The State of Nature
Branka Ferguson was born on the planet Syrma, in the Federation of Skye, to a middle class family of Scots-Croatian heritage. She won a scholarship to a military academy and served in the elite 4th Skye Rangers. Although Branka enjoyed a successful career in the LCAF she left after the War of 3039 due to her pro-separatist political activities coming to the attention of the newly formed Federated Commonwealth intelligence service. Offered an honourable discharge in exchange for resigning her commission or assignment to a second line unit she mustered out with a legitimately salvaged BattleMech, intent on forming a mercenary command but remaining in Skye.
For the best part of ten years she fought pirates across the periphery and piece by piece a unit began to form around her, Ferguson’s Blackshields. In truth Branka was a better man manager than battlefield commander, but in the relative peace of the 3040s that was never a problem.
Of course no one could have predicted the situation in 3050 which forced Branka, in the face of certain destruction at the hands of Clan Jade Falcon, to make the fateful decision which saved her warriors but doomed the survivors of her newly formed mercenary company to a life of piracy and the hardships that brought.
It has weighed heavily on her conscience ever since, and the last few years have been particularly hard, with less of the ‘originals’ remaining their replacements truly are the scum of the periphery. This gradual realisation has gone hand-in-hand with a growing alcohol addiction that has taken away some of the pain but also eroded the remainder of Branka’s will to hold her people together.
She has not been out on a raid for over six months and her absence means there are no checks on the worst excesses of her troops. In fact she is devolving more and more authority to her subordinates.
Branka tries to maintain an air of detached military correctness, purposefully retaining the title ‘colonel’ and insisting on a standard system of organisation but she is clearly losing her position of authority. From time-to-time, when she thinks no one is around, she can be found in her old Skye Rangers uniform quietly singing rebel songs and drinking to the ghosts of long dead comrades.
BattleMech: CRD-3R Crusader