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Alternate Time with Thanks!

Search for Bat-22
Author DragonCat
Series Name Alternate Timeline with Thanks
Alternate Universe Name Alternate Timeline with Thanks AU
Year Written 2020
Story Era Dark Age Era


Search for Bat-22 is a short side-story, focusing on special ops team who's mission was to extract survivors of a SLDF scout ship that loss in Clan Hell's Horse Invasion Corridor.

Chapter 1[]

SLS Fletcher (Peter-class Scout), Bridge
Blair Atoll, Hell’s Horses Occupation Zone
18th January 3114

Their mission had been to act as a civilian freighter DropShip and disappear into the traffic over the important Hell’s Horses trade world of Blair Atoll conducting as much intelligence as they could while inserting a special forces team. Judd Thompson stared at the screen, which showed the rear of the SLS Fletcher and the space behind the vessel, and knew their mission had failed as it showed their mission had failed as pursuing them was flat boxy form of a Halcyon-class Cruiser of Clan Hell’s Horses. “Right boys and girls, they are onto us clear the memory banks and then make your way to your escape pods.” He commanded knowing fine that their scout ship had no chance of out running a Clan Cruiser and its support craft, and they couldn’t be boarded.

“You know the orders make your way into the civilian population find work, blend in and wait the Intelligence Corps will find you.” He said making sure that his voice was reaching all the decks he had sixty-one people onboard and wanted to make sure they all got a fair chance or escape, each of them had been given alternate Clan identities but the chances of any of them escaping were slim. As he spoke there was flashes of light from the Cruiser as its forward cannons fired exploding near the scoutship but not hitting it with that he knew that they intended to try and capture them. “You’ve done well people, but today is not our day.” He said cutting the all deck transmission “Helm, put our nose in the atmosphere when they hit us, I want to make sure they knock us down and finish us then to the escape pod.” He said the helm officer looked back at him and nodded modifying their flight path then leaving his station as escape pods began to be jettisoned from further along the ship each of them entering the atmosphere immediately it would be a bumpy ride but assuming their parachutes activated correctly the crewmen would get to the ground.

As more naval autocannon fire exploded near them buffeting the Fletcher with debris as its nose dipped into the atmosphere, the five thousand-five-hundred-ton vessel was not designed for atmospheric flight and immediately its hull began to show the stresses of re-entry. “Launch bay, take your people in the shuttle and go, I won’t be making it down there” he said as one of the autocannon rounds exploded nearly on the vessel’s hull the shockwave ripping a huge chunk out of the rear of the ship the Peter-class began to waver and lose control under the stress of the impact. “GO NOW!” He commanded from the underside of the ship a Hell’s Horses built Pelican-class Small craft dropped from the rear of the ship diving straight into the atmosphere from behind it two diamond shaped Aretes Interceptors sped past the pursuing Halcyon and dived behind the small craft firing their particle cannons and lasers, there was little hope the Pelican would survive to a controlled landing. Thompson activated the emergency HPG transmitter, sending the Fletcher’s distress signal, before activating his command chair’s own eject system as well as regular escape pods which held multiple persons the Peter-class had been fitted with individual escape pods for certain positions. As the system activated the Captain’s chair was wrapped in foam made from a similar material as HarJel while Thompson raised a mask to his face. “I hate these things” he cursed as his face was covered moments later his entire command chair was ejected from the ship just before another naval autocannon round tore through the ship gutting the SLS Fletcher. Debris of the small ship began to fall into the atmosphere burning up as it entered the atmosphere.


The screens came up in the briefing room revealing a small room with almost two dozen observers who had been taking notes as they watched the broadcast. “Lady and gentlemen that was the last broadcast from the SLS Fletcher we believe some of the crew survived to the surface. You are the closest extraction and recovery team. You’re going to Blair Atoll which is two jumps from our present location. You will board this ship” he said showing a tiny aerodyne civilian DropShip with a thin hull and a pair of engine nacelles on the end of short wings on the holoimager “this is Freighter 42” he said “I know an imaginative title for a ship as common as the Firefly but it’s a design in common usage by the Horses as a Civilian transport as it is small and carries no weapons. There is one of these vessels on its way to our next jump-point we will board it and commandeer it from its crew before using it to insert your team onto Blair Atoll. You will be inserted onto the planet as two couples transferring between worlds for work. I'm sorry we don't have another female operative in the area so you two are going to have to share a bunk.” He said looking at two of them each of team looked at each other silently realizing what that meant, each of them had seen the other naked before it was part of their line of work.

“Rules of engagement on planet?” One of them asked swiftly moving on from thinking about where he'd be sleeping that night.

“Assess the Fletcher’s crash site and if necessary, ensure its destruction should there be anything left, ensure the Fletcher’s commander’s personally held information does not fall into enemy hands and extract any survivors including the commander if applicable.” He said immediately they recognized that the lives of the crew and of the commander were secondary to the intelligence.

“Sir, can we know the reason…” one of them asked recovering other members of the SLDF was important but normally downed crewmen were expected to slip into the population and await extraction.

“In your documents packs” he said immediately everyone flicked through the pages and found what he meant “is all the information you may need. “Ladies and gentlemen, that is the face of the commander of the all Intelligence Operations in the Hell’s Horses OZ Major-General Judd Thompson codename Bat-22. Why he was on that ship we don’t know but we know that the Watch know his identify. The information he holds up here” he said tapping the side of his head “is information we can’t let the Clans have understood?”

“Yes, sir” the Hunt for Bat-22 was on.

Chapter 2[]

Blair Atoll, Hell’s Horses OZ
26th January 3114

It had taken the four-person team more than a week to get to Blair Atoll and now they were making their way through customs on the world. As they moved through the area each of them noted the number of unarmored guards in the spaceport each armed with the Horses newest personal weapon the ballistic assault rifle HAR-201.

“Security’s tight” Ned Glasberg said “the Fletcher’s crash has them on edge.” He said as they saw troopers search through visitor’s baggage. The two men were in the queue like everyone else but didn’t react to what they were seeing, it wasn’t the Clan civilian castes way.

“We keep going, less we’re suspicious the better.” His partner said off to the side while they were a couple, they both knew that public signs of affection would gain the attention of the Horses guards. They both approached separate booths the two customs officials glanced at each other and then at the two men before stamping their passes. Further behind in the queue the other two in their team were waiting for their time they were under the cover as a pair of scientists. They made their way through the process just the same passing themselves off as man and wife and were quickly processed.

Outside the spaceport customs office the two men headed to the first vehicle a Praire Schooner Land Train which had been converted into a passenger transport. While the two passing as scientists were led to a Sky Eye News Helicopter which was being used by the Horses as an executive transport for their scientists. They would meet up when it was appropriate.


Three hours later Glasberg and his partner Wesley Blood were at a recreational park trying to pass themselves off as civilians enjoying their downtime before being given their first job by their Clan. In the field other people exercised and played games with balls it was a standard day on Blair Atoll. Above the field the Sky Eye News Helicopter they’d seen earlier flew over the field. The aircraft had two rotors on the top one above the other rotating in opposite directions while a pusher propeller at the back moving the chopper forwards.

“I didn’t expect them to arrive with that” Glasberg said watching as the craft circled the field before landing. The doors were opened as it landed and the two of them crossed the tarmac boarding the aircraft “Nice to see you guys, nice ride.” he said seeing Miia Lahtinen in the pilot seat and Liam Turton in the side seat. In the back of the aircraft he noticed equipment was stacked up “You guys been shopping?

“Just stuff that was left laying around the helo was left by the transfer pilot, I think he’s done for the day, we’ll have to ditch it in the next couple of hours or security services will clock on but it’ll get us where we’re going.” Miia said cheerfully from the front as she brought the aircraft up into the air. “The cases were exactly where we expected them.” she said as Glasberg began looking over the equipment.

“This is Clan stuff?” Blood said seeing a Horse Gatling Gun X99 in one of the boxes it was a large multi-barrelled weapon capable of chewing through armored targets, much more than they should need.

“Affirmative, our contact did their job.” Turton said “We’re en-route to the crash site, there’s not much left from what we’ve heard.”

“And Bat-22?”

“In the wind if he survived.”

“Any other crewmen made contact?”

“Negative, if any survived they've likely done what they are supposed to do gone to ground and are awaiting extract in time, we're the ones off schedule.” Miia said “We heard a news report stating that Hell’s Horses security forces had secured the Pelican’s crash site no survivors were found.” She explaining dampening the mood significantly “No news on any of the escape pods or on Bat-22”


Deep in the forests Judd Thompson moved slowly through the undergrowth as the rain began to get heavier and heavier. Each step was a careful one as he knew he wasn’t completely alone the Horses had been on his trail almost since he had landed. He bent down slightly leaving a grenade attached to a wire before heading deeper into the forests remaining still watching his trap within thirty minutes a squad of seven Hell’s Horses troopers began moving through the area one of the struck the tripwire he’d left causing an explosion immediately killing four of the troopers in the confusion Thompson struck with another grenade and his KA-23 Subgun cutting down the remaining troopers in explosions and a hair of bullets. He ran down through the undergrowth firing the remaining Subgun ammo into the Hell’s Horses troops ensuring they were dead before gathering up a Gauss Sub-Machine Gun from one of the troopers and ammunition from the rest. He also grabbed several Clan Meals-Read-to-Eat (MREs) and a radio to track enemy movements and finally Assault Grenade Launcher which had been carried by the squad’s heavy trooper it only had a single magazine of ten Dual Purpose High Explosive grenades but that could make a massive difference in the scope of things. “Thanks boys” he said looking down at the dead bodies before darting off into the undergrowth he’d served in the SLDF for more than thirty years he wasn’t going to go down without a fight.

Chapter 3[]

SLS Fletcher Crashsite
Blair Atoll, Hell’s Horses OZ
26th January 3114

Flying quickly towards the crash site, Blood and Glasberg mounted the Gatling gun onto a bracket attached to the side door of the Sky Eye giving them some firepower should they need it. “I thought we were giving this thing back?” Miia complained

“Well it’s one of their guns, I’m sure they won’t mind too much.” Blood suggested.

“This is a civie aircraft they don’t want to give them guns.”

“It’ll be a nice surprise for them.” Blood said but Miia didn’t look happy as the aircraft continued to fly forwards towards their target.

The Sky Eye helicopter was soon over the crash site of the SLS Fletcher, there was very little left of the small ship, surprisingly there were few Hell’s Horses at the site either. “Not much chance of much surviving onboard that.” Miia said glancing back “What do you think?”

“Fly over the target we’re dropping three boxes on it.” Glasberg said as the aircraft continued to move forwards. As it flew over the crash site Glasberg and Blood threw three boxes of high explosive out the side of the ship. The packages fell slowly from the aircraft onto the wreckage exploding on contact covering the ground in high explosive fire destroying any data that still remained there. “Keep flying broadcast on the emergency channel, see if any of our people are listening.” He suggested Miia nodded


Several kilometers from where the Fletcher had crashed Judd Thompson saw the explosion but didn’t know the reason for it. He’d intentionally avoided what was left of his ship, there was nothing there for him. As he moved through the undergrowth, he saw a path had been cut through the woods creating a road for the Horses to keep their people supplied part the way along the path was a small single story checkpoint station. Slipping his Gauss SMG to his back he instead drew out the grenade launcher aiming it at the checkpoint he saw a single Hell’s Horses trooper coming out and thought about taking the shot. Thompson had a second thought for a moment thinking about the flare he’d seen from the exploding Fletcher and decided that the checkpoint, while a smaller explosion would likely cause too much trouble for him. Instead he turned to the right and continued into the forest.

For what felt like hours Thompson moved through the undergrowth watching his back as he moved but no-one was following him darkness quickly began to envelop him as the rain returned once again. Suddenly out of what seemed to be nowhere a structure appeared in the darkness there was no lighting on but it appeared sound. Moving around the building he couldn’t see any sign that the place had been occupied anytime recently. He moved quickly up to the building putting his boot onto the door kicking open the door he wasn’t a young man anymore but he still knew how to force open a door. Entering through the door, he quickly scanned the room inside and found a comfortable hunting cabin which obviously hadn’t been lived in some time. Turning he pushed the door closed securing it as best he could with its broken lock he’d stay tonight and move on in the morning once his clothing was dry. Tonight, he’d try to get the rest he’d need to continue to avoid Hell’s Horses patrols.


As night had closed in the crew of the Sky Eye had turned to their night-vision goggles as their aircraft battled through the worsening weather. “I’ve got something, SLDF troops engaging Horse units to the east three kilometers distant.” Turton said glancing up from the radio set.

“Take us over their, Miia, low and fast.” Glasberg said glancing at Blood “You fitted it get on the gun.” He said as the aircraft began to bank tightly to the right speeding up as it turned and dived. “Miia, bring us over their position, we’ll see what we can see on the first pass.” he ordered opening the side door a gust of wing blew into the aircraft along with plenty rain water.

Leaning out the door Glasberg and Blood peered through their night-vision googles and spotted the contacts as they approached. On the goggles the four SLDF crewmen were easily identifiable as their uniforms had special reflective materials woven into them for exactly this sort of mission beyond their position were at least seven Hell’s Horses contacts who were getting closer to them. “We’ve got seven enemy contacts to deal with Turton left door cover, we’ll take right, Miia I need you to get us into a decent firing position but keep us moving when I change magazines bring Liam into the fight.” He said she nodded and slowed the aircraft’s speed as Liam Turton climbed over the seat and opened the other door raising his rifle to peer out the door.

“Alright boys making the turn.” she said bringing the nose of the aircraft around to the left but continuing to move the aircraft along its same path. As she did, she tipped the aircraft’s right side down slightly. Neither Glasberg or Blood needed any encouragement immediately Blood opened fire with the Gatling gun which spun rapidly throwing out hundreds of deadly bullets that ripped through the undergrowth below. Ned Glasberg was more refined with his shots aiming his rifle from the shoulder he peered through the scope taking pot shots at targets missed by Blood’s indiscriminate fire.

“Over the target Liam get ready!” Glasberg warned as he began switching magazines from the other door Liam immediately began firing down on the targets below a each of them heard bullet’s hit the underside of the aircraft.

“We’re taking damage hold on!” Miia called out she kicked in the aircraft’s engines bringing the aircraft out of the firing line turning tightly through the night’s sky she turned the nose away from targets again allowing Glasberg and Blood another strafing run this time each of them gunned down members of the chasing Hell’s Horses. “Great job.”

“Take us over them again.” Glasberg ordered “Make them count.” he ordered the three nodded and this time aimed for the fallen troopers making sure they were dead. “Miia, take us down. You and Turton are taking the survivors back to civilization and will find them a way to get home.” He said looking at Wesley Blood “grab provisions and ammo, we’re going for a hike” he said as the helicopter came down to land on the ground, they shouted at the SLDF crewmen to approach as they did Glasberg and Blood hopped out onto the ground grabbing their personal weaponry. “You two, get these people to safety, find them lives in one of the settlements where they can hunker-down and wait for extraction, then join us when you can. We’re going to find Thompson and kill whatever else gets in our way.” He said to his other team members as the crewmen arrived “The cavalry arrives! You guys are safe now!” Glasberg said to them as they climbed onboard, “You two take care of them and of yourselves.” He said as the chopper took off again climbing into the skies. “Let’s move, we need to be a few kilometers from here before that squad’s CO comes looking for them.”

Crashsite, Sky Eye aircraft
Blair Atoll, Hell’s Horses OZ
26th January 3114

Star Colonel Vandermice Lassenerra stalked over towards the crashed Sky Eye civilian helicopter. The aircraft had been intentionally crashed, there were no bodies inside, the crewmen had obviously seen that the aircraft had reached the end of its usefulness and abandoned it. He glanced over the small aircraft and the technicians crawling over the aircraft and chose to ignore them instead turning to one of his trinary commanders Star Captain Taro “Mobilize the entire cluster, hunt them down.” He commanded the man who simply nodded and ran off, the people who had destroyed Hell’s Horses property and killed members of his Clan would pay for their actions.


Elsewhere on the continent Judd Thompson climbed out of the makeshift bed he had been given and stepped out of the shed into the fresh air. The person who had put him up for the last few nights local farmer Jeremiah Miller was already at work moving his equipment around for his days work. Judd moved to help the older man move some equipment across the farmyard. “Thank you for your hospitality.”

“The least I could do for someone in need.” he said finishing moving the piece of equipment moving across the yard to get another with Judd following. “What will you do now?”

“Continue moving, the longer I stay here the more at risk you are from Clanner reprisal.” Jeremiah nodded “I appreciate your assistance.”

“Of course,” Jeremiah answered “It has been good to have the company, since my wife passed away it’s been quiet the Horses mostly leave me alone.” He said grabbing another piece of equipment to move “Where will you head from now?”

“I’ll head for the river and try to sneak into one of the cities from there I’ll try to stay hidden from the Horses until my people get into contact, as much as I’ve been able to survive out here in the bush it can only go on so long.” Judd said helping him move the other piece of equipment.

“Hardsell is down river the first settlement you’ll come to.” Jeremiah said “If you get into the city look for a merchant near the Railway Station called Milton Bailey tell him I sent you, he’ll give you somewhere to lay low.” Jeremiah promised him.

“Thank you, neither you nor your friend need to help me.”

“You and your people have tried to protect us from these Clansmen for many years, it’s about time we give you something back.” He explained “They can’t do much to me, this is my land they destroy it I’ll rebuild.”

“They could just kill you.” Judd said trying to make him understand the risk.

“And if they did, they wouldn’t have anyone to provide them with food, they need me and people like me. If they come, I won’t resist them and I’ll say I found you hear and went up river, that’ll give you a head-start.”

“Thank you, Jeremiah, I appreciate everything you’ve done.” He said reaching out and shaking the man’s hand “I won’t forget it.”


After dropping off the SLDF crewmen and directing them to contacts within the city Miia and Thurton had stolen themselves another vehicle and headed along the river searching for the other members of their team and for Thompson. “Never thought I’d ride to save someone in a Freedom 900!” Thurton shouted over the fans of the hover jeep.

“We make do with what they had!” Miia shouted from the controls “They had plenty of them and we didn’t have to steal it!” She called out as they raced up the river heading into Blair Atolls wilderness. At least they had a vehicle and one that would slip into the common traffic of the occupied world.

“Everyone will know we’re coming that’s for sure” Thurton said

  “Are you going to complain at ever step of the way?”

“Whose complaining?” Thurton said smirking looking out of the hover jeep as they moved down the river.


Creeping through the undergrowth Ned Glasberg and Wesley Blood were also headed for the river as another day was ending and the light was fading. They were no closer to finding Judd Thompson and hadn’t had contact with the other members of their team but Ned knew that if Miia and Liam had been able to get more transport they’d use the river as the easiest method of reaching them.

River Crimond
Blair Atoll, Hell’s Horses OZ
1st February 3114

Judd Thompson hid in the undergrowth watching as the large Hell’s Horses controlled freighter moved down the river past his position, he had come to the river thinking that it would give him a source of water and make it easy for rescue teams to track him. All of the SLDF flight crews had been trained to seek out water as a way of getting help. It was a risk he knew it but he didn’t have much of a choice he couldn’t trust the locals to continue to help him like Jeremiah Miller had. Unfortunately, a river like the Crimond, which was a trade river, was impossible for Thompson to cross without a boat which kind of left him boxed in. Now less than three hundred metres from him a three-hundred-metre-long freighter and barge combo were moving slowly down the river and he was stuck watching them hoping none of the crew had heat vision goggles to see him. He kept his weapons close to him ready to defend himself if need be but couldn’t do much else.

As the ship passed, he saw dozens of other boats passing in both directions, perhaps coming this way had been a mistake he’d come across too much civilization. As he watched the freighter Thompson heard a click behind him it was unmistakably a weapon hammer clicking into place. “Drop your weapons and do not move, you are under arrest.”


Glasberg and Blood had rejoined Miia and Thurton on the Freedom 900 and were traveling down the river trying to keep a low profile with the local traffic and Hell’s Horses patrols they had been passed by several Clan VTOLs that morning and not one of the aircraft had paid them any attention but they knew that it couldn’t continue by now the Sky Eye would have been found and the Hell’s Horses would know there was a hostile team on planet.

As they passed a massive Avalonmax-class Freighter and barge they observed a lot of commotion on the riverbank as a small boat approached a ground team from the Freighter. In between them they saw a single man in cuffs. “Shit” Glasberg cursed glancing out of the Freedom 900 “Miia, hold your course, keep your heads down boys we can’t do anything right now.” He ordered as the Hovercraft sped past the scene.

“Boss, if they get him on that freighter Thompson’s on his way to Horse interrogation. I can hit him from here.” Blood said checking the range as they continued down the river.

“No” Glasberg ordered “Hold the course” he said “we’ll swing around in a few kilometers. And hit them tonight.”

“What if they airlift him out?”

“It’ll have to be a damned good pilot to land on that damned thing no helipad on that model of Avalonmax. Thurton, we need an exit strategy for after we lift him out, send a message to the extraction boys we’ll be coming in hot tonight or tomorrow morning they need to be ready for lift.”

“And hope the hell that Halcyon isn’t still in orbit.”

“One problem at a time.”


The laugh could be heard all around the camp as Star Colonel Vandermice Lassenerra received the news that an insurgent had been captured on the River Crimond and his picture was sent to him. He recognized the man immediately “..and to think I deployed an entire Cluster to track you down. If I’d known it was a prize such as you, I’d had deployed an entire damned Galaxy!” Lassenarra commented “All I had to do is wait for you to stumble across a Solahma force on a freighter." He laughed again finding the whole situation amusing. His people had found a prize worthy of words in the Remembrance and a prize that may get him a posting to a world worthy of his name and abilities. He immediately called for air-support to be sent to escort the freighter into port.


Hours later Glasberg and his team approached the Avalonmax using minimal thrust from their engine sneaking up on the huge ship. Despite its size they new the crew complement would be only between twenty and thirty the crew weren’t a great threat it was the additional security the Hell’s Horses had brought with them that would be the issue. While the corridors of the civilian freighter would make it impossible for the Horses to use Battle Armor onboard the ship, they could still cram dozens of infantry soldiers onboard. Each of them was armed with a Horse Assault Rifle-201, or HAR-201, because they were on a Horse planet ammunition for the weapons should be plentiful. “We keep moving take down anything that we come across that isn’t Thompson.” Glasberg briefed them finally as Miia Lahtinen brought them in closer time was of the essence Wesley Blood fired grappling hooks onto the back of the ship and they quickly made their way onboard. “Miia, Wes take out the bridge sweep the corridors as you go each room.” He ordered they nodded knowing their orders. “We’re going through the ship until we find Thompson he said to Liam Thurton.” Who nodded.

What followed was ten minutes of utter carnage as the four special operations operators made their way through the freighter shooting anything that moved. Some of the crew were likely innocent of the Hell’s Horses desires but the four operators were not taking any chances Blair Atholl was in the heart of Clan territory they’d take no chances with the people they were coming across. Moving from room to room the troopers eliminated everyone in their path with heavy automatic weapons fire. Finally, they reached the room that a badly beaten Judd Thompson was being held in. “One, Three, target secured status!” Glasberg panted as Thurton released the beaten General. “Three, status.”

“We’re both injured but, mobile to extraction point, bridge is disabled.” She said gasping for breath Glasberg didn’t like the sound of that but he’d see how they were when they got back together.

“You need to move your ass, sir; we’re getting out of here hold on to me you step where I step.” He said Thompson nodded placing a hand on Glasberg’s shoulder “MOVING!” He called out with Thompson forming the centre the threesome moved back through the ship picking their way through the bodies as they went Thompson picked up a sidearm.

Back on the rear deck of the ship they found Miia Lahtinen and Wesley Blood waiting for them blood streamed from Miia’s left shoulder while Wesley Blood appeared to have a thigh and hand injury. Glasberg looked at him questionably “Got into a knife fight with an ex-Elemental.” he explained Blood himself was a big man but an “ex”-Elemental was still likely a huge prospect. “She came of worse, I’m good to go.”

“Good back to the Freedom.” Glasberg said the five of them headed to the ropes keeping their weapons ready for action as suddenly there was a roar overhead and a Durga Attack Helicopter buzzed the freighter flying its length. “DOWN!” Glasberg shouted seeing the twenty-five-ton craft begin to turn. It was a fast-agile aircraft with coaxial blades above the craft a single rear stabilizing tail it was armed with a mix of pulse lasers and long-range missiles and could keep pace with most hovercraft. “Ideas, because that thing will burn us with lasers and missiles if we try take off on the hovercraft.”

“Cheap RPG!” Liam Thurton said raising his HAR-201 which he’d fitted a grenade launcher to “I just need him to come close.” he said dropping his backpack “You guys get ready to drop, I’ll drop them.” He said “Extract when you get onto the hover, I’ll get out the slow way.” he promised them “Take care.” He then turned without another word and began to head along the ship as the Durga began to approach again flying down the left side of the Avalonmax its chin turret nose chin turret turned covering the ship.

“They are looking for crewmen.” Miia Lahtinen said “They’re going to know something’s not right.”

“He only needs one right moment, Com’on Liam” Blood whispered as he did Liam Thurton suddenly popped up from his point halfway along the freighter’s length and fired the grenade launcher directly at the twin top rotors on the Durga. The armor-piercing round exploded between the two rotors shattering the linkages there causing the aircraft to stutter in the air as Liam opened fire with a stream of assault rifle fire on the cockpit armor. Because of the height of the aircraft it drifted down and hit the water heavily. “Yes, well done son!” Blood shouted as behind him Miia had lowered herself onto the Hovercraft and Thompson was on his way as Blood turned back towards them several troopers appeared from the far side of the ship and opened fire on Liam Thurton with at least one shot hitting him in the shoulder the trooper turned back towards them and returned fire but another shot hit him knocking him off balance and over the side of the ship. “You…” Blood cursed stepping towards the Horse troopers.

"No! We go and we go now!” Glasberg ordered him “Liam’s off the boat. I hope to hell he made it but even if he didn’t, we don’t help him by dying now. Go!” He ordered. Soon after the Freedom 900 took off from the rear of the freighter leaving it and the burning VTOL. House later they they arrived at the waiting Pallas Transport Shuttle which had been acquired by another SLDF Team for extraction operation. The two-hundred-ton twin winged long bodied Pallas was built by the Hell’s Horses and made for the perfect extraction aircraft able to lift into space and join regular Hell’s Horses space traffic. They were soon off the surface of Blair Atholl and were heading into space, they’d soon receive a signal from a friendly JumpShip or WarShip which would extract the team from the system, they weren’t out of the woods yet but they’d done their job.

Onboard the Pallas Thompson approached Glasberg, Miia and Wesley Blood were both receiving medical attention, Liam Thurton was god knows where but Jed Glasberg had gotten out with barely a scratch. “Thank you for the rescue…”

“Glasberg, sir” he said identifying himself his rank didn’t matter.

“I’m sorry for your man, he was very brave.”

“It’s the job, sir.” Glasberg said “Your crew knew that too, sir, we picked up a few of them they’ll work their way out of Clan space the same way Liam will.” He said confidently

“I hope they all make it.”

“It’s the job, sir” Glasberg repeated rolling over into his bunk he’d rescued the General it didn’t mean he needed to like him his team had suffered on this op, they’d return to friendly space and get ready for the next op. “It’s the job.” Glasberg mused as he drifted off to sleep.


Author's Notes[]

  • My thanks to Marauder648 for the descriptions and illustrations of the Hell's Horses aerospace fighter, Pelican and the Halcyon in his fan book - Project Zhukov. Both Pelican and Halcyon have been in this AU for quite some time but this is the first appearance of the Aretes