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|Cover artwork||Karsten Schreurs|
|Publisher||Fantasy Productions GmbH|
|Era||Star League era|
|Timeline||10 June-23 October 2602|
|Series|| Classic BattleTech Novels|
Great Game Zyklus #3
Royal Flush, by Carolina Möbis, is a German-language BattleTech novel published by FanPro in 2008 as the 18th entry in their line of new Classic BattleTech novels. It is also named the 3rd book in the Great Game cycle in the imprint, and as such is also part of the Das Goldene Zeitalter cycle of Star League era stories.
From the back cover (translated from German)
|“||When the Draconis March establishes its independence from the Federated Suns, the Draconis Combine already dreams of a new prefecture. MechWarrior Jack, meanwhile, dreams of fame and honor, pilot Hataka Tomomi of a lucky streak, and Tai-sa Hatsui Masato of a quick victory in the newly-formed Robinson Alliance. When the forces of the Draconis Combine and the Federated Suns clash on the small agrarian world of McGehee, not all dreams come true, and both sides soon feel compelled to force their luck, for there is more at stake than just one's life.||”|
In 2602, the 27th Avalon Hussars are ordered to McGehee to secure the Federated Suns' Draconis March border. Because of some logistical error they are not provided with their requested supplies, and upon arriving on McGehee it turns out that their assigned AFFS base has not been used for decades and is much too small for the understrength regiment; orders to enlarge the base never arrived on McGehee. Worse, anti-Davion sentiments are widespread among the population and the larger part of the local militia refuses to cooperate, openly branding the AFFS troops "occupation forces". On 20 August 2602 it is confirmed via courier JumpShip that Duke Thomas Sandoval had declared his Draconis March independent on 4 July already. The Star League has surprisingly recognized the new 'Robinson Alliance', but House Davion nevertheless orders the Hussars to counter any uprisings in what they continue to call the Draconis March.
House Kurita decides to invade the Robinson Alliance before they formally join the Star League and thus, before the SLDF would come to their defense. On 18 October, they launch a surprise attack against McGehee from a Pirate Jump Point. During the fighting, an AFFS DropShip carrying ammunition (because the warehouses at the base were undersized and deemed unsafe) is rammed by an enemy aerospace fighter and crashes right into the base. The devastating explosion destroys the base. Only a disparate handful of AFFS troops survive, mostly outside of the base, and one DropShip escapes and goes into hiding in the mountains. The AFFS survivors join forces with the militia and begin a guerilla war against the Kurita occupants when most of the enemy regiment is re-deployed to conquer another continent.
A mission to steal the Kurita IFF codebook with a small infantry detachment fails because Kurita had set a trap, but still succeeds in destroying the Kurita communication system. Running out of time, the defenders immediately stage a desperate and ultimately successful night attack against the Kurita HQ DropShip, which they board with a Maxim hovercaft while their 'Mechs and tanks stage two diversionary attacks. They manage to overrun the DropShip from within, steal the IFF codes and then cripple the DropShip. With the stolen codes, the survivors use their own DropShip (of the same type) to recapture their JumpShip and escape to report on the Kurita invasion.
House Davion characters
- Corporal William Butler - Veteran soldier and capable sapper. Saves Jack Troisville by dragging him into a sewer as the DropShip falls towards the base, and tutors him in Kurita captivity where they form a bond of friendship.
- Captain R.K. Hendson - Interim commander of the 27th Avalon Hussars' 3rd Batallion after Major Smith's death earlier, he assumes command of the AFFS survivors. Sorin implies at one point that Hendson was not promoted because of an alcohol problem, but Hendson denies that.
- Corporal Marvin Sidrakis - Has to land his Chippewa in a field near a civilian airfield after running out of fuel during the Kurita attack. Meets and befriends Arthur Banks, a local who can provide support for the defenders' guerilla campaign.
- Captain Sorin - MechWarrior, pilots an Excalibur. His son served with the aerospace forces and is presumed dead. Sorin is increasingly aggressive and suicidal, and urges his friend Hendson to attack the Kurita forces outright to die in a blaze of glory. In the last battle, he sacrifices himself to allow Hendson and Troisville to disengage and escape.
- Leftenant Jaques "Jack" de Troisville - Spoiled rich son of the planetary governor of Bellevue. Failed to earn a medical degree and got into trouble because of parties and drugs; due to his father's connections he then received MechWarrior Academy training and a position as Leftenant in logistics which he hates. When his parents inform him that they have arranged a marriage for him, he coerces Leftenant-Colonel Ericksen to request him for the 27th Avalon Hussars to get away, arranging for some much-needed supplies and even a prototype Von Luckner tank for the unit in return. To his dismay, he is then assigned to the infantry instead of the MechWarriors, however, and finds that he is despised or ignored throughout the unit. Survives the attack on McGehee and the DropShip crash and is rescued from Kurita captivity when their convoy is attacked enroute to the prison complex. Briefly serves as impromptu medic (because he has the best medical training among them) but cannot save MechWarrior Jonathan Jenkins. Because of his MechWarrior training he inherits Jenkins' damaged Thunderbolt and gradually evolves into a capable MechWarrior, slowly earning the respect of his fellow soldiers.
- Corporal Wallof - Veteran tank lance commander, notorious for disobeying rules. He and his crew (including Corporal Stetten) are assigned the prototype Von Luckner tank.
- Sergeant-Major Winfield - Grumpy sergeant. He is abducted by local insurgents on McGehee just before the Kurita attack but recruits them for the AFFS cause in turn.
House Kurita characters
- Tai-sho Joyce - 50-year-old veteran; his left eye is a cybernetic prosthesis but almost indistinguishable from his other eye. Commands the five regiments of Kampfgruppe II, and is the nominal regimental commander of the 8th Galedon Regulars (which he puts under Masato's command). He sends a congratulation message after the fleeing AFFS troops shortly before they jump out, announcing a rematch.
- Tai-sa Hatsui Masato - Only 39 years old yet already promoted to second-in-command (and factual commander) of the 8th Galedon Regulars. A conservative career officer and strict follower of the code of bushido, he is unpopular among his subjugates because of his condescending attitude. Pilots a Black Knight. Implied to have been killed by Sorin.
- Chu-i Hataka Tomomi - Scion of a well-reputed but not overly powerful industrialist family, she fled from an arranged marriage and fell out with her family over it. Later rebuffs Masato's proposal of marriage. An accomplished aerospace fighter pilot, she is shot down in her Sparrowhawk in the initial assault and is taken captive by the retreating AFFS troops. She is later forced at gunpoint to provide access into the Kurita HQ for an AFFS infantry team in an ill-fated attempt to steal the IFF codes. Inside the facility she raises a fire alarm, but also discovers a scathing report from an unknown officer about her unit. Re-joining her unit, she is also treated as a captive and, upon reporting on the report to Masato, realizes that he wrote the report. Masato suggests she should commit seppuku, but in the AFFS' final attack she is accidentally freed, escapes in a Lucifer and surrenders to the fleeing AFFS DropShip where she is taken aboard.
- Black Knight
- Night Hawk
- Phoenix Hawk
- Shadow Hawk
Written in German and exclusively published in that language so far, Royal Flush does not technically meet the current criteria for Canon in the BattleTech universe. As an official product published under a valid license, it should be regarded as apocryphal instead.
Known continuity problems
As Royal Flush was not translated or published in English, Catalyst Game Labs, the current license holder for the BattleTech IP, does not recognize it as canonical and may not even be aware of the novel's exact content. Canonical publications have since contradicted certain aspects of the novel. In particular, some units appear that were not yet invented in 2602 (Clint, Excalibur).
- The cover probably depicts Hataka Tomomi as she commandeers an aerospace fighter after breaking out of captivity in the book's final battle.