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

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Chapter 39 - An American Tanker in Prince Davion's Court[]


The Letter[]

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


At the close of the meeting that saw the founding of the Second Star League and the re-founding of the High Council, First Lord Thomas Calderon asks that the members of the Council bear witness as he composes a communication to be sent to Caesar Sean O’Reilly, ruler of the Marian Hegemony, to wit:

Sir:

As First Lord of the Second Star League, I find that the practice of taking prisoners of war and making them slaves is an offense against all common dignity. Therefore, the throne requests that you cease this practice and release all captive; furthermore, these people will be compensated by the Hegemony with an amount commensurate to the length of time that they have been held as slaves.

To this end, the Marian Hegemony has six months to comply with this request; if you do, then the Marian Hegemony will be admitted as a full member-state of the Second Star League (with all the rights and privileges appertaining thereto. However, if you don’t see the wisdom of doing so, it then falls to me to see that the situation is rectified by other means at my disposal.

Given under our hand and seal This 22nd day of December, 3050 In the City of Washington D.C, Terra

After signing the document and seeing that it is dispatched, Calderon speaks out loud and says “ladies and gentlemen of the High Council, let the record show that this letter is my first official act as First Lord. I hope that Caesar O’Reilly sees the light of reason; if he doesn’t, then we’ll have six months to prepare for the campaign.”; Field Marshal Hodges now raises his hand for recognition.

“Yes, Field Marshal?”

“Your highness, you should be aware of the fact that Sean O’Reilly was responsible for the death of his father, Imperator Marius O’Reilly. My sources tell me that he and his pals are planning a campaign against the Illyrian Palatinate and the Lothian League sometime within the next two or three years; his objective is to conquer those principalities and incorporate them into the Marian Hegemony.”

“I’ll take that under advisement. In the meantime, I suggest that the members of the High Council select the forces that will be participating in the campaign against the Marians. If, as I hope, Caesar O’Reilly complies with my request, then these forces will be employed to rid us of those pirate states and kingdoms that have been plaguing the Inner Sphere ever since the collapse of the first Star League, namely, the Tortuga Dominions , Satander V and the Greater Valkyrate. In the meantime, we’ll use the next six months to prepare for the campaign.”

As the members of the High Council prepare to leave Terra and return to their own realms, Firt Prince Hanse Davion takes Field Marshal Hodges aside and says “what are your thoughts on the planned campaign?”

“Your highness, it’s about time that someone read O’Reilly and his bunch the Riot Act. As the First Lord said in his letter, the practice of slavery is an offense against all common decency. This kind of thing should have gone out in April, 1865; it certainly has no place in the present day and age. My great-great-great grandfather John Hodges fought for the Confederacy and other relatives fought for the Union. So, I’ve got a rather-personal connection to the whole issue of slavery.”

“Indeed, sir. What troops do you intend to contribute to the campaign against the Marians or the pirate states?”

“I’ve already made my choices, your highness. There will be five of my Division Combat Teams, three of my Air Cavalry Divisions; plus the necessary supporting arms and warship support. I firmly believe that it’s better to have too much combat power available than not enough. I think you’ll agree that Murphy is still as much of a demon as he was in the mid 20th century of Terra.”

“Just so. As for the Federated Commonwealth, I’ll include the Davion Heavy Guards RCT (commanded by Marshal Ann Adelmana), plus the 1st and 2nd Davion Guards. I don’t know what Archon Katrina has in mind, but I’ll prevail upon her to include the 1st 2nd and 3rd Lyran Guards.”

“Your highness, I hope the Marians see reason and get with the program; if they do, so much the better. If not, then we’ll punch their collective ticket as well as those of the pirates thereafter; it’s worth noting that the Marian Hegemony’s capital world of Alphard-IV has some of the biggest germanium deposits to be found anywhere in the Periphery”

Within the next 48 hours, the several House lords depart Terra for their own realms. Last to leave is Field Marshal Hodges, who takes the time for a side trip to Washington National Cathedral and then to visit the grave of his Great Grandfather at Arlington National Cemetery.


Certain Complications[]

Caesar’s Palace
City of Nova Roma
Alphard-IV, Marian Hegemony
December 30th, 3050


The First Lord’s message arrives at Alphard IV’s HPG Station some eight days later and is delivered to Caesar’s Palace with all possible speed. Still fuming with indignation that the Marian Hegemony wasn’t invited to the meeting on Terra, Sean O’Reilly receives the letter, thinking that it carries the First Lord’s apology for the slight. As he begins to read, the expression on his face goes from one of smugness to titanic anger. One of the officials in attendance on Caesar O’Reilly is the Princeps Senatus Marcus Livius Drusus Aemilianus.

“Princeps Senatus, you are to call the Senate into emergency session. I., Director Svoboda and the commanding generals of the six legions will be in attendance.”

“Yes, Caesar; it will be as you say. May I know the reason for such haste?”

“The Star League has been re-founded and they are threatening the Hegemony over our practice of slavery.”


December 31st, 3050


While recharging in the Epsilon Eridani system for the jump to Fletcher, Field Marshal Hodges calls his intelligence staff together to gain an understanding of what military forces the Marian Hegemony has to oppose the planned operation against them; shortly thereafter, the information is delivered. In sum, the Marian Hegemony Armed Forces (MHAF) comprise six legions, plus a penal unit called the Cohors Morituri and its guard force, the Auxilia Ripariensis. Each of the six legions is of regimental strength, with 3 BattleMech Battalions and the associated armor, artillery, and infantry.

“That’s just the kind of information I need, people. Now, tell me about the mineral resources of the Hegemony’s home planet Alphard IV. Specifically, the Germanium deposits; they’re supposed to be the biggest in the Periphery.” One of Field Marshal Hodges’ staff members consults the 3045 edition of the SME Mining Reference Handbook and says that the stockpile of germanium found by Johann Sebastian O’Reilly in 2930 and used to found the Hegemony came from two sources; mining of hard rock deposits and asteroid mining (both by Alphard Trading Company). ATC’s asteroid mining assets were destroyed in the Succession Wars, while those planetside deposits continue to be exploited. As of 3045 (the most recent year for which information is available, Alphard IV’s reserves germanium are in the form of 1.75 billion tons of zinc-lead deposits (where the germanium content averages 21 ounces/ton, 160 billion tons of carbonate-hosted copper deposits (where the germanium content averages 2.25 ounces/ton) and germanium-enriched coal deposits, which amount to 1.61 trillion tons (with an ash content of 10%-20%, where the ash is anomalously-high in germanium, at 467-512 ounces/ton). As these figures relate to germanium abundance, the amount of gallium found in these sources is 9.9x greater).



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