Opportunity (Jeff Kautz)

Opportunity (Jeff Kautz)
Product information
Type Short story
Author Jeff Kautz
Pages 8
Publication information
Publisher BattleCorps
First published 30 May 2008
Era Succession Wars era
Timeline 8 September 3008

Opportunity is a short story by Jeff Kautz that was published online on BattleCorps on 30 May 2008.

Teaser text[edit]

For some, revenge is best served over ice, finding that old wounds lead to new opportunities and even new legends.

Plot summary[edit]

"Peanut" - the current owner of the Dark Horse Pub, located in Outlands on Tortuga, is having the night of her life. Having evicted a couple of trouble-makers, the young woman has the MechWarrior Jack "Blackjack" Magee walk into her bar. Passing down-on-their-luck MechWarriors aren't an uncommon occurrence, but Magee was something of a legend in his own right. Peanut knows him of old, although Magee evidently doesn't remember her; settling in with a round of drinks for everyone, he performs his usual act of regaling people with tales from his life, occasionally catching her eye or winking at her among the crowd.

When the last of the other patrons leaves, Magee invites Peanut over for a drink, and she mixes up a special cocktail she attributes to her mother, joining him at his table. Seeing her up close, Magee remarks that Peanut reminds him of a woman he was hung up on six or seven years ago, a redhead named Katina that he named his 'Mech after, and who he never forgot. He's surprised when Peanut points out that it was eight years ago, not six or seven - and as he starts gasping for breath, she reveals that she's poisoned him with venom from the highest form of native life, a variety of deadly scorpion.

While Magee struggles for breath, Peanut douses the bar and him liberally in alcohol, talking about her mother - a former pharmacist, brought out to Tortuga by her father before leaving her stranded - and about how she remembers being nine years old when she had to watch Magee rape and murder her mother while Peanut hid in a closet. Peanut torments Magee with a vial of anti-venom, blackmailing him into revealing the passcode for his 'Mech - "Kickin' ass an' takin' names" - before shooting him in the head with a laser pistol.

Abandoning the bar with just a canvas duffel of possessions, Peanut walks over to Magee's 'Mech, which she easily identifies as a Banshee, having read through her father's technical manuals extensively. Looking up at the 'Mech, daubed with just a single unique mark - the name "Lady Red" - and decides that she needs to rename it to something more suited to her, and to the life she's lived. Having seen her mother die, as well as the man who'd abused her while she was eleven years old, not to mention numerous others, Peanut - Paula Trevaline - decides that Lady Death is a much more fitting name.

Featured BattleTech[edit]