Death From Above


After deciding to send Jackrabbit off with Smalls and Cotton for his safety, Mac and Kade find themselves in the midst of a pitched mech battle against the rest of Cotton’s lance.


Kade and Mac attempt to understand why Jackrabbit is being hunted by various people.  Until they figure it out they feel that the best place for him to be is on the Half Pint with Cotton and Smalls.  Jackal is reluctant to leave his friends but finally agrees that this plan is the best course of action…just as long as his friends promise to miss him a lot.  Jackrabbit goes off to pack just as Cotton and Smalls arrive.  Smalls wants to know why Jackrabbit is so important to everyone, as do Kade and Mac, but Cotton demurs and reiterates that “it’s just a job”.  They go over the plan to remove Jackrabbit from immediate danger before Waffles, a member of the traveling mech show, comes over to ask Kade and Mac about how they want to celebrate this year’s “Remembrance Day”.  This visibly upsets Kade and she soon takes her leave of the group, much to the confusion of Cotton and Smalls.  Mac goes off to check on her while Waffles tells the remaining two that Kade’s mother was the previous mech tech of the group before she was killed during a show after being kicked in the head by a Marauder.  He even alludes to her father being killed during a performance as well at which point Smalls asks if anyone is welcome to participate in “Remembrance Day”.  Waffles lets Cotton know that the Half Pint has returned with the rest of the lance and that some of the lance mates should be showing up soon.

Speaking of the devil, one of the aforementioned lance mates arrived.  Lance commander Pinpoint comes up and makes small talk with Cotton and Smalls.  She relates that the previous mission went well and the rest of the crew is ready to move on.  She is a bit surprised when she finds out that their newest assignment will be to keep Jackrabbit out of harm’s way.  She tries to find out what Cotton knows about Jackrabbit, specifically who he is and who might be after him.  Cotton avoids the questions asserting again that Jackrabbit is just a guy who he is looking out for as a favor for an old friend.  At this point Tyree comms in to Pinpoint with a message from the other members of the lance.  They want to know if her meeting with Cotton went well and if she is “good to go”.  Returning to the Half Pint, Cotton holds a meeting with Pinpoint and Jackrabbit.  As the Half Pint begins to take off, Pinpoint reveals her ultimate plan.  She pulls a gun on Cotton threatening to take Jackrabbit and turn him over to Karma for the very large sum of money that they are offering for him.  Smalls takes matters into her own hands and opens an airlock causing the ship to come crashing back down to the planet surface.  Kade and Mac witness this and hurry to their mechs to make their way to the Half Pint while Tyree reports a mutiny, a slightly compromised ship, and that a crash landing is imminent.

As Smalls makes her way to the cockpit, Cotton and Jackrabbit jump into their mechs to face off against Pinpoint and the rest of the traitorous lance.  Outside the crashed dropship, Kade and Mac have arrived in their mechs in time to help in the assault.  The cramped quarters and the fragile floor make things difficult for a time and neither side is able to make much headway, though Cotton does take the bulk of the damage.  Suddenly the comms come to life and another lance member, callsign Havoc, reveals to Cotton that he has taken Smalls hostage and is holding her in his mech.  With renewed vigor Cotton and his allies strike back and are able to destroy Pinpoint’s Stalker.  She ejects into the side of the dropship and is killed leaving the other betrayers to take up the fight.  Mech warrior Doc steps up to take command and is also summarily destroyed and killed upon ejection.  One member, callsign Shadowhawk, rethinks his dubious ways and retreats from the battlefield leaving Havoc all alone.  Having taken heavy damage Havoc is willing to listen then Cotton offers to let business be business if Havoc leaves Smalls and exits his mech.  Havoc agrees but once he turns his back Cotton mows him down with a full alpha strike, as he tells the others “Smalls is off limits”.  All enemies defeated Cotton and Jackrabbit go to check on the status of the remaining ship crew and Smalls respectively.  Mac and Kade offer to allow them to use the Renegade as their new dropship, something that seems to be the best course of action since the Half Pint is completely destroyed.  Once alone, Kade and Mac once again try to understand why Jackrabbit is so valuable and so sought after.  Mac remembers that Jackrabbit was playing with a spear shaped pendant on his necklace during the battle and resolves to find out whatever he can about the history of this object and what it means for Jackrabbit.