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The first stage of a hive life cycle is as an egg. For the purposes of the game this also accounts for the larvae stage that has very limited intelligence but is learning through pheromones and tactile contact with other hive.

This stage can last indefinitely and eggs/larvae have been known to be stockpiled for decades with no obvious long-term repercussions.

At some point the larvae pupate the triggering mechanism is generally the seeding of eggs onto a world. At this point civilian hive become part of the collective that may have a few or many millions of members and here they will generally remain, performing the same task until they die. During pupation, they transform into any one of many different adult forms in order to suit the environment they will be working in and the demands of the hive unit they will become part off.
This hive unit will either be dominated by a single queen or by a collective breeder/drone faction.
While they remain part of the hive, they are swamped in pheromones and consume chemically laced food provided by other hive and have little in the way of free will by other sentient life forms reckoning. They do however seem to thrive in this environment and seem a lot more content than other species with substantially more free will.
The amount of independence shown by a member of the unit is often related to the job they perform. Those that deal with aliens and/or are required to act without consultation show greater degrees of self-awareness and it is generally through these that hive are able to coexist on worlds with other sentient races. Without them, it is likely that a bloodbath would quickly occur as harvesting hive view any none-hive as an acceptable source of food.
Severing members from the hive unit is possible through recruitment complexes. These accept members of the hive that have unusual behaviour characteristics such as a greater degree of free will like any large social group there are always those that are outside the norm. The recruitment programme removes their dependency on communal pheromones and the chemically laced food and promotes a greater degree of self awareness and self reliance.
Once removed though there is no return and for this reason, only eggs can be seeded onto a world in order to create a new population or add to the existing one.

Hive Queens  [Recruit]

The Queen has an independent intelligence that cannot be considered to be truly sentient. She is a creature of instinct, seeking a cave or some other structure that she can make into a brood chamber.
This is where a remarkable transformation occurs. Once established, she will produce eggs.
These will hatch and bond with the queen. This bonding is important as it allows the queen to expand her cognitive powers. A queen only needs a few hive to achieve sentience and quickly plateaus as more and more efforts are required to control the hive collective.
As the hive collective grows, the chamber will be expanded and the queen will produce more eggs to accommodate natural attrition.
During normal development, isolated from external interference, the hive will simply spread over the surface of the world, colonising sectors and producing more queens that are subject to the primary queen. Eventually, when the primary queen dies, one of these subjects will become the new queen.
Within this society, there is little free will shown by members of the collective and for this reason, civilians are little more than automatons.
There are however misfits that are not fully connected to the collective these individuals show considerable free will. These are the ones that volunteer to become employees, mercenaries and troops. Normally, a civilian when ripped from the collective will simply stop functioning unless forced to do something (enslaved), there is simply no appealing to them as civilians.
People have found a means of exploiting this alien society by keeping the Queen in a permanent animal state. This is achieved by simply removing the hive eggs from her brood chamber before they hatch. This prevents the queen from bonding and also allows manipulation of the eggs generally for seeding onto worlds into a growing hive community.
As the eggs are removed from the chamber, the queens reproductive instincts force her into producing more at a much faster pace than in nature. Normally she might initially produce a few, then when they have hatched and bonded, reduced the rate to a few a month, with a slow growth in line with colonisation of the surrounding sector. When the eggs are continually removed, she will produce at much higher rates. It has also been discovered that increasing the brood chamber and nutrient supplies can further encourage the Queen to swell, increasing the rate further.
The Hive have been using this technique on subject queens for centuries in order to rapidly colonise worlds.

Is open for business...
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

”Necessity hath no law”

Lord Cromwell of the DOM slapped a fleet of privateers, on charges of "knavery", "bad manners" and "poor sportsmanship." Such offences carry the death sentence in the Dominion, a nebulous territory neither part of the Empire nor apart from it. At least thirteen Armadillo class ships, typically sold by the DOM, were destroyed at a location Cromwell was unwilling to disclose publicly. Bloodthirsty Dewiek as well as "prince of peace" Yahn Wodenzoon were quick to congratulate the DOM for their merciless carnage. It seems the consensus in the galaxy’s ruling class is that not presenting valid identification is a crime worthy of the murder of dozens, perhaps hundreds, of unfortunate crewmen. This is all just another indicator that the political elite are far removed from the lives of ordinary people who are seen as little more than meat inventory. It is telling so-called “man of the people and the downtrodden” Wodenzoon so readily aligns himself with this grisly concord. Meanwhile, the archaic elocutionist Cromwell further establishes the recent trend of mild exertions of power by the cold-blooded DOM.

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

Return of the Fox

The galaxy is still digesting news of the return of Xavier Fox to the boardroom of the GTT. The ailing corporation's share price began a sharp rally after a six month downward spiral under Ike Krieger, credited with being the worst CEO in the megacorporation's history. The only surviving board member from Fox's initial tenure as CEO, and perhaps across the entire GTT board, is Antt Tilton the Research Director. The reclusive Tilton is the brains behind the ascension of GTT technology, particularly in the field of antimatter weapons and super-heavy dreadnought size ships, Tilton offers a small measure of continuity during this tumultuous time. Mr. Fox has therefore resorted to a broad appeal for new blood to join the ailing firm. So far, the result has been a number of two-dimensional "Yes" persons being promoted to the C-suite. Still, key stakeholders were upbeat with one commenting, "Fox is the man to turn this bloody disaster around. He knows how to put a great team together and where to bury the bodies of the non-performers."

******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,

And so with the news,
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******Empire Syndicated News Network (ESNN) ******

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Welcome to the new version of ESNN (formally CSNN), giving the news and views from the former CSNN's reporter and news anchor, Ainsley Moore, making this the peripheries' most favourite unbiased publication in the known universe,

And so with the news,
***** Inter Galactic News *****

A Detinus expeditionary force is being assembled to liberate slaves in the Twilight Periphery. Stung by the wit of the Wimble Dinash, Admiral Bridge is leading a personal and sizeable force against the newly constituted Flagritz Republic.

The Wimble Bake Off has new competition with the Dominion instituting a Master Chef competition in the Orion Spur. This is all said to be a cover for further land grabs and in preparation for a move against the Hive and Dewiek, tipping the balance further in the Stellar Empire’s favour.

Meanwhile, the Wimbles struck off a number of hapless Wimbles under their new rules. To cement their plan to align themselves with the Stellar Empire, they have offered the services of their new masters to the Emperor.

Several hundred thousand slaves have been released by the Flagritz Republic but the terms of their manumission are unclear. Millions more await their emancipation. Many have refused to accept freedom without transit home, especially those brought in from outside peripheries. Many reportedly were captured by the Stellar Empire from the Detinus Republic and then sold on to the Flagritz.

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

The ship PRV HarCop Omega has been reported both in Orion and Corewards. This was the flagship of the former League Chairman, sacked from the role when the League went into administration and quietly disappearing beyond the edge of known space. It is thought that his return may have been for a clandestine meeting with his former contacts in Harlong and Coptuv. If so then he clearly has an agenda.

Unconfirmed stories that the Pirate King of The Pirate Holes and Million Islands is near completing research on the various larger ships his pirates have successfully captured over the past few years (big thanks to all the affiliations that participated in 'donating' ships). If the rumours are true it is likely a new armada of pirate ships using more advanced technology will be found in Corewards in the near future.

An supernova has been detected originating from just beyond the Transpiral Periphery. The rare event has created ripples in the subspace of the nearby stars. Nobody has reported any tangible ramifications but this is the first supernova in the current age of the Peripheries so esoteric scientists are excited by the prospect of grants to study the relatively nearby phenomena.
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Wimbles Crisis Solved ***

The Wimble Crisis of 217 has come to an end with the human Baron making way to the wimble Grandfather Paden Mastaak. Celebrations were held in Wimbledon upon the news with crack teams of Wimble security staff guarding all the pies.

It’s unclear how long the Wimbles will enjoy this new era of peace and self-determination.

Vocal Wimble Dinasha, one of Paden’s early backers, has chosen this precarious moment to bait Dewiek, Flagritz and humans who were initially disposed to be friendly to the new administration. Whilst the Wimbles' history with the former-slave-loving Flagritz could be understood, their animosity towards the Dewiek and humans was more mysterious. One insider alluded to a rise in the number of cases of foot-and-mouth across the herd as being a likely cause.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Storm in a Teacup *** Yahn Bares All * &etc


Free Ship when you sign-up
Complete missions for in game rewards
Control everything, up to an entire empire
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Player and Moderator driven plotlines
Discover new worlds to explore, exploit & colonise
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).