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I he third wave of fighting in the Lyran Alliance focused on several key worlds, with large scale battles involving multiple regiments on each side the site of the principal action.

Galatea

At the start of March 3064, Galatea was sliding into chaos, the newly resumed warfare devastating the planet as MechWarrlor gangs, mostly mercenaries, vied for supremacy. The authorities lacked sufficient resources to bring the situation under control and the LAAF was too preoccupied counter ing Allied moves to provide troops for a policing action. It was into this carnage and desperation that Group W dropped, quickly establishing a defensive perimeter around their LZ and arranging a meeting with Duke David Nowakowski, the planetary governor. At their suggestion—and using his broad discretionary powers—Nowakowski hired the mercenary regiment to restore order on the planet

Glad to be away from the confused political situation on Lyons, Colonel Andrew Bethke had been prepared to restore order on his own initiative and answer to the LAAF High Command later, but with the Duke's endorsement, his actions had the air of legitimacy, fhough outnumbered by the total number of rampaging mercenaries, Group W was bigger and better organized than any four of the gangs and quickly picked off the main aggressors, either 'persuading' them to give up their weapons or using force to bring them down.

Within three weeks relative calm reigned on Galatea, and by the end of June the vast majority of the gangs had either been disbanded or crushed. Bethke was pleased with his unit's progress, though the sight of Group W 'Mechs and troopers patrolling the streets would be a common sight for the rest of the Civil War. Attempts were made to bring a number of the ringleaders to trial, either in the Lyran Courts or before the Mercenary Review and Bonding Commission, but though a handful of the miscreants were prosecuted, the vast majority were never apprehended. In fact, they, and many of the other participants in the conflict, seemed to disappear into thin air. The number ot mercenaries on Galatea dwindled noticeably over the summer of 3064, but few resurfaced on Outreach or at the other minor hiring halls of the Inner Sphere.

Halfway

Fleeing the trap on York, Victor's task force made its way to Halfway, where the in-bound Allies made planetfall on May 11 and quickly smashed the planetary militia who sought to deny the Allied force. The Prince's Men headed up the security operation, Demi-Precentor Rudolf Shakov leading the destruction of the defenders. Katherine's purges had rid the Halfway Militia of anyone loyal to her brother and so despite repeated calls for them to do so, the militia refused to surrender despite being outnumbered more than five to one.

Running the militia to ground took several days but the last organized resistance ended on May 14, with the final surviving militiaman finally surrendering a week later. Halfway became Victor's base of operations, a place where the Allies could recover from the debacle of York and plan their next moves. Strangely, Victor chose a brothel named the Happy Harlot In the capital, Atholl, as his command post and residence and It was there that councils of war were held that determined the fate of the Lyran Alliance and Federated Suns.

Solaris

The low level violence that had been simmering on Solaris since the summer of 3062 burst into flame once more in July 3064 with bitter street fighting. Clashes between natives of Silesia and the Black Hills were most common but each district of Solaris City suffered to some extent. Much of the violence was carried out by lone warriors, though the faction-based alliances that figured in the pre-Rashpoint battles came to the fore once more. The elements of the Seventeenth Arcturan Guards stationed on world were hard pressed to deal with the riots—the Thirty-second Lyran Guard had been recalled to New Kyoto months earlier—and were forced to call in reinforcements from the other battalions stationed on Wyatt.

These additional troops provided the necessary force to bring the situation under control and by the end of August Solaris Vll was calm once more. Less charitable elements of the media have, however, downplayed the Arcturan Guards role in the cessation of hostilities and Instead point to Jade Falcon invasion of the Alliance and the attendant rise in viewing figures as gun camera footage was smuggled onto the game world.

Operation Scatter

After the disaster on York, the Allies took stock of their situation at their new base on Halfway and planned their strategy for the next phase of the Civil War. Victor knew he had to restrict his opponents' ability to wage war and proposed strik ing at Hesperus II to seize control of the massive Defiance factory complex. He knew doing so would be a great risk and, rather than striking at the world directly, sent out feelers to Robert Kelswa-Steiner who was both Duke of Skye and whose aunt served as acting chairman for the company. Robert refused outright to cooperate leaving Victor's troops, now re located to Clinton, in something of a quandary. They could strike at Skye, in all likelihood pushing Robert into Katherine's camp, or they could sidestep the troublesome province. The problem was how to act without betraying their intentions or ending up with their backs facing potentially hostile Skye units. The result, enacted throughout July 3064. was known as Operation Scatter and was designed to overload the LAAKs ability to respond.

The 244th Division struck at the worlds of Eldsfoss and Ciotat, facing little resistance on each, before assaulting their final objective, Furillo. The Prince's Men, supported by elements of the Outland Legion, brushed aside the inexperienced Fuillo BPM, prompting the green unit to withdraw in disarray, then set about establishing control over the Defiance Industries' Snohomish Springs facLory complex in a three-day operation. Attempts by the mllltla to regain the initiative—and control of the factory complex—were brutally rebuffed. Indeed, were it not for the arrival of the MS Robert Kelswa, one of the Alliance's Fox-class WarShips, the Prince's Men could have held the complex indefinitely. Instead, they withdrew on July 17. their mission complete.

The Twenty-third Arcturan Guard (the Frost Giants), newly arrived from the Arc-Royal Defensive Cordon, struck Aristotle, Gallery and Thuban in quick succession. On none of the worlds did the Guard face substantive resistance, though during their strike on Gallery they went out of their way to raid the estate of the absent Duchess, one Nondi Steiner. Enraged, the General of the Armies and Regent of the Alliance directed Linda McDonald's Eleventh Arcturan Guard to neutralize their sister regiment. The Golden Lions arrived at Thuban Just too late to engage the bulk of the Frost Giants, though the Loyalist force was able to catch and subsequently crush a combined arms battalion that remained behind to effect repairs. The final battle, on the slopes of Scorpius Mons, was a bloody affair that cost both forces dearly and testified to the fratricidal nature of the civil war.

The third thrust of Operation Scatter took the Sixth Crucis Lancers on a campaign to Solihull, Drossendorf, Gypsum and eventually Bolan. They faced little opposition save on their final objective, Dolari, where they smashed into the Bolan Jaegers and the Dixie CTM, who were already understrength from their clash with the Second Crucis Lancers. The CTM crumpled under the assault, and they and the Jaegers were forced to stage a desperate fighting withdrawal. Had their mission profile allowed it, the Sixth could probably have seized Bolan. but doing so would have given the Allies no real advantage but rather have denuded Victor's fighting force. After six days on world, the Lancers withdrew.

The last element of Scatter involved the Prince himself, leading the Outland Legion against Dar-es-Salaam. The ferocity of the Allied assault forced the planetary militia onto the defensive and for three days the Legion drove the militia before them, nipping at the heels of the large but Inexperienced force. By July 24, however, the commander of the Dar-es-Salaam CTM, Colonel Shalom Hubble, received an intelligence update that revealed the weakness of the force arrayed against him and the fragility of their advance. As the CTM skirted the coastal dune fields known as Castle Sands, the militia unit turned and counterattacked the Outland Legion, seeking to encircle the unit and deal with Victor. The Prince and his companions fought their way out of the trap, downing Colonel Hubble'S Berserker in the process, and withdrew to their DropShlps. The Prince's destination after leaving Dar-es-Salaam was unknown.

To all intents, Victor and his cohorts had vanished

Strategic Movements

Both Nondi Steiner and Victor Stelner-Davion had planned a large series of movements to better position their own forces within the Lyran Alliance. That began with the movement of the Dioscuri to Klkuyu in preparation of hitting the Loyalist Sixth Donegal Guards in coordination with another strike from within the Arc-Royal Defense Cordon. Khan Marthe Pryde's Jade Falcon Incursion in May quickly disabused both commanders of any notions about striking out at each other with massive troop movements.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

Loyalist and Allied troops alike joined together to combat the Jade Falcons' deep penetration into the Lyran Alliance. Though at first the two sides showed significant animosity towards each other, with the death of General Sharon Bryan and Adam Steiner's assumption of her command, those feelings radically changed. Given only the simple choices of fight together or die, the great majority of the troops who fought in the Jade Falcon Incursion fought as a single entity—indeed, the last time that units from both "sides" of the Federated Commonwealth did so.

[Editor's note: a complete recounting of the battles fought during the Jade Falcon Incursion can be found in the following chapter, starting on page 110.]

Discounting the rapid movements made by units like General Archer Christifori's Avengers (who moved from Halfway to Graceland), the Second Crucis Lancers (who had actually begun a long-range move from Timbiqui to Halfway near the beginning of Wave Two) and the Fifteenth Arcturan Guards, there were relatively few intra-Alliance transit going on during Wave Three. Indeed, the Falcon Incursion brought all non-essential transportation to a halt and severely limited even the most important movements.

Yet, through it all, the Skye Rangers continued their long march home. The Fourth Rangers reached Skye on the 10th of June, returning home to a massive parade arranged by Duke Kelswa-Stciner. The Seventeenth Rangers stopped on Thuban while the Twenty-Second reached Cameron.

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