A HOUSE DIVIDED

Branching Narrative - Battletech: Urban Warfare

A House Divided is a Flashpoint Mission in BATTLETECH. These missions involve a series of battles and revolve around a central choice that determines how the Flashpoint will resolve.

 
 

 
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I

LADY SUIKO

Welcome to Mendham, Commander. I'm Lady Suiko of House Nakano.

We're a minor house, but we're highly regarded for our sense of honor—at least, in the Comibne. But now, our good name is threatened by outsiders who are sowing division.

DARIUS

Please, Lady Suiko, tell us more about your troubles. Or about who the trouble is, more specifically.

LADY SUIKO

Now, one of these miscreants wants to roost at our family estate on Yorii in exchange for a vast sum. Mariko refuses to acknowledge that a known criminal will be using my ancestral home as a base for her nefarious operations.

This cannot be allowed—I'd rather see House Nakano fall than be dishonored by this creature. Fortunately for you, even in my relative poverty, I can still afford mercenaries.

SUMIRE

Wait. You're not going to ask us to murder your kid, right?

Because we get that a lot. Like, way too much.

LADY SUIKO

If I wanted her dead, I'd do it myself. No, I love my daughter. But she's so caught up in her pursuit of wealth that she's forgotten the words passed down from her great-grandmother: "Honor is the embodiment of an ideal. Wealth is the means to bypass ideals."

I blame myself for failing to reinforce this lesson. I should have enlisted her in the DCMS, but it's too late now. This animal has sunk her claws into my daughter and thus into my house.

PLAYER

Understood. Who exactly are we dealing with?

LADY SUIKO

Corina Luthendorff. She's more than just a socialite—she's a war profiteer who amassed a fortune selling military-grade weapons to insurgents, who then murdered innocent Kuritans during the Third Succession War.

Now those same insurgents serve as her personal army.

PLAYER

How would you like us to proceed?

LADY SUIKO

Mariko will arrive shortly to throw one of her extravagant soirées and hand over the keys of our ancestral home to Luthendorff. An estate that has been passed from mother to daughter for generations!

You must prevent this. Who is Mariko to rob our descendants of their birthright? I'll send over coordinates. Intercept Luthendorff's convoy and eliminate her. Leave nothing but a smoldering ruin in her "honor."

FARAH

Hold on. That's a big jump. Why do we have to kill Luthendorff?

LADY SUIKO

I told you. I won't kill my daughter, but she won't listen to me.

PLAYER

Your rationale is as sound as any we get in this business. We'll take the contract, Lady Suiko.

LADY SUIKO

Very good, Commander. I'll be in touch.

VIEWSCREEN

[Lady Suiko's image flickers and dies.]

YANG

The way Lady Suiko talks, you'd think honor was worth more than gold. But I know when to keep my mouth shut.

SUMIRE

No, you don't.

DARIUS

Look, I could listen to this clever banter all day, but we've got work to do.


II

[In the first mission, the player takes to the battlefield with their 'Mechs in an attempt to kill the war criminal Luthendorff as requested by Lady Nakano, but ultimately she survives.]

SUMIRE

Bad news, Commander. Lady Mariko says Luthendorff survived the attack.

And now the heiress wants to hire us for a job.

PLAYER

Lady Suiko did say her house was divided, didn't she? Well, their division means opportunity for us. Let's hear what she has to say.

MARIKO

Hello, Commander {COMMANDER.LastName}. I'm sorry to meet you like this, but my mom has put me in an impossible situation.

When she realizes Luthendorff has survived, her Kuritan ideals will dictate that she settle our dispute directly, the only way she knows how—in a BattleMech. She's gathered her old war buddies to kill Luthendorff herself. That can't happen. My family needs Luthendorff's money if House Nakano is going to survive.

MARIKO

Look, I know you didn't sign up for our family drama—you're just looking for a payday. So, let's talk business. Break your contract with my mom and work for me

I've stashed away some funds for an emergency, and this is it. I'll double whatever she offered you—just stop her from killing Luthendorff.

MARIKO

Just please, please try not to hurt my mother. She's nearly seventy, and her BattleMech is centuries old.

I'm trying to save our house, not kill Mom. I love her with all my heart. I… I just don't know how to reason with her anymore.

DARIUS

With all due respect, your mother's safety isn't really something we can guarantee. If she fires on our people, they're going to defend themselves.

MARIKO

I know! If only she wasn't so damn stubborn!

I guess it runs in the family.

PLAYER

That stubborn streak is why we're here. While it's good for business, maybe we can help. Sumire, patch in Lady Suiko. Time for some negotiation—family style.

SUMIRE

Roger that, Commander. I see where you're going with this.

LADY SUIKO

Ah, Commander. I'm surprised it took this long to hear from you again. I thought you'd be hounding me for your money after our mission—although your job's not done.

Luthendorff still lives.

SUMIRE

Actually, Lady Suiko, the Commander had this wild idea that maybe you and your daughter needed a chance to talk to each other.

PLAYER

You and Lady Mariko have a lot to discuss. It's easier if we cut out the mercenary middleman.

MARIKO

Mom… I don't want to fight you, but you keep interfering with my plans. I'm doing everything I can to keep House Nakano afloat, but that takes a lot more money than we've ever had.

My methods may seem alien to you, but I'm not a MechWarrior like you. I can't just blow up our problems. I'm making allies in key positions, winning them over with gifts and parties. It's expensive, I know, but the [[DM.Factions[faction_Kurita],Combine]] isn't like it was when you were growing up.

LADY NAKANO

You have to find your own path as my heir, Mari, but I am still your mother and the head of this family. Luthendorff cannot be allowed to desecrate the home that our ancestors built with honor and steel. It's all we have left.

Her stay on our estate would leave an indelible mark of shame on House Nakano. Your "ally" made her filthy money peddling arms to insurgents who slaughtered Kuritan civilians. She doesn't belong anywhere near our household.

MARIKO

Luthendorff isn't "desecrating" our home—she's saving it. It's not like I'm selling our estate, Mom. Her stay would be only temporary. Afterward, we could use our newfound fortune to buy back the surroundings lands we've lost.

But you can't see the sense in that. You'd rather watch our house die than live by any standard other than your own.

LADY NAKANO

You've forgotten the wisdom of our forebears, Lady Mariko. A house with no honor is no house at all.

If you cannot see this, then you'll be made to see it—one way or another. I will not pin our future on blood money.

 
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MARIKO

You're impossible. Fine. If you want a fight, then you'll get it, but I never wanted our differences to turn into a full-blown battle. You're forcing my hand.

Commander, my offer stands—double your pay to stop my mother. Just… try not to hurt her.

VIEWSCREEN

[The screen cuts to a fog of static. Lady Mariko has terminated the communication.]

YANG

So, yeah, that could have gone better.

LADY NAKANO

Indeed, but I appreciate your attempt at uniting my daughter and me. She has grown but hasn't matured.

Commander, you would honor me if you would deploy with my former lancemates as we take out Luthendorff, once and for all. Only when this wretch lies dead will I be able to rest, knowing House Nakano's reputation will be preserved.

PLAYER

We'll consider your offer, Lady Suiko.

VIEWSCREEN

[Lady Suiko's expression is grim as the viewscreen blinks out.]

DARIUS

I'm not sure whether that helped or not. But it looks like we're stuck between securing House Nakano's honor or their bank account.

What's the call, Commander?

 
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PLAYER

[Flashpoint Decision: Honor your contract with Lady Suiko.] Honor is its own kind of currency in the Combine. We'll deploy with Lady Suiko.

SUMIRE

Honor might be nonsense, but it's important nonsense in the Draconis Combine.

DARIUS

Fair point, Meyer. Money can't buy everything—even mercenaries know that.

Get ready to redeploy. Our work isn't done yet.

PLAYER

[Flashpoint Decision: Break your contract with Lady Suiko and accept Lady Mariko's offer.] Honor doesn't pay the bills. And at the end of the day, double the money is worth, well, twice as much as what Lady Suiko's offering.

YANG

Good call, Boss. Worse comes to worst, House Nakano will have a fat stack of C-Bills to fall back on.

DARIUS

You said it, Chief. Now let's keep Lady Suiko from killing her house's cash cow.


III

(*If PLAYER sided with LADY SUIKO*)

[In mission 2A, the player teams up with Lady Nakano against the war criminal's heavily fortified forces.]

SUMIRE

I've got both of the Nakanos on the horn, Commander.


YANG

Time for round two! I brought popcorn this time.


LADY SUIKO

Thank you for your diligence, Commander. You've done House Nakano a great service—to the detriment of your own bottom line, no less.

Perhaps my daughter will learn from your efforts. Regardless, with Luthendorff dead, our honor remains unsullied.

PLAYER

We aim to please, Lady Suiko.

MARIKO

Mom, I don't know how we're going to make it without Luthendorff's money. There's no one else offering to bail us out.

But I'm not sure I care anymore… I'm just happy you're alive, even if you disown me. I wouldn't blame you.

LADY SUIKO

You're not going anywhere, Mari. And either am I. At least for now. Nakano women have always been fiercely stubborn, and you're no exception. Though misguided in your approach, you put our family first, and I respect that.

So, no, you won't be disowned. But I will put more effort into preparing you for your future as the head of House Nakano.

MARIKO

Thank you, Mom. I'll look forward to that… and to spending more time together.

I'm not sure we'll ever completely see eye to eye, but I promise to listen and learn from you. Still, I'll have to find my own way eventually.

LADY SUIKO

As did I with my mother.

Our honor holds this house together, even if our coffers are empty. It binds our family through history, more than just our bloodline ever could. It's a promise that each generation renews. Now it's your turn.

MARIKO

Then let's not waste any more time, Mom. I'll see you back at home on Yorii.

VIEWSCREEN

[Lady Mariko's image shimmers and fades.]

LADY SUIKO

I must take my leave, Commander. Thank you. I will not forget your support when you could have doubled your pay and sided with my daughter.

House Nakano is in your debt.

VIEWSCREEN

[Lady Suiko almost smiles as the screen flickers and goes dark.]

YANG

Damn. That was downright wholesome.

FARAH

Maybe we can find more contracts that don't make me feel like taking a shower when we're done. But maybe that's wishful thinking.

Either way, I'm glad we chose House Nakano's honor over our profit.

DARIUS

I hear you, Farah, but we can't afford to be too picky. This outfit still runs on C-Bills.

Let's get back to work, people.

(*If PLAYER sided with MARIKO*)

[In mission 2B, the player's lance goes up against Lady Nakano and her old war buddies as they attempt to kill the war criminal that her daughter, Mariko, has partnered with.]

 
 

SUMIRE

I've got both of the Nakanos on the horn, Commander.

YANG

Time for round two! I brought popcorn this time.

MARIKO

Commander, I can't thank you and your crew enough. Luthendorff lives, along with our arrangement. Our finances are set.

And you kept my mom safe—she's maybe a little bruised, but she's seen worse.

DARIUS

We both benefited from the deal, Lady Mariko.

 
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LADY SUIKO

Congratulations, Mariko. You have fully taken on the burden of leading House Nakano. Its dishonor is now yours to live with.

You have done what you believe you had to do. And now I will do the same.

VIEWSCREEN

[Lady Suiko's image cuts out.]

FARAH

What does she mean?

MARIKO

She means that this will be the last we ever see of her.

FARAH

I'm so sorry, Lady Mariko.

PLAYER

Is there anything else we can do for you?

MARIKO

You have done what I have asked of you, Commander, and you performed admirably. And now I will live with the consequences.

That will be all.

VIEWSCREEN

[Lady Mariko fades from the viewscreen.]

FARAH

I don't know about you all, but I'm feeling the consequences. I'm feeling them a lot.

SUMIRE

They're Lady Mariko's consequences. Not ours.

DARIUS

Meyer's right. We're mercenaries, not family therapists. Regardless of its honor, House Nakano is still standing.

And that was the job, wasn't it? So, I'll call that a win.