Title: Take On Me
Original Publication: February 2011, Classic Battletech Forums
After A Brighter Future and a Better Life, I was on a roll. And a big part of that roll was an eagerness to do even more. ABFaaBL was written with the idea of "maybe I could make a series out of this", featuring a lot of potential ideas that could be re-used or explored further, not the least of which was the enigmatic TF Allen. The result was Take On Me, which was deliberately written to be a "next in series" rather then an entirely stand-alone fic.
The biggest advantage was the groundwork done in Brighter Future; I no longer needed to introduce swarms of characters for the long-term, and could instead focus on those that were guest stars for the chapter. And in many of these cases, they would return further down the road. The character you introduce today is one that can make many guest spots tomorrow!
The retroactive Niko/Goren switch is still in effect, thus necessitating a warning that there may still be some old references left in there. The same goes for Kirstin Ross' hair; though in this case we finally have the actual redhead that I wanted to avoid confusion with making their on-screen debut.
The themed chapter names from Brighter Future continues here, albeit with one that's somewhat tangentially related. However, as with all the others, the title is used in the dialouge of the story. Similarly, the theme naming for the cars introduced in the previous fic is in full force here; see if you can spot it. (Hint: Related to the title!)
A lot of the towns mentioned also have a theme name here, although it's an unconnected theme. Once again, it's a bonus for people who are watching.
If the battle of "Perendole Valley" seems somewhat familiar, that's not a coincidence. One of the core inspirations of this fic was joking about Alterac Valley matches and the performance of the two factions in it. Likewise, most of the members of both the Frost Wolves and Xiaphos' Guard are thematically named.
The sole exception is Miri Wolf, who was inspired by somebody I knew. If you're out there and reading this, you know who you are. Hi!