25ly Spinward of Friesland
October, TW 339
Senior Lieutenant Chang was weary. Another day facing the rebel siege of Firebase Autumn Wind. It had been ten long hellish days for the defenders, holding off hordes of Association guerrillas, they'd been outgunned from the start, a short company of kids just out of depot training managing somehow to hold off a guerrilla regiment backed up by combat engineers and ancestor knew how many mortars.
To make matters worse, all manner of consumables were running low. Division had promised that the new mercenaries were coming to help. But Chang didn't believe such things anymore. He'd already made his peace two days ago, having written letters home, assuming the guerrillas didn't destroy them. His father's disapproving countenance danced in his mind's eye. A noble son of the House of Jade, dying in some dirt poor outpost at the hands of the lesser scum that made up the Association? The shame of the family would be too great.
He heard a low, throaty cough reverberate through the hills surrounding the firebase, Mortars, his mind reported. The firebase's last Calliope had run out of ammunition holding off the last human wave assault on the eastern end of the perimeter. Chang had tried to bluff it out, but the Rebels hadn't fallen for it. They shelled the firebase seemingly at will now. Chang shrugged as the sound continued to travel. What was the point of taking cover? They were all dead anyhow.
It was with a measure of surprise that a cyan bolt snatched several of the shells out of the sky like the hands of an angry god. More blinding bolts began to land amongst the rebel positions to the hills...the fire coming from the western pass. But how? The mercenaries had only been hired some eighteen hours before according to press reports...when Chang could receive them.
Chang turned his viewfinder to the west and focused them on the grey specks throwing up roostertails of dust and gravel feet into the air..spitting out cyan fingers of death with staccato timing. Each burst triggered the anti-blinding measures on his autonoculars.
His headset crackled to life...it was clear, clear as a bell without any of the squealing and popping from Association jamming. "Blossom Six, this is Golf One-Six, sorry we're a touch late, but we're here. The Colonel sends his regards, now, sit back and watch how we Slammers fight. You might learn something. One-Six out!" Chang shook his head in disgust...he hoped they were as competent as they were arrogant.