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Davion Heir (Chapter Art)

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Davion Heir (BattleTech CYOA)

Chapter 21
[]


Taking Breath Before Moving ON[]

New Foundation, New Earth
Federation of Skye, Lyran Commonwealth
9th August, 3016


“Do you think I could get away with giving Morgan a Medal Excalibur?” Victoria asks out loud, only half-joking.

“I doubt it.” replies Yvonne, “Even putting aside that he is a mercenary and not even a citizen of the Suns, he only rescued Hanse. Not to downplay that as I am as grateful to him and the Kell Hounds as anyone else, but it is too personal to the Davion family to justify a Medal Excalibur.”

“I wasn’t seriously considering it, but I do need to do something to reward Morgan,” says Victoria, “And the rest of the Kell Hounds, too.”

“You can’t give the Kell Hounds land-holdings since they already have Arc-Royal.” says Tahmina, “Others might be willing to take a title and land grant, but I doubt all of them will be so I won’t count on that.”

“Grant the Kell brothers the Order of Davion and give the rest a Silver Sunburst or if they did something particularly critical to the mission, a Gold Sunburst.” suggests Yvonne, “Give them priority on resupply to get them back up to full strength and a bonus sum of C-Bills from the Davion family coffers.”

“I’ll look into it,” says Victoria, “The medals and C-Bills shouldn’t be too much trouble, but I don’t want to redirect supplies at the expense of other units which may need them.”

“It shouldn’t be a problem unless you are planning a follow up offensive,” replies Yvonne before the Prince’s Champion purses her lips, “I would recommend against that. Most of our reserves are currently committed and those that aren’t need time to lick their wounds and get back into shape. Especially if we are absorbing the Outworlds into the Federation because between that and our most recent liberations, the AFFS will be tapped out for another year or two as we get things sorted out.

“The upside is that the Combine is as exhausted as we are. They have taken losses all across both borders and while they have held Dieron and Al Na’ir, they took as heavy losses as we did in the process. They have enough forces remaining to make any further invasions non-trivial, but they lack the manpower to launch a counter attack.”

“Unless they pull reinforcements from the Commonwealth border,” Victoria points out, “The DCMS did better along that front.”

While the AFFS took a dozen worlds along the border with only Dieron, Al Na’ir and Proserpina remaining in Kuritan hands, the LCAF has had a harder time of it. The Lyrans were ultimately successful in their half of the invasion and even took one more world than the Suns did, but they also targeted more worlds and ultimately took heavier losses than their foes. The AFFS and DCMS had roughly equal losses across their front, but the LCAF had a higher casual rate than the DMCS on their side of things.

“The LCAF didn’t have their reserves tapped out by another major invasion two years ago,” answers Yvonne, “They have enough forces remaining that the Coordinator can’t afford to let that front be weakened.”

“Unfortunately that bitch found another cache while everything was going on,” grumbles Victoria, scowling at the thought of that infuriating report, “and from the size of her expedition, I bet she brought a decent-sized haul back home with her.”

“Even if she did, it won’t be enough to change things.” says Yvonne, “We have the Kuritans on the defensive and they expended most of their LosTech on Dieron and Al Na’ir. Even if the Combine is bringing more ‘Mech factories online, we still have the advantage when it comes to the combined military production of the Commonwealth and the Suns.”

“Another few regiments might allow for a counter-offensive in the near future, especially if she found more LosTech,” argues Victoria, “And MIIO has strong indication that the Dracs have some degree of LosTech production on Luthien.”

“When did that news come in and why haven’t I heard it yet?” demands Yvonne sharply.

“Arrived with this morning’s HPG bundmble,” answers Victoria, “The news was included in my morning brief and I read it about an hour ago. Nothing too solid so we don’t know what the LosTech is or if it is as simple as some handcrafted prototypes or something as advanced as a proper production line, but it bodes ill for the future.”

“It certainly does.” agrees Yvonne, “Depending on what the details are, we may be in for some rough sailing ahead. Still, we do have the upper hand right now and that is no small thing. Since we are on the subject of LosTech, have we seen any sign of those exoskeletons that were used to silence Anton Marik?”

Victoria lets out a sigh at that. Two years ago, Anton Marik and his inner circle were captured by the Captain-General and then were promptly eliminated by a force of unknown combat exoskeletons before any of them could talk. Since then, those combat exoskeletons have yet to be identified and have been both a mystery and a point of contention. Janos wants to know who it is to find out who wanted his traitor of a brother silenced and for a time, it was accepted that House Liao was behind them.

Then the Capellan Confederation fell and it became clear that they weren’t behind the exoskeletons so the suspicion shifted to the Draconis Combine. Now House Kurita hasn’t deployed any sort of combat exoskeleton and suspicions are beginning to get raised once again. With the two most obvious suspects out of the running while the Periphery and ComStar being non-options, the blame is beginning to raise tensions as the most likely suspect is looking like the Lyrans or an internal faction of the League.

Victoria hopes it won’t grow into a bigger issue, but if Janos decides that the Lyrans are responsible or if he needs to blame them to avoid internal strife from blaming a faction within the League, things could go badly. Hopefully not sink the Solaris Accords badly, but it might and even if it doesn’t, it means more trouble and work for Victoria.

“No,” admits Victoria, “From what MIIO and DMI have reported, the Dracs either haven’t used them or they don’t have them. And while it will be politically charged, it is increasingly looking like the latter is the case.”

“I’ll leave the politics to you then.” says Yvonne with a frown, “I won’t deny that I will be relieved to find out that the Kuritans don’t have them to use against us.”

“If only it was that simple for me,” says Victoria with a sigh, “Alright, Yvonne, bring me up to speed on military matters and concerns so I’m up to date when the Archon arrives tomorrow.”


News of Luthien[]

New Foundation, New Earth
Federation of Skye, Lyran Commonwealth
10th August, 3016


“Things have gone well,” says Katrina, “Not as well as the invasion of the Confederation, but we knew going in that the Combine was going to be a much harder foe.”

“That has probably spoiled me,” replies Victoria, “By the standards of the Third Succession War, taking two dozen worlds is a good win, especially since the enemy isn’t in a position to retake them. Not to mention that we kept the Kuritans from claiming the Outworlds Alliance. Most of it anyhow.”

“Things are more perilous on my side of the border,” admits the Archon, “We have taken heavier losses than we inflicted and despite my best efforts, too much of the LCAF remains hampered by corruption. The DCMS has already retaken Komephoros and I fear that more worlds may fall to counterattacks, especially since the Commonwealth makes for an easier target for the Coordinator to gain some wins. Could you spare some of the AFFS to assist?”

“Only if you don’t mind some former CCAF units.” answers Victoria, having made sure to be aware of what the Suns could spare to help the Lyrans, “The Northwind Highlanders have grown eager to see some action again and refill their coffers, but they want to remain as mercenaries and I have hired them to help reinforce the new border. I can send them to help the LCAF, but I would like to request some financial compensation to help cover the cost of hiring them.”

“That is acceptable, especially given the reputation that the Highlanders had as some of the better units in the Confederation.” replies Katrina after a moment, “With the Commonwealth is more than capable of paying some C-Bills. It will be easier than finding some dependable units.”

“I’ll speak with my Champion and have her sort out the details with whoever is handling it on your end.” says Victoria, “Now, have you heard anything about the LosTech production on Luthien?”

“Only that the LIC has reliable indication that the Combine is producing some kind of LosTech on their capital,” answers Katrina, “And that your intelligence agencies have shared similar reports.”

“I’m not sure if they have been passed to the LIC yet, but the reports that I received yesterday are confirming that there is some manner of LosTech production on Luthien,” Victoria tells her, “What it is or the extent of it are unknown, but it is there and I want to find out more. I am hoping that something will be turned up, but given that it is Luthien, I suspect that we’ll find out what they are making when it starts getting deployed to the frontlines.”

“An unfortunate, but likely prospect,” agrees the Archon.


Family Reunion[]

Avalon City, New Avalon
Crucis March, Federated Suns
12th September, 3016


“You certainly have been busy while I’ve been away,” says Hanse as Victoria walks into the room, looking aged by his captivity, but jovial to be back home, “I do like what you’ve done with the place.”

For her part, Victoria doesn’t bother with words as she rushes forward to embrace her brother. A hug that Hanse happily returns.

“The place being what exactly?” asks Victoria as she pulls back.

“The Inner Sphere, Vicky,” answers Hanse dryly, “Practically unrecognizable these days.”

“An opportunity was dropped into my lap,” replies Victoria with a grin, “I just took advantage of it.”

“Is that what you call replacing a fellow Successor State with a new March?” drawls Hanse, “Because I didn’t expect to come back after two years and find that the Liaos are now our subjects.”

“I needed to secure our flank against the Kuritans,” explains Victoria with a shrug, “And before that, they were exposed and an easy target, especially after they pissed off the Leaguers by trying to ignite a civil war over there. Speaking of which, were you seriously going to inflame the civil war rather than stop Anton’s revolt in its tracks?”

“I’ll concede that your approach has certainly worked out, most likely far better than my own way.” replies Hanse, “I’m not going to reclaim my position as First Prince. Even if I held it first, you have held it longer and done more with it. More than I could have hoped. It is in the best interest of the Federated Suns to keep you as First Prince and it isn’t in its best interests to cause internal strife and disunity. Especially since the Combine is industrially on the rise.”

“You heard about that?” inquires Victoria and her brother nods, “It’s a mess. For every victory I claim, it feels like the Dracs are getting a lucky break. Sometimes it feels like a miracle that we have them on the backfoot.”

“Speaking of miracles, I’m still stunned at how you got the Taurians of all people to listen to reason.” says Hanse, switching back to his semi-joking manner, “I never thought I would see the Bulls make peace with a Davion.”

“The current Protector is more interested in outward expansion than invading us,” answers Victoria, “Plus the invasion of the Cappies made it clear that I could conquer them if I wanted to while the Drac invasion of the Outworlds got them antsy. Antsy enough that the Protector could agree to no raids and turn a blind eye to trade through the Aurigans without too much internal backlash. But enough about politics for now. Have you seen Dana and Ian?”

“I’ve been spending my free time with them between catching up on what I missed during my captivity.” answers Hanse fondly, “I regret missing Ian’s baby years, but I am glad to be with them now.”

“You’ll be spending more time with them.” Victoria tells him, “Dana is going to leave the AFFS and take a part-time job on my staff to have the time to be a proper mother to Ian. As for you, I’m putting you on medical leave until you have recovered from your time in captivity. And don’t complain that it is special treatment, the same would apply for any soldier in your position and if that isn’t already the case, then I have some changes to make. It will also give me time to find a place for you since your previous position isn’t an option.”

“Of course,” agrees Hanse before pausing, “Have you found anyone? It hasn’t been mentioned to me, but it occurs to me that I haven’t been told you don’t have anyone.”

“Still single and looking that way for the foreseeable future.” answers Victoria, “I’ve been too busy to worry about something as trifling as romance. I have too much on my plate right now to give a romantic partner a suitable amount of time. It wouldn’t be fair for either of us.”

“The amount of time you can devote to your partner is a reasonable consideration.” concedes Hanse, “Hopefully it will be something that I can keep up in regards to Dana. God knows that I’ve failed her in that regard even if it was in no way my fault.”

“It really wasn’t,” points out Victoria, “If we are going to take blame for things that aren’t our fault, I should let you know that I had no plans to rescue you. Benjamin was still too deep in Combine space and I didn’t have the forces to spare for a deep raid. If Morgan and the Kell Hounds hadn’t gone after you on their own initiative, you would still be in Kuritan hands.”

“Sounds like I owe them even more than I realized,” says Hanse before giving Victoria a grin, “Not that I blame you for your choice. The needs of the Federated Suns come before our personal desires even if I am exceedingly grateful to be free of Draconian prison. I would not recommend the experience by the way, zero stars all the way.”

“It couldn’t have been that bad if you are already joking about it.” teases Victoria before sighing and giving her brother another hug, “It is good to have you back, Hanse.”


The End

Author's Chapter Notes[]

Word from the Author
And the story is at an end. I’m not the happiest with it, both the ending and the story, but both of them are good enough that I am okay with them. In addition to being my first successful run at NaNoWriMo, it has also been a learning experience in a new style of writing so I’m happy with the outcome. I made my mistakes, but hopefully I will learn from them and in the meantime, there is another enjoyable BattleTech story on the internet.

I’m going to write an epilogue or two, something taking place in 3019 as the truce between the Lyran Commonwealth and Free Worlds League is about to run out. A brief glimpse into the future to see how things are playing out.

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