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Clover Spear - Chapter Cover Art

Chapter 36[]

Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War[]

Prelude top Sarna, Part 2[]

“...We launched some supporting operations to further pin down FedCom forces, and they moved to breakout as expected, but the performance of Blakist troops was not up to the standard they had set earlier in the invasion. Our own operations have currently met with mixed success; however, we have moved the lion’s share of McCarron’s people into place to greet the FedCom breakout attempt. Other operations, such as the “removal” of disloyal mercenary elements in our own forces, went well, though the fugitive, John Wesley Bordon, remains at large, but the Maskirovka has made his capture a priority and we expect bids from bounty hunters within the week…”

Excerpt from report to the Chancellor on the Progress of East Sea from the Strategios
dated 13th February, 3056 (damaged copy was released by Capellan Joint Committee to Investigate the Prosecution of the War (Joint Committee formed from both the House of Scions and Prefectorate.)
The document was released to the public in open hearings on 19 July, 3058.

Operations East Sea and Lattikia (Combined Wave 2)[]


Attacking Units:35th Free Worlds “Volunteers”, (ex – 5th Marik Militia)
Defending Units: Corey SMM, Corey Planetary Guard

Results: The Corey SMM turned their coats, and invited the Mariks in without a shot, expecting the world would be returned to the Confederation, however, the Mariks swiftly disarmed the Corey SMM and deposed the government, installing their own military governor and began the process of integrating the world into the League.


Attacking Units: House Hiritsu
Defending Units: 36th Lyran Guards RCT, Tsingtao Planetary Guard.

Results: House Hiritsu had bad intelligence, that suggested the 36th had left to become part of Clover Spear, but in fact, it had never left Tsingtao, and was greeted with a ferocious series of counterattacks that smashed the Warrior House, destroying 50% of the unit before it fled off world.


Attacking Units: 15th Dracon
Defending Units: 3rd Fedcom RCT, Heilgoland Planetary Guard.

Results: The 15th suffered the same bad intelligence that House Hiritsu had suffered, and was mauled by the 3rd, who weren’t even supposed to be on the world, and had been missed on their usual base world of Sarna.

Van Diemen IV

Attacking Units: 4th Free Worlds “Volunteers”, reinforced mid-month by the 5th Free World’s “Volunteers”
Defending Units: 3rd Republican, Van Diemen Planetary Guard.

Results: The 3rd managed to coalesce around the minor mining town of New Arrangton. They fought a game siege, but the arrival of the 5th showed the 3rd that the writing was on the wall. Within the week, the 3rd Republican departed Van Diemen for Castor.


Attacking Units: Ishihara’s Grenadiers, Marshagima’s Legionnaires
Defending Units: 3rd Ceti Hussars RCT, Manapire Planetary Guard

Results: The Ceti Hussars managed to enter the caves and smashed both Capellan merc units badly, with the 3rd Battalion of Ishihara’s Grenadiers fighting a brave rear guard action to allow time for the rest of the force to get to their dropships and escape, however, the Davions got there first, and forced the remains of both units to surrender.


Attacking Units: Blanford’s Grenadiers and Kingston’s Legionnaires
Defending Units: 8th Arcturan Guards, Matsu Planetary Guard

Results: The 8th did the best they could against Blandford’s and Kingston’s but as on Truth, the numbers and experience were not in their favor, and the unit withdrew to Mandate after two weeks of fighting. However, the arrival of the Capellans re-opened divisions that had racked the world during the 4th Succession War, and when the FedCom troops withdrew, they exploded into open violence, with the Capellan units often acting as peacekeepers between the various factions.

Diversionary Raids


Attacking Units: House Daidachi Defending Units:  15th Deneb Light Cavalry RCT, Verlo Planetary Guard

Results: House Daidachi had already come off two successful raids, and was looking forward to a third, but the 15th, while not as experienced as the Capellans, did have the numbers on them, and used them effectively, frustrating the Capellan commander, and forcing him to leave 10 days after his unit arrived, completely empty handed.


Attacking Units: House Kamata Defending Units: Jonzac Planetary Guard

Results: The people of Jonzac awoke to find that House Kamata had done an avalanche drop right atop the main militia barracks in the planetary capitol. The Capellans then began to systematically loot the world, taking with them 35 Million C-Bills worth of refined petroleum products, and another 10 million in industrial machine presses.

Operation Clover Spear, Final Wave[]

“The final wave of Clover Spear faced Falcon units that were at best, in an advanced state of moral and logistical collapse. With the exception of Winfield, Falcon units fought in a confused and/or half-hearted manner, and were not often willing to engage us, even when they had a clear advantage. We are happy to report the fourth and final wave concluded ahead of schedule, and the timetable to shift units back to the Federated Stuns State Command is as follows…”

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


Attacking Units: 21st Striker Regiment, and 151st Light Horse Regiment, Eridani Light Horse, Grey Death Legion, 1st Argyle Lancers, 3 Independent Artillery Brigades.
Defenders: 6th Provisional Garrison Cluster, 1st Provisional Cluster (3 Trinaries of survivors from various Falcon Clusters), 8th Talon Cluster (20% understrength) Clan Jade Falcon

Results: Winfield was the scene of some of the bloodiest fighting of Clover Spear. The world had had an active insurgency that at times, resembled a civil war, with as many people supporting the Falcons due to their Star League origins, as fought against them. Winfield soon became a “training” ground for Falcon sibkos, and several were amalgamated into a provisional cluster along with the shattered convalescing survivors of several destroyed Falcon clusters lost earlier in Clover Spear, as well as the remnants of the 8th Talon Cluster, fresh from their defeat at the hands of the Wolves. (The 8th found Trell I in a planetary uprising, and wisely evacuated two weeks after arrival, taking as many of the lower caste members as they could). The general uprising before the FedCom troops made landfall was dealt with brutally, with a Falcon warship, the CJF Emerald Tornado dropping deadfall ordnance directly on rebel-held areas of the capitol before she was nuked from existence by FedCom aerospace fighters.

Whirlwind Class Destroyer (Matt Plog)

Whirlwind Class Destroyer, Emerald Tornado

The fighting dirtside was no less brutal, as the Falcons holed up in the Kerensky Munitions and Armaments factory complex, as well as the nearby town of Hazen. A brutal three-week siege then ensued, with little quarter asked or given. The last defenders then made a massed night assault on the lines of the 1st Argyle Lancers, and if not for the actions of Hauptmann Sara Bennigan, and her Thunderbolt, rallying a makeshift defense of the logistics area and the regimental headquarters, the 1st would have been overrun. Haputmann Bennigan was awarded the Medal Excalibur for her actions in a ceremony at Davion Palace in 3058. Accurate and timely artillery fire shattered the Falcon charge, and the Eridani Light Horse cut off the survivors and annihilated them. Only 24 Falcon warriors survived to be taken prisoner.


Attacking Units: 3rd Crucis Lancers RCT, 26th Lyran Guards RCT, Grey Death Legion, 3 Independent Artillery Brigades.
Defending Units: 17th Falcon Regulars, Clan Jade Falcon

Results: The fighting for Apollo was short and sharp, with the Falcons abandoning the defense of Apollo after a week of desultory resistance. The 17th has not been seen again since fleeing Apollo.


Attacking Units: 8th Deneb Light Cavalry RCT, Davion Light Guards RCT, 1st Kell Hounds, 3 Independent Artillery Brigades
Defending Units: 9th Talon Cluster, Clan Jade Falcon

Results: The 9th challenged Morgan Kell to a duel for the fate of the Cluster, and the chosen champion, Star Commander Aaron Malthus, was unhorsed from his ‘Mech in less than fifteen seconds. The unit then became bondsman of the Kell Hounds.


Attacking Units1st Robinson Rangers, 2nd Davion Guards RCT, 2 Independent Artillery Brigades
Defending Units: Choyer Garrison Cluster, Clan Jade Falcon

Results: After a small engagement near the 1st Rangers LZs, the Falcon morale collapsed, as much to a lack of logistical support and the fact that there was no help coming from their clan. The rest of the campaign was marked by accepting mass surrenders.

“..I knew we had to break out, it wasn’t going to end well for anyone in the “Old Kentucky Pocket” if we didn’t. But we didn’t have a ton of mobile forces to accomplish it, if we all moved from the border, we’d have the League come in after us and crush us from behind, all we had was the 12th Vegan Rangers, who’d already had one of their regiments lose a tough campaign on Tsinghai. But all their regiments wanted some payback. So, in a long, and at times, emotional conversation over a series of HPG messages, I authorized them to break out. It threw off our timetable for ACTIVE PANTHER a bit, but it worked a fashion, in the end. Damn near gutted the 12th Vegans on Sarna, I hope the survivors can forgive me for that.”

Taken from “Too Long a Soldier” pp. 335, by Marshal Jackson Davion, AFFC (Ret.)

FedCom Counterattacks to Liao-Marik Invasion[]


Attacking Units: Beta and Gamma Regiments, 12th Vegan Rangers, 2nd Robinson Rangers
Defending Units: 35th Marik Volunteers (ex. 5th Marik Militia)

Results: Barely two weeks had gone by since the 35th had arrived on Corey, and they were barely involved in assimilating the world back into the Free Worlds League when the Fedcom force arrived to contest ownership of the world. The 35th did well, but the weight of numbers was against it, and the Marik unit left the world after a month of heavy fighting, having lost nearly a battalion trying to hold back the FedCom force.


Attacking Units: Alpha and Delta Regiments, 12th Vegan Rangers
Defending Units: Blanford’s Grenadiers and Kingston’s Legionnaires

Results:  Things did not go well for any of the combatants on Matsu. The Capellan units were still bogged down trying to bring peace to Matsu when the 12th arrived, causing a flareup in the violence, forcing both units to be scattered in penny packets that were brutally overrun by the Rangers early on. But, the Capellans stabilized the situation and a bloody stalemate soon settled in, with both sides being harried by the factionalized insurgents, thus plunging Matsu into a nasty three-sided civil war.


Attacking Units: 1st Kestrel Grenadiers
Defending Units: 3rd Free Worlds Guards

Results: The 1st Kestrel savored a chance to raid the 3rd Guards, as they had drubbed them before, and did so again, smashing them time and again over a period of two weeks, and destroying almost a battalion before it was all said and done. They also seized some 50 Million C-Bills worth of agricultural products for their trouble, and a warehouse of Battlemech parts for the militia, who had recently been disarmed due to concerns as to their loyalty.

Operation Pointe Claíomh (Sword Point)[]

“They abandoned our brothers and sisters on Tamar, abandoned them and our Duke to the rapacious hands of the Clans! All because he dared to do what they could not! KICK ALL THE CLANS OUT OF THE INNER SPHERE. Ryan Steiner is a hero, whose name will beat in the heart of all true Skye patriots for all time….”

Excerpt from captured Sons of Skye propaganda leaflet taken by Landing City Police Department on Solaris,
March 8th, 3057. The raid on the cell also yielded 10 rifles, 40 pistols, 10,000 rounds of ammunition, half a ton of C-9 explosives, 500,000 L-Bills, and a plan to assassinate Duke Brewer of Coventry during a scheduled visit in June.


Attacking Units: 4th Skye Rangers RCT, 17th Skye Rangers, 22nd Skye Rangers, Dragonslayers, Eriksson's Einherjar (1 Regiment), 789th Strikers and the Black Cobra Regiment of the Crater Cobras.
Defending Units: Golden Keshik, 4th Wolf Guards Assault Cluster, Clan Wolf, WarShip - CWS Nicholas Kerensky

Results: The Wolf Clan Warship Nicholas Kerensky was lost early in the invasion, being blotted from the sky by at least 50-60 nuclear weapons as the Skye forces gained aerial superiority and dropped Eriksson’s Einherjar right on top of the Golden Keshik’s barracks and ‘Mechbays. Though the Einerjar was brutalized, with barely a battalion surviving to be relieved by the 4th Skye, it managed to gun down a majority of the Keshik in their barracks, with only a trinary led by Natasha Kerensky managing to fight their way clear. Kerensky soon linked up with the 4th Wolf Guards and then led them on a mobile campaign that frustrated the efforts of the Skye forces to take the planet for a better part of a month.

Most citizens of Tamar, surprisingly, did not revolt against the Wolves when called to do so by Ryan Steiner. Many were content to remain neutral. The arrival of a Wolf Clan relief force in mid-March, led by Phelan Ward, consisting of the 352nd Assault Cluster, the 24th Wolf Rangers, the Doberung and Choyer PGCs, and his own Silver Keshik, ended any realistic attempt by Skye and her forces to retake Tamar. At the same time, a courier ship from the Federated Commonwealth arrived, denouncing the actions of Ryan Steiner, and stating that any units that did not return with the courier ship would be dispossessed if they managed to return to the Federated Commonwealth, or left to the tender mercies of the Wolves if they did not.

Visigoth Medium OmniFighter (In space firing - IWM Paint by Steve McCarthney)

Visigoth Medium OmniFighter

Upon hearing this, the Dragonslayers, now consisting of 2 weak battalions, and the surviving Black Cobra Regiment of the Crater Cobras fled to return to the Federated Commonwealth, where they were given free passage to Outreach. The remaining units were involved in a titanic battle in and around Tamar City, where all the remaining Inner Sphere units were destroyed over another three weeks of fighting, with the Wolves taking heavy casualties, especially in the 24th Wolf Rangers and the two Garrison Clusters. Vlad Ward was among these casualties, attempting to rally a trinary from the Choyer PGC when it broke under a counterattack by the 4th Skye Rangers. He died under the guns of at least three assault ‘Mechs. Very few bondsmen were taken by the Wolves, with no quarter asked, nor given.

In the final aerospace battle, Ryan Steiner in his Lucifer dueled the Wolf Clan Carew Ngyren in his Visigoth. The fight lasted some twenty minutes, with Ngyren finally killing Ryan Steiner, and the fighter plummeting to the planet below.

In the wake of the fighting, Natasha Kerensky has called a Clan Council meeting to discuss the future of the Wolf Clan in the Inner Sphere….

Future of Clan Wolf[]

Wolf Clan Council Chambers
Tamar City
Wolf Clan Occupation Zone
March 16th, 3057

You can still smell the burning buildings even here. Phelan Ward-Kell, saKhan of Clan Wolf observed, as the current bloodnamed of Clan Wolf filed into one of the larger lecture halls at the campus of the former War College of Tamar. Their usual meeting place, the Hall of the Bloodnamed, which used to be the meeting place for the former Ducal government and the parliament, was now nothing but smoldering rubble, one of the last stands for the remains of a Skye Guards Regiment, a Cyclops that had been repeatedly holed by an over-enthusiastic warrior had fallen right atop the building…95 tons does nasty things to any building not built like a bunker.

Cyclop (In Mountain Valley by Philbobagginzzz)

Cyclops Assault 'Mech

I don’t know how to feel about Vlad being dead. Part of me is gratified that such a rival is gone, not just for my own personal fortunes, but for the future of the Wolves. He was perhaps not as blinkered as the Jade Falcons were, but his prejudices would have been the Wolves undoing. Better he died a glorious death here, though there wasn’t much left of his giftake when we found his ‘Mech. I think one of the Skye ‘Mechs kicked in his cockpit, right into the sidewalk in fact.

On the other hand, Vlad was a Wolf warrior par excellence. He was everything the founder asked us to be. Brave, cunning, skilled, ruthless. He was a Warrior we expect, and yet, that expectation has led to this. The Falcons and Vipers being chased out of the Inner Sphere, the Jaguars mired in unending blood and death in a disintegrating Combine, no closer to Terra than any of us, while the Adders are systematically making sure they have no home to return to. Huntress fell a month ago, and from what I understand, the Jaguars resisted to the last, Lincoln Osis died at the hand of Tabitha Paik. There are wars and rumors of war swirling through the homeworlds. The madness the founder fled with the eight hundred is gripping the Clans themselves, and all because of one man. Hanse Davion, you magnificent bastard. You’ve crippled the clans for all time. You knew that when you started this. And now, your son and daughter have us in a corner. But what is to be the solution? War, or something else?

Loremaster Katya Kerensky gaveled the meeting to order. “Trothkin near and far, I call this meeting of the Wolf Clan Council to order. I remind all that we exist in a state of war, and the Martial Code governs this meeting. We shall all abide by the decisions made here, it is our rede. Until we all shall fall, selya!”

“Selya” the chamber thundered

Though usually, the Clan Council consisted of some three hundred seventy-five warriors, give or take depending on bloodnamed vacancies, however, in this case, the representatives of the lower castes had been invited today, thus swelling attendance in the hall to possibly over five hundred. This was a meeting to decide the future of the Clan as a whole, and more representatives were attending via teleconference.

Natasha Kerensky, Khan of Clan Wolf, rose from her place front and center in the conclave, she doffed her ceremonial mask and smiled, opening her arms wide. “Trothkin. I come to you a clan that is facing a crisis. But like all crises, there is both danger, and opportunity. Do we choose war? We would be within our right to take vengeance on the Federated Commonwealth by our laws, and our customs. Ryan Steiner was a liege lord of the Federated Commonwealth, he was not acting in their name, but it was their responsibility to keep him in check!”

The chamber roared with approval. “WAR! PUNISH THE ARROGANT FREEBIRTHS!!”

“But what would war gain us? Sure, we would beat the holy hell out of the Federated Commonwealth for a while. But in the end, they would smash us underfoot of their numbers, and their artillery. Their people would rally to their leaders, convinced ALL the clans are nothing more than perfidious, murderous neighbors whose very way of life must be violently exterminated. It is a war we cannot win ultimately.”

“I SEEK A TRIAL OF GRIEVANCE, NATASHA! YOU SPEAK AS AN OLD FREEBIRTH, NOT A BOLD WARRIOR WE NEED TO LEAD US!” shouted one voice from the gallery. Several shouts and murmurs echoed in sympathy for the speaker, or to shout him down for interrupting the Khan.

Katya Kerensky leaned into the microphone and banged her gavel furiously. “Order, we will have ORDER! Or I will have Star Captain Fetladral clear the hall!”

The very mention of Star Captain Fetladral seemed to take the starch out of the sails of many of the dissenters, and the shouting matches slowly broke up, and people resumed their seats. Loremaster Kerensky turned to Natasha and nodded.

“Thank you, Loremaster. In any event, I ken disaster for us if we choose war. But there is another option, trothkin. We can choose peace. In fact, I believe we must choose it. The most important imperative of the leadership of this clan is to ensure that the clan continues to survive and thrive. War with the Federated Commonwealth will never accomplish this, and all the emotionalism of the Crusader cause will not change the facts. The second most powerful Clan was badly humbled, and may even now, be in the process of being absorbed, or worse.”

There were murmurs of surprise. “Has it come to this, Khan Kerensky?” asked Colin, the old, wizened leader of the laborer caste, he was respected far beyond his station for his loyalty to the clan, and his steady advice on non-military matters. He had been very successful with most of his suggestions in how to assimilate the restive Inner Sphere populations of the Occupation Zone into the Clan as a whole.

“I am sorry, Colin, it has. My last meeting with the Grand Council went badly, to say the least, and some clans aren’t even bothering to consult with them before turning on their fellows. Many Clans are not conducting themselves with any sort of honor. I often say that ‘Slavish adherence to ritual shows that one has nothing better to think about’, but in this case, that ritual, properly applied, did provide a measure of stability for our people. A thin veneer of stability against the chaos violence usually brings. The Commonwealth’s offensive, and the way it was conducted has shaken the Clans to their core and has stripped that veneer away.” Natasha said

Another voice chimed out “What of the ilKhan? He is a Wolf. Surely he can bring sanity to all of this?”

“Trothkin, I applaud your faith in Ulric, he is the best of us. But what good are his words when all ears have been closed to him?” Kerensky shook her head. “No, we have but one course. We must make common cause with our Inner Sphere citizens, we must unite the Clan and we must become part of their lives, as they must be made welcome to us. We must, proverbially, and in some cases, actually speaking, ‘cut their bondcord’ now, and for all time.” Natasha told old man.

The hall went silent.

“Trothkin, amongst the bravest of us here on Tamar was the 24th Wolf Rangers. They were an experiment. Consisting of trusted Lyran and Rasalhaguian adoptees, and equipped with Inner Sphere ‘Mechs and vehicles. We used them to see if we could integrate Inner Sphere warriors into the touman. The 24th proved to us over the last three weeks that the answer was yes. They were everywhere, plugging the line when it broke, launching attacks when needed, and they all volunteered as one, to recover bodies of the bloodnamed time, and time again, including the remains of Vlad Ward. And they suffered for it. Over a third of them are dead. Many more will never pilot a ‘Mech again. But what do we call them? ‘Freebirth?’, “Spheroid?’ What we should call them, if they have earned a place to be there, is ‘warrior’ or ‘trothkin’. Because for now, they are us, and we are them.”

“OvKhan, then what do we do about the Commonwealth?” a young Star Commander in the front row inquired.

Khan Kerensky smiled. “We do the unexpected. We deliver an olive branch. We have much to bargain with, and we Clansmen know how to bargain, do we not, quiaff?”

Palace of Spreading Harmony
Coventry, Coventry Providence
Federated Commonwealth
March, 3057

“I give a rats ass, General. I am a Marshal, I outrank you. That means in the AFFC, you follow orders? Kapice?” Marshal Sharon Bryan was not happy. She had gotten priority message from no less than Nondi Steiner herself that a) Most of the Skye Guards brigade had gotten a wild hair up their asses and gone off and attacked Tamar, potentially provoking the Wolves at a really bad time for the Commonwealth, and b) she had been ordered to disarm the one remaining regiment of the Rangers, the 10th and incarcerate the senior personnel on suspicion of high treason pending their “interview” with LIC.

Things had begun well enough, they had met with a party from the 10th Skye Rangers, including their regimental commander and S-3 under flag of truce at a point 100 meters outside the main gate. Both sides had ‘Mechs and troops under cover, all guns trained on the parley. No doubt with orders to gun me down if it goes badly, Sharon’s mind reported.

And that smartass Rhonda Snord isn’t making things easier, she’s content to stand there with her arms crossed and smoke a cigar. she’s ordered her people to even leave their ‘Mechs behind!

“We are following our lord’s last orders, legal orders Marshal, and as such it is you who is committing a criminal act. I warn you, any of your people set foot on our cantonment. We will take action!” Leutnant General Bukkish was a long serving officer from Tamar, whose career had been less than stellar, even for a “social general” but he was loyal, and that loyalty had gotten him promoted up the ranks of the Skye Rangers, even if that loyalty wasn’t to the Commonwealth as a whole. His hair was receding, what was left was grey, and his dusky skin was spotted, his beady brown eyes betraying the fear he felt for himself, and his people, as an Elite RCT, backed up by an equally competent mercenary battalion had just shown up and demanded his people lay down their arms without so much as a by-your-leave.

Sharon Bryan had half a meter on the General, and she leaned in slightly, coming almost nose to nose with the General. “Oh, that would be a mistake, General. You do that, and I won’t bother taking any prisoners. You’d all be traitors to the Commonwealth, and I’d treat you as such.”

“Fine sentiments Marshal, but how does it feel being a Davion lapdog?” Bukkish replied, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

“No worse than it does being loyal to an idiot that may have begun a war for his own pride.” Bryan replied, her own snark on full display. “It seems, General, we are at an impasse. Fine, I will make this simple. You’ve got 4 hours. Either surrender, or at the end of four hours we’re coming in. If you don’t resist, we will take prisoners. If you do? Well, your people had better have luck on their side when it comes to surrendering, because my kids will probably shoot first, then ask questions later, we’re done here.“ and with that, Bryan turned on her heel and left, her gaggle of aides trailing behind. Snord ran up to Bryan’s side.
“That could have gone better.” Snord said wryly.

“He didn’t have any intention of surrendering, and he knows he can’t win. We have the numbers and firepower.” Bryan scoffed.

Snord nodded sadly. “Yes, you are right, but Marshal, you did kind of come in there guns blazing and no offense, but we could just wait them out.”

Bryan shook her head. “Nope, not going to give these traitors a rallying point.”

Snord stopped walking, and turned to Bryan “What rallying point, Marshal? The rest of the Skye Brigade is dead, or behind Wolf razor wire, being turned into bondsmen. We could give a bunch of well-trained, misguided folks a chance to save their own lives. Not to mention the lives of our boys and girls who are going to have to go in after them.”

“Spoken like a mercenary, Snord.” Bryan said, exasperated.

Snord nodded. “We have time on our side, Marshal. Cut their power, water, and lights. We send in Loki to disable their fusion plant, and then we wait. May take a few weeks, maybe a month, but we have nothing but time.”

“Let me consider it, Snord. You’re right. We don’t need any more loss of life here than necessary. But it depends on what Tharkad tells us.”

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