|Type||Novelette/Serial (4 parts)|
|Author||Loren L. Coleman|
|Interior artwork||Matthew Plog|
|First published||July 2003-February 2004|
|Era||Star League era|
|Followed by||Destiny's Challenge|
Destiny's Call is a story written by Loren L. Coleman and published on BattleCorps between July 2003 and February 2004 as a 4-part serial. The entire story was published again in print in the first BattleCorps anthology, The Corps, which also contains a short sequel story (amounting to a fifth part) called Destiny's Challenge.
The first two parts of this serial were made available for free before the BattleCorps site went live. They are no longer available for free and must now be purchased, like other back fiction.
Prodigy Alek is a brilliant student of history and political science at Tharkad University. He has a habit of quoting "dead Russians" (and other famous people), especially in witty banter with his friend Michael Steiner II, the ruling Archon's younger brother and a research assistant and celebrity professor at Tharkad University. Alek has very few friends; his brilliance is perceived as haughtiness by the other students. Especially one group centered around Elias Luvon is bullying Alek (who hails from Terra) because of their hurt Lyran pride, including repeated physical assaults. For lack of witnesses and because Alek, who makes a point of not fighting back, refuses to name his assailants (and also because Elias Luvon's father makes generous donations to the university), the Dean is unable to do anything about the situation despite being aware of it.
One day Alek is confronted by one Colonel Baumgarten of the 11th Royal BattleMech Division, the CO of the SLDF's prestigious Nagelring academy. Baumgarten offers Alek a place at the Nagelring. As it turns out, his many stays at the hospital (because of various assaults on his person) and the tests and examinations that came with them revealed that Alek's nervous system is highly responsive, perfect for a MechWarrior candidate. When Alek declines the offer, Elias Luvon, who himself aspires to become a SLDF MechWarrior above all else, feels particularly insulted by this and escalates the bullying.
Things get worse when Gabriella Bailey turns down Elias Luvon and asks Alek instead to go to the spring reception, an important social event, with her. A noteputer (his own) is subsequently placed under Alek's desk and beeps an alert of low battery status during prelim exams, prompting an academic review to determine if Alek's superior performance is due to cheating. However, Alek ends up turning the tables and lecturing his reviewer, Professor Kleppinger. The hearing culminates in a debate about the bottle thrown at the First Lord by Leonard Kurita and the role that a bodyguard played in the incident whose name is only given as "Tanya".
At the spring reception, Alek is attacked once more by Elias Luvon and his cronies while one of them, Patrick Ward, holds Gabriella. When Luvon threatens to spread rumors that Alek had sexually assaulted Gabrielle (and that nobody would believe her denials), Alek snaps. Despite the severe bruising and a broken rib he has already suffered, he attacks the surprised Luvon, who falls and is impaled on a broken piece of his own ceremonial saber.
The shock of nearly having killed Elias Luvon weights heavily on Alek, and he and Gabriella drift apart. Following the incident, Elias Luvon and two of his friends are expelled from the Nagelring; only Patrick Ward gave a honest testimony before the Honor Board and was not expelled, but put on probation. Alek decides he needs to properly learn to defend himself (because he lost control and almost killed somebody), and applies to the Nagelring after all. Upon enlisting, his full name is spelled out for the first time in the story and Alek is revealed to be none other than Aleksandr Kerensky.
- published July 2003
|“||Loren L. Coleman brings us our first adventure set in the Star League era. When a new student comes to Tharkad University, how far will a group of Nagelring cadets go to show Lyran superiority? How much can one young man take?||”|
- published September 2003
|“||Complications come in all forms. With Aleks still reeling from his latest run-in with Cadet Ward, all it takes is one more misstep to land him in hack with the Nagelring crowd. Story by Loren Coleman.||”|
- published January 2004
|“||by Loren L. Coleman. Aleks draws a line in the sand. But not all battles are won with pretty words or the fairest argument. Not when it comes to Nagelring "honor."||”|
- published February 2004
|“||The conclusion of Loren Coleman's Star League tale. How will Aleks fare? What is his ultimate decision? Enjoy this gripping conclusion!||”|
- The Destiny's Call story has other characters consistently referring to Aleksandr Kerensky as "Alek". In Russian, the nickname for Aleksandr is actually "Sascha"; it hasn't been commented on if the use of "Alek" as a nickname instead is an intentional plot point or an error.