THEIR FINEST HOUR, OR THEIR FINAL DAYS... The First Empire has entered what may very well be its last crisis: the Emperor is dead by assassination and has left an infant heir. Worse, the imperial mystique is but a fading memory: nobody believes in empire anymore. Indeed nobody believes in much of anything beyond the boundaries of self. There are exceptions, of course, and to those few falls the self-appointed duty of maintaining a military-civil order that is corrupt, despotic—and infinitely preferable to the barbarous chaos that will accompany its fall. One such is commander Anson Merikur. This is his story.