BattleTech Fanon Wiki
State of the Union (Chapter Cover)

Chapter 29[]

State of the Union - Book 3[]

Camora, Twycross
Coventry Province, Federated Commonwealth
December 28th, 3067

Jon Davion was sure that he had seen better sights, but he couldn’t think of any.

Up in the sky above the city; dropships were departing Twycross, loaded with the surviving Hell's Horses. He’d offered them hegira at the end. It wasn’t ideal, but they’d taken over a hundred captives during the course of the campaign; and Jon wasn’t so enamored of the prisoners his own forces had taken that he was going to leave his troops to become bondsmen.

“I wouldn’t have wanted to fight my way in here.” Linda McDonald was standing next to him, looking at the city around them, not at the departing lights.

Camora had taken essentially no damage during the war - it was one reason that Jon had felt he could offer Danielle Amirault a chance to leave without facing harassment. She’d fought clean. Hard, but clean. “It wouldn’t have been my preference." he agreed, folding his arms behind his back.

“We’ve both seen city fighting during the civil war." McDonald continued. “People who’ve only waged war out in open ground don’t know what that means.”

Jon considered her words and then nodded in agreement. “The way the Clans fight is artificial, but no more so than the Ares Conventions were. Limiting the human cost of war to soldiers… Well, as much as that’s possible.”

The other general gave him what might have been a smile. “I was working up to this, but I guess I should just say it: you did the right thing by offering her hegira. We held the planet, and we did so at a cost we can live with. So stop looking as if you regret it.”

“Regret it?” He paused and shook his head. “No, I don’t.”

“Then why stare after them with that moody look on your face?”

Moody look? Jon gave the Arcturan Guards officer a skeptical look. “I’m not sure why you think I was moody. I was thinking about one of my mother’s sayings, actually.”


“She always told me she took joy in every guest. Some of them on their arrival and the others on their departure.”

McDonald threw her head back and laughed. “I should tell my husband that. He’d appreciate it. These guests were definitely in the second category though.”

“No argument there.” He shook his head. “And now that they’re off planet, we have a chance at figuring out what’s going on in the wider war.”

The jamming had been cut off as soon as negotiations over the Hell's Horses’ withdrawal were concluded but Twycross had been cut off for long enough that the rest of the AFFC had apparently stopped sending HPG signals to them. It was probably expensive after a while, Jon allowed, but it hadn’t been great for morale.

Above the two AFFC officers, the large dish of the HPG station was lowered to its dormant position - it had been moving around for most of the morning, sending signals out to every system in range in hope that at least one of them would be in friendly hands and see fit to reply. As a result, the ComStar staff were adamant that they needed at least twenty-four hours to check that they hadn’t damaged it somehow.

Given the risk of losing it again, Jon was inclined to accept that caution.

While the innermost workings were being guarded with religious fervor by the security team - less than a platoon of ComGuards infantry who could have kept the Davion Heavy Guards out for only a matter of seconds if Jon was interested - the reception and meeting areas had been used by the Hell's Horses as a command center and so McDonald had requisitioned them temporarily for her own staff (Jon’s being back at the factory still).

When the two AFFC generals reached it, the situation room was full of babble as junior officers and NCOs laid out maps and cross-referenced documents.

“Hello, hello." declared McDonald lightly. “Have we heard from someone already?”

“Yes sir.” A lanky young… Jon looked carefully and tentatively decided the androgynous corporal was a woman, based on the lack of a visible Adam’s apple. “Blackjack sent a transmission ten minutes ago.”

“The first place we tried." Jon noted, half to himself. “Good start.” Their last news from Blackjack had been that the garrison was pulling out ahead of overwhelming forces.

The corporal gestured to the main table. “We th-think there will be more, the in-initial report says that…”

McDonald raised her hand to halt the stumbling report. “Deep breath, O’Reilly. Why don’t you show us on the map?”

The corporal obediently took a deep breath - Jon thought he might have seen an Adam's apple and wondered if his first judgement of O’Reilly’s gender was wrong - and then led them to the table.

“Generalfeldmarschall Steiner launched a major counter-attack while the Falcons were bogged down at the base of the salients." O’Reilly began, indicating the cluster of worlds rimwards of Twycross - between the world and the bulk of the Federated Commonwealth. “That forced the Falcons to pull back forces from their offensive and there have been running fights across the Occupation Zone. Currently, there are liberated or partially liberated worlds around us in every direction - essentially the former salient leading to Twycross has been pushed through to link up with the worlds targeted by Operation North Star.”

“How are the Ceti Hussars managing?” Jon enquired. It had been quite a gamble, sending three RCTs to worlds of Clan Wolf’s Occupation Zone that hadn’t even seen the AFFC for almost two decades.

O’Reilly looked at the map, then picked up some counters and started marking systems as he (she?) checked the reports. “What we know so far is that they report liberating these worlds.”

Jon studied the counters. “Nine worlds - and they’ve gone as far as Feltre?” That was several jumps away from Twycross - closer to Ghost Bear territory than to the Jade Falcons.

The corporal double-checked. “Yes.”

“Not Csesztreg or Verthandi." observed McDonald, looking at some of the nearer worlds. “I wonder why.”

“Kirchbach is an industrialized world." Jon agreed, picking out another of the worlds that the Ceti Hussars had bypassed. “That could have a stronger garrison, but I don’t see why the other two weren’t targeted.”

“I-I’m sorry, sir, I don’t know.”, Corporal stuttered

Jon blinked at O’Reilly’s nervous response. “You can only tell us what you’ve had so far, corporal. It’s no fault of yours that data is still sparse.”

McDonald ran her hand down the map to the rimward end of Clan Wolf’s Occupation Zone. The worlds facing Donegal province. “What about here?”

More counters were laid down. Operation Southern Cross appears to be similarly successful, sir. They’ve almost linked up with the Ceti Hussars and the Ghost Bears. Clan Wolf’s offensive looks to have been halted on Arc-Royal.”

“Well of course.” The Arcturan Guards officer nodded confidently. “Taking on the Kell Hounds on their home ground? Morgan Kell himself would have taken the field.”

O’Reilly paused, shook her (his?) head. “Uh, no mention of Colonel Kell.”

“Early days, early days." McDonald continued cheerfully. “Any other good news?”

One finger pointed at a world located near the center of what remained of the rimwards half of the Jade Falcon occupation zone. “Generalfeldmarschall Steiner-Davion’s task force is heading for Sudeten.”

“The Jade Falcon capital." Jon exclaimed in disbelief. “My god. Is there any bad news in all this good? Did the Hell's Horses hit anywhere else.”

“No mention of that so far.” The corporal paused and looked at the report again. “Uh, there are suggestions that the Ghost Bears are entering the war.”

Both generals paused, staring at O’Reilly who fidgeted nervously under the attention. “That could be bad." McDonald observed. “They’ve got more forces in the Inner Sphere than the Falcons or the Wolves, don’t they?”

“Uh, no sir. Sirs. The Ghost Bears are fighting for the Star League. They’re on our side.” Corporal informed them

Jon chuckled in relief. “Oh, yes. I can see how that would be bad news.”

“How?” inquired McDonald, her own tension at the prospect of another Clan fighting them being removed.

He shook his head. “Every world that they take is one more that the hotheads at high command will have to write off their chances of reclaiming. Sounds like some people are getting a case of victory disease.”

The other general eyed the map. “I can see why. It looks as if the Jade Falcons are falling apart.”

“Looks can be deceptive." Jon reminded her. “Some of these worlds are still being fought over. I’d say we’re in a good position to come out ahead here, but it’s still possible that we could lose a lot of forces if we get overconfident.” He reached over and ran his finger around Twycross on the map. “After all, if our jumpships weren’t already stretched keeping troops and supplies moving, don’t you think someone would have come and contacted us directly by now? That they can’t spare even a Scout for that suggests that the war is far from won.”

Previous Story Arc - Return to Story Index - Next Chapter