A Dagger's Death
|A Dagger's Death|
|Author||William H. Keith, Jr.|
|Illustrations||William H. Keith, Jr.|
|Era||Succession Wars era|
The Daggers of Death, a mercenary command serving House Kurita, stages a raid on Galtor III that turns into a disaster. Their 'Mechs take serious damage, and they suffer casualties which include the commander of their second company.
Withdrawing to Scheat, the remaining Daggers struggle to repair their machines. Captain Alaya Addison, promoted to take over the second company, finds she has a problem with Lieutenant Morgan Falk, the head of her fire lance. In an unexpected outburst, Falk claims that he cannot take combat orders from a woman. When Addison brings her concerns about Falk to the Daggers' commanding officer, she is told in no uncertain terms that Falk will not be relieved of his post. The unit needs every MechWarrior it can muster.
Shortly after that, a Davion strike force lands on Scheat. The Daggers of Death are ordered to defend an industrial facility, even though their BattleMechs are still not fit for combat. The mercenaries struggle to hold off a numerically superior force of 'Mechs, but their line starts to collapse under the pressure. Captain Addison, in a Thunderbolt, is left behind as the unit falls back. She then comes under physical assault from a Davion Marauder. As her 'Mech is knocked to the ground, Addison receives help from an unexpected source: Lieutenant Falk's Griffin charges the Marauder and takes it on in close combat. Falk sacrifices himself to save Addison: he seizes the Marauder in a death grip as his remaining ammunition starts to detonate. Both machines are destroyed in the explosion.
In the aftermath of the Davion retreat, Alaya Addison makes a discovery. What she took as some kind of misogyny from Morgan Falk was in fact a cultural issue from his homeworld's history: it was a protective attitude towards females, a relic of the earliest days of colonization. The story concludes with Addison reflecting on Falk's “archaic” and “irrelevant” values, which have no place in the modern day… not after so many years of incessant warfare.
- BattleTechnology 0102, pp. 26-33, "A Dagger's Death".