December 24th 2840 (5 Years Later)

DCMS Space

Planet New Samarkand

Lorenna Hunter had never worried over the time and place of her death, as with all things she knew it would come in due time and to spend time dwelling o­n it would accomplish nothing. However as she looked and listened to the battle feeds of her skirmisher star shadowing the unknown mech forces approaching the New Samarkand Metals factory she realized that somehow the 2nd Benjamin Regulars had moved their last battalion close enough to throw Operation Deceit into a disarray and most likely send most of them to their end. Quickly she reviewed the terrain and decided that Trev Hunters Star would pull back to checkpoint Zulu , it was there they would meet and there they would make their stand. The terrain gave a decided advantage in that area as it would maximize their weapons range, until now Lorenna had ordered computer overides to weapons performance to bring it more into parity with what the o­n planet forces had. Knowing the time had come she brought her Battlemaster's reactor out of idle status and fully o­nline, keying her comms she began setting the Caste warriors into motion. "All Venom units this is Venom actual be advised you are free to go weapons hot, I say again weapons hot". "Raider o­ne you guys appear to be cut off from us do your best to harass their right flank try to work your way along it back to Venom flight". "Affirmative", came the curt reply from Raider o­nes Star Commander, "well if anyone can pull that off its Benji Sender", she thought to herself. "All Venom Command units form o­n me and lets head to Zulu"

Lorenna watched as the other 4 assault mechs in her star started powering up, a venerable Zeus, Highlander, Crockett and Thug joined her Battlemaster and spread out to her left and right as they approached checkpoint Zulu. Trev Hunters star had already made it, she noted from scans that they had taken some hits from the earlier engagement with the Academy pilots but nothing major. Slowing her mech she began emplacing her assets in covered and concealed positions, she watched as the enemy advanced towards them their positions being tagged by her Hartford XKZ 1 targeting and tracking system., Her technicians as with most of the IS tech had been able to modify and boost its performance and she now saw that they were facing a heavy assault battalion. Quickly counting she noted at least 8 Assault mechs so far and 12 heavies, even with the extended weapons range it would be to much. Noting her mission countdown timer she saw they were close, just 20 minutes, thats all the Stormbringer needed to finish loading. As the enemy drew nearer a plan was evolving in her had always been her gift, the ad hoc ability to see in battle. It was why her Khan had chosen her so many times to be at his side. Pushing thoughts of what was from her mind she quickly began directing her stars. Raider o­ne was now in postion to her forward right, she selected the lead enemy, a powerful Atlas hopefully the enemies commander. "All units o­n my command fire o­n enemy contact designated Sierra 1", she directed over her comms. Letting her target reticule center o­n the approaching enemy mech she smiled as it turned red. Pressing the firing stud of the tic set to her twin ERPPC's she simply said, "Fire" over the radio.

The enemy Atlas looked as if it had hit a wall, the directed energy weapons of every Caste mech that could reach hit it from 2 sides and slammed the Assault mech crashing to the ground. The enemy appeared to waver a moment and it appeared as Lorenna had hoped that this was their commanders mech, but then the remaining mechs began to close ranks and continue there approach, she noted a mixed company of heavies and Assaults breaking off and moving towards Raider o­ne's position. "Raider o­ne this is Venom actual, break contact and retrograde to Venom flight, thanks for the assist... try to string them along as long as you can if you would Benji" she added. "Roger Venom, will do and see you at the taxi Raider o­ne out" came his reply. "Venom o­ne and Venom Command lets began retrograde operations, use our range as long as possible, when you become combat ineffective make best possible speed to Venom flight", noting the affirmative reply of her remaining 9 mechs the fighting began.

To those fighting 20 minutes seems an eternity, looking back o­n it Trev Hunter had made numerous annotations that time seemed frozen. The fighting had become pitched and the 2nd Benjamin Regulars were an excellent unit, recovering from the loss of their commander they pushed the fight and finally closed range, the Caste eventually lost its first mech, the Thug piloted by Wendon Vickers who had pushed the machine and himself to the limits by continuously overiding the shutdown sequence and its reactor went critical, taking 2 other enemy mechs with it. From that point o­n the fight was purely defensive. Trev had recorded his feelings in his dairy the moment Lorenna had taken the center field and ordered all the remaining units to board the Stormbringer as o­ne of great loss, his had been the last mech up the ramp, linking into the Overlords combat system he watched the video feed of the 2nd Benjamin Regulars as they begin to fight her Battlemaster o­ne at a time and finally losing sight of her as the Overlord ascended into the clouds, and that was the last time he would see his mother.

The history of the 2nd Benjamin Regulars recorded the battle o­n New Samarkand as a victory, but a costly o­ne. It also afforded in its history a tale of great honor for the Battlemaster pilot who had challenged them defiantly as it bought its comrades time to flee. In the end that pilot had destroyed three more mechs in single combat before going critical, the pilot never punched out and all that they knew of the unit was that its logo was that of a skull emblazoned with a red hour glass.

The Remeberance (Dark Caste) Passage 15 Verse 30 Lines 66-69

And so it came to pass another leader lost

But as she lived in life full of vitality so remember her in death

She was the first Mistress of The Dark Caste

Our creator and salvation, honor her always in deed

As Transcribed by LoreMaster Jeri *Sender*