For the Love of Blake

For the Love of Blake
Product information
Type Short story
Author Steven Mohan Jr.
Pages 12
Publication information
Publisher BattleCorps
First published 28 April 2007
Era Civil War era
Timeline 8 November 3067

For the Love of Blake is a short story by Steven Mohan Jr. that was published online on BattleCorps on 28 April 2007.

Teaser text[edit]

Adept Paula Tang grew up on Caph; the Word of Blake assigned her here, on garrison duty. Now she spends her nights patrolling the ruins of New Memphis, watching for the safety of Blake. All well and good, until a DropShip comes in. Not an invasion, but an extraction. Adept Tang does her duty, intercepts the spy—only to find out that she knows him...

Plot summary[edit]

On the night of the 8th of December 3067 Adept Epsilon IV Paula Tang is patrolling the edge of the Desolation Freefire Range on Caph in her HSR-400-D Hussar - a region once known as the city of New Memphis, before the Amaris Civil War saw the city become an abandoned radioactive wasteland - when she spots the beginning of the Geminid metor shower above her. The meteor shower was a regular event, occuring whenever Caph crossed the path of the great comet Quat-Briggen, and she's reminded of her childhood, where her family would gather together to watch the meteor shower.

A hovercar signals Paula with its lights before passing into the city, and she presumes that it's simply another archaeologist going in to work in the ruins, letting the car pass without inspection as she remembers the day the rest of her family left Caph without a word, with her brother going so far as to join ComStar. Paula is still musing about her family when she spots that one of the meteors is acting oddly, soon realising that it's actually a DropShip on approach to the area near her. Surmising based on attacks and raids within the Chaos March region by unmarked forces she is sure belong to ComStar, Paula surmises that ComStar must be attempting to extract a spy from Caph, and with her communications being jammed, elects to set off in pursuit, rather than risk the forty-minute round trip to get to her immediate superior and request assistance.

Within the ruins of Caph Paula's engaged by a Raptor OmniMech, and she engages in a duel of tactics and will as she attempts to keep track of the likely location of the spy without getting destroyed by the other 'Mech. Realising that the Raptor must have line of sight communications to the DropShip to be able to know when to withdraw, she places herself in a position where she can broadcast to the Raptor... and discovers that it's piloted by her brother, Bobby.

Bobby and Paula argue as they stalk each other through the ruined city, with Paula spotting his 'Mech first, and begins circling to put herself in a position to strike at it's thinner rear armour, even as she works out through their heated argument that the spy isn't just any spy - it's the Intelligence Officer from her own unit. When Paula ambushes the Raptor, she manages to disable it by damaging or destroying its gyro, but finds herself faced with a difficult choice; the Raptor is buried in the remains of a collapsing building, whilst the spy is making for the ComStar DropShip Free Will.

Paula hesitates, nearly deciding to rescue her brother, but instead sprints after the spy... only to find that it's too late, as the DropShip lifts off. When a search party led by Demi-Precentor Kepner finds her the next morning, she's sitting outside her 'Mech on a pile of bricks next to the remains of her brother's Raptor, despite the high radiation levels throughout the city. When challenged over the remains of the Raptor, she declares openly that it was her brother, and is led off by the other Blakists in a Demon. Her last action before leaving the site is to spit on her brother's fallen 'Mech, and declare that he and the rest of her family were right not to tell Paula they were leaving - and she decides that she wants to live, so that she can continue the work of Blake.

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