October, 1957. The dawn of the Space Race.And, for Earth, the start of a race of another kind, although they don't know it yet.A bubble centered on the Earth of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan series, 100 light years in diameter, is deposited on the outer edges of the Inner Sphere, in the BattleTech universe. Almost five decades after the event, Earth is visited by strangers from the Inner Sphere of 3020, and they're not visiting peacefully.Starting, on Earth, shortly after the events of The Bear and the Dragon, this story is a collaborative effort by members of the Space BattlesForum, done in "round robin" format.The current discussion threads covering various aspects of the RR can be found in this subforum. The story also has a wiki, to cut straight to the details, without the chitchat and writer inter-personal relations.You can download a PDF version of the story here, courtesy of dalekandrews/Dalek Ix.Also starring Tony Dansel, CEarth's own version of Kai Allard-Liao and Aidan Pryde.As of November 2012, the story is effectively on hold due to Executive Meddling causing a few writers to hand in their resignations for the foreseeable future, and there are talks about a possible rewrite.
This Fanfic provides examples of:
Are We There Yet?: When the pirate alliance is on its way to C-Earth, one of the pirate captains calls the guy leading the way after every FTL jump to ask this question.
Armor Is Useless: Strongly averted, as armour is one of the advantages the BT world has against C-Earth.
Badass Grandpa: A squadron whose pilots are mostly in their 60s and 70s help defend Earth from invading pirates. Special mention goes to Chuck Yeager — yes, *that* Chuck Yeager — for doing so at age 82 in-story.
Bigger Stick: While the Battletech chaps have the Frickin' Laser Beams and the tougher armour, Clancy-Earth's effective BVR (Beyond Visual Range) capability is one of the key reasons why the latter has prevailed so far.
Earth's large numbers of nuclear missiles also helped. Though that may be a case of More Sticks, as BT has nukes too, they just don't have a lot of them.
Blood Knight: Brox isn't obsessive about it, but he starts missing the rush of battle, which is something simulations can never match.
Caped Mecha: Done during the Battle of Port Krin by... Tony Dansel (no surprise there).
Conservation of Ninjutsu: Averted and discussed, with the conclusion being that if lone ASFs can give C-Earth trouble, a proper unit will be much tougher.
Defictionalization: The Battletech game exists in the Clancyverse. Entire teams of researchers and analysts work on distinguishing what's real and what was Game Balance or Authorial Fiat.
The first Earth-born 'Mech factories and design labs are in Japan. Naturally, the very first Earth-made Battlemech would be none other than a Gundam. GDI later deploys GMs.
In itself only possible through making a 'Frankenmech' of a Shadow Hawk chassis over Hunchback legs. All they had to do afterwards was to remove the shoulder gun mount and change the head styling. The 'bubble-head' GM is a 50-ton part-by-part knock-off, and fittingly quite mediocre.
Japan's entry into the Mech-developed field rather than mere research was itself driven by realizing the pirates that attacked them had an intact Stinger LAM. Cue the formation of a new super-conglomerate to pick apart that technology. The GM and VF projects were situated in Hakone.
Durable Deathtrap: the GDI team sent to New Dallas encounter a laser turret dating back to the Star League still guarding one of the places they try to explore. Then it stops with a shareware-esque notification.
Easy Logistics: Averted; GDI ran low on supplies after the Port Krin battle. Also, some writers are arguing for a standardized loadout to ease supply issues.
False Flag Operation: Loki was running one to make GDI think the Draconis Combine had hostile intentions. It was supposed to be called off, but the cell got busted before the message got through.
Mass Teleportation: The event that transported Ryanverse Earth and its surroundings into the BattleTech universe is even referred to as an ISOT event, in a nod to Stirling's novel, and was teleported into the Grantville cluster.
Mêlée à Trois: GDI comes to Antallos to let Vorax know what they thought about his little stunt. The next day, notorious pirate Redjack Ryan shows up looking demanding the coordinates to Motherlode (a.k.a. Earth). The day after that, a Draconis Combine regiment shows up looking for Ryan, who burned his way across the Combine to get there. The day after that, a Federated Suns RCT shows up tracking the Dracs. Narrowly Averted due to some quick actions on GDI's part, and the fact that the Dracs and FedSuns forces break off to kick each other around instead.
Ms. Fanservice: Canopian ambassador McFarland is unabashedly, alluringly provocative, to the point that Brox suspects genetic engineering.
Mundane Utility: "It was odd, Remus thought, using a Mech to build something, rather than shoot at things."
My God, What Have I Done?: During the second pirate attack on CEarth, this is the reaction held by a mercenary group, comprised entirely of Muslims, when they realize they have killed fellow Muslims, and the city they were planning on attacking is Mecca, the most holy city in the Islamic religion (which got nuked in Battletech's backstory). This prompts an immediateHeel Face Turn and they gladly fight off other attackers in a combination of Heroic Sacrifice, You Shall Not Pass, and Last Stand. They would have been completely wiped out, with the leader dying in his cockpit of heat stroke, if the locals, moved by their resistance, did not gladly pull him out of the cockpit, with the main rescuer being an old man who had a heart attack from the effort of forcing the cockpit open, as well as the heat inside. In a bit of a Tear Jerker, the old man had prayed to God to let him die instead of the mercenary leader. His prayer was, apparently, answered.
Also, some of the stuff Dansel's supposedly gotten up to.
Also, the mysterious identity of the 'White Devil' that is chief trainer for the Triangle Heart Mechwarrior stable in Solaris 7, which mainly fields "Motherlode"-built GMs and V Fs for extended combat trials.
Nuclear Option: Nukes are used to soften up the pirates before they make landfall and massive nuclear rearmament has begun to construct a shield against future invaders. This means that C-Earth is outdoing the Taurians, who the Inner Sphere used to consider the most nuke-happy nation in the entire Inner Sphere.
Erik Prince tries to do this and gets chemical burns for his trouble.
Oh Crap: Tons of examples, starting with the initial pirate raid in 2005 when people on Earth realize that they're getting visited by what they thought was a purely fictional universe.
The Inner Sphere rediscovering the value of the TAG (Target Acquisition Gear) warning light, courtesy of Earth's laser guided munitions, also qualifies. Not that most of them survive the lesson, mind you...
Mass Oh Crap: The pirates completely freak out when they learn that C-Earth has nukes.
A relatively more recent example is when the GDI Port Krin authorities find out that 500 pounds of high explosives were stolen in a very similar manner to a previous theft that was linked to an earlier PKLF attack.
One World Order: The writers have agreed to avert this in its purest state of a truly singular government, but exactly what the CSN's political structure is to be instead is a discussion that has gotten inflammatory at times.
Private Military Contractors: Several down on their luck merc groups like the Buron Cav were dragooned into helping Vorax before changing to the C-Earth side. At one point Major Staedele gets into a disagreement with Blackwater's CEO, noting how earthly PMCs aren't up to snuff for proper BT-level merc work.
Punctuated Pounding: "You Stupid! Miserable! S*** ! If you had used! Your f*** ing! Range! And mobility! I wouldn't! Have been able! To get away with that!"
Ragnarok Proofing: Stated by name as being one of the reasons some Battletech technology is so large and heavy compared to modern standards. Earth technicians eventually make a compromise between Modern capabilities and Battletech durability they call "Seven Plagues-Proof".
Ramming Always Works: A B-1B Lancer crew take out the Dropship of the pirates attacking Chicago this way.
Rare Guns: Models such as the WA 2000 will be re-entering production.
Rock Beats Laser: Sort-of, Erik Prince's thugs were expecting modern bugs, not a Dictaphone.
Rule of Three: General Davis', when he found that the Merkavas are sent to Antalos without armor (for easy logistic), state his disbelief, three times.
Schizo Tech: Applies for both sides in-universe, C-Earth has far superior electronics and miniaturization of computer, but Inner Sphere has refined what they have to the point of decades-worthy of usage, and have superior metallurgy and engineering.
Screw This, I'm Outta Here: One pirate crew attempts this when they learn that C-Earth has nukes and will use them. Then they run into another nuke launcher. You can guess what happens.
Two settlements on New Dallas are called Al-Isard and Al-Pelleaon.
“Some of ‘em look like they could’ve walked off the set of Mad Max,”
The CSN embassy on Luthien tested its sound system using Caramelldansen.
Shrouded in Myth: The GDI Foreign Legion has Dansel put in charge in order for his reputation as an 'undying spirit of vengance' to help keep the captured enemy conscripts in line.
The Speechless: Brox. He gets an artificial voicebox later, but its clearly artificial tones don't leave him with a desire to speak much.
Super Prototype: Subverted and defied; the first GDI monitor is an unstable hodgepodge of C-Earth and Battletech... uh, tech. The first prototype BearCat aerospace fighter is not mounting weapons. Both in-universe and at the writers' level, there has generally been agreement to take things slow and not do any funky stuff.
The first actually made on C-Earth Mech the Gundam is actually little more than a restyled Shadow Hawk chassis over Hunchback legs with a Gundam Style Head that barely works due to little understanding on how BattleTech...uhh tech works and is nothing more than proof of concept test machine that never sees combat unlike the Gundam from the anime.
Take That: "They had to be actual robots though! Not like those yucky engles (sic), those were cheating! And titans were too big! Walking castles don't count as giant robots! They count as super giant robots and Amy didn't like those! "
as in, only ever even once-mentioned
dissolution of the Clancy Earth United Nations by the expedient means of seemingly everybody at once deciding they were obsolete now that a credible external threat had popped up might also qualify.
“Well, I can tell you that NOD is not it. We rejected it on cultural grounds. And there was something dry about being called the 'Nonstandard Operations Division.” “Pity. Nod has such a fore behind it when you say it. Nod. NOD. Simple. Threatening even.” “Thanks, but sorry to disappoint. I'll tell you though, that the people who wanted that name even had a logo put together and everything. A crimson scorpion tail on a truncated black triangle background. A sort of thematic opposite to the Bronze Eagle.” “Ah, yes, I can see that. One is a bright and proud predator, glorious in movement and action. The other a hidden and dangerous creature, full of poison and death. A shame. We may have to steal that for ourselves.”
“ROM? No! They're ComStar. Helps keep the Houses out of their internal business.” “Ah, yes, Indeed. Such a minor player slipped my mind.”
Tank Goodness: Most of the Inner Sphere tend to regard tanks as "cheap, but not worth the effort for their weight." The GDI would beg to differ...
Tempting Fate: The entire second invasion is a constant repeating of "it can't grow any worse" by the pirates.
Tranquil Fury: Emily Hastings gets such a moment when a friend dies, taking out the responsible ASF with methodical efficiency.
Transforming Mecha: The Land-Air 'Mechs based off the Macross VF-1 and its variants. It would have been safer to throw a live grenade into a roomful of fanboys.
Up to Eleven: The Americans and Russians announce that they are massively, massively increasing nuke output for the Nuclear Option defence against intruders into the solar system. We're looking at at least 10,000 warheads a year, compared to a mere 2,700 (!) per year as US peak production during the Cold War. If you think that's insane, consider that it's just for the USA and Russia alone, and that every country that can build a nuke is doing so with equal frenzy. A mercenary leader converted to Clancy-Earth's side, already apalled by the talk of Nuclear Rearmament since C-Earth alone has many more nukes than any of the Inner Sphere houses, realises that he needs a stronger alcoholic drink than beer after this.
Weaponized Exhaust: The pirates over Chicago torched some infantry using their Dropship plumes. C-Earth aims to build "Shipkillers" from Dropship reactors for this purpose.
What Could Have Been: Originally, the authors were discussing whether to go with C-Earth or Real Life Earth. The Non-canon Stories thread also has some posts that will not make canon. The discussion threads, if you dare brave them, also have older versions of posts that made it to the Story Only thread.
What the Hell, Hero?: Public opinion turns against anti-mercenary protesters after they injure a child dependent of the Buron Cavalry.
Why Won't You Die?: One shipman has this reaction after a Dropship eats enough missiles to take out a huge chunk of the old Soviet air force and is still going.
A bit of Fridge Brilliance here. Brox is a trueborn Clanner, meaning he doesn't have one in the normal sense.; this could be an attempt to blend in, or a very mild way of insulting someone for being a freebirth.