What Might Have Been (Part 4)

Katyusha City Starport
Katyusha City
Strana Mechty
16 June 3003

Colonel Jaime Wolf looked over the parade grounds to see his command assembled in full — the last inspection before Wolf’s Dragoons would depart for the Inner Sphere. Since they would spend the entire trip sequestered in individual Dropships, this would be the last such assembly for at least a year. Their equipment may have been archaic, but it was proudly maintained and displayed. The five Regiments (they were still Galaxies on the Ebon Guard’s roster, but Wolf had agressively stomped out the tendency to refer to them as anything other than Regiments. That kind of thinking would give them away in the Inner Sphere.) were an impressive force — perhaps not a match for any of their size in the Clans, but certainly a match for anything they would find in the Inner Sphere.

The unit’s senior Galaxy Commander of five, Jaime had refused to accept a promotion to Brigadier, as the Clans had no equivalent rank. Galaxies were only organized together in a Clan’s touman itself, and taking a rank whose position was equivalent to that of a Khan was simply too disrespectful even for an old freebirth like him. As such, his troops had already begun referring to him as “The Old Wolf” (to distinguish him from his brother, also a Galaxy Commander/Colonel) or “The Old Man” (a reference to his position of command rather than to his age, as he was still young even by Clan standards.)

He was proud of his Dragoons. They had had much to learn, and had learned it almost flawlessly in the two years they had had to train. He expected no less from his own Clansmen, but the Dragoons counted in their numbers members from each of the seventeen surviving Clans, even if their bulk (and their highest-ranked officers) were Wolves (and the ilKhan had insisted on that. Jaime secretly admired Nadia Winson for getting the better of Old Kerlin like that.)

As he reached the end of the line of infantry troopers, each perfectly squared away in the new uniform, he saluted their commander, and dismissed the unit. They had prepared as well as they could. Only time would tell if that preparation had been enough.

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