A Veiled Betrayal
|A Veiled Betrayal|
|First published||3 July 2011|
|Era||Star League era|
|Timeline||17 June 2579|
|“||The Star League's war against the Periphery touched hundreds of worlds--but the Star League's were not the only interested hands. Sometimes the League's invasion merely provided the opportunity.||”|
In 2579, a team of FWL NIA agents infiltrates the city of Qurtuba on the Magistracy of Canopus world of Eleusis, hoping to win the world via political dealmaking with the Sultan of Eleusis, rather than armed invasion. The Qurtuba region is dominated by an Islamic theocracy, which has been chafing under the dominion of the Magistracy (Qurtuban fundamentalist Islam and Canopian Hellenism/matriarchy being a poor fit). The NIA agents find Qurtuba’s culture restrictive, but hold out hope of winning the world away from the Canopians without bloodshed.
The NIA agents meet with a representative of planetary ruler Sultan Hossein al-Bury, who admits hatred of the Canopians but notes great cultural similarities between the FWL and MoC, and asks why the Eleusians should exchange one infidel oppressor for another. The NIA team promises complete local autonomy as part of the FWL. The Sultan’s representative agrees, in principle, to allying with the Star League infidels to fight the Canopian infidels, pending the Sultan’s approval.
However, before a formal deal can be concluded, a Canopian street preacher provokes a riot that turns into a massacre, prompting a spontaneous general uprising in Qurtuba against the Canopian garrison. The Sultan is taken hostage by the MoC forces. In the confusion, the NIA agents manage to extricate themselves from the city and report the mission as a failure – control of Eleusis will be decided by war, rather than intrigue.