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Mystery in Upaniklis

20 MAY 3308

A dredger clan is continuing to examine the abandoned generation ship Golconda in the Upaniklis system.

The Golconda was placed in orbit around Upaniklis B 3 in 3305 when its inhabitants migrated to the nearby outpost Forester’s Choice. Over the past week there have been reports of smaller craft travelling between the Artificers Clan dredger and the Golconda, but the nomadic tribe has not responded to attempts to communicate.

Commander Javi Alvarado, a regular visitor to the system, submitted his observations to Vox Galactica:

“I was convinced that these scavengers were breaking down the Golconda into scrap to feed to their dredger. Or maybe taking over the whole ship to use as a new home. But I haven’t seen any signs of structural damage yet, and it doesn’t look like the Artificers have accessed its habitation areas either. So what are they up to?”

“Things are a little weird in Forester’s Choice right now. It doesn’t seem anywhere near as busy, and many concourse vendors have closed down. There’s almost a kind of religious hush. For centuries their entire existence relied upon the Golconda, and its presence nearby was reassuring. I think seeing outsiders interfere with it has affected them deeply.”

The Federal Diplomatic Corp published an official reminder that Forester’s Choice has partner status with the Federation, adding: “As a micro-society that evolved in isolation, the Golcondan people are legally protected against cultural contamination. We will continue to monitor the Artificer Clan’s activity in the Upaniklis system.”

Rackham’s Lavish Celebration Concludes

19 MAY 3308

*Pilots’ Federation ALERT*

A party held by newly confirmed trillionaire Zachary Rackham has concluded, with attendees claiming it was an ‘incredible’ event.

The week-long event took place in the upper storeys of the Rackham’s Spire building on the planet Homeland. This required regular supplies of the luxury items Apa Vietii, Gerasian Gueuze Beer, Pantaa Prayer Sticks, Uszaian Tree Grubs and Anduliga Fire Works.

A spokesperson for Rackham Capital Investments thanked pilots for these deliveries, and confirmed that payment could be collected at Edmondson High in the Beta Hydri system. The spokesperson remarked that Mr Rackham himself was unable to make a personal appearance due to ‘fatigue’.

The Federal Times published this piece by financial journalist Bryanna Blanco:

“First-hand accounts from some of the partygoers suggest this was more like a no-expense-spared holiday. Each attendee was assigned an Achilles Corporation PA-961 serving robot as a personal butler, constantly attending to their every whim. An impressive range of beverages, cuisine and various legal stimulants were available. Those who wished to stay overnight were provided with luxurious suites near the peak of Rackham’s Spire, offering fantastic views of the picturesque landscape.”

“There were exclusive live shows from top performers, including steeldub band Gr@wl!x and popular singer Caspar Karma. Exotic entertainers from the Lucinda Ninespice Agency provided both public and private entertainment. And everyone departed with a goodie bag containing limited edition Duradrives, colonies of Altairian Skin, and gambling credit chips for the new Rackham’s Casino down below in Los Pioneros.”

“The guestlist included PR specialist Anya Blackriver, Sol Today’s owner Neive McFarlane, Beta Hydri Corporation’s entire board of directors, senior management from half a dozen Federal banks, and no less than eight independent, Liberal and Republican congressmen.”

“How many of these tried to convince Rackham that running for president was a mistake, and how many offered their support in hopes of future rewards? I’m sure the old pirate will pursue whichever route offers the greatest opportunity for new treasure.”

Archon Delaine Seeks to Destroy Pirate Rebels

19 MAY 3308

*Pilots’ Federation ALERT*

The Kumo Crew syndicate has engaged in open warfare on the pirate insurrectionists gathered in the HIP 10792 system.

A recent coup attempt led by Arch-Corsair Vidar Trask, formerly one of the senior members of the Kumo Council, has failed. His forces were unable to eliminate Delaine and take control of the criminal organisation.

The rebels’ vessels have concentrated in HIP 10792. Trask is commanding a coalition of loyalists, independent pirate gangs and as-yet unidentified mercenaries, collectively calling themselves the Trask Death Corsairs.

Despite suffering from some visible wounds as a result of the assassination attempt, Archon Delaine broadcast this message:

“Trask has betrayed all of us, and for that I want him crushed! I will pay well to wipe out every single traitor who fights in his name.”

The Kumo Council faction will reward all independent pilots supporting its operation against the Trask Death Corsairs in the HIP 10792 system, which is being orchestrated from Crimson Exchange.

Pirate Rebels Coup Attempt Fails

16 MAY 3308

An insurrection led by Arch-Corsair Vidar Trask has failed to gain control of the Kumo Crew syndicate.

Vox Galactica featured a report by freelance correspondent Karleen Troy:

“As might be expected, it’s hard to obtain official data when conflict breaks out within a criminal organisation. But all the information I’ve gathered points to the same conclusion: Vidar Trask’s coup attempt has failed.”

“What is surprising, however, is how close he initially came to dethroning Archon Delaine. The Kumo Crew were almost overwhelmed by the sheer number of fighters following Trask’s banner. I’m told that nearly half of the rebelling forces have yet to be identified, and are suspected to be mercenaries.”

“A second mystery is that Arch-Corsair Kay Volantyne, another senior member of the Kumo Council, has been declared missing. The Pegasi Sentinel newsfeed believes that she was killed by Trask personally. The newest inner circle member, Callan Salamanca, is leading Delaine’s counter-attack against the insurrectionists.”

“Most of the surviving rebels have now retreated to HIP 10792 and are attempting to drive out the Kumo Council faction in that system. Eyewitness reports regarding the ongoing firefights suggest that Delaine is in no mood to forgive his would-be usurpers.”

Dredger Clan Visits the Golconda

13 MAY 3308

The Artificers Clan dredger has entered the Upaniklis system, where the generation ship Golconda currently resides.

The Golconda, when it was discovered in 3305, was still inhabited with the descendants of its original crew who left Sol in the 22nd century. They accepted the Federation’s help to abandon the ancient generation ship and resettle on the Forester’s Choice outpost, where their unique culture would remain undisturbed.

The Artificers Clan is a nomadic community living aboard a Dredger-class bulk cruiser, an old design that refuels by scooping raw materials and salvage. Little is known about this particular tribe, which rarely enters inhabited systems.

The dredger’s arrival was initially reported by independent pilots. Commander Javi Alvarado gave a statement to Vox Galactica:

“I regularly make trade runs to Forester’s Choice. I’ve made a few friends there, but the Golcondans are still very cautious with outsiders. This rush to bulk-buy their Apa Vietii for Rackham’s party has caught them by surprise!”

“Anyway, when the Artificers first appeared, the Golcondans asked me to find out what they wanted. I flew out to the dredger, but most of my hails got no reply. Only once did I get a burst of some rapid, densely verbose language. From what I could make out, they seem to be interested in the Golconda itself, but they didn’t explain further.”

Salvation Triggers Superweapon Victory

12 MAY 3308

*Pilots’ Federation ALERT*

The invading Thargoid forces in the Didio, Novas and Sosong systems have been completely repelled by Salvation.

Vox Galactica journalist Jade Sanderlyn published this account:

“We’ve received confirmation from Commodore Morag Halloran that three anti-xeno superweapons were activated in Didio, Novas and Sosong. This caused the Thargoid fleets in all three systems to immediately withdraw into hyperspace.”

“It seems that the Thargoids have no defence against the Guardian-derived superweapon, which generates an electromagnetic pulse to disrupt their biomechanical technology.”

“Allied, Federal and Imperial taskforces have been keeping the Thargoids at bay for the last two weeks. Admirals Ziegler, Price and Atherton sent messages of congratulation to Salvation, who seems set to receive additional resources to improve superweapon production. For better or worse, it appears Salvation now plays a crucial role in humanity’s war against the Thargoids.”

The superpowers also offered rewards to independent pilots for contributing to the systems’ defences. Commanders can redeem Thargoid combat bonds at Plymouth Howl in the Ch'anjie system, Nusslein-Volhard Settlement in the Zlota system, and Sturckow Orbital in the Lesheima system.

Thargoid Research Project Phase One Completed

12 MAY 3308

*Pilots’ Federation ALERT*

Professor Ishmael Palin has received multiple shipments of Thargoid meta-alloys for xenological study.

From Abel Laboratory, his workshop in the Arque system, Professor Palin made the following announcement:

“I am deeply grateful to all those who collected meta-alloys from barnacle sites. Analysing these samples will help us learn more about the biomechanical technology currently employed by the Thargoid fleets.”

“I am planning the second phase of this project, which has the combined assistance of the Alliance, Empire and Federation. Despite the horror of the recent attacks, we must seize every chance to increase our scientific knowledge.”

Professor Palin has authorised payment for all pilots who took part in the initiative. This includes awarding class 4A, 5A and 6A corrosion resistant cargo racks to those who made the greatest contributions.

The rewards can be collected at the starport James Sneddon in the Morten-Marte system. In addition, the Federal Reclamation Co will continue to offer high prices for Thargoid tissue samples sold via the station’s market.

Supply Rare Goods for Rackham Celebration

12 MAY 3308

*Pilots’ Federation ALERT*

The entrepreneur Zachary Rackham has asked for deliveries of rare items to Edmondson High in the Beta Hydri system.

At a press conference on the planet Homeland, Mr Rackham announced:

“It’s not every day that a humble businessman like me celebrates becoming a trillionaire! So I’m holding a week-long party in the upper floors of Rackham’s Spire. To make sure my guests are entertained, I’ll need to keep my stocks of Apa Vietii from Upaniklis, Gerasian Gueuze Beer from Geras, Pantaa Prayer Sticks from George Pantazis, Uszaian Tree Grubs from Uszaa and Anduliga Fire Works from Anduliga high throughout the entire week.”

“I’ve also arranged for pilots to receive temporary permits to the Beta Hydri system, which will last until the 2nd of June. Anything to make life easier for my trader friends!”

Mr Rackham faced criticism for hosting a celebration at a time when so many have died in recent Thargoid attacks. In response, he claimed he had “a duty to boost public morale by filling the news with happier stories”.

Financial reporter Bryanna Blanco commented in The Federal Times:

“The guest list for this party includes politicians, media magnates, publicity gurus, and many others who would prove useful if you were running a presidential campaign. Should Rackham get enough of them on his side – presumably by sparing no expense on their comfort and entertainment – I think he’ll officially set his sights on the Federation’s top job.”

Archon Delaine Faces Pirate Rebellion

11 MAY 3308

A power struggle is raging within the Kumo Crew following a coordinated effort to overthrow the syndicate’s leader, Archon Delaine.

The Pegasi Sentinel newsfeed delivered this exclusive report:

“What at first seemed to be merely another attempt to assassinate Delaine turned out to be a far greater threat. Simultaneous attacks across the organisation revealed that this was actually the first strike in a full-blown coup.”

“The rebellion is being led by Arch-Corsair Vidar Trask, a senior member of the Kumo Council. He has declared that the syndicate is stagnating under Delaine’s ‘tired brand of barbarism’, and that new leadership will bring greater glories and riches.”

“Fierce combat has ignited in the Kumo Crew’s key areas as both sides battle for resources. Trask’s loyalists are being aided by a motley collection of pirate gangs as well as thousands of unidentified fighters, suggesting that he has hired mercenaries to bolster his forces.”

“Archon Delaine, whose guards barely managed to shield him from the assassins, has ordered that the insurrection must be stamped out at any cost. He also vowed an explicitly violent revenge upon Vidar Trask, who has been one of his closest aides for many years.”

Rackham Achieves Trillionaire Status

09 MAY 3308

The personal fortune of entrepreneur Zachary Rackham has now surpassed one trillion credits, due to a new corporate acquisition.

A report in The Tau Ceti Journal highlighted the achievement:

“Rackham Capital Investments now officially owns the company Kavanagh Spaceframes Ltd, which constructs Orbis starports. The business deal had been in the pipeline for years with little sign of progress, but was unexpectedly agreed by both parties in the last few days.”

“Susannah Haynes, CEO of the now-renamed Rackham Spaceframes, welcomed the arrangement. She remarked that ‘improved financial stability can only benefit our efficiency at manufacturing orbital habitats’.”

“Analysts estimate that the total value of Mr Rackham’s estate is now approximately 1,012,000,000,000 credits. This makes him one of a handful of private citizens in the Federation who can claim to be trillionaires.”

The Federal Times featured a response from the journalist Bryanna Blanco:

“I cannot question the legality of the Kavanagh Spaceframes purchase. But the timing is suspicious, following Rackham’s recent self-hype about running for president. Whatever he did to push this deal through, the publicity will be worth it. Political supporters and corporate investors will surely flock to his side now that he has become the Federal equivalent of royalty.”

Marlinist Colonies Gain Starports

06 MAY 3308

Two new starports have been added to Marlinist systems, following a successful delivery initiative last month.

The use of pre-built infrastructures and mass-produced components has allowed the orbital stations to be assembled rapidly. The starport names and locations are Fairfax Legacy in the Hyades Sector SU-C a14-1 system, and Ackwada Monument in the Hyades Sector LX-T c3-30 system.

The Marlinist Parliament welcomed the new starports, stating that they “will lay strong foundations for increased commerce with the interstellar community”.

As a result of a recent diplomatic arrangement, two million Marlinist refugees have been offered transport from the Alliance to the colony systems. They are being processed and granted citizenship at the new starports.

A campaign to rename the two existing starports, Stillman Hub and Tilman Point, was discouraged by Sirius Corporation. These stations were constructed when the megacorp first established the colonies in 3306, as a way to defuse tensions between the Empire and the Federation.

However, Sirius Corporation did not object to new designations for the original eight Marlinist systems. These are expected to become official in the coming weeks.

Allied System Receives Vital Resources

05 MAY 3308

*Pilots’ Federation ALERT*

Sirius Corporation has helped provide commodities to sustain the Didio system during the ongoing Thargoid assault.

Pilots transported multiple shipments of basic medicines, evacuation shelters and food cartridges to the megaship Chariot of Rhea in the Leesti system. These were then redirected to Didio and distributed wherever they were most urgently needed.

The campaign was orchestrated by Admiral Nikolas Glass, who announced:

“By replenishing key supplies during this time of great crisis, Sirius Corporation has again shown its dedication to the Alliance’s military efforts. This will undoubtedly pave the way for the strategic defence pact to be accepted by the Assembly once the trial period has completed.”

Sirius Corporation has confirmed that all pilots who contributed to the initiative can now collect payment from Chariot of Rhea in Leesti.

In related news, the superpowers are continuing to reward independent ships for destroying Thargoid vessels in the Didio, Novas and Sosong systems. Salvation’s anti-xeno superweapons are expected to be operational one week from today.

Thargoid Research Project Requires Meta-Alloys

05 MAY 3308

*Pilots’ Federation ALERT*

Commanders have been asked to collect meta-alloys from Thargoid barnacles as part of a wider xenological study.

The research project is being orchestrated by Professor Ishmael Palin, one of the most prominent experts in Thargoid technology:

“With escalating Thargoid activity in the core systems, it is increasingly important that we learn as much as possible about this species. Only through scientific study can we better comprehend their biomechanical nature and, where possible, enhance our defences against it.”

“The initial phase requires fresh samples of meta-alloys, the unique material used in the construction of Thargoid vessels. These can be harvested from barnacles that the Thargoids have seeded on selected planets.”

Pilots can deliver meta-alloys to the starport James Sneddon in the Morten-Marte system. As part of the Federal Reclamation Co’s support for this initiative, the station’s market also offers an increased price for any Thargoid tissue samples.

In addition to credit payments for all those delivering meta-alloys, class 4A, 5A and 6A corrosion resistant cargo racks will be available to selected contributors. The 5A and 6A versions have been exclusively manufactured for this project, and are not commercially available at present.

Professor Palin stated that possessing these cargo racks will be of great benefit in the project’s planned second phase, scheduled to occur in the next few weeks.

An Interview with Zachary Rackham

04 MAY 3308

Sol Today hosted an interview with the multi-billionaire Zachary Rackham, who is rumoured to be moving into politics.

From his villa at Lake Rackham, overlooking Homeland’s famous Singing Geysers, the entrepreneur spoke at length on various topics.

On the rise of his business empire:

“The hard-working folk at Rackham Capital Investments have done me proud in recent years. We’re currently holding financial talks to acquire a major starport company, so watch this space!”

On his role with the Beta Hydri Corporation:

“It’s a privilege to support my people in Beta Hydri, by helping to run their government. Things are already running smoother after I streamlined a few departments.”

On suggestions that he will take part in the Federal presidential election:

“I’m deeply flattered by calls to stand as an independent candidate. But really, an ordinary guy like me as president? I suppose it indicates that people are looking for something different to what Hudson and Winters offer.”

On Bryanna Blanco’s claims that he was once a pirate:

“Ah, you have to admire Ms Blanco’s tenacity! But ‘Calico Zack’ sounds like a character from an Olav Redcourt novel, doesn’t he? I should thank her for making me look a lot more impressive than I ever was.”

Thargoid Warpath May Threaten Marlinists

02 MAY 3308

Voices in the Senate have argued that the Marlinist Colonies should have become an Imperial protectorate to shield them against the Thargoids.

Senator Arturo Durant was quoted by The Imperial Herald:

“The region containing the Marlinist Colonies sits relatively close to what is commonly regarded as Thargoid territory. A strike by the aliens would rapidly overwhelm the paltry security forces of a handful of under-developed systems.”

“Naturally we respect Her Majesty’s decision to acknowledge their autonomy, but many feel that the Marlinists may regret the decision to sit outside our protective sphere. After all, these were once Imperial citizens. It’s our duty to defend them, whether or not they grant us permission.”

First Minister Octavia Volkov published a response via The Marlin Standard:

“The proximity of the Thargoids is an ever-present concern, and it’s true that we do lack a dedicated navy. But many authorised militias such as the Dark Wolf Marlinists have fought courageously to defend our people, and will do so again should the Thargoids turn their attention our way.”

“I remind the senator that we have not only retained control of the original colonies, but also expanded into over two dozen neighbouring systems. Marlin Duval’s dream of forming an interstellar republic is finally flourishing, after centuries of being repressed within the Empire.”