Author Topic: The Clans; Changing Culture and Conditions from 3060, a work of the Der Tag AU  (Read 4804 times)

beachhead1985

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Clan Nova Cat
« Reply #30 on: 29 November 2023, 10:58:46 »
“Our fate was determined by our oaths, not by the Blakists.”

By those words, Khan Santin West of Clan Nova Cat renewed his people’s bonds of kinship and loyalty to the Star League and sundered the alliance with Chandrasekhar Kurita’s budding coalition on June 2, 3070.

When the Nova Cats were Abjured by their fellow Clans, following the conclusion of the Great Refusal on June 2, 3060, the Khans of the ‘Cats considered it a matter of only passing consequence. By their own council, they considered themselves as having already effectively ‘Won’ by joining the renewed Star League; the supposed goal of Clan Society as a whole, and conveniently; the winners of the Great Refusal.

For the Nova Cats, history effectively came to an end and began anew from that moment forward. Things were not perfect for them from then on, by any means: House Kurita remained churlish at the ceding of land and worlds, permanently to the Cat’s holdings and “The Star League Clan” had to work hard and then fight hard in the Ghost Bear-Combine War to win the trust and respect of their neighbours. Then they almost lost it again and faced official censor from the Second Star League’s Council over the Naval Battle of Alshain, on the 8th of May, 3067.

But all that came to an end on the 28th of November, 3067, along with so much else. For over two and a half years, the Nova Cats fought an unsupported war against the Word of Blake and their allies. The Cats paid dearly for this, as did so many others.

Through the Winter of 3069, reports began to filter through the Nova Cat Watch of another force fighting against the Word under the colours of the vanished Star League. This was unlike the scattered remnants of shattered SLDF commands they occasionally became aware of; this was the infamous “New Model Army” and they finally made direct contact with the embattled Clansmen in April of 3070.

Through a vision.

Khan West confided in his Clan’s High Loremaster that on the night of the 14th, he was confronted with a dream in which an army of monsters, with the hearts of men fought soulless revenants wrapped in white burial shrouds, surrounded by a distant, but ever-encroaching inferno.

All of the Clans can be described as spiritual peoples, but among them, the Nova Cats take this to its most occult heights and their culture, rituals and beliefs are guided by mystery traditions with important events often heralded by visions, dreams and portents. It is common for them to ascribe mystical powers to their members and while we will deal with this peculiar artefact of their culture below, suffice to say that they are a passionate and imaginative people, talented at ascribing meaning to the unexplained or matters of happenstance in order to explain events which would otherwise appear inexplicable or unheralded. It is a form of rationalism turned inside out where a people who must control everything devise myths and embrace stories of the supernatural in order to have an explanation for all things.

Regardless, Nova Cat history, which is oddly more regularly-recorded than some others, provides a Verigraphed transcript of this recollection dated 16 April, 3070 and the first HPG message from Commander McKenna was not received until the 23rd.

Two facts further complicate this story however; for one thing, official 3rd League History has the New Model Army sending out an “All-Points Rallying Call” to all extant SLDF units in 3068. The Nova Cats appear to have known of this message, but discounted it, or considered it a trap. But the Khans should certainly have known about the message, if not McKenna or his self-assigned mission, prior to this date.

Secondly, Khan West and his Lore Master actually determined that McKenna and his soldiers were the evil revenants in the dream at first, due to the existence of McKenna’s bodyguard/”Keshig” formation, which called themselves “The Death Shroud”.

***
Appended notation, this digital copy:

Another interpretation is that the Word and McKenna were both monsters and that West was being warned of the need to find another path or let the monster kill each other. We’ll probably never know. The text references a Verigraph, but doesn’t provide it in the attached sources. It’s not even referenced in the bibliography.

I sure couldn’t find it in my own research and all Verigraphs are supposed to be copied in the ComStar archives on Terra and the one on Tukayyid; because that’s the point of a Verigraph. Neither admitted having it.


***

Nova Cat history is essentially all like this; a conflicting mess of stories that are all mutually true and not true from different points of view. While it is all recorded and cited in various formats, it is not all equally-well collated and the records do not always match across different settlements, military units and public or private traditions.
Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

These, in the day when heaven was falling,      Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
The hour when earth's foundations fled,         They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
Followed their mercenary calling,               What God abandoned, these defended,
And took their wages, and are dead.             And saved the sum of things for pay.
     
A.E. Housman

beachhead1985

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That all pales, however contrasted to what happened next: for a verified fact, Commander Steven McKenna made a diplomatic overture to the Nova Cats in the form of an interpersonal face to face, verbal exchange and this was accepted by them and proved successful in convincing them that he was not the devil incarnate leading a horde of terroristic savages. Feel free to bookmark this entry and return to it as often as you like for the purposes of study, personal reflection and to upset your own personal equilibrium as an educated human person. It’s like when you find out how much Hitler loved dogs or that Amaris enjoyed playing matchmaker for his trusted household servants.

McKenna---somehow--- managed to convince a gathering of Nova Cat senior officers, including their High Loremaster and both Khans that, in fact; his force represented all of the highest professional ideals of the original SLDF. They were the champions of a budding empire that upheld similar values to the original Star League. He enjoyed a small following of like-minded allies and that he’d already been recognized as Supreme Commander by those other SLDF units which remained, including the survivors of the storied Eridani Light Horse, whom his forces had rescued from various hazardous climes (and thank you very much).

While he had a number of Verigraphed digital files to back up his claims, as well as being attended by a small entourage of former Second-League officers known to a several of the ‘Cat Warriors present, the trideo recordings we have of the meeting establish it as very much McKenna’s show. While it would be in bad faith to call him a poor speaker, McKenna was no salesman and renowned for his lacking interpersonal skills and habit of stepping wrong when dealing person-to-person. He was at his best behind a podium or atop a burnt-out mech hulk and at his worst in settings such as these. Ostensibly, he was even going in with a large hand of cards stacked against him he couldn’t know about, but which all those present on the side of the ‘Cats did.

That things worked out as they did, the history of the Nova Cats ascribe to fate, destiny and the hand of The Founder.
We may imagine something more along the lines of a blinking holo-player readout giving you the correct time once a day, but however you look at it, this record at least seems absent the typical Nova Cat equivocation. Savour it while you can.
From there, Khan Santin West’s words to his Warriors were as appropriately prophetic as a Khan of the Nova Cats might wish for and his people’s fate from then on to the present-day was set. This is why they consider themselves of the first of the New Clans today. And why they are also recognized as the single point of continuity from the First League to the Third.

Clan Nova Cat’s war record during the 5th Succession War is arguably superior to their co-combatant cousins, but exploring this in detail is not our purpose here. Suffice to say that the SLDFiE and Clan Nova Cat worked well together and doubtless benefitted from their alliance.

   The war itself served to cement Nova Cat-Combine relationships and the SLDFiE made sure to give them top billing for their part in the tangential crusade against the Black Dragons. It pays to realize that while this campaign is well-known outside the Combine as a major cause for the lengthening of the war and the delay of operations within the Sol system, within the realm of House Kurita, the historical narrative remains focused on the benefits to the middle and later rule of Coordinator Hohiro Kurita. Without the so-called “Kokuryu-kai”, which so plagued his father’s tenure as Coordinator, Hohiro was able to manage wide-ranging reforms and achieve an efficiency in Combine governance and bureaucracy which has seldom been approached. This Historical vision, crafted for the consumption of the subjects of the Dragon has thus given high-praise the SLDFiE’s diversionary campaign against what were only nominal Blakist allies, and only a minor regional threat.

   What cannot be argued though, is the second and third-order effects this had on the Draconis Combine’s successful post-war recovery and then on their perfidious non-involvement in the League-Republic war that followed. By extension, it is simple observation to see how their current position in interstellar politics owes so much to the Nova Cat’s course during the Jihad. All this despite never have recovered the worlds ceded to the ‘Cats following The Great Refusal.

   The cultural and security benefits enjoyed by the Combine from sharing borders and cohabitating with 3rd League troops in the immediate aftermath of the war and the years of trouble that followed are another boon scarcely enjoyed in the rest of the Inner Sphere.

   This cultural interplay worked both ways, however and the Cats found themselves under threat of increasing liberalization and even assimilation, post-war. Both the Draconis Combine and the 3rd League made very friendly allies in the interregnum between the two great conflicts of the 31st and 32nd centuries. This made it politically difficult to resist the adoption of attractive cultural mores and artefacts from both sides, with Combine art and architecture becoming practically endemic to Nova Cat holdings by 3095. The existence of a larger military organization to which the Nova Cat Touman now belonged, as well as the presence of their erstwhile Clan cousins in the 3rd League offered an even more seductive draw to a people used to being members of a greater whole.

   These pressures began to make themselves felt even before the end of the 3080s and the Nova Cats found themselves adopting reactionary measures and policies which were distancing themselves from their fellow Star League member-states, as well as their spheroid neighbours. Overtures from the Republic and House Stiener were also rebuffed during this period. In effect, this was undoing much of what had been gained to this point in the ‘Cats acceptance in the Inner Sphere.

   The solution grew organically from a series of retreats held in 3090, 91 and 92. These had begun after the Nova Cats officially withdrew their Touman from the regimental list of the SLDFiE. They were soon followed by the Blood Spirits and Diamond Sharks, but the move began as yet another reactionary Nova Cat effort to counter the increasing assimilation of their people as they saw the uniqueness of their culture increasingly subsumed into just another kind of “Regimental Flavour”*.

   *This topic is covered adequately between Osprey-New Avalon’s Men-at-Arms 3429: 3rd League Troops in the Interwar-Era and “Just another Tartan” by Joshua K. Wolf (New Galatea Press 3088).

No one was entirely happy with the arrangement of the time, which melded the standing armies of member states into the 3rd League’s Regular Army. The Army Reforms of 3089 allowed for separate SLDF and “State Troops”, while still permitting league citizens, which the Warriors of the so-called “Royal Clans” were, in full, to petition for acceptance and terms of service in the SLDF. The Clans agreed to compromise on their lower castes still being allowed to join and gain full citizenship, in exchange for a more formal decoupling of their Toumanic forces.

   While still part of the SLDF, the Nova Cat military were no-longer subject to unilateral command from Central for offensive or “Expeditionary” operations. They were till expected to perform defensive duties, as-required, but this meant that in practice, 3rd League Member States could keep their “State Troops” out of the Star League’s wars, if they so chose to. By the same token; their own Warriors could still trial to participate against the wishes of their Khanates and the Khans could of course chose to take part in a given conflict as well.

   While these polite political fictions would prove valuable later, what mattered most to the Khans of the Royal Clans was that their Toumans were no longer subject to the forced adoption of SLDF doctrine, particularly tactics and rules of engagement, as these were the primary methods by which they felt their way of life was being subordinated to an outside power they considered more familiar than they were comfortable with.

Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

These, in the day when heaven was falling,      Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
The hour when earth's foundations fled,         They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
Followed their mercenary calling,               What God abandoned, these defended,
And took their wages, and are dead.             And saved the sum of things for pay.
     
A.E. Housman

beachhead1985

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The “Clan Retreats” began the following year and were always called “Summits” by 3rd League and Clan-friendly media. These terms then make for a useful litmus test in the examination of potential bias in contemporary source material. The retreats varied in composition and location, but were held yearly from 3090 to 3124 and irregularly ever since. Some years may see two or even three such meetings, sometimes with outside representatives and then the years between 3136 and 3149 were absent any such gatherings at all, though there were of course reasons for this. These retreats were sometimes held concurrent to and co-located with the Martial Olympiad, but more often not.

   The retreats were attended originally by one or both Khans, as well as important or influential representatives from the respective Toumans and other Castes, but composition varied from the outset. What matters for our purposes is that it was in the crucial first three retreats that the fate of the Royal Clans as a cohort was decided.

   Each of the three came to those first meetings with similar concerns, but their situations varied. Both the Nova Cats and Diamond Sharks were outwardly-focused peoples. The ‘Cats ever seeking wisdom from the beyond, even when that beyond was explored through meditation and the ‘Sharks through their interactions within the sea of markets and customers that made up their worldview. Both had proven susceptible to the subsummation of their cultures and way of life in the diverse soup of broader human civilization. Surrounded by similar peoples, they were unique enough to remain rooted in a wider community, but with that extended Clan family broken and denied them, they were losing what it meant to be “Clan” according to their own understanding.

   True to the unique nature of their totem, the Blood Spirits never lacked for a strong sense of self; their identity was not rooted in a wider galaxy that had proven hostile to them, but in the very core of who they were as a people and as individuals. Despite their small numbers overall and large numbers of civilian lower castemen, the Spirits were not only holding their own in the cultural and social arenas in which they set themselves; they were thriving. For four of the last ten consecutive years, the Blood Spirits had successfully assimilated more petitioners than the Nova Cats and Diamond Sharks, combined. In 3088, this has been by an order of magnitude, with over 1200 admitted and indoctrinated, compared to 311 for the Diamond Sharks and a mere 44 for the Nova Cats.

Despite material hardships, economic setbacks and the indifferent nature of many of their colonies; the Blood Spirits never doubted who they were and remained Clan in all aspects of their culture and daily lives. As strict, and as lenient as they had ever been. And this amidst practical submergence amidst 3rd League culture (which is to say; a polyglot of refugees, soldiers and ex-mercenaries with a heavy admixture of deep-periphery natives) and continued close interaction with the SLDFiE through exercises, training and joint missions far beyond what the other two were then comfortable with. In 3087, 3089 and again in 3090; the ‘Spirits had trialed and won from the other two the right to establish modest settlements on Twycross, Trondheim and Itabaiana and their people showed no sign of difficulty from their radically expanded contact with spheroids.

The Nova Cats, in particular benefitted from the cultural exchanges and sense of a greater whole they gained from these retreats and adopted many of the recommendations of the Blood Spirits whole-cloth, while the Diamond Sharks were more circumspect and took longer to develop a kind of self-directed marketing campaign to reinforce certain ideals and aspects of culture, they felt were slipping away from them. Ultimately, while the Royal Clans all seemed to have benefitted greatly from these events, resulting in strong power bloc within the 3rd League, itself, the Nova Cats experienced greater impacts from the exchanges and enjoyed proportionately greater benefits.

***
   Applied notation, this digital copy.

The HELL?! So, was this a big deal for the Sharks or not? This wasn’t even mentioned in their entry, so I take it not?

***

Applied notation, this digital copy.

Someone else brought this up in Class and the prof hemmed and hawed, but I think the bottom line was a “no”. Most of what he said was thing Utewoman, Kern and Mutsu wrote different parts of the text and Utewoman edited it. So, basically; whoever did the ‘Sharks didn’t think this was a major influence on their culture worth including, but whoever wrote the ‘Cats built their whole piece on it.

Great. This course is a nightmare. Kill me. Please.

***


A greater sense of security and self-confidence gradually came to the fore among the Cats and was forcefully evident in their non-participation (alongside their Clan cousins) in the early stages of the Republic War. This was perceived as strength and independence by foreign powers and the ‘Cats came to benefit from this through most of the 3100s and became valued as peacekeeping troops in more permissive combat zones. When push came to shove, however; as it did in 3166, 3189 and most recently in 3211, the Nova Cats quickly and controversially conducted relief-in-place operations with SLDF Regulars. These have always been infamously willing to fight the battles the ‘Cats sensibilities made them unsuitable for and Clan Nova Cat has in-turn benefitted thereafter as the perceived “Good Cop” to the SLDF’s “Bad Cop”. This was demonstrated in the former St.Ives worlds in 3234, where local separatists returned to the negotiating table over night when it was suggested that “McKenna’s Monsters” would be replacing the Nova Cats if the current suicide bombing tactics continued.

Remaining honourable to a fault, however has not dulled the Nova Cat’s skill in war, as they proved most notably against Clan Wolf *and* revanchist Skye separatists simultaneously in 3142-43. And against the Combine in 3170. In both cases, side by side with their fellow Clansmen and the SLDF.
Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

These, in the day when heaven was falling,      Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
The hour when earth's foundations fled,         They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
Followed their mercenary calling,               What God abandoned, these defended,
And took their wages, and are dead.             And saved the sum of things for pay.
     
A.E. Housman

beachhead1985

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In the face of challenges internal and external, Clan Nova Cat has---sometimes with difficulty---remained true to their values and purpose as a people. Warriors, Warrior-supporters and Spiritualists in equal measure, the ‘Cats are a difficult people to truly know and moreso to approach. It’s not a shock then that they have allowed the continuance of their loosely-associated Expatriate enclaves as a means of keeping others at arm’s length, or that their approach to the Householding movement has only recently come to light.

The Nova Cats have developed in their time in the Inner Sphere as an insular people and while perhaps their status as founding members of the 3rd League isn’t everything they might have wished it to be, they have unquestionably benefitted from it politically and materially. Indeed, many argue that a separate path would have seen them long since wiped from the map of the known galaxy.

***

Sam C. Christian Student #A336 780 210

Inserted transcript March 11, 3265

This old textbook is basically good enough for show-business, but Utewoman, Kern, and Mutsu were obviously writing without information that I have access to here. Somerset Military Academy may be no great shakes, but at least my security clearances still work here and I can supplement what I know in my private files.

First of all; the Expats aren’t about keeping people away, so much as giving their own people a place to go when their visions lead them away from the Clan, without actually having to leave it completely. We’re not sure how many come back and how many stay, but…given as they still have a healthy, stable and loyal (for the most part) Expatriate diaspora, it’s a few.

Mutsu, and this sounds like Mutsu to me, also missed that the Cats began allowing the expansion of their wilder and more eccentric spiritual traditions, openly in the late 3050s. It was officially frowned on for the lower castes before then, but it was more tolerated through the 60s and 70s, until it got sewn up, along with so much else in the 3090s. Which matters because you can’t penetrate the Nova Cats, if you can’t talk the talk *and* walk the walk convincingly with their quasi-religious mumbo-jumbo. Bragg says to just give it up when it mixes with the real religion from the Cloud Cobras and I believe him. I’d sure scrub at that point if I could.

Loremasters exist in every Caste by the 3120s and they have wannabes, juniors or what have you in most communities. They’re almost like a Caste, beyond the Castes for the Cats. (Say that three times fast!)

So…kind of a two-way filter, I guess you’d say? They mesh with the Yakuza in some weird ways through the Expats too and they can coexist and even work together. And I don’t just mean the Ghost Regiments; I mean real Yakuza. The yaks just seem to eat their own Dark Casters, while maintaining a veneer of civilization the Cats consider palatable in their own way. Gives their Watch a standoff that most Clans lack too. They aren’t the best or the worst overall, but they do counter-intelligence as good as anyone.

Obersaltzmann’s files are old, but still considered authoritative, as best I can tell at my level. Basically; the Cat’s take from the Spirits was to lean into their mysticism as a means of holding unto their identity. They ended up using that in a multi-vector approach to deal with the issues with their eugenics program.

The Cats should have had one of the stronger programs going; they pulled out of the homeworlds on their own schedule more or less and comparatively intact. They had solid, original gene-samples and weren’t known to have been doing anything whacky, but something must have been going on, because they start acting like they’re looking at a long dark hallway to nothing before the 3100s. No-one we know has ever got close enough to find out what the Cats saw.

   Obersaltzmann’s files are what got her compromised; they were too big, too meticulous and too well-documented and Nova Cat Watch eventually found the data-bursts. For all that, they’re 90%+ unreadable word vomit about their vision quests and dances, fortune telling; the works. They’re so detailed, you can get compromised from knowing too much and expressing it wrong. The trick is to know enough to fit in, without giving away more than you should know. My takeaway is this:

   Sometime in the 90s, the Cat’s started using occult rituals to “solve” their problems and it…seems…to have worked…somehow? They did Householding; Utewoman, Kern and Mutsu are pretty clear on that. But they tell it like it was never much of a thing in the Cats; secret families and all that. Real “Secrets of the Steiners”-stuff. And then suddenly: POW! They do it openly. It’s nowhere and then everywhere. Which as any probie knows means an agenda is at-play.

   According to Obersaltzmann, some high muckety-muck in the Scientist Caste has a dream or maybe a hallucination, because he’s not sleeping---typical egghead--- and/or on drugs and he goes to the Khans to tell them that his *vision* was that if they allow Householding, it will stop the decline of their gene-stuff. So, after some additional science and much additional hallucination, the Cats decide to get into Householding in a big way by having some of their Warriors start doing this new “rite” that the High (I kill me) Loremaster basically makes up called a “Rite of Hand-Fasting” to determine if they should shack up with someone else and live like spheroid petty nobles, basically.

   I’m not doing it justice, but that’s the brass tacks. And some other Warriors do Trials of Grievance for the right to do the Rite and it goes from there and this seems to help, but Obersaltzmann makes clear things aren’t getting better through the 3120s, they just aren’t getting worse. So, the Cats start doing something like a hybrid of some of their other rituals, basically aimed at determining who their most worthy free-born warriors are through making them do crazy dances with hooks and lines through their skin…it goes on and on and this is how the Cats start bringing in more fresh blood, which they need…for some reason. There is no evidence for any of this being necessary by the way; so far as anyone can tell, the Cat’s genes are fine and always have been. Mutsu makes a huge deal of that. But in the late 3130s, they even do a few trials and go on quests looking for certain people, certain *samples* if you get my drift and not all of this is on the up and up by Clan-standards. It’s wild.

   So; future me, these are the key takeaways and I am going to attach the links to Bragg and Obersaltzmann’s supporting data, if---Odin help me---I ever actually *need* any of this. But I just saved you/me four pages of inaccurate academic rambling from Mutsu.

***

Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

These, in the day when heaven was falling,      Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
The hour when earth's foundations fled,         They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
Followed their mercenary calling,               What God abandoned, these defended,
And took their wages, and are dead.             And saved the sum of things for pay.
     
A.E. Housman

beachhead1985

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***

THIS DOCUMENT IS CLASSIFIED MAJESTIC-09

Confidence: 9/J (Received Wisdom)

Star League Intelligence Centre

INTSUM/INTORD: MYSTIC CASTE04

30960931

(M9) 1. (INTORD) INT products designated “BIRDSONG” are the result of reports received and collated by SLIC derived from CLAN NOVA CAT MYSTIC CASTE collection.

(M9) 2. (INTORD) These kinds of reports would normally be classed 0-3/A-G (unreliable/variable credibility), but due to their proven track record are instead classified as not less than 7/G if usable, or they are classed DO NOT USE/STUDY ONLY if not and archived. BIRDSONG products will be passed on to clearances beneath MAJESTIC or outside compartment 09 as 8/I in all cases. The BIRDSONG designator is to be scrubbed and substituted beneath COSMIC and BIRDSONG reporting will not be disseminated intact below the TOP-SECRET classification in any form.

(C1) 3. The CLAN NOVA CAT MYSTIC CASTE is composed of individuals believed by the Clan to possess powers which can be described as paranormal or otherworldly.

(C7) 4. MYSTIC CASTE assets may come from any caste or background. Some are from beyond CLAN NOVA CAT. This may include individuals from beyond the STAR LEAGUE, including from beyond known space. MYSTIC CASTE assets are believed by trusted NOVA CAT Clansmen to possess abilities including, but not limited to those described as Extra-Sensory Perception, Telepathy, Telekinesis, Precognition, Clairvoyance, Psychometry, Remote Viewing, Aura Reading, Divination, Augury, Scrying, Astral Projection, Psychic Reading, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Prophesy.

(A6) 5. Certain, high-ranking members of CLAN NOVA CAT have espoused the view that MYSTIC CASTE members can also change their physical form, return to life after death, kill or cause injury through various paranormal means and transcend the physical form. It is the assessment of SLIC that these individuals believe what they are saying to be accurate and are expressing what they believe to be the literal truth.

(T1) 6. NOVA CAT CLANSMEN will sometimes make reference to the MYSTIC CASTE in public, together with claims ranging from the eccentric to the extraordinary.

(A6) 7. However earnest, these public expressions have the effect of hiding the truth of the MYSTIC CASTE behind a curtain of eccentricity.

(A5) 8. CLAN NOVA CAT consider information from the MYSTIC CASTE to be utterly reliable and totally credible intelligence, which may or may not be actionable.

(M9) 9. CLAN NOVA CAT does not pass all MYSTIC CASTE collection to SLIC.

(M1) 10. CLAN NOVA CAT employs a eugenics program with an unknown degree of separation from their main program, whose purpose is to isolate, select for and strengthen the perceived powers of the MYSTIC CASTE.

THIS DOCUMENT IS CLASSIFIED MAJESTIC-09

***

THIS DOCUMENT IS CLASSIFIED MAJESTIC-11

MEMORANDUM

30940321

File Reference 0001-17 (Records/Projects/DAYBREAK)

REPSUM: Project: DAYBREAK Termination

(M10) 1. Project: DAYBREAK and all associated activities have been terminated in accordance with the finding of M12 in regards to the Project Director’s final report.

(S1) 2. This does not extend to employment of individuals designated ADEPT through the DIOGENES Program by appropriate state organs.

(M11) 3. The connection between DAYBREAK and DIOGENES was always conceived as a one-way valve and the failure of DAYBREAK is noted as being in contrast to the proven track record of the DIOGENES Program.

(M11) 4. Project: DAYBREAK is terminated in accordance with the recommendations of the Project Director due to manifest failure to meet key Project benchmarks and unreliability as regards the guidelines issues to the Project. Basic safety standards, as well as key outputs were not met and M12 is in agreement with the Project Director that these are unfeasible at this time.

(M11) 5. The invaluable assistance of CLAN NOVA CAT’s MYSTIC CASTE has already been recognized and thanks and tribute presented to the correct offices.

(M9) 6. These proceedings have no bearing on other SLIC operations or programs, particularly the employment of collection designated BIRDSONG. See, also; point 3, same reasoning.

(M11) 7. M12 have concluded that disciplinary proceedings would be in appropriate outside the four cases noted in the final report of the Project Director. M12 grants approval for investigation of same by SLIC Section-W, with any necessary judiciary actions to be carried out by JAG M11 cell.

(M11) 8. Project: DAYBREAK Director final report summary: DAYBREAK has failed to produce an in-house equivalent to the CLAN NOVA CAT MYSTIC CASTE within the metrics laid out by the Project outline. While BEADLINE collection and reporting was established as accurate in some instances, the Project failed to reach the standards of safety, reliability or credibility required for probationary employment by SLIC or any other state organ. This was particularly true in relation to the Operation: LOAS field trials, none of which can be considered successful, despite the outcome of LOAS/17, 46, 129 and 333.

(M10) 9. Allocation of extant Project: DAYBREAK assets is laid out in attached Annex: A-M10, with exception of the individuals 1-24, 56 and 112-119 who are remanded to appropriate quarters in the BASTION ISLAND SECURE FACILITY.

(M10) 10. All other data related to Project: DAYBREAK is classified MAJESTIC-11, subject to declassification by M12 and archived under PERMANENT NATIONAL SECURITY protocols: HARDCOPY-ONLY, Three (3) copies (CENTRAL-FIRST LANDING STATE ARCHIVES, ARDENNES-PORTABELLO BARRACKS SECURE STACKS, BISF)

Star League Intelligence Centre

Secretariat

THIS DOCUMENT IS CLASSIFIED MAJESTIC-11


***


   Of course, one cannot give a full treatment of Clan Nova Cat without addressing their famous “Mystic Caste”.

   The Mystic Caste is an invitation-only conglomeration of mainly Warriors, which serves an important ritual role alongside the Loremasters in Nova Cat society. The Mystics grant visions and prophesies and perform specialized sacred rituals to perform various specific purposes seen as furthering the cause of the Clan in different facets of its existence, physical and spiritual.

   Of course; there is no real evidence that any of these persons actually possess any kind of spiritual/magic or even psychic powers, but most Nova Cats claim to believe they do. From a distance, the Mystics appear to do no harm to the Clan, or it’s people, but some researchers theorize that they have influence on the Clan leadership behind the scenes or even goals of subverting the Clan for their own ends. But like their alleged “powers”, there is no evidence for this.

   These few words are all that can be academically verified as factual about the Mystic Caste and all you should be tested on. Beyond this point lies conjecture, tabloid sensationalism and the works of Miss. T. Seymour of the New Samarkand Eastern Mountains University. Look up her papers if you enjoy drug-fueled fantasy in the guise of legitimate research.

***

True exiles are rare among the Nova Cats, as are successful petitioners and both tend to find themselves getting no farther than the ‘Cat’s Expatriate enclaves. In this way, these act as two-way valves and filters and give the ‘Cats an air of aloofness appropriate to their feline namesake.

   The Nova Cats prefer to look on their wandering sons and daughters as on extended vision quests, or engaged in the vital process of “finding themselves”. Nova Cat exiles seeking more distance typically choose the wilderness over spheroid or periphery “Civilization” and more then one camp of survivalist Nova Cat Expats have sprung up in invitingly isolated regions, far beyond the norms of civilian habitation. Here; nudism and alternative forms of living are common.

Outsiders, they prefer to observe and test from afar, admitting only those who interest them into their confidences.

   Given the nature of this Clan, unlimbered from the judgemental gaze of their erstwhile cousins, it makes sense then that age has lost it’s cultural sting within their ranks. The ‘Cats instead honour their elder Castemen of all stripes, placing them in positions where the younger generations can benefit from their perceived wisdom. Even the odd “old fool” takes on a trickster’s mask and manners within Nova Cat society.

   Some Nova Cats, however, feel driven to reject the bonds and labels their people place on them as they age. These are rarely Merchants, but most frequently come from the Warrior and Scientist Castes, with Technicians and Labourers also known. These individuals seek out hermitage in isolation or form small monastic orders in the wilds of Nova Cat territory, or the periphery. Many take on the burden of Great Works, but all seek their own kind of peace in the time they have left to them. A very few are given to undertake itinerant travel, Seeker-like quests or exploration, but most simply adopt a form of martial or academic study, together with enhanced depths of meditation.

   Younger Nova Cats will often attempt to seek these persons out for various purposes and occasionally succeed. Frequently, these attempts serve mainly to provide an honourable burial to a long-past elder, but many are the tales of hermits sought out successfully as part of a young ‘Cat’s personal quest or at the behest of the Khans on some vital errand.

For outsiders, these are the kinds of endeavours that those in our field often dream about, but few will ever truly approach, due to the insular nature of Nova Cat society. Modern-day Lieutenant Hiroo Onodas, if you will. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Nova Cats are among the naturally longest lived of the Clans and common wisdom within the Clan states that past a certain age; a ‘Cat of sufficient spiritual uplift dictates the time and permanence of their own mortality.

Stories of hermits are bedrock folklore to the Nova Cats, with standout examples describing journeys to the lost homeworlds in search of lost tombs and temples still guarded by Clan Ancients, their wisdom intact and dear. The legendary “Tale of Osirus” follows a disgraced Nova Cat Warrior whose path to a Bloodname has been forever blocked. MechWarrior Osirus seeks out the shadowed cabin of his Ancestor; Colonel Politas, an original founding member of the Clan in the primeval wilds of Dagda. There, he is stalked by his Clan’s namesake and wounded three times, but perseveres. Osirus eventually finds Politas’ cabin, where he discovers his ancestor is still impossibly alive. Politas heals his wounds and grants him his wisdom. The story ends with Osirus ambiguously awakening next to a burnt-out fire in the jungle. As he sets out to return to his people with the wisdom to reclaim his birthright, we are (as is typical) left to wonder what parts of Osirus’ adventure was real and which the result of his deprivation and injuries. Some versions of the story include Osirus finding a salve he does not recognize on his wounds when he wakes, giving us a less-ambiguous version of the tale. Others have him recovering Politas’ ancient BattleMech, still impossibly operational after untold decades in the Dagdan wilderness.

Despite their inherently isolationist nature, or perhaps because of it, the Nova Cats remain an object of fascination and indeed obsession within contemporary anthropology.
Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

These, in the day when heaven was falling,      Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
The hour when earth's foundations fled,         They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
Followed their mercenary calling,               What God abandoned, these defended,
And took their wages, and are dead.             And saved the sum of things for pay.
     
A.E. Housman

beachhead1985

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  • 1st SOG; SLDF. "McKenna's Marauders"
    • Kilroy's Wall
So, something I've done for this part here is add-in some inserts to the text we're ostensibly clipping from.

Some of these are in the form of classified documents I've made with a system of security clearances, compartments and reliability ratings that I created myself for the 3rd League in the Der Tag AU.

I'm planning to drop these as a system in a future Der Tag article, but for right now is it fine as-is? Or would that be a value-added contribution as a key to the documents?
Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

These, in the day when heaven was falling,      Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
The hour when earth's foundations fled,         They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
Followed their mercenary calling,               What God abandoned, these defended,
And took their wages, and are dead.             And saved the sum of things for pay.
     
A.E. Housman

DOC_Agren

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I think as a future article works
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

beachhead1985

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4075
  • 1st SOG; SLDF. "McKenna's Marauders"
    • Kilroy's Wall
I think as a future article works

Thanks, Doc! I'll do that.
Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

These, in the day when heaven was falling,      Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
The hour when earth's foundations fled,         They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
Followed their mercenary calling,               What God abandoned, these defended,
And took their wages, and are dead.             And saved the sum of things for pay.
     
A.E. Housman

beachhead1985

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4075
  • 1st SOG; SLDF. "McKenna's Marauders"
    • Kilroy's Wall
Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

These, in the day when heaven was falling,      Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
The hour when earth's foundations fled,         They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
Followed their mercenary calling,               What God abandoned, these defended,
And took their wages, and are dead.             And saved the sum of things for pay.
     
A.E. Housman

DOC_Agren

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4929
Thank You
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"