July 8, 3307
Independence Spreads from Azaladshu System
Pilots Federation ALERT
The Azaladshu Free faction has defeated the forces of Neche Inc and retained independence from the Federation.
As a result, the Azaladshu, LFT 824, LHS 277 and LTT 3919 systems have confirmed their independent status. The victory also inspired the Coalition of Uteran, Lp 726-6 Free and Gluscap Labour factions to secede from the Federation, affecting all systems under their control.
Mayor Constanza Noguera, leader of Azaladshu Free, declared:
“A Federation that abuses the rights of its people has no authority. With the help of our loyal supporters, we’ve made a stand for dignity and civil rights.”
The situation has caused turmoil in Congress, with President Zachary Hudson being criticised for his inability to contain this rebellion.
Shadow President Felicia Winters responded to accusations that she orchestrated the seceding factions:
“I support their rejection of our harsh surveillance laws, but not their methods of protest. I have no wish to see the Federation lose member systems for any reason.”
Pilots who supported the Azaladshu Free faction can collect their rewards at Eratosthenes Ring station.
July 1, 3307
Federation Battles Independents in the Azaladshu System
Pilots Federation ALERT
Conflict has erupted between the Azaladshu Free and Neche Inc factions, as multiple Federal systems declare independence.
This was sparked by Azaladshu Free withdrawing from the Federation, which transformed Azaladshu, LFT 824, LHS 277 and LTT 3919 into independent systems. The faction strenuously opposes government monitoring of Federal citizens’ private communications.
Three other Federal factions are on the verge of declaring independence: Coalition of Uteran, Lp 726-6 Free and Gluscap Labour. All are closely monitoring the situation in Azaladshu and considering their next move.
Mayor Constanza Noguera, leader of Azaladshu Free, made this statement:
“We refuse to accept the Federation’s draconian surveillance laws. I call upon all supporters of independence to help us fight for our sovereignty!”
The declaration brought a swift reaction from President Zachary Hudson:
“As Azaladshu Free has violated the Federal Accord, I have no option but to order Neche Inc to engage with these criminals. Thanks to advance intelligence on the secession, we were able to establish the megaship Fortress Liberty in the system to help retake it for the Federation.”
In Congress, Shadow President Felicia Winters faced criticism for allowing the secession to occur within her sphere of influence. She reiterated that she does not support rebellion, but does consider the Proactive Detection Bureau to be unconstitutional.
June 29, 3307
Four Federal Systems Declare Independence
The Azaladshu Free faction, which controls four systems, has seceded from the Federation in protest against civilian surveillance.
The unexpected declaration followed the election of new leadership for Azaladshu Free, which currently controls the Azaladshu, LFT 824, LHS 277 and LTT 3919 systems.
Mayor Constanza Noguera announced:
“The Federation has become corrupt, authoritarian and untrustworthy. In particular, the public surveillance laws to spy on innocent people cannot be tolerated. From now on, we will govern our systems as independent sovereign nations.”
Political observers believe that several other Federal factions are also planning to declare independence. All are within Shadow President Felicia Winters’s sphere of influence, although she has publicly renounced any support of these actions.
Congress has stated that secession is illegal under the Federal Accord, and ordered Azaladshu Free to revert to normal membership status. The Federal Navy and other military organisations have been placed on alert.
President Hudson has reacted strongly, stating that “This degree of organised criminal behaviour only proves that the Proactive Detection Bureau is needed to maintain order.”
Shadow President Winters countered by claiming “Removing our citizens’ right to privacy is the cause of this rebellion, not the solution.”
May 6, 3307
Hudson Initiative Increases Federal Surveillance
Pilots Federation ALERT
President Zachary Hudson’s call for data deliveries has enhanced civilian surveillance within the Federation.
His campaign received more data than a competing request from Shadow President Felicia Winters, which aimed to offer ways of protecting communications against interception by the Proactive Detection Bureau.
For both initiatives, pilots delivered anomalous bulk scan data, exceptional scrambled emission data, specialised legacy firmware and unusual encrypted files.
President Zachary Hudson hailed this show of public support for the Federal government:
“Our citizens deserve security, and with their contributions to the PDB’s databases, we are now in a better position to protect them against terrorism.”
Analysts predict that this outcome will boost security for systems that fall within Hudson’s personal sphere of influence. It is also expected that a loss of public support will reduce stability within systems where Winters has authority.
Pilots who supported President Hudson can now collect their rewards from Gresley Dock in the Nanomam system.
Pilots who supported Shadow President Winters can now collect their rewards from Ito Orbital in the Rhea system.
April 29, 3307
Federal Leaders Launch Rival Data Requests
Pilots Federation ALERT
Data deliveries are required by competing initiatives to increase or decrease civilian surveillance in the Federation.
President Zachary Hudson has asked the public to contribute to making the Proactive Detection Bureau more effective:
“The PDB requires access to lesser-known comms channels where terrorists and criminals lurk. Supplying it with data from multiple sources will allow us to root out more potential threats.”
To counter this campaign, Shadow President Felicia Winters aims to protect personal communications from being intercepted:
“My duty is to help citizens preserve their constitutional right to privacy. If enough data can be gathered for baseline testing, we will distribute legal technology and techniques to secure against government intrusion.”
Both campaigns require deliveries of the following data types: anomalous bulk scan data, exceptional scrambled emission data, specialised legacy firmware and unusual encrypted files.
To support President Hudson, pilots should deliver data to Gresley Dock in the Nanomam system.
To support Shadow President Winters, pilots should deliver data to Ito Orbital in the Rhea system.
Political analysts believe that since Hudson and Winters are organising these projects personally, there may be repercussions for the security and stability of the systems where each has influence.
April 23, 3307
Winters Claims Civilian Surveillance is Illegal
Shadow President Felicia Winters has claimed that the Proactive Detection Bureau is unconstitutional as it violates the Federal Accord.
In an address before Congress, she said:
“The Federation’s constitution explicitly guarantees citizens the right to data security and privacy. The PDB tramples over this by raiding everyone’s personal communications, casting aside decency and dignity so that algorithms can probe into every aspect of our lives.”
“Furthermore, if ACT’s hypothesis is correct and the NMLA is using an advanced dark-comms network, then the PDB’s existence is baseless and unjustifiable.”
Vice President Jerome Archer responded:
“The Domestic Counter-Terrorism Act is emergency legislation that temporarily suspends constitutional statutes, until we are satisfied that the terrorist threat has been negated.”
“Following the PDB’s success in uncovering extremist groups, we are widening the search parameters to include other related criminal activity.”
Opinion polls suggest that a slim majority of Federal citizens accept that some liberties must be sacrificed in return for increased security.
However, according to the civil rights organisation Advocacy, the speed with which the PDB gained access to data hubs suggested that “The infrastructure was already in place – all the government needed was an opportunity to make it legal.”
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 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 1, 3307
Galactic Summit Imperilled by Political Frictions
Delegates at the diplomatic conference have clashed over long-standing political issues, with some threatening to abandon the event.
Journalists at Patterson Enterprise in the Sirius system reported their observations via mainstream newsfeeds.
The Imperial Herald: “Minister Whyte’s claim that the Empire had fomented terrorism by repressing Marlinism was somewhat predictable. But nobody expected Princess Duval’s icy retort, which caused shocked gasps across the chamber.”
Sol Today: “President Hudson easily dealt with Patreus’s whine about the Federation’s so-called ‘war-mongering’, putting the bombastic Imp in his place.”
Eye on Achenar: “The dull-witted thug of a president was no match for Senator Patreus, who received cheers for his condemnation of typical ‘Fedneck’ arrogance.”
The Alliance Tribune: “The conference’s hosts were visibly embarrassed by Councillor Kaine’s claims that Coalsack Nebula terraforming projects had triggered recent Thargoid attacks. Shockingly, several delegates dismissed this as an internal matter for the Alliance.”
The Federal Times: “Chancellor Blaine’s stonewalling on the co-funding of humanitarian aid brought a rare flash of anger from Felicia Winters: ‘Maybe the Emperor’s puppet could loosen a few strings?’”
The Sovereign: “Despite Prime Minister Mahon exaggerating the benefits of Alliance membership, several independent ambassadors complained about its incomprehensible bureaucracy, saying it would be less damaging to declare war against the Alliance than join it.”
A representative from Sirius Corporation reported that the Galactic Summit was “going well”.
February 26, 3307
Historic Meetings at the Galactic Summit
Alliance, Empire and Federation leaders have held their first ever face-to-face discussions at the diplomatic conference in the Sirius system.
Political correspondent Conrad Sterling published this report for Vox Galactica:
“The Galactic Summit has already made history by bringing together many political figureheads within one conference chamber. Optimistic opening statements from Chancellor Anders Blaine and Prime Minister Edmund Mahon gained applause. President Zachary Hudson was more curt, reminding everyone that billions of people would be affected by their efforts.”
“Agendas and debate topics for the next three weeks were formalised. Much of the work will be done behind the scenes by ambassadorial staff, making big decisions in small rooms.”
“The general tone so far has been courteous, although that may not last. Predictably, interactions between the Imperial and Marlinist delegations have been frosty, with Senator Denton Patreus refusing to even acknowledge their presence during discussions.”
“However, First Minister Jenna Fairfax enjoyed a more cordial meeting with Shadow President Felicia Winters. They were joined by Jasmina Halsey, who has accompanied Winters from Mars in an unofficial capacity.”
“One notable absentee was Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester, whose family is under legal scrutiny following the crimes of his older brother Jupiter Rochester. This at least spared Jordan the awkwardness of having to formally greet his ex-fiancée, Princess Aisling Duval. But it’s likely there will be no shortage of tension between other delegates in the coming weeks.”
February 22, 3307
Hudson and Winters Confirmed for Galactic Summit
President Zachary Hudson and Shadow President Felicia Winters will both attend the diplomatic conference in the Sirius system.
The Federation will also be represented by ambassadors from the Federal Diplomatic Corps, as well as several civil and corporate interests.
Political correspondent Sofia Trevino reported for The Federal Times:
“President Hudson’s personal presence at the Galactic Summit sends the message that he still holds the reins of power. He clearly hopes that facing off against the Empire’s leaders will distract the public from the recent Jupiter Rochester scandals.”
“In his absence, Vice President Brad Mitchell will oversee congressional matters. There are rumours that Mitchell is positioning himself to challenge Hudson as the Republican Party candidate in the next election.”
“The conference also offers opportunities for Felicia Winters to appear presidential. She has eagerly agreed to meet the Marlinist Colonies delegation, having coordinated humanitarian aid for the refugees last year.”
“Winters has not asked Shadow VP Isolde Rochester to accompany her, perhaps as a rebuke for the criminal actions of her son. Furiously working on damage control for her family’s name, the Rochester matriarch has taken Jupiter’s two children into her care after his husband, Tomas Turai, filed for immediate divorce.”
February 2, 3307
Core Dynamics Implicated in Starship One Sabotage
Evidence presented at the trial of Fleet Admiral Vincent suggested financial links to Federal shipbuilding corporation Core Dynamics.
This significant development was covered by Ethan Takahashi for The Federal Times:
“The initial investigations around Starship One’s destruction in 3301 were outlined by the prosecution. When the Federal Attorney’s Office revisited this historical data, traces were found of financial transfers routed through non-Federation banking systems.”
“The FAO brought in the expertise of the Wallglass Investigations Agency, which discovered that these transactions were made via shell companies created by Core Dynamics. Fleet Admiral Vincent, as well as several other naval officers, received billions of credits through these companies that went undeclared.”
“Vincent refused to answer any questions about this evidence, once again claiming that he is the victim of a conspiracy to hand the presidency to Felicia Winters.”
Despite multiple requests from the press, Core Dynamics has not made any public comment. There are unverified reports of large-scale activity taking place at some of the corporation’s centres of operation.
January 25, 3307
Trial of Fleet Admiral Vincent Begins
The Federal High Court on Mars has opened the trial of Fleet Admiral Lucas Vincent, who is charged with conspiracy to commit murder and treason.
Vincent stands accused of organising the sabotage of Starship One in 3301, resulting in hundreds of deaths.
The Federal Times’s crime correspondent Ethan Takahashi reported:
“The trial began with the prosecution counsel outlining the case. Material evidence obtained from Chief Technician Rory Webster, whose testimony led to Vincent’s arrest, was presented before the jury.”
“Vincent was questioned about a secure transmission from his office to the presidential vessel on the 24th of May 3301, ordering an unscheduled diversion to the Azaleach system for routine maintenance. This is where Webster’s engineering team followed Vincent’s orders to install the sabotaged hyperdrive component that caused the misjump.”
“Evading the questions, Vincent claimed that the entire trial was a ‘Liberal Party cover-up’ and that Starship One was destroyed ‘to put Winters in charge’.”
“With the loss of President Halsey and Vice President Naylor, Felicia Winters did indeed assume the role of acting president and became leader of the Liberal Party. However, the defence counsel played down these accusations, instead declaring that Webster’s recordings of Vincent’s orders could have been falsified.”
January 20, 3307
Jasmina Halsey Returns to the Federation
Former President Jasmina Halsey has arrived on Mars to stand as a witness in the upcoming trial of Fleet Admiral Lucas Vincent.
Halsey was subpoenaed by the Federal High Court to testify before the jury. Although this was not legally enforceable, since she now lives beyond the Federation’s jurisdiction, she has acceded to the court’s request.
Jasmina Halsey served as Federal president prior to the destruction of Starship One in 3301, which Vincent is accused of arranging. She was recovered alive, but abandoned her political career and emigrated to the Alliance. She has since campaigned as a peace activist and acted as an adviser to Prime Minister Edmund Mahon.
After greeting a large crowd of supporters at Olympus Village Spaceport, Halsey gave a statement to The Federal Times:
“This is a bittersweet moment for me. Coming back to the Federation feels like revisiting a past life. But perhaps we can finally lay some ghosts to rest.”
She was welcomed in person by Shadow President Felicia Winters, who was secretary of state in Halsey’s administration. However, President Zachary Hudson has made no comment regarding his predecessor’s return or the forthcoming trial of Fleet Admiral Vincent.
January 8, 3307
Aegis Supports Galactic Summit
The organisation Aegis has expressed support for Utopia’s offer to host a Galactic Summit for all three superpowers.
Aegis was jointly formed by the Alliance, Empire and Federation to study the Thargoids, and develop new methods of monitoring and combating their forces.
Professor Alba Tesreau, head of research at Aegis, gave this statement:
“Humanity’s focus on petty internal conflicts has blinded us to the existential threat of the Thargoids. Their recent horrific attacks should be a wake-up call to the fact that defunding has crippled Aegis’s ability to offer protection.”
“We strongly entreat our founders to come together and channel resources toward Aegis, and particularly into research. There can be no hope of coexistence with this alien species unless we increase our understanding of them.”
No official responses to Utopia’s proposal have been made as yet. However, Prime Minister Edmund Mahon, Princess Aisling Duval and Shadow President Felicia Winters have all signalled broad approval of the idea. There are reports that many congressmen, councillors and senators are pressuring their respective leaders to attend the diplomatic conference.
Simguru Pranav Antal has confirmed that the governments of independent systems will also be welcome to send delegates to the Galactic Summit. However, Utopia’s primary aim is to provide neutral territory for the Alliance, Empire and Federation to debate policies.
November 27, 3306
The Shadow of War
NMLA terrorist attacks and the Marlinist refugee crisis have driven an increase in military spending from both the Empire and the Federation.
The Federal Times has reported on President Zachary Hudson’s actions:
“Building on the public outcry following the Neo-Marlinist bombing of a Federal starport, President Hudson has positioned himself once again as the Federation’s strongman. This is clearly a calculated effort to regain political power after negative associations from the Starship One trial.”
“Shadow President Felicia Winters’s acceptance of Marlinist refugees has lost popularity, now that terrorists concealed among them have murdered thousands. However, cooler heads in Congress agree that provoking the Empire could lead to a far greater death toll.”
The Empire’s response mirrored its counterpart, as observed by The Imperial Herald:
“As well as the construction of new capital ships, Senator Denton Patreus has also ordered the withdrawal of funding for Aegis. The Senate’s consensus is that since Thargoid activity has reduced, the focus should now be on the Federation as well as the internal threat of the NMLA.”
“Cooperation between the superpowers is rapidly coming to an end, leading to a state of interstellar brinkmanship. There is a real possibility that the Neo-Marlinists’ demand for revolutionary change may have broader repercussions than they intended.”
November 20, 3306
Superpowers React to Latest NMLA Strike
Relations between the Empire and the Federation have deteriorated following a terror attack by Neo-Marlinists against a Federal starport.
Kepler Orbital in the Atropos system was bombed by the NMLA to eliminate several of its captured members, before they could reveal anything under interrogation by the Federal Security Service.
Imperial Ambassador Imogen Luciana made this statement:
“The NMLA was obviously able to make use of its bomb-making factories within the LTT 1935 system. If the Federation had not resisted our investigation, we would have shut these down and prevented the attack.”
“Our warning about the extremist threat went unheeded, and the Federation is now paying the price. We once again insist that all Marlinists are repatriated to the Empire.”
Ambassador Jordan Rochester has not responded, but did confirm that Federal embassies in several Imperial systems have closed after violent anti-Marlinist protests placed diplomatic staff’s lives at risk.
In Congress, Vice President Brad Mitchell directly blamed Shadow President Felicia Winters for the recent attack. He accused her of “laying out the welcome mat for terrorists” by offering sanctuary to the Marlinists. Other congressmen argued that she had prioritised aid for Imperial rather than Federal citizens.
There is evidence that Winters is now losing some of her recently gained political capital. However, the Liberal Party’s popularity remains high in the wake of President Hudson’s alleged association with the destruction of Starship One.
November 6, 3306
Terrorism Spreads as Superpower Conflicts Increase
Neo-Marlinist extremists are continuing their campaign of terror, while the Empire and Federation clash over issues caused by Marlinist refugees.
The Imperial Herald has featured updates on terrorist activity across the Empire:
“The NMLA has claimed responsibility for over fifty bomb attacks during the last three weeks. These mostly targeted local authority buildings and security forces, killing hundreds. Hit squads have also assassinated several high-profile individuals connected to the Duvals, including the Emperor’s relative Baron Cesare Lavigny.”
“Senior IISS leaders have admitted to being unprepared for how organised and well-equipped the paramilitary group is. Critics suggest that the mass arrest of Marlinists may have radicalised many people who were already sympathetic to the republican ideology.”
The Federal Times has focused on the tensions between superpowers:
“With diplomatic channels closing down, the possibility that the confrontation in LTT 1935 might escalate into all-out war cannot be ignored. There is added pressure from the exodus of millions of Marlinists, whose beliefs align with the Federation’s democratic principles.”
“President Hudson is still suffering from reduced congressional support, and many have said that it feels like Felicia Winters is running the show. But although her humanitarian efforts undoubtedly saved many refugees’ lives, the acceptance of Imperial outcasts into Federal society remains in question.”
October 26, 3306
Congress Votes to Accept Marlinist Immigrants
The Federation will grant sanctuary to Marlinist political refugees from the Empire, following a congressional vote in favour of Felicia Winters.
President Zachary Hudson had stated that illegal immigrants in the Federal systems Charunder, Ennead, HIP 36081, LTT 1935, LTT 3607 and Thetis would be detained and returned to Imperial space. This was challenged by Shadow President Felicia Winters, who argued that they deserved a more compassionate response.
Congress debated and then voted on her proposal, which received majority support. Government funding will soon be released to provide resources and accommodation for the refugee population.
Shadow President Winters told the media:
“Charities such as Safeguard Interstellar are already doing excellent work, but now we can officially offer safe haven and temporary citizenship to all Marlinists.”
“These innocent people only seek what we in the Federation take for granted – democracy, fairness and political representation. Their values are closer to ours than the Empire’s, and we have an obligation to protect them.”
Several newsfeeds, including The Federal Times and Sol Today, commented that President Hudson’s authority has been undermined by his refusal to comment on the charges against Fleet Admiral Vincent. The accompanying rumours of corruption and conspiracy have had a demoralising effect on his supporters, and increased the Liberal Party’s popularity.
October 19, 3306
Political Turmoil for President Hudson
Political support for Federal President Zachary Hudson has plummeted after the results of a trial concerning Starship One’s destruction.
Fleet Admiral Lucas Vincent was charged with sabotaging the presidential vessel, leading to hundreds of deaths. His close relationship with Hudson has triggered a public outcry and accusations of a conspiracy to assassinate then-President Jasmina Halsey.
Political analyst Vihaan Niven reported on the situation:
“The Republican Party is officially in a state of crisis. President Hudson has refused to make any statement regarding Fleet Admiral Vincent, despite pressure piling up from all corners of the Federation. Over a dozen congressmen have resigned in protest, refusing to be associated with what some newsfeeds are calling ‘the crime of the century’.”
“Shadow President Felicia Winters has stopped short of making direct allegations against Hudson but, in several powerful speeches, she stressed that no elected ruler can ever be above the law.”
“Opinion polls suggest that the Liberal Party now has majority support for the first time in years, and that many people view Hudson as a symbol of corruption. In 3305, halfway through his term of office, the President won the scheduled congressional vote of no confidence by a slim margin. It is doubtful that his administration would survive if it were to be held today.”