On the other hand, Le Blanc was then, as it is now, an “open world” that not only serves as an important trade hub but also is home to several popular alternate mercenary hiring halls (though those hiring halls have lost considerable prestige and popularity since the coming of the Clans). Sho-sa Homan Chokei brought a company onto the world disguised as a mercenary unit looking for employment, while two more companies of ’Mechs were shipped to the world disassembled as a part of a major shipment of industrial and AgroMechs.
As much of an open world as Le Blanc may have been, it was also headquarters to the Robinson DMM; though that march militia may have been spread across four worlds in forward-deployed positions, a significant force remained on Le Blanc, primarily stationed outside of Port Paix at Fort Mason. Those DMM forces represented the greatest threat to Sakade, and she knew she would have to neutralize them first.
But the Robinson DMM was not the only objective in striking Le Blanc, or even the most important. Kanrei Kurita knew he did not have enough forces available to truly threaten the Draconis March and still repel the coalition invaders. He needed help, and there was plenty available on Le Blanc in the form of unemployed mercenary forces looking for assignments. Sho-sa Chokei made initial contact with quite a few mercenary commanders in June — his company along with other elements of the Fourth Ghost were rushed to Proserpina as soon as the extent of the invasion became clear — informing Tai-sa Sakade upon her arrival which were the most “likely” candidates for what they needed.
Surprisingly enough to Sakade, negotiations with the mercenaries she approached were both cordial and easy, undoubtedly aided by the fact that she paid the mercenaries up front in cash or commodities (including Germanium). She bought the services of almost three more battalions of troops — less than she had hoped, but enough to accomplish the mission — and immediately had them dressed to look like the rest of the Third and Fourth Ghost Regiments. On 6 July, the Ghost, aided by many of the mercenaries, struck Fort Mason, taking command after a lengthy battle that put what was left of the three Robinson DMM regiments on the run.
Sakade remained on the world for most of the rest of the month before breaking the combined Ghost-mercenary regiment she led into four battalion-sized battlegroups, three fronted by a Ghost company. Sho-sa Chokei remained behind on Le Blanc with two battlegroups while Sakade led the other two deeper into the Draconis March.
Chokei still had nearly the run of the world, however. Le Blanc’s population, content to live their own lives so long as they weren’t adversely affected, did not interfere with the progress of the fight, making the DMM’s “defense” of the world even more difficult. Ultimately, it took the arrival of the Second Ceti Hussars RCT, redeployed from Robinson after that important world had been secured against possible invasion, to secure the Le Blanc.
Commodore William Kossacks, commander of the Hussars’ air group, used both his fighters and many of the RCT’s combat DropShips to aerially assault the Combine forces. After just the first day, it was obvious to Kossacks and RCT commander General Hobart Rader just how small a force Chokei had at his disposal. The Ceti Hussars attacked with all their might, both shocking most of the mercenaries with the strength of their air group and confusing them with the effectiveness of their mixed compositions. Ultimately, the great majority of the mercenaries surrendered rather than be destroyed; one company did manage to flee the world. Sho-sa Chokei’s company died to the man, however.
- System Name: Le Blanc
- Coordinates: 208.90, 18.52
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