Links to other parts here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
This page continues the chronological log of our Votoms Campaign.


Low on fuel and supplies, Pent and Quey agree to return to Planet Melkia, but Chet is worried that they will be found by the Melkian army, or worse, the Red Shoulders!  Fortunately while they drift through space arguing about their plan, they hear a surprising broadcast on the radio- the Balarant and Gilgamesh armies have signed a peace treaty!   With the war over, the three agree that it might just be possible to return to Sunsa and try to collect their hidden cache of Jijirium.  But first they'll need to earn enough money to supply a ship.  Chet agrees to return to Melkia, but goes his own way once they arrive.

Despite the risk of being captured by the military and tried for desertion, Pent and Quey return to familiar territory- Corza City, where they decide to enter a Battling Ring.   Unfortunately after Pent's Scopedog was destroyed while battling the Balarant cruiser, he has little choice of AT to battle with, and decides to use the captured Fatty.  Calling himself the "Black Sun", and Quey the "Angry Turtle", the two enter the competition separately.  By secretly working together, one or the other is likely to win the battle and the prize money!

The Battling ring consists of an old Sea Dock, where a Gilgamesh Space Destroyer had crashed during the war.  Since abandoned, and littered with wreckage, the docks have been converted into a deadly battle arena ideal for waterproof ATs.  Several ATs enter the battle, making Pent and Quey's job difficult even with teamwork!
Quey takes to the water, but soon discovers he is not alone as a Berserga WP lurks on the far side of the docks.  He lobs a few mortar rounds, but the tough armor of the Berserga shrugs most of the damage off.  Meanwhile at the other end of the docks, other contestants engage in a running battle.  Although a Scopedog contestant cleverly uses a ramp of debris to gain the high ground, the fast and deadly Brutishdog manages to land hits on every AT he can see
A more cautious Diving Beetle sneaks under the wreckage of the ship, using water for cover.  But even when he ambushes Pent, the Brutishdog dashes up the back of the shipwreck and unleashes a deadly hail of fire! 
The Scopedog retreats, and Pent is left facing this deadly new challenger...  But before either can fire, the "Shadowflare" appears out of the wreckage and blows the Brutishdog away with a combination of Solid Shooter and Missile barrage!

Pent wheels his Fatty around the corner, and spots the Shadowflare through a gap in the wreck.  Heavily armed and armored, and fast, the Shadowflare is clearly more than a match for any single AT in the Battling Ring.  Pent warns Quey of the new threat.

Quey closes with the Berserga and warns that if they don't work together, neither will survive this battle.  The Berserga pilot, a Quentian known as Goug, agrees.  Quey affirms his new alliance by deestroying an advancing Marshydog before it can damage him or the Berserga.
Quey attempts to flank the Shadowflare, and although he does some damage, the black enemy returns fire with a vengeance, severely damaging Quey's Barking Turtle.  Abandoning his AT, Quey runs inside the ruined ship, hoping to find something to turn the tide of the fight.  Unfortunately, one of the other AT pilots has the same idea, and turns the ship's gun turrets on Goug's Berserga!  Quey manages to beat some sense into the pilot, putting a stop to the deadly barrage.
Shaking off the attacks from the turret, Goug lays into the Shadowflare with a Pile Bunker, doing some serious damage.  But not enough to stop the Shadowflare apparently...
Who retaliates with a crippling blas from his solid shooter, sending Goug's ruined Berserga over the edge.   Not to be discouraged, Goug climbs out of the water on foot, and uses the dock crane to throw oil drums at the Shadowflare, who is too busy pursuing Pent's Fatty to notice...

Damaged or not, the relentless Shadowflare knocks Pent's Fatty to the ground.  But Pent but notices the oil drums and forms a plan...

Engaging the rollerdash wheels on his modified Fatty, Pent scrapes away from the Shadowflare and fires his gun into the drums.  A fiery explosion engulfs the Shadowflare, bringing the battle to an end, and the prize money goes to "the Black Sun!".

Suspicious of the Scopedog and Marshydog's cooperation with the Shadowflare, Quey manages to beat some information out of the would-be turret gunner.  Apparently the Shadowflare is a military prototype, exploiting the battling ring as a testing ground.  If this rumour is true, then the military is as active and manipulative as ever, even with the Armistice signed.   Pent and Quey agree that sticking around Melkia is too risky, and plan to use their hard-earned prize money to return to Sunsa.  They invite Goug to join them, and the Quent Mercenary agrees, finding the proposition of buried Jijirium treasure much more appealing than battling.


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