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Author Topic: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War  (Read 80201 times)

gladius

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #30 on: 03 November 2015, 20:03:17 »
Yeah, it was a bit odd seeing Hanse strong arm one of the Commonwealths allies into doing something they would largely be willing to do anyway, and I'm not quite sure why it needs to be secret: post operation Scorpion ComStar is not quiet about its focus in fighting the Clans, and the Commonwealth public really shouldn't get upset about it.

Maybe have him 'convince' some shipping companies to 'donate' their JumpShip fleets to the Commonwealth 'out of patriotism for the common good'?

Oh, and it seems Katherine is going to be sane in this 'verse ... May I ask, is Dumbowski A some kind of syndrome that causes megalomania, decreased empathy and paranoia? If so, it would explain canon ...

snakespinner

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #31 on: 03 November 2015, 21:28:29 »
Have to agree.
Comstar is a major ally against the clans, so you would not expect any problems.
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panzerfaust150

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #32 on: 04 November 2015, 01:12:04 »
Hey guys, the revised chapter is up..I want to apologize to all of you. I took a risk and it did not work. It got in the way of a quality story and for that, it is my fault. Please accept my humble apologies and accept my attempt at a "do-over".
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gladius

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #33 on: 04 November 2015, 02:57:46 »
Hey guys, the revised chapter is up..I want to apologize to all of you. I took a risk and it did not work. It got in the way of a quality story and for that, it is my fault. Please accept my humble apologies and accept my attempt at a "do-over".
Don't worry about it: we all have plot ideas that sound great in our head, scenes we are just itching to write, but don't turn out the way we expect when we post them. It's completely normal, and nothing to apologise for.

Honestly, it still felt a little rough, some of the word choice was odd, but in general it's a good chapter, and I like the bit at the end, helping to weld the Steiner-Davion kids together, and the diagnosis and treatment for a weird condition (although the electroshock may be a little too far) is a nice touch.

One bit that may have slipped past you during editing:

Quote
Hanse produced a device from his pocket, and smiled as he thumbed it on, and placed it on a nearby coffee table. “Katherine, what I am about to tell you, does not leave this room. It has to do with my meeting with the Precentor Martial, and why I met with him instead of Victor. And why I need you to tell your brother.”

Katherine looked on quizzically. “Um, Dad, does this have anything to do with the Precentor Martial storming out of here like an Atlas on fire?”

Hanse nodded “It does, we have secured the use of some of ComStar’s Jumpship fleet for a year. Focht is probably in a hurry to cut the appropriate orders at the New Avalon HPG.”

But in general? A good chapter. Looking forward to seeing how the plot develops.

Pyro

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #34 on: 04 November 2015, 03:05:49 »
Never read the one people complained about, but the revise looks good.  Don't let it get you down.  Professional authors have editors that occasionally bounce back a rough chapter or submit ideas about how to redo it, it's just part of the writing process.  Sometimes the first thing that comes to us isn't the best, and what comes up later ends up being better.

I wrote a fanfic a long time ago where a character had a "Han Shot First" moment that didn't really fit, and the revisions to that one scene ended up making the story stronger.
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DOC_Agren

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #35 on: 04 November 2015, 11:16:39 »
Welcome to the Inner Sphere, this is how a real war is fought.

Artillery will be used and you will be on the receiving end
There will be no "honorable" fighting, but down and dirty fighting
« Last Edit: 04 November 2015, 11:20:12 by DOC_Agren »
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Davout73

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #36 on: 04 November 2015, 11:19:14 »
I've revised a couple of things after reading them, and my wife reads some things for me when I have questions on how it reads,  and we still miss stuff.   :-)

Dav
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Cidwm

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #37 on: 04 November 2015, 11:19:37 »
Don't feel bad, it is still a good story. Please continue.

panzerfaust150

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #38 on: 04 November 2015, 11:44:43 »
Thanks for the support all..I just wanted to tell a story with no Fiat, no "rules" (of silly things like Clan Honor), and no mercy for the Clans...that said, I want smart bad guys, smart good guys, and compelling characters. So yeah, I was a little miffed with myself...

In other news, I wanted to let you know the story will switch to a bit of third person for a while to move the story along..and that we may also be seeing what's going on with some white robed fanatics..and a certain self-appointed Capellan "super genius", and his troublesome Marik wife..Oh yeah, things are going to be a hoot.

Some notes about Katherine: Her character in this has survived Dombrowski Depression-A which according to the older Steiner House Manual, was a scourge of the Steiner line. It said there was no cure, but I am going to say, for the sake of the story, that NAIS had come up with a treatment regimen that sent the disease into remission. But it is nothing short of a brutal regimen, and Hanse has a lot of guilt there, as he convinced Melissa that they needed to try it. Katherine went through a lot (I described the side effects in the memoir section of the last chapter), she knows it was for her own good, and surprisingly, does not blame her parents...it has left her wary of psychiatry, but not totally skeptical.  In short, she is a bit more withdrawn, nerdier version of the character, who needs to come out of her shell. She does, but in a way that no one would have predicted...or wanted for her...or anyone.
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croaker

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #39 on: 04 November 2015, 14:20:03 »
I honestly never got the impression that Hanse was blackmailing him. Just pressing him. Yeah, he was pushy about it, but not quite to the level some seem to see.

drakensis

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #40 on: 05 November 2015, 03:51:22 »
I didn't see the original version but this comes across as Hanse, with long experience of 'old' ComStar and remembering that Freddie Steiner wasn't a huge fan of the Federated-Commonwealth not entirely sure how deep the 'new, friendlier ComStar' runs and pressing Focht in order to find out, since he figures that if it blows up, Melissa and Victor can disclaim any association with this and apologise that "sorry, Hanse was off his meds", effectively. It wouldn't have zero effect on relations with ComStar but it would be much less than if Victor was the one playing hardball.
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panzerfaust150

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #41 on: 10 November 2015, 17:08:54 »
October 8th, 3054
Celestial Palace
Forbidden City
Sian
Capellan Confederation


Sun-Tsu Liao was not in the best of moods, Getting anyone to do a damn thing around here without screwing it up is becoming difficult. And I am not my mother, so shooting them in job lots is out.

He re-read the reports recently presented by an official of the Ministry of Development. He had delivered his report with a nervous hilt in his voice, constantly tensing every time Sun-Tsu moved. My mother has done a lot of damage here, it seems “hopeless battle syndrome” can be found in the civilian bureaucracy as well. Even with the increased aid from his father in law’s “mysterious” benefactors,..whom I know to be the Word of Blake. SAFE’s attempts to cover this up was clumsy, and as usual,  the report’s findings were grim. Malnutrition and disease were stalking the worlds near the Periphery like the Christian angels of death. Millions had died on New Roland, Gunthar, and Ward. And it was only going to get worse.

The root casue of the humanitarian disaster was that the Capellan Confederation had been beaten badly in the 4th War. Losing most of Tikonov and Sarna had not just impacted the military production base, which had just now begun to recover, but the civilian economy, which was absolutely smashed flat with the loss of so much of the Confederation’s prosperity. The worlds on the Periphery border, always a little close to the margin, were pushed over, and in at least one case, on Hurik, the government had collapsed last year, necessitating Sun-Tsu to send in the Nightrider Regiment from McCarron’s Armored Cavalry to restore order.

It had been a bloody business, the Maskirovka “processed” some 30,000 “former citizens” for rebellion. Who knew how many servitors were among that number. Nobody bothered counting them. That was too reminiscent of my mother. Perhaps I made a mistake putting Kali in charge of that. Who knew she was a 21 year old sociopath? She is yet another problem I will have to deal with. He made sure to mentally note that idea, it was best it be done at a time where he needed a casus belli. He would order the Death Commandos to perform the deed, and make sure Davion got the blame. Regrettably, that is a part of the family tree that needs to be pruned, before it hurts the state any more than it already has.

A gong interrupted Sun-Tsu’s reverie, much to his minor annoyance. A junior courtier walked deliberately to the center of the throne room, and bowed deeply on one knee. “Celestial Wisdom, the briefers from the Ministry of Defense and the Maskirovka request permission to enter the throne room and inform your Excellency as to our efforts to defend the state and confound the Davion dogs!”

Sun-Tsu simply grunted his ascent. A few more briefings, and then I can get to what really needs getting to, as well as find my problematic wife…and convince her that it is our duty to produce a few heirs for the continuance of the Liao line! What was I thinking marrying a Marik? That had caused a bit of an issue on Pella II. Happily, the Maskirovka took care of that lot more quietly, only a half-dozen dead. Not to mention the dozens of nobles that have caused me nothing but grief about her. She is another branch that might need some pruning.

The usual teams of briefers entered the throne room, which was immediately cleared of all of the courtiers and hangers on, and the double doors sealed, with the air filling with an electronic hum of a white noise generator. The briefers were relatively junior level, and had at least one or more war wounds. This was tradition, and it was meant to be two-fold. The first aspect was to remind the sitting Chancellor of the price of war…and more importantly, the price of getting it wrong. The tradition was only interfered with in my grandfather’s day. By my grandfather himself. I know it is poor form to speak ill of the dead, but the state has prospered since my Grandfather’s “suicide”. A suicide he knew his mother had everything to do with.

And that lead to the second tradition. Many Capellan Chancellors had had taken “shooting the messenger” to an art form. If the Chancellor decided to eliminate the current briefing team…they could be easily replaced. His mother had been one of the worst offenders. I am still writing pardon scrolls to clean up some of her messes…some of the men and women she condemned to Brazen Heart were doing nothing more than their duty to the state. I must therefore, make it up to the survivors.

Sun-Tsu was beginning to remind himself of a commercial he had seen from his youth. It was for a kitchen mop that was supposedly made from the same material as moisture absorption systems from Battlemech Heat Sinks. The pitch man was loud, and obnoxious, and had he been a Capellan citizen, would have been executed by his mother for starting one of her “migranes”. As it was, he was a Canopean citizen and the commercial was broadcasting on Capellan entertainment networks announcing the arrival of the product in Capellan markets. But he was the Sham-Now, and there was just so much blood to clean up…and only one mop to do it.

And the laughter of my mother in my head does not help. Sun-Tsu mused.

The briefing had been droning on with internal rebellions being crushed here, an occasional pirate raid there, the briefers always saved the most distressing news for last. It increased their potential life expectancy. Sun-Tsu braced himself for the worst, he had been getting some private reports from Marcus Baxter, CO of McCarron’s Armored Cavalry, as well as from Yaquinto Yadi, House Master of House Immara, and by default, leader of the Capellan Warrior House Order. Both had many unofficial links throughout the Inner Sphere, and those links had proven useful to Sun-Tsu for a variety of intelligence data that the Maskirovka had either ignored, or missed. Why the Director of my own intelligence agency chooses to overlook these things intrigues me. It also perturbs me, but it intrigues me.

It was at that moment, that a statement by one of the military briefers mentioned, a young female Captain. She was tall, with features that suggested a mixed Chinese/Russian ancestry. She had a fire of intelligence and bravery in equal measure in her one good eye, and if not for the facial scarring, would have been considered pretty. There was no questioning her bravery, she proudly wore the Grand Cordon of Merit proudly on the breast of her uniform. “Celestial Wisdom, the most important part of the briefing is the movement of some 10 RCTs and another 5 unaffiliated regiments have moved from their base worlds in the Federated Suns State Command to unknown destinations, we suspect movements towards Lyran space.”

Sun-Tsu’s face hardened. “How have you come by the information? Captain? Could this be another Davion trick to precede them finishing what their Operation RAT began?”

“No, your Celestial Wisdom. Sources and Methods have confirmed the jump paths from the base worlds. We are not 100% sure where they are headed, but the signatures suggest directions towards Lyran space.”

Could be anything from reports from allied flag merchants, to Mask agents in place, to some Zhuang-de-Guang guerilla with a telescope, and a means to get the information out. Still, the quality of the information is maddening. “And what, Captain, if I were to ask you to stake your life on this information? Would you?”

“I have done so for the Confederation before, Celestial Wisdom. What would one more time be?”

Sun-Tsu smiled. “I like you, Major. You are smart and brave in equal measure. And I admire that. It is a pity more Citizens of the Capellan State lack your moral courage.” He then in one fluid motion drew a small automatic pistol and shot the head of the Maskirovka briefing team in the head. The report startled the palace guards, and reverberated across the walls for moments afterwards.  The team leader’s almond colored head snapped back, a rooster tail of blood streaming from the exit wound in the back of his skull as he collapsed to the floor like a puppet with his strings cut. The body slammed into the floor with a THUD. The smell of gunpowder was heavy, and fragrant as a wisp of smoke curled from the short barrel of the small pistol in the Chancellor’s hand.

Sun-Tsu surveyed the room, noting fear in the eyes in all but one, the newly minted Major. I like her. She is Capellan In thought, in deed, and in spirit.

“The failure you see before you is an example of the failure of the Chancellors that came before me. This man was promoted far beyond his station..or his competence.” Sun-Tsu hissed, acid dripping from his words “He was a favorite of my mother, and her consort. I play no such favorites. You must earn my favor, or you will end up like that refuse on the floor. I will reward competence, character, loyalty to the state, cunning, bravery, and above all, honesty. Respectful disagreement will be encouraged. Lack of respect, or worse, incompetence and acting like a fawning sycophant, will not.”

“Major, what is your name, and your former regiment?”

“I was a member of the Sung’s Cuirassiers, Celestial Wisdom. My company was shattered by a Davion battalion during a raid, but we made them pay for our lives! I got four of the dogs before I was shot out of my Cataphract and was badly injured during my ejection. I was brought into staff work at the Ministry after being discharged from the hospital here on Sian. My superior at the Ministry noticed I had a knack for intelligence analysis.”

Sun-Tsu smiled again, “You do, inform your superior you are now attached to the palace staff as a personal advisor, and about your promotion. Also inform him he is to be promoted as well. I will let the Ministry work out the details. Were there any survivors of your company, Major?”

“Regrettably, no, Celestial Wisdom. They all died in service to the state,” the Major seemed regretful at that last question. She struck Sun-Tsu as the type of commander who had cared for her people, and their deaths, and her own disability was a measure of shame for her.

Sun-Tsu stepped down off the throne, and strode over to the Major, placing one of his long, carbon-fibre reinforced nails gently under her chin, lifting it until her eye met his. “Major, I allow you a special privilege, as my advisor, I order you, except when rendering courtesies, to always look me in the eye. Because I need a clear-eyed teller of the truth to navigate the Capellan State. You see what I have to work with here…What is your name, Major?” as he swept his hand across the remains of the shocked Mask team.

“Shang, Alexa Shang, Celestial Wisdom.”

“Very well, Major Shang. I look forward to our time together. I believe it will be more than productive.” Sun-Tsu then snapped his fingers and a palace Servitor appeared as if by magic. “Move Major Shang into the guest quarters, and ensure that her office is ready by tomorrow. She will be treated well, and ensure that her background check is expedited by the Maskirovka. And summon my Senior Colonels, I think we need to reevaluate what can be done with this information.”

The servitor meekly replied “Yes, Celestial Wisdom”.

Sun-Tsu Liao returned to his throne as the briefing teams bowed and made to leave. He waved them onward. Major Shang stood off to one side, her face wan, as she took it all in with grace.

“So tell me, Major. Do you think with our new alliance with the Mariks, that we are strong enough to deal Victor Davion the blow he deserves?”

“No, Celestial Wisdom. The AFFC is strong enough to hold us off, but not strong enough to invade us. We would be bogged down in a conflict that would soon come to resemble the 3rd Succession War. But, I think these recent troop movements give us an opportunity, as you said. But I think it will depend on whether or not we can enlist the aid of the Captain General.”

Sun-Tsu nodded. “You are correct. We must find a way to ensure that he has no choice but to participate. Were we to strike, Major, where would you do so?”

“It would depend upon the goal of the offensive, Celestial Wisdom, but I think it would be best to keep our own objectives limited, and doable. Overreach could be our destruction.” Shang said flatly.

“I concur, Major. This is why I want you when I speak with my Senior Colonels. Some, like Zahn and Rush, are wise men, skilled in the ways of war. Some, well, it is best to say that their zeal to serve the Capellan state outweighs their good sense.”

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

Sun-Tsu Liao was unlike most of the Chancellors in our then-recent history. He was mercurial, to be sure, but he was wise, and sane, unlike his mother, and grandfather before him. The policy reforms in Capellan life that he has instituted since the war are sure to make him revered in the same breath as IIse Liao. It is not a comparison I make lightly. He has been a fresh air for the Capellan people. The fact that OPERATION EAST SEA almost worked was a testament to his cunning, patience, and intelligence. As it was, we taught the Davion to fear us again. It was a heady feeling, to get our respect back.

I wish I could say the same for our allies…or even for some of the Chancellor’s closest advisers.


“My Years with the Chancellor”, Alexa Shang, Colonel, CCAF (Ret), Loyalty Press, Sian, 3075
« Last Edit: 10 November 2015, 17:19:01 by panzerfaust150 »
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PeacMaker03

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #42 on: 10 November 2015, 18:38:53 »
Like the story, good job.

gladius

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #43 on: 10 November 2015, 20:49:39 »
Interesting: a Sun Tzu who manages to be effective without plot fiat (and the bizarre desire of BT authors to reverse any good that came out of the Steiner-Davion years, and thus return to status quo). Intelligent and competent ... a bit of a step up from his performance on Outreach, but not as much as in canon, when he went from 'spoiled child' to 'Machiavelian-Cesar with a hint of schizophrenia'.

Nice. Keep it up. :)

snakespinner

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #44 on: 11 November 2015, 03:06:53 »
Very noticeable that Sun Tzu is intelligent, competent and efficient in your story.
Big difference to canon. Looking forward to what else you have planned. O0
I wish I could get a good grip on reality, then I would choke it.
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panzerfaust150

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #45 on: 23 November 2015, 16:28:39 »
Taken from "Falcon and Viper meet the Anvil: An Anatomy of the ’56 War” (Victory Press, Robinson, 3081) by Prof. Richard Kingman (Kommandant, AFFC Ret.)

“..Contrary to popular belief at the time, Hanse Davion did understand his enemy far better than anyone had given him credit. Many who knew him knew two things about him. One, that he was a man who studied his enemies thoroughly, and the Clans were no exception, and two, he was a man who knew how to take a calculated risk and push it to the limit.
 
But what made the Clans so vulnerable, was something they had done to themselves, they had become hidebound in the name of ideological purity. Even the “Warden” political faction was to a measure, hidebound in its military doctrine and as such, was unable to cope with what the AFFC had brought to  bear, especially as the AFFC invested a lot of money and time over the intervening two years to train multiple RCTs along the Clan front in a variety of firepower intensive doctrines, especially those utilizing artillery on a scale not seen before in the Inner Sphere.
 
There was an expansion in the number of gun tubes in the average RCT, with those along the frontier being converted to a artillery brigade of two gun regiments each, along with a battalion of Arrow IV equipped ‘Mechs. More of these Brigades were created as independent units designed to support collections of Free Regiments, as well as mercenary units. These Artillery Brigades worked hand in hand with the scouting elements of the RCT, be it LRRPs, Light ‘Mechs, or reconnisance vehicle elements. In short, the light elements, along with an increased use of RPVs were there to find targets, for these new concentrations of guns.
 
Moreover, a new family of semi-automatic mortars were installed the battalion level in platoon strength (4 tubes) in Armored and Mechanized Infantry units, There was some talk of installing them in ‘Mech units as well, but it was felt the mortars could neither a) keep up with the ‘Mechs in the unit, and b) the maintenance and logistical concerns of having vehicles and ‘Mechs in the same battalion, however, it was decided to have a battery of the weapons installed at the Regimental Level in all arms, and ‘Mech unit commanders began to value having the “hip pocket artillery”, especially for the way it could speedily lay down the new thermal smoke rounds that were promised to even interfere with the vaunted Clan-tech thermal imaging systems.
 
New doctrinal changes came about, where AFFC commanders were encouraged to use recon assets aggressively to find enemy unit boundaries, or weakly held parts of the enemy line in any kind of terrain. The idea was to smash these parts of the Clan line with sheer numbers, and then encircle the Clan units, and forcing them to fight an attritional battle of annihilation. AFFC units were told to expect fierce Clan counterattacks at every level, as it was expected that the Falcons and Vipers, once they realized they had been sucked into just such a fight, would seek to either a) break out to resume the kind of long range mobile battle that suited them, or b) would throw themselves at the obviously numerically superior FC forces in an “death ride” to achieve as honorable a death as possible. Furthermore, AFFC units were trained to use night, and close terrain to their advantage, so as to seek a close-range assault that would negate the Clan range advantage.

Taking and holding the initiative was paramount, and the AFFC pounded the idea into their commanders, one that had been stressed in the AFFC for a long time- “Get the initiative and never let go of it.” Airmobile tactics were stressed as well, as it was thought that due to the low speed of Elementals, putting infantry units with heavy weapons into the Clan rear in battalion strength was a means to disrupt the ability of the Clans to form a coherent defense. (This last idea, as we will see, was more miss than hit during the ’56 War, and it needed massive refinement, but it did become a coherent part of AFFC tactical and operational doctrine that survives today).”

From “Deception Operations in the Capellan and Sarna Marches during the Buildup to Clover Spear” – written by Hauptmann-General Arnold Haugen, for the Military Intelligence Review, Fall ’71 issue, Published by the AFFC Department of Information, New Avalon)


“..I was a young Kommandant when we briefed the plan to move a number of RCTs and Free Regiments from the Capellan and Sarna ‘Marches in early ’54. Memory doesn’t serve the exact time and date, but I know it was still winter on Monhegan where the meeting took place. We knew the deception would not last forever, especially with the Maskirovka keeping pretty close tabs along the border, but we had to get those troops to the Clan front.
Simply put, we were going to take a page from RAT, and make the deployments sound like routine rotations to the Clan front. MIIO and DMI had put together some really great deception packages for the media, and we banned the press from covering most of the troop movements, but not all. We knew things would get especially dicey when the dependents for most of the units were asking why they had not rotated to the Lyran Commonwealth along with their families, telling them the Clan front was no place for families was one way we got around that, but again, it only worked until mid-’55. We had our hands full making it look like less units had left than actually had.

We had small radio-technical units ranging the border with the Capellans and Mariks imitating the units that, had in fact, departed. We found out later, we did fool SAFE, but not the Maskriovka, at least, not forever. We don’t know how the leak happened, but by late 3054, sources inside MIIO had stated that the Capellans knew we had moved at least part of the forces slated for Clover Spear into the Lyran State Command. We could only pray the Dragoons could keep up their end of the deception, making the Capellans think that three of their regiments were still on Outreach, instead of all of them heading for the border of the Jade Falcon OZ.

Naturally, when the Capellans found out the truth? All hell broke loose.”

The Private Memoirs of Shao Lao-Tse, Senior Colonel, CCAF (Ret)

“..EAST SEA was to be fair to the Chancellor, a tricky endeavor from the start. The Davion presence along the border had always been strong, and even with the Clans, they had covered our lost territories very well indeed. Thus, East Sea has remained firmly a contingency plan, with the barest of effort put into it, not to mention, we at the Ministry of Defense realized. The CCAF hadn’t launched a sustained offensive against anyone since 2412. To say there was no institutional memory on how to do such a thing..was…an understatement.”

“Most of our offensive plans at the time consisted of us going into the rebel province [the then official Capellan name of the St. Ives Compact] in case their government collapsed, or the AFFC pulled out, but neither was seen as very likely, we had several variants of plans for that, all under the name of LONG MARCH. So, it was rather shocking when I was at the weekly meeting with the sovereign during the usual weekly state of the CCAF briefing, that the Chancellor asked the now, well known question:

“Ruhe Zhumbei Shi Wo De Mao?” – How ready are my spears?

We were all struck dumb. Even with Marik help, we didn’t think we had a ghost of a chance to pull anything like EAST SEA off. But then, those sorcerers at the Military Intelligence section had gotten to the Chancellor..we all thought they had talked him into an ill-advised war…and there were some, I am sure, who were worried we had another Maximillian on our hands..but then, that Shang woman of his. I never liked her..she was too ambitious for her own good.  But she had good information this time…it seems Wolf’s Dragoons had left Outreach.
I never forgot the terrible smile of that Shang woman, it didn’t last. Not after Sarna.”

“Blood of a Partisan- The Story of a Partisan against the Clans” (Franks, John, Albermale Press, Koniz, 3077)


"..I will never forget when the first Rabid Foxes showed up on Blackjack. We had had a lonely war, and it was getting harder to bring people over to our side. We’d had a couple of raids go bad, and that traitor: That so-called “Star Colonel” Mark..he was making weekly statements on the Planetary medianet, telling us to accept the “New Tomorrow”, like he had. Bastard.

We did our best to kill him…twice, and missed both times. We did get his sister. Hey, it sent a message, right?

The trouble was, the ones the Falcons sent was worse. They wiped out a small mining town in the mountains by the name of Happy Days..killed everyone, even the kids. They called it “the price of resisting our betters.” You can imagine what we thought of that. Two weeks later, we put a LAW rocket into one of the “Falcon Freindship Centers” in downtown Lott’s Revenge, and killed half a dozen of the tanker bastards…especially when we paid the fire department a visit, and told them in no uncertain terms…not to show up.

But that didn’t deter the Falcons, no, they murdered one hundred hostages..and did it in full view of the cameras. We felt low by then. There was maybe a half dozen of us left, we had little food, little ammunition, and no real hope. The last time we had seen the FedCom was when a ‘Merc outfit had tried to raid one of the outlying Falcon detachments…and walked into an ambush. Many of us were ready to fade back into the woodwork, and make the best of it..when fate intervened.

We had heard a dropship pass over our camp, low, from east to west, and were wondering what it was all about. We were worried that the Falcons had found us, and were hot dropping Toads on us to finish us off, but when we looked up, we saw tiny black parachutes against the inky twilight sky. We realized one thing, Toads didn’t use parachutes.

The old man quickly established a marching order, and we briefed a quick hasty ambush at a site we knew well, one we had ambushed some of the collabo (collaborationist) militia a couple times before, before the Falcons disbanded them due to their (I think in some cases, deliberate) incompetence.

We set out for the ambush site at a near run. We had learned to move quietly, like holes in the oncoming night, One thing the Falcons did admit about us, and it spooked the hell out of them..We were not usually seen unless we wanted to be seen. And that night, we definitely were not seen.

It took us about half an hour for us to reach the ambush site, and for us to set up, I remember quietly chambering a round into my cone rifle, and praying the click of the selector lever being moved to FIRE didn’t give me away. As it was, we needn’t have bothered.

I will say one thing about the Rabid Foxes, they are some really sneaky bastards. Before I knew it, I had been tased, disarmed, and trussed up like many a deer I had taken from these hills.  And what were these Davions doing…Grinning. That’s right..not even a peep of laughter. Not a speck of light..We could tell their grins. They were the whitest thing around.

They dragged the Old Man into a nearby tent, and they had him for a while. He told us later that they knew everything about him, and had grilled him hard to make sure he was whom he said he was. Meanwhile, they kept us tied up for what seemed like an hour.

They were wiry men and women, you could tell that even under all the gear and uniform. Their eyes, though, the eyes were like sharks. Everything they looked at was a look of “How do I destroy this?” Once they were satisfied we were who we said we were, they untied us, but kept us disarmed. They sent out a man who spoke pretty flawless Steiner German. I will never forget what he said:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, playtime is over, It is time for Falcon and Viper season.”

I will be damned if before long, we all weren’t aping their grins. Their quiet confidence was pretty infectious, and they were right..the next year was very, very interesting indeed.”
Quote from: HABEAS
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gladius

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #46 on: 23 November 2015, 19:01:05 »
Nice ... and did I detect a use of the word 'Tanker'? :)

mikecj

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #47 on: 24 November 2015, 00:33:24 »
Better than Rabbit or Duck season...
There are no fish in my pond.
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David CGB

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #48 on: 24 November 2015, 05:17:27 »
Better than Rabbit or Duck season...
Or bear season.....
Federated Suns fan forever, Ghost Bear Fan since 1992, and as a Ghost Bear David Bekker star captain (in an Alt TL Loremaster)

gladius

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #49 on: 24 November 2015, 08:28:57 »
Or bear season.....
You may be a tad biased there, my friend ...

Cidwm

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #50 on: 24 November 2015, 22:56:46 »
Nice update.

snakespinner

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #51 on: 25 November 2015, 01:12:07 »
Falcon and Viper season, I wonder what's next on the menu. O0
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panzerfaust150

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #52 on: 01 December 2015, 18:03:14 »
January 1st, 3055
Royal Palace
The Triad
Tharkad
Federated Commonwealth

  Victor Ian Steiner-Davion looked out at a festive Tharkad, which was choosing all sorts of ways to ring in the New Year.  Mother Nature was cooperative in bringing in an exceptionally mild bit of weather that had allowed a multitude of outdoor revelries. Some of them I am sure are going to keep the local constabulary busy, but what the hell, it is New Year’s.

 Tharkad’s City's extensive skyline lit up in a riot of color as the annual fireworks display began, precisely at 0002 hours. The odd starting time was tradition, when the first colonists on Tharkad celebrated New Year’s, the display had begun two minutes late for reasons that were lost to history. Theories abounded. Victor himself liked the theory that they had just started late because they wanted to be different. Why not, they wanted a new start, and new traditions are a way to break from the old? So, is that what the Clans really amount to?

That particular thought had Victor shaking his head. He drew his issue AFFC greatcoat closer as he stood out on the Grand Balcony, the main square was empty, as the Royal Family, also by tradition, after the sitting Archon made the traditional speech, sent their younger members of the Royal Family out into the city incognito to join the revelers. It was a tradition that gave the various heads of security responsible for the Archon and their family headaches. Not to mention occasionally leading to some embarrassing social faux pas that arrived around oh, say September of the New Year.

Victor smiled at that last thought, while he had been no lothario at the ‘Ring, he had his share of liaisons with in some cases, overly willing young ladies. It had gotten so bad, he had found himself engaging in a bit of “noble fiction” and pretending to be a commoner who had gotten admittance to the ‘Ring on scholarship. It had improved the quality of the female company markedly. 

Victor shook his head at the last thought. Mom and Dad really, really want me to get married. But how in the hell do you tell them you, like Romeo, have fallen for a girl who just happens to be the daughter of an ancient enemy? I wonder if they happen to know. Who am I kidding? Of course they know. If nothing, the Intelligence Secretariat or my sister has mentioned it to them.
 
Victor shook his head again, the two sifters of Glengarry ’12 he’d had with the officers of the Royal Guard during the ball that had just departed was getting to his head. I never held my booze well. Thank god I wasn’t much of a drinker during my cadet days…

The real reason Victor was here was twofold. He had arrived in the Lyran half of the Commonwealth to begin what was publically billed as a “goodwill tour” through the Tamar March, to show the people of that part of the Commonwealth. The trip, was of course, cover for an inspection tour of the units in place defending the border, as well as the units moving into place…not all of whom had been announced…and some of who were pretending to be units they really weren’t. Galen was with him, and keeping up a lively correspondence with Katherine. Those two are headed somewhere serious. Good for them in my opinion. Galen would make a great brother in law. But, as it was, he was also here to conduct a series of wargames beginning in January using the Nagelring’s powerful simulators to test Clover Spear’s viability.

Dad once said Operation RAT bet the future of the Federated Suns on a “Pair of Fours”. Victor wasn’t so sure of that, but he had to admit, the plan was audacious, to say the least. Victor’s big worry was that the Clans, as abysmal of an intelligence gathering system as they had, would somehow get wind of what was about to happen. We’ve taken every damned precaution, but as someone once said, “it cannot be helped when an angel pees in the touchhole.”

His other worry was the Capellans and Mariks. Even SAFE, who by Clan standards, was dangerously competent as an intelligence agency, was not going to miss the movements of troops through the Sarna March. What he really hoped is the Capellans did not get wind that all of the Dragoon regiments had left Outreach. That happens, we’re sunk. Projections are we will lose a good 1/5th of the Sarna March, and maybe of the Capellan March before we can stop the bastards. I can’t even imagine what the damn Mariks will achieve.

It was then that Victor heard the crunch of gravel underneath feet. With memories of Free Skye assassins having once penetrated the palace, not to mention Nekekami during the ’39 war, Victor spun on his heel, a hand thrust into the pocket of his great coat, clutching the 10mm Mauser & Gray holdout pistol. Six rounds isn’t much, but it will do till help arrives.

As Victor turned, the dark shape resolved itself into a face he was well-familiar with. It was the face of the first woman he had ever met; his Mother, Archon-Princess Melissa Steiner-Davion.

She wore her 49 years well, her posture not stooped by age as she glided over to the banister where Victor stood. Her hair was mostly blond, but had some whisps of gray, that Melissa refused to dye, no matter what the court beauticians begged her to do. He face was still soft, but with pronounced crow’s feet around the eyes, and the Tharkad Fox fur jacket, framed with a pair of jeans and high leather black boots made for a stylish picture that would give even Natasha Kerensky a run for her money. At least in the fashion department, Mom still hasn’t done better than fair-to-middling with Grandma’s old Warhammer.

Victor smiled and embraced his mother in a hug, then released her as he went back to his place by the bannister.

“Victor, dear, why in the hell are you standing out here like a hermit and not taking Yvonne out on the town? She has been pestering me where he big brother is. I don’t want to tell her he is being an ass and woolgathering out on the Great Balcony.”

“Mom…this plan of Dad’s, how sure of it are we?”

“So that’s what is bothering you? I thought it was you being alone on New Year’s and your heart being on Luthien in the possession of a certain young Kurita royal.”

Victor shrugged. “There is that too, but it’s been 4 years, Mom. I can’t keep pining away like this, especially since I haven’t gotten any word from her at all since Teniente.”

Melissa smiled a knowing smile. “Well then, Victor, today is your lucky day.” She produced a sealed envelope, with Victor’s name in both Kanji and English. “This arrived by diplomatic pouch from Luthien. The veriagraph has been confirmed..it’s from her. And no, other than that, nobody read it. I told them if anyone did, I’d post them to Great X or CMO 26.”

Victor chuckled. “Late Christmas, eh?” as he deftly took the letter from his mother, and pocketed it. I’ll read it later, hope it’s not ‘Victor, I am being forced for reasons of state to marry another..” I will get in my ‘Mech and lead the 10th Lyran Guards to Luthien to bust up the wedding! No..no you won’t. You’ll meekly send flowers and cry in your beer for a few hours, and wish her all happiness

Melissa then exhaled, “Victor, this plan of his. I know your father, when he was planning for the 4th War or 3039, he was in his element. One of the reasons I love your father is a simple one: He has moral courage in spades, and a work ethic to match. He is also very, very brave. He is a soldier, and a reluctant statesman. But a soldier first and foremost. His work is the destruction of the enemies of the realm. And right now, your father is painting his masterpiece. I know it will work, Victor.”

I know as well, Mom, but I am already First Prince, and will be Archon-Prince soon. Hopefully, not too soon, but soon. I will not preside over the death of the Commonwealth…Thus, we really have no choice, Clover Spear has to work. But the margin for error is damn thinner than I would like it to be.

“Mom, ok, I trust you, look, just nerves really, whatever happens, this is going to be Dad’s last time in the saddle.” Victor exhaled

Melissa nodded “Victor, I read the plan, I know your father, I know the people we have in place to run this thing. It will work. Maybe not the way we intend, things will go wrong. They always do in war. This will be no exception. We will be ready. There is something else you must know, come 3056, there will be a new Archon. I am abdicating, like your father. I am tired, Victor, and frankly. I want to spend time with your father. Whatever time he has left. Our marriage wasn’t just a political one.”

Victor’s mouth dropped open in shock “Mom, I thought this, well, could happen, but, really, this soon? At least stay on until after Clover Spear?”

Melissa nodded. “I intend to, but I will not be Archon as of New Year’s 3057, Victor. It’s time, your father may only have a decade at most, left. And I am jealous of that time, Victor. I love him, and we have both given ourselves to our nations. I think we have earned some time for ourselves.”

Victor nodded slowly “I cannot fault your logic. Wow, I didn’t expect this, this soon.”

Melissa put her hand on Victor’s shoulder “Son, I know you can do it. So does your father, and your brothers and sisters. You will do fine.”

Victor nodded. “Hmm, enough woolgathering, look, I am going to take a few minutes to change into a suitable disguise and take Yvonne out for a night she will not soon forget. She’s 16 now, so there’s all kinds of tr-I mean fun we can have.”

Melissa smiled, then her face grew serious “Victor, my son, under pain of death, do not take her to Sharkey’s! She may be 16, but there are too many handsy ‘Ring cadets there right now.”

Sharkey’s was notorious or famous, depending on your point of view. It had been founded right outside the gates of the Nagelring in 2610, the bar was THE ‘Mechwarrior bar on Tharkad and very popular with a lot of the rowdier ‘Ring cadets. Basically, if you were any kind of Mechwarrior, Sharkey’s was the place to go drink and blow off steam, including getting into fights…like that little time in 3047…thank god Renny got me out of there in one piece. But yeah, Mom has a point, Yvonne isn’t going to be a ‘Mechwarrior, and I won’t be taking her to that place.

Victor nodded vociferously, “Don’t worry Mom, I was thinking some of the student bars by Tharkad U, like Freidmann’s or The Drunken Historian.

Melissa smiled “The Drunken Historian is still there? My god, I used to sneak out to that place..your grandmother was less than pleased when she found out..I was 14, I stole my first kiss there if I recall, cute Microbiology undergrad if I recall?”

“Mom, don’t want to know that, ok?” Victor cringed.

Melissa Steiner-Davion chucked, and her laughter pealed like church bells.

Maybe 3055 will be a good year after all? Victor wondered
_______________________________________________________________
Dear Victor-San,
  Father has allowed me to write you, so long as it not done though the HPG. I do not think he wants the Black Dragon Society to get wind of the fact we are corresponding. I would say my Father is beginning to “mellow” as you would put it in his old age. It does not matter, however, as I more want to write about us.

  First, since Outreach, there has been no other, nor will there be. I am yours, Victor-sama. Yours alone. My father will simply have to accept that, though, for now, I have not chosen to tell him. He is concerned with other things, like the ever-present threat of the Clans.

  As you know, Grandfather passed on last year, the circumstances are a bit personal, and the enmity between your father and he was legendary, but it is my hope that that enmity died with him.
 
  My brother asks that I pass on his salutations and greetings in this message. He has come to see you as someone who he would trust with his life, and I did ask him hypothetically how he would feel about you. His response was “You could do a lot worse, Omi-chan.”
 
  Sadly, I know this will not be possible. Our giri to our nations trumps our feelings. But I cannot deny my feelings, and we are both smart people, with many who wish us well. Perhaps a way can be found if we do what is expected of us for now, and remain in contact.

  That said, as you know, I receive briefings from the O5P, and I must warn you. Victor, there is reason to believe that the Capellans know about your troop movements. I do not know to what extent they know, but they know. Father was torn on whether or not to warn you, but after your own father’s example during Luthien, he could not fail to warn you. Please share this letter with your parents. Inform them that we will try to get more information to them, but this is all we know for now.

   There is another matter. Father is making contingency plans in case Luthien were to fall to a subsequent Clan assault. While most of the family is prepared to fight and die on Luthien to the last. Father has made arrangements for some of us to flee to various other places within the realm, but he wishes to ask your father if he would be willing to make a place for me if it becomes necessary to flee the Combine. I am willing to accept whatever conditions your father seeks to impose, and I do hope it does not become necessary.

   I must go, for now, as giri demands I attend to another matter, but know this, Victor-sama, your heart does not beat alone, or unnoticed.

Your Love,
 Omi
« Last Edit: 01 December 2015, 22:30:03 by panzerfaust150 »
Quote from: HABEAS
Now now. The C-bill stops here. Everything in BattleTech is my fault.

I AM BATTLETECH!

mikecj

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #53 on: 01 December 2015, 18:31:14 »
Wow- great chapter
There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
"Solve a man's problems with violence, help him for a day. Teach a man to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime." - Belkar Bitterleaf
Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.

drakensis

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #54 on: 01 December 2015, 19:10:41 »
Ah Omi. Cramming a lot of weight into just one little letter...
"It's national writing month, not national writing week and a half you jerk" - Consequences, 9th November 2018

gladius

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #55 on: 01 December 2015, 20:01:33 »
Beautiful.

Chris OFarrell

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #56 on: 01 December 2015, 21:37:50 »
Annnnd with that, Victor walks right back into the triad and swipes the bottle of Scotch right from the bar, telling his bodyguards to hold his calls.
Perhaps this will look a little less crazy when he's drunk :p
"I, the Baron of Strang, care not for your new names. Clans? Jade Falcons? I call you by your true name: Scum of the Star League, traitors of free will, persecutors of the Periphery come back to lord it over freedom-loving people. Come ahead, you steel-eyed robots! Come ahead and taste what a million like-minded people think of you and your damn Clans!"

-Baron Stepan Von Strang

panzerfaust150

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #57 on: 01 December 2015, 22:03:16 »
Yeah,  Chris O'Farrell, just when our heroes thought they had it all, the corner office, peace in our time, the longer lasting light bulb....Omi drops a couple of "minor" headaches in their lap..trouble is, the Fed Com is right now the victim of the "tyranny of the timetables."
Quote from: HABEAS
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snakespinner

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #58 on: 02 December 2015, 03:02:10 »
Omi really knows how to send a letter that counts. O0
I wish I could get a good grip on reality, then I would choke it.
Growing old is inevitable,
Growing up is optional.
Watching TrueToaster create evil genius, priceless...everything else is just sub-par.

Sir Chaos

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Re: Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War
« Reply #59 on: 03 December 2015, 05:59:32 »
One little quiblle: Melissa Steiner would be 44, not 49, on New Year´s Day 3055. She was born in 3010.
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