Stephanie Hendriks entered service with the Blessed Order in the early thirtieth century, rising to the rank of Precentor Luthien. Though not a member of the vaunted First Circuit, commanding the hyperpulse generator on the capital of the Draconis Combine was a more prestige posting than most, countered by difficulties with the Court of House Kurita.
When Necess Kurita asked to join ComStar under the hope for anonymity, as the sister of the serving Coordinator and first member of the main branch of the Kurita family to join the Blessed Order, word of her decision spread like wildfire despite the best efforts of the ISF to suppress it. While ComStar had long desired to attract a high-ranking member of the Kurita family into service with the Order, Primus Hollings York and the First Circuit were deeply concerned by Hugai Kurita's response, the Coordinator angrily warning the Primus he considered such recruitment efforts to be akin to meddling in the internal affairs of the Draconis Combine.
Curtly replying that ComStar likewise did not appreciate the Combine's interference in the Order's internal affairs, Primus York ordered Stephanie Hendriks to personally verify if Necess indeed had a calling to join ComStar. Necess easily passed the usual battery of ROM tests and her skills as a medical archaeologist made her a welcome addition to ComStar's medical science division, York ultimately approving her appointment as an Acolyte. While the First Circuit pressed York to exploit Necess's "defection" for its propaganda value, Primus York was greatly concerned about increasing the tensions between ComStar and the Combine and attempted to throw a veil of secrecy over her appointment. Hoping this would act as a show of good faith, York would send a cordial message to the Coordinator explaining her appointment and that rather than the usual yearly transfer of Acolytes, in Necess case he would allow her to remain on Luthien for two rotations as an additional compromise.
Worried that the tensions between ComStar and the Coordinator showed no sign of abating, Precentor Hendriks made the prescient decision of assigning two of her best ROM agents to shadow and protect the new Acolyte. In November 2931, six ISF agents posing as civilian orderlies tailed Necess to the ComStar hospice where she was serving her initial apprenticeship as a medic tending to the Unproductives, opening fire when the ROM guards attempted to arrest them. Four of the ISF agents were killed during the resulting gun battle before both ROM operatives were felled, the surviving ISF agents spiriting Necess to the Imperial City, Hugai ordering her locked away in a distant wing of the palace, two dozen ISF agents guarding against any ROM rescue attempt.
Stephanie Hendriks immediately protested the Coordinator's actions, Hugai countering his sister had been brainwashed into joining ComStar, while she sent a priority transmission to Terra to inform the Primus and First Circuit of the event and seeking direction on how to proceed. Though a number of members of the First Circuit called for an Interdiction, York refused the move with support from Precentor Dieron William Fullerton, pointing out that House Kurita's pride would force them to resist it and that only a military response could satisfy the Combine's honor. While reluctant, the First Circuit ultimately chose to support York's hardline stance and use military troops to back the will of ComStar.
Though the Order lacked a true military, with York's approval the organization used its capacity as the Mercenary Review Board to sign contracts with almost six regiments worth of crack mercenary units, a force considered large enough prompt the Coordinator to reconsider. The pièce de résistance however was The Bandersnatches, a ROM employed mercenary unit in close proximity to Luthien. Primus York then contacted Precentor Hendriks and evoked the never-before used Emergency Powers Act of the Communications Protocol of 2787, allowing her to operate without interference from Terra and candidly informed her the kidnapping of Necess could not stand, regardless of her background or name.
While he traveled from Terra with the remaining mercenary forces, York placed the Bandersnatches en route to Luthien and all ROM elements on world under Hendrik's direct command along with the order to use whatever force necessary to enforce the will of Blake and ComStar. Hendrik came up with a daring plan to use the Bandersnatches as the Sword of Damocles and perform a combat drop directly onto the Unity Palace to cripple or destroy House Kurita's leadership, receiving York's full support. As the Bandersnatches approached Luthien, Stephanie Hendriks would spend the time in intense negotiations to try and arrange a meeting between only Hugai, Necess and herself.
Two weeks after Necess abduction Precentor Hendriks finally got her audience with the Coordinator to discuss "a number of open issues" only after she was forced to shut down the Luthien HPG for twelve hours, sending the Combine government into a panic. Politely but firmly, Precentor Hendriks laid out Primus York's terms to allow Necess to make up her own mind to join ComStar and allow her to leave without interference, Hugai refusing almost immediately, accusing Hendriks and ComStar of brainwashing his sister. Hendriks then informed the Coordinator that if he did not comply ComStar would impose an Interdiction against the entire Combine, but as Primus York feared, Hugai informed her that the Combine would prevail and that he had already made plans for couriers JumpShip to carry his orders.
Forced to play her final card, Hendriks presented the Coordinator with a small portable holovid linked to the Bandersnatches commander Colonel Dietrikson, who informed the leader of the Combine in clear and certain terms that his battalion was less than ten minutes from initiating a combat drop on the Unity Palace with orders to either rescue Precentor Hendriks and Necess or lay waste to the palace and the Imperial City before evacuation if this was not possible. With his aides convincing him of the danger of headhunter attack, and Hendriks revealing Primus York had further positioned six regiments of troops within striking distance of two of his Military District capitals, Hugai eventually agreed to allow both Necess and the Precentor leave without further incident.
In 2932 Primus York named Stephanie Hendriks as Precentor Dieron, making her a member of the First Circuit. Just as having placed full responsibility for the Necess Kurita Affair upon her, ensuring that he had a valid scapegoat in case the agreed upon plan failed, his decision to promote her was as much as a reward as it was a means of replacing William Fullerton, one of the Primus' fiercest antagonists on the body. Hendriks would remain on the First Circuit for the remainder of York's reign, retaining her position when Adrienne Sims become the new Primus following her predecessor's assassination.
After the events resulting from her elevation to the post, Adrienne Sims' tenure as Primus was relatively quiet until 2959, when she began to suffer horrible nightmares and visions of Jerome Blake and Conrad Toyama overtly warning about the destruction of Inner Sphere by strange beasts from beyond the Periphery. The First Circuit was quite distressed by Sims' visions and persuaded her to take a six-month leave of absence and seek professional psychological counseling at the Rampton Clinic in the British Isles, selecting Stephanie Hendriks from their number to act as interim Primus until she returned.
|“||I was prepared to die as soon as I was given audience with you, Coordinator. Such is my devotion to ComStar and the Word of Blake. The question you should ponder is not whether I am ready to die, but whether you or the Combine are ready to perish?||”|
Titles and Positions
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp. 84–85: "History - The Third Succession War - Abduction of an Acolyte"
- ComStar, pp. 39–40: "Age of Enlightenment"
- Field Manual: ComStar, p. 12: "The New Dawn"
- Handbook: House Kurita, pp. 58–59: "History of the Nation - The New Century - Traitor to the Star"
- ComStar, p. 41: "Age of Enlightenment - Outfoxing the Dragon"
- ComStar, p. 44: "History of ComStar - Calm Before the Storm - The Explorer Primus"
- Explorer Corps, p. 6: "Overview"
- Second Succession War, p. 87: "Legacy of Destruction - The Threat from Beyond"