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Story - Tal's Arrival

Tal's Arrival

Tal sighed, he had been told that he would need to explain again to these people. They were responsible for all the major monetary transactions within this region of space. If he was going to be paid, they would be the ones paying. He took a deep breath and spoke into the real-time translator.
'Sirs, some of the details are beyond me though it has been explained that there was some sort of spatial rift in your region of space, caused I believe by the actions of a faction called the Detinus Republic. While I have no idea who they are or even how they did such a thing, there were repercussions in the Corewards Arm - the region of space from where I came. It was detected as a change in resonance across the public navigational frequencies. It was most strongest in the star system Discordia - so called because it has a reputation for peculiar subspace effects.


'During my investigations I was able to pick up what you refer to as subspace static and gain access to your public navigational protocols from which I was able to arrive in the star system Solo. '


'You tell us you represent a faction called the HarCop League of Merchants.' The interviewers looked concerned though eager. 'Who are they and how much territory do they claim? We need to determine if they are a threat.'



'Ah, no, they are not a threat, in fact officially they are no more. Yes I was one of their merchants, but now I am a Free Lancer. I will not bore you with the details as I am sure you have a greater understanding of galactic economics than a humble merchant captain. Suffice to say the League arose as two worlds separated by only a few light years discovered each other and helped each other's research until finally they could reach each other. The League was a privately sponsored enterprise with a monopoly on space travel. They traded between the two systems exchanging significant numbers of civilians then as investment swelled set out to discover new worlds to colonise.


'The premise was simple, borrow from investors to create a colony of civilians on a new world, provide them with the necessary infrastructure to start producing exports and then trade between the new colony and the home systems. It failed. They pushed too far too fast and eventually investors started to worry about repayments as the League had been far too optimistic on the cost and investment turnaround period. Recession swept the Arm and many small colonies declared independence while captains and crew, long without pay started to undertake private contracts - some somewhat nefarious - in their desperation.


'This sirs is why the Corewards Arm holds so much potential for you and the people you represent. We have many small isolated colonies in need of trade, we have too few ships to cope with demand. Yes I understand your fear about pirates but then your ships are vastly superior to anything that has been developed in our region of space. At worst they could prove a nuisance.


'So sirs are we agreed - you grant me the commerce protocols and the sum which I have calculated to be $1.5 million and I will transfer our public navigational protocols, giving you access to more than 30 star systems including our two Home Systems.'
'And the rest - what about the other systems you mentioned in the report?' queried on the interviewers.
'On the subject of the other systems, I cannot help you, I'm sorry. I was only a small cog in the League's engine and my knowledge extended only along the branch terminating in Discordia. Other members spoke of star systems along the other branches. I think that there may well be more than a hundred star systems - though even that number may be being a little conservative.'


Following the interview in the back rooms of Balmoral the two bankers reviewed the information. 'Well, it seems that we must pay the fellow - what choice do we have? War is raging through public space and though we keep hearing rumours of new frontiers the affiliations show little inclination to make them public. With new frontiers comes new markets and new markets means more wages and greater flow of stellars through the Extra-galactic Economic Monopoly. Even as we debate this there have been no less than three minor affiliations petitioning us for early access even though we have not officially confirmed the existence of this starcaptain from the Corewards Arm. Sanction the transfer and as soon as the navigational protocols have been confirmed, make them public then we can work on getting access to the others.'
'What about these other systems he referred to? How do we propose handling them?'




'We will send a delegation to their homeworld and whatever anyone else offers, we will more than match - think about it, if one faction has access we will be lucky to see a few stellars, if everybody has access, they will be falling over each other to ensure that they have troops on the ground and in orbital platforms - and every extra troop is another stellar passing through our commercial protocols. Cynical know, but it's what we do.'


'Agreed. It's looking promising. This year I intend to give myself a nice fat bonus. We might even take a trip to Hannahannas.'


'You'd take your wife to the Pleasure Pits?'


'As far as she is concerned I will be attending a rather dull meeting with the Kastorian Junta. I was referring to my new secretary.'


'Felini isn't she? Is it true, you know?'


'All of it...'



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

Crowe Coups Self

The IMP Viceroy Tiberius Crowe has finally achieved something in his unremarkable tenure by relinquishing even the semblance of wearing big boy pants and instead, appointed Jack Jones as Patrol Commissioner, salty spokesperson and policy maker for the Empire. Crowe will now join CIA Director Laton in riding the special bus to work where the two of them will enjoy long pleasant afternoons sipping cups of tea. Actually, just tepid fruit-scented water as neither of them can be fully trusted with a hot kettle. Occasionally, they might be visited by equally dynamic war “veteran” Admiral Bridge to enjoy mimes presenting the latest comics from the Howl. Meanwhile, Jones is putting pressure on the FET and will soon no doubt find a pretext to deploy his vast mercenary forces against anyone else who is seen working too closely with his most hated of enemies, the HEX.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Highlord Aadolf Loses Control As Dewiek Break Peace Treaty

Around one hundred DEN warships have launched an attack on a small GTT destroyer squadron of forty ships in the Daggern system. Two GTT ships were destroyed and another fifteen suffered noticeable damage. CEO Xavier Fox issued a restrained but angry statement demanding the DEN explain themselves. Highlord Aadolf’s buffoon-like response amounted to “Dewiek be Dewiek, let’s drink and forget about it.” Cold comfort for the dead crew onboard the GTT ships and their families. Especially, as seems likely at this time, the Empire will settle for some bloody money instead of retribution.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

The Worm Turns

The FET have reduced relations with the IMP to neutral. Sneezy boss Cu Chulainn took the bold step of putting 1 and 1 together by linking recent mercenary attacks in their systems with the IMP scouts seen loitering for some time and refusing to move. Even bolder, hints that they believe “a certain Imperial citizen” is responsible for Edward Lowe’s entire underhand operation were voiced loudly enough that the handsome but hard of hearing Tiberius Crowe had to take note. He was seen grappling in trademark fashion with his skin tight jacket, pulling it down over his partially concealed middle-aged girth, as he sat to issue a terse public statement. Exactly who this citizen may be was left unnamed and no news channel subject to Imperial laws would dare unmask the villain. Luckily dear readers, we are not subject to phony Imperial laws. It’s Jack Jones everybody. Jack Jones, butcher of Naplians and fancier of silver long johns.


 
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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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As part of the update outlined in the 7th February post, turn fees have been increased as from today.

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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,
 

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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).
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