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Aurigan Dreams (Chapter Cover Art)

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Raid Aftermath

Chapter 26 - Aurigan Dreams (BattleTech CYOA)
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I’m not sure when, but at some point, I became a part of Lord Arano’s inner circle. Not only was I just being consulted on things directly related to the Rimward Sentinels, but alsojust being involved in general. Of course I wasn’t being brought into everything and I was more there to stay informed than to actually provide anything of use, but I was being involved far more than I should be.

It makes sense. I have proven both my loyalty and my competence to House Arano and I command a substantial amount of military power, at least within the Aurigan Reach. Even if we will need to take some time to fully repair all of our ‘Mechs, the Rimward Sentinels are easily the most powerful military force in the Aurigan Coalition right now. With two new ‘Mech companies, we don’t quite have two whole battalions, but my ‘Mech forces are now equal to any three ‘Mech formations within the ACM, making up in tonnage what we lack in numbers. Only the House Espinosa Guard could stand up to us in a fight and they would be hard-pressed to do so.

The downside to this display of trust is that combined with the other acts of faith in me by Lord Arano, I have become a sought after entity on the local political scene. My landholdings as a baroness means that I have a handful of lords and ladies along with their families sworn to me as their liege lady. Meanwhile enough people have picked up on my connections to Lord Arano, his heir Kamea and Lord Espinosa that they are sucking up to me to try and get an in with them. It has even gotten to the point that people have been pestering my family. That got resolved by them moving in with Moana, but still.

At least Moana hasn’t got it as bad as I do. She might have people chasing after her as the new Baroness of Samuvau, one of Coromodir VI’s many coastal cities, but she isn’t an openly and blatantly trusted subordinate of High Lord Arano who has a very substantial amount of mercenary military force at her disposal.

Thankfully I have been able to play dumb and between Kamea acting as my personal assistant and all of my many responsibilities, I’m able to avoid most of them. I’m making some enemies no doubt from perceived snubs, but I’m going to milk my need to simultaneously learn how to be a MechWarrior, mercenary unit owner and a noble to keep the bootlickers and sycophants at bay for as long as possible.

Not that I’ve been able to completely avoid the obligations of my new position. I have to speak with the handful of lords and ladies whose holdings are currently under me since I have to deal with them. Nothing too onerous though I do the bare minimum I can get away with the odd meeting herethere and lunch together there. And then there are the families of my MechWarriors. In theory I could put them off, but since some of their kids will be following me into battle, I should make an effort to reach out to their families in an attempt to secure some loyalty and support.

Not that I’m planning anything against Lord Arano, but having the support of my MechWarriors and their noble families is the sort of thing that may be useful in the future.

It isn’t all bad. I even picked up a few more third and fourth noble sons and daughters for my new ‘Mech companies. The remaining slots are taken up by Dispossessed MechWarriors looking for a new ride, even if it means signing up with a bunch of mercenaries acting as glorified house troops.

With finding tank crews and infantry not being a problem, even out here in the Periphery since we are in one of the more civilised parts, the Rimward Sentinels have really come together. Five combined arms battalions for combat and a battalion of infantry for security is more two regiments than a reinforced regiment, but even if we have the numbers for it, we lack the senior officers for it. We’ve been having enough trouble with inexperienced battalion leaders since nobody in the Rimward Sentinels held command higher than a company before joining us and it was often lower than that.

Thankfully there have been no major issues because of that, but a fair few smaller ones have cropped up here and there. As much as I hate to admit it, the Rimward Sentinels are not a well-oiled machine. We aren’t bad, but we tend to have a mixture of competent people and very competent people doing their best to get things done without the benefit of any institutional experience and it shows.

We are still a force to be reckoned with out here, but that is less because we are top tier and more because we are a big fish in a small pond, getting by with an abnormally high amount of tonnage and ‘Mechs for the region.

If Farron came back with the entirety of Farron Military Solutions, he would probably win that fight. He would sweep the Rimward Sentinels, the Royal Guard , and the House Arano Guard aside. Sure it would be at significant cost to him, but I’ve been reading their MRB file and even with their recent losses, Farron Military Solution isn’t a peer to the Rimward Sentinels, but its superior.

Hopefully time, experience and some old SLDF caches will change that.

Anyway, back to the political scene, the raid on Coromodir has had quite the impact on Aurigan politics. A major raid on the capital has shaken things up, especially since it was repulsed with a military net-gain for the ACM. The display of strength has improved Lord Arano’s position and prestige as the High Lord of the Aurigan Coalition, which is significant because unlike with the major houses and their vast executive control, House Arano is very much a first amongst equals with the other Founding Houses.

Speaking of the other Founding House, Lord Espinosa has taken advantage of the raid to push his own agenda. Well, that is a bit uncharitable because in honesty, the man has chafed at being unable to legally intervene to stop the raid and is pushing to change things. While I know that the man desires more, Lord Espinosa has settled for pushing for the House Guard units being allowed to respond to hostile incursions into Aurigan space.

So far I fancy Lord Epsinosa’s chances. He hasn’t pushed for a formal vote yet, but he has the backing of his traditional allies, Houses Arano and Madeira, and with a clear example of why he wants this change to point to, Lord Espinosa has been making inroads with the rest of the Founding Council.

Griffin (Standing by meltdonw14)

Griffin

Stinger Light BattleMech (Battlefield - by Justin Kase)

Stinger Light 'Mech

It helps that House Karosas and House Decimis have both benefited from the SLDF sites on their respective worlds. Lord Decimis found a couple companies of decommissioned Griffins that they have been restoring with the assistance of the Espinosa Refit Yards while Lord Karosas found a lesser bounty of seven Stingers and a major stockpile of spare parts on his world.

Having enhanced their own Houses with the information provided by Lord Arano and Lord Espinosa, both Lord Decimis and Lord Karosas are grateful and favourably inclined towards their fellow lords.

And the most recent benefit of successfully repulsing the raid is the show of strength to the prospective new members. Artru, Aea, Katinka and Qalzi were already interested in joining the Aurigan Coalition and the display of strength has just sped things up. It is one thing to say that you can protect them and deter pirates, it is another thing to have a public performance to back up those words.

Halfway into August, the provisional agreement between the Aurigan Coalition and the four worlds is signed. While their membership needs to be ratified by the Founding Council to make it official and binding, in practice the Aurigan Coalition has gained four new worlds with the signing of that provisional agreement.

In two months, the Aurigan Coalition has risen to a new height. The ACM has grown by another battalion of ‘Mechs in addition to becoming heavier in average tonnage, the Coalition has grown from eighteen systems to twenty-two and it has the Rimward Sentinels as glorified house troops. And unbeknownst to the public, we have the secret SLDF locations to investigate.

Yet instead of feeling pleased, I can’t help but feel worried at all of this because according to my other memories, this is the height that the Aurigan Coalition peaked. According to canon, the worlds of Aea, Artru, Katinka and Qalzi joining the Aurigan Coalition is the last great triumph of the Coalition and it is all downhill from here. The Taurians getting upset over the latest and last expansion, High Lord Arano dying in an accident, the Espinosa Coup, the Aurigan Directorate and then even with the Arano Restoration, the Aurigan Coalition would never recover, fading away from the maps in later eras.

The only saving grace is that things are different. Not only do I and my Rimward Sentinels exist, but the ACM never gained those additional ‘Mechs and House Arano never retrieved the Argo until the start of the Arano Restoration. Not to mention that the four worlds have joined earlier this time around as in the other timeline, it would have had to have been 3017 at the earliest.

Zarantha Calderon is still the Protector at the moment and even if she only has another couple of years in her, I remember reading that an agreement between the Coalition and the Concordat could have been reached if she had still been in charge. Hopefully there will be some truth to that, especially since we have a few SLDF locations in the Taurian Concordat to sweeten the deal.

Between the New Vandenberg Uprising and Succession Wars, not many of those locations will remain, but I know for a fact that the one on Celano should still be there. That is where the Taurians got the data to put the Maultier back into production in canon so it should still be there. It doesn’t get discovered until the 3020s? I think it was the early 3020s.

While it would be tempting to grab it for myself, the reality of the situation is that offering it up to the Taurians is the more likely proposition. Not that has stopped me from buying up the farmland containing the SLDF warehouse on the cheap.

I mean, it is hardly the only land that I’ve brought up. I purchased a few locations on Cate’s Hold and the rest of the Magistracy and a few more in the Concordat. I mean sooner or later someone is going to make the connection between my land purchases and the SLDF finds, but for now the legal legitimacy is a benefit rather than something that tips people off.

But for now, Outpost Castle Nautilus is the next prize that we have set our eyes upon. It will be a tough cookie to crack, but it was done by Kamea in canon and this time we should be able to do it without a Taurian invasion force breathing down our necks.


Author's Chapter Notes[]

Word from the Author
So I was originally planning for some dialogue and character interaction, but nothing really came up for the timeskip and by the time I got to the prep meeting for Nautilus, I decided I wanted that to be the start of the next arc. Instead we get Elizabeth narrating the events between the last update and the start of the next arc, covering the fallout of the raid and tying up a few minor plot points from previous arcs.

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