The Federated Suns Reborn
3061 - Fourth Quarter - A new First Lord
The last quarter of 3061 began with a ceasefire coming into effect on the St. Ives-Capellan Front and most of the various leaders of the nations of the Second Star League preparing to head to the Whitting Conference. On Tharkad itself the time was spent preparing for the conference, which would be complicated by the fact that the Archon of the Lyran Alliance was in custody within another member state of the Second Star League! Who's leader was now coming to Tharkad. There were some who suggested seizing First Prince Victor Davion and ransoming back the Archon that way, but those voices were swiftly silenced. General of the Armies Nondi Steiner reasoned that such an act might have every other member state turn on the Lyran Alliance.
With the ceasefire in effect the St. Ives-Capellan front was largely quite, although Task Force-St. Ives did take this opportunity to fall back to St. Ives to recuperate, rearm and resupply. As well as to drop of a not inconsiderable sum of loot in the form of CCAF mechs, tanks, fighters and equipment looted from dozens of supply depots and factories. The other troops were frozen in place, although a number of small scale flare up's occurred particularly on Brighton and Nashuar. The 2nd Davion Guards also continued to monitor the CCS Zhejiang and ran constant patrols and drills preparing to finish off the damaged destroyer if it was felt necessary or if it broke the truce.
The final act First Prince Victor made before leaving for Tharkad was to issue a direction to Fleet Admiral Buchwald, the head of the Navy. Challenge Systems in Panpour were to be given contracts and have state loans made available to massively expand their yard and increase production of Monolith class JumpShips. That on the face of it was all that would be officially released. However the large contracts and loans were also to provide at least some cover for them to prepare to recommence after centuries the production of Congress-D class frigates for the Federated Suns. While keeping the project secret long term was considered impossible, every effort was to be made to keep it as secret as possible for as long as possible. Initially the Federated Suns would supply funding to build 2 slips for the construction of frigates.
On Indicass Marshal Venger finally arrived and began the process of "discussing" with his subordinate RCT commanding officers how displeased their recent actions had made him. The FedCom Corp had been under something of a cloud since 3057 and he had hoped to break free of that cloud with the new reorganization as the FedSuns Dragoons, yet in their first real test the new brigade was failing. It was hardly an auspicious start. Although no further offensive actions could be taken, he began a series of training exercises and staff exercises intended to finally break down the mistrust and lack of cooperation between the 3rd, 7th, and 8th FedSuns Dragoons RCTs. While the warriors of the 7th Dragoons did feel somewhat unfairly treated at being lumped in with the problematic 3rd and borderline treasonous 8th, they did at least have to admit they had not exactly covered themselves in glory with how badly they had coordinated with the others and settled down to train. Small scale redeployment's occurred between all 3 RCTs to aid this.
On Tharkad Precentor-Martial Focht caused some uproar when he insisted that the newly formed 1st Royal Battlemech Regiment would take up security arrangements for the Conference from the Lyran 1st Royal Guards RCT. He too had heard the rumors of seizing First Prince Victor.
Within the Draconis Combine the new Galedon Regulars regiments began to form up. Mostly drawn from various academies and other Galedon Regulars these two units were immediately deployed Groveld and Niles, although they remained woefully under strength with neither unit above 50%. This was in direct contrast to the AFFS which instead of assigning newly forming units to the borders of the other Successor States were sending them for a period of formation and training in the Outback.
The 1st and 2nd Sian Dragoons also were formed during this time, with a 3rd and 4th promised soon. More than a few commentators in other realms noticed that much of the equipment they were using was of non-Capellan origin. In fact most of it was drawn from Star League Defense Force supplies and contracts, which Sun-Tzu had used his position as First Lord to acquire. Most of the mechwarriors would be drawn from early graduated cadets of the Sian Center for Martial Discipline.
The newly renamed 3rd and 4th Free Tikonov Republican Guard having secured Elgin and Hall for Supreme Leader Baranov detached 2 battalions from the 3rd and another from the 4th, along with various conventional forces they had assembled and attacked Hsien, joining the confusing battle there. Even as poorly maintained as the Republican Guard's mechs were and as poorly disciplined as their ramshackle conventional forces were they were soon able to seize control of fractured Hsien, bringing the Free Tikonov State to 3 worlds. They also began to form a new 1st Free Republican Guard unit on Elgin. Supreme Leader William Baranov began to look at the Saiph Triumvirate and TerraCap Confederation hungrily. He also began to enter into secret negotiations with not only the FWL, but also the Word of Blake on Terra for support for his regime. Although given the historical precedents the FWL did move the 13th Marik Militia to Menkhalinan just in case this Tikonov state also invaded the FWL during negotiations.
Passing through the Lyran Alliance, First Prince Victor did cause something of a stir. Joining up with Kai Allard-Liao the two men were accompanied by elements of the 1st Davion Guards RCT, 1st St. Ives Lancers and 1st Revenant Guard RCT. The 1st Revenant Guard RCT forces were a mere combined arms company, but they were also obviously the former 10th Lyran Guards RCT. What caused even more uproar was the fact that they were further escorted by two Avalon class cruisers - the FSS Lucien Davion and the FSS Alexander Davion. Precentor-Martial Focht was not the only one who had heard rumors of kidnapping First Prince Victor.
The Second Whitting Conference opened with a great deal of discord.
First Lord Sun-Tzu Liao's attempts to enter the Conference as the triumphant First Lord who had overseen the defeat of the Clans almost immediately failed as the bulk of the praise was directed at First Prince Victor Davion. Sun-Tzu's attempts to portray himself as the conqueror of the clans, which had played so well in his own realm, failed miserably here and were further compounded when a number of accusations were made against him abusing his position from a variety of sources. Duke Kai of course took the lead with his loud condemnation of Sun Tzu's invasion of the St. Ives Compact under the banner of "Star League Defense Forces Peacekeepers" but he was soon joined by Precentor-Martial Focht's report that the First Lord had used his position to acquire equipment for his own armed forces. Within minutes the "debate" had turned into a free for all. Strangely First Prince Victor did not join in but stood somewhat aloof from it all, many feeling that he was setting himself up for a run at being elected First Lord himself and was attempting to appear statesmanlike.
This was something that even some of Victor's own allies were set against. Coordinator Theodore Kurita's relationship with the First Prince had already began to cool and faced with the prospect of placing even more prestige in his sometime allies hands he was deeply uncomfortable. While Captain-General Thomas Marik was himself extremely reluctant to hand over such a prize to Victor Davion.
Still this politicizing had to initially be placed aside to resolve the issue of the Lyran Alliances representative. General of the Armies Nondi Steiner was there acting as Regent for the imprisoned Archon and demanded again the release of her niece. Although in a somewhat pro-forma manner. This demand was supported by Sun-Tzu Liao who was rather glad to have the attention focused away from himself for the time being. Even Thomas Marik pointed out that imprisoning heads of state was a bad precedent.
Victor Davion agreed with the Captain-General, but stated that his sister's crimes were too severe for her merely to walk away from. Instead he suggested a compromise to his aunt. Katherine Steiner-Davion would face trial. A neutral and as far as possible independent tribunal. The Second Star League would set up a panel of judges drawn from all their realms. Each realm would nominate a senior judge to sit upon the panel, who would then look at all of the evidence and pass judgement on Victor's sister. If she was innocent she could then be released to retake the reigns of the Lyran Alliance. If not then she would face a sentence agreed by the same panel of judges.
Nondi Steiner immediately had two demands. Firstly, that in the event of a guilty vote that no death sentence would be returned and secondly that the trial take place upon Tharkad. While she won support for the first, the second was refused by unanimous agreement of the other Lords. At which point she loudly decried any potential trial that took place on New Avalon. A compromise was suggested jointly by Precentor Martial Focht and Elected Prince Regent Christian Mansdottir who both suggested that the trial take place on Tukayyid.
This was finally agreed by all of the representatives. At which point they began horse trading for who would be elected First Lord.
Sun-Tzu Liao, Nondi Steiner, and Thomas Marik soon formed one block supporting Thomas Marik as the candidate, the other with Victor Davion and Kai Allard-Liao within the other. Christian Mansdottir and Theodore Kurita were independent and Anastasius Focht neutral. Excluding himself and Kai, Victor could count on no other votes. Which he had come fully prepared for. Instead he suggested a compromise. Instead of himself, why not consider Kai Allard-Liao as First Lord, who his mother had appointed as Duke of the St. Ives just before the conference, with herself as his Prime Minister. A proven warrior, a leader and a man known for his honour and courage. Yet without a large realm to threaten the others with. Instantly this created turmoil. Christian Mansdottir immediately threw his support behind Duke Kai, as did somewhat more reluctantly Theodore Kurita and even Nondi Steiner. Thomas Marik conceded the inevitable and gracefully supported the candidacy of Duke Kai Allard-Liao. The only one left furious was of course Sun-Tzu Liao.
With the election of a new First Lord the various leaders still however had a lot to talk about.
The most pressing issue was the matter of the St. Ives-Capellan conflict. With Kai now First Lord it was obvious to all that the Capellan position was untenable. Still Sun-Tzu bargained hard to keep what he could of his gains. At first he attempted to argue that the worlds of Nashuar, Brighton, Vestallas, Milos, Denbar and Indicass should remain within his rule as the newly formed Xin Sheng Commonality. However this was clearly a ridiculous first position and he soon withdrew to merely demanding Brighton, Vestallas, Milos, and Indicass. He was brought up short however when First Prince Victor suggested that he might gift Necromo to St. Ives.
After several days of heated debate the best deal that Sun-Tzu was able to get was that he would withdraw his troops from the St. Ives Compact and that the 2nd Davion Guards RCT would withdraw from Necromo without damaging the vital world's shipyards. He did however obtain a blanket "amnesty" for any misappropriated equipment that might have made it's way to the CCAF rather than the Star League Defense Forces in return for the concessions. Even with this concession it was an obvious defeat.
First Prince Victor was also able to meet with his aunt General Nondi Steiner on almost civil terms during this trip to Tharkad, often accompanied by Anastasius Focht as a referee for when the discussions became heated. While Nondi still refused to believe Katherine's guilt she was now prepared to discuss matters with Victor regarding the formal breaking of ties between the Lyran Alliance and FedSuns. She was furious however at the defection of the 10th Lyran Guards and elements of the 3rd and 4th Alliance Guards and this hardened her stance on returning the large number of former FedSuns Command JumpShips.
Eventually a compromise was made. With his expansions of Monolith production at Panpour and planned Merchant JumpShip production at Filtvelt, along with expanded spending on JumpShips by the AFFC and AFFS since 3057 the loss of those JumpShips was not considered so severe. He agreed to forgo large scale reparations or return of the ships and even of the large quantity of former AFFC supplies and equipment built up on the Clan Border of the then Lyran Command in return for a number of industrial and design concessions. Nondi Steiner agreed to transferring production rights to a number of mech's such as the Battle Hawk, Flashman, and Battlemaster designs as well as the Excalibur class dropship. Victor had initially sought production rights to the Wolfhound mech in particular, but Nondi had stood firm on this although she had agreed to license Arc Royal Mechworks to sell mech's to the Federated Suns. Other designs which were currently produced under license in both realms from one or other would have their licenses secured.
General Steiner while unhappy about having to hand over so many licenses was content in that she had at least managed to avoid large scale reparations. She was also confident that Morgan Kell would be unable to meet the demand of the AFFS as well as his existing commitments and so was particularly pleased at that compromise. First Prince Victor while not receiving as many designs and concessions as he might have liked was content that he could return to New Avalon with a large number of military designs with which to reinforce his regiments. He immediately met with Morgan Kell who was in attendance of the Conference as an adviser and arranged for a large scale loan to expand the existing Arc Royal Mechworks, but both men also agreed to look into Arc Royal Mechworks setting up a subsidiary company within the FedSuns. General of the Armies Steiner had not specified exactly where the mech's that Arc Royal Mechworks sold had to be built.
The First Prince also, in conjunction with First Lord Kai and the Precentor-Martial also informed the assembled lords just prior to the conference breaking up that they had agreed jointly to a large scale expansion of the Defiance Combat Training center into a full combined arms academy, the cadets of which would be split between the SLDF and the AFFS. The academy was to be known as the Hasek-Davion Martial Academy after the leader of Task Force Serpent which had trained there. Individual buildings and halls of residence would be named for the units which had made up the Task Force and for officers and men who had died to give the Inner Sphere freedom from the Clan menace. Instructors would be welcomed from any and all units which had taken part in the Task Force and from all member states of the Second Star League. As would a small number of exchange cadets.
Coordinator Theodore Kurita and First Prince Victor also meet just prior to leaving Tharkad to reassure each other that they remain allies even with Omi's death. Noticeably absent from this meeting is Hohiro Kurita. Although the mood is cool they both assure the other that they have no hostile intent towards each others border worlds. Not withstanding this meeting both rulers will continue to reinforce their respective armed forces and border Defenses.
With the agreements made the various CCAF, Canopian and Taurian forces begin to withdraw from the St. Ives Compact. On Indicass there is a brief flare up of violence when Warrior House Hiritsu attempts to loot the Ceres Metal Industries plant before leaving with some help from the heavily mauled 2nd Confederation Reserve Cavalry. The 7th FedSun's Dragoons instantly steps in to stop this and a firefight soon breaks out. Much to Marshal Venger's satisfaction nearby elements of both the 3rd and 8th Dragoons instantly move to support the 7th. The 8th's warriors in particular are instrumental in smashing the Warrior Houses's few mech's into pieces and reducing the Capellan warrior monks to a bare lance of mech's on planet along with a few infantry platoons. The 2nd Reserve Cavalry's 3rd battalion is also made combat ineffective in a brief but savage battle within the plant which suffers heavy damage.
Other minor flare up's occur throughout the St. Ives but none are as severe. First Lord Kai Allard-Liao in an attempt to prevent further rancor has each of the incidents referred to the newly forming Star League Court on Tukayyid. In most but not all cases they will find the primary fault with the retreating invaders and give judgement of reparations to the St. Ives.
On Necromo, the 2nd Davion Guards RCT, the marine elements and the FSS Melissa Davion and her two Fox escorts wait until the St. Ives has been fully evacuated of hostile forces before returning Necromo to it's previous owners. They make no attempt to sabotage the yards or ships within, but do take a mountain of technical data with them including not only the design for the Feng Huang cruiser, but also the FWL's Thera class carrier that it was designed to counter. They also take all of the captured equipment of the 2nd Capellan Defense Force and indeed many of it's personnel who seek asylum in the Fedsun's. Most of the officers are convinced that if they were to remain on Necromo they would face severe reprisals for their perceived failure. Although few will be accepted into the AFFS a number will find their way into mercenary commands and even the St. Ives Military Command to replace losses.
During this time the graduating cadets from the various training academies within the FedSuns are discharged from their Training Cadres and sent to their future placements, while new cadets take their place. Most of the bloodied cadets from the 2nd and 3rd NAIS Cadre on Kathil are sent into the Outback to make up numbers within the newly formed Avalon Hussars RCTs. Given that most of these "cadets" are now regular level of skill this results in the units not suffering a drop in their experience levels, although integration remains a problem for a time. A number of cadets from the 1st NAIS and 1st Albion were however held back for the time being and not assigned to any one particular unit.
In a prearranged meeting, First Prince Victor and his accompanying task force meet up with the troops of the returning 11th and 12th FedSun's Dragoon's RCTs near Terra. They are joined there by the Argyle Lancers and 39th Avalon Hussars RCT who are amongst the units traveling back to the FedSuns. With this powerful task force Victor Davion personally leads an attack upon the TerraCap Confederation. The few defenders of this small realm are a mix of noble's guards, planetary militia and mercenary forces. Faced with an attack led by the First Prince himself the mercenaries soon surrender on good terms, and their example is followed by all but the most fanatical of the defenders.
With these changes only the 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 7th Crucis Lancers RCT and the 8th Deneb Light Cavalry remain within the Lyran Alliance. Only the 19th Arcturan Guards remain of the Lyran units within the FedSuns and all of those units are preparing to move. Also preparing to move are the Blue Star Irregulars, much to the displeasure of the General of Armies.
On Robinson Yvonne Steiner-Davion and Tancred Sandoval had been discussing the new expansion of the Robinson Standard Battleworks and the subsidiary plant on Woodbine. In return for support from New Avalon and funding to speed up development and production of Robinson's new design the Sagittaire, Tancred agreed on behalf of his father that the Sandoval family and Robinson Standard Battleworks would fund 2/3rds the cost of a new facility on Woodbine which would initially produce only Watchman class mechs but eventually would expand production into other designs. Some discussions were also made about expanding production not only at Woodbine but also Robinson to include aerospace fighters and vehicles.
Furious at the Davion invasion and annexation of the TerraCap Confederation Supreme Leader Baranov stepped up plans to invade the Saiph worlds. To do this he made a number of large and expensive purchases on credit via the Word of Blake from the FWL's nearby military suppliers to expand and reinforce his military forces rapidly. He was soon poised to launch his new 1st Republican and the veteran 3rd at the three worlds of the Triumvirate.