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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:54 pm 
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Location: Hope Mills, NC
WOW is all i can say

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Trueborn Warrior

Pain heals, Chicks dig scars but GLORY lasts forever!!!!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:55 pm 
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General
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Chapter Six

“We returned to the Inner Sphere to bring about the reformation of the Star League—in that goal, we have succeeded, although not according to our plans. By posing a threat to their very lives, society, and culture, it is we—the Clans of Kerensky—who have forced the Great Houses of the Inner Sphere to unite in common purpose. How this reformation of the Star League has come to pass is no longer important; that is has must be paramount in our considerations of future actions.”

“There are some amongst you today who call this Second Star League a sham, a fraud, a ploy with which to force the Clans to rethink our purpose. But consider this, my Khans—we have achieved our goal; for the first time since Stefan Amaris murdered Richard Cameron, the vast majority of mankind is now united under a single government. We cannot in good conscience dismiss this formation of this new interstellar government; we cannot in honor fail to recognize that we spurred the Great Houses down this road through our Invasion of their homes.”

“We cannot fail to act against the wishes of the Great Father now that the Star League is once again in existence. To serve the Star League was all that Aleksandyr Kerensky desired, to see peace in his time with our Founders in the SLDF dedicating their lives to keep the peace so that mankind could once again enter a Golden Age.”

“Therefore, I feel that I must inform this Grand Council of Khans that Clan Goliath Scorpion will recognize the legitimacy and primacy of this government, and that our touman will serve the Second Star League now and forever. I bid you farewell, trothkin, and I hope that your reason will win out over your anger; that you will accept this new government as the Great Father General Aleksandyr Kerensky would have done so himself, and that you lay aside thoughts of conquest and building an Empire. I call upon the Wardens among you to put aside your hate, and take your rightful place as the core of the new Star League Defense Force.”

“And should you seek to move against the Second Star League and continue this Invasion, know that the Scorpions will stand as part of the SLDF against you.”

—Nikolai Djerassi, in his final video address to the Grand Council of Khans, Memmingen, 3044


Field Headquarters of the ilKhan
Memmingen, Clan Goliath Scorpion Occupation Zone
December 28, 3043


“Our offensive against Wolf on Tukayyid must be made at the same time that we launch Wave IV,” Nikolai said to the assembled Khans. “To do otherwise, we invite Davion and Kurita to launch a counter-attack against our holdings. Yes, we will stretch ourselves to the very limits, but it is of vital necessity—sacrifices must be made in order to bring this Invasion to fruition.”

“However, Wave IV will be abbreviated, due to the concentration of our forces at Tukayyid. Clan Jade Falcon will hit New Exford, Graceland, Dustball, Koniz, and Bountiful Harvest; the Sharks will seize Esteros and A Place.”

“The Hell's Horses will attack Sudeten, Benfled, Ballynure, and La Grave, with the Snow Ravens taking Graus, and Blair Atholl.”

“Clan Steel Viper will strike at Dompaire, Colmar, Cusset, Montmarault, and Domain; the Ice Hellions will assault Laurent, Biota, and Rastaban.”

“Clan Wolf will drive for Maestu, Kobe, Hyperion, Bessarabia, Perrot, Wheel, and Suk II, while the Coyotes will strike at Karston, Hanfeld, Thun, and Galuzzo.”

“Clan Ghost Bear will seize Satalice, Skandia, Halesowen, and Maule.”

“Clan Star Adder will take Alshain, Marawi, Sternwerde, and Ardoz, as the Cobras assault Sheliak and Tinaca.”

“Clan Blood Spirit will attack Yamarovka, Mualang, and assist the Jaguars on Asgard, if Khan Howell requests their assistance.”

“Clan Smoke Jaguar will strike at Asgard, Cyrenaica, Port Arthur, and Avon, while the Nova Cats hit Tarazed and Kilmamock.”

Nikolai stood at parade rest before the map and he nodded. “These objectives are of high importance, but the most critical is at Tukayyid. Not only will we be operating in advance of our lines, we will be attacking an opponent with operable WarShips of his own—and whose forces will quite possibly be outfitted with Star League technology, possibly even Clan technology. One that might well outnumber us three or more to one.”

“Operation Thunderbolt will include forces from every Clan: the Jade Falcon Gamma Galaxy, the Diamond Shark Alpha Galaxy, elements of the Horse’s Alpha Galaxy and their Alpha Keshik, the Raven 6th Battle Cluster, the 1st and 2nd Viper Guards and the Triasch Keshik, the 7th Attack Cluster and 150th Hellion Lancers, the Wolf Alpha Galaxy reinforced with the Coyotes Golden Keshik and 50th Assault Cluster, the Bears Alpha and Beta Galaxies, the Scorpions Knife Dance Keshik and the entirety of my own Alpha, Beta, and Delta Galaxies, the Adder Command Keshik and elements of their Alpha Galaxy, the Cobras 33rd Battle Cluster, the Spirits 7th Blood Drinkers Cluster, the Jaguar’s Den Keshik and the Jaguar Grenadiers, the Nova Cat Keshik, the Stone Lion Alpha Galaxy, our penal Cluster from the remnants of the Mandrills, and the Ebon Keshik.”

Sixty Clusters will assault Tukayyid, supported by forty WarShips. My Khans,” Nikolai paused, and he shook his head, “my trothkin, this is the single largest assault against one world in the history of the Clans; we will need each and every Warrior we have on hand; we might well wish we had brought more before this battle draws to a close.”

The ilKhan stood. “Thank you, Khan Djerassi for outlining the operation. We will now get into the specifics of landing zones and your individual objectives—these are subject to change depending on how Wolf is deployed, so be ready to adjust your Drop Zones on short notice. Both Wave IV and Operation Thunderbolt will commence in slightly more than two weeks: January 15th, 3044.”

She looked at the somber faces that surrounded her and the ilKhan nodded, and then she smiled. “If we can crush Wolf’s Grand Army on Tukayyid, and break through the defenses on the worlds of Wave IV, we will have finally fought our way through the best which the Inner Sphere can throw against us, my Khans. And we will triumph; we will achieve Victory!”

“Seyla!” the Khans roared.

Yvonne smiled. “Then let’s get down the specifics. While I command the main body, Khan Djerassi will act as my tactical deputy . . .”


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:18 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Field Headquarters of the ilKhan; Bayern
Memmingen, Clan Goliath Scorpion Occupation Zone
December 28, 3043


“Khan Howell; Khan West, the two of you asked to speak with me privately, quiaff?” asked Yvonne as she shivered in the cold air and sat down next to the roaring fireplace. A cold front had passed over the planetary capital during the long session of the Grand Kurultai earlier today, bringing lightning and heavy rain, and the temperatures had plunged in its wake.

“Aff, ilKhan,” responded Brandon Howell. “As you are aware, the two of us have decided against an assault on Luthien until our reinforcements arrive—which will not be for at least another three months. We have confirmed, however, that House Kurita has heavily reinforced Luthien . . . our interrogations have revealed a minimum of twenty regiments defending it, including all five of their Sword of Light regiments.”

Yvonne nodded. “And if they are not attacked, those units could very well be used for a counter-offensive along your flank,” she mused. “Are you adding Luthien to your Wave IV worlds, quineg?”

“Neg,” the Nova Cat Khan said swiftly. “We do not have the strength, at the moment, to risk Luthien—not against those numbers. But perhaps we do not have to. Khan Howell; it is your plan after all.”

Brandon Howell nodded. “ilKhan, we will be sending elements of our two Clans to Luthien on January 1, but they will not include any of our Clusters. Instead of an invasion, we intend to blockade Luthien from orbit—preventing those regiments massed there from being used against us and isolating the capital of the Draconis Combine.”

“Between our two Clans,” Khan West continued, “we will be able to interdict Luthien with two Black Lion-class battlecruisers, a Congress-class frigate, three Lola III-class destroyers, and two York-class carriers. Rather than picket the jump points, our ships will blockade the planet itself from orbit—with enough fighters and assault DropShips to more than handle what the defenders on the surface can throw at us. Our mission will not be to bombard Luthien—our ship commanders have strict orders against such an action—but will prevent those regiments on the surface from departing and reinforcements from arriving.”

“I presume this is why neither of your Clans could provide any ships for Operation Thunderbolt?” Yvonne asked.

“Aff, ilKhan Hazen,” replied the Jaguar. He glanced at the Nova Cat sitting next to him and he slowly nodded. “We realize that this is . . . unorthodox, but if we can keep those regiments bottled up on their capital, perhaps we can avoid a local counter-attack until our reinforcements arrive in March.”

Yvonne nodded her head slightly. Six months ago, none of her Khans—probably not even Djerassi!—would have suggested this, let alone the Khan of the Smoke Jaguars. But it was not six months ago. “You have my permission,” for what it is worth, she thought, “and my hopes that your efforts are successful.”

She started to rise, but then she saw the faces of the two Khans and lowered herself back down. “Was there something else, quiaff?”

“Aff,” whispered Howell. “We captured two Combine JumpShips just before our assault on Pesht, loaded with cargo ships. ilKhan, they were inbound to the planet with newly produced SLDF weaponry. Of lower quality than the Star League produced, but still just as effective. Our opponents are about to get a significant boost in their capabilities—just as Djerassi warned and we feared.”

“We knew it would happen eventually—and there is nothing we can do but warn our troops to expect stiffer resistance.”

“True, but we thought you want confirmation,” added the Nova Cat.

“You thought correctly. I will see that the information is disseminated throughout the Clans. Is there anything else?”

Marius West nodded. “We have gleaned from our interrogations of Combine military personnel that the House of Kurita might—might—have at least one operational WarShip, a small one.”

“A Samarkand II-class carrier, ilKhan,” Howell chimed in. “We are instituting the naval blockade of Luthien partly in hopes that we can draw it out—if it even exists.”

“Destroy it,” growled Yvonne. “Even if it means you must lift your blockade—if that ships exists, render it extinct.”

“You may rest assured of that, ilKhan Hazen,” chuckled the Khan of the Jaguars.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:04 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
CSJS Streaking Mist; Proximity Point L-3
Luthien, Draconis Combine
January 6, 3044


Star Admiral Janice Hoyt, the senior Jaguar naval officer in the Luthien system, frowned at her plot once the display stabilized. Unlike Pesht, there had been no waves of kamikaze attacks here at the pirate point—but the battlecruisers powerful sensors were showing hundreds of icons in orbit over the planet which they had come to blockade. The majority of those blips within the holotank were fighters, but the rest? “What are those?” she whispered.

“Unknown, Star Admiral,” replied Star Captain Paul Knox. “They are smaller than an Avenger and have so far showed no indication of being mobile, other than reaction thrusters. Could they be an aerospace fighter refueling/rearming platform, perhaps?”

Hoyt nodded slowly and she bit her lip. She did not particularly care for Knox—one of the few Jaguars to possess a former Mongoose Bloodname, Knox was well known for his low sense of humor . . . but the man was a capable officer with a keen mind. Which had one of the reasons that the Jaguars of so long ago had allowed his Bloodname to survive; that keen intellect and a reputation for audacity was well-noted in the Knox genetic legacies. “Perhaps,” the Star Admiral whispered. “Any sign of a hostile WarShip?”

“Neg, Star Admiral—and no non-hostile ones besides our own and the Nova Cat vessels within sensor range,” he looked up from his console. “CIC makes it one hundred and eighty aerospace fighters, forty-four DropShips, and one hundred forty-four of those . . . unknowns. Fighters and DropShips are concentrating on this side of the planet, while the unknown contacts are spread out in twelve constellations of twelve, in several interlocking polar orbits. “

“Manufacturing stations?” another Jaguar officer said quietly. “But they seem awfully small for that.”

“And too numerous and large to be part of their satellite net,” whispered another.

“Well, we will discover their true nature soon enough,” Hoyt said in a loud voice. “As small as they are, they cannot be defense stations!” She finished with a chuckle, but she still had an uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach—and Star Captain Knox looked worried.

“All ships launch fighters and DropShips—attack plan Zeta-Four, but keep our ships outside of any conceivable engagement range from those platforms.”

The Jaguars bent over their consoles and quickly passed the orders; Streaking Mist shuddered as her four DropShips and twenty OmniFighters detached and accelerated away—her WarShips travelling in their wake.

And the Kurita defenders left orbit to meet them. Her fighters had a slight advantage in numbers (200 vs. 180), but the forty-four defending DropShips outnumbered her fourteen almost four-to-one. Luckily for the Jaguars and the Cats, her WarShips had little problems locking weapons onto the signature and bulk of the enemy DropShips—and no DropShip could withstand capital-scale weapons for long.

The leading edge of the two forces merged and the holotank lit in flashes of laser beams and PPC bolts, autocannon bursts and missile drive plumes, interspersed with sudden, brilliant explosions as fighters and DropShips began to die.

Hoyt walked over to stand beside Paul Knox as he monitored the tactical systems. “Those unknowns are just sitting there, Paul?” she asked.

“Aff, Star Admiral. No fighter launches, and they are not transmitting. Could they be orbital mines?”

She frowned again. “Damned big ones if they are—and mines are almost useless against WarShips unless they . . .” she inhaled deeply.

And Paul Knox nodded. “Unless they have one or more nuclear warheads each,” he answered in an equally quiet voice.

“Power levels?”

“Unknown, Star Admiral—they are jamming our sensors and I cannot get a good read on them. I believe each one has a fusion plant onboard, but penetrating their hash is . . . rather difficult.”

Hoyt activated a secondary holographic projector and brought up a far larger visual image of the spherical objects—barely one hundred meters in diameter, with no engine exhaust ports, one two small craft docking bays . . . and no obvious weapon ports. There were three large cargo bay doors, which could conceal weapons . . . and Hoyt nodded.

“I do not like unknown factors,” she growled. “Instruct Ranger that once we have finished dealing with the Combine fighters and DropShips, she is too close and investigate; the remainder of the Flotillia will stand-off and await her report.”

“Aff, Star Admiral—the Cats might not like it that you are sending in one of their ships as bait,” he added.

“The Cats will follow my orders, whether they like them or not, Star Captain Knox, quiaff?”

“Aff.”

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

The dreadful silent ballet in the depths of space slowly wound down as the thirty-two surviving Combine fighters, with no DropShips remaining, withdrew to the planet to rearm and refuel—and have their armor quickly patched. Fifty-three Clan fighters and just one single, solitary Assault DropShip managed to return to their own motherships, but the path to Luthien was now open . . . except for those strange platforms rotating around the planet like a chain of delicate beads.


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

Star Colonel Cara Devalis sat in her command chair aboard CNCS Ranger as it thrusted slowly towards the orbit. She tried to project an aura of confidence to her crew . . . but she she had an uneasy feeling in her gut about just what those unknown objects were.

“We have entered range of our laser and missile battery, Star Colonel,” he executive officer called out.

“Lock a single battery on the nearest plaform, Tactical; Maneuvering, continue to close at 0.5-g’s . . . let’s see if we can get a better picture of what those things carry.”

“Aff,” several voices answered. Another officer looked up. “Heavy jamming, Star Colonel—sensors are still unable to penetrate their interference . . .” he looked down at his console and his face blanched. “Status change! LIDAR targeting systems are ranging us from all of the bogies in line-of-sight!”

“Weapons free, gunners engage at will!” Cara snarled. “Maneuvering, evasive pattern Theta-Four!”

“MA’AM!” the sensor tech cried. “They are opening fi. . .”

Ranger heaved as seventy-two of the orbital stations locked targeting and tracking systems onto her hull and each fired a single NL-55 Naval Laser. Individually, the lasers were little more than pinpricks to the heavily armored Lola III-class destroyer. But seventy-two of them, fired in a simultaneous salvo, proved far too much for her to handle. Twenty-one missed outright, but the remaining fifty-one struck the Nova Cat ship directly on her nose—and her armored bow flowed and boiled away as the stilettos of light lanced into her. More than two dozen beams penetrated into her internals and before the sensor tech could finish uttering the word 'fire', Rangers forward magazine was breached and her ammunition cooked off.

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

Janice Hoyt came out of her seat as the interlocking defense satellites known to the Draconis Combine as BattleSats eviscerated the Nova Cat destroyer and then a massive internal explosion tore the battered hulk into scattered debris in an eye-tearing explosion.

“Kerensky’s seed,” she whispered even as the glare of the eruption in the holotank died away.

“Star Admiral,” whispered Paul from his station. “It appears each of those stations carries a single NL-55 capital naval laser—they seem to be very vulnerable to our return fire as well. The three platforms Ranger managed to engage before her magazine blew were destroyed with a single shot each.”

“Acknowledged,” she said as she sat back down in her seat. She had the firepower to destroy them—but those platforms also had the firepower to destroy every single one of her ships in return. “New orders—we will institute the blockade outside of their engagement range; deploy our ships to englobe the planet.”

“At that range, with just seven ships, we may not be able to intercept launches from the surface, Star Admiral,” reported Knox.

“Understood—carry out my orders. And fire up the HPG; I need to speak with Khan Howell.”


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:22 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
The Dragon’s Lair, Imperial Palace, Imperial City
Luthien, Draconis Combine
January 6, 3044


Takashi Kurita’s lips moved into a rare smile as the image of the Clan WarShip in orbit exploded on the monitor screen. “Your toys appear to be working well, Theodore,” he chuckled. “Well done, my son. It is such a simple, elegant concept—why did we never think of this before?”

“During the Star League, had we built such a system, Father, it would not have mattered, for the Star League had thousands of WarShips at their disposal. And this system is woefully vulnerable to hostile fire—without any protection from aerospace fighters. It would have lasted perhaps five minutes against the SLDF . . . and no one wanted to invest the resources in a system that would be ultimately expendable at the time.”

“True,” the Dragon rumbled as he nodded his agreement. “But these stations are inexpensive enough that we can produce them in quantity—and you, my Gunji-no-Kanrei, you deliberately held back more than one hundred aerospace fighters. To protect our BattleSats?”

Hai, Father. Those Clan WarShips have few fighters left—they are in for a surprise if they try to clear the orbitals with them.”

“And Togura?”

Theodore smiled. “If the Clan WarShips are here, they are not protecting their conquests—she is starting a series of raids against occupied worlds, raids aimed at destroying, or capturing, their JumpShips and supplies. Let’s see how these Jaguars and Nova Cats enjoy that.”

Takashi laughed, and then his smiled faded. He turned back to the monitor. “Still, that ship, as unprepared and unready as she was, she managed to destroy three of our platforms. If they come at us in strength . . .”

“We will hold. The engineers at Luthien Armor Works tell me that they can produce a new BattleSat every week—and we have DropShips on the ground to ferry new platforms aloft and replace those destroyed in orbit. No, Father, the orbitals will hold, unless they bring a many more ships to bear on us—and neither of these Clans has those ships available . . . according to both Wolf and ComStar.”

Takashi nodded. “Good. Soon enough, the Dragon will emerge in his full fury—you, my son, my Shogun, will lead our Armies and cast these invaders from our worlds.”

Theodore bowed. “As the Dragon commands.”


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:43 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Clan Smoke Jaguar Field Headquarters, Bayern
Memmingen, Clan Goliath Scorpion Occupation Zone
January 6, 3044


“Star Admiral Hoyt,” Brandon Howell said through clenched teeth, “I seem to recall that your missiles are capable of engaging and killing targets are far longer rangers than naval lasers, quiaff?”

“Aff,” the holographic projection of Janice Hoyt answered. She started to say something else, but the Khan interrupted her.

“Then destroy the platforms and institute a close blockade!”

“Begging the Khan’s pardon,” a third voice spoke up, “but it is not that simple, my Khan.”

“And you are?”

“Star Captain Paul Knox, executive officer of Streaking Mist, my Khan.”

The corner of Howell’s mouth twitched and he sternly frowned at the young Jaguar—with the Mongoose Bloodname!—who had spoken up. “Explain.”

“We can fire our capital missiles in bearing-only mode, my Khan, which gives us an engagement range far beyond that in which these defensive platforms can engage us. But there are several difficulties with that approach.”

“First, the missiles will consume their fuel once fired, turning them into ballistic projectiles with no ability to make course corrections. This is will also render the missiles extremely vulnerable to hostile point defense systems. The range at which we would have to launch against these targets—which have maneuvering thrusts and can undertake limited evasive action, combined with the inability of our missiles to maneuver into the targets and the blanket of ECM that our opponents are smothering the orbitals with means that we are looking at around a 3% hit ratio for White Shark- and Killer Whale-class missiles; perhaps around 18-20% if we restrict ourselves to Barracuda-class capital missiles with their more accurate targeting systems. Either way, we will run out of missiles long before we manage to achieve a single hit on every target.”

“Second,” the Jaguar continued, as he ignored the rapidly flushing face of his Khan, “an examination of Rangers engagement showed that the platforms are lightly armored—a single missile will not guarantee us a kill even if it hits, not even a Killer Whale-class which packs the largest warhead of any our capital missiles.”

“Third, the Kuritas pulled back the platforms into a very low orbit after we established our blockade. While this means that fewer platforms can simultaneously target any one of our ships, it allows means that any misses will slam into the planet’s atmosphere—and with that heavy ECM coverage; I cannot ensure that any miss will self-destruct. Which means, my Khan, that possibly as many as two-thirds of our misses, which could be as much as 97% of our total missiles fired, will impact the planetary surface with armed warheads. And that violates the direct orders of ilKhan against indiscriminate planetary bombardment . . . my Khan.”

Brandon Howell bit his tongue and he forced himself to nod. “Well, then, Star Captain Knox . . . what is your recommendation?”

“A fighter strike once we replace our lost birds, my Khan. Naval lasers have little effectiveness against fighters and a single Star might well be able to destroy all of the platforms. However, if the Combine has retained any fighters of their own, we might not be able to accomplish this; in which case we will have to move in and engage the targets with our shipboard weaponry. Our WarShips can destroy the platforms by the dozens, my Khan, but we will take heavy damage if we try to bull through. Perhaps you can make arrangements with the Ravens or Scorpions to use some of their ships in the assault?”

The eyes of the Jaguar Khan grew wide and his jaw worked, but he forced himself visibly to take a deep breath. “Star Admiral Hoyt . . . do you concur?” he asked quietly.

Janice Hoyt slowly nodded. “I do, my Khan.”

“Very well. Maintain your blockade as best you are able—I will scrounge up replacement pilots and fighters from somewhere. But know this, Star Captain Knox; if your plan fails, you will bear my wrath.”

And without another word, Howell cut the transmission.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:23 am 
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Stratego
Stratego

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2001 8:00 pm
Posts: 10855
Location: Ft. Hood Texas
Amazing! The idea that the Inner Sphere can use something other then luck and writer fiat to win battles. I am liking this story more and more! Each side is shown as having different facets and levels of depth, something the canon works lack in abundance. We see them as people not blocks. So far no super hero characters who can do almost no wrong and seem to be able to save the day without even trying very hard. Looking forward to the next installments.

_________________
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!

[img]http://www.heavymetalpro.com/countries/mil-army.gif[/img]


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:30 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Clan Stone Lion Field Headquarters, Bayern
Memmingen, Clan Goliath Scorpion Occupation Zone
January 6, 3044


Natasha Kerensky walked into her office and she offered the rising officer waiting for her a warm smile. “Aidan, I trust there is not another problem?”

Aidan Pryde chuckled. “Other than eight more Trials of Grievance fought between our Warriors over minor insults and bruised egos, my Khan, there are no problems worthy of being brought to your attention.”

The Black Widow sighed. Damn fools . . . thinking only of their individual honor—even the free-births! She shook her head and crossed over to her desk, only to come to a halt at the sight of the wooden crate sitting in her chair.

“A gift, saKhan?” she asked.

“More like a test, Khan Kerensky,” the former Falcon turned Stone Lion answered. “You did say that the Kommandos needed a larger challenge . . . I provided them a worthy challenge and they rose to the occasion.”

As part of her new Clan, Natasha had formed up a group of Elementals and vehicle crewmen tasked with special operations—a wholly unappreciated endeavor of covert operations amongst the Clans. So far, the Stone Lions Kommando Cluster consisted of just two Trinary of troops—finding Clan troopers with the proper mindset had proven rather . . . discouraging, she thought. Still, they had managed to scrounge up a few, over the objections of other Khans and the ilKhan herself.

Natasha walked over to her chair and lifted the heavy crate, using her survival knife to pry up the nailed down lid and she shook her head again as she gazed upon the six bottles packed in straw within. She began to laugh as she pulled one of the green tinted bottles out and read the label.

“Glenlivet single-malt Scotch, aged thirty-six years! Aidan, you didn’t send the Kommando to raid Nikolai Djerassi’s cellar did you?”

The saKhan laughed. “The Scorpion keeps his cellar more heavily guarded than his field headquarters, my Khan. I thought it might serve as a good graduation exercise for the Kommando—they had orders to get in, grab their objective, and get out . . . without raising the alarm or killing any Scorpion defenders. They did it.”

“So I see,” she answered with a smile as she began to cut away the wax seal holding the cork in place. She laughed again as Aidan lifted a cork-screw; but she put aside the knife and took the utensil. “Nikolai will be furious, you realize. I would not put it past him to seek revenge in kind.”

Aidan shrugged. “He is a Scorpion, my Khan. Besides, we are all departing for Tukayyid on the morrow—he shall not have the time to properly come up with a method of retaliation.”

“True,” Natasha said with a grunt as the cork popped out of the narrow neck of the whiskey bottle. Aidan put two glasses on her desk and she chuckled again. “How did I ever deserve a saKhan like you, Aidan Pryde?”

“You do not,” he answered. “Still, since the Falcons have expressed a desire to rid themselves of me, I might as well make myself useful to you.”

The Khan poured three fingers of the deep, smoky colored whiskey into each of the glasses, then she corked the bottle and lifted one; Aidan took the other. “To victory, my saKhan,” she said.

“I think, after having read your analysis of our opponents, I would rather toast to Survival, my Khan,” as he clinked his glass against hers.

Both took a sip, and Natasha sat down with a groan. “I need a shower,” she said.

“Yes. Yes, you do, my Khan.”

“I see you are giving the touman a break tonight—why?”

“They have far to go yet, my Khan, but they have already united and become one unit faster than I thought possible. We have rough patches, we still have holes in our formations, and they are still as argumentative as any Mandrill ever decanted—but they have drastically improved. I wanted to give them one night to rejoice in being a Warrior before we board ship for Tukayyid.”

Natasha took another swallow of the stout whiskey and she nodded with a shrug. “Your call, Aidan; be sure and keep guards posted on the HQ building though—do not underestimate Nikolai Djerassi, saKhan Pryde. I am heading for the showers and then a meal before I grab some sleep.”

“It will be as you command, my Khan,” Aidan said with a bow as she drained the last of her whiskey and left the office.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:35 pm 
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Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General

Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 3:54 pm
Posts: 615
Location: Springfield, Illinois
Natasha kerensky, aidan pryde and horse all in same clan? Tukkayid is gonna be one heck of a fight. Cant wait!


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:37 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
The Steel Palace, Malcheema
Arcturus, Lyran Commonwealth, Federated Commonwealth
January 14, 3044


“Marshal Stephen Davion of the Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth!” the door warden announced loudly.

Melissa Steiner-Davion stood from her seat behind the oak desk and she tried hard to keep her composure as she saw the exhausted, harrowed face of her husband’s cousin. This was not the vibrant, confident man who had set out to raid the Isles a few short months ago. Hanse also rose and Melissa squeezed his hand in support and her husband nodded slightly—clearly Stephen Davion had experienced a rough time.

Quintus Allard, Morgan Hasek-Davion, and Roman Steiner—Melissa’s new General of the Lyran Armies—stood as well in the spacious and ornate office deep within the original Palace of the Archons on the old capital world of Arcturus.

Marshal Davion stopped in front of the desk and bowed low. “Your majesties,” he said simply.

“I thought we had lost you, Stephen,” said Hanse quietly in an effort to break the sudden and oppressive silence that fell over the room. “And the Armored Cavalry as well.”

“You did, my Prince,” his cousin answered with a scowl on his face. “My troops were defeated and taken captive—only the decision of their Khan to release us allowed the return of my fifty-seven survivors . . . without our ‘Mechs, fighters, DropShips, or JumpShips. I will, of course, resign my commission in the wake of this . . . disaster.”

“Absolutely not!” snapped Hanse in reply. “You have had more contact with these Clans than anyone else other in Our service . . . We shall need that perspective, Stephen. And welcome home.”

“It is good to be back, my Prince. Archon,” he said with a bow to Melissa, “I was released for a specific reason, to deliver unto you a message from Khan Nikolas Djerassi of Clan Goliath Scorpion. Star Captain Jason Scott volunteered to accompany me and answer any of your questions—to provide you with living, breathing proof of the sincerity of the Scorpions proposal. He is an ambassador, not a prisoner.”

“Some Ambassador,” Hanse snorted. “Six—six!—of the men I sent aboard that DropShip to take him into custody remain in the hospital!”

“He was willing to be taken into custody, but he was not willing to be shackled like a criminal! And Star Captain Scott did not start that confrontation—he defended himself after your guards slammed a rifle butt into his kidney!” Stephen snarled, and Hanse looked up in surprise.

“Marshal Davion, he is the enemy—remember that.”

Stephen lowered his head and he shook it. “I fought them on Rondane—two-thirds of my Regiment died on Rondane, Prince Davion! And even as a POW taken in combat and subject to being one of their bondsmen, I was never treated like that! Nor were my . . .” Stephen’s voice cracked, and he had to pause and collect himself, “nor were any of my surviving men and women. You didn’t capture that warrior in battle, he came here under a flag of truce to convey a message, and your guards deliberately provoked a confrontation!”

Both of you stop,” Melissa said calmly as she sat. “Why don’t we sit down and find out exactly why these Scorpions released Stephen?”

One by one, the others took their seats and Stephen nodded at the Archon. “Khan Djerassi asked that I bear you a message, Archon Melissa; a message that might put an end to this war. His plan . . .” and Stephen explained to the small group exactly what Nikolai had in mind.

Hanse barked out a laugh. “Of course! Why didn’t I think of this? He just wants us to reform the Star League! Doesn’t he know how the 1st Succession War started in the first place?”

“That was a different time, your Majesty,” Stephen answered softly. “And we have united to fight against the Clans—it might just be possible if you and the Archon threw your weight behind it.”

“And throw away the Federated Commonwealth in the process!” Hanse snapped. “We are this close to reuniting the Inner Sphere under one government already, and you expect us to derail that on the word of this Clan bastard?”

“Hanse,” Melissa said softly as she laid one hand on her husband’s forearm, and he subsided. The Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth turned her stern gaze—so much like that of her mother Katrina, Stephen suddenly realized, on the former prisoner. “Even if this is possible, which I doubt, why would Takashi Kurita bow down to Jaime Wolf?”

“He wouldn’t,” answered Stephen. “Star Captain Scott and I have been discussing this for three weeks now, and he has doubts that Wolf would even accept such a position. But he believes he has an idea who the Lords of the Great Houses would follow, especially if that person held the title of First Lord, but the true power rested with the Council—a Council which must include ComStar to offset the three votes of the Federated Commonwealth.”

Hanse grimaced at the idea and Quintus Allard shook his head, but Melissa just nodded. “And that person would be?”

“You, Archon Steiner-Davion. Thomas Marik and Takashi Kurita know well you are no puppet—you will make your own decisions, even if Hanse disagrees with them. A few years ago, they might not have thought that, but today? They recognize your worth.”

Melissa jerked upright in her chair, a shocked expression on her face. “ME?” she whispered.

“You, Archon Steiner-Davion. Thomas and Takashi will not follow Hanse; Takashi will see the Draconis Combine in ruins before he bows to Jaime Wolf—but you are a horse of a different color. And reforming the League will bring this war to a sudden halt as the Clans find themselves in a philosophical quandary.”

“Philosophy doesn’t win wars, Marshal,” said Quintus Allard. “Soldiers with guns win wars.”

“Even in war, moral power is to physical as three parts out of four.”

“Napoleon Bonaparte,” whispered Hanse. “Still, they will know this is just a ploy.”

“Or is it?” asked Stephen. “We can weld a new Star League out of this mess—and throw all of the Clans into chaos and confusion. And in the process, the Scorpions will come to our side.”

“With two Galaxies,” muttered Morgan Hasek-Davion. “Their WarShips will be appreciated, but their small number of Clusters will mean little overall.”

“Wrong. Khan Djerassi is moving ALL of his Scorpions forward—seven Galaxies of front-line and second line troops, plus another twenty-eight Clusters of Garrison forces. Fifty-seven Clusters of troops, Field Marshal, which he will command at the orders of the First Lord of the Star League.”

And absolute silence hung over the room, as even Hanse Davion blinked.

Fifty-seven Clusters?” gasped Roman Steiner. “Wolf said they are one of the smaller Clans!”

“They are,” Stephen agreed bluntly. “If every Clan brought their full force forward, we could not stand against them! The Bears alone—if they do the same—can field more than one hundred Clusters, both front-line and garrison. Hanse we can stop what the Clans have here now, but what if they do not give up this fight? What if they bring everything they have into the fray?” Stephen shook his head. “At the very least, this plan might buy us time, not to mention a sudden infusion of fresh troops with Clan technology. And they are bringing with them their scientists, their technicians, their merchants, and pre-fabricated factories to produce their own gear. Have you given THAT any thought, Minister Allard?”

No one replied as each of the leaders in the room considered it carefully. Finally, Melissa nodded. “We will have to contact Thomas and Takashi; Candace and the Primus—and Jaime Wolf. And all of this hinges on whether or not Jaime’s Grand Army can defeat their Tukayyid strike force. When does that start?”

Stephen winced. “They are scheduled to jump into the system in . . . three hours and fourteen minutes, your Majesty.”

The Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth nodded firmly and she stood, quickly followed by her husband, his cousin, and their advisors. “In that case, we need to establish contact right away. I will authorize the expenditure for a real-time HPG connection.”

“And if they are assaulting Tukayyid with this much, perhaps we can move the RCTs waiting their next onslaught into an offensive posture,” mused Hanse.

“Those RCTs will be busy,” Stephen said dryly. “Khan Djerassi informed me that they launching Wave IV simultaneously, for the express purpose of stopping you from doing exactly that.”

“No matter,” said Melissa. “It is in the hands of Our brave soldiers now—and Wolf’s. We will concentrate on what we can accomplish—and I believe that I will have a discussion with Star Captain Scott.”

“Just make damn certain you have four centimeters of armored glass between you and him, Archon—he is liable to be just a little bit pissed right now,” Stephen said sourly.

“Ja,” added Roman Steiner. “I read the medical reports—I would rather she spoke to him from the cockpit of a Warhammer.”

"You might be right, General Steiner," agreed Stephen. "You might be right."


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:29 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
I rewrote that last section: I hope this works better.

MA


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:31 pm 
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Major General
Major General

Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2001 8:00 pm
Posts: 759
Location: Hope Mills, NC
I like both and not sure which i like more, this has more texture i think.

_________________
Khan John Edwards
Trueborn Warrior

Pain heals, Chicks dig scars but GLORY lasts forever!!!!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:19 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
The Steel Palace, Malcheema
Arcturus, Lyran Commonwealth, Federated Commonwealth
January 14, 3044


The images of the assembled Lords of the Inner Sphere were silent as Stephen Davion finished reciting Nikolai Djerassi’s message. Silent except for a sudden bark of incredulous laughter from Takashi Kurita.

Jaime Wolf shook his head ruefully. “You need not even begin your protests, Lord Kurita,” he said. “First Lord of the Star League? I well know my limits—and this exceeds them. I am less well-suited to assuming that role than General Kerensky was after the Amaris Coup . . . and none of you would particularly care for how I would deal with political problems.”

“Could such an action even deter the Clans?” mused Candace Liao. “It seems to me that it would only infuriate them—robbing them of the chance to remake the Star League in their own image.”

J. Elliot Jamison snorted. “The die-hard Crusaders will not be deterred in the least—but most of the Clans are not quite so fanatical in orientation. From our intelligence reports, there is an almost equal split between Crusader and Warden factions—and many of the so-called Crusaders are moderate in nature. The Jaguars, the Falcons, the Hellions, the Vipers, and the Spirits will howl if this comes to pass, but the others will at least pause and give the matter some thought. It could take the wind out of their sails, cut them off at the knees, or whatever other metaphor you wish to use. Not to mention that if, if, the Scorpions do change sides and declare for the Star League, it might well lead others to at least consider doing the same. And as for you not being capable as First Lord, Jaime Wolf, I’d wager that the troops at least would follow you—what troops we have left after this battle, that is.”

Thomas Marik shook his head in resignation. “While I have nothing personal against Supreme Commander Wolf, Takashi will never allow him to become First Lord—and we all know it. Jaime Wolf knows that as well, Colonel Jamison. In a similar fashion, neither Takashi or myself can accept Hanse Davion on the throne of the First Lord, just as he—and his people—would never accept Takashi or even Candace. And that leaves . . . Melissa Steiner-Davion and myself as potential candidates.”

“You are forgetting ComStar,” Michael York added quietly. He quickly held up his hand. “I do not want nor do I desire the office; my hands are quite full enough dealing with the problems my predecessors allowed within my organization itself. Not that the Fox or the Archon would accept me—because of the manner in which my predecessors . . . interfered in their realms. Still, the candidate must be acceptable to ComStar as a whole.”

“Agreed,” snapped Hanse, although a scowl was clearly evident upon his face. “Jaime, Takashi, Candace, the Primus, and I are all eliminated . . . which as Lord Marik says leaves us with two choices.”

“One of which is your wife,” barked Takashi. “Although,” and the stern mask of the face of the Coordinator of the Draconis Combine softened and he almost smiled, “it would be worth putting her on the Throne to see you have to jump at her orders for a change.”

The Primus raised his hand. “Would she be willing to abdicate as Archon? The First Lord of the Star League must not be shown as favoring any of the Great Houses, after all—he or she must be scrupulously fair and even-handed.”

And once again silence descended on the gathering, broken only the occasional static of some random HPG interference.

“I have fought for too long to reunite the League,” Thomas Marik at last said. “I will not hand it over to take the reigns of some . . . ceremonial position.”

“Hardly ceremonial,” continued the Primus. “If the Scorpions are speaking the truth when they offer their full strength as part of a restored Star League Defense Force, then the First Lord will command a force greater in size than the current Capellan Confederation Armed Forces. And, as Primus of ComStar, the ComGuards will provide at least half, if not more, of our total forces to the SLDF. Combined with the Scorpions, this First Lord will have a force of arms at his or her command which exceeds that of any single Successor State.”

“Abdicate? I cannot abdicate my rule of the Lyran Commonwealth,” said Melissa. “My eldest son is still a minor—and that would put Ryan Steiner in the seat of Archon, which would be a catastrophe.”

“And Victor is my heir as well,” added Hanse. “But the matter of who will succeed both Melissa and myself can be resolved at a latter date—I believe that all of us here can agree that the power of the First Lord will have to rest on the votes of the High Council.”

“A High Council where your Federated Commonwealth will control three of the five votes, Hanse,” said Thomas with a sour look. “Or three of six if we give ComStar a seat.”

“Or just three of seven if admit the Scorpions as a member state,” mused the Primus, “and give them a vote as well. You did say that they wanted seven worlds in the Lyons Thumb to call their own—as an independent power.”

Hanse frowned. “I do not like giving them seven more of our worlds.”

“Seven Lyran worlds, dear,” said Melissa. And then she smiled. “It would infuriate Ryan would it not?”

“He is a dangerous man,” Takashi warned. “For all that I sneer at your Steiner military prowess, at least many of your kin are honorable—that viper is the exception that proves the rule.”

“So none of us are willing to take the throne—or to see another of number upon it,” added Jaime Wolf. “Yet, if we do this, we must have a First Lord. Otherwise, even those Clans who will be willing to consider stopping this conflict will not be persuaded.”

“There is perhaps another answer,” chimed in Michael. “Precentor Martial Focht, would you accept this role?”

Takashi jerked in surprise—but perhaps no more so than the white-robed masked man standing beside the Primus. Hanse shook his head again. “I will not accept a ComStar precentor or adept, Primus.”

“Not even one that is a cousin to your wife, Hanse Davion? Tell them Focht—the time for secrets is at an end.”

Melissa’s head whipped around at the words of the Primus and her jaw dropped as Focht removed his mask and lowered his hood. “Fredrick? You . . . you . . . you’re dead!”

Anastasius Focht—Fredrick Steiner—shook his head. “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

“But how . . . why . . .” Melissa sputtered in shock.

The Precentor Martial nodded in understanding. “I was a pawn in Lestrade’s schemes, Melissa. Used as a tool in an effort to further his ambitions—he planned on me supplanting your mother and then ruling the Commonwealth behind his puppet. Me. When Theodore Kurita took me prisoner, I asked him not to return me—and that he report my death to Aunt Katrina.”

Michael York smiled. “And since he did not want to ever play at politics again, he served his new masters well—never giving them any information on the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces, but doing what he could to aid Theodore in building his Ghost Regiments. And then, when Primus Waterly desired to expand the ComGuards, Takashi and Theodore gave him to ComStar—and once again, he served without regard for his own status. And he served well in that role.”

Takashi frowned, but then he nodded. “I have no objections to Anastasius Focht on the throne of the First Lord. He will not interfere in the internal workings of my realm—this I know from speaking to him.”

“And I will release him from service to ComStar—freeing him from all vows and oaths he has taken,” added the Primus.

Jaime Wolf chuckled. “Better you than me, Precentor Martial—no objections here.”

Thomas still frowned, but at last he nodded as the Primus glared at him. “I will not vote for him—but neither will I vote against him.”

Hanse still stood by his wife and his face was set stone, but his left hand trembled slightly. Candace nodded her agreement as well. “I know you don’t trust them, Hanse . . . but he is the last remaining choice—and he has my vote,” she said quietly.

“Fine!” snapped Hanse and he jerked his hand out of the grip of his wife. “But we—the High Council—will make the decisions, not this . . . puppet of ComStar.”

“HANSE!” Melissa said in an anger tone. And then she collected herself. “If Fredrick Stein-,” she grimaced, before correcting herself, “Anastasius Focht gives his word, then I for one believe him! But I have not yet heard him answer.”

All eyes fell on Focht where his image stood next to that of the Primus, and he swallowed heavily. “I foreswore all politics—I gave my Oath to God, I would not let myself get used again.”

“Precentor Martial, we are all used in this life,” said Michael York with a smile. “Here is your chance to start a new life—your third life, and in a such a fashion that history will never, ever forget your name.”

Focht’s shoulders slumped and he shook his. “My hubris admits that such an idea is attractive, but I have no children—no heirs.”

Jaime Wolf smiled. “If the Scorpions join us, with their Scientists, they can easily create you an heir, Focht! And you will not even have to get married!” he finished with a laugh. “So I take it that is a yes, quiaff?”

Slowly Focht nodded his head. “If it is the will of the Lords of the Inner Sphere that I take up this burden, than I shall accept it as my . . . karma, my fate, if you will.”

“And seeing that we are agreed in principle, at least,” Michael York said with a smile, “I would suggest that we meet on Terra at a future date to iron out all of the little details. In the meantime, I think Jaime Wolf and his Grand Army have a battle to fight.”

“No, Primus,” Focht said in a suddenly powerful voice. “If we are to do this, best we do it right. Jaime Wolf . . . as First Lord of the Star League Reborn, having been selected for this post by the Lords of the Great Houses of the Inner Sphere in unanimity, will you accept from me a commission as the Commanding General of the Star League Defense Forces?”

Jaime Wolf drew in a deep breath and then he knelt and bowed his head. “Seyla, First Lord. I will.”

“Then go, my Knight, and inform your foes they face no disparate force joined together only in desperation, but that they fight against the Star League Defense Force made anew.”

“Inform the Clans of Kerensky that the Star League once again stands—and it stands in opposition to their Invasion,” Focht finished.


Last edited by master arminas on Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:34 pm 
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Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General

Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 3:54 pm
Posts: 615
Location: Springfield, Illinois
Was not expecting Focht as First Lord, but it does feel right. Excellent job!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:38 pm 
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Major General
Major General

Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2001 8:00 pm
Posts: 759
Location: Hope Mills, NC
Well played. I had not figured on him either as did not know where his role was in this universe.

_________________
Khan John Edwards
Trueborn Warrior

Pain heals, Chicks dig scars but GLORY lasts forever!!!!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:01 pm 
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Stratego
Stratego

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2001 8:00 pm
Posts: 10855
Location: Ft. Hood Texas
I agree was not expecting this move at all, but it makes sense and works well enough. Looking forward to more.

_________________
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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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:41 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Scorpion Epsilon Galaxy Field Headquarters, Bodo
Rondane, Chainelaine Isles, Clan Goliath Scorpion Enclave
January 14, 3044


The Ghost Bear officer frowned. “Star Colonel Hardo, we need every bit of production possible . . . yet, your Scorpions are disassembling your factories!”

The Scorpion nodded in pleasure as his Elementals aided in the heavy lifting, right alongside technicians and laborers. The fact that his Warriors were pitching in on the labor, that, as much as the actual work in progress, was probably what the Bear so distressed.

“We have orders from above, Star Captain Kabrinski,” Benjamin Hardo said with a shrug. “Khan Djerassi ordered that we prepare these facilities to be moved—and that is what my men are now doing.”

“But moved where?”

The Scorpion shrugged again. “We have not yet received those orders—or the transports, Star Captain. I would imagine one of our worlds somewhere closer to the front lines; the travel time between here and Memmingen is far less than between Memmingen and the Homeworlds, but is still sufficient to cause a lag in supply delivery.”

“So . . . you are abandoning Rondane?” the Bear asked softly.

“Not to my knowledge,” Benjamin chuckled. “These are all pre-fabricated structures we are taking apart—the more permanent factories we built in the caverns will remain at the least.”

The Bear nodded. It did make sense, after all. In a certain fashion. But then he shook his head. “I cannot believe you managed to get your Warriors to do menial labor.”

“Why not? We, with the sole exception of you, are all Scorpions here. The Clan needs this done—and it is the job of a Warrior to serve his Clan in any capacity. That is something too many of our trothkin have forgotten, Jackson.”

“Hmmmm,” the Bear mused. “Our Clan is a family, but my Warriors would demand a Trial of Refusal and one of Grievance if I were to command them to do such.”

“Short-sighted, quiaff?” Benjamin laughed. “No offense, Jackson, but some Warriors are just too full of themselves, too . . . infatuated with the idea of their superiority that they would see their Clan suffer instead of picking up a shovel and pitching in to get a project complete. And we have our own fair share of those imbeciles—they do not last long among the Scorpions, but each generation has a few.”

“Well, it is your Clan, so I should not complain overly much,” Kabrinski said with a smile. “After all, you are not making me get out there and turn a wrench.”

“Of course not, Star Captain Kabrinski . . . if I were to put you out there, you would be hauling heavy equipment with the rest of my Elementals instead of wasting those muscles extracting bolts!”


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:06 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
CIKS Victory, Proximity Point J2
Tukayyid, Free Rasalhague Republic
January 15, 3044


ilKhan Yvonne Hazen took in a deep breath as the holographic display stabilized and projected the blue-white orb that was her target. Icons in seventeen different colors splashed over the display—but none of them were the harsh crimson of her enemies.

“Where are their ships?” she asked.

“Located them, ilKhan,” a sensor tech cried. “Twenty-two WarShips are holding station out-system—four hours from planetary orbit. Force composition is primarily destroyers and frigates, but I am detecting at least three cruisers and one battlecruiser among them.”

The ship’s commanding officer frowned. “If we go after them . . . they can lead us on a chase throughout the outer system, before jumping away at a proximity point or past the limit.”

“And if we do not give chase?” Yvonne asked.

“Then they can choose when and where to move against us.”

“We have the advantage in numbers—forty vs. twenty-two, quiaff?”

“Aff. Provided that those ships are not outfitted with nuclear tipped anti-ship missiles, we have the advantage here—and we will not know for certain until they come close enough to attack.”

Yvonne frowned. Naval combat was not something she routinely dwelled upon—but she had a Khan who did. “Raise CSRS James McKenna—I want to speak with Khan McKenna.”

The connection was quickly made. “Options?” she asked the Raven Khan standing on the command deck of his flagship.

“One, we ignore them and proceed to orbit with our full force, minus a small flotilla to protect our JumpShips. If they seek battle they will have to come to us. Two, we keep the Fleet concentrated at the proximity point sheltering our JumpShips, with only a handful of ships to support the landings. Three, detach a Task Force to deal with them and set off in pursuit while we retain a second group of WarShips here to protect our JumpShips and a third group to move into orbit to support our landings—that option opens us to defeat in detail should they successfully evade or if they have additional WarShips,” the Raven frowned. “Their numbers are less than what Khan Kerensky claimed . . . they could have additional WarShips in nearby systems waiting to be summoned.”

“You can defeat them, quiaff?”

“Aff, they have nothing heavier than a battlecruiser—our force contains three battleships, ilKhan Hazen.”

“Even if they have shipboard nuclear weapons?”

“If that scenario holds true, our losses will rise sharply—but we can defeat what we know they have in-system at this time—if they have no further reinforcements.”

“I do not like leaving WarShips in the hands of these Scavenger Lords,” Yvonne mused . . . but she finally nodded. “We will remain concentrated and move against their ships only if they come to us.”

“Aff, ilKhan,” the Raven answered. “In that case, I would recommend keeping the bulk of the Combined Fleet here, at the proximity point to provide our transports with protection—we can be in planetary orbit in forty-one minutes if that proves necessary, but the JumpShips will be vulnerable to additional WarShips jumping into the Tukayyid system.”

“Make it so, Khan McKenna,” Yvonne answered. “Inform the Khans we are pro-. . .”

“ilKhan, we are receiving a transmission from the planet—Jaime Wolf is requesting a batchall,” a comm-tech reported.

“Open the channel,” she commanded and the ilKhan of the Clans straightened to her full height as the image of the Wolf traitor shimmered into existence in front of her. And Yvonne stared in shock, because Jaime Wolf wore the same olive-drab uniform that Aleksandyr Kerensky had once worn—the uniform of the Star League Defense Force!

“ilKhan Hazen,” the image said politely, with a slight bow. “I, Jaime Wolf, Commanding General of the Star League Reborn, present in body and blood upon the surface of Tukayyid contest your claim for this world, and for all of the worlds of the Inner Sphere. Your invasion will end here amid blood, sweat, and tears; it will end by the will of my Warriors vying with yours, with victory going to he who has the right.”

“The Star League is dead!” Yvonne barked. “What is this . . . heresy?”

Jaime Wolf smiled a cold, cold smile at the ilKhan. “Yvonne Hazen, you managed to accomplish a deed that Aleksandyr Kerensky could not have done—a deed that generation after generation of War and squabbles and ruined factories failed to carry out. You, and your Clans, have united the Inner Sphere to join together and reform the Star League under First Lord Anastasius Focht. And I have been asked to serve the Star League Reborn as Commanding General.”

Yvonne swallowed and she shook her head. “This is a sham—a ploy! The Lords are using you in an effort to trick us!”

“No tricks, no shams, no ploys, ilKhan of the Clans. The Star League is Reborn and First Lord Focht instructed me to inform you that it stands in opposition to your Invasion. Withdraw now, and we can hammer out a peace—or come against me with your full fury and witness for yourself the unity and power of the Star League Defense Forces under my command.”

The ilKhan stared at the image for a second, then two, and then three before she replied. “We will come and we will destroy you—the Clans of Kerensky shall never allow a false Star League to remain.”

“Then I shall face you with all of the forces at my disposal—a complete order of battle will be transmitted to you, ilKhan Hazen. And I grant unto you command safcon—your landings will be unopposed. Let us settle this on the surface as Warriors.”

“And your WarShips?”

“They will intervene only if you resort to orbital bombardments—and they will do so with full magazines of nuclear-tipped anti-ship missiles at their disposal.” Jaime smiled grimly. “I only regret that you arrived too late to fight ALL of us—a portion of our command has already moved to . . . shall we say a suitable location to begin counterattacks against the worlds you have taken.”

Yvonne’s blood ran cold . . . if the rest of the forces Natasha Kerensky had told her of were on the move, then the Invasion itself would be placed in jeopardy. But, that no longer mattered. She was here, and her enemy—at least in part—was here. And here, on the surface of a world known as Tukayyid, would the decision be made.

“Our WarShips will not conduct orbital bombardments, traitor—we shall indeed settle this matter Warrior to Warrior. Ready yourself for combat, Jaime Wolf, for I am coming.”

“Bargained well and done, ilKhan Hazen. We who are about to die—as well as those who will emerge victorious—await you,” Jaime said with a grinning snarl ferocious enough to fit his Clan’s totem. And the transmission ceased.

“Message to all Khans!” Yvonne barked. “Prepare to ground our Clusters—I want that order of battle analyzed . . . quickly! And targets identified. Do not inform them of this . . . Star League Reborn foolishness.”

The com-tech swallowed heavily. “ilKhan, they already know—all of our Warriors know. Wolf’s transmission was sent to every ship, and they relayed your responses.”

A second com-tech rose as the ilKhan cursed, “I have the Khans on channel two, ilKhan Hazen; they are requesting to speak with you.”

“Which ones?” Yvonne spat.

All of them, my ilKhan.”


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:25 pm 
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Captain
Captain

Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 1:18 am
Posts: 298
Location: Las Vegas, Nv
The fecal matter is truly about to hit the rotary impeller!!! :o

And that's BEFORE the ground combatants even leave their ships!

John

_________________
ViperXTC

The first law of battle planning: "No plan survives the first contact intact."


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:37 pm 
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Supreme Mugwump
Supreme Mugwump

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 3:42 pm
Posts: 3183
that will motivate the die-hard crusaders, while it will de-motivate the wardens. and the rest will be insecure about what that starleague is all about. there is even a chance that the attack will be stopped without firing a single shot.(i do not count the shooting that might occur when the clanners find out what they want )

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


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:28 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
DropShip Knife Dance Alpha, Inbound to Orbit
Tukayyid, Free Rasalhague Republic
January 15, 3044


“My Khan, we have finished our analysis,” the old Warrior commanding Nikolai’s HQ staff quietly said over the radio. “Uploading the data now.”

Nikolai smiled—this was another area where the Clans viewed his Scorpions as heretical. Unlike most Khans (Marion Truscott being a noted exception), Nikolai and his predecessor had both arranged for those Warriors to old to serve in the front lines to command separate HQ staffs at the Cluster, Galaxy, and Touman level. Assisted by teams of trained technicians, merchants, and even a handful of scientists, the Warriors sorted through the chaff of all the intelligence reports and provided the Khan with the information he needed—without him having to actually pour over the documents and signals intercepts in question.

The Scorpion whistled as he quickly scrolled through the data and then he frowned. “Knife Dance Actual to Ebony Actual,” he broadcast, “I have the analysis you requested, ilKhan.”

Yvonne’s voice quickly came back over the speaker of Nikolai’s Death Dancer. “Aff. I am tying your broadcast into all the Khans . . . go ahead, Knife Dance Actual.

“All Khans, this is Nikolai Djerassi. Analysis of Wolf’s order of battle indicates that he has deployed approximately six thousand BattleMechs, forty-eight hundred combat vehicles, twenty-eight thousand infantry in light powered armor, three hundred pieces of artillery, and two thousand aerospace fighters. His forces are grouped in three distinct elements—all defending terrain that is rather . . . formidable to assault.”

“The force I am designating as Combat Command Alpha is situated in the Kozice Valley, with nineteen regiments of BattleMechs, twenty-four regiments of armor, forty-eight regiments of infantry, and one hundred artillery pieces. Combat Command Beta is holding defensive positions in the Dinju and Tamo Mountain Ranges, with eighteen regiments of BattleMechs, sixteen regiments of armor, thirty-two regiments of infantry, and one hundred and forty artillery tubes. The final force is located on the Prezno Plains, and while it may lack strong terrain features and fortifications, it is the most mobile and possibly the most dangerous of the three. Combat Command Gamma is located in a position where it can move to reinforce both Alpha and Beta, if we allow it: their forces include eighteen regiments of BattleMechs, four armor regiments, eight infantry regiment, and sixty pieces of artillery.”

“Our forces consist of roughly three thousand OmniMechs, five hundred combat vehicles, six thousand Elementals, and two thousand aerospace fighters. We have quite a fight ahead of us, trothkin. ilKhan, based upon the manner in which Wolf has deployed, I recommend activating contingency Zeta-Two-Three.”

Contingency Zeta called for dividing the Clan attack into three groups of approximately equal size—twenty clusters each, commanded by the ilKhan herself, Nikolai, and Ulric Kerensky, respectively. Zeta-Two-Three specified these possible targets and included information on landing zones and rough objectives—to be filled in by the feverishly working staff aboard Serket as soon as they could upload the information to the Khans.

Approved,” answered the ilKhan. “All Khans implement Zeta-Two-Three. I will command Strike Force Dinju; Khan Kerensky will command the Kozice Valley—Khan Djerassi you will be in charge of the Prezno Plains.

“Aff,” Nikolai answered.

Then on to victory, my trothkin,” said the ilKhan firmly. “Give us victory or give us death!

“Seyla!” nearly a score of voices replied over the speakers, then the transmission ended.

A light began flashing on Nikolai’s console and he grimaced as he activated the radio again. “Yes, Natasha?”

What’s wrong, Nikolai? Don’t you worry none—I will follow your orders, Strike Force Commander, sir. To the letter.

“I will deny ever saying this Natasha,” Nikolai answered calmly, “but I am actually glad to have you at my side on this one—even if it means I also have to command the Mandrill Penal Cluster.”

The Widow laughed. “When this is over, I’ll buy you a Scotch to remember our dead with.

“Buy? Why do you not just pour me my own—I have a case missing, after all.”

And an exquisite tasting liquor it is indeed, Khan Djerassi. Now chin up—the Dragons down there are no pushovers.

The transmission ended and Nikolai shook his head as the DropShip began to plunge into the upper reaches of the atmosphere. His computer dinged as the upload signaled completion and he glanced over the frag order quickly and nodded. “Strike Force Prezno, sending final orders . . . NOW! See you on the ground, trothkin.”


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:39 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
And for those folks who simply must have OBs and TO&Es, here is what the situation looks like:

Combat Command A [Kozice Valley]
19 BattleMech Regiments, 24 Armored Regiments, 48 Infantry Regiments, 100 artillery tubes.
Elements:
4th Davion Guards RCT; Davion Heavy Guards RCT; 3rd Crucis Lancers RCT; 7th Crucis Lancers RCT; 1st New Ivaarsen Chasseurs RCT; 6th Syrtis Fusiliers RCT; 1st Kestrel Grenadiers RCT; 1st Kathil Uhlans RCT; Ariana Grenadiers; 1st Confederation Reserve Cavalry; 1st St. Ives Lancers; Justina's Cuirassiers; 1st Kearny Highlanders; Eridani Light Horse (2 Regiments); 12th Vegan Rangers (4 Regiments)

Strike Force Kozice
20 clusters
Elements:
Ghost Bear Alpha and Beta Galaxies, Viper 1st and 2nd Viper Guards, Viper Triasch Cluster, Wolf Alpha Galaxy, Coyote Golden Keshik, Coyote 50th Assault Cluster, Horse’s Alpha Galaxy (elements) and Alpha Keshik

Combat Command B [Dinju/Tamo Mountains]
18 BattleMech Regiments, 16 Armored Regiments, 32 Infantry Regiments, 140 artillery tubes.
Elements:
20th Arcturan Guards RCT; 3rd Donegal Guards RCT; 11th Lyran Guards; 15th Lyran Guards RCT; 1st Lyran Regulars; 4th Skye Rangers RCT; 1st Free World Guards; 1st Marik Militia; 6th Marik Militia; 12th Atrean Dragoons; ComStar First Army (1st, 12th, 66th, 91st, 103rd, 278th Divisions); 1st Kell Hounds; Wolf’s Dragoons (3+ Regiments)

Strike Force Dinju
20 clusters
Elements:
Jade Falcon Gamma Galaxy, Diamond Shark Alpha Galaxy, Hellion 7th Attack Cluster and 150th Hellion Lancers, Raven 6th Battle Cluster, Adder Command Keshik, Adder Alpha Galaxy (elements), Cobra 33rd Battle Cluster, Spirit 7th Blood Drinkers, Jaguar’s Den Keshik, Jaguar Grenadiers, Nova Cat Keshik, Ebon Keshik

Combat Command C [Prezno Plains]
18 BattleMech Regiments, 4 Armored Regiments, 8 Infantry Regiments, 60 artillery tubes.
Elements:
1st Genyosha; 2nd Genyosha; Ryuken (5 Regiments); 1st Night Stalkers; 2nd Night Stalkers; 3rd Prosperina Hussars; 1st Drakon; 1st Kavalleri; 3rd Freemen; ComStar Second Army (9th, 77th, 203rd, 207th, 321st, 323rd Divisions); St. Cyr Heavy Assault Group; Hell’s Black Aces

Strike Force Prezno
20 clusters
Elements:
Scorpion Knife Dance Keshik, Scorpion Alpha, Beta, and Delta Galaxies, Stone Lion Alpha Galaxy, Fire Mandrill Penal Cluster


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:06 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Command Trinary, Ebon Keshik, Strike Force Dinju
Tukayyid, Free Rasalhague Republic
January 16, 3044


The free-birth surats were dug in deep in the cliffs and steep valleys of the mountains. And what was more, apparently, they had taken the time and effort to honeycomb the granite outcrops with secret passages, weapon bunkers, moats, strong-points, and mini-fortresses designed to shelter BattleMechs and vehicles behind their armored walls! It was maddening, Yvonne thought as yet another barrage of Wolf’s artillery came screaming down.

Her Clusters advanced, and Wolf withdrew—until hidden forces pounced out from these passages into her flanks. And when she turned to deal with them, his main line of resistance pressed back against her front, all the while the rain of artillery just kept coming and coming and coming! Neither side had an advantage in the realm of aerospace fighters—both her fighters and Wolf’s were fighting each other to a standstill, removing aerial bombardment from the equation for each of them. She snorted, not that Wolf needed to rely on bombs and aerial munitions, not with the wealth of artillery he possessed here today! For two days now, she had ground her way up the pass towards the heights, but still had not covered half the total distance to the broad plateau at the summit.

Adder Command Actual to Ebon Actual,” the exhausted voice of Marion Truscott came over her radio.

“Go ahead, Adder Command Actual,” she answered as she brought her Hellbringer II to a halt.

We have discovered how they managed to turn these mountains into a Castle Brian, ilKhan—Thomas Calderon didn’t give Wolf troops, he gave them eight thousand of his combat construction engineers. We have been battering our way through TAURIAN fortifications—fortifications they have been working on for six solid years. Hell, they are still working on it; which is how my Elementals managed to take some alive.

For a moment, Yvonne felt the world spin—the Taurians were working with this False Star League. The Kerensky-damned Taurians! But she made herself square her jaw and she nodded even though no one could see her. “Then like the Star League of old we will break through them—redouble your efforts, Adder Command Actual. Jade Falcon Actual—I am committing your Galaxy to support the Adders on point. Adder Command Actual has tactical command.”

Aff,” Timur Malthus replied and five fresh clusters of elite Jade Falcons began to hurry their pace towards the line of resistance ahead.

The sun was setting and Yvonne realized that her troops needed to rest—forty-eight hours of nearly constant combat and artillery bombardment had taken their toll. “Adder Command Actual, push back the enemy—but do not pursue. We are establishing a perimeter to allow the Warriors some rest to regain their strength.”

Aff,” Marion answered.

Yvonne took a long look at the pass beneath her, twisting and winding its way to the plains where her DropShips had grounded—and at the shattered and broken wrecks of her OmniMechs which littered the ground. The Falcon Galaxy was her final reserve formation—carefully husbanded as the rest of her Clans had taken horrendous casualties against the need for a final push; well, except for the single Cluster of Hellions she had on guard detail around her DropShips. She bit her lip and made the decision to pull out Marion’s Adders and what was left of the Cobras, Ravens, Spirits, and second Hellion Cluster in the morning, and send them back on guard duty—which would let her bring her last untested Cluster into the battle.

No, she shook her head. Not in the morning—I cannot afford to spare Wolf the time to rest either. At midnight; five hours of rest will have to be enough for my trothkin. She shook her head again, to wipe away the fatigue and clicked her radio transmitter to broadcast when the walls of the rocky pass suddenly erupted around her.

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

The detonation reveal four wide and stoutly built tunnels leading into the heart of the mountains as they sundered apart the last meter of untouched stone which had given the shafts camouflage. BattleMechs and powered infantry troopers poured from the mouths, like demons emerging from the Gates of Hell. And the Clan troopers of the Ebon Keshik heard one powerful voice on their radios, spurring the attack on: “Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war; that this foul deed shall smell above the earth with carrion men, groaning for burial! Forward the Kell Hounds!"

And with that cry, Morgan Kell’s Archer emerged from the tunnel adorned in the red-and-black paint scheme of the Kell Hounds, but with a silver Cameron Star emblazoned on its chest. The missile packs snapped open and sixty missiles (not just a mere forty) slashed out and tore out the heart of one of the Warriors of the Ebon Keshik.

Yvonne twisted her Hellbringer II and locked her targeting systems on the Archer—but static filled the screen and her sensors failed to detect the BattleMech! She cursed, but switched to manual targeting and fired—fully half of her shots went wild as the Archer pivoted on its heel and charged directly towards her, pulse laser fire spitting from its two massive battle fists as it came, blasting and melting away chunks of armor from the ilKhan’s OmniMech . . . and Morgan did not miss. Not with a single weapon.

The ilKhan backed up hurriedly, and she fired again and again, but the Warrior before her danced between her shots and only a few went home—and then he was there, standing directly in front of her OmniMech. And the last sight that Yvonne Hazen, the ilKhan of the Clans of Kerensky, saw was the armored battle-fist descending towards her cockpit.


Last edited by master arminas on Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:52 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Field Headquarters, Combat Command A, SLDF Grand Army
Tukayyid, Free Rasalhague Republic
January 16, 3044


Jaime Wolf winced as the distant Jade Falcon Dire Wolf flew upwards through the air and landed thirty meters away from the massive explosion—missing both of its legs. “That was no mine, Colonel Montoya,” he whispered.

“Heh,” the Taurian engineer chuckled. “Hell, no. Mines are for pansies, General Wolf,” the Taurian answered. “That is what we Taurians call a 'Mech-smasher. We bored a ten meter deep shaft, two meters in diameter, and packed it with high explosive; then we put an armor plate atop of it with a pressure detonator and covered it with surface soil. Eat twenty tons of HE you Star League bastards!” he yelled at the battle below. “Begging the General’s pardon . . . no offense meant to your troops, General Wolf.”

“None taken, Colonel Montoya. How many of those . . . ‘Mech-smashers, you called them . . . did you place in the pass?”

The Taurian combat engineer laughed again. “Only three hundred.”

“THREE HUNDRED?” gasped Hauptman-General Luther Devries, the commander of the 4th Skye Rangers.

“Would have been more, but you ran out of explosives—bad form, Hauptman-General,” Montoya said as he bit off one end of a cigar and spat it out on the ground.

“RAN OUT OF EXPLOSIVES? We had ten thousand tons stockpiled two weeks ago!”

“Yep, and we used six thousand of those on the ‘Mech-smashers; the other four thousand we used to for other tricks of the trade, Hauptman-General. Now, for a really good defense, you need around fifty thousand tons, General Wolf—if you are taking notes for the future. I mean, I don’t mind smashing these Clan bastard descendents of General Kerensky to red ruin, but if you plan on taking your SLDF into the Concordat, that’s what you are going to be facing on every last [blanking] one of our worlds. Sir.”

“I am not, and neither is First Lord Focht, Colonel Montoya. We are not going to attempt to bring the Concordat into this Star League by force.”

The Taurian shook his head as he puffed his cigar’s flame into existence, holding a match against the end until it was well and truly lit. “Good,” he answered. “Like I said, I don’t mind you guys quite so much, but we would—and will—still fight you with our last dying breath, General Wolf. I must admit, I was a little taken aback when the Protector sent me out here—I figured he would have had a stroke first before aiding you people in any way, shape, or form.”

“We must all hang together, or we shall surely hang separately,” Jaime quoted as the Falcon advance faltered and then began to withdraw. “You did leave cleared lanes for us to advance, quiaff?”

“Hell, yes. Your ‘Mechs have got a download of the safe paths—stay on the paths, however. Step off of them and you are gonna go boom, General, sir.”

“Communications—pass the word to Colonel Jamison. He may begin his assault at his convenience.”

Jaime raised the field glasses one last time and he smiled as the Clans troops keep heading back down the pass. “And tell Morgan to withdraw his Hounds into the tunnels. We’ve paid for this victory in blood—I do not want to lose him to an accident of fate.”


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:05 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Combat Command A, SLDF Grand Army, Dinju Mountains
Tukayyid, Free Rasalhague Republic
January 16, 3044


Led by the forty-five Assault- and Heavy-weight BattleMechs of Zeta Cluster, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma Regiments of the Wolf’s Dragoons slammed into the forward ranks of the Jade Falcons, while slightly further down the pass additional explosions heralded the revelation of yet more tunnels, tunnels through which poured the 4th Skye Rangers, 3rd Donegal Guards, the 6th Marik Militia, the 12th Atrean Dragoons, and the 1st and 12th Division of the ComGuards First Army, all elite, well drilled formations.

Reeling under assault from three sides, the Falcons withdrew step by step, pounded by artillery the entire time while Khans Truscott and Malthus attempted to rally the suddenly demoralized Clan Strike Force in the wake of the death of their ilKhan. But the pressure was too much to bear . . . and when Khan Malthus died in the cockpit of his Summoner, the Falcons at last broke. The withdrawal was no longer orderly or planned . . . the Clan advance turned into a rout.

Of the twenty Clusters who started up the Dinju Pass to the heights above, the survivors numbered just barely enough to fill out seven once they sorted out their ranks and restored order amidst their DropShips on the valley floor. There would have been more, but Khan Rood refused to retreat—Khan McFadden as well—and both Khans died along with the their three Clusters (two Hellion and one Spirit); but the sacrifice managed to hold the line long enough for the rest of the survivors to reach their DropShips and formally request hegira.

Jaime Wolf almost refused the request, but his own forces had been mauled in the running battle of nearly three full days up and down the mountainous escarpment. Munitions were running low, the 20th Arcturan Guards, the 11th and 15th Lyran Guards, the 1st Lyran Regulars, the 1st Free World Guards, and the remainder of ComStar's First Army were all reporting with less than three in ten of their ‘Mechs, tanks, and other combat vehicles operational; their infantry had suffered even worse casualties. And even the freshest of Jaime's Regiments had suffered heavy loses in the bitter pursuit down the passes; his most intact formation was at barely fifty percent of strength. The field hospitals—donated to the Grand Army by the Canopians, were filled to overflowing and for all that they did not fight the Clan Warriors in the Dinju Passes, now the Canopian surgeons and nurses fought bitter battles to save lives—not take them. Battles in which all too often they lost, but not always, and not without an epic struggle for life itself.

So it came to pass that Commanding General Jaime Wolf allowed the survivors of Strike Force Dinju to withdraw under the exhausted command of a gravely wounded Marion Truscott. As the medics rushed Truscott into surgery aboard his lifting DropShip, Khan Brandon Howell of the Smoke Jaguars informed the other two Strike Forces of the . . . calamity which had befallen them and their ilKhan.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:17 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
The Golden Keshik, Clan Wolf, Strike Force Kozice
Tukayyid, Free Rasalhague Republic
January 16, 3044


Free-birth!” one of the Wolf Warriors snarled over the tactical channel. Ulric Kerensky frowned at the outburst, but he agreed completely with the sentiment. Overhead recon flights had spotted the clouds of steam here at the point of the Kozice Valley known as the Devil’s Bath . . . but he and his Warriors had not planned for the hellish environment through which Strike Force Kozice had to pass. There were simply no other ways to go, except through this geological unstable area with its geysers and boiling lakes of mud, and other geothermal oddities. To the west were sheer cliffs, an offshoot of the Tamo Mountains, themselves a spur of the mighty Dinju—to the east was a coastal lowland filled with marshes and fens and thick swamps into which all of this water drained.

“Warrior Erik; do you need assistance?” Ulric asked.

Neg, my Khan. I stumbled into one of these . . . mud pots, but I managed to fall backwards onto solid ground,” the Warrior answered.

Artillery shells came plunging down somewhere in the distance, the sound distorted and warped by the clouds of thick humid steam and smoke. Well, they picked the perfect place for a fight, Ulric thought as he swept through his Timber Wolf’s sensors. Seismometers . . . useless. Thermographics . . . useless. Infrared . . . useless. Visual magnification . . . useless. Magnetic anomaly detectors . . . useless, thanks to the heavy-metal content of the water the Baths continually threw into the air. The Wolf Khan could see less than a hundred meters . . . and that was his best means of detecting anything in this dreadful haze.

Machine-gun slugs suddenly began slamming into his armor and the Khan backed his OmniMech up and fired all four lasers into the camouflaged observation post of Davion infantry that he had come close to stepping on top of. Damn this stravag mist!

Ulric stopped his Timber Wolf as he heard new sounds and he listened carefully and then his eyes went wide. “Hovertanks! All Wolf Warriors stand back to back!” he barked as the first of the Saracens, Scimitars, Saladins, Pegasus, and J Edgars roared out of the steam into point blank range. The comm channels were ablaze as every Cluster in his Strike Force reported that the hovers were in contact—sixteen full regiments of them!

And here in the Devil’s Bath, the steam and mist allowed them to close without suffering losses due to the Clan weapon’s greater range. The heat levels in Ulric’s Timber Wolf spiked as he added to the ambient heat from the geysers with his weapons—and everything in sight became a nightmarish vision of SRM trails, PPC bolts, autocannon and machine-gun tracers, laser beams, and the infernal horrific fountains of inferno gel bursting over his Warriors.

It was two minutes of pure hell as the Clan Warriors shot in all directions—praying that they would not hit their own trothkin shrouded in the blinding steam . . . and then the hovercraft were gone, speeding away in the damp misery of the Devil’s Bath. Not all of them, no; there were several burning hulks around him, clustered around Clan Wolf OmniMechs shattered by their fire and injured Elemental Warriors.

“Get ready,” growled Ulric, and like clockwork, just as they had done for the past thirty-six hours, now the Davion and Capellan BattleMechs appeared, adding their fire to the chaos as the hovercraft swung back around again. Night began to descend over the geysers and mud pits and free-standing pools of acid water, but at last—just three minutes, but it felt to Ulric like three hours—the last of the enemy withdrew again. Leaving more blackened and broken Wolf Warriors in their wake, along with the remains of several of their own BattleMechs.

His radio crackled. “Adder Command Actual to Golden Wolf Actual; respond.”

“Golden Wolf Actual. Glad to hear your voice, Marion—I hope you are having a better time in the mountains.”

Neg, Golden Wolf Actual . . . the ilKhan is down—perhaps even dead. We are suffering a severe counter-attack and may be forced into a re-. . .” the transmission cut off with the clatter of an autocannon and then only static filled the airwaves.

“Adder Command Actual! Come in Adder Command Actual! Strike Force Dinju commanders—any commander, come in. This is Golden Wolf Actual, over.”

For seconds there was only the sound of static and then a stern voice came over the speakers. “Jaguar’s Den Actual, here. Ulric we have a major problem—Adder Command Actual is injured, the ilKhan is down, Jade Falcon Actual is down, and their warriors are breaking! Running, damn them!

The Jaguar sounded furious and Ulric shook his head. “Jaguar’s Den Actual, can you hold?”

Another long pause and then finally, a resigned whisper. “Neg. Strike Force Dinju is routing, Ulric. We might be able to restore order at the DropShips—where we started from two days ago! I am ordering a Code Beta Omicron; maybe we can salvage a half-dozen Clusters from this mess.

Ulric winced. Beta Omicron literally meant ‘bug-out’ and it signified something no Clansman wanted to contemplate—absolute defeat and utter rout by a superior enemy.

“Understood, Jaguar’s Den actual. Golden Wolf Actual, out,” the Wolf Khan whispered as the cycle started once more with the Davion artillery raining down in blind-fire patterns around them.

“Strike Force Kozice!” he barked. “This is Golden Wolf Actual—we are withdrawing from the Devil’s Bath. Repeat, we are withdrawing! Rendezvous point is the Holth Forest in the Upper Valley. Confirm.”

One by one the Ghost Bear Khan, the Horse’s Khan, and the Coyote Khan confirmed the order—all sounded as if they were in a state of shock; each had heard the transmissions between Truscott, Howell, and Kerensky. But the Vipers did not confirm.

Neg, you dezgra coward! The Steel Vipers will not withdraw at the command of a Wolf—we will engage these free-birth and emerge with victory!” saKhan Nicole Hoskins thundered—her Khan having been medivaced earlier with grievous injuries from which Perigard Zalman was not expected to survive.

“You will obey me, saKhan Hoskins!” Ulric shouted into the transmitter, but there was no reply and in the distance fresh explosions erupted as the Vipers ran head long into what must be the main line of resistance. Of course, Ulric thought sourly, that was what he had thought of the previous four defensive lines as well.

He shook his head and then the static on his radio cleared. “Let her get herself and her Warriors killed, Ulric,” Jake Fletcher whispered. “We have lost here. Let us extract what we can, while we can.

The Khan of Clan Wolf nodded in agreement. “Strike Force Kozice, execute our withdrawal—Clan Wolf will assume rear-guard. Wolves, keep your eyes peeled for any Viper survivors . . . plug them into our ranks as they come in,” if they come in, he thought but did not say.

And ponderously, the despondent Clans that comprised this Strike Force turned around and began to march back towards their DropShips.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:41 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Combat Command B, SLDF Grand Army, Kozice Valley
Tukayyid, Free Rasalhague Republic
January 16, 3044


Ariana Winston breathed a sigh of relief as her soldiers destroyed the last of the Viper OmniMechs and Elementals that had rushed against her last line of defense. For forty-two hours now, she and her hardened soldiers had slogged on and fought in conditions that were extreme to say the least—and in doing so she had lost over half of her own troops.

But her observation posts, mostly concealed within the sheltering, if sweltering, mist reported the rest of the Clan forces were quickly moving away from her command. She nodded at the officers around her who were just as tired—mentally as well as physically—as she, just as drained of all energy by the oppressive heat of the Baths, and she issued an order she did not want to give. “Hound them all the way back to their DropShips—don’t let up, don’t give them a second to breath—and don’t for the love of God let them realize how weak we are now. They have started running, let’s keep them doing that and not thinking about other ways they can get through the Baths!”

Her officers nodded and Ariana shook her head no as her aide offered her a tepid canteen. If her troops couldn’t get a drink, neither would she.

By dawn, Combat Command B had gone as far as she could push them—and her Clan opponents, the survivors, at least—were blasting back towards orbit. Still, even with more than half of her command dead or wounded, she knew she had gotten off lucky.

As to the Clans? Eleven Vipers, just eleven out of three Clusters survived to lift off-planet. The Bears, Coyotes, Horses, and Wolves left some forty-four percent of their own commands behind forever.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:18 pm 
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Stratego
Stratego

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2001 8:00 pm
Posts: 10855
Location: Ft. Hood Texas
Wow...now this is well done, it has something that makes sense. The idea of both sides using tactical thinking, amazing step up from the boring mech bashing that is normally the staple of 90% of the canon stories. Well done!

_________________
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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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:59 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Trinary Command, Knife Dance Keshik, Strike Force Prezno
Tukayyid, Free Rasalhague Republic
January 15, 3044


The endless plains of well-watered grass really were not endless, mused Nikolai. To the west, he could see the towering Dinju Range, to the north the Tamo Range, and to the east the escarpment that lead down to the Kozice Valley and to the sea beyond. Wolf had chosen this area—and he must have had a reason, the Scorpion thought as he waited for his trothkin and the Stone Lions to complete their unloading from the DropShips.

No cover here . . . no dense forests or ever-present clouds of steaming mist or jagged protrusions of solid rock, just kilometer after kilometer of the low rolling hills and wind-swept grass from here to the Prezno River Gorge. He has a reason . . . but what?

That’s the last of them,” Natasha Kerensky said over the radio from the cockpit of her Timber Wolf. “Now we can off-load the sup-. . .

“Neg,” interrupted Nikolai, “leave the supplies loaded for now, I have a feeling we are going to be moving the DropShips shortly.”

Moving them?” the Widow questioned and Nikolai could see her right eyebrow arch as if she were standing in front of him.

“Aff, though to where, I am not yet certain . . . ,” Nikolai’s voice trailed off as he sat in the snug command seat of his Death Stalker. “6th, 14th, and 22nd Scorpion Hussars; 1st Lion Strikers,” he ordered. “I want a skirmish line west-to-east, oriented to the north, two kilometers ahead of the main body. Eight-kilometer front. Hold down your speed to that of our slowest OmniMechs—active sensors on maximum sensitivity.”

You think Jaime has an ambush planned for us, then Nikolai?” asked the Khan of the Stone Lions.

“You know him far better than I—what do you think?”

I think we are going to need more scouts, myself; just so we can find all the ambushes, not merely the presence of one or two,” she answered with a laugh.

“Star Colonel Kreek,” Nikolai continued. “I want recon flights circling the main body at twenty-five, fifty, and one hundred kilometers . . . are your carrier DropShips back in orbit?”

Aff, but we have large numbers of hostile fighters taking off and heading for your position—looks like we might be outnumbered,” his aerospace fighter commander answered promptly.

“Striking Claw and Burning Sting Naval Stars have an additional one hundred and eighty fighters aboard—they are now attached to your command.”

My Khan, is that not in violation of the ilKhan’s pledge against naval assets?

“I heard no such pledge, Star Colonel—I heard her agree not to use orbital bombardment. Fighters are not capable of orbital bombardment; now carry out your orders.”

Aff.

“Star Captain Wagner, you are now Star Colonel Wagner and I am putting all three of our Artillery Trinary under your direct command. Out opponents are not liable to concentrate—they are too good for that. Your have loaded a large supply of Arrow IV homing warheads, quiaff?”

Aff, two-thirds of our magazines are homing, my Khan.

“Excellent. saKhan Posavatz, you will command Beta Galaxy on the right flank, I will command Alpha and the Knife Dance Keshik in the center, Khan Kerensky’s Stone Lions on the left. Galaxy Commander Elam, Delta will remain in reserve for now, behind Alpha. I am detaching Alpha’s 8th Scorpion Dragoons and the 3rd Lions Battle Cluster as a protection detail for the DropShips—we may be moving them, so brief your commanders that they need to be able to board ship quickly. Loremaster Tanaga, your Mandrill Cluster will advance with Alpha Galaxy—disobey my orders and I will kill you myself, girl. We move out in fifteen, so get your orders passed quickly, trothkin.”

“Technician Philip?”

Yes, my Khan?” a surprised voice answered.

“I want a dozen munitions carriers and three reloading vehicles attached to the Reserve Artillery—you may well come under fire today. Homing warheads are the priority. Can your Techs carry this out?”

Aff, my Khan!” the Tech proudly answered. “I would ask for volunteers, but all of us would do so—how much time to prepare?

“Fourteen minutes.”

Can do, my Khan.

Nikolai looked out over the empty grasslands again as the first distant contrails of his fighters entering the atmosphere appeared in the distance.

You really are worried, aren’t you?” asked Natasha softly.

“Does it show that much?”

No, but you are.

“Because I know, and you know, and Jaime Wolf knows, he would not have picked this spot for a pitched battle unless there was something here he knows about and I have not seen. I would advise you to keep your eyes open, Khan Kerensky, lest his trap spring shut without warning.”

The Black Widow laughed. “Trapping a tiger is one thing, Nikolai—dealing with up close inside the cage is something entirely different.

But Nikolai did not answer as he gazed out over the empty grasslands before him.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:41 pm 
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Supreme Mugwump
Supreme Mugwump

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 3:42 pm
Posts: 3183
empty grasslands?

what comes to mind:
-minefields
-no cover vs. snipers
-no cover vs. artillery

-if it was not well watered: fire...
wait: what when they have a lot of pipes laid, that could flood the plains with flammable liquid. plastic pipes that cannot be detected with magnetic sensors, at equal temperature that the ground has.
and when that liquid evaporates before being ignited u got a huge concussion-bomb.
id use methanol. no visible flames.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:08 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Trinary Delta, 6th Scorpion Hussars, Strike Force Prezno
Tukayyid, Free Rasalhague Republic
January 15, 3044


Star Captain Ri Linghui took in the sweeping expanses of the featureless grasslands as his Sidewinder moved across the landscape, the light OmniMechs sensor suite probing the terrain around him for anything . . . out of the ordinary. Ahead of him, the ground dipped, and then almost immediately rose in a slight ridge—and the Active Probe began to scream. “Contact!” he barked as he slowed the OmniMech to get better resolution on the sensor systems. “Knife Dance Actual, Desert Wind Delta-Six Actual; I have a tunnel beneath my current coordinates—appending full sensor data; I am also detecting a large mass of met- . . . moving metal!” He yelled as he began to backpedal through the grass.

Ahead of him, the thick mats of harvested grass parted and the bulk of an 80-ton Demolisher rolled out of the hidden tunnel, its turret swinging in line with the torso of Ri’s OmniMech.

“Oh, sh-. . .” he began to say, but the impact of the twin AC-20 bursts cut off his transmission.


Trinary Command, Knife Dance Keshik, Strike Force Prezno
Tukayyid, Free Rasalhague Republic
January 15, 3044


Tunnels all over the place with concealed exits—I have got BattleMechs and tanks emerging in large numbers!” snapped Star Colonel Oliver Sword of the 6th Hussars, which was quickly confirmed by the commanders of the our four light Clusters scouting ahead.

And we have found pit traps—tar mixed with inferno gel, with contact incendiary mines in the bottom. Watch your step!” chimed in Star Colonel Wilhelm of the 1st Lion Strikers.

“Acknowledged,” Nikolai transmitted. “Alpha, Beta, and the Lions advance to the attack—Delta remain in reserve and cover our six.”

Aff,” the responses came and Nikolai pressed his throttle to the stops. With his free hand he set the seismic sensors to full power—at this speed it would provide only seconds of warning before a pit, but seconds were all that he should need. Faster Scorpion and Lion and Mandrill OmniMechs surged ahead of him, many festooned with battle-armored Elementals, but the Khan ignored that and trudged up the hill in the wake of his brothers and sisters. As he crested the ridge, his alarms screamed a sudden warning; the sensors detecting a Kurita Dragon emerging from a tunnel almost directly beneath him. He casually fired the twin ER PPCs into the back of the BattleMech, sending it to the ground. But more were swarming to the surface. Many more.

And those bloody infantry men in suits of light power armor—each one carrying a man-portable SRM launcher. Hundreds of the poor bloody infantry.

“Fire mission!” the Khan barked into his radio. “Cluster wide-sheaf, marking target location—fire!”

Two clicks of the radio answered him, and then barely a second later came the words, “Shot . . . splash.” And the world in front of Nikolai erupted in shredded grass and a fountain of earth as the ranging shell landed just short.

“Up twenty and fire for effect!”

Two clicks again, and then nine more Arrow IV artillery rockets plunged down—and the infantrymen died. And then Nikolai’s heart sank. The weapons fire ignited the grass which had sprayed with a light layer of diluted inferno gel and small pools of tar along the ground began to produce thick clouds of dense black smoke. The grass burst into sheets of flame and the heavy smoke banks blocked both line of sight and prevented the use of target designation equipment.

Oh, it is going to be one of those days, the Khan thought.

“Ignore the fire—we can take the heat, their vehicles and infantry cannot! Press them. Alpha advance on my . . .” Nikolai broadcast as he simultaneously fought his own OmniMech and worked to coordinate eighteen Clusters of OmniMechs and Elementals.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:57 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Trinary Alpha, Scorpion Aerospace Reserve, Strike Force Prezno
Tukayyid, Free Rasalhague Republic
January 15, 3044


Star Colonel Damien Kreek swore as one of his star-mates staggered under fire from behind and above him. “Zulus keep those stravag bastards off my back!” And then he trusted his escorting fighters to deal with the interceptors from Hell’s Black Aces as he brought his five remaining Huns in a low over the grassy plains. “Now!” he ordered and he along with his four pilots pushed the throttles to their stops and pulled back on the sticks, sending the heavy ninety-five ton aerospace fighters climbing for altitude and threatening to roll over onto their backs—which just what Damien Kreek intended. At the exact moment they reached the precise coordinates chosen by the computer, the bombs released and the fighter accelerated into the loop.

The bombs, perfectly delivered via the ‘lob-toss’ landed in the midst of the Kurita troops and exploded in fountains of inferno gel and the concussion of high explosives. Let us see how much you like having that done unto you, you free-birth scum, he thought as rolled his Hun right-side up and armed the four nose-mounted PPCs. “One strafing run, then back to the ships to rearm and refuel,” he ordered and then he gently squeezed the firing trigger with a smile on his face.


Trinary Command, Knife Dance Keshik, Strike Force Prezno
Tukayyid, Free Rasalhague Republic
January 16, 3044


The tunnels go for miles, my Khan; it appears to have originally been a mine of some sort, the ore kind not the exploding kind," reported the Elemental commander of the scout force he had sent underground. “These people must be moles, they have burrowed through the bedrock in all directions, expanded it to handle vehicles and BattleMechs, built strong-points and bunkers—it is a death trap.

“Understood—can you get your men out?” Nikolai asked.

Well, we are a little bit surrounded right now, my Khan, but I am working on it.

“I think we can spare some Mandrills to come down there and help you out, Star Captain.”

Nikolai,” Natasha’s voice growled. “Recon flights have picked up at least ten regiments of ‘Mechs moving towards us fast; they will be here in ten minutes—and our opponents have launched every fighter they have in support.” The Scorpion could hear the Khan of the Stone Lions sigh as artillery shells began to explode in their perimeter. “I was wondering where their artillery has been.

Nikolai considered the map on his console and he nodded. “Star Captain Ismail—ignore that last. I am going to need the Mandrills here. Get clear, Warrior, or I will kill you myself for disobeying a direct order from your Khan,” he said despite wanting to pull the Elemental ristar.”

Understood, my Khan—we will cut our way to freedom, or take as many of them to hell with us as we can. Either way, we will make you proud of us.

“I already am, Star Captain Ismail,” Nikolai said. “I already am. Scorpions! Stone Lions! Action west—reform and meet them at the run. Star Colonel Kreek, we would really like some air cover, if you please.”


Trinary Command, Knife Dance Keshik, Strike Force Prezno
Tukayyid, Free Rasalhague Republic
January 16, 3044


Nikolai winced as his right leg cramped; the sun was slowly setting over the plains and his opponents had managed to disappear into those hidden tunnels they had bored all over creation! He thought that he had managed to account for almost half of them—but at the cost of nearly forty percent of his own men . . . and Natasha’s and the Mandrills. The Mandrills had fought like maniacs to regain their honor and they had gone down hard, selling themselves dearly—only four had survived.

And undoubtedly, Wolf’s commander of this theatre had something else in reserve, whereas all of Nikolai’s forces (and Natasha’s) had already been committed—and were exhausted after thirty-eight hours of near constant fighting above and below ground.

Knife Dance Actual, this is Golden Wolf Actual,” the radio broadcast.

“Go ahead, Golden Wolf Actual,” Nikolai said.

The ilKhan is dead, so is Khan Timur—Khan Truscott is wounded and unable to communicate; the Dinju Strike Force is in full rout. My Wolves, the Coyotes, Horses and Bears have all taken around fifty percent dead or wounded—the Vipers are gone. We are withdrawing as well.

Nikolai winced. But he nodded to himself. “Aff, Golden Wolf Actual. I will start loading my own forces aboard ship. Knife Dance Actual out,” he said as he switched radio frequencies—but Natasha was already calling him.

You heard?” she asked.

“I did. Get the wounded aboard ship—those that are not already in the medical bays. Get your people loaded while I put the Techs on recovering as many OmniMechs as we can in the time we have.”

saKhan Posavatz is dead and your Scorpions grieve, Nikolai. I will hold rear-guard tonight—the Stone Lions proved worthy of that honor today, quiaff?

“Quiaff, your Clan will withdraw almost last—but the Knife Dance Keshik will be the last unit to lift. I wonder how many of our Crusader trothkin will only look at the numbers of BattleMechs and Tanks and Infantry we killed and claim this as a victory?” he asked.

Only if they are idiots—but then they are Crusaders, are they not?

“Go, Natasha Kerensky, go and prepare to abandon this world.”

There was a brief pause, and the Black Widow spoke up, “We can recover his body, Nikolai; take Randall Posavatz home with us.

“Neg. He is home, Natasha. It is well that war is so terrible, lest we become fond of it—that was his favorite quote you know. He thought that we had become too fond of war for our own good, and he may well have been right.”

We are not fond of war, Nikolai—we are fond of Trials. This . . . this battle was War. And I think you will find our surviving leaders have had their fill of it for a good long time to come.

“So say we all,” Nikolai whispered.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:24 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Aftermath of the Battle of Tukayyid
Tukayyid, Free Rasalhague Republic
January 18, 3044


The Clans withdrew in defeat extracting just twenty-six Clusters from the surface of Tukayyid; twenty-six from a starting total of sixty. Sixteen hundred MechWarriors, thirty-four hundred Elemental Warriors, and more than thousand Pilots remained behind in the broken, shattered machines they had taken into battle. The ilKhan of the Clans was dead, along with four other Khans—and no longer did the Clans face the Great Houses alone. They stood against the Star League Reborn.

But, the victory was not without cost for the Inner Sphere. Thirty-four hundred ‘Mechs destroyed, thirty-six hundred vehicles, fourteen hundred aerospace fighters . . . and then there were infantry casualties where two in three wound up either in the hospital or dead on the battlefield—over thirty-nine thousand dead and wounded on the Inner Sphere side. In total, forty-five thousand soldiers, both Clan and Inner Sphere gave their lives on those three days in January. Fighting for their beliefs.

Jaime Wolf’s Grand Army had prevailed, but in the process it had been gutted, depriving the Inner Sphere of its offensive weapon at the very moment that it was most needed. A factor which would shape the future to come.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:33 am 
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Major General
Major General

Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2001 8:00 pm
Posts: 759
Location: Hope Mills, NC
Bravo, my hat is off to you MA for you deserve it.

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Trueborn Warrior

Pain heals, Chicks dig scars but GLORY lasts forever!!!!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:04 am 
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Stratego
Stratego

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2001 8:00 pm
Posts: 10855
Location: Ft. Hood Texas
I second that, hats off to you and awesome story and take on things. I hope we see more of the events that follow this amazing story. Well done indeed.

_________________
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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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:50 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Interlude
January 15 – February 22, 3044


Even as the Clans began the epic battle on Tukayyid, still more Clan forces—approximately one hundred and forty Clusters in numbers, if not actual strength—assaulted the fifty worlds assigned to Wave IV. Bitter fighting erupted along the entire front of the Invasion from New Exford to Kilmamock. The Rasalhague KungsArmee, a mere shadow of its pre-war self was swept aside by the Coyotes, Ghost Bears, and Wolves—and the handful of Capellan and mercenary Regiments were unable to prevent the loss of those worlds. In the Draconis Combine, the fighting concentrated on Alshain, where the Star Adders had to commit two full Galaxies—but after three weeks of pitched battles that district capital fell. The Cobras, Spirits, Cats, and Jaguars were surprised by the lack of resistance on the worlds which they fell upon—and their leaders began to quickly redeploy to fight still more uprisings in their rear organized by the Internal Security Forces of the DCMS and crack DEST teams left behind on already ‘conquered’ worlds.

But in the Lyran Commonwealth, the Falcons and Sharks, Horse’s and Ravens, Vipers and Hellions fought intense pitched battles on a score of worlds defended by fanatical troops refitted with advanced Star League technology. Zellbrigen was ignored and the casualty counts—on both sides—climbed precipitously. Still, in the end, the Clans—albeit mauled—managed to take forty-nine of the fifty worlds they assaulted (other than Tukayyid). Only Graceland managed to survive the Clan attack as part of the Lyran Commonwealth when the planetary governor, dreading the fighting that was to come, challenged Star Colonel Henry Mattlov to a singing contest in the style of Elvis Presley—the King of Rock-and-Roll.

Amused by the request—and with his forces dangerously weakened by fighting on Bountiful Harvest and New Exford, Mattlov accepted the challenge. The Lyran and Federated Suns regimental commanders assigned to the defense of Graceland protested, but General of the Lyran Armies Roman Steiner ordered them to hold position and wait—although his journals indicate that he had already issued orders that if the contest was lost by the locals to fight on, ignoring the result as a purely local matter.

The competition was epic and broadcast across the entire planet in a six-hour spectacle which boiled down quickly to a mere two competitors . . . but in the end, the Falcon’s admitted their defeat as a Gracelander performed an eye-tearing rendition of My Way. Keeping their word, the Falcons then withdrew from the system in good order.

However, barely had Wave IV been concluded when the Combine struck back. Thirty-six regiments of Alshain, Benjamin, Dieron, Galedon, and Pesht Regulars, a dozen of the finest Free Worlds formations, with four of the Sword of Light Regiments to stiffen their resolve and supported by the carrier Togura and six ComStar WarShips launched a series of lightning-fast counter-attacks from Bjarred to Kilmamock.

Bjarred, Stapelfeld, Chupadero, Kabah, Jeanette, Hyner, Maldonado, Pesht, Teniente, Irece, Cyrenaica, Kilmamock, and Avon were hit by multiple regiments—and the handful of Jaguar and Cat PGCs left to garrison these worlds were unable to hold. They reeled under the blow and broke—and it was thus that House Kurita managed to regain thirteen of their lost worlds in a month of insane battles. Theodore and Takashi gambled on a second wave . . . but that proved eight planets too far.

By the time the second strike of the Dragon launched against Port Arthur, Tarazed, Caripare, Juazerio, Outer volte, Marshdale, Jeronimo, and Bangor, the two Cat Clans were ready for them. For the first time in this war, the Inner Sphere experienced assaults into the teeth of Clan defenders prepared and sitting in fortified positions—and the cost was extremely high. Coordinator Takashi, on his own initiative ordered the commanders to withdraw . . . although a score DCMS regiments had been bled so white that were stricken from the rolls and disbanded.

A grave and somber Hanse Davion viewed the reports on the effectiveness of Clan forces focused on the defense and he set aside—for a while—his own planned offensive as he brought up still more troops and fed replacement soldiers into shattered formations.

As both sides licked their wounds, an uneasy lull settled over the Occupied Worlds. Even as the first fresh reinforcements arrived for the Jaguars and Horse’s aboard the Scorpion transports of the Fire Wheel Naval Star (the Jaguars Epsilon Galaxy with five front-line Clusters, and the Horse’s Zeta Galaxy with three front-line Clusters and replacement Warriors and equipment) . . . no one at the time noticed that the two Potemkins and their Essex-class Destroyer escort did not turn around to make another trip to the Homeworlds, but instead remained in orbit above Rondane where they were joined by the Wild Hunt transport Star.

And while every Khan noticed that the HPG network to the Homeworlds was no longer operating, there was not an ilKhan to take command. A few Clans sent a handful of JumpShips with replacement relay stations to find the fault and restore the comm relays, but by-and-large, most considered it nothing more than a rare failure of one of the stations somewhere along the chain.

The Khans moved heaven and earth to reform their shattered formations and shore up defenses for their possessions, so the Grand Kurultai in the wake of Tukayyid did not convene until the 23rd day of February in the year 3044.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:01 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Clan TO&E, Operation Revival (Scorpio Ascendant AU), circa February 23, 3044

This is a listing of current Clan force strengths. There are very few available reserves left in the Homeworlds (except for the Wolves, Sharks, Coyotes, and Star Adders which still posses quite powerful forces there; the Bears and Horses have a few Galaxies left, but the rest have been sent piece-meal into the Inner Sphere just to bring the Clans up to this strength). The cupboard is well-and-truly bare. And unlike the IS, there is no "well, recruit harder!" method of gaining new soldiers. Their sibkos have to have time to produce.

Units marked with an asterisk ( * ) represent second-line forces. Force strength listed is after Wave IV and the Battle of Tukayyid and is rounded up to the nearest 5%; units not listed have been destroyed or disbanded. See Clan Smoke for additional details on specifics of their touman.


The ilKhan’s Touman
The Ebon Keshik Cluster (35%)

The ilKhan’s Naval Star
Victory-class BB (Victory—Flagship of the Clans)
Congress-class FF (Semper Fidelis)
Lola III-class DD (Lexington, Yorktown)


Clan Blood Spirit
Blood Guard Keshik (Elite) (5% . . . yes, that says FIVE PERCENT, you did not misread)

Alpha Galaxy (The Blooding)
7th Blood Drinkers Cluster (Elite) (5%)
Red Guards Cluster (Elite) (30%)
37th Red Assault Cluster (Veteran) (40%)
55th Red Vanguard Cluster (Elite) (45%)
112th Scarlet Battle Cluster (Elite) (55%)

Omega Galaxy (The Sanguine Reavers)
79th Blood Hussars (Elite) (40%)
71st Crimson Assault Cluster (Elite) (45%)
91st Crimson Vanguard Cluster (Veteran) (50%)
33rd Red Battle Cluster (Veteran) (40%)
Scarlet Guards (Elite) (55%)

Tau Galaxy*
42nd Crimson Guards (Elite)* (100%)
79th Crimson Guards (Veteran)* (100%)
181st Crimson Guards (Veteran)* (100%)
258th Crimson Guards (Veteran)* (100%)
441st Crimson Guards (Veteran)* (100%)

Provisional Garrison Clusters: 20
Homeworlds: 15 second-line Clusters + 10 PGC

Blood Spirit Flagship
Black Lion-class BC (Rocinante—Flagship)


Clan Cloud Cobra
Cobra Keshik Cluster (Elite) (40%)

Alpha Galaxy (The Keystone)
33rd Battle Cluster (Thor's Hammer) (Veteran) (45%)
84th Cobra Coil (Wings of Pharaoh) (Elite) (50%)
214th Cobra Fang (Black Sheep) (Elite) (50%)
149th Cobra Guards (The Azure Guard) (Elite) (40%)
116th Dragoon Cluster (Last Stand) (Veteran) (55%)

Beta Galaxy (Scourge of the Pentagon)
1st Cobra Coil (Wild Kaards) (Veteran) (50%)
45th Cobra Grenadiers (Spitting Serpents) (Veteran) (55%)
185th Cobra Fang (Heaven's Gate) (Veteran) (45%)
222nd Cobra Fang (Iron Butterflies) (Veteran) (50%)
245th Cobra Guards (The Ivory Guards) (Veteran) (60%)

Provisional Garrison Clusters: 12
Homeworlds: 8 second-line Clusters + 8 PGCs

Cobra Naval Reserve Alpha
Cameron-class BC (Incense—Flagship)
Lola III-class DD (Cataclysm)
York-class CV (Brimstone; The Protector)


Clan Coyote

Alpha Galaxy (Spirit of the Coyote)
Golden Keshik (Guardians of the Prophecy) (Veteran) (50%)
Silver Keshik (The Chosen) (Elite) (45%)
38th Assault Cluster (The Faithful) (Veteran) (55%)
49th Battle Cluster (Midnight Assault) (Veteran) (60%)
8th Recon Cluster (Eyes of the Coyote) (Veteran) (70%)

Delta Galaxy (Heart of the Coyote)
50th Assault Cluster (Creeping Death) (Elite) (35%)
67th Assault Cluster (The Devastators) (Veteran) (30%)
19th Battle Cluster (Long Fangs) (Veteran) (50%)
34th Strike Cluster (Rabid Coyotes) (Elite) (55%)
80th Strike Cluster (Swift Retribution) (Veteran) (45%)

Coyote 403rd Battle Cluster (The Legionnaires) (Veteran)* (65%)
Coyote 246th Strike Cluster (The Coyote Irregulars) (Veteran)* (70%)

Provisional Garrison Clusters: 14
Homeworlds: 5 front-line Clusters + 13 second-line Clusters + 18 PGCs

The Howling Naval Star
Cameron-class BC (Blood of the Coyote—Flagship)
Sovetskii Soyuz-class CA (Howling)
Lola III-class DD (Honor of Ages; Courage)
Essex-class DD (Windrunner)


Clan Diamond Shark

Alpha Galaxy (Deathstrike)
Diamond Skate (Elite) (50%)
21st Combined Assault Cluster (Elite) (55%)
27th Cruiser Cluster (Flashing Ivory) (Elite) (60%)
39th Strike Cluster (The Frenzy) (Elite) (30%)

Beta Galaxy (Predator)
Pearl Skate (Elite) (75%)
7th Cruiser Cluster (Riptide) (Elite) (65%)
6th Strike Cluster (Blood Hunters) (Elite) (70%)
42nd Combined Strike Cluster (Gnashers) (Elite) (60%)

Gamma Galaxy (Snapping Jaws)
Emerald Skate (Elite) (100%)
Shark 8th Assault Cluster (Rogue Hunter) (Elite) (100%)
Shark 28th Cruiser Cluster (Strum Wache) (Regular) (80%)
Shark 21st Strike Cluster (The Merfolk) (Veteran) (100%)

Provisional Garrison Clusters: 14
Homeworlds: 6 front-line Clusters + 12 second-line Clusters + 18 PGCs

Deep Hunter Naval Star
Sovetskii Soyuz-class CA (Nagasawa—Flagship)
Aegis-class CA (Blood Lust)
Lola III-class DD (Predator; Space Hunter)
Essex-class DD (Sharon; Tracy)

Bounty of the Deep Transport Star
Potemkin-class Troop Cruiser (Kraken; Red Tide)
Volga-class Transport (Bold Venture; Speculator)


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Clan Ghost Bear

The Ourse Keshik (Elite) (1 Trinary) (60%)

Alpha Galaxy (The Golden Bears)
The Silveroot Keshik (Elite) (1 Trinary) (65%)
1st Bear Guards (The Rage) (Elite) (70%)
3rd Bear Guards (The ilKhan's Shield) (Elite) (50%)
5th Bear Guards (Arctic Thunder) (Elite) (60%)
50th Striker Cluster (The Black Bears) (Elite) (65%)

Beta Galaxy (Night Howlers)
The Shrill Keshik (Veteran) (1 Trinary) (50%)
304th Assault Cluster (The Howling Bears) (Veteran) (45%)
332nd Assault Cluster (The Iowa Blacklancers) (Elite) (40%)
14th Battle Cluster (The Maulers) (Elite) (55%)
12th Bear Chevaliers (The Wendigos) (Elite) (60%)

Delta Galaxy (The Blitzkrieg)
Jorgensson's Keshik (Elite) (1 Trinary) (60%)
8th Bear Cuirassiers (The Blinding Drive) (Elite) (75%)
73rd Battle Cluster (The Lash) (Veteran) (70%)
68th Striker Cluster (The Walking Panzers) (Veteran) (80%)
140th Striker Cluster (Death from Above) (Veteran) (75%)

Rho Galaxy (Bear Essentials)
Kabrinski's Keshik (Elite) (1 Trinary) (65%)
18th Battle Cluster (Fire with Fire) (Veteran) (70%)
243rd Battle Cluster (Apollo's Chariot) (Elite) (65%)
283rd Battle Cluster (Ursine Inferno) (Veteran) (50%)
279th Battle Cluster (The Burnout Brigade) (Veteran) (60%)

Omega Galaxy (The Raging Bears)
Tseng's Keshik (Veteran) (1 Trinary) (90%)
357th Assault Cluster (The Cave Bears) (Veteran) (80%)
10th Bear Cuirassier (Tundra Roughriders) (Veteran) (85%)
115th Striker Cluster (The Rolling Wave) (Elite) (70%)
139th Striker Cluster (The Sphere Hunters) (Veteran) (80%)

Zeta Galaxy (The Claws of the Ghost) (100%)
The Claw Keshik (Veteran) (1 Trinary) (100%)
20th Battle Cluster (Polar Bears) (Elite) (100%)
300th Battle Cluster (Roaring Phoenix) (Veteran) (100%)
1st Bear Regulars (Tip of the Spear) (Veteran) (100%)
2nd Bear Regulars (Ivory Claws) (Veteran) (100%)

Provisional Garrison Clusters: 26
Homeworlds: 4 front-line Clusters + 16 second-line Clusters + 26 PGCs

The Blizzard Naval Star
Cameron-class BC (Dieron's Run—Flagship)
Black Lion-class BC (Bear's Den)
Lola III-class DD (Blizzard)
Essex-class DD (White Fang)
Fredasa-class Corvette (Black Ghost)


Clan Goliath Scorpion
Knife Dance Keshik (Scorpion's Destiny) (Elite) (50%)

Alpha Galaxy (The Rock Minders)
24th Scorpion Cuirassier (The Khan's Own) (Elite) (55%)
25th Scorpion Cuirassier (Scorpions of the Veil) (Elite) (50%)
8th Scorpion Dragoons (The Whip-Tail Brigade) (Elite) (50%)
14th Scorpion Hussars (Swift Retribution) (Elite) (45%)
51st Scorpion Light Horse (The Scorpion Lancers) (Veteran) (100%) (forming)

Beta Galaxy (Sand Runners)
21st Scorpion Cuirassiers (Black Sun) (Elite) (40%)
23rd Scorpion Cuirassiers (The Ironshell Irregulars) (Elite) (50%)
1st Scorpion Dragoons (Heartvenom) (Elite) (60%)
6th Scorpion Hussars (Desert Wind) (Elite) (50%)

Gamma Galaxy (The Cave Dwellers)*
3rd Scorpion Cuirassiers (Kerensky's Covenant) (Regular)* (100%)
17th Scorpion Cuirassiers (The Golden Horde) (Green)* (100%)
16th Scorpion Dragoons (The Gate Crashers) (Regular)* (100%)
9th Scorpion Hussars (The Crimson Legion) (Regular)* (100%)

Delta Galaxy (Swift Strikers)
20th Scorpion Cuirassiers (Scorpion Ascendant) (Veteran) (60%)
26th Scorpion Cuirassiers (The Dark Sting) (Veteran) (40%)
7th Scorpion Dragoons (The Din of Battle) (Veteran) (55%)
22nd Scorpion Hussars (Eye of the Storm) (Veteran) (50%)

Epsilon Galaxy (Nightcrawlers) (100%)
18th Scorpion Cuirassiers (The Khan's Castle) (Veteran) (100%)
28th Scorpion Cuirassiers (Death Stalkers) (Veteran) (100%)
10th Scorpion Dragoons (Poisoned Gambit) (Veteran) (100%)
19th Scorpion Hussars (Untamed Will) (Veteran) (100%)

Zeta Galaxy (Sting of the Sun)*
4th Scorpion Cuirassiers (Adamantine Hearts) (Regular)* (100%)
15th Scorpion Cuirassiers (Burning Sting) (Green)* (100%)
5th Scorpion Dragoons (Forked Ambition) (Regular)* (100%)
2nd Scorpion Hussars (Blinding Stare) (Regular)* (100%)

Eta Galaxy (Protectors of the Nest)*
12th Scorpion Cuirassiers (The Highwaymen) (Regular)* (100%)
27th Scorpion Cuirassiers (Obsidian Claws) (Green)* (100%)
11th Scorpion Dragoons (The Devil's Tail) (Regular)* (100%)
26th Scorpion Hussars (The Fire Scorpions) (Regular)* (100%)

Provisional Garrison Clusters: 28
Homeworlds: NONE

Scorpion’s Destiny Naval Star
McKenna-class BB (Lei Kung)
Aegis-class CA (Corona Austrina)
Congress-class FF (Bernlad)
Lola III-class DD (Auriga)

Striking Claw Naval Star
McKenna-class BB (Requiem)
Aegis-class CA (Corona Borealis)
Congress-class FF (Garlon)
Lola III-class DD (Sagitta)

Burning Sting Naval Star
Sovetskii Soyuz-class CA (Serket—Flagship)
Cameron-class BC (Hephaestus)
Aegis-class CA (Coma Bernices)
Congress-class FF (Fornax)
Lola III-class DD (Scorpius)

Fire Wheel Transport Star
Potemkin-class Troop Cruiser (Enceladus; Epimetheus)
Essex-class DD (Aquilia)

Wild Hunt Transport Star
Potemkin-class Troop Cruiser (Karttikeya; Prometheus)
Essex-class DD (Orpheus)


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:02 pm 
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General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Clan Hell's Horses
Alpha Keshik (Elite) (3 Trinary) (55%)
Omega Keshik (Elite) (3 Trinary) (70%)

Alpha Galaxy (Stampede of Steel)
Alpha Command (Elite) (1 Trinary) (40%)
21st Mechanized Assault (Firehorse Cluster) (Elite) (35%)
11th Mechanized Cavalry (Blackhorse Cluster) (Elite) (65%)
12th mechanized Cavalry (Steelhorse Cluster) (Elite) (60%)
22nd Mechanized Strike (Icehorse Cluster) (Elite) (70%)

Beta Galaxy (The Apocalypse)
Beta Command (Elite) (1 Trinary) (80%)
666th Mechanized Assault (War Cluster) (Elite) (45%)
77th Mechanized Cavalry (Famine Cluster) (Elite) (50%)
88th Mechanized Cavalry (Death Cluster) (Elite) (40%)
333rd Mechanized Strike (Pestilence Cluster) (Elite) (60%)

Gamma Galaxy (The Bloodriders)
Gamma Galaxy Command (Veteran) (1 Trinary) (50%)
201st Mechanized Assault (Bearslayer Cluster) (Veteran) (65%)
87th Mechanized Cavalry (Vindicator Cluster) (Veteran) (55%)
45th Mechanized Strike (Worldtaker Cluster) (Veteran) (50%)

Delta Galaxy (Riders on the Storm)
Delta Galaxy Command (Veteran) (1 Trinary) (35%)
44th Mechanized Assault (Tornado Cluster) (Veteran) (25%)
71st Mechanized Cavalry (Thunderstrike Cluster) (Veteran) (30%)
82nd Mechanized Strike (Firestorm Cluster) (Veteran) (45%)

Zeta Galaxy (Wrath from Heaven)
Zeta Galaxy Command (Veteran) (1 Trinary) (100%)
27th Mechanized Cavalry (Hades Cluster) (Veteran) (100%)
40th Mechanized Cavalry (Apollo Cluster) (Veteran) (100%)
229th Mechanized Strike (Artemis Cluster) (Veteran) (100%)

Eta Galaxy (The Shadow Riders)*
Eta Galaxy Command (Veteran)* (1 Trinary) (100%)
51st Mechanized Cavalry (The Nightrider Cluster) (Veteran)* (80%)
61st Mechanized Cavalry Cluster (Fire and Brimstone) (Veteran)* (80%)
35th Mechanized Strike Cluster (The Phantoms) (Veteran)* (100%)

Provisional Garrison Clusters: 15
Homeworlds: 12 second-line Clusters + 20 PGCs

Red Pegasus Naval Star
Cameron-class BC (Sleipnir—Flagship)
Congress-class FF (Bucephalus)
Lola III-class DD (Black Knight; Gold Knight)

Blood Horse Transport Star
Potemkin-class Troop Cruiser (Blood Horse; Steel Shield)
Volga-class Transport (Mount Olympus)


Clan Ice Hellion

Alpha Galaxy (The Blinding)
200th Attack Cluster (Elite) (60%)
77th Hellion Lancers (Veteran) (50%)
78th Hellion Lancers (Veteran) (50%)
150th Hellion Lancers (Elite) (60%)

Beta Galaxy (The Lithe Kill)
2nd Assault Cavaliers (Veteran) (70%)
121st Hellion Lancers (Veteran) (45%)
33rd Striker Irregulars (Veteran) (60%)
90th Striker Irregulars (Veteran) (55%)

Provisional Garrison Clusters: 10
Homeworlds: 15 second-line Clusters + 10 PGCs

Hellion's Fury Naval Star
Aegis-class CA (Taney—Flagship)
Lola III-class DD (Cold Hunter; Radiant)
Essex-class DD (Moore's Honor)
York-class CV (Pack Leader)


Clan Jade Falcon
Turkina Keshik (Elite) (Cluster) (10%)

Gamma Galaxy (Jade Falcon Galaxy)
Jade Falcon Guards (Elite) (15%)
12th Falcon Regulars Cluster (The Frozen Fears) (Elite) (20%)
3rd Falcon Talon Cluster (The Jade Claymores) (Elite) (15%)
9th Falcon Talon Cluster (The Falcon Lancers) (Elite) (30%)
89th Falcon Striker Cluster (The Justice Falcons) (Veteran) (25%)

Delta Galaxy (Gyrfalcon Galaxy)
305th Assault Cluster (The Blood Vision) (Elite) (40%)
5th Battle Cluster (The Golden Talons) (Elite) (45%)
2nd Falcon Jaegers Cluster (The Frost Falcons) (Elite) (50%)
4th Falcon Talon Cluster (Bloody Sunrise) (Veteran) (45%)
1st Falcon Striker Cluster (The Pursuing Peregrines) (Elite) (55%)

Vau Galaxy (Peregrine Galaxy)
8th Falcon Regulars Cluster (The Scarlet Scythes) (Veteran) (55%)
1st Falcon Velites (The Wolf's Bane) (Veteran) (35%)
4th Falcon Velites (White Vision) (Veteran) (60%)
94th Falcon Striker Cluster (Black Vision) (Veteran) (50%)
124th Falcon Striker Cluster (The Blue Demons) (Veteran) (45%)

Zeta Galaxy (Shrike Galaxy)
3rd Battle Cluster (The Falcon's Honor) (Elite) (60%)
53rd Battle Cluster (The Cat Snatchers) (Veteran) (55%)
2nd Falcon Dragoons (The Lightnings) (Veteran) (65%)
5th Falcon Regulars (Eden's Hope) (Veteran) (60%)
3rd Falcon Velites (The Swift Wings) (Veteran) (55%)

Provisional Garrison Clusters: 20
Homeworlds: 4 front-line Clusters + 12 second-line Clusters + 22 PGCs

Turkina's Pride Naval Star
Cameron-class BC (Turkina's Pride—Flagship)
Aegis-class CA (Frost Falcon; Hawkeye)
Congress-class FF (Kerensky's Pride)
Whirlwind-class DD ([/i]Emerald Tornado[/i])

Emerald Talon Naval Star
Nightlord-class BB (Emerald Talon)
Liberator-class CA (Gauntlet)
Aegis-class CA (Jade Talon)
Vincent-class Corvette (Lightning Strike


Clan Nova Cat
The Nova Cat Keshik (Elite) (Cluster) (40%)

Alpha Galaxy (Victory over Delusion)
Alpha Galaxy Command (The Vision Keshik) (Elite) (1 Trinary) (45%)
449th Assault Cluster (Joys and Sorrows) (Elite) (35%)
489th Assault Cluster (The Third Eye) (Elite) (40%)
4th Nova Cat Guards (Hand of Fate) (Elite) (55%)

Sigma Galaxy (Spiritual Vision)
Sigma Galaxy Command (The Lachesis Keshik) (Elite) (1 Trinary) (50%)
44th Nova Cat Cavaliers (The Five Actions (Elite) (45%)
Nova Cat Lancers (The Path of Right) (Elite) (55%)
179th Striker Cluster (Circle of Power) (Elite) (55%)

Delta Galaxy (Ways of Seeing)
Delta Galaxy Command (The Shiva Keshik) (Veteran) (1 Trinary) (50%)
274th Battle Cluster (Vigilance of the Cat) (Veteran) (50%)
7th Nova Cat Guards (The Oracles) (Veteran) (60%)
119th Striker Cluster (Self Harmony) (Veteran) (55%)

Sigma Galaxy*
Sigma Galaxy Command (Veteran)* (1 Trinary) (70%)
4th Nova Cat Regulars (Veteran)* (65%)
5th Nova Cat Regulars (Veteran)* (70%)
6th Nova Cat Regulars (Veteran)* (70%)

Provisional Garrison Clusters: 14
Homeworlds: 3 front-line Clusters + 9 second-line Clusters + 10 PGCs

Thunderbolt Naval Star
Black Lion-class BC (Severen Leroux—Flagship)
Lola III-class DD (Faithful)
York-class CV (Anna Rosse)


Clan Smoke Jaguar
The Jaguar's Den Keshik (Elite) (1 Trinary) (50%)

Alpha Galaxy (The Roaring Jaguars)
Alpha Galaxy Command Trinary (The Shroud Keshik) (1 Trinary) (55%)
336th Jaguar Combat Cluster (The Rake) (Elite) (50%)
6th Jaguar Dragoons (Smoke and Fire) (Elite) (45%)
7th Jaguar Dragoons (The Leaping Jaguar) (Elite) (55%)
Jaguar Grenadiers (The Immortals) (Elite) (35%)
5th Jaguar Regulars (The Victory Cluster) (Elite) (40%)

Beta Galaxy (The Mistweavers)
Beta Galaxy Command Trinary (The Swath Keshik) (1 Trinary) (50%)
362nd Assault Cluster (The Silver Jaguars) (Elite) (45%)
225th Battle Cluster (Bringers of Armageddon) (Elite) (50%)
267th Battle Cluster (The Devil's Mist) (Elite) (50%)
1st Jaguar Guards (The Whitewatch) (Elite) (55%)
2nd Jaguar Guards (The Striking Cats) (Elite) (45%)

Delta Galaxy (The Cloud Rangers)
Delta Galaxy Command Trinary (The Skyriders Keshik) (1 Trinary) (60%)
1st Jaguar Cavaliers (Ghost Cats) (Veteran) (60%)
3rd Jaguar Cavaliers (The Stormriders) (Veteran) (60%)
4th Jaguar Dragoons (The Pouncing Jaguar) (Veteran) (60%)
214th Jaguar Dragoons (The Stalkers) (Veteran) (60%)
19th Striker Cluster (The Razor's Edge) (Veteran) (60%)

Rho Galaxy (Guardians of the Lair)*
2nd Jaguar Regulars (Veteran)* (Bad Boys from Huntress) (85%)
4th Jaguar Regulars (Veteran)* (Jungle Cats) (85%)
11th Jaguar Regulars (Veteran)* (The Rippers) (85%)
12th Jaguar Regulars (Veteran)* (The Saber Tooth Tigers) (85%)
17th Jaguar Regulars (Veteran)* (The Ghost and the Darkness) (75%)

Provisional Garrison Clusters: 16
Homeworlds: 15 second-line Clusters + 21 PGCs

Streaking Mist Naval Star
Black Lion-class BC (Streaking Mist—Flagship)
Congress-class FF (Snow Leopard)
Lola III-class DD (Storm Cat)
Essex-class DD (Sabre Cat)
York-class CV (Lioness)

[NOTE: Khan Howell disbanded Epsilon Galaxy in order to reform Delta Galaxy (a more storied unit). While the new Delta should be at 100%, he also raided it to bring Alpha and Beta UP to the force levels listed. The 2nd, 4th, 11th, and 12th Jaguar Regulars were also used to bring the 17th up to strength.]


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:03 pm 
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General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Clan Snow Raven
Corvus Keshik (Elite) (cluster) (50%)

Alpha Galaxy (Swift Wing Galaxy)
6th Raven Battle Cluster (The Meteors) (Veteran) (40%)
1st Raven Dragoon Cluster (The Longshanks) (Elite) (70%)
9th Raven Striker Cluster (The Snow Hunters) (Elite) (55%)
4th Raven Wing Cluster (The Snow Wing) (Elite) (35%)
Raven 4th Raven Regulars (Veteran)* (80%)

Beta Galaxy (Storm Crow Galaxy)
5th Raven Dragoon Cluster (The Wind Riders) (Elite) (50%)
97th Raven Striker Cluster (The Soaring Ravens) (Elite) (45%)
5th Raven Wing Cluster (The Frost Wing) (Veteran) (40%)
9th Raven Wing Cluster (The Ice Wing) (Veteran) (70%)
Raven 6th Raven Regulars (Veteran)* (80%)

Provisional Garrison Clusters: 12
Homeworlds: 12 second-line Clusters + 8 PGCs

White Cloud Naval Star
Sovetskii Soyuz-class CA (Storm Crow—Flagship; White Cloud)
Lola III-class DD (Spur)
Essex-class DD (Eternity)
Whirlwind-class DD (Drake)
York-class CV (Corvidae)

Swift Wing Naval Star
McKenna-class BB (James McKenna)
Conqueror-class BC (Ark Royal)
Congress-class FF (Magpie)
Lola III-class FF (Bloody Talon)
Whirlwind-class DD (William Adams)

Raven’s Nest Transport Star
Potemkin-class Troop Cruiser (Bonaventure; Rook)
Volga-class Transport (Tenacity)
Lola III-class DD ()Vision of Terra)


Clan Star Adder
Adder Command Keshik (The Light of Command) (Elite) (Cluster) (35%)
Adder Quasar Keshik (Iron Will) (Elite) (Cluster) (65%)

Alpha Galaxy (Old Blood and Guts)
5th Assault Cluster (Georgie's Gorillas) (Elite) (30%)
85th Adder Cavaliers (Gallant Steeds) (Elite) (35%)
191st Adder Guards (Saar Cavaliers) (Elite) (45%)
11th Armored Cavalry Squadron (Messina Missionaries) (Veteran) (30%)
87th Dragoon Cluster (Ivory Six-Shooters) (Veteran) (60%)

Beta Galaxy (Blood Feud)
13th Adder Assault Cluster (Arcadian Devils) (Veteran) (50%)
42nd Adder Cavaliers (The Answer) (Elite) (45%)
73rd Adder Cavaliers (Scourge of the Highlands) (Veteran) (55%)
9th Armored Cavalry Squadron (Spirit Crushers) (Veteran) (60%)
69th Dragoon Cluster (Fighting Gurkhas) (Veteran) (65%)

Delta Galaxy (Thunderstrike)
6th Adder Assault Cluster (Vladivostok Flames) (Elite) (50%)
132nd Adder Guards (Raleigh Rifles) (Veteran) (60%)
18th Armored Cavalry Squadron (Allah's Will) (Elite) (55%)
212th Battle Cluster (Sheet Lightning) (Veteran) (45%)

97th Adder Sentinels (Veteran)* (80%)
235th Adder Sentinels (Elite)* (80%)
522nd Adder Sentinels (Elite)* (80%)

Provisional Garrison Clusters: 22
Homeworlds: 8 front-line Clusters + 16 second-line Clusters + 24 PGCs

Last Word Naval Star
Sovetskii Soyuz-class CA (Nygaard—Flagship)
Black Lion-class BC (Admiral William S. Preston)
Lola III-class DD (Warlock)
York-class CV (Crusader; Ranger)
Potemkin-class Troop Cruiser (Renown)


Clan Steel Viper

Alpha Galaxy (Steel Viper Galaxy)
400th Assault Cluster (The Diamondbacks (Veteran) (35%)
4th Viper Guards (The Deadly Venom) (Elite) (25%)
61st Striker Cluster (The Heirs of Cukulcan) (Veteran) (30%)

Beta Galaxy (Steel Fang)
233rd Battle Cluster (The Hunting Vipers) (Veteran) (40%)
126th Striker Cluster (The Copperheads) (Veteran) (50%)
19th Striker Cluster (The Black Mambas) (Veteran) (55%)
Viper Fusiliers (Mercer’s Own) (Elite) (25%)
9th Viper Guards (The Anacondas) (Veteran) (35%)

Gamma Galaxy (Striking Serpents)
4234d Assault Cluster (Gamma's Pride) (Veteran) (40%)
428th Assault Cluster (The Striking Viper) (Veteran) (40%)
51st Battle Cluster (The Silent Strikers) (Veteran) (55%)
94th Battle Cluster (The Cottonmouths) (Veteran) (35%)
57th Striker Cluster (The Fangs of Death) (Elite) (60%)

Provisional Garrison Clusters: 14
Homeworlds: 20 second-line Clusters + 20 PGCs

Viper Triumphant Naval Star
Sovetskii Soyuz-class CA (Sanra Mercer—Flagship)
Congress-class FF (Snake Leader)
Lola III-class DD (Anaconda)
Essex-class DD (Martial Legacy)
Fredasa-class Corvette (Pit Viper)


Clan Stone Lion

Alpha Galaxy (Rock from Fire)
1st Lion Assault Cluster (The Widow’s Pride) (Elite) (55%)
1st Lion Battle Cluster (Hell’s Own) (Elite) (50%)
2nd Lion Battle Cluster (Strength of Stone) (Veteran) (55%)
3rd Lion Battle Cluster (The Roaring Lions) (Veteran) (60%)
The Lion Dragoons (First Team) (Elite) (70%)
1st Lion Striker Cluster (The Stone Lion Hussars) (Elite) (65%)

Provisional Garrison Clusters: 0
Homeworlds: 6 second-line Clusters + 6 PGCs

Clan Stone Lion Naval Star
Sovetskii Soyuz-class CA (Reaver—flagship)
Lola III-class DD (Anathema; Rancor)


Clan Wolf

Alpha Galaxy (The Dire Wolves)
The Golden Keshik (Elite) (1 Trinary) (55%)
328th Assault Cluster (The Lion-Hearted) (Elite) (45%)
279th Battle Cluster (The Golden Horde) (Elite) (60%)
3rd Wolf Guards Cluster (The Sentinels) (Elite) (50%)
4th Wolf Guards Cluster (The Cyclops Cluster) (Elite) (55%)
13th Wolf Guards Cluster (The Wolf Spiders) (Elite) (60%)

Beta Galaxy (The Arctic Wolves)
The Silver Keshik (Elite) (1 Trinary) (60%)
341st Assault Cluster (The Silver Blizzard) (Elite) (40%)
352nd Assault Cluster (The Silver Wolves) (Elite) (45%)
3rd Battle Cluster (Silver Devils) (Elite) (55%)
9th Wolf Guards Cluster (Silver Fangs) (Elite) (60%)

Gamma Galaxy (The Wolf Hussars)
The Bronze Keshik (Veteran) (1 Trinary) (50%)
5th Battle Cluster (Ghost Hunters) (Veteran) (55%)
7th Battle Cluster (The Hungry Wolves) (Veteran) (55%)
11th Battle Cluster (The Bronze Lancers) (Veteran) (40%)
16th Battle Cluster (The Bronze Furies) (Veteran) (70%)

Delta Galaxy (The Red Wolves)
The Red Keshik (Veteran) (1 Trinary) (60%)
11th Wolf Guards Cluster (The Lightning Pack) (Veteran) (65%)
4th Striker Cluster (Red Death) (Veteran) (50%)
37th Striker Cluster (Blood Kits) (Veteran) (55%)
103rd Striker Cluster (Red Thunder) (Veteran) (50%)

Iota Galaxy (The Steel Wolves)*, Elements
The Steel Keshik (Veteran)* (90%)
Wolf 8th Wolf Regulars (Stalking Death) (Veteran)* (90%)
Wolf 15th Wolf Regulars (The Inquisitors) (Veteran)* (80%)

Provisional Garrison Clusters: 24
Homeworlds: 8 front-line Clusters + 14 second-line Clusters + 16 PGCs

Wolf Naval Star
Sovetskii Soyuz-class CA (Dire Wolf—Flagship)
Congress-class FF (Rogue)
Lola III-class DD (Nature's Wrath)
Vincent-class Corvette (Trailblazer; Valiant)
Potemkin-class Troop Cruiser (Full Moon)


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Clan Goliath Scorpion Field Headquarters; Bayern
Memmingen, Clan Goliath Scorpion Occupation Zone
February 22, 3043


Nikolai Djerassi shook his head as the two hour documentary finished and the lights came on the vacant auditorium. He stood and glared down at smiling gnome that Kendrick Wheeler so resembled, down to the red cap that he wore to cover his balding scalp.

“Glorious, was it not?” the film maker cackled. “Triumph of Kerensky shall be lauded throughout history—and it will deliver the Inner Sphere into your hands, eh, Nikolai?” he laughed.

Nikolai laughed as well. “The cinematography was brilliant, the satire and allusions and metaphorical commentary was inspired—but deliver the Inner Sphere into our hands?” The Scorpion shook his head sadly. “That is something which this film shall not do. Outwardly it paints the Clans of Kerensky in the best possible light, but I could not help but notice that were the narrative to be changed slightly, then the imagery upon the scene alters to match the words. Our noble Clan Warriors become barbaric and cruel, the waifs orphaned by war suddenly no not if they are being saved or sent into perpetual servitude. That being said, it is the best that we can expect. Of course, my expectations were set rather low.”

Wheeler’s face grew flushed and he waved a dismissive hand. “You wouldn’t know art if you saw it! It is a masterpiece, I tell you! I have already arranged for the distribution and it will soon be shown everywhere!”

“Really?” Nikolai asked. “Without waiting for the permission of the ilKhan?”

“I have her permission, God rest her soul.”

“Yes, you did. To film this—not to distribute it until she and her advisors could view it.”

“Well she can’t,” the documentarian said as he settled down into a sulk over the Scorpion’s comments. “I did my part—and I want my payment.”

“Of course, your thirty pieces of silver,” Nikolai unbuttoned the flap on his pistol and drew it. “Here is everything you deserve—and more.”

Wheeler started to open his mouth, but the bullet caught him in the forehead and he fell to the ground. Nikolai shook his head again as he lowered the smoking weapon. “Did you not think that your . . . perversity would fail to be reported to us? Burn the body,” he told one of the Elementals standing nearby as he exited the theatre.

“And the film, my Khan?”

“Remove the narration and get one of our Artists to redub it—and release it to the Khans. Waste not, want not, I always say.”


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:59 pm 
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General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
The Steel Palace, Malcheema
Arcturus, Lyran Commonwealth, Federated Commonwealth
February 22, 3044


Jason Scott paused his kata in the small gymnasium where he was allowed to take his exercise as two dozen burly men entered through a side door. Although still a prisoner, he had spoken several times with Melissa Steiner-Davion, nearly a dozen times with Roman Steiner and Morgan Hasek-Davion, twice as often with Quintus Allard—but not once with Hanse Davion. Still, he had been allowed privileges such as this exercise time and books to read in his cell—and Stephen Davion visited every day. The two men had struck up a friendship on the voyage to Arcturus and it continued now, through their daily games of chess.

But this was different—and Jason could taste the fear and anger radiating off of the new arrivals. One of Jason’s two guards shook his head, but a newcomer held out a thick wad of bills and the guard pocketed them, and then the two regular guards left.

The newcomers spread out in a semi-circle and they were all armed with stun-sticks—nasty implements that dealt a mild electrical charge to the individual struck; they short-circuited the nerves momentarily and allowed police to subdue a captive quickly . . . and were generally considered non-lethal weapons unless the target of their attention had an undiagnosed heart condition. But they were also intended to be used in moderation—and not one of the thugs approaching had anything resembling moderation in their eyes.

Their leader stopped a dozen feet away from Jason and he spat. “Clan bastard . . . my brother was in the 15th Lyran Guards—your people killed him on Tukayyid.”

“The 15th Lyran fought in the Dinju Mountains—my Scorpions fought on the Prezno Plains . . . you clearly have the wrong Clan bastard.”

“You are all responsible for this,” another muttered, “each and every one of you, and each of us has lost family to your Invasion.”

“Ah, and you came down here today to extract your vengeance from my flesh and bones, then?” Jason asked in a calm voice.

“We are going to beat you until we break every last bone in your body,” a third man snarled.

“You do realize there is a camera that is recording everything in this gynasium, quiaff?” the Scorpion Warrior pointed out, raising one hand to point.

“And that tape will be long gone before anyone thinks to ask about it,” the leader said as thumbed the power of his stun-stick to full and blue-white arcs of electricity climbed up and down the shaft.

And Jason moved—he did not wait on them to attack him, instead he attacked them, diving into their midst and striking out with all the skill honed by the long hours of training and sparring and actual combat to the death in a Circle of Equals. The leader went down as Jason’s knuckles buried themselves in his throat—crushing the larynx—his foot lashed out and dropped a second—a third thug collapsed to the floor as Jason swung his elbow and shattered the bones in his skull at the temple . . . but there were too many of them and the Scorpion howled as electricity coursed through his body—and the stun-sticks rose and fell and slammed into his flesh and bonues with sickening thuds and cracks again and again and again.

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

“I don’t like him, Stephen!” growled Hanse Davion as he walked down the corridor towards the exercise room, a team of his best guards both ahead and behind the First Prince and his cousin.

And Stephen snorted. “Who says you have to like him? He’s an arrogant bastard who likes to settle things with a fight; he is also the personal representative of someone who is trying to negotiate a settlement to this war without additional bloodshed, and you are treating him as Second Coming of Mad Max!”

Hanse stopped and he stared at his cousin. “Then why haven’t the Scorpions crossed over yet? It’s been five weeks since the fighting on Tukayyid ended, and yet we haven’t received the first word of when he is going to do this!”

But Stephen met that fearsome glare resolutely. “You, better than anyone else alive, understand the issue of timing things closely, my Prince. We knew—from the first briefing—that it would be March or April before he moved; and the death of the ilKhan on Tukayyid is probably going to push that back some more. This is something he has to get perfectly right, or he and his Clan will die.” Stephen snorted. “You would shed no tears at that, but put yourself in Nikolai Djerassi’s shoes—he is trying to end this madness and keep his people alive . . . and you cannot damn well tell me you wouldn’t do exactly the same thing in his place!”

Hanse started to reply, but then he drew in a deep breath. “The casualty count from Tukayyid had really done a number on my composure—and the results of Takashi’s offensive has made me even more on edge. Every advantage they have is magnified in the defense—I should have expected that. I should have planned for that! After all, that is our strategy, my strategy, to make them fight through our fortifications to come to blows with us. The idea that the Clans might do the same thing to our offensive never really occurred to me—but that is what the Jaguars and Cats did to the DCMS and Theodore was lucky to pull a dozen regiments out of the fire.”

“And none of that is the fault of our Scorpion Ambassador, eh, cousin?” Stephen asked as the two started walking. “Let’s face it, you are still pissed at not being First Lord of the Star League aren’t you?”

Hanse stopped again and he shook his head. “I . . . no. No, Stephen, I’m not,” and Hanse shook his head. “It’s just that . . .”

“You aren’t in charge for once in your life.”

The Fox glared at his cousin who chuckled. “He’s Melissa’s cousin—and he isn’t a true believer in ComStar. I know you don’t trust them, I know you wish you could stand each and every Adept and Acolyte and Demi-Precentor and Precentor and Primus against a stone wall and give them a blindfold and a cigarette for all they have done in the past against you and Melissa and the Suns. But there comes a time when you have to let it go—or you will give yourself either a heart-attack or a stroke.”

“All right,” growled Hanse, “all right.” He held up one hand. “I’ll calm down and be good, I promise. Now how about we have that talk you have been wanting me to have with your pet Scorpion?”

The two began walking down the stone corridors deep beneath the palace once again and Stephen chuckled. “Pet Scorpion? He’s really not, Hanse. What he is a hell-on-wheels Warrior inside a ‘Mech and out, and a philosopher. Hell, he’s a lot like you when you were twenty.”

“He’s twenty?” Hanse stopped again, just outside the door. “He’s twenty?”

Stephen nodded. “He is. And he’s got as big a chip on his shoulder as you had at that age, trying to prove your worth to older brother Ian and Uncle Andrew. And like you with Ian and Uncle Andrew, he has been entrusted with great responsibility—responsibility he has earned because of his ability, not his birth. Bear that in mind cousin.”

And an agonizing howl of pain came from the far side of the doors, causing Hanse and Stephen both to turn their heads. The guards reacted instantly—half covering the two Davions and the rest pouring into the room; after a moment one of the guards nodded at the Fox. “Clear, sir—you can enter.”

Hanse Davion stormed in and he drew in a deep breath at the gaggle of men with stun-sticks at their feet and the bloody, battered body of the Scorpion ambassador lying on the ground.

“WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?” he bellowed, but none of the soldiers—not one of whom as assigned to Palace security!—meet his glance.

One of the Prince’s security detail was on his knee examining Jason and he thumbed his radio. “Medical emergency—detention area exercise hall—get down here fast!”

“H-he . . . attacked us,” one of the Lyran Regulars finally said under Hanse’s stern gaze. “We were defending ourselves.”

“Right,” said another, “you tell him,” chimed in a third.

“Son,” Hanse said as he stepped up close—his guards getting even closer to the sweating soldier, “that camera better confirm every word out of your lips or I will see you hang in a wire noose. So help me God.”

“DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?” Hanse thundered. “So, now, without the bullshit, explain to me why soldiers in mine and my wife’s military forces who are not even supposed to be here, were just beating the ever loving hell out of an Ambassador to Our Court?”

A bath in liquid nitrogen would have warm in comparison the last words uttered by Hanse Davion—and twenty very frightened men began to confess, laying the blame on anyone but themselves.

“ENOUGH!” Stephen barked, and he nodded at the guards, who took all of them into custody, some still begging forgiveness, others pleading their innocence, but they were ushered from the exercise room as medical professionals rushed in and began to examine the unconscious Scorpion. One of the doctors looked up, “I need to get him into surgery, my Prince,” he said.

“Go,” commanded Hanse. “Erik,” he said to his guard commander. “Cancel my DropShip flight back to New Avalon—and assign a detachment of our people to Star Captain Scott in order to prevent this from happening again.”

“At once, my Prince,” the security chief said as he began barking orders into his radio.

And Hanse chuckled grimly. Stephen just stared at him as the doctor and the medical team loaded Jason Scott in a gurney and wheeled him away. “You find this humorous, cousin?”

“I was thinking about how you said we are alike, Stephen—and damn me if I wouldn’t have tried to take some of them with me too,” Hanse motioned to the three corpses lying on the ground. “Damn me if I wouldn’t have,” he whispered again.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Clan Goliath Scorpion Field Headquarters; Bayern
Memmingen, Clan Goliath Scorpion Occupation Zone
February 22, 3043


Natasha rapped the frame of the door at Nikolai’s office and the Scorpion looked up from a report he was reading—and then he carefully closed the monitor screen and stood. “Khan Kerensky, to what do I owe the pleasure this evening?”

She held up a bottle of Nikolai’s stolen Scotch and smiled. “I come bearing gifts.”

“Beware Stone Lions bearing gifts, to paraphrase an ancient author,” Nikolai said sourly but he waved his hand towards a pair of chairs flanking the roaring fireplace. The Widow stepped into the office and handed the sealed bottle over; then she chuckled. “I think you might need to activate your bug-stomper, Nikolai, after you sweep the room for listening devices—because you and I need to have a little chat.”

Nikolai shrugged as he sat down the bottle and called his latest aide into the office. The young Scorpion swept the office with a hand-held electronic device and then he nodded at the Khan, who powered up a powerful electronic jammer built into his desk—the young Scorpion left and closed the door behind him—sealing the Faraday cage constructed into the walls, floors, and ceiling for additional security.

The Scorpion took a folding utensil from his pocket and cut away the wax seal on the neck of the whiskey bottle, then he levered out a cork-screw from the implement and extracted the cork with a pop. “Rocks or neat?” he asked.

“Chilled is good, naked is better,” Natasha answered with a stunning grin and the Scorpion Khan chuckled in reply, pouring two fingers of whiskey for her, and two for himself. He put ice within his own, however.

“We are as secure as I can reasonably make us, Khan Kerensky—what do you desire to 'chat' about?”

“Jaime told me what you told Melissa, Nikolai—you’ve been a naughty boy, haven’t you?” she asked with her eyes twinkling.

Nikolai turned his head in question slightly, but his pupils did not grow any wider, nor did any muscles on his face or neck twitch; nor did any sudden sweat beads begin to emerge from his forehead—he gave absolutely no outward sign that he had the least idea of what she was speaking of . . . and Natasha suddenly burst out laughing.

“Remind me to never to play poker with you, Nikolai! Damn, you’ve got good control over your reactions, quiaff?”

“When I play poker, which is not often,” the Scorpion said taking a pause and a sip, “I play for only the highest of stakes. Now what, pray tell, did Commanding General Jaime Wolf—our enemy, need I not remind you—tell you that I supposedly said to Melissa Steiner-Davion—or were you referring to another Melissa, perchance?”

“I know you are the one who gave her the idea to reform the Star League—and that you have offered to bring the Scorpions under their banner.”

“And if that were true, are you here to kill me?” Nikolai asked, and cocked his head to one side. “Or to join me?”

The Khan of the Stone Lions took a deep swallow of her own whiskey and sat down the glass on the table. “If the other Khans find out—and they will eventually—they will tear you apart with red-hot irons, Nikolai.”

The Scorpion nodded his agreement and he took a second sip and sat down his glass as well. “So I was right—you are an Inner Sphere plant.”

“Yes, you were—and you will go down in history as a traitor to the Clans.”

“Perhaps . . . but we have a Star League once more. This is a chance to end this war, and end it with the best of all possible results—a united Inner Sphere, under one government that is not bound by our traditions and castes and rules of conduct! We were meant to serve the Star League—I have always been a Warden in this endeavor, Natasha. And rather than see my Crusader brethren make a hash of it, I have pulled the strings as best I could to steer events to this point—where the Davions and the Steiners and the Kuritas and the Mariks and the Liaos have united to preserve their own cultures and societies . . . and ours as well.”

“By and large, my Scorpions are Wardens—we have a Star League now, a Star League we can be proud to serve . . . and they will follow me into that service. I had suggested that Jaime Wolf be named First Lord, but I cannot have my way in everything it seems.” And he shrugged.

“Oh-oo!” howled Natasha with laughter. “He forgot to tell me that. You must have known that Takashi Kurita would never allow it.”

Nikolai shrugged. “It does not matter who is First Lord—the League has been Reborn. Will you stay here in the staid boring Clans or will you return to the Terran Hegemony in the company of Scorpions?”

The Black Widow grew serious. “They will Annihilate the rest of your Clan, Nikolai. Your Scorpions will be absorbed into the Inner Sphere and pass away into history.”

Everything passes with time, Natasha, nothing lasts forever—the Scorpions are fully aware of that fact. I have not left a single Warrior, a single sibkin, a single ship in the Homeworlds for our trothkin to slake their vengeance on—they will arrive at Rondane soon, where we will load up my other civilians to join the ones from the Homeworlds, and my factories, and they will meet us on Asta . . . a former world of the Hegemony which will be ours to call home.”

Natasha lifted the whiskey and slugged back the rest of the tumbler’s contents. “High-stakes indeed,” she whispered. “If my Stone Lions joined you, we would lose our civilians from the Homeworlds and what few military units have been formed there in my absence.”

“A handful according to my sources—before our unfortunate technical difficulties with the communications relay. And all fractious, unrepentant Mandrills—you are better off without them.”

“And I have a sudden suspicion that you had something to do with that technical difficulty.”

“Aff. My Fleet has been destroying the HPG relays and taking the JumpShips assembled for the command circuit to Rondane—we also seized the Raven’s Yard-Ship Sanctuary at Way Point 427.”

“You are a madman; you realize this is a medical fact?” Natasha asked with a shocked look on her face.

Nikolai smiled. “I needed the JumpShips to haul my civilians and factories from Rondane and we will need the Yard-Ship once we arrive on our new home. Peter will be pissed, of course, but when I return the six Potemkins I shanghaied, he might not feel quite so bad—especially since the Ravens were only running the Yard-Ship for the ilKhan; technically it is not their ship at all.”

“Pour me another,” Natasha whispered, and Nikolai did so with a grin.

“Surprised, Khan Kerensky? When I play, I play to win—and speaking of winning, if you fear that your Warriors will not follow you with their genetic legacies in the hands of Scientists back in the Homeworlds, well . . .” Nikolai smiled broadly, “let us say that there are Scientists who are not very Clan-like in their attitudes. I have a complete copy of the Master Genetic Data Repository aboard the Fleet en route to Rondane. Not physical samples, but enough for any competent Scientist to ensure that the Blood-Names of your Clan—and mine—are preserved.”

“They will have to invent a way to resurrect the dead to kill you as many times as you deserve, Nikolai!” Natasha blurted out. “How long have you been planning this?”

“The genesis of the idea was Khan Kirov’s before his death—he chose me as saKhan because we agreed on this issue. The Star League must stand again—and the Scorpions must return home to serve it, before our infighting in the Homeworlds tears us asunder. For nearly two decades first Mikhail and then I have been working for this end—this goal—that we finally achieved just before we landed on Tukayyid. And for that purpose, I pledged my life, my treasure, and my sacred honor as a sacrifice if needed.” Nikolai took a sip of whiskey. “So, are you with us or will you stand against us?”

"Are you going to give them the Exodus Road, Nikolai?" she asked in response.

"Neg. I am purging all navigational data from every ship's computer as it arrives in the Inner Sphere. I want to see the Star League Reborn, Natasha . . . I have no desire to see the SLDF fighting amid nuclear detonations on the Homeworlds. You know that the Khans, for all their talk about honor, would resort to that if they were invaded. With us or against us?"

“Oh, I am with you, Nikolai—you are too much fun for me to be anywhere else.” She paused and sipped her whiskey again. “What of the other Clans? Some . . . some of them are rethinking this invasion.”

“They should all be rethinking the Invasion,” Nikolai answered and frowned. “We can count out the Falcons, Sharks, Horse’s, Ravens, Vipers, Hellions, Adders, Spirits, and Jaguars immediately—none of them will be willing to serve a Star League not of their own making.”

“You, Marion, and Jake are friends, you might persuade them . . .” but Nikolai shook his head and the Widow stopped.

“Friendship has nothing to do with this—and Marion knows it. Right now, if the Clans are forced out of the Inner Sphere and back home, he—and the Bears—have the two largest and most powerful toumans remaining. And the Bears are a cautious breed. With the losses the Falcons and Jaguars and Vipers have suffered, he will lead the Crusaders . . . and rule the Homeworlds as ilKhan. No, he would rather be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond. Jake Fletcher,” and here Nikolai sighed. “Jake will take this as a personal betrayal and he will consider me a traitor to his last days—he will try his best to kill me. Peter might have jumped ship, heh, but his displeasure with me will keep him on the Clan side. For now.”

“That leaves the Coyotes, Wolves, Bears, Cobras, and Cats,” said Natasha. “Ulric . . . I just don’t know. He’s a hard man to read—but he is a hard-line Warden, a true-believer in his own fashion.”

“And a pragmatic one who wants to change the Clans from within—unless the survival of Clan Wolf itself is at stake, he won’t jump—neither will Pavel and his Coyotes. Amanda will understand why I have done this—she will even silently applaud the audacity and risks involved in my actions, she will wish me luck, but she will not risk the survival of Clan Ghost Bear. Besides,” he said with a grin, “she gets to keep my worlds and Rondane—including the factories I cannot move in time.”

“And then there were two,” the Widow mused. “The Cats are fanatical about the Star League—but it all depends on their Khan and Loremaster.”

“And the Cobras, they have to know their best chance of surviving to see the next century is away from the Homeworlds—the other Clans have begun getting antsy about their religious practices,” Nikolai added.

“Do we approach them—do we dare to broach this subject with them?”

Nikolai licked his lips. “Not yet . . . we still have much left in this play of ours, and our time upon the stage is not yet at an end.”

Natasha sat back in her chair and took another swallow of the smooth, deep, warm whiskey. “How do you know the Lions will follow me?”

“How do I know that when the sun sets for the night it will rise again in the morning? Or that water is wet? Of all the questons you could have asked, this is simplest. Natasha Kerensky, you led them—led them—through the fire to regain their honor. They are truly Lions now, not a collection of free-birth cast-offs from the Fifteen Clans mixed with surviving Mandrills. Those men and women—from your saKhan Aiden Pryde down to the lowest laborer, each would follow you into Hell without hesitation, evasion, or reservation.”

“And how do you know I won't take this to the Grand Council and reveal all of your masterful plans and schemes, O Great and Powerful Oz?”

“If I even suspected that you would, you would not get out of this building alive.”

Natasha Kerensky smiled and she stood and she nodded. “Oh, now the fun part really starts.”


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 18
great story


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:11 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Grand Council of the Khans, Memmingen University, Bayern
Memmingen, Clan Goliath Scorpion Occupation Zone
February 23, 3043


Thomas Black, Khan of the Steel Vipers rose from the seats normally used by students attending a lecture with a scowl on his face. To his eyes, to those of many of the Khans present today, this chamber was simply a parody—a mockery!—of the Hall of the Khans on Strana Mechty; that anger and frustration showed clearly on his face.

“Khan Black,” the new Loremaster of the Clans—Grace Kabrinski of Clan Ghost Bear—said, recognizing the Viper and granting him the floor.

“It has never been done—not once in our entire history! The ilKhan is elected on Strana Mechty, in the Hall of the Khans, and in no other place!” he thundered. “We must—the Khans and the Blood-Named, return home to elect a new ilKhan. The Martial Code sa-. . .”

Nothing on this subject, Khan Black—I know, I have read it in preparation for today; every last clause and article and regulation,” Nikolai interrupted as he stood. “Tradition has our election of an ilKhan take place in that sacred Hall on Nicholas Kerensky’s Strana Mechty; tradition, my Khans, not regulation. Not law, nor any code handed down by the First ilKhan or any of his successors.”

“You would be wise to remain silent today, Scorpion,” hissed the Viper. “Your plans led us to this catastrophe, your desire to take Tukayyid, your failure to adequately prepare the Khans for what we encountered there!”

We, Khan Black? I fought on Tukayyid,” Nikolai answered in a scathing tone. “Many of the Khans here today fought and bled on Tukayyid—you did not. The only reason you are here today holding the rank of Khan is because your predecessor disobeyed the orders of her lawful commander under combat conditions and got herself and three full Clusters of Vipers killed! And for what? The battle had been lost already—she threw away your trothkin because of her foolish pride!”

Black’s face twisted with anger—and shame—and he started to leap forward, but one mighty bellow brought him to a halt.

ENOUGH!” shouted Brandon Howell as the Jaguar leapt to his feet. “The Scorpion speaks the truth Khan Black. You dishonor yourself and your Clan if you do not accept the truth of what happened in the Kozice Valley!”

The two Khans locked eyes across the room, but it was the Viper who finally looked away. “That being said,” continued Howell in a calm and even voice, “it was your plan which led us to this state, Nikolai Djerassi—a plan which you agreed to accept the consequences of if you were wrong.”

Aidan Pryde, saKhan of Clan Stone Lion stood and shook his head. “Was he to be prophetic in nature, Khan Howell? Tukayyid was a trap for us—a trap laid by Commanding General Jaime Wolf of the Star League Reborn.” And in answer a rustle arose from the Khans as at last those words were spoken in a formal setting. “Aye . . . we cannot deny reality, my Khans—and the reality is that we have forced the Inner Sphere to unite against us and to reform the Star League . . . whose armies have now handed unto the Clans our first defeat. The first of many defeats.”

“This false Star League will not prevail—we will not be defeated!” growled Howell.

But Aidan only cocked his head to one side and nodded. “Then perhaps we should hold this meeting on Pesht, Khan Howell. Or on Bjarred, or Jeanette, or Teniente, or Irece, or on . . . any other of your worlds bordering the Draconis Combine. Oh, wait, we cannot for those worlds the Jaguars and Cats have been driven from—in defeat.”

“It is but a temporary setback,” howled Brandon, “we shall recla- . . .”

“Begging the Khan’s pardon, but you have not the strength of arms at this moment in time to reclaim those worlds—and you know that as well as I,” Aidan continued in a sober voice. “The plans for Tukayyid were sound, we all know this. Just as we must all acknowledge that we were outfought.”

And all Hell broke loose at that final sentence.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:17 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Grand Council of the Khans, Memmingen University, Bayern
Memmingen, Clan Goliath Scorpion Occupation Zone
February 23, 3043


It took forty minutes for the Ebon Keshik—what was left of it—to restore order and separate the Khans. None of the Elementals made any comment about the fight—the undignified brawl—which had been fought, but their tongues would wag about that night. And it turned out that Star Captain Tyra Moon won the pool, because Natasha Kerensky fought just as dirty as she had predicated she would!

But that would occur later, in the security of the Ebon Keshik’s segregated barracks.

The Loremaster of the Clans scowled down upon the chastised, bruised, and (for a few) bleeding Khans in derision. “Is this how the Khans honor the memory of our ilKhan? Of our Founders? With a brawl more appropriate to a drinking establishment and an overuse of intoxicants?”

Grace Kabrinski shook her head. “My Khans, you will conduct yourselves with decorum or I will order the Ebon Keshik to remove you from this Chamber!”

“You do not have the authority!” bellowed the Ice Hellions Emma Drake, newly elected as Khan of her Clan.

“Try me, Hellion!” the Bear snapped back. She paused, but no one else dared to say a word. “Let’s cut to the chase, shall we? We need an ilKhan. We can vote here or we can waste a year and return home. And when we get back, we will need to start all over again because Jaime Wolf will have taken every last one of our worlds in the interim! Broken the forces we leave behind! Quiaff?”

“Aff,” most of the Khans agreed. And the Loremaster nodded. “Yea to take the vote here; nay to return to the Homeworlds. Vote now.”

And by twenty-five to seven, the Khans voted to hold the election for ilKhan immediately.

“I open the floor for nominations,” Grace said. “Khan Djerassi, you wish to speak on the behalf of a Khan?”

“I do, Loremaster. There is one Khan among us who has been a rock through adversity and triumph; a Khan whose touman is the largest in any of the occupation zones at this time. A Khan who is given to considered decisions, not rash ones. I nominate for ilKhan Amanda Tseng, Khan of the Ghost Bears.”

Amanda looked up in shock and then she nodded. Ulric Kerensky stood beside her. “I second the nomination of Amanda Tseng.”

For several moments no one else spoke, and then Grace asked the question: “Are there any further nominations?” Silence, for every Khan present realized the task ahead of the new ilKhan—and none wanted to risk failure. Grace nodded. “Then nominations are closed.”

Natasha stood. “Loremaster, I move that we confirm the vote by acclamation.”

“Seconded,” called out Jake Fletcher.

“All those voting for Amanda Tseng as ilKhan say Aye,” the Loremaster answered.

“AYE!” nearly every Khan shouted. “Those opposed speak now or hold thy silence for eternity.” And no one spoke.

“Rise, ilKhan Tseng and take your rightful place among us,” Grace said with a bow.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:04 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Grand Council of the Khans, Memmingen University, Bayern
Memmingen, Clan Goliath Scorpion Occupation Zone
February 23, 3043


Trothkin,” Amanda began, “we are in a time of crisis such as the Clans have never before faced. But we shall prevail through this—we will remain the Clans of Kerensky! There are hard decisions ahead of us, and we must—as the junior Khan of the Stone Lions has reminded us today—content with reality as it is and not how we might wish it were. The Invasion will halt in place as of today.”

Shouts of protest erupted—but not nearly in the numbers Nikolai had expected. He waited until the Khans calmed down, as Amanda stood like an unmoving rock in the center of that storm.

“We have no choice—we lack the strength to press forward at this time. Despite all of our reinforcements, all of our replacements, we are at roughly sixty percent of our numbers when we began this Invasion—even though we have added more than forty Clusters to our roster! We must, for the moment, stand on the defensive . . . and make some difficult decisions.”

Marion Truscott stood and he nodded. “We have bled ourselves white, my Khans—the ilKhan speaks the truth today. To go forward now, we risk losing everything we have so far gained.”

“But if we do not advance,” Helen Schmidt, the Khan of the Blood Spirits said as she too stood, “we risk giving the False Star League time to recover as well.”

And here Nikolai stood. “Aff, but if we do continue forward we will soon enough have nothing which to hold these worlds—and the Star League will reclaim them behind us with scarcely a fight, severing our supply lines and letting us wither on the vine. My Khans, they are hurting as much as we—but they began this with far more regiments than we have Clusters. We have destroyed more than one hundred and eighty BattleMech Regiments, an order of magnitude greater numbers of lesser formations—and yet they still have reserves greater than our combined Clans together. If we all had our full toumans here now, which we do not.”

“And yet,” Nikolai continued on, “they have not suffered such losses since the earliest days of their Succession Wars. Their worlds are feeling the effect of units that provide protection and garrison are being transferred to face us; they suffer from pirates and bandits and their civilians rise up in discontent. Now, in the face of the results of the Battle of Tukayyid, now is the time to negotiate an end.”

Negotiate!” Emma Drake shrieked. “You are a dezgra coward, Khan Djerassi! Negotiate with the Scavenger Lords who formed this False Star League in an effort to demoralize us.”

Nikolai glared at the Hellion Khan, and if his look could have transferred temperature, Emma Drake would have frozen solid. “The Ice Hellion Khan is free to test her convictions on my courage at her earliest convenience; though I would suggest if she does so, the Hellions stand prepared to elect another new Khan.”

“No,” said Amanda from the lectern. “We have lost enough Khans for one year—both of you be seated. Now.”

Nikolai bowed politely and sat, quickly followed by the still seething Hellion.

“We must seek a truce,” the ilKhan said. “Either that, or we admit defeat and crawl back home in shame.”

A low moan went through the Khans, as even those who hated this idea realized the need for it.

“We will dispatch an envoy to arrange a meeting with First Lord Focht—probably through a real-time HPG connection,” she continued. “In the meantime,” and her she paused, shaking her head at what she had to say. At what perhaps she alone had the courage to say in this chamber. “Khan Howell, Khan West, Khan Schmidt . . . we must consolidate our holdings. The Jaguars and Cats will abandon their remaining worlds in Corridor Theta. You are woefully vulnerable at the moment; Khan Schmidt, you have not enough force to hold every world in Corridor Eta—which I will divide into three Occupation Zones . . . one of each of your Clans.”

All three Khans began to scream in protest, but Amanda cut them off. “THERE WILL BE NO DEBATE ON THIS! We are speaking of survival itself. As Corridor Epsilon and Delta are the two with the least vulnerable flanks, I am also ordering Clan Goliath Scorpion to reinforce the Falcons and Sharks in Corridor Alpha—and Clan Coyote to join the Hellions and Vipers in Corridor Beta. If you want a Trial of Refusal, then I will resign as ilKhan and watch as your Clans are defeated in detail. And I will return my Bears to the Homeworlds to rebuild for our next attempt.”

Utter silence greeted her yet again and Amanda nodded. “The time has come to put the Clans of Kerensky above our own Clan—and if any Khan present here today cannot do so, then he or she may meet me in combat and die at my hands.”


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
The list of the current Khans and saKhans:

ilKhan of the Clans: ilKhan Amanda Tseng (Ghost Bear)
Loremaster of the Clans: Loremaster Charles Bragg (Ice Hellion)

Blood Spirit: Khan Helen Schmidt, saKhan James Carmichael
Cloud Cobra: Khan Mark Steiner; saKhan Leonard Eaker
Coyote: Khan Pavel Kerensky; saKhan Simon Kufahl
Diamond Shark: Khan Olivia Sutherland; saKhan Peter Hammond
Ghost Bear: Khan Grace Kabrinski; saKhan Eric Jorgensson
Goliah Scorpion: Khan Nikolai Djerassi; saKhan Nelson
Hell's Horse: Khan Jake Fletcher; saKhan Rapael Mendoza
Ice Hellion: Khan Emma Drake; saKhan Robert Taney
Jade Falcon: Khan Marthe Pryde; saKhan Michael van Jankmon
Nova Cat: Khan Marius West; saKhan Linda Devereaux
Smoke Jaguar: Khan Brandon Howell; saKhan Sarah Weaver
Snow Raven: Khan Peter McKenna; saKhan Joan McKenzie
Star Adder: Khan Marion Truscott; saKhan Jean N'Buta
Steel Viper: Khan Thomas Black; saKhan Paul Masters
Stone Lion: Khan Natasha Kerensky; saKhan Aidan Pryde
Wolf: Khan ulric Kerensky; saKhan Marianne Vickers

Grace will be elected to replace Amanda, whereupon Charles Bragg replaces her as Loremaster of the Clans.

MA


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
LCMS Bucklands Belle (aka CGSS Jenna Scott), Zenith Jump Point
Odessa, Lyran Commonwealth
February 23, 3043


“Skipper,” the executive officer of the Clan Goliath Scorpion Surveillance Ship Jenna Scott growled, and Star Captain Thaddeus Arbuthnot nodded.

“Steady, folks—stay frosty and remember they think we are just another tramp freighter passing through.” I hope that they think that, Thaddeus thought as he swallowed hard.

Jenna Scott was one of three Tracker-class vessels in use by Clan Goliath Scorpion and throughout the invasion she had been scouting the systems on the flanks and in front of the Invasion. But neither she nor her crew had expected to discover anything remotely like the concentration of JumpShips massed here over Odessa. Or the scores of aerospace fighters and dozens of Assault DropShips swarming around.

“Give me a count, Pieter,” the ship commander ordered.

“Two hundred and seventeen Jumpers, Skipper,” the tech responded almost instantly, “ranging from Scout-class to Monolith-class. No WarShips. Forty-two assault DropShips, mostly Avenger-class. One Olympus-class recharge station. Sixty aerospace fighters on patrol . . . but there are bound to be more. About a third are broadcasting as LCAF and AFFS vessels—the rest are merchant ships.”

Stravag,” Thaddeus cursed. “They are assembling a fleet to transport their regiments, hit us in the flank—and that means we are about to get impressed, I believe.”

“Speaking of which,” Star Commander Aaron Ben-Shimon, the aforementioned XO, looked up from his station. “We are being hailed.”

“Game faces, people,” Thaddeus ordered as he adjusted the mismatched, brightly colored eclectic array of clothing that served as his ‘uniform’. “On screen.”

The main monitor cleared and then presented the image of a Lyran Commodore, who nodded his head. “Bucklands Belle, pursuant to the Home Defense Act of the Estates General of 2832, I am hereby informing you that your ship is required to carry out military operations in service of Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces—you will move your vessel to the designated parking area and stand by for further instructions.”

Thaddeus scowled mightily and came out of his seat in mock anger. “I have a charter to Arcturus! This is . . . this is . . . bullshit!” he sputtered.

“You will be compensated,” the Commodore replied with a frown.

Compensated? I am familiar with your idea of compensation! What about my cargo? I have twenty thousand tons of fish, pasta, and spices from Kowloon that I signed a contract to deliver to Arcturus! If I fail to make delivery, I’ll lose my ship!”

The Commodore smiled. “The Regiments on Odessa—and the Fleet—could use additional provisions, Bucklands Belle. We are prepared to offer you a very good price—and we will seize your ship if you do not comply. Fully in accordance with the law,” he finished sternly.

The Scorpion officer made himself sit back down and offered the camera a disgusted look. “You will pay cost—I won’t clear a single Kroner of profit. How the hell am I supposed to pay my crew and maintain my ship on cost?”

“The Archon has authorized a slight expenditure above cost for your service—and your provisions. You will still turn a profit; as for the consignees waiting for your shipment this falls under the status of a Commonwealth Emergency—you cannot be sued in court for breach of contract and I will provide you with the appropriate paperwork stating that.”

Thaddeus slumped and he nodded sourly. “I knew I should have come out at the Nadir Point.”

The image of the officer on screen barked a laugh. “And you would have been press-ganged by Commodore Holt—who isn’t as generous as I. Tell me, are you carrying banh bot loc?" the Commodore asked, referring to Kowloonese rice dumpling stuffed with shrimp and pork, wrapped in banana leaves.

Thaddeus nodded. "And spiced cha as well," Kowloon pork and duck sausages, "and forty thousand bottles of ruou." A very popular rice whiskey. “Among other delicacies,” the Scorpion concluded with bitter shake of his head.

The Commodore smiled. “Well, as it just so happens, I am very fond of Kowloon cuisine. I think that you and I can come to some . . . equitable arrangement instead of going through the normal supply protocols.”

“I’ll transmit a manifest to you, Commodore . . .?”

“Perrin. Johann Perrin. In the meantime, Captain . . .?”

“Eisner. Bob Eisner.”

“In the meantime, Captain Eisner, move your vessel to the designated parking orbit. LCAF Odessa Zenith out.”

“[crap], [crap], [crap],” muttered Thaddeus. “Aaron get us moving—do not move us too smartly, quiaff?”

“Aff. We will look like a wallowing merchantmen, skipper. Ah, Star Captain . . . we could jump out back out—our LF batteries have a full charge on standby.”

“Neg. We need to make certain these ships are still here when the cavalry arrives.”

“The cavalry, sir?”

“Aff. Warm up the HPG—I need to speak with Star Admiral Malthus. His Emerald Talon Naval Star was at New Exford, last that I heard.”

The XO nodded and the techs jumped to the task. He then crossed the bridge and stood beside his commander and whispered quietly.

“Should we not inform the Khan?”

“We will, but our orders are to provide intelligence and recon data to all of the Clans—orders from the ilKhan.”

“She is dead.”

“So she is—and our orders have not been changed, quineg?”

“Neg.”

“Four hundred Inner Sphere JumpShips, sitting vulnerable here—this is a priority target, Aaron. Let’s see what Star Admiral Malthus can bring to the party.”

“Well, at least we will get a chance to use the guns,” Aaron said with a smile.

But Thaddeus shook his head. “Neg. We will high-tail it out of here to their emergency coordinates with the rest of this Fleet—and pass along their new coordinates to the Falcons and Sharks. There is an old parable, Aaron that fits this situation. Two bulls, one young and virile and strong, the second old and experienced stood upon a hill and looked down at their herd of fertile cows below. The young bull turned to his elder and said let us run down there and couple with a pair of cows. The elder shook his head and said, let us walk down there and couple with all of them.” Thaddeus smiled a cold, cold smile. “Today, we are going to couple with all of these Spheroids.”


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:08 pm 
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
CJFS Emerald Talon, Zenith Jump Point
New Exford, Clan Jade Falcon Occupation Zone
February 23, 3043


Star Admiral Adrian Malthus emerged onto the bridge of his flagship with his teeth bared in a snarl of pure joy. “Put me through to Star Admiral Hawker!” he ordered as he sat down in his command chair. As the Falcon officer waited for the connection, he pulled up a holographic image of the Zenith point. Besides the four WarShips of his own Emerald Talon Naval Star, two more Falcon WarShips from the Turkina’s Pride Naval Star were present, performing a normal patrol of the front lines. Both the frigate Kerensky’s Pride and the destroyer Emerald Tornado had completed recharging their KF drives—and had been scheduled to move out in a little more than three hours. But not any longer, the Falcon thought with a sudden grin.

And added to the six WarShips now under his command, Star Admiral Hawker had his own Deep Hunter Naval Star present—the two rival officers had arranged a series of maneuvers to keep their edge now that the presence of Inner Sphere WarShips had been confirmed. Lighter than the Emerald Talons, the Deep Hunters had a cruiser and four destroyers assigned to their ranks—but against these targets that would more than suffice.

The holographic image of Star Admiral Leslie Hawker appeared directly in front of Adrian. “You rang?”

“CGSS Jenna Scott has reported from Odessa, Leslie. The Steiners and Davions are assembling a Fleet of JumpShips at both the Zenith and Nadir points—a Fleet which they probably mean to use to transport an offensive against our Clans.” He grinned broadly. “I am taking my WarShips there to persuade them against such an operation—would you care to join me?”

The Shark frowned. “Opposition?”

“Fighters and Assault DropShips—total number unknown at this time, the Scorpions spotted a minimum of forty-two assault ships and sixty fighters;” he shrugged. “They probably have more they did not see.”

“Hitting defenseless JumpShips just seems so wrong,” whispered Hawker, and Adrian nodded his agreement.

“Aff. But these JumpShips are going to deliver unto our worlds a counter-attack twice as strong as that which divest the Jaguars of half the worlds they conquered! And I will not allow that to happen on my watch, not when I can avoid it.”

Hawker stared for a moment and then she simply said, “Seyla. What are your intentions?”

Adrian laughed. “Star Admiral Hawker, I aim to misbehave.”


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