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The starport Li Qing Jao in Sol, after being bombed

The Nine Martyrs were a series of coordinated terrorist bombings on nine major starports carried out by the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army on March 11, 3307. The attack's name was coined by one of the NMLA's leading bombmakers, Theta Seven, in reference to both the number of starports targeted and the NMLA's earlier bombing of Kepler Orbital in Atropos on November 19, 3306, which had been undertaken to silence nine NMLA members detained there by the Federal Security Service who were awaiting transfer to the Imperial Internal Security Service for interrogation. With over half a million people killed and hundreds of thousands more injured, the Nine Martyrs were the deadliest single terrorist attack in human history.

The starports damaged by the Nine Martyrs bombings were Li Qing Jao in Sol, Dawes Hub in Achenar, Donaldson in Alioth, Lave Station in Lave, Hahn Gateway in Nanomam, Ito Orbital in Rhea, Parkinson Dock in Eotienses, Shajn Market in Kamadhenu, and Dublin Citadel in Gateway. Subsequent investigation found that the NMLA used the Mudhrid system as a staging post for the attack and received assistance from a local faction, the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid. NMLA infiltrators among Mudhrid's various factions apparently arranged for nine cargo transports, each bound for one of the targeted starports, to pass through Mudhrid on the same date in the week before the attack, at which point the transports were loaded with bomb components that the NMLA had designed to be impervious to detection by security. Once the components were offloaded at their destinations, they were assembled by local NMLA operatives, planted throughout the starports, and then detonated simultaneously on March 11.

Beyond refocusing the galactic community on the threat posed by the NMLA, which had demonstrated it was willing to attack the Federation, Alliance, and independent systems in addition to its primary enemy, the Empire, the Nine Martyrs attack had other significant political ramifications. First, it occurred at the start of the third and final week of the Galactic Summit at Patterson Enterprise in the Sirius system, causing the conference to be cancelled early and precluding the signing of the proposed Sirius Treaty. Second, Brad Mitchell, the Federal Vice President and a potential candidate in the 3309 Federal presidential election, was present on Li Qing Jao and perished in the bombing, along with numerous other high-profile Federal officials; Mitchell's successor, Jerome Archer, sponsored a piece of emergency legislation named the Domestic Counter-Terrorism Act that greatly expanded the surveillance powers of the Federal government. Lastly, the Nine Martyrs were catastrophic enough to trigger the activation of new emergency communication protocols between the superpowers' heads of security that had been established by the Cornelius-Lasky Convention, resulting in the creation of the Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit (ACT) to bring down the NMLA.

Timeline

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.[1]

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."[2]

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."[3]

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."[4]

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.[5]

07 SEP 3307

  • Prime Minister Edmund Mahon has commented on the Aegis inquiry and his failed proposal to unify anti-xeno operations. As part of an interview with The Alliance Tribune, he said: "The greatest regret of my career is that I was unable to formalise the Sirius Treaty at the Galactic Summit. This would have revolutionised Aegis by providing the commitment and resources it deserves, sparing it the indignity of a public inquiry. The Nine Martyrs attacks prevented that historic occasion, of course, but the Sirius Treaty itself remains viable. I'd be happy to ratify it on behalf of the Alliance if we can convince the other signatories that defending humanity from the Thargoid threat should be our utmost priority." Investigators continue to gather information regarding Aegis's operations. There have been further resignations of key staff, and financial records are being independently audited. Dr Paul Baumann, chair of the board of inquiry, confirmed that charges of criminal negligence could be brought against key figures within Aegis given sufficient evidence. However, there is uncertainty as to which court would deal with legal proceedings for a tri-superpower organisation.[6]

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."[7]

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.[8]

17 MAY 3307

  • The front-runner candidates in the Alliance election have stepped up their campaigns, amid widespread political and civil unrest. Prime Minister Edmund Mahon and Councillor Nakato Kaine are touring across the Alliance, gathering public support to sway the Assembly when it votes on the 27th of May. Attending a business sector conference on the planet Industry in the Zaonce system, Prime Minister Mahon stated: "We've heard a lot of reactionary rhetoric from Councillor Kaine, but it's much easier to be critical than constructive. She has done little to secure the prosperity of our people and companies, which was my primary focus over the last six years." At a protest march on New Caledonia in the Alkaid system, Councillor Kaine addressed the crowd: "Again, the Thargoids lash out at our presence. Again, we prop up the other superpowers. Again, we pump money into Aegis and Lakon but not our own economies. Nothing changes, unless Mahon is voted out and the Alliance takes a new direction!" Opinion polls suggest that Mahon has retained majority support, but with a narrower margin than in February when the election was originally scheduled. Many agree with Kaine that the Alliance should not have participated in the Galactic Summit, which led to the 'Nine Martyrs' bombings.[9]

10 MAY 3307

  • The election of the Alliance prime minister will take place on the 27th of May, having been postponed due to the Galactic Summit. Vanya Driscoll, political correspondent for The Alliance Tribune, reported: "Prime Minister Edmund Mahon's decision to postpone the election for three months caused enormous disruption and mass protests. This may have mortally wounded his campaign to be re-elected as head of government for a second six-year term. With hindsight it's clear that Mahon was prioritising the Sirius Treaty, a detailed proposal to unite the superpowers against the Thargoids. Unfortunately, the Galactic Summit was prematurely halted by the 'Nine Martyrs' bombings before the treaty could be agreed. Although there are several candidates, Mahon's only serious challenger is Councillor Nakato Kaine. She has been a vocal critic of his expansionist policies, and gained much public support for her focus on boosting trade between Alliance systems. Electoral votes will be cast by members of the Alliance Assembly, whose decisions reflect popular opinion in their constituencies. No previous prime minister has served more than a single term, so it remains to be seen whether Mahon will defy precedent or Kaine will follow the pattern of history."[10]

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.[11]

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.[12]

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."[13]

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."[14]

30 MAR 3307

  • Vice President Jerome Archer has successfully proposed a new public surveillance law designed to prevent future terrorist attacks in the Federation. The Domestic Counter-Terrorism Act was debated in Congress before being approved by a majority vote. It is considered to be emergency legislation that replaces all previous laws regarding monitoring civilian activity and intercepting personal communications. Vice President Archer, who personally drafted much of the new statute, announced: "This will allow the government to actively seek out any terrorist agents and sympathisers lurking within our communities. We will never again allow so many families and friends to be taken from us." Shadow President Felicia Winters responded: "Nobody wants another 'Nine Martyrs', and it's vital that security is increased across the Federation. But this is an outrageous violation of civil liberties. For this administration to grant itself access to every citizen's private life makes it resemble a dictatorial regime." VP Archer later confirmed that he is already working with the heads of security services on practical applications of the new law. As a former director of the Federal Intelligence Agency, he is expected to make rapid progress.[15]

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."[16]

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."[17]

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.[18]

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.[19]

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'."[20]

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."[21]

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."[22]

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.[23]

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.[26]

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.[27]

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.[28]

References

  1. GalNet: ACT Disbanded Following Defeat of NMLA
  2. GalNet: A Retrospective of 3307 (Part Two)
  3. GalNet: A Retrospective of 3307 (Part One)
  4. GalNet: The Battle of Mudhrid
  5. GalNet: Empire Marks Anniversary of NMLA Attacks
  6. GalNet: Mahon: Sirius Treaty Would Save Aegis
  7. GalNet: NMLA Political Wing Causes Controversy
  8. GalNet: ACT Continues to Hunt NMLA Terrorists
  9. GalNet: Alliance Unrest as Mahon and Kaine Clash
  10. GalNet: Alliance Election Campaigns Resume
  11. GalNet: Conditional Amnesty Agreed for Neo-Marlinists
  12. GalNet: Neo-Marlinists Seek Sanctuary at Marlinist Colonies
  13. GalNet: Neo-Marlinist Faction Defeated in Battle
  14. GalNet: Empire Attacks Neo-Marlinist Faction
  15. GalNet: Federal Congress Grants Emergency Surveillance Powers
  16. GalNet: Demands for Empire to Solve Terrorist Problem
  17. GalNet: ACT Requests Help to Locate Missing Agent
  18. GalNet: Medicines Delivered for Starport Bombing Survivors
  19. GalNet: New Federal Vice President Selected
  20. GalNet: Marlinists Reject Accusations of Terrorist Links
  21. GalNet: ACT Gathers Intelligence on the NMLA
  22. GalNet: Galactic Mysteries: The NMLA
  23. GalNet: Medical Supplies Needed for Starport Bombing Survivors
  24. GalNet: Anti-NMLA Intelligence Unit Formed
  25. GalNet: Superpowers Respond to 'Nine Martyrs' Attack
  26. GalNet: Starport Bombing Casualties Include Federal Vice President
  27. GalNet: Galactic Summit Cancelled – NMLA Attacks Superpowers
  28. GalNet: Nine Starports Hit by Terrorist Bombings
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