Hello, gentle readers. For fun and to practice my writing skills, I decided to include a ‘story so far’ section in the notes I share with my fellow gaming nerds. We’re almost all adults playing the game, and the commitments of life keep everyone from attending every week. So this log also lets everyone keep up to date with the story so far when they come back from whatever they thought could actually be more important than tabletop gaming.
Usually I dictate notes while falling asleep. Then it occurred to me that editing my semi-somnambulant ramblings would be great editing practice as well. So, here we go!
NOTE: The campaign is combining elements of the 1980’s movie Red Dawn, the 1980’s BattleTech computer came The Crescent Hawk’s Inception, and bits of inside data revealed during the Jihad sourcebooks. So, rather than hide those, I decided to hang a lamp of my sources. You are going to see a lot of direct rip-offs because I have a finite amount of prep time.
In May of 3024 the Second Galedon Regulars launch a sneak attack on the Davion world of Harrow’s Sun. Caught by surprise, the planetary garrison was quickly overwhelmed. Only a handful of students from the Calumet Military Academy who were participating in final exams during the invasion, were able to escape and regroup despite the best efforts of the green but fanatical Kurita unit.
Cadet Lieutenant Martin Rothberg, whose own battlemech was destroyed during the initial attack, led his personal technician on a lightning-fast raid into the nearby Kurita outpost, armed with nothing but his sidearm and martial arts training. Charging out of the night covered in mud to evade thermal sensors, he overpowered a pair of Kurita technicians who were unprepared to face an oni raging out of the night. For Martin, the only way to survive was to charge. Injured by a laser shot to the head, he nevertheless beat both technicians senseless with his bare hands. But the shots would draw attention. He stripped the enemy men for repair tools and weapons, then left them tied up to a ton of ammunition planted beneath the parked Kurita scout lance’s other Mechs. The series of explosions that destroyed two additional invading battlemechs and crippling and enemy Spider. Martin hid in the closed cockpit of a Hermes II while his sparring partner and engineering cadet, Brawler, hacked the controls. As the Kurita soldiers raced to contain the fire and the damage, ignoring the inert and safe mech, Martin powered it up and raced off into the night.
And assistance technician named Ansel Dietrich, who had been secretly stealing training time while working as a janitor at the Academy, cobbled together a repair facility in the basement of a half bombed-out battlemech stable. He used these facilities to rebuild a Valkyrie battlemech of his very own from the scraps of a destroyed garrison lance. The first seven days consisted of frantic repair work in the hidden depths of the academy ruins. Unfortunately, time and numbers were both in the Invaders favor, and enemy patrols were intensifying as other areas of resistance crumpled.
Cadet Lt. Aiden McGregor had escaped the first desperate battle against the invaders when his lance CO was shot out of his Commando. Forced to flee from the overwhelming firepower, he regrouped with other cadets in the ruined academy grounds. Assisted by Deitrich, he stripped out his Mech’s jump jets and inefficient short-range missile launcher, and stuffed every laser that the chassis would support into their place. He sacrificed his 20-ton mech’s mobility for armor and more than twice the firepower against the next time he had to face invading mechs, and he would not have long to wait.
Singly and in groups, cadets gathered in the academy grounds. Out of the three hundred and sixty cadets, fewer than thirty had survived. They carried stories of their professors’ doomed heroism. The staff had been killed ot the last man sheltering the young men and women entrusted to their care.
As difficult as the losses had been, each young man and woman had come to the academy and serve. They refused to accept that their first loss was final. They treated their wounded in a makeshift MASH, raced to modify and repair functioning battlemechs out of the smoldering wrecks of their defeated teachers and friends. As they worked through blood and sweat, myomer and medical supplies, the cadets came together as never before in a singular desire to survive and get their revenge against the invaders.
Maybe it was youthful idealism of children, and maybe it was the courage of warriors born. Only the coming cauldron of battle would decide.