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Federated Suns Reborn (Chapter Cover)

The Federated Suns Reborn
- Chapter 255

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April 3072
Interlude: Protests

Firebase Thunderhammer
(Just outside) Opal City
Thorin, Freedom Theater
Lyran Alliance

Looking out of the windows that made up the entire south facing wall of his office Colonel James O'Connell was not a happy man. Usually the right's to inhabit a luxurious office designed for at least a Kommandant-General would have been cause for some pleasure for a "mere" Colonel, particularly given the priority given to the excellent view of Opal City that had been incorporated into the design of the office tower over such trifles such as defencibility, however his "view" was spoiled somewhat by the now semi-permanent camp of protestors at the main gates to Firebase Thunderhammer. During the weekdays there were at least one hundred of the Davion worshipping quislings camped out with placards and banners decrying the presence of his 16th Lyran Regulars on Thorin. At the weekend such as right now that number swelled to well over a thousand. Grinding his teeth he sipped his Irish coffee and ground his teeth together at the faint sounds of chanting coming from the damn traitors. While he couldn't make out the words through the armorplast windows he knew what they were saying. It was the same damn thing they chanted every bloody weekend - "Lyran's Out! Go Home 16th! God Save the Prince!". You'd think the bastards would have got sick of their own chanting by now, but no. They seemed content to sit out there and chant till their throats went hoarse.

This was all the fault of that drunken idiot Wernz. If he'd shown an ounce of spine at the Governor's Palace then it wouldn't have emboldened the trash to think they could dare defy the 16th Lyran Regulars in this way! Then he'd went and made a bad situation worse by mouthing off at the ball at Firebase Caesar. With real spite O'Connell reflected it was just a shame Wernz had resigned his commission the next day. He'd have taken genuine pleasure in breaking the man for conduct unbecoming, even if he'd rather have cashiered him for cowardice. Not that he should have opened fire on the rioters. Nobody was expecting a Lyran officer to shoot at unarmed rioters, but a show of strength and they'd have ran. Scum always did when you showed some backbone!

As he watched a patrol was heading out. A recon lance of BattleMechs with a platoon of infantry in APCs. As the First Lieutenant in charge of the patrols Bargest passed through the gates the protestors began throwing eggs and rotten fruit at it. Almost smashing his coffee cup as he banged it down on the ornate wooden desk trimmed with bronze the Colonel stabbed a finger down on the intercom and roared at his aide de camp. "Karl! Get me, Kommandant Prestonfield! His damn infantry battalion are going to earn their keep for once! Get a company of them outfitted for riot gear and clear my damn camp's gates of those scum! And tell him not to be soft with the traitors!"

"Jawohl, Colonel! At once!" Came the immediate response. Lieutenant Karl Rossi didn't quibble that the entire infantry contingent of the unit at Firebase Thunderhammer was roughly a reinforced company given how the Regular's had had to parcel out their limited conventional assets - and that a platoon of those was currently having their APCs pelted with refuse as they went out on patrol. Nor did he point out that none of them were trained or equipped as riot police. Kommandant Prestonfield could always grab some filing clerks and cooks to fill out the numbers if he had too! Given Colonel O'Connell's mood of late pointing out problems had become a potential career ending move. The young officer began hitting the code for the infantry battalion HQ to pass on the orders...

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