After a calm beginning of this New Year, where I focused on getting some much needed upgrades done on my ships, the Marlinists once more called out for assistance. Seems they do not have enough traders going their way to support their industrial colonies with food.
Not sure what this new point defence system will do, but if possible, I want two of them. So i jumped over there in my AspX and had Awe and "I Am Groot" transferred.
Awe is a Vulture armed with Death (class 3 beam laser) and Destruction (class 3 multi cannon). Not quite fully engineered but more than enough to inspire awe in those wannabe pirates that (briefly) visits the Res Site closest to Stillman Hub. So many of them ask how a small war ship makes a living there, my answer of course being Death and Destrution.
I Am Groot is my type 9 hauler, a lumbering beast that carries 720 tons of cargo even with all the quality of life improvements (a half decent class 6 prismatic shield and docking computers).
So I am well set up to make a killing (both literally and figuratively), but it makes me wonder who pays for all this? Just the bounties and the above-normal premiums on trade goods should allow them to commission at least one megaship transporter.
On the other hand, I saw some local law enforcement that was "mostly harmless", so it is a young nation and perhaps the issue is not money (not with a backer like Li Young-Ri) but qualified pilots.
I hope the Marlinists sort out their new nation soon, and that future generations forget about overthrowing the Empire, it is not a fight worth taking.
The Marlinists will get no less than eight star systems to create their shadow republic. A lot of work went into this by many commanders, and it was really close that the goal of ten systems would be met.
I did help out some, but felt a bit burned out after all the previous community goals.
There are reports of more refugees from the Empire, which should come as no surprise. Many of these are probably not Marlinists per se, but they are still seeking asylum from a totalitarian regime. The question is, when will the two superpowers (and the Alliance) set a stop for it? What will happen once the Marlinist colonies are up and running, will they be swamped with refugees (and the imperial agents that will undoubtedly be among them)?
Will these systems, that right now are a beacon of hope for those that want a democratic Empire (renamed the Republic?), become a dumping ground for unwanted imperial subjects?
And how long until someone in the Empire decides that the Marlinists are a threat (or more likely a convenient scape goat) and starts a war?
Will the Marlinist minor factions keep control, or will they be overrun by agents from the super powers and criminal gangs?
Only the future can tell.
Two weeks since my last update and to be honest, not much has happened.
Christmas came and went mostly unnoticed out in the vast galaxy.
I did spend a lot of the money made in the Community Goals to buy a large supply of prismatic shields, and changed my allegiance to Li Rong Yu because pack hounds are hilarious when used (in)correctly.
I also decided to keep my rank 2 with LRI until it is time to prepare for the missile purchases in a couple of weeks, and while shipping some promotional material around I stumbled on a faction that dangled a system permit in front of me, if I only were prepared to fight for them in their current war.
Lacking moral fiber, I spent part of the Christmas weekend fighting a war that I did not really care about, just to be able to dock in a nondescript system. The deed is done and the deed is mine.
Time to move back to Tewanta and see what the blue monkeys have been up to lately, I did miss the trip to the top of the galaxy because when they left I was out in the coal sack collecting present for naughty children, I found some brain trees for the adults as well (as if that would help).
So I guess there have been some changes and happenings since the last time.
I have been off to the Coalsack Nebula to map a bunch of ammonia worlds, once more lured by the promise of "impossible" technology. Happy to say I will get one of those top of the line planetary scanners. Except right now I am a bit tired of honking and mapping star systems.
This is also good news for people of Swedish and Finnish heritage (and anyone else who enjoys salmiak liquorice (such as Benelux and Northern Germany it seems). Those Dutch are really poping up everywhere, and since they started terraforming old Earth in 500 BCE they had a head start on everyone else by a couple of thousand years, I suspect most of the terraforming companies we see today have their true roots in the Polders of the Netherlands.
Planet collision you ask? I combined business with pleasure by taking a detour to the system where the gas giants commonly named Rhubarb and Custard passed partially through eachother.
![For everything else...](https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pw/ACtC-3dNgwTIwzkMM4VkW9HrgHMUY5DidqW5jEOtHnwXyHKuMgNFRmZkXSGWRaJi3iuZ9w2_zcXatmFvuop2diJWUFkHmai5GPQF7LwhiN1dWRAnPjo4GhJFSDdXiHTjgiqsjxCrvAGjo9Q1zYbbPBVRRmXe=w1666-h937-no?authuser=0"For everything else...")
Perhaps not, but almost as ominous.
Just 100 ly from echother (which really is close in this galaxy) the Federation and the Empire are now stepping up produciton of their largest war ships. Once more asking the pilots of the Pilot Federation to help, with the allure of coin as well as less material rewards than we have gotten used to.
And we all know how vain we pilots are, another badge might look good on that ship.
Meanwhile, there is the usual grandstanding from politicians that will gladly allow their voters to sacrifice millions of themselves just to stay in office for one more turn.
And despite these obvious threats, with resources poured into the making of death machine that could be used to actually help with the current refugee chrisis, or expanding humanitys presence in the galaxy, perhaps the most foreboading of it all is in this sentence:
"Senator Denton Patreus has also ordered the withdrawal of funding for Aegis"
The Empire is withdrawing from scientific cooperation, a gesture that is more symbolic than material, given the miniscule cost for Aegis compared to the Imperial Fleet budget.
We know that it is just a matter of time before we are at war with the Thargoids, either because they want to remove us, or because we want to exploit them. The later is very possible, given how Thargoid technology and materials are becoming more and more important to human society.
But for now it looks as if mankind, as always, is hell bent on trying, once more, to weaken and eradicate itself before someone beats them to it.
We just had a week of establishing a new frontier in the Coalsack Nebula, this time for the Alliance. Again, I have no particular attachment to anyone except my friends in my squadron, but that special FSD sounded amazing, and when I was asked to help filling and emptying a fleet carrier I jumped in deep. Very deep. Suffice to say I hit the goals with a lot to spare.
In other news, the Federation has uncovered a total of 9 (nine) verified NMLA terrorists among the thousands of Marlinist refugees. Which is about as suprising as finding a similar number of imperial agents among them, and the Federation not really talking abouth those.
The terrorists will be interrogated and then extradited to the Empire, where I expect they will be tortured, name a few names (mostly of people they dislike rather than other NMLA members) and as a result several hundred innocent people will "disappear" together with perhaps another dozen NMLA sympathizers. A great opportunity for NMLA adn the Empire to radicalize peaceful Marlinists that did not manage to flee.
Meanwhile there are protests all over the Federation due to the refugee crisis, which is expected. The protesters (on both sides) outnumber the number of refugees by an order of magnitude, and causes two orders of magnitude more problems.
So the galaxy is in turmoil once again, and while it would be nice to leave all of this behind for the Black, I am also curious to see what happens, and take part.
I went to LTT 1935 this week in a half finished Vulture name AWE.
A little bit of service for the L.Y.S. Corp which might be enough to grant med a prince title.
A lot of killing for the LTT 1935 Confederacy, the week after I signed up for Aisling Duval. The irony in this is really something.
With some luck I will get two new Federation ranks out of it, but I still have very long to go. I mostly allow the general flow of Galactic politics (or Wing excursions) dictate how I spend my time, I feel no need to grind missions for access to the Corvette.
I also consider the acts of the Empire an invasion, and even if I have no special attachment to either party, I knew who deserved my support here.
In another ironic twist, my last action was repairing a ship for a L.Y.S. pilot at a distress call so they could get back into the fighting.
I wonder that the future holds for the galaxy. Personally I just want to retire to some remote corner of the galaxy and enjoy the silence.
But for now, with six hours to go, it is time for me to sleep.
Fly safe, or fly dangerously, but remember to enjoy your flying regardless.
Open hostilities as the Imperial Navy invades Federation space under the guise of "antiterrorist activities".
I am just asking? Who is terrorizing who here?
Well, not really, I just decided that I want to by prismatic shields in four weeks time.
Just in time for that very public humanitarian act (or stunt) from Aisling Duval to help svae the life of her arch nemesis in politics, the conservative isolationist and outcast Hadrian Duval. Their common denominator is that they are both in oppositin to the powers that currently hold court in the Palace (but from different perspectives), and both are victims of the recent terrorist attacks.
Of course it was the right thing to do, but aksi a very concious tactical and strategic move as well.
And if you have forgotten: The Duval family name is also attached to he current Emperor (of course) who by that logic also lost family once, and nearly twice.
But the Duvals is a house divided by power feuds.
On another note, we also got news that the Empire is currently trying to blame the Federation for supporting NMLA, using easily fabricated "evidence" that imply that the goods to make the bombs was transported through the outskirts of Federation space.
As always, totalitarian regimes and leaders fail to understand the difference between government policy and individual actions. In a democracy, not everyone is forced to do as the leaders say, and sometimes this fredoom is abused,
Of course, the Marlinists, with their dreams of democracy, have much public support in the Federation, also by those critical to those parts of the Federal politics that they feel are undemocratic (or should I say unequal). The Federation does have its own problems with an upper class that is practically, if not literally above the law, while the Empire have senators that _are _the law, and as such above the law that rules the commoners.
By interchangeably using NMLR and Marlinists, the Empire is using a well and trusted rethorical technique of guilt by association. And of course they will succeed to some extent, any lie repeated often enough will eventually be seen as at least half true.
According to a recent Galnet article, the Empire are claiming that accepting political refugees is "mass kidnapping".
It is not the Federation that forced these people to flee, that was all the work of Empirical "security" forces.
The Empire clearly show that they see their citizens as subjects, as property of the state, which in turn is the personal property of the Duval family.
The people that fled are their own agents, they should have the right to move to wherever they are welcome with the Emperor not having a say in it.
At the same time, President Hudson is desperate for an external enemy to unite against and secure his position (which right now looks utterly precarious).
Inner turmoil in the upper echelons of the Empire leading to genocide, and an itchy Federal President may well spell disaster and a global war. Meanwhile Thargoid attacks have tied up Federal reasources on that front, leaving what could be perceived as on opening by expansionists in the Empire. While outright occupation may lead to unrest at home, these terrorist attacks are the perfect pretense for an "intervention" to "secure suspected terrorists".
We are living in interesting times.