29 Nov 2003 - ELH vs. BA

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29 Nov 2003 - ELH vs. BA

Post by Firemane » 30 Nov 2003, 20:19

EDITED 4 Dec 2003

<S> all. Last night, Crickett, Stache, Tach and I defended against a Blazing Aces mech stealing raid. We took 4 Victors out against eight BA mechs that included 4 bushies, a BK, and a Chimera. We fought hard with heavy firepower. We managed to destroy 2 of them, and a third BA mech fell to their own guns after taking a lot of damage from us. However, we couldn't avoid being swarmed so we eventually lost all the Victors, and the match. I was trying to put together a better retelling but this is all I have so far:

Sgt. Firemane
Combat Diary

Epsilon Eridani
29 Nov 30xx
The air in the Ready Room felt like it weighed a ton. It was almost funny, given the amount of empty chairs in here. It was just Crickett, Tach, Stache and me sitting right around the holoprojector table. Behind us was enough seating for at least a Company but there were no more ELH to fill them. Crickett snapped off “Fire, pay attention! Looking at all the empty seats won’t bring reinforcements.” He pointed down at the shiny surface of the projector table. The table was in 2-D mode and displaying real-time satellite images. Crickett’s finger pointed at a ball of dust rising off a brown hillside about 50 km from our base. As the dust rolled away, we could see the grey dropship and it’s bay doors falling open. “There they are gentlemen. The Blazing Aces”, Crickett added. “Somehow, they heard about the Mechs we have down here, and they’re not here to make an offer. And they’re gonna think it’s Christmas when they figure out that it‘s just the four of us here defending this base”.

I groaned as I watched the second lance of Mech’s spill out of the dropship and head this way. There was one full lance of Bushwackers in that crowd, and the tall one bringing up the rear looked like a Black Knight. The dust made it hard to verify the other two machines. Tach just grinned and sounded his customary “Woo-hoo” and added “Wow, 2 apiece. I could use a fat bonus check”. Stache cracked up “Yeah right Tach. We’ll let you have that BK so you can retire early.” We all got some nervous laughs out of that one, but it died off pretty fast as we watched those Blazing Aces cut across the dusty hills in two tight V formations.

Crickett turned to Stache “So, how are we gonna handle this? We got plenty of Mechs and not enough ELH. Besides, are enough Mechs even prepped to go?” Stache looked down at his noteputer, scrolling down the list of shiny new Mechs that might soon get a new BA paintjob. “Well..” Stache mused; we might as make these SOBs know that some of us are here. I say we take the Victors.” “The what??” I cut in, giving a glance over at Tach who was already shielding his eyes. Neither Tach or I had piloted an assault Mech in battle for some time. “You heard me”, Stache answered, I say we take all four Victors and hit them hard. We concentrate our fire well enough, and we might drop enough of them to make them reconsider this little raid. We’re gonna lose them either way more than likely, and there’s no reason to hand them 4 undamaged assault Mechs. Crickett turned to me wearing a grin “Use ‘em or loose ‘em, Bud”. Then he put another cigarette in his lips for that last burst of nicotine inspiration.

Crickett keyed his throat mic and called over to the Crew Chief’s station. After a short blast of static, the sergeant’s voice called back. “Yessir, Lt. Col. What are your orders? “Sergeant, get the Victors online and ready to go. We have maybe 30 minutes before this place will be crawling with guests. “Sir, which ones do you need?” the sergeant responded a little sheepishly. “I want them all”, Crickett returned. “Yes, Sir”, the sergeant replied a little shakily “Ummmm...we’ll…we’ll… have them ready in…uh….15 minutes…. Sir”. You could almost see him looking over at his men who were probably starting to pull out their hair. Crickett looked back over at us and he started to light his smoke. “Let’s do it, people!” he said with a dangling cig and we headed toward the Mech bays.

Getting out of that compound without killing anyone was pretty tough. The Vics are big machines and the rush of evacuating personnel and machines was tricky to negotiate. All the non-essentials headed out for the cover of a nearby river valley. Crickett saw no point in sacrificing ground personnel for Mechs that couldn’t even be moved, or really, even saved. So, the few defending vehicles and infantry were spread out on the two ridges that flank the base. The plan was to make BA decide whether they wanted to fight our admittedly weak gauntlet in order to get to the base, or if they wanted to split up and fight our concealed defenders while they were caught out in the open valley. Either way, we hoped to buy some time in case reinforcements might arrive. And of course, the four of us were planning to stop these raiders. We knew that was a snowball’s chance but we were gonna bloody their nose at the very least.

The bobbing gait of the Victor wasn’t that tough to get used to once we made it to open ground. The terrain in the region was rolling hills and ridges- nothing very steep or tricky for a shaky assault driver. I filed in behind Stache and Crickett who were running side by side, maybe 150 meters apart and looking like giant Terran football players tearing across a huge dusty field. I checked my weapons panels once more- the 2 large lasers indicators glowed ready. The heavy gauss loaded and the capacitor was at full charge. The LBX20 was set and the ammo feeds were clear. Somebody was gonna get some before I went down.

I glanced in my rear feed and saw Tach lagging a bit. I think he was missing the speed of his trusty Dragon. Crickett cut into the comms- “C’mon you two, tighten it up. We gotta stay close together if we want to hit these guys hard.” I pushed on the throttle and my Victor’s feet boomed ahead. Crickett and Stache reached the slope of a hill and I began to catch them as they slowed to climb. I was still about 200 meters back from them when my headset beeped a loud warning- red brackets appeared on my HUD- something just over the top of the hill. “Whoa!” Stache cut in “I got one Bushwacker over the hill.” Both Crickett and Stache seemed to slow their pace a bit, and I backed off to match. The BA machine was going passive but my mag and infrared detectors painted him as about 350 meters and pointed towards us, but not at me, maybe at Crickett or Stache. I was closing faster, just wanting to get a visual for a laser shot. “Damn!” Stache cut back in- they’re all here, let’s go..go..go!!”

Crickett and Stache were still ahead of me but to my right. My eyes were set on the Bushy nearly dead ahead, but I could just see the Victors in my peripheral vision. I was pouring it on to make that hill when I heard and felt two tremendous booms. Great flashes of light from the Victors- both of them had unloaded full alpha on that lead Bushwacker. I crested the hill just in time to see the Bushy stagger under the onslaught from both Victors. If that guy even fired back, it was tough to tell with the hail of ELH fire. How he fought back and kept that Bushy standing was beyond me- his neurofeedback load had to be agonizing. That sympathy lasted a split second as I cut loose with both lasers and the gauss. The red beams sliced just above his cockpit but the huge DPU slug clanged across the back of the machine leaving a black furrow. I grinned as the Bushy rocked on its hips. I was about to let loose the LBX when BOOM! again from my right and the Bushwacker just shredded in front of me. Crickett’s LBX blast tore away all of the remaining armor from the Bushy’s right side. The heavy gauss chaser tore completely through the exposed engine throwing up a fine spray of coolant that lit up bright green as the breached reactor flashed. The gutted machine careened over onto its left side and slid to a halt amid a cloud of dust and tumbling dirt clods.

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