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Author Topic: AU #86: And Then There Were None  (Read 1281 times)

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AU #86: And Then There Were None
« on: 03 February 2019, 17:59:15 »
BattleTech Alternate Universe #86: ...And Then There Were None

3067 Victor Steiner-Davion Unanimously Elected First Lord
     The Society Releases T3M3 On Clan Homeworlds
     Trueborn ImmunoMutagen Virus Spreads
3068 Society Hacks Clan Fleet Commands, Prevent Nuke War
     Homeworld Clans At 50% T3M3 Causalities
     Traditionalist Freebirth Rebellion     
3069 Inner Sphere Clans Hegira
     Outworlds Alliance,WoB Opposed
     WoB Declares Quarantine Zones, Blockade
     The Treaty Of Cambridge
3070 Homeworld Clans At %90 T3M3 Fatalities
     Homeworld Clans Make Final Stand At Strana Mechty
     Remaining Inner Sphere Clans Gather At Outpost
3071 WoB Acquire T3M3 Capability, Invades JF And Wolf QZs
     Black Friday, Port Moseby Accords
     Coreward Security Act, Clan Protectorate Act
     "I am Jerome Blake."
3072 Inner Sphere Clans At %25 T3M3 Fatalities
     SLDF Intervene, Halting WoB Crusade
     Remaining Inner Sphere Clans Gather At Outpost
     Society Declares Technocratic Republic
     Tech Republic Fleet Invades Chainelane Isles
3073 Battle Of Santiago
     Tech Republic, WoB Fleets Assault Last Trueborns
3075 No Known Living Trueborns Survive
     SLDF Headquarters Relocated To Outpost
     Commanding-General Vows Order In The Periphery
« Last Edit: 22 March 2019, 12:19:23 by Easy »

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #1 on: 04 February 2019, 15:24:54 »
Known T3M3 Transmission Paths As Of 3068


Without exception, The Society's efforts to disseminate both samples of T3M3 and production kits were effective in allowing the first wave of releases to reach maximum dispersion. Although the Watches of the Clans would wreak a terrible vengeance, the mortal blow was struck. From the medical bays of at least half the Clan forces the scientist caste could infiltrate, volumes of relatively inexpensive T3M3 began to permeate the Jumpships and Warships of the Clan populations.

Silent, invisible, dormant, final.

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #2 on: 04 February 2019, 20:16:06 »
Interesting
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #3 on: 13 March 2019, 15:12:56 »
« Last Edit: 14 March 2019, 18:22:30 by Easy »

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #4 on: 13 March 2019, 23:24:24 »
First Lord Victor,

My diplomatic efforts have failed, Thomas Marik will not change his vote. This war will serve no one. For my part in orchestrating this catastrophe I offer you my sword. I would sooner put out my other eye than witness this happen to our Nova Cat forces. If you can persuade Theodore, I would move on this now. With luck, we can have the Com Guards in place to save the whole Inner Sphere from a holy war before the Clans are gone forever.

Your loyal servant,
Athanasius Focht
Precentor-Martial
« Last Edit: 14 March 2019, 13:22:56 by Easy »

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #5 on: 14 March 2019, 13:02:13 »
The Federated Commonwealth Civil War left both the Lyran Alliance and the Federated Suns in disarray and unable to project power into the Clan Occupation Zones. Without the support of First Princess Yvonne or Archon Peter, their new House Lords, Coordinator Theodore Kurita of the Draconis Combine was unable to convince the Council of the Star League to deny the Word of Blake their mandate, but able to push through a vote of approving Hegira to exist between the SLDF and the Clans.

The vote to institute the Quarantine Zones had largely fallen along Com Guard vs. WoB lines, with the Periphery nations in abstention. The only holdout had been the Outworlds Alliance. Grown more dependent on the Snow Ravens for security than the Draconis Combine on the Nova Cats, or the Lyran Alliance on the Wolves in Exile.

The Free Rasalhague Republic, now a full voting member, also pushed hard for the vote. Believing WoB promises that their legacy worlds would be returned to them, they gave their support to the initial WBPF mission and ignored the rumblings of dissent from within the Ghost Bear Dominion QZ.

Faced with extinction from both within and without, the Snow Ravens and every other Inner Sphere Clan, including the Nova Cats and the W-i-E, closed ranks and prepared for general war.

Despite all this, or perhaps because it, initially, the Nova Cats and the W-i-E were willing to stay at their garrisons. However, this did not last long, and by the time of the second wave of the WBPF assault into the Jade Falcon and Wolf QZs, even they were loading their ships and heading Coreward.
« Last Edit: 20 March 2019, 10:00:27 by Easy »

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #6 on: 14 March 2019, 14:05:45 »


Within the Chaos March, the Word of Blake, now a full voting member of the Star League, continued to consolidate on the half-dozen worlds they had convinced to join their cause and ramped up production. Supply convoys of military forces began leaving Terra to support to Word of Blake Peacekeeping Forces in the Quarantine Zones.

From within the industrial base of the Word of Blake Protectorate, Precentor Apollyon led a hidden army of Manei Domini Shadow Divisions into the light, and on a grand Crusade against the Clans.

Although WoB Precentor Martial Cameron St. Jamais had promised stability and the just settlement of territorial disputes within the QZs, by the second wave, it was becoming clear to even the most obstinate of the House Lords and First Lord Victor, that, unless the Shadow Divisions could be checked somehow, it would become a war of genocide.

Unknown to the Council of the Star League, Precentor Apollyon had acquired the formula for T3M3, the Trueborn ImmunoMutagen, and instead of using his considerable technological ability to help ailing Trueborns in the conflagration that followed, he worked to ensure it's maximum dispersal.

By the time First Lord Victor and Comstar Precentor Martial Athanasius Focht were able to provide proof of Apollyon's deception to the Counsel, it was too late. The Crusade had begun.

The Jade Falcons and the Wolves met Apollyon's Shadow Divisions at the border with their Keshiks and front line Galaxies, but with the strength and speed of the assault, bolstered with at least half again the number of ships and regiments than had been known previously, it was an act of defiance against longer odds than any of them had ever known. T3M3 casualties were beginning to mount, and in the heartbreak of the betrayal, of watching the sibkos deliver only the stillborn, a fatalism crept in.

For some, a murderous nihilism drove them against the Word of Blake, and they hurled themselves against the Shadow Divisions without regard. For others, the search for a cure, and a refuge, led them to attempt to preserve what they could from the fires consuming them all.

The motivation to draw the House Lords and the SLDF to their own sides prevented both the WoB and the Clans from using nuclear weapons and other forms of mass destruction, sparing the freebirth populations in the QZs from total annihilation.
« Last Edit: 20 March 2019, 10:02:35 by Easy »

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #7 on: 14 March 2019, 15:40:36 »


Citing recent meddling in his realm by the previous First Lord as a pre-text for a new found activism, Chancellor Sun Tzu Laio ordered elite Capellan forces into the Saiph Triumvirate, including augmented infantry, and captured all three worlds, in addition to a few independent worlds in the area.

Still reeling from the ferocity of the WBPF's sudden momentum, Victor and the Counsel passed a resolution of censure, but did not actually forbid Sun Tzu from his attacks. Uncertain as to how many Com Gaurd divisions could be held back from redeployment to face the WoB threat, Yvonne Steiner-Davion could only re-enforce the worlds of Zurich and Nanking, holding what power she had to discourage Sun Tzu from using his political exploitation of the crisis to poach upon the CC/FS border.

For reasons of his own, Captain-General Thomas Marik of the FWL voted to approve the censure, but did not make any overt moves towards the Confederation, instead redeploying FWL regular forces along the border to pace with CC military build-ups.

Voting also for the censure, but keeping his own counsel, St. Jamais did not also move to overtly re-enforce the anti-Corward border of the burgeoning WoB Protectorate, most likely content to allow the growing environment of chaos and war to cover his tracks and allow the Manei Domini to run rampant on QZ worlds, but keeping a firm hand on any perceived extremist policies emerging within the WoB Protectorate.
« Last Edit: 14 March 2019, 15:52:54 by Easy »

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #8 on: 14 March 2019, 18:00:11 »


A negotiated Hegira between the SLDF and the Clans, in late 3069, came after news of the seriousness and scope of T3M3 became more widely known, and had ended a number of ongoing conflicts along the outer borders of the Quarantine Zones. Most notable was the Coreward border of the Lyran Alliance.

Collecting whatever resources they could, the Jade Falcons withdrew and began reorganizing for the war that seemed inevitable. Among the larger questions to answer was what to do about faltering command structure. As upper level Star Colonels would become ill, they would be replaced, but stability required order and that meant oversight. An additional need to keep potentially rebellious occupied worlds from rising up in arms also persuaded the Jade Falcons to shorten the lines and tie in the flanks.

The Clans suspected that the WoB had more space assets than was accounted for and took measures to develop a defense in depth, even more reason to leave worlds for which resupply would be difficult. It was not known if any isolated cluster could last long without fresh supplies of warriors and 'Mechs.

The border along the length of the Arc Royal Defense Cordon was a different matter. Although the ARDC would no longer need to bear the pressure of the Jade Falcon Touman, long-standing feuds made both the Falcons and the Wolves-In-Exile reluctant to stand down, fearing that if a cure were suddenly found, the massed forces of the Jade Falcons might quickly overwhelm them.

Eventually, the profundity of the collapse within the QZ, and Khan Phelan Kell’s decision to return the exiles to the fold of Clan Wolf convinced Grand Duke Morgan Kell that the ARDC was no longer necessary. All of it's worlds and forces would be returned to the direct command of Archon Peter and the high command on Tharkad.

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #9 on: 15 March 2019, 11:41:01 »
"How can we be certain that the Clans have not brought this tragedy upon themselves? The babbling of the conspiracy theorists?

Clan breeding programs have had the unsafe and reckless consequence of reducing genetic diversity in their populations for generations. Is it no wonder they appear to look the same to us? Humanity's genetic diversity has protected us from disease for our entire history. More diversity, not less, is the way forward.

Rather than assume some nefarious hand at play, we are wiser to consider T3M3 the just consequence suffered by a society that took the risk and based their future on a mere few dozen bloodlines.

The hypocrites! These inbred Clanners might deserve our pity, but we do not deserve their guilt."


-- Dr. Simpson Retunir, Guest Commentator, "Clan Talk", broadcast April 9th, 3071, Donegal Broadcasting Company
« Last Edit: 15 March 2019, 11:57:42 by Easy »

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #10 on: 15 March 2019, 12:20:26 »


The election of Victor Steiner-Davion to First Lord of the Star League had not meant the windfall to the Federated Suns that some Davionists had hoped for. The cost of the FedCom Civil War would be felt for decades. Although Yvonne Steiner-Davion was not the shrinking violet some claimed, it was clear that both Yvonne and her brother, Archon Peter, did not find the situation optimal.

That one family held the offices of First Lord of the Star League, Archon of the Lyran Alliance and First Princess of the Federated Suns did not sit well with them, or other House Lords and regional governors, allowing conservative movements to continually find ways to limit their power.

Thus, while the Steiner-Davion family held unprecedented power not seen since the marriage of Hanse and Melissa, that power was continually undermined by practically everyone else, either through impotence and incompetence, or patriotic and national fervor.

Thus, trouble in paradise. In the Federated Suns, local militias still fought off deep raids by the Taurian Concordat, who had never been fond of the Star League and continually questioned and obstructed it's every move. They were aided and abetted by other Periphery nations, like the Outworlds Alliance and the Magistracy of Canopus, even pirate and bandit kingdoms eager to exploit the distractions Coreward, guaranteeing that whatever the Star League decided to do with the SLDF, the House armies of the Great Houses of the Inner Sphere would not be available if they were dedicated to preserving their borders, or expanding them.
« Last Edit: 15 March 2019, 16:00:01 by Easy »

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #11 on: 15 March 2019, 13:28:20 »


Perhaps sensing that Captain-General Thomas Marik's "we've got our own problems" policy regarding events in the Quarantine Zones to be even more true than other more disinterested parties, the Marion Hegemony concluded that they would not fear becoming one of those problems for the Captain-General and began a campaign of objective raiding along the border. The first strikes were against industrial and technological targets, including the world of Niops. The raids on Niops were especially concerning, as it indicated that the Marions might be planning to take the world outright and use it as a staging base.

The traditionally decentralized FWL government on Atreus were consumed with the large presence of the Word of Blake within it's borders and their increasingly strident and extremist rhetoric. They watched nervously as the WoB Protectorate expanded it's borders and it's mysterious army from nowhere rampaged in the QZs. A series of contentious debates, as to which was the more potent threat, Periphery raiding or insurrection by the WoB and a possible interdiction of the WoB HPG network, were not assisted by an abnormally withdrawn Thomas Marik, and where early decisive action might have spared the FWL some pain, instead, Parliament was left to it's own devices, and as often as not failed to find compromise. Nevertheless, within the FWLM, morale remained high enough to discourage the Marions from more than an aggressive raiding campaign, for the time being.
« Last Edit: 15 March 2019, 16:04:21 by Easy »

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #12 on: 15 March 2019, 13:55:33 »


Where indecision seemed to characterize the FWL, Coordinator Theodore Kurita of the Draconis Combine had no such liability. Within weeks of the Word of Blake assaults, Theodore began moving loyalist regiments into the Irece Prefecture, officially relieving the Nova Cats of responsibility for the defense of it's worlds.

Contemplating a future without the Ghost Bear threat, the Coordinator used the opportunity to prepare for that future. A cooperative First Lord Victor provided Theodore with enough assurances that, should the Ghost Bear Dominion lash out at the Combine, he would have the full support of the Com Guards. Thus, Coodinator Kurita took steps to ensure that no externalization of the blame for T3M3 by the Ghost Bears or the Nova Cats plague the Combine, releasing the Nova Cats from service both officially and unofficially.

With the assistance of Draconis Combine Jumpship assets, the Trueborn populations began to move to Itabaiana, where the Diamond Sharks welcomed them with open arms.

In truth, the Diamond Sharks had lost much standing with the Inner Sphere Clans, as it was considered established fact that the Shark's nomadic ways had been a primary contributor to the spread of T3M3. Thus, even the Abjured Nova Cats were welcome on their worlds.

In may be noted that, as Trueborns all over the Inner Sphere put their affairs in order and made the journey Coreward, many of them traveled freely, sponsored and paid for by the humbled Diamond Sharks.
« Last Edit: 15 March 2019, 14:15:44 by Easy »

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #13 on: 15 March 2019, 14:39:38 »


It is, perhaps, one of the ironies of history that, while Trueborns all over the Inner Sphere found common cause to bury the hatchet and join together in mutual defense, that they still found things to fight about.

At "Tov", code name for the burgeoning central command headquarters for the concerted Clan war effort, the Khans of the various Clans gathered to determine what of their own fate was under their control and who would lead the effort.

Given the strategic situation, the Inner Sphere Khans were betting on a hope. The only way to guarantee the survival of the Trueborns was to hold off their enemies until a cure could be found. To that end, the research facility on the Periphery world of Outpost was founded. It was there that all the scientific prowess of the Clans would be gathered and protected.

Clan Wolf argued that since they held the central corridor, they should naturally be declared the ilClan and be given command of the entire effort. Challenging that assumption were the Ghost Bears, the Jade Falcons and the Hell's Horses, the three most powerful Clans who did not have the stain of Abjuration upon them. The Snow Ravens, while powerful, were too far away, and their movement, too long, to be relied upon

As the political in-fighting went on, it was declared that, in the interest of security, only Trueborns would be allowed to set foot upon the grounds of "Tov" and all freebirth to be moved off-world. Although the practicality of such a measure was uncertain, a number of critical members of the scientific caste would be necessary to find a cure, suspicion of the freebirth scientific caste was rising.

The Clan Watches, particularly Wolf, Ghost Bear and Jade Falcon, were already combing through the data they were assembling on any member of the scientific caste they could find, in search of culpability. It's probably no surprise that the Jade Falcons would be the first to present the evidence, and the Hell's Horses would be the last to believe them.
« Last Edit: 15 March 2019, 14:54:47 by Easy »

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #14 on: 15 March 2019, 16:35:48 »


Despite early overtures by the Diamond Sharks to keep the distant factions of the Hanseatic League and Nueva Castile sidelined, representatives of both of these far flung nations signed the Treaty of Cambridge with the Star League in 3069, granting rights of trade and representation as non-voting members. One might speculate that the Chainelane Islands to have wanted to participate in the Treaty of Cambridge also, and had there been a central government able to conclude such a treaty, it probably would have happened.

As it was, neither the Star League ambassadors, nor their Explorer Corps chaperones, were able to find it, nor to secure such an agreement. This lack of a governing authority would have consequences later, but by 3071, preoccupation with T3M3 had prevented the Clans from even bothering with the isolated worlds of the Chainelanes, preserving a sense of security that would not be broken until 3072, when fleets of the Tech Republic would turn it into a battleground.
« Last Edit: 15 March 2019, 17:26:38 by Easy »

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #15 on: 15 March 2019, 17:05:13 »
By mid-3071, the jig was up. Presentation of the evidence linking The Society with the creation and dispersal of T3M3 was presented simultaneously to the gathered Khans and Loremasters at Tov, (technically, the Khans of Clan Jade Falcon and Wolf were not present, but fighting on the lines, their representation by their saKhans), and the House Lords of the Counsel of the Star League.

At this, the purges began.

For those of the scientific caste that were already in custody, the punishment by the Watches was swift and terrible. Smelling the odor of death, those of the scientific caste, in particular those who had been part of the conspiracy, ran for their very lives and sanity. Some managed to escape on their own by disappearing into the Dark Caste, others were spirited away by the ROM divisions of both Comstar and the Word of Blake, and the elite special forces of the Great Houses.

By the end of 3071 the purges were complete, with only a few of the most essential individuals remaining in the custody of the Clans, every move, every utterance, and in some cases every thought monitored and controlled by the deadly furious agents of the Clan Watches, who felt most keenly the guilt that only they could know of the one act for which they would live on, in both glory, and infamy.

It was not known at this time what part the WoB had played, but when it was discovered, they would be the next to pay the piper.
« Last Edit: 15 March 2019, 17:35:58 by Easy »

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #16 on: 15 March 2019, 17:53:20 »
The woman stood in a slouch, face long with sorrow in the bench rows of an audience chamber. Seated in a chair next to her was what appeared to be an ombudsman or a lawyer.

"I'm afraid I can't rule in favor of your petition. The cause of death has been declared an act of war, and as such does not qualify for the exemption. I'm so sorry, your children will be allowed to attend the School For The Handicapped."

"Ma'am, if you are not already aware, let me inform you that although your children have so far survived T3M3 exposure, there is no way we can know if they will not yet succumb to the virus, we have not yet determined a dormant stage, or how to measure the progress of the diseases until almost the end. Be strong."

"I am strong, your honor, my children are strong, and smart. They are not 'handicapped' because they had a Trueborn father. He was captured, he surrendered honorably and struggled very hard to learn our ways. He became a patriot of this House. Do you not understand?"

"He was a mutant, Ma'am."

"He...was...MY HUSBAND!"

The now standing woman draws a weapon, the camera suddenly swerves down behind the back row of a bench and weapon fire is heard. The camera cuts off.

-- verified video of mass shooting broadcast October 23rd, 3071 by the Comstar News Service
« Last Edit: 15 March 2019, 19:25:02 by Easy »

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #17 on: 15 March 2019, 18:27:08 »
So, who did the shooting, the widow or someone else, and who got shoot.

"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #18 on: 15 March 2019, 19:30:57 »
Quote
So, who did the shooting, the widow or someone else, and who got shoot.

A freeborn citizen of a Great House, widow of a T3M3 casualty who had been a bondsman, then volunteer of that Great House, was denied compensation. Their children were declared 'handicapped' by the local government and labeled mutants, i.e. subhuman, by the magistrate. She declared them Dezgra, went feral and shot up the courthouse. Comstar apologizes for any overly disturbing content.
« Last Edit: 15 March 2019, 19:37:25 by Easy »

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #19 on: 15 March 2019, 21:19:42 »


The second wave of the Word of Blake campaign opened with yet another WBPF mystery fleet attacking on the left. At Orkney, the Jade Falcons held, but the important industrial world of Pandora fell to the WBPF.

In a Trial of Possession that, by account, consisted of a spelling contest, the Jade Falcons conceded Koniz, Blair Athol and, finally, Benfled, with the Wolves-in-Exile arriving in-system the same day as the Manei Domini. Rather than contest the system with it’s overwhelming aerospace superiority, the WBPF settled into orbit and landed it’s forces in a position to take the planet by force, keeping the Wolves-in-Exile fleet in view at all times. An uneasy calm settled on the world.

The mandate given to the WoB had been to blockade and to interdict the Jade Falcon and Wolf QZs, using what ground forces were necessary to insure the Clans would not be able break out. Of course, this would mean battle with the Clans, but the Star League had not anticipated the aggression of Apollyon, nor the fury of the defending Clans, and shortly after the first shots were traded, the Word of Blake Protectorate declared war and announced that the Star League would be forced to adhere to the letter of the mandate, which entitled the WoB to use force to disarm and secure any world that resisted.

And resist they did.

At Suk II, Orkney, and Benfled, the Crusade was slowed, but not quite stopped.
« Last Edit: 16 March 2019, 10:02:24 by Easy »

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #20 on: 15 March 2019, 22:08:27 »
“I am Khan Marthe Pryde of the Jade Falcons. In the name of the Clans, I declare the Word of Blake Dezgra.”

In a video image behind Khan Pryde, a wall screen showed horrific Manei Domini shredding and terrorizing their way through a Jade Falcon Elemental star, deliberating inflicting the most painful wounds in the most deliberate way. In a background let by flame Spectral Battlemechs faded into and out of sight, Light Polarizing armor making them shimmer like transparent ghosts, watching over the bloodbath. In the far distance, orbital strikes licked down at unseen targets.

“The brutality of the Word of Blake knows no redemption. Conspirators, you will be our companions in the afterlife, witness to the fate held in the Jade Falcon’s talons for the traitorous Society.”

“You have been judged. Forevermore, your name will be struck from the annals of history, and the utterance of it a capital crime. Quarter will be neither asked, nor given, nor will Clan Warships restrict themselves from orbital strikes upon both military and civilian targets. Make peace with your Gods, for you will find no more in this life.”

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #21 on: 16 March 2019, 02:11:32 »
A freeborn citizen of a Great House, widow of a T3M3 casualty who had been a bondsman, then volunteer of that Great House, was denied compensation. Their children were declared 'handicapped' by the local government and labeled mutants, i.e. subhuman, by the magistrate. She declared them Dezgra, went feral and shot up the courthouse. Comstar apologizes for any overly disturbing content.
that was how I read the scene but wanted to make sure, that someone else had not gunned her and her kids when she drew
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #22 on: 16 March 2019, 09:49:22 »
Quote
that was how I read the scene but wanted to make sure, that someone else had not gunned her and her kids when she drew

I'm not saying that did not also happen somewhere else. Pride and bigotry, at what the Clans accomplished, but also how they accomplished it, consumed some individuals, leaving them incapable of anything but violent action or suicide.

The order of the universe was being overturned. It was more than the defeat of one Clan on the horizon, it was the extinction of all Trueborns, including their children, who had inherited the vulnerability to T3M3.

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #23 on: 16 March 2019, 13:03:11 »


Seventy-two hours later, the Captain-General of the Free Worlds League dropped the next bomb.

"I am not who you think I am."

Thomas Halas, the man who, for many years led the Free Worlds League under the name of Thomas Marik, confessed to the Counsel of the Star League in a video broadcast across the Inner Sphere.

"My name is Thomas Halas, and I have allowed the Inner Sphere to believe that I was Thomas Marik. I am not."

"Thomas Marik, Captain-General of the Free Worlds League, lost his mind years ago and joined the most extremist and secret wing of the Word of Blake. His madness, and the threat he posed to the security of the Free Worlds was unacceptable, and, as I was able to withstand the therapies required to make the illusion complete, I volunteered to take his place. For the deception I have perpetuated upon you all, I am truly sorry."

"I fear that my deception has created a worse problem than I hoped it would solve. The Word of Blake has become a menace to the peace and security of the Free Worlds League, and the stranglehold they have on my beloved nation's HyperPulse Generator Network is unacceptable. In cooperation with Comstar, I have ordered the Free Worlds League Military to full alert and have taken steps to purge the HPG Network of Word of Blake influence and control."

"Anticipating the violent resistance of these fanatics, even now FWLM Warships are jumping into the Gibson system, where the highest concentration of the conspirators are located."

"Khan Pryde, my most sincere apology is reserved for you, an honorable warrior betrayed by those who claimed faith and trust, but instead only reveled in the day when inhumanity, war and chaos would consume us all. Forces of the FWLM will not, under any circumstance, attack Clan forces engaged with the Word of Blake, nor will the Free Worlds League impede the movement of migrating, or fighting, Warships or Jumpships."

"I go now to face the justice of my Parliament. In the hopes of an eventual peace, and cure from this terrible scourge, I salute you."
« Last Edit: 16 March 2019, 13:07:01 by Easy »

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #24 on: 16 March 2019, 15:51:51 »


Black Friday. On May 5th, Hyperpulse Generator traffic across the breadth and width of the Inner Sphere shut off completely. Terminals blinked and screamed and restarted to static and test patterns at every Class A, B, C, and D HPG transmitter and relay on record, plunging the Inner Sphere into darkness and chaos.

Comstar and the Clans had been the best prepared. For an unknown reason, Mobile HPG stations were not affected by the interdiction and quickly began linking up on ground stations and Jumpships and Warships upon which they had been installed. The military forces of the Great Houses, with the assistance of Comstar, move quickly to implement the case plans in their locked safes to re-establish command authority. Likewise, the SLDF, benefiting from integrated Com Guard communications was able to begin adapting it's posture within hours of the event.

The Clans had never trusted Comstar's management of HPG stations in the Occupation Zones, and had relied, for the most part, on their own Mobile HPG stations. A lack of scientist caste to administrate their own internal Network did cause some disruption, but was not nearly as traumatic as it had been to freeborn citizens of the Great Houses.
« Last Edit: 16 March 2019, 17:43:24 by Easy »

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #25 on: 16 March 2019, 17:06:37 »


On May 8th, the Word of Blake executed the third act of Operation Writ of Justice. The balance of the mystery fleets appeared over the Clan capitol worlds of Sudenten, Tamar, Weingarten and Alshain. Prolific use of tactical and strategic nuclear weapons heralded the arrival of the Shadow Division troop carriers. In every case, Clan Warships, outnumbered two to one, fought with tenacity and determination, but failed to carry the day. Battered and irradiated, the survivors fell back and regrouped.

The value of these worlds kept the WBPF from saturation bombing the cities and industrial complexes, but instead, the payload, Dropships full of Battlemechs, ASF and other forces equipped to capture the industrial centers intact, were delivered. The mighty, hidden forces of the Word of Blake descended upon the Clans in all it's hideous glory.

WBPF tactics changed. There would be no more mad rushes to overwhelm planetary defenses and slash through aerospace screens. For these worlds, the Manei Domini moved with a methodical grind, engaging in the attrition war that would end up with one side or another simply unable to fill the cockpits of the 'Mechs and Aerospace Fighters that were the contestants in what appeared to all witnesses what some would call the end of the world.
« Last Edit: 16 March 2019, 20:49:25 by Easy »

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #26 on: 16 March 2019, 20:25:11 »


Unknown to the belligerents forming the spiral of death in the center of the Clan Quarantine Zones, forward elements of the Technocratic Republic Warship squadrons moving to contact with any remaining Clans, Trueborn, Traditionalist Freebirth, or not.

In the Clan Homeworlds, the plan of The Society succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. The destruction of the children of Kerensky's death throes would be felt for centuries and the scorched worlds it claimed had left the The Society fully in control. Spread of T3M3 was complete and when the casualty count peaked, the totals spiked into the thousands per day.




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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #27 on: 17 March 2019, 14:20:42 »


Of all Clans, it is perhaps the Ghost Bears for whom the issue of dependents was most poignant. Never under the illusion that the Word of Blake had meant anything other than annihilation, the isolationist Khans had allowed Prince Magnussen to give the Star League a chance to contain the WBPF. After Black Friday, the Ghost Bears gave Magnussen an ultimatum, the Free Rasalhague Republic must declare war on the Word of Blake, or the Ghost Bears would downgrade the loyalty of Dominion Freebirth units.

Magnussen returned with a better offer. The FRR was a member of the Star League, as a First Lord, he had ensured that voting right was secured for generations. The FRR would indeed declare war, not only because St. Jaimis had lied, but also because Alshain was a FRR capital, and as such, the WBPF invasion demanded war.

Thus, the Ghost Bear migration occurred under escort of the FRR flag. As the Ghost Bears handed off worlds to the FRR, Magnussen’s forces attacked Word of Blake garrisons around Tukkayid, determined that a war of Rasalhague liberation was the best course, and that the flag of the Free Rasalhague Republic would fly over worlds that had not seen freedom for 30 years.

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #28 on: 17 March 2019, 15:43:14 »


If the Word of Blake hoped that the HPG interdiction would completely freeze the House Lords, they were mistaken. Chiefs of staff of the various commands began daily briefings to decision makers and emergency contingency plans were refined and executed.

Among these were the Port Moseby Accords, which mutually froze the Lyran Alliance and Draconis Combine borders on a line between Terra and Tukayyid. Furthermore, any Word of Blake traffic along the zone would be subject to search and detention. If it lacked the teeth of a formal war declaration, it provided a trigger mechanism by which both Archon Peter and Coordinator Theodore would be insured by law against opportunistic land grabs in this vital corridor while they had a duty to preserve the integrity of Star League authority, vested in First Lord Victor.

Furthermore, the Accords recognized and ratified Prince Magnussen's claim on liberated Free Rasalhague Republic worlds, with the adjudication of final borders to come before the Star League at the end of the war. Unsaid was the assumption that, no matter what happened, within the space of a few years, there would be no more Clans to claim any of them.

When the gritty realism of this future set in, the tensions between Prince Magnussen, Archon Peter and Coordinator Theodore would come to a head and require diplomatic interventions by First Lord Victor and First Princess Yvonne, but for now, the impetus was growing for Athanasius Focht to commit the SLDF to war in the Chaos March.

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Re: AU #86: And Then There Were None
« Reply #29 on: 17 March 2019, 17:26:54 »


The Wolf's Dragoons lowered the flags on Outreach, officially turning the world over to the custody of the Star League, along with the nearby world of Liberty, sometimes called Carver, and made their journey Coreward, skirting around the World of Blake Protectorate, headed for Dieron, where other Trueborns and dependents gathered for the observance of Hegira.

Chancellor Sun Tzu sent Liao troops, including the fearsome augmented warrior gathering a reputation as a force to challenge the Manei Domini, into the Terracap Federation, unearthing local forces in a struggle with Word of Blake regulars attempting to take control of the planetary infrastructure, as they had done to other worlds in the Chaos March as a follow-on to the interdiction beginning on Black Friday. Using surprise and a light touch, the Word of Blake Protectorate established a dense, hard core of defensive postures from which to hold off the SLDF. But for what, many questioned.

Speculation that St. Jaimis would agree to a negotiated settlement prior to any invasion of Terra spread around the Chaos March, but the prospects seemed unlikely.

When First Lord Victor opened his coffers and bought out the contract of the Northwind Highlanders and rights to base Com Guards on Northwind, it was clear to all observers that the Word of Blake Crusade would be stopped, one way or another.
« Last Edit: 18 March 2019, 12:30:16 by Easy »