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Desperate Times, Desperate Deeds


Tale of the Ghost Riders
   "What did you do in the war, mommy?"
The woman stirred uncomfortably, staring down at the black leather glove that covered her replaced right hand. "I was stationed on Thule with your father when the Clans invaded. We were common foot soldiers, both assigned to the First Husars. The Clan that hit us was one called the Ghost Bears-"
   "Ghost Bears, momma?"
   "Don't be afraid, Helga. Not real bears, they just fought like them. They came at us from the plains with a sea of their Toady troops. We tried to defend against them, but it was no good. Your father and I were separated in the battle, and then I took my platoon into the foothills of Avonshire, where our supply silos were buried. We lived in the silos for months, spying on the Ghost Bears as they hunted our kin and brother warriors. We did not strike, though, but waited for the moment when we could make them pay."

   "Poppa. Where was poppa then?"
The woman leaned down and kissed the child. "They took him with them, dear, called him a bondsman - their word for slave. I knew he would have wanted me to fight on, never to surrender, so we waited almost six months before the time was right. At night we would slip into the town of Fóleston to watch our enemies, the Star known as the Ghost Riders. At first we only stole some of their weapons, then we became more bold. When Ustov, my old friend and best Sergeant Major in the Husars, led a small ambush against one of their supply haulers, he found a shipment of their Toady suits, new and still in their packing. I decided the time had come to visit the Ghost Riders of the Ghost Bears. We would stirke back for our fallen comrades.
   "We took their Toady suits and practiced in them every night until we could work them almost as well as the Clanners. On April 15, ayear to the day from the first time the other First Husars had been lost in battle, we had put on the suits and slipped into Fóleston."
   "Then what, mommy?"
The mother signed deeply, looked down at her gloved hand, then started into the distance. "I made them pay," she said. "I made them pay for taking your father away from us. I made them ante up the loss of my Hans. And when we were done, the Ghost Riders were no more.

Thule, Fóleston, Ghost Bear Occupation Zone, 15 April 3051
The first wave of the Clan invasion was marked mostly by the actions of Clans Jade Falcon, Wolf, and Smoke Jaguar. With the arrival of Clan Ghost Bear, the Inner Sphere encountered a powerful new foe. The Ghost Bears struck primarily at Thule, Damiam, Holmsbu, and Schuyler in the Free Republic of Rasalhague. They hit each planet in just four months, the attacks stealthy yet potent. As bits and pieces of information on this new Clan made their way to the front-line units, it often was too late.

When he Ghost Bears landed on Thule, they launched several quick probing operations designed to irritate and force their opposition into action. As soon as the probes inflicted damage, Overstë Joanie Swigard threw most of her First Husars into those areas. In response the Ghost Bears out-flanked the Husars, catching many in the narrow valleys of the Mursak Mountains. Within a few hours the Husars were cut off, isolated, and wiped out.

The infantry of the First Husars support regiment fared no better. Almost all the ground troops were captured or killed in battles with the Elementals of Beta Galaxy's First Assault Cluster (The Ghost Riders). A few platoons did manage to escape, however, seeking refuge in the Avonshire foothills, where the First Husars had secreted their supply bases. Instead of initiating an immediate guerilla action, the infantry waited until most of the invasion force had left Thule. All that remained were several Stars of Ghost Riders.

The First Husars infantry staged several raids, one of which netted them several new Elemental suits. The guerrillas trained with the suits and mastered most of their components.On the anniversary of the invasion, the First Husars troops staged an ambush in the small town where a Point of Ghost Riders was garrisoned. Caught off guard, the Clan forces were overwhelmed and wiped out to the last man. In response the Cluster commander carried out a series of raids over the rest of 3051 and into the spring of 3052 to find and capture the perpetrators of the actions in Fóleston. By May 3052, the few survivors of the First Husars had managed to steal a commercial DropShip and make their way out of the system. They linked up with a Ghost Bear JumpShip, captured its crew, and then safely made their way into the Draconis Combine.

Since then the Ghost Riders of Clan Ghost Bear have sworn a vendetta to win back the honor of the Husar survivors stole from them on Thule.

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