Memories of Rain
|Memories of Rain|
|Type||Novella (2 parts)|
|Author||Steven Mohan Jr.|
|First published|| 22 October 2011 (part I)|
6 November 2011 (part II)
|Era||Star League era|
|Timeline||19 June 2591-24 March 2596|
|“||Archon Viola Steiner-Dinesen led her soldiers into the Reunification War personally, because she had been trained as a soldier. But when treachery arrives during the campaign for the Rim Worlds Republic... Part 1 of 2||”|
|“||Read now the final part (2 of 2) of Steven Mohan, Jr.'s Reunification War-era story of politics, intrigue and battle!||”|
(The story is told as a series of flashbacks, out of chronological sequence, intermixed throughout both parts. The following summary is a chronological summation of both Part I and Part II.)
In June 2591, Archon Viola Steiner-Dinesen commands the Tamar Tigers, 25th Skye Rangers, and 4th Royal Guards, in conjunction with the SLDF’s 31st Armor Division in the campaign to liberate the Rim Worlds Republic world of Barcelona from Rim Royal Army partisans under the command of Franchetta Wong. However, Loki agent R. K. Jaishankar brings news that the Archon's son, Kevin, has been kidnapped by rogue members of the Estates General. Inaccurate intel places the blame on Duke Selvin Kelswa of Tamar and Duke Aldo Lestrade of Skye.
In unthinking rage, Viola mobilizes the 4th Royal Guards and, in her Warhammer, personally leads them in an assault against the Skye Rangers. Despite the protests of her aide, Heinrich Schwartzmann, Viola attacks the Skye Rangers' encampment, bringing her Guards into battle with the Skye and Tamar forces. Both Heinrich and the SLDF troops under Margaret Beck unsuccessfully try to stop the Archon without hurting her. The battle ends when Tamar Tiger commander Sabine Petrov engages Viola with her Commando and severely wounds the Archon with a direct hit to the cockpit, shattering her arm.
In late 2591, Viola regains consciousness aboard the vessel Robert Dinesen (named for her late husband). Her trusted aide, Heinrich, informs her of the loss of her arm and briefs her on the ongoing investigation into Kevin’s kidnapping. He also informs her that her rampage on Barcelona has become known as the “Day of Rage,” and that he hates her because she made him fire on his brothers in arms in order to protect her. When she attempts to justify the attack as a necessary response to a revolt by her lords, he rebukes her with information that Kelswa and Lestrade have been exonerated, and that Jaishankar’s report was only a rumor. Horrified by the realization that she caused hundreds of innocent deaths, Viola slips back into oblivion.
In January 2592, on Tharkad, Estates General Speaker of the Assembly Henry Gram celebrates his pending success in manipulating the Lyran parliament into voting to secede from the Star League. His triumphant reverie is interrupted by his associate, Ichabod Blau, who informs him that the Lyran Intelligence Corps (LIC) is starting to arrest all the conspirators involved in the kidnapping of Archon-Designate Kevin Steiner-Dinesen. Gram tries to calm Blau, noting that his steering committee has the LIC tied in knots, while Archon Viola, at last report from his spies, was still in a coma on Barcelona. The two exit Government House through a secret corridor, only to find the 4th Royal Guards executing a combat drop on the Triad. Up above, Archon Viola oversees Operation RIGHTEOUS FURY, coordinating efforts to seal off the roads around Government House, trapping the rogue members of the Estates General. LIC agents apprehend Gram and bring him out to where the Archon awaits in her one-armed Warhammer. Rage consumes her, and when he attempts to give a speech about patriotism, she crushes him beneath her 'Mech's heel.
Afterwards, she seeks solitude in the Triad’s 'Mech bays, and then solace in a flask of vodka. Heinrich confronts her, noting that she’d been drinking a lot in recent days. He takes the blame for the entire tragedy – saying he failed to protect her from whatever game Loki was playing, failed to protect her from the Commando’s missiles, and failed to protect the Archon from herself. He asks her, for the sake of her children, for the sake of her realm, to remain on Archon and not return to the war. Viola hardens herself, and tells him that she intends to finish what she's started.
In 2596, as the Reunification War winds down, Viola leads the 4th Royal Guards in an assault on the 7th Amaris Legionnaires, which are defending the capital city, Terra Prime. Heinrich attempts to ensure her safety, a difficult task given her apparent deathwish. Massive monsoons impede the Lyran progress, and in the confusion of the storm, the Archon ends up firing on her own troops, killing 4th Guards battalion commander Aurelia Martinez.
The emotionally devastated Archon suggests a new plan to draw the Rim Worlder forces out of their fortifications, using herself as bait. The operation initially goes off as planned, but the Rimmers bring unexpectedly heavy firepower to ambush the Archon, using artillery to drop a canyon wall on the Lyran column. A communications failure at this crucial juncture prevents her from calling in the reserve forces to ambush the ambushers. In defiance of his orders, Heinrich takes his Striker to the ambush point and finds that Archon Viola has suffered mortal injuries. She absolves Heinrich of responsibility, telling him "Even the finest bodyguard can’t shield his protectee from justice."
- Viola Steiner-Dinesen
- Kevin Steiner-Dinesen (mentioned)
- Heinrich Schwartzmann
- Franchetta Wong (mentioned)
- R. K. Jaishankar
- Selvin Kelswa (mentioned)
- Aldo Lestrade (mentioned)
- Margaret Beck
- Sabine Petrov
- Henry Gram
- Ichabod Blau
- Aurelia Martinez