April 28, 3307
Hadrian Duval Refutes NMLA Allegations
ACT has confirmed receiving evidence that NMLA attacks were orchestrated by Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval, who immediately denied the claim.
Landgrave Delacroix of the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid provided details to ACT that the isolationist group Nova Imperium is at the heart of the NMLA. In response, Hadrian Duval made this statement:
“These accusations are completely false. Our political stance is the exact opposite of Marlinism, since we believe in restoring the Empire’s traditions. Nova Imperium forces even fought against the terrorists in Mudhrid, as required by the Treaty of Paresa.”
“As for Lady Astrid being a ‘top NMLA agent’, my wife has been a loyal Imperial Commander since she first piloted a ship.”
Princess Aisling Duval has publicly decried the allegation and offered support to Hadrian Duval. However, Senator Zemina Torval told the Senate:
“Should we be surprised that an extremist organisation performs extreme acts? That this arrogant boy who declares himself ‘Imperator’ should turn to violent rebellion once again? Enemies of the Empire must be punished, even those with Duval blood.”
ACT is fully investigating the Landgrave’s evidence and has asked for patience, despite urgent demands for action from the Alliance, Empire and Federation.
April 5, 3307
The Wedding of Hadrian Duval
Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval, leader of the isolationist group Nova Imperium, has married his consort Astrid Minerva in a closed ceremony.
Commander Minerva was a young Imperial pilot who aided Nova Imperium at the Battle of Paresa in 3305 and became a loyal supporter. Her official title is now Lady Astrid Minerva-Duval.
Princess Aisling Duval personally attended her cousin’s wedding at a secure location. She referred to it as “a precious moment of joy in these bleak times”.
The Imperial Palace and the Senate have sent congratulatory messages, and the event was covered by mainstream media.
Paresa News Network: “Astrid’s well-deserved rise to nobility has made her fellow Paresans very proud. Everyone at PNN is overjoyed for the happy couple!”
Eye on Achenar: “It’s an insult to the noble Duval bloodline when some trigger-jockey from a gutter system can sink her claws into the Emperor’s own nephew.”
The Imperial Herald: “Hadrian taking a bride at the age of 20 has surprised many. If he becomes the only Duval to produce heirs, it will place pressure on Emperor Arissa and Princess Aisling, neither of whom have consorts.”
In related news, Nova Imperium vessels are participating in the current conflict against the Neo-Marlinists of Mudhrid. Praetor Leo Magnus, head of security, is liaising with the IISS on anti-terrorism intelligence.
March 8, 3307
The Declaration of Archon Delaine
At the Galactic Summit, the infamous pirate leader Archon Delaine has demanded to be accepted as the legitimate leader of a political power.
A gap in the schedule allowed him to make an address in the main conference chamber:
“Most of you see me as a common criminal, rather than the rightful ruler of multiple systems. That must end now! My efforts to build a Kumo nation deserve respect. I am here to declare my sovereignty and take my rightful place on the political stage.”
This was immediately dismissed by many delegations. Princess Aisling Duval said this was a barbaric mockery of nobility, while Shadow President Winters asked how much bloodshed the pirates had caused to obtain their power. Archon Delaine replied:
“Are you all so innocent, then? Every civilisation begins with barbarism, and maintains authority with the threat of violence. None of you can say otherwise. We all wear a crown of bones.”
There followed intense debate as to whether the Kumo Crew’s territory could be recognised as a new nation-state or was simply a rebranded crime syndicate. There is suspicion that some of the many criminal vessels detected in the Sirius system are from Delaine’s pirate fleet.
The Federal and Imperial delegations have offered to remove Archon Delaine’s retinue, only to be reminded that Sirius Corporation has granted them full diplomatic immunity.
March 3, 3307
Superpowers Make Progress at the Galactic Summit
Leaders from the Alliance, Empire and Federation have agreed a series of minor treaties at the diplomatic gathering in the Sirius system.
Vox Galactica featured this report from political correspondent Conrad Sterling:
“Following days of heated arguments, temperatures in the conference chamber finally cooled enough for all three superpowers to formalise a raft of agreements. These were ratified in person by Chancellor Blaine, President Hudson and Prime Minister Mahon.”
“The most significant of these treaties is the Cornelius-Lasky Convention, named after its two leading proponents. This requires the Alliance, Empire and Federation to share information on any large-scale threats to civilian populations, including environmental, medical and xenological crises.”
“There has been slow progress on other topics, such as military limitation and border control. Many independent ambassadors are demanding to prioritise debates on the Thargoid issue, and especially the defensive role played by Aegis.”
“Outside the chamber, First Minister Fairfax invited Princess Duval to a small ceremony to honour her late father. Fairfax formally apologised for Prince Harold’s death and condemned the terrorists responsible. Aisling Duval gracefully accepted this, but time will tell if it was an empty gesture or the first step toward Imperial-Marlinist rapprochement.”
February 26, 3307
Historic Meetings at the Galactic Summit
Alliance, Empire and Federation leaders have held their first ever face-to-face discussions at the diplomatic conference in the Sirius system.
Political correspondent Conrad Sterling published this report for Vox Galactica:
“The Galactic Summit has already made history by bringing together many political figureheads within one conference chamber. Optimistic opening statements from Chancellor Anders Blaine and Prime Minister Edmund Mahon gained applause. President Zachary Hudson was more curt, reminding everyone that billions of people would be affected by their efforts.”
“Agendas and debate topics for the next three weeks were formalised. Much of the work will be done behind the scenes by ambassadorial staff, making big decisions in small rooms.”
“The general tone so far has been courteous, although that may not last. Predictably, interactions between the Imperial and Marlinist delegations have been frosty, with Senator Denton Patreus refusing to even acknowledge their presence during discussions.”
“However, First Minister Jenna Fairfax enjoyed a more cordial meeting with Shadow President Felicia Winters. They were joined by Jasmina Halsey, who has accompanied Winters from Mars in an unofficial capacity.”
“One notable absentee was Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester, whose family is under legal scrutiny following the crimes of his older brother Jupiter Rochester. This at least spared Jordan the awkwardness of having to formally greet his ex-fiancée, Princess Aisling Duval. But it’s likely there will be no shortage of tension between other delegates in the coming weeks.”
February 25, 3307
Galactic Summit Begins with Defence Request
Pilots Federation ALERT
The Federation is working with Sirius Corporation to offer bounty hunting opportunities to protect the diplomatic conference.
The first Galactic Summit has officially opened at Patterson Enterprise station in the Sirius system. Temporary permits have been issued to all arriving delegates and Commanders for the three weeks of its term, although these do not apply to fleet carriers.
Sirius Corporation’s CEO Li Yong-Rui announced:
“The data supplied to us in January revealed several unanticipated threats, putting additional strain on our navy and security forces. Working with the generous support of the Federation, we have placed bounties on all wanted ships to ensure delegates’ safety. Pilots defending the Sirius system will be rewarded for handing in bounty vouchers at the Spirit of Laelaps.”
The joint initiative will run for one week, after which Sirius Corporation will partner with the Empire to provide for the needs and security of the conference.
In related news, Core Dynamics, Gutamaya and Lakon Spaceways are celebrating the political gathering of all three superpowers with a 10% discount on their ships during the next three weeks.
Delegations have begun to arrive and formal introductions are taking place, with much media attention. This is the first time that universally recognised figures such as President Zachary Hudson, Prime Minister Edmund Mahon and Princess Aisling Duval have been seen side by side.
February 12, 3307
Empire and Marlinists Prepare for Galactic Summit
Delegations have been formed by the Empire and the Marlinist Colonies to take part in the forthcoming diplomatic conference.
Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval will not attend in person, but will be directly represented by Chancellor Anders Blaine. During the conference, Senator Zemina Torval will temporarily assume chancellor duties and act as head of the Senate.
In addition, Princess Aisling Duval and Senator Denton Patreus will be in attendance. They will be accompanied by experienced ambassadors from the Imperial Diplomatic Corps.
The Marlinist Colonies have also finalised their delegation, which includes First Minister Jenna Fairfax and Minister Aaron Whyte. A spokesperson for the Marlinist Parliament said:
“The Galactic Summit offers us an opportunity to engage with the Empire diplomatically, and we sincerely hope our voices will be heard. We also aim to establish mutually beneficial relations with other governments.”
There is widespread speculation on how the Empire will respond to political overtures from its own ex-citizens, who were persecuted for following the democratic ideology of Marlinism. However, most societies within the Marlinist Colonies still remain culturally Imperial in nature, despite their republican governance.
The Galactic Summit is being hosted by Sirius Corporation and will officially commence on Thursday the 25th of February 3307.
January 8, 3307
Aegis Supports Galactic Summit
The organisation Aegis has expressed support for Utopia’s offer to host a Galactic Summit for all three superpowers.
Aegis was jointly formed by the Alliance, Empire and Federation to study the Thargoids, and develop new methods of monitoring and combating their forces.
Professor Alba Tesreau, head of research at Aegis, gave this statement:
“Humanity’s focus on petty internal conflicts has blinded us to the existential threat of the Thargoids. Their recent horrific attacks should be a wake-up call to the fact that defunding has crippled Aegis’s ability to offer protection.”
“We strongly entreat our founders to come together and channel resources toward Aegis, and particularly into research. There can be no hope of coexistence with this alien species unless we increase our understanding of them.”
No official responses to Utopia’s proposal have been made as yet. However, Prime Minister Edmund Mahon, Princess Aisling Duval and Shadow President Felicia Winters have all signalled broad approval of the idea. There are reports that many congressmen, councillors and senators are pressuring their respective leaders to attend the diplomatic conference.
Simguru Pranav Antal has confirmed that the governments of independent systems will also be welcome to send delegates to the Galactic Summit. However, Utopia’s primary aim is to provide neutral territory for the Alliance, Empire and Federation to debate policies.
November 16, 3306
Emperor Decides Hadrian Duval’s Status
Princess Aisling Duval’s request for her cousin, Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval, to be accepted into the Imperial Family has been denied.
Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval’s decision was delivered to the Senate by Chancellor Anders Blaine:
“Her Majesty acknowledges that Hadrian is a Duval by blood, and offers royal pardons to him and his followers for previous crimes against the Empire. However, she does not bestow upon him the title of prince, nor offer any formal position within the Imperial Family.”
Aisling Duval and Hadrian Duval both expressed disappointment, but agreed to accept the decree. The Senate has now ratified the Treaty of Paresa, which removes Nova Imperium’s outlaw status in return for accepting Emperor Arissa’s rule and contributing to operations against the NMLA.
The Imperial Herald’s political journalist Cassia Carvalho commented:
“This surprisingly even-handed judgement is widely seen as bowing to pressure from the Senate, where there is much loyalty to Aisling Duval. Some interpret it as atonement – or regaining political goodwill – for the purge of Nova Imperium in 3305, which included the execution of several senators.”
“The image this projects is of an Empire coming together against the greater threat posed by Neo-Marlinists. But there is speculation that an alliance between the two youngest Duvals may one day challenge the Emperor for the throne.”
November 10, 3306
Hadrian Duval Seeks Reintegration with the Empire
Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval has recovered from an assassination attempt and signalled a new direction for Nova Imperium.
Princess Aisling Duval provided advanced medical care for Imperator Duval after a near-fatal attack by NMLA assassins. Following a period of discussion, she told the media:
“At this time of crisis we need allies more than ever, and my cousin’s royal heritage should not be denied. I have therefore formally requested sovereign consent for him to be accepted into the Imperial Family as Prince Hadrian.”
Hadrian Duval broadcast this message from Dyson City:
“I owe my life to Aisling, but life without purpose means nothing, and the Duvals’ purpose has always been to protect the Empire. I seek to adopt my birthright and help defend our traditional ways of life.”
“However, many of us see disturbing parallels between the brutal purge of Nova Imperium’s followers in 3305 and the current crusade against the Marlinists. I call upon those in power not to repeat this mistake – the NMLA is the common enemy we must unite against.”
Many senators publicly agreed that the Empire must heal past divisions to focus on the Neo-Marlinist threat. Others have voiced concerns at the repercussions of Emperor Hengist’s illegitimate grandson becoming an heir to the throne. As yet, Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval has not responded.
November 2, 3306
Hadrian Duval Saved by Aisling Duval’s Intervention
Princess Aisling Duval has provided lifesaving aid to Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval, who was severely wounded by NMLA terrorists.
The INV Achenar's Courage, transported her to the Paresa system where she offered protection against further assassination attempts.
Hadrian Duval was transferred to the Majestic-class Interdictor’s medical bay, surrounded by both his Praetorian Guard and Imperial troops. He received advanced treatment including Vitadyne nanomeds, and is no longer in critical condition.
This unorthodox intervention has drawn both criticism and praise from senators and public alike. Nova Imperium is outlawed for sedition due to its isolationist policies, and its leader is not recognised by the Imperial Family. However, a non-aggression pact was agreed between Aisling and Hadrian in 3305.
A defiant Aisling Duval told The Imperial Herald:
“I recently lost one member of my family to these extremists. I am not about to lose another. Regardless of politics, Hadrian is my cousin, and there are precious few Duvals left alive.”
Nova Imperium’s head of security, Praetor Leo Magnus, commented:
“I am confident that our Imperator would have survived, but we do appreciate Her Highness’s assistance. It remains a mystery how the NMLA could come so close to succeeding, but my investigations continue.”
October 20, 3306
Marlinist Refugees Flee to the Federation
The Empire has formally demanded that the Federation extradites all Marlinist political refugees that have fled into their space.
Hundreds of thousands of believers in the republican ideology evacuated their homes following anti-terrorism lockdowns. The Imperial blockade in Ackwada prevented ten megaships from escaping, but others carrying huge numbers of Marlinists have appeared in the Federal systems Charunder, Ennead, HIP 36081, LTT 1935, LTT 3607 and Thetis. Many smaller vessels are also thought to have spread far and wide.
Imperial Ambassador Imogen Luciana sent the formal request:
“The Federation is harbouring potential criminals who are connected to the NMLA terrorists. We insist that they are detained and returned to us to face justice.”
Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester, who was once engaged to Princess Aisling Duval, provided an official response:
“There is no extradition treaty for unconvicted citizens, and these people have claimed political asylum. I have requested that Congress grant them sanctuary within the Federation, and that we offer protection to all Marlinists seeking to escape discrimination by the Empire.”
Although there is no indication that Marlinist emigrants have set course for Alliance space, Prime Minister Edmund Mahon confirmed that they will be welcomed. Some independent systems are also offering assistance, while others have warned that any influx of refugees will be resisted.
October 1, 3306
Rare Goods Delivered for Harold Duval’s Memorial Ceremony
Pilots Federation ALERT: For the attention of all Commanders
Memorial preparations complete.
A request by the Empire to honour the passing of Prince Harold Duval with rare items has received an impressive response, earning the gratitude of the Imperial Family.
Shipments of Ngadandari Fire Opals, Esuseku Caviar, Lavian Brandy and Kamitra Cigars were transported to the memorial ceremony at the Imperial Palace on Capitol. The body of the Prince will remain in state for another week, prior to reaching its final resting place within the Hall of Martyrs.
Pilots who delivered these commodities can now collect their rewards at Oterma Station in the Baal system.
Achenar system permits will be processed and automatically allocated by the 3rd of October 3306.
In recognition of this achievement, Gutamaya Corporation ships will be available at a 20% discount from the 2nd of October 3306 to the 9th of October 3306.
Princess Aisling Duval told the media:
“I wish to thank everyone for their kindness during this difficult time. I’ve taken much comfort from knowing that my father will never be forgotten.”
“For now, I want to make it clear that all efforts to eliminate the brutal terrorists responsible for his death have my full support. I urge every citizen to reject the destructive dogma of Marlinism and work together for a stronger Empire.”
September 24, 3306
State Funeral Held for Prince Harold Duval
Pilots Federation ALERT: For the attention of all Commanders
Rare commodities required by the Empire in the Baal system.
The state funeral of Prince Harold Duval has begun on Capitol. An official week of mourning has been declared throughout the Empire.
Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval opened the ceremony, delivering a eulogy for her half-brother. Princess Aisling Duval, Harold’s daughter, was also in attendance but was too emotional to address the huge crowds.
Messages of condolence from across the galaxy were on holographic display, including from Alliance Prime Minister Edmund Mahon and Federal President Zachary Hudson. Even Hadrian Duval, the exiled leader of Nova Imperium, paid respects to his late uncle.
The body of the Prince, contained within a jewelled transparent casket, was paraded through the city by a company of Imperial Guard. It will remain in state for two weeks prior to internment in the Hall of Martyrs.
The Imperial Palace will host a memorial ceremony to honour Harold Duval, for which rare commodities have been requested before Thursday 1st October. Ngadandari Fire Opals, Esuseku Caviar, Lavian Brandy and Kamitra Cigars should be delivered to Oterma Station in the Baal system, where the White Templars will transport them to Capitol after security vetting.
Commanders of the Pilots Federation will be assigned an Achenar system permit alongside financial rewards. To further encourage participation, Gutamaya Corporation will apply a discount of up to 25% for all ship purchases according to the amount of rare items provided.
September 21, 3306
Obituary: Prince Harold Duval
The Imperial Herald has published an obituary of Prince Harold Duval, who was assassinated by NMLA terrorists.
“Born in 3230 to Emperor Hengist, Harold Duval reacted against his father’s puritan lifestyle by filling his days with partying and debauchery, becoming the black sheep of the Duval family.”
“It was probably accidental that Harold had a child with entertainer Imogen Gabrielini, but they married shortly before her narcotics-related death. His daughter, Princess Aisling Duval, has always spoken warmly of her loving father.”
“Emperor Hengist eventually decreed that his son was not fit for the throne, despite being his only heir. Harold never contested this, perhaps relieved to allow half-sister Arissa Lavigny-Duval to take his place.”
“In recent years Harold became a recluse on Capitol, suffering ill-health from a lifetime of excesses. But a father’s protective instinct motivated him to travel to Aisling’s home system after it was attacked. Tragically, despite always renouncing power, merely being a Duval made him a target to those same republican terrorists.”
“As the Empire mourns Prince Harold, suspicions arise that the NMLA were aided by inside knowledge of his ship’s itinerary and security, throwing an uneasy shadow over the legacy of this eccentric, endearing man.”
September 17, 3306
Death of a Duval
Imperial news sources have confirmed that Prince Harold Duval was assassinated by NMLA terrorists while travelling incognito to the Cemiess system.
Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval broadcast this address:
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Prince Harold. A state funeral at the Hall of Martyrs is being arranged and there will be a period of mourning, as is customary for esteemed members of the Imperial Family. There will be opportunities for all citizens to honour Harold’s memory in an appropriate manner.”
Princess Aisling Duval, Harold’s daughter, appeared uncharacteristically distressed when she gave a brief statement to the media:
“It’s a huge loss to us all that… I’m sorry… I can’t believe this has happened. He can’t be gone! I used to have some sympathy for the Marlinists, but now they… they took him from us. They took my daddy.”
The NMLA also attacked starports in the Cemiess, Gabjaujis, LHS 4031 and Rabh systems.
The Empire is now on heightened alert, and the Senate has approved new counter-terrorism initiatives proposed by Senator Denton Patreus.
September 14, 3306
Prince Harold Duval Assassinated
Prince Harold Duval is dead after a targeted assassination attempt by the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army.
The Empire has imposed a media blackout on these events, and no official statement has been made. However, independent journalist Gwendolyn Nash published this on-the-scene report for Vox Galactica:
“From interviewing multiple sources, we gather that a single assassin managed to infiltrate Harold Duval’s personal transport. He was killed by shipboard guards but not before shooting the Prince at close range.”
“The NMLA claimed responsibility for this attack in its latest propaganda broadcast, which referred to the Duval family as ‘imperialist parasites’. The extremist group also demanded that ‘Marlinists everywhere must rise up and demand a democratic Republic’.”
“Harold Duval was famously declared unfit for the throne by Emperor Hengist, and has been out of the public eye ever since. He rarely left Capitol but was making an unpublicised journey to visit his daughter Aisling Duval, presumably in response to the recent terrorist attack in the Cemiess system.”
“It remains unknown how the NMLA knew of the Prince’s itinerary, or managed to breach security on his ship.”
September 10, 3306
Terrorist Attacks on Imperial Starports
Pilots Federation ALERT: For the attention of all Commanders
The Empire has broadcast this message across its emergency channels:
“There have been multiple explosions within Mackenzie Relay station, in Princess Aisling Duval’s home system of Cemiess. NMLA terrorists have claimed responsibility.”
“In coordinated attacks they have also struck at Tsiolkovsky Terminal in the Gabjaujis system, Garrido Market in the LHS 4031 system, and Muller Terminal in the Rabh system.”
“We urgently request assistance from the galactic community with repairing these starports and rescuing their populations.”
The Imperial Internal Security Service issued a bulletin regarding this current threat:
“The Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army (NMLA) is a paramilitary force of political extremists, whose activities have been small-scale until now.”
“Marlinism is a well-known ideology inspired by Marlin Duval, who established the Republic of Achenar in the 23rd century prior to it becoming the Empire. Many people in the fringe systems are Marlinists, who want to replace hereditary Emperors with representation by elected senators. Neo-Marlinism is a more radical conviction that only terror tactics will force such change.”
“The NMLA’s hatred of the Imperial Family explains why it has targeted starports under the Duval banner. But its use of portable military-grade explosives is unprecedented, suggesting an increase in resources.”
July 21, 3305
Week in Review
Here are this week’s main stories.
The Thargoids have returned to the Pleiades Nebula in significant numbers, leading to speculation that they are looking to reassert themselves in their original nexus. The threat to the Palin Research Centre has led to the evacuation of Professor Palin and his staff. Palin’s megaship, Carson’s Spring, was attacked in the Maia system soon after.
The Red Family cartel has been crippled following a series of coordinated strikes, which resulted in thousands of arrests and the closure of narcotic-production facilities. The success of the operation was attributed to information provided by Red Family co-founder Jan Sandoval, although cartel kingpin Oberon Church remains at large.
In other news, anti-slavery charity Unchain has officially purchased the 4,000 Imperial slaves emancipated against their will on Eotienses A 3. Charity patron Princess Aisling Duval stressed that the slaves would be well cared for, stating the transaction was simply a practical solution to an Imperial-made problem.
And those are the main stories this week.
July 20, 3305
Unchain Purchases Imperial Slaves
The anti-slavery charity Unchain has officially purchased the 4,000 Imperial slaves who were forcibly freed on Eotienses A 3.
Princess Aisling Duval, the charity’s patron, gave the following statement to the press:
“The contracts of all those liberated against their will have been acquired by Unchain. They will be properly cared for while they work to build a new Unchain headquarters in Port Isabelle. This will allow them to pay off their debts and become free citizens once more.”
When pressed further by journalists, Princess Aisling offered a wry smile along with her explanation:
“I’m well aware of the irony of an anti-slavery organisation hiring Imperial slaves. We do this only to prevent further suffering at Port Isabelle and undo some of the damage caused by Autonomy. Allow me to specify that this is a practical solution to a problem of the Empire’s own making.”
“The indentured servitude system may seem honourable, but – as recent events prove – it leaves people vulnerable to abuse and neglect. Unchain remains dedicated to replacing the barbaric practice of slavery with more civilised welfare and employment programmes.”