Incensed by the strike so close to her capital, Romano Liao dispatched both battalions of the rebuilt Prefectorate Guard from their cantonment on Sian to chase down and destroy the Renegades. The Guards arrived at a pirate point in the Hexare system a scant eleven days after the Renegades’ landing and succeeded in landing while the Renegades were still engaged in re-supply operations. The Guards’ hopes for a surprise attack on the Andurien troops were scotched by the Renegades’ interception of CCAF broadcasts, but the mercenaries could not complete their preparations to leave before the Capellan troops attacked. Leaving a battalion to oversee the re-supply, the main Renegades force deployed to meet the Liao troops.
The Guards showed little imagination, staging a frontal assault on the Renegades’ line that they repulsed with ease. Counterattacking on a broad front despite their smaller numbers, the Renegades forced the Capellan unit to give ground, pushing them almost a kilometer further from the city before disengaging. The second CCAF assault was more cautious, a series of probes intended to identify weak spots in the Andurien line. Some of these were turned away violently, while other probes were allowed to overextend themselves before being crushed, and yet more were allowed to find “weak spots” that were subsequently reinforced (to the Guards’ surprise) when they returned to exploit them.
Renegade flanking attacks kept the Guards off-balance while fake withdrawals lured Guards formations into killing zones. When the Renegades broke contact with the CCAF unit late on 14 March, the Capellan commander assumed it was another trick. Only when the Renegades’ DropShips began to boost for orbit, their drive trails visible even to the Guards two-dozen kilometers away, did he realize that the trick was their escape.
- System Name: Hexare
- Coordinates: 31.30, -235.24
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