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The Bull and the Genie
- Chapter 6 - Raids and Plans

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Ferocious Pirate Fighting[]


Mary swore as she jinked Baby to the side, kicking the jump jets. The big Marauder rose up and shot to the side, the spray of shells from the pirate Vulcan missing her. The pirate was trying to get out of the canyon he'd fled to, driven into the arms of the heavy mechs by the pursuit company. Mary hit the Vulcan with paired shots from her arm mounted PPC's before opening up with the third PPC that the Mod IIA refit had given her, losing the Autocannon. Three shots carved into the already battered armor and the mech collapsed, the pilot fried.

Vulcan Medium Mech (Marching at Night - Farseer Animation version)

Vulcan Medium 'Mech

Yes, it saves on ammunition, but now I have a big ass blind spot. She stared at the dead mech. He should have charged her, trying to get into her blind spot. But the moment the pirates had realized that Mary's company had twelve Marauders along with a support team of infantry and missile carriers, they'd panicked.

Marauder C (underfire)

Marauder firing it's weapons.

"Air cover, call it in. We had nine enemy Battlemechs, plus light forces. What's their status."

"This is Angel. The enemy dropship has been secured, and we show nine enemy Battlemech casualties. Good show, Subaltern."

Mary snorted. Good show. Half of them didn't even start their mech's until we were already shooting at them. Pirates. They seem to think it's unfair when we track—



"We have one prisoner Mechwarrior. The Firestarter."

"Ah. Get a firing squad."

Firestarter (Firing flamer)

Firestarter Light 'Mech

They'd have to have a court, but really it'd just be to verify that he was the mechwarrior and not some mechanic.

There wasn't a periphery state around that wouldn't execute anyone who piloted a Firestarter. Pirates liked them for their ability to cause terror, and Mary was perfectly happy to return the favor. Especially since this lot had used their Firestarter.

She wiped her face, some cool air starting. That was another reason why Mary didn't like the third PPC. Oh, you have plenty of double heat sinks, so let's just add more guns so you won't make the pilots of other Battlemechs feel bad. Let us all broil for the glory of the Concordat!"

Later, after the trial and execution, for which, Mary had to admit, the pirate had stood with dignity, they were policing the site.

"Another God-damned merc unit out of the Suns," Thomas said. Her XO gestured at some of the equipment. "Probably a contract dispute, or maybe The Fox"—he spat on the ground—"using some of his waste to make life hard for us. I'm telling you, we should just return the favor and drop a regimental raid on New Syrtis."

"I'll be certain to tell the Protector your opinion when I dine with him." Mary said.

"Humph, You did get to dine with him."

"Me and six hundred other people," Mary told him. "Status on the salvage?"

"Eh, four mechs are likely going to be salvagable, the rest are parts banks. Militia back home will be happy to get them"

"Good. What about Morris?"

"Not much, they took off the top PPC, but we pulled a spare and can have it ready by tomorrow."

"Good." Not that they were going to be fighting tomorrow, but you always needed to prepare like you might be. "When we get back, he needs more drills. I saw him, hitting his jump jets every other second, trying to get close."

"He's young."

"He's a glory-seeker," Mary said, with the wisdom that came with being twenty-two. "And he let that hunchback get into his blind spot. If it hadn't been for Wilma and Hank…"

"More drills?"

"More drills. Also, I'm going to be running the OpForce on the way back. Rig the cockpits for the drills."

"What will you be playing?"

"Some SRM and AC boats. Just to remind people getting close isn't fun."

"Maybe we could suggest pulling the third PPC for some SRMs—"

"Don't you dare," Mary said, her voice quelling. "It took a month to get everything ready with the last refit, and besides, I don't want yet another lecture on 'well, a properly handled long range mech will never be engaging at close range.' Yes, and we'll always be fighting dumb people, and not say, the Eridini Light Horse or Wolf's Dragoons."

"I was thinking the Samantha Girl Scouts. Those kids can be vicious."

"I wouldn't even ask my men to stand up to cheap cookies," Mary said, then laughed. "Let's get the site policed, and have our inspection team bag and tag. Maybe we'll get lucky and ruin some middlemen's image as pillars of the community…"

Dealing with Slavers[]

The problem with Tortuga has been that like cockroaches, they always come back," General Thomas said. "But today, that changes."

"I've heard that before." Millicent Jakes, secretary for justice, said. "What are you going to do, annex them?"

"In a word? Yes." Thomas stood up, the rest of his cabinet staring at him. "We will never be rid of the bleeding wounds inflicted by pirates until we destroy their hide outs—but Tortuga isn't a hide out, is it? It sits there, pridefully flaunting a slave holding culture where atrocity is something to be aspired to. Slave raids have taken citizens from Taurian, Davion, and Outworlds' planets alike."

"And how do we do more than a raid?"

"The TTI's Maxi class dropships are bigger than anything other than a Behemoth. They're dual use, and we will use them to transport an actual full scale infantry invasion force on to Tortuga Prime. Not just mech warriors who will bust some things up and then leave, but conventional forces which will, starting with Raider's Roost, occupy and restore the rule of law to the region. This is not a punitive raid. This is a long-term invasion."

"Those dropships aren't intended for contested entry."

"No, they aren't, and so they'll stay behind the first wave." Thomas smiled. "Ever since our find, we have been improving out economy, our military—and this? This is a step we need to take. Tortuga was founded by the dregs of the Inner Sphere—their own problems that they couldn't be bothered to clean up, so long as they only victimized us. And when their problem child started raiding their own worlds, they didn't have the ability to stop. We will stop it."

"Might not be such a bad idea," the Secretary of Planetary Development said. "Now that we have water purifiers, the worlds might have some benefit."

"And…" General Thomas said. "This is a full-scale planetary invasion, yet not against a foe who can match us, or over match us. Put bluntly, if it doesn't work, we can retreat, albeit with a blow to our pride. But our troops have spent literally centuries more or less standing on the defense, and all the training in the world doesn't make up for a lack of practice. This is to see how well our forces can operate in a full scale combat environment."

"They'll love it. It'll be the biggest pirate hunt in recent history."

"No," Thomas said. "Ideally it will be the first of many pirate hunts, and far from the biggest."

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