Sunday, August 9, 2009

Westbase, 30 Spring TN1920: The dueling showdown?

Kain Delacroix was strapped into the seat of Lex Talionis, the Spitting Cobra heavy gear. The large v-engine on the gear's back growled smoothly: Carmichael and Gade had been doing their best to keep the beast running well. Everything was checking out as he rolled the gear into the dueling arena.

Behind Kain, Gade was driving Gun, his Tiger gear, and Sam was in Slick, the Blitz Iguana. Lex swept the arena with its active sensors and gave its pilot a decent map rendering. Gun and Slick were doing the same thing, and Kain watched their actives register on his EM sensors.

The three pilots were quiet. They had already discussed their plan, and there was little else to talk about. The arena was a jumbled maze of pre-fab ferrocrete berms and walls, all arranged in a 30 meter deep shuttle drydock. It must have cost a pretty penny to get a set up like this going, which struck Kain as strange, considering that the Indy Dueling League was supposed to operate on a shoestring budget. Either way, Kain let the gear idle, and watched his sensors. The opposition was entering the arena.

The IDL pilots led with their biggest gear as well: a Kodiak. How these guys managed to acquire a Kodiak heavy assault gear was anybody's guess, but the thing was so enormous it towered over some of the maze walls, let alone the other gears in the arena. Next was a Black Mamba, the latest off of the Territorial Arms assembly line. Lastly, a sleek-looking Cheetah ambled in. Kain smiled and looked up. No roof, just stars.

The signal flare went up, and the duel started. Slick dashed forward and leaped up, grabbing at the edge of one of the concrete walls. The little Iguana managed to hoist itself up with all the finesse of a gymnast. Sam had gotten to be quite the pilot, Kain smiled with some satisfaction. Slick crouched low and raced across the top of the wall.

The Kodiak and the Black Mamba began drawing a bead on the smaller gear as they advanced. Shells exploded all around, but Sam's firm hand on the controls kept Slick from toppling off the wall, or from getting hit. The neural net squealed a loud warning as a near miss rocked the gear. It didn't phase Sam, who pointed the gear's arm-mounted laser designator at the Kodiak. Enough of the Kodiak towered over the wall that Sam's laser lit it up.

The targeting system on Lex Talionis blinked and updated: "LASER GUIDANCE BEAM DETECTED. TARGET ACQUIRED."

Kain flicked the trigger guard up and squeezed. Nothing happened.

"FIRE!" he shouted at his gear.


"FIRE!" Kain squeezed the trigger again. This was not good. Slick was nearly at the end of the top of the wall. The laser would not be able to paint the Kodiak for much longer.





The light guided missile streaked over Lex Talionis' shoulder in a high arch, and then dove straight for the Kodiak. The big machine tried to dive, but didn't move quickly enough. It was torn to shrapnel in a direct hit.

As soon as it had begun, it was over. Gade had blasted the Black Mamba with a snap shot from his bazooka pistol as the two gears made visual contact. The gear collapsed in a heap against one of the walls, a massive hole in its side. The Cheetah stopped and powered down, surrendering. Sam jumped Slick off the wall and skidded to a stop near the deactivated gear.

Kain smiled inside his Spitting Cobra. That couldn't have gone any better.


Hermes 72 - Heavy Gear RPG - Most artwork Copyright 2002 Dream Pod 9, Inc.