Red Khopesh

Red Khopesh
Product information
Type Short story
Author Steven Mohan Jr.
Pages 28
Interior artwork Robert Atkinson
Publication information
Publisher BattleCorps
First published 28 November 2005
Era Civil War era
Timeline 6-12 February 3066
Followed by The Bitter Taste of Hope

Red Khopesh is a short story by Steven Mohan Jr. that was published online on BattleCorps on 28 November 2005. It was also published in print in the second BattleCorps print anthology, First Strike, in 2010.

On 30 April 2012 it was (re-)published in EPUB/Kindle format in a bundle together with its sequel story, The Bitter Taste of Hope.

Teaser text[edit]


Steve Mohan takes us to Randis for another great tale of periphery intrigue... this time with a Inner Sphere twist.

EPUB omnibus on BattleShop[edit]

Life in the sparsely populated periphery is rustic—and dangerous. Small settlements means small defense forces. No wonder the outer worlds often fall prey to piracy.

So when Mark Castor shows up on the World of Randis with relief aid in tow and an assault 'Mech to protect it, the locals are overjoyed to see him. But Castor isn’t at all what he appears to be—and before he’s done he’s going to turn the entire concept of privacy on its head. Follow the twists and turns of Castor and bombshell Tracy Malfont in “Red Khopesh” and “The Bitter Taste of Hope.”

Plot summary[edit]

Mark Castor hires Tracy Malfont's mercenary unit (Malfont's Raiders) on 6 February 3066, ostensibly to help guard a humanitarian relief convoy to an outlying district on Randis because of recent pirate raids and because the Brotherhood of Randis is stretched thin. In particular, a group dubbed "Black Scarabs" has recently raided a water purification plant with two 'Mechs and killed two hundred citizens in the process.

On 11 February, a convoy is attacked by a lone Koshi painted red and bearing a white khopesh as its only insignia. The 'Mech withdraws after a brief weapons exchange, but causes some irritation among the mercenaries.

On the following day, they are ambushed by the Black Scarabs. As the fight begins, Castor immediately seizes Malfont's 'Mech, batters in the canopy with the fist of his own Banshee and tells her to order the Black Scarabs stand down: They are one and the same group with Malfont's Raiders, posing as pirates so the mercenary unit will be hired. The Raiders are initially unwilling to negotiate, but suddenly find themselves surrounded by numerous Red Khopesh 'Mechs and tanks that have ambushed the ambushers.

It turns out that Mark Castor is actually of House Davion heritage, but had dropped the Davion surname when he moved to Turtle Bay in the Draconis Combine to live with his wife. She was killed along with their child when Clan Smoke Jaguar eradicated the city of Edo in an orbital strike while Mark was visiting his family on Lee. He admits to be pursuing a vendetta against the Clans on his own now, and "offers" at gunpoint to recruit Malfont's Raiders because they have shown the skills, but more importantly the attitude he is looking for: they are dishonorable, and Mark Castor-Davion sees honor as the critical weakness of the Clans that he aims to exploit.

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