|Author||Randall N. Bills|
|Product||Classic BattleTech Universe|
|Era||Succession Wars era|
|Universe Date||3 May 3036|
Perpetual War is a short story by Randall N. Bills that was first published as intro fiction in the Classic BattleTech Universe booklet that came with the 2007 Classic BattleTech Introductory Box Set. It was replaced by another short story, A Time of Ice and Fire, in the booklet's following edition.
The story underwent changes including the addition of some text and an epigraph as well as the trimming of other parts of the text when the booklet was republished as Inner Sphere at a Glance for the next edition of the BattleTech boxed set. The trimming and removal of art on the pages reduced the story from originally three to only two pages. The additions served to clarify the context of the story and identify the participants. The trimmed parts contain no significant story content.
Elements of the 17th Avalon Hussars in the Brighton region on the Federated Suns world of Cassias respond to a Union-class DropShip from the enemy Draconis Combine that has landed entirely too close to a supposedly secret supply depot.
A small group of enemy 'Mechs including a notably skilled Dragon delays them at the only pass across a gorge they need to cross. In the end, the Dragon sacrifices itself by ramming Captain Suzanne Lewis's Catapult. By the time the Avalon Hussars have pushed through, the majority of the attacking force have already retreated to their DropShip, apparently without looting the depot dry. Lewis is left to wonder why the Dragon pilot bought them time with his life, and if there was something in that depot she didn't know about.