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Federated Suns Reborn (Chapter Cover)

The Federated Suns Reborn
- Chapter 183

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October 3070
The Battle of Verde - Aftermath

Castle Sandoval
Le Blanc PDZ
Robinson, Draconis March
Federated Suns

"Are these reports confirmed?" Victor Davion spoke almost softly but nobody listening could miss the fury in his voice.

"They are, Prince Davion." Vice Admiral Black responded just as quietly but with anything more rage in his voice as he stood before his Prince, Duke Sandoval and Leftenant General Trevana in the study the three men had been meeting in when he brought the news. Walker Clay had been a good friend of his and the news of his death had hit him hard. "Captain Durand of the FSS Weldon has confirmed that his ship is the only remaining warship of her division and that she is heavily damaged. The Nova Cat forces have taken almost as heavy losses, losing both their Vincent class corvettes and two of their three Aegis class cruisers. Only the NCS Principle survived, although unlike the FSS Weldon she is at least combat effective. The only piece of "good" news is that we did capture the WoBS Ray of Enlightenment - or the Nova Cats did at least. We've also had confirmation that NCS Void has jumped to Mayetta. I've already ordered two fleet dropships squadrons and a further aerospace regiment rushed to Mayetta to back up the existing naval forces there. With your permission I'll also order the rest of the 5th Corvette Flotilla to head to bolster Verde and to protect the NCS Void, your Highness."'

Fox Class Corvette (Delranes Fighting Ships 3061)

Fox II Class Corvette

"No. Send the 9th Corvette Flotilla. They are still forming up, but they have five Fox II corvettes and I don't want to strip the remaining worlds of the Woodbine OA of warship patrols in case there are any further Blakist warships prowling around." Victor ordered and Black nodded that he understood. "Also grab whatever humanitarian supplies and medical and engineering formations that we can spare and get them to Verde yesterday. The transports for them are to have priority only secondary for front line military formations... I also want the Nova Cats at Cussar told if their Star Admiral already hasn't. Pass on my sorrow for their losses, my pride that their warriors fought alongside my own troops and my thanks for their aid int his battle. Also inform him that I consider the the captured WOB ship to be entirely the property of Clan Nova Cat and will cover the entire costs of repairing and refitting it for their fleet. Have my people prepare a statement for me to send to their Khan..." '

"You know the Snakes are behind this..." James Sandoval spoke up for the first time. "They have climbed into bed with the WOB... And since we're winning they've sent their patsies to kill our worlds behind the lines... We need to make them pay for this! We should send orders to renew the offensive!"'

"No." Before James could open his mouth to argue Victor held up a single finger to warn him that now wasn't the time for roaring and shouting and the older man throttled down his first furious impulsive response. Which let Victor continue without the interruption. "I don't entirely disagree with you, Duke James. If the Kuritas didn't help them, they sure as hell knew it was coming. Or at least some of them did. I'm inclined to think that Minoru and probably Theodore didn't know. If they had known this attack was imminent Minoru wouldn't have came to Robinson, putting him at risk of retaliation. But Hohiro... Yes. I can see him ordering this attack, indeed given what we know about their internal political issues it would even make sense for him to order or request this attack hoping we execute his brother and rival for Coordinator."

That last point made James Sandoval pause and think. While the idea of setting your brother up to be executed was abhorrent to him, even the "best" dynasties weren't above such thinking on occasion, and his own biases made sure he was prepared to think the worst of the Kurita family with no difficulties at all. He nodded slowly. "You might be right... Use us as his patsies to kill his brother and keep him the heir... I hadn't thought of that. Bastard."

"As I said, I wouldn't put it past him. We don't know. Still it's possible." First Prince Victor closed his eyes. "Killing thousands, maybe millions for politics and raw power... I wish I thought he wouldn't... I know you don't like it, James, but he was my friend..."

"Maybe you were his friend. But he wasn't yours my prince. He's a Kurita. I know you wanted to get past the ancient hates and while I have to admit I wasn't always 100% behind you on that... I know your reasons and I can at least respect them. Maybe it might even have worked if Omi hadn't died. But she did and your dream of peace died with her. I'm sorry." James actually did mean it even if the words felt strange in his mouth - although at least part of the sorrow was for the pain he knew it had caused a man he had come to respect just as much as he had respected his father Hanse Davion. Although in the darker parts of his heart he knew he was at least secretly a little grateful that Victor Davion's wife was a Marik and not a Kurita. Pushing the past back he continued. "I do think we need to make them pay for this... We can't let this go unchallenged."

"He's right, Prince Victor." Leftenant General Caradoc Trevana spoke for the first time. "When this news breaks, it'll be a second Kentares. You know what the war hawk's will scream, "Remember Verde!" and "They sent their WOB assassins to kill one of our worlds"... We have to show strength."

"I know. Fine. Caradoc, I'm sorry, but you are going to play my messenger boy..." Victor almost managed to smile.

"We also serve who run errands..." The Leftenant General said with a straight face.

"You get to tell Minoru the news and you can tell him how furious I am. How I'm on the cusp of ordering Operation Spine Breaker. Let him figure out the meaning of the name... You won't even be lying. Tell him that I'm prepared, purely out of political expediency to accept he and his father probably didn't have anything to do with this... But my "mercy" has it's price. If he doesn't want me to gut what's left of his realm and finish of his House then he'll pay the price. I want that damn super heavy transport VTOL that gave us so much trouble on Iruzun. Specs, parts, etc... Everything we need to put it into production. Feel free to tell him I intend to call it the Walker in AFFS service and gift a lot of them to the Nova Cats free of charge. He's also going to cede me Delitzsch, Senorbi, Schirmeck and Budingen, as well as paying the entire cost of the damage on Verde. In hard cash, industrial and agricultural supplies. If it's too rich for him, tell him that my second demand will include Galedon and Benjamin... By which time point the Sword and Starburst will be flying over them!"

"He won't like it..." Trevana said while clearly not arguing against the demands.

"Frankly I don't give a ****** what he or his entire house like or dislike, Caradoc!" Victor barely stopped himself from shouting, knowing that Caradoc was only doing his job. "He can swallow it or he can swallow worse when I go hunting every remaining DCMS formation he has left. Every remaining man or woman with the Kurita name and take a dozen or more worlds by Christmas! Make him understand... Or I'll be forced to destroy the Combine once and for all...!"

With the heel click that showed his Lyran heritage, Leftenant General Trevana nodded and left the room to go find Kanrei Kurita to give him the bad news. Admiral Black following him out at a head nod from Duke Sandoval. Who looked at the still visibly furious First Prince and reaches across to put a hand on his shoulder. "You remind me more and more of your father every day Victor... And I can't think of a higher compliment!"

"I don't see it... But thank you... Now we better get working on figuring out how to get more help to Verde..." Victor sighed.

"No, that's what we have staff's for. We both need a drink..." Sandoval stood and headed for the drinks cabinet in the corner of the room. "Since you returned Northwind to my March, I can get my hand's on excellent whiskey again..."

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