Iron Dawn

Iron Dawn (Cover).jpg
Iron Dawn
Product information
Type Novel
Author Jennifer Brozek
Pages 272 (PoD version)
Cover Artwork Marco Mazzoni
Publication information
Publisher Catalyst Game Labs
Product code 35827
First published 15 April 2019
ISBN-10 1942487797
ISBN-13 978-1942487791
MSRP $13.95 (PoD)
Era Dark Age Era
Timeline 5 - 8 April 3150
Series Rogue Academy Trilogy
Followed by Ghost Hour

Iron Dawn, by Jennifer Brozek, is the first installment of the Rogue Academy Trilogy. It was published in electronic format and is also available in hardcopy as Print-on-Demand.

From the back cover[edit]


Jasper and Nadine Roux are cadets at the Ritza MechWarrior Academy; a dream come true for the orphaned siblings from the war-torn planet of Hoff. For the last six years, Emporia has been their home. Sponsored to the academy by the powerful Vogel House, both cadets are expected to excel in all tasks.

Their dream becomes a nightmare when the Draconis Combine lands at their door.

It’s up to the siblings to stop a renegade Seventh Ghost Regiment warlord when he lays claim to a piece of the Inner Sphere—starting with the Federated Suns’ planet of Emporia. The border world looks like easy prey, but this warrior of the Dragon is about to learn how wrong he is. After the few MechWarriors on the planet are taken hostage, the Sponsored and Blooded cadets of the Ritza Academy fight like they have nothing left to lose.

It’s a fight that will cost them more than they know.

Plot summary[edit]

Unhappy about having to serve two masters (the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery and the yakuza sponsoring his regiment), Tai-sa Takeji Yoshizawa of the Seventh Ghost Regiment feels his unit is a dumping ground for undesirables and criminals – in the Seventh, one does not have a past, only a future, as the adage goes, but others always only see the past sins and not the unit's achievements. Neglect, hurtful assignments and a disastrous pyrrhic victory on Sakhara V under Toshizawa's predecessor where mere cadets decimated the unit have thinned the ranks. Together with a council of his officers, Toshizawa has decided to go rogue and selected the agricultural world of Emporia as a base for his fledgling empire. They decide to go "all in" and bring their entire supply train along as they jump to Emporia just before midnight on 3 April 3150.

With the rank and file and also his yakuza liaison unaware that Yoshizawa is acting on his own authority, their assault DropShips approach the planet under the guise of merchants and on 6 April secure the New Exeter Spaceport in a commando action, then proceed to capture the local MechWarriors and nobles, executing some to make a point. With the nobles captured and their households kept hostage, Toshizawa's forces use Baron Zachary Vogel and his wife to record a message ordering the planet to surrender. They do not initially realize that the planetary rulers, House Ritza, have gone to ground, nor that Baron Vogel's message contained secret language ordering the world to resist.

At the Ritza MechWarrior Academy, the cadets are ordered to stand down by the staff despite the Baron's orders, while the staff is divided over how to react. Cadets Jasper and Nadine Roux, orphaned in a Draconis Combine invasion on Hoff six years ago and now sponsored by House Vogel, harbor no illusions about a peaceful transfer of power. They witnessed mass executions of prisoners back on Hoff, and Nadine's network of short-wave radio contacts report and confirm that people are rounded up or executed. Realizing that the academy cadets will be pressed into service or killed by the attackers, and having been told by merchant Elijah Hughes where the captive nobles are held, they resolve to carry out a three-pronged rescue mission with some fellow cadets while their intel is still good, not entirely trusting Hughes's word that he will call for help once he has left the system: In the early morning hours of 8 April, Jasper assumes command over the academy's BattleMech lance to lead an attack on the starport, create a diversion and provide covering fire to Nadine's infantry contingent and vehicles while their friend and confidant, Sergeant Major Vale Auger, embarks on a solo mission into New Exeter to reach and use a Black Box transmitter to call for help, followed by a broadcast to the general public calling them to rebel against the occupation forces.

Despite some setbacks including the deaths of Lady Shannon Vogel and several cadets over the course of the engagement, the unsanctioned missions are successful. Emporia MechWarriors even manage to extricate their 'Mechs, and all survivors return to the Ritza Academy. However, while the cadets are cheered by their fellows, they are at the same time chewed out for blatantly acting against orders; worse, there is no actual plan how to proceed now that the situation has escalated to open warfare.

Toshizawa is indeed furious. He orders his DropShips to launch into orbit and resolves to teach the planet a lesson that will involve public mass executions of the remaining prisoners, the destruction of New Exeter, and razing the Ritza Academy. He has since learned that the world is not quite the breadbasket world he thought, and may not be a top choice for a base after all, and thus has no qualms about turning it into a slave world... and his subordinates have worked out a devious plan.

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