Mechwarrior PBeM report: Cast of Characters 1

Despite the quick pace the players are keeping in their deadly dance in the stone hills below the Academy, the passage of time in the real world is no doubt making it seem like things have ground to a halt. Rest assured, they have not.

This entry will serve as a bit of extended character background for those who want to follow the campaign once the full, final version of Scene II has been posted, and we return to the intrigue and potential plots about to boil over among the faculty members of Hanachi Military Academy.

Where the cast can take us:

In the opening scene, against the backdrop of the public announcement of the Lyran occupation of Oliver, events served to highlight the importance of the sudden disappearance of some of the students, as well as bring the suspected allegiance of one of the other members of the faculty into sharp focus. When we return from the combat flashback of Scene II to the events of the game’s present, one of the early decisions our not-yet revolutionaries will have to make is, “What do we do about Miss Goetz?”

A deeper question will be, ‘Who poisoned, Fitz?”

Any of these characters could become a vital part of whatever means and methods the characters develop in their revolt. Some of these characters may be obstacles in their path.

What are they going to do?

The Cast

The Dean:

Hanachi Academy’s chief on-site administrator is Dean Synnor “Saint” Liscomb, a former Major in the 2nd Marik Militia before that Unit’s crippling defeat 8 years ago at the hands of the Lyrans. Demobilized as a result of injuries sustained defending the extraction point, he carries an air of bitterness balanced with quiet assurance that he can handle anything. Called ‘DeadEye’ behind his back by the students for the uncreative reason of having lost his right one in combat, he still commands deep respect and fear in the students… even the spoiled rich one ones.

He began his career as the pilot of an inherited, venerable (and widely renowned as ‘lucky’) Lancelot, still retaining most of its original factory load-out. Rumor has it that after the loss of this ‘mech on Algorab, he was offered a refitted Zeus for his valor and commitment to the ideals of the best military traditions. Dean Liscomb seems to have chosen retirement, and the honor of training the next generation of mechwarriors instead.


Professor Angus Llew Fitzsimmons:

‘Fitz’ or Death-breath as he is known to the students, has been teaching tactics at the school for more than 20 years, has published an endless list of manuals and histories, still finds time to compete in professional arm wrestling, and held the golden gloves on Oliver for 5 straight challenges over a period of 9 years, before retiring from boxing. The students love him, but hate his exams, and really hate it when he substitutes for PE classes.

Dispossesed in his career as a mechwarrior, Fitzsimmons served out his time as an officer assisting the general staff, where his tactical insights were quickly noted. When offered a teaching position, he took it, and transferred to Hanachi Academy a few years later, citing the better pay, greater control over curriculum, and a better pool of ‘contenders.’ It is unknown if he meant the students, or the miners in the boxing association.

Professor Lucas Rom

Officially listed as the Political Science professor, Rom typically is assigned to teach classes in small unit tactics, and understanding the Lyran Commonwealth. Rom is in possession of his own mech, a well-used Shadowhawk variant, and is the subject of endless student conjecture.

Westerlie Plantagenet

Officially listed as the transportation and recreation coordinator for HMA, she is actually responsible for security. It is an open secret that at one point in her career she was a combat dropship pilot. It is unknown to the rumor mill and gossip mavens why she is no longer serving in that capacity, but no one doubts that she can still get her thrills in her current position. In addition to babysitting and watchdogging the planetary elite’s rambunctious offspring, at a moment’s notice, she is called upon to transport VVIPs in the latest personal aircraft wherever they might wish to go, including orbit.

Associate Professor, 1st Lieutenant Mel Winters

Required to do double-duty as the primary mech piloting and jump training instructor, and the self-defense instructor, Winters spends a lot of his free time hustling from one end of campus to the other. Winters has a reputation of being almost as frustrated as his students. A new truism is springing up around him, “Those who can, can’t teach.”

While unfair, it is a measure of the respect the students have for his prowess in the cockpit, and on the mat.

Professor Gabriel Hertzog

Hanachi Academy’s former dean of Mathematics, now the only math professor left on campus, is quite possibly the most boring man alive. He is known to work with codes, and word and math puzzles for fun during his every waking hour. As he is quite old, he is often awake, prowling around with his old man’s shuffle, waggling his old man’s beard, and shaking his head wryly at all the nonsense he sees. He is not well-liked by the students, but he gets excellent results, and has great patience with those for whom math is difficult.

Professor Tabitha Driscoll

HMA’s Language professor. This middle aged woman seems to have become something of a loner since the bulk of the staff were transferred or let go. Normally gregarious and bright, the former linguistic prodigy has found it hard to blend in with the other experts who remain – most of whom focus on hard science or the hard realities of combat. Driscoll is known to be married with children, and that for the remainder of this year is unhappily separated from her family. Her husband, Allen Town, and their two sons, have moved to Atreus to begin a new career, and settle in to new schools. It is believed that Driscoll agreed to serve out the final semesters on Oliver as a personal favor to the Dean. A favorite, and much reviled quote of Driscoll’s among the students is, “Communication is a tool more powerful than any regiment of Battlemechs.”

Associate Professor Elsie Goetz

Known to the students, and some of the staff, as ‘The Hot Ms. Goetz’ Hanachi Military Academy’s former head of Biology, and now sole instructor of the discipline in these last semesters is of much interest to many. Known by many to play favorites and be emotionally and professional inconsistent, it is a matter of no small debate as to why she is allowed to remain. Add in her potential Lyran sympathies and poorly guarded antipathy toward House Marik, and the recipe for a mystery is complete. Why does the Dean allow her to stay? Unhappily single, and deeply attached to strong drink and nights of forgetfulness, Goetz has gotten a certain reputation among her fellow professors, for good or ill.

Professor Lionel Calhoun

Calhoun could be summarized in one word: amused. He loves to laugh, and seems to have been finding things which make him laugh every day of his 55 years. His bearded face is deeply creased with smile and laugh lines, and his bright green eyes twinkle like stars on a warm summer evening. Head of Physics, and happy to be continuing on here as long as the school remains open, Calhoun truly enjoys his subject and the consternation and confusion of his students. “Rise to the challenge, gentlemen!”

Popular student theory contends that the Professor and the Dean have arranged a secret facility for experimental weapons trials conducted by Calhoun and the Engineering Department. No one, of course, knows where this lab might be. Truth is not a required component of a good story.

Associate Professor Velika Kaldec

Another staff member required to do double-duty, Kaldec spends most of her time in the lab, supervising engineering projects, or in the mech bay trying to keep the Academy’s large stable of mechs operational.

Assigned originally simply to serve as the chief technician, Kaldec has found her duties growing as the staff gets cut further and further.

Associate Professor Hazel MacTavish

Not a mechwarrior herself, but a proud descendant of a long line of men and women who served in the cockpits of mechs for the Northwind Highlanders, Hazel herself serves in the lab. A genius in the fields of mechanical and electrical engineering, she is serving at HMA as a favor to her CO to assist the Dean. Much speculation about what that favor repays and how it all came about exists. Added to this stew of rumors are those that she is working on a secret project with Lionel Calhoun to enhance mech weaponry.

Although the Highlanders are long-term ‘supporters’ of the Capellans, recent events have put them on the outs with the Confederation, putting her future return to her people in question.

Notable Students:

Sander Hanachi – Discovered missing several days before the Lyran occupation of Oliver, all rumors point to an early tip-off and a secret departure. A solid student, but troubled. Just one of many Hanachis to enter these halls and not know why.

Cotter ‘Coy’ Chilton – 1st son of upper management in the Brigadier Corporation mech production facility on Oliver. Disappeared much like Sander Hanachi, but returned two days later without a word. Number one on all Academic and physical lists, popular with the students, practical joker. Known to be destined to oversee the Dropship Factory on Gibson. Stubborn disinterest in aerospace, passion for mechs.

Kyle Kenworth – 2nd son of Conner Kenworth, CEO of the Quickscell Company. Sent here for discipline and to maintain family tradition. Currently the 2nd on the Dean’s list for academic and physical achievement, as well as the Dean’s list for troublemakers. Seems genuinely interested in becoming a mechwarrior. Wants to transform father’s company into a mech producer if he ever has the chance. Currently struggling to maintain his full scholarship. Fiercely competitive and hot-tempered.

Alphonse Custer – Clever and a pleasure to have in the classroom, Alphonse has shown little real promise in the field. While technically competent, there is no sign of integration, understanding, or implementation of what he has been learning and practicing. Staff rumors have him destined for high rank and authority over thousands if not millions of lives – God help us all. The son of a very successful agrodome venture capitalist on Oliver, Custer has been heard to say, ‘If mechs don’t work out, there is always soy!”

Cooper Brown – Older than the other boys by one year, he is haunted by being held back a year in High School. Over-sensitive and self-deprecating, he has smothered his natural brightness under the protective shield of methodical drudgery. He seems to have lost the courage and confidence to think creatively, or trust his instincts, becoming just an extension of the prevailing beliefs of others. He does extremely well in simulated trials in a single mech, but panics and second-guesses himself in drills with partners or a full lance. He is not expected to pass unless he can get over his doubts.

Brown’s father, sole owner of a huge agrarian concern, expects the boy to raise the family to a loftier plane of wealth and privilege and sees military prowess as a part of that.

Allie King – The only young woman in her year – the final year – of Hanachi Military Academy, King is something of a firebrand. She is aggressive and clever, but wants to be the best without doing the work. While the others drill, study, and practice, she is often talking about drilling, studying, or practicing. All the raw talent is there, but in tests and simulation she seems to get by on adrenalin and passion rather than refinement of tools, tactics, and training.

The Dean, on a recent inspection of the training facility, pointed her out to her professors as an ‘early death waiting to happen.’

Gabriel ‘Gibs’ Stevenson – Prey to a degenerative muscle condition, Gibs excels at academic pursuits and pretends to disparage the physical ones he can no longer enjoy. Gib is earning extra credit this year by serving as the Academy’s computer science instructor, at the special behest of the outgoing Professor, and the Dean.

Stevenson is another heir to upper management in the Brigadier Corporation.

Fergus ‘Pickle’ Hamilton – Pickle got his name from his penchant for constantly being in trouble of others’ devising and his good-natured response, ‘Seems like I’m in another pickle’ each time it occurs. An altruist through and through, Hamilton is a very talented engineer and dreams of going to work for his mother at the Quickscell Company, to work with Communications and tracking gear.

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