Alpha 402 Patrol
Athastan System, Lyran
Two blazing points of light streaked through the darkness of space, as a pair of Sedlitz fighters performed their usual patrol. Leutnant Peter Hummel sighed softly to himself. “Another boring patrol. Why do they waste fuel on these? Not even the scum in the Periphery would bother with this place.”
First Leutnant Jessica Malborg frowned. “Enough with the chatter, Peter. We have to make it look like we’re doing something on this patrol.”
“Leutnant, I joined the army to do something, not fly around catching meteorite fragments,” Peter complained with a sigh.
“You mean you didn’t come for political reasons? I’m surprised.” She remarked. “You probably would have been better joining mercenaries.”
Peter bristled, but didn’t reply. “Just a moment, Leutnant… I’m getting something on my screens… signal at eight low.”
“I copy, Pilot…No identify either… are your sensors pulling a clanner?” The last being a reference to the signal confusion Pilots and Mechwarriors received when first detecting bastardized-seeing Omnimechs in the first days of the Clan war.
“Ja, Leutnant. It wants to call them Thrushs, but they sure don’t look it…Looks more like a pancake with a bite out of it…” Peter replied. “I’m getting four of them…If they’re not friendly, we’re in trouble.”
“You got your wish pilot…” First Lt. Malborg frowned and flipped her thumb over the Comm switch on her stick. “This is Lyran Alliance pilot First Leutnant Malborg, identify yourself.”
“Leutnant, they’re changing
to an attack vector!” Peter said. “Going weapons hot.”
“Affirmative, Pilot. You take bogies three and four.”
Both pilots split, just in time to avoid pulses of photons. “Leutnant, they have us ranged… are they new clanner fighters?”
“I don’t know, but we’re in real trouble…” With that, Jessica sent an emergency message back toward base, warning them, before going to full burn in an attempt to close the range gap.
Fragment of armor were melted off the tip of her fighter’s wing as she tried to avoid more energy pulses, until she reached the range, firing four of her fighter’s five lasers… none of them hit. Or rather, two of them hit, but did nothing… one could swear they almost reflected away. “Peter, something is very wrong…”
… but there was no reply from the leutnant, as his fighter was torn in half by the two bogies. Jessica swore and angled back toward the base, trying to avoid the fighters.
The vessels, nations and some of the characters in this story are properties of Wizkids Games, Chris Roberts, and Origin Systems. All others are my own creations.
Comstar First Circuit Compound
Precentor Martial Steiner-Davion strode toward the command center, frowning softly. “What are the reports?”
Lise Saltea sighed, “Five
days ago, an
Victor took up the pictures and looked through them. “And no one is claiming responsibility for the attack?”
“Correct, Precentor. The markings do not resemble anything from the Free Worlds League or the Word of Blake. It is highly unlikely that the Circinus Federation is capable of such an attack, and none of the Clans would try to hide what they were doing.”
The Precentor stepped up to a console. “Has the Archon provided any information?” He didn’t expect his brother, Peter Steiner-Davion, the new Archon since the removal of Katherine from the throne, to provide any information they did not already have, but he thought it best to cover all bases.
Lise shook her head. “Actually, an official communiqué from Tharkad states that Archon Steiner-Davion is just as perplexed as we are.”
Victor shook his head. “Alright. We cannot afford to send a reconnaissance vessel. It’s too close to the League border, and we cannot afford to deal with the Blakists right now. For now, all we can do is wait.”
Tramp-class Jumpship Lesta’s Pride, Nadir Jump Point
Galisteo System, Free Worlds League
Captain Piotr Carlson took a drink from a thermos squeezebulb of imitation coffee as he sat back, looking at a local news report. “Fourth attack in two weeks.” The mysterious raiders who’d been rumored to be hitting locations in the Lyran Alliance had just recently been reported as hitting their first location in the Free Worlds League, attacking the Dalcour system. “Gotta be a bunch of garbage. No way anyone could have the resources to attack four separate systems in two weeks, much less be able to jump that fast.” Not even with one of those Lithium Fusion batteries he had seen on some very ancient vessels. His twenty years in serving with the FWL navy gave him a lot of information on the old and the new, but even the Clans couldn’t move this fast, much less a group of raiders.
“Dropship Pascagoula Run preparing for final docking procedure,” Lance Hendik, the ‘Pride’s Comm officer replied.
“Roger, Comm. Docking proced-“
“Captain, we’re picking up an anomalous energy reading, bearing 204 mark 21, three light seconds.” Lance interrupted. “But according to Gal-2 Command, there’s not supposed to be another ship en route till tomorrow. And it isn’t a regular jump signature either.”
Piotr frowned. “Let me know if it would pose a threat…”
Captain Carlson blinked and drifted over to Lance. “What is it, Military, Civilian? Maybe it’s a misjump or something?” He said, shaking his head softly.
The radar screen showed the new signal. Then several new signals, all originating from the first. “I would have to say military, sir,” Lance replied. “I’m detecting sixteen new contacts, presumably fighters.”
Carlson swore. “Patch us in with the Pascagoula Run, tell them to abort docking and prepare for incoming hostiles.”