[LMB] Gregor - All grown up

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Thu Jan 5 15:05:57 GMT 2017

Now the next time we see Gregor he's Emperor. To the surprise of quite a
few people (except those who knew him) Aral didn't grab the throne,
instead stepping down to become Prime Minister when Gregor turned 20.

Gregor followed the regular High Vor track - at 12 he went to a High Vor boys'
school, managing to make a few friends (I think he met Henri Vorvolk there
- another child-Count. A few years younger than Gregor, but I wonder if they
carpooled from school to the CoC when they had to be at the Council in
person.) Gregor probably enjoyed having age-mates, but hated the crawling
from the ones who saw him as a useful contact. History lessons would have
been interesting, too.

After school he went to the Academy, of course. Very Vor. Then a year of

pretending to be a normal young officer in the Fleet, but it was just too much

of a farce. I think this is when it really began to hit home that he wasn't ever
going to be one of the guys, he was always isolated and special, and any
dreams he had of doing something heroic, or of being a real officer, died.

After that bitter pill he turned 20, Aral gave the Empire back and became
Prime Minister, and in many ways things went on as they had before. More

ceremonial duties, but most of the real stuff went to Aral and Simon.

Gregor was increasingly frustrated, he hungered to prove himself, and to
step out of the very large Aralish shadow that covered him. Sick of old men
telling what to do, or what he couldn't do.

And into this turmoil slithered Vordrozda. He HAD done the Imperial conga,
he knew exactly what the order of inheritance was, and he worked out a very
neat way to jump the queue. He started feeding Gregor a nice line in
flattery, telling him all the things he wanted to hear, and slowly supplanting
Aral as Gregor's closest advisor.

Miles made it so easy. What was the plan if Miles hadn't built his own fleet?
Would Vordrozda have made a power grab, did he have another plan that
was adjusted to cover the Dendarii? Or did the news of Miles's fleet kick him
into greater ambition?  I think his first steps were designed to cover up
some dirty dealings with Fleet allocations, and then suddenly he had a huge

opportunity, and that list of 'people with a claim on the throne' lit up in
his head. And after that it was connect the dots - send Ivan to Miles, that
takes both of them out. Blame/frame Aral for it all, that's him down. Vordarian
is gone. That leaves... ohhh yes. All he needed after that was a little Imperial
accident - lightflyer crash, poisoned mushrooms, whatever - and it's hello
Emperor Vordrozda.

And where was Gregor in all this? He sat there and allowed it all to happen
around him. But the thing is.... Miles really did commit treason. He really did
go off to Beta for a holiday, and suddenly he had a fleet of ships. Who would
believe that he did that on his own? Surely Aral, the tactical genius, the Admiral,
had used his contacts to build a fleet of his own and then sent his son to take
control. Or at least to carry a message. Then Ivan disappears, and is rumoured
to be out there with the fleet as well. Both heirs, with an illegal fleet of ships.
It was treason. It broke Vorlopoulos's law. And nobody could believe that two
clumsy kids did it all, it had to have Aral's hand in it. And he had those Betan
contacts, through his grandmother and his wife... what new Betan weapons
might be on those ships, ready to come back to take power? Maybe he
regretted giving power back to Gregor. Maybe he was going to take Komarr
again and build his own empire...

No way of knowing. And hard to deny when there really WAS a fleet. So

what would have happened? Would Gregor have executed Miles? Would
Aral have sat and watched his son die, chained to a post, starving slowly?

And why doesn't anyone worry more about what Cordelia would have done?
At some point she would have stopped waiting and worrying, and done

something. She was frozen, loving them all, waiting to see it resolved, but if
it got down to chains and posts, Cordelia wouldn't have sat and done nothing.

Instead, Miles swept back triumphantly, ripped Vordrozda's plot apart, ditto
Vordrozda, pretty much. And then handed Gregor the solution to the
slightly embarrassing problem of Miles's treason (his first treason, ah, it's
special. Followed later by several other technical treasons, but after a while
everyone stopped counting.)

And then it was all over, Aral was running things again, Miles and Ivan were
at the Academy, and Gregor was alone in the Residence. Lying there at
night, in the dark, wondering just how much DNA he shared with Yuri.
Knowing that his young cousins were far more successful at having
adventures - Miles made a whole fleet and fought a war, Ivan managed to
charm (that's one word for it) his way across the Nexus and through a war
zone to find Miles, as easily as he'd stroll across Vorbarr Sultana to go to
out for coffee. Knowing that he, Gregor, would have killed most of his
own relatives. He'd signed death warrants on them. He'd believed that
Miles, fanatically loyal Miles, was a traitor. Ivan and Aral too. He had to
face Simon every day, after throwing the man in prison for doing his job.
And he had to face them all, and the CoC, and everyone else, (and
Cordelia and Alys), knowing that they all knew he'd fallen for a smooth
line in flattery, and thrown his family away. All of that running through
his mind every night, alone in the dark.

No wonder he's gloomy most of the time.

Gregor really wasn't a happy puppy for the first few years of his emperoring.
And he wasn't much use, or very good at it, either. Mostly a glove puppet
for Aral, feeling frustrated and way too limited. And embarrassed. And
inadequate. And gloomy.

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