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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 5:28 am 
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More than likely..lots of reasons the civil war happened simply do not exsist in this timeline.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:05 pm 
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Location: On the shores of Lake Armstrong
Which in turn butterflies much else as well. The sphere might never discover the clan homewotlds though.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:58 am 
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Inbound to Planetfall, 18 hours out

Bone-Norman

Jade Falcon Occupation Zone

August 24th, 3056

Aboard the Union Class Dropship “Luck of the Draw”


The sounds of a dropship in the final stages of a drop were not a new one to anyone who had been in any military in the Inner Sphere for any length of time. The sounds of tools making last minute repairs to ‘Mechs, the clatter of footsteps resounding throughout the ship, the murmur of conversations, pre-battle briefs, and prayers with fellow warriors. All of this was a low key cacophony that any experienced warrior was used to.

But something was different, the men and women of the 26th Lyran Guards knew that. It was the electricity, the feeling of being a coiled spring..all the training, all the lectures, all the feeling of finally, we’re going to hit back at the bastards. The sting of Kobe, Thun, and Tamar was deep in the unit. And while they realized this was the Falcons, and not the Wolves, to the men and women of the 26th who had survived the invasion, any Clanner was a decent stand in to expunge the shame and anger of those days in blood.

Leftenant-General Green-Davion had reorganized the RCT, the new “Steiner’s Boots” was more mobile, and with the new artillery brigades attached to the RCT, hit harder than the old 26th. Morale was high, and some unofficial sigils began to appear, one being the unit insignia of a boot smear, but across a bad caricature of a dead Jade Falcon. Another was chalked throughout the unit on ‘Mechs, armor, even on the sides of dropships. It read simply “For Joy”. Joy Corelli had been a beloved commander of the 26th. Green-Davion had done his best not to replace her, but to put his own stamp on the 26th, but across the unit, it was found the best means of discipline was to say, “Do you want to let Marshal Corelli down?” The 26th was a unit possessed, and out for blood.

So, it was remarkable that a single voice could cut through it all. But, it did. It was a voice all of them had known, known for most of their lives. He was the guiding architect of what was about to come, and it was this time to encourage those about to carry out the plans and preparations that had been the lion’s share of their lives for the past 18 months. His father, unbeknownst to them, stood at his son's side as he recorded this fateful speech six months before. Today was the culmination of all the plans, all the wargames, all the sweat and tears.

“Men and Women of the Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth. Today is a day, long in coming. Today, we return to the Tamar March, and we set it free of the Clans. We restore the rightful law and order, and more importantly, justice that the peaceful people of the Tamar March have every right to expect to live under.

"The way forward will be hard, the Falcons and Vipers are formidable, but they are not the unknown boogyman they were some six years ago. We have beaten the Falcons before, on Morges, and we can and will, beat them again. Brave citizens of the worlds you are about to land on have been harrying them at every step for the last six years, and it’s time for us to ensure that the sacrifices they have made were not in vain. I trust, my fellow soldiers, that you will ensure that happens.

"I wish I could be with you today. The hardest thing for any leader is to say 'go there, and risk your lives' instead of 'follow me'. I could not be prouder of all of you. You are our best. And you go forward with the hopes and dreams of billons of people behind you. I know you may scoff at that. You may say 'Easy for them, they aren’t here.' But they are hopeful. Your families and loved ones pray for your safety and your success. And those below, pray for their deliverance. Let’s let them all know, ETA on that is 18 hours from now.

"My father stands here with me. His hand on my shoulder as I speak to you know. I can only guess what he was thinking as he ordered our nation into war some twenty years ago. I only know this. I do this with a heavy heart, but one that says, ‘we are in the right’. We cannot fail, we shall not fail, and we shall meet the Falcons and Vipers wherever, and whenever we find them, and show them what steel lies in the constitution of our people’s souls.

"I won’t recount the many crimes the Falcons and Vipers are guilty of. But I will say this. Nothing less than the future of humanity is at stake here. We are faced with a people who believes in the concept of a ‘master race’. Such an idea should never be allowed to flourish. Though many accuse our Davion subjects about being ‘might making right’. I can assure you, that concept is on full display amongst the Clans. We are, and always have been about, ‘might for right’. It’s time to demonstrate the difference.

"Remember your training, remember that you are members of the AFFC, and no matter what the Falcons and Vipers might do, we come not for money, or power, or any of the other things we have seen armies fight for throughout history. We come to deliver our people. But do not sully that with reprisals or massacres. Let the courts figure that out. Defeat the enemy, accept his surrenders, and free our people. I know many of you hunger for revenge. I implore you, temper that with mercy.

"Good luck, my warriors, I know you will do the realm proud.”

Green-Davion’s taciturn, schoolmaster-like voice then crackled through the speakers. “I know you all heard the First Prince, and he believes in us. I believe in us. We have trained for this, sweated for this. And this day will be ours. Chance favors the prepared. And we are very prepared indeed. I have a dagger here. It’s one I got off a Kuritan ‘Mechwarrior earlier in my career. I make you a promise, my fellow ‘Boots. By the end of the first day..this knife will be buried to the hilt in the darkest tanker heart to be found on Bone-Norman!”

“Now let’s go get the bastards.”

The dropship, like many in the fleet erupted in cheers.

Clover Spear was underway.
 

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:00 am 
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Taken from the book “Shattering the Edifice – A History of the Fall of Clans Jade Falcon and Steel Viper in the War of ’56.” (Force Commander Anton Jursaik, Irian, 3070)

“What was the most impressive about the fall of the Falcons and Vipers was that the FC offensive was both so overwhelming, and so brutal from the initial hours. Nowhere was an attempt made to play by the Clan “rules”. Special Operations units (like the Liberation Units of the FWLM) figured heavily in the initial hours of the assaults, and a general uprising plagued the Falcon/Viper defense from the start. It is estimated that at least 4 Star Colonels of both Clans died due to guerilla activity, one of the most famous deaths being the ambush of Star Colonel Diane Anu and an aide in her hovercar as it raced to her command post to put down what they thought was little more than a “freebirth uprising”. She died under the guns of those freebriths, one witness stating that ‘we more poured her body from the car than moved it by the time we were done.’

Across the Occupation Zone, the Falcons and Vipers were faced with acts of resistance, great and small as every inhabited planet simply exploded. Everything from random acts of graffiti to the destruction of maglev lines seemingly erupted in the first week of the FC offensive. And it accomplished the goal Hanse had had from the beginning, it either pinned the Jade Falcons and Steel Vipers in their bases, or it scattered them in penny packets that were easily overwhelmed by the weight of the FC counterattack.”

Taken from the daily FC operational briefing provided to Field Marshal Ranier Poulin, Supreme Commander of “Operation Clover Spear”, declassified October 9th, 3076.

“Jade Falcon and Steel Viper units on the initial target worlds are in a state of chaos and operations have been up to this point, very favorable, Steel Viper units have proven to be more flexible in the face of our operations, but they have also succumbed to the weight of our firepower, coupled with lack of a secure rear area.”

A summary of the status of the first wave is below:

Roadside:

We hit Roadside with the entirety of the Eridani Light Horse, the 2nd and 3rd Crucis Lancers RCTs and the 1st Kearny Highlanders. The enemy consisted of the Jade Falcon 5th Battle Cluster, which was scattered in star and trinary-sized penny packets across the main continent of Arcadia. We capitalized on the death of their Star Colonel, Diane Anu, and we managed to destroy two of these small forces with little trouble, the rest we have, over the past month, managed to hunt down, and the world is now secured as of two days ago. Casualties have been minimal and the new artillery brigades have more than proven their worth, breaking up a counterattack by two trinaries upon the flank of the 2nd Crucis Lancer’s flank during a night march.

Bone-Norman

The 94th Striker Cluster was mostly caught in barracks during a hurricane drop by the 17th Skye Rangers and the 26th Lyran Guards RCT. Most of the 94th was taken without a shot, and we have at least a battalion’s worth of Jade Falcon prisoners plus massive amounts of salvage. The raid on the on-world ELINT facility was a success, and it has been a massive intelligence haul.

Blair Atholl

The Steel Vipers had enough forces to cover their rear areas better, but the arrival of all 5 regiments of Wolf’s Dragoons, plus the 11th and 20th Avalon Hussar RCTs was enough force to crack them under sheer weight of numbers. The penultimate event of the campaign was both artillery brigades of the two Avalon Hussar RCTs, plus the Dragoon Artillery Support Group firing in support of an assault of Zeta Battalion into the exposed flank of the 400th Assault Cluster. The rest of the 400th was quickly overrun, and the 1st Legion, still scattered as part of their COIN duties, was cut to pieces, as the 4th Viper Guards fought a rearguard under heavy pressure to their dropships. They left the world three days later under heavy FC and Dragoon aerospace interdiction. We estimate they are at least 40-50% attritted.

Alyina

We hit Alyina with the 7th Crucis Lancers RCT and the Davion Light Guards RCT. The defending 2nd Falcon Jagers were attempted to hole up in the planetary capitol, but after an attempt at surrender negotiations, we used both artillery brigades to pound them to dust, then sent both RCTs in after them. We took very few survivors prisoner.

Black Earth

We hit Black Earth with the Grey Death Legion, the 1st Federated Suns Armored Cavalry, and the 1st Aragon Borderers, the Falcon 89th Striker Cluster tried to fight a mobile campaign, but the FSAC and the GDL have had an almost preternatural ability to get around the flanks of the 89th. We expect the campaign there to be wrapped up in another week to ten days.

Hot Springs

The 1st, 2nd and Davion Assault Guards RCTs caught the 3rd and 4th Falcon Velites in COIN penny packets putting down a massive revolt amongst the populace. The Davion Guards didn’t allow the Falcons time at all to reform, and smashed both units underfoot within 2 weeks. We have accepted the surrender of both units, about 300 or so survivors, mostly rear-area personnel and 18 mechs of varying states of repair.


Operations are currently ongoing and we expect the second wave of Clover Spear to commence on schedule. Falcon and Viper resistance, while in some cases fierce, is very disorganized, and prisoner interrogations reveal that many Viper warriors are blaming the Falcons for the current problems facing both Clans.


Plain of Tears

Benfled

Steel Viper Occupation Zone

August 27th, 3056


Leftenant Cory Rodgers, Lance Leader for Battle Lance, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Royal Guards was exultant. The Vipers had been caught flat-footed since their arrival on world. From all accounts, it looked as if they had had a complete intelligence failure like some of the surprises he had read about from his days at the Nagelring, like the Six Day War, or Pearl Harbor. Thank Heaven we are the Israelis, he thought.

His neurohelmet was heavy and his neck muscles ached, but he had been pushing his Pheonix Hawk as fast as he could manage it. The only Viper ‘Mechs he had seen thus far were burning ones, as they had either run afoul of aerospace or artillery. The special operations guys were proving to be downright deadly with just a radio link to the artillery brigade. And here I thought those redlegs would not amount to a damn thing?

It was then that his threat alarms lit up, multiple claxons hooting for his attention as a dozen LRMs missed his ‘Mech by meters, their smoke trails betraying the firer as they led back to the verdant woodline some 200 meters ahead.

****, Vipers, and from the MAD readings…heavies.

“Lance, this is lead, refuse the left, bound back to the cover about a click back and I am going to get battalion on the horn and have them dump some smoke on those bastards, make them come to us.” As he did so, he worked the controls to backwalk the ‘Mech, selecting a route that made sure he didn’t skyline himself.

He got a flurry of acknowledgements as he keyed the frequency for the Battalion TOC “Alpha 6-1, this is Charlie 33, I have contact with what I estimate are Clan heavies, request support and mortar smoke, over?”

The radio crackled to life instantly, “33, hear your request, we are routing some help to you, ETA 10 minutes, we have priority of fires for you with the battalion mortars, and we are whistling up some more support as well, over?”

The sweat trickled down Rodger’s face into his green eyes, which burned with a mix of terror and excitement. 10 minutes, that might as well be an eternity. Oh well, we can trade space for time, maybe we bag one of the bastards, maybe not. “6-1, we may not last 10 minutes, there is at least 1-2 heavy mechs out there, and they out range us pretty good, either way, all we have is our T-bolt as a base of fire, I really need some help to discourage those guys, where the hell is that smoke, over?”

More klaxons sounded in the cockpit as the Clan ‘Mechs cleared the woodline, the warbook cycled through images as it put red carets on the emerging targets. One was identified as a Galahad, and emerging to it’s left was a Baboon, two others to its right were a Hellhound and another Baboon. Why didn’t the Galahad open with her Gauss Rifles? Odd. Worse, the MAD was picking up 5 more contacts behind. Aw ****. All of the Clan mechs were a malange of dark green, with scars and gouges from previous fights, and some mismatched metal patches where their techs had slapped some armor on to keep the machines running.

As if to answer the question, one of the Galahad’s Gauss Rifles spoke, missing by mere meters, and gouging a furrow out of a nearby patch of ground, sending dirt chunks dozens of meters into the air and splattering Rodger’s ‘Mech.

His weapons, all Pulse lasers, were out of range, but considering the heaviest ‘Mech in the lance was a Thunderbolt, and it was probably already busy setting up a base of fire, and the rest of the ‘Mechs collapsing the perimeter around it before withdrawing in a file behind it’s guns. Or at least, that was the plan.

He heard the thud-thud-thud-thud of an autocannon, probably Edgerton’s Centurion some 100 meters off to his left, trying to discourage a ‘Tanker from getting around their flank, but they more than likely had the speed advantage.

“33, passing you over now to the FDC, their callsign is Starfire 12, over?”

“Roger, thank you 6-1. Starfire 12, how copy over?”

“Starfire 12 copies five by, understand you have some targets for me, over?”

“Roger that, I need a mix of smoke and HE at-“ Rodgers glanced down at his rolling map display, and selected a point half a klick in front of him, towards the center of the slowly advancing clan line. “-Papa Alpha 44718932, mix of smoke and HE Super Quick, over?”

“Roger that 33, spotting round out shortly. Observe impact.”

A few pregnant seconds passed, and then a small puff of smoke and dust as the round impacted, and then spewed a dirty orange smoke cloud, the new thermal smoke was designed to interfere with the superior Clan sensor systems, and reduce the fight to ranges where the FC forces could compete. So far, the rounds had done very well in that regard.

“Starfire 12, good shoot! Left 100, Drop 50, Fire for effect!”

“Roger that 33, firing for effect, we also have some other assets coming to the party shortly, hang in there 33!”

Rodger’s mech shuddered as it took a glancing blow from a Clan large laser, he knew if he took a few more of those, it was going to be the end of him, and as the rounds began to impact, the sky went from a verdant blue, to a world of dirty orange, as sensors began to fuzz over with static from interference from the smoke. The fire from the Clanners began to slacken off as they could not locate their targets, and they wandered slowly through the smoke, wary of close contact with their enemies.

Rodgers continued to withdraw slowly, soon passing a familiar sight, the gold and blue painted Thunderbolt of his Lance Senior NCO, Staff Sergeant Amy Wilkins, his radio crackled to life “Can’t see **** sir, hope they can’t either.”

“Tag anybody Staff Sergeant?”

“Yeah, got a captured Shadow Hawk of theirs. PPC shot to the head, he went down, didn’t get back up, or at least he didn’t before the smoke came in.”

It was at that moment that a Guillotine IIC lurched drunkenly from the smoke, he was 90 meters away, as close as it got in ‘Mech combat. It was trailing smoke from a mortar shell that had become wedged in it’s right shoulder where it met the body, it froze the PPC arm in place at a 45-degree downward angle. The rest of the ‘Mech was a patchwork of green and silver, blackened by weapons hits and exposure to smoke. And the ‘warrior inside looked as if he could not tell where he was going.

Both the Thunderbolt and Phoenix Hawk turned as one and fired, azure beams of charged lightning and focused light linking killer and victim for a few tortured second as new gouts of melted armor sloughed off the Guillotine IIC. A gout of green liquid erupted from several places on the ‘Mech, and a the ‘Mech went down in a flurry of limbs.

“Seems the smoke has them a bit confused, Staff Sergeant?”

“Won’t stay that way boss, we gotta bound back to the battalion, wait for the assaults to come up and crush these guys under artillery. No sense in playing ‘blind man’s bluff’ in this smoke.”

“Agreed, Staff Sergeant, let’s get the Lance out of here. Bounding overwatch till we get clear, then travelling back to the battalion lines. And tell everyone to put some fire into the smoke, it will confuse the bastards some more.”

“Charlie 33 this is Thor 24, understand you have a problem? Over?” the radio crackled.

Rodgers sighed in relief, he knew from the prelanding brief that any Thor call sign was artillery, and hopefully a lot of it.

“Thor 24, can you give me three volleys of HE, mix of contact and superquick? I am trying to break contact with a superior Viper force six klicks west of Objective Frankfurt?”

“33 roger, I have three volleys, I can give you one volley of SADM rounds, do you need that, over?”

“Thor 24, I would love that, please lay that on last. I will get my people clear in time, over.”

“33 roger, these things make a hell of a mess. And they don’t differentiate between friendlies and enemies. Observe our spotting round, Shot out, Over.”

It wasn’t long before something that sounded like a freight train from hell screamed over the withdrawing FC troops and impacted 100 meters in front of the advancing Clan enemy, who had now picked up the pace to “hug the belt” of the FC troops and thus avoid the worst of the artillery. The FC Lance had foreseen this, and began to turn and run, to put more distance between themselves and the Jade Falcons.

Rodgers triggered his jump jets, riding a pillar of fire that propelled his ‘Mech into the air, and back 180 meters, keeping his face to the enemy, as he sent a blast from his Large Pulse Laser down range in the general direction of the enemy. The round had impacted right in front of the Falcon line of advance. It was perfect.

“Thor 24, Fire for Effect, make it rain!”

“33, roger, rounds out now, get your heads down, it’s going to be close.”

A few seconds later, a cacophony of freight trains passed over the heads of his lance. The passage of the shells was enough to rock his ‘Mech and then the forward line of the smoke disappeared in a line of explosions, dust, dirt and small bushes disappearing in gouts of flame and smoke as they were hurled into the sky.

He saw a Baboon stagger from the dust and smoke, it was missing most of it’s left side. It had survived the first volley, it didn’t survive the second, as a 200mm round from a Long Tom landed right on the ‘Mech’s shoulder. The blast blew through the left torso, which smashed the engine, and knocked the ‘Mech down into the swirling smoke, where it was obscured by other explosions.

“Last volley, 33, get out of there!”, the radio shrieked

SADM (Sense and Destroy ‘Mech) rounds worked on the principle of that a Long Tom or Arrow IV warhead was filled with 30 bomblets, each with the power of an SRM warhead, and with a simple IR seeker attached. Once the carrier shell released the warheads, the warhead descended by parachute, and attacked the nearest ‘Mech sized heat signature they could find. NAIS had found in testing that it had an alarming tendency to score head hits, and while 1 or 2 hits didn’t usually penetrate the head, three or four did and considering a battery of six had just put 180 bomblets in the air…

It wasn’t long before a series of pops, about as loud as a car backfire erupted over the ‘Clan line. This was followed by a series of bangs and pops as the munitions found their targets and detonated. Rogers thought he’d seen one Clanner eject, but he wasn’t sure. There was just too much smoke, dirt, and explosions shrouding the Clan positions to know for sure. And he didn’t intend to find out.

“Charlie 33 Lance, Charlie 33 Actual, all Charlie 33 callsigns withdraw on me. We’re getting out of here, and leaving this to the big boys. They’re on their way. Actual Out.”
 

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In the Soviet Union, fun is outlawed as a capitalist plot against the glorious revolution and Mother Russia. State Security will talk to you about this so called “fun.” - Jemhouston


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:03 am 
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IlKhan’s Office

Tamar City

Tamar

Wolf Clan Occupation Zone

August 30th, 3056


The Jade Falcons have met the Falconer…and he is taming them badly, mused Ulric Kerensky, ilKhan of the Clans, as he poured over the Wolf Watch reports from the Jade Falcon/Steel Viper OZ. He’d been reading the estimates generated by Star Captain Kerensky’s people, and he was impressed with her insight. I was right to sponsor her bloodright, with Conal Ward gone, Clan Wolf will need a new Loremaster, and I can think of none better. I will discuss this with Natasha when I get the chance. But not tonight. Tonight, is for far heavier things. Things I did not ever believe I would discuss.

His reverie was interrupted by a sharp tap at the door. “My Khan,” a voice known to him as a member of his personal guard “Khan Kerensky and saKhan Ward of Clan Wolf are here to see you? Do I allow them entry?”

Ulric exhaled. Time to as Phelan is often fond of saying “face the music”. “Yes, allow them entry, Star Commander, then make sure we are not disturbed, I have a feeling this will be a long meeting.”

“Aff, ovKhan, as you wish.”

The door opened to reveal an older woman and a younger man, both in Clan Wolf leathers, the woman, though she had dyed her hair red, and her face was lined by the ravages of time, still walked with a regal bearing that signified her status among the Wolves, and Inner Sphere. She was the Black Widow herself, Natasha Kerensky, Khan of Clan Wolf, and all that came with it. She was death, personified. And yet, with all that, intimates knew her as both a “pain in the ass” and a “someone with an authority problem”, which to Ulric, made her elevation to Khan both a way to honor her..and the best damn joke he had known in years. I had always said, ‘Tasha, that you would be Khan one day. And you told me “Over my dead body.” Funny how that worked out. It seems all the dead bodies belong to everyone who stood in your way. But considering the nature of our little meeting, why is she wearing a smile?

The young man on the other hand, was in a broad grin, and carrying a six pack of Timbiqui Dark. And Phelan, like the Greek, bearing gifts. Uh-oh. Those two have a plan that will bring the Wolf Clan martial glory, and me a lot of headaches in the Grand Council. Perhaps they have not had a chance to read the intelligence estimates I just did?

“Dammit Ulric, why so glum? We’re seeing the humbling of the Falcons?” Natasha bellowed, her nature was always boisterous and loud, except in combat, which clearly, this was not. She made herself at home leaning against Ulric’s work table in the far corner of the room. Phelan, on the other hand, took a seat on the maroon couch in the middle of the room.


“I would say that this has the potential to undermine all of Clan society, you two. This basically makes Zellbrigen dead as horse cavalry.” muttered Ulric.

“I dunno, Ulric. Perhaps this is the wakeup call the Clans needed. We didn’t belong here. We still don’t. And now, now little Victor, with no doubt help from Daddy is doing what we haven’t, ripping the damn guts out the Crusaders once and for all?” Natasha mused.

Phelan’s features pinched a little. He didn’t agree completely with Natasha, and Phelan was a bit more forward thinking that she was. Not that she made a bad Khan by any means, but Phelan was often the one doing the leg work on the more “administrative” matters, like peacefully resolving the unrest on Tamar last year during the worst of the food shortages. That had the potential to get nasty, Vlad, damn him, wanted to take ‘Mechs and Elementals in and slaughter the protestors. He really doesn’t have what it takes to be Khan, that one.

“You disagree, Phelan, quiaff?” Ulric queried

“Aff, Ulric. The Falcons and Vipers are being hit by massive levels of force and firepower. The FedCom’s new “Artillery Brigades” are basically smothering them in fire..and then the FedCom mops up with combined arms. Sure, it’s not a perfect solution. But Ulric, unless the Falcons and Vipers can goad the FedCom into a mobile engagement with at least some sort of parity in the numbers department, then all we are going to see is the defeat in detail of both Clans. The issues are, what comes after?”

“Phelan, what comes after? We do as we always have done. We win the right to absorb both clans and then we fight, I don’t see a down side here. I never liked either clan particularly.” Natasha smiled

“’Tasha, with respect, that’s what is blinding you here. The Home Clans are going to see this as an excuse to turn on both Clans, and hell, maybe even us and the Bears, and maybe even kick us out of the homeworlds? I would not be surprised if abjuration or absorption motions would be on the table.”

“They’d be nuts to try? I mean, ok, against the Falcons and the Vipers once Victor has stomped them into the ground. But really? All of us? The only Khan that is insane enough to try is Asa Taney of the Hellions, and what would he accomplish? The rest of the Clans would step aside and watch him fail. It would be amusing to watch him try, however.” Natasha replied.

Ulric rose his hands in a gesture meant to bring some peace to the conversation. “’Tasha, Phelan, you are both right, and both wrong. I ken much chaos for the Clans if this offensive succeeds. And from the looks of it. It seems that it will. The FedCom has unleashed a concept the Clans have forgotten: Total War. We know the cost of it. The Great Founder knew it. That is why he made the Clans the way he did. But it seems, as much as we seek to avoid it, we are vulnerable to it. What I am afraid of, is how the rest of the Clans will react? And how in the world do I guide them through the rough seas to come?” Ulric then exhaled in a mixture of frustration and disgust.

Natasha shook her head. “We already do know, as we have said, they will go bonkers. The Vipers and Falcons will be absorbed..by someone, and good riddance, as for the rest of the Clans? The Jags will probably jump the Drac border. Probably manage to take Luthien this time, if we’re lucky, the Jags and Dracs kill each other off and we get a better universe out of the bargain. As for the rest of the Clans? It pains me to say this Ulric, but back home will become a shooting gallery. Trials and counter-trials, and many of them might not bother to wait for you to weigh in?”

“You really think things would go to hell like that, ‘Tasha?” Phelan opined.

“Yeah, kid, I do. We may see ourselves as the pinnacle of human development, guided benevolently by warriors bred and born, but the truth is? A lot of us act like ADD addled teenagers given the keys to dad’s Battlemech, myself included at times. Vlad is the pinnacle of that, if you want an even better example. Say what you want about the Inner Sphere, but they just remembered that professional soldiers beat warriors every time. And they are demonstrating it to the Falcons and Vipers rather harshly.

But here comes the part that makes me convinced it’s all going to hell in a handbasket, and fast once it becomes clear that a third of the invading clans just got their collective asses kicked? Clan society just had the rules changed, and for all our talk about “might makes right” and “making room for the future”, we are a very conservative society. Our rules have not significantly changed since the Founder returned to the Pentagon worlds. The Clans have had a nasty habit of killing people who proposed those rules change, and unless you are a warrior..you’re not likely to survive long.”

Phelan looked forlornly at Ulric, who nodded sadly.

“Phelan, the Wardens were always the more pragmatic faction of the Clans. We knew the Inner Sphere and our own society had diverged greatly in the intervening centuries. Once the Dragoons began to report in, we realized just how much. The Crusaders however, could not bring themselves to the intellectual honesty required to realize the “barbarians” really had a lot more guns than we did..and the willingness, it seems to use them.

But shocks me, and will shock the other Clans the most? Seeing mass surrenders by Jade Falcon and Steel Viper warriors! We have already seen it on Bone-Norman! ‘Tasha? You and I have fought the Falcons many times, had you ever known the Falcons to surrender in such numbers?”

“Neg, Ulric, I haven’t, but we never made the damn sky fall in on them.” ‘Tasha mused.

Phelan swore softly. “So what in the hell do we do? Surrender? Make a deal? Turtle up and hope that Victor doesn’t drive on Tamar while he’s at it stomping the hell out of two Clans?”

“I don’t know Phelan, you actually know the Steiner-Davions better than anyone in this room. What sort of deal might they accept? What would it take to let us stay here in the Inner Sphere, and not be made into a dead part of history by FedCom arms. The people of the Inner Sphere have many reasons to be angry with us. We came without warning. We took what we wanted, we killed many, took many more as bondsmen never to be seen again. We may say it was all because we had the right to. And part of me still believes that, but according to our rules, as much as the FedCom has violated every martial tenet the Clans believe in, they still have applied the core of our beliefs: might makes right. And right now, their might makes them right. But they believe in something different. To them, we are the Nazis, the Huns, the Mongols, we are the faceless evil from beyond the Periphery to be destroyed. We are the people arrogant enough to think we are the master race.”

“We never were, Ulric, you know that!” Natasha shouted.

“I do, ‘Tasha, which is why I am a Warden. But this is going to damage irreparably the worldviews of a lot of Crusaders, who will be looking for someone to blame. They will default to their usual program, as it were, get in their ‘Mechs and strike at us, or at any other likely target. It will be war on a scale not seen in the homeworlds for some time. And it will be seen as glorious…at first.”

“I think I could use that beer, Ulric.”

“As do I, Phelan. As do I, I think the lucky ones from all this may be the bondsmen the Federated Commonwealth take. At least they will have a future. The rest of us may not. In fact, I expect to receive notice that there will be a Trial of Grievance against me for the way I have handled things.”

“Ulric, the Grand Council would at least allow you a trial?” Natasha’s voice dropped to almost a whisper.

“No, they would not. They are angry. They see the burning Falcon and Viper ‘Mechs, the proud standards of Falcon and Viper clusters brought low by nothing better than freebirths, no offense, Phelan?”

“None taken, Ulric.” Phelan smiled.

“And they see this, and they do not care one whit what the truth is, that we must evolve or die. They would see this as our social Armageddon, our Ragnorok, our Gotterdammerung. And they would act accordingly, with all the rules being off.”

“Jesus, Ulric. If that is true…?” Natasha looked on in horror, her thoughts seeing the potential end of Clan society by its own fratricidal hand.

“Then we must take steps to survive it, as a clan, and as a society, and we must purge those elements who would bring this about..and do it quickly, before we all fall.” Ulric’s voice was like gravel, it rumbled softly and with an authority given to very few men. He looked at the other individuals in the room, and held their eyes.

“Till we all fall, my friends, we must do this, because Clan Wolf, heir of the Kerenskys, must survive the coming storm.”

“Seyla” responded Natasha

“Seyla” added Phelan

“Seyla” as Ulric completed the ritual. “It is decided, whatever happens, the survival of our Clan is paramount, what happens to any of us is secondary. Phelan..let’s break out that beer. I have a feeling we are going to need some as we figure out how in the hell we survive this mess.”

Private Chambers of the Chancellor

Forbidden Palace

Sian

Capellan Confederation

September 1st, 3056

Sun Tsu Liao smiled thinly as he read over the readiness reports for his military. The CCAF has reached a standard no one has seen since 2412, which incidentally, was the last time we actually launched an offensive. EAST SEA is a risky thing, but when will we ever get another opportunity? The Federated Commonwealth is feeling arrogant, and has it’s back turned. We will never get another chance. If Shang is correct, another two weeks, and we will see their second wave kick off, which should allow us to strike against the lesser formations Davion has left behind. Delicious indeed.

He turned to his left, as a figure stirred beneath the sheets of his silk lined bed, her powerful frame a contrast from the delicate features of his wife. And so much more alluring as it turns out. Neither he, nor Alexa Shang had sought out some sort of relationship, but one had developed none the less. He liked her honesty, her patriotism, her bravery, and above all, her competence. Perhaps, when this is all over, I shall elevate her to the position of concubine? She is far more appealing to spend my nights with than that flighty Marik woman.

As the form slowly woke up and stretched, her naked form was there for all to see, her almond skin shimmered in the morning light. Sun Tsu smiled hungrily “Alexa, my dear, did you sleep well?”

“Yes Celestial Wisdom, I did not expect-“

“No need for all that formality here. In these chambers, call me Sun-Tsu. I am happy you slept well, and frankly, I need you in top form. The time for EAST SEA nears.” Sun-Tsu walked over to the night table, and fetched a comb, which he began to use to comb his hair back.

“I wished to speak to you about some parts of the plan, Cel-I mean Sun-Tsu?”

“Oh?”

“I am unsure about the special operation meant to introduce command paralysis amongst the Davions? My concern is of two parts. The first, is the nature of the operation. I may not be an intelligence professional, but might it be better to use our own people? These fanatics…unnerve me.”

Sun-Tsu gave Alexa a dismissive wave “Alexa, calm yourself, we do not have enough assets to accomplish all we would like to prep the battlefield for EAST SEA. Sadly, I am forced to rely on these fanatics. At least, they are not my sister’s fanatics. These people will get the job done..and we can remove them later from the table. Believe me Alexa, if we had a choice, I would not have dealt with them at all. But Marik demands I deal with them as part of his price. And they want Kittery for some reason. No matter to me, it was never really a Capellan world.”

Alexa nodded, then continued. “And then there is the nature of the attack, Sun-Tsu, might we be opening ourselves open for some sort of blowback? Might they try to kill you in response?”

Sun-Tsu smiled “By the time they get around to that, their minor houses will have torn their grand alliance apart because the Steiner-Davion brood will be wiped from the Inner Sphere. No, Alexa, this is the blow my father and mother both were not audacious enough to strike, but I am. And now that we know the Dragoons are gone from Outreach, and that much of the troop strength the Davions were making us see was fiction, no, now is the time to strike. Who knows, perhaps these could be the last days of Davion? I doubt it. But a man, even a Chancellor can hope.”

Alexa Shang felt a chill go through her. Her Chancellor, her lover had done the one thing she had hoped he wouldn’t and that was launch an attack on the Federated Commonwealth based on hope of a potential outcome. Such a thing was bound to end badly, and there might not wind up being a Capellan Confederation when it was all said and done? But she owed her Chancellor and her State her loyalty. She was a good Capellan citizen, what else could she do?

“Oh, and Alexa, I intend to go with the Autumn Wind-4 option, We will attack from barracks. I say deny the Davions any intelligence until the last possible minute. And make sure we give a false set of timetables to the Mariks. I do not want them to leak a damn thing until we go.”

“But Sun-Tsu? We are depending on many of those Marik units for some key first wave objectives.”

“Do not worry Alexa, what we lack in numbers, we will make up for in shock, and surprise, and of course, the indomitable will of the Capellan fighting man.”

This development chilled Alexa even more. Has the legendary madness of the Liao line infected Sun-Tsu as well? Not at this critical hour for the Capellan state. No!

But the questions continued to come unbidden for Alexa Shang as she slowly got dressed.

Sun-Tsu turned, and his almond colored eyes burned with an intense fire of both anger, and disappointment. "You failed, Alexa."

Alexa looked on surprised. "I failed? What was the test?"

"The only test that matters, Alexa, what is more important? Me, or the state?" Sun-Tsu sighed.

"I don't understand?"

"The failure is not completely yours, Alexa. You are a product of our training, where we expect absolute loyalty to the state as personified by the Chancellor. But by now, you should realize, the state is more important than any one chancellor. I cannot afford any mistakes in what is to come, Alexa. The madness on my part, was faked. The Capellan state must have sane, responsible, and canny leadership in the days to come. I will allow you this one misstep. If I act this way again, you are to shoot me...and then my sister. In a lockbox under the throne, there are specific instructions on what to do when I die. I entrust you to follow them to the letter."

"When you die, Sun-Tsu?"

"Alexa, I do not expect to survive this war. What I am about to unleash on the Davions, their family, all to gain even a momentary military advantage, is going to have them baying for my blood, but my life is worth it to save the Confederation a lifetime of supplication to the Federated Commonwealth. Our people must have their spine back. If it costs me my life, so be it."

"But Sun-Tsu, surely there is another way? Perhaps LONG MARCH is a better option..."

"No, Alexa. The people want to see our arms defeat the Davions, not their surrogates, who are Capellans as well. We need victory, and I will make any deal and pay any price to get it. If we can get to Sarna and Liao, I will fall down on my knees and thank my ancestors for us to be so lucky. I know the state of the CCAF. I know we rely a little too much on our benefactors, and my treacherous father in law, but what choice do we have?"

"None that I can see, Sun-Tsu."

"Then understanding has dawned in the student. I expect you to both learn and teach much in the coming days. Do not worry about the fanatics. I expect whatever they have planned, they do not expect to survive it. And as for us getting all the Davions? That was pure theater on my part. If we can get one or two, and have them chasing their tails when we cross the frontier for a week? I will be happy with that. I am finding military operations are like politics, all about the art of the possible."

"They are, Sun-Tsu."

Sun-Tsu nodded, She will not make the same mistake again. Good, I need at least one confidant I can rely on when the time comes, and when the person I expect to come, comes for me. Especially when I remove his mother from the table....
 

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:36 am 
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a lot to think about in this update/

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:53 pm 
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Lyran Commonwealth National Command Authority Relocation Site #18

18km SSW of Otisburg

Tharkad

Donegal March

Federated Commonwealth

September 5th, 3056

Field Marshal Nondi Steiner was on her 8th cup of coffee, running her fingers through her hair in frustration at both the logistical figures Poulin had sent back from the front, and the antics of her young aide. That Sanderlin kid is going to make me old. Ok, Victor, I took him on your recommendation, but seriously? His trying too hard may be the thing that finally gets me to retire. God? Was I like that once?

Sanderlin had recently been given back his commission for meritorious conduct under fire just before Clover Spear kicked off, and was told directly, take the bars and the staff job that went with it, in a note signed by Victor himself. Cannot blame Victor for wanting to save one of his academy friends. From what I hear, thanks to the Clans, there aren’t too many of them left.

She read over the report Sanderlin had written on Poulin’s requests. So far, his supply expenditures were outstripping even the most pessimistic projections by a factor of 2, especially on the consumables side. Modern war eats ammunition, food, water, and fuel like a wolf eats rabbits. And it spits out death. Death to our young people, and death to theirs. Hell of a business I am in, eh Katrina. God I miss you. I should have retired after you died, but your son in law asked me to stay on for a while, and so did Victor. Poulin is doing a fine job, but if current expenditures stay the same, we might run out of tube artillery rounds by the end of the year. Jesus, I hope we have dealt with the damn Vipers and Falcons by then

She moved on to the operational side of the briefing. So far, resistance had been spotty. Much of that had been due to the fact that the Clans had been caught by surprise, where they could, they had fought hard, but so far..so good, as total casualties for the AFFC thus far was in the 10,000 range for dead and wounded. She never thought she’d ever see those numbers for something this big. It’s still a tragedy for every family that gets the HPG and the visit from the Casualty Assistance Section of the local militia. God, let this be over soon.

She turned her attention to the projected 2nd Wave targets. It’s ambitious as hell hitting both Clan OZ capitols now, but I want to shock the damn bastards to their core, and so does Poulin. We may have to employ TREMBLER on Sudeten, god I hope we don’t, or SUNRISE. Either one is going to send the Clans into a small frenzy, but honestly, if they are that stupid, we can do some of what we probably should have done after that little temper tantrum on that Drac world.

There was a knock at the door. Nondi glanced at her wrist chrono. LIC with their intelligence brief. Always right on time.

“Enter!” she bellowed, her voice sounding harsher than she had wanted it to.

A non-descript fellow in AFFC uniform, with MI insignia on the collar and the epaulets of a Leftenant entered the office carrying an oversized briefcase. After rendering courtesies, he stated “Good morning, mam. Could you please place your hand on the marked pad and speak your name for receipt of the enclosed package?”

Nondi nodded and did as instructed. “General Nondi Steiner, Duchess Gallery and Commanding General of the Lyran State Command. Service Number RA117459.” The case clicked open in response, the pad glowing green.

“Thank you, General. Soon as I record this, may I depart?” The courier then produced a small recorder and stated, “Copy 6 of 10 of Threats and Intentions report on Clans Jade Falcon and Steel Viper for General Nondi Steiner delivered personally at 0821:25. Identity verified.”

“Dismissed, Leftenant. And tell your boss I don’t like your couriers in uniforms they didn’t earn the right to wear.”

The courier blanched. “General Steiner, I am not one to step out of line, or correct a General Officer out of turn, but I am a graduate of CMA, class of ’41.”

“You are? Then where the hell is your school rag?”

“Orders from General Karlberg. We don’t wear them. Nor our class rings. It’s too much information to any potential enemies.”

Nondi gritted her teeth. “You see combat, Leftenant?”

“Yes mam, on Twycross. My whole lance got shot to pieces, and I was medically evacuated after they blew my Banshee out from under me. I have a TBI, so I can’t pilot a ‘Mech anymore. Still a reservist, but I am a staff officer with the militia on Tharkad, officially.”

Nondi smiled “Ok, just wanted to make sure you were at least somewhat legitimate, Leftenant. Dismissed.” as she waved her hand as if to shoo him away.

Once the Leftenant departed, she thumbed a button on her desk that shut off all recording devices and engaged a white noise generator. It could only be turned off by her once engaged.

The pages were crisp, white paper, with stark lettering, and LIC’s writing style left little room for fluff.

She scanned the pages, and found little had changed from last week, and if anything, it seemed the Jade Falcons and Steel Vipers had…

It was the Sudeten entry had stopped her speed reading.

She reread the offending paragraph, now burning itself into her brain:

“..Two Jade Falcon warships have entered the Sudeten system in the last 96 hours. (95% reliability), ships are identified as the Hawker of the Sovietskii Soyuz-class (95% reliability) plus one Aegis class Cruiser (90% reliability), name unknown. Both ships are in geosynch orbit as part of a routine patrol from the Periphery, and are reportedly taking on supplies and rotating crews. (90% reliability). “

“Jesus” she muttered and she continued to read the document. It was another paragraph that had her fumbling for her noteputer:

“..a new hardened bunker of some kind has been completed in the vicinity of the largest island in the Jarho chain (95% reliability). Its purpose is unclear at this time, but we suspect that it is either a relocation site for the Jade Falcon Khans (70% reliable) or a C3 site of some kind (30% reliable). We suspect there is a stronger case for the former possibility as we have noticed a separate HPG system being installed at the site during construction. (See Appendix A3, Overhead Imagery of unknown site on Sudeten, taken 6th September 3056).

Nondi cursed again. “I am going to have to give Poulin permission for both SUNRISE and TREMBLER after all, damn it all. Better let Victor and Hanse know as well. ****..there went my day..”


Clan Smoke Jaguar Forward Headquarters

10km from Courant City

Albiero

Clan Smoke Jaguar Occupation Zone

September 24th, 3056

0445 hours Local


Khan Lincoln Osis flexed his muscles slightly as he continued to read the reports taken from the Wolf Watch. The Trial of Possession was worth it, in retrospect, but it was bloody, only one survivor of the binary from the 6th Dragoons I sent to get the reports. But their information was, illuminating, to say the least.

The report’s conclusions were stark. The ersatz Star League that the sphereoids had formed, the “Federated Commonwealth” was rolling over the Falcons and Vipers as if they were tissue paper warriors, and the freebirths were using more than a few honorless tactics to do it. Massed artillery fire, overwhelming force, no zellbrigen, and guerillas? All of this is without any honor at all, but the Falcons and Vipers did little but lick their wounds, and assume, in their haughty ignorance, that the Sphereoid scum would cower in fear of the “almighty Falcons”. And worse, the Vipers agreed.

Osis did not know who in the hell to laugh at first. So, he split the difference, and chuckled mirthlessly at the predicament both clans found themselves in. He rubbed his brow with his left hand, and rubbed his eyes again, as he continued to read the report. If I had known how deadly dull this report was, I would have had Brandon Howell read it and summarize it for me. The Wolves kill with words, and call themselves “clanlike.”

But the report’s conclusions, even to Osis, were sound. The Falcons and Vipers were in the early stages of military collapse, and the FedCom was using every weak point in both Clans to shove them over the edge of disaster. Not that such things would apply to the Jaguars. I would almost welcome the so-called Federated Commonwealth attempting such a thing here. My warriors would make short work of it. The “fearsome” DCMS has proven to be nothing more than a momentary impediment on the way to Terra, we would already be there, if not for Kerensky, and his damn deal with that so-called religious order known as ComStar. It is a good thing I had those robed idiots we captured off that jumpship back in ’48 mind wiped BEFORE we gave them back. I cannot say too many other ComStar POWs have been so lucky. Then again, it has given my elementals valuable practice.

Osis grinned at that last thought. His methods had begun to suppress the Combine backed guerillas, but at a cost, and he believed it was mostly because the Combine was not able to continue to both fund their efforts, and rebuild the DCMS. That said, they did enough to keep them busy.

Osis leaned over and pushed a button on his noteputer: “Kelmar, attend to me.”

At once, a knock came at the door. “Enter”, Osis barked.

The heavy blast door opened with a clank, and a whine as metal creaked, a slender figure entered, his blue eyes large and his sandy blond hair and his light complexion and lithe features reflected his aerospace fighter pilot phenotype. His skin was impregnated with grey linear tattoos, outward reflections of Kelmar’s fanatical devotion to Clan Smoke Jaguar, as well as his submission to DNI surgery. “Aff my Khan, what is your bidding?”, he bellowed as he came to attention and saluted.

“Kelmar, how sharp are the Jaguar’s claws, would you say, are we ready to crush the Combine?”

“As sharp as ever, ovKhan, our warriors clamber at another chance to teach the Combine who the better warriors truly are.” Kelmar answered.

Osis grinned satisfactorily. “Good, I expected as much. Summon all the Galaxy Commanders for a meeting here in three weeks’ time. I want to go over our plans to hit the Combine, especially for plans to finally take Luthien. We will take it, then burn it to ash, and then rename it DeChaviller, as the Combine helped the usurper, Kelmar. Examples must be made.”

Kelmar simply nodded.

There was another knock at the door. “ovKhan, there is news about the sphereoid offensive against the Jade Falcons and Steel Vipers. Their second wave has begun.”

Osis smiled wider. “Kelmar, move up that meeting a week. We cannot wait, and I intend to act before those timid souls led by that king sheep, Kerensky, blather on about Clan unity and try to get us into some idiotic plan to save the Falcons and Vipers from their own stupidity.”

Kelmar nodded again. “It shall be done, ovKhan.”


Location Unknown

Date Unknown

The man was nude, and his features were ordinary, he was of ordinary height, and weight. But his eyes, his eyes were empty of anything like a soul, or a conscience. He hadn’t started out that way. He had a name, once. But those days had been purged from his memory. His life before, according to his instructors, had no meaning, only what he was told to do.

He sat in the middle of a white featureless room, his meals and simple needs brought to him between missions, when he was sent out into the world to wreak havoc on behalf of the better world promised by the Blessed Blake, a world he was helping to make happen. Such thoughts elicited the rare smile, a smile that was terrible to behold.

A slot formed as if by magic in the door, and a small envelope, about 40cm by 30cm in size, white, with the Blakist broadsword on it in the upper right corner passed through and fluttered slowly to the floor of the room. The man waited until the envelope had reached the floor, then quietly rose and walked over to the envelope, and opened it with a minimum of effort.

Assignments were always a picture of the target. He was an assassin. He never did bombings or kidnappings. Any photo he ever got, the target was meant to be killed, and he would do the job regardless of the opposition. He had never failed, and never been caught. He would be proud of that, if he were capable of it.

He removed the photo from the envelope, and turned it over to reveal the beaming faces of Hanse Aadrian Davion, and Melissa Steiner-Davion. This should be a true test of my abilities, the man thought.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:16 pm 
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Offices of the First Prince Emeritus

Royal Palace

New Avalon

Crucis March, Federated Commonwealth

September 8th, 3056


I hate what I have to do, but for the good of the realm, I have to do it. Hanse grimaced as he thought over the words that he had rehearsed mentally for weeks before this day. It was a beautiful early fall day on New Avalon, clear blue skies, bit of a clean breeze that wafted through the palace. But all Hanse could think about was the horrible things he was going to have to say to an old friend, one whom had rendered innumerable services to the Commonwealth, and one whom had given his only brother to save his then-fiancé.

This is so much worse than when I found out the truth about Michael. Hanse mused. He felt a slight twinge in his chest, and though he was tempted to reach for his heart pills, he soon shut the thought out of his mind. He knew his body, and he knew he was going to get through this. I am of sterner stuff than this. Victor had offered to do this, so had Melissa, but the fact was, politically, he could not see any other alternative to himself. And he wouldn’t accept it from anyone else but me and Katrina. And Katrina’s gone, so it’s just me.

There was a knock at the door. “Your highness, Duke Kell has arrived for his one pm audience, shall I admit him?”

Hanse bellowed “Yes, and see we aren’t disturbed afterwards.” Hanse shook himself mentally as he said that a bit harsher than he had intended. That young man did not deserve your anger, Hanse, and you know it. The voice in his head that said it sounded suspiciously like his father, Andrew. Dad’s been gone a long time. I suppose he’d approve of what we’ve built here.

The door opened and a man of imposing height entered, his physique told of a man who had still put himself through a brutal exercise regimen, and remained ready for battle, even though he hadn’t been in a ‘Mech in two years. His ducal clothes spoke of a simple finery, as he was not a man of ceremony, but a man who had made his reputation on the battlefield, as a mercenary, fighting the enemies of the Commonwealth for longer than there HAD been a Federated Commonwealth. His ‘Mechwarrior’s spur’s jangled, and his faded blue school rag fluttered in the breeze as he entered the room and his long mane of grey hair framed his face, currently an expressionless mask. But Hanse noted his eyes. His eyes said sorrow, and determination, and intelligence, and experience, all rolled up into something that made Morgan Kell unique, and by the reports of some, unkillable.

Not so sure I believe that last part, but I think we’re both a bit old to be hopping into simulators to prove it, eh? Then again, with what I have to tell him, he might want to do it for real once I am done. God, he is a loyal soldier who we have counted on time and again. I inducted him into the Order of Davion. Victor and Katherine gave him those spurs.. and the right to wear them as thanks for decades of loyal service, and now, this is how we thank him.

“Hello Morgan,” Hanse smiled thinly, “Please, sit down. Can I have the palace staff get you anything?”

Morgan did as he was asked, shaking his head no as he sat. “I am on my way to a reunion of some of the gang from Mallory’s World. Not many of us left. But, I got your message, Hanse. I cannot imagine why it is so important for you to send for me to come incommunicado.”

Hanse nodded. “I am sorry, Morgan for the bit of skullduggery, but it’s important, and sadly, it affects your family. Namely, your son.”

Morgan grimaced knowingly. His brows deepened as he frowned, and the light in his eyes danced with both shame, and anger.

“I think you know why we are here, Morgan.”

Morgan nodded. “I do, Hanse, and I think it very astute for them to ask you to be the one to have this conversation with me.”

Hanse nodded, and handed over a series of still pictures taken from what appeared to be a BattleROM recording. The timestamp was 11 November, 3051, Tamar, Federated Commonwealth. It was from a Quickdraw of the 26th Lyran Guards, and had a Thor in its gunsights, but to the left of the reticule, was a Wolfhound, in a very distinctive scheme. Phelan. It could not be anyone else. Subsequent stills showed the Wolfhound firing on the Quickdraw.

Hanse let Morgan take the photos in for a few moments. “Morgan, these photos came to light two years ago. We’d always been willing to overlook Phelan’s activities with Clan Wolf, because he was a mercenary, rather than a sworn member of the AFFC, but these photos are going to make the lead story tomorrow on DBC. We just found out last night. We’ve asked them to delay for 48 hours for us to have this talk with you.”

“Why, Hanse, you’re just going to try him for treason in absentia, and then have him shot if you ever get his hands on him? And you’re asking me to publicly support this, no?”

Hanse shook his head. “No, Morgan, we aren’t. I had a long chat with Victor, my wife, Katherine, Quintus, and Ardan on what the hell to do about this. Fact is, DBC is forcing us to do something. And right now, with us doing well against the clans, thus far…”

“The people want blood?”

“Precisely, I have people outside the palace every day here on both New Avalon and on Tharkad with placards of their missing children demanding we start putting the screws to Falcon and Viper bondsmen till we get the whereabouts of their kids. And for us not to do anything about Phelan? It would be political dynamite, especially in Tamar.”

“So Hanse, you’re going to ask me to sacrifice my son for the sake of the Commonwealth?”

Hanse nodded yes. “But I won’t have him killed or kidnapped, so long as he stays in the Wolf OZ. I furthermore promise you that, so long as he refrains from setting foot in the Commonwealth ever again, he has nothing to fear, unless he takes up arms against us. If he is taken alive, he will be arrested for treason, and aid and comfort to an enemy in time of war. If that happens, I do at least promise he will get the best representation in the Commonwealth, and a fair trial in the Davion half. He couldn’t get one in the Steiner half.”

“And you expect me to tell him that?”

“Yes, Morgan, I do. I expect you to tell him because otherwise, Victor’s hand will be forced, and it could cause a crisis in the Lyran half of the Commonwealth. I don’t want that, and I don’t think you do either.”

Morgan swore softly, Dammit Hanse, you are right. And sadly, this is the best deal Phelan can probably expect. At least he won’t be kidnapped by Loki or MI-6 and dragged back here in chains. And who knows, maybe we can go visit him? This is of course, assuming that the Wolves are allowed to stay in the Inner Sphere?

“Damn you, Hanse. I agree. But know this, you’re asking me to participate in the exile of my own son. A son I named after the brother I lost saving the life of your wife. You must acknowledge that much.” Morgan’s eyes glistened with unshed tears, tears he was too proud to shed in front of Hanse Davion.

Hanse nodded “I know Morgan, and if Victor and I had another choice, we would. But there isn’t any. And you know it, Morgan. We cannot protect him, especially when these BattleROM stills come out.”

“May I have a moment, Hanse, alone? I’d like to think about what to say to my son?”

Hanse nodded, and made to step out into the hall. He stopped for a moment, and turned to Morgan. “Morgan, for what it’s worth. I am sorry. I wish there were another way, but there isn’t.” He then opened the door and stepped out into the hall, the door closing with a quiet click that sounded like the most mournful sound imaginable to Morgan. It was like losing Patrick all over again.

The tears and sobs came on suddenly, Morgan bit his hand to prevent his moans of sorrow from escaping. My son, the traitor? What did I do wrong? What the hell did Salome and I do wrong? Where did we fail you, Phelan? Morgan collapsed on the leather couch, soon he was not caring who heard his sorrow.

Hanse overheard the cries from the hall, and stopped the senior guard who made for the door. “No, Captain Alstead. Give him whatever time he needs and please make sure the staff fulfills his every wish, he is a patriot, and he didn’t deserve this. But a man like Morgan Kell deserves his private pain. We owe it to him to let him mourn, and we shall do so, clear?”

The entire guard force came to attention and semi-shouted “Clear, Your Highness!” as one.

“Now, to find my wife. I could so use a goddamned drink right now.”

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In the Soviet Union, fun is outlawed as a capitalist plot against the glorious revolution and Mother Russia. State Security will talk to you about this so called “fun.” - Jemhouston


Last edited by Jason on Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:52 pm 
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Bad situation all the way around.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:07 pm 
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Jason wrote:
. It is a good thing I had those robed idiots we captured off that jumpship back in ’48 mind wiped BEFORE we gave them back. I cannot say too many other ComStar POWs have been so lucky. Then again, it has given my elementals valuable practice.


What is this in reference to?

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:07 pm 
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trekchu wrote:
Jason wrote:
. It is a good thing I had those robed idiots we captured off that jumpship back in ’48 mind wiped BEFORE we gave them back. I cannot say too many other ComStar POWs have been so lucky. Then again, it has given my elementals valuable practice.


What is this in reference to?


The Jumpship is the Outbound Light which discovered the Smoke Jaguar Homeland.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:05 am 
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I see.

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Taken from the daily FC operational briefing provided to Field Marshal Ranier Poulin, Supreme Commander of “Operation Clover Spear”, declassified October 9th, 3076.

“Actions against Jade Falcon and Steel Viper units continue to be favorable, Jade Falcon units have begun to retreat rather than allow us to apply the full weight of our firepower, but Steel Viper units, for the most part, still try to resist in place, with certain exceptions (see Goat Path and Waldorff). We are facing a bit of an artillery ammunition crunch, and I would ask that we postpone Wave 3 by 15 days to allow our logistics to keep up. I am also aware, your highness, that there is the potential for a Steel Viper counterattack (see attached G-2 addendum re: Steel Viper buildup on Twycross). We have wargamed this possibility here, and we do expect that this is something we can counter.”

A summary of the status of the Second Wave is below:

Somerset
Attackers: 26th Lyran Guards RCT, 17th Skye Rangers, 2 Independent Artillery Brigades.

Defenders: None

Results: Somerset fell within 36 hours, with few shots fired except for a short skirmish at the site of the Military Academy of Somerset, where a small Jade Falcon sibko was smashed in a 12-hour running battle through the Academy live fire ranges. The planet was secured within the week.

Waldorff
Attackers: 1st and 2nd Davion Guards RCTs, Davion Assault Guards RCT, 6 Independent Artillery Brigades.

Defenders: 9th and 10th Fang, Clan Steel Viper

Results: The fighting for Waldorff was bitter right from the initial landing, with the Steel Vipers making counterattack after counterattack against the teeth of the FC landings. The Vipers then fought a rear guard through the streets of Waldorff City before they withdrew off-world to Twycross.

Graus
Attackers: 7th Crucis Lancers RCT, Davion Light Guards RCT, 4 Independent Artillery Brigades.

Defenders: 38th and 71st Phalanx, 4th Viper Guards (60% Strength), Clan Steel Viper

Results: The fighting for Graus was the worst of the 2nd Wave thus far. The Vipers dug in around Garros Spaceport and held it for 2 weeks before they were annihilated almost to the man. FC casualties were heavy, with the Davion Light Guards having lost one of its three battlemech battalions, and a pair of armor battalions. The 7th Crucis took heavy casualties in one of its battlemech battalions. The Spaceport has sustained 75% damage and will take up to a month to repair to a minimum standard to accept cargo and supplies. It will take upwards of a year to rebuild the site completely.

Blackjack
Attackers: 1st Aragon Borderers, 1st Federated Suns Armored Cavalry, Hansen’s Roughriders, 1st Robinson Rangers, 5th Davion Guards, 8 Independent Artillery Brigades

Defenders: 80th Fang, Clan Steel Viper

Results: In a 24-hour running fight around the ruins of the old Academy, the 1st Federated Suns Armored Cavalry and Hansen’s Roughriders handily destroyed the 80th Fang. More than a few prisoners were taken in the end as the unit’s morale collapsed with the death of Star Colonel Jessup.

Malibu
Attackers: Grey Death Legion, 3rd Crucis Lancers RCT, 2 Independent Artillery Brigades

Defenders: 124th Striker Cluster, Clan Jade Falcon

Results: The 124th Striker Cluster had taken the time to fortify a position overlooking Malibu City in a series of low hills and gullies. The Grey Death Legion and 3rd Crucis Lancers showed little hesitation in going in and getting them. The fighting lasted 2 weeks and after the 124th lost 40% casualties, the 124th withdrew off world for Beta VII.

Goat Path
Attackers: Lindon’s Regiment, 8th and 10th Deneb Light Cavalry RCT, 4 Independent Artillery Brigades

Defenders: 126th Striker Cluster, Viper Fusiliers, Clan Steel Viper

Results: The Steel Viper garrison showed a lot more courage than sense, counterattacking the FC LZ within minutes of the landing, but after initially inflicting 10% casualties on the 8th Deneb Light Cav, the 10th and Lindon’s Regiment landed behind the Viper advance, and proceeded to squeeze them against the lines of the 8th. To the credit of the Vipers, they managed to fight their way clear to their dropships, after suffering 40% casualties.

Sudeten, Part 1
Attackers: 2nd and 3rd Royal Guards RCT, 11th Avalon Hussars RCT, 2nd Chisholm’s Raiders, Wolf’s Dragoons (all 5 Regiments), 8 Independent Artillery Brigades

Defenders: Jade Falcon Guards, 8th Falcon Regulars, Doberung Garrison Cluster, Clan Jade Falcon

Special Events: CJFS Emerald Talon and CJFS Blue Talon attacked by nuclear weapons delivered by FC Aerospace fighters. Emerald Talon destroyed, Blue Talon badly damaged, withdraws to Parakoila.

Results: The two-week fight for Sudeten was a lopsided affair from the beginning, with the Jade Falcons under heavy pressure as they tried to stall for the Jade Falcons to evacuate their capitol. During the final fight, just north of Hammar, the Falcon line was split in two in a seam between the Doberung and the Jade Falcon Guards. The frontline clusters withdrew towards the spaceport, taking heavy casualties as they withdrew off world to Parakoila. The Doberung Garrison Cluster, also took heavy casualties as they managed to stay one step ahead of the FC advance, and stole several civilian ferries to evacuate themselves to a newly built alternate command center on Maakar Island, the largest island in the Johar chain.

The FC cut off the island, and began to take it under heavy bombardment, but the facility was confirmed by intelligence reports as rivaling a Castle Brian. Worse, it was confirmed that saKhan Vandervahn Chistu was leading the defense himself. An ultimatum was presented to the garrison on the 6th of October 3056, by Jamie Wolf himself. It was summarily rejected.

La Grave
Attackers: 10th Lyran Guards RCT, 6th Syrtis Fusiliers RCT, 4th Royal Guards, 6 Independent Artillery Brigades

Defenders: 1st Falcon Jagers, 10th Talon Cluster, 124th Striker Cluster, Clan Jade Falcon

Results: Star Colonel Bjarn Folkner of the 1st Falcon Jagers ordered a general withdrawal as soon as the FC forces made planetfall, taking his own command star to fight a duel according to the rules of Zellbrigen to stall for the rest of Jade Falcon forces to withdraw off world to Colmar. The duel went poorly for the Falcons, as one Kai Allard-Liao, Kommandant, 10th Lyran Guards, killed three of the five Clan ‘Mechs to win the duel for the Federated Commonwealth.

Wotan
Attackers: 21st Striker, and 151st Light Horse, ELH, 1st Kearny Highlanders, 20th Arcturan Guards RCT, 2 Independent Artillery Brigades

Defenders: None

Results: The collaborationist government on Wotan gave up without a shot fired.


Condor class Dropship Leftanant Harvey Bouan, Federated Commonwealth Navy

Atmosphere of Malibu, currently 125,000 feet AGL

0335 Hours, September 24th, 3056

Jade Falcon Occupation Zone


“..I will by the end of the night, bury this knife to the hilt in the blackest Falcon heart on Malibu. Let’s let these goddamned pidgeons know who they decided to screw with!”

-Kommandant Megan Lucas, Commander, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Crucis Lancers Jump Infantry, 3rd Crucis Lancers RCT

The dropship buffeted in Malibu’s thick atmosphere as the “Harvey B.” as she was affectionately known to her crew and passengers alike, rocked and shimmied like an epileptic snake through the planetary atmosphere at speeds approaching Mach 4.

All Leftenant Mike Henley, Platoon Leader for 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 2/3rd Crucis Lancers Jump Infantry could think of was that perhaps he should have become a ‘Mechwarrior. No, I had to be a pogogrunt like dear old Uncle Fred was in the 4th War. He’d graduated with honors early last year from Goshen’s OCS, and had only just joined the 3rd Crucis Lancers RCT last month.

It was his first command, and from the word go, it had been an uphill battle to get through the day without embarrassing himself in front of his men, let alone his company commander. His performance on one night route march back on Pasig had earned an epic ass chewing that had questioned everything from his intelligence to his parentage, to even what kind of graduates were leaving Goshen these days, all laced with profanity Henley had never heard in his life. Hauptmann Wainright already didn’t like him, Wainright had come up through the ranks, earning a commission during the Clan Invasion with the 42nd Avalon Hussars, and losing a lot of friends in the bargain. And, near as Henley could figure? Wainright hadn’t bet much on Henley lasting much past the initial drop.

Emotions had been running high before the “Harvey B.” had undocked from the jumpship and began a high G run to the planet. They’d arrived only yesterday at a pirate point, and the pirate point had been close, with the high-G transit only taking 8 hours to reach atmosphere. Word was there was a full-fledged uprising already going on against the Falcons on world, with some rumoring that MI-6 or Loki had something to do with it. In short, they’d be too busy putting down the rebels to do much about the incoming FedCom invasion force, or so that was the hope.

It had been emotional before the undocking, with pre-battle speeches being played over wallscreens by Marshal Zardetto, who’s gravelly, fatherly voice had stated in part: “We’ve come back, as we promised, and our people’s eyes will be upon us. We come bringing freedom from the Clans. I expect every man and woman in this RCT to do their duty to the utmost. Don’t fail our Archon-Prince, don’t fail the Commonwealth, and more importantly, don’t fail our regiment, our family.”

His battalion commander, a red-headed petite female Kommandant, with fiery green eyes and a voice like thunder by the name of Lucas had given a far more bloodthirsty speech.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, all we will have is each other when we hit that slipstream. We do this for love, love of our nation, love of our families left behind whom we do not want the Clans dictating to. And most of all? We do this for love of each other. We are Lancers. And we do not break promises to each other. And I promise you this..” she then pulled a wicked looking jump knife from a sheath clipped to her LBE suspenders running vertically across her left torso and held the knife aloft over her head “..I will by the end of the night, bury this knife to the hilt in the blackest Falcon heart on Malibu. Let’s let these goddamned pidgeons know who they decided to screw with!”.

There were many loud bellows of “H-Minus”, which was the regiment’s motto in response. But that had been three hours ago, As Henley looked around the cabin, he took in the sight while he still could. The troop bay was bathed in a red glow from both the battle lighting, and the glow of the excited atmosphere interacting with the ship as it reentered. Men and women alike were sporting mohawks and shaved heads. Everybody had painted faces, most in camo patterns, but some had alleged tribal sigils painted in whatever materials had been available. Everyone was as the regimental sergeant major put it “amped up for this drop.”

One of his snipers named Pelley from Zavijava had decorated his Federated Long Rifle in tribal beads promising Henley “Don’t worry LT, we’re going to take many scalps today. The Great Father is with us.” That young man was currently asleep…smiling. He was 19, with dark caramel skin, almond eyes, and had a wicked looking club attached to the side of his assault pack on his waist.

Horns began to hoot as the red "ready" light clicked on, announcing they were 5 minutes out from the LZ, with jumpmasters bellowing "5 minutes." A loud mechanical whine soon sounded, announcing the dropship door was sliding open. Kommandant Lucas grinned ferally. “Hook up! Stand up! Shuffle to the door! H-Minus!” she shouted.

The entire bay roared as one over the sound of the slipstream passing the dropship’s hull and over the cacophony of hundreds rising to their feet, weighed down by parachutes and all the other gear paratroopers took into battle.

“H-MINUS!!”


Jade Falcon Alternative Command Post

Maakar Island

Sudeten, Jade Falcon Occupation Zone

October 6th, 3056

It looks like the surface of a moon. Jamie Wolf observed from the deck of the white-painted passenger hovercraft as it neared the island. His field glasses noticed that other than the concrete above ground, there was nothing the FC artillery and air raids had left standing. The above ground parts of the bunkers themselves had been savaged, with multiple hits having been scored, concrete scoured, and rebar being torn and twisted, but still, the bunkers were mostly structurally sound.

I am unclear as to why Marshal Bradford chose me as the emissary for the surrender demand. To the Jade Falcons, I am a dezgra Wolf and a traitor to the Way of the Clans. I cannot think of an emissary more likely to anger Chistu, if that is Chistu in there. Why he would remain when most of the Falcon forces quit Sudeten is beyond me?

Wolf turned and gazed at Maeve Wolf, the field Commander of the Dragoons. She was projecting an air of serene calm, her hands clasped behind her back, standing a little to the left and rear of Jamie. Brian Cameron, his ADC, was adjusting the collar of his field jacket for what seemed like the ninth time. All were dressed in the Wolf Dragoons field uniform, which consisted of grey-black tunic, with a field jacket in the same color that had Kevlar lining, and matching trousers, with subdued red piping that was almost maroon in color. As befitting a party under a flag of truce, they were of course..unarmed. It left Jamie feeling naked, and for the second time in his life, a bit nervous. But he was an experienced commander, and poker player, and hid his feelings behind a mask all commanders soon learned to wear.

“Nervous Brian?” Jamie quipped, noticing Brian’s struggles with the collar of his field jacket.

“Aff, Commander Wolf. I must admit that Falcons are being pushed into a corner. One where they’d happily take us prisoner and execute us after a short kangaroo court for ‘betraying the Clan way. I fear for your safety, sir.’”

Maeve nodded in agreement, her raven hair catching the early morning light as her hazel eyes shone with concern for her commander, and friend. “Sir, this is just such a bad idea, I do not know where to begin. I am not saying Marshal Bradford has ill intent toward us…”

“…but you think he doesn’t really understand the Clans like we do, is that it?” Jamie finished, his grey eyes boring into Maeve, half-daring her to challenge his position, knowing she would do exactly that.

“Beyond the AFFC briefs, I doubt it, sir. There is a bit of ‘victory disease’ gripping the AFFC right now.” Cameron interjected.

“Why the hell didn’t the FC just offer them hegira?” Maeve asked, a bit of indignation creeping into her voice.

“We can’t, Maeve. After what we have seen passes for Falcon ‘counter-insurgency’ methods? We clansmen used to shrug in the wake of the Falcons and their indoctrination sweeps. We’d always say, ‘that’s Falcon business.’ The FedCom feels differently. And, after what I saw with those ferrymen? I cannot completely blame the FC. Natasha might have had a point returning to the Wolves.”

“You don’t really think that, do you Jamie?” Maeve asked, a hand on her genefather’s shoulder more of emotional concern than any physical support.

“Neg, Maeve. But the FC has blood in their eyes right now, and we of the Wardens warned those addled idiot Crusaders that this was going to be the end result of their precious attempt to make good little Clansmen out of the Inner Sphere. Great Father help the Clans if the Inner Sphere ever gets the data to guide them to the homeworlds.”

“You think it would come to that, Jamie?” Maeve inquired.

“If it were Victor or Hanse making the decision? No. It would not. But someone else I haven’t gotten the measure of? Or worse yet, someone whom I do know very well, like say, Nondi Steiner? She would glass the homeworlds in a heartbeat. And no, we are too few to do a damn thing about it. But if that were to happen, it would begin a genocide not seen since the First Succession War.” Jamie winced at that last thought.

“So, try to be the angel on the FC’s shoulder, even if they are Falcons and Vipers?” Cameron quipped.

“Aff, Captain, Aff.” Jamie mused darkly.

The rest of the ride was conducted in an uncomfortable silence between the three, considering what was probably the very dangerous nature of their task.

The silence was soon interrupted by the engines downshifting and a thump as the hovercraft slid onto the beach of Maakar Island. Soon, the world became a mixture of mist and the hissing of a deflating GEV skirt as the hovercraft slid to a stop just far enough into avoid getting caught in the tide.

“It appears we have arrived, ladies and gentlemen, we should get on with our errand?” Jamie inquired of his companions.

Both nodded and the three made their way down to the lower decks of the passenger hovercraft, then soon out a passenger door where a rudimentary boarding ladder had been assembled to allow the passengers to debark.

“Be careful, Commander Wolf, I don’t know how fast we can get out of here if things hit the fan!” shouted a large man from the bridge wing of the hovercraft. He was a large, booming fellow, his face craggy from years of salt spray and his eyes, his white captain’s cap perched back over his balding head, and framing a face that sported a full and fluffy salt and pepper beard.

“Captain Atherton, I will try not to be long, but I wouldn’t worry. The Falcons will grant you hegira even if they take us. One hovercraft won’t get them all out, and they know it.” Jamie responded with a wave.

“I will take your word for it, Commander Wolf..all the same, I am going to make sure me and my crew are going to be prepped for a very quick departure. Just remember. Two hours Commander, two hours, don’t be late!”

Wolf nodded and made his way in short, but purposeful strides up the white sands of the beach. They steered a course between multiple shellholes and saw the wreck of a Baboon that had been unlucky enough to be caught in a SADB strike. The wreck was toppled, and had burned when the LRM ammo had detonated. CASE failure? Jamie wondered. It was still smoldering from some parts, tendrils of wispy white smoke trailing off into the morning sky.

“I would suggest caution, Commander Wolf, not all of those SADB bomblets detonate.” Maeve intoned.

Wolf nodded, Maeve’s caution was well-placed. SADB for all of its efficiency as a an anti-‘Mech weapon, had a problem in that 10% of the bomblets failed to detonate, and then became landmines on a hair trigger, and they didn’t care whose limbs they blew off. And Founder only knows how many of those rounds the FC has plastered the island with? Jamie’s mind intoned.

Jamie’s reverie was interrupted by the unmistakable SNICK-SNACK of a round being chambered in a rifle, soon followed up by a very loud click. Here goes nothing.

“Falcon warriors, I come under flag of truce and ask for Safecon to parley with your saKhan, Vanderahn Chistu. My name is Jamie Wolf.”

For a few pregnant moments, nothing happened. The Falcons had to have heard the radio broadcasts. We’ve been sending them for 6 hours now, asking for an audience with Chistu.

Before long, a head clad in a Jade Falcon field helmet popped up from a hasty foxhole, dug from a shellhole not 50 meters to Jamie’s left. The face was boyish, with a pronounced Adams apple, and blonde peach fuzz and bright green eyes that burned bright with hunger and adrenaline framing a face that was warring between fear, exhaustion, and not a little bit of anger. The boy had a bandaged wound running the length of his right cheek, the bandage dirty with soot and dried blood.

“That is far enough, Jamie of the Wolves. We were told to expect you. Remain still or you will be shot.”

The figure shouted “Cover me, trothkin” and lept from the hole. His jade green uniform was ragged, torn and covered in stains of soot, dirt and dried blood. His face twisted into an ugly snarl as he pointed his weapon at Jamie’s midsection. “I should end you, freebirth traitor. You cooperate with the stravag dogs instead of siding with your own?”

Jamie smiled “Since when are the Falcons my own?”

“Pelar, silence, resume your position..I shall handle this.” The voice boomed from a position that was to Jamie’s front, about 100 meters away, and another figure, a large man, most likely an elemental but he was stooped with age, but still quite limber, levered himself from another foxhole and to his feet. He had a nasty looking wound across his left thigh that had also been bandaged, and looked much the same as Pelar, but he walked with a surer gair than Pelar did. He made his way straight to Jamie and extended his hand.

“Star Commander Jothan, I am the Falconer for these…children. They are three years from testing out..yet we shove rifles in their hands and tell them to go die for the greater glory of the Clan. This action is simply wrong. These children are not ready, and most of them make poor infantrymen..but as I am not bloodnamed..”

“..nobody asked you” Jamie finished as he offered Jothan his hand, Jothan took it, clasping hands in the Clan way, palm to the crook of the elbow.

“So, you are here to demand our surrender.” Jothan stated, practically spitting out the last word as if it was ill-tasting food.

“Aff, Jothan. You know you cannot resist forever. And the FedCom is in no mood for Zellbrigen. Not after what they saw the Doberung Cluster had done to those ferrymen and their families.”

Jothan shook his head, “I was not part of that, Jamie. But yes, this war has led to some very un-clanlike things being done by my clan. Perhaps this is the universe’s way of balancing the scales?”

Jamie nodded in understanding.

“I was told to search, blindfold and take you and one other to see the Khan to present your demands in person. Your third will remain here. Do not worry, Pelar and his fellows may be eager, and a bit mad with hunger, but they will follow my orders. I have…had to reinforce that bit in more than a few Circles of Equals.”

Jamie smiled. “You would have made an excellent Dragoon, Jothan.”

Jothan barked with laughter, and his face cracked open wide with a grin. “You will forgive my impertinence, but serve the Wolves? I am too good a Falcon for that.”

Jamie nodded as Jothan waved over a petite brown-haired girl who could not have been more than 14. Her sniper rifle, slung on her shoulder, was slightly bigger than her, and her brown eyes, wide like saucers, were hollow with the look of someone who was hungry, and who had seen too much. She efficiently searched Jamie and Maeve, then Brian Cameron, whom was going with Jamie. Maeve would remain.

“Shall we Jothan?

“We shall, grab my shoulders once you are blindfolded.”

“Cadets, one of the Dragoons will remain here. See that no harm comes to her, or..I shall face the perpetrator in a Circle of Equals, and I will not be happy.” Jothan bellowed

The point answered in unison, it was a ragged, tired shout, but one that was still filled with fight “Yes ovKhan!”

It wasn’t long before Jamie Wolf’s world went black with the cloth of the blindfold. “Comfortable, Wolf?”

Jamie nodded. “Thank you for asking.”

“I learned long ago to not pick fights I do not need.” Jothan whispered.

The walk was a bit harrowing, but Jothan expertly navigated them up and down a pair of crests, then down six flights of stairs..and into an elevator..all in all, by Jamie’s count, the walk took about 15 minutes, give or take a minute or two. When the blindfold was removed, Wolf found himself and Cameron in a small room, some 8 by 8 meters square, dominated by a small metal desk, and a pair of camp stools which Jamie and Brian were sitting in. There was no decoration on the cinder block walls, which were painted white, and lit harshly by a bank of florescent lights. A Clan Jade Falcon flag dominated one wall, pinned to a message board. Soon, a side door opened, and a large, somewhat imposing figure entered the room. He had a well-groomed beard and his Jade Falcon field uniform was immaculate. It could be no other. Vandervahn Chistu had arrived.

Jamie and Brian rose out of respect, but were not halfway up before Chistu waved them back down and sat at the desk.

“So, they send traitors to demand my surrender? How predictable.”

“Kerlin Ward ordered us to help the Inner Sphere, Chistu, you know that.”

“And he is dead, and here you stand assisting those who would destroy his legacy?” Chistu whispered menacingly.

“His legacy, or just your precious Crusader cause?” Wolf intoned softly.

“Present your demands, traitor. I find this meeting…distasteful.” Chistu spat.

“Marshal Bradford demands your unconditional surrender by local midnight. Your troops will gather at places directed by FC officers, stack arms and equipment, and then obey all FC instructions. The FC promises you and your men will be treated according to the Ares Conventions, except for identified war criminals. If you don’t accept by midnight local time, the garrison will be taken by storm and Marshal Bradford makes no promises.”

“My answer is simple, Wolf. Neg. We will die here, as a good Falcon should. Perhaps you mewling Wolves would take such a demeaning offer, but we Falcons shall soar on the martial glory this coming battle will represent. Win or lose, we shall all earn a place in the Remembrance. Can your lucrewarriors you command say the same?”

“Chistu, I brought my warships. I have to tell you that if you don’t surrender, I’ve been ordered to turn them onto this place. You have sibko cadets under arms. You would ask me to kill children. Consider the waste and folly of this stand.”

“Neg, Wolf. The survivors will have passed their Trial of Position. They already have shown the courage we expect in our warriors. And they will live to see our Clan drive the Federated Commonwealth back, and this time, we will take Tharkad, and deal a deathblow to these Fedcom savashri.” Chistu’s eyes began to burn with maniacal fire, and spittle began to fly from his mouth as his voice raised. “You have presented your demands for your master, Wolf, and you have proven yourself a good little lapdog. Now remove yourself from my sight, and take your sidekick with you.”

Jamie turned to go, but stopped. “You know Chistu, I do think your idea of a glorious fight needs some work. Most of these old men and children will never see their killers. The ones that do, well, one can say it might be glorious..it will most definitely be short, however. You will get a place in the Remembrance, Chistu, it just may not be the one you think. It’s a shame for all the pain and waste that is going to occur to get you your precious mention, eh Chistu?”

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In the Soviet Union, fun is outlawed as a capitalist plot against the glorious revolution and Mother Russia. State Security will talk to you about this so called “fun.” - Jemhouston


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:51 pm 
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Omake: Interview with the Archon

Classified Location,
Tharkad, Federated Commonwealth,
7th October, 3055


Colonel the Baroness Juliette von Strang, exiled ruler of Von Strang's World and commander of the mercenary unit Von Strang's Legion, sipped at her whisky glass, appreciating the smoky flavour as she studied the woman sitting across from her in the main sitting room of the Tharkad chalet. The fire crackled off to one side, throwing a little extra light over not only the two women, but the numerous security guards and soldiers trying to fade into the background along the walls. "If I had known that accepting Colonel Kell's invitation to attend the anti-Tanker conference here would have led to me being whisked away by Royal troops, only to wind up sitting across from the Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth ... I'm not sure if I would have agreed."

Melissa Steiner-Davion smiled over her glass of red wine. "Oh, so you didn't find the convention to be useful? I would think that the opportunity to pick the brains of mercenary and House regimental commanders regarding the fight against the Clans would be of great interest to you, given your history."

Juliette shrugged. "For the most part, they were rehashing over things that we have all known for years, and, in my opinion, stupidly reinforcing many of the same old attitudes about Clan 'tactical superiority' and how suicidal it is to actually fight them. Instead of finding ways to actually deal with them, most seem to be trying to find ways of working with them, or at least around them." She shook her head. "Oh, I appreciated Duke Morgan's lecture on the Battle of Luthien, and Colonel Greyson's panel on the defense of Sudeten was very interesting." Pausing to take a sip, she continued, "My own presentation on the proper technique for tying a hangman's noose was strangely lightly attended and poorly reviewed."

After all: what else do you deal with pirates and bandits than by decisive measures?

"I ... can understand why that was somewhat outputting. I understand Colonel Wolf's review was ... less than flattering."

Juliette blinked. "And the opinion of a crypto-Tanker should mean something to me ... why?"

Melissa nodded in acceptance of the point, then moved on. "Very well: to the point of this meeting. Your unit's efforts against Clan Jade Falcon has not gone unnoticed." She paused. "I would like to personally thank you for your attempts to warn the Commonwealth authorities on Here ... and to apoligise for the way they treated you in return."

The Periphery-born mercenary shrugged. "There is no need: my family has always been aware of how the Inner Sphere regards our bloodline. But ..." she nodded slightly in recognition. "Thank you."

"In any case, the proven effectiveness of the Legion's tactics and raids has been noted at the highest levels ... including my dinner table." She smiled. "I might be forgiven for mentioning, in confidence, that Prince Victor is something of an admirer, and defends your position vigorously."

Juliette blinked again, this time in genuine surprise. "That ... I was not expecting." The blonde future ruler of the Federated Commonwealth was about her age, very handsome (if somewhat ... lacking in the height department) and a very acomplished warrior, having, like her, come of age in the time of the Clan onslaught. Most of his battles had been against Clan Jade Falcon, and she had studied his tactics and victories extensively. "I ... his exploits against the enemy are also very impressive."

Melissa smiled. "I understand that your unit is undergoing refit and retraining, after your latest expansion: six full wings of aerospace fighters, I believe?"

"Actually, only three: our squadrons use a four-bird lance, just like our 'Mech and armour units," qualified Juliette. "But yes, we now have as many fighters as 'Mechs. We're also expanding our mechanised infantry command to a full battalion, and I'm investigating the possibility of deploying armoured troopers ... which is another reason why I was willing to come along, to speak to several suppliers."

"Well, you will be happy to know that the AFFC is interested in extending your contract, and we are offering subsidies for units who specialise in anti-Clan operations."

Juliette smiled, her fangs sliding into view. "Ah, so this is in regards to the upcoming offensive." She downed her whisky, and reached for the bottle.

The Archon frowned. "I ... how did you know about that?"

"Oh, it's hardly common knowledge, but there have been a lot of reconnaissance raid contracts available of late, as well as delivering supplies and reinforcements to resistance groups," stated Juliette, pouring herself another drink. "And the Birds have become rather ... touchy about their flanks: hell, entire regions of some worlds are becoming 'no go' zones for Tanker troops, with the garrisons sticking close to the cities and industrial areas. True, they still stomp down hard on buildups of rebellion, but there are quite a few places where you can find FedCom flags flying openly." She sat back in her chair, and cradled her drink. "Combine that with the sudden rise in prices of artillery, ammunition, armour plate and a decrease in availability of JumpShip support, and the conclusion is ... not much of a leap."

"I see." Melissa didn't seem too put off by the mercenary noblewoman's deduction. "In any case, you are right. We are planing to take back our worlds from the Jade Falcons, and we would like you and your Legion to be a part of -"

"No."

The silence in the room was broken only by the crackle of the fire.

"I'm not sure you understand," said Melissa after a few moments, trying to regain her equilibrium. "The Commonwealth -"

"Wants help to establish control over the Periphery worlds currently occupied by the Clans, and you would like to help prop me up as the focal point for an 'independant' realm, being the rightful ruler of the Barony, with a history in the region and a reputation for honest dealing and brutal tactics. I believe a similar offer was extended to a colonel Pavel Ridzik, and your government helped create the 'Tikonov Free Republic.'" She paused. "That realm lasted, what, three years before it was absorbed wholesale into your Sarna March?

"Highness, I am a ruler in exile, but a ruler nevertheless. I understand your goal is to restore control over the worlds and lost territory that ... no," she paused, noting the expression on Melissa's face, "You wish to liberate the people, your people who live on those worlds. It is a motivation I understand all too well. So please, try to understand that I have absoultely no interest in becoming the puppet ruler of a rump nation that will quickly be absorbed into the conglomeration that is the Federated Commonwealth. I am fighting to free my people from one set of alien overlords: do you really think that I would welcome enslaving them to another, simply because your homeworld is closer to Terra?"

"Colonel, please. We have no interest in expanding into the Periphery: if nothing else, history teaches us that it has never been a good idea. The Reunification Wars were a bloody, expensive and ultimately pointless exercise ... which led to the Amaris Coup and all that followed."

"I am familiar with the history of the Periphery, Highness: my family features prominently in it. But I have never known Spheroids to be particularly amenable to listening to reason when it comes to 'Periphery scum who need to learn their place' ... or for paying attention to history, given the devastation of your Succession Wars over the centuries."

Melissa tilted her head in recognition. "True. However, requiring the scores of worlds taken from the Commonwealth by the Falcons, reintegrating them into the nation, healing the wounds of the occupation ... it will be the work of decades, and it would be irresponsible of us to simultaneously attempt to absorb a recalcitrant group of Periphery worlds and former pirate havens.

"However, an allied nation, ruled from Von Strang's World, supported by the Commonwealth but independent, would be a useful buffer against further incursions by coreward invaders like the Clans, or the other Deep Periphery nations that may turn their attention towards the Commonwealth."

Juliette sat quietly for a few moments. "So, what you really want is a shield of ablative armour to protect your coreward flank, to act as a tripwire against repeat invasions, and to keep fighting away from your own worlds as much as possible."

Melissa paused. "There is an element of that. On the other hand, it would help to bring order to a region that borders our own nation, and provides safety and security to those who live there, as well as opening avenues of trade and exploration. Instead of having a pirate nation like the old Oberon Confederation threatening our border worlds, we would have an ally and friend."

Juliette cradled her glass, studying the co-ruler of the largest single Inner Sphere realm. "... You are honest, at least." She considered. "We would receive Commonwealth support?"

"Certainly. Not House troops, of course, but funding, surplus equipment, a few words in the ears of certain mercenary groups -"

"No Dragoons or Blue Stars," interjected Juliette, her mind whirring, "Anything with a Star League - or, gods forbid, a Clan heritage - would be worse than Lyran Regulars." Then she stopped. "There is, of course, a price."

"Of course," agreed Melissa. "This all hinges on your participating in the offensive, rather prominently: with a suitably impressive contribution, the less ... savory parts of your family history can be muffled over, and your preferred tactics can be ... put into perspective. We need to be able to show that the Commonwealth is doing the right thing by supporting your ... Reconquista. "

Juliette nodded, noting down the term in her mind. "So ... we need to offer ... a spectacle." She sighed. "The Legion is not a show unit, Highness, nor is it a beautiful instrument of graceful manouver. We are a hammer."

The smile Melissa showed was clearly learned from her husband, the Fox. "Oh, I know that well enough, and we would never waste your force in such a manner. We would like to hold your unit back, at least for the first wave, and choose a suitable target, so that you can make an impact ... and so that you can hurt the Jade Falcons." Her smile broadened, and for a moment, Juliette remembered the Steiner's claim to Viking heritage. "Tell me, my lady ... what do you think about Sudeten?"

If anything, Juliette's fanged smile became even more predatory. "Please, Archon Steiner-Davion," she said respectfully, "Tell me more ..."

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In the Soviet Union, fun is outlawed as a capitalist plot against the glorious revolution and Mother Russia. State Security will talk to you about this so called “fun.” - Jemhouston


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:57 pm 
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Omake: Cracking an Egg

"Damn: they're dug in deeper than a Sian tick," observed General Harrison Bradford, as the holotank zoomed into the schematics of the island that the Falcons had turned into a fortress. A simulated attack run by DropShips screened by fighters was met with a barrage of naval-scale lasers, PPCs and swarms of more conventional missiles. "With those turrets, there's no way we can drop a force big enough to dig them out: it's like a mini Castle Brian!"

"Hitting them from the sea is out too: they've got a sensor net that would warn them of our approach along the sea bed," added Colonel Cooper, the commander of the 3rd Royal Guard's 'Mech regiment, tapping on his noteputer. "And those walls are too heavy for even our massed artillery to smash through, anyway. Best way in is the docks ... and they've got at least a Trinary of 'Mechs and hundreds of Solhama infantry massed there, under cover."

"All in all, they've got the better part of two Clusters in there, made up of garritroopers and Solhama 'Mechs for the most part and the remnants of the blissful delight Doberung," Bradford continued, referring to the brutal and bloody Garrison Cluster who had murdered the crews of the ferries that had transported them to Maakar island, "but according to Wolf, there's at least a full Trinary of front line 'Mechs: Khan Chistu's bodyguard."

"sensually caress," said an aide in the background, and no one complained. They were all thinking it.

If it were simply a field battle, they certainly had the forces to overwhelm the Falcon troops. However, the fortifications, the heavy weapon turrets and the isolation of the island meant that even getting boots on the ground would be a bloody and expensive affair ...

"Isn't this Zeta Battalion's forte?" asked one officer, but the commanding general shook his head.

"Wolf says they took heavy casualties routing the Guards: they're still reconstituting, and won't be ready for combat this heavy any time soon."

"But don't we have WarShips in orbit? I mean, I'm all for the Ares Conventions, but surely a limited bombardment, aimed at a military installation that's removed from any population center -"

"That too came up when I was talking to Wolf," Bradford sighed. "He pointed out that with the sibko elements being used as riflemen by the Falcons ... by a strict reading of the Ares Conventions and the rules of war, we are prohibited from simply flattening the place from orbit."

"That's ... ridiculous, sir!"

"Maybe, but I conferred over HPG with Marshal Steiner: she agreed with the mercenary." He shook his head: having so much of the Sudeten task force's might being under control of a mercenary, and a former Clansman at that, frustrated him. Surely Commonwealth forces would have been more reliable ... "He did offer the Athena's guns to reduce those turrets ... but even without them, any regiment we drop on Maakar will be on their own until reinforcements can be moved up, against a small Galaxy of Falcon troops. It's basically a forlorn hope, and that's why I've been hoping Wolf's ultimatum would work. Damned Chistu virtually spat in his face, but we had to make the offer."

Cooper picked up his noteputer again. "Alright. I guess I'll start drawing up a list of volunteers, pull together a scratch regiment so we can -"

"No, Colonel, I'm afraid that's not happening either." The colonel blinked, looking over at his superior's dark expression. "When I conferred with Marshal Steiner, I received orders direct from the Archon, co-signed by the Archon Prince Designate. A fresh unit is being deployed to assault the island, dig us out a foothold, then hold until our troops can land."

"... permission to speak freely, sir?"

"Granted."

"What kind of luinatics did the Archon dig up to send on a forlorn hope mission like that?"

"Us."

The officers and staff in the command center turned to see a petite redhead in a light-eatingly black uniform approach. Upon recognition more than one officer recoiled, making way as she strode confidently across the room, to stand in front of the General. Instead of saluting, in a typically disrespectful display of mercenary contempt for tradition and good orders, she smiled, showing off small but clearly sharp fangs. "Juliette von Strang, General. My lunatics, madmen and monsters are ready to deploy.

"We have a Khan to kill."

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:00 pm 
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War Room
Forbidden City
Sian
Capellan Confederation
October 11th, 3056



The dark of the war room was only broken by the cerulean lights of the various displays denoting troop positions along the Capellan border with the Federated Suns. Many of them were flashing green, denoting that they were ready to begin combat operations, all they needed was the codeword to do so. Sun-Tsu smiled thinly, I am pleased, so far, the Davions seem to suspect nothing, our OPSEC has been better than I expected, and the raids we have launched have convinced them that we will be content to sit out their little pummeling of the Clans. Let them think that, right until the stroke of my sword to their neck.

He glanced at his assembled generals. “Ladies and Gentlemen, we are on the cusp of avenging the insults the Davions have subjected us to for the past 600 years. We stand ready to deliver the vengeance of the Capellan people, and liberate those who have toiled under the yoke of the so-called “freedom” of the Federated Commonwealth for so long. We shall show the Fox and his spawn why it is best to respect us, and why we have long memories. Execute EAST SEA on schedule. We will cross the border in three days, a fitting gift for their ‘Grain Rebellion’ Day.”

One clap broke the silence of the room, it soon became two, and soon the clapping became a flood, and Sun-Tsu extended his arms in triumph. He turned towards Alexa, standing against a corner of the room, her arms folded as she looked on. She was not clapping, and her eyes said Careful, my liege, we bet much on the uncertainties of this operation, and there is no guarantee this will even come close to success.

Sun-Tsu knew this all too well, he did not expect to survive this war, but if a solid enough blow could be struck, then perhaps a tired Federated Commonwealth could be brought to the negotiating table, and what gains that were taken through force of arms…could be solidified by politics, or, at least, that was the hope. My life is but a small cost to strengthen our nation.

But, he could not get the thought out of his mind of the ancient example of Imperial Japan, and its attack on Pearl Harbor. While it was wildly successful at first, it’s war leader, Yamamoto’s prediction about “six months of victory” seemed ever present in Sun-Tsu’s mind. We must drive the Davions to the table. It’s the only way this will work. But there are too many “ifs”? Will the Mariks help us? Will the guerillas we have in place launch the General Uprisings as planned? Will the Word of Blake honor their agreements? It’s a lot to bet on a “pair of 8s” as Archie McCarron once said, but I will be happy if we retake Sarna, and destabilize St. Ives enough to allow us to move in as “peacekeepers”. And, if the Mariks retake some of the Sirian worlds and wreak a little havoc along the Steiner frontier? All the better. It will split the FC response.

He turned to the war room again, his smile wide this time, reflected in the lights of the various displays, and shouted

“Wǒ men jiāng yòng dà wèi ēn de xiān xuè lái xǐ dí wǒ men de cháng máo!” – We will wash our spears in Davion blood.

The room erupted in joyous cheers, and cries of “Xin Sheng!”

***************************************************************

…I didn’t know if Sun-Tsu at that moment had lost his mind, there were many moments during the coming days, especially as things began to fall apart on Sian that I came close to doing what he asked me to do, before that fateful, awful day. But the day that Sun-Tsu gave the go order? That day was electric, Capellan pride thumped in our chest like jackhammers. I screamed “Xin Sheng!” along with the rest of the assembled generals and their staffs. It was almost a shame that reality set in as harshly as it did.

"My Years with the Chancellor", Alexa Shang, Colonel, CCAF (Ret), Loyalty Press, Sian, 3075



5000m AGL above the Unity Palace
Imperial City
Luthien
October 12th, 3056



The whooshing sound of the atmosphere rushing by the skin of the Elemental Suit of Star Captain Lucas Perez of the 6th Jaguar Dragoons matched the exhilaration of his own heart. Two of the three frontline galaxies and a garrison galaxy had dropped on Luthien, most right onto the Kado-Guchi Valley. But a trinary of Elementals, all volunteers from the 6th Jaguar Dragoons, had been dropped directly onto the Unity Palace, the very beating heart of the Draconis Combine, home to the ruling family house of Kurita, and the Combine’s literal center of gravity.


There had been no batchall this time, and the Jaguar force had arrived at a pirate point only 4 days out from the planet, the warships first turning their guns onto the orbital infrastructure, then any Combine forces not on the Hokkaido continent. The bombardment went on for three days, but it had not been a one-sided affair, as Combine missile carrying submarines hiding in the Copper Sea had fired nuclear tipped ballistic missiles at the warships, and had shot down the Korat, a Liberator Class Cruiser, and the flagship of Delta Galaxy.


Star Captain Perez ‘s. mission was simple. Seize Unity Palace and capture alive any members of the Kurita line they could, it was expected that this would most likely not be possible, but their bodies would do nicely if not, then hold the palace until relief came. Star Captain Perez didn’t intend to take any Combine bondsmen. Why sully the Clan with their honorless ways? We should have just sterilized the planet. They did cooperate with the Usurper, did they not?


A buzzing alarm drew Perez’s attention, letting him know that he was at optimal altitude to begin his de-acceleration burn for his final decent. He stomped both pedals in his suit, triggering the jump jets built into the pack on his back, he held them down as his velocity indicator began to spin downwards, descending from 800 meters per second to 100 meters per second within moments. His point was doing likewise, and the smoke from the exhaust began to billow up and obscure his vision.


“Go Thermal” he bellowed, and the world became a kaleidoscope of blues, reds, and oranges, the colors depending on the heat given off by various objects in the proposed landing zone, a small clearing within the walls of the palace. He saw various man-sized objects scurrying around the various parts of the palace, the resolution of the imager didn’t allow for him to be able to tell if they were armed or not, and as far as Perez was concerned, it did not matter. It is nice for the Combine to provide me with so many targets for me and my men. I will have to thank them.


Perez’s Elemental suit hit the surface of Luthien with a bone jarring crash that was felt all the way up Perez’s spine. He swiveled the head of his suit to his left slowly, eventually completing a 360-degree circuit. His command point was loaded out with .50 caliber machine guns in the primary slot, and an automatic shotgun in the AP weapon slot. One star was packing lasers, and the last was packing flamers, in short, the trinary was ready to face any threat that they might run into in the palace, but Perez wasn’t sure this was going to be much more than a slaughter of freebirth.


He keyed his radio with his mouth and barked “Alpha Star, report!”


“Point One, reports ready.” That was Kieran, a crusty old Star Commander who somehow managed to win trial after trial for his leadership position in the Trinary Command Star. He had so far, not lost. He acted as Perez’s bodyguard.


“Point Two, reports ready” chimed in a high-pitched voice, that belonged to Dara. Her voice did not match her physique, and those who teased her about it..did so once, because she often would demand satisfaction in a Circle of Equals. She had a solid point, who would follow her anywhere.


“Point Three, reports ready” a voice robotically replied. That was Varius. He was something of a loner, and didn’t have much of a life outside being a Smoke Jaguar. He followed orders robotically, and really wasn’t much of a deep thinker. His point was solid, but due to it’s unimaginative commander, tended to have a high casualty rate.


“Point Four, I crashed through the stravag roof. I estimate it will take me 30 seconds or so to work my way free, Star Captain!” This was Arden. He was new, fresh from the sibko, but he had shown much progress in various actions against the guerillas. Perez had no doubt he would do well. His symbol on the map repeater screen showed he had drifted 1000 meters away to the northwest, coming down in a building the watch labeled as “servants quarters”. The rest of his point was scattered to hell and gone from the looks of it.


“Trinary Command acknowledges your situation Point Four, meet us at the RV. We will work our way to you. Strength and Honor, Arden.”


“Bravo and Charlie Stars, report!” Perez barked again.


“Bravo Point 1 reports, we lost Point 2’s lead on the drop. Matthew was rammed by a Combine fighter.”


Perez smiled. Matthew had a good death to cap an otherwise average career. Shame, I was thinking of recommending him for the next Perez bloodright trial.


Perez heard nothing from Charlie..which was strange. “Anyone from Charlie Star, report!”


“Alpha Command, Bravo Point 4. I heard Charlie’s dropship go off the air on the net. They reported coming under heavy attack by fighters just before they stopped transmitting.”


“Freebirth” Perez muttered. 49 Elementals against who knew how many stravag Kuritans. No, I need to push on, the Clan would expect no less.


“Trinary Delta, we will push on with our original mission regardless of casualties. Bravo Star, seize and clear the palace armory before pushing on to the Coordinator’s private quarters. We shall continue our mission to the throne room. Strength and Honor, Delta Trinary!”


“Strength and Honor, OvKhan!”


Perez began to push his way towards the RV, a point in the northwest corner of the clearing. He noticed the entire clearing was surrounded with plants and trees of all kinds, and he might have considered it beautiful, had Perez cared about such things, such frivolity was the acumen of the Wolves, or the Ghost Bears, and that is why they are weak.


Several short bursts of heavy machine gun fire interrupted his thoughts. Point 3 was engaging an unseen target, and Perez swept the wall with his thermal sensors, he saw a pair of figures cowering behind a wall, and several other cooling bodies that Varius had already killed. Perez put his crosshairs onto one of the cowering figures, and let the caret pulse red to signify it had locked onto the target. He triggered his primary weapon, and the machine gun roared with a deep CHUNK-CHUNK-CHUNK as the .50 caliber shells tore apart the flimsy wooden structure, as splinters and dust flew away, and the shells tore apart the cowering figure. The target soon fell, with a smaller chunk falling away in a different direction, and the body beginning to rapidly cool. He then moved his cursor slightly to the left, and noticed the other figure was already down. Varius is ever efficient.


Perez again keyed his radio “Alpha Star, we push on now to the Throne Room. The Combine defenders are confused and surprised. This will not last. We must take advantage. Arden, assemble as best you can, and guard our rear as we advance. This will be quite the fight.”


“I am free, OvKhan, engaged and neutralized three defenders, two women, and one child. I have three members of my point to hand. Am proceeding as instructed.”


“Well done Arden.”


“Gain us entry, Point 2.” Perez instructed.


An Elemental sat on his haunches, and fired both SRM-2s into the building onto either side of a shattered window. Both warheads exploded, sending wood splinters flying high into the air and a large dust cloud into the sky. Fire had begun in several parts of the palace as the sky became thick with smoke.


As the first Elemental began to move through the breach, the smoke and flash of a quartet of LAW rockets reached out from a building overlooking the southern edge of the clearing and scored a series of hits onto the backpack of the elemental, one or more detonating the SRMs in a loud ROAR and a bright orange flash. Once the flash had cleared, all that was left of the elemental was a pair of smoking boots. The rest of the palace soon came alive with muzzle flashes of all calibers, and Perez began to hear the wasp-like buzz of rounds passing his suit, or the ping of a spent bullet hitting home. “Stravag, they know we are here.”


The THUD-THUD-THUD of a Heavy Machine Gun roared out from the breach, the tracers pinning another elemental like a butterfly, and tearing large chunks from it, harjel pouring forth like black ooze.

Perez heard the screams of pain and frustration of the elemental. It was one of Dara’s lot, was Jerus his name? He wasn’t sure. He was new from the sibko on Huntress, and now, he was paying for his inexperience.


Perez stepped up to the jagged hole to the left of the window, and fired a pair of SRMs down the hall overlooking the breach, then followed it up with a long burst from his machine gun. He was rewarded with a silence broken only by a series of low moans. He raised his suit’s claw arm, and waved them forward. Nothing more needed to be said. The hall itself was burnt and pockmarked, and the padding that lined the teak floor was scorched and torn, but it must have been beautiful once, he came to the site of the heavy machine gun, it was an ugly black monster mounted on a tripod, Perez instantly recognized it as a Sperry-Browning .50 caliber model meant to be mounted in a battlemech or combat vehicle. The crew was splayed around the weapon..which was rent by fragments from the SRMs Perez had fired, all of them had gaping wounds and were clad in the uniform of the Otomo. He heard low moans from one of the crew, a petite, toned woman of mixed Asian and African descent. He turned towards her and bend down, grabbing her by her breastplate with his suits claw and lifting her effortlessly.


She looked no older than 30, her features were pleasing, once, but she had multiple cuts and abrasions across her face, and she was bleeding profusely from a wound in her abdomen that leaked ichor from under her breastplate, she was coughing up blood occasionally. He locked eyes with the Combine freebirth. Her helmet was gone, lost in the miscellaneous items of the ruined machinegun position, which allowed her long, silky hair to spill out across her shoulders.


She let out a slow moan, she croaked out the word “shinjimae” before she spat blood onto Perez’s suit in a sign of contempt, then grinned at Perez with blood-soaked teeth. Perez saw red, and raised his machinegun arm, and put a single round into her head at close range, taking her head off in a spray of blood and brains, he then tossed her broken body into a corner like so much rubbish.


“Clear this place, leave no survivors.” Perez muttered dangerously.


Personal Quarters of the Archon Prince
Royal Palace
New Avalon
Crucis March, Federated Commonwealth
October 14th, 3056



Victor Ian Steiner-Davion was many things, among them an accomplished soldier, and so far, a decent if not perfect monarch. But what he wasn’t was an expert on bow ties for a tuxedo. Why do I need to wear a tux when a dress uniform will do? Oh yes, Mom insisted I do so at the Daughters of the Federated Suns Grain Rebellion Gala. Shows my civilian side. Ok, ok, but the damn bow ties…ugh!


His sister Katherine shook her head and laughed. “Big bro, do you want me to do that for you?”


“No sis, If ruling the Fedcom means I learn to do my own bow ties, then so be it.”


“Stubborn as always, big brother, stubborn as always. I know you wish I was the one going.”

“You are the media darling of the Fedcom?” Victor half-pleaded, sounding a bit needier than he had intended.


“Victor, it’s an act, a persona I put on to hide the real me, the broken me.” Katherine’s illness wasn’t well known outside royal circles. Publicly, her absences from public were sold to the press as “exhaustion”, which riled Katherine, even if she understood the reason. I don’t think the people would react well if they knew the regent for the Lyran half of the Fedcom suffered from major depressive disorder. I wish I could tell Mom and Dad I really hate all the prevaricating, and the face I must put on with those not “in the know”.


Victor threw his hands up in disgust. “I am going with a clip-on; Mom’s sartorial demands can be…modified.” Victor stated diplomatically, but with a frustrated edge in his voice. “Hey, sis, be glad you aren’t going to this thing. It’s the same old speeches, with the same old rubber chicken and fake smiles and same old old biddie nobles who seem to live to attend court and throw self-congratulatory parties. Thank god there’s less of them in the Suns!”


Katherine shook her head “Amen to that, I think I’ve exceeded my plastic smile quota for the month. But, brother, I do have some real-world stuff to discuss.”


Victor studied his sister. She was wearing a NAIS alumni sweatshirt and jeans combo she saved for casual days around the palace. Her hair was up in a bun and she had bags under her eyes. She’s been putting in long nights with the Ministry of the Exchequer again. Bad news I presume.


“Hit me sis.” Victor said, a tone that suggested he was bracing for the worst.


“It’s not that bad Victor,” Katherine smiled, “shortages are at the levels we expected, mostly luxury items, our reinstating the Luxury Lotteries have helped a lot on that score. My main concern, with ammunition and spare parts expenditures twice what your folks at T & R suggested, I am going to have to rejigger the jumpship figures to get the supplies to the front. Believe me, that operational pause was a good idea, no matter how much you do not like it.”


It was a rare family argument between all of us on that one. Katherine had sided with the generals, as had dad. Mom and I wanted to finish matters while we had the Clanners on the damn run! But, honestly, we really had fired off a lot more ammo than we had expected, especially on the artillery side. And we’d tripled estimates even before Clover Spear kicked off! Oh well, no plan ever survives…


Victor’s thought was interrupted by a knock at the door. “Your highness, your mother is becoming rather insistent you ‘get your royal arse’ on the road. Her words, not mine, your highness.”


Victor chuckled. “Hold down the fort Katherine, I suspect you will have more fun than Mom, Dad, and I will. What do you have planned anyhow?”


“Misha Auburn and I are having a girl’s night. She managed to get a copy of the Orient Express remake that came out last month? I am thinking popcorn and movie night, perhaps some wine and gossip too, it will be nice to take a break.”


Victor shook his head. “Sounds better than my evening. My speech is just recycled from one Dad gave 20 years ago. I doubt most of them will notice.”

Katherine shook her head again, this time disapprovingly “Victor, as much as I acknowledge you see yourself as a humble mechjock who would rather hang out with the boys, you’re in the ruling family, and with that, comes responsibilities. I know it sucks..”

“..but I was born first. I get it Katherine. But dammit, I don’t have to like it.” Victor grumbled “Especially on nights like this.”

“Nights like this are precisely why you are needed. People need to see, as much as there is a war on, and they can’t get coffee or nylons in the stores, and rationing is rife, that their leaders are doing business as usual. They’ll figure, ‘if they aren’t panicking, then why should I?’.”

“Point taken, Sister. But you get to be the designated survivor tonight. Lucky you.” Victor quipped.

“I don’t see it that way Victor. Think about what I am staying behind as a hedge against?”

Yeah, let’s hope this is a quiet night for everyone on that score..Victor mused.

***********************************************

DISPATCH TO ALL UNITS.

FLASH DISPATCH

MULTIPLE EXPLOSIONS REPORTED AT AVALON CITY CONVENTION CENTER, EXECUTE TERROR ATTACK PROTOCOLS

ALL UNITS RESPOND, PRIORITY CALL

RECALL, RECALL

EXPECTED MASCAS

CHAOS 2211

VIPs AMONGST POTENTIAL CASUALTIES, INCLUDING MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL FAMILY.

ALL UNITS RESPOND, PRIORITY CALL

RECALL, RECALL

Transcript from Avalon City Emergency Services radio dispatch frequency, timestamp 2214, 14 October, 3056 (released to the public 7 September, 3057)

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:22 pm 
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The minute he said quiet night, he was a dead man walking. :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:29 pm 
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The Kuritas deserve the kick in the balls they are about to get. That attack on the FC was almost Westeros-level insanity. :facepalm:

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:36 pm 
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trekchu wrote:
The Kuritas deserve the kick in the balls they are about to get. That attack on the FC was almost Westeros-level insanity. :facepalm:


You mean the Capellans?

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:facepalm: :oops: Yes, them. Minor brainfart on my part.

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