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Breach

Shrapnel Cover (Issue 5).jpg
Breach
Story information
Author Tom Leveen
Pages 27
Type Novelette
Product Shrapnel Issue 5
Content
Era Succession Wars
Timeline 13 August 2814
Followed by Promise

Breach is a short story by Tom Leveen that was published in the fifth issue of Shrapnel on 15 June 2021.

Plot summary[edit]

MechWarrior Wade Tobias Staczyk, nicknamed Stacks, wakes up drowning. His 5th Lyran Regulars DropShip crashed into a bog on Szepes, shot down by Free Worlds League forces. Escaping with his Guillotine, he is the sole survivor, left with a damaged 'Mech and nobody knowing he lives.

Struggling with memories of his child Nassi and still worried about League forces, he encounters a group of children. Most he scares off, but one, Alice, remains, declaring him the answer to her prayers and calling him to town. Alice brings him to the small village, Zamarun, where he meets the old and respected village doctor, Reeta: a former MechWarrior with the Eridani Light Horse who left to escape war. She tries to persuade Stacks to deal with the village's problem, a lance of pirate Locusts called the Foxhounds, but Stacks, with his damaged 'Mech, resists.

Stacks eats a meal, one far better than the MREs he is used to, and speaks to Alice one more time. Finding himself overwhelmed by the resemblance to his daughter Nassi, he decides to fight.

Four Locusts are a difficult fight. The village as a whole moves, drawing the pirates out. Stacks takes one down quickly, and distracts the others from the villagers, leading them towards the very bog that took his DropShip. He jumps in, the pirates follow, and in a planned and time-precise move, he jumps back out. The remaining Locusts, now stuck, are easily destroyed.

At last, settling down by the sea with Alice, Stacks reminisces about his deceased Nassi.

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