Warrior: En Garde
|Warrior: En Garde|
|Author||Michael A. Stackpole|
|Pages|| 329 (original)|
358 (anniversary edition & reprint)
|Cover artwork|| Jeff Laubenstein (original)|
Roger Loveless (anniversary edition & reprint)
|Publisher|| FASA (original)|
Roc Books (anniversary edition)
|First published|| August 1988 (original)|
April 1998 (anniversary edition)
September 2003 (reprint)
|Era||Succession Wars era|
|Timeline||3026 – 3027|
|Series||The Warrior Trilogy|
|Followed by||Warrior: Riposte|
Warrior: En Garde, by Michael A. Stackpole, is the first book in The Warrior Trilogy. It narrates the respective adventures of the half-brothers Justin and Daniel Allard during the build-up to the Fourth Succession War in two story arcs which are only tenously connected. Contrary to what the back cover suggests, they are not set up as antagonists and do not even meet in person throughout the book.
Many references are made to the Doppelgänger ploy narrated in the earlier novel The Sword and the Dagger, to the point where it could arguably be regarded as a prequel to The Warrior Trilogy.
From the back cover
|“|| Stripped of his rank, exiled Justin Allard is given one last chance to save his honor—by risking his life in the gladiatorial arenas of Solaris VII. But his newest Game World opponent—more skilled at 'Mech-to-'Mech combat than any other rival—raises the stakes even higher. It's Justin's own half brother, Daniel, lance commander in the dreaded Kell Hounds mercenary battalion.
Both Daniel and Justin face fierce battles, but in the Inner Sphere, where nobles have schemed for centuries to win the ultimate power, those who interfere with the Successor Lords are sometimes called heroes.
And sometimes called victims.
An argument between Primus Julian Tiepolo and Precentor Myndo Waterly concerning the upcoming wedding between Hanse Davion and Melissa Steiner reveals that ComStar is not quite the benevolent and neutral agency it purports to be; they are actively playing the Successor States against one another to pursue their own agenda.
Justin Xiang Allard story arc
On the Federated Suns world Kittery, situated on the border with the enemy Capellan Confederation, anti-Capellan sentiments run high. Major Justin Allard, whose mother was a Capellan diplomat, is facing unrest among some of his subordinates after cashiering local war hero Philip Capet. However, Capet's "heroic action" on his homeworld Uravan in truth was nothing but an act of insubordination in which he led his men into a Capellan trap in a futile attempt to save his parent's village from a Capellan assault, effectively causing the deaths of six of his men; yet he became a holovid hero over the incident and was thus awarded a decoration instead of a court martial, in hopes that he would retire. When Capet instead remained in the AFFS he was made a training instructor, and was finally removed from service (by Allard) when he planned to steal a JumpShip and embark on a personal crusade.
On 27 November 3026 Justin Allard (piloting a Valkyrie) and his loyal aide and friend, Leftenant Andrew Redburn (piloting a Spider), lead a training battalion of thirty cadets in Stingers on a patrol when they are ambushed by a company of Capellan Cicadas. Feeling they are being herded to the west, Allard investigates a possible contact in that direction and finds a Rifleman waiting for him, out of sight of the others. Ordering Redburn to take command of the cadets and make a stand, Allard engages the heavy Rifleman in his light Valkyrie. During the lopsided fight, the Rifleman flips arms into its rear firing arc in a surprise maneuver that decides the battle. Allard is defeated and heavily wounded, losing his left arm from the elbow down.
Although the cadet cadre suffers losses, their training and Redburn's leadership suffice to fight off the Capellan ambush. Allard is retrieved from the wreck of his 'Mech; no trace remains of the Rifleman.
In the aftermath, Allard is brought to New Avalon for treatment; the New Avalon Institute of Science decided to test a bionic arm on him that will even allow him to remain a MechWarrior despite the crippling injury. When Redburn also travels to New Avalon to be decorated, Duke Michael Hasek-Davion—himself suspected of treacherous collaboration with House Liao—sends messengers along who, populistically playing on the anti-Capellan sentiments, demand Allard be branded a traitor and subtely threaten open rebellion if Allard is not court-martialed. Allard is arrested on 10 January 3027 and subsequently a kangaroo court finds overwhelming evidence suggesting Allard was really working with the Confederation to prepare the assault. His claims about the Rifleman are dismissed, and it is instead officially assumed he faced a (much lighter) UrbanMech that allegedly attacked him by mistake when he attempted to join the Capellan attackers. Even Allard's father, Federated Suns secret service director Quintus Allard, and finally First Prince Hanse Davion appear before court. Although Hanse Davion admonishes the court and prosecutor Count Vitios for their behaviour, Allard acrimoniously rejects the offer that he should only be demoted. After a shouting match with Hanse Davion, Allard is stripped of his rank and exiled from the Federated Suns. With only Andrew Redburn still believing him innocent, an embittered Justin Allard boards the DropShip Sigmund Rosenblum bound for Solaris VII. He assumes his mother's Capellan, calling himself Justin Xiang fortwith.
Freshly returned to Solaris VII, retired champion MechWarrior Gray Noton, now a mercenary, information broker and underworld kingpin, meets with his Capellan contact Tsen Shang to discuss his latest mission—it was Noton who piloted the Rifleman and led the Capellan attack on Kittery. He is paid with a betting voucher for a rigged arena fight. Next, he is contacted by Enrico Lestrade, Baron of Summer, who seeks to hire Noton for the abduction of a yet to be determined DropShip. He also pays Noton with a betting voucher for a rigged fight. However, Justin Xiang has replaced the duelist who as supposed to lose, and proceeds to vanquish his opponent Billy Wolfson. Noton is initially angry at losing his bet, but also impressed by Justin Xiang's skill.
Daniel Allard story arc
Justin's half brother Daniel Allard is serving as a lance commander with the Kell Hounds mercenary battalion, currently stationed on Chara III (aka Pacifica). He is shattered when he receives word of Justin's injury.
Melissa Steiner travels to New Avalon, and is hijacked by mercenaries in the employ of Aldo Lestrade. She is rescued by the Kell Hounds, before the newly formed Genyosha and ISF forces identify what prize they have. Patrick Kell is killed by Yorinaga Kurita in the rescue attempt. The Hounds are told of the impending marriage between Steiner and Hanse Davion.
- Daniel Allard
- Justin Xiang Allard
- Narimasa Asano
- Philip Capet
- Jeana Clay
- Hanse Davion
- Yorinaga Kurita
- Maximilian Liao
- Gray Noton
- Andrew Redburn
- Tsen Shang
- Ardan Sortek
- Katrina Steiner
- Melissa Steiner
- Centurion (Yen-Lo-Wang)
- Cicada (also CDA-2B variant)
- Grand Dragon
- Hermes II
- Locust (mentioned)
- Shadow Hawk (also SHD-2K variant)
- Leopard (Manannan MacLir)
- Monarch (Silver Eagle)
- Overlord (Kiken, Lugh, Shori)
- Union (Nuada Argetlan)
- unspecified spheroid DropShip Sigmund Rosenblum
Original 1988 cover. Art by David English.
1998 anniversary edition. Art by Roger Loveless.
2005 German reprint. Art by Franz Vohwinkel.