04/27/3060 09:17 Location – The Triad, Tharkad, Lyran Alliance
Archon Katherine Steiner was busy running the affairs of the Lyran Alliance, the latest reports from the SLDF were encouraging but heavily out of date. She sent her condolences to Duchess Kym Sorenson-Hasek for the death of her husband and Katherine’s cousin Duke Morgan who had been killed en route, but the DRUM relay was slow, taking nearly a month to get word back. Unless of course you used the Clan’s HPG system which could shrink it down to a few days but as far as she knew she was the only one that got direct clan transmissions.
Her primary concerns were the impending launch of the Yggdrasil Mjolrnir Battlecruiser from Alarion, she had sunk massive amounts of Kroner into building up the LAAF’s Fleet assets and it would soon come to fruition. Having experienced the awe inspired by Warships she knew these would give her fledgling forces a psychological edge while General Esteban and her officers honed their physical edge into something truly terrifying. As long as COMSTAR continued to provide them with Compact K-F cores she wouldn’t need Vlad to trial the Snow Ravens for it. Coventry Metal Works was close to being truly overhauled although Duke Bradford continued to prove his disdain for her reign, she had slowed the rebuilding process due to that very attitude.
Additionally all of the Lyran combat academies were adding Naval programs and Battle Armor training was being added to Basic Training throughout the Alliance. The Alliance Military-Industrial complex couldn’t make enough of the stuff to satisfy the LAAF’s desire for the technology. She was even looking to acquire licenses to produce the Wolf Trap Battlemech from House Kurita through Rasalhague connections to LAW while commissioning several new programs with Defiance and Bowie Industries (Uziel, Cobra, Defiance, and Razorback). Her wishes to upgrade the Aerospace forces required assistance from the Outworlds Alliance as there were not enough Academy trainers in the Alliance for her ambitions.
While writing a message to President Avellar her Loki courier entered the office, he was dressed like every other professional civil servant in the palace, poorly. However, Kobin Diras was not a man to be trifled with, intensely loyal to Loki he could kill a man fifty ways with just the pen in his pocket. He carried a medium manila envelope in his small satchel along with an H&K 597 Machine Pistol. “Archon I bear a message from GARM, I know nothing else”, Katherine eyed the envelope intently and concerned, “leave it on the desk Herr Diras, you are dismissed”, he bowed slightly, “I hope you have a pleasant day Archon” before turning and leaving her office. She pressed the “secure room” button in her desk and a series of jammers and locks activated as the curtains drew down.
Removing the smaller foil-sealed package from the larger envelope she disabled the immolation charge built into the holder. From it she removed a verigraph and pressed her thumbprint into it, the blocky metallic print appeared on the thick paper.
Your Prince has come and gone and now joins the ranks of the 800. His example is an inspiration to even the Warriors of Kerensky. Though he fell his end was swift and glorious and he leaves us victorious. He has shown that the Inner Sphere is not beyond redemption. It is an honor to live in such a Golden Age and a deep sadness to have lost such a noble exemplar.
Katherine was stunned and re-read the note again and again. Her brother was gone and it was only a matter of time until the rest of the Inner Sphere knew. She didn’t know how much time; days, weeks, months? Would Focht try to keep this low key until they returned to not cause too much disruption. Vlad had given her advance warning which was nice but still difficult to deal with. She triggered the burn capsule in the note and tossed it into the secure disposal bin where it consumed itself.
NO! Now Yvonne was trapped as Princess-Regent for a two more years at least until Arthur could be First Prince, damn your selfishness Brother. This would crush her, she already was straining under the pressure and they never let her do anything anyway. What would they do now? There were too many unknown factors and she would need to come up with a plan to deal with the fallout. She was really hoping Victor would just come back the hero and she could just hand him the Alliance recognizing that he was now worthy of it. She didn’t care who was Archon-Prince of the Federated Commonwealth as long as she still controlled the Lyran worlds. Failing that she already had a plan in place to fight him for it or flee to Tamar if her support evaporated, either one was acceptable though she didn’t want to fight him.
Would Peter come back if he could? He was the only stronger candidate but she could deal with him if necessary. Arthur was impressionable but she wasn’t quite sure how much of a grip the Sandovals had on him already, she could pull strings but it would be difficult to do with him so far away. Yvonne was solidly on her side but she couldn’t count on much support from the other March Lords they would have to be more forcibly convinced.
However, she could deal with any of this today and canceled the rest of her meetings for today choosing to take the next day off due to “fatigue”. Boarding her private KR-61 she was transported to the Royal Hunting Lodge. It was a quaint structure comparatively and built in the middle of a vast wilderness preserve near a series of hot springs, the facilities included a stable, in house vintner, and smaller cabins scattered about the preserve and since it was spring wildflowers were growing in the meadows. The Lodge was a place for simple luxury and seclusion the only more remote place she could be was on her yacht; but she preferred to use that for private business purposes, she never brought work out here.
04/28/3060 06:38 Location – Royal Hunting Lodge, Tharkad
Archon Katherine woke up face down on the heated wooden floor, her mouth was dry, and her head hurt. Attempting to stand she got to her knees before falling into a richly upholstered chair. Her vision was blurry but she blinked several times and looked at herself, her nightrobe had come undone and there were small scratches and bruises on her arms and legs. As her vision cleared she looked upon the parlor, picture frames were broken, various items smashed including a couple of crystal bottles, curious she grabbed the one nearest her. , damn that was expensive brandy. Her Grandmother would have killed her if she knew it had been wasted this way, she couldn’t have gotten blackout drunk on Acrux Avanti or something cheaper. Even when she lost Hanse or Galen she hadn’t lost control like this, Victor was gone and though she did feel numb it didn’t numb the raw emotions she still felt.
She staggering rose and went to the bathroom suddenly having the urge to vomit. Summoning a maid Katherine haltingly rose and went out to meet her, “I’m sorry Mara”, the older woman had grown into one of Katherine’s friends over the years, grateful that they had someone that could truly appreciate this place, “It’s not a problem Archon. We can get this squared away in no time”, Mara looked over the Archon, she was an utter mess and pitiful sight, “Shall I draw you a bath?”
“That would be nice, and coffee”, Katherine put her hands on her head which ached, “black, leave the pot.”