Usurpation Phase, Maneuver 1
We begin with Hakan Rasheed, First Speaker of the Circle of 10,000, making a speech and protesting his innocence of a scandal involving the procurement of slave prostitutes. But he is a pious and honorable man, and the populace cannot believe that the First Speaker would do such a thing.
Meanwhile, a hammer passenger vessel drops out of hyperexpansion and begins making its final approach toward the planet Fango. Aboard it is Rivera Andruji, a somewhat infamous journalist, intent on exposing the corruption of the Palavar-Arvin Corporation, a corporate entity responsible for the vast majority of chemical mining on the planet. They are wll known for using slave labor, and Rivera wants "the people" to understand their plight.
Upon arrival, Rivera is met by Executive Toval Grant, a company man in charge of filtering and cencoring illegal media on Fango. He knows who Rivera is, and has no intention of allowing a muckraker like Rivera of publishing any material while in his jurisdiction. After some heated discussion and veiled threats, Grant installs an electronic device on Rivera's datapad which monitors and corrupts any stories that he tries to publish.
Meanwhile, in the tunnel-like bowels of the massive extraction rigs that float on Fango's liquid surface, a package is serruptitiously passed from slave to slave, then finally handed to Chavez Khazik. Chavez is a former military leader, captured and enslaved in one of the many wars between the Iron Empires. As he opens the package up, it is revealed that it contains various contraband electronics - gear that could be used tp build illegal signal-processing equipment. Or, possibly something worse. Chavez's cache of contraband also contains the makings of explosives. It is unclear what, exactly, the slave has planned for the future.
Elsewhere on the planet, First Speaker Rasheed finds himself in conversation with the Hammer-Lord Aris Magnus. There have been rumblings of dissention and revolution among the slaves, and the two of them need to find out who is responsible.
Rasheed has heard of Chavez, and finds him giving a rousing speech to some of his fellow slaves. Rasheed pulls him aside, informing him that he is wanted for questioning. It is apparent that the First Speaker has the upper hand, so Chavez goes without complaint.
Meanwhile, Hammer-Lord Magnus decides on a less direct approach. He orders one of his men to infiltrate the slaves and gather some evidence that would point to the leader of the revolt. The mole is successful, moving more or less unnoticed amongst the slaves, gathering information. He discovers that Chavez has been collecting illegal electronics and smuggling them into the slave barracks. This information is more than enough to justify having Chavez hauled in.
Rivera, meanwhile, is schmoozing with the local populace. In a local watering hole, he puts out the word that he's looking for someone sympathetic to the plight of the mistreated slaves. He does find someone, but unfortunately, it's a corporate employee that Rivera had inadvertantly gotten transferred to this godforsaken planet after having published a story on corporate corruption on another planet. Rivera tries to make amends with drinks, but the drinking escalates to violence as the wronged corporate employee begins a bar brawl that ends with both him and Rivera being hauled off to the drunk-tank by PAC security.
Executive Grant and Lord Magnus are waiting as Rasheed brings Chavez to an impromptu tribunal. As they begin to question him, Chavez decides he's had enough! He argues against their accusations, claiming that they have the wrong man! But the First Speaker, Executive and Hammer-Lord have tricks up their sleeves. They trump up evidence of Chavez being involved in prostitution and murder, recording the reaction of the slave and broadcasting it to the slave populace, all but destroying Chavez's credibility. The slave is humiliated, begging for mercy before the tribunal before being hauled away for punishment. While the PAC may be miffed about their authority being usurped by the Hammer-Lord and First Speaker, at least the revolution will be put on hold while Chavez is in detention.
Rivera, having finally bailed himself out of the brig, meets with Chavez in an interview room a few days after the tribunal. He encourages Chavez to tell his side of the story, recording it so that it may be disseminated amongst the populace. When he goes to publish it, however, Grant's device detects the file and distroys it, wiping out Rivera's work. He'll have to start all over.
Afterward, Grant and his Contraband Media Squad keep their ears to the ground, confiscating and interrupting the revolutionaries. Meanwhile, Rivera tries to drum up support for Chavez, but finds himself shut out by the slave population as the heat from corporate security increases.
Human - Assess Enemy Disposition vs. Valen - Asses Factions
The Human side was victorious this Maneuver, while the Vaylen are unable to get a foothold in Fango's factions.
Current Disposition for Usurpation Phase
Humans: 28, Vaylen 29