13 JUL 3302
Following a recent statement from Senator Zemina Torval in which the seasoned politician criticised the deployment of Federal battlecruisers in the Merope system, Admiral Denton Patreus has entered the debate. At a hastily organised press conference on Capitol, Admiral Patreus addressed the Federal intervention:
"Like Senator Torval, I believe that the Federal presence in Merope represents an attempt to lay claim to the system's non-human structures. This will not stand. An Imperial deputation will therefore be mobilised and despatched to the Merope system. I will take personal command of the fleet, which will depart within the month."
Patreus did not clarify whether the Imperial ships would engage the Federal fleet, or simply establish a counter-blockade. But one thing is for sure: this development can only serve to heighten tensions between the Federation and the Empire.