ACT was established on March 17, 3307 through the Cornelius-Lasky Convention, which allowed the security forces of the three superpowers to coordinate their response to the deadly Nine Martyrsstarport bombings carried out by the NMLA on March 11. The taskforce was initially stymied by the NMLA due to the terror group's highly-compartmentalised organisational structure and use of a dark-comms network that eluded all efforts to detect it. One of ACT's original three co-leaders, Captain Niamh Seutonia, was also killed on March 24, 3307 in an ambush set up by the NMLA. A major breakthrough in the investigation was made on March 31 with the discovery of the NMLA's partnership with the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid to provide logistical support for Nine Martyrs; the subsequent defeat of the Order by an Imperial proxy faction removed the NMLA's capacity to carry out further large-scale attacks, but other NMLA cells, such as Theta Group, remained active, and the terrorists' leaders could not be identified. ACT's next notable success came on September 6, with the arrest of thousands of NMLA members and sympathisers who had been living in the Marlinist Colonies, and the acquisition of intel exposing hidden NMLA assets in multiple systems.
In November 3307, ACT finally located and captured almost all members of Theta Group.John Tyburn, alias "Theta Seven", the head of Theta Group and de facto leader of the NMLA, remained at large along with his inner circle until December 3307, when they were cornered aboard the Far God cult megaship Sacrosanct in the Mudhrid system. Rather than surrender, Tyburn destroyed the Sacrosanct on December 13, killing himself and thousands of hostages. ACT subsequently announced that it would focus on mopping up surviving NMLA cells and investigating the extremist group's background.
The Lords of Restoration
ACT then uncovered a possible connection between the NMLA and the Imperial government itself in January 3308 thanks to inside knowledge provided by Captain Saskia Landau of the Imperial Internal Security Service: the NMLA's dark-comms network bore remarkable similarities to the Omega Grid covert communications sytem used by Imperial Intelligence. As it continued to dig, ACT became convinced that rogue elements of Imperial Intelligence had provided substantial assistance to the NMLA. On February 1, 3308, ACT announced that it was developing a method of detecting the NMLA's dark-comms network. The Senate then recalled almost all IISS agents who had been seconded to ACT, but Captain Landau refused to return. ACT triangulated an Omega Grid beacon in HIP 290 on February 3 and asked independent pilots to verify it. This beacon's confirmation allowed ACT to identify a second beacon in Saffron the next day, a third beacon in Maidjin on February 5, and a fourth beacon in Zhao Jin on February 6. Decrypted files that were retrieved from the beacons revealed that the secret organisation behind the NMLA called itself the Lords of Restoration, and they had taken EmperorArissa Lavigny-Duval captive. ACT dispatched specialist operatives to locate and recover the Emperor on February 7. Acting on ACT's intel, the Imperial Guard assaulted Summerland, where the Emperor was being held by Darkwater Inc, on February 9 and successfully rescued the monarch. The IISS opened an investigation into the conspiracy and arrested several members, including Senators Karl Nerva, Ursula Torquatus, Alberto Gereon, Lorcan Scordato, and Jourdain.
ACT released a detailed report on the Lords of Restoration on February 14. The report revealed that the Lords had sought to remove the Imperial Family and restore executive authority over the Empire to the Senate. Not only were the Lords responsible for the NMLA's dramatic rise as the galaxy's most infamous terrorist group, but they also abducted Emperor Arissa in January 3307 while she was being transferred into senatorial protection, and used corrupt Imperial Intelligence agents to vouch for the authenticity of communications from the Emperor, which in truth were fabrications made with a virtual doppelganger of Her Majesty.
A second report released on February 21 shed light on an attempt to undermine the Imperial Family by framing Hadrian Augustus Duval as the leader of the NMLA in April 3307. This plan, crafted by Ursula Torquatus with the aim of sowing distrust of the Duvals, involved the use of a virtual doppelganger of Hadrian to send orders to NMLA allies such as Landgrave Arastin Delacroix, but it largely failed because few members of the public believed Delacroix's claims and ACT discredited them. These new findings absolved Hadrian and Lady Astrid Minerva-Duval of any lingering suspicion that they had masterminded the NMLA.
With its mission completed, ACT was officially disbanded by the superpowers on March 7, 3308. Its co-leaders were commended for their work in quelling the NMLA. Captain Saskia Landau in particular was awarded the Achenar Service Cross by Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval in recognition of her key role in exposing the Lords of Restoration, and she was also given command of Imperial Intelligence.
After analysing traffic reports from the nine attacked stations, I think I've correlated a pattern. I traced the flight plans of all recent ships and there are nine cargo vessels - one at each starport - that passed through the Mudhrid system on the same date a week before. That can't be coincidence!
I'm taking the Valkyrie and a small team to see what we can find.
Timestamp: 23/03/3307 12:56
We're at Payne-Scott City. Local IISS are already monitoring one of the smaller factions here: the Order of Mudhrid. Its leader, the Landgrave Delacroix, has expressed support for replacing the Duvals with new rulers.
My theory is that the NMLA were using Mudhrid as a staging post for the bombings. There are Imperial, Federal, and independent factions in this system. So maybe they had agents with them, arranging cargo transports into each superpower's space.
Timestamp: 23/03/3307 23:33
We've raided a cell of NMLA activists being hidden by the Order of Mudhrid. Captured data confirms that the Landgrave is gathering Neo-Marlinists to his megaship, the Steel Majesty.
But that's not the real prize. Theta Group itself are here! Have we got a chance to take out the NMLA's bombmakers?
Timestamp: 24/03/3307 07:01
We're back on the Valkyrie. We managed to identify Theta Group's ship before it jumped into hyperspace, and are currently in hot pursuit.
It looks like they're heading toward the Marlinist Colonies. I've made contact with Captain Castile, who's en route to intercept them.
Still... I'm starting to wonder about the veracity of this info. Are Theta Group really on that ship, or is it bait? I'm duplicating all our data and logs into the flight computer core as a precaution. But I hope this will be an early victory for us.
Captain Saskia Landau
Message from ACT - Beacon 1 Commander, this is Captain Landau.
The deciphered message from the HIP 290 system revealed the name 'Torquatus', who we believe to be Senator Ursula Torquatus. This is a revelation, since she has avoided all suspicion until now. The fact that she openly identified herself proves that she believed the Omega Grid was totally secure.
Now that our detection strategy is confirmed, we have triangulated signals from a second beacon somewhere in the Saffron system. I have provided another partial cipher key that should apply to its contents. Please continue helping us to track down the NMLA's benefactors.
Cipher key 2:
F = S G = R I = 3 J = P K = N O = 4 P = J Q = H R = G U = 5 V = C W = B X = Z Y = Y
ACT - Omega Grid Beacon 2
Your contribution to ACT's work is proving to be invaluable.
The Omega Grid beacon you found in the Saffron system provided the names of two more senators: Alberto Gereon and Karl Nerva. They were working with Ursula Torquatus and others who refer to themselves as 'Lords'. How far does this conspiracy reach?
With the data recovered so far, we theorise that another Omega Grid beacon exists in the Maidjin system. I have provided another cipher key, but again it is incomplete. I have faith in your ability to overcome this.
Cipher key 3:
B = D
C/CH = F
D = G
E = 2
I = 2
J = L
K = M
M = P
O = 2
QU = R
R = S
T/TH = W
X = Z
Y = B
Z = C
ACT - Omega Grid Beacon 3
The beacon you found in the Maidjin system has provided a huge piece of the puzzle!
Darkwater Inc is one of the largest private mercenary groups in the core systems. We now have evidence that it provided military training to NMLA terrorists. Darkwater's employers referred to themselves as the Lords of Restoration, but the significance of this name remains unclear.
Thanks to this and other breakthroughs, we have identified the Zhao Jin system as another likely location for an Omega Grid beacon. Our analysts had difficulty establishing the latest cipher key, so we are relying on your expertise to decipher whatever messages you may find.
Cipher key 4:
A = 4
D = H
E = 4
F = G
G = F
H = D
K = B
L = Z
N = X
S/SH = S
T/TH = R
U = 4
V = Q
W = P
Y = M
ACT - Omega Grid Beacon 4
With your assistance, we have solved a year-long mystery: the whereabouts of Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval.
The message found in the Zhao Jin system confirms that the Lords of Restoration ordered Darkwater troops to abduct the Emperor and keep her captive. This implies that their agents within Imperial Intelligence have been falsifying her communications with the Senate ever since. Specialist operatives have now been dispatched to locate and recover Her Majesty.
On behalf of ACT, thank you for playing a vital part in this work.
The Alliance, Empire and Federation, have agreed to close down the Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit. A joint statement from all three superpowers stated: "ACT's primary mission to locate and destroy the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army has been successfully accomplished." ACT was formed in March 3307 following the Nine Martyrs attacks, when the NMLA simultaneously bombed multiple starports. The independent taskforce rapidly took the lead in investigating the terrorists, calling upon the resources of many agencies, specialists and freelance pilots. The co-leaders of ACT have now returned to their respective security services. Captain Saskia Landau was personally awarded the Achenar Service Cross by EmperorArissa Lavigny-Duval, in recognition of her key role in identifying the Lords of Restoration. Landau has now accepted overall command of Imperial Intelligence, reporting directly to the Emperor. Captain Milo Castile, Inspector Mara Klatt, Praetor Leo Magnus and Senior Agent Tanya Ramirez have all been similarly commended for their successes. The joint statement also paid tribute to those members who lost their lives in the fight against terrorism. ACT was formed under the Cornelius-Lasky Convention, which was ratified at the Galactic Summit. The treaty requires governments to cooperate against large-scale threats to civilian populations, and is now commonly viewed as a historic achievement. Since it remains in force, ACT could be reformed in future if a similar threat to the NMLA arises.
24 FEB 3308
*Pilots' Federation ALERT* The Empire has carried out reprisals against the rogue faction Darkwater Inc in the Summerland system. The private military firm had trained NMLA terrorists and held EmperorArissa Lavigny-Duval captive, on the orders of a cabal of senators named the Lords of Restoration. Darkwater mustered an impressive armada, but these were no match for a combination of superpower forces and independent pilots. Colonel Ronan Brock, the mercenaries' leader, was killed during the fighting when he fled from the Onyx Storm megaship and was shot down by Imperial auxiliaries. Emperor Arissa praised all those who helped destroy Darkwater, and declared: "Let the Battle of Summerland mark the victorious end of our bitter war against both the NMLA and the traitors who sought to destabilise the Empire." ACT clarified that "Although there may always be Neo-Marlinist extremists, the large-scale threat of the NMLA has finally been nullified." All data obtained from the terrorists' Omega Grid network has now been shared with the relevant security agencies. With Darkwater eliminated, the Empire has installed a new controlling faction into the Summerland system. The Praetorian Vigil will report directly to the Emperor and govern in her name. The Summerland Patron's Party will redeem combat bonds and provide other rewards at the starport Henry O'Hare's Hangar. A permit exemption allowing all independent pilots to enter the Summerland system will remain active for the next two weeks.
21 FEB 3308
ACT has released details about a plan by the Lords of Restoration to frame Hadrian Augustus Duval as the leader of the NMLA. The information was extracted from the NMLA's Omega Grid network and published by Captain Saskia Landau: "It was SenatorUrsula Torquatus who devised a scheme to undermine the Imperial Family and turn citizens against them by 'exposing' a Duval as the NMLA mastermind. Hadrian Duval was seen as the logical choice since many viewed him as an extremist through his prior association with Nova Imperium, though EmperorArissa Lavigny-Duval officially pardoned him in 3306. The Lords of Restoration used a virtual doppelganger of the Emperor, indistinguishable from authentic transmissions, to convince the Senate that she was communicating from a safe location. A similar doppelganger was developed to replicate Hadrian and was used to send orders to NMLA allies such as the Landgrave of Mudhrid. This is how they planted evidence, discovered in April 3307, that Hadrian had converted to Neo-Marlinism and was determined to wipe out all other Duvals. Yet, despite triggering an unsuccessful Federal attack in the Paresa system, the accusation was not verified or widely believed. Months later, the Lords of Restoration tried to kill Hadrian and Lady Astrid before their son Hector could be born, fearing the continuation of the Duval dynasty. But other senators moved the family to a secure location, beyond the reach of their agents." Hadrian Duval has publicly thanked ACT for uncovering this information and officially absolving him of all suspicion in this matter.
17 FEB 3308
*Pilots' Federation ALERT* Darkwater Inc in the Summerland system has been declared a hostile military target for its role in abducting EmperorArissa Lavigny-Duval. The private military firm, led by Colonel Ronan Brock, was secretly hired by the Lords of Restoration to train and equip the NMLA. Darkwater troops also kept the Emperor imprisoned in a concealed bunker for over a year. Once their involvement was revealed by ACT, Darkwater's forces regrouped around the megaship Pearl Mandate. Colonel Brock led an attempt to gain control of Summerland as a defensive measure but was unsuccessful. The mercenaries have now been branded as wanted criminals by the system authorities. The order to strike against Darkwater came directly from Emperor Arissa: "I call upon my loyal servants and all other warriors of honour to wipe out this nest of traitors. We remember the innocent victims of the NMLA by punishing those who enabled them." The Summerland Patron's Party will redeem combat bonds for destroyed Darkwater ships at the starport Henry O'Hare's Hangar. Although the Summerland system is typically permit locked, the Empire has arranged a total exemption for independent pilots for a three-week period. To guarantee that Darkwater is thoroughly eliminated, the Empire is offering a range of incentives to pilots. These include awarding the rank of Master in the Imperial Navy Auxiliary, discounts on Imperial ships and weapons in the Summerland system, and Imperial Hammer railguns for the ten pilots who achieve the most combat bonds.
16 FEB 3308
EmperorArissa Lavigny-Duval has attended a public ceremony following her year-long abduction by the Lords of Restoration. Her proclamation from Trasken Square, standing before millions of Capitol's citizens and flanked by legions of Imperial Guard, was broadcast across all channels: "To those who protected the Empire during my enforced absence, I offer my deepest gratitude. My trusted chancellor, senators and security agencies are to be commended. To those who dared to attack Imperial citizens, who dared to impersonate me and mislead my people…who took the lives of my family. Know this: there will be no place to hide from my wrath. And to all citizens who may fear these uncertain times, I vow that your Emperor will lead you into the glorious future that is ours by right." Subsequent messages from the Imperial Palace praised ACT and its supporters for their work in freeing Arissa and destroying the NMLA. Princess Aisling Duval was also thanked for her dedication to finding out the truth, although some newsfeeds have noted that Aisling would hold a strong claim on a vacated throne.
14 FEB 3308
The Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit has unveiled a secret cabal of Imperialsenators who masterminded the NMLA's terrorist activity. The information was obtained after ACT successfully penetrated the NMLA's dark-comms network. Captain Saskia Landau provided this summary to the media: "Senators Gereon, Jourdain, Nerva, Scordato and Torquatus were at the heart of a powerful conspiracy to permanently remove the position of Emperor. They called themselves the Lords of Restoration, based on their aim to restore executive power to the Senate. The NMLA became their terroristic agents, weaponised to assassinate the Duvals and other obstacles. Its members were militarised at Darkwater training camps and provided with sophisticated equipment by corrupt Imperial Intelligence agents. But the Lords could never fully control the terrorist figurehead Theta Seven, whose attacks against non-Imperial starports were not part of their original plan. Marlinism was also exploited as a political lever. The hope was that, compared to this democratic ideology, citizens would view a senator-led Empire as a moderate compromise once the Imperial Family was gone. While this led to the establishment of the Marlinist Colonies, the Lords' later attempts to influence those systems via puppet politicians did not succeed. Following the assassinations of Prince Harold and other Duvals, the Lords abducted Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval in January 3307. She was kidnapped en route to a secure location, with Senator Nerva falsifying confirmation of her safe arrival. This allowed the Lords to engineer communications with the Senate via a virtual doppelganger, which were accepted as genuine since they were verified by Imperial Intelligence agents." ACT is working closely with Imperial security agencies to identify all those who collaborated with the Lords of Restoration.
09 FEB 3308
EmperorArissa Lavigny-Duval has been found alive after being secretly imprisoned by the private military firm Darkwater Inc. The Imperial Herald published a special report on recent events: "The absence of the Emperor from public life for over a year has prompted much speculation. The Senate claimed that she was being kept safe from assassination attempts by the NMLA, and that they remained in contact with her. In truth, she was being held captive by the NMLA's secret benefactors. This group of Imperialsenators referred to themselves as the Lords of Restoration. They were revealed only after ACT recruited independent pilots to help decipher the terrorists' dark-comms network. Chancellor Blaine immediately ordered the Imperial Guard into battle against Darkwater soldiers. A ship fleeing from the Summerland system was intercepted, aboard which was a cryogenic pod containing the Emperor herself. She was swiftly returned to Capitol, and is currently under the care of the Imperial Palace medical team. The IISS has launched a security operation based on ACT's information. This reveals that groups within the Senate, Darkwater and Imperial Intelligence formed a long-running conspiracy to fund and empower the NMLA. Senators Alberto Gereon, Karl Nerva, Ursula Torquatus and several others have been placed under arrest. ACT has stated that it will provide additional information soon."
03 FEB 3308
*Pilots' Federation ALERT* The Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit has launched an effort to locate and decipher the NMLA's dark-comms network. The request was sent by Captain Saskia Landau, one of ACT's co-leaders: "ACT is working to gain access to the Omega Grid version that was provided to the NMLA by its mysterious benefactors. Most of our agents seconded from the IISS have been recalled, and some Senate leaders are blocking our progress. Therefore, we urgently need support from independent pilots, which will contribute to our wider efforts to decrypt the network. To begin with, we have triangulated the possible location of an Omega Grid beacon somewhere within the HIP 290 system. If it can be found, this will validate our strategy and quickly lead to further discoveries. Messages relayed across this network are likely to be encrypted. Our analysts have put together a partial cipher key from other data. Any files recovered from the beacon may help with deducing the rest of the cipher. If the beacon in the HIP 290 system is found, any pilot who scans it can expect further instruction on subsequent days." The partial cipher key is as follows: A = H B = G C = J E = L F = K L = Q M = T O = V P = U Q = X S = Z T = Y U = B V = A W = D
01 FEB 3308
The Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit is actively investigating Imperial Intelligence, despite the Senate ordering it to cease operations. Inspector Mara Klatt, one of ACT's co-leaders, told the media: "We are convinced that elements within Imperial Intelligence provided support to the NMLA. Our view is that a modified version of the Omega Grid software was supplied to the terrorists, allowing them to build their own dark-comms network. Thanks to Captain Saskia Landau's inside knowledge, we are learning how to detect a unique identifier associated with the network employed by the NMLA. Our actions may have political repercussions, but this taskforce is dedicated to finding and destroying the NMLA. We must follow the trail wherever it leads." Civil and military leaders in the Empire have reacted with outrage, including SenatorZemina Torval: "Are we expected to risk our citizens' lives by letting our security services be compromised? How might the Alliance or Federation respond if we attempted to hack into Interpol or the FIA?" However, a plea for cooperation was made by Princess Aisling Duval: "If nefarious groups within our Empire have helped the NMLA, we must uncover the truth. I firmly believe that the Emperor herself remains in danger, and ACT might help us to learn her fate."
20 JAN 3308
Princess Aisling Duval has discussed growing concerns over EmperorArissa Lavigny-Duval's lack of public engagements in recent months. In an interview with The Imperial Herald, she said: "ChancellorBlaine assures us that the Emperor has been kept in seclusion for nearly a year to protect her from the NMLA. But why has this prevented the Empire's ruler from engaging with her citizens? After all, Hadrian Duval and his family were placed under the same senatorial protection without disappearing altogether. We know that the Emperor has communicated with the Senate on various matters during this time. Government channels are generally trusted thanks to Imperial Intelligence's verification protocols. But Captain Landau's recent testimony, which links Imperial Intelligence to the NMLA, has me concerned. How can I be sure that a breach to our most secure networks wasn't responsible for the location and murder of my father, Prince Harold? Until Arissa appears in person, it is irresponsible to assume her safety is guaranteed. I will be most relieved to have my fears proved wrong." Chancellor Anders Blaine responded: "With the greatest respect to Princess Duval, I have never had cause to believe that Her Majesty the Emperor is in any danger from her own security agencies. Her imminent return to public life should alleviate such concerns."
17 JAN 3308
There are claims that the Imperial Senate is preventing efforts to examine a potential link between the Empire's security services and the NMLA. Captain Saskia Landau has publicly stated that the terrorists' dark-comms network is closely related to the Omega Grid system used exclusively by Imperial Intelligence. She expanded on her theory in a statement to Vox Galactica: "Based on evidence and interrogation transcripts obtained by ACT, I believe that rogue elements within Imperial Intelligence were training and providing equipment to the NMLA. This would help explain the level of sophistication they achieved in coordinating their starport attacks and communicating without detection. There is certainly enough circumstantial proof to warrant a dedicated investigation. But the Senate is refusing to authorise this, which makes me wonder what they are trying to hide." SenatorKarl Nerva reiterated: "It is time for ACT to devolve and return much-needed resources to the Empire where they belong." However, Senator Caspian Leopold responded: "To alleviate any lack of confidence in our security services, we should examine Captain Landau's allegation rigorously. Our citizens must be reassured that Imperial Intelligence exists solely for their protection."
07 JAN 3308
Senators have refuted ACT's claim that the NMLA made use of official but highly secret Imperial communications devices. Captain Saskia Landau maintains that the terrorist group's dark-comms network was very similar to the Omega Grid, an undetectable messaging system used exclusively by Imperial Intelligence. Senator Karl Nerva told the media: "In her desperation to seek out the NMLA, Captain Landau is chasing shadows. Imperial Intelligence must operate under total secrecy, but I assure you that this 'Omega Grid' is just as much of an invention to discredit the Empire as Serene Harbour was. Landau has overstepped her authority with these outlandish accusations. I once again propose that ACT be disbanded and its operatives returned to normal duties." The Imperial Herald reported that other senators are calling for EmperorArissa Lavigny-Duval to overrule those who are blocking ACT's investigation. The newsfeed highlighted that she did not attend any functions in person during the past year, and has not broadcast any public messages. In response, ChancellorAnders Blaine gave this statement: "Her Majesty was placed under secure protection in early 3307 after several failed assassination attempts by the NMLA. She has been communicating remotely with the Senate on all official business, but does plan to return to Capitol very soon."
04 JAN 3308
A potential connection between the NMLA's dark-comms network and Imperial Intelligence has been made public by one of ACT's co-leaders. Captain Saskia Landau sent a personal statement to all major media outlets: "The majority of my career has been with the Imperial Internal Security Service, but I was seconded for a year to a classified project run by Imperial Intelligence. To coordinate their operations, they use a sophisticated communications system known as the Omega Grid. This is designed to avoid detection or interception by enemies of the Empire. I have reviewed ACT's research into the NMLA's dark-comms network and can verify its similarity to Omega Grid technology. Since this is exclusively under Imperial Intelligence's control, it suggests that an individual or group within the organisation was making it available to the NMLA. I'm aware that revealing this information publicly may end my career or even endanger my life. Nevertheless, I have shared my findings with ACT's leadership, and call upon the Imperial Senate to open an independent investigation into this evidence." As yet there has been no response from Imperial Intelligence or the Senate. However, several agents of the IISS have anonymously spoken to reporters from The Imperial Herald, verifying that the Omega Grid system does exist and has been in use for many years.
31 DEC 3307
The last in a series that reviews the events of the past year, by noted historian Sima Kalhana. "October brought further controversy for the Federation, when a diplomatic conference in the Delta Pavonis system was revealed to be a honey trap designed to capture Yuri Grom. Only a rush of support for EG Union allowed their ruler to escape, causing political embarrassment for President Hudson. There was more corporate drama when Zemina Torval relinquished her long-held majority sharehold of Mastopolos Mining, fuelling rumours of a family rift with her cousins. Torval Mining Ltd became a fully independent corporation run by her daughter Constantia. The Colonia Bridge project officially started the first of two phases this year which would see the construction of 56 megaships between the Alcor and Colonia systems. Brewer Corporation enjoyed great public support for improving this travel corridor along the 22,000 light year journey, and revealed plans to enhance it further in the new year. Hadrian Duval, his wife Lady Astrid and their unborn child were the specific targets of another starport bombing by the NMLA. It proved unsuccessful, but did result in the Imperial Senate offering them protection in order to secure the Duval bloodline. It also led to a manhunt for Theta Seven, the galaxy's most wanted terrorist. In November, Orion University claimed that the dredger occupied by the Scriveners Clan was legally their property, but the nomadic descendants of its original crew refused to give up their home. The stand-off caught the public attention, with some supporting the clan's right to independence and others keen to discover what their Knowledge Core contained. Ultimately the Scriveners retained their freedom, sailing off into the void with their secrets intact. Many were shocked when Admiral Tanner, Aegis's military chief, went rogue and tried to force access to a starport controlled by Salvation's allies. His conviction that the anti-xeno superweapons were responsible for provoking the Thargoids was, however, not enough to win the day. The NMLA threw everything they had at the Mudhrid system in an attempt to rescue Theta Seven, who was hiding among the Far God cult to avoid capture. But the terrorists were crushed by ACT and a coalition of ships, with Theta Seven martyring himself by destroying the hijacked megaship Sacrosanct. A happier event in December was the birth of Hector Duval, son and heir of Hadrian and Lady Astrid. There were celebrations across the Empire, but also questions asked about the future of the Duval dynasty and if the child might one day inherit the Imperial throne. The year ended as it had begun, with Thargoid vessels swarming into nebula systems. But with incursions steadily increasing over recent months, there were fears that this time they might prove unstoppable. Salvation's superweapons were once again deployed to halt the aliens' progress, but will they be enough to prevent the Thargoids from threatening humanity in 3308?"
29 DEC 3307
Continuing a series of articles by historian Sima Kalhana that look at the most newsworthy events during the past year. "April 3307 saw the creation of the Federation's Proactive Detection Bureau in reaction to the Nine Martyrs bombings. This organisation monitored all public and private communications for evidence of terrorists, to prevent similar attacks in future. But its highly controversial nature would soon present the Federation with new challenges. ACT's investigation led them to the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid, which had helped deliver the caustic enzyme bombs to their nine targets. The faction's defeat was an early victory against the NMLA, but much of the organisation remained a mystery. When the 'ghost ship' Adamastor began receiving an encoded signal, this began an entire saga of mysteries. Its long-lost sister ship, the Hesperus, was soon located by pilots who had been recruited by an anonymous figure named Salvation. His interest in Azimuth Biochemicals, the 200 year old corporation that owned both vessels, would bring a strange twist to the ongoing Thargoid conflict. In May, Hadrian Duval was targeted by Federal forces after accusations that he was the mastermind behind the NMLA. The spectre of Empire-Federation war rose once again as Nova Imperium successfully defended itself, but ACT concluded that evidence had been falsified to implicate Hadrian and his new wife Lady Astrid. Aegis came under intense scrutiny when the megaship Alexandria, laden with newly collected Guardian artefacts, began attracting Thargoids in every system it jumped to. The Alexandria later vanished completely in hyperspace, and to this day remains missing presumed destroyed. The Alliance election finally took place at the end of May, having been delayed by three months due to the Galactic Summit. CouncillorNakato Kaine fought a spirited campaign, but Edmund Mahon was re-elected to serve a second term as prime minister. Supporters of Neo-Marlinism gained a voice in June, when Minister Aaron Whyte offered a peace deal with the Empire to prevent further terrorism. The idea of a political wing of the NMLA gained support from those fearing further bombings, but opened major rifts within the Marlinist Colonies. Salvation once again contacted pilots to track down survivors from the Hesperus. This led to the discovery of an ancient Guardian-Thargoid battleground, where Azimuth scientists had built a research base around their vessel Proteus. All were killed by unusual experiments into weaponising Guardian crystals. The Proactive Detection Bureau had been generally accepted by Federal citizens, but many claimed it was a violation of civil liberties. Halfway through the year, the Azaladshu Free faction took the bold step of seceding from the Federation, thus triggering the possibility of mass rebellion."
28 DEC 3307
The noted historian Sima Kalhana takes a look back at the turbulent events of the last year in a four-part series of articles. "The start of 3307 was a time of crisis. The rise of the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army (NMLA), the Marlinist refugee crisis and increased Empire-Federation tensions had brought a full-scale superpower war closer, with renewed attacks from the Thargoids increasing the pressure. All of this led to Pranav Antal's proposal of a diplomatic conference for all three superpower governments to work through their problems – the very first Galactic Summit. Within weeks, Sirius Corporation was selected as the neutral host for the conference. Li Yong-Rui scored another triumph by establishing the Marlinist Colonies for millions of political refugees who had fled from the Empire. In February came the trial of Fleet Admiral Vincent, accused of arranging Starship One's destruction back in 3301. His paymaster was revealed as Core Dynamics CEO Jupiter Rochester, who wanted to replace Federal democracy with direct corporate rule. His breakaway faction Jupiter Division was defeated in battle and Rochester himself jailed for life. This also led to Core Dynamics's acquisition of Lakon Spaceways being cancelled, leaving the Alliance to purchase a majority sharehold in the company. Key players on the political stage finally gathered when the Galactic Summit began in late February. The Sirius system hosted leaders from the Alliance, Empire, Federation and independent systems. Even pirate warlord Archon Delaine gatecrashed the event, causing controversy with his 'crown of bones' speech. It seemed for a while that the bickering between so many strong personalities might trigger a war rather than avert one. But gradually there was progress, with the possibility of a treaty to increase unity against the Thargoid threat. But before reaching this conclusion, the Galactic Summit was derailed by a threat from another source. Nine Martyrs – as named by the NMLA leader Theta Seven – was the largest terrorist attack in history. Hundreds of thousands were killed by starport bombings in nine systems, including the superpower capitals of Alioth, Achenar and Sol. This horrific tragedy ended the conference abruptly, but did give rise to some inter-power cooperation. A new agreement signed at the Galactic Summit allowed the Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit (ACT) to be formed rapidly. Drawing on the superpowers' security services and other organisations, its sole purpose was to hunt down and eliminate the NMLA, a task that would dominate the headlines for the rest of the year."
20 DEC 3307
ACT has revealed the background of the man known only as Theta Seven, the NMLA's de facto leader who recently died in the Mudhrid system. Captain Saskia Landau gave this statement to the media: "A combination of investigative work and interrogating NMLA survivors has allowed us to confirm that Theta Seven's real name was John Tyburn. He was born and raised in the city of Fontaine on the planet Baltah'Sine, where he was a munitions technician constructing demolition charges for commercial mining. There is evidence that Tyburn was always a vocal believer in Marlinism, and became a pro-democracy campaigner. This eventually caused him to lose his job and serve a prison sentence for sedition. His Imperial citizenship was revoked, his marriage annulled and his children taken into state care. Upon release, Tyburn was contacted by the NMLA and radicalised to the Neo-Marlinist cause. He produced portable explosives for terrorist actions, and rose rapidly in their ranks. It was Tyburn's proposal to develop caustic enzyme bombs capable of damaging a starport, but his experimentation on these weapons resulted in injuries and corrosive scarring. They only became a reality following a workable design commissioned from the engineerLiz Ryder without her knowledge of its purpose." First Minister Octavia Volkov of the Marlinist Colonies commented: "It's unsettling to learn that this arch-terrorist grew up in the same place as I did and had similar experiences. John Tyburn might easily have been my fellow refugee from the Empire, or perhaps helped us form our republican society. This does not excuse his crimes, but it's all too clear how political persecution can give rise to monsters."
13 DEC 3307
The NMLA's de facto leader and his closest followers have sacrificed themselves by destroying the Far God cult's megashipSacrosanct. The hijacked vessel had been taken to the Mudhrid system by the remaining members of Theta Group, aiming to reunite with the NMLA. After this failed, ACT forces surrounded the Sacrosanct in the hope of rescuing the several thousand cultists being kept as hostages. Theta Seven broadcast a short video message, where he uttered a single phrase: "The future will remember us." He was then seen to manually detonate a series of bombs, which ruptured the Sacrosanct's hull and split the vessel in two. It is believed that the weapons also distributed Thargoid caustic enzymes throughout the megaship, thereby killing its entire population. ACT has released a statement from co-leader Captain Saskia Landau: "Tragically we were unable to save the lives of the Far God worshippers, despite several attempts to negotiate their safe conduct off the ship. Captain Castile's commando unit could not gain entry to the Sacrosanct in time, and we had no success trying to hack into its onboard computers. We can confirm that the most wanted terrorist in the galaxy is dead. But ACT's task is not yet complete, since there is much we still don't know about the NMLA. Our investigation will focus on learning more about their background, as well as targeting any surviving cells of activists."
07 DEC 3307
Terrorist ringleader Theta Seven is defying capture by holding thousands of Far God cultists hostage in the Mudhrid system. Vox Galactica published an on-the-scene report from freelance journalist Redmond O'Hara: "Although the NMLA has been defeated in Mudhrid, the Theta Group bomb-makers remain in control of the Sacrosanctmegaship. With so many lives at stake, ACT has focused all its efforts to resolve this tense situation. We've heard that Senior Agent Ramirez and Inspector Klatt have both tried to open negotiations directly with Theta Seven. It is hard to imagine what they might offer him in terms of clemency, but they're obviously determined to prevent further deaths at the NMLA's hands. After speaking to one of ACT's tactical advisors, I can reveal that Captain Castile's commando unit tried and failed to board the Sacrosanct as it did the Steel Majesty. This is apparently because the vessel is specially modified to prevent external access, in order to provide the Far God cultists with a sanctified environment during their pilgrimage. Speaking of the cultists, they may not have accepted their predicament quite as passively as expected. Internal power failures detected within the Sacrosanct's hyperdrive systems may well be a result of sabotage, and would explain why it hasn't left the Mudhrid system. Perhaps in their own way, the Thargoid-worshippers are seeking justice for those murdered by Theta Seven's appropriation of their deity's 'holy' caustic enzymes."
*Pilots' Federation ALERT* The Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid has been defeated by the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group in the Mudhrid system. With the aid of many independent pilots, the Imperial faction outmatched the NMLA-supporting forces who were attempting to rescue their leader Theta Seven. Captain Saskia Landau provided an update from ACT: "Using the fierce fighting as cover, Captain Milo Castile led a commando unit made up of specialists from Alliance, Federal and Imperial security forces to gain access to the Steel Majesty. After freeing and arming the crewmembers that were being held hostage, they overpowered the NMLA troops and retook the megaship. We have successfully prevented Theta Seven and his followers from rejoining their fellow terrorists. But the Far God cult's vessel, the Sacrosanct, is still in the system under his control. Until the man responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths has been captured, our victory over the NMLA remains incomplete." The Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group stated that those who supported its campaign can now receive their rewards from Payne-Scott City starport. The Imperial faction also agreed that independent pilots who fought for the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid will be permitted to collect payment from the Steel Majesty, which has been transferred to their ownership.
25 NOV 3307
*Pilots' Federation ALERT* The Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid and the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group have declared war in the Mudhrid system. The Steel Majestymegaship is serving as the base of the Neo-Marlinist forces. These include many surviving NMLA terrorist cells that gathered to overtake the vessel from the Marlinist Colonies. Also in the system is the Far God cult megaship Sacrosanct, where the NMLA's de facto leader Theta Seven and the remnants of Theta Group have been in hiding for months. They recently took control of the vessel and are holding thousands of cultists hostage. The Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid have offered a uniquely augmented enzyme missile rack to its highest contributors if certain objectives are met. Margrave Corentin Delacroix broadcast a call to arms: "All those who seek to topple the Duval dictators must fight alongside us here and now. Neo-Marlinism has no future unless its believers defend it." The Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group is orchestrating its campaign from Payne-Scott City starport. SenatorDenton Patreus has requested that Imperial auxiliaries provide the faction with combat support. ACT's co-leader Captain Saskia Landau stated: "The NMLA clearly places huge value on Theta Seven's ability to produce caustic enzyme weapons, and has risked concentrating in large numbers to defend him. If he can transfer to the Steel Majesty and escape, the threat of further atrocities like the Nine Martyrs bombings will remain high."
24 NOV 3307
NMLA figurehead Theta Seven has taken control of the Sacrosanctmegaship and redirected it to the Mudhrid system. Several months ago, the leader of Theta Group and his closest aides evaded capture by posing as members of the Far God cult. One of their pilgrimage vessels, the Sacrosanct, has now bypassed its scheduled flight plan and jumped to Mudhrid. ACT's joint leader Captain Milo Castile broadcast an emergency statement: "We can confirm that despite being few in number, the terrorists are in command of the Sacrosanct. Since Far God worshippers are pacifists and fatalistic in nature, it's likely that they offered little resistance. Theta Seven has stated that he will wipe out the vessel's entire population if any attempt to seize the vessel is made. Our intel suggests he possesses caustic enzyme explosives of the type used in the starport bombings, making his threat credible." Also in the system is the Steel Majesty megaship, recently overtaken by the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid. ACT believes that the NMLA is regrouping its forces and aims to provide protection for Theta Seven. Mudhrid's ruling faction, the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group, has ordered system security to shoot down any vessels attempting to pass between the two megaships.
19 NOV 3307
The megashipSteel Majesty has arrived in the Mudhrid system after being taken over by NMLA terrorists. Its original owning faction, the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid, has officially reclaimed the vessel. Margrave Corentin Delacroix, the faction's new military ruler and the son of former Landgrave Arastin Delacroix, announced: "The Steel Majesty has returned home to fulfil its destiny. Be warned: should any ships attempt to board or attack, all the former crewmembers still onboard will be executed." Senior Agent Tanya Ramirez gave a statement on behalf of ACT: "Unfortunately, we cannot take action while hundreds of innocent people remain captive. But the NMLA's effort to assemble troops, supporters and resources must not succeed. Having the Steel Majesty as a mobile base will allow them to regroup for a new campaign of terror – especially if they manage to reach Theta Seven before we do." A spokesperson for the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group, which controls the Mudhrid system, claimed: "The hostages should be considered lost as casualties of war. We are prepared to perform our duty for the Empire once again by destroying the Neo-Marlinist threat."
17 NOV 3307
A former Neo-Marlinist megaship has been overrun by NMLA terrorists in the Hyades Sector RO-P b6-2 system. The Steel Majesty was originally owned by the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid, one of the NMLA's key allies. After their defeat, it ferried many of them to the Marlinist Colonies where they were granted asylum by Minister Aaron Whyte. His faction then made use of the megaship during the civil war in August. Minister Jean-Christophe Lyon, the current leader of the Marlinism Reformation Party, gave a statement: "Despite our efforts to arrest any remaining extremists within our faction, a surviving group has gained access to the megaship. Security feeds show they were joined by several teams of well-armed NMLA fighters. The Marlinist Constabulary evacuated around half of the Steel Majesty's crew before the NMLA took operational control. Sadly, there is no way to free those still trapped onboard." The situation was addressed by ACT's co-leader Captain Milo Castile: "According to our intel, a majority of the NMLA's surviving cells have gathered together for this operation. We believe they were assisted by not only Aaron Whyte's loyalists, but also members of the megaship's original crew from the Mudhrid system. It is possible that this Neo-Marlinist coalition was formed as a result of us closing in on Theta Seven. We have requested additional support from all security services."
16 NOV 3307
*Pilots' Federation ALERT* A decrypted message suggests that the NMLA leader Theta Seven avoided capture by infiltrating the Far God cult. ACT publicly requested help to decode a message received by Theta Group, the bomb-making engineers of the NMLA. The cipher key was cracked and the decoded message submitted by Commander Therion Cygni. It revealed that Theta Seven and his closest aides fled to the Panjabell system on the 31st of July. Captain Milo Castile, one of ACT's co-leaders, provided an update: "Our theory is that Theta Seven and his crew were travelling undercover as Far God worshippers, who were gathering in the Panjabell system in huge numbers at that time. Since all members of this religious order renounce their past identities, this would have helped the terrorists to avoid detection. The Pleiades Concordat and other factions in Panjabell are cooperating with our investigation. But it seems likely that Theta Seven is currently hiding aboard one of the three Far God megaships that were launched from the system on the 6th of August. ACT agents have attempted to contact the Perdition, Sacrosanct and Testament megaships to alert them of the danger. Unfortunately the cultists consider themselves to be on a sacred pilgrimage that cannot be impeded, and that their vessels are 'sanctuaries from further persecution by hostile security services'."
12 NOV 3307
*Pilots' Federation ALERT* The Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit has acquired an encrypted message that may reveal Theta Seven's location. ACT successfully captured most of the bomb-making engineers known as Theta Group, and has now prioritised hunting down the NMLA's de facto leader. This latest breakthrough was explained by Captain Milo Castile: "Theta Group managed to delete most of their data prior to capture, but we retrieved a short message that they received on the 31st of July. At this point most of Theta Group were being harboured by Neo-Marlinist sympathisers within the Marlinist Colonies, but Theta Seven and his closest aides had fled to an unknown destination. Unfortunately the message has been encrypted using a pre-arranged cipher key, without which its contents are unreadable. It is unclear why this wasn't transmitted via the NMLA's dark-comms network, which remains undetectable despite our best efforts. As it's possible that this was sent by Theta Seven, we welcome any assistance from the galactic community in decoding it. This ruthless terrorist must be tracked down before he can take more innocent lives." ACT has requested that all newsfeeds publish the encrypted message, which is as follows: 61-76-126-67-99-74-71-113-81-41-96-103-51-117-55-103-91-69-104-117-84-114-141-134-90- 108-90-79-115-95-102-102-98-76-91-57-83-104-92-99-96-78-79-83-132-115-80-106-91-150- 114-105-148-144-93-163-83-138-123-94-108-115-81-128-147-162-131-140-150-129-29-98-99- 59-74-125-55-123-107-112-98-108-82-91-124-71-75-111-109-95-129-89-155-135-98-131-149- 97-151-105-152-152-144-128-155-64-81-123-89-90-87-96-59-116-127-52-94-103-51-89-51-47- 98-88-61-112-112-111-129-147-124-153-134-109-87-114-121-80-90-113-111-153-131-84-104- 131-84-151-113-129-130-117-105-123-73-99-126-106-118-144-97-83-123-104-75-78-90-49 There is a substantial reward on offer for the first person to submit a correctly deciphered version of this message to ACT.
08 NOV 3307
The creators of the NMLA's caustic enzyme bombs have been arrested, although the terrorist figurehead Theta Seven remains at large. Theta Group is directly responsible for 17 starport bombings conducted by the NMLA across the core systems. These attacks resulted in a combined death toll of almost 800,000 people, with twice as many suffering serious injury. Senior Agent Tanya Ramirez, one of the Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit's co-leaders, told the media: "We have finally tracked down the NMLA's bomb-making engineers, and a joint task force made the arrest with minimal casualties. Large quantities of Thargoid corrosives and explosive components were also seized. This achievement was only possible due to intercepting Theta Group's communications with Neo-Marlinist sympathisers. We are unsure why the NMLA's dark-comms network was not used in that instance. As our intel predicted, the group's leader Theta Seven was not among those we captured. We have confirmed that he and a handful of followers disappeared after the bombings in July, anticipating their imminent capture. ACT will not rest until the galaxy's most wanted terrorist has been brought to justice." The name 'Theta Group' was assigned to the bomb-makers during their incarceration at Serene Harbour, an Imperial Intelligence penal facility in the R CrA Sector AF-A d42 system. After escaping, their leader adopted his prisoner designation – Theta Seven – as a reaction to what he viewed as dehumanising treatment of Neo-Marlinists by the Empire.
02 NOV 3307
The Empire has officially proclaimed Hadrian Augustus Duval and his wife Lady Astrid Minerva-Duval to be wards of the Senate. The offer of senatorial protection was made following an NMLA attempt to assassinate them and their unborn child by bombing Dyson City starport. Prior to being transported from the Paresa system to a secure location, Hadrian Duval sent this message: "Lady Astrid and I accepted this offer with enormous reluctance. Neither of us wish to abandon our home or loyal followers. Yet we feel it is a matter of duty to protect our family and ensure future generations of the Duval bloodline. Nova Imperium will henceforth be known as Nova Paresa. It will continue to serve as a staunch ally of the Empire, as per the Treaty of Paresa. To all those who fought for our cause over the years, I assure you that history will never forget us. Memento Mordanticus!" There has been public support for Praetor Leo Magnus to assume leadership of Nova Paresa. Hadrian Duval has endorsed his former head of security taking his place, but confirmed that the title of Imperator is now defunct. In related news, ACT stated that its investigation into the Dyson City attack has yielded results. Although details remain embargoed for security reasons, a significant breakthrough is expected to be announced soon.
15 OCT 3307
The Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army has taken responsibility for the attack on Dyson City starport in the Paresa system. The primary targets were Imperator Hadrian Duval and his wife Lady Astrid Minerva-Duval, who is pregnant with his child. Although they survived, the bombing left many thousands dead and injured. The following message was sent across NMLA propaganda channels: "As long as a single Duval is left alive, the Republic of Achenar cannot be rebuilt. It is our duty to extinguish that entire line and free our people from Imperial oppression." Praetor Leo Magnus gave a statement on behalf of ACT: "It is significant that this latest broadcast is not from Theta Seven, the NMLA's mouthpiece and de facto leader. We believe that Theta Group – the team of weaponsmiths that built the caustic enzyme bombs – has split in two. According to the communications we intercepted, Theta Seven and half of his followers went into hiding after the attacks against the Marlinist Colonies in July. The others continued their terror campaign and were responsible for this latest atrocity. ACT is currently pursuing leads and hopes to learn more soon." Nova Imperium has repeated a call for pilots to help rescue survivors from Dyson City in the Paresa system.
14 OCT 3307
*Pilots Federation ALERT* Explosions have struck Dyson City starport in the Paresa system, home of Hadrian Duval's organisation Nova Imperium. The starport suffered severe structural damage plus the corrosive effects of caustic enzymes, characteristic of the customised weapons used by the NMLA. Initial reports state that over fifteen thousand people have been killed and a similar number injured. The following statement was issued by Praetor Leo Magnus, the former head of security for Nova Imperium who was seconded to ACT: "Shortly before this attack, my team intercepted a communication between suspected Neo-Marlinist supporters. This referred to an imminent attempt to kill Imperator Hadrian Duval, Lady Astrid Minerva-Duval and their unborn child. I immediately ordered the Praetorian Guard to move the Imperator's family off-station, which was achieved minutes before the bombs detonated. I am pleased to report that they survived this brutal attack, but unfortunately the remaining population could not have been evacuated in time." A state of emergency has been declared in the Paresa system, with an urgent request for independent pilots to assist with rescuing survivors from Dyson City starport. The Empire confirmed that as per the Treaty of Paresa, it will provide military and medical support to Nova Imperium. ACT is performing investigations to learn more about the attack.
10 SEP 3307
A day of mourning has been declared across the Empire to mark the first anniversary of the NMLA's Imperial starport bombings. On Thursday the 10th of September 3306, Imperial stations in the Cemiess, Gabjaujis, LHS 4031 and Rabh systems were attacked without warning. Over sixty thousand people were killed and twice as many wounded by powerful explosives that delivered a caustic enzyme payload. The Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army is an extremist paramilitary group that is dedicated to reforming Marlin Duval's original republican government. Prior to these bombings, it had only performed minor strikes with low casualties. The NMLA's terror campaign grew to encompass all three superpowers with the Nine Martyrs attacks in March 3307. It also led to supporters of Marlinism fleeing from the Empire as refugees, eventually resettling in the Marlinist Colonies. Princess Aisling Duval paid respects to the victims during a memorial ceremony at her palace on Emerald. She also spoke of her father Prince Harold Duval, who was assassinated by the NMLA shortly after the bombings. Messages of condolence have been sent by President Zachary Hudson, Prime Minister Edmund Mahon, Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval and First Minister Octavia Volkov. All vowed to continue contributing resources to ACT, which recently shut down many terrorist cells. Coupled with the loss of its political wing, the NMLA threat may finally be diminishing.
06 SEP 3307
The Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit has reported progress in its efforts to eliminate the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army. Captain Milo Castile, one of ACT's joint leaders, told a press briefing: "The recent civil war in the Marlinist Colonies was a tragedy, of course. But many pro-NMLA individuals were exposed during the conflict. Minister Jean-Christophe Lyon, the newly elected leader of the Marlinism Reformation Party, has cooperated fully in rooting out extremists from his faction. As a result, our agents have successfully raided dozens of NMLA cells and arrested several thousand paramilitary activists. We also acquired intelligence leading to hidden assets in multiple systems. I can confirm that Theta Seven – as the NMLA's de facto leader calls himself – personally directed the Marlinist starport attacks. Unfortunately, we have yet to confirm Theta Group's current whereabouts. The threat of further bombings cannot be ruled out. The NMLA has also been seriously impacted by the death of Aaron Whyte and the failure to elect a Neo-Marlinist prime consul. Without the legitimacy of a political wing, I believe the terrorists will find it much harder to recruit new allies."
19 AUG 3307
*Pilots Federation ALERT* The conflict in the Hyades Sector RO-P b6-2 system has been won by the Exiled Marlinist Assembly of Baltah'Sine. Support from independent pilots played a key role in defeating the Marlinism Reformation Party. The faction's entire leadership has been arrested, with their replacements vowing to reshape it along politically moderate lines. Minister Octavia Volkov made a declaration of victory to the Marlinist Parliament: "The Neo-Marlinists have been crushed and Aaron Whyte is dead – a casualty of the war his terrorist paymasters began. I deeply regret that our society has suffered this, but have no regrets at destroying the NMLA's political wing once and for all." Prime Consul Kayode Tau sent assurances to the Alliance, Empire and Federation that they should view this as "confirmation that the Marlinist Colonies are your steadfast allies in the fight against the NMLA". ACT has drafted in extra resources to investigate the Marlinism Reformation Party's ties to Theta Group, the terrorist bomb-makers responsible for last month's devastating starport attacks. With First Minister Jenna Fairfax confirmed as among the fatalities, Acting First Minister Amrita Ross has organised a snap election to democratically appoint a new leader for the Marlinist Colonies.
02 AUG 3307
The NMLA's attacks against the Marlinist Colonies have caused mass casualties, disruption and political chaos. More than 35,000 civilians were killed in the attacks, with twice as many suffering injuries and caustic burns. Safeguard Interstellar is providing vital supplies to survivors, and evacuations of Stillman Hub and Tilman Point stations are ongoing. First Minister Jenna Fairfax has been confirmed dead. Minister Amrita Ross has temporarily assumed leadership, but the Marlinist Parliament has been destabilised by heated accusations between its members. The Marlinist Constabulary has tightened security, and ACT is running urgent investigations. Captain Milo Castile told the media: "This was undoubtedly the work of Theta Group, the NMLA's weapons specialists. We have found evidence that local Neo-Marlinist supporters provided logistical support, and arrests are forthcoming. However, as always the terrorists covered their tracks remarkably well." Alliance and Federation leaders have sent messages of condolence and offers of medical aid. Prime Consul Kayode Tau is liaising with both superpowers to coordinate relief efforts. In the Empire, from which the Marlinists fled as refugees in 3306, there are mixed reactions. Some wish to extend protection to former Imperial citizens, while others see it as poetic justice for their republican beliefs 'creating' the NMLA.
13 JUL 3307
The Marlinist Consulate, established to represent Marlinists across the galaxy, has triggered political instability among the colonies. Local newsfeed The Marlin Standard detailed the situation: "The formation of the Marlinist Consulate will shortly conclude with the public election of its leader. The prime consul will serve as the official Marlinist representative to the superpowers, establish foreign embassies and make wide-reaching diplomatic decisions. One of the two leading candidates is Verity Dexter from the Marlinism Reformation Party, who promises to speak for the Neo-Marlinist fringe. The Free Marlinist Movement's candidate, Kayode Tau, directly opposes that position. SenatorLorcan Scordato has championed Dexter's bid, proposing that she be recognised as an Imperialpatron to represent pro-Marlinist citizens of the Empire. Despite many protests, ChancellorBlaine concurred that patronage is within the purview of individual senators. Some Marlinists see this as a chance to finally obtain influence in the Senate, after centuries of being marginalised. Others are enraged at Neo-Marlinists gaining legitimacy and acting as the NMLA's political wing. The rift has affected parliament, where First Minister Fairfax again urged Minister Aaron Whyte to cease representing the NMLA and hand over all information to ACT. Whyte retorted that his diplomatic breakthroughs would soon make the counter-terrorism unit redundant."
05 JUL 3307
The NMLA paramilitary group has confirmed that the Marlinism Reformation Party faction now acts as its political representative. An anonymous statement was broadcast via the NMLA's propaganda channels: "We support Minister Whyte in representing the Neo-Marlinist cause and speaking on our behalf. Our objectives remain unchanged – the removal of the Duval family and democratic elections within the Empire." Reactions were covered by several newsfeeds: The Imperial Herald: "SenatorScordato's proposal to open diplomatic relations with the Marlinist Colonies is already contentious. But could the Emperor ever accept dialogue with the extremists who tried to murder the Imperial Family?" The Federal Times: "The idea of negotiating with terrorists is as abhorrent to the Empire as to the Federation. And yet, the opportunity to prevent another 'Nine Martyrs' cannot be ignored." The Alliance Tribune: "In the absence of any breakthroughs from ACT, perhaps peaceful discussion is how we defuse the terrorist threat... even if that was the NMLA's endgame all along." The Marlin Standard: "Many of our people welcome closer ties with the Empire, especially if it involves contacting friends and families left behind. But the NMLA using our parliament as its platform has caused widespread unrest. With Aaron Whyte being openly challenged by other ministers, a Marlinist civil war no longer seems unthinkable."
14 JUN 3307
The Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit has published an update on its investigation into the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army. Senior Agent Tanya Ramirez, one of ACT's joint leaders, gave a statement to the media: "ACT is currently pursuing multiple lines of enquiry, which must remain classified for reasons of security. Our agents are gathering evidence from sites across the Alliance, Empire and Federation. As yet we cannot report any significant breakthroughs. NMLA activists appear to use a dark-comms network that defies detection. They also compartmentalise their operations, so individual cells have little knowledge of each other. In recent months, NMLA incidents have been restricted to minor strikes against Imperial authorities, which were dealt with by local police forces. There has been no activity by Theta Group, the hardcore extremists responsible for the 'Nine Martyrs' starport bombings. The collapse of the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid may have deprived the NMLA of their logistical capability to deliver large-scale attacks. But it remains possible that a new wave of terrorist atrocities is being planned." ACT later confirmed that it has recruited additional personnel from Alliance Interpol, the Federal Intelligence Agency, the Imperial Internal Security Service, the Marlinist Constabulary, Nova Imperium's Praetorian Guard and the Wallglass Investigations Agency.
21 MAY 3307
Evidence that Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval masterminded the NMLA terror campaign cannot be authenticated, according to ACT. Inspector Mara Klatt, one of ACT’s joint leaders, delivered this report: "We have rigorously analysed data provided by the Landgrave of Mudhrid that contains detailed instructions from Hadrian Duval. The content undoubtedly arranges the starport bombings, but its source is inconclusive. It now seems highly plausible that his identity was faked by the NMLA." Hadrian Duval made an announcement via the Paresa News Network: "There can no longer be any doubt that the NMLA planted a false trail in order to incriminate us. They aim to slay every Duval and demolish Imperial traditions, a goal that the Federation is clearly happy to support. Lady Astrid and I are deeply grateful to the Nova Navy, and all the other pilots who helped to defend our honour." The Federal Diplomatic Corps confirmed that the League of Mandu, which was defeated by Nova Imperium, will withdraw from the Paresa system but made no reference to ACT's report. Praetor Leo Magnus, head of security for Nova Imperium and a former IISS officer, has been seconded to ACT. He will serve as a replacement for the deceased Captain Niamh Seutonia.
06 MAY 3307
*Pilots Federation ALERT* Open warfare has begun in the Paresa system between Nova Imperium and the League of Mandu, a Federal faction. Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval has been accused of masterminding the NMLA starport bombings, according to evidence provided to ACT. Admiral Natalia Lee, commanding the Harmony's Shield megaship, declared: "The Empire refuses to arrest a Duval, even when he and his organisation are brutal terrorists. In the name of the hundreds of thousands of Federal citizens they murdered, we will enact justice." Hadrian Duval made an announcement from Dyson City, the home station of Nova Imperium: "This invasion of Imperial space is based on false information. The Federation does not have the right to act as our judge, jury and executioner. I call upon the Empire to come to our defence, as stipulated in the Treaty of Paresa." Nova Imperium is an isolationist group that believes in retaining Imperial traditions and severing all ties with other superpowers. Hadrian Duval is the illegitimate grandson of Emperor Hengist, whose heritage was officially acknowledged last November. ACT is currently working to verify claims that the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid aided the NMLA on Imperator Duval's instructions.
03 MAY 3307
The isolationist group faces attack by both Federal and Imperial factions, after accusations that Imperator Hadrian Duval is the NMLA mastermind. The League of Mandu arrived in the Paresa system last week and quickly established a foothold. Admiral Natalia Lee, commanding the Harmony's Shield megaship, announced: "Our purpose is to eliminate the terrorists who slaughtered so many Federal citizens. We advise the Empire to stand aside and allow us to deliver justice." Magister Julius Halstrom of the Peraesii Empire Consulate declared: "In the name of the Emperor, we stand ready to purge the NMLA from the Paresa system – and the Federation too, unless they withdraw." Hadrian Duval has broadcast a message via Paresa News Network: "The NMLA faked my identity when dealing with the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid, knowing the superpowers would do their work for them by killing another Duval. Nova Imperium will defend itself if necessary, but we are not responsible for any terrorist attacks." ACT is still attempting to corroborate evidence provided by the Landgrave of Mudhrid. Praetor Leo Magnus, Nova Imperium's security chief, is reportedly aiding their enquiries. The Senate has urgently requested direction from the Emperor, but Chancellor Blaine declared "Her Majesty cannot pass judgement upon a live investigation."
28 APR 3307
ACT has confirmed receiving evidence that NMLA attacks were orchestrated by Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval, who immediately denied the claim. Landgrave Delacroix of the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid provided details to ACT that the isolationist group Nova Imperium is at the heart of the NMLA. In response, Hadrian Duval made this statement: "These accusations are completely false. Our political stance is the exact opposite of Marlinism, since we believe in restoring the Empire's traditions. Nova Imperium forces even fought against the terrorists in Mudhrid, as required by the Treaty of Paresa. As for Lady Astrid being a 'top NMLA agent', my wife has been a loyal Imperial Commander since she first piloted a ship." Princess Aisling Duval has publicly decried the allegation and offered support to Hadrian Duval. However, Senator Zemina Torval told the Senate: "Should we be surprised that an extremist organisation performs extreme acts? That this arrogant boy who declares himself 'Imperator' should turn to violent rebellion once again? Enemies of the Empire must be punished, even those with Duval blood. ACT is fully investigating the Landgrave's evidence and has asked for patience, despite urgent demands for action from the Alliance, Empire and Federation.
26 APR 3307
Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval of Nova Imperium is the mastermind behind the NMLA, according to classified information leaked from within ACT. Independent journalist Flint 'Firemaker' Lafosse published the details on the Rewired network: "Hadrian Duval: the illegitimate embarrassment of the Imperial Family, or their secret terrorist nemesis? That's the story being told by survivors from the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid, who gave up their secrets to save their own skins. According to my source, Landgrave Delacroix confessed to ACT that his faction transported enzyme bombs and Nova Imperium assassins to their targets on the direct orders of Hadrian Duval, who promised rewards and political power in return. Delacroix also revealed that Hadrian was converted to Neo-Marlinism a year ago by his consort Astrid Minerva, a top NMLA agent. She convinced him that becoming Emperor would be much easier if all the other Duvals were dead! As for the NMLA's attempt on Hadrian's life last October, that was faked in order to gain the Imperial Family's trust. Just another false flag operation – which, as we truth-seekers know, can be found everywhere." As yet this information has not been verified, and its source remains anonymous. There has been no comment from either ACT or Nova Imperium.
23 APR 3307
Shadow PresidentFelicia Winters has claimed that the Proactive Detection Bureau is unconstitutional as it violates the Federal Accord. In an address before Congress, she said: "The Federation's constitution explicitly guarantees citizens the right to data security and privacy. The PDB tramples over this by raiding everyone's personal communications, casting aside decency and dignity so that algorithms can probe into every aspect of our lives. Furthermore, if ACT's hypothesis is correct and the NMLA is using an advanced dark-comms network, then the PDB's existence is baseless and unjustifiable." Vice President Jerome Archer responded: "The Domestic Counter-Terrorism Act is emergency legislation that temporarily suspends constitutional statutes, until we are satisfied that the terrorist threat has been negated. Following the PDB’s success in uncovering extremist groups, we are widening the search parameters to include other related criminal activity." Opinion polls suggest that a slim majority of Federal citizens accept that some liberties must be sacrificed in return for increased security. However, according to the civil rights organisation Advocacy, the speed with which the PDB gained access to data hubs suggested that "The infrastructure was already in place – all the government needed was an opportunity to make it legal."
20 APR 3307
The Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid has been granted sanctuary in the Marlinist Colonies in return for revealing the identities of the NMLA's leaders. The faction's survivors arrived in the Hyades Sector RO-P b6-2 system after being defeated by Imperial forces. The Marlinism Reformation Party agreed to offer political asylum, despite all three superpowers demanding the refugees' arrest. Imperial Senator Lorcan Scordato, who was visiting the Colonies on a fact-finding mission, announced: "After meeting the Neo-Marlinists and the Marlinist Parliament, I have secured an agreement. The Landgrave of Mudhrid and his inner circle will cooperate fully with ACT to provide details on the senior leadership of the NMLA. In return, they will receive life imprisonment at a local detention facility. The Steel Majesty's population will undergo security vetting by the Marlinist Constabulary to identify extremists. The remainder will be permitted to remain in the system and apply for citizenship." Chancellor Blaine has approved the proposal, commenting that it was "precisely the sort of creative solution the Emperor requires". Responses from the Alliance and Federation were mixed, but there was broad agreement that targeting the NMLA was the priority. Minister Aaron Whyte, elected leader of the Marlinism Reformation Party, publicly thanked Senator Scordato for negotiating a peaceful resolution.
16 APR 3307
Survivors from the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid have arrived in the Marlinist Colonies, requesting political asylum from the Empire. The faction was recently defeated by Imperial forces in the Mudhrid system, after an ACT investigation confirmed that it provided logistical support for the NMLAattacks on starports. Landgrave Delacroix and his loyalists fled aboard the Steel Majestymegaship to the Hyades Sector RO-P b6-2 system, which is controlled by the Marlinism Reformation Party. Minister Aaron Whyte, its elected leader, announced: "Not every individual within the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid is an NMLA activist. We have the right to offer asylum to protect innocents from persecution, just as the Federation protected us when we were refugees." The Empire has officially demanded that the Neo-Marlinists be apprehended, with Senator Patreus claiming "The Landgrave of Mudhrid is a traitor and a war criminal." Both the Alliance and Federation have likewise insisted on their arrest. However, Shadow President Winters reminded Congress that the Marlinist Charter grants their systems the same legal powers of asylum as the Federation. The Marlinist Parliament has declared an emergency situation. First Minister Fairfax called for a discussion of options, while Ministers Amrita Ross and Tamsin Taylor urged cooperation with the Empire.
08 APR 3307
*Pilots Federation ALERT* The Mudhrid system conflict has ended with the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group overcoming the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid. This was triggered by ACT discovering that the Neo-Marlinist faction had provided transports and logistical support for the NMLA'sattacks against nine starports. The Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group has thanked all pilots who contributed to its triumph. Rewards are now available at Payne-Scott City in the Mudhrid system. Landgrave Arastin Delacroix, ruler of the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid, has so far evaded capture. He managed to broadcast this message: "Those brave warriors who fought for our cause can receive recompense at the Steel Majesty. One day we will slay the Duvals and bring revolution to the Empire!" Inspector Mara Klatt of ACT told the media: "This is a definite victory against the NMLA. It also provides an insight into their modus operandi – promising disenfranchised or delusional leaders, such as Landgrave Delacroix, increased status in the new Republic should they succeed. We assume they used similar third parties to support the Alliance and Federation bombings. Our agents are gathering information, but it's clear that the NMLA's network is more advanced and widespread than we first suspected."
01 APR 3307
*Pilots Federation ALERT* Conflict has erupted between the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group and the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid. An investigation by ACT in the Mudhrid system confirmed that the Order of Mudhrid provided logistical support for the NMLA's starport attacks. Their agents infiltrated other local factions to transport enzyme bombs to their targets. The faction has now renamed itself the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid. Landgrave Arastin Delacroix, its leader, has declared a revolution against the Imperial Family. From his flagship, the Steel Majesty, he announced: "The corrupt Duvals will never give up their power, so we must take it from them. All those who seek to change the established order – join us!" The Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group responded by engaging their forces in battle. Senator Denton Patreus has ordered them to "take revenge for the 'Nine Martyrs' atrocities." This is the first instance of a faction openly adopting Neo-Marlinism, although it has not been officially recognised by the Marlinist Colonies. Minister Aaron Whyte commented: "It's a lost opportunity that Landgrave Delacroix chose to aid extremists, rather than provide a political platform to the Neo-Marlinist community. I hope we can soon replace the cycle of violence with meaningful communication."
31 MAR 3307
*Pilots Federation ALERT* The vessel of Captain Niamh Seutonia, who vanished on an anti-NMLA mission, has been found with its crew dead. Following a widespread search by independent pilots, Commander TheRealFlame was the first to discover the wreckage of the Valkyrie in the Trianguli sector GW-W B1-0 system. It was apparent that the ship crashed after sustaining weapons fire, and that all crewmembers died on impact. ACT co-leader Senior Agent Tanya Ramirez gave this statement to the media: "We owe a debt to every pilot who joined our efforts to find the Valkyrie. It's an emotional blow for us to lose one of ACT's guiding lights, along with her courageous team. However, Captain Seutonia managed to secure her mission logs moments before the ship's destruction. This allowed vital information to be recovered. We now have evidence confirming that a Neo-Marlinist faction in the Mudhrid system was directly involved in the NMLA starport bombings. We have shared our findings with Imperial authorities, and the Order of Mudhrid is being investigated." Captain Niamh Seutonia rose to prominence as part of the tri-superpower taskforce that eliminated the League of Reparation in 3304. The Imperial Internal Security Service confirmed that she will be posthumously awarded the Achenar Service Cross.
29 MAR 3307
The fear of further starport bombings has placed internal and external pressure on the Empire to address the threat posed by the NMLA. Despite sharing intelligence via ACT, the Alliance and Federation have demanded that the Empire must do more to eradicate the NMLA, since it is 'Imperial in origin and ambition'. The latest developments were covered by mainstream media channels. The Imperial Herald: "In the Senate, ChancellorAnders Blaine reported that the Emperor has instructed him to present a range of options. SenatorLorcan Scordato has volunteered to visit the Marlinist Colonies on a fact-finding mission, to better understand the political character of the Neo-Marlinist fringe." Eye on Achenar: "The entire system is still shellshocked by the slaughter at Dawes Hub, a vicious stab at the heart of our glorious Empire. In our opinion poll, 93% of right-thinking citizens would send a fleet of Majestics to the murdering Marlinists instead of some soft-hearted senator." Vox Galactica: "In most Imperial cities and settlements, anxiety levels remain high. The NMLA's ability to strike seemingly anywhere has rocked public confidence in the Empire's strength. Opinions on Marlinism itself are more polarised than ever, with accusations of 'warmonger' and 'collaborator' dividing many families and relationships."
25 MAR 3307
*Pilots Federation ALERT* Assistance is needed to track down an ACT operative who vanished while on a mission to identify NMLA suppliers. The missing agent is Captain Niamh Seutonia of the Imperial Internal Security Service, one of the joint leaders of the anti-NMLA intelligence unit. She was following up on clues resulting from analysis of the 'Nine Martyrs' starport bombings. Senior Agent Tanya Ramirez, a co-leader of ACT, gave this statement: "Captain Seutonia and her team were travelling on an Anaconda-class vessel named the Valkyrie. Mission details are scarce as information was compartmentalised for security, but she was investigating a minor faction that may be supplying the NMLA. We know that her ship left the Mudhrid system on the 24th of March, on a heading toward the Marlinist Colonies. Captain Castile of the Marlinist Constabulary, on secondment to ACT, arranged a rendezvous that she never reached. So we know the Valkyrie went missing somewhere inbetween. All Commanders in the region are asked to join the search for Captain Seutonia's ship. Our fervent hope is that we find its crew alive, and that they managed to obtain data to help us defeat the NMLA."
24 MAR 3307
President Zachary Hudson has announced that the new vice president of the Federation is Jerome Archer, replacing the deceased Brad Mitchell. Archer was previously serving as the Secretary of Security. Prior to becoming a congressman, he was a director of the Federal Intelligence Agency and had a long career in law enforcement. His predecessor, VP Brad Mitchell, died in the NMLAbombing of Li Qing Jao station in the Sol system. The attack also killed several members of the Federal Cabinet along with many government officials, who were attending a meeting at the starport. Addressing a gathering of Congress, Vice President Archer said: "My primary focus in this office will be to increase security throughout the Federation. I vow to build vigilance into the fabric of our society, and prevent such atrocities from ever happening again." During the congressional session, President Hudson announced new appointments for other deceased members of the Cabinet. He also successfully obtained approval to increase funding for counter-terrorism operations run by ACT and the Federal Navy.
23 MAR 3307
The Marlinist Parliament has refuted widespread allegations of supporting or concealing members of the NMLA paramilitary group. Fuelled by media speculation, many political and military leaders have suggested that the Marlinist Colonies should be occupied or destroyed to take revenge for the recent bombings. However, there is no evidence that these systems have any direct connection to the NMLA. First Minister Jenna Fairfax gave this statement to Vox Galactica: "The starport attacks were as sickening and terrifying to us as to the rest of the galaxy. The Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army follows a twisted creed that has no bearing on true Marlinism. We have sent our own intelligence team to join ACT, led by Captain Milo Castile of the Marlinist Constabulary. It is vital that we all work together to end the NMLA's campaign of terror." There was also a comment from fellow parliamentarian Aaron Whyte: "I understand it's human nature to seek a villain, but we should remember that the Neo-Marlinist cause has sound political foundations. The Empire suppressed all republican movements for centuries, imprisoning and executing far more people than those who died in the 'Nine Martyrs'."
22 MAR 3307
The Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit (ACT), formed by all three superpowers to combat the NMLA, has launched its investigation. The organisation has been working closely with Alliance Interpol, the Imperial Internal Security Service and the Federal Intelligence Agency to collate data on the terrorist strikes against nine starports. Captain Niamh Seutonia, one of ACT's joint leaders, told the media: "Initial forensic results from the targeted stations suggest the use of a more compact bomb design than in previous attacks, possibly constructed on-site. Worryingly, the NMLA's new generation of weapons seem to be easier to transport and conceal. The good news is that a comparison of reports has revealed one very promising lead. I will personally take a team to follow this up, and we're hoping for an early breakthrough." Inspector Mara Klatt also provided a brief progress report: "Our working theory is that the NMLA employs an undetectable interstellar communications system to coordinate its attacks. A similar dark-comms network was used by the League of Reparation before we decrypted it, but this version is evidently more sophisticated. We are liaising with local security services to gather evidence."