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Diary of a Falconian

Diary of a Falconian

Finally I get to stretch my wings. The strain of having them bent backwards so that they can fit within the envirosuit becomes unbearable after a few hours. This time it was prospecting some ball of rock and ice on the edge of the system.

When I left my aerie and joined the ranks of the Emperor I somehow imagined I would be swooping across alien landscapes, soaring over mountains the hawks back home could only dream of. As I feel the blood slowly seeping back into the tips and groom the feathers I step out onto the gantry and leap out, unfurling as I fall.

Even here in the cargo bay there is only sufficient space for a swoop before having to bank sharply. I do two circles before alighting and heading to the galley for a sip-pocket of something unpalatable. My thoughts sour.

The ship is thankfully geared towards falconians. None of your solid floors, railings and simulated gravity is to be found here and only the constant wind of the ventilation systems give any indication of nominal up and down.


Having consumed the soulless mush I discard the container, watching it drift in the breeze until it hits the wide mesh, pitching a couple of times then disappearing through an intake. The mesh is starting to look a little congested with detritus; another miserable task awaiting one of the newer recruits.

The next few days are pretty much an endless routine of sensor and drive monitoring though prospects are looking good as we are on our way to one of the new worlds that apparently has a breathable atmosphere.

As we enter orbit I find myself drawn to the monitor with an external feed. The sight is breathtaking. The equatorial region is a vast gold colour, almost endless deserts. The poles are little more than white spots, though as we change trajectories, I lose sight of one.

The ground rushes up and I see that we are moving towards a thin strip of green between the small pole and the vast desert. Rivers and small seas become visible and I am transfixed as the surface now completely fills the monitor.
Just coming over the horizon is a smudge of grey and we follow the course of a river between parallel mountain chains towards it.
Along the sides of the river I can now see fields and the smudge is quickly resolving into a most settlement.
I tear myself away from the view in order to deal with the landing preparations – all trivial stuff, but still needing someone to overview and react. It’s just the usual balancing of power and compensating for this, that and the other.

When I next glance at the monitor I find that we have landed in a small base, probably an outpost. Judging by the hunched but huge beings in the starport it belongs to our allies, the dewiek Nation.

While the captain is doing whatever it is that captains do in these circumstances, I find myself with a little time to kill.
I quickly finish the post-landing checks and disembark. The stretching is wonderful. I close my eyes and feel the warmth of the alien sun on my unfurled wings but am immediately brought to my senses by a growl and a shove. Instinct kicks in. My wings drop back, my claws extend. I am staring up into the face of a snarling dewiek. On the ground it can easily rip me limb from limb and it knows it. For a second we stare at each other, then it says, ‘Wing it, birdy, I got work to do.’
That’s dewiek for you. Still, seems sound advice. I launch, powerful thighs lifting me more than three metres before a downbeat carries me up. Just for good measure I defecate into the dewiek’s path enjoying its howl of anger.
We are not scheduled to leave for a few hours so I spend them exploring the valley, enjoying the thermals and simply reveling in the liberation of knowing that I am not going to be facing repercussions for venturing into rival house airspace.
From high up I discover that this settlement appears to be little more than a colony extending a few kilometres along the upper stretch of the river. Beyond there is nothing more than untamed nature.

Food, real food. I am originally from house hawk, not for us seeds and fruits. I prefer my meals meaty and I have just seen my next one down along the banks of the river. It does not stand a chance as I swoop in low over the bank and hit it full in the back, hammering it down into the shallow water. My heel talons have made twin punctures into its back and blood is already bubbling out. That’s when I notice a small stick floating away down the river. Glancing round quickly, I also spot a small box behind a tussock of some native flora and a small stool.

I step off the body and flip it over. It’s not a species I am familiar with. It is small and furry, but not like a dewiek – maybe a wimble or just a native? I pull it part onto the bank and take to the air again. After a quick recon, finding nothing I return.



What to do? Report the event to the captain. Not likely to go down too well, he is a seed eater. Report it to the outpost – not a bloody chance. Local authorities, presuming that there are some are also unlikely to be understanding. It may have been an accident, but on these backwater worlds, they tend to have very flexible laws and a penchant for execution.
I do the only sensible thing, I drag the body back into the river and out where the current is strong and let it float away.

The shock of murdering a sentient being has killed my appetite, that is until I reach the bank and find a holding net in which there are few aquatic creatures.

I return and keep a low profile in the ship but overhear that one of the crew, house eagle, suffered some terrible wounds after an altercation with an employee of the starbase over some alleged insult.

I do not react when there is also a small news item about the possibility that the world may after all have apex predators capable of posing a threat to colonists.

Next world, I intend to stay onboard.




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

    Admiral Lord Simms killed after a long and distinguished service to the Empire.

    The Imperial Services have intercepted and serious damaged several DEN ships on the way to the Empire’s home systems. Unfortunately during the action Admiral Lord Simms was injured and reports from the Viceroy indicate he has passed away, fighting the enemies of the Empire like any true Imperial Officer.

    The Viceroy has stated that the officers and crew of the DEN ships have been captured and are now awaiting trial at a secret IMP base.

    DEN continue to strike at the Empire

    Reports are coming in of multiple engagements between the Empire and the Dewiek Elder Nation over the last week. With several battles taking out Empire ships in the Heartland of the CIA.

    AFT turn to piracy

    The Association of Free Traders have, after a long history of neutrality, turned to piracy this week. AFT Drake boarded an IND ship in the Halo periphery, killing several of the crew in the process.
    Independent trader Jarlebanke Langhofdi immediately took to the public communication channel demanding an answer to why supposedly peaceful traders had killed his crew and taken his ship.

    The AFT remain silent over the attack.
     
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    ***** Inter Galactic News *****

    Combat Special Edition

    Since the DEN started shooting at those lovable FEL fluffballs things have certainly been heating up. So we through it would be prudent to bring you, gentle beings of the peripheries, a special edition in order to keep you updated with all the latest action in regards to who the DEN are shooting and who is shooting them.

    Felini strike back at Dewiek

    Reports have come in of the FEL striking back at the DEN in the Kallisan system. A huge FEL force supported by the IMP and CIA assaulted DEN positions taking both the platform and base called Lucien. There was much rejoicing in the FEL camp as the Felini proved they were not such lovable fluffballs after all!

    GTT get sucked into the war

    A passing fleet of GTT warships got caught in the fighting and this saw the GTT enter the war. When asked about this CEO Fox pointed out they are not warships at all, they are trade defence ships. So how they came to be in the DEN system of Kallisan is a mystery to us. But the GTT CEO was clear that they only engaged using support and defend orders to protect allies. Needless to say, the CEO commented “We found ourselves on the Dewiek Nation’s enemy lists pretty soon after.”

    Dewiek Nation attacks GTT positions in Orion Spur, breaking DOM system rules

    A fleet of DEN warships has engaged and destroyed a significant number of GTT cargo ships and escorts in the DOM system Monument. The GTT immediately took to the public channels to ask why the DOM were not doing something. In reply the DOM issued a statement to stop, which the DEN ignored.

    The DEN newssheet "The HOWL" published a completely unbiased review of the attack shortly after.

    DOM make a choice

    After the above incident and then further raiding by the DEN, taking out a few GTT cargo ships in the DOM system of Coptuv, the DOM seemed to have been faced with a choice of stopping drinking their tea and doing something or just hoping it would go away. Instead they seem to have decided to abandon the whole idea of being an active affiliation and we have since folded. The lengths some people will go to not to have their elevenses disturbed is truly staggering. We asked the DOM for a statement on their new system rules to share with our readers but have received no replies.

    DOM positions share out

    Just as we were going to press news has come in of various DOM assets being given to other affiliations or sold. Hopefully we will have more on this story in the next issue of your favorite factual newsheet. Yes, that's us at the SSS.

    *** Affiliations ***


    AFT Association of Free Traders (54) - Marion Tweedy
    CIA Combined Intelligence Agency (64) - Laton CIA
    DNA Displaced Natives Asylum (66) - DNA people
    DTR Detinus Republic (58) - Morley Decker
    DEN Dewiek Elder Nation (67) - Urd
    DOM Dominion (57) – we believe the DOM are now inactive
    FCN Falconian Republic (70) - Bacran
    FEL Felini Tyranny (49) - Juris
    FLZ Flagritz Republic (47) - Kayxaer
    FET Frontier Exploration & Trade (56) - Cu Chulainn
    GRC Gracians (13) - HG1
    GTT Galactic Trade & Transport (52) - Xavier Fox
    GCE Garcia Enterprises (4) - Neil
    HEX Hexamon (23) - Ando
    IMP Imperial Services (51) - Jack Jones
    KRL Krell (30) - Namica
    KRT Krell of the Reverence Temple (37) - Kal Torak
    KST Kastor Kastorians (12) - Kastor
    MZC Mizuchi Combine (86) - Mizuchi
    MOH Mohache (73) - Listens
    MIC Mohache Independent Commune (76) - Sleeps with Dragons
    NLF Naplian Liberation Front (38) - NLFHQ
    RIP Regularly Involved in Piracy - Githyanki
    RRH Roy Robert Holdings (39) - Roy Roberts
    SMS Stellar Mining and Smelting (53) - MikhailM
    USN Ulian Stellar Nation (34) - Oeipus Prime
    WMB Wimble Nations (25) - zz

    * Leader MAY be inactive, affiliation may be active
    ** Affiliation has no leader but this is the only known contact

    NPC / FoC: ARC, CIV, CGT, FRE, HBO, HEF, IND, ISP, JCN, MEK, MRC, PIR, PRV, TCA, TRN, KAS

    Inactive: ANT, BHD, COD, HVE, IDC, RIP, RCF, SKW, TAG

    Deceased: CAL

    *** Submission ***

    By private message to The Editor or via Mica if you prefer to remain anonymous.
     
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    ***** Inter Galactic News *****

    New pirate threat rocks Corward Arm.

    Several large pirate ships have been spotted in outer rings of Corward systems. Reports forwarded to us at the SSS allow us to exclusively tell readers that traders should keep their wits about them when moving through these areas.

    No existing pirate menace has yet claimed ownership.

    In a possibly unrelated event one of the FET cartel members claimed nothing was happening in the outer ring of Coptov shortly afterwards. But it could be that they are still trying to catch Empire backed pirates and have nothing to do with the new sightings.
     
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    ***** Inter Galactic News *****


    DEN continue to shoot innocents

    The Dewiek have made themselves busy shooting at the peaceful and innocent traders of the SSL. Leader of Solar Spices and Liquors Mr TOAD has been vocal pointing out that the Beast-DEN are being totally unfair. News of a go-fund-me appeal are yet to surface though.

    This office is sure that it must have provided the DEN light relief after picking on the equally defenceless Felini. Word is that the DEN faced such an uphill struggle in these recent actions they had to take up Felini inter-breeding to provide some entertainment as the battle reports were rather boring.
     
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    ***** Inter Galactic News *****

    Return of the LiQuans

    A close associate of the Baron LiQuan has been haunting the Corewards periphery and like the old Baron it is said he has a meklan connection. It's unclear whether he obtained his meklan nanites via the CIA but there are rumours that the DEN may be helping the Liquan relative in a bid to sow discontent in the Stellar Empire. Exactly why they would start in Corewards is unclear although with DEN allies, the DOM, having strong positions both in the Sol system and the old Harcorp systems of Harlong and Coptuv they may be the linking factor.


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

    Meklan Unleashed on Mobile Bay

    Mad Dewiek scientist Dr Kala released a number of Meklan on the busy world of Mobile Bay in the Yank system. Thousands of civilians have been killed in what is treated by DEN warlords as an amusing practical joke. Rather than take any responsibility for their affiliation’s reckless behaviour, a DEN lord rumoured to be half-meklan himself quipped he would nuke the planet whilst another merely saw it as an opportunity to test some of his greener troops in combat. Surprisingly, the KAS planetary defence force was up to the job of repelling the insidious incursion. Questions remain whether further meklan are stored elsewhere on the planet and whether anybody will challenge the Dewiek’s lack of care for the lives of innocents. Probably not, given how even the mighty IMP are now cowering from a fight with the DEN (see inside this edition).


     

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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).
    -Zigic