When John Howard, the original Commander of the martial law government that came to be referred to as the Citadel, died in 2048, a massive power vacuum was left. Howard’s death was unexpected and sudden, and he had named no successor. The most logical was Howard’s most trusted aide, a former Air Force colonel named Burton Davis. Davis, however, was not seen by the city residents as strong enough or determined enough to continue with the kinds of sweeping legislation and emergency actions as Howard. Within a few weeks, protests over Davis’s hesitancy to enact more stringent regulations on the Mixed forced him out of the position.
Disappointed by the military leader, the people turned to someone who they thought would understand them better, a civilian former lawyer, Francesca Gianni. Gianni proved able to beat a middle ground between the Mixed and the civilians, but she was less successful with corralling the disgruntled military who felt they were still to be in control under martial law. She died under mysterious circumstances, it was rumored a murder by a group of tactical military espionage officers. Nothing could be proven, however.
Calvin Chambers, a compromise between the military and civilian camps as a National Guard captain, was the next Commander, but when he bent to the people’s will and enforced the stronger laws, the Mixed decided it was time for them to try to take the upper hand. They led a massive incursion into the main government area and took the Citadel government by force. Chambers was driven out along with all members of his government. A few were killed while resisting or died in the chaos of escape. Garlan, the fox-Mixed who took the head position, declared all laws targeting Mixed to be nullified. He was deposed and killed when Chambers rallied his forces and swept the smaller population of Mixed out of the Citadel again. However, Chambers was killed in the strike.
Chambers’s secretary, Morgan Rashid, took control and attempted to maintain some order in the city. Because of the Mixed revolt she enacted even more severe laws, and called for the walling off of the Blue and for leaving the Mixed to live their own lives outside of Dalton rule. People feared leaving the Mixed to their own devices, however, and Rashid, unwilling to deal with public caprice, stepped down and left a void.
A candidate from the civilian side and the military were both announced as potential holders of the commanders’ seat. Before an election could take place, another Mixed revolt caused damage to the Red and Green and created a mass panic. People were tired of the infighting and wanted the government to stop attacking itself and start attacking those they saw as the enemy, the Mixed. Allison Parker, another member of the National Guard post, proposed a compromise, a government in which all of the rival factions had equal say in the proceedings, a form of council. The Council was formed as a temporary body of twelve to deal with the Mixed crisis, half military and half civilian members.
The swift passage of legislation and united effort to quell the revolt inspired people’s confidence in this new government. After the Mixed were no longer considered actively threatening, the Council was restructured. The Departments were formed, some still military led although there was a significantly larger civilian presence. Some Air Force and National Guard engineers headed infrastructure projects but were succeeded later by civilians. In later years, the Council expanded to allow sub-Directors of departments to vote in Council decisions, although they were not allowed to propose new legislation, only a Director could.
The Council officially called their government the Citadel, as Howard had, since it was the commonly accepted name. They chose as their symbol a phoenix rising, and the slogan, “from ashes we rise”. Many people saw this as a symbol of hope and trust in a better future, and the phoenix and slogan were painted on many buildings, especially the ones being newly built. The three bars forming the wings of the phoenix were also adopted as rank designators in Citadel employees, with one bar denoting low rank, two middle, and three highest. These wing bars are now far more common to see than the full phoenix design.
Only in the Blue is the phoenix not seen. The Blue had no such solidarity, and there were several common slogans and images seen during reconstruction years. The most common were a human hand shaking the paw of an animal, claw slashes across a capital D for Dalton, and the phrases “Nature returns to claim its own”, “We are Human too” and “You say you rise but soon you will see that we can too.” More recent symbols, post reconstruction, are three claws covered in blood, symbol of an anarchist group, and Anja Dkran’s “Find Your Voice”.
The Citadel refuses to formally acknowledge any of the challenges to its authority, from the Blue and elsewhere. There was an attempt in 2065 to make some concessions, and an entirely new Council was elected. Since then, however, the members have not changed to any large extent, and the Council has less interest in innovation than defending the status quo which seems to benefit their interests. A few of the sub-Directors who have taken over for their superiors have proposed some groundbreaking legislation, but it is always beaten down by the older members, of whom there is still a majority.
Dalton residents are becoming dissatisfied with the aging and inactive Council, and in the late 2090s began asking for change even in sectors outside Red and Blue. The rise in public dissatisfaction prompted a few new legislative actions under the rising figure Elizabeth Spaulding, Director of Reconditioning. Spaulding’s legislation requiring all runaways to be reconditioned and returned to owners, no matter their work status or registration changes at time of apprehension, met with approval from White and Gold, and later from Red and Green when jobs once held by illegal runaways opened for humans again.
Spaulding is rapidly becoming the most recognizable figure in the Citadel Council. Her rapid action, ability to create laws that will pass the notoriously disinterested and argumentative Council, and her severe, serious aspect have all made her not a beloved but a respected figure. While many especially in the Blue and Red have become deeply concerned about her policies and her prejudices against the Mixed, some in White and Gold, mostly young politicians and factory owners, have talked of backing her in a bid for Commander. While Spaulding has never expressed any such ambition, her actions make it clear that she has some plan, and that she intends to rise in the ranks. Since she already holds the position with the most possible authority in Dalton, there is only one more step she can take, to fill a position that has been empty for half a century. Some in Dalton dread this ascension, others see it as a last hope for escape from an outdated council. But few believe it will never happen. The only question on many minds now is when the Citadel will have a new Commander.