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Story - Arridian Spur

Arridian Spur

Deep in the inner offices of EEM Balmoral two executives meet for a very private meeting.

‘What’s with the dermal wear? Anything to do with getting a new secretary?’
‘Humph. I don’t want to talk about it.’
‘I warned you about felini, brush her up the wrong way?’
‘Just drop it, ok? We have a deal to broker.’
‘Fair enough, so I looked over the documents. I’m not sure about this. What we have got so far is looking pretty good, more than a dozen settlements and now all signed up to intergalactic trade. Can’t you just sniff the stellars? Turning beads into… hum, stellars I suppose.’
‘Stick with analysis and leave prose to the wimbles.’
‘So the way I see it, this is more about risk limitation?’
‘Interesting, go on.’
‘Well, I'm thinking, after the collapse, a lot of merchandise simply disappeared along with the various captains. Some thought that they were out Morroglyph way or possibly around Glaxius but beyond a few early reports of pirates and a few free lancers, we haven’t heard of any great pirate empire. So the question is where did they go. At its height the League had over five thousand ships, granted most were both small and light but they had some big haulers and not a few heavies for belt work. Even after accounting for the many that have been scrapped by civvies for their materials, there must be hundreds still out there. We have reports of some that have been retrofitted for piracy but what of the rest?
‘So, presuming that they are in this,’ he glances down at the doc-pad and scrolls, ‘Arridian Spur, or possibly beyond one of the Gates.’
‘Gates, there are stargates in Corewards?’


‘No, it seems that they named some of the outer systems gates. There was a reason, though I can’t remember. Anyway, just to be confusing, the system Arridian for which the spur is named is just beyond Zewt and beyond that is called Traitor’s Gate; the first of the Gate systems we will gain access to through this deal.
‘This is a fairly rough region of space from all accounts. The stars are in close proximity to a small cluster of blue giants. These have an effect on both subspace and throw of a lot of nebulosity. Jump times seem to fluctuate as does the rings and some of the stars themselves have a tendency to flare.
‘From all accounts quite a few HarCop explorers and vessels were lost in the Spur. It is therefore hardly surprising that those on the run have bolted to this region of space.’
‘So how many systems are we talking?’
‘Over twenty certainly. We are still negotiating for those beyond Belle.’
‘How many years does your analysis calculate the return period?’
‘Hard to tell. There are a couple of known settlements, such as in Arridian and way out in Imlakvir but there is quite a lot of unknowns. Rather I am hoping that opening access will alleviate the potential of a growing independent faction that could challenge our investment in Coreward.’



'So the game plan is to negotiate access sooner rather than later and then make all the systems open access and let the mob descend on them?'
'Cunning eh?'
'What happens if they don't go for it?'
'Well, no doubt somebody will which means one of two things will happen. Either they will encounter these pirates and tip them off that the hub of Corewards has some new players or they won't.'
'Won't?'
'These HarCop investors, they got burnt badly by the League and are now playing their cards close to their chest. Even so I have heard rumours that a few merchants encountered another hi-tech species well beyond one of the gates and I am certain it does not lie in the Arridian Spur.'
'Is this related to the rumours of a weapon capable of destroying worlds and the deaths of billions?'
'Weapon or fatal technology, it's still just rumours though there does seem to be some credence to them. Whatever the truth I would rather a buffer between whatever's out there and our core investments.'
'So we go ahead and afterwards again push for further access.'
'Agreed.'
'So, why a krell secretary?'
'They know how to take orders.'
'I'll leave it at that.'




 
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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).
-Zigic