Transcript for DC-EX-04-02 Extraction from Benjamin

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Iceman
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:51 pm
affiliations: Name: Tanaka Kintaro
Callsign: 'Iceman'
Rank: Sho-sa (Major)
Hardware: Kage BA (DEST)
Battalion: DEST
Company: Shadow
Platoon: PA(L) DEST Platoon Alpha
Assignment: Breach
Role: Executive Officer
Unit: Razan's Ronins
House: Draconis Combine

Transcript for DC-EX-04-02 Extraction from Benjamin

Postby Iceman » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:55 pm

DC-EX-04-02 Extraction from Benjamin

Region: Draconis Combine
System: Benjamin
Galactic Coordinates: X: 125.18 Y: 135.88
Days to Jump Point: 3 days
Planet: Benjamin
Primary Planetary Climate: Continental
Approximate Population: 4.655 Billion People
Capital City: Deber City
Contract Type: Extraction
Primary Operational Terrain: Woodlands, Light
Contract Duration: 4 Months (60 Days in REAL TIME) negotiable
Employer: Draconis Combine
Employer Contact: Timothy Yechido, Governor of Benjamin
Command Rights: Independent Command
Forces Recommended: A Company Strength Detachment
Supporting Forces: House Guard of ceremonial infantry and mechwarriors
Enemy Forces: 2nd Benjamin Regulars Garrison
Supplement Contracts Offered: None
Bounty Per Word: 1,100 C-Bills
Minimum Bounty: 14,000 Word Transcript
Bonus Salvage Bounty Target: 54,000 Word Transcript
Bonus Salvage Category: Type-D Salvage

Planet Details:

Benjamin is a large world orbiting a very dim sun. To help boost the amount of
sunlight the planet receives, it has sent 20 huge "semi-suns" into orbit around
itself. Much like the collecting sails of JumpShips, these semi-suns are circular
reflectors made of paper-thin, mirror-like fabric. The semi-suns reflect light down
onto the planet in such a way that Benjamin's day is effectively lengthened and the
amount of sunlight received is boosted by 20 percent.

Benjamin has a fair climate that can support hardier crops and meat animals, and
has a few good deposits of petroleum and coal. The use of these fuel sources has
polluted large stretches of the planet, but most of the industries now use the
proper anti-pollution devices. The major heavy industry of Benjamin is parts
manufacture for wheeled vehicles.

Benjamin's main importance arises from the fact that it is the capital of a
military and political district. The capital of Benjamin is Deber City, site of the
huge Political Park of administrative buildings where the fate of billions is
determined. Just outside the city is the headquarters of Warlord Hirushi Shotugama,
the most powerful man in the district as well as the personal commander of the 17th
Benjamin Regulars.

Located on Benjamin, Osaka Fields is one of the largest 'Mech proving grounds in
the Draconis Combine. Traditionally, Benjamin's garrison maintains and administers
Osaka Fields: in the absence of a regular DCMS unit on Benjamin, the planetary
militia assumes those duties. Scattered throughout the Combine, proving grounds
offer citizens of low birth or low academic standing an avenue to develop and
exhibit the skills needed to enter the DCMS. The ISF maintains operatives at all
proving grounds to scrutinize promising candidates for correct doctrine and loyalty
to the Combine. Candidates approved by the ISF (or who produce an appropriate
bribe) generally receive invitations to study at military academies, though
exceptionally talented candidates may receive only a minimum of training and
indoctrination before entering the ranks of the DCMS.

Osaka Fields consist of a large, untamed wilderness area that borders a military
base abandoned when the current base was built. Only sensor relays define the
practice fields, and so every warrior who uses the proving grounds must demonstrate
perfect knowledge of the field boundaries. Because violating a boundary may put a
BattleMech rigged for dummy-fire battle into a live-fire range, any warrior who
violates a boundary immediately loses his or her field privileges.

Simulator time is reasonably priced, though regular military users always receive
precedence over non-military users. Anyone with their own BattleMech may use the
fields, and free-for-all matches are quite common. Previous administrations
accepted random participants in groups of four or eight, scrambled them into
roughly even teams based on their experience levels and sent them to their assigned
fields. The current administration, however, often employs practises designed to
make the sessions more productive for everyone involved. For example, the
administration frequently combines opponents into unmatched groups and may
incorporate specific goals unrelated to direct combat in to the victory conditions
of each match.

A low-orbit satellite monitors the action on each field and sends trideo feeds to
the field base. Anyone can purchase recordings of matches. The Osaka Fields offer
entertainment that bears close resemblance to the games on Solaris, but the DCMS
uses stiff fines to enforce the strict prohibition on wagering at the proving
ground.

Technological Development:
High-tech world with advanced research centers and universities; best medical care
available; cutting-edge microelectronics industry.

Industrial Level:
Heavily industrialized world capable of manufacturing any and all complex output.

Raw Material Dependence:
World/system produces all the raw materials needed and commonly exports large
quantities of surplus.

Industrial Output:
World has a wide industrial base that produces many different types of products and
exports most of its output.

Agricultural Development:
World has a rich environment producing a great excess of food in relation to
population needs, with planet’s agricultural regions augmented by agricultural
technologies; exports some portion of its resources.


EMPLOYER SITUATION REPORT:
Benjamin resides in the Draconis Combine’s Benjamin Military District. I’m sure you
are pretty familiar with this Military District’s reputation and that very factor
plays a part in this contract. The planetary Governor has come to believe that many
former Star League warriors of Combine origin are going to make a play for
independence again and as a loyal Combine subject, he is under the impression that
his family is going to be one of their first targets in their bid for independence.
He claims to have received credible threats from certain groups that would like to
pull off a coup de tat and are affiliated with the ‘Benjamin Succession’ movement.
He’s posted a significant amount of money for an extraction operation.

You will have independent command rights on this one. You'll also retain full
salvage rights. Any thing that challenges you on this run will be gunning for the
Governor or his family and the contract spells it out plainly that you are to kill
or keep anything from getting in your way. The Governor, in his urgency, has
liquidated his family’s assets to pay for our services and has already transferred
that money into MRBC escrow.

ADDITION INTEL:
The 2nd Benjamin Regulars garrison Benjamin, reporting to Tai-shu Boris Petroff,
Warlord of the Benjamin Military District. They have never been uninvolved in the
ULTRA war nor seen any combat for the last two years, and this means they will be
somewhat hostile or at least coldly aloof towards perceived outsiders and eager to
prove themselves. The 2nd BR battlegroup comprises the following:

2nd Benjamin Regulars Battlemech Regiment (108 Mechs)
15th Precinct Armoured (108 tanks)
Vlad's Vanguards (2 regiments mechanised infantry)
Defenders of the Combine Battle Armour Battalion (108 troopers)
War Shrikes Aerospace Wing (36 fighters)
2nd Benjamin Support Battalion (12 O-Bakemono artillery Mechs, 12 Crow Scout
helicopters, 12 Hiryo WIGEs)


PRIMARY OBJECTIVES:
1) Secretively and Safely Extract Governor Timothy Yechido from Benjamin
2) Safely Extract the Governor's Family

SECONDARY OBJECTIVES:
1) Destroy anything that prevents the success of your mission


DC-EX-04-02 #02

Draconis Combine
Benjamin Military District
Benjamin Prefecture
Benjamin
Outbound
Arondight Pocket WarShip
Steele’s Fury
Deck Three
Officer Country
Tai-sa (Colonel) Stateroom
April 25th 3097 0920 am Local

Jacob Yechido held on for dear life. The air inside the cockpit was stifling hot and stale as the battle raged around Gunsho (Sergeant) David Drake’s eight meter tall Javelin BattleMech. Crammed in the back Jacob had no idea how things were going for the mercenary unit the Razan’s Ronins. David struggled against another vicious assault and attempted to return fire. The already hot air singed as waste heat bled up through the floor setting fire to Jacob’s lungs. “Hang in there kid!” David called behind him, “We’re almost out of here. I can see the DropShip from . . .”

A massive, jarring boom cut off his last statement and the ’Mech lurched violently forward then pitched left. David growled audibly, struggling against the controls fighting a losing battle with gravity. As the ’Mech plummeted to the ground it twisted and rolled. Jacob could not discern up from down as he was tossed from the jump seat. The arms of the ’Mech hit first folding under the weight of the 30 ton monster. The chest came next, whipping the head into the ground shaking Jacob and David like ball bearings in a metal can. Darkness enveloped the cockpit as the canopy glass buried into the dirt.

Moments later Jacob pulled his body off the wall now serving as the bottom of the cockpit. Somewhere within the blackness his name was being called. So was David’s. But David didn’t respond. Jacob recovered from his position and attempted to make his way to the voice. He choked on some smoke bellowing from a shattered control board and fumbled in the darkened cockpit. They had gone down hard. They were still down. He fought back a wave of fear and panic that threatened to paralyze his entire body. Light started to seep in from sections of the canopy and he waved his arms about in a feeble attempt to dissipate some of the smoke. He continued to crawl through the cockpit towards the voice still calling for him and his would be rescuer. Then he spotted him, hanging limply in the harness of the command chair. David lay motionless, his head brutally twisted, his neuro helmet hanging by the chinstrap. Jacob reached the front of the cockpit and found the source of the voices coming from the built in speakers. He tried to wake David, pushing on his chest, screaming his name. David didn’t move. His eyes were still open. They didn’t blink. The panic that Jacob had tried so hard to keep from reaching him, finally hit. He broke into a fearful fit, shaking David, pounding on his chest to try to stir some bit of life from the man. Jacob collapsed into a sobbing mass, shaking from overwhelming emotions.

The mercenary was dead. He had sacrificed his life trying to get Jacob to the DropShip. Jacob’s head sprang up. The DropShip! He scrambled to the other side of the downed ’Mech and popped the emergency release on the hatch. With a hiss and a loud pop fresh air rushed in replacing the burnt, metallic smell of fried wires and conductors. He pulled himself through the opening and landed in a heap on the ground. Pain shot through his body. He had been too shocked to register his injuries until that moment. He quickly glanced around the field at the carnage of the battle he’d survived to this point. Blackened carcasses littered the field, some smoldering, some still afire. Kurita ’Mechs of the 2nd Benjamin Regulars outnumbered any Razan’s Ronins ’Mechs he saw, including his own, by at least four-to one. A low rumble vibrated through the woodlands behind him attracting his attention. He looked beyond the death and ruin before him and spotted it. The rescue ship! It was leaving! Lifting off the ground atop a pillar of smoke and fire. Beams of blue and red light burst forth from circular weapons pods on all sides striking at targets on the ground that he could not see from his position on the ground. He quickly scrambled for a better view atop the ’Mech. Looking out at the scene once more, he could see Benjamin Regular ’Mechs firing into the ship as it lifted higher and higher. He began to cry again, mixed tears of joy and sorrow. He realized that his parents and sisters had made it safely to the departing ship. But he was still there, still on the ground. They had escaped! He wasn’t so lucky. The thunder of the ship’s engines drowned out any sounds of the battle but Jacob could see the DropShip’s weapons fell one rebel ’Mech after another. A smile spread across Jacob’s tear soaked face. He knew that although he may be left behind, the rest of his family made it out alive. Maybe if he survived long enough he could get out a message to let them know he was alive too. His elation quickly turned back into panic as an unfamiliar sound rose up over the engines. It was a sick metal twisting sound. He spotted the DropShip. It was no longer ascending but tilting awkwardly off the pillar of smoke. Rents in the armor reflected off the sun and smoke poured from too many spots for Jacob to count. “NOOOOO!” Jacob screamed as if his very voice could save the ship.

He stood there frozen in place as the ship’s engines groaned one last cough of energy before dying out. The vacuum of sound was quickly replaced by the hull hitting the ground and collapsing under the thousands of tons of weight. Flashes erupted from all over the body as more of the hull folded and in a split second vanished in an awesome fireball. The waves of heat from the explosion spanned the distance and lapped at his body. He couldn’t move anymore. He couldn’t form words. The shock had taken over his body. His parents, sisters, and the mercenaries! Everyone was gone! He watched the shockwave from the downed ship approaching, ripping up the earth, devouring everything in its path. It slammed into his small body, tearing flesh from bone, stealing the life from him. As the flames consumed him, he managed one final ear piercing scream of pain. He pitched over in mid-air off the sofa and came down hard on the metal floor.

Tai-sa (Colonel) Onishi ‘Ruff Ryder’ Razan was struggling with her own demons. The commanding officer and founder of the Razan’s Ronins Mercenary Unit was going over the after action reports of the battle that took place on Benjamin earlier that week. Onishi had taken on a contract from the governor of Benjamin to extract his family after they’d become a target for a growing rebel faction. Benjamin sat in the infamous section of the Draconis Combine known as the War of Benjamin. For dozens of years the denizens of the Prefecture fought numerous revolts for independence and each time the revolts were put down or pacified. Now a civil war was brewing in the region attracting the attention of every major politician and military unit in the realm. The Prefecture saw another opportunity to win their freedom and acted upon it. Onishi was given a lucrative payment to bring in troops and get the governor and his family out. Although Onishi had pulled it off, the cost had been high.

Onishi looked over at the stack of paper work to be gone over. This was the part of the job she hated the most. The top paper was a report documenting the readiness of every BattleMech at her disposal. She grimaced at the numbers written in red ink for her ’Mechs. No machine had taken less than 30% damage and there were a few that she had written off for scrap parts unless enough repairs could be made before she landed back on Ascella. She slid the report into her ‘Out’ bin and moved on to the next sheet. She hung her head after reading the title, Killed in Action. Gritting her teeth she forced her hand to pick up the pen, then hesitated. She tried to convince herself that things could have been worse but that’s what they always tell you when you’re the commander. She wrote the number two on the appropriate line. She was angry with herself and upset over the loss of her men. She couldn’t help but think that she should have controlled the situation, prevented those deaths. Her only wish was that she could convince herself to believe that lie.

She wiped the sweat from her forehead with the back of her hand and set in to complete the task before her. Line by line she began to fill out the forms for the deceased. First came the name: Nicolas Tupak. Rank and position: Gunjin (Private 1st Class) third in Black Dragon Lance of Scimitar Company. Onishi attempted to retrieve a mental image of the man’s face but she only came back to the final dying moments of Tupak’s 70 ton Guillotine locked in a duel against a 90 ton Benjamin Regulars Emperor. Technically Tupak’s death was Onishi’s fault. Onishi had foolishly charged back into the thick of the fight to retrieve a downed pilot and Tupak’s sacrifice saved her. Onishi never even saw the Emperor kill him. Tupak had eagerly joined the unit when Onishi started up her mercenary unit. He had volunteered to become the close in support for the missile laden ’Mechs.

Artillery units were valuable and thus highly targeted in combat. Tupak had given additional protection to those ’Mechs of the Ronins to a degree only matched by top line House divisions. Onishi had commended Tupak’s actions in the field before but suddenly realized she never truly knew the man. Onishi shook the dismal thoughts from her mind and returned her thoughts to the report. She was just about to enter the cause of death when a piercing scream erupted from behind her, startling her enough to skew the pen across the paper. She turned just in time to see Jacob twist violently from the sofa to the floor.

Onishi sprang from her chair and moved quickly to the sofa, kneeling beside Jacob, the eldest son of the governor’s family. Earlier that night Jacob had been restless and had come to Onishi office. Since Onishi was the person in charge of the rescue the boy felt safer with her at the moment. Onishi placed a comforting hand on the boy’s back and felt the cold clamminess of his shirt. “Another nightmare?” Onishi asked.

Jacob answered with a nod.

“That’s one every night since we left Benjamin, isn't it? It might do you some good to talk about what’s bothering you.” Jacob didn’t answer but simply picked himself off the floor and moved back to the sofa. He settled on his back staring up at the bulkhead, quietly contemplating the horrible dream still on his mind. Onishi turned back to her paperwork trying to focus on the job more than the emotions running rampant between the two of them.

“I don’t understand.”

Jacob has startled her with the sudden question. “What don’t you understand?” Onishi asked without looking up from the desktop.

“Any of it.”

The response was strained. Onishi looked over and saw tears running down the boy’s face. Jacob turned his head to the side to look back at Onishi as more tears rolled off his cheeks.

“It’s all my fault isn’t it?”

“No Jacob. None of this is your fault.” He didn't look convinced so Onishi continued “There’s an old saying I learned in military school. ‘No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.’ Some field commander in the twentieth century said it, I think. What happened back there is just the hard truth of that saying.” Onishi felt her chest tighten and she tried harder to take deep breaths and keep her own emotions in check, for the boy’s sake.

“What went wrong then?” Jacob continued.

Onishi shrugged her shoulders. “Everything. Something. Nothing. I still haven’t figured that out. I guess that’s what all this paperwork is supposed to tell me.”

Jacob rubbed his nose on the sleeve of his pajamas. “My teacher says” he paused, then tentatively continued, “used to say, if you go back to the beginning you can figure out almost any problem.”

Onishi pulled out a drawer of the desk to rest her feet on, sat back in her chair and folded her hands together behind her head. “The beginning would be when I landed my unit on Benjamin.” She then delved into the events leading up to the present. The mercenaries had fought their way into the Capital, Deber City on their way to City Hall to pull Jacob’s father, then governor of Benjamin, out of a siege by rebel troops. They had arrived in the center of town to find several armored tanks and other assorted vehicles trying to blast the governor out or level the building around him. Onishi had signaled her troops to attack in an attempt to drive them off. She had figured they’d flee under the threat of a full ’Mech battalion sized attack but she had figured wrong. The rebel vehicles turned on the ’Mechs with a savage fury that led to the vehicle’s total destruction. Onishi went into detail when recounting how she had to stomp a Myrmidon medium tank into submission. Jacob had sat up on the couch listening intently. Onishi went on to explain that she had not wanted to kill all those men but she wasn’t about to endanger her own troops so she had ordered her Ronin to destroy the armor convoy.

The rebel siege had chased the governor deep within the building so by the time the mercenaries managed to get him out they were a good two hours behind schedule. In an effort to make it up, Onishi scrubbed the initial evacuation plan, stuffed the governor into one of her ’Mechs and raced off to the governor’s rural estate. They didn’t encounter any more rebels for some time after the initial skirmish. They crossed over flat grassy areas where other estates and mansions stood. A river they needed to cross had slowed them down. With only half the mercenary ’Mechs jump capable, it took some time to wait for the others to ford the river. Through great effort they had actually made up an hour of time during the speed march through the woodlands, but she was more worried that they hadn’t seen any more rebels since the city battle. Information over the public airwaves had been sketchy but it sounded like the rebels had control over most of the town and was forcing the local garrison off the main spaceport under a fierce firefight. When they finally reached the estate, they gathered the other family members and hustled them out of the mansion to the waiting ’Mechs. Onishi, her XO (Sho-sa) Major Owen ‘Kestrel’ Callaghan and the governor all raced against the clock to get the governor’s family ready to move. After much aggravation and debate Onishi had finally convinced the governor’s wife that it would be much faster and safer in the mercenary ’Mechs than driving to the waiting DropShip in an unarmored hoverlimo. Reluctantly, the governor’s wife and three children were crammed into their own separate ’Mechs and everyone set off to the DropShip.

Jacob’s breathing quickened as he remembered the frantic yelling and pushing of his father trying to get the kids out the door. Jacob had been excited to see the ’Mechs but scared that no one would tell him why they were leaving in such a hurry. He was hoisted up and placed in a humanoid looking ’Mech piloted by a mercenary that introduced himself as David. Jacob was silent at first but David got him talking and answered all the questions that Jacob had. The pilot calmed him down, talked to him about his own life so Jacob could hopefully concentrate on something a little less traumatic. In the brief time they spent together Jacob found out that David drove a Javelin Light Class ’Mech for the mercenaries in their only pursuit lance. David had come from a lower class family in the Pesht Military District and through some basic military training ended up working many small odd jobs with various merc units. He enjoyed the work a lot. The pay was good, the scenery always changed, and he got to pilot a ’Mech. His romanticized way of talking about his life had fed Jacob’s wildest fantasies about glory and fame. By the time they’d gotten within radio range of the Ronin’s Gazelle Class DropShip, the Wyvern; (it flew empty because the Ronin’s didn’t have hardware enough to utilize it), Jacob had unofficially adopted David as an older brother. That’s when everything went wrong.

Onishi looked at Jacob’s wide eyed stare and suddenly realized that maybe rehashing the events wasn’t such a great idea. She forgot to take into consideration that the boy went through all this hell without the benefit of years of training and conditioning of combat. It wasn’t right to put him through this all over again. “Perhaps I shouldn’t be telling all this to you Jacob. I imagine it was pretty rough the first time around. I’m not sure your parents would be happy that I was going over all this with you.” Onishi picked her feet up off the drawer and began to rise from her chair when Jacob quickly launched himself off the couch and over to Onishi.

“No, it’s OK. I want to hear this. I keep seeing in my nightmares, how it could’ve have gone. We all die in the end you know? We never make it.”

Onishi felt her heart sink to her the hollow of her stomach. This was what was plaguing this poor child? Nightmares of his family dying. Him dying. She stared intently into the boy’s eyes with a mixture of sympathy and disbelief.

“If you tell me how it did go,” Jacob continued, “maybe I’ll stop making it worse in my dreams. Maybe then I’ll be able to sleep.”

The pleading in his voice tugged at Onishi’s emotions further. “Alright Jacob. Alright.”

Jacob hopped back over to the couch and lay back down so Onishi could continue her strange version of a bedtime story.

Onishi rubbed the stubble on her legs with her right hand as she thought about how to approach this part of the story. Things were so hectic during that time that it all seemed to be jumbled in her head. Maybe in helping Jacob she would help sort things out for herself, too. She started back up close to where she had left off and Jacob listened closely. The Ronins had gotten the governor out of the city after a minor scrap with rebel forces. The best Onishi could figure now was that the counterattack by the vehicles was simply to buy enough time to warn the other rebels that a ’Mech force was on the planet to evacuate the governor. The rebels used the Ronins to locate the governor’s family on their estate and tracked them towards the waiting DropShip. Right as they’d gotten within radio range of the ship, the attack happened. Two battalions of rebel ’Mechs launched themselves in a perpendicular attack to the mercenaries’ line of escape; a bold attempt to cut them off from the DropShip. Onishi shifted their own line of advance to the right to meet them head on. At close to nine hundred meters distance, missiles roared from their pods overhead as the artillery ’Mechs of Dragon’s Claw Lance sought to get first blood. The old time Ceasar and newer Shiro OmniMech each brought down a ’Mech right away. The newest edition to the Ronins was an Advanced Tactical Missile fitted Dire Wolf with integral Artemis IV Fire Control System guided missiles. A single salvo of missile was enough to blast most ’Mechs to scrap and the bondsman, Alberto Francesca, was determined to hold that ratio of one hit, one kill.

The commander of Recon Lance, Sho-i (Lieutenant senior grade) Tushio Sakai, piloted a TAG fitted Tessen and together they were picking out all the Heavy Class ’Mechs lumbering in at the Ronins. None of them survived being hit by the two salvos of ATM missiles. The last of the twelve High Explosive reloads the fitted Dire Wolf carried slammed full force into the chest of a 65 ton Axman. The warheads blasted off all the armor of the rebel ’Mech and touching off a store of 205mm auto cannon ammo, shredding the monster into a thousand pieces.

With the Dire Wolf dry on reloads, Onishi ordered all the ’Mechs carrying the family to circle behind and head for the DropShip while the rest of the Ronins held the rebels in place. The five Ronin ’Mechs of the Keshik Battle Star, headed out leaving the rest of the forty three ‘Mechs to face off against the sixty five remaining rebels that were still charging across the field.

Onishi Lance XO, Chu-i (Lieutenant) Akita Fujinaka, reached out with both Clan Large Pulse Lasers in the arms of his Banzai’s and severed the leg of a 45 ton Stealth bringing it down before it could track the ’Mechs carrying the governor’s family. The rebels must’ve not been prepared for a standup fight because they tried to run in under the guns of the Ronins. By the time they started to fire back with any kind of unit cohesion another eight rebel ’Mechs were out of the fight. The rebels quickly employed strength in numbers and began to target individual Ronins with several ’Mechs at the same time. Onishi watched as Gunsho (Sergeant) David Drake tried to disengage from three rebel ’Mechs as they picked apart his captured Javelin.

Pushing the limits of his ’Mech, he staggered his ER medium laser shots with his medium pulse laser as best he could to inflict maximum damage to break away. Onishi lashed out with her four clan grade extended range Medium Lasers at a 35 ton Talon that was attacking Drake, stripping nearly all the armor off it like a ripe orange. Drake crushed the Talon’s gyro with one shot and then tore the head off a 60 ton Merlin owing most of his luck to the Clan Targeting Computer stuffed in his ’Mech. The last of the rebel trio Drake was fighting, launched a devastating flight of missiles that wrecked both arm mounted ER Medium Lasers and tossed the ’Mech over on its side. Two other Ronins moved in to guard Drake while he got his ’Mech back up to head off for the DropShip. There was nothing more he could do on the field.

With Drake gone the battle line shifted again. This time the rebels tried moving laterally to get closer to the DropShips. The movement was a cover to allow some of the faster rebel ’Mechs to break away from the fight and run down the governor’s family. Onishi saw the move but reacted too late. Quickly changing direction she pivoted her ’Mech on the ball of its armored foot and sprinted, along with the three other ‘Mechs of the Razan’s Ronins Command Lance, Fire Dragon, in the wake behind the pursuing rebels while the rest of her unit was left to fight their way through the remaining enemies. “Bash them aside if you have to!” She told them. Onishi pushed her ’Mech into a full run to protect the family only to realize the rebels were headed for the DropShips and not her ’Mechs. Onishi gave chase along with the rest of the fighting Ronins.

Two lances of rebels had turned back from the DropShips attack to tangle with Onishi. But the 95 ton ’Mech, upgraded with Clan technology, was no pushover and her and her lancemates made short work of the rebels. The last rebel ’Mech was destroyed right as it fired a round of missiles at the DropShips. The damage was negligent against the thick armored hide. She turned back to the field where some rebel ’Mechs still lingered to conduct a rearguard action while her troops loaded up. Firing from near extreme ranges Onishi, her XO Owen Callaghan in a clan Battlemaster IIC, and Chu-i (Lieutenant) Akita Fujinaka in his Clan Banzai, poured on the fire power across the field striking any rebel ’Mech that tried to wade back into the fight. But Onishi wasn’t the only one with that idea. From the backfield well out of Onishi’s reach came a large flight of long range missiles fired by an 80 ton Salamander. Under the cover of the missile umbrella came a 90 ton Emperor, its cylinder shaped arms packing a deadly pair of Large Lasers and a pair of LBX-10 Scatter Shot Auto Cannons.

Onishi knew the Salamander was firing so the Emperor could get close enough to damage or kill the ’Mechs carrying the governor’s family. Determined to give them something else to aim at she broke into a run at top speed, her XO calling back for her to wait for more support. The Salamander’s missiles reached their max flight time and slammed into anything they could find. Damage spread across the Dire Wolf, Javelin and Tessen ’Mechs. Rear armor was never thick on any ’Mech and was even worse on the lighter ones. The Dire Wolf weathered the attack easily and pushed hard for the bay doors of the DropShip as Onishi raced past him heading for the Salamander to put an end to the missile threat. The Tessen and Javelin stumbled under the ferocity of the attack but kept on running. Onishi set her ERPPC on the Salamander and fired at the same time the Emperor fired its lasers at the Javelin. Onishi’s shot was true and ripped an arm from the rebel ’Mech but the savage attack on the Javelin was far worse. Onishi watched the Javelin spin as David tried to regain control. The Emperor fired again this time with its pair of LBX-10 Auto Cannons. The scatter shot scoured armor off all parts of the Javelin further upsetting the balance of the ’Mech and sent it crashing into the ground. Onishi tried to move to help David when the rebel Assault ’Mech stepped in her way.

She knew her 95 ton ’Mech in its present condition, was not much of a match for the rebel Assault Class ’Mech but Onishi mashed down the triggers for an Alpha strike of seven weapons and hit with four. The savage assault staggered the rebel ’Mech back a few steps but he remained upright and intact. In the searing heat of the cockpit Onishi moved left to circle around and hit him again. The Emperor twisted its torso, tracking Onishi when it was hit from the left side. Armor melted off in molten rivers while explosions swallowed the left side in fire and smoke. “Get David and the kid and let’s get out of here Onishi! I'll deal with our friend here.” Nicolas Tupak had followed Onishi back into the fight with his 70 ton Guillotine and attacked the Emperor with everything it had to buy Onishi time to get over to the downed Javelin. Onishi was elated to have some help and swung back around to hit the other rebel ’Mech but it had already fled when she took its arm. Leaving Tupak to duel with the Emperor she ran over to where David’s ’Mech lay still since it crashed.

Without concern for her own safety, she stopped her ’Mech, locked it down and descended the chain ladder to the ground. The sounds of combat behind her were dying out so she chanced a look and saw the Emperor was down for good. She managed to get the emergency hatch to release and was able to crawl into the inverted cockpit area. Jacob lay against a wall at the lowest point and David was still strapped in the command chair. Onishi pressed her fingers against David’s neck and cursed silently when she felt no pulse. The crash must’ve snapped his neck under the weight of the neuro helmet. She maneuvered around the chair to get to Jacob. Fearing that death had struck twice she placed a shaking hand on Jacob’s neck. There was a pulse there, a weak one.

She glanced for what might be any broken bones and when she deemed the boy fit to be moved she scooped him up in her arms and shifted back to the emergency hatch. Owen Callaghan had already arrived and was standing at the opening right as Onishi reach it. Together they worked Jacob out of the ’Mech, then removed David’s body. Onishi called back to the DropShip to have a MASH emergency vehicle unbuttoned and sent out to retrieve the pilot. “Owen I want you to ride back with David and Jacob. I’ll deal with the clean up out here and then we can get off this blasted rock.” Onishi turned around and saw Tupak’s Guillotine still standing over the fallen Emperor. “What’s up with Tupak?” Onishi asked Owen.

Owen visibly paled at the question and before he could answer Onishi took another hard look at the ’Mech. It took a second to realize that between the blocky shoulders sat a mess of crushed metal and wire. The unforgiving sign of a crushed cockpit.

“Tupak overheated on that last exchange,” began Owen. “We tried to get there in time but that rebel just slammed both arms into his head. Four of us hit him with everything after that. But we…we were too late.”

Onishi shook her head slowly. Death had struck twice. “We’ll honor both men when we get home. Right now we need to finish here and get going. If the rebels can scrounge up two battalions that quick, I don’t want to know what else they have.” The remaining Ronins on the field dragged what salvage they could into the bay of the DropShips then racked their own ’Mechs. Only moments after the bay doors closed did the engines fire on the ship and they lifted from the planet.

Jacob covered a yawn with his hand and rolled on his side to face Onishi. “Why’d you come back for me through all that?” he asked.

Onishi blinked a few times at Jacob not sure how to answer. Up to this point in her life, Onishi had spent more time in the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery than as a mercenary. In fact she was still trying to get used to the idea of actually working to live now. And as she thought of her newer position in life the answer to Jacob’s question came to her, “It’s what I get paid to do.”

Jacob smiled silent thanks at Onishi and closed his eyes. He was fast asleep in a few moments. Onishi watched the boy for a few moments and quietly turned around to finish up the paperwork she’d need to present to the Mercenary Review and Bonding Commission. She’d just picked up her pen when the cabin door opened again. This time it was Jacob’s mother standing in the hatch. She immediately spotted Jacob on the couch and breathed a sigh of relief. Onishi motioned her to enter and she quietly crept over to Onishi’s desk.

“I hope Jacob wasn’t bothering you Tai-sa Razan. After everything you’ve been through I’m sure that you’ve got a ton of work that needs to be done.”

Onishi looked over at the sleeping form of Jacob on the couch and smiled. “Nah. He was just helping me sort some things out.”

Jacob slept through the morning and into the afternoon hours. He didn’t have a single nightmare.

Onishi Razan
‘Rough Ryder'
Tai-sa, Commanding
Naginata NG-RO1
Ronin Legion
Katana
Fire Dragon
MUCO
Razan's Ronins
Draconis Combine
Name: Tanaka Kintaro
Rank: Colonel
Callsign: 'Iceman'
MH: Steele Dagger Spec Ops BA
Role: DEST
Assignment: CO Battle Armor Regiment
Platoon: Black Ops
Company: SWAT
Battalion: HQ Battalion
Regiment: Smilodon
RESTLESS SOULS MERCENARY DIVISION

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