Two Roads Diverged

Two Roads Diverged
Product information
Type Short story
Author Michael J. Ciaravella
Publication information
Publisher Catalyst Game Labs
First published 30 October 2020
Era Clan Invasion era
Timeline 2 May 3052
Series Battle of Tukayyid (series)
Preceded by Blake's Own
Followed by Shadow of Death

Two Roads Diverged is a short story by Michael J. Ciaravella, second entry in the Battle of Tukayyid series written as a companion of the BattleTech: Battle of Tukayyid

Teaser text[edit]

In Dinju Pass, Smoke Jaguar Star Colonel Brandon Howell leads a spoiling attack against a ComStar force waiting to ambush them.

Plot summary[edit]

At the Dinju Overlook Brandon Howell discusses with his subordinate and ristar Jared Canto the coming fight and the just completed meeting of the Jaguar high command: Khan Lincoln Osis accusing him of lacking the fiery spirit of true Smoke Jaguar in response to Howell expressing his concerns at the lack of knowledge of the Com Guards abilities, showing the stark differences between them. Asking his protégé what he sees before him, Canto correctly deduces that Dinju Pass can only be a trap with Howell debating whether it is best to avoid it entirely or to trip it for their purposes...

With Khan Osis using Howell's Jaguar Grenadiers as the tip of the spear, Howell orders his troops into the Dinju Pass at maximum speed, Howell's fears proving prescient when his Grenadiers soon find themselves confronted by elements of the 299th Division hidden in the pass, now emerging to ambush the Jaguar forces and effectively cutting off Howell and Osis from each other.

Though feeling elation at Canto's cries of his Jaguar Grenadiers reaching the target city as a vindication of his methods, Howell is dismayed that Khan Osis refuses to see the danger of the ambush, dismissively convinced his Sixth Jaguar Dragoons will be able to fight through to reach his subordinate, where if they had advanced together they would have easily defeated the ComStar forces. But all the Jaguars warriors find themselves overwhelmed on all sides by a foe fighting in a manner and method they find dishonorable but brutally effective, taking increasing losses.

As Howell sees the possibility of victory fade away and all contact with Khan Osis being lost leaving him the highest ranking Jaguar officer in the offense, he chooses to pull the Jaguar forces back and regroup. While the Battle of Dinju Pass might not be a victory, Howell sees it as historic turning point to a different more measured path for Clan Smoke Jaguar with him at its head.

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