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I

Kirikahmed Wastelands
Zebeneschamali, Lyran Alliance
2, January, 3065

All she could feel at that time was fear, and the pungent chill of loss.

"We have no time, Leah!" Her bodyguard yelled. The crowd around them was getting thicker, and bruises from being tossed around marked their skins. Behind them, a few militia soldiers ran trough the mass of scared people, clearly searching for someone. Their raised weapons were like omens of a terrible future. Looking like someone who, somehow, felt to have failed his duty, the bodyguard turned again at her. "Just run!"

He put a piece paper in her trembling hands and pushed her away from him.

"Luca…" She whispered.

"I'll buy you some time. Now go!"

Without knowing what to do, she simply let her best friend go, against the flow of moving bodies, into the arms of their pursuers. Leah tried to say something, to do something, but she simply got washed away by the crowd, unable to turn back, pressed along with it. As she ran, she felt the tears running down her face, watering the hood of her vest, and bringing a salty taste to her lips.

The skimmers were waiting in the edge of town, near the last of the short and sturdy buildings. Leah dry swallowed as she saw them, on the other side of that sea of scared people running from the firefight. The sound of explosions and gunfire was unmistakable, now that she cleared the narrow streets. She took a deep breath and started to yank herself through the crowd. She was pushed, knocked, and almost thrown into the ground, were she would be easily be stepped on to death. By some impossible feat of will, Leah found a way to cross the flow, and saw herself near the skimmer crews, cleared of the confusion.

The men looked at her with a serious grin. Why shouldn't they? The other people knew better then to come close and face the TK assault rifles they wielded. Also, covered from head to toes in delicate and ornamented vests, she looked pretty much like any local girl, and not the noblewoman from a distant world. Still, they didn't do or say anything. They waited for something, so she gave them the paper.

One of the men signaled, and Leah followed him to the nearest vehicle. Once safe inside, she used the moment to catch her breath. Only then she noticed she felt nothing. Just the hot dizziness of someone caught in events bigger than herself. Not shame or sorrow for leaving her friend to die, only emptiness. Hot and painless emptiness.

Her mind drifted into bleakness, as if rocked by the gentle drift of the skimmer. She was safe, among allies, now. Everything would…

The sudden stop brought her back into reality. There was screaming outside.

"Wait here." Said the man in front of her, before opening the door and disappear from slight. Leah heard more yelling, and then a soldier peeked inside, and asked her to leave the vehicle.

A cold gust of wind made her vests dance, and her flesh shake, as she moved again under the cloudy sky. Her would-be protectors were nowhere to be seen, and frenzied noises echoed all around. A huge column of skimmers and refugees on foot grew from a nearby roadblock, disappearing into the distance. Military vehicles were parked in the snow covered plains alongside the road, and armed men moved all around. On the roadblock itself, little more than a wooden fence, two BattleMechs stood vigilant. More than the rifles of the militia, it where those two 30-ton machines that impeded the crowd of going rampant with resentment.

Leah recognized both machines as UrbanMechs. It was impossible to go wrong, even for someone who barely knew war machines, like herself. The egg-shaped hull, standing over two legs, with no arms, and the muzzle of an autocannon noticeable on its right flank, was oddly peculiar, and almost pathetic-looking, wasn't due to the fact of the thing being 7 meters tall. There was also the symbol of a clenched fist painted on their legs. The symbol of House Steiner. But those people weren't line troops. No. Their antiquated equipment and harsh demeanor signalized them as loyalist militias. Little more than bandits.

They were herding the refugees. One Leutnant was holding a picture, and looked at the people his men brought to him. Only young women, Leah noticed. Then a militia soldier grabbed her by the wrist and pushed her to the Leutnant. He looked back and forth between the picture and Leah's face, but seemed somehow undecided.

"Put her with the others."

Leah was then thrown into a group of other young women. As she looked at their faces, she noticed they were all like her; good looking with brown hair and eyes. That took away any doubts that might have existed. They were searching for her. Somehow, though, they didn't seem to be very sure about what she really looked like. A group of militia soldiers gathered nearby, holding their rifles.

"In line, troops!" The commanding Sergeant yelled. The horror of what was about to happen petrified Leah with shock. They were decided to kill every girl that looked like her in any way, just to be sure they got the right person. The man kept giving orders, as the people all around were screaming with fear. "Aim!"  

One of the soldiers of the firing squad seemed uneasy.

"Sergeant… This doesn't seem right…"

"You'll do what you're told, soldier!" The commanding officer was almost red with rage, oblivious to the cold air around. "Now back in line!"

Even that solider obeyed. In the meantime, Leah made her mind. Now that all was lost, she couldn't allow all those girls to get killed because of her. She swallowed her fear, and decided to surrender herself.
Part II ---- [link]
Part III --- [link]
Part IV ---- [link]
Part V ----- [link]
Part VI ---- [link]
Part VII --- [link]
Part VIII -- [link]

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First of all, I have to thank ~GoldenArbiter for his help. He helped me with my English and made an awesome job with the edition of this text, and even come up with a few ideas that were, honestly, better than mine.
Thank you, man! I don’t even have to words to tell how grateful I am! :)

Now, this story…
I had to do something to keep my practice in writing fiction, and I wanted to do another BattleTech story. Then, a few weeks ago, I saw the new Tomb Raider trailer and decided to make something about a pretty brunette girl. I decided to make it an origin story for one of the mercenary legions of the saga I made with my brother, when we were kids, and… This is the result. Hope you enjoy.

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NATIONS AND LOCATIONS

Inner Sphere --------------------- [link]
Federated Commonwealth ---- [link]
Lyran Alliance --------------------- [link]
Rim Collection --------------------- [link]
Zebeneschamali ------------------ [link]

BATTLETECH

Catapult ------- [link] (kickass artwork by ~flyingdebris [link] )
Daimyo --------- [link] (the redesign by ~Eriance is the first in this bunch [link] )
Locust ----------- [link] (drawing by ~shaztalion [link] )
Packrat ---------- [link] (3D model by ~Karyudo-DS - [link] )
Raven ------------ [link] ( *Shimmering-Sword made this fancy drawing [link] )
UrbanMech ------ [link] (artwork by *Mercenary-Artist [link] )
Wolfhound ------- [link] (impressive MechWarrior4 redesign by *Mecha-Master [link] )

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NOTE: I do not own BattleTech, this is just a fan creation.
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:iconstridersstrikersteam:
StridersStrikersTeam Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
Awesome job guys. I saw the TK reference immediately! Got that in my first story - though my first story is awful compared to this (written in high school, yikes). GoldenArbiter thanks for helping out to make this one happen. I'm enjoying it so far and have read both the second and third parts. :D Good action scene. I don't do Mech fights often so its refreshing for me to see. :D
Reply
:icons7alker117:
S7alker117 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011  Professional Writer
Ah, yes. I use the TK reference a few times. I also used it in my first BT story, back in highschool. And unfortunatelly, I share your opinion about earlier material with my own. I actually made a full 120-strong A4 page novel. But it was really bad. To be honest, I believe this short is my best work yet. :)

Yeah, ~GoldenArbiter was one of the reasons why this was possible. He was awesome to help me with my poor English. :)
And thank you. Writing Mech fight scenes is always so fun. Cant stop making them. :D
Reply
:iconstridersstrikersteam:
StridersStrikersTeam Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
I always find it ironic that the TK was so common in the Gray Death books and then there is no single canon piece of material showing just what the hell it looks like. On the new website, I think my newest stories The Counter and Reboot are probably my best. Before that was maybe The Skill of One. :P Sorry my Counter and Reboot stories aren`t finished but the people who put up the site left them linked. I gotta change that before too many people see it!
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:icons7alker117:
S7alker117 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2011  Professional Writer
Yeah, true. I always think them as something similar to the modern UMP SMGs, but, in true honesty, its as if they were just forgotten. In any instance, I use them a lot in my fiction. A good hint about my first BT novels. ;P

Oh. I really hope you finish them, for us all to read.
Do you have stories around? In DA, or in your site? I would love the read them. :)
Reply
:iconroguebaron:
RogueBaron Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very nice!

Great story you have. Most of the time a Battletech story is told from the cockpit of a mech and seldom from the human perspective. I really enjoy this first part.
Reply
:icons7alker117:
S7alker117 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2011  Professional Writer
Thank you so much for your words.

I actually notice I use to make these out of the cockpit. The other one I have around is also about a person who isnt a mechwarrior. ;P

I really like to explore the human psyche, and doing it with the machines around, so the main characther can give a good idea about how big and powerfull the machines are, seemed a interesting enough to do just that. :)
Reply
:iconulquiorra9000:
Ulquiorra9000 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Sounds like a pretty good approach to story-making :)
Reply
:icons7alker117:
S7alker117 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2011  Professional Writer
Thank you. :)

I try to do my best.
Reply
:iconulquiorra9000:
Ulquiorra9000 Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Pretty vivid start, and I like the hunted feel that this has. Just what will happen to Leah now?
Reply
:icons7alker117:
S7alker117 Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011  Professional Writer
You do have the links for the rest of the story in the beggining of the description. :)

If they dont work I can send them to ya.

And thanks for the nice words. :)
Reply
:iconulquiorra9000:
Ulquiorra9000 Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
You're welcome! I saw the links, don't worry. I just say things like "What will happen next?" to show that I'm interested in what's coming up next, and that I like the suspense.
Reply
:icons7alker117:
S7alker117 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2011  Professional Writer
I did my best to end each chapter with a suspenseful tone, directly and indirectly. And reading your comment makes me very happy, knowing that, at least, part of my attempts were well-done. :)

Thank you so much for your comments and interest.
Reply
:icongoldenarbiter:
GoldenArbiter Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011
I don't know why, but I still think I got some of the grammar wrong.......
Reply
:icons7alker117:
S7alker117 Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011  Professional Writer
Maybe. But I would be guitly of that, too. :/

Lets hope that any remaining mistakes are just typos and small things. :P
Reply
:icongoldenarbiter:
GoldenArbiter Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011
but the small things are what make the story....
Reply
:icons7alker117:
S7alker117 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2011  Professional Writer
Indeed.
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