Notorious conspiracy theorist Ricardo Bentonio, speaking from the Groombridge 34 system, has issued a statement of support for former Federal president Jasmina Halsey:
"They're calling Halsey crazy, but she may just be a modern-day Joan of Arc – a conduit chosen by the Architects of Creation to speak to mankind. The powers-that-be want to silence her by locking her away. I demand that I and a small group of scientists be granted an audience with President Halsey so we can find out the truth."
Bentonio recently made headlines after issuing a plea for cartographic data to prove that the 29th of February was an 'aberrant day' heralding the imminent collapse of the universe. What Mr Bentonio did with that data, and whether it helped to prove or disprove his theories, has not been released to the public.
Commander Finn McMillan
Benjamin Gorrister, founder of the Carmack Intergalactic Mining Association, has honoured winners of the CIMA prospector's competition at a prize-giving ceremony at Wasden Colony in Halbara.
"It is a great pleasure to acknowledge the pilots who found the most pristine metallic rings," said Gorrister. "The first prize, of 50 million credits, goes to Commander Kjnpbr, who found 200 new systems. The second prize, of 30 million credits, goes to Commander Irisa Nyira, who found 100 new systems. And the third prize, of 18. 5 million credits, goes to Commander Gonzoid, who found 85 new systems."
Prior to the ceremony, Commander Kjnpbr was seen giving a data matrix containing information on even more pristine metallic ring systems to CIMA's chief engineer, Maxim Kammerer.
Theta Wave News
On the popular independent talk show 'Affairs of State', political commentator Walter Astoria defended the recent construction of a new Alliance outpost while expressing concern about Federal and Imperial naval expansion.
"Who cares if the new Alliance outpost is a listening post? The Federation and Empire are building capital ships, and they feel threatened by an outpost? Give me a break!"
"Federal shipyards have been running at maximum capacity since President Hudson's inauguration. Since then, the Federation's only noteworthy naval action was in Kausalya against Emperor's Dawn."
"It may be less troubling to see the Empire replenishing its forces, given its prolonged campaign against Emperor's Dawn, but a new battle group built around a new Majestic is clearly an attempt to maintain the status quo."
"Review your history – there aren't many examples of arms races cultivating peace and mutual understanding. This doesn't bode well."
Dr Arcanonn, head of the Canonn Interstellar Research Group, has been released a statement to the media:
"A year ago today, I inadvertently started what is now known as a paragon of independent science: the Canonn Interstellar Research Group."
"Since then, my colleagues and our associates have led the way in Unknown Artefact research: discovering and decoding the Artefacts' Morse code signal, identifying the UA 'shell' around the Merope system in the Pleiades, and, more recently, researching the barnacles discovered on five planets in the Pleiades – work that still continues, with new barnacles being found every week."
"I think the next year will see us answer some of the outstanding questions, but also uncover more mysteries. If so, you can be certain we will be there, working from our lab in Col 285 Sector IX-T d3-43, and lifting the veil for the rest of humanity."
Commander Lord Zoltan
The Buckyball Racing Club has organised a second 'Kessel Run' race in celebration of the antique film series 'Star Wars'. Although the interstellar travel depicted in the films is now an everyday fact of life, they still fascinate a large proportion of the galactic community.
Participants will depart from George Lucas in Leesti on the 30th of April and visit every station bearing the name 'Kessel' before reaching Solo Orbiter in Altair. The competition will run until the 15th of May.
A special event will be held on May the 4th. The Buckyball Racing Club will release details nearer the time.
Commander Stern Winter, Buckyball Racing Club
For several weeks, explorers have been gathering at the Institute of Galactic Exploration and Research at Kippax Ring in the HIP 72043 system. The system has become a hub for explorers contributing to the Sagittarius-Carina Mission, a project to chart the Sagittarius-Carina arm from its root at the galactic core to its tip at the galactic rim.
Organised by the First Great Expedition, the mission is open to all pilots - the only requirement being that they own a ship and can dream to dare.
"We have a strong support network, an amazing list of places to visit, and vast regions of uncharted territory to explore. What we don´t have is a schedule. Anyone can jump in any time, at any stage of the journey," said one member of the FGE.
Commander Corbin Moran
The construction of a Majestic-class Interdictor in the Mundjiga system requires generous quantities of tantalum, gallium and indium. Threats of piracy and violent protest have already reached the system.
To counter these threats, a collective of former security contractors known as the Praetorians have committed their forces to defending Mundjiga and the traders operating there. Loren's Legion, an extension of the Prism defence force, will operate jointly with the Praetorians, protecting traders sourcing tantalum from Prism.
Duke Alden Rowe, leader of the Praetorians, gave the following statement to the press:
"Loyal members of the Imperial Navy Auxiliary, we cannot permit interference with the construction of this critical asset. We must enforce Imperial law and the will of Admiral Patreus by protecting vessels delivering cargo to Sagan Port. We will be a shield for this new Interdictor until it is ready to be a shield for the Empire."
Commander Corrigendum, Loren's Legion
Imperial investigator Cornelius Gendymion has released a statement to the Prism Herald addressing accusations that Imperial agents were responsible for the destruction of Starship One.
"It seems Federal Times reporter Elaine Boyd's investigations are being ignored by her countrymen. You may recall that she highlighted the suspicious deaths of key individuals involved in both the Antares and Starship One investigations before her alleged suicide. Her data detailed an off-the-books investigation into the Antares by Vice-President Nigel Smeaton, and also alleged that he was murdered."
"Congressman George Fallside's apparent foreknowledge of Smeaton's death was waved away, but I suspect Jacob Harris might have better luck finding Starship One's saboteurs if he searched within the Federation – perhaps starting with folks who have ties to Core Dynamics."
Commander Corrigendum | Loren's Legion
Following weeks of tireless meta-alloy harvesting, a team working under the direction of Professor D Luffy at Bond Hub in the Varati system has finally been able to match the success achieved by the teams at Obsidian Orbital.
In a brief interview, Professor Luffy said:
"We knew it was only a matter of time before we managed to get Bond Hub fully operational again, but it took many Commanders to get us there. We can't thank everyone enough for the hours they've spent transporting meta-alloys between the Pleiades and Varati – a journey that's by no means easy!"
Other affected stations have renewed their appeals for meta-alloys, no doubt hoping that this nuisance will soon be eradicated from our lives.
Commander Lord Zoltan
Dr Arcanonn of the Canonn Interstellar Research Group has expressed solidarity with Professor Ishmael Palin, following the latter's decision to retire from the Palin Institute and pursue personal research into the Unknown Artefacts and meta-alloys.
"It is unfortunate that the professor has been forced to make this decision, but given the existence of the 'dark forces' to which he refers, I support him wholeheartedly."
"I have long been concerned that there are people out there with greater knowledge of the UAs and meta-alloys, and with darker intentions. The secretive convoys, Palin's abduction, the unexplained increases in the black market value of UAs, the purchase of hundreds of thousands of tonnes of meta-alloys at Obsidian Orbital, and the death threats I received – all are troubling."
"We mourn the fact that scientists feel the need to retreat to continue their work, but I look forward to visiting the professor on Maia A 3 a."
Command Lord Zoltan
Gilya Signature Weapons, a rare trade commodity prohibited in a number of jurisdictions, are once again in production at Bell Orbital in the Gilya system. The development is the result of intervention from various commercial interests, priests from Sacra Oculus, and the independent Commanders of the Pilots Federation.
A spokesman for the Gilya Law Party said: "The return of this extremely sought-after commodity has made Gilya an independent and commercially profitable high tech system."
In addition to Gilya Signature Weapons, the system now produces progenitor cells and combat stabilizers, and has two lucrative black markets.
Commander Light Fingers
An escape pod containing Canonn scientist Shannon Day has been miraculously recovered by an explorer named Commander Josh Hawkins, according to transmissions received from his ship.
In his transmissions, Commander Hawkins revealed that he was able to extract Shannon Day's pilot log from her escape pod. From this he discovered that her ship had been sabotaged by Socha Korbemile, the former Canonn member who betrayed Dr Arcanonn.
Now, the Canonn Interstellar Research Group has announced that two scientists – Commanders Bowen the Kotoc and Julian McCoy – have been dispatched to find Commander Hawkins and bring Day's escape pod home to Thompson Dock in the Varati system.
When news of Day's rescue reached Dr Arcanonn, he requested that her escape pod be recovered as quickly as possible, but it is not yet known why she is so important to the scientist.
Commander Lord Zoltan
Commander turkwinif, flying an Anaconda specially outfitted for long-distance hyperspace jumps, has become the first pilot to reach Rho Cassiopeiae. The class-F hypergiant star is notable for being visible to the naked eye from Earth, and for being positioned in a particularly hard-to-reach area of what explorers call the Formidine Rift.
Many pilots have previously tried to reach Rho Cassiopeiae, and their lack of success led many to consider the star beyond the reach of current technology. Commander turkwinif reported that reaching the system required careful route planning and the use of numerous FSD fuel injections.
Commander Finn McMillan
A Fuel Rats public relations official has announced that the collective has now succeeded in rescuing more than 10,000 stranded pilots.
Comprising a widespread network of voluntary search and rescue agents, the Fuel Rats has maintained a success rate of over 95% since its foundation in June 3301. On average, the group saves 36 pilots a day.
"The Fuel Rats is the only collective entirely dedicated to such rescues," said the representative. "For a cooperative based on volunteers, donations and goodwill to reach such a milestone in less than a year is impressive."
"When I look back at our anarchic beginnings, and see this ragtag bunch of misfit explorers expand into this remarkable cooperative, I am humbled."
The representative also explained that the group is planning a memorial service for all those the Fuel Rats failed to save. The service is currently planned for the 5th of May 3302 and is scheduled to run for one week.
On this date 1,341 years ago, humanity achieved a dream it had harboured for generations. For the first time, advanced rocket technology propelled a human being beyond the boundaries of Earth and into space.
To commemorate Yuri Gagarin's historic flight, pilots gather every year at the M. Gorbachev starport in the Sol system from 18.00 UST onwards to swap first-flight stories and buy rounds at Tereshkova's Hangout. A member of station personnel said:
"For some, it's quite a pilgrimage. We've had pilots from Sothis, Quince, Fehu and Canopus in previous years. People want to see the cradle of humanity and remember the moment when the dream of touching the stars was realised. It's a time for looking back and looking forward. We spent many millennia dreaming that dream, and it's been just over a thousand years since we achieved it."
Commander Stateira Eleshenar
Sentient Life | Interstellar Press
Unusual news has emerged from the galactic centre, where an independent pilot has declared herself 'Queen of Sagittarius A*'.
Commander Lysianassa, the self-proclaimed monarch, made the 26,000 light year journey in a fully armed Federal Corvette with heavy bulkheads and prismatic shields. Most explorers travelling to the centre of the galaxy are lightly armed, if at all.
The legality and morality of Commander Lysianassa's right-by-conquest approach has been hotly debated by independent pilots. Lysianassa claims to have brought law and order to an otherwise anarchic system, thus protecting defenceless explorers, but not all agree. Some recognise the authority of 'Her Royal Majesty Queen Lysianassa', but others claim she is nothing more than a criminal with delusions of grandeur.
There are currently no provisions in interstellar law about the neutrality of Sagittarius A*, but it is widely considered a heritage site for humanity.
Commander Queen Jezza
Weeks after Dr Arcanonn shared Commander Engalo's report of a 'firefly fandango' between the unknown artefacts and meta-alloys, he has issued this update:
"After Engalo's research was published, our science teams set to work, trying to identify whether an interaction was indeed taking place. Soon after, many Commanders – including Locastan, Criosx and Engalo himself – came to the conclusion that what they were witnessing was most likely a product of the distortion field surrounding the Unknown Artefacts."
"The field seems to diffract light in the Artefact's vicinity, causing objects around it to appear in duplicate. After close observation, it was concluded that what appeared to be pairs of dancing fireflies were actually duplicates of the same firefly."
"I commend the teams for their hard work, and am pleased to be able to cross this phenomenon off our list of investigations."
Commander Lord Zoltan
The Buckyball Racing club has announced that it is hosting a ship and buggy race called 'Total Recall'. The event is being funded by a major manufacturer of SRV tyres in exchange for data on high-speed vehicle handling on a variety of planet surfaces.
Following observations that their tyres do not appear to leave tracks, a spokesperson for the company said: "We've been investigating this anomaly for some time. With the data provided by the BRC, we plan to start developing the next generation of high-performance 'TrakMark' tyres very soon".
The event will run out of Schneider Relay in the Epsilon Indi system from the 2nd to the 10th of April 3302.
Commander Alec Turner, Buckyball Race Organiser
Verity Gavroche, official correspondent for the Canonn Interstellar Research Group, has spoken to Dr Arcanonn about the meta-alloy drive from the Pioneer's Cooperative:
"On the 24th of March, the Pioneer's Cooperative – an organisation of which the Canonn is a proud member – placed an open order for meta-alloys to be delivered to Obsidian Orbital in the Maia system. The goal is to gather enough of the material to produce ship modules that are resistant to the Unknown Artefacts' self-repair mechanism, thus preventing system degradation in ships transporting UAs."
"Obviously, our considerable interest in the UAs means that the possibility of transporting them without incurring ship damage is extremely exciting. In addition to the financial incentives on offer, I'm certain that being able to freely transport UAs will be a crucial part of future scientific research. So please bring your meta-alloys to Obsidian Orbital today!"
Commander Lord Zoltan
Nearly three months ago, approximately 1,000 pilots set a course for Ceeckia ZQ-L c24-0, informally designated 'Beagle Point,' on the far side of the Milky Way.
This week, Distant Worlds Expedition coordinators announced that some members of the fleet have reached their destination. A charismatic member of the expedition – a Commander by the name of Salomé – was among the first to arrive at Beagle Point.
A total of 23 pre-arranged waypoints have helped to organise the fleet and facilitate social interaction, including SRV races. Unfortunately, this coordination has not completely mitigated losses: of the 1,000 commanders who set out for Beagle Point, it is estimated that only 25% have survived the 81,500 light-year journey, and it's likely that the return journey will result in further losses.