Be Not Afraid of Greatness

Be Not Afraid of Greatness
Product information
Type Short story
Author Phaedra M. Weldon
Pages 21
Interior artwork Brad McDevitt
Publication information
Publisher BattleCorps
First published 17 November 2004
Era Succession Wars era
Timeline 2 April 3039

Be Not Afraid of Greatness is a short story by Phaedra M. Weldon that was published online on BattleCorps on 17 November 2004. It was also published in print in the second BattleCorps print anthology, First Strike, in 2010.

Teaser text[edit]

Before the War of 3039, Hanse Davion and his generals planned their operation down to the most insignificant detail. Or so they had hoped. But for a twist of fate, those documents could have fallen into the wrong hands. Read Phaedra Weldon's story, about the Patriot Thief.

Plot summary[edit]

On the Federated Suns world of Robinson, Teagan and her brother Joss have formed a gang together with her lover Lee and Mick Wu. They steal cars, cannibalize them and sell the parts. On 2 April 3039 she snatches an Avanti sedan groundcar when the officer driving it briefly enters a store, with Joss in his taxi covering her. To their dismay, the theft results in roadblocks, the closing-down of all spaceports on Robinson and the world's hyperpulse generator going off-line because of alleged technical problems. Enroute to the garage where Lee and Mick are to disassemble the car, Teagan encounters roadblocks manned jointly by police and military personnel and it dawns on her that the stolen car must be very important.

Warned by Joss that the theft caused a buzz and to avoid roadblocks, Teagan drives to a motel suite instead of the workshop to inspect the car. A briefcase in the trunk contains a computer that turns out to contain top-secret files. With some military experience from her father, a MechWarrior who was killed in the Fourth Succession War, Teagan identifies the files as the detailed attack plans, timetables and force dispositions for the War of 3039 that she learns is to be launched in two weeks through Operation STURMHAMMER and Operation WINTERSCHNEE. She realizes that she and her associates will invariably be accused of espionage and treason.

When she returns to the motel room after shopping, Lee and Mick have arrived. It turns out that Mick betrayed the group and intends to sell the car's obviously important content to foreign agents. He killed Joss to learn the motel's address, holds Lee captive and demands Teagan at gunpoint to reveal the location of whatever the car contained.

Teagan shoots Mick with a gun from the briefcase and escapes with Lee. Knowing that war is looming, they decide to bury Joss' body, cover their tracks, and flee off-world to Mallory's World; Teagan considers joining a technical school to put her tech skills to good use. The briefcase is put back into the car, with a note saying that the "patriotic thief" did not copy or pass on the information contained in the computer, and Lee phones in a tip where the car can be found.


  • The theft and actions of the "Patriotic Thief" would be briefly retold, from the FedSun government perspective, in Historical: War of 3039.[1]
  1. Historical: War of 3039, p. 13 "How Things Came to Pass - The War of 3039 - Allied Preparations - Thieves and Patriots"