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Old Dog, Old Tricks

Path of Defeat
Yaskevich looked out from his position near the edge of the swamp and saw the approaching Elemental infantry hopping across the landscape like maniacal toy soldiers. To his left, Corporal William Scotty nudged him. "By the blade of Kerensky," he muttered. "Those buggers move like lightning!"

"That old fool Stellwar told us to dig in and let the infantry come to us. Straight-up fight. That idiot! These are no normal infantry. They're fast and almost impossible to kill." In the distance the Elementals paused and fired. "Stellwar's still in charge, though, and he's calling the shots," Scotty replied, leveling his SRM launcher."

"Something happens to a man's mind when someone pins general's stars on his lapel, Scotty. Well, he can bust me to latrine duty for the rest of my career, but I'm not going to lead my squad to their deaths!" Yaskevich switched on his helmet microphone. "Carrier Two Seven, this is Alpha Squad," he muttered, throwing the safety off his gyrojet rifle. "Yo, Yaskevich, this is Carrier Two-Seven. I understand it's about to get hot in your sector."

"Can the crapola. We haven't got the muster to take these boys out. Linda, I need you to kick free one of your iron boxes and send it here for some fire support."
"General Stellwar's standing order is for us to hold back, old friend."

Yaskevich gritted his teeth and aimed his weapon as the first Elemental began to close to short-range. He had ordered his squad to wait until the enemy was close enough to take some heavy damage. "Linda, Stellwar's fighting the wrong damn war. If I'm going to take these guys out, I need some of your tread action down here ASAP."

There was a pause. Yaskevich lined up his shot and drew a deep breath. Suddenly his earphone squeaked to life. "We'll probably both end up in the clink, but you've got your wish," Linda said. "One Galleon on the way." As the message ended, Sergeant Yaskevich squeezed the trigger and the whole world erupted around him.

Ridderkerk, Thelma Forest, 11 July 3050
Positioned along the Free Rasalhague Republic border, the planet Ridderkerk had once been a key Federated Commonwealth defense world. With the invasion of the Clans, defense of that border seemed irrelevant, especially for the First Lyran regulars RCT stationed there. When Clan Wolf forces struck the world, hoping for a glorious fight, the FC troops they found were no challenge.

In command of the First Lyran Regulars RCT was Leftenant General Ostola Stellwar. The General had performed well in as a major in both the Fourth Succession War and in the offensive against the Combine now known as the War of 3039, but age and stubbornness had taken their toll. When first reports of the Clan invaders began to arrive, the General dismissed the attackers as merely a particularly successful group of pirates. Though he passed on the intelligence to his subordinates, he saw no reason to deviate from his usual response to a threat.

On July 1 Clan Wolf forces issued a challenge to the defenders of Ridderkerk, a message the General chose to ignore. Ordering his troops to dig in, he planned to use his infantry as a perimeter defense, followed by support armor, then his BattleMech forces. General Stellwar did not commit any recon or quick response groups, but simply remained dug-in just outside Thelma Forest.

The Clans prefer combat with a highly mobile opponent, which at times provides the best defense against them. By digging in and throwing only his infantry at the advancing Elementals, Stellwar forced his troops down the path of certain defeat. Despite valiant efforts and a number of units that directly disobeyed Stellwar's orders, Clan Wolf all but destroyed the once-fearsome First Lyran Regulars within a matter of hours.

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