|Author||Steven Mohan Jr.|
|First published||18 January 2008|
|Era||Clan Invasion era|
|Timeline||22 March 3061|
|“||In a conflict where enemies barely know each other, old assumptions come to light and are broken across the mantle of reality. New assumptions must be made, assumptions based on the hard truths of the moment.||”|
In the Sanderson Tar Pits on Milos in the St. Ives Compact, Ensign Ivanka Difova from the Magistracy of Canopus leads an infantry ambush that downs an enemy UrbanMech and they take MechWarrior Hu Shaoming captive. However, before they can salvage the 'Mech another enemy 'Mech appears. The infantrymen attempt another ambush but an SRM misfires, revealing the attackers' position. Difova, who was marching off the captured MechWarrior, and two troopers accompanying her manage to reach the Charter Nature Preserve. Shaoming manages to overpower his guards and activate a locator beacon that he had hidden on his body. Although Difova has him at gunpoint, Shaoming informs her that a combat SAR team will rescue him shortly. Difova could save her two mortally wounded comrades by rescuing them from the slope they fell down and administering immediate medical attention, but it would give Shaoming the time he needs to escape.
When Shaoming tries to convince her that he is too low-ranking to be of much use and that the troopers will die for nothing, and that the Capellan Confederation is a very unfitting ally for the Magistracy unlike the St. Ives Compact who are a similarly small and freedom-loving nation, Difova rebuffs him with the notion that the Magistracy is indeed a small nation, but has learned to sell itself to survive, and needs the strong ally that is the Capellan Confederation. She marches Shaoming off.
- Ivanka Difova
- Hu Shaoming