04/24/3060 00:01 Location – Hall of Ice, Hector, Kerensky Cluster
The Bloodnamed of Clan Ice Hellion were gathered at Hector to elect a new Khan, their previous one the Ristar Asa Taney having fallen fighting the treacherous Nova Cats. The Hall of Ice was an impressive structure built during the Golden Century and it had fared as well as their small clan throughout history. Its winged buttresses were elegant and its light gray structure mimicked an Ice Hellion lying in wait. Since they were such a small clan they had slightly less than 500 people in attendance many of their blood-names having been Reaved during one of the two Hellion Civil Wars so nearly all of the bloodhouses were below 20 and some below 10 active counts, the only one at 25 was Cage, the founder’s bloodname.
The saKhan Weilland Cage was the favorite to succeed Khan Taney but a challenger emerged from the Hellion’s atypical Delta Galaxy, Star Captain (Ale)Xander Drake nominated by his abtakha Ghost Bear Star Colonel. As the commander of the Hellions’ only Supernova Trinary, the Elemental was well respected despite the disdain most of the Trueborn had for their infantry.
He had won many trials for the clan during the Hellion’s Fury Campaign nearly ten years ago and was one of the more charismatic Ice Hellions. During the past decade he had been sent to Clan Goliath Scorpion, where he dancing the scars and participating in the Circus Honorae, and Clan Fire Mandrill’s Mattilla-Caroll and Mick-Kreese Kindraa as part of joint development efforts winning a Cage’s Clasp in the process. He stepped forward from his position in the balacony standing a head taller than the assembled Mechwarriors.
Unlike other Clan Elementals he was a Hellion and traded bulk and brute strength for speed and grace, built more like an NFL corner or professional soccer player than a Linebacker. A testament to Prapa Drake, founder of the Bloodhouse and a Pentathlete at Sandhurst later serving as an infantry officer in the 72nd SOG who fought against the usurper.
“You dare to challenge me Star Captain Drake?”
“I do saKhan, I am the superior candidate. Under your command Beta Galaxy has lost many excellent fighters to the hated Wolves due to your lack of Vision. You were unfit to command that Galaxy and you are unfit to command this Clan. I on the other have grand plans for the Hellions that will earn us the respect we so richly deserve.”
“We shall let the Bloodhouses decide”
Star Captain Drake won by a narrow margin (219 to 213), saKhan Cage issued a Trial of Refusal over the results, First Blood. Khan Drake slashed him across the throat killing him and in the process drawing first blood. Star Captain Joan Norizuchi of Beta Galaxy succeeded him as saKhan and the Hellions were mobilized to take Londerholm (under Norizuchi and Beta Galaxy) and Huntress (under Drake using Alpha and Delta Galaxies).
04/27/3060 Location – Grid 8-37, Huntress
Commander Sarah Jol of MIM Active Response Team GOLDLEAF carefully picked her path through the overgrown jungle. The rest of her team followed loosely keeping alter to avoid Smoke Jaguars of the two and four legged variety in this awful place. She swatted away at the alien flies that buzzed past her ear and flew into her curly brown hair. Since Major Danai Centrella and General Victor Steiner-Davion had died they had to revert to their secondary orders, grab as much as you can and don’t tell anyone. The Magistracy of Canopus would likely only have one chance to go to the Clan Homeworlds and there was a wish list given to her ARC team by the Magestrix for things to acquire from the Smoke Jaguars.
Their recently acquired Anhur transport had to land 20 kilometers south-east in a small glade to not attract attention to their true target. Her unit had captured multiple technicians as isorla and interrogated them to find any easy targets. A Hellion Flurry unit was operating in the area no doubt looking for the same remote research outpost. The world of Huntress had become a free fire zone between five different clans and remnants of the Smoke Jaguars that managed to evade the 2SLDF’s forces, her platoon had to be cautious sub-machine guns and grenades would do nothing to a Clan Elemental Point or a single Protomech.
Nearby Hellion Khan Xander Drake jumped out of an Anhur and used his Hellbat’s Jump Jets to land softly on the spongy jungle floor. A point of Donar Attack Helicopters was orbiting the area while he went down to investigate the intercepts his force had regarding where the Roc Protomech scientists were located. The Hellbat was a new design developed to support Scorpion Seekers, it could carry a Machine Gun or Active Probe and had a built in vibro-blade that could easily be swapped out for some other useful tool, Improved Jump Thrusters gave it more mobility that standard Elemental battle armor but he wasn’t going to risk leaping through this mess. It had plenty of armor to deal with anything he encountered here and the remainder of his Command Point were outfitted in the standard Hellion Elemental Armor . With the Active Probe nothing would catch his unit by surprise.
Khan Drake and Commander Jol arrived at the site, initially the ARC Team had their weapons leveled against the Elementals that did the same but the commander met in the middle, there were more important things to do then waste some spheroids. Following Clan Honor Commander Jol issued a Trial of Possession for the site allowing her to leave with as much as she could carry on the Anhur.
Sarah Jol watched as the Khan of Clan Ice Hellion who were well known for their love of speed and hand-eye coordination got out of his armor. She figured he was an Elemental but was surprised when a fairly normal sized man walked out, he had dirty blonde hair and blue-green eyes, and his skin was pale from spending so much time out of the sun. _ “Aren’t you a little short to be an Elemental?”_
“Commander, I am an Ice Hellion we are kilo for kilo the best fighters in the Kerensky cluster. I am willing to accept your challenge. How will we decide the winner?”
The MIM operative was no slough in hand to hand but this man was a Warrior born and bred for it. His thin tank top and shorts revealed many scars from duels with other clanners so she decided on something she knew better than he did. _ “The Trial will be decided by the most exquisite test of skill in my homeland, Rock, Paper, Scissors. I win if I beat your throws seven times and you win if you beat me five times.”_
The Khan couldn’t hide his curiosity he was a bad bluffer that was good, “What are the rules for this “Rock, Paper, Scissors” I will not accept a challenge using some stravag nonsense that I do not understand.”
Her ARC teammates barely contained their amusement as their Commander explained the rules and allowed the Khan some practice throws, allowing him to win more than he lost. When they called the official trial a MIM operatives and one of the Elementals were the judges. Sarah beat the Khan and her unit was allowed first pick of the research center. Meanwhile the Canopian Intelligence Officer continued to chat with the Khan gathering intelligence along the way. She showed him the meaning of “*quickie*” while the rest of her platoon was working. RPS and Quickie both were rapidly included into the Hellion Clan upon the Khan’s return.
The Anhur was called over and a landing zone was cleared to allow the Magistracy operatives to leave with a pair of Harpies, a group of pilot trainees, four scientists, and copies of the data banks and interface modules used to create the direct interface. The Ice Hellions had possession of more and called in a small craft to begin loading up the tooling and other necessary infrastructure to build Protomechs taking it to Hector.
06/17/3061 Location – MIM HQ (“Mirror Palace”), Crimson, Canopus IV
Commander Sarah Jol returned for debriefing at HQ, their captured Smoke Jaguar material was sent to Selene Station in the Niops Association for investigation and reverse engineering. Magestrix Emma Centrella and the Directors of the Magistracy Intelligence Ministry were the only ones invited to this very secure meeting. Commander Jol went through all of her experiences and had a video documenting the Clan Elemental Phenotype’s “prowess”. All of it was very interesting but the Magestrix had to classify the video as ULTRA TOP SECRET, CMDR Jol asked why and the Magestrix responded, “Girl, if I let that video out among the other MIM Commanders I will have to fend off demands to return to the Homeworlds in order to bring back specimens. We have more important things to do.”