A Distant Thunder

A Distant Thunder
Product information
Type Short story
Author Phaedra M. Weldon
Pages 44
Publication information
Publisher BattleCorps
First published 16 November 2005 (part 1)
21 February 2006 (part 2)
Era Civil War era
Timeline 15 November 3067

A Distant Thunder is an as-of-yet unfinished multi-part short story by Phaedra M. Weldon published online on BattleCorps since 16 November 2005 (part 1). Parts 1 and 2 were also published in print in the third BattleCorps anthology, Weapons Free, in 2012.

Plot summary[edit]

Part 1[edit]

published 16 November 2005
"Leave it to an ex-Wobbie to find an old Star League Atlas buried in a supposedly haunted Castile graveyard."

On Cordoba, a world contested between the Castilians and the Umayyad Caliphate, the small mercenary unit Langford Wraiths under Major Dags Honor is stranded because of a technical problem with their DropShip's computer. Looking for a solution, they obtain permission to search a scrapyard and in fact find the required files in the derelict head of an Atlas. Suddenly, they are attacked by Castilian forces who in turn are driven off by an assault 'Mech company from the nearby Umayyad capital city of Riyadh. The Umayyad commander then delivers a rather compelling "invitation" from Caliph Lise Burrill, who coerces the Wraiths into working for her: Burrill's daughter Nicole is presumed to have been kidnapped, along with the theft of a Black Box—a top-secret and absolutely vital piece of equipment for the Umayyad intelligence apparatus, keyed to be usable only by Burrill's daughter. Underscoring the precarious nature of their mission, the Langford Wraiths are informed about the Riesige Götter, a faction somehow involved who are allegedly able to devastate entire planets.

Part 2[edit]

published 21 February 2006
“You will find my daughter and bring me back my schwarzer Kasten, or I will have your ship and your 'Mechs, and you and your crew will spend the rest of your lives in the tithing mines, paying tribute to the false gods of the Nueva Castile.”

The Langford Wraiths are shown video footage from a DropShip descending on what was a colony world not far from Valencia hosting five million people, but now a cratered wasteland unable to sustain life. Then the DropShip itself was destroyed by something from offscreen; their JumpShip was allowed to leave with the footage after being warned off by the Riesige Götter.

Investigating other leads, Dags Honor and his unit uncover that the men guarding the Black Box have conspired against the Caliph. The situation devolves into a fight within the bunker, where Dags Honor is injured by a scimitar with a poisoned blade.

Featured BattleTech[edit]




Although the story is incomplete so far (ending on a cliffhanger), the damage seen on the DropShip footage combined with the story's time and place strongly implies the planet in question was attacked by the WoB Erinyes, a Newgrange-class WarShip modified to carry a superlarge mass driver weapon capable of hurling asteroids on planets.