Operation Higashikuni and Operation Kabutomushi were Chandrasekhar Kurita's preparation for his attack against the Ruins of Gabriel after he had discovered the hitherto secret Word of Blake asteroid base in the Odessa system. The same mission was previously referred to as Operation ANGEL REQUIEM in other sources, including references by Kurita's right-hand man Peter Abdulsattah himself.
Angel Requiem may have been the name for the Word of Blake operation, namely their assault on Kurita's gathering forces on Arcturus, and this codename being used by Peter Abdulsattah may have been an error/oversight on behalf of Catalyst Game Labs (see Notes below).
The Operation Higashikuni event was played out as a scenario at GenCon 2007 under Catalyst Game Labs supervision (by what had previously been the FanPro Commandos), with the result declared to be fully canonical for the BattleTech universe. The same was true for the follow-up event, Operation Kabutomushi, in 2008. However, the latter scenario, a naval battle for the secret Ruins of Gabriel shipyard, unexpectedly ended in a victory for the Word of Blake defenders, upsetting CGL's projected Jihad timeline. A second, successful attack was written into BattleTech fiction to put the timeline back on track. Subsequent events were carefully selected so that the outcome would not impact the greater picture.
2007 GenCon Event
To set up the GenCon event, players received a package of files including an 8-page excerpt of the treatise on The Hidden from the Jihad Conspiracies sourcebook, "Meeting Notes" from Peter Abdulsattah on the Consortium Emergency Board Meeting, under the auspices of Hachiman Taro Electronics and dated 12.03.71, as reported to Chanrasekhar Kurita (with a personal entry by Kurita himself attached), and annotated force briefs on the mercenary units involved in the operation.
The files were made available for free download via the CGL website. The blurb going with the download link read:
|“|| Operation HIGASHIKUNI
Prior to launching Operation ANGEL REQUIEM to attack the Word of Blake’s Gabriel outpost, Chandrasekhar Kurita and his people gathered information on the mercenary commands who would participate in the assault. These files, along with Hachiman Taro corporate notes and information on the Word’s Hidden Worlds, were released to the public during GenCon 2009.
- see also Turning Points: Arcturus for details
Through the infamous Bounty Hunter, Chandrasekhar Kurita had obtained Victoria Parrdeau's journal, which held many secrets that ComStar and the Word of Blake would prefer be left alone, including information on the five Hidden Worlds. In particular, Kurita was able to identify the Odessa system as the location of the "Ruins of Gabriel".
However, the Word of Blake made recovering the journal a high priority.
Kurita assembled his mercenary coalition on Arcturus in preparation for a strike against Gabriel. Intent on killing Kurita and reclaiming the journal, a strong Word of Blake invasion force spearheaded by the 40th Shadow Division attacked Kurita's forces on 11 May 3073. The attack met stiff resistance. Chandrasekhar Kurita was spirited off-world, and the Bounty Hunter also survived the onslaught. Having failed their mission, the Word of Blake forces withdrew on or shortly after 15 May.
It was later revealed that the Star Seeds mercenary unit in Kurita's employ had two moles among their ranks who had apparently betrayed Operation Higashikuni to the Word of Blake.
Following the attack on Arcurus that had dealt considerable damage and pushed their ground forces to the brink of annihilation, the mercenary coalition still set out to attack the Odessa system (the suspected location of Gabriel) with naval support from the Lyran Alliance and Clan Wolf-in-Exile, hoping to draw out the Word of Blake defenders. The attack on 5 January 3074 indeed succeeded in revealing the location of the elusive Ruins of Gabriel, a naval base built into an ice moon or asteroid near Odessa IV, a gas giant at the extreme edge of the system.
However, after the Arcturus battle the Word of Blake had prepared for the fall of Gabriel. By the time of the attack, the base had been evacuated and stripped down, and the only remaining WarShip—a partially operable Naga—was destroyed in the fighting. The defenders managed to beat back the mercenary coalition, but nevertheless scuttled the base afterwards, poisoned the inhabited planet of Odessa with a bioweapon, and retreated.
- Canonical source material is inconsistent on the naming of the operations, suggesting the names Higashikuni and Angel Requiem were mixed up by the authors/publishers at some point. A "Jihad Master Timeline" document circulated among CGL authors and factcheckers refers to Operation: Angel Requiem as (only) the attack against Arcturus that was conducted by the Word of Blake's 40th Shadow Division, thus marking it a Word of Blake operation (and not Chandrasekhar Kurita's, whose opposing operation would have been Operation: Higashikuni). The 2008 worldwide event was named Operation Kabutomushi.
- Jihad Hot Spots 3076, p. 13
- Jihad Hot Spots 3076, p. 38 (Timeline)