Episode 7: Maximilian

"The bartender's name is Maximilian. He was the military governor of a small 'republic' controlled by the Empire. Their land was liberated by the resistance forces in the Second Expansion War when they invaded the Empire. My team was sent in on a deep-penetration raid to extract him and the rest of the command staff from his besieged capitol. Turned out things were worse than we knew; the enemy had already taken the capitol, and Max had been holding them off from inside the Government Building. They kicked in the doors at about the time that we blew through the west town gate. When we got to the building, we found this lug in military field plate with a huge blue warhammer and no helmet holding off an assault squad at the bottom of the stairs to the third floor. He'd ordered the rest of the staff to bar themselves in an upstairs room and was trying to take down as many of the enemy as possible before he forced them to kill him; there was an execution order out for him, and he felt that it was more honorable to die fighting for his people than to be captured and executed. He was hoping that after they had killed him they would be satisfied and let the rest of the staff surrender peacefully.

"We had entered via a third-floor window and had already found the rest of the staff, so they were being evacuated when we arrived at the staircase. Several guys from the team provided cover while I explained the situation to Max and convinced him to fall back; we slowly yielded the stairs until I got word that everyone was out of the building. (This was late in the war, and I had been made a sergeant.) I sounded the retreat, and we all got out of there alive somehow. Max went on to be temporarily named a captain in the Imperial Guard and placed in charge of a company of irregulars formed from similarly disenfranchised troops; they called it 'The Lost Soldiers' Brigade' and won quite a bit of fame and praise. Afterwards, though, he was blamed for not having controlled one of his commanders well enough, resulting in his province's support for the invaders. Public opinion was turned against him by one of his political rivals, and he retired here after spending several years on the border cleaning up raiders on his own."