04 JAN

Services Suspended at Gabriel Enterprise

Officials at Gabriel Enterprise in the Harma system have reported that the technical issues affecting the starport have worsened, leading to the immediate suspension of all services apart from docking and shipyard access. This brings the total number of starports closed as a result of the mysterious malfunctions to seven. A complete list of affected stations and systems follows.

Stations where services have been suspended:

Gabriel Enterprise, Harma system

Gurragchaa Gateway, Warkushanui system

Gaiman Dock, 49 Arietis system

Weyn Dock, 64 Arietis system

Korolyov Hub, Arawere system

Lobachevsky Outpost, Pic Tok system

Carter Port, Rhea system

Stations experiencing technical issues:

Coats Hub, Warkushanui

Bond Hub, Varati

Hinz Hub, Ngobe

Tsunenaga Dock, Iapodes

Li Qing Jao, Sol

Ray Gateway, Diaguandri system

Vizcaino Enterprise, Nganji system

Talos 2, Peregrina system

We will continue to bring you up-to-the-minute reports on this issue.

Diamond Frogs Contribute to Christmas Initiative

Over the past few days, private military contractors the Diamond Frogs have been hard at work on Operation: Mistle Toad, a concentrated effort to deliver personal gifts to the Santa Muerte system. A notable highlight of the campaign came when DF Commander Doot stopped by in an Imperial Cutter packed to the gills with 704 tonnes of personal gifts...twice!

Just a day before the planned close of the event, the combined efforts of the Diamond Frogs and other pilots resulted in a final tally of 250,000 tonnes of personal gifts. Moreover, the event organisers announced they have launched an initiative to give new members of the Pilots Federation a brand-new Faulcon DeLacey Viper Mk IV. This is in addition to a substantial cash reward for those who helped brighten up the season, to the tune of up to 100 million credits for the top 5% of contributors.

'Disc' Commander Felix Dyson, Radio Skvortsov

07 JAN

Firework Appeal Comes to an End

Having received a deluge of deliveries, Independent Cherets Labour has announced that its recent appeal for Anduliga Fireworks has been successful. Central to the success of the appeal were the scores of independent combat pilots who kept the spaceways of Cherets clear, and ensured those delivering fireworks to Bucky Hub could do so safely. A spokesperson for Independent Cherets Labour expressed satisfaction at the outcome:

"It's always heartening to see the galactic community come together, especially when it's in the service of a really big party. We'd like to extend our gratitude to all those who delivered fireworks to us here at Bucky Hub, and who took care of the agitators clogging up the spaceways. Thanks to you, 3302 is going to start with a really big bang!"

Personnel at Obsidian Orbital Confirm Starport Still Operational

Recent news that Obsidian Orbital had joined the list of malfunctioning starports caused dismay among the galactic community, as the public had played a significant role in the station's construction, but it seems that personnel at the starport are determined to keep it running. A member of the station's technical team released a brief statement to the media:

"The problems at the station have worsened over the past few weeks, but we're determined that Obsidian Orbital won't close. We're working around the clock, and burning through resources, but so far we haven't had to suspend any services."

Despite this achievement, station personnel stressed they had not found a solution to the technological 'plague' blighting the galaxy, which continues to affect starports throughout inhabited space.

08 JAN

The Canonn Searching for Barnacles in the Pleiades

Dr Arcanonn, head of the Canonn Interstellar Research Group, has released a statement to the media:

"For the past four weeks we have been investigating a curious new commodity called 'meta-alloys'. Many of my colleagues believe there is a link between this commodity and the unknown artefacts, as meta-alloys are linked to objects known colloquially as 'large barnacles', which have some artefact-like qualities."

"We have also been conducting a deep planetary survey of Merope, since the UAs point there, looking for anything out of the ordinary. So far, nothing has been found, but I'm now certain that there is a secret to uncover somewhere in the Pleiades, if not in Merope itself."

"My assistant, Socha Korbemile, insists that we will find large barnacles in the Pleiades, and I am convinced this is worth investigating. So I urge all commanders with planetary landing suites to scour the planets of the Pleiades for these large barnacles. They must be studied!"

Commander Lord Zoltan

A Week in Powerplay

Prime Minister Edmund Mahon signed a trade agreement with the Partha system this week, bringing the total number of Alliance-aligned trade centres to 86. Profitability throughout the Alliance trade network remains the envy of all other powers.

President Zachary Hudson's Federal fleet set a new record by delivering more garrison supplies to naval bases in a single week than ever before. This valiant effort brought an end to nearly a month of contraction, wherein a total of six naval bases were abandoned.

Shadow President Felicia Winters retained a stable hold on her domain, neither gaining nor losing influence with any system. The coming week could bring three additional systems under her sway. Extensive aid campaigns are underway in Chireni, HIP 47328, and Hyades sector EB-X D1-110. Each of these systems would be a strong contributor to the Shadow President's plans for the future.

Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval had an uncommonly quiet week, allowing excess resources to carry over to this week. Several systems are currently vying for the security services offered by the Shield of Justice. Resources are limited, and the Shield of Justice may only be extended to four or five systems in the weeks to come. The Kartenes system is currently subject to Shield of Justice patrols.

Princess Aisling Duval has long enjoyed relative peace in her domain, but systems occasionally leave her list of supporters. Such is the case this week with Ienpalang, an Imperial system known primarily for its agriculture and tourism. It is rumoured that the system's leadership desires to return the institution of Imperial slavery to prominence, contrary to Aisling's ethos, although Princess Aisling has yet to publicly comment on the situation.

Sirius Gov CEO Li Yong-Rui was able to return Sirius to a state of solvency this week. A total of six systems were cut from the Sirius portfolio over the past four weeks, but now that Sirius is back in the black, it is likely Li Yong-Rui will attempt to re-establish relationships with some of those systems.

Simguru Pranav Antal may have foreseen a day when Utopian enclaves were established in 45 systems, but few outside the commune ever thought it possible. Against the odds, the once-quiet commune now holds sway in 45 influential systems, enveloping nearly 113 billion inhabitants – a remarkable achievement for a fledgling power that emphasizes peaceful interaction.

Senator Zemina Torval sold off controlling interests in Nerthus this week, allowing her enterprises to cover other liabilities, and leaving some command capital for future investment. Shrewd investment will be required to keep Torval's business profitable.

Pirate Lord Archon Delaine quietly busied himself with spreading discord in 23 Delta Piscis Austrini and HIP 103138. Insurrections are currently underway in both systems, and no new strongholds were established by the Kumo Crew this week.

Senator Denton Patreus encountered record resistance this week, preventing his fleets from securing the Contie and Yankas systems. The senator's financial situation also took a turn for the worse, leading to turmoil in six control systems. If the economic situation in Patreus's territory remains doesn't improve, his fleets could lose their berths in Guguroro, HIP 13841, HIP 98211, Lao Zi, LTT 47, and Shonso.

Commander Corrigendum

10 JAN

Galactic Base-Jumping Open Begins

The first annual Galactic Base-Jumping Open will take place on Planet 1 in the Njokujinun system at lat -13 long -128. Emergency and first aid can be found at Nyberg Vision Station.

Base-jump champion Commander Burias will be on site to authorize jumps. The final will be a 7.5 km + category qualification event, and points will therefore count toward the start of next season. There will be awards for best crash, longest freefall and best galactic base jump.

The event will be overseen by Commander MeglaManiac will oversee proceedings.

Commander PeachSlicesV

12 JAN

The Worlds Beyond

Utopian delegates returned today from the first symposium of the Pioneers Cooperative, a group dedicated to supporting expansion into uninhabited space. Also attending were representatives from Loren's Legion, Communism Interstellar, the Black Birds Squadron, Aisling's Angels, the Canonn, the Independent Pilots Consortium, Emperor's Grace, the Mercs of Mikunn, United German Commanders, EXO, the First Great Expedition, the Code, Adle's Armada, the Guardians of Harmony, CHIMERA, the Distant Worlds Admins and the Hutton Orbital Truckers.

"To live is to grow, and mankind must push ever outwards", said one attending Utopian explorer. "Humanity has come here today, unified, under a banner of progress, and Utopia is proud to add its support to this noble venture. Our commune in Takurua demonstrated that expansion beyond the core systems is possible, and the success of Obsidian Orbital in Maia shows that mankind has a shared desire to expand the frontiers of human space and scientific understanding."

Commander Gan

Utopia News Network | Interstellar Press

The Achenar Challenge

The Imperial capital system of Achenar has recently attracted the attention of thrill-seeking Commanders of the Pilots Federation. Achenar's third planet has become a proving ground where bragging rights are earned in what is known as the 'Achenar Challenge'.

Proctor Ulrich von Braun, whose only concern until recently was the safety of Imperial Naval Academy students during high-g training, posted the following advisory:

"The force of gravity on the surface of Achenar 3 is approximately 6.7 times that of Earth. Any who wish to hazard this so-called 'Achenar Challenge' are advised that they do so at their own risk. Pilots accustomed to landing on planets in the 3-4 g range are much more likely to alight here safely. Underestimate Achenar 3 and you may never leave."

Over 100 craft have crashed on Achenar 3 since mid December.

Commander Corrigendum

13 JAN

Sirius Corporation Confirms Discovery of Antares Wreckage

A few months ago, the Sirius Corporation launched a search for the remains of the Antares, an innovative passenger liner that disappeared during its maiden voyage over fifty years ago. The search resulted in the accumulation of thousands of tonnes of space-borne debris, which was then subjected to rigorous analysis by the Sirius Corporation to determine its origin. The result of that analysis has now been announced: the remains of the Antares have been found. Li Yong-Rui, CEO of Sirius Gov, released a brief statement to the media:

"Words cannot adequately express how delighted I am with this outcome. I was always hopeful we would find the remains of the Antares, and I am very pleased to have my optimism validated. I would like to thank all those at the Sirius Corporation that have worked so tirelessly to analyse the recovered debris over the past few weeks."

Li Yong-Rui went on to speculate about the implications of the discovery:

"The wreckage appears to confirm that the component failure described in the ship's final status report did indeed result in the destruction of the Antares. My hope is that by subjecting the wreckage to further analysis, we will be able to determine exactly what caused the malfunction and apply this knowledge to the development of new safety protocols. With luck, we will be able to reintroduce the innovative drive technology used aboard the Antares. This discovery could serve as the catalyst for a whole new era of interplanetary travel."

14 JAN

Obsidian Orbital Continuing to Deteriorate

Recent reports from Obsidian Orbital, one of the starports affected by the mysterious malfunctions sweeping the galaxy, indicate that the situation at the starport has worsened. According to the station's technical team, the starport is only a hair's breadth from having to suspend services:

"Despite our best efforts, things are only getting worse. We're experiencing all kinds of malfunctions, and if the situation doesn't improve soon we'll have to start shutting down station services."

We will continue to bring you up-to-the-minute reports on this issue.

Unidentified Signal in the Pleiades Nebula

A fragmentary signal has been received by the flight operations team at Obsidian Orbital in the Maia system. The source of the signal has not been identified, but the strength of signal indicates it originated from a star system approximately 23 light years from Maia. Unfortunately, interference from a local black hole has made it impossible to determine a vector for the transmission.

The signal, which lasted only a few seconds, had degraded so much that only a small string of numbers could be extracted. Some have speculated the numbers may be coordinates of some kind: b?n?r? ??a??t L??: 2?.?? ??n?: 9?.??

Pilots in the region are advised to keep on the lookout, and to offer assistance if needed.

15 JAN

A Week in Powerplay

Prime Minister Edmund Mahon was unable to orchestrate any new trade agreements this week, but the coming week holds potential for new opportunities in the Dao Zi and Ross 931 systems. Very little else of note has transpired in Alliance territory since our last report.

President Zachary Hudson gathered intelligence from Frey and Lalande 37120, and has deployed Federal fleets to establish a more permanent naval presence in both systems. Sufficient resources were collected last week to seek out another appropriate base for the Federal Navy. More news on that will likely follow next week.

Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval's Shield of Justice failed to secure Kartenes, as command capital reserves fell short late in the week. Crime sweeps are currently active in Hrun, Kherthaje, Neites and Waimiri, but if command capital supplies remain low, opportunities to station the Shield of Justice in these systems will also fail.

Shadow President Felicia Winters' aid campaigns in Chireni, HIP 47328 and Hyades Sector EB-X D1-110 failed this week. Budgetary challenges prevented all three missions from reaching a successful outcome. Despite last week's shortfall, aid campaigns are currently underway in Amuzgo and Sawali.

Princess Aisling Duval was very successful with fundraising campaigns this week, granting her the opportunity to court the favour of several key systems. Ekono, HIP 77470, Madngela, Nuxalkuq are currently on her itinerary.

Sirius Gov CEO Li Yong-Rui has had a very positive week. The momentous discovery of the Antares wreckage, coupled with the continued prosperity of SiriusGov, has been a cause for celebration for the Sirius Corporation. Business relationships in Dongkum, HIP 23395 and Kenna are being investigated this week, paving the way for the potential expansion of Sirius to a total of 57 systems.

Senator Zemina Torval managed her business skilfully this week, narrowly evading a deficit. The senator is currently attempting to acquire controlling interest in the Chujohimba system. Future expansion of her enterprises will require great effort.

Simguru Pranav Antal had another successful week. Two systems – Azalai and GCRV 2743 – formalized relationships with Utopia and joined the commune. The once miniscule power now directly controls 47 key systems, and projects its influence through 517 systems and nearly 125 billion people.

Pirate Lord Archon Delaine experienced a relatively quiet week. Kumo Crew-backed insurrections in 23 Delta Piscis Austrini and HIP 103138 were soundly defeated, but attempts to overthrow the governments of Djabijabus, and Devata Baru are now in motion.

Senator Denton Patreus' overcommitted and undermanned fleets withdrew from five systems, greatly reducing his administrative overhead. The senator is now looking to establish bases in more strategically valuable locations, including 23 Delta Piscis Austrini, which was recently attacked by the Kumo Crew.

Commander Corrigendum

Alien 'Barnacles' Discovered in the Pleiades

Dr Arcanonn of the Canonn Interstellar Research Group has released a statement in response to the discovery of non-human structures in the Pleiades Nebula:

"This is a momentous day – alien structures have been confirmed on at least two planets in the Pleiades Nebula! I must congratulate Commander Octo, who made the initial discovery on Merope 5c, and thank Commander Snax, who contacted me. Within minutes, Canonn scientists and other commanders were at the site."

"We now know of multiple barnacles on Merope 5c, and the corrupted message recently received in Maia has led us to many more on Pleiades Sector JC-U B3-2."

"I can confirm that these structures produce meta-alloys, emit a sound similar to that made by the Unknown Artefacts, and bear mysterious markings that we have yet to identify. Some commanders have reported malfunctions near the structures, which might explain the crashed ships found near many of the barnacles."

Commander Lord Zoltan

Good News from Obsidian Orbital

Following yesterday's remarkable discovery of non-human structures in the Pleiades Nebula, starport markets have been inundated with meta-alloys – a mysterious material produced by the alien 'barnacles'. At present, very little is known about this commodity, but it seems it may have helped bring some stability to Obsidian Orbital, one of the starports affected by the mysterious malfunctions sweeping the galaxy. According to a recent statement, the station's technical team conducted an eleventh-hour experiment that, remarkably, seems to have improved things at the beleaguered starport:

"Things have gone from bad to worse recently, so when the meta-alloys started flooding in we thought...why not give it a shot? And somehow it seems to have worked. I don't know how the meta-alloys helped, exactly, but we think they're countering whatever it is that's causing the malfunctions. As soon as we have more concrete information, we'll let you know. For now we're remaining cautiously optimistic."

The exact cause of the technological 'plague' blighting the galaxy is still not known, so whether the meta-alloys represent a permanent solution can only be guessed. But many will be hoping that this breakthrough heralds the end of the mysterious malfunction epidemic.

20 JAN

Empire Ousted from Facece System

Recent reports indicate that an independent faction known as the Allied Facece Order has wrested control of the Facece system from the Empire. Details are scarce, but it is believed that the Allied Facece Order took control of the system after achieving several strategic victories against Imperial Naval forces. Chancellor Anders Blaine, who was until recently the system's primary administrator, was approached for comment:

"I want to assure the people of Facece that the current state of affairs is only temporary. The Facece system will soon return to Imperial control, and the rebels who have undermined our authority will be made to answer for their crimes."

More Starports Fall Victim to Technological Plague

Authorities in Eravate, Almar and Halbangaay have confirmed that theirs are the latest systems to experience mysterious technical issues, bringing the total number of systems affected by what some are calling 'the technological plague' to 22. All services apart from docking and shipyard access have been suspended at Ackerman Market in Eravate, von Bellingshausen Port in Almar and Haack Gateway in Halbangaay. A complete list of affected stations follows.

Starports where services have been suspended:

Ackerman Market, Eravate

von Bellingshausen Port, Almar

Haack Gateway, Halbangaay

Gabriel Enterprise, Harma

Gurragchaa Gateway, Warkushanui

Gaiman Dock, 49 Arietis

Weyn Dock, 64 Arietis

Korolyov Hub, Arawere

Lobachevsky Outpost, Pic Tok

Carter Port, Rhea

Starports experiencing technical issues:

al-Din Prospect, Alpha Centauri

Robigo Mines, Robigo

Saunders's Dive, Wolf 1301

Alexander Freeport, HIP 18843

Coats Hub, Warkushanui

Bond Hub, Varati

Hinz Hub, Ngobe

Tsunenaga Dock, Iapodes

Li Qing Jao, Sol

Ray Gateway, Diaguandri

Vizcaino Enterprise, Nganji

Talos 2, Peregrina

We will continue to bring you up-to-the-minute reports on this issue.

21 JAN

Galactic News: Faction's Appeal Successful

According a statement from the Green Party of HIP 112974, the faction's recent appeal for onionhead has been successful. In the statement, a spokesperson confirmed the faction had received sufficient quantities of the drug to establish a new onionhead-trading operation:

"We're hugely grateful to all the traders who made deliveries to la Cosa City, and all the pilots who kept the traders safe by clearing the agitators from our spaceways. May this be the start of a long a profitable relationship between the Green Party of HIP 112974 and the galactic community."

The Green Party of HIP 112974 has confirmed that those who contributed to the appeal could collect their rewards from la Cosa City in HIP 112974.

Community Goal: Emperor's Dawn 'Shadow' Cells Discovered

When the Federal Navy destroyed the Emperor's Dawn base in the Kausalya system in December, many believed the organisation had finally been defeated. The Federal offensive, which was supported by a large deputation from the Federal Navy Auxiliary, was swift and merciless, and resulted in the total destruction of the insurgent outpost. But a statement from the office of Imperial Senator Denton Patreus indicates that, against all odds, Emperor's Dawn has endured.

"The Imperial Internal Security Service has discovered that Emperor's Dawn has 'shadow' cells in the Dakshmandi, Ipilyaqa and Ch'i Lin systems – secret outposts that were apparently designed to protect the organisation's leadership in the event of a military defeat. It is of course vital to the continued security of the Empire and its people that these outposts be neutralised as swiftly as possible. If it is not, Emperor's Dawn could re-emerge to threaten the galaxy once again."

Senator Patreus went on to issue a call to arms:

"Swiftly neutralising these outposts depends on the support of the galactic community, and to this end I have authorised the payment of privateer bonds to any pilots who help with the offensive against Emperor's Dawn. Let us destroy these vile dissidents once and for all."

Community Goal: Professor Ishmael Palin Issues Request for Meta-Alloys

A remarkable discovery was made last week when non-human structures were found on a number of planets in the Pleiades Nebula. These 'barnacles', as the galactic community has christened them, produce a material known as meta-alloys, the exact properties of which are not yet known.

The discovery was followed swiftly by news that technical personnel at Obsidian Orbital – one of the starports affected by the mysterious malfunctions sweeping the galaxy – had apparently used meta-alloys to return the starport to some kind of normality. Naturally, this prompted speculation that the meta-alloys might hold the key to eradicating the technological plague that has blighted so many starports in recent months.

Professor Ishmael Palin, the former Federal scientist conducting research into the unknown artefacts, is evidently thinking along the same lines:

"The report from Obsidian Orbital is indeed encouraging, but there is still a great deal we do not know, including the cause of the malfunctions, or if the meta-alloys are indeed capable of countering them. That is why I am appealing to the galactic community to deliver as many meta-alloys as possible to my new research base at Obsidian Orbital. Only by amassing a substantial research sample can we know for sure whether or not the meta-alloys can be used to target this mysterious technological malady."

Professor Palin has pledged to reward all pilots who deliver meta-alloys to his base of operations at Obsidian Orbital in the Maia system.

Galactic News: Sirius Corporation Reveals Results of Analysis

Following the recent discovery of the remains of the Antares, the Sirius Corporation has been subjecting the wreckage to extensive analysis in an attempt to determine exactly what happened to the luxury liner. In a press conference held this morning, a spokesperson for the organisation revealed the initial results of the analysis:

"Our investigation has confirmed the original finding that a cascade failure in the hyperdrive's internal containment systems caused a catastrophic explosion within the drive. The mapped wreckage pattern suggests that the failure occurred while the Antares was transitioning from normal space to hyperspace. The precise cause of the failure remains unexplained, however. We will continue to analyse the available data to see what more we can learn."

22 JAN

Powerplay: Weekly Report

Prime Minister Edmund Mahon approved trade agreements with the leaders of Dao Zi and Ross 931 this week, bringing a total of 88 preferred trading partners under his influence. A truly impressive trade network now supports the Alliance economy, and representatives of Ross 842 are currently seeking to become another node in that highly lucrative network.

President Zachary Hudson made an appearance at the new Federal navy base in the Frey system, while Vice President Brad Mitchell presided over the opening of another naval base in Lalande 37120. Both systems expand the protection of the Federal fleets to frontier worlds near the troubled Pegasi Sector. Meanwhile, a new naval base is currently being established in the Muncheim system.

Shadow President Felicia Winters was unable to secure support in Sawali and Amuzgo last week, but a glimmer of hope still shines in these systems. Renewed aid campaigns aim to motivate Sawali and Amuzgo to vote 'Liberal', although it's likely only one of these campaigns will bear fruit. Political analysts lean toward Sawali as the most likely to pledge its support to the Shadow President.

Senator Zemina Torval had an unexpectedly profitable week, sending stocks in her enterprise soaring. This success was made possible in large part by the acquisition of the Chujohimba system. Senator Torval is expected to make another investment this week, this time in the Timbarichs system.

Princess Aisling Duval's tour through Ekono, HIP 77470 and Chnumar successfully stimulated interest in the Princess's cause. If system leaders in all three systems pledge their support, a total of 64 key systems will formally enforce the Princess's abolitionist agenda. Aisling Duval is also rumoured to be courting the leaders of the Nyalayan system. Further news is expected in one week's time.

Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval withdrew Shield of Justice forces from the Nyalayan system this week, and a lack of resources for the Emperor's fleet may lead to withdrawals from Bragit, Candecama, Rurema, He Xingo, and Yao Tzu. No new contracts for Shield of Justice security details in Hrun, Kherthaje, Neites, and Waimiri were fulfilled, as another side-effect of the supply shortfall.

Simguru Pranav Antal established a presence in the Peregrina system this week - a dubious achievement given that the only life-bearing body in Peregrina has been cordoned off due to native pathogens. Any ship passing through the moon's atmosphere is automatically designated a plague ship, refused docking in all systems, and attacked on sight by faction and system security forces. At the time of writing, Utopian delegates are opening relations with the Dongkum system, and preparing to open enclaves in Taosha and Sukree.

Sirius Gov CEO Li Yong-Rui had to deal with another unexpected financial hiccup this week. Attempts to acquire assets in the private and government sectors in Dongkum, HIP 23395 and Kenna were underfunded, and failed. CEO Yong-Rui now has to consider either purchasing the assets of Kwaritreni, or selling off the assets of Ticua.

Senator Denton Patreus amassed an enormous budgetary surplus this week, and will likely seek to expand his influence in several systems next week. Sales of arms and other supplies are currently taking place in the Katurru system. Meanwhile, 23 Delta Piscis Austrini is playing host to the senator's fleets, and could become a permanent Naval berth.

Pirate Lord Archon Delaine's bid to take control of Djabijabus and Devata Baru were unsuccessful. Kumo Crew fleets remained undaunted, however, pressing advantages in open insurrections in HIP 103138 and Tjakiri. At the time of writing, signs of insurrection are also beginning to appear in the HIP 109144 system.

Commander Corrigendum

Freelance Report: Leading Scientist Expresses Doubts

Yesterday, Professor Ishmael Palin called upon independent pilots to deliver meta-alloys – produced by the newly discovered 'barnacles' in the Pleiades Nebula – to Obsidian Orbital, suggesting that the material could be the cure for the technological virus spreading through inhabited space. But Professor Violet Belbin of the Xenological Research Institute has expressed doubts:

"I would caution against assuming that this material is the answer to our problems. The nature of these 'barnacles' is not fully understood. They could be a form of alien life, and harvesting them could have unforeseen consequences. The Xenological Research Institute is sending a team to Maia and asks that Professor Palin takes our concerns into consideration."

Pilots have already started delivering cargo holds full of meta-alloys to Professor Palin's base of operations at Obsidian Orbital.

Commander Stateira 'Starcloak' Eleshenar

Zandu Science Journal | Interstellar Press

Freelance Report: Officials Deny Funding 'Turbo Hour' Endurance Race

Officials at Kanwar Horizons in the Turbo system have strenuously denied allegations of involvement in an unsanctioned Buckyball Racing Club event known as the 'Turbo Hour Endurance Race', which will apparently run alongside the station's annual air show and starship exhibition.

Station entertainment director Hector LeMans described as "preposterous" claims that the Turbo Blue Netcoms Exchange was secretly bankrolling the race in order to attract larger crowds. "Our air show is wholesome entertainment, and we don't want it ruined by these Buckyballers and their 'high-octane' shenanigans," he said.

LeMans had a clear message for anyone tempted by rumours of free ship resprays for the winners: "I'm sure that authorities in the 49 D Orionis, Unkulcay and Vasak systems would agree that racers will find the same strictly-enforced speed limits and standard market prices for fuel and repairs at our stations as any other law-abiding pilot."

The air show will run from the 25th of January to the 12th of February.

Commander furrycat

23 JAN

Galactic News: Professor Ishmael Palin Responds to Fellow Scientist's Concerns

Professor Ishmael Palin, the scientist conducting research into the Unknown Artefacts, has issued a response to Violet Belbin of the Xenological Research Institute. Professor Belbin recently released a statement in which she suggested that Professor Palin was exercising insufficient caution over the meta-alloys – the substance produced by the so-called 'barnacles' discovered in the Pleiades Nebula.

"I have nothing but respect for Professor Belbin, but on this occasion I feel her concerns are misplaced. There is no evidence that the meta-alloys are harmful, and I can assure the professor that my team and I will take every precaution when handling and testing them. Furthermore, I am not rushing to any conclusions regarding their possible application. We do not know if the meta-alloys can counter the malfunctions affecting our starports, which is precisely why I wish to study them. As a scientist, I feel an obligation to contribute to a deeper understanding of this material."

25 JAN

Galactic News: Sirius Corporation Responds to Calls for Clarity

Since the wreckage of the Highliner Antares was recovered several weeks ago, the families of those who lost their lives aboard the ship have been lobbying the Sirius Corporation for more information. Specifically, questions have been asked about where the wreckage was found, and if any human remains were recovered. The corporation, evidently aware that the public is hungry for information, has now released a statement:

"We are aware that some sectors of the galactic community believe we have not been sufficiently transparent regarding our research into the Antares. Please be assured that any lack of clarity is in no way indicative of a desire to withhold information – it is simply a reflection of our focus on our research."

"In light of this, we can confirm that the remains of the Antares were found in the Luyten 205-128 system, and that no organic remains were recovered. As for the cause of the explosion, we can only reiterate our earlier statement that a cascade failure in the hyperdrive's internal containment systems triggered an explosion within the drive. Although the precise cause of the explosion is not yet known, we believe any additional information will only corroborate our assessment that the destruction of the Antares was nothing more than a tragic accident."

"We would like to take this opportunity to extend our condolences to those who lost loved ones aboard the Antares."

Freelance Report: Dr Arcanonn Receives Death Threats

Dr Arcanonn from the Canonn Interstellar Research Group has released a statement to the galactic media:

"I am now working from a new laboratory, two kilometres underground, at a secret location. My colleagues have forced me to relocate in the interests of my own safety. The death threats began shortly after I urged the galactic community to search for the barnacles. As word reached us of fellow scientists disappearing under mysterious circumstances, we realised the threats were not idle."

"But the work must go on. I urge you to continue to gather meta-alloys for Professor Palin. He is our best hope to solve the station malfunctions. But stay away from people harbouring the irrational idea that this endeavour will lead to our annihilation."

Commander Lord Zoltan

26 JAN

Freelance Report: Pilot Breaks Eight-Hour Sagittarius A* Barrier

Buckyball champion Commander Alot has broken the eight-hour barrier for a trip from Sol to Sagittarius A* in his ship, Rhonda the Anaconda. Having failed in his first attempt to set a sub-eight hour record by just six seconds, Commander Alot ultimately succeeded in completing the 25,900 light year journey in 7 hours, 56 minutes and 41 seconds. He announced his success in characteristically matter-of-fact style at 2.00 pm on the 24th of January: "That's. More. Like it."

No stranger to the Sagittarius A* Buckyball challenge, Commander Alot has made the trip no fewer seven times. He has more or less dominated the number-one slot since first wresting it away from the original record holder, Commander Anuranium, in April 3301, when he completed the run in 11 hours and 46 minutes.

As tributes from fellow Buckyball pilots poured in, the 'fastest pilot in the galaxy' confirmed he would be taking a well-earned break from the cockpit, although he said he hoped to catch up with the Distant Worlds expedition later in the year.

Commander Alec Turner

28 JAN

Community Goal: Campaign to Develop i Sola Prospect

The Imperial Inquisition is known for regularly organising competitive combat events, ranging from small-scale skirmishes to the popular 'Hunter Games', an intense 20-person gladiatorial competition. As one might expect, members of the organisation make frequent use of outfitting services, but they are constrained by the fact that their nearest outpost offers only a limited range of options. That's why the faction has launched a campaign to develop its local outpost of i Sola Prospect on Brestla A1.

Central to the initiative is a request for industrial materials, which the Imperial Inquisition will use to upgrade the outpost. A spokesperson for the group released a brief statement:

"Developing i Sola Prospect will mean that every type of weapon, ship and component needed to deliver the ultimate entertainment experience is always available. Naturally this will also be a huge boon to the galactic community."

If the campaign is successful, i Sola Prospect will become the first planetary outpost to boast a complete range of services, including a comprehensive shipyard.

Community Goal: The Search for Starship One

In May 3301, the personal vessel of the Federal president, Starship One, disappeared en route to the Azaleach system. An investigation was promptly launched, but the fate of the vessel and her crew, which included then-president Jasmina Halsey, could not be conclusively determined. In a statement released earlier today, Federal President Zachary Hudson announced his intention to resume the search for the ship, inspired by the discovery of the remains of the liner Antares:

"Like many others, I was heartened by the Sirius Corporation's success, and I found myself thinking that if the remains of a ship lost fifty years ago could be found, surely a ship lost less than a year ago could also be recovered. I am therefore offering generous reimbursements to pilots who deliver wreckage components to the Federal research outpost at Leoniceno Orbital in the Azaleach system. Once we have gathered enough material, we will analyse the debris to determine if any of it is from Starship One. If we are able to find the remains of the ship, we may be able to determine what happened to President Halsey and the rest of the ship's crew."

But it appears that President Hudson is not the only person eager to find Starship One. In a strange turn of events, an organisation by the name of Daurtu Jet Comms PLC has also announced its intention to search for the missing presidential vessel. Virtually nothing is known about Daurtu Jet Comms PLC, but the fact that it is offering even larger rewards than the Federation may convince pilots to lend the organisation their support.

Galactic News: Professor Ishmael Palin Announces Breakthrough

Professor Ishmael Palin has announced that his request for meta-alloys has been enthusiastically received by the galactic community, resulting in a massive influx of deliveries to his research base at Obsidian Orbital. In a statement, the Professor expressed his satisfaction at the response, and also shared news of a dramatic breakthrough in his research into the Unknown Artefacts:

"For much of the past week I have been investigating the ongoing technical issues at Obsidian Orbital, and I can now confirm what many of us have long suspected: the Unknown Artefacts are most definitely the cause."

"Apparently the objects have the ability to repair themselves – to re-grow, even – by extracting the necessary non-organic materials from their immediate environment. It really is quite remarkable. That's why they harm ships and other machinery – if they are damaged when they're scooped up, they use the metals in a ship's hull, or a starport's superstructure, to repair themselves. Even minor damage will trigger the self-repair mechanism."

"What is still not clear is if the meta-alloys can be used to counter this harmful process. That is what my team and I will be investigating over the coming weeks, using the research sample provided by the galactic community. As soon as we have something concrete to share with the public, we will do so."

This remarkable announcement represents a significant development in UA research, but it leaves the wider questions of the objects' origin and purpose unanswered.

29 JAN

Powerplay: Weekly Report

President Zachary Hudson secured a new base for the Federal Navy in the Muncheim system this week. The coming week holds potential for three additional bases in Detta, Dongkum and HIP 24046. Should these additional systems be secured, the President will be responsible for a total of 79 naval bases.

Prime Minister Edmund Mahon's negotiators were unable to secure an equitable trade agreement with the Ross 842 system this week, but Alliance representatives have returned with additional incentives for the leaders of Ross 842 to consider.

Shadow President Felicia Winters is moving forward with her aid campaign in Amuzgo, hoping to prove that Federal values have a place in the future of the independent system. At the time of writing, her most significant Liberal propaganda campaign is underway in the Fasti system, followed by the Kali system.

Princess Aisling Duval's media blitzes in Chnumar, Ekono and HIP 77470 ended unsuccessfully. Fundraising campaigns came up short in HIP 116045 and Tsanla, jeopardizing the influence of the People's Princess in those systems. If funding becomes available, the media blitzes in the Nyalayan and Kuki An systems could lead to additional supporters for the Princess.

Emperor Arissa Lavigny Duval's supporters delivered nearly one billion garrison supplies in an attempt to counter resource shortfalls in her domain. Supplies were bottlenecked in the Guathiti system, where over half of the supplies remained, exacerbating the shortage. As a result, the Shield of Justice was forced to withdraw from Yao Tzu, Rurema, He Xingo and Candecama.

Sirius Gov CEO Li Yong-Rui was unable to purchase the assets of the Kwaritreni system, but retained the Ticua system. The Kwaritreni system remains a subject of interest for Sirius, and an offer of franchise is currently being resubmitted. At the time of writing, two additional systems - Zhao Tzu and Wong Zhi – are also being offered Sirius franchises.

Simguru Pranav Antal's ambassadors were denied the opportunity to open Utopian enclaves in Sukree and Taosha this week. Meanshile, ambassadors have returned to Taosha in the hope of rekindling an interest in Utopia, and Utopian forces are currently engaged in Kenna and Yemotepa. Should Antal secure both systems, Utopian enclaves will be present in 50 key systems.

Senator Zemina Torval is currently dealing with a budget deficit in her enterprise. If the situation does not improve, the assets of Wolfberg, Secoya and HIP 107936 will be sold to offset the deficit. If sufficient funding is made available, the senator could acquire a controlling stake in the Yakama system.

Senator Denton Patreus experienced significant opposition to the deployment of his private fleet in 23 Delta Piscis Austrini this week. Attempts are currently being made to negotiate the supply of arms and munitions in exchange for long-term berthing of the senator's fleets in 23 Delta Piscis Austrini.

Pirate Lord Archon Delaine's attempts to take control of Tjakiri and HIP 109144 were rebuffed. Meanwhile, resistance forces in Bhattra, He Xians and Brynhilio have risen up, providing the first real glimmer of hope that a system occupied by the Kumo Crew could overthrow its conquerors. Federal freedom fighters have claimed credit for inciting the uprisings.

Commander Corrigendum

Freelance Report: Conflict Erupts at Obsidian Orbital

Anti-meta-alloy protests have spilled into violence during the final day of Professor Ishmael Palin's request. Groups of protestors blockaded the entrance to Obsidian Orbital, and as talks between station personnel and the protestors broke down, tempers flared. One of those gathering meta-alloys for Professor Palin offered this first-hand account:

"I received a message from one of my wing-mates that things weren't looking good at Obsidian, but I had a full hold, so I had to go. As I dropped into Maia I saw that my ship's computer had put me about eight kilometres from the starport. Then I saw the Cutter coming at me with hardpoints deploying, and the next thing I knew I was taking fire!"

"My Asp isn't the best when it comes to a head-on fight, but I knew if I could get through the mail slot I would be fine. I boosted like hell and just managed to make it through. I lost my shields and about 50% of my hull, but I managed."

For the time being, it's a dangerous game in Maia.

Commander Manfred Winfred

Galactic News: Cryptic Messages Found in Local Bulletins

A number of pilots have reported cryptic finding messages in starports' news feeds. The origin of the messages is not clear, but they share certain characteristics, including references to apparent criminal activity, and in some cases coordinates. Often the messages are partially corrupted, suggesting they were originally hidden in the news feeds in an encoded form. Precisely why the messages have started surfacing in the public news channel is unclear.

Are these messages genuine criminal communiqués, or merely a creative hoax? We leave you to decide.

31 JAN

Galactic News: Unidentified Spacecraft Observed at Obsidian Orbital

Speculation is rife at Obsidian Orbital this morning following a close-quarters encounter with an unidentified Diamondback Explorer. According to Chloe Anders, a member of the surveillance team at Christian Dock, the mysterious vessel came within 10 kilometres of the station while performing what was described as a "high-speed pass":

"I saw it approach and assumed it was about to submit a docking request, but instead it just started circling the station. It had an unusual designation – "S6: 7" – so I tried hailing it, but there was no response. Then our sensors lit up. I couldn't believe it – the damned thing was scanning the station! I told the weapons team to stand by, but the next thing I knew, it was gone."

Asked for her opinion of the vessel's purpose, Anders said: "I know it sounds crazy, but when I saw it circling the station like that, the only thing I could think was that it was looking for something."

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