December 10, 3307
Intrigue Surrounds Recovered Art Treasure
Recent evidence suggests that some of the precious items stolen by the Winking Cat have been sold to private collectors.
Crime correspondent Mira Bukowski has been following the story for Vox Galactica:
“When the FIA raided the home of media magnate Elias Metaxas, they found the painting Terra Absentia by Zoe Okeke hanging in his chambers – a painting stolen by the Winking Cat in 3305. Metaxas confessed to purchasing the famous artwork for 22 billion credits via a series of anonymous dealers, none of whom could be traced.”
“Coincidentally, there are rumours that an Imperial senator keeps some statues resembling the missing New Dawn collection hidden within her mountainside chalet. And only recently, multi-billionaire Zachary Rackham was overheard inviting an investor to ‘come up and see my Guernica’.”
“It seems that the thief has secretly sold these highly valuable treasures to private collectors. However, this is not typical behaviour for someone believed to be a genuine connoisseur of fine art as well as a skilled larcenist.”
“Perhaps there is an urgent need for huge sums of money, and since the Winking Cat has never stolen anything as vulgar as mere credits, this is the most ideal method. But what might the notorious criminal be planning?”
December 9, 3307
Tributes Gathered to Honour Duval Heir
Pilots’ Federation ALERT
The birth of Hadrian Duval’s son has been celebrated in grand fashion in the Paresa system.
Praetor Leo Magnus, the new leader of Nova Paresa, publicly thanked pilots for delivering Chateau De Aegaeon, HR 7221 Wheat, Indi Bourbon and Yaso Kondi Leaf to support these highly exclusive proceedings. Payment is now available from Dyson City starport.
Political journalist Cassia Carvalho discussed the arrival of Hector Mordanticus Duval in The Imperial Herald:
“As Emperor Hengist’s illegitimate grandson and former enemy of the state, Hadrian Duval has always been the outsider. Indeed, his newborn son’s middle name seems deliberately chosen to remind the Emperor that she ordered Hadrian’s mentor, Imperator Mordanticus, to be shot in cold blood.”
“But over the last two years, Hadrian’s position has gradually shifted from isolationist rebel to legitimised ally. He appeals to citizens who are unhappy with a female monarch, even more so now that he has a male heir. And he remains closest to the Imperial bloodline, with most other Duval family members having been assassinated by the NMLA.”
“Therefore, unless Arissa Lavigny-Duval or Aisling Duval produce children, it’s entirely possible that Hadrian’s child might inherit the throne. Despite only being a few days old, Hector Duval’s impact upon the Empire could be measured in centuries.”
Support Salvation’s Counterstrike Against the Thargoids
Pilots’ Federation ALERT
Salvation requires vital materials to deploy anti-xeno superweapons in the Delphi, Maia and Merope systems.
A message was transmitted from the Musashi megaship by its new commanding officer, Commodore Morag Halloran:
“The Thargoids have invaded three key systems, as Salvation anticipated. Preparations have been made to halt their advance, but there is an urgent requirement to collect classified experimental equipment from the Heart of Taurus in the Qarato system.”
“Pilots must then deliver these shipments to three other megaships: the Musashi in the Delphi system, the Bright Sentinel in the Maia system, and the Glorious Prospect in the Merope system.”
“It is crucial that all deliveries are made by early on Tuesday the 14th of December. Without these components, Salvation’s superweapons will not be able to affect enough Thargoid vessels to turn the tide.”
Commodore Halloran was formerly a member of the Alliance Defence Force, and was in charge of protecting the first expedition to the Coalsack Nebula in 3306. She is one of hundreds of naval officers and crew from all three superpowers who have resigned their commissions to offer their services to Salvation, believing that only he can defeat the Thargoids.
Vodel Releases Scorpion SRV
SRV manufacturer Vodel today announced the official release of its new vehicle, the Scorpion.
The first new mass-production model offered by the company in many years, the Scorpion is designed for combat operations and troop support. It is widely understood that Vodel’s acquisition by Core Dynamics in 3305 triggered the development of the new model, with the parent company’s considerable financial resources made available to Vodel’s engineering teams.
Vodel’s chief of design, Frank Endis, gave a speech at the company’s launch event at Levinson Orbital in Bhattra:
“We are delighted to bring the Scorpion SRV to the market and are excited at its potential. Our marketing team anticipates huge interest from independent operatives and military forces alike, thanks to the Scorpion’s impressive specifications.”
“A focus on survivability provides the Scorpion’s two-crew cabin with additional protection from harm. The plasma surge repeater and the proprietary Aculeus missile launcher work in perfect harmony when engaging shielded, armoured targets. Meanwhile, the Scorpion’s raw power offers exceptional torque, capable of handling harsh terrain and steep climbs.”
Core Dynamics CEO Owen McKenna also attended the event and was approached for comment:
“I’m really happy with how hard the Vodel team has worked on this new vehicle. They had clear goals in mind from the start, took Core Dynamics’ feedback on board and kept us updated regularly through the process. I think the acquisition of Vodel was one of the last good decisions Jupiter Rochester made as head of the company.”
The Scorpion SRV is now available to purchase from military economy ports.
December 7, 3307
Standoff for ACT and Theta Seven
Terrorist ringleader Theta Seven is defying capture by holding thousands of Far God cultists hostage in the Mudhrid system.
Vox Galactica published an on-the-scene report from freelance journalist Redmond O’Hara:
“Although the NMLA has been defeated in Mudhrid, the Theta Group bomb-makers remain in control of the Sacrosanct megaship. With so many lives at stake, ACT has focused all its efforts to resolve this tense situation.”
“We’ve heard that Senior Agent Ramirez and Inspector Klatt have both tried to open negotiations directly with Theta Seven. It is hard to imagine what they might offer him in terms of clemency, but they’re obviously determined to prevent further deaths at the NMLA’s hands.”
“After speaking to one of ACT’s tactical advisors, I can reveal that Captain Castile’s commando unit tried and failed to board the Sacrosanct as it did the Steel Majesty. This is apparently because the vessel is specially modified to prevent external access, in order to provide the Far God cultists with a sanctified environment during their pilgrimage.”
“Speaking of the cultists, they may not have accepted their predicament quite as passively as expected. Internal power failures detected within the Sacrosanct’s hyperdrive systems may well be a result of sabotage, and would explain why it hasn’t left the Mudhrid system. Perhaps in their own way, the Thargoid-worshippers are seeking justice for those murdered by Theta Seven’s appropriation of their deity’s ‘holy’ caustic enzymes.”
December 3, 3307
Dredger Clan Resumes Nomadic Travels
Pilots’ Federation ALERT
The Scriveners Clan dredger has departed from the Oochost PC-C c29-0 system to an unknown destination.
Freelance reporter Casey Kilpatrick provided a report for Vox Galactica:
“After a coalition of supporters helped them to bypass Orion University’s override codes, the Scriveners Clan has finally resumed their nomadic lifestyle. To its credit, the university has finally taken stock of public opinion and agreed not to pursue its ownership claims over the ancient dredger.”
“Many in the scientific community have pointed out that the contents of the Knowledge Core, around which the Scriveners’ entire culture is based, will now remain a mystery. There are rumours that this tribe of academic researchers have acquired data about the Guardians during their decades of wandering, which was perhaps the real prize sought by Orion University.”
“Concerns have also been raised about the Scriveners’ chances of survival if they encounter hostile forces. Had the Scientia Aeterna megaship been allowed to accompany the dredger, it could have offered protection or at least called for assistance. Now that the Scriveners Clan have resumed a solitary existence, their fate is once again entirely in their hands.”
January 22, 3307
Battle of Mudhrid Ends in NMLA Defeat
Pilots’ Federation ALERT
The Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid has been defeated by the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group in the Mudhrid system.
With the aid of many independent pilots, the Imperial faction outmatched the NMLA-supporting forces who were attempting to rescue their leader Theta Seven.
Captain Saskia Landau provided an update from ACT:
“Using the fierce fighting as cover, Captain Milo Castile led a commando unit made up of specialists from Alliance, Federal and Imperial security forces to gain access to the Steel Majesty. After freeing and arming the crewmembers that were being held hostage, they overpowered the NMLA troops and retook the megaship.”
“We have successfully prevented Theta Seven and his followers from rejoining their fellow terrorists. But the Far God cult’s vessel, the Sacrosanct, is still in the system under his control. Until the man responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths has been captured, our victory over the NMLA remains incomplete.”
The Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group stated that those who supported its campaign can now receive their rewards from Payne-Scott City starport.
The Imperial faction also agreed that independent pilots who fought for the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid will be permitted to collect payment from the Steel Majesty, which has been transferred to their ownership.
Empire Celebrates Newborn Duval
Pilots’ Federation ALERT
A new chapter in the Duval family’s history has begun with the birth of Hadrian Augustus Duval’s son.
The announcement was made by The Imperial Herald:
“Lady Astrid Minerva-Duval, wife of Hadrian Duval, has delivered a baby boy at an undisclosed secure location while under senatorial protection.”
“The child has been named Hector Mordanticus Duval. This is in honour of Hadrian’s late father Hector Jansen, who was Emperor Hengist’s illegitimate son, as well as Imperator Kaeso Mordanticus, who played a major role in both Hadrian and Astrid’s lives.”
“Despite Hadrian not being an official member of the Imperial Family, many citizens are jubilant at the arrival of a new Duval. The Imperial Palace, Princess Aisling Duval and Chancellor Anders Blaine have all sent messages of congratulation.”
Praetor Leo Magnus, who was Hadrian Duval’s head of security, has resigned his temporary commission from ACT to assume leadership of Nova Paresa. The faction has organised an initiative to gather rare commodities for its former leader to celebrate the historic occasion.
Pilots are asked to deliver Chateau De Aegaeon, HR 7221 Wheat, Indi Bourbon and Yaso Kondi Leaf to Dyson City in the Paresa system. All shipments will be subject to security scanning before being redirected to a suitable location.
November 30, 3307
Thargoid Invasion of Nebula Systems Intensifies
Pilots’ Federation ALERT
Systems in the California, Coalsack, Pleiades and Witch Head Nebulas are under sustained assault by the Thargoids.
Vox Galactica featured this report from freelance war correspondent Ernesto Rios:
“Multiple starports have been crippled by Thargoid attacks in recent weeks, with anti-xeno squadrons struggling to protect them. Many Commanders told me that this latest wave is proving unusually difficult to repel, with a steady stream of reinforcements replacing those alien vessels destroyed in battle.”
“In normal times Aegis would coordinate the defence effort, but its operations remain suspended due to the Baumann inquiry. Today, it is clear that many of the superpowers’ leaders have more faith in Salvation after his triumph in the Cornsar system, believing that he holds the key to defeating the Thargoids.”
“Both the Imperial Navy and the Alliance’s Council of Admirals have suggested committing naval forces to support Salvation. In the Federation, Congress has debated redirecting funds that were ring-fenced for Aegis to accelerate development of the anti-xeno superweapon.”
“As yet these are merely discussions, but do illustrate the wide-reaching impact of the Cornsar incident. In the meantime, in the absence of direct support from either Aegis or Salvation, pilots are sacrificing their lives as they fight courageously to push back the Thargoid fleets.”
November 29, 3307
Aegis Renegades Face Criminal Charges
Admiral Aden Tanner and the crew of the Musashi megaship will be placed on trial for attacking Salvation’s allies.
The admiral disobeyed orders by attempting to gain access to Hind Mine starport, the headquarters of Taurus Mining Ventures. After failing to achieve this, most of the Musashi’s crewmembers were detained and repatriated to their respective home systems to face civil or military charges.
The Federal Navy has published this official notice:
“Admiral Tanner is formally accused of mutiny and unlawful military action while in command of the Musashi. He will stand trial in a general court-martial. If found guilty, he will be dishonourably discharged and imprisoned for life.”
Dr Paul Baumann, chair of the independent board of inquiry into Aegis, commented:
“Recent events in the T Tauri system clearly fall within the scope of our investigation. For Aegis’s chief military liaison to launch an unauthorised attack, at the cost of many lives, will weigh heavily against the organisation.”
Admiral Tanner claims that the anti-xeno superweapon deployed by Salvation in the Cornsar system has triggered an increase in Thargoid attacks. Although there is no direct evidence of this, the Thargoids have performed coordinated strikes against several systems in the weeks since that event.
November 26, 3307
Colonia Bridge Project Extended to 3308
Pilots’ Federation ALERT
The second phase of the Colonia Bridge project is complete, with Brewer Corporation confirming details for phase three.
An additional 26 megaships have taken up stationary positions in systems between Alcor and Colonia. Along with the existing 30 megaships, these will provide convenient rest, refuel and repair facilities to those travelling to and from the distant Colonia region.
A press release from Brewer Corporation addressed the next steps:
“The galactic community has made enormous contributions to establishing the Colonia Bridge. Encouraged by this, we have revised our plans and increased investment in the project.”
“The next phase is scheduled to commence on the 6th of January 3308, and will add starports to key locations along the route. These will provide further services and opportunities to pilots, as well as forming permanent micro-communities between the core systems and Colonia.”
“Phase three will also address the availability of tritium, to improve refuelling capacity for owners of our Drake-class fleet carriers. To incentivise the delivery of vital materials, we will be offering the same engineered frame shift drives that proved so popular during phase two.”
November 25, 3307
Dredger Clan Freed from Orion University
Pilots’ Federation ALERT
The Scriveners Clan dredger has been fully repaired, following twin initiatives in the HIP 43670 system.
A campaign by supporters of the Scriveners Clan delivered emergency power cells, power converters and power transfer buses to the Alliance of HIP 42371 at Oramus Terminal. A spokesperson for the group announced:
“As a result of our efforts, the dredger has received sufficient supplies to effect repairs. Most importantly, the new power systems mean it will shortly be able to bypass Orion University’s override codes and be free to travel the galaxy once more.”
A parallel campaign by Orion University’s partner Independent HIP 43670 Labour requested deliveries of anomalous bulk scan data, unusual encrypted files and unidentified scan archives to Shaara Gateway in HIP 43670. However, these were not sufficient to convince the nomadic tribe to agree to its offer of sharing future discoveries.
Vice Chancellor Leland Pettigrew expressed his regret, but confirmed that Orion University will honour the outcome and withdraw its claim over the dredger.
Contributors to both initiatives can now collect their rewards from Shaara Gateway or Oramus Terminal in the HIP 43670 system.
The Battle of Mudhrid
Pilots’ Federation ALERT
The Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid and the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group have declared war in the Mudhrid system.
The Steel Majesty megaship is serving as the base of the Neo-Marlinist forces. These include many surviving NMLA terrorist cells that gathered to overtake the vessel from the Marlinist Colonies.
Also in the system is the Far God cult megaship Sacrosanct, where the NMLA’s de facto leader Theta Seven and the remnants of Theta Group have been in hiding for months. They recently took control of the vessel and are holding thousands of cultists hostage.
The Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid have offered a uniquely augmented enzyme missile rack to its highest contributors if certain objectives are met. Margrave Corentin Delacroix broadcast a call to arms:
“All those who seek to topple the Duval dictators must fight alongside us here and now. Neo-Marlinism has no future unless its believers defend it.”
The Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group is orchestrating its campaign from Payne-Scott City starport. Senator Denton Patreus has requested that Imperial auxiliaries provide the faction with combat support.
ACT’s co-leader Captain Saskia Landau stated:
“The NMLA clearly places huge value on Theta Seven’s ability to produce caustic enzyme weapons, and has risked concentrating in large numbers to defend him. If he can transfer to the Steel Majesty and escape, the threat of further atrocities like the Nine Martyrs bombings will remain high.”
November 24, 3307
Gatekeeper Megaships Established
Factions responsible for the distribution of conditional access permits have deployed so-called Gatekeeper megaships to neighbouring systems.
The agreement between 14 factions intends to allow permit distribution procedures to continue regardless of the political status of the associated systems. Though the reason for system access restrictions varies between the factions, preventing any disruption to interstellar trade was a key factor in the talks.
A spokesperson for Alioth Independents, one of the factions involved, offered the following:
“It is rare that so many participants from across the core systems are able to reach an agreement so easily. These megaships will ensure that the flow of traffic within our respective borders remains appropriately controlled, providing support for the permit offices in those systems.”
“Only a few short years ago, the system of Tiliala saw disruption in assigning permits to eligible visitors due to political disturbances. The Panjabell system experienced this problem again within recent months. These lessons have inspired us to prevent further repetitions in the future.”
“I would like to thank each faction representative for their contributions to maintaining consistency in our methods for the ease of pilots, recognising the valuable contributions they make to the galactic economy.”
Permit distribution to eligible recipients will still be carried out remotely.
Far God Megaship Hijacked by Theta Seven
NMLA figurehead Theta Seven has taken control of the Sacrosanct megaship and redirected it to the Mudhrid system.
Several months ago, the leader of Theta Group and his closest aides evaded capture by posing as members of the Far God cult. One of their pilgrimage vessels, the Sacrosanct, has now bypassed its scheduled flight plan and jumped to Mudhrid.
ACT’s joint leader Captain Milo Castile broadcast an emergency statement:
“We can confirm that despite being few in number, the terrorists are in command of the Sacrosanct. Since Far God worshippers are pacifists and fatalistic in nature, it’s likely that they offered little resistance.”
“Theta Seven has stated that he will wipe out the vessel’s entire population if any attempt to seize the vessel is made. Our intel suggests he possesses caustic enzyme explosives of the type used in the starport bombings, making his threat credible.”
Also in the system is the Steel Majesty megaship, recently overtaken by the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid. ACT believes that the NMLA is regrouping its forces and aims to provide protection for Theta Seven.
Mudhrid’s ruling faction, the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group, has ordered system security to shoot down any vessels attempting to pass between the two megaships.
November 22, 3307
Crime Wave Raises Security Concerns
An expert larcenist known as the Winking Cat has triggered widespread alarm with a spree of high-profile thefts.
Vox Galactica published this feature by crime correspondent Mira Bukowski :
“Last month, the galaxy’s most infamous thief reappeared in the headlines after a long absence. It appears the Winking Cat is making up for lost time by stealing multiple items in quick succession.”
“One notable target was a portrait of Emperor Olban Hensard Duval, the tenth ruler of the Empire. Painted in 2989, it was notable for being seven metres high - as was the graphic of a smirking feline face engraved on the wall where it once hung.”
“Another disappearance, albeit of a less artistic nature, was the only working prototype of Achilles Corporation’s XS1001 security robot. This was being guarded by several XS801 models which, according to insiders, were found lying on their sides and emitting an unusual ‘purring’ sound.”
“There are reports of several other rare or precious artefacts disappearing from secure locations. In all cases, there are no clues as to how security systems were circumvented.”
“The Wallglass Investigations Agency has theorised that the Winking Cat may not be an individual after all, but a group of criminal specialists working together. They also suspect that these latest thefts may be intended for some larger purpose.”
November 19, 3307
Neo-Marlinist Forces Gather in Mudhrid
The megaship Steel Majesty has arrived in the Mudhrid system after being taken over by NMLA terrorists.
Its original owning faction, the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid, has officially reclaimed the vessel. Margrave Corentin Delacroix, the faction’s new military ruler and the son of former Landgrave Arastin Delacroix, announced:
“The Steel Majesty has returned home to fulfil its destiny. Be warned: should any ships attempt to board or attack, all the former crewmembers still onboard will be executed.”
Senior Agent Tanya Ramirez gave a statement on behalf of ACT:
“Unfortunately, we cannot take action while hundreds of innocent people remain captive. But the NMLA’s effort to assemble troops, supporters and resources must not succeed. Having the Steel Majesty as a mobile base will allow them to regroup for a new campaign of terror – especially if they manage to reach Theta Seven before we do.”
A spokesperson for the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group, which controls the Mudhrid system, claimed:
“The hostages should be considered lost as casualties of war. We are prepared to perform our duty for the Empire once again by destroying the Neo-Marlinist threat.”
Colonia Bridge Project Faces Possible Changes
Brewer Corporation is enhancing the travel corridor to Colonia, but details about the project’s next phase remain uncertain.
Business-related newsfeed The Tau Ceti Journal published this feature:
“There’s no doubt that Brewer Corporation always thinks big. It has enjoyed huge commercial success as a manufacturer of starports and outposts, and its Drake-class fleet carrier has been enormously popular.”
“The Colonia Bridge is the megacorp’s most expensive undertaking yet, investing hundreds of billions of credits on the transportation infrastructure between the core systems and Colonia. More than one analyst predicted that the project might financially destabilise them.”
“The first two phases proceeded on schedule. Before the end of this month, there will be a chain of 56 stationary megaships along systems between Alcor and Colonia.”
“But there are rumours of a change of plans for phase three, which may be early next year. It is believed that Brewer Corporation is revising its plans based on the unexpectedly high levels of participation from the galactic community.”
“In support of this, one company insider did reveal that more engineered frame shift drives are being manufactured, to be offered as incentives to contributing pilots in the third phase.”
November 18, 3307
Dredger Deadlock Inspires Competing Campaigns
Pilots’ Federation ALERT
The HIP 43670 system is hosting two competing delivery initiatives, each of which aims to benefit the Scriveners Clan.
Orion University has partnered with Independent HIP 43670 Labour, which is requesting deliveries of anomalous bulk scan data, unusual encrypted files and unidentified scan archives to Shaara Gateway in HIP 43670.
The university’s campaign was explained by Vice Chancellor Leland Pettigrew:
“Although Dredger J-403 is legally our property, what we value most is the Scriveners Clan’s dedication to deep-space research. To convince them of our noble intentions, we are donating scientific data and samples to their Knowledge Core. Our proposal is that they permit us to accompany them on their journey and share in any future discoveries.”
An alternative campaign is also taking place in the HIP 43670 system. Supporters of the Scriveners Clan are being asked to gather emergency power cells, power converters and power transfer buses and deliver them to the Alliance of HIP 42371 at Oramus Terminal. A spokesperson told the media:
“These supplies are needed to perform vital repairs to the dredger. Furthermore, if the power systems are sufficiently updated, they can bypass the ancient components affected by Orion University’s override codes and continue travelling independently.”
Although there remains no response from the Scriveners Clan, the dredger is now actively monitoring all local and interstellar transmissions. This is a new development for the isolated community, and suggests they are aware of these campaigns.
Salvation’s Allies Triumph in T Tauri System
Pilots’ Federation ALERT
Taurus Mining Ventures has defeated a rogue Aegis Defense force and gained control of the megaship Musashi.
The conflict was initiated by Admiral Aden Tanner, chief military liaison with Aegis. He was attempting to gain access to Hind Mine asteroid base, in search of evidence that Salvation’s anti-xeno weapon was deliberately designed to provoke the Thargoids.
Patience Middleton, a spokesperson for Taurus Mining Ventures, made this announcement:
“This was an illegal and unnecessary conflict, brought about by Admiral Tanner’s misguided obsession. We will continue working with Salvation to eliminate the Thargoid threat.”
“Our defence was only possible thanks to our courageous supporters, for whom rewards are available at Hind Mine. We will also honour agreements that the Aegis Defense force made with independent pilots, who can collect their promised payments from the Musashi.”
Taurus Mining Ventures later confirmed that all members of the Musashi’s original crew will be allowed to leave the megaship unharmed. Admiral Tanner and other key personnel are in temporary custody. Aegis has arranged for them to be transferred to its internal security teams.