|Also known as||The Black Widow,|
The First Lady of Death,
The Queen of Spades,
|Died||7 December 3057|
|Rank||Khan of Clan Wolf,|
Colonel of Wolf's Dragoons
Natasha Kerensky, also known as The Black Widow, The Queen of Spades, and many other appellations, was a MechWarrior from Clan Wolf. She and her 22 brothers and sisters were the first children produced of a mixture of the Kerensky bloodline and various bloodlines from Clan Widowmaker. Immensely successful and famous, she was widely regarded as the best and deadliest MechWarrior of the 31st century, with the possible exception of Kai Allard-Liao.
After a meteoric career in Clan Wolf, she volunteered for the Wolf's Dragoons mission. In the Inner Sphere, she earned her reputation as leader of the Black Widow Company but returned to her Clan when the Clan Invasion began, where she quickly rose to the rank of Khan.
The information available about Natasha Kerensky reaches back to 3000 when she was a Star Captain commanding a Trinary in the elite 328th Assault Cluster of Clan Wolf. In this time the unit achieved notable victories over Clan Diamond Shark on Paxon and over Clan Jade Falcon on Eden. Both Jaime Wolf and Joshua Wolf served under her command, the latter upon her request to replace casualties her command had suffered against the Diamond Sharks. A bond of friendship developed between her and the freeborn brothers.
Kerensky's career stalled after her promotion to Star Colonel in 3003. Several high-profile assignments eluded her due to her impatience with politics, and her success on the battlefield curiously led to her unit being eliminated in biddings early on to stiffen the bidding process.
In 3004 she joined Wolf's Dragoons during their long-term intelligence mission into the Inner Sphere, leaping at the opportunity to see combat duty even though it involved a de facto demotion to Point Commander, serving under the command of the brothers Wolf. Natasha Kerensky quickly rose through the ranks of Wolf's Dragoons. During the unit's employment with the Federated Suns, she apparently came to the attention of a young Hanse Davion. At some point (circumstantial evidence suggests during the employment with the Capellan Confederation between 3010 and 3014) she and Joshua Wolf became lovers.
After 3014 the Dragoons were in the employ of Duke Anton Marik in the Marik Civil War. One of the first targets of Duke Marik was Nova Roma, where Lieutenant Kerensky and her heavy lance operated in June 3014 in conjunction with the Bounty Hunter and his team. After the Bounty Hunter had inspected a steep ravine and declared it safe to pass, Kerensky's lance entered and fell to a loyalist ambush. Only herself and Colin Maclaren survived and the Bounty Hunter salvaged their 'Mechs, including Kerensky's Marauder, which became the Bounty Hunter's iconic 'Mech in his remarkably successful career. (See also Notes below.)
Shortly afterwards, Natasha Kerensky accepted command over a special Dragoon company composed of criminals, misfits and troublemakers. Promoted to Captain, she forged them into an effective fighting unit that saw action on Emris IV, Matheran, Calloway VI, Semenyih, Tiber, McKenna, and New Delos.
The Black Widow
In 3015, Wolf's Dragoons fell out with their current employer, Duke Anton Marik, who subsequently took Joshua Wolf and 27 other Dragoon personnel hostage and later killed them.
As the Dragoons attacked Duke Marik on New Delos in a retaliatory strike it fell to Natasha Kerensky's band of malcontents to break through the defensive line of burning forests. In a frenzied all-out attack they razed the stronghold and killed Anton Marik in their fire-blackened 'Mechs. After the final battle on New Delos, Captain Natasha Kerensky emerged as the self-styled "Black Widow" and had command over her own, semi-independent sub-unit of Wolf's Dragoons, the notorious Black Widow Company.
From then on, the Black Widows were the Dragoons' most active raiding force, often operating independently from their parent unit. They were also typically spearheading assaults in the thick of any major Dragoon operation. As commander of this unit, the "Black Widow" became a living legend akin to the Bounty Hunter. During this time she usually piloted a jet black Warhammer that became as infamous as its pilot, the mere sight of which persuaded many foes to flee rather than face her.
On 16 December 3031 it was announced that Natasha Kerensky had been promoted to Colonel, and her unit was expanded to Battalion size. The Black Widows were the first Dragoon unit to return to combat duty after the devastating losses Wolf's Dragoons had suffered on Misery and in the subsequent Fourth Succession War.
In 3031, Tsinghai planetary rulers hired the new Black Widow Battalion to defend their world after discovering from the compromised SAFE spy network on planet that it was a target of the Duchy of Orloff. In 3032 during the midst of the Andurien Secession, hawkish members of the Parliament who had felt Captain-General Janos Marik had not done enough during the Fourth War pressured his regent Thomas Marik to take some proactive action against the Steiner-Davion alliance. Unwilling to commit the untested 4th Free Worlds Guards in subduing the Anduriens, Thomas attempted to both appease the hawks in parliament and give the unbloodied unit a chance to prove itself, allowing the Fourth's commanding officer Colonel Veena Ligacescu to launch an attack against the Sarna March world of Tsinghai in February. With intelligence indicating only minimal resistance, success seemed a foregone conclusion.
Much to the new Fourth's shock, the planet was defended by the also newly reformed Black Widow Battalion. Natasha Kerensky led the sub-unit of Wolf's Dragoons and effortlessly proved their elite status by shattering the Fourth so badly that the survivors chose to defect to Federated Commonwealth rather than return home to the League. As they feared, Captain-General Janos Marik was enraged by this betrayal, and the disgraced Fourth Free Worlds Guards were permanently disbanded and struck from the rolls of the FWLM.
A minor border world in 3033, Kujari was considered a possible target for invasion by Chancellor Romano Liao following conflicts on a number of nearby worlds including Wallacia, which suggested that the local region of space was unstable. Romano elected to deploy an all-mercenary force to avoid damaging any of her regular CCAF units, choosing to send four battalion-sized mercenary units to probe the world: McCrimmon's Light Cavalry, Rivaldi's Hussars, St. Cyr's Armored Grenadiers and Steele's Eagles, with overall command of the operation going to Colonel Donovan Steele of Steele's Eagles.
Unfortunately for the Grenadiers, Romano's invasion force would face the Black Widow Battalion led by her, as Kujari had been used for some time as a base of operations for the Black Widows. Steele elected to attack using a bold, aggressive plan similar to those used by Wolf's Dragoons, a plan that was largely predicted by Kerensky from the outset. Despite a contested landing, the four mercenary commands managed to link up, but couldn't bring their numbers to bear against the Black Widows, and the campaign finished in defeat when Kerensky deceived many of the mercenaries into believing that her forces had left the planet, only to then launch a decapitation raid against the Eagles. Kerensky prevailed over Colonel Steele in a duel besting his Marauder and called on him to surrender. Steele not only surrendered, he also led his unit to defect to the Federated Commonwealth rather than face a vengeful Romano Liao.
Return to the Clans
When the Clan invasion into the Inner Sphere took place in 3049, she left the Dragoons to take her place amongst her fellow Bloodnamed Clan Warriors – notable as being the only member of the Clan in either the Dragoons or its offshoot Snord's Irregulars to answer the Grand Council's official recall order. Among Wolf's Dragoons, her unit, the Black Widow Battalion, was replaced by the Wolf Spider Battalion.
|“||History has often taught us that the path to victories in the future is not to rush into battle like the Smoke Jaguars or the Jade Falcons. Where they rush into battle, charge where angels fear to tread, we know that victory is a matter of stalking one's prey. The hunt, the pursuit, the methodical wearing down of one's foe, that is often the key to victory. Let the Falcons say what they will about Ulric Kerensky. We shall show them how true Warriors achieve victory!||”|
|— Khan Natasha Kerensky addresses her 352nd Assault Cluster before the Battle of Colmar|
Death and legacy
Khan Natasha Kerensky, leading the prestigious 13th Wolf Guards, died in December 3057 in single 'Mech combat against Star Commander Joanna of Clan Jade Falcon in the Great Gash on the planet Twycross while fighting a rearguard action to cover the retreat of her unit. The Jade Falcons left Kerensky's fallen BattleMech (a Dire Wolf called Widowmaker) in its place as a monument to an exceptional person who was widely respected, even by her former enemies.
Decades after her death, Natasha would become a genemother to Anastasia Kerensky. Anastasia would echo the same path as her ancestor by carrying the Kerensky Bloodname, becoming a mercenary leader of the Wolf Hunters and later the saKhan of Clan Wolf.
Natasha Kerensky is chiefly associated with the jet black Warhammer that she piloted throughout her career as the Black Widow.
It is not known what 'Mech(s) Natasha Kerensky piloted in her early days as a MechWarrior.
She piloted a Marauder on Nova Roma that was famously salvaged by the Bounty Hunter, who used it as his signature 'Mech for a long time.
After returning to the Clans, she claimed a Timber Wolf that was the property of Vlad Ward. By the time of her death in combat on Twycross she piloted a Dire Wolf with a custom configuration.
The death of Joshua Wolf, her lover, in 3015 apparently pushed Natasha Kerensky over the edge and turned the already formidable MechWarrior to a cocky, sometimes almost suicidal lifestyle on and off the battlefield for decades to come. Like her entire Black Widow command of criminals and discipline cases she displayed borderline psychotic behavior and could kill at a whim, inside or outside her Warhammer. Violent bar fights that could even result in deaths occurred regularly. When Fadre Singh admitted during questioning following his capture on Misery that he had leaked critical information to the enemy, she simply shot him in the presence of the Dragoon command staff even while Jaime Wolf still raised his hand to hit Singh. She uttered a line, revealed later as a quote of Nicholas Kerensky: "Those who break faith with the Unity shall go down into darkness." Nicholas had uttered those same words when ordering the Annihilation of Clan Wolverine.
At one point during the Dragoons' employment with the Draconis Combine just prior to 3028, Gideon Braver confronted Natasha Kerensky with false accusations about having attacked Ander's Moon. She denied the accusations and a bar fight broke out; only the interventions of a MIIO operative saved Gideon Braver from a very severe beating. (Since this event is depicted in the storyline of a computer game, the canonicity of this information is disputed.)
Within Wolf's Dragoons she held the rank of a mere Captain (in command of the Black Widow Company) for a long time, but was highly respected and in fact commanded the authority of a Battalion commander or better; in tactical meetings she was respected as an equal by Regimental Colonels among the Dragoons. When all Regiment and Battalion commanders assembled for the seppuku ceremony of Minobu Tetsuhara at the conclusion of the Misery campaign she was present as well.
She spoke Russian and was known to curse in that language when a combat situation was complex.
|“||Train your young boys well, because otherwise they won't get past this old woman.||”|
|— Natasha Kerensky|
Natasha ca. 3025
Natasha Kerensky from cover of Tales of the Black Widow Company
Natasha Kerensky from cover of More Tales of the Black Widow
Natasha ca. 3028
Natasha ca. 3031
Natasha ca. 3032
Leader of the Black Widow Company
Natasha ca. 3051
- While there is much fan speculation that Natasha piloted 'Mechs with advanced Star League technology in her early career with Wolf's Dragoons, there are no canon references to support this. Her Marauder, captured by the Bounty Hunter in 3014, was upgraded by him following a Periphery mission in 3015 with equipment from a Star League cache uncovered during that mission. Her iconic Warhammer is a stock WHM-6R, maintained in perfect condition.
- Tales of the Black Widow Company, p. 9: "Captain Natasha Kerensky"
- Tales of the Black Widow Company, p. 9: "MechWarrior Colin Maclaren"
- More Tales of the Black Widow, p. 54
- Era Report: 3052, p. 82: "Natasha Kerensky Profile"
- I Am Jade Falcon
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, pp. 14–15
- Lost Destiny, ch. 2
- Wolves on the Border, p. 177
- "The Memory of Pain"
- Wolf's Dragoons, p. 124: "The Bounty Hunter"
- BattleTech Dossiers: The Bounty Hunter, p. 5
- Camo Specs, p. 30: "Wolf's Dragoons"
- Wolf's Dragoons, p. 84: "Black Widow Company Roster"
- Field Manual: Free Worlds League, p. 43: "Free Worlds Guards Profile"
- More Tales of the Black Widow, pp. 7–9
- Historical: Brush Wars, pp. 62–63: "The Andurien Wars - Phase 1: The Invasion of the Capellan Confederation - 3032: Counterblows - Tsinghai (February)"
- More Tales of the Black Widow, pp. 17–19
- "Mechwarrior: Dark Age, Dossiers And Pilot Cards", p. 258
- Wolves on the Border, p.
- Tales of the Black Widow Company, pp. 40–41
- Historical: War of 3039, p. 119: "Other Wave Two Actions"
- BattleTech Dossiers: The Bounty Hunter, p. 6: "Marauder Bounty Hunter 3015"
- Tales of the Black Widow Company, p. 8
- BattleTech Dossiers: The Bounty Hunter
- Camo Specs
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky
- Era Report: 3052
- Historical: Brush Wars
- Historical: War of 3039
- I Am Jade Falcon (novel)
- The Memory of Pain
- More Tales of the Black Widow
- Shrapnel (anthology)
- The Spider and the Wolf
- Tales of the Black Widow Company
- A Time of Ice and Fire
- Wolf's Dragoons (sourcebook)
- Wolves on the Border (novel)