BattleTech Fanon Wiki
State of the Union (Chapter Cover)

Chapter 3[]

State of the Union - Book 2[]

Mount Asgard, Tharkad
Donegal Province, Lyran Alliance
6th November, 3064

“You’re sure about resigning?” Peter asked bluntly. “There’s a place for you with the First Royal Tharkad Battle Armor Regiment if you want it.”

The young man - well, not that young, according to the file on Peter’s desk he was only a year and a half younger than Peter himself - shook his head firmly. “No sir. My father always told me the regiment was his home and it wasn’t until I’d left the Legion that I realized how right he was.”

Peter gave Alexander Carlyle a long look and rubbed his jaw. “I suppose I can hardly argue against going home once you have some perspective.” he conceded. The son of the legendary Grayson Death Carlyle had missed the consolidation of most of the Royal Guards survivors into the Second Royals due to injuries suffered in the defense of the Triad. One of those injuries had been damage to one ear that left him unable to pilot a BattleMech, one problem that even Star League medical science had never quite overcome.

His only reply was a nod and Peter hid a sigh. Rebuilding the Lyran armed forces was proving a struggle when soldiers like this - promising junior officers who could have been the future leaders of the entire force - felt they couldn’t continue to serve. “Would you rather muster out on Glengarry or on Hesperus II where the Legion are based right now?”

Carlyle blinked. “I was expecting here, sir.”

“You can if you prefer, but I assumed you’d want to take your ‘Mech with you. The Legion will probably want it back -” Even in its damaged state, the Archer was a valuable asset. “- and the least we can do is get you home on the military’s dime.”

“Uh… Hesperus II, sir. Colonel Carlyle has offered me a battle armor company with the Legion so I should report for active service.”

Peter nodded and made a notation. “You can expect shipping orders by tonight,” he promised. “but it may be a few days before there’s a dropship headed the right way.” Standing, he leaned over his desk to offer the soon to be former Hauptmann his hand. “Perhaps we’ll cross paths again someday.”

“Thank you, sir.” Carlyle accepted the hand and when it was released he offered a razor-sharp salute. “For what’s worth, I’m honored you offered to keep me on.”

The young officer left and Peter slumped back into his chair. As titular commanding officer of the Fifth Royal Guards - and as Archon-Prince he was in theory commander of the entire Royal Guard brigade - he’d also taken on responsibility for those Royal Guards not shipped out to Donegal or Skye. These meetings had been a fine excuse to escape the five-ring circus of the Star League Council’s more ceremonial activities for a day but they were just as wearing in their way.
“What’s next?” he muttered and checked his schedule, brightening as he reached the entry. Thumbing his intercom he demanded: “Is Field Marshal Steiner-Davion here?”

“Yes sir.”

“Send him in.”

A moment later the door admitted his elder brother, looking disgustingly healthy and well-rested. “Your highness.”

Peter gave him a mock glare. “It could have been you behind this desk, you know.”

“And I’ve never been more sure I made the right choice. Being the Archon-Prince suits you, Peter.”

“And being a father seems good for you.”

“You’ve got no idea.” Victor took the seat facing Peter without waiting for an invitation, a welcome change from some of the stiff formality he’d had so far this morning. “Knowing that Kit’s here, a part of myself and Omi that’ll live on even if something happens to us… it changes everything.”

“Maybe you have to be there.” Peter leant back in his chair and rubbed his face with both hands. “God, there aren’t enough hours in the day.”

“The secret is delegation,” Victor told him. “even father couldn’t do everything himself and he did more than most First Princes. He handed off work to Ardan, Morgan, Justin… if you find the right people then it’s a bearable load.”

“You know what all those people have in common?”

That took the wind out of Victor’s sails. “Yes. They’re all dead.”

“And Quintus Allard isn’t getting any younger. Dragging him out of retirement wasn’t really fair - fortunately Quint Jr. is coming along well. A real chip off the old block.”

“The only man I found I could trust like that was Galen.”

Peter nodded. “And he’s going back to the SLDF, I gather.”

Victor shrugged. “I can’t but he feels he can do more good there than he can here.” Unspoken was that Galen Cox could never really go home - he’d been born on Tamar, now the capital of Clan Wolf’s Occupation Zone.

“At least I have you, Cat and Yvonne. It’s a start.”

“Yes… About Cat.” Victor steeped his fingers. “I never did ask you what was going on with her… visions did you call them?”

“I didn’t call them that.” Peter rubbed his chin. “Honestly, I don’t know. Nor does she, but some of her predictions have been pretty accurate.”

“Such as?”

“She knew about the New Dallas cache,” he said promptly. “about the assassin posing as a gardener on Luthien. She knew Katrina would try to purge the First Davion Guards months before the order was actually given.”

“I’d like to say that I don’t believe in predestination,” his older brother said thoughtfully. “I’ll grant you that there are more things in heaven and earth… but even so.”

“Yeah. Mind you, whatever she saw is mutable or at least can be changed. Her prediction was that the Civil War would last more than five years and we were able to change that.”

Victor shuddered. “Five years. That would have been bad. If nothing else it would have been much harder to fight off the Jade Falcons.”

“Speaking of which, we’re supposed to be discussing that.”

“I know, but I’m curious.” There was a note of reluctant fascination in Victor’s voice. “What does she foresee now?”

“Nothing new,” Peter told him. “the… visions were mixed in with the tangle of memories she’s still getting to grips with but from what she says, she’s not having dreams of events stemming from what we’re actually dealing with. So hopefully we’ve changed enough that we won’t see the other things she predicted.”

“We should probably at least check into them,” Victor said cautiously. “are they being documented?”

“Discreetly, yes. I’d rather it not get out that my Regent on New Avalon was advising me based on prophetic dreams. Officially she’s just very astute, despite her other issues.”

Victor grimaced. “Fair enough. I’d like to see what she predicted anyway.”

“I’d expected more skepticism.”

“Saving Omi gets her a lot of credit,” the blond brother said drily. “I have firsthand experience of near-death visions… on Luthien when I got run through. I can’t entirely rule out she may have seen something while she was in the desert on Zaniah.” He cleared his throat, clearly uncomfortable with exploring the matter further. “But yes, the Falcons.”

“Yes.” Peter paused. “Congratulations, by the way.”

“You’re quite welcome.” Victor shrugged self-deprecating. “The Falcons are hard fighters but at least it’s more clear-cut than the other battles we’ve faced lately.”

Peter brought up the holo-display to show the border with the Jade Falcons. “It looks on face value as if we gave about as good as we got.”

“I think that’s a fair assessment,” agreed Victor. He reached up and pointed at two of the worlds that had been lost. “both Khans were fighting here with Marthe Pryde on Kooken’s Pleasure Pit and Samantha Clees on Kikuyu. They tried using them as staging grounds for further attacks but Adam’s counter-attacks caused enough confusion that they didn’t get far before my task force arrived and we were able to contain further attacks.”

“They didn’t expect Adam to move aggressively.” Peter pointed at Blackjack and Twycross, a narrow salient driven into the Falcons’ Occupation Zone like a nail. There were less courteous comparisons given the smaller attacks on either flank that had won Parakoila and Bone-Norman back for the Federated Commonwealth. “I can see why taking these worlds would cause them issues - Twycross is a respectable industrial node and I gather the Falcons had been using the old Blackjack Academy to train their own warriors. What surprises me is that they didn’t try harder to take them back.”

“Even after all these years the Clans tend to undervalue logistics and command structures.” Victor’s finger stabbed at Mogyorod. “I think Marthe delegated a lot of the fighting at this end of the border to her saKhan and when Clees died on Mogyorod, coordination between Delta and Gamma Galaxies fell apart. There are unconfirmed reports that half of Delta Galaxy was disbanded and that the rest of their units have been sent to Rho and Omega Galaxies to help rebuild them.”

“Not to Gamma? They lost the Falcon Guards when Adam’s task force hit them on Twycross.”

Victor shook his head. “Losses to Gamma - and to Kappa, which the Blackjack garrison belong to - aren’t as strategically important to Khan Pryde as the worlds nearer Terra. Now that we hold Orkney, there’s an opening for Clan Wolf to cross their OZ and hit the Commonwealth, but also to potentially cut the Jade Falcons off from advancing closer to Terra.”

“Is such an advance likely?” Peter frowned. “After the Great Refusal, I thought that we had less to worry about there.”

“It pretty much ends any chance of a united Clan advance, but individual Clans need not concern themselves with the old truceline any more.”

The Archon-Prince nodded in understanding. “Our analysts have come up with some interesting statistics on dead bodies recovered and equipment recovered from Jade Falcon units. I’d like your opinion.” He brought up the spreadsheets and let his brother read.

Victor leant forwards, studying them with narrowed eyes and then leaned back in his chair, eyes distant. “Yes, that matches my recollection although I hadn’t realized it was that widespread. If this is right then their losses are disproportionately heavy in newer OmniMechs and the younger warriors Marthe was probably trying to blood. The long term impacts of that could be… interesting.”

“We lost two commands to their disbanding of one,” Peter noted. “but the Donegal Jaegers and Third Donegal Guards weren’t a huge loss if I’m brutally honest.”

“No, and our usual weighting would place two ‘Mech regiments and the Guards’ conventional brigades as about on a par with the overall losses the Falcons took. In absolute terms, pretty even but strategically I think the Federated Commonwealth has come out ahead.” Victor sat back in his seat and looked at his brother. “Hurrah for us.”

“You have to know what I’m thinking.”

“Going at them next time.” Victor nodded. “A united Star League operation could do it, but the AFFC alone… maybe not.”

“Not now, but in five or ten years when the warriors who died fighting us would have otherwise been moving up into the senior ranks of the Falcons? That’ll let older and more experienced warriors hang on to the positions.”

“Yes, but we’ll have recovered sooner.” Peter saw Victor’s brow furrow in thought, so much like their father that it hurt for a moment. “Your idea to pull out older production tooling that’s been replaced and set up new factories should pay dividends. Two or three years from now we could be ready.”

“So right around the time the Clans would have resumed the invasion anyway.”

“Yes.” Victor hesitated. “When that time comes, I expect Vlad Ward will attack us. He as good as said that the Wolves still count the truce as binding, not the Refusal Trials on Strana Mechty. So we may be back on the defense again then.”

Peter nodded unhappily but then smiled. “On the other hand, that would leave the Jade Falcons caught between us and Clan Wolf, wouldn’t it.”

Victor snorted. “It’s an ill-wind that blows no one good.”

Previous Chapter - Return to Story Index - Next Chapter