Inarcs

Having secured the world's factories for Prince Victor, the elements of the Seventh Crucis Lancers assigned to Inarcs dug-in in anticipation of a concerted Loyalist attempt to dislodge them. They did not have long to wait as the Ninth Lyran Regulars, based on Main Street, were ordered into action against them on October 12. Leutnant-General Jeanette Scarlett was led to believe that her troops would face only a battalion of 'Mechs and the crippled RCT's armor regiment. Though she knew the Lancers' experience would make up for their lack of numbers, she expected to have full control of the world by tne end of November.

The Lyran Regulars' problems began as soon as they arrived in-system. Although forced to leave half their aerospace force on Main Street to escort commercial shipping, they expected few problems on the run-in to Inarcs. The 405th Federation Interceptor Wing quickly disabused the Karilon Magicians of that notion, launching a series of anti-shipping strikes from the Vengeance-class carrier Radiant. The repeated attacks denuded the Regulars' strength, culminating in the loss of a L/n/o/7-class transport and its company of 'Mechs on October 21. A number of other DropShips were badly mauled during the approach and forced to transfer passengers to other vessels while repairs where made. On October 23, the flotilla reached orbit and began their combat drops onto the planet. What met them was something from their worst nightmares.

The Regulars' first battalion landed near Utopia, hoping to seize the capital in a lightning thrust, but almost immediately found their position under pressure by Lancer armor and infantry. Ill-coordinated and scattered from the drop, the Regulars were unable to mount an effective resistance against the assault and. when General Scarlett was killed by a gauss-rifle shot from a Lancer Devastator, broke under the pressure and fled across the continent of Devil's Island to their emergency rendezvous point. Second battalion's insertion went little better, their descent harassed by a mix of aerospace and conventional fighters. No sooner had they landed than they too came under fire from armor and VTOLs, though they battled against the firestorm and eventually rallied a force of two com panies. However, as soon as this force advanced from its LZ it came under heavy and sustained artillery bombardment and, combined with armor and 'Mech attacks against their flanks, Kommandant Lee Faulks presumed his force had come under attack by the entire Crucis Lancers and abandoned his drive, also withdrawing to the emergency LZ.

Only trey battalion landed in good order and was able to organize themselves for their drive on the factories of Utopia. However, as they approached the city they came under increasing air attack and it became apparent that they faced a full battalion of 'Mechs. Calling in her own air support, Komman dant Toni Pressman pushed on into the firestorm. Her 'Mechs put up a good showing but they were no match for the elite Lancers. After fifteen minutes—and the loss of almost a company of 'Mechs—she signaled the retreat.

The Lancers were not prepared to oblige the kommandant, however,and harassed her forces halfway across the continent, only abandoning their pursuit when the Lyran unit sought refuge in the Vespia Mountains. On November 3, the survivors of the Ninth Lyran boosted from Inarcs en route back to their base. Scarcely a reinforced battalion made it off Inarcs and the ranking officer, Lee Faulks, berated the Military Intelligence Division for underestimating the Lancers' strength and reported the presence of the entire Seventh Crucis Lancers on Inarcs. In truth, MID estimates were .incorrect; there were only two armor battalions supporting the Lancer 'Mech battalion.

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