Mistakes And Missteps

Almost from the minute that Melissa Steiner Davion died, rumors of Victor's Involvement in her assassination began to surface. Within weeks, people in every corner of the Inner Sphere had heard that at the very least Victor was compliclt In his mother's death. After all, the rumors went, why else wasn't he at her funeral?

Of course, in retrospect we can make a more educated deduction at who was truly behind the assassination of Melissa Steiner-Davion, That it does seem that one of her children as well as a cousin were intimately Involved in the plot does not lessen its impact even today, nor do they magically erase all of the problems faced by the nations of the Federated Commonwealth since. The simple fact Is that the assassination of Melissa Steiner-Davion lit the metaphorical fuse that eventually det onated on Kathil the powderkeg that the Federated Commonwealth had become.

As could be expccted, the people of the Federated Commonwealth split down lines of nationality, though after some three decades of free trade and alliance, the line of demarcation was not so clearly visible. Individuals and groups In both halves of the nation called for Victor's head. That he was schooled primarily in the martial arts hurt him terribly in the years following his mother's death—while he was the firstborn son of Hanse and Melissa Davion. he was wholly unprepared to take on the mantle of leadership. Without decades of political and diplomatic experience under his belt, he made several serious blunders that he could not recover from, blunders that cost him a great deal of support within both the Federated Suns or the Lyran Commonwealth. Politicos that once considered themselves allies of the all-powerful Steiner-Davion family headed for the hills, so to say, protecting their own little chunks of power.

In 3057 Victor learned that the young son of Captain General Thomas Marlk, the leader of the Free Worlds League, was dying, the child had been under the care of NAIS physicians on New Avalon for the better part of the decade, a political move made to secure the assistance of the Free Worlds League in supplying the AFFC with the weapons and equipment it needed to combat the Clans. Prince Victor made the fateful decision withhold from Thomas Marik the truth about his son's condition and instead replace the young boy with a double. When Marik found out, he immediately launched a punitive campaign against the Federated Commonwealth, one on whose coattails the Capellan Confederation rode, aimed at taking back all of the territory lost during the Fourth Succession War.

Where Victor expended the majority of his energies on becoming a warrior-general, it was Katherine who truly followed in the ways of both of her parents. By her eighteenth birthday, she had mastered the arts of manipulation. But where she inherited her mother's incredible beauty, she also inherited the hunger of the Davions.

Seizing upon the opportunity afforded by her brother's political ineptitude in han dling the Joshua Marik situation in 3057, Katherine seceded the Lyran stale from the Federated Commonwealth, naming herself Archon Katrina (in honor of her maternal grandmother) in the process. From her palace on Tharkad, she and her advisors manipulated the citizens of both halves of the Federated Commonwealth while Victor defended the Sarna March against the incursions of both the Free Worlds League and the Capellan Confederation.

While most critics place the young Archon-Prince's greatest mistake in the way he handled the Joshua Marik situation, the way he misjudged his sister Katherine may prove to be an even greater mistake. Whether due to naivete or poor advice from his political advisors. Archon-Prince Victor did not oppose the Lyran secession in any way. Furthermore, while his sister issued a recall order to all Lyran military units operating within the Federated Suns state, Victor did not reciprocate. Even more damaging, a maiority of the Federated Commonwealth's JumpShip fleet was still operating within the Lyran state at the time of the secession, By not opposing his sister's bid for power, Archon Prince Victor severely hurt the remainder of the Federated commonwealth, Morale within the Federated suns state was at an all-time low.

What the Federated Suns needed was a victory of incredible proportions. That, at least, was something that Victor could produce.

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