My grandfather had an heirloom he used to keep in our winter palace. It was a priceless marble statuette of one of our ancestors standing with his foot on a woman's neck while she looks up at him in fear, or adoration - probably both. I loathed it. It was commissioned to commemorate some victory or other, but that wasn't the point of the thing. The message was clear, and it's the same one I've heard all my life: deep down, the people we dominate are happy to be dominated.
When I was six years old, I smashed it. The servants came running. My father stormed down the stairs in his gown. He asked if it was an accident. There was such a strange look in his eyes. I knew that if I said yes, nobody would argue. Nothing more would be said. But I didn't. I stamped my foot and said 'No, Daddy, I did it on purpose!'
It's the same with tradition. The people who pass it on think it's precious. They expect you to cherish it and pass it on in turn. But what they think doesn't matter, because the responsibility rests with you. If you know it's wrong, then you have to smash it. On purpose.

— Aisling Duval, A Fireside Chat with Serena, 3301[1]

Princess Aisling Duval is a member of the Imperial Family. She is the eldest child of the late Prince Harold Duval, and the granddaughter of the previous Emperor, Hengist Duval.[2] Her exact position in the royal line of succession is unknown, as while Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval, Aisling's aunt, has not yet designated an heir, Aisling was born out of wedlock and her father was disqualified from the succession, circumstances that weakened her bid for the Imperial throne in the succession crisis of 3301 despite her direct blood descent from Hengist.[3][4][5] Princess Aisling's official residence is the Imperial Palace on Emerald in the Cemiess system.[6]

Although considered naive and inexperienced by some due to her youth, the "People's Princess" enjoys considerable support from the people and also from elements who would benefit from shaking up Imperial society.[2] Her carefully cultivated public persona also belies her cunning and ambition, which have occasionally been illustrated by her rivalry with the disgraced former Senator Kahina Tijani Loren and her controversial engagement with Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester.

Unlike other leading members of the Empire, Aisling is against the practice of Imperial Slavery, and to that end founded a non-government charity named Stop Slavery Stupid,[7] which later merged with another anti-slavery charity and rebranded itself Unchain.[8] She also has a strong dislike of narcotics, and believes that they should be made illegal in the Empire, at least partially because her mother, entertainer Imogen "Eccentrica" Gabrielini, died from an aneurysm caused by a narcotics overdose shortly after her birth.[9]

Lore

Meet the Powers – Aisling Duval[10]

In this new series, exclusive to GalNet, the popular political commentator Marcus Macmillan looks at some of the movers and shakers in 3301. In this first article he examines the life of the popular darling of Imperial politics: Princess Aisling Duval.[10]

Aisling Duval is Prince Harold's eldest child, but has gained a substantial following on her merits. She appears to be a canny operator, although many would argue that her advisors provide her with a veneer of acumen. She is young at only 25, and very visible in the media. Her claim to the throne is technically nullified by the fact that her parents were not married, but her claim is no weaker than some of the other contenders.[10]

The people's princess (as she is sometimes known) is extremely popular with many citizens, clients and patrons. She regularly appears on lightweight chat shows, but tends to avoid anything where she might have to face tough questions.[10]

Aisling Duval

At heart Aisling is a populist, taking many of her views from the public mood. She splits her time between managing her brand from Cemiess, and spending time with her father in Achenar. Her mother died of a drugs overdose when she was young which, combined with her father's unfortunate legacy from a hedonistic life, has left Aisling with a passion for helping those whose lives have taken a turn for the worse.[10]

Despite her youth, she enjoys considerable support from the people and also from elements who would benefit from shaking up Imperial society.[10]

Relationships

Denton Patreus

Aisling Duval dated Senator Denton Patreus in 3301. At the time, they were only rumored to be dating and had not publicly confirmed that they were in a relationship. At some point, Aisling broke up with Patreus, presumably concluding that the Senator was only pursuing her in a bid to one day gain the Imperial throne.[11]

On 20 March 3301 Aisling and Denton were spotted together on Facece. They walked hand in hand and went shopping for three hours in the Facece fashion halls. They were accompanied by a big entourage of followers and protected by security. Afterward they retired on Patreus' ship for a light dinner.[12]

During the week of 12 March 3301, Senator Patreus and Aisling Duval were spotted together at various popular nightspots in Capitol. They refused to confirm their relationship to reporters thus far. If true, the association could potentially secure Senator Patreus’s bid to become the leading voice of the Empire. While Aisling herself is not currently considered a serious contender for the Imperial Throne, her pairing with the Senator could provide the leverage he needs to secure support from a large portion of the Senate, particularly from those who are currently throwing their weight behind Chancellor Blaine.[13]

13 April 3301 "Denton Patreus and Aisling Duval were spotted grabbing dinner in Capitol late last night at the very exclusive pop-up restaurant, Fodder. The Empire's favourite power couple appeared to have a good time, with the pair polishing off several bottles of Chateau De Aegaeon during the course of their three-hour meal. Aisling looked stunning in a lace red dress with matching accessories. Senator Patreus was his usual dashing self, although he had chosen to go for a more casual unbuttoned look for his dinner date with the people's princess. After dinner the pair are believed to have retired to the Senator's ship, the Imperial Freedom, which departed Capitol for Eotienses this morning."[14]

22 April 3301 "Denton Patreus and Aisling Duval were spotted in attendance at 'A Dinner to Defeat Dementia' in Capitol last night. The Empire's favourite power couple spent several hours mingling with Senators, CEOs and a few of the charity's lucky patrons, before dazzling the crowd with a rather energetic display on the dance floor."[15]

Jordan Rochester and Jarl Toredo

Emerald, the home moon of Aisling Duval

On May 25, 3304, entertainment journalist Solomon Helios speculated that Aisling may be dating once more given that she had been spending more time in the company of three influential figures: Senator Caspian Leopold, Jarl Toredo of the anti-slavery organisation Universal Liberty, and Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester. Aisling has attended numerous meetings with Senator Leopold, noted to be a gifted orator with enormous wealth and influence, and the Senator has spoken warmly of Aisling in interviews. Toredo has been spotted visiting Aisling at the Imperial Palace, and a relationship would give Aisling's charity a significant PR boost. Ambassador Rochester has been stationed on Aisling's home moon of Emerald, and recently took a private tour with Aisling of the Prism's Shades empathic art installation.[11]

On June 6, 3304, Solomon Helios reported that Aisling had hosted an exclusive diplomatic function the previous weekend, with Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester attending as the guest of honor. Unusually, Aisling also invited Ambassador Rochester's staff, including the captain and crew of his ship, the FNS Pioneer. Since the ship's commander was Vice Admiral Juno Rochester, one of Jordan's sisters, Helios speculated that Aisling may have been using the opportunity to meet a future in-law. Aisling and Jordan danced together before the ambassador formally thanked the princess on behalf of the Federation. The next day, Senator Caspian Leopold arrived on Emerald for official business, but Helios noted nothing had been scheduled on his calendar.[16]

On June 13, 3304, after announcing the merger of Universal Liberty with Stop Slavery Stupid to form Unchain, Jarl Toredo briefly responded to rumors about his romantic connection to Princess Aisling, saying only "I suspect Her Highness's attention is focused elsewhere."[8]

On June 21, 3304, Princess Aisling publicly announced her engagement to Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester, who also released a statement via a special edition of The Federal Times. Solomon Helios expressed his surprise at the sudden development, and questioned whether Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval and Federal President Zachary Hudson would allow such a union.[17]

By June 27, the announcement had garnered a mixed response from the galactic community. The Imperial Palace and the office of Alliance Prime Minister Edmund Mahon offered their cordial congratulations, but Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval and Federal President Zachary Hudson did not issue statements of their own. News agencies on Capitol reported that Princess Aisling had not discussed the marriage with the Imperial Family beforehand, and the Emperor had not given her consent. Senator Zemina Torval voiced her blunt disapproval of the marriage, while Senator Caspian Leopold was much more supportive. Ambassador Rochester's mother, Congressman Isolde Rochester, also supported the marriage and was optimistic that it could usher in a new age of cooperation between the Federation and Empire.[18]

INV Aisling's Hope

On July 13, the date of the wedding ceremony was set for August 25, 3304 at the Imperial Palace on Emerald, Cemiess. An honour guard of vessels from both the Federal Navy and the Imperial Navy would be in attendance, and the couple expressed their wish that the galactic community would join together in celebration of their union. Senator Zemina Torval continued to criticize the marriage as a publicity stunt that would directly undermine the Empire's policies, but former Federal President Jasmina Halsey, now an advisor to the Alliance, expressed her approval and noted that the union would likely present new opportunities for peace among humanity.[19]

The wedding was cancelled on August 22, only three days before it was set to occur, following Jarl Toredo's public confession to Solomon Helios that he and Aisling Duval had been romantically involved for several months, and that the planned marriage between the princess and the ambassador was purely a political matter. Neither Princess Aisling nor Ambassador Rochester issued a response to the sudden turn of events. Pundits noted that because the announcement of the cancellation was made by Ambassador Rochester's mother Isolde, it was likely that Toredo's claims had some truth to them and the Rochester family matriarch no longer trusted Aisling.[20] The scheduled date of the wedding passed without comment from either Princess Aisling or Ambassador Rochester.[21]

Timeline

08 JAN 3307

  • The organisation Aegis has expressed support for Utopia's offer to host a Galactic Summit for all three superpowers. Aegis was jointly formed by the Alliance, Empire and Federation to study the Thargoids, and develop new methods of monitoring and combating their forces. Professor Alba Tesreau, head of research at Aegis, gave this statement: "Humanity's focus on petty internal conflicts has blinded us to the existential threat of the Thargoids. Their recent horrific attacks should be a wake-up call to the fact that defunding has crippled Aegis's ability to offer protection. We strongly entreat our founders to come together and channel resources toward Aegis, and particularly into research. There can be no hope of coexistence with this alien species unless we increase our understanding of them." No official responses to Utopia's proposal have been made as yet. However, Prime Minister Edmund Mahon, Princess Aisling Duval and Shadow President Felicia Winters have all signalled broad approval of the idea. There are reports that many congressmen, councillors and senators are pressuring their respective leaders to attend the diplomatic conference. Simguru Pranav Antal has confirmed that the governments of independent systems will also be welcome to send delegates to the Galactic Summit. However, Utopia's primary aim is to provide neutral territory for the Alliance, Empire and Federation to debate policies.[22]

16 NOV 3306

  • Princess Aisling Duval's request for her cousin, Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval, to be accepted into the Imperial Family has been denied. Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval's decision was delivered to the Senate by Chancellor Anders Blaine: "Her Majesty acknowledges that Hadrian is a Duval by blood, and offers royal pardons to him and his followers for previous crimes against the Empire. However, she does not bestow upon him the title of prince, nor offer any formal position within the Imperial Family." Aisling Duval and Hadrian Duval both expressed disappointment, but agreed to accept the decree. The Senate has now ratified the Treaty of Paresa, which removes Nova Imperium's outlaw status in return for accepting Emperor Arissa's rule and contributing to operations against the NMLA. The Imperial Herald's political journalist Cassia Carvalho commented: "This surprisingly even-handed judgement is widely seen as bowing to pressure from the Senate, where there is much loyalty to Aisling Duval. Some interpret it as atonement – or regaining political goodwill – for the purge of Nova Imperium in 3305, which included the execution of several senators. The image this projects is of an Empire coming together against the greater threat posed by Neo-Marlinists. But there is speculation that an alliance between the two youngest Duvals may one day challenge the Emperor for the throne."[23]

10 NOV 3306

  • Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval has recovered from an assassination attempt and signalled a new direction for Nova Imperium. Princess Aisling Duval provided advanced medical care for Imperator Duval after a near-fatal attack by NMLA assassins. Following a period of discussion, she told the media: "At this time of crisis we need allies more than ever, and my cousin's royal heritage should not be denied. I have therefore formally requested sovereign consent for him to be accepted into the Imperial Family as Prince Hadrian." Hadrian Duval broadcast this message from Dyson City: "I owe my life to Aisling, but life without purpose means nothing, and the Duvals' purpose has always been to protect the Empire. I seek to adopt my birthright and help defend our traditional ways of life. However, many of us see disturbing parallels between the brutal purge of Nova Imperium's followers in 3305 and the current crusade against the Marlinists. I call upon those in power not to repeat this mistake – the NMLA is the common enemy we must unite against." Many senators publicly agreed that the Empire must heal past divisions to focus on the Neo-Marlinist threat. Others have voiced concerns at the repercussions of Emperor Hengist's illegitimate grandson becoming an heir to the throne. As yet, Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval has not responded.[24]

02 NOV 3306

  • Princess Aisling Duval has provided lifesaving aid to Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval, who was severely wounded by NMLA terrorists. The INV Achenar's Courage, transported her to the Paresa system where she offered protection against further assassination attempts. Hadrian Duval was transferred to the Majestic-class Interdictor's medical bay, surrounded by both his Praetorian Guard and Imperial troops. He received advanced treatment including Vitadyne nanomeds, and is no longer in critical condition. This unorthodox intervention has drawn both criticism and praise from senators and public alike. Nova Imperium is outlawed for sedition due to its isolationist policies, and its leader is not recognised by the Imperial Family. However, a non-aggression pact was agreed between Aisling and Hadrian in 3305. A defiant Aisling Duval told The Imperial Herald: "I recently lost one member of my family to these extremists. I am not about to lose another. Regardless of politics, Hadrian is my cousin, and there are precious few Duvals left alive." Nova Imperium's head of security, Praetor Leo Magnus, commented: "I am confident that our Imperator would have survived, but we do appreciate Her Highness's assistance. It remains a mystery how the NMLA could come so close to succeeding, but my investigations continue."[25]

20 OCT 3306

  • The Empire has formally demanded that the Federation extradites all Marlinist political refugees that have fled into their space. Hundreds of thousands of believers in the republican ideology evacuated their homes following anti-terrorism lockdowns. The Imperial blockade in Ackwada prevented ten megaships from escaping, but others carrying huge numbers of Marlinists have appeared in the Federal systems Charunder, Ennead, HIP 36081, LTT 1935, LTT 3607 and Thetis. Many smaller vessels are also thought to have spread far and wide. Imperial Ambassador Imogen Luciana sent the formal request: "The Federation is harbouring potential criminals who are connected to the NMLA terrorists. We insist that they are detained and returned to us to face justice." Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester, who was once engaged to Princess Aisling Duval, provided an official response: "There is no extradition treaty for unconvicted citizens, and these people have claimed political asylum. I have requested that Congress grant them sanctuary within the Federation, and that we offer protection to all Marlinists seeking to escape discrimination by the Empire." Although there is no indication that Marlinist emigrants have set course for Alliance space, Prime Minister Edmund Mahon confirmed that they will be welcomed. Some independent systems are also offering assistance, while others have warned that any influx of refugees will be resisted.[26]

01 OCT 3306

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT: For the attention of all Commanders*
    Memorial preparations complete.
    A request by the Empire to honour the passing of Prince Harold Duval with rare items has received an impressive response, earning the gratitude of the Imperial Family. Shipments of Ngadandari Fire Opals, Esuseku Caviar, Lavian Brandy and Kamitra Cigars were transported to the memorial ceremony at the Imperial Palace on Capitol. The body of the Prince will remain in state for another week, prior to reaching its final resting place within the Hall of Martyrs. Pilots who delivered these commodities can now collect their rewards at Oterma Station in the Baal system. Achenar system permits will be processed and automatically allocated by the 3rd of October 3306. In recognition of this achievement, Gutamaya Corporation ships will be available at a 20% discount from the 2nd of October 3306 to the 9th of October 3306. Princess Aisling Duval told the media: "I wish to thank everyone for their kindness during this difficult time. I've taken much comfort from knowing that my father will never be forgotten. For now, I want to make it clear that all efforts to eliminate the brutal terrorists responsible for his death have my full support. I urge every citizen to reject the destructive dogma of Marlinism and work together for a stronger Empire."[27]

24 SEP 3306

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT: For the attention of all Commanders*
    Rare commodities required by the Empire in the Baal system.
    The state funeral of Prince Harold Duval has begun on Capitol. An official week of mourning has been declared throughout the Empire. Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval opened the ceremony, delivering a eulogy for her half-brother. Princess Aisling Duval, Harold's daughter, was also in attendance but was too emotional to address the huge crowds. Messages of condolence from across the galaxy were on holographic display, including from Alliance Prime Minister Edmund Mahon and Federal President Zachary Hudson. Even Hadrian Duval, the exiled leader of Nova Imperium, paid respects to his late uncle. The body of the Prince, contained within a jewelled transparent casket, was paraded through the city by a company of Imperial Guard. It will remain in state for two weeks prior to internment in the Hall of Martyrs. The Imperial Palace will host a memorial ceremony to honour Harold Duval, for which rare commodities have been requested before Thursday 1st October. Ngadandari Fire Opals, Esuseku Caviar, Lavian Brandy and Kamitra Cigars should be delivered to Oterma Station in the Baal system, where the White Templars will transport them to Capitol after security vetting. Commanders of the Pilots Federation will be assigned an Achenar system permit alongside financial rewards. To further encourage participation, Gutamaya Corporation will apply a discount of up to 25% for all ship purchases according to the amount of rare items provided.[28]

21 SEP 3306

  • The Imperial Herald has published an obituary of Prince Harold Duval, who was assassinated by NMLA terrorists. "Born in 3230 to Emperor Hengist, Harold Duval reacted against his father's puritan lifestyle by filling his days with partying and debauchery, becoming the black sheep of the Duval family. It was probably accidental that Harold had a child with entertainer Imogen Gabrielini, but they married shortly before her narcotics-related death. His daughter, Princess Aisling Duval, has always spoken warmly of her loving father. Emperor Hengist eventually decreed that his son was not fit for the throne, despite being his only heir. Harold never contested this, perhaps relieved to allow half-sister Arissa Lavigny-Duval to take his place. In recent years Harold became a recluse on Capitol, suffering ill-health from a lifetime of excesses. But a father's protective instinct motivated him to travel to Aisling's home system after it was attacked. Tragically, despite always renouncing power, merely being a Duval made him a target to those same republican terrorists. As the Empire mourns Prince Harold, suspicions arise that the NMLA were aided by inside knowledge of his ship's itinerary and security, throwing an uneasy shadow over the legacy of this eccentric, endearing man."[29]

17 SEP 3306

  • Imperial news sources have confirmed that Prince Harold Duval was assassinated by NMLA terrorists while travelling incognito to the Cemiess system. Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval broadcast this address: "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Prince Harold. A state funeral at the Hall of Martyrs is being arranged and there will be a period of mourning, as is customary for esteemed members of the Imperial Family. There will be opportunities for all citizens to honour Harold's memory in an appropriate manner." Princess Aisling Duval, Harold's daughter, appeared uncharacteristically distressed when she gave a brief statement to the media: "It's a huge loss to us all that… I'm sorry… I can't believe this has happened. He can't be gone! I used to have some sympathy for the Marlinists, but now they… they took him from us. They took my daddy." The NMLA also attacked starports in the Cemiess, Gabjaujis, LHS 4031 and Rabh systems. The Empire is now on heightened alert, and the Senate has approved new counter-terrorism initiatives proposed by Senator Denton Patreus.[30]

14 SEP 3306

  • Prince Harold Duval is dead after a targeted assassination attempt by the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army. The Empire has imposed a media blackout on these events, and no official statement has been made. However, independent journalist Gwendolyn Nash published this on-the-scene report for Vox Galactica: "From interviewing multiple sources, we gather that a single assassin managed to infiltrate Harold Duval's personal transport. He was killed by shipboard guards but not before shooting the Prince at close range. The NMLA claimed responsibility for this attack in its latest propaganda broadcast, which referred to the Duval family as 'imperialist parasites'. The extremist group also demanded that 'Marlinists everywhere must rise up and demand a democratic Republic'. Harold Duval was famously declared unfit for the throne by Emperor Hengist, and has been out of the public eye ever since. He rarely left Capitol but was making an unpublicised journey to visit his daughter Aisling Duval, presumably in response to the recent terrorist attack in the Cemiess system. It remains unknown how the NMLA knew of the Prince's itinerary, or managed to breach security on his ship."[31]

10 SEP 3306

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT: For the attention of all Commanders*
    The Empire has broadcast this message across its emergency channels: "There have been multiple explosions within Mackenzie Relay station, in Princess Aisling Duval's home system of Cemiess. NMLA terrorists have claimed responsibility. In coordinated attacks they have also struck at Tsiolkovsky Terminal in the Gabjaujis system, Garrido Market in the LHS 4031 system, and Muller Terminal in the Rabh system. We urgently request assistance from the galactic community with repairing these starports and rescuing their populations." The Imperial Internal Security Service issued a bulletin regarding this current threat: "The Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army (NMLA) is a paramilitary force of political extremists, whose activities have been small-scale until now. Marlinism is a well-known ideology inspired by Marlin Duval, who established the Republic of Achenar in the 23rd century prior to it becoming the Empire. Many people in the fringe systems are Marlinists, who want to replace hereditary Emperors with representation by elected senators. Neo-Marlinism is a more radical conviction that only terror tactics will force such change. The NMLA's hatred of the Imperial Family explains why it has targeted starports under the Duval banner. But its use of portable military-grade explosives is unprecedented, suggesting an increase in resources."[32]

20 JUL 3305

  • The anti-slavery charity Unchain has officially purchased the 4,000 Imperial slaves who were forcibly freed on Eotienses A 3. Princess Aisling Duval, the charity's patron, gave the following statement to the press: "The contracts of all those liberated against their will have been acquired by Unchain. They will be properly cared for while they work to build a new Unchain headquarters in Port Isabelle. This will allow them to pay off their debts and become free citizens once more." When pressed further by journalists, Princess Aisling offered a wry smile along with her explanation: "I'm well aware of the irony of an anti-slavery organisation hiring Imperial slaves. We do this only to prevent further suffering at Port Isabelle and undo some of the damage caused by Autonomy. Allow me to specify that this is a practical solution to a problem of the Empire's own making. The indentured servitude system may seem honourable, but – as recent events prove – it leaves people vulnerable to abuse and neglect. Unchain remains dedicated to replacing the barbaric practice of slavery with more civilised welfare and employment programmes."[33]

27 JUN 3305

  • Anti-slavery charity Unchain has criticised the radical activist group Autonomy for liberating 4,000 Imperial slaves on Eotienses A 3. Princess Aisling Duval, the charity's patron, told the media: "I fully appreciate Garrett Kline's desire to free slaves, which I'm sure comes from a place of genuine empathy, but I feel I must condemn his methods. Autonomy's reckless actions have left thousands stranded in Port Isabelle without employment or protection. Unchain has run similar operations to give illegal slaves their freedom, but licensed Imperial slaves require more care. The manumission process must be managed legally by a registered organisation, and each individual's wellbeing ensured. You cannot simply set huge numbers of people loose as if they were zoo animals being released into the wild. My dream is that one day the Empire will abolish the indentured servitude system, and that every form of slavery will end. But until then, all emancipation efforts must operate within the law." The situation in Port Isabelle remains tense, with thousands of emancipated individuals still clustered around makeshift shelters and occupied public buildings, begging for food and credits.[34]

19 APR 3305

  • Hadrian Augustus Duval has provided a statement regarding his recent communications with Princess Aisling Duval. The following announcement was broadcast on all Imperial media channels: "After much discussion, Princess Aisling and I have formally agreed to a non-aggression pact. While it would be premature for either side to consider the other an ally, we have pledged not to oppose each other or interfere with the activities of our respective supporters. I am grateful to my cousin for her courage in establishing contact. Although I stand firm on my previously stated beliefs, at Aisling's request I will review Nova Imperium's policies with an open mind. For now, I must remain a member of the Imperial family in exile."[35]

13 APR 3305

  • News of a meeting between Princess Aisling Duval and Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval has caused controversy throughout the Empire. Political journalist Cassia Carvalho reviewed the situation: "Princess Aisling is surely aware that contacting Hadrian Duval was a politically risky move. Senator Zemina Torval has wasted no time in branding the princess 'an ideological traitor' for associating with isolationists. Family connections aside, Hadrian's traditionalist views do not align with Aisling's progressive approach. But he is young and inexperienced, with policies inherited from the extremist Imperator Mordanticus. Perhaps Aisling hopes that, by learning to adapt, this long-lost member of the Duval family may yet play a part on the galactic stage."[36]

05 APR 3305

  • Princess Aisling Duval has revealed that she recently visited Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval, leader of the isolationist group Nova Imperium. The Imperial Herald published her statement: "For some time, I have regretted my initial dismissal of Hadrian. Had I known that Arissa intended to carry out such a brutal purge of his followers, my approach would have been different. Although he has been labelled an enemy of the Empire, I found myself unable to ignore this new member of the Duval family, and so requested a meeting in the Paresa system. Another reason to make contact was to verify his claim to be Emperor Hengist's grandson. All the genetic tests were conclusive – Hadrian is indeed my cousin by blood. We have now opened a dialogue to see if there can ever be common ground between us. Perhaps together we can heal divisions within the Empire."[37]

21 DEC 3304

  • Princess Aisling Duval has publicly rejected the isolationist group Nova Imperium and its figurehead, Hadrian Duval: "These extremists cause only division. Hadrian may well be the grandson of Hengist Duval, but that hardly makes him suited to the throne. Arissa has been silent for too long – she must act quickly to resolve this volatile situation." Senator Zemina Torval responded: "Much to my surprise, I find myself in agreement with Princess Duval. The notion of an independent pilot becoming ruler of the Empire is preposterous. I am confident that the Emperor will respond accordingly." Despite this united front, Senator Pal Vespasian stated: "Many senators are willing to recognise Hadrian Duval as Emperor-in-waiting. Nova Imperium is now a legitimate political movement with several million supporters. The only way the Empire will survive is by accepting the Imperator's proposals."[38]

29 AUG 3304

  • The date of Princess Aisling Duval's wedding to Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester passes without comment from either party. Entertainment journalist Solomon Helios commented: "Public reaction to the cancelled wedding has ranged from outrage to delight. Jasmina Halsey expressed regret at a 'lost opportunity for long-term peace', while Senator Zemina Torval called it 'the mercy killing of a catastrophically bad idea'. With no word from the Imperial Palace or the White House, it's easy to imagine both Emperor Arissa and President Hudson breathing sighs of relief. But the silence from Aisling Duval and Jordan Rochester rings loudest. What might they be feeling? Was their relationship terminated against their wishes? Did it ever really exist? Naturally I invited the princess to tell her story, but her previous openness is apparently a thing of the past. The Rochester family is also shying away from the media. Jarl Toredo, whose alleged affair with Aisling apparently derailed the marriage, has vanished from public sight. Was this a tragic love triangle, or just a political chess game? We may never know. But what's certain is that, before long, Aisling Duval will put these failures behind her and be back in the spotlight where she belongs."[21]

22 AUG 3304

  • Congressman Isolde Rochester announces the cancellation of the wedding of her son Jordan and Princess Aisling Duval. The announcement follows anti-slavery campaigner Jarl Toredo's confession that he and Aisling Duval were romantically involved for several months. Toredo also claimed that the planned marriage was purely a political matter. The cancellation was confirmed by the Imperial Palace on Emerald, but there has been no direct response from Princess Duval or Ambassador Rochester. Political journalist Cassia Carvalho of The Imperial Herald commented: "The fact that this news comes from Isolde Rochester gives weight to Jarl Toredo's claims. If the marriage was a political scheme, that may explain why the Rochester family matriarch is the one to call it off, no longer trusting Princess Duval to play her part. Or perhaps this is simply the reaction of a mother, enraged at her future daughter-in-law's infidelity. Had the marriage taken place, would it have initiated an era of Federal-Imperial cooperation, or triggered a new wave of conflict? It seems we will never know."[20]

17 AUG 3304

  • Jarl Toredo disclosed to entertainment journalist Solomon Helios his reasons for resigning from Unchain. According to Helios, "Following Jarl Toredo's resignation from Unchain, I offered to tell his side of the story. Although he declined a formal interview, he did disclose that he could no longer bear working alongside Princess Duval. He admitted that he has been romantically involved with the princess since their first meeting several months ago. It seems they both felt it wise to keep the relationship a secret. According to Toredo, the princess claimed not to have any romantic feelings for Ambassador Rochester, and insisted that the marriage was merely a means to advance her political plans. Initially Toredo accepted this, but it seems that after her engagement the princess became unreachable. Toredo says that his and Aisling's love has been sidelined by her political schemes. Quite simply, he feels betrayed." Princess Aisling firmly denied the accusations: "I am shocked that my good friend Solomon could believe such lies. It's obvious that Mr Toredo is being used by those who want rekindle the hostility between the Empire and the Federation. My relationship with Jordan Rochester is entirely genuine."[39]

08 AUG 3304

  • Co-CEO Jarl Toredo unexpectedly resigned from Unchain, with Princess Aisling Duval remaining CEO. Observers speculated that the recent assassination attempt against the Princess may have caused Toredo to regret aligning himself with her, or that there was substance to rumors that he was a rival for Aisling's affection and her engagement to Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester caused a falling-out. Princess Aisling did not comment on Toredo's departure.[40]

02 AUG 3304

  • An assassination attempt against Princess Aisling Duval was foiled by the Imperial Internal Security Service during a fundraiser being held in the Zhao system for Unchain. IISS Captain Takio Diomedes stated that the Princess's personal security detail had detected and disabled a number of explosive charges that had been placed at key locations in the event centre. The investigation into the explosives' origin was ongoing. Princess Aisling did not address the incident and continued her fundraising duties for Unchain.[41]

18 JUL 3304

  • Princess Aisling Duval discusses her forthcoming marriage in an exclusive interview with entertainment journalist Solomon Helios. The princess addresses many topics, including the impact of the announcement of her engagement, her relationship with Ambassador Rochester, Senator Zemina Torval's criticism, and her hopes for the future of her marriage: "Jordan and I see this marriage as an opportunity for change. Imagine a galaxy where both superpowers work hand in hand, and support each other in times of hardship. Now that's a true marriage."[42]

13 JUL 3304

  • The wedding of Princess Aisling Duval and Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester is scheduled for August 25, 3304 at the Imperial Palace on Emerald, Cemiess. An official proclamation was published in both The Federal Times and The Imperial Herald: "Her Imperial Highness Princess Aisling Duval and the honourable Ambassador Jordan Rochester are pleased to announce the occasion of their wedding on Saturday 25th August 3304 at the Imperial Palace on Emerald in the Cemiess system. Invitations have been extended to representatives of every strata of society. An honour guard of vessels from both the Federal Navy and the Imperial Navy will be in attendance. The couple's wish is for all citizens of the galaxy to join together in celebration of their union."[19]

06 JUL 3304

  • Responding to public interest in Princess Aisling Duval's fiancé, Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester, political journalist Cassia Carvalho compiled a profile of Jordan and the Rochester family for The Imperial Herald.[43]

27 JUN 3304

  • Reactions from the galactic community to the announcement of Aisling Duval and Jordan Rochester's marriage ranged from joy to cordial congratulations to outrage.[18]

22 JUN 3304

  • Princess Aisling Duval announces that she and Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester plan to marry: "It's no secret that Jordan and I grew close during his official visit. The time has come to let you know that we are to be husband and wife. I'm aware that some will see this as unorthodox, even controversial, but love knows no borders. It's our wish that our marriage will build lasting bridges between the Empire and the Federation."[17]

13 JUN 3304

  • Princess Aisling Duval's charity Stop Slavery Stupid merged with Jarl Toredo's independent charity Universal Liberty. The unified organisation was rebranded Unchain. Toredo issued a statement on the merger: "There's no shortage of poverty and suffering within the Empire, however much some may try to hide it. Few have the courage to face the truth, but Princess Duval has been an inspiration. So I'm very pleased that we're joining forces with her campaign to end slavery. I was born into slavery. My parents were still slaves when they died. It is for them, and for all human beings treated as less than human, that we demand legal slavery be abolished. I'm proud to be part of Unchain, which will spread our message across the Empire."[8]

06 JUN 3304

  • Solomon Helios reports that Princess Aisling hosted an exclusive diplomatic function the previous weekend, and Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester was the guest of honor. Senator Caspian Leopold also made an unofficial visit to Emerald the following day.[16]

25 MAY 3304

  • Entertainment journalist Solomon Helios speculates on Princess Aisling Duval's love life. Aisling had dated Senator Denton Patreus three years earlier, but ended that relationship, presumably concluding that Patreus was primarily interested in the Imperial throne. Recently, Aisling has been spotted in the company of three potential suitors: the wealthy and influential Senator Caspian Leopold, anti-slavery firebrand Jarl Toredo, and Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester.[11]

12 APR 3304

  • More prominent figures across the galaxy, including Imperial Senator Pal Vespasian and Commodore Riri McAllister of the ADF voice support for Princess Duval's criticism of Aegis. Chief Editor Jast Fernández said "We know that Aisling is widely seen as the stereotypical heiress – materially prosperous but intellectually deficient – but could this have been a public mask that she is now discarding? Or perhaps the young princess is finally maturing, and developing some genuine critical faculty?"[44]

05 APR 3304

  • Aisling Duval criticizes Aegis. In a public interview, Princess Aisling Duval levelled criticism at Aegis in relation to the ongoing Thargoid conflict. "The people are scared," she said. "They fear that their way of life – their very existence – might vanish unless more is done to protect them. I’m not convinced Aegis is capable of doing so. The Empire has invested heavily in the organisation. Are we sure the other powers have done the same? It has taken far too long for Aegis to determine why the Thargoids are attacking, and it’s not clear what their strategy is now. If we are to trust them to defend humanity, we need to see more obvious progress."[45]

25 JAN 3304

  • Aisling Duval's anti-slavery campaign in Guuguyni is a success. In an official statement, the princess says, "I am immeasurably grateful to those who supported this campaign. You have saved hundreds of people from a life of misery."[46]

18 JAN 3304

  • Aisling Duval announced plans to fund a peacekeeping operation in the Guuguyni system. The operation's primary purpose is to neutralise an illegal slave-trading ring in the region.[47]

28 OCT 3303

  • A number of the galaxy’s most powerful figures have commented on the current galactic landscape, addressing issues such as the return of Thargoids and the recent discovery of outposts formerly occupied by the Intergalactic Naval Reserve Arm. At a society event in the Cubeo system, Princess Aisling Duval said: “I read the INRA records, and frankly I was sickened. How could they treat living creatures that way? I’ve heard of governments inventing threats to support their military programmes. Maybe that’s what the INRA was. A smokescreen.”[48]

27 OCT 3303

  • Aisling Duval commented on the discovery of multiple abandoned Intergalactic Naval Reserve Arm outposts, saying she was sickened by the way INRA experimented with weapons on live Thargoids, and further claiming that INRA may have exaggerated the Thargoid threat to garner support for its military programme.[49]

04 MAY 3303

  • Terrorist Salomé Killed. Imperial dispatches have confirmed that Commander Salomé, also known as Kahina Tijani Loren, was killed in the Arumclaw system on the 29th of April by a bounty hunter known as ‘Besieger’. “She was a force of evil who attempted to sow the seeds of conflict among those who strive for peace,” said Princess Aisling Duval. “Her warmongering is at an end, and the galaxy is now a safer place. It’s just a shame that so many innocent lives were lost before she was brought down.”[50]

25 NOV 3302

  • Prisoner Convoy Destroyed. A prisoner convoy has been interdicted and destroyed in the Daibo system while en route to Koontz Asylum. It has been confirmed that the convoy was carrying various political dissidents, convicted murderers and terrorists. Among them was the infamous Kahina Loren, recently found guilty of the attempted assassination of Admiral Denton Patreus. Plans to hold a memorial service for Loren in the Prism system have already generated angry responses. Princess Aisling Duval was quoted as saying, "A service for her? She was a murderer and a convicted felon! Her name should be struck from the record and never spoken again."[51]

06 OCT 3301

04 OCT 3301

  • Agents of the Imperial Guard and IISS arrested several members of Chancellor Anders Blaine's staff. Blaine said that Princess Aisling Duval's accusation that his staff had links to Emperor's Dawn were true, that members of his staff had been involved in slander against her, and that he took all responsibility and apologised.[52]

02 OCT 3301

  • In Aisling Duval's own investigation into her advisor Patron Damon Clarke's links to Emperor's Dawn, she revealed that some of Chancellor Anders Blaine's past advisors were connected to the same members of Emperor's Dawn. She did not release her evidence, and Blaine denied all knowledge of any connection.[53]

28 SEP 3301

  • The Imperial Herald's report of connections between Princess Aisling Duval's office and Emperor's Dawn had a severe impact on her rating, and may have had an impact on her standing with the Senate.[54]

21 SEP 3301

  • Following remarks by Senator Denton Patreus the previous day, Chancellor Anders Blaine confirmed there would be an investigation into the claimed links between Princess Aisling Duval's office and Emperor's Dawn. The hunt for Patron Damon Clarke, believed by some to have fled the Empire, continued, with some of his associates arrested and questioned.[55]

19 SEP 3301

  • Aisling Duval released a statemant, saying it came as a "bitter surprise" to learn that any of her "trusted advisors could have conducted business with the animals that murdered the Emperor." She said she would undertake her own investigation into the matter. The whereabouts of Patron Damon Clarke were unknown.[56]

18 SEP 3301

  • The Imperial Herald published details of alleged links between backers of Aisling Duval and those funding Emperor's Dawn, the rebel group behind the assassination of Emperor Hengist Duval. Patron and industrialist Damon Clarke's company D and C Shipping, Inc. apparently funded and shipped weapons to people now known to be members of Emperor's Dawn.[57]

11 SEP 3301

  • At a charity event where several dozen slaves were freed, Aisling Duval spoke out about the succession, and claimed to be the natural heir. Her attempt to gloss over the legality of her claim sparked angry rebuttals from legal experts and the camps of the other likely candidates.

It seems peculiar that as the closest living relative of our beloved Emperor, I am not involved in the process of selecting his successor. It is even stranger that there is a process at all - after all, I am the natural heir.

— Princess Aisling Duval[3]

15 AUG 3301

  • Aisling Duval Reviews her Security. The personal security for Princess Aisling Duval is under review as yet another private conversation has been leaked to the press. Much of the audio is undistinguishable but at one stage Aisling can be heard saying: “Denton would never do something like this. He’s far too up tight and strait-laced. Besides, he’s a nobody now. That Lavigny bitch – she’ll get the sympathy vote from this and she knows it.” A spokeswoman for Princess Duval stated: “This is clearly a fake intended to discredit the princess. To think that someone would stoop to this type of low politics in our time of grief is repulsive.”[58]

29 JUL 3301

  • In an alleged secret recording of a conversation with one of her aides, Princess Aisling Duval questioned the convenience of the Emperor's recovery and the motives of Senator Anders Blaine and others close to the Emperor. An aide of Senator Blaine said an investigation would be carried out. Aisling Duval said the recording was clearly a fabrication and that she would never say "the despicable things portrayed in this horrid fantasy."

How is this possible? Am I not the most beloved person in the Empire? This is clear manoeuvring to make sure that Arissa becomes the heir. I can see her annoyingly haughty expression now. That Blaine thinks she will let him carry on doing what he wants.

— Alleged recording of Princess Aisling Duval[59]

22 May 3301

  • The People’s Princess made an appearance in Cemiess late last night to attend the opening of Emerald’s newest art installation, ‘Prism’s Shades’, a multi-sensory experience that uses experimental light and sound projection technology to stimulate a series of empathic responses from its audience. Aisling dazzled crowds by dressing in a long-sleeved ruby red evening gown, adorned with painite sparkles. She accessorised with an equally stunning tinted visor, fashionably stamped with Aisling’s personal crest.[60]

08 APR 3301

  • Stop Slavery Stupid and Aisling Duval lost the slavery public support challenge to Senator Zemina Torval's pro-Imperial slavery side. They managed to free 1,149,756 Imperial Slaves, but the Imperial Slavers Association received 2,387,567 Unregulated Slaves for retraining.[61]

01 APR 3301

  • Stop Slavery Stupid and Aisling Duval's idealogical differences with Senator Zemina Torval came to a head with a public support challenge. Zemina Torval and the Imperial Society would buy unregulated slaves to turn them into Imperial slaves. Stop Slavery Stupid would accept donations of Imperial slaves with the intention of freeing them. If Aisling won, Torval would free all the slaves bought in the course of the challenge. If Torval won, Aisling would take on a personal contingent of Imperial Slaves for no less than one year.[62]

06 MAR 3301

  • On the Empire’s most-watched reality stream show, Celebrity Pets, Aising Duval made a passionate outburst on the topic of Imperial slavery. She said that the animals on the show, and those in Senator Zemina Torval's personal zoo, were better treated than Imperial slaves. In support of her rhetoric, Stop Slavery Stupid announced a new temporary program of Imperial Slave emancipation and rehabilitation.[7]

08 JAN 3301

  • Aisling appeared on the popular show “A fireside chat with Serena” and talked about her views on narcotics, and why they should be banned. Her mother died of narcotic use before Aisling was old enough to remember her. When asked about her father, she spoke out against Emperor Hengist Duval and the network cut the broadcast.

Oh Serena. He was led astray in his youth, but Dad is a lovely man, and would make a great Emperor if his controlling father wasn’t so spiteful.

— Princess Aisling Duval[9]

19 DEC 3300

  • Her father Harold Duval was declared "not sound of mind" by his father, Emperor Hengist Duval. This removed his claim to the throne, and hence Aisling's after him, meaning there was no clear successor.[63]

18 DEC 3300

  • Appeared to speak for her father, the heir of the Emperor, against Imperial Slavery.[64]

Quotes

Progress is what the Empire needs to remain as the beacon of civilisation.

— Princess Aisling Duval

References

  1. Elite Dangerous Knowledge Base > Individuals > Aisling Duval
  2. 2.0 2.1 GalNet: Meet the Powers – Aisling Duval
  3. 3.0 3.1 The People’s Princess Speaks
  4. GalNet: Arissa Lavigny is the Daughter of the Emperor
  5. 5.0 5.1 Senate Declares Arissa Lavigny-Duval Emperor
  6. In-Game Description of Cemiess
  7. 7.0 7.1 GalNet: It's Time to Stop Slavery Stupid
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 GalNet: Anti-Slavery Organisations Unite
  9. 9.0 9.1 GalNet: Aisling Duval Talks Narcotics
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Meet the Powers – Aisling Duval
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 GalNet: The Courtship of Aisling Duval
  12. Patreus and the Princess - 20 March 3301
  13. Senator Steps Out with Socialite - 12 March 3301
  14. Patreus and the Princess Share Food for Thought - 13 APR 3301
  15. Patreus and Aisling Attend Benefit Gala - 22 APR 3301
  16. 16.0 16.1 GalNet: Aisling Duval Hosts Federal Ambassador
  17. 17.0 17.1 GalNet: Aisling Duval Announces Marriage to Federal Ambassador
  18. 18.0 18.1 GalNet: Galaxy Reacts to Federal-Imperial Betrothal
  19. 19.0 19.1 GalNet: Details of Aisling Duval's Wedding Announced
  20. 20.0 20.1 GalNet: Aisling Duval Wedding Cancelled
  21. 21.0 21.1 GalNet: The Silence of Aisling Duval
  22. GalNet: Aegis Supports Galactic Summit
  23. GalNet: Emperor Decides Hadrian Duval's Status
  24. GalNet: Hadrian Duval Seeks Reintegration with the Empire
  25. GalNet: Hadrian Duval Saved by Aisling Duval's Intervention
  26. GalNet: Marlinist Refugees Flee to the Federation
  27. GalNet: Rare Goods Delivered for Harold Duval’s Memorial Ceremony
  28. GalNet: State Funeral Held for Prince Harold Duval
  29. GalNet: Obituary: Prince Harold Duval
  30. GalNet: Death of a Duval
  31. GalNet: Prince Harold Duval Assassinated
  32. GalNet: Terrorist Attacks on Imperial Starports
  33. GalNet: Unchain Purchases Imperial Slaves
  34. GalNet: Aisling Duval Condemns Autonomy Group
  35. GalNet: Hadrian Duval Confirms Pact
  36. GalNet: The Princess and the Imperator
  37. GalNet: Aisling Duval Contacts Hadrian Duval
  38. GalNet: Aisling Duval Rejects Nova Imperium
  39. GalNet: Aisling Duval's Secret Relationship Revealed
  40. GalNet: Jarl Toredo Resigns from Unchain
  41. GalNet: Aisling Duval Assassination Foiled
  42. GalNet: An Interview with Aisling Duval
  43. GalNet: A Profile of Jordan Rochester
  44. GalNet: Support for Aisling Duval
  45. GalNet: Aisling Duval Criticizes Aegis
  46. GalNet: Aisling Duval Campaign Concludes
  47. GalNet: Eliminating Slavers in Guuguyni
  48. Galactic News: Analysis from the Galaxy’s Most Powerful - 28 OCT 3303
  49. Galactic News: Analysis from the Galaxy’s Most Powerful
  50. Galactic News: Terrorist Salomé Killed, 04 MAY 3303
  51. Prisoner Convoy Destroyed - 25 NOV 3302
  52. Chancellor Anders Blaine Issues Statement
  53. Scandal Rocks Chancellor Anders Blaine
  54. Senator Arissa Lavigny-Duval Gains More Powerful Support
  55. Senator Patreus Calls for Senate Investigation, Chancellor Blaine Confirms Senate Investigation
  56. Aisling Duval Issues Statement
  57. Did Aisling Duval Know About Emperor’s Dawn?
  58. Aisling Duval Reviews her Security, 15 AUG 3301
  59. Aisling Duval Questions Convenience of Emperor’s Recovery
  60. Aisling Opens Art Installation on Emerald
  61. In the Emperor’s Name
  62. Aisling’s Angels Challenge the Senator’s Slavers
  63. Heir to the Throne Officially Mad
  64. Celebrity Daughter of Heir Declares Slavery Dishonourable
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