Politics has always been a breeding ground for lies, but one lie outshines all the others, and today we heard it once again. It is the insinuation that to seek a diplomatic solution is weak. That a preference for discussion over conflict means we're afraid to fight! We are accustomed to this, of course. We've heard the president's supporters pervert our words again and again. When we face up to the Federation's previous wrongs, they mock us for our so-called liberal guilt. When we celebrate a détente between the superpowers that will help us oppose the Thargoid menace, they imply we are traitors. But it is they who are afraid, and with good reason. Because the people of the Federation have had enough. They will no longer be manipulated into reckless conflicts that serve only to fatten the wallets of arms dealers and the privileged. They will no longer pretend that Hudson's tub thumping and sabre rattling is anything more than vacuous propaganda. From star to star, colony to complex, satellite to station, we hear the same heartfelt cry: let the mistakes of the past remain in the past, and let the Federation embrace only the best of itself. Let us return to the core values of hard work, honest trade, support for the vulnerable and mutual respect. The people are ready for us - let us be ready for them.
— Felicia Winters, Liberal Party annual address, 3303
Winters had never planned on becoming head of the Liberal Party, but the role was thrust upon her due to the Starship One disappearance and the earlier murder of the previous Vice President, Nigel Smeaton. She inherited a party in crisis, but over the years has managed to restore its reputation and match President Zachary Hudson in the polls. On the eve of the Galactic Summit in 3307, it was observed that Winters was making early moves to bolster her position for the 3309 presidential election.
Felicia Winters was born on Taylor Colony, Tau Ceti, in 3229. She worked for Sirius Corporation until entering politics full time in 3273, at the age of 44. When Jasmina Halsey was elected President of the Federation in 3300, the popular Congressman Winters was appointed her Secretary of State. When Starship One disappeared on May 26, 3301 with both Halsey and Vice President Ethan Naylor aboard, Winters was unexpectedly sworn in as Acting President, a turn of events that left her shaken and a responsibility for which she was unprepared. Shadow PresidentZachary Hudson of the Republican Party soon called for an emergency vote of no confidence in Halsey's administration; Hudson won by a landslide and assumed the presidency on June 2, making Winters, as the head of the Liberal Party, the new Shadow President.
Halsey's disappearance compounded the crisis that had engulfed the Liberal Party since the War for Lugh, when the Federation entered a conflict against a secessionist faction in the Lugh system. Halsey had ordered Federal Navy to open fire on refugee ships, shocking and alienating Liberal party supporters. Winters argued with Halsey over her decision in private, but publicly maintained solidarity with the president. By the time Winters inherited leadership of the party, its values were no longer entirely in line with her own, and its voter base had moved on. Winters was widely expected to resign from her role and let the party rebuild itself, but she instead adopted a proactive approach by working to persuade various Federal systems from defecting to the Alliance, as well as distributing aid packages. Her energy and accomplishments have inspired renewed support for both her and the party, and she achieved a popularity on par with President Hudson.
In October 3306, Hudson's administration was rocked by the arrest of Fleet Admiral Lucas Vincent on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and treason in relation to the Starship One disaster of 3301. Due to Hudson's friendship with Vincent, allegations arose that Hudson had been involved in a conspiracy to assassinate former President Jasmina Halsey. Hudson's refusal to comment on Vincent's arrest did not quell this speculation. By October 19, support for Hudson and the Republican Party was in freefall, and over a dozen Congressmen resigned in protest to avoid being associated with what some members of the press were calling "the crime of the century". The weakening of Hudson's position resulted in an upswing in support for Felicia Winters and the Liberal Party. This change in dynamic became evident on October 26, when Congress voted to approve a proposal from Shadow President Winters to grant temporary citizenship to Marlinist refugees from the Empire, overriding Hudson's stated intention to deport them. However, the situation reversed itself in November, when the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army bombed a Federal starport on November 19 after a Federal Security Service operation arrested NMLA terrorists hiding among the refugees. Public support for Winters' acceptance of the refugees fell, and President Hudson recovered much of his standing by taking a hard line against the Empire.
On April 23, 3307, Winters spoke out against the Proactive Detection Bureau, criticising it as a violation of the Federal Accord's statutes guaranteeing Federal citizens the right to data security and privacy. The PDB had been created following Congressional approval of the Domestic Counter-Terrorism Act, an emergency law authored by Vice President Jerome Archer that overrode all existing Federal laws and constitutional statutes concerning domestic communications surveillance. The law was drawn up in response to the devastating Nine Martyrs bombings of March 11, 3307, which claimed the life of Archer's predecessor, Brad Mitchell. President Hudson launched a public campaign on April 29 to collect data to be used to expand the PDB's reach into new, lesser-known networks and increase its effectiveness. Winters responded with a competing campaign to collect data to counter the PDB by distributing legal technology and techniques to Federal citizens to protect their communications from government intrusion. Unfortunately for Winters, Hudson's initiative received received more support, which strengthened the PDB and also reduced stability in systems where Winters had authority.
14 MAY 3307
The Proactive Detection Bureau, which monitors all civil communications in the Federation, has received a boost from the galactic community. President Hudson's campaign for additional data proved so successful that the PDB has dramatically increased the range of its surveillance. Deputy Director Bethany Blake of the Federal Intelligence Agency announced: "We are now able to discreetly scan almost every private and public communications network used within Federal systems. As a result, arrest rates have soared and several organised crime rings have been dismantled." Shadow President Winters's efforts to distribute methods of blocking the PDB received considerable support, but failed to eclipse Hudson's initiative. This was interpreted by the Federal government as a mandate from the citizens to continue its surveillance programme. Rhiannon Grady, director of the civil rights organisation Advocacy, told the media: "Since the vast majority of citizens will never receive a visit from the FIA for their activities, the public has no sense of what they have lost. But history teaches us how hard it is to regain freedoms once you've given them away. The Federation has taken a large step toward becoming an interstellar police state with little regard for the individual."
06 MAY 3307
*Pilots Federation ALERT* President Zachary Hudson's call for data deliveries has enhanced civilian surveillance within the Federation. His campaign received more data than a competing request from Shadow President Felicia Winters, which aimed to offer ways of protecting communications against interception by the Proactive Detection Bureau. For both initiatives, pilots delivered anomalous bulk scan data, exceptional scrambled emission data, specialised legacy firmware and unusual encrypted files. President Zachary Hudson hailed this show of public support for the Federal government: "Our citizens deserve security, and with their contributions to the PDB's databases, we are now in a better position to protect them against terrorism." Analysts predict that this outcome will boost security for systems that fall within Hudson's personal sphere of influence. It is also expected that a loss of public support will reduce stability within systems where Winters has authority. Pilots who supported President Hudson can now collect their rewards from Gresley Dock in the Nanomam system. Pilots who supported Shadow President Winters can now collect their rewards from Ito Orbital in the Rhea system.
29 APR 3307
*Pilots Federation ALERT* Data deliveries are required by competing initiatives to increase or decrease civilian surveillance in the Federation. President Zachary Hudson has asked the public to contribute to making the Proactive Detection Bureau more effective: "The PDB requires access to lesser-known comms channels where terrorists and criminals lurk. Supplying it with data from multiple sources will allow us to root out more potential threats." To counter this campaign, Shadow President Felicia Winters aims to protect personal communications from being intercepted: "My duty is to help citizens preserve their constitutional right to privacy. If enough data can be gathered for baseline testing, we will distribute legal technology and techniques to secure against government intrusion." Both campaigns require deliveries of the following data types: anomalous bulk scan data, exceptional scrambled emission data, specialised legacy firmware and unusual encrypted files. To support President Hudson, pilots should deliver data to Gresley Dock in the Nanomam system. To support Shadow President Winters, pilots should deliver data to Ito Orbital in the Rhea system. Political analysts believe that since Hudson and Winters are organising these projects personally, there may be repercussions for the security and stability of the systems where each has influence.
23 APR 3307
Shadow President Felicia 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."
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 Majesty megaship 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.
06 APR 3307
The Proactive Detection Bureau has been set up by the Federal Intelligence Agency to scan civilian communications for signs of terrorist activity. The new department was formed following congressional approval of the Domestic Counter-Terrorism Act. This was drafted by Vice President Jerome Archer, who told the media: "The PDB is a vital tool to prevent further massacres on the scale we have recently witnessed. It will unearth NMLA terrorists and other dangerous activists concealed among innocent citizens, and help keep our families safe." Deputy Director Bethany Blake, who has been appointed to run the Proactive Detection Bureau, explained its operations: "Highly advanced algorithms will scan all data transmitted across public and private networks on a system-wide level. Any suspicious communications are redirected to a regional hub, for review by trained investigators. It is important to understand that only specific activity within narrow parameters will be flagged, and must pass dozens of automated checkpoints before our operatives can access it." Shadow President Winters and civil rights groups have protested that this violates long-standing privacy laws. However, PresidentHudson has championed the PDB as a cornerstone of the new counter-terrorism statutes.
30 MAR 3307
Vice President Jerome Archer has successfully proposed a new public surveillance law designed to prevent future terrorist attacks in the Federation. The Domestic Counter-Terrorism Act was debated in Congress before being approved by a majority vote. It is considered to be emergency legislation that replaces all previous laws regarding monitoring civilian activity and intercepting personal communications. Vice President Archer, who personally drafted much of the new statute, announced: "This will allow the government to actively seek out any terrorist agents and sympathisers lurking within our communities. We will never again allow so many families and friends to be taken from us." Shadow President Felicia Winters responded: "Nobody wants another 'Nine Martyrs', and it's vital that security is increased across the Federation. But this is an outrageous violation of civil liberties. For this administration to grant itself access to every citizen's private life makes it resemble a dictatorial regime." VP Archer later confirmed that he is already working with the heads of security services on practical applications of the new law. As a former director of the Federal Intelligence Agency, he is expected to make rapid progress.
26 MAR 3307
Former President Jasmina Halsey has joined the Federal Diplomatic Corps to become an ambassador to the Alliance. In recent years Halsey served as an advisor to Prime Minister Mahon, but returned to the Federation in January to stand as a witness in the Starship One trial. She was a guest of Shadow President Felicia Winters at the Galactic Summit, and both were evacuated back to Mars when it was cancelled. At a press conference, Ambassador Halsey said: "Being at the conference reminded me that the political arena is where I belong. My new responsibilities allow me to continue serving the Federation while making use of my experience within the Alliance, and hopefully build stronger bridges between the two." Elijah Beck, head of the Alliance Office of Diplomatic Relations, sent this message: "Jasmina's level-headed advice has calmed many tense political situations. This is the ideal role for a diplomat of her calibre, and I look forward to working with her again." In related news, the Federal Diplomatic Corps confirmed that Ambassador Jordan Rochester had been recalled from duty to be reassigned. Most of the Empire and Federation's embassies in each other's space have been closed since November 3306.
At the Galactic Summit, the infamous pirate leader Archon Delaine has demanded to be accepted as the legitimate leader of a political power. A gap in the schedule allowed him to make an address in the main conference chamber: "Most of you see me as a common criminal, rather than the rightful ruler of multiple systems. That must end now! My efforts to build a Kumo nation deserve respect. I am here to declare my sovereignty and take my rightful place on the political stage." This was immediately dismissed by many delegations. Princess Aisling Duval said this was a barbaric mockery of nobility, while Shadow President Winters asked how much bloodshed the pirates had caused to obtain their power. Archon Delaine replied: "Are you all so innocent, then? Every civilisation begins with barbarism, and maintains authority with the threat of violence. None of you can say otherwise. We all wear a crown of bones." There followed intense debate as to whether the Kumo Crew's territory could be recognised as a new nation-state or was simply a rebranded crime syndicate. There is suspicion that some of the many criminal vessels detected in the Sirius system are from Delaine's pirate fleet. The Federal and Imperial delegations have offered to remove Archon Delaine's retinue, only to be reminded that Sirius Corporation has granted them full diplomatic immunity.
04 MAR 3307
Pirate warlord Archon Delaine has unexpectedly appeared at the diplomatic conference and demanded to participate as a political delegate. Delaine is the leader of the Kumo Crew, a notorious crime syndicate that controls dozens of systems. Their arrival at Patterson Enterprise station initially caused many delegations' security teams to begin evacuations. However, representatives of the Sirius Corporation called for calm and delivered this message: "We have vouchsafed Archon Delaine's presence and extended full diplomatic immunity to his retinue. As with all attendees, they are expected to abide by our rules and etiquettes." This reassurance did not prevent several ambassadors from walking out in protest. Some accused Sirius Corporation of striking a deal with Delaine to prevent even more pirate vessels from swarming through the Sirius system. Mainstream newsfeeds also covered the impact of Delaine's arrival. The Imperial Herald: "Senator Patreus officially complained about 'the repulsive sight of pirate scum strolling alongside respectable politicians'. However, Chancellor Blaine agreed that Delaine could address the conference, albeit under close scrutiny." The Federal Times: "Neither Hudson nor Winters have commented on Delaine's appearance, but the security chief for the Federal delegation remarked: 'One wrong step and we'll put some big holes right through their immunity.'" The Alliance Tribune: "This is an unwelcome distraction from Prime Minister Mahon's proposal for Aegis's remit to be enormously expanded. The Sirius Treaty will fully unite superpowers, corporations and independent systems against the Thargoids – assuming that Mahon can convince his fellow leaders to agree."
Alliance, Empire and Federation leaders have held their first ever face-to-face discussions at the diplomatic conference in the Sirius system. Political correspondent Conrad Sterling published this report for Vox Galactica: "The Galactic Summit has already made history by bringing together many political figureheads within one conference chamber. Optimistic opening statements from ChancellorAnders Blaine and Prime MinisterEdmund Mahon gained applause. PresidentZachary Hudson was more curt, reminding everyone that billions of people would be affected by their efforts. Agendas and debate topics for the next three weeks were formalised. Much of the work will be done behind the scenes by ambassadorial staff, making big decisions in small rooms. The general tone so far has been courteous, although that may not last. Predictably, interactions between the Imperial and Marlinist delegations have been frosty, with SenatorDenton Patreus refusing to even acknowledge their presence during discussions. However, First Minister Jenna Fairfax enjoyed a more cordial meeting with Shadow President Felicia Winters. They were joined by Jasmina Halsey, who has accompanied Winters from Mars in an unofficial capacity. One notable absentee was Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester, whose family is under legal scrutiny following the crimes of his older brother Jupiter Rochester. This at least spared Jordan the awkwardness of having to formally greet his ex-fiancée, Princess Aisling Duval. But it's likely there will be no shortage of tension between other delegates in the coming weeks."
22 FEB 3307
President Zachary Hudson and Shadow President Felicia Winters will both attend the diplomatic conference in the Sirius system. The Federation will also be represented by ambassadors from the Federal Diplomatic Corps, as well as several civil and corporate interests. Political correspondent Sofia Trevino reported for The Federal Times: "President Hudson's personal presence at the Galactic Summit sends the message that he still holds the reins of power. He clearly hopes that facing off against the Empire's leaders will distract the public from the recent Jupiter Rochester scandals. In his absence, Vice President Brad Mitchell will oversee congressional matters. There are rumours that Mitchell is positioning himself to challenge Hudson as the Republican Party candidate in the next election. The conference also offers opportunities for Felicia Winters to appear presidential. She has eagerly agreed to meet the Marlinist Colonies delegation, having coordinated humanitarian aid for the refugees last year. Winters has not asked Shadow VP Isolde Rochester to accompany her, perhaps as a rebuke for the criminal actions of her son. Furiously working on damage control for her family's name, the Rochester matriarch has taken Jupiter's two children into her care after his husband, Tomas Turai, filed for immediate divorce."
02 FEB 3307
Evidence presented at the trial of Fleet Admiral Vincent suggested financial links to Federal shipbuilding corporation Core Dynamics. This significant development was covered by Ethan Takahashi for The Federal Times: "The initial investigations around Starship One's destruction in 3301 were outlined by the prosecution. When the Federal Attorney's Office revisited this historical data, traces were found of financial transfers routed through non-Federation banking systems. The FAO brought in the expertise of the Wallglass Investigations Agency, which discovered that these transactions were made via shell companies created by Core Dynamics. Fleet Admiral Vincent, as well as several other naval officers, received billions of credits through these companies that went undeclared. Vincent refused to answer any questions about this evidence, once again claiming that he is the victim of a conspiracy to hand the presidency to Felicia Winters." Despite multiple requests from the press, Core Dynamics has not made any public comment. There are unverified reports of large-scale activity taking place at some of the corporation’s centres of operation.
25 JAN 3307
The Federal High Court on Mars has opened the trial of Fleet Admiral Lucas Vincent, who is charged with conspiracy to commit murder and treason. Vincent stands accused of organising the sabotage of Starship One in 3301, resulting in hundreds of deaths. The Federal Times's crime correspondent Ethan Takahashi reported: "The trial began with the prosecution counsel outlining the case. Material evidence obtained from Chief Technician Rory Webster, whose testimony led to Vincent's arrest, was presented before the jury. Vincent was questioned about a secure transmission from his office to the presidential vessel on the 24th of May 3301, ordering an unscheduled diversion to the Azaleach system for routine maintenance. This is where Webster's engineering team followed Vincent's orders to install the sabotaged hyperdrive component that caused the misjump. Evading the questions, Vincent claimed that the entire trial was a 'Liberal Party cover-up' and that Starship One was destroyed 'to put Winters in charge'. With the loss of President Halsey and Vice President Naylor, Felicia Winters did indeed assume the role of acting president and became leader of the Liberal Party. However, the defence counsel played down these accusations, instead declaring that Webster's recordings of Vincent's orders could have been falsified."
20 JAN 3307
Former PresidentJasmina Halsey has arrived on Mars to stand as a witness in the upcoming trial of Fleet Admiral Lucas Vincent. Halsey was subpoenaed by the Federal High Court to testify before the jury. Although this was not legally enforceable, since she now lives beyond the Federation's jurisdiction, she has acceded to the court's request. Jasmina Halsey served as Federal president prior to the destruction of Starship One in 3301, which Vincent is accused of arranging. She was recovered alive, but abandoned her political career and emigrated to the Alliance. She has since campaigned as a peace activist and acted as an adviser to Prime MinisterEdmund Mahon. After greeting a large crowd of supporters at Olympus Village Spaceport, Halsey gave a statement to The Federal Times: "This is a bittersweet moment for me. Coming back to the Federation feels like revisiting a past life. But perhaps we can finally lay some ghosts to rest." She was welcomed in person by Shadow President Felicia Winters, who was secretary of state in Halsey's administration. However, President Zachary Hudson has made no comment regarding his predecessor's return or the forthcoming trial of Fleet Admiral Vincent.
08 JAN 3307
The organisation Aegis has expressed support for Utopia's offer to host a Galactic Summit for all three superpowers. Aegis was jointly formed by the Alliance, Empire and Federation to study the Thargoids, and develop new methods of monitoring and combating their forces. Professor Alba Tesreau, head of research at Aegis, gave this statement: "Humanity's focus on petty internal conflicts has blinded us to the existential threat of the Thargoids. Their recent horrific attacks should be a wake-up call to the fact that defunding has crippled Aegis's ability to offer protection. We strongly entreat our founders to come together and channel resources toward Aegis, and particularly into research. There can be no hope of coexistence with this alien species unless we increase our understanding of them." No official responses to Utopia's proposal have been made as yet. However, Prime Minister Edmund Mahon, Princess Aisling Duval and Shadow President Felicia Winters have all signalled broad approval of the idea. There are reports that many congressmen, councillors and senators are pressuring their respective leaders to attend the diplomatic conference. Simguru Pranav Antal has confirmed that the governments of independent systems will also be welcome to send delegates to the Galactic Summit. However, Utopia's primary aim is to provide neutral territory for the Alliance, Empire and Federation to debate policies.
08 DEC 3306
Hundreds of thousands of political refugees who fled from the Empire to the Federation have brought both superpowers to the brink of conflict. The Marlinists, who believe in restructuring the Empire into a republic, escaped crackdowns in several Imperial systems during a hunt for Neo-Marlinist terrorists. The Federation has provided temporary safe haven for the refugees. However, security concerns proved to be justified when the NMLA bombed a Federal starport where captured members were being held. The Federal Security Service provided this update: "The Marlinists themselves have informed us of more individuals among them with NMLA connections. The risk of terrorism from this population is now low, although it's impossible to know exactly how many have been radicalised." There have been heated debates in Congress over granting citizenship to the Marlinists. President Hudson insisted that "all illegal aliens must be deported", and has strengthened the Federal Navy as a defensive measure in light of the Empire's warnings. Conversely, Shadow President Winters argued that "turning away starving refugees to face imprisonment and discrimination would be immoral". She also noted that the same principles of democratic representation found in Marlinism are enshrined in the Federal Accord. This disagreement between the Republican and Liberal Parties has led to stalemate, with the fate of the Marlinists hanging in the balance.
27 NOV 3306
NMLA terrorist attacks and the Marlinist refugee crisis have driven an increase in military spending from both the Empire and the Federation. The Federal Times has reported on President Zachary Hudson's actions: "Building on the public outcry following the Neo-Marlinist bombing of a Federal starport, President Hudson has positioned himself once again as the Federation's strongman. This is clearly a calculated effort to regain political power after negative associations from the Starship One trial. Shadow President Felicia Winters's acceptance of Marlinist refugees has lost popularity, now that terrorists concealed among them have murdered thousands. However, cooler heads in Congress agree that provoking the Empire could lead to a far greater death toll." The Empire's response mirrored its counterpart, as observed by The Imperial Herald: "As well as the construction of new capital ships, Senator Denton Patreus has also ordered the withdrawal of funding for Aegis. The Senate's consensus is that since Thargoid activity has reduced, the focus should now be on the Federation as well as the internal threat of the NMLA. Cooperation between the superpowers is rapidly coming to an end, leading to a state of interstellar brinkmanship. There is a real possibility that the Neo-Marlinists' demand for revolutionary change may have broader repercussions than they intended."
20 NOV 3306
Relations between the Empire and the Federation have deteriorated following a terror attack by Neo-Marlinists against a Federal starport. Kepler Orbital in the Atropos system was bombed by the NMLA to eliminate several of its captured members, before they could reveal anything under interrogation by the Federal Security Service. Imperial Ambassador Imogen Luciana made this statement: "The NMLA was obviously able to make use of its bomb-making factories within the LTT 1935 system. If the Federation had not resisted our investigation, we would have shut these down and prevented the attack. Our warning about the extremist threat went unheeded, and the Federation is now paying the price. We once again insist that all Marlinists are repatriated to the Empire." Ambassador Jordan Rochester has not responded, but did confirm that Federal embassies in several Imperial systems have closed after violent anti-Marlinist protests placed diplomatic staff's lives at risk. In Congress, Vice President Brad Mitchell directly blamed Shadow President Felicia Winters for the recent attack. He accused her of "laying out the welcome mat for terrorists" by offering sanctuary to the Marlinists. Other congressmen argued that she had prioritised aid for Imperial rather than Federal citizens. There is evidence that Winters is now losing some of her recently gained political capital. However, the Liberal Party's popularity remains high in the wake of PresidentHudson's alleged association with the destruction of Starship One.
06 NOV 3306
Neo-Marlinist extremists are continuing their campaign of terror, while the Empire and Federation clash over issues caused by Marlinist refugees. The Imperial Herald has featured updates on terrorist activity across the Empire: "The NMLA has claimed responsibility for over fifty bomb attacks during the last three weeks. These mostly targeted local authority buildings and security forces, killing hundreds. Hit squads have also assassinated several high-profile individuals connected to the Duvals, including the Emperor's relative Baron Cesare Lavigny. Senior IISS leaders have admitted to being unprepared for how organised and well-equipped the paramilitary group is. Critics suggest that the mass arrest of Marlinists may have radicalised many people who were already sympathetic to the republican ideology." The Federal Times has focused on the tensions between superpowers: "With diplomatic channels closing down, the possibility that the confrontation in LTT 1935 might escalate into all-out war cannot be ignored. There is added pressure from the exodus of millions of Marlinists, whose beliefs align with the Federation's democratic principles. President Hudson is still suffering from reduced congressional support, and many have said that it feels like Felicia Winters is running the show. But although her humanitarian efforts undoubtedly saved many refugees' lives, the acceptance of Imperial outcasts into Federal society remains in question."
26 OCT 3306
The Federation will grant sanctuary to Marlinist political refugees from the Empire, following a congressional vote in favour of Felicia Winters. PresidentZachary Hudson had stated that illegal immigrants in the Federal systems Charunder, Ennead, HIP 36081, LTT 1935, LTT 3607 and Thetis would be detained and returned to Imperial space. This was challenged by Shadow President Felicia Winters, who argued that they deserved a more compassionate response. Congress debated and then voted on her proposal, which received majority support. Government funding will soon be released to provide resources and accommodation for the refugee population. Shadow President Winters told the media: "Charities such as Safeguard Interstellar are already doing excellent work, but now we can officially offer safe haven and temporary citizenship to all Marlinists. These innocent people only seek what we in the Federation take for granted – democracy, fairness and political representation. Their values are closer to ours than the Empire's, and we have an obligation to protect them." Several newsfeeds, including The Federal Times and Sol Today, commented that President Hudson's authority has been undermined by his refusal to comment on the charges against Fleet Admiral Vincent. The accompanying rumours of corruption and conspiracy have had a demoralising effect on his supporters, and increased the Liberal Party's popularity.
19 OCT 3306
Political support for Federal PresidentZachary Hudson has plummeted after the results of a trial concerning Starship One's destruction. Fleet Admiral Lucas Vincent was charged with sabotaging the presidential vessel, leading to hundreds of deaths. His close relationship with Hudson has triggered a public outcry and accusations of a conspiracy to assassinate then-President Jasmina Halsey. Political analyst Vihaan Niven reported on the situation: "The Republican Party is officially in a state of crisis. President Hudson has refused to make any statement regarding Fleet Admiral Vincent, despite pressure piling up from all corners of the Federation. Over a dozen congressmen have resigned in protest, refusing to be associated with what some newsfeeds are calling 'the crime of the century'. Shadow President Felicia Winters has stopped short of making direct allegations against Hudson but, in several powerful speeches, she stressed that no elected ruler can ever be above the law. Opinion polls suggest that the Liberal Party now has majority support for the first time in years, and that many people view Hudson as a symbol of corruption. In 3305, halfway through his term of office, the President won the scheduled congressional vote of no confidence by a slim margin. It is doubtful that his administration would survive if it were to be held today."
18 SEP 3306
An officer in the Federal Navy Engineering Corps has been arrested for sabotaging the presidential vessel Starship One. A statement was made by Milandu Okoro of the Federal Attorney's Office: "Chief Technician Rory Webster was a department head of engineering for Starship One. Testimonies from members of Mr Webster's team claim that he ordered unauthorised adjustments to the ship's hyperdrive systems while in drydock, shortly before its launch in May 3301 and subsequent destruction. This case is now being brought before the Federal High Court, where Mr Webster will stand trial for mass murder and attempted treason." There has been no comment from PresidentZachary Hudson, but Shadow President Felicia Winters told the press: "This was a truly horrific tragedy, and there must be justice for all those who lost their lives on that sad day." The apparent death of many Federation leaders aboard Starship One resulted in Winters briefly becoming acting president, shortly before Hudson won a vote of no confidence. There has been much media attention regarding how this event proved pivotal to both of their political careers.
26 DEC 3304
FederalShadow President Felicia Winters has appointed Isolde Rochester as the deputy leader of the Federation's Liberal Party. The new Shadow Vice President made a statement to the media: "After a decade of serving in Congress, supporting both PresidentHalsey and Shadow President Winters, it is an honour to accept this position. Many challenges face the Federation, and the Liberal Party is ready to meet them." The former deputy leader, Edgar Santiago, recently made the sudden decision to retire from politics and purchase a private luxury starship, despite not being known for extravagant spending. Isolde Rochester is the matriarch of the powerful Rochester family, which includes the CEO of Core Dynamics and two Federal Navy officers. Rumours suggest that she called off the wedding of her son Ambassador Jordan Rochester when suggestions arose of Princess Aisling Duval's infidelity.
03 MAY 3304
Shadow President Winters commented on Simguru Pranav Antal's suggestion that humanity could lose the war against the Thargoids: "It's surprising to hear such a dystopian prediction from the leader of Utopia! I know Antal's heart is in the right place when he talks about preparing for the far future, but our focus should be on the present. The Thargoid threat has prompted an unprecedented level of inter-power cooperation, and this positive approach is what we must concentrate on."
22 FEB 3304
The Federation has announced that the Bulwark Project reached a successful conclusion. As the campaign drew to a close, Federal Shadow President Felicia Winters released a statement: "My sincere gratitude goes to those who supported this campaign. But I want to remind you that we’re still some way from a fully automated defence force. The Bulwark Project's initial remit is simply to establish the economic and military feasibility of such an enterprise."
15 FEB 3304
The Federation has launched an initiative to develop autonomous military hardware with which to fight the Thargoids. Federal Shadow President Felicia Winters shed further light on the initiative, which has been christened the Bulwark Project: "As the Thargoids' aggression escalates, it's essential that we find ways to minimise casualties while continuing to protect ourselves. Aegis is doing commendable work, but it needn't be our only line of defence." Winters was quick to dismiss concerns about circumventing conventions against AI creation, saying: "The purpose of the Bulwark Project is to investigate alternative defence strategies, not to develop machine intelligence."
13 AUG 3302
At a rally on Mars in the Sol system, Federal Shadow President Felicia Winters has addressed the escalating tension between the Federation and the Empire. "Both the Federation and the Empire have access to tremendous military power, and a war between our two societies could have a disastrous impact on the galaxy. We must turn away from acrimony, and move towards mutual understanding and cooperation. It is not too late to change course."
15 APR 3302
Harris claimed that the destruction of Starship One was not the result of mechanical failure, as was widely reported, but was in fact the result of deliberate sabotage by Imperial agents. The Federation appeared less eager to dismiss Harris's claims, although a statement from Shadow President Felicia Winters indicated that she was not necessarily ready to accept the story, either.
13 MAY 3302
Shadow President Felicia Winters focused her Federal aid campaigns on the Kali system, in an attempt to demonstrate how Liberal values will bring a better life to all. Kali has been controlled by the Alliance-aligned Green Party of Kali for some time, but Blue Netcoms Ltd – a Federal corporation – is likely to gain influence with the increased Federal presence.
20 NOV 3301
Shadow President Felicia Winters secured the support of 41 Lambda Hydrae and HIP 38747 this week, amid some mild controversy. The Shadow President now looks to Kherthaje and Catun for additional support. In an odd turn of events, the Mbutsi system deep in the heart of Winters' territory appears to be courting Imperial favour. Shadow President Winters is reportedly engaged in talks with the local system leaders in an attempt to secure their loyalty.
18 SEP 3301
Felicia Winters has consistently proven her ability to defy the odds, and this week was no exception. Withstanding the established norm of heavy opposition, the Shadow President’s couriers busied themselves with the distribution of aid packages throughout her sphere of influence. Her people now stand ready to extend Federation aid to additional systems.
31 JUL 3301
Felicia Winters has seen her space come under heavy assault this week. While Winters' supporters are by now extremely proficient at defending her space against enemy undermining action, two setbacks have hurt the Shadow President's ranking this week. The attempt to expand her influence into the system of Liburodo has been stopped by overwhelming enemy action, and Edmund Mahon's expansion into Lugh has contested Felicia's hold over several other systems, further taxing her administration.
24 JUL 3301
Felicia Winters saw her efforts to claim HDS 1065 and Potamoi fail, as Federal space continues to see heavy, regular infiltration by hostile Commanders. At the same time, the Shadow President managed to expand her influence to three new systems, and to counter undermining efforts by the means of well-coordinated fortification.
02 JUN 3301
Zachary Hudson declared president from galactic vote, Felicia Winters becomes Shadow President.
27 MAY 3301
At a press conference held earlier today, Acting Federal President Felicia Winters made a personal appearance to address the disappearance of Starship One after failing to re-enter normal space following a routine hyperspace jump. “The disappearance of Starship One has us all on edge. Tensions are high, and the rumour mills are making all their usual noise about terrorists, aliens, conspiracies and cover-ups. I’m afraid the truth will likely get you all far fewer viewers, but it is the truth that the people of the Federation need to hear from me now.”