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01 NOV Edit

Freelance Report: Fungi Discovered on Airless Worlds Edit

The Colonia Citizens Network has reported that fungal growths have been discovered on the airless world of Colonia 3 C A.

There appear to be four distinct species, which grow on silicate geysers. Mycologist Dr James Morel had this to say about the discovery:

"Based on the visual telemetry, I can say the shelf and puffball-like specimens fall under the basidiomycota phyla of fungi. The other two cannot be identified without studying physical samples."

"I urge explorers to handle the specimens with care, and to follow basic hazardous-material handing protocol. We don't know how these species might interact with living tissue."

The first data on the fungus was recorded by Commander Alesia of the Pilots Federation.

Julian McCoy of the Colonia Citizens Network Alien Research Division issued the following statement:

"The discovery of life, particularly in a remote region like the Colonia Nebula, is a remarkable achievement. I believe this find places new emphasis on the importance of colonization and expanding human knowledge of the galaxy."

Hunter S Volkov

Freelance Reporter

Freelance Report: Irresponsible Independents Ransack Ruins Edit

Following the discovery of ancient ruins on planet 1 B of Synuefe XR-H d11-102, hundreds of independent pilots have plotted a course to the system. Many scientifically-minded Commanders have begun the painstaking task of deciphering the secrets of the ruins.

Unfortunately, the cataloguing and excavation has been disrupted by piracy, profiteers and general pandemonium.

Jeremy Grant, an archaeologist who has been working at the site for several days, expressed concern at the prevailing conditions:

"It's not safe out here. The ruins have been significantly damaged by SRV racing. Priceless artefacts have been shattered and weapons fire has scarred several obelisks, destroying markings."

"Independent pilots have made a lot of noise about the Empire and Federation cordoning off major research sites, but if this is an indication of how independents treat sites of value, perhaps the superpowers are doing the right thing."

Commander Corrigendum

Galactic News: Pleiades Resource Enterprise Victorious Edit

Recent reports from Maia indicate that the Pleiades Resource Enterprise has successfully overcome resistance from the Ant Hill Mob to gain a foothold in the system.

A spokesperson for the Pleiades Resource Enterprise released a brief statement:

"The Ant Hill Mob believes our expansion into Maia was orchestrated by Federal officials, but I think they're just looking for a way of explaining their defeat. In war, it's the stronger side that wins. Simple as that. We may be aligned with the Federation, but we were acting on our own behalf."

Pilots who contributed to the initiative are now free to collect their rewards from Maia Point in the Maia system.

03 NOV Edit

Galactic News: Colonia Council Initiative Concludes Edit

The Colonia Council has announced that its appeal for palladium was a resounding success, with hundreds of pilots delivering materials to Jaques Station in response to the request. The materials will be used to support further colonisation of the Colonia Nebula, and address the needs of the growing Colonia community.

A spokesperson for the organisation released a brief statement:

"This material will help us bolster infrastructure in the system, and support the forthcoming colonisation programme. But more than that, it will help us lay the foundations of a better, brighter future."

"The future is here, and its name is Colonia."

Pilots who contributed to the initiative are now free to collect their rewards from Jaques Station in the Colonia system.

Community Goal: Mysterious Organisation Releases Message Edit

In November last year, a mysterious organisation known as Revolution Incorporated placed an open order for explosives in commemoration of the Gunpowder Plot – a historic incident dating from Earth's distant past.

The request attracted the attention of security officials who feared it might presage a terrorist attack, but ultimately no such attack took place. It is now believed that if the group did have nefarious intent, its plans were foiled.

But despite this apparent setback, the organisation itself has endured, having issued the following message to media outlets and social networks throughout the galaxy:

"Last time, they stopped us. This time, they will not. The powers-that-be must accept their fate, and pay the price for their misdeeds."

"They will be taught a lesson in power – the power of the people."

"If you are a true believer, be at the following location at 16.05 UTC on the 5th of November 3302."

"Novas A 6, Novas system."

Security forces in the Novas system have urged the public to ignore the message.

Community Goal: Appeal for Ancient Data Edit

Since the mysterious ruins in the Synuefe XR-H d11-102 system were discovered last week, the site has become a hotbed of activity, with hundreds of explorers attempting to uncover the ruins' secrets.

Now the engineer Ram Tah has announced plans to conduct a comprehensive research programme with the aim of learning more about the site.

At a press event, Ram Tah made the following statement:

"The discovery of the Synuefe ruins is hugely significant, and the site is unquestionably worthy of further study. Fortunately, United Meene Labour has graciously agreed to fund a comprehensive research project."

"I am therefore in the privileged position of being able to devote myself to studying data from the site. It is my hope that by decoding this data, we can learn more about the civilisation responsible for the ruins."

"Having conducted a preliminary survey of the site, I have determined that Pattern Delta Obelisk Data would of great value at this stage."

United Meene Labour has promised to reward pilots who bring Pattern Delta Obelisk Data from the Synuefe ruins to Felice Dock in the Meene system. The campaign begins on the 3rd of November 3302 and will run for two weeks.

04 NOV Edit

Freelance Report: Stanley Steamer's Ransack Rebuttal Edit

Following accusations of recklessness from archaeologist Jeremy Grant, noted SRV racer Stanley Steamer has released the following statement:

"Has Grant actually seen the site? It's already a pile of rubble! And we believe that rubble is the remains of an ancient racetrack. So by racing around it, we're actually honouring the memory of those who built it."

"If one of those highfalutin science nerds can definitively prove I'm wrong, I'll stop driving. But until then, don't go insulting us with your superpower rhetoric, professor!"

Commander Turjan

Freelance Report: Canonn Holds Press Conference Edit

The Canonn Interstellar Research Group held a press conference today to reassure the public that the ruins in the Synuefe XR-H d11-102 system were not being mishandled.

A spokesperson for the organisation claimed that reports of damage at the site had been hugely exaggerated.

"It's true that several scientific vessels were destroyed by rogue pilots, but we haven't observed any damage or contamination at the site."

"As first on the scene, Canonn scientists and affiliates quickly got to work recording the artefacts at the site. Several hundred have already been disseminated to research institutes for analysis."

V Patau

Galactic News: Patreus's Flagship Attacked Edit

Eyewitness reports from the Eotienses system indicate that an attack has taken place on Admiral Denton Patreus' flagship, the INV Imperial Freedom. The Majestic-class Interdictor was heavily damaged in the altercation and was ignominiously forced to withdraw from the field of combat.

An organisation known as the Children of Raxxla has claimed responsibility for the attack. In a statement, the organisation said it had been '"backed into a corner" after diplomatic entreaties regarding Kahina Loren – whom it referred to as Salomé – had gone unanswered.

The attack appears to have been a response to the 'guilty' verdict passed on Loren last week, and based on the assumption that she was aboard the INV Imperial Freedom. Vessels bearing Children of Raxxla markings were witnessed intercepting escape pods ejected from the beleaguered Interdictor.

The Children of Raxxla spokesperson said the group "harboured no ill will towards Patreus", and that "the guilty parties continue to lurk in the shadows".

Imperial security forces have condemned the attack, saying:

"This group has shown its true colours. Kahina Loren was known for inciting violence, and these terrorists are clearly intent on continuing her legacy."

The damage to the INV Imperial Freedom represents a blow to Admiral Patreus' ambitions to strengthen the Imperial fleet, exposing these battleships' vulnerability to attacks from well-organised independent forces.

05 NOV Edit

Freelance Report: The Christmas Carriers Convoy Edit

The Colonia Citizens Network has invited the galactic community to support Colonia by delivering much-needed food and equipment to the region and by transporting new settlers, as part of what is set to be one of the largest freight convoys in human history.

The Christmas Carriers Convoy will depart on the 2nd of December 3302, stopping at each outpost on the so-called Colonia highway, and arrive in Colonia in the first week of January. So far, nearly 150 pilots have signed up.

The Earth Defense Fleet, the 9th Legion, the Iridium Wing, SEPP and the Prismatic Imperium have all pledged pilots to protect the freighters for the duration of the trip.

Dalilah William, a citizen of Colonia Hub, said:

"We need more of the essentials that those in the core systems take for granted, which is why we're calling on traders and haulers to join the Christmas Carriers Convoy, and appealing to combat pilots to protect them."

Souvarine

Galactic News: Second Mysterious Wreck Discovered Edit

A shipwreck bearing strong similarities to that recently found in the Pleiades Sector AB-W B2-4 has been discovered in the HIP 17862 system.

The wreck was found by one Commander Denneb on the airless planetoid 6 C A.

Images of the site, shared by the many independent explorers and scientists who flocked to investigate it, show an unconventional-looking vessel with a distinctly organic quality. Like the shipwreck found in the Pleiades Sector AB-W B2-4, the wreckage encompasses a number of vaguely wing-like elements roughly arranged around an octagonal core.

The discovery has stimulated considerable debate among scientists and xenobiologists. So far, as with the previous shipwreck, no concrete information about the vessel's origin has emerged.

Commentators have observed that the ship bears no apparent signs of weapons damage, and that the concentrated debris field suggests the vessel was still intact when it hit the planet's surface.

Freelance Report: Hapless Explorer Returns Home Edit

A number of newsfeeds have reported that amateur explorer Commander Lewis has finally returned to human-inhabited space. After following the Distant Worlds Expedition into the void, the unfortunate traveller found himself alone in a damaged Asp Scout some 65,000 light years from civilisation.

A freak accident during the return trip resulted in the loss of most of Commander Lewis's food supplies, leaving him with only tea and an assortment of biscuits for the six-month journey home. After being treated for malnutrition and diabetes, Commander Lewis spoke to the media about his ordeal:

"The journey was a nightmare. I kept getting lost, and was haunted by images of long-dead 21st century actors. If it wasn't for my 1,000 friends on social media, I would have gone insane. I don't think I'll ever eat another biscuit."

Shanaeri Rynale

10 NOV Edit

Galactic News: Appeal for Ancient Data Concludes Edit

A spokesperson for United Meene Labour has announced that its appeal for data from the Synuefe ruins has been enthusiastically received by the galactic community, resulting in a massive influx of deliveries to Felice Dock, the organisation's base of operations.

Engineer Ram Tah, who is leading research into the ruins, has extended his gratitude to the many independent explorers who responded to the appeal.

In a statement, Ram Tah said:

"I can't wait to start analysing the data. With luck, this will be the first step towards unlocking the ruins' secrets."

Ram Tah went on to say he would do everything in his power to ensure the site was protected from "irresponsible agencies seeking to capitalise on the site for personal, political or military gain.

Pilots who contributed to the initiative are now free to collect their rewards from Felice Dock in the Meene system.

Galactic News: Anarchist Organisation Closes Starport Edit

Recent reports indicate that Wright City in the Elli system has fallen prey to a chemical-weapon attack.

The attack is believed to have been executed by the anarchist organisation Revolution Incorporated, which recently placed orders for a quantity of Toxandji Virocide, a rare pesticide. It is understood the group used the pesticide as the basis for a potent chemical weapon.

The impact on the starport has been catastrophic. Over a dozen individuals have lost their lives, and hundreds more are in critical condition. As a result, the starport has been closed until further notice.

System security forces have already started hunting for Revolution Incorporated, but with little physical evidence and few leads, the chances of bringing the culprits to justice are slim.

Community Goal: The Battle for Maia Continues Edit

Two weeks ago, conflict erupted between the Ant Hill Mob and the Pleiades Resource Enterprise in the Maia system. But this was no ordinary inter-factional dispute. According to various sources, the Pleiades Resource Enterprise was acting under direct orders from Federation officials eager to bring Maia under Federal control.

With both sides bolstered by Pilots Federation Commanders, the battle was intense and wide ranging. After several days of conflict it was the Pleiades Resource Enterprise that emerged victorious, successfully gaining a foothold in Maia.

But it seems the battle for Maia is far from over. Recent reports indicate that the Ant Hill Mob is about to launch a retaliatory assault with the aim of pushing the Pleiades Resource Enterprise out of Maia.

The organisation has devised a two-pronged strategy to regain control, and has appealed to the galactic community for support. In addition to targeting Pleiades Resource Enterprise fighters, the Ant Hill Mob has asked pilots to deliver battle weapons to system security forces, who will be supporting the Ant Hill Mob during the conflict.

Pilots who participate in the operation will be generously rewarded.

The campaign begins on the 10th of November 3302 and will run for one week.

Zosi Major Corporation Issues Request Edit

The Zosi Major Corporation, an independent organisation based in the Zosi system, has placed an open order for thermic alloys, chemical manipulators and industrial firmware. According to the organisation's spokesperson, the resources will be used in an unspecified research and development project.

Dr Arkady Cole, the organisation's chief research scientist, released the following statement:

"We want the resources, yes? Very useful to us. Process is simple. Deliver the resources and be paid. Yes."

Despite the opaque nature of the request, it is likely the generous reimbursements offered by the Zosi Major Corporation will ensure its orders are met. Participating pilots have been instructed to deliver the requested commodities to Citi Enterprise in the Zosi system.

The campaign begins on the 10th of November and will run for one week. If the final target is met earlier than planned, the campaign will end immediately.

11 NOV Edit

Community Goal: Conflict Continues in Maia Edit

Early reports from the Maia system indicate that the Ant Hill Mob has delivered a significant blow to the Pleiades Resource Enterprise. The news comes less than 24 hours after the criminal organisation launched an operation to push the PRE out of Maia.

It is understood the Ant Hill Mob leveraged its connections in Maia's criminal network to achieve its aims in a remarkably short amount of time.

But the Pleiades Resource Enterprise is not out of the fight yet. The organisation has placed a kill order on all wanted ships operating in Maia and the surrounding systems, and has promised to reward pilots who deliver bounty vouchers to Obsidian Orbital.

The campaign will run from the 11th to the 17th of November 3302. If the final target is met earlier than planned, the campaign will end immediately.

17 NOV Edit

Galactic News: Appeal for Resources Ends Edit

Dr Arkady Cole, chief research scientist for the Zosi Major Corporation, has announced that the organisation's request for resources has been warmly received by the galactic community.

The organisation has confirmed that it has received sufficient quantities of thermic alloys, chemical manipulators and industrial firmware to proceed with its proposed research project, the exact nature of which has not been publicly disclosed.

In a characteristically succinct statement, Dr Cole thanked those who had responded to the request:

"Many resources received. Everyone get their money. Now go away and leave me alone! Very busy. Much work to do."

Pilots who contributed to the campaign can now collect their rewards from Citi Enterprise in the Zosi system.

Galactic News: Order Temporarily Restored in Maia Edit

The Pleiades Resource Enterprise has announced that its operation to weaken Maia's criminal network has been a success. Hundreds of pilots responded to the organisation's appeal for support, taking to their ships to eliminate the agitators operating in the system.

The victory may give the Pleiades Resource Enterprise the time it needs to recover its strength, and prepare for the next phase in its fight against the Ant Hill Mob.

Pilots who contributed to the operation can collect their rewards from Obsidian Orbital.

Galactic News: Ant Hill Mob Wins Edit

Media outlets in Maia have reported that the Pleiades Resource Enterprise has once again emerged victorious from a conflict with the Ant Hill Mob. The battle, instigated by the Ant Hill Mob, was designed to weaken the Enterprise's position in Maia.

Hundreds of independent pilots supported the campaign by targeting Pleiades Resource Enterprise fighters and delivering battle weapons to system security forces. But ultimately it was not enough to defeat the PRE.

A spokesperson for the Pleiades Resource Enterprise released a brief statement:

"Clearly, the galactic community supports our position in Maia. The Ant Hill Mob needs to accept that the Pleiades Resource Enterprise is here to stay. We're not going anywhere."

Pilots who contributed to the initiative are now free to collect their rewards from Obsidian Orbital in the Maia system.

Community Goal: Competing Appeals for Exploration Data Edit

The Federal astrocartography department has issued a public request for exploration data. Mark Devene, head of the department, elaborated on the nature of the appeal:

"We are looking for data from three specific zones in order to verify certain hypotheses. We want high-quality information on system configurations, planet types, spectral classes and compositions."

"We are looking at the following coordinates: PLAA AEC IZ-N C20-1, PRU AESCS DL-W C15-37 and EAFOTS EU-R C4-1. Explorers might be more familiar with the colloquial names for these areas – Hawkin's Gap, the Conflux and the Formidine Rift. Pilots should travel to one of these locations and investigate out to a radius of 200 light years."

The Tau Ceti Crimson Legal Solutions has volunteered to coordinate the Federal operation. Meanwhile, mysterious organisation The Children of Raxxla has issued an identical request, claiming the data will be used to prove the innocence of the group's leader, Kahina Loren.

Both campaigns begin on the 17th of November 3302 and will run for two weeks.

Community Goal: Aid for D'Arrest Station Edit

In February this year, Princess Aisling Duval established a repatriation centre for former slaves at D'Arrest Station in the Uibuth system. Since then the centre has gone from strength to strength, successfully emancipating thousands of slaves and rescuing hundreds from the horrors of illegal slavery.

When the initiative launched, many of Princess Aisling's detractors dismissed it as a publicity stunt, but her ongoing commitment to the centre has silenced even her most ardent critics. It is understood that she receives daily updates from D'Arrest Station, and makes personal visits once a month.

It therefore comes as little surprise that, following news of an outbreak at the starport, Princess Aisling has secured funding for a relief effort. In a statement, the princess expressed concern for those affected:

"It is extremely important that the unfortunate people at D'Arrest Station receive help as soon as possible, and I implore the galactic community to come to their aid. The Uibuth Empire Party has graciously offered to coordinate the relief effort."

The Uibuth Empire Party has promised to reward pilots who deliver basic medicines to D'Arrest Station in the Uibuth system. The campaign begins on the 17th of November and will run for one week. If targets are met earlier than planned, the campaign will end immediately.

18 NOV Edit

Galactic News: Construction Convoy Assembled Edit

A large convoy of heavy construction ships and associated support vessels has been assembled by Wreaken Construction in the Zearla system.

Wreaken does not have an exclusive contract with any of the galaxy's superpowers, and there has therefore been significant speculation over the purpose of the convoy.

Requests for information have been met with blank rebuttals, and recent press statements from Wreaken make no mention of the convoy. Long-range reconnaissance has revealed a well-defended operation, and approaches are greeted with patrol ships and warning shots.

Meanwhile, shares in Wreaken have gone up by five per cent as speculation grips the financial markets. Some commentators believe this is directly linked to Admiral Denton Patreus's recent comments concerning the London Treaty.

19 NOV Edit

Galactic News: MetaDrive Audit Complete Edit

The independent audit of defunct technology company MetaDrive Inc. has now reached an end and, other than a few minor items, the acquisition of all remaining assets has been completed.

One such item is the Imperial Eagle of the company's late chairman Femi Dakarai, which was owned by MetaDrive. In a strange turn of events, the ship was stolen by former MetaDrive employee Raan Corsen, who disappeared shortly after the audit began.

A number of files relating to Dakarai's affairs are also believed to be missing. A junior member of the audit team reported that a series of so-called 'exodus documents' could not be located. The employee was unceremoniously removed from the audit team shortly afterwards.

A spokesperson for BigSix, the auditor, provided a statement:

"The audit of MetaDrive is now complete, and contrary to previous misleading reports, we have all the documentation we need. It transpires the Eagle spacecraft stolen by Raan Corsen crashed somewhere in the Alioth system while fleeing security forces. The vessel was fully insured, so BigSix is not unduly concerned by its loss."

22 NOV Edit

Freelance Report: Taking on the Aliens Edit

The Buckyball Racing Club is back with a new race, and this time it's taking on the aliens.

Kick the Alien (and Run like Hell) is a 26-kilometre roundtrip SRV race. The event starts at the Noctrach-Ihazevich Research facility and involves driving to the nearby crash site, 'kicking the alien', and then driving back to the research facility as fast as possible.

A representative for the Buckyball Racing Club said: "All other methods of interaction with the crash sites have failed to get a response – perhaps this will wake them up".

The race starts on Saturday the 26th of November and is expected to last for two weeks. Competitors can make their run at any time during this period, and can run as many times as they like.

Commander Alec Turner

24 NOV Edit

Community Goal: Sale of the Century Edit

For many retailers, this Friday is one of the busiest days of the year, as prices are slashed and consumers compete to take advantage of a range of one-day offers.

As the fateful day draws near, Tchernobog Free, a retail conglomerate based in the Tchernobog system, has placed an open order for various commodities to help it meet demand. The organisation has promised to reward pilots who deliver domestic appliances, clothing and consumer technology to its base of operations at Vancouver Ring.

A spokesperson for the organisation gave a brief statement to the media:

"Half of my suppliers have let me down and I've got investors breathing down my neck. I don't care how you do it – just get me those goods!"

The campaign begins on the 24th of November 3302 and will run for one week. If the final target is met earlier than planned, the campaign will end immediately.

Galactic News: A Bright Future for D'Arrest Station Edit

The Uibuth Empire Party has announced that its appeal for basic medicines has received the unconditional support of the galactic community. Over the past week, huge quantities of medication have been delivered to D'Arrest Station in the Uibuth system, which will be used to control the outbreak currently plaguing the starport.

Princess Aisling Duval, who funded the relief effort and whose repatriation centre is based at the starport, released a brief statement:

"I would like to extend my most sincere gratitude to those who supported this campaign. Medical personnel at D'Arrest Station have assured me that the situation will soon be in hand."

Pilots who contributed to the initiative are now free to collect their rewards from D'Arrest Station in the Uibuth system.

25 NOV Edit

Galactic News: Ram Tah Releases Statement Edit

Earlier this month, engineer Ram Tah announced a research programme designed to uncover the secrets of the Synuefe ruins. The engineer asked pilots to deliver data from the site to his laboratory in the hope that he would be able to decipher it.

But Ran Tah's silence has prompted some to speculate that the engineer might not be up to the task of decoding the data, and that his attempt was nothing more than the naive dream of a backwater mechanic.

When approached with these criticisms, Ram Tah said:

"These things take time. I believe I have made a breakthrough, but I will not be pressured into offering untested claims. As soon as I have results, the galaxy will know."

Galactic News: Prisoner Convoy Destroyed Edit

A prisoner convoy has been interdicted and destroyed in the Daibo system while en route to Koontz Asylum. Wreckage found in Daibo has been positively identified as belonging to the Imperial Cutter 'Diadem' and the Imperial Clippers 'Cypripedium', 'Velum', 'Monile' and 'Vestimenta'.

"Completely wiped out," said one pilot, who was one of the first to respond to the distress call. "By the time I arrived there was nothing but floating debris. We even found wreckage from escape pods. Someone wanted to make sure there were absolutely no survivors. Even the black boxes were blasted."

It has been confirmed that the convoy was carrying various political dissidents, convicted murderers and terrorists. Among them was the infamous Kahina Loren, recently found guilty of the attempted assassination of Admiral Denton Patreus.

"Maybe someone wanted to give her a merciful death," said the chief editor of The Imperial Citizen. "Better that than what awaited her at Koontz Asylum, for sure."

Plans to hold a memorial service for Loren in the Prism system have already generated angry responses. Princess Aisling Duval was quoted as saying, "A service for her? She was a murderer and a convicted felon! Her name should be struck from the record and never spoken again."

26 NOV Edit

Freelance Report: Record-Breaking Tourist Trip Edit

Since the Pilots Federation endorsed passenger flights and the Beluga luxury liner entered the market, the tourism industry has boomed. Commander Duck of Death, a seasoned explorer, took this reporter on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the far side of the galaxy.

Our journey took us to the Black in Green Nebula, Sagittarius A* and the Red and Green Glory Nebula, as well as a planetary ring with a staggering 54 million kilometre radius. But that wasn't all.

"I've been planning to go to Beagle Point for a few months," said Duck of Death. "Since I'm on the original roster, I feel I have an obligation to complete the expedition."

Spirits were high as we traversed the abyss and entered the Solitude Void, but as the bright lights of the core dwindled, I could sense the primordial fear building. Finally, we reached Beagle Point. Before us was the entire Milky Way, farther away than ever, and behind us...the rest of the universe. We were standing on the edge of infinity.

Morris Cowley

Freelance Reporter, Elite Travel Writers' Cooperative

Freelance Report: Guardian Archangel Edit

Last week, the galaxy witnessed a truly audacious rescue.

While returning from Beagle Point, Commander Felix Macedonica found himself without sufficient germanium to synthesise an FSD injection and continue his journey home. Faced with the choice of spending the rest of his life 65,000 light years from home or destroying his beloved Lakon Type-6E and riding the escape capsule back to civilisation, Felix was in dire straits indeed.

At that moment, Commander Chiggy Vonrictofen was exploring the Zunou sector. When Chiggy picked up a weak sub-ether distress signal, he quickly established a private link with Felix before appraising the system for asteroid belts and ringed planets that could potentially yield germanium. He then departed for Colonia to fit a mining laser and larger fuel tank.

With his ship appropriately equipped, Chiggy proceeded to cover the first 30,000 light years from Jaques in less than 13 hours, a wraith of speed and purpose. Stopping only to sleep, he finally arrived less than 48 hours after receiving Felix's first transmission.

The pair travelled to the nearest belt and Chiggy spooled up the mining laser as Felix watched the scanner. Nickel, iron, sulphur, manganese, phosphorus – the elements kept coming, but not the one they needed.

Despair started to creep in. Then it appeared, a word that brought with it a cascade of emotions: germanium. Felix swooped in and secured his freedom.

"Chiggy's efforts have left me speechless," said Felix. "His perseverance shows that the indomitable human spirit has no bounds."

Commander Mad Billy

Institute for Galactic Exploration and Research

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