08/17/3065 17:18 Location – Tharkad City, Tharkad, Federated Commonwealth
Katherine Steiner-Davion walked out of her royal apartments, her blue and gold dress was trimmed with furs imported from the Marian Hegemony’s Lothan Province, a diamond and platinum necklace dangling elegantly from her neck, resting delicately on her left wrist was a finely crafted watch, and the Archon-Princess’ circlet twisted into her braided blonde hair.
The first snow of Tharkad City’s winter marked an auspicious day in the Ink District, the opening of the Seth Marsden Opera House’s 200th Gala season. She walked along the hallowed halls of the Royal Palace passing seven centuries of legacy, an entourage of AFFC officers, their escorts, and Honor Guard assigned to her protection followed her.
A collection of cars idled quietly in the underground transport hub of the Royal Palace, she was guided to a snow-white limousine, Lieutenant-General Adam Steiner stood outside it, his dark blue dress uniform was pressed, his many medals and ribbons glimmered under the lights.
“Hello General Steiner, I’m glad that you have decided to join me this evening.
You hardly gave me a choice Archon-Princess, an order is an order.
Is that so? Well then I order you to have fun this evening. The Strategy and Tactics Division will still be there tomorrow… although if it isn’t then that order is even more important.
An aide opened the door for both of them as they took to the streets, with so many VIPs on the move tonight the Tharkad City Polizei had their work cut out for them. Adam sat across from Katherine in the limo’s passenger compartment, Katherine are the rumors true? She stopped looking outside at the waning moon and faced him, Now which rumors would those be? I truthfully don’t know what the Tharkad Tribune has been saying about me the past few days.
You have been spending a lot of time in the Alistair Mountains, great place to hide a secret rendezvous She laughed, Oh is that what they say? I really must spin up a new scandal if they feel its something so banal. I never took you for a gossip Adam perhaps you really have been on Tharkad to long.
Adam looked down, he yearned to get back in the field, reform the Somerset Strikers and reclaim his home-world. He chafed at being a Staff Officer drawing up plans and lecturing to the University of Tharkad’s Military Science students while the Jade Falcons still occupied Lyran worlds especially as the expiration of the Truce of Tukayyid grew ever closer.
I understand you are restless here but you will soon be back in the field I guarantee it. Your work at Asgard has been very helpful. We have never been more prepared for any eventuality that might befall the Commonwealth. One day you will again lead the strike to liberate Somerset and it shall stay that way this time I promise you. The Jade Falcons will be driven out of the Inner Sphere and Annihilated just like the Smoke Jaguars.
Adam looked at her, What of the Wolves? Phelen Ward’s Wolves and the Kell Hounds shall not wait on Arc-Royal forever, Vlad will surely attack them when the Truce expires. We should be giving them what they need to withstand that assault.
An almost imperceptible tell went across Katherine’s eyes, Adam apparently hadn’t noticed it though based on his non-reaction. If Grand Duke Morgan Kell was so upset with my ascension that he took it upon himself to secede then he can take it upon himself to succeed. I have recognized his claim to the A.R.D.C. for now, he will have my help when he recognizes my claim to the Throne of the Federated Commonwealth and stops trying to undermine me.
Royal Guard Battlemechs stood sentry around the Ink District their bright searchlights reflected off the white snow, the skies were empty except for flurries, and the streets were watched like hawks by the Diplomatic Corps. Free Skye is and always would be a threat and they had grown bolder since Katherine had begun cracking down on them. TCP manned roadblocks and patrolled the district in force, whole areas were under curfew but that mattered little everyone was hosting a party tonight.
The Archon-Princess’s motorcade rolled along deserted and spotless streets as a thin layer of snow collected on the sidewalks. They didn’t even slow for the pair of Royal Guard Zeus Battlemechs who parted to let them pass before returning to their posts and blocking the street with 160 tons of Lyran steel.