Fateful Straws

Nearly everyone helleved that the fighting that broke out on Solaris in August Of 3062 would spark the brewing Civil War. Thai it didn't is but one of the many surprises in life. Somehow Katherine's PR machine managed to make the fighting and rioting on the game world sound like nothing more than an isolated incident. Of course, by that time every "insider" within the Federated Commonwealth knew otherwise.

Yet Katherine still maintained control. Apart from her secret police, she had a loyal cadre of senior military and political leaders whom she managed to convince of her sincerity and vision. Without free access to the communications circuits, comman ders who were simply looking for others to support them when they finally did take action could not easily find other like-minded officers. Some senior leaders, like Field Marshal Duke George Hasek. focused the energies of the men under his command on other enemies rather than let the division tear his march apart.

On the other hand, men like Ardan Sortek secretly traveled back and forth across the Federated Commonwealth, building quiet support against Katherine. Many commanders simply began a silent yet open rebellion against her rule by issuing traditional AFFS uniforms in place of the AFFC garb-

By the end of 3062, the Federated Commonwealth was nearly engulfed in the flames of war. Katherine's supporters could no longer keep the dissent quiet, at least without alienating those supporters of hers who weren't motivated by greed or personal power.

Then the powderkeg went up.

In mid-November the tensions that had grasped the entire military came to a head on Kathil when the Eighth FedCom RCT and the newly-constituted Kathil CMM came to blows. News of this action spread faster than anyone could have imagined. Within a week, fighting had broken out on a dozen more worlds.

Less than a month later, Arthur Steiner-Davion was killed in a bomb blast on Robinson, an assassination apparently perpetrated to keep the young Duke quiet in the middle of a tense region of the Federated Suns.

The deposed Archon-Prince could no longer sit quietly by. The rest, so they say, is history.

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