2nd Company / 3rd Battalion Battlemech Hanger, Fort Karlheinz
1 May 3041
Leftenant Upala Sunther stared at the exposed myomer of Sergeant Major John Hawkwood Cataphract 1X. Fenella Ivet had been exploring the Sergeant Major’s ‘Mech again, third time since it arrived earlier this week. A product of recently captured Tikonov, few in the former Lyran Commonwealth had seen the new Davion heavy unit. Arriving from Caph along with its pilot, the company’s Sergeant Major, the oddly shapped ’Mech was the subject of much discussion among the various Technical Teams. None more than Fenella though – as soon as it came off the transport, she was climbing along its arms, commenting on how it looked like a Maurader, Pheonix Hawk and Shadow Hawk had a rough night together with too many beers.
Private Ivet was climbing down from the ’Mech’s shoulder, her jump suit covered in grease, oil and yellow coolant. The dirt and grim on her face revealed that yet again, in her eagerness to work on the new ‘Mech, she forgot her protective gear. "Private, why are the Sergeant Major’s shoulder armor plates on the ground and where is your safety gear?" boomed Leftenant Sunther.
Unphased by her commander’s questions and lost in her own world of gears, manifolds and circuit boards, Fenella replied, “Leftenant, did you know that they built her with stainless steel braided coolant lines instead of polyethylene? It makes the coolant system more resistant to battle damage, but sacrfices cooling efficency. Also makes it a lot harder to replace the lines and thread them through 100 mm ammo feed.”
Sighing to herself, Upala grinned at the younger, energetic technician. “I know, its an interesting design choice. Let’s get our gear on and put the shoulder armor back together before the Sergeant Major hits the hanger.”
“That’ll do it,” announced Corporal Line Rokstad to Private Hua Dan. “By swapping out the carbon steel bearings for alloy 34, the joints will be able to take more stress during high speed operations. It will also undo about 30 years of wear and tear on the ’Mech.” Pleased with their work and all that the more experienced Tech had show him, Hua walked over of the Company Status Board and upgraded the status of Fire Lance’s Centurion.
Sergeant Carin Lindholm wiped sweat from her brow. Three days she had been tearing down the Griffin GRF-1S to convert it a custom job the Hauptmann had dubbed the 1E. She had tried to warn Leftenant Sunther that the conversion was not simple and while it would make the Griffin more durable in combat, stripping out nearly the entire weapons load out was a true pain in the ass. The Technical Commander had assured her that the Sergeant Major and Leftenant Dorn were aware of the size of the job and risk of overheating the new design would have, but she wasn’t certain.
Ripping the last of the LRM ammo belt out of the torso of the stripped, she cursed as she caught one of the fiber optic bundles, tearing about half the bundle. “The problem with these custom refits, nothing is in the right place anymore…” She had thought about taking her concerns to Hauptmann Manno Rico, but the 2 letters of reprimand in her file reminded her of how close she was to getting bounced from her dream job. Perhaps challenging the new company commander wasn’t the best idea. For now…
2nd Company / 3rd Battalion Barracks, Fort Karlheinz
11 May 3041
Hauptmann Manno Rico reflected on the last 12 hours. They had been pretty interesting and will give the company sergeants something to tell stories about for years. It started the night before, when Laria MacIndeor, Quan-Thuong Kvamsdal, Sean MacKimmie and Edda “Ed” Sampras had popped into his barracks office to inform him that they were heading into Tamar City for the evening. Seeing how Laria was dressed and that Quan-Thoung and Ed have a reputation for knowing every seedy location in the city, he should have seen the resulting morning coming. About 0230 his communicator had chirpped, with a call from the Security Center’s Duty Sergeant, informing him that 2 of his pilots and 1 of Leftenant Upala Sunther’s Technicians had been returned to the Fort by the Tamar City police after an altercation with local gang members. After discussion the situation with the Duty Sergeant, Manno elected to let the troops cool their jets in the Security Center and noted that he would let Leftenant Upala Sunther know where her Tech was in the morning, no need to wake her.
At 0800, Hauptmann Rico bumped into Sergeant Leo Kleinschmidt, whom he tasked with retrieving their wayward Company mates. The sergeant took the expected glee and sped off across base in the 2 seater jeep assigned to the company, being certain he left the larger van behind, ensuring the offending soldiers had a nice 2 mile walk ahead of them.
Turning to head to the cafe for some Sunday breakfast, the Hauptmann caught sight of Corporal Quan-Thuong Kvamsdal, who had left the base last night with the 3 troopers in Security, but was now returning with her shoes in hand. After interrogating the Corporal in his office, he had determined that she was not part of mess the other three had gotten into, but had some fun of her own. He did not let her know that the others didn’t make it back to the barracks yet, which was quickly confirmed when the Corporal let out a curse that rattled throughout the building.
Upon his return from the Security Center, Hauptmann Rico requested that Sergeant Kleinschmidt locate Sergeant Major John Hawkwood and inform him that a special Sunday edition of his now infamous PT was in order. Relishing the opportunity, all four company sergeants drove the MechWarriors and Technicians hard to clear their heads of booze and bruises.
While the Sergeant Major had the enlisted personnel running suicides between along the parade grounds, Leftenant Upala Sunther visited the Hauptmann to discuss if the heavy PT was really beneficial to the Technical team. Of course, during their discussion, MechWarrior Edda “Ed” Sampras and Corporal Sean MacKimmie both vomitted from the Sergeant Major’s workout, to which the Hauptmann commented to the Leftenant that all puke is the same. Understand his point, she returned to her office to complete inventorying the heavy weapons.
Eleven exhausted Technicians and 9 spent MechWarriors dragged themselves into the barracks common area. The four company sergeants were clearly tired, but spent their last bit of energy making sure no one saw it. Once the sergeants retired to the quarters level, MechWarrior Katlyn Kapitan confronted MechWarrior Sampras, “if you ever do that again…” as she clocked him to give him a second, matching black eye. Sensing an opportunity, Hauptmann Rico entered the common area from his office and reminded Katlyn that a company treats its wounded, after giving her an approving wink for handling the situation.
2nd Company / 3rd Battalion Battlemech Hanger, Fort Karlheinz
15 May 3041
Connor MacRory grinned at Dean Roberts, “Line and Hua aren’t the only two that can reinvigorate an old ‘Mech. Getting fresh myomer bundles in to Battle Lance’s Centurion will make this old girl drive like she was fresh off the line.” Dean rushed over to the status board and noted the improved readiness of the Centurion.
“Hand me that splicer,” Carin Lindholm ordered Kieran Scott. Carin reconnected the data cables she can snagged 2 weeks prior when refitting the Griffin to an energy weapons only load out. “Private, here’s where you have to be very careful, and just put enough force on the splicer to secure the fiber optics without damaging the internal glass. Power up the PPC for me.” Carin inspected the fiber optic bundle as Kieran charged the PPC’s capacitor, as the weapon’s power came to full, her diagnostic PADD showed data being transferred between the PPC and the BattleROM. “Shut her down, everything’s back to the way it was supposed to be, before we started messing with all her systems.”
Officer’s Club, Fort Karlheinz
24 May 3041
Hauptmann Manno Rico stared down at his roast beef sandwich, but wasn’t hungry. Butterflies danced in his stomach as the hours counted down to his first combat command. Well, it wasn’t really combat, it was a training op against the heavier 1st Company, but it was still going to be his first actual field command of a company. Very different than the hundreds of hours logged commanding his MechWarriors in the simulator.
Snapping him out of his trance, Hauptmann Connor Bleazard, pulled up a chair across from Hauptmann Rico. Hauptmann Bleazard was his usual smug self, not that 1st Company hadn’t earned it, being the top rated company in the battalion since the end of the War of 3039. Bleazard was clearly confident that his well trained, well drilled troops where more than a match for Rico’s upstarts. “So are you ready for tomorrow, Hauptmann?” Bleazard asked.
“Troops are drilled, ‘Mechs are prepped. We’re ready. So what color did they load into your ammo bins?” replied Manno.
“Orange, I think. Yours?”
“Blue, but Private ”/characters/hua-dan" class=“wiki-content-link”>Hua Dan has this nasty tendency to replace them with pink or purple ones."
“How about a little wager then? If 1st Company achieves it’s objective, my Company Sergeant ”/characters/tony-dundas" class=“wiki-content-link”>Tony Dundas runs your PT for a week; if 2nd Company achieves it’s objective, Sergeant Major Hawkwood runs my PT for a week?"
“Sounds fair, you’re on,” replied Hauptmann Rico.
Grid Square 36-056
25 May 3041
Sergeant Leo Kleinschmidt grimmaced after the high altitude drop from the Southern Dawn. He had missed his landing zone and hit the ground hard, doing damage to his Pheonix Hawk. “Great,” he thought to himself, “training op with powered down weapons and paint rounds and I’m coming home with actual damage. I’m not sure who to be more afraid of, the Sergeant Major and Sergeant Lindholm for actually breaking a ’Mech on a training op.”
Grid Square 36-055
25 May 3041
A cheer went up across the open company comms as 2nd Company drew first blood against 1st Company, dropping a Thunderbolt 5SS. The opening seconds of the engagement had been difficult for 2nd Company as 1st Company had arrived several hours earlier and established a strong defensive position.
1st Company aligned all four of its heavy battle lance ‘Mechs in a shallow pond in the middle of the grid square. The improved performance of their heat sinks allowed 1st Company’s Battle Lance to fire their weapons with little regard for heat management and it showed. Leftenant Dorn and Sergeant Major Hawkwood had to use a low hill for cover from the relentless barrage from 1st Company’s assault ’Mechs. Their advance had bogged down as Leftenant Dorm and Sergeant Major Hawkwood tried to figure out how to get behind the big guns of the assault ’Mechs.
Not that Hauptmann Rico’s and Leftenant Cruickshank‘s was going much better. Trying to use a stream and rolling hills for cover, they attempted to flank 1st Company, but were met with withering LRM fire from 1st Company’s Fire Lance. The battle was devolving into a war of attrition, which the heavier 1st Company would most certainly win.
“Tyrant, Hawk,” Hauptmann Rico’s tactical comms crackled. “There’s only a Clint and Griffin 1N between us and objective. Going to blitz and attempt to break contain.” It was an aggressive call from the Sergeant Major, charging over the hill that was providing cover from 1st Company’s heaviest units, to bring direct fire to bear on 2 lighter units and breaking the line. But sitting here trading shots was not going to end well.
Cresting the hill, 1st Company’s Battlemaster, Stalker and Orion unloaded on the Sergeant Major’s Cataphract, registering a kill, but not before the maneuver succeeded in downing the Griffin and Clint, opening a gap in 1st Company’s line. Quickly analyzing the tactical situation, Leftenant Dorn realized that the remains of Battle and Fire Lances didn’t have enough speed to sprint through the gap in the line and achieve the objective before 1st Company could shred them from behind. He wheeled his advance left, “focus fire, target the Stalker.” Another high risk call from the western side of the battle, Leftenant Dorn was driving his unit right into the teeth of 1st Company, hoping to eliminate the heaviest hitter on the field.
1st Company poured fire into Leftenant Dorn’s command, generating more heat than even there submerged heat sinks could handle. 2nd Company gave as good as they got, downing the Stalker and and pealing away the Orion’s armor.
On the opposite side of the field, 1st Company deployed their light elements to prevent Hauptmann Rico’s flanking. Contained between heavy LRM fire, terrain and light ‘Mechs gaining position, Hauptmann Rico aligned his Wolverine to 1st Company’s Archer and releases an Alpha Strike against the missile boat. Delivering punishing fire to the Archer, the Wolverine’s weapons find the Archer’s cockpit, registering a 1 shot kill.
Having eliminated half of 1st Company’s ’Mechs to their 4, Hauptmann Bleazard calls Rico over the open comm channel to declare 2nd Company victorious. From his shutdown Cataphract, Sergeant Major Hawkwood smiles to himself, dreaming up new and exciting exercises to put 1st Company through next week.