THE ENCYCLOPEDIA GALACTICA
THE GALACTIC ADMINISTRATION AND THE FALL OF MING
Centered on Earth, the Galactic Administration runs everything in the Solar System, and now that contact has resumed with the rest of the Galaxy they are attempting to reassert their control over all the out of Sol planets too.
In the days of the despotic Emperor Ming the Merciless - who had reigned as Emperor for so long that nobody remembers when he didn't rule, and who had altered all records so as to make it appear that there never was a time when he didn't rule - the Galactic Administration ensured that the day-to-day business of the galactic empire continued smoothly despite the excesses of the supreme ruler. Ming himself had no interest in the nitty gritty of ruling, preferring to spend all his time flogging his catamites, biting the heads off babies, and generally being decadent and despotic.
Over the years, there were many conspiracies to overthrow or assassinate Ming, but they all failed because the top echelons of the Galactic Administration - the ministers and court functionaries, all the people who did the real work - were quite happy with things as they were. They didn't care that Ming's favorite hobby was torturing and murdering people, because there were plenty of people in the Galaxy and a few here and there would never be missed.
But then Ming changed his modus operandi, which shook them out of their complacency. His usual source of victims were the slums of Sol, sending his guards out to find people who wouldn't be missed (or not by anybody who could do anything about it). But then for some reason he started to search for his victims closer to home, selecting the young members of his court as his playthings. This shocked and outraged the Galactic Administration bureaucrats who had previously let him get away with his gross excesses. They saw that they were no longer safe from the mad Emperor and realized the time had come for action. So a conspiracy was launched, a plot was hatched, and this time the conspirators were some of the most powerful and influential people in the Galaxy, and they had the resources to succeed. Ming was removed and his reign of terror was over.
For a short while following the palace revolution, the Galactic Administration felt the Galaxy had had enough of royalty interfering in the smooth process of government. They appointed a committee of 12 of the conspirators, who represented all the major power groups who had been involved, and continued to rule the Galaxy much as it had been ruled all along. They then changed their policy and decided an Emperor as a ceremonial figurehead would be useful, serving as the focus for resentment and keeping those with the real power out of the limelight and allowing them to continue with the business of government without having to put on a show of any kind. They chose as their candidate an influential planet owner called Catty, Baroness of History, who was rumored to be the richest person in the Galaxy, and the person who bankrolled the conspiracy to overthrow Ming. However, Catty soon tired of being the target of every extremist and nutcase with a grudge, and retired from public life, leaving the Emperor's throne vacant again - as it has remained ever since.
The Galactic Administration continues as it has done from its formation, running the huge creaking bureacracy in an inefficient system that thrives on bribery and corruption. And yet, somehow, it all works.
So what of the ex-Emperor, Ming? The new rulers planned to imprison him on his Deathstar, Starbase1, having of course changed all the locks. Why they didn't just kill him and display his body in some prominent location, we will never know. They probably wished they had, because Ming managed to escape by disguising himself as a lowly hauler and hijacking a ship. Ever since, there have been reported sightings on planets all over the Galaxy, and he has even been recorded talking briefly on the comms, but he always eluded capture. Even now, centuries later, rumors abound that he has been spotted working in a burger bar in an out of the way planet...