Fan Fic / An Entry with a Bang
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 Battles Forum
, 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
Also starring Tony Dansel, CEarth's
own version of Kai Allard-Liao
and Aidan Pryde
In 2012, the story ground to a halt due to constant argument. In mid 2013, the subforum was dissolved. Right before the end, someone suggested trying again in a couple of years. Nothing so far...
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.
- Attack Drone: Very rare and expensive in Inner Sphere, causing some character to gawk in disbelief when C-Earth use them in a massed assault tactic.
- 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.
- Badass Preacher: "The Catholic Church has declared war on Com Star!"
- 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.
- Demand Overload: In universe. Five minutes after the pirates' departure, the video of their jump was on YouTube. Less than an hour later, YouTube crashed due to the sheer number of users trying to access this one video on the website.
- Dressing as the Enemy: GDI pulls a variation of this off to take Port Krin before the other forces outlined in Melee A Trois below get there; Claiming to be the very forces whose ships they'd taken to be let right in the spaceport without a shot.
- 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.
- A C-Earth tank Colonel, now in charge of a mech battalion, goes on a page-long rant about the endless logistical clusterfuck that is trying to piece together a functioning logistical chain for 36 wildly differing 'Mechs, most of which are constructed mostly of scrap bits from other 'mechs and armed with whatever his science & engineering attachment ("...to a mere battalion command!... ) could scrounge. His Inner Sphere XO starts laughing because that is what any Mech commander works with.
- 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.
- Gadget Watches: One with a bhut jolokia pepper spray.
- Glass Cannon: Despite their BVR advantages, C-Earth vehicles are very fragile.
- Also highlighted by their products, be it electronics or machines, all have insane output for their size and/or mass at the expense of lifespan.
- Guy in Back: GDI adds these to Mechs, partly to get another set of eyes on the radar screen, partly to keep an eye on new recruits.
- High-Speed Missile Dodge: Various ASFs do this because the missiles used against them mount contact-detonated shaped charges instead. C-Earth's response is more missiles.
- Hilarity Ensues
- I Need a Freaking Drink:
- Skip Tyler's reaction to reviewing some of the submarine warfare options of the Inner Sphere is to seek out a pub.
- Major Staedele, after learning of the nuclear rearmament, muses that he needs something stronger than the beer he's drinking at the time.
- Invincible Hero: The writers are trying to avert this, but the discussion to this end can and has gotten inflammatory at times.
- I Think You Broke Him: In a non-romantic example, an ambassador to the Outworld Alliance, of Native American descent, learns Motherlode has numerous tribes surviving upon it.
- Macross Missile Massacre: Clancy-Earth aircraft throw a lot of missiles around. Then again, given how tough BattleTech armour is, this is rather necessary.
- 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, a Draconis Combine regiment shows up looking for the notorious Space Pirate Redjack Ryan, who burned his way across the Combine to Antallos. The day after that, a Federated Suns RCT shows up tracking the Dracs. The day after that, Ryan shows up at a pirate point, demanding the coordinates for "Motherload"(Earth) Or Else. 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.
- Most Definitely Not a Villain: Remus Lupin? Most Definitely Not A Wolfnet SPAH.
- 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 immediate Heel–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.
- Never Live It Down: Sally Ryan's apparent crush on Dansel is given this treatment in-universe.
- Noodle Incident: One of the Buron Calvary's new recruits did something in Las Vegas involving rubber pants, two pounds of spaghetii noodles, an inflatable sheep, and ten feet of rope.
- 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.
- Not So Different: In the main discussion thread, it is noted that Clancy-Earth and ComStar actually have some rather similar goals.
- 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.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: Vorax threatened the Buron Cav's dependents to get them to go along.
- 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.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Greene tries to hide from a reporter with the aid of a fake mustache and the name Wallace Breen(e).
- 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.
- Reality Ensues
- Reality is Out to Lunch: Played for Laughs with the Shout Outs.
- Recycled In Space: It basically started as The Salvation War in space.
- Which for obvious reason, the involved writers want to avoid but still...
- 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.
- 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! "
- The casualnote 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.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: When the GDI found out that the leader of the Space Pirate group attacking them in Port Krin was Redjack Ryan, they gleefully nailed him with over 100 artillery shells.
- 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 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.
- Your Mom: Brox loves these.
- 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.