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Davion Heir (BattleTech CYOA)

Chapter 7

Cease Fire and its Repercussions[]

Hilton Head, North America
Terra, Solar System
23rd April, 3014

“How has this been allowed to happen?” demands Precentor Dieron as the man looks around the table where the rest of the First Circuit is gathered, “Three of the five Successor States have declared ceasefires with each other and are now engaged in peace talks!”

“Now, now, it isn’t quite that bad,” says Julian Tiepolo, Primus of ComStar, “The Lyran Commonwealth, Federated Suns and Free Worlds League have only agreed to peace talks and given the grievances and outright hatred between the former two, anything coming from it is far from guaranteed.”

Of course, Julian is downplaying things even if every word he said was true. Yes, it is true that the peace talks are unlikely to be fully successful, but there is a strong possibility that the Commonwealth and the Suns will come to an accord against the Draconis Combine. The groundwork had already been laid by First Prince Ian Davion at the start of the decade and there is a very real chance of a military alliance between the two nations emerging. It would be unpleasant, but hardly the downfall of the Blessed Order.

Unfortunately, it isn’t the only thing to have gone wrong. While it cost them their First Prince, the Federated Suns had retrieved a library dating back to the time of the Star League. Those works of invaluable knowledge threatened to undo the work of Operation Holy Shroud as the Federated Suns now had the potential to begin undoing the technological regression of the Succession Wars. A danger compounded by two things, the first being that ROM had proven unable to get anyone close to the library cache as the First Prince had put an excessive amount of security on the library cache.

Though Julian concedes that given that the disproportionate protection around the books had proven sufficient to keep them safe so maybe it wasn’t all that excessive. On the other hand, the First Prince didn’t know about ROM’s actions or its existence so while there might be a real threat, Victoria Davion had no knowledge of it when arranging the security of the Halstead Station library cache.

The second thing increasing the threat of the Halstead Station cache was the First Prince’s willingness to share it. It was one thing for a Successor State to acquire some knowledge of the past and guard it jealously, it was another thing for them to offer to share it with two other Successor Lords. Yet Victoria Davion had no problem using copies of the Halstead Station library as bargaining chips in her diplomatic outreach to the Archon and the Captain-General.

And then there is the disaster that was to be the Marik Civil War. It was a simple enough idea to destabilize the growing economy of the Free Worlds League whose Eagle was acquiring too much value compared to the Blessed Order’s own C-Bills. Anton Marik and Maximilian Liao had already done much of the work on their own and it was just up to Precentor ROM and ComStar to ensure that things played out according to Blake’s Vision. Everything was going as planned until Victoria Davion rose to power within the Federated Suns and decided to act completely out of character for a Scavenger Lord.

Oh, it was admirable in some ways for one of the Great Houses of the Inner Sphere to take a break from the pointless destruction for selfish gain to make an earnest attempt at peace. Or not so earnest and not so admirable since the First Prince was very much aiming to get allies against her neighboring rivals. Who knows how long Victoria Davion’s desire for peace would last once the Draconis Combine and Capellan Confederation were out of her way.

Perhaps Victoria Davion would revert to type in time, but now the Primus and the rest of the Blessed Order had a set of minor crises combining into one major crisis. For everything that ROM had predicted and planned for, the First Prince deciding to inform the Captain-General of his brother’s treachery ahead of Anton openly declaring his revolt had not been something that they expected. Instead, ROM had been blindsided by it as Janos Marik had his brother arrested for treason and secured his position within League politics.

Perhaps worst of all was that Vesar Kristofur had been arrested alongside Anton and they had yet to identify the fate of the Precentor ROM. A very troublesome prospect given the amount of trouble that Vesar could cause the Blessed Order. At least there was a silver lining that Vesar’s hands-on approach to his work left the Primus with the perfect scapegoat. After all, dealing with all of this was Vesar’s job and it wasn’t Julian’s fault that the Precentor ROM had failed so terribly.

“I am more concerned about how our plans for the League had been completely annihilated.” Precentor Atreus, “We set up House Marik and the Free Worlds League to have a civil war and now it is completely averted with minimal fighting. And thanks to the Davions of all people.”

“I am more concerned with the loss of Precentor ROM myself.” says Julian in lieu of directly addressing Aliz’s point, “As much as I would like to make Vesar explain his decision making to us, the bigger issue is that our Precentor ROM got captured by one of the Successor Lords! Does anybody have an update on Vesar’s current status?”

“He is still in SAFE’s custody.” answers Aliz, “I don’t know much about his current state, but I can infer from how I am still being treated the same that he hasn’t talked. Yet. I recommend in the strongest possible terms that we do something to address this security breach waiting to happen.”

“I agree,” adds Precentor Tharkad in an instant, “We cannot allow the former Precentor ROM to reveal our secrets and given the state of affairs that he has left us in, I am not particularly concerned about getting him back in one piece or even alive.”

“I agree that keeping Vesar from talking about the Blessed Order’s true goals and activities is of the highest priority,” says Julian, glancing at the new Precentor ROM as he adjusts his glasses, “What options do we have to ensure that your predecessor remains silent for good?”

“I have a Delta/Epsilon team on standby,” answers the newly appointed Precentor ROM, Tojo Jarlath, “Using P12 Tornado power armor, I have a strong confidence in their ability to reach Vesar Kristofur and eliminate him. However, retrieving them is a different problem so we should consider this to be a suicide mission. A public, messy suicide mission where we tip off the existence of our Tornado armour to the Successor States, which could impact the Blessed Order’s ability to operate in the future.”

“A lot worse will be done to our ability to operate if Vesar talks.” says Precentor Sian, “I vote that we approve the mission. The sooner this is dealt with, the better.”

After a quick vote, the result is unanimous as the entirety of the First Circuit is fully away of what will happen if the Free Worlds League gets the former Precentor ROM to talk. The meeting remains on the subject of Vesar and how to avoid a repeat incident until Julian decides to get the meeting back on track.

“I believe that we have spent enough time discussing the failings of our old Precentor ROM for now,” says Julian, “Jarlath, could you share what has become of Anton’s failed revolt?”

“Janos showed up with enough force to seize New Delos and has crushed his brother’s Ducal Guard regiments,” answers Jarlath, “The captured war material has made up for the losses and then some. The Third Marik Militia and Eighteenth Marik Militia have had their officer corps arrested and their remaining members are undergoing a purge for traitors. The 12th Atrean Dragoons are undergoing a similar fate except it is being performed by loyal members of that regiment against those who were going to side with Anton. The Fourth and Fifth Regular Hussars have quietly remained loyal and due to the political difficulties of moving against Regulus without clear proof of their disloyalty, the Captain-General has let it go though he is certainly going to remember it.”

“So any chance of a civil war in the League is gone.” notes Precentor Sian bitterly.

“House Davion is responsible for it.” says Aliz, “We decoded the messages too late to act on the information, but First Prince Victoria Davion is responsible for tipping off Janos Marik to his brother’s treachery and arranged for proof of her claims to be delivered to the Captain-General. Furthermore, she is the driving factor behind the ceasefire and the proposed peace talks. Without her pushing for them and using her connections to the inner circles of both Katrina Steiner and Janos Marik, we wouldn’t be in this mess.”

“She holds the Star League library that was unearthed.” adds Precentor Dieron, “What can be done about her? Can we not cause internal trouble for her? I remember that the Haseks were causing trouble for the Davions with the current head of House Hasek being ambitious enough to take the Davion name for himself.”

“Unfortunately, Duke Hasek-Davion has been neutralized by the First Prince.” replies Precentor New Avalon in frustration, “I am unable to identify the details, but Michael Hasek-Davion was behind the attempt on Victoria Davion’s life. The First Prince has proof of his duplicity and is apparently sitting on it to avoid a civil war between herself and Hasek-Davion. For us, that means that Hasek-Davion won’t be taking any actions against the First Prince for the foreseeable future because while a civil war might be undesirable to the First Prince, it would be the end of him and his ambitions under the current circumstances.”

“I will look into opportunities to do something about the First Prince, but judging by how difficult it is proving to get at the Halstead Station cache. I am uncertain that anything will come up to directly strike at her.” says Jarlath and Julian feels a sense of approval at how well his appointee is fitting into his new position, “I recommend that we look into indirect ways of targeting Victoria Davion and the Federated Suns if we wish to take action against her.”

“I feel that all this talk of action is premature.” says Julian, drawing the attention of the First Circuit to himself, “While recent events have been an undeniable disaster for the Blessed Order, I feel that blaming Victoria Davion for all our woes is misplacing the fault. While the First Prince certainly bears some share of the responsibility, I am more concerned about our own involvement. The Precentor ROM captured by a Successor Lord, all of our work to ignite a civil war in the League undone, a Star League library uncovered and seized by a Great House and now a ceasefire and peace talks between three of the Successor States. I wish to know how badly Vesar Kristofur mishandled ROM to allow all of this to occur and I want to make sure it is fixed before it leads to further crises on our hands.”

“What are you suggesting, Primus?” asks Precentor Sian as she leans forward.

“The peace talks are unfortunate, but the truth of the matter is that they are unlikely to go anywhere.” replies the Primus, “The FedSuns, the League, and the Commonwealth will stop warring for a bit before old hatreds break out and the fighting resumes as talks break down. It may happen naturally on its own or we can inflame their grievances if the talks look like they are going somewhere. In the meantime, the Blessed Order is drawing too much attention to itself right now and ROM has been compromised to an unknown degree. For now we should keep our heads down and let things play out whilst we get our own affairs sorted out. Yes, the current crisis is concerning, but it will hardly be our undoing overnight.”

“Julian is right,” says Aliz, “I am far from pleased with what has happened, but a hasty and reckless response will only make matters worse. It is undeniable that something is wrong with ROM to allow things to get so out of control and sorting that out should be our first priority. Lest we find ourselves with another situation spiralling out of our control.”

“As much as I would like to take action against Victoria Davion before she does something else, I also agree with the point that we should get our own house in order first,” says Precentor New Avalon, “I shall keep a closer eye on the First Prince so she doesn’t surprise us again. Hopefully, it will be easier now that she is a known factor.”

“Right now, I am more concerned about the state of the League’s economy.” says the Primus, “We were supporting Anton Marik’s ambitions to keep the Eagle from becoming too strong compared to our own C-Bill and now that won’t be happening. Precentor Atreus, what options do we have to destabilize the economy of the Free Worlds League?”

“Financial manipulation using our control of the HPG network is the most obvious action, but I still recommend against doing that,” answers Aliz, “We might get away with it, but the provinces physically comparing records with each other or bypassing us with JumpShip couriers would give the game away and draw undue attention to us. I would be against this under normal circumstances, but if we are going to expose the existence of our Tornado suits, I am especially against doing anything else that would get the Successor Lords looking at the Blessed Order.”

“I concur with Precentor Atreus,” says Jarlath, “I am only willing to risk drawing so much attention and investigation to our activities under normal circumstances. Under the current circumstances, I am still unaware of all of my predecessor’s ongoing operations and I won’t know what sort of shape that ROM is truly in until I’ve had time to sort through Kristofur’s hands-on approach to ROM’s activities.”

“I am inclined to agree with your respective assessments of that course of action,” says Julian, “I trust that you have another alternative in mind, Precentor Atreus?”

“Yes, I do, Primus.” replies Aliz with a confident and borderline eager nod of his head, “Duchess Humphreys of Andurien is steadfast in her staunch refusal to aid the Captain-General or any other part of House Marik. Additionally, the Principality of Regulus, the current leader of the opposition is currently under substantial suspicion due to portions of its military deciding to side with Anton Marik against the Captain-General and its refusal to hand over those treasonous elements to Janos Marik. While they both present interesting opportunities to exploit on their own, there has been a recent and very intriguing development of Duchess Humphreys reaching out to Count Cameron-Jones yesterday regarding the possibility of the Duchy of Andurien and Principality of Regulus engaging in a joint succession from the League.

“Furthermore, the current Magestrix of Canopus, Kyalla Centrella, has a hatred of the Free Worlds League that is strong enough that she could be provoked or guided into taking action against it. An alliance between the Duchy of Andurien, the Principality of Regulus and the Magistracy of Canopus would be sufficient to see our plans for the League fulfilled with a score of ‘Mech regiments between them. The only concern would be managing things so that their secession isn’t successful as such an event would leave the Free Worlds League too weak to resist its neighbouring successor states.”

“That sounds like an agreeable course of action,” says Julian as the Primus of ComStar looks around the table, “Unless anyone has an objection, I would propose that we put it to a vote.”

So the First Circuit of ComStar votes to support an Andurien-Regulan secession from the Free Worlds League as an alternative way to weaken the Eagle and destabilize the League’s economy.

Author's Chapter Notes[]

Word from the Author
A ComStar interlude and a bit of a timeskip between the first arc and the second arc. I was originally going to show the process step by step from Victoria’s perspective, but then I realized it wasn’t concise enough for the story I am trying to tell here.

So instead I chose to skip ahead to the next major point in the story and then cover things in, I think the term might be ‘in medias res’. I’m not entirely sure if I am using the term right, I’m skipping ahead to actual talks between the Lyrans, Leaguers, and Feddies whilst covering the intervening events in a ‘these things have happened’ sort of way. I figured showing ComStar’s reaction to things would be a good way of showing this in addition to establishing what one of the antagonists is up to when Victoria would have no way of knowing herself what ComStar is planning.

Oh, I also butterflied the Marik Civil War away, which is going to have consequences.

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