Wow, has it been a year? I saw this pop up in my Facebook feed and I honestly thought it was a mistake.
I have been honored in my long BattleTech career to write about the Eridani Light Horse, Snord’s Irregulars, and a host of other merc units. Divided was my first chance to write about a sacred cow of sorts, Wolf’s Dragoons. Just mentioning them conjures up memories for fans of Wolves on the Border, Wolf Pack, and other fantastic pieces. Anyone attempting to tackle them is always going to be compared to the epics that have come before. My goal was to not write a better story than Bob’s classics, but write the right story for the Dragoons as we inched into the ilClan era. There were things the story had to accomplish in order for Hour of the Wolf to happen as we had planned, but it was never about hitting all of the bullet points of accomplishment…it was about characters and plot.
It was not your typical fare either. This was about something very different, getting the Dragoons to fight for Clan Wolf on Terra. It was as much a story of that plot point as it was the tale of Marotta Kerensky. Marotta is tragic, as we see later in Hour of the Wolf. He has become as much a victim of Alaric as the Dragoons are. I like to believe that his story arc is far from over. Divided We Fall merely introduced him. I have been toying with doing another Dragoons story, but I am holding that in check (I have other committed BattleTech products I’m working on.)
The antagonist in Divided is the only people worth taking on the Dragoons…other Dragoons. That was complex to write about as an author. There were no bad guys, only characters that were taking actions they thought were right and just. You may not have enjoyed it, but I liked the simplicity of the antagonist in generating the conflict.
We (attendees of the writer’s summit) all knew we were going where angels fear to tread with the Dragoons. Those units that went to Terra would suffer incredible losses both physically and psychologically. Divided elevated some of those characters for readers. Hopefully we will see more of them.
So tonight I will tip my glass to Marotta, Debacle, and the other Black Wolves. Seyla, y’all!