The Seth Marsden Opera House was a majestic piece of Architecture and Engineering, it’s graceful spires reached to the heavens and it’s auditorium was engineered so finely that the performers didn’t even need speakers to reach the back seats with their full power. It hosted the grandest balls in the Inner Sphere outside of perhaps the Royal Palace on the other side of the city. Nobles, Notables, and Officers from across the Federated Commonwealth shook hands and stood on the red carpet to get their pictures taken for the news.
A notable perk for many self-styled “Generals” was the chance to get an invitation to the party and this was the hottest ticket in town this year. Katherine still tried to reward actual experience and put forward any truly exceptional individuals like Adam Steiner, Maria Esteban, and Archer Christifori for what Lyran soldiers should aspire to, but she was content with dishing out small favors to keep members of the Estates General or Privy Council on her good side and reward their loyalty.
The motorcade rolled into the underground parking structure where it would remain as long as Katherine needed them to, this was her party she could come and go as she pleased. The Grand Ballroom was awash in colorful dresses, dark suits, and formal military uniforms from across the Commonwealth, gold, brass, and jewels shimmered under the chandeliers, drink and hor d’erves flowed freely. Undercover Diplomatic Guards kept a close eye on the assembly ensuring that everyone remained safe and removed drunken VIPs before they embarrassed themselves or their Hostess.
The Archon-Princess stood behind a gilded door before being introduced to the gathered crowd. The Master of Ceremonies took his sweet time, Introducing Her Highness Katherine Morgan Steiner-Davion, Duchess of Tharkad and New Avalon, Archon-Princess of the Federated Commonwealth and her escort, Lieutenant-General Adam Steiner, Hero of Somerset and Barcelona. The assembled crowd bowed or curtsied before returning to the revelries, she walked down the red carpeted stairs, and her entourage dispersed into the crowd.
The pair mingled with dignitaries and high ranking officers, two women found their way into the closest orbit. Katherine greeted them, General Steiner I would like to introduce you to the Duchess of Arcturus, Arielle Fyhne, and her daughter Lady Heather. Heather was flirting with the limits of the dress code for this event, her dress hugged her svelte body and its sheer panels were near scandalous. She was every bit the fashionable socialite that the gossip mags made her out to be. She was also about to burst over with excitement and looked toward the Archon-Princess, Yes Lady Heather?
Your Highness, may I be so bold as to ask your escort for a dance?, Katherine moved uncomfortably close to Adam, You may. I shall even let you keep him until the show starts, share him with your friends, take all the pictures you like. He’s under standing orders directly from me to have a good time. I trust you can show him one. Katherine put her hands on the stars on his shoulders, and if he doesn’t smile tell me and I shall take his stars for being such a grave disappointment. With that she gave him a nudge and General Steiner was to his horror mobbed by a flock of young Baronesses that pulled him ever further away.
Duchess Arielle watched the scene, bemused. Thank you for arranging this Katrina, Heather has been talking about Adam Steiner non-stop since she saw “The Heroic Somerset Strikers” as a girl. I thought she would grow out of her infatuation but I fear she has a terminal case of lovesickness. Grabbing a glass of Champagne Katherine looked back at her, You’re welcome Arielle, you have been one of my most ardent supporters and your family has long been an ally of House Steiner.