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The Federated Suns Reborn
- Chapter 38

October 3064
Hidden Warships Revealed

Preprations for the Third Whitting Conference[]

With the Third Whitting Conference fast approaching many of the various Successor Lords were loath to leave their capital worlds and head for the agreed venue on St Ives given the state of affairs in the former Chaos March. Still none wished to be the first to say they weren't coming and look weak. In the spirit of co-operation Victor Davion invited Theodore Kurita and Christian Mansdottir as well as his brother Peter Steiner to travel via the Federated Suns and so avoid the chance of running into warships or WOB troops near Terra. Of course the Coordinator, given the recent bad blood between himself and the First Prince, was unhappy to take that offer up. Given the alternate was to head into the systems near Terra and jump into the Free Worlds League and then through the Capellan Confederation into the St. Ives Compact and pass through a number of hostile borders he did however agree extremely reluctantly. For the Elected Prince Regent and the Archon the choice to accept was much easier. Thomas Marik arranged to head through the Capellan Confederation with his former son-in-law.

Sun Jaguars on Defiance[]

Duchess Yvonne Steiner-Davion and Baron Tancred Sandoval arrive on Defiance and begin by touring the various temporary accommodations for the Sun Jaguar civilian castes and the barracks of the warrior caste. They are shown around by no lesser person than saKhan Tiaret Nevversan herself. During this tour Tancred Sandoval suggests that some construction mech's be requisitioned or bought from the huge plant on Filtvelt to help with building the Clan's new colonies on the periphery border. He points out that there is a large number of extremely capable mechwarriors who are without mechs and who could keep at least their piloting skills sharp (or even perhaps improve them) while helping build homes and infrastructure for their new clan. Although almost every warrior is initially horrified at the suggestion, the saKhan herself points out that it does make sense and that it would be a good way to show that the Sun Jaguars are not the Smoke Jaguars of old. That the warriors must be the protectors and providers for the civilian castes and not simply their overlords. A handful of more proud warriors go so far as to launching Trial of Grievance against the saKhan against her accepting this suggestion but after she breaks the legs of one and smashes most of the rib cage of the next the rest get the message.

The first of the Sun Jaguar civilians begin to be sent towards their new colonies on the former FedSuns worlds of Fugeres, Frankson, and Valois. Although initially the plan had been for only a single world to be settled this has been changed to set up a small colony of Sun Jaguars on each planet. Hopefully each colony will thrive and the increases resources of 3 worlds will be useful in building up the Clan.

Activity on the Word of Blake Protectorate Border[]

On the WOB Protectorate border, every single combat command is at maximum readiness in preparations for any attack or indeed orders to assault into the Protectorate. The 1st FedSuns Dragoons RCT, 2nd Crucis Lancers RCT, 4th and 5th Deneb Light Cavalry RCT are all particularly prepared to launch an assault. The 6th and 7th Crucis Lancers are listed as a follow on force if it is required. Any initial wave is to be supported by no less than 3 Fox class warships with the High Command also sending the FSS Simon Davion although given that it needs a refit they are hoping that it will not be required to go into any heavy combat. If they can hold off until December the FSS Simon Davion will be replaced by the freshly refitted FSS Lucien Davion.

Developments in Industry[]

On June the Hellcat fighter line comes online and begins producing this design alongside the 2 Stuka lines. A fourth line to build Lightning aerospace fighters is due to begin production in November. After that additional Stuka lines are being considered.

The GM plant on Kirklin has it's new Crusader battlemech line go operational on the 15th of October. However an initial "false start" which causes damage to the line will mean that the plant only produces a handful of spare parts until the end of October when it will be fully operational.

Crusader (Unseen version by SU-SMD)

Crusader Class Heavy BattleMech

The Challenge System shipyards at Panpour receive additional orders for Monolith jumpships that will require another major expansion of the yards. Hidden within these orders is instructions and funding for a 3rd warship slip. However this is to be bigger than the existing Congress-D II frigate's shipyards.

Congress Frigate (Delrane Fighting Ships 3061)

Congress D II Class Frigate

At the same time both FedBoeing at Galax and Kathil Shipworks receive more open orders for slips to build additional warships. A slip is to be added at each location, ostensibly to build more Fox and Avalon class warships, however the new slips are to be much larger than the existing ones.

Actions in the former Chaos March[]

On Caph the resistance is being hounded from hiding hole to hiding hole. Any isolated group of pro-Davion or Delta Regiment or Highlanders found is swiftly eradicated. A single WOB Division is on planet, but in orbit a damaged Zechetinu II and the WOB Deliverance provide almost unlimited fire support as required.

The situation on Northwind is little better with constant "light" orbital bombardment's being conducted on The Fort. The orbiting WOB warships seem to be keen to avoid large scale damage to the surrounding city of Tara but continue to effectively harass the defenders with pinpoint naval laser strikes while fighter's dispatched from orbit hammer any Highlander mech or troop formation that they can find. Ominously a large number of troopships arrive with a further Zechetinu II corvette as escort at the end of September.

On Outreach, the Wolf's Dragoons are joined by the 1st Kearny Highlanders, who promise that MacLeod's Regiment and the Northwind Hussars are also on their way. However Jaime Wolf doesn't think they have time to wait. Adding the 1st Kearny Highlanders as well as the 1st and 2nd Dismal Disinherited to his own Alpha, Beta and Epsilon regiments as well as the Wolf Spider's and Zeta Battalions along with Lindon's Battalion. Jaime Wolf personally leads the force off world. The WDWS Beowulf, WDWS Nelson, and WDWS Athena go with them to provide protection. This large force jumps from Outreach on the 30th September taking with it a large number of transport dropships carrying enough ammunition and spare parts to fight a small war. The Wolf's Dragoons' Gamma Regiment and 3rd Dismal Disinherited along with a number of smaller allied commands and the warships the WDWS Alexander and WDWS Mars remain at Outreach to protect the world.

The sudden gathering of this impressive force and it's departure from Outreach was impossible to hide. The WOB Precentor Martial was made aware of it immedietly, not only from his own operatives but also from the Capellan Confederation. Even as the information came in he was on Sian engaged in discussions with Sun-Tzu Liao about a potential secret alliance against the Federated Suns. Taking a brief break from these talks he sent word for his forces to muster at Terra in case the Dragoons struck there.

The First Prince has his distant cousin Duke Roger Sanromea-Davion attend him at the palace. The initial discussions are extremely informal and conducted over dinner at which not only the Duke's wife but also Duchess Isis Marik are present as is the Princes's Champion Ardan Sortek and freshly promoted Marshal Galen Fox. Further meetings are conducted in a more formal setting but continue in the same friendly vein. The First Prince is suggesting to the famously wealthy Duke of El Dorado that his world would be a superb site for a number of new industrial concerns. For one thing the First Prince is keen to see a rebuilding of the long destroyed El Dorado shipyards. It is suggested that a facility capable of building Merchant and Invader class jumpships and even Star Lords would be warmly supported by the Federated Sun's government. Duke Roger is honestly shocked at the scale of the project and counters that he himself had long hoped to see a military factory on his world, perhaps in conjunction with General Motors or even the New Independence Weaponry company. Galen Cox is the one to suggest that the two are not mutually exclusive. Indeed the construction of a large scale shipyard complex would make the world even more attractive to the military industrial complex. Just look at Kathil and New Syrtis. Over the course of the month the various Dukes and Generals involved within the discussions begin planning out a large scale shipyard and industrial complex on El Dorado with the full support of it's Duke. Company officers from GM are brought in and offered the specifications for the Battlemaster battlemech as well as support for building a Templar-O production line there.

Legal actions against StarCorp continues[]

Meanwhile on Crofton a series of arrests are being made with over 100 company employees being charged. A handful are offered the opportunity to turn state's evidence in return for either amnesty or lesser sentences in return for aiding in the investigations. Which will triple the number of corporate officers who are facing charges. By the end of October it is obvious that StarCorp Federated Suns has been attempting to circumvent the FedSun's laws not only on military procurement but also industrial espionage. A full scale case will now be opened against StarCorp Industries within the Federated Suns. StarCorp Industries loudly denounces this investigation and say they are being made scapegoats for a handful of bad apples.

Prisoner Break[]

Within the Draconis Combine, the forces under the Khan of the Sun Jaguars arrive at the world of Matamoros via a pirate jump point near the planet. Jaguars then conduct a combat drop onto the huge sprawling mine complex they have discovered Smoke Jaguars are being held at. Swiftly seizing the complex they break open the prisoner's barracks and free them, finding not only the Smoke Jaguars they had been told about but 1,000's of political prisoners. Not having time to sort between the groups the 2nd Sun Jaguar Guards merely load them into the cargo dropships they have seized and leave the planet before the handful of militia units can respond. They are on planet for less than 5 days and leave with over a dozen stolen dropships loaded with liberated prisoners and no small quantity of valuable ores.

Desperate Battles on Caph and Northwind[]

At Caph's Zenith Jumpoint the mercenary task force led by Colonel Jaime Wolf himself jumps into the system on the 5th of October. With the WDWS Beowulf, WDWS Nelson, and WDWS Athena leading the way the task force heads for Caph and the relief of the scattered remnants Delta Regiment and 2nd Kearny Highlanders. Immediately the WoBS Deliverance and the damaged Zechetinu II, the WoBS League's Prize, move to intercept them. Both Word of Blake warships are soon destroyed but not before inflicting moderate damage on the WDWS Beowulf and heavy damage on the WDWS Athena. The 7th WOB Militia Division breaks off from it's hunting the refugees and itself attempts to break up into small bands to survive in the wilds. As the various military forces begin to land the hunter becomes the hunted. Although this time the remnants of the Dragoon and Highlander regiment and the handful of loyalists of the Duke of Caph are able to help the arriving forces to hunt their tormentors.

Aegis Class Heavy Cruiser (by colourbrand)

Aegis Class Heavy Cruiser, Immortal Spirit

Before the 7th WOB Militia can however be totally wiped out, the WOB itself responds with a clear escalation. The WoBS Immortal Spirit and it's until now hidden 2 sister ships the WoBS Herald of Wisdom and WoBS Herald of Justice jump into the Caph system on the 18th October. With them come 2 formerly secret Essex class destroyers, the WoBS Dawning Horizon & WoBS Enlightened Spark, along with 2 Vincent corvettes, the WoBS Blake's Redemption & the formerly secret WoBS Blade of Divinity. These warships also have no fewer than 4 WOB Militia Divisions with them, the 2nd, 5th, 9th and 12th.

Vincent Class Corvette (blockcade run) (by Colourbrand)

Vincent Class Corvette

Despite their damage the Wolf Dragoon's warships attempted to prevent the landings or at least delay them, however they are outmatched. The WDS Nelson is soon engaged with both Vincent class corvettes. The Nelson after destroying the WoBS Blade of Divinity, is driven off badly damaged when the WoBS Dawning Horizon joins the WoBS Blake's Redemption. Meanwhile the WDWS Athena already heavily damaged is swiftly torn apart by the gun's of 2 Aegis cruisers - the WoBS Immortal Spirit and WoBS Herald of Justice causing only light damage to it's two attackers. The WDWS Beowulf engages in a long ranged running duel and inflicts crippling damage on the shorter gunned Aegis cruiser the WoBS Herald of Wisdom, but with the Athena destroyed and the Nelson heavily damaged and driven into the outer system where it is forced to withdraw when the remaining WOB vessels concentrate on it. Both the WDWS Beowulf and WDWS Nelson are suffering heavy damage and jump out of the system to head back to Outreach and presumably repair what they can and reenter the fray perhaps reinforced by the other Wolf's Dragoons warships.

On planet, faced with having lost the orbitals the rescuing force break off their attempts to hunt down the 7th WOB Militia and head into the radiation scarred wastelands of Caph. This however is a major mistake as the orbiting WOB warships feel no compunction in launching nuclear tipped missiles at the fleeing mercenary commands. After all the ground they are firing on is already irradiated and so they are not doing any additional damage. The Beta Regiment of Wolf'd Dragoons along with the 1st and 2nd Dismal Disinherited are particularly badly hit by this bombardment and effectively cease to exist as fighting formations. Their few survivors, alongside the handful of Delta's and 2nd Kearny veterans are folded into still functional commands - most of which have also suffered moderate to heavy damage from the bombardment. The Duke of Caph, Duke Calvin Gustafson, and most of his surviving Grenadiers are caught in this bombardment attempting to lead elements of the Dismal Disinherited to safety and are all killed, although this will not be made known for some time.

The WOB Militia formations begin landing on Caph and are soon engaged in heavy fighting with the surviving members of Colonel Wolf's task force. To make matters worse, anytime the mercenary formations begin to show signs of winning or turning the tide against their pursuers they are inevitably hit by orbital fire, although the WOB do not use any more nuclear missiles at this time.

This however isn't the only reprisal to be launched against the mercenary commands who are seeking to thwart Blake's Vision within the former Chaos March. The 4th and 8th WOB Divisions arrive over Northwind and immedietly begin a combat drop into the outskirts of the city of Tara. They are soon pressing on The Fort and levelling the districts of the historical city that are in the way of their attacks. Stirling's Fusiliers despite having the huge advantage of The Fort's emplacements and guns are hamstrung by their desire to avoid causing further damage to their own capital city, as well the fact that at any time a flash of Naval Lasers might strike down onto their positions and cause additional damage. All they can do is hold out and hope that reinforcements arrive.

Hearing the word via a handful of Highlander jumpships who have been sneaking into Northwind to get Intel, Colonel William MacLeod of MacLeod's Regiment decides he cannot await the arrival of his friend Colonel Loren Jaffray and his Northwind Hussars. Instead he resolves to run the WOB blockade of Northwind and attempt to relieve Stirling's Fusiliers at the beginning of November.

Fleet Movement[]

Gathering at Ross 248, the ComGuard's 1st Fleet and 2nd Independent Squadron begin to prepare for active combat actions when they jump to Caph. The CSV Dover and CSV Portsmouth both detach from the 1st Fleet and remain at Ross 248, ready to jump in to provide repairs as required. They will jump into the system on the 1st of November when their preparations are ready. Accompanying them will be almost a dozen Divisions who have rushed to the rendezvous point. On board every ship the crews are ready to do their duties...

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