Echoes of Disgrace
|Echoes of Disgrace|
|Author||Steven Mohan Jr.|
|First published||15 September 2005|
|Era||Succession Wars era|
|Timeline|| 6 November 2797 (see Notes)|
29 June - 3 August 2825
|“||One last service now / The path is clear before me / My guilt it guides me||”|
Tai-i Junshi Ukawa is a senior officer among the DCMS forces assigned to carry out Coordinator Jinjiro Kurita's orders to "Kill them all" on Kentares IV. He's arrived in an isolated town in the Carmelite mountains where advance teams have already rounded up the populace and set them kneeling in three even rows to await their execution—men, women and children. Master Sergeant Kuzmin, a sadist who appears to be enjoying the massacre, hands Ukawa with a needler, reveling in Ukawa's discomfort.
Ukawa was pleased to do his duty to the Dragon in the fight against Davion soldiers, but his warrior's sense of honor is becoming increasingly damaged by killing helpless civilians. He almost wishes the townsfolk would rise up and try to escape or overwhelm their captors, so that his killings would be in a fight, rather than just executions. In his mind, he attempts to dehumanize the enemy, and proceeds with his duty mechanically.
Ukawa snaps as a young girl begs for him to spare her five-year old brother, throwing herself in front of his shot in an attempt to save his life. He orders his men to spare the children. Master Sergeant Kuzmin reminds him of Jinjiro's orders, and draws his weapon, intending to force Ukawa to continue the executions. Ukawa turns and shoots Kuzmin first, and is then tackled by the other men of the execution squad. He hears the sounds of the remaining townsfolk being gunned down, and knows that his gesture was both pointless and personally ruinous.
Twenty-seven years later, Ukawa is offered the opportunity to redeem himself; placed in command of a Chain Gang, a twelve-strong contingent of criminals in barely functional 'Mechs, Ukawa and his unit are sent on a raid against Scheat, with orders to destroy all of the important industrial or economic centers on the planet, beginning with a uranium mine and refining facility. Haunted by the past, Ukawa resolves to try and finish the mission, and finds a way to restore his own personal honor during the suicidal raid.
- The date given for this story is 6 November 2797. However, the Kentares Massacre ran from September 2796 to February 2797, suggesting the date is in error and should be November 2796.