Once upon a time on Tharkad there lived an Atlas named Gary.
Garry was a proud member of the Archon’s Scout Lance, but he was different from the other Atlases.
His engineers had forgotten to convert to metric from imperial and so he was built one third the size of the other Atlases.
Gary was the Littlest Atlas.
Gary tried hard to be like the other Atlases.
He tried to be a good gunner like Reginald. But his autocannon was too small to pierce armor, and Reginald would replace his targets with infantry and laugh.
He tried to march in formation like Gunther. But his fusion engine made him too fast and Gunther would kick him out of the way.
He tried leading the unit like Percy. But he didn’t have a command console and Percy would just howl and make fun of him.
They just didn’t believe in him and said they weren’t a true Scout Lance with a small mech like him.
Try as he might, he just wasn’t as good as the other Atlases, no matter how hot his fusion reactor heart burned; and that made him sad.
One day Gary showed up to the training ground to find his Lance loading into a fortress dropship. They were shipping out to stop the Clan invaders. But they wouldn’t let him go along.
Sad and angry Gary snuck on board at the last minute, stowing away with the tanks.
When they landed on the planet he listened to the orders his Lance received. They were going to scout the enemy in a dense forest.
Gary snuck along behind his lance, waiting to see if he would have a chance to help.
As his Lance reached their second nav point they were beset on all sides by sneaky wolf clan mechs and strange armored men.
Reginald blasted a MadCat. But he couldn’t seem to hit the armored men.
Gunther outmaneuvered the enemy Gladiator, but couldn’t outrun the armored men.
Percy called out orders, but his lance couldn’t hear him over the armored men banging on their hulls.
Gary’s lance was in trouble.
Throttling his fusion reactor to maximum Gary roared into action. His little autocannon and missiles made short work of the armored men on Reginald, who called out “Good shooting Gary!”
He zoomed around Gunther, kicking the armored men off and dodging their fire. Reginald called out “Great footwork, Gary!”
Gary then instructed Reginald and Gunther to help him. And following orders, they saved Percy, who called out “Great leadership, Gary!”
Back at the dropship everyone was surprised to see Gary leading his lance. They reported what they had seen. Over the next few weeks his scout Lance led the way and provided the means to save the planet.
When Gary and his lance returned home to Tharkad the Archon was there to greet them. She gave a wonderful speech about defending the realm and then asked Gary to step forward.
She said “There is no finer example of the spirit of our great house than an assault mech. An assault mech isn’t just 100 tons of armor and weapons; it’s the burning desire to serve, and the attitude that anything is achievable. There is no finer example of that, then this little Atlas”. With that she placed a medal upon his chest.
Gary, the littlest Atlas, burned with pride; and from that day forward he was also known as the littlest assault mech: Leader of the Archon’s Scout Lance