The Discovery of Command
|The Discovery of Command|
|Timeline||22-23 November 3067|
The Discovery of Command is a short story by Harper Brand and her BattleTech debut story. It was published exclusively in the sixth BattleCorps print anthology, Front Lines, in 2016. Unlike all other stories in the book, it has not been published online via BattleCorps.
Following an overwhelming attack by Word of Blake forces on Fletcher that caught the defenders off-guard and scattered or crushed them, Adept Nicole Shelby finds herself the ranking officer in a ragtag group of survivors from the 11th Division (ComStar) as of 22 November 3067. Learning to command on the fly she leads her mixed unit, just under a Level II in strength, towards the city of Royce in hopes of sneaking aboard a DropShip there—the Stonehenge, a Mule-class civilian freigter that arrived just before the attack and was overlooked by the attackers as it is a (civilian) ComStar, and not a (military) Com Guards vessel. Shelby quickly establishes a good rapport with NCO veterans in her unit, and sends Acolyte Alex Slocum ahead into the city to scout. Enroute, the scouts warn Shelby's unit of an approaching Word of Blake scout force in BattleMechs. Under Shelby's improving leadership the scout force is vanquished, but back in Royce Word of Blake commander Precentor Kevin Dollar divines from the skirmish that a small ComStar force is approaching the city, which in turn prompts him to investigate the starport again and find the Stonehenge, which is subsequently destroyed in full view of the scouts.
When the scouts return with news that the escape DropShip was destroyed, dashing their hopes of escaping Fletcher, Shelby has enough authority over the troops (through her trusted subordinates Snelling and Slocum) to keep them from falling apart, and decides to go to ground with the intention of disrupting Word of Blake operations on Fletcher from the underground.
- unspecified battle armor