Realizing that she had no other option, Khan Suvorov gave the orders to initiate Case Gold. Knowing that she simply had to buy time for the evacuation of civilian castes vital to the success of the operation, she made the decision to consolidate the entire Scorpion toumen on two worlds: Dagda and Roche. All other enclaves were hastily abandoned by the Warrior caste—but only after militarily vital industries were destroyed. Confident that not even the Vipers or Spirits would take retaliatory actions against the civilian castes when they did not have the votes for a Trial of Annihilation, those castes were simply abandoned to their fates.
Roche, as the target of the Viper’s Trail of Possession, would be the site of her holding operation. A full 50% of the Scorpion toumen was ordered to proceed there immediately to defend it, while the rest of the Clan was ordered to assemble at Dagda. At both Dagda and Roche, the Evacuation Fleet was hurriedly made ready for space, and each DropShip lifted as soon as it was loaded. The plans prepared and updated for decades were put into operation quickly and efficiently, but even so, the rush to get the evacuees clear meant that some vital supplies and equipment on Roche simply had to be left. The cache on Dagda would have to suffice.
With saKhan Nelson Elam weakened by an illness, Suvorov appointed Star Colonel Jason Scott in his place to take command of the Evacuation—and to become the next Khan after her. Scott was hastily confirmed by the Scorpion Council of the Bloodnamed and reluctantly left Roche (and the battles to come) behind him.
Khan Suvorov sent away the best units in the Scorpion toumen, retaining just enough forces to make her attackers believe that she still retained the full fighting arm of the Scorpions. In an effort to further mislead the Vipers and other Clans, she ordered half of her existing forces to have their ‘Mechs, fighters, elemental armor, and vehicles repainted in the camo patterns and insignia of the units she had sent to Dagda.
Within six weeks, the evacuation forces had departed to rendezvous at Dagda, leaving Khan Suvorov with sixteen front-line and second-line Clusters, a Solahma Cluster, and seventeen Provisional Garrison Clusters. The majority of her naval strength she had also sent away, but she retained a Cruiser, a Fighter Carrier, two Destroyers, and a Corvette to defend Roche (this was in addition to sixteen Transports).
Two days after the last ship departed Roche, ten Galaxies arrived to take the system from her. There were two each from the Blood Spirits, Coyotes, Fire Mandrills, Ice Hellions, and Steel Vipers.
Ironically enough, the concentration of Khan Andrews on Roche permitted the non-involved Clans to quietly absorb the abandoned Scorpion enclaves elsewhere.
Although Khan Vlad Ward of Clan Wolf had argued against the Scorpion Annihilation, and voted against their Abjuration, he offered safcon to the invading Galaxies and announced that the incoming vessels were bound for the Wolf enclave—and that they would be targeted by the SDS at the Scorpion’s peril. In exchange for his assistance in allowing Khan’s Andrew’s attack force to land safely, Khan Ward received the promise of a large supply of vitally needed 'Mechs and Fighters from the attacking Clans.
But what the attacking Clans did not know was, Khan Suvorov was planning on their landing within the Wolf enclave—indeed, she had offered Khan Ward the remainder of the supply cache on Roche if he would make the offer. Isolated from the remainder of Roche’s landmass by a narrow peninsula that was extremely rugged and rocky, the Wolf enclave afforded the attacking Clans just one route into Scorpion territory.
Committing all seventeen of her PGCs and four of her Clusters to defend the peninsula, Khan Suvorov managed to delay the invader’s advance for two months of near constant battle. Attempts to use DropShips to bypass the peninsula were hampered by the combination of the planetary SDS and the orbiting Scorpion WarShips. Until the arrival of the Viper and Coyote Fleets, that is.
On October 3rd, 3065, Khan Andrews committed his Fleet in the attack on Roche, using elements from the Coyote and Viper Naval Reserves. Despite the loss of five ships, his forces managed to either destroy or capture the Scorpion defenders; simultaneously, a massive fighter strike by the Hellions eliminated four of the five SDS ground bases.
Able to once again maneuver, the invaders quickly bypassed the peninsula, leaving the Wolf enclave (and an amused and elated Vlad Ward) behind them. Despite the damage that Khan Andrew’s forces had taken, they still outnumbered and outmassed the defending Scorpion Clusters. Slowly, the Scorpions were forced back on the Temple of the Nine Muses, losing irreplaceable troops at every turn.
By December, the Temple was invested by the surviving invaders, and Khan Suvorov had fewer than two Clusters of Scorpions remaining under her command. For four days, the Scorpions held against every assault the Vipers and their allies threw against them, but on the morning of the fifth day, the defender’s guns were silent as the attackers once again advanced. Moving cautiously forward, the Vipers and Hellion, the Coyotes, Mandrills, and Spirits, finally entered an eerily silent Temple. Within, they found the last one hundred and thirty-seven Scorpion Warriors dead, all having committed bondsref during the night.
They found Khan Suvorov’s body placed on a bier within the Temple, for she had been killed on the third day of the assault against the mighty fortress.
But the Temple was empty—all of its treasures had been sent away with the Evacuation Fleet. And the warehouses beneath the Temple were void of contents as well. The factories were ruined, the machinery destroyed; and although the five Clans were victorious, the spoils were not worth the cost that they had paid.
When a furious Khan Andrews landed on Dagda the following February, he found the Scorpion enclave abandoned, with no war materials anywhere to replace his losses. Even the capital weapons of the Dagda SDS had been stripped and removed during his preoccupation with Roche. And, in a move carefully calculated to push the unstable Viper even further over the edge, the civilian fleet of submersibles and deep-sea mining support vessels had all been scuttled, and the underwater installations evacuated and flooded.
Still, despite the pyrrhic nature of his victory over the Scorpions, Khan Andrews turned his victory into a successful election for the post of ilKhan, and presided over the War of Reaving.
The Scorpion Remnant
Under orders to flee and not to look back, the new Khan of Clan Goliath Scorpion led the refugees to the system of Refuge. Arriving at this way-point in August of 3066, the Scorpions rested and refueled, and finalized their operation plans for the return. Khan Scott realized that simply carving out a portion of the Falcon, Wolf, or Bear occupation zones would be foolhardy. Not only would open the Clan to immediate reprisals, but there was a small chance that these powerful Clans would unite against the abjured Scorpions. Although not the most likely event, it remained a possibility, and only reinforced Scott’s desire to move his Clan far away from his former brethren. Similarly, the Annihilation of the Smoke Jaguars and the hazards of crossing back across the Occupation Zone ruled out an attempt to find a new home in the Draconis Combine.
The Hanseatic League and Nueva Castile were both considered as destinations, and then ultimately rejected. Instead, Khan Scott presented a proposal to the Bloodnamed Council to circumnavigate the Lyran state and strike at the Circinus Federation. The reasons for doing so were multiple. First, the Federation was small enough that even at their reduced strength, the Scorpions could easily seize and defend it. Second, even though abjured by the Clans of Kerensky, the Scorpions still considered themselves bound by the Martial Code—and the Great Refusal had both ended the Invasion and codified the Truce of Tukayyid. The Federation was not—technically speaking—a part of the Inner Sphere, and hence, neither the Truce nor the Great Refusal applied to it.
Third, Circinus had served as the headquarters of General Aleksandyr Kerensky during the Amaris Coup. It was the planet that trained the volunteers that had assisted the SLDF during the campaign to liberate Terra. And from the past voyages of the Jenna Scott-class Surveillance ships, the Scorpions had discovered that most of the mothballed facilities on the planet had yet to be uncovered. The combination of buried SLDF facilities, factories, and fortifications, combined with the importance of this world in the history of the Clans, brought most of the Scorpion Remnant into agreement. The few detractors grumbled that there would be little chance for glory in such an undertaking, but Khan Scott quashed such mumblings with the quick assertion that the survival of the Clan itself was at stake. There would be glory enough for all in bringing the backwards and primitive Circinus Federation into the Clan nest.
The plan of attack developed with simple: each world of the Federation (and the neutral New St. Andrews) would be the target of two Clusters—one front-line or second-line and one PGC. Circinus itself would be hit by a dozen Clusters, six front-line, one Solahma, and seven PGC. Once each system was taken, the civilian fleet would arrive at Circinus and proceed to build the new Scorpion capital on the site of General Kerensky’s old Headquarters, as well as reactivate the factories contained within the long-hidden Castle Brian and integrate Clan technology into the machinery.
Once complete, the civilian population would be dispersed throughout the new Scorpion Expanses and begin to build a modern, high-tech civilization.
In addition, after the initial assault was complete, fifty thousand civilians, one PGC, and one front-line Cluster would proceed to a heretofore unpopulated system midway between the southern border of the Expanses and the Marian Hegemony and the Illyrian Palatinate. This colony—soon to be named Scorpion Point—would serve as the assembly point on future plans to incorporate the Hegemony and Palatinate in the Expanses. Furthermore, surveys of the arid world had revealed that it was a source of HarJel. The colonization effort would of necessity concentrate on the known sites of the vital substance.
With the final plans in place, the Fleet set off once again. On November 6, 3066, the Scorpions arrived at Circinus to find that not everything was going precisely according to plan.
Although the Scorpion leadership had been paying clandestine visits to Circinus as early as 3056, their surveillance ships absence from the Inner Sphere for nearly two years had deprived the Scorpions of the most recent intelligence on this world. Khan Scott and the other Scorpion leaders knew that the Word of Blake was actively aiding President McIntyre and that several Word units were on planet serving as ‘advisors’ to the President. What they did not know, was that in late 3064, an archaeologist Adept assigned to the garrison had discovered the buried SLDF facilities on the continent of Laredo. The Word hierarchy on Terra immediately realized the magnitude of the find, and dispatched an entire World of Blake Militia Division to Circinus at once, along with a sizable team instructed to catalog the find and determine whether or not the facilities could be restored to service.
Although Robert McIntyre III (‘Baby Bob’) was uneasy with the sudden appearance of the Blake military forces, he set aside those feelings and signed an agreement with Precentor Daniel Gibbs. He ceded all authority over Laredo to the Word of Blake, in exchange for which the Word agreed to fully upgrade the Black Warriors and provide enough additional equipment to outfit two more regiments. Gibbs also agreed to train the personnel assigned to those regiments, and pledged the Word to the defense of Circinus. Both sides considered the deal to be in their best interests, and almost overnight the planet was transformed into one of the major Blakist bases.
The facilities on Laredo were quickly explored, and the sheer magnitude of what had been found staggered even the more ardent believer in the Word of Blake. Extending hundreds of feet into the granite foundations of the mountains, there were six separate factory complexes—each with Star League machinery able to produce weapons, armor, electronics, fusion engines, targeting systems—and a final assembly facility with the equipment to finalize the construction of ‘Mechs, vehicles, and aerospace fighters. All of this was in addition to the command and control facilities able to house an entire Star League Defense Force brigade, and an entire shipyard able to repair and refit up to four DropShips simultaneously.
Everything had been mothballed, but the ravages of more than two centuries had taken their toll. All of the manufacturing facilities would require extensive reconstruction before they could be returned to an operational state. Undaunted, the Master dispatched teams of engineers from the factories on Terra to Circinus as his designs began to play out across the Inner Sphere.
The remote location of Circinus, the lack of a permanent Inner Sphere intelligence gathering presence there, and the presence of the old SLDF training facilities also made the planet an ideal where the nascent Shadow Divisions could train and organize. Thus it was that when the Scorpions arrived at Circinus in November of 3066, instead of facing an under-strength regiment of the Black Warriors, backed by assorted armor and infantry forces, they encountered three regiments of Black Warriors and two divisions of the Word of Blake.
Last edited by master arminas on Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.