November 2, 3308
Peace with the Thargoids?
The rise of the xeno-peace movement has caused a number of public figures to discuss coexisting peacefully with the Thargoid race.
With military options currently under discussion in the political capitals of all three superpowers, calls for diplomacy have sought to keep pace. Professor Shamus Madigan, Head of Xenology at Olympus Village University, is one of several figures to have weighed in on the matter:
“The ancient records of the Guardians, as deciphered by Ram Tah, describe how they learned enough of the Thargoids’ language to make peaceful overtures. These were rejected in favour of total war. Though millions of years have passed, it seems improbable that the Thargoids will view humanity any differently - particularly since we actively deploy Guardian-based weaponry against them.”
Federal Governor Dalton Chase:
“Assuming the communications barrier can be broken, I see no reason why we cannot have non-violent relations with these obviously intelligent beings. The recently consigned pro-peace megaship will help demonstrate to the Thargoids that we are not a single-minded warlike race, but a fellow advanced civilisation.”
Jaya Chaudhary , host of historical ICE-cast ‘Ghastly Pasts’:
“Human-Thargoid diplomacy might have been possible when our two species first encountered each other. But since then we have made two attempts to eradicate them, first with the mycoid compound and then with the Proteus Wave superweapon. Let’s be honest: would we want to talk to an alien race that did that to us?”
Ambassador Jasmina Halsey, former president of the Federation:
“We have discovered a little about the Thargoids’ history, behaviour and technologies. But their thought processes and reasoning may be utterly different to our own. I have no idea if they even comprehend what diplomacy is, let alone whether we could find common ground. But I do know that we must try, if only to prove to ourselves that we can do better.”
October 3, 3308
Making the Case for Aegis
A three-day symposium has begun that will outline proposals to reform Aegis, the tri-superpower anti-xeno agency.
The event is taking place at the national conference centre in New Apollo City on the planet Biggs Colony. It has been organised by Professor Alba Tesreau, Aegis’s former head of research. In her opening address to attendees, she said:
“In the aftermath of HIP 22460’s failure to end the war, humanity remains locked in this fight against the Thargoids. I believe that we have become hyper-focused on military action, meaning we may never truly understand this species. Aegis’s collaborative nature was ideally suited for such work, but internal and external pressures resulted in its closure. I am officially declaring my aim to convince the Alliance, Empire and Federation to reverse that closure.”
Detailed plans to reform the organisation were presented by other former members of Aegis including Carter Armstrong, Dr Mia Valencourt and Yazhu Xing. Several issues highlighted by the Baumann Report, including mismanagement and low morale, were openly addressed. The audience was shown evidence that the loss of the Alexandria megaship, originally seen as an example of Aegis’s negligence, was due to sabotage and hijacking by Azimuth Biotech agents.
The hosts were also asked about the xeno-peace movement and the popular audio package released last week by ICE-caster Joy Senne. Professor Tesreau stated:
“Neither I nor any former Aegis staff are involved with the Thargoid Advocacy Project or any similar groups. But I have always believed that researching methods of inter-species communication should be a priority.”
A combination of politicians, scientists, naval officers and journalists were present on the first day of the event. The most high-profile guests included Allied Deputy Prime Minister Angela Corcoran, Federal Ambassador Jasmina Halsey and Shadow Vice President Isolde Rochester. There were no representatives from the Empire, but a delegation from the Marlinist Colonies observed proceedings.
September 28, 3308
Tesreau Announces Bid to Reform Aegis
A media forum is being arranged that will officially propose reinstating the tri-superpower anti-xeno agency.
The event is being organised by Professor Alba Tesreau, former head of research for Aegis. She delivered a statement to all newsfeeds:
“As the war against the Thargoids intensifies, the need for centralised xenological research is more vital than ever. This press conference will put forward a case to convince leaders in the Alliance, Empire and Federation to review their decision to dismantle Aegis.”
“The Baumann Report highlighted many of Aegis’s limitations, and we do not intend to ignore these. Improvements to several departments would have to be made. But the Affiliated Counter-Terrorism Unit proved that cross-superpower collaboration can be efficient, flexible and effective. Aegis could be restructured along similar lines to prevent repeating its past mistakes.”
Invitations to the conference have been sent to key political figures. Allied Deputy Prime Minister Angela Corcoran has agreed to attend. Federal Ambassador Jasmina Halsey has offered her support, but no members of Congress have responded publicly. The Imperial Senate acknowledged Professor Tesreau, but formally stated that the Empire has no interest in further cooperation with the other superpowers at this time.
The three-day forum is scheduled to begin on Monday 3rd October in New Apollo City on the planet Biggs Colony.
July 15, 3308
Azimuth’s Plan Elicits Further Reactions
Prominent figures on the political stage have commented on Salvation’s anti-xeno operation in the HIP 22460 system. Key points from each are collated below.
Archon Delaine: “My opinion on the Thargoids remains the same: burn them all! As I stated at the Galactic Summit, the Kumo nation stands ready to help wipe out these alien scum.”
Yuri Grom: “I trust Salvation as little as I trust the Federation. What guarantee do we have that this Proteus Wave will not be turned against human targets, once the Thargoids are dealt with?”
Senator Zemina Torval: “Azimuth Biotech has emerged as a strategically significant corporation. I’ve advised the Imperial Senate to establish long-term commercial links that are mutually beneficial.”
Hadrian Augustus Duval: “The Thargoids are a genuine threat. Yet I hope that our military collaboration with the Alliance and the Federation is a temporary measure only. The Empire must develop the strength to stand alone.”
First Minister Octavia Volkov: “Thargoid attack is an ever-present danger for the Marlinist Colonies. We are observing events closely. Personally I do not view Azimuth as a trustworthy ally.”
Ambassador Jasmina Halsey: “I’m pleased to see the Federation working closely with the Alliance, but disappointed that it is limited to anti-xeno matters. Whatever happens in HIP 22460, we should grasp this opportunity to increase diplomatic as well as military cooperation.”
February 15, 3308
Federation Divided by Hudson’s Proposal
President Zachary Hudson’s intention to remove the limit on his term in office has caused a deep rift among congressmen and voters alike.
Political correspondent Sofia Trevino analysed the situation in The Federal Times:
“Ever since the 77th amendment to the Federal Accord was ratified in 2594, no president has remained in office for longer than eight years. This is why the Hudson Contravention, as Congress officially refers to it, has turned up the heat on the simmering political division within the Federation.”
“Members of the Cabinet and other leading Republicans have argued passionately that only Zachary Hudson has the experience and fortitude to guide the Federation through this eventful period in history. His supporters point to successes such as curtailing the secession crisis, ending the NMLA threat and introducing greater security via the Proactive Detection Bureau.”
“However, others insist that repealing this amendment could pave the way from democracy to dictatorship. Two former presidents – Antonia Madison and Jasmina Halsey – have publicly condemned the Hudson Contravention as unconstitutional and dangerous.”
“There are expectations that Shadow President Felicia Winters will move for a vote of no confidence. Political analysts suspect that after several controversial leadership decisions from Hudson last year, he would be unlikely to win over a majority in Congress.”
August 3, 3307
Superpowers Respond to New Onionhead
The Alliance, Empire and Federation have clarified their official positions regarding the emergence of onionhead gamma strain.
All variants of the popular psychedelic drug remain illegal within Federal space. Ambassador Jasmina Halsey, who was president in 3300 when the ruling was made, announced:
“I am pleased that my decision to outlaw onionhead stands. I still maintain that it leads to experimentation with more dangerous narcotics, and we must steer our youth away from that path.”
The Empire has also declared onionhead illegal, despite rumours that it is imported by the wealthiest citizens for private use. Princess Aisling Duval told the media:
“It was insulting enough that Delaine was allowed into the Galactic Summit, but now he’s peddling filthy drugs and pretending it’s medicine! I only pray that nobody loses a loved one to such poison, as I have.”
The Alliance has not made a broad ruling regarding onionhead, which is illegal in the majority of member systems but available in those classified as having anarchy governments. However, Deputy Prime Minister Angela Corcoran addressed the issue:
“As with most trade, we defer to the legislation of local authorities. But we are in contact with the IHO and are keeping a close eye on the situation.”
Onionhead gamma strain remains on sale in selected systems governed by industrial anarchy factions.
July 12, 3307
The Story of Onionhead
A new product being manufactured by the Kumo Crew could be a version of onionhead, the controversial recreational drug.
Dr Himari Grey, an independent healthcare analyst, published this review on Vox Galactica:
“Little is yet known about ‘helix’, but the persistent rumour that it is derived from onionhead has sparked keen interest from physicians, politicians and narcotics users alike.”
“Onionhead’s active ingredient is extracted from plant seeds found only on Panem in the Kappa Fornacis system. Its psychotropic and hallucinogenic qualities are well documented, but there is conflicting evidence regarding addictive strength and toxicology.”
“This didn’t stop it being banned in the Federation in 3300 by former President Jasmina Halsey, who was concerned about its popularity among youth culture. Political fireworks followed when Fleet Admiral Vincent bombed onionhead crops against her orders, which five years later led to the Scythe of Panem terrorists seeking revenge.”
“Production soon shifted to the Tanmark system, where the Lucan onionhead strain boosted its popularity. Two further variants have appeared since, a result of enterprising genetic engineers modifying the seeds to flourish in different ecospheres.”
“Could helix be another strain? The Interstellar Health Organisation (IHO) is currently acquiring samples for analysis, so we’ll soon know if this marks a new chapter in onionhead’s notorious story.”
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.
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 15, 3307
Federation Damaged by Corruption and Conspiracy
Federal citizens are in uproar after the former CEO of Core Dynamics was revealed to have destroyed Starship One to increase company profits.
The trial of Fleet Admiral Vincent showed that Jupiter Rochester attempted to replace Jasmina Halsey with Zachary Hudson to secure military contracts with the Federal Navy.
The Federal Intelligence Agency has arrested several co-conspirators, but its investigation is hampered by Jupiter Rochester loyalists splitting away from Core Dynamics. His new independent faction, Jupiter Division, has engaged in conflict against Federal forces in the HIP 54530 system.
President Hudson has claimed ignorance of the assassination plot, but public opinion polls show a decrease of trust in the Republican Party. Many have voiced anger at such corruption at the heart of the Federation, calling for further investigations into the corporate sector’s influence on government.
Political embarrassment has also affected the Liberal Party, with Shadow Vice President Isolde Rochester attempting to distance herself from her eldest son:
“Jupiter’s horrendous actions were his alone, made completely without our knowledge. My whole family is appalled at his illegal activity. We have offered to aid the authorities in bringing him to justice.”
February 8, 3307
Fleet Admiral Vincent Pronounced Guilty
A Federal High Court jury has found Fleet Admiral Lucas Vincent guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and treason.
The court heard how Vincent worked with Core Dynamics CEO Jupiter Rochester to sabotage Starship One and assassinate then-President Jasmina Halsey, in order to increase military contracts.
The Federal Times’s crime correspondent Ethan Takahashi observed:
“Within minutes of Vincent receiving a life sentence, Federal Intelligence Agency teams arrested several co-conspirators in the Federal Navy along with some government officials.”
“Jupiter Rochester himself has evaded arrest by fleeing to the HIP 54530 system, where loyalists within Core Dynamics are establishing a breakaway faction named Jupiter Division. Industry analysts believe that this corporate split has long been planned, but is being accelerated because of the trial.”
“Rochester’s responsibility for the Starship One tragedy raises many questions, especially for his powerful family. It will certainly fuel the conspiracy theory that he is a member of a covert group of powerful figures, who manipulate events to benefit the military/industrial complex.”
“However, a more plausible theory – that Zachary Hudson was responsible – now seems to have been debunked. Nothing presented in court suggested that the president had any involvement in, or knowledge of, the plan to eliminate his predecessor.”
February 5, 3307
Jupiter Rochester Named in Starship One Trial
Core Dynamics CEO Jupiter Rochester has been accused of collaborating with Fleet Admiral Vincent to orchestrate Starship One’s destruction in 3301.
As reported by Ethan Takahashi for The Federal Times:
“Financial data was presented to the court showing that Vincent, along with others in government and the Federal Navy, received colossal payments via shell companies created by Jupiter Rochester’s loyalists.”
“The prosecution claimed that Rochester and Vincent were reacting to then-President Jasmina Halsey’s intention to scale back military spending, which would impact Core Dynamics’s profits. They arranged to assassinate her and lay groundwork for Zachary Hudson to be voted into power, knowing that his policies would result in further naval contracts.”
“The defence argued that Halsey’s testimony was unreliable, and that the financial data was obtained via improper methods so should have been inadmissible. It was also pointed out that the Rochester family had many enemies determined to besmirch their reputation.”
“The jury has now been sequestered to determine a verdict. This means they are unaware of media reports that several Core Dynamics departments, known collectively as ‘Jupiter Division’, are transporting ships and personnel to the HIP 54530 system.”
Other sources confirmed that the HIP 54530 Gold Universal Group has officially assumed the name Jupiter Division, suggesting that it was heavily infiltrated by Rochester’s loyalists. The faction has retained control of the permit-locked HIP 54530 system.
December 9, 3307
Halsey Suggests Motivation for Assassination Attempt
At the trial of Fleet Admiral Vincent, former President Jasmina Halsey has revealed possible reasons behind the sabotage of Starship One in 3301.
Crime correspondent Ethan Takahashi reported from the Federal High Court:
“Jasmina Halsey provided details of a top-level Federal Cabinet meeting in late April 3301, an event which was never declassified. Its aim was to address the high levels of public dissatisfaction with her administration.”
“At the meeting, Halsey explained that she had been inspired by various peace activists to refocus on the wellbeing of citizens. She planned to reduce taxes, invest in social infrastructure and slash Federal Navy spending. As yet this was only a preliminary plan, to be implemented later that year.”
“Halsey told the court that only a dozen officials were present at this meeting, including Fleet Admiral Vincent. All were told that this forthcoming sea change in policy was confidential, but to expect major budget changes in the coming months.”
“The prosecution counsel stated that Vincent was therefore aware that naval defunding was imminent, something which would reduce his personal influence. It would also impact powerful individuals who Vincent was illegally connected to, evidence of which would be presented in due course.”
December 7, 3307
Jasmina Halsey Provides Testimony about Starship One
Former President Jasmina Halsey has taken the witness stand during the trial of Fleet Admiral Lucas Vincent at the Federal High Court.
Crime correspondent Ethan Takahashi reported the details for The Federal Times:
“Jasmina Halsey confirmed that the orders for Starship One’s unscheduled stopover in the Azaleach system came directly from Fleet Admiral Vincent. She added that the presidential itinerary was often altered for various mundane reasons, and at the time this seemed routine.”
“Halsey also provided an account of the vessel’s destruction, describing the chaos and panic onboard as the hyperspace misjump caused rapid structural disintegration. She praised her security detail for getting her into a cryogenic stasis pod and launching it moments before Starship One exploded.”
“During cross-examination, the defence counsel quoted her reported visions after being rescued, when Halsey described meeting the ‘caretakers of our galaxy’ and experiencing the ‘infinities of the cosmos’. It was suggested that the testimony of someone suffering from such obvious delusions should be discounted.”
“Halsey admitted that she no longer has any memory of making those statements, and may have been suffering from post-traumatic shock. She then provided the court with psychological reports and neural scans from the Alliance’s finest doctors, medically confirming that she is of sound state of mind.”
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 11, 3307
Date Set for Trial of Fleet Admiral Vincent
Fleet Admiral Lucas Vincent of the Federal Navy will stand trial on the 25th of January, charged with conspiracy to commit murder and treason.
The Federal Attorney’s Office has successfully obtained a grand jury indictment against Fleet Admiral Vincent. He is accused of arranging the sabotage of presidential vessel Starship One in 3301, to assassinate then-President Jasmina Halsey. Although she was later recovered alive, hundreds died when the ship was destroyed in flight.
These charges were brought following the trial of Rory Webster, a naval technician who was implicated in the failure of Starship One’s hyperdrive system. Mr Webster confessed his involvement, but offered a plea bargain by providing evidence that he was following clandestine orders from Vincent.
The subsequent arrest caused repercussions in military and political circles. President Zachary Hudson’s long-term association with Vincent resulted in Republican congressmen losing confidence in his leadership, and increased the Liberal Party’s popularity.
As a naval chief of staff, Fleet Admiral Vincent is the highest ranking Federal military officer to ever stand trial. Media interest remains intense, with much public speculation about corruption among the Federation’s highest echelons.
The trial will take place at the Federal High Court in Olympus Village on Mars, and is expected to last several weeks.
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.”
September 12, 3306
Inquiry into Starship One’s Destruction Concludes
An independent inquiry by the Federal Attorney’s Office into the destruction of presidential vessel Starship One has produced a final report.
Senior Attorney Milandu Okoro made this statement:
“The loss of presidential vessel Starship One in May 3301, along with hundreds of lives, was a great tragedy. Despite suspicion that this was an attempt to eliminate then-President Jasmina Halsey, initial investigations concluded that a catastrophic malfunction of its drive systems was the likely cause.”
“A new inquiry was opened when fresh evidence came to light, including testimonies from several members of the Federal Navy. Our final report states that there is sufficient reason to believe Starship One was destroyed by deliberate sabotage.”
“A grand jury has determined that criminal charges should be made. We have shared our findings with the Federal Intelligence Agency, and understand that an arrest will take place shortly.”
The inquiry report is not yet in the public domain, but is thought to allege that illegal modifications were made to the Frame Shift Drive system of Starship One in advance of its destruction during flight through hyperspace.
May 26, 3305
Week in Review
Here are this week’s main stories.
Conflict has broken out in the Synuefe EN-H d11-96 system following a series of attacks against convoys transporting Guardian commodities. Zende Partners, who recently established a research operation in the system aided by a megaship transport service, have claimed the violence was organised by Segnen Exchange. Both corporations have called on the galactic community to support their respective security campaigns.
In related news, the prior appeal by Zende Partners to install a technology broker at The Prospect in Synuefe EN-H d11-96 was successful. Guardian modules are now available for purchase at the outpost.
Prime Minister Edmund Mahon has called on President Gibson Kincaid to step down pending an official inquiry. Mahon has claimed that Kincaid’s unauthorised command of the Alliance’s Zaonce fleet, combined with recent claims of illegal campaign funding, is sufficient to suspend the presidency. Kincaid has dismissed the demands as unconstitutional.
And finally, commentators have linked ship thief Gan Romero’s dream journal with the statements given by Jasmina Halsey following the disappearance of Starship One. The Rewired network claimed these ‘bodiless voices’ had disregarded the relative standing of these two individuals, and questioned how many others had experienced similar calls.
And those are the main stories this week.
May 25, 3305
Ship Thief Linked to Halsey’s Visions
There has been much speculation about starship technician Gan Romero, whose dreams are believed to have directed him to steal a ship from a starport hangar.
On the Rewired network, independent journalist Flint ‘Firemaker’ Lafosse offered this analysis:
“Romero’s dream journal entries were very similar to Jasmina Halsey’s visions after the Starship One incident three years ago. Was this lowly grease monkey in touch with the same ‘caretakers of our galaxy’ that Halsey claims spoke to her?”
“Sure, it could be coincidence. Maybe even a shared psychological disorder. But it seems possible that Halsey and Romero were telepathically contacted by the same incorporeal intelligence.”
“You can see why they might want to talk to a Federal president. But a starport technician? What’s so special about Romero? If he’s telling the truth then who knows how many more ordinary people have heard these summons from ‘bodiless voices’ over the years?”