A Splinter of Hope
|A Splinter of Hope|
|Author||Philip A. Lee|
|Publisher||Catalyst Game Labs|
|First published||1 August 2018|
|Era||Dark Age era|
|Timeline||3 September 3147 - 30 August 3148|
This novella technically first appeared in print in the A Splinter of Hope + The Anvil omnibus edition. It is also available as a standalone electronic product.
|“|| The Federated Suns Stands at the Edge of a precipice....
Violent expansion of the Capellan Confederation and the Draconis Combine has cost recently crowned First Prince Julian Davion more than just countless strategic worlds. The war's toll claimed a mentor and close friend, and righteous vengeance burns bright.
To rally his people and preserve the future of the Federated Suns, Julian funnels the fires of justice into an ambitious yet risky campaign to retake vital systems: New Syrtis, the lost capital of the Capellan March. Success would dislodge an ancient enemy from their strategic foothold in the Suns space, but failure may cost Julian the nation he inherited.
However, the Capellan people have fought dearly for their prize and will do anything in their power to hold it. Will Julian's gamble save the very soul of the Federated Suns, or is the invasion of New Syrtis doomed before it ever begins?
Julian Davion decides that to save his beleagured nation, he needs to break the truce he bargained with the Capellan Confederation and retake New Syrtis, leading the New Syrtis trust of the campaign personally. To this end he hires numerous mercenary units including Tally's Talons whose contract, which is about to run out, he personally re-negotiates with unit CO Major Tallula "Tally" Zheng and her XO, Captain Malerie "Mal" Faulkner.
The three-pronged Davion offensive, Operation CERBERUS, hits Taygeta on 23 November 3147 and threatens to overrun the defending Dynasty Guard regiment under Sang-shao Eliza Zhao. The elite unit is fighting back, but Zhao receives orders from the Chancellor himself to withdraw to New Syrtis—he has divined the attackers' ultimate goal.
CERBERUS' Task Force Styx jumps into the New Syrtis system on 4 December, half (including Julian Davion aboard his DropShip Kingsman) at the lunar L2 pirate jump point and the other half (including the Fortune Charlie mercenary contingent, with Tally's Talons aboard the DropShip Maxilla) at the planet's own L2 point. Both forces are engaged by Capellan defenders and suffer casualties. Tally Zheng feels that the mercenary contingent was used as bait, and in private talk with her XO doubts reports that the House troops were hit equally hard.
The hard-fought campaign culminates in the attack against The Cave, New Syrtis's underground command center. During the fighting, Tally Zheng reveals that her unit has a secret head-hunting contract with the Capellans for First Prince Julian Davion. However, her backstabbing attempt is thwarted by Mal Faulkner, who defends (and thus saves) the First Prince on instinct.
The Capellan defenders continue the fight even after the loss of The Cave, but on 21 December they make a stand in a Jihad era ruin of a city where they are crushed. Eliza Zhao is slain in battle.
By 18 July 3148 Mal Faulkner, now an AFFS Leftenant, witnesses another terror attack by Capellan guerrillas who are still active on New Syrtis. These eventually draw Julian Davion back from Remagen to New Syrtis, where he is immediately jumped by Capellan forces under a vengeful Danai Liao-Centrella (who counted Eliza Zhao among her friends). Although Mal Faulkner can save his life in battle once again (and implicitly dies herself in the process), Julian Davion is gravely wounded. He returns to forge a new truce with the Capellan Confederation, represented by Danai, on 30 August to consolidate his gains.
- Centurion (Yen-Lo-Wang)
- Sha Yu
- Templar III
- Vulture Mk IV
- Yu Huang