Tuesday, 9 September 2014
Fleet Admiral Hugh McCormac became Firstman of Ilion, Speaker of the three Houses of the Aenean legislature, when his older brother died without leaving an heir. Because Kathryn Frederiksen had become McCormac's second wife, her brother and his family often vacationed at Windhome, ancestral seat of the Firstman.
When the Imperial favorite, Aaron Snelund, became Governor of Sector Alpha Crucis, taxes increased, venal appointments were made, injustices occurred in less well represented societies, petitions were shunted aside, arrests and confiscations for "treason" began, there were secret police and outrages, Snelund detained Kathryn, Hugh was arrested and rescued and led a mutiny. Kathryn's nephew, Ivar, a hereditary member of the University of Nova Roma, had been educated there from infancy. The curriculum had included military training since the Troubles. Now students drilled full time, expecting to fight in the rebellion which, however, was suddenly defeated. With Snelund dead, Muratori became Sector Governor. With Hugh and Kathryn fled, Ivar's father became Firstman and Ivar became Firstling or heir while Desai was appointed High Commissioner of an occupied Aeneas.
The University was closed and the Frederiksens moved to Windhome. When the University reopened, under observation, Ivar returned to Nova Roma and engaged in underground activity, now living not in the family townhouse but in a cheap part of the Web where there was for the first time a more significant criminal class. When rallies and demonstrations at the Brian McCormac monument became riots, assemblies were banned, the monument was razed and the Landfolk were ordered to disband all units and surrender all weapons.
Ivar led a group that smuggled out weapons and ambushed an Imperial patrol in order to acquire more arms, then hide in Ironland oases, raid, recruit and gain support and off-planet sympathy. However, the ambush failed and Desai must order a search for the fugitive Firstling.