Our Man in Havana

All the news that's fit to print, and some more besides…

T99 - The Lesser of Two Evils?

Following the Imperial Party's spectacular election results it has had some difficulty in choosing how its new First Minister ought to be. The word in the corridors of power has it that this is because of the uneasiness in choosing between the two primary candidates, neither of whom are palatable to everyone.

The Candidates

Many have seen Lord Armstrong as a stronger candidate for FM than Seb Rathbone, although it all depends on the individual Senators where their sympathies lie. But it is very much choosing between two evils…

The thing with Seb is that he is a potential candidate for First Citizen, and there could be a vacancy there soon. Making him FM will almost certainly accelerate him to the front of the race for FC when it comes up. From Seb's point of view this is excellent, but he's a bit too brash and ambitious to be a good FC, and there is the possibility that he might actually try and run the Empire given that he'll have been the FM previously…

Armstrong on the other hand has the smell of fascism lingering a bit too closely about him. He's been the subject of a high level worry that he might be about to go it alone, and has been through the governmental equivalent of a strip search. That said, he's been the most successful Quadrant Governor in the Imperium ever (or at least for a very long time indeed). I doubt anyone has added more systems to the Empire in their tenure than he has. Whatever happens you want him in the tent.

In the circumstances Ashanti has accepted that he ought to make way for an Imperial Party Senator and has urged Senators to vote for the successor that he felt was most likely to be in the best interests of the Imperium. Surprisingly Ashanti told people that Senator Armstrong was his preferred candidate.

~~LINKBACK~~

T75 - Massive Expansion of IEN?

The defence review is about to report and the advance briefings are suggesting a huge expansion in the IS component of the IEN over the next few years.

More IS Ships

The exact nature of the recommendations in the review aren't being leaked, somewhat unusually as advance press briefing is normal by the IEN. There is some speculation amongst those close to IEN sources that suggest that it must be being kept very secret indeed as the rumours are very disparate. For example we've heard the following bits of rumour:

  • only 2 more SABI will be built to complete an 8 vessel squadron
  • no more SABI will be built because the First Minister sees no operational value in them
  • SABI will become the backbone of two new anti-exterminator fleets of 200 CF each
  • the DDI fleet will expand (double to triple is the range of estimates) to allow one DDI per system plus a strategic reserve
  • More CAIs will be built disproportionately as they can do 2g comfortably
  • a 2g version of the MPSI will become the replacement for most CVIs
  • All the shipyards will turn to commercial shipbuilding and churn out cheap Class 5000 merchants to try and boost the economy
  • Interplanetary vessels other than HBB and MPS will be converted to IS versions.
  • The IP fleet will be decommissioned and replaced by IS vessels.
  • The IP fleet will double in combat value, made up entirely of HBB and MPS.
  • Large war reserves will be built up by mothballing huge numbers of ships at Sol.

Who knows what will come out of it all. Perhaps the fleet will even get smaller, but given the news that the Imperium has pulled out of SALT the money has to be on a much expanded fleet.

dateline: 3208.315

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T74 - Armstrong's Auditors

The Special Audit Squadron is in hyperspace, and the rumour is it will be visiting Governor Armstrong in Q6. Apparently that shipyard wasn't authorised…

Armstrong 'Out of Control'

Apparently the reason that our man at the ToOL summit didn't fight back when the Treens said that Armstrong was 'out of contro' was because it was true. The rumour is that the First Citizen personally directed the deployment of the IAO to conduct a full audit in Q6 after being briefed by Imperial Intelligence.

Speculation is rife that there was a meeting of Downfall 6, a special imperial committee convened only when treason or rebellion is suspected. The last time that it was acknowledged that a downfall committee was convened was Downfall 17 back when the treens were revolting (in the sense of being rebellious that is). Although some people think that there have been a few other instances since then, most recently Downfall 3 just in advance of the Vision AI crisis a few years ago.

dateline 3208.299

T75 - Wrong ToOL for Attacking HEBs...

In the back rooms of the Senate building there has been a lot of building support for Earth pulling out of the Treaty of Old London. The recent summits have all been used to bash Imperial policy.

Not Fit For Purpose

There have been attacks on several fronts on the treaty. IEN sources have been saying that it is not able to support concerted offensive action against the builders of the alien robotic battleships. They have also been heard saying that it also excludes a large number of the independent human systems, many of which have been banding together for self-defence. While these small systems can't afford to operate capital ships they may be able to run some of the scout vessels and perhaps even club together to improve local defence.

On the diplomatic side the Foreign Office lobby has been talking about the recent summits and the views from the other polities about Earth. There has been a marked reluctance by anyone to agree with anything we propose, even when it is very reasonable. This opposition is, unsurprisingly, lead by the Venerians, Sirians and Martians. Even those polities that we remain friendly with won't speak up in our favour. Going along to summits to receive a kicking when we are the largest contributors to humanity's defence just doesn't seem sensible.

Defending Humanity

Pulling out of ToOL wouldn't stop us showing an example in defending humanity. We could carry on doing it on our own terms. The MDF have already set a precedent for contributing to the collective defence without being part of the ToOL structure or signing the treaty. The view is that Earth should take the same tack.

We will maintain fleets for the collective defence and share intelligence on possible exterminator attacks with our allies. We would also react to any attack and co-operate with other human fleets. However IEN vessels would remain under IEN command.

dateline 3208.300

T74 - Hooray Henry!!

Rumour has it that the First Citizen's favourite son is off on his annual 'pilgrimage' to the ancient city of Las Vegas.

House of Pleasure

Hooray Henry's itinerary is said to include a trip to the Great White Elephant casino and an evening of sybaritic indulgence in Madame Frou Frou's House of Pleasure, said to be the heart of scandal when the MAFC ambassador was caught there fifteen years ago with a Senator's daughter. Not that Henry had any involvement in that of course.

Dear Henry's aides deny all this of course and are sticking to the same old boring story that “this week the Deputy First Minister, Sebastian Rathbone, will be making his annual pilgrimage to the 500 year old Seesars palace in the ancient city of Las Vegas. During the visit he hopes to have an audience with Her Tranquility Dolores Pieta XIV and to renew his vows to the Universal Church.”

They also add that he will also be attending a seasonal BBQ held by his Father on his Hawaiian Enclave. President Potato is also believed to be in attendance at the latter event.

Believe what you want, but the rumours are just that bit more interesting…

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