|Author||Patrick S. Tomlinson|
|First published||21 January 2013|
|Era||Civil War era|
|Timeline||17 May 3064|
|“||After a routine jump, a civilian JumpShip from the Lyran Alliance comes under attack from an unknown enemy.||”|
Rematerializing after a jump out of the Kelenfold system en route to Tharkad, the Tramp-class JumpShip Hornblower immediately comes under attack. With no clue as to what is going on or who is attacking, crew member Lenna enters the cockpit of a Shadow Cat BattleMech in the maintenance bay upon hearing the alarm and then witnesses weapons fire killing her crewmates and eventually tearing the Hornblower apart around her. She moves the 'Mech clear of the wreckage and witnesses how escape pods from the Hornblower are deliberately destroyed by the unknown attackers.
Consigned to either freezing to death, suffocating, or being killed by the unknown enemy, Lenna angrily lines up the 'Mech's weapons against a damaged section of the enemy JumpShip and triggers an Alpha Strike that, against all odds, actually succeeds in breaching the fusion reactor containment on the enemy vessel, destroying it.
She ends up drifting in space in the damaged 'Mech, wondering if she will die of suffocation or hypothermia.
- Tramp-class JumpShip Hornblower
- unspecified JumpShip described as armed, but not armored like a WarShip and as "patched" (apparently a Jolly Roger)
- Escape Pods
- Shadow Cat 'Mech
- It remains unclear in which system the Hornblower was destroyed, who attacked her or why.