The Beginning of the End
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
August 12, 2781 SET
The Beginning of the End
A culture of subversion was growing within the UEE. Though the death of Anthony Tanaka had occurred almost twenty-five years earlier, the seeds of dissent were only now beginning to grow. The people, subjugated for so long, were slowly building the confidence to speak out. The tenth Imperator, Ulysses Messer, was oblivious to all of this as he continued the massive architectural venture he had undertaken while serving as High Secretary during his uncle’s reign. The project involved a redesign of many government buildings, but would also establish a standardized aesthetic for commercial and residential spaces.
It was upon this architectural canvas of grey government-approved buildings that colorful messages and imagery of defiance began to appear. Although each one was quickly removed, it only seemed to incite others to replace it with a stronger message, marking the first fledgling steps of what would become the revolution.
Near the middle of 2781, Imperator Messer X prepared for the unveiling of the final piece of his decade-long project and what he perceived to be his ultimate legacy: the Khanos Stadium on Angeli, Croshaw. Conceived as a forum, in which future Imperators to be empowered, the design of the structure was, according to Messer X, intended to “make all who stood within quake at their own insignificance.” To pay for the monolithic structure, he had been raising taxes incrementally for years, bleeding an already over-taxed local populace to feed his desire to see the mega-structure built.
Needless to say, Messer X spared no expense when planning the gala event. He pulled military resources to lock down the city and line the route that his Imperial processional would take. Not only was attendance from the local populace mandatory, but they were expected to “maintain an appropriate level of cheer and awe.” Declassified Advocacy Archive documents later revealed that members of the Guard were actually scattered to make sure that the last decree was enforced.
Messer X was going to leave nothing to chance that could jeopardize the culmination of his dream, but he was looking in the wrong places.
His two children, Linton and Fiona, had spent the past decade growing weary of waiting for their birthright. Linton particularly had become increasingly disgusted at his father’s obsession with wasting money to build monuments. It was, after all, his money that Ulysses was spending.
An effortlessly persuasive man, Linton worked his way through members of his father’s inner circle as well as prominent members of the military, Senate and Advocacy, in an effort to find assets that he could potentially manipulate against his father.
His younger sister began to build a network of contacts in the growing circles of activists, not out of any genuine desire for beneficial change, but simply as tools to be used in their plot for power.
On 2781-08-12, Ulysses Messer’s convoy crept down the Caravac Bridgeway. Surrounded by protective glass, he stood proudly and gazed at the masses forced to cheer. Linton and Fiona were placed in a separate hover. As the Khanos Stadium rose into view, witnesses claim that Messer X openly wept.
That’s when the bombs went off. A resistance group, surreptitiously aided by Fiona, had managed to place dozens of high-explosive charges into the foundations. The blast was much more powerful than anticipated, killing thousands in the stadium itself, and hundreds more who had been herded to wait outside the stadium as a welcoming group.
Messer X watched his legacy collapse in a cloud of flame and smoke. His Advocacy contingent quickly swept into action, diverting the Imperator to a secure location, but military forces that had pledged support to Linton intercepted them.
The streets quickly descended into a free-for-all as military and Advocacy clashed. Messer X’s Guard units barely managed to protect the Imperator from the initial ambush. Ulysses fled through the streets of the city, before retreating into one of his newly minted government buildings.
His Advocacy detail dug in to try and protect their Imperator until reinforcements arrived, but found themselves quickly surrounded by several hundred Army and Marine forces. Ulysses locked himself in an office on the twelfth floor; that’s when he looked outside and saw his son standing impatiently among the military.
It was only a matter of minutes before it became apparent that the military would overpower the Advocacy defenders. Imperator Messer X, realizing that he would not survive the night, took his own life with his ceremonial pistol.
In the aftermath of the coup, Linton Messer was empowered as Messer XI. His first course of action was to arrest and execute the revolutionaries that Fiona had enlisted to bomb the stadium, for the crime of treason.
While Linton Messer felt absolutely no remorse for the death of his father, there was one thing he couldn’t have anticipated. His and Fiona’s actions of that night created an infrastructure that invigorated the revolutionary movement like never before, a movement that would topple him from power eleven years later and pull Humanity from its dark age.
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