Way of the Champion
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|Way of the Champion|
|Author||Steven Mohan Jr.|
|First published||23 November 2007|
|Era||Star League era|
|Timeline||16—25 June 2725|
|Preceded by||Destiny's Challenge|
|“||A young Kerensky proves that to win you do not even have to win the battle to win the battle. When facing the best he knew he could not beat her, so he let her beat herself.||”|
In 2725, Lt. Aleksandr Kerensky leads Blue Lance in training exercises at the SLDF’s massive Fort McKittrick base on the Draconis Combine world of Paris, facing off against Red Lance commander Paula Nilssen. Despite Red Lance’s use of misdirection and duplicity, Kerensky manages to lead his lance to victory. After the battle, he confronts Paula about her actions, worried that his fellow Gunslinger Program graduate is overly focused on winning individual duels at the expense of the unit and the mission objective.
With this in mind, he files a complaint with base commandant Colonel Hermann Scheer. Unfortunately for Kerensky, the commandant disagrees with his assessment, and says that he respects Nilssen for her demonstrably superior dueling skills, which are more important (in his view) than grand strategic vision at a post that only faces single-combat challenges from ronin. Soon thereafter, a Thug from a local dojo appears to announce a challenge, interrupting Kerensky’s meeting.
The ronin identifies herself as Mary Quinn. As a servant of bushido, she seeks to challenge any SLDF warrior worthy to face her. Scheer sends Nilssen out to meet the ronin’s challenge. Within minutes, Paula is dining with her ancestors, Mary Quinn is one battle closer to opening her own dojo, and Kerensky is promoted to new base champion.
Mary Quinn returns a week later for another challenge. Kerensky proves highly skilled at manipulating the challenge protocols, and forces the ronin to come to a venue that favors his Orion. Aleksandr is in top form for the battle, debating his foe as he fights, and launching a barrage of quotations along with missiles and autocannon rounds. He fights well, but his ‘Mech is defeated. However, he has won the philosophical argument with the ronin, and she departs without killing him.