Product information
Type Short story
Author Jason M. Hardy
Pages 23
Publication information
Publisher BattleCorps
First published 10 May 2005
Era Civil War era
Timeline 12 May 3064
Followed by Cockroaches

Ants is a short story by Jason M. Hardy that was published online on BattleCorps on 10 May 2005. It was also published in print in the second BattleCorps print anthology, First Strike in 2010.

Teaser text[edit]

Jason Hardy returns to bring us a side of battle rarely seen--mercenary groundpounders fighting among the swaggering titans of the battlefield more commonly known as "'Mechs".

Plot summary[edit]

On 12 May 3064, the newly-minted Death's Head Mercenary Corps is vanquished when their first mission against the militia on Halfway goes awry. The carnage following the catastrophic turn of events mesmerizes Pwyll Lankarr; he is rescued by a fellow trooper but subsequently finds himself in a slightly psychotic state. As it turns out, Pwyll is highest ranking of the unit's four survivors: himself, Sera, and the ever-bickering Thurl and Vessla.

Before long they find that shifting battle lines have stranded them behind enemy lines. The four troopers are apparently considered insignificant by the BattleMechs and tanks around them in a fashion Pwyll likens to ants on a sidewalk that may or may not be stepped on, their fate inconsequential.

Under Pwyll's command the group eventually commandeers an abandoned militia APC which they use to move back to the frontline. They bypass the enemy but friendly troops refuse to even respond to their radio calls. A "friendly" Raijin opens fire on the APC, forcing them to abandon their vehicle. When the Raijin is threatened to be overrun by militia forces, Pwyll identifies a Falconer that poses a critical threat to it. To prove they're friendly, and also to fulfill their mercenary contract, the four pretend to attack the legs of the Falconer to draw its attention. The ruse works, enabling the Raijin to down the Falconer. The tide of battle turns again and the enemy militia retreats, but Pwyll is still ignored by either side (an advancing friendly tank almost runs him down) and gets the feeling that he is still alive only because he is too insignificant to die.

Featured BattleTech[edit]