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Old December 7th, 2011, 12:37 AM
LeperColony LeperColony is offline
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Default An Old Alternate MT Scenario

Years ago on the TML it was briefly the fashion to post your own MT and post-MT scenario detailing how things could have happened. I remember reading Larsen Whipsnade's Wounded Colossus and being inspired to copy it. Unfortunately I never finished it, but here's what I had. It might be amusing to read.

Guys, this is my take on the Rebellion, all the way to the Collapse. There are two versions, one covers an era where Strephon lives, and the other where, well, he doesn’t. Special thanks to Larsen Whipsnade, Bruce Johnson, and Rupert Boleyn. Maybe someone on the list can come up with a snappy name for the thread, like Wounded Colossus or something. I’ll start with the line that has Strephon survive.

132-1116 Sees the assassination attempt by Dulinor. After the Archduke has left, Ilelish Imperial Guard units barricade themselves in the palace. Lucan, seizing his opportunity, murders Varian. Windhook flees off world. Chaos spreads as Household Calvary and Artillery units begin deployment around the palace. Jump-6 couriers depart for the Spinward Marches, Vland, Antares, and Terra. Shortly thereafter, travel is suspended to and from Capital.

133-1116 Tranian, Archduke of Gateway, is summoned to the Imperial Command Reservation. The ICR is an extensive underground facility located beneath the floating palace. Most of the complex is used to store Household Calvary and Artillery vehicles, but a secret partition holds the cloning banks. Upon his arrival, Tranian is briefed by Strephon’s Moot liaison, Baron Mei Jin. Moot liaison had been a dead office for centuries, and by 1116 had devolved to merely another title on a planet full of them. However, Mei was vested with near unlimited clearance, allowing him access to a special Imperial Warrant stored in the ICR, to be used only in circumstances of Premature Succession, the euphemism for public clone deaths. Faced with a legitimate Imperial Warrant, a taped holovid of Strephon explaining the existence of the clones and expecting loyalty from his true nobles, and extra emperors, Mei was able to convince Tranian that the real emperor remained alive and well. Securing the Archduke’s cooperation, one of the clones is removed from stasis.

134-1116 The throne room is stormed by Imperial Guards, where the body of Strephon is secreted away during the fighting by Sylean Rangers under strict orders from Tranian. Engagements continue in other parts of the palace, but loyalist forces have the situation pretty much under control. Meanwhile the living clone is surgically altered with a wound consistent with that suffered by the first clone, severe but survivable.

135-1116 The palace is secured, and order has been restored on the planet. Travel is resumed to and from Capital. Strephon appears on the media outlets, proclaiming Dulinor a traitor. Jump-6 couriers are dispatched once again. Lucan is held under suspicion of murder, pending further investigation.

Strephon learns about “his” assassination on 181-1116. Stunned by the news, his advisors plot a course for Usdiki. However, by 188-1116 Strephon has regained composure and orders the ship to Capital, arriving by 235-1116. Once back on scene, he begins the marshalling of fleet resources. Core, Forenast, Diaspora, and Massila sector fleets are ordered to the trailing subsectors of Zarushagar. Strephon, overruling his advisors, travels at the head of Core Fleet. With Lucan arrested for murder and Tranian set to return to his territory, Margaret is summoned to Capital. As Strephon’s fleet proceeds towards Ilelish, mobilization orders for 8 fleets from Vland, Lishun, and Antares arrive. Brzk is quick to respond, but Ishuggi vacillates, with the consequence that the three detachments arrive at Depot/Zarushagar, the Imperial rendezvous point, at the same time, near the end of 1117.

Dulinor, arriving at his residence on 244-1116, has long prepared for this day. Ilelish fleet, as well as several fleets from Gushemege, Zarushagar, and Dagudashaag declare for the rebel Archduke. Dulinor has already placed his men in all the critical positions in Ilelish sector, and had planned to consolidate his holdings in rimward Gushmege, before setting out against whoever it was that held Capital. When, late in 1116, he learned of Strephon’s survival, everything changed. He had been counting on chaos and infighting, not a strong and unified response. The campaign to take Capital was placed on hold, his fleets instead settling into defensive positions. It was hoped that perhaps the capture of Ilelish could be made so costly that the Emperor would be willing to come to favorable terms.

On the Solomani Rim, the news of the Emperor’s death was received with glee. Rioting broke out on Terra and across the Rim. The news reaches Home on 001-1117, setting into motion the planned invasion of the Imperium. As news continued to filter in, the Solomani command decided to continue despite Strephon’s survival. There were some that feared an external threat might take precedence over the domestic dispute, but the plan continued nonetheless. By late 1117, Solomani fleets had struck into the Solomani Rim, Old Expanses, and Daibei. The fighting continues along the lines, with mixed results. The Solomani have the most success in the Old Expanses, where incompetence and even treason among the sector nobility offset the Imperial fleet strength. By mid 1118, the 4 rimward subsectors have completely surrendered. Constantly receiving conflicting orders, the Old Expanses fleet finds itself fighting individually rather than as a collective unit.

Norris, learning of Strephon’s assassination on 328-1116, takes the rank of Archduke the next day. When, on 331-1116, it becomes known that Strephon has survived, Norris sends a delegation to Capital explaining his action. Meanwhile, the Zhodani react to Norris’ elevation with dismay. It is thought that creating a clearer chain of command among the local nobility increases the threat they present. And, the Joes still recall Norris’ performance during the Fifth Frontier War. Rather than suffer this threat, the Zhodani prepare to embark upon another Frontier War, in the hopes of catching the Imperium off balance. However, the Consulate Navy had still not fully recovered from the last war. So, rather than begin with an attack on the Imperium itself, the Zhodani helped the Sword Worlds begin a campaign to recover the Border Worlds, as well as an attack on the Darrians. By mid 1118, Consulate backed Sword Worlds forces managed to overrun the Border Worlds, and had made slow inroads on the Darrians. When Imperial forces finally stirred themselves to reestablish the Border Worlds, Zhodani and Vargr ships struck the border.
By the end of 1117/ early 1118, Strephon has assembled his fleet at Depot/Zarushagar. It is here he becomes aware of the attacks on the Solomani Rim and the Spinward Marches. The loyal fleet holds numerical superiority over the defenders, so the Emperor decides to crush Dulinor first. Once Ilelish has been secured, the combined fleet will move out to reinforce the Domain of Sol. Because the fleet assets were drawn from insulated sectors, it is believed that each front will remain relatively stable until the usurper can be dealt with. Nevertheless, the two foreign invaders do force the Imperial fleet to change their strategies. Rather than a slow, practiced campaign similar to the first Ilelish revolt, the need for the ships on the frontiers convinces the Emperor to wage a more vigorous offensive. Spinward Zarushagar and trailing Ilelish become the primary battlefields in 1118/1119.
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