There is blood in the water and the politicians have begun hunting their prey.
Yesterday, Shadow President Hudson placed a motion before Congress asking that they issue a Vote of No Confidence against President Halsey’s administration. The motion was accepted, and the vote has been scheduled to take place on Monday afternoon.
According to historic procedure, if a Vote of No Confidence in the encumbent President succeeds, then the Shadow President gets the chance to form an administration, which in turn is then put to a vote. If this fails, then a full congressional election is triggered.
The Shadow President succeeding in these circumstances is not unheard of, but pretty rare. The last occasion was when the increasingly unpopular Eugene Cooper was ousted by the charismatic Antonia Madison in 3264 following a mid-term Vote of No Confidence.
Shadow President Zachary Hudson has continued his criticism of Halsey’s administration, finally moving to the feared vote of no confidence. In his address to Congress, Shadow President Hudson has made it clear the situation needs a resolution.
“These are uncertain times and, with no disrespect to Jasmina’s memory, we need to put an end to this weak administration and bring our beloved Federation back on track. We cannot allow ourselves the luxury of wallowing in this state of horrendous disarray for even a moment longer.”
“Had Jasmina returned, it would have made no difference. She was away trying to raise support from the frontier as she knew this vote of no confidence was coming. I call for it now. Let’s get it out of the way and move on, here on Mars and throughout the Federation.”
“We are not some Imperial dynasty. We do not allow the whims of our dead to dictate terms to the living.”
“As such, in her absence, and without any ill intent towards Secretary Winters, I am issuing a call for a vote of no confidence against the current administration.”
Following Shadow President Zachary Hudson’s call to have Congress issue a Vote of No Confidence against President Jasmina Halsey, Acting President Felicia Winters held a press conference outside Congress to address the Shadow President’s concerns about the future.
“Let me start by saying how truly saddened I am by the loss of my long time friend, Jasmina. I know that were she here instead of me, she would be deeply disappointed with the fear-mongering being bandied about by members of the opposition. Nevertheless we have to bow to process.”
“In order to allow a right and proper number of representatives from the frontier worlds to attend, Congress will meet on Monday to formally vote on the future of the Federation. Should I be chosen to continue to serve, I promise that you will get the kind of president that you deserve.”
Shadow President Hudson today called an Emergency Session of Congress to address concerns surrounding Starship One’s disappearance.
During the meeting, the Shadow President openly mocked the idea that Starship One’s disappearance could have been caused by simple engine failure.
“Jasmina and I weren’t close – heck, we hated each other, and that’s the truth of it. But the idea, the very notion, that our best and brightest out there on Starship One would have let that bird fly with a busted engine... No way. Those guys are military. We need to be looking for who did it. We need to nail them NOW. The assassin is busy covering their tracks while we speak. This dithering inaction and woolly thinking is typical of this administration. Let’s face it Halsey had enough enemies like those onionhead guys, numerous frontier systems she has annoyed, and the elephant in the room – the Empire.”
Acting President Winters took a more levelled approach.
“I appreciate the sheer gamut of emotions my esteemed colleague must be feeling, but at times like these, level heads must prevail. We have found no evidence of foul play as yet. Our engineers are sifting through copious amounts of data and so far it does look like a very unusual catastrophic failure rather than sabotage.”
Despite claims that the disappearance of Starship One was due to a failure in the ship’s Frame Shift Drive, rumours abound about a more sinister, possibly extraterrestrial explanation.
Alex Snoori, host of the popular interstellar talk show Beyond Top Secret, had this to say to his listeners.
“It’s an outrage, that’s what it is. Do you think those Martian fat cats that rule over us want you to know the truth? I don’t think so.”
“Learn your history, people. It wasn’t all that long ago that our ancestors were being plucked out of the black right into the belly of bugs. Wake up sheeple, you don’t want to be sitting around dressed up like mutton when they come for you. Do not let the government tell you lies. You’re smarter than that.”
“There’s been a lot of hullabaloo about strange things being found out there recently. Weird, pulsing, alien things. I don’t know where they came from, but I do know that they’re creepy, and gross, and almost certainly dangerous. You think it’s a coincidence that the President went missing just weeks after those THINGS turn up? Don’t be so naive. WAKE UP sheeple, you’re being lied to.”
At a press conference held earlier today, Acting Federal President Felicia Winters made a personal appearance to address the rdisappearance of Starship One after failing to re-enter normal space following a routine hyperspace jump.
“The disappearance of Starship One has us all on edge. Tensions are high, and the rumour mills are making all their usual noise about terrorists, aliens, conspiracies and cover-ups. I’m afraid the truth will likely get you all far fewer viewers, but it is the truth that the people of the Federation need to hear from me now.”
“I’m told the early investigations from telemetry and uplink data suggest an explosive drive failure destroyed Starship One in hyperspace, catapulting all three of her protective Guardian Wing out of hyperspace. Wreckage is likely spread across interstellar space. I’m told there are parallels with the loss of the Highliner Antares way back in 3251 when she was lost with all hands on her maiden voyage.”
“I know I remember where I was when the Highliner Antares disappeared, and I fear we will always remember where we were the day Starship One was lost.”
“While we don’t know what caused this incident – yet – we do know that Starship One’s engines experienced an unexpected surge of power just seconds before making its last jump.”
“The search efforts will continue, of course. Our hearts and hope go out to the friends and families of President Halsey and all those lost yesterday in this terrible incident.”
It has been almost 48 hours since the disappearance of Starship One. Early reports indicated that the ship was lost with all hands, and in this instance GalNet is pleased to announce that the early reports were mistaken. Three ships from Starship One’s Guardian Wing made contact with Navy HQ shortly after the initial disappearance. Unfortunately, they were not able to shed any light on the ultimate fate of Starship One.
Despite thousands of Federal scouts combing the sectors along Starship One's secured route, designated Spaceflight One, no trace of the missing ship has been found.
Specialist teams from Core Dynamics and the Sirius Corporation are currently attempting to analyse the wake and uplink data captured by the President’s Guardian Wing escorts in the moments before all four ships jumped. Theories involve either a rare misjump or some sort of catastrophic drive failure. Unfortunately, results so far are inconclusive as to what may have happened to President Halsey and her team.
One member of the crew of one of the President’s Guardian Wing, who wished to remain nameless, spoke exclusively to GalNet about the last moments before the President’s disappearance.
“I’ve never seen anything like it. One minute everything was fine. Pre-jump checks? Normal. Engine power? Normal. Our drives were slaved to Starship One, as is normal. The entry to hyperspace seemed normal at first, but then there was a terrible shock wave and our ship started tumbling. We exited hyperspace uncontrolled and in deep space – something I’ve never seen before. Our ship had taken damage. We couldn’t reach Starship One via comms, but managed to make contact with the other two members of the Guardian Wing. We first searched the deep space around our positions, then jumped to the destination point rendezvous as quickly as we could. Nothing. Not even wreckage. ”
The Federal Navy are requesting that any pilots interested in helping to search along the Starflight One route should sign up for active duty as a member of the search and rescue team aboard Leoniceno Orbital in Azaleach.
At 15:00 hours universal galactic time on 26th May 3301, Secretary of State Felicia Winters assumed the role of Acting President of the Federation in the wake of the disappearance of Spaceflight One.
Speaking in an emergency broadcast to the nation, Acting President Winters had this to say:
“It is with deep regret and some trepidation that I must come before you today to announce that contact with the President’s ship, Spaceflight One, has been lost.”
“Two days ago, Navy Command received word that the President would be taking an unscheduled detour to Azaleach. Her reasons as to why remain classified.”
“12 hours ago, following entry into hyperspace, Spaceflight One went dark. All attempts by the President’s security team to trace the vessel have met with failure.”
“Squadrons have been scrambled in an attempt to find President Halsey and Vice President Naylor, and I have faith that the Navy will do everything they can to bring them home.”
“That said, in order to maintain a clear chain of command during this time of crisis, I will be assuming the role of Acting President of the Federation effective immediately. I hope I have your support, and I hope it will only have to be a temporary measure.”
Reports coming in from Saga indicate that the President has missed her scheduled meeting with delegates aboard Zudov Terminal. Maisy Stevenson, the leader of the Saga Republic Party, expressed her concern to GalNet in the following statement:
“We were expecting Starflight One to arrive a little under 38 hours ago. An escort was sent to meet Starflight One at the prearranged location, but the ship simply didn’t appear. We informed Mars and were told that the President had decided to take a last-minute detour.”
“I understand the President’s time is precious, but it would have been nice to get a little bit of advance notice. The people of Saga spent a not inconsiderable amount of time and credits preparing to greet the President, and now their hard work appears to have gone to waste. I do hope that the President manages to find time for us in her seemingly busy schedule. I would hate to think that the people of Saga had in some way been snubbed by Halsey.”
Ellie Blossum, The CEO of the Crimson Fortune Company, has today issued a statement regarding the recent unrest in Liaedin.
"As many of you know, the Federation’s influence in Liaedin has come under attack in recent months, despite many years of peace between the Blossum and the Faveol families.”
“We believe that this destabilisation effort was a deliberate act of malice, intended to encourage certain unruly members of the Faveol family to attempt to expand beyond the borders of Liaedin, as evidenced by the recent attack on Volungu.”
“The Crimson Fortune Company would like to thank Commander Wolzan and the Shadow Navy for their efforts to keep the Liaedin system in a fair balance of power. We would also like to thank the many Federal pilots who came to our aid during the blockade of Liaedin last weekend. Without your diligence, we are certain that enemies of the Federation would even now be using Liaedin as a staging area for their illegal expansionist agenda.”
The return of Onionhead to Panem may be a blessing for the farmers of Kappa Fornacis, but for their neighbours, the Fornacian dream has turned into a living nightmare.
“It’s not right,” one concerned resident of the nearby BD-18 394 system told GalNet. “Sure, they’re doing alright over there in Kappa F, but what about us? What do we get? I’ll tell you, smugglers and pirates, that’s what.”
Crime has spiralled out of control throughout the Ceti Sector, with many locals echoing the sentiment that the Farmers Union of Kappa Fornacis should be held responsible for attracting such unsavoury characters to what was once a peaceful area.
In an attempt to clean up the sector, the Independent Autahenetsi Labour Party are currently offering a range of bonus payments to any Bounty Hunters who sign up to act as Federal Ceti Sector Security Services Agents at Artyukhin Ring in Autahenetsi.
Speaking from the site of her new palace on Kamadhenu, Princess Lavigny-Duval today addressed the recent problems faced by residents of Persephone in the face of a plague outbreak which was brought to the system by the refugees from Quivira.
“I understand the concerns of the citizens of Persephone, and I am sorry for their plight. However, the illness affecting the refugees, many of whom are malnourished and woefully lax in terms of adequate vaccination cover, is not something that should concern the locals.”
“Of more concern to locals should be the increase in pirate activity, which I have been reliably informed is up by almost 600% since Patreus decided to start throwing his weight around.”
“The people of Quivira certainly need help, but it is their patron’s responsibility to help them, not mine. I’m sure Aisling is more than capable of handling this problem herself. However, if she wishes for my help I will of course be happy to oblige. We are family, after all.”
After recent terrorist activities in 78 Ursae Majoris, GalNet received multiple reports about a single transmission regarding Dr Arcanonn, that has been broadcast via various radio stations throughout known inhabited space simultaneously without their approval.
GalNet was provided with a recording of the audio message:
“It doesn’t matter who I am. My message is clear and simple. You have all been deceived by a charismatic individual calling himself a scientist, full of misled ambitions, going by the name of Dr Arcanonn. He is taking advantage of the picture in your head of him being peaceful and reasonable for the greater good, but your support is being utilized and shamefully exploited. But who am I to trust? What do my words of prudence, my voice of sanity matter?”
“Just look at his last statement, indirectly acknowledging terrorism, clearly showing that he is willing to do everything to achieve his own goals.”
The voice goes on, describing the researcher’s various unsafe attempts to solve the artefact’s secrets and describing the Doctor’s demands for information as a masked attempt to sow the seeds of discord between them. The message closes with a call to stop the group’s support:
“Don’t let yourself be fooled. Open your eyes and see the clear truth unfolded in front of you. I’m asking for your sanity! Don’t let history repeat itself! Remember!”
It is still unknown how the coordinated transmission was achieved, as it presents a serious effort.
The respective station owners are also researching how that broadcast was routed into their programmes and deny any previous knowledge or even support to allow this transmission.
The People’s Princess made an appearance in Cemiess late last night to attend the opening of Emerald’s newest art installation, ‘Prism’s Shades’, a multi-sensory experience that uses experimental light and sound projection technology to stimulate a series of empathic responses from its audience.
Aisling dazzled crowds by dressing in a long-sleeved ruby red evening gown, adorned with painite sparkles. She accessorised with an equally stunning tinted visor, fashionably stamped with Aisling’s personal crest.
Surprisingly, the people’s princess only stayed at the installation for a little over an hour. Aisling left the show long before midnight, citing exhaustion from her recent activities in the Summerlands as the reason behind her early exit.
The accomplishments of independent pilots participating in the Buckyball Run A* rally race continue to make headlines around civilized space. This 26,000 light year rally race to the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy has so far attracted over 40 fearless competitors. One of these competitors, Commander Alot, has made a name for himself by beating the galactic record for the quickest run twice in less than a month.
Alot’s current time to reach Sagittarius A*, an incredible 9 hours 39 minutes, was accomplished aboard a Faulcon DeLacy Anaconda named ‘Rhonda’. In comparison, his previous record-breaking attempt was done in 11 hours 46 minutes using a Lakon Spaceways Asp called the ‘Big Bird’.
When asked for a statement, Alot answered philosophically:
“Nothing lasts forever. I'm quite sure that in time my record will be beaten. In fact, I've already heard of several skilled pilots planning their next attempts, and I wish them the best of luck.”
At the time of broadcast, Commander Kligg has already taken the lead, passing Commander Alot by a mere 8 minutes, using an Anaconda named the ‘Rub Tub’. However, Kligg himself speculated in a short statement that it was only a matter of time before Alot climbs back to the first position.
Léonard Chamberlain - GalNet News Correspondent
Over the course of the weekend hundreds of tons of Bio-Waste were dumped in and around stations in 78 Ursae Majoris. This system is currently undergoing preparations for President Halsey's arrival as part of her planned grand tour. A group calling themselves 'The Canonn' claims responsibility for this act.
An anonymous spokesperson told GalNet that they are "a movement of like-minded Commanders seeking the truth about the recently discovered 'Unknown Artefacts'." They state that they are "prepared to use whatever levers are at their disposal to increase the political pressure on the Federation government to force them to come clean." The spokesperson echoed growing fears that the artefacts could be some new weapon of mass destruction.
Parallels were immediately drawn to Dr. Arcanonn and his recent demands to the Federation government following research into the Unknown Artefacts discovered to be transported in Federation convoys. We asked Arcanonn if he was connected to this terrorist group. He denied any responsibility for the group's actions but declined to answer any further questions on the subject of his potential involvement.
However he did go on to say:
"It is clear that we are not the only ones who are growing tired of the Federation's cover-up over these artefacts and some Commanders would seem to be taking more direct action. Obviously, I do not condone such methods but I can certainly sympathise with their frustration."
"In the spirit of seeking to put an end to these disruptive acts I urge all citizens, Federation, Alliance and Empire alike, to petition your government to make public any information that they have on the origin and nature of these objects before these demonstrations escalate. I also appeal to Chief Xeno-Chemist Lyran Betar to contact me so that we can pool our resources and research into these potentially related items, in the search for answers for the common good of all humanity."
The war-torn region of Quivira has finally settled into an uneasy peace, following an intense period of fighting which saw hundreds of thousands dead and several billion credits worth of damage done to the local economy.
Initially the situation looked promising for the People’s Quivira for Equality Party. Independent and Federal Commanders flocked from all across the galaxy in an attempt to repel Senator Denton Patreus’s attempts to extract the debts owed to him by the Quiviran government. Early attempts at repelling the Senator’s mercenary forces proved to be a success, and the freedom fighters were able to buy enough time for the People’s Quivira for Equality Party to evacuate a great many innocent civilians to neighbouring systems.
Unfortunately, once the Party’s credits ran out, so too did the support of Independent and Federal pilots.
Over the last week, Imperial forces loyal to Senator Patreus continued their assault on Quivira, and due to their efforts, Quivira Electronics Plc was finally able to secure control over Godel Dock early on Monday afternoon.
Despite being abandoned by their supposed saviours, the People’s Quivira for Equality Party were able to find some small respite from the war in the Summerlands. Thanks to the efforts of Aisling Duval and her ‘angels’, refugees from the People’s Quivira for Equality Party found themselves well cared for in the Summerlands, even as their counterparts in Persephone and Quivira continued to suffer.
Now that the war is over, the People’s Quivira for Equality Party has elected to pledge itself to Aisling’s service. In recognition of that fact, Senator Patreus has promised that only residents of Quivira who have directly broken Imperial law will be held responsible for the debt incurred by the previous administration. Members of the People’s Quivira for Equality Party who have sworn themselves to Aisling are expected to start returning to their homes over the next few days.
As further alien artefacts claiming to be from Soontill are being sold on the open market, the results of the initial scientific tests have been revealed.
“We were looking for key markers,” explains Chief Xeno-Chemist Lyran Betar. “Elemental make up, crystalline structure, anything that indicates it could have originated from human hand.”
And the results? Inconclusive. The research team’s results clearly state that no known human technology could have created the relics, yet they do not quite align with known Thargoid materials. Whatever they are, they are indeed very old, with isotopic dating indicating that they could well be tens of thousands of years old.
Jean Molyneaux, a historian from France, Earth, suggests we look back at our own past to determine the home of these relics. “Imagine an alien travelling back two thousand years into mankind’s past. The varied culture, arts and building materials of the Aztecs, Greeks, the Shang dynasty, what have you, the alien could think they were all different species, if that was his way of thinking…”
The community seems wary of awarding these artefacts any title yet, given the fifty years of false hopes since Soontill was first mentioned by the Thargoids. However, reports indicate that these relics have now arrived at labs on both Mars and Capitol for further testing, and with any luck, we may soon finally agree on what these relics are, or are not.
Senator Kahina Tijani Loren, currently residing as a guest on Capital at the request of Chancellor Blaine, remains completely ambivalent to inquiries into her intentions. She has airily dismissed questions regarding her purpose or what was said to her at the reception to which she was summoned and continues to ignore requests from the press.
Now there appears to be another name in the frame. Cuthrick Delaney, ambassador to the Prism system, has had a long and varied career within the Empire, first coming to prominence during the events which ended the dictatorship of Dr. Walden on the Old World planet of Lave. His precise involvement in that event was unclear, and he seems to have lost none of his ability to stay close to those with power in the intervening time. He has been seen in conversation with Kahina on many occasions.
There is considerable conjecture as to what stance Kahina will take. Many have stated that her aggressive tendencies will align her to Senator Patreus. Others have pointed out her support for traditional Imperial slavery, and her distant family connection to the Duvals, indicates an allegiance with Senator Torval is more likely
It would appear that only Kahina, and perhaps Cuthrick Delaney, actually know.
In other news, the Senator’s ship was confirmed to have had some significant modifications made to it recently, including a state of the art fuel scoop and a custom built Gutamaya discovery scanner.