The sand settles and I finally see the giant silhouette in front of me… “damned…” I thought, “they missed.”

“Godddamnit Sersai, get your shit together!” I yell over the secure channel at my artillery officer. I simply must replace the dumb bitch and find a new Longbow squad leader; she’s been missing more than hitting of late, and when she hits, she hits lesser targets. Nothing to be done about it now …time to go to work.

Before the chastened lieutenant can mumble her apologies I kick the radio over to the general channel; “So, a tough bastard, eh?” I say, hitting the fast charge on my heavy lasers, leaving the two massive plasma cannon to cycle to full power normally.

“Oh, yes, ah’m not quite so fhuckin’ stupid as me squad mates ” the massive fighting robot, a Clan Kodiak, straightened to its full height of eighty-five feet, it’s paint and markings scarred, it’s armor dented and scratched, but no real visible damage. My sensors confirmed that – at least the front of the beast – had suffered only negligible damage from the artillery barrage. Some of his allies hadn’t been so lucky, I note. One Kodiak was down, two lighter mechs burning in the background, a horde of foot soldiers torn to pieces and scattered… The light mechs and the infantry mean dick to me, fucking Sersai fired early letting this big bastard through.

“That’s not saying much you son of an infected dog,” I moved, my much lighter but heavily armed Marauder Mod IVc accelerating rapidly to flank speed as the Kodiak’s heavy auto cannon’s lit up shredding the ground I’d just vacated.

“Sphere bastard!” the clansman screamed, “I am Delarian Spachhed of the Black Clan, who do I have the honor of killing today?” The lumbering beast moved with me, trying to get ahead of my flanking maneuver, the clansman turning and rotating his mech’s torso expertly to keep up with my run. I could see immediately that he’d catch me shortly…and I couldn’t take too many hits from that 605mm cannon of his.
I set my smaller, 320mm autocannon on automatic track and engage, its ball joint pivoting as the Iron Shield targeting radar locked onto the Kodiak, the greatest threat on any field of battle, and the only threat nearby. Joints, heads, any spot of armor over fifty percent damage, the fire control computer would automatically lock on and engage these targets, unfortunately, I’d run out of time.

Bitchin’ Betty started screeching in my helmet; “TARGET LOCK, TARGET LOCK, TARGET LOCK!” That Kodiak driver had managed to catch me in my turning run and that damned big gun was about to open up on me. Naturally, that was the least of my problems, I may have been at extreme range for it, but Betty – bless her nagging soul – almost in the same instant started alternating “TARGET LOCK!” with “Vampire! Vampire! Vampire!” Inbound missiles! The whole time the damned clansman is screaming obscenities about my heritage over the radio.

My holographic helmet display flared twelve red triangles with trajectory indicators pointed right at me. My fire control systems automatically deployed chaff and flares to distract the missiles, and I could hear the twin six-gun turrets of my close in weapons system spin up and start chattering off 40mm rounds just as my autocannon started firing. I on the other hand had to fire my jump jets myself.

Jump jet is a misnomer, in smaller medium and light mechs, yeah, it’s a turbojet. But in my eighty ton machine, jets would be most inadequate. Two solid fuel boosters fired, accelerating me straight up at nearly seven g’s shoving me back into my chair and activating my g-compensators. My fire control computer maintained target on the Kodiak, tracking and firing on it until my autocannon could not depress any further. Explosions rocked the Kodiak, armor fell off in huge chunks as I rose out of range of that damned big gun. My anti-missile defense had either spoofed or destroyed his salvo – that was luck, not the norm.

Four steerable ramjets fired next. A modification found only within my army. Limited of course, as heavy mechs fly like bricks, but bricks with several hundred thousand pounds of thrust still fly for a good minute. A full flight of heavy Marauders approaching at attitude tends to make one’s enemies think, and often makes them run, even when they’re running heavies.

Unlike the Kodiak, which mounts its heaviest weapons in its torso, the Marauder mounts its main weapons, two heavy pulse lasers and two heavy particle projector cannon in arms that rotate on a free floating ball joint, powered by their own polymolecular musculature servos, giving then nearly a free range of movement obstructed only by the mechs torso.

I turned, flying over my apparently stunned opponent. The sensors tracking my target flashed “FIRE” in my helmet reticle and I stabbed down on the primary weapons relay, unleashing hell. The heavy pulse lasers and particle cannons fired straight down into the big Kodiaks shoulder joints burning through the missile launchers, detonating the remaining missiles and blowing the mechs head and cockpit clean off. Then my third solid rocket booster blasted a stream of star bright fire straight into the gaping wound that was the Kodiak’s neck joint and through to the reactor core. My Marauder blasted up and out of range of the colossal resulting explosion. “I am Kelvin Delvarian of House Sungto, and today is just not your day!”