Trial of Faith
|Trial of Faith|
|Author||Stephen A. Frabartolo|
|First published||2 March 2014|
|Era||Clan Invasion era|
|Timeline|| 7 - 17 January 3050|
3017 (flashback narration)
|“||In the early days of the Clan Invasion, a detachment of second-line Jade Falcons in the Deep Periphery finds a group that challenges their warrior traditions.||”|
His career stalling, Star Captain Amado Roshak of Clan Jade Falcon finds himself assigned to the DropShip Provider 427 (carried on the JumpShip Vanguard) as a token representative of the warrior caste. Intended to serve as a mobile resupply and refueling base for a number of ships mapping systems on the fringe of the invasion corridor during the early stages of Operation REVIVAL, the Vanguard and Provider unexpectedly stumble across a recharging station in the St. Jean system, indicating it to be inhabited. Amado realizes the system's worth as a cargo waystation and proceeds to capture the colony—a Franciscan monastery—with his motley force of two BattleMechs and some Elementals.
One of the monks, Brother Frank, turns out to be a former MechWarrior of the Oberon Guards. He lectures Amado about the Fianna Massacre in 3017, having himself been deeply involved: hired out to garrison Fianna, a world contested between Houses Steiner and Marik (with a standoff in place), the Oberon forces faced civilian protesters and unsuccessfully tried to cow them through a show of force. The situation spiraled out of control and soon they had a whole planet in uprising against them. Threatened with being overrun and lynched by the mob, Frank ordered an old Star League era cache of chemical weapons be detonated which he describes as "pulling the trigger on half the planet", with a damaged fusion reactor exacerbating the overall mayhem that killed millions. Safe in the cockpit of his LCT-1V Locust, Frank escaped the immediate danger and, fleeing prosecution, wound up on St. Jean.
However, the lecture is lost on Amado who, from his Clan perspective, actually agrees with Frank's actions. Considering him a worthy opponent, Amado arranges for Frank to fight him in a Trial of Possession for St. Jean against his will in a borrowed Locust IIC. If Amado wins, the monks shall submit to being Jade Falcon isorla; otherwise, the Jade Falcons will evacuate them to a nearby habitable world. But Frank has no intention to fight. In the caldera that serves as the Circle of Equals he seals off the entrance, then hides his 'Mech where Amado cannot reach him. He then informs Amado that he is willing to wait until they both suffocate once their air supply runs out, as there is no breathable atmosphere in the caldera. Denying Amado a victory will automatically mean a victory for the monks according to the bargain. Besides, Frank recently discovered that St. Jean is rapidly bleeding off its atmosphere and will be uninhabitable in twenty years or so. Amado in turn tells Frank that there is nothing preventing his mission commander from abducting the monks from their new home again, as this was not bargained for. He also suggests that Clan Jade Falcon possessed the technology to fix the old terraforming devices and save St. Jean. Impressed by Frank's resourcefulness, Amado goes on to suggest a partnership between the Jade Falcons and the monks, if Frank will agree to become his bondsman...
- As of the ComStar document published as Explorer Corps between September 3058 and 22 January 3059, St. Jean was noted as a "surface cargo storage/occupied colony of Franciscan monks". The zenith space station was not mentioned. Amado Roshak had risen to the rank of Star Colonel in command of the Raptor Battle Cluster garrisoning the world.
- On an Interstellar Expeditions map dated 3095, St. Jean is marked as "destroyed" although no reason or additional information is given. IE themselves noted that the last three ships visiting St. Jean and Ghent had never been heard from again, suggesting the assertion may in fact be unconfirmed guesswork.
- Explorer Corps, p. 52; according to its preface on p. 4 the document is transmitted on 22 January 3059, while the latest date within the document itself refers to September 3058 on p. 27.
- Interstellar Expeditions, p. 32
- Interstellar Expeditions, p. 31