Devlin Stone's moves to unite the Inner Sphere against the Blakists took many by surprise. The presence of David Lear, son of Kai Allard-Liao, reassured the nobles of the Inner Sphere. Lear was one of their own, a Liao whose father was a follower of Victor Steiner-Davion. But for all that, and his genius-level intelligence, Lear was a callow youth with little experience of the world. Or was he?