|Type||Short story (2 parts)|
|First published|| 05 October 2009 (Part I)|
09 October 2009 (Part II)
|Era||Succession Wars era|
|Timeline||12 November 3013-22 June 3020|
Irreplaceable, by Jason Hansa, was published online on BattleCorps in two parts on 05 and 09 October 2009, respectively. It was also later published in print as a single story in the 2016 BattleCorps anthology Front Lines.
Set around the Battle of Halstead Station, it gives insights into what drove Hanse Davion, later known as the "Victor of Halstead Station", when he had just inherited the throne of the Federated Suns from his brother Ian and how bitter the victory on Halstead Station was for him, setting the stage for the later evolution of his character.
|“||The Battle of Halstead Station was one of the defining incidents of Prince Hanse Davion's rule in many ways... but none more important than personally.||”|
- Part I
On 12th November 3013, headstrong Major Dana Stephenson of the 34th Avalon Hussars, freshly returned from an uneventful six-month pirate hunting mission near the Outworlds Alliance, tries to throw a vaguely familiar man wearing no rank insignia out of the gym (which is reserved for majors and above) on Addicks. Amused, the man does not reveal his rank or identity but agrees to meet her at the upcoming staff conference where an important operation is to be planned. Dana is in for a surprise when the man turns out to be none other than First Prince Hanse Davion himself.
While preparations are made on Addicks for a major attack of three Federated Suns regiments against the Draconis Combine world of Halstead Station to secure the Star League library that House Kurita is thought to have unearthed there, Hanse and Dana begin to date and start a relationship. Dana's friend Elaine Masters begins dating Hanse's friend Ardan Sortek. During a Christmas ball on 23th December 3013, Hanse proposes to Dana and presents her with an engagement ring for Christmas.
- Part II
The assault on Halstead Station begins on 3rd January 3014. The attackers only expected the 9th Dieron Regulars to defend the world, but unfortunately the 2nd Proserpina Hussars regiment is also present and engages the attacking 10th Deneb Light Cavalry and 34th Avalon Hussars in a running battle in the underground tunnels and caverns that make up the inhabited part of Halstead Station. The Davion Heavy Guards meanwhile manage to secure the depot from the 9th Dieron Regulars.
The stronger-than-anticipated enemy aerospace power is becoming a problem for the Federated Suns forces as their DropShips cannot safely land to pick them up again. Two weeks into the fight, three extraction attempts have already failed. On day 19, the Davion forces attempt to trick the defenders but run afoul of the 2nd Sword of Light regiment - Takashi Kurita has personally arrived on Halstead Station. The Federated Suns lose almost two battalions of 'Mechs in the fight and Major Elaine Masters is gravely wounded, losing an arm. Worse, they are running out of ammunition. Luckily, reinforcements under Marshal Yvonne Davion are inbound and may yet allow for a safe extraction if the Davion forces can hold out long enough.
The Davion staff decides to split their forces. A battalion-sized BattleMech force, led by Dana who is field-promoted to Colonel, is to capture an ammunition factory to the east together with ammunition-dependant tanks which are to be rearmed at the factory, while the remainder of the 'Mechs and tanks with energy weapons move directly to the landing zone of the expected reinforcements to secure it; Dana's force, replenished on ammunition, is to link up with them there.
Both forces are delayed and attacked. At the intended pickup site the battle degrades into a last stand against the onrushing defenders on 30th February 3014. Dana's forces are cut off and vanquished. Her Enforcer is downed in full view of Hanse's BattleMaster and an Awesome steps on the cockpit, killing Dana. Only the belated arrival of friendly DropShips saves the day for the remaining Davion forces.
Many years later, on 22nd June 3020, Hanse still has a small figurine of himself and Dana dancing in his office. Crafted from ferroglass remains from Dana's cockpit, it was modeled after a holographic image that Ran Felsner took right after when Hanse proposed to Dana, and contains the engagement ring in the base. Hanse is discussing the combat performance of the only recently re-built 34th Avalon Hussars (now under Major Dzuiba, a survivor of Halstead Station where most of the command staff was killed or injured) with Ardan, whose relationship with Elaine Masters has just failed, and decides to roll the flags of the 34th and 36th Avalon Hussars, combining them into the 42nd to give them a new start with less "history". The melancholic scene is interrupted by Olivia Fenlon, who reports the news that Katrina Steiner of the Lyran Commonwealth has issued a peace proposal...
- First Prince Hanse Davion
- Captain (later Major) Cassandra Dzuiba
- Major General Ran Felsner
- Major Elaine Masters
- Captain Ardan Sortek
- Major Dana Stephenson
- 1st New Ivaarsen Chasseurs (mentioned)
- 10th Deneb Light Cavalry
- 17th Avalon Hussars (volunteer company - Prince's security detachment)
- 34th Avalon Hussars
- Addicks DMM
- Davion Heavy Guards (mentioned)