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Ian Davion - Golden Lion (Chapter Art)

Ian Davion, Golden Lion[]

Chapter 6 – Black Eagle[]

Prep Talk at Breakfast[]

10/07/3040 - 08:11 - Starlight House, Solaris City – Tharkad, Lyran Commonwealth


The elegant Starlight House was perched atop one of the Black Hills that this district of Solaris City was named after.  The Back 9 of the Running Fox Country club ran between it and the garish Green Mansion.  The first group of golfers were teeing off after enjoying a formal breakfast at the Country Club.  The House’s veranda was currently occupied by three men eating and staff delivering the breakfast they had requested.  They were too far up hill for the golf course to be a hazard.

“Mr Bao, how do you deal with that mess across the way?” Bishop said between bites of his omelet.

Tran Ky Bao’s tone was dripping with disdain, “If I planted something to block Drew’s ugly house. I wouldn’t get to watch the sunrise on beautiful days like today.  I will give him this small victory but continue to best him at every other opportunity.  Fool man doesn’t like the fact that a Capellan keeps besting his Stable.  Starlight’s Gladiators have gone from 14th to 3rd place in the official rankings under my management.  Blackstar’s have dropped from 8th to 12nd in the same time under his.”

Ian finished his coffee and got up ready to head out for the day’s business, “Bishop, didn’t Drew work with Morgan some time ago?”

Bishop followed also finishing his drink followed by the stable-master, “Yes, if I remember correctly. I think your cousin met Kym on Solaris while on some assignment with Redburn.  So Drew probably had him as a guest to make himself feel more important than he was.”

“Speaking of guests, thank you for hosting us, Mr Bao.”

Tran Ky Bao bowed deeply, Bishop and Ian less so, “It is my great privilege to offer my humble home to you Prince Ian.  If you require anything else on Solaris I will of course be willing to help.”

“Merely directions right now.  Your offer of a car was certainly appreciated.  We unfortunately couldn’t fit one on the Valor for our groundside excursions. I don’t think the Solaris Police would appreciate us using our Battlemechs to get around.  The Chauffeur was too much though, I will forget how to drive if everyone keeps putting me in the back seat like they have been for a year.”

“Of course, Ian, enjoy the rest of your day.  I have business to attend to. Will you both be eating dinner here tonight?”

“I believe we are at the Sesame Inn tonight. Right, Bishop?”

“Yes sir.” answered Bishop

“Make sure both of you are careful in Cathay.  People there are just as divided as the Capellan people these days and just as violent.”


Young Man's ambitions[]

17:28 Location – Brit’s, Montenegro District


The Montengro district was a burned out industrial space, endless gray from the street to the sky.  The Factory Arena loomed in the background, once a major Battlemech factory now it deconstructed mechs instead of assembling.  The smoke stacks of the even worse off Xolara slums drifted in when the winds changed filling the area with an acrid stench.
 

A handsome young man with black hair, a leather vest, and an eagle tattoo on his right bicep pulled up to a well-worn bar with no sign and tinted windows, raucous music could be heard outside.  He was riding a black TMW Tiger motorcycle, outside a group of men were smoking and ogled the machine.
 

The man dismounted his bike near the others though his was the nicest, walking up to the man that seemed to be in charge.  He lit his own cigarette from a Zippo with the 1st Atrean Hussars insignia on it, “This is Brit’s right?”

“Yeah, who’s asking?”

“Uriel Vesely, I’m looking for Dave.”

“You found him.” said David

“DW?”

David Weinstein looked at him curious not many people were quite so bold about looking for something, “Yeah, what do you need, Mr Vesely? I’m a very busy man tonight.”

Uriel exhaled a cloud of smoke into the rapidly cooling air it drifted on the wind before dissipating, “I’m looking to start a fight.”

Dave made a chopping ‘no’ gesture, “Not in my bar you don’t.  I finish them quick in there.  Bad for business.  Who do you want to fight?”

“Someone big.” the kid said.

“Well you’ve come to wrong place. I’m not a gladiator matchmaker.  You want to fight someone, you go to Anton von Tripp.”

The young man responded with an arrogant tone, “Do i look like a Gladiator?  I'm after someone bigger than that.”

“What are you a Merc going after the Bertolis? Cause I don’t do that kind of matchmaking neither.”

Uriel finished his cigarette flicking the filter to the ground and grinding it out with his boot, “Not a Merc. Don’t care about gangsters either.”

“Quit wasting my time, kid.  You tell me what you are up to right now! Or my boys are going to take your fancy bike after kicking your ass.”  The other men produced clubs they had hidden under their jackets. A few seemed to be packing something more based on what Uriel saw.


“That won’t be necessary Gentlemen.” Uriel unzipped his leather vest slowly showing the standard issue FLWM Hawk Eagle pistol in its shoulder holster.  He carefully reached in causing some of the guys to start moving towards him before pulling out the latest issue of Mechjack Magazine with Prince Ian Davion’s face on it.  The central story was an interview conducted on Tharkad before the Prince left toward the Free Worlds League border.  “Seen this guy around?”

David motioned for his guys to their weapons down, suddenly very interested, “Why don’t we step inside kid.  I might be able to help.  You thirsty?”


<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<=======>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Solaris VII Promotional Poster

Golden Lion vs Black Eagle

Illustration shows a Rostock Canyon Lion with its auburn coat and mane, golden teeth bared facing up toward an Atreus Fighting Eagle, whose purple feather accents are heightened talons outstretched, striking from above

Prince on Prince, Pay per view live across Channel S7 come October 13th

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<=======>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


Battle in the Jungle[]

10/13/3040 07:41 Location: The Jungle Class 6 Arena - Cathay, Solaris VII


Tran Ky Bao sat next to Major Bishop Sortek in box seats acquired via trade with his Capellan contacts.  Bishop had donned a slightly more subdued green AFFS uniform, this was a Liao stadium. Solaris was supposed to be neutral ground but the Confederation still tried to make his life difficult.  He would return the favor whenever he got back to New Avalon.  The St Ives Compact native blended in more with his robes and features thus was less hassled even though his home was a rogue province.

“Ian will be fine Major.  At least its controlled carnage, better here than on a border raid with the Combine.  That didn’t work out so well for his predecessor.”

“Ian only has two combat missions under his belt.  Now he's facing Photon Brett-Marik, who has four years of active combat experience during the latest Marik Civil War while under the guidance of his now deceased second cousin who had a damn fine military mind and who's Mech he now pilots."

"I can’t believe he took the challenge.  Ian’s too much like his uncle for his own good.”

“Regardless he’s in it now.  Let’s see if he remembered anything from Albion or the Dragoons.  The whole Inner Sphere is watching.”

The two of them looked at the view screen above the arena where the red and gold Golden Lion, and purple and black Black Eagle, were raised from their ready stations to the fetid jungle.

Ian watched as his Marauder was slowly lifted into the humid subtropical Arena.  He could see the greenhouse roof above and the slope of the pyramid where live audiences watched through narrow bands in the armored wall.

Golden Lion was not going to like this Arena, it was already a heat hog but so was Photon’s Orion.  This was going to be an ugly match, at least they were equally weighted, the bookies said it was a toss up which was a relief as Ian had no idea of Photon's combat experience before accepting the challenge.

Ian could almost feel the sticky hot air and was glad that he packed the cooling shorts along with the vest.  The headband of his new D38 Neurohelmet was already slick with nervous sweat and that was with the cockpit at ambient temperature.

The experience just felt so surreal.  To be face to face with a wall of green fighting a Mech battle with the cousin of his potential bride to be.  Bishop told him not to do it but that never stopped him before.  He couldn’t just turn down a challenge and hide from combat that was not the Davion way.

Hopefully the Mariks wouldn’t make a habit of it, he had more important things to worry about then family feuds.  Even if that was the order of the day when it came to the Free Worlds League's ruling dynasty.

He felt the lift stop his mech was still locked out by the Arena’s Controller judging by the bright red display on his HUD.  The bars that were securing the elevator were pulled back into the ground.

A slightly accented voice came in over the comm-link, “Combatant, are you ready?”

Ian checked himself and his mech running through the standard pre-deployment checklist by memory, “Affirmative.”

“Stand by for manual transfer. Three, Two, One”

The Arena controller released the Battlemech to him and the bright red letters disappeared from his HUD.  The Marauder stepped forth and pushed its way into the darkened canopy of The Jungle in search of his target.

Photon Brett-Marik used his Orion’s hands to part the jungle in the Arena. The current generation of the Orion were different than those of star league vintage in that they actually had hand actuators. A radical addition to the old chassis that greatly improved the machine’s close combat capabilities and widened it's mission portfolio.
 

The Jungle was not his first choice for venue but the Cathay Games Commission was eager to see the Confederation’s two greatest enemies duke it out with one another and offered it free of charge to the combatants.  It was just so much sweeter that both were Princes of their respective factions.  Photon was on the short list as heir apparent after his uncles but ahead of his cousins (Ana 6, Janos 5, and Corrine 17) however neither uncle confirmed it, holding their cards close from their elder nephew.

If Thomas had stayed dead there was already a plan in place to deal with Paul, but his uncle has miraculously recovered from the bomb that killed Janos and Duggan Marik and was voted in as Captain-General.  As long as the details of Photon’s time serving under his 2nd cousin Duncan as Uriel Vesely stayed secret he would remain a golden son with his mother continuing to champion his appointment as heir-apparent.
 

However, if that came out it would ruin his chances and might cause him to end up like his other uncles Gerald and Anton, executed for treason.
 

Thus he was here instead attempting to foil their current plan, his uncle Paul had been in conversations with the Federated Suns for years now concerning a match between his cousin Corrine and Prince Ian.  He couldn’t let that happen.  It would completely ruin his chance to be anything other than what he was now. The Federated Suns was pushing some of the provinces the wrong way and he intended to use that discord to reach the top.

There were no signs of the Marauder that he was searching for and that was frustrating.  He thought the enemy could be stalking behind him at this very moment.  The man had survived the brutal campaign against Andurien Succession and was as wary of Liao or Steiner treachery as he was of his Davion opponent.

His Mech’s sensors were limited by the vegetation which meant surprises would be assured.  He backtracked and continued pushing into a glade.

Ian Davion was on edge in a glade when the sensors detected an unknown contact off the four o’clock.  The Marauder turned and saw a purple and black Orion pushing past a tree roughly 200 meters away.  “You’re mine now, Mari.”

He fired everything at the lumbering mech and hit with one of his PPCs and a large laser, the energy weapons turned the glossy paint into char as slagged armor steamed all the way to the grass.  His Mech’s internal temperature spiked as it attempted to cool the heavy weapons.  Ian could hear the fans in his cockpit increase in pitch as they attempted to keep him at a livable temperature even as he felt the floor warm from the radiant heat of the power plant below.

The Orion returned fire, its medium autocannon, large laser, and a dozen missiles hit rocking the Marauder, threatening to unbalance Ian, and destroying the carefully kept paint job as charred and shattered armor clattered to the spongy ground below.  Ian’s sweat dripped down his arms and onto the control sticks, rivulets vaporizing on the metal floor, “Vince, is going to be pissed.”

Ian’s mech was slowed as the myomer refused to operate at peak efficiency due to the heat.  He backpedaled toward the jungle attempting to keep an open distance between the enemy and his mech.  An Orion was already a fearsome combatant but even more so at close range where the Marauder’s barrel like arms were not as good.
 

According to the reports Photon was a brawler both in and out of Battlemechs thus he wanted to close and they were already too close for Ian’s comfort.  Ian again regretted not borrowing Bishop’s Penetrator.

Photon’s Orion menaced toward the Marauder, firing its arm mounted lasers, medium autocannon, and large laser at close range.  The coherent light and high explosives crashed into Ian’s mech, again threatening to topple him.  Catching itself with a timely arm post the Marauder stabilized, steam erupted as the white hot barrel touched the warm humid grass already cooking from his overloaded leg mounted heat sinks.
 

“I have not even seen your cousin yet man, get over yourself.  You think I wanted this sort of thing to happen?”

Marauder C (underfire)

Marauder

The particle cannons of the Marauder found their targets and staggered the heavy Battlemech enough that its pilot needed to take a moment to regain his balance.  Ian’s mech was still critical on heat, he could feel every joule of waste from the thermonuclear core below him.  It was a necessary sacrifice to gain a momentary advantage.  Soon his arms would be used for an alternate purpose then firing supercharged particles half a kilometer away.

The Marauder backpedaled into the nearby undergrowth but the Orion was quick behind, the Marik mech was blackened in places but it was still in good condition.  There was little chance it was going down soon while his Marauder was getting torn up and with the enemy at such a close range the PPC’s field inhibitors would make firing his main weapons all but impossible.
 

He needed to give the system time to cool down anyway but having an Orion in your face made every second count, at least this wasn’t the feared 2M (“aka the Male”) version with a 203mm Autocannon and lasers (LL, 2 ML) but no missile rack (as opposed to the 3M or Female version with a larger missile rack and lasers).  This was the more balanced 3B although it was still capable of more damage than his Marauder at most ranges.  Ian fired his large laser and hit the Orion square in the center of mass melting more armor from the already charred section.

The Orion returned fire with its own laser cutting deep into the Marauder’s weak leg armor before attempting to punch with its heavy battle-fists.  Ian switched the input to the data-gloves and managed to deflect the punches but the Marauder’s arms took a beating in the process.
 

“Can’t keep that up.  Not going to have an arm left to defend myself when this is all done."
 

"Gotta come up with something good or get lucky.”


Prince Ian was getting warm his DI computer was warning him that it heat exhaustion would soon set in unless he cooled down  It wouldn't stop him from pushing the envelope but it was nice that Golden Lion was looking out for him.  Ian Davion opened a set of covered switches in his cockpit, turning each of the toggle switches and overriding the caution message.  “Time to disengage the PPC's field inhibitors.  Sorry Leo these are desperate times.”

His tech Vance monitoring the telemetry of the unit from the control room attempted to open a channel to him, “And this is gonna hurt me too, a lot.  But I'll probably live.”

Photon Brett-Marik watched the Davion Prince that he had trapped against the Liao jungle.  His raven black hair was just a little damp from the jungle heat but Black Eagle's wasn't taxed in this match.  Its battlefists were ready to crush his foe in a perfectly controlled and legal way.  “Idiot.  All it takes is one mistake to end your reign before it even starts.”

The azure blue gathering at the ends of the Marauder's Magna Hellstar PPCs was brighter than normal.  At point blank range they were certain to explode from the feedback.  “You crazy bastard, you didn't.  You are only going to get one shot.  Don't miss.”

The impact of the Marauder's full weapon strike punched through the armor of his Orion 3B and found the half magazine of autocannon shells and missile racks.  The volatile ammunition detonated and blew the Orion apart, its limbs were thrown to the four corners of The Jungle the flaming wreckage was extinguished in the humid air within the biodome.  The Marauder's PPCs went critical from the feedback and detonated.  Most of the damage was contained within the Marauder but the arms shattered causing shrapnel to embed itself in the softwood trees.  The residual feedback, overheat, and blast caused Ian to black out in his cockpit.  Photon's ejection seat took his unconscious form high above the jungle landing ninety meters from the collapsed mech and parts of another one.

Within the S7 Central Broadcast studios the live commentators and their crowds were hushed but began clapping within moments.  One of them a young alt woman with a tattoo climbing up her neck and just enough cleavage from her top.  “What a fight!  Short, sweet, and to the explosive point.  So who wins, Ron?”

A black man with dreadlocks in his early 30s had his comm-pad out scrolling through the tablet, “Well according to the chatter;  I think Ian wins cause he still has most of mech left and is still in it.  Black Eagle is a total loss.  Photon is going to be going back to mama Therese empty handed.”

“But not with blood on his hands so mixed blessing.  Lets see if he is still alive.  The Jungle's Director has not given us new telemetry data yet, Golden Lion's particle feedback might have wrecked their sensors.  Lets zoom in on the rescue crews.”

Orange uniformed medics exited the blaring chartreuse Simca ambulance.  Two of them went to Photon's chair and another two were attempting to gain entry to the cockpit of Golden Lion.  Two medics had thumbs up and were moving the stunned Mechwarriors onto stretchers.

“Alright no kills but a great show from the Jungle today.  Sorry pay-per-view people but it was by the minute.  Keep turned to channel Sigma Seven for more exciting live matches or pre-recorded action."
 

"I think a King of Hill match is about to start in the Barrens."

"Laura Vera here from Solaris Seven.  We will be back with more commentary in five minutes after a word from Blue Shot Weapons.”


Aftermath of a close fight[]

10/15/3040 - 20:47 Location – Starlight House - Black Hills, Solaris VII


Ian woke with the worst headache since his graduation from Albion Military Academy more than seven years ago in his twenty six.  The window in his room was open and a cool fragrant breeze was blowing in from the curtains.  He attempted to stand but as soon as he put his feet on the floor he stumbled but broke the fall as he had trained multiple times on the mat at Albion.  “What the hell?” 

He rolled over and rocked to his knees holding his head straight.  “Severe feedback fatigue.  Going to be a rough month of recovery.  Still better than dead.  Bishop!”

Major Bishop Sortek opened the door it was a great sight for the floorbound Ian.  The man leaned over and picked him up to his feet.  “I didn't kill him did I?”

“No but you did dispossess him, at least for a little while.  The Duchess' people came to collect him, though too late to stop it from happening and apologized.  He's going to have to answer to Duchess Therese over his recent behavior.”

The elder Marik was know to be a tough woman, Ian eventually found his way to the bathroom. “I should have killed him.”

“Let's hope you don't get the chance, Ian.  Vance is beyond livid about how you broke 'his' work of art.”

Finishing his business he noticed that the toilet paper was used up. “I'll deal with him in the morning.  Hey, ah Bishop can you grab some teepee for me?”

Major Sortek tapped on the door, “Yes Sire,
Yeah sure Bishop its a great opportunity.  Serve the Prince.
  Keep him alive, make sure he doesn't do anything stupid.
Artie, you owe me big for this.”


Price of Victory[]

10/17/3040 - Location – Starlight House - Black Hills, Solaris VII


Hanse Davion's hologram played on the top end DE-18k projector in the Starlight room.  “Ian, that was a really dumb thing that you did last week.  You almost caused a major interstellar incident and gave me a heart attack with that final bit.

I'm serious too, fortunately your mother was there with me. The doctor said it was good that it was only a little one.  That coronary could have been way worse if we didn't get to the clinic.”

Hanse lifted a plastic container filled with a colorful pulpy liquid.  “Going to have to change some things and take better care of myself.  Unfortunately that means I have to drink these awful smoothies every day and can never eat bacon or red meat again.

By the way your mother is furious with you; I had to stop her from getting on a jumpship to Lyran space to drag you back by your ears just this morning.  Expect a scathing rebuke once she calms down.

My opinion you made it look good; I appreciate the swagger but not the sensationalism.  There are going to be consequences for your behavior.  Golden Lion is going to have to be fixed at your sole expense.

You broke it you fix it.

Fox Out.”

The hologram disappeared and the lights returned to normal.  Ian saw Bishop sitting across from him.  “That could have been way worse, Ian.  I suppose its a mixed blessing, hope your father doesn't have a repeat incident.”

Ian and Bishop were both dressed in normal clothes they had to stop public appearances to actually get anything done.  Golden Lion vs Black Eagle was the top selling holovid on the COMMNET since Jusin Allard piloted Legend Killer.  Everyone knew who Ian was now which was good and bad, the Commonwealth appreciated the celebrity while the League was impressed with his boldness.  “Me too Bishop.  Glad I could help him catch it early I guess.  I am trepidation about seeing Golden Lion again.”

“You did a real number on it that's for sure.  Vance is very unhappy but fixing that mech is his job.  Choosing what to do with it is yours.  You just need to choose your enemies wiser.”

Ian stood up and began to walk toward the garage Bishop beside him as he was still shaky from FF, “What?  I didn't know who he was initially.”

“A great reason to not to get in a deathmatch with him.  He wasn't worth it.”

“I don't know about that, Bishop.  It worked out in the end right?”

Bishop drove them out of the Starlight House past a crowd of onlookers gathered outside the walls.  Some women flashed the car but all of them were shouting.  “I don't know about that.  Too much of this attention is not great for our mission.”

“Corrie might have a cardboard standee of me in her room right now.  Just waiting for the real thing.” Ian said

“I doubt AMI would let that happen.  If she has a cardboard anything it is probably a target.” Bishop told Ian.

“Why do you have to say it like that?” Ian asked

A police patrol vehicle gave them an escort through the Black Hills to New Avalon Technologies.  The expansive building was warded by a tall perimeter fence and a contingent of armed guards including Copper securitymechs as well as top tier surveillance technology.  The gate guards waved the pair through before closing the gate behind them.  Bishop followed the markings on the side of the building and parked the car outside one of the Mech Bays where a GM Edge sport motorcycle and EM Envy SUV was parked.  “Alright we're here, Ian.”

“Good thing Tran is here too.  I need to talk to him.”

“I'm going to talk with Vance real quick.  He's been determining what we need to do to get Golden Lion back online.  When you're done change and meet me in there.”

Bishop walked past a group of Mechtechs on a smoke break and they gave him some direction which he followed.  Ian noted where he went and then walked into the smaller windowed door in the side of the building carrying a bag with his utility clothing inside.  The receptionist told him where Tran Ky Bao was and pointed him in the right direction.
 

The building was a standard commercial type, cheap carpet, stale coffee, and poor light.  Ian walked past small offices with many different agents providing legal, technical, and business service as well as stablemasters and merc commanders recruiting new warriors inside.  He stopped at a small suite of offices, the boilerplate 'Starlight Stables, Talent Manager Tran Ky Bao.' was written on the glass in sparkling gold print.

Ian opened the door and was greeted by the receptionist, a pretty woman of Southeast Asian ancestry wearing a yellow floral printed Ao dai and speaking with a musical voice, “Bonjour Prince Ian.”

“Bonjour Mademoiselle, Je m'excuse mon francaise est rouille, trop allemand”

“I can use standard too though it doesn't sound as pretty.”

“That is quite fine.  If I didn't have Bishop and the others I doubt I would hear my native tongue quite as much.”

The receptionist stood up and pointed, “Mr Bao is waiting for you.  His office is down this hall, 2nd door on the right.  Would you like coffee?”

“Yes thank you, Miss?” Ian asked the woman

“Sao Lei”

“Thank you, Miss Sao Lei.  May I leave my bag here?”

Sao bowed gently, “Certainly.  You are very welcome, Prince Ian.  I will bring the coffee in a few moments.”

Ian walked down the hall and found Tran's door open, he entered the room and closed the door behind him.  The Stablemaster stood and smiled at him, “Welcome to my offices, Ian.  I figured you would stop by.  Please sit.”

Ian obliged the offer sitting in the comfortably upholstered chair, “What can I do for you?”

“You have been a very generous host, Mister Bao.  I do however have a sudden need for funds.”

“Golden Lion is in bad shape I understand.  You are rich why do you need my help?”

“Well my father has decided to punish me by making me pay to fix Golden Lion.”

“It will be expensive.  I am quite willing to help of course as a proud citizen of the St Ives Compact.”

“Now as I understand it my Freelancer contract comes with a royalties clause.”

Tran Ky Bao pulled up the contract brief on his computer, “Yes and a generous one at that courtesy of my negotiator.  You winning also helped my bookkeepers.  Liao loyalists bet heavily against you and filled my pockets in the process.”

“Serves them right.  I would like you to transfer it to you with some terms.”

“That is a very kind offer, Prince Ian.  Certainly worth more than the repairs for your Marauder.  What else do you need the money for?”

“I would like a certain residual fund outside of the Ministry of Ways and Means.  Possibly in the SICB (St Ives Central Bank).”

“For what?” Tran asked

“Incidentals.”

Tran peaked his fingers in interest.  “I understand.  We can certainly make that happen and no one needs to know but us and well Sao Lei.”

He picked up the phone and asked his receptionist to bring him the report he just printed with the coffee.  The woman appeared a few minutes later and Ian signed the paper to make Tran Ky Bao the custodian of a trust in his name with a generous retainer fee.  “I will send this out to my associates via bonded courier.  No need for COMSTAR to know about our arrangement.”

“I appreciate it.  Say I have another request Tran.  Do you know a Doctor David Vining, ExNAIS?”

“Yes, he runs a small salvage operation in Xolara.  Why?” Tran asked the Prince

“Can you contact him for me?  I have a contract for him if he is interested.”

“Certainly Ian, I will ask him to stop by NAT.  Is that all?”

“Thus far yes.  Thank you, Mister Bao.  My adventures in Solaris would not have been possible without your assistance.”

“Hardly reassuring considering you almost died in your first month despite both me and Bishop looking out for you.  I would not like to receive any message from your father assigning me any credit.  Enjoy your sweat equity, Ian.”

Ian finished his coffee, said goodbye to Sao Lei, and changed into his utility clothes for his likely extended shift assisting Vance in fixing Golden Lion.  As he entered the Mechbay he saw what was left of Golden Lion being held up next to “Jumping Jack,” Bishop's pristine Penetrator.  Both of the arms were gone and the torsos were heavily damaged by the PPC capacitors, the remaining armor had been stripped out to allow easier access to the unit's internal space.  The myomer musculature of the mech made it look almost biological but it was clearly a machine.  Wire on spools and a Myomer repair unit were located on large dollys.  When Vance saw him he almost rushed Ian but was held back by Bishop. 

Perilous Heavy BattleMech

The "Penetrator", Perilous Class Heavy 'Mech

“You dumbass!  You broke the whole damn thing.  I have to rewire everything in this stupid machine because you burned the whole electrical system!”

“At least we won't be bored, Vance.”

“You won't be bored.  No, I'm making you go in the hole to fix the linkages in Golden Lion's armpits.  First I need to get some arms though.”

“This is Solaris we can find parts.” Ian said

“Yeah old ass or broken ones that need refurbishing.”

“Well this Marauder could have probably used a tear down and refurbishment.  It's nearly a hundred years old, spent the last fifty in mothballs.”

“Yeah but I need a whole depot crew to fix this thing by the end of the year.”

“We can find some.  I already have a lead.”

“Who are we going to trust to fix the First Prince's mech on this planet.” Vance asked

“Someone Doctor Banzai said was a genius.  I have some alterations in mind for Golden Lion to bring it into the Thirty First century.”

“What do you mean?”

Ian looked at the large laser that was now the only weapon still active on the broken Marauder.  He opened his engineering computer to a top secret NAIS prototype version to improve on the venerable weapon with newly recovered technologies from the Helm Memory Core.  A major gift that he was intending to offer to the laser loving Mariks in order to demonstrate the value of an alliance with the Federated Suns.  Now he would get an actual working copy which was one of his reasons to come to Solaris in the beginning.  “Take a look at this Vance and tell me what you think.”


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