What Might Have Been (Part 6)

Katyusha City Comissary (Sven’s Hole)
Strana Mechty
15 November, 3005

“I just do not see how we can defeat them” Garrick N’Buta’s otherwise shameful remark could be excused by two facts. First, he was more than a little drunk. Second, his statement mirrored the thoughts of many there assembled, including ilKhan Nadia Winson. The Inner Sphere’s armies were powerful, and they were growing. Wolf’s Dragoons had even discovered evidence that they were beginning to recover the technolgies lost to them since the fall of the Star League.

It would seem that the Clans had no option but to strike now, but no matter how she played it out, the ilKhan of the Clans could see no hope in an all-out assault.

It was Snow Raven Khan Magnus McKenna who broke the heavy silence that followed the drunken outburst “Actually, I can see a path to victory.”

“Yer an opthamist” countered Garrick, his words rendered into a near-incomprehensible slur by two more shots of fine Diamond Shark single malt.

“Oh, it will not be easy, make no mistake. We shall have to abandon some of our prejudices, yet still fight with greater skill and valour than before. But think back to your Trials of Bloodright for a moment. Nadia, when you faced an Elemental, how did you choose to fight him?”

“Augmented, of course.” For a Mechwarrior to engage one of the Clans’ gigantic armored infantry barehanded would be almost a death sentence. Only careful choice of venue would give the smaller warrior a chance. Nadia wasn’t sure she knew where the Snow Raven was going with this, and even less sure she liked it.

“Nikolai Bavros, how did you engage every opponent who won the toss against you?”

“In space, of course.” The Nova Cat Khan seemed confused as well, though he should have known what Magnus was getting at.

“In each case, you leveraged your advantages to ensure a victory, and yet you are all neglecting our two most important advantages.”

Nadia definately did not like where this was going.

“We have a massive advantage in Warship tonnage. Wolf’s Dragoons currently estimate that not more than ten million tons of Warships presently exist in the Inner Sphere, and this number is still unconfirmed. The truth is that they have not seen one Warship since their arrival, not even in orbit of New Avalon.”

Several of the assembled Khans groaned. Trust the Snow Raven to trot out Warships.

“Our other advantage is total strategic surprise.” that was Thaddeus Jorgensson, breaking his characteristic silence to back up the Snow Raven. Had they planned this?

“Of course, we will need more reconaissance. Wolf’s reports suggest that he was dangerously close to being compromised by the weak footwork Intelser provided. For one, his force is too large, and breaking it up now would look suspicious. For another, some of his common designs have turned up absent in the Inner Sphere since the Fall.”

“And we will need to take a serious look at retrofitting our fleet. Our main opposition will come from aerospace fighters, not from Warships, and we will need stronger countermeasures against nuclear weapons.”

Even the Ghost Bear seemed shocked by that one.

“These are Barbarians, no better than the Not-Named. We cannot simply trust them not to deploy the most powerful weapons at their disposal, not when they already did it to themselves!”

A grim consensus settled over the ilKhan and her retinue of moderate Khans.

“With your permission, Nadia, Magnus and I will put together a plan on how to proceed?”

“Granted. Have it ready by the next General Conclave.”


3 thoughts on “What Might Have Been (Part 6)

  1. mame_snidely

    So, the story so far: The Clans are getting medieval on the ‘sphere. Maybe. BUT WAIT!! They have ignored their own intelligence (save for good ol’ Ghost Bear) and assume that, when invaded, the ‘sphere will fight the clans in outdated, out-moded mechs instead of rightfully dropping megatonnage on the space invaders when they enter the atmosphere. Because nukes are “dishonorable’, and no one does anything dishonorable. Ever.

    Is this chapter trying to setup the concept to the Clans that the sphere is very different and the clans dont’ get that, or something else? Because, right now, from my genre un-savvy point of view, I’m thinking that the clans, despite better training and better equipment are basically analogous with the US getting involved in Vietnam.

    Or Iraq.

    ….oh wait…..

  2. Psychopompousgb

    @mame_snidely – 

    This section does a couple major things. It shows just how unprepared the Clans actually were for going to the Inner Sphere in the canon Battletech universe, how (in their arrogance) the Clans had not even begun to consider how fighting the Inner Sphere might be different from their internal trials… And then it sets the stage for one to the few major changes that sets this story’s timeline on a different course than the official Battletech timeline: the McKenna/Jorgensson plan (a more practical plan for the Clans to invade the Inner Sphere than they used in the official storyline, one that aims to leverage the clans’ strengths to their best advantage).

  3. BobRichter

    @mame_snidely – Actually, you got it exactly. Thanks for the comment.

    for the truly genre-savvy, that one’s a double-treat, because it’s a standard web-board trope that if things ever got bad enough the IS would “just nuke the Clans.” despite the fact that the IS really doesn’t use nukes anymore.


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