I don't own Armored Core or any of the characters except John Hunter

Upon returning from my first mission, I found a request for an AC battle awaiting me in my e-mail. The request was from a Raven known as Invincible Q, a deadly mercenary with a price on his head. I had heard he stayed alive by killing any and all who tried to bring him in. Though I was somewhat nervous, given his reputation as well as his Karasawa-equipped AC, I felt that this time he had met his match, given my own skills and equipment.

I accepted the challenge and prepared for battle.

Upon arriving in the arena, I was surprised to find him nowhere in sight. A humming noise alerted me to his presence, indicating that he had, in fact, been lying in wait to slice me in half. However, he underestimated my AC's speed and reaction time. I boosted to the top of the arena and let fly with a railgun shot that blasted his radar off. It didn't stop him for long but it was enough for me to activate my stealth gear and bring out my own laserblade ( as I have a fondness for swordsmanship). As he searched for me, I flew around behind him and thrust. It didn't kill him, but it did destroy his FCS, reducing him to his laserblade alone. Before he could turn around, I ran past him… and fired my grenade launcher. "Die!" I shouted.

The grenades tore him apart, just as he sliced my AC's right arm off, severing my own Karasawa.

After the battle, I went by the infirmary and talked to one of the doctors there. "Did Q survive?"

"No. He was killed in the grenade attack."

"That's life as a mercenary. Besides, it was his idea. He just underestimated me. Clears the field of the weak, anyway." I responded.

I headed for the garage and spoke with my mechanic. "How long to fix the arm, Chief?"

"A couple days, I think. Q's deathblow was a doozy. Lucky he didn't hit the rifle's power pack. If he had, we wouldn't be talking about it right now. Not bad evasive, I'll grant you that. Not bad for a 15 year-old pilot."

"Blast. No more missions for a couple days, then. Boot up the computer, will you? I want to check rankings." My profile appeared on the screen.

Rank: 8

Pilot Name: Wraith

AC Name: Phantom

"A young Raven, known not for flash, but for getting the job done reliably. Should rise in rank with experience. A pilot to watch in the future."

"What do you make of that, Chief?" I asked.

"Somebody likes your work. Probably someone like Falcon or Kawasaki. They're both fairly new, too. I'll get back to you when repairs are complete."

"Got it."

Note: Sorry for the short chapter, got writers' block in the middle of it. To Xardion: in following chapters you should recognize the missions as being from the original. I've just never seen the ending because the game crashes, so I decided to base the story off it very loosely, and added some arena battles along the way.