Shrapnel #6 has the first part of a novella of mine called Vengeance Games I thought I should write this post and give you same background on it. There are no spoilers in this post about the story itself, but the background is a lot deeper.
The main character, Gideon Wozniak, is the same one that appeared in my story End of the Road from the Legacy Anthology. But Vengeance Games was written before End of the Road, mostly as a mental exercise, but with a hope to see it published. When my pitch for End of the Road was accepted, by using Gideon, it gave him some needed background.
Who is Gideon Wozniak? A former AFFS soldier, born and raised on Antietam. His father was a soldier, and he grew up in a military family. He was the man nicknamed "Stone's Hammer," commander of Stone Lament's Third Battalion, and one of Stone's Immortals, those who were with Stone on Kittery from the start. He has spent years fighting in the Jihad, earning the reputation for being the one Stone turn to to hold a position or to take one. Someone, who should have been a Knight, or even a Paladin, so what happened? Why did he walk away from that? Vengeance Games gives those answers.
Gideon is a complex character. While we saw only Stone's Hammer in End of the Road, in Vengeance Games, we see more of a man who has spent years fighting in some of the most intense fighting. Such fighting has left scars, and we've seen a few of them come up in the first part.
Another character who had been around (in a couple of new items from the now-extinct Battlecorps website) is Baron Riordon Mallory. (BattletechWiki page: https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Riordan_Mallory ). Riodron has always been on the edge of my story-telling thoughts, but Vengeance Games is his first actual appearance in a canon story. He is a historian, with a penchant for being blunt in his assessment, much to those in power. Only the fact his father is the Duke of Antietam has kept him from the wrath of a few powerful Federated Suns families and is Solaris for "Research."
Vengeance Games combines a few things of mine that have either become part of the official Battletech fabric or have been published as non-canonical. Threads that go all the way back to Battletechnology #21 and the story that my late friend and I wrote, Snakedance. Sharp-eyed readers who have read both will see a Snakedance character in Vengeance Games and a couple of other characters who are name-checked.
So, why Vengeance Games? I won't go into too much detail, but what unfolds is exactly as the title stated. And it takes place on Solaris, the Gaming world, where there's more than one game being played....