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Commissioned: How to kill a Black Lanner

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By Colourbrand   |   
© 2014 - 2020 Colourbrand
'Cock sure and confident, Star Commander Anya Solomon, of the infamous Clan, the Jade Falcons, has attacked a border world to prove to the “freebirth” scum, the superiority of Clan kind.

Piloting her Black Lanner, the Jade Predator, she and her star of warriors, were engaging local militia and mercenary waste, that had no mechs to defend their holdings; her forces, in her narrow mind, would win the day; it was not Tukayyid but it was a nice piece of gaining pride.

To her amazement, she then detected speeding towards her, a lance of vehicles; to her disbelief and joy, they were inferior Harasser light missile hovertanks. This was going to be short, she thought.

Anya opened up with her large laser and LRM-10 System. To her disbelief, the four vehicles wove in pairs and crossed into each others path; this threw the missiles off target and they exploded out of range, hitting just swampland. The laser however struck one of the Harassers, blasting its turret off and causing it to spin and then crash into a bank of mud, hard.

Aboard the lead Harasser, Officer Brigitte Olafsdottir, knew that her machines were feeble against battlemechs – but that was on paper. She knew Clan folk were not thinkers; more brutish thug with advanced weapons. She had a plan but the Clan opening shot shook her. Brigitte cared deeply for her mercenary unit, the Norns and was already radioing the damaged and still Harasser. As she did, she ordered her crews to fire on the mech, as soon as they were in range.

Anya was ready for the “feeble attack”; that was until the three remaining Harassers’s retaliation of 36 short range missiles struck the Clan machine; despite being made of harder Ferro-Fibrous armour, the peppering explosions did damage. She was thrown about inside her machine. When she recovered, she checked for damage; one of her medium lasers was disabled and the controls for the LRM system had been destroyed.

Angered, she went after them.

Brigitte told her unit to fan away then double back, but as the driver of her machine followed the order, Brigitte asked the situation of the damaged Harasser; it was 'toothless but drivable', came the response. She ordered them to get the hell out of the fight. The damaged Harasser manages to levitate and power on but with no weapons, it was more than useless – it was a juicy target. Trailing burning smoke, the machine just lagged behind the others.

All four Harassers floored their speed, but Anya smiled because her mech was not just fast for a medium class, but also has Myomer Accelerator Signal Circuitry; engaging it made her mech sprint faster, catching up with the lance.

Brigitte had a plan in mind but she was more concerned with the damaged Harasser. She asked the crew their status over the radio.

Before the crew could explain their situation, there was a brief scream and then eerie crackling of audio; she saw the cause. The Black Lanner’s main laser and SRM system had smashed into the damaged machine; it exploded but its carcass carried on driving forward in flames, before it thudded into a swamp bank, burning.

Angered at the blatant murder, she kept her calm; rage blinded thought; if she was to kill this arrogant mechmonster, she had to think. Then one of her fellow Harassers pointed out a ridge of high mud and deep marshland ahead. That was ideal. Brigitte relayed coded messages over the radio, to which the others agreed.

She ordered the Harasser who spotted the bank to climb it; she then turned to her partnered vehicle and ordered it follow her, to traverse the swamp. As the paired hovercraft did, the remaining other Harasser went into action; it turned its turret and let off a barrage of twelve short ranged missiles at the Lanner. Anya spotted them and took evasive action, but five missiles struck her large laser and damaged her SRM system. Buffeted by the blasts, Anya tried to make an evaluation of the assault when she was jolted almost out of her harness.

The mech has grounded almost to a halt; it has hit deep mud, silt, and swamp. It was stuck. She looked in utter disbelief; getting herself back in order after such a painful halt and grappling the controls, she saw the burning wreck of the killed Harasser and the two she were pursuing, speeding off. Her mech laboured in the deep sucking mud and silt, each step reacted like it was a thousand tons.

Anya then heard communication chatter from her friends; they had been lured into traps by vehicles and were screaming their fate, as their machines were being destroyed around them.

The Star Commander now realised what had happened and what was next; she was so fixed on the single Harasser’s attack on the right, she blundered straight into a swamp – a bog; and to her horror, the two pursuing Harassers had now turned about heading towards her at flank speed.

So this was the trap, she thought, but she can tackle them. She aimed her large laser and her SRM unit. To her disbelief, the SRM unit had jammed; she had no missiles to hand. The lasers were all she had; that was enough.

Brigitte did not know the status of the Lanner’s weapons, all she saw were moving guns; she gave instructions to her partner Harasser to flank further right whilst she closed in; regardless of the weaponry, mechs have limits. The Clanner had to hit both to have a chance to win.

And that was the weakness.

Anya had both machines on target when her Beagle Active Probe detected the third Harasser coming up from the bank behind. She had to turn to engage this predator – if she was quick enough she could take out all three; she tried – but the bog slowed her down.

The banking Harasser was already in range and let off all twelve missiles. It struck the left rear torso with devastating effect; loaded missiles exploded with the strike smashing apart the back. This resulted in the LRM system splintering and ripping away the paired medium lasers that sat next to it. As the remnants of those weapons fell to the floor in flames, Anya tried to rite her mech from falling face first in mud. She was so pre-occupied in stabilising her 'mech that she ignored another Harasser speeding past her.

Then her gaze turned to one closing in, SRM turret locked onto her cockpit.

Brigitte grimace a smile as she squashed the fire button…'


The story above is based on a brief synopsis of a commission by my great friend :iconnuclear-fridge:

The concept is a Battletech story where his characters – the mercenary unit the Norns are taking on a small but lethal incursion by some Jade Falcon Clanners. He wanted a scene that emphasised why the Norns are good at defeating Clanners and Mechs when they do not possess such things.

In short – using tactics and experience. Led by a former Mech warrior, Brigitte Olafsdottir, she knows how to fight – by thinking it out.

This was initially tough; mechs are a bit of a bastard to me; :iconnuclear-fridge: gave me free reign however to come up with the image of a Clan Jade Falcon mech being attacked by Harasser hovercraft; I chose a Black Lanner because it looked mech-like and no one has done them much. But it was a pain.

The backdrop was the saviour – an alien world; I did the sky green and it worked; it highlights the explosions and the swamps very well. The spray was easy to do and the Harassers I loved working on; I added a lot of elements to make them look more like military machines.

Love to hear your thoughts :)

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anonymous's avatar
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Deviator101's avatar
Had that mech had jump jets things might've ended differently. But it didn't, superior tactics and thinking win the day.
Colourbrand's avatar
ColourbrandHobbyist Digital Artist
"superior tactics and thinking win the day."

:nod: well said sir :D
Desgar's avatar
DesgarHobbyist Digital Artist
An amazing piece of art and prose! It's like the saying goes: "size matters not." :thumbsup:
Colourbrand's avatar
ColourbrandHobbyist Digital Artist
Indeed! It's what you do with it :D

Cheers sir :D
RobinGraves2099's avatar
Totally captivating. Im sitting here on Fathers day sipping coffee impressed and intrigued. It's up to us to come together to create the next big income of Mechwarrior to the world again to capture the audience of today for a fast paced sci fi thrill ride. It's a gift for me today to see that other fans are out there creating amazing stories of the same ones I am. I say we create a think tank together compose and finance together a Movie for Mechwarrior. Books art are a great passion of all of ours now lets make a movie. 
Colourbrand's avatar
ColourbrandHobbyist Digital Artist
What great words for a great day :)

Would be nice - but some rich so-and-so would slap some writ against it.

That said, now one can stop us imagining :D

Thank you sir :D
Dick-Plant's avatar
Awesome! What are those hover tanks called?
Colourbrand's avatar
ColourbrandHobbyist Digital Artist
Harasser Light Missile Carriers :)

Thank you for your kind words :D
Dick-Plant's avatar
Nice, is this you own story?
Colourbrand's avatar
ColourbrandHobbyist Digital Artist
Sort of - the characters are :iconnuclear-fridge: but the story I constructed based on his idea how this took place.
Nevaron's avatar
both the artwork, the story, and the story IN the artwork are all great.  I am a bit of an addict with BT, one thing I never leave out of my units is the vehicles, you can never underestimate them :)  Great work.  
Colourbrand's avatar
ColourbrandHobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you sir - never underestimate one's opponent! Thank you also for the kind words on the picture and the story :D

Means a lot :D
Heretic1311's avatar
Interesting choice.
The Black Lanner was created by the Jade Falcons from experience gained fighting Inner Sphere mechs.
It appeared in no game i know of and only in minor side moments in novels.
While i dislike the fashist Clans, i do like their toys, and the Black Lanner looks very nice in my oppinion.
Colourbrand's avatar
ColourbrandHobbyist Digital Artist
Commission sir, just what the payer wanted :)

I hate the Clan concept, but BT ain't important to me - but thank you very much for taking the time to pop by and comment.

Also for sharing this :salute:
AkindioStudios's avatar
This reminds me of SEGA's game ChromeHounds' motto: "Fight in a pack, or die alone." Very nice storyline on this one my friend! Keep 'em coming! :)
Colourbrand's avatar
ColourbrandHobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you sir - I will :D and glad it evoked such memories :D!
AkindioStudios's avatar
Ah, good times... good time. :)
I-Plexiglass's avatar
I-PlexiglassHobbyist Digital Artist
Hahaha-- BOOOM!!! Oh man, way to make the fabled king of the battlefield look like a bungling fool! Holy, those freebirthers really know their tactical stuff- that Lanner didn't stand a chance from the very start. That is some
damn impressive material Nuke-Fridge is writing; the tension in the story between the hunter and the prey was awesome, and the twist in advantages between them was certainly (to me) unexpected, despite the cue in the
pic's title. So much win. :D

I've always loved it when you'd take another guy's story and add your own interpretation of it in the form of a screenshot in the midst of action. You weave in emotion, pressure, tension, and tremendous destruction most
fitting to the written situation, and the result is the terrific blend of talents you'd see in a movie or a video game. Little elements in the piece, such as the position of the vehicles, the colour scheme, the damage inflicted, and
the perspective, add so much to an already excellent story. :)

It looks easier said than done, though- this one looked like a horror to do! I can see what you mean about the mech- I haven't even attempted to try one out myself- but ho man, the result is so cool! I adore how you caught
the shifting of its weight under fire; it just nails the mech overall and makes it work really well. That lurch to the right does not look healthy!

Another great work as always, sir :D
Colourbrand's avatar
ColourbrandHobbyist Digital Artist

What great words :D

When I was given this, my brief was so - brief.

There was enough to get an idea but enough to allow my imagination room to grow. I had the idea sown up with his help. The twists were my idea - the lurch to the left as you love; the missile hits, the vehicles; I wanted to show how a bunch of weak machines could bring down a mech with plausibility.

The story I did based on his characters and ideas - I wanted to expand on that, to explain how this happened, and what is going on. I am very pleased you got that :)

The hovercrafts and the setting are great delights to me and it does set up the picture well. Even :iconnuclear-fridge: loved the colours of the Harassers; he had artist block on them now he has an idea :)

Again, thank you sir for the great support and stirring words :D
I-Plexiglass's avatar
I-PlexiglassHobbyist Digital Artist
I love how you collaborated with him to get the perfect result- two minds are, at times, better than one, and the combination just nailed it. That lurch, though-- I just adore seeing heavy objects, such as mechs,
given proper evidence of weight in a 2-dimensional (or even 3-D!) space. It's not easy to do, but when it is done right, it carries a lot of artistic clout!

I remember reading a quote from Captain Kirk in an old Star Trek newspaper comic compilation: "No weapon is obsolete if it's effective". Very true words, I believe, and they apply here so aptly! :D

WOW! You gave the creator himself new ideas for his works-- many kudos, sir, and much respect! It's not a common occurrence!

I am so glad they stir you! Cheers, my friend :D
Colourbrand's avatar
ColourbrandHobbyist Digital Artist
"No weapon is obsolete if it's effective"

Wise words sir :)
RobCaswell's avatar
RobCaswellProfessional General Artist
Gangin' up! No fair!!!! ;)
Colourbrand's avatar
ColourbrandHobbyist Digital Artist
HAHAHAH - against a clanner mech? Eer yeah!!!

Cheers matey :D
anonymous's avatar
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