October 19, 3307
Jokers’ Deck Hunts the Winking Cat
Francesca Wolfe of the Wallglass Investigations Agency has sent a final report from her infiltration of the secretive gambling circle.
“The bad news is that Jokers’ Deck security caught up with me as I was trying to sneak onboard a ship to get off-planet. The good news is that they didn’t gun me down, or even threaten to press charges. Instead, they offered me a job!”
“Lexi October, the current host, was surprisingly gracious. Turns out she’s a fan of the Galactic Mysteries pieces that Gunnarson and I run, but more importantly, she believes we could give her what she really wants – the Winking Cat.”
“She explained that the Joker playing card that was stolen is hugely symbolic to the group, having belonged to its original founder. She also assured me that Jokers’ Deck is extremely private but not criminal. Its members sign legal waivers, and there is a strict honour code to ensure all bets are paid.”
“So, Lexi October wants to hire us to track down the infamous Winking Cat thief and retrieve the ceremonial playing card. This may also be a way for her to save face with her fellow super-rich gamblers, who are understandably unhappy about the exposure.”
Erik Gunnarson, Wolfe’s detective partner, added:
“It’s a huge relief that Wolfe is safe, but what has she got us into now? Will we really be able to catch the Winking Cat? I wouldn’t bet on it.”
October 18, 3307
Scriveners Clan Dredger Located
Pilots Federation ALERT
The dredger inhabited by the nomadic Scriveners Clan has been found within the Oochost PC-C c29-0 system.
Independent pilots conducted a search for the vessel in response to a request from Orion University, which claims that the Dredger-class bulk cruiser is its commercial property.
Vice Chancellor Leland Pettigrew announced the operation’s success:
“Congratulations to the pilots who managed to locate Dredger J-403. The university will shortly dispatch a megaship to take ownership and arrange repatriation for its current occupants.”
The dredger is currently orbiting an ice world in the Oochost PC-C c29-0 system. It is believed to be collecting raw material from planetary rings to sustain its onboard systems, a design feature that allows it to remain self-sufficient indefinitely.
There has been no communication with the Scriveners Clan, the spacefaring tribe descended from an academic institute that was later absorbed into Orion University. It is known that they shun contact with all outsiders to protect their Knowledge Core, a repository of research conducted over the past two centuries.
October 15, 3307
NMLA Aims to ‘Extinguish the Duval Line’
The Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army has taken responsibility for the attack on Dyson City starport in the Paresa system.
The primary targets were Imperator Hadrian Duval and his wife Lady Astrid Minerva-Duval, who is pregnant with his child. Although they survived, the bombing left many thousands dead and injured.
The following message was sent across NMLA propaganda channels:
“As long as a single Duval is left alive, the Republic of Achenar cannot be rebuilt. It is our duty to extinguish that entire line and free our people from Imperial oppression.”
Praetor Leo Magnus gave a statement on behalf of ACT:
“It is significant that this latest broadcast is not from Theta Seven, the NMLA’s mouthpiece and de facto leader. We believe that Theta Group – the team of weaponsmiths that built the caustic enzyme bombs – has split in two.”
“According to the communications we intercepted, Theta Seven and half of his followers went into hiding after the attacks against the Marlinist Colonies in July. The others continued their terror campaign and were responsible for this latest atrocity. ACT is currently pursuing leads and hopes to learn more soon.”
Nova Imperium has repeated a call for pilots to help rescue survivors from Dyson City in the Paresa system.
October 14, 3307
Colonia Bridge Project Receives Deliveries
Pilots Federation ALERT
Twin initiatives in the Alcor and Colonia systems have procured materials to construct new dockable megaships.
Brewer Corporation made an announcement regarding its Colonia Bridge project:
“A positive response has led to generous shipments of ceramic composites, computer components and thermal cooling units being received. As a result, Brewer Corporation can now commence work on enhancing the transportation infrastructure between the core systems and the Colonia region.”
“Thanks to the dedication of the galactic community, 30 dockable megaships will be placed along the Colonia Bridge route by the 28th of October. These will serve as stationary ports, providing vital facilities for travellers. Planning is already underway for the second phase of this project, placing further megaships every four to five hundred light years working out from the Alcor and Colonia systems.”
“Payment for contributing pilots is now available at Macdonald Settlement in the Alcor system and Jaques Station in the Colonia system. Both starports also offer a temporary discount on purchasing and outfitting to owners of our Drake-class Carriers.”
Brewer Corporation will soon be reaching out to the top ten pilots from both the Alcor and Colonia initiatives, to provide naming suggestions for the dockable megaships being placed on the route to Colonia. Submissions will be subject to review by the Brewer Corporation board of directors.
Orion University Searches for Dredger
Pilots Federation ALERT
Rewards are being offered by Orion University to locate the Scriveners Clan dredger, which it claims as its legal property.
The self-sustaining Dredger-class bulk cruiser was launched two centuries ago by an academic institute that was later absorbed by the university. Since then the dredger has become the home for a nomadic tribe called the Scriveners Clan, which refuses contact with all outsiders.
Vice Chancellor Leland Pettigrew told the media:
“Orion University is willing to reward pilots who can pinpoint the dredger’s current location. We believe it is still within 500 light years of the Perseus Dark Region KC-V c2-2 system.”
“Pilots who are interested in helping should first dock at Ring Mine station in the 2MASS J03291977+3124572 system, to automatically sign up to the search operation. Our associates at the starport, Deep Space Mining, will provide further information including details of the reward.”
Terrorist Attack at Hadrian Duval’s HQ
Pilots Federation ALERT
Explosions have struck Dyson City starport in the Paresa system, home of Hadrian Duval’s organisation Nova Imperium.
The starport suffered severe structural damage plus the corrosive effects of caustic enzymes, characteristic of the customised weapons used by the NMLA. Initial reports state that over fifteen thousand people have been killed and a similar number injured.
The following statement was issued by Praetor Leo Magnus, the former head of security for Nova Imperium who was seconded to ACT:
“Shortly before this attack, my team intercepted a communication between suspected Neo-Marlinist supporters. This referred to an imminent attempt to kill Imperator Hadrian Duval, Lady Astrid Minerva-Duval and their unborn child.”
“I immediately ordered the Praetorian Guard to move the Imperator’s family off-station, which was achieved minutes before the bombs detonated. I am pleased to report that they survived this brutal attack, but unfortunately the remaining population could not have been evacuated in time.”
A state of emergency has been declared in the Paresa system, with an urgent request for independent pilots to assist with rescuing survivors from Dyson City starport.
The Empire confirmed that as per the Treaty of Paresa, it will provide military and medical support to Nova Imperium. ACT is performing investigations to learn more about the attack.
October 13, 3307
Federal Terrorist Network Exposed
The Proactive Detection Bureau has been instrumental in identifying violent corporatist extremists within the Federation.
Deputy Director Bethany Blake of the Federal Intelligence Agency gave a statement to the media:
“In recent weeks, our surveillance algorithms flagged a series of coded communications for investigation. We found that a network of radicalised citizens were discussing plans to assassinate members of Congress and leading political figures.”
“This movement, which calls itself Jupiter’s Wrath, is inspired by Jupiter Rochester’s failed attempt to enable corporations to directly rule the Federation. Their goal was to enact revenge on those who they consider to be the ‘enemies of Jupiter Division’.”
“Using data intercepted by the Proactive Detection Bureau, FIA agents performed a series of coordinated strikes in several Federal systems. Over a thousand armed extremists were arrested before they could act. We are currently working to identify the remaining Jupiter’s Wrath members.”
Vice President Jerome Archer claimed that this was further validation of the Domestic Counter-Terrorism Act, which permitted the PDB to be established. However, Shadow President Felicia Winters commented:
“I commend the FIA for performing their duties. But I also question the timing of this operation, coming so soon after President Hudson’s appallingly reckless attempt to capture Yuri Grom. To me it seems calculated to show his administration in a positive light, while ignoring the violation of citizens’ privacy.”
Orion University Claims Ownership of Dredger
The ancient spacefaring home of the Scriveners Clan is the legal property of Orion University, according to newfound historical records.
The Scriveners Clan is a nomadic tribe travelling onboard a self-sufficient Dredger-class bulk cruiser. Their society is descended from an academic organisation that sent out a research fleet two centuries ago. Unlike some dredger clans, they refuse to have any contact with outsiders.
Vice Chancellor Leland Pettigrew of Orion University made this statement:
“In the year 3088, Dredger J-403 was commissioned for an exploration mission by an academic institute named Scrivener College. This was absorbed into our university in 3125. Documents detailing these facts were recently discovered in our archives and verified by the courts.”
“Therefore the dredger, including all of its contents, is legally owned by Orion University. Naturally we bear no ill will toward its current populace, but the vessel they inhabit has always been our commercial property.”
The Scriveners Clan dredger was last seen in the Perseus Dark Region KC-V c2-2 system, where it was salvaging the Hesperus megaship. On the 9th of July it made a hyperspace jump to an unknown destination within 500 light years.
Orion University is the largest independent educational institution in the core systems, rivalled only by the Imperial Science Academy and Olympus Village University.
October 12, 3307
Jokers’ Deck Hit by Art Thief
The secretive gambling circle of the super-rich has been raided by the notorious criminal known only as the Winking Cat.
The information was revealed by Francesca Wolfe of the Wallglass Investigations Agency, who infiltrated the event. Her report, which was relayed from an unidentified location, has been published by her fellow detective Erik Gunnarson.
“I’m not sure this will reach Gunnarson, but I must try. After the security alert the staff started getting their IDs checked, which might have revealed mine to be fake. I managed to slip out of the warehouse and into an abandoned industrial district. I still don’t know what planet I’m on, but I’ve found an old comms transmitter to send this message.”
“Before I escaped, I learned what had caused the alert. There was a VIP ceremony involving the group’s most precious possession: an ancient Joker playing card. Apparently this has been passed between senior members of Jokers’ Deck for centuries, always held by the current host. But when Lexi October publicly unveiled the card, she found it had been replaced by one showing a different graphic – a winking cat.”
“It’s two years since we’ve heard from the galaxy’s greatest larcenist, but there’s no doubt that only the Winking Cat’s legendary skills could have circumvented their security systems. I’m fascinated that a battered scrap of card has greater value than any of the billion-credit items being wagered here.”
“Guards are searching for the thief now. I hope I can get off-world before they find me instead. They’re armed to the teeth and not in the mood to talk…”
October 8, 3307
Corporate Split between Mastopolos and Torval
Senator Zemina Torval’s company Torval-Mastopolos Mining has become fully independent from its parent corporation.
The former subsidiary of Mastopolos Mining has officially rebranded itself as Torval Mining Ltd. Zemina Torval is listed as its CEO, with her eldest daughter remaining as operations director. The starport Torval Orbital in the LTT 198 system serves as the company’s headquarters.
Business correspondent Anton Lagorio reported for The Imperial Herald:
“Although Torval Mining Ltd is now an independent company, shares are legally transferable between it and Mastopolos Mining. This has allowed loyal supporters of both Zemina Torval and Gabriella Mastopolos to flock to each other’s banner. As a result, Torval Mining Ltd has acquired many ships, staff and resources from its former parent.”
“There have been assurances that the split was amicable and in line with Imperial traditions of honourable conduct. Constantia Torval has promised customers that mining and transportation services would be maintained to the same high standard.”
“Speculation continues over what caused this unexpected rift between the Torval and Mastopolos families. It seems that Zemina Torval is focusing on providing benefits for her own children and grandchildren, rather than her cousins on the Mastopolos side, but the reason for this change of heart remains unclear.”
October 7, 3307
Yuri Grom Victorious Against Federation
Pilots Federation ALERT
The battle between Delta Pavonis Galactic Interstellar and EG Union has concluded successfully for Yuri Grom’s forces.
Freelance war correspondent Karleen Troy reported via Vox Galactica:
“For the past week, the Delta Pavonis system has been aflame with ship-to-ship engagements. But despite a fierce effort from Federal auxiliaries, EG Union was able to muster superior numbers.”
“Eventually the Federal flagship, Freedom’s Foundation, was boarded. I picked up comms chatter that described intense fighting before EG Union soldiers overran Federal troops. Since then I’ve learned that Yuri Grom has agreed to let the surviving crewmembers leave, but is claiming the megaship as ‘spoils of war’.”
The following message was sent by Yuri Grom on public channels:
“President Hudson has revealed his true nature as the corrupt heart of the Federation’s rotting carcass. This treachery will not be forgotten.”
Pilots who supported Yuri Grom can collect their rewards from the Indomitable megaship. Delta Pavonis Galactic Interstellar confirmed that although the Freedom’s Foundation is now under EG Union control, reimbursement for all Commanders who fought for Delta Pavonis Galactic Interstellar will be processed remotely by the 9th of October 3307.
Iniciativas paralelas del proyecto Colonia Bridge
ALERTA de la Federación de Pilotos
Las campañas de entrega en los sistemas de Alcor y Colonia pretenden mejorar los viajes a estas distantes colonias.
Brewer Corporation subvenciona el proyecto Colonia Bridge. Recientemente esbozó los detalles en una rueda de prensa:
"La región de Colonia tiene un gran potencial para negocios y viajeros, pero el largo viaje puede resultar prohibitivo. Brewer Corporation está invirtiendo en la infraestructura de transporte entre los sistemas centrales y Colonia, con el fin de hacer que recorrer esos miles de años luz sea más fácil.
Se dispondrán hasta 30 meganaves atracables a lo largo de la ruta a Colonia, lo cual proporcionará un valioso respiro a los viajeros, además de recursos tales como el tritio. Las meganaves atracables deberían estar operativas para el 28 de octubre: esto señalará la compleción de la primera de tres fases que componen el proyecto Colonia Bridge. La meta es establecer meganaves atracables cada cuatrocientos o quinientos años luz desde los sistemas Alcor y Colonia.
Para lograr esto, necesitamos grandes cantidades de compuestos cerámicos, componentes informáticos y unidades de enfriamiento térmico. Todo ello se podrá entregar en Macdonald Settlement, en el sistema Alcor, o en Jaques Station, en el sistema Colonia".
Colonia Council financia parte de la iniciativa, dada la importancia de la misma. Por ello, en Jaques Station los requisitos de mercancías para meganaves se reducen.
Brewer Corporation ha confirmado que además de ofrecer pago por los materiales, pedirá a los diez principales contribuyentes en Alcor y Colonia que proporcionen potenciales nombres para las nuevas meganaves. Las propuestas serán revisadas por la junta directiva de Brewer Corporation.
Como incentivo añadido, habrá descuentos temporales cuando se compren y equipen portanaves tanto en Macdonald Settlement como en Jaques Station, según la contribución de los pilotos.
Twin Initiatives for Colonia Bridge Project
Pilots Federation ALERT
Delivery campaigns in the Alcor and Colonia systems aim to improve journeys to the distant colonies.
The Colonia Bridge project is being funded by Brewer Corporation, which outlined the details in a press release:
“The Colonia region has great potential for businesses and travellers, but the long voyage can be prohibitive. Brewer Corporation is investing in the transportation infrastructure between the core systems and Colonia, to make crossing those thousands of light years easier.”
“Up to 30 dockable megaships will be placed along the route to Colonia, providing travellers with valuable respite and resources including tritium. These stationary megaships should be operational by the 28th of October, and will mark the completion of the first phase of the three-phase Colonia Bridge project. Its aim is to place dockable megaships every four to five hundred light years working out from the Alcor and Colonia systems.”
“To achieve this, we require large quantities of ceramic composites, computer components and thermal cooling units. These can be delivered to either Macdonald Settlement in the Alcor system or Jaques Station in the Colonia system.”
The Colonia Council is subsidising part of the initiative, due to the importance of this enterprise. As a consequence, the commodity requirements for the megaships at Jaques Station are reduced.
Brewer Corporation has confirmed that as well as offering payment for the materials, it will ask the top ten contributors at Alcor and Colonia to submit potential names for the new megaships. Submissions will be subject to review by the Brewer Corporation board of directors.
As an added incentive, there will be temporary discounts on purchasing and outfitting fleet carriers at both Macdonald Settlement and Jacques Station, based on pilots’ contributions.
October 5, 3307
An Undercover Report on Jokers’ Deck
Francesca Wolfe of the Wallglass Investigations Agency provides an inside view of the Jokers’ Deck gambling circle.
“Gunnarson’s intel was correct. The latest host is multi-billionaire investor Lexi October, the lady who rescued Supratech from bankruptcy. We’re in one of October Consortium’s disused warehouse complexes, which looks derelict on the outside but is a fabulous glittering palace within. I don’t actually know what planet I’m on, since all the servants – including me with my fake ID – were transported here in total secrecy.”
“Jokers’ Deck is exactly what you’d expect of a luxury casino for the super-rich. Exquisite food, sumptuous clothes, and dozens of games from deadlock poker to Giant Verrix racing. Wagers are made using billion-credit chips, precious gemstones and even land deeds to an entire continent. And that’s not counting the VIP rooms that I can’t get into.”
“I’ve served exotic drinks to several famous faces, such as Duchess Rouncival and Scorpio DeVorrow. I’ve seen Senator Leatrix talking earnestly to Ambassador Rochester about a princess they both know. Arch-Corsairs Trask and Volantyne from the Kumo Council are here, taking on Zachary Rackham at the roue mortelle tables. And there’s no mistaking the voice of Alliance megastar Xiona whenever she wins big.”
“Oh, and who should walk in just now but… wait, I can hear an alarm. Looks like a security alert. Damn it, have they detected me? I should – ”
The message was published by Erik Gunnarson, who added this coda:
“I’ve heard nothing more from Wolfe since receiving this, and she didn’t check in at a scheduled rendezvous point. I’ve decided to share her report as a warning to Jokers’ Deck. If anything happens to her, just remember we know who you are.”
October 4, 3307
Ambassador Condemns Entrapment of Yuri Grom
The Federal Diplomatic Corps has officially denounced President Hudson’s attempt to capture Yuri Grom in the Delta Pavonis system.
The political conference was to determine whether the system’s ruling faction would ally with the EG Union or the Federation. It was abandoned when a Federal black ops team attempted to arrest Yuri Grom’s delegation, triggering a conflict in the system.
Ambassador Delphine Dumont told The Federal Times:
“We have no option but to state that our own government has violated the conventions of diplomatic immunity. This conference was established in good faith with all parties. We were not informed that any hostile act against EG Union was planned.”
“I offer my personal apologies to Yuri Grom. Our negotiations were spirited but honest, and I genuinely felt that progress was being made.”
This is the first time that the Federal Diplomatic Corps has distanced itself from the actions of a sitting president. Political observers believe that this is to maintain its reputation for integrity, especially in dealings with the Alliance and Empire.
Public reaction in the Federation has been varied, with President Zachary Hudson being praised and criticised in equal measure. Insiders within his administration suggest that he is under enormous pressure to regain popularity, following the recent rebellion of several Federal systems.
October 1, 3307
Torval Loses Control of Mastopolos Mining
Senator Zemina Torval has relinquished her long-held position as Mastopolos Mining’s majority shareholder.
Official reports confirmed that the board of directors passed a resolution to remove Zemina Torval from their number. Over half of her shares were then sold, thereby drastically reducing her personal influence on the corporation.
An anonymous insider gave a statement to The Imperial Herald:
“Gabriella Mastopolos made it crystal clear to the other shareholders that it was time to topple Zemina Torval from her perch. But what surprised them was Torval’s lack of resistance to this pressure… almost as if she had been planning to step down all along.”
“I’ve heard that every credit made by selling the shares went straight into the subsidiary that her daughter is running. So maybe all her eggs are going into that basket?”
In related news Constantia Torval, operations director for Torval-Mastopolos Mining, made an announcement:
“I am proud to announce that the people of LTT 198 have elected Torval-Mastopolos Mining to replace LTT 198 State Ltd as their controlling authority. Permits to gain entry to the system can be earned via the Pride of Bitterwood megaship, which remains in the nearby EGM 559 system.”
September 30, 3307
Saud Kruger Receives Exploration Data
Pilots Federation ALERT
Enormous amounts of data on Earth-like worlds has been collected for a campaign by shipbuilding firm Saud Kruger.
The data is highly valuable to the corporation’s subsidiary, Astrogator Tours, which runs holiday cruises across the galaxy and is seeking new locations.
The initiative was declared a success by CEO Stanislav Kruger:
“Not only have we received data about highly promising systems, but many creative Commanders provided imagery guaranteed to entice adventure-seekers to these new worlds. We are deeply grateful to all pilots who took part.”
Vistaenis Incorporated, Saud Kruger’s partner in this initiative, is now offering payment for the exploration data at Youll Port in the Vistaenis system.
Tourist beacons will be added to the most suitable systems by Thursday the 28th of October, which will record for posterity the names of the pilots who submitted the most compelling images.
As a result of the initiative, a discount of 15% will be applied to sales of all Dolphin, Orca and Beluga Liner ships from the 1st of October, alongside a reduction in cost for the luxury-class cabins which can be installed in any of Saud Kruger’s vessels.
Ataque federal a Yuri Grom
ALERTA de la Federación de Pilotos
La conferencia política de Delta Pavonis ha dado pie a un conflicto entre EG Union y Delta Pavonis Galactic Interstellar.
Yuri Grom, el gobernador de EG Union, lanzó este mensaje:
"¡Esta conferencia no era más que una trampa! Un escuadrón armado de agentes federales de paisano detuvo a mi delegación. El sacrificio de mis leales guardias nos permitió escapar de Kessler City, únicamente para ver cómo nuestras naves estaban siendo atacadas. La Federación ha declarado la guerra: ¡responderé con la misma moneda!".
El presidente Zachary Hudson emitió una declaración oficial:
"Yuri Grom es un traidor y una peligrosa amenaza para la seguridad de la Federación. No podemos ignorar ninguna oportunidad de eliminar a este tirano despiadado".
Delta Pavonis Galactic Interstellar ha solicitado auxiliares federales que apoyen en combate a sus fuerzas. En contrapartida, EG Union ha convocado a los "aliados de Yuri Grom y enemigos de la Federación".
El gran duque Simion Petrescu, anfitrión de la conferencia política, ha rechazado las afirmaciones de que su facción trabajó en secreto con la Federación para tender una trampa a Yuri Grom. El Cuerpo Diplomático Federal no ha comentado todavía su papel en estos eventos.
Yuri Grom Targeted by Federal Strike
Pilots Federation ALERT
The Delta Pavonis political conference has erupted into conflict between EG Union and Delta Pavonis Galactic Interstellar.
Yuri Grom, the ruler of EG Union, broadcast this message:
“This conference was nothing more than a trap! My delegation was apprehended at gunpoint by a squad of undercover Federal agents. Sacrifices made by my loyal guards enabled us to escape from Kessler City, only to find our ships under attack. The Federation has declared war – I will respond in kind!”
President Zachary Hudson gave an official statement:
“Yuri Grom is a traitor and a dangerous threat to Federal security. We cannot ignore any opportunity to eliminate this ruthless tyrant.”
Delta Pavonis Galactic Interstellar has asked for Federal auxiliaries to provide combat support to its forces. In return, the EG Union called for help from “allies of Yuri Grom and enemies of the Federation”.
Grand Duke Simion Petrescu, the host of the political conference, has rejected claims that his faction was secretly working with the Federation to entrap Yuri Grom. The Federal Diplomatic Corps has not yet commented on its role in these events.
September 29, 3307
Galactic Mysteries: Jokers' Deck
Erik Gunnarson of the Wallglass Investigations Agency discusses the secretive gambling circle attended by the galaxy’s wealthiest players.
“Casinos and gaming hubs have always been popular, tempting people to risk their credits for the chance to score a lucrative win. But where do the billionaires and trillionaires go to enjoy that buzz?”
“Jokers’ Deck is a highly exclusive gambling event attended only by the rich and powerful. Nobody knows who runs it, only that it’s held in a different location each time. Its attendees are guaranteed – and can afford – total anonymity.”
“There was one exception. In 3305, Wallglass was hired to find the heiress Lady Talitha Ambrose, after she vanished along with her family’s fortune. I was part of the team that discovered she had gambled away 300 billion credits at Jokers’ Deck in a high-stakes game of deadlock poker. Their security was so tight that we never learned much more.”
“This year I’ve been tracking several rumours, such as Jokers’ Deck being present at the Galactic Summit and inviting political leaders to settle their differences at the roue mortelle table. But thanks to some costly bribes – which hopefully I can claim back as expenses – I’ve finally got a solid lead.”
“My partner, Francesca Wolfe, and I should have more to reveal soon. With a little luck we will gain a unique insight into this most privileged of gambling dens. Assuming we play our cards right...”