When the Bears Left
|When the Bears Left|
|Author||Dan C. Duval|
|First published||19 September 2006|
|Era||Succession Wars era|
|Timeline||26 October 2784|
When the Bears Left is a short story by Dan C. Duval that was published online on BattleCorps on 19 September 2006. It was also published in print in the third BattleCorps print anthology, Weapons Free, in 2012.
|“||In the weeks leading up to Kerensky's Exodus, the SLDF units joining him carefully went into hiding while waiting for it to depart. Some easily made it there. Others, like the 3rd Battalion of the 442nd Regiment, had to take more care. The Bears of the 3rd Battalion stationed on Axton are carefully waiting to make their escape... but have to avoid their own brothers in 1st and 2nd Battalion. Is that unknown signal their DropShip... or their unwanted enemy?||”|
A trained Atlas pilot, Kinete Lat has been assigned a FS-9H Firestarter and finds he likes the light, nimble design. Together with the three other Firestarters of 3rd Battalion ("The Bears") he is on picket duty while his battalion, who have opted to join the Exodus, awaits their evacuation DropShip to rejoin General Kerensky's SLDF; the rest of the regiment—1st and 2nd Battalion, the Lions and the Tigers—consider this mutiny and are expected to oppose the withdrawal.
Kinete's sensors find an unconfirmed contact, but his friend Charlie who is piloting another Firestarter with an overlapping picket zone does not respond and Kinete is afraid to break radio silence. Fearing that his friend may have been overrun Kinete disobeys a recall order to investigate and finds the assault 'Mechs of 1st Battalion advancing; it turns out Charlie has betrayed 3rd Battalion and left his post.
Using his 'Mech's flamers to turn the ice into steam and cover his retreat, Kinete races towards the evacuation DropShip and, following directions from his major, eventually jumps onto the Overlord in mid-flight as it is already taking off. The rough landing in the hangar effectively destroys his Firestarter and severely damages the bulkhead, but reaffirms where his loyalties lie.
- Catapult (mentioned; main 'Mech in 3rd Battalion)
- Flashman (mentioned)
- Stalker (mentioned; main 'Mech in 2nd Battalion)