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Samuel Lewis (Businessman)

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This article is about one of several characters named Sam Lewis. For the others, see Sam Lewis.


Samuel Laurence Lewis
Personal
AffiliationFederated Commonwealth
Career
RankWarrant Officer[1]
Position(s)CEO of S. L. Lewis Incorporated
ProfessionBusinessman
Family
ChildrenSamuel Lewis, Jr.

Samuel Laurence Lewis was the founder of S. L. Lewis Incorporated.[2]

History[edit]

Samuel L. Lewis was a warrant officer serving aboard the Merchant-class JumpShip Winnetka when it chanced upon an abandoned Star League supply cache out in the Periphery. Dumping their original cargo of Botany Bay Industrial Sand, the crew loaded up on as much Lostech as could be carried and agreed to split the salvage amongst themselves. For his portion, Lewis claimed more than 2,000 Omni 25 fusion engines, purported to be the most efficient ever made. Rather than sell them off and retire rich, Lewis decided to hold on to the tiny engines. With news that the Lyran Commonwealth was looking to procure a new combat vehicle for reconnaissance work, Samuel Lewis incorporated himself and spent the next few years perfecting a new scout hovercraft for the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces.[3]

A battle was the final test; after three weeks of grueling testing for a new screening or recon force vehicle that House Steiner was soliciting, only two vehicles were left for consideration. Samuel Lewis piloted his prototype hovercraft. Over the course of a day, Lewis consistently won all trial engagements against Savannah Johnson, darting behind her 'Mech while his own vehicle could barely be targeted because of its speed. Johnson remained cool until after her 12th defeat; after her 15th defeat Lewis began to taunt her and question her abilities. During the 17th battle she snapped and turned the mock battle into a live-fire duel that she lost as well, surviving the destruction of her Locust through auto-ejection when its ammunition stores exploded from a hit.[3]

The as-yet unnamed hovercraft was named Savannah Master by Lewis following the trial, and the LCAF immediately ordered 1,000 units. It would go on to become a staple recon vehicle throughout the Inner Sphere and Periphery.[3]

In later years, it was suggested that the now-famous procurement exercise and Johnson's defeat may have been staged, as LCAF training regulations prohibit carrying live ammunition in a training exercise.[4]

The final result, christened the Savannah Master, became a popular design with both the LCAF and the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns. After that he founded S. L. Lewis Incorporated in 3017.[1][5]

The supply of 2,000 Omni 25 fusion engines Samuel Lewis had recovered from the LosTech cache wasn't enough to meet the demand for vehicles generated by the Fourth Succession War, and in 3035 Lewis sought interest from fusion engine manufacturers across the Commonwealth willing to attempt to reverse engineer the Omni 25. Lewis gave away the last ten Omni 25 engines he owned to help drive interest in this project, and in 3037 Edasich Motors had designed a new production-standard engine, the Edasich Omni 25. The S. L. Lewis Inc. lines were retooled to accept the Edasich Omni 25, and full vehicle production resumed. As a result, S. L. Lewis would sell thousands of vehicles between 3037 and the end of the FedCom Civil War.[4]

Notes[edit]

The Samuel Lewis character was written into BattleTech canon by real life FASA staff member and game developer Sam Lewis, who was arguably the first BattleTech Line Developer and also the person who created the Savannah Master vehicle. In a 2022 interview, Sam Lewis clarified that he associated the creator of S.L. Lewis, Inc., with his father and not with himself; his alter ego in the BattleTech universe was (only) the Professor General Sam Lewis character, who was first mentioned in Warrior: Coupé as a background character and whom he and author Mike Stackpole had agreed to kill off as an in-joke.

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Handbook: House Steiner, p. 146: "S. L. Lewis Incorporated (SLewInc)"
  2. Technical Readout: Vehicle Annex Revised Edition, p. 52: "Slipper LX Hover Sedan"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Technical Readout: 3026, p. 6; reproduced verbatim in Technical Readout: 3026 Revised, p. 10
  4. 4.0 4.1 Technical Readout: 3039, p. 10: "Savannah Master Hovercraft - Deployment"
  5. Technical Readout: 3025, p. 6

Bibliography[edit]