TNS 1121 (alt)
¶ Strephon's jubilee year has begun, with Holiday celebrations in and around the Imperial Palace.
¶ The first order of business was the announcement of the day's Honors list. Today's list was of unusual length, but held few surprises. In a solemn ceremony, the Emperor presided from the Iridium Throne over the conferment of honors on several dozen new knights and peers. Afterward he issued his annual Address from the Throne, making no major new policy announcements.
¶ Holiday festivities began after the morning's ceremonial. The celebrations were of special magnificence, involving public appearances by over twenty dukes and three Imperial archdukes as well as the Imperial family.
¶ Grand Princess Ciencia appeared at several functions with her consort-designate, Doctor Frater Ganidiirsi Simalr, F.O.A., of Ushra. The couple received congratulations from many of the Imperium's notables as well as representatives of the public.
¶ Notable for her presence was Duchess Margaret Yetrina Alkhalikoi Tukera of Anaxias and Delphi, making an unusual appearance in Capital society. The duchess emerged from the Palace at the beginning of the day's events, with no previous public announcement of her arrival on Capital. She and her family spent most of the day with the Emperor, taking part in several ceremonies and social events. Ω
Date: 011-1121 ⑆ Shululsish (Solomani Rim 0214)
¶ The planetary corporation Shululsish Internetworking LIC has announced a very large joint venture with Anaun Twoyen and other members of the Ewm Shao Gwi tuhuir. The Vegan consortium has signed an agreement to purchase several trillion credits of Shululsish-built computers, networking devices and robots over the next ten years. In return, SI will act as Ewm Shao Gwi's partner in marketing Vegan consumer goods and light-industrial equipment on Shululsish. A new corporation, Alderamin Holdings, will be established to coordinate the activities of the partnership.
¶ At a press conference, Anaun Twoyen stated that "This partnership represents a new era of prosperity for the Alderamin Trade Zone. Naturally, we are pleased at the prospect of opening new markets in this region to Vegan goods and services." Ω
Date: 030-1121 ⑆ Ludmilla (Solomani Rim 1216)
¶ "Cheng Golok lives!"
¶ A senior leader of the Interstellar Brotherhood of Labor addressed a crowd of Human and Vegan workers outside the Asterion Sports Facility in the capital. The speaker called for "eternal resistance to the forces that would divide us along lines of species or profession," and named the Human-supremacist faction in the government as "enemies of the people."
¶ "It was a typical Cheng Golok occasion, and the speaker could not have been anyone else," said one commentator after the speech ended. "His face was slightly different, but his gestures, his choice of words, even his choice of venue - all vintage Cheng Golok. He's alive, and he's apparently declared war on the government of Ludmilla and its off-world sponsors."
¶ IBL officials could not be reached for comment. Ω
Date: 038-1121 ⑆ Rhylanor (Spinward Marches 2716)
¶ A prominent member of the local nobility has announced that she is about to submit an extensive legal case against Archduke Norris.
¶ Baroness Jynel haut-Kurshar appeared in public today to make the preliminary announcement. "My colleagues and I have been working for years to assemble this case. We have investigated the archduke's doings over a long period, stretching back before the opening of the Fifth Frontier War. We have uncovered clear evidence of the then-duke's questionable actions, and look forward to bringing the case before an Imperial court."
¶ The baroness refused to go into details, saying that she did not wish to reveal any details prematurely.
¶ "Be sure of it, though. We have the goods on Norris." Ω
¶ The Imperial Mint has officially begun the issue of a commemorative coin marking Emperor Strephon's Jubilee.
¶ The coin is being issued in both 5-credit and 500-credit denominations, the latter made from an iridium alloy in 125,000,000 copies. On the obverse of the coins will be a portrait of Emperor Strephon in profile. On the reverse will be an Imperial Sunburst.
¶ The actual minting of the 500-credit coin has been spread out among the sector treasuries in proportion to the population of each sector. The coin is expected to quickly become a prize for many collectors. Ω
Date: 050-1121 ⑆ Terra (Solomani Rim 1827)
¶ Imperial Navy spokesmen have confirmed reports of unusual movement of the Solomani Confederation Navy just across the armistice border. Solomani forces are apparently mounting maneuvers of unusual intensity in the Gemini and Kukulkan subsectors, and may be preparing for a renewal of open hostilities against the rebellious Solomani world of Kukulcan (Solomani Rim 2835).
¶ Imperial citizens planning travel across the armistice border are advised to exercise caution. Imperial merchant vessels have already been excluded from the Kukulkan subsector for several years by order of the Confederation Navy. As of 050-1121, the Travellers' Aid Society is issuing a temporary Amber Zone alert covering the entirety of the two border subsectors. Ω
Date: 060-1121 ⑆ Vantage (Solomani Rim 1538)
¶ A prominent Solomani Party official has been cleared of all criminal charges against him.
¶ Jan Malikov, an influential leader of the Nationalist faction, was charged with criminal corruption and anti-Solomani activities last year. His arrest on the floor of the General Congress of the Solomani Party disrupted that convocation and may have affected the elections for Secretary-General that were underway at the time.
¶ Malikov mounted a stubborn defense against the charges before the Vantage planetary courts. That effort has apparently paid off, with a finding that the evidence was insufficient to convict him of any charge.
¶ Malikov has made no public statement yet as to his future plans, political or otherwise. Ω
Date: 065-1121 ⑆ Esperance (Solomani Rim 1116)
¶ Imperial military police, aided by officials of the Waothani government, have located and arrested Paolo Muriz, the former President of Nueva Argentina. Ex-President Muriz was taken in the company of several other members of the former government, all carrying weapons and apparently engaged in guerrilla resistance against Imperial forces. He and his compatriots are presently being held in an undisclosed location, and will be tried for war crimes at the earliest opportunity. Ω
Date: 072-1121 ⑆ Esperance (Solomani Rim 1116)
¶ Violent protests swept several cities today, as citizens railed against the arrest of Nueva Argentinean leaders. In one instance, a running gun battle erupted between local insurgents and Imperial soldiers, in which three Imperials were wounded. Imperial military police were able to contain the violence after several hours and the liberal application of riot gas. Ω
Date: 080-1121 ⑆ Mora (Spinward Marches 3124)
¶ The office of Duchess Delphine of Mora has confirmed the whereabouts of Dame Elane Shankarr Muudashir, the Duchess' grandniece and heir. Dame Elane is present on Mora, having cut short her planned Grand Tour of the Imperium. She is currently housed in the Matriarch's Palace and is making no public appearances.
¶ The Office of the Duchess has declined to answer questions from the press regarding the reason for Dame Elane's change in plans. Ω
Date: 088-1121 ⑆ Saxe (Solomani Rim 1437)
¶ A comprehensive peace accord has been signed involving several nations on Saxe, apparently ending a series of conflicts that has been causing turmoil on this balkanized world for over a decade.
¶ Speaker Willem Sandoval, representative to the Bootean League from Sequoyah (Solomani Rim 1337), was on hand to witness the signing. Afterward he observed that the event "was a victory for moderation and the rule of law within the Solomani Confederation."
¶ Several Sequoyan Warrior Societies have been involved in the fighting on Saxe for years, helping to support pro-Sequoyan governments. They have often been opposed by troops in the pay of nearby Polyphemus (Solomani Rim 1537). Ω
¶ The Europan government has made a formal petition for the intervention of Confederation peace-enforcement troops in its ongoing civil rebellion.
¶ The petition represents a reversal in state policy - only a few weeks ago the planetary government was publicly refusing to consider intervention. The level of urban violence has not increased recently, but the government is feeling greater pressure from local corporate interests to resolve the situation quickly. Ω
Date: 105-1121 ⑆ Mora (Spinward Marches 3124)
¶ Duchess Delphine was born on 021-979, the eldest child of Duchess Lutetia Ammon Muudashir of Mora and Lord Eneri Truell Adorania. She ascended to the matriarchy and Duchy of Mora when her mother abdicated in her favor on 001-1014. She therefore served in high office on her homeworld and in the Imperium for over a century.
¶ For many years, the Matriarch was one of the oldest high nobles in the Third Imperium. She was also one of the most senior Knights of the Order of Starship and Crown – Emperor Gavin, the current monarch's grandfather, knighted her in 1018.
¶ Archduke Norris made a public appearance this morning to announce the Matriarch's death. Appearing unusually subdued, he made a brief statement, concluding with: "Although the Duchess and I often disagreed, we never forgot the common service that we owed to the Imperium and its peoples. Few individuals have served with such distinction for so very long. Her presence will be deeply missed."
¶ The Duchess' heir is her grandniece Elane Shankarr Muudashir, C.E.G. Dame Elane will take up her duties as Matriarch and Duchess as soon as an extended period of mourning, called for by Moran custom, is completed. In the interim, the Office of the Duchess will continue to carry out required administrative duties with Dame Elane's approval. Ω
¶ After a series of contentious floor debates, over 50 liberal members of the Secretariat have staged a walkout.
¶ The Liberal wing of the Solomani Party has spent much of the current session of the Secretariat pressing for a less restrictive definition of the term "Solomani."
¶ The original definition of the term covered only Humans born on Terra. Current Solomani law uses the term to cover all members of the "Solomani race," meaning Humans of predominantly Terran descent. Simple genetic tests are available which can confirm Solomani status.
¶ The Liberal members of the Secretariat have recently agreed to cooperate in order to pass a less restrictive definition into law. Their proposed bill would permit all Humans to be eligible for membership in the Solomani Party. Despite their newfound cooperation, they have had only limited success in bringing the issue before the Secretariat.
¶ Although the Racial Affairs Committee has heard several days of testimony, it remains deadlocked on the issue. Meanwhile, with the support of Secretary-General Marc Chissano, radical Party factions have passed several procedural measures which may make a redefinition bill almost impossible to pass even if it escapes the committee.
¶ The current walkout of Liberal delegates is intended to protest continued radical intransigence. How long the walkout will last, and what strategy the Liberals will try when they return, is unclear. Ω
¶ A sudden popular uprising has - much to everyone's surprise - managed to depose the dictatorial government of this Solomani world.
¶ Within the past ten days, a wave of general strikes has paralyzed major population centers across Twilight. When the planetary government attempted to crack down, Home Guard units went over to the strikers and attacked government secret-police troops. As of today, rebels appear to be in control of the capital city and have announced the capture or exile of the former government's top officials.
¶ Twilight has long been ruled by the autocratic Chissano family. Since the outbreak of the revolt, few members of the clan have been accounted for, but most appear to have fled off-world. The most prominent member of the family is Marc Chissano, who currently holds the office of Secretary-General of the Solomani Confederation. Ω
¶ A rebel junta appears to have taken effective control of this Solomani world, despite a few pockets of resistance by Interior Ministry troops loyal to the dictatorial Chissano regime.
¶ Representatives of the junta issued a statement declaring the establishment of "a republican government which will rule in accordance with the expressed wishes of the people." The statement promised "free and fair elections, as soon as the security of such elections can be guaranteed."
¶ The junta also issued an official order for the recall of Twilight's delegate to the Secretariat of the Solomani Confederation. Ω
¶ The Secretary-General of the Solomani Confederation has taken the unusual step of ordering Solomani Navy forces to intervene directly in the ongoing civil unrest on his home world.
¶ Rebel forces have recently seized control of most centers of government on Chissano's home world of Twilight (Aldebaran 0912). Claiming to be the legitimate government of the world, they have issued a recall order for Twilight's delegate to the Secretariat. Since that delegate is none other than Secretary-General Chissano, their order - if legitimate - could bring an abrupt end to the current government of the entire Solomani Confederation.
¶ The result could be a constitutional crisis. Although it has always been theoretically possible for a Secretary-General's home world to recall him, the situation has never before arisen in the 250 years since the establishment of the Confederation's current constitution.
¶ Secretary-General Chissano has made no public statement on the subject, and appears to be prepared to continue his legislative program without interruption. However, Solomani Navy forces in Aldebaran and Star Bridge subsectors have been placed on high alert, and a naval task force will depart for Twilight within a few days. Ω
Date: 138-1121 ⑆ Mora (Spinward Marches 3124)
¶ Baroness Jynel-haut Kurshar's allegations of criminal activity against Archduke Norris have been making news here for some time. Today, while making a number of other announcements, a spokesman for the Archduke has issued the first official comment on these allegations.
¶ "The Archduke has been briefed on Baroness Jynel's activities," said Sir Clement Eshgaani. "I wasn't present at the time, but I understand he was . . . amused."
¶ Sir Clement continued, "Archduke Norris is quite willing to justify his actions before any tribunal competent to judge them. In fact, he has such a tribunal in mind, and is willing to pay the Baroness' expenses if she wishes to put her case before it. After all, a trip to Capital is expensive. So is the process of winning a private audience with the Emperor. Of course, the Baroness will doubtless be away from her estates for several years, but the Archduke is sure that she will be willing to make that sacrifice in pursuit of her quest for justice." Ω
¶ Nationalist politician Jan Malikov has returned to Home, in order to take up his seat representing the Bootean League in the Secretariat.
¶ Malikov has not yet made any public statement regarding the current set of crises afflicting the Solomani Confederation's central governing body. However, he has already scheduled several meetings with other influential members of the Secretariat, including leaders of the Liberal and Radical blocs. Political observers speculate that he may be trying to smooth over recent disputes between the two opposed factions of the Solomani Party. Ω
¶ Secretary-General Marc Chissano has issued a public refusal to relinquish his seat in the Secretariat or his position as Secretary-General.
¶ Nationalist leader Jan Malikov, himself a candidate for the office of Secretary-General in the most recent elections, responded today with a vehement speech on the floor of the Secretariat. "The ability of any member world's government to recall its delegates to the Secretariat is a fundamental part of the Confederation Charter. To flout that provision is to undermine the most basic principles of Solomani government: planetary independence, democratic procedure, and the rule of law. I call on Marc Chissano to step down now, before any further damage can be done to the foundations of our society."
¶ Meanwhile, Confederation Navy forces continue to gather at Home in preparation for a peace-enforcement mission on Marc Chissano's home world of Twilight. The effort has been hampered by the abrupt resignation of several senior Navy officers, possibly due to adverse Solomani Security activities within the task force. Ω
Date: 156-1121 ⑆ Sarmaty (Solomani Rim 0217)
¶ Imperial fleet maneuvers in the Sarmaty system have apparently resulted in disaster, as the 10,000-ton cargo carrier Pride of Kha'urru came under fire from elements of the 1291st Colonial Fleet. The cargo carrier suffered serious casualties to the crew and losses to cargo, and may itself be a total loss.
¶ According to Navy spokesman Lieutenant Fielle Wilson-MacCraig, "The cargo ship failed to heed navigation warnings and proceeded into the midst of a live-fire zone. At this time, the Navy does not believe the carrier's crew was negligent, as there is evidence that its comms and sensor systems were malfunctioning. Unfortunately before a warning could be delivered, gunnery officers on three ships participating in an exercise mistook the cargo carrier for a target buoy. The results were inevitable. The exercise was immediately halted and all hands mobilized for rescue and salvage operations. Naturally, the Navy will cover the cost of indemnities for the lost crew and cargo."
¶ Naval operations in the Sarmaty system have been halted until further notice, pending a full investigation of the incident. The Pride of Kha'urru was a carrier registered within the nation of Aorhtoi on Sarmaty, of Aslan crew and ownership. Ω
¶ The Secretariat of the Solomani Confederation saw an open break in protocol today, as a prominent delegate denounced the Secretary-General from the floor.
¶ Jan Malikov called Marc Chissano's occupancy of the Secretary-General's office "immoral, illegal, and unconstitutional," and called on Chissano to obey the recall order which has been issued by the current government of his homeworld. "Chissano has lost any legitimacy his government might have held. He has only two choices at this point. He can step down and permit this body to elect a new Secretary-General who can wield power within the Charter. Or he can rule as a dictator. May our posterity judge him mercifully if he chooses the latter course."
¶ Malikov's sudden denunciation comes after several days of quiet negotiation between his Nationalist faction and other factions within the Solomani Party. Observers have speculated that Malikov has been trying to resolve differences with the Secretary-General's Radical faction. If true, then any hope for such a conciliation now appears doomed.
¶ The Secretary-General's office has issued a statement calling Malikov's speech "criminally irresponsible." Secretary-General Chissano thus far claims that the government of his homeworld Twilight is a mere "rebel junta," without the authority to issue a legal recall order. Ω
¶ The Secretariat of the Solomani Confederation is in chaos, following the departure of over two hundred delegates. Members of the Liberal and Nationalist factions have staged a large-scale walkout, in protest against delegate Marc Chissano's continued presence in the office of Secretary-General.
¶ "The current government of the Solomani Confederation is unconstitutional," said Jan Malikov, prominent Nationalist delegate and apparent leader of the walkout movement. "Until new elections have been held to fill the office of Secretary-General, we refuse to lend this illegitimate regime our tacit support."
¶ Unconfirmed rumor has it that Solomani Security is placing some of the protesting delegates under arrest. Although some of the "walkout delegates" are so far remaining on Home to watch further events, dozens have already been spotted in the starports, taking measures to flee the capital.
¶ Unofficial delegate counts indicate that the Secretariat can still muster a quorum, although the margin appears to be very thin. Ω
Date: 190-1121 ⑆ Shululsish (Solomani Rim 0214)
¶ Professor Ililek Kuligaan of Dlan University is in the Solomani Rim on extended sabbatical, largely to study the recently-concluded succession conflict within the Duchy of Alderamin. When interviewed on Shulusish, he observed that "These things follow a Darwinian process. Everyone starts out by trying to gain the support of the marginal worlds, where a noble can get his name out on the news early. Once that's done, the ones who were successful go for the more important worlds to try to clinch the deal. Of course, there aren't as many of those worlds, so that's usually when the quarrel gets nasty."
¶ When asked about similar situations in other parts of the Imperium, Professor Kuligaan was vague, but stated that "This kind of struggle is actually endemic to the Imperial system, I'm afraid. Whenever the man on top vanishes without a clear heir, all the usual ties of loyalty start pulling people in a hundred different directions. We're fortunate that the usual rules of succession don't allow for these events very often." Ω
Date: 192-1121 ⑆ Aosta (Solomani Rim 2902)
¶ Celebrations were riotous as the ISS Lioness arrived in Aosta system, part of the Imperial naval detachment escorting the Empress Iolanthe on her historic visit to the Solomani Rim. The Empress touched down on this world, known as "the Gateway to the Rim," in early evening (planetary standard time). She was greeted by planetary officials, by the Duke of Harlequin, and by representatives of Archduke Adair. After a short but gracious speech, the Empress was escorted to the estates of the Marquis of Aosta, who will be her host for the few days of her stay here. Ω
Date: 200-1121 ⑆ Shululsish (Solomani Rim 0214)
¶ The rollout of Adiishamer Six, a long-awaited redesign of the Shululsish planetary information web, has failed dismally. In a grand ceremony attended by Naasirka Director Shannash Li, the first demonstration network was established early this morning (planetary standard time). Within a few hours, the entire network had been brought down three times by concerted network attacks. By early evening, Director Li ordered the network taken offline for a thorough investigation.
¶ Ewm Shao Gwi official Anaun Twoyen held a press conference to ridicule Naasirka's foray into planetary network engineering. "We repudiate the vandals and pranksters who attacked the Naasirka demonstration, but even so we find that their own demonstration was quite compelling. The citizens of Shululsish cannot afford to hand over the vital functions of their society to an infrastructure which is this vulnerable to attack."
¶ At the close, Shululsish Internetworking LIC stock was trading at 33.5 credits per share, up from its low of 8.3 credits/share on 194-1121. Shululsish Internetworking is a consortium of several Shululsish-based computer-technology firms with the Ewm Shao Gwi tuhuir. Ω
Date: 211-1121 ⑆ Yrsai (Solomani Rim 0511)
¶ Reactionary "death squad" vigilantes have been unusually active recently, targeting pro-labor and pro-democracy organizations worldwide. Today's plasma-bombing of an Interstellar Brotherhood of Labor office in the planetary capital seems to indicate an escalation of the violence to new levels.
¶ An anonymous call to the TNS field office on Yrsai claimed responsibility for the Scarlet Fraternity, a vigilante group widely believed to be an unofficial "action arm" answering to the Count of Yrsai. The Count's spokesmen vehemently deny any involvement in the Fraternity's activities. Ω
¶ Officials of the Imperial 109th Fleet have been taken by surprise by the sudden appearance of a small Aslan ihatei flotilla. The Aslan, making up the equivalent of a light cruiser wing, powered down all weapons and opened communications with the Navy freely. They have expressed a desire to immigrate into the Imperium, and have apparently produced documents claiming the sponsorship of senior Imperial officials. Ω
Date: 260-1121 ⑆ Muan Gwi (Solomani Rim 1717)
¶ Fresh from her triumphant visit to Shulgiasu (Solomani Rim 2319), the ancient Vilani capital of the Rim Province, Empress Iolanthe has arrived on Muan Gwi to a tumultuous welcome. This first visit of a member of the Imperial house to the Vegan homeworld has moved even the staid Vegans to enthusiastic celebration. Members of the Guardian tuhuir greeted the Empress with the Opening of the Gates ceremony, a rite of great antiquity involving almost six hours of intricate dance and pageantry. Historians report that the Opening of the Gates has not been performed in its entirety in almost 2,000 years, and until now has never been recorded by a Human audience.
¶ Following the ceremony, the Empress was taken to the estates of Archduke Adair, who will spend the next three days escorting his distinguished visitor on a grand tour of the Vegan homeworld. A series of official meetings between the Empress and the Viceroy will follow. Ω
Date: 265-1121 ⑆ Vantage (Solomani Rim 1538)
¶ Jan Malikov, a prominent Nationalist leader of the Solomani Party, has returned to Vantage after walking out of the Secretariat earlier this year. Today he announced that a Solomani Party caucus would be held on Vantage within a few weeks, "as soon as delegates can gather from all the worlds of the Near Bootes Cluster." The subject of the caucus was not announced. Ω
Date: 268-1121 ⑆ Scandia (Solomani Rim 2628)
¶ Silk Road Factors captain Barnard O'Neill has given a series of high-profile interviews to the planetary media. These interviews have drawn public attention to the fact that Imperial free traders and small shippers have been operating across the Solomani border, in the ostensibly-interdicted Kukulkan Subsector, for several months.
¶ "The Solomani Navy isn't even pretending to enforce the interdiction any more," said Captain O'Neill. "In fact, I'm not sure they could even if they wanted to. There have been battles, and I personally saw evidence that the Solomani naval base on Ochre (Solomani Rim 2731) was in a shambles. I don't think Kukulcan is the only world in revolt in there."
¶ When asked about the beseiged world of Kukulcan, Captain O'Neill denied having been there since before the secession crisis began in 1117. However, without giving the identities of the ships involved, he hinted that several Imperial free traders had successfully traded there in recent months. Ω
Date: 288-1121 ⑆ Esperance (Solomani Rim 1116)
¶ The Interstellar Brotherhood of Labor has produced evidence of shipments of arms being received by Human Bloc rebels, from an unknown offworld source. In protest, the IBL has called for a complete work stoppage at all starport and offworld shipping facilities on Esperance. Ω
Date: 293-1121 ⑆ Terra (Solomani Rim 1827)
¶ The Empress Iolanthe has arrived on Terra, accompanied by the Archduke of Sol and their respective entourages. A substantial portion of the Imperial sector navy has also arrived as part of the Imperial escort, including elements of the 79th, 97th, 115th, 116th, 293rd and 294th Fleets.
¶ In her first public statement, given from the Imperial Lounge at Starport Lagrange, the Empress announced that she carried an Imperial Warrant from her husband, and had been charged with implementing a number of changes of policy with respect to Terra and the rest of the Rim during her visit. She gave no details, but expressed the opinion that "all Imperial citizens of good will should have cause to approve of the prominent status of Terra and her children within the Imperium."
¶ In a separate statement, Archduke Adair made mention of the apparent disorders going on within Solomani space. "Neither the Iridium Throne nor the Archduchy of Sol has any opinion on the political institutions of Solomani worlds which fall outside space claimed by the Imperium. The so-called Solomani Confederation must resolve its own internal disputes. It would be neither prudent nor justifiable for us to interfere in that process."
¶ As is usual for high-level Imperial officials, the Archduke carefully left open the question as to which Solomani worlds might be claimed by the Imperium. Ω
Date: 295-1121 ⑆ Sarmaty (Solomani Rim 0217)
¶ The mysterious "embassy fleet" of Aslan ihatei has arrived in Sarmaty orbit, escorted by a detachment from the 109th Imperial Fleet. Leaders of the ihatei immediately proceeded to the estates of Taehtaukhakhtko, chief-paramount of the Aslan clans of Sarmaty, for private consultations. Thus far the ihatei have observed strict discipline, making no attempt to land upon Sarmaty in significant numbers. Ω
Date: 300-1121 ⑆ Ushra (Dagudashaag 1016)
¶ Grand Princess Ciencia Iphigenia married her consort-designate today, in the midst of grand ceremony and public spectacle.
¶ The Grand Princess was resplendent in a blazing white gown of Ushran shimmersilk, crowned with a diamond tiara. Doctor Frater Ganidiirsi Ling Simalr wore the full formal robes of a tenured professor of the University of Sylea, subdued in a deep blue that contrasted well with the brilliance of his bride's gown.
¶ The ceremony was organized along traditional Solomani lines, in deference to the customs of House Alkhalikoi. Emperor Strephon gave away the bride. To the surprise of many onlookers, Prince Lucan Alkhalikoi also appeared at the ceremony, looking unusually fit and handsome in the full dress uniform of an Imperial Navy ensign. Also present in the bridal party was the Grand Princess' childhood friend, now Archduchess Isis of Ilelish.
¶ The groom's father, Duke Khugi Laragii Simalr of Ushra, served in the traditional role of "best man." Many other members of the Simalr clan were present, to round out the groom's party and wish the newlyweds well.
¶ After the wedding, Emperor Strephon presided over the coronation of Doctor Simalr as a new Prince of the Imperium. During the following state dinner, the Emperor spoke of his new son-in-law with unusual warmth.
¶ "We are fortunate to welcome such a scholar, such a man, into our family," the Emperor said. "Prince Ganidiirsi will doubtless serve our Imperium with distinction, as a leader in the sciences, as a representative of our many diverse peoples, one day as Prince Consort. For my part, I count myself doubly fortunate. To trillions of Imperial citizens, Ciencia Iphigenia is the Grand Princess, the heir who will one day take up the Imperial throne and mandate. To me, she is also my daughter, a young woman I love dearly. I'm therefore pleased that she has wed a man worthy not only of the highest estate, but also of her profound and lasting affection." Ω
¶ In a rare public appearance, Confederation Secretary-General Marc Chissano today announced the establishment of a new arm of the Solomani Party: the Solomani Defense Council.
¶ "The Council will be specifically charged with the enforcement of laws banning the operation of non-Solomani political organizations within the Solomani Confederation," said the Secretary-General. "It will have full access to Solomani Security's files, and will have all the authority it needs to deal with such illegal activities."
¶ The Solomani Defense Council was apparently established in a closed session of the Secretariat several weeks ago. According to Solomani officials speaking off the record, it is already being organized and may go into full operation at any time. Ω
Date: 308-1121 ⑆ Terra (Solomani Rim 1827)
¶ The Office of the Archduke of Sol has confirmed that Empress Iolanthe will be extending her stay on Terra for some time.
¶ "At present the Empress has cancelled the rest of her itinerary through the Solomani Rim sector," said a spokesman. "We can't say what her long-range plans might be, although of course we are happy to enjoy her continued presence here on the rimward fringe of the Imperium."
¶ The Empress herself has made no comment on the subject, despite recent public appearances in the Gizeh Plateau monument district and at a performance of ancient light operetta in London. Ω
Date: 320-1121 ⑆ Ludmilla (Solomani Rim 1216)
¶ A general strike and associated pro-democracy protests on Ludmilla have apparently led to a collapse of the local ManFirst government. Several Cabinet officials belonging to the ManFirst Party have resigned, and President Valleterre has gone into seclusion. This leaves the planetary government in the hands of the moderate Vice President Iole Shirika. She has announced the formation of a provisional government to hold power until open elections can be held. The Interstellar Brotherhood of Labor and the Ewm Shao Gwi tuhuir have both been called on to provide representatives for the provisional Cabinet. Ω
Date: 332-1121 ⑆ Dzim Zhia Gwi (Solomani Rim 1515)
¶ Officials of the Ewm Shao Gwi tuhuir have voiced approval of the IBL-led provisional government on Ludmilla. "We reject any allegations against the Brotherhood that may suggest anti-Vegan racism," stated tuhuir spokesman Tyarr Elnak. "Such racism is a feature of the former ManFirst government, not of the Interstellar Brotherhood of Labor. Our tuhuir has no quarrel with IBL positions regarding interspecies relations or trade unionization. IBL opinions on human politics are not otherwise our concern."
¶ Meanwhile, Joaquin Valleterre, formerly President of the Ludmilla Republic, appeared on Esperance today to deliver a fiery public statement denouncing the pro-labor movement on his homeworld. "These so-called labor leaders are nothing but jackbooted thugs, subverting the normal mechanisms of democratic government in order to impose their own views on everyone. The ManFirst party is the true expression of the will of the Ludmillan people, and we will not be denied our place." Ω
Date: 340-1121 ⑆ Ludmilla (Solomani Rim 1216)
¶ Several senior officers of the Ludmillan planetary fleet have apparently mutinied against the authority of the provisional government, taking their commands out of port and into deep system space without orders. Tukera Lines freighter captain Qing Xiao-wen stated to TNS reporters that while his ship made its way toward the planet, it detected multiple outbound jumps in the vicinity of the system's largest gas giant. Ω
¶ Emperor Strephon returned to Capital today, concluding his year-long Jubilee tour of the Imperium. With him were Grand Princess Iphigenia and her consort, Prince Ganidiirsi.
¶ With Strephon's return, the core of the Imperial family is once again represented on Capital for the first time in many days. Empress Iolanthe remains on tour in the rimward provinces, and is not expected to return until late in 1122. Prince Lucan has returned to duty in the Imperial Navy, and Imperial spokesmen report that he plans to serve at least one full term as a commissioned officer.
¶ Observers at Capital are mystified by the continued absence of Prince Varian, who has not been heard from in over a year. At last report, the Prince had been in the Spinward Marches for some time, and was planning an excursion into the Jewell Subsector. Ω
Date: 360-1121 ⑆ Vantage (Solomani Rim 1538)
¶ After meeting in closed session, a Solomani Party caucus has released a manifesto calling for extensive reforms within the Solomani Confederation.
¶ Meeting here on Vantage in closed session, the caucus is largely composed of representatives from the worlds of the Near Bootes Cluster. Many of them are members of the Secretariat who abandoned that body earlier in the year, protesting the "illegitimate" government of current Secretary-General Marc Chissano.
¶ Caucus spokesman Jan Malikov announced the existence of the manifesto today. "For over a century, we Solomani have been living in a prison of their own devising. In the name of our racial destiny, we have denied ourselves the freedom that was once considered our birthright. For fear of our foreign enemies, we have done ourselves far greater harm than those enemies could ever have done. No more!"
¶ Malikov distributed copies of the so-called Vantage Manifesto to members of the press. Among other reforms, it apparently calls for an end to the Solomani Party's monopoly on legal political activity, several reforms to the Confederation military command structure, and the abolition of SolSec's "monitor" program.
¶ When asked about the consequences of the manifesto for members of the Party caucus, Malikov observed, "Manifesto or not, we're all dead men if the Chissano regime lays hands on us. We may as well make a stand for what's best for the Solomani people." Ω