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Fanfic / State of the Union

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State of the Union is a BattleTech fanfic written by drakensis in 2019.

The story follows Peter Steiner-Davion, who has spent six years in exile after almost causing a war. As civil war begins between his siblings over the Federated Commonwealth, he's stirred out of his exile when a mysterious woman staggers out of the desert.

You can find it on here. A sequel, Fledglings Take Flight, was left at only one published part for almost two years before being completed in 2021.


State of the Union provides examples of:

  • Ace Pilot: Michael Searcy.
  • All That Glitters: Good news! We've found a cache of abandoned 'Mechs. Bad news! There's a reason they were abandoned.
  • Brother–Sister Team: Peter and Catherine. Later expanded to include all the surviving Steiner-Davion children working together as a team - excepting Katherine of course.
  • Dark Horse Victory: The Federated Commonwealth Civil War was between Victor and Katherine, with no one expecting Peter to return and decide the matter. And then for Victor to abdicate in his brothers favor as Peter refused to let his parents dream die and took up the gauntlet.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: In a similar way to the canon timeline where he dies to protect Victor from a headhunting attack, Ardan Sortek doesn't even hesitate as he jumps his Battlemech between Peter and Catherines disabled Mechs and a loyalist Atlas that had them dead to rights, taking a direct cockpit hit to do so and saving their lives.
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  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: A downplayed example. Isis Marik is determined to keep as much of the FWL out of the civil war as possible, to ensure there is still a realm to rule in the end no matter who sits on the throne. But the more of the FWL she manages to bring under her neutral banner by protecting it from outside threats and keeping the fighting away from them, the more said civil war factions are absoloutly sure she really DOES want the throne and is just playing a cunning game to get it!
  • Failure Gambit: The Toyama faction of the Word of Blake considers Corinne Marik's botched coup attempt a great success, since it triggered a civil war and divided the Free Worlds League into at least seven separate antagonistic factions... exactly as the Toyama faction desire.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Catherine is rather fond of this approach politically, for example, when she uses James Sandoval's more extreme demands to obtain concessions from Theodore Kurita.
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  • Long-Lost Relative: It's not clear if Catherine is the real Katherine or a sixth sibling somehow hidden for three decades.
  • Mad Oracle: Catherine knows the future, but has trouble following a thought or conversation from one minute to the next. She does get better over time however - and Peter has very trustworthy people recording every prediction she makes and looking for supporting evidence. Although everyone understands her visions were of one future and the more changes they make, the less useful some of her knowedlge will be.
  • Meet the New Boss: Averted. Despite Catherine Steiner-Davion looking like a virtual twin to Katrina Steiner(-Davion), she proves very different.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Ardan, no! Arguably also Nondi Steiner who was Katherines greatest champion and is simply left to die on her own.
  • One Steve Limit: Catherine and Katherine/Katrina/Kathrina.
  • Puppet King: Corinne Marik is widely believed to be ruling her faction only as long as she pleases her father and uncle. This belief is largely accurate. Word of God says that she had no hand in the botched coup that placed her on the throne yet allowed her rivals to all escape.
  • The Puppet Cuts His Strings: Thomas Halas (aka the fake Thomas Marik) as in canon tries to do this with mixed results. The Word of Blake Toyama faction switch support to Corinne as a new puppet, but the more moderate factions continue to support Hallas who in turn rallies a good chunk of the FWL to his banner (in his own right) as one of the factions in the civil war.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Fifth Royal Guards, assembled by a lost prince, a mad prophet, a disgraced ex-soldier-turned-gladiator, defectors from the enemy...and the only unit to fight (and win) the battles on both capitals to end the war.
  • Reconcile the Bitter Foes: Peter and Catherine are very much absoloutly determined to save the Federated Commonwealth. And thus far seem to be doing a rather incredible job, helped by the fact that the Civil War in this timeline lasted only a fraction of the time it did originally. And that Peter and Catherine (unlike Victor) are proving to be shrewed political players.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Played straight as always by Battletech. Notably Catherine unlike Katherine takes a crash course in how to pilot a Battlemech and fights hard on the front line alongside Peter to liberate New Avalon.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Omi Kurita is never assassinated and therefore reunites with Victor after the Civil War.
  • Stealing from the Till: The Word of Blake is exposed as having stolen a whopping 15% of the Free Worlds League's Gross Domestic Product since being invited in and taking over all interplanatery communications to hide this truth. Naturally, this pisses a great many people off, so just before Parliment is schuedled to start exaimining the charges in depth, they launch their coup. The secret is well and truely out though.
  • Succession Crisis: despite the fact that Thomas Marik is not dead, the fact he'd been ruling via a proxy (Thomas Halas) was enough to trigger a three-sided war for power in the Free Worlds League. Although the proximate cause of the Civil War was technically the discovery of their massive theft.
  • Sunk Cost Fallacy: Effectively Nondi Steiner's reasoning behind continuing the Civil War for almost a year, leading to thousands of deaths. Also her reasoning behind continuing to fight to the last man at The Triad despite the fact it was clear she had lost the battle and the war and was just wasting her peoples lives. Accordingly, she is refused a military funeral by Peter and her family hold a small private service.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: After Peter liberates New Avalon from his sister Katherine he imposes his sister Catherine as the new ruler.
  • Taking the Bullet: Ardan jumps his Victor in front of an Atlas about to blast Peter and Catherine who are disabled on the ground and dies shielding them from its strike. The Davion Guards who were pushing forward to finish the fight freeze in utter horror for about a second ... then entire companies of Battlemechs turn and Alpha Strike said Atlas, all but vaporizing it.
  • The Atoner: Peter for his earlier failings, but also Michael Searcy, who arguably triggered the Civil War.
  • The Engineer: Clovis Holstein. Also qualifies as The Smart Guy.
  • The Leader: Initially Victor, but he abdicates in Peters favor. Peter (who had missed most of the 3050s and early 3060s disruption of the Federated Commonwealth) is very much still a true believer in the possibility of the Federated Commonwealth and it is his drive and vision that bring it back from the brink.
  • The Lancer: While Victor started the civil war, he makes it clear he is burned out and just not cut out to be the Archon-Prince and even thinks the Federated Commonwealth is beyond saving. However he is perfectly happy to become Peters loyal field Marshal and help HIM save the Federated Commonwealth, kicking Clanner ass and reclaiming the Chaos March.
  • The Spymaster: Quintus Allard-Liao steps into his father and grandfather's shoes as chief of intelligence for the Federated Commonwealth. Later on he quietly but pointedly drops the -Liao part of his name.
  • Trust Password: When Peter first shows up with Catherine and Clovis, Ardan points out Peters AFFC ID is useless as proof of who he is because Katherine controls the Government who make them. And so he asks Peter to tell him about the first time he took a ride in Ardans battlemech ... which an embarased Peter admits was when he was 5 years old and that he got so excited Ardan had to stop to let him use the cockpit toliet. Something neither of them have ever told anyone.
  • With Friends Like These...: Peter and Victor are brothers and on the same side... but they butt heads and disagree a lot at first. They get better though, once Peter is Archon-Prince and Victor accepts his position as his chief military troubleshooter.
    • Played all too straight with the Word of Blake in the FWL, who have different factions of their own order backing different factions in the Free Worlds League civil war...
    • Arguably also the case for Northwind and Outreach given how easily they abandoned the Federated Commonwealth in its time of need, by Peters view. Meaning that as Peter reclaims the Chaos March, he is sure to make crystal clear the conditions he will accept for their ongoing neutrality inside what is once again Federated Commonwealth space.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: As in canon, Com Stars 244th division goes rogue to fight for Victor and as in canon, they are formally excommunicated from the order when the fighting ends. Peter however brings them into the AFFC and designates them the 3rd Royal Guards RCT in acknowledgement of their skill and loyalty.

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