Prologue – The Battle For Honor

The planet Azora from orbit.

The planet Azora from orbit.

The year is 3347. The 351st marine detachment is being deployed on Azora to help the Interstellar Alliance forces on-planet to defend against the Riesman Confederation onslaught. Azora is a chain of urban sprawls with few military installations. Confederation forces have taken control of much of the planet, but pockets of resistance have cropped up in several major cities. The remnants of the planetary National Guard, as well as Alliance military units are putting up a good fight, but they are severely outmanned and outgunned. The Confederation has deployed multiple units to secure the planetary capital and headquarters of the planetary National Guard, New Zion. The resistance is surrounded and is making its last stand at the center of the city.

The Black Tigers had been dispatched to New Zion as part of rapid deployment forces to help the resistance hold back the attackers until more help arrives. Confederation forces engaged the Tigers’ dropship with planetary defense guns as they were hot-dropping over the city. They were able to drop two commando walkers before the dropship’s dropbay doors were damaged. Major Ryan ‘Ghost’ Lewis and Captain Collin ‘Buzzard’ Maddox landed right in the middle of a Confederation unit that was making its way to the center of the city. Their Scrapper commando ACWs started taking fire as soon as they hit the ground and started returning fire. They ejected their ‘rocket drop-pods’ and started maneuvering to avoid incoming fire, and take out the enemy walkers before they are taken out. The Confederation unit didn’t stand a chance. Meanwhile, their dropship landed outside the city, 45 clicks away.

Ghost was the commander of the Black Tigers and Mad Dog was his second in command. They were the best of the best; the best walker pilots and the best team the Alliance had. They started making their way back to the dropship but there were four Confederation heavy and medium squads between them. The rest of the Black Tigers had managed to get the dropbay doors open and were deploying around the ship, fighting off incoming enemy squads. There was a large city square between the dropship and where Ryan and Collin had landed. What they didn’t know was that they were walking into an ambush. Two heavy Confederation squads were waiting for them. As Ryan and Collin neared the square, Collin picked up a mysterious blip on his passive sensors and suggested investigating it. Ryan ordered him to stay in formation. Collin, as always, decided to investigate the anomaly and quietly changed course.

Ryan stayed on course, slowly and cautiously making his way towards the square, thinking that Collin had his back. As soon as Ryan reached the edge of the square, the Confederation walkers opened fire on his walker. Ryan managed to dodge the incoming fire and run back into cover with the enemy squads on his tail. Realizing that Collin had disappeared, he kept calling him on the radio as he fought his way into cover. He managed to take a few of his attackers out while maneuvering between buildings but was soon overwhelmed by half a dozen enemy walkers.

A heavy rail gun round hit his walker’s lower torso, damaging its inertial dampeners and legs severely. Next, a barrage of short-range missiles came crashing against his Scrapper, toppling it over. Ryan ejected just in time, barely clearing the fireball that was left of his heavily customized ACW. His chute opened as soon as the ejection seat’s rockets ran out of fuel, and he started gliding back down. One of the enemy walkers attempted to shoot Ryan down, and set his chute on fire. He started accelerating towards the ground, and touched down too hard for comfort. The fall broke one of his legs, and several ribs. He was losing consciousness. His eyes closed as he saw a figure approaching him; his last thoughts were that he didn’t want to become a prisoner of war.

He had survived.

Copyright © 2007 – 2015 – Kashif Malim

All rights reserved. No part of this publication, The Battle For Honor, may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, with the subject, “Permissions Coordination,” through the contact form on this blog.

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