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The Glow of a Worm inside a Child's Eye (Cover Art)

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Chapter 94 - The Glow of a Worm inside a Child's Eye[]

The first round...

...involved 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, 171st Kowloon Volunteers Militia, up against a cluster of Goliath Scorpions from their Alpha Galaxy.

1st Battalion consisted of three "Reinforced companies"- three 'Mech companies and three support units consisting of a medium armor company backed by a mechanized infantry unit sitting in IFV's that would, by any rational scale, be considered tanks in their own right.

Never mind that these hefty "APCs" with their large laser main guns and bulky SRM secondary weapons and seventy ton chassis weren't hauling light infantry this time-they were hauling Elemental Infantry, or that HHC for the 1st Battalion included VTOL equipped with recon systems and electronic warfare gear.

The fight was a mismatch. Lt. Colonel Marthe Pryde devoured the Scorpion cluster she faced, making use of every dirty trick she'd been teaching AFFC personnel how to use against Clan doctrines, including many systems (like the armored vehicles under Major Vanh) considered mildly to severely dezgra by traditional Zellbrigen.

First 'heat' of the Trial was over by mid-afternoon, the former Falcons smashed the Scorpions with a combined-arms sledgehammer short only of the 'air' portion of air-land battle.

Wounded were recovered by both sides, and brought to aid stations, equipment removed from the field, and the warriors on all sides gathered in their respective basing locations to discuss the outcome, what had gone wrong, what had gone right, and what could have been done better, while the forces for the second heat mustered, armed, and prepared for the next day.

At 1900 hours local time, the Goliath Scorpion commanders were presented with an invitation to a 'Backyard barbecue' held by the victorious 1st Battalion, a gesture of respect.

Warriors from Heat 3 would also be invited, but the combatants for Heat 2 were explicitly excluded until they finished their own operation in the second heat phase.

For many of the Clan warriors, this was the first time they had exposure to a Kowloonese outdoor party. So it was somewhat surprising to find live music, tankers full of beer and a row of barbecue pits holding Beefalo and Brassfisch over smoky wood fires (Provided by the Vanh family ranch).

This, after all, was not all-out-war.

Not yet, and maybe not at all, but getting Goliath Scorpions drunk is something of a challenge, especially given the use of heavy, dark, Ia Drang beers and fierce, high-potency New Saigon moonshine.

NObody from the First Heat would be in condition to interfere least, in theory.

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