Fourth Imperial Civil War
|Fourth Imperial Civil War|
|Date||Year 11 Day 291 01:00 — 19:00|
|Result||Territorial status quo ante bellum|
Vodo Bonias abdicated
Thomas Cherokee became Emperor
|Galactic Empire||Orphaea Imperium|
|Commanders and Leaders|
|Emperor Vodo Bonias|
Executor Thomas Cherokee
|Grand Moff Orphaea Imperium|
- "I do this, not so the Empire will fall, but so the Empire shall rise greater than ever."
- — Orphaea Imperium
The Fourth Imperial Civil War is the formal name of an elaborate coup d'etat undertaken by Grand Moff Orphaea Imperium against the continued ineffectual reign of Emperor Vodo Bonias on Year 11 Day 291.
By the closing days of Year 11, Vodo Bonias had celebrated his sixth year on the throne, significantly longer than any Emperor since Hiram Drayson. During this time, several heirs apparent had come and gone with unfulfilled promises that Bonias would one day abdicate in favour of them. The latest of these, Executor and former leader of the New Imperial Order Thomas Cherokee, had ascended to the position on resolution of the Third Imperial Civil War and the reunification of the New Imperial Order with the Galactic Empire.
Grand Moff Orphaea Imperium was the longest serving of the "new" Imperial High Command; those who had never served under any other Emperor. During this time, Imperium had seen many Executors rise and fall - indeed, his service had begun mere weeks before the protests that overthrew Daelin Zerk and started the Third Imperial Civil War. As he had ascended through the ranks of the Empire, Imperium watched a number of potential successors fail due to the constant unfulfilled promises of abdication.
Also in issue was Bonias' style of ruling. Bonias had long ago given up any real attention to the day-to-day events of the Empire, secluding himself in his own pursuits and only emerging, often poorly informed, for the highest of diplomatic events. However, with his long established reputation for cruelty and manipulation of the dark side of the force, despite the many practical changes the Empire had seen, the Empire would be seen in the same light for as long as Bonias was its Emperor, preventing the Empire from moving on from this past both internally and externally.
Some time about Year 11 Day 275, Imperium concluded that violent overthrow - on a scale never before seen in Imperial history - was the only way that Bonias would ever be compelled to step down and the Empire would ever be able to move forward. Imperium was one of the few people in the Empire with the required authorities across the branches of the Empire to gain access to the Empire's assets, and whose orders in relation to such assets would not be questioned.
Calling in a few favours, Imperium established Nilar MedTech, ostensibly a medical corporation, but in reality serving as a front to move supporters and resources throughout the Empire in place for the final day. Ironically, Imperial Security Bureau Director Mikel von Bianchi personally approved the paperwork for its creation and was formally its first leader.
In the early hours of Year 11 Day 291, Imperium activated the coup. Under his orders, "Nilar MedTech" forces:
- took over the governments of over 400 planets (approximately 80% of the Empire's then-current territories);
- seized every material stockpile, and occupied every major mining and warehousing facility; and
- seized all but a fraction of the Empire's treasury - untold billions of credits.
At the same time, thousands of common workers across the Empire, seeing what was happening, defected to Imperium's banner.
Imperium now had the ability to force Bonias off the throne - but not for himself. Imperium believed that the throne should pass peacefully to the next successor, and so did not attempt to claim the throne. Instead, he sent letters of demand to the Empire, to Imperial High Command, and to Bonias himself with a single demand: Bonias abdicate.
There was nothing to do now but wait.
Imperial High Command in crisis
- "I'm back. I'm technically still on the clock for the next hour and a half, but I'll try to keep up in here... He could not have picked a worse time for this shit.
I'm used to it. We were due."
- — Thomas Cherokee and Vodo Bonias.
Those members of Imperial High Command who were available quickly convened an emergency meeting to discuss the coup.
The meeting was sombre. Without the resources that Imperium had seized, the Empire's future turned from one of anticipated prosperity to one of restraint and reconstruction.
As they deliberated, Bonias revealed a secret plan he had negotiated with Hapan King Jessy James many years previously: in the event that either the Empire or Hapes were crippled by attack and potentially unable to maintain itself, the two governments would unify. The plan shocked Imperial High Command who were quick to reject the proposal.
After many long hours, Bonias was apparently convinced of the need to step down. However, unbeknownst to the rest of Imperial High Command, Bonias had been plotting with Executor Thomas Cherokee in private: Bonias would abdicate in favour of Cherokee, but the abdication would be a ruse to enable the Empire to re-take the seized resources, after which Bonias would return to the throne.
Negotiations and resolution
- "I am stepping down as the Imperator of the Galactic Empire. I name you my successor, with all the power and privilege that comes with that... Congratulations."
- — Vodo Bonias
- "I wish I could have left Vodo with something. To force him to see the truth, I almost had to destroy him."
- — Orphaea Imperium
At a closed meeting between Bonias, Imperium and Cherokee, it was proposed and agreed that Cherokee would become Emperor with Imperium taking his place as Executor. Imperium also apologised to Bonias, acknowledging the many deeds of the now-former Emperor and (unsuccessfully) encouraging Bonias to remain and contribute to the new Empire.
On confirmation that Cherokee had been installed as Emperor, Imperium ordered Nilar forces to return power and resources to the appropriate authorities and stand down. The Fourth Imperial Civil War was over, less than 24 hours after it had begun.
Betrayal and aftermath
- "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit disappointed. But I know why it had to happen.
I'd think you were lying if you said you weren't.
I'm happy to stay around, but I have one condition. Well, a request. Be a damn good Emperor - if I never make it there myself, at least history will prove I was right."
- — Orphaea Imperium and Thomas Cherokee
All appeared well on the surface. However, Cherokee was not secure in his throne and broke the promises he had made during the negotiations to ensure his position.
Once Nilar forces had stood down, Bonias had been expecting Cherokee to return power to him. However, Cherokee turned on the former Emperor and, as to be expected, kept the throne for himself. Bonias, perhaps anticipating this, only blithely observed that Cherokee would have trouble getting others to trust him.
At a whole-of-Empire meeting the next day, Bonias also turned on the agreement he had made with Imperium, demoting him back to Grand Moff (although no longer chairman of the Council of Moffs) and promoted Guinar Ndengin as Executor. While disappointed, Imperium privately confirmed with Cherokee that he understood the need for a peaceful transition.
|Imperial Civil Wars|
Third Imperial Civil War
|Fourth Imperial Civil War
Year 11 Day 291
Fifth Imperial Civil War
|Imperial Civil Wars|
|First Imperial Civil War|
|Second Imperial Civil War|
|Third Imperial Civil War|
|Fourth Imperial Civil War|