19 MAY 3302
"We were escorting a cargo ship to Watson Settlement. As we approached, we were intercepted by a pair of Vultures. They asked us to identify ourselves, but I don't think they were even listening – they just opened fire. The cargo ship took a hit, and then my wingmate bought it. I barely made it out alive."
This testimony comes from the Neits system, which has become the site of intense conflict in the past 24 hours. Authorities in the system have confirmed that a Federal organisation known as Neits Jet Life Ltd has deployed ships throughout the system, and is attacking other vessels at the slightest provocation. Meanwhile, the GR 316 Silver Universal Group, an Imperial organisation, has despatched fighters to counter the Federal offensive.
Neits has long been a contentious territory due to its position between Imperial and Federal space. The system has always tried to maintain its independence, resisting both Federal and Imperial overtures, but many suspected it was only a matter of time before one of the superpowers made a grab for power.
Neither the Federation nor the Empire has made an official statement on the matter, with both Federal President Zachary Hudson and Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval remaining silent. But one inhabitant of the system was happy to provide an opinion on the situation:
"It's no secret that tensions have been rising between the Feds and the Empire recently, so I guess conflict was bound to break out sooner or later. Trouble is, when the superpowers start throwing punches, there tends to be a lot of collateral damage. By the time they're done fighting, there might not be much of Neits left."
Both Neits Jet Life Ltd and the GR 316 Silver Universal Group have promised to reward pilots who support their campaigns. The two factions have set out week-long operations to take control of the system, which will begin on the 19th of May 3302.