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214
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Story - Arridian Spur

Arridian Spur

Deep in the inner offices of EEM Balmoral two executives meet for a very private meeting.

‘What’s with the dermal wear? Anything to do with getting a new secretary?’
‘Humph. I don’t want to talk about it.’
‘I warned you about felini, brush her up the wrong way?’
‘Just drop it, ok? We have a deal to broker.’
‘Fair enough, so I looked over the documents. I’m not sure about this. What we have got so far is looking pretty good, more than a dozen settlements and now all signed up to intergalactic trade. Can’t you just sniff the stellars? Turning beads into… hum, stellars I suppose.’
‘Stick with analysis and leave prose to the wimbles.’
‘So the way I see it, this is more about risk limitation?’
‘Interesting, go on.’
‘Well, I'm thinking, after the collapse, a lot of merchandise simply disappeared along with the various captains. Some thought that they were out Morroglyph way or possibly around Glaxius but beyond a few early reports of pirates and a few free lancers, we haven’t heard of any great pirate empire. So the question is where did they go. At its height the League had over five thousand ships, granted most were both small and light but they had some big haulers and not a few heavies for belt work. Even after accounting for the many that have been scrapped by civvies for their materials, there must be hundreds still out there. We have reports of some that have been retrofitted for piracy but what of the rest?
‘So, presuming that they are in this,’ he glances down at the doc-pad and scrolls, ‘Arridian Spur, or possibly beyond one of the Gates.’
‘Gates, there are stargates in Corewards?’


‘No, it seems that they named some of the outer systems gates. There was a reason, though I can’t remember. Anyway, just to be confusing, the system Arridian for which the spur is named is just beyond Zewt and beyond that is called Traitor’s Gate; the first of the Gate systems we will gain access to through this deal.
‘This is a fairly rough region of space from all accounts. The stars are in close proximity to a small cluster of blue giants. These have an effect on both subspace and throw of a lot of nebulosity. Jump times seem to fluctuate as does the rings and some of the stars themselves have a tendency to flare.
‘From all accounts quite a few HarCop explorers and vessels were lost in the Spur. It is therefore hardly surprising that those on the run have bolted to this region of space.’
‘So how many systems are we talking?’
‘Over twenty certainly. We are still negotiating for those beyond Belle.’
‘How many years does your analysis calculate the return period?’
‘Hard to tell. There are a couple of known settlements, such as in Arridian and way out in Imlakvir but there is quite a lot of unknowns. Rather I am hoping that opening access will alleviate the potential of a growing independent faction that could challenge our investment in Coreward.’



'So the game plan is to negotiate access sooner rather than later and then make all the systems open access and let the mob descend on them?'
'Cunning eh?'
'What happens if they don't go for it?'
'Well, no doubt somebody will which means one of two things will happen. Either they will encounter these pirates and tip them off that the hub of Corewards has some new players or they won't.'
'Won't?'
'These HarCop investors, they got burnt badly by the League and are now playing their cards close to their chest. Even so I have heard rumours that a few merchants encountered another hi-tech species well beyond one of the gates and I am certain it does not lie in the Arridian Spur.'
'Is this related to the rumours of a weapon capable of destroying worlds and the deaths of billions?'
'Weapon or fatal technology, it's still just rumours though there does seem to be some credence to them. Whatever the truth I would rather a buffer between whatever's out there and our core investments.'
'So we go ahead and afterwards again push for further access.'
'Agreed.'
'So, why a krell secretary?'
'They know how to take orders.'
'I'll leave it at that.'




 
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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