A Soldier's Privilege
|A Soldier's Privilege|
|First published||19 July 2006|
|Era||Succession Wars era|
|Timeline||2 January 2791|
|“||2 January 2791. Captain Stephan Roark, formerly of the SLDF, stayed behind when Kerensky lead his Exodus. Roark returned to his home of Wyatt in the Free Worlds League. He expected quiet; he got an invasion, courtesy of House Steiner... and his mother. Now, even when few others want to, Roark is going to execute a soldier's privilege and resist the Lyran invasion...||”|
Captain Stephan Roark, late of the now departed SLDF, has returned to his family's estates on Wyatt to defend his homeworld against Lyran forces (the 5th Lyran Guards and 4th Donegal Guards) seeking to add the planet to the Lyran Commonwealth in support of Archon Richard Steiner's claim to the First Lordship. Before the outbreak of fighting, he receives a Lyran representative—Reinhardt Samm, Baron of Montserrat-du-Bolan, then goes to discuss the political situation with his mother, Althea Roark.
Samm informs House Roark that the Lyrans plan to annex Wyatt, now that the Marik Militia has withdrawn, leaving only planetary militia. The Archon offers the Roarks the opportunity to retain their noble titles and holdings if they offer no resistance to House Steiner. Althea seems resigned to changing allegiances, but Stephan argues that they owe Kenyon Marik their fealty, since he already gave them the same deal when the FWL seized Wyatt from the crumbling Terran Hegemony, and that he doesn't view their loyalties as being quite so transitional. He chastises his mother, saying his father would never have given up without a fight. Althea answers that her husband abrogated his responsibilities to his family when he left with General Kerensky.
Stephan's uncle is retired SLDF General Bartolomeo Roark, who serves as the commander of Castle Roark's defenses. House Roark holds large estates across the planet, but only a handful of their personal guard force (which includes a battalion of BattleMechs) is based at the Castle. He'd hoped that they might be able to hold out long enough for the Captain-General to send reinforcements, but an HPG message from Atreus informs him that Wyatt is on its own.
The following day, Lyran DropShips land near Wyatt City and Castle Roark. Stephan pilots his factory-fresh Grasshopper, battling to defend his family's landhold in the name of House Marik. He is joined by his cousin, Dera, in her Black Knight, and other members of the Wyatt Militia. They swiftly smash a Lyran scout lance, then charge into the teeth of two heavy Lyran lances with artillery support. The Militia 'Mechs drop all around him, and Dera's ride goes down with its head demolished, but Stephan presses on, managing to damage two companies of the 4th Donegal Guards before his Grasshopper becomes combat ineffective and he has to withdraw to Castle Roark.
He finds Lyran 'Mechs in command of the facility, where Baron Samm congratulates him on a battle nobly fought and greets him as a newly re-minted Lyran noble. The Lyran negotiator informs Stephan that his mother surrendered to the Commonwealth, ensuring that House Roark will retain its titles, and tells Stephan that his patent of nobility means he can do anything he wants in the Inner Sphere. Stephan punches Samm in the face, remarking that he already has that privilege as a soldier.