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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 3:05 pm 
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This is a very bare bones idea right now, but I and my small group will be redoing Revival starting circa 3050. In this AU, there is NO Omni technology, not for the Clans, not for the Inner Sphere--for no one. Pulse Lasers are also not available (either Clan or IS tech). Clan units are not allowed to use Flamers or Infernos for the following reasons:

a) Fire is a very chaotic and unplanned ally. It tends to consume resources that you were sent to capture, not destroy.
b) Infernos and flamers were a favored weapon of Rim World forces during the Amaris Coup, as well as various Warlords in the Pentagon Civil War and Operation Klondike. These weapons are seen as dishonorable, and their use is dezgra.

However, I do give the Clans AP Gauss Rifles beginning in the early 3040s. By the time of Revival, they have pretty much replaced standard machine-guns, to the point where Elementals with AP Gauss are as numerous as the Small Laser variant (pretty much eliminating the MG models, and the Flamers are dead and gone anyway).

Elementals can ride on any BattleMech or Vehicle that has been either designed or refitted for such transport--all Clan Mechs and Vehicles have been so designed. This is merely an issue of fluff, as it involves welding a few steps and handles onto the armor, nothing really complicated at all.

The Burrocks are dead and gone (and with all due respect to WoR and The Powers That Shall Not Be Named at Catalyst) they ain't coming back. They were absorbed by the Star Adders in 3046, sparking the Spirit/Adder feud that continues to this day. Much like the Jags did with the 'dishonored' Mongoose, the Adders pretty much did not absorb any of the Burrock Warriors into their own ranks--the Clan was simply too tainted from its ties to the Dark Caste. The Blood Spirits intervened, not because the Adders were failing to punifsh the Burrocks, but because they had been passed by as the ones to inflict the Judement of the Grand Council. In this AU, the Burrocks fought back hard, but were defeated badly, even as the spirits and Adders fought each other over who would get the honor of finishing off the few survivors. Burrock equipment was taken, but aside from sidkin too young to have been indoctrinated in the 'dishonor' of the adults, not one Burrock Warrior as declared as abthatka. The Adders have 'mothballed' the Burrock blood names, although they did absorb their surviving ships and equipment and seized their civilian castes.

I have the Clans being closer in strength and parity to each other than in Canon. So the smallest Clans aren't quite so small and the biggest Clans are not quite so juggernaut.

The BattleMechs I am posting on the design boards are part of this AU. Their names reflect the Clan designation protocols of this AU with [NAME] Mk # [tonnage in roman numerals] Mod * [one or two letter clan designator, followed by '-' and sequential numbers if needed].

For example, Fire Moth Mk XXV Mod GB is the Fire Moth class 25-ton BattleMech, this particular model designed by Clan Ghost Bear.

Anyway, hope you enjoy this, so take care and good hunting!

Master Arminas


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 11:45 pm 
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I like it.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:04 pm 
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Hall of the Khans
Strana Mechty
Clan Homeworlds
December 18, 3048


The stone chamber was hushed as thirty-two Khans and saKhans waited for the first elected ilKhan in more than century to enter the Grand Hall. At each entrance, two Elemental Warriors of the Ebon Keshik stood at attention, their black and gold armor polished to a mirror finish that reflected the flickering light of the torches ablaze in their high sconces upon the walls. Seldom in recent years had a full gathering of the Khans been present in person; such assemblies normally included at least two or three among their number present only via HPG holo-comm transceiver. But today was not a normal day. Today was the day that the Clans would vote on whether or not to adopt the ilKhan’s plan to return to the Inner Sphere.

Tension had run high when Khan Leo Showers had presented the captured ComStar Vessel Outbound Light and its crew seven weeks earlier; the debate over the plan drafted by Khans Showers and Crichell had ground to a halt when Ulric Kerensky, Khan of the Wolves, challenged Leo Showers to a Trial of Grievance for his failure to immediately bring the matter to the attention of the Council of Khans. Although many thought that Showers had the advantage when he chose un-augmented combat, he died in the trial—although the wounds he inflicted on Kerensky had proven mortal as well. Both Khans had perished, and that had given time for the Clans to reflect, and to choose a new leader.

Although Khan Elias Crichell desired the post, many Khans were leery of his ambition, and more than a few questioned his ability as a Warrior. But his claim died as well when his aide (Vandervahn Chistu) leaked the contents of his discussions with Showers—including the proposal that their two Clans join to become the ultimate power in the Homeworlds. saKhan Timus Malthus fought Crichell in a second Trial of Grievance and killed him; when Chistu attempted to secure the post of Khan by accusing Malthus of treason against the Way of the Clans and the against the Jade Falcons, his manipulations went too far and dozens of challenges rang out. Disgraced, Chistu was stripped of his rank and expelled from the Warrior caste, after Malthus refused to kill him, saying there would be no honor gained from such a victory.

When the Grand Council reconvened just ten days ago, the election surprised the strongest Clans, for the Star Adders nominated and campaigned for the Khan of the Goliath Scorpions—Nikolai Djerassi—to be selected. And he was so elected to the post; although his margin of victory was slim, it was not challenged, for the Jaguars, Falcons, and Wolves were in disarray and the Warden Clans stood staunchly behind the unusual choice. Combined with the unwavering support of Khan N’Buta of the Star Adders, no Khan wished to create further havoc with more Trials of Refusal. Besides, the core issue remained for debate.

And now, with newly elected Khans in place of the fallen and the uplifted, the Grand Council once again had assembled.

At last, one of the doors opened and the ilKhan walked in, wearing ceremonial garb that concealed his flesh from head to toe. He walked to the center of the well, and removed his helmet, placing it on the desk of Nicolas Kerensky and lifted a remote in one gloved hand.

And then the ilKhan spoke.

“Brothers and sisters, fellow Khans, we are gathered today for the event which we have awaited since the moment of our birth, which has ruled our destiny to this very moment in time. We are here to determine if we shall return to the Inner Sphere, and if so, how shall we do so. In preparation for this day, I, and my finest strategists, historians, and logistics experts—in conjunction with Khan N’Buta of the Star Adders—have, for the past decade, made plans and studied possible strategies, and we believe that we have discovered the key to defeating the realms of the Inner Sphere decisively.”

He placed his arms behind his back and began to pace as he continued to speak. “Whether Warden—as am I—or Crusader—as are many of you—those differences no longer concern us. We have been found, brethren. And although this expedition will not report our location to those who have despoiled the former worlds of the Star League, others will—in time—come. Our long isolation is ended. And with it, my Khans, our time of waiting is now finished. Now is the time for action.”

“However, this so-called plan, this Operation Revival, put forth by Khans Showers and Crichell, is folly. I will not endorse such a reckless approach to this event for which we have all prepared ourselves for generations.”

Khan Jorgensson of the Ghost Bears stood, and he too pulled from his head his ceremonial helm, revealing a frowning face. “And if not that plan, ilKhan, that what do you propose? That we do nothing?”

“Neg, Khan of the Ghost Bears. We must now act, but we must act with deliberation and due diligence, not haste. In that direction lies madness and the seeds of our destruction. Khan N’Buta and I have devised, over these past ten years, another plan that will ensure these ‘Successor Lords’ will fall to the might of the Clans.”

“No, my Khans, we shall return, and we shall return within the next two years time.”

Dozens of voices spoke out at once, and Nikolai stepped forward and slammed his fist down on the ancient wooden desk that had once served as the place of honor from where Nicolas Kerensky presided over this very body. “Two years, my Khans, two years shall be required for us to prepare for a master stroke that will ensure our victory.”

Slowly, the assembly sat and Nikolai nodded. “We have much for which to prepare, and those preparations will take time. In the spring of 3051, however, our assault will be launched and it will prove decisive.”

Lifting the remote, the ilKhan pressed a button and holographic map of the Inner Sphere sprang into life. In the north-west quadrant, the Lyran Commonwealth glowed a pulsing blue, with the harsh red of the Draconis Combine to the east, separated partially by the Rasalhague Republic. Four invasion corridors appeared, golden lines driving through the Periphery and converging upon Terra. “Operation Revival, brethren, as Showers and Crichell dubbed this abomination.”

“Four Clans, with a fifth in reserve, committing but a portion of their strength and racing for Terra. Their flanks unprotected against attack, their forces too few to secure the worlds in their rear and garrison their line of supply. And these five Clans would have been alone, separated by more than a year from their brothers and sisters of the society our Great Founder created. Denied our help in their time of need.”

Nikolai shut down the projection and shook his head. “It is not our way, my brothers and sisters. This return is the birthright of us all. When the time came for our Clans to regain the Pentagon during Operation Klondike, did the first ilKhan, the founder of our society have us bid to determine who would remain tamely behind? No, he used our Clans strengths in concert to make certain that we would gain victory through our honor, and our training, and our loyalty, indeed our love, for each other!”

“He, and Absalom Truscott, planned in detail the operation and then our forefathers—our Founders—carried out his will in precise accordance with his vision. Still, things went wrong. And we all know what that problems were in that long ago age. It is up to us to learn from those errors and not to repeat the mistakes of the past. To instead fufill its full promise.”

“Our return will be with all sixteen of our Clans—none shall remain behind on this sacred mission. All will share in the honor. And so, I reveal to you Operation Revival Reborn!”

Lifting the remote again, he clicked another button, and the invasion corridors highlighted died, and the map zoomed in on the Lyran Commonwealth. “My brothers and sisters, this shall be our initial Theatre of Operations: the Lyran Commonwealth. Part of the Federated Commonwealth in alliance with the Federated Suns, we have learned that Archon Melissa Steiner in fact resides on New Avalon with her husband Hanse Davion. One of the most advanced realms in the terms of manufacturing and industrial capacity, the Lyran Commonwealth supplies roughly two-thirds of the BattleMechs, Aerospace Fighters, and other weapons of war fielded by the Federated Commonwealth. Those items are produced here,” he continued as he pressed another stud. Six golden dots appeared on the map, flashing against the dark blue background.

“Coventry, Donegal, Skye, Tharkad, Twycross, and Hesperus II, my fellow Khans; it is these six worlds upon which the military might of the Federated Commonwealth depends. And it is here that we shall strike!”


Last edited by master arminas on Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:49 pm 
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Chaos erupted as Khans stood and began to shout, but Nikolai simply waited, silent, until finally the din diminished. One Khan only remained standing, and Nikolai nodded at Amelia McKenna of Clan Snow Raven.

“IlKhan, what you propose, this would leave use with no lines of supply at all! And how do expect to even get there without attacking the intervening worlds? By all of the Founders, Nikolai, some of those worlds are four months travel inside the Lyran Commonwealth!”

Nikolai grinned. “Khan McKenna, your points are well taken. But consider this; there are scores of uninhabited and uninhabitable star systems surrounding those pictured on this map. These ‘empty spaces’ have nothing of value—many do not even have planets. But they are isolated and they are alone, and we have their coordinates. We know, through the databases our ancestors assembled, where their jump-points lie. And it is through these empty star systems that our toumens will journey until they arrive at their targets on the same day.”

He began to pace again, as he continued to speak. “Yes, we will have no line of supply, nor a line of retreat. But neither will be needed, for we shall make this assault with the front-line forces of sixteen Clans—and we shall carry with us sufficient supplies for a two-year campaign. Each of these worlds will be the target of two Clans, and each will serve as a death trap for the Lyrans.”

Khan Isaac Fletcher stood. “Two Clans each? With all of our front-line troops? IlKhan, you are speaking of committing multiple galaxies against each of these worlds—and your numbers only come to twelve Clans, not sixteen.”

“You are correct, Khan Fletcher. For we will also assault the following,” he answered as he pressed another stud, and two more worlds began to pulse. “Alarion and Tamar. Both are vital worlds in their provinces, and very important to the psychology of the Lyran people. Nearly as much as so as Tharkad.”

“Each of your Clans will contribute two or three front-line Galaxies to this Operation. Plus an additional two hundred and thirty Provisional Garrison Clusters.”

A stillness settled over the chamber as even the most ardent Crusader was stunned into silence at the numbers involved. And Nikolai nodded his head.

“The PGCs will be needed once Phase I of the Operation is complete. These worlds are critical to the survival of the Lyran Commonwealth, and through it to the Federated Commonwealth. We shall seize them, but allow their defenders to successfully transmit word that they are under attack. After which, we will secure the local HPG facilities and complete our conquests. To find a Ghost Bear for the Clawing, Khan Jorgensson, where must you go?”

“To where the Ghost Bear lairs, ilKhan, even a sibkin knows that.”

“Yes, and when we take these eight worlds, we will truly be in the lair of the Inner Sphere’s military might. They cannot let us keep them—to do so would cripple them, economically, militarily, and politically. And so they must come to us and attack.”

Khan McKenna nodded. “And they must attack, regardless of the odds if they are to preserve their own industry.”

“Aff. But it will be too late for that, because as soon as these worlds are secure, you will proceed to destroy their factories—utterly demolish them.”

“That is a waste of resources, ilKhan!” shouted Khan Malthus.

“Yes, but a waste of their resources, Khan of the Jade Falcons. We have no need for their inferior technology, and by destroying their factories, we only weaken them, not us. One exception to that order will be made, however, for Hesperus II was once a Star League facility—it shall be so again.”

“They will attack us on these worlds because they must, and their attacks will fail because we are the Clans, and we shall be ready for them. Once they have broken upon our defenses, then Phase II will commence. From each of these worlds, our Galaxies will erupt, individual Clusters grabbing the systems around them, defeating any remaining defenders. PGCs will immediately move forward to garrison the systems, and the Clusters will continue until all eight beachheads have linked.”

As he spoke, the holo-projection showed a visual representation, with blobs of gold expanding lightning fast across the face of the Lyran Commonwealth, until the main part of that once great house was entirely claimed by the Clans.

“And then we rest, for a short time, and make certain that our supply line to the homeworlds is once again secure—using a few Galaxies and PGCs to denude the Periphery of their bandit kingdoms and pirates. And then we shall commence Phase III.”

The holo-projector zoomed in close once more, centering on a pale blue-green orb labeled Terra.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:53 am 
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Reads well and covers things nicely.

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Darkness is a friend of mine. Sometimes I have to beat it back, or it would overwhelm me. Shirley Meier

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:40 am 
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The cold wind of a Strana Mechty winter gusted against the side of the Great Hall as Nikolai stood on one of its balconies. Despite the breeze, he stood tall and straight, but his face was sober, and he lifted one hand to his face, taking a long pull from the smoldering cigar he held.

“Those things will kill you, you know,” Robert N’Buta said from the shadowed door that led within the labyrinthine structure.

Nikolai nodded without turning. “There are many things that will eventually kill me, Robert. This weed is currently the least among them.”

The Star Adder Khan walked up besides the man and stood quietly alongside for several moments in silence.

“It is very risky, you know. We could still opt for Pantheon II instead.”

“Neg. Although you are right, my friend. With sixteen Clans on the firing line Pantheon II would work—for a time. But it makes the same mistakes that Showers and Crichell made, it takes worlds from the outer edge inward—and allows their industry to produce replacements far faster than we can ship them in from the Homeworlds. Those worlds are not of vital importance to the Federated Commonwealth, we would take them and destroy many of their units, but in the end it would mean nothing. And if we give them the time they require to counter our technology with numbers, it will mean defeat instead.”

“It is a high risk, but it offers the highest rewards as well, Robert.”

N’Buta nodded in answer. “Aff. I am just concerned over whether the Council will agree. If things go wrong, we could lose the cream of three, perhaps even four Clans, after all.”

Nikolai snorted. “No fewer would we lose with Pantheon given enough time. You are still supporting the plan, quiaff?”

“Aff. It is partially my plan, after all. I am just . . . worried that you will be caught in the fallout if things begin to fall apart.”

“Robert, the plan is nothing—but the planning is everything. There will be circumstances that we cannot foresee. There will catastrophes and debacles that have the Khans screaming about my failure. And there will be an enormous body count arising from the Invasion—on both sides.”

“But, we have planned for every possible contingency. We will have the supplies and parts on hand, and once we captured Hesperus II and convert its factories to produce our munitions and BattleMechs and Elemental armor we will have a logistical base in their very heartland. And even though some of our brethren are strategic idiots, they are seasoned Warriors—place them in a tactical position where they simply must hold a position against an attacker and they will hold. They will.”

Once again silence ruled the blustery day as the two Warriors looked out over the boulevards of the city.

“I had thought that you would be pairing my Adders with your Scorpions, my friend.”

“Neg. Yours is one of the only Clans that routinely trains with vehicles—making you a perfect complement to the Horses,” and the ilKhan snorted again. “Unless you would prefer I team the Horses with the Spirits, quineg?”

“Neg,” the Adder answered with a chuckle.

“The flexibility that your Adders and the Horses display, combined with their heavy elemental complements makes your joint command tailor-made for Skye. Skye will be the first system that reinforcements from the Davion half of the Federated Commonwealth hits, and it must hold, Robert. For that I am depending upon you.”

“It will be done, ilKhan. Just who are you pairing the Spirits with, by the way? I lost track after your surprise announcement that my Adders would be hitting Skye.”

“The only Clan with which they have reasonably good relations—the Fire Mandrills. I am assigning them to Tamar; their tenacious will serve them well there.”

N’Buta considered the other options and then nodded in agreement. “So, the Spirits and Mandrills take Tamar, my Adders and the Horses Skye; the Bears and Hellions should thrive on icy Tharkad, while the Jaguars and Coyotes hit Twycross.”

“The Wolves and the Cobras will deal with Donegal, the Ravens and Nova Cats with Alarion, while the Vipers and Sharks hit Coventry. Leaving my Scorpions and the Falcons to take Hesperus.”

“And you will accompany the assault on Hesperus?”

“Neg. I am no longer a Scorpion, Robert. I am the ilKhan. I will be accompanied by the Ebon Keshik and will remain at Coventry where I can communicate rapidly with all of my field commands.”

“But the Ebon Keshik is only a Trinary!”

“For now, but I intend to expand it to a full Cluster. I will be issuing a call for volunteers on the morrow.”

Nikolai shook his head and smiled a wry smile. “I am a Warden, Robert. And a Scorpion. I must weld the Clans to me and my leadership so long as I hold this post—and I cannot do so if I favor my own Clan above others. I must be neutral to hold the respect and loyalty of the Khans.”

Robert N’Buta inhaled sharply, his eyes having grown wide. And then he bowed, kneeling on one knew, his head lowered towards the ground. “Seyla, ilKhan. Seyla.”


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:39 pm 
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Okay two quick questions:

1. Are you going to follow the basic outline of the cannon history in that battles happen were they are stated to happen or will their be slight changes?

2. How much of some the uhmm odder elements of cannon are you going to use? Like the large use of BioChem weapons etc...?

Looking really good.

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Darkness is a friend of mine. Sometimes I have to beat it back, or it would overwhelm me. Shirley Meier

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:54 pm 
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1. Total changes. Everything will be deep in the heart of dixie . . . eh, I mean the Lyran Commonwealth.

2. Haven't decided about biologicals or chemicals yet. But we do have canon use of a nuke (pre-jihad) by the Lyrans in the fluff for the . . . was it Sea Skimmer hydro-foil, maybe?

Should have a new post tomorrow, followed by the Complete Clan Order of Battle (just down to Cluster level, so don't expect to see who is piloting what Mech or get the names of those Elementals in Point Four of Star Delta-Two. :D

MA


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:52 am 
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Looking forward to seeing what you come up with for this.

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Darkness is a friend of mine. Sometimes I have to beat it back, or it would overwhelm me. Shirley Meier

[url]http://karagin12.livejournal.com/[/url]

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:51 pm 
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Code:
Operation Revival Reborn:  Order of Battle


Task Force Alarion

Clan Nova Cat
	Command Keshik (s):
		Nova Cat Keshik (Elite)
	Alpha Galaxy [Victory over Delusion]:
		Nova Cat Fusiliers [The Circle Unbroken] (Elite)
		Nova Cat Grenadiers [Fires of Truth] (Veteran)
		1st Nova Cat Guards [Hand of Fate] (Elite)
		2nd Nova Cat Guards [Spiritual Journey] (Elite)
	Beta Galaxy [Spiritual Vision]:
		Nova Cat Dragoons [Circle of Harmony] (Elite)
		Nova Cat Lancers [The Path of Right] (Veteran)
		3rd Nova Cat Guards [The Dance of Fate] (Elite)
		4th Nova Cat Guards [The Oracles] (Elite)
	Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		12 PGCs

Clan Snow Raven
	Command Keshik (s):
		Corvus Keshik (Elite)
	Alpha Galaxy [Swift Wing Galaxy]:
		6th Raven Battle Cluster [The Meteors] (Veteran)
		1st Raven Dragoon Cluster [The Longshanks] (Elite)
		5th Raven Light Horse Cluster [The Frost Wing] (Elite)
		9th Raven Striker Cluster [The Snow Hunters] (Elite)
	Beta Galaxy [Storm Crow Galaxy]:
		14th Raven Battle Cluster [The Thunder Heart Cluster] (Veteran)
		5th Raven Dragoon Cluster [The Wind Riders] (Elite)
		4th Raven Light Horse Cluster [The Snow Wing] (Elite)
		97th Raven Striker Cluster [The Soaring Ravens] (Elite)
	Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		12 PGCs

Naval Reserve Alarion
	Texas class BB Mountbatten (SR)
	Black Lion class BC Severn Leroux (NC)
	Sovetskii Soyuz class CA Avalanche (SR)
	Congress class FF True Vision (NC)
	York class CV Anna Rosse (NC)
	Lola III class DD Bloody Talon (SR)
	Essex class DD Eternity (SR)
	Whirlwind class DD Drake (SR)

Fleet Train Alarion
	Potemkin class TC Eden Rose (SR)
	Potemkin class TC Snowflake (SR)
	Potemkin class TC Wild Swan (SR)
	Volga class TS Tenacity (SR)
	Carrack class TS Blessed Vision (NC)
	Carrack class TS True Path (NC)
	Carrack class TS Venture Star (SR)
	8 x Capella class JumpShip
	9 x Vega class JumpShip
	7 x Arcturus class JumpShip
	6 x Canopus class JumpShip
	4 x Sirius class JumpShip


Task Force Coventry

Clan Field Headquarters
	Ebon Keshik (Elite)

Clan Diamond Shark
	Alpha Galaxy [Deathstrike]
		Diamond Skate (Elite)
		21st Assault Cluster [Nagasawa’s Sharks] (Elite)
		27th Cruiser Cluster [Flashing Ivory] (Elite)
		39th Strike Cluster [The Frenzy] (Elite)
	Beta Galaxy [Predator]
		Pearl Skate (Elite)
		7th Cruiser Cluster [Riptide] (Elite)
		6th Strike Cluster [Blood Hunters] (Elite)
		42nd Strike Cluster [Gnashers] (Elite)
	Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		16 x PGCs

Clan Steel Viper
	Command Keshik (s):
		Triasch Keshik (Elite)
	Alpha Galaxy [Steel Viper Galaxy]:
		400th Assault Cluster [The Diamondbacks] (Elite)
		1st Viper Guards [The Viper’s Fury] (Elite)
		2nd Viper Guards [The Sidewinders] (Elite)
		4th Viper Guards [The Deadly Venom] (Elite)
	Beta Galaxy [Steel Fangs Galaxy]:
		233rd Battle Cluster [The Hunting Vipers] (Veteran)
		126th Striker Cluster [The Copperheads] (Veteran)
		195th Striker Cluster [The Black Mambas] (Veteran)
		Viper Fusiliers (Elite)
	Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		12 PGCs

Naval Reserve Coventry
	Nightlord class BB Dark Asp (SV)
	Cameron class BC Kerensky's Hope (SR)
	Sovetskii Soyuz class CA Nagasawa (DS)
	Congress class FF Snake Leader (SV)
	York class CV The Protector (CC)
	Lola III class DD Anaconda (SV)
	Essex class DD Sharon (DS)
	Whirlwind class DD Constrictor (SV)

Fleet Train Coventry
	Potemkin class TC Kraken (DS)
	Potemkin class TC Ophidian (SV)
	Potemkin class TC Red Tide (DS)
	Volga class TS Bold Venture (DS)
	Carrack class TS Bloodletter (DS)
	Carrack class TS Pride of New Kent (SV)
	Carrack class TS Star Swimmer (DS)
	8 x Capella class JumpShip
	9 x Vega class JumpShip
	7 x Arcturus class JumpShip
	6 x Canopus class JumpShip
	4 x Sirius class JumpShip


Task Force Donegal

Clan Cloud Cobra
	Command Keshik (s):
		Cobra Pharaoh Keshik (Elite)
		Cobra Temple Keshik (Elite)
	Alpha Galaxy [The Keystone]:
		33rd Battle Cluster [Thor’s Hammer] (Elite)
		214th Cobra Fangs [Black Sheep] (Elite)
		149th Cobra Guards [The Azure Guard] (Elite)
		243rd Cobra Guards [The Emerald Guard] (Veteran)
	Beta Galaxy [Scourge of the Pentagon]:
		84th Cobra Fang [Wings of Pharaoh] (Elite)
		185th Cobra Fang [Heaven’s Gate] (Elite)
		45th Cobra Grenadiers [Spitting Serpents] (Elite)
		73rd Cobra Guards [The Ebony Guard] (Veteran)
	Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		12 PGCs

Clan Wolf
	Command Keshik (s):
		The Golden Keshik (Elite)
	Alpha Galaxy [The Dire Wolves]:
		328th Assault Cluster [The Lion-Hearted] (Elite)
		279th Battle Cluster [The Golden Horde] (Elite)
		3rd Wolf Guards Cluster [The Sentinels] (Elite)
		4th Wolf Guards Cluster [The Cyclops Cluster] (Elite)
	Beta Galaxy [The Arctic Wolves]:
		341st Assault Cluster [The Silver Blizzard] (Elite)
		352nd Assault Cluster [The Silver Wolves] (Elite)
		3rd Battle Cluster [Silver Devils] (Elite)
		9th Wolf Guards Cluster [Silver Fangs] (Elite)
	Gamma Galaxy [The Wolf Hussars]:
		5th Battle Cluster [Ghost Hunters] (Veteran)
		7th Battle Cluster [The Hungry Wolves] (Veteran)
		11th Battle Cluster [The Bronze Lancers] (Veteran)
		16th Battle Cluster [The Bronze Furies] (Veteran)
	Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		22 PGCs

Naval Reserve Donegal
	McKenna class BB Second Coming (CC)
	Cameron class BC Bloody Fang (W)
	Sovetskii Soyuz class CA Dire Wolf (W)
	Congress class FF Rogue (W)
	York class CV Brimstone (CC)
	Lola III class DD Nature's Wrath (W)
	Essex class DD Sabre Cat (SJ)
	Essex class DD White Claw (GB)

Fleet Train Donegal
	Potemkin class TC Full Moon (W)
	Potemkin class TC True Sight (CC)
	Potemkin class TC Wisdom of the Ages (CC)
	Volga class TS Provider (W)
	Carrack class TS Blind Faith (CC)
	Carrack class TS Bright Star (NC)
	Carrack class TS Night Warrior (W)
	8 x Capella class JumpShip
	9 x Vega class JumpShip
	7 x Arcturus class JumpShip
	6 x Canopus class JumpShip
	4 x Sirius class JumpShip


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:51 pm 
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Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Code:
Task Force Hesperus II

Clan Goliath Scorpion
	Command Keshik (s):
		Knife Dance Keshik (Elite)
		20th Scorpion Shock Cluster [Scorpio Ascendant] (Elite)
	Alpha Galaxy [The Rock Minders]:
		24th Scorpion Cuirassiers [The Khan’s Own] (Elite)
		25th Scorpion Cuirassiers [Scorpions of the Veil] (Elite)
		8th Scorpion Dragoons [The Whip-Tail Brigade] (Elite)
		14th Scorpion Hussars [Swift Retribution] (Elite)
	Beta Galaxy [The Sand Runners]:
		9th Scorpion Cuirassiers [The Khan’s Castle] (Elite)
		23rd Scorpion Cuirassiers [The Ironshell Irregulars] (Elite)
		1st Scorpion Dragoons [Heartvenom] (Elite)
		6th Scorpion Hussars [Desert Wind] (Elite)
	Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		12 PGCs

Clan Jade Falcon
	Command Keshik (s):
		Turkina Keshik (Elite)
	Gamma Galaxy [Jade Falcon Galaxy]:
		Jade Falcon Guards (Elite)
		12th Falcon Regulars [The Frozen Fears] (Elite)
		3rd Falcon Talon Cluster [The Jade Claymores] (Elite)
		9th Falcon Talon Cluster [The Falcon Lancers] (Elite)
	Delta Galaxy [Gyrfalcon Galaxy]:
		305th Assault Cluster [The Blood Vision] (Elite)
		5th Battle Cluster [The Golden Talons] (Elite)
		2nd Falcon Jaegers [The Frost Falcons] (Elite)
		1st Falcon Striker Cluster [The Pursuing Peregrines] (Elite)
	Vau Galaxy [Peregrine Galaxy]:
		8th Falcon Regulars Cluster [The Scarlet Scythes] (Veteran)
		4th Falcon Velites [White Vision] (Veteran)
		94th Falcon Striker Cluster [Black Vision] (Veteran)
		124th Falcon Striker Cluster [The Blue Demons] (Veteran)
	Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		20 PGCs

Naval Reserve Hesperus II
	Texas class BB Falcon's Nest (JF)
	Cameron class BC Turkina's Pride (JF)
	Aegis class CA Frost Falcon (JF)
	Congress class FF Bernlad (GS)
	York class CV Exodus Ranger (SA)
	Lola III class DD Auriga (GS)
	Essex class DD Orpheus (GS)
	Whirlwind class DD Emerald Tornado (JF)

Fleet Train Hesperus II
	Potemkin class TC Enceladus (GS)
	Potemkin class TC Karttikeya (GS)
	Potemkin class TC Prometheus (GS)
	Volga class TS Andromeda (GS)
	Carrack class TS Far Star (NC)
	Carrack class TS Glory Road (NC)
	Carrack class TS Ironhold Provider (JF)
	8 x Capella class JumpShip
	9 x Vega class JumpShip
	7 x Arcturus class JumpShip
	6 x Canopus class JumpShip
	4 x Sirius class JumpShip


Task Force Skye

Clan Hell’s Horses
	Command Keshik (s):
		Alpha Keshik [Might Before Metal] (Elite)
		Omega Keshik [Hell’s Inferno] (Elite)
	Alpha Galaxy [Stampede of Steel]:
		21st Mechanized Assault [Firehorse Cluster] (Veteran)
		11th Mechanized Cavalry [Blackhorse Cluster] (Elite)
		12th Mechanized Cavalry [Steelhorse Cluster] (Elite)
		30th Mechanized Strike [Stormhorse Cluster] (Elite)
	Beta Galaxy [The Apocalypse]:
		66th Mechanized Assault [War Cluster] (Elite)
		77th Mechanized Cavalry [Famine Cluster] (Elite)
		99th Mechanized Cavalry [Death Cluster] (Elite)
		33rd Mechanized Strike [Pestilence Cluster] (Veteran)
	Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		12 PGCs

Clan Star Adder
	Command Keshik (s):
		Adder Command Keshik [The Light of Command] (Elite)
		Adder Quasar Keshik [Iron Will] (Elite)
	Alpha Galaxy [Old Blood and Guts]:
		85th Adder Cavaliers [Gallant Steeds] (Elite)
		191st Adder Guards [Saar Cavaliers] (Elite)
		11th Armored Cavalry Squadron [Messina Missionaries] (Veteran)
		5th Assault Cluster [Georgie’s Gorillas] (Elite)
	Beta Galaxy [The Old Guard]:
		108th Adder Cavaliers [Steel on Target] (Elite)
		10th Armored Cavalry Squadron [The Buffalo Soldiers] (Elite)
		8th Assault Cluster [Black Panzers] (Veteran)
		97th Dragoon Cluster [The Sheridan Dragoons] (Elite)
	Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		12 PGCs

Naval Reserve Skye
	McKenna class BB Sovereign Right (SA)
	Black Lion class BC Admiral William S. Preston (SA)
	Sovetskii Soyuz class CA Storm Crow (SR)
	Congress class FF Bucephalus (HH)
	York class CV Exodus Crusader (SA)
	Lola III class DD Black Knight (HH)
	Essex class DD Eagle (SA)
	Essex class DD Tuhantepec (SA)

Fleet Train Skye
	Potemkin class TC Armageddon (HH)
	Potemkin class TC Blood Horse (HH)
	Potemkin class TC Renown (SA)
	Volga class TS Mount Olympus (HH)
	Carrack class TS Black Adder (SA)
	Carrack class TS Golden Clydesdale (HH)
	Carrack class TS Pathfinder (NC)
	8 x Capella class JumpShip
	9 x Vega class JumpShip
	7 x Arcturus class JumpShip
	6 x Canopus class JumpShip
	4 x Sirius class JumpShip


Task Force Tamar

Clan Blood Spirit
	Command Keshik (s):
		Blood Guard Keshik (Elite)
	Alpha Galaxy [The Blooding]:
		37th Red Assault Cluster (Elite)
		33rd Red Battle Cluster (Elite)
		Red Guards (Elite)
		55th Red Vanguard Cluster (Elite)
	Omega Galaxy [The Sanguine Reavers]:
		7th Blood Drinkers Cluster (Elite)
		79th Blood Hussars (Elite)
		112th Scarlet Battle Cluster (Elite)
		Scarlet Guards (Elite)
	Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		12 PGCs

Clan Fire Mandrill
	Command Keshik (s):
		Burning Rage Keshik (Elite)
	Alpha Galaxy:
		1st Mandrill Assault Cluster [Embers of Warfare] (Elite)
		3rd Mandrill Battle Cluster [Banner-Bearers] (Elite)
		16th Mandrill Battle Cluster [The Furies] (Veteran)
		6th Mandrill Striker Cluster [The Fire Dancers] (Elite)
	Beta Galaxy:
		4th Mandrill Assault Cluster [Fang and Fire] (Elite)
		2nd Mandrill Battle Cluster [Firewalkers] (Elite)
		7th Mandrill Battle Cluster [The Fire-Eaters] (Veteran)
		10th Mandrill Battle Cluster [The Brimstone Cluster] (Elite)
	Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		12 PGCs

Naval Reserve Tamar
	Nightlord class BB Terror of the Deep (DS)
	Black Lion class BC Rocinante (BS)
	Sovetskii Soyuz class CA Hawker (JF)
	Congress class FF Hunter's Pride (SJ)
	York class CV Stooping Kite (BS)
	Lola III class DD Anathema (FM)
	Lola III class DD Rage (FM)
	Essex class DD Iowa (SJ)

Fleet Train Tamar
	Potemkin class TC Fire-Eater (FM)
	Potemkin class TC Treachery (SR)
	Potemkin class TC Tsunami (DS)
	Volga class TS Scavenger (SR)
	Carrack class TS Faithful Right (NC)
	Carrack class TS Guiding Vision (NC)
	Carrack class TS Howler (FM)
	8 x Capella class JumpShip
	9 x Vega class JumpShip
	7 x Arcturus class JumpShip
	6 x Canopus class JumpShip
	4 x Sirius class JumpShip


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:52 pm 
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Code:
Task Force Tharkad

Clan Ghost Bear
	Command Keshik (s):
		The Ourse Keshik (Elite)
	Alpha Galaxy [The Golden Bears]:
		332nd Assault Cluster [The Iowa Blacklancers] (Elite)
		1st Bear Guards [The Rage] (Elite)
		3rd Bear Guards [The IlKhan’s Shield] (Elite)
		50th Striker Cluster [The Black Bears] (Elite)
	Beta Galaxy [Night Howlers]:
		304th Assault Cluster [The Howling Bears] (Veteran)
		5th Bear Guards [Arctic Thunder] (Veteran)
		7th Bear Guards [Tip of the Spear] (Veteran)
		14th Battle Cluster [The Maulers] (Elite)
	Delta Galaxy [The Blitzkrieg]:
		73rd Battle Cluster [The Lash] (Veteran)
		8th Bear Cuirassiers [The Blinding Drive] (Veteran)
		68th Striker Cluster [The Walking Panzers] (Veteran)
		115th Striker Cluster [The Rolling Wave] (Elite)
	Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		20 PGCs

Clan Ice Hellion
	Alpha Galaxy [The Blinding]:
		7th Attack Cluster (Elite)
		77th Hellion Lancers (Elite)
		78th Hellion Lancers (Elite)
		150th Striker Irregulars (Elite)
	Beta Galaxy [The Lithe Kill]:
		20th Attack Cluster (Elite)
		85th Hellion Lancers (Elite)
		90th Hellion Lancers (Elite)
		121st Striker Irregulars (Elite)
	Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		12 PGCs

Naval Reserve Tharkad
	McKenna class BB Cage's Pride (IH)
	Black Lion class BC Bear's Den (GB)
	Sovetskii Soyuz class CA White Cloud (SR)
	Congress class FF Shining Claw (GB)
	York class CV Pack Leader (IH)
	Lola III class DD Ranger (NC)
	Essex class DD Moore's Honor (IH)
	Essex class DD White Fang (GB)

Fleet Train Tharkad
	Potemkin class TC Coterie (IH)
	Potemkin class TC Rook (SR)
	Potemkin class TC Serpentes (SV)
	Volga class TS Ursine Boatman (GB)
	Carrack class TS Den Mother (GB)
	Carrack class TS Maker (IH)
	Carrack class TS Nebula (NC)
	8 x Capella class JumpShip
	9 x Vega class JumpShip
	7 x Arcturus class JumpShip
	6 x Canopus class JumpShip
	4 x Sirius class JumpShip


Task Force Twycross

Clan Coyote
	Alpha Galaxy [Spirit of the Coyote]
		Golden Keshik [Guardians of the Prophecy] (Elite)
		Silver Keshik [The Chosen] (Elite)
		Bronze Keshik [The True Vision] (Veteran)
		38th Assault Cluster [The Faithful] (Veteran)
	Delta Galaxy [Heart of the Coyote]
		50th Assault Cluster [Creeping Death] (Elite)
		19th Battle Cluster [Long Fangs] (Veteran)
		34th Strike Cluster [Rabid Coyotes] (Elite)
		55th Strike Cluster [Double Nickel Demons] (Veteran)
	Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		12 PGCs

Clan Smoke Jaguar
	Command Keshik (s):
		Shroud Keshik (Elite)
	Alpha Galaxy [Silent Death]:
		6th Jaguar Dragoons [Smoke and Fire] (Elite)
		7th Jaguar Dragoons [The Leaping Jaguar] (Veteran)
		Jaguar Grenadiers [The Immortals] (Elite)
		5th Jaguar Regulars [The Victory Cluster] (Veteran)
	Beta Galaxy [The Mistweavers]:
		362nd Assault Cluster [The Silver Jaguars] (Veteran)
		225th Battle Cluster [Bringers of Armageddon] (Elite)
		214th Jaguar Dragoons [The Stalkers] (Veteran)
		1st Jaguar Guards [The Whitewatch] (Elite)
	Gamma Galaxy [The Throat Rippers]:
		267th Battle Cluster [The Devil’s Mist] (Elite)
		1st Jaguar Cavaliers [Ghost Cats] (Veteran)
		336th Jaguar Combat Cluster [The Rake] (Veteran)
		2nd Jaguar Guards [The Striking Cats] (Elite)
	Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		20 PGCs

Naval Reserve Twycross
	Texas class BB Ancestral Home (C)
	Black Lion class BC Streaking Mist (SJ)
	Aegis class CA Hawkeye (JF)
	Congress class FF Fire Crest (SJ)
	York class CV Lioness (SJ)
	Lola III class DD Courage (C)
	Lola III class DD Honor of the Ages (C)
	Essex class DD Windrunner (C)

Fleet Train Twycross
	Potemkin class TC Midnight Star (C)
	Potemkin class TC Morning Star (C)
	Potemkin class TC Titanic (DS)
	Volga class TS Speculator (DS)
	Carrack class TS Solar Blaze (C)
	Carrack class TS Void (NC)
	Carrack class TS Yggdrasil (GB)
	8 x Capella class JumpShip
	9 x Vega class JumpShip
	7 x Arcturus class JumpShip
	6 x Canopus class JumpShip
	4 x Sirius class JumpShip


Task Force Terra
	Fredasa class PV Arcadian Asp (SA)
	Fredasa class PV Black Beard (SR)
	Fredasa class PV Black Ghost (GB)
	Fredasa class PV Future Triumph (NC)
	Fredasa class PV Hell Fury (CC)
	Fredasa class PV Hellion's Pride (IH)
	Fredasa class PV Perdition's Flame (CC)
	Fredasa class PV Pit Viper (SV)
	Fredasa class PV Spirit Sight (NC)
	Fredasa class PV Swift Bait (IH)
	Fredasa class PV Vicious Fang (SA)
	Fredasa class PV Whelp (IH)
	Jenna Scott class SV Cyrus Elam (GS)
	Jenna Scott class SV Ethan Moreau (GS)
	Jenna Scott class SV Jenna Scott (GS)
	Jenna Scott class SV Naomi Djerassi (GS)


Naval Reserve Alpha
	McKenna class BB James McKenna (SR)
	McKenna class BB Werewolf (W)
	Cameron class BC Mother Jocasta (W)
	Congress class FF Green Lantern (JF)
	Congress class FF Snow Leopard (SJ)
	York class CV Exodus Sentinel (SA)
	York class CV Nebulous (CC)
	York class CV Ursa Minor (GB)
	Lola III class DD Faithful (NC)
	Essex class DD Martial Legacy (SV)
	Essex class DD Tracy (DS)


Naval Reserve Beta
	McKenna class BB Lei Kung (GS)
	Texas class BB Nicolas Kerensky (W)
	Nightlord class BB Emerald Talon (JF)
	Black Lion class BC Implacable (W)
	Congress class FF Garlon (GS)
	Congress class FF Kerensky's Pride (JF)
	York class CV Broken Seal (C)
	York class CV Exodus Avenger (SA)
	York class CV Queen Lynx (SJ)
	Lola III class DD Sagitta (GS)
	Essex class DD Dark Claw (SJ)

Reserve Fleet Train
	Potemkin class TC Bonaventure (SR)
	Potemkin class TC Epimetheus (GS)
	Potemkin class TC Steel Shield (HH)
	Volga class TS Cho Polu (SA)
	Volga class TS Pompeii (SA)
	Carrack class TS Devourer (DS)
	Carrack class TS Enlightened Path (NC)
	Carrack class TS Nestling (SR)
	Carrack class TS Perilous Vision (NC)
	16 x Capella class JumpShip
	14 x Vega class JumpShip
	8 x Arcturus class JumpShip
	10 x Canopus class JumpShip
	12 x Sirius class JumpShip


Combat Clusters and Keshiks:  162
Provisional Garrison Clusters:  230
Combat Transports:  162
WarShips:  102
Fleet Train Transports:  65
Fleet Train JumpShips:  332


AU Design Notes:  

1.  Each Cluster and Keshik has its own Combat Transport (ala the Goliath Scorpion Heartvenom).  Combat Transports are compact-core vessels that mass in the 300-350k range and have six docking collars.  They are not designed as WarShips, but instead serve as support vessels and transport ships for individual Clusters.
2.  The troop-carrier DropShips described in my post (DropShips of the Clans) are used in this alternative universe.  Some Clans (such as Hell’s Horses) may have others not listed that have been built for their specific toumen needs.
3.  Provisional Garrison Clusters do not have integral transport (DropShip or JumpShip) and have to be ferried to their targets on cargo ships (primarily Mastodon cargo vessels (see #2 above) docked aboard standard JumpShips.
4.  PGCs are relatively uniform (see my post The Real Clans (Vehicles) on these boards) with each possessing roughly 50 main battle tanks, 20 hover tanks, 10 VTOLs, 10 conventional fighters, 30 infantry carriers, and 375 conventional infantry troops.  (Vehicles are listed in the same post shown above).


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Ok, I had a number of miss-starts here, but I think I now have it the way I want it. Here is the revised and upgraded introduction, plus the new OBs, and (if I can get them to post) three maps showing the various Occupation Zones.

MA


Hall of the Khans
Strana Mechty
Clan Homeworlds
December 18, 3048


The stone chamber was hushed as thirty-two Khans and saKhans waited for the first elected ilKhan in more than century to enter the Grand Hall. At each entrance, two Elemental Warriors of the Ebon Keshik stood at attention, their black and gold armor polished to a mirror finish that reflected the flickering light of the torches ablaze in their high sconces upon the walls. Seldom in recent years had a full gathering of the Khans been present in person; such assemblies normally included at least two or three among their number present only via HPG holo-comm transceiver. But today was not a normal day. Today was the day that the Clans would vote on whether or not to adopt the ilKhan’s plan to return to the Inner Sphere.

Tension had run high when Khan Leo Showers had presented the captured ComStar Vessel Outbound Light and its crew seven weeks earlier; the debate over the plan drafted by Khans Showers and Crichell had ground to a halt when Ulric Kerensky, Khan of the Wolves, challenged Leo Showers to a Trial of Grievance for his failure to immediately bring the matter to the attention of the Council of Khans. Although many thought that Showers had the advantage when he chose un-augmented combat, he died in the trial—although the wounds he inflicted on Kerensky had proven mortal as well. Both Khans had perished, and that had given time for the Clans to reflect, and to choose a new leader.

Although Khan Elias Crichell desired the post, many Khans were leery of his ambition, and more than a few questioned his ability as a Warrior. But his claim died as well when his aide (Vandervahn Chistu) leaked documents that supposedly showed the contents of his discussions with Showers—including a proposal that their two Clans join to become the ultimate power in the Homeworlds. saKhan Timus Malthus fought Crichell in a second Trial of Grievance and killed him; when Chistu attempted to secure the post of Khan by accusing Malthus of treason against the Way of the Clans and the against the Jade Falcons, his manipulations went too far and proof of his manipulation of the discussion logs was brought to the surface. Disgraced, Chistu was stripped of his rank and expelled from the Warrior caste, after Malthus refused to kill him, saying there would be no honor gained from such a victory.

When the Grand Council reconvened just ten days ago, the election surprised the strongest Clans, for the Star Adders nominated and campaigned for the Khan of the Goliath Scorpions—Nikolai Djerassi—to be selected. And he was so elected to the post; although his margin of victory was slim, it was not challenged, for the Jaguars, Falcons, and Wolves were in disarray and the Warden Clans stood staunchly behind the unusual choice. Combined with the unwavering support of Khan N’Buta of the Star Adders, no Khan wished to create further havoc with more Trials of Refusal. Besides, the core issue remained for debate.

And now, with newly elected Khans in place of the fallen and the uplifted, the Grand Council once again had assembled.

At last, one of the doors opened and the ilKhan walked in, wearing ceremonial garb that concealed his flesh from head to toe. He walked to the center of the well, and removed his helmet, placing it on the desk of Nicolas Kerensky and lifted a remote in one gloved hand.

And then the ilKhan spoke.

“Brothers and sisters, fellow Khans, we are gathered today for the event which we have awaited since the moment of our birth, which has ruled our destiny to this very moment in time. We are here to determine if we shall return to the Inner Sphere, and if so, how shall we do so. In preparation for this day, I, and my finest strategists, historians, and logistics experts—in conjunction with Khan N’Buta of the Star Adders—have, for the past decade, made plans and studied possible strategies, and we believe that we have discovered the key to defeating the realms of the Inner Sphere decisively.”

He placed his arms behind his back and began to pace as he continued to speak. “Whether Warden—as am I—or Crusader—as are many of you—those differences no longer concern us. We have been found, brethren. And although this expedition will not report our location to those who have despoiled the former worlds of the Star League, others will—in time—come. Our long isolation is ended. And with it, my Khans, our time of waiting is now finished. Now is the time for action.”

“However, this so-called plan, this Operation Revival, put forth by Khans Showers and Crichell, is folly. I will not endorse such a reckless approach to this event for which we have all prepared ourselves for generations.”

Khan Jorgensson of the Ghost Bears stood, and he too pulled from his head his ceremonial helm, revealing a frowning face. “And if not that plan, ilKhan, that what do you propose? That we do nothing?”

“Neg, Khan of the Ghost Bears. We must now act, but we must act with deliberation and due diligence, not haste. In that direction lies madness and the seeds of our destruction. Khan N’Buta and I have devised, over these past ten years, another plan that will ensure these ‘Successor Lords’ will fall to the might of the Clans.”

“No, my Khans, we shall return, and we shall return within the next two years time.”

Dozens of voices spoke out at once, and Nikolai stepped forward and slammed his fist down on the ancient wooden desk that had once served as the place of honor from where Nicolas Kerensky presided over this very body. “Two years, my Khans, two years shall be required for us to prepare for a master stroke that will ensure our victory.”

Slowly, the assembly sat and Nikolai nodded. “We have much for which to prepare, and those preparations will take time. In the spring of 3051, however, our assault will be launched and it will prove decisive.”

Lifting the remote, the ilKhan pressed a button and holographic map of the Inner Sphere sprang into life. In the north-west quadrant, the Lyran Commonwealth glowed a pulsing blue, with the harsh red of the Draconis Combine to the east, separated partially by the Rasalhague Republic. Four invasion corridors appeared, golden lines driving through the Periphery and converging upon Terra. “Operation Revival, brethren, as Showers and Crichell dubbed this abomination.”

“Four Clans, with a fifth in reserve, committing but a portion of their strength and racing for Terra. Their flanks unprotected against attack, their forces too few to secure the worlds in their rear and garrison their line of supply. And these five Clans would have been alone, separated by more than a year from their brothers and sisters of the society our Great Founder created. Denied our help in their time of need.”

Nikolai shut down the projection and shook his head. “It is not our way, my brothers and sisters. This return is the birthright of us all. When the time came for our Clans to regain the Pentagon during Operation Klondike, did the first ilKhan, the founder of our society have us bid to determine who would remain tamely behind? No, he used our Clans strengths in concert to make certain that we would gain victory through our honor, and our training, and our loyalty, indeed our love, for each other!”

“He, and Absalom Truscott, planned in detail the operation and then our forefathers—our Founders—carried out his will in precise accordance with his vision. Still, things went wrong. And we all know what that problems were in that long ago age. It is up to us to learn from those errors and not to repeat the mistakes of the past. To instead fufill its full promise.”

“Our return will be with all sixteen of our Clans—none shall remain behind on this sacred mission. All will share in the honor. And so, I reveal to you Operation Revival Reborn!”

Lifting the remote again, he clicked another button, and the invasion corridors highlighted died, and the map zoomed in on the Lyran Commonwealth. “My brothers and sisters, this shall be our initial Theatre of Operations: the Lyran Commonwealth. Part of the Federated Commonwealth in alliance with the Federated Suns, we have learned that Archon Melissa Steiner in fact resides on New Avalon with her husband Hanse Davion during the harsh Tharkad winters. Our assault will occur as she is returning to Tharkad once more to rule that half of the realm as Archon. One of the most advanced realms in the terms of manufacturing and industrial capacity, the Lyran Commonwealth supplies roughly two-thirds of the BattleMechs, Aerospace Fighters, and other weapons of war fielded by the Federated Commonwealth. Those items are produced here,” he continued as he pressed another stud. Ten golden dots appeared on the map, flashing against the dark blue background.

“Alarion, Coventry, Donegal; Furillo; Hesperus II, Oliver, Pandora, Sudeten, Tharkad, and Twycross, my fellow Khans; it is these ten worlds upon which the military might of the Federated Commonwealth depends.”

The ilKhan pressed another key on his remote, and six more worlds suddenly blinked into life. “To these we shall add Arcturus, Izar, Port Mosby, Skye, Tamar, and Wotan, my brethren. Sixteen worlds for sixteen Clans—these systems are the economic, military, and political heart of the Lyran people. It is a heart that we shall carve out in a single strike; a strike that shall shake the entire Inner Sphere to its knees.”

Chaos erupted as Khans stood and began to shout, but Nikolai simply waited, silent, until finally the din diminished. One Khan only remained standing, and Nikolai nodded at Amelia McKenna of Clan Snow Raven.

“IlKhan, what you propose, this would leave use with no lines of supply at all! And how do expect to even get there without attacking the intervening worlds? By all of the Founders, Nikolai, some of those worlds are four months travel inside the Lyran Commonwealth!”

Nikolai grinned. “Khan McKenna, your points are well taken. But consider this; there are scores of uninhabited and uninhabitable star systems surrounding those pictured on this map. These ‘empty spaces’ have nothing of value—many do not even have planets. But they are isolated and they are alone, and we have their coordinates. We know, through the databases our ancestors assembled, where their jump-points lie. And it is through these empty star systems that our toumens will journey until they arrive at each of their targets on the same day: the first of April, 3051.”

He began to pace again, as he continued to speak. “Yes, we will have no line of supply, nor a line of retreat. But neither will be needed, for we shall make this assault with the front-line forces of sixteen Clans—and we shall carry with us sufficient supplies for a two-year campaign. Each of these worlds will be the target of an entire Clan, and each will serve as a death trap for the Lyrans.”

Khan Isaac Fletcher stood. “One full Clan for each world? With all of our front-line troops? IlKhan, you are speaking of committing multiple galaxies against each of these systems—they cannot possibly have enough troops in place to justify such a use a force.”

“You are correct, Khan Fletcher. But these worlds are vital to the very survival of the Lyran Commonwealth. They shall serve as the flame to which the Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth are drawn, and they will die as they come in their attempt to dislodge us. To find a Ghost Bear for the Clawing, Khan Jorgensson, where must you go?”

“To where the Ghost Bear lairs, ilKhan, even a sibkin knows that.”

“Yes, and when we take these worlds, we will truly be in the lair of the Inner Sphere’s military might. They cannot let us keep them—to do so would cripple them, economically, militarily, and politically. And so they must come to us and attack.”

Khan McKenna nodded. “And they must attack, regardless of the odds if they are to preserve their own industry.”

“Aff. But it will be too late for that, because as soon as these worlds are secure, you will proceed to destroy their factories—utterly demolish them.”

“That is a waste of resources, ilKhan!” shouted Khan Malthus.

“Yes, but a waste of their resources, Khan of the Jade Falcons. We have no need for their inferior technology, and by destroying their factories, we only weaken them, not us. Two exceptions to that order will be made, however, for Hesperus II was once a Star League facility—it shall be so again. And the Alarion shipyards will serve us well once our Raven brothers and sister repair them and modernize them to our standards.”

“The Inner Sphere will attack us on these worlds because they must, and their attacks will fail because we are the Clans, and we shall be ready for them. Once they have broken upon our defenses, then Phase II will commence. Each of these systems will form the nucleus of an Occupation Zone, consisting of twelve to fifteen secondary targets for each Clan, which will serve to link together our operations and place more almost half of the entire Commonwealth within our grasp.” As he spoke, the holo-projection showed a visual representation, with blobs of gold expanding lightning fast across the face of the Lyran Commonwealth, until the main part of that once great House was entirely claimed by the Clans in an unbroken line that extended from Terra’s doorstep to the Periphery—and beyond to the Homeworlds. And sixteen Periphery systems, all known nests of pirates and bandits began to flash, and then they too turned into a steady bright glowing gold beacon.

“Simultaneously with the attack on Phase I primary targets, a seventeenth force comprised of one Provisional Garrison Cluster and one Solahma Cluster from each of our Clans will seize these sixteen Periphery worlds, thus opening the route for our supply lines to be reestablished. The PGCs will remain in place to garrison each of these worlds, but the Solahma Clusters will be diverted to reinforce the Adder Occupation Zone here, in what they Spheroids term the Terran Corridor. It is here that the hammer shall fall upon our Clans when the Federated Suns responds to the attack on their Lyran counterpart.”

More muttering emerged from the Council as the Khans whispered to each other, mulling over the bare bones package presented—and then Khan Vincent Tchernovkov stood. “An interesting proposal, ilKhan, but do you propose holding twelve to fifteen worlds against attack by the remaining Great Houses with just two or three front-line Galaxies—an average of just ten Clusters per Clan?”

“Neg. Each Clan will also be contributing a substantial number of their Provisional Garrison Clusters to perform exactly that function, Khan Tchernovkov—I believe that we are currently looking at a total of, for all the Clans, two hundred and sixty PGCs needed for this campaign to defend our new acquisitions and, of course, our supply lines.”

The ilKhan paused as utter silence filled the chamber; the number of troops which he proposed using would dwarf any past military operation ten-fold.

“After the completion of Phase II, we shall take a brief respite to restock our toumens and restore ourselves to full fighting order. During this time—indeed, since the very beginning of this campaign—a force of forty-eight Alpha-class Corvettes will have been probing our ultimate target, brethren. They will have surveyed its outer system and ferreted out just how well defended that objective is. Because Phase III will result in all sixteen of the surviving Clans of Kerensky seizing for this world for ourselves,” the ilKhan continued as his voice rose into a shout. “We will close the circle, brothers and sisters, and we shall make of this place our new Capital, from which the Star League restored shall reign forever more!”

The holo-projector zoomed in close once more, centering on a pale blue-green orb labeled Terra as one-by-one, the Khans slowly stood and began to applaud their support.

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

The cold wind of a Strana Mechty winter gusted against the side of the Great Hall as Nikolai stood on one of its balconies. Despite the breeze, he stood tall and straight, but his face was sober, and he lifted one hand to his face, taking a long pull from the smoldering cigar he held.

“Those things will kill you, you know,” Robert N’Buta said from the shadowed door that led within the labyrinthine structure.

Nikolai nodded without turning. “There are many things that will eventually kill me, Robert. This weed is currently the least among them.”

The Star Adder Khan walked up besides the man and stood quietly alongside for several moments in silence.

“It is very risky, you know. We could still opt for Pantheon II instead.”

“Neg. Although you are right, my friend. With sixteen Clans on the firing line Pantheon II would work—for a time. But it makes the same mistakes that Showers and Crichell made, it takes worlds from the outer edge inward—and allows their industry to produce replacements far faster than we can ship them in from the Homeworlds. Those worlds are not of vital importance to the Federated Commonwealth, we would take them and destroy many of their units, but in the end it would mean nothing. And if we give them the time they require to counter our technology with numbers, it will mean defeat instead.”

“No,” the ilKhan said, “it is a high risk, but it offers the highest rewards as well, Robert.”

N’Buta nodded in answer. “Aff. I am just concerned over whether the Council will agree. If things go wrong, we could lose the cream of three, perhaps even four Clans, after all.”

Nikolai snorted. “No fewer would we lose with Pantheon given enough time. You are still supporting the plan, quiaff?”

“Aff. It is partially my plan, after all. I am just . . . worried that you will be caught in the fallout if things begin to fall apart.”

“Robert, the plan is nothing—but the planning is everything. There will be circumstances that we cannot foresee. There will catastrophes and debacles that have the Khans screaming for my head. And there will be an enormous body count arising from the Invasion—on both sides.”

“But, we have planned for every possible contingency. We will have the supplies and parts on hand, and once we have captured Hesperus II and convert its factories to produce our munitions and BattleMechs and Elemental armor we will have a logistical base in their very heartland. And even though some of our brethren are strategic idiots, they are all seasoned and tested Warriors—place them in a tactical circumstance where they simply must hold a position against an attacker and they will hold. They will.”

Once again silence ruled the blustery day as the two Warriors looked out over the boulevards of the city.

“You are planning to accompany the Scorpions on their assault on Hesperus II, quiaff?”

“Neg. I am no longer a Scorpion, Robert. I am the ilKhan. I will be accompanied by the Ebon Keshik and will travel with the Hellions to Arcturus where I can communicate rapidly with all of my field commands from a central location.”

“But the Ebon Keshik is only a Trinary!”

“For now, but I intend to expand it to a full Cluster. I will be issuing a call for volunteers on the morrow.”

Nikolai shook his head and smiled a wry smile. “I am a Warden, Robert. And a Scorpion. I must weld the Clans to me and my leadership so long as I hold this post—and I cannot do so if I favor my own Clan above others. I must be neutral to hold the respect and loyalty of the Khans.”

Robert N’Buta inhaled sharply, his eyes having grown wide. And then he bowed, kneeling on one knew, his head lowered towards the ground. “Seyla, ilKhan. Seyla.”

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

“There is just one final question that must be asked before the vote, ilKhan Djerassi,” said James Ward, saKhan of the Wolves. “When shall the bidding begin for each of these sixteen Occupation Zones?”

“There shall be no bidding, saKhan Ward,” answered Nikolai from the well. “Just as during Operation Klondike, did our first ilKhan and his advisor choose each of the targets, so it shall be now—either that or you must choose a new ilKhan for I shall not allow this enterprise to become torn apart because of your petty grievances between each other.”

“The Adders shall take Oliver, and the worlds around it. Not because they have gained because it was an Adder Khan that nominated me, nor because he helped to plan the Invasion. But because his three Galaxies will bear the brunt of the inevitable counter-attack—and of all our Clans his is indeed the most likely to use . . . shall we say unorthodox means to counter them, quiaff?”

Soft laughter rolled through the gallery, and even the Wolf saKhan nodded his head in agreement. “Aff,” he answered.

“Next will be the Falcons in their Zone around Skye, for they have the honor and the spirit and the courage to help the Adders defend our front, while the remainder of us ensure that the House of Steiner will never again be a great power. The Scorpions will take Hesperus—not because they are my Clan, but rather since we routinely train our front-line forces on Dagda; I would wager that none among you are more experienced in such rugged, inhospitable terrain. Further, of all the targets, Hesperus II possibly has the largest and most experienced defenders assigned to it,” the ilKhan looked directly into the eyes of the assembled Khans. “I have not the slightest doubt that the Scorpions will take Hesperus II and then hold it against counter-attack—but neither do I doubt that there shall be many empty position within our toumen before the end of Phase II. However, if any of you care to take these casualties in place of my Clan, then you are more than welcome to do so.”

Silence greeted this announcement, and Nikolai nodded.

“The Ravens will take Alarion, and the Bears Tharkad. The Cats shall seize Donegal, the Coyotes Izar, and the Wolves Furillo. Vipers, yours shall be Coventry, while the Jaguars will have Pandora, and the Mandrills Port Mosby. For Arcturus the Hellions will be its doom, while the Horses will crush Sudeten beneath their hooves. The Spirits will take Tamar, the Sharks Twycross, and the Cobras will deal with Wotan.”

There were several frowns among the gallery, but no audible objections were raised. “A complete copy of the proposal has been made available for each of you, on your secure server, along with a list of ships that your Clan will be required to contribute. During Phase I and II, these ships will be under your control, but for Phase III we will require unity of action. Khan McKenna, would you serve as the Admiral of the Khans for that Phase?”

The Raven looked shocked as Nikolai offered her the unified command of nearly one hundred and sixty Clan WarShips—a force such as had not existed since the disbanding of the SLDF. But she licked her dry lips, and nodded. “Aff, my ilKhan. If that is your will, then I—as every Khan and every Warrior—am prepared to serve.”

Nikolai nodded. “Then we can either vote now, or wait until after you have thoroughly read the plan.”

A quick consensus revealed that the Khans were ready to vote now—and by a measure of thirty-one to one, with the ilKhan abstaining, Operation Revival Reborn was approved.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:24 pm 
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Operation Revival Reborn:  Order of Battle


ilKhan Field Headquarters
	Ebon Keshik (Elite)
Primary Target:  Arcturus

Clan Blood Spirit
	Command Keshik (s):
		Blood Guard Keshik (Elite)
	Alpha Galaxy [The Blooding]:
		37th Red Assault Cluster (Elite)
		33rd Red Battle Cluster (Elite)
		Red Guards (Elite)
		55th Red Vanguard Cluster (Elite)
	Omega Galaxy [The Sanguine Reavers]:
		7th Blood Drinkers Cluster (Elite)
		79th Blood Hussars (Elite)
		112th Scarlet Battle Cluster (Elite)
		Scarlet Guards (Elite)
	Solahma & Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		Blood Spirit Solahma Cluster
		15 PGCs
		16 Sirius-class JumpShips
	Blood Spirit Naval Reserve:
		Omega-class BB Ancestral Home
		Zeta-class CA Rocinante*
		Epsilon-class FF Carmine Justice
		Gamma-class CV Stooping Kite
	Blood Spirit Logistics Fleet:
		Beta-class TN Blood Diamond; Devourer; Spirit Quest; Star Swimmer
		Theta-class RT Theta-Spirit
		16 Arcturus-class JumpShips
		16 Canopus-class JumpShips
Primary Target:  Tamar
Secondary Targets:  Antares; Baker 3; Colmar; Cusset; Dell; Dompaire; Graus; Laurent; Severn; Vulcan; Zoetermeer


Clan Cloud Cobra
	Command Keshik (s):
		Cobra Pharaoh Keshik (Elite)
		Cobra Temple Keshik (Elite)
	Alpha Galaxy [The Keystone]:
		33rd Battle Cluster [Thor’s Hammer] (Elite)
		214th Cobra Fangs [Black Sheep] (Elite)
		149th Cobra Guards [The Azure Guard] (Elite)
		243rd Cobra Guards [The Emerald Guard] (Veteran)
	Beta Galaxy [Scourge of the Pentagon]:
		84th Cobra Fang [Wings of Pharaoh] (Elite)
		185th Cobra Fang [Heaven’s Gate] (Elite)
		45th Cobra Grenadiers [Spitting Serpents] (Elite)
		73rd Cobra Guards [The Ebony Guard] (Veteran)
	Solahma & Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		Cloud Cobra Solahma Cluster
		15 PGCs
		16 Sirius-class JumpShips
	Cloud Cobra Naval Reserve:
		Omega-class BB Second Coming
		Zeta-class CA White Cloud*
		Epsilon-class DD Thunderbolt
		Gamma-class FF Brimstone
		Delta-class DD Cataclysm; Inquisitor
	Cloud Cobra Logistics Fleet:
		Beta-class Blind Faith; Glory Road; True Sight; Wisdom of the Ages
		Theta-class RT Theta-Cobra
		18 Vega-class JumpShips
		16 Arcturus-class JumpShips
		16 Canopus-class JumpShips
Primary Target:  Wotan
Secondary Targets:  Anywhere; Apollo; Bensinger; Derf; Here; Icar; Persistence; Somerset; Steelton; Toland; Winfield


Clan Coyote
	Alpha Galaxy [Spirit of the Coyote]
		Golden Keshik [Guardians of the Prophecy] (Elite)
		Silver Keshik [The Chosen] (Elite)
		Bronze Keshik [The True Vision] (Veteran)
		38th Assault Cluster [The Faithful] (Veteran)
	Delta Galaxy [Heart of the Coyote]
		50th Assault Cluster [Creeping Death] (Elite)
		19th Battle Cluster [Long Fangs] (Veteran)
		34th Strike Cluster [Rabid Coyotes] (Elite)
		55th Strike Cluster [Double Nickel Demons] (Veteran)
	Solahma & Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		Coyote Solahma Cluster
		15 PGCs
		16 Sirius-class JumpShips
	Coyote Naval Reserve:
		Omega-class BB Great Coyote Spirit
		Zeta-class CA Howling
		Epsilon-class FF Trickster
		Gamma-class CV Broken Seal
		Delta-class DD Courage; Spirit in the Sky
	Coyote Logistics Fleet
		Beta-class TN Midnight Star; Morning Star; Solar Blaze; Solar Wind
		Theta-class RT Theta-Coyote
		18 Vega-class JumpShips
		16 Arcturus-class JumpShips
		16 Canopus-class JumpShips
Primary Target:  Izar
Secondary Targets:  Carnwath; Chaffee; Eaton; Edasich; Freedom; Gladius; Glengarry; Kochab; Laurleston; Nekkar; Seginus; Whittington; Zebeneschnarall


Clan Diamond Shark
	Alpha Galaxy [Deathstrike]
		Diamond Skate (Elite)
		21st Assault Cluster [Nagasawa’s Sharks] (Elite)
		27th Cruiser Cluster [Flashing Ivory] (Elite)
		39th Strike Cluster [The Frenzy] (Elite)
	Beta Galaxy [Predator]
		Pearl Skate (Elite)
		7th Cruiser Cluster [Riptide] (Elite)
		6th Strike Cluster [Blood Hunters] (Elite)
		42nd Strike Cluster [Gnashers] (Elite)
	Solahma & Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		Diamond Shark Solahma Cluster
		15 PGCs
		16 Sirius-class JumpShips
	Diamond Shark Naval Reserve:
		Omega-class BB Terror of the Deep
		Zeta-class CA Nagasawa*
		Epsilon-class FF Hammerhead
		Gamma-class CV Architeuthis
		Delta-class DD Predator
	Diamond Shark Logistics Fleet
		Beta-class TN Bloodletter; Bold Venture; Kraken; Poseidon; Red Tide;
			Speculator; Titanic; Tsunami
		Theta-class RT Theta-Shark
		22 Vega-class JumpShips
		20 Arcturus-class JumpShips
		16 Canopus-class JumpShips
Primary Target:  Twycross
Secondary Targets:  Chateau; Evclier; Leskovik; Maxie's Planet; Planting; Riddenkirk; Romulus; Selduts; Syarslaad; Trell I; Vantaa


Clan Fire Mandrill
	Command Keshik (s):
		Burning Rage Keshik (Elite)
	Alpha Galaxy:
		1st Mandrill Assault Cluster [Embers of Warfare] (Elite)
		3rd Mandrill Battle Cluster [Banner-Bearers] (Elite)
		16th Mandrill Battle Cluster [The Furies] (Veteran)
		6th Mandrill Striker Cluster [The Fire Dancers] (Elite)
	Beta Galaxy:
		4th Mandrill Assault Cluster [Fang and Fire] (Elite)
		2nd Mandrill Battle Cluster [Firewalkers] (Elite)
		7th Mandrill Battle Cluster [The Fire-Eaters] (Veteran)
		10th Mandrill Battle Cluster [The Brimstone Cluster] (Elite)
	Solahma & Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		Fire Mandrill Solahma Cluster
		15 PGCs
		16 Sirius-class JumpShips
	Fire Mandrill Naval Reserve:
		Omega-class BB The Furnace
		Zeta-class CA Reaver*
		Epsilon-class FF Fire Rose
		Gamma-class CV Howler
	Fire Mandrill Logistics Fleet
		Beta-class TN Burning Brand; Conflagration; Fire Eater; Flaming Sword
		Theta-class RT Theta-Mandrill
		18 Vega-class JumpShips
		16 Arcturus-class JumpShips
		16 Canopus-class JumpShips
Primary Target:  Port Mosby
Secondary Targets:  Accringron; Alexandria; Auldhouse; Baxter; Breukelen; Carstairs; Corridan IV; Dalkelth; Eaglesham;  Sakhalin; Symington; Yed Posterior; Yed Prior


Clan Ghost Bear
	Command Keshik (s):
		The Ourse Keshik (Elite)
	Alpha Galaxy [The Golden Bears]:
		332nd Assault Cluster [The Iowa Blacklancers] (Elite)
		1st Bear Guards [The Rage] (Elite)
		3rd Bear Guards [The IlKhan’s Shield] (Elite)
		50th Striker Cluster [The Black Bears] (Elite)
	Beta Galaxy [Night Howlers]:
		304th Assault Cluster [The Howling Bears] (Veteran)
		5th Bear Guards [Arctic Thunder] (Veteran)
		7th Bear Guards [Tip of the Spear] (Veteran)
		14th Battle Cluster [The Maulers] (Elite)
	Delta Galaxy [The Blitzkrieg]:
		73rd Battle Cluster [The Lash] (Veteran)
		8th Bear Cuirassiers [The Blinding Drive] (Veteran)
		68th Striker Cluster [The Walking Panzers] (Veteran)
		115th Striker Cluster [The Rolling Wave] (Elite)
	Solahma & Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		Ghost Bear Solahma Cluster
		19 PGCs
		20 Sirius-class JumpShips
	Ghost Bear Naval Reserve:
		Omega-class BB Ursa Major
		Zeta-class CA Bear’s Den*
		Epsilon-class FF Shining Claw
		Gamma-class CV White Fang
		Delta-class DD Blizzard; Ice Pick
	Ghost Bear Logistics Fleet
		Beta-class TN Den Mother; Leviathan; Ursine Boatman; Yggdrasil
		Theta-class RT Theta-Bear
		24 Vega-class JumpShips
		24 Arcturus-class JumpShips
		20 Canopus-class JumpShips
Primary Target:  Tharkad
Secondary Targets:  Alma Alta; Cumbres; Dukambla; Eutlh; Forkas; Gibbs; Greenlaw; Horneburg; Incukalns; Tetersen; Upano; Westerstede


Clan Goliath Scorpion
	Command Keshik (s):
		Knife Dance Keshik (Elite)
		20th Scorpion Shock Cluster [Scorpio Ascendant] (Elite)
	Alpha Galaxy [The Rock Minders]:
		24th Scorpion Cuirassiers [The Khan’s Own] (Elite)
		25th Scorpion Cuirassiers [Scorpions of the Veil] (Elite)
		8th Scorpion Dragoons [The Whip-Tail Brigade] (Elite)
		14th Scorpion Hussars [Swift Retribution] (Elite)
	Beta Galaxy [The Sand Runners]:
		9th Scorpion Cuirassiers [The Khan’s Castle] (Elite)
		23rd Scorpion Cuirassiers [The Ironshell Irregulars] (Elite)
		1st Scorpion Dragoons [Heartvenom] (Elite)
		6th Scorpion Hussars [Desert Wind] (Elite)
	Solahma & Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		Goliath Scorpion Solahma Cluster
		15 PGCs
		16 Sirius-class JumpShips
	Goliath Scorpion Naval Reserve:
		Omega-class BB Lei Kung
		Zeta-class CA Serket*
		Epsilon-class FF Bernlad
		Gamma-class CV Orpheus
		Delta-class DD:  Borealis; Corona
	Goliath Scorpion Logistics Fleet
		Beta-class TN Enceladus; Epimetheus; Karttikeya; Prometheus
		Theta-class RT Theta-Scorpion
		18 Vega-class JumpShips
		16 Arcturus-class JumpShips
		16 Canopus-class JumpShips
Primary Target:  Hesperus II
Secondary Targets:  Arganda; Aristotle; Clinton; Canonble, Clotat; Eldsfoss; Flame; Lawson; Rahne; Sharpsborg; Trent


Clan Hell’s Horses
	Command Keshik (s):
		Alpha Keshik [Might Before Metal] (Elite)
		Omega Keshik [Hell’s Inferno] (Elite)
	Alpha Galaxy [Stampede of Steel]:
		21st Mechanized Assault [Firehorse Cluster] (Veteran)
		11th Mechanized Cavalry [Blackhorse Cluster] (Elite)
		12th Mechanized Cavalry [Steelhorse Cluster] (Elite)
		30th Mechanized Strike [Stormhorse Cluster] (Elite)
	Beta Galaxy [The Apocalypse]:
		66th Mechanized Assault [War Cluster] (Elite)
		77th Mechanized Cavalry [Famine Cluster] (Elite)
		99th Mechanized Cavalry [Death Cluster] (Elite)
		33rd Mechanized Strike [Pestilence Cluster] (Veteran)
	Solahma & Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		Hell’s Horses Solahma Cluster
		15 PGCs
		16 Sirius-class JumpShips
	Hell’s Horses Naval Reserve:
		Omega-class BB Absolute Truth
		Zeta-class CA Sleipnir*
		Epsilon-class FF Bucephalus
		Gamma-class CV Avenger
		Delta-class DD Bon Homme Richard; Lancer
	Hell’s Horses Logistics Fleet
		Beta-class TN Blood Horse; Steel Shield; Golden Clydesdale; Mount Olympus
		Theta-class RT Theta-Horse
		18 Vega-class JumpShips
		16 Arcturus-class JumpShips
		16 Canopus-class JumpShips
Primary Target:  Sudeten
Secondary Targets:  Ballynure; Benfled; Bessarabla; Blair Atholl; Blota; Domain; Kobe; Koniz; La Grave; Maeslu; Monmarault; Rastaban; Shaula; Sui II


Clan Ice Hellion
	Alpha Galaxy [The Blinding]:
		7th Attack Cluster (Elite)
		77th Hellion Lancers (Elite)
		78th Hellion Lancers (Elite)
		150th Striker Irregulars (Elite)
	Beta Galaxy [The Lithe Kill]:
		20th Attack Cluster (Elite)
		85th Hellion Lancers (Elite)
		90th Hellion Lancers (Elite)
		121st Striker Irregulars (Elite)
	Solahma & Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		Ice Hellion Solahma Cluster
		15 PGCs
		16 Sirius-class JumpShips
	Ice Hellion Naval Reserve:
		Omega-class BB Cage’s Pride
		Zeta-class CA Avalanche*
		Epsilon-class FF Hunter’s Pride
		Gamma-class CV Moore’s Honor
		Delta-class DD Cold Hunter; Impaler
	Ice Hellion Logistics Fleet
		Beta-class TN Coterie; Maker; Nebula; Promised Land
		Theta-class RT Theta-Hellion
		18 Vega-class JumpShips
		16 Arcturus-class JumpShips
		16 Canopus-class JumpShips
Primary Target:  Arcturus
Secondary Targets:  Borghese; Blue Diamond; Crimond; Fatima; Fort Loudon; Kelenfold; Meachan; Orkney; Rasalgelthi; Surcin; Tomans


Clan Jade Falcon
	Command Keshik (s):
		Turkina Keshik (Elite)
	Gamma Galaxy [Jade Falcon Galaxy]:
		Jade Falcon Guards (Elite)
		12th Falcon Regulars [The Frozen Fears] (Elite)
		3rd Falcon Talon Cluster [The Jade Claymores] (Elite)
		9th Falcon Talon Cluster [The Falcon Lancers] (Elite)
	Delta Galaxy [Gyrfalcon Galaxy]:
		305th Assault Cluster [The Blood Vision] (Elite)
		5th Battle Cluster [The Golden Talons] (Elite)
		2nd Falcon Jaegers [The Frost Falcons] (Elite)
		1st Falcon Striker Cluster [The Pursuing Peregrines] (Elite)
	Vau Galaxy [Peregrine Galaxy]:
		8th Falcon Regulars Cluster [The Scarlet Scythes] (Veteran)
		4th Falcon Velites [White Vision] (Veteran)
		94th Falcon Striker Cluster [Black Vision] (Veteran)
		124th Falcon Striker Cluster [The Blue Demons] (Veteran)
	Solahma & Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		Jade Falcon Solahma Cluster
		19 PGCs
		20 Sirius-class JumpShips
	Jade Falcon Naval Reserve:
		Omega-class BB Emerald Talon; Falcon’s Nest
		Zeta-class CA Hawker*
		Epsilon-class FF Green Lantern
		Gamma-class CV Dark Talon; Iowa
		Delta-class DD:  Emerald Tornado; Frost Falcon; Gauntlet; Turkina’s Pride
	Jade Falcon Logistics Fleet
		Beta-class TN Andromeda; Bonaventure; Eden Rose; Ironhold Provider
		Theta-class RT Theta-Falcon
		24 Vega-class JumpShips
		24 Arcturus-class JumpShips
		20 Canopus-class JumpShips
Primary Target:  Skye
Secondary Targets:  Alcor; Alkald; Caledonia; Carsphairn; Cor Caroll; Gacrux; Galatea; Lalaka; Menke; Mizar; Summer; Syrma; Vindemiatrix; Zebebelgenubi


Clan Nova Cat
	Command Keshik (s):
		Nova Cat Keshik (Elite)
	Alpha Galaxy [Victory over Delusion]:
		Nova Cat Fusiliers [The Circle Unbroken] (Elite)
		Nova Cat Grenadiers [Fires of Truth] (Veteran)
		1st Nova Cat Guards [Hand of Fate] (Elite)
		2nd Nova Cat Guards [Spiritual Journey] (Elite)
	Beta Galaxy [Spiritual Vision]:
		Nova Cat Dragoons [Circle of Harmony] (Elite)
		Nova Cat Lancers [The Path of Right] (Veteran)
		3rd Nova Cat Guards [The Dance of Fate] (Elite)
		4th Nova Cat Guards [The Oracles] (Elite)
	Solahma & Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		Nova Cat Solahma Cluster
		15 PGCs
		16 Sirius-class JumpShips
	Nova Cat Naval Reserve:
		Omega-class BB Lair of the Cat
		Zeta-class CA Severen Leroux*
		Epsilon-class FF True Vision
		Gamma-class CV Hellcat
		Delta-class DD Firedancer; Vision Quest
	Nova Cat Logistics Fleet
		Beta-class TN Enlightened Path; Faithful Right; Far Star; Guiding Vision
		Theta-class RT Theta-Cat
		18 Vega-class JumpShips
		16 Arcturus-class JumpShips
		16 Canopus-class JumpShips
Primary Target:  Donegal
Secondary Targets:  Aposlica; Cameron; Crevedla; Garrison; Ganshores; Glnestra; Grunwald; Leganes; Lucianca; Lyndon; Morningside; Odessa; Pherkad; Summit


Clan Smoke Jaguar
	Command Keshik (s):
		Shroud Keshik (Elite)
	Alpha Galaxy [Silent Death]:
		6th Jaguar Dragoons [Smoke and Fire] (Elite)
		7th Jaguar Dragoons [The Leaping Jaguar] (Veteran)
		Jaguar Grenadiers [The Immortals] (Elite)
		5th Jaguar Regulars [The Victory Cluster] (Veteran)
	Beta Galaxy [The Mistweavers]:
		362nd Assault Cluster [The Silver Jaguars] (Veteran)
		225th Battle Cluster [Bringers of Armageddon] (Elite)
		214th Jaguar Dragoons [The Stalkers] (Veteran)
		1st Jaguar Guards [The Whitewatch] (Elite)
	Gamma Galaxy [The Throat Rippers]:
		267th Battle Cluster [The Devil’s Mist] (Elite)
		1st Jaguar Cavaliers [Ghost Cats] (Veteran)
		336th Jaguar Combat Cluster [The Rake] (Veteran)
		2nd Jaguar Guards [The Striking Cats] (Elite)
	Solahma & Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		Smoke Jaguar Solahma Cluster
		19 PGCs
		20 Sirius-class JumpShips
	Smoke Jaguar Naval Reserve:
		Omega-class BB Veiled Huntress
		Zeta-class CA Streaking Mist
		Epsilon-class FF Black Panther; Snow Leopard
		Gamma-class CV Sabre Cat
		Delta-class DD Griffin; Korat; Pouncing Fury; Storm Cat
	Smoke Jaguar Logistics Fleet
		Beta-class TN Bright Star; Osis’ Pride; Pathfinder; Seeker; Tracker; Void
		Theta-class RT Theta-Jaguar
		20 Vega-class JumpShips
		20 Arcturus-class JumpShips
		20 Canopus-class JumpShips
Primary Target:  Pandora
Secondary Targets:  A Place; Arc-Royal; Alocongo; Bountiful Harvest; Dustball; Exteros; Graceland; Hamilton; Kandersleg; Morges; New Exford


Clan Snow Raven
	Command Keshik (s):
		Corvus Keshik (Elite)
	Alpha Galaxy [Swift Wing Galaxy]:
		6th Raven Battle Cluster [The Meteors] (Veteran)
		1st Raven Dragoon Cluster [The Longshanks] (Elite)
		5th Raven Light Horse Cluster [The Frost Wing] (Elite)
		9th Raven Striker Cluster [The Snow Hunters] (Elite)
	Beta Galaxy [Storm Crow Galaxy]:
		14th Raven Battle Cluster [The Thunder Heart Cluster] (Veteran)
		5th Raven Dragoon Cluster [The Wind Riders] (Elite)
		4th Raven Light Horse Cluster [The Snow Wing] (Elite)
		97th Raven Striker Cluster [The Soaring Ravens] (Elite)
	Solahma & Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		Snow Raven Solahma Cluster
		15 PGCs
		16 Sirius-class JumpShips
	Snow Raven Naval Reserve:
		Omega-class BB Hunting Raptor; Snow Raven
		Zeta-class CA Storm Crow*; Ticonderoga
		Epsilon-class FF Blackbird; Magpie
		Gamma-class CV Eternity
		Delta-class DD Ark Royal; Conqueror; Drake; Spur
	Snow Raven Logistics Fleet
		Beta-class TN Nestling; Repulse; Rook; Scavenger; Snowflake; Treachery;
			Venture Star; Wild Swan
		Theta-class RT Theta-Raven
		18 Vega-class JumpShips
		16 Arcturus-class JumpShips
		16 Canopus-class JumpShips
Primary Target:  Alarion
Secondary Targets:  Abejorral; Duran; Minderoo; Nolsiel; Pobeda; Reese Station; Richvale; Saravan; Tiruppur; Vendrell; Vorzel


Clan Star Adder
	Command Keshik (s):
		Adder Command Keshik [The Light of Command] (Elite)
		Adder Quasar Keshik [Iron Will] (Elite)
	Alpha Galaxy [Old Blood and Guts]:
		85th Adder Cavaliers [Gallant Steeds] (Elite)
		191st Adder Guards [Saar Cavaliers] (Elite)
		11th Armored Cavalry Squadron [Messina Missionaries] (Veteran)
		5th Assault Cluster [Georgie’s Gorillas] (Elite)
	Beta Galaxy [The Old Guard]:
		108th Adder Cavaliers [Steel on Target] (Elite)
		10th Armored Cavalry Squadron [The Buffalo Soldiers] (Elite)
		8th Assault Cluster [Black Panzers] (Veteran)
		97th Dragoon Cluster [The Sheridan Dragoons] (Elite)
	Gamma Galaxy [Blood Feud]
		73rd Adder Cavaliers [Scourge of the Highlands] (Veteran)
		9th Armored Cavalry Squadron [Spirit Crushers] (Veteran)
		69th Dragoon Cluster [Fighting Gurkhas] (Veteran)
		133rd Hussar Cluster [Tigermen] (Veteran)
	Solahma & Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		Star Adder Solahma Cluster
		19 PGCs
		20 Sirius-class JumpShips
	Star Adder Naval Reserve:
		Omega-class BB Mountbatton; Sovereign Right
		Zeta-class CA Nygaard*
		Epsilon-class FF Constellation; Shannon
		Gamma-class CV Eagle
		Delta-class DD Admiral William S. Preston; Cameron’s Flame; Constantineau;
			Warlock
	Star Adder Logistics Fleet
		Beta-class TN Cho Polu; Pompeii; Renown; Revenge; St. Helens; Vritra;
			Zealous; Wrath
		Theta-class RT Theta-Adder
		24 Vega-class JumpShips
		24 Arcturus-class JumpShips
		20 Canopus-class JumpShips
Primary Target:  Oliver
Secondary Targets:  Alchiba; Aloth; Alula Australis; Castor; Chara; Denebola; Devil's Rock; Graham; Lipton; Milton; New Earth; Pollux; Thorin; Zavijava


Clan Steel Viper
	Command Keshik (s):
		Triasch Keshik (Elite)
	Alpha Galaxy [Steel Viper Galaxy]:
		400th Assault Cluster [The Diamondbacks] (Elite)
		1st Viper Guards [The Viper’s Fury] (Elite)
		2nd Viper Guards [The Sidewinders] (Elite)
		4th Viper Guards [The Deadly Venom] (Elite)
	Beta Galaxy [Steel Fangs Galaxy]:
		233rd Battle Cluster [The Hunting Vipers] (Veteran)
		126th Striker Cluster [The Copperheads] (Veteran)
		195th Striker Cluster [The Black Mambas] (Veteran)
		Viper Fusiliers (Elite)
	Solahma & Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		Steel Viper Solahma Cluster
		15 PGCs
		16 Sirius-class JumpShips
	Steel Viper Naval Reserve:
		Omega-class BB Dark Asp
		Zeta-class CA Sanra Mercer*
		Epsilon-class FF Snake Leader
		Gamma-class CV Martial Legacy
		Delta-class DD Anaconda; Steel Python
	Steel Viper Logistics Fleet
		Beta-class TN Ophidan; Pride of New Kent; Serpentes; Tenacity
		Theta-class RT Theta-Viper
		18 Vega-class JumpShips
		16 Arcturus-class JumpShips
		16 Canopus-class JumpShips
Primary Target:  Coventry
Secondary Targets:  Bluque; Great X; Krieevcl; New Capetown; Santana; Sargasso; Tlmkovichi; Tslnan; Wroclaw; Yeguas; Zandenj


Clan Wolf
	Command Keshik (s):
		The Golden Keshik (Elite)
	Alpha Galaxy [The Dire Wolves]:
		328th Assault Cluster [The Lion-Hearted] (Elite)
		279th Battle Cluster [The Golden Horde] (Elite)
		3rd Wolf Guards Cluster [The Sentinels] (Elite)
		4th Wolf Guards Cluster [The Cyclops Cluster] (Elite)
	Beta Galaxy [The Arctic Wolves]:
		341st Assault Cluster [The Silver Blizzard] (Elite)
		352nd Assault Cluster [The Silver Wolves] (Elite)
		3rd Battle Cluster [Silver Devils] (Elite)
		9th Wolf Guards Cluster [Silver Fangs] (Elite)
	Gamma Galaxy [The Wolf Hussars]:
		5th Battle Cluster [Ghost Hunters] (Veteran)
		7th Battle Cluster [The Hungry Wolves] (Veteran)
		11th Battle Cluster [The Bronze Lancers] (Veteran)
		16th Battle Cluster [The Bronze Furies] (Veteran)
	Solahma & Provisional Garrison Clusters:
		Wolf Solahma Cluster
		19 PGCs
		20 Sirius-class JumpShips
	Wolf Naval Reserve:
		Omega-class BB Werewolf
		Zeta-class CA Dire Wolf*
		Epsilon-class FF Kerensky’s Pride; Rogue
		Gamma-class CV Crusader; Ranger
		Delta-class DD Blood Drinker; Implacable; Nature’s Wrath; Stealthy Kill
	Wolf Logistics Fleet
		Beta-class TN Armageddon; Eclipse; Full Moon; New Moon; Night Warrior;
			Provider
		Theta-class RT Theta-Wolf
		24 Vega-class JumpShips
		24 Arcturus-class JumpShips
		20 Canopus-class JumpShips
Primary Target:  Furillo
Secondary Targets:  Aur; Blornlunda; Callisto V; Collnas; Enkoping; Halmyel Deans; Hillerod; Jaumegarde; Kirkcaldy; Kockenegen; Mesa Verde; Porrlma; Svinngarn; Veckholm


Task Force Terra
	Alpha-class PV Arcadian Asp; Azov; Black Adder; Black Beard; Black Ghost;
		Blood Hatred; Blood Rage; Burning Sting; Centaur; Coiled Serpent;
		Deathstalker; Far Vision; Firetender; Flurry; Future Triumph; Gnasher; Grizzly;
		Hell Fury; Hellion’s Pride; Hertzog’s Staff; Howl; Hunin; Hunter;
		Kerensky’s Blues; Killing Blow; Lightning Strike; Mako; Mankiller; Munin;
		Nevermore; Pegasus; Perdition’s Flame; Pit Viper; Prowler; Relentless Pursuit;
		Righteous Return; Ripper; Spirit Sight; Striking Claws; Storm Rider; Swift Bait;
		Thresher; Torchbearer; Trailblazer; Trump; Valiant; Whelp; Wild Stallion



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:26 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
I can't get my maps (.png files) to load, so here is another site where they are posted.

http://ourbattletech.com/forum/parallel ... al-reborn/

Just scroll down until you hit the post with all three maps.

MA


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Chapter One

April 1, 3051
Zenith Jump Point
Tharkad
Lyran Commonwealth, Federated Commonwealth


“Jackson, can you spare a poor spacer a smoke?”

The Lyran tech shook his head as he lobbed a pack across the command deck of the Olympus-class Recharge Station that protected the capital of the Lyran Commonwealth’s half of the Federated Commonwealth. The pack slowly flipped end over end in the zero-gravity environment, until the second tech on duty reached out and snagged it in midair.

“Thanks, pal, you’re a real life saver.”

Jackson leaned back in his seat—held in place by his restraining straps—and sighed. “And if you would learn to quit betting the farm on drawing an inside straight, Frank, maybe you would have enough to afford a pack or two of your own.”

“But good buddy, I’ve got you.”

Even the chief of the watch smiled at that, but that smile quickly evaporated when one of his signal lights began to flash. “Alright, everyone, unscheduled incoming. Frank—warm up the guns and alert the third watch to stand by; Jackson, get on the horn to the planet. Sammy, what is the reading looking like?”

“Neutrino emissions look like a single ship transit, boss, but that can’t be right. Extrapolated mass is way too high to be one ship—it’s got be a convoy, five or six vessels at least to put out this high an emission.”

The chief scowled as he examined the numbers himself, and slowly came to the same conclusion. But no convoy was scheduled . . . he lifted the cover on the red button that would send the station to full alert and pressed it down just as Jackson let out a yell.

“EMERGENCE! JESUS CHRIST CHIEF, WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?”

As the red lights came on in the command deck and a klaxon began to sound, the chief of the watch looked up to see the biggest vessel he had ever seen with his naked eyes lying just fifty kilometers off the station. The magnifiers built into the command chair showed him the details in perfect resolution—including the massive white head of a snarling bear emblazoned across the bow. And it was like nothing he had ever before seen.

But then his warbook beeped at him, and the chief looked down. It was showing a 70% probability that the vessel was a Terran Hegemony Monsoon-class Battleship! None of those things had existed for more 350 years! But that was what the warbook said.

“Chief, someone over there wants to speak with the man in charge,” Jackson said softly.

With a dry mouth, the chief nodded, and threw a switch that opened his own radio connection. “Senior Chief Warrant Officer Nicolas Sutherland, Federated Commonwealth Customs Enforcement Service. Unknown intruder, identify yourself immediately.”

For a second static hissed. “Senior Chief Sutherland, we are Clan Ghost Bear, and we claim this systems and all within in the name of our Clan and of all the Clans of Kerensky. Do you dispute this claim?”

Sutherland’s eyes boggled. “Dispute? Hell, yes, I dispute your claim. Who the hell do . . .”

“Transmission severed at the source, Chief,” Jackson said, as Sutherland saw the nose of the impossibly big ship swing away—and dozens of ports on her side suddenly snapped open. “Open fire!” he yelled, “Hit with everything you’ve got!”

But it was far, far too late for that, and in a single broadside the WarShip blew the recharge station into a million very small pieces.

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

Khan Jerome Jorgensson felt his stomach heave as the Eta-class Troop Carrier The Ourse Keshik jumped across empty space to arrive at one of the pirate points surrounding the Lyran capital of Tharkad. Twelve more of the Clans front-line transports also appeared in precise formation, and as one each began to accelerate at 2-g’s towards the tiny faint blue planet centered in the holotank, its north and south poles covered with white that extended down halfway to the equator.

The heavy gravity not visibly affecting him, the Star Colonel commanding the TroopShip crossed the bridge and gravely saluted, which Jerome returned with a simple nod. “All ships are in position—resistance at the other jump-points has been neutralized. We are proceeding on schedule, my Khan.”

“Time to orbit?”

“Thirty minutes, my Khan—after which we will decelerate and return to planetary orbit. It would only add an hour if we instead decelerate the last half of the distance, and that will allow my ships to give you support, if needed.”

“Neg. We are Ghost Bear, Star Colonel. At the moment we have surprise, and I intend to use every precious second of it—increase thrust to maximum.”

The Star Colonel bowed his head, but the Khan was already heading towards the lift that would carry him to his DropShip—and the Ghost Bear BattleMech waiting for him within.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:24 pm 
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
“Sabre Two, tighten up on my wing, and prepare to go buster. Weapons hot.”

“Weapons hot, Skip,” answered Kirk Tigh from the cockpit of his Lucifer. The entire aero-wing had scrambled just minutes before hand with reports of raiders—raiders, here on Tharkad. It was unbelievable! Tigh had never heard of such, at least not since the Second Succession War. But it was apparently happening, so he doubled check his weapons, made certain green lights were lit on all of them, and slid closer to the wing of his section leader.

“Now,” announced the older pilots voice over the radio, and Tigh pushed the throttle to the stops, the Lucifer leaping forward in acceleration as the two fighters climbed towards the stratosphere. And then his radar detected the incoming: seventy-eight DropShips, with nearly two hundred fighters breaking trail ahead of them! His face blanched white with shock—the entire Tharkad defense force had just one hundred and four fighters ready for action, and it was a heavily defended world, with two full fighter regiments on hand. “Scheisse,” he whispered, not remembering that his mike was still hot.

“Yah, Sabre Two,” the flight leader called out. “This is what we call a target-rich environment.”

Suddenly, thirteen of the Droppers accelerated tremendously and shot ahead of the hostile fighters—and unleashed an unnatural amount of weapons fire onto the lead Steiner light Seydlitzs and Sparrowhawks.

“And they’ve got assault DropShips,” his flight leader said, quite unnecessarily in Tigh’s own opinion. “Ignore the assault ships, ignore the fighters, Two, we are going for the eggs.”

Tigh swallowed hard, but clicked his mike twice in answer. He centered a large DropShip in his targeting reticule and waited for his LRMs to enter their range. His warbook did not seem to recognize the class, but it was big and it was round—that meant it was a ‘Mech carrier. At least it didn’t seem big enough to carry a full battalion, but it was a lot bigger than any Union had a right to be. Still, if all they carried were a company each, that was only . . . seven plus Regiments. Joy.

Suddenly, his threat receiver lit up—but he was still out of range of even AC-2s! Tigh began to bank hard, but he was too slow, and a powerful stiletto of light shattered his fighter like a toy, even as his LRMs finally began to warble in his ears. Spinning out of control, he reached down and pulled the eject handle—and then screamed as his ammunition and fuel detonated milli-seconds ahead of the chair rockets.

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

“Who the hell are these guys?” growled Marshall Nondi Steiner as she glared at her officers in the command bunker buried underneath the Steiner palace complex. “This can’t be pirates—not attacking in such force, and is sure as hell isn’t Marik or Kurita!”

Most of her staff averted their eyes, but one young Leftenant cleared his throat. “Marshall, the leader of the invaders is on the radio and is asking to speak with the commanding officer of the planetary defenses.”

Exchanging a glance with Archon Melissa Steiner, Nondi nodded and spoke loudly, “This is Marshall Nondi Steiner, commanding officer of the Lyran Command of the Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth. Who am I speaking with?”

“Khan Jerome Jorgensson, Khan of Clan Ghost Bear, of the Clans of Kerensky returned home from our long exile. We claim this world, and all who dwell upon it as our own. With what forces do you intend to defend this planet?”

“All of them ‘Khan’ Jorgensson, but tell me this: who are you really? Are you working for Kurita, you miserable pirate?”

Laughter emerged from the speaker. “Bargained well and done, Marshall Steiner—and I work for no freebirth, not even the Lord of a Scavenger House. Nor am I a pirate, and I am most certainly not miserable, although I do believe that you shall be shortly. I accept your bid and will meet you with my entire toumen. My primary landing zone is TharHes industries.”

Nondi jerked. “If you think you can hold those factories, then, Mister, you’ve got . . .”

More laughter. “Marshall Steiner, it is my intention to obliterate your factories and crush your resistance. One could almost say that resistance is futile. But, I digress. Face me in your ‘Mech, Marshall Steiner—if you dare to challenge a Khan. Or cower in your little bunker—it makes no difference to me how you die.”

The transmission with a dull pomph sound; a sound that Nondi realized was that of a ‘Mech being ejected from a DropShip.

Another aide came running in, and computer generated icons—all of a harsh red—appeared inside the factory grounds, along with more icons representing infantry. And Nondi watched in horror as the icons depicting the 2nd Royal Guards began to quickly vanish.

“Who the hell are these people?” she whispered.

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

Jerome Jorgensson watched the thick cloud of oily black smoke spread with the north-east wind. The men and women of the Ourse Keshik stood around him, dozens of BattleMechs, more than a hundred Elemental infantry, and his fighters ruled the skies above. Three Galaxies of his Clan were even now spreading out, engaging the determined—but outclassed—defenders at every turn. Already, he had reports of several casualties, but their most elite Regiment had died here, defending this ruined industrial complex. He had to defend himself—twice—and his armor was scored in a dozen locations. But his opponents were dead, and even now Elemental sappers were setting the demolition charges. He nodded, and turned on his mike. “Now we take their Palace, Ourse Keshik—follow me!”


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:25 pm 
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
As the Ourse Keshik passed through the shattered outer wall surrounding the hill upon which the massive Palace dominated the Triad—the collection of buildings that formed the center authority of the Steiner government, bordered on each of its three sides by the Palace proper, the Royal Court, and the Government House—the ground suddenly erupted beneath the feet of the Tomb Scarab which had taken point.

“Minefield,” snapped the luckless warrior that had stumbled into the trap.

Jerome frowned. Freebirth scum, he thought, mines are for bandits, not for true warriors. But, the eleven extensive months of training exercises in the Homeworlds had prepared his Clan for this very eventuality. “Mine-clearing pattern Theta, EXECUTE!”

The six ‘Mechs of his lead Trinary equipped with LRM launchers fired the mine-clearance munitions into the ground in a wide pattern, and were rewarded with secondary detonations as the charges exploded the hidden danger. A second salvo reached out, and then a third, and with the four, a lane was cut through the concealed field.

The Ghost Bear Khan watched as the warrior assigned to the Tomb Scarab tried to walk forward, but his foot actuator was completely destroyed, and the knee badly wrenched out of position. He stumbled, but the dead weight of the leg dragged behind him, slowly him badly.

“Warrior Olaf, retire to the rear and have our techs see to that leg,” he ordered.

“Aff, my Khan,” the warrior answered in reply, his fury at being defeated by this unseen foe radiating over the speaker.

Moving his 90-ton assault ‘Mech forward into the breech, Jerome’s sensors detected a Lyran Atlas and two Griffins closing on his Keshik. “I will take the Atlas,” he quickly said as he designated the opposing assault as his target. “Star Captain Tseng has Griffin Alpha; Warrior Abraham has Griffin Beta.”

Tseng’s Black Adder was just forty-tons, and while faster than the Griffin lacked jump jets, while Abrahams Howler was even lighter—just thirty-five tons—but slower, and his design did have jump capability.

Jerome maneuvered his Ghost Bear through the cleared lane, and unleashed a ruby beam from his right arm extended-range Large Laser at the Atlas—and the stiletto of light struck home, burning off more than a half-ton of armor from the other Assault class unit. In answer, the Atlas unleashed a cloud of LRM’s, but they flew wide—Jerome’s long-range missiles, on the hand, did not. Of the twenty missiles he fired, sixteen flew straight and true, and another ton of armor was blasted into tiny pieces of debris. The Khan kicked his ‘Mech into high gear, tearing across the open courtyard at nearly 65 kilometers per hour, and as the range fell, he began to circle the Atlas, once again firing his ER LL and LRMs, but now adding the fury of his head-mounted extended-range Medium Laser, the massive LB-20X autocannon that consume much of his units right torso, and the Streak SRM-6 launcher.

Once again, the ER LL struck home, burning into the Atlas’s torso, but the LRM shot was slightly rushed and went wide. The less intense beam from the medium struck an arm, and Jerome snarled as his Streak-packed whined with the tone that indicated a successful lock—all six missiles bored into the target, racking it with explosions. And then he fired the LB-X autocannon, a withering burst of shells that ripped through the last remaining scraps of armor on the Atlas’s right torso, smashing its own—as yet unused—heavy autocannon into junk.

The Lyran pilot struggled to keep his feet, and once again he fired a missile salvo—his only weapons with the reach to engage Jerome’s ‘Mech. This time, he was luckier and twelve missiles detonated across the legs and chest of the Ghost Bear. Suddenly, Jerome reeled as a blow struck his ‘Mech directly in the back—one of the two enemy Griffins had leaped behind him and unleashed a heavy barrage of short-range missiles and laser bolts, most of which had missed. But the remainder had left his rear armor dangerously thin.

The Khan snarled as he triggered the three rear-mounted ER Mediums that his Ghost Bear mounted just in case of such a treacherous assault! The cockpit temperature spiked as the scarlet beams of death converged and drilled through the right torso, and then the Griffin jerked as the excess energy detonated his missile magazine. The explosion tore apart the medium-weight ‘Mech, and the concussion forced Jerome to fight his own controls to remain standing.

Suddenly, Jerome’s radio blared, “My apologies, my Khan,” came the soft voice of Helen Tseng, “he ignored me to go after you—the dezgra scum.”

“As I have taken your kill, Star Captain, I grant you mine—finish the Atlas, Warrior.”

“My Khan is gracious in his victory,” his subordinate replied.

Jerome backed his ‘Mech up, rejoining the remainder of the Ourse Keshik where they stood watching Abraham rip the second Griffin to pieces with ER PPC and LRM fire. And then Tseng began to literally dismember the Atlas, first pouring LB-5X and ER Medium Lasers into his long-range missile launcher until that system was disabled, and she played with the assault-weight unit, eating away at its limbs until the Lyran pilot ejected, having lost both arms and one leg before he finally conceded his defeat.

Jerome chuckled, and opened the private channel to his saKhan, Sandra Tseng. “I think that your latest protégée would prefer to have been a Scorpion, Sandra.”

“I too have wondered that over the years, Jerome. She is definitely a strange one for our Clan, but she is also an excellent warrior and a good leader.”

“Aff.”

Switching the transmitter back to the general broadcast frequency, Jerome barked out a command. “Secure the compound, Ourse Keshik. Elementals: bring me the Archon—alive.”


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:04 pm 
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Stratego
Stratego

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2001 8:00 pm
Posts: 10855
Location: Ft. Hood Texas
Can't wait for more, excellent work!

_________________
Karagin-

Darkness is a friend of mine. Sometimes I have to beat it back, or it would overwhelm me. Shirley Meier

[url]http://karagin12.livejournal.com/[/url]

The Wookiee, he's not wearing any pants!

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:49 pm 
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Supreme Mugwump
Supreme Mugwump

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 3:42 pm
Posts: 3183
i think this is more realistic than the canon, while the canon has to keep in mind that the story has to go on, and therefore cannot lead to a swift victory of the clans.

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typos and spelling-mistakes are property of the finder. english is not my mother-tongue.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 3:22 pm 
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Melissa Steiner-Davion stumbled into the smoke filled courtyard of the Triad. The defensive walls that surrounded the seat of her government were broken, and shards of marble and granite lay on the ground in random patterns. The once pristine snow was marred with shell casings and debris and dirt from the mines buried along the perimeter, and the glorious buildings that housed her government were pock-marked by autocannon shells, PPC bolts, and missile blasts, scorched with burnt holes drilled from lasers.

The terrifying armor figure behind her gently caught her and helped her once again to her feet, but Melissa still shuddered as the cold metal of its claw made contact with her skin. She had seen a similar claw just very recently tear through the blast door of the underground bunker, twisting and tearing armor plate like it was putty.

Her nose itched from the smell of burning ceramic, metal, and plastic, the stench of ozone that always filled the air after a PPC had been fired, and the thick coppery smell of blood that lined the steps leading down to the bunker. The bodies of her guards had removed, but their split blood still stained the marble risers. Behind her, the others slowly emerged into the light: Nondi, looking stunned and shocked at the sheer speed of the fall of Tharkad, the Marshall’s staff, her own (civilian) staff, and her eldest daughter Katherine—the teenager’s face revealing the same panic that made Melissa’s heart race, but did not succeed in altering her own set and emotionless expression. Not since her clandestine trip and the hijacking of her Buccaneer many, many years ago had Melissa been in this much physical danger, but she forced down the fear and made herself look across the courtyard.

Scores more of the horrible appearing armored figures surrounded a group of her soldiers, who had forced to kneel, their fingers interlaced behind their heads. Several were wounded, but others had only dirty smudges on their face from ash and soot, but each looked exhausted—and utterly demoralized. The ground shook as ‘Mechs tromped across the courtyard, and a single tear cut through the dust on Melissa’s check as she witnessed two more of the armored soldiers hauling down the FedCom and Steiner banners, and hoisting a blue standard with a snarling bear’s head in its place. About a dozen more ‘Mechs stood motionless nearby, their cockpit canopies open, and she saw the group of MechWarriors approaching her.

She gasped, because these pirates were wearing Star League cooling suits! Modified, but to a historian such as she had once trained, easily recognizable. Far more effective than the simple cooling vests common to her own troops, lightly armored against ballistic fire as well, these suits required many technologies out of the reach of the Successor Houses, yet it seemed these bandits equipped all of their MechWarriors with the irreplaceable full-body suits. The group slowed its brisk pace until they stopped four paces away from the prisoners, and their leader—a tall man with closely cropped blonde hair—crossed his arms and shook his head, a grin on his face belying the stern expression he attempted to project.

“Archon Steiner-Davion,” he rumbled. “I am Jerome Jorgensson, Khan of Clan Ghost Bear—and I have come to request that you instruct your surviving forces, what few that remain, to lay down their arms and be absorbed into my Clan.”

“Mister Jorgensson,” she began, but was quickly cut off.

“Khan Jorgensson, Archon Steiner-Davion. I have earned my title of Khan, where you were merely born to yours.”

Melissa nodded. “KHAN Jorgensson, I would advise you, in the hopes of preserving your own troops, to withdraw from Tharkad now. You must realize that my husband will move the heavens and earth to rescue us from here—you cannot defeat the entire Federated Commonwealth, no matter what lostech you possess.”

The man laughed, and his grin expanded to fill his face. “Archon Steiner-Davion, I am counting on that exact reaction from your forces. Why waste my time hunting down each and every one of your detachments when they will rush to your defense here—where my forces will be waiting for them.”

Melissa’s eyes grew wide, and then Nondi spat on the ground. “And with luck, I will be here to witness what happens to you bandits when our forces take back this world!”

Jerome shook his head sadly. “Neg, freebirth. For my attack upon your capital was not the only attack launched this day—no fewer than sixteen Clans of Kerensky have invaded your precious Lyran Commonwealth. On worlds as minor as Alarion and Donegal, Skye and Tamar, Coventry and Hesperus II. No, you’re husband, Archon Steiner-Davion, will try to dislodge us, but he has already failed. For the Clans have returned from our long exile to reclaim our lost heritage from you barbarians who have lost your way—the true way. And when we are finished, then, Archon, will the Inner Sphere know peace—a peace that you threw away when your fore-fathers dissolved the Star League and sent my Founders into wandering exile.”

Nondi gasped, and then she defiantly shook her head. “Doesn’t matter, you can’t conquer us—I’ll never serve you, you son-of-a-[censored].”

The Ghost Bear Khan nodded in agreement, and then turned to the woman standing at his side. “I do think that she is quite serious about that, Sandra. Is that your opinion as well, quiaff?”

“Aff, my Khan. I think she would slit your throat given the opportunity to do so—and she is too old to make a proper bondsman regardless.”

“True,” Jerome answered as he turned back to face Nondi and drew his sidearm. He raised the pistol and fired one shot into her head, the blood and brains splattering all over Melissa’s daughter, who screamed in horror.

“Your people will serve Clan Ghost Bear, or they will die, Archon Melissa. But you,” and he grinned, “you and your daughter both I claim as my own bondsmen.”

Seeing the sudden look of anger—and fear—in Melissa’s eyes, he shook his head and raised his (empty) hand in a placating gesture. “There is nothing sexual in that relationship, Archon Melissa—unless you want there to be, of course. Neither of you will be molested, but you are both too valuable to place in the hands of those who might be less . . . accommodating . . . of your peculiar status. As for your soldiers, they will either die in the defense of a realm already deceased or they can enter my Clan and eventually regain their status as Warriors on the side of right and justice. It is their choice—it is your choice, Bondswoman.”

And Melissa’s heart plummeted as she saw the conviction—the fanaticism—that glowed within the Khan’s eyes.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:53 pm 
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Chapter Two

April 1, 3051
DropShip Scorpius
Descent Orbit, Outreach
Sarna March, Federated Commonwealth


“DropShip Scorpius, this is Outreach Flight Control. Your assigned corridor is Delta-three, acknowledge.”

The passenger took the offered microphone. “Flight Control; Scorpius. Inform Jamie Wolf to be present upon arrival.”

Static hissed from the speaker for several moments. “Scorpius, Flight Control. Colonel Wolf does not meet the DropShip of any independent mercenary unit that requests his presence. Your audacity is noted, now acknowledge flight corridor.”

“Flight Control; Scorpius. Open code book and decrypt the following: spring sky waits/long night ends for bright/morn awakes.”

Scorpius; Flight Control. I don’t know what kind of fracking game that you . . .”

Suddenly, a third transmission stepped on top of the civilian flight controllers. “Flight Control; Outreach Defense Command. We are taking control of Scorpius deorbit immediately. Scorpius; your corridor to the Defense Reservation is being transmitted now. Deviate from instructed course and you will be destroyed; no further warnings will be issued. Maintain radio silence until landing; you will be met on arrival. Defense Command out.”

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

Colonel Jamie Wolf looked up at the ground car he was riding in slowed to a stop. His driver—and bodyguard—exited the vehicle and rounded the car to open Wolf’s own door. The grey-haired merc commander folded up his reading glasses and placed them in a hard-shell case, a case that he then slid into his uniform jacket. He stepped out of the car and looked over the landing pad, where a Mule-class DropShip sat, its hull popping as it shed the heat of reentry.

No, he thought to himself, not a Mule as his eyes found the minute differences: an Onager. An Onager here, on Outreach, after all of these many, many years. Two companies of Dragoon security surrounded the ship in ground combat vehicles and infantry had their weapons trained on all hatches—while four BattleMechs carefully kept their own guns trained on the massive vessel’s hull from somewhat further away.

The main hatch opened, and a thermal-resistance ramp was lowered, but only one man descended. Jamie’s breath caught as he saw the Scorpion Warrior in full ceremonial regalia, complete with the totem mask briskly walk to the tarmac. He nodded at his aide-driver-bodyguard, and the man mumbled into his radio. The Scorpion was allowed to pass through the perimeter and he walked right up to Jamie, stopping just two paces away and saluted.

“Galaxy Commander Jamie Wolf,” he said. “I am saKhan Nelson Elam of the Goliath Scorpions, and I bear tidings for your Reconnaissance Galaxy from the ilKhan of the Clans, Nikolai Djerassi. Here are the formal orders of Recall for your Dragoons, Galaxy Commander,” Nelson said as handed Jamie a thick envelope of old-fashioned parchment, “along with confirmation of your rank as a Clan Wolf Galaxy Commander—and the authorization for the formation of a Wolf Blood Name, as was promised.”

Jamie Wolf took the envelope and stared into the eyes of this . . . fellow clansman. “Then the Invasion has been authorized?”

“Galaxy Commander, the Invasion has already begun.”


Last edited by master arminas on Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:25 am 
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Quote:
i think this is more realistic than the canon, while the canon has to keep in mind that the story has to go on, and therefore cannot lead to a swift victory of the clans.
They could have had the swift victory, with the Inner Sphere fighting to push them back which could have kept the story moving forward.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:12 am 
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“My god,” William Cameron whispered as Jamie Wolf finished briefing the leadership of the Dragoons currently on Outreach. “The poor stupid bastards went ahead and actually launched the Invasion.”

J. Elliot Jamison snorted. “Bill, the Homeworld Clans are neither poor, nor are they generally stupid, but right bastards I will grant you that one,” he said as he waved his hand across the holographic map projection floating over the conference table. “Sixteen invading Clans, and these are their initial targets? I can guaranty you that none of these worlds—not Tharkad, not Hesperus, which I might add, we couldn’t take—had a strong enough defense force to hold against that kind of firepower, gentlemen, ladies. And that means the Lyran half of the Federated Commonwealth is well and truly screwed.”

Jamie Wolf nodded in agreement. “And thus comes the question that we never hoped we would have to answer: to whom do our loyalties lie?”

The Black Widow shook her head in disgust. “Still following Nadia’s orders, are you Jamie? Those orders—from a Wolf Khan dead thirty-five years now—are long since out of date. They presupposed a Warden-Crusader split in the Clans, not this decapitation stroke. Nadia was wrong then, and she is wrong today: I say we pack up the entire kit-and-caboodle, bid Hanse and the other Succession Lord idiots a fond farewell and report for duty on Furillo to kick some ComStar ass!”

Wolf shook his head. “It is not that simple, Natasha. There are so few of us from the Homeworlds left—will the rank and file follow me into the service of such an alien system? Will they fight against the only home they have ever known, simply because I ask?”

Colonel Shelly Brubaker cleared her throat and solemnly nodded. “If you ask, they will follow you to Hell and back, Colonel. They will not want to, and there may be trouble down that road, but they will follow you.”

“Jamie, you have no right to make this decision for all of us—I will be damned if I sit here and become a traitor to the Clans because you got sentimental,” Natasha answered with more than hint of anger in her voice. “Have you forgotten what these vultures have cost you personally—have you forgotten Joshua, your wife, your dead children, Jamie Wolf?”

A younger man—the youngest at the table—stood and snapped back in defense of his father. “That is beneath you, Colonel Kerensky! How dare you . . .”

“Oh, sit down and shut up, MacKenzie,” Natasha cut him off. “You really don’t want to square off against me in a Trail of Grievance, boy—because you are nothing close to your father as a ‘Mech pilot. Jamie, they are corrupt, they care nothing for the people they claim to lead, and everyone is manipulated by ComStar. At least with the Clans we have a chance to wipe the slate clean and start over fresh—and I don’t know about you, but frankly I’m too old to spend the rest of my life as a bandit being hunted down for breaking my oath.”

“The same could be said about us breaking our sworn word and signed contracts here, Natasha,” Kelly Yukinov answered. “For half a century, this has been our home; if the Invasion had come during the 20’s or even the 30’s, we would not be having this conversation, but it did not. I was born in the Homeworlds, and I would like to see them again before my death, but they are no longer my home, Tash.”

“All of our contracts have escape clauses—every single one we have ever signed. Invoke those clauses and we don’t break our word, we fufill it! Damn it people, this is what we were sent here to do! Gather information and break trail for this exact moment!”

Jamie Wolf shook his head. “Neg. I cannot—I will not—see the Inner Sphere turned into the castes of the Homeworlds, with people locked into one role because of their birth, with no way to escape. And even if you do accomplish a miracle and escape and become a Warrior, you are still second-rate because you are Freebirth! We have bled and we have given lives of those we care about for the Inner Sphere, and now this world is our home. We will go with Bootstrap.”

One by one, the Dragoon officers seated around the table nodded their agreement—except for Natasha Kerensky, who slowly shook her head no.

“This is the wrong choice, Jamie, and here our paths will part.”

“Are you challenging me to a Trial of Refusal, Natasha, or perhaps one of Grievance, then?”

“Neg,” she answered softly. “I won’t kill you, Jamie, even though I should. I owe Joshua that much at least, but I can’t follow your orders anymore.”

Jamie Wolf nodded. “In that case, Star Captain Natasha Kerensky of Clan Wolf, I release you from service to the Wolf’s Dragoons. Bill, see that any of our original members that remain who wish to join Natasha are given the opportunity to do so. I imagine that our guest wouldn’t mind if you hitch a ride with him.”

Natasha stood, and nodded her goodbyes to the colleagues of many decades seated at the table. She began to leave, but then she stopped, and turned back to face Jamie once more. “Don’t accept a contract that calls on you to fight the Wolves, Jamie. If you do, and I face you, then I will kill you there.”

“Seyla,” the old man whispered, as the Black Widow left the conference room without another a word.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:29 pm 
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“Did I hear you correctly, Galaxy Commander Wolf? You are refusing the recall order?” Nelson Elam asked.

“Aff. This is now my home—my Warrior’s home, saKhan Elam. I—and my Dragoons—will fight you to preserve it.”

Nelson Elam nodded slowly; although he had not thought it possible, the ilKhan had planned for even this contingency—so he was not completely unprepared.

“In that case, Jamie Wolf, I challenge you to a Trial of Refusal on this matter—if you still honor the traditions of the Clans.”

Several of Wolf’s officers rose angrily from the table, Jamison slammed down his palm on the table. “SIT DOWN!” he barked. “This is our way—the honorable way. Proceed, saKhan.”

Jamie nodded in agreement, although his face held a sad look upon it. “What is your bid for this Trial, saKhan? I should warn you, that the vote on this course was nine-to-one, hence we can field nine times your bid if we chose to do so—according to those same traditions.”

Nelson bared his teeth as he relished the challenge to come. “I bid myself and my aides, piloting a Goliath Scorpion, a Boreal Wildcat, and a Desert Tiger.”

“Then we will meet this afternoon on the proving grounds, saKhan. The Dragoons will field a company of ‘Mech to dispute this Trial—and I will lead them in person. So that you may have a fighting chance, saKhan, I invoke zellbrigen for this contest.”

“Bargained well and done, Jamie Wolf.”


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:56 pm 
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Word spread quickly throughout the Dragoons, and although being physically present would have presented far too great a risk of collateral damage, nearly all of Jamie’s command that was currently present on Outreach were watching via the cameras of several dozen observation towers. The trial grounds were low rolling hills, with only a few clumps of scattered forest, and Nelson Elam scanned the ground approvingly from his deployment zone. Opposite from him stood the dozen Dragoon ‘Mechs that he would have to defeat: Colonel Wolf in his Archer, which appeared an old SLDF machine but in fact had been completely rebuilt with Clan technology; Colonel Kelly Yukinov, also in an Archer, Wolf’s comm officer/bodyguard William Cameron in his Hellbringer, his son MacKenzie Wolf in an Inner Sphere Marauder II, Major John Clavell in a Tomb Scarab (a design heavily influenced by his favored Rifleman chassis), and seven more (a Grasshopper, Griffin, Hunchback, Phoenix Hawk, Whitworth, Panther, and Hornet, all of which had been upgraded with advanced technology).

He was grossly outmatched in both tonnage and firepower, but the invocation of zellbrigen ensured that the fight would be three-on-three until he was either defeated or he had been victorious over all of his opponents. It would be an . . . interesting . . . challenge, he thought to himself. All three of his own BattleMechs were of Clan origin, carrying impressive firepower, mobility, and armor protection—and each featured a targeting computer that would prove essential to defeating the Dragoons. His own Goliath Scorpion was a 70-ton heavy, as fast as Wolf’s Archer IIC and the Hellbringer, heavily armored, and carrying a battery of two ER PPCs and an ER Large—and the sinks to fire away without any concern for excess heat production. The Desert Tiger to his right was twenty tons lighter, but it featured a wicked array of weaponry including four ER Lasers (a Large and three Mediums), two missile packs (an LRM-15 and a Streak SRM-2), and two AP Gauss Rifles. The Light TAG system in the left arm would be useless weight in this contest, but that mattered but little, for it massed just a half ton. Still, the Desert Tiger was fast for a medium, capable of reaching speeds of nearly 100 kilometers per hour. But it was not as fast as his final ‘Mech, the Boreal Wildcat—a 55-ton design based upon the old SLDF Scorpion. A four-legged quad ‘Mech, the Boreal Wildcat topped out at 120 kph, and the heavily modified machine featured two ER Mediums and an ER PPC, along with enough heat sinks to loose a constant barrage while running. Not to mention the targeting computer.

Finally, all three of his chosen BattleMechs carried an Anti-Missile System—which might well prove to the key piece of equipment given the heavy reliance on missiles of the other side’s ‘Mechs.

Nelson frowned as more ‘Mechs suddenly appeared on his display—more than fifty heavy and assault designs, plus Elemental infantry, approaching from the east with a battered and scarred Stalker at their head.

“All combatants,” the radio speaker suddenly blared, “this is Colonel J. Elliot Jamison. Zeta Battalion will ensure that the terms of this Trial are met by all sides.” As Jamison spoke, his ‘Mechs and Elementals began to form a huge circle of honor surrounding the perimeter of the trial grounds. “Any violation of zellbrigen—by either side—will result in the instant elimination of the warrior responsible. There will be no further warnings.”

The Stalker twisted its torso to face Nelson. “Is the challenger prepared for combat?”

“Aff.”

It swung back around and faced Colonel Wolf. “And are you prepared as well, Jamie Wolf?”

“Aff.”

“Then enter the circle and stand ready. This Trial of Refusal will determine whether or not Wolf’s Dragoons will follow the orders of the ilKhan and answer the recall he has issued. To prevail, the challenger must defeat all of the defender’s BattleMechs in combat. If he does not emerge victorious, the decision by Colonel Wolf shall stand. Combat will begin upon my mark. The first three combatants on the defender’s side have been chosen, as well as the order of the remaining warriors to enter—all of the challengers BattleMechs will be active from the start of the Trial. Once a BattleMech has been targeted and fired upon, it is a breach of zellbrigen for another to do so, until the first has been eliminated. Zeta Battalion will ensure that no accident occur without serious repercussions. Is that understood by both parties?”

“Aff.” “Aff.”

“Seyla,” Jamison said softly. “And begin.”


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:59 pm 
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Nelson accelerated into a run, the Desert Tiger and Boreal Wildcat rushing past him; into the circle on the other side came Yukinov’s Archer, the Grasshopper, and a Phoenix Hawk. The Scorpion saKhan rested his target reticules on the center torso of the Grasshopper and felt an unnatural calm spread through his muscles—he did not listen for the tone of a proper lock, but instead operated on instinct honed in many, many combats in the Circus Honorae, as the Grasshopper leaped into the air. He gently squeezed the firing trigger and two azure bolts and a glowing scarlet beam erupted from his ‘Mech to connect squarely on the ‘Hoppers chest, destroying the armor there and penetrating deep within the internals. As though it had been hit by a sledgehammer, the Grasshopper stopped in its jump in midair and collapsed smoldering to the ground, its engine cored in three places, it own LRMs and ER Large Laser missing by a good distance.

The Archer and Desert Tiger began to circle, each unleashing a swarm of LRMs and laser beams, but the heavier Dragoon ‘Mech carried twice the long-range firepower of his aide. Meanwhile, the Boreal Wildcat and the Phoenix Hawk sparred, with the faster Clan ‘Mech sideways crawling to keep the Dragoon machine in its weapons arc. The ‘Hopper having been eliminated a Hunchback next entered the circle, moving deliberately towards Nelson. The Scorpion slowed his rate of advance, planning to finish the short-range machine beyond its effective range, but the Hunchback unleashed a triple bolt from the PPCs that had replaced the massive torso autocannon. Two shots connected with the Goliath Scorpion, blasting more than ton of armor from his right arm and right leg.

Sneaky, Jamie Wolf, very sneaky, Nelson thought as he accelerated once again, easily regaining full control of the damaged ‘Mech. But that variant had a flaw, as Nelson observed the heat signature of the Hunchback double on his sensors. Two, actually, the saKhan thought as he unconsciously squeezed the trigger again, sending all three of weapons to strike true against the sway-backs right torso. First, all of the big guns were concentrated in that single torso location—a location that the Hunchback no longer had. And second, it lacked any but the most basic secondary guns.

The Hunchback staggered as the massive stream of energy blew through the front armor, consumed the torso and continued on out the rear of the ‘Mech, passing close by the cockpit of the Phoenix Hawk. The P-Hawk pilot jerked and instinctively twisted towards the source of the fire—but then he realized his mistake, an instant too late. The Boreal Wildcat surged forward and salvoed his ER PPC and Medium Lasers into the weak rear armor of the medium ‘Mech, and down it went, even as Nelson sent a second barrage into the Hunchback’s chest, which toppled it.

However, his Desert Tiger was in dire straits, as Yukinov kept turning inside of him, unleashing a punishing barrage of laser fire and missiles—although his own ‘Mech had its armor in tatters. Clavell’s Tomb Scarab and Mackenzie’s Marauder II entered the circle, the massive assault ‘Mech training all of its guns on the medium-weight Boreal Wildcat. The Scorpion ‘Mech buckled as two and a half tons of armor were stripped away by the autocannon, PPC, and laser fire, and the internal structure of one leg was laid bare.

Bad form, Mackenzie Wolf, picking on a ‘Mech just over half your own mass. But Nelson had his own problems as the Tomb Scarab unleashed a blistering barrage against him—two LB-5X autocannons and a pair of Clan ER Large Lasers. Nelson stumbled as all four shots connected against his ‘Mech, but he righted himself and returned fire, concentrating his weapons on the right arm of the old design. One of his PPCs missed, but the remaining damage remove the arm completely, cutting Clavell’s firepower in half.

Suddenly, a massive detonation erupted from the Archer as the Desert Tiger sprinted forward and fired every weapon he had remaining into the machine’s nearly bare right torso. The CASE prevent the exploding ammo from further causing damage, but there was more than enough excess to carve out the center torso as well, causing the heavy-weight machine to topple. The Whitworth leaped into action, targeting the Desert Tiger with its twin SRM launchers, but the AMS spat flame and shot most them down.

Mackenzie closed in on the Boreal Wildcat, unconcerned about his heat as he pumped another alpha strike into the medium, but Nelson’s aide responded in kind—and all three of his weapons hit and then penetrated the torso containing the LB-10X ammunition. Another explosion erupted as the Marauder IIs CASE channeled its furious eruption, but the assault stumbled and fell to one knee. Unfortunately for Nelson, his aide was also out of the fight, as Mackenzie’s fire had destroyed his gyro.

But that meant that the Marauder II was now a valid target and Nelson twisted his torso still further, amputating the machines right leg with his big guns. Another two blasted rocked the saKhan in his cockpit, but he ignored Clavell and fired again into the downed assault. The loss of his leg had turned the machine onto its back, and Nelson fired two PPC bolts and the laser into the gaping hole that ammo explosion had left in the torso, destroying the machine’s engine.

Pushing his Goliath Scorpion in a full run, he kept to the right of Clavell’s heavy, preventing him from using his left arm weapons and unleashed yet another salvo—only this time, he disengaged the laser from to targeting circuit to dissipate the excess heat that had steadily climbing. The cockpit temperature quickly dropped, as his ‘Mechs heat sinks rapidly cooled the ‘Mech, and Nelson snarled as both of his shots found their mark and ruined the Dragoon ‘Mechs torso—including the section of the extra-light engine contained there. His ‘Mech throbbing with heat, Clavell still tried to bring his left arm guns into play, but Nelson kept one pace ahead of him. Another salvo by the twin PPCs and the Tomb Scarab went down.

From the corner of his eye, Nelson saw the badly damaged Desert Tiger holding the Whitworth at range, and then it’s ammo went up to a precisely targeted burst of laser fire. Lacking CASE, the Dragoon pilot punched out, and both the Griffin and Panther jumped into the fray.

Nelson fired a full salvo at the Panther—but it jumped a full 150-meters, rather than 120 he was expecting, and he missed cleanly. A Royal PNT-8Zb, Wolf, where the Hell did you manage to scrounge that from? But then his concentration was broken by the impact of the Griffin’s PPC on his left leg—and his AMS firing a rapid-burst to detonate the incoming fifteen long-range missiles. Another Royal! Wolf, you are full of surprises, today!

Nelson pivoted, and as his PPC banks recycled he fired both into the Griffin, shattered the left torso and stripping the LRM launcher clean off the torso. The two circled, and the Griffin pilot jumped, trying to get in the Scorpions rear, but Nelson had anticipated that—and another triple shot severed the right arm, leaving the ‘Mech defenseless. The ‘Mechs icon turned blue in his display, and Nelson allowed the unarmed Dragoon to leave the circle; he twisted and eviscerated the Hornet just as it stepped within the circle, sending all three shots through its center torso, and at precisely that moment, both the Desert Tiger and the Panther went down in a vicious exchange of fire that saw both pilots ejecting.

“Well-played, Scorpion,” transmitted William Cameron over the radio, as he walked his Hellbringer into the circle of honor. “But this ends now.”

“Agreed, Wolf-spawn. Let us end this with honor, quiaff?”

Cameron’s ER PPC and LRM launcher spat fire, but Nelson’s heard the buzzing sound of his AMS and replied with both of his PPCs and the laser. Only three missiles got through the defensive fire, but all three connected against the head of the Clan ‘Mech, forcing Nelson to fight to remain upright as spalling fragments of broken armor ricocheted across his cockpit. The clantech PPC caught him squarely in the center torso as well, and now all of his armor locations glowed a bright yellow on his damage monitor. But Nelson’s strike went true, and the Wolf warrior had his right arm sheared cleanly off, and with it the deadly ER PPC.

Nelson fought to keep the range open, even as Cameron charged forward firing his medium lasers again and again in company with the LRMs. Nelson too was firing almost nonstop, his heat monitor climbing into the red, and more armor melted away from his arms and legs and torsos. Suddenly, the Scorpions concentrated fire pierced the Hellbringers chest and the heavy ‘Mech collapsed, but his final shot broke through Nelson’s own side torso, and his targeting computer suddenly went dead, the ammunition counter on his AMS system blinking ‘00’ in red flashing lights.

And then Jamie Wolf stepped within the Circle.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:38 pm 
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Nelson ignored his heat monitor as he switched all three of his main guns to individual fire mode, and squeezed the trigger tight. Firing one after the other in sequence, the weapons hammered Wolf’s Archer IIC with a steady barrage, although without the targeting computer the damage was scattered, spread across the untouched ‘Mech. He stayed at range, trying to keep his opponents Streaks out of action—but Wolf’s ‘Mech was just as fast.

Searing beams of ruby light reached out and burned away the armor from his arms, legs, and torsos, while wave after wave of missiles—their flight no longer interdicted by the empty AMS—slammed into his chassis again and again. Every shot that Colonel Wolf fired hit his damage ‘Mech, and his right arm was torn away as lasers and missile warheads shattered the internal structure, taking with it more than a third of his firepower.

Another cluster of missiles struck his head, and the Goliath Scorpion reeled under impact. A fragment of armor plating struck Nelson’s neuro-helmet, and half of his head’s-up displays went dark. A laser bolt struck his chest, burning through the armor and a harsh red indicator lamp lit indicating damage to the engine and gyro—and his laser was no longer on-line either.

Nelson felt his ‘Mech begin to topple, but he still kept his sole remaining PPC trained on the Archer’s chest, but the weapon did not fire; the control circuits had taken damage somewhere between the cockpit and the weapon itself. Still, he squeezed the trigger, trying for one last shot as his ‘Mech slammed into the ground on its back, and the impact finally triggered the weapon—before the icon representing it on his display also went dead.

Nelson waited for the shot the would end the Trial, but it did not come. Finally, he shook his head to clear it from the fumes of burnt plastic and smoldering electronics and forced his ‘Mech to its feet.

And he saw Jamie Wolf’s Archer IIC standing fifty meters from him, a gaping hole where its cockpit had once been, before that final errant PPC bolt had struck home.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:56 pm 
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“I say we gut the son-of-a-bitch right now,” snarled Mackenzie Wolf, after the command staff of the Dragoons had reassembled in Harlech—and the remains of Jamie Wolf and his ‘Mech had been transported home. “That shot was deliberate, and he knew it would kill my father. Didn’t you, you miserable sorry bastard?”

Nelson sat emotionless at the end of the table, surrounded by many, many Dragoons that simply oozed the spite and anger Wolf’s son voiced. But then another voice spoke up.

“You dishonor your father’s memory, Major Wolf,” Jamison said in a flat voice. “He was a Warrior, and he knew the risk that simply sitting in the cockpit entailed. It is a risk that we all take every time we use live weapons, whether on a battlefield or in a Trial; a risk that we all accept willingly. I do not believe the saKhan deliberately targeted your father’s cockpit, Major. What happened, saKhan Elam?”

“Major Cameron destroyed my targeting computer—I little control over where the bolts would land, but I attempted to keep my shots low,” Nelson lowered his head, “the final shot was not planned. If had known it would have hit his cockpit, I would have accepted my defeat without it.”

“And despite the Colonel’s death, saKhan, you have won your Trial. The Dragoons will follow the last wishes of Colonel Wolf and follow you off world to reenter service with the Clans.”

“Just a damn minute, Elliot,” snapped Shelly Brubaker. “You might be the eldest of us that remain, but that is decision for the entire Command Staff, not you alone.”

“We lost the Trial, Colonel Wolf would have . . .”

“Colonel Wolf is dead, Elliot. And we know what he wanted. He wanted the Dragoons to kick this invasion out of the Inner Sphere and help build up the industrial might to level the technological playing field—we have all seen those contingency plans.”

Jamison turned his cold hard eyes on the woman who commanded one of Jamie Wolf’s regiments. “The Trial was fought, and we lost, Brubaker. We follow the Clan tradition here in the Dragoons.”

Kelly Yukinov shook his head. “Neg, Elliot. I was born in the Homeworlds as well, but we will not serve the Clans, not without Jamie to give that order.”

“I cannot ignore the results of a Trial of Refusal that has been honorable fought and won, Kelly. Zeta Battalion will rejoin the Clans, even if the rest of you remain here.”

“If you think that we are going to let you reinforce the Clans with your battalion, old man,” Mackenzie began to snarl, but Jamison suddenly stood and placed both hands palm down on the table.

“You cannot stop me, Major Wolf. Zeta will follow me—and if you try to force my boys and girls to remain, do you truly believe that your two Regiments can stop me?”

“If Tyrell were here, or Chisholm, you wouldn’t be so . . .”

“They are not here, boy. Ask Brubaker or Yukinov if they truly want to try and stop me—they might succeed, but their regiments will burnt out shells before I am finished. I honor Jamie Wolf’s memory and all of the sacrifices that he made by fulfilling his given word—I honor him by making true the results of this Trial. Stand in my way at your own peril.”

Silence filled the room, until finally the younger Wolf looked away.

“So, you are breaking completely from the Clans then, except for Star Colonel Jamison here?”

“Star Colonel Elliot, saKhan Elam. I bear no Blood Name.”

“But you do, Star Colonel Jamison. For if the Wolves do not create one for you, then the Scorpions shall—this I swear.”

Kelly Yukinov nodded coldly. “Yes, we are done with you—with all of you. Elliot, if you are set on this course, then you—and this Scorpion—will be given twenty-four hours to leave Outreach. After that, I will bring Alpha against you both.”

Brubaker nodded in agreement, as did Cameron, Clavell, and every other senior Dragoon present. Mackenzie Wolf frowned, but then he bared his teeth. “I only hope that you overstay your welcome, Scorpion. You have cost us far too much this day.”

“So be it, Dragoons. Your history as part of the Clans ends here, but your deeds prior to this will not be forgotten,” Nelson said.

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

Three days later, the Onager-class DropShip and the old, heavily modified Fortress-class that served Zeta as transport docked with the Goliath Scorpion Ship Jenna Scott hovering at the Zenith jump point. The Scott’s second Onager had already been scuttled, as her commander had followed the orders of the Khan. Although it appeared to be nothing more than an early flight Merchant-class JumpShip, the vessel was actually an ancient Tracker class compact-core WarShip developed for recon and clandestine surveillance.

Upon reaching the bridge, Nelson sat down at the communications console and entered an encryption code, transmitting a message via HPG to a receive waiting two light-years distant.

Six hours after the Jenna Scott jumped out of on its way back to the Clan beachheads, two full Stars of Raven and Falcon WarShips jumped into Outreach at a pirate point. Quickly reaching orbit, the ten ships utterly destroyed the hidden facilities and factories located on the second continent, and then proceeded to bombard the Dragoon’s Military Reservation from space before they returned to the jump point and they too vanished into the ether.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:11 am 
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Very nice! Wish that the canon material had gone into more about the Dragoons and their recall.

One question, given that in the canon, the Dragoons help didn't really come to much, yes they provided training to the Inner Sphere leadership, not sure what they really did for any one, and yes they had some ability to make Clan tech and mechs, granted on a limited scale. And yes they fought at Luithen, but in the larger scale they didn't do much. Your take on things has the Clans launching an orbital attack on Outreach similar to the WoB attack, it does indeed remove the Dragoons from the picture, if one counts out the under ground factories etc...now my question is this, would the Clans be worried about the actions of the Dragoons given that they are only at the most a Galaxy in strength and even with the revised invasion the Clans would have their hands full with counter attacks and such to go slugging off after the Dragoons. Just wondering why they would do what they did given the limited impact the Dragoons have on things beyond a physiological one. And who is to say that the Dragoons stuck around to be blasted either.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:33 am 
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From our perspective--in the out-of-character 'big picture'--sure, we know that the Dragoons didn't really do THAT much to stop to the Clans in canon. But, in the perspective of ilKhan Nikolai, these are Clanners who (a) possess Clan technology and weapons and are sitting atop SLDF factories that might have been converted to manufacture said tech, (b) have gone rogue and effectively left Clan society, i.e. joined the Dark Caste, and (c) can tell others what the Clans ultimate goals/objectives might be.

Sure, some of the Dragoons are likely to have survived (heck, they had three full regiments offworld!), but the HQ, base of operations, intel center, factories, repair facilities, etc., etc. will eliminate any threat that these clan renegades pose to the whole of the Clans. Yeah, they are still tough warriors, but really no more so than the Highlanders, or Kell HounCds, or MacCarron's Armored Cav.

Anyway, that is what I am thinking.

MA


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:54 am 
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Anyway, that is what I am thinking.
and in this alternative universe that is what god is thinking.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:58 am 
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No problem, all good reasons for the Clans to act, just didn't expect the level of response that you had happen. Taking them out makes sense.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:03 am 
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they could have been a pain in the ****, if they would be attacking guerilla stile.(choice of targets and timing, not fighting stile)
they certainly know where the homeworlds are.
they could be binding a multiple of their own strength tryng to take a few clan worlds.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:33 pm 
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Chapter Two

April 7, 3051
The White Palace
Avalon City, New Avalon
Federated Suns, Federated Commonwealth


“ComStar did not interfere with the priority transmissions, this time, Hanse,” Justin Allard said quietly. “I think the Precentor here on New Avalon was as shocked as we were—probably all of the intervening station heads had the same reaction. But it is confirmed, Tharkad, Donegal, Skye, Arcturus, Furillo, Hesperus II, and Oliver are off the air—they haven’t responded to a single transmission since they reported they were under attack. The rest of the systems we haven’t had enough time to confirm, but if the pattern holds true, we can only assume that they too were invaded and probably captured—especially given the redeployment of forces for PEGASUS.”

Marshall of the Armies of the Federated Commonwealth Morgan Hasek-Davion nodded in agreement. “And then we have ample confirmation of this attack on Outreach, from surviving Dragoons among others. My god, I still can’t believe whoever this is bombarded the planet from orbit!”

Justin cleared his throat. “As much as the Dragoons may hate to admit it, the bombardment was a clean as such an attack can be—on Harlech, at least. Their facilities in the Outback of Outreach were completely destroyed—obliterated might be a better word; that is including Blackwell Industries.”

“And their casualties?” Hanse Davion, First Prince of the Federated Suns asked.

Justin grimaced. “Luckily, three of their regiments had already redeployed for PEGASUS, but Alpha and Delta took 80% losses apiece. Their HQ facilities are a complete write off as well, and every DropShip and Station in orbit or on the ground was crippled if not destroyed. Not to mention that they lost Colonel Wolf. Civilian casualties were incredibly light for the type of attack they suffered—around thirty-five hundred dead and wounded in Harlech, close to that at Blackwell, but there is little chance of recovering any wounded from that location. If these . . . Clans . . . had deliberately targeted the city as well as the military centers, there would be a hundred times that in dead alone.”

“So, they aren’t as completely sadistic as Romano and her spawn Kali, then,” said Hanse as he leaned back in his chair, closed his eyes, and rubbed the bridge of his nose.

Justin glanced at Morgan, who nodded sadly in agreement. Hanse looked terrible; for the past twenty-four hours had been filled with message after message showing his finally united realm was being torn apart. And he had viewed the message from Melissa that she and Kat had arrived on Tharkad only five hours before he received word that world was under attack. And then the HPG had gone silent.

“We have no choice, sire, we must immediately cancel PEGASUS and redeploy those forces into the Terran Corridor,” said the Marshall.

Hanse nodded his head slowly. “Agreed, gentlemen. I have no doubt that both Lyran and Fed Suns forces in my wife’s realm are even now attacking this invader, but our main army is here. We will take the time to assemble it, and then we will push these people from our worlds. Any idea where they came from, Justin?”

“We have actually had a stroke of luck on that exact area, my Prince. It seems that Jamie Wolf left a document in the hands of an attorney here on New Avalon, to be given to me or my successor on his death—provided that the Inner Sphere was under attack by an unknown power. I have only had time to skim the document, but MIIO is pouring over every byte even as we speak. As the Dragoons said, they call themselves the Clans and are the descendants of General Kerensky’s forces that departed on the Exodus prior to the 1st Succession War. They have prepared for this day ever since, planning to conquer the Inner Sphere and restore the Star League—or a version of the Star League that they intend to run.”

“And how exactly does Jamie Wolf know of this?” asked Morgan.

“The Dragoons were an advance scout force, deployed half a century ago to gather information on the conditions here. But they broke with their people and have since pledged themselves to our cause.”

“So, the conspiracy nuts were right about the Dragoons,” chuckled Hanse, but his face showed no levity.

“Yes, my Prince,” answered his Intelligence advisor. “There is quite a bit of information about these Clans in the document, including their organization, their rules for combat, and a good bit of technical data as well—I’ve already turned that part over to the NAIS for analysis.”

“Do we have any idea of their total strength?”

Justin shook his head. “According to Wolf’s brief, they have somewhere around three hundred Clusters—which he feels is easily a match for at least two unsupported Regiments of ‘Mechs. Excluding their garrison troops, which could easily double that first figure. Their Clusters are combined arms formations of ‘Mechs, infantry, and aerospace fighters—and according to the brief, their infantry, he calls them Elementals, are outfitted with individual power battle armor that makes them extremely mobile and deadly.”

“Are you suggesting that we are going to need SIX HUNDRED REGIMENTS to stop this invasion, Justin?”

“No, that is Wolf’s total estimate of the entire Clan force. He believes that they will commit no more than a quarter of that total—around seventy-five of their Clusters, which we can match with our active duty strength alone.”

“We could have, if had warning, and if we didn’t have to garrison our borders. But I doubt we are going to retrieve more than twenty regiments out of the Lyran half of the realm if they are attacked defenders with such numbers on sixteen worlds. I might be able to mass eighty or even ninety regiments, but not much more than that.”

Hanse held up his hand. “We won’t need the full quantity immediately, they are divided on sixteen worlds, which would be . . . what?”

“Five of their Clusters on each, my Prince,” answered Justin.

“We will presume that Wolf was making his estimates conservatively and plan for ten of their Clusters to defend each system. Morgan, can we assemble thirty or forty Regimental Combat Teams—with good, veteran regiments at their head—to head out to Oliver?”

“I can have twenty moving within 48 hours, sire, and another twenty unit’s seventy-two after that. The remainder of PEGASUS will take at least a week to start shifting. At least the transport is already consolidated and we haven’t started assembling the command circuit to St. Ives yet.”

“Very well, the assembly point is Outreach—and Morgan?”

“Yes, sire?”

“Make certain that the three Dragoon Regiments are included in that first task force.”

“Of course, sire.”

“Very well, gentlemen, if there is nothing else,” Hanse began, but stopped as Justin held up his hand in request.

“Justin?”

“One piece of information needs your immediate decision, my Prince. Apparently, when the Dragoons came to the Inner Sphere, they expected WarShips to still exist. And they brought their own.”

Morgan snapped upright in his seat, and Hanse’s eyes suddenly widened.

“Yes, sire,” Justin said with a grin, “their coordinates were included in the briefing package—beyond the Outback between the Outworlds and Tortuga in an uninhabited system. They have been floating out there for fifty years now.”

“And just did what did our friend Jamie bring to the Inner Sphere, Justin?”

“A cruiser, a frigate, two destroyers, and two corvettes.”

“Well, well, well,” mused Hanse. “Morgan, Justin, put together an expedition that leaves New Avalon today. Get the NAIS to contribute, and I want officers and men that have been in the training program for the Invincibles dragooned as well. Attach a fighter regiment from the Guards Brigade, and a battalion or three of marine infantry. And get them moving.”

“Speaking of the Invincibles,” Hanse continued, as he rubbed his forehead again. “How soon can we complete the first batch?”

Justin shook his head. “We are still years from even testing them, my Prince. Invincible doesn’t even have her transit engines installed yet, and both Indomitable and Intrepid are even further behind—Intrepids K/F drive core is still being built, although construction on her hull has already begun.”

“Perhaps, having some working vessels will show Panpour how to cut the time,” the First Prince said in a very tired, weak voice. “Gentlemen, take care of this—I intend to lie down for a while and rest before my next meeting.”

Morgan and Justin stood, and Hanse did so as well. “Where is Victor, Morgan?”

“The 12th Donegal was en route to St. Ives, sire, but I managed to short-stop the unit and sent orders for them to proceed to New Avalon at full speed. He will arrive in system on Thursday.”

“Thank you, Morgan, I want to see him here; I want to be the one to tell him about his mother and sister.”

“Of course, my Prince.”

Hanse sat back down at his desk, as Morgan and Justin quietly left his office. The First Prince of the Federated Suns—the ruler of the most powerful realm in the Inner Sphere—leaned back in his chair, and realized just how tired he truly was. He closed his eyes and rested his chin against his chest. Just a few moments, he thought, a short cat-nap before I get back up. Within seconds, the exhausted man was sound asleep.


April 10, 3051
Capital Space Port
Avalon City, New Avalon
Federated Suns, Federated Commonwealth


Leftenant Colonel Victor Steiner-Davion walked down the ramp of the Overlord-class DropShip that housed his 2nd Battalion of the 12th Donegal Guards RCT. The remainder of the 12th were even now landing, but Barbarossa had been directed—ordered—to ground first by ground control. Victor didn’t particularly care for such deference directed at him, but he did want to see his mother and father again; besides, he was very curious about the orders that had summoned his unit from the Lyran half of the FedCom to the Capellan border—very curious indeed.

Victor smiled as he saw Morgan Hasek-Davion and Justin Allard standing near the limo at the base of the ramp, but then he saw their faces, and his smile faded.

The Marshall of the Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth stepped forward, stopping two paces before Victor, and he knelt onto the ship’s ramp.

“The First Prince of the Federated Suns is dead,” he announced loudly, “Long live the First Prince—the Archon-Prince of the Federated Commonwealth Victor Steiner-Davion!”

“Long live Victor!” hailed the assembled men and women below as the blood drained from Victor’s face. “Long live Victor! Long live Victor!”


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:34 pm 
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Quote:
they could have been a pain in the ****, if they would be attacking guerilla stile.(choice of targets and timing, not fighting stile)
they certainly know where the homeworlds are.
they could be binding a multiple of their own strength tryng to take a few clan worlds.
Actually in canon history they did not know where homeworlds were since said info was purged from their ships computers.

_________________
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:24 am 
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Quote:
Actually in canon history they did not know where homeworlds were since said info was purged from their ships computers.
Also true in this alternate history--Wolf's brief does not contain the location of the homeworlds.

MA


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:19 pm 
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April 10, 3051
The White Palace
Avalon City, New Avalon
Federated Suns, Federated Commonwealth


“Victor?” Morgan quietly asked from the doorway leading into the office of the First Prince—Hanse’s office.

The young man turned around slowly, his fingers still touching the glistening polished wood desk, upon which everything was in its proper place. The staff had done their usual outstanding job and the office was as immaculate as the Prince’s father had always kept it.

“Yes, Morgan?”

“I know how difficult this is for you, Victor,” the older man said softly. “But there are matters that require your signature.”

Victor nodded, but he still hesitated, not wanting to take the seat that his father had always sat in. Finally, he moved to the fireplace on the other side of the office and sat in a battered old recliner, and pointed at the small sofa opposite him.

Morgan crossed the room and sat, laying down some papers on the coffee table between the two men.

“We need your authorization to abort Operation PEGASUS, Victor. To begin the redeployment of the AFFC to fight this invasion—your father verbally authorized it, but he never got the chance to sign the documents before his . . .”

Victor nodded. “PEGASUS? Was this the op that had the 12th redeployed?”

“Yes, sire.”

The young man grimaced and shook his head. “Not yet, Morgan . . . just not yet. Please, call me Victor.”

“Of course,” the Marshall commanding the Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth said. “PEGASUS is a massive operation scheduled to launch in thirty-three days—it will,” he shook his head in irony, “it would have, that is, completed what we started with RAT and served to remove Romano Liao from power on Sian.”

“We have deployed nearly fifty regiments and RCTs in preparation under the guise of Galahad ’51 in the Capellan March along the Taurian border. Meanwhile, another thirty are either assembled or en route in secret at St. Ives—where your 12th Donegal was heading.”

Victor’s lips twitched. “It seems that my father liked his massive invasions spaced at twelve year intervals, Morgan. I would bet that Candace Liao was not happy with this, was she?”

“Duchess Liao of St. Ives signed off on PEGASUS after Romano gassed her own people on Capricorn III last fall when they tried to change allegiance to the Compact. She killed nearly two hundred thousand Capellans—and Candace realized then that her sister cannot be permitted to continue ruling the Confederation.”

Morgan leaned forward. “Hanse and Candace worked out a deal, Victor. She would support PEGASUS and become the new Chancellor of the Capellan Confederation—provided that Hanse returned the Sarna March to the Confederation. In return, she would align the Confederation as a member of the Federated Commonwealth. Hanse agreed to turn over to her all former Capellan worlds lost in the 4th War, up to a line extending from Tall Trees to Tikonov, thus leaving the Terran Corridor in FedSuns hands.”

“He agreed to that?”

Morgan nodded. “Without Candace as a legitimate Liao ruler to replace Romano, security would be a royal bitch for decades to come—you’ve seen the reports on the terrorism and insurrection problems we are having to this day in Sarna. To seal the agreement, Hanse insisted on blood ties between New Avalon and Sian—Katherine was to be married to Kai next winter.”

Victor’s eyes widened—Kai would not have liked that! Nor would his dear sister, in fact.

Morgan smiled. “They would have gotten over their dislikes, Victor—that is why it is a state marriage; many such have started from worse and become quite good over time. But while PEGASUS would have solved the Capellan problem once and for all, we can’t go ahead with it now. We need those troops elsewhere,” Morgan continued as he passed the young man a pen.

Victor nodded, taking the writing utensil and signed his name at the bottom of the short, succinct document. And then he paused, but the Marshall was already holding out the Federated Commonwealth Seal of State. Slowly, Victor took the seal, and then he pressed it hard against the parchment, confirming his first written order as the head of state.


April 10, 3051
Royal Palace
Tharkad City, Tharkad
Ghost Bear Occupation Zone
(Lyran Commonwealth, Federated Commonwealth)


“I understand that you are refusing to carry out your duties, Bondswoman Katherine?” a stern voice came from the open doorway. Standing in that opening was a tall strapping young man, with brilliant blue eyes and blonde hair the color of corn straw. Katherine Steiner-Davion stood, holding her chin high.

“I am a Princess of the Blood; I do not scrub floors.”

The man laughed. “No, child, you are a bondswoman to Clan Ghost Bear—and you will do as your elders instruct or you will be punished.”

Katherine’s eyes flared. “What is your name, so I can report your impertinence to the Khan? My mother and I are too important as hostages for you to risk harming me—and you know it.”

The Ghost Bear warrior bowed low, “My apologizes, Princess of the Blood. I am Star Captain Kirk Steiner, at your service, milady.”

“STEINER?” Katherine squeaked.

“Indeed, my ancestor was one of the loyal Steiners who departed the Inner Sphere to follow General Kerensky on the Exodus. I was born a Cloud Cobra, child, but now am a Ghost Bear—as are you. I think, perhaps, that your parents did not properly discipline you during your younger years; you are certain that you will refuse to perform your assigned tasks?”

Katherine smirked. “There is nothing you can do to make me scrub these floors with my bare hands.”

Kirk nodded, and stepped to the door. “Lars, Wilhelm, assist me,” he called.

The two Elemental guards who watched over Katherine entered the room, where Kirk was unbuttoning his jacket. He laid it over a chair, and proceeded to roll up both his shirt sleeves.

“Grab her arms, Warriors, and bend her over that table,” he said.

Katherine’s eyes went wild, but even without their battle armor, she was far too slow to evade the infantrymen. They grabbed her, and forced her head and chest down on the table, holding her down. Rough hands grabbed her pants and she screamed as they were ripped down to her ankles; from the corner of her eye she saw Kirk removing his belt, and her eyes went wide.

But the Ghost Bear chuckled. “No child, I do not rape children—or anyone for that matter,” he said as he folded the leather belt in two, and slapped it into his free hand—it made a most satisfying CRACK (a terrifying sound from Katherine’s point of view).

Kirk stepped up besides Katherine bare bottom and drew back his arm, and then slammed the belt into her naked rear. She whined, and tears began to pour from her eyes. He struck her again, and she wailed—no one, NO ONE, had ever done this to her before.

Kirk Steiner paddled her for several minutes straight, leaving her bottom raw and fiery red, but finally he stepped away, and nodded to the Elementals who released Katherine’s arms. She fell to the floor, sobbing in agony and humiliation.

Kirk knelt next to her on the floor. “Now, child, I expect this floor to be spotless when I return. Fail in your task, and you will be punished again—and next time I shall not be so lenient.”

The Ghost Bear left the room, as Katherine pulled up her pants and still crying, she lifted a cold, wet sponge, and began to scrub the blood stains from the granite floor.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:13 pm 
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April 11, 3051
First Circuit
Hilton Head Facility
North America, Terra


Anastasius Focht sighed as the Precentors of the First Circuit continued their debate over the sudden invasion of the Lyran Commonwealth. Myndo Waterly—the Primus of ComStar—had a very pleased smile on her face, and it was more than clear that many of the Precentors present shared her elation at the hated Federated Commonwealth being torn apart by these unknown invaders. So far, the debate had been over whether or not to offer aid to these, these . . . people, whoever they were and wherever they came from. Not even the sudden—and to Focht, chilling—silence of the HPG stations on those worlds had distracted the First Circuit from its ecstatic celebration.

But since it appeared that no one else here was going to take issue with the proposed action, Focht decided that he would have to be the one to confront the matter squarely. He stepped forward into the circle of Precentors, standing upon the illuminated circle reserved for witnesses and defendants.

The conversation slowly came to a halt, and the Primus turned her imperious gaze towards Focht and his show of audacity. “You wish to address the First Circuit, Precentor Martial?”

“I do, Primus.”

“Then speak.”

Focht drew himself up straight and shook his head. “You are all missing the one central truth of what has happened here—no disrespect intended, Primus Waterly. These invaders struck sixteen worlds—heavily defended worlds—on the exact same day on nearly the exact same hour across a span of nearly one thousand light-years. They have apparently seized these worlds—and we have lost all communications with our own HPG stations. Yes, this opponent has chosen to assault half of the Federated Commonwealth, and yes, Hanse Davion and his alliance is our enemy. But, Precentors of the First Circuit, the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend.”

“Even now, unknown vessels are probing the outer system of Terra—vessels that skitter out of sensor range and refuse to respond to any hails, vessels that do not belong to the Great Houses. Primus, they are here, in this system, and they are watching us.”

Myndo Waterly’s face went white, and then turned a deep scarlet, and she responded with acid in her voice. “Then destroy them! And why have I not been informed of this before now?”

Focht chuckled bitterly. “I have tried to see you for a past week, Primus, but your aides have turned me aside, saying your concerns were too great to deal with ComGuard matters. What is more, Primus, Precentors, I believe these ships are outfitted with HPG stations of their own.”

Utter silence filled the chamber with those words—Focht could not have stunned the assembled members of the First Circuit more effectively if he had struck them in the forehead with an axe-handle.

Sharilar Mori—Precentor Dieron—was the first to recover from the naked statement. “Precentor Martial, how would you even know that they possess such?”

Focht waved his hand across the assembled members of the First Circuit. “Have you not discussed your own problems with interference in HPG transmissions that have suddenly been occurring in past week? But there is no technical difficulty with our stations, either on Terra or Mars or Titan. But we all know that two stations trying to transmit in close proximity create an interference zone—which is why Terra and Mars and Titan and the ships of our Fleet have their own transmission windows, to avoid that interference. I postulate that the interference comes from HPG transmitters on those ships—they are talking with their superiors, and informing them of what they have found here.”

“All the more reason to destroy them—NOW, Focht,” the Primus spat.

The one-eyed man bowed, “It would be my pleasure, Primus. How shall I do so? Their ships remain outside the Belt, and approach no closer than they must to scan our facilities and intercept our radio transmissions. They are faster than any ship at my disposal—and there are at least thirty of them roaming the outer system as we speak.”

“Thirty,” whispered Mori.

“We have ten ships in the entire Solar System at the moment—in order to have a chance of intercepting some of these surveillance assets, which is what I believe they are doing, I must recall 1st and 2nd Fleets from Luyten 68-28 and Ross 248. That action requires the direct authorization of the Primus.”

“And you have it, Focht. Recall our fleet and destroy those ships—drive them from the Solar System!”

Another robed figure stepped into a second circle of light on the opposite side of the First Circuit from Focht, the space reserved for a prosecutor. The Precentor ROM lowered his hood, his face betraying the worry that consumed him. “If these ships are probing Terra, Primus,” he began without waiting for permission to speak, “then I fear the time has come to reveal a secret long hidden from the First Council under the orders of Primus Conrad Toyama himself, two hundred and twenty-five years ago.”

“In 2825, the Minnesota Tribe was encountered in the Draconis Combine. History writes that it left as quickly as it arrived—and its origins remain as mysterious as ever. History is wrong. ComStar succeeded in contacting the Tribe that year and discovered that they were refugees fleeing from the SLDF forces that had followed General Kerensky on the Exodus.”

Gasps arose from the Precentors.

“They now called themselves the Clans, and although no threat at that time, these Wolverines—as the Tribesmen were more properly known as—informed Primus Toyama’s ambassadors that eventually they would return home. They intend not to conquer one Great House Primus,” the Precentor ROM continued. “They plan to conquer Terra itself and reform the Star League in their own image.”


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:27 pm 
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And since I have revealed that the Wolvies did in fact join ComStar, here are their ships--ships Focht knows nothing about:

McKenna class BB: Zughoffer Weir
Texas class BB: Bismark
Congress class FF: Rickenbacker
Essex class DD: Yukon
New Samarkand class CV: Saratoga

MA


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:31 pm 
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Someone asked what ComStar has available in terms of WarShips. Here is that list. Some of the ships (Nagas, Carons, Barons, Bonaventures) are probably in reserve, and eight are tenders, not true WarShips. However, counting everything, ComStar should have 67 vessels at its disposal.

Minus mothballed reserves and the yardships, that leaves about 50 on active duty.

In this AU, the Hidden Worlds do not exist--but you could see the descendants of the Wolverines in an upcoming chapter.

McKenna class BB: Blake's Sword
Potemkin class TC: Vision of Truth
Black Lion class BC: Blake Ascendant, Blake's Strength, Rays of Enlightenment
Cameron class BC: Invisible Truth
Tharkad class BC: Invincible
Sovetskii Soyuz class CA: Blake's Vengeance, Harmonious Thought, Stalwart Defender
Aegis class CA: Avenging Sword, Herald of Justice, Immortal Spirit, Righteous Fury, Swift Justice
Congress class FF: Hollings York
Riga class FF: Enlightened Path, Red Angel
Quixote class FF: Holocaust
Suffren class DD: Manchester, Suffren
Lola III class DD: Blake's Vision, Divine Wisdom, End of Wisdom, Guarded Knowledge, Holy Martyrdom, Leander, Ranger, Strength through Adversity
Essex class DD: Brandenburg Crusader, Dawning Horizon, Deathblow, Defender of Versailles, Deliverance, Divine Forgiveness, Emerald, Hammer Strike, Hidden Meaning, Righteous Honor, Starlight
Dante class DD: Bordeaux, Montpelier, Narbonne, Perdition
Naga class DD: Gryphon, Manticore, Roc, Unicorn
Carson class DD: Sword of Promise
Baron class DD: Guiding Light, Light of Hope, Light of Faith
Vincent class PV: Alacrity, Blade of Divinity, Blade of Righteousness, Blake's Redemption, Determination, Resilience
Bonaventure class PV: Sheridan
Faslane class FRS: Dover, Dun Laoghaire, Galmorgan, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Roslare
Newgrange class FRS: Blake's Mercy, Norfolk

Master Arminas


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:39 am 
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The Primus inhaled sharply. “Focht, you must drive them from the Inner Sphere! Bring our ComGuards home to stand shoulder to shoulder in defense of this Holy World!”

Focht bowed. “Which order shall I obey Primus? Am I to drive them from the Inner Sphere or stand on the defense here, on Terra?”

“You know what we mean, Precentor Martial! Do not make us regret placing you in command of our armed forces!”

“By your command, Primus,” Focht said, the corner of his mouth lifting slightly. “You do realize that such a massive redeployment will reveal our true strength to the Great Houses? We cannot conceal recalling all twelve Armies—indeed, Primus, we do not have the transport to do so in a single lift.”

“The Great Houses are irrelevant to this discussion, Precentor Martial!” the Primus screamed. “You shall stop these animals from ever setting foot on Holy Terra!”

“In that case, Primus, I ask that I may take leave of the First Circuit—to begin to implement your orders.”

“Go, Focht. Go and do our bidding—and do it well,” Waterly snarled. “And as for you, Precentor ROM . . . we have much to discuss.”

“Your pardon, Primus,” interjected Focht. “But I do believe that chastising the Precentor can wait—I will need whatever information he has in order to plan how best to use your ComGuards to repel these Clans.”

The Primus’s head snapped back to Focht, and she began to open her mouth—but then her protégée spoke up. “The Precentor Martial is correct, Primus,” said Mori. “We can discover what other secrets that Precentor ROM had hidden from us at a later date, but for now we must concentrate on stopping this invasion—before they invade the world on which we stand.”

The remainder of the First Circuit stood silent, but one or two nodded their own agreement, and finally Waterly averted her gaze from Focht, and nodded slightly. “Very well, take him—but we will have that discussion, Precentor, and you had best be prepared to answer in full and without any deception or the consequences will be most severe. This meeting is adjourned.”

All of the Precentors present bowed lowed as the Primus left the chamber, and then each in turn filed out, leaving only Focht, Mori, and Precentor ROM in the chamber.

“And now, Precentor,” began Focht, “I need to know exactly what we are dealing with here.”


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:21 pm 
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April 12, 3051
Fort McClusky
Bremen Continent, Tharkad
Ghost Bear Occupation Zone
(Lyran Commonwealth, Federated Commonwealth)


Jorgensson entered the small bunker within the former AFFC fortification gingerly. Although swept by Elemental sappers before his arrival, the locals had proved fiendishly clever at disguising the booby traps and improvised explosive devices that his Clan had been dealing with for the past two weeks. Technically, Tharkad was secure—with three full Galaxies of Bears (thirteen front-line Clusters) on the planet it had better be! However, the Lyran resistance had not been eliminated; instead it had gone underground and was resorting to terror attacks and sniper strikes against his troops. But now that his nineteen Provisional Garrison Clusters were grounded and deployed, the Khan hoped that this insurgency could be quickly crushed.

Lyran special-forces—the Loki detachments, Heimdall operatives, and Lohengrin agents—were behind this, he was certain of that. Luckily, the Bears had managed to capture those agencies headquarters virtually intact, and even now his troops were rounding up each and every person listed in their personnel files. Those his troops could find, at least, for many had left their homes and were doing their best pretense at being ghosts in the system.

However, other than that little hitch, the operation was proceeding precisely according to plan. Already, four Regiments of BattleMechs, plus a few dozen lesser units had responded to the initial pleas for assistance that Tharkad had broadcast before his troops seized the HPG station. That installation had provided a most unwelcome surprise, on the other hand, because it turned out that this ComStar was by no means incapable of defending its own installations. Equipped with Star League machines—both ‘Mechs and tanks—the descendants of the Ministry of Communication had defended their property furiously—but to little avail in the end. Still, if they had stationed a full battalion here, on a world that its inhabitant had already presumed was well defended, the Khan wondered just what else they had available elsewhere—and if his doubts about the ilKhan’s caution before proceeding with Phase III had been wrong.

He shook off the thought as the scientist-engineer led him deeper into the labyrinthine bunker. Those four Regiment had arrived a pirate point—the same one that he had chosen for the initial assault—hoping to catch the Bears in hibernation for the winter. But it had not worked out in the manner they had planned. Pursuant to his own instructions, Jorgensson had allowed them to land in piece, and then he had launched his attack on their landing zones. Those fights had been made in line with Clan tradition, with a single Cluster handling each of the beachheads, and while the Lyrans had put up a desperate fight, they had failed to dislodge him. Before the end, the survivors had routed and attempted to flee—straight into the waiting guns of GBS Bear’s Den. None of their troopers had eluded him, and while many were dead, there were still enough to take as bondsmen. For they did have spirit, these Lyrans, and courage. Given time, they would more than make up for his own casualties after they had accepted their new lot in life.

Finally, the Khan reached the room at the deepest point of the bunker to find a dozen scientists, techs, and laborers pouring over an electronic device. Small enough to fit in an infantryman’s field pack, the device was black and featureless, except for a small monitor and keyboard attached to one surface—and a thick power cable that snaked to high-voltage connector on the wall.

“And what is so important, Scientist Galen, that you dragged me two hundred and sixty kilometers before breakfast?”

The scientist bowed low. “My Khan, you needed to see this with your own eyes—I have never before seen one outside of a museum on Strana Mechty!”

Jorgensson frowned. “Is it a weapon?”

“Neg, my Khan. It is an Emergency Short-range Interstellar Communications Station—an ESICS that was designed by the Terran Hegemony. This one, however, is newly built—no more than a dozen years old at the most.”

The Ghost Bear’s eyes boggled for a moment. “THAT thing is capable of transmitting across interstellar distances?”

“Oh, yes, yes, my Khan. Quite capable—but quite limited as well. The ESICS was developed soon after HPG technology was discovered. It was part of a development program that sought to increase the range and decrease the power consumption of those first generation HPGs, but it is extremely different from traditional HPGs. The entire station is here, small enough to be carried by a healthy adult, needing only an outside source of power. And not much power, either, compared to HPGs, just a few dozen kilowatts per transmission.”

“Then why did not the Star League replaced HPGs with this, if it is so much better?”

“Oh, no, no, no, my Khan. Not better, just different. You see, the old 1st-generation HPGs had a transmission range of just 21 light-years—and they consumed ten times the power that a modern station uses. The ESICS is much smaller, and can be automated; it too has a range of 21 light-years and uses far less power, but is only capable of sending text—up to a thousand characters per transmission. In fact, it uses a derivative of the old Morse code . . .”

“The technical details later, Scientist.”

“Most certainly, my Khan. After the ESICS was developed, a separate program increased the range HPG transmitters to the 50 light-year limit we have today, and another reduced the power requirements. But the poor ESICS is still limited to 21 light-years, and is not nearly as capable in what it can transmit. Still, the Hegemony, and then later the Star League retained them as an emergency secondary communication system. And this a comm center for the Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth, my Khan.”

“So, they have an alternative means of talking to each other? Can our HPGs intercept their transmissions?”

“Easily, my Khan. It only takes a software change to lower the allowed frequency bands to match those the ESICS uses. And we have their encryption software as well, my Khan.”

“Why didn’t they destroy this?”

“They tried, my Khan, but our glorious Warriors burst in before they could finish rigging the demolitions—one of the Lyrans shot the device, but it is armored and he was unable to damage it.”

Jorgensson considered for a moment, and nodded his head decisively. “Write a full report for the ilKhan and the Grand Council, Scientist Galen. Include your technical details and specifications for the software needed in an appendix—Nikolai and the others are Warriors, not scientists, after all. The Khans must know that our enemy could even now be communicating without us being aware they are in contact with each other. But do that after our own HPGs have received the software upgrade—let us see if we can use this . . . this . . . black box against them.”


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:54 pm 
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“Of course, my Khan. I believe that we are ready to remove the ESICS now—is the power supply disconnected?” the scientist asked.

“Yes, Scientist Galen,” his assistant replied.

Jorgensson nodded, it would be best to study this new found piece of technology aboard one of the WarShips in orbit that had facilities for just such circumstances. “Get a move on then, and join me aboard my helicopter, Galen—I have meetings this afternoon with the civilians castes of this world.”

“Yes, my Khan,” the excited man replied, and he waved his assistants forward. The two apprentice scientists took hold of the box as Jorgensson turned to his Elemental escort. “Inform the saKhan that I am preparing to depart from . . .” he stopped as his keen ears detected a sharp click that came from the direction of the device.

The Khan of Clan Ghost Bear suddenly swiveled his head and saw that the two apprentices had lifted the communications device—and underneath it lay a switch that had just popped straight up.

“Oops,” he heard Galen gasp just a scant instant before the explosion tore him, the scientists, and everyone inside the bunker apart.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:48 pm 
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Chapter Four

April 12, 3051
Transport Aircraft
Somewhere over the South Atlantic
Terra


“Charles, we are now completely isolated, in a jet, cruising over open ocean; I believe that even your paranoid inclinations have been satisfied,” Focht said.

Precentor ROM—Charles Seneca—smiled at the man who used to be his senior, only a few short years ago. “You yourself told me, repeatedly, I might add, that patience is a virtue, Precentor Martial.”

Focht glared at Seneca with his one good eye, but the ROM agent just shook his head. “It is not my place to tell you these things, Anastasius. That privilege is reserved for the Master of the Blood.”

“And who exactly is this Master of the Blood?”

“You will have to wait, old friend. It will not be long now.”

Focht scowled, but he leaned back in his seat and close his eye. If anything, his prior life had taught him to catch what sleep he could, when he could—and continuing to badger Charles would reveal nothing. Within moments, the Precentor Martial was softly snoring.


April 12, 3051
Fort Hadley
Tierra del Fuego
South America, Terra


“Well, well, well,” said Focht as he exited onto the tarmac. “I finally get to tour the mysterious facilities down here. It does seem that every time during my tenure as Precentor ROM that I asked about our installations in SouthAm that some ‘crisis’ suddenly emerged. And afterwards, I have been told that it is ROM-eyes only.”

Seneca laughed. “It was because we were not certain whether or not we could trust you, Anastasius. You are no voluntary convert to ComStar—you did not choose your fate willingly. You bartered to us in exchange for ‘Mechs and weapons by Theodore Kurita; and despite the decision of the Primus, did you expect for us to reveal to you all of our many secrets?”

Focht nodded. “And yet, it seems the Primus also does not know?”

“She is a fool, Precentor-Martial,” answered a third voice from the dark shadows of hanger nearby. “Waterly would not respond well to the revelation that the Primus of ComStar is not the penultimate leader of ComStar. That, she is in fact, nothing more than a tool, and a public face; a disguise worn over our real one.”

Focht’s jaw dropped as the shadowed figure stepped into the daylight. “But you . . .you . . .”

“I am Thomas Marik, Precentor Martial. And it is I that am the Master of the Blood; the true ruler of ComStar. It is my double who holds court on Atreus in my place, for the extent of my injuries would make any attempt to rule . . . ineffective among my native people.”

The man who spoke was heavily scarred, his face and hands twisted and gnarled by fire, and it was only the (mostly) untouched left side of his face that allowed Focht to recognize him. “My mother was of the Blood, you see. And when I choose ComStar for my career, it seemed that my future was assured. But then you know what happened next, Focht. Yes, my life was saved, but I cannot hold a weapon in these crippled hands—and I appearance as a monster. But Duncan was not fit to rule, so the Blood and I conspired to place a double on Atreus instead. And here, among my mother’s people, have I remained, ascending to the rank of Master of the Blood—the Shadow Primus of ComStar.”

“But come, Focht, Seneca; I have ordered a meal laid out for you. And then shall we discuss this matter of the Clans—and of precisely what assistance the Blood can provide to you.”


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:14 pm 
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The servers took away the plates, leaving the three men alone, with the exception of two armed guards that stood watch at the entryway. The corner of Thomas Marik’s lip twitched in a misshapen smile as he nodded at Focht. “You have many questions, Precentor Martial. Ask them.”

Focht gathered his thoughts for a moment, as he sipped from the frosted glass of Timbiqui Dark that he still held. “What can you tell me of these Clans?”

“They are the descendents of the Star League Defense Force; perverted into a nightmare of fascist rules and regulations by Kerensky’s son, Nicolas. He engineered their entire society after the death of his father—and an attempt by various Generals to exert their own claims to rule. The Clans speak of honor and tradition, but they condemn those under their sway to living in a caste system, structured to prevent the rise of any internal threat. They preach conformity and shared sacrifice, but only the lesser castes make that sacrifice—their entire society is geared to provide for the Warriors at its peak.”

Thomas paused. “The Blood left after seeing the direction that Nicolas was taking; but Nicolas declared them as traitors and ordered them annihilated—down to the lowest civilian castes. Once known as Clan Wolverine, my mother’s people fought to give a small number the chance to flee, and they mostly died in doing so. They have abandoned the ideals of the Star League and forged a monstrous creation that wants nothing less than to bring all humanity under its rule.”

“You left more than two centuries ago, sir, could they have changed their . . .” Focht began.

“NO. They are fanatics and although there must have been changes, if they still venerate Nicky they follow his vision. Terra is their ultimate goal; it has never been anything else. From here, they will established their corrupt rule and enslave all of humanity, condemning everyone into their strict caste structure.”

Thomas shook his head. “You do not understand them, Focht. They are raised from birth to revere Nicolas Kerensky and his father as veritable gods. And should they discover the Blood is here, they will attempt to finish the task their forefathers began so long ago, by exterminating all those who bear a trace of our DNA.”

“And their organization, their military strength, their technology?”

“That you will discover, for you are quite correct. They have had two centuries to develop it; I doubt that any information the Blood possessed when it fled remains accurate. However, I do know that they had the facilities to produce Star League BattleMechs—Royal BattleMechs—when the Wolverines left their Homeworlds. Use that as your starting point.”

Focht nodded. “And the Blood can aid ComStar how, exactly?”

“I think that you will find that our Clusters—the Clan equivalent of a Regiment—are more than able to assist your Divisions, Precentor Martial. However, we have devoted much of our resources over these past two centuries to other tasks, and we can offer you just sixteen of these combined arms formations: each with forty-five BattleMechs, thirty armored vehicles, twenty aerospace fighters, and a reinforced company of Infantry equipped with the Nighthawk power armor. In space, our numbers are even more sparse; the Blood have just five ships: two battleships, a frigate, a destroyer, and a light carrier. However, I have already ordered that all of them report to Terra immediately—using one of the close pirate points to avoid our visitors.”

“So eight Divisions—two Corps. That is not insignificant, Thomas.”

“No, not by far. But I think that you will find our other contributions to be even more valuable. Are you familiar with the Terran SDS system, Precentor Martial?”

Focht warily nodded. “The basics, yes, but that system is inoperable—it has been ever since the Exodus when Kerensky disabled key components.”

“Components that the Blood has slowly managed to replace over these two centuries,” Thomas answered with a terrifying grin, as Focht’s eyes went wide. “The entire system is not up to Star League standards, of course; the SLDF did an extremely thorough job in smashing installations in Central Europe and Central America—but the rest of the system was untouched. We have reactivated all of the remaining ninety-two installations and can provide roughly 71% of the entire planet.”

“They will still be aware of those gaps, however, won’t they?” Focht asked.

“Indeed,” Thomas answered with a smile. “I am planning on that.”


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:38 pm 
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April 14, 3051
The Triad, Tharkad
Ghost Bear Occupation Zone
(Lyran Commonwealth, Federated Commonwealth)

“By yon bonnie banks, and by yon bonnie braes, where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond,” the brilliant tenor voice of Ghost Bear Warrior sang out as eight more Warriors in full ceremonial regalia slow-marched the litter holding the remains of Khan Jorgensson into the packed square. Serried ranks of Ghost Bears stood silent at attention, each slowly lowering their heads as the litter passed by them.

“Where me and my true love will never meet again, on the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.”

Sandra Tseng wait on the raised dais in the center of the square, surrounded by her Galaxy Commanders, and all of the Jorgensson Blood-named on Tharkad.

“O, ye’ll take the high road, an I’ll take the low road, and I’ll be in Scotland afore ye; for me and my true love will never meet again, on the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.”

A single sibkin—no more than twelve years old stood before the dais, slowly beating a staccato rhythm on his drum in time with the steps of the pall-bearers.

“T’was there that we parted in yon shady glen, on the steep, steep sides of Ben Lomond; where in soft purple hue, the highland hills we view, and the moon coming out in the gloaming.”

Five Visigoths streaked by above, one of the mighty fighters peeling away and up, leaving the open slot in their formation.

“O, ye’ll take the high road, an I’ll take the low road, and I’ll be in Scotland afore ye; for me and my true love will never meet again, on the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.”

One by one, the ranks of Warriors in the courtyard slowly sank to the knees as their dead Khan passed by, with their heads bowing long in honor.

“The wee birdies sing and the wild flowers spring; and in sunshine, the waters are sleeping; but the broken heart it keens, no second spring again, tho’ the world knows not how we are grieving.”

The Warriors honored to carry their Khan slowly lifted his litter and placed his mortal remains atop a tall bier of stacked wood. And each then stepped back and knelt, bowing their own heads low.

“O, ye’ll take the high road, an I’ll take the low road, and I’ll be in Scotland afore ye; for me and my true love will never meet again, on the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.”

As the final notes echoed throughout the Triad—and were conveyed across Tharkad by the discreet cameras along the walls—Sandra Tseng stepped forward to the podium.

“Our Khan has fallen, Ghost Bears, and never again will we see him in this world. We grieve for our Khan, killed not in battle, but by a dishonorable trap set by those who are little more than bandits. Who fight not in the open, but instead hide themselves among the civilian castes and shield their own lives with that of innocents.”

The saKhan lifted her head high, and removed her mask, revealing a face marred by streaks of tears running down her cheeks. “Our family has suffered a loss that cannot be replaced; but we are Ghost Bear. We shall overcome this, and in time accept the passing of our Khan whose blood has now anointed this world—our world.”

“I hear the laments of my Warriors, who cry out for vengeance against those who struck down our Khan like cowards. I hear them. I know their pain, for it is my pain.”

“But we are Ghost Bear. We shall not forsake who we are because of a dezgra few; were we Smoke Jaguar, then this city would burn to add our Khan’s pyre—those who dwell here forming his escort into the next life. But we are not Jaguars.”

“Were we Jade Falcon, we would select hostages among the civilian castes and put their lives as ransom for the bandits that slew our Khan. But we are not Falcons.”

“We are one family, we are Ghost Bear. We will put an end to this killing, and we will do so while remaining who our Founders intended us to be. There will be no reprisals against civilians who have committed no crime. There will be destruction of cities to slake our thirst for vengeance—that my brethren, is the path of the corrupt vulture Lords of this Inner Sphere. We will root these bandits from the midst of our new people, and they will pay for their crimes—but Clan Ghost Bear will not answer dishonor with dishonor. We will not mourn for the blood of a Khan by shedding ourselves the blood of those who had no part in his death.”

“That is our way; that is the way of the Ghost Bear. And we are Ghost Bear. Seyla.”

“SEYLA!” thundered the chorus from a thousand throats packed into the Triad.

“SEYLA!” yelled Sandra Tseng again as she stepped back from the podium and pulled off a leather glove, drew a knife, and sliced her palm deep, the blood dripping unto the pristine snow.

“SEYLA!” answered her Warriors.

She walked to the bier, and drizzled the blood from the cut upon the fallen Khan, and then she stepped back. “Sleep well, my Khan,” she said, “for your Clan remains—and it always shall!”

The Clan Loremaster handed her a lit torch, and Sandra placed it within the bier of wood, and within seconds the fuel within caught, rapidly consuming the litter and upon it, the body of Khan Jerome Jorgensson.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:45 pm 
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April 14, 3051
ilKhan Field HQ
Donegal
Goliath Scorpion Occupation Zone
(Lyran Commonwealth, Federated Commonwealth)


Nikolai frowned as the tapped the data-disk holding the latest information on Phase I in his hand. So far, other than a greater than anticipated level of insurgency and terrorism, the assault had gone exactly as planned. The death of Khan Jorgensson was a bitter blow, however, and the Smoke Jaguar insistence on the honor of assault Hesperus II had proved every bit as costly has Nikolai had feared. And the Jaguar response to the subsequent partisan attacks on their troops had been . . . extreme. With their customary brutality towards civilian castes, the Jaguars had answered bombings with escalated retaliations, finally culminating in an atrocity within the capital of Maria’s Elegy in the Melrose Valley. Fourteen thousand casualties had been confirmed after the troops garrisoning the city had gone berserk following the assassination of the Clan Loremaster.

Not that the Falcons, or the Hellions, or the Spirits, or the Mandrills, or the Vipers had been any more circumspect—although none of those Clans had garnered the body counts racked up by the Jaguars. It was unfortunate, but Nikolai had to treat it as an accomplished fact, for wringing his hands over it would change nothing now. But the fruit of that sowing would come at a later date, because Phase I had drawn in nearly all of the reaction forces within the Lyran Commonwealth, each of which had been readily defeated in detail. Only a handful of units—including some elite Inner Sphere mercenaries—had not so responded.

But the numbers were not as high as Nikolai had planned for, and now he knew why. Before his death, Khan Jorgensson had transmitted intelligence data his Clan had recovered from the Royal Palace on Tharkad. Nikolai snorted in appreciation for the sheer boldness of this Operation PEGASUS—clearly Hanse Davion had earned his nickname of the Fox. At least forty of the regiments and regimental combat teams he had planned on trapping in Phase I and Phase II were instead deep within the Federated Suns, and would no doubt soon be descending upon Oliver, or perhaps Skye.

The ilKhan leaned back in his comfortable chair and slowly rocked as he considered the map. No, it would be Oliver. The supply lines were shorter, and it would prevent the Clans from holding the flank of their invasion force under threat. Oliver, with Clan Wolf and three full Galaxies of front-line troops, plus nearly twenty in PGCs. But Nikolai had studied well the databanks of the captured ComStar vessel, and he knew that the Fox could and would send in an overwhelming attack. Further, he had the report from Nelson that the Dragoon’s—most of them, at least—had chosen to abandon the Clans completely. The survivors would thirst for vengeance over the death of their beloved Colonel and the bombardment of their home. And three of their regiments had been already shuffled into place for PEGASUS. But the Dragoon’s Zeta Cluster would serve Clan Wolf as an admirable reinforcement, indeed.

Oliver, he thought again. And then he nodded and stood suddenly. “Transmit the Phase II execution orders to all Clans except Jade Falcon and Wolf. Append the following to the Clans Ghost Bear, Jade Falcon, Smoke Jaguar, and Star Adder—dispatch Reserve Galaxy to Oliver immediately; execute Phase II with remaining units.”

As the headquarters staff began to move quickly to fufill his orders, he turned to Star Colonel Helen Wallace, the commander of the Ebon Keshik. “Inform saKhan Elam that he is to proceed to the WarShip cache and destroy the vessels—his escorts are to return to Oliver at once. And Star Colonel?”

“Yes, ilKhan?” replied the former Hellion Warrior.

“Order the Keshik to begin embarkation—we are moving General HQ to Oliver.”

She bowed in acknowledgement of the order and left, leaving Nikolai to continue staring at the holographic map. Send in your overwhelming force, Fox, Nikolai thought. There will not be thirteen front-line Clusters on Oliver to meet them—there shall be thirty-two. And the ilKhan bared teeth in a fierce smile that none could mistake for friendly.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
April 15, 3051
Kell Hounds Headquarters
Old Connaught
Arc-Royal
Lyran Commonwealth, Federated Commonwealth


“And that is the overall situation,” Lt. Colonel Dan Allard finished the brief as the lights in the room came back to full brightness. Scott Bradley and Akira Brahe—the commanders of his Kell Hounds 2nd and 1st Regiments, respectively—looked solemn at the worlds still flashing crimson on the holo-projection. Colonel Horiu Tanaga of the mercenary regiment Hell’s Black Aces looked physically ill, while Marshall Sharon Bryant of the 11th Lyran Guards Regimental Combat Team still had the same stubborn fixed face that she had worn since she landed on Arc-Royal two days ago.

“As you are all aware,” the Kell Hound CO continued, “our instructions from Prince Davion were explicit; we are to observe and continue to gather additional forces for an eventual counterattack. There are forces in motion already in the Federated Suns to deal with this invasion.”

“However, we are not going to follow those orders,” Dan finished quietly, and he sat down at a stocky, heavyset man made his way to the front of the room. Everyone sat a little straighter as Colonel Morgan Kell—dressed in his Kell Hound uniform, instead of his civilian attire—made his way to the podium.

“We have been in communication with surviving Lyran Intelligence Corps agents on Tharkad. They have determined that all but one of the units that hit Tharkad are preparing to move out—probably to link up with these other attacks. We can only presume that the other beachheads are doing the same. But that provides us with a window of opportunity.”

“Archon Melissa Steiner-Davion is being held in the Triad—we have her location and that of her daughter. Now, we cannot hope to hold Tharkad, not against thirteen regiments of ‘Mechs and assorted conventional forces equipped with the advanced weapons we have reports of them using. But, we have an opportunity to raid the capital, grab the Archon, and leave while they are distracted. I intend for us to do exactly that.”

“You must be joking, Colonel Kell!” snapped Marshall Bryant. “Those systems have eaten every regiment and RCT that responded to their pleas for help, and now you want to throw us into the fray—against orders?”

“There isn’t time for orders from New Avalon, Marshall. Colonel Tanaga, can your fighters—augmented by the Hounds and the Eleventh’s—keep their aerospace off our back for a few hours?”

“We’ll sure as hell try, Colonel Kell,” growled the grizzled old Lyran.

Morgan nodded. “Good enough. Marshall Bryant, we will have the force advantage, with your Eleventh and both Kell Hound Regiments on the ground. And we will be dropping directly onto the Triad. Edwin,” he said to the only junior officer present in the room—Major Edwin Winson, the commander of the Hound’s special operations infantry detachment, “while we hold these Ghost Bears at bay, it will up to your boys to find the Archon and get her to the DropShip.”

Sharon shook her head. “No. I’m not going to waste my people’s lives on a foolish plan; for God’s sake, Colonel, you don’t even know if this information is correct. The LIC could be captured and transmitting this to draw you into a trap!”

Morgan Kell drew in a deep breath and glared at the Lyran officer, who was sweating in the bright lights. But it wasn’t the rooms heat that was causing the sweat.

“Marshall Bryant, are you refusing to obey my orders? The First Prince placed me in charge of all FedCom forces assembling on Arc-Royal, after all.”

She swallowed and shook her head in resignation. “No. I will do my duty, Colonel Kell, but I still think this is too much of a risk—for all we know she could already be dead.”

“Not according to LIC, Marshall,” Morgan answered softly. “And not if the Kell Hounds can stop it.” He looked over the other officers, and then nodded. “We lift at 1600 hours, then. And may God have mercy on our souls.”


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:24 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
April 15, 3051
Imperial Palace
Imperial City, Luthien
Draconis Combine


Gunji-no-kanrei Theodore Kurita was ushered into the private office of his father, the Coordinator of the Draconis Combine, by grim-faced Otomo. A suite in the palace, rather than a single room, it was nonetheless quite crowded by normal standards, for today all five of the Tai-Shu, the Warlords commanding each of the Combine’s Military Districts, were present as well; along with their aides, staff, and the ever present intimidating presence of the armed Otomo.

Four of the older men grudgingly acknowledged Theodore and his position as the head of the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery with a simple nod, but the fifth quickly crossed the room and took his hand with a wide grin on his face.

“Glad you were able to respond so promptly, Gunji-no-Kanrei,” Duke Hassid Ricol, the man charged with the rule of Alshain Military District said.

Theodore kept his face still with the long practice of hiding his emotions at court and simply nodded in return. “Then there has been further news?”

“Hai,” the Red Duke answered with a beaming smile. “But I think perhaps your father will wish to be the one to deliver it.”

The heir to the Dragon looked around the room, and was vaguely surprised that his father was nowhere to be seen. He began to open his mouth to ask, and then he saw that the door to Takashi Kurita’s private lavatory was cracked open, two courtiers waiting with bowed heads.

What the . . ., he thought.

The door fully opened and Coordinator Takashi Kurita stepped out, wiping his hands on a cloth. Behind him trailed a palace servant, holding two vials, each containing what appeared to be . . . urine?

Conversation within the room abruptly came to a halt.

“You are to personally deliver this to each of the sites, and pour the contents on their graves,” the old Kurita rumbled. “Now go, your JumpShips are waiting.”

The courtiers each took a vial, bowing low, and placed each within a diplomatic bag, which they then sealed.

His father briskly crossed the room and sat at his desk, and placed both hands on the wooden surface. “Hanse Davion is dead,” he said. “And so too is Jamie Wolf. The Dragon has outlived both its enemies, and I will laugh as my piss is poured onto their graves. But that brings us to the issue of what comes next—which is why you are summoned today.”

The Warlord of Galedon nodded his head in elation. “It is an opportunity, my Lord. This boy of the Fox’s, he is not as capable as his father—and he must move against the invader who has taken his mother’s realm. Now is our time to launch our own offensive; we can be halfway to New Avalon before they can even attempt to stop us.”

Dieron and Benjamin nodded their agreement, but Pesht looked aggrieved, and the Red Duke just grinned. “My Lord,” Ricol spoke up, “Galedon is a fool. Yes, there is an opportunity here, and yes, we should make contingency plans. But to launch a sudden attack, now, with no intelligence on what this new opponent is or what their own plans may be is rash. We should be patient, and wait to see how thin Victor Steiner-Davion makes his border defenses. If he should push back this invader, and then can respond to us with his full strength, such . . . adventurism would prove to be a tragic mistake.”

“And what does my Gunji-no-kanrei say?” asked Taskashi.

“As the Coordinator commands my thoughts, he shall have them,” Theodore answered with a bow. “It is too soon; we must wait and see what occurs. Further, the very depth that this invader has struck makes it too likely by far that additional deep strikes could be en route—perhaps to this realm. I would humbly suggest that we pull our troops from the Davion and Steiner border, reinforcing Luthien and the District Capitals for the moment. Bolstered by this decision, it may lead the new First Prince—the Archon-Prince—to draw down his forces on the Draconis March even further than he has planned to. If we are then to strike, our chances of success would be far greater.”

“And if we do strike after he has reduced his own border guards, then where would my son suggest?”

“Robinson,” Theodore said quietly. “We strike hard and fast and eliminate the Sandoval family with the concentrated might of our Regiments. Should this be the Dragon’s will, our plans are already drawn up, for Operation Kuroshio. They require only your authorization.”

“But you do not believe that we should strike, do you, my son?”

“No, my Lord. I believe this new invader may prove a greater threat to the Dragon than the Davions; until we know for certain it would be foolish to over extend our strength.”

Theodore heard one—he could not tell which—of the District Warlords whisper the word coward. And Takashi’s face went red and he suddenly stood.

“My son has the right of it! What is the way of the samurai? A single lethal strike, perfectly executed that kills as suddenly as it is unleashed! Only a fool expends more energy than he must, and clearly many of you are fools! Be gone! Be gone from my presence!”

“Theodore, stay,” the old man continued as the Otomo began to usher the remainder from the suite.

Takashi stood and walked to the window, looking down on the blossoms of the cherry trees in his private garden below. “It has been too long since I last walked among those trees without concerns of state weighing me down. Gunji-no-kanrei, I charge you with the defense of my realm. Make your preparations. Should you need to replace those fossils, the orders are signed on my desk. Do not disappoint me, Theodore.”

The Coordinator turned his back on his son, who bowed low and backed out of the office.


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