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|President of the Rim Collection|
Willliam Roberts was a town councilman on the planet Gillfillan's Gold, a former Rim Worlds Republic world close to the Periphery border of the Lyran Commonwealth. Roberts was also a devoted believer in the cause of the Unification Movement, a political movement on Gillfillan's Gold and a number of other nearby former Republic worlds; members of the Unification Movement - also known as Unionists - were supporters of the idea that a number of nearby worlds should band together to form a new nation, in an effort to create the opportunity for those living on the worlds to enjoy greater prosperity rather than a simple, constant struggle to survive.
Although a number of the worlds had attempted to form alliances with one another at various points, negotiations had always failed, and the Unionist cause languished in the 3020s and 3030s. The turning point would come when Roberts met a new arrival on Gillfillan's Gold: exiled University of Regulus professor James Moroney.
March To Unification
Moroney arrived on Gillfillan's Gold in 3041 with his family, and began attempting to live a simple life as a farmer. Moroney and Roberts became friends, and Moroney might have lived the remainder of his life in obscurity if not for Roberts discovering vidtapes of one of Moroney's public lectures. Roberts discovered the tapes while on a trade mission in the Lyran Commonwealth in 3043, and was deeply impressed by Moroney's eloquence and his beliefs. Moroney was a passionate believer in the idea of the inalienable right to self-determination for all people, and his public speeches and lectures on the subject had seen him exiled from the Free Worlds League and the Federated Commonwealth.
In Moroney, Roberts saw the kind of talented and inspirational speaker needed to give the Unification Movement the public attention it needed. The Unification Movement had suffered from the lack of a skilled speaker, and while Moroney was initially resistant to the idea, Roberts ultimately convinced him to join the Unionist cause after Moroney saw their dedication to their cause and the desperate need for a way of elevating life on the various planets to more than a struggle for simple survival.
Moroney began traveling from world to world in the region, speaking passionately and eloquently in favor of the Unification Movement cause. Between 3044 and 3046 he helped increase popular support for the Unionist cause, which began to sway opinion in its favor, despite a number of concerns among the independently-minded natives. One of the major concerns about unification was the likelihood that it would lead to increased pirate and bandit raids, a plague that already afflicted the worlds, and which they wouldn't be able to oppose as a state because of a lack of resources to employ a military capable of defending the various worlds. A devastating pirate raid on Otisberg in 3046 highlighted this risk in dramatic fashion, and nearly derailed the Unionist cause.
The breakthrough came with the arrival of Able's Aces on Gillfillan's Gold, looking to recover from a bitter contract dispute with the Federated Commonwealth. The unit commander, Major Jerry Able, attended a lecture given by Moroney, and was so impressed that he brought his entire unit to hear Moroney speak again the next night. Able persuaded his unit to sign on to protect the various worlds, and tracked down Moroney and Roberts to pitch for the Aces becoming a voluntary part of what would become the Rim Collection Militia, whilst also working to train local militia forces. Moroney and Roberts accepted the offer enthusiastically, and publicized the offer extensively. By the end of 3047, they had widespread support, and in 3048 the Rim Collection came into being with the Rim Collection Charter, unifying the worlds of All Dawn, Caldarium, Gillfillan's Gold, Otisberg, Slewis and Waypoint into a new nation.
The Rim Collection
The Rim Collection was established around a government structure whereby the population of each world elected a representative to the Council of Planets, with the entire Collection population voting to elect someone to the post of President. Moroney was elected as the first President by unanimous acclamation.
As President, Moroney was a keen advocate of increased central government control, as the huge degree of autonomy given to the various worlds initially left growth sluggish; Moroney argued for a temporary expansion of his powers as President, so that he could work to expand the Collection economy more quickly. Progress and economic growth had been slowed by the tendency of representatives for the individual worlds to put the interests of their own worlds first; Moroney argued for more central control temporarily to boost economic growth, and ensure that the benefits of this were shared equally by all of the worlds. The result was a political firestorm, with opinion sharply divided among the population and with the majority of the Council of Planets opposed to Moroney, while local politicians and business leaders favored the proposal. Roberts was one of those opposed to Moroney's views, and would remain so until Moroney's death.
In 3060, with arguments in full swing, Moroney was assassinated via a massive car bomb that struck the Presidential motorcade, killing him and dozens of innocent civilians. Those who killed Moroney intended for his death to bury his ideas for good; instead, Roberts was elected President with a considerable majority, and while he had opposed Moroney's ideas, his discovery that powerful planetary councilmen were blocking the investigation into Moroney's death led to a profound change of heart on his part. Drawing on staunch backing from Able's Aces and the same local political and business leaders he had been opposing, Roberts enacted martial law for six months and rebuilt the government of the Collection from the ground up. While martial law was in place Roberts worked hard to highlight the benefits of Moroney's ideas, and put himself on the line by calling for new elections three months after he lifted martial law. Roberts won the election once again, and was re-elected President in mid-3061, with his term of office due to end in January 3068. Roberts remained clear on his intention to retire as the end of his term drew near.
Under Roberts' rule, the Collection's interstellar trade expanded considerably through increased exports and the re-opening of the world of Hunter's Paradise. Unfortunately, while Roberts was a shrewd man and an able politician and leader, he didn't make adequate provision for if something should happen to him. Despite the eruption of the Jihad, the Rim Collection had been making steady progress towards a considerably improved standard of living for its people, at a level that was rare among Periphery worlds. When Roberts died unexpectedly in 3069, the lack of preparation for an orderly succession nearly destroyed the progress made by the Collection under the ten years of his presidency. The various planetary and Council representatives vying for the Presidency became increasingly aggressive in their political maneuverings, coming close to actual violence. It was only the mediation and hard work of Elian Whitney that defused the situation, ultimately leading to Whitney being sworn in as President.
Titles and Ranks
|President of the Rim Collection
3060 to 3061
3061 to 3069
| Succeeded by|
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 173-174, "Beginnings"
- The Periphery, Second Edition, p. 70-72, "Rim Collection"
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 174-175, "Coming of Age"
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 175, "Economics"
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 17B, "Hunter's Paradise"
- Masters & Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, p. 231, "Elian Whitney"