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Kevin Langstrom

Kevin Langstrom
Character Profile
Also known as "Black Kevin"
Affiliation Federated Suns
Pirate
Profession MechWarrior
Parents Lawrence Langstrom (father)[1]
Siblings (one sister)[1]

Kevin Langstrom was a MechWarrior from the Federated Suns. His father had been discharged from the AFFS in 3053 for unspecified mental health problems, and had killed himself on 13 May 3055.[1]

Implicitly himself mentally unstable, Kevin Langstrom became a ruthless killer after acquiring the Black Marauder in 3073 and turned to piracy following a fight with his own unit. As a pirate he was subsequently known and feared as "Black Kevin" in the Tortuga Dominions, which he left for parts unknown in or just before 3080.

He had sandy blonde hair and brown eyes.[1]

History[edit]

Militia MechWarrior[edit]

Although ambitious, Langstrom graduated in the bottom third of his class from an (unspecified) second rate academy[2] and in 3068 was assigned to the Capellan March Militia on Warren. By December 3073 he was a MechWarrior Corporal in second battalion, third company, of the Warren Capellan March Militia and piloting a state-owned Vindicator. He resented this backwater posting, feeling it was a dead end for his career, and repeatedly requested transfers, but because of the Jihad and the turmoil it brought his efforts were in vain,[2] leaving him embittered. He also resented the people he served with, summarily regarding them as inbred Outbackers and retirees who were beneath him.

On 8 December his superior, Sgt. Grange, brought him to an abandoned mine near a wrecked town in the Padishan Flats desert where a flat black Marauder BattleMech was hidden. Grange told Langstrom its origin story, which painted the machine as possessed, in the sense of a malevolent demonic entity. Unfazed, Langstrom regarded the valuable 'Mech as a golden opportunity and claimed it as his own. Upon sitting in the cockpit for the first time for what he thought were a few seconds, Langstrom somehow failed to realize that two hours passed (during which Grange had been planting explosives to blast open the mine's entrance that had been collapsed when the 'Mech was hidden there). Langstrom felt some sort of bond with the Black Marauder, and thought he had heard it say "kindred soul" to him.[2]

Six months later, Langstrom felt that he was more of a pariah within his unit than ever, and suspected that Grange had spread stories about his Marauder.[1] (A fellow soldier, Dean Ipswich, invited him to a night out and mentioned that Kevin still had friends in the unit even if he pretended not to see them, indicating that it was in fact Kevin who had secluded himself from the others as he had been working on the Marauder unceasingly for months.) When a raiding force from the Taurian Concordat was approaching Warren, Langstrom got into an argument with Byron Dylan, a fellow soldier who had just been accepted for Officer Candidate School—unlike Langstrom whose application had once again been denied. Provoked by Dylan who seemed to mock him for his failure to make OCS, Langstrom attacked Dylan with a wrench in a bout of rage and then hid the body of the dead or dying man in the Marauder's leg casing. A few hours later, before the killing could be discovered, the militia moved out to meet the Taurian attack force. On 29 July 3074 they clashed in the town of Cobalt. Although the militia commanders sought to minimize collateral damage, fierce fighting ensued in the town and the Marauder's leg was damaged, revealing the dead body hidden within to Leftenant Engels who however was killed by enemy fire seconds later. Shortly afterwards, Langstrom came across Dean Ipswich's destroyed Valkyrie. The death of his friend sent Langstrom into a killing frenzy during which he felt a yet closer bond with his Black Marauder. When he came to again, he had defeated the enemy company but also effectively razed the town, and missed the recall order to the starport because the Taurian forces had all but seized the planet. With only Sgt. Grange's Enforcer still standing, Langstrom and Grange argued and Grange demanded Langstrom give up the Marauder. In response, Langstrom opened fire on Grange and destroyed his 'Mech; Grange ejected. Immediately afterwards, the pirate band with whom the militia had tangled in the past appeared on the scene and invited Langstrom to come with them, seeing how he had just attacked his own. Langstrom accepted, but then casually killed the pirate leader and assumed command of the pirate band (Grady's Grinders) in his stead.[1]

Pirate[edit]

Langstrom's subsequent time as a pirate on Tortuga Prime is not well documented; as of 3080 only an unreliable and possibly exaggerated tale exists:[3]

According to this tale, "Black Kevin" as he was called quickly became feared along with his 'Mech, the "Dark One" to which evil supernatural powers were ascribed. Six years after Langstrom arrived at Tortuga Prime with Grady's Grinders, all but one man called Twitch from that unit were dead. As the story goes, pirate king Ravannion offered up a mission to steal BattleMechs from a store on Defiance. Langstrom, who by this time already had a reputation for raiding the Federated Suns, accepted and assembled a team including Twitch. There was more to the mission than met the eye though: Langstrom was not really interested in stealing 'Mechs. Instead, he was looking for star maps, as he sought a place where in his words the Star League had "poked through" to an unspecified "beyond". After an eerie voyage with a nightmarish final jump to the Defiance system, the mission proved to be a setup by Grange in collaboration with the pirate king that was specifically designed to trap Langstrom and his Marauder: Fully activated 'Mechs and tanks awaited the pirates at the warehouse. Grange once again urged Langstrom at gunpoint to give up the Black Marauder, but Langstrom refused and a vicious fight ensued. The pirates eventually escapted to their DropShip by strapping living hostages to their 'Mechs (most of whom did not survive the fighting).

On the trip back, one pirate handed Langstrom a map downloaded from a library during the raid. It depicted the spinward periphery some thousand light-years out, and on it Langstrom found what he was looking for.

Returning to Tortuga Prime almost exactly six months after setting out, Langstrom made a great show of repaying King Ravannion for his treachery. He walked up to Raider's Roost with his Marauder following behind, unmanned and with its canopy open. (It was later suggested that it might have been remote-controlled with systems salvaged from a Hi-Scout drone carrier that Twitch had disabled during the raid; Twitch was ultimately found months later with the parts, starved to death in a compartment on the DropShip that had been welded shut.) Langstrom challenged Ravannion to an unarmed duel under Tortuga's customs, and choked him to death with his bare hands in short order. His revenge achieved, Langstrom left the Tortuga Dominions shortly after with vague hints that he had to do some work "out there in the deep". The story suggests that Langstrom was under the Marauder's spell more than in control of it, and following its orders; his final words before departing were "It commands me go, and go I will."

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Kindred Soul
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Marauder
  3. Ravager

Bibliography[edit]