This will be the last update on Handbook: House Kurita for 2012. Principal writing is winding down and during the upcoming holiday week, most of the book will be (hopefully) completed. I’m also hoping to start seeing some of the art soon; it’s been far too quiet on that front.
One of the primary things that has struck me about the Draconis Combine is the stark divide between the two societal classes – noble and worker. While each has several subdivisions within them, the main divide is exceptionally noticeable within the Kuritan realm. Of all the Great Houses, the Combine’s society and economy is the most “realistic” when it comes to reconciling “real world” theories against the sci-fi pulp universe of BattleTech. The worker class is truly poor within the Dragon’s realm and the nobles are truly wealthy. It explains much as to why such cultural iconography (namely, the “Japanification” of the House) is deep-seated within the society. Adherence and reverence for the Kuritan ideals is indelibly strong within the poor classes; it’s the one thing they can well and truly grasp to live for. The reverse is true of the nobility (of which the merchants reside on the lower tiers); they are more adept at manipulating the cultural norms to get what they want, while showing the face of subservience to the Imperial throne.
Isn’t it interesting, then, that the Black Dragon Society finds most of its members within the nobility…
So before I share one sidebar from the history section, here’s a nice juicy tidbit:
In HBHK, we reveal the identity of Snow Fire.
Chew on that little nugget for a bit. When you’re ready, look at a little bit of foreshadowing from a sidebar in the History of a Nation section:
The Deadly Double Cobra
Scientists and medical experts from systems near the affected prefectures were called in by the Coordinator to combat the “Albiero Consumption.” Using samples gained through strict protocols, this special medical task force—coordinating across eight different systems and facilities—finally struck success in 2904. As a result, millions of people were spared a lingering death from the fast-spreading virus. Removing the quarantine kept the Dragon’s stretched economy from going under completely.
The DCMS special warfare labs also benefited from the research. After the crisis had passed, the medical facilities were closed down, except for two. Research moved from vaccinations and public health into that of biowarfare. While not a common option used during the previous Succession Wars, the DCMS High Command considered it an avenue in the event of an overwhelming assault by its neighbors.
After several months of extensive testing, a weaponized version of the plague was created. The new virus, called the “Double Cobra” for its two transmission vectors, was capable of infecting an entire planet within weeks, depending on extraneous environmental factors. The Double Cobra was theoretically more lethal than any other chemical or biological weapon posited during the height of the Star League era. When the full range of the virus and its effects were disclosed to Coordinator Shinjiro, he immediately ordered the samples sealed and locked down. Only in a case of extreme emergency—such as the imminent downfall of the Dragon—would such a weapon be unleashed.
The DCMS High Command placed the Double Cobra in a buried vault complex in a sparsely populated region of Galedon. The district capital world was chosen for its proximity to the Federated Suns border, as the Dragon believed that if any enemy was capable of pushing the Combine to the brink, it would be the realm of the hated Davions. If that inconceivable situation happened, the Double Cobra would be ready for use.
—Bunker SX-RT3; Luthien Court Library, 2933
Merry Christmas, readers!