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Date with a Dragonfly
The explosions rocked the hillside and shook us inside our suits. Making a quick check, I saw that all systems were still operational, but the blast had stirred up y nerves. Clan Nova Cat was closing in on our 'Mechs, and Colonel Wolf had given the word that we were to move in. There were ten of us total, two squads of five. Just on the other side of the hill were another fifty or so of our boys, in power suits like us. Major Marx told us this would be our first "field test" of battle armor in a "combat-rich environment." It wasn't until a spray of shrapnel from the Nova Cats rained down on me that I realized that this was no test, but the real thing.

The Nova Cats waded right into Beta Regiment with everything they had, turning the road below us into a wild melee of fire. I wondered if anything could survive that inferno. Then I saw it, lumbering past a Dragoon Firefly and moving toward our position. An OmniMech, DragonflyClass. It had come through the fight with only a scratch or two, and now had broken through the lines. At a signal from me, my squad and I charged that ungodly looking thing in our gorilla suits. My SRM boys let go with their volleys, clobbering the 'Mech's legs. The rest of us just jumped and latched onto the 'Mech. Almost immediately the pilot began to try and shake us off. We held on, ripping away at his armor.  I saw Lewison jab his laser into a joining plate in the ferro-fibrous armor and let go with a shot that tore up the Omni's internal guts.

That crazy pilot kept on fighting. I saw him turn his PPC on Tuller, who was still on the ground. A bright blue flash, and then Tuller wasn't there any more. Against that kind of weapon, he didn't stand a chance. I scrambled to the cockpit of that monster, all the time thinking of Tuller. Jabbing my laser into a small power port, I fired, shot after shot. Each blast seemed to dig deeper, and after three minutes of firing, it was all over. My shots had killed the warrior. Looking around, I saw the rest of our company giving the same treatment to two dark blue Nova Cat Pumas further up the hillside.

I have been through many battles on many worlds. But since the day I stood on that Dragonfly, looking down over the Combine capital as the rest of the Dragoons pushed back the Nova Cats, my outlook has never been the same.

Luthien, Tairakana Plains, 5 January 3052
When the Clans closed in the Luthien, Hanse Davion could also have struck at the Combine, probably dealing a killing blow. Instead he did the unthinkable, reinforcing the capital of his former enemy against the common foe of the Clans. Though the decision was difficult, his choice of the units he would send to shore up the defense of Luthien was not. He assigned the elite mercenary forces of Wolf's Dragoons and the Kell hounds to help save the Combine capital.

Following the highway that cut through the Tairakana Plains, the attacking elements of the Smoke Jaguars and the Nova Cats bore down on the imperial city. On both hillsides surrounding their drive were teh Dragoons and Kell Hounds, pincering in on the enemy. Among the secret ploys Jaime Wolf had planned for the battle were his two companies of troops trained in the new Blackwell power suits and ready to enter the fight. Just as the Nova Cats were about to break through the Dragoon lines, he ordered these special shock troops into action.

Until then the Clans had only unconfirmed intelligence reports that the Inner Sphere had developed its own battle armor. The Wolf's Dragoons troops confirmed that nightmare. Though Clan MechWarriors were well-trained in fighting battle-suited troops, their sudden appearance caught them off guard. Expecting only normal anti-'Mech infantry, most of the Clan OmniMechs were not configured with anti-personnel pods. This gave a good fighting edge to the Inner Sphere power suits, whose mission was to destroy any Clan forces that broke through the lines. The battle-armored forces of the Dragoons' Beta Regiment got their first taste of battle, proving that the new method of fighting was in the Inner Sphere to stay.

The battle on Tairakana Plains lasted for hours, becoming one of the bloodiest in the history of the Inner Sphere. Though Beta Regiment's battle-armored forces suffered heavy casualties, they prevented the Nova Cat 'Mechs from penetrating the western Dragoon flank.

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