Painting the Town

Painting the Town
Story information
Author Mark O'Green
Pages 10
Type Short story
Product Shrapnel (anthology)
Illustrations Jeff Laubenstein
Era (see text)
Timeline (see text)

Painting the Town is a BattleTech short story by Mark O'Green that was published in the 1988 anthology Shrapnel.

No exact time or place is given for the story; reference are made to Sho-sa (Major) Theodore "Teddy" Kurita (a rank he held from 18 May 3018 through ca. 3023), Katrina Steiner and a battle on Garrison where Steiner ground forces destroyed fifteen Kurita lances.

Plot summary[edit]

En route to Sibitsu Station through the desert on an unnamed world, a Draconis Combine armor unit discusses rumors that Theodore Kurita might be somewhere on this world when they unexpectedly come under attack from a lance of unmarked Marauders in pristine condition. None of the attackers had any patched spots on their armor although that BattleMech's armor cannot be repaired with current technology. Still, two Scorpion tanks manage to destroy one with what appears to be a lucky hit.

The protagonists, four DCMS soldiers, evacuate their Tracked APC when it is destroyed during the battle. They are joined by a fifth from another destroyed tank and make for Sibitsu Station which they find has been destroyed. It was a paint factory producing marking dyes. In the ruins, they find thousands of grenades, sprayers, and utility chemicals.

Meanwhile, two of the enemy Marauders are approaching the factory site again. Through loudspeaker broadcast they demand Sho-sa Theodore Kurita to surrender himself, at which point the soldiers remark to each other that the unknown attackers have evidently heard the same (false) rumors which place Theodore Kurita on-planet.

Using thermo-chems to create false IR images in the ruins the soldiers begin to harass the 'Mechs. Eventually, paint covering their heat sinks and sensors begins to take its toll and one Marauder is trapped in a spray mist of acidic chemicals and is disabled by corrosion. The pilot kills himself before he can be taken prisoner, and the 'Mech turns out to be totally unmarked, even inside.

The second Marauder, also with clogged heat sinks, is lured into overheating itself through weapons fire, then doused in liquid solvent and put on fire, downing it.

Eventually, they manage to get one of the damaged Marauders back on its feet and bypass its security systems. Recruit Wanabe, previously ridiculed for her dreams of becoming a MechWarrior, can pilot it, and offers the group transportation in the APC dragged behind the 'Mech.

Featured Characters[edit]

  • Sergeant Gunnar Toshira
  • Lance Corporal Edith A. Gudmansen
  • Corporal Toragi Mannimoto
  • Recruit Miko Wanabe
  • Recruit Aragi Naiku

Featured BattleTech[edit]


  • The identity of the mysterious attackers possessing "pristine" (implied to mean Star League-era technology) Marauders remains unconfirmed. Fans have theorized that the attack may either have been a covert operation by fanatical and superbly equipped but poorly trained ComStar operatives, or elements of Wolf's Dragoons with equipment newly retrieved from their secret cache (in this case it was suggested the story might take place on Dromini VI in 3021; this was declared "possible" by Line Developer Herbert A. Beas in an official post on the BattleTech forum but ultimately remains just a theory). Numerous other perpetrators have been suggested as well, including the Arkab Legions or unnamed bandits who had chanced upon Star League technology.