COVER STORY: RESURRECTION: The True Story of Fortan's Return
First she was dead, then the subject of a security inquiry. What's behind Natasi Fortan's return to prominence on Dosuun?
Trevor Miskrin, Editor-in-Chief - Cover Photo courtesy Fortan Family Archives: Natasi Fortan, seen here to advantage, relaxing at the family seat of Herevan Hold.
"It's difficult," Natasi Fortan says as we stand on the balcony overlooking the capital city on Dosuun. The city is nearing completion, and despite it not yet being officially dedicated, the city is abuzz with activity in large part due to the woman at my side. "Just to talk about, it's difficult, but of course it's best to get out in the open that which we can discuss." It's been weeks since the official inquiry cleared her office of wrongdoing, but this is her first statement to the press. "Of course, we were gratified by the investigation's results. It was a very thorough, very deep investigation, as should be the case in situations like this. I feel that we can all be confident in the results of the investigation and move forward, now, as one First Order."
Fortan, reinstated as Moff of the Home Territories and still tipped by the bookies to make Grand Moff before the age of 35, is eager to move away from the inquiry. As if it would be that easy. I press my case: But this was a serious investigation, reaching into both your personal life and the inner workings of your office. The report detailed the betrayal of your cousin and aide, Imogen Fortan, against you and the First Order. If you didn't see it coming, with all due respect, why should people trust your judgment now? The Moff doesn't answer for several moments, doesn't look at me but rather at the city stretching as far as the eye can see before her. "I have searched my memory, my records, my entire consciousness, for any sign that in hindsight would have told me. There was nothing. The inquiry agreed that there was nothing. My loyalty has never been in question. To anyone suggesting that my judgment may be suspect..." Is it my imagination, or does the temperature drop a few degrees here? "... I can only say that the Supreme Leader himself trusts my judgment. That should be good enough for anyone."
And so it is.
So, you went from the inquiry to the Bespin summit in a matter of weeks. That must have been some intensive planning. She seems relieved to be on to another subject and nods. "Yes -- and on an accelerated time schedule, it was really an excellent effort on behalf of my staff and the planning committee. The venue, the speakers, the caterers -- everything came off just right, and with, I think, splendid results. Now we need to gear up for the next challenge." What's that? The Moff smiles brightly, a politician's smile. "It's my job to explain to the people I serve -- the citizens of our great nation -- the benefit of what we've worked out. It should mean a significant increase of capital into our borders, high paying jobs, and a real boost to our economy, not just for the industrialists but for all of us."
And your agenda going forward? "We have a lot of ambitious plans -- some we've already announced, like our Dosuun Shipyard project, on which I'm very excited to collaborate with Darell Irani of Iron Crown Enterprises. Others, we need to keep under wraps for now for obvious reasons. But what I can say is that the First Order government -- our commissioners and governors and myself -- we are working hard to provide an ideal environment for our citizens to enjoy a peaceful, comfortable, prosperous life within our space -- an environment where people can thrive to work, serve, and enlist and use their talents for the benefit of themselves, their families, and this great nation, the First Order. Mark my words well: the First Order will become an industrial center, a financial capital, and a cultural beacon, because of the talents of the citizens who make up our nation."
At this moment, a very officious woman with two datapads and no sense of humor interrupts the conversation, insisting that the Moff has no further time. Natasi Fortan shakes my hand, invites me to call back any time for another interview -- "If you'd think I'd have anything relevant to say on the topic," she adds in her typically modest fashion, applying a light, warm touch of humor as she releases my hand -- and we end the interview with the officious assistant almost shoving me out the door of the outer office.
NEWS & VIEWS
Bespin Summit: Who Won, Who Lost, and Why
The markets and our own analysts react to the news of agreements made at the Cloud City Economic Summit
Markets rallied this week after the announcement of an ambitious new program of public-private partnerships on infrastructure and construction projects across First Order space, most notably an agreement with Iron Crown Enterprises for an extensive contract to build a new, state-of-the-art shipyard over Dosuun, an expansion of tibanna mining facilities on Bespin, and others to be announced. The announcement, heralded on the last day of the summit at a joint press conference with Moff Natasi Fortan and Iron Crown Enterprises CEO Darell Irani, represents, according to Moff Fortan, "Countless jobs, and an as-yet unquantifiable boost to the First Order's economy. We're thrilled to be doing business with a corporation as well-known and well-trusted as Iron Crown Enterprises."
Rumors abounded as the markets opened of another potential agreement with what sources close to the matter, speaking on conditions of anonymity, call "a major financial entity" to expand trade and liquidity of capital in First Order Space. Dosuun Review will have more on this as it develops. Now, insight and analysis from two of our market experts, Jan Garmela of Garmela and Associates, and Brin Wimstath of Lindman Financial:
Obviously, the First Order is the winner here, and more than that, it was a win for Natasi Fortan. I suspect any lingering doubts about her ability not just to contribute to the First Order government, but to lead it, are in the rear-view. She really put herself on the map with this summit - not just because of the deal with Iron Crown Enterprises, but it was truly an economic powerhouse, with networking and trade-talk.
Also winning the week is the fashion industry, with notable names in fashion and textiles (Claire Organa, Valessia Brentioch) making appearances and drumming up interest in their offerings.
Non-participants didn't get the opportunity to network at the summit, but also lost out on more, as the First Order took the almost-unprecedented step of taking one-on-one private meetings with businesses attending to discuss customized incentive packages for expansion in the First Order. While these results will undoubtedly make the First Order an attractive prospect for business and industry in future, those who didn't attend the summit missed out on possible advantages.
The First Order obviously comes off looking sharp here. We're talking about impressive new infrastructure that will create jobs, not just for the moment on construction, but into the future for manufacturing, shipping, and other attendant jobs. Moff Fortan apparently led her team to victory on this effort, but it wasn't just her -- all the First Order Participants at the summit deserve to be congratulated.
Also coming out of the summit smelling of roses is Marzena Choi, the famed songstress whose popularity in First Order space is within the top echelons of artists. Not only did she give a magnificent performance the second night of the conference, but word around the Palace is that the shining star of song is looking to branch out, and is rumored to have met with top-ranking First Order officials after the summit to pave the way for what my source is calling "great things."
Guests didn't have anything nice to say about the music on the third night, at the gala. Moff Fortan's apparent affection for New Coruscant Glitz was not shared by everyone, with some preferring the musical stylings of Ms. Choi over the big-band standards of the gala band.