Pirates of Penance
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|Pirates of Penance|
|Type||Novella/Serial (8 parts)|
|First published|| 30 October-1 December 2004|
6 May 2007 (omnibus)
|Era||Clan Invasion era|
|Timeline||07-17 May 3057|
Pirates of Penance is a story by Kevin Killiany, originally published as an eight-part serial on BattleCorps starting 14 January 2005; since 6 May 2007, a single omnibus file is also available for purchase.
|“||Leftenant Alexandra Atreus of the Florida PMM wasn't pleased with her assignment to shadow the Tertiary Undersecretary of Commerce as a showpiece. But when the Undersecretary visits the Viborg mining habitat Penance at the same time as a pirate attack, Lex finds herself getting more action than she'd bargained for.||”|
- Published on 30 October 2004
|“||In this first of eight parts, Kevin Killiany looks at both sides of a Pirate Problem. The gloves come off as he rolls us into a no-holds-barred story where technology and terror tend to travel hand in hand.||”|
On 7 May 3057, Anton Kaiman’s ancient Tramp-class JumpShip, the Sanibel, arrives at a Pirate Point in the Viborg system with three DropShips, and proceeds to deploy two shuttles.
At the same time, Leftenant Alexandra "Lex" Atreus of the Florida PMM examines the PEn-NAM Viborg mining habitat (nicknamed "Penance") through a viewport while approaching in a space bus-turned-diplomatic-shuttle and unhappily ponders her situation as dispossessed escort for a diplomatic mission of Tertiary Undersecretary Bartholomew Clemments.
Aboard the Sanibel, Tatiana Himmel discusses details of her lance’s disposition with Kaiman and his aide "Iceman" Isaacs (a Spider pilot) in a strategy meeting and learns that they are going to raid a space habitat. Although markers were re-painted, a quick examination of the Sanibel gives her the strong impression that Kaiman is working for "Red Eye" Laudin, an infamous space-only pirate.
- Published on 6 November 2004
|“||As the pirates come in system, it promises to be a knock-down no-holds-barred fight. And one side plays dirty. But first, the pieces must be set across the board. Story by Kevin Killiany.||”|
During a reception at the habitat (which the locals call Penance) on the next day, Clemments’ diplomatic mission seems to cause some tension with the Viborg miners. Lex meets Woodrow "Wood" Pickering and learns some things about operations in zero-g; she also invites herself to a training ride with the local MM-1S MiningMechs, to which Wood reluctantly agrees provided that Mr. Ortega, the administrator in charge, allows it.
Meanwhile, a long range shuttle secretly deploys unidentified items on nearby asteroids.
- Published on 9 November 2004
|“||Lex gears up for some good old-fashioned training. Her life on the space station will take some getting used to. But will she have time?||”|
On 11 May, Lex discusses acquaintances with her CO, Hauptmann Gerald Michaels, when Benjamin Ortega seeks her out. After a brief interview about her wish to drive a MiningMech he has her equipped with an environmental suit for zero-g operations in vacuum instead of her regular cooling vest. She is then lectured on the specifics of deep space 'Mech operations in great detail and finally gets simulator training on Ortega's orders before she is allowed to pilot a MiningMech for real.
Meanwhile in the asteroid field, a miner from the habitat discovers and enters the mysterious long range shuttle, somewhere out of the line of sight of the habitat.
- Published on 13 November 2004
|“||Light dawns on the Florida PMM officers about the real value of Penance Station.||”|
Two days later, Lex and Michaels are shown around on the habitat. They are brought to hold L-four-six-two, an unpressurized storage area holding many containers with large amounts of valuable ores such as Germanium. The miners inform the MechWarriors that Tertiary Undersecretary Clemments intents to confiscate the ores by nationalizing them as strategically significant resources. While this is technically legal, the miners are very upset about the prospect.
Aboard their Manatee-class DropShip, Nightsky pilot Tatiana Himmel holds a briefing for her unit. They all feel uncomfortable about their assigned mission – attacking a space habitat is both dangerous and morally questionable. The battle plan calls for Himmel's lance to deploy from the Manatee, hit their objectives on the gigantic habitat, and return to the pirates' Mule-class DropShip for evacuation. The third DropShip, a Union, is to provide covering fire. The MechWarriors feel that this plan puts them at undue risk, but Himmel points out that an operation of this magnitude will prove their worth to their new employer.
- Published on 24 November 2004
|“||Kevin Killiany brings us back to Penance Station as Lex complete's her training and gets to take a walk on the outside.||”|
On 17 May, Lex passes a final test and Wood takes her out to the habitat's surface in a pair of MiningMechs. By means of a powered sled, they travel to the far end of the habitat where Wood abandons Lex and informs her that her 'Mech has been largely disabled (namely the radio and ejection systems). Lex can hear Michaels calling her on the radio, but cannot respond. A third party has launched a raid against the habitat. Wood is obviously in league with the raiders.
- Published on 29 November 2004
|“||Outside the station, in a barely functional 'Mech with the vacuum of space all around her, Lex must figure out a way to get back to the action before it's too late. Part six in Kevin Killiany's Pirates of Penance series.||”|
After some failed attempts to leave her hamstrung 'Mech, Lex begins to walk it back along the space habitat's outer hull. She can now see two DropShips moving towards the station's docking collars, one of them a Mule. Before long, Ortega arrives on another sled and they manage to establish short-range communication. He informs her about the ongoing raid and that numerous transmitters hidden among the asteroids have effectively cut off the habitat from communications. It is also revealed that hold L-four-six-two is actually worthless and that Michaels was misled into believing it would be the pirates' target, putting him out of position to defend against the real attack. Together, Lex and Ortega engage the attackers with their MiningMechs in an attempt to upset the attackers' timetable, knowing that they have little chance to ultimately defeat them.
Tatiana Himmel and her unit are somewhat unhappy to learn that other friendly 'Mechs were aboard the Mule, then alter their attack plan when defending infantry appears. Suddenly they come under attack from two MiningMechs and the fight is on. Himmel attempts to use her Nightsky's Jump Jets, but this sends her into an uncontrolled spin into deep space, effectively removing her from combat immediately.
- Published on 1 December 2004
|“||As events heat up in the "Pirates of Penance" serial, Lex still has a great deal to overcome in this spine-tingling tale of pirate raids, battle, and honor. Story by Kevin Killiany.||”|
Lex finds herself in close combat with a Grasshopper, a dedicated BattleMech twice the size of her own MiningMech. Through a combination of luck, skill and lessons learned about zero-g operations she manages to defeat the enemy 'Mech to the point where the pilot powers down and surrenders to her, moments before the MiningMech's triple drill would have penetrated the Grasshopper's cockpit glass.
- Published on 1 December 2004
|“||As the battle for "Penance" station comes to its close, for good or ill, Lex will be left in a rather painful position. But perhaps a bit of good can come from all the recent catastrophe. Story by Kevin Killiany.||”|
Drifting helplessly in space in her 'Mech, Tatiana Himmel must put up with an obnoxious miner riding after her on a powered sled. He claims her 'Mech as salvage, pointing out that she will suffocate sooner or later if she refuses to surrender to him.
In the aftermath of the attack, Lex is debriefed and learns that roughly one hundred people from the habitat left aboard the pirate DropShip with several thousand tons of tools, rations, sundries and building supplies. They deduct that the fugitives are most likely planning to refurbish a derelict habitat somewhere, presumably to create a new secret pirate base.
Anton Kaiman also discusses the mission with one of his subordinates, confirming that they intend to reactivate an old Rim Worlds Republic station. Of Tatiana Himmel's lance, only MechWarrior Jessup (previously noted to be the oldest MechJockey Himmel had ever heard of) had returned to the DropShip before it departed; being smart and fast, Kaiman realizes, is how Jessup got to be an old MechWarrior in the first place in an antiquated 'Mech such as Jessup's QKD-4G Quickdraw. He orders that Jessup be informed who he was really working for; Kaiman is tired of Laudin (who Kaiman frames to be behind his operations) "getting all the credit".
During a small informal ceremony, Tertiary Undersecretary Clemments commends Lex on her performance and, on request of the remaining grateful miners, awards her ownership of the NGS-4S-L Nightsky that had been captured by one of the miners (formerly Tatiana Himmel's).
- Axman (mentioned)
- GHR-5H Grasshopper
- NGS-4S-L Nightsky (left-handed version)
- QKD-4G Quickdraw
- Stinger (mentioned)
- MM-1S MiningMech
- Zero-g service sleds