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Professor Palin spent the early part of his career in the Federation, but in 3301 he decided to establish an independent institute dedicated to studying the Thargoids. The following year, he set up a research base in the Maia system focused on the development of new defence technologies. He continues to research the Thargoids in Arque, and is considered one of the galaxy's foremost experts on Thargoid technology.

— In-game description

Professor Ishmael Palin is one of the galaxy's foremost experts on Thargoids and their technologies, and the founder and former director of the Palin Institute.[1][2] Originally a Federal citizen and member of the Homeland Scientific Council, Palin went independent and established the Palin Institute in the Nganji system in late 3301 after a Federal Thargoid Sensor research programme he was leading at Fort Harrison, Arcturus was abruptly terminated. Following a life-threatening encounter in 3302 with an unidentified organisation that wanted to suppress his research, Palin retired in order to continue his work in relative privacy. He currently offers Engineering services to independent pilots, and is skilled in the improvement of Thrusters and Frame Shift Drives.[3]

On July 18, 3305, a Thargoid offensive in Maia forced Palin and his staff to evacuate from his original workshop, Palin Research Centre on Maia A 3 A. His current workshop is Abel Laboratory on Arque 4 E.


Professor Palin and a Thargoid Sensor


Late in 3301 Professor Ishmael Palin began an independent research programme, based at Christian Dock in the Nganji System, to study anomalous extraterrestrial objects discovered earlier in the year.[4]

In December he issued a request for help in establishing a new research base on Maia b1ba in order to safely study the artefacts. The request was positively received by the galactic community and Palin's team was soon ready to start work on their new base of operations.[4]

On 22 Jan 3302, 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.[5]

By January 3302 he had announced a dramatic breakthrough in his research into meta-alloys. He confirmed that technical issues at the Obsidian Orbital were a direct result of interference from the artefacts. They also had the ability to repair themselves using resources from other ships and machinery.[4]

Palin Institute

Palin Research Centre on Maia

Professor Palin founded the Palin Institute in 3301. On 15 April 3302, Palin retired from the Palin Institute. He relinquished his directorship to his closet ally Cora Shaw. He would continue researching the Unknown Artefacts and meta-alloys, albeit in a more inconspicuous fashion, at his personal research centre on Maia A 3 a. Palin said: "It has been a tremendous pleasure to be part of the discourse surrounding the Unknown Artefacts, and to share ideas and opinions with so many passionate individuals. But there are dark forces at work in the galactic community – forces that exist in opposition to the ideals I hold most dear – and I lack the strength to continue fighting them." "I have therefore decided to relinquish my directorship of The Palin Institute to Professor Cora Shaw, who has for many years been my closest ally. I have every faith in Professor Shaw's ability to lead The Palin Institute to even greater heights, and to uphold the ideals for which it stands."[3]


In October 3302, the Federation quietly established a blockade of Palin's headquarters, part of the wider cold war between Federal and Imperial forces over the monopolization of meta-alloys. Palin was essentially kept under house arrest and was unable to leave. The blockade was withdrawn on September 9, 3303, as both the Federation and Empire began backing down over the meta-alloy issue since both had failed to gain any control over their sources. Professor Palin was pleased by the development.[6]

Thargoid attack and evacuation to Arque

The disabled megaship Carson's Spring

On July 11, 3305, Aegis reported that Thargoid forces had, in a matter of hours, completely withdrawn from the Core Systems and the Pleiades Nebula with the exception of the Maia and Merope systems. Admiral Aden Tanner explained that Aegis's two main theories for the Thargoids' departure were that their numbers had been depleted or they were reconsidering their strategy. Whatever the cause, Eagle Eye confirmed the development and reported "No Activity Detected" for that cycle. Professor Ishmael Palin urged caution, however, warning that the war with the Thargoids was likely far from over and there was no evidence that human activity had prompted this retreat.[7]

On July 18, the Thargoids returned to the Pleiades Nebula in large numbers, attacking three stations without being detected by Eagle Eye and massing in Maia for an attack on Palin Research Centre. Professor Palin and his staff managed to evacuate to the megaship Carson's Spring before the surface port came under fire, but the vessel was attacked and disabled before it could depart Maia. Professor Tesreau asserted that the Thargoids were likely attempting to reassert themselves in their original territorial claim, and requested help from independent pilots in defending Carson's Spring, as local security forces were overwhelmed.[8] The following message was broadcast throughout the system by a listening post:


Palin Research Centre has been evacuated.

Port services have been suspended. All personnel must leave the station immediately via the nearest emergency transport.

Thargoid craft have occupied the airspace around this facility. Independent pilots are urged to depart at once, using all available defensive measures.

— "Evacuation Broadcast" Listening Post in Maia[9]

Defense efforts were successful, and Admiral Aden Tanner of Aegis reported that Carson's Spring was able to resume its journey to the Arque system on July 22. Professor Palin began rebuilding his operation at Abel Laboratory on Arque 4 E.[10] On July 30, he resumed his research and services, and notified his clients of the move.[11]

Meanwhile, one of Professor Palin's former apprentices, Chloe Sedesi, announced plans on August 6 to establish an Engineering workshop of her own in the Witch Head Nebula enclave.[12] On August 8, Sedesi's workshop at Cinder Dock in Shenve opened for business, offering a set of services similar to Palin's.[13]

Access Requirements

Achieve Grade 3 access plus at least 1/3 progress towards Grade 4 with Marco Qwent.
Meeting Requirements
Travel a distance of 5,000 light years or more from career start system.
Unlock Requirements
Provide 25 units of Sensor Fragments.
Reputation Gain
Craft modules.
Note: Previously, selling exploration data at Palin Research Centre would also increase reputation with Palin, but this appears to no longer be the case after Palin's move to Abel Laboratory in Arque.

Modifications Offered

The following modifications to modules are available from this engineer:

Frame Shift Drive (Grade 3)

Thrusters (Grade 5)


26 OCT 3302

  • Professor Ishmael Palin, founder and former director of the Palin Institute, has released a statement concerning his ongoing research into meta-alloys. "I have discovered previously unidentified properties that could make the meta-alloys ideally suited to the development of robust new materials – materials that could be used to great effect in combat starships. My research is still at an early stage and I am far from developing a working prototype, but the early signs are very encouraging. This discovery could herald a major step forward in the development of defensive technologies." Professor Palin has been researching meta-alloys from his personal research base on Maia A 3 a since he resigned from the Palin Institute in April. He closed his statement with a promise to share his progress with the galactic community.[14]

12 MAY 3302

  • Last month, Professor Ishmael Palin announced his intention to retire from The Palin Institute, the research organisation he founded in 3301. In a statement, the professor indicated that he would relocate to a small research centre on Maia A 3 a, where he would continue investigating the Unknown Artefacts and meta-alloys. Now, the professor has issued a further statement, announcing that he has placed an open order for building fabricators for the construction of the new outpost. "The galactic community has given me considerable support over the past few months – even going so far as to rescue me and my team from pirates in the Orulas system – and I would very much like for them to be part of this initiative. The new research centre will be relatively modest, but there is still a need for materials. I can promise that pilots who deliver the necessary supplies will be generously compensated!" The Defence Party of Nespeleve, which is coordinating the effort on behalf of Professor Palin, has promised to reward pilots who deliver building fabricators to Wilkes Orbital in the Nespeleve system. The organisation has also promised to reward Commanders who eliminate hostiles operating in the system, to ensure those delivering building fabricators can do so safely. The campaign begins on the 12th of May 3302 and will run for one week. If the final target is met earlier than planned, the campaign will end immediately.[15]

22 APR 3302

  • Dr Arcanonn of the Canonn Interstellar Research Group has expressed solidarity with Professor Ishmael Palin, following the latter's decision to retire from the Palin Institute and pursue personal research into the Unknown Artefacts and meta-alloys. "It is unfortunate that the professor has been forced to make this decision, but given the existence of the 'dark forces' to which he refers, I support him wholeheartedly. I have long been concerned that there are people out there with greater knowledge of the UAs and meta-alloys, and with darker intentions. The secretive convoys, Palin's abduction, the unexplained increases in the black market value of UAs, the purchase of hundreds of thousands of tonnes of meta-alloys at Obsidian Orbital, and the death threats I received – all are troubling. We mourn the fact that scientists feel the need to retreat to continue their work, but I look forward to visiting the professor on Maia A 3 a."
    Command Lord Zoltan[16]

15 APR 3302

  • Professor Ishmael Palin has announced his intention to retire from the research institute he founded last year. In a statement, the professor explained the reasoning behind the decision: "It has been a tremendous pleasure to be part of the discourse surrounding the Unknown Artefacts, and to share ideas and opinions with so many passionate individuals. But there are dark forces at work in the galactic community – forces that exist in opposition to the ideals I hold most dear – and I lack the strength to continue fighting them. I have therefore decided to relinquish my directorship of The Palin Institute to Professor Cora Shaw, who has for many years been my closest ally. I have every faith in Professor Shaw's ability to lead The Palin Institute to even greater heights, and to uphold the ideals for which it stands. I fully intend to continue researching the Unknown Artefacts and meta-alloys, albeit in a more inconspicuous fashion, at my personal research centre on Maia A 3 a. Those who wish to visit me there are very welcome to do so. There is nothing I enjoy more than spending time with those who share my interests!"[17]

02 NOV 3301

  • Security personnel at Christian Dock in the Nganji System have successfully apprehended a group of armed interlopers, it has been confirmed. The intruders, who were reported to be in possession of personal weapons classed as illegal in several systems, are being detained while they await preliminary sentencing. Jason Treeves, Head of Security at Christian Dock, had the following to say: "The trespassers managed to disable our frontline security system, but apparently they didn't realise we had an array of secondary sensors, and they triggered the alarm. A response team was scrambled to their location, and my men succeeded in subduing the intruders with a minimum of fuss. A full investigation into how these men were able to bypass our security systems is now underway." Readers will no doubt recall that Christian Dock is also the centre of Professor Ishmael Palin's research into the unknown artefacts discovered earlier this year. Treeves refused to comment on a possible connection between the security breach and Professor Palin's research, but a civilian source at Christian Dock said: "I have it on good authority they were caught trying to break into Palin's laboratory, and I heard they had incendiary explosives, too. I wouldn't be surprised to discover they were trying to destroy the lab and the UAs."[18]

26 OCT 3301

  • Ishmael Palin] the Federation scientist tasked with studying the anomalous extraterrestrial objects discovered earlier this year, has announced his decision to resume his research. This development follows the termination of an earlier, Federation-backed research programme led by Professor Palin. The decision to restart the programme constitutes a defiant move on the part of Professor Palin, who declined to make a public statement at the time of the original project's cancellation. The new research effort will be based at Christian Dock in the Nganji System, close to the region of space where the objects were discovered. Professor Palin made the following statement: "I have no wish to speculate on Governor Quaid's reasons for cancelling the original research programme, but I will say that these objects signify a potentially momentous scientific discovery, and I am extremely pleased to be able to continue my research. As a scientist I feel it is my duty to subject these fascinating objects to comprehensive analysis, and to share the results of that analysis with the galactic community. Hopefully, now that Governor Deacon has allowed us to establish a research base at Christian Dock, my team and I can continue with our work, free from interference."[19]

27 SEP 3301

  • Last week saw reports that Professor Ishmael Palin has been forced to cease his research into the so-called anomalous extraterrestrial objects, also known as 'unknown artefacts'. The Voice of Varati has since received a statement from the Canonn Interstellar Research Group, an independent scientific body: "We were extremely distressed to read reports that Professor Palin has seen his attempt to research the unknown artefacts forcibly terminated. This is indeed a sad end to a promising beginning, especially given the insights concerning the artefacts the professor had shared with us all. We can only speculate as to why he's been silenced in this way, but the fires of suspicion are spreading rapidly. Someone in a position of power knows far more about these things than the rest of us, but wishes this information to remain secret. The question is – why? The Canonn is going to redouble its efforts to conduct open research into the UAs, as we feel it is in the interests of humanity to learn as much about these mysterious artefacts as we can. We also urge Professor Palin to join us, as we feel it would be in his and his team's best interests. The professor can contact our council at any time, and we will assemble a quick-response team to assure his safety."
    Commander Lord Zoltan, The Voice of Varati[20]

20 SEP 3301

  • Reports have begun circulating that the Federal research programme established last week to study the so-called 'anomalous extraterrestrial objects' (or AEOs) has been terminated. This news comes only a week after the inauguration of the project. According to a source at Fort Harrison, where the programme was based, study of the objects was brought to an abrupt halt by the station governor, Aoishe Quaid. Apparently, Quaid ordered the head of the project, Professor Ishmael Palin, to immediately cease his research. The reason for Quaid's decision is not known, although it is not believed to have been informed by concerns over public safety. A second source from Fort Harrison, who asked not to be named, had the following to say: "Frankly, I don't think it was Quaid's decision at all – I think she was pressured into shutting the programme down. She was enthusiastic about the project and had a lot of respect for Professor Palin, so this change of direction just doesn't make sense. The question is, who forced her to cancel the research, and why?" The objects under study were described as quasi-organic in nature and capable of broadcasting location data across vast distances. Their discovery was widely considered the scientific find of the decade, and the cancellation of the project will no doubt provoke a strong response from the scientific community. Professor Palin declined to comment on the Governor Quaid's decision.[21]

13 SEP 3301

  • A Federal research programme has been established to study the strange objects discovered in a number of systems, including Tanmark and HIP 102128, it was announced today. The project is being led by Professor Ishmael Palin, formerly of the Homeland Scientific Council. The first of the objects was discovered some months ago, with further objects being found in the weeks that followed. Those who have seen the artefacts first-hand report that they are reminiscent of biological forms, consisting of a spherical bulb-like element connected to a number of cylindrical capsules. Some have even suggested they might be life forms in their own right. Aside from their unusual structure, the objects – referred to by some as 'unknown artefacts' and dubbed 'anomalous extraterrestrial objects' (or 'AEOs') by Professor Palin and his team – are believed to have the capacity to damage nearby machinery, although exactly how this occurs is not fully understood. This has made transport of the objects problematic, as they can inflict significant damage on a ship's cargo hold, and on adjacent ship’s systems. Naturally, speculation concerning the objects has been rife, and there appears to be significant evidence that they are of non-human origin. Professor Palin refused to be drawn on the subject, however, saying: "A discovery of this kind represents an event of major scientific interest, and I am delighted to have been asked to lead this research project. It would be imprudent of me to speculate on the objects' origin or purpose. Suffice it to say that my team and I will be subjecting the artefacts to rigorous examination over the coming weeks, and I very much look forward to sharing our discoveries with the scientific community."[22]