|APAGear II Archives||Volume 3, Number 2||March, 2001|
Author's Note: I had planned this to be Parts 2 and 3, but I wanted to get this out of the way so I can work on some new material. This is very long, so take this in small doses. ;)
[This continues part one, which appeared in Volume 3, Number 1, last month. -Ed.]
Graham Wang, Jack Sanlander's former commander during the War of the Alliance, retires from the Northern Guard and moves to Coronado. Graham had been very successful in navigating the political quagmire of the Guard, and decides to apply his skills in civilian life. He becomes involved in the Coronado political scene, and soon becomes the favored candidate for Governor.
Yves Banderas, CEO of Polaris Pictures, authorizes the production of a film about the wartime exploits of the Hong Kong Crusaders. Throughout the Summer and Autumn, Polaris film crews work with the Crusaders and the citizens of Coronado on the production of Crusade, which is released in the Autumn of 1921 to mixed reviews and modest returns. Though Crusade and a subsequent film about the Crusaders are not successful commercially, Banderas forms a rapport with Jack and Graham Wang. This relationship continues as Banderas enters the political arena in the United Mercantile Federation.
Graham Wang is elected as the Governor of Coronado.
The Coronado government formally organizes the air assets of the Coronado Defense Forces, and divides them into two units: the 55th Air Cavalry Battalion and the 1st Air Wing. The 55th is charged with the direct support of the Crusaders and the Gunslingers in the field, and thus is assigned mostly helicopters and other VTOL-capable aircraft. All other CDF aircraft are assigned to the 1st Air Wing, who take the nickname Jonny Cabrillo's Flying Circus.
Nora Richardson, another recent veteran of the Northern Guard, is approached by Jack and Governor Wang to command the Flying Circus. She accepts, and also recommends another former Guardsman to command the 55th Air Cavalry. She and Gabriel Koenig assume their new duties on 21 Spring.
A wave of rover gang attacks brings caravan traffic on the roads around Coronado to a standstill. A massive operation by both the Crusaders and the Gunslingers destroys the gangs responsible for the raids. Further investigation implicates Tolan Morilane, Jack's nemesis from the War of the Alliance, as the man behind the rover attacks. Officials at the prison in which Tolan is incarcerated relate that Tolan is still pursuing a vendetta against Jack, stemming from their conflict during the War.
Recently elected UMF Treasurer Yves Banderas, in an attempt to build links with the Mekong Dominion, begins preliminary discussions with Governor Wang about developing a multileague military force based in the Badlands. Formal discussions begin in early Autumn, and the governments of the United Mercantile Federation, the Mekong Dominion and Coronado begin exploring military and economic cooperation.
Jack receives word that Tolan Morilane has been killed in prison, thus closing the final chapter of Jack's experiences during the War of the Alliance.
The Treaty of Coronado is hammered out in a series of negotiating sessions between Mercantilist, Mekongese and Coronadan government officials. These negotiations are held in Trinity, the oasis tower that had formed the initial core of the Coronado settlement and is currently the house of the county's government.
While all three governments promote this agreement as an important landmark in interpolar cooperation, the Treaty contains a clause that allows for its nullification. The Treaty may be declared null and void if any one of the three governments declines to interact with the others under its terms for two seasons.
The Hong Kong Crusaders become the sole ground force of the Coronado Defense Forces, with the 55th Air Cavalry Battalion and the 37th Infantry Regiment absorbed into the Crusaders' structure. The Crusaders are thus expanded to brigade strength, but Jack pushes for the Crusaders to retain their designation as a regiment, both to maintain unit identity and to make the Crusaders seem less of a threat to local communities.
Jack also pushes for the creation of a new level of rank within the CDF to recognize the level of authority of his squadron commanders, as they each command a force that would be a regiment in any other army. The Coronado government agrees, and Danielle Gibson, Stephen Brooks, Geoffrey Peale, and Gabriel Koenig are each promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Expansion mandated by the Treaty also allows the Flying Circus to grow to full wing strength, and the Circus's commander, Nora Richardson, is promoted to Colonel.
The Treaty is not embraced by everyone, however. Many Crusaders of Northern ancestry oppose the Treaty, especially those personnel from the Western Frontier Protectorate whose families suffered badly during the St. Vincent's War. Major Ramon Gonzalez, the Crusaders' chief medical officer, becomes the leader of this faction within the Crusaders. As the Treaty negotiations continue, Ramon privately becomes critical of both Jack and Governor Wang, accusing them both of being "bedazzled" by UMF Treasurer Banderas. Once the Treaty is signed by all three parties, Gonzalez makes this criticism public and offers his immediate resignation.
Governor Wang calls Jack and Ramon to Trinity to discuss this conflict. The three men eventually come to a compromise, after an often heated debate about loyalties. Wang decides to offer all personnel, regardless of rank, who do not wish to serve with Southern troops the opportunity to resign from the Coronado Defense Forces, provided they wait until replacement troops are available from the polar forces. Ramon reluctantly agrees to this compromise, out of loyalty to his fellow Crusaders.
The Treaty of Coronado goes into effect.
As expected, Ramon and the other Crusaders who oppose cooperation with the Dominion resign on 1 Winter. Captain-Warder Helena Matsuo of the Mekong Peacekeepers is assigned to the Crusaders as their new chief medical officer.
Despite this and other difficulties, the troops from the three governments eventually learn to work together and become an effective fighting force. In training exercises held throughout the cycle, Coronadan, Mercantilist and Mekongese troops realize that each group has something to offer the others, and that the others have something to teach them.
The Treaty also allows Coronado companies to obtain significant contracts from both the Dominion and the United Mercantile Federation. Banzaidyne, Coronado Aerospace and other companies report record earnings, and other parts of the private sector also reap benefits from the influx of polar personnel and monies into the local economy.
Largely due to the success of the Treaty, Graham Wang is reelected as Governor by a landslide margin later in the cycle.
The strain of managing the Crusaders and their new role in the Badlands takes its toll on Jack and Elizabeth's marriage, and the two agree to divorce by the end of that Summer. Because of his duties and schedule, Jack reluctantly agrees that James would be better off living with his mother. Elizabeth takes James to start a new life in the city-state of Baton Rouge.
Graham Wang is again appointed Governor of Coronado, one of the few people to be elected to consecutive terms as Governor in Coronado history.
Author's Note: This was to be the end of Part 2, because a substantial leap is necessary between TN 1926 and TN 1933. I still have a lot of work to do on the story in the cycles between the War of the Alliance and the Interpolar War. Rather than fill the Timeline with half-baked ideas, I decided it was better to skip ahead to the next part.
After leaving office as Governor, Graham is invited to a position within the Caucus of the United Mercantile Federation. He reluctantly leaves Coronado in early Summer, and begins to correspond with Jack regularly.
During a mineral survey, elements of the Crusaders' K Troop stumble upon the wreckage of the Spirit of St. Louis, the lead bomber in the first Terranovan air attack on Port Arthur during the War of the Alliance. The Crusaders locate the remains of the plane's crew, and transfer them to the Northern Guard for burial.
(These events are described in the story series "The Spirit of St. Louis" in prior issues of APAGear.)
Banzaidyne begins development and testing of the M1E9 Razor Back Arrow Polizei Long Fang Abrams for the Mekong Peacekeepers.
(For more information, visit Banzaidyne Custom Works: The M1E9.)
Rapid response elements of the Crusaders and the Flying Circus deploy to the crash site of UMFAir Flight 128. The swift arrival of medical staff and facilities at the crash site is largely credited with the saving of over 300 lives that night.
Banzaidyne completes the evaluation and testing phases of its M1E9 Razor Back Arrow Polizei Long Fang Abrams program for the Mekong Peacekeepers. The M1E9 is quickly redesigned based on test results and Peacekeeper feedback, and this redesign soon becomes standardized as the M1A9 Razor Back Stinger Polizei Long Fang Abrams.
(For more information, visit Banzaidyne Custom Works: The M1A9.)
Banzaidyne announces that the M1A9 RBSPLF Abrams design has accepted by the Mekong Peacekeepers, and that production of the type will begin late the following Spring.
Denise Sinclair, a longtime friend of Jack, is elected Governor of Coronado. Her popularity and record of service in Coronado ensures her easy election , but her choice of Thesius Rand as Lieutenant Governor causes strong controversy. Until recently, Rand had been a board member of Coronado Aerospace, and has had no previous experience in government. The move is seen by many critics as an obvious political ploy. Jack has great personal respect and affection for Denise, but he and Rand do not get along well and cannot establish a good working relationship.
The Coronado government receives an official request from the leaders of the small community of Rahnguard for assistance from the Crusaders, citing escalating tensions between Northern and Southern units in the area.
Jack orders elements of the Crusaders to prepare for an immediate deployment, but cannot get permission from Trinity, the house of government in Coronado, to leave for Rahnguard. As Governor Sinclair is out of the county for a medical examination, Lieutenant Governor Rand is in charge, but he refuses to either talk to Jack or to discuss Rahnguard with anyone. A full day passes before Jack can physically see Rand. By that point, however, fighting has already broken out between the polar forces around Rahnguard, and Jack reluctantly orders the deployment preparations cancelled.
Later in a stormy meeting, Rand explains to Jack that he had decided to ignore Rahnguard's call for help almost as soon as it was received. Rand felt that sending the Crusaders to Rahnguard would unnecessarily antagonize the polar governments, and jeopardize several important Mercantile and Mekongese contracts with Coronado companies. This complete difference in priorities further poisons the relationship between the two men.
Governor Sinclair returns to Coronado. In an emotional press conference announces that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer, though she reassures the public that she will stay in office as long as her health permits. She also pointedly declines comment about Rand's refusal to deploy the Crusaders to Rahnguard. Many Coronadans see this, and her decision to remain in office despite her illness, as evidence that she has lost confidence in him.
As hostilities break out between the North and the South, the United Mercantile Federation and the Mekong Dominion each withdraw from the Treaty of Coronado. Consular officials and military personnel are immediately recalled, and family members and dependents are ordered to return home "by whatever means available." Many Peacekeepers and UMFA soldiers serving with the Crusaders elect instead to resign from their native services and stay in Coronado. Among them is Captain-Warder Helena Matsuo, the Crusaders' chief medical officer.
(These events are described in the story series "Prices of Duty" in prior issues of APAGear.)
All other interactions between Coronado and the polar governments are likewise suspended. This includes the cancellation of Banzaidyne's contract to produce M1A9 Abrams tanks for the Mekong Peacekeepers. Those M1A9s that have already been made are absorbed into the Crusaders' motor pool as command and "special duty" tanks.
With no official interaction with Coronado by either the United Mercantile Federation or the Mekong Dominion within the mandated two seasons, the Treaty of Coronado is declared null and void. The general reaction among Coronadans is "good riddance." Any hope of resurrecting the agreement is extinguished when UMF Treasurer Yves Banderas, the Treaty's chief supporter, is killed on 22 Autumn in a plane crash.
Freed from the burdens of the Treaty, Coronado explores joining the New Coalition (NuCoal). Representatives from Prince Gable and Khayr ad-Din come to Coronado to begin discussions with both government officials and corporate executives. The NuCoal representatives seem particularly keen on obtaining armor from Banzaidyne and combat aircraft from Coronado Aerospace, as well as getting access to the Hong Kong Crusaders.
Governor Sinclair is in the hospital as these discussions take place, though, and Lieutenant Governor Rand insists on leading the Coronadan delegation. Clearly more comfortable behind a desk than in the spotlight, Rand does not handle the negotiations well and makes a poor impression on many delegates. Some NuCoal officials actively ignore Rand to speak with Jack, who is also attending the meetings. This becomes just one more sore point between Jack and Rand.
Jack receives a private communication from one of the NuCoal delegates, asking to continue a discussion they had during the negotiations the previous Winter. Jack brings up the request in a meeting with Rand later that day, unaware that Rand has become totally frustrated with the demands of his position. Rand erupts with anger when Jack tells him of the delegate's request. In an often incoherent tirade, Rand subsequently accuses Jack of everything from insubordination to undermining the authority of the Coronado government.
Announcing that he has become completely fed up with the situation, Rand suddenly resigns as Lieutenant Governor. Jack tries to talk him into serving out the term, but Rand will hear none of it. Several sources quote Rand as saying, "Why the hell would I stay? Everyone turns to you anyway!"
Rand literally leaves Coronado on the next available plane, and his family quietly packs their belongings and leave the next morning. Coronado is left in a temporary power vacuum.
Due to Governor Sinclair's continuing illness and Rand's resignation, Jack is asked to become Lieutenant Governor. He reluctantly accepts, and resigns his commission in the Coronado Defense Forces. Almost from the start, Jack is conferred with the powers of Acting Governor, as Governor Sinclair can do little more than advise him from her hospital bed.
Danielle Gibson is promoted to Colonel and assigned command of the Hong Kong Crusaders.
In a deal brokered primarily by Jack, Coronado joins the New Coalition. Banzaidyne is later contracted by NuCoal to build M1A9 Abrams tanks and other vehicle models for Prince Gable and the Khayr ad-Din Army.
As part of Coronado's alliance with NuCoal, elements of the Flying Circus and the Crusaders' 1st Cavalry Troop are deployed to Khayr ad-Din to begin joint operational training and exercises with the Khayr ad-Din Army.
Governor Denise Sinclair dies from breast cancer, and Jack is appointed Governor of Coronado. After memorial services in Coronado, Jack escorts Denise's body back to her childhood home near Pioneer.
(This is described in the story "The Show Goes On" in a prior issue of APAGear.)
Those Crusaders and members of the Flying Circus who can be spared from their duties in Coronado are immediately deployed to Peace River after that city-state is destroyed in an antimatter explosion. The 1st Cavalry Troop is likewise deployed from Khayr ad-Din for aid distribution and peacekeeping duties.
Banzaidyne and Coronado Aerospace are among the first companies to be awarded Official Paxton Arms Licensee (OPAL) certification. The companies immediately receive major contracts to provide replacement parts for Paxton weapons and equipment. They also receive orders for local designs from communities who wish to reduce their dependency on Paxton equipment.
The 1st Cavalry Troop of the Crusaders and the Flying Circus join the Khayr ad-Din Army in pushing New Human Republic forces out of the Great White Desert. The air assets from Coronado are a critical factor in the campaign's success, as the NHR forces has no effective counter to the Crusaders' helicopters and the Circus's attack planes.
Jack Sanlander is elected as Governor of Coronado in his own right.
After many cycles away from Coronado, Graham Wang returns as a member of the Westphalia Cabinet to recruit personnel for a new Black Talon team. As members of the Crusaders' 609th Special Operations Company are being interviewed, Graham is able to tell Jack and Danielle is that the team will be trained for long-range reconnaissance operations, and that they will be known as the 72nd Black Talons.
Jack also learns that his estranged son, James, has been recruited into this Black Talon team. The two men meet briefly one afternoon at Danielle's house, where Jack discovers that James volunteered for the Northern Guard at the beginning of the Interpolar War and has become a highly skilled Gear pilot. The meeting ends awkwardly, with Jack giving James a letter that he had written when James was born.
Jack learns from Graham that the 72nd Black Talons are missing in action. All Graham knows is that the 72nd's insertion onto Caprice somehow went terribly wrong. No one knows if any of the Talons are still alive.
|APAGear II Archives||Volume 3, Number 2||March, 2001|
Heavy Gear is © 2001, Dream Pod 9, Inc. All rights reserved. APAGear is not affiliated with Dream Pod 9 in any way. Submitted material remains the property of the creator.