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Diary of a Naplian

Diary of a Naplian

I had a strict upbringing, which is maybe why I am the way I am. Back then it was all, ‘pray to the spirits, worship the rising sun and be thankful for the nourishing rains’. Well that’s all utter crap. I remember asking some security guard on the gates of the alien base why they didn’t bother sanctifying the ground before removing all the trees. He had no idea what I was banging on about. I tried to explain by drawing pictures in the dust but he laughed. Seems the only word of our language he knew was ‘doonum’, the name for the night plant that grows in dung. He gave me a media player. At the time it was the most incredible object in the universe though in hindsight it was a cheap disposable thing that he undoubtedly used for watching other people perform improbable intimate activities, at least that was mostly what I found in it. It also had educational options and from this I learned about stars, their energy and how biospheres form.

Everything I understood was a lie. Why did we pray to the sun, it had been burning for millions of years before we existed and would no doubt continue after we were no more? The land didn’t care what we did to it. The aliens were clearly not bothered and they were able to travel between worlds on their technological ships. Chanting over sick people was revealed to be a joke. My parents were ignorant and the village shaman a liar, bent on keeping us all grovelling in the dirt.


I showed my media player to my friends but one informed the elders and they took it from me. They actually destroyed it. I was so angry I struck the shaman and was expelled for a year.

Returning to the alien base I found the guard again. He wasn’t bad; he gave me food and a few other things in return for copying some of the intimate acts he showed me on another media player. I don’t think our anatomy aligned properly though he seemed pleased.

Soon I was peddling out media players, substances and other stuff to my old friends and getting quite a stash of shiny stones that the aliens seemed to prize so highly.

As more people came to me I needed help to deal with all the stuff. By this time I rarely did the intimate acts except to amuse some of the more influential aliens. Generally speaking I was able to get other doonums to do this though I would deal with the payment.

Now three years after the aliens arrived I have more than eighty people working for me, including a few humans and a couple of kastorian mercenaries. Vice, a term that never existed in our language before the aliens showed up. I control most of it around the northern section of the base and regularly deal with imports. I have runners taking the goods to the far villages, smuggling the merchandise in for payment. I have even been elected to the government, legalising our currency.



My father came by the other day with my childhood match. Apparently I should have come back to the village more than a year ago to renew the pledge. I had totally forgotten. Dressed there in their stitched hides staring at the holo-visions while trying not to look over at the dancers I pitied them. I told them that the only thing I wanted from them and their culture was their money. They didn’t even know what I meant - sad doonums. I sent them packing though slipped Dushta a comms and told her what to do when it makes a noise. Given a make-over she could earn me some solid cash.

I laugh at my own past ignorance. Where once I thought the shining spires of the alien starbase was magic and their ships the boats of the dead lifting them to commune with the spirits in person I now know that this base is little more than a frontier port and the ships are little more than freighters common throughout the universe.
It’s odd, the universe feels bigger and smaller at the same time. Where once I wouldn’t have dreamt of going beyond the river, I now jump on a shuttle to the other side of the world and don’t give it a second thought yet I know that there are countless other worlds out there. One day I intend to buy my own ship and start exporting directly.





 
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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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Who is behind the AFA?

Following the large scale holiday attack by the AFA against the FET the question of who is behind the attacks has been raised once again. What is clear is that the AFA is using ships that were transferred from the GTT to the IMP. The organisation and expertise of the operation also reduces the pool of potential candidates. Few can go from commanding a handful of broadswords to half a thousand warships and significant army logistics without a long stint in one of the more combative affiliations. With the DEN’s allies the HEX in close relations with the FET and no recent history of animosity between the aliens and FET, at least since the departure of former one-eye big-bun Norozov, it would be a bizarre turn of events if they were behind these attacks. Frankly, there’s no point dancing around it. The IMP are clearly behind the AFA. The question is what can anybody do about this move of significant Imperial resources to a black-flag agency?


 
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Fox Effects Fantastic Turnaround

With his feet barely under the table, Xavier Fox has managed to dramatically turn things around at the GTT. With year-on-year sales figures up by 23%, manufacturing up 42% and ship production increased by 36%, the megacorporation is running at full steam with noticeable impact on local economies across the Stellar Empire. Political analysts also note that after a period of retrenchment following the disastrous leadership of Ike Krieger, investment in defence is at a five-year high. After such bullish growth, the trick will be for Mr. Fox to recruit C-level executives fast enough to match his ambitions. It is notable in temperament, the current crop of GTT politicals do not exhibit the monomaniacal xenophobia of their predecessors and have resisted repeated provocations by the DEN to enter a pointless spar before they have re-established superiority against the foolhardy aliens.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Felini flounder in Winter against superior Dewiek forces

The FEL have managed to get their asses kicked by the DEN yet again after provoking the definitely “not cute or cuddly” Dewiek in the Crossley system. The furry punching bags had bought a civilian flagged outpost in the system, without permission or under certain conditions depending on who you ask, and then had the gall to reinforce this error by positioning warships in orbit. The famously patient warlord Halvor did not buy the story these heavy hull armed ships were merely transports and sent a pack to clear the orbit. The mouthy yet green Felini fleet commander Pr'prz fancied his chances against what looked like a light complement of DEN warships and ordered his own warships to engage in the neighbouring Winter system. The result was predictably a wipe out of the FEL forces consisting of forty-seven capital warships at no loss to the DEN. Once again, a series of calamitous decision making resulted in Felini lives being wasted by a leadership barely fit to clean a litter tray. The otherwise untested Halvor can now claim some victory ale although with his penchant for picking on creatures as weak as Gracians, it’s not exactly clear how much glory this new breed of Dewiek warrior can claim against the legends of old.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Dastardly Dewiek Disregard Yank Neutrality

The governor of a MRC outpost in the Yank system reports that a 400-hull DEN warship called Grey Hunter Axiom entered orbit of Spritzer and opened fire with weapons of mass destruction (WoMD) against a platform, outpost, ground party and ship. Reports indicate significant casualties to Kastorian personnel both in space and on the ground. The KAS Junta is gruffly warning, with a slightly indifferent air, that everybody better stay out of the sector of the outpost for their own health. It is unclear what measures the KAS have or will take against the DEN on this matter. Such a breach of Yank neutrality has in the past caused the Dewiek to froth at the bit against the Empire for their disregard of ‘civilised’ norms. Their current silence on this matter speaks volumes.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Yenni-bodies Pirates?

A PIR outpost was miraculously discovered by an IMP freighter, of all things, in the Yanni system with several Javelin class warships in orbit. After noticing the IMP freighter and seeing the public post by Jack Jones on subspace, the PIR decided to flee and leave a combined force of IMP and FET forces to capture the outpost. A brain damaged three-year old commentator who still believed in the goodness of people and Santa Claus was quick to commend the IMP on their good work, dismissing those who thought it no more than a convenient clearing up operation signifying* completion of operations in the nearby FET claimed systems of Graydown, Canth and Onissian by IMP puppet Edward Lowe. Meanwhile, the Wolf Lord Lyceum summed up the view of many when he screamed, “What is this amateur b*llshit?” into an uncaring universe.


 
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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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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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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