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The Council is Summoned

The Council is Summoned

In the city now known as Evacuation, many buildings could have been built in any corner of the Peripheries. Few details on the outside of those buildings would have been out of place in Yank or any number of starbases on a myriad of worlds.

But one in particular stands out. This is the building from where the desperate defence against the Flagritz was orchestrated. Further back in time, this is the building where Marshal Leonis declared himself to be the first Tyrant. Go back yet further and this is the building where once Matriarchs gave a thin veneer of civility and politics to an internecine cluster of wars between each matriarchal clan. Matriarchs could sit and debate in politeness while at the same time their armies were still continuing raids against each other’s fortresses.
This is not the time of any of these historic perspectives, yet the nature of the building is derived from each. Not a stone is wasted, yet every curve and corner speaks of power and strength. In addition to the shielding above the city, this building has its own shield generators, more powerful than many front line warships. It is rumoured that more than fifteen nuclear missiles penetrated the city shielding, yet were turned by the shields surrounding the building.


Over time, the building has had several names. Once it was the Matriarchal Palace. Then it became the Capitol. Now it is formally known as the Council of Prides – although many still refer to it as Capitol.

Inside the Great Hall has seen almost as many changes. In the Matriarchal times, each clan had a place of Honour determined by a complex order of precedence – part of the cost of advancement was to demolish the
Place of Honour of the clan which had been overtaken and to build a new one befitting your own clan in its stead. Each Place of Honour was richer and more opulent than the last. Leonis swept all this away and the Great Hall became a stronghold, barracks to the Tyrannic Guard.

Now the Great Hall is the chamber for the Council of Prides – but with none of the ostentation that the Matriarchs felt was needed. The only decoration comes from the banners bearing the sigil of each Pride. Other than this, the smooth walls are the purest white with the exception of two areas. One section near the back bears red walls. This is where the banners of the Prides-which-have-fallen hang. On the opposite side, the wall section is black. The banners there are torn and hung upside-down, to denote dishonour. These prides are also no more.

Most of the hall is an open floor, where PrideLeaders and PrideSeniors mingle freely. A small dais bears a simple stool – once used by Leonis. Sometimes, Mrrshan can be seen there when the council is not in session, musing on the future path of the Tyranny. Right now though the stool is empty, despite the presence of just about every feline who has the authority to be in the hall. Some figures display the telltale sparkles of holo projections, but most are present in person, as news of the reclamation of Skye and Winter has mingled with rumours that there was another announcement to come.

Quietly, Mrrshan emerges from an antechamber, flanked by his two Avatars. As he sits gently on the stool a hush descends upon the hall.

“This stool has three legs. So does the society which we have built for ourselves. As with the stool, a failure to have balance between the three legs leads to instability and the chance of failure of the whole.

“Unlike the stool, our society’s legs have names. Honour. Tradition. Necessity. If we neglect any of these three, we risk calamity. Sometimes it is necessary to forge new traditions when old ones become incompatible with reality. Sometimes it is necessary to apply the principles of Honour to a new situation, where none of our accepted definitions of Honour could be deemed applicable.

“The universe is not as simple as any would like. Thousands of felines have given their allegiance to other governments. Many more ply their trades without loyalty to any other government. In the same way we have non-felines working tirelessly amongst us, sharing our ideals and our vision of the future.



“Amongst the Prides-which-have-fallen are several proud names, where a Pride has been decimated beyond its ability to be a cohesive entity. Survivors petition for adoption into other prides and are thus scattered. The Pride’s holdings are allocated in consideration of the greatest needs of the Tyranny. To this date, such Prides have been considered dead from this point.

“Today in the Eyes of the Great Mother, I say we have arrived at such a time where necessity must be considered. For amongst us is an individual who has shown his worth, his loyalty and his Honour. Had this person been feline, he would long ago have stood amongst you as a PrideSenior in our long-standing tradition of choosing the most capable for a given role. But this person is not a feline and so I am not in a position to do so – if we stick blindly and rigidly to the premise that all positions of authority must be filled by one of our species. Furthermore, this person has not yet been granted entry to a Pride, yet has been given authorities of high standing in our Navy and holdings in many of our systems. It is not a complete co-incidence that many of these holdings belonged to a single Pride once – for as a collection they bring synergy to each other. Yet this Pride fell several seasons past.

“In order to hold true to the principles of Honour, it is time to return to the original essence of what a Pride is. A Pride is a grouping of capable individuals and material holdings which exist in a co-ordinated way to provide the maximum benefit to the Tyranny and to itself. Under this definition, I say that we should consider a fallen Pride to have returned.

“Enter this hall, Chamiah, most Honourable Human of the Tyranny. Take the Banner of Pride Karlosse from the place of the Fallen and present it here today to us all. Then take your place amongst my Council with the rank of PrideSenior with all the Honours and Duties which the rank entails.”




 
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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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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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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