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Davion Heir (BattleTech CYOA)

Chapter 1

Call To Duty[]

Cottonport, Abbeville
Draconis March, Federated Suns
5th February, 3014

Victoria Eveline London was fast asleep when she was awoken by the infantrymen from the Davion Guards. Security for her as the Princess Imperial and Minister of Administrative Services, all of which is new to her as those developments only came about mere months ago. Back when her older half-brother Ian died and her younger half-brother Hanse took his place as First Prince of the Federated Suns before appointing her as his chosen heir in the absence of his own children.

Victoria has mixed feelings about that. On the one hand, she gets along with her half-brothers and is finally being brought into the Davion family, but at the same time, her life got overturned and she knows that while Hanse believed she was qualified for the task. He also only designated her as his heir to put another barrier between Michael Hasek-Davion and the throne.

Far from the first time in her life and certainly not for the last time, Victoria mentally curses the late Andrew Davion for being a crappy, worthless father.

But Victoria doesn’t have time to bemoan her family as she spots the grim look on the face of the man waking her.

“What’s the situation, Sergeant?” demands Victoria as she quickly takes in the rank signature of the man.

“Colonel Laurent just received a priority HPG from Captain Sortek on Halstead Station,” says the sergeant, “The First Prince is dead.”

Damn it, Hanse is dead. The loss of her brother is a tragedy of its own, but it is made even worse by the fact that Victoria is next in line for the throne.

Damn it all.

Casual Briefing[]

“You sure about taking the throne?” asks Victoria’s best friend, Tahmina Singh, a fellow MechWarrior who has been at her side since they were roommates at Kilbourne Academy, “You’re never been shy about your feelings on the matter when it comes to the Davions.”

“I’ve been plenty shy about it,” retorts Victoria as the soldiers with her shift uncomfortably, “We live in the Suns and it is House Davion that we’re talking about.”

“Not to me, you haven’t,” presses Tahmina as the short petite woman of Indian descent stares at her, “So Vic, what gives?”

“I have a duty to the Federated Suns, something I chose when I made the decision to sign up with the AFFS,” answers Victoria, “Whatever I think of my father and the rest of his family, that takes second place to doing my duty. Besides, my brothers treated me right once they knew I existed.”

God, isn’t that a punch to the gut. In less than four months, Victoria has lost both of her half-brothers and the Federated Suns has lost two First Princes. She really hopes that taking out the Kuritan supply depot and stealing a bunch of old books on Halstead Station was worth Hanse’s life.

Thankfully, Tahmina leaves it at that, perhaps sensing the change in her mood, and lets Victoria ride in silence as their jeep heads towards the DropShip. She will need to get back to New Avalon as soon as possible to claim her throne. Victoria might be the Princess Imperial and the only surviving sibling of the previous First Prince who has a claim to the throne, but she hasn’t got a civil service record and Victoria is an illegitimate half-sibling. That last bit isn’t as much of a mark against her as it would be in other nations, not when there aren’t any surviving legitimate siblings to stand before her in the succession, but it could be used against her.

Victoria has no doubt that Michael will attempt to contest her succession. He is a corruptible, ambitious man who fought with Hanse during her half-brother’s brief stint as First Prince. Hanse spent the months between Ian’s death and leaving for Halstead Station clearing out Michael’s influence in the government, replacing those loyal to the Haseks with those loyal to the Davions.

Oh, she does have a Diamond Sunburst that she earned in battle against the Dracs. That counts for a damn lot in the Federated Suns and it should be enough to seal the deal combined with her sibling status and position as the Princess Imperial. So long as Victoria doesn’t get killed before then, which is a real possibility because Victoria is one of those who believes that Michael was behind that assassin who made an attempt on Hanse’s life.

The weasel might have avoided leaving any undeniable proof tying him to the deed, but that only counts for the courts and the public. Those of them in Hanse’s confidence knew the truth and to Victoria’s gratitude, she is counted within that number. Or rather she was as Hanse is dead now.

Pushing the spike of grief aside, Victoria thinks about how to neutralise Michael as a threat to her reign. Hanse had put him in his place, but Michael had to still be smarting from that and with her half-brother’s death, Michael will have another shot at the throne via going through Victoria. God knows that her brother-in-law won’t pass up his second chance.

The Davion Guards would stay neutral-no, bad Victoria, don’t think about military force. Think ministers because they are responsible for running the Federated Suns and hold more power than any individual planetary leader. Even the Haseks and Sandovals draw more of their power from being ministers than they do from being dukes. Speaking of which, Victoria can count on Duke Sandoval to support her. Aaron Sandoval might be as ambitious as Michael Hasek, but unlike the latter, Aaron cares about protecting his people and fulfilling his responsibilities as the leader of the Draconis March rather than advancing his own power.

With the other ministers, Victoria knows she can count on most of Hanse’s appointees. Olivia Fenlon in the Ministry of Foreign Relations, Joan Davion in the Ministry of Ways and Means, Mark Butcher in MIIO and especially Mark, who has been a close friend of Victoria even before Hanse appointed him. Not to mention that the Ministry of Administrative Services will be freed up for Victoria to put someone of her own choosing there. She isn’t sure how much help the Ministry of Administrative Services will be, but having another minister in her corner will be undeniably to her benefit.

Hopefully the journey back to New Avalon won’t take too long.

Getting her House in Order[]

Avalon City, New Avalon
Crucis March, Federated Suns
20th February, 3014

“How bad is it?” Victoria asks as she climbs into the highly secure hover limo that has come to pick her up from the spaceport.

She isn’t the only one in the limo. While a pair of drivers from the Davion Guards are up front, Victoria has Olivia Fenlon, Mark Butcher and Yvonne Davion in the back with her. Quite the welcoming committee, but not unexpected given the circumstances.

“Michael Hasek-Davion hasn’t shown up yet,” answers Mark with a wry grin, “One of the JumpShips in his command circuit blew a helium seal and the last I heard is that the duke is waiting for his replacement JumpShip to finish charging its drive. The best part is that it is completely natural. No involvement from myself or any of my agents no matter what might get said in the future.”

“That’s-” Victoria starts to reply before pausing as she does the maths in her head, “That doesn’t add up. He still should have gotten here before me. Abbeville is further away from New Avalon than New Syrtis and while my command circuit didn’t suffer a breakdown like that, it wasn’t a full command circuit either.”

“I sat on the message,” says Yvonne with a trace of smugness and more than a trace of satisfaction, “Ardan sent a priority message directly to me and one to you. I waited most of a week before going public with it and passing the news onto Sandoval and Hasek. All in the name of security and avoiding a panic since we didn’t want to release the news of the First Prince’s death until we were certain it was true.”

“Giving you a chance to get here before Michael does was just a happy side-bonus,” adds Mark with false sincerity that Victoria would have mistaken for real if she didn’t know him so well.

“Speaking of the Haseks and Sandoval, Victoria, Duke Sandoval was not delayed and arrived a few days ago.” says Olivia.

“I’m aware,” replies Victoria, “I received a message from him to let me know that he was planetside and that I could count upon his support.”

“Aaron is a reliable sort,” says Yvonne, “Unlike with Hasek, we can count upon him to remain loyal.”

“And he knows full well that Michael is a rat,” adds Mark, “Speaking of rats, I have begun to purge my ministry of those who I doubt the loyalty of. It might be a little blatant, but Michael was able to stuff a lot of people into MIIO to the point that I am only able to trust parts of it with sensitive stuff. The way I’m handling things, you don’t need to worry about legal pushback, but I would be surprised if Michael doesn’t try to make something of it.”

“Since we are on the subject of what Michael will be up to, what are the odds of me being able to declare myself First Prince before he shows up?”

“You have the support of a majority of ministers between yourself, Olivia and myself,” answers Mark, “Aaron and Joan will also both support you, which gives you five of the eight ministries. Michael costs you the Ministry of the Capellan March, but we should be able to get the last two ministers to support us. Aaron also gives you the Draconis March to counter Michael having the Capellan March on his side and since you are the Princess Imperial and showed up before Michael could start sinking his hooks into things, the Crucis March should fall in line behind you.”

“You can also discount any military action taking place unless somebody seriously screws things up,” says Yvonne, “Michael might fancy himself the master of multiple regiments, but the truth is that few of them would be willing to follow him in open revolt unless they are given an extremely good reason. The Davion Guards would feel honorbound to sit out of any war of succession between you and Hasek, but you can count on the regiments loyal to Sandoval and the rest of the AFFS would either follow you or declare neutrality.”

“But don’t be surprised if Michael does try to intimidate you with the threat of military action,” warns Mark, “He would be bluffing, but he doesn’t necessarily know that you would know he is bluffing.”

“I doubt that Michael would go as far as to threaten civil war,” protests Olivia, sounding a little uncomfortable at this turn in the conversation.

“Not openly, but if he was in private, where he could deny ever making the statement, I wouldn’t put it past him,” says Mark, “Either way, Michael won’t have a shot at taking the throne unless he gets rid of you.”

“Which he would definitely try,” mutters Yvonne darkly, “We all know he was behind that sniper even if we could never prove it enough to openly accuse him of it.”

“Don’t worry, Vic, I will take care of keeping you safe.” Mark assures the Princess Imperial, “I’ll assign some of my men and women, ones that I know and trust, to your protection. Michael won’t find you to be an easy target.”

“And you can count on the Davion Guards too,” adds Yvonne, “They’ll take their duty to protect you very seriously and I’ll be using my position as the Prince’s Champion to make sure that the reliable sort are in charge of keeping you safe.”

It is quite reassuring to Victoria to know that she could count on her brother’s government to support her. He might not have finished clearing out Michael’s influence, but the Princess Imperial knows that she can count on the other Hanse appointees to have her back.

“So moving on from the scheming weasel and his plots, I have two things on my initial agenda;” says Victoria, “First is improving the standard of living outside of the Golden Five, especially in the Outback.”

“You can count on Joan for that,” replies Olivia, “Part of the reason she accepted Hanse’s plea to become the Minister of Ways and Means is to help the impoverished worlds in the Suns, such as those in the Outback or the worlds that have been particularly ravaged by the succession wars. If you want to push some development programs for the poor worlds, you can count on her wholehearted support for that.”

“I had hoped that would be the case,” says Victoria, “The second item on my agenda is going to be your area of expertise, Olivia.”

“Oh?” says the Minister of Foreign Relations inquiringly.

“What is the plausibility of an alliance with the Lyran Commonwealth and the Free Worlds League?” asks Victoria as she looks Olivia in the eye, “I have an in with both the Archon and the Captain-General and I want to know if I can turn those into something more, something beneficial to the Suns and reduce the devastation of the Succession Wars.”

“An alliance with one or the other is certainly on the table,” answers Olivia after a pause, “We have had traditionally good relations by Succession War-era standards with the Free Worlds League and they are our largest trade partner. And Ian had been making successful overtures to the Lyrans for closer relations in private before he died. All of that said, I don’t think that it is viable to form an alliance with both. Too much hatred and enmity lies between them to come to terms with each other like they would be willing to do so for us.”

“Actually, I might be able to provide an opportunity to help with that,” says Mark, cutting into the conversation as Victoria opens her mouth to reply, “With the help of House Liao, Anton Marik is going to launch a revolt against his brother in a month or two to seize the Captain-Generalship for himself. I have agents riddled amongst his supporters which Ian and then later Hanse intended to use to support Anton’s rebellion in order to destabilize the League.”

“Wait, why in God’s name would my brothers want to destabilize the League?” demands Victoria as she looks between Mark and Olivia in confusion, “Didn’t you just say that we had good relationships with them?”

“They are our biggest trade partner, but they are also a rival Successor State,” answers Mark, “Destabilizing them could have made them a more inviting target to House Liao, reducing the amount of forces the Confederation would devote to our border. Weakening them could have let us demand more trade concessions from them. If Anton ends up winning, he would be indebted to us for our aid.”

“Is that likely?” asks Yvonne, “Anton winning his rebellion?”

“Not at all,” answers Olivia while Mark shakes his head, “Anton might have a chance at winning, but I consider it unlikely. He has support from the Liaos under the table, but he cannot openly accept their aid without losing the support he needs within the League itself. I doubt he will be able to get that support, but at the same time, Janos is unlikely to be able to just crush his brother. Most of the provinces will either remain neutral or be more worried about a Lyran or Capellan attack than which Marik sits on the throne. By the same token, Anton will probably be able to keep his seat if he becomes Captain-General by force. Not a respected or listened to Captain-General, but he would be one.”

“So how does it tie into getting the Lyrans and Leaguers to agree to an alliance?” asks Victoria.

“We can help ensure that Janos wins, earning his gratitude and proving our good intentions,” answers Mark, “It could be used to garner support for your initiative to lessen tensions between the League, the Commonwealth and the Federation.”

“Mark is right,” says Olivia, “And I could take it a step further if the Archon proves cooperative.”

“Explain further, Olivia.” orders Victoria.

“If Katrina Steiner proves open to your idea of extending the budding alliance between the FedSuns and the Commonwealth to the League, then we could persuade her not to attack and take advantage of Anton’s revolt to strike the League,” replies Olivia, “While I cannot say she would support your endeavor for certain, I do believe there is a solid chance of it. If we could get Katrina not to attack the League, we could leverage our support for Janos against Anton into a ceasefire and peace talks.”

“Its dependent on Katrina and Janos playing ball.” concludes Victoria.

“As interesting as this is, I do believe that we are approaching our destination,” says Mark, interrupting Olivia as she opens her mouth to speak, “It won’t be long before we reach the Davion Palace so anything that needs to be addressed before then should be brought up now.”

“Thank you, Mark.” says Victoria, “To make sure that I am on the same page, I am going to declare myself First Prince and act like it before Michael shows up. I will have the High Council confirm it, but they are just going to be rubber stamping it. It might be unfair to the council, but I want to get work right away and leave Michael no openings to contest my ascension.”

“We should go to the Privy Council first,” says Yvonne, “As we discussed, the ministries will fall in line behind you and the marshals. Most of them anyway, we’ll know who to replace if they make a fuss.”

“Isn’t that a bit extreme?” asks Victoria, “We are playing loose and fast with the rules here.”

“You’re the Princess Imperial with support from the majority of the Ministries and House Sandoval,” replies Mark, “Maybe they might be objecting on principle, but most likely than not they are Hasek’s people. Hanse started to clean house, but we are still a long way from done. Also, you’ll need to start calling yourself a Davion not a London.”

“I beg your pardon?” says Victoria.

“Mark is right, Victoria,” says Olivia in a gentle tone, “I know that you have completely reasonable and understandable issues with your paternal heritage, but you cannot continue using your mother’s name. If you are to lead the Federated Suns, you need to be First Prince Davion, not Colonel London.”

“Andrew treated you wrong, no one here is going to argue that, but going down this path, you need to embrace being a Davion,” adds Yvonne, “Being the First Prince means being a Davion and it may be hard on you, but the Suns need you to be Victoria Davion not Victoria London.”

“Fine, fine,” says Victoria as she raises her hands in surrender, “I’ll take up the Davion name.”

But she doesn’t have to like it, she decides in the privacy of her own mind.

Author's Chapter Notes[]

Word from the Author
Here is the first chapter of the story, hopefully off to a good start. In this AU, Victoria London is the third child of Andrew Davion and his second illegitimate daughter. Unlike with Marie, her mother was from the Outback so Andrew was able to cover up the embarrassment by making Victoria keep her mother’s name and sending her off to live with her mother’s family in the Outback. I also have no problem throwing Andrew Davion under the bus in this story due to how he canonically treated his illegitimate daughter.

She got on with her life, but had a thing against House Davion for understandable reasons. She went to Kilbourne Academy and thanks to her ancestry on her mother’s side, Victoria was able to join the 4th Deneb Light Cavalry, where she served for little over a decade. Halfway into that time, she won the Diamond Sunburst in battle against the Combine, which led to her half-brothers finding out about her and accepting her into her family.

While Victoria still has less than kind feelings towards House Davion due to her father forcing her to grow up on the literal Periphery border, where she didn’t always have electricity or running water, she has or had built up a good relationship with her half-brothers. She has also developed a bunch of contacts within and outside of the Federated Suns.

Anyway, after Ian died, Hanse appointed Victoria as his heir apparent because he felt she was up to the job and to put another barrier between Michael and the throne. He then went to Halstead Station and died as they were being extracted as Ardan failed to save him in this AU. So now as per the premise of the CYOA that this AU is based on, Victoria is the heir to the Federated Suns.

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