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Deadman's Hand - The Kowloon Job (Chapter Cover Art)

Chapter 12[]

Dead Man's Hand: The Kowloon Job[]

Militia Proving Grounds
Jade Falcon Occupation Zone
14th April, 3054

Henry back-peddled, the impromptu club missing his Nova's left shoulder by maybe a meter, leaving a deep impact crater in the ground where it struck. The Archer pilot didn't let up, and swung again, forcing him to keep moving back on the defensive. Fortunately, a low ceiling prevented the far taller Mech from following, giving him time to get his bearings. The Archer continued to swipe at him, so he unleashed all his lasers, burning deep holes in the leg and lower torso armor of the bigger machine, the sudden wave of heat in his cockpit almost taking his breath away.

But it was worth it, as he saw the Archer stumble backwards, giving him time to side-step into the open and prepare to fight back. The Archer followed his move, firing back with its own lasers, doing minimal damage to the Nova. Despite massing some twenty tons more, at close range, the Archer would be at a disadvantage, so long as he could get the club out of its hand. Firing another blast, this time with only half his lasers to stop the heat level from spiking again, Henry charged forward, igniting his jump-jets at the last moment, delivering a flying kick to the Archer. It stumbled backwards, tripping, and Henry rode it down, ending with his Nova standing on it's chest.

Looking down, he saw a worrying grin on the other pilots face as the massive covers on the Archers missile launchers snapped open, the suddenly the world was filled with smoke and flame.

Henry remembered reading about the almost legendary dupes between Morgan Kelly and Yorinaga Kurita, where the commander of the Kell Hounds. A man he had in part been named in honor of, had attempted a similar trick when he found himself in a point-blank battle with his opponents Warhammer. The fights had been required reading at Blackjack. They had to write a paper about how he would counter such an attack. He'd gotten an A+ for his.

All this flashed through his mind as he mind as he rode out the impact of some forty missiles, all the time watching he secondary screen to track any damage... only there didn't seem to be any. If anything, it was almost as if the missiles had been little more than balloons filled with water...

Henry looked up: half of his canopy was obscured with thick, candyfloss pink gel like paint! A quick systems check indicated that a good half of his lasers were compromised. Oh, he might be able to clear them be firing, but it was just as likely that they would overheat and explode. In one attack, his opponent had rendered him half blind and taken away half his ranged weapons.

This was not going to be easy.

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