|Royal Election Begins|
|February 11th 3305|
|Spearhead Charter Controlled Space|
"So far, three candidates have nominated themselves for the lordships of High Manktas and the Vestige. Sir Markus Carreck has, as expected, entered the ring, and is a strong candidate based on his extensive political career. None understand the political situation in the Vestige more than Carreck. As a militaristic candidate, his emphasis on improving the navy's troop transport capabilities is well respected; many desire funding directed toward a return to the Vestige's personnel based combat prowess. Some doubt his will to continue Spearhead Charter's democratic ways, though others favour a more controlling government for its enhancements to military defence. It appears likely that as High Lord, Carreck could gain favour with the similarly-minded President of the Alliance, Gibson Kincaid.
An unexpected entrant is Manktas Independents scientist Professor Simon Wallace, the only candidate from a party other than Spearhead Charter. A democratic individual, Wallace promotes a non-expansionist regime. After Xeria's Wrath's strike against Duront's Legacy, his speeches condemning militarism have gained a great following. His interest would be in directing funding towards securing the systems currently controlled by Spearhead Charter, and to furthering the terraforming of Dastaena. Many of those who lost loved ones in the attack at the end of last year are very outspoken in their support for Wallace. Led by the professor, Spearhead Charter would likely focus on defending Dastaena, thought by many to be the jewel of the Vestige, and completing terraforming works in order to bring the populace to the world yearned for by generations. Preliminary polls suggest Wallace's bid is unlikely to succeed, however the admirable support he holds will force whoever leads to direct funding toward scientific efforts.
Finally, Lady Lyria Eardley stands to reclaim her father's position. A divisive figure, Eardley has been the subject of much scrutiny, with some believing her to be the criminal "Vanguard", though this figure is seen as a hero by a select few. However, the Lady's claim is strong; she has the support of many, and is well known for her martial skill. An excellent commander in naval combat, she has shown unexpected tenacity as a stateswoman in recent months. Often quiet and still, her tendency is to remain silent and unnoticed until the prime opportunity to interject and with a single argument end a debate. However, many see her as too inexperienced for politics; before her father's untimely death, she had little political engagement, though her military career was well respected given her role in crippling Xeria's Vestige and returning the region to just leadership. Lady Eardley has many allies, including the powerful independent Leviathan Scout Regiment, and is on good terms with the Alliance's Prime Minister Edmund Mahon.
All three are accomplished individuals, however one aspect has so far been overlooked. Both Eardley and Carreck campaign for continued expansion of Spearhead Charter territory, but Carreck has no legal claim to systems not already under Spearhead Charter control. If opposed by the Alliance, he would likely be left unable to carry out his promises. Lady Eardley on the other hand holds the claim to the Vestige, passed down from her father by the old laws of the Vestige, as agreed in The Spearhead Charter; the claim by heritage of the Duront-Eardley line to Lordship of the Vestige results in Lyria being the only living claimant to the region. While no claim is required for democratic expansions, the bloodright would guarantee Spearhead Charter's legal advantage in any wars fought in the Vestige, granting support from neighbouring navies of the Alliance. This leads some to wonder whether Carreck has another benefactor, who would support further expansions beyond the High Manktas jurisdiction."
- Timothy Varatis, Vestige Herald Diplomatic Correspondent.
"Svantiochna was viewed as nothing but a backwater system by the previous governance. I'll be blunt: the stations have been dirty holes with few amenities until recently. More often than not the miners were lucky to get anything but food cartridges. Manktas is close though and the flow of goods has been largely improved. We have been getting things into shape over here, which threw the system into an economic boom and sent our approval ratings through the roof. It was rather surprising but you can't blame the populace for wanting more of it - and we'll give it to them. In return the mines and refineries have never churned out more produce. It's all quite merry over here right now."
- Cassandra Varr, SCRG Senior Pilot
"Candidate Compromised; Xeria's Wrath Ally"