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Last Stand

Donegal, Lyran Alliance
30 December 3068 ...

For Commander Tomas German of the Lyran Alliance Donegal Defense force, it was litterally as if the sky had dropped in ...
"How many ? " He asked his XO, Bram Kondike, who was gazing at the sky, using a pair of binoculars to try and get more details.
"Hard to say , sir. But it looks like a lot of them. Also .... " A small pause alerted Tomas that whatever would come next would not be good news " .... All I can see are heavy or assault mechs. Their entire attack force."
Not exactly the kind of news Tomas wanted to hear. "Can you make a guess at their dropzone ?".
"Well ... the dropships stopped right over the Froran Fields, opening their cargo bays to let the mechs make a combat drop. Considering the limited ammount of fuel you can fit on a mech for drops like that, I would say they would be coming down somewhere around that area."
Too damn close, Tomas thought to himself. "What's their ETA to the city ?"
Kondike put away his binoculars and faced his superiour officer. "16 hours at most, sir".
Tomas was almost afraid to ask the next question: "How long before we can expect reinforcements ?"
"... 3 days , sir."
Damn, they could not pin down a force of heavy and assault clan mechs piloted by genetically bred pilots for 3 hours, let alone 3 days. "Can we evacuate the city in that time ?"
"Negative, sir" ....

"Sir, sir ... " Another officer came running came running up the hill.
"What is it corporal ?"
"You have a priority message waiting for you in your office, sir"
"From who ??"
"Star Colonel Evak Mattlov of Clan Jade Falcon, sir !"

..........

As Tomas' communcation screen flicked on, the image of a man in his thirties, obviously experienced beyond his years came to life. "Greetings commander. I am Star Colonel Evak Mattlov, of Clan Jade Falcon, 4th Falcon Velites, Peregrine Galaxy. What forces defend this world from the Talons of the Falcon ?"
Even though he had been prepared for this in his days at the Mechwarrior academy. The razor sharp tone of the mans voice, combined with the seriousness of the message left Tomas stunned for a while.
"Commander ?" the Star Colonel asked again.
"Uhh .. " briefly Tomas thought about trying to deceive the man, but his forces were already on planet. Meaning the Jade Falcon knew exactly which forces defended this planet. And that this message was only send as a formality. Obviously, the Star Colonel no longer trusted LA officers to give an honest answer.
"This world is defended by forces from the Lyran Alliance, and thereby defended by the Lyran Alliance itself. Any hostile moved made against this world is a hostile moved against the Lyran Alliance itself, and will be seen as a declaration of war. " With that Tomas flicked off the communication set, hoping his word sounded less hollow to Star Colonel Mattlov then they did to himself.

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

"Here they come !!" Kondike shouted over the communications channel.
Tomas checked the scanners in his customized Highlander and saw several red dots appear at a range of 2 kilometres. Pretty soon they would come in range, and all hell would break loose.
"Everyone stand at attention, start firing the moment they come within range, but be sure to retreat back into the city before too many of them can bear their weapons on you. And don't let yourself be killed ... that is an order !!".
Tomas knew a face to face fight in the open fields surrounding the city was a death sentence for his forces, so he had opted to clear the outer perimeter of the city, and stand ready at the city border. As soon as the enemy came to close they would fall back into the city were the fighting would get close in and bloody. It would not help them much, but at least it would take away the range advantage the clan mechs had over his own InnerSphere mechs.

As soon as the first enemy mechs came within range a barrage of PPC, Gauss and Autocannon rounds was launched to greet them, hitting and several mauling a clan Grim Reaper while downing a Naga. Several other mechs got some damage, but nothing major. Tomas cursed those heavy and assault mechs and their armor while they in turn fired back at his forces. Hitting with consistency even though most of his mechs stood in cover. Tomas was just about to ask for a report of the damage as both sides opened up with LRM's. Creating a deafining thunder loud enough to block out anything he would say. Both salvos made it to
their respective side at about the same time. Causing a series of explosions which was even louder then the launching. First there was a large flash, and Tomas felt his mech rocking, meaning he had been hit.
Then suddenly there was a silence in the storm. His ears still resounding with explosions, Tomas opened his eyes to see a large smoke screen which temporarily blocked both sides from each other. Trying to peer through the screen, Tomas suddenly saw flashed of light breaking the screen and heading out for his mechs. Clan Lasers.
"Everyone fall back into the city, now " He yelled over his com channel, and started retreating back , taking cover behind a house
which was now nothing more the a blackened ruin. Checking his damage readout he noticed he had received several hits to his torsos and arms, but nothing serious. However, 5 of his forces mechs had been destroyed or crippled, while they in turn had only managed to take out 2 of the enemy mechs. This was not going well at all .......

..........

Another laser blast melted away most of the armor on Tomas' Highlander's right arm. As he scanned the area the shot came from, he saw three clan Mechs comming his way. 'Too many at once, I cannot hold them'. Then his gaze fell on the White Executioner with its small but by now oh so recognizable insignia. That of Star Colonel Mattlov himself. A white Falcon holding a bloodied sword against a black background. The star colonel had challenged him to single combat when the fighting broke out. Tomas had so far managed to evade him, but it was clear Mattlov was seeking him out personally. As he jumped his Highlander away from their line of fire, into the next street. He opened his commchannel. "Kondike, I lost Varney street, what's our situation." A loud explosion was heard over his commchannel, then a rush of static. Tomas was starting to fear the worst, but suddenly the
voice of his XO came back online. "Lost Hudson and Gretto Avenues. Mechwarriors Overt and Ydele are down. Losses are now at 55 %, we are falling back all over the city. We can't hold them, sir". Kondikes voice sounded stressed and tired. "Any news from the Dropships ?"
Tomas asked. His scanner indicated the three mechs were still coming his way, but they approached cautiously, prepared for any traps or ambushes. That gave him some time.
"Negative sir. We must assume they've been captured or destroyed."
Damn, about 10 minutes ago he had received word from the dropships standing by for evacuation that they were under attack. If they had been captured or disabled. Tomas' forces would no longer be able to retreat from this world. And trapped in this city as they were, trying to make it to the hills to go into hiding would be next to impossible.
The situation seemed hopeless.
That left Tomas only one option. "Kondike, prepare the forces to stand down on my command"
"What ? Surrender to these ..."
"JUST DO IT"
"Yes, sir"
With that, Tomas switched his commchannel to transmit over a general broadcast. Steading his nerves, he started speaking. "Star Colonel Mattlov, this is Commander Tomas German. I accept your challenge to face you in single combat. But if I win, me and my men must be allowed to leave this planet, with all our mechs and possessions."
There was a long silence, and Tomas thought he might have overplayed his hand , then the razor voice of Mattlov filled his cockpit. "I accept Commander Tomas, we will meet on Varney Street, my victory over you will be an honorable addition to my codex."
It was done, the stakes were set ... now all Tomas had to do was win the game ....

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

Mattlov's White Executioner was already there when Tomas' Mech rounded the corner. Just the sight of it shattered the calm he had been working on all the way to Varney street. A panic started in Tomas' gut, but he managed to control it before it got out of hand. Not only his own life, but that of his men as well rided on this fight. He could not let them down. He pushed out the feelings of fear out, and surveyed the executioner for signs of damage.

Even though Mattlov seemed to have been following during the fight, a quick scan made it clear that is had seen some other fighting too. Its torso was scared by laser fire, and its arms were damaged as well, although not nearly as bad as Tomas had wanted. However, the Executioners right leg was badly damaged, having lost a lot of armor. A few grouped shots might be able to melt off the remaining armor and cause some damage to the internal systems, perhaps even severing the leg. A weakness , now it was up to Tomas to exploit it. He opened his commchannel again "Good luck Star Colonel."
"Keep your superstitions to yourself commander Tomas, warriors do not need luck, they need skill. Now ... prepare to die". The commchannel went dead, and the combat started.
Working as fast as he could, Tomas alligned his targeting computer to the executioners right leg and fired four medium pulse lasers just as the Executioner jumped into the air, causing his shots to miss and hit the ground behind the Mech. He broke his own mech into a run, heading for left side of the street to get some cover. His Mech had barely made its first step as laser fire from the airborne executioner slammed into it, scarring his torsos and arm. A red warning light lit up in Tomas' cockpit, indicating the armor on his right arm had been breached, but there was no internal damage yet.
Tomas slung his left arm Gauss rifle to the right and fired at the Executioner. His shot rang true, but hit the left leg rather then the
right. Causing at least a ton of armor to fall of the Mech. A lesser pilot would have had a hard time managing to keep its Mech on track during a manouver such as a Mech jump, combined with the sudden change of balance, but Mattlov handled it like it was childsplay, and landed its Mech at Tomas' right side, firing his own three large pulse lasers as he landed. The superheated light severed the Highlanders right arm and dug into the right torso as well. Tomas watched in shock as the internal computer indicated that he had lost about half his weapons, leaving him with a Gauss rifle and 2 medium pulse lasers. Even worse was that several heatsinks in his right torso were destroyed. This meant it would get real hot real quick.
Using his own jumpjets, Tomas turned his mech around in a 180 turn and fired his Gauss rifle and medium pulse lasers. The temperature in his cockpit went up several degrees, but Tomas hardly noticed, too focused on watching were his shots went. The 2 medium pulse lasers missed their original target, the Executioners right leg, but one of them hit the right torso instead, drawing a black line over the white paint. The Gauss rifle shot however hit the right leg dead center, ripping off what was left of its armor and digging its way inside the Mech's leg. For a brief moment it looked as though the executioner would fall, but instead dropped to its knee and remained upright. Then two jets of flame fired out from its torso and scorched Tomas' Mech all over....

His viewscreen filled with flames, and the temperature inside his cockpit suddenly raised to incredibly high levels. Nausia and
dizziness swept over Tomas as he tried to fight the blackness which started at the corners of his eyes. He could not pass out now, not when he was so close to victory. The fire went away and gave him a clear sight again ... but to his surprise , Tomas saw the street, but no Mech. 'Where the hell did he go' he cursed to himself as he checked his radar, finding out the enemy executioner was directly above him now. Panicked, Tomas hit the jumpjets as he realised what the enemy Mech was about to do , but it was to late ....

With a deafening sound, the two Mechs collided. Metal gave way as the Executioners legs slammed straight into the Highlanders cockpit, flattening it like it was made of paper and killing its occupant. For a moment the Highlander staggered, and then fell down backwards. Crashing into the building and through its walls. The building collapsed in on itself, burrying the Mechs torso. As the Highlander went down, the only hope for the Defenders of Donegal went down with it .....

- MechWarrior Wight Pryde

 

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