Zavijava mining warehouses, june 3015: Nobody expects the ...

Visibility was horrible, as snow and ash were blown around in a force eight gale. David was totally dependent on his Spiders sensors, and he had to count himself lucky: the Spider was a true scout mech and as such its sensors performed much better than those of his lance mates.

"BlackBelt, Jester, fan out", he ordered, "we should be close to the warehouses."

According to the Free World League liason the warehouses should be full of preprocessed molybdeum. Their mechs should be able to carry about 7 tons, enough to make some mech producer very happy, if the warehouses were full and the guarding units as expected.

David moved carefully fowards as the Locust and Stinger moved to the flanks. The Rocky followed him closely. That would be a problem if it came to a fight: the ash, wind, and snow blocked the lance most powerfull weapon, the range of the Trebuchet.

"I've got a contact", Galil reported, "stationary and sizable."

"Contact two," Cato interjected from his Locust, "moving ... and shooting at me ... going eva-", static erupted from Davids comm.

"Regroup to Rocky," David yelled, as he took a huge leap towards the BlackBelts last position. He had to trust the Spiders jump capacity to foil his opponents targetting computer. As he landed he almost collided with a retreating Locust, its right arm and torso totally gone, and laser scars on its cockpit and left leg. Suddenly a shape closed in, a Hunchback letting loose a full barrage. Luckily the Spiders arrival seemed to have confused the sensors, as all fire went between the Spider and the Locust.

David thought quickly about his options: he could tag the Hunchback so the others would get a fireing solution even in this storm; riscy, but his mech speed should keep him outside the fire arc of the Hunchback. Then his sensors warned him of another mech. He jumped immediately. 'Centurion' his sensors told him even as a long range missile group tried to follow his jump path, but was dispersed by wind and a sudden course change.

The Hunchback followed but was waited on by the Rocky. The results however were less than impressive, only a handfull of missiles hit. The Hunchback, however, did not press on, but returned into the swirling snow.

"Keep a lock on those mechs, Jester, you tag the Hunchback, I'll mark the Centurion", David hoped that there were only two mechs, as any further opponents would shift this from 'very difficult' to 'forget it'. Again he cursed the weather: with clear skies his lance should win from those two mechs, but with the limited visibility their speed was no match for an AC/20 and AC/10.

The next minutes they played a game of cat and mouse with the Steiner mechs and the four trucks they were guarding. Although they managed not to get hit by the Hunchbacks autocannon, the Rocky was hit several times by laser and AC/10 shells. In return they damaged the Hunchback, but with the Centurion guarding it rear they were not even close to taking it out.

During a lull in the fighting David took stock of the situation: any of his mechs would be taken out of action by an AC/20 hit, and even a semi-lucky AC/10 hit would be to much. He signaled 'Another time' to the Steiner units, and retreated. Deborah would not be happy.