|Author||Craig A. Reed|
|Interior artwork||Brent Evans|
|First published||02 January 2010|
|Era||Succession Wars era|
|“||In our third Operation Rat story, Craig Reed takes us to Aldebaran to show another side of warfare in the Inner Sphere that we often hear about but seldom see.||”|
AFFS Subaltern Kenway Gaines is a tech, newly assigned to the "Body Snatchers", the recovery and salvage platoon of the 4th Deneb Light Cavalry aboard the Triumph-class DropShip Reaper's Folly. A scion of a MechWarrior family who failed his MechWarrior neurohelmet test, the bright but inexperienced Gaines is driven to succeed in his field instead. His commanding officer, Major Kelly, is even considering pulling him from the unit because of his inferiority complex.
On 25 August 3028, during the fighting on Aldebaran, Gaines is sent on his first real mission when the Body Snatchers are to retrieve two disabled 'Mechs (a Crusader and an enemy Catapult) from a battle site. At the recovery site, it is Gaines who detects a third enemy 'Mech. Realizing it to be a Raven, a brand-new enemy design about which little is known so far, he is eager to salvage and study it. But the recovery team first has to deal with a Capellan MechWarrior and militia reinforcements, giving Gaines a chance to prove his worth under fire.
- Infantry Sergeant Blount
- Subcommander Cal Costas
- Subaltern Kenway Gaines
- MechWarrior Mil Herrick (Raven pilot, KIA)
- Sergeant "Boomer" Ingham
- Major Kelly
- Sergeant Major Nolan Rafferty
- AFFS troopers Hills, Khost, Mays, Negijima, "Smiley"
- 4th Deneb Light Cavalry
- Redfield Renegades (mentioned, as "Renfield's Renegades")
- Warrior House Ijori
- Aldebaran Guardians (Capellan Confederation militia)
- Ferret VTOL
- Pegasus hovertank
- BattleMech Recovery Vehicle (referred to as "Hare" in the story)
- Heavy BattleMech Recovery Vehicle (referred to as "Burk" in the story)
- Unspecified cargo truck and APC
- Answer to a question on the CBT Forum
- According to the author in answer to a question on the CBT Forum, "Burk and Hare are the unit's own nicknames for the 'Mech recovery vehicles they have. Burks are the Heavy 'Mech recovery vehicles (The ones that can carry up to 100 ton 'Mechs), while the Hares are the regular 'Mech recovery vehicles. (can carry up to 60 ton 'mechs)".