The Lance Killer
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|The Lance Killer|
|Author||Craig A. Reed|
|First published||20 March 2009|
|Era||Civil War era|
|Timeline||11-23 February 3065|
The Lance Killer is a short story by Craig A. Reed that was published online on BattleCorps on 20 March 2009. It was his first published BattleCorps story. Submitted before BattleCorps' new editor Jason Schmetzer accepted electronic submissions, the manuscript was repeatedly sent to BattleCorps over a time of around three years in manila envelopes, all but one of which apparently got lost in the mail.
|“||The battles for Kathil during the FedCom Civil War were among the most devastating in any war, and no cost was higher than that paid by the soldiers fighting there.”||”|
Lieutenant DeForest of the 5th Davion Guards is promoted to Captain of Beta Company by Major Anderson following the death of his predecessor, but the "company" is not even a full Lance in strength. DeForest's unit is assigned Sergeant Garmon "Lance Killer" Haig as new member, but Haig's reputation as a bad luck charm makes him unpopular with his comrades—Haig is the sole survivor of no less than four other lances. Reading Haig's file, DeForest finds that his militia lance was destroyed in an ambush by the 8th FedCom RCT just hours into the fighting; Haig was reassigned to another lance that was destroyed by an aerospace fighter strafing run, killing two, crippling a third and leaving Haig untouched. He was transferred to the 1st Capellan Dragoons where his new lance ran afoul of a minefield and enemy artillery; again Haig was unharmed. Something similar happened to his next assignment.
DeForest figures that Haig cannot be blamed for the bad luck of his four previous lances, and decides to give him a chance to prove himself. During a patrol, the lance comes upon a village where enemy forces are preparing to entrench themselves, apparently poorly guarded. Haig cautions DeForest against attacking, urging him to trust him; eventually, Haig himself attacks the village to trigger the trap. This prompts three BattleMechs to emerge from the nearby lake. Thanks to Haig's initiative DeForest's lance carries the day.
In the aftermath, Haig confides in DeForest that his intuition always warned him when his previous lances were in peril: In the first two instances he had no chance to avert what was happening, in the third he volunteered to take point only to later find out his 'Mech was too light to set off the vibrabombs that then killed his lancemates, and in the fourth he got into an argument with the lance leader, ending up a survivor where the others were killed. DeForest, now trusting Haig and his survivor intuition, promotes him to Lieutenant to lead a short lance to be formed with two newly assigned MechWarriors and tells him the "Lance Killer Haig" reputation is going to be put to rest.
- 1st Capellan Dragoons
- 1st Davion Guards (mentioned)
- 5th Davion Guards
- 8th Donegal Guards
- 8th FedCom RCT
- Chisholm Raiders
- According to the author's blog