StarCorps Industries Assembly Complex B
November 21st 3049
Yoshimi's surgery only took three hours, but she was in the hospital for several
days. She came in on a Longhaul FB-335 out of Xiang a week after she'd left;
walking off the plane holding Inuyasha in her arms; she looking as if she'd
just come home from a relaxing vacation. For just a second Smith really thought
he saw the world move around her.
If surgery had been painful she didn't show it, for her it had been nothing more than a short lived inconvenience. They'd cut her hair short on the right side while working on her inner ear. The cybernetic eye was gunmetal grey except for a small central optic. The central glass had an eerie neon blue glow that grabbed the focus of everyone in the room.
"Does it work?" Bull asked first.
"Better than the original" She answered.
"It's so cool looking!" Colt added
"Thank you Colt"
"Are you ready for duty?" Smith asked
"I think so; StarCorps let me spend some time in one of their simulators over at complex A; they also checked all of my neuron feedback and said it looked normal."
"Sounds great; so what do we call you out there? Oh, and what kind of mech would you like?" Joker asked "We have more than we know what to do with."
"I prefer the call sign Oni" she said "I used to be a Dragon pilot so I know a thing or two about heavy mechs; I thought I'd grab one of the Warhammers."
"Well that's a start; now we only have three empty command couches to fill" Smith said
"Have we found any local pilots?" Watanabe asked
"Decker and Benson are sending a few potentials over later this afternoon." Joker said
The door to the cafeteria opened and Officer Gonzales entered.
"Officer Gonzales, how are you?" Watanabe asked
"I'm well; yourself?" he asked
"I am quite well, thank you."
"I came here to ask you all how the recruiting was going" He said
"We have a couple of people coming by a little later on." Smith answered
"That's great; listen I just got another guy over here from HQ with loader mech experience. I now have four pilots from Triple S and only three machines to run. I was hoping you might be able to spare that Urbie, it would give us a lot of firepower inside the complex when combined with our Copper, Peacemaker, and Marco."
"Well I don't know; are you sure you guys can handle a real Battlemech?" Joker asked
"I have a lot of experience in an up armed Marco MR-8E, which is almost a Battlemech. Our least experienced operator will be in the Copper; no fusion engine to worry about."
"I can't see any problem with this" Bull jumped in "There's no way that thing could keep up with us on patrol."
"True, it's better off inside the fence where it can do some good" Colt said
"Thank you very much" Gonzales said "Also I managed to bring in another company of well-equipped infantry."
"That should help" Joker said. "If they need extra weapons we have plenty."
"Am I the only one thinking that we should leave some of those portable SRMs cached around the complex just in case we are over run?" Bull asked
"That's a good idea; Officer Goldberg is that doable?" Smith asked
"I'll see to it right away."
"Sounds like we're almost ready then" Joker said as the door opened and Benson entered with a tall thin young man and what looked like a small Lyran woman well into middle age.
"Well if it isn't my favorite group of irregular mercenaries; I managed to find some local talent and brought these two by to meet you. This is Alex Jorgenson also known as Cowboy, and Beatrix Engel call sign Angel. Alex is a rookie scout pilot with a lot of talent who got his Mongoose shot out from under him a month or so before you guys made planet fall. Beatrix is StarCorps Industries' premier test pilot here on Son Hoa. I think they will both make good additions to your team; of course we will want Cowboy back when your contract is up."
The Irregulars needed pilots in a bad way, and they weren't about to refuse these two. Smith looked them up and down. He wasn't very interested in any pilot who needed a new job because they got their ride shot out from underneath them; not to mention that other one, Angel he called her was just old; no getting around it.
"What's your preferred ride?" Smith asked Engel
"I've run a lot of Battlemechs over the years; I trained on a Chameleon; before starting my carrier in a Griffin, at the end of my time with the LCAF I got rolled into an Atlas; but my favorite was the MAD-3R. I ran one from twenty one, right on through to the end of my career in the merc trade. Since then I have a lot of time spent in the Warhammer and King Crab, as well as a few other mechs that StarCorps has brought to me over the years."
"Twenty one; so you fought in the third succession war?"
"I did... and the fourth, and again in thirty nine; and after that over on Andurien. There were some less well publicized jobs along the way also."
"My dad fought in the third succession war. What unit did you serve with?" Smith asked
"I signed up with the LCAF at sixteen; that was in 3016, if you must make a lady feel her age. High command sent me to the nineteenth Lyran guards. I had four years in when I took my leave and joined up with a mercenary unit called the Always Faithful on Alarion; I worked with them right up through the battle for Andurien in 3040; well except for a few months during the war of 3039. The Faithful got left out of that one; so I took some time off and linked up with the Gray Death for their drop on Altais; now that was a crazy time. After Andurien things started really calming down; when StarCorps offered me a test pilot gig I thought it would make for a decent retirement."
"If your retired, do you really want to join up with us?" Joker asked "Are you still up for full time combat operations?"
"Look kids; I've been dropping metal for more years than any of you've been alive, and I'm damn good at it too. When I saw the posting for a combat pilot I knew there wasn't a man or woman on this rock better than me so I came to help out. Over the last nine years I've spent almost every day in the cockpit testing new equipment for the Warhammer, and King Crab Battlemechs. And yes that included live fire weapons testing. I've been ready for a fight the whole time."
"I'm sorry; I wasn't trying to imply that you were too old, I just thought maybe you wanted a quieter life" Joker said.
"Too much quiet is likely to drive an old merc crazy" she said "I think I could use a little action."
"Well welcome aboard Angel; we really look forward to bringing your experience level into our organization" Watanabe said
"So Cowboy, what's your story?" Joker asked
"I'm nineteen years old, and I've only been doing this for six months. I grew up on Tukayyid; it's a boring farming system that used to be part of the Draconis Combine; but when I was really young we got our independence with the Free Rasalhague Republic. When I was four there was a battle against Ronin warriors from the DCMS, but aside from that nothing interesting ever really happened there; so as soon as I was old enough I ran Rimward looking to make my fortune as anything but a farm hand."
"How did you come to be a Mechwarrior?" Smith asked
"Well I was seventeen when I rolled into Outreach broke and starving.
I had some experience working on agromechs and fixing other farm equipment.
So I managed to get a job as an apprentice technician with an upstart company
called Mech Magic Incorporated. Mech Magic preforms repair, and customization
services for mercenary groups from all over the inner sphere. I spent the next
two years learning the tech trade; until a Mechwarrior from Mobil Fire came
in for some work. He was really impressed with my work, and offered me a job
that paid a little better; so I took it. I'd only worked as a tech for a couple
of months when they put up a posting for Mechwarriors. I applied and passed
all the tests, and was still learning the basics when the pirates attacked our
patrol near Complex H. It all happened so fast; one second everything was normal
then out of nowhere there were four pirate mechs shooting at me and I'm getting
hit; alarms where going off, it was crazy. I know I fired my weapons but it
didn't seem to ma
ter; before I knew what was what the auto-eject had thrown me out into the cool night air; for me the fight was over. I watched the moon lit battle field; tracers and laser fire lashed out in the night as the rest of my unit made contact. We got beat up pretty bad, but the rapid reaction force came in and mopped up those bandit assholes right good. So that's my story, I've been in one fight and I got smoked."
"We can work with that." Joker said. "I had a Spider shot out from underneath me when I was a rookie; you can't let one bad mission end your carrier."
"I had a similar experience once" Watanabe said. "If you don't get back on that horse now, that night will haunt your dreams forever. "
"I really want a chance to get some pay back on those bandits!" Cowboy added
"You will" Smith said.
There was little time for sleep in the following days as the Irregulars found time to train daily. The rolling hills to the north of the Irregular's hangar made a great training ground. They'd organized themselves into three groups. Joker, and Cowboy where recon lance; they'd be operating way out on the edge, running sensors quiet, and if all went according to plan they'd see the enemy before the enemy saw them. The rest of the Irregulars formed fire lance; at three hundred tons and five strong, they had the fire power to burn down just about anything short of a full strength Lyran scout lance. Recon lance would find targets. Fire lance would destroy targets; at least that was the plan. Of course if that didn't work, there was always plan B. The triple S security lance would stay on the complex grounds; patrolling inside the fence. Two companies of triple S guards armed with small arms; SRM packs, and a couple of light weight combat vehicles were the last line of defense. If the Irregulars were unable to keep the fight outside the complex, triple S would have to hold until the rapid reaction force arrived.