Budget Warriors: Your Equipment is built by the lowest builder

Writers Note/ Disclaimer: I don't own anything battletech related, except possibly a noxious green cloud, an old mattress and an unamused colony of spiders.

Aha! A new chapter, up in quasi-decent time. No Misjumps. Totally. Ehehehehe. *works on next chapter* Sometime in the next few months I am pondering a rough plot outline of a Clan Hells Horses fiction or a Battletech/Stargate Fanfiction probably the BT/SG one.. Need more grounding on clans before i attempt that.

Also! You wondrous People, please read and review. Also revised edition of 1st Chapter mark II is up.

Pleasure Within

Invader Class Jumpship – Pirate Point, Thraxa System

May 13th 2972 Tactical Briefing.

"You know what I think of you, and what I think of this assignment and what I think of the as-, err I mean brass back home." Both the voice, and the long cane like object came down like a whip onto the table, Atun spun around, lowering his head in shame from his momentary lapse of concentration. "But, as I have said many a time; I am a benevolent dictator, and I will give you a fair go." A round of snickering filtered around the room with Atun not taking part this time, through a monumental amount of self-restraint

"Can we get a move on? I have things to do Jeremy." Janos grumbled, flicking at the small temporary insignia that was his new rank badge, eyeing up the man standing at the podium. Unhappy with the temporary command arrangements, while the Budget Warriors were allowed to maintain independent operations for the duration of their garrison contract, Janos had been convinced into temporarily handing command to Dixson for the simulated exercise in exchange for some equipment.

"Very well." Jeremy sighed tentatively, "Remember who's in command here!" he thumbed his rank badge, the small diamond insignia clung stubbornly to his uniform as he fiddled with it. "As I was saying, The lovely ass.. I mean brass back home, have decided that it is high time to reinforce our sisters and brothers on Thraxa, and by reinforce I mean reinforce as much as a company of light mechs can do." Whistles and catcalls sounded from around the room, as soldiers and mechwarriors alike voiced what kind of reinforcing they would like to do to their brothers and sisters on planet.

"But before we can do that, We. Have. A. small. Problem." He clicked a small button on the podium; the projector in front of him flashed a series of images on the screen filling the massive white wall with images of mechwarriors and their machines. "Boys and girls, I introduce you to the men and women of the Thraxan Commando's the local planetary milita, and members of our fine MAF."

Atun leant forward in interest, this was new news to him, granted many of the crew and magistry pilots had been whispering about a simulated training exercise, but it had been dismissed as pure whohah by the young draconian time and time again. In hindsight, Atun realised he probably should of listened more to the magistry personnel, turning his attention to the personnel around him in order to catch some gossip. After the initial introduction both sides had quickly realised just how formal the other truly was which in both cases was not at all. The frosty truce between mercenary and house pilot quickly dissolved under the strain of beer and gambling.

"What's the problem?" Atun asked, a smug smile creeping onto his face "Their CO reject your date offer?"

"No! They insulted our manhood, your manhood and the manhood of any man you thought was manly." Dixson replied, before hastily adding "and our fine female pilots womanhood." Nipping the growing complaints from his female mechwarriors in the bud.

"Ya not be talkin any sense mun," Jacob began, as he leant back and enjoyed the bigger chairs of the jumpship, "Whats this got to do with me and de littal mun." he pointed to Atun, who had suffered another bout of in-attention in the short span of time.

"While I may resemble that comment, I at least can see directly in front of me." He retorted snappily, pulling a small tuft of his black hair down infront of his own eyes, before being smacked over the head by Kemps who was steadily growing more red with each passing moment.

Clearing his throat, "Ahem." Commander Dixson continued his explanation and ignoring the bickering warriors, "In order to prove who is the superior unit Me, your glorious and valiant leader and their CO have arranged a series of simulated exercises, We the wonderful Flying Sixes will be assaulting Thraxa with support from the Budget Warriors and the despicable and moderately attractive Commando's mounting will be mounting determined, but utterly futile resistance."

Atun nudged Jacob, tilting his own head up to meet the downwards tilt of the much larger man, whispering into his shoulder "Psst, Jacob, why don't we have a cool name like that." To his credit, Jacob merely looked downwards and whispered back to the top of Atun's head "You ain't good enough yet."

Choosing to ignore the rude behaviour of the budget warrior's only mech pilots, Dixson went on to outline the battle plan. "Alpha and Charlie lance will be on board the Leopard class dropship Poke Em In the Face and Her Majesty's Will respectively, Beta Lance, half of you will be hot-dropping with the Budget Warriors into the designated zones here, here and here" His cane served as a pointer, smacking several enlarged red circles over the projected map repeatedly.

"The other half of Beta will be deploying via ground with the heavy vehicle support from the Warriors Union dropship." Pressing the button repeatedly, Dixson waited for the next slide to appear, the screen blanked to a white blurr as an error message appeared momentarily.

"Windows 2500 Has stopped respondin…"

A rapid strike from his cane to the projector quickly resolved the issue before any of the assembled pilots had a chance to cause a ruckus, the image of a pair of vehicles appeared on the map, two blinking icons representing the mech's of the Flying Sixes inassuming escort positions.

"Much to our dismay, the mech's and vehicles of the Budget Warriors will be the heaviest thing on planet, which puts it in our favour, however the Thraxan Commandos have superior numbers, two light mech companies with nothing above twenty five tons, with light and heavy vehicular support." The cheering and wooting suddenly stopped. Two mech companies and a few battalions of light support vehicles? That bordered on near impossible for a single company of mechs to overcome.

"Uhh… Temporary Boss mun," Jacob began, waving one of his massive hairy arms above his head "Metinks you are slightly over estimating our capabilities." Atun couldn't help but chip in, adding to the overall air of sudden cowardice "Ya, I suck."

"That had been taken into account, their armour support is scattered all over the planet due to their need to defend multiple objectives, and the highest concentrations is located near one of the planets ammunitions dumps and the capital. We'll be 'hitting' the ammo dump first, simulating a torch of the place and sacking of the munitions factory before moving onto the capitol which is approximately a day's march away"

Several objective markers began to highlight both targets and pathways, indentifying road ways to use and which to avoid. "Now, we'll be using marker ammunition and powering our lasers down to minimal, so no physical combat, no collateral damage and above all else. No Defeat!"

"Comprende Muchachos?" enunciating his point with an over enthusiastic Mexican accent, as he turned to look everyone in the room in the eye at least once, and in the case of Kemps, roughly eighteen times. With the official briefing continued, the assembled mechwarriors of the Sixes and the Budget Trio ambled towards the collared portions of the hull, making the short journey between the jumpship to the dropships which hung like parasites from the hull of the Pleasure Within. The dropships themselves detaching moments later and heading towards the planet at full thrust, seeking to arrive within the next twelve hours and with the element of surprise.

Rusty Nail

Union Class Dropship, Thraxan Orbit

May 14th 2972 Hot Drop.

Atun quickened his short hops from wall to wall, catching up mid-bounce to Kemps and Jacob as the now trio deftly floated through the innards of the Rusty Nail. "Umm, guys?" Atun asked, a nervous tone edging his voice as he effortlessly bounced off of another faded grey wall, "I've never hot-dropped before."

Jacob turned as he sailed down the hallway, a magistry mechwarrior hastily removing himself from the path of the much larger man, "Dun worry mun, there be nothing to it." Jacob began as he grasped onto one of the rails and slowing himself down. "Ya just got ta keep calm an all, not ta mention to keep your 'ead in check."

The two nearby Magistry mechwarriors made passing comments as they floated towards their mech cubicles, already vaulting the distance to the ceiling and entering their mechs, a crimson painted stinger and a polka-dotted wasp. "Just remember to fire your jets during the descent, and fly like a brick!" the first yelled, the canopy to his stinger snapping shut with a hiss.

"Yea, remember feet first from the heavens, face up to the skies me boy, aint nothing to it." The second hooted the useless advice floating in the cavernous bays of the union, his own cockpit canopy shutting seconds later, leaving a confused and flustered Atun to float up to his own mech's cockpit. Grasping the hard, steel control casing he keyed in his access code, Atun glanced to his right, freshly painted onto the front right side of his Mech were several small murals, a light mech and a vehicle.

Bringing his finger tips to his lips, he quickly pressed it to the two kill markings before hopping into his mech and closing the connection to the outside world. The communicator crackled to life, the patched together radio emitting a certifiable migraine inducer of a squel before the voice of Janos came across.

"Hey, this is my tub, my rules. So sit down and shut up!" The sound of boot connecting with shin echoed over the communications systems before Janos resumed talking. "Rightyo lads, check in, this is Budget Actual to all units. Report."

"Beta Two-Sixer, ready to burn."

"Beta Three-Sixer, Hot and ready to trot."

Atun quickly fumbled with his own communicators system, flicking and powering the transmitter up before hastily responding "Warrior One, ready to fly."

"Warrior two, Aye been ready to rumbal an ting." Jacobs deep voice rumbled out through the tinny speaker, coming out more distorted than usual.

"Budget Actual, systems are a go. Cargo secure and operational." Kemp's voice joined the chorus of battle ready affirmatives.

"Allright lads and ladettes, give em hell from me." Janos chuckled, and prayed deeply for luck as the drop chutes slung on the underside of the union opened up, disgorging its deadly payload to a freefall towards the planet's surface. A series of rumbling magnetic clunks filled the ships interior as the four mechs suddenly entered low atmosphere, the union; now above them, quickly rocketing off towards the landing zone to deploy its mechanized payload.

"Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww …" Atun screamed, the wind audibly rushed around the outside of his mech as the small urbamech plummeted rapidly, the face of its pilot performing a similar plummet. "Heeeeellllpppp meee!" He screamed again as his face smacked into his control panel simultaneous with his ignition of the jump jets. Three of the four descending mechs closed to a tighter fashion, and gracefully desecended towards the outskirts of a small mining range. The four, the familiar squat dome of Atun's Urbanmech instead rocketed off towards the distance, out of control or ineptly controlled.

Back in the command room of the Rusty Nail

"Dammit, Warrior One is out of control." Dixion announced, studying the computer generated map of the area, in particular the blinking blue light that represented the Urbanmech.

"Oh god, is he okay?" Janos yelped, running over quickly to check the screen, his own heart racing and thundering in his chest.

"I think so…" Dixion responded, the blinking icon had come to a sudden stop inside one of the mines that cratered the local mountain range. The light flashed green twice before it suddenly stopped.

"Wassat mean?" Janos asked, his own voice shakey and full of barely contained panic.

"It's an okay signal, it means your pilot's still alive and well. Albiet way out of the mission parameters."

Walking towards the communications console at a brisk pace, he quickly brought up Jacob's mech on a private channel. "Jacob, any word on Atun?"

"Ya mun, he said not to worry.. he be fine, just lost be all." The mirth filled voice of the laid back, probably Jamaican descended pilot brought a significant amount of relief to the rapidly relaxing technician and aspiring tactician.

Somewhere, near a very large hole.

"Awww for the love of all things crispy and golden." Atun fumed, and swore violently as he paced his mech slowly towards the gaping chasm in front of him. The vast, towering walls of the mountain range filled his sights, but most importantly the small dirt trail caught his eye.

"That's got to lead somewhere.." Shrugging, Atun pushed his mech into a run and waddled the Urbanmech into the mountain pass, his destination unknown. "Why did it have to happen to me."

Writers Notes:

Rouge Baron: You don't know how happy it makes me to know that someone considers my writing High Quality. Hehe. Oh wow. Thanks, it's a very nice compliment. I do try and minimise how many times I refer to someone as something, and to limit the amount of times I use a phrase or word in a sentence or chapter, but sometimes It slips past my radar, will do my best to make sure it dosnt happen again :D

Chargon: That's for reading and reviewing, glad you're enjoying it.

Nui: Nice to seem em again? They never left.