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Trial by Fire - A True Story

Beta VII: Clan Jade Falcon Occupation Zone

It was the dawning of a New Year; January 1st 3067, a fitting time for what was about to take place. Before the day was done this cold barren landscape would see the death of one Clan and the rebirth of another.

Long before the day of the battle the batchalls had been made and the bidding concluded and now twenty Jade Falcon
mechs stood poised to do battle with the sixteen Steel Viper mechs in the town below. Surveying the calm scene before him Khan Kennetix Malthus spoke into the commlink from his command mech to the assembled warriors of Clan Jade Falcon.

"Lets rip 'em a new asshole as their old one is dead!" were the Khan's unclanlike words, long years spent in the Inner sphere during the truce period having diluted many aspects of the terse language many I.S. warriors liked to refer to as "clanspeak."

Almost as one the gathered mechs fired their jump jets and fell upon their Steel Viper prey in a manner, which closely mimicked the Falcon from which the Clan gained its name.

The ferocity of the attack was staggering, in a few moments six Steel Viper mechs lay wrecked, their flaming parts scattered throughout the city starting several buildings on fire. But this was no chaotic Clan vs. Inner Sphere battle; this was Clan trueborn vs. Trueborn. Here the warriors would face an opponent and issue a challenge to fight according to Zellbrigen, which was accepted without question by all opponents, a far cry from the I.S. scum who would accept such challenges only to perform some act of treachery which would nullify the challenge and bring dishonour on the offending warrior.

"We have them cornered." came saKhan Dragonfly Chistu on the commlink but he was to regret this boast as the Steel Vipers launched a counter attack from positions deep within the city. Like their namesake the Steel Vipers were at their most dangerous when cornered as the Jade Falcons found to their cost as volley after volley of long range missiles arced through the narrow streets striking several Jade Falcon mechs. Such was the ferocity of some Steel Viper attacks that it brought about the destruction of both defender and attacker alike sending both mechs crashing to the ground locked as one in their death throws only to be ripped apart by internal explosions.

For several hours the ferocious battle continued following the same inevitable pattern, with the Steel Viper mech numbers growing fewer and fewer until finally only two remained. They stood in the Town Square as the Jade Falcons formed a ring around the two Viper mechs.

Khan Kennetix Malthus' voice came over the commlink once more.

"Wight Night you may have the honour of concluding this trial, do not disappoint me"

The two warriors known within the clan as the Wight Night were actually two warriors, who shared the same bloodname, they were Mechwarrior First Class Wight Pryde and Galaxy Commander Nightmare Pryde. As one they stepped forward and faced their Khan, then dropped the arms of their mechs and slowly bent the upper torsos of their mechs forward in a simulated bowing motion before facing their opponents and issuing the final challenge for combat by way of Zellbrigen. Then the 4 mechs slowly moved apart as they prepared for battle, Wight facing the Steel Viper saKhan Tsoth and Nightmare facing off against the Steel Viper warrior Jagdmech .

Gcom Nightmare was the first to engage, firing his Executioners four jump jets, sending his mech arcing high over the Grizzly of his opponent. As he did so he sent a withering volley of grouped small and medium pulse lasers into his opponent. Sparks flew and molten armour dripped from the stricken mech as first one arm then the other was sent spinning from the shoulder of the seventy ton war machine. Nightmare turned in the air to bring his weapons to bear a second time on his enemy but something went wrong, the jets misfired sending the huge machine crashing to the ground close to the enemy.

"Damn this unfamiliar GLADCS III config!" cursed Nightmare as his mech impacted the ground.


The landing stunned nightmare as it knocked the close fitting neurohelmet almost completely from his head and losing control of his machine for several valuable seconds.

Seeing his chance the Steel Viper warrior saw a way of quickly evening the fight as he prepared a mass firing of his flamers at close range. Targeting scanners locked then Jagdmech fired grouped flamers right at the cockpit of his enemy, but what was happening? Instead of four large jets of flame spewing forth into his enemy flames engulfed the firing mech, it's torso weapons clogged with debris and resolidified armour from the recent attack. The flames licked around the legs and torso of the mech, the result was immediate as it was spectacular as the heat of the fusion reactor from which all mechs are powered instantly went super critical. The mech instantly became as bright as the sun as the reactor exploded no chance for override, no chance for ejection. As one the mech and it's pilot were consumed by the fireball and the nearby Executioner of Gcom Nightmare Pryde was thrown back by the explosion for over one hundred and fifty metres as it’s legs tore two deep furrows in the concrete of the road before it eventually crashed into a building where it came to rest. Its already dazed knocked completely unconscious by the force of the collision.

Meanwhile things faired better for the other Steel Viper pilot as he continued his struggle with mechwarrior Wight. The two mechs circled each other in a dance of death, green beams playing like emerald searchlights between the two, occasionally striking the other mech tearing chunks of armour and laying bare the endo skeleton of the mech, leaving it vulnerable to further damage. For many a minute did the dance continue with each warrior giving as good as he got until Wight found his moment. His opponent began a long jump towards his mech, obviously attempting the lethal but precarious manoeuvre known as death from above. Recognising this Wight was prepared, as the Steel Viper mech came straight at him he took careful aim at its head with all weapons and opened fire. The result was horrifying as the thin armour and reinforced glass of the mechs cockpit was melted and sheared away by the combined beams of the many pulse lasers fired at it. They did not stop there though, they continued on to the pilot
who for a millisecond was outlined in emerald before melting away into nothingness before Wight's eyes as the energy from the lasers did it’s job. The pilotless mech continued on course but as itis jets failed crashed to the ground like a huge metallic mannequin dropped by a playful giant child where it remained limp and unmoving.

The battle was over, the remaining warriors gathered, while the remaining Steel Vipers who had survived their encounters were brought in to the Jade Falcon enclosure to hear the words of the Jade Falcon Khan who began.

"Warriors of Steel Viper there will be no bondsmen taken today, you fought as trueborn and shall be treated as such. Those who wish to remain shall become a part of the clan, which has bested them; those that do not shall be given Hegira and allowed to return to Clan Steel Viper space in the pentagon worlds. For here there is no longer Steel Viper space as we are all now of the Falcon and shall continue on to Terra and beyond as Clan Jade Falcon. To the warriors of Clan Jade Falcon I say there was no enemy conquered here today, we have merely brought back those who were lost to us a long time ago, their heart is now of the Falcon, treat them accordingly"

Again as one the cry from the gathered warriors and lower casts went up "Seyla!"

- Galaxy Commander Nightmare Pryde


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