Broken Sword, Wounded Dragon
|Broken Sword, Wounded Dragon|
|First published||31 December 2008|
|Era||Succession Wars era|
|Timeline||22-28 August 2796 (see Notes)|
|“||From first time BattleCorps author Edward McEneely: The Draconis Combine’s massacre of the civilians of Kentares IV in the First Succession War is remembered as the most horrifying atrocity since Man left Terra a thousand years ago. It’s in every history book, and almost every denizen of the Inner Sphere knows the name... but even across 52 million deaths, there were those who fought their own personal battles.||”|
Tai-sa Tokutaka Ito commands a Rasalhague Regulars infantry detachment, sweeping a farming district for any survivors. He notes the wear and tear the extermination effort is placing on both men and equipment—the general issue swords are losing their edges and breaking, while suicides are on the rise. In addition to ground sweeps, the DCMS is utilizing satellite imagery and recon aircraft. On August 26th, his unit uncovers a cave that had sheltered hundreds of civilian survivors, gunning them down as they make a last, desperate charge. Despite receiving a congratulatory haiku from the Coordinator, Tokutaka is worried that some of his soldiers have begun asking atonement from their enemies, or going mad.
Within Tokutaka’s operational area, Father Connolly attempts to carry on the work of the Church of St. Augustine on Kentares IV. Rumors of horrible massacres taking place elsewhere on the planet have reached his ears, and large numbers of Catholic Rasalhagians have come to him seeking absolution for their sins. It is for this sole purpose (in the interests of troop morale and combat effectiveness) that Tokutaka has allowed him to live. Unbeknownst to the DCMS, a handful of Kentarean survivors and an AFFS MechWarrior (Leftenant Smalls, a former Javelin pilot with the 7th Crucis Lancers who was left behind when she was shot out of her 'Mech fighting a rearguard action during the retreat offworld) are hiding in the crypts under Father Connolly's church.
Tokutaka returns to Father Connelly's church and accuses him of having poisoned the minds of his soldiers by driving them mad with guilt and preventing them from doing their duty as samurai. Pushed too far, Connelly tells Tokutaka that God knows that they are sinning, and that duty to God overrides duty to any officer, king, or other man. During the argument, Tokutaka discovers the entrance to the crypts and fires through the trapdoor, exchanging fire with Lt. Smalls. The Kuritan loses an ear, but kills the AFFS trooper.
Connelly kneels by her corpse to grant absolution. Tokutaka comments that she died honorably, in battle, as a soldier should, and demands to know if there are others. Connelly, having palmed Smalls' pistol, informs Tokutaka that he'll never know.
- According to Handbook: House Davion, Coordinator Minoru Kurita died on 9 August 2796, and his son Jinjiro Kurita ordered the massacre on 11 September 2796. The massacre ran for five months, through February 15, 2797. House Kurita (The Draconis Combine) notes that it was in the second month of the massacre that military discipline began to waver. Thus, the date for this story should probably be October 22-28, rather than the dates given (August 22-28), which would have the massacre taking place before Jinjiro ordered it. Of course, hard facts for the massacre have been somewhat loose since the beginning. The Wasp entry in Technical Readout: 3025 says that the massacre started in April 2796, and the Javelin entry says that it was the 2nd Crucis Lancers fighting on Kentares in March 2796, rather than the 7th. Most likely, the author based his story date on the April-September 2796 timeframe implied in the Wasp entry or the vague "late summer" reference in the House Kurita sourcebook.