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Strategos (Cover Art)

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Strategos (A Great Captain Roberts Tale!!)

Chapter 14 - All Flesh must be
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The Aerie


...is a suit of power armor designed specifically for storm-and-board actions. One of the peculiar logic of boarding actions, is that it's the one place where having a Battlemech isn't an advantage.

There just isn't anywhere for a 'mech to move.

Kara Sampaio's Mother was an Elemental, her father was an automotive mechanic with a two bay shop on Quatre Belle itself. Now, this isn't particularly common, Trueborn generally stay within their own Clan, at the very least, but her mother's injuries during the Reaving wars meant losing Warrior status. How her parents met was still one of those stories Kara doesn't tell around the barracks.

Ferret Power Armor (Standard)

Example of Power Armor

At least, not without hearing everyone else's weird parent stories first.

The point here, is that Kara wasn't going to be in line for a bloodname, and until grade 10. She was on a path to being a small business owner like her father.

Some things bred truer than others-she had her father's nose, and chin, his wavy hair, and her mother's build, combined with her mother's genetic tendency not to stop growing until age eighteen, where the 'normal' girls would stop right around thirteen or fourteen.

Some boys like tall girls, her dad did. After all, but not when those tall girls are also bigger than they are. Mix with a talent for athletics and you get a situation where one fist fight is enough to be expelled from High School.

But…the Clans always looking for talent. Her Sibko time was abrupt, and she didn't test high after two years and coming in late…

But the Cadet Advisor gave her a pamphlet for the Privateer fleet.

The decision wasn't that tough. The 'civilian basic' she went through upon enlisting was easier than her freebirth sibko time, and she was stamped off on her Spacemanship in only a few months, only to find herself among a mix of gray-hairs that sounded like her own dear mum, and more htan a few Sibko grads from trueborn lines who signed up because the actual slots in the Touman were basically too few for the number of quality grads.

"Tighten it up, Three." she muttered, as the tightbeam laser altimeter counted of range to the hull of the Invader-class JumpShip ahead of her.

Invader Jumpship (Aft view - The Battletech animation series version)

Invader Class JumpShip (Aft view)

Captain Foster explained it when he pinned her at the last stop-Kara had a rarity, but it wasn't her physique.

Surrounded by more heavily trained, purer blooded contemporaries, she had the ability to motivate, to think on her feet, and to Lead.

Thus, having two chevrons on her left pauldron with a green circle holding an orange diamond-Guardian of the State, and Point Commander for Second Point in the Battle Armor Star.

It meant motivating four others, including three Trueborns, one of whom was stronger and slightly faster than herself. It meant being responsible for her point, and ultimately for the mission.

Today's mission was coming up toward her boots at a steady deceleration.

"Magnetize."

Hull contact.

Hand motions and they were locking down the manual control for the ship's ventral personnel lock, a penetration of the hull meant to be used for exterior maintenance and inspections.

The rest of the Star were hitting the smallcraft bay, dorsal lock, and sail assembly.

Her job, was to break in and take the engineering section.

Bravo Star was going for the Dropships, one point each with two in reserve.

There are two ways to penetrate a JumpShip in a board-and-storm. Smooth way, which involves slicing the controls or forcing the manual latch, or rough way-which involves doped C-19 cutting charges and ignores doors, passages, and plumbing while dumping all the air in a target zone out.

Kara and Festus laid the breaching shaped charges. The order had been fast way.

Which meant going in 'rough'.

Helmet filters muted the eye-searing silver light of the cutting charge, and internal air pressure kicked the airlock's door outward almost with no help.

Her team went in by the numbers and blew the inner door too.

The engineers were scrambling for the beach balls when her team entered, while internal pressure doors slammed shut, cutting off engineering from the rest of the ship's pressurized spaces, which makes it LOTS easier to override the bridge from auxiliary buss control, and take control of the entire vessel without having to risk expensive control consoles on the CIC deck.

The only thing you can't take control of from down here, is the Navigation database on deck 5 of the forward hull.

"Four, pull the fuses for their jump drive, Two help him out." she ordered, "Three, gimme a hand here, we need to shut down the main fusion generator. One, you've got guard duty, keep those beach-balls away from anything vital they can sabotage."

Almost as if on cue, one of the bandits opened up with a needler, shredding his beachball and…well, not much else.

Armor is very nice to have, when you're in space, it's remarkably hard to malfunction a suit of Aerie with a Mydron needle-pistol, unlike ordinary pressure suits.

Still, Kara was gratified that Paul took offense to the point of pumping the would-be resister full of little packets of hot light from his M&G 1200 rifle before said idiot could die of anoxia or decompression sickness, and the shredded bubble still kept the fluids mostly contained from the man's internal steam explosion.

Idiot's fate was highlighted - you can fire infantry weapons on a ship, but anything that can't damage the ship's vitals, isn't going to damage a powered armor trooper.

The converse is, obviously not true and the point was made..at least, she hoped. Watching a man's body erupt in laser-driven steam explosions isn't fun.


Thorne's career had been a string of disappointments. Losing a bloodname challenge, followed by crap deployments to remote areas, followed by the option of 'retiring' to a solahma post or finding other employment.

Alpha Point's target was what used to be a passenger liner. He'd led his five 'troopers' through using a 'soft entry' and good that he did.

Pellets spalled off his visor as the DropShip's security element showed he hadn't yet killed all of them. Their marksmanship wasn't half bad, but frangible bullets, needlers, low-power lasers and shotguns aren't much good against even very light powered armor, and his was better than the aging nighthawk suits some of them were wearing.

It wasn't great, it wasn't legendary, but it was a combat deployment, and a challenging one at that. Five hundred civilians locked down, victims of these bandits, to save, and a large number of hostile bandits in close quarters whom aren't entirely incompetent or disabled.

Backstops and over penetration are actually a concern, these aren't going to go down easy.

It's almost enough to make your blood flow warm.

Almost.

He snapped an aimed shot as his enemy popped out to try another shot.

A pulse laser from a rifle at this setting boils the water in the body, the resulting explosion is what does most of the lethal damage.

The nice part being, it doesn't do anything to sensitive systems belonging to the ship itself.


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