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Italics:

OK, folks, just a quick note on the formatting. Straight-up text like this is Adrian speaking; anything italicized and in square brackets is me, George Macoukji, speaking out of character. Usually I'll do this to point out some inconsistency with the "standard" FASA universe. Other times I'll explain why Adrian chose one course of action over another; since Adrian's character is not yet fully fleshed out, this will help to reveal elements of his background and personality. Let's take a quick example:

... and then, I fired my ER PPC. A lucky shot hit the Mad Dog's head, and instantly killed the pilot. Although I was exhilarated at the victory, I felt saddened by the loss of such an excellent warrior. He had fought well.

[Most Clan warriors feel that if an opponent is so incompetent as to get himself killed, he didn't deserve to live in the first place. Since Adrian was raised as a freeborn, he has a better understanding of the value human life, and will not fight or kill needlessly.]

After we returned to the Mech bay, I saw my Tech Randell walking towards ...

Got the idea? Hope you can keep up! :-)

Second in Command:

Throughout the documents, I will refer to things such as "aide," "second-in-command," "XO," or "twic." These all mean more or less the same thing. It could be the person who is next in the chain of command after me (or the person I'm talking about). Or it could be the assistant who keeps his officer rolling, the "helping hand" in running the unit. For example, my second in command is Klen Kerensky, Senior Point Commander of my Nova. Gamma Galaxy Commander Mikel Furey's Aide-de-Camp is Star Captain Lena Fetladral.

The terms themselves come from a number of places. "Aide" and "second-in-command" are obvious, but "twic" and "XO" are more obscure. Let me take a moment to explain them.

"Twic" comes from "second-in-command." If you write "second" as "2" and take the initials of "in command" ("IC"), and put it together, you get "2IC." The easiest pronunciation of this is "twic." This term actually came from a novel by Anne McCaffrey. I think it was The Rowan; many apologies to Ms. McCaffrey if I have the wrong novel. Also, many thanks to her for inventing such a useful abbreviation!

"XO" comes from "eXecutive Officer." I don't know if there is a story behind this one or not; but it's the term that my GM uses. We've developed an alliance of convenience on the matter: we use whatever term we like so long as the other knows what we're talking about. :-)

My GM

For those of you who don't know, "GM" stands for Game Master. My GM is Joel Allan, one of my best friends. We met during out freshman year at Rice University.

He is the person who wrote the chunk of storyline we're acting out. Although the inspiration comes from many authors (most notable of whom are Michael Stackpole and Robert J. Thurston; many thanks for a wonderful storyline, guys!!), he developed my role in the story. He has an overall idea of where the story is going, but if I should so choose, my character can go on a totally unexpected side-trip. For example, in a certain scenario, I am being attacked by some thugs. He predicts that my options are to fight or to run down an alley. Instead, I climb a building and totally elude the thugs. His storyline might have centered on my being captured and interrogated, so he has to find a sensible way to get me off the building and into the hands of the thugs -- while I, totally unaware of the havoc I'm wreaking, try to figure out what my character would do next if he were a real person, with a history and a unique personality.

During the BattleTech sequences, when we engage in Mech - to - Mech Combat, He plays the role of the opposition, and of any friendly characters not under my control. Again, he has to balance my tactics and his countertactics, against the results he is aiming for.

In short, the GM is King, Prophet, and Chief Rabbi of our particular gaming universe. Long live the King!! :-)

Some graphics obtained from Leigh "Mad Dog" Brunk's page, Giant Robots Blew Up My Website! Many thanks to him for the generous permission to use them on this site.
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