• Attention All Comstar Customers, Due to unexpected interference by suspected Word of Blake operatives, the HPG systems update was *not* successful. No data was lost due to our careful and extensive backups; however, we will need to try again next weekend. Sincerely, Comstar Precentor Dune

Battletech Clover Spear - The War of 3056 (Battletech AU)

Kekku, Part 4

CurtisLemay

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Kekku, Part 4​

AN: The below from “ComStar was not written by me. Thanks Yellowhammer!”

From: Duke James Sandoval, Lord of the Draconis March
To: Franklin 'Kurita', Miyako Kurita
Re: NAQAM
SHABBAT SHALOM, M***********S!

  • Apocryphal transmission sent over ComStar to both sides in the Kuritan Civil War, dated 1 January, 3058

Offices of the Duke of Robinson
Ducal Palace
Bueller City
Robinson
2nd January, 3058


The mood in the situation room could be charitably described as “guarded optimism.” So far, NAQAM hadn’t faced more than a virtual “corporal’s guard” of Combine troops, and what they had run into was underfed, low on ammo, and robbed of the usual “bushido spirit” one found in the DCMS in normal circumstances. The past year and a half have been anything but normal. James Sandoval reminded himself.

Sandoval turned to Marshal Lugo and his staff. His staff had just concluded an excellent presentation on the situation in the Combine, and the best way to describe it was “confused.” Both sides in the collapsing civil war still referred to themselves as the DCMS, and the new proto-states growing out of what was left of the Dieron Military District were just confusing matters even more, as many of their units had just been DCMS units a month ago.

“Marshal Lugo, your professional opinion, how far should we go with NAQAM?” James opined, his brow furrowing as the wheels of his mind turned in a mix of concern, and an attempt to balance political and military considerations.

Marshal Lugo cleared his throat, and rose, walking over to the holotank. He produced a laser pointer as he traced the movements of the border that was forming between the Azami Caliphate and the Vega Ducal Republic, the latter was already in negotiations to join the Federated Commonwealth. The orders were explicit about both – Hands off. “Sire, if you asked me a month ago what I thought the Combine might do in the face of something like NAQAM, I’d have said, ‘Launch a massive counterattack.’ But the Combine’s cupboard is bare. What frontline units they have are undersupplied and as much as 20-40% understrength. They’re lucky that except for us, most of their enemies are similarly exhausted, including the Clans. Our own logistics really cannot support more than a second wave of targets. So, whatever we grab, we’d better make it good. My recommendation? Go for the throat. Go for Dieron. The garrison is the weakest I’ve ever seen it, and it’s an opportunity we won’t get again. I also suspect that if it falls, a lot of undecided planets in the district will side with us and get some safety from Coordinator Sakamoto, and his ‘justice.’"

“Is this a unanimous recommendation of your staff, Marshal Lugo?”

“No sire, but it’s a majority, some of my staff thought it a better idea to grab what we could of the industrial worlds and call it a day. But except for Nirasaki and Marduk, of which we have nullified the latter? We have achieved that objective. We’re just grabbing real estate for political purposes now, sire.”

James nodded. Victor won’t like that at all. He told me to make this a limited offensive, not a Reconquista. Not that the Combine doesn’t deserve the
latter. If I could get away with it, it would be ‘First regiment to New Samarkand gets the Dragonslayer Ribbon’ and to pick the beer at the Sakamoto skull kegger. Time to reign in Marshal Lugo.


“Marshal, whatever our mutual feelings are about the Combine and her works, we’ve done as much as we can with what we have. Execute your plans for Dieron, with whatever you can spare for supporting operations to grab as much as you can if Dieron fails. If we succeed, then those planets are a bonus, but wrap everything up by March 10th. I don’t think we can sustain operations at all past that. Plus, I don’t want to unify the damn Combine behind Sakamoto. And tell the commander of the 1st New Ivaarsen to make his next raid a doozie.

Marshal Lugo smiled “I shall, sire. He has some ideas along those lines. We can jump off for the second wave by 20 January. I think that’s enough time to get things unsnarled.

Sandoval nodded with a grim smile on his face. Here’s hoping we can put an end to all this madness.

2nd Wave – January-February 3058
Diversionary Raids
Benjamin
Attacking Forces:
1st New Ivaarsen Chasseurs
Defending Forces: Benjamin Militia, 1st ISF Intervention Regiment (taken from a mix of ISF units, and loyal militias from the Galedon district).

As a Military District HQ world, Benjamin is usually home to at least two regiments, but with the chaos of the Combine Civil War, both regiments from the garrison were called elsewhere, and never returned. The world declared early for Miyako, and when the 1st New Ivaarsen arrived, there was a fight going on between the local militia and an ISF intervention regiment sent to bring the world back into the loyal Combine fold.
The confusion and mayhem of the on-planet fighting was a heaven-sent opportunity for the 1st New Ivaarsen. The raid was mostly symbolic in terms of actual military value, with the 1st beating up handily both combatants, and grabbing 20 million C-Bills worth of military supplies (which the Combine could ill-afford to lose). But the raid did have one effect. It brought peace to Benjamin. After the 1st departed, the Benjamin militia surrendered after being promised mercy by the ISF. Surprisingly, it was a promise that was kept, as only the Warlord and his staff were executed for treason. The rest were pardoned and released within days.

Main Offensive
Halstead Station
Attacking Forces:
2nd Chisholm Raiders
Defenders: “15th Dieron Regulars” (survivors of Al’Nair)

The luck of the 2nd Chisholm ran out on Halstead Station as the “15th Dieron” (survivors of the 15th and 44th Dieron combined under the flag of the 15th) grimly dug in to defy the Davion invaders. They didn’t have long to wait, as the 2nd Chisholm arrived in the system on the 25th of January. It wasn’t long before the fighting on-world locked into a bloody stalemate that did little but bleed both regiments white. Outside matters decided the fighting for Halstead Station, as the news of Dieron and its fate motivated the commander of the 15th to do something unusual. He asked for asylum for himself and his command in the Federated Commonwealth.

Dieron
Attacking Forces:
1st NAIS Cadre, 2nd Kearny Highlanders, Draconis March Provisional Brigade, 1st Robinson Rangers
Defending Forces: 1st and 2nd Battalions, 3rd Dieron Regulars

Joined by the 1st Robinson Rangers newly returned from Clover Spear, the AFFC outnumbered the Combine forces 6-1 and it wasn’t a case of if Dieron would fall, but when. The 3rd fought well, but with the 1st Robinson leading the way (supported by a brigade of combat engineers from the Draconis March), the AFFC forces pushed their way into Fortress Dieron over the better part of a month, and took the fortress, as well as the world in 57 days of fierce, if unequal fighting. Few Combine defenders surrendered, most fighting to the last.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
I was a minor functionary in the Quartermaster Department office on Robinson. I was more of a “keep the jumpships running on time” sort. I was a real son of the Draconis March, you know, death to the Dracs and all that. So, it was with some surprise that my boss comes into my office. He said I was being reassigned to Department of Military Administration. The second shock is that I was being tapped as a military governor for a Combine world! I naturally protested. I said I wasn’t trained for this. Administration had people who did this sort of thing. Overtasked he said, everyone was being asked, and my name came up because I’d taken a semester of Japanese at Sakahara. (Which I barely remembered).

Within a week I was on a dropship outbound for Kervil. I’d never heard of the place. I will say the greeting was enthusiastic. It was reminiscent of the ancient 2-D vid “Blazing Saddles.” As far as I knew, I was the only AFFC personnel on the entire planet. I spent my “workdays” as it was attending government meetings and coordinating integration into the Federated Commonwealth, which to be honest was changing the flags and seals on the stationary. My time away from the office? Well, that was something of an eye-opening about the average Combine citizen, and their lives. I had a lot of time on my hands, and I was a bit of a foodie, so I must have hit every decent restaurant within 200 kilometers of the capital (nice when you got a skimmer at your disposal).

That’s how I met my wife, Yua. She was a line cook at a nice Gyu-Kaku place, and we got to know each other over our mutual love of food and travel. I will say her parents didn’t take a shine to me at first. But I think they warmed to me a bit as time went on when I proved I wasn’t the usual Gaijin. They did better than my family managed, I got disowned for marrying Yua, but no matter? I got a good job in the planetary administration here and worked there for thirty years. Our kids are in the AFFC, one is a ‘Mechwarrior with the 1st Dieron Grenadiers. And Yua and I are part of the neighborhood committee (It’s a holdover from the Combine days, but the locals like some of the old trappings, who the hell was I to undo everything?)

  • “How I Became a Son of the Dieron March.” Fedcom Today, April 3088
 
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Tiamat

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Dieron March!!!!

What the hell is going on?
Simple. Another example of the butterfly effect after our dear author (and his friends) tossed an Atlas-mech sized spanner wrench into the official Battletech timeline. :devilish:

I can almost picture Cody over at the Alternate History Hub channel on YouTube narrating the whole story. “So, let’s say Hanse Davion doesn’t die from that heart attack…”
 
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I don't think Dieron has ever been that undefended at least not since the start of the Star League Civil War.
 

CurtisLemay

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I don't think Dieron has ever been that undefended at least not since the start of the Star League Civil War.
Yeah, in 3056 canon, the cupboard was bare. All they had was the 3rd Dieron covering Dieron and Altair. I actually GAVE the Combine some extra regiments to try and make them a little tougher, but it was limited by the fact the Combine economy was on the edge of collapse after the initial Clan invasion. Now lose Luthien and the heart of Pesht, along with having the rest of the Combine being a battleground between claimants to the throne? Yeah, the Combine will be hurting for a while.
 
Shattered Dao, Part 2

CurtisLemay

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Shattered Dao, Part 2​

“The Fight for the Forbidden City was some of the nastiest close quarters combat I have ever been involved in, and that includes my short time on Solaris. I saw more DFAs and ‘Mechs tearing the limbs off each other than I think I ever want to again. I saw a Capellan Atlas tear the leg off a Davion Valkyrie and beat it into the ground. I dropped the Atlas with a long burst from Yen Lo Wang’s autocannon. Always appreciated the product Pontiac put out, but a Cataphract in the colors of the Red Lancers took its place. He was much better, and it was the closest I ever came to dying. But I am still here. Him? He’s in Warrior House Jade Phoenix. You can’t waste warriors like that.
  • Chancellor Kai Allard-Liao, pg 235, “A Life in the Chair – My life from New Avalon, the Clan War, Solaris, and Sian”
“FOR OUR HOMES AND FATHERS! KILL FIVE DAVIONS BEFORE YOU DIE! SIAN WILL REMAIN CAPELLAN.”
  • Painted on the side of a building in Benin city and photographed with two Davion infantrymen enjoying a smoke break in front of it on October 9th, 3057. It was taken by Abernathy Hollis, a photographer for ComStar News Network. This photo won the 3057 Pulitzer Prize.
Sian, Part 4
Attacking Forces: 1st Davion Guards RCT, 4th Davion Guards RCT, 3rd Davion Guards RCT, 6th Syrtis Fusiliers RCT, 7th Crucis Lancers RCT, 1st Ceti Hussars RCT, 3rd Royal Guards RCT, Davion Light Guards RCT, 10th Deneb Light Cavalry RCT, 1st Federated Suns Armored Cavalry, 1st Kell Hounds, Jade Phoenix Cluster, 5th Federated Commonwealth RCT, 4th Royal Guards, 10 artillery brigades.

Defending Forces: House Immarra (45% strength), Red Lancers (20% strength), 1st People’s Loyalty Regiment (15%, scattered in penny packets), Death Commando Battalion (35% strength), 2 combined arms divisions of the Sian Home Guard (third division was disbanded due to losses and used to reinforce the other two), and 65 “Victory Battalions” (22 of which are on Wuhan, many battalions have either been destroyed or have deserted/surrendered en masse.)

Results: Shattered Dao’s initial drop went well, and was a qualified success, with the Jade Phoenix Cluster, The Fox’s Teeth Company of the 7th Crucis Lancers, 3/1st Ceti Hussars, and 1/The Davion Light Guards all executing a tight drop on the grounds of the Chancellor’s Palace against heavy Capellan resistance. The defenders were a mixed battalion of Home Guard, People’s Volunteers, as well as a ‘Mech Battalion made up of some Red Lancers and Death Commandos. The initial fighting was fierce, if short and the Allies made short work of the defenders. However, several sharp counterattacks by remnants of the Red Lancers and Death Commandos had Kai Allard-Liao’s command holding on by their fingernails, and by the morning of the 13th, 50% of Task Force Allard was dead, or too wounded to fight. Supplies were also touch and go, as Marshal Archer was four hours late. But the good news was that Marshal Archer had decisively defeated the last Capellan defensive line before the Forbidden City and was on her way. Sian was going to fall, but the question remained for both sides in the Forbidden City? Would she arrive in time, or would she get there to see Task Force Allard-Liao overrun after making a gallant stand?

Task Force Allard-Liao perimeter
October 13th, 3057, 0340 hours
Forbidden City, Sian
Capellan Confederation


Kai Allard-Liao was angry, they’d beaten off three Capellan counterattacks in the last two hours. Damn Kuángrè de are forming up to try again. His thermal vision saw enemy ‘Mechs forming up in the pre-dawn murk, with infantry dancing around the legs as if they were smaller fish scooting around a shark cleaning them up from their previous meals. Good god, more Home Guards and Victory Battalion members. He’d already had to send a Vulcan pilot to the field hospital as a psychiatric casualty. He’d had to turn his weapons on a troop of Capellan girl scouts who he’d let get too close to him. One of them got a satchel charge onto a leg actuator. The ‘Mech was in the hands of someone else now. A tech promoted from the ranks of the Jade Phoenixes.

Kai popped the faceplate of his neurohelmet and tugged off his gloves…rubbing his eyes and then reaching for a water bottle. How many have you killed today, Kai Allard-Liao? The voice was his father’s, and he knew it was his own subconscious, mocking him for a youthful indiscretion. What the hell was I thinking, saying that?

Kai turned the radio to the GUARD frequency. The Capellans for some reason weren’t bothering with any kind of COMSEC. Hell, they were announcing their attacks with patriotic slogans and bugle calls over the radio. What kind of idiot does that? His Clanners thought it was brave, somewhat honorable. It didn’t prevent his Clanners from killing the Capellans in job lots as they came through.

An elemental suit bounded out of the darkness, coming to a stop at the feet of Kai’s ‘Mech. Taman’s done his walk of the perimeter. He changed his primary frequency back to the Jade Phoenix Battalion.

“How went your walk of the lines, Taman? Our guys holding up well?” Kai exhaled, trying to chase the exhaustion and frustration away.

“Good for the most part, the Foxes Teeth are doing well, if a bit shook after the death of Ross McKinnion. He died well for a Spheroid. He died with his mate, Sarah Lytton. There were heaps of dead Capellans around them. The rest of our force is tired but eager. The end of a long campaign is in sight, and we are ready to enjoy our conquest.” Taman’s usually gravelly voice was filled with exhaustion, his words slightly slurred.

“Taman, tell Danton to move his people into reserve. They’ve done well today. And I’ll be writing Ross and Sarah up for the Diamond Sunburst. Cross load ammo and consumables. I suspect they won’t be in reserve long.” Kai remarked, his voice sounding a bit droller than intended.

Do I really want to rule these people? They’re so ready to die for a madman whose gotten them to this point. They can’t win, they have turned Sian into a smoking ruin, and may have even used nuclear weapons on us. The desperation is brave, and sad…and so damned Capellan.

“Kai, do you know where Marshal Sarah is? If she doesn’t arrive soon, I fear our being superior warriors will mean little, as we are going to get rolled over.”

“Aff Taman, all we can do is buy time. How much of the Pheonixes are still standing?”

“All but ten, ovKhan. And all died a credit to their origins. We need our own version of the Remembrance for our Cluster.” A bit of pride crept back into Taman’s voice.

Kai nodded with a grim smile. “Well, then if Marshal Archer arrives a bit late, at least we paved the way for her, but I’d rather not emulate Custer or Frost at Arnhem Bridge.”

“Aff, neither would I, ovKhan.”

A bugle call pierced the calm of Kai’s cockpit. It was soon followed by rapid-fire Han Chinese, breaking into the “Capellan Patriot’s Song” a recent creation of the Capellan Broadcast Service. Kai’s ears cringed involuntarily; it was the version done by “DaoShao” a recently popular tween boy band from Zurich that had topped the Capellan pop charts just before the war. And now they’re convincing other kids to die. Isn’t that nice?

“Taman, get back to your Star, I suspect we’re going to have company soon.”

“Aff, ovKhan!” Taman’s suit turned with uncharacteristic speed and jetted away, returning to his elemental star on the far-left flank. They were covering what was left of the Chancellor’s gardens and were there in case the Capellans tried to infiltrate through the undergrowth. If not, they would use the terrain to counterattack into the flank of any Capellan advance. The rest were dug in wherever cover could be found in the tangle of shattered buildings and monuments. The early morning murk was a mix of smoke from burning buildings and smashed ‘Mechs and vehicles, as well as fog from the nearby swamps.

Kai changed to his command company frequency, then activated the push to get it out to all receivers on the task force net.

<<ALL RAPIER CALL SIGNS, THIS IS DEMON SIX. STAND-TO, STAND-TO, HERE COMES THE SILLY BASTARDS AGAIN!>>

Acknowledgments flooded in from the task force, Kai filtered most of them out as he counted the men and women in his task force. 8 ‘Mechs operational, and that was a loose definition. Most were close to CLG. I’ve got an understrength company, most of us are pretty shot up. Least we have one thing going for us.

He switched frequencies again:
<<DEMON SIX TO STARBASE THREE-ZERO. AM CALLING MLONJR, REPEAT MLONJIR.>>

MLONJIR was the “GOTH” or Go to Hell Plan for the artillery support with Marshal Archer. Basically, all the FPF (Final Protective Fire) lines would be hit with the heaviest doses of fire that could be mustered in a massive TOT barrage, on Kai’s signal. Trouble was. Most of the FPF lines were well within what was considered “danger close.”

All Kai had to do was give the word. “Freak Show 4, let’s see if we can calm the ardor of these Capellans, get the Psyop tapes running.”

A few of the Battlemechs had loudspeakers attached with prepared tapes in Chinese and Russian calling on the Capellans to surrender for promises of fair treatment. The tapes blared over the smoking ruin of the valley stretching before Kai. He turned up the gain on his external audio pickups. Then a roar came from the Capellan side. It was a chant… one-word “Sǐwáng” – Death. It was chanted three times, then switched to a guttural
“urrahhh!” and a mass of grey-green humanity boiled out of the treeline some 1000 meters opposite Kai, several Capellan ‘Mechs and AFV behind them, firing wildly.

Kai thumbed off his MASTER ARM switch, muttering “For the Chancellor” in an ironic tone. Time to go to work.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Dear Mom,

I know we have a family tradition of serving in the Light Guards. But…I can’t go near a ‘Mech anymore. Every time I sit in the cockpit, I see those girls I turned the machine guns on. I’ve asked for discharge on medical grounds…and it’s been granted. They’re shipping me back to Mallory’s World soon.

Please forgive me. I know we have a tradition of service, but I murdered children. I don’t know how I am supposed to live with that.

This may have been a necessary war, I don’t know. All I know is, from where I sit, it wasn’t a good war by any means. We’ve destroyed a world to save it. I don’t think they’ll ever forgive us for that. I don’t know if I can.

You and Dad were my heroes from the 4th War. I feel as if I’ve failed you, the family, and so many others. God forgive me for that. But God also forgive me for what I did. They say I prevented the line from being rolled up. But honestly, I wished I’d gotten that recognition posthumously. Our Vulcan will be coming home later. It’s been given to another ‘Warrior, but it will be returned when the shooting is over, or the AFFC will compensate us.

I’d rather have the money at this point. I think…I think I want to go back to school. Maybe, maybe become someone who helps bring something good into this world. Someone who protects kids…rather than turns machine guns on them?

  • Excerpt from a letter from Corporal Sandy Rich, a native of Memphis in the Federated Suns, and a ‘Warrior serving with X-Ray Company, 1st Battalion, Davion Light Guards. Rich was a psychological casualty from the events of Shattered Dao, and though his recovery was rough, he eventually became a renowned children’s author and pacifist in the Federated Suns. The letter was to his mother, explaining why he could not carry on the family tradition of serving in the AFFS/AFFC.
 
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PsihoKekec

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Butchery without a sense or reason. But this capital of Sian, where the indoctrination is the strongest and if even 10% are true believers, it means thousands and thousands lives to be thrown at guns. I reckon Sun Tzu is still alive at this point, either he escaped the palace or is holed up in a shelter beneath it.

I wonder how a battalion of Light Guards was picked for a do or die phone booth knife fight. I reckon their commander pulled strings to get the unit assigned instead of heavier battalion.
 

Tiamat

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Basically, the Battletech Clover Spear version of Operation Downfall, specifically the stage Operation Coronet where the US Army and Marines, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Commonwealth forces all do the grand tour of Tokyo. Thank god that never happened.

I feel sorry for all the bastards in this. Sunny boy can't suffer enough for bringing on this level of insanity.
 

Kujo

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Sian and Luthien would never be easy worlds to defeat let alone conquer. Both are capital worlds of Totalitarian states whose populations have never known anything but 'dear leader'. Luthien may, may adjust better with the reforms Teddy and Takashi instituted, but Sian under Sunny Boy and 'Rommie' cult of personality takes a whole new meaning... I hope Kai and Dr. Lear (hopefully with the help of Cassandra and Kaun-Yin) have a few years to deprogram and reconstruct not only Sian but the whole insane areas of the Confederation!

Not a perfect fit, but Sabaton's "Versailles" (especially the second half) may capture the battles in this chapter
Great if very depressing chapter! Thank you.
 
Shattered Dao, Part 3

CurtisLemay

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Shattered Dao, Part 3​

The last 40 klicks or so to the Forbidden City were the worst. What should have taken us an hour to cover took the better part of the day. Every damn building, gulley, or reverse slope, we had to dig Capellan defenders out. Most died, some surrendered. But I’ll not forget the feeling when the 1st [Davion] Guards raised their colors and the FC flag over the palace? I will admit I wept like a goddamned baby.”
  • Marshal Sarah Archer “My Thirty Years in Uniform – A Memoir”

Axis “Quickcell” along Capellan State Highway 7
38km from the Forbidden City
0340 hours
October 14th, 3057
Sian
Capellan Confederation

<<LUCKY ACTUAL, I NEED YOU TO GET YOUR ASSES ON THE ROAD AND ME INTO THE DAMN FORBIDDEN CITY BY SUNUP. CAN YOU DO THAT, OR DO I NEED TO PASS THE BATTLE TO NOTORIOUS? OVER?>>

<<GREEN ACTUAL, WE CAN DO THIS, MY BOYS AND GIRLS CAN SEE THE SPIRES OF THE FORBIDDEN CITY. ONE MORE PUSH AND WE ARE THERE. SAY THE WORD AND GIVE ME PRIOITY OF FIRES, OVER?>>


Marshal Archer yawned, hoping the mic on her neurohelmet wouldn’t pick that up. The 7th Crucis had been fighting like demons since they forced the last ditch Capellan line. Even with the Capellan line broken, the 7th was taking heavy casualties to disorganized, but ferocious Capellan strongpoints and local counterattacks. Wish I still had the 6th available, but they’re in a rest period while I rebuild the RCT command staff. It was a dilemma. She knew Jasper Zibler would force his way through any way he could. But he’d probably gut the unit doing it. The Assault Guards were busy holding open the flanks of the advance, and the rest of the force was launching local attacks to pin down other Capellan defenders.
No, it was time.

<<LUCKY ACTUAL, THIS IS GREEN ACTUAL. HAND OVER THE BATTLE TO MEDUSA AND ATLAS. THEY’RE PRETTY FRESH AND THEY’LL GET US IN. TELL YOUR BOYS AND GIRLS THEY DID A GREAT JOB GETTING US THIS FAR. IT’S TIME OTHERS TOOK THE JOB TO FINISH IT, OVER?>>

Zibler’s voice sounded dejected on the other end, but with a tinge of understanding <<ROGER, GREEN ACTUAL, WE WILL HAND OVER THE FIGHT.

THANKS FOR THE PRAISE FOR MY BOYS AND GIRLS. THEY DESERVE SO MUCH, OVER?>>
Zeyus
Archer grinned crookedly. <<UNDERSTOOD LUCKY ACTUAL. PULL YOUR KIDS BACK FOR SOME REST. THEY DID AN AMAZING JOB GETTING US

THROUGH THAT LAST CAPELLAN DEFENSIVE BELT
. SIT BACK AND WATCH THE FLAG GET RAISED. GREEN ACTUAL OUT.>>
She switched frequencies

<<KINGPIN ACTUAL, THIS IS GREEN ACTUAL, LUCKY IS HANDING OVER THE BATTLE TO ATLAS AND MEDUSA. PLEASE GIVE THE PASSAGE OF LINES AND THEIR ADAVANCE PRIORITY OF FIRES, OVER?>>

<<GREEN ACTUAL, KINGPIN ACTUAL WILCO. WE WILL GIVE THEM ALL THE HELL WE CAN MANAGE, OVER.>>

<<KINGPIN ACTUAL, NEVER SUSPECTED OTHERWISE, GREEN ACTUAL OUT.>>


It was up to the 1st Ceti and the 1st Davion Guards now.

Marshal Archer heard a series of booms ring out to her rear. That must be the redlegs covering the 7th during passage of lines. Excellent, these kids have fought their heart out.

She then rose the left arm of her Zeus and gave the hand and arm signal for an advance towards the fighting, which was lighting up the night sky like a man-made tempest. She then pumped the arm up and down to signal “maximum speed.”

This is for all the goddamned marbles. It’s time to end this bullshit.

Her command company slid into line on either side of her, with two lances up, and the support lance in the rear. She took in the sights and sounds as the whine of autocannons mixed with the thunder like sound of PPCs and the freight train noise of artillery ripping apart the early morning sky.

Her people were tired. They had gone with little sleep for the last 12 hours, and food had been from the ration pouches on the move.

And no one had complained about it. Not one. You’d usually see or hear some griping, this was different. This was a chance to end the damn war.

And as far as she could tell? If she let them, every unit in the invasion force would race to the capitol to be first. Even Zibler, even though I told him to back off.

Her command company frequency came to life <<GREEN 31 reporting contact with the enemy 1000 meters to my front. Thermal has two ‘Mech sized contacts. They don’t have ID panels, I repeat, they don’t have ID panels, OVER?>>

<<GREEN 31, GREEN 6, ENGAGE WITH YOUR LANCE AND PUT THEM DOWN PLEASE, OVER?>>

<<GREEN 6, GREEN 31, WILCO, OUT.>>

The four assault mechs of the shock lance spread out into line some 100 meters apart, and advanced on the two contacts. Before long, LRMs and PPCs reached out to the targets somewhere in the early morning murk. The lance soon advanced into the murk themselves, and the radio lit up with reports of damage and soon, kills. The targets were a pair of Capellan Archers wearing the colors of the Red Lancers. Both appeared damaged from earlier actions, as it didn’t take a lot of fire to put them down.

<GREEN 31, GREEN 6, WELL DONE, CHARLIE-MIKE, OUT>>

3 hours later

<<ALL GREEN CALLSIGNS, GREEN SIX, LET’S SLOW IT DOWN, I WANT COLUMNS WITH SIXTY METERS BETWEEN US, WE’RE ENTERING SOME CLOSE SUBURBS HERE, AND I SMELL AMBUSH. BE READY TO SCRATCH SOME BACKS, OUT.>>
Marshal Archer throttled down her ‘Mech. The sweat began to in the palms of her fingerless gloves, and it wasn’t the heat output from the reactor. I hate cities, I really fucking hate cities.

It was a typical Capellan-planned community, with a series of apartment buildings built by the State Housing Authority on the outskirts, and a central commercial district in the center. All of it was set up on a gridded street structure, and all of it was pre-chambered for demolitions, or set up to be used as strong points. Damn Capellans think of everything, don’t they?

Yonkers on Engadin left me with that little issue.
She’d been with the 26th Lyran Guards then, fighting in the 4th War as a brand new Leutnant fresh out of Buena. And it was damn like this, fighting fanatical Combine kids in the 5th Sun Zhang street to damn street. Took all spring to get those bastards to surrender. I guess that’s why I have my heart in my throat…Every damn block had DCMS infantrymen with SRMs, about half of them packing inferno rounds…

<<GREEN 6, ON YOUR NINE!>>

A stream of green tracer ripped by her ‘Mech, awfully close to her-

<WHAM, WHAM!!>

Marshal Archer’s Zeus swayed as it took two impacts to the head. The rounds hit along the side of the head, throwing sparks, and shaking the head like a terrier does a chew toy. Marshal Archer was thrown into the side of her command couch and her vision greyed for a moment, but fortunately, she didn’t lose control and managed to right the ‘Mech. Another two streams of tracers ripped past the Zeus, as she fought for control of her ‘Mech.
Sarah flipped her view from IR to Night Vision and began to turn her ‘Mech towards the general direction of the fire. Other reports were filtering in from the company. They’d walked into a fire sack for a Capellan field gun unit of perhaps battery strength, but it was hard to know, as there was also a bit of small arms fire picking up from random buildings. She caught the staccato flash of an autocannon firing from the 5th floor of a non-descript light-colored apartment block about three blocks down. Call it 300 meters, give, or take? Guess it’s PPC time?

Archer grimly flipped off her master arm switch, then pulled the trigger for just her Defiance 1000 Extended Range PPC. The weapon hummed as it built up to discharge, the process taking seconds, then violently discharging a beam of cerulean light with a loud thunderclap as killer and target were linked in a brightly lit finger of death. The entire floor exploded outward when the beam impacted, with rubble raining down into the street below, and the room where Archer had seen the muzzle flash engulfed in flames. She saw a figure in the next room over dance a macabre death dance, as he burned, preferring the quick death of jumping the eight stories into the street below than enduring the slow horrible death of being a human torch.

God, I hope that person wasn’t a civilian. Then again, are they any left on Sian now?

6 hours later


The pattern of trudge forward a few hundred meters, then fight through or bypass a Capellan strongpoint had become exhausting. Marshal Archer was drenched in sweat, and her eyes stung from the sweat, and an average of three hours of sleep for the last two days. There was also the small matter of getting my bell rung. She glanced at the instrument panel and winced; I ran out of LRM ammo? When the hell did that happen? The sun was now high in the sky, and the skies filled with FC aerospace fighters awaiting their turn in a ground attack mission. We haven’t seen a Capellan fighter in the last week? Did we really shoot them all down?

Her eyes then moved to her mech’s armor status, most of it was in the yellow, including her head, fighting their way clear of what turned out to be a depleted Capellan fortress battalion had cost her two ‘Medium mechs, a Dervish and an Assassin. The latter had been when it had found a big IED that had blown its right leg off in mid-run. The ‘Mech had skidded down a main street headfirst into a small building with an unusually deep basement. I didn’t see Sergeant Ramos eject either. Dammit, he had a wife and two kids back on Dalkeith.
She could see the spires of the palace, and reports from MEDUSAs lead elements were that they were within meters of Task Force Allard’s positions, but they were meeting ferocious resistance.

A radio call broke the gloom

<<GREEN ACTUAL, THIS IS MEDUSA ACTUAL, I HAVE THE HONOR TO REPORT THAT AT 1251 HOURS LOCAL, MARAUDER SIX REPORTED TO ME THAT ELEMENTS OF HIS COMMAND MADE CONTACT WITH TF ALLARD. WE HAVE RELIEVED COLONEL ALLARD, MAM.>>

Marshal Archer exhaled. I’ll ask about the butcher’s bill later.

<<MEDUSA ACTUAL, GREEN ACTUAL, STATUS OF THE PALACE?>>

<<GREEN ACTUAL, WE’RE GOING TO NEED A LOT OF INFANTRY FOR THAT. I NEED LEADFOOT TO GET UP HERE AND PUT HIS RCT TO WORK. IT’S GOING TO BE ROOM TO DAMN ROOM THERE.>>

<<UNDERSTOOD MEDUSA, CHARLIE-MIKE, I WILL PUSH EVERYTHING WE CAN TO YOU. LET’S HOPE THE CAPELLANS FINALLY GET THE PICTURE THAT IT’S OVER, OUT.>>


Archer guided her ‘Mech to a small hill that overlooked the center of the Forbidden City..the sun was high over the shattered ruins of the city, smoke pouring from several neighborhoods, especially the palace. Horrible business…but it’s still a hell of a view, just one hell of a view.

************************************************************************************

Sian, Part 5

Attacking Forces: 1st Davion Guards RCT, 4th Davion Guards RCT, 3rd Davion Guards RCT, 6th Syrtis Fusiliers RCT, 7th Crucis Lancers RCT, 1st Ceti Hussars RCT, 3rd Royal Guards RCT, Davion Light Guards RCT, 10th Deneb Light Cavalry RCT, 1st Federated Suns Armored Cavalry, 1st Kell Hounds, Jade Phoenix Cluster, 5th Federated Commonwealth RCT, 4th Royal Guards, 10 artillery brigades.

Defending Forces: House Immarra (25% strength), Red Lancers (10% strength), 1st People’s Loyalty Regiment (5%, scattered in penny packets), Death Commando Battalion (20% strength), 1 combined arms division of the Sian Home Guard (The second and third division were disbanded due to losses and used to reinforce the remainder), and 50 “Victory Battalions” (18 of which are on Wuhan, many battalions have either been destroyed or have deserted/surrendered en masse.)

Results: The final collapse of the Capellan defenses on Sian was as anti-climactic as it was anticipated. The Capellans had nothing more left to give. By the end, they were relying on small packets of scared, confused, and disorganized bands of defenders who just wanted to take one more swipe at the Fedcom invaders. The push to the Forbidden City itself took just six hours, resembling the ancient American tactic of the “Thunder Run,” but what resistance there was did little but cause more casualties.

The Celestial Palace itself held out for three more days held by the last survivors of the Red Lancer and Death Commando infantry. The end of the conventional phase on Sian was marked with the Fedcom raising the flag on the roof of the building from a shattered antenna on the morning of the 18th of October. But questions remained? Just who oversaw the Capellan Armed Forces that were left? And where was Sun-Tsu Liao? Until one or both questions were resolved, Sian threatened to descend into chaos and a nasty insurgency.
_____________________________________________________________________________________
“OK, we frigging won. So, where the hell is Sun-Tsu Liao? I got a case of Pharaoh Beer that’s in need of a skull kegger.”

  • Overheard from an unknown Davion Tank Commander soon after the fall of the Forbidden City
 

Doomsought

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Given the plastic surgeons he has? I suspect he will try the inner sphere equivalent of NAZI officers fleeing to Brazil to retire on whatever they could grab on their way out. He will probably next show up on his death bed in the Outworld's Alliance.
 

PsihoKekec

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40 km through urban terrain with lot of desperate defenders? Talk about Highway Trough Hell. The only positive from this bloodbath would be that guerrilla resistance in the city will be much less intense, because most of the possible resistors got killed in fighting, but the world itself will still be a hotbed of resistance. Killing or capturing Sunny would take the wind out of resistance, but given his state of mind I wouldn't be surprised if he killed himself, with only handful of Death Commandos knowing and completely destroying the body, so they can forever pretend that Sunny escaped and is leading the resistance.
 

Doomsought

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I think at this point, the way to have the least loss of life is to relocate everyone in the capital city to other planets and deconstruct the city until there is not one stone left upon another. Not only is it a very potent symbol of "This dynasty is dead" but it is also a reliable way to find everything that was ever hidden in the city.
 

PsihoKekec

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I reckon it will be for Kai to decide what to do with throne/palace and the city. I reckon he will want a fresh start for the country so the palace will indeed have to go, but probably won't go to the extremes of removing the city.
 
Shattered Dao, Part 4

CurtisLemay

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Shattered Dao, Part 4​

Unknown Relocation Site
75 km from the Forbidden City
1850 hours
October 18th, 3057
Sian
Capellan Confederation

Sun-Tsu Liao hadn't slept more than 6 hours in the last 72. He was haggard, and his once regal robes stunk of sweat and fear. There wasn't much water in the bunker complex, certainly not enough for more than the most basic of hygiene needs. Everyone by this point was a bit ripe, and with the constant smoking going on by some of the bunker occupants, the air scrubbers were working overtime.
He looked over the small, cramped situation room, filled with junior aides and functionaries. The holotank was flickering due to a lack of maintenance. Because I fired or killed the more senior people. Are all of us Liaos cursed to make the same mistakes? I swore I would not, yet here I am. He turned to Alexa Shang, her scarred face even more haggard in the confines of the musty, humid bunker.

"What do we have left to contest Sian with, Major Shang?"

"Unclear, Celestial Wisdom. Our long-range communications are intermittent and many of our units are being heavily jammed or are ignoring our comms. In some cases, some units won't even recognize our authority, though to be fair, those units are unable to authenticate us as legitimate."

"Should I speak with these units, Major? Get them to realize their Chancellor lives?"

"I doubt it would do any good, Celestial Wisdom. Your voice can be faked. And I would not put it past the Davion devils to fake a vid of you to trigger a planet-wide surrender."

Sun-Tsu exhaled. "Any hope of off-world relief?"

Shang shook her head "Most of our commands are out of communication. The Blakists abandoned us last month, and McCarron's trying to organize a functional command on Menke, but even if he did, it wouldn't be enough to lift the siege here. I've also heard dark rumors he's trying to organize his own state."

Sun-Tsu nodded, contemplating his long golden fingernails. "So, the Confederation dies. So be it. Then if I fail, the state fails. And as such, Capellan citizens should not be forced to deal with the aftermath of the death of their beloved state. We have plans for such matters, do we not?"

"Exactly what did you have in mind, Celestial Wisdom?" Shang's face lightened, her eyes widening slightly.

"HEFTY MACE?" Sun-Tsu smiled a smile that would have scared even the bravest soldier of the Confederation. Provided, there were any left. HEFTY MACE was intended to be the last order any Confederation Chancellor would give. It was an order to every Mask cell on every Capellan-loyal world to do whatever they could to cause mayhem and scorched earth. Meltdown power plants, poison reservoirs, kill crops, and a few other shocking acts. In short, make worlds uninhabitable and hand the Davions or Mariks a poisoned chalice.

"Chancellor, you can't be seriously considering it. The Confederation may be on its deathbed, but its people and culture live. We can act to at least preserve that."

Sun-Tsu rose, throwing his chair back towards the wall with a BANG that reverberated through the room. "You dare say the Confederation is dead?! It is not dead. I. Am. The. Confederation. I say when I die and when the Confederation dies! I elevated you from nothing, Major Shang!"

"You once asked me to be ready to perform a duty to save the state, even from you, Celestial Wisdom. I believe that time has come."

Sun-Tsu laughed. "So, do the rest of you agree with her? Or are you too afraid to be counted?" He turned his back to Alexa. "Go ahead Major Shang, show me- "

BLAM, BLAM!

Two gouts of blood erupted from Sun-Tsu's chest as the 5.5mm bullets from Shang's holdout weapon tore through him. The cartridge was small, and normally underpowered, but at this range, you didn't need much power. Sun-Tsu fell like a sack of potatoes, his body lying on the floor, his blood spraying all over the concrete tiles.

He looked up at Shang, gritting his teeth in pain as he hissed, "You can't kill me, you doom the state!"

Shang walked up and simply stated in a monotone, "No, you do." and fired two more rounds into Sun-Tsu's face.

No one else moved to do anything. Shang surveyed the room, looks of fear and relief warred on the faces of all present. She pointed her finger at a pair of comtechs manning a now-useless communications station in the corner of the room.

"Get the Davion commander on the line. Ask for terms. Then I want a message recorded and sent to all commands we are still in touch with. And place anyone still loyal to this-" waving her free hand over the still warm body of Sun-Tsu Liao "-under arrest."

No one moved. Shang looked over the room "Well, what the hell are you idiots waiting for? An engraved invitation to save your own lives? Go, now!"

The crowd finally dispersed and went to execute their new orders. The commander of the bunker guard force approached Shang "Does this make you our new Chancellor?" he asked guardedly.
"
No, Captain Fang, it does not. I presume we will all be answering to Kai Allard-Liao soon. In any case, I want your men and women to ensure this goes smoothly. Any more fighting is just going to make the Davions want to kill every Capellan they see. We need to make sure that doesn't happen."

Captain Fang nodded wordlessly, then made to give the Capellan salute, but thought better of it, and simply gave a palm down hand salute in the old SLDF style. Shang returned it and Fang turned on his hell to leave, his subordinates in tow.

Shang leaned forward with both hands gripping the sides of the holotank. Ancestors, tell me I did the right thing. Our Chancellor would have happily presided over a damned massacre of his own people. He didn't start out that way. But the Liao family has become a mad one. One that had to be separated from the state, for the state's own good.

And now, I must surrender the planet, and the Confederation before anything more goes wrong.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________
Message sent to all surviving CCAF commands on Sian, 2000 hours, October 18th, 3057

TO ALL COMMMANDS,

1. YOU ARE TO CEASE ALL HOSTILITIES AND MAINTAIN YOUR POSITIONS PENDING SURRENDER NEGOTIATIONS WITH FEDERATED COMMONWEALTH FORCES. YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO ACT IN SELF-DEFENSE IF FIRED UPON BUT DO NOT RPT DO NOT INITIATE HOSTILITIES. ANY UNIT THAT VIOLATES THESE ORDERS WILL BE TREATED AS PIRATES AND NOT SUBJECT TO THE PROTECTION OF THE ARES CONVENTIONS.

2. ALL UNDERAGE PERSONNEL IN VICTORY BATTALIONS ARE TO BE GIVEN IMMEDIATE DISCHARGE, DISARMED, AND SENT HOME. WE HAVE ASKED ENOUGH OF OUR CHILDREN.

3. FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS TO FOLLOW.

EOM

Shang, MAJOR, CCAF for the Chancellor

_____________________________________________________________________________________________
"Point Luck"
25 km from the Forbidden City
0900 hours
October 19th, 3057
Sian
Capellan Confederation


Marshal Sarah Archer exhaled another breath in the cold Sian air. She turned to her assembled staff "Yeah, I know, little dramatic to meet her at some out-of-the-way state farm, but it does have shades of Appomattox, does it not?"

Her staff said nothing, knowing when their boss was posing a rhetorical question.

The sound of distant blades beating up the atmosphere soon hove into view, three distant dots against the eastern sky. The dots soon resolved themselves into a Karnov escorted by a pair of Warrior helicopter gunships. The Karnov was painted white with green crosses on the fuselage and wings, just as the cease-fire terms had demanded. We're not asking the damned Capellans to do anything, we're goddamned telling them to do it. Not after the butcher's bill we had here. The Karnov soon found a spot to touchdown some 500 meters away from Archer and her staff. The blades soon stopped rotating, but no one left the aircraft, even as it powered down.

"Alright ladies and gents, look confident but don't be showy. Remember who the hell won." Archer stuck an unlit cigar in her mouth. "Let's go greet the enemy." Archer approached the Karnov, moving at a deliberate and confident gait.

A door on the Karnov's side soon opened and a gaggle of Capellan senior officers, resplendent in their dress uniforms, made their way down the stairs. All were unarmed, save one, who was wearing a gunbelt with a pistol on her hip. All were wearing the white armband on the right side as per the meeting agreement.

Archer stopped her party and waited for the Capellans to approach her. They did so in a semi-triangular phalanx and stopped some ten meters from Archer's group. The head of the group who was wearing the gun belt then stepped out three more paces and saluted Archer in an SLDF palm-down salute. "Major Alexa Shang, Capellan Confederation Armed Forces."

Archer returned the salute in the palm-up Davion style. "Marshal Sarah Archer, Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth. Before we begin, Major, we have two questions. One, where the hell is Sun-Tsu Liao, and two, You're senior?"

Shang smiled mirthlessly "Yes, I am senior, and as for the late Chancellor Liao, I killed him for reasons of state."

Marshal Archer exhaled slightly; her G-2 had expected this when they intercepted that first message. "So, can you even guarantee your people will follow orders?"

Shang laughed "I think they will when those orders are to save their own lives. Tell me, Marshal, we're pitting children with bamboo staves against Battlemechs, is there any sensible military reason to continue this, or would you have thrown in the towel to save the lives of whatever's left?"

Archer nodded "Agreed Major Shang, but there are concerns about some of your units."

Shang nodded in return "Agreed Marshal Archer, we may need your assistance bringing them to heel. But for now, may I propose we put a stop to this insanity?"

Archer stepped to one side and extended her arm to a nearby large tent with a long table with camp chairs all around it, a small gaggle of what appeared to be Federated Commonwealth press waiting behind a makeshift rope line. "Lead the way, Major. I am as eager to be done with this as you are."

Shang led off without another word, her staff in tow. Her face was grim and determined, but any observer could see there were a million other things she would have rather done but this.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Communique to New Avalon, sent by ComStar and FAX as 1030 hours, October 19th, 3057

TO: PRINCESS KATHERINE STEINER-DAVION and PRINCE VICTOR STEINER-DAVION

FROM: MARSHAL SARAH ARCHER

I am pleased to inform you that we have accomplished the mission of this command as of this time and date. We have secured the surrender of Sian and her defenders.

The Capellans have agreed to a surrender with the immediate parole of all those under sixteen or over sixty-five that were not part of the military before our landings. I agreed to this as there has been enough bad blood to last us a lifetime.

I request that all the medical and engineering assets we can spare be sent to Sian once the cease-fire goes into effect at midnight local time tonight. We have a lot of rebuilding to do here, and I need the tools to get started.

Our mission is now the reconstruction of Sian, pending political decisions made by yourselves. You should be proud of our soldiers. They did a great job under very trying circumstances. My list of commendations and mentions in dispatches is attached to this message. It is a long list, and sadly, most of it is posthumous awards. But thank God, the killing is over. I expect the rest of the CCAF will surrender in the coming weeks. But what are our orders with regards to McCarron's Armored Cavalry on Menke?

EOM

Archer
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
You know those ancient newsreels of the end of World War II back on Terra? Where everyone goes nuts when the surrender is official? Well, that was New Avalon when word came down the Capellans had quit. The streets were filled with bedlam. People went crazy, but the good kind. Most of the calls we got that night were from people who had too much and thought the gutters were a good place to sleep or couples who couldn't wait to get a room and went at it right on the sidewalk. Yeah, I got three offers from some very drunk 'Mechwarriors with the New Avalon Militia, and hugs from just about everyone. It was a good day to be a New Avalon City cop.

Officer Mike Renard, New Avalon City Police, interviewed for the program "Where Were You When…" Airdate 3/25/3070
 
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