|Author||Thomas S. Gressman|
|Illustrations||William H. Keith|
|Era||Succession Wars era|
Sergeant Simon Lascher of the 71st Light Horse Regiment learns that their objective will be Algol, where they will engage the 1st Ariana Fusiliers. The regimental rumor mill focuses on the Fusiliers' reputation as a "hard luck" unit but the commander of the Eridani Light Horse, Nathan Armstrong warns the men and women of the 71st not to be overconfident.
As Lascher and his lance of BattleMechs make their descent to Algol's surface from their DropShip, he loses all contact with one of his pilots. Upon landing, the remaining three MechWarriors discover that they are not in their planned touchdown zone. Lascher has his lance move out, intending to link back up with the 71st at their target, a spaceport called Groffer's Toll.
Despite suffering some damage from a pair of attacking VTOLs, Lascher and his 'Mechs locate the spaceport. The rest of the 71st Light Horse has engaged the Ariana Fusiliers. Instead of moving in straightaway, Lascher notices that a pass off to the east - the Fusiliers' apparent approach route to the spaceport - also seems to be a perfect route for them to escape from the Light Horse.
Circling around and moving along the pass unobserved, Lascher's three 'Mechs find a pair of heavy BattleMechs guarding the mouth of the pass... but their pilots are busy concentrating on the spaceport fighting. The Light Horse 'Mechs close in, but they are seen by a third Capellan 'Mech and battle is joined.
Destroying one of the Fusiliers 'Mechs and immobilizing a second, the Light Horse pilots manage to drive back the third machine, but it costs Sergeant Lascher one of his own MechWarriors, lost to an ammunition explosion.
Mistakenly thinking that their escape route has been sealed off by a substantial force, the remaining Ariana Fusiliers go down fighting to the last.
After the battle, Simon Lascher reflects on the "bad luck" unit his regiment has just destroyed. He has lost two of his own pilots - one to an ammo explosion, the other to a fatal crash landing - so he does not feel that he has been very "lucky" himself.