12 JUL 3301
The Birth of an Empire
Continuing GalNet’s series about the defining moments in human history, famed historian Sima Kalhana talks about how the Empire came to be.
The Empire has become such a dominant presence in human culture that it is easy to forget that for almost a century the heart of what was to become the Empire was just a single system. The Achenar system was first colonised in the middle of the 23rd century. It was founded by an expedition led by Marlin Duval, a wealthy woman who had grown disillusioned by the ever increasing rigidity of the Earth governments and stifling social conformity.
Marlin Duval vowed to get as far from Earth as she could, and after a long and treacherous journey across what was then unexplored space, most of the convoy eventually reached the Achenar system.
The system of Achenar was chosen for the outdoor world orbiting one of its gas giants, already capable of supporting human life, now known as Capitol. There was already life on the planet and though Duval didn’t know it at the time, one of the few known sentient species watched their landings.
Back then, life was known to be plentiful throughout the galaxy, though it wasn’t appreciated how rare sentient life was. Before long the species was made extinct by the settlers, mainly through imported bateria. Much later, this extinction would later be used as a pretext for Federal intervention in the system.
Under Marlin Duval the population lived under idealistic democratic rule with elected Senators representing the people. This changed dramatically after she died in a speeder crash. Her brother, Henson Duval, then assumed control and established the now familiar line of imperial succession. Some claim that he killed his sister to claim power, but this was never proved.
For many years succession was restricted to the male line, and it was claimed various means were used to restrict royal births to only male children. This practice was later abandoned, and recent events at the heart of the Empire indicate that male succession may soon be broken.
In 2324 Federal forces attempted to invade Achenar, with the pretext of causing the alien extinction, but also because of Achenar’s refusal to join the Federation. It was the conclusion of this war which resulted in the birth of the second of humanity’s great power blocs, and cemented Henson’s position as a powerful leader of his people.