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Date Posted: 21:13:16 06/09/15 Tue
Subject: Part 2
In reply to:
's message, "The 31st Century Chapter 2" on 18:10:55 06/08/15 Mon
As soon as Hammur spoke it, everyone started fleeing from the area. Coolio had kept track of how much time went past since the Behemoth fired its weapons, and it was dangerously close to firing again. With his torso turned to the right, he moved his arm, like one would when wanting to shoot from the side. Just as Coolio fired his weapons, the Behemoth fired, but its shot hit the ground, and the railgun hit Coolio’s leg, causing him to fall into the ground. Immediately after Coolio fell, the Behemoth crouched, and then jumped forward into the sky, hoping to land directly on Coolio. Simon had his shot lined up then fired. Time seemed to slow down as everyone watched the scene. It looked like something you’d see out of the Matrix movies. Everyone held their breath. Coolio had his hand directly on the eject button, nearly pressing it, when he heard the massive explosion in the sky. The battle was over as the final enemy ‘Mech was destroyed. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief and Coolio got his Warthog back on it’s feet, but since his leg was no longer functioning properly, his ‘Mech was forced to drag it at a slow pace back into base. It took him a while to accomplish his task and when everyone was back in base and the doors closed, Dawg had said for everyone to leave their ‘Mechs as they were and called a Clan-wide meeting.
Chris had been watching everything that was happening outside the base, and he was hoping they would salvage the downed Supernova outside. He ran to Merlin just after Dawg made his announcement.
“Merlin, could you salvage those ‘Mechs out there?” Chris asked hopefully.
Merlin nodded and he immediately spotted the chief engineer running towards their group with another group of technicians in tow.
The lead engineer stopped in time to survey the damage before shouting at the top of his lungs. “Holy hell! What in the name of Kerensky has happened to these?! This is going to take all our resources to repair them, and a few days’ time to boot!” What the engineer failed to realize was his leader was also listening. He continued to survey the damage when Coolio spoke up, “We have salvage outside, and plenty of it. I’d like to know exactly what was on the Atlas that we just destroyed as well as the Behemoths.” The chief engineer’s eyes lit up like Christmas trees at the mention of the destroyed ‘Mechs. Coolio withheld his giggles, but barely and continued, “By the way, we will also have a live prisoner in the Supernova, so take security with you. Do not underestimate W-O-B.”
With that, the lead engineer paled at the mention of WOB. ‘Just what the hell is World Of Blake doing here on this planet?!’ The engineer thought to himself. He was also a ‘Mech pilot with years of experience, and had almost seen it all. His wavy red hair and emerald eyes stood out to everyone, as if he was the only red-head in the Clan. The truth is, he was and no one really realized it. His name was plastered slightly above his right side on his chest that said ‘Scott Hellboy Thompson’ and his rank of Star Captain on the opposite. He appeared to be somewhat Irish and Scottish in origin and Chris immediately picked this up. As Scott was surveying the damage, still in shock, his eyes finally met Dawg’s. He let out a sigh then nodded to him, as if there were some unspoken words between the two.
Dawg looked over the crowd. He knew what he was seeing, and he had to admit the very name of the unit that had invaded them was indeed fearsome. He was half excited, and half scared, with the excited part of him wanting to test his skill on their pilots. The fear came for his Clan, on what would happen should an all-out war rage between the two. He had to give this a lot of thought, and before he did, he held up his hands to quiet the crowd.
“We will all meet in the Clan Hall in one hour! But first, I must address the council, and then some.” Dawg turned to leave just as the crowd began to start chattering again. He spotted his council members and walked up to them. Hammur and Rampage were among them, as was Simon, yet he didn’t say anything about excluding them. Just then the group was joined by Chris, Zach, and Adian carrying Gail in his arms. Dawg gasped as he saw the shape Gail was in and dropped formality. “Damnit, Gail, why’d you have to be the one to go out there yourself?” He was sure she didn’t hear him. He softly caressed her face and quietly said something inaudible as the medics approached with a stretcher. Adian carefully placed Gail on the stretcher and they hooked her up to an IV pack, and then wheeled her off to the hospital. As Sam regained his composure, he looked at the two boys who saluted to him. He returned the salute then spoke with a soft voice, “I need you two to come with me, as well as the rest of everyone standing with me, and this means everyone who joined me in battle, including you, Chris.”
This was a surprise on Sam’s part. Merlin wondered why, but he would soon find out. Just as Sam began to walk towards the main building, everyone had followed after exchanging looks with one another. Merlin saw this, and then simply shook his head as if to say ‘later’.
Fifteen Minutes Later, Council Chambers –
As everyone entered the room, followed by Sam, the doors were immediately closed. Sam sat down, as did everyone who was a council member, the rest remained standing. While there were plenty of seats in the room for everyone else, they choose to remain standing; as it was customary within the Clan. Sam motioned for them to have a seat by the wave of his hand; they were hesitant to do so, but found a chair and sat.
Sam sighed, as he got straight to business, “First, what information has been uncovered in the light of recent events?”
Adian spoke up first and held a small, thin, square like disc on his left hand, “All information has been recorded on this. While the Commander had ordered us immediate evacuation of the area, when we first discovered who this group was, she made it very clear we were to immediately report to a rendezvous point, and then head back to base. As soon as the order was given, I scouted a bit more, uncovering more information. What started all this, was an explosion of a hangar outside of town, about 3000m south of Nav Epsilon. I was the closest to respond, but I didn’t dare give myself away. Even with active radar, I picked up nothing. They probably hacked into the droids which transmit radar data to our ‘Mechs and other equipment. Also in that area is one of our communication arrays. We currently have three, and there is a chance they might destroy this one as well. They also have jamming capabilities which jams our comms, preventing any communication between ‘Mechs or the base.”
Dawg pressed a button, which allowed for the small disc Adian was holding in his hand to fit into. A small slot appeared directly in front of Adian and Dawg motioned for him to put it in. Once that was done, an image popped up directly over the table, revealing what had transpired.
Adian continued, “As you can see, I managed to take a picture of a jumping Atlas. I think it’s a completely new ‘Mech that we haven’t encountered before.” This had caused several murmurs around the room. Some were in agreement that it had been a new ‘Mech, while others were trying to figure out how to research it. The next image of the DropShip popped up, causing Sam to gasp, as well as the rest of the council. Adian didn’t see this and continued, “This was taken approximately 1500meters from the explosion. Sorry for the quality, I felt I was compromised and had to leave the area, and I’m glad I did, otherwise this information would not have been here. Secondly, the rest of the data was radio static, but I did hear some voices and it needs decrypted somehow.”
Chris perked up at this then asked for Adian to replay the transmission again, with nods of approval from Sam. He listened closely to only pick out a word, but wasn’t clear on it and Sam noted that. Sam pressed a few buttons on the table and suddenly the sound became clearer as Adian replayed it once more. The sound was barely audible but there was more than enough information.
“Clear the area and destroy everything. This includes resistance. After this, we move on to the next Comm array point…”
Sam growled just as the doors burst open with Scott and a prisoner in tow. Sam had, long ago, made sure everyone knew that meetings behind closed doors were private and involved Clan business with the council. He decided, this time, he would get an immediate explanation after seeing who was with Scott. Everyone in the room turned their attention to him and Scott smiled, knowing he had the attention he wanted. He looked at the prisoner and kicked him in the shins, causing him to fall to his knees. “Tell them what you told me!”
The charred prisoner spat to the floor, “And if I refuse?”
Scott growled, “Same thing applies here as when you were found, and then some more.”
“I was only following orders…” He started as Sam stood and made his way towards the prisoner.
Once Sam arrived directly in front of him, he knelt and smiled, “You are very lucky or unlucky to be alive, depending on how you look at the situation you’re in. First, you were taken down by a kid who has very little training on how to use weapons, yet had quite an impressive shot, especially in a sand storm. Now tell me this; before I let my engineer have his way with you, why the hell would you be a part of WOB?”
“How did you know?!” The prisoner shouted in surprise.
Sam smiled, “Two things: First, you are currently a member of Clan Star Adder, the crest on your jumpsuit and your ‘Mech showed that. Next, since the dropship had the WOB crest on it, it was pretty easy to spot. The thing that surprises me is how you are also part of WOB at the same time. I should have expected the 3rd in command of SA to be part of WOB. I’m considering letting your leader know, but what good will that do when he is also involved with WOB.” To say the prisoner was shocked to hear Dawg speak as if he knew a lot was an understatement. Dawg continued after noting the shocked expression, “Second, WOB consists of elite members of almost every Clan and house there is out there and I wonder who the leader is. I wouldn’t be surprised if I guessed correctly.”
The prisoner knew he had been had. How much Sam knew was even more surprising. He had hoped to delay and buy his mates some time, but Sam had other plans.
“So, who is the traitor?” Sam stated with his eyes narrowing, as he looked into the prisoner’s eyes. Sam could tell who was telling the truth and who was lying.
The prisoner stuttered at first, but he broke down and started talking. “First, by now, they should be making their move to take out all arrays on every planet there is that has communications.” This caused a gasp among the chambers and Sam held his hand up to silence everyone so the prisoner could continue, “Second, even you have a traitor. He is in this very room, and it’s your job to figure out who it is.”
Sam wasn’t too happy with this new information. He immediately stood then looked down at the prisoner, “What purpose does WOB have to knock out all comm arrays? Are they trying to send us into the dark ages or something?”
The prisoner simply smiled, and Sam had his response. Sam sighed then returned to his seat. He nodded at Scott and as Scott turned, he yanked the chain, causing the prisoner to tumble backwards and wither in pain as he dragged him out of the room. As soon as the doors closed, Sam looked carefully around the room. Almost everyone was nervous and no one showed signs of being found out. Just as Sam looked at JD, he simply nodded and JD stood, pulling something off his back. Once it was in view, Merlin’s eyes immediately went wide. Sam saw the reaction and shook his head as Merlin had turned to look at him. Merlin sighed, then watched as the small-concealed weapon transform into a much larger one.
The weapon looked like a hammer, only it was really big and looked like it weighed a ton. It was a special forged weapon designed to remain hidden until the user pulled it out of its hiding place. The only drawback was the weapon had a mind of its own. For centuries, many warriors had tried to wield such a weapon and many failed. That was until one day, a young boy simply picked it up as if it was a feather. The boy had now grown, and he was standing in this very room, holding it as if it were his most prized possession. Everyone watched in awe as the weapon ballooned, and then a clank sounded in the air as the handle grew in a telescoping fashion. Just as it was done, JD tossed it over his shoulder then looked at Sam for further orders.
Sam continued to look around and then smiled. He stared at Roger, and then his smile faded. Roger didn’t see this, but he was staring intently at the hammer as if it struck fear. The ancient weapon was infused with the very same hammer of the Norse God of thunder, Thor, had once wielded. How it was done, no one really knew, but it had chosen a perfect host to wield it. JD knew how to use it and he was looking at everyone, watching their expression. The hammer somehow had a way of causing anyone to speak up against it, revealing their true colors. Some of the members in the room stared and blinked, but remained calm while others just looked at Sam.
Only one person in the room was fighting it, and JD immediately knew who it was. In an instant, he just flipped the hammer in Roger’s direction, causing his eyes to nearly jump out of their sockets. When Roger stood to catch the hammer, he was immediately hit with a force unlike anything he had ever experienced. It felt like he had been hit by an elephant as the hammer still had momentum, he was being driven backwards and then towards the ground with a deep rumble. This caused everyone to jump out of their seats, except for Sam and Merlin. They knew exactly what to expect. When anyone else, other than JD, tried to lift the hammer it felt like trying to lift something that is bolted to the floor. An android might have been able to lift it, but only barely.
JD walked around the table towards Roger and knelt next to him. “What do you have to say for yourself? I suppose you let them in, undetected, and then had them attack your personal ‘Mech hangar to make it look like they were really after our ‘Mechs when we finally discovered they weren’t.” Roger groaned in pain under the massive weight, yet wasn’t able to speak, so JD continued to torment him some more, “Maybe I should press down with my weight and see how you like it, but I’m afraid I could crush you as the hammer sometimes doubles itself when I either jump out of the cockpit and smash the enemy out of their cockpit or when I want to kill someone.”
Roger’s eyes widened, then immediately shook his head frantically as if he feared for his life. JD stood, then placed a foot on top of the hammer in attempt to make Roger squirm some more. “Are you ready to talk?”
Roger nodded quickly, and then JD lifted the hammer off him as if it weighed next to nothing. When the weight was lifted off Roger’s chest, he began to breathe a little better, but his bones were crushed and he couldn’t move. He now required medical attention, depending on Sam’s decision.
“I’d start talkin’ now if I were you.” JD said as he looked down at him with the hammer swinging in his hand.
“Fine!” Roger spat hoarsely, “I’ll talk! I thought it would be cool to wear the WOB colors for a change, when no one was looking. It’s too bad they have every single piece of information on each and every one of you, including all your favorite ‘Mechs of choice. We came well prepared for this invasion. The only drawback was the unexpected ambush from Simon.” Roger growled then coughed and continued, “WOB paid me a great deal of C-Bills and would have rewarded me even more should I kill Sam. It took many months for me to build my way up the ranks in FP. All I had to do was earn the trust of everyone here; that was until the traitor outed me.”
As Sam was listening, he became more and more pissed with his most trusted council member. Trust was beginning to be hard to find these days, even with legitimate proof. Sam felt he had heard enough and stood. “Then you know the price for being the traitorous scum that you are. I’ll stop the destruction of the arrays myself if I have to! The only thing I can’t figure out is why.”
Roger smiled, “For the fun of it. Ah yes, weren’t you going to brag how you picked this planet and why? Don’t worry, I already know and I’ll tell you: it wasn’t to work on your tan lines. The dust storms conceal a great deal and this year is the only year when the storms are low. This was another part of my research. All I needed was access to the planet’s history and the rest was easy. Did you really think this planet would be all that much more difficult for any of us? We are the elite of the elite and I’m sure Mavarick would be pleased to have you out of the way.”
Sam’s frown immediately turned into a smile. “As expected, I already knew this first-hand information; you were just re-stating the facts. What you didn’t know, was this planet creates an illusion of images during the years when there aren’t many storms. Gail is very lucky to be back with us. I’m sure Adian knows why. You have to experience the desert and six months was more than enough. I knew by initial reports that someone had arrived here, but didn’t stir up trouble. My reasoning is simple, you just blew up what you thought was a comm array. Sure, the bursts of energy coming from it are the same, but that was an illusion, a fake. Merlin and I know where it is, but since the traitor has been weeded out, everyone in this room, but you, will discover its true location. It’s too bad jamming frequencies only work planet side, unless you did expect us to send a transmission, then I’ll admit you are that good. The fading smile on your face tells me only that much. Oh, and one other thing, may Valhalla be merciful on your soul.”
Just as Sam turned his back everyone followed suit, except JD. JD’s grin became bigger, and then he just shrugged. He held out the hammer and let it drop without a single thought in his head. Roger’s eyes lit up as he was able to let a few final words escape his mouth, “YOU WON’T WIN!”
*BOOM!* The room shook as the thunderous rumble spread throughout the base. JD was busy wiping the splatter of blood off his face as he knelt to pick up his hammer. Just as it had transformed to grow, it shrunk in the same manner, and took less time doing so. Once it was small again, JD wiped it off with a rag he pulled out of his back pocket then placed it on his back then looked at the lifeless form of Roger. “No wonder he didn’t fire a single shot in that battle. I thought it was quite remarkable his ‘Mech didn’t take any damage.”
At that, Sam had a thought. ‘Merlin, we need to search for bugs that might have been implanted. I’ll leave this to you then we will address the Clan.’
Merlin caught this and nodded. He exited the room by simply walking out the doors then disappearing from the corridors as he wanted to make it look like he was normally heading out. Merlin’s plan was to fake the bug into believing what Merlin did so he wouldn’t tip them off. This took several minutes and for Merlin, Sam wondered just how many there were. Merlin searched everywhere, in a plane that enabled him to work ten times faster than normal time. When he was done, Merlin emerged right in front of Sam with a handful of bugs. “They are disabled. WOB will not see, nor hear, of our plans any longer. Unless we transmit to another world, we might have to break formation and head to our allies by ship carrying this information. To do this, only JD and I are to go, alone.”
JD looked up in surprise, “Why me? Why not anyone else in here?”
Sam turned, and then smiled, “You are now the Galaxy Commander of Roger’s galaxy. For this to work there has to be two people from the Council for this trip, and both of you are more than qualified.” JD was about to protest but Merlin and Sam stopped him by holding up their hands. Sam continued, “Further, we’ll have to change the way we fight. I suppose using our favorites won’t work, but that latest surprise you sprung earlier was indeed, a surprise. Forgive me for doubting you, but I’d like to know what else you have in store for us; you and Simon, both. Furthermore, it wouldn’t do us much good to send a whole lot of warriors in a DropShip. This will lead to WOB trying to overpower us when communications are down. Our nearest help is a good day or two away, and you know exactly who I have in mind to help us.”
JD grinned, “Before we leave, I’ll have that ready. I’d also like that supernova with me on this trip. It can be quite useful. Something they won’t expect. I’d also like Hellboy to join us. I could use his skill for much needed repairs. He has plenty of help here on this planet or I wouldn’t recommend otherwise. Finally, I’m changing the name of the galaxy to Blood Angels.”
Sam nodded, as did Merlin. Everyone in the room congratulated JD as a pair of security guards entered the room to remove Roger’s body. Once done, housekeeping entered and cleaned up the mess. It didn’t take long and the room was left looking as it did before.
Sam was about to close the meeting when he suddenly realized he forgot something. “Before I forget, I’d like to also do a field promotion. This is something I normally don’t do every day as Clan protocol simply states one must enter facing a council member or me. His actions today proved to be brave, and his quick thinking probably saved those who wouldn’t have been here. This also earned us salvage, which we really need, and hopefully more information. I am promoting Chris to Mechwarrior as of today. You enter the payroll with a pay raise from your last duty. I fully expect you to begin training with your peers first, before you decide to ask any of us.”
Chris had a mile-wide grin plastered on his face as he was listening to Sam. He had never had this much praise, not even from his dad. He was content and happy, but there was something that was causing him to feel incomplete. He wasn’t sure what it was, but his thoughts were interrupted by everyone coming over to pat him on the back and shaking his hand.
As the excitement died down, Sam had to call the meeting he was dreading. “Okay guys; meet me in the Clan Hall in ten minutes. I need to collect my thoughts before I address the Clan. It’s almost time and I’m sure the masses are assembled.”
Everyone but Merlin and JD nodded, and left the room. Sam sighed as he looked at Merlin. “You do realize we now have to be at our very best and nothing less? Even if it means you have to go all out in a battle, I know you well enough to know you are holding back. I suppose you saw this coming somehow.”
Merlin shrugged, causing Sam to chuckle. “No, but something was troubling me during the time I rescued Chris. Something was off and didn’t feel right. This was just it, a presence that I haven’t felt before. It is still on the planet and I cannot help but wonder if it is who I think it is. Time will tell.”
Sam smiled, and then patted the wizard on his shoulder. “Tell me, were you surprised to find out who the leader was behind this?”
Merlin shook his head, “Not at all. When it came to him, you can expect others equal to his skill level or slightly better. That is what scares me. Other than you, I really do not think anyone else here can measure up to the unknowns we would be facing. We need an ace in the hole to pull this off, and there are only two units in the universe who have accomplished this in the past, but the losses were high on both sides. As you said, we need all the allies we can get.”
JD jumped in the conversation, making Sam wonder why he was still there. “Just wondering, how good are they really?”
Sam sighed. He normally didn’t like bragging about his skill level, but since JD had to ask, Sam’s response somewhat surprised him, “About the same level of skill as me. Do not underestimate them. I know you hold back, don’t look so surprised about that either. I expect nothing but the best from both of you.”
JD and Merlin nodded, however JD continued, “What of Chris? I saw him eyeing the Supernova quite well, as if he had a few thoughts in mind. I was wondering if… he could join us on this trip.”
Merlin was about to protest but Sam beat him to it. “Absolutely not! While he has plenty of natural ability, probably a lot higher than yours, JD, it’s too dangerous! I know he worships you, I’ve seen it. I’m sure he will request to be in your Galaxy, under your command and I am fine with that, but a Mechwarrior traveling into a possible battle that could happen anytime is just too dangerous. You need to make sure he understands why he has to remain here. We will undoubtedly protect him and this base.”
JD sighed, “I guess nothing will change your mind then. About the arrays, did you really build those for situations like this?”
Sam smiled, “Oh yes. If you had to guess, I’m sure you know where the real one is. You’ve been there a few times.”
JD was lost in thought when it suddenly hit him, causing Sam to smile. “Your secret is safe with me.”
“Good.” Sam responded with an assuring look. “Anyway, I’m sorry I had to send you both off world. I think it might have been safer. If we encounter such a person of skill on this planet, we will find a way to get rid of him before he ever makes a move. Once the Clan meeting is over, draw out your plans; then you leave tomorrow. I want to see your outline of actions and call to arms.”
Merlin smiled, “Saw that coming and the outline is on the table.” Just as Merlin spoke, the small hand-held pad appeared out of nowhere on the table with a bit of flashing sparks around it, as if it was magically being powdered with glitter. Sam rolled his eyes then chuckled and shook his head.
“I’ll read it later. Come old friend, we have a meeting to take care of.”
With that, Sam stood to join JD and Merlin, and then left the room.
FP Clan Hall, five minutes later –
Sam, Merlin, and JD entered the Great Hall that opened to at least a thousand people. The Clan Hall had been used for many things from meetings to shelters. It could hold more than 1,000 people and this was one of the rare times when it was almost filled. The Hall looked like a huge auditorium or movie theater, but without the seats. The room had their Clan insignias plastered all over the walls. While the walls were beige in color, the insignias were black with an equally Wild Dawg that appeared to emerge from the shadows of moonlight. As they joined the rest of the council, who was standing and waiting for their arrival, Sam took a look at their faces and smiled inwardly to himself. Once Sam stood in front of the large black podium with a microphone, the noise started to quiet down.
Sam let out a small sigh, “As everyone knows, we fell under attack to a group calling themselves W-O-B.” Sam paused to let the crowd murmur some before continuing, “The information is one hundred percent correct. Their intentions are to completely send us and everyone else out there into the dark ages. For what purpose, we don’t know, but ‘fun’ doesn’t come to mind when they told me so. I’m sure some of you already know who they are and some of you don’t. The name stands for World of Blake. Their members consist of members of quite a lot of Clans and Houses who lead double roles. I’m pretty sure their leader is the same, but it would surprise me if he wasn’t. Before everyone starts getting nervous, we must eliminate the current threat on this planet. I realize some of you may lose your lives in battle. Such is the way of the warrior, but I will personally see to it that our losses remain small. I am calling a ’Call to Arms’ to every warrior out in the audience. Everyone will be called to battle, and hopefully we all can work together with ease. Before we head out and meet the enemy, I am going to request you to train for one full day under the toughest situations. We will engage the enemy in two days; as I already know their destinations. This base will remain hidden due to the sand storms, as will several other places on this planet. As I close this meeting, nothing is up for debate and you will find your lance assignments on your hand-helds by the end of tomorrow. Good luck.”
As Sam cleared his throat to moisten it some after giving quite a speech, he turned to his council and asked for them to follow him by a simple hand movement. Once everyone had left, the crowd noise was slightly louder than when Sam first entered.
Once Sam was satisfied he was far enough from the Clan Hall, he stopped and turned to face his council, “Guys, Merlin and JD are going off world to gather the alliance. I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t think it was this serious. Merlin left me a Call to Arms roster and lance assignments. Someone will have to remain here at base. I’m not going to risk having a skeleton crew managing things here. I’ll remain here, along with a small squadron of warriors whom I think are good. Everyone else will be leading big groups of warriors out to three separate points. The largest group will intercept the DropShip and raid it if possible. I want to be able to salvage it, but experience tells me that will be next to impossible, as their DropShips are heavily fortified. The communication array is important for several reasons. I’m not going to go over them, but the primary reason is for off world communications. The secondary reason is this communication array is one of the more powerful arrays ever built. It not only handles the communications we do here, but also acts like an anchor for other comm arrays. Destroy this one, the rest go down. Sure, there are others, but they are quite far, about ten days travel by DropShip at max speed. Finally, I want you,” Sam pointed at Merlin and JD as he spoke, “to not raise suspicion by traveling at max speed. WOB will be watching carefully. The dropship you will take is no match for theirs. Should they attempt to stop you or fire upon you; take immediate action and destroy them.”
As soon as he received their ‘affirmatives’, Sam left to return to the council chambers to go over the Call to Arms on his pad. Everyone stood there, having a silent moment, till Chris walked into them on his way to the Clan Hall.
“Oh, there you are!” Chris piped up cheerily as he walked to JD. “I wanted to ask if I could join you on the trip.”
This startled JD somewhat, but before Merlin could speak, JD was first to disappoint him, “I’m sorry, kiddo, it’s too dangerous. It’s not a pleasure trip. It’s a real mission with real threats and there’s a chance we could end up dead.”
“But…” Chris was about to protest but Merlin had to chuckle.
“Ah, young one, while JD is exaggerating a little, I can safely teleport us out of danger and before you ask about planet to planet teleportation, I am just too old to do such things. The DropShip will have to do these days. Sam made it clear you cannot accompany us on this trip. Sorry.” Merlin ruffled Chris’s hair a little before he made a pouting expression, as if it would change Merlin’s mind. Merlin and JD simply chuckled, as did the rest of the guys.
To be continued…
 Trial of Position (ToP) – This varies in Clans across the universe. Some Clans have a wait time of two weeks, where others have a wait time of one month or more between ranks. Ranks are earned through Trials of Position where the Challenger must face a Council member or a high-ranking leader within a Clan. Other times, Trails of Position are not needed when one’s own performance exceeds the Khan’s expectations or his or her own skills.
 Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) – This component reduces radar lock on a ‘Mech by ‘hiding it’ till a ‘Mech without BAP sees it at 500m. With BAP only, 600M. BAP and ECM, 800m. For example, a normal ‘Mech with active radar will spot anyone at 1000m. If an enemy has ECM, it would be spotted at 500M. If two ‘Mechs had the same ECM, it’s still 500m. If a mech had BAP + ECM, and an enemy had ECM, it would be spotted at 600m. If both ‘Mechs had ECM + BAP, both will see each other at 800m.
 Beagle Active Probe (BAP) – Extends radar range on a ‘Mech by an additional 200m. Normal radar is 1000M. BAP extends range to 1200M.
 Particle Projection Cannon (PPC) – An Energy weapon consisting of high firepower and emits high heat on the user and some heat on the intended target when hit. This is a travel-time weapon as it takes a bit of time to hit its target compared to lasers. This weapon has a recycle time of six seconds and is quite popular on the field. The cannon, when fired, makes a lightning strike noise and it’s blue in color when fired. It has a range of 925m.
 Atlas – a 100Ton Assault Clan OmniMech. Normally, it is not jumpjet capable, as its designers never had jetting in mind for it. Standard weapons include a mix of missiles and several direct fire plus travel time weapons of choice. The armor is very high on such a ‘Mech, it takes a long time to bring it down. The Atlas is supposedly one of the most feared ‘Mech’s on the battlefield.
 Neurohelmet – a special helmet which links directly to the brain of a warrior for faster response time. The ‘Mech’s needed a ‘brain’ to balance and power the ‘Mech. Sure, it could stand up on its own when not powered up, but the limited intelligence of BattleMechs and natural conservatism of their control computers means they often need to be told when it is acceptable to be off balance, which may be helpful in battle as MechWarriors push their machines.
Quoted from http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Neurohelmet
 Center torso (ct) – On the damage scale, damage reports have sections of armor. This was so the ‘Mech wouldn’t become too critical if a shot was fired and the whole ‘Mech would be destroyed. The armor is divided into numerous sections of armor hard points: Head, right arm, right torso, center torso, rear torso, left torso, left arm, left leg and right leg.
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