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It is almost certain that "Jennifer Winson" is not her real name, though this is not known generally within the BattleTech universe. Unreliable leads, evidence and rumors can be gleaned from several BattleTech sourcebooks that strongly suggest she was "Jessica Cole" (also Jes, Jez or Jill), the foster child of Megan Cole, among other identities she used over time. Megan Cole's foster child may in turn have been Amanda Cameron, the daughter of Richard Cameron's younger sister Helena; highly unreliable comments from Stefan Amaris even hint that Richard Cameron may have sexually abused his sisters, suggesting "Jennifer Winson" may be an incest child by the last of House Cameron.
Not very much is known about Jennifer Winson, due to a lack of records, as well as the mass of redacted information in the wake of the annihilation of the Not-Named Clan.
She was said to be the younger sister of Jerome Winson, the founding Khan of Clan Wolf, though no record of her exists in the Inner Sphere. A child during the Exodus, she would train to become a MechWarrior and served in Nicholas Kerensky's division before the rebellion of the Pentagon Worlds and the death of Aleksandr Kerensky, which led to the subsequent Second Exodus to the Kerensky Cluster.
The Clans and Operation Klondike
Jennifer Winson would go on to marry Nicholas Kerensky on Strana Mechty some time in the years prior to Operation Klondike, in spite of what has been described as a tempestuous relationship. As the wife of the ilKhan, she would be invaluable as his most trusted confidant. She would also act as his liaison to the many different personalities and egos that would go on to become the Khans of the nascent Clans.
She would also play a key role in planning Operation Klondike, and was one of the sounding boards for the ilKhan's ideas. During the campaign to reclaim the Pentagon Worlds, it is assumed that she was part of Nicholas Kerensky's command staff, as there were very few records of her actual involvement with the fighting on the ground.
The fate of Jennifer Winson is a mystery equal to her origins. In the wake of the Clan Wolverine treachery, and the massive effort to redact all records pertaining to the Not-Named Clan, much information was obfuscated and lost to public record regarding Jennifer Winson herself. Some would speculate that this was done purposefully by ilKhan Kerensky, and likely also his successor as ilKhan, Jerome Winson. There exists no explanation for why this would have been done. All of this this, of course, leads to even more rampant speculation. Some have even suggested that perhaps the name Jennifer Winson was assumed, and that her actual origins were as a daughter of House Cameron, or House Amaris, depending on who is spinning the tale.
Following Nicholas Kerensky's proclamation that he was ilKhan on the 9th of June 2815, Andery Kerensky had a private meeting with Jennifer Winson. During that meeting, Jennifer admitted to Andery that she had undergone plastic surgery, and that she had previously been Jess Cole, a woman who Andery had encountered several times acting as a clandestine agent for Nicholas in events such as the Prinz Eugen Mutiny. Jennifer was already a devoted follower of Nicholas by this point, someone who shared his ideals and vision of future Clan society, and claimed during the meeting to have not only served Nicholas as a loyal soldier since the occupation of Terra and to having worn so many masks that one more mask - Jennifer Winson - made no difference.
On the 17th of June 2785 aboard the McKenna-class battleship SLS McKenna's Pride, partway through the Exodus, Jes Cole approached Andery and persuaded him to attend a meeting aboard the Potemkin-class cruiser SLS Hermes, ostensibly to hear the concerns of civilians who wanted to know where Alexander Kerensky was leading those on who had followed him on the Exodus. Jes was already on amiable terms with Andery, who knew her as Major Jes Cole, an infantry officer of some experience (Andery being a cadet at this point in time).
At this point, Jes was described as being extremely fit - something Andery believed to be a consequence of her infantry training - and possessed of sea green eyes and hair like "liquid fire" that Jes referred to as "sorta red". Jes accused Andery of selling himself short over his reluctance to go, and deflected his suggestions that Alexander or Nicholas attend by arguing that the civilians held Alexander in too much reverence to speak openly, while Nicholas "weirds people out" and would be an intimidating presence.
Andery agreed to attend the meeting on the 27th of June, despite a conversation with Nicholas on the 23rd where Nicholas argued with him over the meeting, claiming that those attending were traitors and demanding to know if Andery "had turned". When Andery attended the meeting on the 27th, initially accompanied by Windham Khatib and Jes Cole he learned of how difficult conditions were for the civilians on ships like the Hermes in comparison to conditions aboard the McKenna's Pride but realised too late that his presence had been orchestrated to add legitimacy to a coup or mutiny involving at least one senior officer, Admiral Robert Nicholls. As Andery realised what was happening and attempted to leave along with Katib, he realised that he had been betrayed by Jes Cole, but was unable to leave before Nicholls used Andery's presence to add legitimacy to his position.
Andery next saw Jes Cole on the 31st of October 2785, again aboard the McKenna's Pride; he subsequently learned from Nicholas that Nicholas had known Jes since the occupation of Terra, but that Jes had withheld that information from Andery at Nicholas' instruction. Nicholas had confirmed that he had manipulated Andery through Jes to set in motion the events leading up to the Prinz Eugen Mutiny for the express purpose of catalysing a rebellion he saw as inevitable, but in a time and fashion that would allow him to secure control over the Exodus fleet under his father's command.
History finds Jennifer Winson in the role of Mother of the Clans. As the wife of ilKhan Nicholas Kerensky, she was a sounding board and a confidant, as well as his lover, putting her in a place of influence unrivaled in all of the Clans--except for perhaps his brother, Andery Kerensky. As such, her influence was able to reach all facets of nascent Clan society.
An intelligent and charismatic individual, she would work to smooth over differences and promote Kerensky's new ideas to all of the other Khans, making her crucial to the formation of a society that has lasted for over 300 years.
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 107, "Jennifer Winson Profile"
- Placeholder reference: This thread and this thread on the BattleTech forum
- Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 12, "Origins"
- Clangründer: Traum (novel)
- Fall From Glory, part 1, p. 17-23
- Fall From Glory, part 1, p. 27-29
- Fall From Glory, part 1, p. 32-35
- Fall From Glory, part 1, p. 36-39
- Fall From Glory, part 2, p. 16-20
- Historical: Operation Klondike, pp. 90-91, "The Power Behind the Throne"
- The Wars of Reaving, pp. 163, 164, 165, "Founder's Future, Clan Coyote"