Saturday, March 20, 2010


The Saragossa Mountains
The War of the Alliance, TN1913

“Soldiers of the Republic! I am here to tell you that we will not leave this pass alive. That is certain!” Sous-Commandante Saré Mayenne stood in front of what was left of the 54th Southern Republican Army infantry regiment, Les Montagnards. Her regimental commander had been decapitated earlier that day when the CEF’s artillery rained down in the mountains. Saré had assumed command and withdrawn her forces higher up into the jagged terrain.

She let the words ring out in the night. There were, at last count, 84 men left in Les Montagnards. They had acquitted themselves reasonably well against this new Earther foe. But relief was still two days away, as the CEF still dominated low-orbit and had caught the Southern Republic—indeed, all of Terranova—completely by surprise. Instead of fighting Northerners as they had been trained, the Army of the Southern Republic was defending all of Terranova from invaders from Earth, the home planet that had abandoned them to their own devices over 400 cycles ago.

“It is our duty that we hold this pass through the Saragossa Mountains until relieved. We will not be relieved in time,” she said simply, pacing among her assembled soldiers, “but we can make the Earther’s advance into our homeland a costly one. We can, and we must. Our beloved Republic is depending on us, and we will be remembered. This, I can promise. We will fight and die, and we will be remembered!”

Saré Mayenne dismissed her soldiers and was left alone, high up in the mountains. She looked up at the sky, filled with stars, and cursed them for the first time in her life. It is bad enough to hate each other on this planet. Why does the Earth hate us? Her face betrayed no emotion, but she screamed inwardly with rage. As soon as it started, however, it stopped. She smiled, knowing that her death would not be in vain. For Saré had suddenly thought of her husband, her love.

I know you will avenge me, Kain DeLacroix!

3 Winter, TN1935
The Saragossa Mountains
Les Montagnards Memorial

Kain stood before the cenotaph, high in the cold mountains. He was pleased. He had been the largest donor for the establishment of the memorial, anonymously, of course. The simple, rock-hewn obelisk was the sort of thing that Saré had been fond of. He read the inscription:

It was here, in the early, desperate days of the War of the Alliance, that the 54eme Regiment D’Infanterie, Les Montagnards, was destroyed to the last man in a desperate holding action against overwhelming numbers. The men and women of the 54eme were led to glory by their executive officer, Sous-Commandante Saré Mayenne, who assumed command after the regimental commander was killed in the initial barrage…

“This is nice, Kain.”

Kain’s eyes narrowed. He didn’t look behind him, towards the voice that had interrupted his private moment with the memory of his wife. Andy Pearl had found him.

“Thank you Andy,” Kain replied, softly.

“She would have liked this,” Andy continued, coming to stand next to Kain, in front of the monument. He looked around at the quiet mountain clearing, nodding his approval. “She really and truly would have liked this.”

“Yes Andy, I know. I did come to appreciate her tastes.”

“You were difficult to track down, Kain.”

“Thank you. And congratulations on finding me.”

“Thank you,” Andy smiled tightly, “I suppose this is fitting, having the cenotaph in the Badlands, where you can visit, and not in the military cemetery in Aquitaine, where she’s buried.”

“I do not need to visit her grave to honour her every day,” Kain lied, “and this way her actions are given the special merit they deserve.”

“Yes,” Andy replied, knowingly.

Kain finally let himself look at his former friend. “You didn’t have to tar her name like that Andy.”

“We both know that I didn’t have anything to do with that, Kain,” Andy replied coldly, meeting Kain’s look. This was true enough. Once word of Kain’s actions in Baja after the War came out in the Southern Republic military establishment, it was clear that Kain’s late wife was clearly unfit for the full honour she was due, having married such a traitor. Such was the way of things in the Southern Republic.

Both men looked back at the memorial.

…killed in the initial barrage. The infantrymen of the 54eme knew their task and the desperate circumstances all too well. Les Montagnards held their ground long enough, so that relief forces were able to arrive in time to prevent the invader from advancing any further. Their bravery and sacrifice will never be forgotten.
Vive le Republique!
Vive la Terranova libre!
1 Winter, TN1935

“Very nice,” Andy nodded.

“What do you want, Andy?” Kain’s long sojourn in the Badlands had not done wonders for his temperament.

“Things have heated up again Kain. I advise you to stay out of my way.”

Kain turned and smiled at his former friend.

“I think we both know that you’re advising me to do the impossible.”

Andy frowned, the act distorting his face unnaturally. He nodded towards the cenotaph gently, “think of her, Kain, before you do anything rash.” Andy turned and left.

“I always do, Pearl. I always do.”

3 Winter, TN1935





Hermes 72 - Heavy Gear RPG - Most artwork Copyright 2002 Dream Pod 9, Inc.