- "...you are not disposing with Van Tien. I am."
- —Van Tien
The Showdown on the Ascendance was the successful assassination of Van Tien by Alsakan Major Venator Furtificus and Alsakan Admiral Dakar Claudius, removing Van Tien as leader of the Alsakan Union and paving the way for a new Vicar.
- "Voice activation code MT-342. Traitor's Gate."
- —Venator Furtificus, activating the cage.
After the death of the twelve year old Alsakan Vicar, Lharra, seemingly at the hands of the Jedi Grandmaster Banik Kelrada, the Alsakan Union was thrown into a decision of bringing in a new leader, to lead them in the war they were waging against the Republic. By this time, the war with the Republic was beginning to grow what many considered to be more fierce, and would eventually develop into a full-scale galaxy wide conflict. The Alsakan Union, desperate for a new leader to make sure the Republic didn't overwhelm them in this time of what was considered to be uncertainty, were perceived to have 'rushed' their decision in the eyes of many Alsakans. This was supposedly evident in their eyes by the way that the choice, a Jintu Priest named Van Tien, was a male. The Alsakan religion, in worship of the deity Shalharra, focused around the importance of women in the religious side of Alsakan society, and so the election of a man to the position of leader was considered to be a surprise to most. Many were critical of the Alsakan leader from the start, and when Van Tien oversaw the attacks on Ruan, Metellos and Bessimir, and was behind the considered disastrous results, more questions began to arise as to Van Tien's position. With CDR-382, leader of the attack on Metellos, being captured, in addition to the leaders of the attack on Metellos, the attack on Ruan was the only partially successful one. Van Tien, however, was perceived to have lost his nerve, and so instructed Venator Furtificus, leader of the attack, only to bomb the planet.
With the leaders of two of the missions being in Republic detention centres, those who were considered to have been large possibilities for dissenters against Van Tien were unable to assist in any sort of movement. Venator Furtificus, however, had known CDR-382 on a personal level, having served on a number of missions alongside him. Having been the only successful leader of any attack, Venator was both angry that his life had been risked in what the Union now considered to have been a foolhardy gesture, and was also angry that, with victory in sight, Venator had been instructed not to take the planet. Now with an increased skepticism of Van Tien and his ideas, Venator began loosely investigating the possibility of a coup which would see a change of power in the Alsakan Union. A coup would not only benefit Venator but would benefit the entire Union, making them far stronger in their combat against the Republic. Van Tien, however, had made sure that dissenters were dissuaded by what were considered to be harsh punishments, and most dissenters, or possible dissenters, were either in the prisons of the Republic or the Alsakan Union. This meant that Venator had to be increasingly careful when investigating people's allegiances, as one loose tongue may have allowed word to have got to Van Tien. This would have brought the whole plan and Venator down. The punishment for such a crime was, variably, death. Venator knew that, at least, he would face a long sentence in an Alsakan prison, most likely for the rest of his life. However, Venator felt that the risks were necessary, in order to 'save' the Union. After Van Tien engineered a ceasefire with the Republic which involved losing Coruscant, Venator began searching in earnest.
Admiral Dakar Claudius, however, had been serving with the Alsakan Union for all of his adult life. Now a veteran of numerous conflicts for the Alsakan Union, Claudius considered himself to be strictly dedicated to the Union and it's ideals, in addition to it's leader. Claudius, however, felt that Van Tien wasn't lawfully or rightfully the leader of the Alsakan Union, and felt he was merely an impostor, meaning that Claudius felt no qualms about his disloyalty to Van Tien. Dakar Claudius heard of Venator's plans through a 'middle man', who approached Venator and informed him that he had a contact who would be interested in his ventures. Meeting Claudius, Venator was surprised to have found a man of such power and loyalty to have been the 'contact', and at first saw it as a trap. Eventually, however, Claudius gained Venator's trust, and the two began planning for the idea of staging a coup. Initially, Venator wanted to wait until he'd set out on his planned mission to rescue CDR-382 from the Republic detention center on Ord Vaug, however Dakar Claudius managed to eventually convince Venator that 'time was of the essence', and the coup couldn't be postponed until CDR-382 was rescued and ready, which could have taken a substantial amount of time. At first, Venator was considered to have reluctantly agreed, however grew with enthusiasm at the idea as the two began making plans for the coup, and making plans for the Alsakan Union once Van Tien was dead.
- "What we've discovered is this: There are men in the Alsakan Union trying to kill you. And the leaders of these men? None other than Venator Furtificus and Dakar Claudius."
- —Venator Furtificus to Van Tien
The two men called Van Tien to the Ascendance, an Alsakan warship disguised as a crippled wreck, under the pretence of having a highly important revelation to divulge to him. As such, Van Tien, believing both men were still loyal, agreed to come, coming alone as he wished to hear the so called revelation alone. Furtificus and Claudius had ensured that the ship was positioned too far from mainstream Alsakan space for any of the ships on patrol to possibly arrive and rescue the leader of the Alsakan Union, whilst they'd also ensured that all the officers on board the ship were also loyal to them. This was considered a painstaking process that involved approaching each one individually, taking some weeks. Upon Van Tien's arrival, he was instructed to come to the command room of the ship, which had been specially modified to the instructions of Claudius and Furtificus. The modifications ensured that Van Tien was unable to overwhelm them. Venator informed Van Tien that standing on a certain spot and speaking a voice code would activate a terminal to inform him of the 'revelation'. Believing them, Van Tien did as he was asked. However the voice code, when coupled with Venator's, instead triggered a cage which trapped him in his place. Confined as he was, Venator and Dakar proceeded to tell Van Tien of what they were planning to do.
First settling for soaking the carpet of the cage in oil, the cage was set alight with Van Tien remaining inside, Venator having chosen to go for a sadistic method of killing the leader of the Alsakan Union rather than a more practical, quick method. Van Tien capitalized on the time he'd been given by Venator's method to activate the auto-turrets which, despite the care taken by Furtificus and Claudius, had still held an inbuilt override switch Van Tien could activate, unbeknown to the two men. Activating them, Furtificus was forced to pull himself and Claudius down to take cover behind a table, inadvertently breaking Claudius' arm in the process. Claudius' age, combined with his poor health, meant that this ensured Claudius would no longer be able to assist in the coup, and so was forced to remain taking cover. Destroying the turrets, Venator found Van Tien, during the time, had rolled upon the flames to extinguish them, despite suffering burns himself. Venator, assuming he was dead, approached with only relative caution, and so when Van Tien drew a pistol and fired upon Venator he was forced to leap away before drawing his own weapons, and opening fire. Van Tien, trapped as he was, could only avoid the first shots enough to ensure he survived, however was injured. Denouncing Claudius and Furtificus, Van Tien proceeded to take his own life rather than suffer what he considered to be the injustice of being killed by the 'traitors'.
Nearby, however, Alsakan Admiral Trenl Alicibades Athunia was taking his ship to Van Tien, however had been informed by his contacts in Xenvaer that Van Tien was instead aboard the Ascendance. Making a trip to the Ascendance instead, he demanded entry to Van Tien on board. Rather than risking the secrecy of their mission before they were ready, or making themselves in possibly more danger, Claudius and Furtificus accepted. Boarding, Athunia witnessed the last moments before death of Van Tien, however considered himself not to be a major fan of Van Tien. Rather than turn the two traitors in, Athunia realized they held considerable support in the Union, and so demanded a position which would see him holding considerable power in the 'new order'. Accepting, with little other choice, Athunia was linked in with the other conspirators on board the Ascendance, who proceeded to remove Van Tien's body from the ship and steer it back towards Alsakan space, with the thought of insuring the 'new order' was moved in quickly and efficiently, before the ceasefire Van Tien had engineered with the Republic ended, or they realized he was dead and ended it prematurely.
- "...we are removing this blasphemer of the Jintu Church. He has no authority of Shalharra, he can not hear her voice! Yet he still leads us, postponing the search for a new Vicar in his desperate plead to stay in power. Tell no one of what you have seen here, in order to help us transition into a more secure nation. One with a bright future, and a clear direction, illuminated by Shalharra herself."
- —Dakar Claudius.
Returning to Xenvaer, the three conspirators found the death of Van Tien had reached ahead of them, Van Tien having found some sort of way of alerting those back on Xenvaer. The military, however, had opted to stand behind the actions of two Admirals and a Major, both out of loyalty and as they themselves believed in the cause of the conspirators. The Jintu Church, however, although a large proportion had been opposed to Van Tien, still contained many of Van Tien's supporters, who were desperate for the execution of the conspirators for treason, in Xenvaer as was the tradition. The military, however, refused to give over two of their own without better reasons, Dakar Claudius being considered the de facto leader of the Alsakan navy. Van Tien's supporters, however, were more occupied with what was fast becoming a schism within the Jintu Church, with the supporters of Van Tien arguing with those who were against him, and in favour of bringing in a new leader without judgement. After much discussion, the decision was finally reached to elect a new Vicar, with no question as to their rightfulness to take the position, and the decision being placed solely into the new Vicar's hands. Van Tien's supporters pledged their support behind one of their own candidates, hoping for 'justice' to be brought to the conspirators.
Van Tien's supporters, however, were split between two candidates, and so those who hadn't supported Van Tien eventually elected a new Vicar, Halla Aneem, who dismissed the case against the conspirators who'd assassinated Van Tien, treating them as men who'd done the right thing and pledged their full support behind the Union. Although Van Tien's supporters were outraged at such a decision, they themselves were loyal to the Alsakan Union and to the Vicar, and so reluctantly agreed with her decision. In the wake of this, the 'new order' envisioned from the start by Dakar Claudius and Venator Furtificus was implemented, with vast changes to the rank system and positions of various members of the Alsakan Union. The Vicar herself, like Lharra, was young, just thirteen years of age, however her advisers oversaw the transition, ensuring it was peaceful.
In the 'new order', Dakar Claudius was promoted to Supreme Commander of the army of the Alsakan Union, with Venator Furtificus and Trenl Alicibades Athunia being promoted to the position of Admirals, members of Alsakan High Command and so advisers to both Claudius and to the new Vicar herself. With Van Tien having had a large legacy upon the Alsakan Union, in what most considered to be a negative way, the Alsakan Union began to, once again, strengthen itself in the wake of Van Tien's assassination.
- "Why would the Alsakans violate the ceasefire? I’ll tell you why: because we continued it. They’ve been the aggressors from the start. Their invasion of Coruscant was unprovoked and came out of nowhere. They wanted the war, not us. They let us continue it this long to lull us into a false sense of security, and when the moment was right they struck!"
- —Alcor Bac, to the Republic Senate.
The Alsakan Union, with new leaders, set about repairing what they saw as "damage" done by Van Tien. The Senate of the Republic, after the death of Supreme Chancellor Relana Isolde Tanoor, convened to discuss the terrorist attack on the planet Metellos. Many orbital stations had fallen from the sky in a terrorist attack that killed many people. With no proof as to who it had been who had committed the attack, many in the Senate initially blamed the Alsakan Union. Alcor Bac, the Senator of Alderaan, was one of those who blamed the Union. Despite the little evidence to support the claims, the Senate decided that it had been the Union who had committed the terrorist attacks. Meanwhile, amongst the Union, Claudius' growing health problems saw him retire from the position of Supreme Commander. Recommending Furtificus as the best choice for the role of Supreme Commander, the Vicar accepted the recommendation and promoted Venator to the position of Supreme Commander.
Aurelius Knite, of the Galactic Republic, was commanded to retaliate against the Alsakans for the terrorist attack the Senate had decided they had committed. With the fleet of the Alsakan Union being depleted from the time of Van Tien, the Republic fleet was vastly superior. Knite led the fleet to the Alsakan capital city of Xenvaer, and demanded the immediate surrender of the Alsakan Union. The Union refused.
Behind the scenes
The assassination of Van Tien, or Showdown on the Ascendance, was Role-Played on the Star Wars RP, in the Alsakan Crisis timeline which spanned over 2007 and 2008. Van Tien, a character Role Played by the user known as 'Cailst', became leader of the Alsakan Union after the former leader, Solus resigned from her position, her own Vicar having been assassinated shortly before. Cailst's character, Van Tien, was elected to be the next person to take on the position as leader of the Alsakan Union. As with the article on Star Wars Fanon, Cailst did plan the disastrous three pronged attack on Ruan, Metellos and Bessimir, with such characters as CDR-382, a character Role Played by former administrator Mulluns, being captured. In addition, the two attacks other than Venator's were also a failure and, in the site also, Venator was also ordered to only cripple the planet, and not to invade and colonize it.
After such an attack, Van Tien had ensured that the Alsakan Union was no longer at the strength that was considered necessary for it to be one of the major combatants of the timeline. As such, the staff decided that a ceasefire period was needed, and so Edward Oliver, staff member and leader of the Republic, offered the Alsakan Union a ceasefire which, in character, they had to accept. Part of this deal, however, was that Coruscant would be returned to the hands of the Republic which, on top of the other events, angered multiple members of the site with Alsakan characters.
Thomas Rattim, Role Player of Venator Furtificus, was, with just what was now a lieutenant colonel, pretty much what remained of the active Alsakan High Command, and so began to concoct plans to depose Cailst with Dakar, a former Role Play administrator and the Role Player of Dakar Claudius. Although the discussion were also held with Mulluns, CDR-382's imprisonment meant he couldn't actively contribute. Although Rattim attempted to stall the attempt, as Venator did in character, the decision was eventually reached to go ahead with the attack anyway, and it commenced. Although the main body of the article was Role Played on the Star Wars RP, the aftermath wasn't particularly Role Played, and so some creative license was used by Rattim to some degree.
Notes and references