Lester J. Otto
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Rise to General
Because of his family's influence and political connections, Otto was promoted to General in the AFFS in 2991 despite the better combat record of a competitor, Thomas Barton. Barton fell out with House Davion over this, left the Federated Suns in 2993 and later died a broken man, dispossessed of a 'Mech and impoverished.
Commanding Fort Bourgogne
The border world of Marlette, a major Davion stronghold on their border with the Capellan Confederation, was defended by an allegedly impenetrable fortress called Fort Bourgogne. In 3022, forces from McCarron's Armored Cavalry assaulted and took the fortification during McCarron's Long March. Among McCarron's forces was Barton's Regiment under the command of Marcus T. Barton, son of the late Thomas Barton and a sworn enemy of House Davion and Lester J. Otto.
In 3044, Fort Bourgogne had just been rebuilt with yet stronger defenses, and General Otto was assigned to command the garrison forces. He received a brand new Devastator-2 prototype BattleMech for this assignment, a fearsome assault 'Mech design that had only very recently been put back in production after being lost in prototype stages in the Star League era.
Colonel Barton had a reputation as fortress-buster, and saw the rebuilding of the fortress as a challenge to him. When a probing raid by McCarron's Armored Cavalry revealed General Otto as the new commander of Fort Bourgogne in 3044, Barton included himself and his assault regiment in the fight. House Davion had made the fortification as "Barton-proof" as they could, but on 14 May 3044 Barton's Regiment launched a bloody assault, breached all defensive lines and eventually defeated General Otto in his Devastator. Otto was alive when Barton approached him in the wreckage, and Barton explained to him that he would have to live for the rest of his life knowing that he, Barton, had not only beaten Otto, but blown up his fort, destroyed his 'Mechs and broken his command; vengeance was served, and he, Barton, would have a "brand-new toy" as soon as the wrecked Devastator had been put together again. From a distance, his men saw Barton turn away from the wreckage, then wheel around and fire two blaster shots into the cockpit, killing General Lester J. Otto. Nobody except Archibald McCarron ever learned, or dared to ask, what happened between the two men.
Otto's advanced DVS-2 Devastator prototype, quite possibly the very first such 'Mech built in centuries, was recovered by Barton's unit. It would be another four years before House Davion began regular production of the DVS-2 series.