Hugai Kurita (30th c.)
|Position||Coordinator of Worlds|
|Parents||Shinjiro Kurita (father)|
The second child born to Shinjiro Kurita, the quiet Hugai and his extrovert father never connected, with Hugai spending most of his life away from Luthien and his father's desire for the spotlight. Despite their personal estrangement, Hugai grew into a relatively well-adjusted young man of calm bearing and quiet manner, though having a streak of violence that worried his mother and sisters. After entering military service Hugai served under General Samson Sakamoto, coming to regard Sakamoto with great fondness, viewing him as a mentor and almost as the loving father he never had.
Coordinator of the Draconis Combine
Hugai had only just taken command of a regiment when his father died under somewhat suspicious circumstances in 2925. While Shinjiro's second born child, thanks to the bushido mentality that pervaded the DCMS High Command, as his father's eldest male child Hugai was considered the only suitable choice to succeed his father despite his inexperience. His elder sister Necess declined to challenge Hugai for the post, far more interested in medical archaeology than ruling over the Combine. Despite this, Hugai would continue his father's efforts to try and restrict her travel to the other Houses on research trips, ordering her kept on extensive ISF watch whenever she did go abroad.
With the AFFS seemingly focusing most of its attention on a major offensive against the Capellan Confederation, during the early days of Hugai's reign the DCMS High Command assured the Coordinator that little activity would occur on the Davion front for the next few years, the DCMS choosing to focus on the front with the Lyran Commonwealth in response. Around this time Hugai asked a personal favor of his mentor General Sakamoto, requesting he take over command of both the recently reorganized and unseasoned 12th and 17th Galedon Regulars when they were transferred on the strategic and materially important Combine world of Xhosa VII in 2929.
Hugai would join with his fellow Great House leaders in attending the state funeral for Primus of ComStar Kari Marshall on Terra in 2930. Marshall's successor Hollings York would meet privately with each of the other leaders, but Hugai would decline, serving as somewhat of a precursor for the tensions between them a just a few years later.
Though the lull on Davion-Combine border continued as the Combine believed the AFFS fully focused on the Capellans, the extent of the forces committed was actually overinflated as part of an MIIO disinformation scheme, as First Prince Joseph Davion prepared an invasion of Xhosa VII in late 2930. Hidden among the heavy cargo DropShip traffic that visited the world, the AFFS troops took the Combine defenders by surprise, successfully capturing the planet by 2931 despite First Prince Joseph suffering crippling injuries in the process. While the loss of the important world was a bitter pill, the biggest blow to Hugai however was the death of General Sakamoto, falling during an epic duel that also claimed the life of Davion invasion commander General Wallace Mickertrick. While his warrior training allowed Hugai to control his grief, those nearest to him knew he was deeply affected by the loss of the man to whom he was closer to than his own father.
Necess Kurita Affair
Tired with the endless restrictions on her research and travel imposed by her younger brother, in late 2931 Necess chose to join ComStar, the first member of the main branch of the Kurita family to do so. Still greatly affected by the death of General Sakamoto, a depressed and angry Hugai had no intention of seeing his sister desert him, sending several terse messages angrily warning the Primus he considered such recruitment efforts to be akin to meddling in the internal affairs of the Draconis Combine.
Responding that ComStar viewed his actions in the same light, after Precentor Luthien Stephanie Hendriks determined Necess's desire to join ComStar was genuine, Primus York approved her appointment as an Acolyte. While the First Circuit pressed York to exploit Necess's "defection" for its propaganda value, Primus York was greatly concerned about increasing the tensions between ComStar and the Combine and attempted to throw a veil of secrecy over her appointment. Hoping this would act as a show of good faith, York would send a cordial message to Hugai explaining her appointment and that rather than the usual yearly transfer of Acolytes, in Necess's case he would allow her to remain on Luthien for two rotations as an additional compromise.
Furious at what he saw as ComStar's audacity, Hugai dispatched six ISF agents in November 2931 to return his sister to him by force, triggering a gun battle at ComStar hospice on Luthien. The surviving ISF agents spiriting Necess to the Imperial City, Hugai ordering her locked away in a distant wing of the palace, two dozen ISF agents guarding against any ROM rescue attempt. When Primus York lodged a formal protest against the kidnapping, Hugai retorted that ComStar had brainwashed his sister and turned her against her family, warning that any efforts to recover her would lead to more deaths and military action against ComStar's facilities within the Combine.
While the First Circuit debated whether to acquiesce to the Coordinator or escalate the conflict, York cited that Hugai's honor and pride would force him to resist an Interdiction and that only a military response could ensure the Combine respected ComStar. Though the Order lacked a true military, with York's approval the organization used its capacity as the Mercenary Review Board to sign contracts with almost six regiments worth of crack mercenary units, a force large enough to convince Hugai to reconsider. The pièce de résistance however was The Bandersnatches, a ROM employed mercenary unit in close proximity to Luthien.
While he traveled from Terra with the remaining mercenary forces, York placed the Bandersnatches en route to Luthien and all ROM elements on world under Hendrik's direct command along with the order to use whatever force necessary to enforce the will of Blake and ComStar. Hendrik came up with a daring plan to use the Bandersnatches as the Sword of Damocles and perform a combat directly onto the Unity Palace to cripple or destroy House Kurita's leadership, receiving York's full support. As the Bandersnatches approached Luthien, Stephanie Hendriks would spend the time in intense negotiations to try and arrange a meeting between only Hugai, Necess and herself.
Two weeks after Necess's abduction Precentor Hendriks finally got her audience with the Coordinator to discuss "a number of open issues" only after she was forced to shut down the Luthien HPG for twelve hours, sending the Combine government into a panic. Politely but firmly, Precentor Hendriks laid out Primus York's terms to allow Necess to make up her own mind to join ComStar and allow her to leave without interference, Hugai refusing almost immediately, accusing Hendriks and ComStar of brainwashing his sister. Hendriks then informed the Coordinator that if he did not comply ComStar would impose an Interdiction against the entire Combine, but as Primus York feared, Hugai informed her that the Combine would prevail and that he had already made plans for couriers JumpShip to carry his orders.
Forced to play her final card, Hendriks presented the Coordinator with a small portable holovid linked to the Bandersnatches commander Colonel Dietrikson, who informed the leader of the Combine in clear and certain terms that his battalion was less than ten minutes from initiating a combat drop on the Unity Palace with orders to either rescue Precentor Hendriks and Necess or lay waste to the palace and the Imperial City before evacuation if this was not possible. With his aides convincing him of the danger of the head-hunter attack, and Hendriks revealing Primus York had further positioned six regiments of troops within striking distance of two of his Military District capitals, a scowling Hugai eventually announced that Necess was free to return to ComStar as a symbol of the Draconis Combine's undying appreciation of its great service to the Inner Sphere.
His sister's departure coming on top of the loss of his mentor seemingly sapped Hugai's interest in running the Combine. Now given to long bouts of indifference, Hugai spent almost the final decade of his reign moodily wandering the grounds of the Unity Palace with orders that no one must disturb his reveries.
Unfortunately without his direct participation, many important aspects of the Combine government were stuck in limbo, most notably the budgets for both arms of the military. As a result, from 2953 to 2963 the DCMS and the DCA were forced to survive on repetitions of the 2952 budget, the last one in which Hugai had been personally involved. Though this kept the military afloat, repeating the same quotas of parts and supplies also meant that items in short supply in 2953 were in surplus by 2963 and vice versa. Such supply issues meant that despite the disdain held for them, mercenary units (who could access to both legal and black market means of supply unavailable to the DCMS) were the best supplied and effective military forces in the Combine.
With the Combine's military hampered by the lack of direction from Hugai, the LCAF achieved a number of notable victories as part of their Operation Freedom including the recapture of Phalan from House Kurita. Horrified by the increasing effectiveness of the LCAF, the generals of the Kurita High Command rashly launched a strike against the Hesperus II in 2957 in a desperate attempt to drag the Lyran military down to their level. The Ninth Battle of Hesperus II saw two DCMS 'Mech regiments carry out a near-suicide mission, losing more than half their number during misguided drop directly onto the Myoo Mountains above the Defiance Industries factories. It was only the heroic actions of the few survivors that the mission was counted as a success, cutting Steiner 'Mech production by 50 percent.
Death and Legacy
The melancholy Hugai ultimately died in 2963, succeeded by his son Hohiro Kurita. Almost the complete polar opposite of his father, Hohiro would work tirelessly to undo much of the harm Hugai's depression had cause the Combine, but the harshness of his methods would quickly earn him the reputation as the cruelest Coordinator to ever hold the post.
Hugai would personally found the Hachiman Technical Institute located on the world of the same name, having come up with the idea of a school specializing exclusively in the hands-on teaching of battlefield technologies skills and the repair and salvage techniques increasingly vital during the technological decline of the Succession Wars era.
One of Hugai's other legacies would be that of Deber City, a concept for a fully modular and segmented city that could be mass produced and replicated en masse across the Combine. With the city split into five sectors (commercial, residential, industrial, recreation and military) surrounding central administrative district, while deemed an architectural innovation after the first Deber City was completed on Benjamin, ultimately becoming that world's capital city, the concept mirrored much of Hugai's reign and stagnated, with only four other Deber Cities constructed on other notable worlds such as Dieron before the project failed.
|“||The strength of the Dragon is in its people. They are the Dragon, and the Dragon is for them.||”|
|— From Thoughts of the Ruler, by Hugai Kurita, Luthien Press, 2951|
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), foldout: "The Draconis Combine's Line of Succession and Partial Kurita Family Tree"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 83: "History - The Third Succession War - Hugai Kurita"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 84: "History - The Third Succession War - Xhosa VII"
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 58: "History of the Nation - The New Century - Enter Hugai - Sunburst on Xhosa - Traitor to the Star - The Steiner Conundrum - Dragonfall"
- ComStar, p. 38: "Age of Enlightenment"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp. 84–85: "History - The Third Succession War - Abduction of an Acolyte"
- ComStar, pp. 39–40: "Age of Enlightenment"
- Field Manual: ComStar, p. 12: "The New Dawn"
- ComStar, p. 41: "Age of Enlightenment - Outfoxing the Dragon"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 86: "History - The Third Succession War - Decline and Fall"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 85: "History - The Third Succession War - The Steiner Quagmire"
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 75
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp. 86–87: "History - The Third Succession War - Hohiro Kurita - The Dragon Renewed"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 140: "Pillar of Steel - Major Military Academies - Hachiman Technical Institute"
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 84: "Touring the Realm - Benjamin Military District (The Dragon's Heart) - Benjamin"
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 93: "Touring the Realm - Dieron Military District (The Dragon's Spirit) - Dieron"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 102: "Pillar of Gold - Strengths and Weaknesses"