The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

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MondoMage
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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by MondoMage » 2013-06-05 05:16pm

Wow. Just... wow. I'm not even sure dear old Adolf and his more fanatical cronies were quite this bad... at least not until near the end of the war, that is. This is taking the whole "Best Defense" cliche just a wee bit far. Far enough to go right over a cliff.

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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by Diverball » 2013-06-05 05:52pm

MondoMage wrote:Wow. Just... wow. I'm not even sure dear old Adolf and his more fanatical cronies were quite this bad... at least not until near the end of the war, that is. This is taking the whole "Best Defense" cliche just a wee bit far. Far enough to go right over a cliff.
Adolf wasn't in power long enough to completely purge the Wehrmacht of all competent commanders and totally politicise the General Staff. House Amaris, on the other hand, has had generations to turn the RWM into a laughable parody of an effective military. And Hitler didn't start out batshit insane (at least, not to that level).
"Only a fool expects rational behaviour from their fellow humans. Why do you expect it from a machine that humans have designed?"

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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2013-06-05 06:45pm

Oh dear, an entire Field Army incinerated. At least the Rim Worlds troops now have a total moron in command...although I do wonder what he'll do with those nuclear-armed Makos (amusingly I initially thought MA meant the spec-ops/terrorist Makos, not the fighters ).
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by MondoMage » 2013-06-05 07:25pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:Oh dear, an entire Field Army incinerated. At least the Rim Worlds troops now have a total moron in command...although I do wonder what he'll do with those nuclear-armed Makos
Something incredibly stupid, I would wager. Instead of waiting for an opportune moment to use them to devastating effect, he'll probably waste them attacking targets of less-than-ideal magnitude. :banghead:

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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by masterarminas » 2013-06-05 07:37pm

The radio transmission was filled with static, and crackled with the discharges of PPCs and missile explosions. Minoru frowned and adjusted the gain on his receiver. “Say again, Tai-sa Hondo?”

“. . . across the river, my Lord. At least a dozen regiments of ‘Mechs and tanks, sup . . . can’t hold the bridges.”

Ahead of his Dragon-class ‘Mech, the Coordinator of the Draconis Combine could see dust clouds rising from the explosions in the center of the 11th Benjamin’s position. A stream of Rim Worlds tanks, ‘Mechs, and armored personnel carriers were pouring across the bridges north of Muscle Shoals!

His other regiments were also reporting the enemy was coming on hard at every river crossing he held. Instead of holding the line as Minoru had expected, the enemy was advancing in force! The DMCS regiments were being bled white, but they were also tearing gaping holes in the enemy advance. “Gregor, I think we have an opportunity here.”

“Yes, my Lord,” answered Gregor Samasov from the cockpit of his Quickdraw nearby. “I am already ordering the reserves forward, and close air support is inbound—ETA five minutes.”

“Good, good,” mused Minoru as he considered the map of the area. “General Samasov—you are to take command of the defense here. I want you to allow them to cross and then contain them on our shore. I will lead the Sword of Light across Lake Wheeler and cut off their line of supply from the northern shore.”

“My Lord, if I may suggest, allow me to lead the river crossing while you remain here . . .”

“No. Their ‘Mechs can cross the river, albeit with difficulty, but their tanks and infantry will be trapped on our side. Once my Sword of Light have secured the crossing on the northern shore—then you are to launch your counterattack, Gregor.”

“I understand, Lord Minoru.”

“Then go; we have much to accomplish and precious little time in which to do so.”

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

“See, General Cobb,” Larson sneered as he paced along the heights overlooking the steep valley through which the Tennessee River ran. “With the proper motivation, even you are able to drive the Kurita scum before you! Your divisions are across the river—and they are running! Running!”

Henry Cobb shook his head and frowned. His lead elements had been mauled—and munitions expenditures had drastically exceeded his worst estimates. At this rate, the Corps would out of ammunition in less than four hours of combat. But at least the first convoy of trucks the late General Clinton had organized was approaching his supply dumps. The Rim Worlds General stopped and he slowly raised his binoculars and looked to the east. He zoomed in, and then he blanched.

At least six Regiments of Kurita ‘Mechs were emerging from the waters of Lake Wheeler, and they began to advance rapidly towards the crossings. And every last single one of them was painted in the blood-red scheme of the Sword of Light. Oh crap, he thought.

“General Larson, we have a problem.”

“General Cobb, I am growing weary of your defeatist atti . . . what is that!”

“Unless I am mistaken, General Larson, that is Minoru Kurita and his entire Sword of Light. And he is on our side of the river.”

The IntSec general froze and his jaw worked, his eyes grew wide. “Send in your reserves, Cobb! Stop him!”

“What reserves, you ass? You already ordered me to throw everything I had into this offensive! Except for military police and security detachments protecting my supply dumps and HQ, every combat unit I have is now south of the river!”

A non-com came running up and hastily saluted, handing Henry a message form. “And they have just stopped ‘running’ on the south side, General Larson. My divisions just hit a brick wall of ‘Mechs that has stopped their advance cold—we have to pull back what we can salvage now, sir.”

“We . . . no . . . the, the offensive must succeed. I promised the Emperor . . . I told him . . .”

“Sir, if we don’t pull back right now, we’ll lose both these divisions entirely! And there will be nothing between Minoru Kurita and 4th Army HQ except a handful of IntSec police!”

Larson didn’t say a word, just stared at the oncoming ‘Mechs, and then he turned and ran to his waiting helicopter.

Cobb shook his head in disgust and began bellowing orders into his radio, trying to salvage something from the disaster!

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

The Sword of Light—three regiments strong—and the Otomo swept aside the handful of defenders on the northern bank. Leaving two battalions behind to secure the first bridge, Minoru rushed for the second, and the third, and grabbed the bridgeheads in quick succession. On his tactical display, he could see Gregor’s forces curving around behind the Rim Worlds formations, which were trying to pull back to the bridges. But the fresh forces were too maneuverable, too fast, and the Rimmers were forced to leave behind one rear guard after the next. By the time they had reached the bridges, they were only a shadow of their former selves—and had not the organization, the strength, or the ammunition to force Minoru from his defensive lines.

Squadrons of Rim World fighters threw themselves at the bridges—but Minoru had already planned for that event. Entire regiments of Draconis Shilones and Sabres, carefully husbanded for this exact circumstance, tore into the sky from dozens of airfields. Of the seventy-two nuclear armed Makos that made it into the air, only three managed to start their attack runs. And of those three only one delivered its nuclear payload on target.

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

Minoru’s Dragon rocked violently as the nearby nuclear detonation erupted in fury. More than seventy ‘Mechs simply vanished, and one of the bridges collapsed, and a second one buckled under the expanding blast wave. But despite the rapidly climbing radiation count, his Dragon had been far enough away from the epicenter to survive the cataclysmic explosion.

The city of Florence, Alabama, with a population of nearly forty thousand civilians was not nearly so lucky. Three hundred and sixty-one adults would survive the explosion—but would die within days from the radiation poisoning they had suffered.

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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by masterarminas » 2013-06-05 07:39pm

Thomas Marik considered the tactical screen as Bastogne plunged into the atmosphere. He checked the hull ionization and as the numbers lowered to the point where his radio was once again operable, he punched the key that would patch him through to General Montoya.

“General Marik,” the burly man said over the video monitor.

“Minoru Kurita has broken their defense line at the Tennessee, General. Shift V Corps to land north of the river on the Cumberland Plateau; they are to attach themselves to his command and move out with all haste.”

“Sir, that is dangerously close to effective range for the Blue Ridge SDS. V Corps can land south of the river in absolute safety—and still link up in less than two hours.”

“That is two hours, General, for the Rim Worlders to get their act together. Divert them—on my authority as Deputy Commander of Operation Ragnarok.”

Montoya paused for a moment, and then simply answered, “Yes sir.”

“And have one of Eleventh Armies support brigades divert as well—the Advanced Guard is probably very low on munitions, especially since his own supply ships got hammered in Wave 1.”

The older SLDF General nodded, and then the screen cut off. Thomas Marik braced himself against the shaking of the DropShip and waited for the rapidly descending DropShip to touch down.

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

“Cobb lost the entire Corps?” Sara Craig asked her intelligence officer in horror.

“Well, it was Larson’s plan, and he was there in person—to assume command if Cobb proved useless," the younger Rim officer said with a snort. "But both of his divisions are shattered beyond recognition; I doubt we’ll be able to reform a single regiment from the survivors.”

So much for holding at the best damn defensive line this side of the Rockies, she thought. She shook her head and simply stared at the hundreds of additional DropShips descending on the cleared drop-zone. “And that isn’t an entire Star League Army, Will, I don’t know jack about soldiering.

She licked her dry lips. “All right, our right flank has just collapsed, and those damn Highlanders are still hitting our lines hard. Blake’s got his hands full on the left as well with the Liao volunteers, and it’ll be hours before the next wave of reinforcements arrives from up north—if Larson doesn’t divert them to Nashville,” the miserable incompetent coward, she added to herself.

“We can’t hold this line with our flank in the air, and we sure as Hell can’t attack. Ok, then, send a message to Boleyn—the 13th is bugging out to the Asheville Castle Brian. I recommend he pull the 52nd back to the Santee/Catawba line. I can’t protect his flank on the Savannah line any longer.”

She stared at the map again and shook her head. “Pull out the infantry, followed by armored elements, then artillery and HQ, and have the ‘Mechs cover our rear. People, we have to do this fast and smart—if the Highlanders get an inkling we are pulling back, they are going to be all over us. Will, how many FASCAM rounds are in the division’s inventory?”

“Nine hundred and forty-four, as of twenty minutes ago, General.”

“I want every last of one of them covering each line of approach the Highlanders might use for pursuit. The shells are cheap if they keep this division alive.”

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

Conner Stirling was a frustrated man. Until the SLDF support elements arrived, he couldn’t cross the Savannah—and this Rimmer commanding the defense of the southern tip of the Appalachians was as tenacious as hell. Oh, he couldn’t fault that Lord Kerensky had selected his command—with their high preponderance of jump jets—for the east, but that meant that Minoru’s half of the Advanced Guard had far more room to maneuver out west.

Still, he was pushing his opponent, slowly and painfully farther into the mountains and hills. But he hadn’t broken—and if Stirling had judged him correctly he wouldn’t. It meant a long hard slog, through broken and steep terrain—but then word had come of the collapse of the Tennessee line. Now, Stirling had swung the 1st and 3rd Kearny Highlanders, supported by a dozen other regiments of volunteers around his left flank to pin the Rimmer from two fronts—and he would crush her lighter ‘Mechs and vehicles like a walnut in a cracker.

But then his radar picked up incoming artillery and Conner looked up in misery to see the shells burst—and disperse thousands of scattered mines across his line of advance. A second salvo followed, and a third, and a fourth—stacking up the depth of the minefield until it was more than a kilometer deep.

As the reports came in from his flankers that the Rimmer had done the exact same thing to them, Conner gritted his teeth. And then he slammed his fist into the command console of his Highlander-class ‘Mech as his sensor suite saw the Rim ‘Mechs pulling out of their defensive line and withdrawing.

“Someone clear me a bloody damned lane!” he swore.

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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by masterarminas » 2013-06-05 07:42pm

Aleksandyr closed his eyes and rubbed them as his considered his options. His warning to Lord Stephen had just been confirmed as partially correct—for Amaris had put a third of the forces on the Eurasian Plain in motion, as well as half of those concentrated in the Mexican highlands. The ones in Mexico were not of any great concern, because soon the SLDF would have an overwhelming advantage in numbers. But the fresh troops from Europe and Asia that could dig in around Unity City—engaging his own troops weary from weeks of battle—that might prove much more difficult. He opened his eyes and scrolled through the Order of Battle for Ragnarok, and double checked some questions that he thought of against other databanks. Finally, he nodded to himself.

“Captain Hall,” he said briskly. “Inform Admiral Li that she is prepare to suppress the SDS batteries in range of the Bering Straits. I want to pull First and Eighth Armies from the landing queue as well. Prepare a hasty operations order for those formations to land in Alaska and prevent those reinforcements from using the tunnels to cross into North America.”

“Sir, we are going to suffer significant damage reducing those batteries . . . are you certain you don’t want to wait?”

“Nyet, Captain. The tunnels are only means by which Amaris can rapidly move additional forces onto the North American landmass—and it is vital that they be prevented from so moving. And Captain, inform Admiral Li that I want the bombardment to begin within the next hour if possible—with the landings as soon as the batteries have been silenced. ALL ships in the fleet are to stand by to engage any submersible that surfaces the moment it appears on our tactical displays. Is that understand, Captain?”

“Yes, Sir.”

As she left to pass the orders, Aleksandyr leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes again. We might have to make a third landing if they manage to reinforce the Mississippi River with those forces in Mexico. And if Amaris doesn’t surrender? If he manages to escape to Europe or Asia or Australia? Aleksandyr forced down those thoughts and concentrated instead on the battle taking shape before him. He opened his eyes once more and kept a close watch on the all of the hostile icons on the holographic projection.

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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by masterarminas » 2013-06-05 07:44pm

November 6, 2768
Imperial Palace
Unity City, North America
Empire of Amaris (Terran Hegemony)


“What is this? What is he doing now?” snarled Stefan Amaris as a second section of the holographic projection suddenly lit up with fire.

Gunthar von Strang nodded to himself and then he turned to face his lord and master. “The Star League Fleet is engaging our SDS bases in Alaska and Kamchatka, my lord. They would not risk such casualties unless they were planning on landing there as well.”

“Their landing zones are moving west—perhaps their first landing is a diversion after all?”

von Strang shook his head. “They are going for the tunnels, your Majesty. The Bering Strait tunnels through which Beck’s army must pass to reinforce us here.”

Amaris paced, turning an occasional glare at the holographic display as the Star League battleships and the ground bases continued their brutal exchange of fire. “He is boxing me in. Kerensky, damn him, knows that I know his plans, and HE IS BOXING ME IN!”

Silence greeted the Emperor’s proclamation. “And your General, Gunthar, the man that you selected, has thrown away 4th Army. Whatever possessed you to remove General Clinton in the middle of a battle!”

Gunthar bit his lip, and then he lowered his head. “Forgive me, my master.”

Stefan slowly stroked his goatee, and then he finally nodded. “Water under the bridge, Gunthar. But now we must move quickly to bring up the rest of Beck’s command—and the regiments in Mexico. All of them must begin to move at once.”

“And despite his utter incompetence at ferreting out Kerensky’s plans, my agent confirmed that he had accomplished something else in my name, something glorious. Send the command to the courier ships, Gunthar. It is time for Stephen Cameron to finally die.”

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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by masterarminas » 2013-06-08 03:16pm

November 6, 2768
RWS Vindictive
Deep Space, Outer Asta System
Terran Hegemony


For three weeks, the Pinto-class corvette had cruised silently in the outer depths of the Asta system. She had completed her jump near the ecliptic, but several AU out from the minimum jump perimeter without being detected and now she coasted along waiting for her orders. But she wouldn’t have been here at all, if it hadn’t been for the mobile HPG system she carried in her cargo hold. Designed for the SLDF, the semi-mobile facility had been painstakingly fitted to the ship months earlier in preparation for just this use. And now it finally received a message.

The order was relayed to the captain of the ship and he passed it along to the communications section. On the outer surface of the hull, a very powerful radio transmitter adjusted itself and aimed for Asta. And it broadcast a short message, not once, not twice, but three times. And then RWS Vindictive and her crew waited.


November 6, 2768
Lyran Embassy
Hawkins, Asta
Terran Hegemony


Four hours after the transmission had been sent, the receiving dish on the roof of the embassy picked up a faint transmission, a transmission that indicated a priority message for Erik Kiplinger. The worms he had installed in the computer system did not alert the embassy staff, but instead directed it to his office console. There, the message was decrypted and read by the mindless machine. The order was formatted properly and the authentication codes were verified. The computer sent a command to the wine cellar four floors down.

In the wine cellar, there a case that Mister Kiplinger had sent down from LCAS Tharkad weeks earlier; a wooden case that contained a very special vintage that the head of Lyran Intelligence had insisted that the staff not touch—for it was gift from the Archon to the First Lord upon the day of his victory. But there was no wine in the case. Instead there rested a single nuclear warhead with a yield of more than 50 kilotons.

The command reached the case through a dedicated line that Mister Kiplinger had personally installed, and the commands brought the warhead to life. It armed itself, and the countdown timer blinked twice, and then the red-lit screen (had there been anyone there in the dark cellar to see the glow) said 3, then 2, and then 1.

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

“Captain,” said Admiral Michael van der Taan, “I believe that you and your crew have managed to successfully hide your contraband. This is first inspection I have ever conducted in which I have found nothing—and that makes me want to take your station apart piece by piece to discover where you hid it!”

“Unfortunately, I don’t have that time, so I will simply congratu . . .”

“NUCLEAR DETONATION! Admiral, its right in the middle of Hawkins city! In the 50-kiloton range!”

Admiral van der Taan watched the sudden flare of light blossom on the surface of the planet. “Oh dear God,” he whispered.
Last edited by masterarminas on 2013-06-08 03:22pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by masterarminas » 2013-06-08 03:17pm

Chapter Nineteen

November 6, 2768
SLDF 10th Army Headquarters
Nuevo Calais, Electra
Federated Suns (Taurian Rim)


“Sam?”

Sandra pulled on a robe and walked out onto the balcony where Sam stood, looking over the sleeping city. “Come back to bed, Sam.”

The Star League General put an arm around the young lady and hugged her tight, but he didn’t move. “What is wrong, Sam?”

He lowered his head. “Today, right now, Sandra; the General is fighting his way onto Terra. Stephen sent me the heads-up advisory two weeks ago. We’re going to have a lot of holes in the ranks before this is over and done with.”

“And you wish you were there, instead of here riding herd on this situation?”

“No, surprisingly enough. I think I have done enough killing in my lifetime—enough for ten lifetimes.”

The young woman looked up at him in surprise, and she laid her head against his shoulder. “When this war is over, Sam, are you going back home? Back to Terra?”

“There is nothing there for me, anymore, Sandra—and you won’t be there either. I sent Stephen notice that I intend to resign my commission at the conclusion of the war,” he continued. And then he chuckled. “I used to be so proud of being a gunslinger and a knight in shining armor of the Star League, Sandra—but we don’t have knights. And our armor is tarnished and old and failing. We failed. Stephen . . . maybe my former brother-in-law can stop us from destroying everything, but I don’t think we can go back.”

“Oh, Sam, of course it is impossible to go back—and why ever would you want to? Life is not meant to stand still or to be replayed, it is meant to be lived, in every moment and every second of each and every day. We only go on.”

“Yes, and my forward is not Terra or the Hegemony. Not anymore. I think my future lies out here on the Rim—if you will have me as your husband, that is.”

“My hus . . . oh, Sam,” she gasped for breath. And then she hit him on the upper arm!

“Ow!”

“That is not how you propose to a woman, Sam Anders!”

He turned around to face her with a smile. “I suppose I am out of practice on the subject. But the question still stands: will you marry me, Sandra?”

She smiled and fell into his arms. “Grand mama will have a fit! But yes, Sam, I will marry you.”

And the two slowly, deeply, and passionately kissed on that balcony lit by the brilliant light of the Pleiades.

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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by masterarminas » 2013-06-08 03:18pm

November 6, 2768
DCS Mikasa
High Orbit, Asta
Terran Hegemony


Stephen grinned as Cassie squealed upon seeing the cherry tree, and the chrysanthemums, and the bonsai that adorned the bridge. “They have FLOWERS on their ships!”

“Never forget, child,” said Admiral Matasuke sternly, “the original symbol of the Draconis Combine—and the Japanese Empire before them—was of that very blossom. We are not quite so militant as many people think.”

Cassie flipped end over end in the zero gravity of the ship’s bridge and nodded back at the Draconis admiral. “You have a very pretty ship, Admiral Mat-a-sue-key” she said, saying the name very careful to inflect each syllable properly.

“Indeed, your highness, I too am quite pleased with her since her refit,” the old man said with a slight bow of his head.

“Daddy, I like this officer—you can keep him,” Cassie said with a broad smile.

“He is not my officer, Cassandra—he is one of Minoru’s officers.”

“But that means that he is one of Hiroyoshi’s officers, too—and Hiroyoshi works for YOU.”

The tall, lanky samurai laughed as he pulled his way past the press of the Black Watch guards stationed at the central lift. “Not quite as simple as that, my Lady Cassandra.”

“HIROYOSHI,” she yelled, and then she blushed, and pulled herself up straight, “I meant to say, thank you for joining us, Prince Hiroyoshi.”

“All children should come with a remote volume control,” Stephen whispered to the Admiral sotto-voice.

Matasuke chuckled. “They are children, my Lord. It is to be expec . . .” suddenly he frowned, as the officer stationed at the tactical station jerked, the color on his skin draining away visibly.

“Admiral, Prince Hiroyoshi, First Lord—our sensors are detecting a nuclear detonation on the surface of Asta. In the center of Hawkins, estimated yield at 50 kilotons.”

“Mother of god,” whispered Stephen as the tactical offer put the telescopic images of the fireball rising into the atmosphere on the main viewing screen.

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

“First Lord, nothing got past the ships, stations, and sensor arrays in orbit. That means that the weapon was already down there,” Michael van der Taan bluntly stated. “It was a ground burst, originating in the north-eastern quadrant of the city—less than three kilometers from Branson House. The damage was rather severe, but would have been far worse if the detonation had been an airburst.”

“How severe?” Stephen asked with a somber face.

Michael winced on the screen. “We are estimating casualties in excess of eighty thousand, my Lord. That number is certain to climb—and the fires in Hawkins are raging completely out of control. I have already ordered every man I can spare to surface to assist in rescue and recovery operations, and thankfully, the device was relatively clean. But, being a ground burst, that means a lot of particulate matter—radioactive particulate matter—is airborne. At least the prevailing wind patterns are pushing most of it out to sea.” Michael paused. “Branson House was not designed for an event of this magnitude, my Lord—it is demolished, but the troops on scene report that they are pulling survivors from the rubble.”

Stephen nodded slowly. “And Fort Harrison?”

“It was further away and took only minor damage—I don’t think the remainder of your Regiment there suffered a single casualty. However, Colonel Moreau has informed me that two DropShips of the Black Watch are maneuvering to dock with Mikasa, to reinforce your detail in case this is merely the lead up to something else.”

“No. It was an act of spite—one that I should have anticipated. Thank you, Admiral, and . . . do the best that you can to aid my people down there.”

Stephen sat back from the communications console and then he rotated the chair to face Hideki Matasuke and Hiroyoshi. Cassie sat in another chair, being very, very quiet—and the harsh looks on the faces of Hiroyoshi’s Otomo and Stephen’s Black Watch were as somber as Stephen felt.

“Admiral Matasuke, I believe that you heard that transmission—could you prepare to receive another two DropShips?”

“Hai,” the officer said and nodded at one of his bridge crew, who immediately bent over his console and began passing orders.

“It is my understanding, Admiral, that Mikasa’s jump drive is currently charged, correct?”

“Hai.”

“In that case, I am commandeering this vessel. Hiroyoshi, you are more than welcome to stay, but the time has come to end this blood-letting once and for all. Admiral, plot a jump to the closest LaGrange Point to Earth in the Terran system, and proceed there as soon as my detail’s reinforcements have arrived.”

Utter silence reigned on the bridge, and Stephen cracked a smile. He shook his head.

“No, I haven’t lost my mind—but until the man who was behind this is dead, none of us are safe. Admiral, will you convey me to Earth?”

Hideki drew in a deep breath and looked over at Hiroyoshi, who slowly nodded his head. The officer closed his eyes and then he opened them once more. “Captain Abe, plot a course to the nearest jump point at one standard gravity of acceleration. Set Kearny-Fuchida drive for pre-jump initialization: destination Terra LaGrange 1.”

“First Lord, if you would kindly ask Admiral von der Taan not to fire on me when I spirit you out of this system, I—and my crew—would be grateful.”
Last edited by masterarminas on 2013-06-08 03:27pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by masterarminas » 2013-06-08 03:19pm

November 6, 2768
SLS McKenna
High Orbit, Terra
Empire of Amaris (Terran Hegemony)


“Status change! Emergence from the jump-point, Lord Kerensky!”

Aleksandyr frowned; nothing was scheduled, but it could be a courier. Then again, it might not. “Confirm that the pickets are watching the arrival and are cleared for action if it shows any sign of hostility.”

“Confirmed, my Lord.”

And then Aleksandyr saw the tech at the sensor console twitch slightly. “Single ship emergence, Kurita Mikasa-class battleship—transponder ID confirmed as DCS Mikasa, my Lord. She is broadcasting the proper codes and has set course for High Orbit insertion at one standard gravity.”

“Lord Kerensky,” one of the comm techs called out from his station. “You are being hailed, Sir—by name.”

“From Admiral Matasuke?”

“No, sir. From the First Lord.”

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

“We are seventy-two minutes from the next wave of landings—which will include my command DropShip. I must presume that only a matter of the upmost critical nature could have caused you to throw out the agreement that you were to stay behind where it is safe! Or is Colonel Moreau going to be as furious with you as I am?” Aleksandyr said over the communications link once he had transferred from the flag bridge to his private office.

“A nuclear weapon was detonated in the heart of Hawkins just a few hours ago, Aleksandyr,” the First Lord answered quietly. “It was probably a gift that Kiplinger or Robert left behind—but we all know who gave the order for its detonation.”

Aleksandyr closed his eyes and shook his head. “That does not explain why you, personally, are here, my Lord Stephen.”

“I am preparing a transmission, Aleksandyr that will be broadcast once I reach orbit. Make certain that all WarShips, JumpShips, and DropShips will have the transmission relayed to them. I also want it broadcast on every civilian channel and every military frequency used by the Rim World forces—system-wide. Audio, video, text—every channel.”

“That is simple enough—but he hasn’t answered my demands for his surrender. What makes you think he is going to answer yours?”

“I am not going to be speaking with Stefan Amaris, Aleksandyr. Just make sure those channels are open when I arrive in seventeen minutes. Cameron out.”
Last edited by masterarminas on 2013-06-08 03:30pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by masterarminas » 2013-06-08 03:19pm

“Citizens of the Star League. I am Stephen Cameron, duly elected First Lord of the Star League by the High Council. I am speaking to you today from the Draconis Combine Ship Mikasa in orbit above the Earth. Despite rumors and allegations to the contrary, spread by the propaganda apparatus of Stefan Amaris, neither I nor General Aleksandyr Kerensky nor any soldier of the Star League Defense Force were involved with the assassination of First Lord Richard Cameron nearly two years ago.”

“I think, perhaps, that you know this in your heart of hearts, having lived under the tyrannical and dictatorial rule of the Usurper since this tragedy occurred. You have seen with your own eyes how he resorts to force over reason; you have seen his actions in Olympia and in Rome and in thousands of other cities and towns across the homeworld of Mankind. That, my brothers and sisters, is finally coming to an end. With me here today, laboring to liberate Terra from this occupation by the forces of the former Rim Worlds Republic are the Star League Defense Forces, in all of its martial might, supported by the Armies of the Draconis Combine, the Federated Suns, the Free Worlds League, and the Lyran Commonwealth.”

“We have returned because we will not stand by and allow Amaris to continue his oppression and his cruelties for any longer. We have returned, my fellow citizens, because it is the right thing to do.”

“As I speak to you today, Our loyal soldiers have already gained footholds on the North American continent—Alabama, Georgia, Florida, parts of the Carolinas and of Tennessee have already been liberated. So to, our troops have taken and secured the Trans-Bering Tunnels between Alaska and the far eastern Asia. And in the coming days, we will move to surround and reduce the fortifications and defenses that the Usurper has erected around his palace. We will capture him, and bring him to justice, and make him pay for the crimes which he has committed.”

“I would ask of all of you, the civilians of Terra, to have patience and to remain steadfast in your courage and convictions. Soon enough you will be free of this madman and his armies, his security personnel, his . . . Gestapo. Stay home, and avoid the conflicts as best as you are able; and in but a short time this war will finally be finished.”

“To the soldiers of the former Rim Worlds Republic I now speak. You have been lied to as well by your leaders. Your homeworlds are not still fighting to resist the Star League—they have been liberated for more than a year now. Amaris’s government has been disbanded, his security arm on the planets that he once ruled has been itself imprisoned, and those who were guilty of crimes against the people of the Rim have received their final punishments, they have at long last received justice on behalf of those whom they oppressed and terrified for so long.”

“I say former, because the High Council of the Star League dissolved the Rim World Republic; my fellows Lords of the Council and I, sitting in joint session, expelled the Rim Worlds from the Star League and stripped Stefan Amaris of his authority to act in Our name. A new Rim Worlds Protectorate has been formed, and a leader has been appointed to restore that once great state to its former glory and majesty: Lord Aleksandyr Kerensky of the House of Kerensky is that new ruler. And your lord by right, by blood, and by his loyal service to the Star League.”

“Your families are safe, war does not rage in your homelands, and my troops have not run amok in retaliation for all the crimes that the Usurper has committed.”

“I know that you have been told of the actions your leader took, without asking your opinion, against the Draconis Combine, the Federated Suns, and the Free Worlds League. His unleashing of weapons of mass destruction against the innocent civilians that lived on Luthien, New Avalon, Oriente, and a dozen more worlds. I know that the Usurper has gloated of how he engineered the assassination of my wife and my unborn child—and that he has made numerous attempts at taking my own life.”

“And I know that he and his thugs have told you that we will accept no terms, we will take no surrenders, that we will exact upon your very body our revenge and slake our blood lust on your corpses.”

“Soldiers of the Rim, you have been lied to yet again.”

“I will end this war with honor, I will not drown Terra in blood. Those who have committed crimes against the people of the Hegemony, or against the Draconis Combine, or the Federated Suns, or the Free Worlds League; these shall be punished. They shall be tried, and they shall be judged according to their actions, and they shall be held accountable under the laws of the Star League.”

“But I have no desire to kill the common soldier who had no other choice than to obey the orders he had been given. Accordingly, I, Stephen Cameron, First Lord of the Star League and Director-General of the Terran Hegemony, do hereby and forever more declare a general amnesty for all soldiers of the Rim; provided that you immediately lay down your arms and declare yourselves neutral as my Armies contend with Stefan Amaris.”

“Some of you remain frightened of the Makos and the Internal Security apparatus that supports the Usurper. Be no longer frightened, soldiers, for they have no power over you as of this day. They can no longer threaten your families, they can no longer sentence you to the deep dungeons on Apollo, they can no longer hold you to their cause through force of fear! They are only men now, vile bestial men who deserve nothing more than a swift end. Rise up against them, and throw them down if they attempt to keep you from preserving for yourself your own life, soldiers. Cast them aside and accept this, Our offer, to avoid death and destruction across the entire face of this planet.”

“Anyone, of any rank, that has committed crimes against the people of this world, crimes that do not fall under legitimate military operations; to these people this amnesty is not extended. The butchers and the rapists and those who rejoiced in inflicting terror and cruelty among my people will find that justice awaits them with a sharp blade.”

“Should you reject my offer of amnesty, I fear that you will perish in fire and in flame. The entire Star League is here today and soon enough we will land in force. You will be outnumbered ten-to-one; you will be surrounded, and despite the casualties that you inflict upon us, we cannot be stopped; our wrath shall not be averted. But many of you man the Castles Brian that cover this planet from pole to pole. They are mighty fortifications indeed, but you forget, soldiers of the Rim; they are Our mighty fortifications.”

“We know their entrances, we know their hidden exits. We built them, we maintained them, we lived in them. Our troops know well where the batteries lie, what approaches are covered by the defensive guns—and we shall bypass them. Sealing each entrance and exit under ton after ton of soil, and rock, and ferro-crete, and then we shall leave you there. Buried alive until your fuel, your food, your water runs empty. Your forts of last refuge shall be your tombs, if you reject my offer to you today.”

“Rise up, soldiers of the Rim! I offer you a chance at life—a chance that Stefan Amaris and his family would have taken from you; I offer you a choice. A choice between dying for a dictator who cares not one whit for you and your families and having a life—a life in which you can return home to the Rim and enjoy the rest of your days in peace and prosperity. All that is required is that you lay down your arms.”

“And to the people of Terra who greeted Stefan Amaris with open arms and with avid support, to you as well I offer this promise. Many of you may have thought that any change from Richard Cameron would have been for the best—he was spoiled, he was a brat, he was far from perfect. To be blunt, the boy-prince was an idiot.”

“I understand how you could have been seduced away to declaring your support for the Usurper. And because I understand, I now extend unto you the same offer of amnesty I have made to the soldiers of the Rim: swear your allegiance to the Star League once more, to the Terran Hegemony with which you were entrusted, and should you have committed no further crimes—all will be forgiven.”

“Reclaim for yourselves, civilians and soldiers alike, the honor that comes from standing as a citizen of Our own Star League. But do not take overly long to choose your course of action. For my Armies are coming, and they are coming very, very soon.”

“In twelve hours time, if I, or my appointed Admirals and Generals, have not received notice of your intention to surrender, then shall my full fury be unleashed against you. Should you force my hand and continue to support the Usurper, I will fertilize the soil of this world with your blood. I will break you. I will allow you no more time to exert your will upon my people—and you will see my wrath delivered upon you with your last sight before death.”

“Make your choice! Will you choose to live? Or will you instead condemn yourself to death? Your twelve hours begins now.”

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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by LadyTevar » 2013-06-08 10:53pm

Wow... Nicely done.

And I can hear Amaris throwing a fit now...
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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by masterarminas » 2013-06-09 09:07am

November 6, 2768
10th Imperial Army General Headquarters
Sydney, Australia, Terra
Empire of Amaris (Terran Hegemony)


“We are so fucked,” whispered Colonel Paul Hyrum, the intelligence officer for the eight Rim Worlds divisions charged with the defense of that continent, as the broadcast terminated.

His commander (and uncle), General Tyrell Santos nodded in agreement. “What other choice do we have, Paul? Ride the grand plan down in flames? Use the civilian population as shields? They have got more than five thousand WarShips topside. We’ve got four SDS batteries here, and we’ve already seen what they can do against them. Yeah, we’re probably last on Stephen Cameron’s list, but that just means we live longer than the other troopers around the planet.”

He looked at the icons on the holographic table once again, and shook his head. “To hell with it, Paul. I’ve never liked those IntSec bastards anyway. Order the 214th and 311th to begin rounding up their police and security detachments—and instruct the GHQ military police to take General Nassar and his men into custody; if they resist, they can shoot ‘em. Everyone else stack arms and report to your barracks. Order the SDS bases to power down—if they don’t we’ll use the 77th to clear them out chamber by chamber. Major Watkins, power up the transmitter and let’s see if we can transmit our surrender to someone with the authority to accept it.”


November 7, 2768
Field Headquarters, Highland Division, Advanced Guard Corps
Northern Georgia, Terra
Empire of Amaris (Terran Hegemony)


“General, I’ve got a Rim World officer on the line for you,” his aide said with a grin as he stuck his head into the tent where Conner was trying to catch a short nap. Nodding, the young man pulled himself up and stretched and then he picked up the radio-telephone resting on a chair beside his cot.

“This is General Conner Stirling,” he said.

“General Sara Craig, commanding officer of the 13th Imperial Light Division. Also on the line is General Blake Boleyn, the CO of the 52nd Imperial Armored Division. We are declaring a state of neutrality and standing down to accept the offer of the First Lord of the Star League. The Asheville Castle Brian’s weapon systems are now powered down and the gates are no longer sealed, General Stirling. The 52nd is pulling six kilometers back from their defensive line and will then abandon their combat vehicles and ‘Mechs and set up bivouac.”

“You understand, that I will have to place all of you in a POW camp until we can get things sorted out, correct?”

“Understood; neither Blake nor myself have committed any atrocities and neither have the troops under our command.”

“Not even your IntSec watchdogs?”

“They were not under our command, General Stirling. And I doubt that any of them will stand trial—I had all of mine dangling from wire nooses within twenty minutes of the First Lord’s broadcast.”

“Very well, General Craig. My forces will advance, followed by the 33rd Star League Division and we will take custody of the Asheville facility and your commands. Any resistance will be met with lethal force.”

“Understood, General Stirling; I and my officers will await your arrival. Craig out.”

Conner Stirling shook his head—reports from across the globe had Rim Worlds forces in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America giving up the ghost fast, and supposedly there was a massive fire-fight between different factions of the Rim Worlds troops on the Eurasian Plateau. But these were the first surrenders on North America. He turned to his aide. “Do you think it is truly over, Ian?”

“Not completely, Sir. Amaris still has about twenty divisions of troops—regular army and IntSec—entrenched around his palace near Unity City. I doubt that they are going to surrender, and that big force moving up from Mexico looks like it is staying soundly on the side of fat-boy. It isn’t quite over yet, I’m afraid, Sir.”

“Still,” Conner said as he lit a cigar and took a long pull, “it could have been a whole lot worse.”

The aide nodded his head enthusiastically.

“A whole lot worse,” Conner repeated.

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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by masterarminas » 2013-06-09 09:10am

November 7, 2768
Imperial Palace
Unity City, North America
Empire of Amaris (Terran Hegemony)


“This is a disaster,” whispered one of the staff officers, seeing the holographic icon of units once loyal switching allegience across the globe. Stefan Amaris glared around the briefing table, but he could not determine who had spoken.

“No, this is an opportunity,” the Emperor hissed. “When General Timmons arrives with his command, we will have sixty-four divisions concentrated around Unity City. With the mountains to channel Kerensky’s army, we shall defeat them—here!”

“He dares not use his battleships against our SDS—the bases are too close to Seattle and Portland and Vancouver. So, he must advance through these mountain passes, passes that you Gunthar will have mined with nuclear demolition charges. We will annihilate the Star League Army, one regiment at a time as they advance!”

Gunthar winced. Sixty-four divisions—on paper. Privately, Timmons had already told him that his units were plagued with desertion, with nearly a third of his command already vanished into the night on the forced march northwards. It was a race, and they would be lucky indeed if Timmon’s command was half-strength by the time it finally arrived. Of course, no one had dared to tell the Emperor that.

And of the twenty ‘divisions’ that Amaris had kept close at hand in the area around Unity City? All were fanatical, hard-core followers of Amaris, but the guerilla fighting had caused significant casualties to their ranks. And those divisions had been bled for replacements caused by the constant warfare in South America for these past two years, leaving them at barely fifty-percent of their official strength. A full third of those divisions were comprised of Internal Security personnel—lightly armed with no great quantity of vehicles and ‘Mechs.

But that no longer mattered, Gunthar thought as he nodded his agreement. It truly was Ragnarok, the end of everything.

“Your will be done, Sire,” he said with a slow bow.

“Of course, Gunthar. I am the Emperor and it is good to be Emperor. Let us teach these Star League dogs a lesson they shan’t soon forget.”

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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by masterarminas » 2013-06-09 09:11am

November 7, 2768
Star League Special Intelligence Services Auxiliary Command
North America, Terra
Empire of Amaris (Terran Hegemony)


“Uh-oh,” said Penny, interrupting the discussions of Antonius, Liz, and the command staff of the Ghosts as they were discussing how best to assist the landings.

Antonius Zalman frowned. “I do not like the sound of that uh-oh, Penny. What exactly does it mean?”

“I have been monitoring the communication taps that Chief Hancock installed, Antonius. It seems that pig Amaris has issued new orders to the divisions holding the line of the Cascades. Sending them to your terminals now.”

Liz frowned as she read the orders appearing on her display and then she looked back up at the large wall screen—and its projection of the area surrounding Unity City. “Penny, dear,” she said, “zoom out and show the projected defensive lines, please.”

“Certainly, Captain Hazen,” the AI replied.

The projections changed and Mal winced as the red lines quickly appeared. “Damn, he’s plugging every gap in the mountain with at least a division. And setting these demo charges—atomic demo charges—to catch the attackers. That is going to be hell to bull through.”

Liz bit her lip as she considered the map. “And when Timmons gets here . . .”

Mal snorted. “Jan Timmons is a political officer, Liz. He doesn’t have the sense God gave Zach. But some of his division commanders are real good, and most of them are committed to Amaris lock, stock, and barrel.”

“The SLDF outnumbers the defenders at least a hundred to one, Mal, even after Timmons gets there,” Antonius commented. “He can’t just push right through them?”

“No, Mal is right, Antonius,” Liz answered. “The passes are where the troops have to go, and they are all too narrow to let more than a brigade through at a single time—which means it is a shooting gallery for the Rim Worlds forces on the defensive side. And once those nuclear firecrackers start popping off, our infantry can’t use the passes—the radiation will be too high for weeks. The vehicles will be stopped by the debris, which leaves only the ‘Mechs. And they will be scattered, no longer in formation after they get through the area, their sensors degraded and they will be walking right into the sights of the enemy.”

“It’ll be a bloodbath,” Mal chimed in again, glumly.

“Penny, did they leave any openings at all?”

“No, Antonius. In this instance, Stefan Amaris has used what little brains he was born with.”

Reuben shook his head. “They have already taken out SDS sites in the southeast and Alaska. Can’t they do the same thing here and land behind the lines?”

Now both Liz and Mal winced in unison. “The Unity City defenses are a whole different story than a normal SDS base, Reuben,” Liz answered. “There are four of them covering the capital—and the entire area west of the Cascades. And each has got twice the firepower of a standard SDS base, and is far too close to civilians for the Fleet to take them out. Kerensky could do it, but he’d kill a quarter of a million of our own people trying to bombard those sites from orbit. Which Amaris knows, and because of that Vancouver, Seattle, Tacoma, Bremerton, and Victoria haven’t been permitted to evacuate. Those cities are simply packed with civilians, which narrows the Fleet’s options dramatically.”

“Can’t he just go around the mountains?” asked Bernie.

“He could, but the Columbia is at least two thousand feet wide at it narrowest point after it meets the defensive lines. That is a major obstacle, Bernie,” said Liz. “And it goes from there up to fourteen miles at the mouth. Only ‘Mechs could cross, and the current and the bottom mud would make it very hazardous.”

“I can’t believe this!” snapped Vince. “There is no other way through?”

“No,” answered Liz.

“No,” said Antonius.

“Yes,” replied Penny.

Everyone froze and looked towards the rotating camera on the wall. “What do you mean, yes? Penny, dear?” asked Liz.

“There is a way through the Cascades that Amaris has not guarded, Elizabeth Hazen.”

“And what exactly is wrong with it that he considers it so secure he hasn’t stationed troops there?”

“Nothing; well, nothing except the passage of time. You see, in the final days of the Terran Alliance, there was a local project to build a new rail tunnel through the Cascades, from Greenwater in the west—behind the Amaris lines—to Quincy in the east, on the Columbia Plateau, General Kerensky’s side. But the tumult of the times killed the project and after James McKenna formed the Terran Hegemony, the project was terminated and the ends of the tunnel were sealed.”

“So we have an incomplete rail tunnel. Some help that is!” barked Bernie.

“Bernard Patella, I did not say the tunnel itself was incomplete—the final segment of the tunnel was bored in late 2314. Construction on the rail head itself was suspended, along with the final stages of finishing off the power supplies, smoothing the tunnel walls, and installing air-flow systems. When James McKenna finally killed the project in 2316, he ordered that the tunnel be sealed at both ends in order to prevent accidents at the construction site and it has since become quite forgotten. It is almost fifty miles from one end to the next and passes below the Columbia River and was designed to handle four separate Maglev trains at a single time. The tunnel is twenty meters tall and sixty meters wide.”

Liz watched as a bright green line began to flash on the large wall monitor. And she smiled. “Does General Kerensky know about this?”

“Liz, dear,” the AI answered, “those computers aboard WarShips are so dull and dumb that unless anyone specifically asks for such ancient history, it would take a miracle for an analyst to uncover it, especially in the limited time-frame we are looking at here.”

“In that case, Penny, dear,” Liz replied with a broad grin, “could you warm up the transmitter so that we might tell them?”

“Online and waiting, Captain Hazen. Oh, and I decided to cut through all the military bullshit and have set up a link directly to the First Lord’s vessel. I thought he might be interested to know a member of the Royal Black Watch is alive, well, and running a guerilla campaign in that Pig Amaris’s backyard.”

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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by masterarminas » 2013-06-09 09:15am

November 7, 2768
SLS McKenna
High Orbit, Terra
Empire of Amaris (Terran Hegemony)


Aleksandyr frowned as he considered the latest radio intercepts and intelligence updates on the fighting between the Rim World factions in eastern Europe and western Asia. The fanatics who were supporting Amaris were outnumbered and being steadily pushed back, away from the tunnels—towards Moscow. They were now less than a hundred kilometers from that city, and if they decided to make a stand there, among the civilian population . . . he shuddered for a moment as he closed his eyes in pain.

“Captain Hall, open a channel to the First Lord—and issue a warning order to Third and Eighth Armies to prepare for a combat drop to the west of Moscow.”


November 7, 2768
DCS Mikasa
High Orbit, Terra
Empire of Amaris (Terran Hegemony)


Stephen shook his head. “Aleksandyr, you are the one who has stressed that we must operate in concentration, time and time again. Now you want to drop two Armies half a world away from the main theater? The Rim defectors seem to have the situation well in hand—why shouldn’t we let them handle those loyal to Amaris?”

“My lord,” the holographic transmission whispered, “there is a significant threat to the civilians of Moscow. If those fanatics manage to return to the city and use that populace as human shields . . .”

“I know, Aleksandyr. And it is something we are going to have to deal with. After we finish off Stefan Amaris—which is why we are not yet dropping troops on Australia or South America or Africa or the Indian sub-continent. What makes Moscow so different from those areas?”

The old man looked down for a moment, and then he lifted his head, and the projection seemed to show that Kerensky’s eyes were wet. “Because my family is there, First Lord.”

“Your family?” Stephen asked quietly.

Kerensky nodded. “I married several years ago in secret—wanting to keep my wife from being used as a pawn in the power games played by the High Council. She—and my sons—live in Moscow.”

Stephen sat back, he began to open his mouth, and then he closed it. Finally he leaned forward once again. “Lord Kerensky. As First Lord of the Star League, I am issuing you a direct order—this order will be obeyed by you or I will have your resignation as the Supreme Allied Commander. You are hereby directed to take two Field Armies and assist the Rim World defectors west of Moscow. Godspeed, Aleksandyr, and good luck. I assume that you will want to accompany the landings yourself?”

“Da, First Lord, if you will permit me.”

“Granted. Go save your family, Aleksandyr—I’ll coordinate the North American operations through Thomas and Aaron in your absence.”

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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by masterarminas » 2013-06-09 09:17am

As the holographic projection faded away, Stephen heard Admiral Matasuke clear his throat. “First Lord Cameron, we are receiving a transmission on the Star League Emergency Communications Circuit—they are requesting to speak with you, First Lord.”

“Who is requesting to speak with me, Admiral?”

“They say they are the people who sent the heads-up warning on Amaris’s possessions of the Ragnarok plans, First Lord.”

Stephen considered and then he nodded, “Very well, on speaker, if you please, Admiral.”

Matasuke bowed and gestured to his communications officer.

“First Lord Stephen Cameron speaking. Who is this?”

The holographic picture stabilized and Stephen saw two figures, a old man and a young woman standing there, the woman snapped to attention and saluted.

“Sir. Captain Elizabeth Hazen, commanding officer, Echo Company, Royal Black Watch Regiment, reporting, sir.”

“Captain Hazen, you don’t know how relieved I am to discovery that at least some of the Black Watch have managed to survive for this long. And your companion?”

“Antonius Zalman, First Lord, special agent of the Special Intelligence Services, retired,” the old man said with a grin and a bow.

“I take it that I have you to thank, Special Agent Zalman, for the timely report on Amaris’s deployment?”

“Oh, heaven’s no, Sire. For that you have our capable, daring, and most lovely young Captain here. I was a guest of Lord Stefan under just recently.”

Liz frowned. “Come off it, Antonius—you were scheduled for execution. Until my Ghosts smashed the place flat and absconded with you.”

“Details, my dear, only details. But a most exciting rescue it was indeed, First Lord. Made my old heart beat a bit stronger.”

“Ghosts?” asked Stephen.

Liz blushed, and Antonius laughed. “Her intrepid band of guerilla warriors, First Lord. They are a most motley collection of the worst villainy and scum in the galaxy.”

“They aren’t that bad, Antonius,” Liz protested.

“Indeed. But they are neophytes at this entire business and more than willing to attempt to intimidate an old man who has only opened up his home to offer them a safe haven.”

“After you took us on a swim in freezing water instead of using the nice, warm, dry, tunnel that extended to shore!”

“Ahem,” said the First Lord as he cleared his throat, but he was smiling despite his attempts at keeping a straight face.

Liz blushed again. “My apologies, First Lord, but Special Agent Zalman knows what buttons to push.”

The old agent shrugged.

“And these ‘Ghosts’ are, what, exactly?”

“As Antonius said, my Lord, they are a band of civilian resistance fighters that I have collected. We have been waging a guerilla war against Amaris for the past year. They are . . . rough around the edges,” she continued with a wince, “but they are dedicated to kicking that bastard off of Earth. Mostly civilians, that is—and we have a few defectors in our ranks as well; Rim Worlds folks that realized just how bat-shit crazy Stefan Amaris really is. They are good people, Sir, and without them we would never have learned about the Rimmers having your plans.”

“And why do you call them the Ghosts?”

She looked pained for a moment. “The civilians . . . all of us, my Lord, we decided we needed a name. And so we became the Ghosts of the Black Watch. It seemed to fit.”

Stephen nodded. “In that case, Lt. Colonel Hazen, you and your Ghosts have my thanks.”

Liz jerked. “Lieutenant Colonel?!?” she squeaked. “I only made Captain three months before the Coup!”

“Promotions come fast and furious during wartime, Lt. Colonel. And you are—to the best extent of my knowledge, the only pre-war active service member of the Royal Black Watch to survive. I have reformed the unit, but we could certainly use you—after some sorely needed R&R, of course.”

Antonius smiled and shook his head. “This housekeeping aside, First Lord, we rang you for a reason. I am transmitting a burst stream to your flagship now,” the old man paused and then he grinned at the First Lord of the Star League. “And I am not even going to ask why your flagship is a Draconis battleship, my Lord. Although I am quite certain that story will be very interesting to hear in full.”

Stephen chuckled. “Long story, Director Zalman.”

“Oh, good show, old boy. Now I shall finally have the chance to institute those changes I have harped about for decades. Hopefully, I shan’t have to rebuild the entire organization from scratch?”

“No, one of your agents—an Agent Hart—has been working very closely with my Black Watch. And there are still others ferreting out Rim World cells in the CapCom, FedSuns, and Taurian Rim.”

“Hart! That miserable scoundrel survived! Man doesn’t have a sense of humor or a proper appreciation of drama!”

Stephen glanced over the data streaming across the terminal and frowned. “I think we can put this to good use. But it appears that your hidden base is in the middle of Amaris’s perimeter, so you might want to sit tight until we wrap this up.”

Liz shook her head. “If you have a spare ‘Mech, First Lord, I can join the assault once they pass through the tunnel. I am a Mech-jock, and I desperately want to get one shot at Stefan Amaris from a cockpit, Sir.”

Stephen met the young woman’s fiery gaze, and then he slowly nodded. “I think we can spare a ‘Mech for the last of the Old Black Watch, Lt. Colonel . . . can you pilot an Orion?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Then would you do Lord General Kerensky the honor of piloting his ‘Mech in this engagement, Lt. Colonel?”

She actually jumped. “Sir, isn’t the General leading the assault himself?”

Stephen closed his eyes—they haven’t heard. “Aleksandyr was shot by an assassin nearly a year ago, Lt. Colonel Hazen. He survived, but he is paralyzed from the waist down. General DeChevilier is now the Commanding General of the Star League Defense Forces.”

Her face went white and then she nodded. “It would be an honor, Sir.”

“And Colonel Hazen?”

“Yes, sire?”

“Try not to get yourself killed—I am going to need every smart, resourceful officer I have to deal with the aftermath of this.”

“I’ll do my best, First Lord.”

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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by masterarminas » 2013-06-09 09:21am

November 7, 2768
Imperial Palace
Unity City, North America
Empire of Amaris (Terran Hegemony)


“YES!” Screamed Stefan Amaris as the SLDF DropShips began to land outside of Moscow. “I told you it was only a diversion. Gunther, order General Beck to stop his movement to the east and launch an immediate counterattack against the landings there. And why are my SDS bases not destroying his ships!”

Gunthar von Strang swallowed. “My Lord, the bases have surrendered to General Kerensky. And General Beck is already fighting a pitched battle against forces that have defected.”

Stefan Amaris frowned and looked down at the map. “Very well. Gunthar send a message to Regent Selim. He is to immediately execute the families of these traitors. Radio the bases, and tell them they have five minutes to begin opening fire—and I may reconsider my decision.”

“My Lord, we have had no contact with Regent Selim for nearly a year now. The Star League claims he was killed in the fighting on Apollo, and we no longer have a communications link with the Rim.”

“Propaganda, Gunthar, it is only Star League propaganda. Mohammed Selim still holds the Rim; he would never dare to disappoint me. And worry not about communication channels—those loyal to me on the outer worlds will relay the message.”

Gunthar licked his dry lips and bowed. “It will be done, Sire.”

“Excellent. And since the traitors around Moscow have failed me, General Cabot, launch our reserve aerospace fighters with full nuclear payloads. Destroy that landing zone.”

A sweating and overweight Rim officer snapped to attention, saluted, and then turned to leave the bunker, trailed by his aide.

“Yes, everything is going exactly as planned, now,” Stefan Amaris said quietly. “Where is General Kraal? He should be here to prepare our counter-offensive. And someone contact Commodore Daragou; why isn’t my Fleet interdicting those ships in orbit?”

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

“General, we can’t sortie the reserve! We will need them here!” the aide protested as Cabot lifted a land-line phone that would connect him to the airfields.

The General slammed the phone down. “Have you lost your mind, Major? Do you want to go back into that sanatorium and tell HIM that? Maybe a few of them will get through, but either way, I am heading out to the fields—any place on this miserable planet is better than here.”

“General, Sir, we can’t!” the aide wailed. “Those fighters have to be here to protect the capital!”

“The decision has been made, Major Rollins. And I am not going to put myself in a position where Gunthar von Strang’s men can pull me apart millimeter by millimeter,” Cabot snarled as he lifted the phone. “Cabot, here. I have a mission order direct from the Emperor. Load all strike squadrons with nuclear ordnance, and sortie everything. Your target is the SLDF landings outside of Moscow. Yes, I said Moscow. Don’t argue with me! The Emperor himself commands it! Launch as soon as the fighters are armed and fueled. Yes, EVERYTHING.”

The aide simply stared, and then he shook his head. “What are we going to do now, Sir?” he finally asked quietly.

And Cabot snorted. “I don’t know about you, Phineas, but I am going to get rip-roaring drunk.”

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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by masterarminas » 2013-06-09 09:23am

Seven hundred and forty-eight carefully husbanded aerospace fighters—former SLDF Royal aerospace fighters—launched from more than twenty airfields located within the Unity City defensive cordon. The fighters formed up at high altitude, and then rocketed north-west across the Pacific Ocean, rapidly leaving behind the cover of the SDS network which protected the capital.

Across the mighty SLDF Fleet, and those ships of its allied powers, squadrons scrambled and launched in quick pursuit. The first skirmishes took place over the blue waters of the Pacific, and grew steadily more intense as the Rim fighters fought their way towards Moscow. More and more fighters joined the fray, and the sky was lit by particle beam fire, laser blasts, and explosive detonations.

Only fifty-three of the Rim fighters survived to reach the Ural Mountains, and of those fifty-three not one managed to reach the engagement envelope of the Star League forces grounded further west.

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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by masterarminas » 2013-06-09 09:25am

Lt. Colonel Carlos Watannabe sprang to his feet and saluted at Aleksandyr Kerensky was wheeled into the pre-fabricated building that served as the Command Headquarters for Eighth Army. “Sir!” he snapped. “I was told that you requested my presence, Sir!”

“At ease, Colonel,” Aleksandyr rumbled. He examined the maps before him with a frown. “Colonel Watannabe—Third and Eighth Army are heavily engaged with the Rim Forces to the west, but their sheer weight of numbers is pushing us back, towards the city. For your regiment of mechanized infantry I have a special assignment. I want you to proceed to Moscow, posthaste, and locate a small group of civilians. They should be here,” he said, pointing to a neighborhood on the outskirts of Moscow. “It is very important that these civilians be recovered and returned here—unharmed, Colonel. Two of them will be young boys, the oldest just now seven and the youngest having turned five. Their mother will be the third person.”

“Understood, Sir. Who are these people? If I may ask?”

“The woman is Katyusha Kerensky—my wife, Colonel. The boys are Andery and Nicholas, and they are my sons.”

“Your . . . of course, General! I’ll get them out safely!”

“Of that, Colonel, I have no doubt.”

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

The streets of Moscow were chaotic, as small groups of Rim World fanatics tried to stem the tide of defeat. The more pragmatic had thrown away their weapons and uniforms and melted into the mass of humanity trying to flee the burning city. Carlos had been shocked by the lack of order in one of the major cities of Terra. But the longer that he considered it, the more convinced he became that he should have expected little else. Of course, Amaris’s security services had disbanded the local police and constabulary—they trusted no one else to bear weapons. They had gutted the local broadcast stations, and now all that the populace knew was that fires were raging and they could hear explosions in the distance. And, as certain as the tide of the ocean, panic had set in.

Twice already, he had been forced to open fire over the heads of the refugees who pounded on the sides of his infantry carriers and tanks, begging him to take them to safety. But the horde had thinned at last, and now Carlos blanched as he saw the burnt out shells of buildings in the neighbor the General had told him housed his own family.

“Wolfpack Actual to all Wolfpack elements,” he spoke into the boom microphone he wore. “Dismount infantry and conduct a grid search by squads. Locate all survivors. Rules of Engagement Bravo Two are now in effect.”

Under ROE-B2, the troopers of the Timber Wolf Regiment (the 2743rd Royal Mechanized Infantry Regiment) were authorized to fire only if fired upon. It was the most restrictive ROE that that the young Colonel felt he could in conscience allow, yet he remained all too aware of the possibility of civilians being caught in any crossfire, but he pushed those thoughts aside and forced himself back to the moment at hand. “Battalion surgeons, establish your MASH in the square, HQ security detail form a perimeter.”

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

“Colonel,” the RSM called from outside the lowered ramp of the command carrier. “These civilians say they know where the woman and children are holed up, Sir. But they won’t tell us unless we agree to transport them and their families to safety.”

Carlos nodded. “Agreed, get them loaded. Now where are they?”

A grimy, disheveled man raised one arm and barked out a long string of Russian. A younger woman—no less dirty and shell-shocked—translated. “The agricultural school, three blocks that way. It has a bomb shelter in the basement. That is where Katyusha took her boys when the shelling stopped.”

“Thank you,” the Colonel whispered. “Sergeant Major, get these people medical attention and hot food.” And get them the hell out of my vehicle. He snapped a thumb switch on the radio control attached to his belt. “Max, we’re moving out, three blocks due east, look for anything that resembles a school—an agriculture school.”

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

Carlos shook his head; the building had taken a direct shell hit and half of it was a burnt out ruin, but he had infantry teams making their way to the basement now. He wanted to be in there with his men, but his place was here. And truthfully, it was a job far more suited for a twenty-year old trooper than the forty-year old Colonel.

Suddenly the static on his earpiece cleared. “Wolfpack Seven-Three-Gamma to Wolfpack Actual. Packages retrieved—condition unbroken. Extricating now.”

Carlos let out a breath he hadn’t realized he was holding and sat back with a smile on his face.

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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by masterarminas » 2013-06-09 09:27am

Nicky bit his lip as the heavy vehicle clambered over rubble and rocked from side to side. He clung to his mother’s arm, and he saw that she was crying. Oh, he wanted to cry, but Andery had hold him that he mustn’t cry. The soldier’s scared him, the soldier’s with their thick jackets and armored vests and faceless helmets that were like mirrors. Momma and Andery had both told him that the soldiers were bad, that he should hide when soldiers came.

But it wasn’t as scary as the basement had been. That had been scary and loud, and the roof had cracked and fallen, burying some of the people who had huddled together in the dark. The light had gone on and off and on and off. And Nicky could remember see a twitching hand sticking out through the broken concrete. But each time the light came back on, the hand didn’t twitch as much. Until it finally didn’t move any more.

The light had taken longer and longer to come on, and it at last did not, leaving the three of them in darkness. Until the scary soldiers came, and he heard Momma say those strange words, “Oh thank you, God.”

They had taught him in school that there was no God, only the loving Emperor Stefan.

Andery had said the teachers were wrong, but how could that be? The teachers were always right. They were grown-ups and grown-ups were always right.

But Andery had shushed him and held him together with Momma in the dark basement. Until the soldiers came.

He had been so scared with the rocks began to move, and light shone from beyond. Maybe it was that arm that couldn’t be still.

But it wasn’t, it was the soldiers. The good soldiers, Andery said. How could soldiers be good? Momma said the soldiers were bad.

But they gave Nicky water and chocolate, and took him and Andery and Momma to this truck. And now they drove and drove and drove, and Momma was still crying. But not Andery, never brave Andery. So Nicky swallowed hard and he didn’t let himself cry.

At last the truck stopped, and the door was opened. The soldiers helped Momma down the ramp, and lifted Nicky up, passing him along as well. That was wrong; soldiers didn’t help people, they made people scared.

So many of the grownups were talking, and then Momma and Andery and Nicky were rushed into a tent, and he heard Momma sob. Another grownup was there, an old man, bald who just stared at them with wet eyes.

And then he Andery whisper, “Poppa?”

Poppa? Poppa was gone. He had gone away and not come back, even though he had promised Nicky he would be back. And Andery began to cry, and he ran—brave Andery ran—and jumped into the man’s arms, along with Momma. All of them were crying, and Nicky could hear the man’s gruff voice, gentle, and soft, comforting his brother and momma. “Poppa?” he asked as he took a step forward, and then he too ran into his Poppa’s arms, those strong arms.

Nicky cried, but that didn’t matter, because Poppa was home.

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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by LadyTevar » 2013-06-09 10:49am

*sniffle*
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Librium Arcana, Where Gamers Play!
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Me: Nope, that's why I have you around to tell me.
Nitram: You -are- beautiful. Anyone tries to tell you otherwise kill them.
"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP" -- Leonard Nimoy, last Tweet

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Re: The Cameron Legacy: The Fall of the Star League

Post by masterarminas » 2013-06-09 11:26am

Chapter Twenty

November 9, 2768
Western Slopes of the Cascade Range
North America
Empire of Amaris (Terran Hegemony)


“Gently, gentlemen, gently,” Antonius whispered to the former linebackers as they brushed aside the dirt covering one of Amaris’s nuclear mines. “This is no mere firecracker, my friends.”

Vince turned to glare at the former Blackheart, as Bernie scowled. “I still can’t believe you talked us into this. Sneaking past the Rim World lines and digging up a nuke.”

Antonius smiled. “Oh come, now, Bernie. You were as excited as the prospect as a freshman cheerleader asked to the prom by the star quarterback. Besides, I can think of several much more appropriate places for this munition than here in the middle of this pass, can’t you?”

“Yes, but what if they bobby-trapped it?”

“Vince, Vince, Vince, of course they bobby-trapped it.”

Both of the guerillas suddenly stopped digging and stared at Zalman.

“I am a specialist, however. Just don’t jostle it too much.”

“Liz would have a cow,” whispered Bernie was the two began to sweep away the soil against, slower this time.

“Dear sweet, Liz, of course she would! I imagine she would rather we just disable the nuke than move it.”

“Could you do that?”

“Bernie, where is the fun in that?”

Vince stopped digging. “I think I found the outer casing, Antonius.”

The spry old man dropped down into the hole and carefully brushed aside the dirt. And then he smiled. “Yes, yes you have. Hand me that tool bag.”

Taking a paint brush, the special agent began to slowly and carefully brush aside dirt until a small access door was revealed. He reached into the bag and took out several tools, and within minutes he had removed the panel, and was reaching into the internal mechanism of the bomb. Several minutes more, and he sat back, holding a strange looking device.

“And that, gentlemen, is a laser initiation system for the Mark Eleven tactical nuclear demolition munition. The weapon is quite safe, now. Let’s bundle it up and be on our way.”

“Exactly how heavy is this thing?” asked Vince as he glared at the slimmer, dapper special agent.

“Heavy enough that I am so glad the two of you volunteered,” said Antonius with a grin. “Come, my beasts of burden! We have miles to travel before we are done for the evening. And I need three more of these firecrackers, so on to the next site, we go.”


November 10, 2768
Imperial Palace
Unity City, North America
Empire of Amaris (Terran Hegemony)


“Gunthar, his Majesty has gone around the bend,” Brigadier Augustus Talbot whispered. “It is time to think about preserving ourselves.”

Four other high-ranking Internal Security officers nodded their agreement, and Gunthar slowly added his own. “What do you propose, then, Augustus?”

“We have already prepared a cargo submersible at the Bremerton docks. The ship has a full crew and supplies to remain submerged for up to three years. We will slip quietly out into the Pacific and wait for the furor to end. Then we will land somewhere and get passage off-world. There are many places in the Periphery where a man can leave his past behind.”

Another officer spoke up. “We might not even have to abandon the Inner Sphere, Gunthar. Men of skills are always needed, no matter how much our employers might publically disdain our methods.”

“Mercenaries,” Gunthar said with a snarl, “we should become mercenaries and abandon Stefan. That is what you are saying.”

“Stefan is a dead man, Gunthar. We know it and you know it. This is our chance at not dying alongside him. Join us—there is room on the sub for you.”

“You are all set on this course?”

The officers nodded their affirmation.

“I cannot, literally cannot abandon Stefan, gentlemen. And as for you,” Gunthar suddenly drew his pistol and shot Talbot in the chest, as IntSec guards swarmed into the room. “You are traitors to the cause. Take them out and shoot them,” he told the guards.

After the protesting officers were hustled from the room, Stefan Amaris walked in, causing Gunthar to snap to attention. “My Lord,” he said with a deep bow. “I had thought not to disturb you with this—housecleaning.”

Stefan smiled. “Don’t worry about me, Gunthar. I have been fully aware of what these officers have plotted for some time. Why do you think I publically asked for Kraal and Daragou? To draw out those who are not true-believers in our Empire.”

“You pretended, Sire?”

“I even fooled you, I see. No Gunthar, I remember well Luis Kraal’s screams after your threw him into the fish tank. And I am pleased that even in such circumstances, YOU my friend, remained true to me. Still, the traitors have a point: we cannot stop the Star League now. But I think that submarine will be best served by conveying you, I, and my family to safety. Not these fools.”

“I understand, my Lord. I shall make the preparations at once.”

“Carefully, Gunthar. We must wait for the right moment—too soon and these fools will surrender and fail to cover our retreat. Kerensky must believe that we are both dead if we are to escape and rebuild our fortunes.”

“Yes, Sire.”

“And who knows? Perhaps these imbeciles might stop Kerensky from crossing the Cascades. His casualties will be extreme and I am loved by my people, after all. They might stop his advance.”

And the horse might learn to sing, thought Gunthar. But he only said, “By your will, my master.”

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