Powers Best Left Alone is a short story by Lone Wolf set in the 1990s. It tells the last moments of Beta Three, a tank squadron destroyed in a research accident on Europa. The story was published in Issue #4 of the Battlezone Magazine .
The Biometal War is over, but tensions are rising between the former Soviet nations and the United States. Both sides are engaging in military posturing and Europan battalions are being secretly strengthened.
Stationed on Europa at the time was Beta Three, a tank wing on call to defend American bases from former Soviet incursion. To their disappointment, no such incursion came for over a year. The incursion that eventually did come was significant, combining Grendels, Czars and Stolis in a force of at least twenty units strong, but was repelled by the combined use of American artillery and ground forces. The attack force is whittled down to three units before surrendering, and they confess that whilst they launched an attack raid they did so out of desperation and need for supplies after their base was destroyed by an unknown enemy.
When Beta Three's commander reports the attack to General Collins, the General orders Beta Three to investigate their claims. Under interrogation the survivors describe a rift opening in the sky, from which a large black ship emerged and strafed their base.
Apprehensive, and believing the Furies may have returned, Beta Three investigate the CCA base. Unable to find it, they start a spiraling search pattern. Eventually it is discovered that the base has been rendered invisible when Beta Three's commander crashes into them. Upon further investigation using the SITE Camera, he confirms that the base was indeed destroyed in battle.
The reported rift was also still visible when using the SITE camera, but the ship was nowhere to be seen. Instead there was a small and unrecognized device in the middle of the base. Upon its destruction, the field rendering the base and rift invisible is destroyed.
The moment the object is destroyed, the black ship reappears and destroys one of the Eagles. On its second pass it missed and instead hit a CCA Comm Tower, catching itself in the resulting explosion. Beta Three are able to take advantage of the situation and shoot it down. The remains are recovered using tugs, and scientists are called in from Mars to investigate.
Eventually the engineers manage to reverse-engineer the vehicle's weapons and shield systems and make an effort to test them. The attempt to use the alien equipment is a catastrophic failure, and the resulting explosion destroys the entire base. The only survivor of the incident is Beta Three's commander, who holds himself responsible. He is left stranded on Europa with no way of calling for backup, and it is implied that he either starves or dies of exposure.
- The USSR collapsed on Boxing Day 1991, which places the events of Powers Best Left Alone in late January 1993 at the earliest - over 10 years after the formation of the ISDF. The ISDF would begin to fragment from the AAN two years later.
- Beta Three appear to use a unique unit called the Eagle.