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The assassination of Duchess Margaret Aten of Skye on 2 November 3064 sent shock-waves through the province and further inflamed the situation in Skye. The culprits for the attack, which also slew the Duchess, her eldest daughter Use, and three members of their security detail, were never apprehended, nor was their affiliation identified. Various rumors circulated around the Alliance, each identifying different culprits and citing a wide variety of reasons for the murder.

The prime candidate among the pro-inde-pendence lobby was Archon Katherine, who they claim was unnerved by the Duchess' neutrality in the conflict between the Archon and her brother. The rumors suggest that Aten was preparing to throw, her weight behind the Prince, the first provincial leader to do so during the Civil War (Morgan Kell and Thomas Bradford were already committed to Victor's cause before the outbreak of hostilities). The view that the Archon had silenced the "beloved duchess" became extremely popular in the province and surely contributed the outbreak of hostilities.

Prince Victor also came under suspicion. Rumors linked the deposed Prince with the death of Ryan Steiner and some believed the Prince had his mother murdered in order to solidify his hold on power. It was a short step from there to believe that the Prince had Duchess Aten slain, perhaps for supporting his sister (which she didn't) or blocking his progress (which she also didn't, though Robert Kelswa-Steiner did).

Duke Robert was the third candidate and arguably had the most to gain from Aten's removal. Engaged to the Duchess's youngest daughter, Baroness Hermione, since 3063 (the couple married in January 3065), Robert was in position to gain unprecedented power and influence in the Isle of Skye—ironically, he was the head of the Free Skye movement, but duke of a world outside the Isle of Skye—and become the Duke of Skye, something that his father, Ryan Steiner, nor his cousin Richard were able to achieve.

With Hermione Aten's assumption of the' Duchy, her husband officially became Duke-consort, though the wily Robert is said (while some doubt the claim) to have easily dominated his young wife. To the surprise of many, including her husband, Duchess Hermione

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could ease their situation. Though not public knowledge until several months later, Alice Day agreed that the Thirty-Second would support the Free Skye revolt (this did not sit well with a number of her subordinates, however).

Several companies of 'Mechs and armor sought to desert from the RCT, something the unit could ill afford. The General ordered the deserters rounded up and, with the exception of the ringleaders who were shot, imprisoned in New Kyoto's Steelgate Penitentiary. Recruiting replacements throughout the early months of 3065, the Thirty-second prepared to join the fray.

Strategic Movements

As Wave Four progressed, it became clear to all involved in the various military campaigns that the Lyran Alliance was a nation in chaos. The Falcon Incursion raged on in the Melissia and Pandora Theaters, tying up dozens of Allied", Loyalist and even Clan Wolf (in exile) units. Meanwhile, the Civil War continued to kill ahd destroy on worlds throughout the Alliance. But even as those actions tied up the majority of the military units stationed within the Lyran Alliance, Duke Kelswa-Steiner's Free Skye Rebellion threw the nation into even more confusion. Except for the Seventeenth Skye Rangers, which made landfall on Canobie, and the Twenty-Second, which arrived at Chaffee, there were no additional significant non-combat movements made within the Lyran Alliance.

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