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Coordinate Y10

Western Passage
Merutian Highlands
Labrea, Labrea System
April 11, 3038

In a blast of cold air and several cries of protest, the pneumatic pump forced the damaged door open. No longer providing its crew the illusion of safety it once granted, the disabled Pack Rat scout vehicle had reached its final resting place. With a broken axle and cracked engine shielding, the 20-ton scout vehicle was likely to fold in on itself long before any desperate salvage crew came across it. Crawling out headfirst through the mostly-open door, the Pack Rat’s crew emptied themselves into the blinding vastness that was known as the Western Passage. The lonely pair quickly gathered their weapons and communications equipment from the dying vehicle and cautiously moved several meters towards the surrounding glen of coniferous trees. The shorter of the two men, the commander, motioned for the other to scout the area while handing him a large metal box full of sensing equipment. The taller man disappeared into the trees to the north, moving quickly while staying close to the ground in an attempt to hide from any possible prying eyes. The shorter man paused in his walk towards the towering pines, scanning the area for a good lookout point Then he trudged his way up onto the nearest snow-capped point, one of the many that pockmarked the surface of the Passage’s jagged terrain.

Glancing across the mountains as quickly as he could, pirate commander Drake Cully attempted to assess the situation. After just one and a half hours of light skirmishing with the Llana’s Breakers mercenary unit, the Kurakoa pirates were faring poorly. The Breakers’ team of mercenary bodyguards had reacted quickly to the Kurakoa pirate’s raid, fending off the light attack and chasing the pirate attackers away. Luckily, Drake’s team of pirates had been able to trick the Breakers into a hastily-devised trap. The trap had been an attempt to weaken the Breakers’ scouting ability, but the ensuing battle had unfortunately proven otherwise. Due to bad luck and a series of small mistakes by Drake himself, the pirates’ situation had quickly gone from bad to worse.

Drake had never believed he could go far as a commander. Standing in the icy breeze, sporting a heavy, off-white parka and gray, double-layered trousers, his thoughts traced back to his own past in a search for an answer. Why has my life come down to this? The product of an abusive father and strong-willed mother, Drake had been raised to fend for himself. He had taken to a life of crime while still in his teens, quickly moving up in the criminal underworld on his own backwater planet. Before long he had joined a band of pirates. And now I am here wasting time while my team is in danger. His mind raced back to the situation at hand. There were more important things to consider than the meaning of life and his past choices.

From the very beginning, Drake had underestimated the mercenary group. Llana Huxley’s Breakers had not only escaped the pirate trap, but the little-known commander and her mercenaries had successfully reinforced their scouts with additional `Mechs. Drake didn’t have any options left. With time and an organized enemy working against them, the pirates would have to evacuate. Today’s loss was going to be the worst the group had suffered since Drake had taken command last year.