Tensions have been running high aboard Effinger Port this week as doctors, nurses and scientists worked around the clock to find a cure for the Volungu Blight.
A breakthrough finally occurred on Wednesday night after medical staff supplied by Aisling Duval managed to identify the pathogen behind the Blight. Once that was done, doctors were able to develop a course of treatment to fully eradicate all traces of the disease from patients’ bodies.
While the cure comes too late for the thousands of families in Volungu, Furbaide, Liaedin and LHS 3505 that lost loved ones over the last week, the news doubtlessly comes as quite a relief to the hundreds of thousands more who are currently waiting to receive the cure aboard their local stations.
Aisling Duval made her presence felt in Furbaide today, as she arrived at Effinger Port to offer assistance to overworked medical staff currently caught in the struggle against the virulent and deadly Volungu Blight. Along with her usual entourage, the Diva Duval bought dozens of Imperially trained doctors and nurses, all of whom will be offering their services for free to anyone afflicted by the Blight.
It is hoped that the biomedical expertise provided by the Imperial doctors will shed some light on the genetic makeup of the disease, whose aggressive transmission and resistance to known drug therapies has local medical staff completely stumped.
The death toll for the disease is now reaching into the thousands, and with no cure in sight the situation can be expected to get worse before it gets better.
Following Aisling Duval’s passionate outburst on “The Breakfast Show”, it was announced today that her charitable organisation, Stop Slavery Stupid, will be increasing subsidies for various emancipation programs being run from slave rehabilitation centres in Cemiess.
Stop Slavery Stupid have said that they will be using this new windfall to offer a more competitive rate of compensation to citizens willing to set their Imperial Slaves free.
This renewed commitment to liberate Imperial Slaves has been met with a great deal of derision from business leaders throughout the Empire. When asked for an official comment, The Chairman of the Cemiess Workforce Acquisitions Agency had this to say -
“Aisling and SSS doubtlessly mean well, but unfortunately her youthful enthusiasm and kind heart is getting in the way of her common sense. It’s pretty clear Aisling doesn’t understand the ramifications that would occur should she succeed in abolishing such an integral facet of our society. Never mind the fact that no one affluent enough to afford slaves would be foolish enough to simply sell them off at a loss. Hopefully our young lady Duval will give this up before she manages to bankrupt herself in an attempt to pursue this fruitless endeavour.”
Aisling Duval, once thought to be second in line to the throne, has objected to the finding of the Marriage Council that her objection had no merit. She has said on a leaked private chat -
“The rotten marriage council is made up of my grandfather’s cronies. How can they block my objection now it is clear he is in a coma? Marriage is about love!”
The ruling of the Marriage Council was apparently made before the announcement of the coma, and under Imperial rules, an objection cannot be lodged more than once by the same person.
Aisling Duval has lodged an objection to the marriage of her grandfather, the Emperor to Florence Lavigny. Coming out of the Office for Marriage with her Lawyer she read a prepared statement from a cue -
“I have lodged a formal objection to my grandfather marrying his fancy woman not for love, not for marriage itself, but to change the succession without having to appear in the Senate. That’s all I’ve got to say at this time.”
This unusual action will trigger a hearing of the Marriage Council in the next few days. They will review and make a decision on the validity of her objection. Experts we have spoken to believe it is unlikely to succeed.
In the popular show “A fireside chat with Serena”, the celebrity royal, Aisling Duval, surprisingly talked through tears about narcotics -
“Yes Serena, that’s my early childhood. I hate narcotics and think they should be made illegal. My mother died from them before I was old enough to remember her.”
When asked about her father she replied -
“Oh Serena. He was led astray in his youth, but Dad is a lovely man, and would make a great Emperor if his controlling father wasn’t so spiteful.”
Commentators have expressed outrage at her comments about our beloved Emperor, and the network cut the broadcast at that point.
On the Imperial Herald political show, Arissa Lavigny gave a long and detailed interview, hinting that the Emperor's status was not as serious as some claimed.
"We've heard a lot of debate between the honourable Denton Patreus, Aisling Duval, and Zemina Torval, but we need to look at the Empire itself. We need continuity, not in-fighting. His Excellency Chancellor Anders Blaine has served my father well for over five decades. Soon my mother will finally marry my father, but rest assured if and when the time comes I will serve the Empire as best I can, and will bring continuity and stability."
Share prices on Imperial markets have already risen in pre-holiday trading.
Aisling Duval provided a colourful outburst while discussing Senator Torval's home system Synteini on the lifestyle show 'Favourite Holidays'.
"Torval is a horrible, twisted old lady. We have no beggars or people going hungry on the streets as they are down her mines working their fingers to the bone, starving in private!"
Senator Torval, now back in Synteini for the holiday celebrations responded:
"I wouldn't set any store by her childish outbursts. She doesn't know what she is talking about. A happy New Year and Empire Day to all."
For the first time Aisling Duval revealed a little of the state of mind of her father Harold, on "Late Night with Aaron Smith". He is no longer considered by many as heir to the throne, following the Emperor's formal declaration that he is not of sound mind.
"My father is a kind man. A gentle man. A thoughtful man. He has always loved parties, and some have criticised him for that. It has perhaps taken its toll on him too. He is only seventy, but does look a lot older now I'll admit, but that hasn't taken away his kindness.
His father has always disliked him, and that is something I can't understand. I suppose it is fair to say they dislike each other. I'm sure many of the things Harold said and did in his earlier years were to annoy Hengist, but rebelling against a parent is not such unusual behaviour for a youngster. Taking away his throne though is a spiteful act."
It is clear from the social media response to her comments that she has avoided the question of his sanity. More importantly it makes her claim to the throne more tenuous.
Speaking to press in the jungle retreat on her yacht 'Xanadu' this morning, when asked about the comments Aisling Duval made on the chat show 'Celebrity Pets' Zemina Torval stated:
"That illegitimate child Aisling Duval speaks out against slavery, but she knows nothing of it. Look at our streets. We have no beggars. No graffiti. No one goes hungry. Our streets are safe.
Look at the Federation. The girl's never been of course. People die of starvation despite their crippling taxes. Is that what she wants, because it seems popular? Go to the Federation then!
She speaks for her father because he can barely talk and is only lucid for a few moments at a time. It's not as if her father will ever ascend to the throne. Everyone knows he wrecked his brain many years ago."
We couldn't reach Aisling Duval for comment.
Arissa Lavigny, the outspoken courtier and the daughter of historic socialite Prince Aristide Lavigny (famously eaten by his own pet Linglang when Arissa was very young) has declared that the Prince was not her father.
She claimed that she is in fact the illegitimate daughter of Emperor Hengist. She spent many of her early years around the Imperial Court. Her father and mother were close friends of the Emperor, and perhaps now we know why. Her mother is still seen in court from time to time.
The information was conveyed in a press release and our requests for an interview with Arissa have so far been declined.
This would put her claim to the throne ahead of Aisling Duval's, but her parents being unmarried still means her claim is not solid. Palace officials could not be drawn to comment, but the fact that the Palace has not issued a denial is significant.
Aisling Duval, arguably second in line for the throne if her parents were married, spoke out against slavery on the chat show 'Celebrity Pets', particularly the rebellion in Sorbago.
"We should accept that in this 34th century, this is a barbaric practice for people of honour. We should free the slaves in Sorbago. And for that matter Ngun, Eta Horologii, Kuyu, and Cemiess right away. This will happen anyway when my father becomes Emperor."
There has been some discussion among commentators that Aisling now appears to be speaking for her father. Senator Torval said in an off-the-cuff remark while leaving an awards ceremony:
"Well I suppose her soak of a father can't speak for himself any more. At least she could read the names of a few systems she had been given on a note. It would have been better if she could have been told how to pronounce them!"