Bounty Hunter

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Bounty Hunter

The Bounty Hunter is a mysterious figure who first appeared in the late 2900s. He (or she) always appeared to wear a fairly uncommon, and often thought to be an experimental, PA(L) (Power Armor - Light) suit. Its design, while heavily modified, was based off of the five Great Houses' special operations groups (SOG) suits whose designs were available only in limited numbers or thought to be LosTech to the majority of the military and mercenary units.[citation needed] The idea was that the suit obscured the wearer's identity enough to allow this mysterious figure to take on contracts of well known notorious criminals, who were more often than not, brought back dead!

General Description[edit]

Always a MechWarrior, the Bounty Hunter piloted a variety of BattleMechs painted a bright green with currency symbols on it, a feared sight on the battlefield. The unidentified mystery figure is typically at the head of a BattleMech lance, often in a highly modified personal 'Mech. This allows for his PA(L) armor to be worn while piloting to further conceal his identity.

His signature 'Mech of choice between 3014 and the Clan Invasion was a Marauder which was originally Natasha Kerensky's. (Conversely, her signature Warhammer is sometimes said to be the Bounty Hunter's original 'Mech, but there is no evidence to support this claim, nor even that the Bounty Hunter ever actually piloted a Warhammer.) The Bounty Hunter later piloted a Mad Cat and even a Marauder II. Immediately prior to stealing Kerensky's original Marauder, he piloted a Griffin.

The Bounty Hunter had been active for close to a century, leading to speculation that the PA(L) suit, the modified 'Mechs that he piloted, and even the mysterious mythos surrounding the individual were passed from person to person via the death or retirement of the former MechWarrior whose personified him. Known people to have been the Bounty Hunter were Michi Noketsuna and Vic Travers, who inherited the equipment, as well as an ancient book referred to as "the tradition".[1] Travers eventually passed the legacy on to one of his aides going by the name of Walt Urizeman, though that name is held to be just one of the man's several fake identities.

The "Bounty Hunter" legend was the topic of a hero team-style tri-vid show called "The Bounty Hunters". Though tapping into the Bounty Hunter's reputation, the producers instead developed their own mythos almost completely unrelated to the real person. The popularity of the series was such that many people in the Inner Sphere cannot separate the fiction of the holovid from the reality of the true Bounty Hunter.[2]

History[edit]

Because the "Bounty Hunter" is an identity rather than a single individual, the history surrounding it is complicated.

Marik Civil War[edit]

In June of 3014 the Bounty Hunter operated alongside Wolf's Dragoons on Nova Roma. During a mop-up operation following the conquest of the planet he signaled to Natasha Kerensky (then a regular Lieutenant with the Dragoons) that a certain ravine he had inspected was safe. When Kerensky's lance entered, it was ambushed and destroyed by enemy forces and Kerensky had to eject. The remains of her unit—including her own Marauder—were salvaged by the Bounty Hunter who went on to use her 'Mech as his new signature 'Mech.[3] This began a long and bitter personal feud between the Black Widow and the Bounty Hunter. They clashed again on Le Blanc at some point between 3023 and 3027[4][5].

Benet III[edit]

In 3027, the Bounty Hunter got a contract on Kerensky but was double-crossed, stranding his unit (his Marauder, an Orion, a Quickdraw and a Shadow Hawk) on Benet III. Kerensky's unit was equally stranded on the same planet when promised reinforcements failed to arrive. Under the circumstances, she agreed to join forces with the Bounty Hunter: He would arrange for the Beaux Pawl tracking station to be incapacitated so that Kerensky's DropShip could leave the planet, and Wolf's Dragoons were to provide him with transport out of the system in return.[6]

This was the last time that this particular Bounty Hunter (Natasha Kerensky's nemesis) made an appearance. The identity was subsequently taken by Michi Noketsuna in his quest for vengeance against Warlord Grieg Samsonov for the betrayal of Minobu Tetsuhara and Wolf's Dragoons, a quest that fell squarely in the Dragoons' agenda after the battle on Misery and the Fourth Succession War and that was undertaken with the Dragoons' blessing from mid-3028 onwards.[7] It remains unknown when or how exactly Noketsuna became the Bounty Hunter.

Noketsuna's Vendetta[edit]

Accompanied by Vic Travers (piloting an Orion), Dechan Fraser (piloting a Shadow Hawk), and Jenette Rand (piloting a Dervish), Noketsuna embarked on his vendetta under the Bounty Hunter identity. On 10 January 3010 he and Fraser delivered Samsonov's severed head to Tomiko Tetsuhara, who however refused the gift and suggested her late husband's father might appreciate it[8] (though as it turned out, Minoru Tetsuhara did not approve of Noketsuna's vendetta either).

On 8 October 3030, they ambushed agent Panati (whom Noketsuna held responsible for the bombing on Barlow's End that had maimed Minobu Tetsuhara) in the city of Deber on Benjamin. Incidentally, they captured Theodore Kurita in the process. Kurita accepted Noketsuna's claim for vendetta and allowed him to kill Panati, recruiting Noketsuna to help protect the Draconis Combine from the nascent Federated Commonwealth in the process. On that night, Noketsuna turned over the Bounty Hunter tradition, 'Mech, armor and kill log to his lancemate Vic Travers, while Rand and Fraser decided to follow him into service for the Draconis Combine.[9]

After Noketsuna[edit]

In 3034, the Bounty Hunter reportedly hunted down and killed Dale Sandstrom. Sandstrom, formerly of the 5th Regulan Hussars and piloting an Assassin, had apparently become a freelance MechWarrior/bounty hunter, and the Bounty Hunter did not like anyone stealing his "shtick".[10]

FedCom Civil War[edit]

Sometime during the fighting on Kathil during the FedCom Civil War, the Bounty Hunter recruited an infamous MechWarrior named Rebekah into his team, a former warrior with McCarron's Armored Cavalry.[11]
Bounty Hunter during the Jihad

Vic Travers remained the Bounty Hunter until (at least) May 3067[12] where he undertook a successful and highly lucrative mission on Solaris VII that he considered to be possibly his last mission, intending to hand the legacy over to "Walt Urizeman" (whose real name remains unknown; Walt Urizeman is just one of several aliases the man used), who Travers had been grooming as his successor for some time.

Jihad[edit]

In late 3067 the Bounty Hunter rescued or possibly kidnapped Kai Allard-Liao, possibly in service to Duke George Hasek of the Federated Suns just prior to the Duke's assault against the Capellan Confederation. Allard-Liao was later "rescued" by the Death Commandos during the Capellan counterattack.[citation needed]

By 3072 "Walt Urizeman" had taken over after Vic Travers.[13] In the employ of Chandrasekhar Kurita, he tracked down Victoria Parrdeau on Dalton to obtain her journal, and tangled with Specter Precentor Sigma Berith over its possession.[14]

Still in Chandrasekhar Kurita's employ, the Bounty Hunter was present on Arcturus for Operation Higashikuni, and instrumental in saving his employer from the Word of Blake attack in 3073.

Bounty Hunter Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Heir to the Dragon
  2. Interstellar Players, pp. 83-84, "The Bounty Hunter - Mindless Entertainment to Unmitigated Drek"
  3. Brush Wars, p. 20
  4. Tales of the Black Widow Company, pp. 30, 31
  5. Wolves on the Border, p. 197
  6. Wolves on the Border, pp. 198, 199
  7. Historical: War of 3039, p. 25
  8. Heir to the Dragon, chapter 37
  9. Heir to the Dragon, chapters 39-40
  10. Technical Readout: 3039 p. 116
  11. Technical Readout: 3055 Upgrade, p. 62
  12. A Guy Walks Into a Bar on Solaris VII...
  13. Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents pp. 7-8
  14. Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents pp. 4-14

Bibliography[edit]