Of War and Peace and Cherry Trees
|Of War and Peace and Cherry Trees|
|Type||Short story (2 parts)|
|Author||Steven Mohan Jr.|
|Pages|| 22 (part 1)|
23 (part 2)
|First published|| 9 April 2005 (part 1)|
21 April 2005 (part 2)
|Era||Civil War era|
|Timeline||14—21 November 3062|
|Followed by||Fall of the Blossom|
Of War and Peace and Cherry Trees is a short story by Steven Mohan Jr. that was published online on BattleCorps in two parts in April 2005. Both parts are available for download for free from the BattleCorps site for promotional purposes. In 2010, the story was also included in the second BattleCorps print anthology, First Strike — along with a previously unpublished sequel, Fall of the Blossom — as well as in CGL's edition of the Quick Start Rules.
- published 14 April 2005
|“||Dragon Wakes the Bear / Storyteller Steve Mohan / The first of two parts||”|
Former Sho-sa (Major) Shintaro Yamada used to be hailed as a war hero—until he grew weary of the endless warfare and became the head of a peace movement on Richmond. Stripped of his rank, he has spent the past six years in the Castle of Unheard Screams, a prison on Richmond, where he meditates between meals and beatings. A cherry tree near the prison wall can be seen from his cell's small window, and Yamada draws strength from the twisted tree that was planted too close to the prison wall, but has simply bent sideways to grow.
On 14 November 3062 Yamada is informed by an ISF officer that the Alshain Avengers attacked the Ghost Bear Dominion capital world a month earlier, sparking a war. The Draconis Combine is desperate for troops to stem the tide of Clan Ghost Bear's onslaught, and Yamada is offered to be reinstated to his position. Having vowed to fight war in all its guises, Yamada is reluctant at first but eventually accepts the reasoning that he should fight not for, but against something, that the Clans are war incarnate and must be contained.
On the same day, Yamada is introduced to the Richmond Reserves under Tai-i Deborah Cahill, a young woman who openly greets him as "traitor" because of his pacifist activities. Her battle plan as presented to the attendant young warriors infuriates Yamada. Following the briefing, he admonishes her for sending them to their deaths with a pedestrian and unimaginative plan, but announces that he will fix it with a single Lance of BattleMechs. Yamada identifies a certain bridge (which Cahill had rigged with explosives and dismissed otherwise) as the fulcrum of the initial attack. He is proven correct when Star Colonel Christer Hall threatens to overrun it with four BattleMechs and four Points of Elementals before the charges can be detonated. However, Yamada has anticipated Hall's move and has prepared a trap for the attackers. He participates in the battle himself, piloting an Atlas bearing only a twisted cherry tree with pink blossoms instead of House Kurita's Dragon symbol.
- published 17 April 2005
|“||Dragon continues to fight / Steve Mohan Returns / Second of two parts||”|
The Ghost Bear attack is repulsed thanks to Yamada's preparations and his combat prowess. Brigit, a Clan MechWarrior, is taken prisoner. Yamada questions Brigit in the very same prison cell where he was previously kept and manipulates her into revealing the character of the Ghost Bear commander, Star Colonel Hall.
Elsewhere, Cahill and her Richmond Reserves are meanwhile mauled, but hold off the diversionary assault by the slimmest of margins. The carnage reinforces Yamada's belief in peace. Cahill seems to have aged a decade over three days of combat and is not so sure anymore about her opinion on Yamada, who still resents her.
Having stalled the initial push, Yamada presents a plan to the planetary defenders and his ISF supervisor: he will challenge Star Colonel Hall to a Trial of Possession for the city of Newport. The city is critical to the planet's defense, and will likely be overrun shortly anyways; but if Yamada prevails, the Ghost Bears will not attack for two weeks which will allow the Draconis Combine to move in crucial reinforcements.
In truth, Yamada has no intention of actually winning the one-on-one duel in his Atlas versus Hall's Kodiak. He manages to beat Hall, but instead of killing him he suspends the trial to negotiate his surrender. In return for his surrender, he demands that his peace movement will be allowed to function once Richmond is taken by Clan Ghost Bear. Hall accepts with one condition: he demands that Yamada will become his bondsman. Yamada balks at the realisation that this will mean he must continue to wage war on the side of Clan Ghost Bear, but he gives in, knowing that he is a warrior at heart. He re-interprets the cherry tree from outside his cell to mean that a cherry tree is what it must be, and that Yamada too must be what he is: a warrior.
- Sho-sa Shintaro Yamada
- Tai-sa Hikotaro Maru ("The beast", ISF officer)
- Tai-i Deborah Cahill
- Star Colonel Christer Hall
- Star Commander Birgit
- Black Hawk-KU (by implication; referred to only as "Black Hawk" and observed to be heavier than the Nova)
- Kodiak 2
- Mad Dog (Vulture)
- Nova (Black Hawk)
- Viper (Dragonfly)
- Elemental infantry