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In the last years of Stephen Liao's Chancellorship, rumors began to spread that the Terran Hegemony had developed a radically advanced new battle machine: the BattleMech. At first skeptical, the Capellan's intelligence agency the Maskirovka eventually discovered in 2456 that the Lyran Commonwealth had captured technical specifications during a raid on Hesperus II the year before, with then Chancellor Jasmine Liao ordering the organization to obtain the technology no matter the cost.
The Maskirovka got its chance in 2462 when the Free Worlds League secured BattleMech technology and blueprints via defecting technicians from a 'Mech factory on the Lyran Commonwealth world of Alarion. The League quickly began their own top-secret project to reverse engineer and produce their own BattleMech designs, unaware that the Maskirovka had succeeded in compromising the integrity of a high level technician on the project.
However, the Maskirovka main cell on Xanthe III was taken out by counterinsurgency forces. With an agent of House Marik's Inspectorate hot on their heels, the Maskirovka team working on obtaining the blueprints had to rush their operation which compromised their own security. They succeeded in obtaining the blueprints but had to kill the tech in the process, which in turn led to a lockdown of Xanthe and a vicious hunt for the team. Over a series of incidents, seven of the eight people on the Maskirovka team were killed, as were several members of the Free Worlds League's special forces branch. The sole surviving Capellan deep cover agent managed to bribe his way out of League territory using the final payment, carrying with him incomplete but sufficient details to allow the Capellan Confederation to begin its own 'Mech development program.
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 35, "Xanthe dossier"
- House Marik (The Free Worlds League), p. 16
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 21