Solaris VII

Cathay Sector, Solaris City

The Jungle

December 10, 3053


The Serra-Pryde towered above him as Medron Pryde smiled up at her, seventy-five tons of death and destruction that answered only to him.  Her left hand was a massive claw designed to be as deadly as possible, while the right arm was dominated by the twin streak six systems.  So experimental they weren’t even being produced on the special markets yet, they’d been designed by hacking and slashing streak two systems together until they worked right.  Most of the time.

Unfortunately, one of the systems had dropped down to only firing two missiles a few months back and no tech on Solaris had been able to figure out the tangle of wiring that made them tick.  He’d had to send for an engineer friend of his dads to come over to Solaris and get them working.  But even firing on less then all her cylinders, Serra had been more then ’Mech enough to wipe out all comers.

An extended ranged particle cannon jutted out of her right torso, on a track system that allowed it to rotate around the ’Mech to fire in any direction, while four machine guns supported the primary armament.  They’d proven to be good weapons on Solaris, though he doubted he would have liked them anywhere else.  They just didn’t have the firepower and range for real ’Mech battles, but on Solaris they could be devastating.

Just like the rest of Serra was.  She was a hot running ’Mech, but he liked her that way.  Her myomers were the special stuff designed by the Davions three decades ago and gave her a lot of punch when her heat levels soared.  Sure she was hard on her pilots because they had to run her hot to get the best out of her, but Medron liked that too.  He patted her leg and then turned as his stable master came up hurriedly.

“Aren’t you ready yet?” the older man asked impatiently and Medron chuckled.

“Yeah, old man.  Just admiring my girl here,” he finished and the stable master shook his head in annoyance.

“Look here kid.  You might have a fancy ’Mech here, but if you don’t get out there right now, I’ll drop both you and that ’Mech back into the cooperatives I pulled you out of.  You’re nothing special in the real stables you hear me?”

“Yeah, man,” Medron answered quickly, trying to mollify his stable master’s notorious temper.  Then he looked up at his ’Mech.  “Yah hear that girl?  He wants us to wipe the floor with another bad guy.  You up for it?”  He smiled and stepped forward towards the stairs up to the gantry that would let him walk directly to the cockpit.  “She says she wants to kick some ass,” he noted cockily to the stable master and the old man snorted back.

“Look kid, the Berserker’s a big ’Mech and if she hits you with that axe your number could be up.  Be careful.”

“Don’t worry, old man,” Medron smiled back as he walked up to the ’Mech and climbed in slowly.  “I’ve got it covered.  He doesn’t stand a chance,” he finished with a big smile and brought the cockpit down to seal him in.  It was time to dance.




He marched out into the trees of the Jungle slowly, conserving his energy for the battle coming up, swaying back and forth from step to step and feeling his ’Mech’s shoulders brushing through the tree branches.  On the other side, the Berserker slowly came out to meet him and the announcers rattled off their names and records.  The Berserker pilot had been on Solaris for years, but had never made much of a name for himself.  He’d obviously been good enough to get into the Unlimited Class, but he’d never gotten into the really good fights.

Medron smiled as the announcers noted his age of 21.  Yeah, he was a young one and he had no intention of turning into an old has-been like this Berserker pilot.  He was going to be somebody everybody would recognize, and Serra was just the ’Mech to do that.  He patted her control panel and smiled as he turned on her comms.

“Hey old man,” he transmitted to the Berserker.  “I’ve got room for a twelfth silhouette on my claw.  I’m thinking your ’Mech would look good on it!” he taunted, surely to the delight of the fans who could hear every word he said.

“Look mayfly,” the Berserker pilot responded and Medron’s blood boiled at being called one of those one-shot-wonders.  He had no plans at all to rise high in the rankings and then burned out.  He was going to be the best.  “I’ll give you a nickel’s worth of free advice.  You’re a one trick pony in a pinball machine and that don’t fly in the Unlimited Class.  A fancy machine can help you in the closed classes, but now you’re with the big boys.  I’m gonna send you crying back to the Blood Pits kid,” he finished, referencing the unknown arenas outside Solaris City.

“Think what you what, zombie!” Medron crowed back with the universal insult towards a MechWarrior past his prime and just waiting to die.  “I’m putting you out of your misery today!” he finished and could well imagine the crowds cheering as he pushed Serra forward to engage the assault ’Mech that outweighed him by 25 tons.  Most ’Mechs in the Unlimited Class were assaults after all, and they didn’t get to see fights like this often.  A regular David and Goliath.  And everybody knew how that battle had gone down.

Medron jammed down on the pedals, shooting up into the air on flames that set the trees on fire and pulled his targeting cross hairs around to bring his particle cannon into line.  He mashed the firing circuit down and smiled as it peeled armor off the larger ’Mech’s leg while the machine guns started chattering away nonstop.  He smashed into the ground in time to feel the Berserker’s particle cannon shoot by over his left shoulder, shattering a tree into slivers, and then a series of laser pulses walked up his right arm.

Medron plowed his ’Mech forward through the trees as heat waves poured off her and the cooling vest put goose bumps on his chest as sweat ran down his arms.  The Serra was a hot ’Mech, but at least he knew the Berserker would be feeling the heat too.  You didn’t fire that many big weapons at once without regretting it.  He smiled and brought the right arm up to aim at the enemy before mashing the firing controls on his streak systems.  One of them locked on, joining the steady stream of machine gun rounds chattering away at the ’Mech with six corkscrews of missiles.

He snarled as the Berserker’s Anti-Missile System chattered back at the missiles, clawing them all down, and then broke out of the trees into the river.  He shot across it quickly, feeling the Berserker’s flamer torching his ’Mech and then he struck with everything he had.  The assault ’Mech stood in front of him on the bank of the river as Medron ran up to meet him, its axe ready to swing.  Medron hit first, his claw smashing forward with all the power of his hyped up myomers into the Berserker’s torso, right over one of its pulse laser arrays.

Then he jerked as the assault ’Mech’s axe smashed into his left side and he stepped to the side, ripping his claw out as his machine guns continued to chatter, trying to keep his balance.  He walked back into the river again, feeling the heat beginning to drop back down as the myomers lost their extra punch.

“Time to fry, zombie,” he shouted and fired the particle cannon again, feeling the welcome rush of heat over his skin again.  Strength came back and he stepped forward as one of the Berserker’s laser arrays sparked from an overload caused by his chattering machine guns.  His claw smashed forward again into the assault ’Mech’s center torso smashing its armor in and he snarled in anticipation.  One more hit and that bad boy would be down.

Then he saw the axe coming down on him.  It smashed into his head, caving down through the top and on past the cockpit.  He felt the entire left side of the cockpit crash down on him, and a screaming pain from his left arm and leg ripped through him as the massive metal weapon wedged to a stop beside him.  That was when he finally passed out.