|First published||12 February 2006|
|Era||Clan Invasion era|
|Timeline||17 August 3059|
|“||I can see him coming at me. I am not afraid...||”|
Two children, True and Pike, are travelling between two closely-located mining towns on the planet Salur, intent on buying sweets from the store in Pleasant using money that True stole from his stepfather. The two towns - Carver's Rest and Pleasant - are located close enough together to be an easy walk, and the boys are intent on spending their loot in Carl's, the general store in Pleasant. As they leave Carver's Rest - intent on travelling to Pleasant and back before True's mother, a schoolteacher in Carver's Rest, is aware of their departure - the two boys pass four militia Po tanks parked on Main Street.
As the boys approach Pleasant, they realise there's far more dust in the air than they would normally expect, and as they move down the alley between two large warehouses towards Carl's, they spot bundles lying on the ground of Main Street. Pike stops True before the two of them walk onto the street, and they spot a Firestarter BattleMech walking up and down the street; they notice that the paintjob on the 'Mech is inferior and poorly done, and realise that someone has painted the 'Mech in an attempt to make people believe its a part of the First Oriente Hussars. As they watch, Carl attempts to take cover, running from the remains of his store, only to be spotted and set on fire by the Firestarter... and they realise that the bundles on the street are dead people.
The two boys run cross-country back to Carver's Rest, realising that their home will be the next target - and as they reach the outskirts of town, they see the Firestarter rounding the corner of the main road, on approach to the town. Determined to try and give time for Pike to get to the center of town and warn people, True enlists his help in getting his stepfather's vehicle running - his stepfather being the driver of a large fuel bowser. Urging Pike to run once the tanker has been started, True drives the tanker on a suicide run against the Firestarter, determined to buy time for Pike to save everyone - including True's family.