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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[1]

Felicia Winters is the current Shadow President of the Federation and head of the Liberal Party. During the administration of Jasmina Halsey, Winters served as Secretary of State, and was sworn-in as Acting President of the Federation following the disappearance of Halsey and Vice President Ethan Naylor aboard Starship One on May 26, 3301.

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.[2] 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.

Biography

Early life and political career

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.[1]

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 President Zachary 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.[1]

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 dissuade 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.[1]

The Vincent scandal

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".[3]

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.[4] 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.[5]

Surveillance controversy

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.[6][7] 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.[8] Unfortunately for Winters, Hudson's initiative received more support, which strengthened the PDB and also reduced stability in systems where Winters had authority.[9]

The debate over surveillance in the Federation did not end there, however. The strengthening of the PDB's powers caused widespread discontent in systems within Shadow President Winters's sphere of influence. In June 3307, Constanza Noguera was elected mayor of the Federal faction Azaladshu Free, and on June 29, she proclaimed Azaladshu Free's independence from the Federation, taking the systems Azaladshu, LHS 277, LTT 3919, and LFT 824 with it.[10] Hudson and Federal Congress agreed the secession was illegal under the terms of the Federal Accord, and the president ordered the loyalists of Neche Inc to subjugate the secessionists on July 1. Winters had to rebut criticism for allowing the rebellion to occur in her territory, denying that she supported the rebels but repeating that she did not consider the PDB to be constitutional.[11] Azaladshu Free decisively prevailed over Federal forces on July 8, not only retaining its independence but inspiring the secession of three other factions and their systems: the Coalition of Uteran, which controlled Uteran and Ga'anjob'al; LP 726-6 Free, which controlled LP 726-6 and Aunochis; and Gluscap Labour, which controlled Gluscap and V902 Centauri. The incident embarrassed both Hudson and Winters, the former for failing to contain the rebellion, and the latter for being perceived as fanning the flames due to her continued opposition to the new surveillance measures.[12]

After a second secession conflict in the Kuwembaa system led to four more factions and 27 more systems breaking from the Federation, Winters addressed Congress on August 23. She pleaded for the immediate repeal of the Domestic Counter-Terrorism Act, and warned that keeping the law in place would likely cause dozens of other Federal factions to secede. The Sovereign reported that as many as 50 Federal factions had begun considering secession in response to the Kuwembaa conflict, but the Federal Times pointed out that some of the factions that had already seceded were concerned that they were now vulnerable to external attacks, including from pro-Federation groups seeking retaliation.[13]

The secession crisis largely dissipated by November 3307. Secessionist sentiment declined after the PDB proved its worth by exposing the radical corporatist group Jupiter's Wrath before it could carry out a series of assassinations on government officials, and no further factions broke with the Federation. Winters continued to call for the PDB to be dismantled, but the opportunity had passed.[14]

The Hudson Contravention

Winters was presented with another chance to stand against Hudson on February 4, 3308, when Secretary of State Lana Berkovich introduced a proposal to allow Hudson to run for a second term in office by temporarily suspending the 77th amendment to the Federal Accord. The proposal, later officially labeled the Hudson Contravention, was presented as a necessary measure to ensure the Federation had stable leadership over the next several years, as it was believed that the galaxy was entering a period of considerable turmoil. Winters dismissed it as another unconstitutional power grab.[15] She was joined in her objection to the Hudson Contravention by two former presidents, Antonia Madison and Jasmina Halsey. On February 15, political analysts even raised the possibility that Winters could invoke a vote of no confidence against Hudson and prevail, since Hudson's controversial decisions in 3307 had weakened his power base in Congress.[16] By February 22, supporters of Winters organised a series of protests across multiple Federal worlds as official debate on the Hudson Contravention got underway.[17]

Timeline

04 MAR 3308

  • President Zachary Hudson has made a public broadcast regarding his proposal to remove the single-term limit of the Federal presidency. Speaking from the White House on Mars, he directly addressed the anxiety that citizens have expressed about the Hudson Contravention: "If Congress agrees to temporarily suspend the 77th amendment of the Federal Accord, it will mean that I become eligible to stand for election again in 3309. It does not guarantee that I – or any future president – can remain in office indefinitely. Furthermore, the Republican Party will be able to field other electoral nominees, as will the Liberal Party and any independent candidates. As always, the votes of the people will determine who forms our government. I strongly believe that our constitution is robust enough to accommodate changes such as this, especially during these trying times. The Federation remains a place of democracy and freedom, not dictatorship." President Hudson also called for an end to the recent violence seen at public demonstrations on many Federal worlds. Several cities have witnessed aggressive clashes between Hudson's supporters and those of Shadow President Felicia Winters.[18]

22 FEB 3308

  • President Zachary Hudson's proposal to remove the eight-year limit on his term of office has led to public unrest on many Federal worlds. Supporters of Shadow President Felicia Winters have taken the lead in protesting against the Hudson Contravention, which is currently being debated in Congress. The situation has been extensively covered by newsfeeds across the Federation:
    Federal Free Press: "As always, Felicia Winters is the only grown-up in the room. She has rightfully objected to the sitting president's attempt at throwing away the rulebook. Repealing the 77th amendment would be a fundamental blow to our millennia-old democracy."
    Sol Today: "What's the choice here? Retain Hudson for a few more years until things calm down, or hand power to Winters and watch the Federal government weaken and collapse under a weight the shadow president cannot possibly bear?"
    The Federal Times: "Moderate Republican voters are taking a dim view of the Hudson Contravention, primarily because it denies them the option to choose a new administration. Vice President Jerome Archer, Secretary of State Lana Berkovich and Grand Attorney Edwin Espinosa are the most likely presidential candidates, but none of them will be able to run for office in 3309 if Hudson gets his way."[17]

15 FEB 3308

  • President Zachary Hudson's intention to remove the limit on his term in office has caused a deep rift among congressmen and voters alike. Political correspondent Sofia Trevino analysed the situation in The Federal Times: "Ever since the 77th amendment to the Federal Accord was ratified in 2594, no president has remained in office for longer than eight years. This is why the Hudson Contravention, as Congress officially refers to it, has turned up the heat on the simmering political division within the Federation. Members of the Cabinet and other leading Republicans have argued passionately that only Zachary Hudson has the experience and fortitude to guide the Federation through this eventful period in history. His supporters point to successes such as curtailing the secession crisis, ending the NMLA threat and introducing greater security via the Proactive Detection Bureau. However, others insist that repealing this amendment could pave the way from democracy to dictatorship. Two former presidents – Antonia Madison and Jasmina Halsey – have publicly condemned the Hudson Contravention as unconstitutional and dangerous. There are expectations that Shadow President Felicia Winters will move for a vote of no confidence. Political analysts suspect that after several controversial leadership decisions from Hudson last year, he would be unlikely to win over a majority in Congress."[16]

04 FEB 3308

  • The Federal government has announced plans to extend Zachary Hudson's term as president beyond the legally allotted span. Every Federation president serves a single term of eight years. President Hudson assumed the role in June 3301, and is therefore due to step down in June 3309 following an election to select his replacement. Secretary of State Lana Berkovich delivered the proposal to Congress: "We live in extraordinary times, and all signs point to further challenges in the coming years. Our people deserve a steady hand at the helm rather than being forced to change political course, especially with the tempestuous developments found within our neighbouring superpowers. It is therefore in the public interest that we temporarily suspend the arbitrary eight-year limitation, to allow President Hudson to continue steering the Federation through the coming storms." Shadow President Felicia Winters condemned the proposal: "Hudson has already violated the Federal Accord with his surveillance laws, but now we can see how little he values our constitution. This is the act of a dictator, not a democratically elected president." A few Republican congressmen reluctantly agreed with Winters, joining calls for President Hudson to withdraw the proposal. However, political analysts believe that Hudson enjoys the support of his entire Cabinet and a majority of the Republican Party.[15]

21 JAN 3308

  • President Zachary Hudson has delivered a speech to Congress on maintaining security for the Federation in the coming years. Excerpts from his address include the following: "In the last year, we have excelled at protecting Federal citizens from harm. The Proactive Detection Bureau proved its worth in locating terrorists before they could strike, and our security services played an instrumental role in the NMLA's defeat. 3308 is already bringing many challenges. The war against the Thargoids could escalate at any time, and we face the challenge of replacing Aegis with our own anti-xeno taskforce. We are also deeply concerned about increased infighting within the Alliance and Empire, which could easily spill over into our territory. My administration is holding high-level discussions about how best to keep the Federation strong and secure. We will soon make some brave proposals to continue meeting our people's constitutional right to safety." Shadow President Felicia Winters delivered this rebuttal: "President Hudson fails to mention his disastrous attempt to capture Yuri Grom, his former fleet admiral's criminal conviction for destroying Starship One, or that his surveillance laws forced several systems to declare independence. I would argue that under his leadership, the Federation has never been weaker or less secure."[19]

03 NOV 3307

  • Many factions have seceded from the Federation in recent months, but recent polls suggest the likelihood of further withdrawals is waning. The Federal Times published an update on the situation by political correspondent Sofia Trevino: "Some negative reaction to the Proactive Detection Bureau was anticipated. But it's unlikely that Congress foresaw nearly forty systems abandoning the Federal Accord, as their governing factions declared independence. Fears that this would spiral into mass rebellion now seem misplaced, however. This is partly thanks to the PDB's recent role in preventing Jupiter's Wrath from committing terrorist acts. Although that group is hardly in the NMLA's league, evidence that communications surveillance can save lives seems to have convinced some Federal citizens to reconsider their opposition. President Hudson's efforts against the breakaway factions were hailed by his supporters and decried by his opponents. But the Federal Diplomatic Corps remain displeased that Hudson suffered no repercussions for violating diplomatic immunity when attempting to capture Yuri Grom. Shadow President Winters continues to call for the PDB to be shut down to prevent the Federation from becoming an authoritarian police state. But many accuse her rhetoric on civil liberties to have triggered the secessions in the first place. Meanwhile, many Federal factions are carefully observing those who did become independent. Their future success or failure may well determine whether or not this rebellion continues."[14]

13 OCT 3307

  • The Proactive Detection Bureau has been instrumental in identifying violent corporatist extremists within the Federation. Deputy Director Bethany Blake of the Federal Intelligence Agency gave a statement to the media: "In recent weeks, our surveillance algorithms flagged a series of coded communications for investigation. We found that a network of radicalised citizens were discussing plans to assassinate members of Congress and leading political figures. This movement, which calls itself Jupiter's Wrath, is inspired by Jupiter Rochester's failed attempt to enable corporations to directly rule the Federation. Their goal was to enact revenge on those who they consider to be the 'enemies of Jupiter Division'. Using data intercepted by the Proactive Detection Bureau, FIA agents performed a series of coordinated strikes in several Federal systems. Over a thousand armed extremists were arrested before they could act. We are currently working to identify the remaining Jupiter's Wrath members." Vice President Jerome Archer claimed that this was further validation of the Domestic Counter-Terrorism Act, which permitted the PDB to be established. However, Shadow President Felicia Winters commented: "I commend the FIA for performing their duties. But I also question the timing of this operation, coming so soon after President Hudson's appallingly reckless attempt to capture Yuri Grom. To me it seems calculated to show his administration in a positive light, while ignoring the violation of citizens' privacy."[20]

13 SEP 3307

  • A further seven Federal factions have severed ties with the superpower in protest against government monitoring of communications. These latest secessions have been undertaken by minor factions that do not control any systems, including Unktock Free, United Posenoi League and Progressive Party of Inggale. Political journalist Sofia Trevino reported for The Federal Times: "Eight factions had previously declared independence from the Federation, and now an even greater number forms the third wave of rebellion. It's clear that their populations feel empowered to take a stand against losing their constitutional rights of privacy. Vice President Archer shrugged off this latest development, maintaining that 'the Proactive Detection Bureau performs a vital security role in these troubled times'. Since none of these latest factions currently govern a system, he may also believe that resistance to the PDB is on the wane. Although these events have only impacted a small part of Federal territory, they remain an embarrassment for President Hudson's administration. Shadow President Winters continues to implore Congress to repeal the Domestic Counter-Terrorism Act, but she has also taken political criticism since many feel her rhetoric inspired these factions to secede."[21]

23 AUG 3307

  • Shadow President Felicia Winters has claimed that further systems declaring independence could severely damage the Federation. Her statement was in response to the conflict in the Kuwembaa system, which resulted in more Federal factions seceding from the superpower. Dozens of others are now openly considering breaking away and becoming independent. Addressing Congress, Shadow President Winters said: "We now face the possibility of large-scale rebellion, as more citizens reject intrusion into their private lives. Unless these authoritarian surveillance laws are repealed, we risk many more factions and allies losing their trust in any Federal government." Vice President Jerome Archer responded: "The Proactive Detection Bureau provides increased security and decreased crime levels for all Federal systems. I deeply regret that a few have rejected its benefits, but we must concentrate on the bigger picture." The Sovereign newsfeed described how the newly seceded systems are celebrating freedom from government scrutiny. It claims that up to fifty other factions have expressed interest in becoming independent. However, The Federal Times reported that more pragmatic leaders have voiced concerns that they are now more vulnerable. There are particular fears of retaliation by pro-Federation groups or attacks from opportunistic hostile forces.[13]

26 JUL 3307

  • Communications intercepted by the Proactive Detection Bureau are being used to prevent further factions from leaving the Federation. A report by the civil rights organisation Advocacy proves that the Federal Intelligence Agency is targeting pro-independence individuals via their private messages. In many cases, they are being arrested for planning to commit crimes against the constitution. Deputy Director Bethany Blake, who runs the PDB, gave a statement to the media: "I can confirm that gathering such intelligence is within our legal remit. Unilateral declarations of independence are criminal acts that violate the Federal Accord. Therefore we are identifying perpetrators before they cause harm, which is precisely what our surveillance network was established to do." In Congress, Vice President Jerome Archer defended the PDB for boosting arrest rates and saving lives. However, Congressman Bai Zheng remarked that the PDB was "incapable of locating the NMLA, but fantastic at finding enemies among our own people that didn't previously exist". Both President Hudson and Shadow President Winters have personally contacted the leaders of many systems within their spheres of influence, aiming to address their concerns and convince them not to secede from the Federation.[22]

21 JUL 3307

  • More Federal factions are considering declaring independence following the recent conflict in the Azaladshu system. Sofia Trevino, political journalist with The Federal Times, published an overview of the situation: "When Azaladshu Free seceded in reaction to the government's surveillance laws, it inspired three other factions to do the same, making ten systems and a billion people independent. Superpowers routinely gain and lose systems via local politics, but this was a rare instance of member factions abandoning their fealty. The newly sovereign nations have severed all links with the Proactive Detection Bureau, so their communications are no longer being monitored. Despite broad public support for the Domestic Counter-Terrorism Act, many citizens still consider personal privacy to be a constitutional right. Dozens of other factions are now considering independence. This affects only a small percentage of the systems under Federal control, but is highly embarrassing for President Hudson as well as Shadow President Winters – her organised resistance to the surveillance laws is what inspired factions to secede. Advocacy, the civil rights organisation, claims that the Federal Intelligence Agency has begun arresting secessionist ringleaders under spurious charges. If true, it suggests that the government will go to any lengths to prevent a full-scale rebellion spreading throughout the Federation."[23]

08 JUL 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    The Azaladshu Free faction has defeated the forces of Neche Inc and retained independence from the Federation. As a result, the Azaladshu, LFT 824, LHS 277 and LTT 3919 systems have confirmed their independent status. The victory also inspired the Coalition of Uteran, LP 726-6 Free and Gluscap Labour factions to secede from the Federation, affecting all systems under their control. Mayor Constanza Noguera, leader of Azaladshu Free, declared: "A Federation that abuses the rights of its people has no authority. With the help of our loyal supporters, we've made a stand for dignity and civil rights." The situation has caused turmoil in Congress, with President Zachary Hudson being criticised for his inability to contain this rebellion. Shadow President Felicia Winters responded to accusations that she orchestrated the seceding factions: "I support their rejection of our harsh surveillance laws, but not their methods of protest. I have no wish to see the Federation lose member systems for any reason." Pilots who supported the Azaladshu Free faction can collect their rewards at Eratosthenes Ring station.[12]

01 JUL 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    Conflict has erupted between the Azaladshu Free and Neche Inc factions, as multiple Federal systems declare independence. This was sparked by Azaladshu Free withdrawing from the Federation, which transformed Azaladshu, LFT 824, LHS 277 and LTT 3919 into independent systems. The faction strenuously opposes government monitoring of Federal citizens' private communications. Three other Federal factions are on the verge of declaring independence: Coalition of Uteran, Lp 726-6 Free and Gluscap Labour. All are closely monitoring the situation in Azaladshu and considering their next move. Mayor Constanza Noguera, leader of Azaladshu Free, made this statement: "We refuse to accept the Federation's draconian surveillance laws. I call upon all supporters of independence to help us fight for our sovereignty!" The declaration brought a swift reaction from President Zachary Hudson: "As Azaladshu Free has violated the Federal Accord, I have no option but to order Neche Inc to engage with these criminals. Thanks to advance intelligence on the secession, we were able to establish the megaship Fortress Liberty in the system to help retake it for the Federation." In Congress, Shadow President Felicia Winters faced criticism for allowing the secession to occur within her sphere of influence. She reiterated that she does not support rebellion, but does consider the Proactive Detection Bureau to be unconstitutional.[11]

29 JUN 3307

  • The Azaladshu Free faction, which controls four systems, has seceded from the Federation in protest against civilian surveillance. The unexpected declaration followed the election of new leadership for Azaladshu Free, which currently controls the Azaladshu, LFT 824, LHS 277 and LTT 3919 systems. Mayor Constanza Noguera announced: "The Federation has become corrupt, authoritarian and untrustworthy. In particular, the public surveillance laws to spy on innocent people cannot be tolerated. From now on, we will govern our systems as independent sovereign nations." Political observers believe that several other Federal factions are also planning to declare independence. All are within Shadow President Felicia Winters's sphere of influence, although she has publicly renounced any support of these actions. Congress has stated that secession is illegal under the Federal Accord, and ordered Azaladshu Free to revert to normal membership status. The Federal Navy and other military organisations have been placed on alert. President Hudson has reacted strongly, stating that "This degree of organised criminal behaviour only proves that the Proactive Detection Bureau is needed to maintain order." Shadow President Winters countered by claiming "Removing our citizens' right to privacy is the cause of this rebellion, not the solution."[10]

21 JUN 3307

  • The fall of Jupiter Division has undermined the popular movement calling for the Federation to be governed by corporations. Conrad Sterling, political journalist for Vox Galactica, reported on developments: "Core Dynamics's recent victory in the Ts'ao Tach system dealt a severe blow to the corporatists. Many companies withdrew their support even before the last shot was fired, and plans for Jupiter Division to become the movement's central organisation have been abandoned. Sighs of relief were undoubtedly breathed through the corridors of power on Mars when this threat to the Federation's democratic principles was defeated. And yet, despite Congress downplaying it and many Federal newsfeeds neglecting to cover the story, calls for a corporatocracy have not been completely silenced. Citizens who seek an alternative to voting for either Hudson or Winters are still attracted to the idea. Would corporate rule be more honest? Opinions vary, but many supporters claim 'big business' already possesses true power behind closed doors. It now seems that history will record this as a path not taken. With Jupiter Rochester imprisoned and Jupiter Division dissolved, replacement figureheads for the corporatist movement are unlikely to arise in time to preserve it."[24]

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."[25]

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.[9]

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.[8]

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."[6]

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 NMLA attacks 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.[26]

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, President Hudson has championed the PDB as a cornerstone of the new counter-terrorism statutes.[27]

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.[28]

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.[29]

15 MAR 3307

08 MAR 3307

  • 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.[30]

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."[31]

01 MAR 3307

26 FEB 3307

  • 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 Chancellor Anders Blaine and Prime Minister Edmund Mahon gained applause. President Zachary 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 Senator Denton 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."[33]

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."[34]

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.[35]

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."[36]

20 JAN 3307

  • Former President Jasmina 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 Minister Edmund 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.[37]

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.[38]

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.[39]

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."[5]

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 President Hudson's alleged association with the destruction of Starship One.[40]

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."[41]

26 OCT 3306

  • The Federation will grant sanctuary to Marlinist political refugees from the Empire, following a congressional vote in favour of Felicia Winters. President Zachary 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.[42]

19 OCT 3306

  • Political support for Federal President Zachary 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."[43]

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 President Zachary 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.[44]

26 DEC 3304

  • Federal Shadow 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 President Halsey 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.[45]

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."[46]

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."[47]

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."[48]

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."[49]

15 APR 3302

  • Tensions between the Federation and the Empire look likely to increase following an announcement from Federal politician Jacob Harris. In a statement released to The Federal Times, 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. "I cannot identify my sources for fear of compromising their safety," said Harris, "but I can assure you that their information is correct. Starship One was destroyed by the Empire in an attempt to destabilise the Federal power base. It was made to look like an accident – the official Federal investigation even concluded it was an accident – but it most certainly was not." Imperial officials were quick to condemn Harris's claims, citing both his lack of evidence and his reluctance to reveal his sources. Among those voicing scepticism was Senator Zemina Torval. "This is nothing more than uncorroborated gossip," said the senator, "and it is highly irresponsible of Jacob Harris to disseminate such rumours. The Empire would never perpetrate such an act, and given Harris's well-known predilection for scaremongering, I think only a fool would believe him." 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. "These rumours are certainly troubling, but it would be highly imprudent for us to believe them without evidence. Harris has made an extraordinary claim, so the burden of proving that claim rests with him."[50]

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.[51]

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.[52]

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.[53]

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.[54]

29 JUL 3301

  • Continuing this GalNet exclusive series, political commentator Marcus Macmillan writes his opinion of some of the movers and shakers in 3301. In this fourth article he considers Shadow President Felicia Winters and her sudden rise to power. With the disappearance of President Halsey and the earlier the murder of President Nigel Smeaton, Felicia Winters found herself thrust in charge of the Liberal Party. She inherited a political party in crisis and has had to work quickly to try and restore people's faith in her party. As someone born and raised on Taylor Colony, Felicia Winters learned early on that when presented with difficult choices, humanity can't always be trusted to do the right thing. She sees it as her duty to push for the right choice, even if it's the hard choice. Felicia Winters has already proved to be a versatile opponent, and in many opinion polls is running level with President Hudson. Many voters are growing concerned by the President's aggressive rhetoric and are turning to the Liberal Party to counter what they see as a road to war.[2]

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.[55]

14 JUN 3301

  • Simguru Pranav Antal made an appearance at the original Utopian commune in Antal today, to address rumours that the Utopians had entered negotiations to ally themselves with Shadow President Winters' supporters. "It is only right for us to honour what came before us. Sol is the birthplace of our race, the shining jewel of our galaxy. At least, it is now that it has been restored to its former glory. In that respect, the Federation is like an elderly relative, full of wisdom and useful life lessons, but ultimately unable to guide its children in finding their truth. In Utopia we respect our elders, but we do not allow their love of the past to obstruct our path to the future. Members of the Federation are free to come to Utopia to study, to shape, to share in everything we have to offer. After all, the abundance of Utopia was created for all of mankind, and we wish for nothing but peace with our other selves. An alliance though? No. While it is our duty to be concerned with the workings of the lower worlds, the Utopians will not allow ourselves to become tangled in the petty politics of those whose only true worry is for their own personal power. Our goods are for sale, but our integrity is not." As a reminder to all budding entrepreneurs working hard to scrape some credits from the black, Utopia is currently looking to source a large supply of metals. Traders and miners interested in acting as suppliers to Utopia are being asked to deliver metal to Lobachevsky Station in Antal.[56]

12 JUN 3301

  • In a move that many will see as being directly at odds with her predecessor's hard-line stance against the spread of sim addiction in the Federation, emissaries of Shadow President Felicia Winters have been spotted meeting with representatives of Utopia aboard Tanner Settlement in Polevnic. GalNet reached out to the Shadow President to ask why her support staff were seen visiting the Utopian headquarters, but a spokesman brushed it off as routine. Political pundits have been quick to point out that visiting Utopia could be seen as a move to support sim fans – given Utopia's strong connection to the sim gaming industry, though there are other rumours, fuelled by the call for a large order of assorted Metals to be delivered to Antal, has led economists to speculate that the Utopians may be looking to broaden their efforts into other markets.[57]

02 JUN 3301

  • Zachary Hudson declared president from galactic vote, Felicia Winters becomes Shadow President.[58]

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.”[59]

26 MAY 3301

Quotes

The mistakes of our past cannot be allowed to cloud our future.

— Shadow President Felicia Winters

Our society can only become stronger by lifting those at the bottom, not pushing them deeper.

— Shadow President Felicia Winters

The corporations bear a responsibility to sustaining the basic right of our citizens.

— Shadow President Felicia Winters

Might is not right. Right should be fair.

— Shadow President Felicia Winters

We should do what is right, not necessarily what is easy or popular.

— Shadow President Felicia Winters

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Elite Dangerous Knowledge Base > Individuals > Felicia Winters
  2. 2.0 2.1 GalNet: Meet the Powers – Felicia Winters
  3. GalNet: Political Turmoil for President Hudson
  4. GalNet: Congress Votes to Accept Marlinist Immigrants
  5. 5.0 5.1 GalNet: The Shadow of War
  6. 6.0 6.1 GalNet: Winters Claims Civilian Surveillance is Illegal
  7. 7.0 7.1 GalNet: Superpowers Respond to 'Nine Martyrs' Attack
  8. 8.0 8.1 GalNet: Federal Leaders Launch Rival Data Requests
  9. 9.0 9.1 GalNet: Hudson Initiative Increases Federal Surveillance
  10. 10.0 10.1 GalNet: Four Federal Systems Declare Independence
  11. 11.0 11.1 GalNet: Federation Battles Independents in the Azaladshu System
  12. 12.0 12.1 GalNet: Independence Spreads from Azaladshu System
  13. 13.0 13.1 GalNet: A Fractured Federation
  14. 14.0 14.1 GalNet: Demands for Federal Rebellion Decline
  15. 15.0 15.1 GalNet: Hudson Attempts to Remove Presidential Limit
  16. 16.0 16.1 GalNet: Federation Divided by Hudson's Proposal
  17. 17.0 17.1 GalNet: Hudson Contravention Sparks Federal Protests
  18. GalNet: Hudson Refutes 'Dictatorship' Concerns
  19. GalNet: Federal Government Plans for the Future
  20. GalNet: Federal Terrorist Network Exposed
  21. GalNet: Rebellion Spreads Through the Federation
  22. GalNet: Federal Surveillance Sabotages Independence
  23. GalNet: Federation Threatened by Further Secession
  24. GalNet: Corporatists Stalled by Jupiter Division's Defeat
  25. GalNet: Federal Citizens Approve Government Scrutiny
  26. GalNet: Neo-Marlinists Seek Sanctuary at Marlinist Colonies
  27. GalNet: Federation Begins Anti-Terrorist Monitoring
  28. GalNet: Federal Congress Grants Emergency Surveillance Powers
  29. GalNet: Jasmina Halsey Becomes Federal Ambassador
  30. GalNet: The Declaration of Archon Delaine
  31. GalNet: Archon Delaine Gatecrashes the Galactic Summit
  32. GalNet: Galactic Summit Imperilled by Political Frictions
  33. GalNet: Historic Meetings at the Galactic Summit
  34. GalNet: Hudson and Winters Confirmed for Galactic Summit
  35. GalNet: Core Dynamics Implicated in Starship One Sabotage
  36. GalNet: Trial of Fleet Admiral Vincent Begins
  37. GalNet: Jasmina Halsey Returns to the Federation
  38. GalNet: Aegis Supports Galactic Summit
  39. GalNet: Marlinist Refugee Crisis Grows Critical
  40. GalNet: Superpowers React to Latest NMLA Strike
  41. GalNet: Terrorism Spreads as Superpower Conflicts Increase
  42. GalNet: Congress Votes to Accept Marlinist Immigrants
  43. GalNet: Political Turmoil for President Hudson
  44. GalNet: Arrest Made in Starship One Criminal Case
  45. GalNet: Isolde Rochester becomes Shadow Vice President
  46. GalNet: Antal's Pessimism Triggers Backlash
  47. GalNet: Federal Initiative Concludes
  48. Galactic News: The Bulwark Project
  49. Galactic News: Felicia Winters Opposes Federal-Imperial Conflict
  50. GalNet: Galactic News: Did the Empire Destroy Starship One?
  51. Powerplay: Weekly Report
  52. https://community.elitedangerous.com/en/galnet/20-NOV-3301
  53. A Week in Powerplay
  54. A Week in Powerplay
  55. A Week in Powerplay
  56. GalNet: Simguru Offers to Share Tomorrow Today
  57. GalNet: Winters Sends Envoys to Utopia?
  58. Zachary Hudson Becomes the New President of the Federation
  59. Shades of the Antares Incident
  60. Galnet reports from the day Spaceflight One went missing
Preceded by Title Succeeded by
Zachary Hudson Shadow President Incumbent
Preceded by Title Succeeded by
Unknown Secretary of State Lana Berkovich
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