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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 *****

*** Falconians Saved ***

The Imperials have cunningly saved the Falconian Republic from being consumed by the Dewiek Elder Nation and at no small cost to the DEN either. Whilst the new pro tem Consul crowed about the “victory”, all former FCN systems besides Acropolis have been taken over by the two warring Empires - Human and Flagritz.

Was it all worth it? For the IMP / GTT it clearly was, for the movement of a few hundred thousand troops is surely nothing to the cost they endured trying to and failing to knock the DEN out of Solo after the fact. The FCN now plucked off most of their navy and wider assets are a tiny nothing of their former self. The DEN may have resorted to some dirty namecalling but can the costs endured to save an enfeebled FCN have really been worth it? Time will tell.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * INDignation * FELicitous Caribbean * Nah Plan for Naplia * Mercs Trouble DEN * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Acropolis Now ***

The IMP and GTT have brought peace and stability to Acropolis.

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Goodbye Falconians ***

The galaxy bid farewell to the Falconian Republic as the Human Empire subsumed them into their expanding territories. This marks the second death of an alien civilisation at the hands of the IMP / GTT in recent years. Like the extinguishing of the nearby Ulians, no voices of opposition could be heard from other quarters. This marks a long-period of appeasement by the Detinus Republic and Dewiek Elder Nation.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * DOMination * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****



 
***** 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

 

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Control everything, up to an entire empire
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Over 20 years of content development
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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