|First published||10 April 2009|
|Era||Succession Wars era|
|Timeline||2 January 2785|
|“||It's the last stop for the Exodus before they disappear into the deep periphery. But what they find on their supply mission is the last thing anyone would have expected.||”|
Two months into the Exodus, the SLDF fleet has stopped at the periphery world of Gutara V (the deepest charted Star League-era colony) to gather additional supplies. Captain Renee Wen leads the Steelnecks Company (of the 26th Royal BattleMech Division) and an infantry battalion on a patrol through the Segeda forest, and stumbles across a hidden Rim Worlds Republic bunker—Fort Numantia.
RWR guerillas attack the patrol, battering the SLDF troops from concealed emplacements. The SLDF troops press the attack and, after an hour of fighting against RWR infantry, penetrate to the heart of the complex and capture its commander, Major Marcus Perry. Perry tells Wen straight out that his mission at Fort Numantia is to train new soldiers for the purpose of restoring the Rim Worlds Republic. He argues that Wen is just like him, at heart, and that the list of RWR atrocities during the war can be matched by a list of Star League offenses during the oppression of the periphery states.
The Steelnecks debate what to do with the prisoners. Wen advocates bringing them along with the Exodus fleet to be "rehabilitated" through labor. Her XO, Juarez, advises taking Fort Numantia's supplies and leaving the Rimmers behind. Infantry battalion CO Granston wants to just shoot them and be done with it.
Surveying the fort's storehouses, they find a vast cache of infantry weapons, as well as data on the locations of numerous other RWR storage depots throughout the periphery and the Terran Hegemony. They conclude that Stefan Amaris had begun to lay the groundwork for a posthumous revenge attack, and worry what this means for those they'll be leaving behind. (Wen has family in the Hegemony.)
On the way back to their LZ with a convoy of seized supplies, they are attacked by a 'Mech company (probably the Gutara Academy training cadre), including a Shadow Hawk, a Thug and a Champion. During the ambush, Major Perry seizes control of his transport and makes for RWR lines. Wen pursues him and catches up with the truck just in time to see Perry gun down the last of the SLDF infantry assigned to guard him. Enraged, she tells him he can share his beloved leader’s fate, and burns him down with her laser.
- Handbook: Major Periphery States includes a journal entry dated January 12, 2785, written by an unknown RWR trooper at "Base Camp Stefan's Glory" in the "crumbling maze of Gutara Academy". The unknown author notes that he has spotted SLDF ships, and that there is "not much left in the old armories". On January 14, SLDF troopers landed at the Gutara Academy and cleared out what little was left in the armories. On January 17, one of the author’s comrades tried to sabotage the SLDF DropShip, and was gunned down. The author concludes with a note that the SLDF fleet disappeared from the sky on January 18, though that may just have meant that the SLDF DropShips left orbit, so the ships at the Zenith and Nadir may not have jumped out until around January 25. The author of the journal apparently didn't notice the SLDF fleet until its landing parties had already been on the ground for more than two weeks.