Profile picture of Martin Otto von Siegmeister
|Affiliation:||Free Planets Alliance |
Galactic Empire (former)
|Status:||Deceased (natural causes)|
|Born:||682 UC (373 IC / 3482 CE)|
|Died:||747 UC (438 IC / 3547 CE)|
Martin Otto von Siegmeister (Japanese: マルティン・オットー・フォン・ジークマイスター) was an Imperial aristocrat and officer in the Imperial Fleet who defected to the Free Planets Alliance. He was born in 682 UC (373 IC / 3482 CE) and died in 747 UC (438 IC / 3547 CE).
Martin Otto von Siegmeister was born to the noble rank of Reichsritter, or Imperial Knight, and was the heir to a barony. When he defected to the Free Planets Alliance in 728 UC (419 IC / 3528 CE), at the age of 46, he held the rank of Admiral.
The motivation for Siegmeister's defection is said to have been the loss of an internal power struggle with another nobleman within the Imperial Ministry of Intelligence, and some historians (including Yang Wen-li) hypothesised that Siegmeister may have held progressive beliefs, despite never indicating a particular affinity for democratic rule in public. (SL: 'A Thread from the Past')
Yang Wen-li's HypothesisEdit
After investigating the mysterious Tuesday Correspondence, Yang Wen-li hypothesised that Imperial admirals Siegmeister and Christopf von Michaelsen collaborated together to build a massive underground spy network within the Galactic Empire, dedicated to passing tactical and strategic information to the Free Planets Alliance in the hope of restoring democratic rule to the Empire.
Siegmeister's own father, Baron Siegmeister, had inherited both the barony and his title of Reichsritter from his own father, and Yang believed he found meaning in his life by prosecuting commoners who sympathised with "unacceptable philosophies", like republican democracy, while working for the Department of Social Discipline within the Empire's Ministry of the Interior. He was said to be a diligent worker, and often arrested far more people for "thought offences" than his colleagues. The Baron Siegmeister also obtained more confessions via torture than his peers, who were said to have been disconcerted by his tenacity and ruthlessness.
At home, Yang believed the baron to have been a "degenerate" man who beat his wife and son.
The baron brought home confiscated literature (about republican democracy, etc.) which he studied in order to better know his enemy. As a result, his home housed many 'forbidden books.' Ironically, Siegmeister was exposed to the ideas within those books, and learned to sympathise with the ideas expressed inside them, opening his mind to the concepts of social justice and representative rule.
As a young man, Yang believed Siegmiester must have devoted himself to changing the unjust society of the Empire, but was cautious enough to never voice those opinions. He graduated from the military academy and earned several promotions. Slowly and deliberately he organised a a network of spies holding similar beliefs within the Empire's military.
Some time after his father's death in 717 UC (408 IC / 3517 CE), Siegmeister began to work with Michaelsen, who rapidly became the organisation's second-in-command.
- "In the history of the Galactic Empire, it must have been the most competent and dangerous subversive espionage network ever created"
- – Yang Wen-li
Eventually, Siegmeister began to consider leaving the Empire, and to defect to the Free Planets Alliance. After his wife and daughter died in a fire at a resort hotel, Siegmeister made up his mind and turned over leadership of the organisation to Michaelsen. (SL: 'The Journey in Search of the Exit')
In 728 UC (419 IC / 3528 CE), Siegmeister, at the age of 46, requested re-assignment to the front lines of the Alliance–Imperial War. Once there, he stole a shuttle and, after evading Imperial pursuers, found an Alliance patrol after 8 days of solitary flight. After defecting, Siegmeister willingly cooperated with the Alliance in order to realise his own convictions. He believed the Alliance government to be the ideal political embodiment of freedom and equality. His sincerity and integrity, as well as sociopolitical naiveté, made him easy for the Alliance government to take advantage of.
Between 728 UC (419 IC / 3528 CE) and 738 UC (429 IC / 3538 CE), Siegmeister occupied a branch room within the Joint Chief of Staff Headquarters, and from there directed his Imperial espionage network from afar. The Alliance, naturally, kept his activities a closely-held secret. They treated him well, however, giving him all of the privileges of a Vice Admiral: a high salary and a lavish official residence.
In time, however, Siegmeister began to realise that the Alliance did not, in fact, live up to his own lofty ideals. Rather than an ideal democracy, the Alliance was a realistic society, and thus had its fair share of flaws and contradictions. Deeply disenchanted with the Alliance, feeling betrayed, he spent his days in discontent.
The Year 730 MafiaEdit
In 738 UC (429 IC / 3538 CE) a "new star of hope" appeared before Siegmeister — the Year 730 Mafia. Yang Wen-li believed that Siegmeister determined to gamble his dreams on the brilliant young talents of the Year 730 Mafia. The reason for this, Yang surmised, was that Siegmeister was himself a former military officer. As such, he tended to look to the military to affect the changes he wished. Siegmeister chose Bruce Ashbey to lead the group. Michaelsen sent Siegmeister information which was relayed to Ashbey, and Ashbey was adept at taking full advantage of that intelligence. Siegmeister's spy organisation changed from an entity that cooperated with the Alliance to one that cooperated only with Bruce Ashbey.
Between 738 UC (429 IC / 3538 CE) and 745 UC (436 IC / 3545 CE), the Siegmeister-Michaelsen-Ashbey accord made the already fearsome Year 730 Mafia a nearly unbeatable force, and if the strategic situation did not change much (as Bruce Ashbey kept to the Alliance's defensive-reactive strategy), the Alliance certainly gained the definite tactical upper hand.
By 745 UC (436 IC / 3545 CE), the Empire had become aware of the intelligence leaks, and after the Empire's disastrous defeat during the Second Battle of Tiamat, Michaelsen was forced to decrease the organisation's activity. Ashbey also died during the battle, and without him, the Year 730 Mafia fell apart.
Later Years and DeathEdit
Despairing at Ashbey's death, Siegmeister, at the age of 63 (745 UC (436 IC / 3545 CE)), retired. He left all of his files to the Alliance, and rented a farmhouse about 100 kilometres outside of Heinessenpolis. Two years later, in 747 UC (438 IC / 3547 CE), he contracted pneumonia. Refusing any treatment, he soon died.
- "There's no material evidence. It's probable, and it's persuasive, but it's still just a hypothesis.... Both the Empire and Alliance are hiding too many historical facts under the name of military secrecy."
- – Yang Wen-li
In the end, Yang concluded that the truth of Martin Otto von Siegmeister's life will probably never be known for certain until both the Free Planets Alliance and Galactic Empire cease to exist. (SL: 'The Journey in Search of the Exit')