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Silent enim inter arma Tribunals (Chapter Cover Art)

Chapter 11[]

Silent enim inter arma: Tribunals[]

" important question people in the Commonwealth should ask, is whether Duchess Ngo is to be tried for what she did during Operation: SCOUR, or if she is being tried because she did it Terra?"

-Assemblyman Charles Vanh,

Speaker of the House, Kowloon planetary assembly.

"The Capellan Confederation has no dog in this fight, but I admit, I find it very amusing.  Clearly Devlin Stone's coalition did not understand what they were doing or who they were dealing with when they enlisted Lyran aid in their Terran offensive."

-Chancellor Sun Tzu Liao

Capellan Confederation Head of State.

Trial of Position
Jade Falcon Khanate
Sudeten, Can Jade Falcon Occupation Zone

This wasn't like any regular trial.  Henry dashed between training structures, conserving munitions because he really did not want to kill the five warriors he was facing.

Randolph's Turkina landed to his right, and Henry hit the jump jets on his Summoner. Clearing almost within paint-scrape distance of the larger machine.  Upon landing, he kept one foot up, and brought it down on the rear of the ninety-five ton, jump-capable Omnimech. The twenty ton difference between them negated by simple physics. Henry's drop-kick folding the bigger machine's right leg down like an accordion and throwing the pilot's balance off. He punched the rear armor twice, opening a gap into the bigger 'mech's torso. While his left hand gripped the bigger 'mech's shoulder.  One shot from his LB-X Class Autocannon into the hole and Randolph was out of the fight.

Henry didn't stop to survey the damage or engage in taunting, he fired his jumpjets agian, clearing a simulated building constructed for training infantry in close quarters combat.

Stephan's 'mech was next.  This time quite intelligently using an active probe.

The probe wasn't much good, when Henry grabbed an abandoned ground car and lobbed it across the street. Drawing the other warrior's attention and fire for the moment needed to speed into contact range and deliver a crippling blow to the other Summoner.

Henry kept moving, delivering a 'clothesline' arm-bar strike to Gail's Conjuror. Knocking the lighter machine to the ground mid-step before stomping the second-line 'mech in the chest, crushing the supports for the Gyro and fusion engine, forcing a shutdown.

Damage alerts told him Carla's Stormcrow had found his range, and he moved into the shadow of a structure, before she managed to land a debilitating blow.

She rushed forward, leaping to the roof of the practice building to get a view of where he was and for that? He fired his own jumpjets, arm extended, striking and lifting the 50 ton machine into a tumble from the roof back to the street.

He cut the jets early and landed firmly, then dashed to the next street on the training ground, as she got back to her now damaged feet.

He caught her limping toward his last hide, and for that, he laid her machine down with SRMs to the damaged rear torso.

Elian, in his Hellbringer was last. Henry sacrificed armor from his right torso to find the man.

Strictly speaking, it should have been the other way when Henry dropped Elian with focused fire at long range for most of the weapons on his 'mech. Elian was relatively fresh from Sibko, and Henry had a great many years of piloting and experience, including all-out battles against worse odds, to work from.

The five warriors assigned to test his worthiness to retain his rank. Both as Star Colonel and Mechwarrior were still alive, but they were also utterly defeated.

As he parked his machine, he checked their medical monitoring to make certain they were still alive, before climbing down from his borrowed Summoner.

To a slow clap.

"My Khan." Henry said, saluting her and SaKhan Samantha Clees.

"Good show.  Your physical attacks were a little dezgra...but good showing." she critiqued.

"OvKhan, my first priority was to guarantee that no unnecessary losses accrued to the Clan." he said.

"And your second?" she asked, motioning him to follow.

"My second priority was to survive.  I believe third was to actually prevail.  The Means shape the Ends as much as any ends justify means.  This was a live weapons trial. The risk of losing talented Wechwarriors was high, reducing those casualties, and keeping as much equipment intact as possible superseded any desire for personal glory."

"Stravag, you are a weirdo." she told him, "Glad you are our weirdo...I assume you came for more than your annual, quiaff?"

"I did.  Why is Clan Jade Falcon letting Stone's Coalition try an ally of ours for war crimes?"

"Mmh.  Your sister."  she frowned, "We are doing so, because she defiled Terra. Whatever else, the military utility...the Clans are divided on her use of unorthodox weapons and tactics in the taking of the mother-world. While we will prevail in any Trials of Grievance even if we chose to support intervention or opposed the Tribunals, it would constitute a massive waste, and could trigger an internal fracturing."

"Which way should I be hoping?" Henry asked

"That the tribunal is fair." she said, "That they are not unduly influenced or acting in a corrupt manner.  The Clan Council will decide the Clan's response to whatever verdict comes out."

"May I ask what the leading response is?" requested Henry Ngo

"You may.  If, as is predicted, corrupt forces rig a guilty verdict. The Clan will first challenge Devlin Stone for possession of Elizabeth Ngo. If she is not turned over, we will then challenge for possession of Terra itself. In the name of justice and getting a fair and complete investigation."

"I would like to be part of that challenge, OvKhan."

"If you win your spot the way you won this trial, you will have it."

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