October 22, 3305
Day 0: On Slavery and Pride
I suppose another big moment in my piloting career calls for another logbook series. I’ve been doing more regular work over the past few weeks, in between spending time in heavy contact with the various engineers, both here in the Bubble and out in Colonia, getting modifications done to my now rather vast fleet of personal ships. Perhaps at some point I’ll do a logbook on them and the various roles they play in my life and career out in the stars. That’s a story for another day, though. Today...I finally shed my impartiality in galactic politics.
I’ve decided that it’s time to pledge to a power, to ally myself with a key figure. And my choice of allegiance honestly surprised even myself when I finalised my decision a few months ago, during my Beagle Point voyage. In order to explain that, however, I suppose I need to delve a little into my own past, which a couple of my previous logbooks have only hinted at.
Firstly, many of you who read my Beagle Point logs probably guessed that I currently live and am based in Hughes Enterprise in the Kunti system. It’s a system on the edge of Imperial space, technically within Empress Arissa’s sphere of influence. Despite this, it’s an independent system, free of political influence from any of the major galactic superpowers. I, myself, however...was born and raised within Imperial society. Before you even ask the question, yes, my family had Imperial slaves; yes, they were well treated; and yes, we provided for them in direct accordance with Imperial humanitarian laws.
The point behind this is that, through a series of circumstances that I’m not going to share here for obvious personal reasons, my coming of age soon saw me out of the house, jobless, broke, and in a really bad place in general. So, I did what Imperial culture and my own desperation insisted...I sold myself into the slavery system to pay off my debts and get myself enough credits to hopefully get a fresh start.
Contrary to a lot of what various groups, especially the Federation, would like you to believe, my time in the slavery system was far from unpleasant. Dull, certainly, but never cruel. I was never overworked, always given enough food and water, along with basic but comfortable living arrangements. I had to earn my keep to pay off my debts, but let’s face it, that’s only fair. I personally think it’s a far better method for helping the desperate and impoverished improve their lives than the Federal welfare system, which in theory is decent, but from what I’ve seen is as rife with corruption as the rest of the Federation. The truly desperate are left to rot, while those with connections, and those who probably don’t strictly need the welfare services, are given everything they need and more. The Imperial slavery system is far from perfect and has it’s own corrupt, abusive elements, but at the very least it’s a system that’s easier for those without influence to still claw their way back up into a reasonable lifestyle again.
And that’s exactly what I did. After a couple of years I was released, debt-free, and with enough credits to head off to the Pilot’s Federation to undergo training. A couple of years of training later, I got my Independent Pilot’s Licence, and now here I am, almost a year on, ready to give back to the Empire that helped me when I was tossed aside with nothing to my name.
Now, given my history and pro-slavery leanings, you might expect me to pledge to Zemina Torval, perhaps...or even the Empress herself. They align most closely with my own views, and honestly I was heavily considering joining Zemina’s ranks. Then in July, while I was out in the far reaches of the Abyss, my long range comms picked up news from the Bubble that eventually saw me change my approach to, perhaps paradoxically...Princess Aisling.
So what convinced a self-confessed pro-slavery Commander to decide to work for the Empire’s lone anti-slavery voice? Simply put, the mess that happened at Port Isabelle on Eotienses A 3. Autonomy’s mass abandonment of 4000 slaves at the port, leaving them without food, shelter, and with slavery agreements still technically and legally hanging over their heads, was honestly disgusting to hear about, and I hope the group is punished harshly for their atrocious handling of a situation they themselves created, that saw people die.
But the one bright spot in the whole mess was the Princess’ response. Despite her own anti-slavery views, she stepped up when no-one else would, and had her own liberation group buy up the slaves to ensure they could be moved off-world and taken care of while she worked to free them legally. I personally find the Princess’ ideals to be...naive, but she set her personal feelings, pride, and agenda aside to do the right thing by everyone caught in that unpleasant situation. How many prominent political figures in the galaxy can you say that about? So while I will likely never see completely eye to eye with her on various issues, she had earned my respect...and my loyalty.
So, I recently bought and modified an Imperial Clipper I intend to use for my time I spend working within Aisling’s power sphere. Not exactly original, but I find the name Serenity quite fitting. Tomorrow, I’ll make the trip to her headquarters in Cubeo to officially pledge myself to her, and perhaps get started working if I can figure out what I’m doing quickly enough. Naturally, given the sensitive nature of galactic power play and politics, these logbooks are not going to go into heavy detail about what I’m doing, or where I’m doing it, but I’ll do my best to keep this updated in a very general sense every now and then. No images today, either, and again, may not have many images for these logs over the coming weeks, we'll have to wait and see.
CMDR AustralianChaos, signing off.