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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:11 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
CIKS Victory
Star’s End, Near Periphery
July 22, 3043


Every member of the Clans in the Invasion Force waited as they watched the monitors set in the bulkheads of their WarShips, their JumpShips, their DropShips, their BattleMechs, their Aerospace Fighters. At precisely 2200 hours, the monitors showed a burst of static and then it cleared, revealing the ilKhan of the Clans.

From Rondane to Porthos, every Clan Warrior waited for her words with a held breath.

“Trothkin, hearken to the words of your ilKhan. Today is the day that we begin the Liberation of the Inner Sphere from those who robbed our ancestors of their homes. Make no mistake, our opponents are no cowards; they will fight us for every millimeter of land. They will do their best to kill us, to turn us aside, to make us be other than the Clans of Kerensky.”

“They will fail.”

“Sixteen Clans today will take part in the Return that the Great Father promised one day would come. We will all see combat before this is finished, but in the end, it is the Clans who shall hold Terra and restore until all of Mankind the rule of the Star League that should never have fallen!”

“Trothkin! We have trained, we have amassed supplies, we have honed our edge to a razor, and today shall that weapon you have become be unleashed. Each of your Khan’s has given you your orders—you know your objectives, and you will not disappoint the Founder’s whose blood flows within your veins.”

“There are but three last orders I must give unto you. First, the enemy we fight will break; they will attempt to flee. This must not be permitted—you are to engage their transport ships and not allow them a means of escape. We will prevent them from learning by having their survivors regroup and train new troops to face us. Capture those ships, if possible; destroy them otherwise, but strand each formation you fight on the world where they stand, so that they no choice but to face us.”

“Second, some of your opponents will be honorable. To these we will extend the courtesy of zellbrigen; but to those who act as dezgra you shall treat as dezgra. This is the order of your ilKhan—and all Clans shall follow it. We will not slake our anger at their warriors upon their civilians; we are better than that, trothkin. We shall turn our fury on those who earned it and annihilate them; without mercy, without remorse, without a second thought.”

Yvonne paused and she looked at the timer display quickly descending towards zero. “My final order, brothers and sisters of the Clans, is this: GO! Depart into the Inner Sphere, bid well, fight well, and seize from those who hounded your Founders from their own worlds Victory! Return with honor, or return not at all! Ship commanders, prepare to Jump to your target systems. VICTORY, my trothkin!”

And aboard more than five thousand DropShips, JumpShips, and WarShips, every Clan Warrior, across an arc of space measuring nearly a thousand light-years, returned her primal battle cry: VICTORY!

And the ships jumped.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:11 pm 
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General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Double post. Oops.

MA


Last edited by master arminas on Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:24 pm 
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Major General
Major General

Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2001 8:00 pm
Posts: 759
Location: Hope Mills, NC
Opps you had a double post, site probably times out as it did for me today a couple times.

_________________
Khan John Edwards
Trueborn Warrior

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

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:25 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Headquarters, Grand Army of the Inner Sphere
Tukayyid, Free Rasalhague Republic
July 25, 3043


Jaime Wolf carefully kept all expression from his face as he watched the board display quickly update. A swath of worlds along the Periphery border had seen their garrisons slowly reduced; pulled back deeper into the interior. On worlds where there had once been RCTs, perhaps a single combined arms battalion now stood in defense—plus the local militia, of course. But not on all of the worlds. Some of them, despite his pleading with Hanse Davion, Melissa Steiner-Davion, and Takashi Kurita were deemed too important to give up without a fight.

The Wolf had hoped to use this first wave to gather information about the invaders, relying on the local militia (and their new equipment) to bleed the Clans; along with the special operations forces charged with operating in the invaders rear once they had moved deeper into the Inner Sphere—but no plan survives contact with the enemy. And they are definitely the enemy, Jaime thought as he nodded.

One of his aides came up with the latest report and Wolf grunted at him sourly. “We have confirmations of Jade Falcon forces—in Galaxy strength on Barcelona, Bone-Norman, and Newtown Square. Before the HPGs went down, the 39th Avalon Hussars RCT were screaming for immediate reinforcements. We expected that, Sir, but we didn’t expect them to deliberate target the 39th’s JumpShips.”

Wolf frowned. “They engaged them?”

“They sent Elementals across and took them—by the time the ship commanders figured out what was going on, half their JumpShips were under Falcon control. The remainder attempted to power up and make a jump—but a Falcon warship blew the first three who tried apart; the rest surrendered, but the Flotilla commander managed to transmit his report before the HPG went silent.”

Jaime looked at the shocked faces of the commanders gathered in the room: JumpShips were the life blood of the Inner Sphere. NO ONE fired upon them, except in the most dire of circumstances, and even then, it was an action almost guaranteed to cost an officer his command. We—no, Jaime thought, I, dammit—I should have expected this.

“The Hell’s Horses have hit Apollo, Bensinger, and Somerset, while the Snow Ravens were reported on Anywhere and Here. Clan Steel Viper struck Icar, New Caledonia, and Toland. The Coyotes were landing on Alleghe and St. John when we lost communications.” The aide paused and he winced as he looked Jaime Wolf.

“The Wolves are attacking five worlds: Bruben, The Edge, Kirchbach, Lovinac, and Rodigo. The Ghost Bears also struck the worlds of Hermagor, Leoben, Outpost, Skallevoll, and Svevlik. Rasalhague confirms that the Goliath Scorpions are on Balsta and New Bergen, while Clan Cloud Cobra has landed on Holmsbu and Susquehanna.”

“The Star Adders hit five worlds as well: Constance, Damien, Jarrett, Pinnacle, and Thule; but Clan Fire Mandrill has hit seven: Almunge, Brocchi’s Cluster, Idlewind, Richmond, Rockland, Schwartz, and Turtle Bay. And finally, before we lost the HPG connections, the DCMS reported that the Smoke Jaguars were inbound to Bjarred, Stapelfeld, and Virentofta. And we multiple confirmed reports of them seizing or destroying state-owned and independent JumpShips on station.”

“In all, Supreme Commander Wolf, they hit forty-two worlds simultaneously in the Federated Commonwealth, the Free Rasalhague Republic, and the Draconis Combine.”

Muttered whispers circled the room as Wolf nodded. It exceeded even his worst case estimates; twelve confirmed Clans—and if the Precentor Martial had been correct there were four more. Wolf nodded as he considered the map and lines suddenly appeared separating the Clans into eight distinct zones, the bright red lines plunging towards the center of the Inner Sphere where they converged upon Terra.

“They must have two Clans assigned to each corridor,” he said slowly. “Knowing my former kinsmen, probably one active and one reserve Clan. The Falcons, Vipers, Mandrills, and Jaguars acted without their reserves—but every other Clan used them at least in part.” He paused and looked over the map. “I imagine the plan called for hitting three to four border worlds each, but some of these Clans appear to be moving faster. I’d expect of that of the Wolves, but it is curious that the Bears and Star Adders—two very conservative Clans—would have gambled in such a fashion. The Horse’s were slightly more cautious; but they too seem to be using their reserves to gain an advantage over the others.”

Jaime frowned, and then he chuckled. “The Mandrills probably didn’t even read the plan. They have seven Kindraa, and were assigned seven worlds, and no Kindraa will allow even the Mandrill Khan to order them to remain behind!”

“And your orders?”

“Unchanged, General Winston,” Wolf told the commander of the Eridani Light Horse. “Until these Clan formations are bled white, we cannot risk engaging them and losing the Grand Army. If we lose this force in a precipitous attack, we lose the Inner Sphere. No, for now we wait. We wait while our brothers and sisters out there bleed and die, and despite that we must hold firm until the time is right to bring our full strength to bear and throw a punch so devastating that it causes the Clans to reel back in stunned shock.”

“The Lords may not like that, Supreme Commander,” she whispered quietly.

Wolf snorted. “They usually do not like bad news, General Winston. I’ll deal with them; speaking of which . . .” his voice trailed off as another aide approached and saluted.

“Sir. Elected Prince Magnusson is demanding to speak with you immediately! Sir!”

Wolf nodded, then he turned back to the commanding officer of the Eridani. “Step up the training schedule, Ariana, while I pat a Successor Lord on his hands and tell him everything is going to be alright. It is a lie of course, but a necessary one. And . . . join me for dinner this evening. There is an operation I am putting together that your Light Horse might be well suited for.”

“Sir,” she answered.

Wolf turned back to the aide, and made a shooing gesture with his hands. “I know where the HPG communications center is, son. I'll be there in a bit."

"The Prince is waiting, Sir."

"And he can keep on waiting until I get there. Now return to duty, Leftenant; I do not need an escort inside my own HQ."


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:17 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Knife Dance Keshik, Invasion Corridor Epsilon
New Bergen, Free Rasalhague Republic
July 25, 3043


“That was not part of their batchall!” A warrior in Nikolai’s command Trinary snarled. The Khan smiled at the righteous indignation of the young Star Commander.

“Aff, Star Commander Scott. It was not—but then we know that our enemy will practice deceit and outright lies in order to win; it was expected, quiaff?”

The chastised young man quickly responded. “Aff, my Khan.”

Still, it was intimidating, Nikolai thought. A horde of light vehicles was zooming over the far ridge ahead of the Keshik—two hundred plus six-wheeled, ten-ton armored cars, tearing up the sod and soil in rooster-tails behind them as they speed towards the Clan Cluster as quickly as a Locust could run. “Knife Dance Keshik,” the Khan broadcast, “they have broken their batchall and fielded forces not included in their bid—zellbrigen is hereby suspended. Engage at will. Star Colonel Myers—the 25th Cuirassier is needed; execute your drop. Star Colonel Dinour—I want the 8th Dragoons to screen our right flank; we haven’t encountering their actual bid forces yet and I would prefer not to be surprised while we are dealing with this.”

The Cluster commanders responded with a quick “Aff”, as the Knife Dance Keshik opened fire upon the STAGs rapidly approaching. An acronym for Single-crew Tactical Assault Gun-carrier, the STAG was an inexpensive, ICE powered, lightly armored, and lightly armed vehicle with tremendous mobility. Armed only with a six-tube SRM launcher and a machine-gun, it was woefully short-ranged; but when used en masse, it posed a clear and present danger even to Clan OmniMechs. But the weak armor was no match for the Clan weapons—and dozens, scores of STAGs erupted in balls of fire as single Gauss Rifle slugs, ER Large Laser beams, and ER PPC bolts tore through them, igniting fuel and munitions.

But the sheer numbers of the STAGs tearing across the landscape meant that some would enter range to engage the Keshik—or so it appeared. Lines of crimson and cyan fire lanced down from the heavens as a star of Scorpion Zulu-class fighters streaked by in Nap of the Earth flight mode; their lasers ripping through the mass of STAGs as all ten crisscrossed the battlefield—scores more of the armored cars exploded beneath the strafing runs.

Half of the New Bergen militia force was now dead or crippled, but still the remainder closed, and Nikolai nodded to himself as in respect for the bravery of those Warriors facing him. “Reserve Artillery Alpha—final protective fire grid coordinates 14-537-242; cluster rounds, one salvo.” He reached down to a touch screen monitor at his knee and he drew a box indicating where he wanted the fire.

The Star Captain commanding the Scorpion’s artillery reserves did not question the order, even though the coordinates were just meters outside the danger zone of the blast and fragmentation from the ‘Mechs and Elementals of the Keshik. His only answer was, “Shot,” and Nikolai turned his attention back to the wave of vehicles, triggering his own ER Medium Lasers and LB-10X autocannon upon three who had gotten a shade too close for comfort.

Clouds of SRMs blossomed from the lead STAGs, and Nikolai’s Summoner II quivered as the Anti-Missile System swiveled and engaged the lead flights. A hailstorm of tungsten slugs flew outwards from the front lines of the Keshik and missiles exploded prematurely—but not all of them. Explosions tore into his ‘Mechs and Elementals, but fully half of the missiles fired missed! A combination of the range, the evasive movements of the STAGs, and the generally poor gunnery on the part of their militia pilots.

“Splash,” a voice called out on his radio as the grassy plain in front of Nikolai heaved when twenty Arrow IV artillery rockets split apart to deploy hundreds of sub-munitions, each containing a self-forging high explosive penetrator at its core.

It was too much for the Rasalhagi militia-men. The survivors—barely sixty in all—broke and began to speed away, but the Knife Dance ran behind them, shooting them as they tried to evade. The lead STAG crossed over the ridge, it’s wheels leaving the ground as the pilot did not slow—and it exploded in mid-air as the retreating vehicles ran straight into the fresh medium, heavy, and assault-weight ‘Mechs of the 25th Cuirassier!

In moments, the last of the gallant militiamen were put down, and Nikolai took a moment to assess his status. Over half of his OmniMechs had suffered at least some damage—three had been destroyed by lucky hits. Seventeen Elementals were killed as well, and many of the survivors had significant damage to their armor—but he had eliminated two full Regiments of light armor in exchange.

“Knife Dance actual, Whip-Tail actual. Fortified line of infantry bunkers and vehicle defilade positions in the woods to your east. Estimate two plus regiments of infantry, supported by Axel, Vedette, and Scorpion tanks. Correction, they have artillery as well—receiving Sniper and Thumper fire.”

“Aff, Whip-Tail actual. Fall back on my position! Star Captain Suvorov!”

“Yes, my Khan?” the pilot answered.

“Recon pass, one point, wood-line to the east of this ridge, back to the fens,” he said as his finger sketched out the flight path he wanted. “Find those artillery pieces—your Star is loaded with cluster and inferno bombs?”

“Aff.”

“Set the woods ablaze, Star Captain. Star Commander Baba, follow her in and hammer the woods with your full load. Reserve Artillery Trinary—engage in counter-battery fire!”

“Aff.” "Aff." "Aff."

“Knife Dance Keshik skirt the woods to the south—25th Cuirassier to the north. Whip-Tail, advance head-on once the bombing run is completed.”

“Aff.”

The Scorpions moved out quickly and precisely as eight Zulus screamed past, loosing their drag-retarded bomb loads over the woods. Blossoms of inferno gel erupted in smoky plumes as the cluster bombs tore apart the trees and vehicles—and the dry underbrush and timber ignited in a firestorm. A firestorm that grew in intensity as a full star of heavy-weight Huns followed, unleashing their own bomb loads and pouring PPC fire blindly into the thick wode.

“Scorpion OmniMechs advance into the fire! Elementals move to engage the artillery!”

The OmniMechs moved in through the blaze, trusting in their heavy heat sink loads to deal with the flames. The entire forest was criss-crossed with interlocking bunkers for infantry, razor wire, dug-in positions for tanks, and mines—but the New Bergen Armored Brigade had not expected the sudden incendiary attack from the air. Entire companies of infantrymen were cremated where they stood as the white-hot gel showered down upon them; the mines detonated from the heat; the vehicles were blackened and burnt out—but it was only the first line. Had the militia stayed in their defenses in the second and third lines, they might have slowed the Scorpions—but panic set in amongst them and they abandoned the fortifications to flee. And were cut to ribbons by APG and cluster LB-X fire, even as the internal combustion tanks exploded at the touch of heavy energy weapons.

“Knife Dance actual, Gamma Recon Lead—eight Thumper, four Sniper at grid coordinates 15-214-100. Supported by heavy tanks and missile carriers.” A dull explosion resounded over the radio. “And air-defense. Returning to base to refuel and rearm.”

“Aff, Gamma Recon Lead. Reserve Artillery Alpha—pour it on that target until you exhaust your munitions, then return to the DropShips and reload.”

“Aff.”

“Star Colonel Myers, I want the 25th to take those artillery vehicles at the run—recover your Elementals and eliminate them. Star Colonel Dinour—break into stars and form a skirmish line to uncover additional ambushes. Your target is the capital city—do not stop unless you run into overwhelming resistance.”

“Aff.” “Aff.”

“Knife Dance—press the attack against these tanks! Do not let them escape!”

Nikolai pushed his Summoner II forward, his weapons spitting death towards the fleeing Rasalhague tanks and infantry.

Not bad for two hours work, the Khan thought as he pressed the throttle forward to the stops.


Last edited by master arminas on Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:33 pm 
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Stratego
Stratego

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2001 8:00 pm
Posts: 10855
Location: Ft. Hood Texas
This is going along amazingly! Can't wait to see what happens next...this would be really good to see play out to what ever the end game is going to be. Again much better then a lot of the canon stuff...A LOT BETTER and makes more sense.

_________________
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: Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:03 pm 
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Major General
Major General

Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2001 8:00 pm
Posts: 759
Location: Hope Mills, NC
The combat really flows and it makes sense to me. I could not keep it all straight in my head.

_________________
Khan John Edwards
Trueborn Warrior

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

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


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:33 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Resistance Cell, Estwyk
New Bergen, Clan Goliath Scorpion Occupation Zone
August 18, 3043


“How can we fight them, Gunthar?” asked one of the men gathered in the basement of the former nobleman’s home. “They destroyed our defenses and militia in a single day! And now they have brought down these . . . these Constabulary units, and they are everywhere!” Lars Nielson raised his arm, and pointed out the codex he had been issued. “And all of us have to wear these things; they might be able to track us with them!”

“Our fathers and grand-fathers fought the Kuritas, Lars; we can and will fight these Scorpions,” Gunthar Hitchens answered calmly. “New Bergen’s people won’t forget that these occupiers are not of Rasalhague—they will fight, and they will resist.”

A third man snorted. “And they will die, Gunthar. Have you paid no attention to what this Clan has instituted since they arrived? They outlawed all existing currency, and replaced it with these so-called Scorpion-bills. But they are not bills; no, everything is now electronic, through this codex they have forced us wear. And they provided a 1.5-1 exchange on existing saving accounts and people voluntarily turning in their currency! Their Khan met with the leaders of each city, and told them of how other Clans treated their new conquests—he frightened them into accepting Scorpion rule with nary a protest! It has not helped that he has tread but little on the people here—and he removed all charges for education and health care!” Erik Storn, shook his head. “Other than a few changes in the laws that govern us, they have done nothing to provoke the people of New Bergen—except the removal of nobles like you from power.”

“Aye,” the fourth man spoke up, an older man who had fought for Rasalhague independence. “These Scorpions do not attend our services or join the congregations, but they have made no effort to shut down the kirks. He has promised that any integration into their caste system will be slow—over a generation; and while some resent wearing a codex, for others it is less of a burden than all of the associated papers and wallets we used to carry—especially under the Snakes. They brought in twenty-thousand of their own civilian castes, and are upgrading our infrastructure. Every home will have power, they have promised; every child will be educated to the limit of his ability to learn. And they have done away with all of the conflicting laws and regulations passed by the Elected Prince! They even retained our local magistrates and sheriffs; and I need not remind you of how the women reacted when they rushed Magdalene’s daughter into surgery and saved her life—then shot the hospital administrator who had turned them away because they couldn’t afford the treatment!”

Erik snorted, as he quoted Nikolai Djerassi. “All Scorpions will have whatever medical treatment they need—and you are now Scorpions. Putting profit ahead of health care is an evil we have long done away with!”

Lars nodded. “You believe that will not resonate among the people, Gunthar?”

“I built that damned hospital—I have the right to earn back what I invested!” the nobleman snarled.

“Yes, you do,” the fifth man said calmly. “But you won’t until we force these Scorpions from our world. We need people—angry people—who are willing to die for the cause of liberty. And I know where we can secure the materials for bombs.”

The old man winced. “Olaf, indiscriminate bombings will kill our own people as well.”

“Yes. They are peasants and collaborators—but we can blame it on the Scorpion reprisals. If we play this correctly, we can incite the entire city to rise up and overthrow them once their forces leave.”

“At least some of their Constabulary will remain, Olaf,” warned Erik. “And I think you may well be overestimating how willing the average New Bergen is willing to cast away this . . . egalitarianism the Scorpions espouse. ‘Among the Scorpions,’ Khan Djerassi says, ‘a man holds high office or great power not because of birth, but through merit. All Scorpions have the same opportunity to rise—or fall—depending upon their quality and character.’ Many here didn’t like the nobility that Magnusson installed—they would prefer trying a new system that doesn’t rob them blind at every turn.”

“Then they are traitors!” Gunthar thundered. “My family earned its place; my House was charged with New Bergen as our fief, and I will be damned if I just give it up to the unwashed masses!”

Erik glowered at the former ruler of New Bergen. “If you had not ordered the militia to attack them in a foolish cavalry charge—a head-on assault!—and let them encounter our fortifications instead, we might not be having this discussion.”

“It was a sound plan, Erik—General Stavanger agreed.”

“Stavanger is dead; we have only your word for what he agreed to, Gunthar. But I believe the plan was to ambush them at close range, melt away, and repeat it again and again and again—only you got impatient and demanded the 3rd and 4th Volunteers sweep away the invaders. I heard that from your own former butler.”

“And so? I paid for those militia—I paid for those useless vehicles! And if they have been worth a half c-bill, they would have crushed this so-called Khan. They outnumbered him four-to-one!”

Erik winced and the old man shook his head. “Numbers do not equate to victory, Gunthar. I served my time in the Rasalhague Regulars of old—I know well that fact. You do not.”

“And your time is well past, Hans. Go back to the nursing home, and let real men lead this resistance,” Gunthar snapped.

The old man’s blue eyes turned ice-cold and he glowered at Gunthar with such force the younger man looked away.

Olaf cleared his throat, and the tension in the room slowly ebbed. “The hospital will be our first target—bombs will destroy the main part of the building, but we will ‘discover’ the paperwork that shows the Scorpions are sterilizing our people in the ruins.”

Hans spat on the floor. “You would kill our own people, to regain your power? Both of you are monsters, and I will have nothing to do with this.”

“Take care, old man,” snarled Gunthar. “You are either on our side, or you stand on theirs! Lars? Erik? Are you with me and Olaf or not?”

Lars slowly nodded his head, but Erik shook his and he stood beside Hans. “No. We will resist the Scorpions, but we will not kill our own people to do it. And neither will you three.”

“And how do you plan on stopping us?”

Erik smiled. “Lars was right. The codex each of us wear has a tracking device—and a radio transmitter. Mine has been active this entire meeting.”

Shocked expressions came over all four of the other men, but before another word could be spoken, the doors to the street above were kicked in and a stream of heavily armed Scorpion Constabulary flooded into the basement. Lars, Gunthar, and Olaf were quickly handcuffed and removed—neither Erik or Hans were so much as touched. The three noblemen were dragged outside, and their screams ended with the chatter of sub-machine gun fire.

And then Nikolai Djerassi walked down the steps into the basement. “I thank you, Erik Eriksson; I do not mind fighting with those who disagree with me,” he nodded to Hans, “but those who indiscriminately slaughter the innocent and unarmed are reprehensible and without any sense of honor.”

“I will resist you,” the old warrior said. And Nikolai smiled. “I look forward to it, Hans Petrovich. You two are free to go about your business.”

“You are not going to shoot us as well?” Hans asked suspiciously.

“Neg. I will shoot you if you act in a violent fashion against Scorpion rule—but today both of you stood up to them. I kill when I must, Warrior Hans, and when it is not required I do not kill. I take no pleasure in the deaths of others; especially the death of a former Warrior who has much which to teach the next generation. I could use a man like you—New Bergen could use a man like you, Hans Petrovich.”

“I think I will wait, Khan Djerassi. Perhaps your occupation will be short-lived.”

“Perhaps. Perhaps not. But in the meantime, you would deprive the youth of this world the legacy of your experience; you have much to teach—and not much time remaining to impart those lessons. If you reconsider, there will be a slot open for you in the New Bergen sibko that my Constabulary is organizing. Good day, gentlemen.”

And the Scorpion Khan turned, ascended the stars, and left.

“Erik,” the old man whispered, “I believe that our troubles are only just starting.” The younger man only nodded.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:27 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Goliath Scorpion Field Headquarters, Estwyk
New Bergen, Clan Goliath Scorpion Occupation Zone
August 20, 3043


The chamber darkened as Nikolai’s guards closed the doors behind them. The dim lights were to ensure that the holographic projections of the Khans forthcoming conference had the proper contrast, Nikolai—along with Randall Posavatz, his saKhan—waited patiently until the projector sprung into life.

One by one, the images of his fellow Khans and saKhans appeared, along with the ilKhan in their center. At last Yvonne nodded sharply. “Wave I is now officially completed. Wave II will commence on September 8th. I was somewhat taken aback by the lack of organized resistance—many of the units that Silver Sable reported on these worlds are gone, Khan Djerassi; quiaff?”

“Aff, ilKhan Hazen. I warned this Council that the information on these worlds in particular was three years old—and thus subject to change.”

“So you did,” she purred in answer. “There are number of matters which require our attention today; first, Khan Crichell you requested leave to speak.”

“Thank you, ilKhan. I wish to protest the manner in which the Adders, the Bears, the Horses, the Mandrills, and the Wolves have disregarded the operational plans to date! They struck all of their worlds on the opening day of the Invasion—casting the remainder of us who followed the plan as overly cautious. Further, all of those Clans—except the Mandrills—activated their Reserves! What folly is this?”

“The folly that has us ready to launch Wave II today, Khan Crichell,” answered Ulric Kerensky. “ilKhan Hazen, the operational plan for Revival called for the invasion of those worlds on or before the date listed. We simply went before the date—and hence had a greater amount of time to pacify these worlds than the Falcons, Jaguars, or Vipers!”

Khan Andrews shook her head. “You showed yourselves as cowards! You admitted to every other Clan your weakness by relying upon your Reserves in such a fashion—ilKhan I demand that these Clans be censured—and their Invasion zones divided amongst the True Clans of Kerensky!”

At least half of the Khans and saKhans present laughed. Marion Truscott shook his head. “The Steel Viper does not seem to realize that no such censure would pass—and as our ilKhan has repeatedly said in the past, whether or not an active Clan makes use of its Reserve is at the sole discretion of that Clan! My Khans, this is an internal matter, not one worthy of the Grand Council!”

“Indeed,” added Ulric Kerensky. “And there is true business to discuss here. Khan Tseng; as the world of Unzmarkt lies directly on the border between our Invasion Corridors, I claim the right to bid for its inclusion in the Wolf Zone!”

Amanda smiled. “Very well, Khan Kerensky. I will play your game, shall we start the bidding with my Delta Galaxy?”

“ilKhan! My motion has not been answered!” screamed the Viper Khan. But Yvonne only frowned.

“Control yourself, Khan Andrews—but the Vipers are correct. How do my Khans cast the vote: yea to censure the Adders, Bears, Horses, Wolves, and their associated Reserve Clans, or nay?”

After a short round of votes, it stood at 10 yeas and 22 nays—the Mandrills having, for once, having voted unanimously (perhaps in fear of having their own actions censured in turn), and joined by the still-in-reserve Diamond Sharks and Nova Cats. “The motion not being carried, there will be no censure of the Clans in question. Now . . .” she said with a smile as she turned to face Amanda and Ulric. “There is a bid by Clan Ghost Bear of one full Galaxy to take the world of Unzmarkt—how do the Wolves respond?”

“We bid the Red Keshik, the 11th Wolf Guards, and the 4th Striker Cluster!”

Whispered mutterings circled the room, for the Wolves response was half that of the Bears, but Amanda was quick to reply.

“Jorgensson’s Keshik and the 68th Striker Cluster.”

“Trinary Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta of the 4th Striker.”

“Bargained well and done, Khan Kerensky,” answered Amanda. “I wish you success.”

Ulric smiled.

“The Wolves have added Unzmarkt to their Wave II assignments—with a bid of four Trinary to take the system,” Yvonne proclaimed, and she shook her head as the Viper Khan again rose. “Khan Andrews?”

“The Vipers bid Trinary Alpha of the 1st Viper Guards to claim Ridderkerk from our shared border with the Wolves—we also bid Trinary Alpha of the 2nd Viper Guards to claim Winfield from the Horses!”

Now, there was a sharp inhalation of air—one Trinary might be enough; if those worlds had not received reinforcements. Yvonne’s eyes narrowed. “You have bid well below the cut-down, Khan Andrews—I would advise you not to endanger the Invasion.”

“It is my right! And my Vipers need no tricks nor a reserve to gain victory!”

“Khan Kerensky?”

“We offer no bid—the Vipers are free to take Ridderkerk if they are that committed to it.”

“Khan Fletcher?”

“ilKhan, the Horses will not challenge the Vipers at this time. We reserve the right to invade the system if the Vipers fail in their attack, however. Take that world, Khan Andrews; take it and choke upon it.”

“I will show you how a true Clan fights!”

Fletcher laughed. “I hope so, Khan Andrews—my latest intelligence from our scout ships in system indicate that Winfield’s Brigade has returned to their home system. They are an elite Regiment under the command of Leftenant General Davis Winfield; you will be facing no mere militia.”

The blood drained from Jillian Andrews face. “You did not inform us of that!”

“You hardly gave me time, Khan Andrews. You have bargained . . . poorly, Viper.”

“Enough!” barked Yvonne. “Khan Andrews, you have won the right to assault Winfield; you will conform to your bid—or your will face the Ebon Keshik in battle. You have the option, however, to request hegira from the minefield in which you find yourself—I would suggest highly that you do so.”

“No! We will take that world; the Steel Vipers do not fear these . . . barbarians!”

Yvonne shook her head, and even ardent Crusaders were staring at Jillian Andrews in disbelief. “My Khans, are there any additional matters to discuss today?”

Amanda Tseng cleared her throat. “I would inform the Grand Council that Clans Ghost Bear and Goliath Scorpion will be launching Wave II on August 26th—two weeks earlier than the deadline presented.”

Shouts of protest rose up, but a few Khans—Ulric, Jake, and Marion nodded their approval. “ORDER!” bellowed Yvonne. “I would advise you against this course of action, Khan Tseng, Khan Djerassi—but it is your Invasion Corridor. Will you hitting all of your targets again, quiaff?”

“Neg, ilKhan. We will be striking against Rasalhague with two full Galaxies of Bears supported by a Galaxy of Scorpions. The remainder of Wave II will proceed on schedule.”

“Three Galaxies? Rasalhague is a capital world, Khan Tseng, but three Galaxies?” sputtered an incredulous Khan Showers.

“Aff, Khan Showers. They will have certainly reinforced their capital—and I shall take no chances in this contest.” Amanda smiled at Jillian. “While I am confident of my Warriors—and those of Khan Djerassi—to seize this world with far less strength; I am reminded of one of the Great Father’s saying to Nicholas Kerensky as he instructed the Founder in his youth: ‘It is better to have five hundred ‘Mechs you do not need, my son, than to need fifty ‘Mechs you do not have’.”

The conference was silent for a moment, and Nikolai smiled at Amanda, who nodded. She had used the old quote he had found for her after all. And at last, Yvonne nodded. “Very well—we will be watching. Any further matters of which to attend?” she paused, but no one spoke up. “We are adjourned.”


Last edited by master arminas on Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:26 pm 
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Location: Hope Mills, NC
Simply amazing and brilliant.

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

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:04 pm 
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it was said that a "cavalry attack" of those vehicles was not the ideal tactic. i agree, maybe it would have been effective when the attackers would have been bound by a defensive line. but not at the point when it was started. and i would equip such vehicles with one shot rocket launchers instead of SRMs...but of course they had to use what they had.

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:40 pm 
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Royal Palace, The Triad, Tharkad City
Tharkad, Lyran Commonwealth, Federated Commonwealth
August 22, 3043


Hanse woke with a start, and he took a moment to catch his breath. The bed that he and Melissa shared was empty on her half, but he could see the faint illumination of light coming from her private study. He swung his feet out of the bed, and shivered as they hit the cold flagstones; he quickly found his slippers and then pulled on a warm robe that he belted tight against his taut frame.

He crossed the room and eased the door open, and Melissa turned away from a map hanging on the wall and smiled at him. “I couldn’t sleep, Hanse,” she said and she turned back towards the multi-colored image that highlighted the projections of the Clan’s next two waves. “Twenty more worlds—and we aren’t putting up a fight on any but a handful,” she whispered. “Thirty-nine lost members of the Commonwealth. We need to be doing more.”

Hanse stepped up behind his wife and he put his arms around her and held her tight. “We are, love. These Wave II worlds are lost—we know that. But each has some form of a defense; more really than we can afford. I know, I know, I was the one who insisted that the 39th Avalon Hussars remain in place to get a feel for the attacker—and we lost all of them. Right now, we’ve got elements of ten RCTs on those worlds, Melissa, every last one of them volunteers. They know they have to bleed the Clans.”

“Before they die,” the Archon whispered.

“Before they die,” her husband echoed in a whisper. “Wave III is where we really start the defense—fifty BattleMech Regiments, more than a hundred regiments of armor, two hundred of infantry, and seventy battalions of artillery. Spread across twenty-two worlds. And we have had the time to build the fortifications—this is where we stop them.”

“And if they break through?”

“They won’t.”

“If they do, Hanse?”

“We are assembling another force—an even larger force—at Pandora and La Grave. And those Regiments are getting the first of the new production straight from Hesperus II and Coventry and New Avalon and Talon/Wernke and Oliver. And all of the other factory worlds. And by that time, we will have done our job to bleed them—and then it is Jaime Wolf’s turn to go on the offensive.”

“I went to school with Davis Winfield, you know,” she said quietly. “He wanted to be a history teacher, but his father insisted he take a commission and carry on the family name. He’s one of your volunteers in Wave II, Hanse.”

“I know,” the Fox whispered and he kissed his wife’s hair softly.

“What about this operation General Winston briefed us on? Will it make that much of a difference?”

“Trust me, love,” Hanse Davion said, “if we can destroy their supplies in Chainelaine, it will be well worth losing all twenty of the Regiments we are sending with Ariana. It is that important.”

“So another forlorn hope?”

“They might have only garrison forces there, Melissa—they might not. But if they do, the regiments we are sending might be able to get in and get out—maybe even with a few DropShip loads of those supplies they have stockpiled. But for that operation, speed and mobility counts—that is why we only gave Ariana ‘Mech regiments, not RCTs.”

“And you appointed Stephen as the second-in-command,” she whispered back.

“Aye. He’ll bring back the Armored Cavalry if anyone can—and if he can’t he will give the Clanners pure Hell until they put him down.”

“Aunt Nondi is having a fit—I told her we needed to replace those four regiments in Wolf’s Grand Army. She still thinks the entire thing is a ruse and he is going to come after us.”

“He had the chance five years ago to kill all of us on Northwind, Melissa.”

“I know that—but I will let you convince Nondi.”

Hanse chuckled. “That woman hates me worse than the Clans, Melissa. If I told her Tharkad was cold, she’d go outside in a bikini just to prove me wrong.”

Melissa started to laugh, and then she punched Hanse in the ribs with her elbow—lightly. “Don’t make me laugh when I’m being serious!”

She leaned back into her husbands arms and she slowly nodded. “So this is how Mother—and you—felt in the 4th War?”

“Every time I’ve sent men to their deaths, I’ve prayed it was the last time, Melissa. Maybe this will be the last time I have to do this—you have to do this.”

“Amen,” she answered. And the two just stood there, holding each other in front of the map.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:30 am 
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would hanse davion refer to the worlds as "wave II" and "wave III" worlds ?

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:54 pm 
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In a simple word Yes. Everything in the military is in a zone or lane and Wave is the most common term.

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Quote:
would hanse davion refer to the worlds as "wave II" and "wave III" worlds ?
As Khanjohn said, yes. I probably should have said "first wave", "second wave", "third wave" to make the distinctions clear. But clearly Hanse is familar with the term "wave" from his own 4th Succession War. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:05 pm 
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it just struck me he used the same term that the clans used.
btw.: i have made a post under the vehicles section. the STAG u posted there is armed with a 4-tube SRM, not 6.

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:32 pm 
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Quote:
Quote:
would hanse davion refer to the worlds as "wave II" and "wave III" worlds ?
As Khanjohn said, yes. I probably should have said "first wave", "second wave", "third wave" to make the distinctions clear. But clearly Hanse is familar with the term "wave" from his own 4th Succession War. :D

MA
Oops.

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:42 pm 
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
DropShip Knife Dance Alpha, Upper Atmosphere
Rasalhague, Free Rasalhague Republic
August 26, 3043


The Scorpion-class troop carrier shivered as it dropped like a stone through the upper reaches of Rasalhague’s atmosphere. But Nikolai was well used to such high-speed entries and he ignored the groans and creaks coming from the stressed structural members, the pops and snaps of equipment as the glowing outer hull tried desperately to shed its heat on those within.

The Khan ignored all of that and he waited until the static cleared from his display and showed that the DropShip had passed through the communications blackout of reentry. They certainly had spirit, he thought, as he watched the icons of Rasalhagi aerospace fighters and assault ships vanish from the small display—but they didn’t die alone. Bear and Scorpion aerospace fighter casualties were a full twenty percent higher than anticipated—and Nikolai fully expected their reserves were waiting for an opportune moment.

But WarShips were stationed at every known proximity point—although few JumpShips had been captured; instead they fled the moment that the Clans began to emerge. Good enough, Nikolai thought, that they are not here to evacuate their troops from the surface. A light on his command console suddenly glowed a brilliant crimson and Nikolai touched a control on the edge of the monitor; it retracted into a slot built obediently.

Knife Dance Actual,” the voice of the DropShip commander called out, “we have another wave of Rasalhagi fighters inbound. Our pilots are engaging, but there could be leakers—we are dropping your forces early.

“Acknowledged,” Nikolai answered as he tightened the straps which held him in place one last time. The red light began to slowly flash as the bay door covering the drop chute was retracted and the howl of the wind filled the bay. The Khan jerked as the machinery lifted his seventy-ton Summoner II and its cubicle like a toy and locked into place. A miniaturized systems schematic showed that four other OmniMechs were in position, along with the two fighters and ten Elemental infantry of his Command Trinary. Seven more OmniMechs waited their turn, and then the red light blinked rapidly three times and went out. An emerald light replaced it—and Nikolai’s stomach lurched as the catapult fired him and ‘Mech away from the DropShip at a sharp angle. The Khan kept his hands away from the controls as the computer automatically stabilized the OmniMech, plunging downwards with ever increasing velocity.

One after the other, the five jump jets fired in sequence keeping the ‘Mech upright and slowing its descent. Far above him, Nikolai could see faint traces of the crimson lasers burning outwards form the now so tiny DropShip, and in the distance there was a puff of smoke as a fighter—either one of his Scorpions or a Rasalhagi defender—exploded under the pounding of beams and shells. Then the ‘Mech plunged into the thick cloud cover and Nikolai could see nothing outside his red-lit cockpit but the drops of condensing water on the outer surface of his canopy. He was coming down far to the east of his assigned drop-zone, and it appeared that he would be the last to make rendevous. He smiled; no plan survives contact with the enemy, he thought.

The jets were firing for longer and longer durations, as the ground below rapidly approached, but his airspeed was slowing, Nikolai noted. Still, he kept his hands clenched tightly on his safety harness, trusting in the computer to do its job. The fuel gauges on the external tanks harnessed to his Summoner II were dropping precipitously, and now the jets did not slacken their full-throated roar. Suddenly a warning light began to blink as hostile sensors began to reflect off the surface of his 'Mech. Nikolai activated his Summoner II Primes ECM Suite and set his anti-missile system to auto-engage as he passed through 800 meters and exited the clouds.

Stravag!” Nikolai cursed as he saw the collection of Rasalhague ‘Mechs and tanks beneath him. Now he grabbed the controls and adjusted his course to slid behind the shelter of a low ridge; thankfully, the Rasalhagi were as startled as he was! That didn't keep them from flushing missiles at him as he passed just within range, but the combination of the inclement weather (drizzling rain), the electronic screams of the ECM Suite, the range, and the rate of his descent towards the ground and away from the troops below combined to generate misses for all but one flight, which his AMS tore into with a vengeance. Still three surviving missiles made it through and started the 'Mech spinning as they struck the right hip.

Nikolai stood on his jump jet pedals and he pulled out of the spin, and slammed into the ground hard at a full run, just as the last of the external fuel was consumed. Almost without thinking, Nikolai cut out his jump jets and jettisoned the external tanks—and he brought his guns on-line, and launched a remote sensor pod. He activated the assembly beacon and it began singing the siren song to his trothkin as the Khan of Clan Goliath Scorpion took aim and fired an ER PPC bolt into the bow of the Patton tank adorned with the crest of Hansen’s Roughriders as it crested the ridge. These weren't Rasalhagi troops!

Four Warrior H-7 helicopters slid over the ridge further to the south, and they began firing burst after burst of light autocannon fire towards Nikolai as he continued to back up. The Scorpion swiveled his torso and pressed the firing stud, and the two surviving VTOLs quickly pulled back out of range. The console beeped, and Nikolai looked down at the information streaming across the telemetry feed to the sensor pod—which suddenly ended as one of the mercenaries shot it. Discretion is the better part of valor, he told himself firmly as he ceased backing up and fired his jump jets to clear another ridge—and saw with his own eyes the masses of ‘Mechs and tanks and infantry now forming up in pursuit, before he turned and began to run after hitting the ground.

“Knife Dance Actual to all Scorpion and Bear units. Confirm elements of at least six mercenary regiments on planet. Repeat at least six mercenary regiments. Rock Minders and Knife Dance Keshik form up on my location at grid coordinates 23-1074-441.” Nikolai transmitted the sensor data—including the unit crests of all three regiments of the Lexington Combat Group, the 21st Centauri Lancers, Narhal’s Raiders, and Hansen’s Roughriders.

Knife Dance Actual, Ourse Actual,” Amanda Tseng’s voice came over the radio. “Golden Bears and Night Howlers are engaged with KungsArmee elements outside the capital.” She paused and then her voice came back. “That is thirty kilometers from your assigned drop-zone, Knife Dance Actual, quiaff.

“Aff. We had to drop early and I was the first out of the DropShips—and landed the furthest east.”

We are heavily engaged, Knife Dance Actual—do you require assistance?

“Neg, Ourse Actual,” Nikolai answered as a Gauss slug slammed into the rocky ridgeline he was crossing; he jumped again, turning 360-degrees and his ER PPC spat a bolt that blew the turret off of the Vedette-class medium tank that shot at him! Hah! But he didn’t tarry. “I have five Clusters, Ourse Actual—if I cannot handle six regiments of mercenaries with that, then I need to die today.”

Acknowledged, Knife Dance Actual,” Amanda replied with a chuckle. “Just remember what you told me about over-confidence—often enough it turns around to bite you in the ass. Ourse Actual out.

Oh, Amanda, he thought as he weaved and dodged and stayed one step ahead of his pursuers. I am confident my Scorpions can defeat these mercenaries—whether I live to see it happen or not is quite another matter. An amber light on his console lit, and Nikolai smiled. “Reserve Artillery Alpha, I have a fire mission for you—FASCAM on my current position in line north-to-south, six salvoes, extend it for two kilometers,” his finger traced the box on the touchscreen between his knees. “Mark.”

Shot,” replied his artillery commander. Nikolai smiled, the rest of his Scorpions should be massing just ahead of him.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:45 pm 
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Trinary Command, 14th Scorpion Hussars
Rasalhague, Free Rasalhague Republic
August 26, 3043


Almost a score of scarlet icons on the display screen circled around a single golden unit, and saKhan Randall Posavatz pressed the throttle of his Stormcrow II-A forward again; but the OmniMech was already at maximum power. Spread out to either side of the second-ranking officer of Clan Goliath Scorpion were the rest of the fast light and medium OmniMechs of the 14th Hussars, trailed in the distance by 8th Dragoons, the Knife Dance Keshik, and then the 24th and 25th Cuirassier. Just a few moments longer, my Khan, he thought as he weaved in and out amongst the strands of forest and jumped over obstacles that would slow his progress.

He raced up to the top of a steep ridge, and now he could see the fight with his own naked eyes. Nikolai’s Summoner II had stopped running and it was squaring off against nearly twenty ‘Mechs built for pursuit: three Phoenix Hawks, an Assassin, a Clint, two Vulcans, two Firestarters, a Jenner, an ancient Falcon, four Stingers, and four Wasps. Five more ‘Mechs were lagging behind (a Cicada, a Hermes II, and three Locusts), their lack of jump jets having separated them from the ad-hoc mercenary force sent after the Khan.

And yet more hostiles were just now entering the range of Randall’s sensors.

That did not matter, of course; the saKhan snorted with derision. What mattered was to keep the Khan alive—then the Scorpions would defeat these enemies in detail. Randal raised his arms and targeted the closest Phoenix Hawk. He could hear the buzz of the fire control computer as it locked onto the antiquated machine and he squeezed his twin triggers. The brilliant beam of an ER Large Laser tore across the torso and shoulder of the unsuspecting ‘Mech, even as the LB-10X autocannon thundered in fury sending a pattern of cluster munitions down-range that erupted in explosions across the chest, upper legs and arms of the scout leader.

Randall snarled as the remainder of the Scorpion Warriors picked out their own targets—only eighteen of the Hussars fired, each one picking a different enemy below. Randall charged down the hill and his thumb activated the radio transmitter on a wide-band non-encrypted frequency.

“FREE-BIRTH!” he bellowed. “Have you no honor in battle? Are you that barbaric that you must outnumber your foe nineteen-to-one in order to still lose against a worthy opponent? Today, you face the Scorpions! I, Randall Posavatz, saKhan of Clan Goliath Scorpion, face you today! Flee, you cowards! Flee in shame and cringe in terror at what you have brought upon yourselves!” He squeezed the triggers again, and once more the Phoenix Hawk below rocked under the assault—then he pressed a second thumb switch and an ER Medium Laser lanced out to add its measure of destruction to the carnage ripping apart the ‘Mech below. Steam rose in the cockpit and Randall blinked away a few beads of sweat, but the powerful cooling system quickly compensated for the heat spikes.

The mercenaries began to withdraw—but the appearance of the 14th Scorpion Hussars, named Swift Retribution—had been too sudden, the firepower disparity had flipped overwhelmingly in the Clan’s favor, and fully half of their ‘Mechs crumpled to the ground at the first exchange of fire. The Scorpions were in no mood to allow their foes to escape either, and the Hussars kept pace with the fleeing enemy, pouring fire into the pursuit force with a vengeance.

Randall fired a third time, leaving the autocannon to cool, but the two lasers were enough to finish off the Phoenix Hawk. He walked up besides his Khan’s heavier and slower Summoner II. “Needed help with only nineteen-to-one odds, my Khan? Are you slipping in your old age?”

Nikolai chuckled; his armor was deeply gouged and blackened with missile impacts and laser fire and the star-patterned penetrations of autocannon shells—even a few splintered patches from machine-guns and scorch marks from flamers adorned the heavy OmniMech. “Pull the Hussars back to the far side of the ridge, Randall,” he ordered quietly. “There is a lot of firepower out there hoping they get too close.”

“Aff,” he answered and he barked the orders out—and the Hussars broke off their pursuit and pulled back . “I sent in two recon flights—their air defense is good, my Khan. Three of the fighters were shot down, but the fourth indentified several batteries of artillery. I had Reserve Artillery Alpha send them a opening gift.”

“The Bears?” Nikolai asked he jogged his OmniMech over the crest of the ridge and into the sheltering valley beyond.

“Fighting the KungsArmee for every inch of ground in Reykjavik against six regiments of regulars and a hodge-podge of mercenary battalions and companies nearly equal in size to what we are facing off against. And they reported a single Capellan regiment as part of the defense.”

Nikolai stopped. “Did you say a Capellan Confederation unit is defending the capital of the Free Rasalhague Republic?”

“I did, and so say the Bears. They identified the Capellans as Kingston’s Legionnaires.”

“Curiouser and curiouser,” Nikolai whispered. “I expected an increase in the defense, Randall—I did not expect nearly nineteen regiments, exclusive of militia. Still, that is for later. When our complete force has assembled, we are taking the fight to these mercenaries—we cannot allow them to link up with the defenders of Reykjavik.”

“Twenty minutes, and The Rock Minders will be massed, my Khan. What of our planned objective?”

“The enemy is here, so the battle is here as well,” Nikolai answered. “Taking our assigned objective will not matter if this force can consolidate within the sprawl of Reykjavik. Status on our fighters?”

“Rearming and refueling,” the saKhan paused. “We lost over thirty in the landings. A full fifth of our air cover.”

“It cannot be helped now; luckily we have a point of supply relatively close by, saKhan. When will they be available?”

“Thirty minutes . . . but the DropShips had to return to orbit with our supplies.”

Nikolai winced. “At least the majority of our OmniMechs utilize lasers and PPCs, but our artillery . . .”

“Is down to twelve more fire missions.”

“We will try to land the supplies again once we begin our attack—their own fighters will be torn between saving their parent formations or savaging our DropShips. Pass the word to the DropShip commanders and crews—they are to land regardless of opposition this time.”

“Aff, my Khan.”

“And Randall?”

“Yes, my Khan?”

“The odds started out at twenty-four-to-one; you will find my five kills scattered between here and my initial landing point.”

saKhan Posavatz began to laugh.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:08 pm 
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Scorpion Field Headquarters
Rasalhague, Free Rasalhague Republic
August 26, 3043


The rain had finally stopped and the clouds parted to reveal the sun half concealed on the horizon as it slowly set. Eleven straight hours of maneuver and skirmish and counter-maneuvers had led to this. The enemy had learned—rather quickly—that the Scorpions could out-march and out-flank him at will. And his one attempt to break through to the beleaguered Rasalhague capital forty-five kilometers distance away had been repulsed with heavy losses in his lead elements. So instead of attacking head-on, the commander on the opposite side had instead withdrawn by overwatch elements, his flanks protected by artillery fire and hastily laid minefields.

But now he had stopped running and Nikolai frowned as he considered the ground that his enemy had chosen to defend. The high ridge on the other side of the wide valley was the tallest and steepest that the Khan had yet seen on Rasalhague, nearly a bluff in places. Some of their vehicles had required the engineers to winch them up the final few meters to the heavily forested crest. But leading up to the steep slopes was long gradually sloping field some 2,000 or so meters across with no cover other than a few ragged bushes and rain-fed grass perhaps waist high on a man.

To the north, a raging river flowed down from the not-so-distant mountains and their glaciers, and it protected that flank with a deep ravine which the water had worn away through solid stone over the eons. It wasn’t so wide that most of Nikolai’s OmniMech couldn’t jump it—but it was wide enough that none of his heaviest units, or his Elementals, had the reach. Several ancient moss-covered moraines, evidence of the planets distant glaciations, bordered the bluff on the south, even steeper and more treacherous than the frontal approach. And behind the bluff, the foothills of the mountains beyond extended down.

“Our enemy knows good terrain, quiaff?” Nikolai asked.

“Aff, my Khan,” Randall answered. “He is concentrated up there and set up to gun us down as we cross the fields—but he has no line of retreat, not for his tanks and support elements. We do have Serket in orbit.”

“Neg,” Nikolai replied sharply. “I will not be the Khan who opens that can of worms, Randall. And they just might have an escape route after all—the maps show there is a pass behind them, leading up and over this stretch of mountains. Narrow and tight—the perfect terrain for them to defend in.”

If they can get their vehicles up there; some of those elevation changes are pretty steep, my Khan.”

“No, their commander is smart, saKhan. Aerial recon showed that he had a supply base set up here—I am willing to wager that he was already having his engineers work on that pass before we ever arrived, just in case he had to withdraw.”

The saKhan grunted. “If he gets up in the mountains and through that pass, we will be fighting an insurgency on the sea coast for weeks. And with the number of boats down there, they could redeploy anywhere on this half of the continent.”

“Aff,” Nikolai answered as he considered the problem. “saKhan Posavatz, I want you to pull all the Deathstalkers from the 24th, 25th, and the Knife Dance. That gives you thirty-five OmniMechs. I am attaching seven Stars of Elementals to your command as well. Board ship and redeploy to here,” Nikolai tapped the very center of that long, narrow pass on the map with his finger. “You will have disembark on the other side of the mountains and you must move fast to reach that point before they can start their withdrawal, quiaff?”

“Aff.”

“Star Colonel Myers, I am breaking up your 25th to temporarily fill the gaps in the 24th and the Knife Dance Keshik and to bulk up the 8th Dragoons—you will assume command of the 14th Hussars in place of the saKhan. Exchange your OmniMech for his.”

“Aff,” the veteran Star Colonel answered, with only a twinge of regret. Nikolai smiled. “Star Colonels Dinour and Collesano—I want the 8th Dragoons, the 24th Cuirassiers, and my Knife Dance Keshik on their northern flank after night fall. We are going to sweep around wide and hopefully miss any pickets they might have posted; but in case we do not miss them, our Elementals will already have infiltrated those woods and be stationed as our own picket line, 500 meters short of the ravine. Star Colonel Myers, the 14th Hussars are to demonstrate here along the front—keep their attention, but do not get yourself drawn into to a short-range fire-fight, quiaff?”

“Aff.”

“Your elementals will be assigned to the flanking party. Star Captain Wagner. Reserve Artillery Alpha has enough ammunition for three good fights since the DropShips landed, quiaff?”

“Aff.”

“I want it used tonight. I want you to keep their attention focused on the 14th and your artillery ‘Mechs. You will suffer counter-battery fire—and their guns outrange yours. Keep moving and do not let them rest up there; I do not want five minutes to go by without a cluster or inferno warhead landing their midst. Mix it up a bit—keep them guessing and throw in some FASCAMs, Illumination, and Masker rounds.”

“Smoke, my Khan?” the artillery officer asked.

Nikolai smiled. “Smoke—after you drop a couple of loads of riot-gas first.” The Scorpion officers chuckled at the evil idea. “Star Colonel Suvorov—you are now the ranking pilot in Alpha Galaxy, quiaff?”

“Aff,” she answered.

“At precisely 2300 hours, I want every Hun and Zulu we have left to rip through their defenses along the northern flank. Then stand by for on-call airstrikes. Star Captain Wagner, at 2257, you will salvo every tube you have on their defensive lines on the western face until your magazines run dry—make them think that we are coming up and over the bluff. At the same time, I want the 14th to advance in line abreast with your ECM set to deception mode; I want those mercenaries to believe that there are five Clusters of us advancing on them, Star Colonel Wagner. Make them redeploy to face you, but then pull back to defensive position on our ridge here when the airstrike goes in.”

“Aff, my Khan,” the solidly build officer replied, nodding his appreciation for the danger of his role. If the mercenaries up there came after him—without Elementals and neither heavy or assault-weight OmniMechs—he would be in serious trouble.

“The 8th Dragoons, 24th Cuirassier, and Knife Dance will cross the ravine immediately after the fighter strike passes by—with full loads of mechanized Elemental battle armor. Warriors, we are going to get in knife range under the cover of darkness and we will then proceed to tear them apart from the inside out. Quiaff?”

“Aff.”

“saKhan Posavatz—the survivors are going to storm up that pass. You have to be in place to plug that gap and hold.”

“They shall not pass, my Khan,” Randall replied.

“And we will be pushing them, my Scorpions,” Nikolai paused. “We will take heavy casualties, but you must set that aside. Star Colonel Myers—once they start to break, your light elements in the 14th are to meet up with us to keep the pressure on these mercenaries. If I should fall, tactical command will pass to Star Collesano—strategic command will rest with the saKhan.” He looked sternly at his officers one by one and then he firmly nodded. “There is no margin for error here. We win and prove that we are better than they are, or we die. Either way, Warriors, we shall do so as Scorpions.”

“Seyla,” snapped Randall Posavatz.

“SEYLA!” thundered the assembled commanders of Alpha Galaxy. And Nikolai stood up straight. “Randall board ship—have your Warriors get what shuteye they can before you set down in the lower pass on the far side. Everyone else, make certain your men and women get a hot meal and take an hour or so for sleep. The 8th, 24th, and Knife Dance move out in two hours—you have that amount of time to make your preparations. Dismissed.”


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 11:56 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Lexington Combat Group Command
Rasalhague, Free Rasalhague Republic
August 26, 3043


Major General Malcolm Feinman automatically crouched down as he heard the whine of a descending artillery shell, quickly followed by a string of explosions. Hearing no more incoming, he stood back up and watched as his infantry and support teams, bolstered by tankers and MechWarriors from his regiments and the others within the defensive perimeter ran to extinguish the flames before they could spread to the ammunition dumps and possibly detonate those munitions as well.

He made himself walk away and he crouched down low again to enter the bunker dug into the soil of the high bluff. “Thirty-eighth one so far tonight, boss,” his Regimental Sergeant-Major said as he poured the General a cup of coffee.

“They’d do more damage with a sustained time-on-target barrage,” the Regimental adjunct said from his desk. “This tit-for-tat [crap] is getting old real quick.”

Malcolm snorted. “That’s exactly why they are doing it. One round now, another in three minutes, another four minutes, a fourth two minutes afterwards . . . they are trying to wear us down—exhaust us mentally. The boys can’t sleep, not when they keeping dropping a shell here and a shell there. How’s the evacuation?”

The adjunct rubbed his eyes. “The 241st is making their way through the pass, and about half of the support staff are en route as well. Hansen’s Roughriders are next in the queue, followed by the 21st Centauri. Then the 32nd Recon, HQ, and 180th Dragoons. Narhal’s Raiders have volunteered for rear-guards—they are pissed that Matthews bought it and want payback.”

“They stick around too long and they are going to find why vengeance is a dish best served cold,” Malcolm answered as he took a sip of the steaming coffee. Another rocket screamed down outside the command posted, its detonation causing dust to float down from the ceiling.

The adjunct nodded. “Everyone should be on the move by 0330, Sir. Arty is packing up and moving with HQ.”

“Good, our DropShips are on the far side of the mountains—if we can break contact than we might get the unit off-planet,” and our dependents, Malcolm thought but he didn’t say. “How’s air cover look for tomorrow?”

The junior officer winced. “We lost half of our birds today, Sir. Half. In that we got off light; the Raider’s have seven birds left to fly—Hansen and the 21st don’t have any. But the KungsArmee liaison promises that he will have two squadrons of Mechbusters flying cover come dawn.”

“It’ll have to do then,” Malcolm answered as yet another round exploded outside. “In fact . . .” he stopped in mid-sentence as he heard faint screams from outside. “GAS! GAS!”

Dropping the coffee cup, the General dived for his protective gear—along with every other of his men and women in the HQ bunker. Donning the heavy poncho and thick gloves; the stifling hot mask and rubberized hood, he got a thumbs up from the Sergeant-Major and he dashed outside. Breathing in the gear was a major pain, but it was better than the alternative. Outside there was total chaos . . . but while many of his people were coughing and retching, none were twitching on the ground like dying cockroaches.

A screaming volunteer came running past him in a panic and Malcolm grabbed him—the startled enlisted man tried to take a swing, but Malcolm calmly punched him in the gut and ripped off his mask, his eyes tearing immediately from the harsh smell of the tear gas filling the compound.

“Pull yourself together!” the General shouted. “This is riot-gas, you idiot!”

By now, the rest of the command team was outside and officers and NCOs were bringing order to the chaos. “Oh, you are a right bastard,” Malcolm whispered into the dark night. “Tear gas! I’ve got half a mind to load up in my Marauder and go chase down those artillery units.”

“They are too fast—our arty can’t lock them up for counter-battery,” the Sergeant-Major said as he unfastened his own chemical warfare gear. “Although I wouldn’t mind seeing them just start taking out grid squares to send ‘em a message.”

Malcolm shook his head as he crumpled up the hood in his hands. “No, have them return fire just like they are doing now—we don’t have that much ammo to waste trying to plaster every square meter in range in an attempt to put paid to these royal bastards.”

The General coughed as a gust of wind brought the stench of the riot-gas closer. “See if you can speed it up, Ed,” he told the adjunct as he turned and headed back into the bunker.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:22 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Rasalhague, Free Rasalhague Republic
August 26, 3043


After the sun had set, the Scorpions set off, sweeping around wide to avoid detection by the mercenaries dug into the heights above them. It was a complex plan, one that relied on precise timing and perfect execution—but that wasn’t uncommon for the Scorpions! Each Warrior within the Clan had been drilled from an earlier age in the 'Cult of Precision’ as some sarcastically referred to it; every Scorpion on the field today was used to executing movements and maneuvers that relied on exact timing and absolute trust in the Warriors around him.

But Murphy was an unforgiving spectator—and not even the Clans were immune to his evil influence. It all started going awry with a herd of cows and a field of corn.

The Scorpion passed close by a remote farmhouse not on their maps—scans by the scouts indicated that was a civilian structure; there were no military-grade antenna on the roof, nor any signs of combat vehicles or soldiers present; they ignored it. But the thundering sound of more than one hundred and fifty BattleMechs moving at high speed panicked the dairy cows and woke the farmer and his family.

The old man pulled on his hair and he shouted incoherently at the Scorpions as they trampled his ripened corn flat; had he any weapons other than a shotgun, he might well have opened fire upon them, his fury was so great! But he did have a telephone. And he called his son—a Colonel in the KungsArmee attached to their auxiliary command center to protest what these 'mercenaries’ had done to his fields!

His son had only just gotten a chance to grab a few hours of sleep when the urgent call from his father came in. Although pleased that his father and mother and sisters and brothers and other assorted family members had not been harmed, his attention had been rather fixed on the vicious close-quarters battle for the capital of Reykjavik, where they Bears had ground the defenders into ruin relentlessly. Of special concern were the ‘Mechs painted all in black that the KungsArmee had named the Death Regiment—landing well after the main Bear forces, this terrifying force had torn into the Reykjavik defenses and shattered the sole Capellan Regiment assigned to the defense of Rasalhague. Then it had withdrawn and the KungsArmee had lost contact. Could these ‘Mechs be the Death Regiment?

He then placed a call to General Feinman, to confirm that it wasn’t the Mercenary ‘Mechs which had disturbed his father and his cows so greatly. And so it was that instead of taking the mercenaries by surprise, Nikolai ran headlong into an alerted and ready command.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:42 pm 
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Major General
Major General

Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2001 8:00 pm
Posts: 759
Location: Hope Mills, NC
Bravo, well played.

_________________
Khan John Edwards
Trueborn Warrior

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

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:10 pm 
Offline
General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Trinary Command, Knife Dance Keshik
Rasalhague, Free Rasalhague Republic
August 26, 3043


Nikolai nodded as he checked the time on his cockpit display; they were ahead schedule and already approached the ravine, which lay less than half a kilometer away. For the past half hour, the Scorpions had moved slowly and carefully forward; while there were vibration sensors that could detect them, the irregular rain of artillery rockets on the mercenaries should keep trigging those systems. His Elementals had rejoined the OmniMechs, and reported that there were no pickets on this side of the small river canyon.

Now it was just a matter of waiting until the appointed time.

My Khan?” the voice of one of his youngest Warriors sounded in Nikolai’s cockpit. The Khan frowned . . . while the chance of detection was minuscule, given the frequency-hopping encrypted burst transmission radios in use by the Clans, the broadcast was an unecessary risk.

“Yes?”

My Khan, I wonder why we are carrying out such a complex plan? Clausewitz teaches us that everything in war is simple; but the simplest things are difficult. The difficulties accumulate and end by producing a kind of friction that is inconceivable unless one has experienced war.

Star Commander Jason Scott!” a second voice barked out; that belonging to Star Colonel Gloria Dinour, the commander of the 8th Dragoons. “Now is neither the time nor the place to question the Khan! And one of your rank cannot question him regardless!

With all due respect, Star Colonel Dinour, we are Scorpions not Vipers. It is our duty to question, to Seek the Truth. Even to question our leaders.

“Enough, Star Colonel,” Nikolai interjected with a frown. “Star Commander, we have not much time here; I chose this plan to ensure that none of our opponents could escape and to keep them unsuspecting.”

Aff, my Khan. I understand that—but could not a simpler plan have accomplished the same?

Nikolai stared at his command console in surprise. He started to give a heated reply—but then he paused and gave the question serious thought. At last he asked a question of his own. “What would you have suggested then, Star Commander? Since we have at least five minutes before the airstrike passes.”

Now there was a pause on the other end of the radio transmission, but then the strong confident voice of the young warrior came back. “If an assault were the only solution, I would have suggest a high-altitude Elemental drop into the center of their perimeter. The storm clouds above would have masked their descent, leaving no more than few seconds of warning before they landed. While our opponents were dealing with the Elementals, hit them with all of our forces at once, including close-air support. And the division of our forces was . . . needlessly complicated. If we needed to block the pass, it would have been better to detach entire Trinary formations, no disrespect intended, my Khan. All of our stars lost Warriors whose reactions we have come to anticipate and rely upon—now we are attacking with new members, hastily plugged into place. It disrupts our well-knit combat teams.

However,” the young man pressed on, “we might well have forced their surrender by sending one of our Warriors to negotiate—a comprehensive discourse on how Serket could deal with them might well have convinced them of the futility of continuing resistance and led to their surrender with no more casualties among our Clan.

“You realize that I do not intend to usher in orbital bombardment, quiaff?”

Aff. I know that, and you know; their commander does not know that, my Khan.

Nikolai slowly nodded. “You speak well, Star Captain Scott,” he finally said. “But it is too late to alter our course now.”

The voice on the other end of the radio transmission gasped. “Star Captain? My Khan, I am a Star Commander!

“Neg, Star Captain Scott. Few others would have questioned me—fewer still would have presented not one, but two options, when I asked. But enough of this. Scorpions,” Nikolai broadcast as the artillery bombardment began raining down on the mercenaries in full force. “Ready yourselves for battle.”


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:40 pm 
Offline
General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Zulu Command-Lead, Knife Dance Keshik
Rasalhague, Free Rasalhague Republic
August 26, 3043


Ariel Suvorov’s lips tightened as her Zulu-class aerospace fighter streaked past the towering peaks of the mountain and she pressed the stick forward to lower her nose in a steep dive towards the target zone. Her wing-man clung just twenty meters from her left wing despite the fact that both fighters were traveling in excess of the speed of sound. The night was pitch black, with the clouds blocking out the moons and stars above—but her FLIR (Forward Looking InfraRed) systems projected a very clear picture of what was happening on the ground below. Artillery rockets were exploding along the main line of resistance and amongst the artillery park, but the men and women below were not exhibiting the panicked reactions of units caught by surprise—they were already responding and dozens of targeting systems locked onto her fighter, as warning lights and sounds began to flash and beep their alert.

“Scorpions, the target zone is hot. Repeat, the target zone is hot. Proceed on mission,” she snapped into her microphone and inhaled deeply of the pure oxygen within her flight suit. Missile plumes lit off below—hundreds of them! And the flashes of autocannons began to bark, but Ariel armed her bomb load and set the dispensers on auto-release as she held to her course.

Missiles flashed past, along with the dull POMFS of proximity fused shells; but not all missed and her fighter shivered and quaked and threatened to wrench itself from her control. A point of Visigoths tore past her, tumbling bombs dropping from their hardpoints—she passed by so close that her right wingtip was scorched by the heat of their drive plumes. A tone sounded and she thumbed the pickle, releasing her bomb load and the Zulu surged forward as it’s suddenly lightened chassis accelerated past Mach Two leaving the targets far behind.

“Contingency Delta-Four—one strafing pass then back to ship to refuel,” she broadcast without emotion as she arced the fast fighter in a wide circle heading back towards the enemy. “Warning, tank 2 fuel pressure dropping. Warning, tank 2 fuel pressure critical,” the computer said and Arial turned her head to see a stream of fuel leaking from her shredded left wing. She pursed her lips as the last of her fuel drained from the wing tank, and she isolated the fuel lines sealing off the leaking section from the remainder of the fuel transfer systems. So much for getting back to orbit, she thought.

The Huns and Jenghizs managed to make their turns much faster, their slower speeds in the atmosphere aiding them here. And it was with the heavy fighters leading that Ariel’s fighters plunged back down into the hailstorm of AAA-fire. Brilliant cyan beams of light erupted from the nose of each Hun—those that struck a target caused that target to explode and balls of crimson and yellow flame erupted within the perimeter. Only three of the 95-ton Huns were felled by the ground fire, but nearly a dozen of the lighter, less well-armored Jenghizs slammed into the ground, tumbling into the enemy troops below—and then it was her turn. She selected her lasers and held down the trigger as a dozen beams of crimson and emerald lanced out and burned through a strip of ground 150-meters in length.

She heard the BANG first, and she thought that perhaps her armor had held—but then red lights began to appear on her systems and her engine sputtered and died. The stick in her hand went dead as the fly-by-wire systems either lost power or the computer shut down—and then her nose dropped, her right wing dropped, and her left wing rose, and she closed her eyes as her fighter tumbled into the center of a cluster of Pike and Partisan air defense vehicles.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:55 pm 
Offline
Stratego
Stratego

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2001 8:00 pm
Posts: 10855
Location: Ft. Hood Texas
Indeed this is like watching one of the old Flash Gordon serials...I can't wait for the next part!

_________________
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: Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:39 am 
Offline
General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Trinary Command, Knife Dance Keshik
Rasalhague, Free Rasalhague Republic
August 26, 3043


Repeat the target zone is hot. Proceed on mission.

Nikolai winced. “Scorpions! They know we are coming—advance once the fighters are past . . . and make every shot count! Colonel Myers,” he transmitted. “Move the 14th Hussars out—we are going to need your command as well.”

The wood-line on the opposite side of the ravine erupted in chain of tremendous explosions and the Scorpion Khan pressed his throttle forward and began to run towards the edge—and the precipitous drop into the river down below. At the last second, he fired his jump jets and the 70-ton heavy OmniMech flew across the gap, his LB-10X barking flame and thunder as he fired cluster munitions into the flank of a Demolisher that had survived the bombing run. The cluster munitions detonated against the side of the assault-tank, but that did not prevent the crew from firing both of the AC-20s at the chest of Nelson Elam’s Mongrel II. One shot missed—the second connected and his aide’s lighter OmniMech spun around and nearly fell, but Nelson managed to keep his feet beneath him.

The Elementals riding his Summoner II activated their jump-jets and leapt onto the Demolisher’s hull and began tearing into the turret with battle claws and plasma cutting torches. Three cyan bolts streaked past Nikolai’s cockpit and he in turn trigger his own ER Large Laser at the distant Schrek. Then Nikolai took a step backwards as an Atlas painted in the colors of Narhal’s Raiders emerged from the woods and unleashed a hail of fire at the Khan. The OmniMech staggered under a rain of missiles, shells, and laser beams, but the Khan returned fire with his autocannon and three ER Medium Lasers, melting deep gouges in the thick armor of the beast before him. And at that moment, the night was transformed into daylight as hundreds of lasers and PPCs and autocannons streaked down from the sky—four cyan bolts caught the Atlas in the chest and the armor didn’t melt this time, it shattered! An ejection seat launched from the death’s head cockpit and the assault ‘Mech crumpled to the ground.

The Khan fired his jump jets and he advanced deeper into the camp, which was a chaotic scene from a surreal nightmare of some necrosia-addled addict. Scorpions fought mercenaries at point blank range, lit only by the raging fires, the brief illuminations of autocannon and missiles; the bright beams of lasers and glowling bolts of PPCs. OmniMechs, BattleMechs, vehicles, Elementals, and infantry were exchanging fire in an orgy of death and destruction; there were no clean lines nor was any attempt made to fight fairly—in this battle both sides grasped for every advantage they could wring out.

An alert sounded and Nikolai spun around as a lighter ‘Mech wielding a . . . a massive ‘Mech-sized axe leapt out at him. The Khan triggered his weapons and the Hatchetman staggered, but then the three-ton tungsten axe slammed into the shoulder of the Khan’s OmniMech and he staggered beneath the blow. Red lights began flashing in the cockpit as his engine took damage and the mercenary before him raised the axe in a two-handed grip.

And the Hatchetman exploded under a fusillade of fire into his rear armor as Elam caught up with him. “Thought you might need a hand, my Khan,” the aide said as he guarded Nikolai so that his commander could catch his breath. “Fighters are RTB back to the DropShips to rearm and refuel—the fighters we have left, my Khan. We lost forty-three—including Star Colonel Suvorov.”

Nikolai winced as he stood his heavily damaged Summoner II, but then he heard Nelson’s sudden command. “DOWN!” his aide yelled as he snapped his arms up into the firing position.

Nikolai instantly dropped prone as Nelson exchanged fire with a battered Marauder, putting himself between the Khan and the enemy commander. But the Marauder wasn’t alone. Four ‘Mechs from the Lexington Combat Group’s command battalion poured their combined fire into Nelson’s already damaged Mongrel II and he was forced to eject. Then they turned back to Nikolai.

“Surrender and you will live. Please be too proud to do the smart thing,” Nikolai heard the mercenary commander snarl over the radio.

Fifteen LRMs streaked out of the darkness and slammed into the right weapons pod, the right torso, and right leg of the Marauder, quickly followed by a blazing PPC bolt that severed the merc’s right arm from the ‘Mech, and two emerald beams of lasers that melted away the rest of the right torso armor, and ate their way instead—to find the munitions bin for the autocannon carried by the heavy ‘Mech. The explosion sent the ‘Mech to the ground, even as another ejector seat rocketed upwards.

The remainder of the LCG’s command turned towards the new arrival and opened fire with every weapon they had: and between an Orion, a Rifleman, and a Centurion, firepower they had plenty of. But the new Warrior danced and weaved his 65-ton Hellbringer II with an agility and grace that few ever managed to master and many—not all, but many—of the shots missed.

“I am here, my Khan,” Nikolai heard the calm voice of Star Captain Scott as he jumped behind the Rifleman and contemptuously fired only his three medium lasers into its back—all three shots sliced through the weak rear armor and another ammunition explosion ripped the 60-ton BattleMech apart. He did not quit moving however, and he circled the remaining two ‘Mechs, trying to keep between the Khan’s near helpless OmniMech and their guns.

The Centurion missed Jason with his autocannon, but his laser burnt a strip along one leg; the Orion backed up and salvoed his missiles and autocannon, and he hit with both. Seven missiles peppered the Clan heavy, and the slug tore into Jason’s right arm. Jason aimed his PPC at the Centurion, and a single bolt took off the ‘Mechs arm at the shoulder—and he fired a single low-powered laser at the Orion. The pilot of the mercenary heavy ‘Mech salvoed every weapon he had, but although Jason staggered under the fire, he kept the TAG system steady on his foes chest—and out of the darkness four homing Arrow IV artillery rockets streaked down and engulfed the Orion in a massive explosion. The Centurion charged in, his left arm raised to punch Jason’s Hellbringer II, but the Scorpion Warrior only lifted his left arm and flushed fifteen LRMs directly into face of oncoming ‘Mech—when the smoke cleared the headless medium ‘Mech fell over backwards.

Nikolai noticed movement on the ground and he activated his flood-lights to reveal several dozen mercenary infantrymen—infantrymen who fired a hail of short-range missiles into the Hellbringer, engulfing Scott in inferno gel. But Scott had bought enough time for the Elementals attached to Nikolai and Nelson to catch up, and ten APGs tore into the conventional infantry, who quickly died under the fire.

“Still with us, Star Captain Scott?” Nikolai asked.

“Aff, my Khan,” answered the young man over the radio. “I am roasting a bit in here, but no internal penetrations. It looks as though we are among the survivors.”

Nikolai nodded and noted that he hadn’t said victors. Scott stood guard over the Khan until OmniMechs with hand actuators arrived to remove the remains of the Marauder which had pinned Nikolai’s Summoner II in place. “The mercenaries?”

“Running up the pass towards the saKhan,” answered Star Colonel Myers. “They still have a sizeable force—three plus regiments en route to his position.”

“Our casualties?”

Heavy, my Khan. We lost sixty two OmniMechs and more than two hundred Elementals. Every survivor is damaged—and at least half of our surviving OmniMechs are in critical need of repairs. Including yours. I can assemble a force of sixty-five OmniMechs and eighty-five Elementals to pursue the mercenaries, but no more than that. Star Colonels Dinour and Suvorov are dead; Star Colonel Collesano has been critically wounded and is being evacuated to Serket's surgery.”

Nikolai was silent as he considered the . . . disaster that this battle had been. Finally freed, he slowly stood his ‘Mech. “Star Captain Scott.”

“Yes, my Khan?”

“Do I still have a Warrior willing to convince those mercenaries in the pass to surrender?”

“With the bluff of using Serket’s weapons, my Khan?”

“Neg. If they refuse, I will annihilate them with our cruiser—can you convince them to lay down their arms and spare us from that fate, Star Captain?”

The Hellbringer II, scorched and blackened, executed a slow bow, and Scott’s voice came over the radio receiver in the Khan’s cockpit. “Aff, my Khan. I believe that I can.”


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:55 pm 
Offline
General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Borthas Pass
Rasalhague, Free Rasalhague Republic
August 26, 3043


Colonel Fredrick Tolliver of the 241st Battle Group (Lexington Combat Group) frowned as the scout finished his report. Apparently, there was a pavilion tent set up in the pass ahead—a tent flying a white flag of truce. “Z, any contact with the General?” he asked his executive officer, Frederic Zaffson.

“None, sir. The survivors of the 180th Dragoons and 32nd Recon said he led the HQ Battalion to cover their retreat—we’ve also had no contact with Narhal’s Raiders since the Clan assault.”

Tolliver nodded. “You said you talked to this Clanner?” he asked the scout.

“Yes, sir,” the woman answered. “It was pretty damned weird, Sir. There’s just one of them there, sitting at a field table with three empty chairs. He said he wishes to discuss ending this campaign with you—and he asked for you, Wolfgang Hansen, and Colonel Kusaka by name, Sir.”

“Are they chasing us, Fred?”

“No, sir—they have blocked the entrance to the pass. And recon flights have indicated that have a second force at the summit . . . comprised completely of assault ‘Mechs.”

A chill went through Tolliver. According to the survivors there had been NO assault-weight BattleMechs part of last night’s assault—and they had still torn apart more than three Regiments of ‘Mechs, support by close to five of tanks and artillery, and two of infantry. “How many?”

“We estimate their strength at around a full battalion, Sir—and they have those damned Toads. Close to two hundred of the bastards.”

Just a couple of battalions, but they were defending the narrowest part of the pass, which meant that Tolliver would have to engage them a battalion or two at a time. He shivered again, and then he nodded. “Well, if we are talking, then no one else is dying. Send a chopper for Hansen and Kusaka—let’s hear what this Clanner has to say.”

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

The Clan Warrior stood waiting outside of the tent as the Ferret landed several dozen meters down the pass. Tolliver noted that he stood at parade rest and wore a set of dark grey fatigues. He was unarmed—so far as the Lexington Combat Group Colonel could tell. He waited patiently for the mercenary commanders, ignoring the blast of wind from the still turning rotors of the helicopter that tore through his dark brown hair. The whine of the engine slowly faded as the pilot shut down the machine and the crew chief—manning the door-mounted machine-gun spat on the ground as he shifted the weapon slight to where he could sweep the entire pass. The Colonel patted the crew chief on the shoulder as he dismounted from the bird and stepped aside for Wolfgang Hansen and Erina Kusaka, who frowned as Hansen offered her his hand and simply jumped down.

Tolliver smiled at that—Wolfgang was still quite young for a regimental commander at 26; he had taken command from his father just six months ago, just as Erina Kusaka had assumed control of the 21st from her father Thaddeus three years ago. She was twenty years his elder, however, and a veteran warrior in her own right; she neither wanted nor needed coddling.

He approached the Clanner, who snapped to attention and saluted smartly. “Star Captain Jason Scott, assigned to the Knife Dance Keshik, Clan Goliath Scorpion Touman,” the young man—the boy—said in a crisp accent. Tolliver automatically returned the salute, but then he blurted out, “How old are you?”

“I celebrated the 19th anniversary of my decanting earlier this year, Colonel Tolliver. My Khan has charged that I discuss with you a range of options that are now available, in the hopes that we can resolve this campaign without further needless bloodshed. Shall we exit the wind? I have a heater set up within the tent, along with water if any of you thirst.” Jason extended one arm towards the tent, and Tolliver went ahead and entered, followed by Hansen, Kusaka, and Scott in turn.

There was a heater in the tent, and the canvas sides did cut out the bitter wind that funneled through the pass. A simple table and four chairs (three on one side and one on the opposite) was the only furniture, but a communications unit was set on the surface, along with a decanter of water and four glasses. Tolliver took the middle seat, with Hansen on his left and Kusaka on his right; while Jason sat down facing them.

The Clan Warrior poured himself a glass of water and took a sip, and then Kusaka poured herself a glass. What the hell, the veteran officer thought as he poured one for himself and a second for Hansen.

Scott nodded and he smiled. “My Khan commends you for a battle well-fought; your commands have proven their bravery and their skill in the truest Trial of all—combat. Although you did not abide by our rules of engagement, we understand that in your society there are no such rules; hence we honor you by adapting to your own tactical protocols.”

“That’s all well and nice, boy,” snapped Kusaka, “poetic even, but can we get down to business? Although I dislike the idea of treating with the descendents of those who abandoned the Inner Sphere to centuries of war; who ignored their oaths and failed their duty.”

“As you wish, Colonel Kusaka,” Jason answered. “I do not agree with you, of course, but I understand how you might see things in such a light. I am here so that the four of us can come to an agreement and put an end to the bloodshed. You are no doubt aware that last night Alpha Galaxy routed your rear-guard forces, destroying or capturing in excess of half your total combat strength—four-fifths of your artillery. Your aerospace forces are scattered and incapable of providing further support, certainly not against the assets we can bring to bear. The pass ahead of you is defended by fourteen Stars of OmniMechs and Elementals—assault-weight OmniMechs which were lacking in last night’s assault. You will find that assaulting Clan Assault OmniMechs in a defensive position across open ground a far cry than defending yourselves from assault atop a wooded bluff from light, medium, and heavy Clan Omnimechs.”

“Further,” Jason continued, “the narrowness of the pass will restrict the number of forces you can bring to bear, allowing for us to defeat you in detail should you press onwards. At the base of the pass behind you, there is the remainder of Alpha Galaxy. Unlike you, our artillery is untouched and fully rearmed; we have air-support that you do not. And while there is more room to maneuver at that end of the pass, our numbers are great enough that you will remain bottled up, as your provisions, fuel, and munitions stocks dwindle.”

Jason took a sip of water as he let the three mercenaries seated across from him absorb that information. Hansen shook his head. “Do you expect us to just surrender without a fight?”

“Colonel Hansen, there is a time and a place for all things under heaven. There is a time to fight and a time when fighting will only be futile. I ask only that you consider the situation in which you find yourselves—and that you consider well exactly what you are facing here. Even if you should prevail against our blocking forces, Clan Goliath Scorpion has a fresh Galaxy—that’s right, another Galaxy—that we have not yet committed to Rasalhague. They are eager for a chance to prove themselves in combat operations. In addition to The Sand Runners—as Beta is known among us—ask yourselves this: should you, somehow, manage to defeat Alpha and Beta completely, where will you go? We control the orbitals and we have Serket, a Sovetskii Soyuz-class heavy cruiser in orbit. Colonels, we are willing to turn her weaponry against you should you prove to be intransigent. We do not want to, but we will do so if it becomes necessary to achieve victory.”

“Do that and you will sign your own death warrants—every House will unleash their stockpiles of nuclear weapons upon you.”

“And we will all lose, but you will lose more. Our Homeworlds will remain untouched and it will be your worlds which are reduced to radioactive ash. As I said,” continued Jason, “that is a contingency for if you manage to defeat not only Alpha, but Beta. Which, if I may remind you, is at 100% of strength, fully supplied, and has Warriors who are rested.”

The three Colonels looked grim and Tolliver shook his head. “And if we surrender, we become your slaves—Jaime Wolf has briefed us on your Clans.”

Jason shook his head and smiled. “I think you will find that Jaime Wolf’s information is . . . shall we say, out of date. Has he briefed you on our customs?”

“He did.”

“Ah. Did he perhaps tell you of the rite of hegira?”

Tolliver frowned. “Not to my recollection.”

Jason smiled. “Well, he should have. Hegira is the ritualized acknowledgement of honorable defeat. It carries with it the right to withdraw under safcon—that is, safe conduct. It extended to opponents who have proved themselves worthy, but it can only be requested by the side which has been defeated in battle; not offered by the victor.”

Kusaka barked out a bitter laugh. “You would just let us go? Because we asked?”

Jason shrugged. “It is our way when dealing with honorable and worthy opponents—there would be conditions, of course.”

“What conditions?” Tolliver asked.

“In exchange for hegira, should you ask for it, since I cannot offer it, my Khan would be willing to accept your oath that you will not be used in the future against Clan Ghost Bear and Clan Goliath Scorpion—where else you are sent is none of our concern.”

The Scorpion smiled as the three Colonels exchanged glances and he nodded. “I see that you need to confer—but before I leave you to deliberate upon your decision, I should inform you that General Feinman is alive; wounded but alive and receiving care. If you wish to speak with him, he is waiting on the other end of the comm. My Khan also instructs me to tell you that those of your comrades who were captured yesterday will be granted hegira as well, should you ask, along with your dependents who await you in the coastal cities. The equipment we captured last night and yesterday, however, we will retain as isorla—the spoils of war. Your forces here, which have not yet been reduced to bloody ruin, are free to retain their equipment and weapons . . . that is, should you choose to ask for hegira.”

Jason stood. “It is your decision, Colonel Tolliver, Colonel Kusaka, Colonel Hansen. Will your regiments live . . . or will every last single one of you die?”

And with that, Jason exited the tent.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:07 pm 
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Location: Hope Mills, NC
WOW great writing, like Karagin I await more.

_________________
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 03, 2012 9:43 pm 
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Field Headquarters of the ilKhan
Rasalhague, Free Rasalhague Republic
August 30, 3043


“I can report, ilKhan Hazen, that as of today, the last organized resistance has either been destroyed or surrendered. My troops captured Elected Prince Magnusson and his family last evening; they are being held in confinement until you decide how they are to be treated,” Amanda Tseng reported. She looked as weary as Nikolai felt, he thought. His Scorpions had seen to the disposition of the mercenaries after he had accepted their request for hegira, in addition to moving two hastily reformed Clusters under the saKhan to reinforce the Bears final drive into the urban centers of Reykjavik. But at last, the final formations of the KungsArmee and their mercenaries had been defeated.

Yvonne nodded at Amanda and then she turned her glare on Nikolai. “Khan Djerassi, would you be so kind to explain to me why you violated my orders—and had your cruiser escort those mercenary sell-swords to the jump point?”

“They requested hegira, ilKhan,” the Scorpion replied. “As they had fought well and fought bravely, I chose to grant that request.”

Her nostrils flared. “I wanted none to escape—and you knew that.”

“Escape, yes, I was aware of that. None have escaped Rasalhague, my ilKhan. Would you rather that I had disregarded the Martial Code of Nicolas Kerensky and refused an opponent that I, as Khan of the Goliath Scorpions, deemed worthy of honoring their request for the rite of [/i]hegira[/i]?”

The ilKhan shook her head. “And how exactly did they come to request hegira, Khan Djerassi?”

“I was not there in the negotiations of their surrender, ilKhan Hazen,” Nikolai said with a smile. “My emissary, Star Captain Scott, informed me that they had requested hegira and I chose to grant it.”

Her eyes narrowed and her glare promised that this was not finished. But she nodded her head a fraction of an inch. “There are larger problems to deal with at this moment—you both have had an opportunity to read the transcripts of the interrogations of the Capellans, quiaff?”

“Aff, my Khan,” replied Amanda as Nikolai nodded his agreement.

“Your thoughts?”

The Ghost Bear Khan inhaled deeply and she shook her head. “We have not the force to prevail against the entirety of the Inner Sphere united against us. We can take a significant number of their worlds, but they have the capacity to stop the invasion dead at a time and place of their choosing.”

“Then why haven’t they?”

Nikolai snorted. “Because they are wearing us down, ilKhan! I would wager a year’s production of ‘Mechs that the Wave II worlds will have significantly more defense than Wave I—not the level that we faced here on Rasalhague, but enough to bleed our forces. Wave III will have more defenders; Wave IV—perhaps Wave V—is where we will find their main line of resistance. And the knowledge of this Grand Army of the Inner Sphere . . . ilKhan Hazen they have assembled a sledgehammer designed to crush the best and brightest of two, perhaps even three Clan Toumans.”

“Options?”

“Halt in place after Wave II, build defenses—including SDS—and bring forward all of our forces remaining in the Homeworlds, excepting only a single Cluster for each enclave, before resuming the invasion in a year’s time, presuming we survive a year once they realize we are turning turtle,” answered Nikolai quickly and quietly.

Amanda winced and Yvonne shook her head. “Options that I can convince the Khans of!” she snapped.

“Ah, that is different, ilKhan,” Nikolai answered as he activated a holographic recording. As the image of a planet appeared, he grinned. “In that case I recommend we activate Operation Aleksandyr.”

Yvonne blinked and Amanda’s jaw dropped. “You cannot be serious—that is the most reckless plan that you and Marion Truscott devised! It is as shallow as anything Showers and Crichell ever presented!” the Bear thundered. “We would have no lines of supply, no means of retreat—and it would do nothing to stop Wolf’s Grand Army from pursing and engaging us!”

“I hope he is reckless enough to try, Khan Tseng,” smiled Nikolai. “He may well have fifty regiments, but Aleksandyr calls for sixteen Galaxies—one from each of our Clans. Eighty-one Clusters that we will use to seize Terra, supported by fifty of our WarShips. At the same time, we allow the remainder of our forces to continue operations, at a greatly reduced pace, and bring up one or two or perhaps three more Galaxies per Clan from the Homeworlds—and replacement Warriors, for we will need them.”

Nikolai stood. “ilKhan, if they stand united against us, we must either retreat, reinforce, or . . . perform an audacious maneuver that none of them, not even Wolf, will see coming. If we can seize Terra, if we have the strength to seize and hold Terra, and I believe that we do, and if the factories there remain operational, Wolf will have no choice but to come to us. Through whatever remnants of the Reagan SDS remain operational, against the combined Clans in all of our strength and power. Wolf will not be moved if we stick to the plan, not before his allies in Steiner and Davion and Kurita and Liao and Marik have bled us white—we must force him to move early. And to do that, ilKhan, we must assault a world that he cannot allow us to retain. There is one such world in the whole of the Inner Sphere—in the whole of the Universe, ilKhan Hazen. And that is Terra.”

And all three of them looked upon the blue-white world slowly rotating on its axis in the holographic display.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:44 pm 
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
This concludes Part II. Tomorrow I will be celebrating the 4th of July, our American Independence Day. Part III be posted on either Thursday or Friday. Have a safe and happy holiday!

MA


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:52 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2001 8:00 pm
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Location: Hope Mills, NC
A happy and safe 4th of July to you MA. I will be celebrating with man of my brethern warriors also.

_________________
Khan John Edwards
Trueborn Warrior

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

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:08 pm 
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Part III

Chapter Five


“The history of the Inner Sphere is one of betrayal and double-crosses; while such is dishonorable in the extreme, it is also human. And no matter how our opponents might proclaim their unity, the fractures still rest there beneath the surface . . . hidden from view but just as fragile as an overstressed structural frame. We apply the proper amount of stress in exactly the right places, and then we will see this Alliance of the Great Houses fall apart bickering amongst themselves. It is a simple problem to identify; the difficulty comes in triggering the fractures. Rest assured Warriors, we will find that answer and our path to Terra will become an open road.”

—Nikolai Djerassi, addressing the Scorpion Council of the Blood Named, Rasalhague, 3043


Field Headquarters of the ilKhan
Rasalhague, Clan Ghost Bear Occupation Zone
September 4, 3043



“Khan Tseng was not certain if you are a genius or a madman—hence she sent you to me, Messer Wheeler. Which are you?” Yvonne Hazen asked the finely dressed serious man who stood in front of her desk.

Kendrick Wheeler frowned. “It would be the height of hubris for me to claim to be a genius, ilKhan Hazen,” he answered. “I can assure you, however, that I am not mad—and that I am very, very good at what I do.”

“Which is?”

“I film documentaries, ilKhan. Ideological and political documentaries aimed at swaying public thought and opinion,” he answered with a broad smile.

“You create propaganda,” she answered flatly, and her guest nodded with a smile, making a clucking sound with his tongue.

“Victory, ilKhan Hazen, does not always go to the strongest or to the one who desires it the most—victory depends upon the will of those fighting and dying for their cause. And I can you help achieve victory.”

“I think you will find that Clan Warriors need no propaganda to be motivated in our Crusade, Messer Wheeler.”

“Oh, heavens no! You misunderstand me, ilKhan Hazen,” the producer/director responded. “Jaime Wolf and the House Lords have spent hundreds of millions of C-bills over the past few years demonizing your Clans among the public. They, the great unwashed masses of the Inner Sphere, see you as nothing more than ravening hordes of Mongols, come to destroy life as they know it and enslave everyone. This is a War being waged on a front where you have no troops; you cannot oppose them in this theatre of operations, not without your own message.”

Yvonne’s eyes narrowed and she slowly nodded. “Continue,” she said.

“We must answer these lies with the Truth, ilKhan Haven! And we must paint a picture that shows the people of the Inner Sphere that the Clans are the benevolent inheritors of the Star League. We have to counter Wolf’s lies against you with testimony from civilians here in your Occupation Zones, and show them that life under your rule will be better for them and their children than under the corrupt Lords of the Houses. You have free education and training in vocations; your civilians have medical care provided for by the Clan. You ensure that all your lower castes have power and water and food to eat. You are no barbarians come here to destroy—we will show the masses that you have art and literature and culture. We will tell them that unlike their current rulers, your Warriors do not involve civilians in combat—you keep your fights well away from population centers; unless, of course,” he said wryly as his voice rose in brightly, “dishonorable and corrupt opponents such as the Great Lords force you to fight there by holding their own citizens as human shields! We will allow them to know that the Clans are here to restore the Fallen Star League and all of its Glory and Peace!”

Yvonne leaned back in her chair. “Perhaps we could use you, Messer Wheeler,” the ilKhan said. “There are a number of difficulties that I foresee, however. First and foremost, is how do you expect to distribute these . . . propaganda pieces? I cannot believe that the Houses will let you do so openly, quiaff?”

“Why, yes, ilKhan Hazen. Some will have no choice. The Free Worlds League, for example, we will be able to circulate this material in that realm without the central government being able to prevent us. Even in the Federated Suns, we should be able to reach a large number of people openly—the same in the Lyran Commonwealth, although both of those will move quickly to suppress us; they will fail. The Capellans and House Kurita will squash any open distribution, but we are well used to that. I can smuggle the documentaries into their space and they will be shown them; the Lords can only attempt suppress the Truth, but information must flow, ilKhan Hazen.”

“If you can distribute these . . . documentaries . . . Messer Wheeler, what makes you think that you can alter the loyalty of the civilians of the Inner Sphere?”

Kendrick Wheeler laughed. “I am very, very good at what I do, ilKhan Hazen. After seeing my films, the people of the Inner Sphere—especially those far from the front lines—will be asking themselves why are our people dying to defend the Lyrans and Kuritas? Why are we spending our blood and treasure against the True Heirs of the Star League, the children of Aleksandyr Kerensky, returned to our space after an epic journey centuries in the making? And then you will have men of power, like the Sandovals in the Draconis March, and the Lestrades in Skye, will begin to wonder why their leaders are propping up the Draconis Combine—we might even prod them into action, drawing away troops from the front-lines.” He laughed.

Yvonne nodded once. “I have one final question, Messer Wheeler: why are you offering me this?”

“I am an artist, ilKhan Hazen. I sway the opinions of men and women across the Inner Sphere—but for the slightest of indiscretions, they have the temerity to banish me! To outlaw my work from their realms! To name me as an outlaw and a fugitive to their laws! Your Clans, my ilKhan, shall be my revenge upon all of them.”

“And in return you desire . . . ?”

“The rights to all profits made by these films, of course. And a place within your society—you strike me as a woman who knows a good deal when she sees it, ilKhan Hazen.”

Yvonne stood, a look of distaste clearly evident on her face. “You will have the cooperation of the Clans, Messer Wheeler. Make your films—and do not fail me, for the consequences of that will be . . . not to your liking.”

Kendrick smiled. “By the time that I am done, my ilKhan, the Inner Sphere masses will be singing praises of your name alongside that of General Kerensky and Ian Cameron.” And he laughed again.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 3:02 pm 
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I've been waiting to see something else from you MA, and once again I'm blown away. I read the story as of here in basically one sitting. Great, great stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:01 pm 
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Clan Ghost Bear Field Headquarters
Rasalhague, Clan Ghost Bear Occupation Zone
September 6, 3043


“A costly victory, quiaff?” asked Amanda Tseng as Nikolai stepped into the pre-fabricated structure that housed the command and staff of Clan Ghost Bear. She shook her head and motioned the Scorpion towards one of the two chairs present.

“Aff, but not as costly as we first believed. We have been able to repair and restore to operation several of our disabled OmniMechs, and Karttikeya carried enough ‘observing’ Warriors detached from their normal duties to make up the numerical losses we suffered—and sufficient materials to replace those OmniMechs, Fighters, and Elemental battle armor too damaged to repair. As of 0700 this morning, Alpha Galaxy is back to 100% of TO&E strength.”

Amanda snorted. “But not at full effectiveness, Nikolai. You need time to integrate those new Warriors.”

“You speak the truth, my Bear trothkin,” Nikolai answered. “We have more than six weeks to drill them before the next Wave launches—and the Sand Runners, along with your Delta Galaxy, have confirmed that the KungsArmee stripped the defenses from the remaining Wave II worlds to concentrate here on Rasalhague. We have taken all five for minimal losses.”

“True,” she mused and she nodded her head. “I thought your suggestion to have unattached replacement Warriors on hand to be . . . an unworthy one, at first. I was mistaken—those Warriors have let me bring the Golden Bears and the Night Howlers back to full strength as well. I understand that Yvonne is rather furious this morning—having received the news from the other Clans operations.”

She smiled and Nikolai grinned in reply. This time every Clan had hit all of their assigned worlds on the same day—although not with the same effect as the Bears and Scorpions.

The Jaguars had taken Bangor, Hanover, Jeronimo, Marshdale, and Wolcott without major incident; but on Hyner and Maldonado they had slammed right into major DCMS staging bases and were still fighting for possession of those worlds. Only two Clusters had landed on each—with no reserves—and they were fighting against hordes of militia and no fewer than seven DCMS front-line regiments! To make matters worse, their ‘pacified worlds of Wave I had risen up against their garrison units once the Jaguar touman had jumped away—to the point where the free-birth PGC commanders of the Jaguar garrison forces had been forced to ask Clan Nova Cat for assistance. Leo Showers was furious, Nikolai understood. But he could only gnash his teeth as he redeployed Clusters onto the still contested worlds securing the approach to Pesht.

The Mandrills had faced less odds on their Second Wave worlds, but Schuyler had been heavily defended—to the point where Khan Tanaga and his Kindraa had to call upon the Spirits for assistance. His leadership of that divided Clan now stood in doubt—or rather it would have, but for the Spirit garrison Clusters he had directed to reinforce his Mandrills on their Wave I worlds and the sudden uprising in their wake had been crushed.

The Adders and Cobras faced no serious opposition, except on Trondheim, where the 2nd Drakons of the KungsArmee and three mercenary Regiments had squared off against the Adder’s Alpha Galaxy—and were resoundingly defeated in short order. And while there had been uprisings on Constance and Jarrett—two combine worlds taken by the Adders in Wave I, the Free Rasalhague Republic had apparently not made such preparations. Other than those two planets, the rear of the Adders was rather quiet.

As it was for the Bears and Scorpions as well. And for the Wolves and Coyotes in Corridor Delta. The only serious challenge to the Packs had arisen on Basiliano, where the sole assault-weight regiment of the KungsArmee had squared off against the Coyote’s Delta Galaxy.

But the Vipers had attempted simultaneous landings on nine worlds—with the furious Hellions still watching from the sidelines—and some of those worlds had featured significant defenses. Their bid for Ridderkirk succeeded only because of the adaptability and steadfast determination shown by Star Captain Ezra Cochraine—despite just two points of Vipers surviving the battle, they had taken that world. The assault on Winfield, however, saw the quick defeat and death of the Trinary dispatched there—a shameful ending only magnified when the Horses dropped two Clusters and annihilated Winfield’s Brigade in an eleven hour running battle. But that wasn’t the worst for the Vipers, oh no. On Evciler, Seiduts, and Planting, Viper Clusters ran head-first into veteran Fed-Com RCTs, their defenses stoutly built and with ample supplies of artillery and conventional support elements. Each of these worlds was struck by only a single Viper Cluster, and the results were grim. Khan Andrews responded by throwing his reserves into the fight, but his best formations were bled white on those three worlds. Ecviler and Seiduts had fallen, but reports from Planting showed that the 24th Arcturan Guards RCT, reinforced by the 12th Donegal Guards had refused to budge, repelling three separate attacks by the 423rd and 428th Assault Clusters . . . until Galaxy Commander Sean Matthews destroyed them utterly with the guns of the Essex-class destroyer Martial Legacy. To say that the ilKhan was . . . upset, would be akin to saying that the surface of a star was slightly warm to the touch.

Khan Andrews had replied however, that since there were no significant numbers of civilians within the blast zones of the orbital bombardment, it wasn’t a matter for the ilKhan—but instead an operational decision by his Clan in the heat of battle. Nikolai smiled again, for he had heard that Yvonne almost declared a Trial of Grievance against Andrews for his insubordination and refusal to obey her standing orders on the use of such weapons—but she had since calmed down.

The Horse’s too ran into Fed-Com defenders on Butler, Malibu, and Twycross—but Khan Fletcher had already delayed his attack until after the Vipers struck Winfield. Forewarned by the experiences of the Falcons and Vipers, he gave all of the other systems in Wave II to the Ravens and landed a full Galaxy of Horses on each of those worlds—overrunning the defenders in a matter of hours. However, like the Vipers and Falcons and Mandrills and Jaguars, the Horse’s had experienced an uprising on their Wave I worlds—an uprising that resulted in the assassination of Loremaster Gary Mitchell by a Fed-Com special operations team as he was meeting with civilian leaders on Somerset. Luckily, the Horse’s garrison commander refrained from making an example, and the horrified civilian leaders—barely spared their lives in the engagement—were cooperating fully at uncovering the special operations cells.

The Falcons activated the Sharks for Wave II, which allowed them to concentrate their forces against the defenders of Blue Hole, Chahar, and Kooken’s Pleasure Pit; leaving the Sharks to deal with the treacherous crags of Goat Path. Leaving just one Cluster behind to deal with Blackjack, Clermont, and Hot Springs, thirteen Falcon Clusters hit the heavily defended worlds on the forward edge of their occupation zone. Not to mention four Shark Clusters on Goat Path. The Fed-Com defenders there were swamped, and despite heavy, even bitter fighting, the Falcons took every world in assigned to their Wave, as did the Sharks. The unoccupied Shark Galaxy was kept in the rear areas of Wave I, and once the uprisings began, saKhan Timur Malthus coordinated the use of that Galaxies Clusters and the Shark PGCs to work with the Falcon PGCs and restore order. Although there was still fighting on three worlds, and much damage to infrastructure that the Falcons had counted on, the worst was now believed to have ended.

“She is,” answered Nikolai with a grin. “And for once not with me!”

“Truth!” barked out Amanda in a bitter laugh. “Somedays, Nikolai, I believe you deliberately try to push her a bit too far—she is still a Falcon, beware ‘lest she tear your intestines out with her talons.”

Nikolai grunted in agreement, and he shook his head. “I issued orders today for Epsilon Galaxy to report to Rondane—they will arrive in fifteen days thanks to that command circuit you and I established between the Homeworlds and the Isles. I would recommend that you move at least two more Galaxies forward as well, Khan Tseng.”

Amanda winced. “We cannot use them, Nikolai.”

“Not now, no. But the Isles—and Rondane—are not within the Invasion Theatre. Those are our worlds now—our enclaves, which we can garrison as we see fit. And if the time comes, Khan Tseng, when we need four more Galaxies . . . I intend for us to have them close by.”

“There are not enough JumpShips in the circuit to convey two Galaxies of Bears AND your Scorpions.”

“I will delay Epsilon, so that you might bring forward Rho; that will be thirty days for my reinforcements, and then forty-five—just as we are starting Wave III—for your second Galaxy to arrive. If you pass the orders today.”

Amanda nodded. “Aff. It is better to have them close than not to have them at all.”

“Good,” answered Nikolai. “Have you decided what to do with Magnusson and his family?”

“Didn’t you hear?”

“Obviously, I did not.”

Amanda smiled. “The Elected Prince demanded a Trial of Refusal against me in a final effort to restore Rasalhague to his rule—I granted his request. He chose pistols at twenty paces.”

The Scorpion Khan winced, for Amanda Tseng was a crack shot even amongst the Clans!

“So he is dead?”

“Aff. Very much so as of this morning. Since Magnusson’s wife was already deceased, I sent his son—Ragnar—back to the sibko we have established on Rondane. He is nine and will adapt quickly.”

Nikolai nodded and then he asked the question he had come for. “How do you plan on voting for Aleksandyr, Amanda?”

She shook her head. “It will never pass, Nikolai—you know it. There will not be a majority of the Clans that will allow EVERY clan to land simultaneously on Terra; that would destroy the entire concept of the ilClan. It has no chance of passing . . . and I shall waste no political capital on supporting an idea which cannot be passed.”

The Scorpion nodded glumly. “Ulric and Marion said much the same thing—as will Jake I am certain. We should hit them now, but we will not. We should reinforce our holdings here with every Warrior, every ‘Mech, every last pallet of bullets we have in the Homeworlds, but we will not. I fear that we will . . .” and his voice trailed off.

“What do you fear, Scorpion?” asked the Bear.

Nikolai shook his head. “Nothing that I can change now, Amanda. I shall see you at the grand kurultai, quiaff?”

“Aff.”

“Then good day, Khan Tseng.”

“Good day, Khan Djerassi.”


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:13 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
The Shroud Keshik, Jendar Desert
Maldonado, Draconis Combine
September 6, 3043


Leo Showers frowned as his aide passed him the communication, but Star Captain Abraham Bowen stood sternly at attention and he did not waver as his Khan glared down upon him. The Khan read the message a second time and he nodded.

“This . . . Colonel Nakamura . . . has he offered a location for the Trial?”

“Aff, my Khan. I dispatched a Star of OmniFighters to recon the area—they detected no formations of BattleMechs, vehicles, or artillery within a thirty kilometer radius. They have confirmed that there is a small tent set up on the desert floor . . . no vehicles, just one man standing there and waiting.”

Showers frowned again and he looked at the message a third time. Khan Showers, it said, I, Colonel Akira Nakamura, have assumed command of the Combine forces on Maldonado following the death of General Horne at the Tamlaine Ridge. I challenge you to personal combat by sword for the ownership of this world. You have my word that regiment—the 4th Pesht Regulars—will abide by the results of this contest. I await you alone and armed only with my daisho at the following coordinates.

Showers crumpled the message inside of one thick fist. “Who knows of this?”

Bowen blushed and he refused to meet his Khan’s eyes. “It was transmitted in the clear—all of Alpha Galaxy heard the message, my Khan.”

The Jaguar nodded. Clever, Nakamura. You challenge me openly—and I cannot refuse with my Warriors knowledge.

“Prepare the Shroud—and Alpha Galaxy. We will meet this Colonel Nakamura; I shall kill this Colonel Nakamura and this world will be ours.”

The aide bowed his head and backed out of the command tent.

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

The full might of Clan Smoke Jaguar’s premier combat unit surrounded the single Combine Colonel as he stood alone in front of a tent with its flaps raised. The lonely figure brushed the dust from his black uniform as a massive Dire Wolf assault OmniMech came to stop immediately in front of him. The canopy opened and a ladder deployed from a compartment along the side. A powerfully-muscled dusky skinned man quickly descended after slinging a long scabbard over his back and neck.

The man—Leo Showers—reached the desert floor and he walked over to Akira Nakamura, who politely bowed.

Saki, Khan Showers?” he asked.

“Neg. Are you prepared to die today?” the Khan answered.

Akira smiled slightly. “I am a loyal soldier of the Dragon, Khan Showers. I am prepared to die every day.” The Colonel poured himself a small cup of the rice wine and he bowed his head before he lifted the ceramic container and drank down the liquid contained within.

From the table set in the center of the tent, he lifted two swords in lacquered sheaths and he slid them into his belt above his left hip. Then he walked out into the circle of ‘Mechs, and once again bowed politely at the Khan. Showers’ lip curled and he too walked into the Circle of Equals as his Warriors watched, drawing his sword in one smooth movement and casting aside the scabbard.

The Colonel just stood there, his right hand resting on the long curved hilt of the larger of the two swords as Showers carefully approached, his weapon held before him expertly. Nakamura nodded his appreciation—the Jaguar’s grip was flawless, his stance was perfect, his eyes never left his opponent. He would have been quite a challenge, the Colonel thought.

But the Jaguar Khan suddenly jerked as a crimson beam from a laser sniper rifle burned its way through Showers’ head. “My life and my honor belong to the Dragon—they are his to do with as he pleases!” Akira Nakamura yelled as the shocked Elementals raised their arms . . . the muzzle flashes were the last sight that Colonel Nakamura ever saw.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:30 pm 
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Stratego
Stratego

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2001 8:00 pm
Posts: 10855
Location: Ft. Hood Texas
Wow...now one has to think, what game is Kurita playing here. They have to know that this will tick of the Jags to the point of well that may be the plan. Old saying is that if you can hurt an opponent they will focus on the pain and rage and be less rational, this may be what the Dragon is going for...

This version of the invasion, like some other fan fiction covering it, seems a lot better in lay out and planning, things that will make or break something like this are being given equal footing and I don't see the famous FASA cliquish of throwing around catch phrases and military buzz words just to sound like they (the writers) have some kind of info of how the military works. I have always disliked that. If you don't know something about military lingo or what is actually used in commo reports or daily talk, ASK someone who is in. We will share it, nothing kills a military story like lack of realistic dialog. But here in this on going saga, none of that is there. You have done your homework, you have covered things that TPTB failed to give more then a few lines to over the course of a dozen novels and you are not falling into the catch all style of the hero wins no matter what.

Can't wait to read more and I am really liking your style. Well done as always.

_________________
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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Last edited by Karagin on Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:08 am 
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Supreme Mugwump
Supreme Mugwump

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 3:42 pm
Posts: 3183
karagin is right. just one question remains: do you know military lingo from own experience, or did you litterally "just" "do your homework"?

_________________
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: Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:57 am 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Quote:
karagin is right. just one question remains: do you know military lingo from own experience, or did you litterally "just" "do your homework"?
I enlisted in the US Army back in 1990; went to Fort Knox for training as a tanker (19-Kilo), but suffered some problems with my lungs. Thought I was over asthma when I enlisted . . . turns out it isn't that simple. I got pulled into my CO's office and was given a choice . . . void my contract for 19-kilo and become a non-combat clerk or some other rear-echleon MOS, or receive a discharge without prejudice. Well, the Kuwait War was over (it ended the day I arrived at Knox), and I really didn't want to push papers. So I went home. I've got family and friends that have served (Vietnam to present) in the Army and Navy; my roommate at college back in '86 when I was a freshman was a former Marine rifle instructor. I grew up hearing stories and talking to friends and family; I didn't serve long but I did volunteer and if I didn't have bad lungs, I would probably still be enlisted.

So much of my knowledge (not all) is second-hand, and nearly two decades out of date. If that answers your question.

MA


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:55 am 
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Supreme Mugwump
Supreme Mugwump

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 3:42 pm
Posts: 3183
it does...ur informations being second hand and outdated is irrelevant for writing fiction that plays in the future...what counts is patterns of thinking, wich hardly change. also u might count urself enough of an outsider to be independent, yet enough of an insider to know... and the people that told u storys are all haveing different points of view, when someone has spent his whole life as a tanker(or in any specific role for that matter) he easyly has a fixed perspective. you are able to avoid that trap. it might be interesting to read about a certain campaign from the perspective of the tanker/the grunt/the bomber pilot etc. but it is more interesting to have a writer who is able to change perspective, shed light on aspects that otherwise stay in the dark.

_________________
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: Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:00 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
The Jaguar’s Den Keshik, Jendar Desert
Maldonado, Draconis Combine
September 6, 3043


Galaxy Commander Lincoln Osis fumed with rage as the Elementals of the Shroud recovered their Khan’s body. Although few Elementals rose to the stature of Galaxy Commanders, and even fewer suits of Elemental armor were built with the communications and computer support equipment that such a position required, he was an exception to both. He nodded as he saw the satellite maps projected on the heads-up-display on the interior of his visor and then he snarled.

“Jaguars!” he bellowed. “House Kurita has proven itself as corrupt and deceitful as every other of the Scavenger Lords! Our Khan lies dead due to their perfidy! Because of their lies! Their lack of honor!”

Growls rose over the communications network as Alpha Galaxy responded to his oratory.

“Jaguars! We have located their last concentration of forces . . . we have discovered the regiment to which this . . . assassin belonged. We will destroy them without mercy! We will rend them to pieces! We will grant no quarter nor shall it be asked! And then, my Jaguars! THEN, we shall fall upon Pesht and Luthien like the coming of a vengeful avatar of fury! We will end the Kurita line and watch Takashi and his son hang! Jaguars!” He roared. “KILL!”

Osis activated his jump jets and he soared up to his mount on the shoulder of a nearby Warhawk, and he thrust his right arm forward; the Warhawk broke into a run towards the Kurita regiment fifty kilometers away, and in its wake—in Lincoln Osis’ wake—followed the Jaguars of Alpha Galaxy, hunger for vengeance.

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

“There certainly are a lot of them,” complained Major Olin Harris, commander of the 3rd battalion, 4th Pesht, as he lowered his binoculars from his eyes. Sheltered within a cavern in the windswept badlands, he shook his head. “In fact, it looks more like a tsunami of ‘Mechs than a planned attack.”

“So much the better,” said the older man standing beside Harris. “Colonel Nakamura and my sniper did their work well—alert your battalion to stand by; the Jaguars will be upon us in moments. I will bring the rest of our forces to full readiness for battle.”

For the past half-hour, the 1st and 2nd battalions of the 4th Pesht had ran from the Jaguars, but, by-and-large, their ‘Mechs had been outpaced by the faster Clan machines. Slowly, the Jaguars had caught up—piecemeal and no longer in formation. And the 4th had lured them here, into this broken wasteland of twisting canyons and deep caverns; high ridges and treacherous mazes filled with deep, shifting sand. General Noda Junichiro smiled even as the long-range weapons brought down a few more of the Pesht BattleMechs—so far, they had lost nearly half of their numbers . . . having inflicted no damage of their own. That was about to change.

Junichiro waited until the forward elements of the Jaguars were fully within the narrow confines and then his eyes narrowed and he lifted the radio handset. He smiled. Your greater range will be no use to you here; here the playing field is leveled and we can hurt you just you can hurt us. “Banzai!” he bellowed.

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

Osis slammed his fist against the cockpit of the Warhawk, urging it to a faster pace as the sounds of battle doubled, and tripled, and doubled again ahead of him. Plumes of smoke arose from the wastes of the desert, and suddenly his long-range communications died amidst the electronic squeals of powerful jamming devices. “Faster,” he barked—but the Warrior assigned to the Warhawk instead brought the machine to a halt.

“Galaxy Commander, I believe you need to see this,” her voice whispered into Osis’ helmet.

The Elemental plugged his battle armor into a port set just outside the canopy of the assault-weight machine—and he blanched as he saw the sheer numbers of tanks and infantry swarming around his lead elements, with still more pouring from the concealed mouths of caves! This was no single regiment . . . there were a dozen regiments of armor and infantry ahead of him, tearing into his lead Clusters! The ‘Mechs that he had been pursuing had stopped running and now they too were ripping into his advance guard from point-blank range! An ambush! Those stravag cowards!

“Quicken you pace, we must come to their aid!” he barked to the MechWarrior and the assault OmniMech began to march forward again—just as another Warrior screamed: “Incoming!”

Scores of high-velocity autocannon rounds streaked down from the sky as the regiment of ‘Mechbuster fighters passed by in nap-of-the-earth flight mode; their AC-20s spitting fire as they tore through the heart of Alpha Galaxy. Most of them were shot down, but that did not mean that their own shots did not find targets.

One of which was the Elemental Battle Armor suit worn by Lincoln Osis.

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

Junichiro nodded as fresh—and furious—Jaguar ‘Mechs entered the killing grounds. For two hours his forces had fought with all of the ferocity he could inspire within them; but now ammunition was running low and the real Jaguar Assault (and assault-weight OmniMechs) had arrived. Over four-fifths of his men were dead, or trapped within their vehicles and ‘Mechs. But still they fought!

“All elements scatter and prepare to support ISF insurrection forces—Headquarters will cover your retreat,” he ordered into his radio. “You have all served the Dragon well today!”

The former Yakuza lord turned general walked his own Thunderbolt out of the cavern, trailed by eleven other MechWarriors and two companies of SRM carriers—all loaded with inferno rounds. His fresh command company tore into the flank of the Jaguar assault units and bought—at the cost of their own lives—time enough for Junchiro’s handful survivors to scatter to the distant winds.


CSJS Streaking Mist, High Orbit
Hyner, Draconis Combine
September 6, 3043


Brandon Howell, the saKhan of Clan Smoke Jaguar just stared at the officer who brought the message for what seemed like minutes. Then he shook his head. “What was that!” he barked.

“Khan Showers is dead, saKhan Howell. Galaxy Commander Osis is dead. Alpha Galaxy has taken almost twenty-five percent of its strength in casualties—and I have a request from the commander of Sabre Cat to remove the dezgra population of Maldonado with his capital weapons.”

“Denied!” Howell snapped, and he leaned against the holographic projection tank, taking a deep breath. The fighting on Hyner had been difficult, yes, but the Mist Weavers Galaxy had overcome their opponents without resorting to such—how could The Roaring Jaguars have suffered so? How?

“Inform Galaxy Commander Weaver that he is command here—I am taking Streaking Mist to Maldonado to restore order and sanity to Alpha Galaxy! The 1st and 2nd Jaguar Guards will accompany me!”

The Warrior snapped to attention and rushed off to pass along the orders . . . it was only then that Brandon Howell realized that he was now the senior Khan of the Smoke Jaguars.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:42 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Clan Ghost Bear Field Headquarters
Rasalhague, Clan Ghost Bear Occupation Zone
September 7, 3043


Nikolai and Randall waited alongside of Amanda and her saKhan (Eric Jorgensson) as the real-time HPG transmission completed it circuit; holographic images of the Khans appears in the dimly room around them, the grim-faced ilKhan standing in the center.

Trothkin, this grand kurultai is hereby convened,” she said solemnly. “Yesterday, Khan Showers was killed in the fighting on Maldonado where the Jaguars took heavy casualties. Khan Howell reports, however, that the planet has been successfully taken—all organized resistance has ceased.”

Murmurs passed around the room and Nikolai exchanged a glance with Amanda, then with Ulric and Marion and Jake. Brandon Howell was a far different animal from the newly deceased Showers—he was one of the few senior Jaguar officers with a head for strategy. This could actually be good for the Clans, Nikolai thought.

“Khan Howell?” the ilKhan asked. “You have requested leave to address the Khans.”

“I thank the ilKhan,” his image said. “I am officially activating Clan Nova Cat from its role as a Reserve Clan—and I am transferring a portion of Bjarred, Virentofta, Coudoux, and Jeanette to their control as Nova Cat enclaves. Khan West and I have spoken at length, and in Wave III we have decided that the Cats will be responsible for the worlds of Outer Volta, Juazeiro, and Caripare, leaving the Jaguars with the task of taking Irece, Pesht, and Teniente; in addition, Khan Tanaka has informed us that he wishes to bid for the right to assault Labrea on our mutual borders . . . the Jaguars will cede that world without a contesting bid."

More whispers rose . . . none of the Khans had expected this. But the ilKhan only nodded. “My staff will note your concession of these worlds to the Mandrills and Cats, Khan Howell. How soon do you believe that you can make good your losses on Maldonado?”

“We have already contracted with Clan Diamond Shark for a stockpile of spare OmniMechs and OmniFighters, my ilKhan,” and Howell scowled, “although they are charging a higher price than they have a right too. There are sufficient . . . observers with my Naval Star to replace the losses suffered by my Warriors as well, but that will deplete all of my on-hand replacements,” he admitted. “When the time comes to launch Wave III, I fully expect we will be able to once again call Alpha Galaxy combat-ready.”

“ilKhan, I must protest!” shouted out Khan Andrews. “None of these so-called replacements were included in our original bids! The Jaguars, the Wolves, the Adders, the Horses, the Falcons, the Mandrills, the Bears, and the perfidious Scorpions who began this travesty have all broken their bids in order to restore their toumans here in the Inner Sphere to strength! You must order them to stand down and await reinforcements from the Homeworlds!”

I must? Is that what you just told you ilKhan, Khan Andrews, quiaff?”

“Aff. They rely not on the strength and will of their Warriors, but upon tricks and technicalities, ilKhan Hazen. I demand that they be censored!”

“Your request is denied, Khan Andrews,” said Yvonne in a voice that dripped venom. “Now, on the sub-. . .”

“You old free-birth hag!” shouted the Viper, as the remainder of the Khans drew in a sharp breath in shock! “You do not deserve the post of ilKhan; you do not abide by the Martial Code of Kerensky, you chastise the Vipers when we defend ourselves, yet you allow these others to stray from the path that Nicolas set us to walk! I demand a Trial of Refusal!”

Yvonne’s jaw clenched and her hands were balled into fists . . . and Nikolai sucked on his lower lip. Jillian, you went too far, he thought. Far too far.

“I grant you your Trial of Refusal; it shall be carried out here and now,” Yvonne answered in a voice that dripped with ice.

Jillian Andrews gave a bark of laughter. “You will fight my hologram, you Falcon Warden? Of course, if that is the only way you can win against a true Warrior . . ."

“Khan Rood, is Star Captain Galen Norizuchi in your presence?”

The Hellion jerked and then he nodded slowly. “Aff, ilKhan Hazen.”

“Good. Star Captain Norizuchi, will you serve as my Champion for this Trial of Refusal?”

“Aff, my ilKhan,” the Elemental answered.

“You cannot appoint a champion, Yvonne Hazen. You must fight me yourself,” Jillian Andrews sneered.

Nikolai cleared his throat. “Actually, Khan Andrews, she can. You did not challenge the ilKhan directly—you challenged her ruling, to a Trial of Refusal, not a Trial of Position or a Trial of Grievance. She is free to appoint a champion of her choice, as have been all ilKhan’s before her.”

“Then I withdraw my Trial of Refusal and demand instead a Trial of Grievance! It was only a slip of the tongue—you knew well what I meant!”

“Neg,” answered Yvonne coldly. “Your Trial of Refusal will stand and I choose unarmed combat, here and now. Star Captain Norizuchi, relieve Khan Andrews of the shame of her life.”

The Hellion Elemental smiled and he stepped forward into the view of all of the holographic projections of the Khans. The Hellions had bred their Elemental Warriors not for the raw strength that other Clans had made a priority, but for speed and stamina, for fast reactions and the ability to strike swifter than a cobra. Every centimeter as tall as his fellows, Galen was far more slender, his muscles were whipcord lean, not bloated and enlarged, and he moved with grace that few Elementals could emulate. He and the Viper Khan circled each other, and then Jillian moved forward and launched a punishing series of blows with her hands against the throat, the groin, and solar plexus of her opponent . . . or rather she tried to.

Galen spun, far faster than she anticipated and the heel of his boot caught her in the jaw, sending her spinning to the ground; then the Elemental performed a back-flip that landed directly atop of the prone Khan, forcing from her lungs the air she so desperately needed. He rolled over to his knees and he grabbed her neck and jaw in two powerful hands . . . and the Khans winced as they heard Jillian Andrews' neck SNAP as he twisted her head in his grip. As the dead Viper sank to the deck of her flagship, Galen stood and bowed.

“Your orders have been fulfilled, ilKhan,” he said.

“So they have,” Yvonne answered. “saKhan Ian Monet was dismissed by Khan Andrews yesterday was he not, quiaff? Citing that Monet had planned the failed Viper Trials on Winfield and Planting—he is en route back to the Homeworlds in disgrace; I believe that the Vipers now lack both a Khan and a saKhan. Accordingly, I am transferring Clan Steel Viper to the Reserve and activating Clan Ice Hellion for Wave III. I would suggest that Clan Steel Viper choose a new Khan and saKhan quickly if they wish to resume active status on Wave IV.”

She glared at the projections of the remaining Khans one-by-one. “Unless someone cares to challenge either my ruling or my leadership? Quineg?”

No one answered, and Yvonne nodded her head slowly. “As the level of resistance has been steadily increasing and all of our Clans have taken significant unanticipated casualties to date, I, in my role as the ilKhan of the Clans now direct each and every one of you to activate one additional Galaxy in the Homeworlds and bring it forward immediately. This order applies to Active and Reserve Clans alike—there will no exceptions to this, unless one of you seeks to remove me from office.”

Once again, she paused, and then the ilKhan nodded as no one spoke up.

“Excellent. I would also advise, but I cannot order, each Clan to bring forward sufficient replacements to restore their Clusters to full strength following the execution of Wave III—you may plan on fifty percent greater dead and wounded, if the latest projections on the defense the Inner Sphere have put in place are to be believed.”

“Furthermore, I am tasking every Clan with contributing ninteen JumpShips, with a minimum of seventy-six docking collars to be assemble in a command circuit between the Isles and the Homeworlds. Although it will take time to built such a command circuit, once it is in place, we may move men and material quickly between the Homeworlds and here,” she turned to Nikolai and smiled. “I believe that Clans Ghost Bear and Goliath Scorpion have already started work on a command circuit of their own—although capable of transporting less and taking more time than the one I have envisioned, it will serve as an excellent starting point. I thank Khan Tseng and Khan Djerassi for volunteering their ships and showing that such a tactic is feasible; and I thank them both for volunteering to place this circuit under the command of the Ebon Keshik. I especially thank Khan Djerassi for volunteering to contribute the final nine ships needed to finalize the circuit.”

Nikolai winced. How the devil had she found out? But he forced himself to nod, and smile. “As the ilKhan commands; we serve the will of the Clans.”

“Yes. Yes you do, Khan Djerassi. Do not forget that small fact,” Yvonne answered. “My Khans, there are other matters today to discuss in detail; to begin we have received new information . . .”

Nikolai only nodded as Yvonne started digging into the real meat of the meeting. No, Yvonne, you are most definitely no puppet—and I shall not underestimate your ability to ferret out information again.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
CWS Trailblazer, Zenith Jump Point
Hohenems, Clan Wolf Occupation Zone
September 8, 3043


“Pre-emergence wave detected, Star Colonel,” reported one of the sensor techs stationed on the bridge of James Meredith’s Vincent-class Corvette. The very young Warrior looked up from the ship’s logs and he pursed his lips in thought as he examined the sensor readings for himself. The tech was correct—there was an inbound ship. “Very well. Set Condition Two throughout the ship and arm all weapons,” he hit a communications stud on the arm of his command chair.

Flight Operations,” the speaker replied.

“We have an incoming vessel—spot a point of fighters for immediate launch and have the remainder of the Star standing by on Plus 5. Prepare a shuttle for the Elementals to board and capture if she does not try to run.”

“Aff!” came the sharp reply from many decks below.

James sat back in his chair as the bridge lighting dimmed, switching over to a ghastly reddish hue in preparation for possible battle. At just twenty-four standard years of age, he was quite young for his rank—which explained in part why he was commanding one of the four smallest ships in Clan Wolf’s Fleet. He lacked the seniority—if not the aggression and cool competence—for one of the larger and more powerful ships.

“Emergence!” snapped the sensor tech, who rapidly continued, “range four thousand two hundred and eleven kilometers, target is . . . confirmed as one Scout-class JumpShip with a single K-1 DropShuttle attached.”

“Send the challenge,” James ordered calmly, “flight deck launch two of our birds.”

Trailblazer quivered slightly as the catapults hurled the two Visigoths clear of the ship so that they could fire up their fusion drives in safety; the twin icons turned towards the JumpShip and began to close the distance on the stationary target.

“Star Colonel,” the perplexed tech spoke up, “they are broadcasting Clan IFF on the proper radio transponder frequencies.”

“Confirm!” James barked.

The sensor tech bent over his instrumentation, as did the comm tech, but they both looked back up and nodded. “Confirmed, Star Colonel. It is a very old IFF code, but it shows as still active and they are deliberately broadcasting.”

“Hail them.”

“Unknown vessel, this is Clan Wolf Ship Trailblazer. Hold your position and identify yourself immediately—we are authorized to use lethal force if you fail to comply; there will be no further warnings.”

James waited for two seconds before the radio crackled with static and then cleared. “Acknowledged, Trailblazer; this is the Clan Wolf JumpShip Little Claw—we await your boarding party and will comply with all instructions.

The Wolf commander spun his chair, but his tactical officer was already scrolling through the ship’s registry; he finally looked up. “Little Claw was assigned to the Wolf’s Dragoon Reconnaissance Force, Star Colonel.”

James nodded. “Little Claw, this is Star Colonel James Meredith, commanding officer CWS Trailblazer. Put your senior officer on the comm.”

Trailblazer, this is Star Colonel Natasha Kerensky, of Clan Wolf. Rest assured, Star Colonel Meredith, that some of us old Dragoon’s remain loyal to the Clans of Kerensky. The code phrase is: Look on my Works, ye Might, and despair! Nothing beside remains. Round the decay of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare, the lone and level sands stretch far away.

James quickly pulled up codebook and found the line nearly at the very end—it was authentic. He sat back and inhaled deeply. “Welcome home, Star Colonel Kerensky. Somehow I doubt that all of the Dragoon’s are aboard that little ship of yours.”

That is a matter for Khan Ulric Kerensky and ilKhan Yvonne Hazen, Star Colonel Meredith. I will await your boarding party and then we shall see what is to happen.

With a click the radio cut out and James slowly nodded. “Comm. Priority transmission to the Gold Keshik on the surface—Khan’s Eyes Only. My Khan, I beg to report that a single JumpShip with the proper codes and transponder of Wolf’s Dragoons has arrived at the zenith jump point under the command of Star Colonel Natasha Kerensky. Upon my own authority, I am disregarding standing orders to fire into the vessel—Star Colonel Kerensky claims she is responding to the recall. I require immediate instructions. James Meredith, Star Colonel, CWS Trailblazer.”

“On chip, Star Colonel,” answered the comm tech.

“Send it. Star Captain Wirth?”

“Aff.”

“If they so much as fire a reaction thruster I want you to destroy them without hesitation. Quiaff?”

“Aff!”

“Star Commander Vickers?”

“Sir?” replied the commander of his Elemental detachment.

“Prepare a boarding party; I want that ship searched from stem to stern—with full radiological screening, quiaff?”

“Aff.”

“Search everything—and everyone, regardless of rank. You may issue a single warning if they do not cooperate fully—if they continue to protest or interfere in your search, you may shoot anyone, regardless of rank or possession of a Bloodname, quiaff?”

“Aff.”

“Good. Now go.” James sat back in his chair and he stared at the lonely JumpShip sitting out there. And now we wait, he thought.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:59 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Alyssa Rickard Spaceport, Lubeck
Hohenems, Clan Wolf Occupation Zone
September 13, 3043


Ulric Kerensky shielded his eyes against the glare of the drive plume of the descending DropShuttle, but he noticed in irritation that Yvonne Hazen did not. She had been meeting with Ulric and the Khan of the Coyotes when the transmission came in from Trailblazer, and the ilKhan had delayed her journey to meet with the new Viper leadership until she could personally speak with the sole Warrior from Wolf’s Dragoons to answer the recall.

Damn James Meredith! Ulric thought to himself—his orders had been clear; in light of the Dragoon’s being confirmed as traitors, all ships arriving in Clan Wolf space with their transponders were to be immediately destroyed! But, no. The Star Colonel commanding the picket Corvette had shown initiative and instead of following the orders which could have erased the questions on what Kerlin Ward had done, now he had given the enemies of Clan Wolf possible ammunition to use against them.

The fate of his Clan was now dependent on how much Natasha Kerensky said—and what precisely she knew.

The DropShuttle settled down on the tarmac and the flare from its engine pods died away, while steam rose from the shimmering asphalt and concrete and the stench of hot tar filled the air. Spaceport workers unrolled a lane of heat-resistant material across the tarmac, even as a ramp deployed from the DropShuttles main hatch. A woman, dressed in the leather ceremonial uniform of Clan Wolf emerged from within the ship . . . and she grinned as she saw Ulric standing there waiting.

She jogged down the ramp, over and across the insulating carpet, and came to halt directly in front of the Khan and ilKhan. She snapped to attention. “Star Colonel Natasha Kerensky, of Clan Wolf! I hereby answer the recall order issued by ilKhan Yvonne Hazen to return to duty!”

“I am Yvonne Hazen,” the ilKhan said sternly. “This is Khan . . .”

“Ulric Kerensky,” Natasha interrupted. “I remember him well, ilKhan—it’s good to see you again, Ulric.”

Yvonne frowned at the use of the contraction and the uncouth interruption both and Natasha laughed. “I have lived too long among the free-birth of the Inner Sphere, ilKhan. And there are more important things to discuss than my casual use of language, don’t you agree?”

The Falcon ilKhan stiffened, but she slowly nodded. “Indeed there is, Star Colonel Kerensky. There is much to discuss—and much that must be decided. Come, join me and Khan Kerensky out of this . . . unsecure location.”

Without a word, Natasha climbed into a waiting ground car, followed by Ulric and Yvonne—and Yvonne’s bodyguards from the Ebon Keshik.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:05 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, Lubeck
Hohenems, Clan Wolf Occupation Zone
September 13, 3043


Yvonne sat after her five guest, Natasha, Ulric, his saKhan Garth Radick, the Khan of Clan Coyote Pavel Kerensky, and his saKhan Zachariah Koga, had all seated themselves. “How long has the Clan Reconnaissance Force been giving the Inner Sphere information on the Clans?” she bluntly asked.

Natasha smiled; so much for the pleasantries, she thought. “After our second supply in 3020, Khan Kerlin Ward of Clan Wolf met with Jaime Wolf—he issued him orders that the Dragoon’s were to ignore all future orders and recall instructions from the Homeworlds; in addition we were to prepare the Inner Sphere to combat your invasion.”

Yvonne stiffened, and Ulric shook his head bitterly, while the remaining three gasped in shock and horror. But before Ulric could even open his mouth, Natasha laughed.

“Relax, Ulric,” she said. “I heard from Jaime himself that the reason Kerlin was issuing the order then was because his new saKhan—you—was too honorable to do the right thing, and could not be trusted the revelation of his secret orders.” Ulric kept the surprise from reaching his face; Natasha knew he was well aware of the plans Kerlin had made—but she wasn’t unmasking him! She turned back to Yvonne and shrugged. “Kerlin was a Warden taken to extremes, and Jaime Wolf was hand-picked by him because he knew that Jaime would begin to identify with the Inner Sphere over time. Romanticize it even, and seek to protect it.”

“You have plotted our downfall for more than twenty years?” Yvonne growled.

“Neg. There were too many of the old Dragoon’s, the ones born in the Homeworlds who would have . . . objected to such a decision. It was only much later that I learned of the true extent of Kerlin’s perfidy; but by then Jaime had purged all the navigational data from our ships and there was no way to return home to warn all of you.”

The Black Widow picked up her tall glass of ice tea and took a sip. She sat down the glass again and continued. “It was nearly six years ago that we received a second communication from Kerlin—in 3037. He warned that his death was imminent and that the Invasion was coming soon; it was only then, with just a handful of the original Dragoon’s surviving that Jaime began to talk to the House Lords. He convinced them of the danger that the Clans posed and he managed to unite them—somewhat—against you.”

“Kerensky’s blood,” whispered Pavel. “No wonder our intelligence has been so compromised—they were expecting us all the while we planned this invasion.”

“Yes, and if Kerlin wasn’t already dead, I would kill him myself,” muttered Yvonne.

Ulric made himself look angry and he shook his head. “That duty would have been mine, ilKhan! How dare he endanger the Clan in such a fashion!” And Garth Radick growled his agreement.

“Not Clan, Ulric,” Yvonne replied, “but all of the Clans of Kerensky. Why have you returned then, Natasha Kerensky? Why did you not stay with your trothkin?”

Natasha snorted. “And serve the corrupt, barbaric House Lords? ilKhan, they care not for their Warriors; they do not know honor! They seek only power for themselves, devoting nothing for principle and true leadership! Until the recall message reached us, I could only do what I was able to slow down the preparations being made; but once the recall was issued, Jaime dared not stand in the way of my return.” She paused and looked down at the floor. “He should have shot me out of hand, but he let his emotion instead dictate his actions; he allowed me to return home, ilKhan.”

“And where is his Grand Army of the Inner Sphere concentrated, Natasha Kerensky?” Yvonne asked.

“Tukayyid. He has assembled more than a hundred of the finest regiments in the Inner Sphere there, my ilKhan—it is a sledgehammer that he will use to crush the Invasion.”

A hundred regiments!” gasped Zachariah, and the shocked looked on everyone’s face matched that of the Coyote saKhan.

“A hundred regiments, plus WarShips, my Khans. I need not remind you that the Dragoon’s took six WarShips with us on our Expedition—and we have since learned that ComStar has their own Fleet. Fifty capital WarShips are assembled there to battle our Fleets.”

No one spoke. No one drew even a single breath.

And Natasha nodded. “ComStar retains another fifty WarShips at Terra—with a fully repaired SDS system; not to mention the eight Corps that guards the surface of that world. They have committed four more Corps—what they now call Armies—to the Grand Army on Tukayyid as part of that one hundred regiments of ‘Mechs. They have more if you count vehicles and infantry, of course.”

Yvonne sat back in her chair. “This . . . presents us with some . . . difficulties.”

Ulric snorted at the understatement. “Indeed, ilKhan Hazen. We are in the jaws of a trap that has not yet sprung—how to extract ourselves without losing the cream of the Clans fighting toumans will have to be examined carefully.”

The ilKhan nodded. “Star Colonel Kerensky, you will be debriefed in full . . . and you will be rewarded for your service to the Clans.”

“ilKhan Hazen, there is but one reward that I need or desire.”

“And that is?”

“Command of a Cluster.”

Pavel Kerensky barked out a shocked laugh. “You were a Cluster commander forty three years ago! You cannot remain fit for command!”

The Black Widow smiled at Pavel. “If my qualifications matter, Khan Kerensky, I will fight any Warriors you choose to send against me—and I will defeat them!”

“You would have to defeat four opponents in a Trial of Position to qualify for your rank, Star Colonel!” protested Zachariah. “Four! It is almost unheard of.”

Garth Radick shook his head. “That is the Trial of Position for a sibkin graduating as a Warrior—Star Colonel Kerensky has already proven her ability as a Warrior and won a Bloodname. She needs only prove that she is capable of serving as a Warrior still.”

“Garth,” Natasha purred with a coquettish smile, “and here I thought you didn’t care.”

The Wolf saKhan blushed and he looked away as Natasha began to laugh.

“Enough,” said Yvonne. “I will arrange a suitable Trial for Natasha Kerensky—succeed and you will have a command. Fail and you will die. Is this truly what you desire?”

“Aff,” she answered.

“Seyla, Warrior. I give you six days to prepare—six days for six opponents. Fight well and fight with honor; I shall watch closely.”

“The ilKhan is generous,” Natasha replied.

Ulric cleared his throat. “ilKhan Hazen,” he began, “in the event that Star Colonel Kerensky successful wins your trial . . . I would request permission to raise a new Cluster and add it to Clan Wolf forces. All of my current Clusters have a commanding officer.”

Yvonne frowned. “Do you have enough replacements to form an entirely new Cluster, Khan Kerensky?”

“Aff, ilKhan. I have enough.”

“Very well, then. If Star Colonel Kerensky wins her Trial, then Clan Wolf may form a new Cluster to add to its touman for her to command. Star Colonel, we will start your full debriefing after dinner.” Yvonne rose, and so did the remaining five people within the small room. “Until then, I bid you all a good day.” And she left the room.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:22 pm 
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Major General
Major General

Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2001 8:00 pm
Posts: 759
Location: Hope Mills, NC
Sweet is all I acn say....MORE MORE MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!

_________________
Khan John Edwards
Trueborn Warrior

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

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


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:39 pm 
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General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Here is Natasha's Timber Wolf that will appear in the next snippet. Her opponents (all from the Ebon Keshik) will consist of six OmniMechs, entering combat one-by-one. In sequence, they are a Pouncer, an Ice Ferret, a Nova (50 tons), a Stormcrow (55 tons), a Mad Dog (60 tons), and a Hellbringer (65 tons), all in their Prime configuration.

As a Bloodnamed Warrior, Natasha has been provided with the right to use a custom configuration (shown below).

She must defeat all six to gain a Cluster command in the Invasion . . . if she defeats at least four, she will retain her rank of Star Colonel, but will then be assigned to a staff (non-combat position), or can take a reduction in rank to Star Captain and command a Trinary.
Code:
Mad Cat (Timber Wolf) 

Mass: 75 tons
Tech Base: Clan
Chassis Config: Biped Omnimech
Rules Level: Tournament Legal
Era: Succession Wars
Tech Rating/Era Availability: E/X-E-E
Production Year: 2945
Cost: 21,366,406 C-Bills
Battle Value: 1,066

Chassis: Unknown Endo-Steel
Power Plant: Unknown 375 Fusion XL Engine
Walking Speed: 54.0 km/h
Maximum Speed: 86.4 km/h
Jump Jets: Unknown
    Jump Capacity: 0 meters
Armor: Unknown Ferro-Fibrous
Armament:
    27.5 tons of pod space.
Manufacturer: Unknown
    Primary Factory: Unknown
Communications System: Unknown
Targeting and Tracking System: Unknown
================================================================================
Loadout Name: Natasha                                        Cost: 24,071,797
Tech Rating/Era Availability: F/X-E-E                         BV2: 2,659

Equipment           Type                         Rating                   Mass  
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Heat Sinks:         Double Heat Sink             18(36)                    3.00
    Heat Sink Locations: 1 LA, 2 RA
    CASE Locations: LT, RT                                                 0.00
    Actuators:      L: SH+UA+LA    R: SH+UA+LA

Equipment                                 Location    Heat    Critical    Mass  
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ER Large Laser                               RA        12        1         4.00
ER Large Laser                               LA        12        1         4.00
LRM-20                                       RT        6         4         5.00
    Artemis IV FCS                           RT        -         1         1.00
LRM-20                                       LT        6         4         5.00
    Artemis IV FCS                           LT        -         1         1.00
ER Small Laser                               CT        2         1         0.50
@LRM-20 (Artemis) (12)                       RT        -         2         2.00
@LRM-20 (Artemis) (12)                       LT        -         2         2.00
                                            Free Critical Slots: 8

BattleForce Statistics
MV      S (+0)  M (+2)  L (+4)  E (+6)   Wt.   Ov   Armor:      8    Points: 27
5          6       6       6       0      3     0   Structure:  4
Special Abilities: OMNI, CASE, SRCH, ES, SEAL, SOA, IF 3


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:23 am 
Offline
Supreme Mugwump
Supreme Mugwump

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 3:42 pm
Posts: 3183
nice toy, what are her numbers? how do you judge her ability rulewise?

aside from "the author decides if she hits and what effects that has" ;)

_________________
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 Jul 12, 2012 2:11 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, Lubeck
Hohenems, Clan Wolf Occupation Zone
September 15, 3043


Yvonne watched closely the faces of the holographic projections of the Khans as they digested the information that her aide told them; an air of unease had settled over the chamber, but there was no panic, no fear, . . . only concern. That was good, she thought.

“Provided that the information she provided is true,” the ilKhan said in the silent chamber, “we must decide how to continue with the Invasion—on our terms. Khan Truscott; you wish to address the Khans?”

“I do, ilKhan,” the Adder said with a slight bow. “She used the terms Corps and Divisions—Army is what she actually claims ComStar uses as its organization—but does she know the exact configuration of these formations? Are they the equivalent to SLDF Divisions or some new formation?”

Yvonne nodded. “She left Tukayyid before the ComGuards were scheduled to arrive, so she claims. She also claims that she was not told exactly how the formations were comprised, but that she did hear Jaime Wolf boast of soon having one hundred regiments to forge into a single weapon. Khan Djerassi?”

“Has she been interrogated?”

The ilKhan frowned. “She has been debriefed, Khan Djerassi. That is what you mean, quiaff?”

“Neg,” Nikolai said as he shook his head. “I mean full chemical and pain interrogation; has she underwent in-depth questioning.”

The Khans stirred uncomfortably, and Yvonne sternly looked down upon the holographic projection of the Scorpion. “I need not remind you, Khan Djerassi, she is a Blood-Named Warrior of the Clans—and as such has rights under the Martial Code; one of which is that she cannot be subjected to such measures without absolute, unequivocal proof of her malfeasance.”

“She has been in the employ of a unit that defected from the Clans—that has turned itself from our trothkin in our enemies! She has served with them for forty-three years; twenty-three of those years with the knowledge that the Dragoon’s were committing treason! She is no more a Blood-Named Warrior of the Clans than a Dark Caste bandit!”

“She rejoined us of her own free will, Khan Djerassi!” Ulric thundered. “Alone, she answered the recall orders issued by the ilKhan; and she has brought with her this information—including the location of this so-called Grand Army of the Inner Sphere.”

“I do not deny that, Khan Kerensky,” Nikolai answered, “but can we be certain that she is not playing us all for fools? Exaggerating their strength to make us hesitant to hit Tukayyid? Against an honorable, Blood-Named Warrior of these Clans, I would not . . .” his voice trailed off and Nikolai shook his head. “This would not be my first choice,” he continued in a softer tone. “But my Khans, we must know the truth of this matter. She must be subjected to a full interrogation.”

Brandon Howell of the Jaguars nodded his—grudging—agreement. “The Scorpion speaks the truth—the Dragoon’s have betrayed us; we must confirm the veracity of her statements.”

“And set aside the rights which all Warriors of Kerensky are granted under the Martial Code?” questioned Mark Steiner of the Cobras. “My Khans, there is always a chance that a Warrior—even a Blood-Named Warrior—will become corrupt and betray the Way of the Clans, the Path that Nicolas Kerensky set us to walk down. But we cannot, we must not, automatically presume that every Warrior is corrupt and honorless until his chemical interrogation proves otherwise. We are brothers and sisters—trothkin—bound together by honor and unified in our adherence to the Martial Codes we live by. We cannot, we must not, set aside these ties that bind so lightly.”

“She is just one Warrior, Khan Steiner,” protested Olivia Sutherland.

Marius West shook his head. “If we sacrifice our rights as Warriors for the sake of security this time, there will be other cases where we feel the necessity to do the same; and then there will be precendent for such actions and removal of our rights—and soon enough we will no longer have those rights.”

“In any case,” Ulric interjected, “she is a Blood-Named Warrior, and has the right to call a Trial of Refusal—will you face her Khan Djerassi?”

“If I must,” Nikolai answered. “She should be questioned thoroughly.”

“No, Khan Djerassi,” the ilKhan replied as she shook her head. “Not without more proof will I—as ilKhan—disregard the Martial Code in such a manner. She will not be subjected to chemical interrogation. You have the right to challenge my decision if you wish.”

Nikolai stared at the ilKhan for several moments, but at least his shoulders slumped and he answered. “Neg.”

Yvonne nodded. “In any case, this information shows that we face a far larger challenge than we anticipated—and that Silver Sable II was not the source of the Inner Sphere’s knowledge of the Clans. Options?”

No one spoke for a few moments, but at last Perigard Zalman, the new Khan of the Steel Vipers stepped forward. “Moving against Tukayyid now, with the full force of the Clans is one option—but it will leave our new territories virtually defenseless against the House forces of Steiner-Davion and Kurita. We would need" and he paused as he mentally compared the numbers reported against the Clan's strength, "twenty-four Galaxies at a minimum to guarantee a victory on Tukayyid—if Natasha Kerensky’s reported numbers are true; my Khans, that is half of our entire strength in the Inner Sphere.”

Marion sighed. “Until we bleed out these House units that the Dragoon claims are waiting for us to launch Waves III and IV, we cannot leave our enclaves open to a counterattack—but by bleeding them, we bleed ourselves, and give Wolf’s Grand Army a chance to take the initiative and defeat us in detail. There is an ancient term for the trap in which we find ourselves, it is a Catch-22. My Khans, we need more Warriors.”

“And yet we cannot stand on the defensive and surrender the initiative,” Jake Fletcher added. “That just allows them more time to choose when and where to hit us—at least we know that they have not the slightest idea of where the Homeworlds are.”

If we believe Natasha Kerensky,” muttered Nikolai. He shook his head and continued in a louder voice. “I am worried about the state of the defenses in Chainelaine as well—Wolf will not pass up such an inviting target . . . if he is aware of how we are converting the Isles into our depot of supply. And the House Lords would risk much to gain examples of our technology from our working factories there.”

“It is a risk we must take unless we weaken our strength on the front lines, Khan Djerassi,” stated Timur Malthus. “What would you suggest we do?”

“Each Clan must bring forward a second-line Galaxy—or even a front-line Galaxy—immediately and garrison our holdings in the Isles as though it were our capital enclaves in the Homeworlds!”

“So basically, we copy what you and the Bears are already doing?” asked Peter McKenna with a wry grin.

Amanda bared her teeth at the Raven Khan and nodded. “I would note that the Ravens already have a Naval Star built around CSRS James McKenna to guard their factories—and rather more troops on the surface than many here present, a full Cluster of front-line troops, two more of second-line, and a Provisional Garrison Galaxy.”

Peter gave the Bear a half-bow, acknowledging her point.

“We should proceed with Wave III—and show these dezgra barbarians that their defensive measures will not stop the Clans!” Norman Rood bellowed. “The Hellions are to be unleashed—let them quake with fear!”

“As much as I hate to admit agreement with the Hellions,” Elias Crichell said, “we really have no choice but to proceed ahead expecting traps and trickery . . . although I think we can all agree that a reasonable delay; say perhaps two or three weeks, might be in order to ensure that our toumans are restored to full combat strength.”

“Push back the starting date of Wave III to November 1st, then?” mused Sarah Weaver, the newly promoted saKhan of the Jaguars. She nodded. “The Jaguars could agree to that—provided that no Clan decides to start earlier, that is.” Brandon Howell nodded his agreement as well.

“And I believe that we will ensure that there is sufficient force present on all of our target worlds that no matter what their defenses are in place, we shall emerge victorious,” said Yvonne. “I would ask all of the Khans to therefore assault a single world at a time, so that we cannot be caught by surprise by . . . unforeseen hidden forces again.”

Brandon Howell winced, knowing that even though she didn’t name the Jaguars, they had certainly been caught unawares and suffered for it. But he nodded. “Aff, my ilKhan.”

One by one, each of the Khans signified their agreement.

“Very well then. I understand that every Clan has activated a Galaxy which in en route to join us. I would advise the Khans to consider well the words of the Scorpion—and to see to the defenses of your enclaves in the Isles, even if that means bringing forward yet another Galaxy. I am well aware that we will not have these reinforcements in place until next March or April, but at least they will be on the move. I expect every Khan’s revised invasion schedule on my desk by no later than the 30th of this month. We are adjourned.”


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:13 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Quote:
nice toy, what are her numbers? how do you judge her ability rulewise?

aside from "the author decides if she hits and what effects that has" ;)
By canon, Natasha is a 0/0 pilot/gunner. You will have to wait for the next snippet for the rest of the answer.

MA


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