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An American Tanker in Prince Davion's Court (Chapter Cover Art)

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Chapter 38 - An American Tanker in Prince Davion's Court[]

No fate but what we make[]

East Room, The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C, Terra
December 7th, 3050

Over the previous three months, no effort was spared in arranging for a meeting between the great houses of the Inner Sphere; by Field Marshal Hodges’ suggestion, the conference is being held in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. The preparations were greatly aided by Hodges’ immense personal prestige.

As the designated host, Field Marshal Hodges arrives on Terra on December 3rd, with the lords of the Great Houses arriving over the next three days; last to arrive is Candace Liao, Chancellor of the Capellan Confederation. On the morning of December 7th, the attendees are driven from their lodgings in Blair House to the White House and are met by Hodges on the steps behind the columns of the north portico; on hand as an honor guard is a full company of infantry from the Black Watch.

First to arrive is the party from the Federated Commonwealth, consisting of First Prince Hanse Davion, his wife Melissa Steiner-Davion and their son Archon Prince-designate Victor Steiner-Davion. Following are Archon Katrina Steiner, Coordinator Takashi Kurita and his son Theodore. Thereafter are Candace Liao and her husband Justin Allard-Liao, Duggan Marik (who succeeded his father as Captain-General of the Free Worlds League upon the latter’s passing in June, 3035), Protector Thomas Calderon from the Taurian Concordat, Magestrix Emma Centrella from the Magistracy of Canopus and President Neil Avellar from the Outworlds Alliance; conspicuously absent is Caesar Sean O’Reilly from the Marian Hegemony. Greetings are exchanged among the attendees and, after a tour of the White House and its grounds, they are conducted to the East Room.

Field Marshal Hodges takes his place at the head of the table and gavels the meeting to order using the gavel formerly employed by the Speakers of the U.S. House of Representatives (before that nation was subsumed into the Terran Alliance).

“Friends of old, travelers from distant lands, you have been called here to chart the course that the nations of the Inner Sphere will take from now on. There hasn’t been such a gathering since the Star League Accords were signed in July, 2571; this is a precious opportunity; let’s make the most of it. Though I am sworn to the service of the Federated Commonwealth; in the matter of this conference, I am neutral. ” With this, Hanse Davion raises his hand; in response, Hodges gestures with his gavel and says “the chair recognizes the honorable gentleman from New Avalon.”

"Field Marshal, I'll be the first to agree that what we have here is an unparalleled opportunity to lay aside the darkness of the past and rebuild what was lost. You yourself have said that the Inner Sphere is now more united than it has been since before the fall of the Star League. Before the Clan Invasion, the several states acted as individuals; it's high time that the process of reunification begin. My fellow lords and ladies, I move that the High Council of the Star League be reformed and that membership in this body be extended to the states of the Periphery; pending the resolution of certain issues of course..."

Hanse Davion's words strike with all the effect of a bolt from the blue. A frisson of excitement runs around the table as Hodges announces "The honorable gentleman from New Avalon has moved that the High Council of the Star League be reformed. Do I hear a second?" Takashi Kurita boldly calls out "I second the motion." Hodges nods formally and announces "a motion to re-form the High Council of the Star League having been made and seconded, I now open the floor for debate." What follows next is 45 minutes of discussion among the attendees that is, at times, spirited. At the end of that time, Field Marshal Hodges calls for a vote.

"As regards the motion to reform the High Council of the Star League, all those in favor say 'Aye'; all those opposed 'Nay'." There isn't a single vote in opposition; so, after almost 270 years, the High Council is once again in operation. A round of applause runs around the table as Hanse Davion looks to Thomas Calderon, Emma Centrella and Neil Avellar saying "welcome to the council."

Once again, the meeting is gaveled to order, and Field Marshal Hodges says “Ladies and gentlemen of the Council, the next item on the agenda is the reformation of the Star League. As I have stated on previous occasions (and the First Prince has acknowledged earlier in this meeting), the Inner Sphere is more united than at any point since before the coup of 2766. It now falls to you to decide yea or nay; the question is ‘shall the Star League be reformed?’

A pause, then “Hanse Davion, First Prince of the Federated Suns, how say you?”


“Katrina Steiner, Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth, how say you?”


“Takashi Kurita, Coordinator of the Draconis Combine, how say you?”

“Aye, Hodges-san.”

“Candace Liao, Chancellor of the Capellan Confederation, how say you?”


“Duggan Marik, Captain-General of the Free Worlds League, how say you?”


“Thomas Calderon, Protector of the Taurian Concordat, how say you?


“Emma Centrella, Magestrix of Canopus, how say you?”

“The Magestrix of Canopus is pleased to vote Aye.”

“Neil Avellar, President of the Outworlds Alliance, how say you?”


Field Marshal Hodges announces “In the opinion of the chair, the Ayes have it. Let the record show that the Second Star League came into existence on December 7th, 3050; at 1400 hours local time on Terra in the city of Washington, D.C. Ladies and gentlemen of this honorable council, it now falls to you to decide the Second Star League’s form of government. The chair stands ready to provide advice and counsel as requested.”

Before the discussion begins, Protector Calderon asks “Field Marshal Hodges, I can’t help but notice that the Marian Hegemony is absent from these proceedings? Might I know the reason why?”

“Protector, the Marians aren’t here because they weren’t invited; you see, the Marian Hegemony practices slavery upon captives of war, and I find that to be an offense against all common decency. At the close of this meeting, I’ll be asking the council’s permission to undertake a campaign against them. In other matters, there is also the question of the various pirate states and kingdoms in the Periphery. They have afflicted trade and commerce between the Inner Sphere and the Periphery for far too long; they are ’hostis humani generis’ and it is high time that they be brought to justice for their crimes.”

Another pause, then “Ladies and gentlemen of the High Council, I am of the opinion that the Terran Hegemony should be-reformed and that membership in this honorable body should be expanded to include it; the Hegemony would be the personal domain of the First Lord, whomever that might be. This state would comprise all planetary systems within 60 light-years of Terra. Of course, this would need the cession of certain territories from each of the Great Houses…”

Takashi Kurita rises from his chair and says “You ask much, Hodges-sama. For such consideration, the benefits would have to be equally great.”

“Indeed there would be, Kurita-sama.” At this, Hodges gestures for his son Richard to come forward with an equipment case; it’s a matter of some curiosity that the case is handcuffed to his wrist. A moment later, the case is opened and the contents are displayed for all to see. Inside are a number of data storage modules, each bearing the Cameron Star.”

Archon Steiner asks “What are these, Field Marshal?”

“Why, nothing more than copies of the Prometheus Database. The original was given to me by the ship’s AI aboard my flagship SLS Admiral Halsey. It so happened that during the coup of 2766, it was foreseen by the SLDF’s High Command that the coming war would pose a general threat to the Star League’s knowledge base. Accordingly, this database was compiled and a copy of it was secured aboard SLS Admiral Halsey. The SLDF’s fear regarding the state of technological advancement in the Inner Sphere proved all too true, as almost all other copies of Prometheus were destroyed (either during the Star League Civil War or in the succession wars which followed); the few which survived fell into Comstar’s hands and disappeared. I later found out that when I was about to re-take Terra, Comstar’s First Circuit ordered that the Order’s copies of Prometheus be wiped; I have to assume that this was done to deny me (and the rest of the Inner Sphere) the contents of the database. I rectify that situation now by giving each of you a copy. Before anyone thinks to ask, I’m not quite done.”

Magestrix Centrella focuses her gaze on Field Marshal Hodges and asks “What do you mean by that?”

“Only this. Ladies and gentlemen of the High Council, it is a matter of historical fact that the First Lords of the Star League had amassed a personal fortune, the scale of which beggars the imagination. By the reign of Simon Cameron, the fortune had grown to some 24 quadrillion dollars; consisting of investments in stocks, bonds, exchange-traded mutual funds, real estate, mines, stockpiles of precious metals (gold, platinum, germanium, etc) that make Fort Knox look like the contents of a child’s piggy bank. There are also direct investments in such businesses as the Ryan Ice Cartel, Corean Enterprises, New Earth Trading Company, Kallon Industries and Magna Metals, Inc.”

“What happened to the fortune?”

“Well, in the aftermath of the coup in 2766, the Usurper was only able to lay his hands on half of it; twelve quadrillion, to be exact. This is how he was able to fund his war effort against General Kerensky. The other half seemingly disappeared; however, this was not the case. Simon Cameron’s most trusted financial adviser Lady Kodi Rosario took the funds and spread them out in such a manner that it would be all but impossible to track them. However, my forensic accountants are the best there is at what they do; even if what they do isn’t very nice. To make a long story short, the fortune is where Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘Purloined Letter’ is, hiding in plain sight. In a long, complicated and highly-circuitous route which began in New York and Zurich, then went through to Stewart IV in the Free World League, the funds were washed so many times that no one outside of Lady Rosario and her most trusted advisers could know where it all went; that is, until now.”

From Hanse Davion comes the question “Where’s the money now?”

“The fortune is controlled from the Bank of Mars in Aphoros; as I am still the administrator of the Sol System (by virtue of not having been relieved yet), I will gladly turn over the system and the fortune to whoever will be appointed the new First Lord.”

“Are there no legitimate heirs in the Cameron bloodline?”

“None that I’m aware of, your highness. Only two members of the family survived the coup; one of these was Richard Cameron’s young daughter Amanda. Contrary to popular belief, she was evacuated off-Terra by a detachment of the Blackhearts; she was then taken out of the system aboard the M6C robotic warship SLS Praetorian*. Thereafter, Amanda Cameron and Praetorian disappear from the historical record.”[1]

“What of the other survivor?”

“That would be John ‘Jack’ Aloysius McKenzie-Cameron. He was a distant relative of the First Lord who avoided getting killed with the rest of his family by the simple expedient of being off-planet when the family landhold in Scotland was raided by the Usurper’s goons. It didn’t help the bad guys that Mad Jack (or ‘Spring-Heeled Jack’, as some called him) was the top graduate in the Infantry course of the Gunslinger Program. When he came back to Castle Leod, John sword a blood oath over the bodies of his family and spent the next four years killing as many members of the Usurper’s regime as he could; some with a claymore, some with a longbow and still others with cruelly-imaginative traps.”[2]

“What happened to Cameron? He carried out his vengeance like one of the 47 Ronin…”

“Indeed he did, Kurita-sama. Matters came to a head in 2770 when the Usurper found out who was responsible for the killings and sent his best hitters after him (along with battlemech and warship support). Unfortunately for them, McKenzie-Cameron knew they were coming and managed to lure them into a decommissioned bunker complex outside of the abandoned town of Auchnacluchnie on Scotland’s east coast. When the bad guys were in position, McKenzie-Cameron sent off a conventional explosion which was so large that the warships in orbit could see it unaided; the Usurper’s bully boys were wiped out and the next-highest surviving officer exercised the better part of valor and declared to Amaris that McKenzie-Cameron was dead; he wasn’t, of course. The last information on Mad Jack has him leaving Terra under an assumed name. After this, he disappeared from the historical record; just like Amanda Cameron.”

No Fate[]

December 8th-December 22nd, 3050

After Field Marshal Hodges’ latest revelations are considered by the members of the High Council, the meeting is adjourned for the day and resumed the following morning at 9:00 am. Over the next two weeks, discussions are carried out regarding the Second Star League’s governmental structure. After a great deal of consideration, the council decided that it was in the best interest of the people of the League that the worst excesses of the Cameron Regime were to be avoided. To this end, it was decided that the Second Star League’s form of government would be an executive monarchy; with more power than a constitutional monarchy but less than an absolute monarch. The position of First Lord is to be an appointed one, rotating among the great houses and the Periphery States; the term of office lasting for three years, and no one who has served as First Lord can assume the position again until all of the other houses have served.

The Second Star League’s legislative body is of bi-cameral form, composed of a Senate and a House of Representatives. The Senate is composed of three representatives from each member state, whose term of office is for six years; one member of each delegation being elected every two years. The presiding officer of the Senate (called the President Pro Tem) serves for a term of ten years, and is elected from among the membership of that body.

The House of Representatives has a total of 535 seats, with 70 seats each for the Lyran Commonwealth, the Draconis Combine, the Free Worlds League and the Federated Suns. For the Terran Hegemony, the Magistracy of Canopus, the Taurian Concordat, the Capellan Confederation, the Outworlds Alliance and the Free Rasalhague Republic there are 35 seats each. The remaining 45 seats are reserved for independent planets (such as Northwind) or small nations; membership in the House is by elections that are held every five years. The presiding officer of the House of Representatives is called the Speaker, who is elected form among the membership and serves for a term of five years.

Next on the agenda is the structure of the High Council. As with the first Star League, the High Council will be comprised of the First Lord and the head of each of the League’s member states (or his/her delegated representative). When the head of a member state is serving as First Lord, a representative must be appointed to serve on the council in his stead; the foregoing doesn’t apply in the case of the Terran Hegemony.

The last item to be discussed is who serve as the inaugural First Lord of the Second Star League. Hanse Davion rises from his seat and says “Fellow members of the High Council, there is one among us here today who, by his inestimable record of service, has proven himself worthy of holding the position of First Lord. To this end, I hereby nominate Field Marshal Hodges for that office.” Normally unflappable, the nomination catches Hodges quite by surprise, and it is some little time before he recovers his composure.

“Your highness, I feel honored that you would repose such trust in me. However, I must decline the office. I’ve got my own little patch of ten planets to run, and I’m more of a soldier than a diplomat; like Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus of ancient Rome, I served when called upon and now I wish to return home. In my opinion, Protector Thomas Calderon of the Taurian Concodat would be a far better candidate for the First Lordship than I; if he were to be so chosen, he would have my full support.”

“Very well. Fellow members of the High Council, what say you to Field Marshal Hodges’ proposal?”

One after another, the other members rise from their seats and respond with one voice…’AYE!!’

Hodges once again gavels the meeting to order and says “Thomas Calderon of the Taurian Concordat, by common consent of the High Council of the Second Star League, you have been called to be the new First Lord. Will you now serve?”

“I will, and may God Almighty have mercy on me.”

“Very well. By the authority I have as Terra’s planetary administrator, I yield that office to you; I also grant you title to the Cameron fortune now held in the Bank of Mars, to use such monies in furtherance of the Second Star League. Congratulations, your highness.”

  • Author Note: Elements of the story chapter refers to Fan Stories of Amanda Cameron and Mad Jack John ‘Jack’ Aloysius McKenzie-Cameron. See Links below.



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  1. ‘Centurion’, by Drakensis on
  2. ‘Follow the Money’, by JA Baker