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What Could Go Wrong (Chapter Cover Art)

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Chapter 134 - What Could Go Wrong[]

30 June 3043
Wokha (Former Outworlds System)

Vigilant Corvette (Under at thrust)

Vigilant Class Corvette, FSS Smokensk thrusting to the Recharging Station.

The pirate Invader Jumpship materialized at the Zenith Jump Point and immediately sent a radio message to the planet below. There would be no response from the surface. Instead, FSS Smolensk, one of the FedSuns' two Vigilant Class Corvettes, materialized only 120km from the Invader and called for its surrender....which it quickly did. With no way to escape or resist, a boarding party of Marines was sent aboard.

"This is too easy. All we have to do is sit here and scoop up whatever arrives." Commodore Jerry Petrov said to no one in particular.

Aboard the Olympus Recharge Station at the Nadir Jump Point, Chief Warrant Officer Vincent Zuniga slowly and carefully nudged the recovered Pentagon Assault Dropship into one of the pressurized repair bays. Soon, he would be able to really examine their find.

1st July 3043
Thazi (Former Outworlds System)

Colonel David Mitchell and Colonel Bradley Andrews studied the entrance to the former SLDF base which was still wide open. Not that it would have mattered, they knew exactly how to get inside if it was closed. Orbiting fighters had located the runway where the pirate conventional fighters had come from, and the hangar door was also open. Lieutenant Colonel Franklin Noble reported that the open hangar door was almost an exact copy of the Wokha base, but on the other side.

"That entrance is a choke point. It is going to cost me forcing that entrance." Colonel Andrews said

"If they are leaving the doors open, I bet they cannot close them. That means the interior doors inside the base are probably open also. I have the smaller force, so I will shift to the hangar entrance. When we start our push, it should take some of their focus off the main entrance." Colonel Mitchell replied as he did a rough sketch of the Wokha base in reverse on a pad and handed the page to Colonel Andrews "If it is an exact copy of what we found on Wokha, this is what the interior should look like."

"It's better than going in blind. From the looks of those downed mechs, they might not have many heavy or assaults. That makes it a little easier for my folks since we are heavy on the big boys." Colonel Andrews said

"Infernos. Bet they are packing them so be very careful. Give me some time to get inside before you push inside." Colonel Mitchell replied

2nd July 3043

After shifting to the hangar entrance, Colonel Mitchell used the cover of darkness to advance his infantry towards the hangar entrance. With Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Dortman handling the coordination, he took up his rifle and joined the infantry in their task. He knew it was not really what he was supposed to do, but felt he had to face the same danger as his troops, plus he had faith in Dortman to handle the rest. While he did not want to ravage the interior of the base, he was not going to lose people trying to save whatever was inside.

Turhan Combat Vehicle (in Desert)

Turhan Combat Vehicle

When the infantry had taken up positions close to the hangar entrance, the units two companies of Manticore Heavy Tanks advanced down the runway towards the entrance. Hostile fire came from the interior of the hangar which was returned by the advancing Manticores. Techs had unloaded the tanks LRMs to minimize the amount of ammo onboard the Manticores, but in a perverse twist they had swapped the SRM ammo for captured inferno rounds to use against the pirates. Behind the Manticores were the unit's Turhans. The units Battlemechs would only move inside if they had to.

Manticore Heavy Tank (HBS version, going up hill)

Manticore Main Battle Tank

Colonel Mitchell shifted his position slightly and yelled "Let's go". Not waiting he sprinted the 20 meters to the hangar entrance and darted inside. He took cover behind some crates as machine gun fire ricocheted around the wall behind him as others entered. Care not to expose himself too much, he fired his laser rifle at the flashes from the nearest machine gun. The first Manitcore entered the hangar and let loose with six inferno rounds. On their detonation, the resulting fires illuminated the interior enough that effective fire could be directed on the pirate resistance. As more Manticore Heavy Tanks entered, the pirates began pulling back, but this also exposed them to more inferno rounds. Several pirate Po Heavy Tanks moved to block the hangar entrance to the main base and were quickly taken under fire by the massed Manticores. The pirates only got a small upper hand when a pirate Firestarter showed itself behind them and the Manticores shifted their focused fire on it. In less than 3 minutes, the Firestarter was down, but a Manticore was also destroyed by the Po Heavy Tanks before both of them were destroyed.

Firestarter (Firing flamer)

Firestarter Medium 'Mech

Cautiously, the SaRI infantry advanced deeper into the hangar and using their knowledge of the base from Wokha, entered and cleared the rooms attached to the hangar area. Once the entire hangar area was declared secure, did they prepare to move deeper into the base itself. Damaged Manticores were shifted to the rear and fresh Manticore took their place for the advance into the main base corridor. First Lieutenant Nathan Davis moved to the hangar security booth and inserted his security "key" into the base computer. Nothing happened. "Main computer is not online. We can see lights down the main corridor, so they have power somewhere, just not sure from what."

"We will know the answer pretty soon. Colonel Dortman, inform Colonel Andrews that he can begin his advance. We are pushing deeper inside now." Colonel Mitchell radioed as he pointed towards the main corridor and the leading Manticores moved forward.

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