30 August 2017
Although it’s a rare occurrence, sometimes a customized 'mech from the Solaris
VII arenas inspires a production model for front line deployment. In this case,
the inspiration was the "Iaido", a customized Venom piloted by Hachiro Nogami.
The Iaido, and Hachiro, gained fame in its debut match by beheading a nearly
pristine Sasquatch in an open class arena fight. However, it wasn't arena fame
that inspired Nimakachi's new refit kit. Rather it was the Iaido's
effectiveness against Word of Blake forces during the Solaris VII occupation
that inspired the refit. As it turned out, many of the Word's sophisticated
technological advantages could be circumvented with a massive physical weapon.
The hallmark feature of the "Iaido" was its large vibroblade and the SDR-9KCv
upgrade is built around a near replica. Almost as tall as the 'mech itself and
weighing in at seven tons, it gives the light mech an imposing stance.
Opponents rarely cower based on appearance alone but once in close combat the
blade's effectiveness is terrifying. In a single stroke, it can cleave limbs
from other light 'mechs or penetrate all but the heaviest rear armor. And the
prodigious jump distance that the Venom is known for makes flanking opponents
easy. The blade is also capable of decapitating or cleaving the cockpit of any
opponent in a single swipe. It also proved devestating against battle armor,
able to destroy all but the heaviest suits in a single blow.
While the oversized blade is terrifying, the SDR-9KCv carries little in the way
of other weapons. Three extended range small lasers, it's only ranged weapons,
are useless beyond 150 meters and offer only half of the raw firepower of the
medium pulse lasers they replace. The installation of an extralight gyro and
removal of one heat sink were further concession necessary to accommodate the
massive blade. Finally, the original Ferro-Fibrous armor was unable to
accommodate all of these changes. So, a Light Ferro-Fibrous armor shell
replaces it but still maintains excellent protection for the mech's weight
Besides the engine and jump jets, the only other equipment retained from the
9KC base model is the C3 Slave Computer. This allows it to continue in the role
of spotter for a C3 Lance, a role that it excels at. A pair of 9KCv's operating
in tandem can be particularly effective allowing the pair to alternate engaging
the enemy while the other positions to flank.
Built as a refit kit, deployment has been strictly limited to DCMS units
already using Venoms. Deployment has also been limited by Nimakachi's
difficulties in producing large numbers of the complex vibroblades.
A similar refit for older model Venoms is also available. Known as the
SDK-9KAv, it can be applied to any base model with the older Crucis-II Newhart
chassis. However, using the older, heavier chassis means sacrificing armor
protection. Even so, this is the same level of protection, and indeed the very
same plating, as the SDK-9KA model. Otherwise the SDK-9KAv is equivalent to the
Hachiro's "Iaido" also employed a massive vibroblade as its primary weapon.
However, the Iaido's secondary systems were different. Instead of the extended
range small lasers used by the production refit, the Iaido used clan-tech micro
pulse lasers. While offering an even shorter effective range they were more
accurate in close quarters. This was critically important feature in the
arenas. Also, working solo in the arenas meant the C3 Slave Computer was
largely useless. So, early on, it was replaced with a targeting computer to
further increase the lasers' accuracy. Just before the Jihad broke out, the
targeting computer was removed in order to install an AES system in the right
arm, granting dreadful vibroblade an even swifter stroke.
Notable 'Mechs & MechWarriors:
Gunsho Hachiro Nogami:
The nephew of Tai-i Yuko Nogami, Hachiro started his journey as a MechWarrior
by following in the footsteps of his uncle. At a young age, he found his way to
the Solaris VII arenas and was accepted by the Silver Dragons Stable. He even
began piloting a Venom in the arenas, just as his uncle had. However, where his
uncle had spent only a few years in the arenas Hachiro enjoyed many years of
success in the arenas.
Hachiro's Solaris career started after the Great Refusal, so he felt no great
need to cut his career short to fight for his homeland the way his uncle had.
He also enjoyed a more successful run in the arenas. This success ultimately
afforded him the resources needed to create the "Iaido", his customized Venom
named for its ability to strike quickly.
Hachiro was still enjoying a successful career when the Jihad came to Solaris
VII. He fought against the Word invaders as part of the Solaris Home Defense
League. When the occupation of Solaris VII was finally lifted, Hachiro became
aware of how the Jihad had affected his homeland. This finally instilled in him
the same protective desire his uncle had felt over a decade prior. Although his
"Iaido" had been destroyed in the fighting on Solaris, he made his way back to
the Combine to enlist in the DCMS. He soon found himself piloting a Venom once
again and serving in his uncle's company. And, of course, his Venom received
the 9KCv upgrade at the earliest convenience.