I just love how quick everyone is to just accept a single listing of Zashev on transfer manifest. Actual sightings? Nah. Confirmation of receipt? Nope! Footage of the guy in Ammatar custody? Pshaw, we’ve got a name… on a list.
That could never have been quickly added to the manifest, right up at the top, in response to the news reports a day earlier, could it?
Now, I’m not saying Sarum’s actually using him on Floseswin IV. I’m not even saying they didn’t hand him over. But if we’re gonna get all high and mighty about ‘rumors’, and people are gonna start falling all over themselves to apologize for believing an entirely credible scenario, I think it’s important to remember that what we have now… is just a rumor, written down and fed through a transfer manifest, with nary a shred of corroboration in sight.
1. Credible scenario: There are at least 2 different scenarios where Sarum using Zashev makes sense:
First: Zashev is being used as disposable asset. The troops being used on Floseswin are House-affiliated mercenaries, after all, and no matter their traditional affiliations, mercs are mercs. They’re expendable. Zashev, let’s face it, is a subject-matter expert where slave raiding is concerned, and if he dies, nobody will feel like a valuable House asset has been lost.
Second: Sarum isn’t stupid, and knows who’s going to win their little Imperial Succession Struggle eventually.
It’s pretty much inevitable, after all. Unless House Khanid is utterly destroyed, Garkeh Khanid will continue to clone himself down through each generation of Heirs under different names (I’m betting the next one will continue the reverse-alphabetical progression and we’ll get like ‘Eddelwin Khanid’ next or something) until he manages to secure the Throne. At which point, the Theology Council, happily stocked with Khanid supporters, will decide that times have changes and Amarr needs solid continuity, so of course cloning is just fine for the Emperor. And then… anyone who gave Khanid any crap at all will pay.
So, with that in mind, Sarum’s using the tools he has, and he’s letting go of the ‘Grrr Khanid’, because in the end, it’s the only thing he can do to avoid the eventual destruction of his House.
Neither of those options is to say, of course, that that’s true… only that the potential scenarios for why it might be are no more outlandish than the official, uncorroborated, line.