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214
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Blog of the Week - Passing Time

The things we do to pass the time

It had been a slow return to activity for Githyanki, his surviving fleet was scattered to all corners of the universe, and a good number of which were very slow to return, his war fleet was still months away from being operationally ready and he was bored and somewhat distressingly everywhere he looked there was peace and quiet, he could not even intercede on events occurring around him, shag all was happening.

So he did what any enterprising sort would do when faced with eternal boredom, smoked a heaven herb joint, watched a little performance from his favourite dancing girl and resigned himself to the humdrum task of sorting out some outposts. As it happened absence had again profited his little empire with an abundant stockpile of rare ore, and with the few freighters he had loitering around in port, he set about some basic housekeeping. As he worked his way down his base manifest he stumbled on a long forgotten relic, a relic of a long forgotten war, least for him, DOM Straddle Boomerang I.

The Straddle project, code named Tumbleweed, had been an ambitious moment of madness no doubt conjured up whilst under the influence of some seriously funky narcotics, it was simple enough really, ground scout assessments had, from an early stage rated the DTR base on boomerang as beyond formidable and it had been quickly dismissed as a viable ground target, straddle was a decoy in the end, a combat test and one to check new loyalties. But the base presented a problem, especially as it was fundamentally linked to the trumped up nonsense used as a reason for the war, so something needed to be done and if we could not have it, then they should not want it…..

Stage one was easy, drop in a science station, place within it a core team of key scientists, covering a number of fields and a token defence force, add in some submerged foundations and hey presto a hidden base appeared. The nature of the plan required a landscape of coastal shallows, and the wicked side of Githyanki’s nature ruled the day when shallows were identified one sector away from the main DTR base. Stage two was a mish mash of muddled ideas, that ultimately lead to a theory of planetary destabilisation. Stick enough explosives in direct proximity to the planetary fault lines, deep enough, an issue nicely solved with further submerged foundations and you could potentially trigger a global catastrophe. Add in some chemical agents to change the atmosphere and create genocide amongst the population and the Empire would not have to remove the DTR, given enough time they would leave themselves.

But the idea even in theory was nonsense, the chance of success was tiny, and the volume of explosives made for a number of logistical shipping problems, and so the idea was canned, the spare foundations instead used to set up some sacrificial artillery bases to keep the DTR thinking straddle was the target, all of which were killed in the first days of the war. But the science station remained, a few soldiers, few tanks and a handful of science bods………..

Githyanki figured it was time to remove them, the war was done and the base could be decommissioned, so without thinking and in keeping with his generally cavalier attitude he sent a rescue tug for the men, the tanks and all other hardware was expendable and orders were issued for the base team to destroy all materials and rig the caves for collapse. Githyanki went back to his dancing girl and enjoyed his smoke as the haze descended.

Imagine his surprise when the following morning showed a missing com signal from the dispatched ship, and a quick position ping showed it as non-responsive, he called up the ships logs, which operated a standard live replication feed to relay stations scattered around the peripheries’, the final recording was cut short and the cause was unmistakable……..Githyanki was furious with himself, school boy error he thought, not checking the system lists, and the ship was the eighth is a squad of ten, one of the few to have survived intact during his vacation, it irked him greatly and the bloody DTR of all people.

And then a curious thought started to form, lending clarity to his annoyance of losing the ship, could the DTR be convinced to replace the ship? Granted they were well within their rights to destroy it, but that just made the challenge more appealing, and Githyanki, after all was bored. It was an old game and he considered himself accomplished at it, a lie, no no, better yet an exaggeration, and like all good exaggerations it should be based on an element of tangible truth, he connected to the open political channels, I’ll start with indignation he thought, see if I can get them to take the bait, and after all it is exactly the sort of thing they might expect of me……………………

Within a mere matter of days, Githyanki was pleased with himself, the plan was working out wonderfully well, the DTR governor was hooked, and during the dialogue Githyanki had sent a secondary fleet of ships to enact a hostile orbit extraction, a minor chance if the DTR had reacted sensibly, but he figured they would not, or not quickly enough, and the team had been extracted from the single base cleanly, the material all but destroyed and only enough caves left to keep it hidden along with a few jammers. And then his poker face slipped for a second, just a second mind, a ‘tell’ if you like, the unmistakeable twitch of an old gambler having the slightest moment of doubt, Githyanki got carried away.

Such was his personal amusement at the hidden bases location, he could not resist, he just simply had to let everyone else in on the gag, and besides a physical confirmation and one parked in their backyard would lend great credibility to the ruse, and so he publically posted its location and transponder code, but he had misread his opponents hand, and the publically given location of the base led to its immediate capture, a move he had not predicted and he cursed as he lost his only real card in the game……..still the key too all good bluffs was staying true to your path, and besides the DTR had brought the illusion of many bases, a hidden asteroid and a mad man on the trigger of a remote detonator, but there was a small ripple. Githyanki had always allowed himself a great deal of latitude when it came to the truth on open channels, it was no different to any other media outlet and the SSS had for many long years been the personal media channel for the DTR, but in personal private communications he liked to be a little more morally grounded, and if the governor had asked for details of other positions, or made his offer of a replacement ship on more specific terms, the game would have been up, but he did not, and Githyanki could simply make the assurance that when the ship had been received all his personal DOM assets within the straddle system would be relinquished, and so he duly waited, and two days later a better ship graced his manifests in the solo system.

The deed was done, all that remained was the concluding communication, ‘Governor’ he wrote, it is with great pleasure that I confirm the receipt of the replacement vessel for the one tragically destroyed in the Straddle system, and true to my word I am pleased to confirm that all my personal DOM assets within said system are now within your care. It is gratifying to see that reasonableness ruled the day…………………..

Only thing left really was the public trade channel, a finishing touch and an object lesson on the value of ships and crews, silly bastards flew into an open no fly zone, not fit to wear DOM colours, let them rot he thought as he took a long sip on his malt whiskey and blew a smoke ring into the air.



 
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