Two weeks ago, the Imperial Internal Security Service discovered 'shadow' cells belonging to the insurgent organisation Emperor's Dawn in the Dakshmandi, Ipilyaqa and Ch'i Lin systems. Military fleets were swiftly despatched to the pertinent systems to destroy the last remaining vestiges of Emperor's Dawn. But recent reports indicate that the campaign may not be going quite as well as the Empire hoped. An Imperial pilot stationed in Dakshmandi spoke briefly with a correspondent from the Imperial Herald:
"The insurgents may be resilient, but their days are numbered. There's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. It might take a little longer than planned, but Emperor's Dawn is going down, I can promise you that."
The Empire is understood to have sent reinforcements to the Dakshmandi, Ipilyaqa and Ch'i Lin systems to support its forces.
Speculation is rife at Obsidian Orbital this morning following a close-quarters encounter with an unidentified Diamondback Explorer. According to Chloe Anders, a member of the surveillance team at Christian Dock, the mysterious vessel came within 10 kilometres of the station while performing what was described as a "high-speed pass":
"I saw it approach and assumed it was about to submit a docking request, but instead it just started circling the station. It had an unusual designation – "S6: 7" – so I tried hailing it, but there was no response. Then our sensors lit up. I couldn't believe it – the damned thing was scanning the station! I told the weapons team to stand by, but the next thing I knew, it was gone."
Asked for her opinion of the vessel's purpose, Anders said: "I know it sounds crazy, but when I saw it circling the station like that, the only thing I could think was that it was looking for something."
A number of pilots have reported cryptic finding messages in starports' news feeds. The origin of the messages is not clear, but they share certain characteristics, including references to apparent criminal activity, and in some cases coordinates. Often the messages are partially corrupted, suggesting they were originally hidden in the news feeds in an encoded form. Precisely why the messages have started surfacing in the public news channel is unclear.
Are these messages genuine criminal communiqués, or merely a creative hoax? We leave you to decide.
Professor Ishmael Palin has announced that his request for meta-alloys has been enthusiastically received by the galactic community, resulting in a massive influx of deliveries to his research base at Obsidian Orbital. In a statement, the Professor expressed his satisfaction at the response, and also shared news of a dramatic breakthrough in his research into the Unknown Artefacts:
"For much of the past week I have been investigating the ongoing technical issues at Obsidian Orbital, and I can now confirm what many of us have long suspected: the Unknown Artefacts are most definitely the cause."
"Apparently the objects have the ability to repair themselves – to re-grow, even – by extracting the necessary non-organic materials from their immediate environment. It really is quite remarkable. That's why they harm ships and other machinery – if they are damaged when they're scooped up, they use the metals in a ship's hull, or a starport's superstructure, to repair themselves. Even minor damage will trigger the self-repair mechanism."
"What is still not clear is if the meta-alloys can be used to counter this harmful process. That is what my team and I will be investigating over the coming weeks, using the research sample provided by the galactic community. As soon as we have something concrete to share with the public, we will do so."
This remarkable announcement represents a significant development in UA research, but it leaves the wider questions of the objects' origin and purpose unanswered.
In the early hours of tomorrow morning (7.00am GMT), the GalNet monitoring of powers' activities will go offline for a short period while the latest data is assembled.
Any pilots who operate for one of the powers must deliver any cargo or vouchers before this time to ensure their activities are registered.
Since the wreckage of the Highliner Antares was recovered several weeks ago, the families of those who lost their lives aboard the ship have been lobbying the Sirius Corporation for more information. Specifically, questions have been asked about where the wreckage was found, and if any human remains were recovered. The corporation, evidently aware that the public is hungry for information, has now released a statement:
"We are aware that some sectors of the galactic community believe we have not been sufficiently transparent regarding our research into the Antares. Please be assured that any lack of clarity is in no way indicative of a desire to withhold information – it is simply a reflection of our focus on our research."
"In light of this, we can confirm that the remains of the Antares were found in the Luyten 205-128 system, and that no organic remains were recovered. As for the cause of the explosion, we can only reiterate our earlier statement that a cascade failure in the hyperdrive's internal containment systems triggered an explosion within the drive. Although the precise cause of the explosion is not yet known, we believe any additional information will only corroborate our assessment that the destruction of the Antares was nothing more than a tragic accident."
"We would like to take this opportunity to extend our condolences to those who lost loved ones aboard the Antares."
Professor Ishmael Palin, the scientist conducting research into the Unknown Artefacts, has issued a response to Violet Belbin of the Xenological Research Institute. Professor Belbin recently released a statement in which she suggested that Professor Palin was exercising insufficient caution over the meta-alloys – the substance produced by the so-called 'barnacles' discovered in the Pleiades Nebula.
"I have nothing but respect for Professor Belbin, but on this occasion I feel her concerns are misplaced. There is no evidence that the meta-alloys are harmful, and I can assure the professor that my team and I will take every precaution when handling and testing them. Furthermore, I am not rushing to any conclusions regarding their possible application. We do not know if the meta-alloys can counter the malfunctions affecting our starports, which is precisely why I wish to study them. As a scientist, I feel an obligation to contribute to a deeper understanding of this material."
Following the recent discovery of the remains of the Antares, the Sirius Corporation has been subjecting the wreckage to extensive analysis in an attempt to determine exactly what happened to the luxury liner. In a press conference held this morning, a spokesperson for the organisation revealed the initial results of the analysis:
"Our investigation has confirmed the original finding that a cascade failure in the hyperdrive's internal containment systems caused a catastrophic explosion within the drive. The mapped wreckage pattern suggests that the failure occurred while the Antares was transitioning from normal space to hyperspace. The precise cause of the failure remains unexplained, however. We will continue to analyse the available data to see what more we can learn."
According a statement from the Green Party of HIP 112974, the faction's recent appeal for onionhead has been successful. In the statement, a spokesperson confirmed the faction had received sufficient quantities of the drug to establish a new onionhead-trading operation:
"We're hugely grateful to all the traders who made deliveries to la Cosa City, and all the pilots who kept the traders safe by clearing the agitators from our spaceways. May this be the start of a long a profitable relationship between the Green Party of HIP 112974 and the galactic community."
The Green Party of HIP 112974 has confirmed that those who contributed to the appeal could collect their rewards from la Cosa City in HIP 112974.