Commitment

Commitment
Product information
Type Short story
Author Kevin Killiany
Pages 14
Publication information
Publisher BattleCorps
First published 14 September 2007
Content
Era Succession Wars era
Timeline 11—13 August 3034

Commitment is a short story by Kevin Killiany that was published online on BattleCorps on 14 September 2007.

Teaser text[edit]

It's never easy being a mercenary; they don't think the same way as regular soldiers, and when a relationship is added to the mix, things are more than complicated.

Plot summary[edit]

Lance Corporal Candace Lynn is a VTOL pilot with the Second Magistracy Armed Forces Militia Armor Guard, stationed on Andarmax, a Capellan Confederation world conquered by the Magistracy of Canopus, implicitly in 3033, and is in a relationship with Lieutenant Alphedra McGowan, one of the members of the Killer Bees mercenary unit hired by the Magistracy to act as a cadre unit. The Second Canopian Cuirassiers had easily conquered Andarmax, and had moved on to Drozan, leaving Andarmax to be guarded by the Armor Guard - a MAF militia unit consisting of two platoons of VTOLs and a mix of tanks and mobile artillery - and MacGraw's Marauders, a mercenary unit. Candy is a recon pilot, flying a modified Ferret which has had the machine gun and ammunition of the standard model stripped out and replaced with armor; half of the Armor Guard's VTOLs are unarmed variants like her own.

In August 3034 the Capellans deployed the mercenary unit Rob's Renegades, also known as the Fifth McCarron's Armored Cavalry regiment, to recapture Andarmax; while MacGraw's Marauders are fighting against half the Renegades around the planetary capital, Candy and the Armor Guard are half a continent away, fortifying in the Alamance Wastes and deploying remote sensors. Faced with certain defeat, the Killer Bees have cited a clause in their cadre duty contract and announced their intention to withdraw, making the prospect of the Magistracy forces holding out for reinforcements tenuous at best, particularly when deprived of the Bees' aerospace forces.

Phredi and Candy argue about the Killer Bees plans to withdraw, with Phredi repeatedly emphasising that the Magistracy forces are looking at certain death if they stop; she repeatedly asks Candy to come with her, arguing that a single Ferret can't make a difference, but Candy is determined to stay and fight for her home and her country - despite Phredi pointing out that she's throwing her life away trying to hold onto someone else's home. The two part ways after arguing, with Phredi and the Killer Bees withdrawing through the Alamance DropPort while the Armor Guard prepare to fight in the wastes.

Fighting in the foothills of the Alamance Mountains, Candy and the other VTOL pilots act as observers for the Armor Guard artillery, guiding in strikes as best they can against the advancing Renegades 'Mechs. The Armor Guard manage to damage or disable some Renegade units, but steadily take casualties; tracking a siege variant Catapult, Candy discovers that it's managed to secure itself in a position which the Armor Guard's artillery can't target it. The Catapult dismisses her Ferret as a threat, but Candy instinctively decides to use her Ferret to inflict damage the only way she can - by making a ramming attack, targeting the Catapult's canopy.

A day later, aboard the DropShip Honey Bee, Captain Tom Smith of the Killer Bees comes to brief Phredi on the situation on Andarmax. The Second Armor Guards had taken heavy damage and fallen back to their holdout position, and there's no word of the Armor Guards having any VTOLs still active. Worse still, there will be no reinforcements for them; the Second Canopian Cuirassiers have been driven off Drozan by an assault launched by Kincade's Rangers and House Dai Da Chi. Phredi bitterly declares that they abandoned people who counted on them, but Smith rebuffs that argument by saying that they didn't abandon the Armor Guard - they failed them. The Killer Bees' responsibility was to do everything they could to ensure the safety of their employers, a duty they failed when they didn't teach the Armor Guard how to choose their battles.

Featured BattleTech[edit]

BattleMechs[edit]

Combat Vehicles[edit]

DropShips[edit]

JumpShips[edit]

Notes[edit]

  • In this short story the Killer Bees are operating a Leopard-class DropShip named the Honey Bee. Field Manual: Mercenaries Revised and Mercenaries Supplemental Update both show two Leopards operated by the Killer Bees, named the Gall Wasp and Hornet's Nest. It may be that the Honey Bee was renamed into one of these two ships, or it may be that it was no longer in service with the Bees in the 3060s.[1][2]
  • This short story has the Killer Bees operating an Invader-class JumpShip, the Queen Bee. According to Field Manual: Mercenaries Revised and Historical: War of 3039 the Killer Bees captured an Invader during the War of 3039.[1][3] Operating and maintaining this JumpShip reportedly nearly bankrupted the Killer Bees,[1] raising the question of how the Killer Bees could be operating an Invader five years before. Either the presence of the Queen Bee is a narrative contradiction, or the Killer Bees were operating two JumpShips after the capture of the Combine Invader in the War of 3039, and subsequently lost or sold the second. Commitment post-dates Historical: Brush Wars by a year, making Commitment the most recent canon source.
  • The reference to Andarmax being conquered in 3033 is unclear; the text refers to needing to deploy remote sensors that weren't needed a year ago, and that Colonel Centrella and the Second Canopian Cuirassiers had rolled over the Andarmax Planetary Militia. Historical: Brush Wars states that Andarmax was conquered in December 3030 by the Killer Bees and the Magistracy Militia, and that the campaign was intended to give the inexperienced Militia a chance to test their skills. The Killer Bees reportedly guided the Militia into a week-long and relatively bloodless campaign, creating a swift victory.[4] This contradicts the reference to the Second Canopian Cuirassiers being involved. Historical: Brush Wars has the Second Canopian Cuirassiers on Repulse in 3030 and 3031, Drozan in 3032, and New Roland in 3033/3034.[5]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Field Manual: Mercenaries (Revised), p. 82, "Killer Bees; Death by Paper Cuts"
  2. Mercenaries Supplemental Update, p. 77, "Killer Bees"
  3. Historical: War of 3039, p. 58, "Lyran Operations"
  4. Historical: Brush Wars, p. 57, "Andarmax (December)"
  5. Historical: Brush Wars, p. 87, "The Andurien Wars"

Bibliography[edit]