Jerome Blake

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Jerome Blake

Jerome Blake (b. January 11th 2739 – d. May 15th 2819), known as the 'Blessed Founder' or 'Blessed Blake' by his followers, founded ComStar and seized control of Terra in its name in 2788, in the interests of preserving Star League technology and maintaining neutral communications for the Inner Sphere. [1][2][3]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Blake was born in Galesburg, a small town in North America. Very early, the child prodigy expressed an interest in engineering and subsequently became a loner of sorts, a social introvert as he spent much of his time studying. Ultimately coming to the decision to specialize in hyperpulse mathematics and physics, Blake graduated from the University of Lambrecht when he was only 16 years old. Blake would eventually join HPG personnel provider Starlight Broadcasting Ltd. and would be placed on permanent assignment to the Star League's Department of Communications. Immediately prior to the Amaris Coup, Blake had risen to the post of lead operations officer for the Class A station on the Terran Hegemony world of Oliver.[2]

The Star League's lead technician[edit]

In 2766, Blake was in the Free Worlds League on holiday as Stefan Amaris launched his coup against the Star League, luckily avoiding capture by Amaris forces. Afterwards, as the highest ranking technician of the few qualified technicians left, he volunteered to the Star League Defense Force to assist them, General Aleksandr Kerensky assigning Blake and his handful of technicians underneath him to devise a method for utilizing the remaining Class B HPG stations of the Inner Sphere not under Amaris' control. [2] During the SLDF's Rim Worlds campaign, he established a makeshift Prime Circuit using the HPGs that Amaris did not control, and these became the main method of communication for the SLDF and the Great Houses.[4]

During Kerensky's campaign approaching Terra, Blake volunteered his technicians and himself to lead the teams that reestablished communications in recaptured HPG stations, which allowed the SLDF to manage their forces more easily during the offensives. This was not without risk: during the recapture of the Dieron HPG station, Amaris' forces broke through the SLDF lines and fired on the station, killing three technicians, while Blake received a serious wound to the head. His cognitive ability was not impaired, but in his later life he would lapse into short comas, presumably due to these injuries. Showing his respect for Blake, Kerensky had him treated aboard the McKenna's Pride, the flagship of the SLDF.[4]

Founding of ComStar[edit]

After the liberation of Terra and the defeat of Amaris forces, Blake concentrated again on the task of restoring general communications in the Inner Sphere. With the Unity City HPG virtually a complete loss, Blake restarted construction of the larger Hilton Head HPG complex, which had been overlooked by Amaris forces, due to the fact that the construction effort had been abandoned, and the materials carefully concealed, when the coup began. The Hilton Head complex would turn Terra into the true center of the HPG network once again.[5]

On the back of his skill and reputation for integrity, on October 10, 2780, Nicoletta Calderon nominated him for the position of Minister of Communications of the Star League, Blake himself was totally unaware he had been nominated, overseeing the installation of Hilton Head's primary fusion reactor at the time. It was quickly agreed upon by the High Council. Subsequently, General Kerensky was stripped of his title as Protector of the Realm, and the House leaders dissolved the High Council.[5] [6]

While he attempted to focus purely on restoring the HPG network, as the only Minister of the Star League, Blake soon found himself the de-facto leader of the reconstruction efforts for the entire Terran Hegemony. With the Department of Communications increasingly pushed into the role of the informal government of the shattered Hegemony, Blake would continually and fruitlessly press the Council Lords to name a formal successor, the House Lords too busy preparing for war and directing Blake to just do what he saw fit. [5] [7]

The utter collapse of the Terran Hegemony and the Star League seemed assured when Aleksandr Kerensky met privately with Blake after the formal completion of the Hilton Head facility in late 2783 and confided his plan for Operation Exodus. While Blake's attempts to sway Kerensky into staying failed, he was able to convince the former general to ask some of those troops who declined to join Operation Exodus to assist the Department's reconstruction efforts, Kerensky able to persuade some seventeen divisions and fourteen independent regiments to aid Blake. [7] [8] [9]

Holding back these troops as a last resort, Blake continued to focus on the reconstruction of the HPG network, most notably achieving the re-establishment of HPG's First Circuit on New Earth, Barnard, Alpha C, Bryant, Procyon and Dieron three days after the Exodus. Quickly forming a decision-making council for the Department made up of the chief administrators of those HPGs, among the first things the First Circuit agreed upon was Conrad Toyama of the Dieron station suggestion to rename the organisation ComStar. The renamed ComStar would continue to rebuild Terra and the shattered worlds of the Hegemony along with the HPG network for the next two years. But despite Blake's amazing efforts, the growing storm-clouds of war hung over all ComStar had achieved, his deepest fear that the House Lords' lust for power would destroy everything he'd spent so long rebuilding. [8]

Operation Silver Shield[edit]

Giving increasing thought how to protect Terra and the HPG network, in a secret meeting with the First Circuit in the winter of 2786, Blake outlined Operation Silver Shield. Blake's daring plan had three key parts: persuading the leaders of the Great Houses to agree to the neutrality of ComStar, its facilities and personnel; formalising the ComStar Letter of Credit as a common currency for exchange with all Great Houses for ComStar's services and finally seizing Terra and as many of the surrounding worlds of the Hegemony in the name of ComStar. The audacity of Blake's plan shocked the First Circuit, the members of the body quickly becoming divided between militant members who felt it didn't go far enough and those who hoped that a chance for peace remained. Ultimately Blake persuaded all members of the highly sceptical body to back his plan if his negotiations with House Lords to secure ComStar's neutrality proved successful. [8] [10]

Showing a high degree of diplomatic tact as well as a willingness to bend the truth to serve his case, Blake made a historic tour of the Inner Sphere in 2787, convincing each House Lord in turn to sign the Communications Protocol of 2787, claiming that theirs was the last signature and that all others had already agreed. Amazed by his success, the First Circuit now enthusiastically offered their full support to the remainder of Silver Shield. Unfortunately by the time Blake had returned to Terra, open warfare had already begun to break-out, forcing him to revise the third military portion of Silver Shield, focusing on the capture of Terra alone and stripping the surrounding worlds of all useful material and resources ahead of the House Lords. [7] [8] [9] [10]

On 25 June 2788, 00:600 TST, ComStar shut down all HPG transmitters. General Lauren Hayes's eight divisions (masquerading as mercenaries supposedly hired by Blake) successfully defeated the House and former SLDF units which opposed Blake's suddenly militant response. After 72 hours, the HPG network resumed transmission, broadcasting scenes of the military takeover of Terra, the entire operation filmed and documented per the order of Blake and the First Circuit. The footage intended to impress upon the House Lords the high cost to challenge ComStar's ownership of Terra, Blake would also transmit a short message to the entire Inner Sphere:[8] [9]

People of the former Star League. I am Jerome Blake, Prime Administrator of ComStar. As of now, 0900 hours Terran Standard Time, military forces under my direct command have seized control of the Sol star system. ComStar is now officially in control of Terra and all former Star League facilities remaining in the system. From this time forward, I proclaim Terra and the entire Sol system as neutral under the protection of ComStar, under the terms and conditions of the Communications Protocol of 2787. As the previous broadcast has made clear, ComStar has sufficient military force to defend the homeworld of mankind from any aggressor.

Our goals are peaceful. We seek the unity and prosperity of mankind. This action was taken to save life in the devastating war that is unfolding. ComStar will continue to offer its communications services to all member states, as long as the Sol system and our neutrality are honored.

Jerome Blake, 28 June 2788[11] [12][13]

Mercenary Review Board[edit]

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Creation of ROM[edit]

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Death and Legacy[edit]

Another example of the wild expansion of Blake's legend in the years following his death was the persistent though questionable rumor he was apparently also a MechWarrior, supposedly piloting an Ostroc during Operation SILVER SHIELD. [14]

Philosophical and/or political views[edit]

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Quotes[edit]

The Council Lords have left Terra without agreeing on who shall lead the Star League. It seems they could only agree on my appointment as Minister of Communications... They will go to war, and soon. Somehow, I must guard the remnants of the civilization we so thoughtlessly threw away. I won't repair the communications network only to see it destroyed by those arrogant idiots. I refuse. But how to safeguard the technology? I might find allies... among those like me who understand that our precious technology must not be destroyed. We must preserve the communications that all our worlds need to survive... and when the Council Lords and their so-called Successor States have pounded themselves to dust, we will have the means to save humanity...
  — Personal Journals, August 12 2788.[15]
ComStar is the only hope of preserving the future of human beings in the Inner Sphere.[16]
Do not judge yourself by the friends you have, but by the enemies you make.
  — Collected Short Sayings of Blessed Blake, Edition XXIV, ComStar Press, 3050[17]
...those who fight to preserve technology and knowledge are the grandest crusaders of all...[18][19]
The truest light often casts the darkest shadows behind men. The power of true faith is never to be taken lightly.[20]
Information is ammunition.[21][22]
Being tactful in audacity is knowing how far one can go too far.
[citation needed]

Positions[edit]

Preceded by
Unknown
(Previously Joshua Hoshiko)
Minister of Communications of the Star League
2780 - 2784



Succeeded by
None
Preceded by
None
Prime Administrator of ComStar
2784 - 2819



Succeeded by
Conrad Toyama

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ComStar, p. 4
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 ComStar, p. 7
  3. Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 2, p. 24, "Jerome Blake Profile"
  4. 4.0 4.1 ComStar, p. 8
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 ComStar, p. 9 "The Collapse of the Star League"
  6. Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 38 "History of the Periphery - Exodus and Succession Wars - The Star League Disbands"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, p. 205 "ComStar - Network Online"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 ComStar (sourcebook), pp. 11-13 "History - Birth of ComStar - Operation Exodus - The First Circuit - Operation Silver Shield"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Field Manual: ComStar, p. 11 "Shadow Games"
  10. 10.0 10.1 MechWarrior: The BattleTech Role Playing Game, Second Edition, p. 141 "ComStar - The Blake Regime"
  11. ComStar, p. 13 "The Birth of ComStar - Operation Silver Shield - Blake Proclamation"
  12. Touring the Stars, p. 98, "Volume XLIX: After the Storm — The Dawn of ComStar"
  13. First Succession War (Source Book), p. 52, "Operation SILVER SHIELD"
  14. Technical Readout: 3039, p. 291 "OSR-2C Ostroc"
  15. BattleTech Compendium: The Rules of Warfare, p. 84 "Wolfnet Archive File: 32448-RD5-33/9/8"
  16. History of ComStar - The Foundation Years - Public Image"
  17. Wolf Clan, p. 46 "Tukayyid"
  18. ComStar, p. 102 "New BattleMechs - Word of Blake Grand Crusader"
  19. Technical Readout: 3058, p. 132 "Inner Sphere Mechs - GRN-D-01 Grand Crusader"
  20. Dawn of the Jihad, p. 6
  21. Dawn of the Jihad, p. 8
  22. Jihad Hot Spots: 3070, p. 29 "Late 3068: Fighting Blind - Alliance in Turmoil - LAAF Rallies After Sunning Clan Assault on Graus"

Bibliography[edit]