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The future will remember us.

— The final words of John Tyburn, the NMLA's de facto leader

The Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army (NMLA) was an Imperial extremist paramilitary organisation that espoused Neo-Marlinism, a radical ideology in which terror tactics are accepted as a necessary means of compelling the Empire to replace the Imperial Family and the hereditary position of Emperor with representation by elected senators. Originally known only for small-scale crimes, the NMLA dramatically escalated its tactics in September 3306 by carrying out bombings on starports and assassinations. These atrocities were made possible by clandestine support from the Lords of Restoration, who provided access to Omega Grid dark-comms technology from Imperial Intelligence and combat training from Darkwater Inc. In addition to over fifty bombings on Imperial government buildings and security forces in late 3306, the NMLA was also responsible for the bombing of four Imperial starports on September 10, 3306, the assassination of Prince Harold Duval on September 14, a failed assassination attempt on Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval on October 27, the assassination of Baron Cesare Lavigny in late October 3306, the bombing of a Federal starport on November 19, the Nine Martyrs attacks on March 11, 3307, the bombing of two Marlinist Colonies starports on July 29, 3307, and the bombing of Dyson City in Paresa on October 14, 3307. All told, terror attacks carried out by the NMLA claimed the lives of over 800,000 people, and seriously injured over 1.6 million more.

In an effort to bring the NMLA to justice, the Imperial Internal Security Service and Imperial Navy embarked on a large-scale anti-terrorism operation that imposed martial law in nine Marlinist systems and arrested thousands of Marlinists on suspicion of supporting terrorism. As a result, millions of Marlinist political refugees fled their homes, with many seeking safety in the Federation. The Federation's refusal to return the Marlinists to the Empire or cooperate with their investigation stoked international tensions to the brink of war. Conflict appeared to have been averted in December 3306, when Sirius Corporation CEO Li Yong-Rui proposed resettling the Marlinist refugees in specially-built, independent colonies in unclaimed systems, leading to the creation of the Marlinist Colonies. After the Nine Martyrs bombings interrupted the Galactic Summit in March 3307 and demonstrated the NMLA had widened its terrorism campaign against the Empire to include the Federation and the Alliance, the superpowers created the Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit to defeat the extremist group. Despite this, the NMLA remained difficult to counter due to its organisation into highly-compartmentalised cells and its use of an undetectable dark comms network.

In June 3307, the NMLA made contact with the Marlinism Reformation Party, a faction of the Marlinist Colonies sympathetic to the NMLA's cause if not its methods, and later endorsed Minister Aaron Whyte as its political representative. In the absence of any progress against the terror group made by ACT, the NMLA had positioned itself to bring the Empire to the negotiation table, and even proposed its terms for peace: it would halt its attacks and provide reparations in exchange for a presence in the Imperial Senate. However, the loss of the NMLA's favoured candidate in the election for the leadership post of the Marlinist Consulate in July 3307 undermined this approach, and the NMLA retaliated by attacking the Marlinist Colonies themselves, which in turn led to a Marlinist civil war that dismantled the NMLA's political wing and further isolated the terror group. Most of Theta Group, the NMLA's bombmaker unit, were arrested by ACT in November 3307, but the head of Theta Group and de facto leader of the NMLA, John Tyburn, alias "Theta Seven", remained at large. He was traced to the Far God cult vessel Sacrosanct, leading to a final military confrontation with the bulk of the NMLA's remaining cells and supporters in Mudhrid. On December 13, 3307, surrounded and with no hope for escape, Tyburn detonated multiple enzyme bombs that had been loaded aboard the Sacrosanct, killing himself and thousands of hostages. In the wake of Tyburn's death, ACT began mopping up NMLA remnants and investigating the group's background, which led to the exposure of the Lords of Restoration conspiracy and its collaboration with Darkwater Inc. The NMLA threat was considered fully extinguished after the Empire eradicated Darkwater Inc in the Battle of Summerland on February 24, 3308.


Rising threat

Starport attacks and the assassination of Harold Duval

The NMLA was known only for small-scale operations until September 10, 3306, when it attacked starports in the Imperial systems of Cemiess, Gabjaujis, LHS 4031, and Rabh.[1] The bombings involved portable military-grade explosives designed by the Engineer Liz Ryder that were subsequently modified with Thargoid technology.[2] The NMLA apparently secured Ryder's assistance by falsely identifying themselves to her as members of the Eurybia Blue Mafia, an anarchist faction that Ryder regularly worked with. Ryder was deceived into thinking she was only making demolition charges, and was unaware that her clients would use them in terrorist attacks or use them to detonate Thargoid caustic enzyme payloads.[3] The September 10th attacks killed over 60,000 people, and wounded over 120,000 more.[4]

The starport attacks were followed by the assassination of Prince Harold Duval on September 14.[5] The prince had become a recluse on Capitol since his removal from the line of succession in late 3300, but news of the attack on Mackenzie Relay in Cemiess, his daughter Aisling Duval's home system, prompted him to travel to meet with Aisling out of concern for her well-being. A single member of the NMLA somehow obtained Harold's itinerary, boarded his private transport, and fatally shot the prince before being gunned down by guards. It was thought that luring Harold Duval into the open was the true goal of the NMLA's starport attacks, as the NMLA had expressed an extreme hatred of the Imperial Family.[6]

Terror in the Empire

After a period in which the growing Marlinist refugee crisis, spurred by the Imperial response to the NMLA's actions, seized international headlines, the NMLA reminded the Empire of its presence on October 27, 3306, when an assassination squad made an attempt on the life of Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval of Nova Imperium. The assassins penetrated the command deck of Dyson City, Paresa, the headquarters of Nova Imperium, and opened fire, wounding four and killing three being being eliminated by the Imperator's Praetorian Guard. The Imperator survived the attack, but was severely wounded and hospitalized in critical condition. The NMLA claimed responsibility, issuing a propaganda broadcast in which they vowed to "sever every head of the Duval hydra".[7] Unbidden, Princess Aisling Duval arrived in Paresa aboard the Majestic-Class Interdictor INV Achenar's Courage on October 28 to offer her cousin protection and medical assistance. Hadrian was transferred to the ship and underwent treatment using Vitadyne Labs nanomedicines, and by November 2 he was out of danger. As Aisling's actions provoked both praise and criticism, she told the public that she was ignoring politics for the sake of helping a family member.[8]

On November 10, Hadrian announced he was fully recovered, and after a discussion with Princess Aisling he had decided to seek reintegration into the Imperial Family. The Imperator asked Imperial authorities to reconsider their crusade against the Marlinists, arguing that purging them as the Empire had done with Nova Imperium's followers was a mistake, and the true enemy of all Imperials was the NMLA.[9] While Emperor Arissa denied Hadrian the royal title of prince in a decree on November 16, she recognized him as a Duval by blood and granted him and his followers royal pardons. Additionally, the Imperial Senate ratified the Treaty of Paresa, decriminalizing Nova Imperium in exchange for acknowledgement of Arissa as the Empire's rightful ruler and contributions to operations against the NMLA.[10]

The Imperial Herald reported on November 6, 3306 that the NMLA had claimed responsibility for over fifty additional bombings over the preceding three weeks. These attacks targeted various government buildings and security forces, and resulted in hundreds of deaths. Additionally, NMLA hit squads succeeded in assassinating multiple high-profile individuals with connections to the Imperial Family, including Baron Cesare Lavigny, a relative of the Emperor through her mother's family.[11]

International standoff

Imperial Ambassador Imogen Luciana repeated her demand that the Federation relinquish any Marlinist immigrants on October 30, 3306. Tensions between the Empire and the Federation had escalated significantly, with reports emerging that both sides had cut off a number of diplomatic channels. Luciana was roundly rejected by Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester, who dismissed Luciana's concern that the NMLA could potentially strike within the Federation as a poor cover for an apparent purge of supporters of democracy. Some commentators put forward the possibility that the Empire could go to war with the Federation under the pretext that the Federation had conducted a mass kidnapping of Imperial citizens.[12] On November 3, 3306, the Empire revealed that an investigation of the NMLA's bomb-making facility had produced evidence that the NMLA was operating a second facility in a Federal system. Ambassador Luciana warned that there would be dire consequences if the Federation was found to be supporting the NMLA to destabilize the Empire, while Ambassador Rochester dismissed this as posturing from the Empire to hide its inability to eliminate the NMLA.[13]

A flashpoint emerged in the LTT 1935 system, one of the locations where Marlinist refugees had taken up residence. On November 5, the Imperial Internal Security Service investigation into the NMLA led them to LTT 1935, a Federal system in neutral space, where they believed the NMLA had multiple concealed bomb-making facilities. Upon entering LTT 1935, the IISS summoned military reinforcements from the Empire-aligned L.Y.S Corp and was met with armed resistance from the Federal controlling faction, the LTT 1935 Confederacy, igniting a battle over control of the system. Both sides enlisted the aid of independent pilots and offered Federal and Imperial Navy rank promotions as additional rewards.[14] The conflict ended on November 12, with the LTT 1935 Confederacy securing a decisive victory and preventing an Imperial occupation.[15]

The Kepler Orbital bombing

Federal Vice President Brad Mitchell appeared before Congress on November 18, 3306 to report that a Federal Security Service screening operation he had initiated had identified nine NMLA members hiding among Marlinist refugees in Federal space. The suspected terrorists were detained for questioning prior to being turned over to Imperial authorities. Mitchell criticized the Liberal Party over the incident, claiming that their rush to welcome Marlinists into the Federation had endangered Federal citizens. Marlinist community leader Dr. Jenna Fairfax expressed her dismay at the discovery of NMLA infiltrators, reiterating that they did not represent Marlinism and affirming that her fellow Marlinists were more than happy to cooperate in removing them. Meanwhile, protests and counter-protests broke out on several Federal worlds over the Marlinist refugee issue.[16]

The arrest of the NMLA members had unintended consequences. The Federal starport Kepler Orbital in the Atropos system was bombed on November 19 with explosives that bore the hallmarks of the Liz Ryder design, including Thargoid enzyme payloads. The blasts completely destroyed the secure facilities on the starport where the nine NMLA members had been imprisoned. The NMLA took credit for the attack, calling the nine "martyrs" and threatening the Federation to stay out of its affairs. It was assumed that the purpose of the attack was to silence the prisoners before they could be interrogated.[17] Political fallout from the attack became evident the next day, as Imperial Ambassador Imogen Luciana reissued the Empire's demand for the Marlinist refugees, and the Federation closed several embassies in Imperial systems in response to violent anti-Marlinist protests threatening the lives of their staff. Vice President Mitchell laid the blame for the attack squarely on Shadow President Felicia Winters for granting the Marlinists sanctuary, and there were signs that Winters' recent upswing in influence had taken a hit.[18]

By November 27, relations between the Federation and the Empire had reached their lowest point since the proxy conflict for control of Meta-Alloys in the Pleiades Nebula. Both superpowers pushed through increases to military funding. President Zachary Hudson recaptured much of the support he had lost the previous month by reasserting his role as the Federation's strongman, while Senator Denton Patreus ordered the withdrawal of Imperial funding from Aegis to refocus the Empire's resources on countering the Federation and the NMLA. Commentators noted that the NMLA's attempt to ignite revolutionary change in the Empire had produced unforeseen consequences.[19]

Federal Congress found itself deadlocked on December 8 as President Hudson and Shadow President Winters clashed over whether or not to grant the Marlinist refugees permanent citizenship. Meanwhile, the Federal Security Service reported that Marlinists had come forward of their own accord to expose NMLA members hiding in their midst, and the risk that the Marlinist population would commit terrorist attacks was reevaluated as low.[20]

Sirius Corporation intervenes

On December 10, 3306, as the Marlinist refugee crisis worsened, Sirius Corporation decided to intervene to prevent a major conflict between the superpowers. CEO Li Yong-Rui presented a practical solution: resettle the Marlinist refugees in new colonies in unclaimed systems. Both Federal Congress and the Imperial Senate approved the plan after a period of debate, but added the caveat that any identified NMLA members among the refugees had to be turned over to the Empire.[21] Enough supplies were collected by the campaign's deadline on December 17 to colonize the first eight of the proposed systems. Construction of the Marlinist colonies was expected to be completed in early 3307, after which the Marlinist refugees would be transported to their new homes.[22]

As the Marlinist refugees began preparing to move to the new Marlinist Colonies, it was reported on December 21 that the frequency of NMLA attacks in Imperial territory had fallen considerably. This decline was the result of intelligence gathered by the Imperial Internal Security Service from NMLA members who had been captured by the Federal Security Service and handed over to the Empire. Although the Empire was finally make headway in its war against the NMLA terrorists, it was noted that Imperial authorities still believed the NMLA's network of cells to be widespread.[23]

Just as it seemed the Marlinist refugee crisis was coming to an end, a second wave had been arriving in Alliance space for weeks. First reported on December 24, 3306, the second wave of Marlinists was smaller, only tens of thousands. Basic necessities were provided for them by Safeguard Interstellar, while Alliance Interpol established strict security checks to weed out NMLA members. While Prime Minister Edmund Mahon readily welcomed the refugees to the Alliance, however, Councillor Nakato Kaine pointed out that the Federation had already suffered for its lack of caution in doing the same, and the Alliance had to draw a line.[24]

Theta Group takes revenge

Escape from Serene Harbour

Since the start of the NMLA's attacks, a number of Marlinists arrested by the Imperial Internal Security Service were turned over to Imperial Intelligence for interrogation at a covert prison facility on planet 3 b of the R CrA Sector AF-A d42 system named Serene Harbour. On January 20, 3307, Serene Harbour received a group of NMLA members captured in LTT 1935 who were designated "Theta Group". Commandant Gabriel De Luca personally oversaw their interrogation, but the prisoners proved unusually resilient. On January 26, a supply shuttle that was intended to delivered a new piece of interrogation equipment arrived, and is believed to have used Imperial Intelligence protocols to disable Serene Harbour's security systems, allowing all of the facility's prisoners to riot. The shuttle deployed a unit of Imperial soldiers who eradicated the prison's staff and all prisoners except Theta Group. The ringleader of Theta Group, "Theta Seven", apparently used the interrogation equipment transported by the shuttle to torture Commandant De Luca to death before he, his cohorts, and the soldiers departed aboard the shuttle.[25]

A public distress signal activated by De Luca was picked up by Commander Elsa Solomon on January 28 as she passed through the Swoilz XX-D c1-30 system. She reported the signal to the Pilots Federation, who issued a general request to scour systems within an 80 light-year radius of Swoilz XX-D c1-30 for the signal's source.[26] Later that day, Theta Seven himself sent an encrypted transmission to the Pilots Federation containing the surface coordinates for Serene Harbour.[27] Independent pilots discovered the Serene Harbour settlement soon after and recovered the commandant's personal logs. Based on what De Luca witnessed, it appeared that the NMLA had infiltrated Imperial Intelligence or had NMLA sympathizers within its ranks.[25]

Speaking on behalf of Imperial Intelligence on February 3, Senator Karl Nerva denied the organization had any association with Serene Harbour, and asserted the site and its logs had been fabricated by the Federation in a scheme to undermine the Empire. Nerva also offered his assurances that Imperial Intelligence operated within the bounds of Imperial law and was prepared for all possible threats. While the senator did confirm that a Captain Gabriel De Luca had previously worked for Imperial Intelligence, he explained that De Luca had died years earlier and suggested his identity had been stolen.[28]

Nine Martyrs

After months of apparent inactivity, the NMLA bombed nine starports in major systems on March 11, 3307 in a coordinated attack, killing hundreds of thousands of people and injuring many more. The targeted starports included Dawes Hub in Achenar, Donaldson in Alioth, Dublin Citadel in Gateway, Hahn Gateway in Nanomam, Ito Orbital in Rhea, Lave Station in Lave, Li Qing Jao in Sol, Parkinson Dock in Eotienses, and Shajn Market in Kamadhenu. The Galactic Summit being held in Sirius was temporarily suspended while leaders attending the conference responded to the emergency.[29] Hours later, the Galactic Summit was called off amid fears that the conference's venue, Patterson Enterprise, would be the NMLA's next target. The NMLA formally claimed responsibility for the attacks in a propaganda broadcast featuring Theta Seven, who condemned the Alliance and Federation as supporters of the Duvals and urged the people of the galaxy to use these "Nine Martyrs" rise up against the superpowers. Media commentators speculated that the attacks were carried out by NMLA members hiding among the refugees who entered Federal and Allied systems. The Marlinist Parliament denied any connection to the attacks and pledged to fully cooperate with security and emergency services.[30]

The Federation confirmed on March 12 that among the tens of thousands killed at Li Qing Jao, Vice President Brad Mitchell and several members of President Hudson's Cabinet had also perished. The Cabinet members had been attending a government meeting at the station when the bombing occurred. Federal officials accused the Empire of being responsible for the NMLA's attacks due to allowing NMLA bomb-makers to escape from Serene Harbour, while the Imperial Senate insisted that Serene Harbour was nothing more than a Federal disinformation campaign. The bombings also caused followers of Marlinism to fall under public criticism once more.[31]

In response to the attacks, which had killed over half a million people, the superpowers announced on March 17 the formation of the Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit (ACT), a joint agency dedicated to hunting the NMLA down. ACT was led by veterans of the successful League of Reparation investigation in 3304: Captain Niamh Seutonia of the Imperial Internal Security Service, Inspector Mara Klatt of Alliance Interpol, and Senior Agent Tanya Ramirez of the Federal Intelligence Agency. The creation of ACT was made possible through the recently implemented Cornelius-Lasky Convention, in which the superpowers committed to sharing information about large-scale threats with each other.[32] By March 19, the death toll of the Nine Martyrs bombings had made them the single deadliest terrorist attack in human history. Detectives of the Wallglass Investigations Agency observed that questions about how the NMLA had been able to grow so quickly from a local nuisance to the highest-profile terrorist group in the galaxy, as well as how their agents were able to bypass security in the superpowers' capitals, remained unanswered.[33]

ACT reported its preliminary findings to the public on March 22. Regarding the explosives used in the Nine Martyrs attacks, ACT found that the NMLA had improved the design to be more compact and able to be assembled on-site, making the bombs easier to transport and conceal. It was also theorised that the NMLA relied on an encrypted dark-comms network to coordinate; the network was believed to be more sophisticated than the one once used by the League of Reparation.[34]

The Marlinist Colonies announced on March 23 that they would send a team of their own led by Captain Milo Castile of the Marlinist Constabulary to assist ACT. The move came in response to suggestions from various political and military leaders that the Marlinist Colonies should be occupied or destroyed in retaliation for the Nine Martyrs attacks, despite no evidence linking the Marlinist Colonies the NMLA. First Minister Fairfax issued another firm condemnation of the NMLA's actions in an effort to reassure the galactic community.[35]

The Mudhrid connection

Tragedy struck ACT on March 25 when independent pilots discovered the wreck of the Valkyrie, an Anaconda that had been transporting Captain Niamh Seutonia and a small team of investigators as they pursued a lead into the NMLA. Seutonia had taken the Valkyrie to investigate the Mudhrid system, which the NMLA had used as a staging point for the Nine Martyrs attack. There, the ACT team seemingly confirmed the presence of Theta Group, the NMLA's chief bombmakers, and decided to follow their ship when it departed on a course for the Marlinist Colonies on March 24. Seutonia contacted Captain Castile to arrange to intercept Theta Group, but never arrived at the scheduled rendezvous. Senior Agent Tanya Ramirez issued a call for assistance from the galactic community in locating Valkyrie, which was found crashed on the surface of Trianguli Sector GW-W b1-0 1 A, apparently downed by weapons fire. Logs recovered from the Valkyrie contained Seutonia's investigation data.[36]

On March 31, Ramirez announced the Valkyrie's discovery by CMDR TheRealFlame, and confirmed that all hands aboard had been lost in the crash. Based on the information from the late Captain Seutonia's logs, ACT opened an investigation into the Order of Mudhrid, the faction in Mudhrid that had helped the NMLA carry out the Nine Martyrs attack. Imperial authorities were also informed of the development, and the Imperial Internal Security Service pledged to posthumously award Captain Seutonia the Achenar Service Cross.[37] In response to the ACT investigation, the Order of Mudhrid renamed itself the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid, becoming the first faction to openly adopt Neo-Marlinism, and declared a revolution against the Imperial Family on April 1, 3307. Senator Denton Patreus ordered the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group to engage the Order in battle and take revenge for Nine Martyrs, marking the start of a war for control of Mudhrid.[38] Forces from Nova Imperium and the IISS participated in the campaign.[39]

The Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid was roundly defeated on April 8, although its leader, Landgrave Arastin Delacroix, escaped capture. Inspector Mara Klatt commented to the media that this was still a definite victory against the NMLA, and the incident revealed that the NMLA was recruiting marginalized leaders such as Landgrave Delacroix to assist it by promising them high status within the "Republic" the NMLA would build after deposing the Duvals. The NMLA's network was also thought to be much more advanced and widespread than initially assumed.[40] Delacroix and remnants of his faction fled from Mudhrid to Hyades Sector RO-P b6-2 in the Marlinist Colonies on April 16, seeking asylum. Minister Aaron Whyte, leader of the Marlinism Reformation Party that controlled the system, appeared poised to grant Delacroix's request despite demands from the Empire, Federation, and Alliance to apprehend Delacroix and his supporters. The Marlinist Parliament declared an emergency and began debating its next steps.[41]

The powderkeg situation was settled peacefully on April 20 thanks to Imperial Senator Lorcan Scordato, who was visiting the Marlinist Colonies on a fact-finding mission for the Empire. The senator negotiated an agreement between the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid and the Marlinist Parliament that also placated the superpowers: in exchange for identifying the NMLA's senior leadership to ACT, the Landgrave and his inner circle would receive a sentence of life imprisonment at a local detention facility for their role in Nine Martyrs, while the remaining members of the Order would be allowed to apply for citizenship in the Marlinist Colonies after submitting to a security screening by the Marlinist Constabulary.[42]

On April 26, 3307, independent journalist Flint "Firemaker" Lafosse published a sensational leak on the Rewired network alleging that Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval of Nova Imperium was the secret leader of the NMLA. The leak, provided by an anonymous source and containing apparent classified information from ACT, contained statements from Landgrave Arastin Delacroix that identified Hadrian as the mastermind of the NMLA's bombing and assassination campaigns. Hadrian had purportedly been converted to Neo-Marlinism and recruited into the NMLA in early 3306 by his consort, Lady Astrid Minerva-Duval, a top NMLA agent who convinced the Imperator that eliminating the other Duvals would hasten his ascent to the Imperial throne. Hadrian used the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid to distribute enzyme bombs and Nova Imperium assassins, and to gain the trust of the Imperial Family, he staged the attempt on his life that occurred in October 3306.[43]

ACT confirmed that the leak was genuine on April 28, but cautioned that it needed more time to investigate the Landgrave's claims. Imperator Hadrian and Lady Astrid denied the allegations against them, explaining that Nova Imperium's manifesto of restoring Imperial traditions was the polar opposite of Marlinism, and noting that Nova Imperium was providing military support to defeat the NMLA as required by the terms of the Treaty of Paresa. Princess Aisling Duval also criticised the allegations and offered the Imperator her support, but Senator Zemina Torval signalled she believed the claims in a statement before the Imperial Senate in which she called for Hadrian to be punished for rebellion.[44] The situation became even more volatile on May 3 with the arrival in Paresa of Harmony's Shield, a megaship bearing the vanguard of the Federation-aligned League of Mandu, which believed the accusations against Nova Imperium and sought to eradicate the "terrorists". The Empire-aligned Peraesii Empire Consulate warned the League of Mandu to withdraw, but also pledged to purge the NMLA from Paresa. The Imperator protested his innocence and argued that the NMLA had faked his identity in its dealings with the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid, and further affirmed that Nova Imperium would defend itself if necessary. Meanwhile, ACT's investigation into the Landgrave's claims continued, and Praetor Leo Magnus was reportedly cooperating. Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval chose to withhold her judgment until the investigation concluded.[45]

The Empire's inaction frustrated the League of Mandu, which launched military operations against Nova Imperium on May 6 to bring the alleged terrorists to justice. The Imperator called on the Empire to honour the terms of the Treaty of Paresa and come to Nova Imperium's defence.[46] Media outlets across the Core Systems warned on May 11 that the conflict in Paresa could pull the Federation and Empire into a full-scale war, as the potential death of Hadrian Duval at the hands of Federal forces would demand retribution from the Emperor even if Hadrian is proven to be a terrorist.[47] Fortunately, the Paresa conflict ended on May 13 without escalating further. Nova Imperium achieved a decisive victory over the invaders, and Federal Ambassador Catherine Carlisle informed the public that the League of Mandu had acted rashly and would soon leave Imperial territory.[48]

The saga was seemingly put to rest on May 21 when Inspector Mara Klatt of ACT delivered her report on the Landgrave's allegations and confirmed that they could not be authenticated. ACT had also come to believe that it was highly plausible that the NMLA had falsified Imperator Hadrian Duval's identity when giving directives to the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid. Vindicated, the Imperator thanked his supporters, including the Nova Navy pilot group, for defending the honour of himself and Lady Astrid, and protecting Paresa from a Federal takeover. It was also announced that Praetor Leo Magnus had been seconded to ACT to serve as the replacement for the late Captain Niamh Seutonia.[49]

Failed political overtures

The NMLA made an unexpected peace proposal on June 22, 3307, not long after Minister Aaron Whyte of the Marlinist Parliament had decided to use his organisation, the Marlinism Reformation Party, to provide political representation for non-violent Neo-Marlinists. The NMLA took advantage of this to use the Marlinism Reformation Party as an intermediary to present its proposal to the Empire: the terrorist group offered to cease its terror attacks and provide reparations to the families of its victims, and in return, it requested a permanent seat in the Imperial Senate. When Minister Whyte unveiled this peace proposal before the Marlinist Parliament, it was immediately condemned, and First Minister Jenna Fairfax formally demanded that the Marlinism Reformation Party cease all negotiations with the NMLA.[50] However, on June 28, Senator Lorcan Scordato returned to the Imperial Senate from his fact-finding mission and advocated establishing formal diplomatic relations between the Empire and the Marlinist Colonies, arguing that the NMLA's new relationship with the Marlinism Reformation Party could be a foundation to negotiate an end to the NMLA's terror attacks. Senator Denton Patreus rejected the proposal outright, stating the Empire did not negotiate with terrorists. The Alliance and the Federation also reportedly debated establishing diplomatic channels with the Marlinists, but concerns about accepting the NMLA's political wing remained.[51]

The NMLA endorsed Minister Whyte as its political representative on July 5, solidifying its ties to the Marlinism Reformation Party and in effect turning the Marlinist Parliament into its platform as it vied for negotiations with the Empire. The move divided the Marlinist Colonies and caused widespread unrest, with the Marlin Standard speculating that a Marlinist civil war between pro-NMLA and anti-NMLA factions could be on the horizon. Newsfeeds elsewhere commented that the NMLA may be on the cusp of vindicating its use of terrorism if the Empire consents to peace talks.[52] On July 13, as the election for the post of prime consul of the Marlinist Consulate approached, Marlinism Reformation Party candidate Verity Dexter controversially pledged to use her authority speak for Neo-Marlinists if elected. Dexter was endorsed by Senator Scordato, who planned to bestow her with the Imperial rank of patron, which would give Marlinists and Neo-Marlinists influence in the Imperial Senate for the first time, effectively legitimising the NMLA and possibly paving the way to peace. Dexter's main opponent, Kayode Tau of the Free Marlinist Movement, was staunchly opposed to Neo-Marlinism and advocated keeping the Marlinist Colonies independent, but had no Imperial backers.[53] The election period began on July 15. Both candidates requested deliveries of data from the galactic community to support their campaigns.[54] On July 22, Kayode Tau was announced the winner. This drew protests from Minister Whyte, who argued that electing a prime consul who would ignore Neo-Marlinists was provocative act that could lead to renewed violence from the NMLA.[55]

Enraged by Verity Dexter's loss and its plans being undermined, the NMLA retaliated against the Marlinist Colonies on July 29, 3307 by bombing the starports Stillman Hub in HIP 22550 and Tilman Point in Hyades Sector RO-P b6-6. In a broadcast on NMLA propaganda channels, Theta Seven slammed the citizens of the Marlinist Colonies as willing prisoners and traitors to the cause of restoring the Republic of Achenar. The attacks killed tens of thousands of people, and there were reports that First Minister Jenna Fairfax was one of the victims. In her absence, Prime Consul Kayode Tau issued an urgent plea to the galactic community for humanitarian aid.[56] The official death toll surpassed 35,000 on August 2, 3307. Fairfax's death was confirmed, and Minister Amrita Ross temporarily assumed her duties. As the Marlinist Constabulary tightened security, Captain Milo Castile shared that arrests of NMLA supporters who had provided logistical assistance for the attacks were imminent, and ACT was involved in the investigation. Castile also noted that once again, the NMLA had done a thorough job of covering their tracks. While Prime Consul Tau coordinated relief efforts with the Alliance and Federation, the Empire appeared reluctant to get involved; despite some Imperial citizens voicing support for extending protection to the Marlinist Colonies, many considered the bombings a fitting punishment for followers of an ideology they blamed for spawning the NMLA in the first place.[57]

Fiery disputes in the Marlinist Parliament culiminated in the eruption of the Marlinist Colonies' first civil war on August 12, as the forces of the Exiled Marlinist Assembly of Baltah'Sine attacked the Marlinism Reformation Party in Hyades Sector RO-P b6-2. Independent pilots played a decisive role in helping the anti-NMLA side prevail on August 19. Not only was Minister Aaron Whyte killed in the course of the fighting, but the rest of his faction's leadership was arrested and replaced by moderate Marlinists, marking the demise of the NMLA's political wing. ACT also announced that it would intensify its investigation into the Marlinism Reformation Party's ties to Theta Group.[58] By September 6, thanks to the cooperation of the Marlinism Reformation Party under its new leader, Minister Jean-Christophe Lyon, ACT had successfully apprehended thousands of NMLA members and sympathisers in the Marlinist Colonies, and obtained intelligence revealing the locations of several hidden NMLA assets in multiple systems. ACT was also able to confirm that Theta Seven had personally directed the Marlinist starport bombings. As a result of the Marlinist civil war and the loss of the prime consul election, ACT believed that the NMLA had become more isolated than ever.[59]

The NMLA unravels

The Dyson City bombing

The NMLA bombed Dyson City in Paresa, the headquarters of Nova Imperium, on October 14, 3307 in an attempt to assassinate Imperator Hadrian Duval and his pregnant wife. ACT intercepted a transmission discussing the planned attack and the Praetorian Guard managed to evacuate the Imperator's family only minutes before the bombing occurred, but the other residents of the starport were less fortunate. It was estimated that over 15,000 perished in the explosions, and a similar number were injured.[60] The NMLA released a broadcast formally claiming responsibility for the attack the next day, and reiterated its intent to "extinguish the Duval line". Speaking on behalf of ACT, Praetor Leo Magnus explained that Theta Seven's absence from the broadcast was notable and indicated a possible split within Theta Group. ACT believed Theta Seven and half of his followers went into hiding after the Marlinist Colonies attacks in July, and the others continued the NMLA's terror campaign and carried out the Dyson City bombing.[61]

In response to this latest attempt on the life of a Duval, the Imperial Senate moved to designate Hadrian and Astrid wards of the Senate, which would confer on them the highest level of protection the Empire could offer. Hadrian reportedly met with a Senate delegation on October 25 to discuss terms, which some observers believed would entail the Imperator severing ties with Nova Imperium. Independent newsfeeds also speculated that the Senate had already extended its protection to Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval, and she had been performing her duties from a secure location since some time after the NMLA's terror campaign began.[62] Hadrian ultimately accepted the Senate's offer, and on November 2, 3307, the Empire proclaimed him and his wife wards of the Senate. In a speech in which the Imperator relinquished his position and discontinued his title, Hadrian stated that although he was reluctant to leave his home and followers, he had decided he had a greater responsibility to the Empire to ensure the survival of the Imperial Family for generations to come. As Hadrian and Astrid departed Paresa for a secure location, ACT signalled that it had made a breakthrough in the investigation of the Dyson City bombing and would soon reveal it to the public.[63]

The hunt for Theta Seven

Hunt for Theta Seven Underway

ACT confirmed on November 8 that it had captured almost all members of Theta Group and confiscated large quantities of the materials used to make the NMLA's enzyme bombs. Only Theta Seven, who had not been seen or heard from since July, remained at large. Senior Agent Tanya Ramirez attributed the successful operation to Theta Group's unexplained abandonment of the NMLA's dark-comms network, which had allowed ACT to intercept and trace communications between Theta Group and Neo-Marlinist sympathisers.[64] ACT followed this development on November 12 with a galaxy-wide plea for help from the public to decode a message that was believed to contain clues to Theta Seven's whereabouts. The message had originally been received by Theta Group on July 31, shortly after the Marlinist Colonies bombings and after Theta Seven was thought to have gone into hiding, and was also not transmitted over the NMLA's dark-comms network. ACT recovered the message during the capture of Theta Group, but was unable to determine the cipher key needed to read it. ACT posted a reward of 750 million credits to the first person who submitted a correctly deciphered version of the message.[65]

The message was solved by CMDR Therion Cygni on November 14 after eight cipher key pieces were found in the Marlinist Colonies disguised as ship traffic data logs. The deciphered message to Theta Group was:
Not only did the message confirm the NMLA had been supported by secret benefactors, but it explained the NMLA had ceased using its dark-comms network because Theta Group no longer trusted those benefactors. More pertinently, the message also revealed that its sender, most likely Theta Seven, had traveled to the Panjabell system with multiple weapons to go into hiding. Panjabell was associated with the Far God cult, which launched three missionary megaships in the system on August 6, 3307, only days after the Marlinist Colonies bombings. It was possible that Theta Seven had concealed himself among the cultists.[66][67] ACT confirmed on November 16 that it had reached out to the Pleiades Concordat and other factions in Panjabell for their assistance, but the investigation was operating on the assumption that Theta Seven had infiltrated the Far God cult and was hiding aboard one of its three megaships: the Perdition, Sacrosanct, and Testament. Attempts to contact the megaships were rebuffed by their crews, who insisted the vessels were sanctuaries from "hostile security services".[68]

ACT closing in on Theta Seven apparently prompted surviving Neo-Marlinist groups to take action. On November 17, a coalition assembled from members of the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid, members of the Marlinism Reformation Party who were loyal to the late Aaron Whyte, and a majority of the NMLA's remaining fighters assaulted and breached the Steel Majesty megaship in Hyades Sector RO-P b6-2. The Marlinist Constabulary succeeded in evacuating only half of the megaship's civilian personnel before the Neo-Marlinists seized operational control. ACT requested additional support from all security services for the crisis.[69] The Steel Majesty jumped to Mudhrid on November 19, and the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid officially reclaimed the vessel under its new leader, Margrave Corentin Delacroix, the son of the former Landgrave Arastin Delacroix. The Margrave warned that his organisation would respond to any hostile acts against the Steel Majesty by executing the hundreds of hostage crewmembers aboard. ACT's hands were tied, and Senior Agent Tanya Ramirez cautioned that Theta Seven joining with the Steel Majesty could mark the start of a new wave of NMLA terrorism. The Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group, which had previously defeated the Order in Mudhrid, declared that it already considered the hostages to be casualties of war and was prepared to destroy the Neo-Marlinists.[70]

The situation worsened on November 24, when Theta Seven and his followers hijacked the Sacrosanct, one of the Far God cult megaships, and diverted it to Mudhrid. Theta Seven threatened to kill all of the cultists aboard if any attempt was made to reclaim the vessel. ACT assumed that Theta Seven would try to transfer to the more defensible Steel Majesty, and the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group ordered Mudhrid's security service to destroy any ships passing between the two megaships.[71] The tense situation escalated into open warfare between the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid and the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group on November 25. Margrave Delacroix issued a call to arms for Neo-Marlinsts across the galaxy, and his faction also offered a modified Enzyme Missile Rack to attract mercenaries. Senator Denton Patreus requested that Imperial auxiliaries provide support for the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group's forces. Captain Saskia Landau, one of ACT's co-leaders, noted that the NMLA was risking most of its strength to confront the Empire in Mudhrid, and warned that should the opportunity arise for Theta Seven to board the Steel Majesty, his bombmaking skills would allow the NMLA to renew its campaign of terror.[72] Fortunately, the Battle of Mudhrid ended in a major defeat for the NMLA on December 2, when an ACT commando unit led by Captain Milo Castile covertly boarded the Steel Majesty, armed the hostage crewmembers, and retook the megaship from the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid. Theta Seven was denied rescue from his allies, but he and his followers remained in control of the Sacrosanct.[73]

The wreckage of the Sacrosanct, orbiting Mudhrid 2 A

The Sacrosanct hostage crisis continued into December 7. The megaship could not leave Mudhrid due to a series of internal power failures, believed to be acts of sabotage committed by the hostages in revenge for Theta Seven's sacrilegious misuse of Thargoid enzymes to kill thousands, but ACT was unable to open negotiations with Theta Seven. Captain Castile's commando unit also encountered difficulties in trying to board the Sacrosanct, as the vessel had been designed to prevent external access. What was certain was that ACT was determined to stop the NMLA from causing any further deaths.[74] Sadly, Theta Seven denied ACT that goal. On December 13, the terrorist leader broadcast a short video message saying, "The future will remember us," immediately before detonating the enzyme bombs aboard the Sacrosanct. Theta Seven, the last remnants of Theta Group, and thousands of innocent Far God cultists perished as caustic enzymes filled the megaship and the explosions split it in half. ACT's Captain Landau issued a statement confirming the death of the most wanted terrorist in the galaxy, and announced that ACT would turn its attention to eliminating any remaining NMLA cells and investigating the extremist group's background.[75]

Behind the curtain

ACT released details about the real identity of Theta Seven on December 20, 3307, revealing him to have been an Imperial citizen of the Baltah'Sine system named John Tyburn who was recruited to the NMLA after being persecuted for pro-democracy activism.[76] Then, at great risk to her career and safety, ACT's Captain Landau turned whistleblower on January 4, 3307, publicly revealing that Imperial Intelligence possessed a classified communications system called Omega Grid that bore striking similarities to the dark-comms network used by the NMLA. Landau called on the Imperial Senate to investigate this evidence. The Imperial Herald obtained verification of Omega Grid's existence from multiple IISS agents who spoke on condition of anonymity.[77] On January 7, however, Senator Karl Nerva once again spoke out in defence of Imperial Intelligence. Nerva called Omega Grid a fabrication and, backed by several colleagues, refused to allow an investigation of the secretive agency. An opposing group of senators called on Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval, who was still absent from Capitol under senatorial protection, to overrule Nerva's faction.[78] The Senate continued to stonewall ACT into January 17, although Senator Caspian Leopold spoke out in defence of Captain Landau and urged cooperation with ACT to reassure the public of Imperial Intelligence's integrity.[79]

In defiance of orders from the Senate to cease operations, ACT's Inspector Mara Klatt issued a statement on February 1 revealing that the taskforce had begun investigating Imperial Intelligence. ACT was now convinced that Imperial Intelligence had aided the NMLA by providing the terrorists with a modified version of Omega Grid software, allowing them to build their own dark-comms network. Klatt also explained that thanks to Landau's inside knowledge of Omega Grid, ACT was learning how to detect a unique identifier associated with the NMLA's network. The Empire's reaction to this news was predominately outrage, with Senator Zemina Torval likening ACT's actions to hacking into Alliance Interpol or the Federal Intelligence Agency. Princess Aisling Duval doubled-down on her support for ACT's investigation, however, and repeated her belief that the Emperor was in danger.[80]

By February 3, almost all IISS agents assigned to ACT had been recalled by the Senate, but Captain Landau chose to stay. Landau issued a plea for help to the galactic community, asking independent pilots to scour HIP 290 for an Omega Grid beacon that ACT had triangulated to the system. Confirming the beacon would allow ACT to refine its strategy and potentially uncover more of the NMLA's dark-comms network. ACT also provided a partial cipher key which it believed would help decrypt any files retrieved from the beacon.[81] Pilots located an "Imperial Beacon" in the orbit of HIP 290 B 2 C, and decrypted an intriguing message: orders from an individual named Torquatus to cease searching for a new figurehead to lead the NMLA's remnants and focus on avoiding detection. Landau notified searchers on February 4 that the beacon's message most likely originated from Senator Ursula Torquatus, and with ACT's detection method now proven, a second beacon had been traced to the Saffron system. The second beacon was found near the starport Cresswell, and contained a message from one Alberto to Torquatus in which the former discussed fleeing Capitol with his family to avoid the scrutiny of the IISS. This message also implied that both parties were working with Karl Nerva. Landau confirmed this on February 5 and identified Alberto as Senator Alberto Gereon, then directed searchers to a third beacon in the Maidjin system that was found orbiting planet Maidjin 5 D. The next message finally put a name to the secret association that had propped up the NMLA: the Lords of Restoration. The message also confirmed that the Lords had hired Darkwater Inc to train NMLA recruits.

Landau located a fourth beacon orbiting Zhao Jin 5 A on February 6, and its message revealed the unsettling truth that Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval had been taken captive by the Lords and was being kept in a cryogenic pod in the Summerland system under Darkwater Inc's care. Torquatus ordered Darkwater to move the pod to another system after she learned from the Lords' agents in Imperial Intelligence that ACT had compromised Omega Grid. ACT dispatched specialist operatives to locate and recover the Emperor on February 7.

Showdown in Summerland

Upon receiving ACT's Omega Grid intel, Chancellor Anders Blaine ordered the Imperial Guard to engage Darkwater Inc in Summerland on February 9. During the battle, the Imperial Guard intercepted a ship attempting to flee the system and found a cryogenic pod containing the Emperor, who was immediately returned to Capitol and given medical attention at the Imperial Palace. The Imperial Herald published a special report on the Emperor's safe return and the Lords of Restoration conspiracy, which was confirmed to involve a group of senators and members of Imperial Intelligence and Darkwater Inc. In addition, the Imperial Internal Security Service opened an investigation based on ACT's findings, leading to the arrest of Torquatus, Gereon, and Nerva, and several other conspirators.[82]

ACT released a detailed report on the Lords of Restoration on February 14. The report confirmed the Lords were the NMLA's secret benefactors. The Lords had planned to use the NMLA to assassinate the Imperial Family and terrorise the Empire's populace, then abolish the position of Emperor and restore executive authority to the Senate. The conspirators believed that the Empire would more readily accept this change if citizens were convinced that rule by the Senate was a moderate reform compared to the NMLA seizing power and implementing Marlinist democracy. The grand plan of the Lords of Restoration did not play out flawlessly, because Theta Seven proved too difficult to control and attacked non-Imperial targets without the Lords' approval, and the conspiracy's efforts to influence the Marlinist Colonies via puppet politicians failed. A key success was the abduction of Emperor Arissa in January 3307 while she was being transported to a secure location. Senator Nerva falsified confirmation of the Emperor's safe arrival, and a virtual doppelganger of the Emperor was used to fabricate communications to the Senate, which believed the messages were genuine because they were validated by Imperial Intelligence agents working with the Lords.[83]

The Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army and the Lords of Restoration were considered fully neutralised on February 24, 3308, when the Empire completed a reprisal campaign against Darkwater Inc in Summerland. The Battle of Summerland resulted in the eradication of Darkwater and its leader, Colonel Ronan Brock, and the Empire established a new faction, The Praetorian Vigil, that would report directly to the Emperor and rule the system in her name. In an official statement, Emperor Arissa praised all who had helped to destroy Darkwater and proclaimed that the war against the NMLA was finally over.[84] Its mission complete, ACT was disbanded on March 7, 3308, though the Cornelius-Lasky Convention kept the door open for it to be reactivated should another threat on par with the NMLA ever arise.[85]


  • Theta Group
    • John Tyburn ("Theta Seven"), Chief bombmaker and de facto leader of the NMLA (deceased)
    • Theta Two, Bombmaker (captured or deceased)
    • Theta Twelve, Bombmaker (captured or deceased)
  • Key allies
    • Aaron Whyte, Minister of the Marlinism Reformation Party (deceased)
    • Arastin Delacroix, Landgrave of the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid (captured)
    • Corentin Delacroix, Margrave of the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid (presumed captured)


11 MAR 3308

  • Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval has ordered the Imperial Guard to provide increased security to surviving members of the Duval dynasty. Many Imperial Family members, including Prince Harold, were assassinated by the NMLA. Sources close to Emperor Arissa state that she is determined to preserve the remaining Duval bloodline as well as deter any future attacks. The Imperial Guard is a legion of elite warriors under the direct control of the Emperor. Although typically seen performing ceremonial duties, they are a highly trained fighting force. It is understood that their numbers have been boosted by a focused enlistment drive from other areas of the Imperial military. A cohort of Imperial Guard has been placed at the service of Princess Aisling Duval. She has gratefully accepted their presence and integrated them with her existing security team. Similar squads have been posted to the households of Archduke Otto Lombardo-Duval and Lucretia Roche-Duval, both of whom are descended from the siblings of Emperor Hesketh. Legionnaires were also assigned to direct relations of Emperor Arissa, including her prominent cousins Admiral Lucius Lavigny and Countess Guinevere Lavigny. Only Hadrian Duval declined the offer of additional protection, stating that he will rely on his Praetorian Guard. He reassured his followers that a hand-picked corps permanently surrounds his infant son Hector Duval.[86]

07 MAR 3308

  • The Alliance, Empire and Federation, have agreed to close down the Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit. A joint statement from all three superpowers stated: "ACT's primary mission to locate and destroy the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army has been successfully accomplished." ACT was formed in March 3307 following the Nine Martyrs attacks, when the NMLA simultaneously bombed multiple starports. The independent taskforce rapidly took the lead in investigating the terrorists, calling upon the resources of many agencies, specialists and freelance pilots. The co-leaders of ACT have now returned to their respective security services. Captain Saskia Landau was personally awarded the Achenar Service Cross by Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval, in recognition of her key role in identifying the Lords of Restoration. Landau has now accepted overall command of Imperial Intelligence, reporting directly to the Emperor. Captain Milo Castile, Inspector Mara Klatt, Praetor Leo Magnus and Senior Agent Tanya Ramirez have all been similarly commended for their successes. The joint statement also paid tribute to those members who lost their lives in the fight against terrorism. ACT was formed under the Cornelius-Lasky Convention, which was ratified at the Galactic Summit. The treaty requires governments to cooperate against large-scale threats to civilian populations, and is now commonly viewed as a historic achievement. Since it remains in force, ACT could be reformed in future if a similar threat to the NMLA arises.[85]

24 FEB 3308

  • *Pilots' Federation ALERT*
    The Empire has carried out reprisals against the rogue faction Darkwater Inc in the Summerland system. The private military firm had trained NMLA terrorists and held Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval captive, on the orders of a cabal of senators named the Lords of Restoration. Darkwater mustered an impressive armada, but these were no match for a combination of superpower forces and independent pilots. Colonel Ronan Brock, the mercenaries' leader, was killed during the fighting when he fled from the Onyx Storm megaship and was shot down by Imperial auxiliaries. Emperor Arissa praised all those who helped destroy Darkwater, and declared: "Let the Battle of Summerland mark the victorious end of our bitter war against both the NMLA and the traitors who sought to destabilise the Empire." ACT clarified that "Although there may always be Neo-Marlinist extremists, the large-scale threat of the NMLA has finally been nullified." All data obtained from the terrorists' Omega Grid network has now been shared with the relevant security agencies. With Darkwater eliminated, the Empire has installed a new controlling faction into the Summerland system. The Praetorian Vigil will report directly to the Emperor and govern in her name. The Summerland Patron's Party will redeem combat bonds and provide other rewards at the starport Henry O'Hare's Hangar. A permit exemption allowing all independent pilots to enter the Summerland system will remain active for the next two weeks.[84]

21 FEB 3308

  • ACT has released details about a plan by the Lords of Restoration to frame Hadrian Augustus Duval as the leader of the NMLA. The information was extracted from the NMLA's Omega Grid network and published by Captain Saskia Landau: "It was Senator Ursula Torquatus who devised a scheme to undermine the Imperial Family and turn citizens against them by 'exposing' a Duval as the NMLA mastermind. Hadrian Duval was seen as the logical choice since many viewed him as an extremist through his prior association with Nova Imperium, though Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval officially pardoned him in 3306. The Lords of Restoration used a virtual doppelganger of the Emperor, indistinguishable from authentic transmissions, to convince the Senate that she was communicating from a safe location. A similar doppelganger was developed to replicate Hadrian and was used to send orders to NMLA allies such as the Landgrave of Mudhrid. This is how they planted evidence, discovered in April 3307, that Hadrian had converted to Neo-Marlinism and was determined to wipe out all other Duvals. Yet, despite triggering an unsuccessful Federal attack in the Paresa system, the accusation was not verified or widely believed. Months later, the Lords of Restoration tried to kill Hadrian and Lady Astrid before their son Hector could be born, fearing the continuation of the Duval dynasty. But other senators moved the family to a secure location, beyond the reach of their agents." Hadrian Duval has publicly thanked ACT for uncovering this information and officially absolving him of all suspicion in this matter.[87]

17 FEB 3308

  • *Pilots' Federation ALERT*
    Darkwater Inc in the Summerland system has been declared a hostile military target for its role in abducting Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval. The private military firm, led by Colonel Ronan Brock, was secretly hired by the Lords of Restoration to train and equip the NMLA. Darkwater troops also kept the Emperor imprisoned in a concealed bunker for over a year. Once their involvement was revealed by ACT, Darkwater's forces regrouped around the megaship Pearl Mandate. Colonel Brock led an attempt to gain control of Summerland as a defensive measure but was unsuccessful. The mercenaries have now been branded as wanted criminals by the system authorities. The order to strike against Darkwater came directly from Emperor Arissa: "I call upon my loyal servants and all other warriors of honour to wipe out this nest of traitors. We remember the innocent victims of the NMLA by punishing those who enabled them." The Summerland Patron's Party will redeem combat bonds for destroyed Darkwater ships at the starport Henry O'Hare's Hangar. Although the Summerland system is typically permit locked, the Empire has arranged a total exemption for independent pilots for a three-week period. To guarantee that Darkwater is thoroughly eliminated, the Empire is offering a range of incentives to pilots. These include awarding the rank of Master in the Imperial Navy Auxiliary, discounts on Imperial ships and weapons in the Summerland system, and Imperial Hammer railguns for the ten pilots who achieve the most combat bonds.[88]

16 FEB 3308

  • Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval has attended a public ceremony following her year-long abduction by the Lords of Restoration. Her proclamation from Trasken Square, standing before millions of Capitol's citizens and flanked by legions of Imperial Guard, was broadcast across all channels: "To those who protected the Empire during my enforced absence, I offer my deepest gratitude. My trusted chancellor, senators and security agencies are to be commended. To those who dared to attack Imperial citizens, who dared to impersonate me and mislead my people…who took the lives of my family. Know this: there will be no place to hide from my wrath. And to all citizens who may fear these uncertain times, I vow that your Emperor will lead you into the glorious future that is ours by right." Subsequent messages from the Imperial Palace praised ACT and its supporters for their work in freeing Arissa and destroying the NMLA. Princess Aisling Duval was also thanked for her dedication to finding out the truth, although some newsfeeds have noted that Aisling would hold a strong claim on a vacated throne.[89]

15 FEB 3308

  • President Zachary Hudson's intention to remove the limit on his term in office has caused a deep rift among congressmen and voters alike. Political correspondent Sofia Trevino analysed the situation in The Federal Times: "Ever since the 77th amendment to the Federal Accord was ratified in 2594, no president has remained in office for longer than eight years. This is why the Hudson Contravention, as Congress officially refers to it, has turned up the heat on the simmering political division within the Federation. Members of the Cabinet and other leading Republicans have argued passionately that only Zachary Hudson has the experience and fortitude to guide the Federation through this eventful period in history. His supporters point to successes such as curtailing the secession crisis, ending the NMLA threat and introducing greater security via the Proactive Detection Bureau. However, others insist that repealing this amendment could pave the way from democracy to dictatorship. Two former presidents – Antonia Madison and Jasmina Halsey – have publicly condemned the Hudson Contravention as unconstitutional and dangerous. There are expectations that Shadow President Felicia Winters will move for a vote of no confidence. Political analysts suspect that after several controversial leadership decisions from Hudson last year, he would be unlikely to win over a majority in Congress."[90]

14 FEB 3308

  • The Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit has unveiled a secret cabal of Imperial senators who masterminded the NMLA's terrorist activity. The information was obtained after ACT successfully penetrated the NMLA's dark-comms network. Captain Saskia Landau provided this summary to the media: "Senators Gereon, Jourdain, Nerva, Scordato and Torquatus were at the heart of a powerful conspiracy to permanently remove the position of Emperor. They called themselves the Lords of Restoration, based on their aim to restore executive power to the Senate. The NMLA became their terroristic agents, weaponised to assassinate the Duvals and other obstacles. Its members were militarised at Darkwater training camps and provided with sophisticated equipment by corrupt Imperial Intelligence agents. But the Lords could never fully control the terrorist figurehead Theta Seven, whose attacks against non-Imperial starports were not part of their original plan. Marlinism was also exploited as a political lever. The hope was that, compared to this democratic ideology, citizens would view a senator-led Empire as a moderate compromise once the Imperial Family was gone. While this led to the establishment of the Marlinist Colonies, the Lords' later attempts to influence those systems via puppet politicians did not succeed. Following the assassinations of Prince Harold and other Duvals, the Lords abducted Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval in January 3307. She was kidnapped en route to a secure location, with Senator Nerva falsifying confirmation of her safe arrival. This allowed the Lords to engineer communications with the Senate via a virtual doppelganger, which were accepted as genuine since they were verified by Imperial Intelligence agents." ACT is working closely with Imperial security agencies to identify all those who collaborated with the Lords of Restoration.[83]

09 FEB 3308

  • Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval has been found alive after being secretly imprisoned by the private military firm Darkwater Inc. The Imperial Herald published a special report on recent events: "The absence of the Emperor from public life for over a year has prompted much speculation. The Senate claimed that she was being kept safe from assassination attempts by the NMLA, and that they remained in contact with her. In truth, she was being held captive by the NMLA's secret benefactors. This group of Imperial senators referred to themselves as the Lords of Restoration. They were revealed only after ACT recruited independent pilots to help decipher the terrorists' dark-comms network. Chancellor Blaine immediately ordered the Imperial Guard into battle against Darkwater soldiers. A ship fleeing from the Summerland system was intercepted, aboard which was a cryogenic pod containing the Emperor herself. She was swiftly returned to Capitol, and is currently under the care of the Imperial Palace medical team. The IISS has launched a security operation based on ACT's information. This reveals that groups within the Senate, Darkwater and Imperial Intelligence formed a long-running conspiracy to fund and empower the NMLA. Senators Alberto Gereon, Karl Nerva, Ursula Torquatus and several others have been placed under arrest. ACT has stated that it will provide additional information soon."[82]

03 FEB 3308

  • *Pilots' Federation ALERT*
    The Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit has launched an effort to locate and decipher the NMLA's dark-comms network. The request was sent by Captain Saskia Landau, one of ACT's co-leaders: "ACT is working to gain access to the Omega Grid version that was provided to the NMLA by its mysterious benefactors. Most of our agents seconded from the IISS have been recalled, and some Senate leaders are blocking our progress. Therefore, we urgently need support from independent pilots, which will contribute to our wider efforts to decrypt the network. To begin with, we have triangulated the possible location of an Omega Grid beacon somewhere within the HIP 290 system. If it can be found, this will validate our strategy and quickly lead to further discoveries. Messages relayed across this network are likely to be encrypted. Our analysts have put together a partial cipher key from other data. Any files recovered from the beacon may help with deducing the rest of the cipher. If the beacon in the HIP 290 system is found, any pilot who scans it can expect further instruction on subsequent days."
    The partial cipher key is as follows:
    A = H
    B = G
    C = J
    E = L
    F = K
    L = Q
    M = T
    O = V
    P = U
    Q = X
    S = Z
    T = Y
    U = B
    V = A
    W = D[81]

01 FEB 3308

  • The Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit is actively investigating Imperial Intelligence, despite the Senate ordering it to cease operations. Inspector Mara Klatt, one of ACT's co-leaders, told the media: "We are convinced that elements within Imperial Intelligence provided support to the NMLA. Our view is that a modified version of the Omega Grid software was supplied to the terrorists, allowing them to build their own dark-comms network. Thanks to Captain Saskia Landau's inside knowledge, we are learning how to detect a unique identifier associated with the network employed by the NMLA. Our actions may have political repercussions, but this taskforce is dedicated to finding and destroying the NMLA. We must follow the trail wherever it leads." Civil and military leaders in the Empire have reacted with outrage, including Senator Zemina Torval: "Are we expected to risk our citizens' lives by letting our security services be compromised? How might the Alliance or Federation respond if we attempted to hack into Interpol or the FIA?" However, a plea for cooperation was made by Princess Aisling Duval: "If nefarious groups within our Empire have helped the NMLA, we must uncover the truth. I firmly believe that the Emperor herself remains in danger, and ACT might help us to learn her fate."[80]

26 JAN 3308

  • The Imperial Senate has shared a personal message from Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval, who has been in a secure location for nearly a year. The brief statement was broadcast on all public channels: "Citizens of the Empire, be assured that your Emperor is alive and well. I regret that my temporary seclusion has lasted for so long, but I have remained in contact with the Senate during this time. I was advised to depart from Capitol when Imperial Intelligence warned me about a legitimate NMLA assassination attempt, and of Marlinist sympathisers within the highest levels of our government. Once the work of this loyal agency is complete, I will continue my work in leading us toward a prosperous future." Eye on Achenar reported that this address was "welcomed by a relieved Empire", adding that it was vital to "root out all Marlinist traitors". The Imperial Herald noted that the Emperor seemed to absolve Imperial Intelligence of the allegations that it was secretly enabling the NMLA. However, a caution was sounded by Princess Aisling Duval: "Arissa has communicated with the Senate in the same manner for months, so this changes nothing. Only a public appearance will alleviate my concerns regarding her wellbeing. I would be delighted to host a suitable event if she will accept my invitation to attend in person."[91]

21 JAN 3308

  • President Zachary Hudson has delivered a speech to Congress on maintaining security for the Federation in the coming years. Excerpts from his address include the following: "In the last year, we have excelled at protecting Federal citizens from harm. The Proactive Detection Bureau proved its worth in locating terrorists before they could strike, and our security services played an instrumental role in the NMLA's defeat. 3308 is already bringing many challenges. The war against the Thargoids could escalate at any time, and we face the challenge of replacing Aegis with our own anti-xeno taskforce. We are also deeply concerned about increased infighting within the Alliance and Empire, which could easily spill over into our territory. My administration is holding high-level discussions about how best to keep the Federation strong and secure. We will soon make some brave proposals to continue meeting our people's constitutional right to safety." Shadow President Felicia Winters delivered this rebuttal: "President Hudson fails to mention his disastrous attempt to capture Yuri Grom, his former fleet admiral's criminal conviction for destroying Starship One, or that his surveillance laws forced several systems to declare independence. I would argue that under his leadership, the Federation has never been weaker or less secure."[92]

20 JAN 3308

  • Princess Aisling Duval has discussed growing concerns over Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval's lack of public engagements in recent months. In an interview with The Imperial Herald, she said: "Chancellor Blaine assures us that the Emperor has been kept in seclusion for nearly a year to protect her from the NMLA. But why has this prevented the Empire's ruler from engaging with her citizens? After all, Hadrian Duval and his family were placed under the same senatorial protection without disappearing altogether. We know that the Emperor has communicated with the Senate on various matters during this time. Government channels are generally trusted thanks to Imperial Intelligence's verification protocols. But Captain Landau's recent testimony, which links Imperial Intelligence to the NMLA, has me concerned. How can I be sure that a breach to our most secure networks wasn't responsible for the location and murder of my father, Prince Harold? Until Arissa appears in person, it is irresponsible to assume her safety is guaranteed. I will be most relieved to have my fears proved wrong." Chancellor Anders Blaine responded: "With the greatest respect to Princess Duval, I have never had cause to believe that Her Majesty the Emperor is in any danger from her own security agencies. Her imminent return to public life should alleviate such concerns."[93]

17 JAN 3308

  • There are claims that the Imperial Senate is preventing efforts to examine a potential link between the Empire's security services and the NMLA. Captain Saskia Landau has publicly stated that the terrorists' dark-comms network is closely related to the Omega Grid system used exclusively by Imperial Intelligence. She expanded on her theory in a statement to Vox Galactica: "Based on evidence and interrogation transcripts obtained by ACT, I believe that rogue elements within Imperial Intelligence were training and providing equipment to the NMLA. This would help explain the level of sophistication they achieved in coordinating their starport attacks and communicating without detection. There is certainly enough circumstantial proof to warrant a dedicated investigation. But the Senate is refusing to authorise this, which makes me wonder what they are trying to hide." Senator Karl Nerva reiterated: "It is time for ACT to devolve and return much-needed resources to the Empire where they belong." However, Senator Caspian Leopold responded: "To alleviate any lack of confidence in our security services, we should examine Captain Landau's allegation rigorously. Our citizens must be reassured that Imperial Intelligence exists solely for their protection."[79]

07 JAN 3308

  • Senators have refuted ACT's claim that the NMLA made use of official but highly secret Imperial communications devices. Captain Saskia Landau maintains that the terrorist group's dark-comms network was very similar to the Omega Grid, an undetectable messaging system used exclusively by Imperial Intelligence. Senator Karl Nerva told the media: "In her desperation to seek out the NMLA, Captain Landau is chasing shadows. Imperial Intelligence must operate under total secrecy, but I assure you that this 'Omega Grid' is just as much of an invention to discredit the Empire as Serene Harbour was. Landau has overstepped her authority with these outlandish accusations. I once again propose that ACT be disbanded and its operatives returned to normal duties." The Imperial Herald reported that other senators are calling for Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval to overrule those who are blocking ACT's investigation. The newsfeed highlighted that she did not attend any functions in person during the past year, and has not broadcast any public messages. In response, Chancellor Anders Blaine gave this statement: "Her Majesty was placed under secure protection in early 3307 after several failed assassination attempts by the NMLA. She has been communicating remotely with the Senate on all official business, but does plan to return to Capitol very soon."[78]

04 JAN 3308

  • A potential connection between the NMLA's dark-comms network and Imperial Intelligence has been made public by one of ACT's co-leaders. Captain Saskia Landau sent a personal statement to all major media outlets: "The majority of my career has been with the Imperial Internal Security Service, but I was seconded for a year to a classified project run by Imperial Intelligence. To coordinate their operations, they use a sophisticated communications system known as the Omega Grid. This is designed to avoid detection or interception by enemies of the Empire. I have reviewed ACT's research into the NMLA's dark-comms network and can verify its similarity to Omega Grid technology. Since this is exclusively under Imperial Intelligence's control, it suggests that an individual or group within the organisation was making it available to the NMLA. I'm aware that revealing this information publicly may end my career or even endanger my life. Nevertheless, I have shared my findings with ACT's leadership, and call upon the Imperial Senate to open an independent investigation into this evidence." As yet there has been no response from Imperial Intelligence or the Senate. However, several agents of the IISS have anonymously spoken to reporters from The Imperial Herald, verifying that the Omega Grid system does exist and has been in use for many years.[77]

02 JAN 3308

  • Sima Kalhana reviews the most newsworthy events of the past year in this series of articles.
    "July began badly for the Federation, with more factions seceding in response to the Proactive Detection Bureau's establishment. The newly independent nations severed all links with these new surveillance efforts, inspiring many other systems to do likewise. This secession crisis would rumble on for the rest of the year. The Blue Viper Club, one of the rarely seen dredger clans, joined forces with the Kumo Crew to manufacture a medicinal drug that turned out to be a new strain of onionhead. The drug would ultimately end up being legally distributed by Neomedical Industries, causing Archon Delaine to seek revenge against the corporation. Tensions soared in the Marlinist Colonies during an election for the head of their diplomatic consulate. Aaron Whyte's candidate had the support of an Imperial senator, which would have given the Neo-Marlinists a powerful voice within the Empire. When a more moderate candidate was elected, the NMLA reacted by bombing both Marlinist starports, murdering tens of thousands including First Minister Jenna Fairfax. It seemed Theta Seven's extremist views allowed anyone to be targeted as an enemy, even his fellow Marlinists. The civil war concluded in August, with Whyte killed in battle as his supporters were overcome in direct combat. Following accusations of incompetence regarding the vanished Alexandria megaship, Aegis was officially suspended and subjected to a board of inquiry. This would have ramifications for the ongoing conflict with the Thargoids, and encourage Salvation to position himself as an alternative. In the corporate sphere, Zemina Torval created a new subsidiary of Mastopolos Mining that would eventually become an autonomous company. There were rumours that the Torval and Mastopolos families were now at loggerheads after decades of working in unison. In September, the mystery of Hyford's Cache was finally unlocked. The trail led to revelations of dark experiments which are believed to have involved human test subjects and Thargoid technology. When the Thargoids themselves appeared en masse in the Cornsar system, Salvation was ready for them. An anti-xeno superweapon of undisclosed nature was deployed, wiping out some of the aliens and driving away the rest. It seemed that the self-titled 'man of science' had developed something revolutionary, inspiring many to place their faith in him to end the Thargoid menace once and for all."[94]

01 JAN 3308

  • Princess Aisling Duval marked the start of 3308 by introducing her cousin Hadrian Duval, his wife and their newborn son to Imperial high society. Entertainment journalist Solomon Helios broadcast a report on the event: "It's an annual tradition for Princess Aisling to invite the great and the good to her palace on Emerald, although the tragic loss of her father in 3306 meant that last year's gathering was cancelled. This year she made up for it with a sumptuous, glittering celebration of the kind that we Imperials are famed for. For the first time, Hadrian Duval and Lady Astrid Minerva-Duval were in attendance. This youthful couple were surprisingly charming for a pair who would once have been arrested on sight. They entertained guests with stories of trading and fighting aboard tiny ships, from the days when their only title was Commander. However, the real guest of honour spent most of his time asleep, oblivious to the colossal attention he drew. Yes, baby Hector made his very first public appearance, having been born while his parents were under senatorial protection. Many dignitaries insisted on having their image recorded beside the 'future Emperor', a phrase one could hear being murmured throughout the palace. But what of the current Emperor? Unlike Hadrian's family, Arissa Lavigny-Duval remains in seclusion and only communicates remotely with the Senate. Now that the terrorist have been quelled, surely the time has come for Her Imperial Majesty to reappear before her loyal subjects?"[95]

31 DEC 3307

  • The last in a series that reviews the events of the past year, by noted historian Sima Kalhana.
    "October brought further controversy for the Federation, when a diplomatic conference in the Delta Pavonis system was revealed to be a honey trap designed to capture Yuri Grom. Only a rush of support for EG Union allowed their ruler to escape, causing political embarrassment for President Hudson. There was more corporate drama when Zemina Torval relinquished her long-held majority sharehold of Mastopolos Mining, fuelling rumours of a family rift with her cousins. Torval Mining Ltd became a fully independent corporation run by her daughter Constantia. The Colonia Bridge project officially started the first of two phases this year which would see the construction of 56 megaships between the Alcor and Colonia systems. Brewer Corporation enjoyed great public support for improving this travel corridor along the 22,000 light year journey, and revealed plans to enhance it further in the new year. Hadrian Duval, his wife Lady Astrid and their unborn child were the specific targets of another starport bombing by the NMLA. It proved unsuccessful, but did result in the Imperial Senate offering them protection in order to secure the Duval bloodline. It also led to a manhunt for Theta Seven, the galaxy's most wanted terrorist. In November, Orion University claimed that the dredger occupied by the Scriveners Clan was legally their property, but the nomadic descendants of its original crew refused to give up their home. The stand-off caught the public attention, with some supporting the clan's right to independence and others keen to discover what their Knowledge Core contained. Ultimately the Scriveners retained their freedom, sailing off into the void with their secrets intact. Many were shocked when Admiral Tanner, Aegis's military chief, went rogue and tried to force access to a starport controlled by Salvation's allies. His conviction that the anti-xeno superweapons were responsible for provoking the Thargoids was, however, not enough to win the day. The NMLA threw everything they had at the Mudhrid system in an attempt to rescue Theta Seven, who was hiding among the Far God cult to avoid capture. But the terrorists were crushed by ACT and a coalition of ships, with Theta Seven martyring himself by destroying the hijacked megaship Sacrosanct. A happier event in December was the birth of Hector Duval, son and heir of Hadrian and Lady Astrid. There were celebrations across the Empire, but also questions asked about the future of the Duval dynasty and if the child might one day inherit the Imperial throne. The year ended as it had begun, with Thargoid vessels swarming into nebula systems. But with incursions steadily increasing over recent months, there were fears that this time they might prove unstoppable. Salvation's superweapons were once again deployed to halt the aliens' progress, but will they be enough to prevent the Thargoids from threatening humanity in 3308?"[96]

29 DEC 3307

  • Continuing a series of articles by historian Sima Kalhana that look at the most newsworthy events during the past year.
    "April 3307 saw the creation of the Federation's Proactive Detection Bureau in reaction to the Nine Martyrs bombings. This organisation monitored all public and private communications for evidence of terrorists, to prevent similar attacks in future. But its highly controversial nature would soon present the Federation with new challenges. ACT's investigation led them to the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid, which had helped deliver the caustic enzyme bombs to their nine targets. The faction's defeat was an early victory against the NMLA, but much of the organisation remained a mystery. When the 'ghost ship' Adamastor began receiving an encoded signal, this began an entire saga of mysteries. Its long-lost sister ship, the Hesperus, was soon located by pilots who had been recruited by an anonymous figure named Salvation. His interest in Azimuth Biochemicals, the 200 year old corporation that owned both vessels, would bring a strange twist to the ongoing Thargoid conflict. In May, Hadrian Duval was targeted by Federal forces after accusations that he was the mastermind behind the NMLA. The spectre of Empire-Federation war rose once again as Nova Imperium successfully defended itself, but ACT concluded that evidence had been falsified to implicate Hadrian and his new wife Lady Astrid. Aegis came under intense scrutiny when the megaship Alexandria, laden with newly collected Guardian artefacts, began attracting Thargoids in every system it jumped to. The Alexandria later vanished completely in hyperspace, and to this day remains missing presumed destroyed. The Alliance election finally took place at the end of May, having been delayed by three months due to the Galactic Summit. Councillor Nakato Kaine fought a spirited campaign, but Edmund Mahon was re-elected to serve a second term as prime minister. Supporters of Neo-Marlinism gained a voice in June, when Minister Aaron Whyte offered a peace deal with the Empire to prevent further terrorism. The idea of a political wing of the NMLA gained support from those fearing further bombings, but opened major rifts within the Marlinist Colonies. Salvation once again contacted pilots to track down survivors from the Hesperus. This led to the discovery of an ancient Guardian-Thargoid battleground, where Azimuth scientists had built a research base around their vessel Proteus. All were killed by unusual experiments into weaponising Guardian crystals. The Proactive Detection Bureau had been generally accepted by Federal citizens, but many claimed it was a violation of civil liberties. Halfway through the year, the Azaladshu Free faction took the bold step of seceding from the Federation, thus triggering the possibility of mass rebellion."[97]

28 DEC 3307

  • The noted historian Sima Kalhana takes a look back at the turbulent events of the last year in a four-part series of articles.
    "The start of 3307 was a time of crisis. The rise of the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army (NMLA), the Marlinist refugee crisis and increased Empire-Federation tensions had brought a full-scale superpower war closer, with renewed attacks from the Thargoids increasing the pressure. All of this led to Pranav Antal's proposal of a diplomatic conference for all three superpower governments to work through their problems – the very first Galactic Summit. Within weeks, Sirius Corporation was selected as the neutral host for the conference. Li Yong-Rui scored another triumph by establishing the Marlinist Colonies for millions of political refugees who had fled from the Empire. In February came the trial of Fleet Admiral Vincent, accused of arranging Starship One's destruction back in 3301. His paymaster was revealed as Core Dynamics CEO Jupiter Rochester, who wanted to replace Federal democracy with direct corporate rule. His breakaway faction Jupiter Division was defeated in battle and Rochester himself jailed for life. This also led to Core Dynamics's acquisition of Lakon Spaceways being cancelled, leaving the Alliance to purchase a majority sharehold in the company. Key players on the political stage finally gathered when the Galactic Summit began in late February. The Sirius system hosted leaders from the Alliance, Empire, Federation and independent systems. Even pirate warlord Archon Delaine gatecrashed the event, causing controversy with his 'crown of bones' speech. It seemed for a while that the bickering between so many strong personalities might trigger a war rather than avert one. But gradually there was progress, with the possibility of a treaty to increase unity against the Thargoid threat. But before reaching this conclusion, the Galactic Summit was derailed by a threat from another source. Nine Martyrs – as named by the NMLA leader Theta Seven – was the largest terrorist attack in history. Hundreds of thousands were killed by starport bombings in nine systems, including the superpower capitals of Alioth, Achenar and Sol. This horrific tragedy ended the conference abruptly, but did give rise to some inter-power cooperation. A new agreement signed at the Galactic Summit allowed the Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit (ACT) to be formed rapidly. Drawing on the superpowers' security services and other organisations, its sole purpose was to hunt down and eliminate the NMLA, a task that would dominate the headlines for the rest of the year."[98]

20 DEC 3307

  • ACT has revealed the background of the man known only as Theta Seven, the NMLA's de facto leader who recently died in the Mudhrid system. Captain Saskia Landau gave this statement to the media: "A combination of investigative work and interrogating NMLA survivors has allowed us to confirm that Theta Seven's real name was John Tyburn. He was born and raised in the city of Fontaine on the planet Baltah'Sine, where he was a munitions technician constructing demolition charges for commercial mining. There is evidence that Tyburn was always a vocal believer in Marlinism, and became a pro-democracy campaigner. This eventually caused him to lose his job and serve a prison sentence for sedition. His Imperial citizenship was revoked, his marriage annulled and his children taken into state care. Upon release, Tyburn was contacted by the NMLA and radicalised to the Neo-Marlinist cause. He produced portable explosives for terrorist actions, and rose rapidly in their ranks. It was Tyburn's proposal to develop caustic enzyme bombs capable of damaging a starport, but his experimentation on these weapons resulted in injuries and corrosive scarring. They only became a reality following a workable design commissioned from the engineer Liz Ryder without her knowledge of its purpose." First Minister Octavia Volkov of the Marlinist Colonies commented: "It's unsettling to learn that this arch-terrorist grew up in the same place as I did and had similar experiences. John Tyburn might easily have been my fellow refugee from the Empire, or perhaps helped us form our republican society. This does not excuse his crimes, but it's all too clear how political persecution can give rise to monsters."[76]

16 DEC 3307

  • The megaship Steel Majesty has travelled from Mudhrid to the HIP 22550 system and been renamed as Fairfax Vision. The Wells-class carrier was originally owned by the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid and used as a base for the NMLA terrorist group. After a military defeat, the vessel's crew sought political asylum in the Marlinist Colonies. The Steel Majesty later became the hub for Minister Aaron Whyte's followers during the Marlinist Civil War. More recently, NMLA activists retook the ship and unsuccessfully tried to rescue their leader Theta Seven. The Marlin Standard published this statement from First Minister Octavia Volkov: "I am delighted that the Marlinist Consulate has negotiated with the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group to arrange for this megaship to be returned to us. We are renaming it in honour of my predecessor Dr Jenna Fairfax, who led millions to safety after our mass exodus from the Empire. The Fairfax Vision is now controlled by the Free Marlinists of Carinae faction, but will represent the colonies' parliamentary and diplomatic interests abroad. I hope that true Marlinism, and our progressive republican society, can now flourish peacefully."[99]

13 DEC 3307

  • The NMLA's de facto leader and his closest followers have sacrificed themselves by destroying the Far God cult's megaship Sacrosanct. The hijacked vessel had been taken to the Mudhrid system by the remaining members of Theta Group, aiming to reunite with the NMLA. After this failed, ACT forces surrounded the Sacrosanct in the hope of rescuing the several thousand cultists being kept as hostages. Theta Seven broadcast a short video message, where he uttered a single phrase: "The future will remember us." He was then seen to manually detonate a series of bombs, which ruptured the Sacrosanct's hull and split the vessel in two. It is believed that the weapons also distributed Thargoid caustic enzymes throughout the megaship, thereby killing its entire population. ACT has released a statement from co-leader Captain Saskia Landau: "Tragically we were unable to save the lives of the Far God worshippers, despite several attempts to negotiate their safe conduct off the ship. Captain Castile's commando unit could not gain entry to the Sacrosanct in time, and we had no success trying to hack into its onboard computers. We can confirm that the most wanted terrorist in the galaxy is dead. But ACT's task is not yet complete, since there is much we still don't know about the NMLA. Our investigation will focus on learning more about their background, as well as targeting any surviving cells of activists."[75]

09 DEC 3307

  • *Pilots' Federation ALERT*
    The birth of Hadrian Duval's son has been celebrated in grand fashion in the Paresa system. Praetor Leo Magnus, the new leader of Nova Paresa, publicly thanked pilots for delivering Chateau De Aegaeon, HR 7221 Wheat, Indi Bourbon and Yaso Kondi Leaf to support these highly exclusive proceedings. Payment is now available from Dyson City starport. Political journalist Cassia Carvalho discussed the arrival of Hector Mordanticus Duval in The Imperial Herald: "As Emperor Hengist's illegitimate grandson and former enemy of the state, Hadrian Duval has always been the outsider. Indeed, his newborn son's middle name seems deliberately chosen to remind the Emperor that she ordered Hadrian's mentor, Imperator Mordanticus, to be shot in cold blood. But over the last two years, Hadrian's position has gradually shifted from isolationist rebel to legitimised ally. He appeals to citizens who are unhappy with a female monarch, even more so now that he has a male heir. And he remains closest to the Imperial bloodline, with most other Duval family members having been assassinated by the NMLA. Therefore, unless Arissa Lavigny-Duval or Aisling Duval produce children, it's entirely possible that Hadrian's child might inherit the throne. Despite only being a few days old, Hector Duval's impact upon the Empire could be measured in centuries."[100]

07 DEC 3307

  • Terrorist ringleader Theta Seven is defying capture by holding thousands of Far God cultists hostage in the Mudhrid system. Vox Galactica published an on-the-scene report from freelance journalist Redmond O'Hara: "Although the NMLA has been defeated in Mudhrid, the Theta Group bomb-makers remain in control of the Sacrosanct megaship. With so many lives at stake, ACT has focused all its efforts to resolve this tense situation. We've heard that Senior Agent Ramirez and Inspector Klatt have both tried to open negotiations directly with Theta Seven. It is hard to imagine what they might offer him in terms of clemency, but they're obviously determined to prevent further deaths at the NMLA's hands. After speaking to one of ACT's tactical advisors, I can reveal that Captain Castile's commando unit tried and failed to board the Sacrosanct as it did the Steel Majesty. This is apparently because the vessel is specially modified to prevent external access, in order to provide the Far God cultists with a sanctified environment during their pilgrimage. Speaking of the cultists, they may not have accepted their predicament quite as passively as expected. Internal power failures detected within the Sacrosanct's hyperdrive systems may well be a result of sabotage, and would explain why it hasn't left the Mudhrid system. Perhaps in their own way, the Thargoid-worshippers are seeking justice for those murdered by Theta Seven's appropriation of their deity's 'holy' caustic enzymes."[74]

02 DEC 3307

  • *Pilots' Federation ALERT*
    The Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid has been defeated by the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group in the Mudhrid system. With the aid of many independent pilots, the Imperial faction outmatched the NMLA-supporting forces who were attempting to rescue their leader Theta Seven. Captain Saskia Landau provided an update from ACT: "Using the fierce fighting as cover, Captain Milo Castile led a commando unit made up of specialists from Alliance, Federal and Imperial security forces to gain access to the Steel Majesty. After freeing and arming the crewmembers that were being held hostage, they overpowered the NMLA troops and retook the megaship. We have successfully prevented Theta Seven and his followers from rejoining their fellow terrorists. But the Far God cult's vessel, the Sacrosanct, is still in the system under his control. Until the man responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths has been captured, our victory over the NMLA remains incomplete." The Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group stated that those who supported its campaign can now receive their rewards from Payne-Scott City starport. The Imperial faction also agreed that independent pilots who fought for the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid will be permitted to collect payment from the Steel Majesty, which has been transferred to their ownership.[73]

25 NOV 3307

  • *Pilots' Federation ALERT*
    The Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid and the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group have declared war in the Mudhrid system. The Steel Majesty megaship is serving as the base of the Neo-Marlinist forces. These include many surviving NMLA terrorist cells that gathered to overtake the vessel from the Marlinist Colonies. Also in the system is the Far God cult megaship Sacrosanct, where the NMLA's de facto leader Theta Seven and the remnants of Theta Group have been in hiding for months. They recently took control of the vessel and are holding thousands of cultists hostage. The Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid have offered a uniquely augmented enzyme missile rack to its highest contributors if certain objectives are met. Margrave Corentin Delacroix broadcast a call to arms: "All those who seek to topple the Duval dictators must fight alongside us here and now. Neo-Marlinism has no future unless its believers defend it." The Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group is orchestrating its campaign from Payne-Scott City starport. Senator Denton Patreus has requested that Imperial auxiliaries provide the faction with combat support. ACT's co-leader Captain Saskia Landau stated: "The NMLA clearly places huge value on Theta Seven's ability to produce caustic enzyme weapons, and has risked concentrating in large numbers to defend him. If he can transfer to the Steel Majesty and escape, the threat of further atrocities like the Nine Martyrs bombings will remain high."[72]

24 NOV 3307

  • NMLA figurehead Theta Seven has taken control of the Sacrosanct megaship and redirected it to the Mudhrid system. Several months ago, the leader of Theta Group and his closest aides evaded capture by posing as members of the Far God cult. One of their pilgrimage vessels, the Sacrosanct, has now bypassed its scheduled flight plan and jumped to Mudhrid. ACT's joint leader Captain Milo Castile broadcast an emergency statement: "We can confirm that despite being few in number, the terrorists are in command of the Sacrosanct. Since Far God worshippers are pacifists and fatalistic in nature, it's likely that they offered little resistance. Theta Seven has stated that he will wipe out the vessel's entire population if any attempt to seize the vessel is made. Our intel suggests he possesses caustic enzyme explosives of the type used in the starport bombings, making his threat credible." Also in the system is the Steel Majesty megaship, recently overtaken by the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid. ACT believes that the NMLA is regrouping its forces and aims to provide protection for Theta Seven. Mudhrid's ruling faction, the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group, has ordered system security to shoot down any vessels attempting to pass between the two megaships.[71]

19 NOV 3307

  • The megaship Steel Majesty has arrived in the Mudhrid system after being taken over by NMLA terrorists. Its original owning faction, the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid, has officially reclaimed the vessel. Margrave Corentin Delacroix, the faction's new military ruler and the son of former Landgrave Arastin Delacroix, announced: "The Steel Majesty has returned home to fulfil its destiny. Be warned: should any ships attempt to board or attack, all the former crewmembers still onboard will be executed." Senior Agent Tanya Ramirez gave a statement on behalf of ACT: "Unfortunately, we cannot take action while hundreds of innocent people remain captive. But the NMLA's effort to assemble troops, supporters and resources must not succeed. Having the Steel Majesty as a mobile base will allow them to regroup for a new campaign of terror – especially if they manage to reach Theta Seven before we do." A spokesperson for the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group, which controls the Mudhrid system, claimed: "The hostages should be considered lost as casualties of war. We are prepared to perform our duty for the Empire once again by destroying the Neo-Marlinist threat."[70]

17 NOV 3307

  • A former Neo-Marlinist megaship has been overrun by NMLA terrorists in the Hyades Sector RO-P b6-2 system. The Steel Majesty was originally owned by the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid, one of the NMLA's key allies. After their defeat, it ferried many of them to the Marlinist Colonies where they were granted asylum by Minister Aaron Whyte. His faction then made use of the megaship during the civil war in August. Minister Jean-Christophe Lyon, the current leader of the Marlinism Reformation Party, gave a statement: "Despite our efforts to arrest any remaining extremists within our faction, a surviving group has gained access to the megaship. Security feeds show they were joined by several teams of well-armed NMLA fighters. The Marlinist Constabulary evacuated around half of the Steel Majesty's crew before the NMLA took operational control. Sadly, there is no way to free those still trapped onboard." The situation was addressed by ACT's co-leader Captain Milo Castile: "According to our intel, a majority of the NMLA's surviving cells have gathered together for this operation. We believe they were assisted by not only Aaron Whyte's loyalists, but also members of the megaship's original crew from the Mudhrid system. It is possible that this Neo-Marlinist coalition was formed as a result of us closing in on Theta Seven. We have requested additional support from all security services."[69]

16 NOV 3307

  • *Pilots' Federation ALERT*
    A decrypted message suggests that the NMLA leader Theta Seven avoided capture by infiltrating the Far God cult. ACT publicly requested help to decode a message received by Theta Group, the bomb-making engineers of the NMLA. The cipher key was cracked and the decoded message submitted by Commander Therion Cygni. It revealed that Theta Seven and his closest aides fled to the Panjabell system on the 31st of July. Captain Milo Castile, one of ACT's co-leaders, provided an update: "Our theory is that Theta Seven and his crew were travelling undercover as Far God worshippers, who were gathering in the Panjabell system in huge numbers at that time. Since all members of this religious order renounce their past identities, this would have helped the terrorists to avoid detection. The Pleiades Concordat and other factions in Panjabell are cooperating with our investigation. But it seems likely that Theta Seven is currently hiding aboard one of the three Far God megaships that were launched from the system on the 6th of August. ACT agents have attempted to contact the Perdition, Sacrosanct and Testament megaships to alert them of the danger. Unfortunately the cultists consider themselves to be on a sacred pilgrimage that cannot be impeded, and that their vessels are 'sanctuaries from further persecution by hostile security services'."[68]

12 NOV 3307

  • *Pilots' Federation ALERT*
    The Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit has acquired an encrypted message that may reveal Theta Seven's location. ACT successfully captured most of the bomb-making engineers known as Theta Group, and has now prioritised hunting down the NMLA's de facto leader. This latest breakthrough was explained by Captain Milo Castile: "Theta Group managed to delete most of their data prior to capture, but we retrieved a short message that they received on the 31st of July. At this point most of Theta Group were being harboured by Neo-Marlinist sympathisers within the Marlinist Colonies, but Theta Seven and his closest aides had fled to an unknown destination. Unfortunately the message has been encrypted using a pre-arranged cipher key, without which its contents are unreadable. It is unclear why this wasn't transmitted via the NMLA's dark-comms network, which remains undetectable despite our best efforts. As it's possible that this was sent by Theta Seven, we welcome any assistance from the galactic community in decoding it. This ruthless terrorist must be tracked down before he can take more innocent lives." ACT has requested that all newsfeeds publish the encrypted message, which is as follows:
    There is a substantial reward on offer for the first person to submit a correctly deciphered version of this message to ACT.[65]

08 NOV 3307

  • The creators of the NMLA's caustic enzyme bombs have been arrested, although the terrorist figurehead Theta Seven remains at large. Theta Group is directly responsible for 17 starport bombings conducted by the NMLA across the core systems. These attacks resulted in a combined death toll of almost 800,000 people, with twice as many suffering serious injury. Senior Agent Tanya Ramirez, one of the Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit's co-leaders, told the media: "We have finally tracked down the NMLA's bomb-making engineers, and a joint task force made the arrest with minimal casualties. Large quantities of Thargoid corrosives and explosive components were also seized. This achievement was only possible due to intercepting Theta Group's communications with Neo-Marlinist sympathisers. We are unsure why the NMLA's dark-comms network was not used in that instance. As our intel predicted, the group's leader Theta Seven was not among those we captured. We have confirmed that he and a handful of followers disappeared after the bombings in July, anticipating their imminent capture. ACT will not rest until the galaxy's most wanted terrorist has been brought to justice." The name 'Theta Group' was assigned to the bomb-makers during their incarceration at Serene Harbour, an Imperial Intelligence penal facility in the R CrA Sector AF-A d42 system. After escaping, their leader adopted his prisoner designation – Theta Seven – as a reaction to what he viewed as dehumanising treatment of Neo-Marlinists by the Empire.[64]

03 NOV 3307

  • Many factions have seceded from the Federation in recent months, but recent polls suggest the likelihood of further withdrawals is waning. The Federal Times published an update on the situation by political correspondent Sofia Trevino: "Some negative reaction to the Proactive Detection Bureau was anticipated. But it's unlikely that Congress foresaw nearly forty systems abandoning the Federal Accord, as their governing factions declared independence. Fears that this would spiral into mass rebellion now seem misplaced, however. This is partly thanks to the PDB's recent role in preventing Jupiter's Wrath from committing terrorist acts. Although that group is hardly in the NMLA's league, evidence that communications surveillance can save lives seems to have convinced some Federal citizens to reconsider their opposition. President Hudson's efforts against the breakaway factions were hailed by his supporters and decried by his opponents. But the Federal Diplomatic Corps remain displeased that Hudson suffered no repercussions for violating diplomatic immunity when attempting to capture Yuri Grom. Shadow President Winters continues to call for the PDB to be shut down to prevent the Federation from becoming an authoritarian police state. But many accuse her rhetoric on civil liberties to have triggered the secessions in the first place. Meanwhile, many Federal factions are carefully observing those who did become independent. Their future success or failure may well determine whether or not this rebellion continues."[101]

02 NOV 3307

  • The Empire has officially proclaimed Hadrian Augustus Duval and his wife Lady Astrid Minerva-Duval to be wards of the Senate. The offer of senatorial protection was made following an NMLA attempt to assassinate them and their unborn child by bombing Dyson City starport. Prior to being transported from the Paresa system to a secure location, Hadrian Duval sent this message: "Lady Astrid and I accepted this offer with enormous reluctance. Neither of us wish to abandon our home or loyal followers. Yet we feel it is a matter of duty to protect our family and ensure future generations of the Duval bloodline. Nova Imperium will henceforth be known as Nova Paresa. It will continue to serve as a staunch ally of the Empire, as per the Treaty of Paresa. To all those who fought for our cause over the years, I assure you that history will never forget us. Memento Mordanticus!" There has been public support for Praetor Leo Magnus to assume leadership of Nova Paresa. Hadrian Duval has endorsed his former head of security taking his place, but confirmed that the title of Imperator is now defunct. In related news, ACT stated that its investigation into the Dyson City attack has yielded results. Although details remain embargoed for security reasons, a significant breakthrough is expected to be announced soon.[63]

26 OCT 3307

  • The Marlinist Colonies have offered to provide help for political refugees who sought sanctuary in Alliance space. In 3306, the Empire's security forces began arresting followers of Marlinism, suspecting them of being linked to the NMLA. Many pro-republican Imperial citizens fled to the Federation, but some set course for the Alliance instead. The situation has been highlighted by Prime Consul Kayode Tau of the Marlinist Consulate: "Having made a desperate journey for survival, over a million Marlinists are now dispersed across Alliance territory. Most are clustered in small groups, lacking basic supplies and facing extreme deprivation. Some Alliance systems have offered citizenship, but others are attempting to expel them as illegal immigrants. The Empire wishes to repatriate these people, which means harsh interrogation for some and lifelong persecution for others. I hope to negotiate with the Alliance to arrange an alternative – transportation to the Marlinist Colonies. There they will be welcomed into the democratic society established by their brethren." Ambassador Elijah Beck, head of the Alliance Office of Diplomatic Relations, has agreed to meet with Prime Consul Tau to examine solutions. The Imperial Diplomatic Corps officially refused an invitation to join this discussion.[102]

25 OCT 3307

  • The recent NMLA attack in the Paresa system has encouraged the Imperial Senate to reach out to Imperator Hadrian Duval. An official pronouncement was made by Senator Caspian Leopold: "A majority of us believe that preserving the Duval bloodline is paramount for the future of the Empire. Hadrian Duval is not officially a member of the Imperial Family but he is the grandson of Emperor Hengist, meaning his as-yet unborn child is also of royal lineage. The NMLA has already murdered many Duvals, including Prince Harold. Indeed, Hadrian himself barely survived an assassination attempt last year. It's clear that the Empire can provide greater security than he currently has, and it is our duty to do so. Therefore, we propose making both Hadrian and Lady Astrid wards of the Senate. They will be placed under the highest level of protection, at least until this grave threat has abated." Imperator Hadrian Duval is currently holding discussions with a delegation from the Senate. Political observers believe that their proposal may be conditional on him severing ties with Nova Imperium, an isolationist organisation that was once outlawed in the Empire. Independent newsfeeds have speculated that since the NMLA's terror campaign began, Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval has been under similar senatorial protection and performing her duties from a secure location.[62]

15 OCT 3307

  • The Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army has taken responsibility for the attack on Dyson City starport in the Paresa system. The primary targets were Imperator Hadrian Duval and his wife Lady Astrid Minerva-Duval, who is pregnant with his child. Although they survived, the bombing left many thousands dead and injured. The following message was sent across NMLA propaganda channels: "As long as a single Duval is left alive, the Republic of Achenar cannot be rebuilt. It is our duty to extinguish that entire line and free our people from Imperial oppression." Praetor Leo Magnus gave a statement on behalf of ACT: "It is significant that this latest broadcast is not from Theta Seven, the NMLA's mouthpiece and de facto leader. We believe that Theta Group – the team of weaponsmiths that built the caustic enzyme bombs – has split in two. According to the communications we intercepted, Theta Seven and half of his followers went into hiding after the attacks against the Marlinist Colonies in July. The others continued their terror campaign and were responsible for this latest atrocity. ACT is currently pursuing leads and hopes to learn more soon." Nova Imperium has repeated a call for pilots to help rescue survivors from Dyson City in the Paresa system.[61]

14 OCT 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    Explosions have struck Dyson City starport in the Paresa system, home of Hadrian Duval's organisation Nova Imperium. The starport suffered severe structural damage plus the corrosive effects of caustic enzymes, characteristic of the customised weapons used by the NMLA. Initial reports state that over fifteen thousand people have been killed and a similar number injured. The following statement was issued by Praetor Leo Magnus, the former head of security for Nova Imperium who was seconded to ACT: "Shortly before this attack, my team intercepted a communication between suspected Neo-Marlinist supporters. This referred to an imminent attempt to kill Imperator Hadrian Duval, Lady Astrid Minerva-Duval and their unborn child. I immediately ordered the Praetorian Guard to move the Imperator's family off-station, which was achieved minutes before the bombs detonated. I am pleased to report that they survived this brutal attack, but unfortunately the remaining population could not have been evacuated in time." A state of emergency has been declared in the Paresa system, with an urgent request for independent pilots to assist with rescuing survivors from Dyson City starport. The Empire confirmed that as per the Treaty of Paresa, it will provide military and medical support to Nova Imperium. ACT is performing investigations to learn more about the attack.[60]

21 SEP 3307

  • Lady Astrid Minerva-Duval, wife of Hadrian Augustus Duval, has confirmed that she is expecting a child in December. The story was broken by the Paresa News Network: "Lady Astrid was visibly overjoyed as she told us of her pregnancy, and of Hadrian's excitement at being a father. Her only complaint was that she's no longer allowed to fly support missions for Nova Imperium. Once a Commander, always a Commander!" Mainstream media channels also commented on the news.
    The Imperial Herald: "This has caused tangible ripples of unease in the Senate. Since neither Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval nor Princess Aisling Duval have heirs, Hadrian's claim to the throne will be strengthened if he alone ensures that the Duval bloodline continues."
    Eye on Achenar: "Who cares about the spawn of Emperor Hengist's illegitimate grandson? The NMLA may have assassinated much of the Imperial Family, but this outcast boy is still a footnote in their noble history."
    Vox Galactica: "Despite his unofficial status, Hadrian Duval has many silent supporters within the Empire. His isolationist stance appeals to nostalgic citizens, as does returning to the tradition of male Emperors. Should Hadrian have a son, he may feel empowered to seek his birthright more forcefully."[103]

10 SEP 3307

  • A day of mourning has been declared across the Empire to mark the first anniversary of the NMLA's Imperial starport bombings. On Thursday the 10th of September 3306, Imperial stations in the Cemiess, Gabjaujis, LHS 4031 and Rabh systems were attacked without warning. Over sixty thousand people were killed and twice as many wounded by powerful explosives that delivered a caustic enzyme payload. The Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army is an extremist paramilitary group that is dedicated to reforming Marlin Duval's original republican government. Prior to these bombings, it had only performed minor strikes with low casualties. The NMLA's terror campaign grew to encompass all three superpowers with the Nine Martyrs attacks in March 3307. It also led to supporters of Marlinism fleeing from the Empire as refugees, eventually resettling in the Marlinist Colonies. Princess Aisling Duval paid respects to the victims during a memorial ceremony at her palace on Emerald. She also spoke of her father Prince Harold Duval, who was assassinated by the NMLA shortly after the bombings. Messages of condolence have been sent by President Zachary Hudson, Prime Minister Edmund Mahon, Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval and First Minister Octavia Volkov. All vowed to continue contributing resources to ACT, which recently shut down many terrorist cells. Coupled with the loss of its political wing, the NMLA threat may finally be diminishing.[4]

06 SEP 3307

  • The Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit has reported progress in its efforts to eliminate the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army. Captain Milo Castile, one of ACT's joint leaders, told a press briefing: "The recent civil war in the Marlinist Colonies was a tragedy, of course. But many pro-NMLA individuals were exposed during the conflict. Minister Jean-Christophe Lyon, the newly elected leader of the Marlinism Reformation Party, has cooperated fully in rooting out extremists from his faction. As a result, our agents have successfully raided dozens of NMLA cells and arrested several thousand paramilitary activists. We also acquired intelligence leading to hidden assets in multiple systems. I can confirm that Theta Seven – as the NMLA's de facto leader calls himself – personally directed the Marlinist starport attacks. Unfortunately, we have yet to confirm Theta Group's current whereabouts. The threat of further bombings cannot be ruled out. The NMLA has also been seriously impacted by the death of Aaron Whyte and the failure to elect a Neo-Marlinist prime consul. Without the legitimacy of a political wing, I believe the terrorists will find it much harder to recruit new allies."[59]

27 AUG 3307

  • The Marlinist Colonies are recovering from a period of political infighting and inter-faction conflict. Octavia Volkov has been voted in as the new first minister following a snap election. Her decisive action against Aaron Whyte's Neo-Marlinist movement, which led to the elimination of the NMLA's political wing, drew huge support from voters. In a parliamentary address, First Minister Volkov said: "We must focus on building an independent society rather than changing the Empire. In time we will evolve into the fully-fledged Marlinist Republic we have fought so hard for, and perhaps inspire our Imperial cousins to walk the path to democracy." Marlinist factions now control all eight of their original colony systems, some of which had temporarily fallen under external governance. They have also expanded into a handful of new systems. Prime Consul Kayode Tau, the chief ambassador of the Marlinists, has established formal channels with the Alliance Office of Diplomatic Relations and the Federal Diplomatic Corps. The Empire recognises the Marlinist Consulate, but maintains a distant relationship with what many consider to be subversive ex-Imperials. The ceremonial funeral of First Minister Jenna Fairfax has taken place. Speakers drew attention to her achievements and leadership qualities. In a gesture that many viewed as an olive branch from the Empire, Princess Aisling Duval attended virtually and spoke of her meeting with Fairfax during the Galactic Summit.[104]

19 AUG 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    The conflict in the Hyades Sector RO-P b6-2 system has been won by the Exiled Marlinist Assembly of Baltah'Sine. Support from independent pilots played a key role in defeating the Marlinism Reformation Party. The faction's entire leadership has been arrested, with their replacements vowing to reshape it along politically moderate lines. Minister Octavia Volkov made a declaration of victory to the Marlinist Parliament: "The Neo-Marlinists have been crushed and Aaron Whyte is dead – a casualty of the war his terrorist paymasters began. I deeply regret that our society has suffered this, but have no regrets at destroying the NMLA's political wing once and for all." Prime Consul Kayode Tau sent assurances to the Alliance, Empire and Federation that they should view this as "confirmation that the Marlinist Colonies are your steadfast allies in the fight against the NMLA". ACT has drafted in extra resources to investigate the Marlinism Reformation Party's ties to Theta Group, the terrorist bomb-makers responsible for last month's devastating starport attacks. With First Minister Jenna Fairfax confirmed as among the fatalities, Acting First Minister Amrita Ross has organised a snap election to democratically appoint a new leader for the Marlinist Colonies.[58]

12 AUG 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    Conflict has erupted in the Hyades Sector RO-P b6-2 system between two factions of the Marlinist Colonies. The Exiled Marlinist Assembly of Baltah'Sine has declared war against the Marlinism Reformation Party, which acts as the political wing of the NMLA. Political relations degenerated into open combat following the NMLA's recent attacks, with Acting First Minister Amrita Ross's efforts to negotiate a peaceful resolution proving unsuccessful. A new megaship, Freedom’s Voice, has entered service. It is acting as the operational base for the forces of the Exiled Marlinist Assembly of Baltah'Sine. Supporters of the Marlinism Reformation Party are gathering at the Steel Majesty megaship. This was formerly used by the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid to flee from their home system. Minister Octavia Volkov announced in parliament: "Aaron Whyte and his collaborators are directly responsible for tens of thousands of deaths. I will not rest until they are defeated and brought to justice." Minister Aaron Whyte sent this response from his private vessel: "Volkov's unlawful strike is a violation of our colonies' charter. We call upon all true Marlinists to defend us from this illegal act of aggression." The Alliance, Empire and Federation have informed the Marlinist Consulate that they consider this conflict to be a strictly internal matter.[105]

09 AUG 3307

  • The bombing of two Marlinist starports by the NMLA has caused political rifts and public protests across the colony systems. Local newsfeed The Marlin Standard reported on current events: "Our entire society is still reeling in shock after last week's attacks against Stillman Hub and Tilman Point stations. There has been mass panic in fear of further terrorist strikes, with unprecedented scenes of violence against known Neo-Marlinist supporters. Without the respected leadership of First Minister Jenna Fairfax, angry exchanges and recriminations have divided the Marlinist Parliament. Minister Aaron Whyte claimed that 'we invited this tragedy upon ourselves' by not voting for a Neo-Marlinist prime consul. In response, Minister Octavia Volkov called for Whyte's arrest as 'an accessory to mass murder'. Some community leaders expressed sorrow at a lost opportunity to establish a Marlinist presence in the Imperial Senate. This is certainly the view of Acting First Minister Amrita Ross, who believes in rejoining the Empire. All of which has led to a baptism of fire for Prime Consul Kayode Tau, whose focus has been on arranging medical aid from the Alliance and Federation. It may be that the Marlinist Consulate will soon be called upon to mediate between its own people."[106]

02 AUG 3307

  • The NMLA's attacks against the Marlinist Colonies have caused mass casualties, disruption and political chaos. More than 35,000 civilians were killed in the attacks, with twice as many suffering injuries and caustic burns. Safeguard Interstellar is providing vital supplies to survivors, and evacuations of Stillman Hub and Tilman Point stations are ongoing. First Minister Jenna Fairfax has been confirmed dead. Minister Amrita Ross has temporarily assumed leadership, but the Marlinist Parliament has been destabilised by heated accusations between its members. The Marlinist Constabulary has tightened security, and ACT is running urgent investigations. Captain Milo Castile told the media: "This was undoubtedly the work of Theta Group, the NMLA's weapons specialists. We have found evidence that local Neo-Marlinist supporters provided logistical support, and arrests are forthcoming. However, as always the terrorists covered their tracks remarkably well." Alliance and Federation leaders have sent messages of condolence and offers of medical aid. Prime Consul Kayode Tau is liaising with both superpowers to coordinate relief efforts. In the Empire, from which the Marlinists fled as refugees in 3306, there are mixed reactions. Some wish to extend protection to former Imperial citizens, while others see it as poetic justice for their republican beliefs 'creating' the NMLA.[57]

29 JUL 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    The NMLA has bombed two starports in the HIP 22550 and Hyades Sector RO-P b6-6 systems in the Marlinist Colonies. Explosive devices were detonated at both Stillman Hub and Tilman Point stations. As is characteristic of weapons used by the NMLA, caustic enzyme payloads caused widespread corrosive damage. The combined death toll is in the tens of thousands, with many more injured. There are unconfirmed reports that First Minister Jenna Fairfax is among the fatalities. The following message was broadcast via NMLA propaganda channels: "Why are they bombing their own homes? Why would Theta Seven kill his own people? Because they are not our homes! Not my people! They are prisons, not colonies, where traitors to the cause beg for scraps from those who exiled them. True Marlinists will never stop fighting until the Republic of Achenar is restored." The attacks are believed to be in response to Verity Dexter failing to win a public vote to lead the Marlinist Consulate, where she would have represented the NMLA political wing. Prime Consul Kayode Tau, the elected candidate, announced: "I call upon the galactic community to provide humanitarian aid to Stillman Hub in HIP 22550 and Tilman Point in Hyades Sector RO-P b6-6. We urgently require ships to evacuate the people trapped within these starports to safety."[56]

26 JUL 3307

  • Communications intercepted by the Proactive Detection Bureau are being used to prevent further factions from leaving the Federation. A report by the civil rights organisation Advocacy proves that the Federal Intelligence Agency is targeting pro-independence individuals via their private messages. In many cases, they are being arrested for planning to commit crimes against the constitution. Deputy Director Bethany Blake, who runs the PDB, gave a statement to the media: "I can confirm that gathering such intelligence is within our legal remit. Unilateral declarations of independence are criminal acts that violate the Federal Accord. Therefore we are identifying perpetrators before they cause harm, which is precisely what our surveillance network was established to do." In Congress, Vice President Jerome Archer defended the PDB for boosting arrest rates and saving lives. However, Congressman Bai Zheng remarked that the PDB was "incapable of locating the NMLA, but fantastic at finding enemies among our own people that didn't previously exist". Both President Hudson and Shadow President Winters have personally contacted the leaders of many systems within their spheres of influence, aiming to address their concerns and convince them not to secede from the Federation.[107]

22 JUL 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    Kayode Tau has been elected as prime consul for the Marlinists, following a successful data delivery initiative. The candidate from the Free Marlinist Movement faction received more public votes than rival nominee Verity Dexter. His campaign was supported by deliveries of anomalous bulk scan data and unusual encrypted files in greater quantities. Prime Consul Tau will now serve as the lead ambassador for the Marlinist Colonies in all dealings with the superpowers. He gave this statement to the media: "The Marlinist Consulate will act to preserve our colonies' independence, and improve diplomatic relations with the rest of the galaxy. Let me be clear – we do not represent the extremist views of Neo-Marlinism. Our consuls will assist all efforts to eliminate the NMLA." In the Marlinist Parliament, Minister Aaron Whyte protested that ignoring the Neo-Marlinist fringe was "a provocative act that could inflame further violence". First Minister Jenna Fairfax called for the result of the democratic vote to be respected. Pilots who supported Kayode Tau can now collect their rewards from Tilman Point in the Hyades Sector RO-P b6-6 system.[55]

15 JUL 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    Rival candidates have requested deliveries of data to help secure their bids to lead the Marlinist Consulate. The Marlinist Colonies are voting for who will be elected as their prime consul. This influential role will diplomatically represent all Marlinists and make broad decisions on their behalf. The first candidate is Verity Dexter from the Marlinism Reformation Party, which is acting as the NMLA political wing. She has the support of Senator Lorcan Scordato to be made an Imperial patron: "I am in a unique position to finally provide our people with a voice in the Imperial Senate, and to speak for Neo-Marlinists. As prime consul, I will negotiate a permanent peace with the NMLA." The second candidate, Kayode Tau of the Free Marlinist Movement, is focused on sustaining the Marlinist Colonies: "Neo-Marlinism and terrorism have no place within our republican ideals. I will strive to keep our systems independent, and to protect the rights of peaceful Marlinists everywhere." In order to help secure their campaigns, both candidates have requested deliveries of anomalous bulk scan data and unusual encrypted files. Shipments for Verity Dexter should be delivered to Stillman Hub in the HIP 22550 system, while those for Kayode Tau are expected at Tilman Point in the Hyades Sector RO-P b6-2 system. The Alliance, Empire and Federation have recognised the Marlinist Consulate as an ambassadorial body, and agreed that the election of its prime consul is a strictly internal matter.[54]

13 JUL 3307

  • The Marlinist Consulate, established to represent Marlinists across the galaxy, has triggered political instability among the colonies. Local newsfeed The Marlin Standard detailed the situation: "The formation of the Marlinist Consulate will shortly conclude with the public election of its leader. The prime consul will serve as the official Marlinist representative to the superpowers, establish foreign embassies and make wide-reaching diplomatic decisions. One of the two leading candidates is Verity Dexter from the Marlinism Reformation Party, who promises to speak for the Neo-Marlinist fringe. The Free Marlinist Movement's candidate, Kayode Tau, directly opposes that position. Senator Lorcan Scordato has championed Dexter's bid, proposing that she be recognised as an Imperial patron to represent pro-Marlinist citizens of the Empire. Despite many protests, Chancellor Blaine concurred that patronage is within the purview of individual senators. Some Marlinists see this as a chance to finally obtain influence in the Senate, after centuries of being marginalised. Others are enraged at Neo-Marlinists gaining legitimacy and acting as the NMLA's political wing. The rift has affected parliament, where First Minister Fairfax again urged Minister Aaron Whyte to cease representing the NMLA and hand over all information to ACT. Whyte retorted that his diplomatic breakthroughs would soon make the counter-terrorism unit redundant."[53]

05 JUL 3307

  • The NMLA paramilitary group has confirmed that the Marlinism Reformation Party faction now acts as its political representative. An anonymous statement was broadcast via the NMLA's propaganda channels: "We support Minister Whyte in representing the Neo-Marlinist cause and speaking on our behalf. Our objectives remain unchanged – the removal of the Duval family and democratic elections within the Empire." Reactions were covered by several newsfeeds:
    The Imperial Herald: "Senator Scordato's proposal to open diplomatic relations with the Marlinist Colonies is already contentious. But could the Emperor ever accept dialogue with the extremists who tried to murder the Imperial Family?"
    The Federal Times: "The idea of negotiating with terrorists is as abhorrent to the Empire as to the Federation. And yet, the opportunity to prevent another 'Nine Martyrs' cannot be ignored."
    The Alliance Tribune: "In the absence of any breakthroughs from ACT, perhaps peaceful discussion is how we defuse the terrorist threat... even if that was the NMLA's endgame all along."
    The Marlin Standard: "Many of our people welcome closer ties with the Empire, especially if it involves contacting friends and families left behind. But the NMLA using our parliament as its platform has caused widespread unrest. With Aaron Whyte being openly challenged by other ministers, a Marlinist civil war no longer seems unthinkable."[52]

28 JUN 3307

  • A proposal for the Empire to formally open diplomatic relations with the Marlinist Colonies has been made by Senator Lorcan Scordato. The eight systems are populated by ex-Imperial citizens who fled to avoid persecution for their beliefs in Marlinism, which advocates democratic representation. Returning from a fact-finding mission to the colonies, Senator Scordato told the Senate: "The Marlinist community is primarily focused on peaceful co-existence alongside the Empire, rather than trying to reform the Republic of Achenar. And now that Minister Aaron Whyte speaks for the Neo-Marlinists, we have an opportunity to prevent further extremist actions via diplomacy." Although some senators agreed, others such as Denton Patreus stressed that "As a matter of honour and principle, the Empire does not negotiate with terrorists." Several newsfeeds observed that both the Alliance and the Federation are looking into opening formal diplomatic channels with the Marlinist Colonies. Similar debates have occurred in the Assembly and Congress regarding the acceptance of an NMLA political wing. First Minister Jenna Fairfax has repeated calls for the Marlinism Reformation Party to cease representing the Neo-Marlinist fringe. However, she also announced plans for a Marlinist equivalent to the Imperial Diplomatic Corps that would undertake ambassadorial duties.[51]

22 JUN 3307

  • The Marlinism Reformation Party, which now represents the Neo-Marlinist fringe, has suggested a peace deal between the NMLA and the Empire. Minister Aaron Whyte explained the proposal during a session of the Marlinist Parliament: "Via anonymous intermediaries, we have received assurances that the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army is keen to take advantage of our representation. I see this as a hugely positive step that will prevent further conflict. In essence, the NMLA is offering reparations for the unfortunate casualties of its anti-authority activities within the Empire. In return, it requests a permanent presence in the Imperial Senate as a means of continuing political dialogue." Many other parliamentarians considered the proposal to be highly controversial. Minister Octavia Volkov declared: "Providing the NMLA with a political wing, pretending they are reasonable people, suggesting they could pay off the families of everyone they've murdered... Whyte, you are an insult not just to Marlinism but to all humanity!" First Minister Jenna Fairfax called for unity, insisting that the Marlinist Colonies must stand together to ensure their survival. However, she has officially requested that the Marlinism Reformation Party reverses its stance on negotiating with the NMLA.[50]

14 JUN 3307

  • The Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit has published an update on its investigation into the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army. Senior Agent Tanya Ramirez, one of ACT's joint leaders, gave a statement to the media: "ACT is currently pursuing multiple lines of enquiry, which must remain classified for reasons of security. Our agents are gathering evidence from sites across the Alliance, Empire and Federation. As yet we cannot report any significant breakthroughs. NMLA activists appear to use a dark-comms network that defies detection. They also compartmentalise their operations, so individual cells have little knowledge of each other. In recent months, NMLA incidents have been restricted to minor strikes against Imperial authorities, which were dealt with by local police forces. There has been no activity by Theta Group, the hardcore extremists responsible for the 'Nine Martyrs' starport bombings. The collapse of the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid may have deprived the NMLA of their logistical capability to deliver large-scale attacks. But it remains possible that a new wave of terrorist atrocities is being planned." ACT later confirmed that it has recruited additional personnel from Alliance Interpol, the Federal Intelligence Agency, the Imperial Internal Security Service, the Marlinist Constabulary, Nova Imperium's Praetorian Guard and the Wallglass Investigations Agency.[108]

07 JUN 3307

  • Minister Aaron Whyte, leader of the Marlinism Reformation Party, has confirmed that it aims to politically represent the Neo-Marlinist fringe. At a meeting of the Marlinist Parliament, Minister Whyte declared: "Not all of the Neo-Marlinist community seek a violent uprising to end the Duval family's thousand-year dictatorship. We can help replace desperate acts of rebellion with meaningful dialogue and public pressure." Several newsfeeds observed that Whyte was attempting to rebrand Neo-Marlinism as being closer to the mainstream ideals of Marlinism. However, the possibility that the faction may now act as the political wing of the NMLA has caused widespread alarm. In related news, a recent election in the Hyades Sector RO-P b6-2 system saw voters remove the Marlinism Reformation Party from power, after it granted asylum to survivors from the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid. The system's new leader, Minister Octavia Volkov of the Exiled Marlinist Assembly of Baltah'Sine, announced: "My party believes in following Marlin Duval's example by building independent democracies, rather than reforming the Empire. However, three of our colony systems have already fallen under the control of foreign factions. We urgently need support to keep the dream of a Marlinist Republic alive."[109]

21 MAY 3307

  • Evidence that Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval masterminded the NMLA terror campaign cannot be authenticated, according to ACT. Inspector Mara Klatt, one of ACT’s joint leaders, delivered this report: "We have rigorously analysed data provided by the Landgrave of Mudhrid that contains detailed instructions from Hadrian Duval. The content undoubtedly arranges the starport bombings, but its source is inconclusive. It now seems highly plausible that his identity was faked by the NMLA." Hadrian Duval made an announcement via the Paresa News Network: "There can no longer be any doubt that the NMLA planted a false trail in order to incriminate us. They aim to slay every Duval and demolish Imperial traditions, a goal that the Federation is clearly happy to support. Lady Astrid and I are deeply grateful to the Nova Navy, and all the other pilots who helped to defend our honour." The Federal Diplomatic Corps confirmed that the League of Mandu, which was defeated by Nova Imperium, will withdraw from the Paresa system but made no reference to ACT's report. Praetor Leo Magnus, head of security for Nova Imperium and a former IISS officer, has been seconded to ACT. He will serve as a replacement for the deceased Captain Niamh Seutonia.[49]

13 MAY 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    The conflict in the Paresa system has ended with Nova Imperium defeating the Federal-backed League of Mandu faction. Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval had been targeted following accusations that he controlled the NMLA paramilitary group. He delivered a public address: "Our hard-earned victory brings great honour to all who fought against the Federation's invasion. Their arrogance justifies our long-held belief that the Empire must stand apart from other superpowers, but Nova Imperium will continue to serve in the fight against terrorism. Memento Mordanticus!" Ambassador Catherine Carlisle of the Federal Diplomatic Corps made this statement: "Although we are grateful for their zeal in combatting the NMLA, our intermediaries at the League of Mandu have acted hastily and will soon depart from Imperial space." Pilots who fought for Nova Imperium can now collect their rewards from Dyson City in the Paresa system. Pilots who fought for the League of Mandu can now collect their rewards from Harmony's Shield in the Paresa system.[48]

11 MAY 3307

  • There are widespread fears that current hostilities in the Paresa system may force the Empire and Federation to declare full-scale war. The situation has been covered by mainstream media.
    The Imperial Herald: "Hadrian might be the black sheep of the Duval family, but should he die by Federation hands, honour would demand retribution. Already the Imperial Navy is mobilising in anticipation of the Emperor's reaction."
    The Federal Times: "The evidence that Nova Imperium orchestrated the starport bombings is credible, but the possibility of subterfuge remains. Could the NMLA really fake so many orders from Hadrian Duval to such a believable standard?"
    Eye on Achenar: "An attack against a Duval is an attack against us all, even if he does turn out to be a terrorist. How dare those Fednecks try to judge our criminals for us!"
    Sol Today: "Hundreds of thousands dead, half a million wounded… our people deserve retribution. But as usual, all the Imposers care about is pandering to their monarchy."
    Paresa News Network: "The death toll is soaring as full-blown battles rage through our system. Paresans are terrified at facing conquest by the Federation. Can we rely on the Empire to save us?"[47]

06 MAY 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    Open warfare has begun in the Paresa system between Nova Imperium and the League of Mandu, a Federal faction. Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval has been accused of masterminding the NMLA starport bombings, according to evidence provided to ACT. Admiral Natalia Lee, commanding the Harmony's Shield megaship, declared: "The Empire refuses to arrest a Duval, even when he and his organisation are brutal terrorists. In the name of the hundreds of thousands of Federal citizens they murdered, we will enact justice." Hadrian Duval made an announcement from Dyson City, the home station of Nova Imperium: "This invasion of Imperial space is based on false information. The Federation does not have the right to act as our judge, jury and executioner. I call upon the Empire to come to our defence, as stipulated in the Treaty of Paresa." Nova Imperium is an isolationist group that believes in retaining Imperial traditions and severing all ties with other superpowers. Hadrian Duval is the illegitimate grandson of Emperor Hengist, whose heritage was officially acknowledged last November. ACT is currently working to verify claims that the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid aided the NMLA on Imperator Duval's instructions.[46]

03 MAY 3307

  • The isolationist group faces attack by both Federal and Imperial factions, after accusations that Imperator Hadrian Duval is the NMLA mastermind. The League of Mandu arrived in the Paresa system last week and quickly established a foothold. Admiral Natalia Lee, commanding the Harmony's Shield megaship, announced: "Our purpose is to eliminate the terrorists who slaughtered so many Federal citizens. We advise the Empire to stand aside and allow us to deliver justice." Magister Julius Halstrom of the Peraesii Empire Consulate declared: "In the name of the Emperor, we stand ready to purge the NMLA from the Paresa system – and the Federation too, unless they withdraw." Hadrian Duval has broadcast a message via Paresa News Network: "The NMLA faked my identity when dealing with the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid, knowing the superpowers would do their work for them by killing another Duval. Nova Imperium will defend itself if necessary, but we are not responsible for any terrorist attacks." ACT is still attempting to corroborate evidence provided by the Landgrave of Mudhrid. Praetor Leo Magnus, Nova Imperium's security chief, is reportedly aiding their enquiries. The Senate has urgently requested direction from the Emperor, but Chancellor Blaine declared "Her Majesty cannot pass judgement upon a live investigation."[45]

28 APR 3307

  • ACT has confirmed receiving evidence that NMLA attacks were orchestrated by Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval, who immediately denied the claim. Landgrave Delacroix of the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid provided details to ACT that the isolationist group Nova Imperium is at the heart of the NMLA. In response, Hadrian Duval made this statement: "These accusations are completely false. Our political stance is the exact opposite of Marlinism, since we believe in restoring the Empire's traditions. Nova Imperium forces even fought against the terrorists in Mudhrid, as required by the Treaty of Paresa. As for Lady Astrid being a 'top NMLA agent', my wife has been a loyal Imperial Commander since she first piloted a ship." Princess Aisling Duval has publicly decried the allegation and offered support to Hadrian Duval. However, Senator Zemina Torval told the Senate: "Should we be surprised that an extremist organisation performs extreme acts? That this arrogant boy who declares himself 'Imperator' should turn to violent rebellion once again? Enemies of the Empire must be punished, even those with Duval blood. ACT is fully investigating the Landgrave's evidence and has asked for patience, despite urgent demands for action from the Alliance, Empire and Federation.[44]

26 APR 3307

  • Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval of Nova Imperium is the mastermind behind the NMLA, according to classified information leaked from within ACT. Independent journalist Flint 'Firemaker' Lafosse published the details on the Rewired network: "Hadrian Duval: the illegitimate embarrassment of the Imperial Family, or their secret terrorist nemesis? That's the story being told by survivors from the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid, who gave up their secrets to save their own skins. According to my source, Landgrave Delacroix confessed to ACT that his faction transported enzyme bombs and Nova Imperium assassins to their targets on the direct orders of Hadrian Duval, who promised rewards and political power in return. Delacroix also revealed that Hadrian was converted to Neo-Marlinism a year ago by his consort Astrid Minerva, a top NMLA agent. She convinced him that becoming Emperor would be much easier if all the other Duvals were dead! As for the NMLA's attempt on Hadrian's life last October, that was faked in order to gain the Imperial Family's trust. Just another false flag operation – which, as we truth-seekers know, can be found everywhere." As yet this information has not been verified, and its source remains anonymous. There has been no comment from either ACT or Nova Imperium.[43]

23 APR 3307

  • Shadow President Felicia Winters has claimed that the Proactive Detection Bureau is unconstitutional as it violates the Federal Accord. In an address before Congress, she said: "The Federation's constitution explicitly guarantees citizens the right to data security and privacy. The PDB tramples over this by raiding everyone's personal communications, casting aside decency and dignity so that algorithms can probe into every aspect of our lives. Furthermore, if ACT's hypothesis is correct and the NMLA is using an advanced dark-comms network, then the PDB's existence is baseless and unjustifiable." Vice President Jerome Archer responded: "The Domestic Counter-Terrorism Act is emergency legislation that temporarily suspends constitutional statutes, until we are satisfied that the terrorist threat has been negated. Following the PDB’s success in uncovering extremist groups, we are widening the search parameters to include other related criminal activity." Opinion polls suggest that a slim majority of Federal citizens accept that some liberties must be sacrificed in return for increased security. However, according to the civil rights organisation Advocacy, the speed with which the PDB gained access to data hubs suggested that "The infrastructure was already in place – all the government needed was an opportunity to make it legal."[110]

20 APR 3307

  • The Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid has been granted sanctuary in the Marlinist Colonies in return for revealing the identities of the NMLA's leaders. The faction's survivors arrived in the Hyades Sector RO-P b6-2 system after being defeated by Imperial forces. The Marlinism Reformation Party agreed to offer political asylum, despite all three superpowers demanding the refugees' arrest. Imperial Senator Lorcan Scordato, who was visiting the Colonies on a fact-finding mission, announced: "After meeting the Neo-Marlinists and the Marlinist Parliament, I have secured an agreement. The Landgrave of Mudhrid and his inner circle will cooperate fully with ACT to provide details on the senior leadership of the NMLA. In return, they will receive life imprisonment at a local detention facility. The Steel Majesty's population will undergo security vetting by the Marlinist Constabulary to identify extremists. The remainder will be permitted to remain in the system and apply for citizenship." Chancellor Blaine has approved the proposal, commenting that it was "precisely the sort of creative solution the Emperor requires". Responses from the Alliance and Federation were mixed, but there was broad agreement that targeting the NMLA was the priority. Minister Aaron Whyte, elected leader of the Marlinism Reformation Party, publicly thanked Senator Scordato for negotiating a peaceful resolution.[42]

16 APR 3307

  • Survivors from the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid have arrived in the Marlinist Colonies, requesting political asylum from the Empire. The faction was recently defeated by Imperial forces in the Mudhrid system, after an ACT investigation confirmed that it provided logistical support for the NMLA attacks on starports. Landgrave Delacroix and his loyalists fled aboard the Steel Majesty megaship to the Hyades Sector RO-P b6-2 system, which is controlled by the Marlinism Reformation Party. Minister Aaron Whyte, its elected leader, announced: "Not every individual within the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid is an NMLA activist. We have the right to offer asylum to protect innocents from persecution, just as the Federation protected us when we were refugees." The Empire has officially demanded that the Neo-Marlinists be apprehended, with Senator Patreus claiming "The Landgrave of Mudhrid is a traitor and a war criminal." Both the Alliance and Federation have likewise insisted on their arrest. However, Shadow President Winters reminded Congress that the Marlinist Charter grants their systems the same legal powers of asylum as the Federation. The Marlinist Parliament has declared an emergency situation. First Minister Fairfax called for a discussion of options, while Ministers Amrita Ross and Tamsin Taylor urged cooperation with the Empire.[41]

09 APR 3307

  • Senator Lorcan Scordato has visited the Marlinist Colonies on a fact-finding mission as part of the Empire's anti-terrorism operations. The Imperial Herald was permitted to publish this summary of his preliminary report: "Considering their recent refugee status, the Marlinist communities are remarkably well-organised. Their government works along republican lines but they have not abandoned Imperial culture, with many feeling homesick for their original worlds. However, their situation remains precarious, with three of their eight systems now under the control of external factions. Without increased support from the galactic community, further losses may be unavoidable. Regarding the NMLA, there is widespread anger that they have made all Marlinists look like monsters. Only rarely did I sense guarded approval, with the vast majority openly condemning the terrorists. The Marlinist Parliament is small but efficient, containing a spectrum of viewpoints. First Minister Fairfax is focused on cohesion and survival, Amrita Ross discussed future reintegration with the Empire, while Aaron Whyte sees Neo-Marlinism as a valid political movement if violence can be avoided. Months ago these were ordinary Imperial citizens, and our shared history still binds us. Generally, I feel that the Marlinist Colonies are closer to allies than enemies in our war against the NMLA."[111]

08 APR 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    The Mudhrid system conflict has ended with the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group overcoming the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid. This was triggered by ACT discovering that the Neo-Marlinist faction had provided transports and logistical support for the NMLA's attacks against nine starports. The Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group has thanked all pilots who contributed to its triumph. Rewards are now available at Payne-Scott City in the Mudhrid system. Landgrave Arastin Delacroix, ruler of the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid, has so far evaded capture. He managed to broadcast this message: "Those brave warriors who fought for our cause can receive recompense at the Steel Majesty. One day we will slay the Duvals and bring revolution to the Empire!" Inspector Mara Klatt of ACT told the media: "This is a definite victory against the NMLA. It also provides an insight into their modus operandi – promising disenfranchised or delusional leaders, such as Landgrave Delacroix, increased status in the new Republic should they succeed. We assume they used similar third parties to support the Alliance and Federation bombings. Our agents are gathering information, but it's clear that the NMLA's network is more advanced and widespread than we first suspected."[40]

06 APR 3307

  • The Proactive Detection Bureau has been set up by the Federal Intelligence Agency to scan civilian communications for signs of terrorist activity. The new department was formed following congressional approval of the Domestic Counter-Terrorism Act. This was drafted by Vice President Jerome Archer, who told the media: "The PDB is a vital tool to prevent further massacres on the scale we have recently witnessed. It will unearth NMLA terrorists and other dangerous activists concealed among innocent citizens, and help keep our families safe." Deputy Director Bethany Blake, who has been appointed to run the Proactive Detection Bureau, explained its operations: "Highly advanced algorithms will scan all data transmitted across public and private networks on a system-wide level. Any suspicious communications are redirected to a regional hub, for review by trained investigators. It is important to understand that only specific activity within narrow parameters will be flagged, and must pass dozens of automated checkpoints before our operatives can access it." Shadow President Winters and civil rights groups have protested that this violates long-standing privacy laws. However, President Hudson has championed the PDB as a cornerstone of the new counter-terrorism statutes.[112]

05 APR 3307

  • Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval, leader of the isolationist group Nova Imperium, has married his consort Astrid Minerva in a closed ceremony. Commander Minerva was a young Imperial pilot who aided Nova Imperium at the Battle of Paresa in 3305 and became a loyal supporter. Her official title is now Lady Astrid Minerva-Duval. Princess Aisling Duval personally attended her cousin's wedding at a secure location. She referred to it as "a precious moment of joy in these bleak times". The Imperial Palace and the Senate have sent congratulatory messages, and the event was covered by mainstream media.
    Paresa News Network: "Astrid's well-deserved rise to nobility has made her fellow Paresans very proud. Everyone at PNN is overjoyed for the happy couple!"
    Eye on Achenar: "It's an insult to the noble Duval bloodline when some trigger-jockey from a gutter system can sink her claws into the Emperor's own nephew."
    The Imperial Herald: "Hadrian taking a bride at the age of 20 has surprised many. If he becomes the only Duval to produce heirs, it will place pressure on Emperor Arissa and Princess Aisling, neither of whom have consorts."
    In related news, Nova Imperium vessels are participating in the current conflict against the Neo-Marlinists of Mudhrid. Praetor Leo Magnus, head of security, is liaising with the IISS on anti-terrorism intelligence.[39]

01 APR 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    Conflict has erupted between the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group and the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid. An investigation by ACT in the Mudhrid system confirmed that the Order of Mudhrid provided logistical support for the NMLA's starport attacks. Their agents infiltrated other local factions to transport enzyme bombs to their targets. The faction has now renamed itself the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid. Landgrave Arastin Delacroix, its leader, has declared a revolution against the Imperial Family. From his flagship, the Steel Majesty, he announced: "The corrupt Duvals will never give up their power, so we must take it from them. All those who seek to change the established order – join us!" The Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group responded by engaging their forces in battle. Senator Denton Patreus has ordered them to "take revenge for the 'Nine Martyrs' atrocities." This is the first instance of a faction openly adopting Neo-Marlinism, although it has not been officially recognised by the Marlinist Colonies. Minister Aaron Whyte commented: "It's a lost opportunity that Landgrave Delacroix chose to aid extremists, rather than provide a political platform to the Neo-Marlinist community. I hope we can soon replace the cycle of violence with meaningful communication."[38]

31 MAR 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    The vessel of Captain Niamh Seutonia, who vanished on an anti-NMLA mission, has been found with its crew dead. Following a widespread search by independent pilots, Commander TheRealFlame was the first to discover the wreckage of the Valkyrie in the Trianguli sector GW-W B1-0 system. It was apparent that the ship crashed after sustaining weapons fire, and that all crewmembers died on impact. ACT co-leader Senior Agent Tanya Ramirez gave this statement to the media: "We owe a debt to every pilot who joined our efforts to find the Valkyrie. It's an emotional blow for us to lose one of ACT's guiding lights, along with her courageous team. However, Captain Seutonia managed to secure her mission logs moments before the ship's destruction. This allowed vital information to be recovered. We now have evidence confirming that a Neo-Marlinist faction in the Mudhrid system was directly involved in the NMLA starport bombings. We have shared our findings with Imperial authorities, and the Order of Mudhrid is being investigated." Captain Niamh Seutonia rose to prominence as part of the tri-superpower taskforce that eliminated the League of Reparation in 3304. The Imperial Internal Security Service confirmed that she will be posthumously awarded the Achenar Service Cross.[37]

29 MAR 3307

  • The fear of further starport bombings has placed internal and external pressure on the Empire to address the threat posed by the NMLA. Despite sharing intelligence via ACT, the Alliance and Federation have demanded that the Empire must do more to eradicate the NMLA, since it is 'Imperial in origin and ambition'. The latest developments were covered by mainstream media channels.
    The Imperial Herald: "In the Senate, Chancellor Anders Blaine reported that the Emperor has instructed him to present a range of options. Senator Lorcan Scordato has volunteered to visit the Marlinist Colonies on a fact-finding mission, to better understand the political character of the Neo-Marlinist fringe."
    Eye on Achenar: "The entire system is still shellshocked by the slaughter at Dawes Hub, a vicious stab at the heart of our glorious Empire. In our opinion poll, 93% of right-thinking citizens would send a fleet of Majestics to the murdering Marlinists instead of some soft-hearted senator."
    Vox Galactica: "In most Imperial cities and settlements, anxiety levels remain high. The NMLA's ability to strike seemingly anywhere has rocked public confidence in the Empire's strength. Opinions on Marlinism itself are more polarised than ever, with accusations of 'warmonger' and 'collaborator' dividing many families and relationships."[113]

25 MAR 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    Assistance is needed to track down an ACT operative who vanished while on a mission to identify NMLA suppliers. The missing agent is Captain Niamh Seutonia of the Imperial Internal Security Service, one of the joint leaders of the anti-NMLA intelligence unit. She was following up on clues resulting from analysis of the 'Nine Martyrs' starport bombings. Senior Agent Tanya Ramirez, a co-leader of ACT, gave this statement: "Captain Seutonia and her team were travelling on an Anaconda-class vessel named the Valkyrie. Mission details are scarce as information was compartmentalised for security, but she was investigating a minor faction that may be supplying the NMLA. We know that her ship left the Mudhrid system on the 24th of March, on a heading toward the Marlinist Colonies. Captain Castile of the Marlinist Constabulary, on secondment to ACT, arranged a rendezvous that she never reached. So we know the Valkyrie went missing somewhere inbetween. All Commanders in the region are asked to join the search for Captain Seutonia's ship. Our fervent hope is that we find its crew alive, and that they managed to obtain data to help us defeat the NMLA."[36]

25 MAR 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    Safeguard Interstellar has successfully received medical supplies for civilians wounded during the NMLA terrorist attack. The bombing of nine starports across the Alliance, Empire and Federation left huge numbers of people injured, some with caustic burns due to Thargoid enzymes deployed by the explosives. Noel Beaumont, the aid organisation's CEO, announced: "We are immensely grateful to all pilots who brought shipments of basic medicines and advanced medicines. These have been transported directly to the relevant systems, where they will be used to ease the suffering of several hundred thousand civilians." Safeguard Interstellar confirmed that its partner factions have made rewards available at the three systems used as staging areas for deliveries. Pilots can collect from the Perez Ring Brewery at Krylov Ring in the He Bo system, Lavigny's Legion at Mackenzie Relay in the Cemiess system, and the Duamta Gold Creative Corp at Davis Terminal in the Duamta system. Over the past two weeks, emergency services have been concentrated on the nine damaged starports in the Achenar, Alioth, Eotienses, Gateway, Kamadhenu, Lave, Nanomam, Rhea and Sol systems. All survivors have been accounted for and repairs are largely completed, mainly due to dedicated support by members of the Pilots Federation.[114]

24 MAR 3307

  • President Zachary Hudson has announced that the new vice president of the Federation is Jerome Archer, replacing the deceased Brad Mitchell. Archer was previously serving as the Secretary of Security. Prior to becoming a congressman, he was a director of the Federal Intelligence Agency and had a long career in law enforcement. His predecessor, VP Brad Mitchell, died in the NMLA bombing of Li Qing Jao station in the Sol system. The attack also killed several members of the Federal Cabinet along with many government officials, who were attending a meeting at the starport. Addressing a gathering of Congress, Vice President Archer said: "My primary focus in this office will be to increase security throughout the Federation. I vow to build vigilance into the fabric of our society, and prevent such atrocities from ever happening again." During the congressional session, President Hudson announced new appointments for other deceased members of the Cabinet. He also successfully obtained approval to increase funding for counter-terrorism operations run by ACT and the Federal Navy.[115]

23 MAR 3307

  • The Marlinist Parliament has refuted widespread allegations of supporting or concealing members of the NMLA paramilitary group. Fuelled by media speculation, many political and military leaders have suggested that the Marlinist Colonies should be occupied or destroyed to take revenge for the recent bombings. However, there is no evidence that these systems have any direct connection to the NMLA. First Minister Jenna Fairfax gave this statement to Vox Galactica: "The starport attacks were as sickening and terrifying to us as to the rest of the galaxy. The Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army follows a twisted creed that has no bearing on true Marlinism. We have sent our own intelligence team to join ACT, led by Captain Milo Castile of the Marlinist Constabulary. It is vital that we all work together to end the NMLA's campaign of terror." There was also a comment from fellow parliamentarian Aaron Whyte: "I understand it's human nature to seek a villain, but we should remember that the Neo-Marlinist cause has sound political foundations. The Empire suppressed all republican movements for centuries, imprisoning and executing far more people than those who died in the 'Nine Martyrs'."[35]

22 MAR 3307

  • The Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit (ACT), formed by all three superpowers to combat the NMLA, has launched its investigation. The organisation has been working closely with Alliance Interpol, the Imperial Internal Security Service and the Federal Intelligence Agency to collate data on the terrorist strikes against nine starports. Captain Niamh Seutonia, one of ACT's joint leaders, told the media: "Initial forensic results from the targeted stations suggest the use of a more compact bomb design than in previous attacks, possibly constructed on-site. Worryingly, the NMLA's new generation of weapons seem to be easier to transport and conceal. The good news is that a comparison of reports has revealed one very promising lead. I will personally take a team to follow this up, and we're hoping for an early breakthrough." Inspector Mara Klatt also provided a brief progress report: "Our working theory is that the NMLA employs an undetectable interstellar communications system to coordinate its attacks. A similar dark-comms network was used by the League of Reparation before we decrypted it, but this version is evidently more sophisticated. We are liaising with local security services to gather evidence."[34]

19 MAR 3307

  • Private investigators Erik Gunnarson and Francesca Wolfe review the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army.
    Gunnarson: "We don't usually get involved with political cases, but it's hard to ignore the largest terrorist attack in history. The NMLA is a radical offshoot of Marlinism, a democratic movement named after the Republic of Achenar's original ruler, Marlin Duval. Most are peaceful protester types, but Neo-Marlinists want to overthrow the government by permanently removing the Imperial Family. What nobody knows is how the NMLA went from minor troublemakers to interstellar terrorists. The starport bombings last September came from nowhere, and their assassins have killed many Imperial bigwigs including Prince Harold Duval. Smart money was on them being funded by Empire's enemies, but now the NMLA treat the Alliance and Federation as equal targets. Hitting all three superpower capitals was a hugely symbolic gesture, and should have been impossible. How did they bypass security and plant explosives without detection? Who the hell are these people? Even Wallglass doesn't have a clue. But we won't stop searching."
    Wolfe: "Despite my enquiries – and some unauthorised snooping – there's no trace of the rumoured NMLA bomb factory in LTT 1935. But it did once exist, because the Empire captured its occupants. Not that they'll admit it. 'There is no such place as Serene Harbour', right? Well, I've been to R CrA Sector AF-A d42 3b and seen it myself. It's bleak. Hope-crushing. And yet the NMLA prisoners listed as Theta Group escaped, broken out by what seems like Imperial Intelligence double-agents. That genuinely scares me. If the NMLA can worm inside the most shadowy security organisation in known space, they could be anywhere. And none of us are safe."[33]

18 MAR 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    Safeguard Interstellar requires deliveries of medicines to treat casualties from the NMLA's recent terrorist attack. The humanitarian aid organisation is helping to coordinate relief efforts for the starports in the Alliance, Empire and Federation that were bombed last week. CEO Noel Beaumont announced: "Hundreds of thousands of civilians still require urgent medical attention after being evacuated from the damaged stations. Many have severe caustic burns inflicted by the corrosive enzyme payload of the explosives. We have already exhausted the majority of supplies in nearby systems. To reinforce overstretched health services, we request shipments of basic medicines and advanced medicines. These can be delivered to three starports being used as staging areas: Krylov Ring in the He Bo system, Mackenzie Relay in the Cemiess system, and Davis Terminal in the Duamta system." Safeguard Interstellar has partnered with three local factions – Perez Ring Brewery, Lavigny's Legion and the Duamta Gold Creative Corp – to reward pilots and distribute the medicines within each superpower. Pilots can provide further help by directly delivering repair materials to damaged starports in the Achenar, Alioth, Eotienses, Gateway, Kamadhenu, Lave, Nanomam and Rhea systems. Li Qing Jao station in the Sol system remains an active disaster zone, with civilians still requiring evacuation.[116]

17 MAR 3307

15 MAR 3307

12 MAR 3307

  • Vice President Brad Mitchell and a number of Federal Cabinet members have been killed in the recent terrorist attack on a starport orbiting Earth. The NMLA planted caustic enzyme explosives at Li Qing Jao station, where a government meeting was taking place. The VP and Cabinet members were confirmed to be among tens of thousands of casualties. Eight other starports across all three superpowers were simultaneously bombed. President Zachary Hudson, who was attending the Galactic Summit during the attack, made this statement: "This atrocity is nothing less than a declaration of war, and we will respond accordingly. For now, we mourn the loss of my close friend Brad Mitchell and other heroes of the Federation. I will personally appoint replacements to their positions soon." The Federation has directly accused the Empire of being responsible, by allowing Neo-Marlinist bomb-makers to escape from a secret prison facility. The Imperial Senate reiterated that 'Serene Harbour' does not exist and is part of a Federal disinformation campaign. Followers of Marlinism have also received much public criticism. The Marlinist Colonies have repeatedly stressed that they do not support the NMLA and are unconnected to the attacks. Independent pilots have been asked to assist rescue and repair operations in the Achenar, Alioth, Eotienses, Gateway, Kamadhenu, Lave, Nanomam, Rhea and Sol systems.[31]

11 MAR 3307

  • The conference in the Sirius system has ended prematurely after terrorist bombings against nine starports across the Alliance, Empire and Federation. Sirius Corporation confirmed that the cancellation was due to fears that Patterson Enterprise station may be the next target. All scheduled business, including finalising the Sirius Treaty, has been halted. The delegations are returning to their home systems under high security. Temporary permits for the Sirius system will remain in place for one week. Pilots who contributed to the security and trade initiatives held in partnership with the Empire can collect their rewards at the Spirit of Laelaps. Core Dynamics, Gutamaya and Lakon Spaceways will continue to offer a 10% discount on all their ships for one more week. The Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army has claimed responsibility for the simultaneous attacks in nine systems, including superpower capitals Achenar, Alioth and Sol. The following message was broadcast on NMLA propaganda channels: "I no longer have a name. Nor a family. Nor a future. Each taken by the Empire. Now all I have is the dehumanising number printed on my uniform in their torture chambers. Now all I am is Theta Seven. The Alliance and Federation's rulers have revealed themselves as imperialist supporters of the Duval dynasty, which has crushed our ideals for a thousand years. Peoples of the galaxy – you can change this. We give you your own Nine Martyrs. Use them to retake control and regain your power." Media newsfeeds are detailing the impact and implications of the attacks. There is speculation that NMLA activists were concealed among Marlinist refugees that fled to Alliance and Federation space to escape Imperial persecution. The Marlinist Parliament has officially stated it has "no connection to Neo-Marlinist extremists", and that it will cooperate with security and emergency services during this crisis.[30]

11 MAR 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    Explosions have struck starports across the Alliance, Empire and Federation in a coordinated bombing attack by the NMLA. The capital systems of all three superpowers – Achenar, Alioth and Sol – have been targeted by the terrorists, as well as six other high-population systems. Precise casualty numbers are unavailable, but several hundred thousand people have been killed with many more injured. There are urgent calls for independent pilots to rescue survivors and support repair operations at all nine locations:
    Dawes Hub in the Achenar system
    Donaldson in the Alioth system
    Dublin Citadel in the Gateway system
    Hahn Gateway in the Nanomam system
    Ito Orbital in the Rhea system
    Lave Station in the Lave system
    Li Qing Jao in the Sol system
    Parkinson Dock in the Eotienses system
    Shajn Market in the Kamadhenu system
    The explosive damage to each station is consistent with corrosive enzyme weapons previously used by the NMLA. This has triggered automated systems designed to respond to Thargoid assaults. The Alliance Defence Force, Federal Navy and Imperial Navy are on full alert. Other military and security forces across the core systems are preparing for possible further attacks. The Galactic Summit has been temporarily suspended while Alliance, Empire and Federation leaders respond to the emergency. A full lockdown is in effect in the Sirius system, where the scheduled bounty hunting and trade initiatives have been cancelled.[29]

04 FEB 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    The engineer Liz Ryder has requested mined materials to help make a previously unique ship module widely available. The module is a fully engineered lightweight and high capacity Class 2 Seeker Missile Rack with thermal cascade. It was offered in October 3306 to pilots who helped defend the Eurybia system from Imperial forces. At the time, the Empire suspected Liz Ryder of supplying weapons to the NMLA terrorist group. Ms Ryder has announced that her aim is to make this specially modified weapon available for purchase at all human technology brokers. She added: "Pilots can help kick-start this project by providing mined commodities, which will temporarily reduce the amount of materials that customers require to obtain the missile rack. As a bonus, the highest contributors to this initiative will be gifted with the module. I'm pleased to be working with tech brokers to add this to the market. Many engineers think we could do more to serve the galactic community, and this is a step in that direction." Shipments of bromellite, lithium hydroxide, osmium and samarium can be delivered to Awyra Flirble in the Eurybia system.[118]

03 FEB 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    An Imperial Intelligence detention facility discovered in the R CRA Sector AF-A d42 system has been repudiated by the Empire. The outpost, named Serene Harbour, was located after its distress call was shared publicly by the Pilots Federation. According to the Commander Andee-X- who first investigated the site, all its occupants were dead as the result of what appeared to be a prisoner breakout. Unlike the Imperial Internal Security Service, the Imperial Intelligence organisation has no spokespeople or public channels. However, Senator Karl Nerva told the media: "The claim that high-security prisoners and terrorists are being tortured for information in an unregistered outpost is categorically false. There is no such place as 'Serene Harbour'. We believe that independent pilots have been duped by a Federal ploy to undermine the Empire, using fake locations and logs for theatrical effect. I assure all citizens that Imperial Intelligence operates fully within the law and remains vigilant against all threats." When asked about Commandant Gabriel De Luca, who was identified by surviving logs at the outpost, Senator Nerva replied: "Captain De Luca was indeed an agent of Imperial Intelligence, but died on active duty several years ago. It's obvious that this respected hero's identity has been stolen to add credibility to anti-Imperial disinformation."[28]

28 JAN 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    An encrypted message seems to provide planetary coordinates related to the mysterious signal from 'Serene Harbour'. The message received by the Pilots Federation was as follows:
    Welcome to Serene Harbour. 56.4 latitude -8.3 longitude. Theta Seven.
    Although this pinpoints a geographical area on a planetary surface, the astronomical location of this body remains a mystery. It is unclear whether 'Theta Seven' refers to additional map coordinates of some kind, or is a code-phrase intended for unknown recipients. Little is known about the original distress call, other than its brief content:
    This is an emergency broadcast on all frequencies from Serene Harbour. We are –[27]

28 JAN 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    An independent vessel has detected a fragment of a mysterious message coming from an unexplored region of space. Commander Elsa Solomon was travelling through the Swoilz XX-D c1-30 system when her ship's communications array picked up a faint transmission. The message was as follows:
    This is an emergency broadcast on all frequencies from Serene Harbour. We are –
    The transmission ended abruptly and did not resume. The signal did not contain any identification data or indications as to its origin. Commander Solomon gave more details to Vox Galactica: "The message appeared in my comms panels as text and an electronically generated voice. I wasn't able to determine a source, only that it was broadcast within 80 light years of that system. My schedule was tight so I couldn’t spend long tracking it. I have no idea if Serene Harbour is a starport, a settlement or even a megaship, but this is obviously a mayday signal. Someone somewhere is in serious trouble. I've asked the Pilots Federation to share the information in case any of my fellow Commanders can help." To help triangulate the source, there is a callout to any other ships that were in the area at the time, which may have received a similar broadcast. However, no responses have been received as yet.[26]

24 DEC 3306

  • Tens of thousands of Marlinist refugees have claimed sanctuary in Alliance space, after emigrating from the Empire to avoid political persecution. In recent weeks, there has been a steady stream of ex-Imperial citizens arriving at Alliance systems, mostly travelling aboard small private vessels or in the holds of cargo ships. The humanitarian aid organisation Safeguard Interstellar reported that accommodation and basic necessities are being provided. Alliance Interpol is running stringent security checks for evidence that members of the NMLA terrorist group are present. The initial wave of refugees, which fled to the Federation, are currently preparing to populate a number of independent colonies established by the Sirius Corporation. However, these systems cannot yet provide harbour to the continuing exodus of Marlinists from the Empire. Prime Minister Edmund Mahon publicly welcomed the refugees, but there has been some dissent in the Alliance Assembly. Councillor Nakato Kaine, who is expected to be Mahon's main rival in next year's election, received widespread support for her views: "Naturally, we must provide these poor people with emergency aid, but there are practical limits to our resources. It is not our responsibility to solve the Empire's domestic issues, and we have seen the Federation pay the price for sheltering terrorists. The Alliance cannot end up as the dumping ground for other superpowers' problems."[24]

21 DEC 3306

  • As independent colonies are set up for Marlinist refugees, there has been a lull in terrorist strikes from the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army (NMLA). In recent months, the paramilitary group launched multiple attacks across the Empire. Starports and administrative buildings were bombed and dozens of individuals assassinated, including Prince Harold and more distant members of the Duval family. However, the number of incidents has fallen drastically following successful operations by the Imperial Internal Security Service: "After the Federal Security Service identified NMLA members aboard the emigrants' megaships, these were transferred to us for interrogation. We obtained information that enabled us to shut down many terrorist cells, although there is evidence that the NMLA's network remains widespread." In related news, hundreds of thousands of Marlinist refugees are preparing to occupy new colony systems established by the Sirius Corporation. Mass transportation will take place early next year, overseen by Safeguard Interstellar. The Empire, Federation and Sirius Gov have all agreed that the settlements will remain fully independent. The refugee population has already begun to determine its future social structure, based on the principles of Marlinism. A transitional parliament has been formed by community leaders such as Dr Jenna Fairfax, Aaron Whyte and Amrita Ross. Democratic elections for a representative government will take place once the Marlinist Colonies are operational.[23]

17 DEC 3306

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    Sirius Corporation has successfully gathered materials to construct new independent settlements for Marlinist emigrants. Both the Empire and the Federation accepted the proposal from Sirius Corporation to establish colonies for the political refugees, who have been the cause of increased tension between the superpowers. CEO Li Yong-Rui made this announcement: "As always, the galactic community's immense contribution has made this achievement possible. The shipments of atmospheric processors, auto-fabricators, structural regulators and water purifiers will be used to construct new outposts and settlements in 8 uninhabited systems." The Omega Merchant Command is now offering rewards at Ellis Gateway in the Bd+05 1146 system to all pilots who delivered commodities. Aaron Whyte, a community leader among the refugees, commented on Vox Galactica: "I suppose we should be grateful that these colonies give us a chance of survival. But none of us wanted to set up our own kingdoms – only to remove the kings. And one day, we will." The Marlinist population is expected to be transferred from Federal space to the new colonies in early 3307.[22]

17 DEC 3306

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    The effectiveness of engineers' upgrading for ship modules will be boosted until the 7th of January 3307. During this time, engineered weapons and modules will receive increased augmentation for the same amount of materials. This will apply to every workshop in Alliance, Imperial, Federal and independent space. Lori Jameson, an engineer based in the Shinrarta Dezhra system, provided details to Vox Galactica on how this collaboration came about: "After the Eurybia incident, some of us contacted Liz Ryder and offered our support. It was horrifying how her expertise had been abused by the NMLA, leaving her unfairly maligned as a terrorist supporter. There were concerns that her situation might reflect badly on engineers in general. We soon established communication links between every workshop, and agreed to offer a universal boost to upgrades. Hopefully this will remind pilots how much we value their custom, and that we remain a trustworthy resource." Mel Brandon, one of four engineers in the Colonia Region, commented: "It's about time that we all started talking to each other. Our services are valuable to the whole galaxy. We deserve better protection. Maybe we have to start protecting ourselves."[119]

10 DEC 3306

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    Commodities are requested to create new settlements for Marlinist refugees who fled from the Empire to the Federation.
    Sirius Corporation has offered to resolve the current standoff between superpowers by establishing colonies where the refugees can live independently. Li Yong-Rui, CEO of Sirius Corporation, summarised his proposal: "It is clear that the Marlinists cannot return to the Empire, and are a destabilising presence within the Federation. We offer an alternative by constructing permanent habitats for their population. These will be self-governed and may freely trade with the galactic community. Sirius cannot stand by while the risk of interstellar war increases. I sincerely hope this leads to a more stable and profitable period for us all." After intense debate, both Congress and the Senate accepted the proposal, with the proviso that any refugees identified as NMLA members will be returned to the Empire. Dr Jenna Fairfax, a Marlinist community leader, also offered her approval: "We were forced to abandon our entire lives because of our political beliefs. This at least gives us a chance to have homes again." Traders are asked to deliver atmospheric processors, auto-fabricators, structural regulators and water purifiers to Ellis Gateway in the Bd+05 1146 system. From there, the Omega Merchant Command will distribute resources for the colonisation of up to ten uninhabited systems.[21]

08 DEC 3306

  • Hundreds of thousands of political refugees who fled from the Empire to the Federation have brought both superpowers to the brink of conflict. The Marlinists, who believe in restructuring the Empire into a republic, escaped crackdowns in several Imperial systems during a hunt for Neo-Marlinist terrorists. The Federation has provided temporary safe haven for the refugees. However, security concerns proved to be justified when the NMLA bombed a Federal starport where captured members were being held. The Federal Security Service provided this update: "The Marlinists themselves have informed us of more individuals among them with NMLA connections. The risk of terrorism from this population is now low, although it's impossible to know exactly how many have been radicalised." There have been heated debates in Congress over granting citizenship to the Marlinists. President Hudson insisted that "all illegal aliens must be deported", and has strengthened the Federal Navy as a defensive measure in light of the Empire's warnings. Conversely, Shadow President Winters argued that "turning away starving refugees to face imprisonment and discrimination would be immoral". She also noted that the same principles of democratic representation found in Marlinism are enshrined in the Federal Accord. This disagreement between the Republican and Liberal Parties has led to stalemate, with the fate of the Marlinists hanging in the balance.[20]

27 NOV 3306

  • NMLA terrorist attacks and the Marlinist refugee crisis have driven an increase in military spending from both the Empire and the Federation. The Federal Times has reported on President Zachary Hudson's actions: "Building on the public outcry following the Neo-Marlinist bombing of a Federal starport, President Hudson has positioned himself once again as the Federation's strongman. This is clearly a calculated effort to regain political power after negative associations from the Starship One trial. Shadow President Felicia Winters's acceptance of Marlinist refugees has lost popularity, now that terrorists concealed among them have murdered thousands. However, cooler heads in Congress agree that provoking the Empire could lead to a far greater death toll." The Empire's response mirrored its counterpart, as observed by The Imperial Herald: "As well as the construction of new capital ships, Senator Denton Patreus has also ordered the withdrawal of funding for Aegis. The Senate's consensus is that since Thargoid activity has reduced, the focus should now be on the Federation as well as the internal threat of the NMLA. Cooperation between the superpowers is rapidly coming to an end, leading to a state of interstellar brinkmanship. There is a real possibility that the Neo-Marlinists' demand for revolutionary change may have broader repercussions than they intended."[19]

20 NOV 3306

  • Relations between the Empire and the Federation have deteriorated following a terror attack by Neo-Marlinists against a Federal starport. Kepler Orbital in the Atropos system was bombed by the NMLA to eliminate several of its captured members, before they could reveal anything under interrogation by the Federal Security Service. Imperial Ambassador Imogen Luciana made this statement: "The NMLA was obviously able to make use of its bomb-making factories within the LTT 1935 system. If the Federation had not resisted our investigation, we would have shut these down and prevented the attack. Our warning about the extremist threat went unheeded, and the Federation is now paying the price. We once again insist that all Marlinists are repatriated to the Empire." Ambassador Jordan Rochester has not responded, but did confirm that Federal embassies in several Imperial systems have closed after violent anti-Marlinist protests placed diplomatic staff's lives at risk. In Congress, Vice President Brad Mitchell directly blamed Shadow President Felicia Winters for the recent attack. He accused her of "laying out the welcome mat for terrorists" by offering sanctuary to the Marlinists. Other congressmen argued that she had prioritised aid for Imperial rather than Federal citizens. There is evidence that Winters is now losing some of her recently gained political capital. However, the Liberal Party's popularity remains high in the wake of President Hudson's alleged association with the destruction of Starship One.[18]

19 NOV 3306

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    Multiple explosions have struck Kepler Orbital in the Atropos system, causing huge damage and loss of life.
    Witnesses have observed signs of corrosion damage to the starport. This is characteristic of an explosive designed by the engineer Liz Ryder that deploys Thargoid caustic enzymes, and which was used in the bombings of Imperial starports in September. The NMLA has claimed responsibility for the attack. Its propaganda channels praised "the nine martyrs", a reference to the terrorist suspects recently arrested by the Federal Security Service. There were also warnings of "further reprisals if the Federation impedes our cause". The FSS has since confirmed that the captive NMLA members were being held in secure facilities at Kepler Orbital, which have been completely destroyed by the blasts. It is assumed that they were specifically targeted to prevent the prisoners revealing information about the paramilitary group under interrogation. Federal authorities are urgently requesting support from the galactic community, to assist with repair efforts and to rescue survivors still trapped at the damaged station.[17]

18 NOV 3306

  • A screening process for Marlinist asylum-seekers arriving in the Federation has located several members of the NMLA terrorist group. Vice President Brad Mitchell personally initiated a Federal Security Service operation to uncover any Neo-Marlinist extremists concealed among the refugee population. The Vice President delivered this report to Congress: "After standard ID scans flagged up some potential suspects, FSS officers employed more vigorous checks and interview techniques. They found nine individuals who were active members of the NMLA. The terrorists have been transported to secure facilities for further interrogation, after which they will be handed over to Imperial authorities. Our security services remain vigilant against this danger that the Liberal Party has invited into our communities." Vox Galactica featured a statement by Marlinist community leader Dr Jenna Fairfax: "I am horrified to learn of NMLA hiding among us. These killers do not represent the principles of Marlinism, and we are happy to cooperate in expelling them." In related news, protestors on several Federal worlds have warned of increased crime, terrorism and economic damage unless all refugees are sent back to the Empire. Counter-protests have called for the Marlinists to be welcomed as fellow believers in democratic government.[16]

16 NOV 3306

  • Princess Aisling Duval's request for her cousin, Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval, to be accepted into the Imperial Family has been denied. Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval's decision was delivered to the Senate by Chancellor Anders Blaine: "Her Majesty acknowledges that Hadrian is a Duval by blood, and offers royal pardons to him and his followers for previous crimes against the Empire. However, she does not bestow upon him the title of prince, nor offer any formal position within the Imperial Family." Aisling Duval and Hadrian Duval both expressed disappointment, but agreed to accept the decree. The Senate has now ratified the Treaty of Paresa, which removes Nova Imperium's outlaw status in return for accepting Emperor Arissa's rule and contributing to operations against the NMLA. The Imperial Herald's political journalist Cassia Carvalho commented: "This surprisingly even-handed judgement is widely seen as bowing to pressure from the Senate, where there is much loyalty to Aisling Duval. Some interpret it as atonement – or regaining political goodwill – for the purge of Nova Imperium in 3305, which included the execution of several senators. The image this projects is of an Empire coming together against the greater threat posed by Neo-Marlinists. But there is speculation that an alliance between the two youngest Duvals may one day challenge the Emperor for the throne."[10]

12 NOV 3306

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    The Federation has successfully maintained control of the LTT 1935 system, following a battle against local Imperial forces. The conflict was caused by an Imperial investigation that traced deliveries of bomb-making materials from this system to an NMLA workshop. Colonel Ernest Harris of the LTT 1935 Confederacy stated: "The LTT 1935 system remains part of the Federation, now that we have defended against the Empire's attempt to take control. Our citizens have been saved from the indignities of Imperial interrogation. In gratitude to the Federal auxiliaries and independent pilots who helped support our freedom, rewards are now available at Wolf Port. There was also a message from Captain Axel Cyprian of the L.Y.S Corp: "This is a serious setback in our war against the NMLA terrorists, who the Federation seem eager to protect. Nevertheless, for all those courageous pilots who flew on our behalf, we can offer generous payments from Strength of Purpose."[15]

10 NOV 3306

  • Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval has recovered from an assassination attempt and signalled a new direction for Nova Imperium. Princess Aisling Duval provided advanced medical care for Imperator Duval after a near-fatal attack by NMLA assassins. Following a period of discussion, she told the media: "At this time of crisis we need allies more than ever, and my cousin's royal heritage should not be denied. I have therefore formally requested sovereign consent for him to be accepted into the Imperial Family as Prince Hadrian." Hadrian Duval broadcast this message from Dyson City: "I owe my life to Aisling, but life without purpose means nothing, and the Duvals' purpose has always been to protect the Empire. I seek to adopt my birthright and help defend our traditional ways of life. However, many of us see disturbing parallels between the brutal purge of Nova Imperium's followers in 3305 and the current crusade against the Marlinists. I call upon those in power not to repeat this mistake – the NMLA is the common enemy we must unite against." Many senators publicly agreed that the Empire must heal past divisions to focus on the Neo-Marlinist threat. Others have voiced concerns at the repercussions of Emperor Hengist's illegitimate grandson becoming an heir to the throne. As yet, Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval has not responded.[9]

06 NOV 3306

  • Neo-Marlinist extremists are continuing their campaign of terror, while the Empire and Federation clash over issues caused by Marlinist refugees. The Imperial Herald has featured updates on terrorist activity across the Empire: "The NMLA has claimed responsibility for over fifty bomb attacks during the last three weeks. These mostly targeted local authority buildings and security forces, killing hundreds. Hit squads have also assassinated several high-profile individuals connected to the Duvals, including the Emperor's relative Baron Cesare Lavigny. Senior IISS leaders have admitted to being unprepared for how organised and well-equipped the paramilitary group is. Critics suggest that the mass arrest of Marlinists may have radicalised many people who were already sympathetic to the republican ideology." The Federal Times has focused on the tensions between superpowers: "With diplomatic channels closing down, the possibility that the confrontation in LTT 1935 might escalate into all-out war cannot be ignored. There is added pressure from the exodus of millions of Marlinists, whose beliefs align with the Federation's democratic principles. President Hudson is still suffering from reduced congressional support, and many have said that it feels like Felicia Winters is running the show. But although her humanitarian efforts undoubtedly saved many refugees' lives, the acceptance of Imperial outcasts into Federal society remains in question."[11]

05 NOV 3306

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    The Empire's counter-terrorism operation in the LTT 1935 system has triggered armed resistance from the Federation.
    The Imperial Internal Security Service's investigation into the NMLA terrorist group led its agents to LTT 1935, a Federation-controlled system in neutral space. Military vessels were called in for support, only to be met in combat by Federal forces. A declaration was made by Colonel Ernest Harris of the LTT 1935 Confederacy: "The Empire cannot dominate and arrest our citizens as it did with the Marlinists. We claim the right to defend the Federation's territory from such aggressive tactics." Captain Axel Cyprian of the L.Y.S Corp responded: "The IISS has confirmed that the Neo-Marlinists have secret bomb-making factories concealed within LTT 1935. To prevent future atrocities, it is vital that we take control of this system and shut down the NMLA's source of weapons." The LTT 1935 Confederacy has requested help from independent pilots to defend LTT 1935 from occupation by the Empire. The L.Y.S Corp has also asked for auxiliaries to assist in gaining control of the system.[14]

03 NOV 3306

  • The Empire has revealed new evidence that suggests the NMLA terrorist group may be receiving help from elements within the Federation. A report from the Imperial Internal Security Service stated: "With information provided by the engineer Liz Ryder, we located an abandoned workshop where explosives had been constructed using her blueprints. Traces were found of Thargoid caustic enzymes, matching the payloads delivered during the starport bombings. Micro-signage on cargo containers identified bulk deliveries of equipment from a Federal system in neutral space, where we believe the NMLA has a second bomb-making facility. IISS agents are currently investigating to confirm these findings." Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester refuted these allegations: "The suggestion that we're responsible for the Empire's home-grown extremists is laughable. As with their persecution of Marlinists, this is another excuse for an inability to solve their own problems." Imperial Ambassador Imogen Luciana responded: "There have long been rumours that the NMLA has the Federation's support, to destabilise the Empire and promote republican propaganda. If true, there will be severe consequences." In related news, some Federal systems are struggling to cope with an influx of Marlinist refugees. Public disobedience, food shortages and epidemics have been reported in the Thetis, LTT 1935 and HIP 36081 systems, due to a lack of additional resources.[13]

02 NOV 3306

  • Princess Aisling Duval has provided lifesaving aid to Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval, who was severely wounded by NMLA terrorists. The INV Achenar's Courage, transported her to the Paresa system where she offered protection against further assassination attempts. Hadrian Duval was transferred to the Majestic-class Interdictor's medical bay, surrounded by both his Praetorian Guard and Imperial troops. He received advanced treatment including Vitadyne nanomeds, and is no longer in critical condition. This unorthodox intervention has drawn both criticism and praise from senators and public alike. Nova Imperium is outlawed for sedition due to its isolationist policies, and its leader is not recognised by the Imperial Family. However, a non-aggression pact was agreed between Aisling and Hadrian in 3305. A defiant Aisling Duval told The Imperial Herald: "I recently lost one member of my family to these extremists. I am not about to lose another. Regardless of politics, Hadrian is my cousin, and there are precious few Duvals left alive." Nova Imperium's head of security, Praetor Leo Magnus, commented: "I am confident that our Imperator would have survived, but we do appreciate Her Highness's assistance. It remains a mystery how the NMLA could come so close to succeeding, but my investigations continue."[8]

30 OCT 3306

  • The Empire has repeated its demand for the Federation to deport all Marlinist emigrants, as tensions increase between the two superpowers. Hundreds of thousands of political refugees reached Federal space after fleeing to escape the Empire's hunt for Neo-Marlinist terrorists. Congress has agreed to provide sanctuary, along with offers of permanent residency. Imperial Ambassador Imogen Luciana stated: "Our people must be safely returned so we can identify dangerous NMLA activists, before they gain the opportunity to inflict further harm. We have no desire for the Federation to suffer the same horrific attacks." A response was given by Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester: "As always, the Empire promises one thing and does another. This is not an altruistic effort to spare us from terrorists – it is a totalitarian purge of believers in democracy." There are reports that both superpowers have suspended many official channels of communication. Political commentators have observed that the Federation's actions could be construed as the mass kidnapping of Imperial citizens, which would be an act of war.[12]

27 OCT 3306

  • Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval has been severely wounded in an assassination attempt by Neo-Marlinist extremists. The attack took place at Dyson City in the Paresa system, headquarters of the isolationist organisation Nova Imperium. A small team of armed intruders broke into the command deck and opened fire. Three people were killed and four injured, including Hadrian Duval, before his Praetorian Guard eliminated the assassins. The NMLA has claimed responsibility. On propaganda channels, the paramilitary group vows to "sever every head of the Duval hydra", and calls for all citizens to rise up and demand democracy. Praetor Leo Magnus, Nova Imperium's head of security, gave this statement to Vox Galactica: "The Imperator is in a critical condition but receiving our finest medical care. I am personally overseeing an investigation into how the NMLA infiltrated our starport and bypassed security checks. Such attacks are as sickening as they are cowardly, and Nova Imperium stands firmly against these terrorists." Hadrian Duval is the illegitimate grandson of Emperor Hengist. His father, the late Commander Hector Jansen, was the result of a secret liaison with a household slave. Although disowned by the Imperial Family, Hadrian claims to be a rightful heir to the throne.[7]

12 OCT 3306

  • Liz Ryder, an engineer based in the Eurybia system, has confirmed that her designs for an explosive match those used by NMLA terrorists against Imperial starports. Her statement was distributed by Vox Galactica: "Under a private contract from what appeared to be the Eurybia Blue Mafia, I designed demolition charges capable of delivering a secondary payload. At no point did I know these would be customised to hold Thargoid caustic enzymes or used in terrorist activities. Until recently, I had no idea that the starport bombings were caused by modified versions of my design. I have since discovered that my contractors used false identification, and now seem to be untraceable. It appears that the NMLA, or people working for them, infiltrated the Eurybia Blue Mafia to access my services. To help clear the Eurybia Blue Mafia, which has supported me for years, I have provided Imperial investigators with all the data I have regarding this contract. I urge the Empire to accept that we were all deceived by the terrorists." The Imperial Internal Security Service confirmed that the warrant for Liz Ryder's arrest has been rescinded and it is reviewing her information, which may lead to locating the source of the Thargoid enzymes used in the bombs.[3]

08 OCT 3306

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    Conflict between Regulatory State of Ackwada and Duduseklis Empire League in the Ackwada system.
    The Empire has targeted a Marlinist faction that is suspected of supporting the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army (NMLA). It was recently placed into lockdown for its pro-Marlinist stance, during which time suspicions were raised of it having a direct connection to the NMLA. The Imperial Internal Security Service made this statement: "The Duduseklis Empire League is one of several organisations that publicly accepted the principles of Marlinism. Our intelligence suggests it is allowing the NMLA to radicalise its citizens into becoming activists for the paramilitary group. Operations to investigate this potential nest of terrorists have been met with armed resistance. Imperial auxiliaries and independent pilots are requested to assist the Regulatory State of Ackwada in defeating all pro-Marlinist forces in the Ackwada system." The Duduseklis Empire League broadcast this message: "If NMLA members have been recruited from our people, it is certainly not with our knowledge. The Empire is using a terrorist hunt to justify persecuting millions of ordinary citizens, whose only crime is to believe in republican ideals. We remain loyal to the Emperor, but are forced to counter this unwarranted aggression to ensure these political refugees escape imprisonment. The stronger our resistance, the more megaships can flee this system. We desperately need help so we can transport thousands of innocent families to safety."[120]

08 OCT 3306

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT: For the attention of all Commanders*
    Conflict between Keltim Empire League and Eurybia Blue Mafia in Eurybia has ended.
    The Eurybia Blue Mafia has successfully fought off an attempt by the Empire to take the Engineer Liz Ryder into custody. Spokesperson Ana Westergard made this announcement on behalf of the anarchist faction: "This is a victory against the Empire's arrogance! There was never any evidence that Liz Ryder or our organisation are involved with terrorists, and this invasion was based entirely on supposition. We are extremely grateful to everyone who helped us defend Liz Ryder and maintain our independence. Rewards to all those brave Commanders are available at Awyra Flirble starport, modules will be placed in storage by the 10th of October 3306." Captain Rocco Gandara of the Keltim Empire League announced: "Despite the anarchists having the upper hand on this occasion, I can confirm that we will honour all of our supporting pilots by making rewards available at Prelude to Victory."[121]

01 OCT 3306

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT: For the attention of all Commanders*
    Conflict between Keltim Empire League and Eurybia Blue Mafia in the Eurybia system.
    Explosive devices used in recent terrorist attacks on four Imperial starports have been linked to Liz Ryder, an engineer based in the Eurybia system. The Imperial Internal Security Service published this report: "Analysis of station traffic revealed that the explosives were delivered on cargo transports linked to the Eurybia Blue Mafia, a notorious anarchist organisation that we have reason to believe is secretly supplying the NMLA. The Eurybia Blue Mafia is protecting demolitions expert Liz Ryder, who we strongly suspect designed the specialist weapons used in the starport bombings. As they have refused to cooperate, a state of war has been declared until she is surrendered to our custody. Our affiliate faction, the Keltim Empire League, has requested the support of independent pilots against any resisting anarchist forces." Ana Westergard, a spokesperson for the Eurybia Blue Mafia, broadcast this emergency message: "This is an outrageous invasion by the Empire! We categorically deny any involvement with the NMLA. I urgently call upon our supporters – and anyone who cares about freedom – to help us defend Liz Ryder as well as our independence." Engineering services are still available at the Demolition Unlimited workshop, with Liz Ryder communicating remotely from a place of safety.[122]

30 SEP 3306

  • Senator Denton Patreus has mobilised Imperial military forces in response to terrorist acts committed by the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army (NMLA). The Empire has declared martial law and a lockdown in Ackwada, Beatis, Chana and Nahuatl, where the republican ideals of Marlinism are known to be popular. Imperial Army troops have replaced local security forces, and potential NMLA sympathisers are being arrested for interrogation. Senator Patreus received applause in the Imperial Senate when he vowed: "There will be justice for the murder of Prince Harold Duval and justice for those citizens who perished in flames. The Marlinists will pay dearly for these atrocities!" In related news, the Imperial Internal Security Service issued a report regarding the NMLA's recent attacks on starports: "Forensic results confirm that much of the station damage was caused by Thargoid caustic enzymes. Fragments indicate that the bombs were of advanced design but definitely man-made, not Thargoid in origin. Their payloads were identical in composition to enzyme missile rack warheads. Our deduction is that the portable explosives were smuggled onto all four starports, then remotely detonated as one coordinated strike. We are interviewing station personnel and analysing recent traffic to identify any patterns."[123]

21 SEP 3306

  • The Imperial Herald has published an obituary of Prince Harold Duval, who was assassinated by NMLA terrorists. "Born in 3230 to Emperor Hengist, Harold Duval reacted against his father's puritan lifestyle by filling his days with partying and debauchery, becoming the black sheep of the Duval family. It was probably accidental that Harold had a child with entertainer Imogen Gabrielini, but they married shortly before her narcotics-related death. His daughter, Princess Aisling Duval, has always spoken warmly of her loving father. Emperor Hengist eventually decreed that his son was not fit for the throne, despite being his only heir. Harold never contested this, perhaps relieved to allow half-sister Arissa Lavigny-Duval to take his place. In recent years Harold became a recluse on Capitol, suffering ill-health from a lifetime of excesses. But a father's protective instinct motivated him to travel to Aisling's home system after it was attacked. Tragically, despite always renouncing power, merely being a Duval made him a target to those same republican terrorists. As the Empire mourns Prince Harold, suspicions arise that the NMLA were aided by inside knowledge of his ship's itinerary and security, throwing an uneasy shadow over the legacy of this eccentric, endearing man."[6]

17 SEP 3306

  • Imperial news sources have confirmed that Prince Harold Duval was assassinated by NMLA terrorists while travelling incognito to the Cemiess system. Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval broadcast this address: "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Prince Harold. A state funeral at the Hall of Martyrs is being arranged and there will be a period of mourning, as is customary for esteemed members of the Imperial Family. There will be opportunities for all citizens to honour Harold's memory in an appropriate manner." Princess Aisling Duval, Harold's daughter, appeared uncharacteristically distressed when she gave a brief statement to the media: "It's a huge loss to us all that… I'm sorry… I can't believe this has happened. He can't be gone! I used to have some sympathy for the Marlinists, but now they… they took him from us. They took my daddy." The NMLA also attacked starports in the Cemiess, Gabjaujis, LHS 4031 and Rabh systems. The Empire is now on heightened alert, and the Senate has approved new counter-terrorism initiatives proposed by Senator Denton Patreus.[124]

14 SEP 3306

  • Prince Harold Duval is dead after a targeted assassination attempt by the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army. The Empire has imposed a media blackout on these events, and no official statement has been made. However, independent journalist Gwendolyn Nash published this on-the-scene report for Vox Galactica: "From interviewing multiple sources, we gather that a single assassin managed to infiltrate Harold Duval's personal transport. He was killed by shipboard guards but not before shooting the Prince at close range. The NMLA claimed responsibility for this attack in its latest propaganda broadcast, which referred to the Duval family as 'imperialist parasites'. The extremist group also demanded that 'Marlinists everywhere must rise up and demand a democratic Republic'. Harold Duval was famously declared unfit for the throne by Emperor Hengist, and has been out of the public eye ever since. He rarely left Capitol but was making an unpublicised journey to visit his daughter Aisling Duval, presumably in response to the recent terrorist attack in the Cemiess system. It remains unknown how the NMLA knew of the Prince's itinerary, or managed to breach security on his ship."[5]

12 SEP 3306

  • The Imperial Internal Security Service has transmitted another urgent bulletin regarding terrorist attacks on starports in the Empire. "There have been indications that the four starports came under attack by Thargoids. We can confirm that this is not the case, and there is no evidence of Thargoid vessels in the vicinity. Observers reported that some of the damage inflicted on the stations' infrastructure closely resembled the effect of Thargoid weaponry. This was registered by internal sensor systems, resulting in automatic emergency broadcasts designed to summon aid during a Thargoid incursion. Preliminary investigations suggest the use of customised explosive devices that incorporated elements of Thargoid technology. This suggests that the perpetrators have access to unusually sophisticated resources as well as xenological materials. As yet there is no reason to doubt that the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army (NMLA) is responsible for these attacks. We have received reports of jubilant scenes from some Imperial fringe systems, in territories where Marlinism remains popular." Help with rescue operations is still being requested from the four Imperial starports: Mackenzie Relay in the Cemiess system, Tsiolkovsky Terminal in the Gabjaujis system, Garrido Market in the LHS 4031 system, and Muller Terminal in the Rabh system.[2]

10 SEP 3306

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT: For the attention of all Commanders*
    The Empire has broadcast this message across its emergency channels: "There have been multiple explosions within Mackenzie Relay station, in Princess Aisling Duval's home system of Cemiess. NMLA terrorists have claimed responsibility. In coordinated attacks they have also struck at Tsiolkovsky Terminal in the Gabjaujis system, Garrido Market in the LHS 4031 system, and Muller Terminal in the Rabh system. We urgently request assistance from the galactic community with repairing these starports and rescuing their populations." The Imperial Internal Security Service issued a bulletin regarding this current threat: "The Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army (NMLA) is a paramilitary force of political extremists, whose activities have been small-scale until now. Marlinism is a well-known ideology inspired by Marlin Duval, who established the Republic of Achenar in the 23rd century prior to it becoming the Empire. Many people in the fringe systems are Marlinists, who want to replace hereditary Emperors with representation by elected senators. Neo-Marlinism is a more radical conviction that only terror tactics will force such change. The NMLA's hatred of the Imperial Family explains why it has targeted starports under the Duval banner. But its use of portable military-grade explosives is unprecedented, suggesting an increase in resources."[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 GalNet: Terrorist Attacks on Imperial Starports
  2. 2.0 2.1 GalNet: Terror Attacks Used Thargoid-Derived Explosives
  3. 4.0 4.1 GalNet: Empire Marks Anniversary of NMLA Attacks
  4. 5.0 5.1 GalNet: Prince Harold Duval Assassinated
  5. 6.0 6.1 GalNet: Obituary: Prince Harold Duval
  6. 7.0 7.1 GalNet: Terrorist Hit Squad Targets Hadrian Duval
  7. 8.0 8.1 GalNet: Hadrian Duval Saved by Aisling Duval's Intervention
  8. 9.0 9.1 GalNet: Hadrian Duval Seeks Reintegration with the Empire
  9. 10.0 10.1 GalNet: Emperor Decides Hadrian Duval's Status
  10. 11.0 11.1 GalNet: Terrorism Spreads as Superpower Conflicts Increase
  11. 12.0 12.1 GalNet: Empire and Federation Clash Over Marlinists
  12. 13.0 13.1 GalNet: Federation Accused of Supporting the NMLA
  13. 14.0 14.1 GalNet: Federal and Imperial Forces Engage in Battle
  14. 15.0 15.1 GalNet: Federal System Resists Imperial Takeover
  15. 16.0 16.1 GalNet: Terrorists Identified Among Marlinist Refugees
  16. 17.0 17.1 GalNet: Terrorist Bombing at Federal Starport
  17. 18.0 18.1 GalNet: Superpowers React to Latest NMLA Strike
  18. 19.0 19.1 GalNet: The Shadow of War
  19. 20.0 20.1 GalNet: Marlinist Refugee Crisis Grows Critical
  20. 21.0 21.1 GalNet: Sirius Corporation Campaign to Establish Marlinist Colonies
  21. 22.0 22.1 GalNet: Commodities Delivered to Build Marlinist Colonies
  22. 23.0 23.1 GalNet: Terrorism Respite as Marlinists Prepare for New Homes
  23. 24.0 24.1 GalNet: Alliance Shelters New Marlinist Refugees
  24. 25.0 25.1 Frontier Forums: Galnet & Twitter: "an unknown vessel needs our help!"
  25. 26.0 26.1 GalNet: Request for Pilots to Trace Distress Call
  26. 27.0 27.1 GalNet: Anonymous Source Refers to Distress Call Location
  27. 28.0 28.1 GalNet: Empire Denies Existence of Secret Prison
  28. 29.0 29.1 GalNet: Nine Starports Hit by Terrorist Bombings
  29. 30.0 30.1 GalNet: Galactic Summit Cancelled – NMLA Attacks Superpowers
  30. 31.0 31.1 GalNet: Starport Bombing Casualties Include Federal Vice President
  31. 32.0 32.1 GalNet: Anti-NMLA Intelligence Unit Formed
  32. 33.0 33.1 GalNet: Galactic Mysteries: The NMLA
  33. 34.0 34.1 GalNet: ACT Gathers Intelligence on the NMLA
  34. 35.0 35.1 GalNet: Marlinists Reject Accusations of Terrorist Links
  35. 36.0 36.1 GalNet: ACT Requests Help to Locate Missing Agent
  36. 37.0 37.1 GalNet: Crashed Ship of Missing ACT Agent Located
  37. 38.0 38.1 GalNet: Empire Attacks Neo-Marlinist Faction
  38. 39.0 39.1 GalNet: The Wedding of Hadrian Duval
  39. 40.0 40.1 GalNet: Neo-Marlinist Faction Defeated in Battle
  40. 41.0 41.1 GalNet: Neo-Marlinists Seek Sanctuary at Marlinist Colonies
  41. 42.0 42.1 GalNet: Conditional Amnesty Agreed for Neo-Marlinists
  42. 43.0 43.1 GalNet: Neo-Marlinists Expose Hadrian Duval as NMLA Leader
  43. 44.0 44.1 GalNet: Hadrian Duval Refutes NMLA Allegations
  44. 45.0 45.1 GalNet: Nova Imperium Targeted by Superpowers
  45. 46.0 46.1 GalNet: Federation Attacks Nova Imperium
  46. 47.0 47.1 GalNet: Paresa Conflict Risks War Between Superpowers
  47. 48.0 48.1 GalNet: Nova Imperium Triumphs Over Federation
  48. 49.0 49.1 GalNet: Hadrian Duval Allegations Declared 'Inconclusive'
  49. 50.0 50.1 GalNet: NMLA Makes Political Overtures
  50. 51.0 51.1 GalNet: Imperial Senate Considers Marlinist Diplomacy
  51. 52.0 52.1 GalNet: NMLA Political Wing Causes Controversy
  52. 53.0 53.1 GalNet: Marlinist Colonies Face Political Division
  53. 54.0 54.1 GalNet: Data Required for Marlinist Election
  54. 55.0 55.1 GalNet: Free Marlinist Candidate Wins Election
  55. 56.0 56.1 GalNet: NMLA Attacks Marlinist Starports
  56. 57.0 57.1 GalNet: Marlinists in Crisis After Starport Bombings
  57. 58.0 58.1 GalNet: Anti-NMLA Forces Win Marlinist Civil War
  58. 59.0 59.1 GalNet: ACT Scores Victories Against the NMLA
  59. 60.0 60.1 GalNet: Terrorist Attack at Hadrian Duval's HQ
  60. 61.0 61.1 GalNet: NMLA Aims to 'Extinguish the Duval Line'
  61. 62.0 62.1 GalNet: Senators Offer to Protect Hadrian Duval
  62. 63.0 63.1 GalNet: Hadrian Duval Accepts Senate Protection
  63. 64.0 64.1 GalNet: ACT Captures Theta Group
  64. 65.0 65.1 GalNet: Manhunt for Theta Seven Escalates
  65. Frontier Forums: The Hunt For Theta Seven - You Could Win 750,000,000 Cr!, post #631
  66. Frontier Forums: The Hunt For Theta Seven - You Could Win 750,000,000 Cr!, post #749
  67. 68.0 68.1 GalNet: Theta Seven Traced to Panjabell System
  68. 69.0 69.1 GalNet: NMLA Retakes the Steel Majesty
  69. 70.0 70.1 GalNet: Neo-Marlinist Forces Gather in Mudhrid
  70. 71.0 71.1 GalNet: Far God Megaship Hijacked by Theta Seven
  71. 72.0 72.1 GalNet: The Battle of Mudhrid
  72. 73.0 73.1 GalNet: Battle of Mudhrid Ends in NMLA Defeat
  73. 74.0 74.1 GalNet: Standoff for ACT and Theta Seven
  74. 75.0 75.1 GalNet: The Death of Theta Seven
  75. 76.0 76.1 GalNet: Theta Seven's Identity Discovered
  76. 78.0 78.1 GalNet: Imperial Intelligence Denies NMLA Connection
  77. 79.0 79.1 GalNet: Senate Blocks ACT Investigation
  78. 80.0 80.1 GalNet: ACT Defies Imperial Decree
  79. 81.0 81.1 GalNet: Help Needed to Crack the NMLA's Network
  80. 82.0 82.1 GalNet: Arissa Rescued from Year-Long Captivity
  81. 83.0 83.1 GalNet: ACT Exposes the Lords of Restoration
  82. 84.0 84.1 GalNet: Battle of Summerland Ends NMLA Threat
  83. 85.0 85.1 GalNet: ACT Disbanded Following Defeat of NMLA
  84. GalNet: Imperial Guard Defends Duvals
  85. GalNet: Further Omega Grid Secrets Revealed
  86. GalNet: Empire Declares Reprisals Against Darkwater
  87. GalNet: Arissa Retakes the Imperial Throne
  88. GalNet: Federation Divided by Hudson's Proposal
  89. GalNet: Arissa Addresses the Empire
  90. GalNet: Federal Government Plans for the Future
  91. GalNet: The Missing Emperor?
  92. GalNet: A Retrospective of 3307 (Part Three)
  93. GalNet: Duvals Gather to Celebrate New Year
  94. GalNet: A Retrospective of 3307 (Part Four)
  95. GalNet: A Retrospective of 3307 (Part Two)
  96. GalNet: A Retrospective of 3307 (Part One)
  97. GalNet: NMLA Megaship Becomes Marlinist Flagship
  98. GalNet: Tributes Gathered to Honour Duval Heir
  99. GalNet: Demands for Federal Rebellion Decline
  100. GalNet: Alliance and Marlinists Address Refugee Crisis
  101. GalNet: An Heir for Hadrian Duval
  102. GalNet: Marlinists Regroup in Civil War Aftermath
  103. GalNet: Marlinist Civil War Declared
  104. GalNet: Tensions Inflamed in Marlinist Colonies
  105. GalNet: Federal Surveillance Sabotages Independence
  106. GalNet: ACT Continues to Hunt NMLA Terrorists
  107. GalNet: Neo-Marlinist Political Party Emerges
  108. GalNet: Winters Claims Civilian Surveillance is Illegal
  109. GalNet: Imperial Senator Visits Marlinist Colonies
  110. GalNet: Federation Begins Anti-Terrorist Monitoring
  111. GalNet: Demands for Empire to Solve Terrorist Problem
  112. GalNet: Medicines Delivered for Starport Bombing Survivors
  113. GalNet: New Federal Vice President Selected
  114. GalNet: Medical Supplies Needed for Starport Bombing Survivors
  115. GalNet: Superpowers Respond to 'Nine Martyrs' Attack
  116. GalNet: Engineer's Enhanced Missile Rack Initiative
  117. GalNet: Engineers Boost Ship Module Upgrading
  118. GalNet: Military Strike Against Marlinist Faction
  119. GalNet: Eurybia Blue Mafia Resists Imperial Forces
  120. GalNet: Engineer Linked to Terrorist Weapons
  121. GalNet: Imperial Crackdown on Marlinists
  122. GalNet: Death of a Duval