The Eagles Flight

At the outset of the Civil War, Kristen's Krushers were stationed on the strategic world of Coventry. Several other mercenary units occupied key strategic positions in the Alliance and did not draw much attention from the LIC. The Krushers were, however, unique among such units; their commander was the sister of a reigning house lord: Thomas Marik.

Deployed on Coventry alongside the Coventry Jaegers and the Coventry CPM, the Krushers guarded a major industrial site. Yet despite the ongoing entente between Archon Katherine and FWL Captain-General Thomas Marik, some of the defenders resented the mercenary's presence. During 3062. tensions between the Coventry defenders increased, reaching a boiling point on 25 December.

Archon Steiner-Davlon's orders to eliminate neutral and hostile forces resulted in Jason Walker, commander of the Coventry Jaegers, taking charge of the pro-Katherine Continued on p. 39

deployed to the important world while the mercenary Kristen's Krushers further bolstered the defenders.

With the benefit of hindsight, this force-mix was a disaster waiting to happen, unit politics and innate prejudices hampering its smooth operation. The CPM resented being made subordinate to the Jaegers, a new and unproven unit (though its warriors, culled from other units, were granted a grudging measure of respect) and was steadfastly loyal to the Duke of Coventry, Frederick Bradford, a staunch opponent of Katherine. Similarly, the Jaegers, in particular their commander, resented the presence of the mercenaries, especially a unit with political ties to the Lyran's long-standing foe, the Free Worlds League.

In late December 3062, the frictions among the defenders erupted into open warfare as the Jaegers moved to disarm the Coventry CPM. Of course, Archon Katherine's media machine 'spun' the story to place blame for the fighting on Victor, though few who knew the situation were deceived. The CPM struck back,"but despite their size, stood little chance against the combined might of the Jaegers and mercenary troops. The fighting was brutal, particularly around the Coventry Military Academy at Port Lawrence, and when Jaegers attacked the compound with artillery, Colonel Marik protested. Her calls for negotiation were ignored, (however. By 17 January 3063, both the CPM and academy cadres had ceased to exist as viable fight ing forces.

The Krushers suffered the lion's share of the losses in the campaign and petitioned the Lyran command for time to rest and refit. Jason Walker took this as a sign of weakness and, using Kristen Marik's protests during the campaign as "evidence of complicity with the traitors" launched an assault on the mercenary positions. Third battalion was the hardest hit by the assault, and Major Ana Marik fell before the Lyran advance, buying time for his troops to withdraw and regroup. Through a mix of good planning and luck, the Krushers managed to extract themselves from their predicament with only moderate losses, declaring their contract voided by the Jaeger's actions. Fighting their way to their DropShips, the Krushers set about escaping the Alliance.

Its defenders bruised, Coventry nonetheless remained in Katherine's hands, and Colonel Walker was sure his troops could "deal with any ragtag traitors." No reinforcements were immediately available, but the deployment of the WarShip LAS Arthur Davion looked set to ensure the strategic world remained so. Jason Walker and his superiors couldn't have been more wrong.

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