Clara’s Warding Guard
Maelstrom MTR-5K (custom) [75 tons] – Clara Ames “Breaker”
Black Hawk-KU BHKU-O [60 tons] – Aike Rhodes “Card”
Thunderbolt TDR-9SE [65 tons] – Harvey Port “Storm”
Blackjack BJ-3 [45 tons] – Ben Wetly “Blue”
Leopard Dropship “Beast”
Captain – Den Xavier
Clara Ames call-sign ‘Breaker’ set in the cockpit of her custom 75ton Maelstrom MTR-5K battlemech looking at the sensor readouts that showed the location of her battlemech lance and the convoy of refugees they were escorting down the road to the still distant refugee camp. She was in position at the head of the convoy while her best friend and second in command Aike Rhodes, known as ‘Card’ was playing rearguard in her raptor looking 60ton Black Hawk BHKU-O, while both Harvey ‘Storm’ in his 65ton Thunderbolt TDR-9SE and Ben ‘Blue’ in his 45ton Blackjack BJ-3 walked their humanoid looking battlemechs on either side of the line of convoy vehicles. The Wardens had the convoy covered, but kept a safe distance away just in case they came under attack so the unarmored transport vehicles would not get caught up in the fight.
Clara had brought her unit here after being contacted to help provide security for refugee camps on the planet of Merton a Free Worlds League planet near the Periphery border. Like most planets in or near the Periphery, Merton had seen its share of pirate attacks, but recently a well armed insurgent terrorist group working to undermine the ruling nobility had started an all out war with the planetary forces. Clara was not really interested in helping keep nobility in power, but when she had been contacted by the a human rights group trying to protect and help those suffering during this terrorist driven civil war Clara had brought her Wardens to help.
This kind of job was the reason why the Wardens (with the help and support from those at the Academy on Galava) had formed the mercenary group called the Warding Guard in the first place. The Warding Guard was made up of four Warden battlemech pilots and their mechs along with a battle harden small Leopard class Dropship with two aerospace fighters for backup, not to mention the support and security vehicles and staff. The Warding Guard had become a kind of close family of soldiers and relief workers in the past five years taking only those jobs they wanted and helping those who needed it throughout the Periphery and the Inner Sphere. Clara was proud to be called a Warden despite not having settled down or finding love. Even at thirty, she was glad to be here and now helping these refugees when all others had failed them.
Clara was walking her battlemech at 54kmph when a bend in the road brought her out of her musing; the road was bending to avoid a river that curved its way ever closer. Something about the situation made the hair on the back of her neck stand on end and her light blue eyes switched back and forth from scanning the horizon to watching her sensors. Clara brought her large bird legged battlemech over a hill so that she could have an unabsorbed sensor reading of the area around the road while picking up her lance channel on her comms.
“Wardens heads up I’ve got one of those feelings.” Clara called over the lance channel. In response Blue’s comm clicked twice in an ‘affirmative’ answer and Clara heard a groan from Storm while she was unsurprised to hear a hyper giggle from Aike’s comm. Before Clara could switch over to the open comms to tell the convoy to be on alert the hail of long range rocket fire came screaming in at her mech from the other side of the riverbank. Her nimble Maelstrom moved in a side step to avoid the attack without Clara even thinking about it, but it only lessened the impact of the LRM missiles that tore at her right leg armor and made the 75ton mech shutter from the force of the impact.
Clara’s sensors came alive as the Maelstrom’s targeting computer identified three tank-like armored LRM Carriers on the other side of the riverbank and two battlemechs coming up out of the river bed having used the water to hide the heat signatures from their fusion power plants. Clara’s computer identified the two mechs as a 50ton Enforcer ENF-4R and a 60ton Quickdraw QKD-5K and they were heading straight for the convoy with only Clara’s Maelstrom standing between them and the refugees.
Almost at once, Clara’s lancemates’ voices came over the comm. Blue announced with his always calm voice that he was moving to intercept hostiles and to protect the convoy’s east flank. While Aike almost yelled for Clara to hold on, she declared that she would have Clara’s back shortly. Storm repeatedly called for targeting information so that he could send a “rain of hurt” on the bastards with his own LRMs. All of this was only slightly noticed background noise as Clara sent her mech charging down the hill, aiming her large Particle Projector Cannon towards one of the LRM Carries. The Mechs were her greatest threat, but the LRM Carries could hit the convoy from where they where and the rest of her lance could take care of the attacking mechs. This made sense in a way, but even as the first Carrier exploded in a fireball from a direct hit from her right arm mounted PPC Clara couldn’t stop a cringe as a stream of laser fire came at her from both attacking mechs slicing and cutting to her beloved Maelstrom.
Clara tried in vain to put the hill between her and the Enforcer while she took another shot with her PPC and was awarded with another LRM Carrier disappearing. The move fouled up a few of the shot from the Enforcer’s lasers, but not from its slug throwing Autocannon/10 that cut into her right torso while four of the Quickdraw’s six medium lasers cut into her left arm and leg tearing away even more armor, but her ever trusty battlemech was still holding up under the onslaught.
Sweat was rolling down her body as the air started to heat up inside the cockpit as she fired her PPC one more time and the last LRM Carrier was dealt a final blow, but Clara’s heart fell from her chest as she realized at what cost when a AC/10 slug slammed into her rear right torso straight through the armor, sending alarms off and pitching her mech forward almost to the ground but for Clara’s piloting skill. The Enforcer was now behind her and no matter what she did the pair of enemy mech had her flanked and whoever she faced the other would have a shot at her mech’s vulnerable back armor. Despite the fact that her battlemech outweighed and was more powerful than either of her two attackers the fight would be over shortly for her, as they said all that was left was the dying Clara thought with a cold laugh.
Clara focused her attention on the Quickdraw, the larger of her two attackers, intent on bringing down or at least crippling the largest threat to the convoy and the rest of her lance before she herself went down. Clara fired everything she had into the Quickdraw, which included a small, medium and large laser in addition to her PPC. Her PPC tore into the mech’s center torso along with the beam of energy from her medium laser while her large and small cut two gashes into its left arm. Although her attack had stripped the armor on both the arm and center torso, it had not caused any serious damage.
Clara braced herself for the oncoming attack, but before they arrived she heard Aike’s voice over the comm. “That’s no way to treat a lady!” and Aike’s Black Hawk came flying over the crest of the hill propelled by her mech’s jump jets and she let loose with a full barrage of all 10 of her medium ER and pulse lasers into the right side of the unprepared Enforcer. Aike’s laser beams ripped into and tore off the right arm of the Enforce and continued chewing up its right torso digging deep inside its armor to set off the AC/10 ammo stored inside. Clara watched in amazement as the interior of the Enforcer’s chest exploded outwards sending the mech to the ground in a smoking heap. Clara knew that Aike had to be cooking inside her cockpit as her quick Black Hawk couldn’t hold up that kind of fire without serious heating of the fusion core.
Clara’s attention was brought back to the Quickdraw when it opened fire once more with not only its medium lasers, but with a volley of short ranged missiles. Luckily, her Maelstrom took the SRM hits in the center torso which had yet to be damaged, but although one laser hit in the same spot the other landed cut into her left arm once more eating away the last bits of armor there and cutting into the structure underneath. Clara spun her mech around to bring her PPC up to fire at her attacker, but before she could pull the trigger a storm of LRM fire rained down on the Quickdraw and Storm’s voice yelled over the comm. “Bring the rain and noise!”
Clara smiled despite herself, she should have known. Even though Clara was a skilled Mechwarrior, the truth of the matter was what allowed her to walk away from every fight she had gotten into was her fellow Wardens; they were what made her good. Almost as one, Clara’s bolt from her PPC and two more bolts from Blue’s Blackjack hit the Quickdraw tearing the enemy mech apart and sending its fusion core into critical failure and explosion. Despite the sneak attack, Clara’s heart froze for a split second as she realized the enemy pilot had not ejected, dying along with the battlemech.
Clara turned her Maelstrom around to face her Wardens realizing that they had once again saved her from herself, “Wardens regroup on the convoy, Card you have point, Storm rearguard and Blue with me on flanks.”
Clara paused after reorganizing her lance to better protect the convoy after the beating she had taken. With a smile Clara spoke up once more to her lance, “Wardens, thanks for taking care of me once again.” And with that said, Clara turned to the business at hand of getting their salvage team down here and getting the convoy safely home.