Bubba's Raiders - Rise of the red Brigade

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Rhoubhe
Posts: 1114
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 11:30 am
Location: Netherlands

Post by Rhoubhe » Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:35 pm

Intresting to see all the reactions...
Only trying to keep Bubba human, instead of turning him into superman.
Keep the speculations and feedback coming people, next instalment is on its way.

This is what i like about all this... people discussing my work, and what happens in it.
Image
[fullalbumimg]2933[/fullalbumimg]

A decent commander knows when to retreat,
A good commander doesn't need to.

Every now and then I get this urge to do some work.
Usually i sit down and wait till it passes.

Rhoubhe
Posts: 1114
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 11:30 am
Location: Netherlands

Post by Rhoubhe » Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:38 pm

7.

Dropship 'Silverado'
Tharkad, low orbit.
May 9, 3026.

Winter came and went, and soon new life began everywhere. The school year came to an end, with only one final test to come. Invasion week.
The final week of the academy was meant as a final, big test, where all the senior classes of the different courses would participate in a single, massive excersise. Target of the excersize: The Nagelring itself, protected by the younger classes.
Bubba stared out of his cockpit window. The inside of the dropship was dark, with only a single red warning light burning. He could feel it plumetting through the atmosphere, it's spheroid shape shielding the structure against most of the heat. In three minutes they would touch down, and he was expected to lead three classmates to the northern edge of the academy grounds and secure the northern entrance.
His BLR-1D Battlemaster functioned as expected. She was an old 'Mech, in use by the Nagelring academy for over sixty years, and in active service for nearly a hundred more, but she had survived. Several scratches and burns across the cockpit told him she had seen some damage in her life, but all had been repaired and was in good shape.

The red light in the cramped bay started flashing. Bubba flipped his comm and adressed the three 'Mechs under his command. For this last week's excercise they were dubbed Raider Lance Red, and they were made up of Bubba's Battlemaster, cadet Fischer's Rifleman 4D, cadet Lohgrimm's Hunchback 4G, and cadet Parker's CN9-A Centurion.
'Red leader to all, prepare for touchdown.'
One by one the confirming replies came back to him while he studied the tactical map taped to the side of his engine systems console.

They dropped in a small clearing between several low hills, just above the 'cold line', as the mechwarriors named the border between the cold and warm weather. For a long moment the dropship seemed to shake to bits as the large thrusters slowed her decent. With an abrupt shock she suddenly stopped, shaking on her massive shock absorbers. The dropship crew were already on their feet, opening the large bay doors to allow for the monstrous steel giants to exit.
'Red leader to all, disembark in three, two, one... Disembark!'

As one the four 'Mechs stepped from their alcoves and touched the frozen ground of Tharkad. They were immediately caught in a crossfire. A Small arms crossfire. Bubba grinned as he thought about the troopers that were out in the snow, armed with just their rifles and the occasional satchel charge. Quickly he scanned for a target. His HartfordCo XKZ 1 targeting and tracking computer highlighted several heat signatures that indicated soldiers, but he decided against using his main weapons. The targets were way too small. To his right Parker's Centurion launched a salvo of missiles into the treeline. The explosions cut down several trees and silenced the rifles, for a moment.
'Red leader to all, proceed to Navpoint Alpha. Parker, take the lead...'
Slowly the 'Mechs started to move, and soon they were on their way.

They left the snow behind them soon enough, pounding out of the protected clearing and up a low hill. When they reached the top Bubba narrowed his eyes to slits and peered at the horizon. His radar showed no signs of opposition bigger than single troopers, but he knew to trust his eyes just as much. Technology had a tendency of failing.
His lance fell in on his flank, holding as he did.
'Red leader to all... Report in.'
'Two clear.'
'Three clear.'
'Four clear.'
None of them had any contacts, and that was exactly what made Bubba uncomfortable. He had fought the final week three times on the other side, and he knew the defenders were there. They all knew. He felt he was walking into an ambush.
Slowly rain started to drizzle from the ashen sky, further darkening the empty steppe ahead. Something was amiss, he was sure of it. He couldn't tell what, not yet, but something was wrong.

They came without warning, dropping from the clouds to prey on them like birds of prey. The three Mechbusters came from their rear, using the four 'Mechs as perfect targets for a perfect strafing run. A hail of shells rained down over his Battlemaster, cutting chunks of armour off the left torso and arm. As they passed they managed to hit every 'Mech, before any one of Red lance had a change to get the fighters in their sights. Fischer fired a few shots after them, but soon they were once again hidden in the clouds.
'Two here, I think I hit one!' Fischer yelled over the secure line. He sounded ecstatic, even though they were only using training ammunitions. 'I'm pretty sure I did.'
'Leader to all, proceed. Fischer, keep overwatch, I want no more fighter surprises...' Bubba led the lance down the hill and towards the west. Towards the Nagelring.

They tried twice more, and both times they came from nowhere. Parker's 'Mech took several hits to the arms, and one lucky shot took out most of the armour of the head, leaving him in a cockpit with shattered glass and sparking wiring. Lohgrimm's Hunchback lost some armour on the legs, but it was only superficial.
Fischer fired many a round at the fighters, but never got another shot in. They were too fast, or more likely Fischer was too slow.
'Four to Leader,' Parker's voice cracked in his ear. 'We are approaching White Gorge, should we take the bridge across?'
The tactical map showed the gorge as a wide line covering a respectable portion of the area. There were several ways across, most of them through the gorge. The fastest route was McAuliffe bridge, named after the engineer that built it. With a length of two hundred and twenty meters it was a dangerous bridge to traverse.
'If you want that Centurion of yours to come back riddled with holes and missing a pilot, sure, we'll take the bridge.' Bubba cycled through his weapons. 'We take the western pass. It's rough terrain, but it's the route they'll least expect.'
'Affirmative, Leader, affirmative.'

The ground was littered with rocks and boulders, where small mammals like the rabid rabbit hid away for the day. The 'Mechs progressed slowly in a single line through the gorge, each following the footsteps of the 'Mech in front. Bubba himself had point, wanting to be sure he was the first to react in case of trouble. To his left, some sixty feet above them, was the bridge, protected by a lance of tanks and several platoons of foot soldiers. They stood a vigilant watch, eyeing the approach like hawks. Yet none looked down. Bloody idiots, Bubba decided. Time to pay for that mistake.
'Leader to all... Can everyone see that bridge?'
They all complied. It was a hard target to miss, even when blindfolded.
'Good,' cadet Johnsson spoke. 'We'll take her down, together.'
As one the four battlemechs turned and raised their weapons. Bubba locked his aim on one of the pillars supporting the structure, hoping the entire bridge would collapse if they hit it hard enough.
'Leader to all... Fire!' Bubba fired everything he had, everything that could possible damage the bridge.
The structure came down easy. Ofcourse it was just an excersise and the bridge didn't actually collapse, but at least it counted as destroyed, as did all units on it at that moment. One big score for the graduates. Too easy
'Leader to all, we continue... Parker, take point and get us out of the canyon. We have an entrance to secure.'

'Looks pretty easy, just four guards, light 'Mechs too.' Fischer turned his torso left and right, scanning more of the area. 'A tank lance over the hill to the west, two more 'Mechs of unknown weight patrolling off the east...'
Lance leader Bubba Johnsson looked at his tactical map. Blue lance should have reached the eastern pass by now, almost in range of the east gate. Yellow and Green lances waited to their northwest, out of sight untill the gates would fall. Three tank lances and a VTOL squadron, all graduates like himself, were on standby, ready to assist when needed. But the first attack would go to the fighters. He checked his watch.
'Leader to all. Airstrike in two, repeat, two minutes.' Quickly he ran through his systems once more. Soon the fighting would begin in earnest, and he wanted to be absolutely sure everything worked. He couldn't have a malfunctioning giant of armoured death when everyone was shooting at him.
The Battlemaster was in mint condition though, and everything worked perfectly. The pieces of missing armour on torso and arms didn't worry him too much, he knew she could take a far greater punch.

Again he checked his watch. One minute. Where are they?
To his left Parker slowly began to advance. Moving no more than twenty kilometers per hour he steered his Centurion towards a lightly wooded field. Fischer and Lohgrimm stood vigil at the Battlemaster's side, awaiting his orders. One of the 'Mechs protecting the gate diverted from it's normal patrol path, coming straight at the attacking warmachines.
'Three here, we've been made.'
20 seconds...
It was a Mercury, and Bubba recognized it's numeral designation as the first 'Mech he himself had ever been in. That had been in his first year, during basic movement training. A fine battlemech she was.
5... 4... 3...
The lightweight defender came racing across the countryside at top speed, fully intent on identifying the assailants. Then the fighters came. Swooping over the field like falcons out to kill the jets blasted over the northern gate and its defenders. From as far away as Bubba stood it looked like a perfectly executed strafing run. All eight Cheetah managed to hit at least one 'Mech before pulling up into the clouds again. Mere second after that eight more dropped from the sky, pouncing the defenders again. One of them got gunned down almost immediately, but they at least managed to cripple a Jenner running for cover.
Bubba slammed the throttle forward. Here goes. Too easy...
'Leader to all. Commence attack run, secure the gate. Fischer, keep one eye on your systems. I don't want any surprises.'
Image
[fullalbumimg]2933[/fullalbumimg]

A decent commander knows when to retreat,
A good commander doesn't need to.

Every now and then I get this urge to do some work.
Usually i sit down and wait till it passes.

snakespinner
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Post by snakespinner » Sat Apr 22, 2006 3:30 am

The attack on Nagelring,an interesting end to training.
An advanced form of hazing by senior cadets. :wink:

Rhoubhe
Posts: 1114
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 11:30 am
Location: Netherlands

Post by Rhoubhe » Sun Apr 23, 2006 9:05 pm

(sorry, short on time, no italics yet, but will edit later)

8.

Nagelring, Tharkad.
North gate,
May 9 3026.

There was smoke everywhere. Bubba had to keep one eye at his systems at all times to make sure he knew what happened around him. Fischer was somewhere left of him, fending off two light 'Mechs that tried to find a way to come up their rear. Parker had his 'Mech positioned neatly under the arch of the gatehouse, sending salvos of missiles across the academy grounds. Lohgrimm, holding up the rear of the lance, had moved towards their right flank, awaiting the two patrolling 'Mechs across the hills.
Another round of depleted uranium shells flew just wide of Bubba's cockpit, a little too close for comfort. Automatically he scanned his surroundings for the attacking tank. Suddenly he saw it, coming straight at him through the smoke. The gap Parker had left enabled them to come as close as fifty meters.
'Parker, fall back to our position! You're useless over there!' Johnsson levelled his Battlemaster's hand-held Particle Projection Cannon and fired, missing by a mile. The Patton just kept coming.
'I'm not nearly as useless as your shooting skills, Bubba...' Parker sounded happy enough launching his missiles at the living quarters and the officer's building.

Another round of AC fire came at him, chipping his leg armour and denting a chestplate. The 'Mech shuddered, and for a moment his systems turned black. Damn smoke! He turned the 'Mech, walking towards the turning tank. It tried to get away, keeping the barrel of it's main weapon trained at the 85 ton warmachine while racing as fast as the steel tracks could possibly achieve. Johnsson's next shot stopped it dead in its tracks. Unfortunately he had no time to enjoy his kill, as the voice of Lohgrimm pierced his ears.
'Three to all, patrolling 'Mechs have reached the field! I could use a hand here!'
Bubba's HUD registered the two assailants as battlemechs of medium weight. He stopped and turned to get visual contact. An old and battered Wolverine rounded the hilltop, firing away with all the weapons at it's disposal. None of the weapons managed to hit the Hunchback waiting for him. Lohgrimm in returned showed the junior grade student what four years of training could do, firing his AC/20 the moment the Wolverine came into view.

While the Wolverine sunk to the ground with smoke belching from it's ruined torso and head, his team-mate, a newer Enforcer, came sailing through the sky, aided by its jumpjets. Lohgrimm turned, trying to keep his sights trained on the jumper. She landed thirty meters behind the Hunchback, firing it's AC and lasers. The shots hit the back of Lohgrimm's 'Mech, cutting several holes but hitting nothing of importance.
Fischer joined the fray, after mopping up the two light 'mechs that tried to flank them. The combined fire of both his PPCs and Bubba's brought the Enforcer down then. Cadet Lohgrimm wasted no time. He closed the few meters between him and the agressor 'Mech and kicked it in the face, disabling it.

'Parker here, looks like the gatehouse is secure. Want me to ruin some more buildings here?'
Bubba took another look at his maps and systems. One of the tanks still showed as active, hiding behind a low crest. The crew of the tank knew better than to attack four 'mechs combining more than 250 tons in weight. No other contacts showed.
'No, I want you to get your ass back here with us! Like I told you already Parker!'
'Relax Johnsson, I'm on my way already. What's the rush anyway?'
Johnsson cursed under his breath. He was used to Parker's 'special' way of doing things, and he even saw some use for it at times, but the kid never listened to orders. He was always doing things his own way, unless he was the one leading a lance.
'The rush, Parker? There is no rush... There are just orders. My orders! Now move!'

***

The gates all fell before nightfall, and soon the attackers were on campus. Bubba Johnsson led his lance to the central parade grounds, keeping a vigilant watch over the barracks and the main school buildings. Graduates of the navy dropped in with rations and ammunitions as the mechwarrior graduates secured the premises. Taking the Nagelring was one thing, keeping it would be another matter.
Every year the last week progressed roughly the same way. First the attackers would take the compound, and then they would try to hold it. First they would have to hold out against the Nagelring training battalions for a couple of days, and then a military unit in the area would try to free the campus. This year that unit would be the 3rd Lyran Guards under the command of Colonel Lothar Braun. Braun was well known throughout the academy for his shoot first ask questions later approach, and most students figured he would give the graduates a painfully short lesson in defense.
Bubba's lance had been assigned to the same northern gate they had taken, and now they would have to hold it.

'Leader to all. Keep your eyes open guys, there are only fourty-eight hours to go. They will come soon enough, and we will be the first class to hold the Ring till the end of the week.'
'Sounds good to me leader,' Fischer laughed. 'Should we wake Parker?'
Bubba stared at the lone 'Mech standing overwatch five hundred meters out on the plains. He had been standing there for over eleven hours, as a punishment for his insubordination. Johnsson hadn't agreed upon the punishment, but Lt. Gen. Malvis had insisted. And as Malvis was the authority for the graduates during the final week, Bubba had to accept it. He figured Parker would be useless if the 3rd decided to attack now, but he knew better than to contest the orders of an officer. Unlike Parker.

'No, leave him where he is. Malvis has ordered him to do a sixteen hour watch, so that's what he'll do. I'll go join him. You run back to barracks and get something to eat. Send Lohgrimm back out here.'
The Rifleman turned and headed back inside the walls while Bubba walked his 'Mech out into the field. Next to Parker's Centurion he stopped.
Fischer was right, Johnsson had to conclude. He could clearly see Parker dozing behind the armoured glass of his cockpit. The mechwarrior had his head resting on his targeting computers, and Bubba could even hear him snoring over the comm.
'Good morning Victor!'
The dozing mechwarrior nearly hit the roof of his cockpit when Bubba's voice woke him. He immediately sat up and checked his systems, not yet realising there was a Battlemaster next to him.
'Not a good time to sleep now is it?' Johnsson chuckled.
'Up yours Johnsson,' came the growled reply. 'If you had kept your mouth shut I wouldn't be here now.'
'Oh, so it's my fault now?' Bubba turned his 'Mech and trotted back towards the steel enforced gatehouse. 'Just keep your eyes open Parker, maybe Malvis is watching...'
The Centurion turned and levelled the barrel of the big AC. Johnsson could feel Parker staring at the back of his 'Mech, hardly resisting his urge to fire. He could almost taste Parker's anger oozing through the comm system.
'Next time Johnsson... Next time.'
Image
[fullalbumimg]2933[/fullalbumimg]

A decent commander knows when to retreat,
A good commander doesn't need to.

Every now and then I get this urge to do some work.
Usually i sit down and wait till it passes.

Blackheart
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Post by Blackheart » Mon Apr 24, 2006 1:56 am

Ooooooo....you can cut the tension with a knife!

Excellent stuff so far, Rho. Can't wait till the next installment. :D
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snakespinner
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Post by snakespinner » Mon Apr 24, 2006 2:32 am

AHHH, true friends always point A/C 20's at your rear. :wink: :lol:

Alain
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Post by Alain » Wed Apr 26, 2006 6:08 am

Isn't he piloting the AC/10 variant?
When will there be more? And pease wriet in more Alain...

Rhoubhe
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Location: Netherlands

Post by Rhoubhe » Mon May 08, 2006 7:54 am

9.
Nagelring academy, Tharkad.
May 9, 3024

The 3rd Lyran Guard came in full force. Colonel Braun committed all his forces to a full-out frontal asault at the western gate, where the terrain allowed him to have all the battlemechs in his regiment attack together. The training regiment in turn attacked the northern gate and the southern approach. The attack started at dawn, and surprisingly Parker was awake and spotted them ahead of time. By the time he had his Centurion back through the gates the vanguard of the training regiment was over the hills and coming. Heavy fighting ensued around the gate, with Johnsson, Lohgrimm and Parker trying to hold off three lances of fast medium 'Mechs untill reinforcements could arrive.

'Four, fall back inside the walls! We're sitting ducks out here alone.'
The Battlemaster to face yet another assailant, firing all weapons in cycle. Inside the cramped cockpit cadet Bubba Johnsson tried hard to keep track of everything that happened around him. Three Trebuchet tried flanking the three graduates while two Crabs and a Dervish used a more head-on approach. Fischer kept two more mechs at bay, switching fire between them.
One of the Trebuchet took a PPC hit to the leg, losing balance and momentum. With a thunderous roar it crashed to the ground, burning from its hips. Slowly Bubba had his men fall back inside the compound, keeping his 'Mech in the gate opening.
The first Trebuchet reached the gate, firing its lasers and short range missiles at the Battlemaster. The impacts temporarily unbalanced the assault class titan, causing Bubba to slam into his radar console with his face. With blood trickling from his eyebrow the young cadet levelled his PPC again and fired.
The shot missed his target, flying harmlessly wide and hitting only air. The second of the flanking 'Mechs appeared from behind its lancemate, firing medium lasers at the assault 'mech and causing streams of melted armour to run down the left leg. Fischer managed to cut its legs out from under it with his twin PPCs while Parker peppered the first with missiles. Both sank to the ground in a cloud of black smoke.

He wiped the blood from his eyes and peered into the smoke. There were more 'Mechs coming, he could clearly see the red dots on his systems. His targeters lit up the moment the Crab came dashing through the smoke. It managed to hit Parker's Centurion with both its large lasers, cutting a clean hole in the right torso.
'Four here, my ammunition is exposed! Keep me covered while I dump it!'
The smaller Crab didn't stop. Instead its pilot decided to make a try for the academy grounds, storming past Bubba's 'Mech and through the gates. Three strides later he was greeted rather abruptly by a Centurion's fist.
'Keep your eyes open Johnsson!'
The sound of metal twisting metal resonated in the cadet's ears, but he had no time to marvel the result. The second Crab fired its lasers through the smoke, melting more armour off Bubba's Battlemaster. Warning lights flashed all over his cockpit as the 'Mech suddenly shuddered and lost balance. Instantly Bubba checked the wire outline on his computer, seeing a thick black line where the left arm should be. The view from his cockpit confirmed what his systems told him. The left arm of his Battlemaster hung limping by its side, only attached to the torso by a couple of myomer threads. It was useless. Bubba manipulated his right arm and grabbed the loose threads. A quick pull and the arm came off, not hinderting him any longer.

'Leader to all, fall back to secondary defense line!'
The Battlemaster backed up slowly, firing it's medium lasers as fast as the heatsinks could cool them. Fischer's Rifleman took several hits to the legs as it followed, but the young cadet managed to keep his 'Mech upright and moving. Parker's 'Mech didn't fall back. Instead the young man opted to remain standing in the gatehouse, kicking the Crab at his feet while dumping his ammunition.
'Parker! Fall back!'
The enemy Dervish reached the gatehouse under cover of its SRM's and medium lasers. The pilot was experienced and managed to hit the exposed torso with all of the missiles, sending Parker's Centurion crashing to the pavement in a ball of flame.
'Four to leader... My gyro's dead, I'm punching out! Repeat, Gyro dead, i'm ejecting!'
Damn you Parker, Bubba thought as he reversed the direction of his battlemech.
'Fischer, keep falling back to line two! Parker, do not eject! Do NOT eject! I'm getting you out!'
The Dervish was through the gates now, coming at the defenders at full speed, with a Wolverine in its wake. Johnsson raced his 'Mech straight at them, firing his weapons as fast as possible. Laserfire cut in the legs of his Battlemaster, a particle cannon shot peppered his central torso. Warning lights flashed everywhere as he banged into the Dervish. Both 'Mechs toppled over by the impact, damaging the actuators in the left leg of Bubba's 'Mech.

'Four to leader. Get going Johnsson, I can help myself a lot better than you can.'

The Battlemaster bucked when Bubba tried getting her up. He cursed the heat in the cockpit even as he fired yet again. His opponent was up faster, it's pilot kicking at his 'Mech's head. The giant steel foot crashed into the armoured glass of the cockpit, splintering it and sending razorlike shards hurtling towards the cadet.
The glass cut in his face and arms, drawing blood through numerous gashes. The pain gave Johnsson a shot of fresh adrenaline. He focussed on getting up while his opponent tried for another kick.

The Dervish managed to hit the torso of his 'Mech, actually helping him to get up even as it dented the armour. Force of will alone allowed him to punch the opposing 'Mech, a strong blow that hit the head. His hand-held particle projection cannon forced it's way through the cockpit glass and hit the pilot, taking him out of action. Then his comm crackled...

'Graduation Command to all. Gates are overrun, fall back to second line!'

That figures, Bubba Johnsson sighed. The Wolverine had passed him already, ignoring the assault mech and preferring to attack the lighter defenders behind him. Johnsson marched his Battlemaster into the smoke and dropped his ppc. Hardly seeing three meters ahead of him through the shattered cockpit he grabbed the left leg of Parker's Centurion. Using all the power his battlemech could muster he dragged the medium weight 'Mech away from the gatehouse.

'Johnsson, go away!' Parker snarled. 'I don't need your help.'

'Oh shut up you idiot, I'm getting you out of harm's way.'

'Who's the idiot here? Haven't you heard the commander?' Parker snarled, more than a bit agitated.

Suddenly every light in his cockpit started flashing. The warning tone resounded through the Battlemaster, echoing off the armour and in the hollow interior. One look at his systems told Bubba he was in trouble. The Wolverine had decided to return and pepper the rear of his "mech, shattering armour and internal structure with several blows of it's medium lasers. A salvo of it's SRM launcher blew away what remained of the rear armour, hurling the Battlemaster forward into the dirt. Then all systems turned black.

'Command to Cadet Johnsson.'

Bubba rubbed the bump on his head. He had a throbbing headache now, and his arm felt mangled. He tried to get his battlemech back up on it's feet, but none of the systems worked. None but his communicators.

'Cadet Johnsson here... Come in Command.' He tried looking outside but the Battlemaster was face down in the dirt. All Bubba could see was sand, and a small part of a Centurion's leg.

'Cadet Johnsson, shut down your 'Mech and await instructions. You have been killed, testweek is over.'
Image
[fullalbumimg]2933[/fullalbumimg]

A decent commander knows when to retreat,
A good commander doesn't need to.

Every now and then I get this urge to do some work.
Usually i sit down and wait till it passes.

Rhoubhe
Posts: 1114
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 11:30 am
Location: Netherlands

Post by Rhoubhe » Mon May 22, 2006 10:57 pm

10.

Nagelring Academy, Tharkad.
May 11, 3024.

The great hall of the building of heroes was a marvel to behold. Huge arched ceilings with exquisite paintwork drew the eye, showing the viewer scenes of greatness for the house of Steiner. Elaborate murals decorated the walls, telling the royal tales of heroism. Bubba was awed by the grandeur of the carvings and the wealth of their ornaments. Great heroes had visited the halls, and more than a few had graduated there. Now it was his turn.
He figured he looked stupid in the black gown and the silly kepi they made him and his fellow graduates wear. The robes were too long and the headwear itched, but on this day it mattered nothing. Today it was graduation day. The audience would certainly think so too.
General Cavanaugh held an inspiring speech, recalling the heights of Lyran history and finding sure parables with the class of 3024. He then told an amusing tale of his own time at the Ring and the adventures that had befell him. Cadet Johnsson, soon to be Leutnant Bubba Johnsson, hardly listened. His mind was still on the field of battle. His decision to try and rescue Parker had cost them both their lives in the defense of the ring, something Parker had taken personal. The instructors had reprimanded Bubba after reviewing data and combat footage, deciding it had been a big mistake to try and save a helpless unit.
He knew they had a point. It had been futile to attempt the save, as he had found out when the Wolverine ruined his rear armour and took out his engine. The consecutive blow would have taken out Parker, his assailant, and himself in a big fusion explosion. He had to admit it had been a stupid move, but he had been too stubborn to see it. His entire mind had focussed on saving his lancemate, and during the attempt he had lost track of the bigger image. A mistake that would have cost him his life had the battle been real.

The ceremony seemed to last forever, with three more speakers after the general. Each told them of their experiences with the class of 3024, and all three commended their courage under fire. They were followed up by the best of class, Thibald Schlecker, who related the four years from a students view. After a standing ovation that lasted nearly seven minutes General Cavanaugh finally returned to the stage, carrying the scroll of graduates. He tapped the microphone twice to assure himself he would be heared, then he rolled down the scroll.

'My fellow soldiers, graduates and guests... Today we gather for what can only be a day of glory!
Four years ago three hundred and eleven young men and women showed up on the doorstep of my academy, bringing with them only their experience in basic training...
They worked hard, yet several of them failed to meet the strict requirements of our noble institution. Many a student thought of giving up, throwing in the towel and settling for a less prestigious position in the Federated Commonwealth Armed Forces. But here they are today, standing before you with pride and honor. It took them blood, sweat and tears, but they endured where so many failed. They endured, and they became the best our military now has to offer.
Today seventy-six cadets stand before you, seventy-six young men and women that carried on beyond the limits of their endurance and who rose above themselves.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the class of 3024!'

A roar of applause rolled through the halls as the kepis flew through the sky, filling Bubba with pride. They were there to cheer him, and he cherished every second. Even though his father wasn't there because he was fighting FWL raiders on the border Bubba knew the old sergeant would be proud of his son, who was now a fresh Leutnant. It had a nice ring to it, the young man decided. Leutnant Bubba Johnsson, mechwarrior. Not bad for an infantry sergeant's son from Glengarry.

***

'Johnsson, sit!'
General Cavanaugh looked up from his wire-frame glasses and pointed at the leather chair facing his desk. Bubba sat down and removed his brand new beret. He stared into the general's eyes, trying to read his thoughts and emotions. The young mechwarrior wondered what the commander was thinking, and why he had been summoned.
'Johnsson, i want to congratulate you in person. The council has selected your lance as most valuable during the last week, and as such you will be allowed a fair choice of assignments. It is not my decision, or you wouldn't have gotten the reward, but i have to give you a list of possible choices...' Cavanaugh spoke as he slid a datapad across the desk. Reluctantly Bubba took it.
'Not your choice, Sir?' he wondered.
'No Johnsson, not my choice. Tell me, what were you thinking when you went back for Parker?'
Bubba fell silent for a moment. What had he been thinking? He figured it was best to save his lancemate, so the mech could be saved and the warrior used again to do what he was taught to do. Looking back at it he knew it had been a stupid decision that had gotten them both killed. Still he thought it had been the best he could make at the time.

'I wanted to save my lancemate, Sir. I thought it would be best not to let the enemy take the mech... I was wrong Sir.'
Cavanaugh nodded, his eyes narrowed. The glasses on his nose accentuated his glare, one of vaguely understanding disbelief. His best student had messed up hellweek, and in a way he had never seen before. Now it was his task to get the kid back in gear before he would go to officers training. A difficult task for any officer, but nearly impossible for one that actually understood his students motives.

'Johnsson... you're a bright young man, but this hasn't been the first time you let emotions get in the way. Personally I think you aren't officer material... yet. It's a good thing you recognize your mistake and i hope you learn from it. Out in the field there is no time for mistakes.'
Bubba nodded, slightly ashamed. He knew in his heart he wouldn't be able to act differently in real combat, but he was sure he would try harder to keep himself alive next time.

'You have a nice bit of options Johnsson, and yes, officers training is one of them. Keep in mind that if you decide to go there, you will be judged on actions like this last stunt of yours, and they will fail you... just like that. I've seen it happen before with perfectly capable mechwarriors. Guys with a chance to make a name for themselves. Guys who decided to throw caution in the wind, ignore my advice and join OS anyway. Guys that failed, and got backwater planets to serve their pathetic careers on. Honestly Johnsson, thats not what I would like to see happen to you...' General cavanaugh cleaned his glasses and took a sip from his coffee. Staring at a spot on the wall behind Bubba he continued. '

My advice to you would be to accept a position with one of the more prestigious units like the 36th, where Parker is going. Or maybe do a year in the royal guard. Find a position that promises actual field experience... That's where your future lies. Trust me on this Johnsson. I've been around long enough to know what kind of soldier I have sitting at my table. Now go! Study your options, think about what i said, and choose wisely.'
Bubba got up and saluted. After a firm 'dismissed' he turned and left the office, on his way to a new life.
Image
[fullalbumimg]2933[/fullalbumimg]

A decent commander knows when to retreat,
A good commander doesn't need to.

Every now and then I get this urge to do some work.
Usually i sit down and wait till it passes.

Rollingdrafter
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Post by Rollingdrafter » Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:01 pm

Excellent story here...hope to see more on Bubba's Raiders.

Rhoubhe
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Location: Netherlands

Post by Rhoubhe » Sat Aug 19, 2006 10:15 am

11.

Forward staging area, 36th Lyran Guard.
Starboro region, Zaniah.
August 22, 3024.

Slowly the Kharnov VTOL followed the jagged canyons surrounding the Zaniah capital of Starboro. The experienced pilots kept the craft low, mere meters above the sandy surface, banking left and right to avoid hitting the rocky canyon walls. Every now and then they suddenly dropped, the craft keeping it's altitude as low as possible to avoid the scorching desert sun.
Mechwarrior Bubba Johnsson stared out the window of the passenger compartment, hoping to catch a glimpse of the wide flat desert with it's man-made canals and irrigation systems. Life on Zaniah was still slow, almost medieval. The hot sun and the strong winds forced the inhabitants of the planet to grow strong and resiliant, a trait passed on from generation to generation, living off the land while staying indoors, and out of the sun.
His arrival that morning at the small spaceport had opened up a new world for the young soldier. Never before had he imagined seeing people still working their lands by hand, with only the occasional horse to aid them. Yet on Zaniah it seemed perfectly normal for farmers to transport their goods by horse or ox cart, or even by hand. The people seemingly didn't care about the fact they had no access to modern technology enabling them to work their lands, while all around them hi-tech military equipment was being transported in and out of the city and towards the base of the 36th Lyran Guard.

Next to Bubba Parker was scribbling on a notebook, jotting down landmarks he could make out, trying to discern where exactly they were going. He looked tired, and Bubba could only wonder how he himself looked after two months of travel, most of which on dropships. Both men tolerated each others company, but even blind men could see the tension build up between them. Tension Bubba couldn't stand.
In the past two months he had tried several times to open a conversation, eager to find out what was on Parker's mind. Unfortunately Parker didn't feel the same way, but preferred to keep silent. In two months he had only spoken to Bubba once, and that had been a hate-filled 'outta my way, sucker.'
'Are you ever going to tell me what the hell is going on?' Johnsson tried once again, hoping to break the silence and the ever building tension. Outside the desert sands rolled by, adding to his desolate feeling. He wondered now if his choice for the 36th had been the wisest. It had seemed simple to him at the time. After his talk with general Cavanaugh he figured the best thing for him would be joining his college buddies and work his way up from there, but at the last moment Fischer had decided to go to the Kuritan front, accepting a position with the Marfik regulars. Now he was stuck with only Parker, and three other mechwarriors that had joined them that morning. Three young men he didn't even know.

'Parker, talk to me... This silence has lasted long enough.'
Parker sent a destructive glare in Bubba's direction and continued scribbling, ignoring him. The cold, deadly look in his eye betrayed only a strong, all consuming hatred.
'Choke on it then, what do I care anyway? If you don't talk to me how am I supposed to know what it is I did so wrong?'
Parker looked up from his data-pad. His eyes locked on to Bubba's, chilling his spine. There was a hatred in Parker so fierce he could almost taste it. He could almost feel it claw at him, grab his throat and strangle him. For a moment the silence between them grew, untill it became a huge unseen sword hanging over them. Even the other passengers felt it, and fell silent. All eyes turned on them.

'Johnsson,' Parker hissed softly then, 'If you don't even know what it is you did wrong, there is no use for me to try talking to you. You dishonoured me by dragging me out of the fight, and doing so you lost the battle too! We could have gotten clean commissions for officers training, but now we're stuck here! Thanks to you I'm just another mech jock, cannonfodder to the commanders! So you just stay out of my way. You don't look at me, you don't talk to me. To me, you are dead!'

Bubba sat in silence the rest of the trip, wondering why Parker had suddenly turned into such a bitter man. Sure, they had lost hellweek, and they had been assigned to a front-line position with more risk than prestige, but they were Federated Commonwealth mechwarriors. They were the military's finest now, and they should be proud.
Bubba was proud, the three mechwarriors he didn't know yet were obviously proud, judging their posture and the way they acted, so why wasn't Parker?

'Look,' he tried, 'I know I screwed up during hellweek, but at that time I really...'
Parker turned away, obviously done with the conversation.
'Be like that then, why do I care anyway?'

***

The Kharnov touched down on the ferrocrete pad late in the afternoon, when the sun was already setting. The five fresh recruits were greeted by an old sergeant, scarred and battered, with several campaign ribbons on his chest and a ghastly look in his eyes. Introducing himself as Sergeant Christian Reuter he wasted no time on formalities, and brought them to barracks right away. He gave them ten minutes to dump their gear before taking them on a tour around the base.

'Listen up maggots! Around here I am in charge.' Reuter ranted as they toured the encampment. 'You boys might be all fancy 'Mech jocks and all, and in theory you kids even outrank me, but when it comes to this firebase... You are mine!'
The base was massive, even for Bubba. The Nagelring Academy had left a lasting impression, with it's huge structures and firing ranges, but the base of the 36th was even bigger. There were makeshift hangars everywhere, where technicians worked on tanks, APCs and 'Mechs alike. Tents cluttered the area, tents like the one Bubba was ordered to leave his gear in. Every corner they rounded showed more tents, more hangars, and more people. There was a full army present.

'You boys will be assigned to 3rd company, 2nd battallion. Your commanding officer will be Kommandant Theodore Eicke. You can find him in the blue tent next to hangar 9, but do not bother him too much, he doesn't like it. If you have any questions you take them to your lance leader, or the company CO, Hauptmann Grün. I'm taking you boys to see her right now, she'll get you assigned to a lance.'

Hauptmann Grün was a small, slender woman with spikey black hair and piercing green eyes. Contrary to military doctrine she wasn't in uniform, but wore coveralls with the arms tied around her waist, over a black shirt with a bright green 36 on it. Her arms were covered in grease, and several smears had gotten on her face and in her short blonde hair too. She'd obviously been working on some piece of equipment. The hangar behind her was filled with technicians, most of them working on the blackened remains of an old VTR-9B Victor and a battered AWS-8Q Awesome. When she saw the recruits coming she jumped down from the scaffold next to the Victor's leg.
'Gentlemen, may I introduce Hauptmann Nicole Grün, 3rd company CO, and generally a nice woman.' He grinned before turning on his heels and marching off again. The five fresh recruits saluted and waited for her reaction.

'Fresh meat huh? Follow me.' She left the hangar and walked over to a big canvas tent covered in nets. A soldier at the entrance jumped into position and saluted as she passed, but she ignored it.
Inside was a simple bunkbed, a small desk and a chair, and a sturdy footlocker. She sat down and opened a file on her datasled.
'Let's see what we have here... Ankin?' She looked up at the five.
'Here ma'am.' The smallest of the mysterious three spoke. He looked like the wind could sweep him off his feet anytime, and his squinting eyes caused Bubba to wonder his eyesight.
'Calderon?'
'Ma'am...' The tall warrior spoke. He was a good foot taller than Bubba, with long hair and pierced ears. His stance was casual, and only his uniform betrayed he was a soldier. Number two he'd rather not have besides him in battle.
'Johnsson?'
'Right here, ma'am.' Bubba snapped. He straightened his back for an even better first impression.
'Parker?'
'Here...'
Hauptmann Grün looked up from her data and studied Parker for a moment. For a moment it seemed she was going to speak, but then her attention turned towards the data again.
'Verhagen?'
'Ma'am, right here, ma'am.' The last mechwarrior reacted as he snapped to attention. His uniform was immaculate, and it was only then that Bubba noticed the medal on the young man's chest. A Davion medal of honour... The man was a Davion soldier? Then what was he doing here?
'Good to see some new faces around here,' Grün continued. 'Glad I can fill my ranks again...' She was still reading all the data, or at least pretended to.

'Well boys,' she chuckled when she placed the sled back on the desk and turned for the five. 'Looks like I can keep you all happy. Or at least I hope... Parker, it says here you trained mostly on a Centurion... Did you like that 'Mech?'
'Ma'am, I have no preference Ma'am.' Parker shrugged, his face blank.
'Very well,' she stated, 'Report to hangar 7, ask for Sergeant Baltimore, the tech in charge, and tell him you need a new ride. Tell him its for the 'Ponytails'
'Ponytails Ma'am?'
'Yes Parker, the 'Ponytails', our company...Ankin, you tag along and request a ride there too...'

She waited for the two warriors to leave before going on.
'Calderon, It says here you specialised in scout missions... '
Calderon nodded, a twinkle in his eyes now. His entire expression became happier.
'Report to Hauptmann Morgenstern of the third company first battallion, and tell him I have no use for you. Tell him to send back Leutnant Zander, I need her back here...'
Again another warrior left, leaving only Bubba and the warrior named Verhagen. The Davion warrior. Hauptmann Grün stood up again and indicated for them to follow.

'Johnsson, you will be assigned to my command lance. Normally I would assign you to a Battlemaster, because you trained in one and should know what they can do, but honestly, we have only one left, and I don't think Kommandant Eicke would like it when I gave you his ride. Therefore you will be assigned to Trudy right here...' She pointed at the Victor, an amused look on her face. 'That old geezer up there with the bald head is Sergeant Major Terstal, the chief mechanic of our lance. he'll get you up to speed...'

She left him in the hangar, walking on and taking Verhagen with her. There he was, Leutnant Bubba Johnsson, standing alone in a crowded hangar, looking up at Trudy, his first ride...
Image
[fullalbumimg]2933[/fullalbumimg]

A decent commander knows when to retreat,
A good commander doesn't need to.

Every now and then I get this urge to do some work.
Usually i sit down and wait till it passes.

snakespinner
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Post by snakespinner » Sat Aug 19, 2006 9:33 pm

good to see Bubba's raiders back.
let's see how good a ride trudy turns out to be Bubba. :wink:

Rollingdrafter
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Post by Rollingdrafter » Mon Aug 21, 2006 9:30 am

Yeah, can't wait to see how Trudy does..[/img]

Rhoubhe
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Post by Rhoubhe » Tue Dec 19, 2006 2:18 pm

Heya heya!! I know its been a while, and i secretly hope at least some of you kinda missed it, but there's another addition to this story! As always I'd like to recieve as much feedback as possible, as long as it helps me improve. (this is concerning both story line, and my writing in general.
Anyway, here it comes. Enjoy.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

12.

Forward staging area, 36th Lyran Guard.
Starboro region, Zaniah.
November 3, 3026.

‘Pay attention Johnsson!’ Hauptmann Grün’s voice snarled through his earpiece. It was the fourth time in their patrol that Bubba got Trudy bogged in deep mud, not following the footsteps of the lead ‘Mech. The plains of Zaniah had turned into fields of mud when the rain season came, a fact the 36th used to full advantage. Day in day out 3rd company patrolled desolated stretches of treacherous mud, or stood guard over strategic copses of trees and shrubbery. Every day they fought the elements, learning their ‘Mechs inside and out.
Bubba had been on Zaniah for two months now, and he was only beginning to feel at home. He had become familiar with the procedures in the company, he’d gotten acquainted with the other warriors, and he was slowly finding a place for himself in the outfit. Trudy was proving to be decent old ‘Mech, a veteran of hundreds of battles, but still capable of several hundred more. She was hard to control though, a fact that had given him a lot of worries during his first few weeks. Compared to the pristine Battlemaster he had piloted during training everything reacted more slowly. Trudy was stubborn, difficult to balance and had a tendency of running hot on him.
‘Sorry, Sir,’ Leutnant Johnsson apologized. ‘This mud is slowing her down.’ He wiped the sweat of his brown, flexed his muscles and gripped the controls tighter. Moving as fast as a Sian snail during hibernation the venerable old war machine lumbered on through the sucking black mud.
‘It slows us all down, Johnsson. Keep up, or drop out. We can’t have excess baggage during combat missions. You got that?’
The young mechwarrior cursed aloud. He had tried everything, did his best to thread where the ‘Mech before him had been, and he’d even adjusted the Gyro settings, but somehow the Victor didn’t agree with the wet underground. Trudy took another step, and immediately she sunk away again. The mud pulled at her feet, made her struggle for every step.
‘I got it, Sir.’ Damn mud. Who the hell tries to run an assault ‘Mech through mud anyways? For a moment Bubba thought about commenting on the terrain, but he knew it would be useless. Hauptmann Grün had proven to be a capable commander, but she was also a tough officer clinging to the old virtues of order and obedience. Virtues Bubba considered important too, but not nearly as important as using common sense and own judgment. They both obviously had different ideas of a mechwarrior’s responsibilities. It had been Grün’s capabilities as a commander that had prevented Bubba from questioning her so far.

Later that day Johnsson was summoned to report at Grün’s command tent. He made sure his uniform was immaculate and his boots were polished to a shine. For the first time in two months she had asked for him, and he was uncertain if she approved of his skills so far. The patrols became better every day, and he had already proven his gunnery skills, but so far all he had to go on were his own opinions on the matter. He could think he was doing good, but was he really? Would the Hauptmann consider him good enough to field in combat?
He reported to Grün’s tent and was allowed inside by the footslogger guarding the entry.
It was mostly dark inside. The faint light of three electric lighters filtered through the camouflage netting separating the bunk part of the tent with the command area. There was the simple desk, holding a tray with a thermos and some cups. A small corner of the wood and metal construction had been cleared for it. The rest of the desk was cluttered with maps of the plains region, the system and surrounding planets, and an overview of the Starboro staging area. Bubba took a quick look at the maps.
The Starboro area was divided in separate zones, each with deployment numbers and dates. There were arrows running from different zones, pointing to key planets in the Marik border zone. Bubba grinned. Slightly curious he searched for the deployment numbers of the 36th.
‘South-east zone, planets Amity and Remulac.’ Grün’s voice startled him. Every time he heard her speak the hairs in his neck came up. ‘That is what you are looking for isn’t it?’
How long had she been there? Was she there all along? Bubba didn’t know, but made sure he stood to attention. Hpt. Nicole Grün came into the command part of the tent wearing her combat shorts and a tank top, her spiky black hair a mess. The bags under her eyes were enormous, her expression a tired one.
‘Sit down Johnsson,’ she said as she poured herself some coffee.
Bubba noticed she was muscular, maybe even more so than some of the men he had trained with. Her slender arms looked strong but feminine. Her long legs seemed to go up forever and ever.
The young Leutnant caught himself staring at his CO with different eyes. He didn’t understand. Sure, Grün was an attractive woman, but her demeanor made her annoying at least, maybe even irritating. Yet he couldn’t help but stare at her.
‘Sit down Johnsson!’ she snarled as she dropped onto her chair. ‘Don’t just stand there staring at me…’
Bubba blushed. She noticed! She wasn’t supposed to notice. What was he thinking anyway? She was his boss.
‘Sorry, sir…’ he managed to stammer as he sat down on a foldaway seat. ‘You wanted to see me?’
Grün nodded as she sipped her coffee. Using her free hand she rummaged through the maps and papers, looking for something. It took her a few more sips before took a file and slid it towards him.
‘Does the name Simon O’Connel ring a bell Johnsson?’ Her voice was softer now, more gentle than normal. A tiny pearl of sweat ran down her slender neck, working its way along her collarbone and down along her breasts. Again he couldn’t help but stare.
‘O’Connel, Johnsson… Simon O’Connel…’ Her tone was loud and raspy again. He quickly sat up and focused his eyes on an imaginary point somewhere behind her on the canvas tent. ‘This letter came from high command. It seems this O’Connel, whoever he may be, has caused quite a stir. Care to tell me about it?’ Her eyes penetrated his. For a moment she seemed to look into his soul. He wanted to tell her about Simon’s death, about how high command had let the boy down when he needed them, when he lost his father…
‘Simon O’Connel,’ Bubba began, suddenly overwhelmed by the memories the name brought back. He should tell her, confide in her. He wanted to hide away on her shoulder. Feel her, be with her. He shook his head to shake those thoughts. ‘O’Connel was my friend during basic Sir. He was a good soldier, but he lost it during the graduation ceremony.’ The memories came in waves now. Good memories of the both of them. ‘He shot a Colonel and was killed by the military police. They said his father had died a week or so before, and he’d just gotten that message. I guess he lost his mind…’
He was sure he had really. Simon had always been a relaxed, laid back kid. He’d always known he’d become an officer; his entire career had already been planned back then. There was no way the young man had been sane when he attacked the officer.
‘Sounds like he did,’ Grün replied, sipping away at her coffee. She looked graceful even in her fatigues, with her hair wild and a sweaty face. Her small breasts heaved up slightly with every breath, weaving a hypnotic rhythm he could hardly resist. Pointing at the file she continued. ‘High command thinks it is necessary to remember him and his father. After considerable reviewing and debating they acknowledge their own faults in the communication of O’Connel’s death to the son. They plan to give him the medal of the fallen soldier, and they would like you to come and accept it during a ceremony on Glengarry.’
She had a sparkle in her eyes. An enthralling, hypnotizing sparkle. He’d never noticed before, but it was clearly there. Bubba only half heard what she said. Memories of Simon flooded his brain, while his hormones were somehow throwing themselves in the mix too. He was sinking away in her gaze. Slowly, but steadily. Her lips moved, she was talking about something, but he didn’t register the words anymore. All he could do was stare at her eyes, study her lips, notice the gentle arch of her neck.
‘Johnsson!’
Bubba snapped back to reality. He immediately sat up straight and straightened his uniform. With a blush on his face he averted his gaze to the table, and stammered: ‘I’m sorry Sir. I got distracted…’ He didn’t dare look up again. Quickly he added, ‘My mind was still at the patrols…’
‘Sure…’ Hauptmann Grün smiled. She emptied her mug and put it back on the tray. Then she reached out across the table and took the map Bubba had studied a bit earlier. ‘On to business now Johnsson. H-Comm transmitted these plans a few days ago. It looks like we are getting to see some action soon. For what I hear Davion will be dragging us into his war schemes. So we will fight soon. Like I said earlier, the planets Amity and Remulac will be our prime targets. The 36th will be simultaneously attacking planets all along the Marik border, but our battalion will mostly be on Remulac. That planet will function as a first line of retreat for several other planets, and it is command’s idea to take that possibility away from them. They think that, by dropping us behind the lines when the war starts or even before, we should be able to cripple their supply structure. So we are likely going to drop on-planet for a number of successive raids and sabotage missions.’ She paused to pour herself a new cup of coffee. Then she filled a second mug and handed it to Johnsson.
‘When will this mission start, Sir?’ Johnsson asked as he accepted the coffee. Again he felt his gaze drift away, down her cheeks and along her neck this time, until he caught himself staring at his commanding officer’s pear-shaped breasts. Quickly he corrected himself and stared at the wall again, quickly sipping his coffee. Grün gave him a wondering look. Did she see him stare? The thought alone made him blush again. If she did, at least she didn’t mention it. After lighting a cigarette she answered. ‘Unknown at this time. We will hear about that in due time. Until then we will train our butts off.’
Johnsson sighed. He was beginning to develop a strong dislike for training in the mud. So was Trudy. The old ‘Mech protested more every day.
‘Anyhow, this brings us to why I asked you to come. Leutnant Johnsson, you studied at Nagelring, and you were a lance leader during most of that time. According to your file you could have gone to officers training, but you chose a field position. That kind if thinking is just what I’m looking for.
When on Remulac or Amity, we will be operating in three lances. I will command Alpha, Lt. Hagen will command Beta, but I have nobody to command Charlie lance. Sure, mechwarriors Verhagen and Parker would like to have that position, and so would Calderon, but neither of them sounds good to me. So that’s why I chose you. Your record, and your ideas, appeal to me most. Even the veterans think it’s a good idea.’
‘Wouldn’t one of them be more suitable Sir? Like Emilia, she’s been with the unit for seven years already…’ Bubba replied, not knowing what reaction he should be giving. It was an honor, certainly, but there were several more suitable candidates. Mechwarriors like Lt. Emilia Geister, one of the veterans in the unit, and one with actual combat experience. All Bubba had to offer was his training. Nagelring training indeed, but that was still only training.
‘Are you going to question my decision, Johnsson? Because if so I can just as easily assign someone else…’ Grün shot him a sinister glance. Shivers ran up his spine, nestling in his neck. A killer look indeed, he decided. ‘No Sir,’ he replied. ‘I… er… I am honored. Thank you Sir.’
‘That’s a lot better.’ Her eyes softened again, but that sparkle remained. Whether she looked mad, friendly or in-between, they sparkled. Bubba was at a loss. What was happening to him. He didn’t know this feeling. ‘Now, who else will be in what lance I haven’t decided yet, but I was thinking of teaming you up with Parker and Ankin. Maybe Lt. Geister’s Hunchback could compliment the Victor, Centurion and Champion. It’ll be Geister’s Hunchback, or Flickwald’s Rifleman. We will do some training exercises to find out which combination works best for you.’
‘If it is all the same to you Sir, I’d like to have Geister in the lance. First of all because of her experience, but more importantly because none of the other ‘Mechs can adequately protect the Rifleman’s back.
Grün shook her head. ‘Like I said Johnsson… We’ll do some exercises to see what works best.’ She downed the last of her coffee and stood up. ‘That’ll be all for now, Johnsson. Dismissed.’
‘Sir,’ Bubba hesitated… It were her eyes, again. Every time his eyes caught hers he felt the ground under his feet slip away. He stared at the wall again to regain focus. Hauptmann Grün leaned forward, leaning on her knuckles on the desk. She gave him a good view of her cleavage. Johnsson cursed her in his mind. Was she doing that on purpose? For a moment his eyes struggled between her and the wall. ‘Sir, can I speak frankly Sir?’
Grün nodded, an amused smile on her face. ‘Sure you may.’
‘I’ve been meaning to ask you this for two months now, Sir… ’ He concentrated on his question. It was hard enough to see her eyes, but this was getting ridiculous. Quickly he continued, if only to make sure he could get out of her tent. ‘I know it is none of my business, but what is Verhagen doing here anyway? He’s a good mechwarrior I think, but he’s a Davion soldier, Sir.’
She sat down again, her face turning serious all of a sudden. Her voice became a whisper.
‘Johnsson, listen to me carefully now, because what I am now going to tell you, I am only going to tell you once…’ Johnsson sat up, interested.
‘Verhagen is here on account of an exchange program with the Federated Suns. For all I know there are at least fifteen of them around here, and the same number of our people is stationed across their borders. The coming campaign is also part of a grand plan I believe. That is all I can tell you. Remember one thing though Johnsson…’
‘Sir?’
‘In this army it is frowned upon if people ask too many questions. Be careful who you talk to about this, and don’t go looking for trouble. Eicke doesn’t like that. Now get going.'
Image
[fullalbumimg]2933[/fullalbumimg]

A decent commander knows when to retreat,
A good commander doesn't need to.

Every now and then I get this urge to do some work.
Usually i sit down and wait till it passes.

Rollingdrafter
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Post by Rollingdrafter » Tue Dec 19, 2006 5:18 pm

another great installment Rhoubhe...welcome back... :D

Rhoubhe
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Location: Netherlands

Post by Rhoubhe » Thu May 24, 2007 9:38 am

The long awaited chapter 13!!!

...........................................................................................................

13.

Dropship ‘Idaho’.
Remulac lower orbit,
January 11, 3027

The forest-covered continent of Pisa came closer and closer as the spheroid dropship ‘Idaho’ crashed through the Remulac atmosphere. Shards of grey clouds whipped past the fuselage at increasing speeds, breaking coherence and showing the forested lands below. Tiny streams quickly became rivers, small patches of water soon turned out to be great lakes, where the local population, all fanatic Marik followers, drilled for oil on huge derricks. All the while the ‘Idaho’ kept falling at high speed.
Bubba strapped himself tight into the chair of his Victor, checking for maybe the seventh time to see if all the buckles were properly secured. No matter how much they practiced, an actual combat drop was something completely different. Never before had he experienced the adrenaline rushing through his veins in such a way. His entire body was tense, all his muscles cramping up as the forests below him came rapidly closer, appearing gigantic to his mind’s eye.
The dropship suddenly turned, the flat bottom now turning towards the ground as the thrusters spewed forth their powerfull streams of superhot air. The rapid descent experienced by Bubba and his fellow mechwarriors quickly slowed, and even turned into a near stop, shaking the contents of the dropship violently. Johnsson thanked his nerves for causing him to check his safety harness constantly as he heard Parker curse aloud through the comm. The lance leader couldn’t help but chuckle as his lancemate forgot all communication protocols and cursed the designers of his Battlemech. He’d obviously hit his head on something or other, probably the tracking console placed right above him in the old Centurion.
The dropship landed hard, its hydraulic feet groaning upon impacting with the overgrown soil. Within just three seconds the dropship stopped shuddering, and the large cargo-bay door opened, revealing a small clearing in the old forest. A clearing that seemed just large enough to land a dropship and deploy a lance or two, surrounded by ancient trees, thick undergrowth and moss-covered rocks.
A quick flip of a switch released the magnetic clamps holding the Victor in place. Just as it seemed to topple forward off the ramp Bubba slammed down his pedals, activating the giant steel hulk. Slowly it lifted one huge foot, stepped forward and began walking. Behind him his lance followed.

‘Green Lance, follow me!’ Grün bellowed through the comm at her own lance.
‘Johnsson, get Blue to that station and take it out. Last thing we need is them calling for reinforcements.’
To his left Bubba could just see his commander’s lance disappear in the treeline. Why was he wanting to tell her to be carefull? He knew she was a capable commander. Why was he so worried about her?
He checked his maps to clear his head. Their objective was to the north, a small communications station largely hidden in the woods. Intelligence had reported a small detachment of armoured infantry, supported by a battallion of light tanks. Nothing his lance couldn’t handle in open terrain, but in the forest his lance of lumbersome giants was at a definate disadvantage.
‘Keep those eyes open people! I don’t want any surprises here…’
Navigation point Alpha jumped up on Bubba’s screens, indicating shallows allowing the lance to cross the Milano Creek separating them from the comm station. It was a good ten miles out. A good half hour’s travel. ‘Geister, take the lead. Parker, you close the line. I want to reach Nav Alpha in thirty minutes tops. That way we give ourselves more time to accomplish the mission, thus providing ourselves with a bit more freedom.’
‘Affirmative Sir,’ the entire lance replied as the warmachines turned north and struggled into the treeline.

They were never going to make the thirty minute mark, Johnsson realised within ten minutes. The forest was thick and overgrown at most places, slowing down the ‘Mechs more than he’d expected at first. With every step his Victor took Bubba needed to adjust his gyros several times to avoid falling. The lumbersome ‘Mech lost its footing several times anyway, sinking away in the soft soil more than once, and generally ploughing more than walking through the woods. In front of his own ‘Mech he could clearly see the Hunchback suffering the same problems.
‘Blue three here,’ Ankin’s voice crackled through the comm. ‘My sensors indicate a small trail three hundred meters west of our position. It seems to lead north. Should we check it out and see if it is any easier to use that, sir?’
‘Negative, three,’ Bubba barked. ‘We stay away from any trails encountered. It is likely the enemy has set up posts to watch and maybe even secure them, and we do not want to give ourselves away before we reach the target.’ If we ever reach it at this pace, he thought. Again he checked his maps.
‘Blue four here, I have an incoming contact, two clicks out…’
Geister’s Hunchback slowed to a walking pace, carefully manouvring through the trees. The ancient behemoths of nature cast long shadows in the thickets, limiting sight to less than a hundred meters. Enough maybe for an infantry-man, but not nearly enough for Bubba to be comfortable with. He thought he saw movement everywhere, the forest playing tricks with the light, the wind, and his mind.
‘Affirmative four. Any identification?’
‘Negative, Sir. There’s too much interference. These old systems here even have trouble discerning trees from rocks, let alone identifying enemy contacts. Looks like we have to wait it out.’

Quickly bubba scanned his surroundings. Giant trees blocked most of his view, the Victor being taller than most of the undergrowth. Smaller trees and light shrubbery blocked most of his ground view, giving him a strange, distorted picture of the ancient woods. A small vehicle, or even a light tank, would be able to see him well before he would have any sight of the enemy.
‘A thousand meters Sir,’ Geister reported just as a small red dot appeared on Leutnant Johnsson’s targeting systems. His ‘Mech’s systems started scanning the object, trying to find an identification. To no avail, Bubba knew before his systems told him. The forest was too much of an interference.
‘Looks like a scout or something,’ Parker suggested. ‘Shouldn’t we attack?’
‘Negative Parker, hold your position.’

It took a minute or two before their contact came into view. Parker had been right. A Rotunda light scout vehicle came speeding through the undergrowth, aware of their position but trusting on its speed to stay safe. Before bubba could bring his guns to bare the vehicle had passed both the Hunchback and his own Victor, and was halfway across the small clearing between them and Ankin’s Champion. It was Parker who reacted first. Knowing he would never be fast enough to actually shoot the scout he pressed his ‘Mech forward, stepping right in front of the racing vehicle. The crew of the Marik Rotunda was experienced enough, and the scout-car quickly turned a sharp left, away from the lumbering hulk. It was too late though. Parker had already positioned himself in the path of the car, and the Centurion almost casually lifted its right foot. The kick hit the car dead on, lifting the entire rear, flipping it over and sending it hurtling into a tree. There it erupted in a fiery orange cloud, lighting tree and brush, spilling gasoline all over the clearing. The entire encounter had taken just twenty seconds. Twenty seconds that had turned the clearing into a blazing inferno.
‘Yeah! Did you see that!’ Parker was extatic. ‘Did you see that thing fly! My first real kill!’
‘I saw it,’ Bubba had to reply, albeit reluctant, ‘and I’ll make sure it is noted as such. Now get back in position and shut your mouth. If you ever leave position again without being ordered I’ll have you court-marshalled.’

It bugged him. He wondered why, but couldn’t find an answer. Shouldn’t he be happy his training comrade had earned a kill? He figured he should. He figured he should be happy for Parker. After all a kill for his lancemate meant a kill for his lance… Yet he wasn’t happy. The entire situation had left a knot in his stomach. Parker had earned the first kill. If it had been Ankin or Geister, would he be troubled that much by it? Bubba had to admit he didn’t know. He should be happy, but all he could think about was ‘why Parker’? What was the problem? Was it the fact that he had ignored orders to stay in position?
No, bubba had to conclude that he would have done the same. But what then?
He kept going over it in his mind. It had been a clean kill, so that was not the problem either. There was no way those scouts could have contacted anyone. What was it?
Suddenly a nausiating feeling crept over him. No, that couldn’t be… could it?
Could it really be he was just jealous?
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A decent commander knows when to retreat,
A good commander doesn't need to.

Every now and then I get this urge to do some work.
Usually i sit down and wait till it passes.

snakespinner
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Post by snakespinner » Sat Jun 30, 2007 5:45 am

Good to see another chapter. :wink:
Very descriptive combat assault. Mechs in very heavy forest, "ouch".

Rhoubhe
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Post by Rhoubhe » Sun Jul 22, 2007 3:33 am

14.

'Leader to all…' The bridge ahead looked deserted. The rusty steel beams that had once held a proud road surface now looked flimsy, not able to support the weight of the broken, overgrown tarmac. Every gust of wind caused loud cracks to resonate throughout the forest, some even causing the entire structure to swing sideways. A once sturdy construction, now looking barely able to support its own weight, let alone four heavily armored war machines. Quickly Bubba checked his clock. 'Estimate arrival time Zero-plus-twenty-four. If we keep going at this rate the war will be over before we even reach the station.'
'Let's get going then!' Parker replied. 'What are we waiting for anyway? There's nothing here…' Ever since the Rotunda encounter he took every chance he got to urge the lance forward, eager for more kills and more glory.
'Shut up Parker,' Bubba shot back. He was getting even more on his nerves than usual. That one kill had turned a madman into a monster. 'We do this the right way, or we don't do this at all.' Again his eyes darted across the bridge. It was big enough for two of the 'Mechs to traverse at the same time; or it was once before being left to rot. The river, a small but deep stream of rumbling, angry water, was not an option. The riverbanks were too steep, and would never support the weight of a Centurion, let alone a Victor. They would have to take their chances on the bridge.
'Okay Blue Lance!' Leutnant Johnsson decided, 'We'll cross that heap of junk single file. Ankin goes first, Parker second. Secure the other side of the bridge quickly, because Geister and me will be right behind you two. We cross at two-minute intervals. Go!'

It all happened in the blink of an eye. Ankin's Champion stepped from the protection of the forest, lumbering it's way towards the rusty bridge, when suddenly the tree line across the river seemed to come to life. Gunfire erupted everywhere. There were muzzle flashes all around, a rain of small arms fire peppering the armored bulk of the Battlemech. The Champion pressed forward, not a moment impressed by the tiny pinpricks showering it's steel skin. It's torso twisted left, the assault cannon breathing streams of projectiles into the trees.
Behind Ankin's Champion the Centurion stepped onto the shattered tarmac, Turning for the bridge at full speed. Firing blind into the treeline Parker quickly closed the gap between him and the Champion, storming onto the bridge without a moment's thought.
'Parker, hold back!' Bubba peered through half-closed eyes, trying to figure out what they were facing. 'That bridge is too weak! Hold back Parker!'

The Centurion was already halfway across, and now found its path blocked by the Champion that was casually trotting on, firing everything it had into the trees. Flames erupted everywhere, turning the damp atmosphere into an oven. A burning soldier came from the smoking trees, running towards the river with his Marik uniform slowly withering in the flames. Even from the other side of the river young Leutnant Johnsson could see the flaming tongues burn the man's arms and legs, gnawing at his face and neck. With his blood nearly boiling the trooper took a dive towards the water. He never made it far enough. Everywhere troops abandoned their positions now, running away from the waterline in utter terror. What had been meant as a forward defensive position was now a collection of burning trees, scorched manholes and shattered dreams.

When they finally crossed the bridge Bubba had his first look at the Marik positions. They had been hidden well. Manholes lined the blackened treeline on both sides of the road, with several emplacements readied for mortars and heavy machineguns. Sandbag bunkers were hidden under fallen trees, covered with dead wood and leaves. And all of it was now scorched and brazen.
'Looks like a forward position,' Geister remarked. She didn't speak often, much to Bubba's liking, but when she did it was always useful information for the young commander. Her experience was valuable, and he tried to use that as best he could. 'I think they weren't expecting Battlemechs. There are hardly any heavy weapons here. They were probably defending the bridge against mechanized infantry or something. Whatever they expected, its not us, that's for sure
'Keep your eyes open people,' Johnsson ordered. 'Infantry or not, if there are still troops with satchel charges here we could have a problem. Battlemechs or not.'
'Bull!' Parker retorted. 'They can't touch us. You saw them run Leutnant, they are chicken. We should press on right away. Let's go get them!'
A sigh escaped Bubba's lips. He was almost ready to pump a few salvos of hot AC20 lead into the back of the Centurion, just to be rid of Parker's constant comments. He had to talk to Nicole, to Hauptmann Grün about it. He wondered how they were doing. Their mission depended a lot on his own. With their communications severed the Marik militia would be easily overrun. But if he failed… He couldn't even think about the consequences. They'd all die on this rock if that comm.-station remained intact.
'Lance, fall in, single file. Parker, take the lead. We're pushing forward.'

Comm-station 284-M was a small site, hidden in an old bunker complex built in and on a hill. It had once been a Comstar compound, before it had been turned over to the Free Worlds league in 2812, as part of a trade pact. Since then half of the site had been abandoned, left to be overgrown by the ever vigilant jungle surrounding it. Ever since then it had been the home of the 75th Militia, a unit of conscripts specialized in jungle warfare. Their commander was a veteran with a record the size of a man's arm, and even in the Lyran commonwealth Colonel Jop Cartier was somewhat of a legend. His book on jungle warfare was a must-read on many colleges, and many a commander considered him an authority on jungle and guerilla warfare. Bubba wasn't eager to take him on. He'd read the book during his years as a training grunt, and he'd grown to respect Cartier. Any man that had been fighting in jungles for over thirty years was bound to know what he was talking about.

'Scans indicate three point-defense turrets about a mile north sir,'
Ankin had a slight tremble in his voice. Nerves, Bubba concluded. Which was normal he figured, especially since he was very nervous himself. It wasn't every day you took on a legend. Even if it was a legend amongst infantry. After all Cartier was known for the anti-'Mech tactics in use by most armies today.
'Keep an eye on them Ankin. As soon as one of them picks up on our signal, I want to know. In this jungle they will probably go active the moment we get into visual range. If that happens we'll be way too late… Geister, maintain a distance of fifty meters between Parker and yourself. Ankin, you're with me, single file, fifty meters…' He quickly scanned the dirt road ahead. It was all clear. 'Parker, lead the way.'
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A decent commander knows when to retreat,
A good commander doesn't need to.

Every now and then I get this urge to do some work.
Usually i sit down and wait till it passes.

snakespinner
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Post by snakespinner » Sun Jul 22, 2007 4:52 am

In a heavy forest facing someone who is a legend in anti-mech and jungle warfare.
And he's got Parker in his lance.
What fun. :wink:

Rhoubhe
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Post by Rhoubhe » Sun Jul 22, 2007 5:58 am

Are we beginning to dislike Parker? Why? He's such a friendly and outgoing chap... not at all irritating...
Chapter 15 coming soon!
Image
[fullalbumimg]2933[/fullalbumimg]

A decent commander knows when to retreat,
A good commander doesn't need to.

Every now and then I get this urge to do some work.
Usually i sit down and wait till it passes.

Batminimus
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Post by Batminimus » Sun Jul 22, 2007 6:39 am

excellent read so far

can we push parker out the airlock next time?
"Eripio sumptus"
English translation
"Rescuing costs "

snakespinner
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Post by snakespinner » Mon Jul 23, 2007 4:16 am

Just because Parker reminds me of my ex-wife, does not mean i dislike him. :wink:
I think he's perfect to find ambushes and as a mine detector. :twisted:

BlackHornet
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Post by BlackHornet » Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:53 am

Yep Parker gets to ride point.
One thing "Their commander was a veteran with a record the size of a man's arm" Shouldn't that be the lenght of a mans arm?
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BlackHawk01-"Everyone knows a cool BattleBuggy needs a bitchin' set of pipes..."

Batminimus
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Post by Batminimus » Mon Jul 23, 2007 1:05 pm

BlackHornet wrote:Yep Parker gets to ride point.
One thing "Their commander was a veteran with a record the size of a man's arm" Shouldn't that be the lenght of a mans arm?
depends on the record he's talking about???
aka john holmes
"Eripio sumptus"
English translation
"Rescuing costs "

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Post by Choppa 6 » Wed Aug 15, 2007 4:29 pm

Ummm...no pulse lasers in 3022!
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