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von Sprechen: Paranoid or Justifie

Karl von Sprechen: Out of Touch with People, Reality.
by Elena Vasquez, ESNN Political Correspondent

What was Karl von Sprechen thinking? That question has been asked and discussed in political circles around the Enigma Sector following the magnate's surprising, and at times alarming, press release. Is the Consortium in such dire shape that it needs to resort to boogeyman stories to scare its shattered constituency into order, or has von Sprechen himself finally lost touch with reality itself? To find our answer, we need to look back to last century, and the height of the Terran-Kilrathi War.

The von Sprechen family was carried into wealth and power on the back of the war movement. Their very success was dependent on the continuation of that awful conflict-- and it was with these riches paid in blood that young Karl von Sprechen lived the life of a debonair playboy while the world burned around him. According to sources within the family, that all changed in 2678 with the brutal public assassination of Fredrich IV, Karl's brother, in front of millions-- an act some attribute to agents of the Kilrathi Empire. "Karl became withdrawn and paranoid," according to one anonymous source. "He stopped going to clubs alone. He stopped disappearing for days at a time. He refused to be seen in public without his guards. In my opinion, the Kilrathi terrified him."

In fact, according to the memoirs of a long-time associate of von Sprechen's, "Karl wouldn't even deal with the Kats. Whenever Kilrathi business came up, I saw a dark, panicked side of him that quite frankly scared me. He became short and easily angered, but I could sense there was a deep-rooted fear somewhere behind his eyes." The book, which was censored by the Consortium on grounds of libel, went on to claim that "[von Sprechen] once confided in me that 'the Kats are going to come back and kill us all in our sleep one day-- just you wait'."

Paranoid, withdrawn, terrified, and sitting atop a business empire built over the tombstones of billions; is Karl von Sprechen falling apart? Has the scared little boy within him finally cut through the facade of a businessman? There aren't any Kilrathi fleets marauding their way through Enigma Sector. There aren't warships orbiting Vespus. I get my dresses hemmed by a Kilrathi tailor. The war is long over. The Kilrathi are our allies.

If von Sprechen thinks he can frighten us into rallying around him, he's wrong. But if these are instead the raving beliefs of a mad old man, the Consortium is in far worse shape than anybody thought.

(Posted March 31 2012 07:00 UTC)