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The Federated Suns Reborn
- Chapter 53

December 3065
Attack and Counter Attack

Plan Fuso begins[]

The Coordinator knelt and looked over at his Warlords and the head of the Draconis Combine Admiralty and sighed. These officers were supposed to be the finest military minds of the entire Draconis Combine and yet they could give him no answers. In the traditional heavy robes of his office he flicked his eyes from officer to officer, mentally cataloging them. Warlord Isoroku Kurita warlord of Dieron, a traditionalist but by all accounts loyal. Warlord Boris Petroff warlord of Benjamin, an excellent tactician and politician and mentally flexible. Warlord Tomoe Sakade warlord of Pesht, his wife who he had considered sacrificing to honor in the recent Ghost Bear War but had kept on and ordered the execution of those culprits who had sought to undermine her, if he could trust anyone it was her. Warlord Li Dok To warlord of Galedon, a soldier's soldier and one of his traditional supporters. Fleet Admiral Hidaka Goro head of the DCA, not a great thinker but a methodical and organised man who's single greatest asset was that he was above all things efficient. Somewhat behind him and to the side Ninyu Kerai Indrahar sat in an unadorned robe representing the powerful ISF. These were the men and single woman for whom he had to rely upon the future of his realm and dynasty.

Having allowed the silence to grow almost uncomfortably long he spoke softly as was his want in these types of meetings. "Tell me then. How can we counter the Davions?"

Nobody spoke. Clearly none wished to be the first to speak. Finally however Admiral Goro as the most junior man in the room felt the need to speak up, if only to win himself favor with the more powerful figures by breaking the silence. As he spoke he presented a series of folders from his case and bowed deeply and held the bow. "Speaking for the Admiralty I have prepared a list of recommendations. They have been organized into 3 parts Coordinator. The first is various options as to the increase of our naval strength depending on what sort of fleet we intend to field and what the enemy fleet is likely to look at. The second is how each of these fleets might be used for a number of war options, ranging from skirmishing on the frontier to a full on invasion of the Federated Suns. The third and final option is a series of plans of last resort on how to wage war against the Eternal Enemy if we find ourselves outmatched in numbers of conventional warships."

Looking at the bowed head of the Fleet Admiral the Coordinator opened the file and flicked through it, even as the Warlords did likewise. Presumably Indrahar had already had a copy well in advance of the meeting. He waved the Admiral up even as the others began to react angrily to the first part of the plan. He allowed the fury to build before raising a hand for silence. "Admiral, these cost projections... Are severe. Which of the options are you recommending?"

"Yes my lord. Yet if we are to face the Davion fleet on equal terms I think they are in fact conservative. Particularly if we go for Plan Fuso." At the preferred plan the Warlords, even Tomoe reacted angrily. The cost of most of Plan Fuso was ruinous.

"Fuso?" The Coordinator asked with a raised eyebrow. "Why Fuso?"

"Battleships, my lord. The one area that we currently have a lead on the Davions. They have no battleships nor any plans for them. We however have the DCS Yamato in construction already. If we can complete this mighty vessel and create at least a squadron of sister ships we will have a katana that will slice through the Davion fleet like a silk scarf. Even better if we can also complete the DCS Kaga as a source of fighter cover for our future battle line." The Admiral explained calmly.

Ignoring the glaring Warlords the Coordinator met the eyes of his Fleet Admiral for a long few minutes and then sighed. "We cannot afford the full numbers of Plan Fuso. Revise it. Maintain a core of battleships as the heart of the plan, but concentrate on Inazuma corvettes to give you more hulls to support them. The DCS Kaga may be completed, but future carriers are to be Samarkand class. Liaise with the ISF. Provide me a revised plan within the month. You are dismissed."

As soon as the Admiral retired Warlord Sakade spoke up. Of course it would be her. "We cannot afford this lord."

All of the others nodded firmly in support of his wife's point. Good. They were supporting her at least. "I know. Yet we cannot afford not to have a counter for the growing Davion menace. No matter how valiant our samurai, how fine their equipment is... If they are caught in their dropships by a warship in space they will die futilely. We need enough warships to at least cover our samurai. However I believe that we might be able to achieve this with a "fleet in being" approach. If we can assemble a small force of battleships we can at least exert local dominance at key locations while forcing the Davion's to divert much of their fleet as a potential counter for them. Combine these battleships with Samarkand carriers and Inazuma corvettes and we might bleed the Davion's dry before unleashing our battleships for a last decisive battle. At a much reduced cost than the full cost of Fuso. Particularly if our new alliance with the Liao's bare fruit..."

He nodded to them and then began going over their own lists of recommendations and requests for supplies and men. Of course each Warlord was convinced that his (or even her) District required more of the Dragon's resources to protect it properly...

The Davion Wedding[]

December in the Federated Sun's began with a wedding. The First Princes's sister Duchess Yvonne Steiner-Davion resplendent in a bridal dress that had deliberately been designed to show echoes of her own mothers dress walked forward down the aisle of the Grand Temple on Robinson in front of thousands of well wishers and probably billions via the carefully placed tri-vid cameras. She was wed to Baron Tancred Sandoval in a simple affair that largely followed the Baron's Jewish faith but did include elements of the brides New Avalon Catholic faith as well. The people of the Federated Suns, followers of the Unfinished Book movement, had always been known to be inclusive of other faiths and open to compromising when it came to liturgy. Giving the bride away the First Prince was in the uniform of a Marshal in the AFFS, while the Baron himself wore a similar uniform having been raised to command the entire Robinson Rangers Brigade only the week before.

Having had some time to think on the matter the bride had decided in consultation with her brothers and with her future husband to take the name Yvonne Davion-Sandoval upon her marriage, but in agreement that any future children would merely go by Sandoval. When the press asked the reasons for this it was pointed out that the while many noble families would happily double barrel their name with Davion if offered the opportunity the Sandoval's were March Lords within their own right and had an equally illustrious and prestigious name. This naming decision in no way affected the standing of any of Yvonne's children within the lines of succession to both of the thrones of Tharkad or New Avalon in fact.

As a wedding present to his bride and in conjunction with his new brother-in-law the First Prince the Baron donated a full battalion of BattleMechs from Robinson Standard BattleWorks to found the core of a new unit to protect his wife's holdings within the Outback on Tortuga. This battalion was matched by the First Prince and matched again by Duke George Hasek, the brides cousin. The Duke of Robinson in a fit of laughter at the reception informed the happy couple that since the others had been so generous the least he could do would be to add a company to his son's gift in order to outfit a full standard 3 battalion plus command company regiment! The bride thanked them all and informed them that her own present to her husband would be a new Melissa Steiner-Davion University Hospital hear on Robinson which would be directly linked to the NAIS and would provide state of the art treatments not only to the people of Robinson but to the entire Draconis March. The Duke of Robinson still smiling from his gift to his daughter-in-law then proceeded to inform them all that he would personally pay for an annex to the University to be built on Tortuga.

Developments in Industry[]

The mood of celebration within the Federated Sun's continued for all of December, with formal announcements of the formation of the 9th Avalon Hussars RCT, 3rd Chisholm Raiders RCT, and 4th Dragonlords RCT also being cause for celebration. Pride in the AFFS had swollen to an all new high and even the expanded military academies and training centres were struggling to keep up with the volunteers flooding in to serve. Not only that but across the realm unemployment continued to fall, new educational establishments were being set up and living standards were rising - particularly in the Outback. From being little more than a source of raw materials and recruits for the AFFS the region was now providing genuinely growing levels of taxation as well as a rapidly expanding industrial base which was only partially military based now. New jumpships were tying the Outback not only together but also into the wider Federated Suns, with the costs of shipping going down as more and more civilian jumpships plied the star routes. Vodka from Tikonov, electronics from El Dorado, wool clothing from Chesterton and more were now easily obtainable within the Outback and at a fraction of their previous costs.

The First Prince caused a further boost to the region when he announced that after negotiations with Comstar there would be 2 new shipyard developments in the coming year. As of the 1st of January work would begin on construction of a new warship production facility over the world of Novaya Zemlya to build Fox corvettes for the ComGuards. In return for being allowed to construct this facility Comstar would fund the creation of 2 Fox corvette shipyard slips at the Outback based shipyard at Filtvelt. This would raise up the Filtvelt shipyard from being a regional supplier of civilian jumpships and dropships along with a small number of military dropships to a major player within the Federated Suns aerospace industries.

Another area of aerospace expansion is taking place at the Firgrove, Galax, Layover and Verde shipyards. All 4 shipyards had began constructing Colossus class dropships for not only the AFFS but also the ComGuards which are desperate need of a large number of combined arms transports. Galax is the single largest producer and divides a full dozen of the mammoth troop transports between the AFFS and ComGuards, while Firgrove and Layover contribute 4 more each and Verde provides 2. The AFFS's 10 new dropships are immediately assigned. Each Davion Guards RCT is given 1 of the huge vessels while the other 2 are assigned to the 1st Robinson's Rangers and the 6th Syrtis Fusiliers. Further ships are already under construction and it is hoped that every front line RCT will soon be assigned at least 1 of these superb dropships. The ComGuard's vessels are rushed to Dieron to be used to help outfit the 2 Divisions being reformed from the survivors of the attack on Caph.

On Batavia the first Jalastar Aerospace line is finished and begins produce royal variant sabres for the AFFS. Construction work continues on the Sparrowhawk line and the second Sabre Light Aerospace Fighter line which is to be used to provide Comstar with examples of this versatile and rugged light fighter. This is matched by similar production statistics on Islamabad where a Sabre line also goes operational in December. At the same time the expansions of Sparrowhawk and Sabre lines on Panpour are finally complete with the plant now having 5 Sparrowhawk lines and 3 Sabre lines. There are 2 additional lines still under construction, 1 each of Spad and Zeros Fighters.

The Kallon plant on Belladonna begins construction of Wolverines and Shadow Hawks in December with the production split between the AFFS and ComGuards. Initial hopes to have the Griffin line also go into production this month are unfortunately not met, but the Griffin line is expected to enter production in early January of 3066. The final battlemech line under construction at the plant is suffering severe problems however and it is estimated that the Exterminator line will not be ready to produce a full battlemech before June 3066.

Quicksell has a second expansion begin producing new vehicles this month after the disaster at their Layover plant in November, this facility being their Broken Wheel factory. Unlike the Layover plant however the production from Broken Wheel is of acceptable quality and the AFFS buy up their allotment in full. That isn't to say that the vehicles are perfect and the standard maintenance and repair contracts are insisted upon with the trouble wracked firm. The output does actually end up being above average for the usual Quicksell products with almost 1 in 3 tanks not requiring any re-visionary work at all!

On Filtvelt the new battle armor facility that had been constructed by Achernar finally enters full production. It had initially been scheduled to go online in November but had suffered some routine delays in it's construction. However now that it is active it is one of the single largest producers of battle armor for the AFFS after New Avalon and Talcott. All 3 "Davion" designs will be built here - Grenadiers, Cavaliers, and Infiltrator IIs.

Achernar also see's it's new battle armor facility in the Draconis March go online in December on the world of Mayetta. This won't enter full production as per the plant on Filtvelt but will begin limited production of various small amounts of Cavaliers and Infiltrator IIs as well as spare parts for not only those designs but also the Grenadier Assault Battle Armor. Production numbers will continue to rise and Grenadier production start by the March 3066.

Centurion (Davion Guard scheme by Blue)

Centurion Medium 'Mech

The Corean Industries factory on June has it's second Centurion line begin producing the ever popular Battlemech. A third line is also almost entering production. Frankly as fast as the company can produce new Centurion Battlemechs the AFFS is buying them. The design is proving so popular that Corean is beginning to consider whether or not to begin designing an Omnimech variant. In the meantime the company begins constructing a new Centurion line on New Avalon to add production there. New Avalon is considered the best place for this new line as given it's massive industrial potential and high technological level the plant can be assembled much faster and so profits can begin flowing in quicker.

Blackjack OmniMech (by S Huda 2011- TRO 3063)

Blackjack Medium OmniMech

The new plant for GM on Victoria in the Capellan March also goes active this month with the Wasp line starting to construct full battlemechs. The Blackjack Omnimech and Lorica battle armour facilities are still however under construction.

The Kintaro Battlemech line of Ozawa which had until now been producing a handful of downgraded Battlemechs finishes the upgrade which has largely been paid for by Comstar. Although production is to be split between the AFFS and ComGuards the "Kurita" nature of the design will result in the AFFS either selling most of their production on to mercenary regiments (who will be happy to receive the mech) or assigning them to low end March Militias and planetary defense forces. One area of exception to this will be a full company of the Battlemechs bought by the Duke of Robinson for each of the Combat Training Centers within his March. These Battlemechs will be used by instructors there and various OpForce units to simulate DCMS companies and battalions alongside a number of captured machines such as Jenners and Panthers. Unlike the lukewarm response from the AFFS the ComGuards will happily snap up every unit produced in their share. A second line is under construction and some thought is being given to offering the full output of this line to the ComGuards in return for some other concession.

Sagittaire Assault Mech (by Anthony Scroggins)

Sagittaire Assault 'Mech

On Woodbine the new Sagittaire assault battlemech line began production. This will now bring the number of lines producing this hugely popular Assault 'Mech to 3 - 2 on Robinson and 1 on Woodbine. Even with all 3 lines now working at full capacity demand is still outpacing supply. The Davion Guards alone have ordered no less than 3 companies of this Battlemech to be divided between various units - with a full company of course going to the Davion Assault Guards, while the Duke of Robinson had hoped to outfit each of his Ranger regiments with at least a company of the flagship battlemech. The Sagittaire is in high demand to be paired with such other Battlemechs as the Flashman and Black Knights to provide all energy based line breaker units who can advance and continue fighting without risk of running out of ammunition or for deployment behind enemy lines. Given this situation consideration is being given either to expanding Robinson or Woodbine's lines or an entirely new specialist facility. Along with these discussions Robinson Standard BattleWorks is in discussions with Comstar to put their BLK-9-KNT Black Knight, the "Clanbuster", into production either at Robinson or Woodbine.

Black Knight (TRO 3063 version by David White)

Black Knight Heavy BattleMech

Clan Falcon Conflict intensives[]

On the Clan Front Khan Marthe Pryde launches her attempt to break the deadlock. She leads her new formations to Babaeski and Morges where she drives back the Lyran and Wolf-In-Exile forces which had been delaying her progress. The 16th Wolf Guards Battle Cluster in particular takes heavy losses before being driven back to Esteros where it proceeds to dig in and regroup alongside the 3rd Lyran Regulars remnants. Before they can make much headway in their defensive preparations the Khan follows them to Esteros on the 24th in an attempt to quickly overrun this world and push on towards Arc Royal where reports are coming in that a counter attack is mustering.

The 3rd Regulars still shattered from their losses on Dustball are swiftly routed and destroyed by the end of Christmas Day but the 2 remaining Trinaries of the 16th Wolf Guards Battle Cluster attempt to fight a mobile campaign and hope for reinforcements. Hunting them are elements of Clan Jade Falcon's Gamma Galaxy - the Jade Falcon Guards and 1st Falcon Hussars. The remainder of Gamma Galaxy along with the Turkina Keshik and 5 of Rho Galaxy's 6 Clusters are still in orbit along with the naval forces the Khan has assembled.

Which is where the counter attack finds them on the 29th. Led by Archon Peter Steiner as well as Grand Duke Morgan Kell and Khan Phelan Kell themselves the assembled forces had opted not to wait for the Alarion Jaegers and 1st Royal Battlemech Regiment when they heard of the desperate plight of the 16th. Instead they jumped to Esteros and ordered the 2 remaining units which were to assemble to hold in place on Arc Royal as a final reserve when they arrived.

Potemkin (Old - Underway)

Potemkin Class Troop Cruiser, CWIE Full Moon

Leading the way came the warships of the Wolf-in-Exile fleet and the Lyran Alliance Navy. With 1 battleship, 4 battlecruisers and 4 corvettes the fleet is top heavy and is lacking in medium weight vessels but is capable of incredible firepower. The Full Moon Potemkin class Troop cruiser skirts along the edge of the battlefield and accompanies the transports of the ground forces as a last line escort. To face off against them Star Admiral Vishnu Folkner has a single battleship, 2 battlecruisers, 1 heavy cruiser, 2 frigates, 1 destroyer, and 1 corvette. He swiftly convinces his Khan to release to him the 3 Aegis heavy cruisers which are assigned to the various high profile Clusters in her ground component and uses them to reinforce his fleet before going out to meet the enemy formation. He has 11 ships to the enemies 9 and has a major advantage in middle weight vessels but finds himself with little to match the incredible firepower of the Werewolf and 2 Mjolnir class battlecruisers in particular. The Alliance ships had another major advantage in that they were accompanied by a large force of assault dropships and pocket warships, mostly Claymores and A-3 Type Overlords.

The 2 naval forces immediately clashed against one another, but this has the effect of freeing the way for the various ground forces to make fast burns for Esteros. Given the chaotic nature of the deployments, with both sides rushing to land troops so as to avoid them being caught vulnerable by fighter or warships in orbit the battle lines are highly irregular.

The Khan manages to land a firm core of her Tukina Keshik and the bulk of Rho Galaxy around her own position, but the Gamma's are scattered across Sulivan continent with the Jade Falcon Guards and 1st Falcon Hussars cut off behind enemy lines due to their having been chasing the 16th Wolf Battle Cluster. The Clan Wolf-in-Exile forces have managed to land in a scattered formation around the isolated Jade Falcon Guards and Hussars and rescue their beleagured unit, but are nowhere near the main Jade Falcon Force. Meanwhile the Kell Hounds and Knights of St. Cameron have landed along a line that matches up with the Gamma Galaxy and are soon pressing them hard, while the various LAAF formations and Barber's Marauder IIs are soon attempting to assault the main force of Rho Galaxy and the Khan. The battle or "trial" for the world has been turned into no less than 3 seperate engagements scattered across an entire continent.

This is turned into 4 trials if you include the naval battle taking place in orbit. With the Jade Falcons ships closing a solid wall of assault dropships, pocket warships and fighters had attempted to screen the Alliance force, only weak in a single area which was directly facing the CJF Falcon's Nest which punched through with ease only to see the gap close behind it and the various Alliance lighter ships plunge forward to support the screen while the Werewolf and both Mjolnir battlecruisers closed in against it. While the 3 capital ships attempted to isolate and overrun the Texas class CJF Falcon's Nest the Ulric Kerensky and Implacable attempted to keep other Jade Falcon ships from rushing to the aid of their flagship. These two Wolf battlecruisers soon found themselves engaged by the CJF Jade Aerie & CJF White Aerie battlecruisers and 2 Aegis class heavy cruisers - the Gold & Red Talons. Even as the heavier Alliance vessels engaged their counterparts the 4 corvettes attempted to keep the other Jade Falcon ships busy with the support of the bulk of the dropships. Faced with 2 heavy cruisers, 2 frigates, a destroyer and a corvette they were singularly unsuccessful.

Texas (Delranes Fighting Ships 3061)

Texas Class Battleship, CJF Falcon's Nest

Even as the Werewolf savaged the Falcon's Nest with long range batteries of Naval PPCs and the Mjolnir's fired accurate volleys of Naval Gauss Rounds into the battleship their lighter escorts were being overrun and torn apart. The Aegis class Heavy Cruiser CJF White Talon managed to catch the LAS Robert Marsden in a crippling broadside that left the smaller ship easy prey for the CJF Emerald Tornado. Meanwhile the 2 Wolf corvettes found themselves desperately trying to delay the CJF Kerensky's Pride and CJF Green Lantern from aiding their flagship. The Killing Blow paid for this mission with it's existence, exploding when it's magazines were hit, while it's sister ship the Valiant suffered a total power failure when it was attacked by the by both Congress class vessels at once. While not exploding like the Killing Blow, the Valiant's back was broken and it's power plant totally destroyed in a series of volleys. The LAS Robert Kelswa with a heavy force of dropships supporting her manage to keep the CJF Lightning Strike out of the fight, driving the Vincent class corvette back again and again. The cruiser battle similarly saw heavy losses for the Wolf-in-Exile ships with the Ulric Kerensky and Implacable both suffering heavy damage before finally being driven back to avoid total destruction. They did however manage to destroy the CJF Gold Talon and cripple the CJF White Aerie. As well as buying just enough time for the 3 heaviest ships to do their job.

McKenna Class Battleship (adrift in space)

McKenna Class Battleship, Werewolf angling in on the to attack it's prey.

As the rest of their fleet died and bled to buy them the time needed the 3 largest Alliance capital ships managed to cripple and then disable the CJF Falcon's Nest, although not before the LAS Fylgia took heavy damage herself. Still when the CJF Jade Aerie and CJF Red Talon burst past the 2 retreating Wolf vessels they found themselves facing heavy coordinated long range fire from the Werwolf and LAS Yggdrasil. Before they could withdraw this combined fire managed to destroy the CJF Red Talon and worsen the damage that the CJF Jade Aerie had suffered. As the CJF Jade Aerie withdraws a number of Wolf Elemental's and LAAF marines begin boarding the crippled CJF Falcon's Nest.

Aegis Class Heavy Cruiser (3D by psicore)

Aegis Class Heavy Cruiser

After the initial flurry of naval conflict the Alliance forces had been reduced the lightly damaged Werewolf, LAS Yggdrasil, and LAS Robert Kelswa. The Lyran task's other operational ships were heavily damaged, including; LAS Fylgia and the Ulric Kerensky, and Implacable. The large force of Alliance assault dropships and pocket warships however had been devastated in the first engagement and could provide little back up to the remaining warships. Facing them were the undamaged CJF Gauntlet and CJF Emerald Tornado, the lightly damaged CJF Green Lantern and CJF Lightning Strike and the moderately damaged CJF White Talon and CJF Kerensky's Pride. The CJF Red Aerie and CJF White Aerie while both officially combat capable were so severely damaged as to be considered non-combat effective except as a last resort. Neither side was confident of victory and resorted to long range sniper volleys and attempting to isolate individual ships, although the Jade Falcons also continually tried to retake the shattered hulk of the CJN Falcon's Nest.

As the year ends the various ground forces are engaged in heavy running battles with the Wolf forces attempting to destroy the 2 isolated Gamma Clusters while the remaining Gamma units attempt to punch through the Kell Hounds and Knights screen and relieve their trapped kindred. Rho Galaxy and the Khan are heavily engaged in a series of stand up drag down fights with the Lyran Alliance task force under the Archon. Again and again Barber's Marauder IIs' 2 battalions of assault weighted Marauder II battlemechs throw back Jade Falcon attacks, while the Lyran units continue to mount constant pressure on the Falcon lines.

Else where in the Inner Sphere[]

Within the Draconis Combine, the Coordinator meets with his Warlords and other key staff and begins planning for a counter to the current Davion strengthening of their own realm. As a first indication and gesture of strength he announces that each of the District Regular Brigades will in the new year form an entirely new combat command. The 24th Benjamin Regulars, 47th Dieron Regulars, 45th Galedon Regulars, and 11th Pesht Regulars will all be formed in January as a mark of the Dragon's strength. Of course what isn't mentioned is that all 4 regiments will be under strength and equipped in large part with other regiments cast offs as the Combine is simply unable to produce the battlemechs required for this expansion in the time allotted.

On Sian the Chancellor announces that the CCAF's 2 Rangers' regiments would be renamed the 1st and 2nd Victoria Rangers instead of their current "Kingston" and "Sung" Rangers. In addition a 3rd Rangers is to be formed to ensure that the Davions are never able to take the Commonality capital. The 3rd will be formed as a strong assault weighted defensive unit and permanently assigned to Victoria. He will also continue reinforcing the under strength Sian Dragoon units he has raised.

Within the Free Worlds League's Parliament the Captain General's new Military Budget is soundly defeated. He will be forced to bring it back in January and attempt to either convince some MP's to change their minds with concessions or withdraw elements of the Budget that the Parliament find objectionable.

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