The Federated Suns Reborn
3061 - Second Quarter - The FedSuns reborn
During this quarter the ramifications of the rebirth of the FedSuns from the old FedSuns Command of the Federated Commonwealth continued throughout the realm, while the other nations of the Inner Sphere took stock of this development and began to plan accordingly. Riots on a number of worlds in support of Katherine Steiner-Davion began to die down as order was restored and active fighting ceased.
Much of April was spent in anticipation of what was going to be declared by the returning Archon-Prince after he had met with the various authorities upon New Avalon. Various commanders and civilian leaders almost held their breath and did as little as possible to bring themselves to their superior's attentions, attempting to find out which way the wind was blowing before declaring for one side or another. Rumors abounded, everything from Victor abdicating in favor of Katherine to leading a massive crusade into the Lyran Alliance to reconquer that realm for the Federated Commonwealth. Talk show hosts and their expert guests had a field day discussing all of the various options. One particular recurring rumor particularly within the Capellan March was that Archon-Prince Victor would declare himself First Star Lord and invade the Capellan Confederation and destroy it utterly.
Within the Achernar PDZ and Valexa PDZ, the hunt continued for the missing Tikonov Republican Guards. A major MIIO presence also began to grow within the Achernar PDZ in particular as it soon became apparent that a number of militia officers and even staff officers within the various command posts had been complicit in warning the 3rd Republican. Arrests began, but in many cases the culprits had already themselves disappeared. Towards the end of the month the Tikonov Martial Academy Training Group was returned to active service, although at a severely reduced strength. Barely 45% of the unit had passed muster on the background checks and interviews on loyalty and so were returned to duty. The Tikonov Martial Academy itself suffered similar losses in cadets and the Training Group and Academy's officers were even worse hit as many were arrested for treason and formally charged. Officers were drafted in initially from the Davion Assault Guards to take up teaching posts but were soon replaced by dedicated officers from the Department of Military Education. Although the fate of the Academy and it's training cadre hung in the balance the nervous cadets and remaining staff began to have some hope that their institute would not be disbanded. At the same time the remnants of the 1st and 2nd Republican units were brought to Tikonov and began the process of interviews to ascertain which of them had merely been following orders, or had not known of their leaders treachery and which were active traitors to the FedCom. More than half of them would fail these tests.
On Kathil the surrendering 8th FedCom RCT was treated with more respect and remained as a formed up unit, albeit one under heavy guard and assigned very little in the way of ammunition, spare parts or facilities to repair their damaged equipment. They were reassigned to an out of the way base and were under constant observation by the garrisoning loyalist units. When the remaining officers of the 8th requested access to the battlefields to salvage their damaged equipment and the return of equipment captured by the Sytris Fusiliers and NAIS Cadres this was denied although they did have a number of captured personnel returned to them. All in all the former RCT hovered around a single combat command built around roughly a reinforced battalion of 'mechs, although most of those were heavily damaged. With replacement equipment the 8th FedCom could have formed another 2 companies of BattleMechs and fielded another regiment of tanks.
The announcement of the rebirth of the Federated Sun's electrified not only the various military commands and planetary government's of the newly reborn nation but also it's populace. On the whole the remaining pro-Katherine protests died down almost overnight as people attempted to take in the changes. Although around the former Sarna March worlds of the Achernar PDZ this trend was reversed and many additional protests broke out, although these were a confusing mix of pro-Capellan, pro-FedCom, pro-Tikonov and even pro-FedSuns counter protests. The two SMM in the region found themselves hard pressed to contain the protests and for the first time were perhaps thankful of the large number of FedCom/FedSuns infantry brigades which had been deployed to the area. Units such as the Davion Assault Guards and 1st Kestrel Grenadiers attempted as best they could to limit their exposure to the protests to avoid further inflammation of an already volatile mix. Although the 1st FedCom RCT was publicly deployed, even as it's members privately questioned what their future might hold.
Within the Draconis and Crucis Marches the First Prince's speech drew a largely positive response, no doubt helped in the Draconis March by their beloved Duke James Sandoval standing so close and in obvious support for Victor Davion. Within the Crucis March the response was particularly favorable within the Outback, although this region spread into both of the other Marches and on the worlds of the Draconis and Capellan Outback the response was equally in favour of the First Prince's promises of investments and defense. While some more cynical commentators and in particular the cadets of various Outback military academies noted that many Davion's had made similar promises and then not delivered the general mood was one of optimistic hope. This shift was enough that the High Command shifted the loyalty ratings of the Filtvelt Academy Training Battalion and the Kilbourne Academy Training Battalion from questionable to reliable. The Point Barrow Academy Training Battalion remained with a questionable rating.
The Capellan March saw a similar upsurge in support for First Prince Victor although this was more guarded. With the loss of their beloved Duke Morgan Hasek-Davion the March was sliding back into older habits and looked more to his son George Hasek than to a New Avalon Prince. Still the rebirth of the FedSuns itself were popular and many of the Marches units were amongst the first to swiftly switch over to AFFS green uniforms - most drawn from old storage although the High Command had assured everyone that new uniforms would soon be being shipped out to all commands. The 8th FedCom and to a lesser extent the 3rd FedCom did make some protests as to the change and the disbandment of their "parent" realm.
Their sister RCT the 7th barely even noticed the change as it continued to fight heavily within the St Ives Compact against the Capellan Warrior House Hiritsu backed up by the still mauled 3rd Canopian Fusiliers and 6th Confederation Reserve Cavalry. The losses continued to mount but as May progressed the command staff of the 7th and the St Ives as a whole were assured that help was on it's way. On the 30th of May the first of these reinforcements arrived. The 15th Deneb Light Cavalry RCT arrived in system at Denbar along with the 2nd Chisholm Raiders RCT. Fresh from facing down the 8th Donegal Guards the 2nd, 5th, and Davion Light Guards RCTs all arrived at St Ives with the warship the newly renamed FSS Melissa Davion and placed themselves entirely under the command of Duchess Candance Allard-Liao and assured her that not only was her son Kai on his way home as quickly as the FedSuns could arrange additional units were to be placed under his and her command including the 1st and 2nd Cunningham Commandos mercenary regiments and other AFFS units as well. First Prince Davion had not abandoned her or her people.
Within the Lyran Alliance First Prince Victor's announcement nearly caused a civil war. On many worlds huge numbers turned out to support their beloved Archon Katherine and to deny that she could be capable of the crimes that she was accused off, yet on many of these worlds they were met with counter protests and the situation soon turned bloody. Indeed the breakdown of law and order on almost a hundred worlds and with many more teetering on the brink may have ironically saved the LAAF from tearing itself apart. Every command post and military unit was soon frantically attempting to maintain civil government and prevent outright anarchy and civil war breaking out amongst the populace that they had little time to do anything else. Most most of May things hung in the balance.
On two worlds, this however broke down.
On Coventry, when Duke Bradford publicly came out and supported the First Princes accusations and lamented that the actions of his sister had irredeemably damaged the shining ideal of the Federated Commonwealth the garrisoning 1st Coventry Jaegers had had enough. Their new commanding officer Colonel Jason Walker immediately ordered his regiment to take the Duke into custody and prepare him for transport to Tharkad to face charges of treason. When the Coventry CPM stood in his way he ordered a general attack. The fighting went hard for the still green and forming Coventry CPM and they were soon driven back to the Ducal Palace and were only barely able to hold the Jaegers off long enough for the Duke to evacuate himself and his family. The CPM would have been entirely destroyed had the mercenary unit the Kristen's Krushers not began to mobilize. Given his previous disdain for the mercenaries Colonel Walker could not be sure they weren't coming to the aid of the Coventry CPM and retreated back to better positions in case the "mercenary scum" attacked him. In fact Colonel Marik had urgently requested guidance from her employers and sought instructions from Tharkad and had mobilized purely as a "bluff". Still it had the desired of effect of stopping the fighting if only for now and preserving the Coventry CPM as a viable force.
On Blue Hole the commanding officer of the 3rd Alliance Guards RCT summoned his officers to the Officers Mess and informed them that having listened to the First Princes speech he was minded to believe it. When pro-Katherine elements of his officers loudly spoke out against the White Lion he flew into a rage and ordered them to cease or he would have them arrested. Although the officers did stop arguing that evening, the next morning a small group of them led their companies in an attempted coup against the "traitor" Leftenant-General Andor. With 4 mixed companies of mechs and the 11th Alliance HA(R) armor regiment backed up by elements of the 21st and 22nd Alliance Infantry Regiments they mutineers launched an attack on the command post. They were only halted by the actions of Colonel Fasino's 11th FedCom Jump Infantry Regiment. Colonel Fasino had long been a proponent of Prince Victor and when he saw some of his most vocal critic's units forming up he immediately summoned his own regiment to arms and moved to defend the command post. Although taking tremendous casualties holding off the much larger and heavier enemy forces his jump infantry were able to inflict considerable damage and delay the mutineers long enough for the rest of the RCT to respond. Trapped deep within the base the mutineers had little chance to retreat and were soon overwhelmed by forces loyal to Leftenant-General Andor who led the counter attacks personally. At the 3 day's of fighting the 3rd Alliance Guard's base on Blue Hole was wrecked and the unit had suffered almost 50% casualties, particularly severe within the 11th FedCom Jump Infantry Regiment. However by dawn of the 4th day the last mutineers were dead or in custody and the 3rd Alliance Guard RCT exhausted and battered loyalists had began to take up their old name of the 11th FedCom RCT - although some had even went so far as to begin calling themselves the 11th FedSuns RCT, while others began to refer to themselves as the 3rd or 11th Skye Rangers. Feelings were split as to what to do next.
The 4th Alliance Guards RCT did not suffer from the internal civil war that their sister regiment did on Blue Hole, but the unit made the pointed move of beginning to look for and fabricate AFFS style uniforms.
During this time period Nondi Steiner herself did very little, going almost totally silent. Howeve,r rumors abounded that her command post at Fort Asgard within Mount Wotan had received several packages and shortly afterwards she had summoned some of the best LAAF crypto-analysts and intelligence officers to attend upon her...
Around the rest of the sphere First Prince Victor's announcement was most profoundly felt on Sian. The pointed statements had been heard and understood, yet things were going well within the St. Ives. The world of Denbar was close to falling, Milos had fallen as had Indicass, while Vestallas and Brighton were on the verge of falling to the Capellan's and their allies. Sun-Tzu had committed his people and his own personal prestige to the battle and vowed to go ahead with reclaiming the St Ives Commonality for the Capellan Confederation. He did however send word to the Death Commandos he had dispatched to rescue Emma Centrella and Jeffrey Calderon to speed up their rescue attempt. He needed his allies to send more troops and this wouldn't be forthcoming with their leadership held hostage.
June brought orders for the 3rd FedCom RCT to move from it's placement on New Aragon and make best speed to retake Indicass and it's factories for the St Ives. While the 8th FedCom RCT was finally issued new equipment, spare parts and aided in it's repairs while being ordered to prepare to join it's sister RCT the 7th FedCom on Denbar. The officers and troops of the 8th FedCom were in two minds about this, feeling that they were being thrown into a meat grinder as expendable, however many felt this was an opportunity to redeem themselves and it was certainly better than being disbanded as many within the Sytris Fusiliers had demanded. Returning to just over half strength within the month they began heading for the front. The 5th FedCom RCT was also ordered to Nashuar to join the fighting there.
In early June, Duke Kai Allard-Liao arrived back on St. Ives and began conferring with his mother and the assembled officers of the St. Ives and FedSuns on how best to secure the Compact against further aggression.
On the 9th of June, the situation on Mayetta broke down entirely. With the investigators closing in on his corruption Leftenant General Kirk Yalos ordered his son Leftenant General Jason Yalos to place them under arrest. While Jason Yalos made ever effort to follow his father's instructions he failed miserably. Over 2/3rds of his own RCT made no effort to support him and even with 4 companies of mechs, 2 battalions of armor and 2 regiments of infantry his attempt to arrest the investigators was bloodily repulsed by the conventional brigade of infantry which had been deployed to protect them. His tactical failures resulted in his mech forces losing nearly a quarter of their number and his conventional forces suffered even worse losses. At which point even his so called loyalists within the unit saw the writing on the wall and stood down. Leftenant General Yalos Sr. Immediately issued a call in favor of the imprisoned Archon-Princess Katherine Steiner-Davion and called upon all true sons and daughters of the Federated Commonwealth to stand with him. He also sent out demands for assistance to nearby CrMM and DMM forces to help him stand against the "tyranny of New Avalon". Even as the 1st Crucis Lancers RCT jumped in system to support the conventional troops already there he received a response. The Tsamma CrMM, Bremond DMM, and Milligan DMM moved elements of their RCTs across into the Mayetta PDZ - not however to reinforced the Mayetta DMM but to support the 1st Crucis Lancers. Combat commands from all three March Militia's moved into the worlds bordering their own and secured them, taking any members of the Mayetta DMM into custody. Both Yalos's would be seized by infantry elements of the 1st Crucis Lancers by the end of June and would stand trial for a wide variety of crimes. The Mayetta DMM would be temporarily struck from the rolls and efforts made to reconstitute it as best they could with the non-Yalos aligned members of the March Militia as a core.
On the 12th June, First Prince Victor Davion met with Marshal Roger William Waters, commanding officer of the Avalon Hussars Brigade. The first matter of business at their meeting was the Prince informing the Marshal that the conventional brigade of troops which had reinforced the 41st Avalon Hussars on Bennet III was to remain and permanently attach itself to the 41st. The addition of the 2 armored regiments and 3 infantry regiment's would give the 41st a solid foundation for their expansion to a RCT and the First Prince had already earmarked an additional wing of aerospace fighters, another 2 armored battalions and 2 more infantry regiments to bring them up to full strength. This however was merely a preliminary matter as far as Prince Victor was concerned. In a frank and open exchange of ideas and plans the First Prince outlined his plan to expand the Avalon Hussars brigade still further. He pointed out that the 11th and 20th Avalon Hussars RCTs here in the FedSuns were currently reinforced regiments, while the Marshal's own former command in the Lyran Alliance the 42nd was one of the largest RCTs in the AFFS, with not only a reinforced regiment of BattleMechs but also no fewer than 12 conventional regiments attached to it, compared to the normal 8. As such he proposed to detach a battalion of volunteers from each of the 11th and 20th Avalon Hussars RCTs here in the FedSuns to form the core of 2 new Avalon Hussars RCTs. He suggested that the 11th's battalion be used to reform that regiment's lost sister regiment the 12th Avalon Hussars, while the battalion from the 20th Avalon Hussars be used to create the core for a new 1st Avalon Hussars. At this point the Marshal asked the First Prince that when the 42nd returned from Lyran space did the First Prince intend to rebuild the 34th or the 36th Avalon Hussars who had been used to recreate the 42nd. The answer was simple and unexpected. Both. Unlike the 11th and 20th the First Prince didn't merely intend to use the reinforced battalion to form new units, but intended to break the 42nd into 3 separate commands. Half of the RCT would remain as the 42nd and rebuild, while the other two battalions and half of the supporting conventional regiments would be used to form the core of the new 34th and 36th Avalon Hussars RCT. The First Prince acknowledged that this would leave 3 existing RCTs somewhat short staffed for a time, but in short order would add 4 RCTs to the brigades numbers. Marshal Waters was on the whole in support of the plans, however did note that the men and women of the 11th, 20th, and 42nd might feel their strength had been sacrificed to form new units. Victor acknowledged this and offered to give assurances that all three RCTs would be expanded up to their reinforced size, a point that Marshal Waters noted would leave the door open to use them in a similar fashion again to seed off new units from them. It was hard not to notice that the First Prince didn't contradict the Marshal on that statement. The meeting ended with the First Prince and Marshal Waters in total accord on the expansions of the Avalon Hussars Brigade. On a final note the First Prince ordered the Marshal to draw up provisional plans for the future 1st, 12th, 34th, and 36th Avalon Hussars, as well as the returning 42nd to be based in the Outback. The worlds there would be ideal training grounds for the new units and would allow them to expand to full strength without fear of being destroyed in a surprise attack. He indicated that this would be the future method he would be using to form new units, sending them to pirate hunting and garrison duties within the Outback, both to give them time to train and expand and to bolster the defenses of the region. He also informed the Marshal that his brigade would have priority for pick of the graduating cadets from the 2nd and 3rd NAIS Cadres who had been bloodied on Kathil to help bolster the existing and new commands.
Not content with the proposed expansions of the Avalon Hussars Brigade, First Prince Victor Davion also sent word to Tikonov to Marshal Stephan Cooper of the Davion Assault Guards RCT that he was to take any members of the Republicans who passed the battery of MIIO tests and use them to begin to form a new independent command, the 1st Tikonov Cossacks. The new unit was to consist eventually of a BattleMech regiment and aerospace wing, and was ideally to be formed from light and medium cavalry mechs. The members of the Tikonov Martial Academy Training Group who had not been found to have seditious leanings were also to be promised that upon graduation they would be used to bolster this unit up to full strength. Once the unit was formed Marshal Cooper was to use it as a forward scouting auxiliary for his own assault class battalions.
The First Prince also at the end of June, kept his promise to the people of the Outback and declared that the site for the new aerospace megaplex would be at Filtvelt. The site was to be run by Federated-Boeing Interstellar initially, with Universal Air being a junior partner as jumpship production started. The initial yards were to begin construction in 3062 and were to begin construction of primarily Mule class DropShips for the civilian market and union class vessels for the military. Once the yards were up and running and producing DropShips an expansion was planned to begin construction of Merchant class Jumpships which would be earmarked for civilian use within the Outback to increase trade. Although this new shipyard would keep his initial promise the First Prince also announced that his government had begun talks with the Clyde Shipyards of Firgrove. Up until now this company had provided merely repair and maintenance facilities for DropShips, but in conjunction with George Hasek the First Prince would be providing funds to have them expand and upgrade their yards to begin actual construction of DropShips. The First Prince made no reference to what ships would be produced at the expanding yards however. Having granted news to both the Capellan and Crucis March elements of the Outback the First Prince also announced that he had begun preliminary talks with Duke Sandoval about a new BattleMech production center to be located somewhere within the Draconis March's Outback region, but that these talks were still in early stages but that they were going extremely positively, for which he gave most of the credit to the Duke of Robinson and his son Tancred who was managing the discussions here on New Avalon on his behalf.
Although several economists did question how the First Prince intended to pay for these costly projects most within the FedSuns were delighted with the news and the stock markets throughout the realm saw several large rises in response to the First Princes's promised investments, particularly the share prices of Federated-Boeing Interstellar, Universal Air, Clyde Shipyards and Robinson Standard BattleWorks - which although hadn't been mentioned everyone assumed correctly was going to be the company expanding it's production. One company which also saw a slight increase in it's share price was Challenge Systems of Panpour. With the current expansions of investments in the Federated Sun's aerospace sector many shrewd investors felt that this was another possible area in which the First Prince might begin expansions of production and were prepared to gamble accordingly. They would prove to be right.
On the St Ives's front the embattled CCAF, St Ives Military Command and AFFS troops continued a bloody stalemate. Both sides were awaiting reinforcements yet neither side was prepared to give ground. The addition of the 15th Deneb Light Cavalry and 2nd Chisholm Raiders to the bloodied 7th FedCom swung the impetuous back in favor of the St. Ives and AFFS troops. Joined by the newly formed 2nd Janissary Brigade the allied forces struck back hard against the Capellan Confederation troops and their allies. The 6th Confederation Reserve Cavalry, already damaged in previous fighting was forced to withdraw off planet and the two remaining Sian loyal formations were forced back onto the defensive. While before the world of Denbar had seemed sure to fall to the CCAF in short order now Sian was frantically trying to hold onto a foothold on the planet.
On the 11th June, members of the Magistracy Armed Forces and the Death Commandos stormed the compound in which Protector Calderon and Magestrix Centrella were being held captive. In a bloody gunfight, the rebel Colonial Marshals were wiped out to a man but in the fighting the Protector was tragically killed and Magestrix Cenrella badly injured. With her incapacitated leadership fell to her daughter Naomi while the Magestrix was rushed to Canopus for treatment. Naomi immediately announced that she suspected this had been a plot to kill not only her mother and the protector but also the Chancellor of the Confederation Sun-Tzu - probably with the intent of replacing him on the throne with the Davion puppet, Kai Allard-Liao...
Within the Lyran Alliance, the brief upsurge in violence had at least died down (although civil disturbances continued) and the General of the Armies Nondi Steiner finally spoke out. In the short month that she had been buried within Mount Wotan she seemed to have aged a decade. She immediately began speaking with the various heads of government and military formations and admitted at least privately that the evidence that Victor's people had sent was "compelling". Although she still refuted it's basic content. She wasn't however so strong in her beliefs as to throw her nation into a civil war on the basis of them. On that basis she informed the various leaders of the LA and LAAF that she would continue to act as regent until the situation was clarified following the Whitting Conference. She reminded all military formations of their oaths of loyalty and insisted that legitimate orders be followed. She refused the suggestion of forming a government of national unity but did agree to summon General Adam Steiner to Tharkad and make him her deputy in order to appease the anti-Katherine body of opinion. She ordered the Coventry Jaegers to stand down immediately and sent a number of conventional troops and ordered that Adam Steiner lead his own 14th Donegal Guards to the world to secure order before he continued on to Tharkad. While she issues similar orders to the 3rd and 4th Alliance Guards RCT they almost entirely ignored the orders. As a final action at the end of June General of the Armies Nondi Steiner contacted her counterpart, Marshal of the Armies Jackson Davion and began to propose a transfer of military commands from one state to the other, in a staged movement that would leave neither realm vulnerable. These talks although initially cordial soon became fraught with tension when Marshal Davion insisted that along with the returning AFFS troops must come former AFFS jumpships which had been illegally seized by the LA when it seceded from the Federated Commonwealth. When Nondi refused this, the Marshal pointed out that all of the various AFFS units within the LA were still under arms, at large and many had access to transport. He could simply order them to up-stake's and pull out. While her own LAAF units within the FedSuns were on the whole disarmed and in custody. He could return the personnel say to New Earth, but keep their equipment if he so chose. Faced with the grim prospect of losing multiple regiments of BattleMechs and dozens of conventional regiments worth of equipment General Steiner grudgingly began to discuss the return of jumpships. It was probably a good thing that at this stage Marshal Davion did not tell his counterpart that the returning formations would not include the 10th Lyran Guards RCT, while he was intending to include at least large elements of the 3rd and 4th Alliance Guards within his own recall orders...