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Federated Suns Reborn (Chapter Cover)

The Federated Suns Reborn
- Chapter 261

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April 3072
Interlude: Raven's Nest

In Orbit of Alpheratz
CSR Snow Raven
Alpheratz System
Outworlds Alliance

Looking down upon the capital world of her erstwhile allies through an armored viewport the Khan of Clan Snow Raven, Lynn McKenna, was forced to confront her mixed emotions regarding her Clan's growing integration with the Alliance. They were weak allies, poor in weapons and fighting spirit. Only their aerospace pilots were worth any real consideration at all. Which was of course the only reason her Clan could have moved into the Alliance. A stronger power would have refused them or attacked them. It was a bitter pill to have to swallow that the very weakness of the Outworlds Alliance and lack of capabilities was the only reason her Clan was able to settle here.

Still, the Clan's namesake the Snow Raven itself had for centuries made it's home in harsh and unforgiving climates and thrived. Just as Clan Snow Raven had done. This would be no different. They would settle here within the poor worlds of the Alliance and grow strong. The seeds for their rebirth of strength were there. While most of the worlds they were settling on were poor in industry and people a handful were valuable assets. Alpheratz itself, Ramora, Lushann and a handful of others and of course in pride of place the shipyards orbiting Quatre Belle. Which her Clan were in the slow and painful process of rebuilding.

Even as her eyes looked down upon the glowing light below that was the city off Famindas, in her minds eye the Khan was reviewing the latest reports on the work being undertaken to return the ruined shipyards at Quatre Belle to a functional state. Far from the glory days of it's existence during the Star League the shipyards had been looted and stripped of almost anything of value for the last three centuries. From once being able to repair even the most complex WarShip they had been incapable of any real work when the first of her Clan's technicians, laborers and scientists had arrived. Yet with the key components that her warriors had bought time to be salvaged from the destroyed shipyards at Lum, her civilian castes had went to work. Initial plans had been merely to return repair capabilities for warships and some limited construction of various JumpShip and DropShip classes, but events had proven that ambition too limited in it's scope. With the growing naval might of the Inner Sphere powers and particularly the neighboring Federated Suns the Snow Raven's could not rely upon their existing large fleet of mostly ex-SLDF WarShips to remain a viable power. The mismatched naval stars that made up the true heart of the Touman under her command were facing a growing risk of irrelevance from the squadrons forming within the FedSuns. What made the situation worse was that the Federated Suns Navy could replace any ship losses they suffered, while her own warships were currently a finite resource that she could barely repair let alone replace. That had to change.

With a shudder, McKenna put the thought of what might have happened if she had followed her first instinct and joined the Draconis Combine in their ill-fated war with House Davion. While no doubt her superb warriors and warships might have won great victories she doubted that those victories would have been enough to turn the tide of the war against Victor Davion. No, all she would have done is delayed the inevitable defeat of the Kurita's and brought down the wrath of the Federated Suns Navy upon her Clan. The prolonged negotiations with Theodore Kurita had in fact proven a great boon to her people, in that the time it had taken had made it obvious that all they would be doing is joining the losing side in their defeat.

However, that defeat of the Combine had made the need for her Clan to grow in strength even more obvious. Unless she was prepared to accept vassal status like the whipped dogs of the so called Clan Sun Jaguar and the Abjured Clan Nova Cats, then Clan Snow Raven must be strong enough to at least present a viable threat that would prevent the AFFS turning upon them. Which was why the Clan Council had agreed to spend their limited and precious resources on expanding the Quatre Belle shipyards to be able to produce at least Fredessa class Corvettes. In time larger ships could be constructed. She had admitted it to only her Loremaster, but eventually they would have to expand the shipyard all the way up to being able to produce battleships if they wished to retain their position. While at the moment she had a 3:2 advantage in battleships over the FedSuns Navy and a 3:1 advantage over the Draconis Combine Admiralty, that lead was going to disappear shortly. House Davion had no less than three battleship's under construction and House Kurita were at ruinous expense building two more battleships. The Snow Ravens must be able to expand their fleet if they wished to stay within the Alliance as other than a vassal.

Which was why she had a meeting scheduled with President Mitchell Avellar this afternoon. She was pressing for more integration between his civilian government and her Clan. She needed the resources that he could bring to bare if she was to continue to safeguard her Clan here in the Outworlds. While the President had seen the benefit of integration between his nation and her Clan, he had of late began to balk at the speed with which her people were setting down roots within his borders. At the same time he felt that things were going to fast, McKenna was growing convinced that they were going too slowly. They simply did not have time to slowly integrate over decades peacefully if her proposed targets were to be met. Already the Snow Raven's industrial plans were six months behind her worst case scenario schedule. If the time-frames continued to slip she would be forced to take matters into her own hands. Avellar had to see that. She would make him see that...

"My Khan your shuttle is ready...", Star Captain Smythe Lankenau said from behind her.

"Excellent. Please bring my case." She waved her aide to a briefcase containing her plans for the new Raven Alliance that she was to present to the President this afternoon and strode from her ready room towards the landing decks of her flagship...

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