The Getaway.

There are people like us in every army that has ever existed. We're the ones who do the missions that don't exist, the blackest of black-ops: Assassinations, bombings, getting agents in and out of enemy territory, I've done it all.

Going up against the Clans was no big deal, lest not when the mission started. We had to go in and blow up a power plant on a planet in the Clan Jade Falcon occupation zone. The plant powered the planetary radar network. We take it down, the strike-force comes in and hit's the garrison, keeps them busy, we grab the plans from the Mech factory and run for it.

Piece of cake.

We landed by shuttle just after dawn local time. There where 5 of us then. Dave had his snipers rifle, Hailey, Mark and Steve where the assault team for the power plant, and I had to get the plans from the factory.

It took us two hours to get into position, then Dave did his part, took out the sentry's without them ever knowing what happened. Hailey, Mark and Steve got in, planted the C-90 and we levelled the place.

We spent the rest of the day hiding from patrols out looking for us. The Claners may have good Mech's and all, but they're not that smart when it come to looking for people: We stayed in the city, hold out in an old warehouse, while they searched for us in the woods a few clicks away.

We got into position just as the strike-force DropShips started their decent. The Claners ran off the meat the Mech's while we made for the factory.

This was when it all went wrong, very wrong.

Intel was off, big time. The Claners had a front-line Cluster on planet, not just a regular garrison forces. The raiders never stood a chance: They where ripped to pieces.

To try and salvage something from the mission, I made for the factory. Getting inside was no big problem: all the workers had scattered when the attack sirens went off.

I got to the main office. The safe was behind the desk: the combination had not been changed since before the invasion. The plans where on data disks: Timber Wolf, War Hawk, Mad Dog and Harbinger, four of the most common Clan Mech's.

Just as I was closing the safe, a Tech cam in.

He may have been a bondsman, a Fed-Com citizen who had got mixed-up in the invasion. It didn't mater; he went down, two 9mm rounds in the chest. He was dead before he hit the ground. Do I feel bad? No, not any more: I've had to kill people for les important reasons than operational security.

I had to make a run for it. Two guards tried to stop me when I reached the gate. They went down under a hail of TK auto-rifle fire from the rest of the team. Dave had the hover skimmer ready and raring to go by the time I reached the trees. The searchlights in the guard towers flicked on, turning night into day. I hit the deck as heavy machinegun fire chewed-up the ground around me. Steve hit back with the twin 50's on the back of the skimmer. The light in the first guard tower went out as Dave it with a shot from his sniper-rifle. I jumped aboard the skimmer and Dave put his foot down, leaving the factory far behind.

It was a five-minuet high-speed trip from the factory to where the shuttle was hidden, and we had company for most of it.

A point of Elementals moping up after the raid tried to cut us off. Dave ploughed straight threw them, Steve trying to find weak spots in their armour with the twin 50's. One of the Elemental jumped onto the side of the skimmer. I grabbed an Aero-jet pistol from the deck and let him have it in the face.

The shell penetrated the visor before it detonated, sending the mush that had been the Claners head out the same hole the bullet had entered, and all over me.

Just as I was starting to clean my self off, Dave rammed an Elemental head- on. The over-sized infantryman (didn't know at the time I was a she, but with that lot it's hard to tell) was knocked out by the force of the impact and slumped over the front of the skimmer. Mark waved at me, un-able to be hared over the sound of the engine and gunfire. We managed between us to pull the un-concuss warrior into the back of the Skimmer.

They pay us more if we get prisoners.

It was at this point that Steve bough it. He got a laser blast to the head, which just diapered. Hailey pushed the head-less corps out of the way and took-over the machineguns, sending a stream of tracer and armour piecing rounds at the Elemental that had fired the shot.

We'd grieve later, if we lived.

Dave swung the skimmer round the last corner, and the two remaining Elementals ran straight into the fire from the Shuttles lasers. The SRM's in their backpacks exploded as the beams of high-power light tore through their bodies.

Dave loaded skimmer into the cargo bay of the shuttle, while me and mark dragged the still un- concuss Elemental out of her body armour and into a seat in the passenger cabin, tying he in so se couldn't get lose if she woke up before we got back to the Jump-Ship at the pirate point. Hailey dragged up Steve's body and put him in a seat next to our prisoner.

The pilot stuck his head through the hatch that led to the cockpit, only to be told by Dave to get back to work and get us the hell out of there.

Well, the Stealth armour on the shuttle allowed us to avoid the fighters sent after us, and we got back safe after that. I handed over the Mech blueprints that I'd swiped to the intelligence (ha-ha!) officer whose idea the raid had been (we had to sedate Hailey before she killed him over Steve's death).

We got two mouths off, a commendation from the head of SLDF Special Forces division. The Elemental we "captured" was assigned to us (and is she HOT (don't tell her I said that, she kill me)). Steve got a star on a wall somewhere, the only evidence that he lived, apart from the memoirs of us: his comrades and friends.

Ok, that's enough of that story, buy me another drink and I'll tell you the story of.