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The History of the Pendragon Clan

Chapter 2


Free World's League

The dropship carrying Terri Lee of Clan Wolverine had landed on Dormuth four days earlier. The dropship captain had sent a messenger to House Marik with an outline of the proposal for an alliance with the new clan. The messenger had returned with a message that House Marik would review this proposal, and contact them. After four days of waiting, Terri had reached the end of her patience.

"Captain, please prepare to lift off, if we do not receive an answer by 1600".

The Captain, a exiled clanner turned freebooter, answered, "As you wish, Star Colonel". The Captain turned and walked away to prepare for liftoff, without saluting. This was the only way he could show another clansman his displeasure with being exiled. He did run the risk of defending his disrespect in a Circle of Equals, but he felt himself the equal of anyone. He did however, feel a cold chill run down his spine whenever that Star Colonel looked at him. She was not one he would relish meeting, in the Circle, or out.

Terri returned to her cabin, finding her daughter Rachel watching the trivid. "Mother, have you seen this?" Rachel asked.

Terri looked puzzled, but turned to the trivid to see a functionary of House Marik proposing a new program to help clansmen "defect" to the Inner Sphere. No mention was made of where these clansmen would "defect" to.

Terri glanced at her daughter when she said, "Very promising, quiaff?"

Terri answered, "Aff", almost absently. If this was what she hoped, it was a promising sign. But why had Marik not contacted them? Terri left the cabin, making her way forward, to the dropship's bridge. Before she reached the bridge, the Captain intercepted her.

"Star Colonel, news. A House Marik Colonel bearing a message for you has arrived! He is waiting in the dropbay."

Terri did not answer, but turned and headed for the drop bay.

Upon reaching the drop bay, with the freebooter Captain at her heels, she saw the House Marik Colonel standing in the drop bay, trying to see everything and everyone all at the same time. He was obviously very nervous at being inside a clan dropship, surrounded by clansmen, and doing his best not to show any sign of it. A glance from Terri at the freebooter Captain caused him to stop in his tracks.

Terri approached the Marik Colonel. "You bear a message for me, quiaff?"

The Marik Colonel subconsciously leaned back to avoid the presence of this woman. He had not expected to meet a woman of such intensity. Her green eyes glittered, and she was not unfriendly, but her manner was completely clan; she approached him as if she was attacking a fortress in a mech.

He recovered enough to ask, "And who are you?". The thought passed through his mind that he could have been a bit more diplomatic with his response. Then he remembered a rumor he had heard; clan women were often worse than the men for being bad tempered and downright mean. He tried to swallow the lump that seemed to have developed in his throat while he wished he had not heard that particular rumor.

Terri remained silent for a full minute, looking the Colonel directly in the eye. The Colonel was beginning to think that he had not chosen the best way to start a conversation with this woman, when she spoke.

"I am Star Colonel Terri Lee of Clan Wolverine. I am here on the business of the Clan, to speak to the leader of House Marik".

The Colonel felt a bit warm in the dropship bay, even with the door open to Dormuth's beautiful but cool spring. This "Star Colonel" looked as if she was prepared to cut his throat right on the spot.

"My apologies Star Colonel. I did not know who you were", and I doubt that I'll ever forget, he thought to himself.

"I have been instructed to invite you to have lunch with Captain-General Walkabout, at 1200 hours, tomorrow. An escort will be provided", and I hope they are the Captain-General's own commandos the Colonel thought.

"Advise your Captain-General that I will be at the foot of the dropship landing door at 1145 hours tomorrow, with Star Captain Lee, my aide", she replied. She then turned and walked away, not looking back to the Marik Colonel.

The Marik Colonel stared at her retreating back for a few seconds, and then turned himself, and walked down the drop bay ramp. I'd better report to the Captain-General immediately, he thought. He definitely needs to be warned about this woman! Then another thought struck the Colonel. It caused him to stop in his tracks, and look back to the dropship. Most clanners only had one name. Only the very best warriors were supposed to get a "bloodname", by some type of ritual combat, to the death. She had two names.......a bloodnamed mechwarrior, then?

Then he noted her comment about her aide. "Star Captain Lee". Now, who was that? Another bloodnamed mechwarrior, or perhaps, someone related to the Star Colonel? And if they were related, did that mean she might be married? Possibly, with a child? Weren't most clanners created and birthed artificallly? Just what kind of man, even a clansman, could be married to her?!?

The Colonel turned and quickly walked to his waiting staff car, for the return trip to the Winter Place. His face was very pale. He had an idea of what kind of man could be married to that woman. And he sincerely hoped that he was long retired before he had the "opportunity" to meet that man.

Chapter 3