Emm Hud Politics

DRAKE SUNG: You wanna know how I feel about the invasion of the Draconis Combine? I'll tell ya in two words: 'Pretty damn good!' Those Kuritan sonsabitches invaded our territory, our homes first. We're still cleaning up the mess they left here in Bueller. How many people did they kill? Two or three hundred? And for what? All they came here to do was to destroy. They weren't here t9 destroy the military. They dropped down into the middle of the city and blew everything in sight to bits. And they have thii gall to call that honorable?! Christ! Someone goes into work with a rifle and starts blasting away until the uniforms come and kill him... they call that murder!

REPORTER: But what of Princess Katrina's condemn... (

DRAKE SUNG: <Deleted> that bitch! What the <deleted> has she ever done for us?! I'll tell ya: nothing! When has she ever cared about anything but herself and her damn Lyran bankers? Never! Hell, Victor gave us more concern than she ever did, and he was <delet-ed> their <deleted> high-priestess, or whatever the hell you want to call her! The only people who ever gave a damn for us were the Sandovals.

REPORTER: So you support action against the Combine, even though it might spark a war while the Federated Commonwealth is already at war with itself?

DRAKE SUNG: Our people deserve justice, and the only way we can give that to them is by punishing the Draconis Combine the only way we know how: with BattleMechs. If Victor and Katrina want to fight for the throne on New Avalon. that's their business. Whoever wins still isn't going to keep It without Duke Sandoval's support. You reporters are making their problems out to be more than they really are, This so-called Civil War isn't going to touch us here in the Draconis March. Duke Sandoval won't let it happen...

- Interview with Drake Sung, Robinson Senator from Bueller, 5 January 3063

AL NA'IR

Flash: 22 December 3062

Duke Sandoval assigned the Twelfth Deneb Light Cavalry and the Fighting Urakhai's Eighth Striker to the Al Na'ir system. Where the other three targets of the initial assault are standard worlds, Al Na'ir is a nearly airless planet. Moreover, the significant targets were scattered throughout the system on various asteroids, moons and artificial satellites. Because of the unique nature of the targets, the Twelfth DLC left its conventional forces behind on Tybalt. Duke Sandoval assigned the unit reinforcements in the form of the Twenty-seventh Federation Tactical Fighter Regiment and three battle armor battalions that he had stripped from other units under his command, in addition to two engineer battalions, a marine special service regiment and a handful of MI-6 special forces teams. Commanding the entire Al Na'ir operation was the newly promoted Major General Ariel Zibler.

Not only was the Al Na'ir assault the most dangerous of the invasion because of the environments that the task force would be fighting in, but the DLC and its attached units made high-risk jumps into the system. The standard Zenith and Nadir jump points were over three weeks away from the primary targets at a 1G burn, and with so many asteroids within the system, computing safe pirate points was a difficult proposition.

Major General Zibler chose a number of different pirate points throughout the system, hoping that a massive assault from all directions on multiple targets would be enough of a shock to keep the DCMS forces within the system from concentrating their efforts on picking off one group at a time. Her plan did actually work, at least to a point.

She lost one of her JumpShips to a faulty seal one jump away from the system and another one—including its two DropShips and four hundred men—when it materialized partially inside of a planetary fragment. The rest of her JumpShips made the jump safely, however, and immediately disgorged Zibler's armada of DropShips. The Twenty-seventh Tactical Fighter Regiment's fleet of Avenger, Achilles and Vengeance-class Assault Ships easily blasted its way through the fighter screens that the DCMS forces in the system put up, allowing Zibler to ground her forces almost unopposed.

Al Na'ir V was Zibler's primary target. Located there was the majority of the system's population and Yori 'Mech Works' final assembly plants—plus the bulk of the Twenty-fourth Dieron Regulars. Supported by her aerospace fighter wings, General Zibler made short work of the two Dieron Regulars companies that tried to contest her landing. The battle for Al Na'ir was Just beginning, though. With almost no atmosphere to speak of, the world's cities were built mostly underground. Initially constructed to support the mining operations, these cities grew to fill the massive caverns left by the underground strip-mines. By generating oxygen from the large ice floes both above and below ground, the world could survive on its own almost indefinitely. Zibler's battle armor and marines immedi ately began to work on blasting their way into one of Al Na'ir's smaller cities while her engineers erected a temporary base around her LZ.

Elsewhere in the system, Zibler's forces had much better initial luck. At the Zenith jump point, her teams took quick command of the Omura Recharge Station. On the asteroid Yori's Perdition, a combined team of mercenary 'Mechs and Regular Army battle armor and marines suppressed the single Twenty-fourth Dieron Regulars battalion stationed there in two days of intensive fighting—though at the cost of serious damage to the Yori assembly plant and the death of almost three hundred workers when the complex suddenly depressurized. Her off-world units spent the next two.months tracking down outlying mining facilities and military listening posts.

Back on Al Na'ir V, Zibler was having little better luck. Tai-$a Buntari Akihito, commander of the 24th Dieron Regulars, gladly allowed her almost free run of the planet above. He reinforced every access tunnel into the underground city of Homai-Zaki with his own BattleMechs and what few infantry assets he had. While Zibler attempted to break into some of the primary entrances, Akihito dispatched a few small companies out of the underground complex to harass the Twelfth DLC's base camp. Rather than pull her own DLC 'Mechs off of the assault, she assigned the mercenary Eighth Striker to patrol the surface of the world, keeping on the lookout for Akihito's raiders.

The standoff lasted throughout the month of January. Zibler's engineers would break into one of the major entrances only to be stopped dead in their tracks by a strong defensive fight or by a tunnel cave-in caused by Akihito's own engineers.

Zibler did win a toehold on the 24th of January, however, when an MI-6 team discovered a personnel access tunnel hidden within an impact crater almost fifty kilometers from the main underground complex. She quickly pushed in a company of battle armor followed closely by engineers and marines. By the end of the day, her troops had secured a moderately-sized underground infantry staging base and had begun to fight their way toward the main complex. Ten days later, they captured a hangar big enough to stage 'Mechs out of, and were on their way to the primary underground city.

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