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The History of the Pendragon Clan

Chapter 5

Colonel Spike Schoenmann stood at the second floor terminal view port, watching the dropship descend. He was anticipating the arrival of Star Colonel Terri Lee. He was a veteran of many battles, and could not be rattled by anything, with the notable exceptions of the Khan of the outlawed Clan Wolverine, and his sister, Star Colonel Terri Lee. He had been friends with Rogue and his sister for many years,......years filled with many fond memories of how Rogue and his sister had tried to "rattle his cage". Somehow, "the Rogue Wolverine" as many called him, had managed to maintain an excellent sense of humor, often infecting others with his seemingly good nature, even though his clan was outlawed. But, as many had found, he was very, very deadly when the clan was threatened. The Jade Falcons had borne the brunt of his ruthless assaults more often than any other clan, simply because they had threatened the Wolverines, time and time again. Spike laughed to himself at these thoughts. Only the Falcons would stick their hand into a meatgrinder over and over, just to see if the grinder still functioned. One of these days, the Falcons would not be able to grow anymore new hands.

The Ghost Bears and the Wolves were the only clans to show any respect for the Wolverines. Neither clan would "officially" acknowledge the existence of the Wolverines, but many "training exercises" had taken place on the Wolverine home world by both clans. This would not happen again. The Wolves were embroiled in a Trial of Refusal with the Falcons, and the Crusaders had managed to eliminate the Wardens from Ghost Bear.

The dropship settled to the tarmac/ferrocrete landing pad. Spike turned from the view port, and descended to the ground floor to meet the Star Colonel. He had, as all of the other Wardens of the new Pendragon clan, awaited the news from the Inner Sphere, that Terri would carry. He waited at the gate for Terri and Rachel Lee, her daughter, and aide.

Star Colonel Terri Lee, and Star Captain Rachel Lee strode down the drop bay loading ramp to the tarmac, and headed directly to the terminal gate. Terri walked briskly, but without urgency. Rachel kept up with her mother, but had a much more noticeable bounce to her stride.

Spike nodded to both women as they entered the terminal, "Greetings Star Colonel Lee, Star Captain."

"Greetings Star Colonel Schoenmann."

"Greetings Star Colonel. Is my brother available?"

"Yes, he is in training room 4, reviewing the latest test scores for the cadet class. You have news, quiaff?"

"Aff." She turned to look at him, her head cocked to one side slightly, "Good news?........only my brother can answer." Her eyes twinkled as her lips eased into a smile. She was an attractive woman, and she had an unsettling effect on most men. But the effect she had on Spike was one she enjoyed tremendously.

Spike had grown used to her criptic manner of answering a question with another question. If she had answered him directly, he probably would have fallen over in shock. "Your brother will find an answer to our needs."

Terri placed her hand on Spike's arm, and squeezed his arm lightly before letting go, "I am sure he will." Spike's foot found a crack in the tarmac that had not been there when he entered the terminal, causing him to stumble and recover his step. When he glanced at Terri and Rachel, both women were grinning openly. He allowed no expression to come to his face. She had managed to "rattle his cage", again. As they exited the terminal, and got into the hovercar, Spike reflected that he was quite happy that Kodiak had married her.

Rogue de Bruis was reviewing the cadet scores with Nova Commander Conner MacPherson, when Terri, Rachel, and Spike arrived.

Conner nodded to the new arrivals as they entered the room, and turned back to Rogue, "Khan, what should be done about Cadet Malake?"

Rogue nodded to Spike, and quickly hugged his sister, and his niece, and nodded for them to set down.

"Conner, he has talent, and ability. He will make an excellent mechwarrior, providing he learns not to make rash decisions. His temper must be curbed. And remember; I am not Khan now. I am Loremaster."

"But how are we to achieve that, Kh.....er, Loremaster?"

A smile crossed Rogue's face. "For each infraction where he maintains his composure, have him help the techs in the maintenance bay, for, oh say, four hours. That will improve his knowledge of what is required to keep these mechs operating properly."

"What should I do when he loses his temper?"

Rogue's eyes changed color to steel grey. "Have him pull guard duty all night, without relief. In unpowered Elemental armor."

Conner looked directly at Rogue before he asked, "Their armor masses 100 kilos. If he lasts all night, by morning he will be too exhausted to move, if not already comatose."

"Then he will quickly learn that his temper can cause great pain. To himself, as well as others."

"As you wish, Loremaster." Conner stood, bowed to both women, and left the room.

"My brother! You are being wonderful again, are you? Training our cadets, and providing the leadership we need, while guiding our destiny singlehandedly! With so many talents, I am surprised that you are able to stand, with the weight of your ego balanced on those shoulders!"

Spike held his hand over his mouth, as much to hide his grin, as to prevent any sound from escaping. Rachel's completely unclanlike giggle seemed loud in the room.

"It is good to see you too........I think. You still have not learned........your sarcasm is wasted on me. I trust you left that trait on the dropship during the negotiations, quiaff?"

Terri bristled at the implication, "AFF! You know me better than that."

Rogue smiled, "Indeed. But, when all is said and done, you are a woman." Spike had seen that comment coming, while Rachel laughed out loud at her uncle and mother.

Terri immediately lunged across the table to punch her brother, but Rogue had know exactly what she would do. He caught her left wrist, and using the thumb and middle finger of his right hand, he caught her by the neck, and squeezed her neck at the base, pinching the thyroid nerves. (This causes a pleasant/unpleasant reaction in almost all humans) Terri's back arched as she tried to squirm out of her brother's grip. Her face was a mask of pain, but she uttered no sound at all.

"Yes, we are glad you are home. Now, are you ready to discuss your meeting?", Rogue asked his sister, grinning at her dilemma.

Terri, trying to break free from Rogue's grip, "Yes, yes. Stop."

Rogue released her, and sat down. Terri rubbed her neck, and pinched the still grinning Rachel. "You may stop that now. I hope you enjoyed the show, Spike. Your turn will come in the our next training session together." Spike's grin vanished, replaced by a look of pain. Rogue and Rachel laughed together at Terri's words, and the deadly look of promise she was giving to Spike.

"Enough Terri. What happened?"

Terri resumed her seat, "At the first stop, in Steiner space, they would not meet with us. So, we continued on to Marik space. I met with Captain-General Walkabout of House Marik, and his guest, a Colonel Fallen One, of the Rasalhague Free Republic. House Marik did not appear to be interested in our proposal. But after the meeting, the Colonel promised to take our proposal to the Republic Senate. I had the freebooter Captain make a number of discreet inquiries, and found that this Republic is said to be a good place, with free elections, and leaders that seem to care about their citizens. But their military is barely at the level of Clan Blood Spirit. The Republic was said to have suffered severely during the invasion, with losses of over 80% of their military. Our inquiries tuned up some information on this Captain-General Walkabout. He is said to be a man of his word, and a great mechwarrior. But he also has a penchant for politics."

Spike's eyebrows steepled, and he looked to Rogue, "That would mean that the Republic suffered the main thrust of the invasion!"

Rogue looked around the table, "I know of this Republic. They are at the nexus on the invasion route, and were attacked on over 70% of their borders. If not for Tukayyid, and the Truce, the Republic would have likely ceased to exist. If we were to forge an alliance with this Republic, then we would be at the nexus during the next invasion."

Rogue's smile broadened to cover his face. "As it should be, it will be. Well, your trip was fruitful. We will have to send a representative to the Republic, with a more concrete proposal. And, we should maintain some contact with this Captain-General Walkabout."

Nova Commander Conner knocked on the door, and Rogue bid him enter.

"Loremaster, a Trinary of Wardens from Clan Ice Hellion, and two stars from Hell's Horses are now entering atmosphere. Do you wish to greet them, or do you want someone else to meet them?"

"We will greet them together."

Rogue turned to those seated at the table, "Let us go meet our new clan brothers. The claws of the Pendragon are beginning to grow. It is time to begin sharpening them."

Spike and Terri smiled at this, while Rachel giggled again. Conner MacPherson thought it was wonderful not to be of the other clans. Their lives were so..........dull.

Chapter 6