February 8, 3310
Anti-Titan Project Boosted by Thargoid Spire Materials
Pilots’ Federation ALERT
Chemicals harvested from Thargoid spire sites have accelerated Aegis’s development of a weapon to destroy the Titans.
Professor Ishmael Palin requested samples of coral sap, impure spire minerals and semi-refined spire minerals, which were delivered to the Arque system. These will be used to produce an armoured layer to protect the weapon against the Maelstroms’ anti-Guardian zones.
Professor Alba Tesreau, head of Aegis, explained more at a press conference:
“I am well aware that obtaining these substances from the Thargoid spire sites has doubtless cost lives. But the importance of this work cannot be overstated. Without resistance to the Maelstroms’ electromagnetic fields, the weapon based on Ram Tah’s theory is doomed to failure.”
“The Alliance, Empire and Federation have all agreed to redirect the majority of Aegis funding to the anti-Titan project. We have also drafted in extra help to construct prototypes and fast-track testing procedures. Although details remain classified, if the results continue to be positive, we may be able to go public in as little as a week.”
Aegis has confirmed that all those who contributed to this initiative can now collect their rewards from Austen Town Station in the Arque system.
January 11, 3310
Zemina Torval Returns to the Senate
The Imperial Senate has formally welcomed back Senator Zemina Torval, following an absence of several months.
Torval’s reappearance put an end to rumours that she was suffering from ill health. Her youngest daughter, Senator Petra Torval, had been standing in for her mother by representing the Imperial populace of the Synteini system.
Addressing the Senate, Zemina Torval said:
“I am grateful to this august body, and to Her Majesty the Emperor, for permitting me a short respite from my duties. I have used this time to fully discharge my corporate responsibilities. As is common knowledge, ownership of Torval Mining Ltd has been transferred to my eldest daughter Constantia. She will ensure that Imperial industries continue to be supplied with vital mineral resources.”
“My attention is now fully focused on my senatorial work. This is where I have best served the Empire, and will continue to do so for many years to come.”
Cassia Carvalho, political correspondent for The Imperial Herald, observed:
“At 132 years old, Zemina Torval is one of the oldest serving members of the Senate. During her decades of service she has made many enemies, all of whom must have been deeply irritated to see her return, looking and sounding as formidable as ever.”
“The reason she avoided retirement could be that Chancellor Anders Blaine is considering taking that route for himself. Due to her seniority, Torval has temporarily deputised as chancellor on more than one occasion. If Blaine stands down and the most powerful position in the Senate becomes vacant, that would certainly justify Torval’s decision to focus exclusively on her political career.”
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.”
December 18, 3309
Alliance Lifts Quarantine for Thargoid Abductees
The Alliance has ended medical isolation for all citizens who were rescued from the Titans after being abducted by Thargoid vessels.
Prime Minister Edmund Mahon’s official declaration was published by all newsfeeds:
“The Assembly has agreed that quarantine procedures for everyone recovered from the Titans are no longer necessary. Those who hail from an Allied system are being transported from the secure facilities back to their families and communities. Their long nightmare is over. We are sending our people home.”
“I call upon the governments of the Empire, Federation and independent systems to follow our lead with their own citizens. We must not treat these unfortunates as criminals or laboratory specimens. During this dark time of war, let our humanity shine through.”
Some medical institutes such as Kamadhenu Medipure and Vandermeer Corporation opposed the Alliance’s decision, claiming that Imperial and Federal returnees should never be allowed back into the general population. Azimuth Biotech also repeated its offer to perform “cutting-edge xenological detection procedures on every human extracted from a Thargoid bio-storage capsule.”
The political dimension was analysed by Vanya Driscoll for The Alliance Tribune:
“Prime Minister Mahon knows that this will be a popular decision, after many public figures called the extended quarantine ‘inhumane’ and ‘barbaric’. Plus, with his rival Councillor Kaine currently questioning the wisdom of the Mahon-endorsed strategic defence pact with Sirius, the timing of this benevolent act could not be better.”
“On the wider political stage, asking the other superpowers to follow suit frames the Alliance as a more humanitarian society than its counterparts. This may be a rare occasion when the Empire and Federation are looking to us for moral guidance… or at least, waiting to see if sending home thousands of Thargoid abductees is a mistake.”
November 23, 3309
Mining Campaign in LHS 3872 Concludes
Pilots’ Federation ALERT
Torval Mining Ltd has announced that sufficient quantities of mined resources were delivered to its subsidiary faction.
The Aristocrats of Cuacocha, who control the LHS 3872 system, received the shipments of mined lithium hydroxide, painite, praseodymium and tritium. They have confirmed that all participating pilots can now collect their rewards at Curbeam Hub.
Constantia Torval, the corporation’s recently appointed CEO, gave a statement:
“With this successful event, Torval Mining Ltd advances toward even greater prestige and profitability. I offer sincere thanks to our partners and contributors.”
The campaign’s background was discussed by Gwendolyn Nash, Empire correspondent for Vox Galactica:
“Senator Zemina Torval handing Torval Mining Ltd to her oldest daughter is the latest of several curious developments in recent years. She established the company by branching out from Mastopolos Mining, severing connections with more distant family members. She also transferred many investments to her other daughter Petra Torval, who is also a senator, and grandson Titus Torval, an Imperial Intelligence captain.”
“Coupled with the fact that she has missed several Senate meetings recently, speculation is rife that the 132-year-old has entered the twilight of her corporate and political careers. But as even her sternest opponents would attest, it is never wise to underestimate Zemina Torval’s willpower.”
November 20, 3309
Alliance Reviews Sirius Defence Pact
The Alliance Assembly has approved a formal evaluation of its strategic defence pact with Sirius Corporation.
The vote to launch an independent inquiry was led by Councillor Nakato Kaine, who summarised:
“This partnership has been in effect for nearly two years. What tangible military support have we seen? Sirius Corporation has done little to protect Allied populations from attack or abduction. The capital ships promised to the Alliance Defence Force remain on the drawing board. The Sirius Navy isn’t even engaging the Thargoid fleets on the front line of this war. How much longer must we endure Li Yong-Rui’s empty promises?”
Admiral Nikolas Glass, the megacorp’s representative on the Council of Admirals, disputed these claims:
“In truth, an enormous amount of work is taking place behind the scenes. Sirius technicians have retrofitted many ageing ADF ships with modern weaponry and internal systems. We’ve invested significantly in new AX modules, such as the anti-xeno missile rack and pre-engineered heatsink. And our blueprints formed the basis for Aegis’s sub-surface extraction missile, which has helped rescue so many from the Titans.”
An editorial piece in the Old Worlds Gazette speculated:
“The strategic defence pact has led to some successes, such as the Operation Tyndareus taskforce that repulsed a Thargoid incursion in Allied territory. But that was over a year ago, and the vision of a Sirius-backed Alliance Navy to rival the Empire or Federation has not materialised.”
“As displeasure grows in the Assembly, the option to renegotiate the pact has been raised alongside Councillor Kaine’s proposal to terminate it entirely. Prime Minister Mahon faces political pressure to abandon his commitment to Sirius Corporation, especially now that a reformed Aegis is leading anti-xeno technology development.”
November 16, 3309
Torval Mining Campaign Marks Ownership Change
Pilots’ Federation ALERT
A mining initiative is being held in the LHS 3872 system, as Torval Mining Ltd welcomes its new CEO.
Senator Zemina Torval, owner of the Imperial company until recently, has formally transferred her controlling shares to her eldest daughter. Constantia Torval was already director of operations, but will now oversee all corporate decision making from the highest chair.
From the press suite on Curbeam Hub starport, Ms Torval gave an announcement from the megaship Zetian’s Recall:
“My mother’s tireless efforts to build a corporation worthy of our family name have brought enormous success and esteem to the Torval portfolio. It is my honour to continue supplying vital resources to the great industries that drive our Empire.”
“To mark the occasion, Torval Mining Ltd offers generous payments for newly mined quantities of lithium hydroxide, painite, praseodymium and tritium. The campaign is being managed by the Aristocrats of Cuacocha, who will receive shipments at Curbeam Hub in LHS 3872. This follows my new policy to subcontract mining operations to other Imperial factions, in order to meet expanded resource extraction quotas.”
“A Torval Mining Ltd mining laser will also be awarded to those pilots who make a concerted effort to support our endeavours.”
Anton Lagorio, business correspondent for The Imperial Herald, reported:
“This announcement confirms rumours that Constantia Torval had been allowed to take the reins in managing the family company. Under her guidance, Torval Mining Ltd has expanded its sphere of operations and obtained many lucrative new contracts. Whereas Zemina Torval’s policy was to manage as much as possible in-house, her daughter seems keen to build corporate relationships with subsidiaries within the Empire.”
November 14, 3309
Concerns Raised over Titan Returnees
People who were recovered from the Thargoids have been flagged as potential biohazards by an Imperial medical institute.
Dr Zoe Terentia , chief researcher at Kamadhenu Medipure , published her findings in the Citizens Chronicle.
“Our analysis of abducted Imperial citizens currently in isolation has yielded disturbing results. There is clear evidence of an auto-immune response in multiple subjects. These manifest as minor physiological changes at a superficial level, which are mostly being dismissed.”
“In my professional opinion, this qualifies as evidence that these individuals have been altered in some way by the Thargoid-constructed bio-storage capsules. I recommend they all be relocated to a high-security location beyond inhabited space. Should further mutations manifest, euthanasia should be considered to prevent any chance of contamination.”
Director Ivano Colombera of the Imperial Science Academy, who acts as the Empire’s scientific liaison to Aegis, opposed this assessment:
“The life support systems in Thargoid bio-storage capsules were intrusive, and in some cases left residual scarring. We would expect human physiology to react negatively to such an invasive artificial environment, and these natural immunological responses hardly qualify as ‘mutations’. So we should not consider this a cause for alarm. Nevertheless, I agree that all returnees must stay quarantined until all necessary scientific observations are complete.”
The Imperial Herald featured related comments from Senator Caspian Leopold, another member of the delegation to Aegis:
“I concur with Director Colombera that caution must be our watchword. I’m told that those rescued from the Titans are being made as comfortable as possible, but for now they must remain isolated. I know that our stoic citizens will understand their duty.”
“Regarding this topic, Azimuth Biotech’s offer to perform scientific tests on returnees has been formally rejected by the Senate. They decided that further association with Azimuth would not be of benefit to the Empire. And speaking personally, I will not countenance letting those butchers anywhere near our people.”
October 23, 3309
Titan Survivors Kept in Quarantine
Thousands of people rescued from captivity within the Thargoid motherships remain isolated under strict medical and security protocols.
Professor Alba Tesreau, head of Aegis, spoke at a press conference:
“I’m relieved to see that the sub-surface extraction missiles are proving effective, especially considering how quickly they went into production. Many pilots are using them to excavate bio-storage capsules from beneath the hulls of the Thargoid Titans.”
“Each resuscitated individual has undergone an exhaustive range of physical scans and psychological evaluations. Some are being treated for stress-related conditions and mental trauma, but otherwise they appear to be unharmed. With no clear evidence that these people have been infected or influenced by the Thargoids in some manner, Aegis has sent a number of proposals to superpower governments as they consider the next steps.”
Despite this announcement, everyone extracted from a bio-storage capsule remains under military quarantine. The Alliance, Empire, Federation and independent factions have all instructed that any citizen who was abducted by Thargoids must be kept in high-security isolation until further notice.
As discussed by reporter Ernesto Rios for Vox Galactica:
“There is widespread concern that whatever the Thargoids had planned for their human captives was set in motion before rescue efforts began. While scientific analysis of the captives disputes this notion – as all results have thus far – the returnees may face prejudice and mistrust when they are permitted to rejoin society.”
In related news, there are reports that the Thargoid barnacle matrix sites have recently undergone enormous growth, with sightings of ‘towering spires’ and similar megastructures. Aegis and other scientific bodies have sent analysis teams to all known sites to gather data.
October 19, 3309
Winters Outlines Her Future Presidency
President-elect Felicia Winters has discussed her election victory and other topics during an interview with The Federal Times.
On defeating Vice President Jerome Archer:
“One cannot dispute that Archer played his campaign straight, with none of the underhanded tricks utilised by some of his predecessors. But the election results prove that the citizens want a change from the Republican Party’s bombastic approach.”
On the priorities for her forthcoming administration:
“Our government will expand investment in the Federation’s soft infrastructure, pulling the economy’s focus away from military projects and corporate profits. Many systems are in dire need of improved healthcare, housing and work opportunities. Billions of people need temporary financial support as refugees from the Thargoid invasion. We are not the Empire – we serve our people rather than rule over them.”
On the Proactive Detection Bureau:
“My very first task in office will be to dismantle this monstrosity, ending the surveillance of private communications. The Federal Intelligence Agency is perfectly capable of protecting our people without violating their personal freedoms.”
On the Thargoid war:
“I can assure everyone that while I lack the enthusiasm for war that my predecessor demonstrated, my administration takes office with the Thargoid invasion as a top priority. Aegis has led the way in developing new anti-xeno technologies, and Federal support for the agency will continue.”
Many Federal newsfeeds congratulated Felicia Winters on her success in the election, but an editorial in Sol Today said:
“Without Zachary Hudson’s strength of will, or Jerome Archer’s dedication to security, there’s every possibility that the Federation will rot from within. You can expect to see all manner of fringe groups and minorities grab the lion’s share of funding, while freeloaders and criminals get a free pass. We predict that Winters will go down in history as one of the weakest presidents ever.”
October 16, 3309
Felicia Winters Elected as Federal President
The Federation has voted to elect Felicia Winters as its next president, with a four per cent vote majority over her rival Jerome Archer.
The current shadow president of the Liberal Party will be officially inaugurated in the new year, entering an eight-year term of office. Congressman Isolde Rochester will also be sworn in as vice president in Winters’s administration.
President Zachary Hudson will remain in power during the transition period, but will not be expected to implement any major policy changes. The Liberal Party will replace the Republican Party as the superpower’s governing authority in 3310, with Jerome Archer assuming the role of shadow president.
President-elect Winters addressed her supporters during a celebratory rally in Olympus Village on Mars:
“The people of the Federation have spoken! I thank you all for turning my party’s vision into a reality. My aim is to govern fairly for everybody, regardless of their political allegiance. Together we will create optimism where there was fear, give shelter those who are vulnerable, and improve the quality of life for each and every Federal citizen.”
Vice President Jerome Archer formally conceded the election during a session of Congress:
“My compliments to Felicia Winters, who fought a strong campaign. I look forward to taking on the role of shadow president next year, and ensuring that her government’s proposals are thoroughly scrutinised from day one.”
Former presidents Antonia Madison and Jasmina Halsey – whom Winters temporarily replaced after the Starship One disaster – offered their congratulations. Prime Minister Edmund Mahon of the Alliance, First Minister Octavia Volkov of the Marlinist Colonies, and CEO Li Yong-Rui of Sirius Corporation sent similar messages to the Winters campaign.
No formal acknowledgement was received from the Empire. However, Princess Aisling Duval joined Professor Alba Tesreau and other members of Aegis leadership to state: “We trust that President Winters will remain committed to our unified approach, ensuring the development of technology needed to secure victory in the ongoing Thargoid war.”
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 28, 3309
Deliver Resources for Extraction Missile Manufacture
Pilots’ Federation ALERT
Aegis has requested materials to construct sub-surface extraction missiles that recover imprisoned humans from the Titans.
Professor Alba Tesreau, head of Aegis, announced:
“Using blueprints provided by Sirius Corporation, engineering teams have worked around the clock to modify sub-surface displacement munitions. These adaptations enable the projectiles to breach sections of the Titans’ hulls and jettison the bio-storage capsules embedded within.”
“We could spend the next few months in a testing cycle, and ideally that would be the case – but lives are at risk and we can’t be sure how much time our missing have. Therefore, we have approved mass production of these sub-surface extraction missiles. Industrial materials are urgently needed to establish assembly centres, so that we can distribute them as rapidly as possible.”
Princess Aisling Duval, who is coordinating the Empire’s involvement with Aegis, transmitted a personal message:
“My heart goes out to the families and friends of the millions unaccounted for following the Thargoid invasions. But I urge you all to hold onto the hope of seeing your loved ones again. With this breakthrough, we finally have a chance to rescue some of those poor souls. Nobody doubts that this will be dangerous, and yet if this war has proved anything, it’s that we can rise to any challenge when we work together.”
Aegis has requested shipments of CMM composites, neofabric insulation and osmium, to be delivered to Springer Gateway in the Senlu system. To protect transports, bounty vouchers for all wanted ships in the system will be redeemed by the Green Party of Senlu.
September 25, 3309
Aegis Resolves to Free Abductees from Titans
With human life-signs now confirmed beneath the hulls of the Thargoid Titans, the urgency to mount a rescue mission has intensified.
Many pilots equipped with the updated pulse wave xeno scanner detected signals that match living humans on every Titan mothership. As a result, Aegis has prioritised finding a way to recover the abducted. A potential solution has emerged, reportedly via a low-ranking engineer within Sirius Corporation.
Director Ivano Colombera, the Empire’s scientific liaison to Aegis, explained:
“Li Yong-Rui has shared Sirius Corporation’s projects to counter Thargoid abductions, and this has accelerated our work. Among their research was a blueprint that repurposes sub-surface displacement missiles – a commonly used mining tool – to breach Thargoid vessels and expose captured escape pods.”
“These missiles were originally designed to extract mineral deposits from within asteroids without causing its destruction. Our consensus is that with some modifications, they could be deployed to target the human storage chambers within the Titan and retrieve the captives safely.”
Aden Tanner discussed the approach with cautious optimism:
“This could be the non-lethal rescue method we've been searching for. However, these missiles are intended for minerals not people, and Thargoid technology is poorly understood. We must ensure that we won't inadvertently harm those we’re trying to save, and prevent an aggressive reaction from the Titans themselves if possible.”
Aegis confirmed that it has begun manufacturing prototype sub-surface missiles capable of penetrating the Titans’ outer hulls. Further developments are expected to be announced shortly.
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 25, 3309
Deliveries Requested to Commemorate Duval Family
Pilots’ Federation ALERT
Shipments of precious materials are needed in the Laedla system to build statues honouring the House of Duval.
Archduke Otto Lombardo-Duval made a public announcement to launch the initiative:
“We are all relieved that our beloved Imperial Mother is on the path to recovery. In such times, we must remember how much all citizens owe to the Duval dynasty, whose thousand-year reign has brought peace and prosperity to trillions.”
“In honour of Her Majesty the Emperor and all those who came before her, I am arranging for mighty statues to adorn the public plazas of many Imperial worlds. Using the finest quality gold, jadeite and platinum, we will construct impressive monuments to the architects of our glorious Empire.”
The Imperial Herald published a related piece by royal correspondent Gudrun Vestergaard:
“Archduke Otto Lombardo-Duval is the son of Prince Baylor Duval, one of Emperor Hesketh’s brothers, who married into the House of Lombardo nearly a century ago. This offshoot branch of the Imperial Family are survivors of the mass assassinations perpetrated by the NMLA, as a result of which their prominence among the nobility has risen.”
“Emperor Arissa has given the statues her personal blessing, but the mood within the palace is mixed. Some view Archduke Otto as having delusions of grandeur. Others consider him an opportunist looking to ingratiate himself with more prominent family members. But perhaps this is a simple gesture in good faith – a swift response to Florence Lavigny’s request for unity within the royal family.”
The required resources can be delivered to Kummer Acropolis in the Laedla system. Laedla Empire Assembly, which is providing logistical support and security for the project, will redeem bounty vouchers for wanted ships in the system.
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.”
August 9, 3309
Thargoid Scythes Undertake ‘Human Harvest’
Pilots’ Federation ALERT
A new type of Thargoid vessel is hyperdicting human ships and capturing living passengers.
Aegis has designated the hunter-class alien ship as a ‘Scythe’. Aden Tanner released an assessment of its capabilities:
“This Thargoid vessel has been designed not just for combat, but to hyperdict ships and extract human beings from them. Our observations of its tactics suggesting that abduction is its primary purpose.”
“A Scythe’s initial attack mirrors that of its Glaive cousin, by attempting to disable frame shift drives and deplete shields. It then launches a unique strike to makes passenger cabins and cargo holds uninhabitable. The resulting escape pods are rapidly drawn onboard onto the Scythe intact.”
Further observations were made by Vice Admiral Skylar Anderson, the Empire’s military liaison to Aegis:
"Due to their modus operandi, it now seems likely that the Dedicant’s population was forced to abandon the megaship and subsequently abducted en masse by these vessels.”
“The Thargoids have been capturing escape pods for years, but now it seems to have become a strategic priority. Perhaps they view ‘harvesting’ us in the same way as obtaining meta-alloys from barnacle sites. We can only imagine what unpleasant intentions they have for living human specimens.”
July 27, 3309
Dedicant Quest Yields Results
Pilots’ Federation ALERT
The missing megaship Dedicant is close to being located after fragments of its distress call were tracked down.
The scrambled messages were discovered on comms beacons in the LP 714-58, Wuniez, Olurung and Kwakimo systems. Combined decryption efforts eventually led to another beacon in the HIP 19912 system, where the Dedicant’s original transmission was revealed:
FEDERAL ESCORT TEAM ALPHA
ASSIGNED TO ORDER OF THE FAR GOD MEGASHIP ‘DEDICANT’
PRISONER TRANSFER MISSION HAS FAILED
SIGNIFICANT NON-LETHAL DEFENSIVE MEASURES ENCOUNTERED
MAJORITY OF ORDER OF THE FAR GOD PRISONERS ESCAPED
PRISONERS INITIATED DEDICANT HYPERDRIVE
ESCORT TEAMS ALPHA, BRAVO, CHARLIE AND CULTISTS REMAIN ON BOARD
‘DEDICANT’ CURRENT LOCATION UNKNOWN
ADVISE TRACING METADATA COORDINATES TO THIS MESSAGE
REQUEST IMMEDIATE FEDERAL NAVY ASSISTANCE
Vice Admiral Amir Rafiq of the Imperial Navy provided an update:
“Imperial Intelligence specialists are currently analysing the comms beacon in HIP 19912 to trace the message to its point of origin. We have orders not to commence any joint operations with the Federation, but I am authorised to make our findings public.”
Executive Agent Jalen Locke of the Federal Intelligence Agency told the media:
“We appreciate the assistance from the Empire , and from all the independent pilots who helped find this distress call. It has confirmed our theory that the prisoners managed to regain control of their former vessel, using various modifications made to its internal systems.”
“FIA security teams are standing by to launch a rescue mission as and when the Dedicant’s location is pinpointed. They will retake the megaship by force if necessary and detain all Far God cultists onboard.”