Aidan Pryde

Aidan Pryde (born 3012[1] – died 3052[2], aged 40 years) was a trueborn warrior of the Ramon Mattlov-Tania Pryde sibko. Aidan became a MechWarrior of Clan Jade Falcon who earned his warrior status and later his Pryde Bloodname through a very unorthodox and un-Clanlike path. After years of undesirable postings and duties, he would be chosen as the commander of a new Falcon Guards Cluster, going on to earn legendary status for his valorous actions and self-sacrifice during the Battle of Tukayyid.[3][4]

At Age of 38 in 3050

Contents

[edit] Biography

Described as tall and somewhat slender with an angular face, Aidan Pryde was motivated by a fierce drive to succeed in all situations. Due to his experience of living alongside freeborn warriors for much of his early career, Aidan did not possess the deeply ingrained trueborn hatred of freeborns, though he was acutely aware of the differences between the two subcastes. Aidan was also known to have a love for literature, something nearly unheard of among the Jade Falcon warriors. At some point he came into the possession of a collection of print-on-paper books taken from a Brian Cache in which he was assigned garrison duty. He transported this collection with him from duty to duty throughout the rest of his career, learning a great deal about ancient Terran culture from them, though the ideas contained on the pages often left him with more questions than answers.[5][6]

[edit] Early Life

Born on Eden during the Political Century, Aidan was originally one of many dozens of children comprising his sibko. He was especially close with his sibmate, Marthe. Both were said to most resemble their matrilineal heritage of all their sibkin, though they were also said to have inherited their tall height and defiant posture from their genefather. The young Aidan was known to care for a Jade Falcon named Warhawk, with help from his sibparents. Reportedly, he and his sibko were once attacked by members of the Bandit Caste while out on an extended survival training expedition, some time in their tenth year. The young Aidan used a knife to brutally kill one of the bandits, after he witnessed the death of a beloved sibparent named Glynn. His fighting spirit would continue to burn bright throughout his life, sometimes contributing greatly to the troubles in which he often found himself, but also to his eventual status as a hero of the Jade Falcons.[4][7]

[edit] Trials of Position

Look around you and start praising the sibko. Once there were more than ninety of us. Now the others are gone, dead or assigned to nonwarrior castes.

--Aidan, regarding cadet training[8]

Aidan excelled as a cadet, driven as he was by the harsh instruction of Falconer Joanna. From the first day she saw him, she predicted he would test out fully as a MechWarrrior. But every day beyond, she would deny him praise, and do everything she could to break his spirit. The tenacity and confidence that he built up in the face of her sometimes brutal treatment (at times involving a Circle of Equals) would one day serve him well. From early on, his major weakness was apparent to his Falconers: young Aidan had a tendency to sometimes take mortifying risks, thus overreaching for his goals. This tendency came to the fore in his Trial of Position, which would have qualified him as a warrior. Attempting to create a chaotic situation that he could take advantage of by initiating a melee, Aidan attacked multiple targets early on in the engagement, causing extensive damage to several foes. But in opening up the Trial to the rules governing a melee, he did not take into account the actions of his sibmates. Marthe took advantage of the lifting of zellbrigen by targeting Aidan in a moment of opportunity. Before he could get his first kill qualifying him as a MechWarrior of the Clans, Aidan was forced to punch out, failing his Trial of Position, as Marthe went on to achieve two kills, qualifying her to enter the Clan Jade Falcon Touman at the rank of Star Commander.[9]

Aidan was demoted to the Technician caste, where he served no more than a month in his new Caste until fleeing his post. He later arrived on the Jade Falcon world of Tokasha, hiding with aid from Peri, another sibmate who had flushed out of warrior training at an earlier stage of cadet training. Peri was an apprentice in the scientist caste, and was able to help Aidan recover from a serious illness that he had contracted while on the run. The two shared a romantic interlude, renewing their closeness, and conceiving a child that Peri would keep secret from Aidan. The peace Aidan found at Tokasha was not destined to last long, as Joanna and a tech named Nomad (who was Aidan's superior as a member of the tech caste) arrived after a prolonged search, and brought him back to Ironhold. There, through the manipulations of Ter Roshak - the Falconer Commander in charge of not only Aidan's sibko training, but dozens of others - Aidan secretly assumed the identity of a dead freeborn cadet named Jorge. Under this identity, Aidan won his second Trial of Position alongside the freeborn, Horse, whom he had previously met a year earlier on one of the many Trial fields, whilst still in his trueborn sibko. Aidan was granted warrior status as a freeborn, which in the Clan caste structure, meant very little respect and constant harassment from his trueborn counterparts.[3][4][10]

[edit] Glory and the Bloodname

Living as a freeborn was not easy for Aidan. He was constantly in some form of disciplinary trouble, mostly due to his unwillingness to back down from the many haughty and arrogant trueborn challengers that he faced. While stationed on the planet Glory under the command of Star Colonel Kael Pershaw, he would be punished for killing a trueborn Clan officer named Star Commander Bast in a brawl. Later, during a battle with Clan Wolf at Glory Station, Aidan (as Jorge) was instrumental in the Jade Falcon's victory. Formulating the winning plan with inspiration drawn from a book of poetry that he possessed in his secret collection, Aidan's tactics worked to defeat the numerically superior Wolves of the 16th Battle Cluster, under the command of Star Captain Dwillt Radick.[3][4][11][12]

I am canister-born and sibko-bred, from the Mattlov-Pryde genetic line. My name is not Jorge; it is Aidan. Clan law permits me to compete for the Bloodname of Pryde, which was that of my genemother Tanya Pryde.

--Aidan, making his claim for a Bloodname[13]

After the battle, Aidan decided he could no longer live as a freeborn warrior. Word had reached him of the availability of a Pryde Bloodname, and Aidan brashly made his claim, casting aside his assumed identity as Jorge. A shocked and outraged Kael Pershaw ordered Aidan bound until a formal Trial before the Clan Council on Ironhold, along with Star Captain Joanna, whose Trinary had been transferred to Glory Station just prior to the battle with Clan Wolf. The Clan Council and Khan Elias Crichell eventually found Aidan and Ter Roshak guilty of Treason against the Clans, and stripped of all warrior status. Joanna's culpability was judged to be of a lesser extent, though she stubbornly chose to stand with Aidan and Roshak, accepting the full weight of the verdict. They went on to win the Trial of Refusal at stiff three to one odds, reversing the judgment of the Clan Council. Though many still felt he was a disgrace for having pretended to be a freeborn in order to become a warrior, Aidan was now an undisputed trueborn warrior of Clan Jade Falcon, having exonerated himself through victory.[4][14]

Aidan next participated in the Grand Melee for the final slot in the competition. He would face many warriors who reviled him for the taint that he brought to their Bloodname House, many having sworn an oath to not leave Aidan alive. Although he eventually won the Bloodname, most Jade Falcon warriors still regarded him with contempt at the improper way he had first won his warrior status, and felt that his tainted codex would only bring dishonour the Pryde Bloodline. Kael Pershaw (whose grudging respect Aidan had won by this point) would later mention his less-than-convincing win in the final round of the Bloodname competition as a probable reason for the disrespect many Jade Falcons felt for him.[3][4][15][16]

Insignia of the Jade Falcon Guards

[edit] Rebuilding the Falcon Guards

During the Clan Invasion of the Inner Sphere, Star Colonel Aidan Pryde held command of Nega Garrison Cluster. His duties mostly consisted of coordinating mop-up operations and pacifying newly conquered masses. Most unexpectedly, Kael Pershaw paid him a visit while on Quarell. Pershaw was by this point a representative of saKhan Vandervahn Chistu, and he was bearing important news; Aidan Pryde was to command a newly re-formed Falcon Guards, a recently disgraced unit that had been defeated at Twycross while under the command of Star Colonel Adler Malthus. This unit was considered dezgra and the replacements sent to rebuild the Guards were the misfits of the Clan. Aidan recruited his old instructor and nemesis, Joanna, to the unit. Through her harsh training style, she was able to whip the Falcon Guard warriors into fighting shape. Also among his new unit was a young MechWarrior Diana, Aidan's daughter, a secret unknown to him at the time.[4][17][18][19]

[edit] The Battle of Tukayyid

Dawn is here and there is still argument. Forget artillery cover. Forget how much personnel to assign. I am Star Colonel Aidan Pryde. I bid the Falcon Guard Cluster for the right to take both bridges!

--Star Colonel Aidan Pryde, addressing the war council on Tukayyid[20]

The Falcon Guards were bid into the fight for Tukayyid, gaining the Jade Falcons a more favorable target. There, Aidan rallied his Clan from their relative inaction to put up some fight against the Com Guards opposing them, first on Prezno Plain, then at Robbin's Crossing, where his Falcon Guards prominently in the fighting. At a war council held in the field, Aidan used the opportunity to bid for targets that other officers were still only arguing about, nearly causing a Trial of Grievance with Star Colonel Gran Newclay. SaKhan Chistu acknowledged Pryde's success, but still held him back for the moment. Aidan also reconnected with his sibmate, Marthe, who was now known as Star Colonel Marthe Pryde. Later during the fighting, Aidan and the Falcon Guards were allowed to break out. He quickly headed for the target city called Olalla, along with Marthe and her 2nd Falcon Jaegers, nearly seizing the objective for their Clan before being forced to turn back after destroying the Com Guards' 201st BattleMech Division and 77th Comstar Division.[3][4][21]

The Falcon Guards, also referred to as Pryde's Pride, had fought well for their Clan, but the trickery of the ComGuards and general un-Clanlike attitude of the other Jade Falcon warriors led to a need to withdraw, in order to escape total destruction. During the evacuation of Tukayyid, Aidan Pryde fought fiercely to hold off the crushing advance of the Com Guards, so that the surviving Clan Jade Falcon forces could withdraw to their DropShips. During the withdrawal, the secret that MechWarrior Diana was actually his daughter became known to him only after she was wounded and incapacitated near the entrance to the Dropship Raptor. He chose to stay behind until she could be rescued by an Elemental, Star Commander Selima. Realizing the advancing Com Guard 4th Army was too near for them to escape safely, Aidan never boarded the vessel, and instead concentrated on taking out as many Com Guard 'Mechs as he possibly could while his fellow Clanners made their escape from Tukayyid. All told, he took out over a company of Com Guard war machines, with some tactical aid and support from Kael Pershaw, orbiting far above the field of battle in a reconnaissance craft.[4][22][23]

[edit] Legacy

Aidan Pryde was posthumously honored for his outstanding bravery and skill when the Clan added his genes to the Jade Falcon Gene Center to be passed on to many future sibkos. Aidan was further honored when his genes were fast-tracked for immediate use in the creation of sibkos. His daughter Diana Pryde would later earn the Pryde Bloodname despite her freeborn status.[3][17][24][25]

The Battle of Tukayyid would later be remembered by all of the Crusader Clans as Tukayyid the Accursed due to the near-annihilation of the Clan way of life and is therefore rarely spoken about among the warrior caste.

Aidan's genetic legacy would also become secretly traded between certain Clans' scientist caste, as was evidenced when a copy of it was found to exist in the vaults of Clan Smoke Jaguar's Mt. Szabo genetic repository. Unauthorized sibkos produced solely from his genetic code (effectively clones) were also discovered to exist in 3060 by Scientist Peri (Watson).[26] [27]

[edit] Battlemechs

Aidan piloted a Summoner OmniMech for most of his life, including his original Trial of Position. Prior to the Battle of Tukayyid, however, his 'mech was destroyed and he was forced to fight on in a custom configuration Timber Wolf. In an odd twist of fate, he fought his most famous battle in the Timber Wolf, up until he met his death at the hands of the ComGuards, coincidentally, saving the life of his freeborn daughter, MechWarrior Diana, whose own 'Mech had been crippled during the Jade Falcon retreat from Tukayyid.[28]

[edit] Portrait Gallery

[edit] References

  1. Aidan Pryde's year of truebirth is a matter of some dispute. According to Shattered Sphere he was trueborn in 3010, while Field Manual: Crusader Clans gives the year as 3012. A good deal of supporting evidence can be found for the 3012 date, while nothing can be found to support the 3010 assertion. Therefore 3012 is more likely the correct date. A more detailed discussion can be found in the Classic BattleTech forums, with the research provided by site maintainer Patrick "Roosterboy" Wynne.
  2. Falcon Guard, p.[citation needed]
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 59 - "Star Colonel Aidan Pryde"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 Era Report: 3052, p. 82, 83 - "Aidan Pryde"
  5. Bloodname, chapter 17
  6. Falcon Guard, chapters 1 through 3
  7. Way of the Clans, chapters 1 through 4
  8. Way of the Clans, chapter 9
  9. Way of the Clans, chapters 4 through 22
  10. Way of the Clans, chapters 23 through 40
  11. Bloodname, chapters 1 through 4
  12. Bloodname, chapters 5 through 20
  13. Bloodname, chapter 21
  14. Bloodname, chapters 21 through 27
  15. Bloodname, chapters 28 through 35
  16. Falcon Guard, chapter 17
  17. 17.0 17.1 Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 92 - "Taking Wing: Operation Revival and Beyond"
  18. Way of the Clans, epilogue
  19. Falcon Guard, chapters 1 through 22
  20. Falcon Guard, chapter 26
  21. Falcon Guard, chapters 23 through 32
  22. Falcon Guard, chapters 33 through 37
  23. Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 31, 32 - "Battle of Tukayyid"
  24. Falcon Guard, epilogue
  25. Falcon Rising
  26. Freebirth, chapter 20 through 37
  27. Falcon Rising, chapters 2 and 3
  28. Falcon Guard, chapter 1

[edit] Bibliography