January 4, 3310
Empire Continues ‘Protective Sanctuary’ for Abductees
Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval has decided that all Imperial citizens recovered from Thargoid Titans will remain in quarantine indefinitely.
An official pronouncement on behalf of the Emperor was distributed by the Imperial Palace:
“Every subject of the Empire who was abducted by the Thargoids is receiving the highest possible quality of treatment and support. The Emperor has ordered that they will be given exemplary medical and psychological care, for as long as they remain in medical isolation.”
“As is always the case, the security of our society is paramount. Protective sanctuary is being provided for tens of thousands of individuals, in order that billions are spared the prospect – however unlikely – of an alien influence taking root within the Empire. That is the honourable path, and the Emperor is confident her people will understand the wisdom of this decision.”
The Imperial Herald’s political journalist Cassia Carvalho analysed the ramifications:
“It is unusual for the actions of other superpowers to be acknowledged these days, but the issue of detaining Thargoid abductees has crossed all borders. In this case, the Alliance’s decision to allow them to return home has prompted Her Majesty to insist that keeping them in isolation is for the greater good.”
“Court insiders revealed that Princess Aisling Duval sought a personal audience with the Emperor, hoping to convince her to lift the quarantine. I’m told that this was refused in no uncertain terms, coupled with the suggestion that the Princess should focus her attention on her Aegis assignment.”
“The Imperial Palace also responded to Kamadhenu Medipure, which has called for all abductees to be relocated to deep space and possibly euthanised. The company was thanked for its ‘robust proposals’, but instructed to leave such considerations to the Senate.”
October 12, 3309
Federal Election: The Imperial Perspective
As the Federation readies itself for a new president, the Empire is preparing for potential changes to its relationship with its historical rival.
Last year Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval severed all official collaboration with the other superpowers, except for limited contributions to Aegis. But this does not mean the Empire is ignoring the potential impact of either Jerome Archer or Felicia Winters becoming the next Federal president.
Senator Denton Patreus remarked on the election during a military parade through the city of Port Isabelle:
“The Federation’s leaders always reinforce their popularity by framing the Empire as the ‘great enemy’. I expect Archer will have those same aggressive tendencies. In truth, I’d prefer to deal with that predictable approach, since Winters is clearly the more cunning and deceitful candidate.”
Princess Aisling Duval was asked her opinion while visiting a xenology seminar hosted by the Achenar Research Council:
“I must admit that Felicia Winters’s style of governance is more appealing, though she should be mindful of her running mate’s influence. But whoever becomes president must break the cycle of hostility between Empire and Federation. My fruitful collaboration with other Aegis delegates, and ACT’s success against the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army, is evidence of how effective inter-superpower cooperation can be.”
The election was also discussed by Cassia Carvalho, political journalist for The Imperial Herald:
“The average Imperial citizen has little interest in the Federation’s internal workings, but anxiety in the Senate is high. With the Thargoid war still raging, the prospect of a new president seeking to stamp their authority on the interstellar stage is a major concern. Conversely, some captains of industry anticipate a new era of trade with a friendlier Federation, if the Emperor can be convinced to rescind her isolationist decree.”
Voting within Federal systems has been running for 24 hours, and polling suggests Felicia Winters holds a slight lead over Jerome Archer. The election will run for another three days.
October 2, 3309
The Future of the Throne
The Imperial Senate has formally raised the issue that Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval has not yet produced any direct heirs.
The debate was instigated by Senator Lysandra Courcelle :
“The continuation of the Duval bloodline has formed the linchpin of our society for over a thousand years. But it has been eight years since Arissa Lavigny-Duval became our ruler. In that time there has been no spouse or consort, no indications of marriage, and no biological heir to the throne. We politely remind the Emperor of her duty to ensure the line of succession.”
Following a highly spirited exchange among senators, Chancellor Anders Blaine proclaimed:
“Her Majesty has sacrificed much for the Empire. It is not our place to question her personal choices, but rather to support her vision for our prosperity and security.”
Gudrun Vestergaard, royal correspondent for The Imperial Herald, analysed the situation:
“This is a delicate subject, but one of enormous importance. The Imperial Mother’s recent illness has brought into focus the passing of the torch through each generation of Duvals. Every Emperor of the last thousand years has had one or more children. The public has a certain expectation that an Emperor will produce healthy heirs to continue the Duval line, and each new birth is proudly celebrated across the Empire.”
“However, there has never been any indication that Arissa has a partner, or entertains marriage prospects of any kind. Princess Aisling Duval’s romantic liaisons – including, famously, a Federal ambassador – took the media spotlight for years. Hadrian Duval is married with a baby son, and others such as Archduke Otto Lombardo-Duval have multiple offspring. But Her Majesty seems content to rule alone.”
“Senator Courcelle has raised a valid question: how long can this continue? And if Arissa remains childless, who will be the next Emperor?”
September 1, 3309
Materials Received to Construct Duval Statues
Pilots’ Federation ALERT
A campaign by a minor Imperial Family member to deliver precious materials to Laedla has concluded.
The shipments of gold, jadeite and platinum will be used to construct statues of Duval family members, to be erected in public spaces in planetary cities across the Empire.
The project is the brainchild of Archduke Otto Lombardo-Duval, who announced:
“I am deeply grateful to all the pilots who mined or transported the resources we required. Work has already begun to forge them into beautiful works of art, commemorating past Emperors and other noble holders of the Duval name.”
“It is my honour to confirm the first two statues will be of Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval, located in the palace’s central plaza on Capitol, and of Lady Florence Lavigny, placed within the main square of Topaz’s capital city alongside the memorial sculpture of Emperor Hengist.”
Laedla Empire Assembly is now offering payment to those who delivered the required materials to Kummer Acropolis in the Laedla system. Bounty vouchers for all wanted ships destroyed within the system will also be redeemed.
August 18, 3309
Duvals Rally Around Imperial Mother
Lady Florence Lavigny is recuperating from a serious illness, but the experience has prompted her to call for changes within the Imperial Family.
Official sources confirmed that the Imperial Mother remains under constant medical supervision at her home on Topaz, following a successful surgical procedure. Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval has now returned to the Imperial Palace on Capitol, and is being regularly updated about her mother’s condition.
Countess Guinevere Lavigny, cousin to the Emperor and niece of Lady Lavigny, also visited Topaz. She told a local reporter:
“My aunt is now able to communicate properly for short periods, and is dwelling on the past a great deal. She talks about wanting to bring together our entire family, and resolving minor disagreements which have lingered for too long. This is something that my brother Lucius and I have always felt is long overdue, so I hope she gets her wish.”
The Imperial Herald’s royal correspondent Gudrun Vestergaard speculated:
“Uniquely, Florence Lavigny has earned the respect of everyone connected to the Imperial Family over the past decade. She alone could heal the rifts between Emperor Arissa, Princess Aisling and Hadrian Duval, which have become more pronounced in recent months. Minor members of the Empire’s ruling dynasty might also find their fortunes changed by the Imperial Mother’s plans.”
“It’s worth remembering that the details of Lady Lavigny’s illness were never made public. Are her calls for unity prompted by thoughts of mortality? Perhaps time is of the essence if she seeks to make lasting changes to the House of Duval.”
July 3, 3309
Imperial Mother in Medical Emergency
Lady Florence Lavigny, the mother of Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval, has been placed under medical supervision following a sudden illness.
An official statement was released by the Imperial Palace:
“The Imperial Mother, Lady Florence Lavigny, has suffered an unexpected medical emergency. She is being cared for by a specialist team at her Lake Parisot estate on the planet Topaz . Details of her illness are not being shared at this time.”
“Her Majesty the Emperor has cancelled all appointments and travelled to be at her mother’s side. The latest report states that Lady Lavigny has undergone surgical treatment and is in a poor but stable condition. We know that all citizens will join us in wishing the best for this prominent member of the Imperial Family.”
Royal correspondent Gudrun Vestergaard provided some background to the story:
“The Duvals always ensure that each Emperor’s parents are afforded the greatest respect, not to mention the finest medical care. Although the Imperial Mother’s ailment remains unspecified, not many fear it to be fatal at this early stage.”
“Though Lady Lavigny’s engagement to the late Emperor Hengist Duval brought the highest of profiles, she has typically sought to avoid the spotlight. Despite this, she has repeatedly been in the eye of a media storm. In 3250, her husband Prince Aristide de Lavigny met with a mysterious accident that was never fully explained. Decades later, it was revealed that their daughter Arissa had been sired by Emperor Hengist. Upon being selected by the Senate in 3301, Arissa adopted the new surname of Lavigny-Duval to reflect her previously unknown royal heritage.”
“Princess Aisling Duval, Archduke Otto Lombardo-Duval, Countess Guinevere Lavigny and many other Imperial Family members have all sent their hopes for a rapid recovery. A similar message came from Hadrian Augustus Duval, in an apparent attempt to rebuild bridges after his recent public spat with the Emperor. As the descendant of another of Hengist’s affairs, perhaps Hadrian feels more of a kinship with Florence Lavigny than most others in the Duval dynasty.”
June 5, 3309
The Emperor’s Ire
Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval has responded to criticism from Hadrian Duval regarding her decision to contribute to Aegis.
During a public address at the opening of a naval research and development complex on Achenar, the Emperor stated:
“For the avoidance of doubt, my decree to halt interaction with the Alliance and the Federation remains in effect. Whatever advancements in weaponry or defence are made at these impressive facilities, they will be used exclusively by the Imperial Navy to protect Imperial citizens.”
“Aegis’s status as an independent agency makes it a legal exception under the Cornelius-Lasky Convention. Only a small fraction of the Empire’s military expenditure is being devoted to Aegis’s anti-xeno forces.”
“As for Hadrian Duval, some may recall when his Nova Imperium extremists once threatened to trigger widescale civil unrest. I chose to spare him from the fate of his co-conspirators, something Princess Aisling argued for with the same passion as she showed for the Aegis project. Unless Hadrian wishes to test my ‘weak spirit’ further, I strongly advise him to keep such thoughts private in future.”
The altercation between Duvals triggered some debate in the Senate, with Senator Petra Torval arguing that the Emperor clearly viewed Hadrian Duval as an ‘enemy of the Empire’. The matter was settled by a statement from Chancellor Anders Blaine:
“The Treaty of Paresa binds all former members of Nova Imperium as subjects of the throne. Her Majesty has delivered a reminder that Hadrian Duval is not officially a prince of the royal family, but is nevertheless considered a loyal ally for as long as it pleases the Emperor.”
May 30, 3309
Hadrian Duval Remarks on ‘Weak Emperor’
An interview with Hadrian Augustus Duval has caused ripples in Imperial society for his direct criticism of Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval.
Speaking to Paresa News Network, the former Nova Imperium leader discussed the Empire’s commitment to Aegis:
“I have always known that the Empire is stronger alone, especially when protecting our people from the Thargoid hordes. Supposedly, Emperor Arissa felt the same – until a visit from Princess Aisling turned her head. Suddenly her principles were cast aside, and our valuable resources pledged to more foreign military projects.”
“I can only wonder when the Emperor became so easily swayed. Was it during her year in captivity? Did all that time in suspended animation drain her resolve? We cannot afford to allow the Empire to be governed by someone with a weak spirit. Our citizens deserve a strong, determined ruler.”
Gudrun Vestergaard, royal correspondent for The Imperial Herald, commented:
“The anticipated friction between the Duval cousins has now become a reality. Hadrian clearly took great offence at how swiftly Aisling engineered an exception to the Empire’s isolationist policies. But openly denigrating Her Majesty is a dangerous game, especially from the young revolutionary who once attempted to usurp her throne.”
“Meanwhile, Princess Aisling has thrown herself into the role of overseeing the Imperial contribution to Aegis. Court insiders claim that she spends much of her time with military experts, absorbing information about the Thargoid conflict. Regularly communications with her opposite numbers in the Alliance and Federation have become part of the daily routine. Some still see this as a high-profile PR exercise on her part, but others wonder if Aisling might become the wartime leader the Empire needs. Skeptics who believe she lacks the strategic talents necessary to succeed may yet find themselves surprised by her apparent enthusiasm for Aegis’s work.”
April 27, 3309
Convoy Tragedy Halts Superpower Conflict
Pilots’ Federation ALERT
The Empire and the Federation have resolved the conflict in Pichch after the accidental loss of anti-xeno supply ships.
Freelance correspondent Karleen Troy reported on events for Vox Galactica:
“Pichch is a key location to redirect front-line resources to systems facing invasion around Maelstrom Leigong. In recent days, these vital deliveries have been severely delayed by the internecine conflict. But disaster struck when an entire convoy carrying anti-xeno weaponry was destroyed by Imperial-aligned ships, which mistakenly identified them as local Federal resupply vessels.”
“Once news of the incident spread, leaders of Gauluujja Exchange and the Gliese 44 Citizens' Forum stated that they had received orders to broker an immediate ceasefire. The conflict was heading towards a Gliese 44 Citizens' Forum victory, so the sudden peace is likely a relief to Gauluujja Exchange.”
Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval made a personal declaration regarding the situation:
“We permit Imperial-aligned factions a degree of autonomy, on the understanding that they do not jeopardise the Empire’s strategic goals. Undermining human resistance against the Thargoid invasion cannot be tolerated. I therefore command the Gliese 44 Citizens’ Forum to negotiate a ceasefire with their Federal neighbours at once.”
A similar statement was delivered by President Zachary Hudson:
“This tragic situation could and should have been avoided. Pichch is a Federal system, and we have a responsibility to sustain the flow of anti-xeno resources throughout that region. We cannot allow small-scale quarrels to derail our efforts. I have informed Gauluujja Exchange that they must arrange a peaceful resolution to their current conflict.”
Both the Federal and Imperial factions have agreed to honour their commitments to those who supported their operations, with rewards available at Tiptree Port.
February 17, 3309
Princess Aisling ‘Understood Risk of Speaking Out’
Princess Aisling Duval has assumed oversight of the Empire’s contributions to the tri-superpower agency Aegis.
She discussed her new role during an interview with The Imperial Herald:
“Loathe though I was to defy the Emperor’s decree, every instinct told me that the Aegis initiative can develop methods of protecting the Empire from enormous losses in this war. I’m grateful that Arissa recognised the value of my plea.”
“I’ve been liaising with Professor Alba Tesreau, as well as Dr Fonseca, Vice Admiral Anderson and the rest of my team. Our challenge is to make the most of the Imperial resources allocated to Aegis.”
“It’s true that I was critical of Aegis’s effectiveness in the past, but I’ve always believed that cooperation with other superpowers can bring mutual benefits. The mass slaughter inflicted by the Thargoids eclipses the NMLA’s atrocities – a challenge we faced together. We must trust each other now as we did then.”
The newsfeed also featured a response from Hadrian Augustus Duval:
“It’s gratifying to see that Patreus and Torval aren’t as influential as they think they are. Yet that doesn’t mean Aisling is right. The Empire must not chain itself to the Alliance and Federation once again. The Emperor can be ruthless when it suits her, as I know only too well, but in this case she lacks the courage of her convictions.”
Royal correspondent Gudrun Vestergaard observed:
“This is a calculated move by Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval. If Aegis fails, her isolationist policy will be vindicated. If Aegis succeeds, she can claim credit for permitting this exception. The risk is whether the public would credit an Aegis-assisted victory over the Thargoids to the Princess. Such an outcome would increase Aisling’s popularity and political capital to a level Arissa is unlikely to tolerate for long.”
February 6, 3309
Mahon: ‘Alliance Will Support Aegis’
The Alliance Assembly has voted to make a contribution to Aegis if the agency is reformed by the three superpowers.
Prime Minister Edmund Mahon made an official announcement:
“Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval’s change of heart regarding anti-xeno collaboration has triggered swift action from Alliance systems. The Assembly has re-appraised a bill proposed last November by Deputy Prime Minister Angela Corcoran, seeking to approve Aegis’s reformation. A majority vote has now passed that bill.”
“The Alliance will therefore commit ships, resources and personnel to a collaborative anti-xeno agency. We will also share Thargoid-related intelligence and scientific data to a central database shared with the Empire and Federation.”
“The strategic defence pact with Sirius Corporation remains in effect, and the company continues to work with us on protecting Allied systems.”
It has been suggested that Li Yong-Rui privately advised the prime minister against holding the vote, with the view that Sirius Corporation could fill the role of humanity's primary anti-xeno organisation. However, political analysts noted that Mahon has a long-standing dedication to multilateral cooperation against the Thargoids.
Deputy Prime Minister Corcoran will act as the Alliance’s primary contact with any new incarnation of Aegis. Commodore Emil Varga has volunteered to serve as military liaison, with Dr Maximo Fonseca of Gateway Laboratories taking the lead on xenological research.
January 31, 3309
Emperor Approves Aisling’s Plan for Aegis
Princess Aisling Duval met with Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval in person to discuss an Imperial contribution to the reformation of Aegis.
The Imperial Herald’s political journalist Cassia Carvalho reported on events:
“Aisling Duval’s arrival at the Imperial Palace was completely unexpected, according to several dignitaries whose appointed meetings with the Emperor were abruptly cancelled. One senatorial aide described how the princess ‘burst into the throne room so suddenly that I’m surprised the Imperial Guard didn’t shoot her’.”
“Despite visible irritation, Emperor Arissa acceded to Princess Aisling’s demand for urgent talks. The two royals held a private conversation behind closed doors for many hours. I heard claims of raised voices at one stage, but nobody was willing to go on record to confirm this.”
“Eventually, Her Majesty call for the media to assemble, which we did eagerly. The Emperor made it clear that her decree to isolate from the other superpowers remained active. However, if Aegis were to be re-established, a limited number of scientists and naval vessels would be allocated to the anti-xeno agency. Princess Aisling would take ownership of the endeavour, and coordinate with both Imperial and foreign organisations.”
“Senators and Imperial Navy officials were surprised by this exception to the Emperor’s policy. But political analysts remarked on the shrewdness of making Princess Aisling personally responsible for the proposed anti-xeno collaboration, thereby distancing the Emperor from any potential failures.”
“Insiders claim that Princess Aisling has already requested members for her delegation including Senator Caspian Leopold, Vice Admiral Skylar Anderson and xenological specialist Ivano Colombera. She has also tasked the Imperial Diplomatic Corps with re-opening diplomatic channels to the Alliance and Federation, specifically to share information about Alba Tesreau’s respective proposals for a reformed Aegis.”
January 16, 3309
Princess Aisling Echoes Aegis Reformation Calls
Princess Aisling Duval has publicly asked Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval to reconsider pledging Imperial resources to a cross-superpower anti-xeno initiative.
Her message was shared on all Imperial newsfeeds:
“The Empire’s capability to defend itself is not in question. But neither is there any doubt that we are facing a protracted war. The ferocity and scale of the Thargoid onslaught on human space is unprecedented. Of course the Empire will survive, as it has for over a millennium… but at what cost? How many systems must fall? How many citizens will grieve for lost loved ones?”
“Emperor Arissa, I implore you: work with the Alliance and Federation to reform Aegis. Our combined resources are needed to develop new technologies to overcome the alien armadas. Corporate interests must not dictate this path. Let Imperial ingenuity and courage light the way to victory over a common enemy.”
A handful of senators supported Princess Aisling’s plea initially, though others have criticised her for daring to challenge the Emperor’s decree. As yet there has been no response from the Imperial Palace.
Gudrun Vestergaard , royal correspondent for The Imperial Herald, commented:
“There is speculation that this may cause friction between Aisling and her cousin Hadrian Duval, whose long-held isolationist beliefs are now aligned with Imperial policy. Until now both have enjoyed a close relationship, with Aisling even being chosen as honour-mother to Hadrian’s baby son Hector. But their views on Imperial foreign policy could not be more different, and recent events have brought this into sharp focus.”
December 20, 3308
The Voice of the Empire
On the Empire’s homeworld Capitol, fears over imminent Thargoid invasion sparked a public gathering outside the Imperial Palace.
Cassia Carvalho, political journalist for The Imperial Herald, reported from the scene:
“The arrival of the Thargoid Maelstroms has triggered protests on many Allied, Federal and independent worlds. The Empire is rarely troubled by such disruption, so the spontaneous march by tens of thousands of citizens through Capitol’s streets caught the media and security services by surprise.”
“Chancellor Anders Blaine addressed the crowd, his image projected above us all. He spoke of the Imperial Navy’s swift response to the Thargoid threat, making assurances that our systems were protected and we were all safe.”
“But this wasn’t enough to quell the increasingly strident demands that more should be done. I saw anger, frustration and fear etched into those shouting faces. The newsfeed images of burning and broken starports, of Thargoid vessels laying waste to ordinary people’s homes, were all too clear in everyone’s minds.”
“I genuinely wasn’t sure which way this impromptu demonstration would go. Might the crowd’s strong emotions even transmute into violence? And then a new voice rang out across the square: the unmistakable tones of Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval herself, standing tall as she slowly descended the palace steps toward us.”
“‘Remember this: we are Imperials,’ she told her people, her commanding voice amplified for all to hear. The crowd parted in silence as she neared, allowing her to stride amongst us. ‘We possess the strongest civilisation, the grandest achievements, and the most courageous hearts. We shall meet anything that dares to threaten us, human or alien, and we will defeat it. Our Empire will endure!”
“By the end of her address, which lasted some ten minutes, emotions had indeed been transmuted – into exultant, cheering jubilation. Our Emperor had stood with us in person, reminded us all of our heritage and our duty. The Thargoids will undoubtedly come. But in that moment we were determined to face them together.”
October 21, 3308
Hadrian Duval Endorses Imperial Isolation
The Empire’s withdrawal from all cross-superpower operations has gained the full support of Hadrian Augustus Duval.
Political journalist Cassia Carvalho reviewed the situation for The Imperial Herald:
“As the illegitimate grandson of Emperor Hengist, Hadrian Duval has long been considered the ‘black sheep’ of the Imperial Family. Only a few years ago, he sought to replace Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval on the throne. But he has since been pardoned and accepted as a genuine Duval, albeit with no royal title or position.”
“Now, for the first time, Hadrian openly approves of the Emperor’s decisions. As he told Paresa News Network: ‘Walking away from the Alliance and Federation is the right path for the Empire to take. The Imperial Navy deserves to be our priority, to reinforce our strength and better defend us against our enemies.’”
“Senator Zemina Torval dismissed this as a ‘hypocritical volte-face’, but in truth, Hadrian has always championed isolationism and traditional Imperial values. He seems as surprised as anyone to find that Emperor Arissa now shares some of his political ideologies. Ironically, it is now Princess Aisling Duval who has emerged as the voice of rebellion against Imperial policy.”
“Others in the Senate have suggested that Hadrian Duval might serve the Empire in a more official capacity, or be bestowed a title and accepted into the nobility. The Emperor may find that the young man who was once her greatest threat could be transformed into a loyal ally.”
October 17, 3308
Emperor Celebrates Imperial Strength
Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval has expressed satisfaction with the Empire’s military and scientific progress since the Battle of HIP 22460.
She delivered the public address following a recent tour of a Gutamaya shipyard:
“The Imperial Navy is entering a period of revitalisation, with advances being made in multiple areas. We have been freed from the burden of external mismanagement, which hindered our military potential and diluted our naval strength.”
“The Senate has worked tirelessly to generate funding and opportunities for this renewed focus. New ships and crews have replaced recent losses, making our naval fleets more powerful than ever. And many loyal corporations have replaced inferior imports from foreign worlds with the high-quality workmanship of Imperial artisans.”
“Alongside increased military and commercial might, the Imperial Science Academy leads the way on xenological research to uncover the secrets of our Thargoid foe. We have seen the disastrous nature of Proteus Wave technology, but using alternative methods to develop our own anti-xeno options remains a priority.”
“Imperial systems are better protected against our enemies than they have been in a generation. Never has the future looked so assured. Our glorious history, stretching over a thousand years, teaches us a truth that we must now relearn: The Empire stands stronger alone.”
September 7, 3308
Mahon Rebukes Imperial Isolationism
Prime Minister Edmund Mahon has spoken out against Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval’s decree to suspend inter-superpower cooperation.
At a meeting of the Alliance Assembly, Mahon said:
“This hasty decision from Emperor Arissa will have dangerous repercussions for the core systems as a whole, not just those within the Empire. Now that the Thargoids have become more hostile than ever before, humanity should be uniting against this common enemy.”
“Let us not forget: the coalition of anti-xeno taskforces in HIP 22460 performed their duties admirably, despite the tragic conclusion. That degree of military coordination could and should be sustained, to a far broader scale.”
“The Sirius Treaty, which I proposed at the Galactic Summit in 3307, would have established anti-xeno operations as a cross-superpower priority. I can only imagine how much better prepared we would now be to combat the Thargoids. But there is still scope for governments and organisations to work more closely, as exemplified by our strategic defence pact with Sirius Corporation.”
The Alliance, Federation and Marlinist Colonies have reported that the Empire is methodically closing down all collaborative projects. However, official diplomatic representation in non-Imperial territories has been maintained.
September 1, 3308
Empire Shifts Anti-Xeno Strategy
Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval has made a public announcement for the first time since the Battle of HIP 22460.
In an address before the Senate, which was broadcast on all Imperial networks, she stated:
“Our endeavour in the HIP 22460 system was a noble one, born from our duty to defend Imperial citizens against the Thargoid threat. We honour the crews of the INV Audacious Dream, INV Illustrious Fortune and INV Paramount, as well as other auxiliaries and volunteers who fought against overwhelming odds. Their names will be remembered.”
“The disastrous outcome from the so-called coalition provides direction for our future. It is clear to me that the Empire must learn to trust its own military strength once again. Joint operations with the Alliance and Federation, and our reliance upon Salvation’s superweapon, were strategic errors that we cannot afford to repeat.”
“Henceforth, all inter-superpower projects will cease. I have commanded the Imperial Navy to focus exclusively on protecting the Empire’s borders against our enemies, regardless of their origin. Resources and finances allocated to external suppliers will be redirected internally, to corporations of Imperial origin. Our scientists and manufacturers will provide the means to shield our territory against Thargoid invasion.”
“To the people of the Empire: be assured that your safety is my highest priority. As your Emperor, I vow that we will endure as the strongest civilisation in history.”
August 2, 3308
Superpowers Commit to Salvation
The leaders of the Alliance, Empire and Federation have publicly confirmed their support for Azimuth Biotech’s anti-xeno operation in HIP 22460.
Prime Minister Edmund Mahon reiterated his position during an interview with the Old Worlds Gazette:
“It is our duty to protect the peoples of the Alliance. Since we currently lack a dedicated naval fleet, we must rely on partnerships with key military providers. With Salvation’s advanced weaponry and Sirius Corporation’s large-scale logistical might, Allied worlds have never been safer from Thargoid attack.”
The Imperial Senate discussed Professor Alba Tesreau’s accusations of criminality against Azimuth Biotech, to which Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval responded:
“Professor Tesreau remains a respected member of the Achenar Research Council, but a single viewpoint cannot eclipse the strategic significance of the Proteus Wave project. Our military experts are confident that, should the weapon deliver on the promises Salvation has made, the Thargoid threat will be diminished. A review of the situation will then be conducted.”
During a promotional tour of marine training centres in the Eta Cassiopeiae system, President Zachary Hudson told reporters:
“Director Rademaker is absolutely correct: those who deliberately sabotage Azimuth Biotech’s operations are only helping the Thargoids, which is tantamount to treason. The Federation’s citizens have the right to live without fear of alien invasion, and Salvation’s ingenuity will help us preserve that right.”
One Allied megaship, three Farragut-class battle cruisers and three Majestic-class interdictors are currently deployed in the HIP 22460 system to defend the Proteus Wave against the Thargoids.
July 1, 3308
Leaders Respond to Azimuth Initiative
The anti-xeno operation in HIP 22460 involving Azimuth Biotech and the superpowers has drawn comments from prominent political figures.
Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval: “I agree with Senator Patreus that supporting Azimuth’s proposal remains our most practical course of action. However, alternative options for tackling the Thargoid threat are required.”
Princess Aisling Duval: “Salvation is clearly a master of self-promotion and public manipulation. I only hope that the Empire does not regret associating with this distasteful individual.”
Prime Minister Edmund Mahon: “Our military presence in HIP 22460, coupled with the strategic defence pact with Sirius Corporation, shows that the long-term security of Allied systems remains our priority.”
Councillor Nakato Kaine: “Two ruthless corporations with disreputable histories, and the Alliance is now collaborating with both. This a deeply regrettable chapter in our history.”
President Zachary Hudson: “I have every confidence in the Federal Navy to protect Salvation while the Proteus Wave is prepared. This is a long-overdue reprisal against an intractable and relentless enemy.”
Shadow President Felicia Winters: “Azimuth’s superweapon is effective, I’ll admit. But I’m unhappy with relying on this clandestine organisation, rather than an accountable anti-xeno agency.”
CEO Li Yong-Rui: “Sirius Corporation is observing activities in HIP 22460 with great interest. I am keen to explore cooperation with Azimuth Biotech on developing new products using Proteus Wave technology.”
Simguru Pranav Antal: “The advanced electromagnetic sciences developed by the Guardians over a million years ago remain poorly understood, even to Utopia’s keenest minds. The safety and effectiveness of Salvation’s device cannot be guaranteed.”