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Chapter 60 Shattered Dao, Part 1[]

The Fight for the Forbidden City was some of the nastiest close-quarters combat I have ever been involved in, and that includes my short time on Solaris. I saw more DFAs and ‘Mechs tearing the limbs off each other than I think I ever want to again. I saw a Capellan Atlas tear the leg off a Davion Valkyrie and beat it into the ground. I dropped the Atlas with a long burst from Yen Lo Wang’s autocannon. Always appreciated the product Pontiac put out, but a Cataphract in the colors of the Red Lancers took its place. He was much better, and it was the closest I ever came to dying. But I am still here. Him? He’s in Warrior House Jade Phoenix. You can’t waste warriors like that.

Chancellor Kai Allard-Liao, pg 235, “A Life in the Chair – My life from New Avalon, the Clan War, Solaris, and Sian”


Painted on the side of a building in Benin city and photographed with two Davion infantrymen enjoying a smoke break in front of it on October 9th, 3057. It was taken by Abernathy Hollis, a photographer for ComStar News Network. This photo won the 3057 Pulitzer Prize.

Sian, Part 4[]

Attacking Forces: 1st Davion Guards RCT, 4th Davion Guards RCT, 3rd Davion Guards RCT, 6th Syrtis Fusiliers 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, 5th Federated Commonwealth RCT, 4th Royal Guards, 10 artillery brigades.

Defending Forces: House Immarra (45% strength), Red Lancers (20% strength), 1st People’s Loyalty Regiment (15%, scattered in penny packets), Death Commando Battalion (35% strength), 2 combined arms divisions of the Sian Home Guard (third division was disbanded due to losses and used to reinforce the other two), and 65 “Victory Battalions” (22 of which are on Wuhan, many battalions have either been destroyed or have deserted/surrendered en masse.)

Results: Shattered Dao’s initial drop went well, and was a qualified success, with the Jade Phoenix Cluster, The Fox’s Teeth Company of the 7th Crucis Lancers, 3/1st Ceti Hussars, and 1/The Davion Light Guards all executing a tight drop on the grounds of the Chancellor’s Palace against heavy Capellan resistance. The defenders were a mixed battalion of Home Guard, People’s Volunteers, as well as a ‘Mech Battalion, made up of some Red Lancers and Death Commandos. The initial fighting was fierce if short and the Allies made short work of the defenders. However, several sharp counterattacks by remnants of the Red Lancers and Death Commandos had Kai Allard-Liao’s command holding on by their fingernails, and by the morning of the 13th, 50% of Task Force Allard was dead, or too wounded to fight. Supplies were also touch and go, as Marshal Archer was four hours late. But the good news was that Marshal Archer had decisively defeated the last Capellan defensive line before the Forbidden City and was on her way. Sian was going to fall, but the question remained for both sides in the Forbidden City? Would she arrive in time, or would she get there to see Task Force Allard-Liao overrun after making a gallant stand?

Grim Thoughts on the Frontline[]

Task Force Allard-Liao Perimeter
Forbidden City, Sian
Capellan Confederation
October 13th, 3057, 0340 hours

Kai Allard-Liao was angry, they’d beaten off three Capellan counterattacks in the last two hours. Damn Kuángrè de are forming up to try again. His thermal vision saw enemy ‘Mechs forming up in the pre-dawn murk, with infantry dancing around the legs as if they were smaller fish scooting around a shark cleaning them up from their previous meals. Good god, more Home Guards and Victory Battalion members. He’d already had to send a Vulcan pilot to the field hospital as a psychiatric casualty. He’d had to turn his weapons on a troop of Capellan girl scouts who he’d let get too close to him. One of them got a satchel charge onto a leg actuator. The ‘Mech was in the hands of someone else now. A tech promoted from the ranks of the Jade Phoenixes.

Vulcan Medium Mech (Marching at Night - Farseer Animation version)

Vulcan Medium Anti-Infantry BattleMech

Kai popped the faceplate of his neurohelmet and tugged off his gloves…rubbing his eyes and then reaching for a water bottle. How many have you killed today, Kai Allard-Liao? The voice was his father’s, and he knew it was his own subconscious, mocking him for a youthful indiscretion. What the hell was I thinking, saying that?

Kai turned the radio to the GUARD frequency. The Capellans for some reason weren’t bothering with any kind of COMSEC. Hell, they were announcing their attacks with patriotic slogans and bugle calls over the radio. What kind of idiot does that? His Clanners thought it was brave, somewhat honorable. It didn’t prevent his Clanners from killing the Capellans in job lots as they came through.

An elemental suit bounded out of the darkness, coming to a stop at the feet of Kai’s ‘Mech. Taman’s done his walk of the perimeter. He changed his primary frequency back to the Jade Phoenix Battalion.

Elemental Battle Armor (Farseer Animation)

Elemental Battle Armor

“How went your walk of the lines, Taman? Our guys holding up well?” Kai exhaled, trying to chase the exhaustion and frustration away.

“Good for the most part, the Foxes Teeth are doing well, if a bit shook after the death of Ross McKinnion. He died well for a Spheroid. He died with his mate, Sarah Lytton. There were heaps of dead Capellans around them. The rest of our force is tired but eager. The end of a long campaign is in sight, and we are ready to enjoy our conquest.” Taman’s usually gravelly voice was filled with exhaustion, his words slightly slurred.

“Taman, tell Danton to move his people into reserve. They’ve done well today. And I’ll be writing Ross and Sarah up for the Diamond Sunburst. Cross load ammo and consumables. I suspect they won’t be in reserve long.” Kai remarked, his voice sounding a bit droller than intended.

Do I really want to rule these people? They’re so ready to die for a madman who's gotten them to this point. They can’t win, they have turned Sian into a smoking ruin, and may have even used nuclear weapons on us. The desperation is brave, and sad…and so damned Capellan.

“Kai, do you know where Marshal Sarah is? If she doesn’t arrive soon, I fear our being superior warriors will mean little, as we are going to get rolled over.”

Aff Taman, all we can do is buy time. How much of the Phoenixes are still standing?”

“All but ten, ovKhan. And all died a credit to their origins. We need our own version of the Remembrance for our Cluster.” A bit of pride crept back into Taman’s voice.

Kai nodded with a grim smile. “Well, then if Marshal Archer arrives a bit late, at least we paved the way for her, but I’d rather not emulate Custer or Frost at Arnhem Bridge.”

“Aff, neither would I, ovKhan.”, Tamar responded

A bugle call pierced the calm of Kai’s cockpit. It was soon followed by rapid-fire Han Chinese, breaking into the “Capellan Patriot’s Song” a recent creation of the Capellan Broadcast Service. Kai’s ears cringed involuntarily; it was the version done by “DaoShao” a recently popular tween boy band from Zurich that had topped the Capellan pop charts just before the war. And now they’re convincing other kids to die. Isn’t that nice?

“Taman, get back to your Star, I suspect we’re going to have company soon.” radio Kai

“Aff, ovKhan!” Taman’s suit turned with uncharacteristic speed and jetted away, returning to his elemental star on the far-left flank. They were covering what was left of the Chancellor’s gardens and were there in case the Capellans tried to infiltrate through the undergrowth. If not, they would use the terrain to counterattack into the flank of any Capellan advance. The rest were dug in wherever cover could be found in the tangle of shattered buildings and monuments. The early morning murk was a mix of smoke from burning buildings and smashed ‘Mechs and vehicles, as well as fog from the nearby swamps.

Kai changed to his command company frequency, then activated the push to get it out to all receivers on the task force net.


Acknowledgments flooded in from the task force, Kai filtered most of them out as he counted the men and women in his task force. 8 ‘Mechs operational, and that was a loose definition. Most were close to CLG. I’ve got an understrength company, most of us are pretty shot up. Least we have one thing going for us.

He switched frequencies again:


MLONJIR was the “GOTH” or Go to Hell Plan for the artillery support with Marshal Archer. Basically, all the FPF (Final Protective Fire) lines would be hit with the heaviest doses of fire that could be mustered in a massive TOT barrage, on Kai’s signal. Trouble was. Most of the FPF lines were well within what was considered “danger close.”

All Kai had to do was give the word. “Freak Show 4, let’s see if we can calm the ardor of these Capellans, get the Psyop tapes running.”

A few of the Battlemechs had loudspeakers attached with prepared tapes in Chinese and Russian calling on the Capellans to surrender for promises of fair treatment. The tapes blared over the smoking ruin of the valley stretching before Kai. He turned up the gain on his external audio pickups. Then a roar came from the Capellan side. It was a chant… one-word “Sǐwáng” – Death. It was chanted three times, then switched to a guttural “Urrahhh!” and a mass of grey-green humanity boiled out of the treeline some 1000 meters opposite Kai, several Capellan ‘Mechs and AFV behind them, firing wildly.

Kai thumbed off his MASTER ARM switch, muttering “For the Chancellor” in an ironic tone. Time to go to work.

Letter to Home[]

Dear Mom,

I know we have a family tradition of serving in the Light Guards. But…I can’t go near a ‘Mech anymore. Every time I sit in the cockpit, I see those girls I turned the machine guns on. I’ve asked for discharge on medical grounds…and it’s been granted. They’re shipping me back to Mallory’s World soon.

This may have been a necessary war, I don’t know. All I know is, from where I sit, it wasn’t a good war by any means. We’ve destroyed a world to save it. I don’t think they’ll ever forgive us for that. I don’t know if I can.

You and Dad were my heroes from the 4th War. I feel as if I’ve failed you, the family, and so many others. God forgive me for that. But God also forgive me for what I did. They say I prevented the line from being rolled up. But honestly, I wished I’d gotten that recognition posthumously. Our Vulcan will be coming home later. It’s been given to another ‘Warrior, but it will be returned when the shooting is over, or the AFFC will compensate us.

I’d rather have the money at this point. I think…I think I want to go back to school. Maybe, maybe become someone who helps bring something good into this world. Someone who protects kids…rather than turns machine guns on them?

Excerpt from a letter from Corporal Sandy Rich, a native of Memphis in the Federated Suns, and a ‘Warrior serving with X-Ray Company, 1st Battalion, Davion Light Guards. Rich was a psychological casualty from the events of Shattered Dao, and though his recovery was rough, he eventually became a renowned children’s author and pacifist in the Federated Suns. The letter was to his mother, explaining why he could not carry on the family tradition of serving in the AFFS/AFFC.

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