April 16, 3307
Neo-Marlinists Seek Sanctuary at Marlinist Colonies
Survivors from the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid have arrived in the Marlinist Colonies, requesting political asylum from the Empire.
The faction was recently defeated by Imperial forces in the Mudhrid system, after an ACT investigation confirmed that it provided logistical support for the NMLA attacks on starports.
Landgrave Delacroix and his loyalists fled aboard the Steel Majesty megaship to the Hyades Sector RO-P b6-2 system, which is controlled by the Marlinism Reformation Party. Minister Aaron Whyte, its elected leader, announced:
“Not every individual within the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid is an NMLA activist. We have the right to offer asylum to protect innocents from persecution, just as the Federation protected us when we were refugees.”
The Empire has officially demanded that the Neo-Marlinists be apprehended, with Senator Patreus claiming “The Landgrave of Mudhrid is a traitor and a war criminal.”
Both the Alliance and Federation have likewise insisted on their arrest. However, Shadow President Winters reminded Congress that the Marlinist Charter grants their systems the same legal powers of asylum as the Federation.
The Marlinist Parliament has declared an emergency situation. First Minister Fairfax called for a discussion of options, while Ministers Amrita Ross and Tamsin Taylor urged cooperation with the Empire.
April 15, 3307
Archon Delaine Campaign to Build New Starports
Pilots Federation ALERT
The Kumo Crew syndicate has launched an initiative to construct up to five starports to stimulate galactic trade.
Kavanagh Spaceframes Ltd, an independent construction company, has been privately contracted by the Kumo Council to build fully operational Orbis stations. These will be located in uninhabited systems close to key trading regions and areas of commercial interest.
The Pegasi Sentinel newsfeed featured this statement from Archon Delaine:
“As sovereign ruler of the Kumo nation, it’s my responsibility to increase prosperity for the systems under my protection. My new starports will extend our reach and boost trading of all kinds… legitimate and otherwise.”
“I have also placed bounties on the heads of anyone who dares to interfere with my plans. The one thing we never trade in is mercy.”
The Razor Whips, one of Delaine’s loyal factions, is organising the campaign. It will reimburse pilots who deliver ceramic composites, semiconductors, polymers and water purifiers to Gabriel Enterprise in the Harma system.
The number of new starports will depend on the quantity of deliveries. The targeted locations are:
Pegasi sector PN-T C3-14, near the Harma system
HIP 18390, near the California Nebula
HIP 10792, near the Sothis system
HIP 62154, in the Coalsack Nebula
Eol Prou PC-K c9-91, in the Colonia region
April 13, 3307
Federal Reactions to Communications Surveillance Programme
There have been mixed responses to the Proactive Detection Bureau, which monitors private communications in the Federation for terrorist activity.
Mainstream newsfeeds reported on the situation:
The Federal Times: “Civil rights groups are united in protest against the PDB. The controversy was also seized upon by the corporatist movement that was formed by Jupiter Division supporters. Their spokesperson stated: ‘The government has overstepped its authority and must be replaced by direct corporate rule.’”
Sol Today: “Has everyone already forgotten Li Qing Jao station burning in the night skies above Earth? Whatever it takes to keep us safe must be done. Only people with something to hide demand secrecy.”
Vox Galactica: “Professor Irene Ralston of Olympus Village University told us that her political history students received visits by FIA agents for researching Marlinism, despite it being on the curriculum.”
The Tau Ceti Journal: “Corporations that incurred financial losses in the bombings have welcomed the PDB. But other businesses have submitted legal challenges, claiming a right to protect sensitive commercial information. Megacorps such as Caine Massey and Vandermeer are even threatening to withdraw political donations.”
April 12, 3307
Galactic Mysteries: Dredger Clans
Erik Gunnarson of the Wallglass Investigations Agency discusses the nomadic tribes that wander the galaxy in converted dredger megaships.
“It’s well known that there are many travelling communities – groups of people who prefer to live on the move rather than settle anywhere. Proudly independent, they survive on the fringes of civilisation and tend to avoid interacting with the authorities. Those commonly known as the Dredger Clans are among the most successful.”
“Dredger-class bulk cruisers convert both natural and man-made minerals into raw resources, to sustain themselves on deep-space voyages. Improved hyperdrives and fuel-scooping systems made this design redundant long ago, but some were taken over by nomads and kept operational.”
“These dredgers are now a type of generation ship. Each hosts tens of thousands of people, whose cultures have evolved – or devolved – over decades or centuries. Some are true loners while others have formed alliances, or occasionally gather to increase their gene pools.”
“Typically these clans act as scavengers, quickly passing through systems to steal anything not locked down. Several take what they need in more aggressive ways, such as raiding unprotected outposts.”
“A few have even darker reputations. I remember being told as a boy: ‘If you don’t behave, the Phagos take you away in your sleep and eat you up.’ All my childhood nightmares came surging back when I discovered there may be some truth to that story.”
“More recently, I’ve heard rumours that a rarely seen Dredger Clan has resurfaced. Naturally, Wolfe has rushed off to find out more. Hopefully she’ll be able to increase our limited knowledge of these mysterious tribes.”
April 9, 3307
Imperial Senator Visits Marlinist Colonies
Senator Lorcan Scordato has visited the Marlinist Colonies on a fact-finding mission as part of the Empire’s anti-terrorism operations.
The Imperial Herald was permitted to publish this summary of his preliminary report:
“Considering their recent refugee status, the Marlinist communities are remarkably well-organised. Their government works along republican lines but they have not abandoned Imperial culture, with many feeling homesick for their original worlds.”
“However, their situation remains precarious, with three of their eight systems now under the control of external factions. Without increased support from the galactic community, further losses may be unavoidable.”
“Regarding the NMLA, there is widespread anger that they have made all Marlinists look like monsters. Only rarely did I sense guarded approval, with the vast majority openly condemning the terrorists.”
“The Marlinist Parliament is small but efficient, containing a spectrum of viewpoints. First Minister Fairfax is focused on cohesion and survival, Amrita Ross discussed future reintegration with the Empire, while Aaron Whyte sees Neo-Marlinism as a valid political movement if violence can be avoided.”
“Months ago these were ordinary Imperial citizens, and our shared history still binds us. Generally, I feel that the Marlinist Colonies are closer to allies than enemies in our war against the NMLA.”
April 8, 3307
Neo-Marlinist Faction Defeated in Battle
Pilots Federation ALERT
The Mudhrid system conflict has ended with the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group overcoming the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid.
This was triggered by ACT discovering that the Neo-Marlinist faction had provided transports and logistical support for the NMLA’s attacks against nine starports.
The Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group has thanked all pilots who contributed to its triumph. Rewards are now available at Payne-Scott City in the Mudhrid system.
Landgrave Arastin Delacroix, ruler of the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid, has so far evaded capture. He managed to broadcast this message:
“Those brave warriors who fought for our cause can receive recompense at the Steel Majesty. One day we will slay the Duvals and bring revolution to the Empire!”
Inspector Mara Klatt of ACT told the media:
“This is a definite victory against the NMLA. It also provides an insight into their modus operandi – promising disenfranchised or delusional leaders, such as Landgrave Delacroix, increased status in the new Republic should they succeed. We assume they used similar third parties to support the Alliance and Federation bombings.”
“Our agents are gathering information, but it’s clear that the NMLA’s network is more advanced and widespread than we first suspected.”
The Awakening of the Adamastor
Pilots Federation ALERT
The Adamastor, a 200 year old ‘ghost ship’ in orbit around Chukchan 5 b, has received a mysterious encrypted signal. The derelict vessel has been undergoing investigation by Alliance Salvage Guild teams since its discovery last October. They released this report:
“Months ago, we cut open one of the Adamastor’s damaged cargo holds to find an undeployed communications beacon. We managed to power it up, but it contained no data and had never been used.”
“This beacon has now automatically activated, and is receiving and rebroadcasting a long-range signal. The transmission’s source cannot be identified, but is definitely of interstellar origin. Its encoded content has yet to be deciphered.”
The Adamastor vanished in 3111 after an incident that may have involved the first historical encounter with the Thargoids. It reappeared in 3306 when it entered the Chukchan system at sublight speeds on autopilot, with no sign of its crew.
It was recently learned that in 3113 the Adamastor’s sister ship, the Hesperus, also disappeared. Both were owned by a corporation called Azimuth Biochemicals, which was absorbed by a rival named Pharmasapien. Little is known about either company, but it is believed they were competitors in the field of xenological research.
April 6, 3307
Federation Begins Anti-Terrorist Monitoring
The Proactive Detection Bureau has been set up by the Federal Intelligence Agency to scan civilian communications for signs of terrorist activity.
The new department was formed following congressional approval of the Domestic Counter-Terrorism Act. This was drafted by Vice President Jerome Archer, who told the media:
“The PDB is a vital tool to prevent further massacres on the scale we have recently witnessed. It will unearth NMLA terrorists and other dangerous activists concealed among innocent citizens, and help keep our families safe.”
Deputy Director Bethany Blake, who has been appointed to run the Proactive Detection Bureau, explained its operations:
“Highly advanced algorithms will scan all data transmitted across public and private networks on a system-wide level. Any suspicious communications are redirected to a regional hub, for review by trained investigators.”
“It is important to understand that only specific activity within narrow parameters will be flagged, and must pass dozens of automated checkpoints before our operatives can access it.”
Shadow President Winters and civil rights groups have protested that this violates long-standing privacy laws. However, President Hudson has championed the PDB as a cornerstone of the new counter-terrorism statutes.
April 5, 3307
The Wedding of Hadrian Duval
Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval, leader of the isolationist group Nova Imperium, has married his consort Astrid Minerva in a closed ceremony.
Commander Minerva was a young Imperial pilot who aided Nova Imperium at the Battle of Paresa in 3305 and became a loyal supporter. Her official title is now Lady Astrid Minerva-Duval.
Princess Aisling Duval personally attended her cousin’s wedding at a secure location. She referred to it as “a precious moment of joy in these bleak times”.
The Imperial Palace and the Senate have sent congratulatory messages, and the event was covered by mainstream media.
Paresa News Network: “Astrid’s well-deserved rise to nobility has made her fellow Paresans very proud. Everyone at PNN is overjoyed for the happy couple!”
Eye on Achenar: “It’s an insult to the noble Duval bloodline when some trigger-jockey from a gutter system can sink her claws into the Emperor’s own nephew.”
The Imperial Herald: “Hadrian taking a bride at the age of 20 has surprised many. If he becomes the only Duval to produce heirs, it will place pressure on Emperor Arissa and Princess Aisling, neither of whom have consorts.”
In related news, Nova Imperium vessels are participating in the current conflict against the Neo-Marlinists of Mudhrid. Praetor Leo Magnus, head of security, is liaising with the IISS on anti-terrorism intelligence.
April 2, 3307
Galactic Mysteries: Generation Ships
Erik Gunnarson and Francesca Wolfe investigate the abandoned relics of spacefaring communities from the early years of colonisation.
Wolfe: “Generation ships are essentially mobile cities designed to carry expanding populations, and are always an impressive sight. But there’s one I keep returning to – the Thetis, orbiting Nefertem 6 a.”
“Listening to its logs always chills my blood. They describe how a whispered phrase from an uninhabited planet somehow caused over 17,000 people to slaughter each other. Nobody knows if it was mass hysteria, psychological stress from decades in space, or… something else.”
“So many visits to the Thetis, and I still can’t work up the nerve to play its final log entry. I’ve been warned that I won’t be the same afterwards.”
Gunnarson: “Before hyperdrives, generation ships were a viable way to colonise distant star systems. Millions of people lived out their whole lives within self-contained societies, so their descendants might walk upon new worlds.”
“The tragedy is that many of these pioneering megaships vanished entirely, never reaching their destinations. But some were rediscovered, usually because of listening posts intercepting their ancient broadcasts.”
“There are various reasons why these expeditions failed. The Lazarus, now orbiting Virudnir 6, suffered mechanical breakdowns whereas the Pleione, in the Hez Ur system, had a population that only produced male babies.”
“Most disturbing are those where the crew descended into barbarism, like the Artemis at Mu Cassiopeia C 1 and the Demeter in the Mizuchi system. Along with Wolfe’s favourite – if that’s the right word – these stand as horrific monuments to our darker natures.”
“Lost generation ships rarely carry survivors, but that was the case with the Golconda, whose people now occupy an outpost on Upaniklis B 3. So perhaps more living relics are still adrift in the void, waiting to complete centuries-long missions.”
April 1, 3307
Empire Attacks Neo-Marlinist Faction
Pilots Federation ALERT
Conflict has erupted between the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group and the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid.
An investigation by ACT in the Mudhrid system confirmed that the Order of Mudhrid provided logistical support for the NMLA’s starport attacks. Their agents infiltrated other local factions to transport enzyme bombs to their targets.
The faction has now renamed itself the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid. Landgrave Arastin Delacroix, its leader, has declared a revolution against the Imperial Family. From his flagship, the Steel Majesty, he announced:
“The corrupt Duvals will never give up their power, so we must take it from them. All those who seek to change the established order – join us!”
The Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group responded by engaging their forces in battle. Senator Denton Patreus has ordered them to “take revenge for the ‘Nine Martyrs’ atrocities.”
This is the first instance of a faction openly adopting Neo-Marlinism, although it has not been officially recognised by the Marlinist Colonies. Minister Aaron Whyte commented:
“It’s a lost opportunity that Landgrave Delacroix chose to aid extremists, rather than provide a political platform to the Neo-Marlinist community. I hope we can soon replace the cycle of violence with meaningful communication.”
March 31, 3307
Crashed Ship of Missing ACT Agent Located
Pilots Federation ALERT
The vessel of Captain Niamh Seutonia, who vanished on an anti-NMLA mission, has been found with its crew dead.
Following a widespread search by independent pilots, Commander TheRealFlame was the first to discover the wreckage of the Valkyrie in the Trianguli sector GW-W B1-0 system. It was apparent that the ship crashed after sustaining weapons fire, and that all crewmembers died on impact.
ACT co-leader Senior Agent Tanya Ramirez gave this statement to the media:
“We owe a debt to every pilot who joined our efforts to find the Valkyrie. It’s an emotional blow for us to lose one of ACT’s guiding lights, along with her courageous team.”
“However, Captain Seutonia managed to secure her mission logs moments before the ship’s destruction. This allowed vital information to be recovered.”
“We now have evidence confirming that a Neo-Marlinist faction in the Mudhrid system was directly involved in the NMLA starport bombings. We have shared our findings with Imperial authorities, and the Order of Mudhrid is being investigated.”
Captain Niamh Seutonia rose to prominence as part of the tri-superpower taskforce that eliminated the League of Reparation in 3304. The Imperial Internal Security Service confirmed that she will be posthumously awarded the Achenar Service Cross.
March 30, 3307
Federal Congress Grants Emergency Surveillance Powers
Vice President Jerome Archer has successfully proposed a new public surveillance law designed to prevent future terrorist attacks in the Federation.
The Domestic Counter-Terrorism Act was debated in Congress before being approved by a majority vote. It is considered to be emergency legislation that replaces all previous laws regarding monitoring civilian activity and intercepting personal communications.
Vice President Archer, who personally drafted much of the new statute, announced:
“This will allow the government to actively seek out any terrorist agents and sympathisers lurking within our communities. We will never again allow so many families and friends to be taken from us.”
Shadow President Felicia Winters responded:
“Nobody wants another ‘Nine Martyrs’, and it’s vital that security is increased across the Federation. But this is an outrageous violation of civil liberties. For this administration to grant itself access to every citizen’s private life makes it resemble a dictatorial regime.”
VP Archer later confirmed that he is already working with the heads of security services on practical applications of the new law. As a former director of the Federal Intelligence Agency, he is expected to make rapid progress.
March 29, 3307
Demands for Empire to Solve Terrorist Problem
The fear of further starport bombings has placed internal and external pressure on the Empire to address the threat posed by the NMLA.
Despite sharing intelligence via ACT, the Alliance and Federation have demanded that the Empire must do more to eradicate the NMLA, since it is ‘Imperial in origin and ambition’.
The latest developments were covered by mainstream media channels.
The Imperial Herald: “In the Senate, Chancellor Anders Blaine reported that the Emperor has instructed him to present a range of options. Senator Lorcan Scordato has volunteered to visit the Marlinist Colonies on a fact-finding mission, to better understand the political character of the Neo-Marlinist fringe.”
Eye on Achenar: “The entire system is still shellshocked by the slaughter at Dawes Hub, a vicious stab at the heart of our glorious Empire. In our opinion poll, 93% of right-thinking citizens would send a fleet of Majestics to the murdering Marlinists instead of some soft-hearted senator.”
Vox Galactica: “In most Imperial cities and settlements, anxiety levels remain high. The NMLA’s ability to strike seemingly anywhere has rocked public confidence in the Empire’s strength. Opinions on Marlinism itself are more polarised than ever, with accusations of ‘warmonger’ and ‘collaborator’ dividing many families and relationships.”
March 26, 3307
Jasmina Halsey Becomes Federal Ambassador
Former President Jasmina Halsey has joined the Federal Diplomatic Corps to become an ambassador to the Alliance.
In recent years Halsey served as an advisor to Prime Minister Mahon, but returned to the Federation in January to stand as a witness in the Starship One trial. She was a guest of Shadow President Felicia Winters at the Galactic Summit, and both were evacuated back to Mars when it was cancelled.
At a press conference, Ambassador Halsey said:
“Being at the conference reminded me that the political arena is where I belong. My new responsibilities allow me to continue serving the Federation while making use of my experience within the Alliance, and hopefully build stronger bridges between the two.”
Elijah Beck, head of the Alliance Office of Diplomatic Relations, sent this message:
“Jasmina’s level-headed advice has calmed many tense political situations. This is the ideal role for a diplomat of her calibre, and I look forward to working with her again.”
In related news, the Federal Diplomatic Corps confirmed that Ambassador Jordan Rochester had been recalled from duty to be reassigned. Most of the Empire and Federation’s embassies in each other’s space have been closed since November 3306.
March 25, 3307
Medicines Delivered for Starport Bombing Survivors
Pilots Federation ALERT
Safeguard Interstellar has successfully received medical supplies for civilians wounded during the NMLA terrorist attack.
The bombing of nine starports across the Alliance, Empire and Federation left huge numbers of people injured, some with caustic burns due to Thargoid enzymes deployed by the explosives.
Noel Beaumont, the aid organisation’s CEO, announced:
“We are immensely grateful to all pilots who brought shipments of basic medicines and advanced medicines. These have been transported directly to the relevant systems, where they will be used to ease the suffering of several hundred thousand civilians.”
Safeguard Interstellar confirmed that its partner factions have made rewards available at the three systems used as staging areas for deliveries.
Pilots can collect from the Perez Ring Brewery at Krylov Ring in the He Bo system, Lavigny's Legion at Mackenzie Relay in the Cemiess system, and the Duamta Gold Creative Corp at Davis Terminal in the Duamta system.
Over the past two weeks, emergency services have been concentrated on the nine damaged starports in the Achenar, Alioth, Eotienses, Gateway, Kamadhenu, Lave, Nanomam, Rhea and Sol systems. All survivors have been accounted for and repairs are largely completed, mainly due to dedicated support by members of the Pilots Federation.
ACT Requests Help to Locate Missing Agent
Pilots Federation ALERT
Assistance is needed to track down an ACT operative who vanished while on a mission to identify NMLA suppliers.
The missing agent is Captain Niamh Seutonia of the Imperial Internal Security Service, one of the joint leaders of the anti-NMLA intelligence unit. She was following up on clues resulting from analysis of the ‘Nine Martyrs’ starport bombings.
Senior Agent Tanya Ramirez, a co-leader of ACT, gave this statement:
“Captain Seutonia and her team were travelling on an Anaconda-class vessel named the Valkyrie. Mission details are scarce as information was compartmentalised for security, but she was investigating a minor faction that may be supplying the NMLA.”
“We know that her ship left the Mudhrid system on the 24th of March, on a heading toward the Marlinist Colonies. Captain Castile of the Marlinist Constabulary, on secondment to ACT, arranged a rendezvous that she never reached. So we know the Valkyrie went missing somewhere inbetween.”
“All Commanders in the region are asked to join the search for Captain Seutonia’s ship. Our fervent hope is that we find its crew alive, and that they managed to obtain data to help us defeat the NMLA.”
March 24, 3307
New Federal Vice President Selected
President Zachary Hudson has announced that the new vice president of the Federation is Jerome Archer, replacing the deceased Brad Mitchell.
Archer was previously serving as the Secretary of Security. Prior to becoming a congressman, he was a director of the Federal Intelligence Agency and had a long career in law enforcement.
His predecessor, VP Brad Mitchell, died in the NMLA bombing of Li Qing Jao station in the Sol system. The attack also killed several members of the Federal Cabinet along with many government officials, who were attending a meeting at the starport.
Addressing a gathering of Congress, Vice President Archer said:
“My primary focus in this office will be to increase security throughout the Federation. I vow to build vigilance into the fabric of our society, and prevent such atrocities from ever happening again.”
During the congressional session, President Hudson announced new appointments for other deceased members of the Cabinet. He also successfully obtained approval to increase funding for counter-terrorism operations run by ACT and the Federal Navy.
March 23, 3307
Marlinists Reject Accusations of Terrorist Links
The Marlinist Parliament has refuted widespread allegations of supporting or concealing members of the NMLA paramilitary group.
Fuelled by media speculation, many political and military leaders have suggested that the Marlinist Colonies should be occupied or destroyed to take revenge for the recent bombings. However, there is no evidence that these systems have any direct connection to the NMLA.
First Minister Jenna Fairfax gave this statement to Vox Galactica:
“The starport attacks were as sickening and terrifying to us as to the rest of the galaxy. The Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army follows a twisted creed that has no bearing on true Marlinism.”
“We have sent our own intelligence team to join ACT, led by Captain Milo Castile of the Marlinist Constabulary. It is vital that we all work together to end the NMLA’s campaign of terror.”
There was also a comment from fellow parliamentarian Aaron Whyte:
“I understand it’s human nature to seek a villain, but we should remember that the Neo-Marlinist cause has sound political foundations. The Empire suppressed all republican movements for centuries, imprisoning and executing far more people than those who died in the ‘Nine Martyrs’.”
March 22, 3307
ACT Gathers Intelligence on the NMLA
The Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit (ACT), formed by all three superpowers to combat the NMLA, has launched its investigation.
The organisation has been working closely with Alliance Interpol, the Imperial Internal Security Service and the Federal Intelligence Agency to collate data on the terrorist strikes against nine starports.
Captain Niamh Seutonia, one of ACT’s joint leaders, told the media:
“Initial forensic results from the targeted stations suggest the use of a more compact bomb design than in previous attacks, possibly constructed on-site. Worryingly, the NMLA’s new generation of weapons seem to be easier to transport and conceal.”
“The good news is that a comparison of reports has revealed one very promising lead. I will personally take a team to follow this up, and we’re hoping for an early breakthrough.”
Inspector Mara Klatt also provided a brief progress report:
“Our working theory is that the NMLA employs an undetectable interstellar communications system to coordinate its attacks. A similar dark-comms network was used by the League of Reparation before we decrypted it, but this version is evidently more sophisticated. We are liaising with local security services to gather evidence.”