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The Falcon and the Viper

-LCB40X, Abandoned Mining Settlement,
-Steel Viper Occupation Zone
-1 January 3069

A blue ball of electricity impacted to the left of Kamon's Hellbringer and blasted a big hole in the wall. As the smoke and debris cleared away one could look into the barely lit halls of the long since abandoned mining complex, its powered-down machines and equipment now collecting nothing but dust, and its shaky foundations about to collaps at several places.

But Kamon was not interested in the view behind his mech, his attention was on the approaching Steel Viper summoner in front of him. The Mech had missed on purpose -from where it had been it had been next to impossible to miss, especially for a clan warrior- alerting Kamon to its presence, and challenging him to single combat. While searching for combat, combat had finally found him.
Kamon raised his Mech's arms in acceptance, and slighty turned his Hellbringer to line it up with the Approaching Grey Mech showing a Viper poised to strike on its center torso. On his radar Kamon noticed that his star commander had found an opponent too, about a kilometer away. Then he switched his radar to close range, secure in the knowledge that Star Commander Sarah was more then capable of taking of herself, and the closer range meant greater detail of his surroundings and his enemy's position.

The Steel Viper Mech fired first, its Long Range Missile pack letting loose a salvo of about ten missiles. Immediatly Kamon's Anti Missile system kicked in and shot down the missiles that did not veer ofcourse. All but one missile was stopped, the one hitting Kamons left torso but causing only the slightest of damage. Kamon turned his Mech, broke it into a run and twisted his torso to get a lock on the enemy Mech. Then he fired both his PPCs. A heat wave swept over him but he was rewarded with two hits. The blue electricity tearing great gaps into the summoner's left leg and left arm. Kamon pressed the button for his short range missiles and a salvo of six short range missiles sped out from his mech towards his opponent, missiles impacting all over its torsos and arms. The Summoner seemed stunned under the force of Kamons counterattack and stepped backwards. Retreating behind the
large non-functional power generator from which it had come. 'Good' Kamon thought to himself, 'this will give me some time to cool off'. Keeping one eye on his Mechs sensor and another on the heat gauge, Kamon watched as the heat meter dropped back to comfortable levels. Then suddenly the Summoner appeared in view again, not to the left or right where Kamon had expected, but above it. Using its jumpjets to jump on it. A tricky movement, for the power generators top was not at all flat, and several tubes ran over it. Making landing and keeping your balance very hard. The Summoner pilot managed it though, and
immediatly followed up with a burst from its deadly autocannon. This glorius battle suddenly turned into a nightmare as autocannon shells ripped over Kamons cockpit. Making cracks in the glass and causing some of his computers to short-circuit. Kamon was rocked back and for and the noise of heavy machine fire defeaned him. Even worse, the short-circuited computer caused a flash of fire which burned Kamon's arm before it was put out by the Mechs automated anti-fire protectors. Taking advantage of his opponents situation, the summoner followed up with a blast of his PPC, catching the Hellbringer straight in the
torso but failing to penetrate its armor there, and then jumped forward, either towards Kamons Mech or over it. But Kamon was not as stunned as his opponent would like, and watched his targeting computer calculate the Summoners flight trajectory, then fired his two PPCs. One of the two balls missed the Mech, frying the air just behind it, but the other struck the Mechs already damaged left leg, destroying what was left of the armor on that leg. Kamon let himself a small smile as he noticed sparks of electricity flashing wild within the internal systems of the struck leg, meaning he had caused some internal damage. The Summoner followed his jump path, landing on top of the Mining complex to Kamons left, but was unable to keep its
balance, its damaged leg not responding to the miniature movements that were required for such manouvers. The Summoner staggered, then fell backward, off the building, and right in front of Kamon's Hellbringer. It crashed to the ground, flailing its arms and legs, and destroying most of its back armor, as well as knocking the pilot around inside his cockpit. Kamon ran towards the enemy Mech and carefully aimed his two PPCs at its cockpit, then turned on his external speakers: "Well fought Mechwarrior, but the victory is mine today. Because you will soon be part of the great Jade Falcon, I have no desire to kill you. Please shut down your Mech, and accept your defeat."

Several moments passed, and Kamon thought the Steel Viper Mechwarrior might decide to die rather then face defeat, a shame, cause he had shown himself a more-then-able warrior, and with the Right of Absorbtion which had been granted to his clan, Clan Jade Falcon, he would make a great asset to the clan. Maybe it was the knowledge that he would be allowed to retain his position as a warrior that finally caused the enemy pilot to chose not to die today, Kamon did not know, but he did know the Summoner shut down, and he had won this fight.

Suddenly an unfamiliar voice crackled over the com-channel. "Well fought Mechwarrior, but this Trial of Refusal is far from over. Just like you won against my wing, I have won against yours. Now, shall we continue this battle, or would you rather accept defeat and shut down ???". 'Impossible' Kamon cursed to himself, then tried to turn his radar to longe range again, only to find it had been destroyed by the cockpit hit by the enemy Summoner. Then he switched on the comm-gear and tuned it to the private bandwith only his star used. "Star Commander Sarah, this is Mechwarrior Kamon, please respond." ... But there was no response , only silence. Then, out from behind several Heavy Tracked Carriers, he saw a Grey Mech appear, stepping slowly but deliberatly over the debris at its feet. As a Clan Warrior, fear was not something Kamon felt easily, or did not know how to deal with, but
a strangely familiar feeling crept in at the base of spine as Kamon watched the other Mech come into view. It was a Nova, smaller and fifteen tons less heavy then his own Hellbringer. It was slightly damaged from its previous fight, but none of that made Kamon feel any better as he noticed the painted motif right above the cockpit. The of a skeletal Viper, jaws open and poison dripping from its teeth. He knew the pilot, by reputation at least, as Star Commander Varg Zalman, also known as Headhunter, for his uncanny ability to blast a Mechs cockpit to shreds.

The Nova suddenly broke into a run, towards a point somewhere to the right of Kamon's Mech. Wasting no time, Kamon lined up his two PPCs and fired. One missed the Nova, passing just behind it, but the other hit it in its right side. Damaging its torso right below the arm. Strangely, Star Commander Zalman did not fire back, instead just kept on running. Deciding not to try and second guess his opponent, who was without a doubt more experienced then himself, Kamon turned his mech to the right to and kept his targeting computer straight on target. His heat meter showed that he risked shutdown if he fired his PPCs again, so he triggered the release for his 3 medium pulse lasers, hitting the Nova twice in its right leg. And still the nova did not fire back. Lining up for another shot, this time with his SRM launcher, Kamon turned his Mech further to the right, when suddenly the Nova jumped into the air, turned its back towards Kamon's Mech and jumpjetted backwards .... over the Kamons Mech into his virtually unprotected back !!!

Franticly Kamon pulled the controls, and watched in angony as the Nova opened up with ten of its twelve medium lasers. If Kamon had been a fraction of a second slower, the shots would have hit his back and he would have been dead. Instead, the Mech turned around just enough so that the ten medium lasers hit his left torso instead, melting away the armor and penetrating deep into the internal systems. The violent blast pushed Kamon's mech slighty to right, causing it the trip and fall down. Kamon was pushed hard into the safety harness by the gravity from the fall, then back into his seat as the Mech hit the ground with a deafening 'clang'.

Kamon managed to stay conscious, but fell blood trickle down from his head at his left temple, he probably had a concussion, or worse. 'No time to worry about that now'. He checked his readouts and noticed most of his left torso had been totally destroyed, taking the left arm with it as well as damaging the internal fusion engine. Already heat from the damaged engine was starting to find its way into the cockpit, which was soon going to become a living hell. The destruction of his left torso and arm also meant that one of his PPCs and all three of his medium lasers were lost. Firing the other PPC was next to suicidal with the heat coming from the engine, which left him with only a Short Range Missile launcher and a Machine Gun. Even worse, he was lying down on the ground while his opponent was moving closer. 'Have to move fast', he thought to himself and grabbed for the controls, trying to get his Mech upright again. Luckily the fall had not damaged the neurohelmet he was wearing, without which he would not be able to balance his Mech and would not be able to get up again. ....

Using his hands to push himself from the ground, then bracing the Hellbringer on its right knee, he was slowly managing to get his Mech upright again when the Nova continued its assault, coming up at his back, it fired another salvo of seven medium lasers into his right leg, blasting away all of the Mech's armor and damaging the internal systems. Yanking the throttle as hard as he could, Kamon somehow managed to keep from falling over, and even managed to turn its mech, using the right leg as a pivot and pushing away with his left leg. Kamon knew he would not have much of a change getting up with the Nova firing at him, so he fired his one weapon which could cause enough damage to get it to back off ... his PPC. The PPC crackled as it came to life and fired its deadly charge straight into the Nova's already damaged right torso, destroying the rest of the armor and causing havoc within. With renowed hope, Kamon watched as the right arm went dead, its controllers severed by the PPC blast. The Nova jumped away from him, its heat was probably way into the red after those two salvos, and it could not risk firing again ... 'This will give me some time' Kamon thought to himself .... when suddenly his right torso exploded in a fierce fireball, its ammo having been cooked by the Mech's heat. The CASE systems kicked in and catapulted the Hellbringers right side away before it could destroy the entire Mech. Which left Kamon's Mech without any weapons !!!

But Kamon was not ready to give up yet. Looking around him, he brought his Mech back on its feet and ran for the hole blasted in the Mining complex wall earlier. He made it safely, and took its Mech into the complex itself. Inside, it was dark, with debris and small machinery scattered everywhere. Making even a relativly simple thing like walking into a hazardous move. Kamon checked his sensors and noticed, like he had suspected, that the large concetrations of metal and ore inside the mine played havoc on his sensors. It will be hard to detect any Mech inside the complex, which is exactly how Kamon wanted it ...

He ran further into the complex, then moved his Mech behind a large piece of machinery, some sort of digging-equipment, and watched the hole in the wall for his oponent. Several seconds later the Nova appeared in the hole, carefully scanning its surroundings before finally moving in. "You have no weapons left Mechwarrior", the sudden voice of Star Commander Zalman, amplified over the Nova's external speakers brought a jolt of surprise moving through Kamon's body. "Give up now, or I will be forced to kill you". The Nova came to a standstill and waited. Kamon did not reply, but instead decided to wait as well. After about a minute, Star Commander Zalman spoke again "Very well, so be it. A senseless dead, but since you have fought with
skill, I will honor your request". The the Nova started walking forward again, very slowly, its torso sweeping from one side to
another, weary of ambushes. Kamon watched as the Nova came closer and closer, then suddenly broke his Mech into a run straight at his enemy. The Nova spotted him and turned around to fire, but Kamon sidestepped just that instance, and the blast of lasers hit one of the support beams which held up the ceiling. The support fell down to the ground, and small bits of stone fell from the ceiling, hitting the Hellbringer but doing no damage. Kamon continued his run towards the Nova and sidestepped behind another support just as the Nova was about the fire. Fire from its medium lasers hit the support and blasted it to shreds. Causing even more stones and debris to fall down as the ceiling began to gave way. Kamon stepped forward over the destroyed support beam and kicked out at his opponent, hitting the right leg and forcing the Nova on its knee. Recovering his balance for a second kick, Kamon watched the Nova's arm come up ... and fire ... straight at his cockpit !

Laser fire melted the already damaged armor on the cockpit and blasted its way inside. Instantly vaporising the pilot and destroying the Mech. However, just as the lasers hit, the Hellbringer shifted its balance slightly to the left. Whether this was on purpose or by accident was impossible to tell, but the result was that the Hellbringer fell down to the left, straight into another support beam. The beam snapped in two, and the Mech broke through, continuing its fall towards the ground. The destruction of the support beam caused a loud grinding sound to be heard from above, as suddenly the ceiling collapsed in on itself, burrying both Mechs in a shower of stone and metal ...... destroying both Mechs, and killing any live occupants....

- MechWarrior Wight Pryde


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