Periphery Post

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News stories, interviews, rumours and scandals, all Periphery and beyond.


"Lightning fast news here now. Take the PP!"

This page is a collection of news articles posted to the periphery post discord channel, organised into topics. For other sources of news three hundred years from now, see: Free Anur Tribune

Virgo-Erigone

Major Events

Teppi introduced Virgo 4

A small town on Virgo 4 has been overrun by large furry quadurpeds. The creatures do not seem to be directly hostile, but the locals are concerned about the unusual levels of hunger.
The creatures seem to be reproducing quickly, but early responses to their presence has prevented them from being able to cause damage to local ecosystem. Whilst initial responses were of dire concern, the rapid but controllable breeding patterns have prompted locals to propose that these creatures may be a sustainable food source. 
The local authorities are already relaxing their responses to the arrival of this species.

- Soft (2021-10-28) Editted by Satin (2022-01-14) to conform to new lore - Teppi are no longer considered a danger to V4.

Trouble in Virgo! Smoke seen from space! A cover up???

A Nanotrasen facility seems to have encountered some kind of issue in the passed day. Ships have been routed away from the Nanotrasen space elevator Adephagia for the past twenty four hours for as yet undisclosed reasons. Fly bys have revealed plumes of smoke coming from the facility. Nanotrasen representatives declined to comment on the situation, while all communications from the facility have gone dark. 
Leaked photos have revealed extensive damage, and strange, unexplained shadows. There has been some dispute as to the authenticity of the photos. But there certainly seems to be something strange going on at the Adephagia.
As is, fuel processing and distribution is still down from the facility.

- Soft (2021-10-31)

LEAKED PHOTO From NSB Adephagia!!!

It as been more than ten days since the space elevator Adephagia of the Virgo-Erigone system has been rendered inoperable, and NanoTrasen has been oddly quiet about the matter. A statement came out two days after the incident citing the interruption as 'an unforseen fuel leak which contaminated the station'. However, as of thirty minutes ago, a new distress call has been issued from the station, and a general evacuation was carried out. So far there are known to be at least five dead, and as many as thirty otherwise unaccounted for. A picture has since been circulating across space social media, which experts have claimed is genuine. It would seem that, whatever is happening down there, the solution is not so simple as an ordinary fuel leak.

Drawn by Soft, a photo taken of the tether after the disaster that disabled it for months.

- Soft (2021-11-11)

Nanotrasen Facility Returns to Service

After several long months out of service, the Nanotrasen space elevator platform Adephagia is re-opening for service. Staff of the facility have been working full time on the starship Stellar Delight, but are set to be reassigned back to their original posting on the Adephagia. The company has stated that they are developing a rotation schedule, aiming to get people into the positions they're needed most. In the interim, Nanotrasen has been mustering a deep space crew to man the Stellar Delight while the Adephagia crew is off ship. This crew will take the ship into the deepest reaches of the Virgo-Erigone system and beyond.

The reactivation of the Adephagia facility spells much lower fuel costs in the system.

- Soft (2022-02-03)

Science and Technology

Nanotrasen to field a new vessel! Searching for qualified crew

Corporate monolith Nanotrasen is preparing to deploy its latest starship, the Stellar Delight. The vessel is set to patrol the Virgo-Erigone system on what the company is calling 'Response' duties. The only problem is that the company has yet to fill out the necessary duty roster. A wise minded reader might conclude that, if they are having trouble filling positions on some dinky starship, they might try offering better wages. A representative of Nanotrasen had this to say; "They should consider it a PRIVILEGE to work at Nanotrasen! They're lucky we pay them at all! Have you seen our robots???" This sparked something of an uproar on space-social media both from the workers and for the synthetic rights activists.
Either way, it seems that there is something of a labor shortage that may make this new vessel's early days rocky ones.

- Soft (2021-10-28)

Periphery and Frontier

Major Events

Disaster of New Sunrise

Disaster struck today in the Boros system as news broke out as the population the new colony established on the third moon of Boros 5 has literally been microwaved alive.
Scientists at the sister colony of New Baro, located under the moons icesheet said. "We tried to explain to director of this new colony that it was suicidal to try and build a habitat above the surface. expeditions to the surface had yielded that every week the gas giant we orbit emits a ludicrously large pulse of radiation. hell the icesheet we are under protects us since its so thick!"
Efforts are being made to recover the remains of the colonists that have perished at the colony. despite the disaster a new colony is establishing itself under the icesheet and is to be supplied via submarine

- Asteral (2020-08-21)

Science and Technology

Rogue AI uses colony resleeving technology to clone herd animals, commonwealth colony is overrun

During a scheduled update of its AI core, the colony of Ovis-5 suffered a ion blast produced by the systems star. knocking out most of the colonies systems and unfortunately corrupting the colony AI designated ARIES. which proceeded to lock down the whole colony despite orders from the colony authourities
IT specialists then discovered that the AI downloaded programs and DNA patterns claiming "It is their time to rise" over the colony intercomm system. to the horror of medical staff their resleeving pods began to produce clones of sheep of the Unit Absolutus genome. which flooded the whole medical wing forcing colonists to flee into other sectors of the colony while the AI announced "Wake up sheeple, WAKE UP SHEEPLE" repeatedly.
As of currently, colony security forces are conducting a 'Capture and Relocate' operation to deal with the situation while specialists attempt to shut down the corrupted AI.

- Asteral (2022-02-26)

Morpheus warns against use of unlicensed cyberware

Morpheus Cyberkinetics has issued a warning about a rise in traumatic injury and hacking incidents arising from the use of purported "skillsoft" software among positronic or cybernetically enhanced individuals. While pre-written training modules are available and commonly used for lower-grade drone intelligences, rumours persist of similar modules being produced for posibrains and even NIF-equipped organic brains, and released upon the exonet.
"It's not for me to guess what would prompt someone to download an unlicensed executable from some pirate server and upload it directly into their brain," a company spokesman remarked in a press briefing, "but the fact is that we're seeing an uptick in patients being brought in for treatment for a variety of debilitating disorders - not only is this software frequently of poor quality even when it isn't outright malicious, the vast majority of these files are simply incompatible with the conscious ego. A being that hasn't yet achieved sapience might be able to tolerate having chunks of pre-written memory and experience simply inserted into its mind, but an actual person will find the sensation outright traumatic, even - dare I say - existentially horrifying."
Morpheus claims that the majority of these incidents appear to involve individual workers seeing a shortcut with regards to mandatory training requirements, or upon being pressured by employers to obtain training in additional disciplines beyond their existing expertise, or simply out of a sense of ambition to take a shortcut with their careers without incurring the expense of more formal training - such attempts have landed several such patients in the sythetic manufacturer's debug clinics with symptoms of serious mental injury, with more extreme cases requiring a complete restoration from backup.
The standard modules of fully-robotic chassis (colloquially referred to as "cyborgs") are not known to induce these symptoms - while it is standard for a cyborg module to come with inbuilt drivers and software to simplify operation for its specific task regardless of whether the controlling mind has operated such equipment before, these modules are external to the piloting brain and do not have to hook directly into the user consciousness.
Morpheus has issued a list of common symptoms associated with people that may be afflicted by what is now being dubbed GSSND, or Generalized SkillSoft Neuro-Disorder:
•Forgetting important things, particularly newly learned information or important dates
•Asking for the same information again and again
•Trouble solving basic problems, such as keeping track of bills or following a favorite recipe
•Losing track of the date or time of year
•Losing track of where you are and how you got there
•Trouble with depth perception or other vision problems
•Trouble joining conversations or finding the right word for something
•Misplacing things and not being able to retrace your steps to find it
•Increasingly poor judgment
•Withdrawal from work and social situations
•Changes in mood and personality
The corporation has urged anyone experiencing such symptoms after interacting with neural interface software to seek neurological assistance.
In response to suggestions that staff may be pressured to obtain these so-called skillsofts to further their careers, Nanotrasen has stated that as such pressure would violate SolCom labour laws, it is against company policy.

- Scree (2022-11-26)

Colonies and Economy

Stand-off in newly explored Star System

After the Commonwealth corvette "Magellan III" returned from its mission, everything has been routine. It has had a voyage of two years, ploughing new bluespace paths of the many unexplored systems of the Coreward Periphery, logging the general abundance of raw resources, anomalies and other interesting facts and returned to Commonwealth Space to sell the Survey Data to the Bureau of Interstellar Exploitation.
The Bureau, in turn, sold the most valuable systems on auction - planets with already inhabitable atmosphere, motherlodes of raw material or coveted resources like Phoron make star systems too valuable for the open market on a fixed price.
H-1452-E is one such system. 
The system boasts not only three asteroid belts, but also two gas giants, one which has high concentrations of Helium-3, as well as a planet with a highly diverse biosphere similar to that of Earth. According to the records of Magellan III, the biosphere is miscible - and housing a sapient population of aliens who seem to be on the nascent stages of an Iron Age. An independent commission deemed any and all actions of the Magellan III during its exploration of the native culture to be correct and not culturally contaminating, as they did not break any New Berlin protocols during their time on the planet.
Of course this made the planet of interest to several mega corporations, who believe that industrially developing this system to be a shipyard and heavy industry hotspot is feasible, especially with cheap labour already within the system.
And so, NT bought the rights to the exploitation of the System for over 6 billion Solar Dollars, one of the higher grossing prices achieved for a single star system, promising to uplift the native species and make them a trading partner for the Commonwealth within one or two decades. The ambassador fleet has been sent out, carrying enough equipment to build a strong, industrial base.
If it could actually start.
Shortly after the ambassador's fleet arrival, the so called "Cordial Entente" has blockaded further purchase into the system, identifying themselves as a coalition of independent criminal elements,a Sergal screen fleet, a navy detachment of the Ares Confederation, as well several fleets of Elysian Colonies to protest the purchase of H-1452-E. They have so far refused to move and actually destroyed a spy probe into the system.
The Spokesperson of the Cordial Entente, United Fleet Host Admiral Ustev Guanxi, claims that the Commonwealth and Mega Corporations have been a terrible calamity to every native culture below an industrial level, which negatively impacted the cultural diversity and autonomy of newly found species - with the Sergals being the most memorable example. Therefore, they do not recognize the right of the Commonwealth to settle this system.
Negotiations have been so far not initiated, however NT calls for a general mercenary advisory that they are currently hiring.

- Dragor (2020-11-15)

Long Standing Holding Company Shuts Down. People Celebrate

2321 marks the year that one of the longest standing companies in the Orion Arm shutting down. The 252 year old holding company, Dixon Cox Investments, has been brought and subsequently made defunct in an acquisition made by a competing corporation. Impulse Co has announced that what little assets there was within the acquired business will be liquidated and the funds distributed to various other subsidiaries. 
Analysts have expressed that there was no surprise that Dixon Cox Investments would be closing its doors. The company has had a downward spiral of business within the last couple of decades. In 2318, the company had declared bankruptcy after the CEO, Marcus Cox, a descendant of the founder Dixon Cox, failed to settle the crippling debt plaguing the business. Reasons for this include being unable to adapt to growing competitors, the overall negative reputation known by the general pubic, and the loss of value of their existing interstellar properties.
Dixon Cox Investments was one of the many corporations existing during the early days of planet colonization. Starting out as an armament manufacturing business, the company eventually saw the potential of colonization and have switched industries, owning and making money out of space colonies. In the process, they have acquired many subsidiaries and had become a holding company.  
Many citizens, especially those living in the Orion Arm, have expressed joy at the news. Many cited that such an unethical business deserves to be torn down. Others find relief that they don't have to pronounce such a name again. Overall, the general opinion was that Impulse Co made the right decision in the acquisition. We think so too.

- Coyote (2021-03-05)

New Garden World found in Coreward Periphery

Exciting news from the Commonwealth Astrometrics Department in close collaboration of the FTU as they have found the first genuine unsettled Garden World in the Coreward Periphery.
Usually due to thermodynamics of being closer to the galactic core has stripped many atmospheres of planets, with remaining ones either being former precursor planets such as Virgo-Erigone IV or geoengineering projects, such as the Ares Confederate Capital of Sars Mara.
However, Tallahan II, or "Sapharon", named by the crew who has done its first footfall on the planet and named it after its unusually blue hue of its atmosphere, has an unusually strong magnetosphere, protecting the breathable air, which has been identified to be compatible to most oxygen breathing species with an average oxygen content of 25% and lack of harmful gasses.
Medical technicians and xenobiologists now work on identifying and mitigating the dangers of the planet to enable civilian exploitation of Sapharon. However, this might take some time as the local microfauna is very aggressive and exotic.
For example, the first expedition crew has been killed by a fungus infection, whose spores have managed to infiltrate the re-breather seals and settle in the lungs of the crew, who has ultimately violently attacked each other to expose further victims and finally bare themselves on a hill, in where the sporocarp erupted from their eyes and mouths, killing them in the process.
A xenobiologist says this might be a form of xeno-cordyceps and one of the few ones that actually is capable of infesting mammals with such precision. In fact, this is somewhat good news :
The biochemistry of the planet is definitely compatible to Humanity.

- Dragor (2022-01-12)

Nanotrasen Merchandaise Fuels Fire Of Critique!

The all too well known mega-corporation Nanotrasen has recently managed to cause another mass-scale scandal as allegations that the latest line of "Space Life" brand merchandaise has been contaminated with phoron were officially confirmed. Multiple incidents involving people getting unusually severe cases of poisoning after reportedly accidental consumption of plastic figurines have led to discovery that the material they were made of has been severely contaminated with particles of phoron.
A reporter for one of our competitors managed to reach out to an R&D worker of primary production facility for "Space Life" brand. Here is one of the key quotes:
"Unsafe? Of course its unsafe to eat. It's plastic, it's not meant to be eaten! Trust me, the phoron amounts in the figurines are perfectly safe. Not within standard, maybe, but absolutely harmless and definitely not explosive. We make actual explosives in same fabricator here, and suffered no accidents yet!"
Following the publication of the interview there was further mass critique of Nanotrasen's long-standing practice of extreme levels of multi-tasking their facilities. Earlier today, a representative of Nanotrasen PR Team made a public announcement that rather than partial, there will be a full recall of all "Space Life" brand merchandaise produced within last 179 days. They promised to do better in the future, although only time will tell if they will keep the promise.
We reached out to the CEO, John Nanotrasen, for comments, but did not recieve a response. Subscribe to the Periphery Post for updates to this developing story.

- Heroman (2022-11-02)

Nanotrasen's Axes Get Axed

In recent news of world of trademarks, there has been a surprising development. Aether Atmospherics and Recycling, current holder for the copyright of "The Red One" style design for the firefighting utility axe announced that it will not be extending trademark deal with Nanotrasen this month.
"The Red One" is rather infamous for the fact that vast majority of situations where worker goes on a vengeful rampage, it is the most used tool. Nevertheless, it holds almost 98% of market for the firefighting utility axes.
Nanotrasen announced intent to comply with withdrawal, though also noting regret at the deteoriation of the relationships with Aether. One local Nanotrasen representative had this to say:
"Fireaxes? Who needs fireaxes? Sure not us. When's the last time we even used one for actual firefighting? I know my schmucks, they will hack open the door before you can say 'pay cuts'!"
Same representative held a big demonstrative pyre later that week as a form of disposal of the copyright-breaching fireaxes. All the fireaxes were burned, though due to that not being intended form of disposal, over 19 people were hospitalized with severe poisoning because of the toxic vapours exhuded when signature "The Red One" paint is exposed to open flame, including Nanotrasen representative in question.
We reached out to the CEO, John Nanotrasen, for comments, but did not recieve a response. Subscribe to the Periphery Post for updates to this developing story.

- Heroman (2022-11-07)

Health and Medicine

Local Colony struck by Roanoke Asteroid as it celebrates 10 years of stable hydrosphere

The Colony of Myriton announced today that a Roanoke asteroid has struck their planet during on-going festivities of their terraforming goal of a decade of stable rains and tides, halting the planned concert, much to the dismay of the many off-world visitors who have jumped to the system.
Myriton reacted to the impact with standard procotols and diffuse large amounts of spaceacillin over the impact site and cleared surrounding flora with Xn-Pyrit. "Xn-Pyrit is a local eco-killer, we know, but usually you don't want to kid around with Roanoke Syndrome. If uncontrolled it just causes a whole boatload of problems of adjusting to new predator species and can lead to a total ecological collapse or undesired transformation.", local Gene-Sculpter Sicario Goddins said in an official statement, "While regrettable, this event should cause only slight setbacks in our future goals of introducing more complex fauna later this year."
The asteroid impact sadly claimed the lives of five settlers who have been killed from the impact. Their bodies have been exposed to Roanoke-DNA and subsequently transformed into five sapient xenochimera.
The xenochimera are currently in custody of The Governor Board as state wards and are receiving a specialized education, as they have been technically "born" on soil of Myriton and thus enjoy the privileges of citizenship.

- Dragor (2021-02-28)

Politics

Diplomatic Summit of Kylos ends in violence

The semi-regular diplomatic summits on Kylos, a barren rock just a jump away from Vilous, are tradition at this point, in where delegates from the Commonwealth of Sol-Procyon, the Ares Confederation, the various Elysian Colonies as well as the Sergal City States are hashing out differences, talk about accessions and discuss the ever sore topic of the brief aggressive colonization of Tal by Yantzu Mining and when the Sergals can expect some reparations for the damages done to their culture, home world and population.
However, this time the dry talks have ended up by the Commonwealth Delegate Boris Thump getting punched in the face by Ares Confederate Delegate Emilia Áñez after he extensively disparaged the Sergals who have turned their translation devices off during a break.
In the brief altercation, Miss Áñez elbowed him against the jaw after he explained to an Elysian Delegate how "[Sergals] squander the infrastructure and stability we have brought them" (sic), to which he promptly tried to take a swing at her nose. The fight ended with Miss Áñez kicking Mister Thump in the crotch.
The Ares Confederation issued a public apology to the Embassy of Sol-Procyon, stationed in the Coreward Periphery. Both parties have refused to comment for the Periphery Post, however West Sergal Delegate Saharu Morito offered following quote, 
"It's always amusing to see that humans believe Sol Common is hard to learn. The intervention was not necessary, but really, really funny." 

- Dragor (2020-10-20)

Spacer Squeaks Get Rambunctious After Murid-Mixup Replaces The Ratlike Rodent's Registry

Entertaining times for those fans of political boxing matches. The Altevian Hegemony recently sent a small detachment of diplomats and influential merchants to meet with Nanotrasen officials located within the periphery.
The Spacer Rodent's trade fleets find themselves passing by Periphery space as of late, and with it, Altevian goods and salvage, as well as workers have been an increasing commodity throughout the Periphery and especially Nanotrasen owned facilities.
In a bid to increase this cooperation, the Altevian delegation met with officials in a public press conference to announce developments within their deals, unfortunately for everyone involved, the Altevian delegation were given improperly labeled documents that referred to them as "Space mice", a great slight that the delegation took great offense to.
"WE ARE NOT MICE, WE ARE RATS" the frustrated Altevians declared, the apparent irony of comparing themselves to another not entirely accurate rodent species seemingly lost upon the giant squeaks.
After some heated firey discussion back and forth between both sides in an embarassingly public display, the chief envoy of the delegation and designated speaker on behalf of Nanotrasen allegedly said "They're basically the same thing"
Thankfully, the outburst from the Altevian's chief speaker was suppressed by their larger entourage, and after a hushed discussion, the delegates seemed to regain their composure, giving what onlookers described as an "Incredibly disturbing" smile, before finishing up the press event.
Nanotrasen has since denied all claims that their internal documentation refers to the Altevian people as "space mice" but one onlooker alleged hearing a muttered "Goddamnit Jerry" as they walked offstage.
For now, a tentative increase to trade seems to still be had despite this blunder in the exciting world of megacorporation trade politics!

- Ali (2022-01-18)

Crime

Dangerous criminals on the loose after mass breakout!

Twelve hours ago, A massive breakout occured at the Ironport Maximum Security Station located at the deep space asteroid belt close to the system of Capris Omega despite warnings given by corporate officials.
Mr Zane Ironport, the facilities warden and owner initially shrugged off the warnings given to him regarding a plot to free the usually dangerous criminals housed within ranging from murderers to infamous criminals. due to the lack of caution accompanied by a approaching stellar storm the facility was suddenly assaulted by several unknown picket class corvettes accompanied by a bomber corvette that identified itself as 'Vamdala's Maw.", the facility staff was caught offguard as the corvettes fired at the residential area causing several breachhs and loss of life.
During the confusion, reports state that the sudden attack allowed the bomber corvette to dock and board through a airlock located at Cell Habitat C, where Death row and the most dangerous to society was kept. security attempted to thwart the escape but ultimately most of the security team located at Cell Habitat C was killed in action.
After thirty minutes when the attack occured the small fleet left the area under the cover of the stellar storm that masked their initial approach. security footage has shown those responsible was heavily armed with equipment such as ballistic rifles and more modernised hardsuits which where painted black and purple.

- Asteral (2020-10-22)

Military

Okzikana Colony buys surplus corvettes, forms Militia

The Coreward Periphery is not the safest place for shipping routes and colonies due to the high pirate activity that plagues the region - with the Commonwealth Fleet being barely present, anti-piracy actions often fall to Mega Corporations, who do focus on protecting their own assets over that of independent colonies.
Naturally, these independent colonies might receive a surplus cash flow allowing them to organise their own military projection, such like in the case of Okzikana Colony, a local supplier of tungsten, cobalt and industrial diamonds, who recently have survived a boycott call of NT, Aether Atmospherics and Greyson Manufacturing, as they have been cutting into the profits of heavy industry supplies in the sector. 
A benefactor, who has been not further disclosed by Okzikana officials, helped them through the worst of the boycott, as well supplied funds to raise their own fleet, by buying surplus ships from the Commonwealth. They now offer a citizenship for the Colony in exchange for service in the new militia, The Frontier Rangers.
Instructors and officers receive a premium for signing up.

- Dragor (2020-11-19)

CVS' NAVY NEXT GENERATION ARMOR PLATING SPECS LEAKED TO WIN INTERNET ARGUMENT

The Confederacy of Vulpkanin Systems had most likely not been expecting one of their most valuable military secrets to be leaked online, but it has happened.
It all began on an forum for a multiplayer ship combat simulator, called Space Thunder. While the game developers are focused on adding more and more contemporary ship classes into their game, there is much debate over the accuracy of said ships, and how true it is to the real thing. 
Today, an argument between users had broken out on Space Thunder's forum over the Zealot class cruiser, a ship that is still in service within CVS' navy. A user claiming to have been an engineer serving on board one of the aforementioned ship, argued that the armor within the game did not match that of the real thing. When challenged by other users to prove it, the user has posted an image containing classified information about the armor. Info leaked included armor thickness, physical structure, resistance ratings to different weapon types, composition of its next-gen energy absorbing technology, maintenance instructions, and even an image of the armor itself.
Forum moderators were quick to handle the situation, and they did so by deleting the thread, and banning the user's account. However, several screenshots have now circulated around the internet, and the matter has become topic of discussion within media. 
This has allegedly been the fifth incident of this kind happening over the lifespan of the game. And according to several players, it does not seem to be the end. However, it has been made abundantly clear that people will go to great lengths, even committing treason or risking being court martialed... all just to win an argument with strangers over the internet.

- Coyote (2023-01-13)

Commonwealth of Sol-Procyon

Science and Technology

First Solar Shade installed on Vespa's Delight in DM-9284 System

After two years of delay and project abandonment by NanoTrasen, Vespa's Delight can pride itself of having installed the first stellar shade out of the projected five needed to redue the median temperature of the planet from 245°C to 20°C. 
This signficant feat of engineering has been made possible, according to the Colonial Authority Director Vespa Lorenz, by none other than the Ares Confederation, who has ordered the Confederate Military Engineering Corps to finish the partially built shade as huminatarian aid. 
"We are very thankful for their assistance, although I am not entirely sure why they helped me, considering I called them bloodsucking leeches on the dime of the hardworking man before.", Lorenz confesses to the PP. However, she is adamant in refusing any and all docking attempts by the Confederation in the future, even though they offered further assistance if she would allow Confederate Settlers to be joining Vespa's Delight.

- Dragor (2020-05-06)

Science Fiction Turned Real?

As is expected, scientists are nerds. But no ordinary nerds; recently, a group of five scientists composed of nuclear physicists and phoron specialists, set out to try and disprove a theory.
For those not in the know, the theory, whose name is too long for such a short news post, goes on about utilizing supermatter crystals as a means of storing and extracting energy, akin to a battery. As we all know, these crystals - from the smallest, to the largest, are some of the most unstable things humanity can get their hands on and actually use!
The team was able to acquire permission to use the Novi Kranj nuclear laboratory, stationed on Europa, a moon of Jupiter. Now, while the rest of the team's report is probably very interesting, a lot of it we don't understand because it's filled with so much jargon you could make a boat out of it.
What we did find genuinely interesting, was when the test went awry.

So, the basis. They were feeding electricity to a very small sample of supermatter crystal and trying to extract it by exciting the lattice structure, thus, causing the crystal to grow unstable and release its energy. All went well and fine, up to the point where the Watts seemed to cross some kind of threshold never before seen.

The crystal froze the test chamber, to just a few degrees Kelvin above absolute zero. At least, that was what their sensors detected before it all got frozen solid. Nothing in the chamber was responding to any kind of signal. The blast doors were fused together, circuits were paved over with frost, and, most puzzling of all, the power draw of the crystal only grew. From their report, they claim that the cable was the only unscathed object in the chamber.
What does any of this mean? I have no idea, but my boss told me to write a news article for today, so here it is.

- Amaya (2020-05-26)

An Easy Mistake

Several sources, some even within Nanotrasen's own HR department, have released information regarding a recent transaction performed by the company.
It details the release of several artefacts, all of them deemed "inert", a standard rating set on artefacts, small and large, that do not react to any stimuli and exert no energy.
Some such include:
- "Reminian Ornate Crystal" 
Described to be a medium-sized crystalline structure, shaped like a prism. It is suspended in mid-air. It rotates clockwise, while a golden ring spins counter-clockwise. The ring is distanced exactly 4 centimeters from the crystal. It is made of a material that Nanotrasen scientists could not successfully identify, though they claim it is virtually indestructible, unlike the prism itself. It is suspected that if the crystal is destroyed, the ring will fall.
There are intricate, organic patterns printed into the ring's material. It is woven only on the outer side of the ring.
The suspension of both objects is driven by an anti-gravity field inductor that seems to draw energy from an unknown point from within the crystal. 
Speculated age is between 850,000 and 1,050,00 years 
- "Crested Sigil"
Described as a disc. It once had a working, removable mechanism that detached from its center. When it was handed in, it was reported that the central piece rose and spun in mid-air. 
Text was etched into the the disc itself. Only a vague translation was made; a description of a mighty, unyielding energy that sought to annihilate matter in elaborate, intricate ways.
When sold, it was catalogued as a "bone trinket" due to the bone that covered the top of the disc, growing over and destroying what was there. The bone was purported to be remarkably similar to what can be found in Earth's hump-backed whales.
Speculated age is between 150,000 and 250,000,000 years.

- Dragor (2020-08-19)

Ancient probe arrives in Sol

A small artificial object was detected entering the Oort cloud this morning from outside the solar system, on a general trajectory to enter solar orbit. Patrol ships intercepted the object and confirmed it to be a sublight probe - the onboard electronics having long since degraded, the probe is incapable of sending a signal back to its point of origin.
Examination of the probe revealed a canister containing a tungsten plate, upon which was etched an image of a skrell and the local constellation surrounding the skrell homeworlds, as they would be seen from Sol.
The canister also contained what appear to be some form of ancient media, but any recordings they contain have degraded due to radiation damage.
The Qerr'balak Achaeological Union are currently investigating their archives for any record of the origin of this artefact, but it appears to date back to the early days of Skrell space exploration, where a series of probes containing messages of greeting were launched at probable candidate stars for hosting intelligent life, a concept similar to that of a Bracewell Probe.
While the discovery of bluespace travel by both species has resulted in the message arriving a few centuries late, it still stands out as a unique piece in the history of both species.

- Scree (2021-12-28)

Colonies and Economics

NT Colony in Periphery huge success

NT has recently established Colony Adamant 9 in the HJFS-2984 system, following the disasters of Adamant 1 to Adamant 8. This time, however, they had great success.
The location chosen for Adamant 9 had, by sheer chance, a large geothermic vault relatively near to the crust, as well as commercially easily mined Palladium, skyrocketing stocks for the Company Colony from their initial investments to a 250% profit margin.
The colony is now closed investment, barring any more bonds to be created, therefore the lucrative newcomer into the Periphery will be sold to a high price per bond.

- Dragor (2020-05-28)

New Hyper Tram Line goes online on Tiamat, Proxima Centauri

Long the jewel of Proxima Centauri, the water world of Proxima Centauri has constructed a new Hyper Tram Line, connecting several floating cities together, most notably the Capitals of Mare Nostrum and New Kzmer. Both nations project that this will increase trade, prosperity and cooperation of Tiamat, which, although most landmass is artificially constructed, has been always rife with factionalism and "border" disputes over border projection buoys, carving up the planet between the roughly four dozen original colonization projects originating from Earth.
Prime Minister Asya Zaytseva comments on the completion and maiden transit of the tram as follows :
"While many people think the age of conventional public transport is waning with the advent of personal translocation, they do not realize how expensive it is for the common man to enjoy bluespace translocation on a daily basis. This tram is not only one of the most ambitious public projects of our planet, but also one of the most important ones for the common people."
The tram line has been controversial since its inception and several delays and shortcomings held the project in jeopardy, since the contract went from Megacorporation to Megacorporation without much progress. However, after the highly controversial move of hiring a passing Kosaky Fleet as construction company, progress has been rapid and even slightly underbudget.

- Dragor (2020-11-09)

Crime

New illict substance flooding local black markets, which targets Teshari

SolCom and other colonial officials have released a damninng report that a new narcotic drug known as Dextro-LSD has snuck its way into the hands of illict substance dealers across the periphery. law enforcement in several colonies made pre-emptive arrests of known narcotic dealers in a attempt to curb this ruinous and addictive drug. while the narcotic is being clamped down several reports suggest that its use has sky-rocketed amongst Teshari populations.
It is currently unknown why the narcotic is targetted towards Teshari, luckily however the effects on users are heavily noticable with the narcotic having the effects of Mindbreaker toxin with the added mental instability, rapid heartrate and loss of hair/feathers.

- Asteral (2020-06-06)

Mars: St. Clement Police Department releases report into rolling blackouts

Article taken from the St. Clement New Advent Press
In the hyper industrialized cities of Mars, Neo Detroit, Mars Capital, St. Clement, the quality of life has always teetered between nearly livable and outright hazardous. Entire blocks of Mars Capital remain in ruin to this day from internal conflicts and centuries of failed revolutionary history. The housing district of St. Clement is nestled deep within the industrial sector, choked by smog and exhaust. Neo Detroit holding the highest rate of gang related crime in the entire system. Walking down a Martian street without stepping on a broken needle, avoiding downed power lines, or being targeted in civil crime is almost impossible for non residents. But all the obvious and visible problems of Mars are a day to day for the citizens who live there.
The Martian government and police force are famously busy and highly organized, dealing with armed gangs, mech brawls in the streets, and explosively failing infrastructure as their average tasks. The shuttle battery warehouse bust of 2316, the Scraphouse Gang heist of 2291, and the Concrete Company Organized Crime Syndicate bust of 2288 all pale in comparison to St. Clement’s biggest crackdown in its century long history; what media at the time dubbed “The War on Suburbia”.
At the turn of the 24th century, the town of St. Clement began to experience a mass spike in rolling blackouts, straining the Electrical Grid Emergency System the city had set up not a decade prior. The severity of these blackouts increased exponentially over the course of year, the city reaching a record 3 days without any power. The city scrapped to find the cause and source of these issues, resulting in numerous police raids on civilian houses, with no public comment on the what or why, much to the disdain of the locals. What the people of St. Clement did not know, was that hundreds of planned raids took place within the housing sector between 2301-2304. One day, in 2305, at the height of the city’s second worst blackout, lasting 58 hours in total, the power came back on all over the city, and it stayed on.
Ten years after the events of The War on Suburbia, the St. Clement Police Department released a 372 page document detailing the worst crisis the city had faced in years. The document describes the steady growth of a suburban cult abusing the city’s power grid, conducting dangerous experiments behind closed civilian doors, and hiding in the houses of everyday residents. It also details a four year long crackdown on suburban Mars where the police force invaded the homes of hundreds of civilians with terrifying efficiency. The document details a list of exactly “673 suburban houses checked for Lividity” with a staggering 584 actually containing a cult lead. But the interesting part of the document, are the pages describing how they determined where they would look for activity.
The document released by the SCPD contains 60 pages that make reference to a woman by the name of “Janie Forchik”, a former member of the “Livid Congregation” who went to the police after being pressured by peers to house dangerous and highly illegal artifacts and equipment in her home. Equally interesting were the 79 pages detailing the leader of the “Livid Congregation”, “Michael Holy” (Yes that is his legal name), who evaded custody for 3 years after the end of the suburban crackdown.

- Latency (2021-02-27)

Interview with Janie Forchik

”The Livid Congregation” was St. Clement’s biggest security threat in its last half decade, and a disaster that could have gotten much worse. Due to years of highly organized raids and busts performed by the SCPD, the congregation’s activities have all but come to an end. The Livid Congregation shook the city to its core, with regular blackouts, power sapping, explosions, and lynchings threatening its citizens. A massive cult operating illicitly under the nose of the city’s guardians, hid in the houses and meager homes of its initiates. In an interview with the Neo Detroit Advent Press, one such initiate shared their experiences with the cult and working with the SCPD.
Interview with Janie Forchik
”It was sometime in the early winter, you know, sometime before reaching the aphelion. I can’t remember what day, or even what month it was, let alone what time in the cycle. But he just, showed up one day. A man, tall as can be, maybe seven and a half feet tall… He had to duck to get in the doorframe.
> “That was Mister Holy?”
“Yeah that was him. He asked to come in, asked for tea specifically. And how we all were in my neighborhood, we were all very close knit. You know, before the raids. I’d seen him around before, just never caught his name. I’d see him at the market, or over with neighbors. I always wondered if he lived in the area.”
> “I take he didn’t.”
“I’m not really sure; I think he drifted from place to place. He was very charismatic too. He brought me a gift of fresh tobacco and tea leaves. Somewhat of a tradition amongst the born residents, so he obviously knew how to make a good impression. Well, we sat down to a pot of hot water and fresh tea, lovely really. He introduced himself as Mikhail, and a ‘friend of the community’. Talked to me about a lot of the problems we had been plagued with lately, offered some help even.”
> “What sort of problems?”
“Well a number of routine break-ins, and street violence were getting really bad. We couldn’t let our children walk to school anymore, it was so dangerous. He seemed so empathetic to the situation.”
> “What sort of help did he offer?”
“Well he told me that he was starting a sort of neighborhood watch, since the police wouldn’t deal with the problem. Said some of my neighbors were already on board, asked me to join. I was hesitant at first really, but he insisted I just come to a meeting at the rec center. Just to see what it was about. I certainly didn’t expect to find such a big turnout when I went.”
> “What did you see at the rec center?”
“Everyone. The whole damn neighborhood showed up. Along with a number of people I’d never seen around. I assumed he’d reached out to a lot of people. There were these… People. Walking around in black jumpsuits and skirts that went down to their ankles. None of them were much for conversation. Every one of them busy. Mostly on their communicators, or… Just sort of talking. Weird bunch. I mostly stayed along the walls, watching it all happen. Up until Mister Mikhail came out and started his speech. He talked for what seemed like half an hour, a brilliant, well thought out, concise half an hour. He said what every single one of us were thinking. Forced to live in a smog choked industrial hazard, living on meager pay, working in factories, and dying on the street. He hung on every issue. Like he knew exactly what every person in the room wanted to hear, calling up different people to talk to them about their problems. He was a showman.”
> “I thought you said this was for a neighborhood watch.”
“Yeah, it was. But I don’t think any of us remembered that when we left. Because we all kept coming back each week to hear him preach. I didn’t think of it at the time, but I had gone to the meeting at night, and didn’t get home until noon the next day. I suppose he had us so captivated. It didn’t feel that long. But we’d come together each week to come hear him.”
> “Sounds like a magnetic man.”
“That’s one way to put it. One week, we had gone to the congregation, and he didn’t announce himself as Mikhail anymore. He called himself ‘Michael Holy’, and started to rant about how angry he was.  ‘Disappointed and livid’, he’d repeat over and over again. That’s where the name started to pop up. He’d start off his speeches off with a big show of saying how mad he was. Saying “I’m here with this LIVID congregation!” that’s what he’d start to say. So much emphasis on the word Livid.  People would start coming in with shirts saying the word, or their faces painted red or white. Then he started the baptisms.”
> “Oh? Baptisms?”
“Yeah. He started declaring that true members needed to be baptized in the lividity. And people jumped right on it. He’d have them come on stage, place his hand on their forehead, yell about everything that ailed them, and they’d black out. Members who did this would get what he called “Initiate robes”. In reality they were the same plain jumpsuit and skirt.”
> “Did you get baptized?”
“I avoided it for a long time. Even after the raids began to happen. One of his closer initiates, a mister Lohan, who was always by his side, had been interred by the police. He came to me personally, the same way he had the first time we met. He brought me gifts, fresh tobacco and tea. And a set of strange stones, one red, one blue. They looked like glass, and I assumed they were something ceremonial or ornamental. We had a long conversation about the raids and our neighbors who were being taken in by the police, and those who were still dying on the street. But it ended with him on his knees, pleading me to help him, to become an initiate.”
> “Why’d he trust you so much?”
“I think it had something to do with me knowing him as Mikhail. I feel like he changed when his name did. I couldn’t just let down a weeping man who had helped me on numerous occasions, financially, and laboriously. He helped repair my house when the abandoned house next door caught on fire. He’d watched my kid before when I couldn’t book a sitter. But that was all as Mikhail. I agreed to initiation, and he baptized me like the rest. He insisted we do it in the rec center. ‘Something special about that place.’ He told me.”
> “What happened after your baptism?”
“Nothing really. I went home, made dinner, and went to bed. Went to work in the morning. It left me rather confused, because he seemed so desperate for me help. But he’d only ever come bringing me more herbs and stones, which I’d decorate my mantle with. Maybe another six times after my baptism, then I never saw the man again. I only ever saw his initiates after his last visit. Nothing special during that last one. Just a short, pleasant meal while he was on his way to work. Said he worked in the factory. Never named which one. That’s about when the neighborhood crackdown started. No one would leave their homes after that. Police would wander the street aimlessly, and in mass numbers. Peaking in houses, testing doors for locks, and barging into open homes. It was like a nightmare. Taking my kid to school each day became a game of avoiding anyone I didn’t recognize. Taking back alleys, and shortcuts through shady places. I didn’t want to end up like Lohan who was serving a life sentence at that point.”
> “And you said something about other initiates coming by?”
“Yeah I knew most of them too. Most of them were neighbors or close peers. I’d only had one initiate I didn’t recognize come by, out of a dozen or more. They’d all always bring gifts like Mikhail. Including the glass ornaments. They just kept piling up, and I’d store the extras in the backroom, or use them as gifts when I visited others.  I just had so many. One night though, an initiate, an old friend of mine, came to the house, he had a big wooden crate with him and he was desperate. He begged me to store the crate for him, told me not to look in it. That he’d be back for in a couple of days. He went missing the next day. No one had seen him at work, none of his family had seen him. He didn’t go home that night.”
> “Did you find out what was in the crate?”
“I did. His brother came over looking for him. He never got initiated, asked if I’d seen him, and that he never came home. When I told him what happened, he told me to retrieve the crate and that he’d be back. He came back with a crowbar, and we opened the crate in my living room. Some god damn contraption in it, made of blackened metal and some kind of red stone. The entire thing had symbols cared all over it, and a computer terminal at its front. Along with it was a two foot long, half a food wide metal cylinder; same material as the machine. It was heavy as hell, and had lights arranged in circles on either end. The whole thing looked like something out of a movie.”
> “What did you do with it?”
“We flagged down the closest police officer and handed it right over! Good thing too. When I told them, they requested an entire unit of men to come and clean up the house. Took every single leaf of tea and every last glass ornament. Then they took us both down to the station. The chief of police for our district had a chat with us as well; Edger Maine, he was a dashing man to say the least. But I digress. He told me that the tea I had been given for over a year was laced with a minor hallucinogen; and that what I thought were ornamental stones, were shed hazardous material. When I asked what the machine was, I only got quick answers, and I’ve assumed that it’s more complicated than they let me believe. They told me it was some kind of generator and that the cylinder was full of a special fuel. I’d only find out several years later that it was for some form of ritualistic purpose, and was one of the causes of our blackout problems.”
> “Did the police ask you any questions at all?”
“Oh a mountain of them. They had my house being cleaned up by some city task force, and had my child and I stay at a paid for hostel for maybe… Four days. They asked me everything.  They asked me a lot about Mikhail especially. I told them everything. I just wanted the nightmare to end. I told them all the people I’d seen at those meetings, and all the people I saw baptized. They told me years later that interview helped them tremendously with the crackdown. And I saw it. Neighbor after neighbor, peer after peer; arrested and brought into custody. House after house they’d clear of these machines and stones. And that tea they all drank. That we all drank. For almost three years, for the remainder of the crackdown, I would always have two police cruisers parked outside my house, and trailing me when I took my kid to school.”

- Latency (2021-03-14)

Ares Confederation

Colonies and Economy

New Colony added to the Sphere of the Ares Confederation

The Ares Confederation always has encouraged a naturalization process for immigrants to find their place in their union, which gives them sorely the population influx they need to build up their presence in the Coreward Periphery. And today, they celebrate one of the bigger milestones of their recent policies of expanding their Settlement Programme.
Several  thousand refugees from the Elysian Colonies and corporate sectors have converged on the unassuming torrid planet of 1489125, sitting just shy of the Goldilocks Zone of a orange dwarf. There, with the assistance of the Confederal Navy Engineering Corps, they have built over five years a new home.
It was an arduous process, by all means, as living space and food was scarce aside the deliveries and help from other colonies, but many new ArCon citizens now say it was all worth it - under the hands of the settlers, 1489125 has received several "infrastructural upgrades", such as solar mirrors to raise surface temperature to liveable conditions and several tow-impacts of ice asteroids. Domes and settlements have been built and dug into the ground and a nascent industry refining Helium-3 from a nearby Gas Giant has been forming, contributing to the Common "Market" of the Confederation.
Today, 1489125 celebrates three times over - First, their official Constitution has been ratified by referendum and with its ratification they have been accepted into the Ares Confederation as full member state.
And with this, they also celebrate the ascension of Turing Beta Nine, a former shackled AI of NanoTrasen, as their first Prime Minister and leader of the "United Prosperity Front" party, who promised to make 1489125 a safe haven for any rogue AI and vatborn slave who happens to come to them.
Lastly, the referendum of naming 1489125 has finally reached a conclusion, just after the inauguration of Turing Beta Nine. The settlers have decided to name their new home Colony McColonyFace.

-Dragor (2020-11-04)

Travel and Culture

Paraiso, A Travel Report

The Ares Confederation is known for being open for travellers - if they look like they want to join. Visitors are a different kind of breed. They were wary about my application of a visitation visa for journalism, keen to keep me out. I suppose I can't blame them all too much. But, they decided to let me in, if I have a "bodyguard" with me, a kind of watchdog. A tall kind of woman, with a barcode on her cheek, extending to her ear. She is not very talkative, whose purpose is not apparent to me. Is she here to protect me or the secrets of the Confederation? What are they hiding that they need to have me on watch by a gigantic vatborn? She won't tell me. She doesn't talk. Or, at least, not with me.
My first visit is with Paraiso, a pale blue dot orbiting an orange sun, strangely reminiscent to our ancestral, wonderful home of Earth. But this comparison is only skin deep. The hustle and bustle of Sol is not seen, the fleets of ships dotting the system, the stations and habitats strewn across asteroids and other planets. It is almost eerily quiet, radio chatter the only sign of intelligent life. There is not much of it - confederal engineers and miners, either chatting it up to fights loneliness or go on about their business of docking and undocking from the only big station, in geosynchronous orbit of the only habitated planet.
Sky Garnet, it is called, due to it being the rust red of caught asteroid, which has been hollowed out and set to spin in the earliest stages of exile, although I have been told that artificial gravity has been installed 40 years ago, which made expanding it far easier. And indeed. Like glittering tumours, piers, depots and modules have been built with steel and plasteel - a wild sort of building, without careful planning, following the whims and needs of a fickle population.
We do not dock, however. We're not flying an especially big ship, a converted cargo ferry at the size of a shuttle, which has been thoroughly retrofitted as much as the superstructure allows, making it almost a recreational vehicle - who in their right mind would live in a tin can with a kitchen and sleep bunk? Odd is, however, that I keep finding insignia of USDF here. Has this shuttle been stolen? Illicitly sold or salvaged? I knew the Confederation is a bit short on heavy industry, but to such an extent? 
I mulled over it loudly, asking my "companion" what this is about, but they give me no answer. Vatborns are about as intelligent as anywhere else it seems, which is to say not much. They're automatons, distasteful for my sensibilities as true human - I would have preferred a drone. Just as sapient, but at least it might have a Turing Interface and make a pleasant conversation. This silence from something posing as human is just creepy.
However, this might be just a quiet dig at me from the officials that dealt with me. A punishment for trying to pry behind their veil and see the life of a typical Confederate. Everyone knows their propaganda, of hope and opportunity, of solidarity and unity. But I don't really buy it. Elysians babble the same nonsense, but how can a society prosper without a truly free market, without the affluence of corporations to provide their consumers and employees their generous benefits? And so far, I have been proven right. It looks miserable, lonely and ugly.
Much like the land of the planet as we aerobrake into the atmosphere, the horizon opening up on the viewscreens and the copula of the shuttle. The sea itself is gorgeous - a roiling, endless sea of azure, turquoise and sapphire, endlessly lapping and rising up by currents unseen under the surface. It reminds me of Tiamat. But the string of Islands, some big, some small, most of them volcanic in origin are like brown, green-tinted puddles of mud on a beautifully woven carpet. This is because life has it hard here, tells me a voice on the radio.
I find out soon why. In the distance there is thunder and lightning, just peeking from the horizon. A curtain of water and terror as I zoom in with my eyes. I'm stunned for a moment. Why do they live here when apparently six times a day, there is an apocalypse on some part of the planet? How do they escape the torrents, which seem to be enough to sweep people, houses, continents away? The answer is a short chuckle. It's not so bad and everything can be fixed with elbow grease.
We land on one of the islands, seemingly prepared for our arrival. I am not sure how. I didn't hear my "companion" announce us, but we land with a few people already waiting on us. Most of them are dirty, streaked with mud and sweat, their sunburnt skin strange to me. I know, academically, that sunburn exists, but it is rare in the Commonwealth. After all, most UV light is filtered in buildings and canopies to prevent it from happening. But in this wilderness, they do not have any of that.
This delegation, I shall dub them, is far more chatty than my "companion", eagerly telling me about their vagrant lives. Descendants from the original rebels and terrorists, they have been living here for generations now, fostering still their seditious thought - two of them even dare to say they're Martian still. I bite my tongue and listen instead. Apparently Paraiso's oceans are full of life, which is why they have bothered to actually settle here, to provide nourishment for the other "Exiles" in the Confederation. Yes, they know about the monsoons too - the constant reminder the landscape itself.
There is no trees, bushes or even grasses of any height. The ground is greenish tinted and swampy solely because of hardy algae and mosses who can withstand both the impact and periodical flooding. But how do the humans escape the same fate an oak would? "Simples", comes the answer, surprised I even ask. They point upwards, patiently waiting for... Something. And then I see it too, after a while. A glider! Soaring through the sky on near-weightless wings, lazily prowling the skies. They joke about how they practically know every water molecule by name in the atmosphere. Rain clouds are tracked by satellite and glider, meticulously reported and then relayed to the Paraisan Weather and Migration Service.
Apparently this is how they deal with it. Whenever a monsoon is scheduled, they just.. Move away. In bands of ships and floating hamlets, they simply move out of the way. And when it is over, they return. They even tell me that they have devised some emergency gliders just to fill the atmosphere with particles in case one of their groups can't move out of the way in time, to dampen the blow in the end. I suppose necessity is the mother of invention. But why bother with this in the first place and not just live on ships?
There is a grin and silence. Instead of answering, they want to show me something. A "lil' project", as one of the dissidents tells me. And so, we go on a brisk, dull walk. The horizon isn't really anything to look at, the ground is sticky and muddy. But that changes as we arrive at our location, at least in terms of something to look at. 
People. Children, adults, even some robots and vatgrown (if the barcodes are any indication) digging in the mud. It's chaos. People just seem to dig into the ground aimlessly, piling up mud and clay and carting it off for some reason, a giant hole with a spider web of bigger and smaller trenches. A sort of strip mine? A public works to create "jobs" of aimlessly digging around so people have work? I don't understand it. But here they are, a bustling sort of town of tents, recreational vehicles hugging a small mountainside. 
But the more I watch, the more I see a strange harmony in this wild digging. it's organized almost like an ant hive. There are children digging out in thin, little trenches, snaking the path of lease resistance, before being followed by adults, who straighten, deepen and widen the channel. Then, it is joined with another, radiating out from the central hole, set just at the foot of the highest mountain face. And even there people work on it, chipping away rock and creating plateaus, where they bottom it out and fill it with carried away mud. Not all people dig either. Some bring water, tend to small injuries or drive stakes into the sides of the trenches and plate them with wood and pour quickcrete.
And then, there is a siren, playing a little song. I do not make out all words, but it is some union ditty. Right on cue, people stop working on their projects, which harmonize into a wider network of someting I have yet to find out what, and gather around a larger, central plaza situated in their little shanty town. There, people begin to speak to the rapt attention of the entire settlement. I don't understand much of it - until it clicks in my head.
It's progress reports. Which channels have been built, what depth the central hole has achieved, how far they are into finishing making the mountain a sort of gigantic staircase. People are praised who worked hard and given awards in form of more food or little luxuries. It's strange how much they get excited over things like sweets or just the praise of their group. People who have been found lacking are not punished, but told to do harder next time or asked if they want to do something different. Most of them agree and switch their assigned - or chosen? - duty. Some just say they had a bad day or don't feel well or other excuses and they will do better next time. Strange. it's almost like a business meeting, but with far more people involved. 
But it ends with another song of the siren and people begin to take out tables, mats, stools and chairs and I realize that it is time for dinner. I am cordially invited to join them, although I don't look forward to what counts as food here. And so I am sitting down with my delegation as they pass bowls and platters, piling on pale, sautéed flesh and a brownish green broth with a sort of spider web in black laid in. I'm told the flesh is Paraisan prawn, the broth is dehydrated algae sheet broth with processed moss. For a moment, I considered fasting, but I was here to depict how miserable they are.
But as I take my first bite, I am surprised. The flesh is succulent, lightly sweet and salty. A bit rubbery, but certainly delicious enough that I take a second bite - and a third. In fact, I asked for seconds, which they happily provided, laughing. The broth has an earthy kind of taste to it, mixed with an inoffensive, fishy flavour - apparently seasoned with ground up shell of the prawn, which I was told are the size of small dogs. I laugh, disbelieving, but they assure me it is true. The moss is more like pasta, thin, chewy strands that are flavourless, aside the sensation of starch lingering on the tongue. It's simple, if comforting food and quickly I realize how filling it is. I wouldn't call it Haute Cuisine, but for some reason, I don't think they care much for such notions. This is food to sustain. Dinner for workers after a hard day of labour, to regenerate. A simple joy.
Rest did not come easy to me, although I was offered a place not in one of the many tents and small RVs, but rather in the bunker set into the bowels of the mountain, fashioned to keep more important personnel on site, as I was explained. There is a hospital here, a powersite, storage for the power tools and the few APLU units they have, digging out the central hole. it's not uncomfy as I was led to a small chamber, with a bed, desk and a lamp, even a personal computer with some videogames and books - in case I get bored. But I feel like an intruder now. A passive observer into an alien world that I do not understand, whose customs seem far more communal than mine. They all ate together, worked together and top-down structures barely seem to exist - people voted their foreman for the week and swap if they are dissatisfied.
And I keep thinking why they do all of this. It seems so pointless. Are they prospecting? Just working for the sake of work, to achieve this joviality and camaraderie of a construction site? Or are they maybe penal labourers? Did the regime of this planet, set in orbit, deal with its dissidents this way? I do not know. My bodyguard sure won't tell me. She just stares silently. Sometimes, I think she studies me. Gauges me. But she is a vatborn, so I don't believe it.
As morning arrived, I see them working again. I'm told people work up to sixteen hours here, only stopping for breakfast, lunch and dinner, which often is as communal as the one I witnessed. I asked what if someone wants to eat alone or another time. They shrug. Then they cook, one laughs. And eat. They just have to tell kitchen staff before they make too much.  Odd. I keep silent as we take the short trek back to my assigned shuttle. One of my delegation comes with us on the trip - business on the Sky Garnet, apparently. And as we take off, he begins to direct the vatborn for a trajectory that would make us run over an island chain. He tells me to watch the bottom camera closely.
And so I do. And then I am struck with awe as I realize what the point of it all was. From high in the sky, it all makes sense. They're not digging for resources - they're carving rivers and a sea into the landscape. The steps into the mountain are terraces - they shape the landscape. "So the monsoons just pass by.", the vatgrown says. I stare at her. her first words. She has a deep, almost motherly voice. She smiles and gestures downwards again, to the screen. 
This is not the only island that does it. Tentative specks of real green, of vegetation dot islands. Some are completely covered in vegetation and jungle, now that I look more closely. Tiny flickering candles of life, slowly joining together into hearths of civilization. The channels are to drain water from the soil, to direct the flow of the monsoon into not undirected floods, but rather into man-made directions. Grass is planted after - to enrich and harden the soil with its roots. And then people settle. What I have seen is just the frontier. 
"We make do.", the vatborn says. And I am stunned to silence.

- Dragor (2020-11-12)

Sars Mara, A Travel Report

After my time on Paraiso, I was a little bit shook. Of course, comparatively to the Commonwealth of Sol-Procyon, these people are destitute. Many of them work hard, physical labour usually relegated to drones and other undesirables in our more enlightened society. But I can't help but maybe think there is something to the fruits of labour being so personal, affecting others. Fishermen haul in big tangles of seaweed, prawn and other exotic sea fruits from the rich and diverse biomes just under the sea line. Workers process it, cargo haulers ship it away to other planets - in turn communities receive the dividend of that labour. Products from more industrial member colonies of their Confederation.
Such as Sars Mara. I have taken to travel with one of the food transports to this planet, full of tinned goods, held in stasis for the transport to be as fresh as possible when arriving. Jars full of little, floating grass clippings, pressed into bite sized balls. I was actually gifted one such jar and have been snacking on it ever since. It's an odd flavour, definitely tasting faintly like I am chewing on a lawn, although the malty, slightly alcoholic flavour dominates this confectionary. It is a sweet, created from modified grass to stock up on simple glucose - a sort of cousin of the more ubiquitous sugarcane.  The Paraisan People distil a rum from this, with a refreshing acidity to it. I ought to buy a bottle from this, however this would break the Gilthari Accords, who have embargoed the Confederation.
My time is spent trying to chat up my bodyguard once again, now keenly aware that she both talks and understands me, but the only reaction I got from her is a slight smile and a dismissive handwave. A stoic type, which is hardly surprising, I suppose. I am still an outsider, an alien, a rogue element which she has to carefully observe.
The system of Sars Mara, "Red Landing" is a much more industrialized  sight than Paraiso. This is where the Exile Fleets of the Ares Confederation first arrived in their sleeper ships, when they were driven out of Mars, bitter from defeat. Historians would tell you about all the implications that brought for the continued efforts to terraform Mars, which has been largely abandoned after the Second Mars War - nearly every engineer, academic and firebrand left, taking a surprisingly large swath of workers with them, depriving Mars from skilled labour for generations.
It shows, truly. Around the ruddy red planet, which is the de facto headquarters of both the of the so called Liberty Assembly and the Confederal Armed Forces. It shows - there is an equatorial half-ring around the planet, glinting in the artificial gleam of manmade material - steel and plasteel shaped far more skillfully than Sky Garnet. Barracks, docking ports, anchors for the solar shields, cooling down Sars Mara below to liveable temperatures - and maybe most importantly, the only serious drydock operation of the Ares Confederation. While many planets can boast at least some capability to build corvettes and frigates, these gunboats pale in comparison of what is created here - rugged, boxy designs, time tested hulls of battlecruisers that have been declared obsolete by the Commonwealth. And still, they prowl, roaring in space and giving trouble to any corporate fleet who mistakes the Confederation for easy prey.
Beyond that, many stations dot the system - asteroid mines, refinery stations, way posts, patrol hangars and hidden killer sats. Fortified, drawing greedily from the wellspring of the debris fields of the local gas giants, Oort Cloud and asteroid belts, all shipped back to Sars Mara itself - the industrial heartland of the Confederation - to be smelted and shaped and hammered into war material, industrial equipment and more - the expertise of old Mars, carried like a torch to a surprisingly similar planet, at least from the view it gives from orbit.
Our cargo hauler descends into the half ring, a maze of scaffolds, radiation shielding and asteroid blockers, where asteroids have been carved up, devoured for its resources and sometimes just incorporated into the structure itself, an industrial process which happened time and time again - from there, we descend into the anonymously named "Trader Port #83", where goods change hands and the cargo hauler trots off away, leaving us alone as it transports APLU mechs, diggers and boring equipment back to Paraiso.
The half ring, which seems to be the only name this station complex, having never been officially christened with a proper name, as it is not truly a station on and itself - rather it is the fusion of several, singular stations, just like Trader Port #83. Kanta's Den, Confederal Anchorage #12 and many, many more names are announced as we take the orbital tram through these complexes, the shuttle tram smoothly floating along its maglev tracks, tubes expanding against it, sealing and allowing people to board or leave. The diversity is staggering for a Commonwealther like me, but probably a common sight on the frontier.
Furred halfbreeds, Unathi exiles, synthetic freepeople - there is no end to it. Some don't even walk on two legs, but rather walk on all fours like animals - but where their head should be is a humanoid torso. Some literally are just animals, at first so I thought, until they sat down and began to chat up their travel companions. The culture shock from the tram ride alone is oddly harder than Paraiso, where it was more familiar, but impoverished  - here it looks like a typical asteroid habitat you would find in one of the many Commonwealth dependencies, but utterly alien in its inhabitants. 
And the fashion! Where we Commonwealther prefer stylish, elegant cuts made from fibres both natural and synthetic for maximum comfort in gentle, soft colours (at least that's the current trend), these people wear functional, sometimes torn clothing, dominating in earthy, dark colours. Some carry patched or logos on them, of stars, torches, cogs, hammers and sickles. The natural implication is that they wear their allegiance on their sleeve in one of the few places where this wouldn't at least raise an eyebrow.
Finally, we reach our destination, indicating by my bodyguard getting up and gently tugging on my doublet to heft me on my feet. She barely needs her strength to do so. We walk out the tube to a station called "Last Tick to Midnight". Omnious. It is a filled out rock, both the habitation of a nearby drydock of a communal company building domestic ships and the starport for the surface of Sars Mara. Interestingly, there is a viewing platform, where I remain for a while.
The swirling atmosphere, dimmed by the solar shades, is thick and foggy, glinting in specks of ochre and alabaster - sand kicked up from the surface. It is dry as bones down there, massive sandstorms engulfing large swathes of land of the visible hemisphere, slowly crawling over the surface like massive beasts, before dispersing... And appearing somewhere else. 
This needs some shopping - or whatever what passes as shopping here. My bodyguard is helping me out with this, as my  currency is not really accepted. Instead, the market is practically just a complex web of debts and favours called in amongst individuals, banking on their reputation within a particular commune while the rest is covered with a "social dividend", monetary units who each individual gets depending on how their particular commune is doing with raising the industrial output of the Confederation as a whole. What might be more bizarre, however, is that food and lodging seems to be inherently free of charge, as I quickly realize as I get a shish kebab of the bull prawn, marinated in a strange sauce called "Rust". it's sweet, spicy, coloured a dark red. Paprika and honey? I can't really tell.
But it is delicious. 
Finally, my bodyguard has acquired outfits for the both of us for our surface dive. Filter masks, long, flowing robes of a lightweight material, to keep our bodies isolated from heat and sand. snow goggles, to keep particles out of our eyes. I find it looks a bit silly, but she was graceful enough to get me something more politically neutral in tone - white, umber and a sash of pastel blue, for my electronics and a small AC unit to keep me cool. How strangely considerate of her.
The descent is not particularly noteworthy, except that we are alone in the pod as it shoots down to the surface in almost relativistic speeds. Luckily the inertia dampeners are in full effect or I would be little more than a smear on the floor as the magnetically shot pod is caught in another magnetic field, leaving our descent at little than under three minutes. 
And so we don our filter masks and our goggles, stepping out of the building of concrete and steel, an unassuming port in the neighbourhood of a factory city called "New Webley". And as I step out into the glaring sun and take a deep, filtered breath, I realize that my first impression was again deceptive. 
Sars Mara is alive. Unlike the planet of the first exiles, Sars Mara has a biosphere and water - not much of it, by all means, but enough to support a thriving, hardy population of animals and plants. Indeed, as I glare against the sun, I see strange bats fly in flocks in the dusty, but blue sky with very large ears and enormous wings for their comparatively small bodies. Cacti and knobby, dark brown shrubs dot the streets, greens on clay, prickling out like constant, little yells of "See! Here be life!". 
Here be life, indeed. Far more people live on Sars Mara than Paraiso and it shows, far more looking similar to colonies of the Commonwealth, all wearing at least the clothes like us, some having their filter mask dangling down around their necks as they relax in coffee houses, side street bistros or leaving work. At the edge of the city is the pride and joy of New Webley - a geothermal forge, where deep shafts are drilled into the active lava tubes of Sars Mara to smelt alloys together in a relatively clean matter.
But again, it is utterly alien. Citizenship is hard fought for in the Commonwealth - being a citizen is a privilege. And so it is on Sars Mara, but that does not matter. Everyone who applies for it can become a Freeperson, apparently, as I visit a travel office to brush up on local culture and sightseeing. Freepersons are entitled to the full law of the Confederation - except voting and participating on the confederal level. Only workers with three years veterancy or those who have done three years of military service are allowed to be citizens. What an odd system.
I decided to take a sightseeing tour of the nature of Sars Mara with my bodyguard, who seems to enjoy it as much as I do. Could this have been Mars when the Confederation would've been successful the first time? The second time? All of it has been meticulously planned out, engineered and then released in the wild. This planet was a dustbowl before and instead of bending it to the will of the Exiles, they have adapted - whether with their buildings, habits or their nature. Animals have been modified for heat exchange, like the flying bats or be very adept in water conversation. Plants range from succulents, to mosses, to desert trees. Fields of ruby, sunflower yellow and burnt orange pass to canyons and crags, where thin-wooled wild goats chew on thin, bone white grass as we drive in an open-faced jeep with a small gaggle of tourists like me.
Several oasis spots dot the landscape from time to time, stops for us to recuperate and enjoy the rare, cool wind floating through thin, tall palms, whose long finger fronds sway heavily, dusting our clothes with a sort of powder - pollen, I was told, ultimately harmless, except to people prone to hay fever. They all laugh. Apparently it is much rarer on Sars Mara than it is on Earth. I keep politely quiet, instead watching the bigger animals carefully skulk to their watering holes. Deer-like things with twisting, long antlers, more like corkscrews and small fangs sticking out of their mouths, demonstrating their use by snagging them on the bark of a palm and stripping it down to drink on the succulent sap that slowly oozes out.
But our last stop might be the most impressive one, the one where I remain for the time being. Sars Mara City - the capital of Sars Mara, a grand port city - carved into the side of a mountain, hiding in its shadow for cool temperatures and protection from the great sandstorms. And it shows. People here are far more liberal with their clothes, wearing light shirts, pants and skirts - or for some furred species, absolutely nothing. It is vibrant, in a sort of boomtown feeling to it, a hustle and bustle of a city verging on becoming a metropole. The beating heart of a fledgling empire.
Sars Mara itself has long abandoned most industrial endeavours, having them delegated to other places or letting it obsolete out, aside from its energy production and hydroponic farms, supplementing its population beyond what Paraiso and other places import into it. For the first time during my trip, I actually recognize foodstuff - carrots, apples, cabbage and lettuce. Peanuts, almonds and hazelnuts. I rejoice in a familiar taste, however hydroponically accelerated it is, even though most meat needs some "creds" - either reputation or the monetary value of the dividend. I never was excited for a vegetarian dish, but it seems this travelling has a way for me to experience new things. Tofu is actually quite enjoyable if it's pan fried crispy and helped with a large helping of Rust Sauce.
Sometimes, I wonder if these people miss their original home or they have abandoned it for a new identity, a new start. But as I crawl through the teahouses (the most popular blend is one where Paraisan grass is mixed with mint and honey), I soon realize they did not. People born on Sars Mara speak with a Martian accent, use Martian idioms and most importantly call themselves "Martian". Everyone seems to be convinced that they will return home, that this place is a temporary setback - a spot to recuperate and take back their ancestral home.
A home away from home, one waxes after the judicious application of Paraisan Rum, weathering about how they need to do more, to become stronger and finally challenge the Commonwealth again - saying that megacorporations and the classical liberal economy and politics are ultimately losing propositions for the "people". I do not pry further or discuss it, instead driving the conversation away to more pleasant topics, like his commune and family.
Is this the fate of the Commonwealth? To be obsoleted what is brewing here on the Frontier? Or is this the wishful thinking of bitter utopists and ideologues? Whatever it is, I cannot deny their success from where they started. Once this was a barren planet, the last refuge of a broken people. Now it has become much more. 
Maybe they can be really a contender on the mainstream thought of Humanity.

- Dragor (2020-11-14)

Elysian Colonies

Health and Medicine

"New Eden" religious commune destroyed by plague

The Elysian Colony of New Eden, a religious commune of the reclusive True Inheritors of Adam, has been destroyed by an outbreak of Roanoake Syndrome.
The True Inheritors of Adam, lead by the outspoken and controversial Rev. Michael Corsair, are mostly known on the exonet for their belief that modern life and conveniences are poisoning the spirit of humanity, and that all diseases are directly caused by this poisoning - modern medicine in particular is blamed for exacerbating the problem, and that putting faith in yet more technology instead of the "spirit of mankind" is only poisoning us further. More outspoken members are lampooned for their pseudoscientific claims regarding the "dangerous" contents of common medicinal compounds.
To this end, the Inheritors founded the New Eden colony on a newly discovered G2-class garden world, with the intent of forming a religious pastoral community free of the influence of modern technology - with the ultimate goal of concealing their off-world origins from future generations of colonists, allowing them to grow up ignorant of the "poison" of technology, reasoning that even knowledge of the existence of such things is a dangerous temptation. While supply runs were still being made to the colony, trade ships were forbidden from landing within sight of the settlement and all supplies were ferried to their final destination via wind-powered craft, posing as travellers from a faraway land, with the ultimate goal of disbanding such shipments once the colony was self-sufficient.
The latest such vessel to reach the colony, however, found the landing site abandoned. Disguising themselves in low-technology outfits, they made their way to the colony only to find it in a state of complete disrepair, bodies of livestock slaughtered in the fields, before finally coming under attack by what they described as a "mad pig-man" they inadvertently cornered in one of the settlement buildings - while they managed to drive it off, one of the traders was severely bitten and upon returning to the ship, the wound had developed into the early stages of a Roanoake infection - fortunately, the traders were able to stabilise their crewmember and bring them to a nearby outpost for treatment.
A subsequent expedition to the commune was carried out against the orders of the Inheritors, with only a handful of survivors found remaining of the once 2000-strong colony. The survivors described seeing an "ascending star that brought a rain of dust", shortly after which the colonists and livestock began to fall ill, and once the death toll started to rise, the remaining colonists started to come under attack by predatory creatures - which have now been identified as feral xenochimera.
Upon hearing the news, Corsair initially called for the creatures to be wiped out by sterilising the entire continent, which drew harsh responses from environmental groups that objected to the very concept of setting fire to a G2-class planet, and Commonwealth-based NGO Xenocide Watch who pointed out that the xenochimera now residing on the planet could possibly be classified as sentient life since they grew from human feedstock. Finally, neighbouring factions in the Elysian Colonies, already known to be on unfriendly terms with the Inheritors over their interdiction against free trade or visitation to the planet, and particularly of the fact that their leader was not resident on the planet himself yet still maintained a claim of ownership, rescinded their recognition of the colony, stating that Corsair's claim upon the rights to the world expired the moment the remaining colonists were extracted, effectively abandoning the planet.
Taking things further, the planet's immediate neighbour in the Elysian colonies, the Folorn Wealth But New Friends asteroid colony, put out a formal statement recognising ownership of the former New Eden colony as belonging to "its current inhabitants", a move that has sparked interested responses from the Elysian Colonies' expansive xenochimera population, who currently lack a home-world of their own.
Due to the presence of a lethal though treatable pathogen, and the introduction of a primitive community of intelligent, hyper-adaptive carnivores, New Eden has been reclassified as a G4 world.

- Scree (2020-05-18)

Anti-medical religious group hospitalised following protest, nine dead

Tragedy struck the Elysian colony of New Eden earlier today when a group of protesters had to be evacuated after staging a sit-in at the xenochimera colony of New Eden. The protesters, members of the True Inheritors of Adam religious movement, arrived earlier in the week to object to the presence of the settlement which was on the site of their former colony.
The Inheritors, commonly known for their belief that diseases are caused by our bodies being poisoned by modern living, medicine in particular, founded the original New Eden colony in order to live without such temptations, with the ultimate goal that future generations on the colony would not be aware of the existence of modern technology at all. The colony was wiped out seven months ago by an outbreak of Roanoake Syndrome, a condition easily treated with modern medicine, and neighboring colonies rescinded recognition of the Inheritors' claim on the planet as the colony was deemed to be abandoned.
The colony has subsequently been resettled by a large number of the Elysian Colonies' expansive xenochimera population, who commonly regard it as the nearest thing they currently have to a home world. The Inheritors have objected to this resettlement, still maintaining their claim upon the planet, and to this end a shuttle loaded with some fifty protesters set out to the colony with the intent of re-staking their claim. Unfortunately several members of the group, who had not brought medical supplies and insisted upon sourcing food and water locally as soon as they arrived, fell ill shortly after arrival. Offers of medical assistance from the locals were refused, and subsequently the protesters were evacuated after the colonists sent out a distress call for their own good.
Asked for comment, the colony doctor said "They really should have seen this coming. We did - it's not like we keep antibiotics on hand for our benefit."

- Scree (2020-12-20)

Legal

Emergency Law Session on "Mariana's Holy Realm" finished

Mariana's Holy Realm, an asteroid terrarium in the Elysian Colonies, has finished its emergency law session of their legislative body, The Council of Arcology Owners.
While the colony disapproves of government interfering with private matters, preferring to instead rely on contracts between individuals, groups and corporations for their decision-making, they have concluded to restrict divorce law and estate breaking. The new statutes are largely the same, aside the addition of "Biological assets, aside personal ones, are liable to Marriage Estate statutes.".
Grounds for this revision is the locally prominent case of Jane Lancaster vs. Mark Lancaster, where Maria has successfully gained custody over the male reproductive organ of Mark after their divorce, on the ground that the body of a person counts as their own, biological asset.
To prevent further such cases and humiliation, the revision forbids the obtainment of personal biological assets, be it organs or gene-mods, especially if they have been acquired after the marriage contract.
Mark Lancaster, now Mary Lancaster, does not intent to sue back for their male reproductive organs and is, in fact, remarried to Jane.

- Dragor (2020-08-14)

United Federation

Major Events

Suspicious Asteroids Intercepted by Pearl Necklace Defence System at Frontier World. Frontier Fleet Headquarters Investigating Cause

A Federation frontier world that recently installed the first Pearl Necklace Defence Network stations has reported that the Defence Network had destroyed an asteroid that was nearly missed by watchtower systems. A defence official for the planet states that had they not been ahead of schedule with the installation of the new Pearl Necklace Mark 2s, they would have been hit by the previously undetected iron-nickel core rocks.
"We are so very lucky," states Senator Athena Risu, who is currently the chair for the frontier development comittee, "I'm just very glad that the people out in the frontier was working as hard as they were out there to establish these new stations. Gods know we would be facing a humanoitarian crisis right now without those stations keeping watch."
Frontier Fleet HQ has begun to investigate how the asteroids slipped past their watchtower networks. An analysis of their trajectories puts them what one official states was "frighteningly and suspiciously close to hitting our key centres of government and infrastructure."
"We don't know if foul play was involved or if this was a coincidence," Admiral Kader tells us, "I have two teams looking at both possibilities."

- Joan (2020-12-14)

Politics

A number of citizens have started calling for secession from the Federation

Citizens in the Beta-Caeliar sector have begun to ring the bells of secession today. The frontier region has stated that they do not feel the Federation has their best interests at heart and is not supporting their development endeavors while making decisions without their input. 
Sector Representative Caine has stated that he does not support their calls for a referendum. 
"Secession may seem like a good idea on paper, but they don't understand what support we would be losing if our sector goes through with this."
Representative Caine is referring to the development funding and resources allocated directly to Beta-Caeliar, including equipment and labor assigned to the task of building up the colonies to stable and semi-autonomous order. Most Federation colonies are planned out to meet a specific score on `The Self-Sustainability Scale` for their colony. This scale takes into account various costs, environmental challenges, logistical challenges, and locations of colonies. According to the Federation Ministry of Housing and Development, Beta-Caeliar's score on both their sector and colony scales are well under-par.
Mako Pla, an expert in colonial development, lays out the reality of Beta-Caeliar's situation. "Typically, efforts are made through out the Federation to develop a sector's score at a scheduled pace. Towards the end, a sector and her colonies should be able to develop itself and support various needs on their own with some exceptions that trade makes up for. Beta-Caeliar would collapse; They face huge economic costs, social services would be choked out of their budgets, and the sector lose the benefit of a central government's financial support to offset those kinds of costs."
Mist-in-Wind, a political commentator, is more diplomatic but maintains a cautious attitude. "Leaving the Federation doesn't necessarily mean they would lose all support or see prohibitively high costs. Beta-Caeliar has plenty of untapped local resources to maneuver and blunt blows that come with secession."
"That doesn't mean it will be easy. Independence comes with a cost. Their ability to defend themselves would be limited to local action and nearby colonies outside the sector would not be able to help provide material assistance without a treaty between Beta-Caeliar and the Federation Council."
He then states, "It is true that the Council is not paying close enough attention to the needs of the Rimward colonies. They should address this soon before the Sector Governor is made to hold a referendum on the topic."

- Joan (2022-08-10)

Travel and Culture

Gaia Celebrates Annual Cycle Pilgrimage of Giantess and Normal-Sized Lifeforms Differently This Cycle

Every cycle, around the harvest season, a massive city-sized temple on Gaia with an equally city-sized active population rolls out a welcome carpet for titanic female lifeforms and their followers visiting during the holidays. Fuwa Magazine names it the number 1 tourist destination for the holidays because of the surge of activity that occurs specifically at the Giantess Temple. 
The temple city within used to house actual buildings when it was built over a century ago, meaning it had stricter rules and more closures. Without the donations of her population and her visitors, the temple would have closed long ago. However, advancements in Holographic (and medical) technology has allowed The Temple to stay open for cycles. After hosting a rampaging event to clear out the space within the temple, a network of emitters with redundant systems was installed and new city was born, much to the delight of her larger-than-life visitors and enthusists. 
However, this cycle isn't without complications. A recent outbreak of Ceti Fever within the Koi Starzone combined with threats of bio-terrorism and non-compliance to health ministry orders has forced major restrictions at all starports, Gaia included. Visitors at The Temple are low for the first time in years for a variety of related factors. 
"While our titanic friends are more resilient to this fever, our normal sized visitors are not," the head priestess of the Temple comments, "Because we are a functioning city, essential operations are still open and we provide services to people seeking refuge until the outbreak is over. However, we have been telling people coming purely as a tourist to stay home."
A giantess who has been visiting the temple for years with her followers confirms that there is a consensus among her kind about the situation.
"I think we can set an example for our tiny followers here and postpone our celebrations for now. The Temple isn't going anywhere nor is our influence."
The Temple is stockpiling resources for travellers who nevertheless made prohibitively expensive arraignments to be there this cycle and ensures all regular visitors that they are organising celebrations to be made as soon as the outbreak is over. Until then, they are sharing highlight holo-recordings of past celebrations to tide everyone over. You can get yours at their virtual storefront. 

- Joan (2020-12-14)

Military

Federation Admits That Much Of Their Intel Comes From HoloNet Leaks Meant To Win Arguments.

Advises Rivals & Partners To "Train Their Officers To Be Less Argumentative Over Games Because It's Taking The Magic Out Of An Arms Race And Simulation Games."
They Also Acknowledge Several Leaks Of Technical Documents Pertaining To Their SX-22 Fighter Program & New Focus Star Ship Project. 

 -Joan (2023-01-17)

Random: Federation Marines Successfully Board Pirate Defense Station.

Random: Federation Marines Successfully Board Pirate Defense Station With Automated Combat Systems By Using Cardboard Boxes To Trick Rudimentary AI.
15 Pirates were detained. Investigators told "We didn't expect to be attacked by cardboard boxes."

-Joan (2023-01-19)

Adverts

Calliope-Beta Development Group Bulletin

Are you tired of not owning something? Do you wish to become a property developer? Do you seek the hardy work of the frontier of our pioneer ancestors?

Look no further!
The CBDG now offers development grants at a 5% yearly interest rate for any asteroid within the Calliope-Beta System! We cover the cost of acquiring the asteroid deed, a civilian SMES and Autolathe (civilian uses only), while you go ahead and build your own home! ¹
In addition to this, we have negotiated with the Calliope-Beta Government that you are exempt of any sale tax on ore and refined metals for the first six months to let you settle in!²
Terms and Conditions may apply³.
¹ ᵗʰᵉ ˢᵐᵉˢ ᵃⁿᵈ ᵃᵘᵗᵒˡᵃᵗʰᵉ ᵃʳᵉ ʳᵉⁿᵗᵃˡˢ ᵃⁿᵈ ʳᵉᶜᵘʳʳⁱⁿᵍ ᶠᵉᵉˢ ᵃᵖᵖˡʸ ᵐᵒⁿᵗʰˡʸ. ᵗʰᵉʸ ᵐᵃʸ ᵇᵉ ʳᵉᵗᵘʳⁿᵉᵈ ᵃᵗ ᵃⁿʸ ᵗⁱᵐᵉ ⁱᶠ ʸᵒᵘ ᵈᵒ ⁿᵒᵗ ʷⁱˢʰ ᵗᵒ ᵘˢᵉ ᵗʰᵉᵐ ᵃⁿʸᵐᵒʳᵉ
² ᵃⁿʸ ᵐⁱⁿᵉᵈ ᵒʳᵉ ᵃⁿᵈ ʳᵉᶠⁱⁿᵉᵈ ᵐᵉᵗᵃˡ ᵖʳᵒᵈᵘᶜᵉᵈ ʷʰⁱˡᵉ ᵖᵃʸⁱⁿᵍ ᵒᶠᶠ ᵗʰᵉ ᶜᵇᵈᵍ ᵈᵉᵛᵉˡᵒᵖᵐᵉⁿᵗ ᵍʳᵃⁿᵗ ᵐᵘˢᵗ ᵇᵉ ˢᵒˡᵈ ᵗᵒ ᵗʰᵉ ᶜᵇᵈᵍ ᵒʳ ʸᵒᵘ ᵐᵃʸ ᵇᵉ ⁱⁿᶜᵘʳʳᵉᵈ ᶜᵒⁿᵗʳᵃᶜᵗ ᵖᵉⁿᵃˡᵗⁱᵉˢ
³ ᶠᵃⁱˡᵘʳᵉ ᵗᵒ ᵘᵖʰᵒˡᵈ ᶜᵒⁿᵗʳᵃᶜᵗ, ʳᵉᵍᵘˡᵃʳ ᵖᵃʸᵐᵉⁿᵗˢ ᵒʳ ᵗʰᵉ ˡᵃʷˢ ᵒᶠ ᵗʰᵉ ᶜᵃˡˡⁱᵒᵖᵉ⁻ᵇᵉᵗᵃ ˢʸˢᵗᵉᵐ ʷⁱˡˡ ᵇᵉ ᵖᵘⁿⁱˢʰᵉᵈ ᵇʸ ⁱᵐᵐᵉᵈⁱᵃᵗᵉ ᵈᵉᵇᵗ ᶜᵒⁿˢᵒˡⁱᵈᵃᵗⁱᵒⁿ ˢᵃˡᵉˢ ᵗᵒ ᵉˡʸˢⁱᵃⁿ ᶜᵒˡᵒⁿʸ "ˢˡᵃᵛᵉᵇʳᵉᵃᵏᵉʳ" ᵈᵉᵛᵉˡᵒᵖᵐᵉⁿᵗ ᵍʳᵃⁿᵗˢ ᵃʳᵉ ᵈᵉᵖᵉⁿᵈᵉⁿᵗ ᵒⁿ ᵃˢˢᵘᵐᵉᵈ ᵖʳᵒᶠⁱᶜⁱᵉⁿᶜʸ ᵒᶠ ᵍʳᵃⁿᵗ ᵗᵃᵏᵉʳ. ᵐⁱⁿⁱᵐᵘᵐ ᵒᶠ ²⁵﹪ ᵍʳᵃⁿᵗ ᶜᵒᵛᵉʳᵃᵍᵉ. ⁱᶠ ᵈᵉˢⁱʳᵉᵈ, ʳᵉˢᵗ ᵒᶠ ᵗʰᵉ ᶜᵒˢᵗˢ ᶜᵃⁿ ᵇᵉ ᶜᵒᵛᵉʳᵉᵈ ᵇʸ ᵗʰᵉ ᶜᵇᵈᵍ ᵈᵉᵛᵇᵃⁿᵏ ᵃᵗ ᵃⁿ ⁱⁿᵗᵉʳᵉˢᵗ ʳᵃᵗᵉ ᵒᶠ ³﹪ ᵐᵒⁿᵗʰˡʸ

- Dragor (2021-05-14)

PREYADRYL COMMERCIAL

INT. INDUSTRIAL SPACE STATION
A group of FRIENDS laughs at the bar. The CHEF visits to provide what could be considered food.
CHEF
Will this be all you're eating?
FRIEND 1
Oh, I don't want to fill up on appetizers while I have the main course here.
FRIEND 2
(Turning to screen)
Being eaten is tough. Weekly and even daily endovore can leave me stressed and unable to face the day. That's why my doctor recommended Preyadryl.
NARRATOR
(voice over)
Preyadryl is the only proven treatment for chronic stomach lining exposure, and it's the only treatment to target endovore skin drying without any added flavors.
Montage of friendly activities. FRIEND 1 and FRIEND 2 relax in ATRIUM area. FRIEND 1 and FRIEND 2 laugh in BAR. FRIEND 1 devours FRIEND 2 whole through distended primary orifice.
NARRATOR
(voice over)
Results of Preyadryl may vary. Side effects include indigestion, double indigestion, and interior insomnia. Do not take Preyadryl if you experience permavore lasting more than two days. 
FRIEND 2 is shown with PDA inside dark space, victorious over difficult mobile game.
NARRATOR
(voice over)
Talk to your doctor about Preyadryl today. Preyadryl. Because you don't need to be so bitter.

- Dragor (2021-07-27)

Super Slime Ship Season seven announced

Fans across the galaxy today have rejoiced as the hit show, Super Slime Ship, has announced a new season after its apparent cliffhanger remained unresolved for an extended period of time. This had come as a surprise as the creator of the show, William Tenisburg, had stated he had no plans to continue the show after the sixth season when interviewed two years back.
The show in question is an animated show designed for Prometheans to help them learn basic life skills and lessons that will help them fit into spacer society effectively, but has since gained a cult following following its tonal shift from Season 2 onwards where the story took a dramatic rise in quality according to fans. Prometheans and non-Prometheans alike now watch the show for its engaging plot, its loveable characters, its light-hearted approach to spacer life and its enthusiasm to paint Prometheans in a positive light.
Mr. Tenisburg today announced that he would be continuing the story of Captain Cerulean and his crew as they attempt to stop the space pirate Crimson Criminal from his banditry and harassment of the Squelchilon System, which has shocked fans after a long period of absence.
"The Slime Ship will fly on," Mr. Tenisburg says. "We have heard your words and it is our obligation to deliver."
The announcement has caused overwhelming celebration among the viewers of the show, who had expressed disappointment over the show's unsatisfying end.
One fan says, "Gosh, I never thought I'd see this day! It's really, really, really cool that they're going to do this, I cannot wait!"
However, not all the reception is positive. A small number of fans have chastised Mr. Tenisburg for putting the show on indefinite hold with the intent of ending it only to go back on his word.
"How are we supposed to trust him?" says another fan. "He says one thing and does another. Are we even sure a new season is happening?"
Either way, fans are waiting with baited breath for the first episode. Will the show live up to the hype? Only time will tell!

- CrowbarLamb (2022-08-14)

Comedy

Man kills friend over 10 kg of Gold, makes 50 Thaler.

Local Elysian man kills his friend after they have mined a small asteroid, gathering ten kilogram of native gold. After selling it, he has gained a profit of 50 Thaler, issued by Aether Atmospherics.
When questioned why he would kill someone over this during the interrogation, he confesses that his home colony has a great affinity for gold and he thought it is way more worth than it is.
Gold is one of the more ubiquitous metals industrially mined in asteroid operations, owing to its conductivity and use in micro-electronics.

- Dragor (2020-05-05)

Private Colony gets raided, Villa wrecked.

A Periphery colonist's personal colony was raided by an 'unsanctioned' Ares Confederation based group known as 'Bourgie Boogaloo' today, with assets worth over ninethousand Sol-Procyon Dollar (a measure of several million Thaler) allegedly redistributed to various infrastructure and welfare projects in surrounding systems. The colonist, who refused an interview and requested not to be named, had this to say:
"NOOOOO! YOU CAN'T JUST TAKE MY MONEY! MY HECKIN' STONKARINOOOOOOS!"
When the Periphery Post reached out to 'Bourgie Boogaloo', their only comment was "Haha, wealth distribution goes kasching!"

- Dragor (2020-05-05)

An Exciting Proposal Declined!

Four weeks after it’s initial launch in March this year, Lustytails, (a freshly introduced subdivision of Wetskrell) has reached its 10-millionth visitor. 
To celebrate this occasion, they offered an all-expenses paid trip to a nearby spa of the lucky visitor’s choice… and were declined, resulting in the exclusive prize going to the extra-lucky 10-millionth-and-first visitor.
This news post was auto-generated by a bot on Wetskrell. Please contact your systems administrator if you believe this message is in error.

-Amaya (2020-05-06)

Commonwealth Con Man Beaten to Death on Tigra Station

A man from the Commonwealth of Sol-Procyon has been beaten to death last week after he attempted multiple mnemonic scams on denizens of Tigra Station, a six-hundred strong Phoron Siphon Habitat orbiting Tigra 6. 
The 45 old man tried to hypnotise his victims with implanted technology in his eyes and extract sexual and financial favours from them. He, however, found little to no success, as standard anti-mnemonics are extremely commonplace in the Periphery.
"He was like, totally looking me in the eyes with some swirlie spirals and saying "Oooooh, you want to worship my cock and find a statue for it to beg for the privilege to suck me off.", so I just replied with "Sorry, I can't find a pebble that small and smacked him.", states Tracy Callinghan, one of the first "victims".
Tigra Station denizens humoured his attempts for a couple of days, before finally getting sick of him and publically beaten him to death in a flash mob in "Drop Pods", a popular nightclub on the Pleasure Deck.
The man has been resleeved and is currently travelling away deeper into the Periphery.

- Dragor (2020-05-26)

Hundreds dead over Gender Reveal Party

Today, on New Texas Colony (XXIV), hundreds of colonists have perished during the aftermath of a gender reveal party as the couple used a thermonuclear device to detonate in the stratosphere. The isotopes released were supposed to cause an aurora in either blue or pink to reveal the sex of their child.
However, due to the homemade nature of the device, it did not detonate in the stratosphere, fell downwards and detonated 100 meter above the air, making it the first case of a civilian population using thermonuclear warfare tactics in the 24th century.
The gender of the child is currently unknown as the couple has perished in the heat blast and because the nuclear device did not ionize the atmosphere at all. Resleeve labs of New Texas Colony (XXIV) are currently working through the back log while restructuring efforts are underway, subsizided by the Victim Fund of Gender Reveal Parties (Sol Adjunct).

- Dragor (2021-04-25)

Vulpkanin crew arrested in Sol for illegal probing

Today, local Solar Confederation law enforcement arrested the crew of a vulpkanin research vessel for breaking several conventions for probing planets and probing gas giants without legal licences.
The IRV Gecbaram was intercepted by a SolCom corvette while it was firing probes at Uranus and the vessel was seized.
When questioned, research and captain of the vessel Gecbaram Einlich simply smiled and stated in brokenn GalCom "Well, We just probed Uranus."
Please stay in touch for any following updates

- Asteral (2021-05-20)

Man assassinated by dolphin reproductive jelly

Commonwealth, Tau Ceti. 
Controversial politician John Trasen, a major shareholder of NT has been found dead today on his private Garden Asteroid by cleaning staff after they have found a long trail of white fluid from the front garden to the second floor bathroom (the chromed one).
Through mechanisms yet unknown and soon to be discovered by forensic investigations, Mr. Trasen's genitals have been bruised and covered with the reproductive jelly of a Venusian Gene-Dolphin, whose aphrodisiac properties are infamous in Commonwealth territory. 
After several hours of climax, Mr. Trasen's body has exhausted its energy supplies and has subsequently perished from a heart attack. Janitor Man Guyson commented that "he had the widest fucking smile I have ever seen."
Resleeving attempts so far have failed.

- Dragor (2021-12-26)

Heartbreaking: Local Oaf puts a perfectly good cigarette in ashtray

REMOTE MARS RESEARCH OUTPOST -- Station buffoon Chug Durfless, in a wasteful display of idiocy, put an entire unlit cigarette in an ashtray at 0958 this morning, sources say.
"I couldn't believe it." said onlooker Hork James in between sobs, "Did he not know that the next pallet isn't coming in for two months? We need to conserve every cigarette we have."
"We see this all the time," reports psychologist Dr. Vivian Gray, "Up here, people get careless. After acclimating to the lifestyle of day-drinking and getting irrationally angry at chess simulations, the initial caution is thrown to the wind. An honest mistake. We are only people, fragile and flawed things."
"Just wish that fucker didn't toss one of the Lucky Stars", Vivian added before punching a hole in the drywall.
When pressed, Durfless said "What?" and "Don't you guys have actual news to cover?"

- Snugcrow (2022-01-09)

Jarblodoinksi's Clune released, three hospitalized

After a rocky 2-decade development cycle, Jarblodoinksi's nine-hour science-fiction epic, Clune, has hit theaters. Based on the widely-praised comedy space opera of the same name by Prank Bigshoebert, the film's obscene runtime and dense/disquieting-at-best cinematography has led to three hospitalizations at the debut showing.
"It is without description," says survivor and popcorn salesman Frud Crumdum, "I scheduled a day off thinking, 'I could handle Sacred Hill back in '89, I can deal with a tie-in movie'. And in a way? I did. As a person? The old me is dead, and the new one struggles to be born."
The artist-director-star-writer-comedian-licensed-massage-therapist, Jarblodoinksi, made a public statement on the matter after the public backlash
"We did Mr. Bigshoebert a good thing, with the movie." He said, honking his big red nose enigmatically, "We took the original Clune, and we pranked it. But in a loving way. You have to lovingly prank the original."
When asked about the hospitalizations, Jarblodoinksi put on a very large white hat and was carried off by the wind.
As of press time, the three hospitalized are recovering from operations on their busted chucklenuts.

- Snugcrow (2022-02-08)

Church Of Space Christianity elects new head of church, Causing confusion amongst believers

Today the church of space Christianity had elected a new pope after pope Filip the 12th resigned from his position as the head of the church.
However followers of the faith are confused as Pope Tortura the first is in fact a oversized leatherback sea turtle. making it the first in sol history as the one and only "Turtle Pope."
The top clergy refused to comment on the situation.

- Asteral (2022-04-02)

Opinion: Personally, I would feel safer if we gave ZOOMBAs guns

A common sight on many a space station are simple, autonomous drones scurrying about. ZOOMBAs, little circular robots mostly used in housekeeping, are a delight for the whole station. Whether they're serving drinks, cleaning up muddied floors, or just wandering about aimlessly, they are sure to bring a smile to anyone's face.
Also they definitely need to get a gun.
ZOOMBAs are fragile little things. Sure, they're as durable as any NT lawed cyborg, but to see them hurt, to see them unable to fend off a home invader. I just can't bear the thought. Odds are that they could not fire it due to their laws and lack of appendages, but a simple duct tape job could at LEAST give them an intimidation factor. As a proud owner of multiple dozen firearms with varying degrees of serial number intactness, I feel that it is a good idea, if not ethically mandatory, to slap some of those bad boys on the cleany circle. 
Some may disagree, that ZOOMBAs do not need to know the horrors of combat. That their cheap, plastic frames would buckle and crack under the recoil. To which I say: I already got all of these guns, man. Please let me find a grift to offload these for rent.
Interested investors please hit me up. My Blashappmo is GUNS4DRONES-420. End of the month is coming up and I just need like, 200 for rent and 500 for duct tape.

- Snugcrow (2022-05-23)

Board game Publisher Harbarto press release inexplicably cuts ties to Crazy Sex Stuff done during games of EGY

In a recent press release from the game publisher known best for their work publishing family-friendly titles such as EGY and The Landlord's Game: Pratfall Pals Edition, Hasbarto also inexplicably condemned "Horny EGY Stuff".
"Now, make no mistake." Said company representative Codd Boward in his signature polarizingly antebellum accent, "Hasbarto is, first and foremost a simple family company. Because of those values, we cannot endorse using our beloved color-and-number-matching game EGY as a vehicle to get--" Codd paused briefly, to noisily inhale some air through his gills. "Unceremoniously sloppy toppy."
Long time fans of EGY have, for whatever reason, been out in force online about it.
"total bullshit lmfao" posted EGYPHREAKS.BIZ user WILD4WILDDRAW4, "if this wasnt like. by far the most cost effective way to get medically inadvisable amounts of dick @ the comic book store id be so fuckn mad"
As of press time, Codd Boward has been seen making unbroken eye contact with our on-site reporter, seductively moving a red 0 between the third and second row of his impeccable teeth.

- Snugcrow (2022-09-15)

THE WAR IS FINALLY OVER

This is an update to Heartbreaking: Local Oaf puts a perfectly good cigarette in ashtray

REMOTE MARS RESEARCH OUTPOST -- After a bloody, nearly year-long conflict, locals report that area buffoon Chug Durfless and area psychologist Dr. Vivian Gray have made amends after the 2322 Lucky Star Ashtray Incident.
"Hot darn," said onlooker Hork James, tears streaming down their face and dripping off their mandibles, "Really thought they'd full-on murder each other after the third fistfight. But it took them not even like, a full 3 ration shipments for them to make amends. Way better than what happened with Chug and Randy back in '02!"
When pressed on the nature of what happened with Chug and Randy in '02, our reporter detected the signature, succulent reek of Lucky Star Selects in the air before being informed in a hushed tone by Hork that they "Best get going around now, before Chug hears any tall tales about Randy".

- Snugcrow (2023-01-04)

Removed Articles

Tragedy at Horum-4b

[THE ARTICLE HAS BEEN REMOVED DUE TO THE CORPORATE DEFAMATION PROTECTION ACT OF 2289]

- Dragor 2020-05-26

Massacre in Horum Space

[THE ARTICLE HAS BEEN REMOVED DUE TO THE CORPORATE DEFAMATION PROTECTION ACT OF 2289]

- Dragor 2020-08-14

Lore IconBackstory.png
Essentials Factions Locations Species News Miscellaneous

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GreenDot.pngBackstory

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YellowDot.pngNanoTrasen

GreenDot.pngCommonwealth of Sol-Procyon

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YellowDot.pngUnathi Culture

YellowDot.pngVirgo Orbital Research Establishment

GreenDot.pngAl'Qasbah

RedDot.pngITV Talon

YellowDot.pngMoghes (Unathi Homeworld)

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YellowDot.pngHuman

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Partially outdated pages need a pass from lore masters to ensure they conform to current lore, but may be correct as they stand.

Heavily outdated pages directly contradict established lore OR are severely lacking in lore.