Eclipse

EclipseEpubcover.JPG
Eclipse
Product information
Type Novella (4 parts)
Author Jason Schmetzer
Pages 67
Publication information
Publisher BattleCorps
First published 27 June-8 July 2008
Content
Era Jihad era
Timeline 21-27 July 3072

Eclipse is a story by Jason Schmetzer that was published online via BattleCorps in four parts between 27 June and 8 July 2008. It was (re-)published in EPUB format on 23 August 2012. It notably features the reconstituted Crescent Hawks mercenaries in their first mission.

Plot summary[edit]

Part 1[edit]

published 27 June 2008
When the Word of Blake conquered Ruchbah for their Protectorate, the planet’s tenacious defenders were strong enough to prevent outright capitulation and fell back to a guerrilla war. Ruchbah’s defenders have been plagued with rotating units of Blakist troops, both frontline and militia, but with the acquisition of a certain mercenary unit, they’re prepared to turn the tables.

After three years of fighting the Word of Blake, the Ruchbah guerillas have hired the Crescent Hawks to help them (a situation reminiscent of the Gray Death Legion's famous first mission on Verthandi). Deployed in company strength, the Crescent Hawks are dropped near the shore—though further offshore than intended—and walk their BattleMechs along the sea floor, emerging at the beach on 21 July 3072 some ten kilometers from their intended rendezvous zone.

The guerillas have sent pickets to watch out for them, and one of the pickets, former AFFS MechWarrior Toll Packard in a Hatchetman, is detected and engaged by a patrolling Word of Blake Level II. Within less than ten hours on-planet, the Crescent Hawks rush to his aid and together they vanquish the attackers.

Part 2[edit]

published 1 July 2008
As the Crescent Hawks locate their contacts on Ruchbah, they’re faced with the enormity of the Blakist presence on the planet, and forced to do the best they can against unbeatable odds.

At the guerilla base in the Sand Gnat Cove, the Crescent Hawks are briefed about the local situation and their objectives by their liaison Foster Pell, a former MIIO operative who was working on Ruchbah as a factor when the Word of Blake invaded. The Crescent Hawks' contract is limited to hitting four targets within five days, with DropShip extraction planned on the sixth day. The targets are two communications relays, an ammunitions factory, and a Word of Blake reeductaion camp.

Destroying the communications relay at Bharat Ur on 23 July, Crescent Hawks commander Jeremiah Youngblood is worried by what he percieves is a too weak and uninspired defense. Fearing that the enemy plan may be to track his forces to their hidden base he decides not to move back to Sand Gnat Cove. His fears are confirmed when Sand Gnat Cove is destroyed in a great explosion.

Part 3[edit]

published 4 July 2008
Betrayed and forced into hiding, the Crescent Hawks adopt a daring plan to strike back at the Word of Blake and fulfill their mission. Such daring, however, comes at a cost, and with no one left to help them, can the Hawks pay the price?

Toll Packard had just moved out from Sand Gnat Cove when it exploded. He linked up with the Crescent Hawks and led them to Jericho, a farming homestead that turns out to be a concealed base with IndustrialMech repair gantries. They meet their liaison Foster Pell again there. Crescent Hawk member Rodney Klatt voices suspicion over the fact that Pell left the base just before it was destroyed.

Deciding that they do not know enough to investigate the betrayal of Sand Gnat Cove the Crescent Hawks stick to their original mission. The Guided Light Educational Center twenty-four kilometers northwest of Bharat Ur is a munitions factory building missile bodies for the attack helicopters built by Michaelson Heavy Industries on the southern continent, and Pell promises support through inside agents and diversionary raids from the guerillas. Jason Youngblood, meanwhile, decides that he could inflict vastly more damage on the Word of Blake through a few side missions to go along with the main mission.

Part 4[edit]

published 8 July 2008
One of the maxims of military life is that no plan survives contact with the enemy. The Word of Blake, anticipating just such an attack, has reinforced the Hawks’ target, and it’ll take all of their skill and tenacity to overcome these dangerous odds and escape.

The Guided Light Educational Center is a trap for the Crescent Hawks, with altogether twelve 'Mechs from two Level II stationed there where only one was expected. Operating alone and ahead of them, Toll Packard in his Hatchetman rampages through the complex and destroys the jamming array which in turn allows helicopters led by Pell to arrive and evacuate the prisoners.

Coming to Packard's aid when he is cornered, Youngblood and Packard with him face overwhelming odds and cannot extricate themselves from the embattled facility. In the nick of time, the helicopter gunships that escorted the freed prisoners turn around and come to their help.

With the three Crescent Hawks DropShips landed near the town of St. Claire four hours from the reeducation camp and one MechWarrior (and his 'Mech) lost in action, Youngblood offers Toll Packard a place in the unit after they narrowly escaped together. Packard accepts, and Foster Pell includes himself, showing up with a duffel bag and handing Youngblood a disc labelled "Turanian Transport Company, Towne" (the firm Pell was working for when he got stranded on Ruchbah) for a numbered account to "cover his expenses". Pell also indicates he might have a contract offer for the Crescent Hawks...

EPUB teaser[edit]

published 23 August 2012
It is 3072, and holy Jihad rages in the Inner Sphere. Soon after they launched their Jihad in 3067, the mystical Word of Blake sprung out from their base on Terra and claimed dozens of worlds, creating a Word of Blake Protectorate. While many of those worlds joined voluntarily, some others hosted resistance movements. On one such world, Ruchbah, the resistance hired mercenary help.

Captain Jeremiah Youngblood and his Crescent Hawks have an enviable legacy to live up to. Not only are they trying to find their own place in the Inner Sphere, outside of the deep shadows cast by the elite Kell Hounds, but some still remember another Jeremiah Youngblood and another group of Crescent Hawks. Can the new live up to the reputation of the old? Can they survive, almost alone on a hostile world where the Word of Blake holds almost every advantage?

Read Eclipse now and find out--available wherever BattleTech fiction is sold.''

Featured Characters[edit]

Featured BattleTech[edit]

'Mechs[edit]

Vehicles[edit]

Aerospace Fighters[edit]

Other[edit]