Sarna News: Bad 'Mechs - Clint

Ace Darwin and the Sidewinder Canyon

Shrapnel Cover (Issue 6).jpg
Ace Darwin and the Sidewinder Canyon
Story information
Author James Bixby
Type Short Story
Product Shrapnel Issue 6

Plot summary[edit]

Ace Darwin was in the Velvet Glove Bar and Grill, a bar on Timbiqui in 3044, after completing a mission. There, a local ask him how he had obtained his 'Mech, a kuritan Panther, and Ace began telling to every present the story of Sidewinder Canyon. Ace, after being expelled from the Nagelring, managed to find work as 'Mech pilot in the planetary militia of Kooken's Pleasure Pit. There, he had served a three year tour, where his lack of discipline -and a sordid affair with the colonel's daughter- ensured he would not be permitted to reenlist. In 3035, on his final patrol before discharge, he found that his lancemates had repainted his Commando pink and baby blue. During his patrol, in the Sidewinder Canyon, he encountered an unknown Panther, which refused to answer his calls and engaged him. Ace called for help to the Militia, and both shoot each other. After losing his 'Mech's main weapon, Ace make a desesperate move: charged the Panther, ejecting from his Commando as the two 'Mechs fell into thecanyon. An hour later, Darwin was rescued by follow-on forces from the militia, before passing out. After awakening in an hospital, Darwin knew than the enemy BattleMech's pilot, which wasn't identified, was found to have died from the fall, with the spine broken. Darwin's Commando was recovered, but will need time to be repaired. Ace was entitled to the Panther as salvage, having defeated it himself. As a going-away present, his unit painted it pink, and as Darwin hadn't the money to paint it again, left it as it was. After telling this story, when Darwin was asked several things about his story, didn't answering, before leaving the bar. Once outside, his Astech asked him if his story was true, and his answer, "why let the truth get in the way of a good story?" implied that what he said it might not be the truth.

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