APAGear II Archives Volume 4, Number 4 May, 2002


A Clash of Titans

Dennis D. Kirkpatrick

NOTE: The stats below are for use with the Heavy Gear Tactical Dueling Book. -ed.

As the lift that carried him from down below the arena floor locked in place, Isaac moved his gear toward the edge of the Dueling Circle, a 25 meter diameter circluar area in the center of the arena. Raising his sword and shield, Isaac beckoned the cheers of the crowd, but he was the rookie. The cheers were instead raging for his opponent, Tibor, who's Warrior gear stood across from Isaac's at the circle's opposite edge.

A loud airhorn blasted three times to quiet the crowds. The noise dropped off to a dull roar, and the referee's voice boomed out over the arena loudspeakers. "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome and good evening. Tonight promises to be a night to remember. We have over twenty, top gladiatorial duelists from around the globe here tonight competing for the tournament prize. Tonight promises to truly be a clash of titans. So let me hear it from you! Are you ready to Mash... Some... Metal!" The crowd ripped into a crescendo again. The air horn sounded again, signaling the two duelists to enter the circle.

The referee voice came in over the comm of Isaac's gear. "OK, you two know the rules. The first opponent to get forced out of the circle loses. Move forward and kneel.

Isaac piloted his Jäger into the center of the circle, stopping just in front of his opponent's own Warrior. Kneeling his gear on one knee, Isaac kept his gear monocle eye on Tibor's gear. The comm crackled as Tibor greeted Isaac. "I've seen your tri-vids kid. Your good but I'll let you stand down now." Isaac couldn't see it, but he was sure that Tibor was smiling an arrogant grin.

"You know that if I were to back down now; you'd lose face," Isaac retorted, taking a deep breath and waiting for a response, but none came. Instead Tibor's Warrior stood up, holding up his mace and barring his shield, ready to begin. Isaac drew up his gear, pulling his sword back, shield squarely in front.

With that, the air horn blasted again, signaling the start of the match. Before Isaac could react, Tibor had charged him, ramming Isaac's gear with his shield. Isaac worked to keep his gear in bounds, pushing his gear's throttle full tilt, his Jäger's feet digging into the hard sand floor. The two gears were locked in a grapple, their V-engines whining loudly. Suddenly, the Warrior rolled on its back, flipping Isaac's gear overhead. Isaac jostled within the cockpit, kept safe by the safety harness, as his gear crashed to the floor. Before Isaac could react, his gear rolled again as Tibor's gear performed a running kick, edging Isaac toward the circle's edge.

In a desperate move, Isaac flailed his sword at the Warrior, squarely hitting the gear on the right arm and knocking away its shield. Tibor pulled back, but quickly gain his composure, charging and swung his heavy mace down and across into the prone Jäger. Isaac rolled his gear with the impact of the Tibor's mace. He could hear the armor on his Jäger's right shoulder crack. Not being distracted by the attack, Isaac righted his gear just in time to parry Tibor's back swing with his sword, driving his mace weapon unto the ground. Thrusting forward with his left shoulder and shield, Isaac slammed into his opponent, knocking the gear off-balance and sending it crashing backward onto its back. The crowds went wild, their screams and chants flooding Isaac's ears.

Enthralled by the sounds of the crowd, Isaac immediately charged and leaped forward, bringing his gear's vibrosword down on the fallen gear's chest. His blow struck true, slicing a deep gash along the gear's right shoulder. Hydraulic fluid started seeping out from the cracked armor plates. However, before Isaac could perform the final, killing blow, his opponent let loose with his mace, sending Isaac's gear tumbling. As Isaac righted his gear, another blow struck and then the back swing. His opponent was now in desperate fury, wanting to end this match before his gear lost all hydraulic power. Isaac tried to parry, but his opponent was too quick with his repeated blows, gradually inching Isaac's gear blow by blow toward the circle's edge. In one last desperate attempt, Isaac dropped his gear on one knee and moved to parry the next blow with his sword, but he anticipated the blow to early. The mace slipped beneath his gear's arm, slamming into his gear's side, sending the gear sprawling onto its back.

Suddenly the horn sounded and the announcer called the match. Isaac's gear had fallen outside the circle. He had lost. Lying there, Isaac stared into his HUD, his breathing heavy. Finally, he adjusted his focus and panned his gear's omnicam to see Tibor's gear fall onto its knees, the gear's hydraulic systems failed. The crowds within the closed auditorium screamed and cheered. A crackling sounding over Isaac's comm system and then his opponent's voice spoke up over the headphone speakers. "Nice match rookie. I'll admit that you almost got me. Very few duelists have done what you did tonight. Somehow, I don't think that will be the last time you and I will fight."

"Perhaps," Isaac replied smiling back.

Tibor "Thor" d'Aquitin

HG Dueling* 2+2
HG Gunnery 3+1
HG Piloting 3+1
Tactics 2+1
Electronic Warfare 2+1
*Specialization Combo
Duelist Rating 2.75
Perks 4 points
Gear Warrior
Remove All weapons except vibroknife
Add Mace, Shield
Change Maneuver to +1
TV 564

Issac "Rook" Harrixon

HG Dueling* 1+2
HG Gunnery 2+2
HG Piloting 2+1
Tactics 1+1
Electronic Warfare 1+0
*Specialization Armor Piercing
Duelist Rating 1.625
Perks 2 points
Gear Jäger
Remove All weapons, except vibroknife
Add Vibrosword, Shield
Change -
TV 475

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APAGear II Archives Volume 4, Number 4 May, 2002