|Cover artwork||Karsten Schreurs|
|Publisher||Ulisses Spiele GmbH|
|First published||10 June 2014|
|MSRP||11,95 € (print)|
|Era||Succession Wars era|
|Timeline||13 September 3029-14 April 3031|
|Series||Classic BattleTech Novels|
Andurien-Kriege 3: Gier ("Andurien Wars 3: Greed" or "Avarice"), by Bernard Craw, is the 25th of the German-language Classic BattleTech Novels, published by Ulisses Spiele after they took over the line from FanPro. It was published in print and as an Ebook on 10 June 2014.
Written in German and exclusively published in that language so far, Gier does not meet the current criteria for Canon in the BattleTech universe. As an official product published under a valid license, it should be regarded as apocryphal.
From the back cover (translated from German)
|“||The invasion fleets from the Magistracy of Canopus descend on the Capellan Confederation at the same time as those from the Duchy of Andurien. A marriage between Emma Centrella, Magestrix Kyalla Centrella's only daughter, and Richard Humphreys, youngest son of Duchess Catherine, would be an ideal match to strengthen the alliance between the two interstellar realms. However, both Emma and Richard have a mind of their own. Amidst the laser flashes of aerospace fighters and the thundering guns of BattleMechs they fight for their freedom. Yet personal dreams count for little when lords order their troops to battle...||”|
Richard Humphreys, recalled from exile by his mother to marry Emma Centrella, daughter to the Magestrix of the Magistracy of Canopus, arrives in the Canopus system aboard the JumpShip Rana on 13 September 3029. He immediately becomes something of a hero during a JumpShip collision accident where his cool, level-headed handling of the situation saves countless lives (including his own).
Emma is well impressed with her fiancé, whose calm, reserved and gentlemanly manner is very unlike the typical Canopian behaviour. They spend a wild night together following the reception party.
However, Richard is very straightforward about the fact that he will never love Emma, and intends to reunite with the love of his life, Elala Cisne. (Elala got pregnant with their daughter when they were both still very young. They sought an illegal abortion but were found out; Dame Humphreys banished them into exile separately and now raises her grandchild Dalma Humphreys like her own child.) Emma finds herself drawn to Richard and hurt by what she perceives as being rejected. She embarks on maneuvers with the Ramilie's Raiders mercenary unit and has a tryst with Nicolas Ramilie, a smart, tough and aggressive MechWarrior who will one day inherit command of the invaluable mercenary unit from his father.
Emma and Richard form a bond over their feeling that both of their lives are overshadowed by their respective mothers. Unwilling to be forced into a purely political marriage, they engineer a scandal where Richard is "accidentially" caught red-handed by Emma (and several reporter teams with cameras) kissing a girl from her entourage. A derogatory comment directed at Emma leads Nicolas, who is not in on the act, to punch Richard in response. Richard leaves with the pre-arranged statement that he shall leave on the next JumpShip.
The failed engagement causes a rift between Emma and her mother, the Magestrix Kyalla Centrella, to widen. Emma, now a Force Major, is sent into de-facto exile on the distant protectorate colony world of Detroit with her battalion of the 2nd Canopian Cuirassiers. Much to her distaste, the Magistracy is supporting a brutal local king there to gain a foothold on the valuable planet which is also wooed by the Capellan Confederation. Nicolas is later also posted to Detroit, and they take up their affair.
A year later, in September 3030, the 2nd Cuirassiers are ordered on extensive maneuvers. Aboard the DropShip, a saboteur's bomb—planted into a leg of Nicolas' Hammerhands by a technician—ruptures a vacuum tunnel and nearly kills Nicolas. After being saved by Emma, he shoots the saboteur's knee with his sidearm, almost amputating the leg. Emma is called away to the command center on the JumpShip where a recorded message from her mother informs her that the Magistracy is attacking the Capellan Confederation together with the Duchy of Andurien; the maneuvers were actually a mobilisation.
The 2nd Cuirassiers are ordered to take the Capellan ocean world of Repulse. During underwater fighting there, Emma finds herself in a situation where she could destroy amphibious enemy vehicles with potentially important spare parts just before a defending submarine would arrive. To destroy the supplies would mean to risk the likely death of nearby Canopian prisoners in an unprotected amphibious vehicle in the process. Somehow thinking of Richard, she finds that she cannot bring herself to sacrifice the prisoners' lives (as Richard, unlike Canopians, always values life higher than material goods) and returns to the icy shore without destroying the supplies. Back on land she learns that Nicolas, always concerned about salvage, has no qualms about shooting enemy MechWarriors who surrendered, or leaving them to die in the cold because their ransom would not be worth the effort.
Richard, meanwhile, garnered a reputation as something of a playboy following the events on Canopus, though in truth it is only a masquerade for him. His exile ended, he represents House Humphreys at events such as the inauguration ceremony of a Branth breeding station on Lopez. Secretly, he continues his quest to find Elala and enlists the help of his younger sister Louise Humphreys. Through her he learns that Elala became a music reporter in the Capellan Andarmax system. Richard is still on Lopez when Andurien declares its independence, and as a member of the ducal family he is instrumental in securing ComStar's cooperation and leading the planetary government through the transition. He also joins a Branth ride by a commando team to a SAFE data storage installation in the jungles. The installation must be taken in close-quarters infantry combat, and in conversation with a wounded private Richard begins to understand for the first time his mother's ideas about the mutual bond of duty between House Humphreys and their subjects.
Data from the SAFE facility on Lopez brings Richard to Sadurni where he hires Tiun Kuan to go to Andarmax and find Elala for him. When he learns that Andarmax is among the invasion targets designated for the Magistracy of Canopus, he sends Emma, who owns a collection of fans, a fan and a handwritten letter asking her to request him as liaison for the Canopian forces bound for Andarmax to further his quest. Emma, who had no contact with Richard since he left Canopus IV, is touched to tears. At the last minute she joins Nicolas, who is headed for Andarmax on a liaison assignment with the Killer Bees as part of his mercenary officer training.
Subcommander Ixo Lin, whose Thrush was destroyed in the Canopian attack on Repulse, has been brought to his home, Andarmax, a gas giant with numerous inhabited moons. Initially hailed as a war hero simply for having survived, a series of chance events soon puts him in the position of both the local leader of the Worm Cult, and the system's elected Refrector (while the planetary Diem kills himself in the face of the unstoppable Canopian onslaught). Lin puts up some token resistance in a dilapiated Thrush that is downed by Emma's Grasshopper and is rescued by her from the forest fire caused by the crash. He harbors no illusions about the military situation and surrenders the system on 17 December 3030. Emma immediately sends a message to Richard, who travels to Andarmax with his bodyguards Anastasia and Loraine (usually posing as consorts to uphold his playboy image), and they hold a private New Year's Eve celebration at a mining station in the gas giant's atmosphere. Alone in a party lounge with a spectacular view of the gas giant, Emma and Richard raise their glasses to the new year. When they hug, tears well up in Emma.
With Tiun Kuan's help, Richard learns that Elala, now calling herself Alela, was last researching into the Worm cult, and has not been heard from in three months. Emma, still hoping for more than friendship, tells him that she cannot fight a ghost and that Richard must find Elala to overcome his possession. Her relationship with Nicolas grows colder. With the backing of the Canopian occupation Richard delves deep into the cult and Capellan culture to find Elala, and eventually accepts an injection of Niomede Worm silicates that causes a seizure. He is hospitalized. Emma and Anastasia form a friendship and jointly care for Richard who, following the seizure, becomes increasingly withdrawn and prepares to become a Capellan and a Worm cult member in earnest. Although Richard and Emma have sex once more, he remains focused on Elala, much to Emma's frustration.
Ixo Lin (in his role as local cult leader) finally arranges a meeting between Richard and Elala. It turns out that Elala, after a decade in exile, has turned her back on Andurien and has embraced Capellan citizenship; she is also married to a big Capellan who is so overweight that Richard thinks of him as a fat buddha statue. Elala rejects Richard and calls their daughter a "mistake".
Richard subsequently eludes his bodyguards and vanishes. Nicolas, who began an affair with Anastasia out of spite over Emma's care for Richard, flat out blackmails Emma into marrying him with BattleROM footage from her underwater fight on Repulse and her costly actions in support of Richard. He also informs her that he tipped Ixo Lin off to Richard's true identity. The cultists are taking Richard with them to the Diamond, a JumpShip bound for Principia. Emma informs Anastasia of her charge's situation, and together with Loraine they make for the jump point to confront the cultists aboard their DropShip. When they face Lin and the cultists and demand Richard's return, Elala opens fire with a gun and mortally wounds Anastasia. Emma and Loraine overpower the cultists and rescue a drugged and indifferent Richard, returning him to a hospital on the Andarmax moon of Heinlein.
On 22 March 3031 Emma visits Richard in the hospital one last time, informing him of the deaths of both Anastasia and his sister Mildred Humphreys (who was assassinated leading Andurien troops on Grand Base). Richard has to return to the Duchy of Andurien, and Emma offers to send Elala with him. But since Elala wants to return to the Confederation with her husband, Richard asks Emma to let them go. Emma offers to return the fan, but Richard asks her to keep it to "remember an old friend". (The epigraph preceding this chapter quotes Emma Centrella as Magestrix in 3068, reminiscing about how Andarmax played a defining role in her decision to push medical science ahead in the Magistracy because, although the system was largely spared the horrors of war, she witnessed a special person suffer there. She would not say who it was.)
In the epilogue, Emma joins the fighting on Drozan in the ongoing war, reflecting on the lessons she learned. She decides to marry Nicolas out of responsibility to her nation, to tie his valuable unit to her service and also because he offers her a degree of stability in her life. She also decides to learn what she can from her mother and become a yet better Magestrix in her time, with special attention to education and medicine, a thought somehow tied to Richard's fan.
- Emma Centrella
- Kyalla Centrella
- Elala Cisne
- Catherine Humphreys
- Richard Humphreys
- Ixo Lin
- Nicolas Ramilie
- N888712-329 system (uninhabited star system in Capellan space, one jump between Detroit and Repulse)
- Phoenix Hawk
- unnamed AgroMechs with cattle prods and lasso throwers, imported to Sadurni from Galisteo
- unspecified amphibious cargo vehicles
- unspecified miniature attack submarine
- unspecified 100-ton attack submarine
- Monarch (Baroness)
- unspecified gas tanker DropShip, apparently spheroid and heavily modified with bolted-on cargo, "resembling a pineapple with some parts cut out"
- The cover depicts Emma spinning through the hangar in the aftermath of the bomb explosion aboard the DropShip.