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Clover Spear - Chapter Cover Art

Chapter 50[]


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

Prologue, Book 2, The Hammer Falls

Battle for Sian[]

“…the initial fight for Sian commenced on the 6th of August, 3057 (as opposed to the popular start of the battle on the 19th, when the actual landings commenced). The fight began with the arrival of 10th Federated Commonwealth RCTs in system, one of the largest assemblance of JumpShips in recent memory, with some 600 aerospace fighters escorting the force in. (there were some attached “free aerospace wings taken from various Capellan March commands to ensure extra escort fighters for the drop). The FedCom forces arrived at the zenith and nadir points a bit disorganized, and spent the next day reorganizing their formations for the ten day burn into to the system main world.

The Capellans had half as many aerospace fighters as the FedCom forces. With the exception of the fighters from House Imarra, the Red Lancers, and some small units made up of instructor cadre from a variety of aerospace schools on planet, most were with low time pilots and were hastily trained and held in reserve for the defense of the planet. Their training consisted of little more than how to keep the fighter in the air, and were taught to ignore all else and go for the transports. This wound up with them becoming easy meat for the FedCom fighter pilots who were left wondering why their prey did not maneuver to save themselves.

Cheetah F13 (Free Worlds League - Yellow - by Palomides)

Cheetah Light Aerospace Fighter

In one tragic case on the 9th of August, a fēng bào zǔ or stormgroup, of 18 student pilots and two instructors from the Footnot Flight Academy took their F-10 Cheetahs launched a ramming attack on the dropships belonging to the 6th Syrtis Fusiliers. One of the fighters got through the fighter screen, and badly damaged the Union-Class dropship, Eye of Mendham. The Eye of Mendham managed to offload most of her passengers and cargo before the onboard fires caused a massive structural failure, killing most of the crew. It was a foreshadowing of things to come.

Fan Art - Union DropShip (Approaching Planet - by The Map Smith)

Union Class Dropshp approaching a station.

By the time the FedCom achieved orbit on the 17th of August, the Capellan aerospace response was disjointed, and spent, with over half their fighters having been shot down, or too badly damaged to repair. The overall FedCom commander, Marshal Linda Archer, ordered that the aerospace forces suppress all aerospace fields, military and civilian within 300km of the dropzone on Wuhan. The two-day battle, saw moderate casualties among the FedCom aerospace forces, mostly due to ground fire. However, it managed to succeed in destroying most of the remaining Capellan aerospace units, as well as suppressing a fair amount of the Capellan IAD (integrated air defense) network.

Thus, on the 19th of August, the fateful order was given to ‘land the landing force’.”

Anton Riksdar, “Excerpt from “Gotterdammerung in the Confederation”,by Johan Vyborg
Coventry Press, 3061


Scenario: Invasion Sian (Part 1)[]


Sian, Part 1

Attacking Forces: 6th Syrtis Fusiliers RCT, 1st Davion Guards RCT, 4th Davion Guards RCT, 3rd Crucis Lancers RCT, 6th Crucis Lancers RCT, 7th Crucis Lancers RCT, 1st Ceti Hussars RCT, 3rd Royal Guards RCT, Davion Light Guards RCT, 10th Deneb Light Cavalry RCT, 1st Federated Suns Armored Cavalry, 1st Kell Hounds, Jade Phoenix Cluster, 10 artillery brigades.

Defending Forces: House Immarra, Red Lancers, 4th Tau Ceti Rangers (battalion), WOBM 2nd Division, WOBM 3rd Division, 1st People’s Loyalty Regiment (Regular/Fanatical regiment made up of comb outs and convalescents with battlemech experience, leavened with instructors from the Sian Center for Martial Disciplines, as well as survivors of several units destroyed during Active Panther). 1 battalion of Death Commandos. 3 combined arms divisions of the Sian Home Guard, and 150 “Victory Battalions” (75 of which are on Wuhan).

Results: The initial landings took place in and around Jade Lake, a major city some 50km from the ultimate objective of the Forbidden City itself. A coup de main on the Forbidden City was considered, but it was felt that the defenses were too strong for any coup de main force to hold for any appreciable length of time for a relief force to arrive. The initial landings were conducted by Combat Command Charlie, 1st Ceti Hussars, as well as Jade Phoenix Cluster. Initial contacts with the enemy were sporadic, mostly with light elements of “Peoples Victory Battalions” who were often caught in the process of mobilizing, and easily disarmed or dispersed. This lulled a lot of the FedCom troops into a false sense of security, and belied what was to come.

On the night of the 21st, as the Davion Light Guards began to probe towards Belin on State Highway Six towards the Forbidden city, Charlie company of the 1st Battalion ran into a major Capellan force consisting of Victory Battalions, Home Guard, and a company of Death Commandos who slipped in behind Charlie Company. A relief force consisting of most of Vanuvar’s Battalion of the 7th Crucis Lancers had to fight their way through a series of ambushes conducted by Home Guard and Victory Battalion elements, and took moderate casualties, but took until the next morning to relieve Charlie company. Charlie company had only 40% strength left, having had to fight off battalion sized infantry human wave attacks, as well as probing raids by enemy ‘Mechs piloted by some of the best ‘Mechwarriors in the Confederation. The push for Belin continued, with the 3rd Royal Guards attempting to force a crossing across the Perfume river to the south and envelop the city or flank it and steal a march towards the Forbidden City. Both options went awry. First, the 3rd Royal Guards ran into fanatical resistance from Victory Battalion and Home Guard elements, reinforced by elements by a Level III of WOBM. It took six critical hours to force the crossing, and the lead ‘Mech battalion of the 3rd took 25% casualties. The advance down State Highway Six fared little better, with the 7th barely making any progress against elements of the Death Commandos, as well as dug in Home Guardsmen and Victory Battalion members. Often, it took brute force and copious amounts of firepower to shift the fanatical Capellans from their positions, but the FedCom eventually won the fight. The FedCom’s air dominance also helped, as it paralyzed Capellan troop movements by day, and forced them into a more positional strategy than the military situation dictated.

But, the Capellans were in dire straits. Capellan casualties were mounting, and supplies were running low, as the first two days of fighting had burned off some 40% of the on-planet ammunition reserve. There was talk amongst the remaining elements of the Strategios of using “special weapons” to redress the balance and buy time for reinforcements to arrive, but House Master Ion Rush asked famously “Where are there enough warriors left in the Confederation to do more than welcome their new masters? We are it.” Of course, no one mentioned this to the increasingly mad Sun-Tzu Liao, who demanded increasingly detailed briefings on the military situation, and often interfered in military decisions daily.


Skirmish at the Farm[]


State Farming Complex Nineteen
28km from the Forbidden City
Sian
Capellan Confederation
August 23rd, 3057


Been a shitty time here on Sian, right from the damn start. Sergeant Ben Doorman reflected. His Packrat had been ordered out by the troop commander of the RCT to go “Find Capellans and call artillery on them.” While such orders are usually a license for most scouts to have fun and raise hell, on Sian, it was a good way to die. There was a lot of IEDs and vibromines left around, and depending on who laid them, there might or might not be a minefield sketch to capture or interrogate out of someone.

Packrat (Driving on desert road - Oswald)

Packrat Scout Car

His Packrat had been modified, and sported a pair of machine guns and a Beagle Probe vice the SRM-6 in a hastily designed turret. They’d also moved the flamer to the front of the vehicle. He loved the Probe, but he wasn’t so damn sure about the SRM-6 being removed. At least they added some bar armor to make up the difference with the damn Capellan V-LAWs. I’ve had everyone and their granny shoot the damn things at me.

He swung the turret and did a sweep of the barn and the outbuildings again. So far, the probe hadn’t picked anything up. They were trailing behind an infantry screen of seven or so troopers from their own vehicle and had advanced through the open spaces of the farm using what cover they could find. But they’d stayed the hell away from the buildings. All we need is some patriotic Capellan kid or farmhand with a Molotov and an upper floor window. I saw that happen to Bellamy in that village last week. Still can’t get the memory of the screams over the troop radio net out of my head.

We haven’t taken a lot of prisoners yet. So far, the resistance has been either non-existent, or do-or-die fanatical. Nothing in-between. I guess these folks believe we’ve come to carry off their daughters, enslave their menfolk, and eat their babies. And the worst of it is? I really don’t have the time nor inclination to make them believe otherwise. At least I didn’t have to shoot any kids. Some guys in the infantry companies had had to do that. Not sitting well with some of them, so I hear.

He glanced at the Beagle display again. A pair of dots appeared, then more, all centered around the outbuildings. Shit! Before he could shout a warning, a pair of green luminescent fingers reached out towards the infantry, one man being cut in half by a torrent of large caliber rounds, another going down after being caught by two rounds in the chest that the body armor didn’t even stop. A flash then erupted from the room of the barn, a white finger of rocket exhaust stretched out towards the Packrat, which violently lurched to the left and increased speed to avoid the projectile. It overshot the vehicle, and exploded ten meters behind it, the Packrat was at speed now, hitting every bump and undulation in the ground with a violent slam to the occupants of the vehicle.

Doorman hurriedly slew the turret with a while of protesting hydraulics and snapped off a long burst from the linked machine guns. The staccato burst of the firing sounded like a jackhammer, punctuated by the tinkle of spent brass and links being ejected from the guns. Red tracer ripped out like fingers of death in the general direction of the V-LAW shot, the impacts tearing holes into the barn, and sending pieces of wood flying. The surviving infantry dropped prone and added their own weapons to the cacophony, the barn disappearing into a cloud of shattered wood and dust.

Doorman clicked the intercom <<“Buley, get us within flamer range of the Barn and outbuildings. We’re gonna torch these ******.”>>

<<“Merkurs, get your scouts tossing smoke and covering me. I am going to torch these buildings and flush these bastards before we lose anyone else, clear?”>>

<<“Roger that, boss. Try not to die. It’s a long walk home, Over.”>>

<<“Wilco, Merkurs.”>>

A small white smoke screen soon blossomed between the buildings and the infantry. The tendrils snaked with the wind, but it did a decent job obscuring things between them and the Capellans. It was on the longish edge of flamer range, but it would have to do. Doorman reflected. He just hoped the Capellans were out of V-LAWs and weren’t trying to suck him in close before firing the next one.

“Ok, Buley, hug the smoke so we can burn that ****** barn!”

The vehicle lurched again, and took off at full speed, bounding over every bump in the ground, shaking Doorman hard, even with the six-point restraints. They pulled up short of the barn, the infantry pouring fire into it to keep the heads down of whomever was in there.

Doorman squeezed the trigger for the Flamer, and a gout of flame shot out from the front of the vehicle. The fire hissed and popped like a living, hungry thing as it licked the side of the barn, igniting it within seconds. Doorman gave it another three second burst for good measure, but the barn was fully involved.

Before long, one of the windows burst open, and a woman jumped from the top of the barn, aflame from head to toe. She hit the ground and didn’t get back up. Another figure came out the open barn doors…screaming, but Doorman couldn’t hear what was being said. This one was smaller, obviously a child with a rifle strapped to their back…they too were aflame, their arms flailing as they ran. Suddenly, they dropped like a poleaxed steer. Shit, please tell me there’s not more kids in the other-

A series of sparks and pings erupted from the Packrat as multiple small arms rounds hit the vehicle. A flash then erupted from the building, and the Packrat shuddered, then filled with smoke. Buley was screaming on the intercom. “******! My arm…It’s gone Sarge, it’s gone!” Doorman slammed back a long burst from the machine guns, then grabbed his bailout kit and radio, diving out the infantry bay hatches to the rear. He had to get to the front of the vehicle before…

As he stepped out he realized there was no hope for Buley, the front of the vehicle was aflame, the rocket had arced over the bar armor..and hit the front hydrogen tank for the reactor. Buley was burning alive, and Doorman could do little about it, except run before the hydrogen detonated, so, Doorman took off at a dead run and flopped down to Merkurs.

Merkurs looked at him unceremoniously, “So, we calling for air or artillery?”

“Artillery, I am gonna flatten the shit out of this place.”

Doorman turned his attention to the radio <<“Stingray Two-Seven to Thor Four-Four, we need fire support at gridref RF11782434, need contact HE, three salvos, danger close, over..”>>


Death Throes, Part 2[]

“..As the fighting on Sian began it’s final, blood-soaked orchestra of death, the rest of the Confederation dealt with the final stages of the collapse of central authority.While the Word of Blake did manage to keep the HPG network going, often right up till the very last moments, many civil servants and government or military officials fled one step ahead of enemy troops or starving mobs. Many vanished overnight as August led into September, reappearing in as far-flung places such as Alpheratz or Cormadir.”

“Some however, were too slow, the brutal slaughter of the entire ruling family of Prix by a hungry mob numbering 60,000 triggered a wholesale flight of all those who had anything to do with the government and who had the means to flee. Anyone who stayed wound up sharing the fates of the Prixian royal family, who had their beaten and broken bodies left dangling from lamp posts…”

“pp. 191, Collapse of the Capellan Nation State,

Andrew Ling, Outworlds Press, 3065”

Apartment 335
Gardens Apartments
Pawhuska City
Decatur, Capellan Confederation
September 9th, 3057


Xu Chi hurriedly packed his bag as he kept one eye on the holovid, the official news hadn’t been on in three days. What was on…was something out of a nightmare. They’d broadcast the show trial and execution of the entire planetary ruling family. Just hung them from lampposts, with the Refractor cheering them on! Probably trying to avoid his own turn at the gallows, the swine!, he throught

Chi was a minor official for the Ministry of Trade and Exchange. His job was to write information security policy for the Capellan Commodities Exchange. That hadn’t meant a damn thing since the Davions had taken Capella. The orders from Sian had become increasingly meaningless as the Capellan economy went into free-fall. It wasn’t long before Chi’s boss locked himself in his office one day and shot himself with his old service pistol. That had been a week ago, and it had been Chi’s last day at work. It wasn’t popular to admit you were a government official, of any government. Mobs of former Home Guardsmen, angry servitors, and basic trainees from the Duchy RTC were roaming the streets, wearing orange armbands and hard looks.

Anyone associated with the Capellan State, workers, officials, and their families were being hauled up, given the barest pretense of a trial by an angry mob, and shot. The killing had gone on for at least four days, since the palace had been stormed by a mob numbering in the thousands. They’d captured the ruling family, and slaughtered the guards, the ones that had survived long enough to surrender. But what had motivated the riot and orgy of violence? It was a simple protest. It was the ordinary people demanding their rights to food and medicine, as guarantees under the Capellan constitution. They were only asking for what was due. But the problem was? The government didn’t have any food or medical care to give. Everything of that nature that was left, was going to the military and security services. Whole worlds like Decatur, which was mostly water, and overpopulated for the available landmass, were facing a slow die off from the lack of available food, or medical supplies. And anyone associated with the Capellan government was getting the blame. Who could blame them, Sun-Tsu had promised them victory, he’d delivered them death, defeat, and deprivation?

Chi had gotten a line on a small freighter leaving the Decatur system for Canopus by way of Rollis. He’d already destroyed everything having to do with the office and his former life, having burned it last night in the parking garage. He’d hoped no one had seen him do it, his neighbors were desperate for the food reward one got for turning in government officials and their families. It didn’t help the land lady was an evil go-se. He’d sold pretty much all of the family valuables to afford the exorbitantly expensive seats on the dropship. Chi checked his chrono.Two hours till departure, ought to be enough time, the drop port is only ten blocks from here. Nice brisk walk, and the weather’s decent. Now just make sure nobody who knows me is out and about.

Chi made for the door, and took a long look at the apartment, he was leaving a life behind. His moderately expensive entertainment center, a decently (for the time and place) stocked refrigerator, and a decent set of furniture. How will I survive being a refugee? He didn’t know, but he gripped the small, hard object in his jeans pocket. My father’s old backup pistol from his days as a ‘Mechwarrior. Glad I kept it. Even if I could have gotten in a lot of trouble for having it. Chi grabbed a non-descript black ball cap with the logo of a local sports team on the front. He shook his head, and slung his bag over his shoulder, and stepped through the door without a second thought.

Chi made his way into the hall and glanced both ways. The hall was dimly lit, only one of the four ceiling light panels was working, and there was trash all over the hall, discarded liquor bottles, propaganda broadsheets from the “provisional government” proclaiming a “New Dawn” for Decatur, and to be “on the lookout for traitors from the old regime.” Chi gingerly walked, trying not to make a sound. He’d left the holovid going, as he figured someone would come looking for him sooner or later. Let them think I am still there, I can be well and truly gone before they realize I am not. He gingerly made his way through the debris strewn hall, and to the stairwell, then crept down the stairs and into the lobby.

The lobby itself was a riot of ruined furniture, more debris, and a sleeping Home Guardsman face down on the couch, his rifle propped up against the couch, his orange armband prominently displaying his loyalty to Decatur’s new masters, whomever they were. That changed with the dawn of each new day as the “revolution” ate its children with alarming regularity. Chi crept by, each step sounding twenty times louder than it probably was. But the Guardsman did not stir. Chi got a better look at him. His almond features were barely old enough to shave. He was unkept, his uniform had stains of blood, and mud, and his boots had a dried brown-grey paste on the soles. There was a smell of vomit, and an empty bottle of a brand of cheap rice wine was askew on the floor next to the couch. Good fortune, this young man is drunk off his ass. His friends aren’t here. Chi took two loping steps for the doors and used his shoulder to open them as he dashed through to the street.

The sights assailed his senses. To his left, several cars were on fire, one was in the middle of the street, a pair of piles of rags covered in blood lay on either side of the vehicle. I don’t think those are piles of rags, Chi thought. To his right, a man swung slowly from a nearby lamp post. A plastic placard was hung around his neck, and it said in Chinese, “Mask informer and parasite of the people.” The dead man’s face had turned black, and his face was twisted in a rictus of pain and fear. Chi gasped, I cannot waste time, and I have to make my way to the dropport.

Chi walked calmly in the direction of the dropport, broken glass and gravel crunching under his feet. The smell of smoke and the sounds of gunfire and screams filled the air. Around him, however, the streets were eerily empty, except for the sounds of flames licking at burning cars, or the occasional building. Bodies lay everywhere like puppets with their strings cut. The smell of burning flesh assailed Chi’s nostrils as he continued to walk. He tried not to linger on the sights too long, less his outrage revealed him to some unseen observer.

Chi’s footsteps echoed the empty streets, as his feet broke into a run, his fear carrying him to the drop port. But, the sight of the entry signs to the drop port stopped him short. The sight instead of easing his fear, gripped his heart firmly and gave him a start. The gate was filled with orange arm banded militiamen. They were in various stages of inebriation, no doubt assisted by the Jade Plum brand rice wine, of which there was copious bottles of in the street. Six or seven bodies lay strewn around the entrance to the dropport, their lifeblood staining the ground from multiple gunshot wounds. Their clothes suggested all of the victims were male, and civilian, or at least dressed in civilian clothes.

Oh no, what do I do? Brazen it out? Run? Walk away? Chi lingered a second two long. One or two of the milling militiamen noticed him, and shouted for him to come over, their faces contorted into drunken, angry scowls. One pulled a pistol and pointed it at Chi, who promptly dropped his bag and took off at a dead run. Several puffs of disturbed dirt and concrete erupted around him to mark missed bullets, as Chi screamed incoherently. He then felt a blow from behind, toppling over and sent sprawling. A pain spread from his back and suddenly, he felt so tired. No, I am so close, so close. His vision began to blur, and he heard the crunch of gravel and a smattering of cruel laughter. A metallic sound soon echoed through his fading hearing. There was a flash, and then Chi saw or felt nothing at all, ever again.


“Operation Kervanos was at it’s core, a lash-up of an operation. The Duchy of Andurien were lucky in that the CCAF was not anywhere near the top of its form, and that the goals of the operation were limited. But with the near-reverse of fortune on Betelgeuse, the Andurien general staff revised the plans still further and only hit three worlds in the second wave. This did little to endear the general staff with the troops in the field, who felt they could have driven as far as Homestead…”

  • “Operation Kervanos, an Operational Appraisal”,
    by Force Commander Alan Thyme, FWLM (Ret),
    for Issue 219, Vol 18 of the Military History Quarterly, Military History Press, Terra, 3061

Free Worlds League Invasion of the Confederation[]

Operation Keravnos - Wave 2[]


Wave 2 (September-October 3057)

Kasdach

Attacking Forces: 2nd Defenders of Andurien, St. Cyr Heavy Assault Regiment, Lone Star Regiment

Defending Forces: Kadsach Home Guard

Results: The Kadsach Home Guard surrendered without a shot fired, many on world were happy to greet Andurien troops rather than Federated Commonwealth ones.

Dicon

Attacking Forces: 3rd Defenders of Andurien, Contessa’s Killers

Defending Forces: Dicon Home Guard

Results: The Dicon Home Guard fought with the strength of the desperate and the doomed. They only had a combined arms brigade to hold off the Andurien force. The Guard's ten days of resistance inflicted 10% casualties on the 3rd Defenders of Andurien, but Contessa’s Killers consistently crushed nest after nest of Home Guard resistance. The two surviving battalions surrendered after ten days of resistance.

Buenos Aires

Attacking Forces: 4th Defenders of Andurien

Defending Forces: Buenos Aires Home Guard

Results: A breadbasket world that fed a third of the Confederation, it fell to the Home Guard to defend the world. As it’s regular garrison, the 3rd Battalion of Ishihara’s Grenadiers were destroyed on Manapire earlier in the war. The Home Guard was division-sized, with an integral BattleMech battalion made up of mostly 3rd Succession War era gear. The rest of the division was equipped with obsolete equipment, some of it dating back to the 2nd Succession War. However, it’s numbers, and mobilization of at least ten “People’s Victory Battalions” allowed it to have the numbers to counteract the 4th’s superior mobility.

Much of the fighting took place on the planetary land mass, thus sparing most of the sprawling farms that were either underground, or on floating aqua colonies. But, the 4th was soon penned into its LZ, lacking the firepower to break out, as the Home Guard penned in the Andurien troops, but they lacked the firepower to break through the 4th’s perimeter. Both sides soon settled in and waited for help. The Andruiens reinforced first, with Burrow’s Crashing Thunder Regiment arriving on the 15th of October, and performing an avalanche drop onto the western sector of the static perimeter and smashing the Home Guard out of the way. Before long, both regiments had broken out, and managed to cut apart, encircle, and destroy major elements of the Home Guard, with the survivors retreating under pressure to the capital. After another 16 days of brutal house-to-house fighting, the Andurien flag was raised over the Ducal Palace and the surviving Home Guard elements surrendered.

Casualties for the Andurien forces were heavy, with the 4th having taken 30% casualties, and Burrows having lost 20%. Most of the losses were material and were made good by the middle of November.


Corodiz[]


Lagrange Point Orbit
Corodiz, Capellan Confederation
September 14th, 3057


“I haven’t been able to reach anyone on the surface, Sir.” the Sergeant said, her face creased with worry.

“Keep trying, Sergeant, I’d rather we didn’t have to shoot our way in if we can help it. For all we know, the FedCom beat us there?” Comptroller James Hallaran grimaced. He’d not thought much of the orders to probe towards Corodiz. He'd not thought much of the orders to probe towards Corodiz, it had been a Tauran world at one point, but that had been centuries ago. Can someone please tell me what the hell the Protector is thinking, or why Marshal Doru let him talk him into it? With our luck, the Capellans are rotating units from here into the fighting on Yuris. Held up the Davions for a month. Lord knows, that’s a miracle in and of itself considering the state the Confederation is in. But the fact nobody’s responding to our messages? We’re only 4 days out from landfall at the jump point? Something’s not right here. Something bad., he thought

A naval officer, wearing the rank of a Captain floated over to him, his ebon face was creased with worry. His eyes bore the strain of command and the additional half a gee of thrust they’d been enduring since they cleared the jump point a day ago.

“Comptroller, something worse. We’ve been in the system a day, and no one from any kind of traffic control or anything else has tried to contact us. We’re getting the automatic nav aids just fine, but I can’t raise a single controller. Our long-range telescopes don’t detect any nuclear clouds or anything like that, but this is ****** strange, and scary.”

“We’re the only ships in system?” Hallaran asked

“That we can detect, but orbital space is big, real big, and even an “intervention” force such as ours can be alone until we insert into planetary orbit at times. But we should have been hearing some kind of signals from the ground. As it is, we’re hearing nothing.”

“SHIT!” the Sergeant cursed. “Sirs, you gotta hear this. I think we got our answer.” The sergeant’s face was blank and a sheet of white, her green eyes wide with horror. She held out a pair of headphones to Hallaran. “It’s audio only, sir.”

Hallaran nodded and took the headphones.

<<“To all traffic entering the Corodiz system, this is a quarantine warning. Corodiz is currently suffering a pandemic of what has been identified as a variant of the Edison White Flu. The virus is highly contagious and can be spread through both human saliva, as well as airborne means. The virus has a morbidity rate of 65% and has left 25% of those who have survived with various kinds of neural and brain damage. Do not land on Corodiz. We will not acknowledge any attempt to communicate, turn around and leave our system. We do not wish to infect you. Please pray for us.”>>

Hallaran grimaced as the message began to repeat. “Jesus, they have a fully blown pandemic down there. So, do we turn around, or do we offer aid, Captain?”

“Don’t you think we should consult with the rest of the task force leaders, sir?”

“I plan to, but seeing as how you are one of them, I wanted your take?”

The captain nodded “Sir, we can’t risk it. If this bug is as virulent as they say? We’re going to have a ship full of dead men before we get back to Rollis and God help us if this gets back to the Concordat.”

Hallaran nodded, he was thinking of turning around anyhow. This was just too damn risky, but did the Davions do this? He’d been hearing their rhetoric since the terror attacks on New Avalon and elsewhere, but this? It just didn’t seem in character. Perhaps Dr. Reyes will have a better idea of what the hell we’re dealing with here.

“Captain, hold the task force here until we have a better handle on what the hell is going on, and what the hell we’re going to do about it.”


FedCom Invasion of Yuris[]


Yuris

Attackers: Team Banzai, Lexington Combat Group (all three regiments), 41st Avalon Hussars RCT

Defenders: House Diadachi, Metal Phalanx Mercenary Battalion, Yuris Home Guard

Results: As the fighting on Yuris ground on, Warrior House Diadachi and the Home Guard went to ground, fighting a guerilla campaign that managed to pin down 5 Davion regiments and wreak a measure of havoc. The Metal Phalanx was not so lucky, and in its own attempt to go into hiding, was discovered and smashed in an 18-hour running fight with Team Banzai. The survivors surrendered the next morning.


Sabotage on New Syrtis[]

6 months before


Astech Joshua Ford had been worked quite hard in the last three weeks, word had come down from the powers that be that the 5th FedCom RCT was leaving Tsingtang to be moved to New Syrtis to increase security and force protection for various infrastructure targets on world. This was a necessity with all of the Syrtis Fusilier regiments off world either fighting Capellans or mopping up Falcon and Viper die-hards in the Tamar March. New Syrtis had been nervous since the terror attacks that had opened the conflict, including the one that had put Morgan Hasek-Davion in a coma, and killed his wife, Kym Sorenson.

It’s why Ford was inwardly smiling. He hadn’t always been Joshua Ford. Ford at the end of the day was just another identity he cast off like a pair of dirty socks. He’d be disappearing before the regiment boosted off-world. He just had a small gift to leave behind first.

He looked up at the FSS Unity, an ovoid, Union-class Dropship with room for 12 BattleMechs and a crew of 14. She had seen better days, she had scorch marks and rain marks galore, a souvenir of multiple re-entries and hard atmospheric use. Her thrust bells were burnt black from hard use as well. And when Ford passed an open personnel hatch, he smelled that “Union smell” which could only be described as a mix between old socks, spoiled milk, and body odor in a horrific mélange that made any non-ship personnel or MechWarriors gag.

Ford was a known entity amongst the tech crews, having joined the unit with forged orders from a small technical college on Salem that had a good reputation. In truth, Ford had never been to Salem. He’d had technical training, of course. The Maskirovka had trained him for just this sort of thing. The Death Commandos think they have a monopoly on mayhem. They really should think again. They’re so…unsubtle.

Ford made his way up the gangplank with little effort and waved jauntily to a tech crew that was struggling with a circuitry panel down an adjoining hall. The smell was now mixed with the sounds of large tools, and acetylene as a welder worked on a hull patch for a small leak down the hall from Ford. The welder soon stopped their work, pitched back her helmet, her auburn hair in a ponytail tumbling back as she smiled at Ford. Her shape was hidden under the slate blue coveralls, with a faded 5th FedCom patch on her right breast. I do happen to know how pleasing that shape is, however. Ford smiled inwardly as he remembered their first date.

“Hiya Ford. So, we still on for dinner later?” she asked

“Yes, Marks, we are. I am looking forward to this new place you discovered downtown.” he told her

Poor Marks, she has no idea she’s going to be so useful in my escape. Doubly shame you are going to have to die for that, but things cannot be avoided. Should keep Davion counterintelligence guessing till I can make my escape back across the border. That said, the “device” should not activate until I am well away., he thought to himself

“Marks, I hate to cut this short, but I have to be going, gotta check some functionality issues with the flight control software. Master Tech Hardwell is getting ancy about making sure the RCT is ready to boost on time.” he told her

Marks nodded. “Gotcha, She’s been a real bear. Maybe she’ll let up once we’re in space?”

Ford shook his head no “I doubt it, probably have us polishing and making the ‘Mechs look sparkling. Gotta impress the Acting Duke you know!”

Both shared a chuckle, as Marks waved Ford off.

Ford made his way to the Flight Control main data bus, situated right under the bridge, and plugged in a small 10cm square black box, and then pushed a button, which uploaded a program from the single use hard drive Ford had plugged in. The small light on the box turned from a solid red, then blinked, and then after a few seconds, turned green. It wasn’t long before the light blinked out. Good, the drive just scrubbed itself. Now time to get to work doing what I was assigned to do.

Ford deftly unplugged the drive, then smiled as he broke out his diagnostic tools to find the fault in the RCS software code. The code he’d inserted was simple and would activate randomly once it detected the main drive had been activated. And it would all look like a horrible accident, at least long enough for Ford to get clear of Tsingtang. And I will make sure this Dropship doesn’t serve the Davions anymore. If we’re really lucky, they’ll ground a bunch more fearing this is a widespread fault in the entire fleet! Subtle, simple, and helps the Capellan state. he through silently to himself.


MW2 Dropship Re-entry

Dropship descending

FSS Unity: <<“New Syrtis Deep Space, this is dropship FSS Unity, we have a cargo of 12 mechs for the 5th FedCom aboard, and we are declaring an emergency, we have cleared atmo and we have lost all RCS function, and we have an engine fire. Please advise.”>>

New Syrtis Aerospace Control: <<“FSS Unity, do you have any steering, over?”>>

FSS Unity: <<“Negative, we are coming down like a rock, and our ‘Mechs are not in the drop cradles, over?”>> VSS Unity reported

New Syrtis Aerospace Control: <<Unity, I am scrambling fighters from Hasek Aerospace Field, you know what they have orders to do if you cannot get control back in the next two minutes. Your impact is projected to be downtown Saso city.”>>

FSS Unity: <<“Understood New Syrtis. I am getting my boys and girls to the pods, I am staying, my ship, my responsibility.”>> Captain of FSS Unity announced

New Syrtis Aerospace Control: <<“Say souls aboard Unity?”>>

FSS Unity: <<“Including the ‘jocks and techs? 57. We’re ejecting now. Get those fighters here soonest, New Syrtis. I’ve lost all helm in this ship, and we’re about 20,000 meters AGL and falling like a rock…”>>

Transcripts of radio communication between FSS Unity and New Syrtis Deep Space Control, September 19th, 3057.


Taken from the official accident investigation. The FSS Unity lost all RCS and main thrust control on approach to Saso spaceport. She impacted in the suburbs of Saso city, scoring a direct hit on Hasek Memorial Hospital. The impact resulted in the killing of 350 and injuring 500, including the dead was Morgan Hasek-Davion, who was in a coma being treated in the hospital’s ICU. It would be revealed post war that the cause of the accident was Maskirovka sabotage of the flight computer during a routine A level check.


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