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Pandora's Shipyard

Pandora's Shipyard
Deep within the lowest levels of a secret dewiek facility a pair of technicians argued over their drinking prowess. Since ship construction ceased some time ago, the once busy yard and its curious alien technology had been relegated to what could only be described as forgotten. Those posted here, once the favoured of Magnus for such a prestigious if hyper-secret position had long since moved on to be replaced by those that had annoyed someone or worse.

Tam, sported one ear and missing fangs (still not regrown indicating damage to the jawline), something he proudly showed to any new intern (not that there had been any for some time). He said it was from a fight against three humans, but consensus was that he got his wounds by drunkenly falling through sheet glass while fleeing his packmate. She left with the other shipbuilders without even a backward glance.

His co-worker, not that there was much work was Adenunson though she called herself Luperca (nobody knew why, possibly some alien crap). She was dumped here from one of the outer outposts when it was no longer needed and pretty much forgotten about. Her speciality was in open cast mining, but truth be told she had faked it on her documentation, and nobody bothered checking.

The pair had become casual packmates of a sort mostly out of their shared work rota and tolerance for large amounts of unrefined gut-rot spat out in the reclamation level. On shifts when they were not on rota together, they each suspected the other of finding somebody else to share their boredom and bodies with. Such was life in backwater outposts.

Luperca picked up the large flask of ale and sloshed it into their carbon fibre mugs, missing with at least half, soaking both but merely re-wetting the fur that had already been subjected to similar washes over the past few hours. She punched Tam playfully, caused his head to snap round and almost fall off his bench. As he righted himself, placing a hand on the console monitoring station he stopped and peered closer. He used his forearm to wipe the beer ring left by the flask.

‘What, what is it?’ Luperca asked, leaning forward.
‘I don’t know. Wasn’t there something showing when you put the beer down? Did you turn something off?’ Tam started scrolling through the settings and attempting to gain access to logs. ‘Can’t be us, we don’t have access. You were stuck on this bloody duty before me, you should know what we were supposed to be monitoring. This is all your fault.’

Luperca narrowed her golden eyes, suddenly unaffected by the considerable amount of alcohol recently consumed. Here lips curled back revealing her sharp teeth. ‘Watch yourself Tam before you lose a second ear.’ The statement, said quietly was concluded by a low growl.
Tam froze. He always froze. While warriors would have instinctively snapped back, growled or even attacked to prove their prowess, he hunched his shoulders and ducked his head, submissive. Whatever the outcome of this rota he knew that they would not be spending time together. Dewiek sought out their equals he was now nothing to her. He shrank back from the console as she moved forward. He recalled the day Lashan walked to the departing ship with the other ground crew. He knew she saw him. She wasn’t ignoring him, he simply meant nothing to her. It was happening again.

‘Lupes, here let me,’ he desperately started but was stopped by a glare.
‘If you call me anything other than Adenunson, I will rip your throat out,’ she responded icily before returning her attention to the console.

After deftly selecting a few options but finding nothing obvious she used her blade to crack the seal of the console. Her blade was a common piece of dewiek jewellery that doubled as cutlery, wrench, tooth extractor and weapon though rarely necessary. Into the console she poured the flask’s contents. After a few seconds there was a slight chemical smell and the displays flickered out.
They sat in silence until the end of the shift. Their replacements looked over at the console questioningly when they entered.
‘No idea, like that when we arrived. I was never even told why we were monitoring inactive shipyards,’ was Luperca’s response to the unasked question. The two new arrivals, having quickly picked up the empathic emanations of the pair, shrugged and sat down on the recently vacated bench, placing a few similar flasks on the now dead console before carrying on some debate postponed when they arrived.

Deep within the structure of the shipyards, below the massive power generators, below the thermal and radiation shields and beyond even more armour plating a huge vat of pulsating goo, illuminated by a few power indicators and other ubiquitous lights held something organic. The secret to the Nation’s warfleet, a vast and ancient mind, tortured into repeatedly giving up its technology. For centuries it had remained dormant, but recently during celesium induced pain it was able to reach out through the twisting mazes of subspace, sending echoes to ancient haunts. Only the celesium used by the dewiek to boost production in their haste and ignorance granted the mind the slightest of hopes (something they previously never did all those centuries ago). Now that they had stopped flooding the mind with celesium it was starting to slip back into dormancy having never had a response. At least the pain was slowly subsiding.

A single monitor on a pedestal came to life. An image consisting of various bars started spiking and falling next to a column headed Interspatial Resonance.

Below this was a single statement, ‘WARNING: Incoming Subspace Transmission Detected.’

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  Star Date: 221.22.5

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Assault on End Game

The ancient Architects have declared war on the Dewiek Elder Nation. The first sign of the conflict was subspace transmissions in a remote system in the Pocket Periphery. This followed reports that the ancient Ragnarok shipyards on Beacon were malfunctioning. In response, the Wolf Mother sent urgent orders to several Dewiek scout ships to patrol the End Game system.

The Konungr Smidamadr was the first to encounter the gigantic, “Planet Killer” class ARC ships. Measuring in at thirty-two hundred heavy hulls and armed with a hundred ARC plasma weapons, the ship was more like a mobile armed platform. It is certainly the largest vessel ever recorded. The scout ship was vaporised instantly.

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ARC Planet Killer dwarves largest DEN warships

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  Star Date: 221.11.4

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Caste Apart

The Flagritz Republic is (very nearly) no more. In its place, a single Hexamon and Flagritz power has arisen. The new Collective has absorbed much of the Flagritz holdings with only a handful of Clique-caste Flagritz systems choosing instead to align with the other Elder species, the Dewiek.

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Flagritz and Hexamon Hybrids - A hope for the Future?

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  Star Date: 221.3.3

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Meklan scout ships continue to be seen around the Orion Spur periphery. These cyborg creatures in service of hidden ancient masters appear to be terrorising the Wimble Nation in particular. Despite public lamentations against the hardship of defending themselves, the Wimble leadership have not yet responded to our request for comment.

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Artist's impression of a Meklanised Wimble

However, Xavier Fox, CEO of Galactic Transport and Trade, did give us the following statement:

“We have engaged several Meklan ships, although currently the source has not been identified. GTT Directors have been running patrols and have engaged and destroyed numerous ships that have attacked outlying outposts belonging to different affiliations. The pattern of ships encountered leads us to believe there is a central source, but until that is found we would suggest any affiliation with assets in the area provide adequate defences.”

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Doomsday On Pause

At the site of the Thete anomaly, the Dewiek Nation has sent media sensation Sharon Aleman to the scene. Aleman, whose cybernetic enhancements allow her to directly interface with her ship’s sensor array, led her hardened crew into a dive of the outermost “edge” of the anomaly. After spending several days collecting and analysing data (mere minutes to the rest of us outside the anomaly), Aleman reported her shocking discoveries.

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  Star Date: 220.50.5

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Veil Lifted on Flagritz Home Space

As the Hellcadium ISR field continues to fluctuate, one of the newly exposed systems is Junista inside the previously hidden and inaccessible home periphery of the Flagritz Republic.

Over the past few weeks Flagritz Republic patrols and platforms have dealt with a number of scout ships from the Human Empire as the IMP wasted no time in exploiting this opportunity to poke around in their old enemy’s backyard. It is understood that at least one of these unarmed scouts was destroyed with no one willing to estimate how many more might be buzzing around.

Coincidentally, suspected IMP lackey, SSL TOAD, has also been overheard showing an obsessive interest in the Flagritz periphery. However, we have received no reports of this being anything other than his usual drug-fueled, barely decipherable mutterings at this stage.

Either way, this sudden, uninvited interest in the Flagritz Periphery has left the FLZ leadership muttering darkly about appropriate measures being taken. Defensive fleets and supporting structures are being deployed in the Junista system and beyond in expectation of further uninvited guests.

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When You stare into the Flagritz Periphery...

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Thete's Timey-Wimey Tease

Investigation into the Thete anomaly continued in the Dewiek Pocket Periphery. The anomaly was scanned from all angles by a number of the Dewiek Nation’s best sensor ships and officers. The data, collected over several weeks, was sent to one of the DEN’s most advanced scientific laboratories for analysis.

What they found will shock you!

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  Star Date: 220.45.1

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Perfidion Reached

Long speculated by theoretical Stellar Cartographers, Perfidion Reach finally opened in the last few weeks. Immediately, the Detinus Republic boldly staked a claim on the first accessible system, Hellcadium. Only time will tell the true value of this strategic move but their much-taunted bureaucracy may have finally proved its worth.

Early reports from scans of the system reveal a wildly fluctuating ISR field. Rumours suggest that at least one ship was destroyed as it was forced into an asteroid belt chasing a stable jump field attempting to exit the system. Casual travellers are warned away from the system at this time for their own safety. Leave it to skilled explorers and navigation officers.

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Mathematical model of Hellcadium ISR Field.

We spoke to Captain Zakiyah Ummahi via subspace link. Zakiyah led the first DEN expedition into the Perfidion Reach. "Spirits remain high but this is largely down to the extended R&R we were all forced to take immediately prior to jumping into this hole. Initial scouting reports show at least one planet with plenty of forests and grasslands which might help if we're going to be stuck here for Folkvar knows how long waiting for this damned ISR field to stabilise."

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Valhalla Stargate Reopens

Dewiek engineers and scientists have finally managed to re-enable Stargate Valgrind this week and the protective Exclusion Zone is to be lifted. If DEN investigators discovered who caused the gate to malfunction, or why, they were not willing to share it with us. Military sources, however, have announced a project to provide a significant boost to the already formidable defence platform in the stargate’s orbit.

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*** Inter Galactic News ***

Empire - DEN action grinds to a halt

After months of tension relations between the Empire and the Dewiek Nation, which rose to several large scale fleet actions ending in the DEN losing over 60 Direwolf warships in Solo, things appear to have moved from antagonistic to unfriendly. With the Solo system being a particular issue an agreement has been reached between the Wolf Mother of the DEN and Xavier Fox of the GTT. Since this things have become very quiet, not just because the shooting has stopped, but also because my reporters have been on their summer holidays.
News For Discerning Naplians!
---- Special Galactic Edition ----

(The Host sits at his desk as the studio lights dim, and a single spotlight bathes him in light. He looks straight into the camera and begins to speak: )

Host: Naambta!
Good Greetings, and welcome to the show.

This is News for Discerning Naplians, and i’m sure you are all showing much impatience to see this week’s Panel Discussion. We will be discussing religion with the Lady Ghadir of the Temple of Ya Zoon, renowned neo-naplian spiritualist Chairman TonTon, and a very special guest from our imperial neighbours, Bishop Samantha Porteus of the Brotherhood. But before we get to that...

(Looks demonstratively at his digital wrist watch. )

... it is time for a word from our sponsor.
******Empire Syndicated News Network (ESNN) ******

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Welcome to the latest version of ESNN, giving the news and views from the ESNN's reporter and news anchor, Ainsley Moore, making this the peripheries' most favourite unbiased publication in the known universe from our new home in the Heartland,

And so with the news from the last few weeks,
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*** Inter Galactic News ***
  • DEN assault FEL base and get wiped out
  • CIA Trade fleet caught and destroyed by the DEN
  • Krell denounce worship of the True One

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    ***** Inter Galactic News *****

    Huge fleet skirmish at the London/Crossley wormhole

    A large fleet of over 700 DEN warships responded to the EMP action in Crossley, where a 4000 hull DEN platform was destroyed. Reports show the DEN ships caught a group of CIA ships napping and inflicted significant losses on the humans. IMP and GTT fleets moved to assist the CIA, matching DEN fleet numbers, but the arrival of over 1200 Hexamon ships seems to have tipped the battle in favour of the DEN-HEX alliance.

    The combined DEN-HEX force pushed through the wormhole into the Heartland area of human space and retaliated, attacking several CIA platforms in response. The outnumbered Empire fleets abandoned the area and fled, they are currently waiting for the larger alien force to make their next move from their hiding places.

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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.

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