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The backward look behind the assurance
Of recorded history, the backward halflook
Over the shoulder, toward the primitive terror.
-From The Dry Salvages, by T(homa) S(tearns) Eliot, Commonwealth Historical Press, 3024 (first published 1941)
You have to question the sanity of anyone who claims that history is filled with honor and moral deeds. Either the man is a lunatic or is too stupid to understand what historians throughout the ages have been trying to say.
-From Shards of the Mirror. History as the Future's Reflection, by Thelos Auburn, Commonwealth Historical Press, 3023.
In times of great danger, the best person for any job that gives life and death power over the people is usually the one trying his damnedest not to be chosen.
-From Fighting for the Commonwealth: A Biography of General Edward Regis, by Eckrick Zola, Strunk Publishers, 3025
If there is a weakness in how the Steiner family rules, it is that they show too much intelligence and imagination. Let something happen to a Steiner Archon, whether it be an assassination or the most mild but incapacitating illness, and the entire realm comes to a screeching halt. The Steiners might be good at making others feel an important part of the government, but don't be fooled. They rule the Commonwealth with an iron hand.
-Hervsas David, Political Advisor to Hanse Davion, quoted in The Federated Suns/Lyran Commonwealth Alliance: An Intelligence Report, by ROM, ComStar, 3024
On this, the 29th day of May, in the year of our lord two thousand, five hundred, and fifty-eight, I, Tracial Regina Steiner, the ninth Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth, signed the Tharkan Accords. With that, I announce the intention of our fair realm to become a member of the as yet unborn Star League. As a full and active partner in this grand design, I look forward to many long and fruitful years of peace and prosperity.
-From My Time as Archon, by Tracial Regina Steiner, Commonwealth Historical Press, 2570
The Star WHAT? You mean we're going to join with those slimy serpents and the plague pigeons across the borders in some half-baked idea that a Cameron came up with? In the name of what-Peace? What's next, will I have to sell my daughter to a Capellan slaver in the name of Freedom? Gods above, it's like I've always said, politics is the last refuge of the incompetent and the insane.
-From Official Transcripts of High Command Meetings, Year 2558, by Gen. Miter Patner, Commonwealth Military Press, 2568
I can't help seeing death in the Archon's actions. She lives too far from the Periphery border to understand that we depend as much on the outworld republics as we rely on our own Commonwealth. Understand me, for I mean to speak no treason against the government that has kept us so well for these past centuries. But can we sit idly by and let Armageddon march toward us without at least protesting?
-From Official Transcripts of Government House, Year 2558, by Keiv Kleicha, Representative of Lost, Commonwealth Press, 2559
Yes, I agree with my learned colleague. There have been many disappointments since we joined the Star League. Worst of all is the outworlds question, which is not likely to resolve itself peacefully. If what we fear comes to pass, every world in the Commonwealth will suffer the consequences. Once again, families will dread the knock at their door and the messenger from the LCAF. Honored Representatives, that is exactly my point. That is why I stand before you in favor of the resolution: If every world must share the worst the Star League has to offer, why shouldn't it share its best?
-Archon Viola Dinesen Steiner, in The Great Tax Debate, Brusch Gret, ed., Price Publishers, 2589
All that he could see before him was an endless landscape of rocks, desert sands, and scrub growth. To the west, the sinking sun made a ruddy shadow over the brown land. Images of his children playing cowboys and Indians kept floating through Colonel Rechard's mind. He felt like his troops were the cowboys, all tired and worn out. Out there in the foxholes, hiding in caverns, in the treacherous canyons, and up in the chilling air were the soldiers of the Rim Worlds Republic just waiting for their chance to strike. Just like a real life cowboy, Colonel Rechard couldn't understand why it was necessary to hate the Indians just because they were fighting for their homeland.
-From Desert Fights: The Reunification Wars, by Crepto Sals, Skye Military Press, 2602
I've no interest in what the Star League can provide us years from now. I only know what they've already given us-pain, hunger, chaos, and an Archon light-years away, busy shooting at citizens whose only crime is wishing to be left in peace and free of the sickly Star League. Fellow Representatives. I say we have no choice. We must overcome whatever and whoever stands in our way, no matter how high they might stand.
-Graf Henry Gram, Speaker of the Assembly, in Official Transcripts of Government House, Year 2591, Commonwealth Press, 2592
God Almighty, when I saw that Warhammer bearing down on me. I thought Satan himself was a-piloting it, so fast and furious was its moving. I figured the Rim Worlders must have snuck up on us, catching us with our pants down. Poor Timothy didn't even see it coming. The Warhammer just collided with his Stinger, toppling him to the ground. Then that Warhammer raised its PPC and fired point-blank into poor Timothy's cockpit. The kid had just turned 20. I said to myself, 'McCorkell, 'tis time to leave'. I trained my Wasp's laser on the Warhammer's left leg, ready to hit my jets the instant the shot went off. But just as I fingers the trigger, that Warhammer wheeled about and hit me with the other PPC, tossing me back 30 meters.
You know, I can understand why she did what she did, but so many of my friends died that I could never really forgive her.
-Interview with Leutnant Silas McCorkell, in The Commonwealth: Do We Stay? Skye Broadcasting Network, May 4, 2593
I'm not saying that the Steiners are perpetually on the thin line between sanity and loony tunes, because that's a myth. The Steiner family has such a reputation for being icy-cool that when they do show a strong emotion like anger, love, or humor, people around them are so startled that they wonder if that Steiner has lost his wits. Of course, holding one's emotions in is another kind of madness.
-Interview with Thelos Auburn on The News Hours, Donegal Broadcasting Co., September 19, 3024
The dullest part of acting is waiting for the stage to be properly set.
-From Life Is A Stage, by Tiffany Acure, People's Press, 3022
I sometimes marvel at those who behave as though good times will last forever. Why should the universe hold still? Why should bad times be any different from the good or the indifferent ones, for don't they all have beginnings, middles, and ends? Good or bad, it's just another cycle, within a cycle, within a cycle, and it never ends.
-Robert Steiner II, quoted in The Authorized Biography of Robert Steiner, by Frela Gibbon, Bently and Hunt, 2782
"Situation untenable. Within the last three hours, rioting citizens have seized the water, power, and communication facilities. We have no reserves of water and power. I am using my 'Mech's reactor to power the communications equipment.
"The last 'Mech reconnaissance patrol, sent three days ago, reported that the deserters are training civilians to use heavy weapons. That patrol never returned, and so it must be presumed lost. Let's hope they took a few of those traitors with them.
"At the moment, I have one lance of 'Mecs, a lance of armor, and four platoons of infantry. Expected size of the enemy is four times that. I expect the attack to be within the next day or so. The relief efforts from Petroff continent will not arrive in time. Though we've erected defensive barriers around the post, they will not hold. Will try to hold on as long possible. Captain Mitchell Sims, acting commanding officer of Fort Belvoir, New Vandenberg. Out. End Transmission".
-Regular Army documents
Reading habits? Well let's see. Actually, he was a big fan of the King Arthur myths. You know, the knights in shining armor, the Holy Grail, the chivalrous quest, the whole romantic bit. He read or watched just about anything he could on the subject. By the time of his 18th birthday, Richard knew as much as any expert. And he truly believed those myths about chivalry. When he became First Lord, he got it into his head that it was his holy duty to rid the League of its enemies and to establish a new order, a new Camelot among the stars. Poor kid, he didn't stand a chance.
-Interview with Justin Hevesta, Weapons Trainer for First Lord Richard Cameron, in The Downfall: The Star League's Last Days, by Kuther Green, McGraw-Douglas Press, 2800
Many have wondered why General Kerensky did not simply take total control of the Star League. The common people in every one of the member-states revered and admired him almost to the point of worship. Personally, I believe that the thought never even crossed his mind. He was a military man to the core, with no interest in ruling over anything more than his soldiers.
As a man accustomed to discipline and purpose, he would probably been driven mad trying to cope with the disorganization of the Star League.
-An interview with the Duke of Skye, Meet the Press, Sky Broadcasting Co., March 3, 2785
Leaving? What do you mean 'leaving'? To where? He can't leave. Who is going to pick up the pieces after we beat each other into oblivion?
-Archon Jennifer's reaction to the news of Gen. Kerensky's exodus, quoted in The Star League and The Commonwealth, by Thelos Auburn, Commonwealth Historical Press, 3014
Only history will be able to tell us which is the natural condition of man, war or peace.
-From Descent: My Life at the Helm of the Commonwealth, by Jennifer Steiner, Commonwealth Historical Press, 2790
To assert brazenly that he is somehow better and more fitted to rule than any of the rest is the act of an egotistical man-a man hardly fit to rule over his own realm, let alone over us all. I, Jennifer Colley Steiner, 17th ruler of the Lyran Commonwealth, have as much a claim to rule the Star League as Minoru Kurita or any of the others.
Unfortunately, all this talk about who should rule the Star League is moot. There is no Star League, it left with General Kerensky, and we should realize that fact. Now our focus must be on creating peace among our realms until we have something to replace the Star League.
I dream of peace. Though some of you may consider me weak for saying that, you must also remember that I am the Archon sworn to protect these lands. No matter how much I cherish peace, I will defend this realm, at any cost, even if it be the terrible price of war.
-Reply of Archon Jennifer Steiner to Lord Kurita's claim of the First Lordship, from Descent: My Life at the Helm of the Commonwealth, by Jennifer Steiner, Commonwealth Historical Press, 2790
Though the public may have forgotten them, any military man worth his salt remembers and studies the actions of the Tamar Tigers and the Stealths, perhaps the most successful Commonwealth regiments of all time.
-From The Use of the BattleMech in Modern Combat, by Gen. Katrina Steiner, Commonwealth Military Press, 3006
To say that the BattleMech factories on Hesperus II are vital to our continued existence is to state the obvious. Defiance Industries is responsible for over 30 percent of our BattleMech production. With the loss of our factories on Sudeten and Yed Posterior, that percentage can only climb higher. Hesperus isn't just vital; it's everything.
-From Strategic Points of Defense Within the Commonwealth, by Gen. Takashi Myoo, Commonwealth Military Press, 2789
Give the High Command one victory and they think they can rule the universe.
-From Enemy on Two Sides: Conflicts Between the Soldiers and the Bureaucracy, by Colonel Raymond Hempsted, Commonwealth Military Press, 2821
Thank God, it's over.
-Richard Steiner, on hearing of the signing of the Peace Accord of Bella I, in Royal Court Transcripts: Year 2821, Commonwealth Historical Press, 2822
As time passes, it becomes difficult to believe that there ever was a Star League, a time when months, even years, might pass without people constantly hearing news of some battle somewhere destroying lives and civilization.
-From Lost Paradise, by Dimitri Auburn, Commonwealth Historical Press, 2826
Breathe deep. Smell that? That's the heroic aroma of testosterone. It rises from the stagnation peace brings. There's not enough blood being shed or enough impassioned shouting for the average male's taste. Soon every adolescent boy in the Commonwealth will be having his little fantasies about war and glory, completely ignoring the tragic evidence of war's true meaning that lies all around us. The trouble is that pimply teens aren't the only ones affected by the pungent aroma. Big kids with big, ugly weapons get war lust, too. No, it won't be long now, won't be long at all.
-Josica Felns, Chairperson, Lyran Women Against the War Coalition, in The Lyran Women, Sisterhood Press, 2825
Now I know how a boxer feels, after barely surviving the first round, when he hears the bell for the round two.
-Gen. Liza Rido, in The Succession War, by Graf Stel La Caucus, University Press, 3011
Good God, how can you trust anyone you respect?
-Archon Marcus Steiner, hearing of the 65th regiment's disappearance into the Periphery, in Marcus Steiner: A Profile, by Ludvilla Michos, Commonwealth Historical Press, 2849
I am neither humble nor courteous and so will not couch my intent with flowery or eloquent phrases. Instead, hear me plain: I will kill anyone who challenges my claim to the Archonship, and I will torture anyone who supports any of my rivals for the throne.
I hope I've made myself understood.
-Claudius Steiner, message to the Estates General, in The Horrors of Claudius Steiner's Reign, by Justin Blount, Commonwealth Historical Press, 2851
To many, the reign of Claudius seemed like the beginning of another dark age similar to the reign of Margaret Olsen during the first dark age of the Commonwealth. Indeed, the loss of the Fourth Royal Guards and the tragic death of its commanding officer seemed like harbingers of doom.
-From Remembrance of Things Long Past, by Gen. Yevos McCreger, Donnelly Printers, 2850
Who can say what passes through an assassin's mind as he or she readies to commit the deed. I only hope that Snow Fire had a few sweet memories to comfort her in the last moments of her own life.
-From My Time at the Helm, by Elizabeth Steiner, Commonwealth Historical Press, 2890
Odd as it seems, the murder of Lord Yoguchi Kurita at the hands of a Steiner assassin in 2850 lifted the spirits of the Lyran people. Though Claudius had been dead for a year, first the war and then his reign of terror and its reverberations had convinced the Lyrans that it was all a kind of mass punishment. News of the assassination seemed to prove to the people that it was possible to strike back at evil.
-From Encyclopedia Res Publica, Thelos Auburn, ed, Commonwealth Historical Press, 3025
God, imagine how it must have been for those youngsters out there, knowing that the first time they went into battle would likely be their last. It's tough enough for us veterans, but for them-my god. They didn't grow up expecting to be on the battlefield like we did. I'd say they're the ones with real courage.
-Interview with MechWarrior following 8th battle for Hesperus II, on News From the Frontlines, Donegal Broadcasting Co., December 4, 2853
Elizabeth Steiner. Now there's a woman with authority in her voice and steel in her eyes. Few dare to cross her. Those that do quickly learn who controls whom.
-From My Days Ruling the Commonwealth, by Duchess Ilysa Aten, Leadership Press, 2861
Peace? I'd like to think so. I hope we're not just giving our morticians and gravediggers a chance to catch their breaths.
-Archon Elizabeth Steiner, on The Morning News Hour, Donegal Broadcasting Co., January 3, 2864
Retreat? Hell. I'm just advancing in the opposite direction.
-Lt. Gen. Richard Frenders, on his withdrawal of troops from combat on Kessel, in Military Transcripts: Year 2869, Commonwealth Military Press, 2870
Invade Skye? Forcing Lord Kurita to grovel at our feet would be less dangerous than ordering us to invade Skye!
-Taped comments of Kurita 'Mech officer upon hearing his unit's assignment, recovered from body of ISF officer: in Military Information: Year 2895, Commonwealth Military Press, 2896
I didn't expect to be a very popular leader. But I assumed I would be the unpopular leader of the Commonwealth and not of 300 separate, selfish worlds.
-Archon Eric Steiner, on objections to his revision of the Military Services Act, in Royal Court Transcripts Year 2909, Commonwealth Historical Press, 2909
The tough thing about freedom is that it forces each person to judge for himself whether he is worthy of his dreams. Some other States don't allow their people even a glimpse of such possibilities, which 'frees' their people from the burden of choice.
-From Simon Borge Steiner: The Man Who Would Be Archon, by Graf Harold Tedbury, Proud Skye Press, 3023
Yep, there's nothing like a life-or-death struggle before breakfast. I enjoy sweating like a pig and soiling my pants for fear of my life before the sun rises. Nothing like it to stimulate the ol' appetite.
-From The MechWarrior's Bawdy Review, comedy holoseries by Basil Fawlty, Tamar Broadcasting Co., Sept. 18, 3004
Traitor is merely the name losers have for their more prudent friends.
-Remark by Hauptmann Mikhail Tertren, recorded in Report to the Captain-General on Possible Enemy Information Sources: 2928, Intelligence Print Office, 2928
I'm perfectly willing to go into the history books as 'ol' what's his name' if it means I can quietly look after the citizens of the Commonwealth and occasionally ride my horses.
-Archon Giovanni Steiner, reacting to satirical holo portraying him as a bland fool, in A Look at the Steiner Family, by Cevin Stenman, Commonwealth Press, 2978
Loric? Where's Loric?
-Archon Giovanni, quoted in A Look at the Steiner Family, by Cevin Stenman, Commonwealth Press, 2978
Extraordinary skill in any field that pits one man against another-be it politics, military strategy, or even sports-can prove an absolute disaster, especially when your opponent is not as smart as you are.
-From Intelligence: An Informal Indictment, by Prof. T.B. Hedges, Tharkad University Press, 3009
In some ways, such an inviting target is an advantage. Whenever someone reaches out an arm to try and snatch it, we can come along to amputate it.
-From Radical Strategies: The Use of the Diminishing BattleMech Force on Today's Battlefield, by Alessandro Steiner, Commonwealth Historical Press, 3005
Concentrated Weakness? What manner of gobbledygook is this? Concentrated foolishness is what it really is.
-Representative Iona Gelva, quoted in Government House Transcripts: Year 3002, Government House Press, 3002
Even among us Steiners, there comes a time when cold-blooded practicality must outweigh even family loyalty. My uncle has proven his inability to rule. As his niece, I grieve for his disappointment. But I will not let my emotions stand in the way of what I feel is right. I am Archon now, that is what I feel is right for me. More importantly, that is what I feel is right for Commonwealth.
-Archon Katrina Steiner's announcement of Archon Alessandro's 'retirement', from Royal Court Transcripts: Year 3007, Commonwealth Historical Press, 3007
The good thing about history is that it usually passes its judgments long after their subjects are dead.
-Archon Katrina Steiner, from Royal Court Transcripts: Year 3009, Commonwealth Historical Press, 3009
Culture and arts? Phah! What need have I of prancing players and abstract lumps of clay? My culture is the bustle of a stock exchange and my arts are the swindle, the con, and the hostile takeover. Seeing a competitor sweat has more 'artistic merit' for me than anything I've seen in any playhouse or museum.
-From the holoplay The Ugly Lyran, Andurien Broadcasting Corp., Dec. 12, 3024
One need to know very little to get by in the Lyran Commonwealth: Who to talk to, who not to talk to, and who to persuade with the appropriate number of C-Bills.
-Cyril Tslio, ex-Precentor of Donegal Station, currently serving five-year prison sentence for bribery.
In many ways, we must fear what we have sworn to promote. Even though we fervently pray for the candle of knowledge to relight our dark souls, we must all be well aware that it would mean the end of ComStar, unless we manage to control the spread of knowledge, unless we can control the light and on whom it falls.
-From the private journals of Primus Toyama