Wiege der Basilisken
|Wiege der Basilisken|
|Author||Reinhold H. Mai|
|Cover artwork||Arndt Drechsler|
|Publisher||Ulisses Spiele GmbH|
|First published||July 2011|
|MSRP|| 10,00 € (print)|
7,99 € (epub)
|Era||Succession Wars era|
|Timeline||14 November 2835 - 17 September 2839|
|Series||Classic BattleTech Novels|
|Preceded by||Die Albatros-Akte|
Wiege der Basilisken ("Cradle of the Basilisks"), by Reinhold H. Mai, was announced as the 19th of the German-language Classic BattleTech Novels, but remained unpublished for years as FanPro ceased publishing new BattleTech novels after 2008. The novel was only published in 2011, after Ulisses Spiele had picked up the license and continued the line.
A loose sequel to Mai's 2005 novel Die Albatros-Akte, Wiege der Basilisken puts Team Albatros, the four LIC protagonists from the earlier novel, on a new adventure. Like its predecessor, the novel features a preface stating it is a piece of fiction within the fictional BattleTech setting, i.e. does not claim to narrate events that actually took place in the BattleTech universe.
Written in German and exclusively published in that language so far, Wiege der Basilisken does not meet the current criteria for Canon in the BattleTech universe, its supposedly fictional nature within the BattleTech universe aside. As an official product published under a valid license, the novel (or at least its existence as fiction within the BattleTech universe) should be regarded as apocryphal.
From the back cover (translated from German)
|“||In the year 2839, war dominates the Inner Sphere. The Second Succession War pits the Great Houses of mankind against each other again after a brief respite. In the Federated Suns, scientists work on the development of practically invulnerable super soldiers in a secret project on orders of the First Prince. Success could decisively change warfare throughout human-settled space and significantly alter the balance of power. The Armed Forces of the Federated Suns remain skeptical when a breakthrough is achieved on the primordial world of Berceuse, but other great powers will not take a risk. The Lyran Commonwealth activates the agents of Team Albatros to secure the research results and prevent a deployment of the 'Basilisks' by the enemy. Arriving on the target world, the four LIC agents are unawares of House Kurita already having landed their DEST commandos and that a cadre of super soldiers stands ready at the research station to repulse any attack. A trek across a primordial continent crawling with predatory dinosaurs seems almost idyllic by comparison...||”|
A squid-like predator on the jungle world of Berceuse in the Barada system features an endosymbiotic lifeform in its blood that can easily repair almost any damage to its host body within minutes. A House Davion research project has been trying to genetically modify humans to accept the symbiont since the Star League era, and by 2835, after several setbacks and funding cuts, has produced the so-called Basilisks, humans with reptilian eyes and notably bland facial expressions, who can re-attach severed limbs and recuperate from massive injury in a matter of minutes, as long as enough blood remains for their symbionts to repair the damage. They also have heightened senses including infrared vision, and are said to be immune to a range of chemical and biological weapons.
Scheduled for an operation to install a probe in her brain, Basilisk Rachel is worried to note that bloodflow patterns (which she can see due to her infrared vision) indicate she is being lied to about the nature of the probe. As it turns out, the "probe" is actually a neuroprocessor to increase her aggressiveness, and when she nearly kills her lover Ramon in a bout of frenzy he manages to subdue her and remove the processor from her brain. Both Basilisks are seriously wounded but survive thanks to their symbionts and aid administered by Dr. Genowefa Laitman, who carried Rachel and has motherly feelings towards her. Ramon and Rachel subsequently leave the fortified base to live in the jungle, which is covered up for some time and eventually accepted by the staff.
Around two years later Ramon and Rachel encounter and vanquish a Draconis Combine recon party and their Skulker scout vehicle in the jungle. Feeling that the base defenses (designed to repel dinosaurs) are inadequate to defend against a determined attack should one be imminent, Colonel Hollister orders the entire facility be rigged with explosive charges to prevent the results from falling into Kurita hands, should the base fall to an attack.
In early 2839 the four LIC agents of Team Albatros are ordered to find and sabotage the super soldier research station. They are also warned that House Kurita may undertake an operation there, although there are no details. Team Albatros is deployed via 'Mech-drop from orbit on the far side of the New Gondwana continent and embark on a long march through the jungle. They frequently encounter predatory fauna including even a specimen of the creature in which the symbiont was originally found, though they do not know this. When they witness eight 'Mechs being dropped from orbit they figure it has to be the Kurita operation and move to engage them, hoping the others will lead them to the research station. A battle ensues where the Kurita forces gain the upper hand until Ramon and Rachel decide to intervene on the Lyrans' side, capturing a Panther.
However, the forces that Team Albatros destroyed were only the reserve. Eight additional, heavier BattleMechs have meanwhile attacked the research base. A horrified Dr. Laitman learns of the explosive charges and evacuates research results, samples and most importantly the Basilisk children in an armored vehicle just before a panicking scientist prematurely detonates the entire facility. The refugees witness from afar how a Kurita DropShip drops a nuclear warhead on the ruined base. Team Albatros, Ramon and Rachel arrive too late to help. Dr. Laitman asks to leave with Team Albatros. The surviving Basilisks decide that they want to live in the jungle forthwith and remain forgotten. Team Albatros agrees to keep their secret, reasoning that bringing Dr. Laitman with them would still mark the mission as a success.
- Phoenix Hawk
- Shadow Hawk
- unspecified APC
- While the preface explicitly denounces the story as fictional within the fictional BattleTech universe, it also states that the Barada system exists as described, with the exception of the research facility.
- The cover depicts a scene from the book where the Orion piloted by Team Albatros leader Harry Krause kills an attacking predator by launching a SRM-4 volley into its maw.