++May 22nd, 3050
++FWL Colony #3454 “Fallen Bow”
++Planet Genvieve, Free Worlds League
Lt. Karen “Power” Simms thumbed the button for her comms, “Viper Three, checking in. No contacts in mountain village, grid square Charlie Four. Whatever happened here, I think we missed it.”
“Roger that, Viper Three,” Commander Llorn answered over the comms. “Behemoth lance reports no contact river either. Proceed to Delta Seven and clear.”
“Delta Seven, aye.” Power leaned back into her Raven‘s command couch and looked around her at the deserted prefab buildings of the small outpost. The distress call had gone out four days ago, and the Renegade Suns were the first boots on the ground, half a week late to be of any use. Now the entire colony was a ghost town, with no sign of what had happened to the people here except a few open doors, swinging in the wind. She felt naked without any infantry support clearing these buildings, but the Suns had been hired to be first responders, not garrison troops, so their only infantry platoon was securing the area around the dropship to make sure the ‘Mechs had available transport in case they needed to be somewhere fast.
The low thrum of the fusion reactor inside the light ‘Mech purred through her spine as Power throttled up to a slow walk, wary of ambush. Her Raven, designed for recon work, was small and lithe, and with its Guardian ECM Suite blocking enemy sensors she felt like a ghost haunting the graveyard of the colony. Her own sensors still registered blank except for the distant blips of the rest of Viper lance, spread out throughout the forest and mountains surrounding the colony. As she watched Viper One, Captain Donaldson, move towards another small outpost of prefabs half a klick away, her map flickered and her sensors went dead. “Hold up. This is Viper Three, I’m experiencing some sensor trouble. Is anyone else getting this?” All that answered was the hiss of static through her comms, and a chill rushed through her. She’d just entered into an enemy’s ‘Mech’s ECM bubble.