Iron Giants on Shirotori

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iior
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Iron Giants on Shirotori

Post by iior » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:37 am

Played a game recently and decided to write a short story to depict a particularly memorable series of events.

The mission rules (Operation Overlord) can be found on my website at http://battletechsg.wordpress.com/2011/ ... -contract/

Without further ado, here is the first part that I have written up so far:


Captain Roy Lancroft, CO of the Iron Giants mercenary unit, looked up as the missile alert beeped in urgency. Arrow IV. Not headed for my position, but close enough to set off my mech's missile alert. With a light touch of the controls, Roy nudged his Zeus away from the estimated point of impact. The mission to crush the command lance of the mercenary unit The Unsullied was proving more difficult than expected. Intel had failed to make mention of enemy Arrow IV artillery support and that was causing the Giants some serious hurt.

Combined Arrow IV bombardment and fire from the assault mechs of The Unsullied’s command lance had decimated Roy’s own command lance. 2nd Lieutenant Gilbert Armstrong was forced to pull back his Victor after losing its right arm and almost all the armour on its right torso. With sensitive internal structures exposed and its primary weapon – a Pontiac 100 Autocannon 20 – destroyed, there was little chance the Victor could stand up against the enemy assault mechs.

Sergeant Hazel Liew's Archer and his Zeus weathered the fire better. Despite having most of her Archer's armour shredded, Hazel was still very much in the fight with all weapons functional. Despite having more armour than Hazel's Archer, Roy cautiously guarded his Zeus’ right flank. The armour on its right torso was all but gone, and with the LRM ammo stored in that torso, an ill-fortuned shot could easily set off an ammo explosion. Not a good way to go.

Roy winced as the incoming Arrow IV bombardment struck a copse of trees about a hundred metres to his left. That was Hazel’s position. He switched his auxiliary screen to display a wireframe schematic of Hazel’s Archer. Every part of the Archer was flashing a deep red – critical armour loss. Hazel was as good as out of the fight. Roy bit down hard to activate a communication link to Hazel to order her back to join Gilbert. Another alert forced him to change his command.

“Giants, incoming mechs at 10 o’clock. Hazel, you’re with me. We’ll hold the left flank. Gloria, Lukas, hold the right flank. Gilbert and Support Lance, support with discretion.”

A series of replies affirmed receipt of the orders. Roy turned his Zeus to meet the new mechs on the battlefield. His auxiliary screen displayed four new mechs, tagging them as a Griffin, Wyvern, Wolfhound and Firestarter; light and medium mechs. Given the current condition of Hazel’s Archer and his Zeus, it was not going to be easy holding the left flank. Yet to pull back the left flank would leave Sergeant Gloria Mustang and Corporal Lukas Sylvias too far out on the right flank, exposed and unsupported. That was not acceptable. The early success of bringing down the enemy Charger with a kick to the head from Lukas’ Flashman had allowed them to push the enemy back. Now that was proving to be an unfortunate success.

Roy thought for a moment before making up his mind. He bit down to activate the communication link to give a new command when the lock-on alarm rang and a white-blue blur flashed on his heads-up display. The Griffin had fired a PPC shot at him! The projectile projection cannon was one of the most powerful mech weapons available. One shot of the man-made lightning in his right torso could well set off an ammo explosion. Roy swore and twisted the Zeus savagely in a bid to dodge the incoming PPC shot.

As if in mockery of his efforts, the azure blue lightning struck the one location on the Zeus which had almost no armour – the right torso. The remaining armour on the right torso evaporated into acrid smoke where the PPC shot struck. Coring through the paper-thin armour, lightning arced through to heavily damage the sensitive internal structures. Myomer muscles burned and frizzled under the high energy discharge while electronics short-circuited. Coolant tanks ruptured, spilling coolant which evaporated instantaneously under the intense heat of the PPC shot. Green mist burst through armour seams from the Zeus’ right as the gaseous coolant sought to escape the hellish confines of the Zeus’ torso. Deep within the torso, the LRM ammo cooked under the pressure, finally succumbing to explode in a chain reaction that tore the Zeus apart from within.

Roy had only a moment to respond as the confines of his cockpit rang with the alarm of internal damage and the fire-cracker pop of exploding ammunition. Even as his stomach sank into the dark pit of fear and his mind registered the ammo explosion, his hand was already moving to slap the ejection button. Honed from years of fighting out on the battlefield with his life on the line, he had developed a mechwarrior’s instinct and his body moved before thought.

The face plate of the Zeus blew outwards and the command couch rose on twin steams of superheated jets, carrying Roy up and away from the dying Zeus. The treeline plunged below his feet as Roy shot up in his command couch. For a moment, the horizon hung suspended in the distance. The next moment, an explosion ripped the Zeus apart from within. The ammo explosion had damaged the shielding of the mech’s fusion engine. The uncontrollable fusion reaction released itself as a giant fireball that consumed the mech from the hip up. The shockwave struck Roy’s command couch and swatted it aside, sending it spinning wildly through the air. The last Roy saw before darkness consumed him was the kaleidoscope display of green earth and blue skies.
Last edited by iior on Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:46 am, edited 2 times in total.
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iior
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Post by iior » Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:45 am

Part 2:


Sergeant Hazel Liew almost swore as the mech’s missile alarm rang out. More Arrow IV on my position, and two flights by the look of it. That’s enough damage to strip my mech of almost all its remaining armour! Gritting her teeth, Hazel braced herself for the impact. Despite hiding in a thick copse of trees, against such a barrage, the trees cover was as good as non-existent.

Moments later, all hell seemed to erupt all around Hazel’s Archer as the Arrow IV artillery descended. Heavy trees that had seen scores of winters splintered apart in violent explosions. Shredded leaves and woods chips flew in all direction as though tossed about in a food blender. The ground erupted with geysers of soil, throwing stones and ropes of tree roots up to join the whirling violence above ground.

Hazel gritted her teeth and held the mechs controls tightly as her Archer was pounded by Arrow IV missiles, stones and pieces of trees. Her neurohelmet fed her feedback from the giant mech as it threatened to topple under the multi-directional barrage of forces. With deft movements of her controls, and her own internal sense of balance fed through the neurohelmet to the mech’s gyros, Hazel struggled to keep her Archer from falling.

As quickly as it began, it was over. The barrage had ended. Hazel breathed out heavily, unconsciously having held her breath through the barrage. Her heart pounding loudly in her ears was proof that she yet lived. Looking out through the ferroglass cockpit screen, the heavy forest which had protected her Archer had been reduced to a field of shattered stumps amid a carpet of greens and browns. A glance at her auxiliary display and the wireframe schematic of her mech showed her what she had expected. Every part of the Archer was flashing a deep red – critical armour loss.

She slapped the button to turn off the internal damage alarm that was sounding in the cockpit. Most of my armour is now more memory than fact. Thankfully, despite damage to the internals, nothing critical seems to have been damage. Still, this is bad. The side torsos are nearly stripped of armour, and with all my ammo stored there… Another alert sounded in the cockpit as sensors picked up incoming mechs interrupted her thoughts. Her eyes shot up to look at the heads-up display – Griffin, Wyvern, Wolfhound, Firestarter. This time, Hazel did swear.

An incoming line from Captain Roy Lancroft interrupted her.

“Giants, incoming mechs at 10 o’clock. Hazel, you’re with me. We’ll hold the left flank. Gloria, Lukas, hold the right flank. Gilbert, Support Lance, support with discretion.”

Hazel glanced at the auxiliary screen to check out the condition of Captain Roy’s Zeus. Except for the right torso with its deep red, the Zeus otherwise checked out a healthy green. The Captain knows what he’s doing, but let’s hope that Lady Luck is on our side or we might not live to see this through…

“Hazel, roger that,” she replied through the communications line, turning her Archer to face the new threats. A blue-white flash streaked out from the leading Griffin. PPC! Who? Hazel watched her heads-up display which compressed a 360 degree view of the mech’s surroundings to a 120 degree strip. She watched in horror as the PPC struck Roy’s Zeus squarely in the right torso. Lady Luck… The Zeus’ faceplate blew off and Roy rose in his command chair seconds before the Zeus erupted upwards in a flaming fireball.

“Roy!” Hazel screamed as Roy’s command chair cartwheeled in mid-air, thrown aside by the force of the Zeus’ explosion.

Hazel bit down hard to activate the communications link. “Giants, this is Hazel. Roy has punched out. Moving in for extraction.”

“Gilbert, moving in to support extraction,” came the reply.

Hazel nodded to the empty cockpit. I pray that Roy is still alive. Lady Luck, do not abandon us all.
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iior
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Post by iior » Sun Feb 12, 2012 12:00 pm

A rattling sound reverberated through the cockpit as three tons of autocannon/20 unloaded through the read loading hatches of the Victor. With the Pontiac 100 autocannon/20 blown off, the ammo had become a liability. As the last round of ammo unloaded, 2nd Lieutenant Gilbert Armstrong pushed his Victor into a run. Without his primary weapon and having lost close to fifty percent of his armour, he could no longer face the enemy assault mechs head on. With the right flank anchored by 1st Lieutenant Lawrence Still and his Support Lance, Gilbert swung out towards the left flank to support Captain Roy and Sergeant Hazel.

Momentarily out of the fight, Gilbert quickly took stock of how the battle was proceeding. The mission to crush The Unsullied’s Command Lance was going well despite the heavy damage he and Hazel had taken so far. Sergeant Gloria Mustang in her Thunderbolt, Corporal Lukas Sylvias in his Flashman and Private Lambert Sou Eng in his Hunchback had successfully driven The Unsullied back down the centre. A tactical mistake of backing into the lake by the Charger pilot gave Lukas the opportunity to close in to melee range. A well-placed kicked by Lukas’ Flashman sheared the Charger’s head off at the neck, instantly putting it out of action. The supporting enemy Thunderbolt went into a fire-fight trade off with Gloria’s Thunderbolt and emerged worse for the wear. Although the enemy Archer and Zeus were still undamaged, with the Charger out of action and the Thunderbolt forced to retreat, it seemed unlikely that they would be able to hold their ground without reinforcements.

Gilbert tried to urge more speed out of his Victor with force of will. Enemy reinforcements are on their way. We have to crush the Command Lance before they can join up with their reinforcements.

An alarm rang as the computer tagged an approaching Griffin, Wyvern, Wolfhound and Firestarter approaching from the left flank. Not in time. Gilbert bit down on his lower lip. Just a bit longer and we would have had them!

“Giants, incoming mechs at 10 o’clock. Hazel, you’re with me. We’ll hold the left flank. Gloria, Lukas, hold the right flank. Gilbert, Support Lance, support with discretion.” Roy’s voice came cold over the transmission line, any emotions stripped away in the transmission process.

“Gilbert copy, moving to engage enemy reinforcements.”

Gilbert turned the Victor further left to head for the newly arrived enemy mechs. They were still a good five hundred metres away but closing in fast. Azure lightning flashed from the lead Griffin as it fired its PPC. It struck Roy’s Zeus square in the torso. Gilbert watched in disbelief and horror as Roy’s command couch ejected seconds before the Zeus erupted in a fiery conflagration. The blast from the explosion knocked the command couch off course and it spun wildly in the air before crashing back to ground.

“Giants, this is Hazel. Roy has punched out. Moving in for extraction.”

Gilbert bit down on his lower lip. No. This cannot be Dromini IV all over again. I won’t let it be Dromini IV all over again!

“Gilbert, moving in to support extraction.” Angling his Victor to the right, Gilbert prepared to intercept the enemy mechs as they headed for Roy and Hazel’s positions.
A Singaporean Battletech Blog:

http://battletechsg.wordpress.com/