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Retribution


Payment in Full
"What you are talking about verges on the insane, Davis. The Jade Falcons have been dug in on Winfiedl since the end of March almost two years ago. Striking at them now would be an act of revenge, not the deed of a military commander. I am a Marshal, and I am trying to look at the big picture." Marshal Bryant glanced down again at the request and winced. "Bob, I lost my right hand to the Falcons, as well as my daughter and a lot of good troops," Leftenant General Winfield said, "I have spent the last year rebuilding and I think we are ready for this kind of mission."
   "Damn it, Davis, we've known each other for a dozen years. Look at the map. Right now Winfield is sitting smack dab in the middle of the Jade falcon occupation zone. You'd be unsupported and strung out. To be honest, I don't know if any regiment we have could hold out for very long."

The Leftenant General stood and pulled his dress uniform straight. "Just hear me out. One, our reports on the Falcons show that they have rotated in only second-string occupation forces. Two, I won't be going in to retake Winfield. I am going in to rescue some men and women that we left behind. Third, other units have made sorties into the occupation zone. Snord's Irregulars, the Tenth Lyran guards, as well as Colonel Catlin's Twelfth Star Guards' return strike on Icar."
   "But Winfield is a lot deeper, and the benefits are thin. Pulling out a handful of people is not going to make a dent like the other raids did." Davis Winfield tossed a classified report on to the Marshal's desk. "A message smuggled out in code indicates that the Jade falcons are setting up some kind of armaments factory on Winfield. If they do, they'll have a major supply-line capability to launch strikes into the Coventry Operational Area. Whatever we have left in the Blackjack Ops Area would be isolated and starved out." Davies paused for a long moment. "You don't really have a choice, Bob."

The Marshal stared back for a long time. "All right, Davis, you have your raid. Your number-one priority is to strike at this armaments and munitions works. Level it. You may also attempt to rescue our troops being held in the prison there, but only if there is little risk. And Davis -" he paused, making sure he held eye contact - "I want to make one thing clear. I permit this because of our friendship. You have used up your last favor with me. If this mission falls apart, it will be YOUR butt, not mine, in the sling. Understood?"

Leftenant General Winfield nodded, knowing this would be a dangerous mission, risking the lives of almost a full regiment of troops.

Winfield, 3 February 3052
Winfield's Regiment was assigned the defense of the Federated Commonwealth planet of Winfield at the time of the Clan invasion. The Jade Falcons struck in March 3050, issuing a challenge to Leftenant General Winfield. A full luster was brought to bear against the mixed forces of Winfield's Regiment. The two sides met in the Territe Valley, and the fighting was particularly bloody. Despite the best efforts of Winfield's forces, the Jade Falcons' 612th Assault Cluster was too agile and well-armed for them. Broken and in full rout, only two battalions of FC troops, mostly infantry and light armor, escaped the planet alive.
   The Falcons captured those left behind. Many became bondsmen, but those who refused to cooperate were locked in a makeshift prison. The Jade Falcons immediately rebuilt and refitted the old Farfield Munitions works for the production of weapons and missiles. They pressed the local population into service, which lasted a year and a half. This factory would permit the Jade Falcons to sustain an offensive without long supply lines.

A message, smuggled in code via ComStar, tipped off Federated Commonwealth intelligence to the existance of the new factory. The newly rebuilt Winfield's Regiment was assigned to destroy the munitions and armaments works. Winfield's previous experience fighting the clans had taught him that trickery and deceit were alien to them. Arriving at a pirate point, Winfield immediately issued a challenge to the Jade falcons for the rights to the munitions works. The Falcons responded that they would defend with Epsilon Galaxy's 101st Defense Cluster, composed mostly of medium OmniMechs.
   Winfield's forces landed but did not launch an immediate attack. Instead he sent his infantry on a long sweep along the south flank while his light hover armor probed the center and northern flanks of the Falcons. His efforts to draw attention away from the infantry seemed to work, as most of the 101st's OmniMechs rushed forward to attack Winfield's heavy BattleMechs. The Leftenant General kept pulling his forces back and to the north, further distracting attention from his true plans.

Only a handful of second-line Elementals defended Kerensky Munitions and Armaments. Winfield's infantry crossed the Harrison River and infiltrated the works before they could be detected. The Falcon Elementals tried to engage the enemy, but the damage had already been done. When a storage facility filled with pentaglycerine exploded, the entire works went up in a ball of flame.

The Jade Falcons halted their advance and turned to fight around the burning factory. Meanwhile Davis Winfield's forces struck at the prison facility, liberating their former compatriots. After 20 long hours of fighting, the Jade Falcons had suffered a stunning loss at the hands of Winfield's Regiment. Payment in full, in the eyes of Davis Winfield.

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