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|Died||12 August 3062|
|Affiliation||White Hand Stables|
History & Tactics
On 21 September 3059 Stephen Neils lost a fight in the The Jungle against defending Solaris Grand Champion Theodore Gross. The younger Neils was able to score a lucky first hit that cracked the engine shielding of his opponent's Katana and put Gross on the defensive early, but despite being warned by up and coming commentator Julian Nero, Neils proved too eager to press the advantage. Though dragging out far longer than the bookmakers had expected, once Neils came within range of the Kurita warrior's Jump Jets, Gross leaped behind his Davion opponent and handily defeated him.
In 3062 Stephen Neils was ranked sixteenth in the Top 20 Unlimited Class List. On 12 August in that year's Grand Championship he fought against twentieth ranked Victor Vandergriff in the first round in Steiner Stadium. Piloting a lighter though more advanced Caesar against Vandergriff's assault-class Striker, White Hand Stables convinced Coliseum management to use the pop-up barricades to make for the weight difference. With this decision playing to his 'Mech's strength and weapon placement, easily Neils seemed to have the advantage over the zombie Vandergriff, openly taunting the Steiner warrior and playing to the audience. But with the desperation that had become Vandergriff's trademark as his career declined, Neils watched as his opponent dove and skidded along the ground as the barricade rose, moving left expecting Vandergriff to shadow him and strike from the right. Neil guessed wrong, the Steiner warrior had gone left, ending up right next to each other when the barricade fell. Looking the wrong way, Neils desperately returned fire and attempted to turn, but not before Vandergriff was able to score a match ending critical hit on the Caesar's back that ruptured his Gauss Rifle's capacitors and ruined its XL Engine.
Though able to drop the dampening fields and avoid his engine exploding, Neil's unbalanced and unpowered 'Mech violently slammed head-first into the ground. Not responding to outside calls after the conclusion of the match, the paramedics trying to extract the assumed to be injured Neils called for assistance, with Vandergriff responding, gently lifting and rolling the fallen Caesar onto it's side, revealing Neils had been killed, his 'Mech's head crushed after it smashed into the arena floor.
For the 3062 Grand Championship he was fighting in a Caesar.
- Illusions of Victory, p. 15 Chapter 2
- Illusions of Victory, p. 8 Prelude
- MechWarrior's Guide to Solaris VII, p. 64 "BattleMech Stable Table"
- Illusions of Victory, p. 14 Chapter 2
- Illusions of Victory, "Chapter Two"
- Illusions of Victory, "Chapter Three"