09 AUG 3301
The Reign of Emperor Hengist Duval
In respect of the assassination of Emperor Hengist Duval the planned article for this week has been moved to next week so that historian Sima Kalhana relates some of the key moments from his life.
Emperor Hengist Duval was the 15th in the Imperial Duval bloodline to lead the Empire and he saw a great deal of change in his comparatively short reign. He was born in 3163, only a few days before the death of his grandfather Hender Saik Duval. Some claim that the spirit of Hender had already passed to Hengist such were the similarities in looks and manner noted in Hengist’s later years.
When his father, Hesketh Duval, died in 3233, Hengist assumed his place on the throne. The live broadcast of the coronation created an impression of a serene transition. However lurking beneath this appearance lay significant tensions. Most significant of which was the growing power of the Senate which had developed during the extended period of his father’s illness. A parallel with the situation with Hengist’s coma can be seen in recent months.
At the start of his reign the cold war between the Empire and the Federation was starting to thaw, a process which continued for decades, although friction has recently resumed with the rise of certain powers like President Hudson and Senator Patreus.
Hengist’s reign witnessed a major technological advancement with the introduction of the new frame shift drive. This sped up travel between stars systems and even inside systems by an incredible margin. It created a more quickly shifting political, military and commercial landscape as reacting or causing changing became much easier.
Hengist fell ill early in 3300, and he managed to continue light duties throughout the first half of the year. His sickness worsened as the year progressed and during this time he remained in seclusion with only rare visits to the Senate. At the turn of 3301 he slipped into a coma. Many expected him to not awaken from the coma and it was a great surprise when he recovered several months later.
Near the close of 3300, Hengist decreed that his only legitimate child, Harold (who is Aisling Duval’s unmarried father), was not of sound mind and so unfit for rule, and in any case had no legitimate children himself. Following this announcement Arissa Lavigny-Duval declared that she was the illegitimate child of Hengist. The Emperor supported this claim by announcing his forthcoming marriage with Arissa’s mother, Florence Lavigny, and was expected to formally adopt Arissa and cement her claim to the throne.
With his murder and the marriage not completed the succession to the imperial throne is again not clear cut and many fear the potential instability this could cause to the Empire if not decided quickly after the Emperor’s funeral.
09 AUG 3301
Leaked Footage of Emperor’s Assassination
In a move sending shockwaves of revulsion throughout the Empire, an independent newsfeed, Russell Networks, based in the Tulill system, has broadcast what is claimed to be a holographic recording of the assassination of Emperor Hengist Duval.
Imperial networks are refusing to show the footage and all levels of imperial society are outraged at this insult to the Emperor’s memory. The recording’s authenticity hasn’t been confirmed, but it does clearly show someone who looks like Brendan Paul Darius attacking the Emperor. As the Emperor passes by Senator Patreus’ entourage Darius is seen to lunge from the group. He then stabs the Emperor several times with a blade and inflicting severe facial injuries until being taken down by the nearest guards. In it, others in Patreus’s entourage, including Senator Patreus himself, appear to move to try to stop the attacker, and do appear to be genuinely surprised and shocked.
Chancellor Anders Blaine condemned the broadcast in a statement and refused to comment on its veracity.