25 MAY 3309
*Pilots’ Federation ALERT*
Deliveries to the Rabh system will help mass-produce a pulse wave xeno scanner which can analyse Thargoid Titans.
Dr Maximo Fonseca, the Allied scientific liaison to Aegis, outlined the initiative:
“The Thargoid capital ships, now designated as Titans, are the top priority for both military and scientific study. Reaching these gargantuan objects is hazardous since it involves travelling through the Maelstroms’ corrosive environment, avoiding hostile Thargoid vessels along the way. But even at close range, ship sensors have been unable to obtain meaningful data on their composition.”
“In response, Aegis has fast-tracked a project to modify the xeno scanner originally developed by Professor Ishmael Palin. This adaption utilises the electromagnetic technology found in pulse wave analysers, casting the scanner’s range over a much broader area.”
“Simulated tests show that the pulse wave xeno scanner should be able to identify points of interest on a Titan’s hull. But the research effort requires as many pilots as possible to verify our findings out in the field. We are therefore gathering the supplies needed to manufacture the module in large quantities.”
Aegis will reward pilots who transport shipments of ceramic composites, polymers, gallium and indium to Muller Terminal in the Rabh system. These will be used to establish manufacturing centres for pulse wave xeno scanners, which will then be rapidly distributed to all rescue megaships. A secondary campaign will reward pilots for protecting deliveries from pirates.
23 MAY 3309
Professor Alba Tesreau has broadcast a formal statement discussing the past, present and future of Aegis.
Independent journalist Allan Mantle reported on the declaration for Vox Galactica:
“The tremendous escalation of the Thargoid war makes Aegis more open to scrutiny than ever. By delivering a personal message to the public, Professor Tesreau exhibits the transparency and accountability that the agency previously lacked. Indeed, it’s to her credit that the mistakes of the past are not glossed over.”
“Some will also consider it noble that Tesreau avoids mentioning how she opposed the superpowers shutting down Aegis in favour of working with Azimuth Biotech. Others will recognise her moral high ground as mere politics. The Allied, Federal and Imperial coordinators for Aegis are all duly applauded, a tip of the hat to those who helped her resurrect the organisation.”
“Recent Thargoid discoveries are mentioned, with two having been formally classified since her speech was recorded: the Glaive-class hunters that pursue human ships, and the Revenant-class drones patrolling settlements in conquered systems. Naturally, Aegis’s top priority are the Thargoid motherships, which Tesreau formally assigns the designation of ‘Titan’. The statement reveals that work is underway to modify Professor Palin’s xeno scanner to gather data on these alien capital ships.”
Princess Aisling Duval also delivered a statement:
“I have nothing but praise for Professor Tesreau’s leadership of Aegis. She has transformed a once-failing initiative into the vanguard of humanity’s defence. I am impressed and inspired by her tireless determination, which is why I sought the position of Imperial representative in the organisation. My discussions with Tesreau have convinced me that the new iteration of Aegis has addressed the concerns I once held over its strategic direction.”
“I also want to take this opportunity to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice when resisting the Thargoids’ military might. These courageous souls will never be forgotten. We all still have much work to do to protect those we care for.”
Pilots will find the Aegis Statement waiting in their ship's inbox service.
22 MAY 3309
Jerome Archer, Felicia Winters and Zachary Rackham are lobbying for public support as the Federation prepares to elect a new president in August.
Political correspondent Sofia Trevino covered the race for The Federal Times:
“With Zachary Hudson’s eight-year term approaching its end, citizens must decide who will be the president of the Federation by the year’s end. The electoral machines for all three candidates are in full swing, with campaign slogans appearing at all Federal starports.”
“The Republican Party has pinned its hopes on current Vice President Jerome Archer, who hopes to reassure Hudson loyalists with his similar leadership style and focus on interstellar security. Shadow President Felicia Winters, head of the Liberal Party, is promising a more humanitarian approach to government policy. And the wild card is independent candidate Zachary Rackham, whose wealth and notoriety afford him a fighting chance against the political heavyweights.”
“Congress has confirmed that, with many government procedures impacted by the Thargoid war, election day has been delayed until later in the year. President Hudson is expected to remain in office for the interim period before the victor's official inauguration.”
Vox Galactica reporter Patricia Chen analysed the media coverage:
“Typically, Federal newsfeeds focus more on character than policies. The Federal Free Press obtained in-depth interviews with Winters and Isolde Rochester, while Sol Today published souvenir editions celebrating Hudson’s presidency as a ‘golden age’. On the fringes are those such as ICE-caster Sura Oyekan, who promotes voting for Rackham as a way to revolutionise society.”
“What is not typical is that this election is being held during wartime. The ongoing Thargoid conflict has cast a shadow over voters’ optimism for the future. Some are even wondering if this might be the last president they ever elect, should the alien invasion of the core systems prove unstoppable.”
18 MAY 3309
*Pilots’ Federation ALERT*
A new type of Thargoid vessel, first encountered within the Maelstroms, is interdicting ships in Thargoid controlled systems.
Aegis highlighted the threat as part of its research into the Thargoid capital ships. Commodore Emil Varga, the Allied military liaison, gave this statement:
“The first explorers to breach the Maelstroms’ inner regions encountered a previously unseen Thargoid vessel, larger than a scout but smaller than an interceptor. These medium-sized craft have been categorised as hunters, with this specific class designated the ‘Glaive’ due to its blade-like protrusions.”
“The Glaives operated close to the motherships, so it was initially believed they acted as sentries. But in recent days they have appeared within systems under Thargoid control. Pilots lucky enough to survive these encounters report being forced out of supercruise by Glaives and aggressively attacked.”
“Personally, I believe that our newfound ability to penetrate the Maelstroms caught the Thargoids by surprise. In response, they have redeployed the mothership’s defenders to a more offensive role. Such rapid tactical adaptation is not typical of this species, which is a good indicator that we have them worried.”
Aden Tanner provided more details following a research mission:
“The Glaive is extremely aggressive and attacks any human ship within range. Its high-intensity energy weapons take the form of lightning bolts, similar to a Thargoid interceptor, but this vessel is faster and more manoeuvrable.”
“Anti-xeno pilots should be advised that Glaives are also capable of disabling Guardian-based weaponry. This only became apparent when encountering them outside of the Maelstrom systems, where the Thargoids’ anti-Guardian field is permanently present.”
16 MAY 3309
*Pilots’ Federation ALERT*
Exploration of the inner regions of the Maelstroms has revealed the existence of colossal Thargoid constructs.
Alba Tesreau, head of Aegis, published a summary on behalf of the tri-superpower initiative:
“Our pathfinder missions have verified reports by the first manned ships that used the Thargoid pulse neutraliser. We know that the core environments of all eight Maelstroms are consistent in layout and extremely dangerous.”
“Once past the energy wave, the initial hazard is an asteroid field that must be navigated. We cannot theorise an obvious reason why the asteroids have been gathered here. Thargoid vessels also patrol this region. Some reports indicate a previously unencountered class of Thargoid combat vessel accompanying interceptors and scouts.”
“Beyond these, at the centre of each Maelstrom, is a gargantuan Thargoid structure. They dwarf any singular man-made creation, even Coriolis starports. I’ve reviewed footage provided by our pilots, and I will admit that the architecture is unsettling. Finding a way to defeat them will be our greatest challenge to date.”
Professor Shamus Madigan of Orion University, one of Aegis’s xenology specialists, added:
“Despite initial references to ‘Thargoid motherships’, there is little evidence to confirm exactly what purpose they serve. Based on the expansion of Thargoid invasion forces around each Maelstrom, the leading theory proposes they are fleet control centres, directing expansion efforts into our territory. Individual craft arrive and depart via several access points. Further observation is necessary to determine true nature of these gigantic entities.”
“The other popular term – ‘hive ship’ – infers that each carries a distinct community ruled by a Thargoid Queen. While INRA scientists theorised the hierarchy of Thargoid society, the existence of such a key figure has never been confirmed. The nature and number of the Thargoids inhabiting these titanic vessels remains open for speculation.”
12 MAY 3309
Reports from planetary settlements within Thargoid-occupied systems have described alien drone vessels attacking on-foot personnel.
Field correspondent Ernesto Rios summarised this development for Vox Galactica:
“Scores of populated systems in the vicinity of the Maelstroms have been invaded by Thargoid fleets, causing horrific casualties and mass evacuations. But military personnel still risk their lives exploring settlements within those systems, to search for survivors or scavenge remaining materials.”
“These troops have come under attack by ‘airborne vehicles of Thargoid design’, according to one account. Their relatively small size suggests they are the equivalent of combat drones. ‘I’ve seen them patrol the abandoned settlements as if on guard duty,’ said one eyewitness, ‘and become extremely hostile when they detect any living humans.’”
“It seems that the Thargoids now view these planets as their territory, and us as the intruders. Could they be planning to colonise all worlds in the core systems?”
Following a tactical briefing with senior Aegis staff, Rear Admiral Daniel Parry provided an update to the press:
“We have obtained several reports from both enlisted and unauthorised ground teams. Available data indicates that the Thargoid drones are capable of launching volleys of air-to-surface projectiles. I have read harrowing descriptions of entire squads being wiped out by missile bombardments from these craft.”
“This potentially adds a new dimension to the war, by introducing active threats on planetary surfaces. Marine units are being prepared to investigate further. However, independent armed forces operating behind enemy lines can play a vital role by destroying as many drones as possible.”
10 MAY 3309
Aegis has confirmed that the first ships equipped with Thargoid pulse neutralisers have entered the inner regions of the Maelstroms.
The new module provides a temporary shield against the electromagnetic pulse that is generated when ships reach a certain point within the Maelstroms. Until now, this has prevented all attempts to identify what Thargoid constructs may exist within the caustic clouds.
Rear Admiral Daniel Parry, the Federal Navy’s liaison to Aegis, reported:
“Armed ships crewed by military and xenology specialists have now been sent into each Maelstrom. These pathfinder missions will attempt to gather as much tactical and environmental data as possible.”
“We have also received information from Commanders who returned intact from the Maelstroms’ core areas. We are unable to authenticate these accounts at present, but they are being collated and analysed. The Allied, Federal and Imperial high commands will authorise an official report in due course.”
A secondary statement was provided by Commodore Emil Varga, the Alliance’s military liaison:
“If the preliminary data obtained by independent pilots is accurate, one common factor is that they encountered a significant Thargoid presence. Aegis warns all pilots that they enter the Maelstroms at their own risk, and should prepare for combat situations.”
“All of the eight systems containing Maelstroms are still affected by the same anti-Guardian field that was first witnessed in HIP 22460. Therefore, weapons based on Guardian technology will not function and should be replaced with other anti-xeno armaments.”
09 MAY 3309
*Pilots’ Federation ALERT*
Aegis’s new module will allow ships to penetrate the energy wave protecting the central regions of the Maelstroms.
Deliveries of cobalt, ion distributors and power converters were made to Clement Orbital in the YZ Ceti system. These allowed Aegis to build a manufacturing and distribution centre for Thargoid pulse neutralisers, which can now be purchased from technology brokers on rescue megaships.
Professor Alba Tesreau released a statement regarding Aegis’s next steps:
“Combined with our caustic sink launcher, the Thargoid pulse neutraliser will enable explorers to travel through the Maelstroms’ corrosive clouds and into their cores. A small number of Aegis researchers will be among the first wave of pioneers. Their mission is to identify the source of these mysterious objects and gather data about its nature.”
“I am conscious that, once again, independent pilots will also be risking their lives to increase our knowledge of the Thargoids. We have always been indebted to the galactic community for their bravery, and never more so for those who dare undertake this dangerous journey. Aegis will continue to provide support wherever possible.”
An additional statement was made by former Federal Navy admiral Aden Tanner:
“Whatever lies within the Maelstroms is almost certainly protected by further dangers. Judging by how swiftly our probes were disabled, the presence of human ships is likely to attract attention. I advise pilots to make sure they are outfitted with the best possible equipment before venturing within.”
Aegis confirmed that payment for all who contributed to the initiative is now available from the Orunmilla. As a related reward, the first ten Commanders who delivered unclassified relics to Ram Tah or Professor Palin in August 3308, and the 40 who have traded the greatest quantities of these objects, have been recognised for their contribution to the Thargoid pulse neutraliser’s development. Each of these pilots will be invited via inbox to collect a Thargoid pulse neutraliser from storage at the Orunmilla megaship in Didiomanja.
04 MAY 3309
A warning about entering the Maelstroms has been offered by Seo Jin-ae, whose unique cortical implant offers glimpses into the Thargoid hive mind.
Aden Tanner, who is currently working with Aegis, released a personal statement:
“Seo Jin-ae approached me in a state of distress shortly after the first tests of the Thargoid pulse neutraliser. She claimed that, as the probes passed through Taranis’s energy wave, she perceived a change among the Thargoid voices. ‘Like being woken up by insect bites,’ was how she described the sensation.”
“‘The Thargoids aren’t as oblivious to our tests as it sometimes seems,’ she told me. I pressed her for more details, but there was only one thing she was convinced about: ‘They understand we’ve found a way to push deeper into the Maelstrom. They know we’re coming.’”
“Now, this might mean nothing at all, and it’s not verifiable data. But it prompted Professor Tesreau to pass on Seo’s concerns to the superpowers. Likewise, I feel a sense of duty to share this with the galactic community. Any pilots who plan to explore the Maelstrom cores should not assume that they’ll have the element of surprise.”
Vice Admiral Skylar Anderson, the Empire’s military liaison to Aegis, commented:
“I have personally reviewed all recent tactical reports, but found no evidence of any changes in the Thargoids’ behaviour or strategy. We are proceeding with our plans to mass-produce the Thargoid pulse neutraliser and send crewed ships into the Maelstroms. Tanner’s concern is noted, however, and we urge extreme caution in these early expeditions.”
02 MAY 3309
*Pilots’ Federation ALERT*
Aegis has requested materials in the YZ Ceti system to mass-produce a defence for ships entering the Maelstroms.
Professor Alba Tesreau, head of the tri-superpower agency, announced the initiative at a press conference:
“Final tests have been conducted on the Thargoid pulse neutraliser, which offers ships a brief window of insulation from the energy wave encountered inside a Maelstrom. Their primary components are based on unclassified relics, which are created by interfacing Guardian artefacts with Thargoid surface sites. Ram Tah and Professor Palin have donated some of their research supplies to this project.”
“Aegis has been assigned a generous budget to purchase large quantities of cobalt, ion distributors and power converters. These will be used to create a manufacturing and distribution base, making the Thargoid pulse neutraliser commercially available on all rescue megaships.”
Clement Orbital in the YZ Ceti system will serve as the delivery point for all shipments. Aegis has been authorised to redeem bounty hunting vouchers for all wanted ships in the vicinity, since transporting such valuable materials is likely to attract pirates.
Representatives from the superpowers and the scientific community congratulated Aegis, while military figures emphasised the importance of finding ways to hinder or destroy the Maelstroms. Rear Admiral Daniel Parry claimed: “This is the most strategically significant breakthrough to date. It will allow us to modify our military tactics based on what is discovered inside the deadly clouds.”
01 MAY 3309
Independent presidential candidate Zachary Rackham held a gala ball for some of the Federation’s wealthy and influential elite.
The Federal Times published a report from political correspondent Sofia Trevino:
“The extravagant gathering at Fort Rackham (formerly Fort Falkenrath) on Taylor Colony felt more like a party than a fundraiser, but its ambitions were clear. Campaign finance laws forbid Zachary Rackham from using his own wealth to pay for his presidential bid, and so connections are being forged to entice donations and other types of support.”
“Mr Rackham’s campaign manager – and the originator of his ‘Just Like Me’ slogan – was revealed to be celebrity PR consultant Anya Blackriver. She organised many famous attendees including media barons Elias Metaxas and Neive McFarlane, the youthful but popular ICE-caster Sura Oyekan, and flamboyant business magnate ‘Sir’ Randolph Plaskett of the Knights of Enterprise.”
“The biggest surprise was the announcement that Congressman Harlan Turk, the highly respected representative for the Duamta system, has resigned from the Republican Party to serve as Mr Rackham’s running mate. Four independent congressmen also declared that they are joining his campaign, giving the entrepreneur some genuine political clout.”
The newsfeed Sol Today published a related editorial:
“President Hudson has served with honour, and deserves our respect for keeping citizens safe in recent years. But perhaps it’s time for some fresh blood at the Federation’s heart? Could Zachary Rackham’s infallible business instincts be what’s needed to boost our economy to new heights of prosperity?”
28 APR 3309
Jade Sanderlyn’s latest report on the Thargoid invasion of the core systems has been published on Vox Galactica.
“Taking the broad view of the conflict does little to lift the spirits. Thargoid fleets now occupy well over a thousand systems, nearly 200 of which were once populated. Several million people have been killed or wounded by bombardments and caustic attacks. Colossal numbers have fled their homes as refugees. Some sources estimate that well over ten billion people have been directly affected by the war, but the misery and hardship it has caused is immeasurable.”
“As sobering as that sounds, the situation would be much worse were it not for enormous efforts by anti-xeno squadrons and independent ships, which continue to push back against the Thargoid fleets. Every day, thousands of pilots risk their lives in battle, rescuing civilians or delivering supplies. Dozens of systems have been reclaimed from the Thargoids, and there are signs that the alien expansion is gradually slowing against such resistance.”
“For a while it looked as if more traditional warfare between factions was about to bring further devastation, when Federal and Imperial proxies clashed in the Tavgi and Pichch systems. But in fact, these skirmishes helped to demonstrate how the Empire and Federation are prioritising the Thargoid threat above their centuries-long rivalry.”
“Aegis continues to focus its efforts on practical solutions. The recently announced Thargoid pulse neutraliser is an attempt to bypass the defensive barrier within the inner region of the Maelstroms. If this succeeds, what might be found lurking at their hearts? Newsfeeds are proposing destroying the Maelstroms entirely to halt the never-ending swarms of Thargoid vessels, but few experts believe this can be achieved with existing military resources.”
“As for Azimuth Biotech, without the genius of Salvation they seem unable to contribute meaningfully, despite still claiming to be the leading anti-xeno specialists. There are rumours that CEO Torben Rademaker has been in contact with several weapons and industrial manufacturers, presumably with a view to building corporate links.”
“The last five months have been one of the most devastating periods of human history. But we are also witnessing resilience and courage on truly heroic levels, and we’re not beaten yet. This is Jade Sanderlyn for Vox Galactica. Stay safe out there.”
27 APR 3309
Aegis’s prototype Thargoid pulse neutralisers have succeeded in allowing transit through the energy surge at the centre of a Maelstrom.
Professor Alba Tesreau made the official statement:
“Several remote-controlled probes outfitted with Thargoid pulse neutralisers were launched into the Taranis Maelstrom. The colossal electromagnetic pulse generated within the clouds should have repulsed them, but feedback confirms the probes were insulated from its effects.”
“The method used to protect the probes was discovered through research on unclassified relics recovered from Thargoid surface sites. These alien artefacts were vital to the devices’ development. Initial research conducted by Ram Tah and Professor Palin proved that when receiving a modulated electrical charge, the unclassified relics emitted an energy field on similar frequencies to the Maelstrom’s pulse.”
“Unfortunately, broadcasts from the probes were lost shortly afterwards. It hasn’t been possible to verify what happened to them at this stage. We will repeat this experiment with other Maelstroms, but we believe that only skilled human pilots will be able to uncover what awaits within.”
Aden Tanner, who is supporting Aegis as a freelance tactical specialist, provided a supplemental report:
“My team has been conducting secondary tests with the new module installed on a manned vessel. I can confirm that when in combat against Thargoid interceptors, it protects against ship system disruption in a similar way to the existing shutdown field neutraliser. But its weight and power draw are both greater, meaning that the new module is best suited to Maelstrom exploration.”
Aegis has confirmed that it is working on establishing a production schedule for the Thargoid pulse neutraliser and intends to provide an update in the next few days.
27 APR 3309
*Pilots’ Federation ALERT*
The Empire and the Federation have resolved the conflict in Pichch after the accidental loss of anti-xeno supply ships.
Freelance correspondent Karleen Troy reported on events for Vox Galactica:
“Pichch is a key location to redirect front-line resources to systems facing invasion around Maelstrom Leigong. In recent days, these vital deliveries have been severely delayed by the internecine conflict. But disaster struck when an entire convoy carrying anti-xeno weaponry was destroyed by Imperial-aligned ships, which mistakenly identified them as local Federal resupply vessels.”
“Once news of the incident spread, leaders of Gauluujja Exchange and the Gliese 44 Citizens' Forum stated that they had received orders to broker an immediate ceasefire. The conflict was heading towards a Gliese 44 Citizens' Forum victory, so the sudden peace is likely a relief to Gauluujja Exchange.”
Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval made a personal declaration regarding the situation:
“We permit Imperial-aligned factions a degree of autonomy, on the understanding that they do not jeopardise the Empire’s strategic goals. Undermining human resistance against the Thargoid invasion cannot be tolerated. I therefore command the Gliese 44 Citizens’ Forum to negotiate a ceasefire with their Federal neighbours at once.”
A similar statement was delivered by President Zachary Hudson:
“This tragic situation could and should have been avoided. Pichch is a Federal system, and we have a responsibility to sustain the flow of anti-xeno resources throughout that region. We cannot allow small-scale quarrels to derail our efforts. I have informed Gauluujja Exchange that they must arrange a peaceful resolution to their current conflict.”
Both the Federal and Imperial factions have agreed to honour their commitments to those who supported their operations, with rewards available at Tiptree Port.
25 APR 3309
The suspected ‘Imperial assassin’ who shot Caine-Massey CEO Johann Fleischer has been cleared of any connection to the Empire.
Executive Agent Viola Trask of the Federal Intelligence Agency gave a statement to the media:
“Our investigation has verified that the man we have in custody is a professional mercenary named Kieran Rayne , a native of the Alpha Caeli system. For over a decade, he has operated as a freelance contract killer using multiple false identities. The motive for the killing is not yet clear.”
“Despite early indications, there is no evidence that Rayne was hired by Torval Mining Ltd to eliminate Mr Fleischer. The mission was arranged anonymously via an unregistered comms network that we are unable to access. The Imperial-issue weapon and security equipment that he used were provided to him specifically for this task. This seems to be a deliberate choice to foster the impression that the assassination was ordered by elements within the Empire.”
“It has not gone unnoticed that the evidence implicating an Imperial Intelligence agent was ‘too good to be true’. I’d like to stress that the FIA was fully aware of this possibility. It is unfortunate that Caine-Massey executives deployed their security forces in Tavgi before our investigation was complete.”
Congress has accepted the report and stated that no further action will be taken. It is expected that once the FIA’s questioning is complete, Rayne will face a life sentence in a maximum-security prison.
Philippa Barlow-Lyons, the new CEO of Caine-Massey, addressed this development during an address to the corporation’s employees:
“I know that nobody can ever replace Johann, who meant so much to us all. In his memory, I aim to run things exactly as he would have wanted. We have no choice but to accept the results of the investigation and formally withdraw our accusation against Zemina Torval and her family. I concede that grief may have gotten the better of me in recent days. But in my heart, I know that one day the truth will be laid bare, and the guilty will face Federal justice.”