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Author Topic: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion (Complete, Comments welcome)  (Read 26218 times)

Shadow_Wraith

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #150 on: 27 May 2021, 07:53:38 »
Nice story update!  Glad to see Corrine getting a mech as a  present.   Also adored the scene of Corrine negotiating with her mother and future mother in law about her wedding!

PsihoKekec

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #151 on: 27 May 2021, 12:13:32 »
She will have to give up career in the FWLM though, unless they are willing to station Stygians in the Free World League
Shoot first, laugh later.

AlphaMirage

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #152 on: 29 May 2021, 00:44:27 »
She will have to give up career in the FWLM though, unless they are willing to station Stygians in the Free World League

She barely started so that's not that terrible.

Nice story update!  Glad to see Corrine getting a mech as a  present.   Also adored the scene of Corrine negotiating with her mother and future mother in law about her wedding!

Thank you that was a fun entry to write, glad you enjoyed it

Chapter 20 – The Bell Tolls
03/28/3044

Legionnaire Tai checked his gear for the last time before the battle was real and micrograviy set in once more. The Mammoth freighter CCS Jie Fang was in the center of a twenty dropship fleet composed of Gray Death Legion, Jie Fang ('Liberation') Foreign Legion, and St Ives' Janissaries completing their deceleration burn. Highspire's diminutive moon Peak appeared on the large screen above floating in front of the emerald world of Highspire and their white sun. So filled with equipment and personnel that it looked more like a Solaris city block.

A timer ticked down on everyone's watch. Less than five hours before they reached orbit, one last chance to sleep before drop hour. Shizi Battalion, his unit, would be first into the fight. It was going to be bloody. Tai knew it better than anyone. His past may have been erased from history upon admission to the Legion but the burns and scars he acquired along the way told more than any tale could.

Every time he walked past an incendiary unit his mind went back to the burning cities of No Return. A planet which had acquired the ominous name 'No Escape' after what Warrior House Hiritsu had done to President Vorhees and his supporters. One of Romano's numerous atrocities, ones she would answer for no. Candace's own failings would have to chase her to the spirit realm.

Tai walked past grim Legionnaires whose haunted faces and empty eyes didn't betray which side they were on during the War. It didn't matter anyway Warrior House Adepts, Mercenaries, Death Commandos, regulars and irregular, Servitor, Home Guard, Armored Hussar, etc.... The Capellan Confederation Armed Forces long incorporated diverse groups of soldiers unified in utmost dedicated to the Celestial Triad (Lorix Creed, Sarna Mandate, Korvin Doctrine) that formed the basis of their empire.

That is until Mandrinn Tormano Liao whose sloth combined with Candace's greed and Romano's envy finally broke the back of a Confederation that had endured for centuries. It was hard to admit that none of their leaders were without fault. Nor any Legionnaire without a tainted past. All wanted an end and saw it in sight. The Civil War was ending on Highspire. No one could claim victory; for the Capellan Confederation had already lost.

Just past Peak Gray Death Flight, 51st Air Lancers, Barodin's Red Wings, and 275th St Ives Air Wing deploy to protect dropship flotilla from Highspire Orbital Guard and Da Dai Chi aerospace interceptors. The overwhelming force pulverizes HOG and DDC fighters and assault dropships.

Legionnaire Tai and his fellow Shizi warriors took up their positions in the Ares Mark VII Landing Craft. The Steiner model that Tormano had procured could no longer hold heavy armor such as the CCAF standard Po, trading it instead for high acceleration. Instead two Arachne (Wheeled Scorpions, 5/8 with Light AC/5) were strapped into a line. Their compact turrets turned just right to prevent them from being entangled in one another. Loadmasters checked the straps holding their wheels in place as the crews climbed in.

Twenty of these carrying either a pair of lightweight Arachne tanks and an infantry platoon or a King Tiger medium tank were readied aboard the Jie Fang. More small craft from the Mule and Trojan freighters were carrying additional infantry along with anti-tank guns and artillery pieces. Jump capable mechs from the Janissaries and Gray Death Legion would execute an orbital drop to clear the starport and bring down their heavier assets. His objective was to hold off any reinforcements until they could.

He strapped himself into the seat with his unloaded rifle locked into the mount. The seat was hard metal with an overhead strap that would keep him from cracking his helmet on the bulkhead above. Inside the cargo compartment the loadmasters checked the straps on everything including the metal chest between them that contained their heavy weapons and ammo.

They would need it. WolfNet sources indicated that there were three regiments of Romano Loyalists within her palace, and two outside. The Gray Death Legion would serve as reserve while all commands answered to the Mandrinn, callsign 'Namean.'

Lights changed to the red tone indicated it was time for helmets to be donned. The tanks closed their hatches. Their cargo ramp raised and sealed just as the airlock on the other side did.

Tai and the others in his platoon donned their helmets tying them into the landing craft's air for the hour long transit. With a sharp jolt of acceleration the Landing Craft was on its way.

He looked down at the rifle.

Tormano intends for us to win the war on our own.

Easy for him to say.

He has a Battlemech.

Wrangler

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #153 on: 29 May 2021, 15:02:52 »
Sounds like things are going get ugly on Highspire.

I guess that infantryman knows whom the bell tolls....him.
"Men, fetch the Urbanmechs.  We have an interrogation to attend to." - jklantern
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AlphaMirage

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #154 on: 29 May 2021, 19:01:54 »
“Legionnaires Deploy!”

Tai undid his seat buckle and picked the rifle up with practiced movement. Already Loadmasters worked on the straps holding the Arachnes in place. Legionnaires gathered on the lowering ramp. Warm air filled the compartment with sickly humidity. As soon as they could Legionnaires hopped onto steaming pavement.

Thirteen Ares Landing Craft of the initial twenty in this command had made it to the ground. His was in the lead. Sounds of anti-air guns and bombs surrounded them. Close impacts could be felt in their bones. They grunted under the strain of heavy weapon components, already sweating despite being on the ground for less than three minutes. Highspire's sun was dampened by the low clouds above.

Six minutes later one of the light tanks rolled down the cargo ramp. Loyalist Guardian fighter-bombers flew overhead heavily laden with bombs. Neither Ares or infantry had weapons that could engage the aircraft but it had clearly seen the vulnerable formation on the ground.

“Set the charges! We have to prepare for incoming.”

One of the five ten man squads rushed forward wrapping rings of C8 around the towering tropical hardwoods. Others slid off the pavement into the spongy ground of drainage ditches running parallel to the road. Cutting through the jungle was an arduous affair. Tai hacked at the strangling vines with his machete desperate for cover.

A Swift Wind scout car appeared at the edge of the steamy haze. Capable of moving at nearly 160 kilometers per hour it was an ominous harbinger considering how reliant CCAF forces were on indirect fires. The light tank rolled forward to engage it before their position was triangulated.

“Move! Get off the road.”

Tai dove into the jungle as shells began to fall around them. The tank exploded as artillery shells landed around it. Turret and chassis was propelled into the thick jungle sending deadly shrapnel and live rounds in all directions. Even those that missed cratered the road that now needed to serve as the airstrip for the Ares landing craft. Their only remaining Arachne tank rolled off the landing craft and pushed forward. As soon as its wheels cleared the ramp it began closing.

“Shizi. We are closing the cargo bay. Fast burn out. Clear position.”

The Legionnaires ran into the jungles as the Ares' engines spun up until everything became a great roar. Artillery shells inched closer guided in by the Swift Wind. Eager to return to the safety of the sky other landing craft did the same. As soon as the landing craft leaped back into the sky the charges detonated toppling the tropical hardwoods, their trunks came down with a crash blocking the road and armored vehicles began to appear in the distance as Legionnaires assembled their heavy weapons and settled into the swampy ground.

“Weapons free.”


Two hours later, Mandrinn Tormano Liao's Hercules 'Nemean' was snarled by burned out equipment, razor wire, and tank barriers littering the road. Armored bulldozers and similar vehicles from the 16th Ward Combat Engineers struggled to push them out of the way. The 16th slowly cleared and repaired the road from the starport to allow his logistics vehicles to pass. Engineers checked for IEDs and other mines that might have been left behind by retreating forces in the next zone.

Loyalists had placed cratering charges, barriers, and mines on the road knowing full well that any approach would have to come from that direction. These combined with heavy anti-air fire had taken out some of the landing craft on approach.

Tormano had to come that way despite the WolfNet report providing an extensively detailed layout of her defenses. There was no other way to invade Highspire and remove Romano once and for all. Sounds of intermittent rifle and artillery fire betraying the danger of enemies still in the jungle.

Jie Fang Legion and Janissary infantry marched around the destroyed vehicles and craters. The tropical sun shined relentlessly above. Since their trucks were unable to follow the infantry used bayonets and cordage making bamboo poles to carry water, weapons, and ammo between them. A scene out of some primitive Periphery world contrasting sharply with Tormano's Battlemechs who stepped over the carnage their mech's feet crushing or kicking debris out of their way. Foot troopers gave them space pausing to stare at them as they passed them by on the way to the front line.

As the Mech column approached the Grand Palace Tormano was struck by the impressive edifice. Low wide walls, stone buildings, and deep moats ringed the formation almost three layers deep. The architecture inspired by Terra's Ankor Wat fueled his sister's god complex. She would make a final stand in a world built by her own pride.

Damaged Battlemechs from the first drop of Jie Fang and Janissary forces kept on the move or fled away along the road they just traveled. Field guns, tanks, and artillery fired at them from their fortifications within the compound.

TOAD (CM/70) Cruise Missiles from the CCS Seven Gates (A Triumph variant with four of them instead of all the heavy tanks) arced overhead. They joined Arrow IVs and Mortar shells, LRMs being very expensive and often out of stock in St Ives space, from Janissary Pillagers to land in the midst of Romano's defenses shattering stone and steel with high explosives.

The bombardment continued long into the night, the next day, and longer still.

AlphaMirage

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #155 on: 29 May 2021, 19:38:30 »
Excerpt from the Journal of Mandrinn Liao. Highspire Campaign. 03/28-04/05/3044

For the past three nights I could not sleep. Bright muzzle flashes lit up the sky and their thunderous report fills my mind and those of the men with dread. We all seemed to grow used to it on the fourth day.

Loyalist's counter-battery fire have caused many casualties in both equipment and personnel. We lost track of too many forces during the encirclement requiring troopers to patrol the fetid jungles in search of the enemy.

Death Commando raids cause damage to critical systems like our mobile water purifiers and heavy transports. Bulk water thus needs to be transported from dropships in smaller parcels almost a hundred kilometers from the starport reducing both fuel and water rations for all.

04/01
Thuggees came out of their Chu-li mountain strongholds to raid the starport. The murderous fanatics were barely repulsed by the Gray Death Legion left to defend our only source of trusted resupply. Grayson sent out scouts to man observation posts in order to provide better warning.

The CCS Jie Fang lost many of its shuttles during the initial assault causing today's transfer issues. What's the point of having 40 kilotons of capacity if I can barely move a kiloton each day? We use that much in ammo every other day.

04/02
Ambushes on the J-27 ordnance transports and trucks have increased in the past days requiring more escorts to protect our dwindling supply corps. Without resupply the guns will run dry and the enemy will rise from their holes once more to overwhelm us. They return with worn out weapons and men, succumbing to tropical illness and heat exhaustion.

Our Dove's medical tent at base is already overloaded with those afflicted by fever and parasites. The surgeons do what they can to tend to the Legionnaire's wounds but infection runs rampant due to environmental and transport issues. Loyalists fester in the fields spreading disease until they are buried. Even then the soggy ground causes them to return to the surface affecting morale. Battalion aid stations have increased the distribution of drugs to combat the pestilence that drains our vigor.

04/03
I can scarcely spare more vehicles for regular patrols, many have begun breaking down due to sabotage, battle damage, and lack of trained crews and technicians. Only our Mech Corps, kept in reserve, have remained at higher than 60% the initial readiness. Repair Depot crews have begun suffering the same illness as those on the lines reducing productivity.

Combat engineers spend as much time towing vehicles back to the starport for repair as they do preparing bridges for the assault or ensuring the road remains clear of mines. They always find some, requiring the road be shut down until it is removed.

04/04
The enemy has withdrawn to their third ring of defenses. Chlorine gas deployed by the Loyalists prevented an exploit of the breakthrough. Jie Fang Legionnaires donned their protective gear but there were more casualties from heat exhaustion than exposure to the offensive vapors. Additional attempts to force that breach have been repulsed by the fanatical defenders including the few remaining Mechs in my sister's forces.

04/05
Today is the day, a week of bombardment have shattered Romano's defenses and forced her loyalists underground. With any luck we have buried a number of them saving us the effort later. If I linger any longer we won't have the manpower or equipment to complete the assault suffering as we are under such great attrition in both.

Wrangler

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #156 on: 29 May 2021, 20:30:13 »
Brutal war, i wonder if Confederation will ever be reunited.  End up turning back to way it was before the Confederation...the Capellan Zone.
"Men, fetch the Urbanmechs.  We have an interrogation to attend to." - jklantern
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PsihoKekec

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #157 on: 30 May 2021, 02:12:31 »
War to the knife, knife to the hilt.
Shoot first, laugh later.

AlphaMirage

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #158 on: 31 May 2021, 17:07:05 »
04/05/3044 Location – Romano's Grand Palace, Highspire

Since it was almost constant Jie Fang had grown used to bracing themselves when artillery was about to go nearby. An Augmented Lance of two kneeling Pillagers and four Liequan (Hunting Hound, a version of the Hunter) Mortar tanks let loose volleys ahead of the main assault. Spearheaded by Battlemechs charging forward across the marsh to wade moats and clambered over the Loyalist's defenses. The roar of their blast ended just as the sound explosions and shattered stone returned.

A column of Hu Wang (King Tiger) medium tanks unspooled from the assembly area toward the pontoon bridges built by the 16th Ward Combat Engineers. Legionnaire Tai and his squad rode atop one of the formidable machines cradling rifles in their laps, packs and heavy weapons secure within the netting attached to the tank deck.

Armored Chemical Corps trucks maintained a white smoke screen preventing Loyalist artillery from targeting them while they were vulnerable. The smell of burning diesel fuel a welcome respite from the miasma they had grown accustomed to.

Fever, hostile wildlife, and enemy fire had decimated the Legion and even now Tai was barely hanging on. He looked down into the moat watching a python swimming through the diseased and gore filled water. Tank and squad moved up a ramp linked to a steel span passing over the wide cratered wall that once housed bunkers with deadly weapons on them.

The short trip ended with another ramp leading to yet another bridge over the second and third rings. As they neared the Grand Palace the troops dismounted slicing the netting off with bayonets to prevent it from fouling the turret mechanism. Sharp snaps of rifle fire and rumbles of artillery echoed off the shattered stone and its once grand carvings.

Legionnaire's armored vests heavy with grenades and ammo. Tanks increased the space between them as the terrain closed and grew rough from fallen stones. Infantry squads filled the flanks of the void ever vigilant for threats as they sped toward the front while clearing the complex.


On the front line a worn Hercules and ragged Thunder aka baby Victor (4/6/4, AC-20, 3ML) exchanged fire with one another utilizing the narrow paths through broken stone and concrete buildings. Mandrinn Tormano Liao felt the impact of his opponent's Kali Yama Big Bore in his bones. He traded fire with his own Imperator Code Red which struck true although on a peer foe even one as worn as the Thunder it was not a death blow. The invisible yet deadly particles streaming from the Kreuss PPC flew wide based on his sensors.

Nemean strained to keep on its feet as the heavy impact struck its hip. Tormano's mech enemy could jump over the rubble strew paths rather than have to plow through even with a faster ground speed.

“Where are you Juliet-Five-Eight?”

“En route Mandrinn.”


He nodded, keeping his eyes on a swivel in preparation for his opponent's next move and unseen threats. His paired small pulse lasers had dealt with more than a few infantry platoons that thought to come near and engage him. They wised up however instead choosing indirect fires or command mines concealed between the rubble that he was forced the push forward through before they toppled his Battlemech with C8.

“Some hustle would be appreciated.”

“Apologies Mandrinn.”
Several blocks to the West a group of Janissary Mechwarriors stormed through the streets crushing tank barriers while taking heavy fire from infantry in their concealed fighting positions above and below them. “The Loyalists have something to say about it.”

The Mech peered around the corner and saw nothing, “He has to be running low on ammo by now.”

His mind strained to the CCAF Mechwarrior doctrine he had been trained in many years ago. “Did you disengage?”

Battlemech feet plowed through the broken stones reaching to his ankles, they moved and shifted under the 70 ton mass above them threatening to topple it. Only through experience, skill, and the over-sized gyro was he able to maintain balance. “No, where would you go too?”

Playing hide and seek with an AC/20 armed unit was never optimal yet it was standard CCAF tactics. The formation's preference for mobile big guns that could kill lighter units quickly and disable larger ones was legendary.

If the Loyalist Mechwarrior had more ammo it would easily destroy his mech's rear armor or his fellow Lancemates. If he didn't there would be time to reload and deliver coup de graces to damaged mechs such as his own slowly working their way out of the maze. “What would I do?”

Tormano caught motion and light in his peripheral vision. The Thunder had decided to turn itself into the projectile. Its large sleek shape descending rapidly toward his own machine. Nemean backpedaled in the process bringing its cannon into alignment. Cluster munitions firing toward the damaged ambush machine that had disabled much of the Mandrinn's Lance.

At such close range the full compliment of munitions was very concentrated striking the enemy mech's vulnerable legs. The damage along with Tormano's evasive action spoiled the attack. It struggled to rise after landing wrong crumpled one of its legs. Tormano's however were quite functional.

Juliet-Five-Eight and its Augmented Lance of a Hu Wang platoon and two Vindicators pushed through enemy positions to reinforce his. Shortly after their arrival a CASEVAC Ferret VTOL arrived to recover the Mechwarriors who had been trapped in their machines which they had removed the control module to in order to deny them to the Loyalists.

Unable to land in the rough terrain it dropped a SPI rig which they hooked up to. As they ascended Juliet-Five-Eight's commander came in over the radio. “We will cover your withdrawal Mandrinn Liao.”

Tormano looked over his unit's damage display, all of his weapons were operational with a few rounds of ammo left, his armor was diminished moderately. It could be completely operational tomorrow but could not take another heavy hit. “As long as we take the long way. Sao-Wei Chen.”

“Affirmative Mandrinn.”



In a bunker beneath her Grand Palace Chancellor Romano Liao steamed at the injustices of her world. Her brother had finally come to take over HER DOMAIN with 'HIS' Army of mercenaries and traitors. All of this after he had abandoned them choosing to live a high roller lifestyle in the Lyran Commonwealth while her sister and Kanrei Theodore Kurita betrayed them. The DCMS occupied the world he was Mandrinn of and dozens of others. Only now that he could come in as a 'Liberator' and had no contest with Candace dead he chose to act.

She sat in the cockpit of, 'Empress of the Sun,' her Emperor battlemech which had taken the field earlier that day for the first time in more than a year. It had killed four traitorous St Ives Mechs and more than a dozen of their armored vehicles. Tomorrow it was going to kill the treacherous Tormano wherever he was. Romano had to legacy to think about but no kids to watch, they were already beyond the evil uncle's reach.


Legionnaire Tai's reorganized squad took up position in one of the many abandoned structures within the complex. They had failed to uncover and secure an entrance to the Loyalist's underground redoubts and lacked night vision optics. Instead they dug in, fortifying their concealed positions with ample stone and rubble surrounding them.

Everyone knew it was going to be a long night as soon as the Death Commando and Warrior House sharpshooters and Thuggee radio static of tortured noises started.

Wrangler

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #159 on: 31 May 2021, 20:12:49 »
Ack, evil spawn were born. 
"Men, fetch the Urbanmechs.  We have an interrogation to attend to." - jklantern
"How do you defeat a Dragau? Shoot the damn thing. Lots." - Jellico 
"No, it's a "Most Awesome Blues Brothers scene Reenactment EVER" waiting to happen." VotW Destrier - Weirdo  
"It's 200 LY to Sian, we got a full load of shells, a half a platoon of Grenadiers, it's exploding outside, and we're wearing flak jackets." VoTW Destrier - Misterpants
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AlphaMirage

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #160 on: 01 June 2021, 08:17:32 »
Ack, evil spawn were born.

Well it was that or Tormano shoots them. Better to have some unresolved points should I return.

04/06/3044 Location – Romano’s Grand Palace, Highspire

The Jie Fang Legionnaire’s M&G machine guns glowed a dull red before running dry as they laid down suppressive fire against the Thuggee forces assailing them from all direction, including below. Enemy fanatics had caught Tai and others by surprise after undermining their defensive position by blowing a hole in the floor with explosives. Closing the hole had cost him the last of his ten grenades.

He lay under one of them with his pistol still pressed against the man who just moments ago had nearly killed him with a machete. He rolled the corpse away window. The dark night was filled with the cries of wounded, dull throb of grenades and mines exploding, and the Thuggee drums of war outside.

Shouts of “Xiufu Ciadao!” rang out across the whole defensive line as the Legionnaires ran out of their generous ammunition allotment before the enemy ran out of bodies. Tai rolled over to find his rifle amid the dust and gravel holstering his now empty pistol on the chance he would come upon a fallen Legionnaire with extra magazines in his pockets. Blood rolled down to pick up dust from the many superficial cuts sustained after he lost his helmet in the scrum.

After fixing his bayonet he worked his way back to the command post to see it abandoned. Everyone was on the line, staccato radio chatter confirmed that the Legionnaires were fighting hard to sustain their positions against the irregular Thugee cultists, masters of ambush and terror tactics. Morale was low, ammo gone, all their high-tech weapons had run dry and the only thing that stood between them and death was 60 centimeters of cold steel and the will of the soldier behind it.

He picked up the blood splatted radio transmitter next to the dead Centurion beside it, the victim of an enemy sharpshooter. “If there is anyone out there don’t bother to come get us.” He found two more magazines for his pistol and loaded one into the weapon while shouldering the bayonetted rifle. “We have this under control.”

Five blocks from them, a pair of Legion Commandoes (the most common mech in the formation, which has absolutely nothing to do with them being made by Coventry Metal Works, coincidentally controlled by Duke Bradford, the Archon’s husband) endured sporadic attacks by Thuggee irregulars. Their hardened armor resisted the feeble small arms as they pushed through the streets laden with nets of extra ammo. Fragmentation warheads launched from their arm mounted missile launchers forced the enemy back to their holes.

One of them kicked a revetment that had been built out of rubble facing the friendly position. Throwing the stones back toward the doorways and holes blasted into the walls. “These fanatics are persistent Grigori. Thousand rounds per man and still ran dry.”

Warrior Attack VTOLs had been scrambled on their position as well as Jump Bombers. The Mechs watched as one of the latter made an attack run with rockets on one of the stone buildings. “Da, comes with the whole fanaticism thing,” His mech’s head swiveled to search the ruins that surrounded them, “and too much cover.”

Their searchlights came on as they rounded the corner to see the Legionnaires and Thuggee forces in the midst of a brutal melee. Barefoot machete and wicker shield wielding irregulars clashed with the bayonet wielding Legionnaires.

A primal sight but at the sign of the Battlemechs the square was filled with an eerie whistling which forced the Thuggee to break contact and run away. Cheers erupted from the Legionnaires as the Commandos dropped off their cargo and took up defensive positions around their fellow soldiers.

Mandrinn Tormano Liao arrived at the square at the front of the relief column. He looked upon the devastation wrought overnight. At a solemn pace his boots stepped over the same rubble and dirt that his Legion shed blood to hold.

Tai watched from his perch his rifle leaned against the wall, “If I wanted to anymore, it would be so easy to end you Mandrinn. Not long ago, I would have done it in a heartbeat at the Chancellor’s command.

Now I only want to ask.

Why did you wait so long?”

AlphaMirage

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #161 on: 02 June 2021, 21:30:27 »
04/06/3044 Location – Romano's Grand Palace, Highspire

Two decapitated Jie Fang Legion Commandos slumped to the ground as a camouflaged Emperor withdrew its hefty fists from the light mechs.

Chancellor Romano Liao's disengaged her data-gloves before clapping for the imaginary audience in her cockpit. “Another pair of cockroaches squashed.”

First Prince Hanse Davion had cleverly leaked a formula for more potent myomer using it as bait for a surprise attack by his AFFS to liberate her treacherous late brother-in-law from captivity. The rest of the Inner Sphere had moved beyond the prototype triple strength myomer but the 'Empress' and Thuggee Warrior House Rakshasa.  Her spies had acquired plans for the now abandoned 'Hatchetman' mech and made alternations to both it and the TSM to fit the Vindicator's frame prior to the start of the St Ives conflict but had seen only limited use so far due to cost and lack of aspirants. A pair of these 'Gargoyles' painted in red and dark blue tribal patterns jumped to her side from their over-watch positions.

“An impressive set of kills Chancellor. I did not think you would be able to drop them with a punch.”

“My brother thinks we must be on the ropes to send in his little scavenger mechs.”

“They have proven damaging to our brothers' morale.”

“Take heart Pai-Zhang. They die easy.”


Dull throbs rang out around them as artillery exploded around them. The Thuggees jumped away to take cover from the last known location of the fallen Legionnaires. Romano had designed her palace complex to be a labyrinth and she was its guardian.


A tropical storm had rolled in from the coast bringing with it howling wind and torrential downpours. Tormano Liao's Hercules worked its way through rubble strewn streets. Its large feet splashing in large puddles. His sensors were picking up numerous ghost contacts produced by Loyalist ECM beacons concealed throughout the complex. Legionnaire infantry pushed slightly ahead, vigilant for mines and ambushes under the protective envelope of their battlemechs.

One of the modified Jie Fang Vindicators followed behind using its jump jets to keep up with the slightly faster Hercules. “The Loyalists seem hesitant to engage us today Mandrinn.”

“Romano has nothing else to do but wait for us to find her.”

“She could be hunting us.”


Tormano's hand clutched Nemean's control yoke, “I suppose she could be. Never seen her in a Battlemech before, she was more of the artist in our family. That was a long while ago. I haven't seen her in person in nearly twenty years.”

“Probably for the better.”
“Was it though?”

“Suppose we will never know now.”


He ensured the mic was off before whispering, “No I suppose we won't.”

The infantry paused, running into the structures. “Incoming!”

Two of their brutal looking battlemechs complete with their blood-chilling tribal mask type head structures landed on the structures around them looming like vicious gargoyles. Rain dripped off the cleaver like appendages that replaced their mech's left hands looking like blood. Nemean's Augmented Lance prepared themselves for close quarters battle with the vicious predators haunting this ruin.

PsihoKekec

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #162 on: 03 June 2021, 00:17:30 »
Ah yes, an artist turned ruler, always the winning combination.
Shoot first, laugh later.

AlphaMirage

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #163 on: 06 June 2021, 00:02:21 »
Ah yes, an artist turned ruler, always the winning combination.

For the subject of history perhaps but not the subjects of history

----------------

The impact of a battlemech fist's crushed one of the few carvings to survive a week of bombardment. Stone chips clattered to the street as Nemean slipped most of the other impact. Inside its cockpit Mandrinn Tormano Liao heard armor plates cracking as the Emperor's hammer-fist crashed on it.

Tormano felt a chill as Romano's voice came in, on his personal frequency. “Very impressive. You learn that on Solaris?”

Nemean and 'Empress' wove between broken pillars and narrow alleys exchanging fire with one another in a slow motion chase.

“Among other things.
Is this how you wanted this to end?”


Empress of the Sun slid down landing as gracefully as a jumping assault mech could after landing on an unstable roof, “It was the only way.
After you betrayed us.”

“That's not true, and you know it.”


Thuggees engaged the rest of his lance like warriors possessed shooting pulses of high energy light and pairs of missiles.  The impacts struck their enemies with unerring accuracy as they waved their hatchets like tribal headhunters. His Jie Fang Lancemates responded in kind. Thunderous concussions from cannons echoed off stone walls, slightly muted by the rain that pooled in footprints.

Romano relished the melee, her Rakshasa's pressed the others skillfully double teaming and slowly began dismembering a Grasshopper jumping away when pressured by the other Battlemechs. Its pilot struggled to stay upright as it attempted to block vicious hatchets with mixed success. Friendly infantry were to close for fire support and her pair of Thuggees pressed Tormano.

Jie Fang Legionnaires set up position in the sturdiest structure they could find. Rain dribbled down on them unceasingly as the wind picked up and visibility worsened. Their Centurion called in artillery support dropping light ranging shots to help correct for the wind.

“Missiles! To the windows.

Check back-blast and wait for targets of opportunity.”


The Legionnaires did as ordered clearing debris that could be thrown by their Heavy SRM Launchers as fire-teams set up observation posts. Looking for an opportunity to call down supporting fires or vector reinforcements.

Tormano struggled to outmatch her heavier yet more mobile mech in the suffocating ruin. Nemean was fleet of foot but could not jump over large debris piles that littered the area. Romano's ruin had the feel of Ishiyama in Kobe particularly the confusing layout.

“Where are you?”

Her mech dropped down right behind him launching a full alpha strike of shells and lasers that he just barely turned to take on his side. The Empress' armor plating was too thick for his Imperator's canister shot and Kreuss PPCs despite both hitting at such close range.

Missiles fired from above peppered its upper sections with pinpricks of red. This assault caused her to lash out at the decorative stonework beneath them collapsing the ceiling.

Invisible to the naked eye Legionnaire Tai aimed a TAG spotter at the assault mech. Despite the Quikstim pulsing through his veins his nerves of steel, conditioned as a Hiritsu Aspirant, steadied it as laser guided shaped charges punched deep into armor.

Chancellor Liao cursed as the assault from above continued and intensified only stopping as Nemean charged forward through the smoke and haze. It shoulder tackled her mech into a building with an intensity of large beasts fighting for territory. Empress's triple strength enhanced myomers and heavier mass proving insufficient to stop the bold high speed attack. Its feet dug deep into the bricks below with the combined mass of 160 tons absorbed by Empress and its pilot. The building shuttered and collapsed after the impact burying the mech in a collapsed sub-level.

Tormano felt dizzy after the impact seeing stars in his visor. “I can't believe that worked.”

A Jie Fang Orion stepped beside him, having only recently arrived to provide its powerful Kali Yama Big Bore in case it was needed.

“An impressive hit Mandrinn.”

The Legionnaires started firing off their rifles in celebration before one of Empress' hands shot up through the rubble, like a ghoul rising from the grave. Mandrinn Liao stepped on a large intact piece of the fallen structure. It added Nemean's mass to the rubble above in just the right area to prevent the Emperor from rising again.

“Stay down sister. You made your bed. Now its time to lie in it.”

Shadow_Wraith

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #164 on: 06 June 2021, 00:16:41 »
Nice story update.  Glad to see tactics work on the mad follewers!

PsihoKekec

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #165 on: 06 June 2021, 03:26:39 »
And thus the fight is decided by a common soldier with infantry TAG.
Shoot first, laugh later.

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #166 on: 06 June 2021, 10:06:16 »
I'm surprised she alive. Hopefully they get the location of her devil spawn she gave birth to before offing her off.
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AlphaMirage

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #167 on: 06 June 2021, 16:25:24 »
Chapter 21 – New Beginnings

06/14/3044 Location – Ducal Palace, Tian-Tan, St Ives, Capellan Confederation

Mandrinn Tormano Liao stepped lightly in his sister's house. Rich furniture was still covered in white sheets due to lack of occupancy during the War and the family portraits under black cloth for grieving. He removed the sheet from one of them carefully studying himself as a young man in the half-light of dawn. He was proud and wanted to prove himself worthy of an unworthy father

His father who he had recently learned Romano personally garroted after leading a palace coup with the help of Thuggees from Highspire and Highlanders from Northwind. Her own rebellion against their father incited after her own father hurt Romano's girlfriend, Mai Shi, whom he had taken as a concubine.

Their father did all this to punish her for the murder of her unfaithful stepmother, Elizabeth Jordan, and her lover, the traitor Pavel Radzik, both secretly working with Candace. The old man apparently was shocked at her behavior expecting continued submission to his browbeating rather than the repressed fury that consumed her and almost toppled the Capellan Confederation.

A dark silent shape appeared behind him. “Upset Count Allard?'

The old man, Candace's father-in-law and Hanse Davion's former spymaster, looked worn beyond his already substantial years. “It is not my place to make decisions for your sister.”

“Then you should perhaps have chosen not to send your son to seduce Candace in the first place. They have both payed a grave cost for this coup.”

“The Confederation under your father endangered my Federated Suns. Almost succeeding in assassinating the First Prince before his disappearance.”
“You do not need to tell me of the machinations of Chancellor Maximillian Liao, I lived through worse than you could know.”

“I'll be the first to admit some of my errors were grave Mandrinn Liao. Yet consider myself at your disposal if you would have it.”

“I will politely refuse your consul Quintus. Go back to Bristol, Riva, and Tamara. You can come to visit and in time my nieces and nephews may choose to go to you. Until then I do not want you nor your influence in my house any longer than it takes for you to pack up.”


Count Quintus' white hair dropped down as he bowed. “Very well Tormano. I will leave but do not think I will allow you to turn my grandchildren against me.

Should I fear that occur.

Know that I will act.”

“I expect nothing else. Know that I would not turn children against their parents....I have standards.

If they ask why? I will tell them the truth, and let them judge it on its own merits; in the proper context.”


Quintus' boots clapped on the marble floor, echoes dampened by grand tapestries hanging from the walls. His son Treyhang arrived shortly afterward in a light green jumpsuit complete with a St Ives AMS logo on it. Tormano looked over the young man who stood tall with his own proud features. “Why are you dirty young man?”

“After simulator practice Kai wanted to wrestle.”


Tormano put his hand on his son's back as they walked through the palace admiring the furnishing and architecture. “Did he win?”

Treyhang smiled, “Not this time, but he got close.”
“That's my boy. I know this is not going to be an easy adjustment for us from Solaris. I have every confidence you'll come to love the new challenges though.”
“Thanks dad, that means a lot to me.”

He looked back at the portrait as shadows of swaying trees outside danced along its canvas, “Me too.”

Wrangler

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #168 on: 06 June 2021, 18:06:11 »
Is Candice alive? Way he talking, sounds like she not.
"Men, fetch the Urbanmechs.  We have an interrogation to attend to." - jklantern
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AlphaMirage

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #169 on: 06 June 2021, 19:15:12 »
Is Candice alive? Way he talking, sounds like she not.

Tai talks about her having to face judgment in the spirit realm while Romano states that she is dead. In this AU she succumbs to the breast cancer that she was diagnosed with in canon only a few years later.

AlphaMirage

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #170 on: 07 June 2021, 10:03:51 »
07/01/3044 Location – House of Scions, Capella, Contested

Gunji-no-Kanrei Theodore Kurita wore a black kimono with a block-printed Draconis Combine seal on its back, his swords tucked into a crimson obi. Before him was the empty House of Scions' assembly room. Its Capellan Confederation banners had been pulled down and burned but the Draconis Combine hadn't replaced them with their own yet.

Precentor Martial Anastasious Focht walked in stopping just behind him. “You wished to see me Kanrei.”

Theodore turned to face the man, his former prisoner turned general of the COMGUARDs at the request of Primus Waterly in exchange for the Order's aid to Luthien. “I am afraid my troops cannot hold all of our conquests any longer. Jie Fang Partisans have taken a toll on our occupation forces.”

“The COMGUARDs are not ready to take over the garrison yet. Order your forces to hold their positions!”


Focht let out a gasp as he looked down to see Theodore's Wakizashi in his chest. His blood leaking down the cold steel as the light faded from his eyes. The Kanrei twisted the blade in the older man's chest. “The DCMS will no longer be your mercenaries Precentor Martial.”

Theodore leaned in on him holding him close. “nor my son your hostage. Tomoe has already liberated him and I no longer have a purpose for you Frederick. You have proven yourself the traitor I always knew you were. I took an eye expecting you to learn your lesson and gain the wisdom your Odin did with the same sacrifice.”

Frederick let out a gasp before his death rattle, “The Primus...”
Kanrei Kurita watched as the Precentor Martial fell dead on the floor.

“Will be told you decided to retire to a monastery to write your memoirs.”

He used a nearby towel to wipe blood off the blade before returning it to its sheath. “Your heart was no longer in your work.”

Three Yakuza arrived shortly afterward. Theodore pointed to the Precentor Martial whose white robes were now stained crimson. “Go-cho Yodama please take this Steiner traitor where he belongs.”

Shin Yodama and his companions lifted the Precentor to an unceremonious end. “With pleasure.”

07/08/3044 Location – Hilton Head HPG, Terra

“What do you mean he retired?!

Without consulting me.”


Primus Myndo Waterly stormed about as Precentor ROM Charles Senaca delivered his latest report.

“That is what Precentor Dieron Sharilar Mori says in her report.”
“Lies! Theodore did something to him. Where is his son?”
“Missing Primus. Fortress Dieron was raided by an unknown party last week.”
“It must be the Order
(of Five Pillars) then. Damn them!”
“We have to do something.”
“I'm afraid we cannot he still has the full support of the Coordinator and much of the DCMS' best equipped forces are those under his command. To move against one would lose the other and the Combine is our strongest ally.

Already MIIO, LIC, and SAFE are closing in on my agents and increasing resistance to COMGUARD forces throughout the realm. We are checkmated as it were. If we push to hard we could face an organized resistance we cannot hope to contain with our current strength.”


Myndo looked out over the Atlantic, its depths filled with secrets long forgotten just as the Blessed Order. “They win this time.” She fingered the platinum medallion that marked her rank, “but there will be other opportunities. The Order is patient. I want you to disband the COMGUARDs, put them back under ROM and find yourself a deputy. Someone as cunning and cold-blooded as yourself.”

“Yes Primus.”
Charles Seneca departed from her chambers with his head still in the tablet computer. “I already have someone in mind.”

07/12/3044

Primus Myndo Waterly stood majestically before Terran and Interstellar Press. Camera drones feeding directly into the HPG standing behind her between the ocean and COMSTAR's glittering HQ. Her white robes sewn with metallic thread and platinum medallion sparkling in the mid-day sun.

"In light of the resolution of the Capellan Crisis I as Primus of COMSTAR and fellow citizen of the Inner Sphere am pleased to announce that the security situation has stabilized enough that the COMGUARDs are no longer needed to ensure our organization's security. COMSTAR will retain token security personnel but no heavy equipment. As it was before the Crisis we expect the noble rulers of the Inner Sphere live up to their obligations to defend out installations in exchange for our neutrality and disarmament. Only through their efforts will we ensure the continued operation of the interstellar super-liminal communication net that connects all of humanity to one another, and a brighter future together, as one."

Wrangler

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #171 on: 07 June 2021, 20:26:01 »
Hmmm...either Inner Sphere going get steamed rolled when the Clans show up, or something radical will accrue.
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AlphaMirage

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #172 on: 07 June 2021, 23:49:54 »
07/23/3044 Location – Vinson Pharmaceuticals HQ, Kiverson City, Torrence, Federated Suns

The sun lowered right into Prince Ian Davion's eyes baking him in the black suit and tiring situation making both feel even more uncomfortable. Across from him was a grim-faced older woman in a richly adorned yet professional looking dress. He spoke comfortably in the highborn Torrencial dialect. The dialect was a creole with a fair bit of Farsi and Arabic mixed in from its founders who had originated principally from Terra's Algeria, Oman, and Morocco.

“Lady Torenson, I understand your continued concerns regarding the planetary government's threats to nationalize Vinson Pharmaceuticals. However, know that this is your final warning.

House Davion will not support a change of government on Torrence nor tolerate your repressive anti-union actions throughout the Federated Suns. Particularly in the Outback plantations.”


Ian stood up to get out of the sun and loomed over the seated woman. “I have personally invested a large sum of money into your organization over the past year because I believe in its core mission. Based on recent events however my confidence in you personally is less certain than when I made that investment.

As a three percent owner and Prince of the Federated Suns I demand you cease your aggressive actions and treat your employees as such, instead of your serfs.”


He took a sip from a glass of tepid formerly sparkling water, “That is if you wish to remain in control of Vinson Pharmaceuticals as a Corporation rather than have it turned into a Cooperative.”

“You wouldn’t dare make such a motion. Millions of Pounds would be lost and without market incentives those Capellans would return to their old unproductive ways.”

Ian leaned forward and stared her down, “They have plenty of incentive to succeed on their own and they know best how to farm those harsh worlds.

I spent most of the past three years on the Rim working with the Canopians; who as you know own twelve percent of this company, rounding up slavers working refugees’ hands to the bone in exchange for a measly ration of gruel and minor beatings.

From what I hear of your Outback plantation workers and their supervisors.”
  The Prince paused his eyes boring deep into her own. “Well let’s say there might be an investigation issued to determine if you are that much different.”

He took another sip. “Imagine the financial and reputation damage for your stockholders should the BII (Bureau of Internal Investigation) determine you treated your workers no better than a Combine Daimyo.”

She grew increasingly defensive. “They are not even your subjects. Why do you care how I treat them?”

The Prince laughed and pulled out his comm-pad. “Not my subjects.
Should I dial up the Chancellor then?
I have his personal contact information. He would pick up my call and I know precisely what he would say.”

“Which would be?”


His voice grew dark in an impersonation of Tormano 'Ironheart' Liao, “Should I start with the fingers? or the toes?”

Lady Torenson blanched and Ian put away his comm-pad. “If the Chancellor heard about this. Well MIIO might not be able to stop the Maskirovka before they rendition you to St Ives to face trial.

So I would like a signed memorandum of understanding and acceptable reform plan by the time I depart for New Avalon.”

“My price, a five percent, maybe,”
he shrugged economics was never his strong suite but he still had to pay attention, “drop in already sphere leading profits over the next few years.”

She tried to say something, “and the support of myself and that of Magestrix Centrella that you remain CEO if there is a stockholder vote regarding this potentially 'poor' performance. Emma and I jointly control nearly a sixth of your company and both of us can rally more support than our own shares for a good story.

Though I doubt it would be such since there is much growth potential in the now open Capellan market particularly if we make it abundantly clear that we treat our workers well.”


Ian started to walk away as his watch began beeping. “Or you could potentially face a Capellan Court and a few very unpleasant months with Chancellor Liao using you for medical experiments instead.”

One of Ian's Federation Marshal bodyguards opened the door as he approached.
Without even looking back Ian entered. “I do hope you make the smart choice Baroness.”


Marshall Brahme was joined by two others who had been keeping watch. “You know I am quite capable of taking care of myself.”

The stone jawed Sikh and his turban towered over Ian who was an impressive specimen himself, particularly since he had been hitting the gym regularly in preparation. “I am certain you are sir, but we have orders from the First Prince himself.”

“Yes, Yes, I know Hanse wants me to be safe, but its my own realm, or it will be.”


They walked up no fewer than three flights of stairs to reach the roof where an AFFS helicopter waited for them. Ian looked out over the city unused to seeing the world from such high perspectives after spending so much time in a Battlemech. Torrence's sun reflected off the surface of the nearby ocean.

Ian breathed deep. “I remember when I could take a day off for my birthday.” and sighed, “No longer it seems...What a drag.”

His eyes were drawn to the comm-pad expecting messages from his fiancée and found none. “I hope she didn't have anything planned for the evening. Tonight though...”

Wrangler

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #173 on: 08 June 2021, 17:51:41 »
I wonder what brought Ian all way out to ...hmm no where?  Other than squash would be corporate dictator.
"Men, fetch the Urbanmechs.  We have an interrogation to attend to." - jklantern
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AlphaMirage

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #174 on: 09 June 2021, 11:12:00 »
As the world passed below Ian was attempting to listen to a collection of the latest music his brother had sent him. His headphones dampening most of the rotor noise while allowing the pilots to contact the passengers behind them via intercom.

“Andrew is this really what passes for popular music in the Suns these days?”

Ian looked out to the sun nearing the horizon as they descended to one of the many House Davion properties on Torrence. Mostly used by members of the family attending its prestigious and very expensive civilian universities such as Lubrene which was a popular one for the cadet line of Argyle Davions. “You leave for three years and everything goes to crap including the music.”

'Terraces', the name of the mansion, clung to a sea cliff with its own marina, helipad, and room for 50 guests in addition to whatever Davion family was there and the estate staff.

He looked down to see a seaplane docked to the marina. “Looks like Conrad has returned.”

“Yes sir. He came with your brother in that seaplane while you were away.”


His helicopter landed at the helipad which was located above the marina complex. The seaplane's prop began spinning pulling the vehicle out for another sortie as Ian waved to its pilots. It soared into the sky above a calm ocean of orange. Ian disembarked and straightened his suit.

“You sure are making the most of your break from Galax brother.

Brahme, where's Corrine?”


The Chief Marshal had just started toward the marina house to transfer their charge to the estate's security. “She is waiting for you in the Solarium.”

“Of course she is. She insisted on getting a tan after spending so much time on New Syrtis and in a dropship.”


A uniformed messenger arrived shortly after Ian started his walk up the stairs inhaling the salty sea breeze that brought a cooling presence to the sub-tropical biome. “Your Highness, we just received a curious message regarding your impending wedding from the HPG.”

Having been in meetings and behind a conference table all day Ian didn't want to sit around and chat. “Can you walk and talk?”

He vigorously strode forward, followed slightly behind by the messenger. “Of course sir.”

They ascended the steps at a quickening pace, as the stairs went by Ian became more animated. “What do you mean the Kanrei wants to send an envoy? A Kurita on New Avalon! He has to be mad!”

“I will register your concerns to the Precentor sir.”


The messenger departed before Ian reached the glass door leading to the Solarium which was curiously darkened. Ian took a moment to look over the ocean and saw his brother dipping the seaplane close to the ocean like a great comorant or pelican in what he figured was a take off and landing drill. “Well I suppose the sun is done for the day and so I am.”

Ian checked himself in the mirrored glass smoothing out wrinkles and ensuring his teeth were free of debris. “Quick shower, dinner, then straight to bedroom time, well after warming up of course.”

Upon opening the door Ian was shocked to see so many people crammed into the cleared out room. Andrew, Yvonne, Tancred, Patrick, Conrad, and others he didn't know all blew gaudy horns his way.

Corrine came forward looking tan and well rested and gave him a big kiss.

“Surprise! Happy Birthday Ian!”

Ajax_Wolf

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #175 on: 09 June 2021, 12:49:09 »
Ian should have changed and walked through that door properly attired to Corrine on his birthday. That was have been a surprise for all.
Why does everyone "Fire at Will"? Is he really that bad of a person? And what did he do to make everyone want to shoot him?

If a group of necrophiliacs met a group of zombies, who would do the chasing?

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AlphaMirage

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #176 on: 10 June 2021, 12:11:52 »
Ian and Corrine embraced, he whispered to her. “I wasn't expecting so many people tonight corrie. Thought it would be just you and me...”

She kissed him again, brushing his hair gently with her hand, to lean close. “I need a break for the honeymoon love.” Ian grimaced in a show of intense pain that nevertheless failed to sway her. They separated and Yvonne gave him a hug, Tancred, Conrad, and Andrew handshakes, Patrick an intentionally embarrassing pair of kisses on the cheeks that drew groans from his family. Corrine acted indignant. “Playboy, Lay off my Ian!”

Patrick looked over to her as Ian gently pushed him out away. “Your Ian? I saw him first. Taught him everything he knows about the ladies. You should be thanking me.”

Corrine rolled her eyes at the remark before ushering guests into the dining room.

He waited for some of them to disperse, “You know the sign of a good teacher is that their student should always surpasses them.”

“Sounds like a challenge. You've seen the size of my book.”

“Just a saying. Anyway what a surprise. I thought you were still in League space with the Hounds.”

“We caught a ride with the Archon's guests and Paul. Picked up some Highlanders along to way to consult with Jaime
(Wolf) on the AMC. Heading to Outreach to join them once we finish up here.”

Ian looked at the unfamiliar faces next to Patrick. A lithe dark skinned teenager with an ivory necklace, rich jewelry, and fine silk haori jacket draped over dark colored clothes. “This is my son Christian.”

Shock appeared on the Prince's face. “You have a son?”

Patrick looked away, “Possibly more than a few...” before looking back, “but this one has returned to me and I recognize him. His mother was very special.”

“Was...I'm sorry.”


Christian bowed slightly and spoke with a Rasalhague accent. “Without her death I would not have found my father. She deeply cared for Patrick and didn't want us to burden him.”

The young man produced and presented a wrapped parcel from the table. “Until a few hours ago I did not realize it was your birthday Ian. Please take this painting, I made it today, so it is not my best work, but I believe you will enjoy it all the same.”

After initially refusing the gift Ian unwrapped it. Inside was a small ink painting of the landscape outside the solarium. Outlines and deep texture of the cliffs, calmness of the bay outside, with a stylized bird (seaplane) flying over it pulling a cloud behind with a script of Kanji draping down to the corner. “You made this in a day? It's magnificent. Thank you Christian.”

“Doumo Arigato Ian.”


Sounds of raucous laughter rose from the adjacent room. “Sounds like quite the party going on over there. We should join them.”

All gathered around the table for the family style feast recounting amusing stories incurred along their recent travels across the Inner Sphere aboard the Silver Eagle with Archon Melissa Steiner and Speaker Paul Marik.

Patrick started after Ian asked him what it was like to have the two arch rivals on the same dropship. “I am going to be totally honest with you I thought it was going to be a mess but they spent the whole trip talking about their struggles with Parliament or the Estates General. By the end I think she could have just spent more time with the man instead of touring the Suns Riveria with Thomas and little Arthur.

Oh by the way she gave me this and told me to only give it to you.”


Ian opened the note which was written in French. The feminine script itself was gorgeous and bold, just like the Archon. Corrine looked over to him. “What is it?”

“Its an invitation for a dance on Numenor in honor of our wedding.”

Corrine tilted her head in confusion. “Melissa is throwing us a party?”
“At her own expense no less.”
“Well we have to go then, but I'm not a very good dancer.”


He looked over to Patrick who was otherwise distracted. “We'll practice. You'll do great.”

Actual note – 'I look forward to seeing how well the Coun Tess can tango. We all had a lovely evening last time. Avec Amour, Melissa Alexandra Steiner, Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth.'

Desperate to change the subject Ian looked over to Akira Brahe whom Tancred was staring at intently. “How did you end up in the Kell Hounds?”

He too spoke in a thick Rasalhague accent but only looked half the part. “Recommendation by a respected colleague.”

The talk evolved to mech tactics and wars stories. Akira and Tancred despite their initial hesitation to interact with one another were both assault mech pilots (Challenger and the recently, thanks to the Dragoons, reintroduced Nightstar) so they had something in common. With both their wives and Akira's children present they kept themselves civil and glazed over the kill counts of their respective enemies.

Duke Thomas Bradford had apparently challenged Akira to a simulator duel while penned up on the Silver Eagle and found that the Challenger in Brahe's hands was more than a match for his Banshee. Tancred also offered to take him in a simulator as he was; “getting rusty on Lexington.”

Andrew eventually found his way over to his brother. The resemblance was there but Ian had grown a slight stubble while Andrew had to remain clean shaven for his air supply to seal properly. “You surprised ne. I thought you were in that float-plane.”

“Nope that was Lacey,” he looked over to his girlfriend, a pretty but common-born Aerobat and carnival performer he met during his first tour of duty in the Outback. The young woman was presently entertaining Akira's young children, Gustav and Azure, and their mother by juggling colored balls and precisely tossing them into a bucket four meters away.

Then she moved on to knives, juggling and tossing them at a wooden board safely away from other people to the astonishment of all onlookers.

“She is disappointed it can't do flips and other tricks, but likes the security of flying over your own landing strip.

Call it even for all those times you held something in one hand and switched it to your pockets for yourself.”

“I only did that a couple of times.”


His little brother tapped his chest, “and it hurt me deep.”
“Get over yourself.”
“I'm already flying as high as I can.”


The party continued into the morning hours with the Brahe leaving first followed by the Kells, then one by one the Davions dropped from exhaustion until Ian and Corrine were the only ones left up. “This was a great time Corrine. Thanks for everything.”

She held his hand in hers with the others firmly gripping the balcony's handrails. “This was easy compared to planning a wedding.”

“Soon enough.”
He released her hand and placed it on her shoulders now covered from the night chill. "You must be exhausted from all the prep. Get some sleep.”

They embraced. “Will you be joining me?”
“Shortly. Just want to look at the stars a little longer. Never thought I would miss something so simple. I don't think I ever paid it much attention except in SERE.”


Corrine departed with a kiss closing the glass door behind her.

Ian looked up with the assistance of a starfinder program to see the G5V star around which was a planet known as New Avalon. His destination, his destiny was just visible through binoculars as a twinkling white dot. He was so tantalizingly close to a place he had not set foot on for more than five years. The end was in sight but so was the beginning of something new.

AlphaMirage

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #177 on: 10 June 2021, 23:47:04 »
09/14/3044 Location – Fox's Den, New Avalon, Federated Suns

Ian stood in the Mech Bay lit with high recessed lights staring at the Davion House Battlemechs in their regimental colors. Each looked as if it had just walked off the factory floor but some had been fighting to preserve the Federated Suns for centuries, Golden Lion included.

“You know they say as long as the heart is still strong. You can lose everything else then still win the day.”

He turned to see his father First Prince Hanse Davion carrying a flask of some sort and small glasses. Despite looking like a soldier in his prime rather than a worn down First Prince due to exercise and better diet enforced vigorously by Dana. He had been keeping a low profile while Ian was away only appearing publicly for Yvonne's wedding and Andrew's graduation from Armstrong Flight Academy where he gave the commencement. The Argyle Davions had thus needed to pick up most of the slack, at least in the Crucis March.

“I figured you'd find me eventually dad.”

They pulled out a bench and placed it in the Mech Walk despite numerous stickers and placards telling the techs not to place or park stuff there, as it will get squashed. Hanse poured an amber liquid out into the two glasses. “Nothing beats pre-wedding jitters like a fine Argyle scotch.”

“To the Federated Suns.”


Their dull clink of glasses echoed off concrete walls painted with the logos for the mechs given nicknames like weapons of legend. Only two of which were in use presently since Yvonne resigned her post as Mechwarrior to focus on humanitarian missions taking a reluctant Tancred with her and no opportunity for him use his new mech.

Ian's Marauder 4- D 'Golden Lion,' and Hanse's Battlemaster 1-D 'The Black Prince' stood side by side in the revetment.

His father looked at his father's mech. “Your grandfather would be proud of everything you've done so far Ian.”

“I would have liked to meet him.”

“He died to soon for both of us. I had just started at Albion when he passed. Had to figure out how to be a First Prince all by myself. Unfortunately your Uncles were not the best example in their own ways.”


Another glass was poured. “I had help of course; Ardan, Ran, James, Morgan, Tormano, your mother...but when it comes down to making the hard decisions its you making it.

Not the Marshals, Ministers, or March Lords. Learned a thing or two over thirty years on the job. But you want to know what the three most important things in a First Prince are?”

“Seems prudent, you know before I become one.”

“Courage, Wisdom, and a wicked sense of humor.”


His son stopped mid-sip at the last statement. “Is that a dad joke? You can't be serious.”

Hanse finished the remainder of his. “You stopped didn't you? To think about it.

People always appreciate cleverness, even in their enemies. Now we might curse it when the enemy is clever. I'm known as the Fox for a reason, but nevertheless you will gain their respect and increase their wariness.”


The First Prince stood up to stretch. “Grand tales are spun about Warrior-Poets and Kings who mastered the art of timing, can do much with little, knew their audience, and subverted people's expectations. If you can control people's attention you can lead them astray or your way.”

A notepad came up and Hanse furiously scribbled something in it before returning it to his pocket. “I think I might even use that as a quote in my memoirs.

Most of leadership is grabbing people's attention and not letting it go until you get them to follow you. So you must master that to inspire trust that you know what is going to happen next even if you don't. I know you can grab attention kid. Look at all the doors that stunt on Solaris opened.”


He couldn't help but notice that on the wall behind his mech was one of his Solaris VII 'Golden Lion vs Black Eagle' posters. “It gave you a heart attack! It almost killed me! Mom threatened to came across the Inner Sphere to drag me home by my spurs.”

“Well you're not dead. I've never felt better, and your mother is going to get a front row seat to see you marry a beautiful young woman tomorrow through countless tears of joy.”


The flask was empty on the third glass. “You know Golden Lion was supposed to be my brother's mech, but he wanted Ajax. Maybe he would have had better luck like you seemed to, or he just knew it was meant for another.”

Ian couldn't see the tears but he could hear it in Hanse's voice. “A toast to lost loved ones and the new ones we found along the way.”

“Do you want some company?”

“No, I'm just going to stay here a little while longer.
You get some sleep Ian. Big day tomorrow, for everyone.”


Although he hesitated Ian's lonely bootsteps faded away in the near empty mech bay.


Conclusion of Chapter 21

AlphaMirage

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #178 on: 11 June 2021, 09:54:13 »
Epilogue

02/18/3045 Location – New Samarkand, Galedon Military District, Draconis Combine

Theodore Kurita stood along the battlements of Castle Isu, his mother's ancestral home, one of many fortified enclaves on the war torn world of New Samarkand. Beside him was a tan assault rifle with an Isu Clan Mon engraved on its stock. Clan Isu owned a controlling share of New Samarkand Metals, now monopoly supplier of Endo-Steel in the Draconis Combine. This dominance was assured by 'relocating' Ceres Metals employees, smart investments in mechanization, COMSTAR suddenly withdrawing technical support, and a dreadful run of bad fortune ranging from labor strikes to street battles and sabotage.

Their continued wealth and control however were subject to the vagaries of the evolving situation throughout the Realm. Clan Sato their only real competition for control of the world had one of their own as present Duke of New Samarkand. That post could change at the end of every fifth year based on which Clan held the most territory. The Isu-Sato vendetta was as fierce as the one between the Federated Suns and Draconis Combine.

While he was here with members of the Ghost regiments his cousin Isoroku, Warlord of the Galedon Military District, had chosen to send a Mechwarriors from the Regulars to Castle Sato. Both realized that with the COMGUARDs no longer buying equipment from LAW and other Combine suppliers that internal consumption would have to increase in order to stave off depression throughout the Realm, and that meant war. With Takashi's decentralization of power to the Warlords and declining health there would soon be a battle to succeed him.

Before placing the powder keg Theodore had prepared the field as best he could. Raising the Ghosts, granting sanctuary to CCAF soldiers and Maskirovka agents he felt could be trusted, all while bolstering support from industrialists and lesser nobles.

ISF Director Indrahar, principal kingmaker, and Primus Waterly, an influential power broker and schemer, were paralyzed as their most deep cover operatives were captured, tried, and executed sowing distrust throughout their organizations. They were quietly replaced by ones loyal to Theodore, already been put into position before he gave Patrick Kell the enemies within. His daughter Omiko (Sakade) was heading to Sian University as part of the embassy staff and possible prospect for Treyhang Liao if interested. Otherwise she would return and help him as his other children would, in time.

“Father they are ready for you.”

Theodore turned to see his son Hohiro already in his cooling suit for his first live fire test as a Warrior-Prince to be. “Perfect, so I am.”

The Castle Gates opened to allow the Battlemechs passage over the reinforced bridge that spanned the River Yan that served as a moat to exit onto grassy plains. Theodore's Akuma dwarfing the Oyori (Gladiator) and Grand Dragons that made up the bulk of the force standing against the Sato massing nearby.

Wraith_Spirit013

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Re: (AU) Ian Davion, Golden Lion
« Reply #179 on: 11 June 2021, 11:04:01 »
Nice wrap up to the story.  Hope to see a spin off?