Random Thoughts About the Voinian Empire
I was conquering the Voinian Empire again today with my fleet of captured Dreadnoughts (just cause) when I got to thinking: If its an Empire , why don't we hear anything about an Emperor? And one thing led to another and I felt compelled to write my rambling thoughts down.
Sure, theres a lot of talk about Borb the Great, the military emperor who founded the early empire, but he's been dead for centuries by the time the game starts. Meanwhile, as far as the player can ascertain, the current empire seems to be run by the Grand Military Arm (hereafter to be referred to as the GMA) and the bureaucracy, without a mention of the emperor at all.
Is it that the current emperor is simply not noteworthy, or is all of the governing power invested in the admiralty? I concede the possibility that the player, being a 'lowly human', simply wouldn't notice anything of that sort of note, but I find it strange that its always "for the empire " rather than "for the emperor ". I hypothesize that, maybe, Borb left no successor and the Empire was left governed by a sort of military regency in his wake. Of course, I could be completely wrong.
Another curious thing is that the Voinian forces are apparently stretched thin between the war with the UE, the Emalgha, and "general peacekeeping throughout the empire". Note the last one--it was explicitly mentioned in the pre-acceptance descriptions for one of the missions in the Voinian string. Seems odd to me, seeing as piracy is virtually non-existant within Voinian space. Sure, theres always slave revolts, but the Voinians have proven that those are easy to suppress through orbital bombardment.
Why they resort to using ships, however, when those are so desperately needed on the front (and weapons platforms like Gualon Station seem to be more than adequate to maintain that threat) seems odd. Aside from the odd Frigate which the slaves manage to 'liberate' from time to time, there seems to be no good reason for it, and certainly not enough to justify the sheer amount of (semi-)mobile firepower the Voinians keep close at hand.
Reading between the lines a bit, I can't help but wonder if it is the Voinian population itself that the GMA is so afraid of. Even Monglek, a colony peopled entirely by Voinians, seems to maintain an unusually heavy military presence. What could possibly prompt such an extravagant distribution of assets when the empire is so badly pressed for firepower?
Could it be that the Voinian people are getting tired of the current regime? Certainly, conservative hard-liners would feel that things like using fighters and hiring alien mercenaries are far from how Borb's would have run things, and actually negotiating a cease fire after the Battle of Sol must have been a major political upset. No matter how they spun it, the fact remained that they failed to conquer as they intended. Likewise, progressives might even get to thinking that humanity's resistance is proof enough that the Voinian's 'divine right to rule' is fundamentally flawed (although these would definitely be in the minority).
The possibility of the GMA attempting to stymie a popular rebellion (or at the very least mask the empire's decay) seems all too real. Though most every Voinian loves Borb and the Empire, the GMA is, in a word, 'not Borb, and driving the empire into the ground'. In such a scenario, propaganda would play a big role, and Voinians are not known for their subtlety.
Again, I could be completely wrong.