***** 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.
Cover art by Clawed50
*** In Brief ***
There is absolutely no evidence to suggest a breakaway faction of the FLZ and HEX are building a planet busting armada. Rumours abound that a Wimble scientist, who was wrongfully scented with Hive drone pheromones, has defected to the Stellar Empire with details of their plans to overcome planetary shields. This all has little basis in truth, claimed FLZ and HEX sources.
The DEN have reclaimed the Garden State and Axel systems after the IMP bent the knee in order to keep the peace a little while longer.
In unrelated news, the KRT have claimed the Fury system as more and more of the Krell convert to the faith of the True One.
Who is Tassrin Markov and why is the KAS Junta seeking him unofficially? The name keeps popping up on unofficial channels in the Yank system with local reporters suggesting that the Junta has gotten desperate enough to commission private star captains to look for Markov. He was last seen somewhere in the depths of the Halo periphery.
The DTR report that their outpost in the Highgrace system was unsuccessfully attacked by nuclear weapons. The system owners the GRC have asked outsiders to respect their neutrality and not to have any fun in their home system.
There are rumours that the daughter or daughters of Demetrius LiQuan are being hunted, though the official news was that they died some years ago. Who are the Porter loyalists and what is their motive? Is this related to the Baron Liquan's relative? At this time the SSS has more questions than answers with officials for the Stellar Empire being tight-lipped about potential divisions between the old Confederacy and the new GTT dominated unity. Oddly alien sources spoke to us in the neutral Yank system on condition of anonymity, claiming that the CIA are chasing their tails as the daughters have already been moved to the Cluster periphery
Who has been poisoning hive civilians on Diesel in the Curly system? Why does nobody appear to care? One could point the finger at the newly reconstituted SSL who have been spotted near the planet but it is equally possible that this is part of some covert operations by the FLZ who have moved into the neighbouring Erasure system. As long as its hive dying, it is unlikely the Stellar Empire will care too much either way.
The GCE may have been forced out of the DEN system of Crossley. Or maybe not. Who can keep up with Halvor’s mood swings?
Is there a secret alliance between HEX and MOH or is there a venture for mutual benefit? Shady captains checking cargo going through the stargates have noticed a large number of Mohache civilians on board ships originating from the HEX. Their final destination is unknown but rumours of MOH enclaves in the most secret of the alien systems have been circulating for months.
Why were so many AFA ships seen fleeing a secret asteroid in the Coptuv system and who else was involved? Questions are being raised about the role of the DOM in the laundering of IMP resources into the AFA. What is certain, very little of significance happens now in Coptuv without Wylde knowing about it.
Has the Emperor of the Stellar Empire taken an interest in visiting loyal worlds and starbases across the Peripheries? Is this to bolster the fragile peace or is it to prove to the DEN that the Stellar Empire is still top dog? Or is it simply false news being spread by opponents of the Stellar Empire to make them look weak. Very hairy agents have even spotted on supposedly secure locations like Mars and Luna.
Speculation by civilians within the FEL is that the old leader was ousted for opposing a return to a more belligerent status. After a long period of peaceful existence, it seems the Felini cannot wait to have their claws back in conflict. There is widespread speculation they will formally join an alliance with the Stellar Empire in a future conflict so as to reap the benefits of being at the forefront of the conflict.
Accusations of failing to represent all three factions on the grand councils have been aimed at the FLZ, with claims that this has weakened them to levels that rival the collapse of the Empire at the end of the Felini rebellion. Whilst peace has been good for the terraformers, rival factions are preparing to change their current peaceful stance before their warriors atrophy into purposeless blobs or something closely resembling humans.
*** Featured Blogs ***
Ellarian's Blog - Happy Homecoming
The head administrator was furious, "who left that there" he roared as an enormous skull big enough to stand in was sitting outside his office window blocking the local traffic. Which today consisted of a small Dewiek Cub with a wagon full of what looked like orange bananas.
"Heads will roll.. After this one is rolled out of the way. ". He considered the problem briefly the skull was rather large. It's eye sockets seemed to be regarding him dismissively though when you are four foot wide that is not hard. (note the eye socket and not the administrator)
"Why Grssysytysamftieirtyit (Dewiek phonetic names can be hard to pronounce. In human terms let's use the close 'Burp') is there an issue?"
He swung round angrily and gulped as Ellarian jumped casually off of the skull and landed in front of him
"Boss! How lovely to see you back. How was the, erm, hunt"
"Great! We killed a bloody big sea creature. It was this big.. She pointed up and down the street. So I bought back its skull. I thought we could hand it over the star ports entrance and perhaps stick condemned traitors in there to die. Poetically."
"Would they be happy to speak poetry if condemned to death?"
"Well not literally I meant it more as a metaphor. Still perhaps I was around Sister too much. How are things at the base. For a regional development hub things seem very quiet and what"
She pointed at some enormous towers of unidentified provenance in the distance, " are those?"
"Oh. We followed your instructions to the letter and carried on extracting resources. Then we realised we did not know what to do with them so decided to stack them in piles instead. There's approximately 2 million metals and base elements in cubes, it's started an exciting new vidgame archetype called 'StackEm'. The cubs love it . The hydrocarbons were harder. Especially the liquid ones. But I set the colonists to building containers so we could stack those too."
Ellarian stared at him. The Administrator gulped, "Yes, well. We also followed the resource instructions as well. We have several thousand of each and rather than make any unfortunate business decisions I ordered those stored as well"
"Stored? Weren't they perishable?", Ellarian stared at him more intently.
"Well yes but at least it gave the farmers something to lay on the crops"
She seemed slightly dumb struck as she considered exactly how incompetent the admin was before deciding to move on, " I will sort out these issues soon. More importantly did you know that a mere twenty days into my hunt I accidentally bumped into no less than fifty professional assassins who seemed to know exactly where I was?"
"Assassins! No…. Perhaps it was our enemies. They are very devious."
" I find it hard to believe they could strike here. Using military equipment from this base…."
She raised an eyebrow. Pointedly. The Administrator grinned in what he apparently assumed was a 'winning' manner.
"Something else for me to consider perhaps. Get some strong workers and get that skull mounted. I have decided to name It 'your momma' and hold a party to celebrate my return. Start arranging some pit fights - and I shall get lots of alcohol in. I obviously need to take this base by the scruff of the neck and shake it a bit".
canti's Blog - Ambition
Canti stands in the threshold of the doorway looking out upon the planet. The contrast between the darkness inside the newly built complex and the ice, snow and bitter cold beyond make the scene look more like a painting then something the workers are actually looking at. The wind starts to pick up, blowing snow through the doorway. The wind begins to whistle through the doorway, a low, almost haunting, whistle.
The loud thunks of power switches being thrown breaks the surgical silence that has fallen upon those gathered. The lights begin to flicker on revealing the clean and shiny interior of the terraforming complex, the kind of spit and polish that only a newly built complex like this could have.
"Sorry about that." says Canti, now standing at the podium. He continues "When we have technical difficulties we really go all out around here, huh."
He shuffles a few papers and the few chuckles die out and then begins his speech.
"First let me say thank you for all the hard work getting these complexes built. It is never easy getting a new base up and running especially in these conditions. I applaud you for getting this done in record time. Remember though that this is not the end but the beginning. The prelude is written and now we, together, get to write the story. The story not just for you and me but for your family.
It is not going to be easy and there is a hard road ahead of us as we work to turn this planet into a paradise. Granted it will be a lot of hard work but it will be worth it, not for future generations but for you as well. I said the road is a hard one but it is not a long one. The results of your hard work, drive, and ambition will be seen in a few months not years. So that future generations do not forget, we have commissioned this monument."
The stage rolls backwards to reveal a metal plate embedded into the floor. Etched onto the plate are the names of every worker involved in building the base.
Seeing that the crowd is more interested in the plate then whatever else he has to say, Canti sets the rest of the speech on the podium. Say's "Thank You" and walks off stage.
As he is walking towards his shuttle Canti hears "They misspelled my name". He chuckles a little bit and starts walking at a faster pace. There is a wake to attend after all.
Ohh. and Igor is waiting on those financial reports for Aladdin as well.
Arjun Khatri's Blog - Back to the beginning
The black-furred Felini sighed as he climbed into his seat and buckled up ready for launch. The captain of the small vessel glanced up from reading his dataslate featuring last minute ship details, details of the 'rickety' ship, he mused . A moment passed, the captain's brow furrowed before he looked slowly up again, fixing the new arrival with a more searching gaze. Gradually his eyes widened as realisation dawned, and the Captain hurriedly unbuckled and clambered to his feet, "My apologies sir, I had not been informed you were our passenger".
Arjun smiled as he accepted the proffered handshake, "No apology necessary Captain, not many know I'm taking a trip out of system".
"Nevertheless, err... welcome aboard", the Captains smile was more akin to a grimace as his eyes darted around at the detritus littering the cabin. His mind raced quickly through all of the issues with the ship and the fact it was badly in need of maintenance.
Arjun couldn't help a small chuckle as he read the anxieties flashing across the Captain's face, "It's a good ship Captain, I should apologise to you and your crew. I've not been in a position to pull her in for a fix up recently but I do know you've had some much needed R&R this last week so at least you've had a bit of a rest."
The Captain's shoulders relaxed a little, he uttered a garbled series of protestations at the apology from his superior before finally giving a huge sigh and shrug, "... Well... we can't all fly top of the range ships sir. We all have our place and, err, you know what they say. The Great Mother knows best or err... something like that." The captain gave a final weak smile and returned to the command seat, buckling up ready for launch.
Yes, thought Arjun or something like that.
A sudden burst of noise filled the cabin as the rest of the crew came in shouting and swearing about being pulled off leave. They were just starting into what were clearly often used moans about their ship still needing maintenance when a pointed stare in the direction of Arjun from the captain brought the cabin to an uncomfortable silence.
Arjun smiled at the crew, these Felini deserved more than he was currently providing, "We've just been speaking about that," he said nodding in the direction of the captain. "Your captain has provided me with your list of requirements. I will get onto it when I return from my trip". The crew looked at the captain with a mixture of awe and amazement. Let them think their captain had pressed his superior for the work to be done, Arjun thought. The captain needed his crew behind him flying this ship.
When the crew were all strapped in and the final checks made, the ship commenced launch. A couple of thrust engines dropped offline as they rushed up from the planets surface before coughing back onto line at the last second to maintain escape velocity. But the vessel made it safely into orbit and commenced its journey to the jump coordinates.
As the ship accelerated to the outer edge of the system Arjun thought about the somewhat pointed 'invitation' to visit Pride that had seen him hurriedly organise this journey. He had no idea what he had been called for. The PrideSeniors would certainly have a very good reason for calling him but something needing his personal physical presence didn't bode well.
Hopefully, as the captain had said, the Great Mother did know best because Arjun felt he could do with all the help he could get.
DNA people's Blog - Burning the midnight oil
Her security forces had been working overtime today.
There had been many details to attend to and they were burning the midnight oil.
Security had been tightened and protocols were being reviewed.
Minor issues had been easy to arrange, like replacing the security fence between the docks and the field that had been trampled by the crowd.
A new gate was being installed there, as it had been clear the shrine on the farmer's field had become a permanent feature.
The security sweep was still under way, but preliminary reports suggested that someone in TOAD's gang was the likely culprit.
She expected a full report in the morning.
Then there was the big question: what had happened to Yahn's body?
Most of the pieces were finally falling into place.
They had scoured all the video feeds. Most showed nothing.
Shipping containers and decorations had been judiciously placed in an effort to conceal the events that had taken place.
This had obviously been a well planned operation, and it looked like the dock workers were in on it.
A few snippets from a few of the more secret cameras had offered a glimpse into the affair, however.
The funeral barge had docked at the base at the expected time, but at a different location.
It looked like the casket had been removed and replaced with another.
Then the ship had then taken off again and landed at the designated place for the ceremony.
It had been late in arriving, and the unruly and impatient dewiek could clearly be seen ripping off the airlock of the ship.
They had taken the casket, ripped the lid off and put it on the funeral pyre. The startrooper honour guard had taken a serious beating.
When she had seen the video earlier in the day, she hadn't noticed straight away as she had had a rough start to her day.
Now it was obvious enough. The body that had been burned had its entire body wrapped in linen funerary wrappings, including the head.
The specifications to the thanologists at Felini Farms had been clear. His head was to remain unwrapped.
She had not wanted to contact them so as not to arouse suspicions, so she had gone to see Tr'Shannah privately.
Tr'Shannah had confirmed that the specifications had been followed to the letter.
Yvonne had asked her question inconspicuously, and in an off hand manner.
It was a good thing Tr'Shannah had not been at the ceremony, she mused.
Better that she know nothing of this.
Her team had continued to review the video footage.
They had been unable to locate the coffin for some time, but then one single camera had spotted it around the time of the funeral barge's official arrival.
All other cameras at that location had been blocked artfully by the Priestess' decorations. There was an old scout vessel parked nearby.
It was supposed to be mothballed, but the video clearly showed worker effecting a refit. It was security officer Joesome who was overseeing the work.
The coffin had been placed beside the craft, the mummy had been reverently transferred to a simple shipping crate, the un-bandaged head clearly visible this time.
The empty coffin had been placed on the podium, and Lady Ghadir had pacified and mesmerised the witnesses to the funeral pyre.
Most people, however, had not even noticed. It was not surprising, as the wake had already been ongoing for days and days.
The empty coffin had been paraded around but the faithful had been oblivious.
Ah, the power of faith!
Current video footage showed that Lady Ghadir's plan had one flaw, though. Naplian incompetence.
As many as six Thrust engines had been installed in the tiny ship, but now some were being removed.
Most of the other components had been fitted, but the incognito cargo crate coffin was still visible outside the ship.
The time to intervene was quickly running out, and this was why she had come to see Zampolit Igor.
She had given him a full report, and her recommendations: Storm the vessel and charge Joesome and Lady Ghadir with treason!
Igor had a serene smile on his face and Yvonne's jaw nearly dropped to the floor as he spoke.
"You will do no such thing, Yvonne. It is as i had expected. The Lady Ghadir is double crossing us, but she holds great sway with the people.
If we act now, we risk civil war. Let her play out her hand so we can see what she is really up to. This is why i had Joesome infiltrate her organisation.
Had i known things would play out this way, I would have told you sooner. Some people will believe Yahn's body was burned on the funeral pyre by his friend.
Most people will believe his body is in that casket in the temple on the main promenade, though, and that is for the best."
"Have a little faith,'' he said as he gave her a wink.
"And, I think it is best if you don't mention this to TonTon", he added.
Elisa Purr's Blog - Almost time......
Elisa rolled over and sat up on the edge of the bed. Her smooth soft fur offering little friction to the cover. It slipped quickly from her well toned body to the floor as she stretched and stood. K’Tar still lay there motionless. Face down. Several deep claw marks on his back and limbs. A trace of blood across the bed from a bite on his neck. He’d survived. Again.
She stood up and walked to the viewing window. Confident in her physical form. Outside she could see the outpost was complete. Her crews had done well. As she watched a Caravel landed on the asteroid and began to unload ship parts. Her growing fleet had quickly followed her plans.
The Broadswords where there. Lined up and ready to go. Scouts were needed and quickly. No use having prey to hunt with nothing to locate it.
A few offers of help had proved useful. Her stellar balance had already gone past 300,000. Missions, backing and shipping jobs had given more money than she ever dreamed possible. It had proven persuasive to the black market. A smile crossed her lips. A black market she soon hoped to use. There would be plunder to sell.
With the upgraded parts and blueprints the operation could start. The thought excited her. Made her tail twitch from side to side in anticipation.
The base was fully operational. It was almost time. Time to make her name known amongst the stars. A Felini to be feared.
Elisa turned from the window, her naked body was framed by the light of the distant sun. "I need these scouts" she snarled to herself.
*** Affiliations ***
AFT Association of Free Traders (54) - Marion Tweedy
CIA Combined Intelligence Agency (64) - Laton CIA
DNA Displaced Natives Asylum (66) - DNA people
DTR Detinus Republic (58) - Morley Decker*
DEN Dewiek Elder Nation (67) - Aadolf
DOM Dominion (57) - bcd
ERC Eldar Rawk Conclave (83) - RAO*
FCN Falconian Republic (70) - Crius Grimtail*
FEA Felini Elamite Autonomy (60) - Kr'Shan
FEL Felini Tyranny (49) - Mrrshan
FLZ Flagritz Republic (47) - Kayxaer
FET Frontier Exploration & Trade (56) - Cu Chulainn
GRC Gracians (13) - HG1
GTT Galactic Trade & Transport (52) - Xavier Fox
GCE Garcia Enterprises (4) - Neil
HEX Hexamon (23) - Ando
IMP Imperial Services (51) - Jack Jones
KRL Krell (30) - Namica*
KRT Krell of the Reverence Temple (37) - Kal Torak
KST Kastor Kastorians (12) - Kastor
MZC Mizuchi Combine (86) - Mizuchi
MOH Mohache (73) - Listens
MIC Mohache Independent Commune (76) - Sleeps with Dragons*
NLF Naplian Liberation Front (38) - NLFHQ
RRH Roy Robert Holdings (39) - Roy Roberts
SMS Stellar Mining and Smelting (53) - MikhailM
USN Ulian Stellar Nation (34) - Oedipus Prime**
WMB Wimble Nations (25) - zz
* Leader inactive, affiliation may be active
** Affiliation has no leader but this is the only known contact
NPC / FoC: ARC, CIV, CGT, FRE, HBO, HEF, IND, ISP, JCN, MEK, MRC, PIR, PRV, TCA, TRN, KAS
Inactive: ANT, BHD, COD, HVE, IDC, RIP, RCF, SKW, TAG
*** Submission ***
By private message to The Editor or via Mica if you prefer to remain anonymous. Longer pieces or attachments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org