Archie McCarron was surprised when three CCAF senior colonels visited him on Menke in May of 3039, and all but stunned when they suggested he undertake an operation of such magnitude into the Federated Suns. But as he looked over the intelligence reports that they had brought with them, McCarron was quickly won over. This was by no means a full-fledged invasion, however; the CCAF was still far too weak to even consider such a possibility.
In fact, more than anything, this was designed to be more of a morale-building exercise. The CCAF had just recently driven the Canopians from their nation, but that victory was tempered by the fact that it took five years of military action to do so. What the CCAF needed was a true victory, one that was unmistakable and could proclaim to the entire Human Sphere that the Confederation was once again a military power, and who better to target than the mighty Federated Suns.
Bethel was the third world targeted by Colonel Archie McCarron’s incursion. Like many of the other worlds struck by the Big Mac, Bethel was a world of little note — except, of course, for the role it played in the downfall of the Capellan Confederation in the Fourth Succession War. Supposedly home to a “secret” research facility that had developed the so-called Triple Strength Myomer, the Confederation struck Bethel and stole the technology that ultimately led to the CCAF’s failure on their capital world of Sian.
The First MAC, the Nightriders, descended on Bethel on the evening of 30 July, just as their name suggests. They struck out immediately, taking command of the world’s capital city that same night. The world’s militia began mobilizing immediately and attempted to drive the mercenaries from the city the next day, but they didn’t have nearly enough strength to do so. Worse still, the Nightriders allowed the fight to spread to the streets of Bethel City. The battle that day killed more than four hundred and set fires that burned for days longer, displacing tens of thousands in the process.
The militia was still attempting to mobilize its entire number, but the Nightriders seemingly controlled the skies and had a complete freedom of movement on the ground. They struck every major city on the planet, inflicting as much damage as they could. Thousands more died during these assaults, and though Nightrider officers would later claim that they were not specifically targeting the civilian inhabitants of the world, it was obvious that they were attacking objectives of dubious military value.
By the end of their eight days on Bethel, twelve major cities were either in flames or just beginning the damage assessment process, the militia had been rendered neutral by either the destruction or scattering of component units, and the world’s power grid was on the verge of collapse. The Nightriders left Bethel behind, having taken nothing and delivered only death and destruction, on the morning of 7 August.
- System Name: Bethel
- Coordinates: 141.88, -185.69
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