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|Unit Profile (as of 3075)|
The Dark Shadows were a paramilitary formation operated by the SAFE, the Free Worlds League's state intelligence service, and were described as a 'Mech scout battalion. Their operations were classified, known only to the Captain-General and the Intelligence Oversight Committee, though the unit's existence was an open secret (colored with myths and misdirection).
Most members of the Dark Shadows are on extended secondment from the regular FWLM and serve tours of usually between 18 and 24 months with the Dark Shadows. A rigorous selection process was mentioned.
The Dark Shadows already existed as a unit by 3025, but it is not entirely clear when the unit was created:
One Captain Janos DeVille, a loyalist MechWarrior from the Fusiliers of Oriente, fought in the 3014/3015 Marik Civil War and reportedly later went on to become one of the founders of the Dark Shadows. This seems to establish the Dark Shadows were founded at some point between 3015 and 3025.
However, at the same time Captain Margarita Luhenson, named as the commander of the Dark Shadows (as of 3025), was noted to have earned fame with a solo combat drop and scouting mission to Denebola V in 3011 already. It is not explicitly spelled out that she already was the commander of the Dark Shadows (or that the Dark Shadows even already existed) at the time though; she may have become famous for the 3011 mission prior to commanding the Dark Shadows.
Following the disbanding of SAFE's elite Eagle Corps special forces, the Dark Shadows staffed the defenses of the "The Eyrie" facility on Wendigo, the moon of the Free Worlds League capital world of Atreus. A scathing online tirade under a flimsy cover identity by Anne-Marie McCormack, the unit's commander at the time, provoked Paul Marik into having the unit destroyed. On 23 April 3075 they were lured away from their base by a mock attack by the mercenary unit Grandin's Crusaders and then ambushed by the 49th Shadow Division. The Eyre was subsequently captured. The battle on the airless moon left no survivors of the Dark Shadows, the Forty-ninth took no prisoners and left the remains of the fallen Dark Shadows pilots to rest inside their broken 'Mechs. The entire incident was classified though and only came to light after the Word of Blake was ejected from Atreus.
|Commanding Officers of the Dark Shadows|
Though typically described as an elite formation, at the time of the battle on Wendigo, they were rated as (only) veteran combatants.
- Technical Readout: 3025, p. 40 (HER-2S Hermes II entry)
- A Guide to Covert Ops, p. 67
- Handbook: House Marik, p. 95
- Total Chaos, pp. 139-141 (Track "Silencing the Shadows")