Outbound Light

Vessel Profile

The Merchant-class JumpShip Outbound Light was a ComStar Explorer Corps vessel (alternatively described as a ROM exploration vessel[1]) that chanced across the Clan system of Huntress, precipitating the beginning of Operation Revival — the Clan invasion of the Inner Sphere.


The ComStar Explorer Corps was founded in 2959 by Primus Adrienne Sims. Its mission was to survey the Deep Periphery around the Inner Sphere to identify any potential threat to ComStar's technological superiority from beyond the Periphery, most notably discovering what happened to the Exodus Fleet. The Corps sent hundreds of missions in every direction since its formation, rediscovering numerous abandoned worlds and bases as well as isolated colonies. The corps failed, however, in their mission to uncover the fate of the Exodus Fleet until the Outbound Light "fulfilled" this mandate in an unintended and disastrous fashion.

Under mission command of ROM Precentor Arabella Bradford[2][3] and with the ships under the command of Precentor Vincent Dupont,[3][4] the Outbound Light departed from Bone-Norman in June 3046 on a standard three-year exploratory survey carrying two DropShips, the Union-class Knox and the Buccaneer-class Golden Hind. It was manned by a crew of 46 across all ships, plus a standard seven-person Explorer Corps survey team. After a relatively uneventful voyage, the Outbound Light, picking up and following faint signals (a decades-old broadcast of Shadow Crusade), jumped on 27 September 3048 into what was believed to be an unknown G7V star system. Instead, they stumbled upon the Clan Smoke Jaguar capital of Huntress.[3][4][5][6]

Capture by Clan Smoke Jaguar[edit]

On Smoke Jaguar Khan Leo Showers' orders, the Explorer Corps vessels were engaged and impounded by OmniFighters from the Smoke Jaguar Comitatus-class vessel High Guard before they could attempt escape. The crews were detained and subjected to interrogation (including the use of mind-control drugs) for several days, revealing considerable information about the current state of the Inner Sphere's political scene and the apparent goals of the major powers.

Now the sole recipient of the Clans' first solid update in twenty years about the Inner Sphere, Khan Showers grasped an opportunity to break the deadlock in the Great Debate in favor of the Crusader faction. When he finally informed the rest of the Grand Council about what had transpired, Showers selectively presented the most damning evidence, such as the growing power of the Federated Commonwealth and the rediscovery of much Star League technology that had been lost over two centuries of near-constant warfare, and was able to convince the rest of the Clans that they themselves faced imminent invasion from the "barbarians" of the Inner Sphere. The result was a Grand Council vote in favor of invasion, with only Clan Wolf voting against. Khan Leo Showers took advantage of pro-Crusader sentiment, and was elected ilKhan of the Grand Council. Preparations to invade the Inner Sphere, dubbed Operation Revival, began immediately.[4][5]


The fate of the crew of the Outbound Light and its DropShips is unknown. Initial ComStar reports from the early days of the Clan invasion indicated that the crew and ships had been returned to ComStar, supplying vital intel on the Clan way of life, though with their memories and databanks of the route taken to Huntress wiped,[2] but such reports turned out to be false.[4]

Only the seven member survey team was returned to ComStar. The members of the survey team all exhibited heavy psychological scarring after their time with the Smoke Jaguars. The other members of the expedition were not returned and no information about them has become available. Even after the liberation of Huntress by Task Force Serpent, the whereabouts of the ships and crews remained unknown.[3]

According to Explorer Corps doctrine at that time, the crew did not file a predetermined route along which it would travel,[7] allowing the crew the freedom to change their route should any promising leads develop. While this allowed them to stumble upon Huntress, it also made it virtually impossible for ComStar to discover the route the Outbound Light took and locate the Clan Homeworlds.[4]


  1. Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 19: "The Go Vote"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 5: "ComStar Classified Report Sanctum Level Clearance BLP-613-DTC"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 17
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Explorer Corps, p. 9: "Overview - The Clan Wars - Outbound Light"
  5. 5.0 5.1 Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 25: "History of the Clans - Golden Century - Crusader's Call - Invasion"
  6. Clan Spaniel Sourcebook, p. 19: "Clan Spaniel Live!"
  7. ComStar, p. 65