Ghost Bear Compound
1st Bear Guards, Alpha Galaxy Mech-Bays
1921 hrs, 1 January, 3080
Omnimechs and supply carriers moved from the bays out the main door to the landing field at a brisk pace, the men and women of Theta Cluster, 1st Bear Guards knowing they were going on a long trip and one of great importance. And the Khan watched them move from her position in the observation lounge even as she was deep in thought.
Khan Kabrinski had come out of her offices sometime after midnight after some nine hours of researching and reading. Loremaster Tseng’s revelations about the Annihilation of the Not Named had only one source- the diary of the Founder- but she had been right about other potential sources. The First Khan of the Ghost Bears, Sandra Tseng, had written about some of the same items that her current Loremaster had commented on.
Notable among the First Khan’s writings was her commentary on the reversal on Reforms made by Nicolas. Khan Tseng had written her reservations on them, as she noted that Nicholas had used these very things in his condemnation of the Wolverines and how self-serving Nicholas had become. Kabrinski noted that Khan Tseng continued using the True Name of the Not-Named in her writings; she supposed Tseng never expected anyone to dig this deep into the journals of the First Khan perhaps… and there were a great many things of note within them, among them the true history of the founders of Ghost Bear. Most of which she knew, of course- all Ghost Bears knew of it. The parts written about how close the founders came to being separated though, was not common knowledge. Deep thoughts accompanied the information she read… and it made her decision that much easier, albeit no less dangerous.
Of the Sphere Clans, the Snow Ravens would likely support her decision; they had a long history with the Not Named prior to their Trial and had been one of the only clans not to rabidly pursue them. Indeed, that clan had used some of the designs popular with the Not Named long after most clans dropped them. Add in they had their OWN issues with their integration with the Outworlds Alliance, it wasn’t likely they would pursue the Not Named right now.
The other four, the Hells Horses were an enigma on their possible response and the Novacats were more Citizens of the Combine now than anything else. The Wolves and Falcons were too busy fighting each other. She expected complaints from the Wolves- after all, they were the Originators of the Annihilation in the first place and had complained over Amon’s (in)action way back then. They might try something against the Bears for this new policy- if so, let them try. The Ghost Bears were their own entity and it was time to not march to another’s tune… especially a Wolf-driven one. There had been enough of that over the years….
The Falcons were just blood thirsty… and were they to go to this world, this Centaurus IV, Kabrinski suspected it would not go well. She had known of two defeats the Jade Falcons had suffered in the Invasion were at the hands of the Mercenary Force sheltering the Not Named survivors; when she read up further on them, she noted their use of Clan Engagement rules in one case and the other the ancient Dueling tradition for the other. Any attempt to go there by the Falcons would be met by this Mercenary Force… and she suspected the same results would happen. The losses they had taken to “honorless” scum had not sat well with the Falcons as she remembered, and it had cause many a rash action afterward.
As one of her bondsmen put it, there was something to be said for getting in your opponent’s head and make them overthink. Leads to mistakes…
Speaking of her bondsmen, it was a conversation with them early this morning that helped solidify this decision. It was the right thing to do, even if it might be a painful choice.
So, when she exited her office, she had gone straight to the communications room and started her staff in sending out movement orders. She also convened another meeting of her Senior Commanders… in order to inform them of the choices made, and the new policy to be implemented… and of the warning of possible attacks from the other Clans over this decision.
The various Commanders present had protested but in laying out the reasons for her decision, she stressed the initial actions of Nicholas Kerensky had been wrong due to hubris, personal bias and perhaps misplaced anger. One needed to put in work to move forward… and judging by the limited records available to review, the biggest crimes the Not Named were guilty of was being forward thinking… and family driven.
That last comment had hit home with her Commanders. One of the biggest advantages the Ghost Bears had, a great strength, was its sense of Family, its unity of purpose for all within the Clan. It was a tenet set down by the Clan’s Founders and maintained over the centuries since. That they helped kill a clan that had some of the same beliefs because of lies (or so their Khan said), it made more than a few mad. Even the more crusader minded among her Commanders.
She now had the support of her senior most commanders in this endeavor… and an official policy change was forthcoming. But the task force needed to be gone before she put it out…. A Council Meeting could be called for it…. And she honestly did not want to fight a Grievance or Refusal battle over it. This was the right call. She could feel it in her heart… and who was she to argue with that?
The Door to the Lounge opened and Star Colonel Lebowski entered, a drink in hand. “My Khan, another two hours or so and we will be ready to lift. Any further instructions?” The Star Colonel was relaxed as usual and even sported a small smile.
Khan Kabrinski shook her head. “Neg,” She said. “I do not have anything else to order or advise on other than do not lose.”
A slight snort. “My Khan, I never go into battle expecting to lose or win. I just take advantage of what my enemy give me… and make it work.” He replied. “I know the reputation of the Lancers; never met them or faced them, though so it is hard to plan based on rumors and hearsay. In case they choose to fight in the stead of the Not Named, have you advice?”
Kabrinski thought on that a few seconds. “Do not expect Zelbringen though it is possible. While they did figure it out early on, it has been thirty years since they used our rules on us. Granted, it was on an impetuous Falcon commander, but the fact remains they do know it so be prepared to have it used. From what I know of them and the Watch has compiled, they are methodical and certain commanders are known to gamble with tactics. And for them, such things work. It shows in their combat record; I do not take what happened to them at the beginning of Jihad into account. No one truly expected that mess and I blame Comstar for not briefing the Task Force that tried to retake Terra properly back then. To my knowledge, it is their only major loss but it was a loss for reasons out of their control.” She paused. “Lebowski, the little information we have on them states they do not lose. They do not always win, but they just do not lose.”
“Lovely information, My Khan, as neither do I,” Lebowski replied with a smirk. “Should I expect the Not Named to be as good if I face them?”
She pondered this as she watched an ammunition carrier make its way to the drop ships. “No. I expect they will have learned a thing or three from the Lancers but I do not expect they will have adopted their ways. I expect Traditional Star League fighting style mixed with Early Clan methodologies. It will cause a ‘hiccup’, as my bondsman would say, in their response to what ever you do. Use that.”
A nod. “Aff…” Lebowski replied. “One way or another, we will find out in three months, maybe a little longer. Five hundred light years is not a short trip, even with everything able to double jump. I expect 13 to 14 weeks until we are there. Will we have Safcon for travel or will we have to lurk?”
“I have already sent a message off to the Republic and to both the Combine and the Federated Suns ambassadors, indicating that your flotilla was not anything to worry over;” She replied. “Your fleet is simply on a mission of Clan Import that does not concern any of them. As you are not the size of an Invasion force, I would expect no real issue.”
A snort. “A truth within the Fiction. Sneaky.”
“Aff. Even I can learn from the Inner Sphere, Star Colonel.” The Khan replied. “Loremaster Tseng should be aboard your flagship by now, yes?”
“I believe so.”
“Good. Remind her I want a full accounting of everything seen… and perhaps, setting up a future meeting with the Not Named Clan hosts… I should like to meet those who would court such danger within their midst,” Kabrinski looked over at the Star Colonel. “And perhaps see what records THEY have of those Falcon defeats. Our fellow clansmen are not very forthcoming with information other than that they were beaten.”
Laughter from the Star Colonel was his response. “Aff… If possible, I will see to the possibility. May I be dismissed?”
“You may. Good Luck and Good Hunting.” Lebowski left as she returned to watching the operations within the mech bay. This was to be the largest Trial of Grievance ever done. Normally, such things were accomplished between warriors only. But this…. Was bigger than a bruised ego. What the Not Named had endured… could not easily be quantified.
The Loss of an entire generation and a half of Warriors by the Ghost Bears… was not a small thing. But it was a thing. And perhaps this gamble would be allowed to happen and some resolution to ancient wrongs accomplished. No matter who won, there would be no Ghost Bears pursuing the Not Named survivors after this… Enough blood had been spilled.
And if the words of the Exiles Khan were true, justification enough, as far as she was concerned, to end their part in all of it.