A Page from the Pillar of Steel
(17 August 3049)
The parade ground stretches as a scroll of testimony to the Draconis Combine’s militaristic superiority; a plane of ferrocrete dozens of kilometers long through the heart of Luthien City. A few blackened scars mar its surface: imperfections left to ensure our samurai know they are mortals, despite their towering sheaths of armour.
Regardless of the many stories of concrete and steel and ferroglass separating me from the parade grounds, heavy footfalls hammer like my own adrenaline-drenched heartbeats through the soles of my boots. Never before have I attended the March of the Soldiery to honor the Coordinator’s birthday.
Precise blocks of troopers stretch off into the distance, numbering in the tens of thousands, their movements as synchronized and beautiful as the deft pull of a rake from a master monk as he binds a Zen garden to the most important of the cha-no-yu, tea ceremonies.
Through this tapestry of flesh and bone, tracked, hover and wheeled vehicles weave a skein: a web that serves to bind the men into a fighting force.
The arbiters of delivery, a row of massive DropShips, flank the gargantuan procession, mute testimony to humankind’s strength in conquering the blackest depths of space.
And finally, as the setting sun lights the hundred spires of Luthien City in crimson fire and the Pillar of Iron itself—crafted like a tree growing fifty meters into the air to support the emblem of the Dragon—appears lit with flames, the samurai and their swords of humanoid power stride with purpose: BattleMechs.
The Coordinator stands at the center of the universe. And under his sworn duty to protect the realm, the men and women of the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery lay their duty and honor at his will to command. A mighty army to stave off enemies across a thousand light years and to bring the banner of the Dragon and its greatness eventually to every world!
—Shintaro Maku, Combine Press