- Community Outreach - The Robert N. Charrette Collection
- New Heavy Metal Trailer For HBS’ BattleTech Reveals New ‘Mech: The Bull Shark
- You Can Now Play MechWarrior 2 And MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries On Your Browser... Sort Of
- Talking BattleTech Fiction with Philip A. Lee
- Community Outreach - Tex Talks BattleTech
- Read more →
|Primus of ComStar|
Allen Rusenstein (29?? – 3016) was the eleventh Primus of ComStar. His tenure was notable for the Jolly Roger Affair and his failure to successfully deal with the mysterious appearance of the Wolf's Dragoons.
Early service to ComStar
Joining ComStar, the mild-mannered Allen Rusenstein rose through the ranks of the Blessed Order on the basis of his administrative skills, reaching the rank of Precentor Alpha C and earning a seat on the Order's First Circuit during the reign of Primus Yin Takami.
When Primus Takami and two members of the First Circuit died after his personal JumpShip, the Pride of Blake, suffered a total engine-core overload and meltdown at the Sol nadir jump point in 2994, the surviving members of the First Circuit met to name a successor. Seemingly apolitical and thus believed to be a safe choice, the survivors named Rusenstein from their number as the eleventh Primus of ComStar.
Primus of ComStar
Despite his meek appearance, Rusenstein was arguably more political minded than any of the other surviving members of First Circuit. Evidence of this was his appointment of replacements for two of seats of the First Circuit made vacant by the Pride of Blake's explosion, Rusenstein selecting two ultra-conservative members of the Order, giving a greater voice to some of the most fanatical and extremist elements of ComStar and dangerously upsetting the make-up of the First Circuit.
Building off his passion for the study of history, Rusenstein in particular focused on the actions of the earliest Primuses before Hollings York as guides for his own Primacy. Quoting from the writings of Jerome Blake, Conrad Toyama and Raymond Karpov in Blessed Destiny, his only published work, Rusenstein offered his interpretation of ComStar's role in manipulating the Great Houses to ensure the organisation's ascendency and the need for the Order to play a more direct role even military in controlling the Inner Sphere, albeit from the shadows. Rusenstein also heavily patterned his early reign as Primus on Kari Marshall's, especially with regards her focus on the Periphery. 
Thus when confronted with news in 3000 that recruitment levels of Acolytes had reached an all-time low, Rusenstein turned towards the realms outside of the borders of the Inner Sphere to redress this problem. Launching an extensive propaganda campaign via the ComStar News Bureau, while Rusenstein publicly claimed that ComStar was investing billions of C-Bills to expand the HPG network in the Periphery, in truth he deflected all funding for such expansion and worked to maintain the status-quo. These efforts drew an ever increasing number of recruits from the Periphery desperate to escape their marginal existence, unaware that ComStar was actively hampering their governments' efforts to improve things.
During this period Rusenstein's primacy also received an unexpected boost when Captain-General Janos Marik's son Thomas Marik asked to join the Blessed Order. The highest ranking Great House scion became a member of ComStar, as well being the direct line to succession for the Captain-Generalship. Despite such early successes, Rusenstein would encounter increasing problems maintaining control of the First Circuit, ironically in part due to the ultra-conservative members who owed their positions thanks to him now exclusively pushing their own agendas. Becoming more and more isolated, proposals by Rusenstein to address the the escalating weakness of the C-Bill or to fund expansion of the ComStar Guards and Militia were unanimously voted down by the rebellious First Circuit. Rusenstein's near total loss of control would be best shown in 3001 by what would eventually known as the Jolly Roger Affair. 
In response to an increasing slow-down of the fighting along the Lyran Commonwealth-Draconis Combine border and citing Rusenstein's Blessed Destiny, with only the half-hearted endorsment of the Primus the First Circuit set in motion a plan for ROM to supply pirate forces in the Periphery with equipment and logistical aid to stir up trouble and escalate military conflict in the general area. With the plan initially successful as several of the new ComStar funded Pirate bands struck the borders of Commonwealth and Combine in 3002, Rusenstein readily joined with the First Circuit in accepting credit for the proposal.
His decision would backfire disastrously in 3004 when a number of these new Bandit Kings began to join forces, striking larger targets and escalating things far beyond the point the ComStar plan had intended. Primus Rusenstein dispatched Precentor Kintaro of the ComStar Guards to negotiate and bring the renegade forces back into line with ComStar's agenda, which only made things worse, prompting attacks which laid waste the HPG compounds on the worlds of Lost and Canal in response to ComStar's betrayal. Allaying Lyran suspicions with a cover story claiming that the compounds had suffered only minor damage from Periphery pirates, Primus Rusenstein then ordered the First Division of the ComStar Guards and Militia to exterminate the renegade pirates, the green ComStar forces suffering losses in the process.
Despite the fact that Rusenstein had little personal responsibility for the plan and only grudgingly supported it at first, the fact he eventually accepted credit for it allowed the First Circuit to spin almost all the blame for its failure onto him, further damaging his position and authority.
Rusenstein's Primacy would suffer its final mortal blow with the shock arrival of the Wolf's Dragoons in 3005. With ComStar just as much in the dark as to Dragoons origins, a furious First Circuit demanded results from the aging Precentor ROM Karl Sims. After Sim's operatives were unable to pierce the Dragoons' security, with two agents dying in the attempt, Rusenstein hastily appointed Vesar Kristofur as the new Precentor ROM with the express mission of learning the truth about the mysterious Dragoons, the First Circuit pushing for quick results. 
In the middle of this, the dramatic beating the C-Bill suffered against the House Bills over the past decade reached crisis point, but Rusenstein's efforts to buy time to better address the problem by instituting a stopgap 20 percent rate increase were blocked by an increasingly hostile First Circuit.  
Unfortunately by 3006 Precentor ROM Kristofur had only made slight headway in his effort against the Dragoons and the First Circuit was not willing to wait any longer. In a private session that same year the First Circuit voted by a majority to ask Rusenstein to resign for his failures in both the Dragoon problem and the Jolly Roger Affair. While the First Circuit had the ability to simply remove him as Primus, thanks to the legal powers enacted by Gregori Hartford, they gave the aging Rusenstein the courtesy of allowing him to leave under his own terms.
Stunned and overwhelmed in the face of this total rejection of his authority, a utterly dejected Allen Rusenstein resigned as Primus a week later, allowing the First Circuit to select Julian Tiepolo as his replacement without resistance.
Death and Legacy
Reduced to a Precentor again, Allen Rusenstein accepted the post of administrator of the St. Ives HPG station. By most accounts, a man broken by his disastrous turn as Primus, Rusenstein died a mere ten years later in 3016. 
Almost uniformly considered an able politician but too weak to maintain control over the First Circuit, Rusenstein never the less greatly influenced the direction of the Blessed Order and the later Word of Blake faction with his appointments of Vesar Kristofur, Julian Tiepolo and Huthrin Vandel.
Blessed Destiny, Rusenstein's only published work, would later become a required reading for those following the Word of Blake. 
Titles and Positions
|Primus of ComStar
| Succeeded by|
|Precentor Alpha C
| Succeeded by|
- ComStar, p. 50 "History - Calm Before the Storm - The Mysterious Dragoons"
- ComStar, p. 47 "History of ComStar - Calm Before the Storm - The Tripitz Affair"
- ComStar, p. 48 "History of ComStar - Calm Before the Storm - The Tripitz Affair"
- ComStar, p. 49 "History of ComStar - Calm Before the Storm - The Jolly Roger Affair"
- ComStar, p. 51 "History of ComStar - The Tiepolo Years"