Battletech: Skies Without End
Aerospace pilot and ninja
The legacy of the Koga ninja is one of blood. For every government, there are people who solve problems with other governments. The Koga are those who quietly deal with those problem solvers who work against House Kurita. Since before the Edo period, the Koga have killed with ancient tried and tested techniques. Every day of Ranmaru Koga’s young life, he has learned these techniques to continue his family tradition even when the family line is secured by his older brother. When succession was to be finally and fatally determined in trial of blood, Ranmaru lost to his brother but was spared from the honor of death by a sudden attack from the Lyrans on the Koga compound. This attack claimed the life of the older brother leaving Ranmaru as sole successor and dishonored exile until he can bring home a redeeming victory under his own power.
Taking just his life and daisho toward Solaris 7, he began to apply his current trade and started to build a new one with the real potential of honorable victory. Contracts became varied to more than just personal assassinations and information gathering. Some even required a specific kind of kill in specific arenas. When the opportunity arose, he jumped onto aerospace training so as to assassinate the aerospace pilots who have the unfortunate luck of infuriating to the wrong person. He trained for months to pull off the perfect assassination and humiliation of aerojocks. His first use of this skill was performed with the precision of a dirty razor. Afterward, Ranmaru had a new skill which he had to work to perfect and eventually utilize for gain. This skill could even possibly earn an “honorable” victory for house Kurita and win his right of succession back. During the years of flying duels and patient assassinations, Ranmaru began to learn other skills in the trainers. Specifically, he trained battlemech piloting to allow him to “blend” in to a mechjock unit long enough to commit to assassination. His high profile kills for prominent clients and high price aerospace victories brought notice of the coordinator.
A holocall came one day for Ranmaru. He was tasked with the honorable mission of eliminating an “enemy” of Kurita, the Lyran aerojock Diarmad McGregor. This particular pilot had been “accidently” killing the top Solaris 7 aerojocks of the DC and needed to go away….the hard way. It needed to look clean to the Solaris 7 leadership and yet publicly show that the DC was pushing back against the Lyrans. The assignment was to be finished nine months from the holocall at the Aerospace Championships. The time was well spent sending personal and professional challenges to the McGregor pilot to rattle his nerves and send him into an old fashioned highlander rage. When the first round of the championship came, the young McGregor was visibly shaken from the harassment. The Lyran was paired against the younger Koga. Ranmaru dogged the man for the entire match gaining weapons lock for several seconds at a time and holding his fire. McGregor’s Corsair being the slower craft couldn’t shake the Samurai. When it came time, nearly every camera was tuned on this duel. All of the Lyran Commonwealth and the Draconis Combine watched the match in silent anticipation. After 10 excruciating minutes of dogging, the Lyran pilot sent up his white flare of surrender. The broadcast tuned into the comm system of Ranmaru who asked of the coordinator, “yori shi fumeiyo ka Oyakata-sama” (dishonor rather than death, Your Lordship?). A single word echoed in every screen, radio, and specifically the Koga’s comm….”Shi!” Without hesitation, Ranmaru sent a laser pulse through the cockpit into the McGregor, killing the man instantly. The young ninja then maneuvered his fighter into contact with the decedent’s. As if flying away with a trophy, he pushed the craft toward his extra atmospheric hanger. After winning the duel, the Koga was ordered to withdraw from the championship to further the insult against the Commonwealth.
The young Koga returned to the Imperial city flying his opponent’s Corsair with a paint job of the dragon’s visage to honor the Kurita line. On the way down to the surface, his lock sensor lit up. His comm piped in, “I am Eoin McGregor. You shall die and return my brother’s honor along with his ship.” Unfortunately for the highlander, a strict principle of the ninja is to never fight an opponent who ambushes you. The young Koga hit his afterburners to get into the air cover of Luthien and escape the attacker. However, he was unable to escape the first laser salvo unscathed. The fire raked across the right side of his Corsair, removing the right eye from the visage of the dragon. The damage was only cosmetic and allowed Ranmaru to escape. He would hear again from the McGregor several times over his aerojock career. Upon arriving to the Imperial city, the young Koga was honored with a meeting in secret with the coordinator and his aides. At that meeting, Lord Kurita learned of the outer atmosphere attack and the new look of the Corsair. The coordinator decided to honor the Koga with a new name and a gift of a new piece of hardware. The name “Dokuganryu” (“One-eyed dragon”, a name given to a Date daimyo from 16th century Japan) was then bestowed. The hardware was to be given later by the first aide in attendance to the meeting. Unfortunately, the aide’s surname was Date. This family happened to be an ancient bushido serving line which hated any and all associated with ninpo. Steamed at such an honorable name given to a Koga ninja soiling the Date name, the hardware given was a new off the line Dragon battlemech as opposed to a new fighter or system that could be of use to an aerojock. That particular mech also happened to have failed quality control and only one redeeming feature of looking brand new. The Koga clan however has still not recognized an honorable victory to restore Ranmaru’s right of successor.
The young ninja has since piloted the craft of his McGregor assassination. He also has maintained the mech as he received it hoping to one day find an honorable way to be rid of it. At 25 years old, he’s now looking to find a new way to escape the harassments of Eoin McGregor and his clan. Perhaps the answer to this and his right of succession is with the Lancers.