Millennium Marauder

Shrapnel Magazine 014 cover.jpg
Millennium Marauder
Story information
Author Jeremy A. Reynolds
Type Short Story
Product Shrapnel Issue 14
Universe Date 1 - 10 January 3000

Millennium Marauder is a short story by Jeremy A. Reynolds that was published in the fourteenth issue of Shrapnel.

Plot summary[edit]

On New Years Day of 3000, line worker Jarvis Clayton is tasked by General Motors to move two brand newly completed Marauder BattleMechs from the main assembly line of the Kathil Plant to vehicle storage. Nearly all of the employees of General Motors have the day off in observance of the new millennium festivities. After receiving the authorization card from the senior tech on duty, Jarvis powers up the first Marauder to move it to storage with his coworker, Zen, driving a flag truck out in front to guide him along the way.

As the Marauder is being moved, an unidentified DropShip with Capellan Confederation colors on it lands on GM's ramp and deploys a lance of light 'mechs. At the same time the senior tech on duty, Hal, activates a radio scrambler to prevent Jarvis and Zen from calling for help before setting out in a second truck to try and coerce the two in surrendering the 'mech to him. Zen and Hal get into an argument and Zen quickly realizes that a raid is in progress. He urges Jarvis to run to vehicle storage and lock himself inside to protect all of GM's Marauders that are currently in storage awaiting buyers. Zen then crashes his flag truck into Hal's truck when Hal pulls a rifle and tries to shoot Jarvis in the cockpit. Hal then shoots Zen and then puts himself in front of Jarvis in the Marauder to keep him from going anywhere, banking on Jarvis' reluctance to do anything that would get himself fired. Hal also figures that Jarvis will be reluctant to shoot the Marauder's weapons due to his condition of having asthma.

Faced with the decision to aid and abet a Capellan Raid, and potentially being branded a traitor, or going against company policy to potentially get fired, Jarvis decides to fight. He takes the Marauder out of maintenance mode so that he can first shoot at Hal in the truck, and then fire on the Capellan light lance as they come into range. Jarvis takes down an attacking Locust in his first salvo despite his asthma flaring up due to the sudden influx of heat. This dissuades the Capellan raiders from taking any more action as they're now facing a fully operational Marauder that just killed one of their own. They retreat back to the safety of their DropShip and depart while Jarvis calls for help as he runs the Marauder back to the assembly line. He finds that Zen is still alive but severely injured.

In the ensuing investigation, it is revealed that Hal was a deep cover agent for House Liao who had put into GM long ago in preparation for just this day when security responses would be at a minimum. Jarvis and Zen are hailed as heroes for stopping the theft of potentially a whole company of Marauders. Jarvis is thanked personally by General Motors' CEO and given an an assignment to get looked at by medical for his asthma before going off to basic training to become a MechWarrior. After completion of his training, he's scheduled to return to Kathil to be a part of GM's internal security forces.

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