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214
Previous Years
Intergalactic News
Issue 33
Issue 32
The Dewiek Special
Issue 31
Issue 30
Older Issues
 
Fake

Fake I


‘Bugs are stupid I tell you. This is gonna be easy. They have no concept of wealth all they care about is stockpiling their mushrooms. All we gotta do is offer them some of that fungus stuff we picked up from down Madonna way and they will dump so much gold and platinum on us we are gonna be set for life.’
‘So what makes you think they even have any gold and stuff? If they don’t use it, why will they have it?’
‘Check out the readings.’
‘Yeah, so what, they live underground, doesn’t mean they have gone mining for precious mets.’
‘Not just live underground, they have been on that tiny little moon for centuries and all they have done is dig more and more tunnels, right down to and through the core. The whole place is holier than the Brotherhood. From what I can tell they use precious metals where we plastic.’
‘Still not convinced.’

The survey cruiser descended through the rarefied atmosphere of the outer moon of Rudy, coming in low, breaking as it covered the smooth surface of the world. The horizon, initially a perfect curve was interrupted at the centre by a small dark peak. This continued to grow, resolving itself into a volcano of seemingly impossible proportions. Small clouds of smoke rose from the caldera, quickly dissipating. In the time it took to arrive, it had become clear that each puff of smoke was twenty eight seconds after the preceding one.


By the time the ship was within a kilometre of the volcano it completely filled the horizon. A course alteration brought them in line with a plateau a third of the way up the volcano where they finally set down.
From the bridge the two men looked out across the plateau and towards the massive set of hanger doors built into the side of the volcano. There were however smaller entrances indicated by tracks in the dust and sand leading up to them. From one of these a small vehicle emerged and headed directly for their ship.
‘Time to go.’

They descended down to the rotating airlock adjoining the bay. These cheap designs were good at admitting only a couple of people at a time with no risk of decompression as they only had a single door and the whole airlock chamber rotated. The aliens knew the score as they had been dealing with the FET for some time.

The airlock engaged, swivelled and opened into the bay. Within the airlock chamber were two identical space suits with silvered visors. The suits had eight appendages, the upper two rising from what the humans took to be the head on account of the visor. The bottom four appendages were sturdy though the boots looked like closed interlocking claws. The remaining two appendages the team took to be the equivalent of arms.

Similtaneously they removed their helmets by splitting the front from the back, freeing their antanae. It was all that the crew could do to stop their gag reflexes as mellenia of instincts kicked in. A rasping sound from one of the aliens was translated by the ship’s com system (courtesy of previous FET explorers).

‘Taste, encounter, identify, build acceptance.’ With that it stepped forward and a proboscis half a metre long extended from a hole between its compounds eyes. The pair flinched despite having been warned that this was coming. Expecting to be slathered all over like the owner of an overly familiar canine, they were clearly surprised at the almost feather like brush lasting a fraction of a second, before the alien tongue was retracted.

‘Hi, I’m Jim, member of Frontier, Exploration and Trade, or FET as we are more commonly known, but then I guess you know that already. Anyhoo, this here’s my ship, the Turtle Dove and this here is my second, Hook. Yeah, that makes me captain. So you guys are the Hive, well it’s good to be here, I got a good feeling about this. We gonna do some fine trading, we got some excellent merchandise.’ Jim eventually ground to a halt, clearly more nervous than his earlier bravado revealed.
‘Confusion,’ the word came from the com system after a lengthy buzz. Jim and Hook looked at each other.
‘Show them some of the samples,’ instructed Jim whereupon Hook made his way across the modest bay to one of the prepared shipping containers. A quiet hiss and the lid lifted on two hydraulics.



Instantly the antennae of both aliens swung towards the container and their proboscises were out. As one they moved towards Hook, causing him to retreat to the far side of the container, partially using the lid as a shield. He need not have worried as they seemed purely interested in the contents. They buzzed, presumably excitededly and the coms spluttered a few worlds such as taste, depth, food though these were poor substitutes compared to the antics of the aliens.

The lid started to descend. Jim had stepped up unnoticed and activated the lid while the aliens remained oblivious to their presence. He had used just this tactic when dealing with the fuzzy little chaps on Dogleg. It was a great attention grabber and reinforced who the merchandise belonged to. They were so eager to have another look they were throwing stuff at him.
At the last moment, they realised what was happening and one inserted a hand into the narrowing gap to prevent it closing. Too late, there was a crunch as exoskeleton was crushed. The alien went still, both Jim and Hook moved their hands towards their side arms as a precaution.

The remaining alien extended its proboscis again to touch the container while buzzing.
‘We, feed,’ was the somewhat cryptic translation.
Jim relaxed, though cast a quick glance to the statue of the other alien before replying.
‘I get you, you want. Good, now what I want is this,’ using the hand on the other side to his gun he pulled a small disc of gold. He then did some miming of moving all the containers out of the ship and then pointing at the gold disc and a similar parody of bringing containers in.
The two aliens turned and proceeded back to the airlock. As door closed, Jim and Hook turned to each other, grins on their faces. Hook lifted his hand for a hi-five though stopped, his grin disappearing instantly. Together they stared at the arm sticking out of the lid.
Next Issue
All good things come to an end
‘I’m telling you sir, you go in there, you ain’t coming out,’ Jim was desperate.




 
News
GTT step forward to control protection and peace in the Stellar Empire.

With the retirement of Jack Johns and various lower-level IMP officers from public life, the Imperial Services were left on the verge of being unable to fill their role as protectors of the Stellar Empire. Due to the serious nature the Imperial Services found itself in, the Emperor recently travelled to GTT HQ to attend a board meeting with the directors of the GTT.

With Galactic Trade and Transport being one of the few remaining loyal Imperial Chartered affiliations, who also supply well over half of the war material to the Imperial Services, the Emperor sought the position of the GTT with regard to the Imperial Services becoming overburdened with bureaucracy and lacking effective leadership. Effectively the Imperial Services were at the point of collapse. A position highlighted when an opportunistic supposed ally subverted four Imperial Outposts in the Inner Empire, thinking their asset grabbing would go unnoticed.
 
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  Star Date: 221.30.5

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RAGNAROK COMES

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A Forlorn Hope

The seat of Dewiek Government has fallen. What began as a small group of Architect ships picking up retreating DEN forces, amalgamated into a much larger force. The bombardment fleet comprised dozens of Adult ARC ships plus several Planet Killers. The force made short work of the impressive fortifications of the planetary orbit of Newstart. Multiple heavily armoured and maximised deflector shield platforms crumbled. They did so only after releasing their volleys of antimatter and nova weapon batteries. Any DEN warships that remained from earlier encounters also stood the line. But within the week, the last defence was gone.

Bombardment of Wolf Lair starbase proceeded without further resistance from the Dewiek. ARC Plasmas ripped through starbase shields. They demolished tens of thousands of factories and research facilities. The ARC demolished the huge military recruitment and training facilities on the planet. Over half a million trained troops evacuated from deep bunkers, leaving a token ground defence.

The ARC were not satisfied to burn the facilities and murder the workers. They deployed repeated salvos of their Virus Bombs on the wider population. Reports began to arrive of civilians of the world regressing. Leaving settlements and returning to nature. Much as the Dewiek found themselves some decades ago when they started to recover from the First Great ARC-DEN War. This time there was no High Lord Magnus willing to obliterate the world to save a remnant of the people. Newstart was already lost.

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Newstart is lost

 
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  Star Date: 221.27.2

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RAGNAROK APPROACHES

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End Game Lost

A short-lived period of peace followed the Dewiek Elder Nation’s historic and Saga-worthy defence against the Architect Planet Killers. A handful of the more typically encountered ARC ships were spotted picking off DEN support ships in Forlorn Hope before more than forty of them appeared back in End Game.

While the ARC “Adult” class ships, as the DEN had previously classified them, were eight times smaller than the “Planet Killers”, they were still as big as the largest ships any other species has managed to produce. Including the otherwise technologically advanced Dewiek.

Forty-four of these Plasma armed organic vessels smashed through the DEN forces left circling the orbit of Beacon, End Game. The mass of ARC weapons bombarded the DEN Shipyards at Ragnorak with their superheated ionized gas, razing the entire outpost to the ground.

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ARC Plasma weapons devastate End Game

 
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  Star Date: 221.22.5

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RAGNAROK BECKONS

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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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Meklanmania

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.
 

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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