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Fate Can be Cruel - Chapter Cover

Fate Can Be Cruel - 2772[]


1 January to 31 March 2772
Terran Hegemony (Periphery)

Operation Robber Baron was under way as the fleet departed the Thazi system to begin their multi year operation. General Rita Mitchell wanted to go with them but her duties just would not allow it. Vice Admiral Tanisha Tanaka had spread her remaining ships across the region of space controlled by the Terran Hegemony. She had then spent several days speaking to General Mitchell with Rear Admiral Delvaney in attendance before their departure.

"Rita, we need to address a huge problem we have now. With the expanded territory, we now lack enough transports to rapidly deploy our forces. Now that most of the Divisions are back to full strength or close to it, we do not have enough transports for each command. That is a huge liability. But we think we have a solution, but only if you agree to it." Vice Admiral Tanaka had said

"It is a problem; I am well aware of it. But let's hear your solution to it." General Mitchell responded

"Let us use the 2.5M ton shipyard here at Thazi are to build 2 more Potemkin Transports. It will take 2 years to build each one. But with those 2 ships, we can assign one to the 359th Battlemech Division and the other to 280th Mechanized Infantry Division. That will free up enough Star Lord-Class Jumpships to fully equip all of the other Divisions with organic transports. We chose the 359th and 280th Divisions because they are your slated rapid deployment forces. If you agree to this, outside of the planned upgrade of the Vincent Corvettes into Destroyers, I will not ask for anymore warships." Vice Admiral Tanaka explained.

"You might not ask me for any new ships, but sooner or later, your going to ask me to let you recover the 2 ships at Outpost #4. But your right, the lack of transports has been a concern for me. Can we actually do it? Build the 2 Potemkin Transports?" General Mitchell replied

"Yes sir, the shipyard can do it. It is fully capable in all respects. But only this yard. I did not provide the Linden yards with warship construction abilities. They can build standard Jumpships, but not warships. The yard here though, is fully capable. Half the crew of the Shipyard is from my crew aboard SLS Salvation, the other half are still learning their jobs. We could build one in half the time if we had the yards back home, but we don't. But it will pay off down the road if something really bad happens and we need to redeploy the ground forces massively." Rear Admiral Delvaney said.

General Mitchell sighed heavily before answering "Okay, but only those 2 Potemkins. Geez, it never stops does it?"

"No Rita, it does not. You have it much harder out here than General Kerensky ever had it. He had the full industrial power and financial capabilities of the Terran Hegemony and Star League working for him. If he had ordered 20 more Potemkins, they would appear inside of 5 years back home, probably much faster. And he would not give the matter another thought. He already had a fully functional economy to support the needs of the SLDF. And until we are reunited with the original Terran Hegemony, as acting Regent, building the economy out here AND supporting the SLDF is your job. How is Amanda doing?" Vice Admiral Tanaka said

"She is doing great. She started school with the other kids in town. It was quite an argument with Colonel MacIntosh over it. I forced him to pair down her escort to 2 female troopers and they had to be in civilian attire. Of course I know for a fact he has a full company of Jump Infantry not far away. I want her to experience a semi normal life. Let her be a kid with other kids. I think that was the problem with her father, he never got to be a normal kid. Grew up all entitled and everything, well Amanda is going to be different." General Mitchell replied.

"I am sure she will. And how is your son taking everything?" Vice Admiral Tanaka asked.

"He is having fun with it. Calls her his baby sister. Of course, he does not really understand who she really is or will be when she is an adult, but for now, the two are inseparable when together. But then she has no clue of her future either. I still have no idea how to explain all of this to her, much less to General Kerensky and god forbid her father." General Mitchell said.

"Relax Rita, neither of them are going to shoot you for what you have done and if they tried, well they will have a pretty big problem on their hands. I and all the other officers will stand with you. For what it is worth anyway." Vice Admiral Tanaka replied

In February, construction began on the first Potemkin Transport with its completion date set for March 2774.

On Shira, Cameron Falcry watched as massive forges were being installed. Shira Armor Works occupied 4 square miles and would produce the various armor types needed by the SLDF. Though the planet itself had limited easily mined minerals, it was surrounded by systems rich in resources. Once fully staffed, Shira Armor Works would employ roughly a hundred thousand people both directly and indirectly. He had much smaller versions of the forges already setup not far away where several of the other survivors from Outpost #4 were training the new hire in how to make armor. He had already trained those survivors in how to make Ferro-Fibrous and Ferro-Aluminum Armor. Once fully operational, he calculated Shira Armor Works would be able to produce several hundred tons of armor per day.

On Ceiba, Rear Admiral Percy Seimens watched as a local construction company made a massive expansion of the local space port. Another construction company was building 20 very large hangers. He turned to where a Battalion of SLDF Engineers was constructing another massive building. Here, Interplanetary Drive's for the selected Dropships would be constructed. He had brought over 50 of his people so that they could teach the locals how to build the selected Dropships. He thought the name was dumb, but he had his orders. Plus, he had brought over the specialized manufacturing equipment to make this a reality. It would still take a year before any Dropship rolled out of this complex.

Hegemony Aerospace

Dropships Production --
Mammoth Dropship - 8 Construction Hangers (16 per year)
Mule Dropship - 8 Construction Hangers (24 per year)
Jumbo Dropship - 4 Construction Hangers (8 per year)

Interplanetary Drive --
Bally Tech Super X40 - Mammoth
GE 2080 - Mule
Antares 2800 - Jumbo

At Linden, the 2 Shipyards had begun construction of Mule Dropships, each would produce 12 per year. Rear Admiral Seimens had kept his disapproval silent and carried out his orders.

On Thazi, Lieutenant General DeMars watched as the last of the Mobile HQ (HPG) was taken apart for reverse engineering. All except the Mobile HPG, which was under strict guard in a separate location. Peter Sajak and 12 of his most senior had painstakingly taken the vehicle apart, along with the standard Mobile HQ vehicle. Both vehicles would be assigned a single assembly line, located here in a secure production facility. Both vehicles had been assigned to General Mitchell's Headquarters Battalion and had sworn to personally step on Lieutenant General DeMars with her Pillager if they did not work perfectly when he put them back together again. He could not help but wipe the sweat off his brow as the very last piece was scanned into the computer by Peter Sajak.

Olympia Command HQ Vehicle (Design by Matt Cross & Painted by Joshua Bressel)

Mobile HQ Vehicle

Martha Pruitt, in her Merchant Jumpship, led the 4 Liberty Jumpships, carrying 12 Converted Jumbo Dropships and 6 Mule Dropships on a return to Bastrop. There she hoped to find awaiting dependents from the various SLDF commands for transport back to Thazi. Plus, she had orders to have Fleesum and Gougem secure the production rights of quite a few civilian vehicles along with the needed manufacturing equipment.

Author’s Notes – Potemkin Production[]

Okay, my main reason on building the Potemkin over multiple Star Lord-Class Jumpships is experienced crew. Also, the Potemkin are being built to a new standard, LF Batteries and 50,000 passengers. SLS Mighty Lift is running a 75,000-passenger configuration. SLS Mighty Lift is running a reduced weapons payload, the while the newest will maintain the bog-standard weapons load out.

Plus the Potemkin use less Germanium than the equal amount of Star Lord Jumpships. By a large factor. This was also a primary factor in the decision to build the Potemkin over multiple Star Lords. Potemkin uses 683,275 tons for a Jump Core, while 4 Star Lord takes 1,041,200 tons to get the equal number of collars.

The ability to mount the LF Batteries for rapid response is another reason over the equal number of Star Lord Jumpships. In addition to being able to carry the entire embarked Division in quarters over in their Dropships eases the massive supply issues for a long deployment if it is needed. I would have to drop a Star Lord to 3 collars to equip LF Batteries, that means I need double the Star Lords to get 24 collars which uses over 2 million tons of Germanium.

The Potemkin is just more efficient for a Division transport than multiple Star Lords, though it costs a bloody fortune at almost 75 Billion. Long term efficiency anyway. For the Independent Regiments, the Potemkin is not a cost-effective transport, too big, but for a Division, it makes much more sense.


11 April 2772

Rear Admiral Vincent Zeibler, SLS Conroy, Avatar-Class Heavy Cruiser led his Division into the systems Zenith Jump Point. Followed 15 minutes later by the remaining ships and transports. Forming up on the detaching Dropships, he led his half of the assigned warships to the planets orbit. There, they would let the ground troops get some ground time as the Forward Operating Base was established and the ships cycled thru a quick maintenance check with SLS Salvation, Newgrange Yardship.

14 April 2772

Entering orbit, the armada performed a few orbits as the various ships scanned the surface. Once nothing obviously dangerous was detected, Rear Admiral Vincent Zeibler ordered the Dropships to the surface and for the Aerospace Fighters from SLS Independence, New Samarkand Carrier to escort them down. A cloud of 72 Aerosapce Fighters descended into the atmosphere, sonic booms echoing across the planets surface. While 2 Groups remained on high cover, 2 Groups swept towards the only detected city on the planets surface. Major Juan DeVilla, commander SLS Independence's Aero Wing, piloted his STU-K5b2 Stuka as it swept across the small city, a sonic boom ripping across the city.

Reefing his Stuka into a broad left turn, he spotted a Fury-Class Dropship grounded close to a large building on the outskirts of the small city. He keyed his radio "Gold Lead here, we have a single Fury Dropship on the ground. Possible hostiles, but no hostile movements detected. Break, Falcon lead, establish a CAP on that Dropship, I would prefer if it does not take off."

Lieutenant General Petra Sverdlov, commander 11th Conventional RCT, heard the message and led her command towards the small city only 35km away. Though her command was newly formed, it was not totally green. With a leavening of Veterans spread among the various units. With 3 Battalions of Korvin Tanks and a Company of Turhans in each of her 9 Grunt Infantry Battalions, it was a powerful force. Checking her digital map, she could see Battlemechs forming a broad perimeter around the grounded Dropships. Returning her attention to the rapidly approaching target, she could see people starting to form along the roads as her lead units began entering the small city, halting and disembarking their cargo of Infantry, while other units moved to secure the Fury Dropship.

Turhan Combat Vehicle (in Desert)

Turhan Combat Vehicle

Once she entered the small city, her radio crackled "General, we have the colonies leader in the city square if you would head up here."

"Roger, on my way, 5 mikes. Tori, head for the city center, move slow, these crowds are getting pretty thick." Lieutenant General Sverdlov said

When her Korvin halted in the city center, she dismounted and pausing to look around, began moving to where one of her Lieutenants had his arm raised. On reaching the small group, the Lieutenant motioned towards a gruff looking man. "Lieutenant General Petra Sverdlov, 11th Conventional RCT. You the leader of this colony?"

"Ismael Sampson. Yes, I am the leader of this colony. May I ask what your intentions are? We are an independent colony and not under Star League rule or any other Houses rule." The man said in no friendly tone.

"We are not here to impose any rule upon you, Mr Sampson. We will be here for roughly 3 years though. It is only temporary, and I am hoping to establish a good relationship with you and your people while we are here. We are willing to purchase any food stuffs that you would be willing to sell us while we are here though." Lieutenant General Sverdlov said

"3 years sounds like an occupation to me. Why here? Go somewhere else." Sampson replied.

"Sir, your system just happens to be located close to where we will be conducting operations. We will be establishing a small temporary base of operations here. I will even have my medics see to your people while we are here. Our interaction will be kept to a minimum. We will be conducting patrols, purely for our security. But first, we spotted the Fury Dropship grounded close by, are there any hostiles we need to be aware of?" General Sverdlov asked

"No. There are no hostiles here. We actually have it providing power to the city here, the reactor is on low power settings." Sampson replied

"I will have an Engineer Company with me while we are here. Once we have our small compound established, maybe I can have them assist your colony with anything you might need help with?" Lieutenant General Sverdlov said.

"We can handle anything. We will be no trouble, but we would prefer to keep our sealings with your troops to a minimum." Sampson said.

"If that is your wish sir. Please tell your people that if anyone needs medical care, that we are more than willing to provide it. Free of charge." Lieutenant General Sverdlov said as she spun on her heel and moved back to her Korvin. This is going to be a long 3-year assignment, she thought.

22 April 2772

Lieutenant General Petra Sverdlov had for the last week stationed a Sherpa MASH just outside the small city as an act of good will. Today, they saw their first patient, a young woman who had complications during childbirth. Working feverishly, the MASH's medical teams had managed to save both the woman and her infant. Currently they were in stable condition and resting comfortably, a small crowd of maybe 25 locals had assembled and a small cheer went up as the news of their condition was announced.

23 April 2772

Lieutenant General Petra Sverdlov stood in the hatch of her Korvin leading the small parade of 3 additional Sherpa MASH vehicles. After yesterday's success, dawn had found a small crowd that continued to grow as the day progressed, all seeking medical care. She had also included a Sherpa Canteen to the small convoy, might as well see that they all get a hot meal, hearts and minds, she thought with a small grin.

On arriving, and while the medical crews set up the additional MASH trucks, she leaned against the track of her Korvin silently watching her people move with swift but efficient movements. Captain Lesley Casmary, ranking Doctor of the first MASH team, approached her.

"General Appreciate the help, We have triaged most of the patients and we have everything from dental to hernia's. Nothing too major, but I could use the help. Out of curiosity, I wandered into town and took a look at the local hospital. Seems they ran out of most drugs and their equipment is pretty primitive. But the doctors and medical staff seem competent enough. They are here helping us out doing the triage." Captain Casmary said

"Excellent work Captain. Kick some medical supplies loose for their hospital. Not too much, but enough to show them that we are friends. Excellent work on the mother and child, how are they?" Lieutenant General Sverdlov asked

"Recovering nicely. We had to do a C section, the local doctors could not do it. That was why I took a stroll, it piqued my curiosity. I will get with their doctors and get a list of what they need the most. If you will excuse me, I need to get back and get scrubbed up, got an appendectomy to perform." Captain Casmary said


1 May 2772

A call from the main gate of the SLDF compound brought Lieutenant General Sverdlov out of her small quarters. As she approached the main gate, she could see a small convoy of flatbed trucks. As she got even closer, she could see that they were loaded with fresh produce, fruits and vegetables. She halted by the sergeant "What have we got here Sergeant?"

"Seems the locals want to deliver all this fresh food to us. Said it was to repayment for all the things we have done for them."

"Well, let them in Sergeant. Hearts and minds, hearts and minds." She said

10 May 2772

The Task Forces assigned to Outpost #7 and Outpost #11 departed the system for their respective targets, leaving the 11th Conventional RCT to garrison the Forward Operating Base. At the Zenith Jump Point, Rear Admiral Delvaney was bringing her support group into orbit of the planet. Easier to provide some ground time for her crews in orbit than from the jump point. It was going to be a very long deployment.

22 May 2772

Corporal Ben Suong and his squad had been on duty around the cluster of MASH vehicles for several hours when he caught sight of something that just did not sit right with him. It took his brain almost 5 minutes to connect the dots, he swept his eyes over the ever present but much smaller crowd of locals awaiting to be seen by the medical personnel then back up the street into the city. There, his eyes focused on a window, a face would appear and then pull back from the window on the 2nd floor. His brain told him that he had seen 5 different men enter that building over the last 15 minutes, each one entered alone and did not come back out.

With little movement, he selected his Lieutenant's channel. "LT, Suong here. I think we might have a situation developing here."

"What's going on, Suong?" Lieutenant Carter Swanson asked

"Mostly a bad feeling, but I think we are being observed. And not in a good way, house down the street from our location. I keep seeing a face appear and then disappear. At least 5 men have entered that house solo over the last 15 to 20 minutes." Corporal Suong explained.

"You sure, Suong? You know the General does not want to agitate the locals. But I will bring the rest of the platoon down to back you up and have a look see myself." Lieutenant Swanson said.

It took 20 minutes for the rest of the platoon to arrive with Lieutenant Swanson. Standing near Corporal Suong, Lieutenant Swanson allowed his eyes to sweep across the building Suong had identified for him over the closed comm system. He saw a shadowy face for a split second in the second floor window before it faded away. He keyed the closed comm "Your right Suong, I saw him. Pass the word for everyone to pay attention, but nothing too obvious. I need to pass the word up the chain."

Lieutenant Swanson next selected his Company Commanders channel "Captain Bryce, Lieutenant Swanson. We might have a developing situation down at the MASH site. I am sure we are under observation by possible hostiles. No sir, we are secure here for the moment. Roger that, stand fast, weapons tight unless fired upon until further notice. I understand sir."

23 May 2772

Nothing had occurred the previous day, but Lieutenant General Sverdlov had ordered increased patrols around the SLDF compound and increased the radius of the patrols to include several hilltops with a line of sight to the SLDF compound. Each patrol was a full Company in strength. Then on a spur of the moment, she detailed another Company to check a forested hill about a mile from the small town in some fairly dense woods.

By early afternoon, reports began to come back in. One of the hilltops, 2 miles from the SLDF compound, the Infantry Company assigned to that area had discovered several bunkers with a clear line of sight into the SLDF compound. This caused Lieutenant General Sverdlov to raise the alert level of her 11th Conventional RCT, but orders were to do so as quietly as possible.

Captain Kimberly Kline led her Company up the wooded hill. The woods were too thick for her Turhans to make the trek. She had joined the SLDF after being taken prisoner on Pilon and then being given a second chance. Half of her Company were former rebels that had joined the SLDF once released, the other half were newly graduated from the Infantry School on Boulsi. As her lead platoon reached the top of the fairly high hill, her helmet comm crackled "Captain, we got a trench line and several bunkers up here. Fresh boot prints heading down the hill and into the forest. Forming a perimeter now."

Down at the MASH site, Corporal Ben Suong was near the Sherpa Canteen sipping a cup of coffee when one of the local doctors walked up to him. "You folks know your being watched right?"

Without making any obvious movements, Corporal Suong replied "Yes, we picked up on that. You know who it is and what they want?"

"Rebels. But they went pirate when the Uprising collapsed. They damn sure don't want you SLDF troops here. They are the ones who literally stripped our hospital. They have about a hundred of us prisoner. Including Ismael Sampson's daughter." The doctor said

"Any idea how many of them there are?" Corporal Suong asked, but at the same time, he had sent a silent signal to his Lieutenant that would alert him to danger.

"The main force is away on a raid. They have the Battlemechs. Several thousand of them all told. They have about 120 in the city. I have to go." The doctor said as he moved back to the MASH trucks.

Corporal Suong tossed his coffee cup into the small trash bin and moved to where his Lieutenant stood near one of the MASH trucks watching him. "Doc says we have hostiles in the city, about a company in strength but a much bigger force is here. Several thousand strong. Rebels turned pirate. They got locals as hostages."

Word was quickly passed up the chain of command. Lieutenant General Sverdlov ordered all the SLDF naval personnel to return to orbit and relayed the news to Rear Admiral Delvaney that the planet had hostiles on it and that part of the hostile force could arrive back in system at any time. Lieutenant General Sverdlov looked up from the map displaying the area for 100km around the SLDF compound and looked at Major Marcella Ramirez, commander 2282nd Special Forces. "What do you think Major Ramirez?"

"Well, General Mitchell did not send us along to sit on our backsides. Plus she got me a 2 Cobra VTOL's and 2 Nightshade VTOL's as escorts. Actually the only 2 Nightshade VTOL's in our entire force. Those Royal Black Watch pitched a fit losing them to us. Each Cobra can carry a full Company of my Special Forces. The hostiles have to be landing their Dropships somewhere, we have seen no signs in the immediate area. How about I slip into town tonight with just a few of my people and pay a visit to Mr Sampson and get some information?" Major Ramirez suggested

"Approved, but I would prefer a light touch, Major. If they have his daughter, he is acting under duress." Lieutenant General Sverdlov said.

24 May 2772

It was just after 3am and Major Ramirez studied the small house. She had only 2 squads with her and they had been watching the immediate area around the house for over an hour. They had detected nothing out of the ordinary. She and each of her troopers carried a Tranc Gun in addition to their personal weapons. She tapped the arm of the trooper to her left and both silently made their way to the small house. Making their way to the back door, they silently slipped inside. Moving silently, they quickly cleared the downstairs and moved upstairs. Only one door was closed and Major Rameriz carefully and silently opened the door and slipped inside, approaching the bed where Ismael Sampson was asleep. She reached out and placed a hand over his mouth which startled him to fully awake. "Shhh, do not make a sound Mr Sampson. I mean you no harm, we are here to help but we need some information. Do you understand?" When Ismael Sampson nodded, Major Ramirez slowly removed her hand from his mouth. In a whisper he said "You have to leave, if they find you here they will kill a lot of people." "We are aware of your situation. Where is their main base? We need to know, that is the only way we can rescue your daughter and the others." Major Ramirez whispered

"It is deep in the forest, about 35km north of here. They land their Dropships in clearings in the forest. Cover the area's with camo nets in the treetops. Please, they will kill my daughter and the others." Ismael Sampson said

"We will get them out. How long has the main force been gone?" Major Ramirez asked.

"7 or 8 months now. They could be back at any time and they have Battlemechs. A lot of them." Ismael Sampson said

"We can handle them. We will leave now, Mr Sampson. Please go about your normal routine. Give no clue that we were ever here. Soon, you will see your daughter again." Major Ramirez said as she began slipping from the room.

28 May 2772

Major Marcella Ramirez settled down silently between Lieutenant Carter Swanson and Corporal Ben Suong under the dense underbrush. Slowly, she removed her helmet and set it on the ground, taking a free hand she scratched her head. "Damn helmets make my scalp itch like nothing else."

In a whisper, Corporal Suong said "It's because of the long hair you insist on keeping. Shave it down to a crew cut and it will help with the itch."

"Why thank you ,Corporal Suong, but I prefer to keep some of my female qualities intact. So, how sure are we that cluster of buildings hold the prisoners?" Major Ramirez asked pulling out a pair of shaded binoculars for a look see. It had taken the 2282nd Special Forces almost 3 days to locate the rebel/pirate base, which was spread out all over the dense forest. They had located the first clearing where a Dropship had clearly landed and taken off from fairly quickly. Then Major Ramirez had broken the Battalion into platoon sized patrols to cover the entire area, carefully recording the locations as they were discovered. Currently, she had a platoon leading the 2nd Infantry Regiment of the 11th Conventional RCT deeper into the dense woods and closer to the rebel/pirate locations.

As she scanned the area under the thick canopy, but cleared of underbrush, she counted 6 decent sized buildings, set up about 2 feet from the ground and could clearly see that each building had a set of guards along with several 2 man foot patrols walking around the perimeter of the clearing. "So far, it is the only site we have located that has guards posted at each building with roving patrols. Everywhere else has a few roving patrols only. The buildings are too small to be warehouses, we already located the site that is clearly their primary storage location." She heard Lieutenant Swanson whisper from her left.

"So, you have a plan made up yet Lieutenant Swanson?" Major Ramirez asked still scanning the area.

"Yes sir, but I need another platoon to make it as close to a sure thing as I can promise." Lieutenant Swanson whispered confidently.

Major Ramirez put down the binoculars at the response "Might I ask why you are so confident in this plan?"

"I already have 7 teams of 2 inside their perimeter. They went in during the early morning. You cannot see them, I have tried, they are under the buildings down there. The moment we assault the place, my remaining 14 troopers will split into several 4-man teams and take down the roving patrols. Those under the buildings will take out the guards at the doors with tranc guns. I need the other platoon for over watch and additional assault teams." Lieutenant Swanson replied

"Then I will get you another platoon. The grunts should be getting close by now, we will need their firepower when we take on the area, we think is the main barracks area for the folks down there. I want the prisoners secured as quick and quietly as possible. Once we begin the main assault, we will bring in the Cobra's for an extraction. That is the primary mission. No head hunting until that is accomplished. Stress that to your people Lieutenant Swanson." Major Ramirez said "Yes sir. Prisoners first and foremost." Lieutenant Swanson replied.

29 May 2772

It had taken most of the previous day to get the Grunt Infantry Regiment into location to be able to rapidly assault the rebel/pirate forces. At 0345am local time, the signal arrived and on receipt, 7 pairs of Special Forces troopers rolled from under the buildings and at a range of 2 feet shot their respective targets with powerful tranc darts, rendering them unconscious in seconds.

At the same time, multiple tranc darts hit the each member of the roving patrols with the same results. As the enemy roving patrols fell to the ground, 14 Special Forces troopers rushed the clearing and assisted Lieutenant Swanson's platoon in getting the prisoners out of the buildings. It was taking longer than expected, the prisoners were reacting slowly to the silent commands of the Special Forces troopers. Lieutenant Swanson moved down the lines of rescued prisoners, he held in his hand a picture Major Ramirez had taken from Ismael Sampson's house, he compared the picture to each prisoner’s face with a dim light until he located the young woman in the picture. He pulled her gently from the line and passed her to Corporal Suong "She is your mission Corporal. Stay with her at all times." While the prisoners had been made ready for travel, Special Forces troopers had dragged the rebel/pirates into the deep brush. There, they did what they did best and removed an enemy from the battlefield.

The sun was just starting to light the area as the 2 Cobra VTOL's flared and settled into a clearing. Quickly, the rescued prisoners were loaded onto the Cobra's and with a sigh of irritation, Corporal Suong settled into a seat next to his "mission". As the Cobra's lifted back off into the air, several explosions sounded in the near distance followed by a rattle of gunfire as the main assault began on the rebel/pirate forces. Lieutenant Swanson watched the Cobra's until they were out of sight and then turned to his troopers "Okay, first mission accomplished. Now let's go head hunting."

Within an hour, the Cobra's landed inside the SLDF compound and the rescued prisoners were ushered towards several MASH set up and ready to receive them. Corporal Suong stayed near his "mission" while the medics checked her over. Though irritated that he was not in the fight, he had to admit, his "mission" was stunningly beautiful. Once the medics had declared her healthy, Corporal Suong led her to the canteen to get some food. He kept his visor down so that she would not see him looking at her. She really was beautiful, he thought as he watched her eat the provided food like a starved person.

By nightfall, the combined attacks by the Special Forces and 2nd Infantry Regiment had destroyed or put to flight the estimated 2 Battalions of rebel/pirate forces. While the 2nd Regiment settled into perimeters, the Special Forces troops continued hunting those that might have gotten away. It was a deadly night for the rebel/pirate troops.

30 May 2772
Drachenfeld (Periphery)

Lieutenant General Petra Sverdlov, commander 11th Conventional RCT, watched as Ismael Sampson was reunited with his daughter. The rebel/pirate company within the city had fled the city when word had reached them of the SLDF assault on their main base. She had a Infantry Regiment still sweeping the dense forest, and another Infantry Regiment assigned to extended patrols in an attempt to locate any of the enemy forces that got away. The local's had lined the streets waving and cheering after the enemy troops had fled. The enemy warehouses had contained hundreds of tons of medical supplies which was in the process of being transported to the city's hospital where SLDF medics would assist in getting the hospital back up and ready to receive patients.

Movement caught her attention and pulled her back to the here and now, she saw Ismael Sampson walking towards her. "General Sverdlov, I can never repay you for saving my daughter and returning our loved ones to us. But I fear for when you depart and the main pirate band returns. Without your troops, we are defenseless against them."

"We will be here for at least a year Mr Sampson. But, if you have those among you willing, I see no problem with providing you some training, helping you form some sort of militia to aid in defending yourselves. We captured quite a bit weapons and supplies from the pirates." Lieutenant General Sverdlov replied.

"We are a peace loving people. Not soldiers." Ismael Sampson responded

"Then I am afraid that when we leave, your peaceful lifestyle might end quickly. As far as I know, we have no plans to return here after we depart. Your defense will then be up to you and your people. I would prefer to go down fighting than be made a virtual slave to a pirate band. I think you need to give the idea some serious thought. You can still be a peace loving people and still have the means to defend yourselves. You have the numbers." Lieutenant General Sverdlov said.

"I will have to think on this. It will not be easy, for it goes against everything I have come to believe. The taking of life is against everything I believe in." Ismael Sampson said.

"Well, you know where to find me if you change your mind. I am told the medical supplies should be fully returned to your hospital within the next 2 days. Before we leave, you have my word that we will make sure you have as much supplies as we can spare. I just hope you can hang on to them after we leave. If you will forgive me, I must return to my headquarters and see to the current campaign to rid this planet of the remaining pirates." Lieutenant General Sverdlov said.


General Abdul Al Assyme had once commanded a Division of troops. But they had been savaged fighting the SLDF in the Taurian Concordat. He had been able to evacuate a 1/4 of his command. Then after more than a year of travel, they had reached the Tortuga Dominions only to hear word that many SLDF units were arriving in the Dominions, wanting no part of that, they had fled deeper into the Periphery. At first, he had wanted to return to the worlds they had been trained on, but no records of their location had been found in the various Jumpship navigation computers. But after a long journey, they had discovered Drachenfeld. Quickly taking over the planet from the unarmed population. A pleasant planet, it would serve as a good home for his personal kingdom. But to make that happen, he needed skilled people and the closest place for that was the Tortuga Dominions and the New Delphi Compact. He wanted no part of the New Delphi Compact, the threat from a killer disease with no cure was just too much, that left the Tortuga Dominions and the risk of running into the SLDF.

Leaving a Infantry Regiment to secure their planet, with a few hostages to keep the locals in line, he had taken his last Battlemech Regiment and 2 Infantry Regiments on this raid. They then hit Morgan's Holdfast and after defeating a few pirate bands, they had spent a week loading foods, a few light industrial factories and several thousand prisoners onto 4 Jumbo Dropships and then fled the system. Now, they were just 2 months from Drachenfeld and they could get the "liberated" factories online producing clothes but most of all, small arms and ammunition. He could then plan on their next mission.

Rimworlds Outpost #7

Jacob Henderson was down to 147lbs. Of the 90,132 people that had once been on this planet, they had buried over 50,000 over the long years. First had come the initial riot against the garrison that tried to horde the remaining "fresh" food, that had cost them over 6,000 to overwhelm the 2 Infantry Regiments in 2770. Then they had broken into the locked storage warehouses that held combat rations meant for the rebel forces. That had bought them another year, but when the rations had started running low, the largest and deadliest riots had started which had seen over 20,000 killed in late 2771. The rest had slowly withered away, the planets hydroponics systems were barely able to feed the remaining 39,432 people at 1/4 rations. He estimated they would all be dead in 7 months.

Once again he cursed himself, why did he leave his cushy job at Tauken Weapons Systems on Addicks where he was a lead Engineer on the multiple Goblin lines produced for the SLDF in massive numbers, but he had been greedy and the money offered plus the promise of actually being allowed to design his own vehicles had pulled him away. The only good thing about being out here was he met and married Trina Weldon, an Aerospace Engineer who worked at the Aerospace Factory here. She had been hired away from Fairchild Dornier with the promise she could run her own factory. Though that had been true, having to build only, what she considered as obsolete fighters had irritated her to no end. She had been badly hurt during the last riot and they had been forced to amputate her left leg.

As the thoughts and anger flowed thru him, he looked at the now useless products from the factories, long since idled, inside massive warehouses. He shook his head at the waste his life had become and slowly made his way back to the small city a mile away, it was almost dinner time, for what it was worth.

Rimworlds Outpost #11

Taxiarchos Jermaine Haye knew now that they had been abandoned out here. To make sure they could survive, he had ordered several large farms established. This along with fishing the dangerous waters on this planet had allowed them to survive. All his hard work was for naught. He had kept his promise and had increased efficiency of his factory by 15%. But then with no one coming to collect his Battlemechs in several years, he had turned most of the workers into farmers and fishermen. With 181,271 people to feed, they all had to farm and fish. The fish were extremely bony with little meat and the farms had to be 3X normal size to produce enough food.


1 April to 1 June 2772
Thazi (Terran Hegemony)

General Rita Mitchell, not liking the huge delay's in news from the Inner Sphere, had made the decision to push the 5 Scout HPG Jumpships into the Federated Suns and form a chain back to the Terran Hegemony controlled Blommestein Province. They would be stationed at Kent, Vonja, NC11987, Inner End and Delos IV. NC11987 was uninhabited and would relay news from both Inner End and Delos IV. The HPG relay would ne fully functional by mid July.

She had been torn on whether to stretch the HPG relay to Drachenfeld or to the Federated Suns. But she needed news from the Inner Sphere, that news would allow her to make decisions that could affect everything. But now with the decision made, she turned her attentions to the mass of paperwork on her desk. First she looked over the report from Lieutenant General DeMars, Quartermaster Command concerning makeup of the Conventional RCT's and the status of the new factory complex's.

Quartermaster Quarterly Report

Thazi Motors has reached 100% production on existing lines. To facilitate quicker streamlining of Armored forces in the various commands, I have authorized Peter Sajak to further expand Thazi Motors factory. This expansion will allow increased production and streamlining of all Armored forces.

Thazi Motors

Manticore - 2 Lines producing 30 per month currently each line (adding 2 Lines)
Alacorn MkVI - 2 Lines producing 20 per month currently each line (adding 2 Lines)
Turhan - 2 Lines producing 40 per month currently each line (adding 1 Line)
Demon - 2 Lines producing 25 per month currently each line (adding 1 Line)
Chevalier - 2 Lines producing 40 per month currently each line (adding 1 Line)
Zephyr Hover - adding 2 Lines producing 40 per month each Line
Maxim Hover - adding 2 Lines producing 30 per month each Line
Mobile HQ - 1 Line producing 6 per month
Mobile HPG - 1 Line producing 1 per month

This expansion, once completed, will allow us to rapidly refit the Conventional RCT's and Frontline Commands to a more streamlined TO&E. Concerning the Conventional RCT's, with your approval, I want to set their TO&E at the following:

Conventional RCT TO&E

1 Armor Regiment - 36 Chevalier, 72 Demon
3 Infantry Regiment - 3X3 Batt, 4 Batt w/12 Turhan per Batt in 4th Company
1 Artillery Battalion - 24 Thor Artillery, 8 per Battery, 3 Battery per Batt

This new configuration I feel will add to their overall combat ability while keeping with their original intent as primarily garrison forces. But with expanded combat ability until reinforcements arrive.

On Azur, the Artillery Factory is nearing completion. Hajera Spangler, Peter Sajak's weapons expert is confident that they have successfully reverse engineered the Padilla Artillery, Chaparrel Artillery and Thor Artillery vehicles. They have successfully test fired 12 locally produced Arrow IV missiles on Azur. Also, on Azur, to make use of the more advanced microelectronics industry there, they have established a weapons factory independent of the Artillery Complex. Trevor Nixon, also from Peter Sajak's people, working with Hajera Spangler has successfully reverse engineered ERPPC, ERLL, all Pulse Laser sizes.

Azur Heavy Industries
Padilla Artillery - 3 Lines producing 12 per month each line
Chaparrel Artillery - 2 Lines producing 18 per month each line
Thor Artillery - 3 Lines producing 24 per month each line
Marksman Artillery - 3 Lines producing 24 per month each line

Hegemony Weapons and Technology
ER Large Laser
Large Pulse Laser
Medium Pulse Laser
Small Pulse Laser
Streak SRM2
All Standard Tech Weapons and Missile Systems
Mauser 960
Arrow IV (standard and homing)
Guardian ECM
Beagle Active Probe
Multiple Fire Control and Communication

At Linden, both orbital factories produce Endo Steel and Double Heat Sinks. We got lucky that they were already setup to produce them in support of SLDF naval operations.

While the factories produce the needed fusion engines for every vehicle produced, the need for replacement engines of the Frontline Commands cannot be ignored. So, I have ordered Irene Yemmon, again from Peter Sajak, to establish a complex on Alktral to manufacture engines, both standard fusion, XL and ICE. I have given her a list of every engine we field with orders to streamline things as best she can. This could be a massive undertaking, but she seems confident in her ability to streamline things. Endo Steel for the XL engines will come from Linden while any microelectronics will come from Azur.

We are still lacking any Battlemech, Aerospace and VTOL replacement equipment. Though we have a large stockpile of Light Battlemechs, these are lacking any sort of advanced equipment and some are obsolete by SLDF norms.

General Mitchell closed the folder after signing off on the request and changes inside. The next folder she picked up was from Major General Heinrich Rommel, she opened the file and saw that it was a run down on his Training Command.

Training Command Quarterly Report

With the additional worlds, recruitment is increasing to levels that have caused me to increase the size of the Basic Training courses. Another problem has surfaced, the 322nd Armored Division will not be able to handle the constant influx of newly graduated personnel for the expected 1-2 years of advanced unit training. As such, with your approval, and with consultation with Lieutenant General DeMars, I will be forming the 323rd Armored Division which will be stationed on Boulsi as an additional training Division. Lieutenant General DeMars has informed me that there is enough of the older equipment to outfit the 323rd Armored Division. It will have the same TO&E as the 322nd Armored Division, which is now, by my order undergoing another adjustment to it's TO&E as follows.

322nd Armored Division

3221st Brigade
Armored Regiment
Infantry Regiment
Infantry Regiment
Infantry Regiment

3222nd Brigade Armored Regiment
Infantry Regiment
Infantry Regiment
Infantry Regiment

3223rd Brigade Armored Regiment
Infantry Regiment
Infantry Regiment
Infantry Regiment

3224th Brigade Armored Regiment
Armored Regiment
Armored Regiment

Artillery Brigade
Arrow IV Battalion
Thor Battalion
Marksman Battalion

As you can see, the first 3 Brigades are set up to resemble the Conventional RCT's. I did this as I foresee you are adding more of those for garrison forces. The Infantry School is graduating a Regiment every 3 months at their current training level's. The Armor School is graduating a Regiment per 4 months. But the increased recruitment we are currently seeing will increase these numbers. I expect the 323rd Armored Division to be fully staffed in roughly 2 years. I project both the 322nd and 232rd to then remain fully staffed by the Schools by 2774.

I have ordered the formation of a Jump Infantry School be established. This course will be an advanced course open to those Infantry that have completed 1 tour of duty. I have also commandeered 12 Cobra VTOL to assist the Jump Infantry School in airmobile operations training. Instructors are currently being pulled from the various commands using the most experienced Jump troopers. I am already seeking recruits for the course and initial responses have been high. I calculate that I will be able to field an additional 2 Regiments of Jump Infantry per year by end of 2773. After 2773, I will be able to establish if we can open the school up to new recruits which will expand the number available.

Olympus Space Station (Solar Sail Deployed)

Olympus Recharging Station

I have also taken the liberty to establish a Marine School. Currently it is based on the Olympus Station at the Boulsi Nadir Jump Point. Class size is small only capable of graduating a Battalion per year. I hope to expand this by end of 2773, but I need time to evaluate the results.

The Battlemech School is showing promise. We currently have 4 Battalions in Basic Training, 8 Battalions in Introductory Training and 9 Battalions in Advanced Training. The Advanced Training is made up of former Industrial Mech pilots recruited by Major General Baxter. I have their graduation calculated as January 2773. Just hope you can find decent Battlemechs to put them in. We are pushing our supply of Stinger's pretty hard.

I have also begun a Technical School. I have spent a few months combing the Frontline Commands for the personnel. This will train Battlemech Technicians, Aerospace Technicians, Mechanics, Communications Personnel (including experienced comm Techs for HPG operations) and Medics. The Medical personnel, after completing Basic Training will be shipped to Azur where they will attend that planet's medical school. This will be time consuming, but it is a need we have that must be filled.

The Gunslinger School is established, and the Instructors are currently working on the course studies. First candidates will not arrive until the replacement Battlemech pilots are graduated in order to keep the Frontline Commands at full strength. The Instructors have advised me that without the advanced systems in the original Gunslinger Program, they will only take on 4 candidates per Instructor. That set's the class size at 80 maximum and will run for 1 year per class.

Infantry recruits that fail their advanced training are being assigned to the various commands support commands as drivers, astechs, clerks and such. No need to waste the manpower. They at least completed Basic Training and can undergo their new training in a hands-on capacity.


1 June 2772 to 31 August 2772
Thazi (Terran Hegemony)

Peter Sajak had been called to General Rita Mitchell's headquarters. Entering the conference room, he saw General Rita Mitchell, Lieutenant General Curtis DeMars and Major General Heinrich Rommel already seated. A little nervous, he sat his note binder on the table and took a seat across from the SLDF officers. Filling a glass with water, he took a sip as General Mitchell began to speak.

"Mr Sajak, I have asked you here today to commend you and your people on the fantastic work you all have managed to pull off. But now, I have a new job for you, one that I think you are perfect for. This new job will take an enormous amount of your time, but I promise I will still allow you to get your hands dirty. In this new job, you will report directly to me, but will also work closely with Lieutenant General DeMars. The new job is a new posting I have created, I am just not up to the task and I need someone who has proven themselves trustworthy. You new job is Minister of Economic Development and Technology.

As Minister of Economic Development and Technology, you mission will be to oversee the development of both the Military and Civilian economies of every system under our control. I will need you to evaluate each system, determine their needs, their potential and then come up with a plan to make it happen. You will also be working closely with Martin Zuni and ZaP Shipping. If something is needed that we cannot make ourselves, get with Martin Zuni and he will make the proper arrangements to procure the material and get it to where it needs to be.

That covers the Development end of the job, the Technology end of the job is basically what you and your people have already been doing. Working with Lieutenant General DeMars, you are tasked to continue reverse engineering Military equipment designated by Lieutenant General DeMars as needed. You will then find a way for us to manufacture what we need and, in the quantities, specified by Lieutenant General DeMars. If a new factory is called for, you will select the system for it to be built at and oversee its construction and staffing. This will also fall under your Development title. We are, as you already know, having to build our supply lines from scratch to meet our needs. Any questions?"

Peter Sajak had listened in almost horror as she spoke, she was placing the entire economy of this part of the Terran Hegemony in his hands. "General, though this is a great honor, I am not sure I am up to the task. This is way above my paygrade. I know how to run a factory and build tanks and vehicles. What your asking for me to take on is way outside my expertise."

"Nonsense. Lieutenant General DeMars has kept me fully briefed on your suggestions to build the Arrow IV vehicles and ammunition on Azur, since it has a microelectronics industry already. When he brought it to your attention about our need for replacement fusion engines, it was you that suggested the lead engineer, and selected the system with the population to provide the workers, the resources to support the factory and the need for it to be close to Linden as that was where our only source of Endo Steel was located, which is needed for production of XL engines. You were already doing the job your taking now, only now it is official." General Mitchell replied

"General, Lieutenant General DeMars asked for my suggestions, I asked a few questions, got the answers I needed and just worked with the information he provided." Peter Sajak said

"Which is exactly what you will be doing in your new job. You can continue to argue with me all you want, but you’re going to lose every time, so you might as well just agree to the job so that we can all get down to work." General Mitchell said with a sly smile

Knowing he was beat, Peter Sajak finally nodded "Okay, I accept the new job. I am going to need a staff, probably a big one."

"Grab whoever you need, as long as it does not impact current production. You will be working right next door to my office. My door is always open." General Mitchell said with a smile, glad to have this monkey off her back.

Drachenfeld (Deep Periphery)

Lieutenant General Petra Sverdlov had been notified that Ismael Sampson had spoken with his people and that they had agreed that they needed to see to their own defense. She had tasked Major Ramirez and her Special Forces to train Drachenfeld's Militia. Operations continued to run down the survivors of the pirate force.

Bastrop (Federated Suns)

Martha Pruitt had accomplished her task. She had secured, through the law firm production licenses of quite a few goods for production in the Terran Hegemony. It would be another couple months before the purchased production equipment arrived. She double checked her list and her own penciled in items she felt they needed. She had even gone so far as to hire quite a few experts that were willing to move.

Shipping - Lebedev Nautical Enterprises, Kaleen Bay and Anastaska Maro Ocean Ship designs
Civilian –

  • Achernar Heavy Industries, Brunel Dump Truck
  • Earthwerks Incorporated, Lessups Dump Truck
  • Saurer-Bucher, TLF-LL6500 Fire Engine
  • Lexan Oceanic, Lexan Oceanic Series II Personal VTOL
  • Ground Car
  • Bluth Corporation, CON-7 Carbine ConstructionMech and BV XXI Buster HaulerMech

She had spent 2.4 Billion dollars buying the production rights and needed production plans and equipment. A Billion went to Bluth Corporation for the Industrial Mech designs.

She had caught up on news from across the Inner Sphere and had gleaned a large movement of refugees from the Terran Hegemony moving towards her current location. Most had set out before Amaris had sealed the borders of the Hegemony before General Kerensky and the SLDF had begun their assault on the Hegemony in February 2772.


10 September 2772
Drachenfeld (Deep Periphery)

General Abdul Al Assyme shook off the jump effects, just glad to be "home". As his brain cleared itself of the fog, he heard the klaxon sounding. Rushing to the bridge, his eyes locked on the ships plot. Clearly displayed on the plot was a symbol designating a Dart Light Cruiser with SLDF IFF being transmitted. As his mind was processing this horrible development, the ships captain said. "Emergence wave inbound." Minutes later, a new symbol appeared on the plot designating a Volga Transport also broadcasting SLDF IFF."

Cursing, he ordered the Dropships cut loose as he hurried to join them. A last glance at the plot showed 3 new symbols appearing designating 3 Titan-Class Dropships and they were launching Aerospace Fighters. As he fled the bridge, he heard "Captain, they are calling for our surrender, failure to comply will result in destruction."

He barely made it aboard his Dictator-Class Dropship before it detached from the Invader-Class Jumpship and joined the other Dropships burning for the surface as fast as they could go, the G forces were brutal. He reached the Dictator's bridge just in time to hear "Captain, missile warning!!!" His eyes cut to the ships plot and focused on the rapidly approaching symbol's. He watched in horror as they slammed into another Dictator followed seconds later by several Naval Lasers which ripped the Dictator to pieces. He then heard "Enemy Fighters inbound, the Volga is moving to intercept us. The Dart is also closing fast on an intercept course. Captain, there is no way we survive this. The Jumbo's are signaling their surrender as are the Jumpships." General Al Assyme never got another thought as a Heavy Naval Gauss round split his Dictator in half.

Aboard the SLS Salvation, Newgrange-Class Yardship, Rear Admiral Trisha Delvaney had watched the relayed tactical plot and watched as the enemy Dropships that failed to surrender were destroyed in less than an hour. She ordered SAR operations to commence.

18 September 2772
Rimworlds Outpost #7 (Deep Periphery)

Sonic booms announced the arrival of the SLDF forces assigned to capture this outpost. Jacob Henderson, on hearing the booms, rushed outside and could clearly see the descending Dropships. Combat Dropships, every single one of them. Tears filled his eyes as he and a gathering crowd watched the Dropships slowly settle to the ground and Battlemechs and troops begin disembarking and fanning out. I do not know who they are, but at least we will not starve to death slowly, he thought.

18 September 2772
Rimworlds Outpost #7 (Deep Periphery)

Lieutenant General Hans Bleucher, commander Task Force Seven, wanted to lose his lunch on seeing the nearly starved people they had located here. He wasted no time in ordering the medical personnel to get to work and for as much food to be made available as the doctors would allow. He then turned his attention to the large factory complex which his Combat Engineers were surveying. He had half of the Combat Engineers that had deployed to Outpost #4 while Task Force Eleven had the other half. It would take a few days to complete the survey. He made sure the perimeter was set and returned to his Mobile HQ to await further developments.

20 September 2772

After spending a few days being seen by the SLDF medical personnel and actually eating a decent meal, Jacob Henderson had observed the SLDF Combat Engineers looking over the factory complex and guessed at what they planned to do. He asked to speak with the commanding officer. That had led to him being brought to Lieutenant General Hans Bleucher. After introductions, he was shown to a seat.

"General Bleucher, I have been watching your engineers around the factory complex and I assume you are going to dismantle the factory. I can assist you in this task. The Tank production lines are designed for easy break down and transport, but the Aerospace production lines are not. They must be taken apart at precise locations or there will be serious problems trying to reassemble them." Jacob Henderson said.

"I would appreciate the help Mr Henderson. What is your estimated time for taking the factory apart and getting it stowed for transport?" Lieutenant General Bleucher asked.

"If you allow me and my supervisors to guide your engineers? I would estimate 3 months. Another month if you plan on loading up all the equipment we have stored in the warehouses. In exchange for the help, I ask for transport for all my people off this dismal world." Jacob Henderson said.

"Relax, Mr Henderson, I have no desire to abandon your people here. You will all be safely transported back home, where you may return to normal lives. Your estimates are a bit better than what my Engineer's just reported. We have some experience with the Tank production lines, but the Aerospace production lines sort of had my Engineers stumped." Lieutenant General Bleucher replied.

"My wife, Trina Weldon, was the lead engineer at the Aerospace complex. She is still with your doctors, last word I had was that they wanted to operate on her leg. I really should get back and check on her. I will be at the Factory tomorrow morning to assist in taking it apart." Jacob Henderson said

"You wife, it is nothing serious I hope?" Lieutenant General Bleucher asked

"We had to amputate her leg about 6 months ago. It was badly injured during the last riot. Our hospital was destroyed in the initial riot against the garrison here, our doctors did the best they could, and she lived, that is all I could ask for." Jacob Henderson answered as he moved for the door.

"I will keep her in my prayers, Mr Henderson." Lieutenant General Bleucher responded.

Thazi (Terran Hegemony)

General Rita Mitchell was working looking over the financial sheets and could not really make heads nor tails of it. It looked like a mass of numbers to her. Of course, she could make out the huge number at the bottom. A knock brought her head up and she smiled as she waved her guest inside.

"Governor Jessica Parrington, I am so glad that you could make the journey to meet with me. Please have a seat." General Mitchell said.

"Thank you, General Mitchell. It is my pleasure. What can I do to assist?" Jessica Parrington asked

"I am told that you have a degree in Finance and Economics. I need some serious help." General Mitchell replied

"I do. Not sure how that is going to help though." Jessica Parrington said

"I would like for you to head up our local Bureau of Star League Affairs, mainly the Department of Finance and Revenue. I need someone who knows what they are looking at. Take this folder for example, I can read the final balance, but everything else is a bunch of numbers to me. I need someone that can make sure stuff all adds up." General Mitchell said as she handed the folder to Jessica Parrington

Taking the folder, Jessica Parrington flipped thruogh the folder for a few minutes "These read like a very detailed bank statement prepared by a banker for an accountant. A quick glance, and it looks like your revenue from HPG messages is steadily rising. But I would need more information to come to a conclusion. You have never set a tax rate for the systems, though I know for a fact the local governors are collecting local taxes. On Blommestein, I have our portion of taxes that we would normally pay to the Outworlds Alliance Government set aside. IIRC, the current balance is 2.9 Billion dollars. It could get ugly if I have to go after the local Governors for taxes."

"Then you will take the job and help me out?" General Mitchell asked

"Yes, I will take the job. But when you hear some screams, that is me prying the cash out of some Governors ass." Jessica Parrington said with a smile

"Excellent, work up what you think we need, and I will make it happen. I will let you base on Blommestein for now, but we will work out those details as we go." General Mitchell said as relief rushed through her at another headache removed from her shoulders."

October to December[]

1 October to 31 December 2772
Terran Hegemony (Periphery)

It had taken several months for Jessica Parrington to burrow into the financial records of the Terran Hegemony. She had formed a staff that currently had 1100 auditors with 25 in every system, all experienced tax investigators. These she had dispatched to every system to audit their tax records. This had been met with resistance from several Governors, but they quickly backed down when local SLDF troops were summoned. With General Mitchell's approval, she had convinced Ladonna Neilson, Blommestein Federal Bank, to rename her bank Hegemony Federal Bank. Here, all revenue for the Terran Hegemony began to flow. Jessica Parrington had known Ladonna Neilson for years and trusted her fully. But by the end of the year, she felt she had a firm grasp of what was needed and with General Mitchell's approval a 5% tax would go into effect across the Hegemony of each planet's GDP. She had compiled a list of each planets GDP and all the Hegemony's revenue.

Hegemony Systems GDP & Tax Revenue

Thazi (TH) - 88 Billion GDP, 4.4 Billion Tax
Boulsi (TH) - 31 Billion GDP, 1.5 Billion Tax<br
> Pilon (TH) - 42 Billion GDP, 2.1 Billion Tax
Azur (TH) - 2.7 Trillion GDP, 135 Billion Tax
Wokha (TH) - 63 Billion GDP, 3.1 Billion Tax
Blommestein (TH)- 41 Billion GDP, 2 Billion Tax
Ddraig (TH) - 66 Billion GDP, 3.3 Billion Tax
Ejeda (TH)- 39 Billion GDP, 1.9 Billion Tax
Waini Point (TH)- Developing, Exempt
Zumbo (TH)- Developing, Exempt
Ambatomainty (TH) - 67 Billion GDP, 3.3 Billion Tax
Sorsk (TH) - 33 Billion GDP, 1.6 Billion Tax
Puttalam (TH) - 44 Billion GDP, 2.2 Billion Tax
Maripa (TH) - 72 Billion GDP, 3.6 Billion Tax
Loikaw (TH) - Developing, Exempt
Mandeville (TH) - Developing, Exempt
Zetang (TH) - Developing, Exempt
La Ligua (TH) - Developing, Exempt
Carmelita (TH) - Developing, Exempt
Quines (TH) - Developing, Exempt
Shira (TH) - 127 Billion GDP, 6.3 Billion Tax
Domeykp (TH) - Developing, Exempt
Feijo (TH) - 71 Billion GDP, 3.5 Billion Tax
Alktral (TH) - 122 Billion GDP, 6.1 Billion Tax
Linden (TH) - 281 Billion GDP, 14 Billion Tax
Ceiba (TH) - 114 Billion GDP, 5.7 Billion Tax
Bossangoa (TH) - 69 Billion GDP, 3.4 Billion Tax

Total Tax Revenue - 203 Billion
HPG Fee's - 4.9 Billion
Estimated 2773 Revenue - 207.9 Billion

Jessica Parrington knew that with the Hegemony controlling the major industrial concerns, though it provided many jobs, which in turn generated tax revenue when the citizens spent their paycheck, they were missing out on a large revenue stream. But at the same time, it made sense. But long term, it was not sustainable and even detrimental to the economic health of the Hegemony.

What she could not understand was General Mitchell's relationship with ZaP Shipping. She had brought the subject up once and had been told not to worry about ZaP Shipping by General Mitchell. She had very quietly poked around and learned that the SLDF had transferred 12 Invader Jumpships and a Star Lord Jumpship to ZaP Shipping at no charge in addition to several Dropships. ZaP Shipping also had maintenance done at Hegemony Yards at no charge. During her auditor's examination of Ceibu, they had forwarded her information that ZaP Shipping was slated to receive the first run of Dropships from Hegemony Aerospace at no charge. This was worth 15.5 Billion dollars. It made no sense to her at all. She made a mental note to keep an eye on ZaP Shipping.

Lieutenant General Curtis DeMars looked over the remaining stock of all the support vehicles and quickly determined that they would need to make some changes there. The Line Commands and Garrison Commands operated a huge number of support vehicles and it was a logistical nightmare. But first he had a much bigger task on his hands, he had read over reports that the Czar Dropships, the primary Infantry Dropship was living up to it's name as being hard to maintain. He needed to convince General Mitchell that they needed an upgraded Infantry Dropship, one much easier to maintain and also one that would work with the new Infantry Division TO&E's.

Terran Hegemony (Inner Sphere)

General Kerensky and the SLDF had launched the liberation of the Terran Hegemony, entering systems controlled by Amaris' forces on 1 June 2772. In seven months, they had hammered their way towards the central worlds of the Hegemony, but suffering heavy losses to SDS systems. Taking a page from Terra's Second World War, General Kerensky began an interstellar version of a island hopping campaign, bypassing systems with strong SDS until they could develop a way to take them down safer. By the end of the year, 60 Hegemony systems had been liberated at a heavy price to the SLDF and those systems populations and industries. Some systems were so devastated that General Kerensky doubted they would ever recover.

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