Why I wrote my Alternate Timeline – recently I’ve been asked from Blacknova and a couple others why I wrote my timeline and why it is Alternate Timeline with Thanks.
This got me pondering why I wrote it and I thought back to the early days when it was a simple line under a date (much like how it is presented on the Forums) back then I was just coming up with events I’d love to see in canon or events that I was unhappy with and that could have gone another way. This slowly expanded to chapters about individual time periods, character creation and expansion, and suddenly I had 20+ support files for various factions, lists of units, ships and people all over the place but that’s another story.
The genesis behind my timeline was really the end of the FedCom Civil War, the fall of the Star League at the Whitting Conference and the Trial of Possession over Alshian. I didn’t like any of the three. All were well written with the FedCom Civil War especially was detailed, enjoyable and easily worth the money I spent, however overall I wanted something else to happen and I saw canon as a logical way to wrap up the story but not the only one.
I then turned and looked back through canon BattleTech history and noticed some other events that could have gone different:
1. I have never been a fan of Clan Nova Cat joining the Inner Sphere, I can understand the motives behind the Nova Cat move but I never liked the results – the Smoke Jaguars were bad bedfellows but the Draconis Combine always seemed worse to me. With this in mind I moved to take the Nova Cats out of the Invasion Trials, replacing them with the Star Adders. This had a knock on to the Battle of Luthien – which without the Nova Cats competing with the Smoke Jaguars and instead with the Star Adders working with the Smoke Jaguars – was lost in this time although it was always planned they would win it back it allowed me to write Takashi and Theodore out earlier adding to changes.
The Nova Cats movements around the Inner Sphere and actions in destroying a pirate have and turning it into their home also changed the dynamic of that part of the Periphery. No longer could the Federated Suns ignore its periphery as it had a major force there that could if mistreated cause serious damage to the Suns. But at the same time create a powerful and potentially dangerous ally, friends for now but forever? Adding to the potential trouble.
2. Danai Centrella survives the Clan War – A character that is often overlooked it the canon history, a bit part character that appeared and died in the Clan War. I wanted to explore her life, properly give her a life but not overshadow Naomi Centrella who I had alternate plans for. Instead Danai became Victor Steiner-Davion’s love during the Clan War as both he and Omiko Kurita realized that their union would tear the Inner Sphere to pieces and he sought someone else, who in turn was willing (and could politically) sacrifice all her life the Magistracy has never been a real enemy of the Federated Suns so that gave me someone the Federated Suns could accept in the here and now and Kick-start Victor’s new love life.
3. The Federated Suns and Lyran Alliance remaining seperate after Katherine tore them to pieces. Instead of an Inner Sphere wide Civil War raging on while the Clans and other nations watched the two sides would have to deal with their own problems individually, the Federated Suns accepting Victor fully while the return of Peter Steiner-Davion brought the Lyrans out of Katrina’s grip. While Victor’s use of SLDF politics allowed me to separate potential hostile forces on both sides.
The flip side of this allowed me to explore Peter’s potential relationship with Isis meeting her at the monestary marrying in secret it gave the Steiner’s a new royal path.
4. St Ives remaining independent. Always liked this tiny break away Commonality mainly for Kai but also because it was something to stick Sun-Tzu with, and the Capellans never sat great with me although I’m happy for them to remain about I wanted to really mess up the upper levels of the Capellans and St Ives remaining alone, With Naomi going a bit nuts in the Confederation it also kept Kai out of that line of succession and out of Naomi’s way.
5. ComStar hitting Blake before the other thing happens. CASE WHITE on April Fools Day was a complete accident but so much fun. No Jihad – largely a huge motivating factor for me when I first created the timeline I hated the Jihad timeline (this has since changed mainly because of Catalyst, I sort of like it just not its result). Instead the Word of Blake get cut off at the knees in their infancy allowing Terra to return to ComStar and later SLDF control. Although I wouldn’t say the WoB are completely dead but that’s a story for the future.
6. The Star League’s survival and it finding its legs, gaining territory, strength and own standing. But without the extremes of the Republic of the Sphere of Devlin Stone (although I’ve tried to fit him in and keep failing/moving it later/avoiding it).
At the same time in canon I think the Star League Mk II should have grown far faster than it did. There are references throughout the Clan War of units with Star League heritage or likely candidates for Star League enlistment but they never get that far. The 3rd Davion Guards and the 208th ComGuard during Operation Bulldog is a prime candidate and could have really given the Star League power. The easiest way I found to keep the Star League alive, and honest, was keep Morgan Hasek-Davion alive, he kept the First Lords in line, had enough respect and political clout to stand up to them, and made the early SLDF accountable and with strong foundations.
The survival of the League turned other interesting characters to new stories, worlds on new paths and tech into different hands.
All of these factors/events and more have changed the timeline taken it down a new path. One thing that struck me when Blacknova helped build my map, for the AU Inner Sphere of 3081, he said that my map wasn’t all the different from the canon 3075. Personally I’d never noticed the similarities mine was
my map, the canon map is real, mine had no Blake Protectorate but instead it had it the Star League but then I compared my map to the Blake Documents 3075 and realized he was bang on I just changed a few small bits.
My timeline tells a different story but many things have not changed they’ve just been told differently, people have come out differently.
My timeline has been influence by my wants and wishes, the canon timeline, non-canon creations and fans of the timeline and will continue to be. Now this leads me to the “Thanks” part of the title for the Timeline. Its always been an “Alternate timeline with thanks” or “…and special thanks” there’s a reason behind this and its simple. The reason I got into BattleTech as heavily as I have is because I can create my own stuff in it, my own Mechs, ships, units hell even the planets and systems everything in BattleTech is built to be created and rebuilt by the players which is where the first thanks come from my personal thanks to the creators of the game who created this adaptability and creativity from day one. This very site is a side product of what they have done although the players and writers have taken it that step further everything is BattleTech.
My next piece of thanks comes from the players. Throughout my timeline there are examples of creations by players wolfcannon, BergStorm, JA Baker, Giovanni and Blacknova to name just a few each created a unit that they wanted to see or use, or featured an event that could happen in several ways. I may have taken some artistic license with many of these creations and the fluff is purely from my AU but the units are their creations and I am eternally grateful for their creations so my thanks goes to everyone what has ever taken a technical manual and built something for BattleTech because your my insperation as well.
I thank you all, there will be more to come.