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Federated Suns Reborn (Chapter Cover)

The Federated Suns Reborn
- Chapter 98
[]

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November 3068
Operation Rat II Second Wave


Operation Rat II - Wave 2 Launches[]

Even as the Capellan's were still reeling from the First Wave of Operation Rat II the AFFS was launching the Second Wave. Keen to keep up the momentum and strike before the CCAF could regain it's feet the AFFS pushed it's supply lines to the limit to support the units in moving forward into the mostly defenseless Liao Commonality. Front line combat commands were pushed forward from the worlds they had just secured while conventional brigades and various second line or under strength formations were moved into the newly conquered territories to free up troops to push deeper into the Confederation.

These units remained pooled together as part of Task Force Capella and Task Force Zurich.


Wave 2[]

St. Andre[]

The single major holdout from the First Wave, Renshield's Dragoons found themselves under increasing pressure as November rolled on. With the veteran 1st Aragon Borderers providing heavy fire support the 4th Dragonlords continued to advance through the tunnels. Additionally, the High Command dispatched an aerospace regiment that specialised in ground support as well as 2 full artillery regiments to the world. As soon as they arrived and were deployed the AFFS launched a full scale assault upon Fort Ravenglade both from the air, from the ground and underground in the tunnels on the 21st of November.

While inflicting heavy casualties upon the ground support fighters Fort Ravenglades's anti-aircraft batteries were finally silenced and the Dragoons found themselves unable to meet the strength of both AFFS units. Stretched beyond the breaking point they were unable to hold the defences and after a brutal 3 day battle were finally destroyed entirely within the ruins of the Fort. However, before they were defeated they managed to reduce the 1st Aragon Borderer's to barely half strength and the 4th Dragonlords were even worse off, being reduced to only 40% of their effective full strength. Neither unit would take part in further combat during Operation Rat II - with the 4th Dragonlords remaining on St Andre and the 1st Aragon Borderers falling back to New Aragon to begin rebuilding.


Second Try[]

The Wild Geese mercenary regiment jumped into Second Try having been held in reserve for the First Wave. Unlike in most cases they didn't have an attached AFFS Regular Army regiment or RCT side by side with them, showing the huge faith the High Command had in this prestigious mercenary formation. Although for occupational duties and more general support the AFFS had also dispatched 2 infantry brigades and an armored brigade to aid them, but under strict orders to follow the commands of Brigadier Alisande Faulkner. Facing off against the Wild Geese and their supporting formations were the Harloc Raiders, a veteran CCAF command that had a great deal more experience than most CCAF units at facing unorthodox enemies.

However the over strength nature of the Wild Geese soon caused the Raiders a great deal of difficulties. Each "Squadron" of the Wild Geese was organized as effectively a double strength battalion with attached VTOL, Armor, and Battle Armor troops. So although officially facing "only" a single regiment the Raiders found themselves outnumbered nearly 2:1 odds in battlemechs. Worse their own support formations were woefully outmatched by the integrated nature of the Wild Geese's support troops, while the supporting Home Guard formations were similarly outclassed by the regular conventional units of the AFFS invasion force.

With the Darkhorse Squadron engaged in running battles to keep them constantly in contact, the Raiders were soon beset by the Blackhorse Squadron's jump capable Battemechs. Whenever they stopped to fight, the assault and heavy Battlemechs of the Ironhorse Squadron would move up in support of the other 2 Squadrons and proceed to hammer the Raiders relentlessly. After a bruising battle on the 17th in which the Raiders' 3rd Battalion suffered almost 50% casualties combined with earlier losses. Sang-shao Wu Deng Tang felt he had no other option but to retreat from Second Try and attempt to reform his command deeper within the Liao Commonality. To stay on Second Try was only going to invite total destruction. He therefore led his battered command to Ulan Bator to attempt to reform.

Unfortunately for the Raiders, the Wild Geese after basic repairs immediately followed them to that world and would continue the battle into December..


Elnath[]

The Davion Light Guards RCT fresh from their conquest of Liao and still at almost 80% strength moved onto the world of Elnath in the Second Wave. As per the AFFS's intelligence briefings they would face only Home Guard opposition, although given the closeness of the Free Worlds League border the local forces had been reinforced with around a company and a half of run down old Battlemechs retired from front line service. Against small scale raiders this augmentation would no doubt have been useful. However, when faced with an entire elite RCT from the Davion Brigade of Guards these battlemech's were little more than targets. In a 2 week blitz the Light Guard swept the planet and seized all local military forces equipment or destroyed them if they resisted. By the end of November the world of Elnath had been returned to owing allegiance to Victor Davion.


Yunnah[]

The Light Guards fellow brigade member, the 5th Davion Guards RCT faced similar opposition when they struck out from Liao and hit Yunnah. Except in their own case the local government made no effort to fight. They instead ordered all Home Guard formations to surrender immediately and remain in their barracks. A handful of isolated units refused this order was were summarily crushed by the Davion Guards, but on the whole the planet of Yunnah fell without much resistance to House Davion.


Palos[]

The cruisers CCS Aleisha Kris and CCS Sundermann Rhys were joined at Palos by the mercenary Black Aces aerospace regiment. The mercenaries in which were promptly confiscated what limited aerospace assets the world had. On world, the Dynasty Guard had done the same with whatever battlemechs and tanks they could scrape together from the Home Guard units. Most of what they seized was little better than scrap, but they were at least able to use some of the equipment to rebuild their own damaged battlemechs in preparation for the upcoming Davion attack.

Feng Huang Cruiser (Ironwinds Miniature)

Feng Huang Class Cruiser

New Syrtis-class carrier (Underway - painted by Psycho)

New Sytris Class Aerospace Carrier, FSS Morgan Hasek-Davion

On the 4th of November, the first waves of this attack arrived. The Federated Suns Navy led the way with the FSS Reynard Davion, FSS Charles Davion, FSS Daring, and FSS Dryad having been joined in their pursuit of the CCS Aleisha Kris by the carrier FSS Morgan Hasek-Davion and her escorting Congress-D II frigates the FSS Congress and FSS Churchill who still have an elite aerospace brigade in support.

While the CCS Sundermann Rhys's captain is eager to fall back further in the face of the heavy imbalance of forces, he is constrained by the fact that the CCS Aleisha Kris's jump engines are depleted from her flight from Liao. Faced with either abandoning the Kris and facing charges of treason and cowardice or fighting a hopeless battle against the odds he chooses the later. Both Feng Huang cruisers advance to meet the incoming Federated Suns' Naval forces with the Black Aces in support.

Attempting to keep the range long to suit their own armament, the two Capellan cruisers are soon struggling to do so as they are forced time and time again to manoeuvre in the face of incoming fighter attacks. Their own aerospace assets and the Black Aces are stretched too thin trying to keep back the overwhelming FedSun's fighter strength. Every time they are forced to divert from their course to avoid fighter strikes the Davion III Class destroyers in particular close the range under the cover of their Avalon Class cruiser support. Worse despite their best efforts the Federated Sun's fighters continue to get through and cause mounting damage. The FSS Daring and FSS Dryad finally manage to catch the CCS Sundermann Rhys in a crossfire when it's engines are damaged by a fighter attack from a full aerospace regiment sized strike from the FSS Congress. Even as the 2 destroyers move in close while hammering out devastating naval autocannon broadsides the FSS Reynard Davion and FSS Charles Davion fire longer ranged missiles at the beleaguered cruiser. Worse from the point of view of the cruiser, the Black Aces choose this moment to break off from their defensive duties and flee. Now reduced to barely a quarter of their full strength they have had enough of this hopeless battle and head for their hidden dropships.

Congress Frigate (Delrane Fighting Ships 3061)

Congress II D Class Frigate, FSS Congress

Perhaps in light of the CCS Sundermann Rhys's loyalty in staying in Palos to aid them, the CCS Aleisha Kris slow's it's own pace and attempts to rush to the aid of their sister ship. Or perhaps because the captain of the Kris knows the fate likely to be handed out to him if he does not. The huge cruiser's captain orders a charge through the swarm of fighters who attempt to prevent him reaching the fight, taking heavy damage but managing to catch the FSS Dryad between the Sundermann and his own guns. The lighter destroyer takes heavy damage before managing to break off, however even as the FSS Dryad falls back the FSS Daring fires a final broadside into the CCS Sundermaan Rhys and hits it's fuel tanks. The Feng Huang class cruiser, already a bleeding wreck explodes leaving only a handful of escape pods containing survivors of it's crew.

The CCS Aleisha Kris, now alone and unsupported, attempts to break off, but a full strike by the fighter wings from the FSS Morgan Hasek-Davion reduce the cruiser to a wreck that has almost no power and is barely able to move. With over half his weapons gone, his armour non-existant and most of his crew dead or injured the captain of the CCS Aleisha Kris orders a surrender broadcast, before taking his standard issue laser pistol and killing himself still on the bridge. He had intended to retire to his quarters, but had been notified that they had been destroyed in the fighting.

With the enemy warships dealt with the Federated Suns Navy move into orbit of the planet and begin fighter strikes upon the Dynasty Guard's position. The FSS Dryad jumps out of system to head for repairs, while the FSS Daring secures the hulk of the captured cruiser. Meanwhile, the 1st Lexington Combat Guards and the 1st Kestrel Grenadiers RCT move into the system and head for the world of Palos.


Landing on the 25th of November in Landing zone which was secured by the massive aerospace superiority of the FedSuns Navy, they begin a careful drive on the planetary capitol of Xer. The Dynasty Guard have concentrated almost the entirety of the Home Guards remaining conventional forces in the city and have prepared for a long urban conflict. The 1st Kestrel Grenadiers deploy their heavy battle armour formations and begin a slow and gradual advance into the city, while leaving the 1st Lexington Combat Guards to maintain the perimeter. The fighting is short ranged and brutal, with neither side asking or giving quarter. The massively outnumbered Dynasty Guard have the advantage of prepared positions and local support, compared to the numbers and aerospace support of the AFFS units. After a single week of brutal fighting however Marshal Stromp of the Kestrel Grenadiers sends word to New Avalon requesting additional forces, preferably a Dragonlords unit with attached battle armor. Reluctantly, the High Command orders the 5th Dragonlords from Novaya Zemlya to support the attack.


Wei[]

The 1st Revenant Guards RCT, with the 12th Vegan Rangers' Alpha Regiment combined to hit Wei during the Second Wave. While this was seen as overkill by many, given the planet's links to nerve agent gases used on St Ives the High Command felt that no mistakes were to be made. The defending Home Guard units stood no chance and were smashed by coordinated strikes across the world by the 2 elite units. Company and battalion sized formations would strike almost simultaneously across the world and destroy or capture most of the Home Guard and all known former sites of nerve agent storage. At which point the investigation teams that had followed the troops would begin their own work. The High Command wanted to know exactly what level of stocks had been taken, types and any hints there might be of just how much might still be unaccounted for - although given the destruction of the Highspire Thuggee cave system this would be difficult. At least without investigating these caves as well...


Shipka[]

The 4th Davion Guards arrived on Shipka just in time to take the surrender of the local garrisons and planetary government - who immediately proceeded to attempt to convince Marshal Orsina that they had been closet Davion Loyalists all along and had sought to undermine Sian's decrees at every opportunity. At least between throwing victory parades for the "invaders".


Corey[]

The Davion Assault Guards, fresh from seizing one factory world moved onto Corey in the Second Wave. Syn's Hussars having been on the receiving end of the Davion Assault Guards attack on Styk were in no mood to contest the conquest of the planet against the same overwhelming force. Again Sang-shao Syn Sum Orr proceeded to abandon a world after making only a token gesture of protecting it. This time he fell back all the way to Capella. Where he was summarily shot for cowardice in the face of the enemy and replaced in command of the disgraced regiment. While this was going on the Assault Guards secured control of Corey's Battlemech factories and began the work of implementing a pro-FedSuns local government.


Highspire[]

The Davion High Command were taking no chances at all with the world of Highspire. They ordered the 2nd Davion Guards RCT, Davion Old Guards RCT, and 1st FedSuns Dragoons RCT to seize Kali Liao's personal fief alongside no less than 5 brigades of conventional troops - all of them trained in anti-chemical and biological tactics. Landing in overwhelming strength they proceed to seize the planetary capital of Crescent and begin advancing slowly on the Chu-li mountains. Infantry formations fanning out behind the battlemech forces to seize and search at almost every small town and even village. A large data base of information beginning to be assembled on any potential Thuggee loyalists.

At the Chu-li mountains, the Davion Old Guards RCT is faced with large scale infantry attacks, Thuggee cultists throwing themselves at the Davion lines. Calling in aerospace support from the 2nd Davion Guards, the Old Guard hold in place while the 1st FedSuns Dragoons sweep around behind the huge formations of infantry and begin seizing control of their bases of operations.

Near the end of November and facing annihilation, the Thuggee formations break into smaller ones and attempt to go to ground to continue the resistance from the mountains. However amongst the conventional units are a demi-brigade of 3 regiments of mountain troops from planet Cerulean. With 3 regiments of specialised troops at the AFFS's disposal the hunt for the Thuggee cultists through the mountains swiftly turns in favour of the Davions, although none are so foolish as to believe that the Thuggee's will be wiped out over night. Long term plans are for the 1st Cerulean Mountain Infantry Brigade to remain on the planet for the foreseeable future.

In the meantime the Old Guards move in and secure the partially excavated collapsed cavern network and specialist troops move in to begin searching for any signs of remaining nerve agents...


New Macao[]

The 5th Crucis Lancers move on from Foot Fall and hit the poorly defended world of New Macao during the Second Wave. With a full strength veteran RCT attacking the local Home Guard units the battle should have been over quickly, however the defending Home Guard put up a stubborn resistance that lasted through most of November. As though determined to redeem their worlds reputation after the limited resistance offered during the Fourth Succession War, the defending forces fought fanatically. However while they managed to inflict minor losses on the Lancers they were unable to do more than delay the fall of New Macao to the Davion forces. By the end of November the resistance had been reduced to scattered and ineffectual resistance groups who were all that remained of the organized Home Guard formations.


Mandate[]

Leaving Menkar, the 1st Capellan Dragoons headed for the world of Mandate. Although the world was only defended by the local Home Guard formations, the AFFS High Command ordered the mercenary battalion Wilson's Hussars to the planet to aid them. However, a small delay in leaving Menkar meant that Wilson's Hussars arrived a week earlier than the 1st Capellan Dragoons and found themselves forced to fight a mobile battle against large numbers of conventional forces. While this was unfortunate for the mercenaries and led to heavy casualties, it did lead to the Home Guard being out of position when the 1st Capellan Dragoons did arrive. Swiftly destroying the Capellan militia, the Dragoons offered their apologies to the surviving 2 companies of Wilson's Hussars. Along with these apologies Colonel Dunn promised to recommend to his patron the Duke of Kathil that the Hussars be given the pick of his worlds production to replace their lost battlemechs. While still angry at having been left hanging, the Hussars at least were mollified by the generous gesture and genuine nature of the apologies.


Sakhalin[]

In a surprise move the 2nd & 3rd Lexington Combat Guards were ordered on a deep strike to seize the world of Sakhalin near Sarna. The always restive world's Home Guard refuse to fight in a hopeless battle against the Lexington Combat Guard. They instead hand over the pro-Capellan government and those few members within their own ranks who had advocated resistance. While they would prefer to not belong to any Successor State and to reform the Sarna Supremacy, the few years of Capellan rule hadn't endeared the people to House Liao and their Sian based government. The FedCom's rule had at least been lighter and allowed more local freedoms.

Hurriedly digging in the 2nd & 3rd Lexington Combat Guards prepare for any possible counter-attack. Having secured Sakhalin as a potential jump off point for an attack on Sarna the 2 units are aware that the Liaos will be desperate to throw them back and prevent an attack on the vital world of Sarna.


Summary[]

The AFFS had hit 11 worlds in their Second Wave, down slightly from 15 in their First Wave. However they had faced even less opposition and in most cases had swiftly overwhelmed the limited defenders and secured the planet with light losses. They had also mopped up the single hold out from the First Wave on St Andre. Only on Palos was there any real resistance with the Dynasty Guard continuing to hold out. However intelligence estimates were that they Guards had been reduced to under a battalion and were it not for the local militias supporting them would be swiftly crushed. As soon as the 5th Dragonlords arrived with their heavy battle armor formations the AFFS was expecting a swift victory.

In the end however, the 10 worlds which had been fully secured (although a handful had small resistance movements) when added to the 15 that were now secure from the First Wave meant that the Confederation had lost access to no less than 25 worlds, 2 of which were the site of Battlemech production facilities. They had also destruction of a full 6 battlemech formations of the CCAF and 2 priceless warships, as well as the desertion of what remained of the Hell's Black Aces. Warrior House Fujita while technically still in existence had been scattered into the wilderness of Hunan and had been reduced to such a low strength that a single mixed brigade of conventional troops were all that was required to keep them at bay, and had reduced them to making little more than nuisance attacks. Similarly the Dynasty Guards while still an active formation were now facing almost total annihilation on Palos. Worse the AFFS had secured a jump off point to attack Sarna. If that world fell it was likely that all resistance within the Liao Commonality would collapse. Even as Sian attempted to find new troops to reinforce the front the attacks continued and the CCAF was now stretched beyond breaking point...


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