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Federated Suns Reborn (Chapter Cover)

The Federated Suns Reborn
- Chapter 170

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July 3070
Splinter Lines

Strain of War[]

With the launch of Operation Heart Attack even the by now hugely reinforced sinews of the AFFS were strained. Launching such an attack at the start of the war while not easy would have been relatively straightforward. By now however a large number of the closest supply depots and personnel Centers had been emptied to support the heavy fighting along the entire border. Still the fact that the AFFS was able to launch such a large scale effort at all at this stage was in itself telling. Despite the heavy combat and large number of commands that had taken heavy damage, however in winning the victories of which the people of the FedSuns were so rightly proud, it was noted within Mount Davion that the AFFS still remained a potent force with a large number of combat commands at either full or near full strength. The Avalon Hussars Brigade for instance had a full nine RCTs that were at 80%+ strength, as was half the Crucis Lancers Brigade, while the Davion Brigade of Guards retained three units at full strength, while the various March Militia formations remained almost untouched, etc... If the war continued the AFFS was more than capable of continuing the fight, although it might require a period of rest and refit as units were transferred between the front lines and rear areas. Just in case Heart Attack proved to be less than a knockout blow plans began to be put in place to arrange this. The Robinson Rangers Brigade in particular was to be tapped to take the place of damaged units - with only the 1st Robinson Rangers heavily damaged so far.

At the same time, continued efforts were made to reinforced the Lyran Alliance - from which the news (with the exclusion of Operation Nightfire) seemed to be entirely negative. More and more of the High Command began to consider the "Lyran Front" a potential morass that would suck up resources and units for years if not decades to "prop up" their allies. Initial hopes that the LAAF might be able to throw their weight into an attack on the Kessel and Vega Prefectures to help knock the Dragon out of the war were by now recognized as pipe dreams. Several worse case scenario's began to doubt the survival of the Lyran Alliance with the current wave of disasters unfolding throughout the realm. Quietly a number of staff officers were tasked with operations to stabilize what could be salvaged in the event the state did collapse - and perhaps even more importantly secure certain key worlds either for the Federated Suns or at least friendly successor states. Plans were also begun for the evacuation of Prince's Champion Cox and also the First Prince's nephew from Tharkad if this became necessary.

At the same time Fleet Admiral Buchwald began a group to evaluate critically the performance of the Federated Suns Navy during active combat operations in an effort to learn what lessons could be taken from this and avoid similar mistakes. Already there were indications that due to the sheer overwhelming superiority of the Federated Sun's Navy in most combat operations a certain degree of tactical inflexibility had began to creep in. This group was also to look at not only how current ships and formations might be better utilized but also what changes could be made to both the ship designs and their tactical formations as well as what ship designs and future squadrons might enhance the Navy. Within a few weeks Jackson Davion set up a similar group of officers for the Regular Army.

Nova Cat Migration[]

The first [Clan Nova Cat]] scouts reached the Davion lines during July, traveling through dead systems these mostly consisted of LF equipped JumpshipS who had been dispatched immedietly to ensure the route was safe. They jumped into "Barlow's Folly" and much to the delight of the local garrison of the 38th Avalon Hussars referred to it by it's new/old or "correct" name of Cussar. When the Nova Cat Star Commodore became aware of how his initial message had been taken he didn't have the heart to inform the 38th Avalon or the world's new government that it was simply because his First Star League era charts for the region had listed the world as Cussar and had not been updated with the Succession Wars Era name. A number of free naval aerospace wings were hurriedly dispatched to Cussar to reinforce the "crossing point" and ensure the safety of the Clan.

Developments in Industry[]

At Demeter a third Stuka Heavy Aerospace Fighter production line goes fully operational on the 18th of July. The plan consists now of a single Guillotine BattleMech line and three Stuka aerospace lines. Plans are put in place to diversify the plant particularly given the new security of the reformation of the Arcadian Cuirassiers. A Huscarl-O OmniFighter wing production line and a Lancelot Heavy BattleMech line are earmarked for immediate construction.

On Markesan, the new Jolassa-Kumbold Armoured Weapons plant see's it's first line for the Fury Command Tank go operational. Although a specialized design the sheer increased numbers of RCTs within the AFFS and the strong showing of the design in combat at the front had increased demands that the order book is soon full. Most of the Markesan production is earmarked for the Robinson Rangers and DMM Brigades.

Marlette's Davion-Com plant also see's it's first production facility finished - in this case the Lorica battle armour facility which has been completed in advance of the large number of BattleMech production lines under construction. These ComGuard specific suits are immedietly shipped out just as fast as they can be completed due to the sheer demand for them within the ComGuards.

At Northfield, the Corsara secondary facility see's the Black Watch BattleMech enter production. Perhaps due to the disbandment of the SLDF, the previous month demand for this BattleMech is low. With the bulk of the production ends up now being sold to either the ComGuards or various mercenary units. The Northwind Highlanders understandably prefer Northwind produced BattleMech and so show little interest in the Northfield produced design. Sales remain high for the Crab and King Crabs produced at the plant however.

On Dieron, itself the Draconis March Heavy Industrial Mech Company "opens" it's first two production lines for the Kiso construction 'mech. The first five years production is immediately bought by the Duchess of Tortuga, Yvonne Davion-Sandoval. She intends too uses them to form "Sandoval-Tortuga Construction Ltd". The company will concentrate largely on large scale infrastructure projects within the Draconis March and Outback region of the Crucis March - for the time being most of this work will be to rebuild war damaged planets from the recent fighting.

Within the League March, Hollis Incorporated return Highlander Assault 'Mech production to the world of Corey. At the current time (largely due to doubts about the loyalty of the firm and the planet and it's location on the border) there are no plans for further expansion. Although sales particularly to the forming League March Militia and the St. Ives Lancers remain steady.

On Sarna, the Veridan Dynamics plant's Vali goes operation and begins producing Vali artillery tank for the units of the League March. Plans are then put in place to massively increase production of the Tiger Medium tank for the local militias and March Militias of the League March.

Hildco Interplanetary completes their Templar-O design which they have acquired under license. As per the terms of this license (and the wishes of the Duchess of St Ives) the Templar-Os produced there will only be routed to units native to the League March. The initial production run is unsurprisingly allocated to the St Ives Lancers - in particular the 1st and 2nd which are woefully under strength and have historically be assault weighted units.

The final industrial expansion within the Federated Sun's is the new Wei based Jalastar Aerospace plant. The first production line goes operation, producing Sparrowhawk light aerospace fighters which are soon being dispatched throughout the League March.

Troubles in the Lyran Alliance[]

The situation in the Lyran Alliance (as well as of course Operation Heart Attack) take up most of the attention of not only the High Command and First Prince Davion but also the people of the Federated Suns during July. A series of hammer blows to the government of Tharkad causes increasing concerns for the Alliance.

The Fall Bolan[]

The first of these is the surrender of the 4th Alliance Guard on Bolan. Facing overwhelming enemy numbers and with it's morale in tatters the 4th, never a steady formation at the best of times, seeks terms and surrenders the key border world to League control. Or to the Marik Commonwealth's control. Officially, Bolan is "returned" to the Free Worlds League on the 11th of July. The remaining equipment of the 4th Alliance is seized and steps are taken to use it to reform the Bolan Defenders. This defeat finally prompts Tharkad to order the remaining units in the occupied League territories (except Oliver) to withdraw back into Lyran space. The abandoned worlds are immediately offered membership of the Duchy of Tamarind - and over the course of July-September they accept. While massively overstretching the units of the Duchy, these gains suddenly vault them into a major power within the fractured League. An extremely anti-Lyran power. The Duchy is further reinforced when the Abbey District agrees to associate membership with it. Both Tamarind and the Abbey District put pressure upon Maderas to join one or other of the constituent parts of the Duchy of Tamarind-Abbey.

Bolan Under Siege[]

There is no such hope on Bolan, where the 4th Alliance Guard are unable to save the 1st Bolan Jaegers when the 11th Atrean Dragoons manage to cut of their retreat and with the aid of the 30th Marik Militia. Alone now, the 4th Guard begins to fall back on the capital in a state little better than a rout.

Repulsing the Crusader Wolves[]

On the Clan Wolf front, the defenders are at least reinforced when the Wolves-in-Exile enter the fray against their brothers and sisters. Khan Kell lead's his own Alpha Galaxy specifically against the Tamar Galaxy and drives it back across the border in a series of brutal and brief engagements. Unfortunately, it's Galaxy Commander Katrina Steiner manages to escape with over half of her troops. Khan Kell, facing being outflanked by Khan Vlad Ward's own Alpha Galaxy is forced to fall back and not pursue in the the Wolf Occupation Zone.

Isle of Skye Succession[]

On the 14th of July, citing the failure of the Lyran Alliance to protect the people of Bolan in particular - Duke Robert Kelswa-Steiner openly addresses the issue of the Isle of Skye seceding from the Lyran Alliance and reforming itself as an independent nation. On Skye itself, the 3rd & 4th Skye Rangers as well as the 1st Skye Jaegers express support for this idea, while the 3rd Hesperus Guards remains guardedly neutral. For the time being this is merely talk - but riots erupt across the region.

Renegade Duchess of Inarcs[]

At the same time a second secessionist movement raises it's head on the Periphery border of the realm. Centered on Inarcs and Winter the movement springs up from almost nowhere. Duchess Tamari LaRue immediately places herself at the head of this movement and plays a delicate shell game of avoiding full on treason while also appealing to as many competing factions within the Periphery border region for support. To some she suggests a rebirth (sans-House Amaris) of the Rim Worlds Republic. To others she suggests that a "Periphery March" could be formed within the Alliance, but with greater autonomy. To a handful she even suggests that a new and independent Lyran Rim might even offer said throne to First Prince Victor and form a personal union with the Federated Suns. While so far in the same way as the Skye movement only talk, the growing support from a region long forgotten about by Tharkad for independence or reemergence of the Rim Worlds is shocking and has General of the Armies Adam Steiner frantically trying to find troops to send to the region. With the Duchess of Inarcs now leading the movement it has the backing of the Blackstone Highlanders and the Florida TTM has already had members voice support as well. Production from Inarcs seems to almost immedietly have problems being shipped to the LAAF, although the Blackstone Highlanders are increased to two battalion's in strength and the militia of Inarcs takes shipment of nearly two companies worth of BattleMech.

Wolves on the Border[]

On the Clan Front, despite the Tamar Galaxy being pushed back by Clan Wolf-in-Exile, the Wolf Clan continues to score victories. On Ballymure, Pandora, Crimmond and Tomans the Wolves have been successful in either destroying the garrison or routing it. The loss of Pandora's factories in particular is galling as the world was defended by the 10th Lyran Guards RCT and 3rd Donegal Guards RCT as well as the planet's local Training Battalion. The 10th Lyran Guards is the only unit to escape the battle, absorbing the few survivors of the 3rd Donegal and cadets of the Pandora College Training Battalion. Khan Vlad Ward himself oversaw the almost total annihilation of the 3rd Donegal as it attempted to fall back to it's dropships. Although the situation on Raselgathi and Fort Loudon has been salvaged by the Wolves-in-Exile, they can't remain there or they risk being cut off from Arc Royal. The threat is further emphasised when the worlds of Borghese and Graceland are invaded.

Matters are further complicated when the Duke of Odessa (a known supporter of deposed Archon Katherine Steiner) in the face of the "Wolf threat barrelling down upon him" announces the reformation of the 1st & 2nd Odessa Regulars. The 1st is created from his own personal guard unit - which although officially listed as only a battalion seems to be able to provide nearly 5 companies of BattleMech and an armored battalion for the new unit, while the 2nd Regulars is formed from the local militia units - again which although listed as having few BattleMechs appears upon the rolls at nearly 40% strength. He also makes demands that further BattleMechs and tanks be shipped to Odessa to aid in the defense of his world should the Wolves attack. Given that his world is in the path between the Clan Wolf invasion and Donegal-Tharkad, it's hard to argue the point that it doesn't need reinforcing. However, simply put nobody on Tharkad trusts the Duke. The fact that the world of Odessa's defenders seem to have had roughly double the number of BattleMechs anyone thought they did is further cause for alarm to the intelligence agencies! Further alarm is caused when the Duke summarily names his son and heir Luther Fisk "Hauptmann-General" of the new brigade. The officer corp of the new brigade is similarly heavily weighted to supporters of the Duke and the nobility of Odessa.

Grim Report on State of Lyran Alliance[]

At the end of July, comes a final alarm for Tharkad, when reports begin coming in from the Clan Jade Falcon/Periphery border that a new clan, the Ice Hellions have been sighted at Barcelona, Newton Square, and Hood IV. Demands for support and military units from the Periphery go through the roof. Left unsaid in many of these demands is that if they are not met then the worlds may consider aligning with Inarcs.

On the 30th of July, Prince's Champion Galen Cox sends a frankly appraisal of the situation to the First Prince. The Lyran Alliance is on it's knees and if the Federated Suns is going to be able to count upon it as an ally in the future then Operation Nightfire will require to be expanded to give the Alliance time to find it's feet again.

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