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Primary Loading Dock, Arbiter Warship
Labrea System, Irece Prefecture
Draconis Combine
Third Quarter 3066

The elevator opened for the second time, revealing reinforcements in the form of four Striker assault Mechs. Sir Owen had needed some kind of good news. He still couldn’t believe he’d survived this long. Four lousy Mechs against two companies of Clan-tech pirates, and the Strider’s Strikers assault lance were all still standing. Granted, of course, they’d fallen down a few times already and gotten back up. Sir Owen thought to himself while adjusting his aim on a nearby King Crab, a terribly powerful Mech that was just coming in range with its twin Deathgiver large-bore autocannons. Our Mechs are mostly Clan tech, but we’ll need a lot more working for us than that to take this ship.

It was a wonder they’d made it inside to begin with. Because of the nature of the Warship, the Thunderdome Minions had been unable to activate its external defenses. They could only wait helplessly until the Striker forces had tried breaking into the internal area. That had happened less than 20 minutes ago, when the Strikers commando squad had entered the hull after breaching an escape pod ejection system. The commandoes had met little in the way of infantry that could stop them, that is until they’d reached the main command deck’ s secondary entrance. Sir Owen had only heard a 10-second soundbite of the battle that had ensued as pirate Elementals stormed the command deck. The Strikers had failed to enlist the help of their own Nova Cat ally Elementals, and the fighting had turned bloody against simple Inner Sphere battle armor units such as Achileus and Purifier armor. Fortunately, the Striker team had held their ground and prevented at least most of the pirates’ planned destruction. Once the loading bay elevator had been activated, it was a ‘simple’ matter of zero-g combat maneuvers to get inside the Arbiter’s main bay. The pirate guards, who had taken to calling the enormous prototype ship the ‘Crusher’, had stashed two companies worth of heavy and assault Mechs as a nasty surprise for any would-be invaders. Those Mechs, the fear of breaching the hull with weapons fire, and a lack of maneuvering space were main obstacles that Sir Owen, Devon Carns, Xandar Harlow, and Dana Douglas now faced.

An added ace in the pirates’ hand, some of the defending Mechs were Clan-tech, a fact that had been a relatively surprising discovery. It seemed that somehow the Minions had captured Clan technology or bartered a deal with Clan Ghost Bear forces. Even worse, the prospect that the Nova Cat clan themselves had supported the pirates bore into Sir Owen’s head. He prayed this explanation would hold no merit once further investigated.

Putting his crosshairs once again on the King Crab, but this time at the Mech’s massive ankle joints, Sir Owen let loose with his pulse and standard lasers. The Strikers were going to have to win this battle before any investigating could even begin. He prayed that things were going better for the commando team, almost a kilometer away in the main controls area.

As the King Crab tilted abruptly and upended itself onto the massive bay floor, Sir Owen’s spirits rose in the thrill of battle and hopes for success.