Following surprise inspections by ISA Lictors of Silver Fortune Solution’s Extraction and Terriforming operations in HIP 20199, numerous breaches of the ISA regulations were found, including workings conditions, habitation, and that Silver Fortune Solutions was billing Imperial slaves for rent, foods, water and O2 at prices far exceeding their earnings only compounding their debts to that of several lifetimes.
Argon Armrend of the nearby Angeli Imperial Enterprises condemned such actions by a Senate Chartered Corporation stating that “the Angeli Imperial Enterprises will not tolerate such blatant exploitation and underhanded business practices” and has begun operations to assume control of the HIP 20199 to “restore the dignity and well being of our fellow imperial Citizens” citing that Silver Fortune Solutions have forfeited their mandate by their illegal and immoral practices.

Silver Fortune Solutions CEO Graham Green has lodged a formal protect with both the ISA and the Imperial Senate

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Nelder City closed its Space Doors this afternoon and crowds gathered in the dock area, free citizens and Imperial Slaves alike, to hear Argon Armrend CEO of the Angeli Imperial speak

“Friends, Citizens, Commanders, Imperials All
I address you all today, to speak on a matter of grave concern to the Empire and its continuing prosperity.

This threat to our great state is no external boogey man the media might use to stir up some furor, no; this threat comes from within the Empire itself.
“Ah” you say, “here we have just another politician looking to sling mud at his fellows, to gain a few points by accusing some rival of some mis-deed, real or imagined, and create a media circus about it”

No, I say, I am not here to accuse any one person of any misdeed, for the threat lies not in a person or power, but in the system itself, a cancer eating the Empire from within.
Systemic nepotism and cronyism, combined with a excessive reliance of slave labour has left the empire weak, rotten in the core and stagnating, like Venial Brass it is polished and luminous on the exterior but corroded within, & we, WE ALL, choose not to see it.

“But the Patron Client system is the basis of the empire” I hear you call out down the back. That the “traditions of Imperial Slavery is the backbone to our economy, and our society”, that we might keep face and still be productive citizens even when the worst strikes and we have nothing to our names.

And it is indeed true that these hallowed institutions are the backbone, the core, the spirit and essence of Imperial society, for what is an imperial citizen when they have lost all control of the destiny? What honour do they have left, when they are no longer the masters of their fact, but instead the flotsam and jetsam in an ocean of indifference.

I, myself, have undergone the rebirth of Imperial Bondage, from Imperial Citizen to Slave, to save myself from degradation and debit; but I ask you, why, why is it that so many of our number, so many promising Imperial youths full of vim and vigour and untapped potential end up debtors, end up selling themselves into bondage, why are they not filling the ranks of our Corporations and Public Offices?

Do we blame Sims? Drink? Drugs? Idle Decadence? Do we want to blame symptoms or do we want to address the cause? Look that those postings and stations we would traditionally equate to the young Imperial first stating their public life, and you will find the positions taken up with Imperial Slaves.

Yes, the bondsmen & women need some way to pay off their debts and reclaim their place as free and enfranchised citizens of the Empire, and yes they work hard to do that, but for minimal remuneration, remuneration that might not even service their debt, and so they are trapped never moving forward, all the whilst holding a position that would otherwise go a free citizen.
And when those roles free up, as infrequent as they do, why would anyone hire a free citizen who would demand a living wage, when one can penny pinch and exploit one bondsman to the legal edge of their contract.

Of course some jobs will go to Free citizens, but how are they selected, are the best and the brightness pit to go use where they be the next wave to push the Empire forward to an ever more glorious future?

Only if they have the nod of some venerable patron, one who is more interested in securing their own political position, by trading nepotism and cronyism for a few more voices to echo theirs at the forum or in the council meetings.

And having not come in from the ground level and pulled themselves up with their bootstraps, these political appointees have no experience to manage what they are assigned, and the wastage harms not only the Empire, but as their departments collapse, throw more citizens into unemployment and debt.

So what are we left with?

No job opportunities and no experience, our free citizens find themselves unable to pay their way; debt and exploitation is all that remains for them, whilst a few powerful patrons amass wealth and they and their clients watch from their palatial holdings

Is that the Empire we want?

It is time for a change, a time for the empire to embrace again the virtues of diligence, industry, perseverance & dutifulness. It is a time for the rewards to go again to those who serve the state, not to those who merely praise the right master.

Be you Freeman, Freedman or Bondsman; no matter you status, all citizens of the empire should be able to stand tall with a full frame, stand with honour, and have an opportunity to do their duty and earn their freedom, for none of us are truly free, unless we have a choice in our destiny.

I, Argon Armrend, vow, any system under my jurisdiction; Imperial Slaves will have fair wages so they might earn their freedom in a reasonable time; Free Citizens will find jobs so they can contribute to society by the merits they can bring and not by the patron that can name.
Together! Together we can all stand side by side, in our toil and relight the fire that once burnt so brightly in the hearts and souls of every Citizen!

Dignitas a Constantia Industriaque

Dignitas a Constantia Industriaque!”

With the books for September 3301 all accounted, CEO Argon Armrend of Wangal Energy Partners announced that the Imperial Corporation had met and exceeded all the KPIs assigned by Senator Patreus.
Armrend indicated that not only would the standard dividend of 0.085 CR a share be issued to all shareholders but a one off special dividend of 0.015 CR/share be issued as ”extra ordinary profit share”
This positive result not only reflects Armrend excellent management techniques but is also a personal Triumph for the CEO as the standard dividend was sufficient to Complete his contact
”I am a free citizen again, and this is only the beginning” Armrend was quoted as saying ”Which is where my newly registers Angeli Imperial Enterprises comes in”
When asked to elaborate on AIE Armrend replied
“The Duvals Rule, The Senate Governs, but it is the citizens who make manifest the glory of the Empire. Unshackled from inevitable debt and burden they face, it is the small, the meek the humble, that will make the Empire shine greater than ever before. Angeli Imperial Enterprises is my tool, our tool, to bring this vision into reality.”

A lot of you have been wondering who is the new man in charge, where did he come from?, finally AI news was able to sit down with him and ask him about himself. Here is what we got.

So where did it all begin for Argon Armrend?

Where did it all begin? Well the Armrends certainly were never members of the elite, heck we never even could claim the Patronage of one of the old families,  we were just your ordinary Imperial Citizens “Shop keepers and Small business owners” as they say.

Ours involved the acquisition and supply of mining equipment to various mining operations, mainly small scale independents, you know the type, that as sole operators don’t want to spend their time running from system to system to get more Bio-reducing Lichen or Limpets when they could be out in the belt clusters.

Load up the old Hauler with all the goods they might want and need and travel from outpost to outpost just selling from out of the cargo hatch. All rather ad hoc and itinerant but in the empire permanent contracts are hard to get without the right Patron holding open the right doors. Everything is a favour for someone, sometime I wonder how anything actually gets done after everyone takes their cut and kicks it on to their clients who does the same until it got to us little guys.

So you disapprove of the Patron Client system?

Don’t get me wrong, I do see the strengths in the Patron Client system

The Empire lives and breaths by the Patron Client relationship.
Great People attract followers, who strive to improve the lot of their pledged Patron, why then in turn rewards those who are loyal to them.

The competition between the various factions encourages innovation and growth, finding the better way, the more efficient way, the more profitable way, to conduct business and thus benefit the Empire as a whole.

“Mutual Service to the Patron, Mutual service that strengthens the Empire” That’s how the tutors put it these days isn’t it. What I disagree with is when it becomes self service, too much power in the hands of too few have stifled the competition and limited the options of the regular citizens

That was why the contract with Mastopolos Mining Inc was so important

Argon Armrend – Angeli Imperial CEO

What was the Mastopolos Mining Inc contract?

Well that was a major contract with a Major corporate, and we earned that contract on our own, just Father, my bother and I and our several ZPG Haulers, without the need of a word or a nod from some “Grey Haired Aristocrat” trading one favour for another to gain some small personal advantage. It was a testament to us, our diligence, our ability to start with something small, and put in the hard yards and turning it into something meaningful.

We had to sell our Haulers  (we were each running one by then) and take a loan to outfit a Lakon Type 7 Transporter  but the future earnings on the MMInc contract were more than enough to secure the loan and such a ship had all the room we needed and between the three of us we would run the ship 24/7

Why the Lakon Type 7, why not an Imperial Clipper?

We didn’t have the right introductions to get in the Gutamaya Showrooms

So from that contract and ship you were well on your way to the Top?

[laughs] in a round about way, the contract with MMInc was where everything changed. I am surprised I can laugh about it now, but sometimes that is the only way we know how to react to some things.

On one of the contract runs our ship was interdicted by a flight of Pirates, a pair of those Gutamaya Clippers we hard working honest citizens were not good enough to buy.

They didn’t even want the cargo, just to dissuade people from doing business with Senator Torval, the dark side of when Patrons disagree with one another and gang warfare begins, not that it is ever official, or sanctioned or ever affects the upper classes at all, it is just the common citizen that suffers and dies, like my father and brother.

Somehow I was blown free from the ship and the Remlock kept me alive until a MMInc ship arrived.

So you were the only survivor?

Yes, neither father nor my brother Mauricius survived the destruction of the ship. Not only that but do you know what Mastopolos Mining Inc reacted to one of their supply ships being attacked?

They sued me for breach of contract.

I didn’t even have the strength to fight them, and I found myself in one of their mines, with what seemed like an insurmountable mountain of debt before me.

So what happened next?

Well I started at the low end jobs at Mastopolos Mining Inc, everyone who goes there starts at the bottom, regardless of your skills of qualifications. They do that to break down the “new contracts” and to remind them of their place; it was unpleasant to say the least.

After a while those MMInc do start to make assignments based on prior skills, low level admin roles and such. Like many areas of Imperial society, the entry level jobs where Imperial Citizens should be getting the experience they need then take and grow in their chosen fields or strike out on their own are being filled by Imperial Slaves.

Whilst it helped me, I was lucky, all too often the Imperial Slaves are paid so little and never get any pay reviews or opportunities, it is many years before they can afford their freedom, in the meantime those roles are unavailable for young Citizens to learn the ropes and gain experience.

Middle management and above is, appointments by Patrons as rewards to their favourites and the regular citizen, or even those Slaves who have done the time at the low level roles have no where to go and opportunities to make something for themselves, but I digress.

Then how did a former Imperial Slave then become CEO of the Angeli Imperial?

Well firstly, I am still under my Contract, only now it is with Patreus, not Mastopolos Mining Inc. You think your performance reviews are stressful, with the “have you earned that pay rise” or “what bonus can I expect this year”. Mine are a little different and measure how long I have left on my contract, a few more good years and well, you know, I might be working for myself again.

Okay, so how did your contract end up with Senator Patreus?

I’d love to say it was through my acumen or skills, but it was really luck being in the right place in the right time. A silly story really; the Senator had come to MMInc to oversee the final sign off on a weapons supply contract and my part in it all was, servicing the coffee.

The Coffee?

Yeah, the coffee, after the meeting, the Senator was still in the meeting room with the figures on the screen, and I was bringing in the Senator’s Drink, CD-75 if memory serves, and just made a off hand comment on some of the figures. I don’t know why I did it, and I don’t know why the senator even listened but he did and started asking more questions and he seemed impressed.

He purchased my contact that day, citing the coffee was just the way he liked it. From there he put me to use looking at various accounts and various deals he had going. Small ones to begin with, then larger ones when I managed ‘added some value’ to the projects assigned to me.

Eventually I become his ‘new acquisitions troubleshooter’ sent in to get his new purchase working to the levels of efficiency that the Senator expects.

We’re getting there with the Angeli Imperial… slowly…. [laughs]

The AI is a great opportunity though, the largest operation I have been assigned so far, and I think this will be my last assignment of my contract, as success here will be great one.

So what would be the plans after

I certainly don’t plan to retire any time soon. There is too much potential in the Empire that goes untapped, Imperial Citizens who simply lack the opportunity because either they lack the right Patron or that the excess of poorly paid Imperial Slaves take up the Jobs.

Yes, the tradition of Slavery in the Empire provides a social safety net,  but in its current form, too many people use it to lock people in to it with little opportunity to resolve their debt, in the mean time, there are no roles left for the Free citizens that don’t have wealth and the right hand shake to give to the right people.

We need to get those on imperial slave contracts in roles where they can pay off their debts as quickly as possible, treating them like the Citizens that they are, whilst providing opportunities to the free citizens, where they can be productive and profitable, not idle & falling into the debt cycles we see in the middle classes. Employment shouldn’t be limited to the Cliens of the few powerful.

After a week of preparation, Senator Patreus’ forces have arrived to the system and are now assuming control of security.  Argon Armrend, from ‘Angeli Imperial’ has stated – “we have felt the need to form an alliance with Senator Patreus during these uncertain times.  He was one of the key founders of the Angeli and we need assistance with security in the face of the many threats we face at the moment from different factions, both Imperial and from other parts of the galaxy”

Opposition has sprouted across the system.  There have been reports of many casualties in several clashes, when asked about this, Argon replied  – “we cannot allow people to undermine our goals, we are working for a better Wangal, a better Empire! Dissent will be dealt with quickly and harshly, we have dispatched our ‘Angels of Death’, as well as Patreus’ forces to the area and they have permission to open fire if required. We feel the people revolting are saboteurs from other factions trying to stop our progress after seeing the success we have achieved in such a short time.”

After days of waiting we finally get some info.

Four days ago, we saw the Chief Executive Officer, Commander DaMorgs stand down from his position and take up the role of Fleet Admiral for Angeli Imperial citing a need for progress.

New CEO Argon Armrend arrived at Nelder in the home system of Wangal two days ago. He gave a brief interview to AI News before disappearing into his office. Armrend stated “it is time to get back to work, the Angeli will be remaining loyal to Senator Patreus, however we will be pursuing our own goals at the same time, whenever the Empire needs assistance”, when asked what are the first actions under his command, he responded “Angeli Imperial intend to take control of all corporate factions within 15 light years of Wangal, further tightening their grip on the immediate area, to ensure the reliance of our systems against any possible threats in this uncertain times”.

It’s not known what, if any, experience Armrend has, and initial research has not revealed any information on him, we don’t know either how he got the role, since he does not have a military background and is not from the local area. It remains to be seen if he can fulfill his goal, although given the Angeli’s history, local systems could be in for a major overhaul whether they want one or not.

A couple hours after this interview, his office released this statement.

Argon Armrend

Argon Armrend

Dear members of the Angeli Imperial:

I’ll keep this short gentlemen, I know you are all very busy upholding the Angeli reputation.

Effective immediately, all Commanders are to return to Wangal in preparation for a request by Senator Patreus . He requires all of you in the immediate area to remain so until further notice. Those farther away are to begin their journey home. He is issuing this command now as to give you all plenty of time, he is aware some of you are several thousand light years away. Do not delay, Commanders.

We are taking a slightly new direction, these are dangerous times ahead, be vigilant, watch each others backs, there are potential enemies everywhere.
While I have your attention, let me take this opportunity to tell you how proud I am to have you all under my control. Commander DaMorgs speaks very highly of you all, I know you will not disappoint me, treat any instruction from him as if direct from me. It will be. Stay safe out there gentlemen. Fly with honour.

For The Angeli, For The Empire!

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