Story Arc:The independent Durius system, unable to pay even the interest on the loans, has defaulted to the Empire's Senator Patreus. The Imperial Senator's forces have entered the system supported by mercenary forces. Governor Malachai has called for help from like minded independent governments for assistance.
The tension between the Emperor's disinherited granddaughter, Aisling Duval, and the slaver Senator Torval, has burst out into the news again, bringing the welfare of the Empire's slaves to the fore. "We have no beggars... they are down HER mines... starving in private".
Arissa Lavigny also pledged support for Excellency Chancellor Anders Blaine, the Emperor's right hand man for 5 decades, and promised to ensure continuity and stability for the Empire.
Analysis:The actions of Senator Patreus once again raise the issue of the divide between the business interests of a single senator and that of the Empire. Durius is an independent system that has owed business debts to the Senator, what is not known is how many times those debts have already been paid off.
No doubt the ships bought by Durius under loan from Patreus are now being put into service against the fleet and mercenaries arrayed against them.
The Empire continues to struggle with its use of former members of society who voluntarily enter into slavery due to circumstance. The romantic notion held by some is that these slaves are "house servants" who provide for the smooth running of the great houses of the Empire as their path back to honourable society. What is forgotten are the numbers sent to work in the harshest worlds to mine resources as cheaper labour than machines.
Aisling Duval reminded Senator Zemina Torval of this, and that there was no clear rebuttal or denial was telling.
Link: GalNet news archive