Fourth Imperial Civil War/Letter to Imperial High Command
In the Name of the Empire
To his Majesty the Emperor, to the Inner Circle and to Imperial High Command,
By the time you get to this I imagine most of you will be familiar with recent events. If you have not yet had an opportunity to log onto the Holonet, I will briefly summarize: I am currently in control of the Empire's credits, material resources, the majority of the Empire's territory, enough additional assets to significantly cripple the remainder of the Imperial economy, and as I send this I am well on the way to acquiring the Empire's workforce.
I will allay your fears: This is not intended to be permanent. I am not a sleeper agent of the Galactic Alliance, or Eidola, or some other such rubbish. However, in order for the Empire to be restored and whole again, I do have one, singular demand:
Vodo Bonias abdicate the Imperial Throne.
The Emperor has, for many years, been only tangentially involved with the dealings of the Empire. On occasion he might appear with some request for information or a suggestion on High Command channels, and rarely perhaps a visit to the public channels. But the days when the Emperor was involved in all but a handful of the Empire's matters, both significant and day-to-day, is over, and it has been for some time.
We are to the point where we have mid and higher level officers - Commanding and Executive officers of our fleets and legions and coordinators of our economic expansion, who have served for some years in the Empire - who can count the number of times they have seen the Emperor on the fingers of one hand. The galaxy has all but forgotten who the Emperor is - except when it comes to attempt to open good relations with new factions, when they are reminded of the doctrine of 'Shock Imperialism' that has been abandoned by the Empire for years, but which the Emperor still represents due to his place in history.
The Emperor himself has recognised in the past the need for a successor. However, in my time, I have seen four heirs apparent. One was ultimately driven out by the people of the Empire. One was made inactive by lack of responsibility. One was constantly requested to wait a little longer or given impossible objectives to achieve beforehand, and as a result grew bitter and much of what would have made him a good Emperor was lost, ultimately causing his expulsion. Now, I have seen the stonewalling of yet another, and I ask myself for how many more years will we be waiting, how many more successors will I see appointed with optimism, lead with exasperation and leave with disillusionment?
I understand how I assume the Emperor is feeling. I too have been in positions where I have lost the ability, or the interest, to continue being active in a significant leadership role but been too sentimental, too emotionally attached, to move on. In the vast majority of factions this would not matter and I would not care, but in this galaxy, there are two factions that *must* have the best, most visible leadership it can, and the Empire is one of them.
I do not say banishment, or exile, or execution - merely abdication. Vodo Bonias has served the Empire for many years, and under his rule we have expanded greatly and seen and weathered many challenges. He should be revered in the future Empire as an elder statesman and given honours and dignities the highest the Empire can bestow. If he were willing, I don't think anyone would see any opposition to his remaining leader of the Sith Order, our highest ambassador to the Imperial Union, or commander of our Super Star Destroyer the Sovereign (though any other technologies should be returned to the Empire or given to the next Emperor, whichever is more appropriate).
If the throne is not abdicated, if Vodo Bonias persists in calling himself Emperor, the Empire will divide, and fall. I would be forced to break out on my own with what I have taken - it's certainly not as if I'd be able to come back into the fold, no hard feelings. Perhaps the Empire under Vodo Bonias could, with time to rebuild some of its economy and infrastructure, fight back. Perhaps it would win in some areas. But the result will be two Empires, one with technology but lacking resources and one with resources but lacking technology, locked in a civil war that would likely not be determined for years. In such circumstances, the only victor would be the Galactic Alliance, for certainly neither Empire could defend itself against them on its own.
I sincerely wish there was a different path, but bringing up such a matter is not easy. Discussion of such matters is done discretely, quietly, in between individuals, where a misinterpreted word can mean the gallows. The Emperor himself is unapproachable, and his words regarding the matter of unknown providence and value. The only way I could see to move forward was to put the Empire in such a position that if it continued its present direction it would be destroyed, and the thought of putting the Empire which I have served loyally for all my years at such risk literally makes me physically sick to my stomach - but I have always done what has been necessary.
This is not about wealth for the sake of wealth; I'm already the richest person in the Empire. This is not about power for the sake of power; if I wanted power for the hell of it, I could have set up the Corporate Sector Authority as my own fiefdom in the Outer Rim 18 months ago, instead of expanding the Empire by its addition. Paraphrasing what I have often said: this isn't about me, this isn't about the Emperor, it isn't about any of us. It's about the Empire.
The restoration of the Empire requires but one thing: a last, great act from a man that has already served the Empire well for so long. Abdication is all that is necessary for the Empire to be saved.
Vodo Bonias: I beg and implore you, do this thing, in the name of, and for, the Empire.
I will wait 48 hours for confirmation of this demand, so any necessary arrangements may be accommodated. If I do not receive confirmation after that time... well, all we can hope for is that when historians speak of the rise of the Galactic Alliance in a thousand years, it is said that the men and women of the Empire - both of them - died well.
In the name of the Empire,
Grand Moff Orphaea Imperium
Chairman, Council of Moffs