The Senate, the Land Scandal & the new Caesar
Become a citizen for fourteen years' civic service. Typically male->army (90%/10%) There is a standard path from 14-28 years of age. On exit from service get a parcel of land or equivalent cash. Land ownership is only possible for citizens. Culturally, land is real important for true Roman citizens.
Senate was until recently issuing parcels of nonexistent land in the New World to new citizens. They expected the citizens not to take up the land and to exchange for cash. The scandal broke when a Legionary wanted to stay in the New World and had no real land. He reported this through military channels so it reached the ear of the Emperor rather than the Senate.
Emperor Marcus Vespesianus went ballistic. Marched into Senate with Praetorian guard. Uses powers not invoked for centuries to dissolve Senate. Arrested all senators and assumes absolute authority. Declares elections for a fresh Senate. Senators classified into "malicious" and "incompetent". Incompetents barred from holding office for life. Malicious senators crucified. Emperor discovers that his access to the media in times of imperial emergency is not as smooth as he would like.
Election appoints a fresh Senate on the "Real Land Platform".
Emperor Marcus Vespesianus swears in new Senate and during the inauguration address abdicates in favor of his son, Julius Flavius.
Emperor Julius Flavius Caesar is new at the time of the space push. He rebelled against his childhood cossetting by demanding a posting to an Aerial Legion for his 14-year tour, and was one of the pilots patrolling the Indic no-fly zone (think of a better name!), though no one outside the Fifth Aerial found out about that until afterwards. He is an action man, thoroughly bored by emperorhood but with a strong understanding of the Legions and well-liked by them in return. He has pushed Vox Romana and then Luna Castra Alpha at least in part as something for his legions to do, as well as for the honour of the empire.
Luna Romana Homepage