BattleTech Fanon Wiki
State of the Union (Chapter Cover)

Chapter 32[]

State of the Union - Book 2[]

Fort Bastogne, Dieudonne
Silver Hawks Coalition, Free Worlds League
23rd April, 3066

Isis felt like she’d aged ten years since Corinne had mouse-trapped Alys on Marik. There wasn’t anything much she could do directly about it, but it worried her almost as much as the propaganda that was spreading, something that was very definitely in her bailiwick.

“You look like your grandfather when the light’s poor.” Therese Marik told her on entering the small lounge.

“That doesn’t sound flattering.” She rose and embraced her aunt.

“It wasn’t meant to me. Learn to pace yourself, you’re too young to be acting like a man his age.”

Isis rested her head against the old woman’s shoulder for a moment, drawing strength from her. And then she stood straight again. “I worry about, Alys.”

“Can you do anything to help her?”

She shook her head. Marshal Creveld was looking at options to put together a force to extract the Krushers and Eagle Regiment, but it would take time to pull together aerospace assets, particularly given the possibility that Corinne had a Warship on the way.

Therese patted her shoulder. “If you can’t put it out of your mind entirely, then I suggest at least focusing on something else. I take it everything’s set up for our treaty?”

“It should be. We had a contingency for Uncle Jeremy not being able to make it.”

As originally planned, both Marshal Jeremy Brett and Duchess Therese Marik would have been visiting Dieudonne together in order to formalize the alliance between the two neutral factions, but events had got ahead of them.

Tamarind’s swathe of territory was similar to the Silver Hawks Coalition in some ways but differed considerably in others. Abbey District, the only other real multi-world province in the area, had elected formally unite with Tamarind into what was now a ‘Unified Duchy’, however that was intended to work. Very few other worlds had made the same decision as yet though. Instead, Therese’s husband had strung together the ‘Tamarind Alliance’ as a purely military endeavor, based on the Military District’s infrastructure and chains of communication.

“He would have loved to be here, but events got ahead of us.” her aunt told her

“Yes, I don’t suppose you can ignore Kendall.”

“We don’t have the level of industry available that you do here,” agreed Therese. “and letting the Marians get a foothold would be a terrible precedent.”

Her husband had taken two of their relatively limited forces to push the periphery realm back from the industrial world. Success would presumably bind Kendall to Tamarind and extend both Therese and Jeremy’s influence in the area. However it did mean that they were in no position to support the Silver Hawks in their current problems with what Galen had told Isis was being colloquially referred to as the ‘Marik-Stewart Commonwealth’. It made sense both in geographic and the political sense - Corinne’s paternal grandmother was a Stewart, so calling her a Marik-Stewart was somewhat defensible, and the Stewarts had thrown their financial, military and industrial might behind her.

It seemed too permanent to Isis though. As if it was expected that there would need to be a clear distinction. Corinne still referred to her domain as the Free Worlds League, as the other two did.

“Is there any expectation that the Rim Commonality might offer a combined front against the Marians?” Isis thought that the province, roughly central to the League’s periphery border, might be just as concerned about the ambition of Caesar Julius O’Reilly. The Marian leader had reined in some of his father’s policies, but clearly a desire for conquest was not one of them.

“They’re primarily concerned about convincing Westover to accept protection. It would give them access to aerospace factories to complement their domestic Battlemech production.” The old duchess shrugged wryly. “It would be very difficult for Jeremy or I to directly support them but I think there’s a chance we could be seeing another large faction emerging if they begin to establish a broader base of support.”

“That would make seven distinct…… nations?” She shook her head. “No, not the word I want.”

“It may be more accurate, however little we like it,” her aunt offered. “regional powers would be a more neutral term if you want one.”

“Since I guess we have to have one.”

Therese tried to smile and failed. “We must accept reality. The Free Worlds League we both grew up is gone and neither of us can sew it back together again. We could have thrown our support behind one of the claimants and probably decided the matter on a military front.”

“But not a political one.” Isis answered

She got a nod in confirmation. “If the Commonality can make it then we’ll be looking at seven major regional powers. Hopefully, the Commonality will be a check on Dalma Humphreys as well as our periphery neighbors… to the extent that Andurien wouldn’t be a periphery realm. I can’t see them managing to be a major player with so many potential hostile powers around them.”

Isis shook her head. “I’d hope that they remain neutral, even if Alys and I are slipping off that. At least in the public eye.”

“Yes, you might have been better off asking that the SLDF spread national contingents out. Having most of the forces in your Coalition from the Federated Commonwealth or mercenaries that have a history of working for them isn’t the best optics. But what’s done is done. Try not to make Yvonne Steiner-Davion’s mistake and read too much into the polls. At the end of the day, the leaders of the provinces are the ones that will make the difference.”

“Even they have to listen to those who follow them.” Although the point about the polls was interesting. Those polls had been manipulated by the then-Archon as a way to discredit the regency-government of the rump Federated Commonwealth while Victor Steiner-Davion was away fighting the Clans. Given that interstellar media had to be conveyed by HPG… it was unlikely that Blakists would alter messages, but they could most likely affect which reports arrived first and were used by the media, and which arrived later and got much less circulation.

“You have the look of someone who has an idea.” her aunt suggested

“I do,” Isis confirmed. “but I’ll have to follow it up later. Right now we have a reception to get to.”

“Oh the joy. At least I’m at the age where I can get away without wearing heels.”

“I rather like them.” Isis commented

Therese snorted. “No, you like the way that they make your young man look at your legs.”

“Really, Galen’s not my young man.”

“You knew exactly who I meant though.”

Isis knew that her cheeks were flushed.

“Just think about him more,” her aunt advised. “and Alys less. Not never, of course. But less. She’s a perfectly capable young officer and if the worst comes to the worst, I doubt Corinne would actually execute her.”

“I know. She’s too valuable as a hostage. But accidents do happen, particularly when BattleMechs are involved.”

Therese Marik shrugged. “Those accidents won’t happen on worlds of your coalition, Isis. That’s the entire point of Alys’ mission and in that regard it’s working perfectly.”

Previous Chapter - Return to Story Index - Next Chapter