Nigel Smeaton was the Vice President of the Federation under the administration of Federal PresidentJasmina Halsey. Appointed by Halsey at the time of her inauguration in 3300, Smeaton was a distinguished member of the Liberal Party, and a good friend of both Halsey and then-Secretary of State Felicia Winters.
Smeaton was found dead in his home on Mars on January 12, 3301. His death was initially ruled a heart attack, but an investigation by Federal Times reporter Elaine Boyd with assistance from Agent Susan Monroe, a member of Smeaton's protection detail, found that the Vice President had likely been assassinated. Smeaton had been privately investigating that the Highliner Antares disaster of 3251, which had claimed the life of a member of his family, and had apparently obtained evidence indicating that Core Dynamics had sabotaged the Antares, a development which provoked his murder and a wide-ranging cover-up by a shadowy conspiracy linked to CongressmanGeorge Fallside and the Federal arms manufacturing industry.
23 APR 3302
Imperial investigator Cornelius Gendymion has released a statement to the Prism Herald addressing accusations that Imperial agents were responsible for the destruction of Starship One. "It seems Federal Times reporter Elaine Boyd's investigations are being ignored by her countrymen. You may recall that she highlighted the suspicious deaths of key individuals involved in both the Antares and Starship One investigations before her alleged suicide. Her data detailed an off-the-books investigation into the Antares by Vice-President Nigel Smeaton, and also alleged that he was murdered. CongressmanGeorge Fallside's apparent foreknowledge of Smeaton's death was waved away, but I suspect Jacob Harris might have better luck finding Starship One's saboteurs if he searched within the Federation – perhaps starting with folks who have ties to Core Dynamics." Commander Corrigendum | Loren's Legion
15 MAR 3302
Various media outlets throughout inhabited space received an anonymous communiqué this morning. "The galactic community is in peril," the message began. "They just don't know it yet." The transmission asserts a connection between Core Dynamics, the destruction of the Antares and Starship One, the Emperor's Dawn insurgency, and setbacks in Unknown Artefact research. It also claims that the deaths of Federal Vice-President Nigel Smeaton, Sean Richards, Arnold Lowe, Susan Monroe, Elaine Boyd, EmperorHengist Duval and the disappearances of former Federal president Jasmina Halsey and Professor Ishmael Palin are similarly connected. The message concluded: "Many of those who have tried to connect these seemingly disparate events have been silenced, along with their sources. That is why I have chosen to remain anonymous. So far, only pawns have been revealed in this shadowy game. We must discover the king." Neither the Federation nor the Empire has chosen to comment on the transmission. Commander Corrigendum
28 SEP 3301
In a speech before Congress, Shadow PresidentFelicia Winters called for an open and thorough investigation into the allegations made in recent articles posted by the Federal Times: "There is too much evidence here to be ignored. I knew Vice President Nigel Smeaton personally and he was a good friend - the thought that he was murdered for investigating the death of a family member is repugnant. Our society is one based on truth and freedom and I call upon President Hudson to immediately instigate an impartial and open investigation into these allegations." Her speech was met with support from both sides of the political divide. There has been no response from the President's office as yet.
15 SEP 3301
A spokesman for Vice President Nigel Smeaton's family revealed today that a concealed data chit had been recently discovered among his personal belongings. The information stored on the device was encrypted but with the assistance of technicians at the Federal Times they were able to extract some of the information. The spokesman stated that the data would not be made public at this time, but some of the information might enable the authorities to locate the wreckage of the Highliner Antares. The data has been handed over to the Sirius Corporation as well as investigating officers. The family's spokesman declined to answer any questions.
01 SEP 3301
In another shocking revelation the Federal Times today posted a story highlighting possible links between a non-exec member of the board of Core Dynamics and Vice President Nigel Smeaton's death. They first referenced an interview on January 28th with CongressmanGeorge Fallside who appeared to have early knowledge of the Vice President's death. The Congressman refused to comment on the article, but it is public knowledge of his non-executive directorship of Core Dynamics and several other major arms manufacturers. More damning was the evidence concerning one of the crew of the Starship One, Flight Engineer Nick Baron, who had previously worked at Core Dynamics before joining the President's Crew. From the information package sent by Elaine Boyd after her death, the Federal Times published extracts of financial records of the flight engineer. When tracing these records through a convoluted series of transfers, one of these transfers was through a shell corporation in which Congressman Fallside was involved. The trail of the payments revealed that Boyd must have obtained a high level clearance access, possibly provided by Agent Monroe. When asked about today's story, the Chief Editor for the Federal Times commented: "There does appear to have been a conspiracy on several levels. We believe that the destruction of the Highliner Antares so many years ago may not have been an accident. When the Vice President was investigating the death of his relative, he must have discovered some of these details, and possible the dark forces killed him, and when our reporter Elaine Boyd did the same, she too was silenced. We are still not clear how it relates to the present day. Our reporters continue to investigate. At the Federal Times we always seek the truth and we will discover the truth here."
29 AUG 3301
The Federal Times today revealed the latest article in their ongoing investigation into the apparent suicide of their reporter Elaine Boyd. They revealed that Agent Susan Monroe, who Boyd was accused of murdering, was part of Vice President Nigel Smeaton's protection detail at the time of his death. It already seemed obvious to many that Agent Monroe was the source of the reporter's information, but now there is greater likelihood that she provided it willingly. Officials from the Federal Security Service insist that Agent Monroe was an unwilling participant and they had evidence to link the agent's death to the reporter. The Chief Editor of the Federal Times responded by claiming this was 'nonsense' and that he would not rest until the truth was revealed.
28 AUG 3301
The case of reporter Elaine Boyd took an unexpected turn today as several respected newsfeeds, including the Federal Times, received encrypted data packages. It is claimed that these were automatically sent by Elaine Boyd from a public storage server with instructions to be delivered if newsfeeds reported her death. The data apparently reveals a connection between the death earlier in the year of Vice President Nigel Smeaton and the Antares Incident. His death was officially declared an accident, although many at the time suspected foul play. Those suspicions are likely to rise again with the revelation that he was related to one of the crew aboard the Highliner Antares when it disappeared on its maiden flight 50 years ago. Elaine Boyd discovered details of a private 'off the books' investigation by the Vice President into the incident and that he suspected it was caused by sabotage, rather than drive component failure. He had already spoken to a number of now quite senior officers involved in the original enquiry. Elaine Boyd's information implied that he may have been killed to stop his investigation. In a statement, the chief editor of the Federal Times said: "We hope that amongst the information Elaine has provided there is evidence to prove her innocence in the crimes she was implicated in. We are continuing to examine the data in detail."
15 FEB 3301
In a speech delivered from Navy Headquarters, [[Lucas Vincent|Admiral Vincent has expressed his pleasure over the progress being made by Federal Forces engaged in the reclamation of Banki and BD+03 2338. "The ongoing conflicts in Banki and BD+03 2338 were not started by us. They started at the beginning of the year when lawless thugs took it upon themselves to invade their smaller, peaceful neighbours. Despite any distractions President Halsey might be facing in her failure to find a replacement for our late Vice President Smeaton, the Federation will not stand idly by while foreign powers invade federal territory under the guise of locally formed separatist movements." The Admiral went on to say: "All foreign, and indeed any domestically grown, terrorist rebels we find will be dealt with decisively. Our troops are doing extremely well, and thanks to the pinpoint strikes being carried out by my men on the ground, I expect the majority of the fighting will be over by the time I have breakfast tomorrow."
28 JAN 3301
The press furore over the death of the Federal Vice President has been given a new burst of life, after a recording of a local constituency meeting was released on the scurrilous news channel 'The Low Down'. In the otherwise low-key meeting held in a village outside Quenisset, Mars, on January 12th, the local mayor offered his condolences to the family and friends of a local businessman murdered during a robbery earlier in the week. George Fallside, the local Congressman, was present at the meeting. The Congressman, who was clearly distracted by social media at the time of the meeting, followed the mayor's speech by offering his condolences to the Vice President's family. This was an hour after the VP's death, but half an hour before the news of his death broke. The Congressman was not available for comment, but an aide has said - "Is it a big deal? He clearly misheard what was said." On 'The Low Down' they followed up by emphasising the Congressman's links with the military, and in particularly his non-exec directorship of Core Dynamics.
16 JAN 3301
Despite the suspicious circumstances that have been widely reported, no further information has come to light. Social media is alleging a high level cover-up, and it seems large amounts of data have disappeared due to system failures. President Halsey is said to be devastated, and gave a brief statement offering her sympathy to the family. It is understood there are a great many discussions going on behind the scenes to appoint a new VP, which under Federal Law must be completed within 30 days of the VP's loss. Alder Simons has given an emotional interview on the chat show 'Jenkinson'- "It's big business behind his murder. Those evil people – the military industrial complex of old – they've always been against my dear Nigel's government and its policies. Who else could launch such a big cover-up without attracting attention?"
13 JAN 3301
Fresh revelations have added uncertainty to reports Vice President Smeaton's death due to a suspected heart attack. Retrieved data from the security systems at his apartment indicate they were not functioning at the time. It's also been revealed that he completed a clean full medical scan in his private scanner only an hour before his death. His partner Alder Simons, who was not there at the time, believes Smeaton was murdered. He explained there were other irregularities such as the apartment appearing to have just been cleaned. The mystery deepened with the revelation that six minutes of the satellite surveillance data for the area appeared to have been distorted by electromagnetic interference. This does happen from time to time, but rarely in calm weather conditions such as those on the night of the Vice President's death.
12 JAN 3301
In a shocking development on Mars, Federal Vice President Nigel Smeaton was discovered dead in his private swimming pool at his luxury apartment on the foothills of Mount Olympus. A heart attack is suspected, but an investigation is ongoing. The news will come as another blow to an already beleaguered President who some pundits claim is considering resigning her post. A new VP will have to be appointed, and several senior Congressmen have suddenly been giving doorstep speeches to get themselves in the public eye.