As soon as Nicholas Kerensky created the Clans in 2810, the Wolverines prepared for battle.
Lead by Khan Sarah McEvedy and saKhan Franklin Hallis, the Wolverines joined Clans Mongoose, Nova Cat, and Snow Raven in the assault on Circe, one of the five Pentagon Worlds that the Exodus fleet settled and which subsequently was plunged into murderous civil war after Alexander Kerensky’s death.
The outcome was never really in doubt. The rebel forces had pounded each other into near oblivion with nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and their remaining forces were ill equipped for the Clan onslaught. Never the less, the rebels on Circe fought hard. The worst fighting was at Constan’s Ridge, where rebel forces holed up in a series of fortifications. Wolverine and Snow Raven forces launched an assault on their positions, eventually driving the defenders from their emplacements and destroying them. The Snow Ravens suffered heavily in the fighting, and chose to place blame on the Wolverines. They claimed that Wolverine forces had denied them support, allowing their saKhan, Joyce Merril, to perish. They even went so far as to claim that this was because she had refused romantic advances from Wolverine saKhan Hallis. These accusations were a pathetic attempt to disguise their own ineptitude. The Snow Ravens were the last Clan to be declared combat ready prior to Operation Klondike, the liberation of the Pentagon Worlds. Throughout the Circe campaign, their forces performed poorly and they suffered severe losses as a result. This was to be the spark for a feud that would almost spell doom for the Wolverines.
Operation Klondike was completed within a year, the rebel forces being either crushed or captured by the combined might of the Clans. The aftermath of the fighting brought new problems, however. Nicholas Kerensky, in an attempt to consolidate his power and increase support for the Clans among the population of the Pentagon, began a series of brutal public relations campaigns, known as "Thamzing" in which captured rebel warriors were publicly humiliated and beaten by their former subjects. The shear brutality of these actions caused many in the Clans to question Kerensky’s actions. The Wolverines refused to follow these methods, simply executing the captured rebel warriors instead of subjecting them to public torture. They saw "Thamzing" as contrary to the beliefs of the Star League that they were supposed to be upholding. Many-feared Kerensky had become a dictator instead of a saviour and was out of control.
The Jade Falcons were the first Clan to publicly criticize Nicholas’ actions, though those protests were short lived. Soon after a group of Falcon warriors spoke out against Kerensky, the Falcon’s leadership instituted a vicious purge, known as the "Culling". Anyone connected with the protestors was executed. There are rumours that the Falcons acted after veiled threats by Kerensky against their Clan.
Other Clans also expressed their concerns about the path the Clans were taking, but we Wolverines were most vocal. Khan McEvedy repeatedly criticized Kerensky’s actions, both publicly in the Grand Council, and privately in her writings.
The criticisms did not go unnoticed and the truth of that time is that Nicholas was losing control of the clans. Many were suffering internal strife and Nicholas saw that the Clans as a whole were on the brink of rebelling against his authority. We Wolverines served as both object lesson and common enemy against whom the other nineteen Clans could unite.
After the liberation of Circe, the Wolverine capital was established on the planet, sharing it with the Ravens, Nova Cats, and Mongoose. Using a Brian Cache stocked with equipment from the 331st Royal Battlemech Division, commanded by Khan McEvedy’s father, the Clan rebuilt their forces after the losses of Operation Klondike. On August 28, 2823, in an unprecedented move, the Grand Council of the Clans ordered the Wolverines to begin sharing the cache with the Snow Ravens, despite our clear ownership of the cache and the Snow Ravens’ having adequate supplies in their own Brian Caches.
Khan McEvedy was furious and demanded a Trial of Refusal against the decision.
The Trial was fought on 7 October, Wolverine forces quickly gaining the upper hand. As the Snow Raven forces were on the point of defeat they produced reinforcements, bringing them well above the level of their bid. Khan McEvedy ordered the incident recorded as evidence of the snow ravens lack of honour.
Before the Grand Council, Khan McEvedy attempted to present the evidence to the council. At the ilKhan’s bidding the evidence was ruled as inadmissible by the Grand Council's Loremaster.
Over the coming weeks, the situation deteriorated further in the Grand Council chamber, as frayed tempers led to increasingly acrimonious exchanges. Khan McEvedy hoped to win over other Clans to her cause; knowing that Nicholas' dictatorial actions worried several of her fellow Khans.
However, Nicholas was a politician and Sarah was a Warrior. Her weakness for plain and blunt speaking was well known. During one exchange she insulted Nicholas directly and by extension, the Clans themselves. With a few ill chosen words, her power base crumbled and with it any hope of liberalizing the Clans. Nicholas immediately called for a Trial of Grievance. Incensed and dismayed at the direction the clans had taken, Khan McEvedy declared us independent from the other clans, and not bound by clan law.
In doing so, she hoped to be able to segregate us from Clan society and live according to the ways of the star league that her father and Alexander Kerensky held dear. Instead she gave Nicholas exactly what he wanted, an excuse to destroy us and strengthen his political standing within the clans.
*** Excerpt from Grand Council security tape; 8 October 2823 ***
Kerensky [ilKhan]: My honourable friend the Khan from Clan Wolverine continues to ignore the decisions of this body as verified by the recent Trial. I do not care that the cache is of the 331st Royal Division, her father's command. This body is agreed that the caches are a resource belonging to the Clans as a whole. In the old order, her paternal loyalty would be commended, but this not the old order. We are the Clans. We stand on our own merits, not those of our ancestors.
Sarah McEvedy [Wolverine]: Except you.
Kerensky [ilKhan]: I beg your pardon?
McEvedy: I said, except you. You seem perfectly happy to bask in your father's achievements. He was a visionary who sought justice and peace for all. You seek control. Our presented evidence proves that clan snow raven used over twice the forces they bid for the trial. If you were half the man your father was you would allow the council to review it. But you are not. You are a political mercenary without the convictions of the warrior who sired you.
Mitchell Loris [Mongoose]: Khan Wolverine, you go too far.
McEvedy: Do I? I know many of you in this chamber found our ilKhan's actions to secure control of the Pentagon population offensive. The Star League did not believe in torture and brutality. Those are the tools of power hungry madman. Is that what you have become Nicholas Kerensky? A power hungry madman?
<<Raised voices from all parties>>
Kerensky: SILENCE! McEvedy, Khan of Clan Wolverine, I, Nicholas Kerensky, ilKhan of the Clans, do call for a Trial of Grievance. By our law, you may...
McEvedy: Hang your laws. Does the truth hurt so much, Nicholas?
Kerensky: Fellow Khans, our colleague is clearly overwrought. I call for a vote of censure. Loremaster Ward, please....
McEvedy: Don't bother, Nicholas. I'll leave. In fact, we'll all leave. Clan Wolverine no longer recognizes the authority of the ilKhan or the Grand Council. From this point forward, we are an independent power. We decide our own fate, fairly and according to the morals and standards of the Star League.
Kerensky: You cannot do this.
McEvedy: I can and I have.
<<McEvedy moves to leave.>>
Kerensky: Arrest her!
<<McEvedy draws her pistol; the Khans and security guards back off. A detachment of Wolverine troops arrives.>>
McEvedy: If you want to face us, fine. But we will not hold back. Prepare to reap the whirlwind.
<<McEvedy storms out>>
Kerensky: My Khans we face a serious decision....
Khan McEvedy escaped Strana Mechy and returned to Circe, where saKhan Franklin Hallis had already placed the Wolverine Touman on full alert. When Snow Raven forces acting on their own initiative probed our border on 10 October. Our counter attack drove them back swiftly; we continued our drive to Dehra Dun, the Snow Raven capital. After a short stand, the Snow Raven forces abandoned the city.
Khan McEvedy arrived in Orbit to find Khan Hallis and the Wolverine forces in control of Dehra Dun and Forces of Clans Mongoose and Nova Cat moving up to support the retreating Snow Ravens.
*** Excerpt from Communications Logs, Jumpship Minnesota 10 October 2823 ***
McEvedy: Franklin, give me a status report
Hallis: Hails My Khan. Glad to see you back safe. We currently hold the Snow Raven capital. Opfor is 20 clicks out and holding position. We could hold Dehra Dun, but it...
McEvedy: Negative. We need our strength. Get me an inventory of the genetic repository and clear the city. Report back to me when done, Quiaff?
Hallis: Aff, already done Sarah, Dehra' is a ghost town and we have harvested the best of the genetic material from the repository. Our initial look suggests that there is good material from Clans outside of Snow Raven.
McEvedy: Very interesting, I will review it when I land. Raze the city, and then get the hell home.
Hallis: Sarah, I have a thought. Let me run with this one a second. Razing Derha dun to the ground would cause a lot of hardship for the snow raven lower castes. All we need is to send a message to the warriors.
McEvedy: You have me interested. Go on.
Hallis: If we were to blow the genetic repository it would make the Opfor back off. It is an absolutely unthinkable act to them. For us it would send a message that we are not to be taken lightly and it would cover up the fact that we have taken material. It might buy us the time to complete our plans.
McEvedy: What you suggest is grave Franklin; there would be no turning back after that.
Hallis: I think we have already passed the point of no return Sarah. As do you, Quiaff?
McEvedy: *sigh* Aff. But it would take a massive amount of firepower to take out that repository, you would have to hold the city for too long.
Hallis: A low yield tactical nuclear device, set off inside the repository, would wipe it out. The shielding of the repository itself would stop the radiation leaking into the city. Derha Dun would be unharmed but the Snow Ravens would be forced to start their genetic program from scratch. We would be gone before they knew what had happened.
McEvedy: Execute it. Under my orders. It will be my responsibility. I will sign it off here.
Hallis: Aff my Khan. See you on the ground.
The Grand Council had voted on 8 October to censure Khan McEvedy and the clan as a whole. Presumably Nicholas did not want to lose the Wolverine strength and expected us to come crawling back given the opportunity.
With the destruction of the repository, Nicholas needed to show no weakness in front of the khans. The Snow Raven Khan called for absorption, Nicholas refused his request, instead calling a vote on 11 October for the Annihilation of the entire Wolverine Clan. As sentence was passed, Nicholas delivered what became his most famous quote: "Those who break faith with the Unity shall go down into darkness." Over the next few days, the remaining nineteen Clans battled for the honour of destroying the rebels; eventually the contest came down to Clans Widowmaker and Wolf. However, in order to win the bidding, the Wolves were forced to go below the accepted cut down.
Khan McEvedy arrived back on Circe on 13 October to begin preparations for the impending assault and oversee the plans for the second exodus. Already raids had begun across the supply depots of the pentagon worlds.
On 15 October, saKhan Hallis requested volunteers to defend the evacuation. Every warrior of every rank, from Mechwarrior to Infantry put their name forward. Within two hours civilian volunteers were swamping the liaison office. The same day, Khan Hallis pronounced executive order 175#, effectively abolishing the clan caste system, and permitting non warrior caste to carry and use weapons within the context of Wolverine Defence Forces.
Wolf Clan forces jumped into system on the 23 October.
*** 2823 10 23 Personal Log Star Capt. Nikos Breen ***
Yesterday Wolf forces appeared at a pirate point in system. Intel’ estimates they could make planet fall within two days. It begins.
This new Clan of mine is still strange to me, yet I am proud to now be a wolverine. Their loyalty and passionate protection of each other seems to know no bounds.
I was born a Viper, but I will die a Wolverine. The “Putin” a Vincent Class Destroyer arrived in system today with 22 warriors of Alpha Galaxy. Rescued by a group of Technicians and Scientists wearing prototype exoskeleton environment suits. They were led by one Senior Technician Marcus Supreme, they recovered the warriors from the rubble of New London, captured an Overlord dropship and then a Clan Wolf destroyer. Truly amazing!
The Wolverine escape continued even as the Clan Wolf forces burned towards the planet surface. On the 24 October Khan McEvedy and the Minnesota left Circe at the insistence of saKhan Hallis.
*** 2823 10 24 Public Record Log - Star Cmd. Graham Jones – Khans honour guard
Today in the Khans ready room I witnessed the saKhan step into my Khan’s place in the defensive forces. This is my account of the events of this afternoon. I will relay the conversation here as faithfully as I can for the records of our people.
“Forget it Franklin, you are jumping out of here with the exodus forces, just as planned.” The Khans tone was forceful almost desperately so, so far they had been ‘discussing’ this issue for almost an hour.
“I have told you a thousand times I cannot do that Sarah. Our people need you to lead them. The days ahead will be dark, they will be desperate. I am a battlefield commander; you are a leader of our people. I have not your skills in motivating the peoples of the other castes.” The saKhan’s exasperation was showing; he had been over and over this point.
“Franklin! I cannot do this without you! Your are my strength, my rock!” The Khan fell forward into saKhan Hallis’ arms her sobs muffled in his chest. The rumours of the Khans being in love may be true, but of all the time I had spent with Khan McEvedy this was the first time I had ever seen them this close.
“You must Sarah. There is no one else who can. You are an icon to all of Clan Wolverine. You must lead our people.” His tone was soothing like that of a father to a child.
Khan McEvedy drew herself to her full height and inhaled deeply. “saKhan Hallis! I am your Khan and you will obey my orders. I order you to get aboard the Minnesota and lead our people to safety.”
The SaKhan turned to me. Standing at my post I was startled to be addressed. “Star Commander. You are a member of the Khan’s honour guard Quiaff?”
“Aff my Khan” I replied, confused as to why he asked.
“… and your duty is to protect the Khan. With your own life if necessary. Quiaff?
“Aff my Khan. It is an honour I am proud to have” I said.
“Then I charge you to carry out your duty and take the Khan to the Minnesota” The saKhan pushed a small metal cylinder against the Khan’s neck. A hiss of air and the Khans eyes began to glaze.
“Sorry Sarah. I cannot see any other way to do this. Safe journey and lead them well.” SaKhan Hallis scooped up the now unconscious Sarah McEvedy into his arms and passed her to me. “Guard her well Star Commander”
“I will my Khan” I wanted to salute the man who was saving my Khans life but was unable to with her in my arms. I turned to leave but stopped at the door. “Sir… it has been a pleasure serving with you. I will ensure she is safe, until my dying breath.”
The Wolf forces landed on 25 October. More than half the force they met comprised of old men and women, scientists and technicians. Anyone that could hold a gun, or make a mech move was pressed into the forces of the ‘defence’. The ground battle raged for two days, Nicholas Kerensky personally killed khan Hallis in a brutal, three hour duel. Clan Wolf eventually prevailed. A running battle ensued as the Wolves pursued our ‘fleeing’ forces. The Wolverine fleet ships piloted by skeletal crews deliberately drawing the pursuing wolf forces away from the real exodus. After nineteen days the battle was over. Almost eighty percent of the Wolf force died; none of our warriors survived.
*** 2823 10 25 Captains Log Wolverine Starship Minnesota, Admiral Peregrine Vryce commanding ***
With the ship damaged in the battle of Strana Mechty, I guess we were an obvious choice to lead the evacuation fleet. Twenty-four ships made the jump with us. Fleet estimates another 50 or so civilian jumpships also escaped.
Only through the sacrifices of the warriors we left on Circe have we escaped. I have here the final message from Khan Franklin Hallis, which I will enter into this log.
“Warriors, my friends, I am grateful to have you here with me on this day. Together we will fight and perhaps die, for in truth it is not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom. For that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.
Never before in the field of stellar conflict could it be said that so much will be owed by so many to so few. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he that sheds his blood today with me shall be my brother and his blood shall mix with mine in the canisters.
Through our blood we will protect our legacy!
Through our blood Our Clan will survive!
Death to the Usurper of Kerensky’s great vision, death to the false self proclaimed prophet! Let loose your battle cry’s! Protect and Survive!”
Along with that came a personal note from the Khan. Each warrior would be going into battle in the full knowledge they could not be taken alive. Genetic material had been placed in cockpits to confuse Wolf forensics. Our losses will seem like all of our remaining first and second line troops.
Fleet estimates about 30% of the Clan have been evacuated. Our task group has around a quarter of that number with us. Today will be a day of celebration for our Clan, reborn in the blood of its many fallen warriors, and a day of solemn reflection.
For the next two months, the Wolf force systematically destroyed the Wolverine holdings, demolishing buildings and forcibly sterilizing their civilian castes. All sibkos containing Wolverine genes were terminated.
The weeks that followed the battle on Circe were tenuous for our fleeing clan. While still within clan space there was always the possibility of discovery. Discovery would mean almost certain death.
Carrying out the plan enacted by Khans Hallis and McEvedy the surviving units of Clan Wolverine were scattered among the pentagon worlds, collecting the supplies and consumables that would be needed for the journey.
Tasked primarily with this were the Lightning Force Recon Trinary, the Wolverines Eyes Trinary and the newly formed Minnesota Special Operations group.
For the bulk of the Wolverine forces awaiting the raiding forces at the prescribed rendezvous point, the wait was torturous, none more so that for Khan McEvedy.
“We sit here, awaiting the return of our warriors. Warriors who again risk themselves for the clan’s protection, for the clan’s survival. In each case they will prevail or die. None shall allow themselves to be taken alive for fear of revealing our plan, for fear of endangering their trothkin.
These were orders I balked to give. The bile rising in my throat at such a barbaric request. But no one questioned it. No one even flinched. What have I done to deserve such loyalty?
No the loyalty is not to me, it is to the clan, to the Wolverine, to the ways of the Star League. This must never be forgotten. To those who come after us, to the next generations, know that many people, many Wolverines died to uphold the ideals and the ways of Alexander Kerensky. To ensure the survival of our people, our clan.
Our way of life must be protected.
The clan must survive.”
Taken from the personal journal of Khan Sarah McEvedy 3rd November 2823.
On November 6th the Clan council met to review the situation. All units save one star of Wolverines eyes had returned, bringing with them over 90% of the needed supplies. Casualties had been light, in most cases the raids being executed so swiftly that the defenders, expecting formal Batchall from incoming attackers, had no time to even identify the raiders, let alone repel them. The only significant exception being the raid on the supply depot on the arcadia moon where Commander Sorenson reported contact with Ghost Bear forces, which surprisingly allowed the Wolverine forces to leave unhindered.
The council’s decision was unanimous, it had to be assumed that the ‘Eyes star was lost, they could not risk the lives of all concerned by waiting for them any longer. The MSO and 21st Death Knights jumpships would leave immediately. The remaining Wolverine forces would scatter across the stars, raiding and foraging supplies as needed, to meet at the rendezvous no later than May.
The Death Knights were tasked to ensure rendezvous point was clear for the arriving Wolverines.
MSO’s job was simple. Formed specifically for the task, they had one line in their mission brief.
“Find us a Home”
Flagship Silver Claw (Previously “Minnesota”)
5th May 2824
“Wolverines” Khan McEvedy rose to her feet at the head of the council chamber. The lanyard of her number one dress uniform, matching the silver streaks in her blonde hair. Though not an old woman the strains of the past months were beginning to show upon her. “We have been called together to decide the fate of our clan. Representatives are present here today from all aspects of our society. Labourer, merchant, scientist, technician and warrior, for this decision will affect us all and should be taken by us all.”
Tapping the console in front of her Khan McEvedy brought up a map only the older members of the Clan would recognise.
“This is the Inner Sphere as it stands today.” The Khan commentated as the map rotated pointing out the various realms as information on each scrolled down the side of the map. “ The Minnesota Special Operations group has returned.” A buzz of whispers scurried around the table forcing the Khan to raise her hand for silence. “Star Colonel Vryce’s unit has identified not one but four candidates for our new home. All reside within the area known as the periphery; all have suitable home planets and sufficient natural resources to support our needs. I am transmitting details of each to your info panels now. Please review the information before we continue.”
After giving each member of the delegation sufficient time to review the information Khan McEvedy again rose to her feet.
“As you all know the Clan’s primary mission is to survive. The success of MSO’s mission presents us with a unique opportunity. I put it to you that we should not make one of these planets our home…. We should make them all our home.”
Conversations broke out across the chamber, individual groups chattering like primates. A single figure rose from the right. Standing close to six feet tall the man wore ostentatious robes over a rotund frame and a chain of office, bearing no insignia. “Forgive me honoured Khan…” The man’s booming voice silenced the other delegates, he paused until eyes fixed on him. “… I, Damien McCall, Leader of the guild of Merchants, do not claim the military or tactical knowledge of yourself and the other warriors in our Clan. Can you please explain to me, how, when these systems are stretched so far apart could we hope to settle, and manage them all? From a merchants standpoint each of these systems are far enough apart to make trade financially unviable.”
“You are correct Guild master. The same can be said from a military standpoint. Mutual defence would be impossible.” SaKhan Ahmed replied, maintaining his seat but attaining the room’s attention none the less. “ The members of the Keshik have discussed this at length and due to the gravity of what we propose we wish the council of you all.” The SaKhan scanned the room tapping his info deck as he did. “If you consult your consoles you will see an inventory of the Clan’s resources.” Ahmed stood and strode into the centre of the chamber “ As you are all aware, our mission in leaving clan space is to survive, to continue the legacy of our clan. We cannot know what type of reception we will encounter on any of these worlds, we may prosper or we may find that in less than a decade they are hostile and barren. After much discussion the proposal we put before today is that we split our clan into 4 units, as you see before you.” As he spoke the inventory of Wolverine assets split into 3 equal portions, with the final portion equally dividing again leaving 4 distinct units, in effect 4 smaller clans.
“As you can see each of these units is organised in the same way as our mother clan. Having sized the resources available to units within the inner sphere each of the larger units is stronger in military terms than any of the inner sphere Mercenary units, the smaller divisions are stronger than any current pirate band.”
A woman in a plain white dress stood from the back of the chamber. “ Begging your pardon sir, but why not just split us into 3 units, why the two little ones?”
SaKhan Ahmed consulted his info pad “Nina Weaver Quiaff?” receiving a nod from the woman he continued, “Nina, the two smaller units have the furthest but least dangerous road to travel. We intend for them to circumvent most of the inner sphere to establish homes at these two planets in the Capellan periphery. There is limited activity within this area and we expect both to be able to thrive without the larger defensive forces. In addition they are within three jumps of each other. Mutual defence could be provided if required.”
Loremaster Moffat Stood and rapped his pen on the desk in front of him. “Council, if there are no further questions we shall recess.” The Loremaster glanced at his chronometer. “ Let us meet here again in two hours to allow for refreshments, consultation and discussion.”
The council sessions lasted for three further days, with the final session going long into the night. The final Vote of the Clan Council was unanimously in favour of the proposed plan. Khan McEvedy addressed the council in closing.
“We will go our separate ways, but we are all descendants of the Wolverine. Each member of the Keshik shall lead a different force, but it is up to each of you how you govern yourselves, do so wisely and remember that respect and democracy are at the core of our values.
Though we may make our homes at opposite sides of the galaxy, remember we are all of the wolverine. Perhaps one day future generations will again stand together as one.
Until that day dawns…
Protect each other…
Protect our history…
The Wolverine will survive.”