BattleTech - The Board Game of Armored Combat

BattleTech Player Boards => Fan Fiction => Topic started by: Freihändler on 13 August 2020, 19:57:29

Title: Dawn of a new Era (AU) Reworked
Post by: Freihändler on 13 August 2020, 19:57:29
Hello out there in the Inner Sphere (and where ever else you might hang out)!

Nearly a decade ago I started to write an AU of the BT-Universe, since I find the canon storyline since the FedCom Civil War (and even some earlier parts) less than optimal and esp. Jihad and Dark Age ludicrous. Since I started to write it, one of my earliest attempts in English btw, meanwhile I got sharply risen obligations to Family, Work and Health, which stopped work on this story. Stealthy illnesses in special are something nobody needs, I nearly died a couple of years ago.
Since then I have slowly begun to rework DoanE and now post it here for your reading pleasure. I cannot update often, but the story advances and  there are changes, which hopefully positively surprise you!
After this introduction, here comes the first part!

A look back in time
Waldorff-Recharge Station, Waldorff-System
Trellshire Military Prefecture
Lyran Commonwealth
14. April 3145

"Welcome back to Talk on Waldorff-Station. For our new viewers after the advertisement break, I am Saul Pickwick, moderator of our twice-a-week show and like every sunday evening, our guests are the ‘Literary Trio’, reviewing a couple of new books, hopefully getting your appetite for more reading stuff wet.
Tonight we review the newest book by the ‘Wizlyst Pen Studio’, called “A Bonfire of Worlds”. It is the latest book in a series, among titles like ‘Riposte’, ‘Warrior Caste’ or ‘Heir to the Dragon’, to name a few. This series describes an alternate version of the Inner Sphere, Periphery and Clan Space. It is controversial in it´s depiction of the universe and so I am proud to introduce retired court historian Marius Auburn as our history expert today.”

“Thank you, Saul! This book series makes a couple of things really right and a couple of things really wrong. To show our viewers what is plausible alternate history and what is unneeded dramatisation, let us look back where the Wizlyst book series and history branch off.”

Imperial Palace, Luthien
Draconis Combine, Kagoshima Prefecture
9. March 3020

Evening was falling over Imperial City, the "Black Pearl" of the Combine. The last sunlight becoming dimmer by the minute. But in his office Coordinator Takashi Kurita spared just a short look at the beautiful sundown, he would still be working for some hours. He might be the absolute ruler of the Successor State, but unlike his inept father, whose rule had hurt the nation, he saw himself as the first samurai of the Combine and had the duty to work hard for the betterment of the realm.
In the morning a diplomatic note had reached his desk, a cease-fire and peace proposal from the Lyran Commonwealth. None of his aides had heard his internal snort of amusement when he read it. But Takashi knew they would joke about the note between them as well.
Lyrans! They where merchants to their core, not Samurais. Soft and weak, their pillar of Steel more a pillar of rust! Granted, they could be stubborn and still stood against the Dragon, the rightful first Lord of the Star League, but it must be the motherly instinct of the Archon, why they tried for a peace or cease-fire at least. The Lyrans were not made for such a test of honour and mettle as the Succession Wars were.
He and his inner Circle had dismissed the note directly, but he still had it laying on his desk, for some amusement during a pause.
The rest of the day had been less fun, a sheer endless stream of reports, requests, proposals... he was a Samurai, not a desk warrior, but it was a duty to be done, no matter his feelings. Some reports were about his son Theodore, who still rebelled against his position as heir of the Dragon. Takashi was a hard father to equalise the lavish love his wife Jasmine poured on their only child, to make him hard enough for the position as future Coordinator, but he loved his son dearly. So while on the outside unmoved, internally the Coordinator felt unease about some younger messages. The ISF agents watching Theodore reported that he was sadder than they had ever seen him in years, but no matter how thorough they searched, the reason for this sadness evaded them.

For a moment Takashi thought about collectively exchanging these useless fops, but he calmed himself. They had been handpicked from among the best ISF Agents, if they could not find out, others would not be better at it.
So what could make his son this sad, especially since his petitions and proposals for reforms of the Combine had come at even greater frequency these last months? The Coordinator was sipping from a cup of tea, he had been thinking about Theodore for two hours, when it hit him. Heartache over the end of a romance! Could it be or was it something different? All hints were there. Takashi had been a young man himself once and while he had known he had to marry useful for the dynasty, he had had some romances and all that came with them.

Takashi was a bit proud of his son. Carrying on a secret romance under the eyes of an unknowing ISF, was an accomplishment. Theodore had surprised his father with that. Takashi was sorry for his son, but pleased that this dalliance was obviously over. And as hard as it sounded, some of Theodore's reform proposals in the last time were really well thought through, his sadness seemed to hone these works. Some were far too radical for Takashi´s taste, but some had real merit.
The Coordinator would never be caught saying it, but even he himself had seen the need for several reforms. And what his son up to now did not know, was that Takashi himself had already made some small, unobvious reforms.

"I have to reign Theodore in, so he does not go overboard with his ideas, but we might reconcile over this reforms. Who would have thought that?"

Making a memo on his compad, to have a long talk with his son as soon as possible, Takashi then went back to the other reports waiting. He was making overtime, even his aides Takashi had already sent home.
It was close to 2 a.m. on Luthien, when the Coordinator laid the last report on the desk. Some of them had been forecasts on several topics. Unfortunately grim forecasts in some vital areas like the economy. The Draconis Combine was strong -still-, but if these forecasts could be trusted, it would not remain so. The economy in special was in dire jeopardy, if the current level of warfare would go on for more years.
Nearly all reports in the last 3 hours had been rather grim in outlook, never in all the years as Coordinator Takashi could remember such a string of bad news in one day. For the first time he got the feeling that some reports and forecasts were filtered before reaching his office. Only that he had to get some things by himself, since he was the only one still in this part of the palace, had given him input from sources he would normally never know about.
Takashi felt anger rising in him. He knew why some parts of the Combine bureaucracy preferred to bring mostly good news, it was a political and cultural thing, but in the end the Coordinator should know the real state of the Combine.

With the Federated Suns getting more cocky in the last years, like at Halstead Station or on Galtor, testing the defences of the Combine, correct information was vital. Takashi tried to "unthink" the sentence which had shot through his brain. "Maybe Theodore is right in pressing for more far reaching reforms."
Nonsense. The Draconis Combine was the nation which should lead the Inner Sphere and the small mistakes in it could be corrected. But seeing the paperwork before him, Takashi could not shake the feeling that his son might be right in principle, if not the size of the potential reforms.
He was a warrior, no economist, but he knew enough about it to know that such a predicted downslide was not the product of bad luck and happenstance. Many things had to be gone wrong for something like this. If the predictions were halfway right, the Combine might fall not through superior enemies, but from rot internally.

How could he stop this horror scenario? For a second time this evening, he frantically tried to scratch a thought he had, after seeing the verified compad with it's armoured Gauntlet seal, lying on the far end of his desk. ", not this! I'm tired, yes, too tired to think clearly."

Despite his being rebelling against the action he was making, Takashi´s mind prevailed. He once again took the compad he had put down with a chuckle in the morning and went over it´s content. He hated what he was doing, but "I´m not my father. My feelings have to retreat in the face of duty to the Draconis Combine.", he thought to calm himself.

Reading it, Takashi after some time got the gist of it. It was even a shrewd proposal by Archon Katrina Steiner. Practically a cease-fire on lyran terms. It raised the draft a small notch in his mind. A leader has to look out for his or her realm. While the warrior in him was upset, the politician in Takashi ruled for the moment. The Lyrans were masters when it came to the Pillar of Jade, exactly what the Combine needed the most...
Another thing was that this proposal would surely been seen by the Suns to be a possibility to put more pressure on the Combine, if ratified. From what he knew, Marik and Liao had already made inacceptable demands for a ratification, so this proposal was dead in these cases, but Davion, the Fox, had made a tame rebuttal. Subash had already informed him, that the ISF believed that a secret envoy was made ready for a trip to Tharkad. Davion knew what positives could come his way, if he got the Lyrans on his side. 

This time Takashi Kurita did not try to scratch the thoughts running in his head, but he did something rather "undignified" for the always regal Coordinator, since nobody else was present. He took a bottle of Sake and downed it in one go.
Now calm again, he made the rough outlines of his counter-proposal. Two could play this game. He would test the Archon. "Katrina, let´s see how soft you are and how well you take surprises."
Then he called two of his most trusted aides. One got the order to send a secret urgent message for Theodore to come to Orestes´s zenith jump point as fast as possible, then he should give the Coordinator´s personal courier this verigraph paper, with the order to bring it to Tharkad with the utmost speed. The other was ordered to organize the preparation of his personal Dropship and the needed jump routes. In addition, the Otomo and the 1. Sword of Light should prepare for departure as well.
No Comstar was to be used without the highest developed and best codes and as much as possible done without using the Order. Takashi Kurita did not trust many persons and Comstar was not on that short list. Far from it. Even without the "accident" on New Samarkand one year back, which cost the lives of 4 of the Combine´s best Hyperspace and Hyperpulse experts, Comstar was too powerful and secretive for the Coordinator´s liking. Takashi and the ISF were sure, that it was not an accident. Nor were several other strange "events", when it came to brilliant scientists.
In this Age, where recovery of lost tech was a major factor for all successor states, it was simply idiotic to consider the other houses responsible for more than 1 or 2 incidents. Knowledge was too precious for all Houses to loose what one had. Good Scientists were too important to kill. So only one major player remained and that was Comstar. Not that one could easily act on that, Comstar´s monopoly on interstellar HPG communication made them a force to be reckoned with.

It was after 4 in the morning, when Takashi finally laid down for several hours of sleep, while on several spaceports preparations began for a very unusual flight.

The Triad, Tharkad

District of Donegal, Lyran Commonwealth
19. March 3020

It had been a rather normal day for the Archon and her closest friends and allies. Eating a Dampfnudel (a South-German dough dessert) with vanilla and wine sauces as a sweet snack during the afternoon, they conversed about important and less important topics of state, sometimes interrupted by bantering and joking as only good friends could do. Still, despite the good humour and bonding, politics were made.
When the draconian courier arrived and delivered the diplomatic note from the Coordinator, naturally it became the main focus. After the courier departed and the note had been read, all persons present were surprised and electrified.
Archon Katrina really wanted to recover more of the Golden Age of the Star League, bringing humanity back from the brink of falling into pre-Spaceflight times into a technological Age. And without Comstar´s "help".
And Peace in the Inner Sphere, since after centuries of near constant wars, the Great Houses were exhausted. The bloody stalemate had to end. Katrina´s peace proposal was not much more than a cease-fire on her terms with the possibility of something else, but it was a serious attempt to end the Succession Wars, which were slowly, but surely bringing humanity closer to a really dark Age.
Considering all that had happened in the last few centuries, the Archon did not have that much hope for a success of her attempt to end the hostilities, but had proposed nevertheless.  Despite having calculated with a dismissal, it was a bit of a letdown when the first answers came in. Katrina and her advisors had thought that maybe the Mariks or the Davions would be open to at least some talks.
That Max Liao´s answer was more a "I wish this and that" and predicted as such, was no surprise. Janos Marik´s answer equally full of demands, was not a surprise per se, but the foreign relations chancellery had hoped for something that would at least coalesce into a temporary cease-fire. So much for that. Liao "out", Marik "out".

But the real letdown was the diplomatic, but still negative answer from the Federated Suns. Katrina and the Inner Circle of advisors had had quite some hope invested into talks with the Davions. Coordinating attacks against their common enemy the Combine and better, easier trade as possible outcomes had led to the assumption the Fox could be interested.
The Suns, less than the Combine, which did not really care, but significantly more than either the FWL or the Commonwealth, the two largest economies in the Sphere, had earnest problems with their interstellar trade. There was huge potential, but a combination of factors, including long jump routes and too few JumpShips for the needs of military and civilian traffic, hampered the FS. Not to forget a shortage of money.
Considering that First Prince Hanse Davion, got his nickname "the Fox" not for nothing, the presumption of at least talks had been a sound one, but it seemed that had been a mistake. Grafina Eddies, foreign relations Chancellor, however believed that the Federated Suns might be willing to talk later or in secrecy, pointing to the explicitly diplomatic tone of the answer from House Davion. Still, the Suns would have to make the first step now, planning would go on without inclusion of the FS.
Nobody on Tharkad had seriously thought about a positive answer from the Combine, which had not made an interstellar political treaty with the other Houses in 250 years, so the silence from the Dragon was not even commented on.

So the surprise about the arrival of the Draconian courier had been rather substantial.

"This is a trick or the Kurita idea of a joke! The Coordinator willing to come to Arcturus under the 'flag of truce for talks about Your Peace Proposal'? No way!"

"Can it be true? If it is, why does he do it now? What is his Achilles Heel we do not see? There has to be a reason, if the Combine is genuine about that. Or does anybody here believe Kurita does it out of the goodness of his heart?"

A short stint of chuckling and soft laughter sounded in the room.

 "I think it is ploy for a raid on Arcturus, to get the troops there without being attacked by us until it is too late."

More ideas, assumptions and guesses were made, until when the Archon spoke.

"I think it is genuine. This is so far away from typical Combine behaviour, that it is more likely to be true. A specific coded return message to be sent to Orestes, obviously to get by under the 'Radar' of  Comstar, the direct fact that he will be coming with a military escort...
Even if the Kuritas begin the rest of their journey to Arcturus the moment they get a return answer, they have to know we can reinforce the System faster than their potential raid can attack, if it is a trick. No, it might be a bit of gut feeling, but this is too absurd to be a trick from the Kuritas. If coming from Liao or the Fox, it could well be one. Takashi Kurita might be a Snake bastard, but he is too drunk on his Bushido codex to pull off such a manoeuvre with his name directly attached to it."

Katrina Steiner held up a hand to stop the comments already forming in several mouths.

"I know what you want to say. Certainly he is sneaky and intelligent enough for such trickery and might well have used it already somewhere, but that was cloak and dagger games. Here his name is openly involved and if Simon´s report about the few facts we could verify on Kurita´s personality is even halfway correct, Takashi Kurita feels the NEED to be a great Samurai, using such a trick would taint his 'honour'. The Combine´s situation is not so desperate, that they would send their Bushido overboard.
I´ll take the risk that all will be ending without a treaty or cease-fire, but here might be a seldom chance to get the Kuritas to agree to something. I take the 1. Royal Guard with me, we will inform the Militia of Arcturus. These will be delicate negotiations, if the Kuritas are this cautious about leaks, so we keep it small as well. Edward, please organize a fast jump transit to our old Capital. Harry, as soon as I´m underway, send the Code message to Orestes. Let us see if it is a Giant or simply the long shadow of a Dwarf."

Zenith Recharge Station, Tharkad-System
District of Donegal, Lyran Commonwealth
2 May 3020

"I am truly sorry, Minister, that you have made this long journey without being able to meet the Archon."
Harrison Bradford, Duke of Coventry, had actually been on the way to the JumpShip which would bring him back home for some weeks, before returning to Tharkad, but the message that on the recently arrived FS JumpShip a high dignitary of the Davion government had made the journey to the Lyran Capital, changed his short term plans.
The likeable Duke, a close friend of the Archon, "mutated" into an informal welcome committee after hearing that the minister was a woman. Bradford, an incorrigible Casanova and blessed with Charm not only in that area, had been asked by the Foreign Ministry to soften the blow of a voyage for nothing, knowing him to be still on the station. And the Duke could not resist, besides it was a little favour for his long-time friend Katrina.
When he met the envoy, Harrison was pleased. The Davion minister for foreign relations, Duchess Olivia Fenlon, was an attractive woman and Bradford turned on his legendary charm.

"The Archon has left Tharkad just two weeks ago and with the various businesses to attend on her voyage, we do not estimate her arrival back here sooner than late June or early July. If you want to wait, the Triad will have prepared Guest quarters to your liking when you arrive on planet."

The dark haired Duchess was not pleased, but the charming and harmlessly flirting Duke kept her anger from rising. Missing someone by just a few days happened sometimes, especially with long journeys. To keep the reason for the long trip from New Avalon under wraps, nobody had forewarned the Lyrans. For the masses, the Prince had to reject the lyran proposal, no "weakness" could be shown to the other Great Houses. But in private, she and Hanse himself had seen the possibilities of the Lyran foray. What it could mean for the long time goals of the Federated Suns. They had developed a starting position for negotiations with the Steiners. In all secrecy and speed, Olivia had made the voyage to Tharkad to use this chance to bring the FS closer to being the hegemony in the Inner Sphere. Damn, bad luck in action, but nothing was really lost. What she and her entourage, including some of the best MIIO agents, already had gathered in information during their stay on the station, was that both the Free Worlds and the Capellans had sunk their chances for talks. No danger from that corner. The Dracs had not even bothered to reply. So the Federated Suns had all the time in the Sphere to get the Lyrans on their side.
Olivia estimated that she would have to make the trip to Tharkad again sometime in the Winter of 3020 or early Spring 3021 for eye-to-eye talks with the Archon. A bit later than hoped for by Hanse and her, but it could not be changed. Katrina Steiner simply was not here.

"Unfortunately, Harrison, I cannot wait this long. I will leave our diplomatic proposal for the Archon to read, when she is back. I can assure you, it is interesting for the Commonwealth. I hope to return soon to Tharkad to show our intentions in person."

Many historians, hobby or by profession, have made the "What if" question about many events. From the Stone Age back on Terra to the Clan Wars and the aftermath. What if something happened differently? The most popular events in younger times for this question took place in 3020. What if, the Davion delegation had been right about the Draconis Combine not responding to Katrina´s Peace Proposal? What if, the delegation under Duchess Fenlon would have had the means to arrive before the Archon left for Arcturus?

The Inner Sphere would have developed vastly different. As laughable it might seem for the youngest Generation, considering the events of the last half-century, back then an alliance between Commonwealth and Suns would have been extremely possible.
It would be a History without the Arcturus Accords of June 3020, which saved the Inner Sphere more than once. Detractors often point out that the Accords were one, maybe THE main reason for the Fourth Succession War, but what they do not want to understand is that a Fourth Succession War had been unavoidable, no matter the political fault lines.
In addition, while the Accords were an important reason for the 4.SW, given the developments set in motion by them, most articles were kept a secret for over two decades to mislead the other Powers. Granted, by 3030 the latest all other Great Houses and the citizens of the two Star nations knew about the treaty between Commonwealth and Combine, but not the full extend, which turned out to be a bonus during the fighting in the Fourth SW.
More in our next lesson. Have a nice day!
-Prof. Dr. Misha Auburn, recording of her lesson "The 4. Succession War - Reasons and Results", Katrina Steiner University, 5. October 3070   

Title: Re: Dawn of a new Era (AU) Reworked
Post by: Freihändler on 13 August 2020, 20:01:28
Former Government Palace, Arcturus
Tamar Domains, Lyran Commonwealth
22. June 3020

"These are interessante Zeiten ... omoshiroi jikan (interesting Times)."
Neither Katrina Steiner nor Takashi Kurita would ever know, that for a short moment during the signing of the Arcturus Accords they had exactly the same thought in their heads.

They were making history, that was clear for both. For the first time in centuries, the Lyran Commonwealth and the Draconis Combine were officially at Peace. Not that it had been easy. In the first 3 days of Negotiating alone there had been 26 incidents which nearly led to a breakdown, as one particular meticulous delegation member noted in his personal log.
Still, the major "Bumps" on the road to a Peace Treaty could be overcome in the history-steeped atmosphere of the first government palace of the Commonwealth.

“That was a major thing in itself. Centuries of brutal warfare had soured the relations of the Successor States to a degree that was massive compared even with the problems and wars today in the 32nd century.”, remarked Marius Auburn to the audience.

Just bringing about an, until further negotiations, infinite cease-fire was a grind for the delegations. Both Steiners and Kuritas held their cards close to the chest, testing and analysing their opposites. Why were they here? What made the Steiners propose a peace treaty, what made the Kuritas, one of their oldest enemies, respond?
The breakthrough came in the night from the third day to the fourth. A cease-fire without an expiration date was accepted by the Draconis Combine. Over the following days a peace treaty was hammered out, with the border being the current frontline, Planetary horse trading would be postponed until the next meeting in 3022 on Dieron.
Building trust was the major thing. One important topic, which had not been in the focus until then, the Lyrans finally found out, was the economy. The Steiner experts theorised that this might be the reason the Draconians finally came to the green table, but were not sure.
Nevertheless, when it came to economics, production and trade, House Steiner had never been found wanting. This was part of their lifeblood.
Katrina Steiner, after discussing it with her team, let rise a test balloon A possible part of the peace treaty could be new trade accords. This was meet with oriental-Japanese politeness, on the surface it did not seem a big thing. But the way this topic became part of the negotiation mass, not to mention the relative quick speed it entered the discussions were a strong hint.

The thing for the Lyrans was how to respond. The Kuritas were one of their fiercest enemies, so it would be bad to brace them without guarantees. On the other hand, a maybe lasting peace was possible if the Combine came to the conviction that working with the Commonwealth was better than fighting it.
Some observant delegation members from both sides were amused how soon and strongly economic and trade questions dominated the treaty discussions.  Numerous appending economic treaties became part of the complete proposal.

Then came the drum beat. Some trade goods were tricky high tech stuff, nothing you gave away for shiny glass pearls. Some of it was Star League era expertise House Steiner had brought into the Now as the sole Successor State able to do so.
The Combine could get some of it, not right now, but later on - if the Combine would agree to an alliance. A proposal had already been prepared beforehand. Some points were fixed, some could be discussed.

Some hardline Draconians were stunned when the Lyrans asked them, what they had thought? House Steiner wanted out of the Succession Wars, yes, but out as one of the winners. As far as anybody could be called winner when it came to endless mess humanity was stuck in.

While the state leaders and their entourages talked, the Royal Guard and the Sword of Light kept the cease-fire going at the Jump Point, by watching over each other. In the case of the Kuritas under the ruse, that an unexpected solar flare during the last moments before their transition to Hyperspace, led to a miss-jump, which brought them to Arcturus. After some "repairs", they would continue on to their "real" destination.

Down on the planet, secrecy had been observed as well. Officially the old Palace, a major sightseeing highlight, was closed until July for government delegations, which assessed if the Palace Museum should be enlarged to encompass the whole complex.
After the first round of signing the various accord points, there was a little pause for the bureaucratic envoys of both sides to file away the documents and prepare the additional parts for signing, like a new trade agreement and the provisory alliance. Neither the Steiners nor the Kuritas were sure if they should sign these, internal reasons and old habits died hard, so the Addendums were to be signed last, if the Archon and the Coordinator would agree to sign them.
Katrina and Takashi used the pause for a walk together through the hermetically closed palace to converse about the "delicate" parts. They doubted if they would ever consider the other a friend, but both leaders had found something they respected in their counterpart.

For Takashi, the fact that Katrina Steiner was an ace equally in the Mechcockpit, normal and Japanese chess, in addition to a sharp mind and a friendly, but regal demeanor, raised her standing sharply.
For Katrina, the fact that Takashi Kurita really tried to embody the First Samurai of the Combine in word and deed, gained him her respect and made the Kuritas more reliable in Lyran eyes. True, the Combine could be treacherous, but if the Coordinator directly decreed something, it was less prone to be overlooked by his underlings.
And if Takashi´s heir really had convinced his father during their long talks over Orestes to enact at least some reforms in the Combine, the Peace might truly hold and would be easier to sell to the citizens of both nations.

Chance had it, that the two rulers went through the library during their walk, where Melissa and Theodore played a game. While the "first contact" of the Lyran and Draconian delegations had been frosty and Theodore had been very involved in the negotiations, both heirs had hit it off really well after some days.
Theodore one evening told his father under four eyes, that when he would be Coordinator someday, he had to keep an eye on the next Archon, since for a ten year old, she was advanced in development, if Melissa kept it up, she would be a worthy leader. And depending on how the treaty talks went, Melissa would either be an useful asset or a very tough opponent.
She had questioned him "ein Loch in den Bauch" (a hole into the abdomen) as they called it in German, but knew how to behave.

Both heirs, despite 13 years apart, were closer in age than nearly every grown-up in the delegations and this added to them spending free time together. One guard once remarked to the Archon, that it seemed to him, that spending time talking and playing with Melissa helped Theodore Kurita banish some spectre of the past, considering the flashes of melancholy he now and then exhibited.

Katrina and Takashi had stopped in the entrance of the library and observed the heirs of Commonwealth and Combine. They talked very softly to not interrupt their offspring.
"If we sign the Addendums and I don´t mean just the trade parts, the future historians will call us idiotic fools or farseeing Visionaries, depending on how long the Pact will hold."

"Quite right. But can we survive not to? Despite the wide chasm separating our two nations, we agree that if we do business as usual it is only a question of time until all of the Inner Sphere will fall into the Abyss of Pre-Spaceflight, due to the ongoing losses in knowledge and ability. A long night coming. And if the "accidents" our scientists seem to be prone to go on, Comstar will be the last faction standing with High-Tech. A frightening thought, if we take into account that most certainly Comstar is the culprit for more than one of these accidents. We just cannot openly act against them.
If we want to stop them and the downfall of civilisation, we have to act."

"Yes, one part of the Accords would see to that, but no matter how secret we keep the Treaty, someday the others will find out. I look forward to the combat coming, to bring honour to the Combine, but Comstar could interdict both our realms, which is a entire different #can of worms’, as they say."

Katrina Steiner looked very thoughtful, while correcting her uniform overcoat.

"Well, there might be a way to cope or circumvent that, about which we should talk at our next get-together."

Takashi Kurita´s voice carried humour.

"Meaning, the ink is not dry long enough for such information. But if signing the rest of the articles, we will meet directly again in two years, giving both of us enough time to see if our peace treaty is more gift or more headache. And you are right, I would not give away such useful information to my former enemies so soon too.
On a different topic: We will face internal opposition to this treaty, no matter if we keep it as it is now or sign the rest in a few minutes. Peace with you Lyrans, some of our hardliners will go through the ceiling. Well, I myself did not even think about more than a cease-fire possible, but I have a duty to my realm and I concur that if we go on like we did the last centuries, it is game over for all. Hai, we should try the Accords, so nobody can say we ran into the Abyss knowingly, unlike the other Houses, who don´t see the writing on the wall."

The Archon showed the barest hint of a smile.

"I think I will not get the reason for this course reversal, considering the way the Combine marched on until very recently, before our meeting on Dieron about the possible widening of the Accords in two years either, but I am glad that we are intelligent enough to look forward, before all is too late.
We sign this treaty mostly for practical reasons, but like my mother is fond of saying: 'Enlightened self-interest is the basis for the most useful treaties'.
And who knows, maybe those two", Katrina indicated their heirs with a slight nod of the head, "will only have to go to war against others and not each other, if we can keep the peace until then."

"True words." The coordinator looked equally thoughtful, "How about we sign the rest? I did not think before all this I would be saying it, but both our realms would gather much honour, even if most people won´t know it yet, by making history."

At Noon on 22nd June 3020, the Arcturus Accords, the first peace treaty between Lyran Commonwealth and Draconis Combine in centuries came into being. A couple of minutes later, Takashi Kurita and Katrina Steiner signed the first draft of the Arcturus Pact.

When the delegations left Arcturus towards the Jump point, on the outside nothing had changed. The Arcturus Accords stayed on a need to know basis, even more so the Pact, which would be discussed for a final version two years later on Dieron.
Getting the more than two trillion people of Houses Steiner and Kurita prepared for the unveiling of these treaties was something that needed time and work.

Unity Palace, Luthien
Kagoshima Prefecture, Draconis Combine
12. September 3020

Even after long talks with Theodore during the travel homeward, Takashi Kurita was still debating internally, if  he had done the right thing or if he had been sucked in by Katrina Steiner´s unquestionable great charm and the situation.
The words and numbers in the compads, the predictions, summaries, his son and everything else said loud and clear that he did the right thing, the correct thing for the Combine. Why, by the kamis, did it not feel so?
Takashi had been brought up with the conviction that in the end House Kurita would triumph over the other Houses of the Inner Sphere. That the Dragon now needed help and this help might come from their neighbour-enemy was something Takashi´s heart needed time to chew on. And it was something which showed clearly that for this alliance to hold, time and preparation was paramount. How many difficult situations were to come, was anybody´s guess, but the Coordinator was sure, the number would be high.

While the Coordinator was trying to come to terms with his own mind, his son Theodore was reuniting with his wife, Tomoe. Because of the quick and secret voyage by Theodore first to Orestes and then Arcturus, his wife had not been among the delegation. Two years later in Dieron she would be at his side.
Unlike his father, the heir of the Combine, saw the problems of the new treaties as well as his father did, but since he was more reform oriented than Takashi, he saw the possibilities  quite well, too.

From the Koniz evening news
Tamar Domains, Lyran Commonwealth
2. March 3021

“And now free after the words of an archaic writer, all quiet on the rimwards front. In what is today the longest obviously circumstantial pause in combat over at least 150 years, there has been no Raid, no major offensive or border skirmish along our border with the Combine since last June.
According to the speaker of Theater Command, this is a remarkable coincidence of orders for a major strike against pirate systems on both sides of the border, leading to this situation. Our forces mostly against Periphery strongholds, the Kuritas against pirates in sparsely settled inner regions like the ‘Heiligenkreuz-Alshain bubble’, a part of space without any official human colony, but an old retreat for pirate forces.
The speaker for Duke Kelswa added that this lull in the fighting is used to prepare a surprise for the Combine. More could not be said for now, the reasons obvious.
After our view of the Combine border, we move on to the situation on the borders of the Isle of Skye...”

The Archon´s conference room, Tharkad
District of Donegal, Lyran Commonwealth
11. May 3021

When Selvin Kelswa had asked for a meeting with the other highest ranking members of the Lyran state present, Katrina Steiner was not really surprised, she even guessed the topic. While it could be something else, she thought she knew what the Duke of Tamar wanted. And it would mean the Cat would come out of the sack, but nearly a year between, was rather good.
Besides, the total secrecy surrounding Arcturus Accords and Pact, except some organisations and persons, who had to know, could not be kept much longer. You had to be blind and deaf to not recognise someday, that the last Combine raid had been close to a year back. The various rumor-mills were already at work.
Luckily, most persons in the room already knew, except Selvin Kelswa and Aldo Lestrade, the Duke of Summer, and a thorn in the side of the Archon. Lestrade would like nothing more than to rule an independent Federation of Skye and was fermenting separatist leanings in many regions of Skye. Unfortunately, the Duke had the backing of many critics of her reign in the Isle of Skye and could not be "put away".

Ironically, while Katrina knew, the lifting of the secret around the treaty with the Combine would bring Kelswa and Lestrade closer, even if handled carefully, which would be not a disaster, but lots of trouble ahead - and could grow into a disaster - one of her biggest opponents had grown closer to her rule again after he was informed of the Arcturus Accords.

Closing a functioning deal with the Combine, something that had evaded more than one Archon before Katrina, seemed to have shaken Frederick Steiner´s self-confidence quite a bit. Unlike Lestrade, an ally of Frederick, the Archon´s cousin was a patriot and despite his hate for Katrina, he possessed enough self-reflection to see that he would not have been able to broker such a treaty.
The Accords had raised Frederick´s opinion of her, an unexpected, but nice development, in the Archon´s opinion. This left ex-Archon Allesandro Steiner and Aldo Lestrade as her hardest and most powerful enemies.
And the next few hours would decide, if she had to put Selvin Kelswa onto that list as well. Kelswa did not question her rule per se, but was obsessed with the reconquest of former Tamar Pact worlds from the Combine. So how he swallowed the Arcturus Accords and how much logs Lestrade tried to throw between her political legs today and especially in the near future, would send the Duke of Tamar one way or the other.

Selvin Kelswa was the last to arrive and when he had seated himself he directly began the talks, as was his custom.
The two persons in focus couldn´t have been more different on the outside. Duke Kelswa as a native of Tamar, a high-gravity world with an unusual atmosphere, so he was rather short of stature due to the gravity at home but muscular, with black hair and the typical reddish complexion known as "Tamar Red".
The Archon was a tall, lean woman, very good-looking with a full head of blond hair and fair complexion.

"Katrina, we have a great chance given to us! I reconfirmed it twice before coming here, the Dragon has made a big mistake! The whole center section of the front on their side is wide open for us. The Dracs have moved the regiments there to the FedSuns border. We have to break this strange cease-fire, we seem to have with the Combine for some time now, but the Snakes will return for us sooner or later. We should pluck this fruit and deny them the worlds which are ours to begin with!
But now I heard that you want to move units like the 10. Lyran Guards, which are in a good position to strike deep into the heart of the beast, to the League border. Katrina, this is a chance we cannot let go by, I beseech you!"

Having made his opening move, Selvin leaned back and waited for the Archon to answer. Before answering the Archon looked stealthily over the assembled people. He gave no outward sign, but Katrina was sure that Aldo Lestrade had "briefed" his fellow Duke about the unit movements. She turned fully to Kelswa and began.

"Selvin, I know your feelings and the feelings of us all, when it comes to the Tamar Pact worlds, but let me ask you something first. Could you imagine to rule some worlds far away from the traditional Tamar Pact in addition as well?"

For a moment the Duke seemed perplexed, then he sounded consternated.

"Imagine to rule far away... Katrina, why do you want to keep this cease-fire-by-chance going, the Dracs will come back...", then it clicked for Kelswa, "This is not a cease-fire due to circumstances, right? What have you done!?"

The last words were full of disbelief.

"Yes. Selvin, this is not circumstantial. And it is not a cease-fire either. We are at Peace with the Combine now, secretly, but officially. Only a handful of people know about it, so we can plan military operations without the other houses knowing for a while. But I did not like to keep you in the dark. I have a full briefing readied for you for some time now, you can take it with you later.
Due to all the bad blood accumulated during the Wars, we go very slowly about the Treaty..."

"Why do we 'slowly' about it? Many would be glad, not me and the other Tamars, but people would be glad for less war. There is more, isn´t it?"

Katrina nodded.

"Please let me finish first. The Arcturus Accords are more than just a peace. We talk about more, easier trade and other things. Plainly speaking, when our delegations meet next year on Dieron, we talk about an alliance."

Katrina hated to lie, but sometimes it was necessary. Selvin was shocked, she doubted that he could stomach at the moment, that the Commonwealth and the Combine already had a tentative alliance, which plodded on slowly to keep the secret and prepare the two nation´s citizens for the 'unveiling'. On Dieron, the talks would be about a fully encompassing alliance with even more far-reaching articles, a continuation of the Arcturus Pact.
She just hoped that the Duke of Tamar could be won for her side, but she feared that Selvin´s hate for the Combine would send him the other way. But maybe he could be swayed, time would tell.

Snippets from throughout the decades

“Back in 3020, signing the treaty with the Steiners was a necessity for the Combine. Still back then I believed - please excuse the crass vulgarity - I was pissing away the chances of generations of Samurai to earn honour, considering the main intentions of the Commonwealth with the Arcturus Accords.
Had I known what the coming decades would bring, I would have signed Accord and Pact on the first evening.”
Attributed to Takashi Kurita in a talk with the court chronist

“Did the Invasion of the Inner Sphere bring great glory to the Clans? Yes. Did it strengthen the Clans? Yes. Was the Invasion worth it? No. Like your favourite meal, war becomes bland if tasted too much. Not that I would say this into a Wolf´s face.”
Smoke Jaguar Khan Dorette Wimmer, 3097

“The Clan Invasion and the bloody consequences of it might be good in the eyes of the Social Darwinism of the Clans. In the Inner Sphere it created a rift in thought which persists to this day. A Lyran scientist coined the terms the Kernwärtigen (the Corewards) and the Randwärtigen (the Rimwards). It is important to remember that these descriptors are not based on location alone, it is just that the majority of the respective outlooks can be found there.
The Kernwärtigen are those who recognise the impact of the Clans on the Inner Sphere, how it changes policy, outlook, colonisation, many facets how the nations and their people look at the stars and go on.
The Randwärtigen consider the Clan Wars a fluke of history, nothing to think too much about, the universe is still a buffet. For them, the ‘Corewards’ brood too much now. On the other side, the Corewards consider the Rimwards to be frivolous, counting too much on the luck they had.
From an article in the psychology magazine “Hearts and Minds”, 3074

“The  FWL gets rich by producing supplies for the Units at the Clan-Front, it is mainly the Elsies and Dracs bleeding out and High command is already making plans where to stab the Lyrans in the back. Many will say that are politics at their best, this might be so, but if this noble parliament agrees to that, we become a piece of human manure! The Lyrans might be one of our oldest enemies, but anybody thinking that these Clan barbarians from outer Space are not the enemy of all the Inner Sphere is deluded.”
Duchess Therese Brett-Marik during a parliament debate on Atreus

“The Fourth Succession War - or better ‘the War graciously sponsored by Comstar’ in hindsight, might have been very short and our history books glow about how well the Federated Suns conducted it, but that is the official version. Both Hanse and I agreed immediately after gaining the whole picture that the political and diplomatic fallout of this war would bite us in the ass one day. Unfortunately we were right with our prediction.”
Marshal of the Armies Morgan Hasek-Davion in a talk with his aide 3051

“The stereotype of Elementals is being a walking mountain of muscle. Yes, there are examples of that, but what most people, even many Clanners, do not get is biology. Even with their genetic modifications and strength the Elementals are very tall. That impacts how your muscles are arranged and stretched across your skeleton. Look at Gudrun over there - every bit a Supermodel! Yes, models with Elemental blood won´t be as skinny as some models are, but as you see this does not hinder their rise often.”
Star designer Hans Glöckler in an interview during Mizar Fashion Week 3079

“It is an enormous honour to be here for the Opening of a University named for me on my birth-planet.”
Retired Archon Katrina Steiner in a speech during the opening ceremony of the Katrina-Steiner-University on Gallery 3060

“Your Grace, in military circles many smiles and sniggers are reserved for the fact, that in comparison with the size of the involved forces naturally, the biggest ‘Coup’ of the Clan Wars belongs to you and your system defence militia. Has it something to do with your special skills? During your active service in the LCAF you were renowned for your strategies, in special defensive ones.”
“I would lie, if I said I would not feel flattered a bit by your documentary, but our victory in the so-called ‘Battle of Finsterwalde’ is a victory by all people of Finsterwalde! Fights do not happen in a laboratory vacuum. many factors easily overlooked play their own roles. One measly factor can become the trigger of  winning or losing a battle.
The Militia and I were just the visible, acting component of our community. Sweat and hard work before, saves blood in battle. And we got lucky as well. But remember, Luck is with the diligent!”
Markus von Finsterwalde in a documentary about the Clan Wars 3082

“How easily the buffoons of the Great houses can be put against each other if  you dangle their greatest fears before them. Nobody recognises that we fooled them into action. We come ever closer to ‘Operation Revelation’.”
Myndo Waterly, Comstar Prima during the Fourth Succession War 
Title: Re: Dawn of a new Era (AU) Reworked
Post by: marauder648 on 14 August 2020, 02:14:40
This is off to a darn good start and an interesting premise, to get the Lyrans and Kuritans to have a ceasefire and you tease us with those snippets too! :D
Title: Re: Dawn of a new Era (AU) Reworked
Post by: Freihändler on 14 August 2020, 05:08:01
This is off to a darn good start and an interesting premise, to get the Lyrans and Kuritans to have a ceasefire and you tease us with those snippets too! :D
Hello and thank you! As I wrote above, I started to design this story when I became fed up with what the official writers did to the canon storyline over the years. BT might not be the most realistic sci-fi universe, but there has to be an inner logic and coherence. While I can have fun reading the twists and turns of canon, it is glaring how everything is pushed, bent and hammered to fit the storyline, no matter how assinine it becomes by this. In special the character desgins and several events. Take the Dark Ages for example. Flippantly speaking, is there a single leader in that era who is not inept or a nutjob? Some like Caleb Davion or Malvina Hazen are both.

My "Dawn of a new Era" story is about more realism for BT, as far as it is possible. And believe me, more realism for the storyline has enough twists and turns of it´s own! And it leads to a very different BT-Universe in the mid-32nd century. A treaty between Steiner and Kurita is just the beginning and logical, even true to the characters.
The Takashi Kurita of 3020 is even in canon a ruthless, but intelligent and moderately reform-oriented ruler. Long missmanagment of the economy by his antecessors might topple the Combine within years, if not plotshielded like in canon.
Now comes Katrina Steiner with a peace initiative, her realm THE manufacturers and economists of the Inner Sphere. No matter how deep your prejudices might run, if you have a single braincell active, you start negotiations.
Title: Re: Dawn of a new Era (AU) Reworked
Post by: David CGB on 14 August 2020, 14:47:41
This is off to a darn good start and an interesting premise, to get the Lyrans and Kuritans to have a ceasefire and you tease us with those snippets too! :D
Seconded please
Title: Re: Dawn of a new Era (AU) Reworked
Post by: Freihändler on 14 August 2020, 17:54:02
Seconded please
Thank you and I hope the other parts will be to your liking as well. Next update I think will be late saturday or Sunday, at the moment I have some pre-written stuff reworked, so it can be posted earlier than later stuff can be.
Would be interesting to read what you dear readers predict will be coming in my story.
Title: Re: Dawn of a new Era (AU) Reworked
Post by: Freihändler on 16 August 2020, 15:30:54
Old Star League Garrison, Dieron
Draconis Combine, Prefecture Al Na´ir
11. June 3022

Thelos Auburn, lyran Court Historian, was busy working on his personalised Compad, while waiting for the transport which would bring his travelling group to the Lyran DropShips. He imagined the pure envy in the historians community, when in a few years he could publish his book "The Dieron Negotiations - Upgrading the Arcturus Accords" from the view of a person who was there.
Thelos had been able to get an interview about all going on with both the Archon, which was less difficult for him as a long-time court member and friend of the Steiner family, and with the Coordinator and his cousin Chandrasekhar. His interview with the Kurita heir Theodore and his wife Tomoewas too short due to time constraints to count as a "full" interview in Thelos eyes, but still substantial enough for inclusion.
His young daughter Misha had gathered enough material for a ground breaking book of her own. All in all, a totally satisfying trip for the historian´s family. Still, the historian in him would have liked it more, if he could publish the book right away, but that was impossible due to two factors. One was that the recovering relations between Commonwealth and Combine were still fragile to vicious assaults (in whatever form they could take and selected reading and outtakes of books were one form), the other was the secrecy surrounding the Arcturus Pact. Strictest security measures on both sides and a hefty dose of pure luck had made it possible that even now, two years after the Arcturus Accords no other Great House knew much about it, according to both LIC and ISF. Both secret services were a bit happily surprised, that beside some insubstantial rumours, the Davions, Mariks and Liaos had nothing.

Naturally both in the Commonwealth and the Combine, if less openly there, the rumour and speculation mills had worked overtime in the last months, since nobody could stop the spread of the fact of the long Quiet along the Lyran/Draconis border. These rumours had found their way to the ears of the other Great Houses, but not more.
The shifting of some units from the front to the other borders had been so slow and incremental enough, that it had slipped under the Radar for now.
The governments of both Star nations obviously knew that this luck in slipping by the others would come to an end sooner than later, such luck could not hold indefinitely.

Actually within days both Commonwealth and Combine would start offensive operations against the Free Worlds League and Federated Suns respectively. But with “gebremstem Schaum” (lit. slowing foam, meaning holding back during an action).
The attacks would be smaller than many would anticipate, but more focused. Unlike most of the time over the centuries of Succession Wars, when dozens of opportunities were wasted by hipshots of the various Great Houses, Katrina Steiner and especially Theodore Kurita agreed that better defined goals for an offensive was better.

One reason for this was the simple fact, that both Great Houses did not trust each other all that much, despite necessities and politics. The enmity had been too long for quick recovery of relations and while the 2 years of secret peace did a world of Good on the officials side, being cautious was important.
The coming offensives were themselves partly about proofing each others trust by playing by the book, instead of trying to backstab. Due to the caution, both LCAF and DCMS had shifted substantial forces from their common border to the rimwards theaters, but less than they theoretically could.
If “Operation Morgenrot”(Sunrise/Red Sky) would run without hitch, at least when it came to the peace treaty, then more units would move towards the frontlines. Gaining trust was essential if the Arcturus Pact would be in for the long run.

In addition, for a real upswing in the relations of Houses Kurita and Steiner, the citizens had to know more than just hearsay. The last two years of peace had already been good for that, in putting the seed that this pause in the near endless fighting might hold longer or become permanent.
Official statements for some time had been subtlety spun to put a better light on the "Elsies" or the "Dracs", while slightly putting more emphasis on the failings of the other Powers.
So in two hours, just before the Lyran delegation would depart for home, the Archon and the Coordinator would officially give a declaration that a cease-fire between the two nations was in effect and that the Combine had decided to answer the Peace Proposal by Archon Steiner with beginning talks with the Lyran government about a possible Peace.
That the two coreward Houses already had signed an alliance was to be kept secret for a while longer. Slow, cautious and delicate were the operating words for preparing the over two trillion people of Lyran Commonwealth and Draconis Combine for that revelation.

Thelos still could shake his head about the sometimes bizarrely bipolar negotiations in disbelief.
On the pragmatic-political level the talks had been going forward rather nicely. There had been several severe sticking points, but pragmatism showed the obvious advantages of deepening the alliance signed on Arcturus.
On the personal-emotional level it was different. The mind might say the right things, but the heart is a different thing. While both sides had brought their leadership circles or representatives for those who could not make the journey, it was clear that the upper echelon needed time to stomach this turn of events as well. It was not as tension-wrought as the talks on Arcturus two years earlier, more easy-going, but the reservations still obvious.
Both States had hardliners and bringing them halfway on board would be the homework of the next years.
Some changes could be seen rather easily. Coordinator Takashi Kurita and Subhash Indrahar, according to Thelos insider contacts the ISF director, had many new faces in their direct entourage. Nobody on the Lyran side did question this much, knowing the answers would not be worth it.
What Thelos Auburn saw as one of the craftiest moves by the Archon and the Coordinator was that both had their delegations full with members from regions not too involved with the fighting between Kurita and Steiner. Representatives from the Alarion, Coventry and Bolan Provinces or Galedon and Pesht districts. And to have people there who had few problems to handle the cultural differences, the delegations had members among them from the Rasalhague district and the Rahneshire, the Commonwealth region with the strongest Japanese heritage.
This was not only to keep the tensions down, but since the meeting had been prepared for well, it was clear that a deepening of the Arcturus Accords would extraordinarily help the development of these regions.
That the alliance brought change, however slowly, could be seen directly in the fact that on the Combine side Chandrasekhar Kurita, often called "Uncle Chandy", something of a black sheep in the Kurita family, led the economic parts of the negotiation on the Dragon´s side.
The Combine was changing, some tacit reforms had been brought on the way and it was likely that the Accord with the Commonwealth would hasten the development a bit. And the Lyrans were changing as well, less than the Combine, but still.
It could be seen by the way the interstellar questions were taken care off during the talks, much more "offensive-minded" than usual. For a time there would be no more than the level of aggression against the League and Suns than what Operation Morgenrot would bring, to keep them from guessing too much about the "cease-fire", then several hard and fast attacks to conquer some Key-Systems.
In addition, both delegations agreed there should be some clandestine help to the Capellans, to make a "Rimwards Alliance" less likely and some help to Circinus ,the Outworld Alliance and other Periphery "governments" to keep the Mariks and Davions more occupied. Maybe the Liaos would not become members of a possible Anti-Alliance or if, only after they spread a lot of havoc before.
Comstar´s influence should be pushed back, but only in the future, after sufficient alternative options were spread through both realms.

"Yes", Thelos thought, "Arcturus and Dieron will be remembered as the victory of Realpolitik and Pragmatism over emotional Demagogues. If it comes to fruition and holds, that is."

Foreign Ministry, New Avalon
Crucis March, Federated Suns
12. June 3022

Countess Olivia Fenlon stared out of the window of her bureau into the streets of New Avalon. Had done so for over a hour. News of importance travelled fast and she had seen the speech by the Archon and the Coordinator shortly before noon Avalon City time. Her thoughts circled around one question: What had gone wrong during the Talks with the Lyrans?

When the Archon finally read the Federated Suns secret answer to her Peace Initiative, there had been real enthusiasm. Throughout 3020/21 the talks had been going forward. A one year cease-fire to bolster the consultations had been readily agreed upon by both sides. There were talks about the military situation, the economy and research/recovery of Lostech. There were points where Steiners and Davions disagreed, especially the economy and if the Initiative should be open for all, if some other Successor State reconsidered, but nothing what could not be overcome.
Well, in hindsight, the Negotiations began to cool down around New Year 3022, with the Lyrans letting sleep in the talks in February. Had that been the time when the Dracs approached the Commonwealth? No, both declared a cease-fire yesterday, something the FS and LC closed, even if secretly, within days of the beginning. With the bad blood between the Dracs and Elsies, that might not have gone as fast, but surely not taken 4-6 months.
A logical conclusion out of what the House Davion foreign ministry knew about Commonwealth and Combine, helped by MIIO reports, was that the ISF stumbled over some hints about the alliance negotiations, but not enough to see that they were already over and tried to jump aboard to disrupt all. And those "peace-wanting" Elsies, after being too dumb to close a deal with the Successor State that would even without their help become the nation of the First Lord of the Star League, seeing that their peace initiative had not born fruits with 3 States, latched onto the one that did come late for surely nefarious reasons. As if the Dracs could or would offer the Lyrans as much as the Suns had been willing to!
No, more than this cease-fire would not come out of this try of desperation. And she and her advisors doubted if that cease-fire between such old enemies would hold longer than a year or so. It seemed for the first time in years, the Prince´s highly proficient nose for opportunities had erred. But it was of no consequence. Considering that the talks in the early months of the year, which brought the end of the negotiations, had been about economics and easier military conquest against the Combine, the only pluses the far distanced LC had for the Federated Suns, it was not much lost. If the Elsies got obstinate about that, instead of listening to someone in the know, their loss. The Commonwealth had never been much on the screen of New Avalon in the last centuries except for trade, so it could be ignored for awhile anew. Once the hated Combine was taken care off, one could show the Lyrans the errors of their estimations. Or better, the AFFS would.

The so called "Fenlon-Report of 3022" would make history some years later. While nobody could fault the hard facts described to all sides, Duchess Fenlon and her ministry, in their first ire about a treaty within grasping reach suddenly vanishing and especially after the Draconians started their part of Operation Morgenrot, underestimated the LC´s capabilities and more important the political constellations around Tharkad and rose-tinted the situation of the FS quite a bit.
This was unusual for the efficient and friendly optimistic Duchess, but could be attributed to the feeling of being "robbed" of a, in all fairness weighted favourably towards the Suns, alliance treaty proposed to the Archon. It was actually mainly the failing of the MIIO, which had not broken through the veil of secrecy laid by DC and LC around their Arcturus Accords. Without knowing about the thaw in relations between the two Star Empires, the foreign corps of the Federated Suns overplayed the hand given. Had the Suns been the only nation talking with the Archon about her peace initiative, the "FS-weighted" treaty would have been accepted by Tharkad, because there still had been some obvious advantages for the Steiners in it.
But with the Steiners already being in the early stages of a tentative understanding with the Kuritas, the Lyrans had the joy of being able to choose which nation more to work with. The Archon and her advisors already saw early (according to the Biography of Katrina Steiner)that the economic philosophies of LC and FS were nearly incompatible (despite being closer than those of the Combine at the time) and the Suns more resistant to economic changes proposed by the Lyrans. The final nail in the coffin was, that the Davions were unwilling in principle to open talks with Houses Kurita and Liao about a lasting peace.
Going with information we got from the Lyran foreign chancellery, the Lyran government did already consider the talks with the FS a failure by March 3021 and lengthened the negotiations for nearly another year only to keep the secret about Arcturus.
- From the 3074 Trideo-Documentation "From friendly neutral to enemy in a decade - Houses Steiner and Davion on collision course"     

Dropship “Wotans Zorn”, Dieudonne (in transit to)
Independent World, Free Worlds League
14. June 3022

General Frederick Steiner had a bit of free time during this phase of intra-system travel. While he read a book, part of his concentration was on Operation Morgenrot. He himself was one of the planners and he looked forward to execute it.
It was not the most straightforward plan the Lyran Commonwealth ever made, but most of that stuff came from people like Katrina, Simon Johnson or Edward Regis. The LCAF were not striking obvious targets in the first wave. Indeed, Dieudonne was such a target. While it was the HQ of a FWL military district, major industrial systems like Oliver or Kalidasa, just one jump over the border, were far tastier targets, but here the plan was thinking outside the box. A bit too much for his liking, but it was the plan.
Driving a salient towards the Stewart Commonwealth, a League state close to the Captain-General, bypassing the Silver Hawks Coalition, among the opposition of the Marik in parliament. It was the intention to sew strife among the various League states and worlds with that move.
With Stewart a close supporter of Janos Marik, the FWL would sooner or later react when it became clear to them that House Steiner intended to swallow that state whole.

When the Mariks reacted, sending forces towards the invasion corridor, therefore weakening defences elsewhere, part two of Morgenrot would start. Troops freed thanks to the peace with the Dracs, would start to gobble up important worlds rather close to the Marik/Steiner border, like Tamarind, Kalidasa or Thermopolis, to name a few.
These were the main targets, less the Stewart Commonwealth. While the Lyran Forces would try to hold as many worlds of that League state as they could, that was not as important.

How new the current situation still was to everybody in the know, became clear to Frederick once again, when the message had come in that the Combine had started their attack on the Galtor bulge and several other pieces of the Feddies Draconis March on time. Part of the General still had reckoned with a backstab by the Kuritans.
In Frederick two souls warred with each other. On one hand, he considered himself a candidate for the Archonship, finding his cousin Katrina too soft, too conciliatory for the post she held, on the other, the Archon had somehow managed not only to bring the Combine to the green table, but to sign a peace. And the Combine was following the agreement!

Frederick Steiner had enough self-awareness to know that politics were not his strongest suite. It had been one reason Aldo Lestrade had approached him and proposed to be Frederick´s political arm. The General knew that Lestrade looked out mainly for himself and did not know how to spell the word patriot, but his political acumen was extremely helpful, which was why the two men had come to an agreement years before.
But now Frederick was trying to get away from Lestrade. He did not like Katrina much more than before the treaty with the Combine, but unlike Lestrade, he was a patriot. Neither he himself nor Lestrade would have been able to get the Dragon to sign such an important agreement, for that alone Katrina had earned a chance to proof herself in Frederick´s eyes.

He had no idea how long the Arcturus peace would hold, but it had already given the Commonwealth a much needed time to take a breath. That was very well and so Frederick would not be planning Katrina´s downfall, but doing his job as an important general: conquering worlds for House Steiner and his family!
While Frederick was distancing himself mentally and especially physically at the moment from Aldo Lestrade, he contemplated what or who the Duke of Summer would try to catch in his web now that Frederick was leaving. The Archon´s cousin knew without a doubt that Summer´s ruler was a disloyal, self serving weasel, but extremely adept in covering up that fact. While Frederick had wanted to use these abilities of Lestrade earlier, he knew aperson like the Duke was up to no good ultimately.     
Title: Re: Dawn of a new Era (AU) Reworked
Post by: Freihändler on 21 August 2020, 17:57:11
Snippets from the Inner Sphere
„Personally I think it was, without any crowing over the fact, my colleagues and my comparison of the situation of Combine and Commonwealth at the end of the Star League and today, which drove home the point for both delegations. I doubt most politicians, except the Archon and surprisingly the Coordinator it seemed, in the delegations had ever seen this disaster.
The crass, glaring and obvious fall from grace all Successor States went through had to be stopped. If we wanted to rise again, the situation had to change. Within days, Arcturus Accords and Pact had been signed.“
Dr.(h.c.) Dietmar Wunder, member of the Lyran delegation on Arcturus and Dieron

Hanse Davion´s reign will certainly be valued as one of the most important of all First Princes in History. He wasn´t called the Fox by friends and foes alike for nothing. Famous and clever strategies, a great diplomat with an eye for the possible, the architect of the ‚Concord of Oriente‘, the list of his achivements tower far above the failures. We, the Federated Suns, can call ourselves lucky that he was still Prince when the Clans attacked the Inner Sphere. Still, even among the Great, Fate plays it´s own role. While Prince Hanse died at the controls of his beloved Battlemech like his brother Ian, it was not the enemy, but a sneaky heart attack who bereft us of one who will be missed far and wide.
From one of several eulogies for Hanse Davion 3054

„You stupid cow! Why did you guys not warn us earlier about the Clans? Millions could still live!“
„Fourth Succession War rings any bell, blinkered ox? The one your ‚Concord‘ started without any thought about the situation? Your leaders would have abused the information instead of preparing!“
AFFS Marshal Joseph Blak and Wolf´s Dragoons General Natasha Kerensky arguing on the battlefield

„Major Clavell, here is a message we received! What shall we answer? General Kerensky said I should ask you.“
„Well, here is written ‚the wolf pack returns to the lair‘, but then again, I am old and my eyes not the best anymore. I am sure it is advertisement crap. Throw it away!“
„Ehh...yes, Sir!“
„What is it, Sergeant?“
„Pardon, Sir, but the General´s reaction was as strange as yours?“
„Ah, somebody from the past comes knocking. In the early days of the Dragoons that might have been something, but  today it does not matter to us anymore. We are the Wolf´s Dragoons and where we should be.“
Jawohl, Sir! Ads are an annoyance, it goes straight into the rubbish box.“
A Wolf´s Dragoons office when the Return Order arrived

„Let me end this already far too long speech with the words: As of this moment, the Resettlement of Hegel is a go!“
From Colonist director Ralf Hütterer´s speech in the Lyran Hegel-System 3030
“The Inner Sphere is ****** up, but home now.”
Cranston Snord on Wotan during defence preparations, stated in the early phase of the Clan Wars

“The Crusaders said we go back to the Sphere, the populations rise up, we kick the corrupt House Lords to the curb and recreate the Star League. I never thought that would be as easy as they made it seem. But what we lived through in the IS should make it clear even to the staunchest Crusader. The Spheroids are not keen on us ‘liberating’ them. Some Clans thrived on, some Clans fell learning the lesson.”
Wolf Clan saKhan Evantha Fetladral 3101

“We made a mistake using the Archon´s initiative for grandstanding! For all their flaws, they are a major House and we have few tensions. The Confederation could have made important connections and who knows what else. The Lyrans could have been a great help for us, we could have squashed the Mariks between us, if a proper alliance would have been made. But now? We are still stuck between larger Houses without real friends. Father, why did you do that?”
From a diary entry of Candace Liao 3020

First Prince´s office, Castle Davion, New Avalon
Crucis March, Federated Suns
14. Juni 3022   

“Ok, what is the current verdict, Yvonne?” asked Hanse Davion his champion and aunt. Other persons in the little, informal war council were his friends Ran Felsner, Ardan Sortek and Secret Services director Quintus Allard.

“The good news is that the Snakes attack with few Battlemech regiments. And the fact, that we have no news about a possible incursion by LCAF troops at Caph or the rest of the Terran corridor.”

“That is good and not too surprising. The enmity of Combine and Commonwealth is a long one, the ink under their cease-fire a couple of days old. Trust in each other should be minimal. I predict both Houses will fight separated campaigns, observing the other for a possible backstab. The Dracs against us, the Lyrans against the Mariks.”, remarked Ardan Sortek as the first commenter.

“You are correct, Colonel Sortek”, answered Yvonne Davion. “That is my estimation as well. All current information hints this way. It would also explain the rather low number of Battlemechs in the campaign. Luthien and Tharad are surely covering their backs.

But there are bad news, too. While the number of Mech regiments is comparatively low, the Dragon sends a large force of conventional regiments. This is not a large raid, but a true incursion. Kurita knows we have to shift units to stop him. Units, we can barely afford strategically to shift, no matter how much Duke Sandoval already clamors for support of the Draconis March.
Ideally we could shift units from the Periphery border, but they would arrive too late. We must use regiments which will give the Capellans and at least theoretically the Mariks and Steiners a chance to hit us too. Actually, I estimate that the Combine had a similar plan already in the drawer, only no chance to enact it, since at least part of the forces had to be moved before their cease-fire with the Lyrans.
My staff and I work on the premise, that Kurita started their negotiations with the Steiners to find a way for their plan to happen.”

The First Prince of the Federated Suns nodded and steepened his fingers. “That is certainly a realistic and probable premise, Yvonne. thank you.
Quintus, I know you only recently took over the helm of our Secret Services, so this debacle would go home with Turston, were he still alive. But I need you to find out what went wrong with our negotiations with the Steiners and when the Kuritas decided to come to the party. What can you give at the moment?”

Quintus Allard, as practically always in an understated business suit, this day in dark blue, nodded and began. “Hanse, we work with priority on this. As Duchess Fenlon already stated in her personal report, we estimate that the Dragon approached the Steiners around New Year 3022, since about that time our negotiations with Tharkad took a turn for worse. It would be a great coincidence were it not so. The Kuritans were late, but since they did not make similar ill conceived demands as the Mariks and Liaos did beforehand
Without criticising Olivia, I do not agree with her ministry´s assessment, that the Kuritas only contacted the Commonwealth to throw a log between our legs and torpedo our treaty proposal. This incursion is clearly preplanned and prepared, like the Steiner attack on the FWL. The MIIO and I estimate, even if Kurita in the beginning wanted only to disrupt us, both Luthien and Tharkad recognised a cease-fire would enable them to execute plans they already had, but could not before a change in circumstances.”

It was then, that Ran Felsner, the humble, but highly talented ex-Lumberjack Mechwarrior took over the word.”If I may jump in? Spymaster Allard´s work is no doubt important and he is the right man to solve this, but even an apolitical Mechjockey like me sees the political dimension. The Kuritans are not known for an overbearing love of treaties or diplomatic finesse, neither is their general outlook very close to the Lyran one.
The question is how could they of all people sideline us? What if the unthinkable happens and the Kuritans and Steiners cobble together a functioning peace?”

Hanse Davion nodded.
“Exactly that, Ran, exactly that! I think we were too sure nobody else would react to the Archon´s Peace initiative and the chance it potentially is. Well, the Dracs did not close a treaty with another Star empire for over two hundred years, who would have thought that exactly now they would start again?
Nevertheless, from what Olivia told me about the truly difficult points during our negotiations with the Lyrans, in hindsight it was a mistake to press for exclusive negotiations. The Steiners are as horrified as I am how far the Inner Sphere has fallen, we even cannot tell the ‘galactic post service’ where to stick their ideas!
The Lyrans were adamant to keep their proposal, which is quite intricate I must say, open for all who wanted to participate. The thought that old enemies like Liao or Kurita”, here painful memories of Halstead Station came to Hanse´s inner eye, ”could profit from the Initiative was not something our delegation and I wanted. I won´t make such a miscalculation again!

Another thing were the economic questions and the marriage proposal. The Steiners were not keen on establishing very long trade routes without having a larger say in the economic development of our Suns. Here our delegation flexed not a centimeter, while I was willing to compromise to a degree. You can say much about the Lyrans, but they know how ‘to economy’. The marriage proposal with Melissa Steiner and me was something neither I nor Katrina were keen on, but the chief negotiators pushed for that to stabilise the alliance.
There were some other points, but looking back and knowing now that we had a competitor, I have a good idea why it derailed.”

“And now, Hanse, what do we do now to stop the Dracs?”

“The foreign ministry pushes me to close an alliance with the Free Worlds League to start to turn around the situation. I am willing for a cease-fire, even a peace treaty if possible, but not an alliance. I think an alliance would be a hipshot.
The FWL is not the most stable State the Inner Sphere or even the near Periphery has seen and as I said before, the Lyrans have not retracted their Peace initiative. I want to try it again with a better proposal, even if I would like to bite the table when thinking that the Snakes might get a piece of the cake as well.
An alliance of Federated Suns and Free Worlds League would antagonise the Lyrans beforehand and more, it would stabilise the cease-fire of the Snakes and the Elsies. It probably would even advance their peace talks from necessity alone. I am sure with a good enough proposal we can sideline the Dracs even now. That won´t happen if we get too cosy with the Mariks.”

What Hanse Davion could not know at that point in time, was that the League´s internal political and partly the military situation became so dire before the negotiations about a cease-fire began, that Janos Marik wanted, no, needed more commitment by the Federated Suns.
And the Federated Suns were not immune to pressure of the situation. Both States needed something tangible to keep the Capellans from profiting much from the fight at the coreward borders and to concentrate on Commonwealth and Combine respectively.

Jamie Wolf´s DropShip, Murchison (in Transit to)

Draconis Combine, Prefecture Al Na´ir
21. June 3022

While the LIC and the ISF had been right that no other Successor State knew out about Arcturus and Dieron, at least the deeper parts of it, they did not know that there was one "faction" that had found out.
The Wolf Dragoons. But then again neither of the two Secret Services knew that the Dragoons were the front of the Clans "sniffing" around how the situation in the Inner Sphere was.
Jamie Wolf had the most important remaining command level warriors in his command already invited at the Jump point to come down on his Overlord Dropship. Natasha Kerensky, the Black Widow, was the most famous of the 5 people sharing the meeting room with Wolf.

"I have to say that the 2 and a half years under the Steiners were the most easy we had so far. Some Pirate hunting and watching for an incursion of the Mariks and Kuritas, neither came. I believed that the Archon would use us against the Kuritas, especially since there was a definite spin in that direction during the hiring talks. Why in the hell did they hire us? Hunting that Surats in the Periphery, they could have gotten that cheaper by lower class Mercs or their House troops?" Johnny Clavell opened the conversation until Jamie Wolf would tell them what they came for onto the ship.

"Yes, Johnny, with the Combine hiring us, I´d say we see more combat for sure, I am quite sure we will soon be ordered to the Davion Front."

Colonel Jamie Wolf answered right away, something that took most by surprise. Normally Wolf would let his subordinates converse for a time, just to get to know how the unit fared ad what was going on.

"That is the reason why I called you here. I thought after 17 years in the Inner Sphere, there would be nothing that could surprise me in the big picture. While the Successor States are in slightly better shape than the Council estimated before we arrived, they were and are still fighting the same Wars that led our ancestors to go into exile.
Not even the general political fault lines changed much in all the time since the SLDF left the Inner Sphere.
But now, there is some movement on the political landscape."

"Yes, the cease-fire between the Elsies and the Dracs. But what is so different beside that our new employer for the first time in over, was it 200 years or so, made a political treaty with another House? We have seen more than enough how far the Inner Sphere fell, even the Kuritas must be exhausted. And we know, how long or short such cease-fires can be between long-time enemies."
Natasha Kerensky, the Black Widow, was genuinely interested what their "Data-Snoops" as Johnny nicknamed them, found so interesting. She kept a personal information vigil herself, but had found not much, why that cease-fire was so extraordinary. The only obvious thing was, that this treaty upset the routine of the Succession Wars, in which the Inner Sphere seemed suspended in. 

"One the first or even second look, yes, this is nothing overly dramatic for all sides. Actually, were we not actively searching for every scrap of useful information and a mercenary unit, I doubt, we or anybody else would see it."

"Why a Mercenary unit?"

"Because the last piece in the mosaic shaping, was a package of freight papers from the Mercenary liaison offices. It is the picture which takes shape after a lot of seemingly disunited information shifted through, which is so interesting.
As said and to make all not too boring, the dates of some events and movements we all read, seen or heard about, do not add up fully, very easily overlooked. And our specialists are sure that the result is clear. This declaration some days ago is for the wider public, behind the curtain the negotiations between Steiners and Kuritas have to be much more advanced."

"And how were these freight papers responsible for this 'insight'?"

"Well, I overlooked it myself as well, but the list recognition by the liaison office was signed a day before we took the Combine offer. Nothing that sticks out for itself, could be evaded as a simple mistake, only in combination with other bits of information and rumours it clicks.
We had good offers from both sides, but somehow the Lyrans knew we would go to the Combine. It could have been a hunch by an official, possible, but our specialists have shown me other hints and I believe it and them.

The Lyran proposal for a continuation of the contract was very good, it shows clearly why they are the premier manufacturers and traders in the Sphere. Actually, the Lyrans could have topped the Combine´s offer easily, but chose not too.
The Kuritas informed the Lyrans that we would accept their latest offer and the Lyrans did nothing. Why would they do that? The only explanation is that the Commonwealth and the Combine are scheming at a deeper level and are together in this in secret."

"This makes sense to me. I had a feeling the last few months, when I read the news, but could not really put my finger on it. This confirms my hunch. The tone when reporting about the Combine in the Lyran media is more conciliatory and positive than back in the "Tens", equally sneaked in over time.
But Jamie, this all hints towards a shrewd alliance, as impossible as it might seem on the outside. This has the potential to influence not only the balance of power in the Sphere, but the decisions back home on Strana Mechty as well."

"Yes, Tasha, indeed. We have to watch this as closely as we can, if this alliance of desparation, exhaustion or pragmatism holds, it can be positive or negative for our real mission.. We have to act accordingly."   
Title: Re: Dawn of a new Era (AU) Reworked
Post by: Freihändler on 15 September 2020, 16:04:16
CSR Warship “James McKenna”, Romulus, Zenith Jump point
Clan Wolf Occupation Zone

The two Khans physical differences in the suite on board the Snow Raven Flagship were highlighted by their common traits. Both were white haired, but Wolf Khan Ulric Kerensky was tall, if not particularly so, still he towered over the small form of Raven Khan Lynn McKenna.
But their bodies were home to two of the Clans most cunning and intelligent minds leading their respective Clans. The Snow Ravens made massive profits with their large fleet transporting supplies, warriors and other things for several invading Clans as far as Kennard in some cases.
The Wolves, despite their lackluster motivation for Operation Revival, came to the Inner Sphere with one of the best attack plans.

But this day´s meeting had not Clan business as reason, instead their common enemies, the Great Houses were the talking point. Many Clans viciously guarded every bit of information they learned during the Invasion, conducting independent operations on the frontlines.
While the Ravens and the Wolves were not that different from their brethren, both considered sharing some information necessary for their operations.

The two Khans had already spoken over an hour, when a topic came up both leaders were very interested in.
The olive-brown dressed Ulric was unconsciously playing with a tuft of his short-cut beard.
“Well Lynn, we all were going into this Operation with faulty intelligence. It is true that the Periphery and a lot of House Mech Regiments have truly outdated equipment, on pre-Exodus level. That was what we expected everywhere. It is nice and bringing glory that not all units of the Inner Sphere are in such a sorry state, but it bites some of the - more self assured - of our warriors in the ass at times.
The Steiner and Kurita units we meet at this front section now, have Mechs and equipment roughly of the tech level during the time our ancestors left the Inner Sphere. But it does not end here, their elite and veteran formations have shown enhanced or new equipment.“

Lynn McKenna, in the typical white Snow Raven dress uniform with the black chevrons on it, had taken a cup of coffee and answered the Wolf Khan.“We hear the same things from other Clans and their fronts, but this seems to be individual developments by the various Houses, nothing shared spherewide. Up to now, we Ravens never heard about completely equal advances anywhere. As far as I know the Sharks neither.”

“I can tell you some things we encountered. For instance, the LB-X autocannons we took from the battlefields are virtual copies of the old Luballin design. The Combine and Commonwealth engineers made some changes, but that is mainly cosmetic. Nothing close to the improvements we Clans made to the LB-X designs.
We have fought Mechs with old-style ER-PPCs, the Defiance 1001 is practically unchanged from the version they produced in the last days of the Star League. But their top units like Sword of Light or Royal Guards for example, field ER-PPCs with more punch.”

“What? Are they really this fast with distributing our guns they took isorla or so quick with re-engineering?”

“No and that is one reason it is infuriating that until today we never found one without disabling damage to the PPC. Our Techs and scientists are impressed with what they could gleam from the wreckage though.
Steiner and Kurita do not follow our way to better PPC characteristics, they took another road. The differences are so obvious it is even clear to me and I do not know how a PPC is put together.
They have completely redesigned the air intakes and vents, the charging chamber, the plasma bottle and the barrel including the magnet geometry. That is one reason for this spectacular looking helix when they are fired, which has been noted upon several times by our warriors.

It is probable they changed other parts as well, but as I said, we only have damaged examples. Still, our scientists are adamant in their opinion, that the changes done to the design of the ER-PPC are so extensive that it cannot be a development from having access to isorla Clan-PPCs. They would be closer to our blueprints.
The shape of this new plasma bottle alone is evidence enough. You could reach such a form only if you developed it from a different starting point. The Spheroids must have started this project before we came back!”

“Hmm, without any weighting, this is an interesting situation, quiaff? How good is this new weapon, Ulric?”

“Since we lack a working example, our techs extrapolated from BattleROMs, observed damage and theory. The Steiners and Kuritas get about a fifth more damage output from their new ER-PPC than the standard PPC, with comparable weight and size. Seeing our 50% increase in power, plus Clan-made ER-PPCs weight less and are more compact, this might not seem much.
But our experts tell me that this is a surprisingly sophisticated design already. It´s potential might be superior to our own PPC development line somewhere in the far future, but one thing the corrupt House Lords and retainers cannot do much about is size and weight. Weight savings and gains through high-tech materials nearly negate each other and I doubt the Spheroids will find a way to make this new ER-PPC more compact anytime soon.
And this new PPC version might be the standout weapon we saw in the hands of LCAF and DCMS, but they have further useful technology and equipment we had no knowledge of.”

“Well, Ulric, your Clan is not alone in making new discoveries about the Inner Sphere Forces. The AFFS might not field new PPC versions outside of what they call regained ‘Lostech’, but the Davions seem to have focused some of their weapon research efforts on autocannons. We heard that they have a dizzying array of old-style and new variants, complete with special ammunitions. According to our information, the Mariks field comparable cannons. Pound for pound these ACs are not on the same level as our counterparts, but many systems are new and have further potential. Besides, a true hit by one of these, one example the tentatively dubbed light autocannons, guns can kill you as well as a hit by an Ultra can do.
I see and I think you too, a slightly worrying trend. The Inner Sphere has stopped their centuries-long downslide. This might have been only a couple of years ago from what we can observe, but it will not make our goals easier. On the contrary, conquering the Sphere and rebuilding the Star League will become a tougher task. I doubt many of our bother and sister Clans recognise it.” 

Dropship “Running Fox”, Oriente (transit to Jump point)
Duchy of Oriente, Free Worlds League
2. December 3022

Colonel Ardan Sortek was one of Hanse Davion´s best friends and knew the “Fox” like few other people. It was obvious to him that despite the very successful negotiations with House Marik the Prince was in no mood for celebrations, unlike many of the persons on the Federated Suns Flag Dropship. Indeed, there was a festivity celebrating the creation of the “Concord of Oriente” Alliance going on in the main lounge of the ship.

“Tell me Hanse, is this mood because you stood up on the wrong foot in the morning or because something else?”, half-joked, inquired Sortek.

The ruler of the Federated Suns snorted in a way he allowed himself only in the company of old friends.
“Just musing on the less nice aspects of being the First Prince, like the Privy Council. Invaluable for the functioning of the Suns, but I cannot ignore them often without consequences.”

“Hanse, I know you were less than eager to conduct Alliance negotiations with the Mariks and the Council more or less forced you to do it under the impression of the starting peace negotiations of the Elsies and Snakes and their current offensives.
And remember the Privy Council is now singing praises again about your ingenuity at treaty negotiations to any news outlet which wants to hear it. Janos Marik and you are lauded for concluding the first alliance in centuries.”

“That is right, Ardan, but it is a treaty with more baggage than worth in my opinion. Yes, the FWL is a major economic power and their remarkable Jumpship production capacities will be helpful in calming our hurting shortage of Jumpships.
But I know the core problems of our beloved FS sometimes far too well. Our Jump network is insufficient and the number of jump-capable vessels low, too low for our needs. While the media covers it up nicely, we are cash-strapped and no other Great House has such a discrepancy in development between their Core and Skid Row worlds-“

“Hanse, don´t go down that road. I know you and how intensely you work at rectifying problems we have.”

The First Prince smiled a heartfelt smile for his friend. “Thank you for your vote of confidence, Ardan, but the problems we face I doubt will be gone during my lifetime. Or the lifetime of the next First Prince, be it a child of mine or a cousin.
And the angsty reaction of the Privy Council which forced me to create the ‘Concord of Oriente’ assured that some problems stay constant.
I wanted a peace and later alliance with House Steiner for more than them proposing such an idea and low antipathy between our realms. The League might be the top economy among the rimward nations, but the Lyrans are the Number One economy in settled space!
Their resources and riches could have been the fuel to jumpstart the Federated Suns´economy and later on paving the way to massive victories over the Liaos and the Snakes. The Free Worlds League simply cannot give us as much as the Lyrans could, even if they wanted to.

Mark my words, Ardan, there will come a time where the Privy Council will regret forcing my hands. Despite explaining them the political situation in detail, out of fear they told me to create an alliance with the Mariks.
Yes, now in the eyes of the public we are the first nations to close an alliance after centuries and it looks good on paper. On Paper! The League has never been known for being stable and we have only a small corridor towards each other. Something we will have to fortify with expenses better used elsewhere.
We cannot even reshuffle our forces much, since both FS and FWL border Mad Max´realm.  The idea of the Council that we coordinate with Atreus an unstoppable offensive against Sian is a pipe dream. That only way that will happen, is if Kurita and Steiner stay put during the time we crush the Capellans. And why would they? To smash Liao we need forces stationed at their borders with us. I doubt Tharkad or Luthien would let pass by such an invitation.
Besides, with the current combat situation in the March Draconis and along the FWL-Lyran border, we have to first stop their forces fighting there at the moment.
But the worst thing is with the Concord of Oriente we bury our last chance to restart peace negotiations with Tharkad and more we become a big, fat reason for Katrina and Takashi to conclude their peace negotiations in a positive way.
We are forcing their hands with this premature alliance. The Concord has potential, but not today or tomorrow. How about a bet, Ardan? It will take Katrina Steiner and Takashi Kurita no more than two years, despite their realms deep, old enmity, to conclude a peace. And I am of the opinion that we will hear about that far sooner than two years.
At least in one thing about that we luck out. The Leaders of ‘Free Skye’ have contacted us already for help. The Lyran Commonwealth is in for interesting times, I intend to use this opening to the fullest.”

I remember that conversation quite clearly, how Hanse predicted or theorised a lot of things which would come to pass. The “Peace of Arcturus” between Houses Kurita and Steiner and later the Arcturus Pact. The Glory and Woes of the “Concord of Oriente”, an alliance which still exists today. The “Great Shadow War” with terrorist and secret service groups of the various Great Houses and Comstar. The Fourth Succession War.
Things like the damned Blake Knights Hanse would foresee at later dates. The “Drums´ Rest” of the Inner Sphere, well most of it, when the Clans attacked us. The next Marik Civil War. The Age of Lostech regained and worse developments.

Ardan Sortek in his memoirs “Friends together”
Title: Re: Dawn of a new Era (AU) Reworked
Post by: DOC_Agren on 16 October 2020, 13:08:54
very interesting AU
Title: Re: Dawn of a new Era (AU) Reworked
Post by: Freihändler on 24 October 2020, 13:25:01
very interesting AU
Thank you! I will post further chapters as soon as I can. Work and Family has been cutting into (re-)writing time these last weeks. I hope I can surprise you dear readers with some events. As I might have mentioned before, I try for some more realism in the depiction of the BT universe, especially the various nations, factions, trade and travel. There are so many things which went wrong in the canon TL from the Fedcom Civil War onward, with Wobbie Jihad and Dark Age in special, you just can shake your head. The same goes towards some premises from the start, notably economics, logistics and scaling.

You do not have to be an economics major to see that if transporting bulk freight over whole parsecs, with the comparatively small "Mule" Dropship the workhorse of the space lanes, gives you sizeable earnings  and halfway fulfills the demand, that means the Successor States NEED and HAVE TO HAVE Drop- and Jumpship fleets far in excess of what is depicted in canon. A dense network, with rather exact time tables and civilian "command circuits" in all but name for couriers and special transport goods. At least for the economic powerhouses FWL and LC.
Actually one of the few logistics things they got right, more by mistake than design I think, was the FS´s economic woes due to their very long trade routes, mismatched regional development and lacking civillian jump net.