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The Federated Suns Reborn
Chapter 22

July 3063
Unexpected Visitors

July begins with the official stock options becoming available for New Independence Weaponry. As expected the demand is high and the price of the shares quickly goes up. By the time the last of the stocks have been snapped up there is more than enough funds to begin construction of the new BattleMech facility on Kestrel and by the end of the month the ground which the Duke of Kestrel had identified as suitable has seen the first work start. All three of the main stockholders and the wide range of smaller stockholders are eager to begin work and start to see BattleMechs being built and profits returned on their investment. Priority is given to getting the Atlas production line up and running first, but the other two lines are not far behind.

With the Robinson Battle Academy heavily damaged, both the First Prince and the Duke of Robinson agree that as it is rebuilt it will also be enlarged. By the end of the year the Academy is expected to be ready to take in more students, the existing students will continue to be trained on a nearby military base for the time being. When the expansions are included the cadet numbers will triple. When the graduating class of 3064 graduate in 3066 the Robinson Battle Academy Training Cadre will be renamed the Training Regiment. Of course given the political sensitivities the Warrior's Hall on New Syrtis will also see a similar expansion in consultation with the Duke of New Syrtis. After all the AFFS can always use more MechWarriors.

A similar expansion is underway at Filtvelt, but without the loud declarations of the two March capital academies. Indeed the expansion at Filtvelt is larger as it is two fold. The existing Filtvelt Academy is to be doubled in size so that it is of comparable size to the Robinson Battle Academy and Warrior's Hall with a full regiment as it's cadet force. However side by side with the expanded Filtvelt will be the Filtvelt Flight School. It will be a smaller specialised school that will be affiliated with the Academy but will concentrate on producing fighter pilots drawn from the Outback. With an initial intake of a full wing of 20 cadets it will be expanded until it is graduating around 60 cadets a year with a training time of 3 years. Expansions to include training for air crews and other support staff for the fighter wings have also been included in the plans. Long term plans include adding jumpship and dropship crew courses.

All three of the mainstream academies will also be encouraged to add courses for tank officers, infantry officers and special forces and battle armor troopers. While Robinson Battle Academy and the Warrior's Halls will also add aerospace fighter training courses and to include these cadets within their training cadres in a similar manner to the existing NAIS Cadres. Filtvelt's fighter pilots for the training unit will be drawn from those cadets at the Flight School who will be joining fighter wings attached to BattleMech regiments.

If these expansions go ahead and are successful then further plans are being put in place to expand Point Barrow, Kilbourne, and even Tikonov's academies. There was some debate about Tikonov being expanded but given the huge worth of the world the First Prince himself insisted that every effort be made to integrate Tikonov into the FedSuns in any way possible. A large number of intelligence assets will be deployed to the world and particularly it's factories and the academy in order to being pushing a pro-Davion message to the population in preparation for the investments.

On the 17th of July, First Prince Victor arranges to meet with Marquess Trempeleau and her "advisors". He himself comes alone except for his elemental bodyguard Tiaret Nevversan, not even bringing any of his ministers or Prince's Champion. This initially throws what amounts to the delegation from the Broken Wheel and surrounded Combat Regions. However they soon recover and begin to list their extensive grievances with the central government of the Federated Suns and House Davion. At least a few of the "advisors" are spouting almost anti-Davion and separatist views.

After some heated initial exchanges in which it is obvious that the First Prince is controlling his temper. With a great deal of will power the meeting finally calms down with the Prince and Marquess agreeing that for the initial discussions perhaps the others could merely advise her rather than give the Prince speeches which are tantamount to rants. Marquess Helen agrees that the increased defenses, anti-piracy patrols, industrial development, and investments are welcome in the Outback they aren't going far enough and doing enough to help the areas anaemic infrastructure and education shortfalls.

The First Prince while pointing out that the large dropship and jumpship manufacturing complex being built at Filtvelt for civilian designs are likely to help the areas infrastructure in the long term does concede the point. He asks what would help the most, although makes the point that the central government doesn't have unlimited funds and resources - a point that causes a stir of irritation amongst Marquess Trempeleau's supporters.

The Marquess answers with a simple word: Education. If the population can have greater educational opportunities then further investments will flow into the area as firms see the opportunities of a well educated, well motivated community with expansive resource rich worlds. As more and more companies invest in the region then others will follow suit and the funds will become available to expand the infrastructure - where the corporations haven't already done so. Which will draw in more and more jumpships and merchants.

After some further discussions, the First Prince agrees to revitalize the Vagabond School Program as well as expand the Regional Finishing School Initiative. The Regional Finishing Schools currently stand at 19 establishments, but he will attempt to ensure that numbers doubles over the next 3 years and consider an expansion of the project further. A number of Advanced Finishing Schools/Universities are to be built at key locations. While a number of the military academies in the region will see civilian counterparts either created or expanded upon. A number of scholarships will also be created, although that number of left vague. These discussions go on for almost 2 weeks and various ministers are brought into the debate.

Before the agreement can be formally reached however there is a system wide alert on the as an unknown and potentially hostile jumpship has entered the New Avalon System at a small and almost never used jump point. The FSS Lucien Davion in orbit over New Avalon rushes to battle stations. During this time, the FSS Indomitable at the Nadir Jump Point and the FSS Intrepid at the Zenith also prepare to inter-system jump if required. Large numbers of fighter wings and dropship squadrons are also rushed to readiness. A single jumpship is unlikely to be able to carry a large invasion force, but even a small number of missile armed dropships could do untold devastation using nuclear tipped warheads.

This alert is heightened when it becomes obvious that the ship in question is an Odyssey class vessel. A Clan jumpship here in the New Avalon system. Immediately both FSS Indomitable and Intrepid are ordered to inter-system jump to closer to New Avalon and to then use maximum thrust to reach the planet to aid in it's defence, while an initial probing attack is launched by a full aerospace regiment of 60 aerospace fighters.

Union-C DropShip (In Space - Farseer Animation)

Union-C Class Mech Carrier DropShip

As all of this is done the Jumpship detaches two Dropships which make a slow burn at 1G for New Avalon. Scans from the extensive and hideously expensive system wide detection grid indicate that one of them is a Union-C and the other is a Sassanid class vessel. The confusion within Mount Davion grows, as combined those two dropships could carry 15 Omnimechs and 75 Elementals. Hardly an invasion force and an insanely small raiding one for a target like New Avalon.

As the by now obviously overwhelming aerospace fighter brigade approaches the dropships the ships immedietly begin sending out hails that they wish to speak with the "Conqueror of the Ilkhan, Victor Steiner-Davion, Vanquisher of Clan Smoke Jaguar"... The commanding officer of the aero regiment also messages back that the dropships are obviously showing signs of war damage, poor repair and have Clan Smoke Jaguar markings. The two dropships are ordered to land at a small military dropship spaceport and aerospace base in the New Hebrides archipelagos and are escorted there by a full aerospace regiment at all times, while the FSS Intrepid diverts to stand watch over their jumpship.

The two Clan dropships will land on New Avalon on the 4th August, 3063.

Given the huge demand for Dagger OmniFighters throughout the AFFS Admiral Buchwald and Marshal of the Armies Jackson begin discussing further expansions of the design and attempts to have a facility built within the Crucis March for added security. While they are confident that expansions will be well regarded they are not so sure that George Hasek will wish to see the fighter produced in the central Crucis March. Particularly as they know he has been resisting the building of the Templar Assault OmniMech within the Crucis March as well.

On Novaya Zemyla, the huge new industrial plant for Kallon Industries begins construction. While nearby the Dagger fighter plant is rapidly approaching finishing and is even now starting to manufacture a few spare parts.

Robinson BattleWork's new plant on Woodbine enters full production of the Watchman class BattleMech during July. The first production run will be used to form a corporate security battalion for the plant along with some donations or cost priced machines to the local planetary defence forces and to the local Milligan DMM. Once this has been done and with future expansions already under construction the sales of these war machines to the AFFS will be primarily directed to rebuilding the Mayetta DMM and Bryceland DMM and then other units in the area, particularly the 1st Conroe Training Battalion and the Kilbourne Academy Training Battalion. At least a full company of mixed Watchman and Sentry are being planned for each of the newly liberated worlds of Niles, Groveld and Delacruz to form the core of their planetary defence forces.

On Robinson itself Duke James Sandoval receives the request from his new vassal and protege Duke Arthur Davion of Galtor. The Duke of Robinson has a huge number of demands on his resources but he can see the vital strategic worth of Galtor and also in keeping such a well connected new Duke on "his side". Therefore he orders the diversion of a number of BattleMechs from his factories to help reinforce and expand the newly formed 3rd Robinson Rangers. Attaching a "Galtor Training Battalion" to the 3rd Robinson Rangers as their 2nd battalion. Although not an official training battalion in the way the more permanent ones are, they will provide a welcome boost in numbers and firepower to the defense of Galtor and include the newly liberated world's population in their defence. Most of the new machines are Watchmen and Sentries but a handful of more advanced BattleMechs are included.

While this is all going on a military operation begins planning within Mount Davion under the personal order of Marshal of the Armies Jackson Davion. Operation Tripoli begins planning and a number of commands are ordered to increase training and receive extra ammunition and spare parts to build up a reserve. Two warships are also ordered to prepare and update their naval maps for the target systems.

Within the Draconis Combine, the Coordinator is not standing still. Furious at the outcome of the aborted war with the Davions, he continues to throw more and more troops into the battles along his border with the Ghost Bear Clan. Indeed he forms a large task force based around 1st, 5th, 7th, and 8th Sword of Light regiments and both Genyosha regiments and orders them to hit the Ghost Bears hard in a series of bloody and hard fought engagements. With six of his finest regiments hitting the front between Turtle Bay and Luzerne, he intends to show the Bears that the Dragon still has fangs! Leading this task force is no lesser personage than his son. Their victories will be broadcast nationwide to raise morale and support for the war.

He also orders that an 8th Amphigean Assault Group, 7th Arkab Legion, 4th Night Stalkers, (consisting of mostly elderly warriors and medically discharged warriors), 10th Prosperina Hussars, and 45th Galedon Regulars formed along the Davion border. All of these units will be massively under strength, but he wants them formed and training at least as cadres and to give a show of strength. This is in addition to the 4 new Ghost regiments he has mustered. The scientists and technicians working on the ancient Warship, DCS Togura are also sent pointed messages that their work is "vital to the security of the Dragon" and must be "pursued with all vigor!".

On Sian, the 5th Sian Dragoons are announced with a parade of their command company. Various intelligence point out privately that this is because that is all the 5th Currently consists of and is likely to remain on that level while 3 of the 4 Sian Dragoons previously mustered are still under strength. Some discussions are also going on about expanding the Warrior Houses to 2 battalions each and adding a third battalion to the Ambermarle's Highlanders, Mashigama's Legionnaires, and St Cyr's Armored Hussars. Just as soon as they can find the BattleMechs and MechWarriors.

The Estates General of the Lyran Alliance are formally requested to allow Acting General of the Armies and Grand Duke Morgan Kell to address them on the 1st of August and agree. Most assume correctly that it is about nominating Peter Steiner-Davion for the post of Archon left vacant by the "rescue" of the former Archon by the Wolf Clan. While a few dissenters would prefer a more "pure" Steiner for the throne, given his support from Adam Steiner, the Duke of Arc Royal and a large chunk of the LAAF who are prepared to follow these two men it is felt that acclaiming him is the only way to avoid civil war.

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