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Inspiration and Conception

When Rocky Potts met Dr. Byron Jones on the planet of Wasat in Marik space, the two began the creation of what is now known as the Infighter 70 ton Heavy-class BattleMech. The Mech, which is based around a prototype weapon, is especially powerful at close range combat... Since Byron Jones was a child, he has been fascinated by the catastrophic thunderstorms of his homeworld. Using his advanced knowledge of BattleMechs, physics, electronics and magnetics, Byron began researching possibilities for a new BattleMech weapon. Byron created his "ThunderClap" shortly after obtaining his masters degree in mechanical engineering. Rocky Potts, a BattleMech engineer whose life had taken sudden changes when he lost his arms, had always dreamed of creating his own design. In some respects, the Infighter was a fulfillment to that dream. Though largely a product of Byron Jones' imagination, the Infighter was designed by Rocky to carry the prototype weapon. Rocky designed the Infighter around the prototype weapon, particularly to safeguard its own internal structure and engine against the ThunderClap's shockwaves.

The two's experimental custom-designed Mech has gone through many trial stages, each piloted by its one and only pilot, Ryan 'Dumbluck' Allen. Ryan has seen the Infighter project to its final stages; he started piloting a simple chassis toting the ThunderClap for the first time, up until the latest version that has incorporated Triple Strength Myomers among other things.

IFR-V1

The Infighter Mark 1 carried exclusively short range weapons. The Mech relied heavily on its ThunderClap and mace, which it used many times to earn a very impressive reputation. Its backup array consisted of 3 small lasers, or 2 medium lasers. Due to the enormous energy requirements of the ThunderClap's magnetic housing, only 1 medium laser or 3 small lasers could be fired in conjunction with the prototype weapon.

The Infighter IFR-V1 - Art by David White

IFR-V2

Mark 2 equipped upgraded weaponry, with 2 extended range (ER) medium lasers and 3 ER small lasers. Rocky worked closely with Ryan Allen, the Mech's pilot and one of the Strider's Strikers primary techs, in order to upgrade its myomer assembly to the Triple Strength variant. After many test runs, Ryan concluded the Mech's new configuration was ready for live combat. The Triple Strength Myomers would add to Ryan's physical combat capabilities with a enormously powerful mace and fiercer kick.

IFR-V3

Though the Mark 2 was ready for combat, it seemed fate would give the technicians further time to explore the Infighter's possible configurations. The Mech did not see action while in the Mark 2 stage, except for occasional training during which the ThunderClap was neglected. Rocky entered a new configuration into the computer, examining the possibilities of providing the 70 ton Mech with a long range weapon. After several computer-based simulations, the Infighter was deemed capable of carrying two new major upgrades. The Mark 3 boasted an ER large laser, as well as increased protection at long ranges thanks to its new null signature system. Its backup array now consists of 1 medium laser and 2 ER small lasers, which can be fired with the ThunderClap.

The Infighter IFR-V5 Firing The ThunderClap20 - Art by Matt Plog

IFR-V5

The latest version is the IFR-V5, a model in which Rocky Potts has managed to include a Null Signature System. The Null Signature System allows increased flexibility in controlling the Mech's heat. The V5 is dramatically altered aesthetically as well, borrowing directly from the Mech's used to make its prototype chassis (the Charger and the Exterminator). This has allowed for much easier technical work with regards to both battlefield repairs and regular maintenance of the Mech.

The IFR-V5 appears to be the ultimate physical assault machine. Its amplified speed, increased strength, added stealth, jump-capability, and massive short range firepower are a deadly combination against any slow combatant. The Infighter's primary weakness will remain what it always has been - its lack of ranged firepower for duels against maneuverable heavy Mechs.