When they returned from their most recent mission, the two commanders were met by their new Task Force Commander, Leutnant Colonel Oâ€™Rielly, who had been recently reassigned to combat duty from the Administrative Section. Leutnant Colonel O'Rielly explained their new mission â€” a deep penetration raid into Marik space. Marik opposition was expected to be light: a few battalions of locally raised militia, three Planetlifters and a regiment of jump infantry that was refitting.
Cassion and Reynoldsâ€™s battle plan was based on their two yearsâ€™ of experience with raiding Marik holdings. Autumn Wind possessed no space defense force or conventional fighters, so the Blood would land directly on the planet near the first industrial complex. The Commandos would disembark and destroy the complex with fire support from the Blood. The â€™Mech company would then re-embark on the DropShip. A suborbital flight would take the Blood to the next complex, and so on down the line.
Much to the Hauptmannâ€™s shock, Leutnant Colonel Oâ€™Rielly rejected the plan and laid out his own. Each of the Commando lances would drop from space to land 20 kilometers away from their assigned complexes, then reorganize themselves after the drop. The lance would then move to destroy the complexes. Afterward, they would rendezvous at a central point for pickup by the DropShip. This strategy, Oâ€™Rielly explained, would not allow the Marik commander to concentrate his forces in a timely manner and would allow the DropShip to land and give support to any lance that got into trouble. Cassion and Reynolds protested this new plan vigorously, but Oâ€™Rielly was adamant. When he threatened them with summary court-martial, they were forced to relent.
Colonel Joseph Yetti was the commander of the 751st Jump Regiment and was assigned temporary control of the military defenses of Autumn Wind. When informed of the Steiner force moving toward the planet, he quickly mustered the 751st, loaded them onto Planetlifters, and moved the regiment to an assembly area equidistant from the four complexes. When the Steiner drop began, Yetti loaded the 751st and hit the recon lance just as they started to move from their drop zone.
The other three lances continued their advance on the other complexes, but the local militia slowed them down. The Blood was ordered to land and support the recon lance. By the time it made planetfall, the lance had been destroyed and its attackers had vanished. Even as the Blood landed, the 751st was hitting the Commandosâ€™ Fire Lance. The Blood lifted again to support the stricken lance, but to no avail. They arrived too late.
Two hours later, Cassionâ€™s lance had been able to brush aside the defending militia and move to within sight of its assigned complex. At that moment, two Planetlifters flew overhead, and two battalions of the 751st were floating down toward them. Cassion could take no more. He ordered his lance to break off and called in the Blood to pick them up at a clearing ten kilometers to the north.
Yetti intercepted that signal and sent his final battalion in on the remaining Planetlifter to secure the landing zone. As the Blood started its final approach, it was met by a barrage of missiles. One lucky hit later, the Blood was a cripple on the ground. The command lance was able to fight its way clear to the DropShip, but there was no way off the planet. Late that afternoon, Cassionâ€™s Commandos and the DropShip Bolanâ€™s Blood surrendered to Colonel Yetti and the battered 751st Jump Regiment.
- System Name: Autumn Wind
- Coordinates: -169.00, -88.15
System Owner Eras:
System Occupation Dates:
|2569-08-15||Free Worlds League|
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