The Price of Conviction
|The Price of Conviction|
|Author||Randall N. Bills|
|First published||02 July 2005|
|Era||Civil War era|
|Timeline||02 September 3063 - 11 April 3064|
The Price of Conviction, written by Randall N. Bills, is a short story published on BattleCorps on 2 July 2005. It was also published in print in the second BattleCorps print anthology, First Strike in 2010.
|“||With the rise of a Crusader Clan Wolf, what was to happen to the warriors who followed the warden philosophy...those who did not venture into exile with Phelan Kell? Randall Bills' revised storyline of one warrior's calling, and acceptance, explores one of the Khan's new policies.||”|
Winning the position of Star Colonel in a trial on 2 September 3063, Nathan Wolf finds himself assigned to the reinstated Omega Galaxy which is then deployed to hunt for an alleged remnant of the Not-Named Clan that is thought to be behind pirate strikes against Clan Wolf in the periphery. As expected, the mission turns out to be a snipe hunt; pirate forces harass Omega Galaxy but manage to evade attacks. "Reliable hints" only turn up empty ruins.
Together with Galaxy Commander Stevic Hawker, Nathan visits the HQ of the Sigurd Independent Light Assault Group, a group of (former) Oberon Confederation troops now serving as garrison forces for Clan Wolf. The garrison commander, one Bladric, evades Hawker's questions about rogue elements, leaving the impression that the Sigurd Independent Light Assault Group support rebels against the Clan Wolf regime. This in turn leads Hawker to send Elementals to the HQ, implicitly with orders to summarily execute the garrison.
Ultimately, on 11 April 3064 Omega Galaxy launches an attack against the New Belt Pirates on Novo Cressidas in the Star's End system, but suffers very heavy losses (including a Union-C-class DropShip, the Loping Wolf) from the system's defenses and severe ion storms on Novo Cressidas. Out of some thirty pirate 'Mechs, many noted to be Clan designs, around two thirds are destroyed before the rest retreats. Nathan Wolf and Stevic Hawker agree that this was the pirate force who had been harassing Clan Wolf, and that these pirates have been hurt enough to effectively neutralize them for the time being; in light of the losses incurred they decide against pursuing the retreating pirates on their own turf.
The story concludes with Nathan's bitter realization that no matter what they do, Omega Galaxy will continue to be posted to the periphery because its true purpose is to dispose of Warden-aligned Warriors within the otherwise Crusader-aligned Clan Wolf, either through combat attrition or simply by posting them to the far reaches of the periphery.