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Release of the Hellspawn
At 12-12-2017 12:00:00 PM

battle on salur

The secession of Major Alexandros's forces, while not a majority of the Blackthornes Dragoons overall corps, was a significant blow to not only its reputation, but also its talent pool. The new Kearny's Ravagers constituted nearly two companies' worth of mechs and associated personnel. Though Colonel Sley had placed enough forces on guard of the Dragoon's largest and Hearth Guard-signature ship, the Dullahan II, Major Alexandros had instead targetted the two most recent acquisitions of Dragoons which had yet to be assigned to any battalion. The loss of  the recommisioned Dhíoghail An Titim and the newly-purchased Dún Scáith dropships added further potency to this new outfit. Supplied with a jumpship in league with Anton's forces, the group had managed to flee the system before any resistance could be mounted.

Though the show of force and quick escape had been intended to throw the Dragoons into disarray, it instead only galvanized them. Colonel Sley's anger was pushed beyond any attempt for peace. Likewise, those who had remained now were completely sided with the Heart Guard's original position, if for no other reason than vowing to not be the traitors to the FWL that they'd once been accused before. Both the Dullahan II and Liath Macha dropships were quickly prepped and set out to connect with an Oriente-provided jumpship to catch up. 

While en route to the jumpship, searches of the Hearth Guards' officer quarters revealed unusually high communications with the previous facilities on Salur. The provided base on Salur still held a large amount of equipment that had been left behind either to be brought over eventually to the new base on Emris IV or returned to the Duchy of Oriente once room was found available in the appropriate depots. With this information, it became clear that the new Ravagers were planning to raid Salur while still posing as Dragoons in order to gather up enough supplies to start a new front, or at least to provide a respite for the retreating rebellion. Colonel Sley would order the jumpship to make its way for Salur as soon as both ships were successfully docked.

Appearing via Salur's nadir jump point would catch the rebel jumpship by surprise, forcing it to vacate the area immediately or risk capture. With the escape route now cut off, the Ravagers were left on a hostile world with their only options to either surrender or entrench themselves and hold out. Convinced of his unit's superiority in skill and boasting the fire power of 2 Long Toms, Major Alexandros's decision on the latter was quick and without hesitation. He further bolstered his position by commandeering the control of the old base's remaining defenses. Despite its size, even the Dullahan II could not match the combine firepower of both dropships, which Colonel Sley realized Major Alexandros had planned all along as a trump card. Their artilley would savage any forces on the ground, while the remaining armaments could be used to threaten any other ship from daring to enter its airspace. In contrast, though Colonel Sley's forces easily out numbered Major Alexandros's by nearly three to one, the Ravagers' mechs out-tonned the average of the combined Widowmakers and remaining Hearth Guard. Even if their forces could overwhelm his position, it seemed all too certain that such a victory would break the back of the Blackthornes Dragoons as well.

Rather than attack the stronghold head-on, Colonel Sley would turn to Widowmaker commander Major Dexter Eason for a solution. His plan proved to be one worthy of the battalion's creator. Colonel Sley would advance with the majority of the assembled forces using the same tactics that Major Alexander was known to use. Seeing the strategy at hand, Major Alexander easily corraled the forces into the middle of the field with continuous firepower of the Long Toms to either side, content to match is heavier forces against the lighter contingent. Pushing forth from their base to increase their barrage fire and join the fight, his mechs were every bit the aggressive wall of firepower he'd worked so hard to assemble.

Until the Long Toms went silent.

In a horrible miscalculation, Major Alexander had allowed a company of scout mechs to break from the field of battle early on in order to keep the rest bottled in. It was this company, led by Major Eason himself, that used their speed and jump-jet capabilities to circumvent the geography, dropping in on the supposedly protected dropships who were still concentrating their firepower on the main formation. Immediately jamming communications to prevent the spoiling the surprise, the fight outside each ship was short as either only held a skeleton crew at the time. Major Alexander's first report of the conflict at their back would come just as the Long Toms came alive once more, this time dropping their shells right into the middle of his vaunted 'impenetrable' line. 

The fight would end within minutes thereafter, as the line was first smashed by coordinated artillery, then overrun by the faster mechs of the main assault before any could even attempt to mount a reprisal. What should have been the mutual destruction of both sides now left Widowmaker once again with relatively few losses while gutting the ranks of the Hearth Guard. Guncam videos from both the mechs involved and views of the dropships were sent to Oriented to prove their sincerity on both their position within the FWL as well as their will to solve the issue on their own.

A second video was also sent to the government of Aspropirgos, along with the following message, "Expect us soon." It has been rumored this alone kept the planet from ever formally declaring its independency. The death of Anton Marik a few months later would signal the end of this conflict, eliminating any further of such chances.



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