The following was first broadcast by the Sarum Prime News Network, or SPNN on the 15 December YC 122.
The Patriarch of the Ariend Family, Duke Tion Ariend, is Dead!
“Back to the news from the top of the hour. As we’ve been reporting for the past few hours, the patriarch of the Ariend family, Duke Tion Ariend, has died. Kaylin West is reporting from the Ariend family estate.” The holo goes from showing the anchor, Jacob North, to showing the interior of a large briefing room.
“Yes, Jacob. I’m here at the Ariend family estate, where a few hours ago, the duke was rushed out on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance bound for a hospital in the city.” The camera focuses on a young Ni-Kunni woman holding a microphone with the letters SPNN embossed on it.
“SPNN has learned from our sources that at around 1800 hours, the duke began complaining of chest pains. Not long after, he collapsed while discussing financial matters with his son Kyvon and his financial advisor, Tyrence. He was rushed immediately to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.” The studio begins to broadcast a picture of Duke Tion.
“The duke is succeeded by his two sons, Kyvon and Shasta. Kyvon, as the elder son, is likely to be announced as the Duke Tion’s successor.” A picture of Kyvon Ariend joins the duke’s photo.
“The duke’s death comes only days after the younger Ariend son, Shasta, was seen being escorted from the Ariend estate by the Ariend family guardsmen. Sources say that Shasta was expelled after a disagreement with his brother turned physical.” The studio broadcasts a video showing Shasta and his guardsmen, flanked by House Ariend guards, walking out of the Ariend family mansion and through the massive garden of the estate.
“One can only wonder how the duke’s death will affect relations between the two brothers.” The footage is now showing the reporter again.
“We are here in a briefing room in the Ariend family estate, where Kyvon Ariend is expected to make some remarks.” The camera pans around to show a large room occupied by a number of different reporters from a dozen different news networks.
“SPNN tried to reach Shasta Ariend for comment, but it appears that after his expulsion from the estate, Shasta went offworld to attend to his capsuleer duties. We also asked other —” Suddenly, the reporters begin to clamor. The camera pans around to reveal a door opening. Kyvon, flanked by a number of House Ariend aides, walks into the room. The reporters gather around him, shouting questions. Kyvon walks to the podium and taps the microphone, signalling for the reporters to sit down. The camera centers on Kyvon, who begins talking.
“As you all know, my father, Duke Tion Ariend, died this afternoon. The family and police are conducting a thorough investigation, but we doubt that his death was a result of foul play. According to the doctors at the hospital that tried to save him, he had a massive heart attack. We are not sure what caused it, but I can say that Father was not in the best of shape.”
“That said, I feel that the timing of this is suspicious. Only three days ago, I had an altercation with my brother Shasta. Shasta accosted me and threatened to smear me if I didn’t allow him to have a say in the construction of my staff. Of course, I knew that the picks he was planning to choose were all corrupt, so I refused to give in. As a result, he ordered his guards to draw on me. Luckily, Father heard the commotion and came to investigate. This is why Shasta was expelled from the estate on Saturday.”
“I wonder if Shasta tried to orchestrate the assassination of Father as an act of revenge. I hope he did not, but I strongly suspect that he at least wished to do so. I have requested, and been promised, a full investigation of my father’s death. If Shasta was responsible, the investigators will uncover his wrongdoing and he will be arrested for his crimes.”
“Since my father is dead, I am now the Duke of the family. Because Father’s death was so sudden, I believe that now is not the time to change the policies of the family. I need time to learn the workings of the family, and the family’s workers need to learn to work under my direction. As a result, the family companies will continue working as normal. However, in light of Shasta’s deep corruption and moral wrongdoing, I have called for a vote to expel him from the family for good. Half an hour ago, the council met and voted in favor of expulsion. Therefore, Shasta, this is now official. You are no longer part of House Ariend. You are no longer entitled to any of the titles or holdings that being a part of the family would confer on you.” Some reporters gasp. This is not what any of them expected. Kyvon begins to put his papers away.
“I will not be taking questions. Good night.” Kyvon and his staff begin to exit the room. The reporters begin to shout questions at Kyvon as he departs.
“Well, Jacob, that was the press conference that Kyvon had announced. He has sprung a number of surprises on us tonight.” The camera pans back to focus on Kaylin.
“First and foremost, he has told us more about what happened Saturday and why Shasta had been expelled. He also stated that he would not be implementing any new policies or shaking up the family leadership yet. But the biggest surprise was his last announcement: his announcement that the family had voted to expel Shasta from the family. The way that expulsion works, at least in House Ariend, is that a council of leading family members would meet. The council is composed of the patriarch, his wife and offspring, his siblings, and any of his cousins, nephews, uncles, etc. who hold important positions in the house. This is the same council that votes to advise the patriarch on important familial affairs. The current council has often voted in favor of Shasta’s plans rather than Kyvon’s, so this ruling is a total surprise. In addition, the council usually takes a few days to meet and go over evidence before voting on an issue. One can only wonder what evidence and claims Kyvon must have made to convince the council to act so quickly. Reporting from the Ariend family estate, Kaylin West, SPNN.”
“Thank you, Kaylin.” The footage switches to show Jacob again.
“Now, in other news, a fire broke out in the famous restaurant Nikkel’s Eggs.”