Author's Note: Hello everyone. We are back with the next chapter of "The Chronicles of Clan Northern Harrier: Book 1." I hope you all enjoyed chapter 1, and all of you reviewers, thank you. I sincerely hope to see more reviews to this chapter, and if I do not get reviews, I may stop writing. I do not think you want me to stop writing when the real fun is about to begin.


Chapter 2: Trial by Fire, Determination of Ice

Clan Northern Harrier Field HQ

Luthien, Draconis Combine

5 January 3052

Galaxy Commander Elise Werner watched the feed from the drone hovering over the designated combat field for the ground forces participating in this Trial. During their 228 year exile, Clan Northern Harrier had revised their Rules of Engagement to limit the size of the area that could be contested in a single Trial of Possession. The extreme conditions on Nova VII had meant that it was very difficult to settle above ground, and they could only use the existing caverns to build their cities. There were only three caverns large enough to support the major facilities that were essential to the survival of the clan. The smaller caverns were used as living quarters and markets. Technicians and scientists had worked to install wind turbines above ground that would sit close to the ground to avoid toppling in the wind, in order to provide power to the systems in the cavern.

The larger caverns that were not reserved for the vital equipment were densely packed with housing, and as such those who resided in the caverns which were suitable for more individualized and spacious living quarters were constantly challenged for their quarters. Those who had quarters in the smaller caverns sometimes looked to expand, and challenged to acquire other caverns in addition to the ones they already used. The worst cases however, were the mining allotments. They were constantly being fought over and contested for their mineral resources.

A sharp buzzer brought her out of her reflections. The Trial was going to begin soon, and she needed to monitor the battle closely for her reports to Fleet Admiral Allen Bismarck and Kahn Veronica Rommel.


50 kilometers from CNH Field HQ

Luthien, Draconis Combine

5 January 3052

Star Capitan Evan looked across the battlefield at his opponents. The Smoke Jaguar OmniMechs were hardly impressive compared to some of the heavier mechs in his own clan's arsenal. He had been anxious to fight, and was about to get what he wished for.

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Across the battlefield, the third star of the Smoke Jaguar mechs topped the ridge, laden with Elemental suits. Star Commander Owens sat inside his Timber Wolf and stared across at the Northern Harrier forces assembled on the far ridgeline. Their mechs were unfamiliar, but several of them were equipped with a hauntingly familiar weapon, that he had only seen in the technicians' archive files.

'Why would they be equipped with Plasma PPCs?' he wondered. Plasma PPCs were weaker than the standard PPC and required a special weapons mount that was much more difficult to manufacture, but the weapon had higher rate of fire. They also became quite unstable with heavy use.

A green flare launching from his left side brought his attention back to the battle. Green was the "ready" flare. When the answering flare rose from a mech on the opposing side, he watched for a moment before informing the Elementals he was carrying that it was time to go. He pushed the throttle on his mech forward and led his star into battle.

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Watching the flare rise from his own mech was something that Evan had few opportunities to enjoy. He pushed his own Killer Hawk forwards as he targeted and approached an opponent in a Timber Wolf mech, seeking to score a quick kill with his Water Cutter before he resorted to a more traditional shoot-and-circle tactic common among mech battles. His selected target was advancing in front of another Timber Wolf that was offloading several Elemental Battle Armors as the battle began. He checked the distance to his target, and was slightly disappointed to find himself still out of range.

Just then, Galaxy Commander Elise Werner came over the comm. system. "Field HQ to Alpha Binary, Khan Rommel has requested you refrain from the use of our… more unique weapons for the time being. She does not wish for our forces to bring about needless slaughter on our former brethren. Choose your shots carefully. Field HQ, out."

Evan sighed as he locked down his Water Cutter and selected his LRMs, opening fire on his first target as many of the mechs on both sides opened fire at the same time. The smoke and bits of earth from missile trails and off-target ordinance began to accumulate, creating a cloud of debris that gave the laser flashes which were visible an almost surreal and mystical quality. The fight degenerated into a rather confusing almost-brawl at that point, and the Northern Harrier forces began to make liberal use of their Plasma PPCs at this close range.

Evan soon found himself face to face with a Timber Wolf that was preparing to bash him with its arm amidst the confusion. He sidestepped, and brought his Killer Hawk's right arm in to deliver a gut-punch to his opponent.

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Star Commander Owens gaped in near disbelief as the mech he had just attempted to bash evaded his attack with the ease of a practiced boxer evading a strike. He was shaken in his cockpit as his mech was struck just above the waist joint and toppled to the ground. As he tried to rise, Owens' Timber Wolf was suddenly pummeled from behind and roughly flipped over onto its back. He looked up to see the barrel of a laser pointed directly at him in his cockpit, and his opponent began to laugh over the radio.

"It will take more than a simple close combat attack to touch a Killer Hawk," said the voice. "You have guts though, advancing into close combat against us. You would make a fine warrior, with the right training, of course." The mech swiveled and moved on to its next victim. All Owens could do was sit there in dumbfounded shock at his opponent's mirth and words as the battle slowly began to die down around him.

How could these mysterious people pilot a mech so fluidly, as if the mech itself was their own body? He almost failed to notice when a soldier wearing battle armor began knocking on the side of his cockpit, asking for him to exit his mech and head over to a tented area that must have been set up while he was absorbed in his own thoughts.

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High above the battlefield, the recon drone continued to relay the images it observed to the Northern Harrier Field HQ, and the staff there gave a collective sigh of relief that the first phase of the Trial was over.


80 Kilometers from CNH Field HQ

Luthien, Draconis Combine

5 January, 3052

The five Harrier IX Variable Force Mechs were arrayed against ten Kirghiz OmniFighters, and were definitely going to be in for a challenge. The Northern Harrier force had agreed to restrict their VFMs to the use of fighter configuration, but they were allowed to use the thrust and maneuvering capabilities provided by the Air Mech configuration for mid-air maneuvering only. Needless to say, the Smoke Jaguar pilots had no idea what hit them when they were trounced by a force they outnumbered two-to-one. The actual dogfight lasted about thirty five seconds from the first shot, and the result was ten smoking wrecks, all formerly Kirghiz OmniFighters. The first Trial was concluded with a virtual clean-sweep for Clan Northern Harrier.


A/N: OK, chapter 2 is done. If I do not receive reviews telling me WHAT my readers like in my story, and what they would like to see, I will take longer to get each chapter out. Also, I am working on a force composition for the CNH force, but it will take some time for me to finish it. Thank you for reading, and do not forget to click the button that says review. I do not care what you put in the review, go ahead and flame if you feel the need, I have very little motivation to write without readers reviewing. So go ahead and tell me what you think. I can handle it. See you all next chapter.