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Ian Davion - Golden Lion (Chapter Art).png

Ian Davion, Golden Lion[]

Chapter 11 – Eagle’s Nest[]

Bonding in the Mech Bay[]

04/25/3041 - 18:29 - Location – City of Troy, Augustine, Free Worlds League


Ian Davion and Corrine Marik walked into the Augustine Metals refit facility in the city of Troy 107 kilometers away from Sunspire.  The Bays were currently occupied by Battlemechs in the livery of four different units, the AMI Training Battalion (Light Purple on Gray), “Lions of New Avalon” (Gold on Red), Kristen's Krushers (Black on Light Purple), and the Fourth Marik Militia (Dark Purple on White).

Ian noticed Vance and Mykah the Techs for himself and Bishop respectively, Corrine's tech Patrice pulled her aside for a moment while he talked to his own people.  “Mykah, have you seen Bishop?”

“I've seen him but, Major Sortek has been acting strange this morning, Ian.  He was pulled into a tactics session with an ****** of a Captain from the Fourth.  Probably will end up in a fight.  Hopefully it will be in sim only.  Hate for Jack to take the beating when the meat will do.”

“I don't know what is up with him but I don't like it either.  Ever since we left Solaris it's like he's changed.  I'll talk to him again later.

Vance, I'm going to help Corrine install one of the lasers into her mech.”

He looked over his shoulder at the young woman who was wearing a purple tank top and gray shorts with low boots in the hot weather. “Showing off the big hardware for the little lady, huh?”

“Something like that.  I know how to put it in but I want you and her tech to take a look when we are done.”

Vance was about to open his mouth but was silenced, “By the way get your mind out of the gutter and keep your eyes open, you too Mykah.  Both of you are the senior techs so pass it around to the others.  I don't necessarily trust the Fourth or Krushers with our gear but unless we wanted to keep them on the Valor this is only place we can service them.”

“We should just keep them on the Valor, Ian.”

“I thought about that Mykah but we are scheduled to do some training exercises with the Fourth and Krushers while we are on their world.  This will be easier on everybody unless they want to stay in their bunks on the Valor.”

Vance looked at his insulated lunch pail, “The food is an improvement.  If you like Gyros.”

“Aren't Gyros you're specialty, Vance?”

“And muscles, myomer he flexed his right arm showing off the well-defined bicep, “and otherwise.”

Mykah rolled her eyes at her fellow tech, “Showing off already, Vance?  We've only been on planet one day.”

“This audience has not yet witnessed the wonder, Chief.”

“I want to witness you getting some work done today.” She pointed over to one of LNA Mechs the thus far limited production Hounds, the FedSuns copy of the original Cataphract that might soon be replacing the standard Jagermechs in the AFFS formations.  “The left leg actuators on Peter's Hound are locking up again.”

“That doggy needs more potassium and hydration to prevent cramps.  Why do I have to troubleshoot these damn prototypes?  That should have been Kallon QC's job.”

“Get to work, Senior Tech Sergeant Kilbourne.”

“Only if you are watching, Chief Tech Gold.”

“I have more important things to do.  So does he.

See you later, Ian.”

Ian walked over to Corrine and exchanged a quick greeting and pop quiz on MechTech by Patrice.  One of the Krusher techs ran over to the woman, “Chief, we have a problem with the Caesar.”

“Is it that Extralight engine shielding again?” Ian asked

“No the Gauss Rifle capacitors aren't holding the charge.”

“Damn this new fangled tech.  Just give me a Grasshopper or Guillotine, something simple and easy to work on.  It was good enough for the past hundred years. 

Grasshopper Heavy "Mech

Excuse me, Countess Marik and Prince Davion, duty calls.

I'm keeping an eye on you two so get to work.”

“Sure thing, Chief.” Ian told him

Ian walked down the bay next to Corrine through the Mech Bay which smelled of cooling oil, sweat, and burning metal.  They eventually were at the foot of Troubadour, the partially gray and purple Wolverine 6M was well worn and still carried some battle damage from the last time it was used.  “So why did Sylvia call it Troubadour?”

“It was her callsign.  Well it started out Trouble Doer.” Corrine told him

“Bit of a firecracker, huh?” Ian asked

“Yeah, last time this unit was in service was nearly fifty four years ago; during Alessandro's Deep Raid.  She took down a Zeus Assault 'Mech on Nathan in this thing solo.”

Zeus Assault 'Mech in combat

“Wow, that's not easy.” commented Ian

“Yeah tell that to Troubadour.  Patrice and I have been fixing it up since I enrolled in AMI last year.  You know first years don't get a lot of time in the cockpit at academies.”

“Yeah same with Albion.  I spent my first year fixing up Golden Lion in my skimpy spare time.  Might change soon with more production from the factories as we recover some of the lost technologies that make these things work.

Do you have a callsign yet?” Ian asked

“No, how bout you?”

“Haven't been in combat long enough.  Scratch is catching on though, particularly with my tech Vance.”

She watched him bring one of the scissor lifts over from the bay, “Mr. Muscle guy.”

“Yep, that's Vance Kilbourne.”

“Why, Scratch?”

“Every time I get in a battle with Golden Lion.  I've got to rebuild it almost from Scratch.”

Corrine readied the tools they would need to take off her Wolverine's arm mounted Magna Mark III laser. Widely known for its ease of maintenance especially on this unit.  “Maybe your luck will turn soon.”

Ian hoisted the tools on the working surface and offered his hand to Corrine so that she could get on the platform beside him. “With all due respect Countess I hope it doesn't.  I am quite happy with Golden Lion taking the hits for my squishy body.  He is built for it, I just ride him into battle and take all the glory.”

Ian watched as Corrine went under the laser to undo the brackets while he attached the unit to the gantry crane above.  Her tank top rode up a bit and he took the opportunity to take a peak at her while she was distracted.  She had the lean and fit body of a runner and great legs.  It made sense she chose a skirmisher type Battlemech out of the available options.


Experienced Mechwarriors could tell what kinds of mechs someone used by their personality and physique.  Larger taller people rode assault 'Mechs meant to break the line like the Atlas, Zeus, Stalker, or Victor.  Boxers preferred brawlers with a punch like the Hunchback, Orion, Guillotine, or Grasshopper.   Lithe people chose mechs with mobility like the Jenner, Wolverine, Dragon, or Phoenix Hawk. Sharpshooters were given designs with a lot of long range missiles like the Valkyrie, Archer, Apollo, or Crusader.

The list went on but smart militaries chose their matches based on the Mechwarrior's innate abilities which were multiplied by the Battlemech.  Losing a DI computer was like losing your brother or sister and Mechwarriors went to great lengths to protect the computer for later installation in another unit to reduce the discomfort of the adjustment period.  You were your mech under the Neurohelmet and that bond is what made the fighting unit so effective and special.
 

It was something that was difficult to explain to someone that didn't know already and syncing with a Battlemech was something that took time especially if it was an older model.  The whole process also only worked a certain segment of the population and the families that were the best became the five ruling houses of the Successor States, Davion, Steiner, Kurita, Marik, and Liao.  It was an even more intense bond in the Aerospace fighter version of the cockpit but the technological limits of the Succession Wars nearly made that form of spacecraft extinct just like the Warships of the Star League.

A yell came from under the assembly, “Stop looking at me, Ian!”

Ian doubled check the cables that held the laser up and prevented it from crushing the Countess.  "Sorry Corrine.  I didn't mean to stare.”

She wiggled her way back to a seated position however during the process he got a look at the bottom of her black sports bra before she pushed the top back down and tucked it into her shorts.  “Sure you didn't.  We'll this unit is unbolted from the arm.  I trust we are hooked on the gantry above.”

“Affirmative, lets head down and drop it.”


Ian lowered Troubadour's large laser assembly from the right arm using the Mech Bay's overhead gantry crane, “I can help you put the new hand on later but we'll start with this its probably easier.” he tapped on the outside of a carefully packaged metal container marked 'AFFS Proprietary Technology' on it, 'V.E.S.T. S7 Unit XIV' was stencil painted on the side.
 

Once the Magna Mk III was placed in the powered lowboy trailer Ian and Corrine got to work unbolting the armor that protected the laser itself.  Once the top was removed they opened the honeycomb style backing and saw the unit itself.
 

Ian whistled at the sight, “Look at all that corrosion.  Must have been bad coolant.  Might have fired but just as likely to burn itself up.”

Corrine leaned over the frame to take a look herself, she had to get on her tip-toes to look over and Ian tried desperately to look at something on his engineer's console, “I guess it wasn't sealed correctly.  Good thing I didn't need it yet.  Oh well.
 

You said we had to change almost everything to install the new unit anyhow right?”

“Almost everything.” Ian stepped toward the crate and keyed in a code to unlock the container which folded down to reveal a sleek and shiny new laser slightly larger in volume due to the sophisticated built in heat sink.  “Particularly in the Mech itself.  Might take a while to run the new wires, but I'm pretty fast with wiring courtesy of recent experience.”

Corrine was admiring the shiny new design, “It's not a normal heat sink or laser insulator.”

“No, this unit has double the heat dissipation of a standard heat sink dedicated particularly to keeping the power supply cool.  Its one of the technologies recovered from the Helm Core that led to a breakthrough in power supplies and cooling.  The whole project was a major one, very top secret while it was going on.  My father put a lot of Pounds and his best minds behind it.
 

This new large laser design, the Exostar Northstar, is just one of the many things that benefited from NAIS' work just last year.

Its a very promising field of study.  I'm told making it more widely available will require a little bit more refining and tooling changed over in order to get enough to refit even one RCT with it.  With the Commonwealth beginning that process it shouldn't take long, Dynamico is already changing their lines over.”

“That is very impressive.” she commented

“All the ports are located on the back so we will have to make a new casing for the laser itself that will work with your Mech's new right hand.”

“I'm glad the LCCC is beginning to give more of our FWLM mechs a pair of hands.  So useful, they are worth it for the advantages even if they cost more to make.”

“Agreed, only regret I have about Golden Lion is he doesn't have hands, but he's not supposed to be in close.”

“That didn't work out so well for you against my cousin, Photon?”

“Don't I know it.  Still get a little dizzy every once in a while.  Doc says I'm fine though.”

“Sorry about that anyway on behalf of the Marik family.”

“I appreciate it, Corrine, but you were not to blame nor anyone else in your family except Photon.  It was my own damn fault.  I should have listened to Bishop.”

Ian took some measurements and plugged the device into his engineering computer to ensure that the device was properly manufactured.  “Everything looks green for this unit.  Can't wait to test it out.”

“Let's get it in first, Ian.”

“Right, one step at a time.  I requested the machine shop make us an new assembly large enough to accommodate the new laser.  They will drop this into that while we work on the hand.”

The flatbed was guided toward the machine shop past squads of techs and security troops.  Mechwarriors for each unit were suiting up for today's training runs.  Someone shouted “Mech on the Move!”

Ian and Corrine moved their flatbed out of the way and watched a brand new Krusher Banshee 4S (95t, 4/6, GR, PPC, SRM4, 4ML) walk past them.  The footsteps of the assault mech, one of the largest in the Inner Sphere, quaked even the deep set foundation of the Mech Bay.  “Wow, The Krushers are gearing up for something.”

“New toy syndrome, she's getting everything clear to get out of League space next contract.  That 4S and the Caesar over there.”  She pointed to the sleek mech whose clean lines were unlike those typically found in Lyran designs. “Were bought together for their Gauss Rifles and to curry some favor with Duke Bradford.  The brand new big gun is still a bit unreliable, but I'm sure they will fix it in due time.  With how much Kristen spent on just the Banshee she could have bought a whole lance of Guillotines.  However, I'm sure Harrison Bradford will appreciate the support given to his company.”

“It was probably for her.”

“You are probably right, Ian.  She is a bit of a bruiser, a Banshee seems like a good fit.”

“That woman is a bruiser, huh?  Seemed nice enough.” Ian commented

“You should see her fight.  The BattleROMs of her in her Lancer days are pretty impressive.  Blew a Whitworth apart with one shot from her Hunchback.  Motherhood has softened her a bit but don't be fooled, she's tough.”

“I will keep that in mind, Corrine.” The flatbed finally made it to the machine shop, Ian and Corrine handed over the weapon to the machinists who were already hard at work making a new assembly.  They returned with a mech's hand on a different flatbed and took that back to Troubadour lifting it up to the stripped down arm of the Wolverine which revealed all the steel gray bundles of myomer musculature underneath.  Vance had already anchored strands of the material to the mech's frame but it took Ian and Corrine more than an hour of operating the myomer merging machine and bolting the armor onto the hand before they were complete.
 

Corrine powering up the Battlemech to confirm that the musculature was operating correctly and gave a giant middle finger to a random 4th Marik Militia mech which almost resulted in a fight before Ian convinced the Mechwarrior it was an aberrant twitch.  Ian looked over at the open cockpit, “You're a trouble maker, Corrine!”

“Just a bit of light fun, Ian!”

“The time for fun is over.” 'I can't believe I just said that.  So unlike me.'

“You're just jealous you can't flip people off with your Marauder.”

“That might be true.  Let's get this laser in and hit the showers.”  Ian fanned himself with his cover, “Its too damn hot on this world and this bay is an oven.”

Corrine joined him on the scissor lift as he pulled the lever that would lower them back to ground level, She too adjusted her hat to fix her ponytail which had a lock of bright purple in the otherwise black hair, “Why do you think I'm wearing shorts?”

“I try to keep in uniform, Cadet.  Doubt they let you dye your hair at AMI?”

“How very proper of you, Captain Davion.  They don't, but I'm presently on leave to visit my mercenary aunt.  The dye will wash out before I make it back to New Olympus especially if I sweat a lot which like you said is not hard here.”

The two of them returned with the laser and installed it in Troubadour.  The diagnostics from the cockpit were green but Vance and Patrice came and checked on their work for the day. Both found it satisfactory but very slow and a little sloppy.  The more experienced techs cleaned it up and showed them what they had done incorrectly but gave them an A+ for Amateurs.  Ian and Corrine headed toward the locker room to get a shower.  The lockers were sectioned off but the individual shower stalls were together as were the restrooms.
 

Ian caught a glimpse of Corrine's hip tattoo before she went into the shower but nothing more.  “Very cute tattoo, Corrine.” A bar of white soap was tossed over the divider and through the steam hitting him right in the forehead with a thud. “Ouch!”

“Serves you right.  No peeking.” scolded Corrine


Chit Chat before a test Sortie[]

04/26/3041 - 05:48 Location – Augustine Metals, City of Troy - Augustine, Free Worlds League


“Ian!  Looking good; from this angle at least.”  Ian turned around at the woman that had ended up right behind him while he was admiring his mech.  Corrine took a moment to look at his outfit in the morning sun.  Federation Green Shorts, Gold Cooling Vest, and Tan Boots all of which fit his athletic body quite nicely.  “The Midas vest is a bit much don't you think?”

He looked down at the Midas vest from the Cooling Solutions Company of El Dorado (CSCED often mispronounced 'Succeed' especially in their marketing materials).  “This the finest cooling vest in all the Federated Suns, Corrine.  The only type suitable for a Prince of the People.  They gave me two of them for free.  All I had to do was endorse them.”

He looked up at the dawn sun and the light hit him in a truly regal way, clearly something he had practiced.  “I regret nothing.”

“You are ridiculous.” she told him

“Hurtful.” Ian said

Ian looked at her outfit as well, there were no female mechwarriors in his unit it just hadn't worked out that way.  He had never seen his sister in whatever she wore in her Phoenix Hawk though it probably looked something like Corrine was wearing except maybe in a different color palette.

She wore a tight black cropped top that showed off her shoulders and arms both of which were tan, a sleek black Artemis Alloy cooling vest accentuated her abdomen and reached to the bottom of her top, dark purple compression shorts covered her thighs but had a gap that showed a portion of leg before it reached the top of her black boots.  One of which had a stiletto type dagger hanging off the side.  “Nice cooling vest especially on you.  Didn't think they allowed Canopian imports in the League anymore.”

“They didn't attack us, just the Confederation-Andurien stuff though the market has cratered for them.  Just because they favor Davion doesn't mean anything.
 

They are right next door to the League while you are on the other side of the Inner Sphere.

I picked this outfit up and a few other things from a free trader that was coming out of Rasalhague and Lyran space.  Apparently she couldn't sell her goods in the Combine and had some extras.  I got her before she got back to Atreus with the latest fashions from Tharkad.”

“While I am very curious about what else you picked up from this Canopian.”

She lifted an eyebrow and put a hand on her hip, “You'll never find out.”

Ian was smart enough to not even whisper what he was imagining, 'We'll see about that. '

“I have to wonder why she couldn't sell her goods in the Combine.  Kanrei Theodore actually allows Onna Bugeisha to exist now for the first time in a long time.”

“That's what Isabella thought.  She told me that they still don't manufacture cooling vests that fit the female form well.  Only the most boyish can fit and even then most are still too small for even the smallest men's size.

The Canopian stuff was too expensive for them, much to their dismay.

Their loss is my gain however; Artemis brand stuff is the best on the market and as you can see it is both cute and functional.
 

My size always sells out when a shipment comes in to New Olympia, the upper class bitches beat me to it but not this time.”  She gave a little twirl, “I can't wait to see them cry.”

“So what do the women of the DCMS wear in the cockpit?” Ian asked

“They just go topless or wear the Sarashi. Corrine told him

Female mechwarriors in the DCMS normally pilot units that don't get too hot or are very old like older Dragons and Shadow Hawks, not the new types with a PPC.  I guess eventually the Pillar of Jade will address their demand but things move slowly there unless the Coordinator pushes.”

Ian thought about something completely different now, he hadn't heard that about the DCMS but then again the AFFS was unlikely to capture a female Mechwarrior on the border.  “Really?  Topless?”

“That's what Isabella told me.
 

You are such a boy.  Get your mind in the game and out of game.  Let's get moving I want to give the Northstar some live fire.”

The two of them walked to their mechs which were currently placed next to one another.  They took the lift up the four meters to the pilot deck where their neurohelmets were waiting.  “Is that a Dreamcatcher?”  Ian's Red and Gold D-38 was the best on the market and he had gotten unit 5 right from Doering Electronics on New Kyoto.  “Sure is.”

“I didn't think they were even available for sale yet.”

“Benefits that come with my position.”

“A gift from the Archon?” Ian asked

“She took a lot of charming to get on my side and no small measure of her mother's intervention.  I am fairly certain she would have happy to have me down the sights of an M&G that first night.”

“What did you do to her?”

“Its a long story I'll tell you while we are en-route.”

Corrine picked up her matte black unit with an high back plate.  Corrine did her black and purple hair up in a low ponytail and it hung down readily through the slot. “Artemis Moondancer, fairly certain my sister has one as well.”

“She has good taste.  I want to complete the set but a full outfit needs to be tailored with a very long backlog, and it is really expensive.  I'd have to go to Fanardir to have a chance to get one.”

“If you knew her you would agree, wish her boyfriend would stop beating my fellow Cavaliers at fencing however.  Albion's record is still positive even if he is the coach for NAMA but they better shape up.  Did a stint on the Rugby and Pistol team as well?”

“You fenced?” asked Corrine

“Top sabreur at Albion my Junior and Senior Years.  How about you?  I am guessing that stiletto on your boot is not just for show.”

She gave a predatory smile, “And you would be right I'm a Marik.  It's like being a Kurita without the honorable bit.  A family doesn't still get to be in charge after almost four hundred years of intermittent civil war without learning a few things.

I'm pretty good with a Halberd too.  Right now I'm on Track and Field team at AMI.”

“Well I would like to see how you move, Countess Marik.”

“From afar, Prince Davion.  Troubadour can easily outpace Golden Lion, but I'll slow down to let you catch up if you like.”

“Maybe I like the view from behind.” commented Ian

“Cheeky and it's not even full daylight yet and you're already in rare mood already aren't you.”

“Can't turn it off I'm afraid.  Comes with the package.”

“Turn it down a bit though; if you want to keep that fancy Midas vest in one piece.”

Ian smiled, “I have a spare and no regrets.”

Captain Davion walked to the currently open cockpit of Golden Lion and Corrine climbed up the shoulders of Troubadour slipping into its very cramped cockpit with her lithe frame.  The glass closed and the twin sensor masts that were very similar to the smaller Phoenix Hawk that shared its comm suite raised into their positions.
 

The Wolverine came online and Corrine checked the unit's hands again to ensure that the new right hand was operating properly.  Golden Lion powered up and raised its barrel arms into their active carry position just below Ian's visual plane.  The Nav point appeared on the HUD visor attached to his helmet, “You go first, Ian.”

“We'll take forever to get there.” Ian said

“I have nothing but time.  Now, how did I piss Melissa off?”

“You sure you want to hear that story?  You might get jealous.”

“Doubtful.”

“Well if you want I will start from the beginning.”

The two mechs marched out of the Mech Bay, “So once I landed on Tharkad.  I noticed something very interesting about the Lyran's rail obsession.”

A short time passed, “You really can't turn it off can you?”

“Why would I want to?” asked Ian


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