Gray Noton

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Grey Norton
Born 2985
Died 5 May 3027
Profession/
occupation
Solaris VII Grand Champion

Gray Noton (b. 2985[1] - d. 5 May 3027) was an early 31st Century MechWarrior, mercenary, information broker, and seven-time Solaris VII Champion. He was half Lyran and half Marik in nationality.[2] He was described as a "physically large muscular man, bald, with a bullneck".[3]

Character History[edit]

Reportedly arriving on Solaris VII as a stowaway, the young Noton started his career with a minor Class One stable, the driven MechWarrior swiftly rising up the ranks but declining to move into the Unlimited Class despite numerous offers. At age 25 Noton left Solaris to fight as a mercenary before returning five years later in 3015 at the controls a brand-new Rifleman finally announcing his intention to complete in the Class Five arenas. [1]

While many people, including his most ardent supporters, were skeptical that he'd be able to compete against assault 'Mechs in an undistinguished design as a Rifleman, Noton silenced his doubters, overcoming more favored designs like the BattleMaster and Stalker as he won victory after victory.[1] After winning his Solaris Championship in the Class 5 Arena, Gray and his Rifleman were given the nickname "Legend-Killer".[4] Shortly after earning his Championship, he became an information broker.

During the second-to-last bout of his second Championship run, Noton faced Hoftsteder, a MechWarrior from the Fitzhugh Stables piloting a Victor in the Coliseum on 15 August 3017. Aware of the conventional wisdom that his Rifleman had a range advantage over his opponent and acquainted with Fitzhugh Stables' training tactics for the Steiner Stadium, Noton instead unexpectedly closed on his foe and raised his arms up in preparation, correctly deducing Hoftsteder would leap over a lowering partition before striking. Firing a sustained barrage at his shocked opponent's right leg, Noton's masterful aim paid off with the Victor slamming into the ground after the crippled limb collapsed upon landing. Playing to the crowd, Noton exulted in another victory and privately gloated that people still underestimated him, and that once his new Rifleman was ready that he would defeat any opponent on the Game World.[5]

The seemingly unbeatable Gray Noton remained at the pinnacle of the Game World for an unprecedented seven years running, a record no other combatant has achieved, before he chose to retire in 3022. While in public Noton ran a modest import/export business in his retirement, in secret he maintained a lucrative side-line as an information broker while also dabbling in espionage and assassination.[1]

Noton was recruited by the Capellan Confederation in late November of 3026 to raid the former Liao world of Kittery, which was lost during the waning years of the Third Succession War. Leading a battalion of Cicadas, Noton had his forces surrounding the cadre and attempting to smash the unit. However, he was kept from participating in the battle by a MechWarrior piloting a Valkyrie. It kept him tied up for the battle and damaged his Rifleman, as his battalion was surprisingly repulsed by the well-trained cadets. He did manage to shoot down and salvage the Valkyrie. With long odds for victory, he and the remaining forces of his battalion withdrew from the planet.

Noton met with his Liao contact Tsen Shang on January 15 3027 in Thor's Shieldhall in Valhalla to be informed that he had fought and defeated Major Justin Allard, who had piloted the Valkyrie he encountered on Kittery. Privately, Noton was impressed by Allard's skill and regretted sparing his life once he heard that he was no longer able to pilot a BattleMech. Shang arranged Noton's payment for his mission by arranging a rigged fight between Davion champion Philip Capet and the Teng brothers (Fuh and Sze).

Noton later dealt with Baron von Summer, Enrico Lestrade, nephew of Aldo Lestrade, who contacted him to plan and execute the hijacking of a Monarch-class DropShip named the Silver Eagle. He also encountered Countess Kym Sorenson, almost thinking she was a MechWarrior. After the Countess left, Noton demanded more money from the Baron, hinting about the many risks of hijacking a DropShip.[6] "The reason for the hijacking was to disrupt plans for the upcoming Davion-Steiner alliance".

Capet, who had won thirteen fights in a row to that point, dared Gray to fight him. Noton simply replied that he did not care for Capet's ego or his hatred of Capellans, but that Capet had better stay away from him or he would come back to kill him.

In February, Enrico invited Noton to a stadium box where he was hosting a party. Noton was paid by Enrico with a 50,000 C-Bill betting ticket for Wolfson to beat Fuh Teng in a BattleMech game match. Noton, knowing the game was rigged, accepted the fee. He met Kym Sorenson at the party, which comprised of the Solaris Gaming Commission. This was where he met Justin Xiang, who had secretly replaced Fu Teng in his Vindicator and defeated Wolfson. Since Enrico invited the winner of the battle before the fight began, Noton came into contact with Xiang. Noton was upset by the win as he lost his 50,000 c-bill fee, but handled the encounter ably.

Tsen Shang discovered the body of Noton on the 5th of May in his office, his neck snapped.

Character Notes[edit]

Gray Noton is noted for being an excellent MechWarrior. It is possible that he holds the record for longest reign as Solaris Champion, at seven years. He piloted a Rifleman named "Legend-Killer". After his death, Justin Xiang used Legend-Killer in his champion match against Philip Capet.[7]

While undeniably highly skilled, Noton's success in the Class 5 arenas even against assault 'Mechs that greatly outweighed his humble Rifleman led to much debate over the providence of his 'Mech. In the wake of the Clan Invasion and the recovery of the Helm Memory Core, some suggested that Noton had discovered a Star League era Rifleman in the Periphery during his time operating as a mercenary, with such things as an Endo Steel frame, XL Engine, Double Heat Sinks, pulse lasers and Ultra Autocannons evening the odds against his heavier opponents. Other rumors suggested that Noton's "Legend-Killer" weighed considerably more than 65-tons and that perhaps it had been upgraded to eighty to even ninty tons in the manner of the Marauder II.[1] [5] Following the discovery of the Hegemony Memory Core during the Word of Blake Jihad these rumors combined with suggestions he secretly piloted a Rifleman II RFL-3N-2 he found in the Periphery.[8] However, there have been no in-universe indications of him actually piloting such a 'Mech (beyond the existence of the rumor), and in his appearance in the novel En Garde the text implies a regular Rifleman. The rumors being spread of him piloting a super Rifleman is assumed to be a canon rumor.[citation needed]

As an intelligence broker, he had connections with every major state's spy network on Solaris VII.[9]

BattleMechs[edit]

He piloted a Rifleman named Legend-Killer.

Titles and Positions[edit]

Preceded by
Maxwell Boddi
Solaris VII Grand Tournament Champion
3016 to 3022



Succeeded by
Manuel Delvalle


References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Solaris VII: The Game World - Player's Book, p. 17 "MechWarrior's Guide to the Game World Solaris VII - The Great Ones - Champions of Solaris"
  2. Warrior: En Garde, p. 205
  3. Warrior: En Garde, p. 216
  4. Warrior: En Garde, p. 43
  5. 5.0 5.1 MechWarrior Online "Story of the Legend-Killer" by Randall Neil Bills
  6. Warrior: En Garde, pp. 45-47
  7. Warrior: En Garde, p. 289
  8. Technical Readout: 3075, p. 169
  9. Warrior: En Garde, p. 206

Bibliography[edit]