Operation ICE STORM (novel)

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Operation ICE STORM
Product information
Type Novella (two parts)
Author Jason Schmetzer
Pages 78 (part I)
97 (part II)
Cover artwork  ?
Publication information
Publisher Catalyst Game Labs
Product code E-CAT35NV02 (part I)
E-CAT35NV04 (part II)
First published 15 February 2012 (part I)
1 August 2012 (part II)
MSRP 2.99 US $ per part
Content
Era Clan Invasion era (part I)
Jihad era (part II)
Timeline 13 June-3 October 3071 (part I)
2 October 3071-12 May 3072
Series Blitzkrieg (fiction)

Operation ICE STORM is a two-part story by Jason Schmetzer that follows the exploits of Clan Ice Hellion saKhan Connor Rood during the increasingly desperate Operation ICE STORM which overextended his Clan to the breaking point.

The first part (subtitled The Frost Advances) was put up for sale through BattleShop in EPUB and MOBI (Amazon Kindle) format with the opening of the new Blitzkrieg fiction format by Catalyst Game Labs. It was also published via BattleCorps on 15 February 2012; like all BattleCorps publication, this was a PDF file offered for download free of cost to subscribers.

The second part (subtitled The Winds of Spring) was published as a PDF via BattleCorps on 1 August 2012 and as EPUB on 23 August 2012, in the same fashion as part I.

Teaser text[edit]

Part I on BattleCorps[edit]

Khan Connor Rood of the Ice Hellions knows his Clan is taking a desperate risk. Victory over the Jade Falcons will give the Hellions a place in the Inner Sphere, new worlds to conquer and exploit. It will place them among those rarified Clans who are not trapped in the distant Clan homeworlds. It is a bold plan. It could easily fail.

Part I as EPUB on BattleShop[edit]

It is 3071, and holy Jihad rages in the Inner Sphere. Safe on worlds claimed two decades earlier, Clan Jade Falcon watches its enemies tear themselves apart. But a new threat is bearing down on the Falcons. Clan Ice Hellion, another of Kerensky's Clans, has traveled the winding Exodus Road to attack its warrior brethren--for while the Clans hunger to conquer the Inner Sphere, they are warriors--and they have little qualm warring amongst themselves for advantage.

Khan Connor Rood of the Ice Hellions knows his Clan is taking a desperate risk. Victory over the Jade Falcons will give the Hellions a place in the Inner Sphere, new worlds to conquer and exploit. It will place them among those rarified Clans who are not trapped in the distant Clan homeworlds. It is a bold plan.

It could easily fail.

For the Jade Falcons have been warned of the Ice Hellions' approach, and powerful and veteran Jade Falcon BattleMechs are turning to meet them. Can Rood and his Hellions defeat the forewarned Falcons? With Jihad raging in front of them and genocidal wars of reaving consuming the Clan homeworlds behind them, can the Hellions survive?

Read The Frost Advances, Part One of the two-part Operation: ICE STORM saga now, and find out.

Part II on BattleCorps[edit]

As Connor Rood and his Ice Hellions fight to survive in the Jade Falcon Occupation Zone, it seems more and more failures turn against them. Will they be able to escape?

Part II as EPUB on BattleShop[edit]

It is 3071, and holy Jihad rages in the Inner Sphere. Safe on worlds claimed two decades earlier, Clan Jade Falcon watches its enemies tear themselves apart. But a new threat is bearing down on the Falcons. Clan Ice Hellion, another of Kerensky's Clans, has traveled the winding Exodus Road to attack its warrior brethren--for while the Clans hunger to conquer the Inner Sphere, they are warriors--and they have little qualm warring amongst themselves for advantage.

Khan Connor Rood of the Ice Hellions knows his Clan is taking a desperate risk. Victory over the Jade Falcons will give the Hellions a place in the Inner Sphere, new worlds to conquer and exploit. It will place them among those rarified Clans who are not trapped in the distant Clan homeworlds. It is a bold plan.

It has failed.

The battle-proven Jade Falcon Clusters have shattered the Ice Hellion assault. The worlds the Hellions captured are being lost to the Falcon reconquest, and Hellion MechWarriors are dying in the loss. Khan Connor Rood knows he must find a way to save what is left of his Clan. He knows he has to bring the Falcons to one final, decisive battle and earn a chance at escape. But the legacy of Khan Raina Montose's bad decisions linger... and the circling Jade Falcon forces have been joined by the hungry herds of the Hell's Horses Clan. Is Rood's desperate plan to rescue the Hellions he has left doomed to fail?

Read The Winds of Spring, Part Two of the two-part Operation: ICE STORM saga now, and find out.

Plot summary[edit]

Part I: The Frost Advances[edit]

Clan Ice Hellion has arrived in the Clan Jade Falcon occupation zone and begun conquering worlds. Although not convinced of his Khan's strategy, saKhan Connor Rood and his Lithe Kill Keshik carry through with their assigned target worlds. Aboard the Overlord-C-class DropShip Rapacious Rood bids for the attack on Bone Norman, defended by a Provisional Garrison Cluster under Star Colonel Idris who—following his orders—surprises the attackers by declaring the entire Hapsburg continent the Circle and then going to ground with his forces, enforcing a drawn-out campaign of several weeks to flush the defenders out and thus tying up the Ice Hellion forces while Jade Falcon forces elsewhere are redeploying. When Rood's Ice Hellions have finally cornered the Jade Falcon forces, both sides spring a trap and bring additional forces into the fight, thus breaking zellbrigen. The Ice Hellions prevail, but Connor Rood, impressed by Idris' performance, makes him his bondsman after the battle.

Rood is wary, having learned that the Jade Falcons knew the Ice Hellions were coming. However, instead of reinforcing the garrison of newly-captured Bone Norman as requested by Rood, Khan Raina Montose orders his forces to move on.

The rushed Hellion offensive stalls by August 3071. Khan Montose, somewhat crazed and on painkillers, is facing unexpectedly heavy resistance on Evciler and fights a trial to break the deadlock. In this trial, she flees in the face of overwhelming odds (losing her honor); in the ensuing free-for-all, the Hellion forces prevail but Montose has lost the respect of many of her highest-ranking officers including Vandal Hildenrath and Patricia Rood.

On 19 September 3071 Delta Galaxy (Clan Ice Hellion) under Galaxy Commander Damon Hawkins arrives in the Steelton system to conquer the heavily industrialized and valuable world, but unexpectedly find a satellite announcing it to be under Clan Hell's Horses control instead of the Jade Falcons. Over the concerns of Star Colonel Tanda Ho Jang, Hawkins decides to ignore the Ice Hellion/Hell's Horses quiet alliance and conquer the world anyway, reasoning that conquest is the Clan way and that the Horses have abrogated the agreement already by seizing Steelton from the Jade Falcons in the first place when they were supposed to attack Clan Wolf-held worlds. Connor Rood is meanwhile ordered to take Lackhove and Last Chance against his better judgement, and is increasingly critical of Khan Montose in his private talks with Idris to the point of announcing he will challenge her for the position of Khan after the offensive.

On 29th September 3071, Clan Jade Falcon's Whirlwind-class WarShip Emerald Tornado chances upon a very large Ice Hellion supply convoy in the Falcon's Beacon system in the Deep Periphery, forcing the helpless JumpShips to surrender. This effectively cuts off the Ice Hellion forces in the Inner Sphere from their supplies. News of the debacle reach Connor Rood while he is preparing to move to Lackhove. Knowing his entire Clan is at stake now, Rood releases Idris from bondsman status and elevates him to MechWarrior status. Then he orders his troops to proceed to Lackhove, with victory their only option.

Part II: The Winds of Spring[edit]

Without supplies, Connor Rood focuses his efforts on conserving men, material and expendables. On conquered worlds, all surviving Jade Falcon warriors are taken bondsman and Idris, now tested up to Star Captain and piloting a Marauder IIC, is informed that the Jade Falcon bondsmen will not be trained in Ice Hellion tactics. Expecting Clan Hell's Horses to lash out against the Ice Hellions shortly in retaliation for Steelton, Rood believes that it is more efficient to supply them with heavier 'Mechs straight from captured Jade Falcon factories (such as Jupiters) and use them as garrison troops, without wasting time and effort to retrain them and retool the factories. He also realizes that strict adherence to zellbrigen with its minimal forces and duels is the only way for his small and poorly-supplied forces to possibly prevail in the offensive against the Jade Falcons and the defensive against the Hell's Horses.

Wotan is still not pacified. The Jade Falcons' 78th Provisional Garrison Cluster is evading the Ice Hellion forces, sallying forth from the city of Borealtown to fight trials but staying out of their reach. Galaxy Commander Philippe Lienet of Zeta Galaxy, at odds with his Clan Watch officer who hails from the Inner Sphere, is eventually provoked into ordering aerospace fighters to raze Borealtown on 6 October 3071. As a result, Connor Rood learns from an inbound Jade Falcon fleet under Jade Falcon saKhan Samantha Clees and her Beta Galaxy that the Ice Hellions have been declared dezgra for their actions on Evciler and Wotan. He orders a mass retreat of his forces to Toland in an attempt to evade the Jade Falcon wrath and meets Clees' forces in the field on Lackhove, Rood pilots a Linebacker that Idris had selected for him some time ago, matching the speed of Rood's old Kit Fox with better armor and armament. In the face of a Jade Falcon onslaught involving Arrow IV artillery, they fight a delaying action sacrificing the Lithe Kill Keshik and narrowly escape aboard their DropShip towards a pre-arranged pirate jump point.

Star Captain Vandal Hildenrath is put in command of the newly formed 401st Striker Trinary and sent to conquer Derf by Khan Montose, apparently to get rid of the last living warrior who witnessed her shameful conduct on Evciler. Around a month later, on 28 January, Vandal Hildenrath reports to Connor Rood aboard the Rapacious. The late Patricia Rood had informed Connor Rood of the events on Evciler and told him to watch Vandal Hildenrath who, as it turns out, after winning Derf in combat lost it again to the surviving Jade Falcon defenders in a game of chess, then moved to meet with saKhan Rood because her route to Khan Montose's Alpha Galaxy at Vantaa was compromised. SaKhan Rood also learns that Khan Montose had issued orders negating his own orders to take any and all Jade Falcon warriors as bondsmen to bolster the weak Ice Hellion forces.

With his own task force separated from Khan Montose by Clan Jade Falcon and Clan Hell's Horses forces, Connor Rood sends out a general message to "every Ice Hellion unit receiving this message" ordering them to retreat to the Dark Nebula in an attempt to save as much of his doomed Clan as possible. He also orders Ephraim Cage, his trusted DropShip captain, to assume command of the Potemkin-class troop cruiser Coterie from Star Admiral Venice Harbin, by trial and by killing her if required.

The Clan Ice Hellion remnant under saKhan Connor Rood has withdrawn to Camelot Command which they have reactivated when an enemy warfleet arrives on 3 March 3072. They wait for two days—apparently for reinforcements—and, after new vessels have jumped in, proceed to attack Camelot Command. Two Ice Hellion WarShips, the damaged Lola III-class Cold Hunter and the Fredasa-class Whelp, are ordered on a suicidal attack run to take out as many 'Mech carriers as possible, ignoring fighters and assault DropShips. Still, an impressive combined Jade Falcon/Hell's Horses fleet arrives at Camelot Command and destroys every single last Ice Hellion aerospace fighter, while the Coterie arrives in-system at the opposite jump point, too far away to take part in the battle. When they finally land on the planetoid, Jade Falcon Khan Samantha Clees offers Rood and his Ice Hellion remnant hegira on 6 March 3072. In an argument with Hell's Horses Galaxy Commander Troy DelVillar she reasoned that the forces on Camelot Command are the battle-hardened elite who survived until now. To conserve her own forces in view of the Jihad raging in the Inner Sphere, Clees is content to allow the Ice Hellion remnant to leave for the homeworlds on the Coterie, assuming that stress and battle damage will wear them down enough to spell the end of the Clan, without having to fight them here.

Rood's forces rendezvous with the remains of Khan Montose's forces in the uninhabited star system NGC-99382 in the Deep Periphery on 11th May 3072. He learns from a shell-shocked Star Colonel Tanda Ho Jang - who is suffering from radiation poisoning - that the attack on Vantaa was such a horrible debacle that only a small fraction of the Ice Hellion forces survived. Khan Montose died, meaning saKhan Connor Rood is now Khan. He orders the Coterie to set course for Hector, but on on the next day he learns of the chaos in the homeworlds—the Ice Hellions may not even have a home to return to anymore. Connor Rood observes that they need to draw up plans for their future. He hands a noteputer to Idris and tells him to read the file labeled "Goliath Scorpion" first...

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