A year to post this story on here. I've proven my turn around time once again. ;)
An unknown bar on the bad side of town
Solaris City, Solaris
December 15, 3024
2:00 P.M.

     Inside of a dreary dump of a bar, an unknown face is just sitting at a table with bags full of stuff. The Professional, as he is called by most who know his name, is a mercenary of sorts. He is an assassin and somebody who will do nearly anything else if the price is right. His facial hair makes him appear to be older than he actually his. He just sits there drinking a beer. A rather large man approaches him and starts to look through his bags. The Professional gets up from his chair and gets right in the large man's face. The Professional is noticeably smaller. The large man pushes The Professional. The Professional responds with a single punch to the side of the face, knocking the tall man out.

A fairly new house
December 15, 3024
4:00 P.M.

     "That Real Estate agent did a good job of picking a place," The Professional says. In the last two hours, he has unpacked all his stuff and gotten used to his new surroundings. The modest surroundings don't tell about the money that he has earned. The identification that was spread about a work desk showed his real name: Jon Beaver. Jon grabs a manilla folder that was laying on his desk marked confidential. He didn't know where this paycheck was coming from, nor why he had to do what he was going to do, he was just told to do something, how much he was going to be paid, and by when. He opens up the manilla folder and reads over the information.
     "This should prove to be especially interesting," Jon says.

Davion five
Solaris City, Solaris
December 20, 3024
3:00 P.M.

     "You prepared to begin this battle?" Vincent asks into his radio. The one on one match pitted Vincent's Jenner against a SDR-5V Spider.
     "I'm ready," Amy responded, "But I don't think you stand a chance, even with the different 'mechs."
     Vincent laughs into his radio. "Your probably right," Vincent replies, "but I can always get better." The two 12 meters tall 'mechs started their way toward each other. Suddenly, Vincent hears an explosion in his Jenner and it falls over. "What the . . . "
     "What happened?" Amy asks.
     "I'm not absolutely sure." Vincent quickly responds. "The computer reports that my gyro has been completely destroyed, but no damage to surrounding components. I'm just going to eject." With that, Vincent pulls the yellow and black ejection lever.

Vincent's House
Just outside Solaris City
December 24, 3024
6:00 P.M.

     Hm . . . Vincent thought Nobody at home. Just enough time to wrap the presents and make dinner. Vincent fumbles around for his key for the front door. As he's about to put the key in, he notices an envelope marked Vincent in very familiar writing. He pulls the envelope, unlocks the door, and goes in. He puts the envelope on the dining room table, the unwrapped presents in his bedroom, and throws something on the stove. He picks up the letter and opens it with a LeoTech letter opener. He pulls out the letter and reads it. "Congratulations for surviving this long, Vincent." He crumples up the letter and throws it into the garbage.

Solaris Departing Jumpships
Solaris City, Solaris
December 31, 3024
8:00 P.M.

     I'm really going to miss her. Vincent thought to himself. He'd just dropped off Amy Smith, his fiancÚ, to return to her home in Davion space before going back into the AFFS. When she returned, she had told Vincent that she would only be around for so long until she had to return home.

Just outside of Solaris City
January 7, 3025
4:00 P.M.

     Vincent Leo walks out of his hover car and toward LeoTech building with a package. Blair should love this present, even though it's a bit late for Christmas gifts. Suddenly, Vincent hears an explosion coming from the top floor of the LeoTech administration building. He looks toward the top of the building and sees a smoldering mess of what was his office. This will end soon enough.

Jon Beaver's house
Solaris City, Solaris
January 14, 3025
7:00 A.M.

     Jon Beaver wakes up to sounds of somebody rustling in the family room. He gets up, puts on a robe, and slowly and tiredly makes his way to the family room. Once he's there, he sees a note on a white wall in big green letters.
     "1-28-3025," It reads, "Skippy's Fern Bar. 6:00 P.M. Be There."

Skippy's Fern Bar
Solaris City, Solaris
January 28, 3025
6:00 P.M.

     I wonder where he is, Jon Beaver thought. In the past two weeks, he had heard nothing from Vincent or any of his associates. Even the Solaris underground was unable to help him discover what Vincent was planning. My budget for this mission is becoming over what I was really willing to spend. Jon looked over at the door, noticing a man in a trench coat and carrying a briefcase walking in. That must be him.
     Vincent Leo took off his trench coat and put it on the coatrack next to the door. He quickly went by the bar to pick up a Marik Brew Beer before he went to the table. He put the briefcase and the beer on the table and nodded to Jon in greeting.
     "How did you get into my place?" Jon asked Vincent. "There was no sign of any entry or prints anywhere in the house."
     Vincent pulled out a lock picking device and threw it on the table. "Now I have a quick question for you. Who is paying you?"
     Jon grinned. "You should remember him well. Richard Beaver. He sent me a message about seven months ago asking for me to do this job. It took me a few months to get here from my previous location, which I rather not disclose.  I started a week or two after I got here."
     Vincent opened his briefcase and threw a few bundles of C-bills onto the table. "That should cover whatever he was going to pay you. I killed him about six months ago. Guess small news like that truly does travel slow. Now to the other reason why I wanted to see you here." 
     Jon sighed. "He was a disgrace to the name Beaver. I'm happy I'm not exactly related to him." Vincent nodded and pulled out a few manilla folders marked with assorted project names. "Read those."
     Jon took the first folder and quickly read through it. He continued to read through all of the folders until he finished reading them all. "I have a hard time believing those files. I really need to see for myself."
     Suddenly, three rather large guys come up to the table, behind Vincent. "So we meet again, Mr. Beaver," the smallest of the three said.
     "Last time I saw you, you were down on the ground, out like a light," Jon responded. He started to get up, but then noticed the odds were against him. "You hire these three thugs, Vincent?"
As Vincent started to open his mouth, the smallest said, "We weren't hired by anybody, I want revenge on you. This short guy isn't going to make much of a difference either way we go. He can help you or not, we don't care."

     Vincent got up and found himself staring right into the neck of the shortest. He cowered away for a moment, then grabbed a Spam Projection Cannon from under the table and aimed it at the three men. "Go along and don't bother us, or it'll be as bloody as it was when I killed the four recruiters in a row." Vincent watches the three men run away in a panic. "When you aim something that could kill them rather quickly in their direction, they aren't so tough."
     Jon nods. "Now were you going to show me the proof behind those files?"

Unknown Location
Somewhere on Solaris
January 29, 3025
1:00 A.M.

     "Amazing sight, isn't it?" Vincent asks, pointing over at the 'mechs that look as new as they were first produced. 
     Jon just stood there gaping at the twelve meter high weapons of death. He doesn't remember the last time he saw such a sight. "Are these exactly what I think these are, or are these salvaged down?"
     Vincent shook his head. "Nope. These are as good as they were first produced. I also have a few documents that could be useful in the future if I could locate a key. We should be going."

Solaris City, Solaris
Somewhere within LeoTech Research and Development
January 30, 3025
3:00 P.M.

     "Interesting." Jon said, looking over a 'mech that was still in the process of being constructed that was being swarmed by techs. "And you say your going to have this completely done by 3027?"
     Vincent nods. "Yeah, we are shipping in components from all over for this. I'm sparing no expense for this project. I'll be very happy when this is finished."
     "Is there any other reason why I have been tagging along with you the past few days other than for my own benefit?" Jon asked.
     "There is." Vincent said, before pausing to collect his thought. "In a few weeks, there will be a tournament here on Solaris. I could use some training from you to help me prepare. Would you be willing to do this?"
     Jon took a few moments to think over the proposal and nods. "I have virtually nothing to lose, so I might as well do it. Training will start in a week."

Originally written: 3-20-99.
Last modified: 5-30-2003.