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Federated Suns Reborn (Chapter Cover)

The Federated Suns Reborn
- Chapter 113

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February 3069
St. Ives Offer

Future of St. Ives[]

Even as the AFFS continued to smash through the increasingly faltering CCAF, the First Prince made his way to St. Ives. With heavy security he landed on the world and immediately went to the makeshift memorial to the dead of the Thuggee attack at the partially rebuilt spaceport. He then made a much more private visit to the grave of his lifelong friend Kai Allard-Liao and his murdered family before attending upon the single surviving (if one didn't count Quintus who was still missing) member of House Allard-Liao, Cassandra Allard-Liao, who was basing her provisional government from a secondary military command and control facility located in the hills surrounding the still ruined Tian-tan capital city.

Victor Davion and Cassandra Allard-Liao had never exactly been close, but perhaps to honor the memory of their shared "brother" Kai, their meeting was by all accounts an extremely cordial and forthright one. Cassandra started by explaining the situation as she and her provisional government saw it in the St. Ives Compact. She began by listing the major issues which had crippled the small realm, not least of which was the growing movement on a number of worlds to join the Federated Suns given the huge damage to the basic infrastructure of the state. Victor acknowledged that this was a fundamental threat to the existence of the St. Ives Compact as an independent nation, but pointed out that huge problems that refusing said requests to join the FedSuns would have for him not only from the worlds in question but also a number of Federated Suns worlds with strong ties to worlds such as Teng and Texlos. He also pointed out that with the current conquests from the Capellan Confederation (for the first time openly admitting to a non-Davion that his intent was to annex these worlds) St. Ives would go from being wedged between the Confederation and the FedSuns to being effectively surrounded by the Federated Suns. Any independence they would have in this situation would be entirely reliant upon the good graces of the FedSuns.

Duchess Allard-Liao had to acknowledge this point, however it's fair to say having it spelled out so openly by the Duke of New Avalon didn't exactly make her happy. She asked then what Victor was proposing moving forward, stating that she would not simply disband the Compact and allow it to be merged unceremoniously into the Federated Suns. Echoes of her mother's refusal to kowtow to Hanse Davion in 3031 were very much in evidence.

Duke Davion however stated clearly that he in no way wished to simply annex the St. Ives worlds in such a manner. Instead he proposed a more palatable arrangement. Firstly, instead of the St. Ives Compact breaking apart and individual worlds merging or being annexed to the Federated Suns on an ad-hoc basis he proposed that the St. Ives Compact itself should join the Federated Suns in a similar manner to the former United Hindu Collective. The St. Ives Compact would remain as a semi-autonomous region within the Federated Suns while at the same time slowly integrating into the larger realm. Rather than simply being absorbed, the economic and political bonds between the St. Ives worlds and the Federated Suns would grow in time and at a pace that allowed mutual respect to be shown. Victor made no bones about the fact that he did foresee that eventually just as with the United Hindu Collective the St. Ives Compact would entirely merge into the Federated Suns, but pointed out that this process had taken almost 200 years with the United Hindu Collective. At the same time that the Compact became an associated member of the Federated Suns it's worlds would also form the basis of the St. Ives Polymorphous Defense Zone - both entities existing at the same time in the same worlds.

Cassandra Allard Liao listened to his proposals with a degree of resigned acceptance - knowing that to refuse would likely mean her realm splintered and much of it joined the Federated Suns anyway. She asked if these proposals had the approval of Duke George Hasek who she presumed would be her direct overlord within the Capellan March. This seemed to amuse the First Prince greatly as he informed her that he believed that the Minister in charge of the March that would include the St. Ives Compact worlds would almost certainly see things Cassandra's way - as he intended her to be said Minister. At her shocked face he smiled broadly and explained he had no intention of reforming the Sarna March which had now been irredeemably tainted both in the natives of said region's eyes but also within the wider Federated Suns. Instead he intended to use the bulk of his conquests from the Capellan Confederation to form a new League March. This would include the former Sarna March (including the Achernar and Nanking PDZs, the loss of which the Capellan March would be compensated for with the formation of 2 new PDZs in the conquests in the Victoria and Sian Commonalities around Grand Base and Victoria) as well as his conquests in the Capellan Commonality as well as most of the worlds taken in the coreward portion of the Sian Commonality. As well as her own worlds if she agreed to his proposal. St. Ives would be the capital of the new League March and she would be the Minister for the League March with a permanent seat upon the High Command. Her St. Ives Lancers would be rebuilt as the March's home brigade - although the March would also be home to the Tikonov Cossacks and a number of independent regiments/Borderer units.

An agreement on such a far reaching and radical proposal of course wasn't reached during that meeting. Duke Victor and Duchess Cassandra spoke together for days on end, with the First Prince spending nearly 2 weeks on St. Ives in protracted negotiations with his old friend's sister. When he left to rejoin his troops near the end of February the agreement still wasn't finalized. But it had been agreed in principal. The St. Ives Compact would join the Federated Suns whole, forming a new PDZ within the League March, with Duchess Cassandra ascending to command of said League March and the St. Ives Compact Military joining the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns. Even after the First Prince left, Duchess Cassandra continued to discuss and debate the proposals to come to a mutually agreeable arrangement with his personal representative Conrad Davion.

As these discussions were taking place, the situation on the ground in the St. Ives Compact stabilized with Federated Suns assistance. However, things simply didn't improve much. With their infrastructure shattered and much of their military devastated along with most of their leadership slain in a treacherous attack the Compact was obviously being propped up on "life support" by the Federated Suns. Even those who were adverse to annexation had to admit the growing dependence of the small nation on their larger neighbor and the mood on most of the worlds swung more and more in favor of the Compact's worlds joining the FedSuns - particularly on those worlds which had already petitioned for membership.

One stand out holdout in this matter were the military formation Roman's Mounted Fusiliers. The unit had no great love for the Capellan Confederation given the recent battles between St. Ives and Sian, but also had a long standing aversion to the Federated Suns (having been the only unit to have a price in gold placed upon their head by the First Prince). Their Armored Infantry Auxiliary acted with brutal tactics to break up pro-Davion marches upon their garrison posting of Nashuar. While nobody was killed a number of demonstrators ended up in hospital with serious injuries. With the growing accord between the St. Ives and New Avalon government's the High Command began making some preparations to avoid a bloodbath in the event that Roman's Mounted Fusiliers protested the Compact joining the Federated Suns. Both the 5th FedSuns Dragoons and the 1st Kittery Borderers were prepared for a move to Nashuar to present the Mounted Fusiliers with an unwinnable battle in the event they went into open rebellion. To back them up and to avoid any optics that this was a Davion invasion the 1st St. Ives Cheveau-Legers also prepared to join them. Presented with 3:1 odds the Fusiliers were likely to capitulate.

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