Legends and Myths Seventeen

Lancer Command Compound
Auburn Mountains
0900hrs (GMT+2), 28 February 3080

  Activity within the Phoenix Lancer command compound had been busy for the last few weeks.  Since the Christmas Raid, the decision to spread out forces a bit more to cover other attempts had come about.  Mech Forces, now standing at almost three reinforced battalions, had been officially assigned to various continental bases.  First Battalion was now assigned to Cromwell on a full-time basis while Second was allocated to Ashton and the smaller continent of Cross, off the western coast.

  Third Battalion was on Forbes as they were the newest force and having the biggest growing pains as a re-constituted battalion.  Thankfully, they were not alone here, as some of the Lancer Armor was assigned here as was their guests, the Returned.

  The 331st forces were mostly stationed on Forbes going through a detailed Refurbishment, with at least a full company of their forces now stationed at the Outpost Castle on Sage.  The rest were slated for deployment to areas their civilians had chosen to live, which suited Colonel Tinney just fine.  Parceling out Lancer Armor and Mech assets had been a slight challenge- he’d never had to assign perma-garrisons for Lancers mechs before. In the past, the Armored Regiments had been plenty as well as the vast Militia the planet sported.  But the Jihad had changed thinking on that… as had the troubles that came with taking in the Returned.

  Those problems had been mostly minor so far, with minor disagreements within the bondsmen of the Lancers over the lineage of the Returned… and the one big raid from Christmas.  The results of that raid were still being worked out- Major Kassing and his Company having dragged down all but one of the escapees of the Battle of the Delta within 24 hours… The last one proved to be a difficult hunt for Major Clyburn’s company once they were operational; that one took four more days.

In the meantime, most of the Warships were now fully operational craft, with the Texas class battleship SLS Bismark now fully repaired and rearmed, along with the Aegis class SLS State of Grace and a Lola III, the SLS Yukon.  The Yukon had arrived a week after the initial fleet along with two other Warships, escorting a dozen jumpships).  All three warships were supported by assault Dropships of Lancer ownership- mostly Avenger class ships.  The handful of Lightning aerospace fighters that remained in the 331st’s hands were all updated and operational, thanks to a purchasing mission to (of all places) Capellan space for parts.

  An irony for the Lancers now was that, at seven warships and over twenty Jump ships, they now had a large navy.  Not on the level of a Great House, of course, but still damn large-on the level of Wolf’s Dragoons when they arrived in the Inner Sphere in 3005.  This was an expensive asset, of course but given how dangerous things were, it was a necessary expense.  That cost would be borne by the large amount of salvage from the Occupation still on planet and contained in known Fortress warehouses throughout the world.  Add in the now very resurgent manufacturing base of League Era items, the Lancers and the populous of Centaurus would do alright.

At least until the first Clan Groups came looking for Hollister and his people.  And that was the subject of this meeting of the minds this morning.

Within the main Conference room, the collected leadership of the Lancers sat or was on VidConference Screen.  Governor Sodher-Schaller’s image was front and center of the screen along with Colonel Hollister from the Outpost.  Chief Warrant Officer Charles Spiegel, head of the Lancer Technician Section was on the screen too, beaming in from Forbes where he and Governor Devine were working with The Returned Techs to continue the updating of manufacturing lines- those two had muted their microphone as they were talking, fairly animatedly too.  Also on screen was two other folks, sans pictures- Chief Ranger Calderon (who represented Interior Department) who was out in the field and Governor Joe Bondi from over on Johnson, where he was busy overseeing construction projects.

  The Various Lancer Component Commanders were in the room for this.  Along side the Colonel, Majors McCormack and Borton, (1st and 3rd Bn commanders, respectively), Lt Colonel Conigliaro from the Air side was here in his flight gear, fresh from landing and Lancer Infantry boss, Lt Colonel Hannings had just arrived- late as usual.  Warrington was on the screen as he was still in Ashton drilling recruits from the Returned on the Lancer armor.  Major Kassing had QRF Duty and was listening in via coms.

All in all, it was a large meeting and a very necessary one.

“Okay,” Tinney began as he looked around the conference room.  “I know everyone hates these meetings but this one is important in light of the information I was sent through MIIO sources.  Where they got it, I have no idea…

  It would seem word of our new settlers has reached Clan Ears and there is a bit of arguments brewing there as to who can and will come looking.  With the chaos in Clan space and reported destruction of at least four clans- either through absorption or annihilation, the list is pretty damn small fortunately.

  AS near as our friends over in MIIO are concerned, the only possible Clan forces that might come calling are Ghost Bear, Snow Raven and maybe Hell Horses.  None of the Home Clans have the ass or inclination to come out here and the Sphere Clans, as they are being called, are a mixed bag of ability and energy.”

Tinney paused.  “That said, the most capable is Snow Ravens and they are the closest to us- per MIIO, they are busy trying to solidify their alliance with Outworlds so might not give a go at us.  The Ghost Bears have the best odds- but may not be able to due to helping Stone and the Republic form up.  Hells Horses are a mess but its never stopped them before.

  What info I have gotten from both MIIO and an associate with Clan Wolf-in-Exile show both the Bears and Horses looking to send something this way…  Its believed that whatever they send will be enough- neither can really dedicate enough firepower with their own positions in flux.  Whatever they do send though won’t be small.”

  Borton raised a hand.  “Ok… so where’s that leave us?  Do we have to worry about them showing up tomorrow or so we have time to prepare?”

 Warrington also spoke.  “Valid point…  and what are we going to have to defend as a result? Can’t be everywhere….”

Tinney nodded.  “Well..  that leads me to my next part, expected defense.  Whatever does show up might be reasonable in leaving the fighting outside cities.  They are coming for what they believe to be Wolverines; especially the Ghost Bears who have some sort of giant hate for your ancestors, Hollister.  Irrational too, in my opinion…  But being a fairly family oriented clan, they might not go for it because of the potential for Civilian Casualties- not something they like doing, so I am told.

  The Hell Horses, on the other hand… might go for it.  They aren’t as careful.”

Conigliaro spoke up then. “What sort of aerospace might the Ghost Bears come with?  Neither of those two are known for leaving their planes away though the Bears tend to let their mech jocks do the talking.  The Fighters, as I recall, are dedicated to air superiority,” The senior aerospace pilot of the lancers held up three fingers.  “I mean, they were a key part of the retaking of Terra, at least in establishing local superiority if I remember right…  they might not commit them to a big fight here for three reasons…  one, securing their own spaces, two, protection of their shipping and three, just not enough of them because of losses in the Sol system.”

McCormack answered him.  “Mike, no one really knows that answer, I’m sorry.  I know if they do bring them, you will have your hands full; they like heavy craft though traditionally, they do not have many which is why they are usually used for superiority missions.  If they commit them and that’s an if, I would expect to see a lot of heavy fighters.”

“Joy…” Conigliaro replied.  “What about Hell’s Horses?”

Tinney took up answering him for this.  “They will bring them.  The Horses fight completely Combined Arms… which makes them unique among the Clans.  Strength and Weakness, really… as depending on the force make up, they can be very supply dependent.  And slow.  Anything coming here will be strike oriented, I think.  Which means your pilots will be very busy…  How’s your ground game?”

 Mike smiled.  “It’s there and likely needs practice…  Any idea who might come first?  You know it won’t only be one- though I don’t see them coming as a group.  Too much tied up in being the one’s to put down the Wolverines…  No offense, Hollister.”

Hollister smiled slightly.  “None taken, Colonel.”

Tinney looked at the notes in front of him then back up at the assemblage. “We know they are coming… and we know it will be a mess.  How much will be based on who and what comes; the when is also in flux.  MIIO thinks it will be soon; they just don’t know which one will be first.”

Diane frowned.  “How soon?”

“Within 30 days, its thought,” Tinney replied.  “If it’s the Bears, you might be able to turn it into a Refusal- I mean, they did get Abjured from Clan Space so one could argue their beef stems from when you both were among the Homeworlds.  Seeing you both aren’t anymore… maybe make it a Refusal over living in the Sphere instead?  Or a Grievance over even being a target over two-hundred- and fifty-year-old bullshit?”

 Kassing laughed across the coms. [Tinney, that is the most weasel lawyer-y stunt…] He said.  [What makes you think they’d go for a Refusal Battle versus Annihilation?]

 Hannings answered before anyone else.  “Resources.  The Ghost Bears have more than just themselves to look after now, with their more or less taking over the Rasalhague Republic.  They can’t afford to go haring off after a myth with most of their Touman.  The level of battle that Annihilation would entail is simply not cost or resource effective, not when they have territory to protect.

  For that matter, neither can the Falcons or the Wolves try to do it- those two are so locked into beating on each other; neither has the strength to jump into hunting the Myth with any sort of power and be certain the other won’t take advantage of weakened defenses. Add in we are kind of far away and you aren’t seeing either of them.

The Nova Cats are more or less Combine residents right now and Hells Horses are far away too.  I don’t see them trying though with the Horses, I could see a gamble.  I do see Snow Raven as possible because they are not that far from us… but they have a realm to see to as they are partnered with the Outworlds Alliance.  I don’t see them sparing assets to come either.

 Which leaves the Bears, maybe… and the Horses.” Everyone one present stared at the normally quiet Bill Hannings.  Bill, for his part, stared back for a second and then asked, “What?  Did I say something wrong?”

 Leslie shook her head.  “No Bill… you just don’t normally say anything; and rarely do you give a dissertation.  Especially on Clan politics or reasoning.  Well done.” She commented.  “Sounded good to me…”

  Bill shrugged.  “I have a small fascination for Clan motives and what makes them want to fight.  For the most part, there must be a really good reason for doing more than the occasional asset raid for most of them.  Pursuing Wolverines would be a good reason but most of the clans are in poor positions to do so.  Too much to lose in the process.  Or so I have read.”

“Sounds like a good theory, Bill,” Tinney replied.  “And it kind of supports trying to twist the pursuit into something a bit less final.  Couldn’t hurt to try that argument if they show up.”

Hollister shrugged from the other side of the screen. “Maybe.  Until then, we will work to be ready to take the field.  The rest of my forces should be through the technical refurbishment process within the next two weeks… and if they hold off that long, we will be ready.”  The Returned leader said.  “I suspect they will think it a trap and may not agree to it.”

“They might, they might not.  Considering Victor pulled a wording trick against the Council, they might look for similar.  In any case, I’ll worry about it when and if the opportunity shows up,” Tinney replied.  “Until then, there is preparations to make and readiness to improve. Third Battalion should be stood up fully within the month which will bring us back to a resemblance to our SLDF organizational levels… and more Aerospace is coming.  Any questions?

No one indicated any and Tinney breathed out.  “Ok then…  meeting in a Week unless situation dictates otherwise.

Author: John T

Warrior-Sage and full time healer. Gamer and Arm Chair Analyst (who isn't these days?) who isn't afraid to read up on what I don't know.

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