Charles Marik (29th c.)
|Charles Marik II
|Thaddeus Marik (father)
Gerald Marik II
William Marik II
- This article is about the 36th Captain-General of the Free Worlds League. For the founder of the Republic of Marik, see Charles Marik (23rd c.).
The second-born child of Thaddeus Marik, while not directly trained to succeed his father Charles would follow him into military service, albeit in the ground forces rather than naval arm favored by his father. Charles would serve with distinction on the Lyran Commonwealth front during the First Succession War, most notably participating in the League's 2817 strike against the Star League Defense Force base on the Steiner-held world of Rahne. While at the controls of his BattleMech, Charles' fellow officers in the Free Worlds League Military would consider him a canny tactician with an talent for exploiting the slightest advantage provided by logistics or military intelligence. Unfortunately outside it, Charles was rather plain and unprepossessing, lacking in personal charisma and further hampered by his seeming inheritance of his great-grandfather Ewan's knack of saying the wrong thing at precisely the wrong time.
Captain-General of the Free Worlds League
Upon the death of his father during the one of the last engagements of the First Succession War, the Free Worlds League Parliament openly attempted to select his older sister Jeanette to succeed him. Jeanette had no intention of accepting however, making especially clear her distaste at the prospect of leading the realm during such a war-torn era and instead choosing to join the neutral quasi-religious communications organization ComStar. Thus despite the concerns over his character and manner, Parliament was forced to ratify Charles as the 36th Captain-General of the Free Worlds League. Among his first acts as Captain-General was to agree to the Bella Accords with the Lyran Commonwealth on 16 May 2821, Charles quickly following this by convincing his younger brother Oskar into undertaking a supposedly undercover mission into Steiner space. In truth the paranoid Charles viewed his more charismatic and gregarious brother as a threat to his position, secretly leaking news of his presence abroad and then using the revelation as evidence of treason, forcing Oskar to flee to the Magistracy of Canopus and leaving Charles the sole viable claimant of the Captain-Generalcy.
His position seemingly secure and certain renewed conflict between the so-called Successor States was merely a matter of time, Charles then focused on rebuilding and resupplying the Free Worlds League Military to the exclusion of any other consideration. Though the First Succession War had devastated the civilian infrastructure on numerous Free Worlds League worlds, Charles would ruthlessly block attempts by Oriente or the hard-hit worlds of the Sirius Concordat to pass large-scale reconstruction bills in Parliament, ensuring funds flowed towards the military but dooming once-great industrial powerhouses like Uhuru and Chertan to destitution and many more marginal worlds to total collapse and abandonment. He also engineered passage of a program allowing the federal government to "borrow" the scientific staff of private concerns for six months to two years, ensuring Charles could assemble technical teams to design and develop indigenous replacements for equipment and parts previously obtained outside the League's borders, but starving nonmilitary industry of increasingly vital intellectual resources to perform the same. Though deeply unpopular, with Resolution 288 still in effect industry and regional leaders could do little but grudgingly bow to his wishes.
Attempting to secure additional funding sources, in 2825 he issued an Executive Order authorizing the Captain-General to receive the proceeds of all fines collected from the prosecution of individuals engaged in illegal trade of "restricted items." By this point much of Charles rebuilding efforts would be focused on the reinvigoration of SAFE, the League's intelligence organization. Increasingly stagnant since the Marik Civil War between Elise and Oliver Marik and suffering heavy losses during the First Succession War, Charles determined that intelligence-gathering would play a major role in the next war and poured heavy funds into attempting to restore and expand SAFE's operations. Unfortunately despite three years of intensive efforts Charles was forced to admit defeat. With few surviving agents in the Lyran Commonwealth and Capellan Confederation and the growing tensions of the era making it increasingly hard to infiltrate the governments of either realm, Charles increasingly felt the lack in determining either realm's military intentions.
Desperate to overcome this shortcoming, in February 2830 Charles met privately with his Adept sister on Irian during one of the many public relations and recruitment trips she undertook in the Free Worlds League, asking her to use her ComStar connections to intercept military communications relating to LCAF and CCAF intentions against his realm. Incorrectly assuming her family ties were stronger than her loyalty to ComStar after she agreed to assist him, Charles would only realize years later that he unwittingly played into the hands of Primus of ComStar Conrad Toyama.
- Handbook House Marik, p. 89