spoke up. "We're going to be expanding shortly and its going to be the sort of challenge that a gifted officer like yourself would relish. Lots of travel to new and interesting places, without the whole people trying to kill you when you get there bit."

"No, even with the panic you probably generated on New Avalon. I'm not ready to leave the saddle yet. Not even for a challenge." Mary paused and then narrowed her eyes. "What sort of interesting places?"

"Taurian Concordat for one," Prakash held up a hand to stop the impending explosion. "The First Prince wants as many Swordsmen as we can make in the next five years for the Crucis March militia, and he doesn't care how we go about it. We don't have the ability to ramp up our engine lines beyond what they are but over the border…"

"The Bulls!"

"If that's not to your liking we do need a team out in the Outworlds, Alliance Defenders are usually pretty reliable, but you never know…" Andrew threw in.

"Or if that's not to your liking, the League needs to be at least explored as an option." Roger reminded everyone.

"Why not the Lyran Commonwealth?" Mary asked in exasperation. Clearly her father and his friends were going to be exploring every possible option for engines. "Or the Canopians?"

"Leagues manufacturers are booked solid rebuilding the FWLM, and what's left over is being hoovered up by the provincial forces I doubt we would get much." Prakash said with a shrug. "Lyrans are being handled by Brenda and Harry who are there on an unrelated project."

"Speaking of which, how would you feel about being a test pilot instead of the head of security?" Roger asked with a false casualness. "We might just have a new offering that needs evaluation soon."

"Within the next two years?" Mary asked calmly. Her father had many faults, but no one could accuse him of not loving his children. As much as it had annoyed her when she was younger his decision to sell the Striker Assault Mech in order to put all three of his children from his second marriage into their own mechs was proof of that Even his decision to buy a trio of Clints rather than more capable machines. He had kept his children in the second line by a clever application of money, though there might be trouble if they ever realized that he had known exactly what he was doing when he bought those mechs. That love was the reason she didn't snap at him despite his constant efforts to get her into a safer line of work, not that she had any intentions of switching careers.

"No, unfortunately, its going to take us at least four or five even with all the data we got from MacEnroe." Roger slumped a bit as he said that.

"Might be less, we don't know how much of the six bee data will work." Andrew disagreed.

"Stick to weapons, which you know. My engineers are telling me four to five years and I trust them to know. From what they're saying the problem won't be the engine switch, it's the revised arms. They're going to be heavier than what was originally mounted so the shoulder joints will need to be reworked, and that takes time." Roger smiled a bit apologetically as he said that.

"Point. My people were working with known frames, and we didn't mess around with anything that would effect the joints." Andrew allowed. "Bringing the conversation back around to our original point; the Canopians are out because they're already having quality control issues. If we ask them, to deliver they would need to produce more and that would mean speeding up their lines, which might end up with one of new built mechs undergoing spontaneous disassembly when the Canopian built engine fails."

Mary opened her mouth to ask, sarcastically, if they were going to try the Dracs or Capellans and then decided against it. Her father had sat her down and explained in detail exactly what the Plague Dogs were when she was younger, and what that meant for the people of Brockton. While the fighting during the first war hadn't been the most savage in the sphere, that honor was reserved for the frontiers of the free worlds league, it had been bad. Nuclear releases were bad enough, but they didn't stigmatize the survivors the way biological or chemical strikes had.

There were always survivors, and most had made their way to Brockton in the aftermath, looking for understanding. By the end of the second war it was estimated that at least ten percent of the planets population were either direct survivors, or descendants of those who had lived through an engineered plague or a chemical strike. There was a living memory, and visceral hatred, brewing away on Brockton. The mere suggestion that they would cooperate with the people who had done that to their ancestors could make things interesting in the Capellan sense of the word. Instead of antagonizing Andrew, and probably her father too if she was being honest, by being a brat she brought the conversation back to the 'mech they had been talking about.

"So this new offering, what is it?"

"You don't recognize the MacEnroe name? For shame, we need to get the target identifying books updated again." Prakash gently joked. "It's the Crossbow."

"A Militia Mech? You want me to put my career on hold to test pilot a Militia 'Mech?" Mary could feel herself building up a head of steam to match what she had been carrying when she first went looking for her father.

"Not a militia mech, an all up Battlemech version." Roger said quickly. "Basantapur-Trevlu's first offering to the Battlemech market."

"Beyond the Swordsman you mean." Andrew pointed out with a sly satisfied smirk.

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