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BattleTech - LE5490 - Saga of the Gray Death Legion; Tactics of Duty - William H. Keith, Jr.

BattleTech - LE5490 - Saga of the Gray Death Legion; Tactics of Duty - William H. Keith, Jr.

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Published by: PeterD'Rock WithJason D'Argonaut on Jan 05, 2013
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VICTORS!
With the steady
clank-clank 
of shifting actuators, a toweringshadow emerged from the open door, a ten-meter shape morehumanlike, and more menacing than the ugly little
UrbanMech.
Alex recognized that heavy-shouldered, roundheaded silhouetteimmediately and wondered where in all possible hells Wilmarthcould have found hardware like that. The
Victor,
eighty tons of armor and death, creaked and whinedclear of the open 'Mech bay doors. Close behind the first came asecond
Victor,
its head turning as it surveyed the battle wreckageof the courtyard.
Victors!
It had been all Alex could do to take down that single,lightweight
UrbanMech.
 Two
Victors ...
stopping them was notsomething a pair of lightly armed humans could even attempt."I think, lad, we'd best get the hell oot' here," McCall said."Couldn't have put it better myself, Major. Let's move!"But the
Victors
were crashing toward the barbican as fast astheir massive legs could carry them.Escape was impossible....
Tyranny. Rebellion. War. Treachery, tribulation, and a relentlessslide into the bloody jaws of Armageddon!Insurrectionsweepsthrough the fragmentingFederated Commonwealth, pittingSteiner   against Davionforces, and civilians against their petty oppressors.OnCaledonia, it's no different—except that the mercenary Gray  Death Legionis caught in the middle of it all.
 
 Alex Carlyle, haunted by the gruesome specter of war, andDavisMcCall, a veteran legionnaire and native Caledonian, unexpectedly find themselves key players in a popular revolt against a cruel anddespised Davion-backed governor. When the Gray Death Legion iscalled upon to put down this very rebellion, they all find themselves pawns in a deadly game of manipulation and betrayal. But GraysonCarlyle, tactician supreme and founder of the Legion, is bound by the highest duty—to protect civilization from self-destruction nomatter what the odds or price...
 
 
BATTLETECH
LE5490
TACTICS OF DUTY 
William H. Keith, Jr.ROCPublished by the Penguin GroupPenguin Books USA Inc., 375 Hudson Street,New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.Penguin Books Ltd, 27 Wrights Lane,London W8 5TZ, EnglandPenguin Books Australia Ltd, Ringwood,Victoria, AustraliaPenguin Books Canada Ltd, 10 Alcorn Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4V 3B2Penguin Books (N.Z.) Ltd, 182-190 Wairau Road,Auckland 10, New ZealandPenguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices:Harmondsworth, Middlesex, EnglandFirst published by Roc, an imprint of Dutton Signet, a division of Penguin Books USA Inc.First Printing, August, 19951098765 4 321Copyright © FASA Corporation, 1995All rights reservedSeries Editor: Donna Ippolito Cover: Romas KukalisMechanical Drawings: Duane Loose and FASA art staff REGISTERED TRADEMARK-MARCA REGISTRADA BATTLETECH, FASA,and the distinctive BATTLETECH and FASA logos are trademarks of the FASA Corporation, 1100 W. Cermak, Suite B305, Chicago, IL60608.Printed in the United States of AmericaWithout limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no partof this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced intoa retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means(electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise),without the prior written permission of both the copyright ownerand the above publisher of this book.BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE AT QUANTITY DISCOUNTS WHEN USED TOPROMOTE PRODUCTS OR SERVICES. FOR INFORMATION PLEASEWRITE TO PREMIUM MARKETING DIVISION, PENGUIN BOOKS USAINC., 375 HUDSON STREET, NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10014.If you purchased this book without a cover you should be awarethat this book is stolen property. It was reported as "unsold anddestroyed" to the publisher and neither the author nor thepublisher has received any payment for this "stripped book."
 
Prologue
Ryco PassGlengarry, Skye MarchFederated Commonwealth0952 Hours, 17 April 3056
Laser fire flashed, a dazzling strobe of ruby brilliance searingthrough the swirl of smoke and dust.
Close!
Alexander Carlyle's ARC-4M
 Archer,
seventy tons of towering,twin-fisted, steel-edged destruction, lurched across soft and unevenground, each step a test of uncertain footing. Ryco Pass was anarroyo through the arid, near-desert terrain southeast of theGlengarry town of Halidon, a wide, steep-sided gully with a floorthat was silt-soft layers of powdery, bone-dry sediments and sandwashed down from the distant Teragorma Hills by snow melt andflash floods. Firmly packed beneath, the upper layers were softenough to shift and give beneath each of the
 Archer's
ponderoussteps, threatening to pitch the lumbering, heavy 'Mech to theground.Alex, his neurohelmet relaying the feedback of impulsesnecessary to let him keep his twelve-meter-tall combat machinebalanced with each swing of a leg or arm, countered the unevenground without having to think about it. His full attention waslocked on four steadily advancing blips scattered across the gullyless than two hundred meters ahead. He couldn't see them yet, notwith his naked eyes, anyway—his "Mark I eyeballs" as old DavisMcCall might say. The battle had been raging off and on, a broken and disjointedrunning engagement, for the past twenty minutes now, and smokehung in the still air like white, filmy curtains. But a 'Mech's otherelectronic senses could see what human eyes could not. Theenemy was just ahead now, screened by battle smoke, theirfour-'Mech vanguard well in the lead of the main body."Gold One! Gold One!" crackled over Alex's tactical channel."Lad, what the blazes are ye doin'?" That thick Caledonian burr was Davis McCall, the big, blunt,heavily muscled veteran who was Alex's number two in theCommand Lance."Gold Two, this is Gold One," Alex called back. "You've got theunit, Davis."As if Davis McCall hadn't been running things all along, him andthe other old hands from the Gray Death Legion. "Negative, lad! Yedinnae need t' do this!" Alex didn't answer, save to increase thelumbering speed of his
 Archer 
down the broad, steep-sided gully.He
did
need to do this. There was no other way.For hours now, the Gray Death Legion, under Alex's temporarycommand, had been battling for its life. Rebel forces—his warbookprogram had them pegged as elements of the Fourth Skye Guardsunder the command of General Kommandant von Bulow—hadcaught the Legion at daybreak in Halidon, mauling them severely.Somehow they'd managed to break contact and retreat, but vonBulow had shown an uncharacteristic zeal, doggedly pursuing whatwas left of the Legion without stopping to rearm or resupply. TheGeneral was obviously convinced he had the Legion forces onGlengarry right where he wanted them, and he wasn't about toopen his fist and let them slip away.But Alex was determined that the Gray Death Legion wouldescape; its secret base in the Glencoe Highlands lay just a few tensof klicks further to the southeast. If they could reach thatsanctuary, if they could find just a few precious hours to repair theworst of the damage suffered in the trap at Halidon ...Alex could see only one way to slow von Bulow's relentlessadvance. The Skye rebel forces must be nearly as spent as theLegion was right now ... they
must 
be! The pursuing MechWarriorswould be tired—and they'd be cautious, despite von Bulow'surgings to press forward and run the Legion's survivors down. AllAlex had to do was give them a hard, hard push right where theyweren't expecting it.Long-range missiles howled overhead, scrawling white contrailsdown the Glengarry sky. Explosions thundered in the distance asthe Legion rear guard continued trying to break contact. Alexignored the missiles, ignored the continuing flash and pulse of 'Mech lasers.One hundred meters, and closing. Any moment now ... There! Movement, highlighted by the targeting crosshairsprojected onto Alex's HUD by his
 Archer's
Instatrac Mark XII

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