The Manpower Incident, as it came to be known, occurred in Chicago on Earth in Febuary 1914 PD.

It started with a plot to assassinate former Legislaturalist Admiral Amos Parnell and former Legislaturalist Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Havenite ambassador to Earth Ronald Bergren, and ended with the exposure and ruin of a very large number of people who, it turned out, had close ties and repulsive dealings with Manpower, Inc. and its products and services. Quite a number of Manticoran peers were also deeply involved, sometimes directly and financially, with Manpower.

Details Edit

Assassination plans Edit

Following his escape from the Havenite prison planet Hades with Admiral Honor Harrington and her crew, Admiral Parnell was sent to the Solarian League by Manticore to expose the Committee of Public Safety as the true perpetrators of the Harris Assassination on Haven, and to testify before the Committee on Human Rights on the treatment of prisoners on Hades. The local State Security chief, General Raphael Durkheim, devised a complicated plot to have Mesan agents assassinate Parnell,[1] as well as the Havenite Ambassador to Earth, while implicating a Manticoran embassy official (via a kidnapped family member).

The plot revolved around the idea that Manpower Incorporated was out for revenge.[2] The hope was that, since Haven itself had a policy of anti-slavery, no one would suspect Havenite involvement with Mesa.[3] (HHA3.3: FtH)

Abduction of Helen Zilwicki Edit

The Sacred Band, chosen by Mesa to carry out the plot, kidnapped Helen Zilwicki, daughter of Anton Zilwicki, who they believed to be a mere Manticoran Embassy official. Actually, Anton was seconded from the Royal Navy's Office of Naval Intelligence and not merely a Naval attache at all. Embassy officials evaluated the kidnapping as an attempt by someone (probably Haven) to turn Zilwicki into a disinformation conduit, and forbade Zilwicki from taking action on his own. He understood their idea to be unworkable and set off using unofficial channels to rescue his daughter. While investigating, he inadvertently discovered that both the Manticoran Ambassador and the local Senior Naval Attache (Admiral Young) were closely involved with Manpower Incorporated.[4]

Anton Zilwicki, along with Master Robert Tye, turned to Catherine Montaigne, Countess of the Tor, a strong supporter of the Anti-Slavery League, and thought to be in contact with the Audubon Ballroom (a group of former Mesan slaves dedicated to eradicating Manpower and anyone else involved in the genetic slavery trade by any means necessary), the only group Zilwicki knew could track down his daughter in the dens of Chicago.  Zilwicki offered them a chance at real justice, using the information he had obtained by hacking the records of Admiral Young and the Manticoran Ambassador, and by seizing documents from the local Manpower office. Jeremy X, leader of the Ballroom, promised cooperation, and even promised that the Ballroom would refrain from assassinating the Manticoran members of the list, leaving them to be tried and destroyed by public opinion and the Manticoran courts.

Helen escaped from her Scrag captors, who delayed several hours before reporting to Mesa that she was gone. Durkeim worked out a plan to locate her and recover the position, by providing technological help to the Scrags. Kevin Usher, a local PN Marine Colonel, had been in contact with Jeremy X, and provided him with the details of the plot, after having been contacted by Victor Cachat, Durkheim's naive but dedicated fall guy agent. Usher and Cachat planned to turn the tables on Durkheim. When Durkheim tasked Cachat with rescuing Helen[5], Cachat put the plan into motion. He opened fire in the sewers, slaughtering his SS escorts and the Sacred Band members who had accompanied them. Helen, who had discovered two children in the catacombs (Lars and Berry), was reunited with her father, who promptly adopted the two. (HHA3.3: FtH)

Attack on Manpower HQ and aftermathEdit

When the Manpower headquarters in Chicago was attacked by the Ballroom, its document vault failed to self-destruct, resulting in Montaigne being provided with much more detailed information to pass on to the prosecutors on Manticore of those in the Manticoran peerage involved with Manpower. Zilwicki was ordered home to face charges and Montaigne provided transportation on her private yacht. The information was turned over directly to her old friend and childhood playmate, Queen Elizabeth. The Ballroom used its copy of the information elsewhere in the galaxy. (HHA3.3: FtH)

References Edit

  1. Durkheim wanted to eliminate Parnell before he could testify before the Solarian Commission on Human Rights.
  2. Parnell had eradicated a Mesan operation on Esterheim, then Secretary for Foreign Affairs Bergren had authorized Parnell's move, and Manticore was itself implacably opposed to slavery, so Manpower would have motive to act against all.
  3. Kevin Usher, former revolutionary plotter whose triumph had been betrayed by Pierre and Saint-Just, thought it was a stupid covert plan, straight out of Harebrained Schemes Hatched by Desk Pilots Who Don't Know a Dead Drop From a Hole in the Ground playbook.
  4. Edwin Young via visits to "pleasure resorts", the Ambassador likely as a conduit for other peers who partook in the same vices as Young or invested money in the businesses.
  5. Along with a group of State Security guards who would "ensure" that Cachat and Helen died in the "rescue" attempt

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