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Brendan Paul Darius was an Imperial patron in the employ of Senator Denton Patreus and a member of the radical Emperor's Dawn movement. Born to a family of clients on Eotienses who worked on one of Senator Patreus's estates, Darius served with distinction in the Imperial Navy for two decades, attaining the rank of captain. He then joined a liaison team under Patreus that was responsible for maintaining the senator's relationships with the various governors and administrators within his sphere of influence, and was rewarded with patronship.

On August 5, 3301, as Emperor Hengist Duval prepared to wed Florence Lavigny in a ceremony on Capitol, Darius lunged from the congregation, which had gained access to as part of Senator Patreus's entourage, and fatally stabbed the Emperor with a concealed blade. Darius was then gunned down by the Imperial Guard. Darius's motives for the assassination remained a mystery until his family was brutally murdered by vigilantes on August 16, after which the investigation into the slayings discovered encrypted files linking Darius to Emperor's Dawn.

Timeline

09 SEP 3301

  • Imperial senator Denton Patreus has taken a strong stance on Emperor's Dawn, condemning the organisation and vowing to eradicate it from the galaxy, but responses to his statements have so far been mixed. Some have speculated that he is simply trying to curry public favour, while others have suggested he is attempting to draw attention away from his connection to Brendan Paul Darius, the emperor's assassin. Now, the senator's assertions have been questioned by a source from within the Empire itself - General Anthony Corvus of the Imperial Navy. In a statement given to the Imperial Herald, the general said: "We are clearly dealing with a well-organised and highly motivated cell organisation, and despite Denton Patreus's optimism, in my opinion it is too early to make any predictions about its suppression. I have dealt with similar organisations in the past, and they can be surprisingly hard to extinguish. No sooner have you dealt with one cell, another appears somewhere else." Senator Patreus was approached for a response to the general's words, but declined to comment.[1]

27 AUG 3301

  • Senator Patreus has seen a resurgence of support since his declaration of war against the group responsible for Emperor Hengist Duval's murder. Reports from the campaign have indicated that Emperor's Dawn is now claiming responsibility for the regicide, although this hasn't been independently confirmed as yet. In a Senate session, Senator Zemina Torval declared her support for the operation and instructed her loyal followers to join the campaign. Analysts have been keenly watching the political landscape shift in the weeks since the Emperor's death. Many had written off Patreus as his influence waned with the dishonour of his association with the Emperor's assassin, Brendan Paul Darius. However, his decisive action against Emperor's Dawn has raised his profile. Some believe that it is a cynical ploy by Patreus, but none can argue that he has gained the support of the Senate heavyweights. Even Florence Lavigny has spoken out for unity and support for Patreus: "When I was much younger, and my first husband dear Aristide was sadly eaten by a Ling Lang in his own menagerie, there were conspiracy theories, none of which were true. The simple truth was he was foolish to keep so many dangerous animals as pets. I've known Denton for years, and I know he wasn't involved in the Emperor's murder. Hengist had many enemies, but Denton Patreus was not one of them."[2]

23 AUG 3301

  • While Chancellor Anders Blaine has provided almost daily updates on the investigation of Emperor Hengist Duval's assassination there has been little progress of note until today. The breakthrough is reported to have originated from an investigation into the killing of Brendan Paul Darius' family. The local investigator, Inspector Reeve, discovered encrypted data files hidden within the toys of the six year old girl killed in the attack. These files have revealed the existence of a secret group – calling themselves Emperor's Dawn. They are an ultra-traditionalist movement fearing the erosion of Imperial values. The exact reason why the Emperor was targeted is as yet unknown, but it was discovered that Princess Aisling has also been targeted by the group. In response to this threat her security has been increased. Chancellor Blaine concluded his update by saying: "This unexpected development has revealed a hideous cancer within our society. One that will be hunted down and eradicated with the utmost urgency."[3]

20 AUG 3301

  • The hunt for the killers of the Darius family came to a dramatic conclusion today in a firefight with local security forces on Eotienses. The Darius family was brutally murdered four days ago in what is believed to be revenge for Brendan Paul Darius's assassination of Emperor Hengist Duval. All of the suspects – who are understood to have been local vigilantes seeking revenge for the Emperor's murder – were killed in the operation. In a statement, Inspector Reeve, who led the investigation, said: "Considering the savagery with which the suspects butchered the Darius family, we couldn't take any chances while attempting to arrest them. They were heavily armed and opened fire as our officers entered the building." He refused to answer questions about why the family wasn't in protective custody, or how the protection team were able to be subdued so easily. One local witness of the operation claimed that no attempt was made to arrest the suspects, an accusation Inspector Reeve vigorously denied.[4]

17 AUG 3301

  • Imperial Naval infantry have once again intervened as protesters – who have taken issue with Senator Denton Patreus's connection to Brendan Paul Darius, the Emperor's murderer – attempted to prevent access to some of Senator Patreus's allies late last night. This time the agitators resisted the soldiers' efforts to maintain peace. After several attempts to peacefully resolve the situation, a riot squad was deployed to restore order. The action was efficiently completed, but smaller disturbances and protests flared up throughout the night. All were pacified by the troops but many mourners were forced to flee. Calm was eventually restored and an Imperial Guard company has now been stationed to secure the entrance to the Hall of Martyrs. A full regiment of Naval infantry has also been moved into the city.[5]

16 AUG 3301

  • The immediate family of Brendan Paul Darius – including his mother, father, sister and six year old niece – have been found murdered at their home on Eotienses. Inspector Reeve commented to local press that these were the most horrific deaths he had encountered in his many years of service. After the murderer of Emperor Hengist Duval was revealed to be Imperial citizen Brendan Paul Darius, a light protection duty was placed with his family in case of reprisals, although locals were sympathetic to the family's dishonour rather than blaming them. Inspector Reeve didn't comment on how the killers were able to subdue the guards, even though no fatalities in the team have been reported. The Inspector promised swift justice for the murders and called on anyone with any information to contact their local security office.[6]

11 AUG 3301

  • The Imperial Herald today released an article about the man allegedly responsible for the regicide of Emperor Hengist Duval. The article detailed Brendan Paul Darius' upbringing in Eotienses, the home system for the bulk of Patreus' activities. His parents were a relatively wealthy client family under Senator Patreus known for their observation of traditional values. They worked on one of his many estates in the system. After completing his formal education in history and ethics he served as an officer on one of the Senator's Majestic class Interdictors, eventually rising to the rank of captain. Following two decades of distinguished military service he joined one of Senator Patreus' liaison teams responsible for maintaining relationships with colony governors, planetary leaders and starport officials throughout the Senator's region of controlled space. His dedication and talents saw him rise above his parents' station to become patron. The story tells of a man dedicated to service and traditional Imperial values. A man who eschewed personal comforts and focused on his work. In the end the puzzle remains – why would such a loyal man kill his Emperor?[7]

10 AUG 3301

  • Some elements of the lower-level Imperial political scene have challenged Senator Denton Patreus to explain his connection to Brendan Paul Darius, the assassin responsible for the murder of the Emperor during the wedding ceremony with Florence Lavigny. Since the revelation of the assassin's identity the senator has steadfastly refused to comment, but responded angrily to accusations from a vocal minority in the crowd outside the senate. "The notion that I might somehow be linked with the murder of our most loved Emperor is offensive. It does bring dishonour and shame upon me that a man in my employ could perform such a heinous act, but it was certainly done without my knowledge. The thought that I allowed such a man near his august presence torments me." He also added that the full resources of his office were being made available to the officers in the investigation and that he would aid them in any way he could. More responsible commentators agree that the accusations are ridiculous. Speculation remains however as to why the man killed the Emperor and whether he was acting alone or for another party.[8]

10 AUG 3301

  • Some elements of the lower-level Imperial political scene have challenged Senator Denton Patreus to explain his connection to Brendan Paul Darius, the assassin responsible for the murder of the Emperor during the wedding ceremony with Florence Lavigny. Since the revelation of the assassin's identity the senator has steadfastly refused to comment, but responded angrily to accusations from a vocal minority in the crowd outside the senate. "The notion that I might somehow be linked with the murder of our most loved Emperor is offensive. It does bring dishonour and shame upon me that a man in my employ could perform such a heinous act, but it was certainly done without my knowledge. The thought that I allowed such a man near his august presence torments me." He also added that the full resources of his office were being made available to the officers in the investigation and that he would aid them in any way he could. More responsible commentators agree that the accusations are ridiculous. Speculation remains however as to why the man killed the Emperor and whether he was acting alone or for another party.[9]

09 AUG 3301

  • In a move sending shockwaves of revulsion throughout the Empire, an independent newsfeed, Russell Networks, based in the Tulill system, has broadcast what is claimed to be a holographic recording of the assassination of Emperor Hengist Duval. Imperial networks are refusing to show the footage and all levels of Imperial society are outraged at this insult to the Emperor's memory. The recording's authenticity hasn't been confirmed, but it does clearly show someone who looks like Brendan Paul Darius attacking the Emperor. As the Emperor passes by Senator Patreus' entourage Darius is seen to lunge from the group. He then stabs the Emperor several times with a blade and inflicting severe facial injuries until being taken down by the nearest guards. In it, others in Patreu's entourage, including Senator Patreus himself, appear to move to try to stop the attacker, and do appear to be genuinely surprised and shocked. Chancellor Anders Blaine condemned the broadcast in a statement and refused to comment on its veracity.[10]

07 AUG 3301

  • With no clear successor to the Emperor, Chancellor Blaine has accepted the task of governing the Empire until the succession has been determined. He reiterated his statement that the matter would be resolved after Emperor's funeral. He then revealed more about the investigation into the regicide: "Officers from the Imperial Guard and Imperial Intelligence Security Service have begun their investigation and are being provided with the resources they need. The assassin has been identified as Brendan Paul Darius. Senator Patreus has confirmed that the man was a member of his entourage, and the Senator is helping with the investigation. Darius killed the Emperor in a savage attack using a concealed blade, and a separate investigation has been launched to determine how he was able to sneak a weapon into the Emperor's presence. Darius was killed by the Emperor's Guard during the attack, and we have as yet been unable to determine his motive for the murder." For the remainder of the session, the gathered senators offered support and words of condolence to the Imperial family.[11]

05 AUG 3301

  • It is with a heavy heart that we report that Emperor Hengist Duval died en route to the Imperial Navy Medical Facility near the Imperial Palace. Confirmation of the news came from Chancellor Anders Blaine, who appeared visibly upset. He confirmed that the Emperor died after being stabbed by a member of the congregation. Chancellor Blaine refused to provide any details of the attacker, but stated that a full investigation was underway. A source from the Imperial Intelligence Service told us that the attacker was a member of Senator Denton Patreus's party attending the wedding. The Senator was unavailable for comment. In the streets, the Imperial Naval Infantry has started ushering people home as the official period of mourning begins.[12]

05 AUG 3301

  • The city is in a state of shock following news that the Emperor was attacked by a high-ranking official during the wedding ceremony. Details of the attack are scant at the moment as a total comms blackout was imposed throughout the immediate area following the incident. One of our sources has indicated that the assailant was killed, but that he managed to injure the Emperor before he died. We do not know how serious the Emperor's injuries are, but our hope is that he makes a swift recovery. Along the route of the procession, millions of citizens and slaves who had been celebrating the grand occasion wait in stunned silence for news of their beloved Emperor. We wait with them.[13]

References

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