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Federated Suns Reborn (Chapter Cover)

The Federated Suns Reborn
- Chapter 182

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October 3070
The Battle of Verde - Sacrifice

Mayetta PDZ
Draconis March
Federated Suns

From somewhere nearby Rear Admiral Clay could hear someone sobbing in agony, he thought it was one of the tactical officers - probably Lieutenant O'Higgins who's duty station had exploded a few minutes ago. Given the fading sound of the sobbing it was apparent that either unconsciousness or death would soon be claiming the redheaded native of Jesup. Not that the rest of them were far behind he had to admit as he tried to ignore the pain of his broken left arm which hung useless at his side as he clung to his command chair. All around him he could feel the FSS Remagen dying. The ship had taken no less than two heavy broadsides from one of the Blakist cruisers and had taken a missile strike from a nuclear tipped Barracuda missile launched by one of those damn fast corvettes. Her armour was shattered, her spine snapped and almost every weapon was out of commission, but the few guns she still had were firing under local control at any targets of opportunity. He glared in pained fury at one of the few screens still reporting from the remaining sensors which showed that the rest of the fleet wasn't much better off.

Aegis Heavy Cruiser (2750) (by mattplog)

Aegis Class Heavy Cruiser (Clan refit)

The enemy flagship was slowly drifting in-system with no control. Reports were that at least some Clan Nova Cat Elementals had managed to breach the hull, but no reliable reports had been sent indicating whether they were having any success at seizing control of the drifting hulk or had all been wiped out. Meanwhile the two remaining Nova Cat Aegis cruisers - the NCS Principle and Remembrance were hammering one of the enemy Aegis cruisers in a lopsided short ranged brawl. The remaining enemy cruiser which had just smashed it's second volley into the Remagen was now breaking off from the air bleeding hulk of the Fox class corvette to rush to the aid of it's sister ship.

The lighter ship battle had been equally bloody. The FSS Logandale had exploded during the brief battle that had smashed the enemy flagship, while the FSS Mirach was in even worse trouble than the division's flagship and was floating dead in space after no less than three nuclear strikes. The FSS Weldon was the only FedSuns ship still in the fight and she was engaged alongside the CNCS Far Vision in holding off the single remaining enemy destroyer and two corvettes from linking back up with the enemy cruisers. A fight that they were almost certainly going to lose unless one of the Clan Aegis managed to reinforce them - which they couldn't do while still facing off against an equal number of cruisers.

Between the shattered hulks and still fighting warships aerospace fighters and assault dropships weaved and fought their own battles and dogfights. While the last FedSuns pocket warship had been destroyed during the the early fighting, ships armed with hammers but armored in eggshells hadn't lasted in this type of fight, their massed nuclear missile strikes had destroyed their opposite numbers and managed to aid in the destruction of the WoBS Nice alongside combined allied fighter strikes. Still the handful of remaining assault dropships remained threats to the surviving warships - particularly given that all of them had suffered heavy damage, as did the remaining AFFS naval fighter wings who had almost managed to obtain supremacy over their Toaster counterparts. A supremacy that could tip the balance in favor of the combined FedSuns/Clan ships but wouldn't matter if the WOB were able to smash the remaining allied warships before it could be fully brought to bare.

Snarling and tasting blood from his broken nose in his mouth he used his one good hand to hit the communication channel to the ship's bridge. "Captain... Can you hear me?!"

"Yes Admiral... We still have a direct communication to your flag bridge... But we've lost comm's with the rest of the ships of the fleet."

"As long as you can hear me... We can't let that Toaster cruiser engage the Cats. We need to buy them time to finish off the other cruiser!" Clay panted wondering when the painkillers his flag Lieutenant had administered to his system would kick in, and hoping that they already hadn't and this was the best they could do.

Fox Class Corvettes (Two ships underway - Battletech Space Wars Mod)

Fox Class Corvettes

"I agree, Admiral Clay, but my ship's got almost nothing left to throw at them!" The pain of the damage on his ship colored the rage in Captain Keller's voice.

"You still have engines don't you?! RAM the bastard! Or at least make them maneuver to avoid us! We need to stop them, Captain!" Clay almost roared.

There was a long pause from the other end of the line and Clay worried that the Captain was going to refuse his order. Probably his last order. Just as he was about to repeat himself Captain Keller spoke. "You're right, sir. I'll order all non-critical crew to the lifeboats and take her in. Get to the lifeboats, Admiral..."

"The hell I will! I'll have the good grace to die with my ship, Captain. Now get the orders out!" Before the Captain could argue he cut communication channel and then barked at his remaining staff officers. "You heard what order I just gave. Everyone get out. If you can't walk... crawl damn you! Or get someone to carry you!"

"Admiral..." His flag stepped forward from where he had been splinting the leg of a communication astech.

"No. Lieutenant Lee you have your orders. Get to the lifeboats or my last act as an officer in the Federated Suns Navy will be to order you shot for disobeying an order in the face of the enemy! Get moving! All of you." Glowering at them all he watched as the painfully few of his staff who were still alive in the shattered flag bridge helped each other leave the room, each one who was still able saluting him as they passed. With his arm broken and the other one keeping him upright all he could do was nod at them as the ship's engines began to fire up and direct the ship on it's new course. Even on the flag bridge he could hear the ships already damaged internal structure start to snap and tear as the engines roared to full power as the ship's nose aimed itself at the WoBS Herald of Justice... If the ship hadn't already been damaged beyond repair the strain of the engines blasting her forward would have been the final straw, but then again she only had to hold together for a few more minutes.

On the single functional screen he could see the Blakist ship starting to roll and turn, but the Aegis cruisers had always been slow. Judging by the fire streaming out from the few remaining weapons in the forward arc's of the FSS Remagen the gun crews had clearly remained at their posts, those magnificent bastards. Bloodied lips drew back in what might have been a smile as a single nuclear missile launched from his ship smashed into the WoBS Herald of Justice's already damaged engine pods slowing it's maneuver still further. Rear Admiral Walker Clay began to laugh as he leaned forward in his chair, the pain of his shattered arm forgotten as he roared alone on his flag bridge. "Too slow! Too slow you toaster-worshipping bastards! I've got you... I've got you!"

Extract from "The Federated Suns Navy, 3050-3075: A Rebirth."

]During the action within the Verde system on the 26th and 27th of October 3070 the actions of four individuals stand out. The decision by Precentor Chang to detach the WoBS Paris along with almost half of his various dropship escorts for an end run against the planet of Verde and it's shipyards (which led to catastrophic civilian losses within the Verde system) was clearly militarily the wrong decision. Had the frigate and the large number of dropships remained with his main force and been available to support his other ships in the engagement with the Federated Suns and Nova Cat allied task force it is extremely likely that it might have tipped the balance in his favour as for a number of hours the battle remained on a knife edge. The second individual who's actions largely shaped the battle's outcome was Rear Admiral Walker Clay, who's heroic order to Captain Keller to ram the crippled FSS Remagen into the WoBS Herald of Justice was ultimately the deciding moment of the battle. With the destruction of the almost undamaged cruiser the balance of power shifted irreversibly towards the allied task force. Had the Herald of Justice been able to come to the relief of her sister ship the WoBS Herald of Wisdom the two ships might have been able to defeat the two Nova Cat Cruisers who subsequently destroyed the WoBS Herald of Wisdom and then moved to aid the single remaining allied light ship the FSS Weldon in destroying the WoBS Birmingham and WoBS Snowshoe. Star Admiral David Leroux's leadership following the death of Rear Admiral Clay in the destruction of the Word of Blake task force and subsequent relief efforts within the Verde system not only secured the victory for which Walker Clay and his flagship had died to obtain, but also no doubt saved the lives of thousands of both Nova Cat civilians and Federated Suns citizens on Verde. The final individual who's actions stand out from the pages of history is of course Duke Nelson who's commitment of his own world's veteran militia aerospace wing and all available dropships (including civilian dropships such as his own pleasure yacht) was enough to drive off the WoBS Paris before it could launch a full bombardment of his world. While the loss of life in the three cities which were destroyed either by nuclear missiles (from pocket warships accompanying the WoBS Paris) or falling debris from the shipyard complex which had been shattered by the WoBS Paris's laser fire was horrific, almost all agree that had he not bolstered the final defensive line in this manner the losses might have been even worse.[

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