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Big Eyes, Small Mouth (BESM): Nexus Earth - Chapter 11.5.022 - Talons of the Osprey

Rebecca Baines

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Rebecca sits in the lounge in front of the simulator room where she'll be doing her tactics and strategy training. She wasn't told which of the captains she would face off in each challenge. Fair enough since she would probably develop counter-tactics against them. She reads a couple Dalaraani books on classical battle strategy, as well as brushes up on works from the likes of Sun Tsu, Patton, Rommel, and Shwarzkoph.

"So... the method of the killing blow relies on breaking an enemy with a decicive blow at a weak point... just like engineering..."

She closes her books and waits for her instructors.

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Ryoma came through the door, clad in his red scarf and tattered trenchcoat. "So You want some training in battle strategy do you? Well I can help with that, my own brand at least.'

With that he smiled. "Computer, call up Ryoma, Battletech 1."

between them a large holographic square showed up, adorned with hills, forests, lakes and at each edge a force of miniature mecha.

As she touched each of her pieces, a windowed showed up, showing all the vital statistics of each unit. He force was mostly mediums and lights, with a quartet of heavies, making a 16 mech reinforced company. Her mechs were fast, maneuverable, and some packed serious firepower. On the other side, she couldn't see what Ryoma was using, only that he only had twelve mechs before him.

"Read over your units capabilities, and we'll begin."

Her Mecha list was a simple one. 2 Crusaders, 2 Archers, her four heavy mechs packing scores of missiles to hammer her foe at range, 4 Shadow Cat Mechs, for sniping capability with great maneuverability curves, 2 Arctic Wolves for unrivaled close combat firepower, and 2 Tessens, for electronic warfare and coordination, 2 Dashers for all out speed and spotting, and 2 Morrigans, for impressive versatility.

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Battletech huh... I remember this game being played by some of the strategy game enthusiasts back in my grade-school days...

She sets up her units in a interesting configuration. 2 Stars, one Lance, and both Wolves going solo.

Star A "Pathfinder" consists of both Dashers, and two shadow cats with a Tessen keeping under cover.

Lance B "Broadside" consists of the remaining two shadowcats and two archers.

Star C "Hammerhead" is her squad, her in a crusader with a partner crusader, and both morrigans with a Tessen.

"Very well. Let's begin." She moves Star Pathfinder into a high-ground position, moving her two dashers into a position to play bait.

Lance Broadside plays overwatch for the first lance, with two archers positioned to fire their missiles in the area the dashers are in while the shadowcats are set up to take out any mechs that expose themselves.

Star Devilfish starts a long march, looking to flank and crush her enemy with a strong pincer, hopefully timing the rush for when her opponent has their backs turned to her. Both wolves are running solo. One up the middle, and one around the other flank.

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Almost immediately, She got a look at Mechs she'd never seen before, as a quartet of large bipedal mechs moved into view. They weren't in range, but each one bristled with cannons. Assault mechs, only they had so many large cannon ports. They moved in formation, around an old classic, The Battlemaster. on it's left in the inverted V, was a 85 ton Onager, and a 80 ton Bruin, mechs she'd never seen before. on the right of the V, A Warhammer IIC marched forward.

To the rear right, another group of mechs moved around the edge of the lake, while The Final lance moved to take the high ground on that side of the map. She couldn't see their tags, but could only surmise there was alot waiting for her.

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There was a flash as One of Ryoma's mechs rose on it's jumpjets over the rise of the hill, a massive Marauder II. It's heavy Guass rifle and twin PPCs lashed out, managing to tag one of the Dashers, coring straight through its torso, the unit winking out of existence.

The Warhammer and Bruin opened up, missing the other dasher and Arctic Wolf. The Shadow Cats could engage with their gauss Rifle, now having entered range.

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"Alright... time to open this can."

Her arctic wolf unloads it's missiles as the Shadow Cats fire their gauss rifles on cue. Counting coup on each of his mechs in the center, one at a time. Her patient hunter tactics so far working out. Wearily though she keeps an eye on her left side star, making sure they don't outpace the lone wolf circling right. She wants this trap to close properly. The circling wolf needs to be the obvious choice for her attack.

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The Arctic wolves were too close to damage the mechs, but they did manage to create an impressive smoke screen, and light the forest around the assault lance on fire. The Cat's Gauss rifle hammered the battlemaster in the face, decapitating it. The second shot hit the warhammer in the shoulder, locking it, and robbing it of half it's main guns.

As She closed the trap, two more mechs entered the fray, the twin heavy Blood Reapers Ryoma had. They waded into the battle, one catching one of the Tessens with a full salvo, the other blowing the legs off a dasher. Spinning to face the new threat, both arctic wolves wreathed one of the reapers with fire, and the mech disintegrated under the onslaught of nearly 90 SRM's.

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She sees the new combatants, and knows it's time for her second squad to fill the gap. She has her broadside team unload as she prepares to bring her Hammerhead in to seal the deal once Ryoma goes all in.

"Any day now..." She keeps the heat on the area, making damn sure she makes the center the main event. It's terrain is literally being groomed for her final ambush. But the time better be soon... she's starting to bleed assets.

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The Onager fired. It had been inching forward all this time. In an instant one of her Archers vanished, The Hyper Assault guass proving to be one of the most devastating weapons. On the hill with the Marauder II A hellstar stood, firing all 4 ERPPC's into one of the shadowcats, gravely wounding it, but not putting it down.

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She springs into action. Now or never. Her command star "Hammerhead" goes all in, evenly spreading it's fire as a united unit. She pours on the firepower, slowly but surely dropping the more damaged mechs in a surgical manner, until all that stood was his Marauder. She had lost a lot though and was down to both her crusaders. Not that she needed anything else. This was an execution.

"Son of a... You used the Killing Blow and Patient Hunter strategies to the letter and I should have seen that." Ryoma says.

"Care to go again?"

"Yeah, but this time let's use a different battlefield and scenario."

The battlefield shifts to a desert scene. "Load Scenario two."

The designs chosen were a even match. A Star of Wasps for each. The battle was quick and decisive for Rebecca, although for some of the fight Ryoma had an edge. Rebecca was more comfortable in terrain. A flatter desert to her was a uncomfortable change.

"Well... that's two..."

"Rommel's tactics proved decisive, although your application of his tactics almost won you that fight."

"Ah... you saw that gambit. Good... Ruri was right about you, you have the mind of a commander."

"But... it still needs polishing. One more?"

"Alright... you like terrain, let's see how well you handle this 3 on 3."

A shift of terrain and the new map looks like terrain from northern Minnesota. Pine trees, a lake, a beautiful scene.

"Okay... let's select our designs."

Rebecca goes with all missile-packing madcats, and a suprise when she takes a hovercraft missileboat while Ryoma made his selections.

The battle starts off alright, until his custom-built designs rail her first madcat and sink her missile boat before they get a shot.

"What in the..."

"And now... for the biggest suprise."

His last design stands in the water and alpha strikes with two ER-PPCs and what looked like shoulder mounted Gauss Cannons. "They never said the Gause rifles had to be in the arms..."

He was brilliant. He sprung a trap from the forest, and used the height of his designs and the pine trees to his advatage while Rebecca was stupid and stayed in the open.

"Well... two out of three isn't bad."

"No it's not. You're good. With practice I might have a good opponent in this. Although in a real fight... I'd be a little scared."

Captain Klan walks in. "So... ready for your simulator test?"

"Captain! Sure... I've been curious as to how good a pilot you are."

Note for GM
I'm pausing right now. I'll finish this up in an hour or so in a second post here.
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Osprey sits in her seat, the battle has already started. She was sortieing her support units, mass-production Aspina models using the typical White Glint configuration. Klan was waiting, almost as if she knew exactly what she was going to position. The SeaTalon, even in simulation rocked from stray fire as one by one her team fell. She orders her surviving units to fall back to the forest, managing only to disable a couple units. That's when she noticed... Klan was the one firing on her position using her support team as bait. Rebecca dashed around, trying to draw off the fire from Klan to give her team time to regroup, but it was too late.

That's when Rebecca looked down, and inserted a flash-drive into the receptor to the tactical CPU.

"SeaTalon, load combat routine; Nineball."

SeaTalon changed it's stance and dashed in right onto Captain Klan's position. Her tachyon rifle firing away, forcing Klan to change her position. Just as intended as Rebecca closes in firing her shoulder repulsor missiles then finally closes to melee and starts to slash away with her beam ribbon. Klan falls back and pulls out her beam saber and knocks the beam ribbon out of SeaTalon's hands. SeaTalon and Klan lock into a grapple, a test of stregnth no pilot was willing to surrender.

"You shouldn't rely on such unweildly weapons."

"You... Killed my men."

The chest of the SeaTalon opens up. "But... you'll leave yourself open to attack from my team!"

"I share my fate with my men. You killed them using your own as bait to draw us off. A commander should be prepared to accept the consequences of their actions."

"So that is your answer, Osprey?"

In a split second, the SeaTalon fires it's tachyon cannon imbedded in it's chest and promptly goes offline. Nothing is left of Klan's virtual mecha.

"Heh... something to remember the next time... rare someone can learn from death, right?"

"True, Rebecca. I didn't think you'd go that far."

"Captain... As far as I am concerned I was the wreckless one. I went in fast, and made my landing point too wide open. I deserved what I got and paid the price for it. No fair deal this fight."

"Well, as you said, it's rare you can learn from death. And that's what we are here to do, correct?"

"Affirmative... Thank you."

Rebecca closes her eyes and lays back. "So... am I getting a funeral too at this rate?"

"No... my men left actually... Your display spooked them. Although... you'd probably be court martialed for being so wreckless to have such a misadventure like this, Custer."

"True... heh, then I submit myself for arrest."

Klan laughs, rare to hear from her. "So noted. You're finally lightening up, Rebecca, like you once were before you left."

"Really? You know?"

"Your current CO's predeceessor, the one twenty years ago... talked about You once to Satoshi. I found out through Kai when that man died."

Rebecca giggles. "I see... I miss him. I miss alot of people."

"Yeah... I'll report to Ruri my findings. Good work none the less."

"Thank you, Ma'am."

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