The Order of St. Clement XXVII (BattleTech)

Someone on /TG/ was looking for seeds of ideas for mercenary groups. I noticed that the technical and medical support of most companies is abysmal. Add on my fondness for Orders Hospitallier, and you get the following.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Amaris Civil War storyline, the government of the Earth was taken over by a power-hungry tyrant; among his many, many sins was murdering the Pope and most of the College of Cardinals present on Earth after they managed to smuggle the Vatican Archives and much of the Church’s treasures off-world. In the ensuing confusion, an Anti-Pope was elected on New Avignon Avalon
. This led to the foundation of the New Avalon Catholic Church, based in the Federated Suns (at the time, Space France/England) in schism with the Church of Rome.

 

Formed in the wake of the tragedies on Terra in the Amaris Civil War, the Order is a strictly non-combatant body of Roman Catholic monastics. They travel from warzone to warzone with fully-equipped MASH, disaster-relief, and Medevac teams. There are currently 11 active “priories”, each named for one of the faithful apostles (the Mule-class Priory of St. Philip was trapped inside Fortress Republic). All are based around a converted heavy-lift dropship. Order vehicles are painted pale blue (changed from white during the early days of the Jihad, after several false-flag ops). They bear the papal arms of the Martyr-Pope St. Clement XXVII surmounted by a black bar, with a small stylized portrait of the Priory’s patron saint beneath.

The Brothers and Sisters of the Order have extensive training in handling N/B/C mass-casualties, and drill constantly for the day they will be called on again. Many members are former warriors who have forsworn their life of conflict, seeking to “earn back” some of the many lives they have taken. Their identities are carefully hidden, and most are not deployed within the bounds of their former Successor States. All members swear traditional monastic oaths, including vows of poverty.

While the Order technically operates as a mercenary unit, this is primarily to gain the protection of whatever forces may be on-planet. Indeed, the Clementines have been employed by both sides of a conflict on more than one occasion. They actively encourage this, offering half rates to each if both sides agree to respect the neutrality of Order vehicles and paramedic teams. Priories between contracts routinely assist the victims of natural or engineered disasters without charge; the third Priory of St. Jude and the Priory of St. Matthew were lost to the Order after illegally running plague-world blockades during the Jihad. Once on-world, the monks sabotaged their own engines and ministered as best they were able to the dying populace. As a measure of respect, neither Priory was re-founded until a year and a day elapsed after each ship ceased transmitting.

Initially, the Order kept only enough of their fees to cover their operating costs, donating the rest to charity. Following the destruction of the Priory of St. James the Lesser by the Sword of Light in the First Succession War, however, they have maintained a “buffer” fund sufficient to repair and refit an additional dropship should the need arise. During the Third Succession War, this fund was strained to the breaking point as their ancient ships fell into disrepair or were even deliberately targeted. ROM files released after the Waterly debacle suggest at least two of these attacks were undertaken by ComStar agents attempting to seize ancient medical technology maintained by the order; after uncovering evidence of Holy Shroud involvement the Order demanded further payment in gold and germanium, and moved all of their C-bill assets into commodities. They now use personal codes when forced to use the ComStar HPG system, although ROM has undoubtedly cracked it. From a low of eight functional Priories during the War of 3039, the Order has successfully re-founded all twelve, finding many recruits among the spiritually and physically broken veterans of the Jihad. Rumor even places at least one repentant Manei Domini on the Priory of St. Philip.

The senior Priors of the Order are currently debating their response to Fortress Republic, with its attendant loss of contact with the Holy See and their brethren aboard the St. Philip. All agree that their services are needed now as much as ever in this time of growing wars. Fearing the news from inside the Fortress will reveal the destruction of the lost ship, many wish to divert their current surplus funds and outfit another ship to replace the St. Philip – whether under its original name or under the banner of St. Paul.  In addition, the Priories of Sts. Jude and James the Lesser have recently added exoskeletons and lightweight IndustrialMechs to their forces, the better to to assist the victims of urban disasters and trapped vehicle crews. The more conservative Priors feel these machines are too close to wargear, and might invite attack from less-charitable forces. Worse, they are occupying space and training that could be taken up with traditional medical facilities.
A majority of the Priors, however, support waiting until the Fortress Republic ends and they regain contact with the Holy See.

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