AN: Alright Guys, I saw a few comments that had their opinions on who Harry should be paired with, however I will not be counting any that are not in the poll. Ones in the comment section will not be counted. And for my fellow Americans, Happy Memorial Day! Summer is here! Well, where I am it's been summer since, like, April. sheesh, it's hot.
Many things flashed through Harry's mind at these words. Curiosity, fear, astonishment and several other emotions. Never before had anyone ever cared about how he was feeling.
"I-I'm feeling fine," he stuttered nervously, not knowing where this was going, but his curiosity was burning brightly. Then everyone in the room jumped as a bark of laughter rang out.
"HA! He reacted just like you did when we first met Kamea," a deep voice said from the doorway.
Kamea spun around and Harry's head jerked up. There standing on the doorway was a tall man dressed in jump boots and the traditional cooling suit of a mechwarrior. His eyes were a bright silver in color and he looked like he had been through the rough and tumble. There was a thick scar going over one eye and across the bridge of his nose as well as a few smaller ones on his cheeks. He had a smirk on his face but appeared friendly enough. There was a pistol on his hip in a holster but the man's hands were well away from the gun.
Kamea stood up and inclined her head in greeting, "Sabertooth, I see you're back from the wars."
"That I am, Kamea," the now named Sabertooth answered with a hint of the frontier drawl. "It was a major mess as all the other Succession Wars were. However, the rebuilding and organization of territories should keep the Inner Sphere from bothering the Periphery for a while."
The mechwarrior strode into the medbay as Harry sat up. The man was definitely taller than Kamea as he walked with a confident manner.
"So, Kamea, are you going to adopt him or what?" Sabertooth asked after inspecting him.
"Wait, what?!" Harry yelped in shock. Kamea scowled.
"I was planning to break it to him gently, Sabertooth. And besides, I hadn't formally announced it yet. Only the Founding Houses know of this. Have you been listening in to meetings somehow?"
Sabertooth laughed, "Mechwarriors gossip, as do House Guards and members of Founding Houses. All I had to do was keep an ear open for rumors."
Kamea glared at the mercenary, she had forgotten how Sabertooth operated at times.
"Lord Madeira informed me just before we landed, Kamea," he smirked. Lord Madeira strolled in just then. He walked over to Kamea and the two had a hushed discussion with Kamea's eyes widening somewhat at the decision of the Council of Founding Houses. The High Lady beckoned Sabertooth over to join in the discussion.
A quick discussion later ended with the mechwarrior commander nodding as the three separated from their discussion. Alexander quickly left to prepare the throne room, or more accurately inform the head servant about the upcoming preparations that needed to be done.
Sabertooth turned saying "I'll inform the rest of the Argo about the news Kamea. When he is ready to be trained, you know how to contact us. I'll see you at the ceremony." With that, the mechwarrior turned and left heading off elsewhere.
From the back of the medbay the medtech strode over. "Alright young man, you're free to go. I have informed the staff of the medicine that you need to take from the next two weeks and have you on a specialized diet for the next six months." Harry hopped off of the bed and found that he was clothed nicely. He slipped the shoes that were by his bed on and then Kamea beckoned him over.
The almost five-year-old scurried over to the High Lady and followed her from the medbay.
Time skip: One Year later
Harry stood before to the Cormorant Throne of the Aurigan Reach, dressed in a suit of red and golden-yellow, as Kamea, excuse him, High Lady Arano rose from her throne, Lord Alexander Madeira flanking her to the right and the commander of the Arano House Guard, Maximus, to the left. He kneeled down and bowed his head to the woman who had given him a second chance at life.
Kamea strode forwards and the gathered crowd went silent. They all had heard the rumors of the boy standing before the throne, how the Council of Founding Houses had unanimously agreed with High Lady Arano but nothing official had been announced. That is, until three weeks ago.
"People of the Aurigan Reach, I am sure that you have all heard the rumors by now. Today, we put those rumors to rest. I have motioned and the Council of the Founding Houses has agreed, that the young man that you see before you shall be named as the heir to the Cormorant Throne and the entirety of the Aurigan Reach. Many of you have feared for the Reach due to my unmarried status, but no longer. Today, I declare that the young man you see before you all, will now be that heir and though not of my own blood, my eldest child. From today onwards, he shall be known as Harry James Arano, prince of the Aurigan Reach!"
She turned to Harry, and motioned for him to stand. As he did the crowd burst into applause and cheers and the House Guards saluted. Harry stood proud next to Kamea as the cheering continued. The sun shone brightly as though the universe itself was proud of this moment.
Time skip: Nine years later
Harry inspected himself in his room after putting of his Star League Era cooling suit, with his neural helmet off to one side. He was fourteen now and was ready for his final test before becoming a true mechwarrior. He reached over for his helmet and tucked it under his arm before pausing before leaving his room. Harry thought back to the letter that Kamea had shown him one year ago that spoke of how he got here.
"And not long after we got another saying it was almost time for me to go back," Harry muttered to himself. And indeed, this was true. Not even a week later did another letter arrive. It appeared like the first, in a flash of bright light. When they opened the letter, all it read was; In one year he must go back. Make sure he is ready.
Needless to say, Kamea made sure of that. Ever since he had been found, she had a team of scientists and engineers decipher the method of crossing universes and building a drive capable to doing so that could be fitted into a working jumpship. Also, she had hired Sabertooth to train him in the ways of Mech combat. Hence his final test.
His inspection done, Harry left his room and headed down to the onsite mechbay, the twenty-minute jog becoming a ten-minute dash. Upon reaching the mechbay, Harry was stopped by a voice.
"Well, Harry, I see that you're ready," an amused Kamea noted as she approached him, dressed in her usual flowing red and white dress.
Harry turned an inclined his head politely at the woman who took him in, causing the High Lady to roll her eyes in amusement.
"Go on Harry," Kamea laughed, gesturing slightly with her hand that he should hurry up. Commander Ichihara had no tolerance for lateness. Harry vanished into the mechbay and Kamea shook her head and went to find someplace to watch the test.
As Harry strode across the catwalk that allowed mechwarriors to access their cockpits, a voice rang out behind him.
"Looking sharp there, kid." Harry spun around on his heel to face Stephen Ichihara; the scarred veteran commander dressed in his cooling suit. "Ready to go, I take it?"
"Born ready Sabertooth, I'm getting my pass and you owe me a birthday present since you bailed out last week," Harry snarked, in fun, excitement cracking in his voice.
Sabertooth laughed as he jammed his thumb over his shoulder at the Battlemech behind him. "We'll see kid. Hop in and get ready."
Harry turned around, his eyes widening in shock. "Your old Black Knight from the war?!"
He had good reason to be shocked, while Sabertooth's signature and personal Battlemechs nowadays were a Battlemaster BLR-1G, Awesome AWS-8Q and mainly a Marauder MAD-3R, the mech that really put him on the board as a top of the line mercenary was this. A Black Knight BL-6B-KNT. Aside from the Blackjack that Sabertooth inherited from his family and had until it was busted up so bad after Smithon, this was the mech that did it all.
As Sabertooth turned away, Harry heard him say, "So far you've earned the chance to use it for your test. Let's get this show on the road."
Harry nodded, and jammed on his neural helmet and hopped onto the lift that took him over to the side hatch of the Black Knight's cockpit. He popped the hatch open and slide inside, closing it behind him. He swiftly slid into the seat and strapped in, hooking his cooling suit's intake into the 'Mech's life support system. Harry quickly pressed the right button's and flipped the right switches to bring the Black Knight's fusion engine roaring to life, listening as the Bitching Betty intones the usual start up sequence.
ALL SYSTEMS NOMINAL.
Harry couldn't help but grin like a fool as the information feed and HUD was fed straight to him through his helmet and the "Mech became and extension of his body. He applied the throttle to make the Black Knight stroll out of its bay and out onto the parade grounds overlooking the "Mech target field. There were already two blips on his sensors a couple kilometers out, deep into the training ground. Sabertooth's Awesome came on the side of him as they piloted their 'Mechs to the center of the parade field.
"So Sabertooth, what combat nightmare have you cooked up for me this time?" Harry asked, popping a crick out of his neck.
"Nothing too bad. Something nice and straightforward on paper, but as I've told you many times before-,"
"Nothing is ever straightforward as it may seem," Harry intoned, finishing the lesson that Raju Montgomery hammered into Commander Ichihara long ago.
"So, you have been paying attention. You might get through this after all then," Stephen said amused. "I got a couple drones out on the field. They're decommissioned military with dummy rounds. It won't hurt your 'mech too bad, but they will knock you flat on your ass if you let them hit. Your final assessment will be to hunt down every drone out there and come back without being knocked down. Easy enough?"
Harry cackled in amusement as he throttled the Black Knight into a jog heading out to the sensor blips. "Seek and destroy, I'm on it!"
Stephen shook his head as he waited six minutes and throttled up after his student as Kamea's voice came on over a private channel.
"Think he suspects anything, Sabertooth?"
"Not a chance, Kamea. Not a chance."
It took Harry two solid minutes of moving at cruising speed before he made visual contact with the first drone, an old Scorpion tank. The drone controlling it was on the slow side as the turret wasn't able to lock on before the two large lasers slammed into the weak side armor, melting it and the tank, putting the Scorpion out for the count. Harry brought the Black Knight into a wide turn, with his head on a swivel as he scanned for his other contact and any possible shut down vehicle or 'mech that the sensors could pick up.
He was worried somewhat. "That first one was too easy," Harry thought, "Sabertooth's usually more brutal than that. Probably to get me lulled into false security before he blindsides me."
The second contact soon appeared on his radar. A blasted SRM carrier. Fuck. He and all other Mechwarriors had a major dislike for these things. While most vehicles were annoying at best, aside from a Demolisher, these things were a pain. Carrying multiple SRMs and often moving in pairs or trios, the carriers could easily destroy a 'mech in a couple of salvos. Luckily, Harry was at the top of his game.
Bringing the Black Knight's PPC to bear on the blasted thing, as well as one of the medium lasers, the carrier went up in a pleasing pillar of fire.
"Two down. What's next you bloody bastard?" Harry thought and asked himself as he re-centered his torso and scanned for more threats. His caution was soon warranted when a sensor contact suddenly appeared right behind him in the brush.
Wisely, Harry kicked on the Knight's jump jets, leaping sideways about fifty meters while vectoring around to target for an Alpha strike. Good thinking as two thundering booms were soon followed by great pillars of earth being kicked up from his previous position.
"Son of a bitch! A damn Demolisher!" Luckily for Harry, the only decommissioned Demolisher available for scrapping purposes like this had previously been an asset of House Espinosa during the liberation of Coromodir.
His Alpha strike was just enough to melt through the heavy armor of the damn tank. Seeing this, and reacting quickly as the turret began to traverse to face him, he punted the Demolisher. That did it.
The internal engine ruptured and gushed flames. Harry quickly backed off as to not get caught in an ammo cook-off. He was breathing heavily and the heat was starting to build up. He eased out of the forest, scanning for trouble. Mechwarriors' problems usually came in fours and that was three.
"What next? A damn Atlas?" A blip, behind him.
"No, something that packs a little less punch."
Harry's stomach dropped as he fired his jets reflexively, vectoring away from the PPC blast that flew past in a blaze of blue.
Directly across from him was a Battlemaster. With its PPC raised.
"And I thought I had taught you how to speak as a proper gentleman, Harry," Kamea's voice rang out over the comm.
Harry groaned. He should have expected this! They had done this once before!
"I should have expected that you'd pull this stunt, Sabertooth!" Knowing full well that his teacher could hear him the two Battlemech faced off as the mercenary commander watched from his Awesome.
Sabertooth laughed over the communications unit, "Kamea wanted to take part. Besides it'll show me how much she's forgotten."
Kamea growled over the comm.
Harry got off the first shot, sending two of his four medium lasers barreling into the arms of Kamea's 'mech. Needless to say, Kamea wasn't going to let that slide. She quickly fired off a salvo of SRMs which slammed into the Black Knight.
However, only two of the missiles hit. In a very lucky shot, Harry took out four of the warheads with all of his lasers and landed a well-aimed Black Knight battle-fist into the center torso of Kamea's borrowed 'mech.
"Stop!" Sabertooth called. "I've seen enough. From both of you."
Kamea throttled her 'mech forwards a few steps after powering down her weapons.
"And?" Harry asked.
"You're still rough around the edges, but you have what it takes. Congrats kid, you can now call yourself a Mechwarrior proper."
"Yes," Kamea agreed. "We'll figure out your callsign later. For now, let's get back to the palace. I believe there is something waiting for you in the mechbay."
"She's right, Lightning Strike, let's head back so Yang and the other mechtechs can chew us out."
"Really, Sabertooth!" Kamea asked with amusement as they drove their mechs back into the bays.
Sabertooth quirked an eyebrow. "It fits so well though."
Kamea shook her head at her old friend as Harry emerged from the Black Knight. Sabertooth beckoned his now graduated student over. The boy rushed over his eyes gleaming. Kamea lead the way to where the personal Battlemechs of House Arano were kept.
As Harry followed them in, his eyes caught a 'mech that was covered in a large tarp. Raising an eyebrow as Ichihara nodded, Harry reached for the controls of the crane that was attached to the tarp.
Suddenly, the tarp was laying on the floor, and to the amusement of several of the mechtechs, on top of Yang, who gave a muffled, "Hey!"
Harry's eyes widened, "A Battlemaster?! Awesome!"
The adults laughed at Harry's childish enthusiasm; Stephen however, just made Harry's day even better.
"It's a rare Star League Era BLR-1G that was built on an Endo-steel skeleton with an Extra light engine in it and Double heat sinks. Several of the upper ranking members of CommStar owed me favors that they really wanted to get off their backs, so after helping them out in, let's just say "a problem," they showed me this. It had been sitting in the very back of an abandoned mechbay on Terra because they couldn't get it to work for any of the Guards."
"And it works?" Kamea asked as Harry scrambled all over the Battlemech.
"Sure does. Better than any Battlemaster aside from mine. Aside from Yang, who took a look at it when it was ready, CommStar techs are probably the best in making sure the 'mechs work right and are safe to use. 35 tons of armor too, so he'll have less worries of any hits getting to the engine."
Kamea shook her head, "Great minds think alike, although mine wasn't as easy as calling in a favor. I had to share that dimensional jump technology with CommStar in order to get this as well Harry."
The boy hopped off of the Battlemaster as large reinforced doors were opened at the end of the bay. Standing there, in pristine condition was a Black Knight that was exactly like the one he had used for his test. A BL-6B-KNT.
Kamea laughed, "Since your mentor here started the tradition of having multiple personal 'mechs, I figured that it would be a good idea. Happy birthday Harry."
Harry quickly embraced both adults, as they all walked off to celebrate this the Council who had been watching Harry's test eagerly, wanting to see the young heir prove himself.
Several hours later, after the celebrations had died down, it was time. In the middle of the celebration another letter had appeared. It read-
The time has come for Harry to go back. The resident government and the international organization to which it belongs have been informed. They are expecting you at RAF Northolt. I have provided longitude and latitude coordinates for your intrepid pilot. Coordinates are: Latitude: 51°33′11″N Longitude: 000°25′06″W. Good Luck.
There was a scramble to get Battlemechs loaded into the Argo's mechbays; three Leopards being used to haul the eighteen 'mechs to the dropship which then docked with one of the three jumpships that had been modified with the dimensional jump drive, the Hysteria being attached to the Argo. One of the other jumpships would carry two of the Leopards while the third, which had been the one to do the test jump, would carry supplies and an extra dropship.
Soon enough, everyone was aboard their ship, and with parting injunctions to Lord Madeira who would, along with the founding Houses, keep the Reach running smoothly until Kamea returned in a week's time.
"Alright, I just received word from across the jumpships," Sumire announced, "Everyone's ready. Countdown to jump has started."
A minute later she announced, "Jumping in three…two…one…Mark."
As Sumire counted down, the jumpships and the area around them glowed, and with a whoomph! They vanished.
Only to come out in one piece on the other side. The Commander of the third jumpship radioed across the comms, "Alright everyone, we had a successful jump, we're at the right star in the correct universe. I see the beacon that we left behind at the Lagrange point. Argo crew, Lady Arano, good luck."
With that, the Argo and its crew immediately began going through the undocking procedure that they had thousands of times before.
"Undocking from jumpship," Sumire announced, "We are clear."
"All systems are nominal," Farah radioed in from engineering.
"So far so good," Darius announced, completing his checklists, "Yang?"
"All clear down here. What the-?!" Splat! "Ok, the Battlemech and the bays are fine, however, I see that someone left a thing of pudding down here and it ended up on my head."
"I guess it could be worse Yang," Sabertooth said, amusement tinging his voice, "Like grease."
A few hours later, they had reached the planet Earth as it was known before the days of the Star League. "Entering geosynchronous orbit," Sumire announced.
Darius was over by the communications console, "We're being hailed. Bringing it up on the computer now."
What followed was a short message from the United Nations and the British Ministry of Defense as well as the Prime Minister sending them greetings and giving them the all clear to land.
Sumire punched in the latitude and longitude coordinates given and began flying the Hysteria down to the planet.
Down on Earth, at RAF Northolt, Prime Minister John Major awaited the arrival of the other dimensional guests. Other dimensions! Scientists had certainly discussed the possibility of such, but until recently, there had been no proof! This had the scientific community in a frenzy, especially as the visitors can from a universe that was a thousand years ahead of them.
The UN Council had been a nightmare, many of the leaders trying to figure out how to deal with this potential threat especially with the Cold War having just ended a few short years before. Things had only cooled down after they were informed that while the visitors were bringing weapons, they were seeking peaceful negotiations and a trade of knowledge. So, they were allowed to come.
Needless to say, Prime Minister Major was followed by a group of UN ambassadors and numerous military personnel. The prime Minister looked at his watch.
"Anna, when did they say that they would be landing?" He asked his secretary.
"They didn't give an exact time, sir, not knowing the local clock, but their navigator gave an estimate of five minutes, so rather soon, I believe."
Just as the secretary finished, a loud roar was heard. Everyone present looked up as a large aerodyne vessel came into view and landed, using rockets at that, on the runway not to far away. It looked similar to the American Space Shuttle.
Those present walked over as the vessel, named Hysteria, shut down its engines and a hatch on the front opened and a ramp slide down as an elegant woman appeared at the top in a flowing dress of red and white, with a fourteen-year-old boy behind her.
The woman strode confidently down the ramp, the teen following her as almost smirking man followed, who was dressed in rather strange gear. Once the trio reached the bottom of the ramp. Prime Minister Major stepped forwards, "I am John Major, Prime Minister of the United Kingdoms. May I be the first to welcome you to Earth, madam," and he kissed her outstretched hand.
The woman smiled, "Thank you Prime Minister Major, I am Kamea of House Arano, High Lady of the Aurigan Reach, and this," she gestured to the teen, "is my heir, Harry James Arano, Prince of the Aurigan Reach and his mentor," she gestured to the scarred man in the back, "MechWarrior and Commander, Stephen Ichihara."
Harry shook Mr. Major's hand, as did Stephen, each giving their greetings.
"Lady Arano, we have a hanger for your ship to park in if necessary. I believe that our Air Traffic Control has sent a message to your pilot…" Prime Minister Major trailed off as the ramp quickly retracted and the hatch closed as the vessel taxied into the correct hanger.
Kamea smiled, "Sumire is rather quick on the uptake. However, I don't believe that diplomatic discussion should be taking place in the middle of an airfield, am I correct?"
John Major shook his head as he led the trio to awaiting cars as the press tried to swarm them. Luckily, the police were on hand to give the delegation time to enter the cars and drive off as Stephen radioed to Darius to not let anyone on or off of the Hysteria without his approval.
Half an hour later, everyone was seated comfortable in a large meeting room.
"So," the Prime Minister asked, "Shall we get started?"
"Indeed," Kamea replied.