In reality a warband or organization as much as its figurehead individual or persona, the Bounty Hunter is a mysterious figure who first appeared in the 2900s. He (or she) always appeared to wear a fairly uncommon, and often thought experimental, PA(L) (Power Armor - Light) suit. Its design, while heavily modified, was based off of the Nighthawk special operations suit developed by the Star League. The suit obscured the wearer's identity enough to allow this mysterious figure to remain unidentified by both employers and his targets, except by persona and reputation.
- 1 Overview
- 2 History
- 2.1 Early history
- 2.2 Natasha Kerensky's nemesis
- 2.3 Michi Noketsuna's vendetta
- 2.4 Vic Travers
- 2.5 Walt Urizeman
- 2.6 Dark Age
- 3 Persona
- 4 Notes
- 5 Gallery
- 6 References
- 7 Bibliography
Always a MechWarrior, the Bounty Hunter piloted a variety of BattleMechs, typically leading a BattleMech lance. His 'Mechs were invariably painted a bright green with currency symbols on it, a feared sight on the battlefield, and often customized, allowing for his or her PA(L) armor to be worn while piloting to further conceal the pilot's identity.
The Bounty Hunter has been active for more than a century, leading to speculation that the PA(L) suit, the modified 'Mechs that he piloted, and even the mythos surrounding the individual were passed from person to person via the death or retirement of the former MechWarrior who personified him. Known people to have been the Bounty Hunter were Michi Noketsuna and Vic Travers, who inherited the equipment and a book referred to as "the tradition". 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.
The "Bounty Hunter" is an adopted persona or role rather than a single individual, which is often suspected but not generally known for a fact within the BattleTech universe.
The actual origin of the Bounty Hunter persona is unknown.
Though no one knows for sure when he started, the first stories of the Bounty Hunter emerged in the 2920s when a masked individual piloting a green Warhammer attracted fame for hunting down many infamous MechWarriors, preferring to kill rather than capture. No one ever found out his name, but he quickly gained wealth and glory by cashing in several high value bounties on some of the most elite and notorious MechWarriors operating at that time. Stories of this man defeating entire battalions single-handed seem questionable, but the most famous albeit unconfirmed tale of this first Bounty Hunter saw him reportedly bring in the bodies of twenty-nine men who robbed a bank on El Giza, collecting millions in bounties offered by House Humphreys and making even more when he sold their BattleMechs.
The man with the green Warhammer disappeared from public view after collecting the El Giza bounties, purportedly retiring immediately afterwards, until three decades later in 2957 when a person in either an environment suit or full Star League MechWarrior Combat Suit and piloting a green Warhammer appeared to claim the bounties on a group of pirates that had been preying on worlds in the Principality of Regulus. For the next two decades "the Bounty Hunter", as he or she became known, would travel across the Inner Sphere and Periphery seemingly at random but more specifically tracking down some of highest bounties of the time, again most often dead. The volume of stories and rumors about the Bounty Hunter would also start to dramatically increase too as a number of copycats would attempt to cash in on the Bounty Hunter's reputation and anonymity.
The second Bounty Hunter would also initially operate solo as before, but by the 2980s the Bounty Hunter had begun using a variety of BattleMechs other than his trademark green Warhammer and started to operate with a team of fellow MechWarriors to assist him in taking down more lucrative contracts. Initially these teams were ad hoc formations that the Bounty Hunter hired as needed, but by the 2990s they had become a more formalized part of his operation, with four to six associates accompanying the Bounty Hunter in the same 'Mechs all using the same green paint scheme he did.
This change in behavior was assumed to be an indication of another individual taking up the mantle of the Bounty Hunter. It was also around this time that the Bounty Hunter's image began to darken, as rather than continuing to target notorious MechWarrior-branded criminals, he started to accept contracts for those warriors whose bounties were especially high, eventually accepting contracts to take out anybody, not only MechWarriors — prominent generals, scientists, engineers, and businessmen also became targets. Those who looked up to the Bounty Hunter as a noble folk hero, the one man able to bring the worst criminals to justice, now reviled him as a mere profit-driven mercenary hitman, and the Bounty Hunter seemed to embrace it, adopting his now trademark practice of painting monetary symbols on his 'Mech as if to confirm his one true loyalty.
The stories and rumors around the Bounty Hunter changed from noble adventures to tales of a man arguably worse than those he tracked. One of the earliest stories of this incarnation of the Bounty Hunter portrayed him and his team landing on the Federated Suns world of Markesan in 2996, killing two Armed Forces of the Federated Suns generals and numerous others who stood in their way. While making their way to the Draconis Combine to claim their bounties and carrying a cargo of AFFS 'Mechs as salvage, they slipped onto Le Blanc, where they convinced a new and untested mercenary unit to give them safe passage to the Combine in return for arranging a contract with the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery. But as soon as they had safely entered Combine space, the Bounty Hunter and his team killed everyone belonging to the hapless mercenary unit, selling their 'Mechs and even their DropShip.
For the next twenty years the Bounty Hunter seemed to make a sport of playing the Great Houses against each other; this focus on playing upon the ambitions of nobility may be an indication of another change in person using the identity. In 2998–2999 numerous stories abounded in the Free Worlds League of the Bounty Hunter tracking down officers and popular MechWarriors, presenting their heads as proof to then Colonel Katrina Steiner, before in 3005 apparently turning on Steiner's Lyran Commonwealth to hunt Lyran nobles, politicians and generals. Around this time the Bounty Hunter was also alleged to have taken alternating contracts with the Federated Suns and Capellan Confederation to kill or kidnap notable individuals on both sides of the border, always one-upping his own deeds at the request of the side he had just targeted.
Natasha Kerensky's nemesis
Arguably one of the most infamous stories in his legacy is the Bounty Hunter's bitter feud with another celebrity: Natasha Kerensky, the Black Widow. The green Marauder that the Bounty Hunter piloted after 3014 and which would become his signature 'Mech was in fact previously hers.
In June of 3014, during the Marik Civil War, the Bounty Hunter operated alongside Wolf's Dragoons on Nova Roma to hunt down Janos Marik loyalists for Anton Marik's rebels. During a mop-up operation following the conquest of the planet he signaled to Natasha Kerensky (then a regular lieutenant with the Beta Regiment of Wolf's Dragoons) that a certain ravine in the Dawn River region which he had inspected was safe. When Kerensky's lance entered, they were ambushed and destroyed by enemy forces and Kerensky had to eject, being knocked unconscious. The remains of her unit — namely her Marauder — were salvaged by the Bounty Hunter who went on to use her 'Mech as his new signature 'Mech. With only one other member of her lance, Colin Maclaren, surviving the ambush, this began a long and bitter personal feud between Kerensky and the Bounty Hunter. Despite the official record stating that the Bounty Hunter was piloting his Griffin during this incident, rumors persist that Kerensky somehow claimed the Bounty Hunter's Warhammer as her own 'Mech, though she herself never mentioned anything like that.
They clashed again on Le Blanc in October 3026. Full details of this engagement are not understood, but reportedly Duke Michael Hasek-Davion led Kerensky into a trap laid by the Bounty Hunter, reportedly as part of a scheme to use a captured Kerensky as leverage to force the Dragoons to sign on with Hasek-Davion. The ambush ultimately failed, but not before the Bounty Hunter killed two of Kerensky's MechWarriors out of sheer spite.
The final meeting between them both amazingly saw them temporarily allying on Benet III in 3027 when their respective employers left them both without support on a planet full of enemies. For lack of other options they set aside their animosity to join forces and left the world together on Kerensky's DropShip after the Bounty Hunter had seen to it that a critical tracking station was destroyed. The Bounty Hunter disappeared from public view following Benet III, though rumors insist he fought as a free agent throughout the Fourth Succession War accepting contracts from each of the Great Houses at various times.
Michi Noketsuna's vendetta
Following the Fourth Succession War, the identity of the Bounty Hunter passed to Michi Noketsuna in his quest for vengeance against Warlord Grieg Samsonov for the betrayal of Minobu Tetsuhara and Wolf's Dragoons. How Noketsuna claimed the identity is unknown, with suggestions either he met the previous Bounty Hunter and his associate Vic Travers at some point during the Fourth Succession War or that the Dragoons killed the previous holder and bequeathed the Bounty Hunter's identity and attendant equipment to Noketsuna, whose quest for vengeance fell squarely in the Dragoons' agenda after the battle on Misery and the Fourth Succession War. Noketsuna's career as the new Bounty Hunter was undertaken with the Dragoons' blessing and the assistance of Dechan Fraser and Jenette Rand from mid-3028 onwards.
Accompanied by Vic Travers (piloting an Orion, possibly the same one that had already been with the Bounty Hunter on Benet III), 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 3030 he and Fraser delivered Warlord Samsonov's severed head to Tomiko Tetsuhara, who however refused the gift and suggested her late husband's father might appreciate it; though as it turned out, Minoru Tetsuhara did not approve of Noketsuna's vendetta either.
On 8 October 3030, Noketsuna and his team ambushed one 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 also 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's "tradition", 'Mech, armor and log to his lancemate Vic Travers, while Rand and Fraser decided to follow Theodore Kurita into service for the Draconis Combine. Rand and Fraser cited some unspecified action on Milligan's World where they had previously served Noketsuna.
He managed to stay off the radar until Michi Noketsuna leveraged him as a resource. He piloted an Orion at that time. At Noketsuna's retirement Travers received the Bounty Hunter persona from him, including the DropShip, the famous Marauder, half the unit's funds and a battered tome called "The tradition" that was kept in the breastplate of the Bounty Hunter PA(L) suit (the solidograph on the volume's cover was scratched and scuffed, with papers, many stained and yellowed with age, and plastisheets of various colors jutted from the open sides, held in by a cord the color of dried blood) and told him to have Cellini pilot the Orion.
As the Bounty Hunter
During his tenure Travers apparently actively engaged in eliminating his competition. Many suffered violent ends. In 3034, the Bounty Hunter reportedly hunted down and killed freelance MechWarrior/bounty hunter Dale Sandstrom over competition for a contract. In 3044 he "bought off" the Cursorial Hunt bounty hunting group making a payment in public wearing his full armor, a notable case as it did not involve violence. In 3047, the hunter again decided to make a point and publicly killed Isabella "the Hyena" Cygnus, who had taken to advertising herself as the "new Bounty Hunter", in a rather brutal fashion for stealing his shtick; he is also thought to have violently terminated the Meticulous Pursuit mercenary team.
In 3045 the Bounty Hunter brazenly landed on the Draconis Combine world of Marduk in pursuit of Tai-i Rej Mori of the defending Sixth Benjamin Regulars. Expertly timed and grounding less than a kilometer from a Sixth company led by Mori engaged in a training exercise, the Bounty Hunter demanded his surrender only for Mori to show his true colors and flee. Unfortunately he ran into the waiting clutches of "Sheridan's Ghost". Mori was unable to land a shot on the nimble Wasp which eventually destroyed his Dragon's rear armor and gyro, blending back into the forest as the rest of the Bounty Hunter's team defeated Mori's company and picked up the war criminal for transport to the Federated Commonwealth.
Though the number of appearances during the period had been reduced, when the Clans arrived some people speculate that the Bounty Hunter craved the challenge of measuring himself against the might of the Clans, and the fact that Smoke Jaguar marks dominated his bounties further indicated that Travers' old Combine heritage factored into his motives as well. Though part of his team died, it is clear that the Bounty Hunter succeeded in defeating the Clans in several duels during this time, especially when using the Mad Cat he captured from Clan Smoke Jaguar.
The Hunter vanished again in 3051 after a mission on Rasalhague. It was presumed Travers was severely injured, and possibly contemplating retirement. Between 3051 and 3064 there was a period of inactivity without anyone using the identity.
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.
In May 3067, Vic Travers 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 was just one of several aliases the man used). Travers had been grooming Urizeman as his successor for some time.
Later in 3067 Vic Travers accepted what he considered a fitting last contract for his tenure as the Bounty Hunter: he was hired by George Hasek to capture Kai Allard-Liao alive. Recognizing he would need some form of leverage in order to force the Duke of St. Ives to expose himself to capture, the Bounty Hunter learned that a Fernando Calvin was a childhood friend of Kai's young daughter Melissa Allard-Liao, and that Fernando's father Hector Calvin was the commander of the Calvin's Cuirassiers mercenary unit garrisoning the Federated Suns world of Perkasie. On 11 January 3068, while his associates drew out the local defenders with a strike against Water Purification Plant 51, smashing the mercenary combined-arms unit Lowdon's LongToms defending it, the Bounty Hunter ambushed and defeated the Cuirassiers single-handed to capture Hector and learn the location of his son. Information supplied by Fernando allowed the Bounty Hunter's team to pinpoint Melissa Allard-Liao's safe house in Tian-tan on St. Ives, the teenage girl attending a normal school under a false identity. Launching a swift and brutal attack to capture her on 25 June 3068, the Bounty Hunter and his team terminated all guards on site, and spirited Melissa away under sedation. While the Maskirovka sought to find out the culprits, that same day the Bounty Hunter personally confronted a battalion from the First St. Ives Lancers led by Kai Allard-Liao, calling upon Kai to face him in single combat to secure the safe return of his daughter. To the surprise of Lancer MechWarriors watching the epic duel between the two greatest MechWarriors in the Inner Sphere at the time, the Duke of St. Ives lost, the Bounty Hunter claiming his prize and leaving the system unharmed as Kai had agreed, releasing Melissa once he had safely left the system.
As the Bounty Hunter's Chief Tech
The man known best as "Walt Urizeman" (a name implied to be just one of several false names he used while his real name remains unknown; other aliases of his included "Bjorn Thomas", "Barry Whitmore", and "Jaclav Roberts") was born in 3029 on Torrence. He had an exceptional technical education, and he took to the stars with the Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth as a BattleMech technician. After his five-year tour ended in 3055 he took a salvaged Clan 'Mech into mercenary service. He worked briefly for a couple of mercenary outfits and cemented his reputation as a technician able to keep mauled BattleMechs in action. He was not at that time known to be even a decent MechWarrior. His 'Mech was irreparably shot out from under him during Operation BIRD DOG, and shortly after that he turned up as the personal technician of the Bounty Hunter, a position he still held in 3068, when he was piloting a Cauldron Born A. Once entering the Bounty Hunter's patronage (Vic Travers in his case), he began excelling at field operations and served as a flexible and personable contact for the diverse range of government, mercenary, criminal, and noble individuals with whom the Bounty Hunter dealt. He was serving as the second-in-command of the Hunter's organization both by formal rank and seniority, being by 3068 his longest serving member. It was thought that Walt was being groomed as Travers' replacement, with his combat skills coming a long way from his initial days.
As the Bounty Hunter
By 3072 Walt Urizeman had taken over after Vic Travers. In the employ of Chandrasekhar Kurita, seemingly under a long-term contract — an atypical move for the normally neutral Bounty Hunter — he tracked down Victoria Parrdeau on Dalton to obtain her journal, and tangled with Specter Precentor Sigma Berith over its possession. Over the course of that mission the Bounty Hunter found that his associate Robert Farrell had been unwittingly bugged by Berith in order to follow him, and for a lack of other options in the situation at hand, killed him.
Still in Chandrasekhar Kurita's employ, the Bounty Hunter was present on Arcturus for Operation Higashikuni, where he was instrumental in saving his employer from a Word of Blake attack in 3073. Though Kurita had assembled his mercenary coalition on Arcturus in preparation for a strike against the Ruins of Gabriel, a strong Word of Blake invasion force spearheaded by the 40th Shadow Division attacked Kurita's forces on 11 May 3073 with the intent on killing Kurita and reclaiming the journal. The attack met stiff resistance, but could have succeeded had the Bounty Hunter not tricked the attackers, using a fake of himself to get Kurita and himself out of harm's way.
Despite years of sterling work for Chandrasekhar Kurita, the Bounty Hunter was implicated by several high-profile intelligence assets in Kurita's assassination in 3076. While only circumstantial evidence of his involvement exists, some observers insist this indicates the Bounty Hunter was in truth playing both sides in the Jihad all along. Differences in body language, behavior and fighting skill shown since Uncle Chandy's death indicate that Urizeman may have been replaced as the Bounty Hunter by a new person. This iteration was not known to speak in public or combat, a stark counterpoint to the quips and witticisms of Travers and Urizeman, though StarCorps intelligence resources noted it may merely indicate a change of operating procedure or even throat injury. What was known is that the Bounty Hunter's previous associates have all been killed and he had made no move to replace them, marking him as a loner.
Prior to Operation SCOUR the Bounty Hunter was engaged in a series of high-profile assassinations and snatches against the Word of Blake along the Word of Blake Protectorate worlds. Just who was paying the exorbitant rates he charged for these actions was not generally known, with rumors suggesting everybody from rebel Irian Technologies members, Earthwerks, Archon Adam Steiner to even Devlin Stone.
The Bounty Hunter continued working throughout the Dark Age. The Bounty Hunter reportedly expressed an interest in the massive bounty on Sao-wei Duko Seng, commander of the Zahn Heavy Transports used during the so-called "Night of Screams" on Liao in 3111 and top of the Republic of the Sphere's list of war criminals.
In the aftermath of the botched "RAMTech Job" on New Kyoto in early 3115, confirmed appearances by the Bounty Hunter ceased for a decade and a half, the longest period of inactivity by anyone using the identity since the Hunter's absence during the period from 3051 to 3064. Conspiracy theorists claimed that the Bounty Hunter had nevertheless been able to get away with a quantity of high-grade military lasers and possibly with experimental weaponry that the company and the Republic of the Sphere were reluctant to reveal.
His next incarnation was a man named Michi Fraser, and there was solid indication that his first name had been changed, leaving the surname itself also in doubt. The usage of this assumed name though indicates a strong knowledge on the history of the Bounty Hunter persona as it is referencing one of the Bounty Hunter personas (Michi Noketsuna), and one of his associates at that time (Dechan Fraser).
What can be verified, however, was his appearance on the world of Misery during the fighting between the Draconis Combine and the Federated Suns in late 3130. Stealing a Legionnaire from the commander of the on-world Federated Suns forces, he single-handedly defeated an entire lance of Kurita troops, causing a greater shift in balance on Misery than had occurred in over a decade. He immediately went into hiding but reappeared several months later in June 3131 on the world of Marlowe's Rift, where he once again handed the Combine their collective heads on a platter after several weeks of hit-and-run fighting. He reappeared during March 3132 on Harrow's Sun, where prepared Combine troops savaged his Legionnaire. His name and bright emerald-painted 'Mech, however, only grew in stature as he escaped a trap in which any other warrior would have perished. Once more he vanished for well over a year, and it was believed that he had been terribly wounded, possibly mortally, during that fight.
In June 3133 he appeared on Quentin using a stock Marauder 9W2 instead of the FrankenMech Legionnaire used in the 3130–3132 actions. RAF Department of Military Intelligence thought this could provide possible leads to Military Materiel Redemption Program violators within the Republic. That action did put him again on the radar of the Sphere Intelligence Service.
During the months of October and November 3133, the Bounty Hunter landed on Irian and quickly engaged the Clan Leaders of the Spirit Cats and the Steel Wolf forces that were leading the assault against the Dragon's Fury, defeating them both. After that fight both Clan forces left the planet. He was working at that moment for Katana Tormark, and the Dragon's Fury gifted him one of the new Marauder II variants from Irian as payment for his service. The Hunter painted part of it emerald green, and called it Noketsuna.
Jonathan Yurei Kamimori
During this period the Bounty Hunter was discovered and murdered by another subject. However, even his killer could not discover if Michi Fraser was his real name or only an alias, though the latter option seems more likely. The killer took the name and identity, becoming maybe the most infamous Bounty Hunter incarnation. Named Jonathan, he took the Bounty Hunter's identity as part of a plot by his brother Marcus, one of the richest persons in the Inner Sphere, to approach Katana Tormark and kill her. Jonathan was a talented MechWarrior and fighter, lethal with any weapon and even his bare hands, an excellent cook, and a master hacker. However, he was also a psychopath and cold-blooded killer who enjoyed torturing and killing people, especially women, just for fun. He quickly murdered eight people, including three ISF agents, decapitating the last and sending the head to ISF director Ramadeep Bhatia.
Wearing the Bounty Hunter Armor, Jonathan infiltrated the Dragon's Fury headquarters on Proserpina but did not kill Katana Tormark, instead warning her about the imminent invasion of the Republic by Warlord Sakamoto in search for her group to destroy it, before leaving.
The Bounty Hunter then fought with the Dragon's Fury in the battle of Ancha, downing three fighters, though he actually only fought to win the trust of Katana's people and murder her partner, Antonia Chinn. However, Chinn was killed in battle before he could kill her. Enraged by the casualty, Crawford, his superior in the group, ordered the Bounty Hunter to hit Warlord Sakamoto, and Jonathan left on this new assignment. After infiltrating the Draconis Combine as a wounded aerospace pilot, he managed to become Sakamoto's new personal cook. The Warlord would die in a combat drop on Saffel, apparently poisoned by Jonathan. The Bounty Hunter fought in the same battle on Saffel, at the controls of a Panther BattleMech after killing and replacing his original pilot.
When Marcus accused his brother Jonathan of having fallen in love with Katana Tormark, Jonathan responded by killing Marcus in cold blood. After that, Jonathan continued with his killing "hobby", murdering prostitutes (all very similar to Katana) and even one cop on planet Ancha and others, writing a gigantic K, for Katana, in the space. Katana's (apparent) murdering sent Jonathan into a frenzy, but he agreed to an alliance offer with Bhatia, training with him to infiltrate in the imperial palace of Luthien. Jonathan also killed brutally two Clan Nova Cat mystics, to weaken the Nova Cats' advance with the Dragon's Fury. This act almost triggered a Trial of Annihilation between the Nova Cats and Spirit Cats. A Republic detective named Richard Thereon tracked him across his path, but without success because the Dragon's Fury members refused to cooperate with him, protecting the person they saw as one of theirs. Nevertheless, Jonathan knew his research and was simply playing with him; he left DNA at every crime scene, but it was not his.
On 15 March 3137, while he was in the Imperial Palace of Luthien, Jonathan tried to murder Chomie Kurita, as Bhatia and he had agreed, but somehow Bhatia had done it before Jonathan enacted his plan. Realizing there was a conspiracy to murder the Coordinator Vincent Kurita, Jonathan hurried to the throne room, where he managed to save Katana's life before the bomb killed the Coordinator and his last son. After saving Katana, Jonathan left a last present to the cop who was behind him: he sent him a data crystal with a location on a glacier on planet Misery, where Richard found the Bounty Hunter armor disarticulated and a full body within, probably Marcus' body. As Jonathan had seen Richard's name meant "Bounty Hunter", he left him his place, again as he matches him with "Michi Noketsuna", the same he had in theory killed to occupy his persona.
As of 3150 the Bounty Hunter operated on his own once again at the controls of a customized Marauder, but also upon occasion with a posse of associates. These associates, when accompanying him to take down larger prey, piloted other 'Mechs linked to the Bounty Hunter's legacy — a Mad Cat, Marauder II, Loki II, Warhammer and Griffin — making it hard for targets or observers to determine which 'Mech the Bounty Hunter was actually piloting.
While minor details change as the persona changes hand, a few common facts remain true no matter who is wearing the armor. The Bounty Hunter is first and foremost motivated by money, but also by the challenge of accomplishing "impossible" contracts to prove his abilities and enhance his legend. Though willing to take calculated risks, this doesn't mean he's suicidal, each contract will be extensively reviewed and a detailed plan drawn up before he makes his move, and generally he will attack from ambush or from the least likely direction to ensure he succeeds. The Bounty Hunter is not sadistic (with the obvious exception of Jonathan), but he will do just about anything to complete his mission, if somebody stands between him and his target, innocent or not, he will not shy from destroying any obstacles in his path. Though not capricious, those who wrong or betray the Bounty Hunter, either by attempting to reveal his identity or trying to cheat him, generally will be found in short order, killed in brutal fashion.
Typically, each Bounty Hunter maintains the persona for five to ten years before "passing the torch" to his successor, including the signature 'Mech, the DropShip, typically one-quarter to half of the war chest and a manuscript known as "The Tradition" — a document rumored to contain tradecraft knowledge for both bounty hunters and MechWarriors alike, written by those who'd previously held the position. Generally the Bounty Hunter will select his replacement from his closest trusted associates, often grooming his protégé and ultimate replacement, though upon occasion he will either sell the persona or in Clan fashion be killed and be replaced by an outside party seeking to lay claim to it. If alive, the retiring Bounty Hunter generally goes off to live the rest of his or her life in rich anonymity. The most notable exception to this "rule" was Michi Noketsuna — who would be corralled into being Warlord of Dieron for a time (3034-3054) by Theodore Kurita, before moving on to Luthien to finish his vendetta with Takashi Kurita, and then joining his former friends turned unwilling enemies turned friends once again in Wolf's Dragoons, as the head of their intelligence arm, Wolfnet, following the death of Stanford Blake in the Dragoon Civil War.
Since the thirtieth century, the Bounty Hunter typically takes to the field with three to five associates, each also elite MechWarriors who normally pilot BattleMechs painted the same green at the Bounty Hunter's signature 'Mech. Again, the exception was Jonathan: he always fought alone. It is unknown if he had even a support crew. Like the Bounty Hunter, his associates' 'Mechs are all kept in pristine condition and often boast customization.
These associates are recruited via a variety of methods, either the Bounty Hunter drawing associates from family and close friends, or similar to the Clans concept of bondsmen, the Bounty Hunter offering positions to defeated foes captured in battle whom he believes have the right skills and mindset to join his organization.
Such associates who hold a permanent place in his team are among those few the Bounty Hunter trusts implicitly, not just with his life but also his identity and the true history of the Bounty Hunter. Those who betray this trust have never lived long enough to tell the tale. Members of the Bounty Hunter's lance receive generous shares of the immense bounties collected in response to their loyalty, and often he will choose his successor from their number.
Occasionally several of the old Bounty Hunter's closest associates "retire" when a new person takes over the role, at other times associates die in combat and leave the Bounty Hunter's lance with openings. When this happens, the Bounty Hunter typically either takes time off or takes smaller and less risky contracts until he can find suitable replacements to bring his lance back to full strength.
The Bounty Hunter also boasts an extremely skilled technical team to keep both his own and his associates' 'Mechs in perfect condition. Aside from being highly skilled, the technical team are all cross-trained in a number of other skills, with each MechWarrior, except for the Bounty Hunter himself, also expected to participate in 'Mech maintenance and repair. The chief tech is also the Bounty Hunter's personal technician and often is a MechWarrior who has previously served with the Bounty Hunter, like his associates the chief tech knows the Bounty Hunter's identity and received a share of the bounties for his contracts. None of the other techs know the secrets of the Bounty Hunter, in fact every time a new Bounty Hunter takes command the old technical staff and DropShip crew are fired and replacements hired.
During Michi Noketsuna's tenure
During the FedCom Civil War
BattleMechs and Equipment
The Bounty Hunter has used numerous BattleMechs over the years, but all feature the same bright green paint job, emblazoned with credit symbols across its surface. The mere sight of Bounty Hunter's 'Mechs are a powerful tool in their own right.
- Originally Natasha Kerensky's personal 'Mech, her Marauder subsequently became the Bounty Hunter's signature 'Mech of choice between 3014 and the Clan Invasion, triggering a well-known animosity between them. Shortly after acquiring it, the Bounty Hunter customized it following heavy damage sustained during a Periphery mission, mounting a lighter 225-rated engine, using jump jets to offset the lower speed, and replaced the GM Whirlwind AC/5 with another Magna Hellstar PPC and three additional Magna Mk II medium lasers. A swap to Star League-era double heat sinks from a cache found in that same mission allowed the improvement of its armor by three tons. By 3044 Vic Travers modified the 'Mech again after acquiring an M-7 Gauss rifle, two ER PPCs and a 225-rated XL engine, dropping the dorsal Hellstar, two medium lasers and three double heat sinks to make room for the Gauss rifle and its two tons of ammo. Some sources indicate his signature Marauder, along with some of his associates, was lost in his battles against Clan Smoke Jaguar during the Clan Invasion. By the 3150s the Bounty Hunter was reportedly again using a customized model utilizing both cutting-edge Inner Sphere and Clan tech.
- Mad Cat
- During the Clan Invasion Vic Travers was able to claim a Clan Smoke Jaguar Mad Cat, which the Bounty Hunter often rode in battle against Clan and Inner Sphere targets alike in a custom configuration, mounting a large pulse laser and a medium pulse laser in each arm. It also had a medium pulse laser in both the left and right torso with a Clan light TAG in the center torso. A light active probe, ECM suite, and a targeting computer provided stealth and increased accuracy. Though supposedly making appearances during the FedCom Civil War, many assumed the Bounty Hunter had disposed of this Mad Cat as he began to heavily favor his Marauder II, but during the Jihad he was again using a Mad Cat in a modified configuration, either an entirely new OmniMech or his original extremely battle-worn Mad Cat after a major overhaul. This Mad Cat sported a large pulse laser in the left arm and paired ER medium lasers in the right arm, supported by a trio of SRM-4s in the left torso and similar trio of Streak SRM-4s in the right. Rounded out by an anti-personnel Gauss rifle in each side torso and an ER small laser in the right, the Bounty Hunter's second Mad Cat also mounted a targeting computer as well as a coolant pod and three jump jets to enhance its effectiveness. A single ton of reloads for each weapon type was carried. By the 3150s the Bounty Hunter, or one of his associates, was reportedly using a Mad Cat again.
- Marauder II
- During Vic Travers' tenure the Bounty Hunter acquired the use of a fearsome Marauder II, equipped with Clan-grade technology via General Motors' "special projects" division as thanks for his "advertising efforts" represented by the Bounty Hunter's continued use of GM's classic design and as testbed for a mass-produced version. The Bounty Hunter's Marauder II features a standard fusion engine with sixteen tons of ferro-fibrous armor and endo steel internal structure. It is armed with an ER PPC and two medium pulse lasers in each arm. A Gauss rifle sits in the right torso with two tons of ammunition, and a targeting computer is in the left torso for increased accuracy. It has a Clantech CASE system to protect the Gauss rifle, and can jump 90 meters at a time. The Bounty Hunter would make use of this Marauder II from the FedCom Civil War era, Jihad. In 3133 he exchanged it for an Irian variant of the Marauder II, an MAD-6S. This was the one he piloted it in the Ancha battle and then left behind during his mission to murder Warlord Sakamoto. Over the course of this mission, he took a Panther to assume the identity of its former pilot; this 'Mech was thus not painted in the usual fashion. It is implied that the Bounty Hunter intended to reclaim his Marauder II after the mission. By the 3150s the Bounty Hunter, or one of his associates, was reportedly again using a Marauder II.
While less notable, the Bounty Hunter has also been known to have made use of a Grasshopper and Griffin, with some sources indicating the latter 'Mech was what he was piloting when he stole Natasha Kerensky's Marauder in 3014.
Whenever the Bounty Hunter pilots a 'Mech or appears in public, he wears a customized green-hued full body MechWarrior combat suit, to obscure and protect his identity as well as allowing him to pilot his 'Mech. While more encumbering than the standard MechWarrior combat suit, his suit is much more armored, acting like a combination of an MCS and a space suit.
Almost as famous as his green Marauder is his PA(L) suit. First appearing with emergence of the second Bounty Hunter in 2957, this priceless suit was a Mk. XXX variant of the Star League's top secret Nighthawk PA(L) which the Bounty Hunter wears whenever he expects to encounter combat outside his 'Mech. While its stealth systems and jump pack were nonfunctional during the LosTech era of the Third Succession War, by the FedCom Civil War era these systems had been restored to operation. Generally the Bounty Hunter will dual wield Sternsnacht Claymore Heavy Pistols, his PA(L) taking care of the weight and recoil, along with carrying any other heavy weapons his requires for the mission.
The Bounty Hunter's personal Mule-class DropShip, the Le Blanc, has been heavily modified, sporting heavy armor plating, additional weapons, high-tech electronics, ECM, and sensor systems. The Mule-class vessel has been modified with spacious crew quarters, 'Mech cubicles and drop chutes, while also having enough space for the entire crew, replacement equipment, ammunition, and stores with space for salvage taken in battle.
- The way the end of the Bounty Hunter part of Dragon Rising is designed, it hints that the Dark Age Bounty Hunter persona Michi Fraser, known for having destroyed a full Kurita lance on Misery, was not killed by Jonathan, that he somehow had tricked Jonathan to kill another patsy and created a new tempory identity, that of Richard Thereon, who would then receive back the full armor package from Jonathan who ended seeing over his new identity.
- A book was published by The Atreus Post on 27 July 3060: The Bounty Hunter: Piercing the Legend.
The Bounty Hunter in his Power Armor
The Bounty Hunter in action during the Jihad, ca. 3075
The Bounty Hunter beside his custom Marauder II during the Jihad
The Bounty Hunter with Katana Tormark
- Heir to the Dragon
- Interstellar Players, pp. 83–84: "The Bounty Hunter - Mindless Entertainment to Unmitigated Drek"
- BattleTech Dossiers: The Bounty Hunter, pp. 4–5: "History"
- Interstellar Players, pp. 84–86: "The Bounty Hunter - The Myth"
- Historical: Brush Wars, p. 20
- Wolf's Dragoons, p. 124: "Friends and Enemies - The Bounty Hunter"
- Tales of the Black Widow Company, pp. 30–31
- Wolves on the Border, p. 197
- Warhammer Blueprint and Lore: Story of the Black Widow
- Historical: War of 3039, p. 25
- BattleTech Dossiers: The Bounty Hunter, p. 6: "Unit Profile - Vic Travers"
- Heir to the Dragon, ch. 37
- Heir to the Dragon, chs. 39–40
- Heir to the Dragon, ch. 40
- Technical Readout: 3039, p. 116: "BattleMechs - medium 'Mechs - ASN-21 Assassin"
- Combat Manual: Kurita, p. 94: "Rules Annex - Technical Readout: - WSP-1A Wasp"
- BattleTech Dossiers: The Bounty Hunter, p. 5: "History"
- Turning Points: Irian, p. 23: "Animal Deals"
- Technical Readout: 3055 Upgrade, p. 62
- Interstellar Players, p. 85: "The Legend Reborn"
- A Guy Walks Into a Bar on Solaris VII...
- BattleTech Dossiers: The Bounty Hunter, p. 3: "Indirect Acquisition"
- BattleTech Dossiers: The Bounty Hunter, p. 11: "Missions - Don't Make it Personal"
- BattleTech Dossiers: The Bounty Hunter, p. 12: "Missions - I Have A Question"
- BattleTech Dossiers: The Bounty Hunter, pp. 13–14: "Missions - Means To An End"
- BattleTech Dossiers: The Bounty Hunter, p. 15: "Missions - You'll Accept My Offer"
- Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, pp. 7–8
- BattleTech Dossiers: The Bounty Hunter, p. 7: "Unit Profile - Walt Urizeman"
- Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, pp. 4–14
- Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, p. 223: "Other Realms and Powers - Other Notable Personalities of 3076 - The Bounty Hunter"
- Technical Readout: 3145 Capellan Confederation, p18. "Zahn Heavy Transport"
- Technical Readout: Irregulars, p. 6: "Prime Mover/Wheeled Scout"
- MechWarrior: Dark Age - Dossiers and Pilot Cards, p. 184: "The Bounty Hunter"
- Turning Points: Irian, p. 9
- Daughter of the Dragon, p. 295
- Dragon Rising, p. 132
- Dragon Rising, p. 245
- Dragon Rising, p. 287
- Dragon Rising, p. 295
- Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 6, p. 8: "Marauder"
- Interstellar Players, pp. 84–88: "The Bounty Hunter - Gamemaster's Section - The Bounty Hunter's Associates - Support"
- Heir to the Dragon, ch. 37
- BattleTech Dossiers: The Bounty Hunter, p. 8: "Unit Profile - Christina "Chris" Sante"
- BattleTech Dossiers: The Bounty Hunter, p. 9: "Unit Profile - Alexander "Sandy" Romanov"
- BattleTech Dossiers: The Bounty Hunter, p. 10: "Unit Profile - Robert "Bob" Farrell"
- Interstellar Players, pp. 135–137: "Rules Addendum - Classic BattleTech Rules - The Bounty Hunter"
- Technical Readout: 3150, p. 164: "Heavy 'Mechs - Loki II"
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Old is the New New, p. 8: "Nighthawk Mk. XXX (Bounty Hunter)"
- 3135 PDA Journals, p. 121: "17 November 3135"
- BattleTech Dossiers: The Bounty Hunter
- Daughter of the Dragon (novel)
- Dragon Rising (novel)
- A Guy Walks Into a Bar on Solaris VII... (short story)
- Heir to the Dragon (novel)
- Historical: Brush Wars
- Historical: War of 3039
- Interstellar Players
- Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents
- Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers
- Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 6
- Tales of the Black Widow Company
- Technical Readout: 3039
- Technical Readout: 3055 Upgrade
- Technical Readout: 3145 Capellan Confederation
- Technical Readout: 3150
- Technical Readout: Irregulars
- Turning Points: Arcturus
- Turning Points: Irian
- Wolf's Dragoons (sourcebook)
- Wolves on the Border (novel)