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Ian Davion - Golden Lion (Chapter Art)

Ian Davion, Golden Lion[]


Chapter 19
Preparations
[]

Departing the Rescue[]


12/1/3043 - Location: Dropship, FSS Valor - In Orbit of Zanzibar


Prince Ian sat in the rec room of the Valor across from him was Corrine Marik, dressed in a turquoise and black jumpsuit cut to tight for her form. Even half unzipped, she struggled to move about in it without bursting seams. “I cannot believe that even with half rations for a month, I cannot fit into Trish's clothes. How does she keep that figure?”

DropShips (leaving planet) (Farseer Animation)

FSS Valor in orbit

They moved the game pieces hovering over the display, a simple strategy game in the vein of Stratego. “I don't think she eats solid food.”

Ian put his hand to his chin. “Now that I think about it, I rarely see her in the mess.”

She responded to the move with a celebratory beeping as the holograms engaged in simulated combat. “Well, whatever she's doing, I need to find out. I will be going to a wedding soon and will need to fit into a dress.”

Ian involuntarily swallowed his cup of tea, letting out a series of coughs. “Is that so?”

Corrine smiled at him. “Of course, silly. Why would I go back empty-handed after my near death experience? I'm only missing a few things.”

“Now what would those be?” Ian asked

“A groom, a ring, and a proposal.” she told him

A knock at the door caught their attention, but so it stopped shortly after, hearing no response. “Did you lock the door when I wasn't looking?”

Carefully, she edged across the seat to sit next to him. Her tone was demure but in a scheming girl's way. “Maybe...but we're allowed to have some private time together. They'll find something else to do.

If it was important, they would have used the intercom.”

“So you think you can secure all the missing pieces before you go return home?” Ian asked

Her hand wrapped around him as she leaned in. “Absolutely.”

“Well, Countess I don't have a ring.” he informed her

He felt her hand move down to his Albion Military Academy class ring. A handsome piece of etched gold with a faceted ruby inside. “This will work.”

Ian looked at her incredulously. It would be massive on her finger. He feared she might drop it if she tried to put it on and had no interest in searching the air filters for it should it fall. “Really, you want this one?”

“Only temporarily. You have a lot of cash sitting down in the cargo hold.”

The ship's Master of Arms and his deputy guarded four metal chests filled with C-bills, League Eagles, Capellan and St Ives Yuan, and Suns Pounds downstairs in the cargo hold. Next to them was Trish's luggage, a solidly wooden trunk weighing 150 kilos for just her 'might wear' clothes.

“That's going right into the Ducal Bank of New Syrtis then back to the Casinos I laundered it from under AFFS guard.”

“I accept payment in check.” she kissed him, both lingered on the sensation, “or trade.”

Ian returned the kiss with just as much vigor. “I am glad you are happy with our arrangement?”

She tightly embraced him. Ian smelled the carefully chosen floral perfume borrowed from Trish for this moment. “Immensely, I very much enjoyed our 'completely incidental' encounters with one another.

A dashing prince in bespoke uniform. Who knows his manners, duty, and how to dance, fight, and sing. Risking his life and fortune to swoop in to save the day. Only to sweep his lady off her feet to other places when he returns.

What woman wouldn't want that?”

The ring came off with some effort, feeling immensely heavy in his palm. “Well, as long as you don't make it a habit, Lady Marik. I've already rebuilt Golden Lion a half dozen times. It has become something of my great-grandfather's axe.

“I'm afraid I cannot make you any promises other than I am in no hurry to get back into a battlemech, particularly since Troubadour was a total loss.

I won't get my inheritance until after the ceremony.”

Ring now in hand he knelt down figuring out something poetic to say, “You certain now is the right time?”

“On one condition.” She whispered something into his ear. He whispered something back right into her ear which elicited a giggle and affirmative nod.


Unannounced visit to New Sytris[]

01/04/3044 - Location: Saso Starport - New Sytris, Federated Suns


Ian Davion disembarked from the FSS Valor onto New Syrtis after weeks of transit. His coat collar pinned up. A scarf around his neck bobbed slightly as he walked. His gait was odd, a common issue from anyone spending too much time in microgravity, yet he strove to keep his back straight and feet for his own pride in front of his cousin. Duke Morgan Hasek(-Davion) waited for him on the tarmac of Saso Starport. Their auburn hair tousled gently by the cool winds only partially tamed by the Mawreddog Range anchored by the great peak of Heaven's Rest.

Even with Ian being pale from spending too much time on the dropship, Morgan noticed the lack of AMA ring where his own Warrior’s Hall was. “Walking funny from microgravity? Or something else.”

Prince Ian shook Morgan's hand and gave him a wolfish smile. “What else can you do if you're canned up for weeks on end?”

“You could keep putting Golden Lion back together." He playfully put him in a headlock, rubbed Ian's hair with his knuckles. "Scratch. What a great callsign.”

Ian escaped the lock and attempted to comb his disheveled hair. Playfully socking Morgan's arm. “I need a lot of parts. Those pirates on Zanzibar really messed him up.”

“I'm sure you do. Happy that you got out of that situation in one piece.

Good thing you keep it as close to stock as possible. Johnson Industries will make it like new, my treat.” Morgan told him

Ian looked over to the armored car en route to the Valor. “I appreciate the offer, but it's my mech. I'll buy the parts and cube time at the normal rate. You will not get out of giving Corrine and I a wedding gift by fixing my mech.”

Morgan let out an exasperated sign. “You know I am hopeless in this kind of situation.” Ian was adamant and Morgan's posture changed to signal defeat at being outmaneuvered. Something that rarely happened. “Kym and I will find something suitable by that time.”

“I believe that.” Ian breathed in deep of the pure air. “Its been years since I've set foot in the Federated Suns.”

“It will always be here for you to return to.” he told Ian

“Another thing I believe.” Ian responded

Both men walked along the snowy tarmac, enjoying the peace and cool stillness.

“Anyway, where's the lucky young lady?” Morgan casually asked

“She's waiting for an arctic jacket that fits her. Trish went back to Canopian space with most of the others, so she took most of her giant clothes chest back with her, minus what Corrine was just fitting into.

We had to travel off the grid to get back here, otherwise I would have found something for her. Sorry we arrived with such brief notice.”

“You're always welcome on New Syrtis.” They watched as the armored car departed and a bus arrived from the terminal. It parked next to a large wheeled vehicle bearing House Hasek flags. Three people exited, two carrying duffel bags, each in a hurry to get out of the cold.

“Now that would be Kym trading the clothes for gossip, pastries, and tea. Guess the kids are with grandma Marie.”

Morgan started back toward the immense machine whose six wheels all carried snow chains, “Well that will take a while to settle.”

He handed Ian the keys. “Wanna take a turbocharged GM World Rover for a spin, kid?”

The silver keys caught the light just right much to Ian's delight. “Do I!?”

Ian climbed into the machine and adjusted the seat as Morgan entered on the passenger side. He turned the ignition switch and the I.C.E. Engine came alive with a deep rumble. Both of them attached the five point harnesses for the super charged off-road vehicle. “You always were the coolest, cousin.”

The rover idled as Morgan pulled up the map. “Drew was always a bit more like my father. You made the right choice working with Tran Ky Bao when you were there. Terrible choice of taking Photon Brett in The Jungle though. Seriously terrible. You're lucky you made it out alive.”

His cousin was slightly taller than Ian, so he needed to adjust the seat and mirrors. It had an instrument cluster that would make an Atlas operator proud. “I was young and impetuous then. Besides, Photon can't get his revenge now, he's grounded forever on Tamaron.”

Morgan listened as Ian throttled up the rover. “Young and impetuous then, yeah right..."

With concern, he watched as Ian’s hands reached for the shifter. “Look Ian, just let it out easy. We can work up to turbo.”

The Rover roared over the flat starport, ripping up thick ice and a little concrete in its wake. Its tracks leading up toward Heaven's Rest as a stack of black exhaust dissipated in the wind.


02/02/3044 - Location: Lady's Favor - New Syrtis, Federated Suns


Countess Corrine Marik looked out over the frozen lake warm inside her fur lined parka. Her hair the longest it had been since girlhood safely tucked in a woolen cap. Ian joined her carrying piping hot mugs of coffee. The rich smoky aroma was one of the things she missed most while captive. A momentary thought cross her mind; Where on this icy world would one grow coffee or was it all imported or fake?

Ian interrupted her daydreaming, “How does it feel to be in our first home together?”

The mug warmed her hands but they were still freezing despite her gloves, “I thought it would be far enough south to be warm during the winter when I picked it.”

They both laughed, “Morgan said its cold everywhere on New Syrtis.”

He wrapped his arm around her waist, “You just find someone to share your heat with.”

“That's a terrible line.” she playfully replied

“Worked for him.” He sipped the coffee nonchalantly, “I've made progress with worse.”

She tousled Ian's hair which had grown longer than uniform regulations demanded, “You sure it wasn't that amazing mane of his.” Her hand moved down his face, “or that chiseled jaw you share.”

“And women call men shallow. Nothing about our sense of humor.” He struck a heroic pose his coffee mug facing outward like some sword or pistol, “or honor.”

Ian retracted his arm placing it on his hip and took of a sip of coffee, “Our spirit of daring” tugging at his AFFS issue red winter coat, “or fine fashion sense.”

“No merely a handsome face.” She put her free hand in his back pocket goosing him, “with deep pockets.”

His surprise caused some coffee to spill onto the deck boards, “That's it! Engagement off.”

They shared a kiss, “I think you're just marrying me for my body and wealth Corrine. One of the covetous Countesses Patrick warned me about.”

Corrine's face twisted into a hurt expression at the faux reproach. “Oh Ian, what may I do to reassure you?”

His arms were folded and head up pretending to not look at her. Of course he couldn't help it. “I don't know if you can.”

She put the mug down on the table and politely took his away as well. They embraced and she got up on her toes to whisper. “There must be something.” into his ear.


02/08/3044 - Location: New Syrtis Metals Limited - Snowden, New Syrtis


The trio wore reflective silver overalls and hard hats with blackened visors as they passed along the sky tunnel. Ian and Corrine watched great crucibles of metal pour out into molds which were then shaped into industrial and military components. Each was impressed by the display of industriousness. Despite the insulation the noise in the tunnel was almost deafening a cacophony of sizzling metal and warning sirens. Even though it was frigid outside the heat of molten iron was trapped inside and they sweltered under their clothes.

Morgan shouted over the noise, “This is the latest expansion to NSM, Limited. Everything here is post Helm Core design. It takes up half the space as the old foundry but all the mechanization means its produces the same amount of product.”

Corrine looked out onto the floor seeing men and machines scurry along transporting red hot steel to shaping machines and the tempering furnace. “Wow! Morgan this is amazing.”

Despite being covered in protective gear she looked at him sheepishly, “I'm sorry to interrupt the tour, but where's the restroom?”

He pointed behind them, “There should be one near the foreman's office. We'll be right here when you are done.”

“Thank you!” Corrine rushed away leaving the two men on the catwalk.

Ian looked around stopping in parade rest to stare at the floor. “Good eyes, Morgan.”

His cousin stood beside him watching the yellow lights of an industrial-mech transporting a large piece of iron in its clamp like hands. “You pay closer attention to those things when you have a daughter.”

“You wouldn't happen to be looking for investors. I have too much money for my own good.”

“No, we're in good shape here on New Syrtis. Recently hired a lot of Capellan refugees to foster better relations. I will do what I can to help them stand on their own feet after so much misery. Heavens know they need it more than I do.

You should ask Corrine what you should do with it. The best investment a man can make is his wife. They will make or break you more surely than any stock exchange.”

Morgan patted him on the back, “I'm proud of you, kid. You've done a lot of growing up out there in the wide crazy Inner Sphere.”


02/22/3044 - Location: Johnson Industries - Saso City, New Syrtis


Ian Davion walked into the mech bay he had rented for the past few months while fixing Golden Lion. Full rebuilds were always difficult but since it was a Marauder 3-Delta (MAD-3D) parts were easy to find in FedSuns space. New Syrtis manufactured all the weapons and armor he needed and with their mechanics the structure and myomer were easily assembled to factory specs.

All that was left now was final installation of the Johnson Parti-Cannon Improved PPCs. Their smaller mass (6 tons, iPPC) allowed Ian to finally return Golden Lion to its normal over-under gun arrangement with new Intek Medium lasers for close combat capability, something he had been sorely lacking. The assemblies were supposed to be finished today for mounting onto his Mech's arms.

He turned the light on to see a brand new machine painted white, purple, and green in the cradle next to his. It looked like the Swordsman that had returned to Detroit with the rest of his unit but slightly altered. This 'Mech's main gun was in the arm, with only four tubes, and an off hand laser of some kind. “Weird, wonder whose mech that is?”

Corrine entered an hour later as he was inspecting the assemblies. She too looked at the unusual machine. “Ian why is there a mech painted in Stygian colors next to Golden Lion?”

With a shrug he stated he didn't know. “It was here when I walked in this morning. What's a Stygian?”

“The Second Legionnaires silly.” She stopped to look at the strange machine, “That's my regimental paint scheme.”

A realization dawned on Ian. “White, green, and purple? Corrine those are terrible colors.”

She gave him a glare, I quite like them actually. Thank you very much.”

“I don't know where it came from, guess we will wait till we hear something.” Ian carefully answering

With that she rolled up her coverall's sleeves to help him work on the weapon assembly. Morgan entered while they were on lunch break enjoying chili and warm tea within the just above freezing hanger bay. His silhouette a familiar sight to them by now.

ICR-3 Icarus BattleMech

Icarus Medium BattleMech

He started at her. “Tsk, Tsk, you haven't even jumped into that Icarus yet?”

Corrine looked at him. “We didn't know who it belonged too, Morgan. I'm not going to just jump into a random mech.”

“Even one that's obviously yours. I had hoped your demurring would not extend this far. My cousin requires stronger willpower to keep in check.” Morgan Hasek-Davion told her.

Ian's face and body language registered protest.

She put down the bowl and headed toward the mobile stairs leading to the Icarus' head. “Why didn't you just leave a note or something?”

“I did!

Its in the cockpit along with a brand new set of Artemis Vermilion cooling garments and neurohelmet. Those and the mech courtesy of Gilmour Miltech of Talitha, its a smaller FWL supplier we've been working with lately.

Due to our success with the Swordsman in the Magistracy they want to bring back the Icarus but with modern tech including endo-steel structure, the Northstar laser, Federated Super Streak SRMs, and Sutel Precision small pulse laser.

They insisted Corrine serve as a test pilot and extended a contract as spokeswoman, if she's interested. Which she clearly isn't.

Pity, but I suppose I will just register her disapproval of their product. So many hours wasted.”

Morgan turned his back on them smiling as he tapped away on the comm-pad. Corrine shouted at him from the PA of the Icarus which was now operating on battery power. “You stop that! Or I'll zap you. Pew, Pew!” The mech bay filled with raucous laughter.

He shouted back to her, “Big talk for the little lady. We'll take it to the Proving Grounds tomorrow.”

With a bow that brought his furred cape almost to floor he departed, “Enjoy your evening you two.”


03/05/3044: Location: Lady's Favor, New Syrtis


Dana Davion and Cecelia Kral-Marik sat across from one another on the couches before the fireplace. Corrine wearing a very fine dress that drew compliments form both sides brought them another tray of cheese and crackers. A bottle of wine, pitcher of water, and glasses for both occupied the center of the table. She couldn't help but notice the fine contrast between both women.

Dana had the firm control and handsome figure of a Warrior just past her prime more than the doting mother of her husband to be. Her mother possessed the fragile elegance of a model but she had seen her angry before. It was a sight to behold when she became a furious tempest.

Corrine sat between the two of them directly across from the fireplace politely listening and affirming either woman's wishes when they matched her own. Mostly she was there to ensure they be amicable to one another and not try to control her wedding day. A proper engagement ring now adorned her finger and she fussed with it looking at its faceted diamond catching the firelight from as many angles as possible.

Cecelia addressed her, “Are you even listening Corrine?”

She sat up properly now. Calmly but firmly taking control of the conversation.

“I am, and I think you should trust Ian and I to manage the core aspects of our wedding. Mother you can provide input on the reception and Dana I trust your judgment on venue and security concerns.

The invitations are already on their way to our respective parties. Giselle, Bishop, Morgan, and Yvonne will help us with any complications that may arise. Now can we talk of something else?”

Her mother was taken aback by the sudden authoritative tone of her daughter. Dana seemed pleased but didn't appreciate the challenge it see med to represent, she was going to be a tough one. Cecelia daintily finished a cheese and cracker sandwich before speaking to Dana. “Baby names?”

“No mother why?” Corrine facepalmed as both women vigorously presented their thoughts. “And I thought Ian was bad.”


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