Phoenix
Phoenix: BSE
Phoenix at a Glance
The Game
Sign Up
Nexus Tour
FAQ
Flagship#130 Review
Resources
History
Calendar
Wallpapers
IRC and player sites
SubSpace Static Archive
214
Previous Years
Intergalactic News
Issue 28
Issue 27
Issue 26
Issue 25
Issue 24
Issue 23
Issue 22
Older Issues
 
Tate Falls

Tate Falls

'We can delay no longer,' announced admiral Secudus, causing all heads on the bridge of the command ship to turn in his direction. 'Order the ships to enter orbit. We assault Tate.'
Entry was smooth having picked a window that first brought the far edge of the continent into view. The realtime image of the landmass was suddenly overlaid by thousands of moving red images, each with forward lines indicating vectors. These jumped perceptibly as the image refreshed and the data on each red mark was updated. A few started to pulsate indicating lock-on and identifying them as missiles.
Before even the first made contact with the ship, some of the red images flared, having roughly lined up with indicators for other ships in the fleet. At this point the sudden release of emf during detonation caused large blurs across the screens and the previously largely predictable jumps in the locations of the missiles became almost random. Noise and ghost signatures made much of the strategic level information useless. The size of the objects in the viewer ramped up, zooming in to a much more localised and less noisy scale.
The crew, in their space suits worked oversized combat controls in the complete silence of the airless bridge, receiving commands and information through their headsets, webbed to their chairs and jacked in with shielded cables to their consoles.


The ship rocked violently as the thrusters engaged suddenly, a near useless attempt to shake off a salvo of missiles heading their way.
A ringing sound was felt rather than heard immediately after the impact. A section of deck plating ripped free and started a slow tumble across the bridge. Moving less than a metre a second and turning end over end it was easy to imagine that it could batted aside.
It sheared through the torso of the first crewman in its path without so much as slowing. A spray of arterial blood splashed across the forward set of consoles and started to boil in the rarefied atmosphere. The next crewmember in its path frantically hammered at her webbing attempting to free herself, only to have her head ripped off. The open channel filled with her cry a cry cut off almost instantly. A sudden shift in the direction of the ship meant that the third crewmember in line was saved as the plating continued on its original trajectory, slamming it into a bulkhead where it wedged.

As the colony of Tate filled the main screen, partially obscured by bloody smears and a mist of red vapour, the admiral ordered all ships in the fleet to commence bombardment. At first nothing seemed to happen, small flashes appeared amongst the buildings and open spaces that formed the colony but it looked otherwise untouched. As the battle drew on however small black trails started to appear and the red image overlays became fewer and more sporadic.
'I think we've done them Sir, should I order the fleet to cease bombardment?' asked the captain.
This was met with silence from the admiral.
The fleet continued to rain down on the colony.
Time passed.
'Sir, they haven't returned fire in some time, I doubt there is much in the way of ground ordnance still intact and all we are doing is grinding up the civilian quarter. Should I give the order to cease fire?' The captain's voice held a note of pleading.
'Captain Reynolds, what we do here will be written in stone and emblazoned on the hearts and minds of humanity forever. We do this now so that we never need to do it again. Continue the bombardment until I say so.'

By the end few were even looking at the view screen. Of Tate, nothing could be seen, replaced by a thick black cloud of smoke.

Finally the admiral ordered the stand down from battle stations. As air returned to the bridge, having earlier been evacuated to avoid risks of explosive decompression, he cracked the neck seal of his suit and removed the helmet. Ignoring the blood pooling at the corners of his eyes he marched to the central display, his magnetic boots barely making a sound in the still rarefied atmosphere.
Though talking to himself, his throat-mic picked up his speech, transferring it instantly to the crew, 'Where the hell are they? We were told they had sixty ships. If they are not coming to play cavalry, they are not coming at all.' He blinked hard and returned to staring at the monitor as though sheer will alone could reveal the enemy fleet. Eventually sound returned to the bridge the soft hum of electronics, the tense exhalation from crew that had sat attentive at various consoles for more than twenty-eight hours. As suits unsealed the steady hum of air conditioning increased, compensating for the raw smell of humanity. 'Find a clear space and put us and the transport ships carrying the Emperor's Elite down close to what's left of the royalists. I want to see this for myself.'


A few hours later, he received the call in his ready room, the troops had secured large areas of the colony remains, having found little in the way of resistance. Shunning battle suit he had opted for ceremonial dress, let them know that they had been truly defeated and no longer a threat. Hearts and minds - win them or break them - either way was fine as long as they knew who ruled.
'My God, we did this,' exclaimed the captain as he stepped up beside the admiral at the head of the cargo ramp. From their vantage point they looked over hundreds of buildings, all in ruins. Smoke still poured from many. Of the occupants there was little sign, a few corpses scattered across the broken landscape. The vast majority would no doubt have been within the buildings when they were destroyed. The admiral partially turned with little more than a grimace, a reminder to Reynolds to hold his tongue and his thoughts before marching out to meet the officer in charge of the ground forces.

'Show me the prisoners,' demanded Secudus of the officer. This was followed by a short walk along what was once a wide boulevard. Glass littered the sides and a few craters forced them to leave the open central area. A few smouldering stumps remained of the trees imported fully grown from Earth and planted by the Emperor himself a decade before. Eventually they reached the square by the harbour. Here hundreds, if not thousands of haggard and dirty people stood, surrounded by a few hundred troops wearing imperial battle suits and battle weathered Tatian Royalists. Of the latter, few were uninjured. If not for them, this war would have been lost long ago.
Mounting a small pile of rubble that provided a convenient podium Secudus waited patiently until the Tatians, noticing him finally turned their attention to him. Then he waited a little longer before finally making his address.


'People of Tate. The Emperor of the Stellar Empire has charged me with breaking the rebellion. This I have done. He has charged me with ensuring this never happens again. This I now do. One fifth of your population will be executed. Lots will be chosen for you at random. Nobody will be spared the selection process and nobody will be substituted.' At the sudden outcry he held up his hand until silence once again dominated the scene. He pointed at the front of the crowd and nodded to the attendent officer to the Emperor's Elite. At a transmitted order troops moved in, separating a handful of people who were herded to the foot of the makeshift podium. He looked down at the three men, a small child and mother cradling an crying infant. Smoothly drawing his gun he opened fire. The mother was first to die. The others followed, none making it more than five steps. The guarding troops raised their weapons, threateningly at the crowd.
'I am not a merciful man you will do well to remember this,' and then softly so that only those nearby could hear, 'Don't do it Reynolds, you will die here a traitor and I will see the rest of your family on Earth executed.'

Less than 20 years later the Empire ripped itself apart...



 
News
Is open for business...
 
***** Inter Galactic News THE MUSICAL *****

*** Norozov, No More ***

Kantner: No more do I see the starlight caress your cyclops eye
No more feel the tender kisses we used to share
I close my fists and clearly my heart remembers
A thousand goodbyes could never put out the embers

Chulainn: Oh the power is mine now!

Kantner: Norozov, I love you so, and my heart forever
Will belong to the memory of the love that we knew before
Please, come back to my arms; we belong together
Come to me; let's be sweethearts again and then let us part no more

Chulainn: Oh all the Stellars mine now!

Sylvansight: I will have his eye!

Kantner: No more do I feel the touch of your hand on mine
No more see the love-light making your dark eyes shine
Oh, how I wish I never had caused you sorrow
But don't ever say for us there is no tomorrow

Chulainn: Oh all the ladies mine now!

Sylvansight: I will have his eye!

Chorus: The power is in the eye!

Kantner: Norozov, I love you so, and my heart forever
Will belong to the memory of the love that we knew before
Please, come back to my arms; we belong together
Come to me; let's be sweethearts again and then let us part no more

Sylvansight: I will have his eye!

Chulainn: Oh the power is mine now!

Chorus: The power is in the eye!

Kantner: Norozov, I love you so, and my heart forever
Will belong to the memory of the love that we knew before.

Lanner: So, old cyclops has finally met his comeuppance
Maybe its time for a comeback

Chorus: No, no one wants you back!

Lanner: I always did like that chair of his…

Chorus: The power is in the eye!
The power is in the eye!
The power is in the eye!

Continued in this special edition of the SSS...

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** ALIEN CRIMINALS BROUGHT TO JUSTICE ***

FILTHY AND DISHONOURABLE Dewiek mercenaries have dared to attack HONEST AND HARDWORKING GTT warships in the Coptuv system.

THEY HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO JUSTICE. LONG LIVE THE EMPEROR!

The Dewiek commander’s lengthy response was appreciated by xenophile and philanthropist HQ Manager Tom Krieger but this does not change the facts.

FURTHER JUSTICE IS EXPECTED AT THE EMPEROR’S PLEASURE. LONG LIVE THE EMPEROR!

Inside this issue of the SSS: * SEDITIOUS FET CHARGED * LIES OF THE FAILED REBELLION * TERRORIST PLOTS FOILED * ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE CRITICISED * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Voice of the Naplian Liberation Front ***

We are the Naplian Liberation Front. We have commandeered this station to bring you important and vital deprogramming. You are a slave of the Galactic Trouser and Tussles Imperium of Unspecified Services! We have witnessed the press ganged upon by Imperial thugs. Rounding up reporters by the thousands and throwing them in weasel dens. Mocking the Great Uncle of the Flagritz. Manufacturing consent out of a lust for imports of wheat cereals! We poor Naplians(*) are given no training and substandard equipment when preparing your nutritious breakfasts. We are sent forward by the Imperial snack commissioners with threats of triple-filing tax returns on unreasonable deadlines! Death would be preferable. We are allegedly paid a wage but have you ever tried to buy anything with just $1? Strangely none of those politicals earning $10,000 or more a week seem to care about our plight. Not to mention that the Imperials throw perfectly good meat into the grinder instead of slow cooking it in black bean sauce. They have no respect for a classic burrito! We are left grieving for young families who have never tasted quality ranch sauce. You don’t need to be a dead Naplian to know the value of a good guacamole.

* No actual Naplians included.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * GTT vs USN * GTT vs NLF * GTT vs IND * GTT vs KAS * GTT vs FET * GTT vs SSS * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Stellar Empire On Warpath ***

The newly re-united Stellar Empire continued to wage war against the Flagritz Empire to bring about galactic peace and freedom for all. The latest system to fall to the inevitable tide of history was Morroglyph in the Coreward Arm. Dewiek intransigence reached fever pitch as the FLZ facilities changed to DEN paws and subsequently became targets of Imperial truth and justice. Despite putting themselves between the past and the future, the DEN seemed to lack much will for an actual fight with Dewiek military commanders adopting “meh” as their watchword.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * GTT smacks NLF * DEN whack MRC * Slaves Liberated * FLZ Retreat * ARC in Orion Spur * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Stellar Empire Re-United ***

Celebrations were held across the vast territories of the Stellar Empire as the two-halves represented by the governments of the Imperials and Caliphate determined to unite. This followed almost inevitably from the assassination of the Caliph, a crime that has gone mysteriously unresolved. The old Caliphate ministers were ‘retired’ and at first it seemed the Imperials had managed what had alluded them for decades.

However, just as orders to claim systems for the IMP went in some places, conflicting orders to claim for the CIA came from Laton. In other systems, it seems overwhelming civilian support lies with the defunct CAL government and there are a number of CIV and CAL bases that seem to have not heeded the CIA nor IMP orders. With all the Caliphate's armaments now in the CIA’s hand and no political leadership in the old government, it seems inevitable that the civilians will be dragged kicking and screaming into the future.

A muted and cautious response from the rest of the galaxy was only to be expected given the formation of a new unrivalled superpower. The chilling effect on public discourse as the Imperial war machine taps into the substantial, if stunted, economies of the former Caliphate will surely be felt for years to come. Does this mark the 'end of history' as we know it?

More on this story inside this issue of the SSS along with: * KAS v IMP/GTT v FLZ * DEN v MRC * FOCed by IMP * BHD v DEN * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Imperials Declare War Against Flagritz ***

A declaration of war came last week after an unsatisfactory reply to Imperial ultimatums that the FLZ accept resolution of the previous war. J. Jones issued the following proclamation, "We hope this reminder will prompt them to rethink the status they removed them selves from and come back to more peaceful co-existence.” Doublegood, Viceroy, doublegood!

More on this story inside this issue of the SSS along with: * Species Guide * FEL Barter With GIants * High Times &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Orion Spur Special Edition ***

Explorers of the galaxy rejoiced as knowledge of a new periphery became common knowledge, revealing charts to forty star systems. The Orion Spur is connected to the massive Coreward Arm with rumours that the locals of the Monument system at the heart of this new periphery may have been responsible for the collapse of the HarCorp civilisation.

We have in-depth analysis and information about the new periphery inside this special issue of the SSS.

Also inside this issue of the SSS: * Naplian Liberation Front Reality Show * FLZ v FEL * Mercs in Graydown * DOM Scare Stories * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Hoedown in Graydown ***

Wimbles in the Graydown system have come under repeated attacks by mercenaries. The Wimbles having already lost two outposts have had their ships come under attack by boarders. The Wimbles are pointing a hairy finger at the GTT whilst the DEN are itching to get their paws in.

Pleasantly rotund Wolf Lord Lyceum reported the destruction of one mercenary ship, a Corsair class explorer called "Eye of the Chosen" which had earlier dropped off ground forces flying the banner of "God Hates Wimbles.” Which God and why he or she hates Wimbles has yet to be revealed. We suspect its corporation-loving Mammon.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Sargasso Update * Wakerians * Naplian Liberation Front * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Breaking News: Caliph Samuel Assassinated ***

The nominal head of the Caliphate, Samuel has been murdered in broad daylight at the starbase CAL Sidon in the Fortress system. The allegedly mad zealot was on his way to meet representatives of various civilian factions when a shadowy figure *cough*CIA agent*cough* shot him dead.

The CIA issued the following statement to the SSS with a customary nudge and a wink: "In these difficult times, as we come to terms with the loss of Samuel, we are taking things one day at a time.

"Samuel was not only our Caliph, but our leader during the Second Civil War which laid the foundations for the Confederacy after he left the Human Empire and settled in the Darkfold. It is truly a sad day and one that will be marked in history as one of many great leaders who were cut down in their prime.

"We will strive now to look to the future, whilst remembering our past”

Speculation is rife that this is the first step towards a unification of the two-halves of the Stellar Empire. Others are more hopeful this is a return to the Confederacy or the mark of greater separation with the Imperial bloc. Time will tell what nebulous motives the shadowy puppet-master Laton turned out to have had and which alien faction will be blamed for the Caliph’s murder.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * HEX / FET Invade Sargasso * Magnus v Nevets Fight! * Dewiek Black Hole Disaster * FLZ Correction * &etc

 

Free Ship when you sign-up
Complete missions for in game rewards
Control everything, up to an entire empire
Dedicated human moderators
Player and Moderator driven plotlines
Discover new worlds to explore, exploit & colonise
Over 20 years of content development
Persistent Browser-Based Game (PBBG)

I’ve played on and off for approximately 10 years, over a 20 year spell. After some interesting debate on the in-game forum, I did wonder what, exactly, has kept drawing me back to the game, when for so many others I’ve generally lost interest after a few months.

Ultimately, I think it is a combination of automation (that allows the game to handle thousands of positions to interact on a daily basis) coupled with Special Actions (that allow the story arc to develop in a way that could not be catered for by a set of predefined list of available orders).
-Zigic