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Federated Suns Reborn (Chapter Cover)

The Federated Suns Reborn
- Chapter 69

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January 3067
On the edge

Destroyers enter service in Ernest[]

The new year didn't exactly begin with optimism, with the Federated Suns preparing for war on their border with the Taurian Concordat. Even on their other borders the various regiments and RCT's stood ready for action, aware that old enemies might attempt to take advantage while House Davion's attentions were focused elsewhere. However there was widespread confidence throughout the realm that whatever the challenges that the Federated Suns faced they would be able to defeat them. Confidence in the AFFS was at an all time high - many considered that the AFFS of 3067 was the finest force that the FedSun's had fielded at any stage in it's history. Commanded by battle tested leaders and officers, superbly trained and well equipped with a military industrial complex that for the first time in centuries was actually sufficient to support it. While the FedSuns naval forces hadn't been this strong since before the 1st Succession Wars. No fewer than 45 warships currently served under the Sword and Sunburst and more were under construction and due to finish. Indeed some of the more well connected or merely observant amongst the public knew that this month would see the launching of the first Davion class destroyers in centuries, although these would be updated Davion IIIs.

Whirlwind Class Destroyer (Matt Plog)

Davion III Class Destroyer

The FSS Davion and FSS Defiant both slipped free of their construction slips at Galax while the FSS Defender finished work at New Syrtis and all 3 ships were immediately used to form the 1st Destroyer Squadron. The squadron would be under strength for the time being and would require a great deal of time to not only undertake shakedown cruises but also to learn to serve together. Still it was felt that this was a good start, particularly as the Admiralty were expecting to see a further 3 Davion IIIs completing in 3068, with more slips finishing construction and beginning to build the heavy weight destroyers.

At the same time that the 1st Destroyer Squadron was forming Fleet Admiral Buchwald began continuing to reorganize his corvette class warships into flotillas. The 2nd Corvette Flotilla was formed over New Avalon with the specific aim of protecting the capital and the nearby shipyards. A 3rd and 4th Corvette Flotillas were scheduled to be activated throughout 3067 and assigned to the Capellan and Draconis Marches respectively. Discussions were ongoing as to whether or not to form a 5th Corvette Flotilla to be assigned to the Outback on a permanent basis both as a patrol force and as a reserve, or to merely allow ships to be assigned there on an as required basis.

The Fox corvette numbers were also expanded during January with 2 Fox's slipping forth from the shipyards at New Syrtis. The FSS Sherwood and FSS Tancredi were both completed during January and assigned to patrolling the Outback for the time being.

The Fleet Admiral also arranged for the 1st Patrol Squadron, consisting of 2 Congress-D II ships to move to Cooperland in the periphery. With the aid of the 12th Avalon Hussars and their attached jumpships the Congress class ships were to patrol the area around Cooperland, particularly towards the Taurian Concordat. This was to be for 2 purposes. Their first and primary purpose was to scout the approaches to the Taurian flank that ran from Althea's Choice towards the newly recognized Calderon Protectorate, both to avoid any surprise attacks on Cooperland if the Taurians found out about the base there and also to scout routes for a potential attack by the AFFS behind what the Concordat considered it's front lines. The second purpose was to scout the systems around Cooperland in order to see if there were any that would be worth colonizing. The region even during the Star League had been poorly studied and with the growing prosperity of the Suns it was thought that perhaps a move to push out into the region to connect Cooperland up with the rest of the FedSuns might be in order. If suitable worlds could be found.

Last Chance at Peace Fades[]

Even as these preparations were made the First Prince reached out via Comstar in order to suggest a joint summit between himself and the Lord Protector to try and deescalate tensions. While the First Prince was confident his armed forces could handle the Taurians they wouldn't do it without losses and if the Taurians broke up their nuclear weapons stockpiles things could get very ugly, very fast. As such if there was a way to prevent the situation worsening Victor was eager to take it. As January crept by there was no response from Grover Shraplen. Except for his continued vitriolic speeches ordering his people to prepare for invasion.

In a final attempt to broker peace Victor contacted the First Lord Mansdottir to ask him to intervene and attempt to broker a peaceful solution to the problem. However when the First Lord contracts the Lord Protector the Taurian leader informs him that as he will be becoming a full voting member of the Second Star League when they gather together for the next Whitting Conference he will not take part in any Star League sponsored talks until such time as his realm is a full member. He also drops hints to Christian Mansdottir that he intends to make a motion to expel the Federated Suns from the Star League as his first official act as a ruler of a full member state. When the First Lord feeds this back to Victor, the Prince is left with the growing horrific thought that the Lord Protector is mad...

Given the escalating tensions the First Prince thought he had no other choice but to recall Duchess Isis Marik to New Avalon for her own protection and suggesting to his sister Yvonne Davion-Sandoval that she either return to Robinson or accompany Isis to New Avalon. When the 2 duchess's received these instructions they shared a mutual laugh at Victor's over protectiveness and then agreed to part ways. Isis would return to New Avalon and Yvonne would return to Robinson. Both however sent a message to those worlds which they had been scheduled to stop at and hadn't reached yet, promising that when the current crisis was over they would make good on their promises to visit them.

Developments in Industry[]

Even as he prepares for war, however the First Prince and his staff continue to plan not only to strengthen the Federated Suns but also help it's economy. One of the major components of this that is addressed in January is the construction of a new battlemech factory complex on the world of Edwards. However unlike the vast bulk of the increased production taking place within the Federated Suns this plant is specifically to be one that provides sales and exports to allies such as the St Ives Compact, Comstar, SLDF, Lyran Alliance and the like. This initial export orientated plant is to be built by New Independence Weaponry and will initially have 2 lines, producing Atlas and Victor battlemechs for export. A similar plant is under consideration to be built on Achernar with their namesake company for the same purpose if the initial one goes well.

At the same time as these expansions are underway or under consideration the AFFS completes it's initial trials on the Javelin-O that has been presented to them by Jalastar Aerospace. The light Omnimech passes with flying colors and the AFFS instructs the company that it will provide support for them to shift over all of their existing Javelin lines to Javelin-O production. Although they do insist that a large scale manufacturing base be retained for Javelin Battlemech standard parts to help maintain the existing large stock of the battlemech in second line formations. The retooling of the 3 existing lines will take until April-May 3067 but even that isn't sufficient for the AFFS needs. They intend the new Javelin-O to become their singular light OmniMech and First Prince instructs the company that he expects a further 2 lines to be added at each of their other plants at Batavia and Islamabad. There is also the strong suggestion made to the company that they consider expanding with a new plant within the Outback, perhaps on the world of Baxley, to produce the new Omnimech. When the company baulk at this it is pointed out that if they are unable to meet the AFFS's needs for the Omnimech they may be forced into a licensing agreement with another company that can. At which point lawyers are dispatched to Baxley to begin purchasing the requires real estate for a large new factory.

Watching this development Achernar Battlemech's takes note and begins to look for a location for a new plant at which they can begin mass producing their developing medium weight omnimech. They reason that it is better to jump than to be pushed, and such preparation will allow them to appear as a loyal patriotic company eager to support the FedSuns and AFFS - which can only increase sales the executives reason. They anticipate unveiling the new omnimech in late April or early May.

On El Dorado the Davion-GM-Kallon Cooperative begins work on building 2 new Ajax lines and a single new Templar-O line. All 3 parties in the Cooperative have seen large scale returns from the high end equipment being produced on El Dorado and the world itself has underwent an economic boom due to the new plant. This new expansion will take advantage of the economic wealth of the planet and also it's interior position to allow it's production to be widely distributed. The new lines will be expected to come online towards the end of the year.

At the Outback FarmMech's plant on Filtvelt the new Watchman line goes operation. The battlemechs walking of the production line are somewhat rough and ready, but are soon being dispatched to various second line formations such as the Crucis March Militia Brigade and the newly forming 1st Brockton Borderers Cadre. Rough and ready they may be, but the rugged design is still much sought after within such formations for it's versatility, durability and low maintenance.

On Vandalia, the Blackstone Industries plant begins to be constructed. With the deteriorating diplomatic situation Graf Gregory Blackstone had attempted to delay the construction but had immediately been informed by his extremely highly paid Tharkad based legal counsel that the Federated Suns were moving to restart the legal case against his company and house. He immediately backed down and funded the construction to begin on schedule.

The new Ostol production line on Ozawa begins construction during January. In comparison with their Kintaro battlemech design the Ostol already has a full order book from the AFFS even before it has entered production. Most of these orders come from outwith the Draconis March as the Duke of Robinson has his own line for the battlemech starting construction in January - still even with the bulk of the Draconis March orders already taken there is still a high demand for this design from the High Command and Capellan March.

Comstar/WoB clashes in Bryant System[]

Even with the growing tension between the Federated Suns and the Taurian Concordat, the news are filled with an upsurge in the ongoing low level combat between Comstar and the Word of Blake. A large scale battle erupts around the world of Bryant when the CSV Blake's Strength, CSV Narbonne, and CSV Manchester jump into the system and surprise the patrolling WoBS Faiths End. The Lola destroyer attempts to manoeuver away from the attacking warships, but the faster CSV Narbonne manages to keep them under fire and keep them from escaping giving time for the other 2 ComGuards vessels to bring the WoBS Faith's End under fire. The Lola III is soon burning in the dark before finally exploding as a final volley of naval autocannon smashes through her spine.

Lola IV Class Destroyer (Space Background)

Lola III Class Destroyer

The three ComGuards warships then head for the planet escorting 2 fully refitted and freshly outfitted ComGuards Divisions - the 2nd and 11th from the 3rd ComGuards Army -who hit the planet's garrison hard in a lightning strike. However just as the defending 8th Militia Division and it's scattered militia allies is on the verge of breaking the ComGuards troops withdraw hurriedly and pull out. Again escorted by their warships the ComGuards withdraw and leave a badly mauled WOB Division behind along with a destroyed Lola III for only light damage to their own warships and moderate damage to their own units. The ComGuards are beginning to strike back at their dark brethren and with this attack make it obvious that they will not merely sit back and wait to be hit at a time and place of the WOB's choosing.

Comstar celebrate this victory with the funding of 2 additional slips within the Federated Suns at Novaya Zemlya to build additional Fox corvettes. As part of their deal with the First Prince they then fund the construction of another 2 such slips for the Federated Suns at Filtvelt. However knowing that they cannot allow themselves to be too reliant on one source they contract Archon Peter Steiner and ask if he would be interested in a similar arrangement - he instantly invites Precentor Martial Focht to Tharkad with assurances that he will be happy to discuss an agreement. Instead of Focht however, Acting Primus Dow goes himself.

Events else where in the Periphery & the Inner Sphere[]

Within the Free Worlds League Parliament the Captain-General's allies manage to derail the motion of no confidence and have it set aside before it can be debated properly. Politically this was a necessity however it leads to further demonstrations throughout the League. Worse a number of units begin asking if such tactics are truely honourable from a Captain-General. One of Thomas Marik's most unlikely allies in recent years, Dame Humphreys of Andurian leaves Atreus and heads back home to her own Duchy immedietly after the no confidence vote is hamstrung which raises a number of questions. On her way back a small problem with her jumpship leaves her stranded in the system of Cameron for a week while it is repaired. During this time Prince Cameron-Jones of the Principality of Regulus just happens to call upon her and discuss with her his plans for the future and concerns about the Captain-General. As well as his advice that it might be unhealthy for her to return to Atreus in the future. Terminally unhealthy. A shaken Duchess resumes her journey as soon as the fault is fixed.

Within the Calderon Protectorate, the 3rd Taurian Lancers and Gordon's Armored Cavalry arrive in the system of Erod's Escape in order to crush the Baron Kithrong's rebellion once and for all. Except they find themselves facing down the guns of the FSS Broken Wheel which had escorted Conrad Davion to the world and was still in orbit. Colonel Nicholas Gordon, a man well known for the care he takes of his troops and officers (most of whom are his family) point blank refuses to lead his regiment in a combat run past the warship and with that refusal the invasion is ended. The 3rd Taurian Lancers faced with a suicide run without the Armored Cavalry retreats as well - but promises Colonel Gordon that the Lord Protector will hear of this.

Combined with intelligence slipped his way from the Capellan's about the growing task force on Ridgebrook the Lord Protector finds the news that there is a Davion warships in his rear area the ultimate confirmation that his realm is about to be attacked. Worse there might be more. Only a single ship was seen in orbit, but who knew how many were slinking around in the outer system or waiting in ambush. He cannot wait for the Davions to crush him between them and their puppet Kithrong. He begins to send out orders and contacts the Capellan Ambassador on Taurus. Assurances are given and agreements reached...

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