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214
Previous Years
Intergalactic News
Issue 33
Issue 32
The Dewiek Special
Issue 31
Issue 30
Older Issues
 
Down at the Resource Complex

Down at the special resource complex
‘What’s that smell?’
‘Dunno, dewiek?’
‘How would you know, you’ve never even seen a dewiek.’
‘True, but then I have never smelt anything like that either.’
‘It’s Trexonian beetle flange,’ this from the new arrival, just pulling a tray from the receptacle at the start of the buffet line.
The two women turned and stared at the man evaluating his comment. Was he serious, trying to be funny or did he have another agenda. They glanced at each other with a look sufficient to encourage one to take the bait, if that was indeed what it was.
‘Your cologne or the food being served?’ said in a not quite flirty but also not quite dismissive tone.

He got the message, more details or piss off.

‘I work down at the planetary specialist resource extraction facilities of the base. There was a rupture in one of the incoming pods that flooded the bay area with Trexonian beetles. They emit a rather strong smelling sebaceous fluid from a rim of their carapaces that the locals call the flange.’ They stared. ‘I have showered and scrubbed half a dozen times. The smell is lingering but they say it will go in a day or so. Did I say I was new here? I think it may be a newboy prank they pull.’ He smiled weakly. ‘The names James,’ he finished, proffering a hand in a friendly manner.


The two women looked at the hand but neither ventured to reach for it, leaving it hanging awkwardly between them until the new guy returned it to holding the other side of his tray.

‘Say, you two ever drank raw beconisian nectar?’ Clearly from their faces they hadn’t, ‘It is something found in the stomach crop from the Trexonian beetle. There’s nowhere near enough to exploit commercially so we pass around amongst ourselves rather than report it. You know full well if we did them upstairs would simply requisition its extraction and keep it for themselves. Same thing would happen if we got caught trying to smuggle it out of the section.’ As though a sudden thought had occurred, he continued, ‘You should visit us down there, my section is Delta 2, trust me, you won’t regret it.’
‘If it tastes as bad as you smell, you can keep it.’ Not the most polite rebuff.
‘Let’s just say you would put up with smelling like this for a week just for a glass.’

They were now listening. That’s the thing about working at a starbase, exotics pass though the port on a daily basis either destined for distant worlds or from distant worlds destined for the insatiable civilian markets. No matter which direction they were headed, mark-ups meant that personnel could never afford them, even if they hung around gathering dust in great warehouses for years. The chance at something that was slipping under commerce control was not to be ignored. Further, as it was not a registered resource at worst they might pull some shitty shifts for being out of their designated zones. Finally, like most base, boredom amongst personnel was prevalent.

It was more than a week before Tersi and Issa found their way down to Delta 2 section. James had eventually scrubbed up clean after a couple of days and chattiness aside proved to be not a bad’un. He had come in a few weeks back, transfer from somewhere in Halo, though even he wasn’t certain. It rained a lot and the base was most staffed by humans, which pretty much qualifies for most starbases the Peripheries over.
James seemed inclined to make more of this than was first intimated; something to do with it not just being his secret stash. Anyway, the lads down at Delta 2 were willing to indulge a little female company around a bottle or so of beconisian nectar so arrangements had been made. They already had clearance for similar security level sections and so had pulled a few favours amongst the troops assigned to the wing. This would buy them a few three hours, more than enough time for a couple of swift drinks and a break in the monotony.

‘Caves,’ stated James cryptically when he met them in a large bay area consisting of slick plastic and steel. Standard fifteen metre pods were stacked along two walls while various automated machines carried them from one side into what was presumably a sanitizer and collected then stacked them at the other. When they stared blankly and waited for his usual effusive expansion he simply turned and walked over to a large outlined ground plate until they joined him inside the line. As the twenty by twenty metre plate dropped away they were carried down through a much bigger chamber below. ‘The pods arrive in one of the adjacent bays and are unpacked after screening and the usual security stuff then cleaned for re-use as you have just seen. What few realise though is that part of this section of the base is above the defensive cave system. Not a big part, not even used, just foam insulated.’ By this time they had descended around sixty metres. Apart from the irregular shape of the room, betraying its natural origin, the cave was like the vast majority of the base, covered in off-white and badly stained plastic insulating foam. The ground had for the most part been levelled except at one end where it rose irregularly to meet the ceiling. More pods were scattered around in various states of repair. Despite the constant whir of air recycling, there was a background smell they had encountered in the refectory.

Suddenly James disappeared having scaled up the irregular floor at the end of the cave. He was there a second ago then gone but as they took another step forward they realised that in the bright lights and lack of definition to the walls, they had completely missed an outcrop behind which James had stepped. Here they found a narrow opening and could hear voices, James amongst them. As Issa and Tersi entered they were warmly greeted by around a dozen people, mostly male and all human. As their eyes adjusted to lower light levels they made out various vats, crates and packages. How some of these were made to fit through the narrow opening was a mystery.



Introductions continued as the two sides weighed up the potential of these new contacts. That both Terri and Issa worked primarily in basic production may well have encouraged James to seek their friendship. Those on basic production are always popular. The ability to run cadcam protocols to fill in gaps in the manufacturing itinerary is a clear winner for anybody wanting to some personnel gear. Replacement parts at short notice can be the difference between knocking off early and pulling a double shift. Then there are requests for a few personal bits and pieces such as small stills and micro-refineries such as those littering the tables. This may well be the reason that production and resource sections are invariably at opposite ends of the starbase and if administration had any say, never the twain should meet.
Less than a month later James, Tersi and quite a few others found themselves transferred to new sections. Their contracts were also flagged for the next personnel relocation. It was also intimated that they would be freezing their asses off on some distant asteroid where the sun was no brighter than a star.

The ‘boiler room’ was stripped and new ‘loyal’ personnel were assigned to Trexonian beetle processing under Issa. This was the same Issa who had not only been promoted from manufacturing but was rumoured to be very close to the under-chief administrator. Consensus is that it had a lot of do with her being spotted naked and intoxicated around the admin section just prior to reallocation of personnel. Nobody however calls her the under-under-chief.

If you ever have the privilege to be called to the under-chief administrator’s office you may see a curious decanter on his drinks cabinet and if you’re especially lucky you may get a sip of something rather unusual, something that stellars simply cannot buy.





 
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