Octavia Volkov is the incumbent First Minister of the Marlinist Colonies. Born in the city of Fontaine in the Imperial system of Baltah'Sine, Volkov was forced to flee the Empire with millions of other Marlinists in late 3306 to escape political persecution. After the founding of the Marlinist Colonies in January 3307, Volkov was elected the leader of the Exiled Marlinist Assembly of Baltah'Sine and became a minister in the new Marlinist Parliament. Volkov is a proponent of maintaining the Marlinist Colonies' independence and working to build a Marlinist Republic, rather than eventually reconciling with the Empire or pressuring the Empire to reform, and she also vocally opposes the terrorist tactics employed by the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army.
Following the NMLA's bombing of two Marlinist starports in July 3307 and Minister Aaron Whyte's statements before the Marlinist Parliament that characterised the attack as justified in light of the electoral rejection of pro-NMLA candidate Verity Dexter for the office of prime consul of the Marlinist Consulate, Minister Volkov declared war against Whyte's Marlinism Reformation Party faction in August 3307. This attempt to bring Whyte and his supporters to justice through use of military force was protested by Whyte as a violation the Marlinist Charter, but when the dust settled on August 19, Volkov's forces had prevailed thanks to strong support from independent pilots, Whyte had perished in the fighting, and the Marlinism Reformation Party's leadership had been arrested and replaced by moderates who rejected the NMLA. With her popularity buoyed by her bold actions, Volkov won the August 27 snap election to determine the replacement for the late Dr. Jenna Fairfax, and became the second First Minister of the Marlinist Colonies.
20 DEC 3307
ACT has revealed the background of the man known only as Theta Seven, the NMLA's de facto leader who recently died in the Mudhrid system. Captain Saskia Landau gave this statement to the media: "A combination of investigative work and interrogating NMLA survivors has allowed us to confirm that Theta Seven's real name was John Tyburn. He was born and raised in the city of Fontaine on the planet Baltah'Sine, where he was a munitions technician constructing demolition charges for commercial mining. There is evidence that Tyburn was always a vocal believer in Marlinism, and became a pro-democracy campaigner. This eventually caused him to lose his job and serve a prison sentence for sedition. His Imperial citizenship was revoked, his marriage annulled and his children taken into state care. Upon release, Tyburn was contacted by the NMLA and radicalised to the Neo-Marlinist cause. He produced portable explosives for terrorist actions, and rose rapidly in their ranks. It was Tyburn's proposal to develop caustic enzyme bombs capable of damaging a starport, but his experimentation on these weapons resulted in injuries and corrosive scarring. They only became a reality following a workable design commissioned from the engineerLiz Ryder without her knowledge of its purpose." First Minister Octavia Volkov of the Marlinist Colonies commented: "It's unsettling to learn that this arch-terrorist grew up in the same place as I did and had similar experiences. John Tyburn might easily have been my fellow refugee from the Empire, or perhaps helped us form our republican society. This does not excuse his crimes, but it's all too clear how political persecution can give rise to monsters."
16 DEC 3307
The megaship Steel Majesty has travelled from Mudhrid to the HIP 22550 system and been renamed as Fairfax Vision. The Wells-class carrier was originally owned by the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid and used as a base for the NMLA terrorist group. After a military defeat, the vessel's crew sought political asylum in the Marlinist Colonies. The Steel Majesty later became the hub for Minister Aaron Whyte's followers during the Marlinist Civil War. More recently, NMLA activists retook the ship and unsuccessfully tried to rescue their leader Theta Seven. The Marlin Standard published this statement from First Minister Octavia Volkov: "I am delighted that the Marlinist Consulate has negotiated with the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group to arrange for this megaship to be returned to us. We are renaming it in honour of my predecessor Dr Jenna Fairfax, who led millions to safety after our mass exodus from the Empire. The Fairfax Vision is now controlled by the Free Marlinists of Carinae faction, but will represent the colonies' parliamentary and diplomatic interests abroad. I hope that true Marlinism, and our progressive republican society, can now flourish peacefully."
10 SEP 3307
A day of mourning has been declared across the Empire to mark the first anniversary of the NMLA's Imperial starport bombings. On Thursday the 10th of September 3306, Imperial stations in the Cemiess, Gabjaujis, LHS 4031 and Rabh systems were attacked without warning. Over sixty thousand people were killed and twice as many wounded by powerful explosives that delivered a caustic enzyme payload. The Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army is an extremist paramilitary group that is dedicated to reforming Marlin Duval's original republican government. Prior to these bombings, it had only performed minor strikes with low casualties. The NMLA's terror campaign grew to encompass all three superpowers with the Nine Martyrs attacks in March 3307. It also led to supporters of Marlinism fleeing from the Empire as refugees, eventually resettling in the Marlinist Colonies. Princess Aisling Duval paid respects to the victims during a memorial ceremony at her palace on Emerald. She also spoke of her father Prince Harold Duval, who was assassinated by the NMLA shortly after the bombings. Messages of condolence have been sent by President Zachary Hudson, Prime Minister Edmund Mahon, Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval and First Minister Octavia Volkov. All vowed to continue contributing resources to ACT, which recently shut down many terrorist cells. Coupled with the loss of its political wing, the NMLA threat may finally be diminishing.
27 AUG 3307
The Marlinist Colonies are recovering from a period of political infighting and inter-faction conflict. Octavia Volkov has been voted in as the new first minister following a snap election. Her decisive action against Aaron Whyte's Neo-Marlinist movement, which led to the elimination of the NMLA's political wing, drew huge support from voters. In a parliamentary address, First Minister Volkov said: "We must focus on building an independent society rather than changing the Empire. In time we will evolve into the fully-fledged Marlinist Republic we have fought so hard for, and perhaps inspire our Imperial cousins to walk the path to democracy." Marlinist factions now control all eight of their original colony systems, some of which had temporarily fallen under external governance. They have also expanded into a handful of new systems. Prime Consul Kayode Tau, the chief ambassador of the Marlinists, has established formal channels with the Alliance Office of Diplomatic Relations and the Federal Diplomatic Corps. The Empire recognises the Marlinist Consulate, but maintains a distant relationship with what many consider to be subversive ex-Imperials. The ceremonial funeral of First Minister Jenna Fairfax has taken place. Speakers drew attention to her achievements and leadership qualities. In a gesture that many viewed as an olive branch from the Empire, Princess Aisling Duval attended virtually and spoke of her meeting with Fairfax during the Galactic Summit.
19 AUG 3307
*Pilots Federation ALERT* The conflict in the Hyades Sector RO-P b6-2 system has been won by the Exiled Marlinist Assembly of Baltah'Sine. Support from independent pilots played a key role in defeating the Marlinism Reformation Party. The faction's entire leadership has been arrested, with their replacements vowing to reshape it along politically moderate lines. Minister Octavia Volkov made a declaration of victory to the Marlinist Parliament: "The Neo-Marlinists have been crushed and Aaron Whyte is dead – a casualty of the war his terrorist paymasters began. I deeply regret that our society has suffered this, but have no regrets at destroying the NMLA's political wing once and for all." Prime Consul Kayode Tau sent assurances to the Alliance, Empire and Federation that they should view this as "confirmation that the Marlinist Colonies are your steadfast allies in the fight against the NMLA". ACT has drafted in extra resources to investigate the Marlinism Reformation Party's ties to Theta Group, the terrorist bomb-makers responsible for last month's devastating starport attacks. With First Minister Jenna Fairfax confirmed as among the fatalities, Acting First Minister Amrita Ross has organised a snap election to democratically appoint a new leader for the Marlinist Colonies.
12 AUG 3307
*Pilots Federation ALERT* Conflict has erupted in the Hyades Sector RO-P b6-2 system between two factions of the Marlinist Colonies. The Exiled Marlinist Assembly of Baltah'Sine has declared war against the Marlinism Reformation Party, which acts as the political wing of the NMLA. Political relations degenerated into open combat following the NMLA's recent attacks, with Acting First Minister Amrita Ross's efforts to negotiate a peaceful resolution proving unsuccessful. A new megaship, Freedom’s Voice, has entered service. It is acting as the operational base for the forces of the Exiled Marlinist Assembly of Baltah'Sine. Supporters of the Marlinism Reformation Party are gathering at the Steel Majesty megaship. This was formerly used by the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid to flee from their home system. Minister Octavia Volkov announced in parliament: "Aaron Whyte and his collaborators are directly responsible for tens of thousands of deaths. I will not rest until they are defeated and brought to justice." Minister Aaron Whyte sent this response from his private vessel: "Volkov's unlawful strike is a violation of our colonies' charter. We call upon all true Marlinists to defend us from this illegal act of aggression." The Alliance, Empire and Federation have informed the Marlinist Consulate that they consider this conflict to be a strictly internal matter.
09 AUG 3307
The bombing of two Marlinist starports by the NMLA has caused political rifts and public protests across the colony systems. Local newsfeed The Marlin Standard reported on current events: "Our entire society is still reeling in shock after last week's attacks against Stillman Hub and Tilman Point stations. There has been mass panic in fear of further terrorist strikes, with unprecedented scenes of violence against known Neo-Marlinist supporters. Without the respected leadership of First Minister Jenna Fairfax, angry exchanges and recriminations have divided the Marlinist Parliament. Minister Aaron Whyte claimed that 'we invited this tragedy upon ourselves' by not voting for a Neo-Marlinist prime consul. In response, Minister Octavia Volkov called for Whyte's arrest as 'an accessory to mass murder'. Some community leaders expressed sorrow at a lost opportunity to establish a Marlinist presence in the Imperial Senate. This is certainly the view of Acting First Minister Amrita Ross, who believes in rejoining the Empire. All of which has led to a baptism of fire for Prime Consul Kayode Tau, whose focus has been on arranging medical aid from the Alliance and Federation. It may be that the Marlinist Consulate will soon be called upon to mediate between its own people."
22 JUN 3307
The Marlinism Reformation Party, which now represents the Neo-Marlinist fringe, has suggested a peace deal between the NMLA and the Empire. Minister Aaron Whyte explained the proposal during a session of the Marlinist Parliament: "Via anonymous intermediaries, we have received assurances that the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army is keen to take advantage of our representation. I see this as a hugely positive step that will prevent further conflict. In essence, the NMLA is offering reparations for the unfortunate casualties of its anti-authority activities within the Empire. In return, it requests a permanent presence in the Imperial Senate as a means of continuing political dialogue." Many other parliamentarians considered the proposal to be highly controversial. Minister Octavia Volkov declared: "Providing the NMLA with a political wing, pretending they are reasonable people, suggesting they could pay off the families of everyone they've murdered... Whyte, you are an insult not just to Marlinism but to all humanity!" First Minister Jenna Fairfax called for unity, insisting that the Marlinist Colonies must stand together to ensure their survival. However, she has officially requested that the Marlinism Reformation Party reverses its stance on negotiating with the NMLA.
07 JUN 3307
Minister Aaron Whyte, leader of the Marlinism Reformation Party, has confirmed that it aims to politically represent the Neo-Marlinist fringe. At a meeting of the Marlinist Parliament, Minister Whyte declared: "Not all of the Neo-Marlinist community seek a violent uprising to end the Duval family's thousand-year dictatorship. We can help replace desperate acts of rebellion with meaningful dialogue and public pressure." Several newsfeeds observed that Whyte was attempting to rebrand Neo-Marlinism as being closer to the mainstream ideals of Marlinism. However, the possibility that the faction may now act as the political wing of the NMLA has caused widespread alarm. In related news, a recent election in the Hyades Sector RO-P b6-2 system saw voters remove the Marlinism Reformation Party from power, after it granted asylum to survivors from the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid. The system's new leader, Minister Octavia Volkov of the Exiled Marlinist Assembly of Baltah'Sine, announced: "My party believes in following Marlin Duval's example by building independent democracies, rather than reforming the Empire. However, three of our colony systems have already fallen under the control of foreign factions. We urgently need support to keep the dream of a Marlinist Republic alive."