Turmoil in the Empire
After another beautiful night frequenting the bars and brothels of Derra, I met Dr. Detrium Vartoosh, an exiled professor of political science at a university on Coruscant. He said he'd written a dissertation called "Imperial Authority: a Case Study on Subjugation" or something like that and had written a paper on current events. He told me that none of the local news affiliates would broadcast it over Galactic News Service, so I thought I'd help him out.
The Galactic Empire has long projected an image of stability and order, enforced by an admittedly powerful military and a ruthless leadership. The entrenched upper echelon describes its stagnant composition as being superior to the leadership of the New Republic, whose comparatively rapid, democracy- driven turnover they describe as "tumultuous" and "indicative of weakness". This argument was undermined by the inert second reign of Emperor Vodo Bonias, which lasted over six years and resulted in a loss of prestige that led many in the galaxy to view the Falleen Federation as the legitimate galactic government. While the Empire saw a resurgence following Emperor Bonias' abdication, recent events have eroded the new regime's credibility.
It appears the Empire's leadership has become a fragile co-dependant structure, where the absence of even a single man could cause the whole system to collapse. The ransom of a Super Star Destroyer is doubtless the most expensive ransom in galactic history, and its payment is likely to have significant socio-political repercussions on the Empire. Estimates of the raw material cost of a Super Star Destroyer are placed at upwards of 100,000,000 credits, but the value of a Super Star Destroyer extends beyond the resources spent on its construction. Its military complement is enough to conquer several planets on its own and its presence alone significantly alters negotiations in the Empire's favor. It was thought that the financial, military, and political worth of a Super Star Destroyer exceeded the value of any single man, even the Executor, by a large magnitude.
The lack of a definitive statement from the Throne, despite the incident being widely reported through independent news sources and social media, will likely spark a significant fall in support for the current leadership. Rumors suggest that the Executor was captured on an Eidola-controlled world, and the failure to take necessary safety precautions, either due to foolish overconfidence or severe incompetence, calls into question the decision-making ability of the second-most powerful man in the Empire. No justification has been provided for the exchange of the massively expensive and powerful war machine in return for a single man, and no effort has thus far been made to deny the rumors surrounding the Executor's capture.
There have been signs of mounting discontent within the Empire. Such value placed on a single man whose own ignorance or inability evidently led to his own capture brings up questions of nepotism and corruption among Imperial High Command. Doubts that similar drastic action would be taken for anyone else, other than the Emperor, along with the disdain for weakness proclaimed to be a part of Imperial culture, will diminish the esteem of those in charge of the Empire. Whether the impact of this loss of regard will diminish the Throne's ability to govern remains to be seen.
Beginning with former Grand Moff Orphaea Imperium's orchestrated coup against Bonias, the Empire has experienced the most turmoil-ridden period in recent history. With the relatively short reign of Emperor Thomas Cherokee and the departure of numerous ranking Imperials over the past few months, the top benefit the Empire claims to offer its subjects, stability, seems to be in short supply. The latest crisis involving Executor Seele has led to fear and mistrust spreading throughout the populace and within the ranks of the Imperial government itself. Political unrest, ranging from protests to a potential schism within the Empire, is projected to be likely if the Throne remains quiet.