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Endless War

Endless War cover.jpg
Endless War
Product information
Type Novella
Author Randall N. Bills
Pages 81 (EPUB edition)
Cover Artwork David Kerber
Publication information
Publisher MechaPub Inc
First published 26 November 2019
Era Succession Wars era
Timeline 5 April 2997 - 11 September 2998
Series MechWarrior 5: Origins
Preceded by Vision's Hunger
Followed by Contested Dreams

Endless War, subtitled A MechWarrior 5 Origins Series Story, Installment 3, is an original BattleTech novella penned by Randall N. Bills, offered as a free tie-in product supporting the MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries computer game.

It was originally released in electronic format on 26 November 2019, before being also included in an electronic omnibus collection on 12 December 2019, two days after the game's launch. The novella was later re-released as part of The Mercenary Life anthology released 12 April 2021, with an additional author postscript.

Plot summary[edit]

Ryana Campbell is a Captain in the 21st Striker Regiment of the elite Eridani Light Horse, a skilled tactician and strategist who prefers to ward her company from the front, resisting promotion to avoid a command position outside of her Highlander BattleMech's cockpit. Campbell is tapped to welcome the latest arrivals to the unit at their present garrison post on Hesperus II defending the mammoth Defiance Industries, ensuring the promising trio from the Grave Walkers - Dawson Clemont and husband and wife team Nikolai Mason and Chloe Reed - fall under her direct command.

While she integrates the new arrivals, Hesperus II comes under attack by Free Worlds League raiding companies probing the planet's defenses. Though outnumbering the Marik troops, the lighter and much faster League forces easily outpace the heavier Light Horse elements on world with their Social General liaison officer Leutnant-General Wilhelm Mouttheim demanding Light Horse commander Colonel Charles Winston to actively hunt them down, with Campbell publicly vocal in her opposition. As the Light Horse unsuccessfully attempt to catch the Marik raiders with further Marik DropShips en route to the planet, Ryana unbelievably finds Chloe Reed meeting with man calling himself Sebastian Spears to investigate a mysterious LosTech Phased-Array Sensor System, departing as quickly as he arrived.

As the Free Worlds League raid escalates into the Eleventh Battle of Hesperus II, Mouttheim threatens a contract breach if the now heavily outnumbered Light Horse do not immediately advance and attack the Marik landing zones head-on, leading Ryana to angrily berate Colonel Wilson that would it be suicide. Quietly asking her what she would do instead and with Chloe silently encouraging her, Ryana lays out a detailed plan to use artillery to seal the main pass between the Marik DropShips and the Defiance factory, trapping the initial advance troops and triggering the remainder into retreat. Impressed at first hand evidence of her reputed strategic talent, Wilson puts Campbell in command of the entire offensive as Operations Commander at HQ. While initially disheartened to be removed from direct combat, with Chloe taking field command of Ryana's company, when her plan succeeds perfectly Ryana comes to realize that she can do so much more to protect her fellow Light Horse from this place than she can ever do in the field.

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