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When we returned to base, we were shocked to discover the extent of the damage. Gamma Galaxy had taken the brunt of the fighting, and ceased to exist as a cohesive unit; barely enough units remained to form two provisional Clusters, of which Galaxy Commander Mikel Furey took personal charge. The Bronze Keshik and the 7th Battle Cluster were largely intact, so they formed the core of the provisional Clusters; bur even they were placed on what was referred to as "active reserves;" that is to say, they were not assigned as a main battle unit, but would act as a reserve for any unit that needed it. The 11th Battle Cluster was placed in charge of guarding the supply base; and the remains of the 16th Battle Cluster were pulled back for light garrison duty. Epsilon Galaxy moved out to take our place in the main line.

More relevant to our immediate situation, Star Colonel Dwilt Radick had been severely injured, and had to be medivacced to the medical dropship. Of SuperNova Second, the only warriors capable of returning to combat were Grell, Kelly, Edora, Nova Commander Michael, Patrick, and Tara, in addition to myself. About 60% of the Elementals survived, including Senior Point Commander Klen Kerensky.

SuperNova Third was the hardest hit. Nova Captain Bob survived, but his Mech was shot out from under him; Nova Commander Llewellyn was severely injured. SuperNova Command was also heavily damaged; being the target of six Exterminators in a surprise attack is not conductive to your continued good health! Bob and I jointly managed what was left of the Cluster. There were no arguments about who was boss; whoever was handy when a decision was needed, simply made the decision.

Curious about our opponents, I reviewed the satellite telemetry. To my surprise, the opponents that attacked the 16th Battle Cluster numbered only 18 -- barely more than a trinary! They were elements of the 34th Division of the 9th Army, under Precentor XI Aladin Shakur. The exact units were as follows, with a brief weapons summary:

3/34th Alpha

Highlander: Gauss, LRM 20, 2 ML, 3 JJ, 12 hs
Crockett: 2 ERLL, 2 SRM6, LB-10X, 2 SL, 3 JJ, 30 hs
Black Knight: PPC, 2 LL, 4 ML, Beagle, 20 hs
Black Knight: PPC, 2 LL, 4 ML, Beagle, 20 hs
Thug: 2 PPC, 2 SRM6, 36 hs
Banshee: Gauss, 2 ERPPC, SRM 6, 4 ML, 2 SL, 28 hs

6/34th Alpha

Champion: LB-10X, SRM6, 2 ML, 2 SL, 10 hs
Flashman: 3 LL, 5 ML, AMS, Flamer, 30 hs
Flashman: 3 LL, 5 ML, AMS, Flamer, 30 hs
Thug: 2 PPC, 2 SRM6, 36 hs
Guillotine: LL, SRM6, 4 ML, 4 JJ, 25 hs
Guillotine: LL, SRM6, 4 ML, 4 JJ, 25 hs

5/34th Alpha

(unit attacking Dwillt Radick)
6 x EXT-4D Exterminator: LRM10, 4 ML, SL, AMS, 20 hs
(All six were identical)

After about four days of rest and refit, we received an emergency combat summons. Hastening to a data terminal, I logged in, and received our battle orders.

At this point, we had maybe 20 operational Mechs, with MechWarriors to pilot them, and about 10 consolidated points of Elementals. We decided that I would

 

Stay tuned for the conclusion to this exciting battle -- and Adrian's final adventure on Tukayyid!

 
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