Zane Nova Cat
|Zane Nova Cat|
|Affiliation||Clan Nova Cat|
Zane Nova Cat was a trueborn MechWarrior from Clan Nova Cat. He witnessed the horrors of Clan Nova Cat's Abjuration to the Inner Sphere. Zane's visions would later predict the coming conflict against Clan Ghost Bear.
Zane was originally part of Rho Galaxy stationed on Bearclaw when the Nova Cat Abjuration began in May of 3060. The world was attacked by Clan Hell's Horses and Clan Snow Raven when they arrived to root out the Cats from the world. Bearclaw's HPG system was down, so they never received word of the Abjuration. Zane survived the fighting and later traveled with other Nova Cats to the Inner Sphere after the other Clans suddenly attacked all their Clan's holdings. He was haunted by nightmares of his experiences. Zane was among the last warriors and lower-castemen who made the eight-month trip to the Inner Sphere on the Monolith-class JumpShip Dark Spine.
Zane and his fellow warriors were rescued in June of 3061 by the crew of the Nova Cat battlecruiser Severen Leroux in the Irece system. Khan West welcomed the survivors, assigning them to the newly formed Zeta Provisional Galaxy to help protect Nova Cat holdings in the Irece Prefecture.
Training of the 1st Dragoncat Cluster
Zane was then assigned to the world of Yamarovka, where the rest of his new Galaxy had been stationed by July 3061. He was also part of what has become known as the First Dragoncat Cluster. The Cluster was assigned Star Colonel Jal Steiner, a former Clan Cloud Cobra warrior, to lead it. On his arrival, Jal Steiner announced that he had chosen Zane's Trinary as his own. Zane continued to challenge him and others over the changes the Clan was undertaking.
Zane had only one friend due to his never-ending anger and discord, Star Commander Samuel. Samuel tried daily to open Zane's eyes to the world around him and leave his anger behind.
On the arrival of Star Colonel Steiner, Zane's Trinary was introduced to their DCMS liaison officer, Chu-sa Palmer Yoshio, who also served as the commanding officer of Third Battalion of the 11th Alshain Avengers. Steiner also announced that the Dragoncats would begin cross-training with the Avengers in a series of wargames outside the city of Yama.
Zane continued to challenge the Star Colonel with multiple Trials of Refusal, fueled by his rage over changes in daily Nova Cat life.
After a chance meeting between Chu-sa Yoshio and Zane in one of the mock battles, something began to change. From the first moment of the encounter Zane experienced skills he had not had before, fighting and doing considerable damage to Yoshio's Bishamon. After the battle, Zane retrieved a piece of Yoshio's 'Mech armor as a vineer. After this strange experience, Zane was convinced that it was the time to invoke his first Rite of Vision.
On his way to petition Galaxy Commander Higall to allow him to travel to Irece to begin his vision quest, he met with Chu-sa Yoshio. He and Yoshio briefly talked, as Yoshio asked if he was only a MechWarrior, with the skill Zane had used against him. Zane, taken aback by this, could only say he did not have answer to Yoshio's question, but would tell him once he returned from the Nova Cat capital. Unexpectedly, Yoshio ended up traveling with Zane to Irece to learn more about Nova Cat ways.
On Irece on 21 August 3062, Zane arrived by chance in time to witness Trials for the position of Oathmaster of the Nova Cats. Normally this was an exciting time for the Nova Cats, but not for Zane, who felt that this was another sign of the corruption of his Clan. With Biccon Winters' "retirement" to work for the newly formed SLDF, whoever was the winner of these Trials would be oversee his Rite of Vision. There he and Yoshio witnessed Minoru Nova Cat, newly adopted into his Clan, take the first step in competing for the position of the Clan's Oathmaster.
That same day, Zane began to travel to the mountain called Tengoku. Using his love of mountaineering, he climbed the mountain to a plateau he'd located via satellite maps. He climbed for 56 hours straight before reaching the plateau. There he built a fire where he enacted his Rite of Vision. He threw his vineers of Yoshio's 'Mech's armor and the command patch from his former Galaxy Commander who died on Bearclaw into the fire. In his vision he saw a strange sight, of what he believed to be the image of a garnet dragon appearing in the fire with what he could make out to be a Nova Cat. After a few seconds, he saw a second dragon appear, identical to the first except for its ebony color. The garnet dragon, aware of the ebony dragon's existence, looked for it but was unable to find it. Moments later the ebony dragon moved at a terrifying speed, not at the garnet dragon but out of Zane's vision. Suddenly, a white blur holding a standard with some kind of canine appeared. The white blur struck both the garnet dragon and Nova Cat, resulting in blood exploding everywhere.
Zane came out his vision confused and shocked. However, he found he was not alone — his Clan's new Oathmaster, Minoru Nova Cat, had arrived as his vision finished. Angered by Minoru's presence, he barely responded to Minoru's confirmation of Zane receiving what he sensed to be a vision that could aide his Clan. Zane did not share what he saw with Minoru, but only the knowledge he may have had a vision. Minoru told him he knew Zane despised him, but he has changed and begun a new life. He told Zane he must ponder the vision which he had been given.
As Zane and Yoshio returned to Yamarovka, Yoshio questioned why Zane felt so strongly about the rise of Minoru into the position of Oathmaster. Zane told him that by having the former prince in the position of Oathmaster, it gave the Combine's coordinator some degree of control of the Clan. Yoshio agreed, but countered in an almost bitter tone that the Combine paid the price for Minoru's rise to power. They'd given up the son of the Dragon, to better aid Clan Nova Cat.
Then Zane began to notice parallel to his own feelings of his Clan, which Yoshio feels his House is being corrupt in almost same matter. Out of curiosity, Zane asks Yoshio if he had ever heard of something called Ebony Dragon. Yoshio grows numerously pale from the remark, asks Zane to say it again as if he hadn't heard him. Zane dismisses, it saying he had heard it somewhere, and knew House Kurita had some kind worship of dragons. Yoshio could only say hadn't heard term "Ebony Dragon" before.
In September, Zane had returned to Yamarovka and joined his First Dragoncat Cluster on the field in mock battles against the Eleventh's First and 2nd Battalions. He also learn with great disdain that his Clan was forming the 2nd Dragoncat Cluster in his absence. Zane's scout Star runs into heavy lance of BattleMechs and his Jenner IIC is shot down by one of them. Couple days later, Zane sent to garage where BattleMechs of the Cluster are serviced. He discovers new machine had never seen before. Tech informs him he indeed the pilot of the Pack Hunter.
The name strikes Zane like nothing before, when Samuel arrives to congratulate Zane in given such a 'Mech. Zane smiles and confines to Samuel it feels like it wanted to be named. That he will name it the Ebony Dragon. Samuel says he surprised says "Black Dragon is a strong name, Zane." As Samuel comments on Zane naming the 'Mech with a name strongly binds with culture of Combine. Zane is struck with amazement, realizing his early question to Yoshio, if worded differently may have given a different answer to his question to him. Zane takes out his Ebony Dragon and fights a Trial against his Star Colonel near Zeta's command compound near city of New Circe. There he faced down Jal Steiner's Shadow Cat, overcame his emotions that the 'Mech he was piloting was acquired instead of won by Trial. Working down his emotions, he became calm and knew he would win his battle against Steiner. After winning his battle, Zane tried to seek out Yoshio to again ask his question regarding the Black Dragon, but missed him.
Later Samuel congratulates Zane and takes him to dinner in the city of Yama. After three evenings of dining, Zane made understand by Samuel that his narrow views of Inner Sphere people have clouded his mind like so many others. Zane realizes his Inner Sphere people are no different than people of the Clan, that he been treating then less human. That he had it wrong, that his quest to purify his Clan's soul was other way around. To purify his, and his hatred he been harboring since before leaving Bearclaw.
In late September, while Zane was attempting to have his Pack Hunter equipped with ferro-fibrous armor, a tech overheard him speaking to his Black Dragon. Zane heard the tech gasp, turned to find the man was a bondsman from Draconis Combine. Zane commanded him tell him why he was shocked to hear him say the name of his 'Mech. The man explained what Black Dragon meant in his culture.
On October First on the Plain of Horses near New Circe, Zane and his fellow Dragoncats gather to participate in a large exercise against entire Eleventh Alshain Avengers, but discovered that it had been cancelled. With word of the cancellation, Zane finally understands his vision he had plateau of Tengoku. He rushes to Star Colonel Steiner, and informs him that his vision has told him that Avengers are attacking Alshain. He urges the colonel to stop them, by seizing the Avengers' DropShip. If the Avengers attack them, they this will confirm his vision that they are indeed acting outside of the Draconis Combine High Command's authority. Steiner, trusting Zane's explanation of him receiving a vision. Informs Galaxy Command Higall of the situation. Higall informs Steiner that the rest of Zeta would only defend the Command Compound and not interfere with the fight between the Dragoncats and the Eleventh.
Through these actions, Nova Cat DropShips of Zeta locked and armed their weapons on the Avengers' DropShips. Nova Cat DropShips commander reach agreement with Avengers' ships not to interfere with coming fight or they would destroy each other in meaningless firefight.
After securing the DropShips, Nova Cats asked Avengers to stand down for 48 hours until they could confirm the orders for the Avengers to deploy. The Avengers fire on First Dragoncats in a bid to punch through to the DropShips. Through gale rainstorm, the two force clashed on the Plain of Horses. The Cluster took heavy damage, holding off the entire Regiment for hours. Zane was put in command of his own provisional Star as Jal Steiner reorganized his forces after taking damage. Yoshio's Third Battalion took the brunt of the damage, being ahead of the other two battalions. Only with the arrival of the First and Second Battalions did the Avengers manage to salvage a marginal victory after a series of hit-and-run sorties by the Nova Cat Cluster.
In the midst of fighting, Zane and Yoshio tried to seek each other out settle their fight. Finally as the night battle pushed closer to the DropPort, Zane found Yoshio. Then Zane announced his challenge to Yoshio to ritual of zellbrigen. Yoshio announced he accepted challenge of one-on-one combat. Yoshio asked before beginning this battle, why have they fought this very night. Zane explained, thought saying he does not expected to be believed. That he had vision that the Eleventh was to attack the Ghost Bears' homeworld. They would trigger a war that would devastate the Combine. Yoshio angrily responded that he was wrong, that his regiment was among others who were going to Alshain. They would cleanse the Combine of the Clan once and for all. Then, out of honor of their comradeship, he offered hegira.
After hearing the offer of hegira, Zane tried to find the anger and bitterness that been inside of him, finding it turned to sorrow. Sorrow for Yoshio, thinking the way he had, thinking the road forward needed purify everything but oneself. Finally accepting that he must stop Yoshio at any cost, he found peace at last, finally found his path. He then told Yoshio that he purified himself and ask him to join him.
In the midst of the battle, a lone crippled Blackjack fired its remaining autocannon into the head of Zane's 'Mech, killing him. This breach of zellbrigen, triggered deployment of the remaining Zeta Galaxy Clusters into battle. Yoshio quickly dispatched in rage the MechWarrior who killed Zane. Yoshio ordered his forces to fall back from the Galaxy's oncoming Clusters, thinking to himself he must survive, and that Zane death may been his victory.
After Zane's death, Clan Ghost Bear was attacked by three of the four Alshain Avengers regiments. Unfortunately, Zane's final act did not prevent Dominion-Combine War from occurring.
Minoru Nova Cat used Zane as a means to reunite his Clan over the divisions which rippled through it since the coming to the Inner Sphere. After living every horror of the Nova Cat Abjurement, Zane had triumphed over his own doubts and fears. Minoru would let every Nova Cat in the Clan know Zane's story. Zane would be put into the Clan's Remembrance, effectively immortalized.
Survivors of the First Dragoncats were evacuated after the Ghost Bears struck Yamarovka. The survivors were absorbed into Xi Galaxy. The enraged Bears annihilated all remnants of the Eleventh Alshain Avengers.
Later, the plateau on which Zane gained his vision was named after him.
Zane was originally noted as piloting a Jenner IIC 2 most of his career, until it was destroyed in a live-fire exercise. He later became the first Nova Cat warrior to pilot Clan Wolf-in-Exile's newly introduced Pack Hunter BattleMech. At the time this Pack Hunter was the only one of its class serving Clan Nova Cat. He named the 'Mech "Ebony Dragon", for a vision he'd had.
- Technical Readout: 3058 Upgrade, p. 190: Star Captain Samuel Devalis
- Heretic's Faith, p. 1: Zane's Plateau featured