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214
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Fake

Fake I


‘Bugs are stupid I tell you. This is gonna be easy. They have no concept of wealth all they care about is stockpiling their mushrooms. All we gotta do is offer them some of that fungus stuff we picked up from down Madonna way and they will dump so much gold and platinum on us we are gonna be set for life.’
‘So what makes you think they even have any gold and stuff? If they don’t use it, why will they have it?’
‘Check out the readings.’
‘Yeah, so what, they live underground, doesn’t mean they have gone mining for precious mets.’
‘Not just live underground, they have been on that tiny little moon for centuries and all they have done is dig more and more tunnels, right down to and through the core. The whole place is holier than the Brotherhood. From what I can tell they use precious metals where we plastic.’
‘Still not convinced.’

The survey cruiser descended through the rarefied atmosphere of the outer moon of Rudy, coming in low, breaking as it covered the smooth surface of the world. The horizon, initially a perfect curve was interrupted at the centre by a small dark peak. This continued to grow, resolving itself into a volcano of seemingly impossible proportions. Small clouds of smoke rose from the caldera, quickly dissipating. In the time it took to arrive, it had become clear that each puff of smoke was twenty eight seconds after the preceding one.


By the time the ship was within a kilometre of the volcano it completely filled the horizon. A course alteration brought them in line with a plateau a third of the way up the volcano where they finally set down.
From the bridge the two men looked out across the plateau and towards the massive set of hanger doors built into the side of the volcano. There were however smaller entrances indicated by tracks in the dust and sand leading up to them. From one of these a small vehicle emerged and headed directly for their ship.
‘Time to go.’

They descended down to the rotating airlock adjoining the bay. These cheap designs were good at admitting only a couple of people at a time with no risk of decompression as they only had a single door and the whole airlock chamber rotated. The aliens knew the score as they had been dealing with the FET for some time.

The airlock engaged, swivelled and opened into the bay. Within the airlock chamber were two identical space suits with silvered visors. The suits had eight appendages, the upper two rising from what the humans took to be the head on account of the visor. The bottom four appendages were sturdy though the boots looked like closed interlocking claws. The remaining two appendages the team took to be the equivalent of arms.

Similtaneously they removed their helmets by splitting the front from the back, freeing their antanae. It was all that the crew could do to stop their gag reflexes as mellenia of instincts kicked in. A rasping sound from one of the aliens was translated by the ship’s com system (courtesy of previous FET explorers).

‘Taste, encounter, identify, build acceptance.’ With that it stepped forward and a proboscis half a metre long extended from a hole between its compounds eyes. The pair flinched despite having been warned that this was coming. Expecting to be slathered all over like the owner of an overly familiar canine, they were clearly surprised at the almost feather like brush lasting a fraction of a second, before the alien tongue was retracted.

‘Hi, I’m Jim, member of Frontier, Exploration and Trade, or FET as we are more commonly known, but then I guess you know that already. Anyhoo, this here’s my ship, the Turtle Dove and this here is my second, Hook. Yeah, that makes me captain. So you guys are the Hive, well it’s good to be here, I got a good feeling about this. We gonna do some fine trading, we got some excellent merchandise.’ Jim eventually ground to a halt, clearly more nervous than his earlier bravado revealed.
‘Confusion,’ the word came from the com system after a lengthy buzz. Jim and Hook looked at each other.
‘Show them some of the samples,’ instructed Jim whereupon Hook made his way across the modest bay to one of the prepared shipping containers. A quiet hiss and the lid lifted on two hydraulics.



Instantly the antennae of both aliens swung towards the container and their proboscises were out. As one they moved towards Hook, causing him to retreat to the far side of the container, partially using the lid as a shield. He need not have worried as they seemed purely interested in the contents. They buzzed, presumably excitededly and the coms spluttered a few worlds such as taste, depth, food though these were poor substitutes compared to the antics of the aliens.

The lid started to descend. Jim had stepped up unnoticed and activated the lid while the aliens remained oblivious to their presence. He had used just this tactic when dealing with the fuzzy little chaps on Dogleg. It was a great attention grabber and reinforced who the merchandise belonged to. They were so eager to have another look they were throwing stuff at him.
At the last moment, they realised what was happening and one inserted a hand into the narrowing gap to prevent it closing. Too late, there was a crunch as exoskeleton was crushed. The alien went still, both Jim and Hook moved their hands towards their side arms as a precaution.

The remaining alien extended its proboscis again to touch the container while buzzing.
‘We, feed,’ was the somewhat cryptic translation.
Jim relaxed, though cast a quick glance to the statue of the other alien before replying.
‘I get you, you want. Good, now what I want is this,’ using the hand on the other side to his gun he pulled a small disc of gold. He then did some miming of moving all the containers out of the ship and then pointing at the gold disc and a similar parody of bringing containers in.
The two aliens turned and proceeded back to the airlock. As door closed, Jim and Hook turned to each other, grins on their faces. Hook lifted his hand for a hi-five though stopped, his grin disappearing instantly. Together they stared at the arm sticking out of the lid.
Next Issue
All good things come to an end
‘I’m telling you sir, you go in there, you ain’t coming out,’ Jim was desperate.




 
News
Is open for business...
 
***** 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

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** STOP PRESS: Felini Victory ***

In an unexpected development, the FEL have scored a decisive victory against the FLZ. Destroying or maiming some 20 Flagritz Baseships in the Onwards system.

What is more remarkable than the victory was there was no subsequent comment by Crazy Uncle Flagritz. We might need to have a lie down now.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * DEN and FEL * Valhalla Fighting Pits * RIP smacked * &etc


 
***** Christmas Special Edition *****

*** Ho Ho Ho ***

Welcome to the SSS Christmas Special Edition! We the Editors have put together a nostalgic pudding treat intended to delight and tickle even the scroogiest megacorp executive. So gather your cubs, squidlets and larvae for some silliness and song. Time to catch up with some classics from years gone by, raise your glasses and drink your gluttony and shame away!

Wishing you all a merry Christmas free from Krampus Jones's invading armies!

The Editors


 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Claws Out in Valhalla ***

In a bold rebuke of Crazy Uncle Flagritz’s attacks in the Avalon system, the cunning Felini Nevets ordered a hit on a FLZ outpost in the Valhalla system. Claiming miscommunication with his warships, the mischevious Avatar cocked a snook at the washed-out Dewiek warrior in charge of the system whilst claiming an important victory in the often one-sided conflict against the FLZ.

This isn’t the first time the foxy Feline has masked daring-do in the shroud of incompetence. It remains to be seen whether this turns out as disastrously as the time when the FEL had to pay the costs of a war started by Prince-turned-meklan LiQuan.

Meower-in-chief Chamiah apologised for the incident in a public address laced with snickering subtext and unconcealed laughter when she got to the bit about the unfortunate loss of “5 FLZ Warships in Onwards.”

A second incident in Valhalla was reported the next day with mardy Magnus complaining he wasn’t getting his claws in on the action. Could this be the pithy ploy that puts the cat on the mat?

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Merc-y Wimbles * Valhalla Fighting Pits Get Weird * Profile of Lyceum Amaguk * &etc


 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Nun on the Run ***

Alleged cosplayer Carmilla D’Morenta got the vicars in the Brotherhood all hot and bothered when she made a run for it. Possibly tired of being tied up by the reverends and denied the love that dare not howl its name. With a sizeable, almost unbelievable, bounty on her head, the barking sister took refuge with the Dewiek Elder Nation.

In possibly the shortest chase in history, the BHD managed to strike a blow for oppressed collars everywhere when they squared off with the naughty doggy-wannabe at the Valhalla stargate. The cheeky chaplains blew their hyperdrive at close range and both the BHD and DEN flagged ships were reported to be lost in space.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * DEN Ban BHD * Ulian * FLZ in Avalon * Valhalla Fighting Pits * Interview with Carmilla * And more


 

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