Boris Marik

Boris Marik (born 2689[1] - died 2736[1]), was the twenty-eighth Captain-General[2] of the Free Worlds League.[3]

Biography[edit]

Early History[edit]

Boris Marik was the son of Oliver Marik, the representative from New Delos to the Free Worlds League Parliament[4][2] and son of Captain-General Gerald Marik. After the death of Gerald Marik Boris' aunt Elise Marik assumed the Captain-Generalcy and launched an increasingly paranoid and dictatorial investigation into her father's death, convinced that Gerald had been poisoned as part of a conspiracy or plot. Elise's campaign to find those guilty of treason increasingly infringed on civil liberties and due process and faced a degree of opposition within Parliament. Boris' father was one of the most vocal and determined of those parliamentarians who opposed Elise, but after Elise received Parliamentary assent to confiscate the holdings of Kazana Thermotronics in 2704 following accusations of their involvement in a scheme to steal Free Worlds technological secrets made by a single paid informant[4] Oliver resigned his seat in Parliament and fled with Boris to the world of Procyon in the Terran Hegemony.[4][2]

Procyon[edit]

While living on Procyon Boris became a notably accomplished individual; he won a platinum medal at the Procyon Olympics in 2712 for his abilities as a champion swordsman, in 2714 he had a paper on progressive calculus published by the Procyon University Mathematical Review journal and at the age of 24 he founded his own publishing house, a publishing house that grew to be the third largest book publishing house on the planet within twelve years of its founding.[5]

Civil War[edit]

Elise's purge of the Free Worlds League became increasingly extreme and wide-ranging, as Oliver had feared. With the number of purported traitors being found increasing from hundreds, to thousands, to tens of thousands, high-ranking government officials and Parliamentary support staff under constant surveillance and businesses and news outlets being shut down on the flimsiest of evidence Oliver found himself being courted as an alternative Captain-General to his sister.[4] In 2724,[4][2] at the height of Elise's purge[4] a number of influential Free Worlds opposition leaders[4][2] fled to Procyon[4] and attempted to persuade Oliver to declare himself Council Lord, although Oliver was unwilling to do so[4][2] due to his firm belief in both civil liberties and due process.[2]

By 2728[6][2][1] Elise had convinced the majority of Parliament that she was insane,[6] and Parliament responded by declaring the crisis to be over and ending Elise's tenure as Captain-General.[6][2][1] Elise responded by declaring that Parliament itself had become a threat to state security, and in February[6] 2729[6][2] she personally led a crack military force to Parliament,[6] dissolving the assembly and arresting a third of the Parliamentarians[2][2] on charges of subversion. Following Elise's attack on Parliament Atreus dissolved into open chaos and rebellion in the streets.[6]

Elise's actions in dissolving Parliament proved too much for Oliver; appalled at Elise's abuse of power, he left Procyon[6][2] six weeks later[6] on the 23rd of March[2] along with Boris and the other Parliamentarians who had gone into exile, travelling to the[6][2] Winter[2] palace of the Duke of the Duchy of Oriente on Calloway VI.[6][2] Once in place, Oliver summoned the remaining members of Parliament;[6] Parliament then confirmed Oliver as the new Free Worlds League Council Lord,[6][2][1] having used proxy votes for those members of Parliament currently imprisoned by Elise.[6] Parliament also confirmed Boris as the new Captain-General.[6][2][1]

Parliament's decision sparked civil war within the Free Worlds League; Elise had ten of the twelve regiments of the Marik Militia available to call on, along with the resources available to SAFE.[6] She also had the support of House Stewart,[6][2] one of whom - Aldrich Stewart - was Director of Safe,[6] and the support of the Principality of Regulus[6][2] through House Schenk, the family appointed to rule the Principality by Gerald Marik. Despite the support for Elise, the two factions were surprisingly closely matched; the two Marik Militia regiments located on New Delos and McKenna both declared their support for Oliver and the parliament,[6] and joining the Duke of Oriente[6][2] in supporting Oliver and Boris were the Duchy of Andurien[6][2] and the Dukes of Carbonis and Kalidasa. Bloody fighting soon erupted on a number of worlds as the local forces divided against themselves.[6]

Elise's first military gambit was to dispatch an expeditionary force to attack Oriente,[6][2] hoping to crush the rebellion at its source; having underestimated the resources available to Oliver and Boris her force was easily repulsed,[6] and Boris promptly launched a two-pronged attack on the Regulan front, led by himself and Duke Martin Humphreys, the Duke of Andurien.[6][2]

When a large portion of Elise's forces were lured[6] to Helios Minor[6][2] to suppress a native uprising[6] forces led by Oliver[2] captured the spaceport on Atreus[6] and after thirty-six hours of combat managed to capture Elise and her personal guard.[6][2] The Parliamentarians were unable to turn Elise's capture into a decisive victory, however; her son, Bertram, was an experienced military commander in his own right and swiftly rallied the loyalist forces and launched a desert battle on Ariel that repulsed a rebel invasion force.[6][2]

For the next five years the civil war would remain a bogged-down and bloody stalemate;[6][2] both the Capellan Confederation and the Lyran Commonwealth called on the Star League to intervene to end the crisis, but their calls were motivated by a desire to annex Free Worlds border systems during any intervention, a motivation that First Lord[6] Jonathan Cameron[1] saw clearly. Cameron refused to intervene, declaring that the civil war was an internal matter, and the Star League Council attempted to continue business as usual while keeping the Free Worlds League seat vacant.[6]

Boris was a superb commander and was responsible for many of the victories earned by the Parliamentarian forces, but he was unable to hold back the forces commanded by the equally-determined Bertram.[7] The balance of the war shifted in favor of the loyalists in 2733, and by February[6] 2734[6][6][2][1] Bertram had managed to reach Atreus and free Elise from captivity,[6][2][1] although it soon became clear that her mind was broken and that she was incapable of resuming a leadership role.[6][2] Aware of the cost of the civil war and the likely cost of resolving the conflict through battle,[6] Bertram sent envoys to Oriente to treat with Oliver and attempt to negotiate an end to the war.[6][2]

Oliver was sick of war himself and in failing health; he was unwilling to consign himself to history as the man who destroyed the Free Worlds League, a nation that he loved dearly, and he responded swiftly to Bertram's envoys. Bertram and Oliver travelled to the planet Tiber in May and began negotiations. The two factions faced a number of difficult decisions; Parliament was adamant that the traditional political structure had to be restored and that the right of individuals to dissent had to be reaffirmed, but the Loyalists were equally determined that their leader be recognised as the rightful holder of the Council seat and that the instigators of the rebellion be punished.[6]

Each made painful concessions in the name of peace; the final agreement saw Betram agree to reinstate Parliament, to grant a general amnesty to those who had joined the rebel cause, and to make a public admission that Elise had made mistakes and over-stepped her authority. In exchange, Oliver agreed that Parliament would confirm Bertram as Captain-General and the Star League Council Lord, and that he would surrender himself for trial. Bertram promised limited sentences to Boris and the other leaders of the rebellion, and on the 20th of May the Treaty of Verona was signed, formally ending the rebellion.[6][2]

Oliver was tried and executed in July of 2734[6] with his head held high;[2] as the perceived "junior partner" in the rebellion[7] Boris was sentenced to imprisonment.[6][7] Parliament was reconvened on Atreus that October.[6]

Death and Legacy[edit]

Boris was incarcerated in a prison in Atreus City. Details of his incarceration were published in at least one book - "The Mariks: House of Steel, House of Dreams", by Genevieve Dalton in 3022. Norton stated that in deference to Boris' distinguished contributions to publishing he was provided with all of the books, vidtapes and other information resources he needed, and that during the course of his incarceration he built up a library that was rumored to be the third largest private library and so large that it filled six prison cells.[5]

Apparently spending up to eighteen hours a day studying, Boris published numerous writings on history and philosophy that became well-known during his incarceration. He also heard vague rumours through the prison grapevine that he was going to be the target of an assassination attempt; Boris believed in Bertram Marik's good faith, but he was also well aware that the Atreus Cit prison was as violent as any other prison, and convicts had every reason to fear for their safety. The rumors were later proved to be false, but before Boris could learn this he received warnings written in pencil smuggled in on some of the documents he had requested that convicts were being sent to kill him. Faced with a difficult choice and an apparently clear threat, Boris couldn't go to the prison authorities for fear that they were involved in any assassination attempt, nor could he simply wait for an attack that could arrive at any time.[5]

Faced with few choices, Boris decided to escape; his ill-conceived escape attempt was made on a moonless night[5] in 2736[5][7] via a drainage pipe. Boris was spotted from one of the prison watchtowers, and the prison authorities dispatched forces to wait by the river where the pipe emerged. When Boris emerged and attempted to run, he was shot without warning[5] by sharpshooters.[5][7]

Despite Boris' ignoble death, his greatest legacy would prove to be one that he would have remained ignorant of even if he had lived; during his time in prison he noticed that some of his books were growing mould. Boris moved the books to a different location, only to discover that not only did the mould subsequently died but that it had done no damage to the books. After a period of several weeks experimenting with the mould and the paper available to him, he discovered that the mould only grew in light of a particular frequency, and that it used that light to produce its own food in what appeared to be a close variant of photosynthesis. Through accident and subsequent observation Boris had discovered a new form of protozoa unique to Atreus. A supplementary lab report published after Boris' death detailed various medicinal properties possessed by the mould, properties which would be used to great effect in 2938 during the Eleusis crisis, fighting an epidemic on a newly-settled world on the far reaches of the Free Worlds League. Boris' final legacy was a discovery tha two hundred years after his death would save the lives of colonists on a planet he knew nothing about.[5]

Notes[edit]

  • The dates for which Boris served as Captain-General are reported inconsistently. Handbook: House Marik confirms that the Parliament met on Calloway VI and confirmed Oliver Marik as the Free Worlds League representative on the Star League Council and Boris Marik as the Captain-General in 2729.[1] This date is intimated but not specifically confirmed by House Marik (The Free Worlds League).[6] Handbook: House Marik then contradicts this date by stating that Boris served as Captain-General for four years between 2731 and 2734.[7] This confusion in dates may be due to the League effectively having two Captain-Generals at the same time - Elise Marik and Boris Marik - each acting under an unclear perogative. It may also be a reflection of Elise Marik being captured in 2730, with the assumption being that Boris became Captain-General after the date of Elise's capture, although Parliament had been dissolved forcibly in 2729 for stripping Elise of the title of Captain-General in 2728.[1]
  • The period in which Oliver and Boris Marik served as Council Lord and Captain-General respectively marks the only occasion where the two posts were both held by different individuals who operated seperately.[8]

Succession[edit]

Preceded by
Elise Marik (first term)
Captain-General of the Free Worlds League
2731 - 2734



Succeeded by
Elise Marik (second term)

References[edit]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Handbook: House Marik, p. 31, "Timeline: Serpent in Eden"
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34 2.35 Handbook: House Marik, p. 27-28, "Descent"
  3. Handbook House Marik, p. 88
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 House Marik (The Free Worlds League), p. 23, "Like Father, Like Daughter"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 House Marik (The Free Worlds League), p. 25, "Boris Marik, Man of Destiny"
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19 6.20 6.21 6.22 6.23 6.24 6.25 6.26 6.27 6.28 6.29 6.30 6.31 6.32 6.33 6.34 6.35 6.36 6.37 6.38 6.39 6.40 6.41 6.42 6.43 6.44 6.45 6.46 6.47 House Marik (The Free Worlds League), p. 24, "Oliver the Usurper"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Handbook: House Marik, p. 88, "Boris Marik"
  8. Handbook: House Marik, p. 78, "The Captain-General"

Bibliography[edit]