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Federated Suns Reborn (Chapter Cover)

The Federated Suns Reborn
- Chapter 81

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November 3067

Conference Chaos[]

With the Whitting Conference starting in November, all eyes within the Inner Sphere and even beyond were drawn to Tharkad. Things started badly with Lord Protector (in exile) Grover Shraplen firstly demanding that he was still the rightful Lord Protector and so able to claim the Taurian seat on the Council, while also making the dual demands that the Star League help restore him to his position within the Taurian Concordat and also expelling the Federated Suns from the Star League for their "unprovoked and sustained attacks upon the peace loving Taurian Concordat and it's people". The fact that his escort is drawn from the 1st MacLeod Regiment which was the unit which attacked the Federated Suns world of Bromhead and so kicked off the whole war seems totally lost upon him. The only Council Lord who spoke up for allowing him to take his seat (although in an almost pro-forma way) was Chancellor Sun-Tzu Liao. However even Sun-Tzu didn't support his request for SLDF support to retake Taurus and expelling the Federated Suns. Much though the later option might have appealed to him. Given only the Chancellor's lukewarm support the former Lord Protector was refused entry into the Whitting Conference, after which he had to be restrained from attempting to force his way in by his own guards.

Once that dramatic event was over the Whitting Conference itself could start. Christian Mansdottir with almost visible relief gave his opening statement that he was now standing down as First Lord and opened the floor for nominations. Before matters could progress however the Chancellor spoke up that no representative was here from 2 of the member states - the Taurian Concordat and the Free Worlds League and that no vote should take place without their being involved in the debate and vote. Surprisingly, Coordinator Theodore Kurita spoke up in support of this motion and suggested that Christian Mansdottir should continue in post until such time as a full Council could be assembled. At this stage it was obvious that the 2 rulers were attempting to make sure that neither Victor Davion or his brother Peter Steiner would take the position of First Lord. So far Sun-Tzu Liao, Kai Allard-Liao, and Christian Mansdottir had been the rulers chosen to lead the Star League and many suspected that it was only a matter of time before Victor Davion was nominated. With the "anti-Davion" block missing 2 votes it made the likelihood of such a vote going Victor's way extremely high and so the Chancellor and Coordinator were hoping to avoid this happening by derailing the vote.

Peter Steiner was the one to respond to this, pointing out that there was nothing in the Constitution agreed for the new Star League stating that if a representative chose not to come or was otherwise unable to that the others had to wait for him or her to attend to cast their votes. If such a situation was accepted then it would be an easy way for someone to arrange to remain First Lord indefinitely- by having an ally not attend. Even Christian Mansdottir spoke out against this, stating he had no wish to retain First Lord and that it was time for a new vote. Eventually, the outgoing First Lord called a vote on whether to proceed in the absence of the League's and Concordat's representatives. The vote was passed 4-2 with Comstar abstaining. At which point both Sun-Tzu Liao and Theodore Kurita announced that they refused to proceed on this basis and left the chamber, stating they would only return when the full Council was present.

In shock the remaining Council Lords debate what to do. Victor Davion, Peter Steiner, Candace Allard-Liao, and even Interim Primus Dow wish to proceed to a vote. Eeven in the absence of the others, but Christian Mansdottir refuses to countenance this and leaves himself. With now over half the Council Lords not present the Whitting Conference ends with a whimper. No formal dissolving of the Star League occurs, but nor does an election of a new First Lord. With Elected Prince Regent Christian Mansdottir formally announcing that he no longer considers himself First Lord and with no replacement voted for the Star League and the Star League Defense Forces are left in limbo. Shortly after this many commentators and anlysts begin to refer to the Second Star League as the "Zombie Star League" - neither dead or alive but somewhere in between.

While furious with this state of affairs, the First Prince meets with his brother and the Interim Primus while on Tharkad and also with the Clan Wolves-in-Exile Khan. There he explains that he intends to make a number of warships available to them for purchase. Namely Fox corvettes in a steady numbers and also small numbers of Davion III destroyers and perhaps Congress-D II frigates. However, with the exception of Fox corvettes these new ships will be coming from new yards. The current ships building are destined for his own fleet but he is prepared to build at least 2 and maybe more destroyer slips to provide ships to his allies and at least the same number of frigate slips. On this point both Peter Steiner and Phelan Kell speak out that this won't work, as they don't need destroyers and frigates in 4 or 5 years but need them now. Gavin Dow agrees with them on this after a few seconds thought.

Whirlwind Class Destroyer (By Matt Plog - 2016)

Davion III Class Destroyer

After some consideration on their points and quick meetings with his 2 advisers the First Prince agrees. The FSS Daring and FSS Dryad are due to complete at Galax in the coming March. When they are completed he will order 2 Davion III destroyers laid down to be offered 1 to Comstar and 1 to the Lyran Alliance. As well as building additional slips to expand the number of ships on offer. When Khan Kell points out that leaves his Clan with nothing, the First Prince promises that as soon as a Davion III or Congress-D II finishes in 3069 he will be offered his choice of ships to be built. He also promises that Clan Wolves-in-Exile will be offered 1 of the 2 Fox corvettes being built at Filtvelt and due to finish in a few short months. With the other being offered to the Lyran Alliance. The 2 slips there will then continue to build ships for the Lyrans and Wolves with any that aren't bought by those 2 powers offered to Comstar.

Neither Archon Steiner or Primus Dow are particularly happy to be having to pay the Federated Suns for large scale warships, but given their need and lack of warship production facilities they have no other option. Both privately suggest to the First Prince that they might be prepared to license the Davion III and Congress-D II of him, but he rejects both proposals. All such production will continue under the control of the Federated Suns and the ships will then be sold on. Neither man can object too strongly as not only do they need the ships but Victor is promising to keep the "profit" margins on each sale to around 10%, which compared to the costs of setting up a new shipyard makes the deal more attractive. Left unsaid however is that under the Federated Sun's War Powers Act of 2789 the First Prince will be able to seize any warships building for foreign states if the nation is in a state of war. Albeit he will then have to compensate the original purchasers. Khan Kell is less bothered about this as his Clan simply isn't in a position to build the warships he needs so buying them from the Davion's is an acceptable course of action. Plus he knows he can get excellent prices even now for his Clantech weapons and BattleMechs that will somewhat reduce the costs for him.

The men then move onto the discussions about the Free Worlds League and what to do about it. The Archon points out he is moving troops to the FWL-Lyran border and can if need be send in peacekeepers. Although given the Liao's incursions already this would be seen in a very negative light. Suggestions that the ComGuards be used are brushed aside by Interim Primus Dow who says they are fully committed to the WOB War. At this point the First Prince asks if this conflict was resolved in Comstar's favour would they then be able to help in the League. When the Primus assures him that would be the case yes, he suggests that the Lyran Alliance, Federated Suns and Wolves-in-Exile enter into a pact to support a strike on Terra to remove the Word of Blake from control of the mother world. He's prepared to commit no fewer than 20 regiments and RCTs and a similar number of warships, but only if the Lyrans and Wolves commit to a sizeable force as well. At this stage Candace Allard-Liao also joins the discussion and commits to sending at least 2 RCTs to this attack.

Dow is understandably keen to push them to support the First Prince on this suggestion and makes extensive promises to them in return for such a commitment. After a brief adjournment in which the Archon discusses the matter with his General of Armies Adam Steiner, Peter is able to give an assurance for 10 ground regiments of BattleMechs and 8 warships. Khan Kell promises his Alpha Galaxy and the Battleship Werewolf. Plus the Wolf Battlecruiser Implacable if it completes it's refit in time. After further discussion it is agreed that this attack will take place in early 3069. The matter is to be kept secret until then.

The Interim Primus, with this assurance in place resolves to launch his own large scale attack upon the WOB to reduce their ability to counter this proposed attack. While he doesn't doubt this will result in heavy ComGuard casualties, with the Federated Suns, Lyran Alliance, St Ives Compact and the Wolves-in-Exile prepared to move into active participation in the war he can afford these casualties. However just in case he meets with Peter Steiner and finalizes arrangements for 4 Fox class slips to be built at Gibbs - 2 for the ComGuards and 2 for the Lyrans, as well as a large scale purchase of BattleMechs and vehicles. With Comstar financing and Lyran industrial production these yards will be built and completed by March 3068 at which point they will lay down their first corvettes.

FedSuns Formations Restructuring & Expansion Continues[]

Back within the Federated Suns, the Marshal of Armies continues to prepare for the deployment of the graduating classes and forming of new units. Alongside the reforming of the 15th Avalon Hussars RCT as a reinforced regiment he intends to divert a full battalion to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 27th Avalon Hussars with another battalion split between the 5th & 9th Hussars. This will massively increase the strength of these green rated units without reducing the combat effectiveness of a more seasoned unit. The 12th & 17th Avalon Hussars will also be upgraded to reinforced status. As will the 2nd Crucis Lancers RCT. At the Duke of Robinson's request the 1st Robinson Rangers RCT will also be upgraded to a reinforced regiment at this stage.

The Marshal of Armies in conjunction with Marshal Talles of the Ceti Hussars Brigade begins planning for an upgrade to all 3 Ceti Hussars RCTs. Rather than concentrate expand their numbers, instead this upgrade will focus on upgrading their forces. At the current time the combined arms units are formed from a BattleMech Regiment, 3 armored regiments and 5 infantry regiments with supporting artillery and fighter support. The proposed reform involves converting 2 full infantry regiments to battle armor regiments as well as expanding the infantry forces with the addition of a further third battle Armor regiment. While each combat command is of course organized to the individual units tastes, this will mean that at least on paper each RCT can be divided into 3 combat commands which will provisionally consist of a BattleMech battalion, armor regiment, battle armor regiment and infantry regiment. In practice certain combat commands will be specialized with more or less of each type of troop but it's felt the addition of such large numbers of battle armored troopers can only increase the effectiveness of the unis. Particularly given the results of the 2nd Dragonlords' battle armor brigade on Linsday. These limited expansions and upgrades will take place over the entirety of 3068 to give the new members time to integrate and the existing infantry time to get used to their new equipment.

Developments in Industry[]

Fleet Admiral Buchwald also received a preliminary report on the Fox II upgrade that he had commissioned with the First Prince's blessing. The upgrade drastically increased the firepower of the vessels. While the ship carried 2 less Naval Autocannon the remaining 8 had all been upgraded to NAC-20s rather than the smaller NAC-10s that the ship currently boasted. Missile tubes had been doubled to 16 and while the Naval Lasers remained at the same number they had all been upgraded to NL-55s rather than the half and half split between NL-55s and 45s on the current vessel. Similar upgrades to the anti-fighter and missile weapons had been proposed. Meanwhile the fighter contingent had been upgraded to a full wing of 20 aerospace fighters and the small craft increased from 2 to 6. The already tough ship had seen it's armor increased as well. While this had all come at a cost in the amount of supplies it could carry, the corvette was after all a warship and expected to go into combat. Where guns and armor were more important than supplies. Plans were put in place for all new construction destined for the Federated Suns Navy to be upgraded to the new specifications, while the existing ships would be rotated through the refit centre at Edwards to be upgraded to the new specifications. It was expected that the 2 large slips at Edwards would each be capable of dealing with 2 ships at once, and refitting a ship within 6 months. This would mean that a full flotilla of 8 ships could be refitted within a year.

Fox Class Corvette (Delranes Fighting Ships 3061)

Fox II Class Corvette

Impressed with the high quality of the prototypes provided to them the AFFS gives the green light for the Koschei fast heavy BattleMech to enter into production. A single line is to be built to produce this design as although the AFFS can see a use for it they consider it something of a niche design and envision it mostly being deployed to the Tikonov Cossacks and nearby March Militia forces. As such there is no need for it to enter large scale production. The line is estimated to go online by October 3068.

On Batavia Jalastar Aerospace's new factory see's it's first Javelin-O light OmniMech production line enter production. The second line isn't expected to begin production until 3068, however the new supply of Javelin-Os is welcomed by the AFFS. At the same time another Javelin-O production line goes active at their Islamabad plant.

New Independence Weaponry plant on Edwards see's it's Victor Assault 'Mech line go operation. From once having to content themselves with foreign built Victors the AFFS now has a number of production lines at various plants producing the popular assault 'mech. The Atlas line continues under construction. There are no further plans to expand on this site at the current time.

On Filtvelt, the Achernar BattleMech's factory finishes it's Osiris class Light 'Mech production line. Despite now having 4 BattleMech lines the actual BattleMech factory continues to be dwarfed by the ever expanding Industrialmech facility which continues to grow in leaps and bounds.

Also on Filtvelt, Outback FarmMechs completes it's Locust scout 'mech line from Taurian salvage. Where once the company had barely eked out a living rebuilding and refitting old industrialmechs they are now the proud owners of 3 BattleMech production lines, although not for cutting edge designs. Still the profits from the sale of these BattleMechs is allowing the company to expand it's agricultural Industrialmech facilities to full scale production rather than just refits and limited builds. They have (with some government support) managed to obtain licenses for the Cattlemaster and Harvester Ant Industrialmechs and will now be building full scale industrial lines to produce them.

On Shawnee, the new Andoran Industries plant goes online with the companies third Clint BattleMech line. Comstar offers to provide funds to increase production there to include Mercury and Hussar BattleMechs - again in return for 50% of the output being sold to them. Although not contractually obliged to do so (at least not for the Clint BattleMechs), the company is already offering them 50% of the Clint production  built at both it's factories now as well as the Mercury and Hussar BattleMechs it produces, with the blessings of New Avalon.

Cosara Weapons formally begun entering talks with the government of Northfield to build a new plant to build at least Crab and King Crab BattleMechs upon their planet. While eager to get the company to build, the government of the planet was keen to get the most benefit for it's citizens as it could out of the deal and so the negotiations would last into 3068.

On Valois, the Yvonne-Isis Construction plant finally goes online a month late. The plant consists of 2 Daedalus industrialmech lines which are soon marching off the production lines and straight into the hands of Technician Caste pilots who are almost invariably tested out trueborns or failed freeborn mechwarriors. While these pilots might not have been up to commanding a full OmniMech or BattleMech they are almost all more than capable of handling the Daedalus and are soon heavily engaged in construction projects across not only Valois but on Fugeres and Frankson. A full company is gifted to the 20th Avalon Hussars for their help in building basic infrastructure and housing.

Duchy of Andurien seceeds from the League[]

Within the Free Worlds League, nobody is surprised when the Duchy of Andurien declares it's secession from the faltering League. More surprising is when the Mosiro Archipelagos joins the newly independent Grand Duchy of Andurien. The independent worlds of Kanata and Deschenes also secede and join the Grand Duchy - which isn't surprising particularly in Kanata's case given it's long history with the Duchy of Andurian, even once being it's capital when Andurien itself was under Capellan occupation. The Government-in-Exile of Furud which is currently garrisoned by the CCAF also petitions to join the Grand Duchy.

The new Grand Duchy also announces that it has reformed the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Defenders of Andurian. Left unsaid is that these units have been formed by the defection of the 1st, 5th, and forming 9th Free Worlds Legionnaires bolstered by a number of militia drawn from the Duchy's worlds. Jaffray's Own are offered the position of the 4th Defenders, but turn it down and instead sign a mercenary contract to protect the Grand Duchy. The Legionary Training Academy is renamed the Humphreys Training Academy and quickly re purposed to providing troops for the new Grand Duchy. A lack of military industrial capacity did however have the newly formed nation send a JumpShip carrying a delegation to New Syrtis to request a military trade deal with the Federated Suns via dead systems to avoid the CCAF.

The rest of the League were too busy fighting and shouting at each other to really pay any attention to the secession. However token protests were lodged from Oriente. Sian made no comment at all, but did make plans to move 2 BattleMech regiments to the border... As soon as it could find them. Or raise them.

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