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Freelance Report: Escalation in Merope?

18 JUN 3302

Following reports of unprovoked assaults on Canonn vessels from Farragut Battle Cruisers in the Merope system, Dr Arcanonn of the Canonn Interstellar Research Group has released the following statement:

"This is a regrettable misstep, and I invite the Federation to explain how these battle cruisers can represent anything other than militarised resource denial. The presence of gun emplacements by as-yet unknown parties was already a cause for concern, and this worrying development smacks of gunboat diplomacy."

At least eight Farragut Battle Cruisers are understood to have been sighted in Merope, all identified as Federal.

Dr Arcanonn continued: "I am morally compelled to insist on a public inquiry examining the deployment of warships to a system that plays home to an insufficiently understood phenomenon."

Commander Nicholas Powell

Freelance Report: Formidine Rifters Seek Help

18 JUN 3302

The Formidine Rifters are an unlikely collective of explorers from various backgrounds, systems and factional allegiances who have put aside their political differences to work together toward a common goal. For several months, they have been working together to map the region between the two farthest galactic arms just past the Heart and Soul Nebula.

Commander Finn McMillan of the Earth Expeditionary Fleet, one of the many Rifters devoted to this project, addressed the galactic exploration community today:

"We would like to invite all explorers dedicated to expanding human knowledge to join us in the Formidine Rift. We have reason to believe that there is something beyond the galactic arm that may change humanity's view of the cosmos, but we simply need more eyes, ears and minds to help us unravel this mystery."

Jaiotu

Freelance Report: Project Endurance

18 JUN 3302

On the 10th of February 3301, two Faulcon DeLacy Cobras were launched from Allen Platform in the Dijkstra system. Piloted by Commander Dr Simms and Commander Sid Solo, the ships were fitted for an endurance attempt unlike any other. Now, more than 16 months later and having circumnavigated the galactic core, they are about to return to inhabited space.

There have been many changes since they left. Software updates now allow plotting routes of 1,000 light years at a time, improved communications and wing dynamics have facilitated the sharing of exploration data in a manner unprecedented before their departure, and planetary landings are now authorised. Indeed, neither ship is fitted for SRV activity.

What are their feelings as they approach the human sphere? "I'm not sure," said Dr Simms. "I'm worried about docking at a space station again. It's been so long since I saw anything other than stars and distant worlds, I'm not sure I remember how to land."

Commander Sid Funkleton

Galactic News: Weekly Expansion Report

18 JUN 3302

This report presents the latest data on expansion and withdrawal among the galaxy's minor factions.

Here are the latest factions to have expanded into new systems:

Black Omega

Raven's Scouts

Nidarijedi Empire Party

Arakapajo Empire Party

Barons of Rianik

Hrana General Holdings

Independent Cerni Free

Er Tche Confederation

Nahundi Galactic and Co

Brazilian League of Pilots

Expansions occur when a minor faction reaches a sufficient level of influence and there is a populated system within striking distance. Expansion is costly, so when a faction expands, the wealth and development level of the system it controls are temporarily reduced.

Here are the latest factions in withdrawal:

HR 8170 Brotherhood

Apathaam Patron's Principles

64 Arietis Crimson Partnership

Wolf 324 Exchange

Reign Of Annihilation

Iota Hydri Empire Pact

New Wikatabar Green Party

Order of Airsetanoa

Tetekhe Inc

Noblemen of Wadjarata

Factions are considered to be in withdrawal if their level of influence within a system drops below a certain level. If the faction's influence remains low for a total of five days, the faction must leave the system entirely. If the faction manages to increase its level of influence, it remains in the system.