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214
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Down at the Resource Complex

Down at the special resource complex
‘What’s that smell?’
‘Dunno, dewiek?’
‘How would you know, you’ve never even seen a dewiek.’
‘True, but then I have never smelt anything like that either.’
‘It’s Trexonian beetle flange,’ this from the new arrival, just pulling a tray from the receptacle at the start of the buffet line.
The two women turned and stared at the man evaluating his comment. Was he serious, trying to be funny or did he have another agenda. They glanced at each other with a look sufficient to encourage one to take the bait, if that was indeed what it was.
‘Your cologne or the food being served?’ said in a not quite flirty but also not quite dismissive tone.

He got the message, more details or piss off.

‘I work down at the planetary specialist resource extraction facilities of the base. There was a rupture in one of the incoming pods that flooded the bay area with Trexonian beetles. They emit a rather strong smelling sebaceous fluid from a rim of their carapaces that the locals call the flange.’ They stared. ‘I have showered and scrubbed half a dozen times. The smell is lingering but they say it will go in a day or so. Did I say I was new here? I think it may be a newboy prank they pull.’ He smiled weakly. ‘The names James,’ he finished, proffering a hand in a friendly manner.


The two women looked at the hand but neither ventured to reach for it, leaving it hanging awkwardly between them until the new guy returned it to holding the other side of his tray.

‘Say, you two ever drank raw beconisian nectar?’ Clearly from their faces they hadn’t, ‘It is something found in the stomach crop from the Trexonian beetle. There’s nowhere near enough to exploit commercially so we pass around amongst ourselves rather than report it. You know full well if we did them upstairs would simply requisition its extraction and keep it for themselves. Same thing would happen if we got caught trying to smuggle it out of the section.’ As though a sudden thought had occurred, he continued, ‘You should visit us down there, my section is Delta 2, trust me, you won’t regret it.’
‘If it tastes as bad as you smell, you can keep it.’ Not the most polite rebuff.
‘Let’s just say you would put up with smelling like this for a week just for a glass.’

They were now listening. That’s the thing about working at a starbase, exotics pass though the port on a daily basis either destined for distant worlds or from distant worlds destined for the insatiable civilian markets. No matter which direction they were headed, mark-ups meant that personnel could never afford them, even if they hung around gathering dust in great warehouses for years. The chance at something that was slipping under commerce control was not to be ignored. Further, as it was not a registered resource at worst they might pull some shitty shifts for being out of their designated zones. Finally, like most base, boredom amongst personnel was prevalent.

It was more than a week before Tersi and Issa found their way down to Delta 2 section. James had eventually scrubbed up clean after a couple of days and chattiness aside proved to be not a bad’un. He had come in a few weeks back, transfer from somewhere in Halo, though even he wasn’t certain. It rained a lot and the base was most staffed by humans, which pretty much qualifies for most starbases the Peripheries over.
James seemed inclined to make more of this than was first intimated; something to do with it not just being his secret stash. Anyway, the lads down at Delta 2 were willing to indulge a little female company around a bottle or so of beconisian nectar so arrangements had been made. They already had clearance for similar security level sections and so had pulled a few favours amongst the troops assigned to the wing. This would buy them a few three hours, more than enough time for a couple of swift drinks and a break in the monotony.

‘Caves,’ stated James cryptically when he met them in a large bay area consisting of slick plastic and steel. Standard fifteen metre pods were stacked along two walls while various automated machines carried them from one side into what was presumably a sanitizer and collected then stacked them at the other. When they stared blankly and waited for his usual effusive expansion he simply turned and walked over to a large outlined ground plate until they joined him inside the line. As the twenty by twenty metre plate dropped away they were carried down through a much bigger chamber below. ‘The pods arrive in one of the adjacent bays and are unpacked after screening and the usual security stuff then cleaned for re-use as you have just seen. What few realise though is that part of this section of the base is above the defensive cave system. Not a big part, not even used, just foam insulated.’ By this time they had descended around sixty metres. Apart from the irregular shape of the room, betraying its natural origin, the cave was like the vast majority of the base, covered in off-white and badly stained plastic insulating foam. The ground had for the most part been levelled except at one end where it rose irregularly to meet the ceiling. More pods were scattered around in various states of repair. Despite the constant whir of air recycling, there was a background smell they had encountered in the refectory.

Suddenly James disappeared having scaled up the irregular floor at the end of the cave. He was there a second ago then gone but as they took another step forward they realised that in the bright lights and lack of definition to the walls, they had completely missed an outcrop behind which James had stepped. Here they found a narrow opening and could hear voices, James amongst them. As Issa and Tersi entered they were warmly greeted by around a dozen people, mostly male and all human. As their eyes adjusted to lower light levels they made out various vats, crates and packages. How some of these were made to fit through the narrow opening was a mystery.



Introductions continued as the two sides weighed up the potential of these new contacts. That both Terri and Issa worked primarily in basic production may well have encouraged James to seek their friendship. Those on basic production are always popular. The ability to run cadcam protocols to fill in gaps in the manufacturing itinerary is a clear winner for anybody wanting to some personnel gear. Replacement parts at short notice can be the difference between knocking off early and pulling a double shift. Then there are requests for a few personal bits and pieces such as small stills and micro-refineries such as those littering the tables. This may well be the reason that production and resource sections are invariably at opposite ends of the starbase and if administration had any say, never the twain should meet.
Less than a month later James, Tersi and quite a few others found themselves transferred to new sections. Their contracts were also flagged for the next personnel relocation. It was also intimated that they would be freezing their asses off on some distant asteroid where the sun was no brighter than a star.

The ‘boiler room’ was stripped and new ‘loyal’ personnel were assigned to Trexonian beetle processing under Issa. This was the same Issa who had not only been promoted from manufacturing but was rumoured to be very close to the under-chief administrator. Consensus is that it had a lot of do with her being spotted naked and intoxicated around the admin section just prior to reallocation of personnel. Nobody however calls her the under-under-chief.

If you ever have the privilege to be called to the under-chief administrator’s office you may see a curious decanter on his drinks cabinet and if you’re especially lucky you may get a sip of something rather unusual, something that stellars simply cannot buy.





 
News
***** 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


 
***** Inter Galactic News *****


*** Message From The New Editors ***

Dear Reader,

It has been a long time since we had the exquisite joy of Sub Space Static beaming mind-altering information into our retinas. Like you, we craved word from the offices of the IGN when the next edition would hit our Nexus terminals. We waited and waited. Then we got curious.

We fundraised a simple surveyor and sent it to the last sighting of the IGN. It was not where we expected it to be, in the Yank system. We asked the Junta but they were their usual helpful selves. Weeks, turned into months and still no sign.

Then we found it. The singularity. With a sign. The scrawl of a demented child that read "Kang woz 'ere." What could we do but enter. Our ship went in. Where, we cannot say. The air around us popped. Our faces folded and our bodies fused together. Our minds interconnected. Vast knowledge at our disposal. Yet, we became as stupid as the least of us. As greedy as the worst of us. As forgetful as the dumbest of us. As horribly biased as a partisan hack in a post-truth universe.

We became, in short, your Editors.

Welcome to the new SSS. It won't be as funny as before. It won't be clever by half. It won't be any better in any way. But it will be regular. As a mohache on refined laxatives. It will be informative. Oh it will be full of facts! Even if we have to make them up.

Send us your delicious exploration reports. Tell us about your pointless battles. Spread your vile anonymous rumours. Tell us how your mother didn't love you and that's why <insert Affiliation here> must be destroyed! Feed us, your Editors. Nurture us. Our Singularity opens to receive your offering.

Now here is the news.

 
****** Caliphate Syndicated News Network (CSNN) ******

user image

Welcome to another edition of news and views from the CSNN's favourite reporter and news anchor, Ainsley Moore, the peripheries' most favourite unbiased publication in the known universe, after an extended tour of the Inner Empire and all the delights within,

And so with the news, and there has been a lot of it!


Old News - FLZ/ GTT Break Ceasefire Agreement
 
****** Caliphate Syndicated News Network (CSNN) ******

user image

Welcome to another edition of news and views from the CSNN's favourite reporter and news anchor, Ainsley Moore, the peripheries' most favourite unbiased publication in the known universe,

And so with the news,

Alien Wars - Ulian Peace Agreements
 
****** Caliphate Syndicated News Network (CSNN) ******

user image

Welcome to another edition of news and views from the CSNN's favourite reporter and news anchor, Ainsley Moore, the peripheries' most favourite unbiased publication in the known universe, after a period of "secured safety training" for the CSNN team who was taken in by Caliphate security forces,

And so with the news,

Alien Wars - Empire Takes Ulian System, Empire Fleet Deployed
 

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