The Only One That Matters

The Only One That Matters
Story information
Author Steven Lockley, Steven Savile
Pages 4
Type Short story
Product Total Chaos
Illustrations (unspecified)
Era Jihad era
Timeline 11 October 3067

The Only One That Matters is a BattleTech short story credited to Steven Lockley and Steven Savile in the imprint. It was published as the opening fiction in the 2012 Total Chaos scenario book.

Plot summary[edit]

Narrating the story in the first person, the mysterious Askai meets a prospective future client in a diner in Harlech, Outreach, on 11 October 3067. The client is one Mr. Wooden, a person self-described as having an "influential role" in Interstellar Expeditions, and accompanied by a man Askai initially dubs "Ugly" and whose name is later revealed as Hon.

When queried about his ties to his former employer, Askai affirms they are severed "like a bloody stump", but refuses to offer more details. His internal monologue mentions his former mentor-turned-traitor, that his former employer wants him for information he possesses, and that others (implicitly within his former employer's agency) probably want him dead over having those secrets revealed. Also, he seeks to hide the fact that he desperately needs this new job to "rebuild his life."

Just as Askai and Wooden are ready to seal a deal, three gunmen storm the diner and start shooting. Askai realizes that they aren't hitting anyone though, and divines that they are looking for him and are trying to provoke him into reacting, apparently wanting to capture him alive. He feels the attack has "Word of Blake" written all over it. After taking cover on instinct and protecting Wooden he manages to shoot all three attackers in a brief firefight, but is himself wounded in the process.

Within a few seconds afterwards, he and Wooden determine that the only other person who knew that they were meeting here today was Hon - who indeed produces a gun and tries to shoot Askai, but is himself shot dead in the nick of time by Wooden.

Having saved each other's life, Askai and Wooden agree to start the negotiations over at another place.

Featured Characters[edit]


  • The story's title refers to an exchange between Askai and Wooden where the latter asks if Askai is a first or last name. Askai does not answer and also refuses to be called "Mister Askai", stating that the name Askai is "the only one that matters".
  • Wooden's first name is not given, but Askai mentions how he had obtained Wooden's profile and picture from public sources in preparation for the meeting, indicating Wooden to be a high-profile person within Interstellar Expeditions. Context strongly suggests he is Interstellar Explorations CEO Dr. Reiner Wooden.