Ghost Bear's Lament

Ghost Bear's Lament
Product information
Type Novella (two parts)
Author Steven Mohan Jr.
Pages 72 (part I)
129 (part II)
Cover artwork ?
Publication information
Publisher Catalyst Game Labs
Product code E-CAT35NV001 (part I)
E-CAT35NV003 (part II)
First published 13 February 2012 (part I)
30 April 2012
MSRP 2.99 US $ per part
Era Clan Invasion era (part I)
Jihad era (part II)
Timeline 17 May 3050 (part I)
12 May 3052 (flashback)
12 June-4 August 3073 (part II)
Series Blitzkrieg (fiction format)

Ghost Bear's Lament is a two-part story by Steven Mohan Jr. that follows the exploits of Clan Ghost Bear MechWarrior Richard Bekker. The story's two parts are interconnected but ultimately separate stories set twenty-three years apart, and were published separately.

The first part (subtitled Instrument of Destruction) was put up for sale through BattleShop in EPUB and MOBI (Amazon Kindle) format with the opening of the new Blitzkrieg fiction format by Catalyst Game Labs. It was also published via BattleCorps on 15 February 2012; like all BattleCorps publications, this was a PDF file offered for download to subscribers.

The second part (subtitled The Fading Call of Glory) was published as EPUB on 30 April 2012, and again as a PDF via BattleCorps on 18 May 2012 in the same fashion as part I.

Teaser text[edit]

Part I on BattleShop[edit]

The Clans: a civilization that worships war. Soldiers altered in body and mind. Men and women bent to the blade. They slash through space, cutting through their enemies like a laser cuts through flesh.

No one can stand against them.

Star Commander Richard Bekker of Clan Ghost Bear is smart, tough, and ruthless—the perfect Clan warrior. Victory is all he has ever known.

That’s about to change.

Because he’s going to face an enemy unlike any he’s ever seen—unlike any ANYONE’S ever seen. And if he is going to triumph, if he’s going to SURVIVE, he will have to reach inside, past his Clan training, and find the part of himself that is human.

Part I on BattleCorps[edit]

Star Commander Richard Bekker of Clan Ghost Bear is smart, tough, and ruthless—the perfect Clan warrior. Victory is all he has ever known. That’s about to change.

Part II on BattleShop[edit]

A ruthless predator is stalking Star Colonel Richard Bekker of Clan Ghost Bear—time. Once he was a rising star, the hero of the Damian disaster. But all that ended on the world of Tukayyid where Bekker’s bright future—and the entire Clan invasion of the Inner Sphere—were stopped cold.

Two decades later, Bekker is a warrior with an undistinguished history that hides a shameful secret. Even worse, in a culture that prizes youth, he is old, old enough to be relieved of duty. And when Clan warriors are relieved they don’t retire—they’re turned into cannon fodder.

Then Bekker is challenged to a Trial of Possession by the head of a new bandit kingdom, a man who seems little better than the terrorists Bekker is tasked to hunt.

A man named Devlin Stone.

And maybe, just maybe, the Trial will offer him a chance to win the greatest prize imaginable—a new place in the universe.

Part II on BattleCorps[edit]

Star Colonel Richard Bekker is on Tukayyid, a world sacred to the Ghost Bears, but he is beset on all sides by challenges; challenges from peers are bad enough, but when a new challenger appears from out-system...

Plot summary[edit]

Part I: Instrument of Destruction[edit]

As the Overlord-C-class DropShip Sharp Claw prepares to be jumped to the Damian system with the WarShip it is attached to, Star Commander Richard Bekker, a ristar and perpetual winner, prepares to fight a trial against his sibkin Corinne over a command position that recently became vacant. She elected to fight him in zero gravity just before the jump, and explains to him in private that, once being his superior officer, she will have to destroy him and his career by bidding away his star first because he would always outshine her otherwise.

Corinne then manages to beat Richard in the trial because of her greater experience in zero-g, though she suffers a broken ankle among other injuries. Shocked at having been defeated for the first time in his life (and the consequences Corinne announced), Richard withdraws into the cabin of a cargo truck. His delicate relationship with Corinne, the nearest thing to a lover thinkable in Clan society, has been upset. She meets him at the cabin door and they argue until the ship jumps. Immediately following the jump, Richard renounces their kinship. Before Corinne can answer, a sudden shock runs through the ship and everything in the hangar, including Corinne, suddenly "falls" to one side.

Richard is temporarily knocked out by the truck's airbag. He recovers to find the ship floating after some disaster, apparently a collision. Most people aboard are dead or gravely injured, only Richard was protected by being strapped into the truck cabin. While he rescues the floating and unconscious Corinne, the WarShip carrying the DropShip ignites its engines and accelerates them at an odd angle. The erratic movements make the chaotic situation on the DropShip yet worse as loose cargo, debris and fires add to the carnage. Richard and a badly injured Corinne attempt to save as many members of their trinary as possible.

In the end, Richard saves ten people including Star Colonel François Cote because his suicidal mood makes him take great risks. He also sees that the cause of the accident was a stray asteroid that ripped through the DropShip.

Recuperating from his injuries, Richard later learns that Corinne is not among the survivors. (Unable to follow François Cote out of one section of the doomed ship because of her injuries, she insisted he carry another critically injured MechWarrior out first. She stayed behind and was killed in a freak explosion of spilled ordnance.)

Part II: The Fading Call of Glory[edit]

Richard Bekker became a hero in the space disaster on the Sharp Claw, even earning five lines in the Remembrance, but Clan Ghost Bear's defeat at Luk in the Battle of Tukayyid subsequently cast a shadow on his career. By 12 June 3073, he is a Star Colonel and has taken over command of the 37th Provisional Garrison Cluster (Clan Ghost Bear), Tau Galaxy (Clan Ghost Bear)—a reserve force and not a frontline unit—from Star Colonel Jebediah a few weeks ago. François Cote, now Galaxy Commander, announces that because of the Jihad raging in the Inner Sphere, two of Tau Galaxy's three Clusters will receive upgraded equipment, maintenance and training to prepare them for frontline duty while the third will remain on garrison duty. A Trial of Possession for the upgrading is announced between Richard's 37th and Star Colonel Estelle's 18th Provisional Garrison cluster.

Estelle's clever bidding puts Richard at a disadvantage—her Summoner, a Mist Lynx and a Fire Moth against his Kodiak—, but Galaxy Commander Cote expects him to win because Estelle is near solahma age and not very smart. He confides in Richard that he still considers him a ristar and wants to give him a second chance; but he has still put the posting up for trial because of what he calls Richard's distubing history of losing where he is supposed to win.

Richard carefully prepares for the trial and manages to trick Estelle's lighter 'Mechs into shooting at each other. His preparations allow him to outmaneuver his enemies, but in the end he is defeated by dishonorable tactics including a breach of zellbrigen and a killing blow from a hidden unit. Unable to prove his claims, he finds himself posted to garrison duty by his disappointed Galaxy Commander in what seems to be the end of his career.

Richard's subordinate Warriors blame him for losing the trial, and their chance at honor with it. On 1 August 3073 their anger leads to a duel to the death against one of them that Richard is about to lose when his opponent, MechWarrior Hans, is distracted by an officer reporting the arrival of a Clan Nova Cat WarShip. The brief interruption gives Richard an opportunity to kill Hans, settling the issue at least temporarily.

The WarShip turns out to carry none other than Devlin Stone, who bids his command lance against a star of defenders in a Trial of Possession for one year of non-exclusive use of Tukayyid's hyperpulse generator. It falls to Stone to pick the place of the trial, and he selects the Holth Forest outside Luk—the site of Clan Ghost Bear's defeat in the Battle of Tukayyid twenty-two years earlier, a traumatic episode for Richard, only survivor of the slaughter of the 7th Bear Guards (to whom he was only appended, while still officially on the rolls of the 3rd Bear Striker).

Richard's star includes the only MechWarrior who did not conspire against him, and three of the most prominent conspirators, in particular Star Captain Kasper, a rash young officer who is something of a ringleader among Richard's enemies in his own unit. They relive the Holth battle from twenty-two years ago and Kasper begins to understand, even appreciate, Richard's insight and innovative methods. However, Richard Bekker is ultimately bested at his own game by Devlin Stone, who wins the trial following strict Clan honor code because Richard expected him to fight dishonorably.


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