Raul Tinker

Raul Tinker
Affiliation Word of Blake
Profession/
occupation
Precentor
Parents Ramus Tinker (Father)[1]
Siblings Phreda Tinker
Dana Tinker
Julie Tinker[1]

Biography[edit]

Early Life[edit]

Raul Tinker was born on New Home. The son of a middle-class family. During one of the many fights between Capellan Confederation and Federated Suns, a BattleMech destroyed his family home killing his mother and his father's factory was smashed. Some years later, on 2 March 3059, his father dies in an accident while unloading a Word of Blake ship, and the WoB offers his family a place in a Word of Blake orphanage as a charity measure.

Three years later, Raul seizes the chances the Word of Blake gave him and his sisters and easily passes his exams. Based on his grades he is offered a military career by Weingard, though Raul would have to join the Word of Blake proper for this.

Early Career[edit]

By 1 May 3066 Raul is commissioned as a Lieutenant with Aaron's Eradicators, one of several volunteer Word of Blake MechWarriors fighting in mercenary units to gain combat experience without revealing the Word's military army. The Eradicators crush Federated Suns-sponsored rebels on Bryant, where the crews from two enemy tanks and some surviving enemy infantry surrender. Enraged by the duplicity of the Federation backing and the unnecessary deaths it caused (and a fight with a Vindicator that reminded him of his mother's death), Raul argues with Captain Randy Aaron over whether they should even take prisoners; Raul's point is that returning them to local law enforcement or reintegrating them into the population would only serve to sow the seeds of more uprisings. Killing them now would pacify the planet and save lives in the long run. Aaron objects to what he outright calls murder, but acquiesces when Raul and the Word of Blake volunteer for handling the dirty work, leaving his hands clean.

In the aftermath, Raul feels guilty about his crime. Captain Aaron, upon reporting what happened, receives transfer orders for Raul and the other Word of Blake volunteers and a private message to Raul. The private message from Weingard turns out to be not an admonishment, but a promotion to Demi-Precentor for doing what had to be done. After some leave, Raul is going to be reassigned to Terra for extra training, his guilt replaced by jubilant confidence.[1]

Having finally arrived on Terra for a training assignment after postings to training facilities on two other worlds, Raul Tinker sees the chaos of the Jihad unfolding after ComStar blamed a nuclear disaster on Tharkad on a Word of Blake surprise attack. From his perspective the Word is fighting a defensive war that they did not start but intend to end; The Master at this point is a mere rumor for him.

Despite a ComStar task force entering the system, Raul's superiors are confident that it has no chance of reaching the planet, and Raul is even sent on leave despite volunteering for the militia. Contacted by his youngest sister Dana, he joins her for a visit to Jerome Blake's birthplace at Galesburg, Michigan, North America, and is bewildered by the religious aspects it seems to have for some members of the order including Dana, like a pilgrimage. He wanders along when TerraSec Command pages him (and others around him). He is directed to an enemy landing in Indiana, near the Ohio border, that seems odd or off-course from the other landings. Dana, a geneticist, privately informs him that they might be after the genetics research facility at Ann Arbor, which is highly secret and, she intimates, vitally important to the order. Raul assembles volunteer veterans from the people around him and, with Dana's guidance, moves to and activates the armory of the 405th Reserves Level II B at Ann Arbor.

The makeshift defense force of civilian volunteers and reservists under Raul's leadership actually manages to fight the ComStar attackers to a standstill in a close, bloody battle.

This brings Raul before a board of inquiry after the action, where he is tried for assuming command and leading civilians to their deaths. The board is split over the verdict but eventually Raul is exonerated of the charges and even commended for his initiative and quick thinking. Based on his performance he is transferred to a military unit involved in counter-espionage, yet part of the military and not ROM, in a secret place that only few people have been to in the past three centuries.[2]

Junior Precentor Raul Tinker is hand-picked for the Word of Blake's Special Warfare Operations School (SWOP) and transferred to the training planet Haddings.

Haddings is a "lost world" that was devastated and depopulated by the Succession Wars, leaving only a few thousand survivors eking out a 17th-century technology levels life when ComStar revisited the world in 3028. After the schism, Word of Blake turned it into a secret holding where urban warfare is taught in the deserted and largely ruined cities. The devastation also serves to remind the trainees of the level of destruction wrought by weapons of mass destruction, and how these must not be used recklessly while at the same time Raul's training includes the use of pack-nukes, small, backpack-sized nuclear warheads.

Raul's team includes Adept Kim Dawson, a native from Haddings who grew up in a primitive village that still had a blacksmith and a ferrier; she is fanatically loyal to the Word of Blake for the technological blessings the order brought to Haddings. Despite finding her very attractive, Raul decides against pursuing a relationship while she is his subordinate. Using Raul's unorthodox and out-of-the-box thinking his team achieve their objective in the graduation exercise.

On 30 May 3070 Raul and his team arrive on Muskegon in the Federated Suns with orders to prevent the First Muskegon Capellan March Militia, a volunteer combined arms regiment raised by the locals, from leaving the world for deployment against the Word of Blake elsewhere. Adept Kilrain wants to use the two pack-nukes to destroy altogether a battalion of militia at two of their largest bases, but Raul thinks it would not be enough and instead opts to wage a war of terror to tie the militia down. Over the next months they carry out sabotage and terror acts including subway bombings, sabotaging large bridges, cutting the world's third-largest city off by destroying all six of its large traffic bridges and both underwater cable shunts, and destroying aerospace fighters on the ground. Four BattleMechs smuggled to Muskegon add a military dimension to the threat. While this indeed raises security concerns and forces General Hanks to deploy his militia forces for security, ultimately the base of operations for the Word of Blake forces is found out (implicitly with the help of intelligence analyst Francis Lyman on Markesan, who is specifically hunting for Raul Tinker since the events on Bryant) and overrun, ending the threat. The militia subsequently prepares to leave the world and join the battle against the Word of Blake with great fanfare.

With most of his forces destroyed, Raul resorts to using the nuclear weapons after all, after having previously tried to keep civilian casualties as low as possible for a credible terror campaign. They manage to exchange an ammunition crate aboard a DropShip for one containing a pack-nuke and Adept Kilrain, who volunteered for the suicide mission. At the jump point Kilrain sets off the bomb to devastating effect, reportely killing two thirds of the militia regiment and destroying a JumpShip and several DropShips.

The deaths of hundreds of enemy soldiers in this attack gives Raul some feelings of guilt, as he would have preferred to tie them down with low-level terrorism and a much lower body count, but he also reasons that ultimately, these soldiers were going to fight Word of Blake troops and his action also saved countless lives.

As he is about to leave Muskegon, Adept Kim Dawson is found dead. In her last message to Raul she explains that she committed suicide because she had thought the Word of Blake order to be a force for good, and could not bear the terror attacks they had to carry out in the irregular war that was the Jihad. The success of Kilrain's mission had pushed her over the edge. It leaves Raul to question his own position, and if maybe she had been the smart one to take her own life rather than do bad things to protect the order.[3]

Promoted to full Precentor after his mission to Muskegon, which is considered a success even though he himself does not think he deserved a reward for killing all those people there, Raul Tinker has been assigned a Grigori Dominus BattleMech and has arrived on Terra, having turned down a future in Special Operations in favor of frontline command.

After a brief goodbye to his sister Dana he moves out on the DropShip St. Michael under sealed orders. It turns out he was promoted to Deputy Division Commander under Precentor Marx's 33rd Division (Word of Blake) and ordered to Robinson. En route, he gets to know some young recruits sent to Robinson as replacements for the 33rd. They regard him as a hero, and Raul, who had not bothered following the news reports on his exploits on Muskegon, finds that the official reports diverge from his own experiences. He is also worried to see they are mindless fanatics blindly following orders to the letter and unable to think on their own in combat, and tries to teach them some combat experience on simulators during the trip.

On Robinson, Raul finds the 33rd Division in a less than optimal shape. Demi-Precentor Joel Wordsturm, with whom Raul gets along particularly well, openly admits the unit was almost crushed when taking the world, and largely exists on paper. Although they have sufficient equipment and supplies, they lack experienced officers and veteran soldiers; Raul is also unsure of Precentor Klaus Marx's leadership abilities. The Federated Suns are expected to launch an attempt at re-capturing Robinson shortly, and Raul figures Marx's defensive plans are too timid and conservative.

When the Federated Suns' Robinson Rangers together with elements of ComStar attack the Word of Blake on Robinson in early 3072 they roll over the defenders. Raul includes himself on the left flank and assumes command over a small unit that happens to include the recruits he met on the DropShip. They give a good accounting of themselves despite being vastly outnumbered. Leading from the front, Raul witnesses Wordsturm being killed when his Grand Crusader is downed by concentrated enemy fire.

Raul continues to coordinate the defense from the frontline until his Grigori is downed by enemy assault 'Mechs. He ejects, but is knocked unconscious in the process. His recruits form up to protect and rescue him like they had done in simulation back on the DropShip.

As it later turns out, it was all for naught. While the left flank barely held thanks to Raul's actions, the right flank was overrun in short order and the Word of Blake sounded a general retreat. Raul awakens in the infirmary aboard the DropShip Hemyock as the Word of Blake pulls out of the Robinson system, heavily injured with neurofeedback that might preclude him from piloting a BattleMech fortwith.[4]

BattleMechs[edit]

He piloted a Grigori Dominus.[4]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Son of Blake
  2. The Loyal Son
  3. Desperate Measures
  4. 4.0 4.1 Defiant Stand

Bibliography[edit]