- This article is about the Clan MechWarrior. For other uses, see Trent (disambiguation).
|Also known as||"Baldur"|
|Affiliation||Clan Smoke Jaguar,|
Star League Defense Force,
Clan Nova Cat
Trent, later renamed Baldur, was a warrior of Clan Smoke Jaguar who became disillusioned with his Clan and defected to ComStar, providing the Inner Sphere with the Exodus Road navigational data that allowed the reborn Star League to strike directly at the Clan Homeworlds.
- 1 Appearance
- 2 History
- 2.1 Sibko
- 2.2 Tukayyid
- 2.3 Service in shame
- 2.4 Fighting bandits
- 2.5 Beaver Falls
- 2.6 Downfall of Jez
- 2.7 To become a traitor
- 2.8 Exodus Road
- 2.9 Defection to the Inner Sphere
- 2.10 Battle of Maldanado
- 2.11 A bargain made
- 2.12 The "death" of Trent
- 2.13 Rebirth and reunion with Paul Moon
- 2.14 The death of "Baldur"
- 2.15 Legacy
- 3 Quotes
- 4 BattleMechs
- 5 References
- 6 Bibliography
Trent suffered many visible wounds to his right arm and face during the Battle of Tukayyid. His right arm had to be upgraded with artificial myomer-muscles and its bones had to be strengthened with carbon-nanotubes, making this arm extremely strong. The right half of his face (including nose and lips) was covered with a pale artificial skin. A metal frame had to be installed in his right eye socket to ensure mobility of his regrown eye.
Trent was born into Clan Smoke Jaguar in 3022 on Londerholm, a trueborn of the Howell bloodline. His sibmates included Jez Howell, Russou Howell, and Sobna. At the age of three his training as a cadet in the Grey Lynx sibko began. His early misgivings about his Clan were born of an incident at the age of fifteen, when his Kitmaster Porcini demanded of his charges an explanation of what it meant to be a Smoke Jaguar. Trent offered to demonstrate this to Porcini through combat; Porcini allowed him the chance but designated Trent's sibkin Jez as a more equal proxy. Trent handily defeated Jez, but Porcini then unexpectedly knocked him down, telling Trent that he only yet knew what it was to be a Jaguar cadet, not a Jaguar warrior. Trent later reflected that much of his life, particularly his rivalry with Jez and his disdain for Clan politics and duplicity, was shaped by that day.
By 3052, Trent had risen to the rank of Star Captain. Before the Battle of Tukayyid, he talked with Star Colonel Benjamin Howell who assured him that he would nominate Trent to one of the Howell Bloodnames that would surely be vacant after such a grand battle.
Star Captain Trent commanded Bravo Binary of the 267th Battle Cluster in Beta Galaxy. Trent, piloting a Timber Wolf, fought against the Com Guards in the swamps of the Racice Delta. A superior tactician and thinker, especially compared to most of his peers in the Smoke Jaguars, Trent correctly saw through the tactics the Com Guards were using to successfully grind down the Jaguars in the Delta. He tried several times to warn his Star Colonel as to what was unfolding, only to be cut off mid-sentence every time, his superiors either unable or unwilling to admit to the grave danger of their situation and that the Jaguars were in retreat, no matter how much they called it "reorganization".
What was left of Trent's Star, himself, and his Starmate Roussou, were ordered to divert from the "reorganization" and link up with Jez, who was stubbornly refusing to obey general orders and retreat. Piloting a Warhawk, Jez continued skirmishing with Com Guard forces. At the cost of Schultz, the last remaining warrior from his Binary, Trent moved to support her before a pair of Com Guard BattleMechs could finish her off, engaging and defeating a Com Guard Crab. He claimed the pilot as isorla, greatly impressed with the pilot's skill and courage. Moments later Com Guard reinforcements arrived on the scene, a full company of BattleMechs with massive artillery support. Finally obeying orders in the face of the massive counterattack, Jez withdrew her crippled OmniMech as Trent posed as a target to gain her valuable seconds to get out of the trap. Promptly, the Com Guard forces turned their attention to his own 'Mech and in a hail of Arrow IV and Inferno missiles, his 'Mech was torn to pieces, his final conscious act reaching blindly for the eject lever through the inferno of his cockpit. His life was saved, partially by the actions of his new bondsman, but he suffered grievous injuries from the flames of the Inferno missiles. His right arm and the right side of his face had been extensively burnt and his right eye had been damaged to the point of needing to be replaced with a cybernetic one. While Clan medical science could easily repair the cosmetic damage, such a waste of resources for the sake of vanity would in no way be tolerated by the warrior caste and Trent would have a nightmare appearance for the rest of his life.
The Star Captain awoke almost a month after the battle to discover that the Smoke Jaguars had been soundly defeated by the Com Guards. But even worse for him personally, he learned that Jez had claimed that she had saved his life in the Delta, not the reverse. With both their OmniMechs lost in the fighting, no proof existed that his former sibkin was lying. Compounding his situation, Trent's old friend Star Colonel Benjamin Howell had bitterly spoken out against his Khan Lincoln Osis in the immediate aftermath of the fighting when all thought their leader was dead, declaring that they may have won if their "former" Khan had not bid too low, supporting the elevation of the more flexible and inventive Brandon Howell to the post of Khan. And when their Khan was in fact found to be alive and returned to the leadership, the notoriously ruthless Osis marked the Star Colonel for one of his enemies and forced him to nominate not Trent for an open Howell Bloodname as the Star Colonel had promised, but a Crusader "Hero" of Tukayyid. Confronted later by Jez who freely admitted her actions and lies, Trent castigated her for betraying her honor and everything a Clan Warrior stood for by her deception, only for Jez to sneer back at him that it was the victors who wrote history, and to the victors went the spoils.
Trent spent weeks in convalescence and training on the way back to the Smoke Jaguars' occupation zone while his isorla, Judith Faber, was assigned as his bondsman and Tech. Upon arriving on Hyner, Trent sought out his final option for the Bloodname he so desired via the Grand Bloodname Melee. As per the standard rules of the Bloodname contest, any un-Bloodnamed warrior with a valid claim on the Bloodname not nominated for one of the open slots was free to enter the Melee, with the final survivor taking the last open slot in the contest. Judith managed to get his OmniMech operational with some unexpected help from Master Tech Philip, Jez's personal tech who had treated her poorly from the moment of her arrival. With his new BattleMech at hand, Trent confidently entered the Trial, agreeing with his new bondsman when she compared the tactical environment to the freewheeling matches on Solaris in that Survival, not Destruction, was the key to victory - although he was not impressed by her comparison of the Clans' Trial with Inner Sphere entertainment.
Trent fought well in the battle, not rushing into the mad confusion at the core of the Circle of Equals but stalking the battle from its edge. He defeated first a Cauldron-Born followed by a Hankyu and then a Nova, but during the later confrontation, his 'Mech's Hip Actuator locked up and froze his 'Mech in place without warning or clear reason, having not taken direct hits to that area. Helplessly frozen in place, the last other remaining 'Mech - a Mad Dog mounting paired Gauss Rifles - approached him from the rear and in a final exchange of fire, punched through his rear armor and damaged his Reactor heavily enough to force an automatic shutdown.
Trent had failed.
At first furiously convinced that his bondsman had incompetently put his 'Mech together or even sabotaged it outright, the two quickly discovered strong evidence that it had in fact been sabotaged by the Master Tech, Jez's personal tech, but sabotaged in a way that it would be impossible to prove. Scarred and marked by the failure on Tukayyid, his Bloodname chances taken away from him by Jez, any hope Trent held of advancement from this point forward were all but gone forever.
Service in shame
Post-Tukayyid, Trent and Jez were reassigned to the Third Jaguar Cavaliers of Delta Galaxy under Star Colonel Paul Moon, a ruthless Elemental who had not fought on Tukayyid.
To say that the Star Colonel was unimpressed by Trent would be a gross understatement. The blame for the loss against ComStar was, in his mind, in no way down to inept leadership; Paul Moon placed the blame for the disaster entirely upon Warriors such as Trent who had failed to carry the day against untested Freebirth Warriors. An older warrior not far off from being declared solahma, Trent had not even had the grace to die fighting like so many others, but had been—supposedly—badly injured leading a retreat and only saved by the noble actions of Star Captain Jez, who had indeed won her Bloodname as Trent had been singularly unable to do. And if all that was not enough, Trent had taken a Freebirth Com Guard MechWarrior as his bondsman and now his personal Tech.
Already predisposed to dislike Trent, his dislike was only magnified when Trent reported to him for duty after his failed attempt at the Grand Melee, contradicting the official story of Tukayyid with the claim that he had been the one to save Jez's life and that his 'Mech had been sabotaged in the Grand Melee. Without any proof to offer except for his "tainted" word, Star Colonel Moon dismissed his demands for rerunning the Melee as both unprecedented and unwarranted, his contempt for a warrior making excuses for his failings all too clear. Somewhat gleefully, he then pointed out that while Trent had been recuperating from his injuries, Jez had fought and won a Trial of Position for a Binary in the 3rd Cavaliers, meaning that Trent would now be forced to serve under his nemesis, a Star Captain serving in the role of a Star Commander.
Nonetheless, Trent strove to push past this series of hammering reversals and served as best he could. Two years later, in 3054, guerrillas began to harass the 3rd Jaguar Cavaliers, survivors from the original garrison of the Second Arkab Legion. They had only six 'Mechs, but with the help of the civilian population, they were able to hide and strike. Trent and his old sibkin Russou, his single true friend on the planet, barely escaped one attack from a Warhammer while dining in a restaurant thanks to Judith, getting out the back door moments before the 'Mech leveled the building with its PPCs. Although far from concerned about Trent, such an attack on Smoke Jaguar warriors could not be tolerated and so Jez's Binary was sent to hunt down and eliminate the enemy, who continued to evade the Smoke Jaguar patrols.
Miraculously, only a day later, a civilian came forward with information that the enemy was hiding out in a box canyon seventy-five kilometers from the Jaguars' base. Jez promptly took personal command of two Stars including Trent and Russou to move in and crush them, but Trent, the superior tactician that he was agreed with suspicions voiced by Judith that this was probably a trap. Jez however was all but indifferent to the possibility and even went so far as to overrule several suggested battle plans of Trent's which would counter any likely ambush, instead ordering him to march directly into the likely kill zone - a box canyon with a single entrance, high walls and the mine shaft at its far end.
Trent and Russou did what they could to prepare in terms of organizing their formations and approach with caution and covering the walls, only again to be overruled by Jez who impatiently ordered them to charge into the Canyon. Obeying stoically, the Combine resistance forces promptly sprung the ambush as the Clan Binary moved into position, sending boulders crashing down and heavily damaging Jez in her Warhawk and MechWarrior Laurel in her Hellbringer. Several enemy BattleMechs then appeared on the Canyon Walls and pressed in from the entrance aggressively, cutting off their escape and leaving them in the open without cover. Jez promptly ordered the MechWarriors to take cover in the mine at the head of the Canyon, but Trent, knowing full well that in an ambush one did not leave an open door to escape, overruled Jez, claiming she was incapacitated from the heavy impacts of the rocks and unfit for command and led the Binary to victory, killing three of the five enemy 'Mechs and forcing the two survivors into a hasty retreat.
Both Paul Moon and Jez were furious with Trent's insubordination. Trent's retort that an examination of the mine shaft had found many drums of petrocycline hidden in the mineshaft that would have annihilated the entire Clan Force had they followed Jez's orders was dismissed as irrelevant and so a note of insubordination was made on his Codex. Trent at once demanded a Trial of Refusal that Jez was only too happy to accept, despite Moon's reminder to her that as a Bloodnamed Warrior, she was not required to accept the challenge. Clearly implying that this fight for her would only end with his death, the two stepped into a Circle of Equals. The fight was short but vicious, Trent easily reading and anticipating her aggressive moves and pummeling her to the ground with his Myomer enhanced strength, hitting her repeatedly to disfigure her face as a reminder, deciding that it would be worse for her than death at his hands.
In the aftermath of the ambush, Trent along with Jez and the Star Colonel watched as the informant who had brought the information to them was brutally and ruthlessly tortured for information, discomforting Trent with the way his superiors all but savored the pain inflicted on the Laborer. Nonetheless the interrogation was successful, gaining the Jaguars information that the town of Beaver Falls was providing key support for the resistance. Rather than a strike and sweep mission against the probable area of the resistance however, Paul Moon ordered the entire town of Beaver Falls to be leveled as both punishment for their support, and a warning to the rest of the planet.
Trent was shaken by the order, for the first time questioning the Crusader philosophy he had always believed in. On the dawn of the mission to destroy the town, he attempted to reason with Jez that this action went against everything the Clans stood for, to the point of quoting Nicholas Kerensky and the Remembrance to her. Surprisingly, Jez to some degree agreed with him, but she nonetheless was firm in insisting that they had their orders and would carry them out, and if he did not, she would give the Trinary the order to destroy him. With no other option Trent relayed the order to his own Star, and the Trinary opened fire.
Trent could not join in the act but neither could he stand alone against the Clans, so he too moved in, directing his wraith against buildings already shattered and burning, imagining both Jez and Paul Moon under his guns as he fired as the Jaguars tore the town to pieces. Without warning, a family emerged from the flames and smoke to stop dead cold at the feet of Trent and his personal Star. Although a trueborn, something inside Trent's heart went out to the group caught in the middle of the nightmare and he opened his mouth to order his Star to hold fire - but he was too slow and one of his subordinate MechWarriors gunned them down without the slightest compunction before he could give the order, an act that by Clan dictum was no different to him firing the killing shots. It would be this moment that Trent truly started to question the Smoke Jaguar Clan itself.
The destruction of Beaver Falls indeed had an effect; within days an entire Star of MechWarriors were killed when a truck bomb was detonated outside their building while they were sleeping, wiping out ten percent of the Cluster's MechWarriors in a single attack. Support for the insurgents appeared to be growing, not falling off, and Paul Moon ordered the destruction of yet another town in an attempt to drive the message home.
Trent however brought a different plan to Jez directly. Going through the pattern of attacks and historical records, Trent isolated the probable location of the Bandits staging ground as a Methane refinery destroyed in the First Succession War, which had underground pipes and areas large enough to hide their BattleMechs from air and orbital sweeps. Advising against charging into the swamps which was prime Ambush ground and no doubt rigged liberally with booby traps, Trent suggested a plan to lure them out. They would leak information to the public that the Smoke Jaguars would be setting up a series of supply dumps to allow extended field operations against the so-called "Kat Killers". They would then leak that one of the supply convoys would be passing down a road close to the suspected staging area, and lay in wait.
Jez presented the plan to Paul Moon, entirely as her own. Moon commended the creativity of it and ordered her to assign Trent to lead it, although she could go along to oversee it, in the hope that the bandits would finally rid him of Trent. Alas for Moon, Trent's plan worked perfectly and the remaining Bandit BattleMechs were lured into the open to attack the supply convoy were promptly annihilated. Upon returning to the command center, Paul Moon congratulated Jez on "her" flawless plan and then announced that another town would die to make the point clear to the population that no resistance would be tolerated. Finally pushed to the limit, Trent challenged the Star Colonel to a Trial of Grievance over the violations of everything the Clans stood for with these reprisals against civilian targets. Paul Moon gladly took the opportunity to eliminate Trent, declaring that they would fight unaugmented and fight now. Quietly, Trent told the other that he would not kill Moon if he had the chance, to better make the Star Colonel suffer the shame of being defeated at this hands. Ironically, this would save his own life as when the Elemental defeated him in the Circle of Equals, he in turn spared Trent's life to make him suffer in the shame of his failure to stop the destruction, ordering Jez to destroy the town of Chinn.
Downfall of Jez
Judith heard through the grapevine of the Tech caste what her bondmaster had tried to do to, save the people of Chinn. In acknowledgement of his courage and honor, she presented him with a great surprise; she had managed to find with some local detective work an intact Star League Castle Brian, one that Trent himself had been searching for without success for some time, telling Trent it was for him alone, as she did not want it corrupted by those who corrupted the way of the Clans. Inside, she revealed to Trent that before she had joined the Com Guards, she had been a member of ROM. Even now, on this planet, she could if Trent so wished activate certain networks and assets that would extract both of them from the Smoke Jaguars if he so wished. Trent was momentarily tempted by the offer, but decided that there was still a chance to prove that the Heart of the Jaguar was not black and so declined the offer.
Several months later, an Inner Sphere raiding party arrived in the form of a battalion of mercenaries in the employ of the Combine. Most of the officers of the Cluster were underwhelmed by the threat, but were mystified as to why such a small force was moving to attack a front line Cluster. Studying the data in the command center with the rest of the Clusters officers, Trent suddenly realized that they were not here to engage the Jaguars head on, but to resupply and reinforce the resistance movement he had just helped destroy, something the Combine did not know. He attempted to raise the information with Paul Moon, only to be mocked by both him and the majority of officers in the room. Swallowing his pride, he instead approached Jez who was more than happy to use his information to win the bidding to deal with these Mercenaries, warning Trent that he would pay greatly if he was wrong.
Trent's assumptions were correct and he was able to correctly predict the LZ for the incoming troops, who suddenly found themselves surrounded and under fire as soon as they dropped. Jez however had bid far too low and her two Binaries were insufficient to contain the enemy forces, who broke out and escaped, albeit with heavy damage. Jez in turn castigated Trent and blamed him for her bidding far too low, responding to Trent's enraged indignation by telling him that "true" Smoke Jaguar warriors understood the cut-throat politics of the Clan and the tactics used therein. Gleefully she informed him that he would again be her scapegoat for her failures, and then for the first time, he found out that it was she who had gotten his Bloodname nomination from Benjamin Howell, and openly admitted to sabotaging his BattleMech in the Grand Melee. Even worse for Trent, Jez confirmed that the brutal measures used against the Civilians on Hyner were both expected and endorsed by their Clan's leadership from the Khans on down, proving unequivocally to Trent that the Smoke Jaguars had turned against all that Nicholas Kerensky had tried to create with the Clans.
Alone in the swamp with no witnesses and Jez's revelations in his ears, Trent reached a quick and easy decision. Turning his 'Mech to face hers, he challenged her to a Circle of Equals then and there. Jez scoffed him, stating that they were not equals and never would be; for she was a Bloodnamed Warrior who did not have to accept his "puny calls for justice".
Trent agreed that they were not Equals ... and discharged all his Timber Wolf's lasers directly into her cockpit at point-blank range, killing her instantly. Switching to a different frequency, he had Judith attend him and carefully rewrite Trent's BattleROM recordings to make it appear that Jez had been killed by one of the mercenary BattleMechs, the deception going undiscovered and clearly leaving Paul Moon at a loss of what to do, with Trent now the ranking Trinary officer and his favored subordinate now a pile of ash. Stalling for time, he ordered the unit taken offline until replacement warriors and machines arrived, declaring that Jez had been the hero who had turned the tide of the battle.
To become a traitor
Trent's hopes to gain command of the Binary were dashed as Paul Moon pulled it off duty, with the excuse of having taken heavy losses, although it was clear to Trent it was as much to spite him his rightful chance to gain a command as anything else. Trent's spirit was now completely crushed. Not only was he again denied any chance to advance himself despite having finally gotten rid of Jez, her revelations in the swamp had proven to him that his Clan had become corrupted from the Khans on down.
Now he approached Judith, asking her now to make good on her previous offer to help him leave the Jaguars. But more than that, he asked her to help him find a way to lead warriors once again in glorious battle, something that he knew was sure to be now denied to him forever. Judith agreed to help him, but told him that if he wanted to gain an Inner Sphere command, he would need to bring something of great value to offer the Inner Sphere; he would need to bring the Exodus Road – the path to the Clan Homeworlds.
Trent was initially taken aback by the request, pointing out the heavy security procedures the Clans had put in place to keep the route to their Homeworlds secret from the Great Houses and ComStar. No JumpShip held the complete navigational data, only small fragments of the map were stored at any one time. WarShips and way stations along the route would supply parts of the puzzle — with the ships deleting the previous parts of the route before uploading the next series of jumps — and even the route itself was routinely changed. The HPG chain between the Homeworlds and Inner Sphere was also closely guarded to prevent any attempt to trace a message - in short, there was no way to gather the data from the Inner Sphere.
The only way to gather the data thus, would be to travel back to the Clan Homeworlds. Modifying several pieces of Technician equipment, Judith would be able to calculate precisely how far a JumpShip traveled every time it engaged its K-F drive. Combined with spectrum readings taken of starfields at each recharge point, they would gain the hard data to map out each and every jump between the edge of the Inner Sphere and Huntress, thus letting them plot the Exodus Road entirely on their own.
There was the slight problem of course of getting onto a JumpShip bound for the Homeworlds, but Trent swiftly worked out a solution; they would trick Star Colonel Paul Moon into sending them there. A few dropped hints by Trent and Judith in front of the right subordinates and the Star Colonel quickly caught on to Trent's great "fear" of being sent back to the Homeworld as the Honor Guard for Jez's giftake, posting the orders within twenty four hours and finally ridding his command of both Trent and his bondsman. He also made sure to send along a request that Trent be transferred to the Homeworlds as a solahma on arrival, citing his age and lack of a Bloodname, not realizing that this one gleeful action was arguably going to end up destroying his entire Clan.
Trent was sent to Huntress on board the Odyssey-class JumpShip Admiral Andrews. Nominally in command of the dozen or so other warriors being sent back to the Homeworlds, Trent took personal charge and swiftly overcame their sullen resentment of being sent back to the Homeworlds by restoring their martial pride with a rigorous series of training exercises. Among the ship's cargo were a half dozen captured Inner Sphere BattleMechs retrofitted with new technology that represented the current state of the art in the Inner Sphere, slated for analysis by the Scientist Caste. Trent put Judith to work repairing them for any possible combat action and held a Trial of Position in onboard 'Mech simulators for the limited number of BattleMechs, winning personally the right to pilot a Marauder II, the largest of the captured 'Mechs.
At the same time, Trent made the acquaintance of Star Commander Allen, the commanding officer of the Elemental Marines attached to the Admiral Andrews. One of Paul Moon's sibkin, Allen and Trent become good friends during the voyage, the strong dislike both held for Paul Moon, their hate with what the Smoke Jaguars had become and their intolerance for the politics in the Clan finding a great deal of common ground between them. Judith meanwhile started her work at mapping the path along the Exodus Road, downloading all the data jump by jump into an encrypted chip in Trent's codex. At one point it seemed Trent had been observed by a Technician recovering one of Judith's sensors from inside an airlock and, taking no chances, the "former" ROM agent showed her skills had not atrophied in any way by swiftly murdering him, letting a K-F core pulse during a jump erase any evidence and simply making it appear as if the technician had unfortunately locked himself into the core during a jump. As much as with his murder of Jez, Trent accepted the necessity to ensure their cover remained intact.
Both his friendship with Allen and his rigorous training of his MechWarriors would prove decisive for Clan Smoke Jaguar. At an unremarkable and all but uninhabited deep Periphery world named Pivot Prime - the location of an HPG Relay Station, the Admiral Andrews all but ran into a ComStar Explorer Corps Scout-class JumpShip that had seized the HPG station and was plundering it for data on the Exodus Road. While noting the irony of moving to stop ComStar from gaining exactly what they were attempting to give them, Trent nonetheless had no choice but to lead his MechWarriors and a Star of Elemental Marines let by Allen into battle to take back the station. Showing his usual tactical flair, Trent tied up the superior number of Mercenaries just long enough for Allen and his Elementals to perform a low altitude combat drop on the captured HPG station at the height of the chaos, swinging the battle decisively in favor of the Smoke Jaguars and carrying the day. Allen was grateful to Trent for the chance to fight in a true battle, such opportunities being quite rare for the Marine, and several of his solahma found the glorious deaths protecting the Clan they had sought. Judith however was recognized by the Precentor in charge of the ComStar force and accused of being a Traitor to the Inner Sphere, the very public accusation ironically only helping her cover.
The rest of the Andrews''' voyage was uneventful and the JumpShip reached Huntress in February 3056. To his shock, Trent found that his old friend Benjamin Howell who had betrayed him by sponsoring Jez for the open Bloodname slot instead of him, was now Galaxy Commander and head of all forces on Huntress; this rear-area posting being the price he had paid for his comments against Lincoln Osis when he had thought the man dead at the hands of the Com Guards. His Galaxy was officially little more than a paper formation; the resource-strained and overextended Smoke Jaguars had rotated almost all useful military assets and sent all new production off Huntress for the Inner Sphere Occupation Zone, leaving little more than solahma light infantry to defend the Homeworld of the Jaguars. Improvising, Howell had used illegal means to get access to any military supplies he could get his hands on, such as "retasking" isorla 'Mechs meant for the Scientist Caste to his own forces. It had taken time, but he had managed to equip a significant number of Warriors in his two Galaxies with BattleMechs, foreseeing that a day would come soon when the Inner Sphere would take the offensive and strike at the Clan Homeworlds. And now he at least had the tools to defend against it, albeit through highly illegal means.
Although despising the man who had cost him so much, Trent was perfectly happy to use him to his own ends. The Galaxy Commander would deny Paul Moon's request to transfer Trent to Huntress citing his excellent performance in the battle at Pivot Prime and send Trent back to Hyner. Once there, Trent would be able to act as the Galaxy Commander's agent to help funnel yet more equipment to Huntress, until the day came when eventually he would return to Huntress and join Benjamin Howell as a valued officer.
Trent and Judith gathered what data they could on Huntress while on the planet, including topography and general planetary data, information on its SDS system, warbook and IFF data on the local defending units and other such information that would be needed to conduct an invasion. Then they left Huntress and headed back to the Inner Sphere, again taking readings on the way back. A Trinary of new Warriors who had just completed their Trials of Position were now assigned to Trent's command. They made little secret of the hate and disdain they felt for the older warrior, who their instructors had repeatedly told had "failed" their Clan in the great Battle of Tukayyid, seeing him as an inferior, broken-down warrior. Trent reacted in a typically Clan fashion, singling out the nominal leader of this group and their best warrior and challenging her to a Trial of Grievance over her unbecoming conduct which she gleefully agreed to. Trent swiftly pummeled her in the Zero-G circle of equals to the shock of the young warriors watching, and with this starting point began to retrain them to be "true" Clan warriors.
Defection to the Inner Sphere
To say Paul Moon was shocked when Trent reappeared leading the Trinary of replacement warriors and 'Mechs from Huntress would be no small understatement, but he had no choice but to accept his return and let him compete in the Trial of Position for command of Jez's former command, a Trial which he won handily. His friend Russou had won Jez's Bloodname while Trent was on Huntress and while he also sought the command and lost to Trent, he bore no ill will towards his friend and was happy to accept command of a Star under Trent.
No immediate opportunity for leaving Hyner with their information arrived on their return, and so Trent was forced to bide his time. Here Judith also finally revealed to him that far from being a "former" ROM agent, she was in fact still an active one; she had been transferred to the Com Guards on Tukayyid for the specific purpose of finding a way to infiltrate the Clans and feedback critical information to ComStar and the Inner Sphere - although Trent had become far more to her than a mere mission. It was a feeling he reciprocated, but advised they could not act upon as intercaste relationships were taboo among the Clans.
Fortunately, they did not have to wait long. A raid was ordered by Khan Osis upon the Combine on the planet Maldonado and Trent's Cluster was bid into the fighting. Fierce bidding between Paul Moon and other Clusters under the command of Galaxy Commander Hang Mehta resulted in Paul Moon cutting himself from the bid to win it, sending Trent's Trinary along with two others under the command of one of Paul Moon's most trusted officers - who had secret orders to make sure that Trent did not return from this mission, alive.
Judith reacted quickly to Trent's news, getting word out through the local HPG to the Inner Sphere, although she was unsure if her old ROM recognition codes would still be valid, this was simply an opportunity too good to pass up. Fortunately for Trent, her codes were not only valid, but her report of what she was offering was passed rapidly up to the Precentor Martial himself, who ordered a nearby fast response Battalion from ComStar's 308th Division deployed in the Combine to at once head to Maldonado to pull Trent and Judith out, with the entire ComStar unit to be considered expendable for the sake of this critical mission. Judith also rigged Trent's IFF system so that on a specific frequency scan, it would flag him as a friendly unit to any Inner Sphere forces. Trent's escape appeared to be assured.
However disaster struck when back on Huntress, a Clan Watch investigation uncovered Benjamin Howell's illegal activities and under interrogation, the former Galaxy Commander named Trent as one of his agents. The Watch realized the danger that a man willing to betray his caste for a smuggling operation might well be willing to betray the Clan in other ways. Hang Mehta ordered Paul Moon to at once arrest Trent and send him for interrogation, but already outbound on a raid, with Smoke Jaguar protocol preventing any recall of the unit, Paul Moon was forced to pursue Trent with the only forces he could gather on short notice, a Star of Elementals. Stunned at the concept that even Trent, the man he could hate, could actually be a traitor to the Clans, but pleased he had been given freedom to execute Trent if he did not come quietly.
Battle of Maldanado
Obeying Paul Moon's initial orders to make sure Trent didn't come back alive, a "mistake" in the deployment saw Trent's Trinary sent against the Combine defenders alone without any support for an extended period of time, so planned to ensure he would be wiped out. Trent however was elated when he realized in the raging battle that not one of the Combine 'Mechs was targeting him; Judith's message had clearly gotten through. He had started to try and plan his next move to break contact and escape when suddenly, a Broadsword-class DropShip came out of nowhere and Paul Moon demanded that Trent surrender for his crimes or die, a full Star of Elementals deploying in a half circle to Trent's rear.
Meanwhile Judith at the recovery zone prepared a vehicle to make her own escape, killing the Master Tech when he tried to stop her with some satisfaction, his scorn and physical abuse repaid by the ROM agent with a single laser bolt to the head. She had barely covered half the ground to the Combine base when ComStar forces appeared out of nowhere from under sensor-shielded camouflage covers. Quickly confirming her identity with her chosen recognition code of "Redemption", the Com Guard unit then deployed, a full Battalion of Com Guard BattleMechs moving out to come up behind the Smoke Jaguar forces.
Meanwhile, the standoff between Trent's Trinary and the Elementals continued, as Russou's Star and one of his other Stars held back the Combine unit they were still engaged with. Trent denied the charges and called on his warriors to keep pressing the Combine, but Paul Moon personally arrived on the field to demand Trent give up and his Trinary to turn on him. His personal Star could not disobey the orders of their Cluster Commander and Trent realizing his time was up, opened fire and ran from the swarm of Elementals, killing several and even blowing Paul Moon's leg off with an SRM hit, his screams of pain drawing a rare grin from Trent as he fell back. Things however looked dire as nearly two dozen Elementals and most of a Star of BattleMechs pursued Trent, but at that precise moment the Com Guard forces smashed into the rear of the Jaguars and took the BattleMechs out of the equation, before turning their firepower on the Elementals, who had no choice but to abandon their pursuit and engage them.
Trent then turned around to find Russou and his two remaining Starmates blocking his path, his single true friend for so many years almost in tears as he asked if the allegations were true, and pleaded that he did not want to open fire, even as an enraged Paul Moon screamed at him to do just that. His final words to his friend, that "you have no choice, this is how it must end" were given as Russou agonizingly gave the order to open fire, even as the Com Guard forces charged down the incline to support him. As his Cauldron Born reeled under the firepower of his former friend, Trent carefully used his LB-X Autocannon to create a dust cloud around his 'Mech, before triggering his self-destruct sequence and ejection seat. Thrown clear of his 'Mech, his ejection was visually obscured by the dust cloud while the localized EMP created by his fusion reactor letting go completely hid any trace of his survival from friend or foe.
To the Smoke Jaguars Trent was now dead. Russou would shortly after his "victory" be promoted to Star Colonel and shuffled off to Huntress where he would replace the late Benjamin Howell as Galaxy Commander, yet another victim of Clan politics. Ironically the ship he was sent off on was the Admiral Andrews and Russou and Star Commander Allen, neither of whom in any way believed the story that Trent had been a traitor, both honored Trent's memory by talking about the warrior they had both known well.
A bargain made
A very much alive Trent was taken by the Com Guards — along with Judith — to Tharkad during the Whitting Conference. There Trent was awed to come face to face with Anastasius Focht, the victor of Tukayyid. Trent there made his offer; the path to Huntress in exchange for a Command of his own to lead into battle, telling his story and reasons for defecting. The man who had been Frederick Steiner could well sympathize with how politics could be a warrior's bane and after some consideration, extended the offer of a Trinary of Warriors for Trent to command in the Com Guards in exchange for his information, with the provision for being considered for a Cluster level command after he had proven himself to be a capable commander.
Accepting the bargain, Trent downloaded the information on the Exodus Road and Huntress to the Precentor Martial, who took it at once to the planning sessions for Operation BULLDOG, where Morgan Hasek-Davion would at once push for using it as the basis for what would become Operation SERPENT; a strike against the Smoke Jaguar Homeworld itself.
The "death" of Trent
Trent was among the multinational forces that were sent to Huntress to aid Operation SERPENT. Trent took no part during the final battles on Huntress and set foot on the planet after the Smoke Jaguars were defeated.
He accompanied the Inner Sphere forces that journeyed to Strana Mechty where a final Trial of Refusal was arranged. When Trent overheard that he would not be given a chance to fight his former Clan, he was outraged. He angrily confronted Victor Steiner-Davion and Anastasius Focht about their sudden betrayal, demanding that he only be given what was promised to him: a chance to fight for the Inner Sphere against the Clans. When it became obvious that Victor did not intend to honor Focht's agreement with Trent, Trent attacked Victor. Before any blows could be traded, Khan Severen Leroux knocked Trent to the ground and declared him a bondsman and abtakha of Clan Nova Cat. Severen Leroux then invited Trent to join his forces to fight against the forces of Clan Ice Hellion in this Trial, which he accepted.
Trent was a member of the Binary that fought against the Ice Hellions and won a narrow victory for the Nova Cats. Khan Leroux stated beforehand that warriors will only know release when they die and that Trent would have that release, implying his death in the coming battle. If Leroux's prophecy was true, however, it did not come to pass during the Great Refusal. The Nova Cats, with Trent's consent, revealed his presence in the battle, as a means to disrupt the Hellion strategy. Trent, who had trained extensively to dominate his new BattleMech, a Supernova, announced his presence and location, afar from the rest of the Nova Cat forces. Two Hellion 'Mechs attack him, and he managed to down one and critically damage another before to fall. Officially, while Trent's 'Mech was destroyed, his body was never found.
Rebirth and reunion with Paul Moon
In reality, however, Trent had survived, heavily burned and scarred. The new Nova Cat leaders decided to reconstruct him, giving him a new identity to protect him, and Clan Nova Cat, from reprisals. Since then, Trent had died, and a new warrior Nova Cat, named "Baldur", had been "born". He was sent to Huntress as an observer with Inanna. His guilt in seeing the remnants of his Clan warriors in the streets moved him to do something: with some assistance of Inanna and the new Nova Cat Khan, Santin West, recruited his old foe, Paul Moon, and together planned an exodus of thousands of old Smoke Jaguar members of all castes with DropShips, JumpShips and two WarShips. With an escort of a Nova Cat fleet, the exodus arrived at planet Wayside V, joining with the Jaguar garrison and founding a colony and new society, which was eventually named the Fidelis.
The death of "Baldur"
In 3062, Trent, as "Baldur", and the Nova Cats would fight in a Trial of Possession against Clan Goliath Scorpion over the fate of the Smoke Jaguar exiles he had let away from Huntress to Wayside IV alongside Paul and Inanna. During the battle, Baldur would be fighting against Galaxy Commander Rik Myers and his unit. The Nova Cats were victorious, but at a cost, Baldur was mortally wounded and was carried to a hospital to treat his wounds. Unfortunately, Baldur would succumb to his wounds and die afterward.
Trent's death would affect Paul Moon. Having worked closely with him in preserving what was left of their people, he had begun to see an honorable side to his former nemesis. He would promise to remind Victor Steiner-Davion of his folly on how poorly he treated Trent. This was finally fulfilled when both Victor and Devlin would land on Wayside V to negotiate terms in support of the coalition. There, he would confront Victor about how he treated Trent, getting the prince to feel remorseful in his decision to exclude him from the Great Refusal. Trent would also leave behind notes detailing the potential future of the Fidelis as a society as well as the last Smoke Jaguar Remembrance for Paul Moon in his capacity as the leader of their reborn people.
After Trent's death, he was cremated and his ashes kept inside of a canister by Paul Moon for decades. When the Fidelis joined Devlin Stone's Coalition during the Jihad, Paul would take Trent's ashes with him. On Terra, Moon would say a few words to honor the late warrior before spreading his ashes across the world; granting him the posthumous honor of being the first Clan warrior to touch Terra's soil and staking their people's claim to the title of ilClan.
|“||In our hearts beats the soul of the Smoke Jaguars. But we cannot reveal this to the universe - not yet. Someday, yes we will take our rightful place in the stars and our former brethren. That time is generations away, our Hidden Destiny. We must be something else, something that is neither Clan nor Inner Sphere. We must slowly work our way back into civilized space, but never reveal who we are until the time is right, until the time of the ilClan. This is our burden, our cause.||”|
- Trent's written word in his documents
During most of his career, Trent piloted a Timber Wolf, with only three known exceptions: in the defense on Pivot Prime during his trip down the Exodus Road he piloted a Marauder II captured from an Inner Sphere unit, in his final battle as Smoke Jaguar, he used the only 'Mech available, a Cauldron-Born. In the Great Refusal his machine was a Supernova during his tenure with Clan Nova Cat.
- ↑ Exodus Road, ch. 19: Trent states that he is 33 in 3055 making his year of birth 3022
- ↑ Exodus Road, ch. 1: In 3037 he was in his twelfth year as a cadet
- ↑ Exodus Road, pp. 9–14
- ↑ Field Manual: ComStar, p. 116: "Future Paths"
- ↑ Forever Faithful, p. 223
- ↑ Forever Faithful, p. 282
- ↑ Forever Faithful, pp. 266–267
- Exodus Road (novel)
- Field Manual: ComStar
- Forever Faithful (novel)
- Prince of Havoc (novel)