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Fate Can be Cruel - Chapter Cover

Fate Can Be Cruel - 2787[]


1 January 2787
Terra (Terran Hegemony)

Commanding Admiral Joan Brandt had finally revealed her re-organized Hegemony Fleet. Both Director-General Amanda Cameron and General Rita Mitchell were surprised at the size of the Hegemony Fleet. Also, this was the first time that Commanding Admiral Joan Brandt had been given a complete roster of the warships serving in the Periphery Hegemony. Though she had assigned the individual ships, she made sure her message to Admiral Tanaka was clear that final disposition was completely up to her.

Hegemony Naval Forces Jan - 2787[]

Hegemony Fleet (1st Fleet)

Independent Warships

SLS Thunderer, Monsoon LF&HPG Battleship (Fleet Flagship)
SLS Tirpitz, Black Lion II LF Battlecruiser

1st Battle Squadron (Vice Admiral Vincent Zeibler)

11th Line Division (Rear Admiral Arthur Bristol)

SLS Nebraska II - Texas Battleship (Flagship)
SLS Phoenix - Texas Battleship
SLS Sandy Hardee - Texas Battleship
SLS Inglesmond - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Connaught - Vincent Destroyer
SLS M. Langley - Vincent Destroyer

12th Cruiser Division (Rear Admiral John Hoover)

SLS Carl Sommers - Luxor Heavy Cruiser (Flagship)
SLS Terrance LaMont - Luxor Heavy Cruiser
SLS Hector Zapata - Luxor Heavy Cruiser
SLS Thomas Danklin - Vincent Destroyer
SLS George Wellington - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Janet McFadden - Vincent Destroyer

13th Destroyer Division (Rear Admiral Frank Fletcher)

SLS De Ruyter - Sovetskii Soyuz Heavy Cruiser (Flagship)
SLS Surveillante - Lola III Destroyer
SLS Leander - Lola III Destroyer
SLS Belfast - Lola III Destroyer
SLS Ranger - Lola III Destroyer
SLS Geary - Lola III Destroyer

2nd Battle Squadron (Vice Admiral Grant Baker)

21st Line Division (Rear Admiral Davis Bagley)

SLS Kongo - Monsoon Battleship (Flagship)
SLS Hiei - Monsoon Battleship
SLS Shark Tooth - Dart Light Cruiser
SLS Shark Strike - Dart Light Cruiser
SLS Sikh - Lola I Destroyer
SLS Zulu - Lola I Destroyer

22nd Fast Cruiser Division (Rear Admiral Howard Vickery)

SLS Vance Brown - Luxor Heavy Cruier (Flagship)
SLS Tammy Handyline - Luxor Heavy Cruiser
SLS Common Good - Luxor Heavy Cruiser
SLS Buccaneer - Essex II LF Destroyer
SLS Ruby - Essex II LF Destroyer
SLS Shimotsuki - Essex II LF Destroyer

23rd Carrier Division (Rear Admiral Alan Kirk)

SLS Independence - Samarkand II LF Carrier (Flagship)
SLS Benjamin - Samarkand II LF Carrier
SLS Black Templar - Aegis LF Heavy Cruiser
SLS Patrick Henry - Aegis LF Heavy Cruiser
SLS Hammerstrike - Essex II LF Destroyer
SLS Emerald - Essex II LF Destroyer

Independent Squadrons

31st Battlecruiser Division (Vice Admiral Connor Shick)

SLS Lady Shandra - Cameron Battlecruiser (Flagship)
SLS Anchorage - Congress Frigate
SLS Admiral Perry - Congress Frigate
SLS McDougal - Carson Destroyer
SLS Winslow - Carson Destroyer
SLS Clark - Carson Destroyer
SLS Moffett - Carson Destroyer

89th Cruiser Division (Rear Admiral Ismael Moreno)

SLS Conroy, Avatar LF Heavy Cruiser (Flagship)
SLS Shield, Avatar LF Heavy Cruiser
SLS Cape Bon, Essex II LF Destroyer
SLS Cartagena, Essex II LF Destroyer
SLS Solomon, Essex II LF Destroyer
SLS Ghost Strike - Vincent Destroyer

84th Cruiser Divisionn (Rear Admiral Jeffery Hollis)

SLS Bamborough - Aegis Heavy Cruiser
SLS Maya - Aegis Heavy Cruiser
SLS Diamondhead - Aegis Heavy Cruiser
SLS Never End - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Never Quit - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Always Ready - Vincent Destroyer

Terran Division (Vice Admiral Lorraine Hofmann)

SLS Irrefutable - Black Lion II Battlecruiser (Flagship)
SLS Protecteur - Lola III Destroyer
SLS Porter - Carson Destroyer
SLS Selfridge - Carson Destroyer
SLS Mohawk - Lola I Destroyer
SLS Tartar - Lola I Destroyer

14th Patrol Flotilla

SLS Lightning - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Lookout - Vincent Destroyer

15th Patrol Flotilla

SLS Loyal - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Laforey - Vincent Destroyer

16th Patrol Flotilla

SLS Martin - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Marne - Vincent Destroyer

17th Patrol Flotilla
SLS Nerissa - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Nizam - Vincent Destroyer

18th Patrol Flotilla

SLS Black Widow - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Tarantula - Vincent Destroyer

19th Patrol Flotilla

SLS Camry - Vincent Corvette
SLS Extreme - Vincent Corvette

1st Transport Squadron (Vice Admiral John Powers)

SLS Tarawa - Potemkin LF Transport (123rd MID)
SLS Iwo Jima - Potemkin LF Transport (326th BM Division)
SLS Guam - Potemkin LF Transport (151st RMID)
SLS Ulithi - Potemkin LF Transport (250th BM Division)
SLS Mighty Lift - Potemkin LF Transport (359th BM Division)
SLS Midnight Dancer - Potemkin LF Transport (280th MID Division)
SLS Devon Pulman - Potemkin LF Transport (181st RMID)
SLS Saipan - Potemkin LF Transport (295th BM Division

18th Transport Squadron (Vice Admiral Chaviva Roberts)

SLS Krakatow - Volga LF Transport
SLS Vesuvius - Volga LF Transport
SLS Charlton - Carrack Transport
SLS Dahl - Carrack Transport
SLS Pomeroy - Carrack Transport
SLS Red Cloud - Carrack Transport
SLS Sacagawea - Carrack Transport

At Epsilon Indi (Commodore Randall Grubowski)
SLS Arctic - Newgrange Yardship
SLS E. Presley - Aegis LF Heavy Cruiser (est to jump capability- 11 February 2787)

At Castor (Commodore Erik Wagner)
SLS Detroit - Newgrange Yardship SLS Nelson - Black Lion II Battlecruiser (est to jump capability 11 March 2787

At Chrisholm (Commodore Phillip Yang)
SLS John Glenn - Newgrange Yardship
SLS Oslo - Essex II Destroyer (est to jump capability- 11 January 2787)

At Keid (Rear Admiral Trishia Delvaney)
SLS Salvation - Newgrange LF Yardship
SLS Manila - Farragut Battleship (est to jump capability- 11 April 2787)

SLS Montford Point - Newgrange Yardship (Immobile Yardship Luyten 68-28)
SLS Bridge - Newgrange Yardship (Immobile Yardship Ross 248)
  Convoy February 2787 (Already Forming)

SLS Borneo - Volga Transport
SLS Mount Saint Helens - Volga Transport
SLS Mount Ranier - Volga Transport
SLS Sisler - Carrack Transport
SLS Soderman - Carrack Transport SLS Watkins - Carrack Transport
SLS Watson - Carrack Transport
SLS Yosemite - Riga LF Frigate
SLS Yankee - Riga LF Frigate
SLS Ivory - Samarkand II LF Carrier
SLS Wasp - Samarkand II LF Carrier
SLS Contraband - League II Destroyer
SLS Lively - Baron Destroyer
SLS Yoizuki - Baron Destroyer
SLS Legion - Baron Destroyer
SLS Urazuki - Baron Destroyer
18 Monolith Jumpships
26 Star Lord Jumpships
16 Invader Jumpships
9 Tramp Jumpships
11 Merchant Jumpships

Periphery Hegemony (2nd Fleet) (Admiral Tanisha Tanaka)

Independent Warship

SLS Windego - Whirlwind LF Destroyer (Flagship)

90th Support Division (Rear Admiral Felicia Crawford)
  SLS Builder - Builder Yardship
SLS Constructor - Builder Yardship (Supporting Zetang Operations)
SLS Erector - Builder Yardship
SLS Mount McHenry - Carrack Transport
SLS Mount Fuji - Carrack Transport
SLS Servitude - Carrack Transport
SLS Horned Toad - Carrack Transport (RTS 5 March 2787)
SLS Hufuku Maru - Carrack Transport (RTS 16 March 2787)
SLS Tatsuta Maru - Carrack Transport (RTS 19 February 2787)
SLS Kyokusei Maru - Carrack Transport (RTS 11 February 2787)

55th Reconnaissance Division (Rear Admiral Paula Bannock)

SLS Sneak - Bug-Eye Surveillance (Flagship)
5 Scout HPG Jumpships (Creating HPG link to Antallos)
12 Merchant Surveillance LF&HPG Jumpships (Deployed HPG link Terra)

21st Independent Squadron (Vice Admiral Barbara Coltrain)

SLS Rhodon - Luxor Heavy Cruiser (Flagship)

211th Cruiser Division (Rear Admiral William Blyth)

SLS Hatchet - Kimagure LF Pursuit Cruiser (Flagship)
SLS Dark Brawler - Dart LF Light Cruiser
SLS Thazi - Dart Light LF Cruiser
SLS Kathy Hamile -Vincent Destroyer
SLS Sam Kingston - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Halthom - Vincent Destroyer

212th Battlecruiser Division (Rear Admiral Xander Martinez)

SLS Dragonfly, Riga LF Frigate (Flagship)
SLS Firefly - Riga LF Frigate
SLS Trinity River - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Yangtze River - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Nile River - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Brazos River - Vincent Destroyer

213th Destroyer Division (Rear Admiral Meredith McCoy)

SLS Onverwacht - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Dominator - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Pulverizer - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Punisher - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Cally Westin - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Ben Schwab - Vincent Destroyer

22nd Patrol Squadron (Vice Admiral Percy Seimens)

61st Corvette Division (Rear Admiral Garth Fallon)

SLS Blommestein - Vigilant Corvette
SLS Azur - Vigilant Corvette
SLS Boulsi - Vigilant Corvette
SLS Ceibu - Vigilant Corvette
SLS Pilon - Vigilant Corvette
SLS Shiri - Vigilant Corvette

62nd Patrol Division (Rear Admiral Reginald Gambrel)

SLS Puttalam - Vigilant Corvette
SLS Feijo - Vigilant Corvette
SLS Ejeda - Vigilant Corvette
SLS Ddraig - Vigilant Corvette
SLS Wokha - Vigilant Corvette
SLS Linden - Vigilant Corvette

63rd Destroyer Division (Rear Admiral Samuel Harris)
SLS Sledge - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Wraith - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Slammer - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Crawfish - Vincent Destroyer
Training Command (Rear Admiral Lucien Volmeroy)

SLS Kinugasa - Aegis Heavy Cruiser (RTS 7 May 2787)
SLS Nova - Pinto Corvette
SLS Yakaze - Lola I Destroyer (RTS 17 February 2787)
SLS Harukaze - Lola I Destroyer (RTS 21 March 2787)
SLS Kamikaze - Lola I Destroyer (RTS 5 March 2787)
SLS Sawakaze - Lola I Destroyer (RTS 3 April 2787)
SLS Flying Demon - Samarkand II Aerospace Carrier (Refit Complete 17 May 2787)
SLS Rebellion - Narukami II Destroyer (Refit Complete 6 June 2787)
SLS Retribution - Narukami II Destroyer (Refit Complete 9 June 2787)

Under Construction

SLS Deep Builder - Builder Yardship (Complete 26 February 2787)
SLS Carpenter - Builder Yardship (Complete 26 February 2787)
SLS Mechanic - Builder Yardship (Complete 26 February 2787)
SLS Avenger - Essex III Destroyer (Complete 17 August 2787)

1 January 2787
Thazi (Terran Hegemony - Periphery)

General Heinrich Rommel did not relish the Governing aspect of the job. He had spent his entire adult life in the SLDF and all he really wanted to do was train soldiers and spend time in the field with the soldiers. But he had accepted the job when General Rita Mitchell and Director-General Amanda Cameron had departed for Terra, so he had thrown himself at the task trying to learn all he could as fast as he could. He leaned on Peter Sajak and the other "inner circle" folks to help him as much as they could. Today was the dreaded economic meeting for 2786 and the planned or expected changes for 2787. He popped a couple of aspirin to stave off the headache he knew he would have by the end of the day of listening and looking at numbers.

Once he had settled himself, took a sip from his water glass, he nodded at Jessica Parington to start the meeting since she knew the numbers better than anyone, having taught Amanda Cameron herself the art of developing an economy.

"Good morning everyone. Today is the day that General Rommel hates more than any other, the yearly economic totals and forecasts. The year 2786 was a fantastic year with massive growths across every system. Not only in population but also industrial growth. Though we are still importing goods from the Federated Suns via ZaP Shipping, our slowly developing industries are starting to show some firm ground under them finally. If you will all turn to page 5 of the briefing before you, we will start this off with a overview of each systems population growths now that the new census is completed."

Terran Hegemony (Periphery) – Population Growth & Revenue

Thazi - pop 22,301,576 - 185 Billion GDP - 9.25 Billion Tax
Boulsi - pop 25,420,982 - 88 Billion GDP - 4.4 Billion Tax
Pilon - pop 16,130,949 - 83 Billion GDP - 4.15 Billion Tax
Azur - pop 231,038,618 - 4.3 Trillion GDP - 215 Billion Tax
Wokha - pop 24,101,673 - 181 Billion GDP - 9.05 Billion Tax
Blommestein - pop 39,072,794 - 843 Billion GDP - 42.15 Billion Tax
Ddraig - pop 39,383,720 - 286 Billion GDP - 14.3 Billion Tax
Ejeda - pop 15,251,376 - 67 Billion GDP - 3.35 Billion Tax
Waini Point - pop 4,224,007 - Developing, Exempt
Zumbo - pop 2,566,478 - Developing, Exempt
Ambatomainty - pop 38,475,903 - 454 Billion GDP - 22.7 Billion Tax
Sorsk - pop 24,919,822 - 61 Billion GDP - 3.05 Billion Tax
Puttalam - pop 27,902,800 - 121 Billion GDP - 6.05 Billion Tax
Maripa - pop 10,202,784 - 91 Billion GDP - 4.55 Billion Tax
Loikaw - pop 1,197,919 - Developing, Exempt
Mandeville - pop 1,710,780 - Developing, Exempt
Zetang - pop 2,823,033 - Developing, Exempt
La Ligua - pop 1,439,888 - Developing, Exempt
Carmelita - pop 326,520 - Developing, Exempt
Quinnes - pop 6,096,035 - Developing, Exempt
Shira - pop 21,541,577 - 268 Billion GDP - 13.4 Billion Tax
Domeykp - pop 4,163,257 - Developing, Exempt
Feijo - pop 17,723,414 - 176 Billion GDP - 8.8 Billion Tax
Alktral - pop 28,896,747 - 304 Billion GDP - 15.2 Billion Tax
Linden - pop 20,709,286 - 1.4 Trillion GDP - 70 Billion Tax
Ceiba - pop 36,154,823 - 297 Billion GDP - 14.85 Billion Tax
Bossangoa - pop 22,798,577 - 142 Billion GDP - 7.1 Billion Tax
Rhodon - pop 17,641,579 - 188 Billion GDP - 9.4 Billion Tax
Gaeri - pop 22,388,296 - 66 Billion GDP - 3.3 Billion Tax
Zalt - pop 5,663,172 - Developing, Exempt
Mitz - pop 6,243,816 - Developing, Exempt
Gitarama - pop 7,694,248 - Developing, Exempt
Barahona - pop 23,492,317 - 97 Billion GDP - 4.85 Billion Tax
Danli - pop 12,551,842 - 147 Billion GDP - 7.35 Billion Tax
Las Tunas - pop 31,972,227 - 198 Billion GDP - 9.9 Billion Tax
Taumaturgo - pop 15,875,625 - 388 Billion GDP - 19.4 Billion Tax
Tanz - pop 9,682,131 - 35 Billion GDP - 1.75 Billion Tax
Onverwacht - pop 29,485,997 - 237 Billion GDP - 11.85 Billion Tax
Kent - pop 2,788,495 - Developing, Exempt
Sornath - pop 4,294,319 - Developing, Exempt
Ype-Jhu - pop 3,823,527 - Developing, Exempt
Vonja - pop 49,447,287 - 249 Billion GDP - 12.45 Billion Tax
Hergazil - pop 44,862,721 - 191 Billion GDP - 9.55 Billion Tax
Shiri - pop 26,293,126 - 62 Billion GDP - 3.1 Billion Tax
Coyle - pop 6,337,425 - Developing, Exempt
Flynn - pop 1,957,427 - Developing, Exempt
Totness - pop 842,224 - Developing, Exempt
Calingasta - pop 2,171,149 - Developing, Exempt
Santa-Ana - pop 4,261,038 - Developing, Exempt
Achton - pop 31,806,930 - 58 Billion GDP - 2.9 Billion Tax
Achnoly - pop 37,061,704 - 96 Billion GDP - 4.8 Billion Tax
Schrim - pop 3,507,607 - Developing, Exempt
Ammon - pop 27,308,592 - 85 Billion GDP - 4.25 Billion Tax
Voehn - pop 26,704,327 - 88 Billion GDP - 4.4 Billion Tax
Braden's Frontier - pop 61,834,205 - 241 Billion GDP - 12.05 Billion Tax
Crichton - pop 33,609,304 - 384 Billion GDP - 19.02 Billion Tax
Hrafn - pop 2,735,018 - Developing, Exempt
Glitnir - pop 5,934,092 - Developing, Exempt
Raetia - pop 33,002,675 - 57 Billion GDP - 2.85 Billion Tax
Michtal - pop 45,460,455 - 142 Billion GDP - 7.1 Billion Tax
Bannerhoft - pop 19,527,097 - 224 Billion GDP - 11.2 Billion Tax
Grankum - pop 21,680,054 - 62 Billion GDP - 3.1 Billion Tax
Aalzog - pop 39,573,840 - 186 Billion GDP - 9.3 Billion Tax
Koury - pop 2,934,705 - Developing, Exempt
Fallry - pop 14,230,551 - 76 Billion GDP - 3.8 Billion Tax
Blueys - pop 49,837,087 - 108 Billion GDP - 5.4 Billion Tax
Wynn's Roost - pop 11,284,197 - 83 Billion GDP - 4.15 Billion Tax
Vangburg - pop 2,304,539 - Developing, Exempt
Nerum - pop 12,973,027 - Developing, Exempt
Zebuluraskai - pop 12,938,309 - 61 Billion GDP - 3.05 Billion Tax
Renorsal - pop 2,936,805 - Developing, Exempt
Salvende - pop 1,637,095 - Developing, Exempt
False Dawn - pop 34,329,410 - 132 Billion GDP - 6.6 Billion Tax
Ourem - pop 27,538,804 - 67 Billion GDP - 3.35 Billion Tax

Total Population - 1,549,340,908
Total GDP - 13.355 Trillion
Total Tax - 668.87 Billion

"As everyone can see, we still have many systems classified as developing, but our tax revenue is steadily on the rise. So is our overall GDP, of course our 74 systems entire GDP barely equals some single systems in the Inner Sphere. But comparing our population GDP against an equal single system and we are pretty equal, so I will call that a good thing. Our capitol expenditures are still up when compared to the previous year, but that cannot be helped with the non-stop immigration we are seeing. Those are not shown here, but I believe they are on page 66 of the report before you.

If you turn the page, you will see our current revenue from HPG traffic. We have seen a large jump in our revenue there now that the entire HPG network is now up and running fully on all worlds. Last year, the HPG network transmitted 8.7 Billion messages for a revenue stream of 26.1 Billion. Lucky for us, now that the entire network is up and running, that portion of capitol expense will not affect us this year. We are still spending a large amount of money on Terraforming on many systems, but we are starting to see some results from the efforts as several systems that were unable to grow their food locally and relied on everything being imported are starting to be able to grow their own food locally. This will also relieve some of the shipping shortage we still are suffering from.

Our military expenditures are still way above what our economy should be able to support. Warships are expensive items, but they are also resource intensive, which also helps drive the expansion of mining operations. I would advise that we should halt additional warship construction and focus on normal Jumpship construction to help our shipping shortage. Now that the war is officially over of course." Jessica paused when she got the stink eye from General Heinrich Rommel.

"So the short path says we are not going broke or in the red. Correct?" General Rommel asked

"No sir, we are neither going broke nor in the red. But that money could be used to speed up the development of many systems. Give me that money saved for ten years and I think we can double or even triple our tax revenue. I am sure that Peter Sajak will back me up on this." Jessica said looking at Peter Sajak who tried to vanish.

"Well Peter, what do you think?" General Rommel asked

"I cannot say I disagree with Jessica's assessment. But with the information we now have access to, we are going to need additional funding for all the upgrades that we need to make. Across the board. Civilian and Military upgrades. Ten years would have us fully upgraded technically to the most modern specifications equal to those found on Terra. We could use the money for the Colleges we need to get built to teach the skills needed to make full use of those upgrades. Same goes for the medical technology we now have access to." Peter Sajak said

General Rommel grumped and muttered to himself before looking back up at the pair "Okay, we will suspend any new warship construction. We will complete those already under construction but continue to modernize and upgrade our existing fleet. Until the additional Jumpship's enter the civilian sector, I will authorize the use of military Jumpships to assist where they can, as long as it does not compromise our readiness."

1 January 2787
Thazi (Terran Hegemony - Periphery)

Lunch was over and General Heinrich Rommel was a little grumpy after the 4 hour economic briefing, but at least the afternoon session would be about what he was actually an expert in, military status along with industry. He took his seat and nodded at Peter Sajak to begin his portion of the briefing. Peter Sajak stood and walked to the podium instead of remaining seating, he preferred to deliver his briefings from where he could easily see everyone instead of turning his head.

"Everyone knows who I am, and this portion of the yearly briefing will cover military production, technilogical advancements, if they are unclassified or if General Rommel decides to allow me to brief on them, but we will also be covering many aspects of the civilian industrial capabilities and improvements. I will start off with covering Thompson Shipyards who have taken full control of the Jumpship yards over Onverwacht. After spending a few months reviewing the current production rates and also our projected needs, they have suspended new construction of Jumpships for the next 6 months. This was done to allow them to increase the number of Yards from the current 10 to 20 Yards, along with increasing both ground based supporting factories and orbital factories to meet planned demand. This was also done with an eye toward upgrading all of their facilities to the advanced designs from the Data Cores. They have stated that with 20 Yards, they can phase in the upgrades, once the upgraded equipment and computers are ready at a rate of 5 Yards at a time while keeping the other 15 Yards in production.

We do not have a estimate on how long the upgrade will take nor how long it will take for the new equipment and computers will take. We are working off pure computer generated designs but it would be much quicker if we had a working example, like one of Mitchell Vehicle's Yards from the Hegemony to reverse engineer and copy, but those have not arrived yet and we do not have an accurate arrival date anyway. But if you look at Chart 1, you will see Thompson Shipyards projected outline of production types and numbers."

Thompson Shipyards (Onverwacht)

Monolith Jumpship - 4 Shipyard producing at 2 per year each yard current tech is projected upgrade rate is 4 per year each yard

Star Lord Jumpship - 4 Shipyard producing at 3 per year each yard current tech is projected upgrade rate is 5 per year each yard

Invader Jumpship - 4 Shipyard producing at a rate of 5 per year each yard current tech is projected upgrade rate is 7 per year each yard

Merchant Jumpship - 4 Shipyard producing at a rate of 7 per year each yard current tech is projected upgrade rate is 10 per year each yard

Liberty II Jumpship - 4 Shipyard producing at a rate of 4 per year each yard current tech is projected upgrade rate is 6 per year each yard

"As everyone can see, the projected upgrade once we have the technology available to install will increase ship construction rates greatly. This will also apply to just about everything we build not just Jumpships. Thompson Shipyards noted that we have several Liberty Jumpships being used by ZaP Shipping and that it's 4 collars filled a unique position and worked on an upgraded design which eliminated many of the original's issues. They are confident that it will actually be much easier to maintain. Projected cost is just over 800 Million for each ship. They have also approached us about possibly restarting their destroyed Warship program, which was the Carson Destroyer. I have informed them that will have to be a decision for someone much higher than me.

Mitchell Vehicles is still working on getting their Battlemech Factory completed on Quines. Current estimate is very late 2787 or maybe 1st quarter 2788 before actual production begins. I know they are bringing in another Battlemech Factory and their Shipyard complex. I doubt that Quines can support that much manufacturing. We are still having trouble just housing all the new settlers, for that reason, I think I need to recommend that we advise Mitchell Vehicles to locate their incoming facilities to other worlds that are more established. This will also allow for a more disbursed industrial base. I have spent some time searching for the perfect locations and I propose Crichton for the Battlemech Factory, it has a large population base, ready heavy industry and good farming to support an influx of new folks. The only down point is it is pretty resource poor but we have the needed resources at various systems within 2 jumps of Crichton, having a major industry close by will help draw settlers to those still developing worlds for the jobs in the increased mining.

For the Shipyard complex, I would put forth Zebuluraskai. It has an established heavy industry base, is both resource rich, but also has additional resources close by. I know they will be taking full control of most of the Hegemony Aerospace Yards at Linden, but I think we need to rethink that. The folks at Hegemony Aerospace have done some good work, I propose we modify the arrangement some. Give them half the Linden yards but transfer the Thazi complex to Hegemony Aerospace. Currently the Thazi yard and modified Olympus have been pretty much operated by the SLDF anyway. I kind of like having an industrial base of our own where we can control fully what is produced without having to purchase from a contractor.

Mitchell Vehicle is currently producing a single Essex III-Class Destroyer as a prototype for Admiral Tanaka at Linden. If you look at Chart 2 on page 6 of the briefing folder, I have laid out the projected Mitchell Vehicle production estimates after consulting with their representatives.

Mitchell Vehicle Production Estimate

Quines Battlemech Factory (Est late 2787)

Dragoon AEM-01 - 3 Lines capable producing 12 each line per month
Dragoon AEM-02 - 3 Lines capable producing 12 each line per month
Dragoon AEM-03 - 3 Lines capable producing 12 each line per month
Dragoon AEM-04 - 3 Lines capable producing 12 each line per month
Shootist ST-8A - 2 Lines capable producing 12 each line per month
Prowler - 2 Lines producing 25 each line per month (suggest change)

Crichton (Not final but Est)

Mercury MCY-99 - 1 Line producing 20 per month
Shogun SHG-2H - 4 Lines producing 12 each line per month
HEP-2H Helepolis - 2 Lines producing 12 each line per month
GLH-2D Galahad - 2 Lines producing 12 each line per month
Hellcat II HCT-213C - 4 Lines producing 20 each per month
Hellcat II HCT-214 - 2 Lines producing 20 each per month
Colossus Dropship - Graham was capable of 36 per year, not sure yet

Zebuluraskai (Not final but Est)

Luxor Cruiser - Possible 6 slips at a rate of 6 per year
Essex III Destroyer (?) - Possible 6 slips at a rate of 18 per year

"As everyone can clearly see, once Mitchell Vehicles completes their move, this will dramatically add to our industrial base. Though I expect we will have them adjust their production to maybe some of Blommestein Battlemech's designs, which are our own designs. Though they bring much expertise, I have to admit I am a little biased and would like to see Blommestein Battlemechs and even Thazi Motors remain independent. I made these projections from what Mitchell Vehicle was producing or capable of producing as of 2784.

Next, we will cover some of the newly identified industrial moves heading our way. We need to prepare for their arrival also. We know a massive convoy will be departing Terra in next month with a slated arrival of late this year. We have been notified that a single production line for the Nighthawk power suits was salvaged and being sent, which is great because our own attempts at reverse engineering the suits have failed. I have that line projected to be installed here on Thazi. Mainly because I am getting some heat from the locals about wanting more industry here. To try and keep them happy, which is not easy at times, but we do have ample resources here to maintain quite a industrial base. I have also slated Allied Aerospace, Ostmann Industries and General Systems to be established here on Thazi. Chart 3 covers the details of what they will be bringing with them based off of 2784 intel provided to us."

Ostmann Industries (Thazi)

Ostroc OSR-2C - 4 Lines producing 20 each line per month
Ostroc OSR-2Cb - 2 Lines producing 20 each line per month
Ostwar OWR-2Mb - 2 Lines producing 20 each line per month

Allied Aerospace (Thazi)

Phoenix Hawk LAM - 3 Lines producing 12 each line per month

General Systems (Thazi)

Exterminator EXT-4D - 1 Lines producing 12 each per month
Exterminator EXT-4Db - 1 Lines producing 12 each per month
Exterminator EXT-4C - 1 Lines producing 12 each per month

Hegemony Suits (Thazi - Just a name holder)

Nighthawk Power Suit - 1 Line unknown production rate

"Another reason I co-located these new industries here on Thazi, especially General Systems is they are already familiar with the specialized systems used on the Nighthawk in some versions. We might need their help, so it made sense to me. We have no information on any sort of production rate or anything for the Nighthawk suits, but we do know that some of the workers from the recovered line are moving out here also. We will just have to wait and see when they arrive. I have also heard some good things about the new Corsair Aerospace fighter and I have sent a message to Terra asking if they can lay their hands on a license agreement for it.

Now, new technology extracted from the Data Cores is being implemented as quick as we can manage. Hard thing is we have to build the tooling to make the tooling to make the tooling to manufacture some of the items and it is a major pain in the backside. Though we are making progress, it is slow going. I have brought some of the best minds we have over to Boulsi to look over some of the research data the Cores contained. Weapons research contained on the Cores is extensive, and much of the information is over my head. But stuff looks promising, to me anyway.

Terraforming process's are still ongoing on many systems here in the Hegemony with many projected to take several decades to bear fruit. But luckily for us, many of the Terraforming efforts begun by DoME before everything went to shit was able to be saved and that has given many systems a leg up and we are already seeing progress of those efforts.

Existing manufacturing concerns, especially the military industries, have seen a major slowdown on production now that all of our current formations are at 100% strength. We are still working on activating all of the Conventional RCT's that we need to garrison all 74 systems out here but those do not require major Battlemech production. Military vehicle production is still at 100% because of this along with Aerospace production. Mitchell Vehicles is still working on some sort of modification for the Colossus Dropship, but I do not have firm specifications on it yet. I do know that they have constructed a single Dropship facility on Ceiba where they are currently assembling a test ship. We will have to wait and see what fruit that bears. That concludes my briefing."

10 January 2787
Thazi (Terran Hegemony - Periphery)

Martin Zuni, CEO of ZaP Shipping, had not taken the news that most Jumpship construction would be shutting down for upgrades and expansions. But instead of throwing a fit, he had instead spent some time studying the needs on all the systems the Hegemony controlled out here in the Periphery. The biggest surface problem was ground based shipping ability. A few planets had fairly effective rail lines running very old petrochemical trains on them. He was always looking for a way to make a profit.

After being handed a virtual monopoly on interstellar transport for so many years, he had managed to make inroads in Federated Suns space also. He was already thinking about expanding the Federated Suns operation. But he was not so focused on the trade that he knew so well that he would pass up another income source. But he also knew that this adventure could be a very expensive one. Consuming a massive amount of capital before actually earning a profit. But he had a plan for that, the Hegemony government itself was providing massive amounts of money to help develop the many planets.

Using his law firm on Bastrop, he had secured the production license for the best MagLev design known along with vital production equipment to build them locally and a fuel cell design that could be used on less developed worlds. He had then hired several hundred of the best rail construction engineers he could locate, at great expense. All of this was already on the way via Bastrop. It had cost him 500 Million dollars to secure the production license, a small fortune, but he knew it would be worth it in the long term. Both for his company and the Hegemony itself. The design he had purchased was for both the tractor and several popular cars, along with the rail production equipment. The 600 ton Tractor could move the MagLev at a maximum speed of 228kph while the fuel cell version travelled at 129kph. Each could do so while pulling 20 cars at full speed. The car designs he had purchased were a cargo car which could carry 188 tons of cargo, both bulk and palletized, a Liquid car which carried 85 tons, a passenger car which could carry 24 passengers in steerage quarters and another 112 in seats, another passenger car which did away with the steerage quarters for a massive 450 passengers in seats. Range on the fuel cell version was 2,045km between refuels.

 He had studied everything he could lay his hands on about rail operations. Just as he knew the interstellar shipping business, he wanted to know all he could about the rail business. The growing industries would consume massive amounts of resources and he wanted to make sure he was in on the shipping of those resources even if it never left a planet, someone had to move it and he planned for that to be his company.

Quines (Terran Hegemony - Periphery)

Inside the only Dropship manufacturing hanger operated by Mitchell Vehicle, engineers watched the modified Colossus Dropship take shape. They had kept the design exactly the same except for what it carried. The SLDF had deemed the Colossus too expensive to build in any great amount, but by building it to transport a large amount of Battlemechs reduced the cost of the environmental controls. They had designed 2 versions to meet the need to reduce the overall Dropship collar count to transport the Divisions. The first version carried 2 Battalions of Battlemechs for a total of 80 Battlemechs using the new structure of adding in command lances to the Battalions. Arranged on 2 massive decks, each deck had 4 doors available and each Battlemech bay also contained the ability to drop the Battlemechs from orbit via built in airlocks and Drop Cocoons. It could carry 1,700 tons of onboard cargo on a 3rd deck. It cost only 575,686,000 each, less than a standard Lee-Class Dropship.

The second version rounded out the Battlemech Regiment. Carrying a Battalion of Battlemechs along with the Regiments Command Company. Arranged almost the same as the double Battalion Dropship, it carried an expanded 4,686 tons of cargo and added in 15 tons of communication equipment enabling the Regimental commander to maintain control of his forces under any circumstances. It also mounted a full MASH onboard to tend to injured. After studying the current standard used by the SLDF/HAF out here of transporting each Battlemech Regiment carried by 5 Dropships, usually a Union, 3 Lees, and a Mule, they had managed to cut the collar amount of each Regiment by half. Along with almost tripling the amount of supplies available to each Regiment without a dedicated cargo Dropship. In theory, 2 Colossus-Class Dropships reduced the number of collars used by each Battlemech Regiment by 3. It cost 641,046,000 each, also less than a Lee-Class Dropship.

They had another version still being worked on, it was planned to carry a full heavy Armored Regiment. Capable of carrying all 108 heavy Armor Vehicles of the Regiment and 3,029 ton of cargo. It cost more due to the environmental controls needed for the much more numerous passenger's. It was projected to cost 673,126,000 each but would save on many Dropship collars.

They wanted to test the first double Battalion version before presenting it to the SLDF/HAF for possible purchase. They had brought in members of the local garrison to help lay out the floor plans and also they had volunteered to help test the design. They wanted to work out all the possible kinks before presenting it.

15 January 2787
Blommestein (Terran Hegemony - Periphery)

Trina Weldon-Henderson, Lead Engineer of Hegemony Industries Aerospace Division, watched as her newest design was brought out of her factory's experimental production shop for it's first test flight. They had been building small craft for the Navy since 2780, reverse engineered S-7A Bus and ST-46 Shuttles, but this was the first home designed and built small craft. It came from a request from the SLDF/HAF Marines for a dedicated Assault Shuttle. She had spent over a year on the design and it had been hand built. Now it was time for it's very first test flight, success or failure, it was a proud moment for her.

She had used a Spheroid design wich gave it a strong internal structure. She used large engines to give it a 4g max thrust. Carrying 9 tons of fuel for long distance travel. Clad in 28.5 tons of Ferro Aluminum armor, it's nose carried the most armor. Weapons were 2 ER Large Lasers in the Nose with a pair of Medium Lasers in the Forward Left and Forward Right. Twenty Double Heat Sinks handled the heat load. Between the Nose mounted ER Large Lasers was a smaller version of the Naval Tug Adaptor with built in air lock. Four special grapples had been created that could be fired at a target vessel which would hopefully snag onto the target vessel, an equal number of extremely powerful winches could then pull the shuttle to the target where the modified Tug Adaptor would allow a forced entry of the target. The grapples would only be used against a target that was still under thrust. Then it could deliver it's potent Marine Company of 4 Platoons onto the target.

She had named it simply Marine Assault Shuttle. At almost 17 Million each, they were fairly expensive. She prayed it passed all of it's tests and would provide the Marines the dedicated assault ship they desired to deliver them to their targets. During her design phase, she had worked with Hegemony Aerospace because they were designing a specialized Assault Dropship for the Marines with a target date for a test design close to her own, she wondered how they were doing.

Thazi (Terran Hegemony - Periphery)

Vernon Clancy was behind schedule, but he did not care because this was too important of a project. He had been tasked to design a custom Assault Dropship for the SLDF/HAF Marines. Even though they had a few of their modified Elephant Dropships, they wanted a custom built Dropship, designed to their specifications. They wanted it to carry a full Marine Battalion of 448 Marines. After getting the blessing from Admiral Tanaka, he had set about the task with gusto. During the design process, he had gotten word that Admiral Tanaka had authorized the Marines to actually man and fly their own Aerospace Fighters. This had caused him to fully scrap his initial design.

Instead, he had gotten his hands on an old Titan Dropship scheduled to be retired. At over 100 years old, it had seen better days. They had brought it aboard the Modified Olympus Station and literally stripped it down. It's engines were completely rebuilt and refurbished. It's flight decks were revamped with the 3rd flight deck reconfigured to carry 4 of the new Marine Assault Shuttles. All the cargo was placed inside of a single cargo bay that serviced all 3 hanger decks. The extra space allowed them to install 44 second class quarters for the embarked air wing and 448 steerage quarters for the embarked Marine Battalion. They ahd reinstalled the weapons without any alterations but had installed 78 tons of Ferro Aluminum armor greatly increasing the ships armor protection. It still carried 2 Squadrons of Aerospace Fighters with a reduced cargo load of 482 tons.

Installing the extra quarters and reworking the flight decks had caused the schedule delays, but he wanted to make sure his design was both functional and safe. Once his design took flight, if it passed all of it's tests, it would be built on Ceibu. The Marines had learned the hard way over the years that it took almost a Battalion to board and take control of a hostile warship. The modified Elephant Dropships that carried a full Regiment were just too big for a single boarding action and not suited for long duration patrols. They wanted something better, tailor designed to meet their needs. He hoped he had full filled their desire. It was projected to cost an astounding 813 Million for each Dropship. He kept the name simple, Marine Assault Dropship.

25 January 2787
Zetang (Terran Hegemony - Periphery)

Trina Weldon-Henderson, Lead Engineer of Hegemony Industries Aerospace Division, was furious with herself. Though her design had passed basic flight tests, even successfully hooked and boarded a warship, once it had faced a active defense screen, it had been shot down every single time by "enemy" Aerospace Fighters before it even got close to it's target. The lack of rear firing weapons had been it's downfall. Even if the test was not quite fair as her shuttle was meant to be escorted by Aerospace Fighters from the Marines' Dropship. But the lack of weapons had been a glaring oversight on her part.

Now, back to the drawing boards. There was no way her shuttle could carry the protection it needed for it's mission AND carry a full company of Marines. SO she made the changes bringing the number of Marines delivered in a single pass to 3 platoons, or 84 personnel. She added 6 more Medium Lasers, 2 in each rear arc to help fend off Aerospace Fighters. She then plowed the remaining weight into the armor now boosted to 31 tons of Ferro Aluminum. The Marine Battalion would now need 6 Shuttles to deliver the entire Battalion of Marines on a target. She sent the new numbers to Thazi where she knew Vernon Clancy would have a fit.


3 February 2787
Thazi (Terran Hegemony - Periphery)

Vernon Clancy did have a fit when he learned of the need for a larger shuttle squadron. After calling for a work stop, he had spent 2 days trying every combination he could to make the changes, and failed every time. Finally, he had forced himself to down grade the engines, which would have to be newly built to new specifications dropping the newly named Marine Titan (Assault) maximum thrust down to 3g. But it now met every single design specification he had been given. But since he had to wait for a complete engine and rip the old one out, he revamped the weapons package.

The NOSE Arc now had 12 Large Pule Lasers, 3 AC/20 with 30 rounds and 3 LRM/20 with 30 salvos. Each WING had 2 AC/20 with 20 rounds, 1 LRM/20 with 12 salvos, 5 Large Pulse Lasers and 4 Medium Pulse Lasers while the AFT was protected by 1 AC/20 with 10 rounds, 1 LRM/20 with 12 salvos and 2 Medium Pulse Lasers. Anything that got close would get shredded. Internally, each Aerospace Fighter Squadron had it's own launch bay with 3 doors for rapid deployment, the 8 Assault Shuttles were housed in their own hanger deck with 2 doors. Each hanger deck was fed from a single cargo bay holding 753 tons. The embarked Air Wing and Marine Battalion were quartered in their own staterooms to maximize comfort on long deployments or patrols. The cooling system contained 195 Double Heat Sinks. Final cost was 791.5 Million Dollars.

He gave the order to undo all of their work and begin making the changes he had input. He knew the workers were calling him every name they could come up with.

Terra (Terran Hegemony)

The massive convoy was taking shape in the Terra system at the Zenith Jump Point. While a flood of Dropships were moving to the Zenith Jump Point, another flood of Dropships were heading for Terra itself carrying the 52nd Infantry Division. At the Titan Shipyards, SLS Oslo, Essex II Destroyer was just now entering a slip for 3 months of extensive repairs having been recovered by the Newgrange-Class Yardship, SLS John Glenn.

SLS E. Presley, Aegis Cruiser was on it's way back to Terra with a skeleton crew aboard after having been recovered by SLS Arctic, Newgrange Yardship. New assignments were given to both Newgrange Yardships. SLS John Glenn had headed for Nanking while SLS Arctic headed for Bryant.

At the Nadir Jump Point, a small convoy of 8 LF equipped Tramp-Class Jumpships were securing from recharge operations. With 3 Passenger Mammoth Dropships, 2 Titan Fighter Carrier Dropships, 3 Mule Dropships and 7 Cargo Mammoth already docked they were ready to begin their estimated 6 week journey deep into the Lyran Commonwealth using uninhabited systems.

Nanking (Terran Hegemony)

Commodore Phillip Yang, commander SLS John Glenn, Newgrange-Class Yardship, sighed as the badly damaged Essex II Destroyer was finally securely berthed in his repair bay. It had taken 2 weeks to locate the derelict and another 3 days to get her stabilized for the trip back to the Yardship. During the trip, survey crews had boarded her and recorded her name, SLS Copenhagen was being returned to the fold. The survey's had estimated 3 months to get her jump capable and another 4 months in a shipyard to repair the extensive damage done to her.

Bryant (Terran Hegemony)

Commodore Randall Grubrowski, commander SLS Arctic, Newgrange-Class Yardship, had brought his ship to a halt only 30km from the Riga Frigate. He watched as the Elephant Tug wrestled the Frigate towards the awaiting repair bay. Even at this range, the huge scorched White Shark painted on the hull was easily seen. Another Riga-Class Frigate, RWS Jagged Tooth, had been pummeled by the SLDF warships during the liberation. Massive holes could clearly be seen. The interior of the ship was reported to be in worse shape than the outer hull according to the survey crews. Several of the ships magazines had detonated. Though the jump core was intact, the ship was incapable of holding any atmosphere, her engines were totally destroyed and most of her weapons mounts were destroyed. She could jump, but not move nor shoot. Estimates were over a year in a shipyard. His mission was to seal her gaping holes and get her to Terra.

Castor (Terran Hegemony)

Commodore Erik Wagner, commander SLS Detroit, Newgrange Yardship smiled as SLS Nelson, Black Lion Battlecruiser was pulled from the repair bay 3 weeks ahead of schedule. He had expected her to be sent to Graham IV for repairs but was surprised when he got word that she was to be sent to Terra. He guessed it made sense, for she would need over a year in a shipyard to repair the extensive damage. But once she was clear from his bay, she was no longer his problem, he already had his new orders, head for Bordon and recover SLS Impetuous, Aegis Cruiser from her resting place inside the Messer's Belt.

26 February 2787
Terra (Terran Hegemony)

The massive convoy carrying millions of tons of vital factory equipment along with over 1.2 million people departed under a heavy escort. Due to the vital nature of the convoy, orders had been issued to travel deeper than normal into the Federated Suns before heading for Bastrop and then "Home". No chances were being taken with the safety of this convoy.

 In her office, General Rita Mitchell with the aid of several of her most trusted technicians along with Admiral Joan Brandt, scoured SLDF and DoME records looking for hidden bases, supply caches, After Action reports which might indicate locations of derelict warships and basically anything else of importance. The mission to Odessa would not arrive until at least late April. So they delved deep into the archives seeking anything they could find.

Admiral Brandt already knew about the base inside the Dark Nebula, Camelot Command. This was deemed too far away to be of immediate use, but the information and location were duly noted on a encrypted data pad. One of the technicians searching the DoME archives found records of a two decade long mission to a system named Epsilon Pegasus in the Deep Periphery. But the actual mission was not noted but only listed a completion date. Digging deeper, the technician located a cargo manifest with the Epsilon Pegasus listed as destination. It listed equipment for a HPG station, construction material and even fabrication material. She forwarded this information to Admiral Brandt, who looked it over and walked into General Rita Mitchell's office.

"Think we found something Rita. Seems in 2620-2641 DoME was constructing what looks like a base in a system named Epsilon Pegasus. Not sure what they built, but a HPG station was sent there and also what appears to me to be the makings of an orbital repair yard. I never heard of the place, but I found the system on a Star Map and if I had to guess, it supported exploration of the Deep Periphery." Admiral Brandt said

"Interesting, make a note that we should maybe check it out someday. That is way off the beaten path and anything there will not help us in the short term. Also have Curtis add this location to the erase program. If we have to make an emergency evacuation, I want as much important information erased. All reference and location removed from the data bases and star maps." General Mitchell ordered

"Very well. You sure that is the right thing to do,Rita?" Admiral Brandt asked

"For certain locations, yes I do. If I was up to no good, I would order the complete wipe of everything in the data base. But if we have to make the evacuation, I do not want whoever forced us out to have the information." General Mitchell replied

"Okay, I just had to make sure. On another note, we have a unconfirmed report that a pirate band bearing the colors of the Rim Worlds has been raiding the Taurian Concordat. They have a couple of warships." Admiral Joan Brandt said

General Rita Mitchell let out a deep sigh "Let me guess, you want to go after them?"

"Not really, but I would hate to have them stumble over this." Admiral Joan Brandt replied handing over a piece of paper "We found this in the After Action reports this morning."

General Rita Mitchell took the piece of paper and looked it over. She looked up at Admiral Brandt "How do you rate this information Joan?"

"Very highly. We got it off a report sent to General Kerensky and even found his message ordering those ships cached for later recovery." Admiral Brandt said

"But do we know where they stashed the ships?" General Mitchell asked

"Sure do. It's a long damn ways from here or the other Hegemony. But, that is the largest confirmed ship cache we have located and it would be a shame if someone else got a hold of it. I think it is worth it." Admiral Brandt replied

"Start working on a plan. We cannot risk someone else especially those Rim jobs getting them." General Mitchell ordered looking back at the paper she still held.

NC19110-207 Cache

SLS Sierra, Essex Destroyer
SLS Golden Eagle, Essex Destroyer
SLS Mahone, Vincent Corvette
SLS Fountain, Carrack Transport
TCS Ramora, Pinto Corvette
TCS Tirabad, Pinto Corvette
MCS Fury, Concordat Frigate
6 Tramp Jumpship
8 Liberty Jumpship
4 Invader Jumpship

28 February 2787

It took Admiral Joan Brandt a full day to work out the logistics of the planned recovery. She knew General Mitchell would not allow her to lead the operation, as much as she wanted to go. With a pirate band on the loose in the region armed with warships, any mission would have to be well armed and escorted. So she planned accordingly using forces from both Hegemony's.

Recovery Mission to NC19110-207 Cache

SLS Tirpitz, Black Lion II LF Battlecruiser (Flagship)

89th Cruiser Division (Rear Admiral Ismael Moreno)

SLS Conroy, Avatar LF Heavy Cruiser (Flagship)
SLS Shield, Avatar LF Heavy Cruiser
SLS Cape Bon, Essex II LF Destroyer
SLS Cartagena, Essex II LF Destroyer
SLS Solomon, Essex II LF Destroyer
SLS Ghost Strike - Vincent Destroyer

SLS Krakatow - Volga LF Transport
SLS Vesuvius - Volga LF Transport
SLS Charlton - Carrack Transport
SLS Dahl - Carrack Transport

SLS Deep Builder - Builder Yardship
SLS Carpenter - Builder Yardship
SLS Mechanic - Builder Yardship
SLS Mount Fuji - Carrack Transport
SLS Servitude - Carrack Transport

63rd Destroyer Division (Rear Admiral Samuel Harris)

SLS Sledge - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Wraith - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Slammer - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Crawfish - Vincent Destroyer

She issued orders for Annapolis and Kure to get the most experienced cadets graduated and ready for departure. It would take almost a year for everyone to get to the cache site, she hoped it would be fast enough.


18 April 2787
Odessa (Lyran Commonwealth)

Captain Harold Calloway, A Company 3391st Special Forces, was aboard the lead shuttle as they slowly entered the cavernous entrance to the massive asteroid housing the SLDF naval base. Powerful landing lights on the shuttle were turned on as Captain Calloway and his men began going EVA. It took 20 minutes to reach and make entry into the airlock that would allow them into the mass of structures mounted along the wall of the dug out asteroid. Once entry was made, it took another 2 hours to locate what they hoped was the main control room.

"We still have power, but it is set on idle. The reactor's are still hot. Restoring power level to active." One of the engineers said and slowly the power levels rose and he started restoring power to the various sections of the naval base. Slowly powerful flood lights began lighting the ships silently berthed within the asteroid base.

Captain Calloway let out a long whistle "Son of a bitch, get a shuttle back to the Dropships and get them inside, we have a ton of work to do." As he spoke, he continued to stare out the massive viewing window at the ships. His brain tried to compare what his eyes saw to his memory in an attempt to identify what they had before them. (Aegis Cruiser, think we have 2 Sovetskii Soyuz, Lola III, looks like another Lola III, 2 maybe 3 Essex but what is that other one, I don't recognize it), his mind thought to himself.

Sovetskii Soyuz Class Heavy Cruiser (Star League Variant (Old) - Underway)

Sovetskii Soyuz Class Heavy Cruiser

19 April 2787

Massive Dropships were unloading their cargo of material and personnel after docking with the naval base. Shipyard workers were swarming the silent warships berthed inside the naval base. Captain Calloway, with nothing to do and the station secure, watched the flurry of activity from behind the viewing window. Finally he wandered over to a portly man, Jenson Ameswell, who headed up all the shipyard workers and looked over the smaller man's shoulder at the list of ships.

SLS Remarkable, Aegis Cruiser - Severe Damage, Est 9 months
SLS Venus Eye, Sovetskii Soyuz Cruiser - Severe Damage, Est 10 months
SLS Zeus' Wrath, Sovetskii Soyuz Cruiser - Severe Damage, Est 9 Months
SLS Turnby, Lola III Destroyer - Severe Damage, Est 10 months
SLS Kryton, Lola III Destroyer - Severe Damage, Est 8 months
SLS Platitude, Essex II Destroyer - Severe Damage, Est 9 months
SLS Domination, Essex II Destroyer - Severe Damage, Est 8 months
SLS Archangel, Essex II Destroyer - Severe Damage, Est 9 months
SLS Midway, Riga II Destroyer - Extreme Damage, Est unknown

"Mr Ameswell, how did you get the damage estimates so quick?" Captain Calloway asked

"Mostly from the computers. The Riga II Destroyer, well they stripped out the jump core and ground it down to raw material. Lucky for us, it is still all stored here at the base and we can recast it. Just have no clue how long that will take. Plus they stripped almost all the weapons off it, those are gone. Give me a few days and I will have a full survey done on all the ships and will have a good idea of what we can do and how fast we can do it in." Ameswell replied.

22 April 2787

Jenson Ameswell looked over the complete survey's of every ship here. No way they would be able to repair all of these ships with what they had on hand. But I can recover most of them, he thought and began making notes.

SLS Remarkable, Aegis Cruiser -
Severe armor damage, Jump Core intact and checks come back jump capable, major weapons damage, roughly 20% active rest destroyed.
SLS Venus Eye, Sovetskii Soyuz Cruiser -
90% Armor stripped, Jump Core shows major micro cracking, 15% weapons active, rest destroyed
SLS Zeus' Wrath, Sovetskii Soyuz Cruiser -
Major engine damage, Jump Core checks intact and jump capable, 25% weapons active rest destroyed (swap jump core to Venus Eye, remove active weapons and install Venus Eye)
SLS Turnby, Lola III Destroyer -
Keel cracked, major armor damage, Jump Core intact and jump capable, 30% weapons active rest destroyed (swap jump core to Kryton, swap engine to Kryton, remove weapons for Kryton)
SLS Kryton, Lola III Destroyer -
Jump Core damaged, very little armor, engine damage, 20% weapons active
SLS Platitude, Essex II Destroyer -
Engine destroyed, Jump Core intact and jump capable, reactor damage, 30% weapons intact (Swap jump core Domination, swap weapons Domination)
SLS Domination, Essex II Destroyer -
Jump Core major micro cracks, 25% weapons intact, heavy armor damage
SLS Archangel, Essex II Destroyer -
Heavy armor damage, Jump Core intact and jump capable, 35% weapons intact
SLS Midway, Riga II Destroyer -
Jump Core removed and ground, no weapons, reactors removed (Recast Jump Core, strip reactors off for other ships, ship deemed scrap)

He figured he could complete all repairs he had listed in 6 months, including recasting the Jump Core. He could not make them combat ready, but he could at least get them jump capable and returned for a proper refit and repair cycle. His biggest question was what would they do with this base once they looted the ships from it.


1 May 2787 Zetang (Terran Hegemony - Periphery)

Sean Livingston smiled as he looked over the daily reports. But that smile was tempered by an occasional frown. He now had 20 Corx Tunnel miners working on site with another 14 working on the far side. With even more of the valuable Corx Tunnel miners on the way from the factory. The Builder Yardship had constructed 2 Small Habitats near the asteroid to support the mining operation which ran around the clock. The amount of material being removed was astounding, even to him, with all of his experience in mega projects.

Each Corx Tunnel Miner drilled a hole 20 meter in diameter but only 60 feet per day, on a good day. The deepest tunnel was 5.7km deep after almost 4 months of non stop drilling. This outer shell was some tough stuff. He had continued with his small bore core drilling and found that this extremely hard outer shell averaged 15km thick, with some areas being 40km thick. He planned to avoid those thick area's like the plague, or at least until his special lasers arrived. Several attempts to blast sections had failed. This would have to be done the old fashioned hard way. If all goes well, maybe we can get to the soft chewy center by the end of the year, he thought.

Over the last few months, his "borrowed" physicist's had run the numbers countless times and finally declared his idea of a central spar mounted on a massive gear would not be feasible. No forge could ever be able to cast such a solid piece. They had then crapped all over his desire to spin the asteroid to create a level of gravity. These are the frowns he occasionally produced. This rock was just too big. But, he had a backup plan for his backup plan. His planned cavern was going to be a minimum of 150km in diameter, until the other side was carved out fully, and that was planned to add another 100km diameter cavern. He had called for all the information he could get on some of the most congested orbital complexes ever created.

During his research, he had found that the largest shipyard complexes maintained a minimum of 5km between each construct. He was going to use 10km inside his caverns. To create his desired docking facilities and crew quarters, he was going to fill his cavern with multiple modified Olympus Stations, using the one at Thazi as a starting point. Their station keeping drives would enable them to maintain their positions in the cavern. He had asked for and gotten a few of the design folks from the Thazi Olympus and they had spent a few weeks crunching numbers and figured they could build safely berth 8 ships per station. Without the massive batteries or construction equipment, they could easily modify the station with 2-3 of the massive grav decks to easily house the warship crews and other personnel under a 1g environment.

When they had said without the construction equipment, he had blinked hard, he had forgotten that the Thazi Olympus station was a fully functioning shipyard with (3) 1M unpressurized berths attached to it. Maybe I can convert the other half of this rock into a much larger Mercator-Campion Shipyards complex. This side berths the active and inactive ships while the other side is a fully functional construction facility. Damn sure would be better protected than a normal shipyard complex. He smiled at the thought that flashed inside his head, the cost of this project is going to make some folks heads explode some day when this is all over.

1st to 31st May 2787
Draconis Combine and FedSuns Border

With an announcement from Coordinator Minuro Kurita declaring himself First Lord of the Star League, all along the border forces from the Draconis Combine surged across the border into the Federated Suns. Led by Combine warships leaping into Federated Suns systems which attacked every Federated Suns shipping found followed by ground forces. So swift and massive was the initial invasion, that initial garrisons were simply overwhelmed. AFFS warship patrols were overwhelmed by the massed Combine warships and quickly destroyed along with any Jumpships found.

The swift and massive invasion caught the AFFS off guard and conflicting orders caused more confusion than the invasion itself. Some worlds fell without a word getting out. The DCMS had invaded with 3 massive columns of almost 90 Regiments of Battlemechs and over 300 conventional Regiments supporting them. Coodinator Minuro Kurita led one massive column and by the end of May stood on Cartago, Jinjiro Kurita stood on Franklin. The Draconis Combine had seized nearly the entire Clovis Combat Region, half of the Robinson and half of the Dahar Combat Region along with half a dozen worlds from the Fairfax Combat Region.

The Combine assault forces focused on isolating the defending AFFS commands if they could not be overwhelmed quickly instead focusing on isolating the planets HPG compounds from the defenders and bringing in follow on forces to complete the conquest before moving to their next targets. Like a massive slinky, the Combine invasion pushed forward, halted and then advanced again.

Coordinator Minuro Kurita smiled as he watched his 3rd Sword of Light board their Dropships on Cartago. His 3rd Column would take his columns place in the advance towards New Avalon, he would take his column and exact his revenge.

FWL and Hegemony Border

Right on the heels of the declaration by Coordinator Minuro Kurita, Captain-General Kenyon Marik declared himself First Lord of the Star League and ordered his forces across the border into the Hegemony. While his initial invasion was able to secure each system targeted, they soon began facing Hegemony warships. Over Connaught, the FWL 3rd Fleet was quickly out gunned when the Hegemony 1st Battle Squadron arrived on the scene on 8 May.

Both forces crashed into each other with a vengeance each side loosing nuclear tipped missiles. In this exchange, the FWL was at a severe disadvantage as only 3rd Fleet's Aegis-Class Cruiser had any nuclear tipped missiles. FWS Sorunda, Atreus Battleship took 4 nuclear tipped Killer Whales and vanished before ever getting a shot off. In the nuclear exchange, SLS Leander, Lola III Destroyer was struck multiple times and destroyed.

Atreus Battleship (Full Thrust - IronWinds Miniature)

Atreus Class Battleship, Bismarck

When both forces finally reached range, FWS Bismarck, Atreus Battleship found itself focus fired on by all 3 Texas Battleships, the massive fire from the Texas Battleships quickly rendered FWS Bismarck combat ineffective and adrift with massive internal fires raging. SLS Sandy Hardee and SLS Phoenix, Texas Battleships suffered moderate damage in the exchange before Vice Admiral Zeibler ordered his Battleships to focus on FWS Trembler, Atreus Battleship.

While the Battleships pounded each other, the ships from the 12th Cruiser Division had swarmed FWS Manaslu, Aegis Cruiser and quickly destroyed it with overwhelming firepower. SLS Hector Zapata, Luxor Heavy Cruiser suffered moderate damage in a close range fight while SLS George Wellington, Vincent Destroyer took heavy damage from FWS Manaslu. For 5 hours the Battle of Connaught raged as the 1st Battle Squadron hammered their way from the Jump Point heading for orbit.

10 May 2787
Connaught (Terran Hegemony)

Over 2 days, the 1st Battle Squadron had reached the planets orbit and destroyed the 2 League II Destoyers that had been bombarding the 79th Mechanized Infantry Division. Having lost a third of their troops, the 79th MID now had the upper hand with their warships supporting and began counter attacking the FWLM forces on the planet.

10th to 31st May 2787
Terran Hegemony

With war once again occurring against the Terran Hegemony, on some worlds, it was just too much for them to take. Brownsville, Epsilon Indi and Terra Firma announced they were leaving the Terran Hegemony and joining the Capellan Confederation. Thorin and Zollikofen followed close behind and joined the Lyran Commonwealth. Though many people wished to remain with the Terran Hegemony, they were just bone tired of war. As protests against another war broke out on many border worlds, especially those along the Capellan Confederation, planetary militia's, formed using the Conventional RCT TO&E tried to maintain order without using force.

By the end of May, Free World Forces had landed on Berenson, Hall, Wyatt, Callison and Marcus. Additional naval forces moved to counter the FWLM incursions. Additional ground troops headed for the border with the Free Worlds.

On Terra, General Rita Mitchell looked at Director-General Amanda Cameron "The cracks are starting to form already Amanda. We can be hurt militarily, but systems leaving the Hegemony will break us. I am not sure I can bring myself to order our troops to retake the worlds that left us."

"The people are just so tired of war Aunt Rita. We just cannot seem to catch a break or our breath to recover." She looked at the large map displayed on the wall with quite a few systems along the Capellan border flashing "You expect all of these systems to join the Capellan Confederation?"

"I do, probably in the next month or two. Seventeen systems are currently protesting another war, even though it we, the Hegemony that have been attacked. Plus everyone of those worlds have seen a heavy presence of Capellan "aid" since the Liberation." General Rita Mitchell replied

Amanda Cameron slowly turned to face General Mitchell "The Mariks are using orbital bombardment against our troops. And until our reinforcements reach the area, our troops get hammered from orbit. We cannot move troops from the Combine border, not with Kurita driving into the Federated Suns. Pull our troops off the worlds you feel will join the Capellan Confederation. No sense having them fight for worlds that want to leave the Hegemony. You agree?"

"I agree, I can use them to reinforce the Marik front. You know I am already planning, or should I say, never stopped planning for a hasty evacuation." General Mitchell asked

"I know, I don't think we are there yet, but keep planning it. I just hope it does not come to that." Amanda Cameron said


1st to 31st June 2787

As Hegemony forces pulled off worlds along the Capellan border heading for the Marik front, with a week of their departure, many systems declared for the Capellan Confederation. Tall Trees, Saiph, New Canton, Zurich, Aldeberon, Genoa, Nanking and Bex all left the Hegemony. By the end of April, Capellan troops were landing on those worlds.

All of this was not going unnoticed by the Lyran Commonwealth. Archon Jennifer Steiner had hesitated after Thorin and Zollikofen had joined her realm, waiting to see how the Hegemony reacted. When they did not react in force, she gave the order for LCAF troops to land on Alioth, Summer, Menkit and Lyons. On Alioth, the 3rd Striker Regiment did not hesitate to resist the Lyran troops. For a week they fought the 18th Lyran Guards to a standstill, outmaneuvering the Lyran unit while inflicting 2 to 1 losses. It was only when LCAF warships in orbit began bombarding the 3rd Striker Regiment did the 18th Lyran Guards make any progress.

On Summer, the 306th Hussar Regiment came under orbital bombardment before the first Lyran troop hit the ground. This hampered their defense against the 15th Lyran Guards. Pushed hard and hit with orbital bombardment any time they attempted to make a stand, the 306th Hussar Regiment was forced to break wage a hit and run defense of the planet.

On the Free Worlds front, Hegemony forces were slowly arriving on the scene. On Wyatt, the 48th Infantry Division had been struck by repeated orbital bombardments and nuclear attacks. Down to 30% strength, they held out in their remaining fortification.

On Bereson, the 6th Marik Militia hammered the Conventional RCT garrisoning the planet. Though they fought hard and inflicted heavy losses on the Marik invaders, on 17 June the commander surrendered his forces to the Marik invaders.

On Hall, the 89th Dragoon Regiment hammered the 37th Marik Militia the moment they made land fall. Sensing defeat, the Marik commander released his few nuclear weapons which devastated the 89th Dragoon Regiment along with the capital Harney.


5 July 2787
Thazi (Terran Hegemony - Periphery)

General Heinrich Rommel had read the message several times in a vain attempt to get a look at what General Rita Mitchell had in her head. Obviously, it was a combat assignment, but he had no clue exactly where they would be going and for what.

To: General Heinrich Rommel
From: General Rita Mitchell

Heinrich, need you to canvas the troops, volunteer only. I want 3 Regiments of Battlemechs ready for deployment by year end. I want an aggressive officer in charge of the unit. Veterans every one of them. I want conventional transport for the command, no warships and none of our advanced Dropships. Only common Battlemech designs and SLDF standard, none of our customs. I want good support for them also. This will be a long deployment, possible multi year. Notify me when they are ready to deploy and I will fill you in on what to tell them.

He yelled for his aide "Tabitha, need you in here."

Once she appeared at the door, he said "Get me Colonel Alexander Baldwin in here ASAP from Boulsi."

15 July 2787
Thazi (Terran Hegemony - Periphery)

The knock on the door brought General Rommel's head up, seeing Colonel Baldwin at the door he waved him inside "Grab a seat and close the door Alex. I got a hot one for you from General Mitchell. But damned if I have very much information. Here, read for yourself." He said as he handed over the message.

Once he read the message, Colonel Baldwin spoke "Obviously it is a covert mission. That is obvious from the equipment changes she wants us to make. By years end, hell I better get busy on recruiting."

"Already ahead of you Alex. I already have all unit commanders working on that. We already have a full Regiment of volunteers, the entire 211th Hussar Regiment volunteered, every single one of them. But I want you to reconfigure the Regiments some. Battlemech only, so we are going to cheat some. Make sure you take a full Battalion of Helepolis 3Hb with you. Yes, I am violating her orders some using our own versions, don't care, not giving you artillery support is wrong. I will take the heat, how you deploy them will be up to you. Now, since we know this will be a long mission, I want staying power. Plan on making the Regiments Heavy weights." General Rommel said

"Well, I am willing to bet good money we are deploying to the Federated Suns and even better, intel reports that they are using Royal's in some decent numbers. Better tell Major General DeMars to break open his storage depots cause I am going to raid them hard. You know I am praying for a bunch of Gunslinger's to volunteer for this mission?" Colonel Baldwin replied

"I will make sure you get no grief from Major General DeMars and that is a sucker bet. You know damn well your going to get most of them. It's bad enough I am losing one of my top instructors to this mission." General Rommel said


1 August 2787
Terra (Terran Hegemony)

The end of July has seen the Free Worlds League push deeper into the Terran Hegemony. General Mitchell had been forced to use the 3rd Regimental Combat Team to relieve the 48th Infantry Division on Wyatt under cover from the 84th Cruiser Division. When Marik forces began their next push on 17 July, they pushed into multiple area's. One FWL Task Force entered New Dallas where they were engaged by the 31st Battlecruiser Division. Vice Admiral Connor Shick kept his Division close to the planet where they could be supported by the 280th Mechanized Infantry Divisions Aerospace Fighters along with the New Dallas Militia Divisions fighters. He also made a call for help from the 1st Battle Squadron located at Connaught.

On 20 July, the 12th Cruiser Division arrived at the Nadir Jump Point and quickly destroyed the Aegis Cruiser left to guard the FWL transports while their Marines boarded the transports. They quickly plotted an in system jump to get ahead of the FWL 4th Fleet which was covering their mass of Dropships. Arriving at the L1 La Grange point, they quickly moved to assist the 31st Battlecruiser Division which was engaging the FWL 4th Fleet.

Vice Admiral Connor Shick, drove his Flagship, SLS Lady Shandra, Cameron Battlecruiser directly for the FWL Battleships, on his flanks were SLS Anchorage and SLS Admiral Perry, Congress Frigate. He ordered his 4 Carson Destroyers to focus on getting to the enemy Dropships. "Comm, signal all ships, they have nuclear release the moment the enemy is in range."

The first volley of nuclear tipped Killer Whales launched on the FWL Battleships. This was followed by a 2nd and 3rd volley of nuclear tipped Killer Whales. Aboard the Atreus Battleships, point defense's opened fire and managed to down the first volley of Killer Whales. The 2nd volley saw 1 Killer Whale make it past and slam into the Atreus Battleship, the 500kt warhead shattering the Atreus Battleship. As Vice Admiral Connor Shick ordered a slight adjustment to bring more launchers to bear, the point defenses of the FWL ships managed to down the 3rd and 4th volleys before they struck home.

"Comm, signal all ships, focus on the next leading Atreus Battleship, we got time for maybe 2 volleys before they enter range to return fire, let's see if we can even the odds a little more."

While the warships engaged each other, the FWL and Hegemony Aerospace fighters fought each other, the FWL fighters trying to keep the Hegemony fighters away while the Hegemony fighters tried to get at the gaggle of Dropships.

Rear Admiral John Hoover had ordered his 12th Cruiser Division to boost at 2g's in a attempt to aid the 31st Battlecruiser Division in their fight. As his Division gained on the battle, he watched a 2nd Atreus Battleship vanish in a massive flash. But his experienced eye knew the FWL warships could now fight back against their opponents.

SLS Lady Shandra, Cameron Battlecruiser shuddered as the incoming fire struck home, armor plates across her Nose and Forward Left Arcs being pummeled by the incoming fire. "Conn, get us into the damned Dropships. Weps, give them everything we have."

Targeting a Atreus Battleship and League II Destroyer, SLS Lady Shandra hammered her foes hard in return. As she prepared to fire another volley, power failed throughout the ship, leaving her helpless. Again SLS Lady Shandra was pummeled by the FWL warships, even worse this time as additional Arcs were able to bear on the now helpless Cameron Battlecruiser.

Seeing their Flagship helpless, SLS Anchorage and SLS Admiral Perry, both Congress Frigates, launched their broadside nuclear tipped White Sharks on the Atreus Battleships. Point defenses managed to down several White Sharks but one managed to get past and detonated but failed to penetrate the thick hide. But it removed massive amounts of armor. Opening fire with their Naval Auto Cannons, they raked the thick hides of both Atreus Battleships. The return fire from the Battleships was devastating to the Congress Frigates.

For 3 hours, the naval battle raged. Of the 3 Regiments of FWL troops that entered the system, not a single Dropship made it to the surface. Both warship fleets had hammered each other with devastating effect.

31st Battlecruiser Division (Vice Admiral Connor Shick)

SLS Lady Shandra - Cameron Battlecruiser - Severe Damage
SLS Anchorage - Congress Frigate - Severe Damage
SLS Admiral Perry - Congress Frigate - Severe Damage
SLS McDougal - Carson Destroyer - Destroyed
SLS Winslow - Carson Destroyer - Destroyed
SLS Clark - Carson Destroyer - Destroyed
SLS Moffett - Carson Destroyer - Severe Damage

12th Cruiser Division (Rear Admiral John Hoover)

SLS Carl Sommers - Luxor Heavy Cruiser - Heavy Damage
SLS Terrance LaMont - Luxor Heavy Cruiser - Moderate Damage
SLS Hector Zapata - Luxor Heavy Cruiser - Severe Damage
SLS Thomas Danklin - Vincent Destroyer - Destroyed
SLS George Wellington - Vincent Destroyer - Severe Damage
SLS Janet McFadden - Vincent Destroyer - Heavy Damage

FWL Fleet

4 Atreus Battleships destroyed
1 Aegis Cruiser destroyed
3 League II Destroyer destroyed
3 League Destroyer damaged and captured

Though victorious, the damage inflicted on the Hegemony forces would force them back to Terra for repairs.

Another Free World thrust entered Carver V and quickly destroyed the 2 Vincent Destroyers of the 16th Patrol Division for the loss of a single League II Destroyer. The 1st Oriente Hussars made landfall and after a week of fighting managed to overwhelm the garrison.

As the reports came in, General Rita Mitchell had no choice but to shorten her defensive lines. She ordered the 79th Mechanized Infantry Division off Connauhgt and the 48th Infantry Division off Wyatt. The 1st Battle Squadron covered the withdraw of both commands.

General Mitchell turned to look at Amanda Cameron "I don't like it either, but we just cannot hold what we have right now. Either we leave them and everyone dies, or we pull them back to a better supported position. I am going to risk it and order the 287th Battlemech Division and 213th Battlemech Division off the Combine front. Plus I want Admiral Brandt to pull a Division from the 2nd Battle Squadron from the Combine front. We need them to bolster our Marik front while we get some repairs done."

"Is that wise, we have a bunch of Combine troops right on our doorstep." Amanda asked

"I just have to hope that Coordinator Kurita has his teeth firmly into the Suns and he leaves us alone until we stabilize the Marik front." General Mitchell said.

10 August 2787
Thazi (Terran Hegemony - Periphery)

Colonel Alexander Baldwin had spent the last couple weeks assembling his personnel. He had raided almost every unit in the Hegemony forces for both Mechwarriors and Technicians. He really wanted at least some Aerospace Fighter support, but he had his orders. He had worked with his chosen Regimental and Battalion commanders to form up his TO&E. With the limited knowledge of their actual mission, he was going as ammo independent as he could. But he also knew there would be no way to be totally ammo independent, but he could try his best to minimize it. He looked down at the overview of his selected TO&E.

Baldwin Task Force

Command Company

Victor VTR-9Bb
Cyclops CP-10-Z
Thunderbolt TDR-5Sb (4x)
Archer ARC-2b (4x)
Mongoose MON-66b (2x)

1st Regiment

Thug THG-11Eb (36x)
Warhammer WHM-7A (36x)
Mongoose MON-66b (12x)
Talon TLN-5W (24x)
Helepolis HEP-3Hb (12x)

2nd Regiment

Thunderbolt TDR-5Sb (36x)
Highlander HGN-732b (36x)
Thug THG-11Eb (36x)
Helepolis HEP-3Hb (12x)

3rd Regiment

Warhammer WHM-7A (36x)
Crab CRB-27b (24x)
Dervish DV-6Mb (12x)
Archer ARC-2b (12x)
Thunderbolt TDR-5Sb (24x)
Helepolis HEP-3Hb (12x)

Transport Assets

Tramp Jumpship (3x)
Star Lord Jumpship (3x)
Union Dropship (13x)
Overlord Dropship (6x)
Mule Dropship (6x)
Lion (Infantry) (2x)

Mechwarriors - 372 (138 Gunslinger)
Support Personnel - 3,731 (includes techs, ship crew, medical, astech)
Total Supplies - 62,116 tons

They did not have any more Czar Dropships for his support troops, so he was forced to use two Lion (Infantry) for the purpose. It just could not be helped, but the Lion was a pretty common Dropship, and outwardly, no one could tell the difference. His biggest concern was long range communication, he was not sure if General Mitchell was going to let him take a Support Battalion with him, but just in case, he had a open collar for it. He was confident that the force he had built would be able to handle pretty much anything they might face, on the ground anyway. The lack of Aerospace Fighter support really worried him. Lord knows he had room for 6 Groups or 2 Complete Wings.

It would take another 2 months to get everyone assembled here on Thazi and then they would spend a few months in the field getting used to working together before he declared them fully combat ready. He had gone easy and not taken every Gunslinger that had volunteered, which was every single one of them, but he had selected the very best of them to complete his roster.

Terra (Terran Hegemony)

Director-General Amanda Cameron took the call from First Prince John Davion. She was not surprised by the call, lord knows the Federated Suns was getting it's ass kicked by the Combine.

"John, what can I do for you?" Amanda asked

"Thank you for taking the call so late Amanda. It pains me to have to ask, but can you provide me with any support?" John Davion asked

"We can supply you with as much equipment as you wish to buy, not from here of course, but elsewhere. Wish I could do more, but we have our hands full here." Amanda said

"Equipment will help, but I really need troops, experienced troops. My losses have been extremely heavy." John Davion replied

"Aunt Rita is working on getting you some help John. I will give her a nudge and see what we can do to help. But I don't meddle when it comes to military matters, she is the pro there. She is worried that everyone is going to sense blood in the water and go into a feeding frenzy." Amanda said

"Understood. Any help would be welcome. I am planning a counter move next year to try and push the Combine back, would be nice to have some help." John Davion replied

"I will pass along the message John. Let me go see what plans she has running." Amanda said ending the call

13 August 2787
Thazi (Terran Hegemony - Periphery)

General Heinrich Rommel held the newest message from General Rita Mitchell. This one he had half way been expecting and was surprised it took this long, well half the message was expected, but not the last part.

To: General Heinrich Rommel
From: General Rita Mitchell

''Open the storage bunkers and start loading as much equipment as we can spare for shipment to the Federated Suns. Tell the factories to go back on a wartime production schedule. The situation everywhere is not looking good. Load ammo, spare parts, everything we can spare. Have Admiral Tanaka prepare the convoy and escorts. I also want the Aegis Cruiser and four Lola I Destroyers captured from the DCMS readied with prize crews for transfer to the AFFS.

Same convoy for everything, I also want the "liberated" factories sent to Farnsworth. Mitchell Vehicles will be opening a new production site there. Arrange transport via ZaP and get all the engineer units with our garrisons there to Farnsworth and start laying it out.


15 August 2787 Denebola (Terran Hegemony)

Vice Admiral Connor Shick, arm in a cast, sat in his small office aboard SLS Lady Shandra, Cameron-Class Battlecruiser, as his Division literally limped to Terra for repairs. He was attempting to write his after action report for the engagement at New Dallas. He had completed the technical part of the report, but now he was writing up the portion on what went wrong and what could be done to correct it. He slowly, one handed typed in his thoughts as they came to him.

".....after loss of power, SLS Lady Shandra, was severely damaged by return fire. Once her armor was breached, and enemy fire began entering the hull proper, a single ammunition explosion in the ammo bunker of her left broadside auto cannons caused a fire in the electrical system that took several hours to put out.

Explosive decompression during combat accounted for the loss of 189 crew in the 31st Battlecruiser Division and 12th Cruiser Division. This problem has existed for many years, it is a risk and threat that all warship crews face during combat operations. But this needs to be changed. It is estimated that explosive decompression cost the lives of several thousand crew during the Amaris Coup and Periphery Uprising. The actual number is not known.

Polling of all ships after combat operations ceased found that not a single Marine was lost to explosive decompression. Several were killed due to enemy fire, but the 22 confirmed Marines pulled into vacuum during combat were recovered, this was directly attributed to their being in their Combat Suits with helmets on. Aerospace Fighter pilots forced to eject have a 90% chance of living and being recovered after combat ceases due to their pressure suits. Serious thought should be given to equipping ship crew with pressure suits during combat operations. To prevent explosive decompression, shock damage or fire, serious thought should be given to possibly entering combat in a airless state. Normal pressure suits, Aerospace Pilot suits and Marine Combat Suits provide 8 hours of air supply. I can only find a few combat actions that lasted anywhere near 8 hours duration, of actual combat, in all of our history. A simple hookup could keep a crew on ship air until such time as the need arises for them to go on their own air supply.

As for the Cameron Battlecruiser, while a powerful ship, too many have been lost to this sudden power supply failure. Highly recommend removal of class from active combat operations until this is corrected."

As he signed the report, he wondered if he was signing the end of his career. (Does not matter, I have served for 31 years. I have been in too many battles during that time to see the same issues reported after almost every battle and nothing changing), he thought.

Zetang (Terran Hegemony - Periphery)

The word that they were to resume full production had been greeted with a cheer by the factory workers, who looked forward to the overtime which really added to their paychecks. Where they had been producing on a single shift each day, they once again began around the clock production. During the production slow down, several additional lones had been added to exisitng production models, this allowed them to take older lines off line for their upgrade which was underway. Several lines under went changes to produce models used by the Federated Suns.

Hegemony Industries (Battlemech Division)

Mongoose MON-66b -  1 Line producing 25 per month (add line under upgrade)
Night Hawk NTK-2Q - 1 Line producing 25 per month (add line under upgrade)
Crab CRB-27b - 1 Line producing 20 per month (add line under upgrade)
Griffin GRF-2N - 1 Line producing 20 per month (add line under upgrade)
Phoenix Hawk PXH-2 - 1 Line producing 20 per month (add line under upgrade)
Shadow Hawk SHS-2Hb - 1 Line producing 20 per month (add line under upgrade)
Dervish DV-6Md - 1 Line producing 20 per month (add line under upgrade)
Thunderbolt TDR-5Sd - 2 Lines producing 36 per month (2 add line under upgrade)
Warhammer WHM-7A - 2 Lines producing 36 per month (2 add line under upgrade)

This was one of the first factories to take advantage of the newly recovered upgrades made possible by the information from the Data Cores. Across the Hegemony, massive storage bunkers were opened and a virtual flood of Battlemechs, Tanks, Support Vehicles, Aerospace Fighters and VTOL's poured from them and moved to space ports to await Dropships. Containers loaded with spare parts, armor, ammunition and everything else needed by an army in battle also began flowing to space ports to await their turn to be loaded.

On Thazi, Major General DeMars kept a careful track of every single nut and bolt that left his storage bunkers, he needed to make sure everything was replaced that was taken.

19 August 2787
New Earth (Terran Hegemony)

Vice Admiral Connor Shick watched as several shuttles full of engineers from Daussault-Shimmon Enterprises prepared to dock with SLS Lady Shandra, Cameron Battlecruiser. They would accompany her to Terra for repairs, their own yards were still not capable of even repairing the only Cameron Battlecruiser in service. Once they had completed their damage survey's, he planned to corner them about the problems with the Cameron's power supply, which had proven so deadly during combat.

He turned off the video feed that was tracking the inbound shuttles and focused on a few of the "tests" he had ordered conducted over the last few days. The first test had shown that a ships crew could perform all of their tasks with only a 3% penalty wearing the light pressure suits used by the ships engineers. The second test had been using the same suits used by Aerospace Pilots, which had shown a 8% penalty to their tasks. The last test had used actual Marine Combat Suits, this had shown a 15% penalty to their tasks on the normal crew, but Marines were actually able to perform their tasks without any penalty at all.

He had concluded that the Marines were just used to wearing their suits. They had tested Marines in their suits performing tasks that they normally would not perform during combat and found that they suffered a 10-15% penalty performing those tasks. He favored the armored suits over the unarmored suits for the simple fact that in combat, armor would trump unarmored every time. He had to admit to himself that his main reason he favored the Marine Combat Suits was for the protection of any crew during combat, besides, I have a better chance of convincing any one that will listen of wearing the suits over going airless during combat. The suits at least provide ballistic protection from explosions and shrapnel, which had shown to be a very large source of the killed and wounded.

Linden (Terran Hegemony - Periphery)

Cynthia Howell, Mitchell Vehicles, watched as the Hegemony crew took control of the brand new Essex III Destroyer. Though still a design in testing, she was proud of the work they had done on her. Even of the design was rejected by the Hegemony, she was sure any of the Houses would jump at a chance to purchase the design from Mitchell Vehicles. The all energy armament made the ship perfect for long campaigns with no need of ammunition resupply. Admiral Tanaka had already said the design would be put to a 6 month test cycle before she made any decision.

She would be leaving tomorrow to return to Quines where the Colossus Dropship was almost ready to take it's test flight and begin it's official testing. She really hoped her boss, Delbert Mitchell, would approve of her work on his arrival. She had not asked permission to undertake these expensive projects and if they failed, it would be her head.

Atreus (Free Worlds League)

The losses suffered by the FWLM so far against the Hegemony had been severe, enough so that Captain-General Kenyon Marik had called a temporary halt to further offensive operations while he evaluated the situation. Two Fleet's had already been smashed by the Hegemony. The three Texas Battleships had been a very rude surprise to his forces, not to mention the massive use of nuclear weapons by the Hegemony, in space anyway.

But the capture of Connaught and Wyatt had been a pleasant surprise, but the Regiments assigned to take them had been badly torn up by the Hegemony before they withdrew.


2 September 2787
Terra (Terran Hegemony)

Vice Admiral Connor Shick marched down the hallway towards Commanding Admiral Joan Brandt's office. With his flagship in the paint and body shop for the better part of a year, he had been summoned to HAF Headquarters. As he got to her office and her aide informed her that her appointment had arrived. "You may go in now Admiral Shick." He nodded and tugged his uniform jacket straight and then opened the door and entered the office.

"Conner, close the door and have a seat please, give me a minute while I finish up this memo." Admiral Brandt said never looking up from what she was working on. The silence from her made him nervous and he resisted the urge to fidget in his chair. Finally she finished what she was working on, picked up a small folder and looked at him. "Conner, you realize this After Action report of yours along with your "testing" has raised a huge stink among the staff and other Admirals?"

"I figured it might Ma'am, but to be honest, after all my years in the SLDF, the engagements during the Liberation and nor this, I am sick of losing people in battle that could be prevented with a few changes. Aerospace pilots have a better survival rate than ship crew in a engagement. A damned magazine detonation wreaks havoc during damage control efforts, with the ship full of oxygen, well not you have fire to deal with. Shock damage, explosions. Remove that and enter battle wearing pressure suits in a airless state and half our damage becomes almost not worth worrying about. At the very least change the way we do things and force all the crew into pressure suits during combat, at least then, if a depressurization occurs, they have a better than even chance of surviving even if blown into space. They can fight hooked to the ships life support, go onto internal life support during actual battle to conserve their onboard supply." Vice Admiral Shick said

"I am not saying it is a bad idea, but it sure caused some serious verbal fights during the staff meeting when it arrived. You trying to break a way of doing things that has been around since space travel. I am going to order a study of the matter. But, this is not why your here. I have a mission for you, a high risk mission. Unless you feel that it is too soon." Admiral Brandt replied

"Going to need a new ship, SLS Lady Shandra is going to be in for repairs damn near a year." Vice Admiral Shick said

"Well, seems I have the perfect ship for you, freshly out of the yards. SLS Nelson, Black Lion Battlecruiser. She has been upgraded to the same specs as SLS Tirpitz. I am calling this grouping Task Force Pain. The hurt kind. Your mission is to hit Wasat in the Free Worlds League, seems the Free World is using the Bowie Interstellar yards for repairs. They seem to forget that Wasat is very close to our borders. You will move to Hechnar and launch to Wasat from there. Every ship will have LF batteries, so I want a clean in and out. Destroy everything you can and get back out again. Here are the ships in Task Force Pain.'

Task Force Pain (Vice Admiral Connor Shick)

SLS Nelson - Black Lion II Battlecruiser (Flagship)
SLS E. Presley - Aegis LF Heavy Cruiser
SLS Lightning - Vincent Destroyer

SLS Lookout - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Loyal - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Laforey - Vincent Destroyer

84th Cruiser Division (Rear Admiral Jeffery Hollis)

SLS Bamborough - Aegis Heavy Cruiser
SLS Diamondhead - Aegis Heavy Cruiser
SLS Never End - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Never Quit - Vincent Destroyer
SLS Always Ready - Vincent Destroyer

As you can see, I am sending you in heavy. Smash the yards, destroy every ship you can get in range. I want the Free Worlds folks to realize that we can still strike back and that these strikes will hurt and hurt bad." Admiral Brandt said

"I think I can handle that. I always preferred offensive to defensive actions." Vice Admiral Shick replied

"Then get back up and take command of your ship and get to Hechnar. The others are waiting on you at Graham IV. Signal when fully recharged and ready to move out." Admiral Brandt said

"Ma'am, why not hit Carver IV, we know the Free Worlds are there?" Vice Admiral Shick asked

"I have that covered already. BY the time you launch, I expect the yards at Wasat to be quite full." Admiral Brandt said with a evil smile

Zetang (Terran Hegemony - Periphery)

Sean Livingston almost jumped for joy when he got word that his special items were an estimated 4 months away. His deepest tunnel was now 16.4KM into the asteroid. Test holes indicated that he had a better than even chance of breaking into the "inner core" of this damned rock by the time his lasers arrived. He now had 2 Builder Yardships on station, each building additional orbital processing factories. In 2 months, he would have enough Elephant Tug's on site to begin moving this big rock to it's final home along with all the other stuff. Then he could begin really chewing up it's insides.

7 September 2787
Carver IV (Terran Hegemony)

Vice Admiral Vincent Zeibler shook off the effects of the jump as waited for the ships sensors to finish coming back online. He had already given the orders for the Dropships and Aerospace fighters to be launched the moment they completed the jump even before leaving Terra. As the sensors came back online, he saw that the rest of the 11th Line Division and 13th Destroyer Division had arrived at the Zenith Jump Point. No FWLM warships were present, which caught him by surprise until a message came in from the Nadir Jump Point from Fleet Admiral Joan Brandt herself.

"Zeibler, prepare to jump to the Nadir Jump Point, we have jumped into a free for all over here. We got Free World and Capellan duking it out and we are about to crash their party."

"Nav, get to work on the in system jump. Get the Dropships and Fighters back onboard NOW."

Monsoon Battleship (space background)

SLS Thunderer, Monsoon Class Battleship - Terran Hegemony Flagship

At the Nadir Jump Point, Fleet Admiral Joan Brandt, aboard her flagship SLS Thunderer, Monsoon Battleship, led the 21st Line Division and 23rd Carrier Division against the huge free for all. It was obvious that the Free World had the upper hand against the Capellan warships, but she planned to change that very quickly. "Target the Free World ships first, only fire on the Capellan ships if they fire upon us. We are not at war with the Capellan Confederation. Comm, broadcast for the Capellan ships to disengage and depart this system or they might come under fire."

As her ships moved to engage the Free World warships, she took time to get a firm count on what she was facing. Damn, must be 2 entire Free World Fleet's here, 7 Atreus Battleships, 3 Aegis Cruiser, 14 League Destroyers. Well, this should clog the hell out of their repair yards, she thought with a evil smile playing across her mouth. The Capellans had 2 Du Shi Wang Battleships, 2 Soyal Heavy Cruiser, 2 Aegis Cruiser and 8 Essex Destroyer.

"Admiral, no response from the Capellan forces. Our destroyers are coming into range of the fight in 4 minutes."

"Very well comm, we will learn soon enough which way this is going to go. Issue the orders, if the Capellan ships fire on us, return fire and I want them to know they got kissed and made a huge mistake." She ordered

Aboard the closest Soyal Heavy Cruiser, it's commander ordered his ship to target the leading Hegemony destroyer and several minutes passed and then both Heavy Naval Gauss fired on the leading Hegemony Destroyer, which took a single hit to the Nose arc shattering tons of armor. This was followed a minute later by the Medium Mass Driver, which normally was only good at close range due to it's lack of accuracy, but the Hegemony ships were boring straight in and it struck home, inflicting massive damage on the lead Lola I Destroyer, shattering it's jump core and burrowing deep into the guts of the ship.

Fleet Admiral Joan Brandt no longer hesitated "The Capellan's are now active hostiles, they get the same treatment as the Free World ships. Weapons free across the board, if it is not Hegemony, it gets pounded."

From all 3 Monsoon Battleships and both Dart Light Cruiser's, nuclear armed Killer Whales and White Sharks began leaping from their launchers. Strike packages of Alamo armed Aerospace Fighters began targeting Dropships and Capellan Essex Destroyers. The Soyal Heavy Cruiser that had fired on the Hegemony destroyer did not stand a chance as no less than 4 nuclear armed Killer Whales detonated against it and it vanished in a blinding flash. Along with the offending Soyal Heavy Cruiser, 2 Capellan Essex Destroyers also were struck by nuclear missiles along with a FWLM Aegis Cruiser and League II Destroyer.

As the Hegemony Monsoon Battleships began merging with the enemy forces, both the Capellan and Free Worlds quickly found out that these Battleships had undergone  major upgrades. Even outnumbered, their Hegemony Monsoon Battleships savaged anything they fired on, but the tide truly turned when Vice Admiral Zeibler and his forces made their jump to the Nadir Jump Point. The arrival of 3 Texas Battleships, with their enhanced firepower, quickly turned the battle into a rout as the surviving Capellan and Free World warships began fleeing as fast as they could, most trying to recharge their jump drives with their reactors. Fleet Admiral Brandt smiled as she ordered the Capellan warships to be hunted down without mercy, she had other plans for the Free World ships that would escape.

Graham IV (Terran Hegemony)

Vice Admiral Connor Shick listened to the assembled captains of his designated Task Force protest his orders. Only those assigned to his personal Division seemed to take the orders with a sense of calm but some unease. "I will not have my people's lives risked on some fancy unproven idea you have Connor, I have read your report and I think you have lost your mind." Rear Admiral Jeffery Hollis said while behind him, the captains of his ships nodded in agreement

"Very well Jeff, your Division may enter the upcoming battle using standard conditions. The ships of my Division will go in my way, we will call this a live fire exercise. I went to great lengths to secure as many Marine Combat Suits, Aerospace suits and even normal Pressure suits as I could lay my hands on. When this is over, we will compare the results. I would prefer to not have to test this at all, but I know I am right." Admiral Shick said

As the briefing broke up, Vice Admiral Shick turned to the gathered officers assigned to his Division "If anyone has any doubts at all, voice them now."

"I think I can speak for everyone Admiral, although this idea of yours is a little crazy and surely on the out of normal range, we will give it a shot. Combat in space is dangerous enough as it is, and if this idea gives our crews a better chance of survival, we will give it a try." Commodore Killion Dugby replied

Vice Admiral Shick looked at each of the assembled officers one at a time and nodded to each one "I know I am right. Let's get this party ready, I need another week to complete recharge and then we jump for Hechnar, recharge fully and then we move to our target with a full battery charge. This will give everyone some time to get used to being in Pressure suits or Combat suits for the duration. Practice putting the ships into zero atmosphere for hours at a time. I want everyone in that condition when we make the Jump to Wasat and enter battle."

10 September 2787
Carver V (Terran Hegemony)

Fleet Admiral Joan Brandt watched the Dropships carrying Major General Lauren Hayes' 151st Royal Battlemech Division and the 359th Battlemech Division enter the atmosphere on their way to remove the FWLM from the surface. She knew she should head back to Terra, but wanted to stay a little longer. At least this was a bright spot on an otherwise gloomy year. At the Nadir Jump Point, Hegemony Marines were securing several Capellan and Free World warships that had not been able to escape. She patted her command console affectionately, her upgraded Monsoon Battleship had performed as well as could be expected along with the other 2 Monsoon Battleships. She wanted more ranged firepower, she still had to get too close, which even though it made the Monsoon even more deadly, also allowed an enemy to fight back also. Even with double the armor of the original, she could still be hurt.

"Admiral? Commodore Washington reports they have secured the captured warships. We lost 2 Companies of Marines when the Capellans scuttled the Du Shi Wang Battleship as they were boarding her."

She cursed at the loss, stupid Capellan's, just as fanatic as the damned Combiner's, she thought. "Send me compliments and condolences for his losses. Signal Terra and get me prize crews here to take the captured ships back to Terra."

Once her orders were acknowledged, she pulled up the screen which detailed the ships under her command and also the known engaged enemy ships. She spent a few minutes studying the roster and reported damage.

11th Line Division (Rear Admiral Arthur Bristol)

SLS Nebraska II - Texas Battleship (Light Damage)
SLS Phoenix - Texas Battleship (Moderate Damage)
SLS Sandy Hardee - Texas Battleship (Light Damage)
SLS Inglesmond - Vincent Destroyer (Light Damage)
SLS Connaught - Vincent Destroyer (Light Damage)
SLS M. Langley - Vincent Destroyer (Light Damage)

13th Destroyer Division (Rear Admiral Frank Fletcher)

SLS De Ruyter - Sovetskii Soyuz Heavy Cruiser (Moderate Damage)
SLS Surveillante - Lola III Destroyer (Light Damage)
SLS Belfast - Lola III Destroyer (Light Damage)
SLS Ranger - Lola III Destroyer
SLS Geary - Lola III Destroyer

SLS Thunderer, Monsoon Battleship (Moderate Damage)

21st Line Division (Rear Admiral Davis Bagley)

SLS Kongo - Monsoon Battleship (Moderate Damage)
SLS Hiei - Monsoon Battleship (Moderate Damage)
SLS Shark Tooth - Dart Light Cruiser (Moderate Damage)
SLS Shark Strike - Dart Light Cruiser (Moderate Damage)
SLS Sikh - Lola I Destroyer (Destroyed)
SLS Zulu - Lola I Destroyer (Destroyed)

23rd Carrier Division (Rear Admiral Alan Kirk)

SLS Independence - Samarkand II LF Carrier (27 Aerospace Fighter Destroyed)
SLS Benjamin - Samarkand II LF Carrier (17 Aerospace Fighter Destroyed)
SLS Black Templar - Aegis LF Heavy Cruiser (Moderate Damage)
SLS Patrick Henry - Aegis LF Heavy Cruiser (Moderate Damage)
SLS Hammerstrike - Essex II LF Destroyer (Moderate Damage)
SLS Emerald - Essex II LF Destroyer (Heavy Damage)

Captured Warships

FWLS Gibson - Atreus Battleship (Heavy Damage)
FWLS Marik - Atreus Battleship (Heavy Damage)
FWLS Rampant - Aegis Heavy Cruiser (Heavy Damage)
FWLS Raptor - League II Destroyer (Severe Damage)
FWLS Bighorn - League II Destroyer (Heavy Damage)
CCS Liao Pride - Aegis Heavy Cruiser (Heavy Damage)
CCS Solstice - Soyal Heavy Cruiser (Heavy Damage)
CCS Fury - Essex I Destroyer (Heavy Damage)

Destroyed Warships

Du Shi Wang Battleship - 2
Atreus Battleships - 2
Soyal Heavy Cruiser - 1
Essex I Destroyer - 5
Aegis Heavy Cruiser - 2
League II Destroyer - 6

Her losses could have been much worse but the Free World and Capellan forces had already hammered each other before they arrived and engaged. She made a note to have a complete damage estimate done among all the ships in detail. (I wonder how we would have faired using Admiral Shick's idea), she wondered.

12 September 2787
Terra (Terran Hegemony)

"Per your orders, we have managed to recover and then delete, from records, all the special access passwords and override commands from the Department of Communications. We now have full access to Comstar's HPG Network whenever we want to and we can take control of it at anytime. We tested it on the new HPG station on Thorin as they activated it, we had full control but Comstar's techs thought it was a glitch that self corrected itself when they rebooted the system. Comstar is still using the old security codes for encrypting the messages, so we can decrypt any message we desire at anytime.

Operation Overwatch is proceeding as planned, for security, I will not go further on the matter. The safety of my people is of the utmost of importance. Per your orders, the computer geeks have penetrated Comstar's primary banking account here on Terra. The amount of money passing in and out of that account is staggering. I have been told that almost 80% of the transactions are automatic and it would be childs play to commit banking fraud by inserting a new automatic transfer of funds. Keep it small enough and it would be overlooked even if a detailed audit was conducted, hidden in plain sight since so many transactions are conducted every day. He is a former SLIC investigator who's primary job during his years of service was looking for fraud of Star League funds. From what he says, if you just did an audit, you would never spot any fraud without having a starting point to work from. I am told that if SLIC was to audit Comstar, it would take an estimated 2,000 expert accountants several years just to audit a single year.

This intrigued me so I grilled him a little harder, and he reports that from what he has looked at, any transaction under 50,000 can simply be requested by the HPG Station Chief and it is sent out to the Stations bank account from their account here on Terra to reimburse whatever expense they had. No invoice, no approval, at least no central accounting record, pretty sure each Station keeps their own records, it is just sent out, all on a simple request in which there are many many thousands per day. For supplies, parts, incidental expenses. I guess Comstar figures it a trivial amount not worth keeping track of, since the request comes in over a the HPG Network, it must be a valid request approved by the Station Chief. Comstar is currently operating 1,874 HPG Stations. If you do the math, that is a tremendous amount of fraud potential. Fraud would be child's play for a computer geek with some skill, as explained to me, write a small program and somehow get it inserted into the programming of the HPG Network, have it daily generate a random number that stay's below 50,000 from every HPG Station and transmit a reimbursement request for that amount each day. It could have a special routing command assigned so that when the reimbursement is issued, instead of it going to that Station's bank account, it is instead routed to a different bank account. If the coder wrote in a few more special commands, the program could then erase the transaction or message record from both the transmitting and receiving HPG Stations after completion. The money would just disappear into the ether, no record of where the hell it went." Lieutenant General Brian Calloway, commander Hegemony Security, said finishing his small briefing.

Both Director-General Amanda Cameron and General Rita Mitchell had listened to the briefing and then shared a look between them. "General Calloway, have the computer folks write the required programming, but DO NOT insert and activate it, not yet anyway. I am not sure I am comfortable with becoming a thief. This a long term program to keep tabs on Comstar's activities. The Houses have both their House Currency and now have agreed that Comstar's issued C-Bill will be the new interstellar standard of currency for transactions. We still use the old Star League Dollar as our standard back home. We will peg that to the C-Bill for ease of commerce, but there may come a day when we need access to C-Bills if we have to activate our GToH plan and head home." Amanda said

"Amanda, I think we need to at least test the program once it is written, get it inserted and activated, we can have the programmers write in a activate and deactivate method into the program. We can do a simple one time test and see if any alarm bells get sounded." General Rita Mitchell said

"Okay Aunt Rita, General Calloway, get it written and inserted, once complete, do a one time test of the system and have the funds sent to Martin Zuni's account on Bastrop. Then deactivate the program until such a time as I decide we need it reactivated." Amanda ordered

"You got your orders Brian, make it happen. Thank you for the briefing, but me and Amanda need to discuss other matters now." Rita said dismissing Lieutenant General Brian Calloway. Once he had departed and the door shut again, she spoke again "Amanda, we need to contact Chancellor Barbara Liao and see if we can head off a major shooting war on that front. We don't have secure communications like we do with First Prince John Davion, this will have to go out over Comstar's Network, so be careful of what you say, please. I am sure folks will be listening."

"You don't trust Jerome Blake much do you, Aunt Rita?" Amanda asked while she made some notes

"It is a gut feeling, maybe not against Blake himself, but I am sure not all of his people are worthy of trust. It's one reason I have made sure all of our ground troops are equipped with secure HPG communications independent of Comstar's HPG Network." Rita said

"I will keep that in mind, now, have you given thoughts to my portion of the GToH plan?" Amanda asked

"Yes, and though I am a little uncomfortable with it, I see no other way. If we have to pull up stakes and run for home, I see no way to maintain control of the HPG production equipment. BUT, if we have to turn it over to Comstar, they are going to have to pay a pretty penny for it." Rita said

"Oh, they will pay a pretty penny. I assure you of that. While General Calloway was giving his brief, I was looking over the banking data for Comstar, they have a ton of cash in their account. Hell, I don't think we are taxing them near enough. You know, even with our shooting war's going on, we still have 8.2 Trillion Dollars, now C-Bills, in our accounts here on Terra? That Comstar is a damned gold mine, makes money faster than we can spend it. That pales to what Comstar has in their account, they currently have 19 Trillion in their account. Of course, they are about to transfer another 450 Billion into our account for the next production run of HPG equipment. We really need to figure out how to get the Hegemony's money out of our accounts here and to where we can easily get to it if the day comes we have to pack and run." Amanda said

"I was hoping you were thinking about that, cause damned if I know. I do know money is heavy and I doubt they could print that much cash for us to haul it with us." Rita said with a laugh.

18 September 2787
Bastrop (Federated Suns)

Martha Pruitt, CFO ZaP Shipping, sat in her office, her pen hovering over the legal documents given to her by Mr Fleesum, her company's lawyer. Slowly, she lowered the pen and signed the document and handed it to her lawyer. She exhaled not realizing she had been holding her breathe. She looked up at Mr Fleesum and smiled weakly "You will see to the remaining details?"

"Yes Ma'am, I will see to the bank transfer of the agreed price of 20 Billion Dollars. Congratulations, ZaP Shipping just purchased Suns Shipping and all of it's assets. I am surprised they went for the deal myself, it has been a profitable company for over 80 years. But I guess the kids just did not want the hassle of running a company." Fleesum said

"Well, they did. Now I need to get over to Humansville and meet the new employee's and see about their operation and how we are going to integrate it into our own." Martha Pruitt said by way of dismissing Mr Fleesum. Once he had departed, she leaned back and thought about what she had just done.

Suns Shipping had been a decent sized shipping company for just over 100 years. Based from Humansville, just 110LY from where she currently sat. ZaP Shipping had beaten them back from the area over the years as they had gained market share. Able to move vastly more cargo than Suns Shipping, quicker and even cheaper, it had been a fierce competition and she had mourned when it's owner had passed away. With her signature, she had basically doubled the size of ZaP Shipping here in the Federated Suns.

Suns Shipping

Merchant Jumpship - 20
Jumbo Dropship - 40
Port Facilities - Humansville (50 square kilometer space port)
Olympus Recharge Station - Zenith Jump Point, Humansville

She still could not believe the old man had paid all that money to have the Olympus Recharge Station built. But the more she thought about it, the more sense it made. He did not have to pay for recharges, it allowed him to maintain his Jumpships and Dropships totally in house. And she had managed to purchase it all for a mere 20 Billion in cash. Heck, even ZaP Shipping did not own and operate it's own space port, I wonder how much money it generates, she thought.

Terra (Terran Hegemony)

Director-General Amanda Cameron walked into General Rita Mitchell's office and shut the door. She walked to a chair and slumped into it. "I take it the talk with Chancellor Barbara Liao did not go well?" Rita asked

"Not well at all. She did not declare war to my face, but I think you need to prepare for it. Not even the sensor logs and video of her ship firing on our first after being warned off by Admiral Brandt seemed to sway her in the least. She ranted for ten minutes on the destruction of her ships. It was all I could do to keep from telling her to **** off and die." Amanda replied

"Well, when it happens, I hope she is ready to pick up some teeth from the floor. At least the Lyran's have not advanced further and I have restrained Admiral Brandt from launching any deep raids into Lyran territory. But, that could change quickly at any second and the Combine seems content on beating on the Suns, but we are watching them closely." Rita said.

19 September 2787
Drachenfeld (Deep Periphery)

Colonel Ben Suong smiled as he watched his 10 year old twins play on the soft grass of his home. While he minded the kids, he allowed his mind to wander. It had been 13 years since he and the others had opted to remain on Drachenfeld, in that time, they had all married and even had kids galore. The yearly shipments from the Hegemony was always greeted with joy, the Dropships brought medical supplies, consumer goods, stuff to make everyday life easier and even weaponry and other military supplies. To make sure pirates never got a easy time of things, he now had a very well trained 2 Battalions of Infantry and 2 Companies of Turhans. The local's had gotten a good look at how pirates treated their captives and never wanted to go thru that again.

One of his communication techs walked up the pathway and reported "ZaP Dropships are entering the atmosphere, one of them is a passenger ship. Though you would want to know, sir."

A sonic boom sounded overhead as 2 Jumbo Dropships braked hard to make the landing. "Thank you Corporal, we are expecting them. Even have the housing for them all set up. They should be the miners and their families we requested along with some special mining equipment. Like the old saying "There is gold in them thar hills" and I aim to mine it for all it's worth." Colonel Ben Suong said with a bigger smile on his face.

"Kids, let's get ready to go, we need to get down to the landing zone and greet the new folks." He said

 It took longer than he wanted, but getting the twins ready for anything took time. When he arrived, he saw that they had already unloaded 24 Dig King Mining Mechs, along with the 20 Brunel Dump Trucks and 4 Carbine ConstructionMech. He saw one of the locals point towards him and a group of new people moved towards him. As the middle aged woman in the lead reached hime she said "Geneva Nomanz, I manage this mining team. They tell me your in charge."

"Colonel Ben Suong, I actually command the garrison here. My wife actually runs the place ever since her father retired. I have trucks on the way for your peo..." His voice trailed off as movement from the Mule Dropship caught his eye and he watched stunned as a Company of Thunderbolt Battlemechs marched down the ramp. Geneva Nomanz turned to where he was looking.

"A gift from General Rommel. I was there when they arrived at the space port. A Captain Francis Tellman commands the outfit. Volunteers, every one of them. They made the trip over aboard our Dropship. From what I gather, they even have their repair bays stored in cargo containers, removed from some old Dropships. General Rommel told me to have some of my people find the material to build proper hangers for them as soon as I could. I think their is a platoon of engineers attached to the Battlemech Company also. I will go finish getting my people together before they wander off, it feels good to get firm ground under our feet again." Geneva Nomanz said

Colonel Ben Suong just nodded as he wondered if the General knew something he did not.

22 September 2787
Wasat (Free Worlds)

Vice Admiral Connor Shick had to admit it felt funny entering battle in a fully pressurized Marine Combat Suit. He had allowed his people to suit up in whatever suit they felt most comfortable in. As the ships sensors came online, his eyes widened at the number of FWLM warships that were in system both awaiting an empty berth or sitting in the slips undergoing repairs.

"Comm, signal all ships they are weapons free on all weapons. I would prefer if none survived or escape." He ordered

Within a minute of his order, nuclear armed White Shark missiles were speeding towards their assigned targets. The first volley of White Sharks slammed into ships deemed the biggest threat to the Hegemony ships. Two Atreus Battleships, both showing some pronounced battle damage vanished in nuclear flashes. A Aegis Cruiser was attempting to get underway but caught 2 White Sharks and also vanished.

Aegis Class Heavy Cruiser (by colourbrand)

Aegis Class Heavy Cruiser

Another volley of nuclear White Sharks were launched at nearby warships, destroying 3 League II Destroyers and a Carrack Transport. While Rear Admiral Jeffery Hollis led his 84th Cruiser Division towards the Bowie Industries shipyard complex, Vice Admiral Shick and his ships plunged into the mass of battle damaged FWLM warships. Nuclear tipped Barracuda missiles joined the nuclear tipped White Sharks in dispensing nuclear justice as the various Hegemony warships opened up with their conventional weaponry. Massive Naval Autocannons opened fire on any FWLM warship that entered their firing arc. The massive shells hammered into weakened armor plates, many shots penetrating deep into the already wounded vessels before detonating.

Return fire from the FWLM warships was slowly increasing, but fire from the Hegemony warships was almost overwhelming. SLS E. Presley, Aegis LF Heavy Cruiser, targeted another Atreus Battleship that was just starting to maneuver with a volley of nuclear White Sharks. Point defenses managed to knock down 4 White Sharks but 2 managed to get thru the defenses and another Atreus Battleship vanished.

Vice Admiral Shick got the shock of his life as he watched a massive hole open on his bridge, which had taken a direct hit from a HPPC shot, but the bridge remained operational since they were already in a airless status. Though the shot had killed a couple of crew. It would have been much worse the old way. His ships return fire savaged the offending Atreus Battleship, opening massive holes in it's armor and multiple shells detonating within the massive vessel. He glanced at another monitor as his Left Broadside let loose on a battle scarred League Destroyer and within seconds it was venting massive amounts of atmosphere and he could see the faint glow of burning fires thru the massive holes in it's hull.

He glanced back at his command display and saw that his Vincent Destroyers were attacking enemy ships in pairs, launching nuclear Barracuda missiles as targets entered an arc equipped with them. He checked on Rear Admiral Hollis' 84th Cruiser Division and saw that half the Bowie Industries shipyard complex had vanished and missiles were streaking towards the remaining facilities. FWLM warships that had been berthed in the repair slips were either total wrecks or had vanished.

Within 3 hours of arriving in system, Task Force Pain had obliterated the Bowie Industries shipyard complex and destroyed every FWLM warship they had found along with quite a few Dropships and Aerospace fighters. At just under 4 hours in system, Task Force Pain made the jump back to Hechnar.

Task Force Pain (Vice Admiral Connor Shick)

SLS Nelson - Black Lion II Battlecruiser - Moderate Damage
SLS E. Presley - Aegis LF Heavy Cruiser - Moderate Damage
SLS Lightning - Vincent Destroyer - Light Damage
SLS Lookout - Vincent Destroyer - Light Damage
SLS Loyal - Vincent Destroyer - Moderate Damage
SLS Laforey - Vincent Destroyer - Light Damage
17 Aerospace Fighters Destroyed

84th Cruiser Division (Rear Admiral Jeffery Hollis)

SLS Bamborough - Aegis Heavy Cruiser - Light Damage
SLS Diamondhead - Aegis Heavy Cruiser - Light Damage
SLS Never End - Vincent Destroyer - Light Damage
SLS Never Quit - Vincent Destroyer - Light Damage
SLS Always Ready - Vincent Destroyer - Light Damage
11 Aerospace Fighters Destroyed

Free Worlds Losses

Bowie Industries Shipyard - Destroyed
4 Atreus Battleship Destroyed
3 Aegis Heavy Cruiser Destroyed
5 League Destroyer Destroyed
6 League II Destroyer Destroyed
2 Carrack Transport Destroyed
5 Mule Dropship Destroyed
3 Leopard CV Dropship Destroyed
87 Aerospace Fighters Destroyed

Hechnar (Terran Hegemony)

After Task Force Pain materialized at the Zenith Jump Point, Vice Admiral Shick ordered damage control efforts to resume and for all commanders to submit a complete damage assessment and casualty list. No matter how hard he tried, the hole in his bridge kept drawing his eyes back to it. (I wonder how many more holes like that are in my ship), he thought.

26 September 2787
Hechnar (Terran Hegemony)

Vice Admiral Connor Shick had taken a few days to study all the reports from the battle at Wasat before attempting to write his After Action report along with his findings on his field test. The casualties were a stark contrast between the ships of "his" Divisions compared to those of the 84th Cruier Division. While his ships had entered battle in a airless state with crews i pressure suits, the 84th Cruiser Division had entered battle the normal way. He had already written the actual After Action report, but now he focused on his findings.

"....actual battle damage sustained by the ships of Task Force Pain was overall light compared to the damage inflicted on the enemy. The ships of the 84th Cruiser Squadron took on average 2 hours longer with damage control battling several fires aboard ship, while ships not assigned to the 84th Cruiser Division were able to begin actual repairs on battle damage right away.

Ships that entered battle in an airless state sustained battle damage that under normal conditions would have been one, possibly two levels of damage higher than their current damage levels. Several ships sustained penetrating hits but lost ZERO crew to explosive decompression. The bridge of the SLS Nelson was breached with the loss of 3 crew to the actual breach from, but the bridge was able to continue normal operations and maintained full control throughout the battle. Not a single ship in an airless state suffered from any fire damage. While ships operating under normal conditions suffered blast damage, shrapnel damage, fire damage and even shock damage. No airless ship suffered fire damage or shock damage.

Casualties between the two methods was also a stark contrast. Ships from the 84th Cruiser Division, while not as heavily engaged by the enemy forces, suffered 63 KIA and 288 WIA during the battle. Ships not assigned to the 84th Cruiser Division, operating in an airless state and with crew in fully pressurized suits suffered 31 KIA and 91 WIA during the battle. Over half the WIA from 84th Cruiser Division ships suffered broken bones from "shock damage" or flash burns from explosions. Crew in airless ships, equipped with Marine Combat Suits suffered no losses, Aerospace Pilot suited crew took 34% of the casualties while normal Pressure Suit crew suffered 66% of the casualties.

It is therefore my recommendation that serious thought be given to a major shift in how the Hegemony Warship's enter battle. The concept put forth in my previous After Action report has been proven to work in a actual combat setting. Both with reduced overall damage but also and more importantly with less loss of life of our most precious resource and that is the crews of our warships."

He signed his name at the bottom of the report and silently swore to himself to fight for this change, even if it meant his career. Besides, I already have 6 ships worth of officers and crew that are now believers in my proposed changes. As they move around the fleet, they will take that belief with them and spread it around. Whether High Command wants them to or not. And with that he smiled broadly.

Odessa (Lyran Commonwealth)

SLS Venus Eye, Sovetskii Soyuz-Class Heavy Cruiser, led the now jump capable warships from the naval base and towards the rendezvous well past the proximity limit with the standard Jumpships. The ships being left behind along with the naval base facilities themselves had their self destruct charges activated. Anyone attempting to put them into service without the proper password would find themselves destroying the very things they were seeking to salvage. The convoy formed a protective screen around the gaggle of Dropships carrying the skilled yard workers.

Recovered Warships

SLS Venus Eye, Sovetskii Soyuz Heavy Cruiser
SLS Remarkable, Aegis Cruiser
SLS Kryton, Lola III Destroyer
SLS Domination, Essex II Destroyer
SLS Archangel, Essex II Destroyer
SLS Midway, Riga II Destroyer

Remaining Warships

SLS Zeus' Wrath, Sovetskii Soyuz Cruiser
SLS Turnby, Lola III Destroyer
SLS Platitude, Essex II Destroyer

4 October 2787 Thazi (Terran Hegemony - Periphery)

Colonel Alexander Baldwin read the message handed to him by General Heinrich Rommel several times. This tossed his time table completely off schedule as he expected more time to get his troops used to working together before pushing off. As he read the message for probably the sixth or seventh time, his mind raced mentally cataloging everything that needed to be done to meet the new deadline.

"Damn, I really was hoping for some serious field time to get everyone on the same page and used to working with each other." Colonel Baldwin said

"But can you be ready?" General Heinrich Rommel asked

"Yes sir, all the troops, equipment and supplies are on hand. We have the Dropships and Jumpships here. What about dependents? According to my admin personnel, we have roughly 3700 dependents of the troops." Colonel Baldwin replied

"Well, according to the message, you and your troops are going in as mercenary troops, albiet extremely well equipped mercenary troops. Also says you will receive final message from General Mitchell at Bastrop. I guess she will inform you then about the rest of the details." General Rommel said

"Sure hope so, I need to get everything fully loaded, last minute checks completed and brief my officers and men. Almost 3 months to reach Bastrop from here, the message says she wants me at Bastrop by Jan 2788. Going to be cutting it close." Colonel Baldwin said

"Then get moving Colonel. You know how General Mitchell is about being on time." General Rommel replied

Terra (Terran Hegemony)

General Rita Mitchell watched as the viewer filled with static slowly cleared and the face of First Prince John Davion appeared on the screen via live HPG hookup. "General Mitchell, good to see you again. I expected Director-General Cameron when the request for a live talk came in from your jumpship that has been shadowing me." First Prince John Davion said

"Sorry to disappoint you sir, Amanda is a little busy right now, but I felt me and you should speak alone." General Mitchell replied

"Then let us cut to business then, what can I do for you, General?" First Prince John Davion asked

"January of next year, I will have 3 Regiments of Battlemechs arriving at Bastrop, they will be operating under cover of mercenary troops. I want this to remain between me and you only sir. I cannot risk a leak and have another front open up. Once we determine if our ruse is holding, I will try and make more troops available to help you out. Also under the cover of mercenary troops. Are we in agreement sir?" General Mitchell said

"I can agree to those terms. To maintain the ruse, they will need a bona fide contract with the AFFS, but I think I can handle making those arrangements and keeping it quiet." First Prince John Davion replied

"Excellent. Shall we agree on above average pay, full transportation reimbursement, 100% Battle Loss Compensation, 30% salvage rights, liaison command? I would also like a location for them to call a home base, they will probably have dependents joining them. We will have a 5 year contract to start." General Mitchell said

"Sounds like decent terms, nothing you said is unreasonable. The problem is where to base them in a safe location, I am sure you are monitoring the situation, and it is probably more fluid than you realize. I have no clue where the Combine will appear next." First Prince John Davion replied

"May I make a suggestion, sir?" General Mitchell asked

"Of course, not saying I will agree to it, but suggest away." First Prince John Davion said

"The safety of my people is paramount. Especially dependents, they are strictly non-combatants. Only one parent is allowed to deploy in combat if both parents are in the service. Pattonsbrug I think would make a suitable home base. Far enough from the current front but also fairly close to Bastrop, and I am sure you know why that is important." General Mitchell responded

"Yes, I figured it out a while back, but I will never reveal your secret, General Mitchell. Pattonsbrug it is then. You said possibly more troops, I assume you want the same pact with them also?" First Prince John Davion replied

"The secrecy part yes sir. I also want an escape clause built into their contract. I will not have my troops sent on a suicide mission. This is not negotiable. The same will apply to all my troops that might be deployed under mercenary disguise. If one of your generals tries to place my troops in a untenable position, my commander will have the authority to tell that general to pound sand. My people will not be tossed away to buy time, we will fight, but not commit suicide doing so. Plus, I will not be happy with any general that places my people in a position that they have to exercise the escape clause, I cannot stress that enough sir." General Mitchell said

"Understood General Mitchell. I must say that I am not accustomed the being spoken to so bluntly. I find it sort of refreshing." First Prince John Davion replied

"This is too important for any mixed signals between us. Then we are agreed on all terms. I will be in touch, Prince Davion." General Mitchell said.


12 October 2787
Terra (Terran Hegemony)

General Rita Mitchell shook Delbert "Red" Mitchell's hand as she reached him after disembarking from her shuttle. "Red, I wa surprised when I got the call informing me you had arrived in orbit. Mind telling me what the hell this barge is, not even my shuttle pilots knew what it was."

"Glad you could come up for a last meet and greet for awhile. I am heading for our new home. This is what being filthy rich can buy you. It's one of a kind. A custom built ship. I call her a cabin cruiser. Many years ago, I wanted my own ship, but not some piss ant Jumpship. I paid a handsome price to get Bowie Industries to build a Subcompact Jump Core for her, they build the Bug-Eye you know.

She can carry 30 passengers in extremely, almost regal quarters. She is quick, has one of the smallest jump signatures ever seen, has 15 tons of the best armor money can buy, which is not much, but I am assured she will take a Naval Laser 55 and not breach the hull. She will hold together even if hit by a Heavy Naval PPC, though we are going to get hurt back by it. I have 4 ER Large Laser's in each Arc for some self defense against fighters and to really keep someone from getting too close to our AFT while we run like the wind, I fitted 2 Naval Laser 35. Fuel to run at 1g for almost a year, 2 shuttles and enough supplies to keep us fed for 2 years if we suffer a critical breakdown.

Best of all, she is equipped with LF Batteries, has her own HPG setup and a small Naval Comm Scanner to let us know when the bad guys are around. I toyed with fitting her with a Barracuda launcher or 2 in each Arc, but decided against it at the last second. It would be too tempting to raid the SLDF stores for some nukes." He let out a laugh at the last part.

"You have not changed a bit, Red. How much did this set you back anyway?" Rita could not help but ask

"A hair over 8.3 Billion. Never said she was not expensive as hell. Hell, I can build a big ass Essex II Destroyer for less, but I figured the SLDF would have a hissy fit if I had done that. But enough about my pride and joy, I wanted to make sure of something before I leave." Delbert "Red" Mitchell said

"And what is bothering you Red, you never were the type to beat around the bush on stuff." Rita asked

"First, I was wrong about you. All those wasted years. I want you to know that. Keith is a very lucky man to have found you. Second, I want to make sure that your not going to do a stand and die here when the crap really hits the fan. Promise me that you will pack up and haul ass. Take everything and everyone you can and haul ass. I don't want to lose you guys again. I would like the chance to spend some time together. I am 77 years old and not getting any younger." Delbert "Red" Mitchell said

Rita studied the man before her, she had never seen him like this and said so "Red, I think your losing it. This is not like you, not the you I knew anyway."

"Bah, I am the same crotchety ass you have always known and despised, Rita my dear. But your tough as a sheet of armor and as honest as they come. You did a great job with Director-General Amanda Cameron, she is my kind of Cameron. I hear that your son is one hell of a Mechwarrior and smart as his parents. Your about all the family I have. Well, all that I trust as far as I could throw them anyway. Two brothers, three neices and 4 nephews and every one of them are money grubbing free loaders just waiting for me to kick the bucket. Well, that is not happening. Oh, they will get a taste, but I am going to level with you, Rita. I have already got it all written up and legal. Used the best lawyers that ever graduated a law school. When I go, Keith get's the company, every last bit of it. If he does not want it, or god forbid, passes before me, it all goes to your son. The only nephew I have have that never stuck his hand out for a single cent." Delbert "Red" Mitchell said

"Red, let's not talk about stuff like that. Your 30 years from having to worry about that. But I promise, no stand and die. If the situation can not be salvaged, I promise, I am grabbing Amanda and everyone I can and getting the hell away from here." Rita said

"You do that, Rita. You been laying the ground work ever since you came back. I want you all to be there with me and watch your hard work grow into a new beacon of hope from everyone. The damned Houses are already tearing at the Hegemony like a pack of starving wolves. I have kept an eye on your losses, which have been pretty light, but you have most of your ships in the repair yards, only a matter of time before that becomes a serious problem and one of the Houses is going to pounce for the killing blow. Remember that Rita, the Hegemony here is on borrowed time. Run like hell and don't look back. I want my family with me, sooner than later." Delbert "Red" Mitchell said, a tear floating off his face.

18 October 2787
Graham IV (Terran Hegemony)

The Free Worlds League began their next push by using a non standard jump point that placed their transports barely a day from the planet. Aerospace fighters from the 181st Royal Mechanized Infantry Division managed to down 3 Dropships and quite a few FWLM Aerospace fighters before the FWLM forces made their landings. Quickly deploying, the 1st, 10th and 11th Atrean Dragoons and 3rd and 4th Oriente Hussars pushed their landing zone to a 20km circle.

19 October 2787

Major General Keith Mitchell pushed his 181st Royal Mechanized Infantry Division into the attack against the lead FWLM command pushing towards the capital. They slammed into the 1st Atrean Dragoons and immediately began pushing them back. When the 10th Atrean Dragoons attempted to flank the 181st RMID, they found themselves in a deadly fight with the 1811st Infantry Brigade which was holding that flank. The 10th Atrean Dragoons knew they were in trouble when the hastily dug in tanks with the 1811st Brigade opened fire and a full company of Battlemechs were destroyed by massed fire.

Lieutenant Patrick Mitchell, piloting his TDR-5Sb Thunderbolt, led his lance in the fight against the 1st Atrean Dragoons. "Target the Archer, let's bring him down quickly." He ordered and his entire lance of Royal Thunderbolt's sent 60 LRM's towards the Archer followed by 4 ERPPC shots. Staggered by the massive impacts, the Archer pilot lost his balance and fell. Lieutenant Mitchell quickly sent a link to his lance for them to next focus on the Orion moving towards them. His ERPPC recharged, he sent a shot at the Orion and saw it impact the center torso. Follow on shots from his lance cut the left leg from the Orion. His Thunderbolt shuddered as the FWL began pounding the area with artillery in an attempt to slow the Hegemony advance.

By nightfall, the 181st RMID had pushed the 1st Atrean Dragoon's back to their landing zone, but was forced to pull back as the remaining enemy forces continued attempting to flank the 181st RMID and place it in a deadly box.

28 October 2787

For ten days the 181st Royal Mechanized Infantry Division had battled the Free World invaders and fought them to a standstill. Countering every thrust and attempt at encirclement. But it was not enough and they steadily had to yield ground to the invaders to prevent encirclement. At 80% strength, the 181st RMID was still a potent and powerful force which would give the Free World invaders a tough fight.

Terra (Terran Hegemony)

While General Rita Mitchell was organizing a response to the Free World invasion of Graham IV, she got news that the Capellan Confederation had crossed the border and landed on several worlds, Achernar, Angol, Tigress, Hamal and Bharat all saw Capellan troops make their landings. This forced her to split her response to the Graham invasion, while also being forced to shift another Division from the Draconis Combine/Federated Suns front. It was a risk she was forced to take.

Marlette (Federated Suns)

Coordinator Minuro Kurita enjoyed the sensation of standing on the soil of his most hated foe, the Federated Suns. But a smuch as he enjoyed it, he never took his eye off the grand prize he desired and that was the Terran Hegemony. He kept up to date on every movement the Hegemony made, and the Capellan thrust into the Hegemony combined with the renewal of the Free Worlds invasion was like blood in the water to a shark.

He gave the orders for his forces to make ready to depart, it was time to teach the Hegemony a lesson they would not forget.


3 November 2787
Terra (Terran Hegemony)

Director-General Amanda Cameron looked up as Jerome Blake entered her office. He had been summoned to discuss what she called her "Go to Hell" Plan. While Aunt Rita focused on the military side of the planning, she had taken on some of the other sides. Though she hated to even think about having to flee, the situation here in the Hegemony just kept getting worse. There were even some small protests against the Hegemony for fighting to defend their own worlds. Calls of "Enough is enough" and "Haven't we suffered enough war" were starting to gain traction and become louder and louder.

"You wished to speak to me Director-General?" Jerome Blake said

"Please, have a seat Mr. Blake. We have some matters to discuss, matters that you will keep secret. One whisper of this gets out, I will know exactly who let it slip, is that clear?" Amanda replied

"Of course, Director-General." Jerome Blake responded

"Good. Now, first, I must applaud you on the work your doing with your Comstar. I am sure that no where in the history books has a company reached such a revenue stream as yours. It has grown to such amounts that I am actually having a hard time fighting off the tax collectors that want to increase the taxes on Comstar." Amanda said

"For that, I must say thank you to you. We are paying our fair share of taxes, the same as any other corporation in the Hegemony." Jerome Blake replied

"Yes you have and without complaint. Now we will get down to the real reason your here today. As you probably know, things are not going very well for the Hegemony. We are now beset by 3 Houses with fighting on quite a few worlds. Now we have protests increasing on many worlds. There may come a day when the Hegemony will collapse and I need to get things ready for that eventuality. This is where you and Comstar come in.

If that day comes, you are tasked with your original mission set forth by General Kerensky. Preserve the technology of the Star League. We have already seen the horrendous damage that can be done during war, we ourselves have even inflicted it. If the wars raging across the stars grows worse, the damage will be untold. You will be the beacon of knowledge. A safe repository where the people can turn to to rebuild.

If the day comes, I will not remain to watch the Hegemony here die and be swallowed by the Houses. I and many others will go into exile, leave Terra and vanish. You will need to come up with plausible excuse for my absence. Death is always a good one. The HPG manufacturing equipment will remain here on Terra, under Comstar control. You will need it to keep the HPG network in operation. In exchange, Comstar will deposit 1 Trillion into our account here on Terra each year. It is a fraction of what you pay now in taxes and is not negotiable. Refusal, well, let us say you will not like my response, so let us avoid that.

General Kerensky tasked you with a huge mission and I have now placed even more of a burden on you. Failure is not an option. I might be in exile, but I will always be watching. If you or Comstar fail to uphold your mission, I will take action. Someone will always be watching, waiting to return and salvage the mission I am tasking you with. Terra is the home of the Terran Hegemony, always will be. Nothing and no amount of time passage will change that fact. Am I clear?" Amanda said

"Crystal clear. I will not fail in the task your giving me Director-General. How will you access the funds we will be depositing? Surely they will be tracked, such a vast sum of money moving around will cause many eyes to focus on it." Jerome Blake replied

"That is our problem to solve. We will come up with a way to handle it. Now, let's discuss how my death will be handled shall we?" Amanda said

For two hours, they set in motion the planning of Director-General Amanda Cameron's death and the possible death of the Terran Hegemony. Once Jerome Blake left, General Rita Mitchell and Lieutenant General Brian Calloway entered the office.

"So, how did he take the news?" General Rita Mitchell asked

"Quite well, a little too well if you want the truth. He never blinked, should have hit him for more money. How is work on our little program for the HPG network going?" Amanda asked

Lieutenant General Brian Calloway, head of Hegemony Security fielded this one "It is already inserted and tested. A single test was performed. The actual programming was quite easy, inserting it into the HPG network took some doing, but we managed it. The program skimmed 11.7 Million from Comstar, the money has been confirmed as deposited in ZaP Shipping's Bastrop bank account. We have verified that all routing information was deleted from every log and record we could access, which is pretty much all of them. We then deactivated the program per your orders. But we know it works."

"Excellent, at least something worked out exactly how we wanted it to. The coders seem to be very good, and we will need that. I want another program written. This one will target our account here on Terra. Once activated, I want it to immediately transfer deposited funds from Comstar to an account, to be determined on Bastrop. I want the program to erase all records of this transfer of funds. I do not want a trace of it to exist." Amanda said

"Not the ZaP account?" Lieutenant General Brian Calloway asked

"No, we promised Martin that we would not use him or his company in anything dangerous. This could be extremely dangerous, the amounts will be huge. But I have an idea, I just need to get one other person involved. I will know tomorrow when I meet with him." Amanda said

4 November 2787

Director-General Amanda Cameron waited impatiently for her guest. He was crucial to the groundwork she was laying. Her desk phone buzzed announcing the arrival of her guest, who was shown inside and the door closed, leaving just the two of them alone. Janos Janokowski, CEO and CFE of Terra National Bank, one of the oldest banks in history, also one that had been almost bankrupted by Amaris' scam. Based in Geneva, it was still one of the most secretive banks to exist, a hold over from ancient Switzerland's traditions.

"Mr Janokowski, I am so glad to meet you. Thank you for coming at such short notice." Amanda said beaming her best smile.

"I am always at your disposal Director-General Cameron. What can I do for you?" He asked

"Your bank almost collapsed due to the massive loans you extended to Amaris correct?" Amanda asked

This question visibly made janos Janokowski very nervous "Yes, I will confess that I was quite stupid doing any sort of business with that foul being. I am still paying restitution to those that were wronged by that lack of clarity."

"Not your finest moment. I am glad that I learned you have managed to recover almost 500 Billion of the money stolen by Amaris and his cronies." Amanda said

"It has been a tiresome hunt, but I feel it is the only way to cleanse my soul. I have been personally funding the recovery efforts." Janokowski said

"That is an honorable act. I am curious, how exactly did Amaris manage to launder that much money and yet it is so hard to recover?" Amanda asked

"Amaris and his cronies moved the money into and out of virtually every bank that exists. Piercing the privacy of the banks is a major headache, it can take years of legal effort to get the records, and then you have to move to the next bank and repeat the process. Sometimes we get lucky and find money still in an account, which we then petition the court for confiscation. Mostly, we are forced to just track it as it moves from bank to bank, account by account." Janos Janokowski explained.

"How could anyone access the accounts, clearly they did not have Amaris' name on the accounts." Amanda asked.

"Password access only. You have the account number and the password assigned to the account, you can access the funds. It is effective and almost never has an actual name attached to the account. We have no way of knowing exactly how many people had access to the information needed." Janos Janokowski replied.

"What do you think will finally happen?" Amanda asked

"Well, once the accounts are inactive for 20 years, they will be closed and the bank will take possession of the funds that were in them." Janos Janokowski said.

"Unless you get to them them first." Amanda stated

"Yes, unless I can get to them first. The clock is always ticking, always against us." Janos Janokowski said

For the next 4 hours, Amanda Cameron got a crash course on money laundering and how Interstellar banking worked. Janos Janokowski was a master at this and knew his stuff.

7 November 2787
Terra (Terran Hegemony)

While General Rita Mitchell worked on trying to stop the several invasions in their tracks, Director-General Amanda Cameron continued working on saving as many assets as she could, while at the same time laying the ground work for the future. A future she had no clue about, but she wanted to give the Hegemony every advantage as she could. She had decided against moving Hegemony funds via money laundering thru banks, instead, she would spend it, sort of.

She had just had Janos Janokowski transfer 300 Billion C-Bills to ZaP Shipping's account on Bastrop for services rendered to the Terran Hegemony over the years in exchange for payment at a later date. She had decided that the later date they had been waiting on was today. That on had been the easy part, Uncle Martin and Aunt Martha could be trusted to use the money wisely while also staying loyal to the Hegemony.

She had then placed an order for 300 Colossus Dropships, 100 Luxor Heavy Cruiser and 200 Essex II Destroyers with Mitchell Industries for which she paid in full in advance for a total of 4,310,000,000,000 C-Bills (4.3 Trillion). Delbert Mitchell was family, he would suspect what was going on when all this money appeared in the Mitchell Industries account. But with an invoice and legal order, the money was legally unrecoverable.

Right after her meeting with Janos Janokowski, she had sent a message to Thompson Shipyards and ordered 500 Monolith Jumpships for a total of 550 Billion C-Bills, with the delivery dates to be determined at a later date but the Hegemony was paying in advance for the ships to allow for proper tooling and material purchases as needed. The money had then been transferred to Thompson Shipyards account on Kilbourne.

While preparing her previous financial moves, she had searched the open market for Jumpships and Dropships but found the pickings virtually nil. Every House including the Hegemony was purchasing everything as soon as it hit the market. She had then placed a call to Janos Janokowski, who's bank held the massive debt load of the largest shipping company in the Terran Hegemony, making his bank the owners, which had been extremely hard hit during the Amaris Coup and the following Liberation. It had lost over 1/2 it's ships during the conflict, but due to mismanagement, by an owner who had supported Amaris, had found out after the Liberation that the owner, having disappeared, had let the company's insurance lapse on it's ships. This left the company saddled with owing for ships it no longer had. Saddled with 180 Billion in debt, it was only by emergency decree from the Hegemony Government that had kept Janos' bank from liquidating the company after Amanda's arrival on Terra. With a simple command of buy it, Janos had transferred 200 Billion C-Bills from the Hegemony to pay off the debt of Hegemony Interstellar Shipping with interest. The Terran Hegemony Government now owned Hegemony Interstellar Shipping, with a fleet of 43 Merchant Jumpships, 31 Invader Jumpships, 27 Star Lord Jumpships and 122 Mammoth Dropships, 40 Behemoth Dropships, 127 Mule Dropships.

Now it was time to deal with several outstanding issues that she had kept putting off. After her arrival, she had spent quite a bit of time trying to unravel everything that Amaris and his supporters here in the Hegemony had done. Several companies had been identified as being willing participants during the Amaris Coup. Some had been seized by the Hegemony Government after the Liberation and was still technically Hegemony property. Nicholas Spacecraft on New Earth was one such company, she ordered the company's assets dismantled and prepared for shipment. Another was AeroFighter unlimited on Oliver, she also ordered it dismantled and prepared for shipment.

Her last message of the day was to First Prince John Davion, where she turned over a list of accounts she had gotten from Janos Janokowski identifying 28 accounts with stolen funds from the Hegemony but where the Federated Suns banking laws and courts were hampering recovery efforts. The amount sitting in the 28 accounts totaled 483 Billion C-Bills, using the current Interstellar currency instead of SL Dollars, which had been pegged at a 1 for 1 exchange rate. Maybe he could get some movement on the cases.

13 November 2787
Terra (Terran Hegemony)

Lieutenant General Brian Calloway, Hegemony Security, had quite a few operations under way at the same time. Three inside the Free Worlds League, two inside the Lyran Commonwealth and one inside the Draconis Combine. These were in addition to the smaller but more important operations here on Terra. Though none had born fruit yet, he had word that a coded message had arrived and he waited for it to arrive from communications. When it arrived, he opened the sealed envelope and read the message inside:

Helmut One reports mission success. Foreign matter introduced into Germanium processing facility at Loyalty. Code change on Core casting facilities a success. Helmut One is exiting hostile territory at this time.

He replaced the message and smiled, contaminating the Germanium just cost time to reprocess but they had to fully sterilize the facility first. It was the code change to the Core casting facility that was the main mission. A simple program that caused the spinning of the jump core to be accelerated 1 revolution more a minute but the display in the control center would not register it. From his briefing before the mission was launched, the core had to be spun at a precise speed or it would be more fragile than normal and would test normal, but would shatter itself by the 4th jump. He wondered how many FWL jumpships would suffer from this defect before it was found and corrected.

Umka (Free Worlds League)

Christina Evanshire sat in the office of Yama Planor, owner Deep Black Interstellar, the 5th largest shipping company in the Free Worlds League. Once a profitable company plying the shipping lanes along the FWL periphery but had been hit hard by pirates now ravaging the region.

"Thank you for meeting with me Mr Planor. I represent a potential saving grace for your company. It has come to his attention that your deep in debt to your creditors and they are threatening action to liquidate your assets. He feels that would be a shame for such a company as yours with a profitable history." Christina Evanshire said

"You sure get right to the point quick my dear. Your employer has very good sources and he is right, the damned vultures are circling fast and low over my head. I thought it would get better but that fool Marik had to go and get himself into a war with the Hegemony which pulled the naval patrols from the region. That has given the damned pirate bands a free hand out here and they have pushed me to the breaking point." Yama Planor replied.

"Well, my employer would like to help you. It would mean moving from this region though. You would still manage your company and own 40%. My employer would see that your debt free, have the cash you need to re-establish yourself in a new location. He is willing to pay off your creditors and even assist you by providing a credit line for the refit of your vessels and possibly even the purchase of new ships." Christina Evanshire said

"Your employer has some deep pockets. Your talking at least 85 Billion to pay off the vultures alone. What about my employee's and their families, you said we would have to relocate. Where exactly would we be relocating to?" Yama Planor asked.

"Federated Suns space for starters. You would join another of his operations he has there. He is willing to pay the expense of transporting your employee's and their families to whatever location he selects as your new home. He is also willing to pay each employee a one time 100,000 C-Bill bonus for any hardships this places on them. For you, not only will your debt be paid off, but you will in addition to retaining 40% ownership of the company he will pay you a bonus of 25 Million C-Bills, payable half on the signing and the other half when you arrive at your new destination. If you decide to retire or sell your portion, you will receive a fair price for your 40% share of the company. Not to be mean, but currently, your company is valued at only 1.1 Billion C-Bills, once your debt is paid off, well I will let you do the math on how much he would be willing to pay." Christina Evanshire said.

Math was the one thing that Yama Planor could do very well. "How long do I have to decide?"

"I am scheduled to leave in a week, sir. If I do not have an answer before then, I will be off to see one of your competitors with the same offer. My instructions are to inform you that this is a one time offer for a friendly purchase. I will tell you that he has lawyers contacting your creditors about purchasing your assets the moment they lay claim to them. I advise you to take the offer and the money now Mr Planor, my employer would much rather have you as a business partner, with all the ready crews than to have to arrange personnel to come collect his purchases." Christina Evanshire said

Yama Planor was silent for a full ten minutes while he thought about the offer. Then his rational side of his brain took over and won the inner battle. "You may inform your employer that I agree to his terms. It will take about 2 months to gather in my ships and get everyone set to depart. Figure it will take a few days for the lawyers to draw up the contracts. How fast will the vultures be paid off?"

"From here, I will head for the HPG station and get the message sent out. He already has the list of your creditors and also the amounts owed. Your creditors will have their money in no less than 3 days. I will return here in 4 days to sign the contract and to hand deliver you a check for 25 Million C-Bills. Once we have signed the contract for the sale of 60% of your company to my employer, I will have plenty of operating funds deposited in your company account." Christina Evanshire said.

Once she had departed, Yama Planor tried to envision what the future held. He had just agreed to the sale of his company to an unknown entity. This alone made him a little nervous. The trip alone to the Federated Suns would be dangerous as hell, but in 4 days, that was his employers problem.

As Christina Evanshire, Hegemony Security Operative, walked to the HPG station 2km away, she smiled. She had just removed 53 Merchant Jumpships, 31 Mule Dropships, 29 Aqueduct Dropships and 35 Mammoth Dropships from the Free Worlds League. This was going to put quite a crimp in the Free Worlds ability to supply this region of their space.

Thazi (Terran Hegemony - Periphery)

Martin Zuni read the message from Terra and wondered what the hell Director-General Amanda Cameron was doing. He was grumpy because Martha had gone and bought another company without talking to him, she was expanding and kicking ass while he was stuck here over seeing this operation. He really wanted to get out and do some of his own head hunting. Why the hell do I need a damned holding company for anyway he thought.

Dear Martin,

I have taken the liberty of having ZaP Holding Company registered in every nation including the periphery states. You will thank me later.

Love, Amanda Cameron

18 November 2787
NC19110-207 (Periphery)

Vice Admiral Walter Namathien, commander of SLS Tirpitz, stared at the sensor readings on the ship's plot. There were a few more ships here than he had expected. Instead of the 25 ships he had been briefed on, he counted the sensor readings again, and again he came up with 32. Sensor's reported no power readings on any of the ships, but he was taking no chances.

"Captain Patel, have the fleet go to condition yellow. Warm up the weapons and have the fighters sweep the area please. Get the Marines up and ready, we are going to sweep these ships one at a time. I don't want any surprises." He ordered.

It had been a long 8 month journey to get here from Terra. The ships from the "other" Hegemony still had at least another 3-4 months journey to get here. After an hour, as the ships slowly closed on the assembled derelict fleet, the Aerospace fighters started reporting their findings.

"Falcon Leader to Tirpitz, we have identified the vessels we expected. The others are 3 Essex Destroyers, 1 Aegis Cruiser, 1 Whirlwind Destroyer, 2 Carrack Transports. We did some close fly by's and got no reaction nor did we pick up power signs on sensors. Judging by the battle damage every ship is showing, I would not expect to find any, they are pretty beat up."

"Roger Falcon Leader, establish a CAP, we are deploying the Marines for a careful look see."

Azur (Terran Hegemony - Periphery)

Hajera Spangler, Trevor Nixon, Cameron Falcry and Irene Yemmon had all come together on Azur to work together studying the experimental data extracted from the Data Core's. This was the accumulated work of the greatest minds in the Star League. Trevor Nixon, an expert in Energy Weapons, was fascinated by the research they had been doing on reducing the weight of various weapons. It seemed the designs never made it to the field test stage due to the Coup, but by god he had the final designs that had been tested by the researchers.

Hajera Spangler focused more on a broad swath of weapons designs. But what she got excited about was the work they had been doing on shrinking missile racks by half their current tonnage. She spent hours reading their theories and even results of a few test designs they had built. They had only built prototypes of a LRM/5 that weighed 1 ton and a prototype SRM/2 that had an increased range of almost 50% better. She could find no data if they ever made it to an actual test, but damned if she wasn't going to test them.

Cameron Falcry read over material ranging from less bulkier Endo Steel to better Ferro Fibrous Armor that provided better protection for the same weight but with less bulk. Some of the theories relied on some pretty exotic materials. He would have to check with Peter Sajak if they even had access to some of the stuff he was reading about. He even recognized a few of the names that authored some of the research papers he was now reading, even knew several of them. Nothing had ever made it out of the theory column, but he saw some promise in several of the research papers, but it could take years of research before anything came of it.

Irene Temmon on the other hand, was a little out of her element. She knew fusion engines inside and out, but their was not much research done in her area, so she read research papers covering a broad spectrum. Most of it was way over her head, but she kept reading and listening to the excited conversations of the others. She mentally decided that she would try to help the others as best she could.

20 November 2787
Umka (Free Worlds League)

Christina Evanshire watched as Yama Planor, owner Deep Black Interstellar, signed the contract selling the majority of his company to ZaP Holding Company. When he set the pen down, he looked at his lawyers and they carefully handed over a signed copy to Christina Evanshire and Yama Planor before exiting the office and closing the door. She had already given Yama Planor copies from his creditors showing that all liens and debts had been cleard fully and paid in full. She handed over a sealed envelope and Yama Planor opened it, he looked up a little surprised "This is for the full 25 Million C-Bills, I thought I would only be getting half."

"Mr Zuni, thinks your trustworthy and I was instructed to pay you in full. He looks forward to meeting you in person when you arrive at your destination. I took the liberty of looking over your employee's. There are several that I am afraid will be terminated before you depart. I have made out a list of those employee's." Christina said handing over a small list with 39 names on them, all were SAFE operatives.

Yama Planor took the list and nodded as he placed it on his desk, though he wondered why those could not make the trip, he was not going to ask why. "May I ask exactly where my destination is now?"

"Since I am no longer going to visit your competition, I will be staying behind until you depart. I still need a list and count of how many will be actually making the trip so I may arrange their movement bonus. Those that elect to stay behind will be terminated and paid a severance of 1 year pay, since their termination was no fault of theirs. Mr Zuni is a fair man. I will also be delivering you final destination right before you depart by myself personally." Christina said.

"Fair enough. I will have Human Resources work up a full list and once everyone get here, I will inform them and let them decide. You know the trip we are about to take is going to take us thru some very dangerous territory. Pirates are no joke out here, I already lost 3 ships to them." Yama Planor said

"Arrangements are being made for the safety of your convoy. Current plans have you traveling thru Capellan space to reach the Federated Suns, but the situation is fluid, as you can well imagine. You will be taken care of before you enter hostile territory." Christina replied

What Christina was not telling him, not yet anyway, was that a full Regiment from the 52nd Infantry Division and 2 Titan Dropships loaded with Aerospace fighters were aboard 2 Tramp LF Jumpships and waiting in a uninhabited system just outside Free World and Capellan space to escort them.

Graham IV (Terran Hegemony)

The Hegemony's response to the invasion of Graham IV finally arrived in system. Vice Admiral Zeibler led his 1st Line Division into the system along with 2 Potemkin Transports with orders to pull the 181st Royal Mechanized Infantry Division off the planet. On their arrival, the few FWL Jumpships made emergency jumps from the system, leaving 2 League Destroyers in orbit as the only threat to his forces.

On the surface, Major General Keith Mitchell got his orders and began making a mental list of how to safely evacuate the planet. Until those League warships were gone, he could not risk gathering his forces, they had already suffered one orbital bombardment that cost him 1/2 a Regiment of Infantry. Since then, he had kept his Division mobile as much as possible.

Thazi (Terran Hegemony - Periphery)

Another message was delivered to Martin Zuni, only this one brought a smile to his face. He made a mental note to kiss Director-General Amanda Cameron the next time he saw her, which he hoped would be soon.
Uncle Martin,

Pack your bags and get to Robsart as quick as you can. Have Uncle Rommel kick loose a LF ship to speed your travel. You just bought the 5th largest shipping company in the Free Worlds and they are moving to the Federated Suns. Aunt Rita says that Pattonsbrug would be the perfect home for them. Give Aunt Martha a hug for us both when you see her. You should marry her Uncle Martin, your not getting any younger.


He headed for the door to see General Heinrich Rommel and rangle his ride from him. I wonder what he will let me have for a transport, he wondered, a spring in his step.


5 December 2787
Glengarry (Lyran Commonwealth)

The search for stolen Hegemony funds and the efforts to recover them had been going on ever since the Liberation ended. Janos Janokowski had at times thought he was leading the fight to recover stolen funding, he was mistaken. Shortly after her return, Director-General Amanda Cameron had ordered Lieutenant General Brian Calloway to do everything, short of open warfare, to recover stolen funds. He had recruited hundreds of forensic accountants, computer programmers, former SLIC operatives, former BSLA auditors to aid in the hunt.

It had taken a year to develop a program that once inserted into the HPG network, scanned the banking sub routines constantly. Forensic accountants scoured records from Amaris' Coup and tracked Hegemony money as it traveled among the stars to thousands of banks. Also targeted were stolen Star League funds. Hundreds of suspect accounts were targeted, monitored and if the case warranted, the bank itself was penetrated by computer hackers for a more detailed look see.

These methods were how Carmen Rapolte found herself on Glengarry, she sat sipping a cup of tea watching as her target entered the Glengarry National Bank. Ernest Frost had come to Hegemony Security's attention when he accessed an account being watched silently by the program embedded inside the HPG Network. When he had made a transfer of funds from the targeted account, the program had noted it, forwarded information to Hegemony Security and the ball had started rolling. Hackers had penetrated the banks computers and learned the person's identity. Background checks had thrown red flags as no record of the identified man seemed to exist prior to 2776. Seeing as how the account in question held over 65 Billion, this had raised many red flags.

It had taken 3 months to identify the man calling himself Ernest Frost, he was actually Arthur Studen, once a high ranking member in the BLSA. Forensic accountants had traced his authorization on over 9 Trillion Dollars of Star League funds that had vanished. While she watched her target, another team was breaking into his plush apartment for a look see. It took over 20 minutes for the hacker assigned to the "black bag" team to crack the encryption on their targets computer and another 10 minutes to locate a vast file that contained bank account numbers, bank locations, passwords for each account and even answers to security questions that might be asked. The hacker quickly copied the information onto a data stick and then at a nod from the team leader, he erased the information from the computer. Several former SLIC operatives, while the hacker did his task, searched the apartment for any hidden items and with a small whistle, got the team leaders attention. When he walked to the search team, he saw that inside of a air vent register, taped securely, was a small package that contained a small note book and several data sticks. "Take them, we will analyze it later. Let's get packed up and gone."

Once they had exited the apartment, he thumbed a small communicator "Carmen, we are clear and have what we want. You may conclude your mission at your leisure."

Carmen Rapolte paid her tab when Ernest Frost exited the bank and began strolling down the avenue towards his apartment. His path would take him right past her current location. She fell in slightly behind him and when he slowed for a second, he felt a short sting in his left buttock that quickly faded away. He began walking again but less than a minute later, he fell to the ground, not moving. The quick acting poison would be absorbed into his body within 5 minutes and any serious checking by medical professional's, it would appear that he had suffered a sudden massive heart attack.

Carmen Rapolte never paused to look back, instead heading directly back to her rented apartment. She would leave Glengarry in a week.

Graham IV

Major General Keith Mitchell, commander 181st Royal Mechanized Infantry Division, watched as the last Dropships docked with SLS Mighty Lift, Potemkin Transport. To him, the withdraw left a bitter taste in his mouth. He wanted to protest the order, but knew General Rita Mitchell had her reason's. He made his way to the ship's medical bay where they were treating the wounded. Inside, he found Lieutenant Patrick Mitchell, strapped securely in his "bed" his head a swath of bandages. He was still knocked out by the medics. Having ejected from his Battlemech, a part of the canopy had pierced his right eye, destroying it. He had also suffered serious neural feedback when his Battlemechs reactor started to go. The doctors doubted he would be able to pilot a Battlemech again.

13 December 2787
Mandeville (Terran Hegemony - Periphery)

After many months of travel, the massive convoy began breaking up for different destinations. Directed by Peter Sajak, the convoy was broken up and given final destinations. Three Carrack Transports carrying specialized equipment for Zetang, along with 2 Merchant Jumpships carrying personnel from DoME followed. The Jumpships carrying Mitchell Vehicles Battlemech Factory from Graham IV, part of their Terra Factory that had been salvaged along with their Dropship facilities was directed to Crichton. Mitchell Vehicled shipyard complex was directed to Zebuluraskai where a Builder Yardship would meet them and assist in the reassembly of the orbital facilities.

Ships carrying Allied Aerospace, Ostmann Industries, General Systems and the only Nighthawk production line, along with their personnel were directed to Thazi. The escorting warships were sent to Linden for extended maintenance and refit cycle after the long journey. Peter Sajak had worked tirelessly on spreading out as much industrial might as he could so that every corner of the growing nation would benefit. He had also convinced General Heinrich Rommel to place large segments of existing industries under Hegemony Industries control. The shipyard at Thazi, Hegemony Aerospace on Ceibu, Azur Heavy Industries on Azur and of course Hegemony Industries Battlemech complex on Blommestein. Linden was still up in the air and would await a ruling from Director-General Amanda Cameron.

Linden (Terran Hegemony - Periphery)

Cynthia Howell, Mitchell Vehicles, smiled broadly on learning that Admiral Tanaka had approved the Essex III-Class Destroyer design, which had passed every test with flying colors. But the smile waned some as she learned that it would be at least 2 years before a production contract was issued. Linden's shipyard complex would be busy with the incoming warships and maintenance of the existing warships. Until Mitchell Vehicles complex at Zebuluraskai was operational, the Essex III Destroyer would be on hold. It was quite a kick to her ego, but she swallowed her anger and said she understood, even if she didn't.

Ceibu (Terran Hegemony - Periphery)

Mitchell Vehicles modified Colossus Dropship had finally begun field testing by the Hegemony Armed Forces. Having passed it's initial tests for reliability, ease of maintenance, and flight controls, it was now in operational testing. If accepted, the engineers from Mitchell Vehicles hoped for a large contract to outfit the many commands with the modified Colossus Dropship.

Glengarry (Lyran Commonwealth)

Thomas Davenport, Hegemony Security, looked over the final tally numbers obtained from Ernest Frost's computer and hidden information. All told they now had everything they needed to access a total of 3.7 Trillion C-Bills spread across every inhabited system known to exist, or at least from what he could tell. The amounts ranged from 25 Million C-Bills to the largest at 187 Billion C-Bills. They knew they had the information right because he had already run a test and had transferred 38 Billion C-Bills from Glengarry National Bank to Terra National Bank and received confirmation that it had arrived.

He needed to get this information back to Terra quickly and was scheduled to depart tomorrow morning. The rest of his team would depart over the next week. They needed to get the funds moved before anyone else with this information moved it and they would have to start all over. If they could transfer the money quick enough, so that it was safely tucked away, he could continue his hunt for the rest of the stolen money. The small notebook had given them firm trails on known associates, locations and alias's they travelled under and he wanted to move on them quickly.

17 December 2787
Terra (Terran Hegemony)

General Rita Mitchell studied the growing issues in the Terran Hegemony. The Capellan invasion though currently halted had forced her to once again shorten her lines on the Free Worlds front. Major General Iris Carman, 280th Mechanized Infantry Division, had threatened to mutiny if she was pulled off New Dallas. Her exact words "I did it once and by damned I will do it again" echoed in Rita's mind. She had caved in and allowed the 280th Mechanized Infantry Division to remain on New Dallas, even though it left them exposed.

The war between the Combine and Suns combined with the now hostile Capellan Confederation severely hampered any easy way to evacuate the Terran Hegemony when the time came. Her mind now said "when" instead of "if" when she thought of evacuation. Even if they moved out right now, they would have to pass across almost 200LY of hostile territory to reach Federated Suns controlled space. And trust worthy as First Prince John Davion had been so far, the way the war was going against the Combine, if she were in his shoes, she could see herself taking possession of the Hegemony warships and equipment, or at least try. It was a situation she was trying mighty hard to find a way to avoid.

It was Fleet Admiral Joan Brandt that had brought her a possible solution. A very risky solution, but it could avoid a possible stand off with First Prince John Davion and even possibly protect the final destination of the Hegemony from the many prying eye's.

She had put a small group, sworn to absolute secrecy, on the task of coming up with a way to reach their far away destination as secretly and quickly as they could. For 2 months they tossed around many idea's, until one had dug into the archives and found that back in 2391, engineers had tested a method of "super jump" by disabling certain safety features, but the ship had to have LF batteries installed. The initial test had been a success, the test ship making a jump of 350LY but it destroyed the ships jump drive in the process. Repeated tests always resulted the same, a destroyed jump drive. After 20 years of playing with it, the project was abandoned when no way could be found to keep the jump drive from destroying itself.

Admiral Brandt had authorized a single test using a Tramp LF Jumpship. The unmanned Tramp Jumpship was programmed to jump to Vonja, the closest Periphery Hegemony system to Terra, some 820LY away. She had even coorridinated with Admiral Tanaka to have a ship in the system to report the results of the test. The test Tramp LF Jumpships made it's jump on schedule and vanished from Terra's Zenith Jump Point.

Vonja (Terran Hegemony)

Rear Admiral Paula Bannock, 55th Reconnaissance Division, was aboard SLS Sneak, Bug-Eye-Class Surveillance Ship sitting at the Nadir Jump Point as ordered. Her orders from Admiral Tanaka had been to bring SLS Sneak to Vonja's Nadir Jump Point and await a special package and when it arrived to report on it's condition. She had no clue what the hell she was waiting on and Admiral Tanaka had refused to tell her.

They had been on station for a week and everyone was bored. They monitored system traffic and calibrated their sensors while passing the time. The alarms that signaled an incoming jump signature caught everyone by surprise. But that was nothing compared to the incoming jump signature, it was massive, what you would see looking at an incoming Newgrange Yardship. But what emerged was a single Tramp Jumpship. A boarding party reported that the Jump Drive was a total loss, fit only to be ground down and recycled. This was reported to Admiral Tanaka.

22 December 2787
Terra (Terran Hegemony)

Fleet Admiral Joan Brandt had gotten the word from Vonja on the status of the Tramp LF Jumpship. It had arrived but the Jump Core was trashed along with the LF Batteries. A quick constultaion with General Rita Mitchell and she got the go ahead to continue testing to get a feel for it's true viability as an option. A volunteer skeleton crew boarded the next Tramp LF Jumpship and prepared to test how the jump effected presonnel. The jump was schedule for 23 December.

While Fleet Admiral Brandt handled options for a possible escape, General Rita Mitchell and Director-General Amanda Cameron were discussing how to deal with the protests breaking out across the Hegemony and how to get the normal Jumpships and Dropships out of the Hegemony safely.

 "The "super jump" is possibly viable, but I think we should only use it for the warships and troops. We get paid to take risks. The civilian ships and people are another matter all together. I think we need to contact Chancellor Liao and make arrangements for a massive convoy to safely transit their space and into the Federated Suns." General Rita Mitchell said.

"After we beat up on her warships, do you really think she will honor the agreement or even go for it?" Amanda asked.

"Well, we can always lie and say we have 30 repaired Caspar Drones that we can always program Sian as their home base and let them jump into Capellan space and start killing everything that moves on their way to Sian. But, we have some major protests occurring on Woodstock, Acamar, Bex and Nanking. Both against the wars and also to join the Capellan Confederation. I think if we offer to let her have those 4 systems, we can buy the safety of the convoy. But I don't plan on leaving it undefended. No, at least a Division of Destroyers will escort it along with as many Titan and Pentagon Dropships that I can stick on the Jumpships will also escort them." Rita replied.

"Four Hegemony systems, those are our people, Aunt Rita." Amanda protested.

"They were, but we did not start any of these wars, those people are protesting against the war sating we should sue for peace. Okay, they get their wish, we will give them up to the Capellan Confederation in exchange for a "peace" deal. They should be careful what they ask for." Rita said

"Okay, let's make the call. Not sure I like the idea though, sets a bad precedent." Amanda replied

"It sure does, but maybe it will also knock the wind out of all the other protests on other worlds." Rita said grimly.

It took 3 hours to make the connection with Chancellor Barbara Liao. Amanda put her best face on "Thank you for agreeing to speak with me Chancellor. I would like to make amends with you and your nation if possible."

"Is that so, and how do you propose to do that?" Chancellor Barbara Liao asked.

"Before we get to that, I would have a large convoy of non combatants that I would like a promise of safe passage thru Capellan space. It will be escorted for the protection of my people, but these are civilian ships. Can we agree to this?" Amanda asked.

"No Hegemony ship may pass thru Capellan territory." Chancellor Barbara Liao stated

General Rita Mitchell appeared on the view screen. "Chancellor, we asked nicely. If you refuse, I will have the 30 Caspar Drones we have fully repaired jumped into Capellan space with Sian set as their Home Port to clear the way for the convoy. Must I remind you what happens when a Caspar drone makes a jump thru hyperspace? They go nuts and attack everything they find. I am sure my engineers can delete their star maps of all information but Capellan space."

"You would not dare!!!" Chancellor Barbara Liao yelled

"The hell I won't. I have refrained from ripping your small invasion apart, your commander fired on my ships after being warned off. You ignored that fact and invaded Hegemony space. I have no qualms turning those Caspar's loose in Capellan space and right behind them will be Hegemony forces. We are willing to make a deal with you, but play hardball and the Hegemony will give you a fight that will go down in history as the biggest blunder ever made by the Capellan Confederation. SO what do you say Chancellor Liao, do we talk about the issues or do you really want to wage war, your choice." General Rita Mitchell said flatly "If I agree, what will the Capellan Confederation get?" Chancellor Barbara Liao said, but it was plain that she hated the idea

"Halt your offensive operations against the Hegemony. Allow safe passage for my convoy, which will be escorted and will have orders to destroy anything that threatens my ships. In exchange, the Capellan Confederation will take control of Woodstock, Acamar, Bex and Nanking. But only after our convoy exits Capellan territory safely." General Rita Mitchell said

"The Capellan Confederation wants Capolla also, this is the only way we make this deal." Chancellor Barbara Liao stated firmly

"Then we are agreed. The Capellan Confederation will halt all offensive operations in the Hegemony. Safe passage for our ships for the systems we named, which will be turned over to the Capellan Confederation after our ships are safely out of Capellan territory." General Rita Mitchell repeated

"Yes, the Capellan Confederation agree's to this deal. Is my word good or must we have it in writing?" Chancellor Barbara Liao asked

"Your word has always been good, Chancellor. I will contact you before the convoy reaches your territory." General Rita Mitchell said as she turned over the rest of the communication to Director-General Amanda Cameron and once out of view of Chancellor Liao, she winked.

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