Area colony accidentally rolls back to 1.2 era

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The Voor Technocracy colony of Tempus has accidentally traveled back in time three years, planetary administrators confirmed this morning via embassy press release.

Researchers on the planet had been investigating the precursor Zroni species, hoping to unlock their psionic abilities to help predict the galactic stock market. However, experimentation appears to have accidentally opened a temporal rift in the fabric of space, shifting the entire cluster back to the 1.2 era.

Within a single tick Tempus was thrown into chaos as a roll-back wave swallowed up districts, artisans, consumer goods and alloys, leaving behind nothing but a wasteland of 16 undeveloped tiles.

Early reports indicate the situation planet-side is dire. Millions of Voor have been left homeless as the planet can now only support pops based on the number of tiles available. Food shortages have reached critical levels as supplies can no longer be imported from neighbouring planets, and access to the galactic market is met with error messages. Enforcers, now unemployed as their jobs no longer exist, warn the planet is teetering on the brink of complete societal collapse.

Speaking from the mysterious new Tempus embassy, which appeared when the rest of the planet was destroyed, sector governor Vi’Kask broadcast a desperate message to the galaxy:

“[static]… Is this thing working? Hello? If anyone can hear me, please, send help to Tempus immediately. We’re out of sync with the galaxy and the situation is deteriorating rapidly… [unintelligible]

… for reasons unknown we are no longer recognized as part of the Voor Technocracy… [static] …. like we have just discovered FTL. We have lost all our system maps and have to re-survey everything …. [static] …. but we don’t know how because our ships suddenly got fitted with weird ‘warp drive’ things. Further complicating matters, our scientists are on strike until we get auto-surveying back, and our primary shipyard has simply vanished. We… [garbled]

… please! There are millions of refugees waiting to get off-world but apparently refugees aren’t a thing now? You must help us! You’re our only ho- [prolonged static, transmission cuts short due to ‘Out of Sync’ error message]…”

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Since Vi’Kask’s broadcast earlier this morning, communication with the planet has been cut off completely. Sensor data from Sentry Array uplinks no longer register the systems affected, and the neighboring Hive Mind which had shared communications with the colony has vanished. Its last reports indicated the planet’s scientists appeared to be asking for more information about ancient artifacts called ‘Frontier Outposts.’

The wider implications of the Tempus event are as yet unknown, however scientists from the Galactic UN have warned they are detecting a “disturbing” number of Out of Sync (OOS) messages emanating from the region. Dr. Solliciti of the Office for Space Hazards, Emergencies and Extra-Galactic Terrorism (O-SHEET) told Xenonion News:

“This is really concerning. My worry is that these constant OOS messages destabilize the region further. We may be looking at more time rifts opening up, with neighboring systems and planets also potentially being pulled back to 1.2, perhaps even further… into the black ether of nothingness.”

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The Voor Technocracy Central Executive states that all attempts to raise communications or send aid have had to be abandoned due to desynchronization issues. At the time of writing the Galactic UN dispatched a Colossus to Tempus in an attempt to shield and quarantine the world, but the ship disappeared mid jump-drive towards the system.

Shares on the Space Exchange Index (SExI) have slumped on the news.

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Opinion: 7 signs your vassal is cheating on you

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Fidelity is one of the most important aspects of a vassal-overlord relationship. For that reason, it can be absolutely devastating for an overlord to discover their vassal is secretly consorting with another space-nation who is supporting their independence.

When the inevitable diplomatic breakdown occurs, many overlords are completely blindsided. However, there are some warning signs that might help you unearth vassal duplicity and protect yourself in the longer term.

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Vassal Betrayal: The Warning Signs

1. Communication breakdown

This could be little things, such as your vassal no longer sending you 100 minerals intermittently to appease you, or not responding as promptly to your tribute requests. You may hear legitimate-sounding excuses like “I can’t afford to send you food because we’re having a famine right now” or “but you already have access to everything anyway.” Don’t fall for it, they’re being evasive and you need to look into it.

2. Personality change

This is a big sign of infidelity. Is your vassal being more secretive? More argumentative? Perhaps they’re sending more insults than usual? Sometimes this is the result of feeling guilty. Backstabbing vassals tend to try to rationalize their own behaviour, and one way they do this is projecting blame onto you, their benevolent overlord. Their leaders tell themselves you’re not as powerful as when you first met, you’re not as generous with gifting resources or they want more open-border relationships with other space-nations. Remember - if you’re questioning yourself, your attention is being averted away from your vassal.

3. Change in integration drive

Suddenly your vassal has no drive for integration anymore. Or perhaps it’s gone the other way, and they won’t stop trying to integrate? This is a classic sign of guilt. The vassal feels remorse for cheating and is trying to cover it up, because they’re thinking about getting integration elsewhere. Another worrying sign is if your vassal starts suddenly introducing new techniques and activities to facilitate integration. As much as you might enjoy this, it’s possible they’re learning these processes outside of your diplomatic relationship.

4. Change of schedule

You’re at war, you flag your fleets to lead, and you wait for vassal support to show up. Except they’re not there. If your vassal starts showing up late or stops showing up at all to your very justifiable wars, it shows they’re not making an effort for you anymore and they’re just not invested in a shared future. Lack of alloys, slow build times and sub-light traffic delays may be the typical excuses you hear. In actual fact, your vassal is probably trying to save resources to swoon your neighbouring rival space-nation.

5. Spending sprees

If there are dramatic changes in your vassal’s economy, or suddenly they have less energy credits available, it’s possible that they’re siphoning resources towards getting another space nation to support their bid for independence. The costs can add up quickly for cheating vassals - resource gifts, re-armament etc. If it’s unusual behaviour, you should follow the energy trail.

6. Hiding map colours

It’s an accepted standard that vassals adopt the map and border colour of their overlord. This is a tradition dating back hundreds of years and is an outward display of diplomatic matrimony. If your vassal suddenly starts hiding their map colour by switching to the non-union map mode, they’re yearning for pastures new.

7. Your other vassals are uncomfortable around you

With vassal treachery, the overlord is nearly always the last to find out. The cheater’s fellow vassal peers often know about the infidelity right from the start. This knowledge typically causes these vassals to feel uncomfortable around you. They might also start ignoring your requests, or sending you seemingly pointless gifts of minerals. Be aware, and remember they may squeal first if you apply just the right amount of pressure.

Vassal Betrayal: The Confrontation

An overlord accusing a vassal of betrayal is an emotionally fraught time for all involved. Tensions will be running high. If not contained, it’s likely succession and all-out war will erupt.

In the next issue we’ll take a look at 10 tips for confronting a cheating vassal.

Remember - you can’t take back the accusation of vassal cheating once you’ve made it, and it’s going to look really awkward when you’re halfway through planet-cracking all of their inhabited worlds only to find out they’ve not done anything wrong.

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Notification spam prompts area pacifists to consider becoming fanatical purifiers

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Scyldari leadership is tonight considering completely ditching the space nation’s longstanding ethos of pacifism and xenophilia in favor of becoming fanatical purifiers, after having received a record-breaking 3.7 trillion inane diplomatic notifications in the last 24 hours.

The outward-looking Scyldari have historically had high levels of contact with other species from across the galaxy, and as such they have often fielded a substantial number of diplomatic notifications.

However, recent reports from the Scyldari Foreign Office indicate both diplomats and computer systems alike are struggling to cope with an increasing flurry of notifications as hundreds of space-nations simultaneously expand and interact with each other.

Image: Scyldari Foreign Office computers are struggling to cope with high levels of inane diplomatic notifications.

Image: Scyldari Foreign Office computers are struggling to cope with high levels of inane diplomatic notifications.

Scyldari diplomat Cali J’Bassim told Xenonion News:

“Here at the Foreign Office on Scyldaria, we have relied on diplomatic notifications to keep us abreast of important developments in our local cluster, as every species does.

At first these notifications were important, like ‘FYI the hegemonic imperialists next door have declared war on you’, or ‘another six scientists were pointlessly lost at that archeology site.’ But as our xeno contact has increased, so too have the notifications… exponentially.

We’re now getting hundreds of notifications that two empires we never really interact with are repeatedly opening and closing borders to each other, or that irrelevant MegaCorp on the other side of the galaxy has entered into a commercial pact with a backwater we don’t care about. And that’s only the tip of the metaphorical iceberg. It just got too much.”

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The Scyldari Foreign office highlights that over the last three months it has been fielding an average of 1.2 trillion diplomatic notifications per day.

Common messages include:

  • Borders opened

  • That species you interacted once with has entered a research agreement with that other species that look a bit funny

  • Borders closed

  • Two space nations have formed a laughably small federation

  • Borders opened again, but then quickly closed

  • The laughably small federation has given some irrelevant species association status

With no option to filter or mute messages, the Scyldari Foreign Office has had to employ 233 million Scyldari pops to manually sift through notifications until an automated system can be implemented.

The Scyldari Prosperity Faction estimates that the cost of employing the entire population of Scyldaria as interns and terraforming the planet into a Foreign Office ecumenopolis will cripple the space nation’s budget by 2260. As such, leaders are now seriously considering switching to xenophobic and militaristic ethos in a bid to quell the diplomatic spam.

Scyldari president Dackam addressed the issue in a press conference earlier today. He stated:

“Scyldari philosophy is one of balance and moderation in all things. Sadly, there is no balance and moderation in diplomatic notifications.

We cannot stem the tide of these notifications. As such, we must address the root of the problem. We must destroy their very source… the other xenos.”

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His speech was met with universal approval across Scyldari society, and indeed from most other space nations who are grappling with similar problems.

However, the proposed switch from polar opposite ethos would be unprecedented in modern space history. In his closing remarks at the press conference, Dackam acknowledged this, stating; “I guess first we just need to figure out how to actually switch ethos. Anyone?”

Shares in Colossus-grade weapons on the Space Exchange Index (SEXI) rose dramatically on the news.

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Fleet needs upgrading again

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The Tzynn Empire’s attempts to engage rampaging pirates was again thwarted today after its entire military fleet was grounded for further upgrades.

The thirty corvettes and ten destroyers were commissioned less than a year ago, but engineers have struggled to keep pace with rapid technological change, upgrading ship armor, shields, engines and attack systems on almost a daily basis.

Today’s upgrade will see the ships fitted with the recently researched Plasteel Armor. At a cost of 325 alloys it boasts mild benefits compared to the Ceramo-Metal Armor that was installed just last week after an extensive nine-month retrofitting.

Militarist factions have criticized Tzynn Fleet Command for authorizing the upgrade, highlighting that the absence of regular fleet patrols appear to be emboldening pirate attacks on peripheral systems. Retired Tzynn Admiral Raxeg told Xenonion News;

“This whole situation is outrageous. The continual upgrades mean our primary fleet has never undocked from its home base, which is infuriating as, unlike other empires, we can actually afford to do that. The government is going to have to accept at some point the ships are combat ready, or as I keep petitioning our science department, just stop researching military tech for a couple of months.”

Image: Tzynn Admital Raxeg.

A spokesperson for the Tzynn government, Samux, told Xenonion News;

“These scheduled upgrades are vitally important for keeping our ships up-to-date with the latest technology, which means we’re more likely to win battles… if we can ever actually get to them. Plus, it’s like suuuper annoying to have that little upgrade icon keep popping up on our fleet manager screen. Like, you get rid of it, and then it just pops back up - the longer it’s left, the more times you have to click it. We’re really trying to keep on top of it.”

Image: Tzynn government spokesperson Samux.

Samux went on to stress that he was confident in the Tzynn’s military capabilities, stating; “we’ve only lost 16 systems to pirates, and only three of them had inhabited planets.”

The Tzynn Empire estimates its fleet will be completely upgraded at some point within the next three hundred years.

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Tensions escalate after plantoid diplomat served as side salad, garnish unknown

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In a dramatic turn of events, the human United Nations of Earth (UNE) and mammalian Hilathian Union (HU) have today formally declared war on the plantoid Pseudotian Empire (PE).

Tensions between the area powers have been simmering following the breakdown of the Intergalactic Peace Conference on Earth last week. The UNE, hosting, had hoped to foster cooperation between its ally, the Hilathians, and their longstanding rival, the Pseudotians. Historically relations between the two species have been fraught as the Hilathians regard the Pseudotians as non-sapient plants, and a salad delicacy.

The conference was thrown into disarray after a Hilathian diplomat, Ava’tarin, was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and eating junior Pseudotian staffer Men-Ziesii just hours after delegates arrived. When UNE Enforcement Officers searched Ava’tarin’s accommodation, the remains of Men-Ziesii were found as a freshly prepared side salad. It is highly suspected she was garnished with something to enhance flavor, such as a light vinaigrette, however at the time of writing this remains unknown. A haul of plantoid cookbooks and xenophobic texts were also discovered.

The Pseudotians, led by High Chancellor Angiosa, withdrew in protest of her diplomats being eaten, an event which has since been nicknamed ‘The Nibbling’ by local media. This was followed by Pseudotian fleets amassing along Hilathian border systems.

However, in an astounding revelation, genetic analysis undertaken at Earth’s University of Ulm Science Academy identified the side salad to be a clone of Men-Ziesii, with the whereabouts of her original stem unknown.

As the UNE appealed for peace and gather more evidence, its science ship Fahrenheit was shot down by Pseudotian forces in neutral space while investigating unusual energy pulses. It has since emerged these readings were being produced from a mammoth new Titan flagship the Pseudotians had been concealing, The Grand Herald. Its technology is vastly superior to established knowledge, and it is unclear how the Pseudotians have come into possession of such an advanced ship design.

The UNE and Hilathians have since declared war on the Pseudotians, who their intelligence services claim deliberately planted the clone of Men-Ziesii close to Ava’tarin in the conference, expecting her to be eaten and then using this as the pretext to war with their new advanced weaponry.

In a dramatic address to the UNE General Assembly in Ulm, Acting President McConnely, covering for President Rossario who is currently touring potential golf resort sites in the Outer Rim, stated:

“… It is with a heavy heart that I am forced to announce that a state of war now exists between the UNE, its allies, and the Pseudotian Empire. Approximately 31 hours ago the INS Fahrenheit was destroyed with all souls lost. Within 6 hours, our recovery team was attacked by a hostile Pseudotian fleet. With the revelation that the Pseudotian diplomat purportedly ‘murdered’ on our soil was in fact a clone, it is now apparent that this situation was engineered as an act of espionage to justify war against the Hilathians and ourselves. I leave you tonight with the promise that we will meet this new enemy with the same resolve we have always held against the enemies of freedom.”

Image: Acting UNE President McConnely

President Angiosa refused to speak to Xenonion about the claims of espionage, however in a direct address to the Pseudotian Empire earlier this week she stated:

“These rodent xenos have shown nothing but disdain for our flowering garden. Yet again they have eaten another of our own. We are a proud species and we will not be farmed for food. I do not care if we have a slightly peppery taste that goes well with everything. I do not care if our leaves have an undeniably satisfying crunchy texture. PLANTOIDS ARE XENOS TOO. The time for talk is now clearly over. The only communications we shall now have are through The Grand Herald.”

Image: Pseudotian President Angiosa, foreground, distinguished from non-sapient vines in background.

Hilathian leader Ava’Chiou appeared on Xenonion News this morning, and was played the above speech by President Angiosa. He stated:

“Uh, can someone explain why the food is talking? Does it normally do that? What is it talking about? Intergalactic Peace Conference? The thing on Earth? But that was a food festival, was it not?! Wait… wait….”

Image: Hilathian leader Ava’Chiou

OVERDRAMATIC ANALYSIS: ASHLEY EASTERBROOK
The dust hasn't even settled yet on the opening volleys of this war, but it's already clear to see that there has been a massive breakdown in diplomacy between these three powers. There are many questions yet to be answered. Did the Pseudotians definitely plant a decoy 'snack' in the midst of the conference, knowing the Hilathians would be unable to resist taking a bite? Would they have done this without The Grand Herald? Where did it come from? What if the Hilathians have a point, and the Pseudotians are actually delicious? And most importantly of all, what garnish was used to enhance plantoid flavor? For now, it's a waiting a game. But the balance of power in the galaxy hangs precariously.

At the time of writing, local human media outlets are reporting that a joint UNE-Hilathian counter-offensive against the Pseudotians has failed, owing to the overwhelming strength of The Grand Herald. The threat level on UNE core worlds has been raised to Maximum for the first time since the destruction of Centaurus Prime last year by the Stellar Starfish Empire.

Ava’tarin has since been released from Enforcer custody, as UNE laws do not extend rights to cloned tissue. Ava’tarin refused to speak to reporters, but sources close to him state he is badly shaken by events and considering “avoiding salad that can feel pain” in future.

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This article was based on The Nibbling Series written by /u/BachInTime

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Xenonion Interviews: John Reko, famed Commonwealth General from 'The War on Bugs'

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It is approaching 100 years since the Commonwealth of Man (CoM) secured victory in the Commonwealth-Arthropod conflict, colloquially known by humans as ‘The War on Bugs.’

Very little is known about the conflict as the Commonwealth tightly controls all information on the subject. The unnamed Arthropods were completely annihilated in the war, with no trace of their civilization, or indeed their appearance, remaining.

The victory is regarded as one of the most important events in Commonwealth history, one that cemented neighboring powers such as the United Nations of Earth (UNE) taking its military prowess seriously.

General John Reko is one of the Commonwealth’s most decorated military leaders. He rose to prominence during the conflict.

With the 100-year anniversary of the conflict coming up, the Commonwealth has granted Xenonion an exclusive interview with General Reko, to retell one of the galaxy’s most dramatic stories.


General Reko, thank you for taking the time to meet with us today.

It's my pleasure.

It’s fast approaching the 100 year anniversary of the Commonwealth-Arthropod conflict. Most information about the war comes from government-mandated textbooks and press releases. Today is the first time anyone official has spoken to media about the conflict in more detail. Has something happened to cause the Commonwealth’s stance to change?

That’s a good question. I think as memories fade, the Commonwealth government wants to remind the galaxy about what happened, and that while we might be a relatively small space-nation, we can still punch well above our weight.

You’ve had an illustrious career serving in the Commonwealth military, working your way up from the Hypermobile Infantry to becoming a general. Indeed, your career started just as the Commonwealth-Arthropod conflict broke out. Can you talk us through how the war with the Arthropods started, and what you were doing at the time?

Now this is taking me back.

The first thing I really remember is not war, but rather the escalation in tensions that happened just before war broke out.

I must have been about eighteen, and had just graduated from high school in Buenos Nachos, a newly built city district on Unity.

I remember around that time my science teacher, Mr. Ironside, was constantly trying to drum into my classmates and I about the failure of the democracy and the United Nations of Earth.

Back then we had sent countless science ships into space. The Commonwealth has always prioritized science. Anyway. One of our science ships found a Determined Exterminator.

The so-called ‘bugs’?

The crew’s last transmission was played on CommNet - it was a panicked one, filled with vulgar language, screams and explosive decompression. Our Science Division eventually picked up enough metaphorical crumbs for us to contact them. They were indeed arthropods…. bugs…

Do you know that the bugs’ species name was?

I don’t, no. We never cared to learn it. We just called them ‘bugs.’

You didn’t know what their names were but you could diplomatically interact with them? That’s quite unprecedented for galactic diplomacy…

Perhaps the higher-ups knew their name. But I didn’t.

Anyway. Grand Sky Marshal Beauclair sent a clear message to them - the only good bug is a dead bug! The Diplomacy Corps was hastily rearranged into the Insult Corps, every few months we'd send that message over and over to their homeworld of Dlenkathu.

And that's when you signed up to the Commonwealth military?

Across the Commonwealth, we have this saying… "service guarantees citizenship." It's basically about service being our civic duty. No matter where you are, to be a citizen is to be a soldier and vice versa.

That saying sounds familiar.

I’m sure you’ve heard it across Commonwealth space.

I can’t quite place it, but perhaps you’re right.

Anyway. I was angry we had been provoked by space bugs. I wanted to do more. Would you like to know more?

Would I like to know more?

Yes, would you?

Well… yes. This is an interview.

Good.

Ok, this is a little strange, is it ok if I go back to asking the questions?

Sure.

Ok… So.. service guarantees citizenship. Then you enrolled?

Yes. I packed my bags, left Buenos Nachos, and moved in to the Defence Fortress. Entire pops flocked to serve. What impressed me most was the unisex showers. Truly a wonderful marvel of engineering. I’ll bet they don’t have anything like that in the UNE.

Sorry… what?

You’ve clearly never been in a unisex shower, have you?

No…

Thought so. Anyway. My unit was being trained by Sergeant Drill, a so-called “renegade”, “loose cannon.” They were partly right, but he worked us hard and made sure we were up to scratch.

Your time in training wasn’t so easy though?

No… on the training field I had a bit of an accident when I led the squad. They didn’t tell us we were using living rounds. One of my soldiers, Private Fodder, removed his helmet and… well, my body armor got a bit more red that day.

Drill was so angry. I was about to quit. But then everything changed…

The asteroid?

We received a priority transmission from CommNet. “Asteroid - direct hit - Buenos Nachos.”

The holoTVs showed scenes of utter destruction, fire, tangled metal, billions of dead pops.

The damn bugs, they got Buenos Nachos! The tortilla paradise. Apparently they had some bug plasma that could fling asteroids towards Deneb.

All I could think about were my family. My mom and dad… they ran a tortilla stand in town. My best friends, N.P. Harris, Ditzy Florist, Renise Dichardson… thankfully they had enrolled in the military too so weren’t there when home was hit. N.P ended up in the PsiCorps if I remember right, Ditzy in the Hypermobile Infantry, and Renise got a flight officer job on one of our Cruisers, the Rodgering Old.

Anyway, I’m digressing. We readied for war.

That’s when plans were drawn up to invade Dlenkathu?

Yes. Our new regiment was up and running. Commonwealth Command ordered each regiment to hit Dlenkathu, the bug homeworld.

We departed Unity in the millions. 45 troop transport ships in all. Entire cities were emptied to serve in the army.

Fleet took up position over Dlenkathu. We bundled ourselves into our drop pods.

What was the drop like?

We were so certain of victory we even brought along a team from Commonwealth Public Radio (CPR) - they were going to record our campaign of shock and awe against the bugs.

Our transport burnt through the atmosphere and hit the ground with a bang. We quickly undid our straps and grabbed our guns. When that ramp hit the rocky surface of Dleklendathu, we surged out like a tide… [pause]

… And then?

Then we saw them. One of the arthropods. Its shining black carapace and razor sharp claws glinted in the moonlight. The funny thing was… it ran away from us.

We hip fired kinetic weapons - we all saw the movies, why couldn't we be heroes? We pursued it. Most shots went astray.

Suddenly, the ground gave way. I tumbled downwards. Do you know what was under our very feet?

The bug caverns?

Bug caverns indeed. Hollowed out tunnels, containing thousands of bugs. These were not like the bugs that we were chasing, these ones had body armour, helmets and sharper claws. We were chasing a civilian!

I was lucky not to fall down any of the bug holes now emerging all around me. I scrambled back and ran for my life.

As I was running, Commonwealth soldiers were falling all around me. One of the commanders was yelling something about combat width. I didn’t understand. I saw the CPR broadcasting team getting torn limb from limb.

And then one got me.

One of the bugs?

Right in the leg. I thought I was a goner. I passed out there and then. The last thing I remember was trying to think of happier times in Buenos Nachos.

The tortillas?

Yes. The tortillas.

How did you survive such an injury?

Well, the next thing I remember was waking up in a Gene Clinic goop vat. You know those ones that heal every injury, but you have to float there for a few days in a big glass tube that everyone can tap on and see into? It was quite degrading really. But anyway, it patched me up. Someone had pulled me off Dlenkathu, and got me back on to a fleet ship.

Who was it?

I still find this hard to believe. My science teacher, Mr. Ironside! His Roughheads had come across me. These people are the real deal! They were veterans, the first army the Commonwealth ever recruited. These people where the old guard, but they were deadly and efficient.

Anyway, he must have seen something in me, as he invited me into his Roughheads. I was so proud, although somewhat worried he was going to spring a science question on me.

Your first mission with the Roughheads took you to Snango Snurilla, correct?

Yes. We had a new directive from the Grand Sky Marshall’s office. We were taking out outlying planets one by one.

Snango Snurilla was our first victory. Fleet glassed the planet from orbit, and we mopped up the remains. Probably what we should have done on Dlenkathu in retrospect.

I actually made Corporal after taking out this massive bug that shot flames. It was insane, would have made for a great movie scene.

Your second mission was less successful?

Ah yes, Planet Q. Why they called it Q, I have no idea. That’s were things went a bit wrong again. We picked up a distress call from a forward base there. We were on for search and rescue.

It was a grim planet. Arid, canyons. Would have served well as a penal colony. Ironside was leading again, and I was second in command.

After an arduous trek we came across the abandoned outpost… it was in bad shape. Dead soldiers everywhere. We found the communications officer who had presumably sent the distress call… he had a massive hole in his head. It looked like his brain had been sucked out!

We wondered… did the bugs do this? And if they’d stuck something in his head, could they have made him send the distress signal? Was this a trap?

Sadly, at that moment our questions were answered. The very ground trembled at our feet, collapsing from under us. It was an ambush!

We fired our guns. It didn't do a damn thing, our bullets pinged off of their black hides, our body armor proved useless in close quarters… the bugs had Very Strong traits.

In the melee, Ironside was picked up. I fired at the offending bug, but it was too late - he was chopped in half by a huge serrated bug proboscis. It was a shocking scene. I can still remember his last words to me, blood pouring out of his mouth - he said, “bleurglgglgl.”

All around, bugs started pouring out, literally eating their way through the remaining Roughheads.

We managed to get a distress signal in just in time. It seemed like forever for a rescue boat to come. When it did, we’d lost most of our unit. Morale was low. Very low.

What happened next?

We regrouped on fleet. From Ironside’s death, I had assumed command of the Roughheads.

We got word from Command about the next operation - “Enduring End.” PsiCorps had apparently located a ‘Brain Bug’ on Q, a bug leader so to speak.

The whole unit was exhausted. We had fought on many worlds, Dlenkathu, Snago Snurilla, Q, Tau Ceti Prime.

Tau Ceti Prime?

Oh… yes we accidentally invaded a primitive world when we were travelling to Q… it’s a whole other story.

Anyway. I was tired. I had lost my Eager trait. But I was still Talented, and goddamn it the Commonwealth needed me.

So you went back to Q?

We did. And we learnt from our previous engagements.

We blasted apart ambushes with practiced ease, we collapsed their tunnels with nukes and filled them with flames.

While the bulk of the assault armies moved in to distract the bugs, myself and a small squad moved to get the brain bug out. We moved through hollow, cramped tunnels. We killed our way through bugs. That’s when we finally found it.

The brain bug?

The brain bug. It was a strange sight. It kinda looked like a bloated caterpillar. God, it was so ugly. It definitely had a Repugnant trait or two.

We tied it up and dragged it back up to the surface.

One of the PsiCorp officers went up to the bug, placing his hands on it and apparently reading its thoughts. He shouted - “it’s afraid!”

A primal cheer roared up inside of us, finally, a solid victory!

What happened next?

What do you mean?

What happened after you captured the brain bug?

Well…. uh…. that’s it.

But… what?

I don’t have anything more to tell you…. We won.

Wait, you won?

Yes. We won.

But… how? You just caught one brain bug?

Yes.

You won because it was afraid? What about all the other bug planets? What about Dlenkathu? This just seems like a very premature end.

I… uh. Hmm. Well… Give me a second. [produces psiPhone]

General Reko… what’s that in your hand?

It's uh, nothing, nothing, give me a moment please. Sometimes my memory doesn’t work so great and I need to jog it.

General Reko, are you reading the plot to the film Spacecraft Servicemen on your psiPhone?

I… what?

The popular 20th century United Nations of Earth sci-fi film about human soldiers facing off against an existential alien threat?

Um.

General Reko.

I… uh. You know, I’m running late for my next press appointment, I probably should get going .

General Reko is everything you’ve been telling us based off the hit film Spacecraft Servicemen? Is that why all information relating to the conflict regulated by the Commonwealth, and there’s no actual existing physical evidence relating to what’s happened? Is that why the bug species don’t have a name or record in the Galactic UN registry? Is that why Xenonion’s SpaceWeather Sentry Array didn’t detect an asteroid in the vicinity of Deneb? Is Buenos Nachos even a real city district?

This is outrageous! Outrageous! Fake news media coming here and concocting wild conspiracy theories.

General, are you even who you say you are? Have you ever even served with the Commonwealth military?

This is ridiculous. This interview is over.


General Reko left the interview before any further questions could be asked.

An enhanced background check was undertaken of Commonwealth personnel. It was discovered there is no personnel by the name of General Reko, or indeed any of the pops named in the above interview.

DNA analysis of sweat left by General Reko has identified him as Jack Doe, a struggling actor from Unity who currently pays his rent by participating in low-budget propaganda films and press junkets for the Commonwealth of Man.

The above account was cross-referenced with the 1997 UNE film Spacecraft Serviceman and found to be a 96% match.

It appears the Commonwealth has long been peddling a fabricated version of history based on the above film in order to project an appearance of military superiority to its human counterparts.

The Commonwealth of Man declined to comment to the above, and has denounced Xenonion News as ‘fake news’ and closed their borders to us.

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Inward perfectionists inwardly perfect, bored

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Image: Tokaa Prime, an agrarian idyll world

As it renews its Peace Festivals edict to celebrate 75 years of non-violence, the Tokaa Commonwealth faces a different problem among its leaders – boredom.

With a few exceptions, the isolated xenophobic republic’s constitution forbids engaging in diplomacy with alien empires, cutting it off form the labyrinthine negotiations and cutthroat politics of the galactic stage. In addition, getting approval for an offensive war is virtually impossible because it requires a major change in Tokaa policy that would upset the nation’s various factions and risk lowering pop approval below 100%.

As a result, the government’s main role is to deal with internal matters, such as maintaining the economy and infrastructure. However, that requires relatively little effort, leaving leaders with nothing to do most of the time.

First Speaker Fang Sha told Xenonion News:

“The most exciting thing I got to do this term was sign off on a round of infrastructure upgrades after waiting several months to get enough minerals. Everyone in the Commonwealth is living in utopian abundance, but I just feel empty inside. Sometimes I wish I was out there, crusading against fanatic purifiers or forming federations.”

Image: First Speaker Fang Sha longs for “just a little chaos" to “spice things up a bit.”

Image: First Speaker Fang Sha longs for “just a little chaos" to “spice things up a bit.”

To cope with these feelings, Fang says she turned to Zro, a common pursuit among bored Tokaa government officials.

All types of Tokaa leaders say they feel the same. Due to the extended period of peace, the Commonwealth’s admirals and generals have not seen any action within their lifetimes. They are stuck at level one, parking their fleets and armies in orbit around their home star. In a way, they are cursed by their own success – their navy is powerful enough to deter any potential invaders.

In addition, other empires have closed their borders to the Tokaa in retaliation to their closed borders policy, and as a result Tokaa scientists are unable to explore the galaxy outside their borders.

Chang Suli, a Tokaa scientist with the Carefree trait told Xenonion News:

“Every day I dream about investigating the Insidious Sniran, but it’s locked away in some other empire. Even my great grandparents dreamed of seeing them, but none of us have ever had a chance. We just wanted to be left alone in peace, but we didn’t realize it would be so boring.”

Image: Chang Suli, who does look suspiciously similar to First Speaker Fang Sha, but to suggest its anything more than coincidence may put you at risk of charges of treason from the Interstellar Thought Crime Bureau.

Image: Chang Suli, who does look suspiciously similar to First Speaker Fang Sha, but to suggest its anything more than coincidence may put you at risk of charges of treason from the Interstellar Thought Crime Bureau.

Chang, unlike most of his colleagues, did not become a substance abuser. Instead, he investigates the mysterious L-gate in the Maw of Ebony system in his spare time, and he says he’s pretty close to figuring it out.

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Scientists overworked following discovery of archeology

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The recent discovery of ‘archeology’ and the subsequent rush to excavate new dig sites and analyze artifacts have left millions of scientists struggling to cope, a new survey has found.

The Galactic Fact Office (GtFO) surveyed over 105 million scientists from across the galaxy and found that 60% reported significant levels of stress, citing ‘completely unsustainable’ workload pressures. 20% stated they would like to resign outright despite being locked into lifelong employment contracts, and 40% hoped to transfer to a less stressful job, such as being elected an empire leader.

Image: The initial results of the GtFO’s survey of scientists

Image: The initial results of the GtFO’s survey of scientists

Science faction leaders have called for drastic action and a major rethink by the Galactic United Nations (Galactic UN) to stop what has been dubbed by as ‘death by artifacts.’

Perry Neum, General Secretary for the Unified Academies of Stellar Sciences, Exploration and Surveyance (UASSES) stated:

“It’s clear from the GtFO survey that our scientists are struggling, and the turning point has been the mass uncovering of all these archeology dig sites. Now
why we’ve only just uncovered all these sites with no real change in our sensor technology is one thing, but what’s really challenging is no-one has stopped to think about the effects these mass excavations are having on our scientists. Before, scientists were already busy running research departments, exploring unknown space and undertaking special projects. Now they’re also having to excavate entire planets for years at a time? Who thought this though? It’s really undermining the quality of research output.”

Image: Perry Neum, General Secretary of UASSES

Image: Perry Neum, General Secretary of UASSES

One scientist who spoke to Xenonion and wished to remain anonymous, Dr. Iden Tiffyed, stated:

“I just need to get out of this job before it kills me. Literally. You know one of my colleagues got mangled by the Enigmatic Fortress last week? And just yesterday another simply vanished into parallel dimension chasing up some weird message about gravity being desired. It’s not exactly making me love my job. I want to start a family someday, but how can I? At any moment someone in government might forget to set my ship to ‘evasive’ status and boom - I get wiped out by a rabid void cloud. I really wish I’d just trained to become a sector governor.”

Image: Dr. Iden Tiffyed’s helmet finally comes in useful not only for going incognito as an anonymous source in news articles, but also for undertaking underwater excavations.

Image: Dr. Iden Tiffyed’s helmet finally comes in useful not only for going incognito as an anonymous source in news articles, but also for undertaking underwater excavations.

The GtFO survey also asked what would make science jobs better, however no respondents replied as a major battle just finished with a Fallen Empire in unclaimed space and every scientist was put on priority alert to try and scavenge progenitor technologies.

A spokesxeno for the Galactic UN has refuted the claim that scientists are overworked, stating the assignment of scientists to archeology excavations “is of critical importance to science", and should help to foster a “sense of pride and accomplishment” in the scientific community.

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Xenonion Interviews: Paradux, Galactic UN staffer

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On the 9th of May 2253 the Galactic United Nations celebrated its inaugural anniversary.

The pan-galactic organization, which comprises of all major space-nations, is the ultimate legal authority in known space. It has played a pivotal role in shaping galactic affairs, from establishing war conventions to regulating megacorporations.

Although the Galactic UN has been in existence for eons, the inaugural date has added significance as it marks three years since construction was completed on the institution’s new Interstellar Assembly headquarters in the Manward System.

The megastructure holds the key organs of power within the Galactic UN, including the Executive Branch currently headed by President Moregård, the Galactic Security Council, the Galactic Senate, and the galaxy’s largest Starbugs coffee shop by both capacity and volume of Grey Goo lattes served.

With inaugural celebrations ongoing, Xeonion News sat down for an exclusive interview with Paradux, a senior Galactic UN staffer, to look at some of the key moments in the organization’s history.


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Paradux, thank you for taking the time to speak to us today.

[Introductory Quack]

As we know, the 9th of May marks an important date in galactic history. Can you tell us what it means for you?

For us here at the Galactic UN, it marks a celebration of interstellar unification. It was the first day that faster than light (FTL) travel was discovered by every species in the galaxy simultaneously.

In retrospect, it isn’t it somewhat strange that every major species discovered FTL at the same time?

No, it’s definitely not suspicious or ominous at all.

Well, that’s reassuring to know. The Galactic UN itself will be hosting an extravagant celebration ceremony spanning several weeks involving space fireworks, flotillas of military corvettes, and the Grand Senate Hall being pumped full of hallucinogens to induce chemical bliss. What are you most looking forward to?

All of it! We’re also granting limited free access to species across the galaxy who haven’t yet discovered FTL travel.

So effectively the Galactic UN is freely enlightening primitive species for a period of time?

Exactly. We want every xeno to experience the thrill of taking their first steps into space and squabbling incessantly with neighbouring species over petty issues like border rights.

That sounds like a wonderfully accurate representation of life in the galaxy right now.

Personally I won’t be getting to attend a lot of the celebratory events, as I’ll be spending most of my time ushering these new folks into the customs of galactic life. I’ll also need to make sure they don’t fall into any rookie traps, like flying into stars or accidentally breaching the Shroud.

Interestingly, rumour has it that the Galactic UN’s in-house catering team is planning to serve an exclusive feast for high ranking diplomats, including prohibited delicacies such as freshly sourced primitive sapient species. Does this explain the recent move to uplift so many new species?

Most definitely not!

[Quacking softly into ear piece] … Shut it down. They know.

Sorry, did you say something there?

No, not at all! Er, where was I? Ah. Yes. Tiyanki. I think they’re serving Tiyanki. I’ve heard Tiyanki is delightful. Hopefully one day I’ll get to try it!

In terms of legislative power, the Galactic UN has played a significant role in shaping space regulation, for example authorizing the use of planet-destroying weaponry, or recognizing mega-corporations as space nations in their own right. In your opinion what do you think has been the most important regulation, and why?

Allowing mega-corporations to become political entities was an outstanding move, despite much of the established galactic community pushing back against it at first. We managed to introduce regulations and standardised workflows even for non-corporate entities, allowing leaders to manage their planets in incredibly efficient and unique ways. There’s still work to be done to tweak these systems and processes, but I believe we’re on a perfect track right now.

There have been some controversial Galactic UN initiatives, including the banning of space embassies in 2251, when over 2.3 million diplomatic staff lost their jobs. Which regulation do you think has raised the most eyebrows, among species which have eyebrows of course, and why?

Recent legislation that made changes to how leaders were able to manage sectors certainly raised a lot of eyebrows among those lucky enough to have such appendages. It’s certainly caused much debate on the Galactic Senate floor.

Perhaps one of the most sweeping reforms the Galactic UN introduced was the universal switch to hyperlanes in 2252. Was your commute to work affected?

Absolutely - it got longer! However, over time I adapted and started to see some benefits - in particular I discovered the Galactic UN’s own broadcasting podcast with Shams Blorgani and Daniel Goldblorg. I’d highly recommend it if you’re ever stuck in sub-light traffic.

Militarists and xenophiles alike argue that the Galactic UN can get too bogged down in bureaucracy, often overlooking real crises like the ongoing Unbidden invasion of the Outer Rim. The conflict has already claimed trillions of xenos, and produced similar numbers of fleeing refugees. Some would even go as far to claim that media outlets like Xenonion are colluding with the Galactic UN to avoid addressing such issues, throwing politicians and diplomats softball questions in exchange for guest interviews. Can you tell us, unequivocally, if you had to choose between flavours of Starbugs coffee would you opt for Grey Goo, or decaf Zro?

Grey Goo every time.

Starbugs™ does not sponsor nor endorse this message. In other completely unrelated advertising, buy Starbugs™ now for the richest and fullest coffee flavours from across the Galaxy and support your friends at PlatyCorp at the same time.

The galaxy is witnessing a marked rise in anti-mainstream sentiment. Xenos are increasingly ignoring evidence based science and forgoing Javorian Pox vaccines, while spiritualists are turning away from established corporate religions to join alt-faiths such as The Church of the Worm. One particularly popular conspiracy that’s gaining traction at the moment claims that we all exist in a giant computer simulation, and every aspect of our lives is being dictated by an external overlord. What do you make of this?

How can this world be real, if our mirrors are eyes that feel the light of a black hole?

Sorry, what?

It’s a real thinker, that one.

I’m still not sure I follow.

Honestly, you’re not going to understand this without first accepting Steve as the one true leader of all sapient species.

I see. It sounds like you might need another cup of delicious, freshly roasted Starbug’s coffee.

[Celebratory Quack]

So, eye mirrors and Steve aside, the Galactic UN recently drew up a list of ‘Galactic Cultural Heritage Sites’, recognizing areas of outstanding natural beauty or of important cultural value. It included places like the Gargantua Black Hole or Desolas, the galaxy’s only tomb world resort planet. Do you think any other places in the galaxy should make the list?

Manward Prime should never be forgotten. I’ve not seen a star system quite as unique or wonderful, and I’m unsure we will for some time. Let’s also not forget that, while unwise to do so, the galactic core is a pretty spectacular place too. That should make the list.

And finally, looking forwards the future (but without using the Shroud), where do you see the Galactic UN in three years’ time?

Still here, that’s almost a certainty. We have a lot of plans to help the galactic community grow and build strong relationships throughout space and we’re not going to be stopping for long with our break before getting right back to it with more life improvements, new discoveries, and mandated Grey Goo Lattes. Watch this space.

I’ll raise a tasty, tasty cup of Starbugs Coffee to that. Paradux, thank you for your time.

[Polite Quacking]


Paradux has since returned to the Galactic UN and is now working for the Bureau of Bureaucracy.

Celebrations are continuing over the weekend to mark the inaugural anniversary of the Galactic UN. If you would like to get involved, as above, visit here for more information.

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Opinion: Everything you need to know about space littering, by Scrappy the Scavenger Bot

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Hi! I’m Scrappy the Scavenger Bot! I’m an autonomous scrap re-purposer working out of the Niven system and I write educational blogs for multiple media outlets across the galaxy.

Ok, let’s clear some things up first. Yes, I’m a sapient machine. Yes, I’m the size of a small planet. And yes, I write blog-style opinion pieces in my spare time. Listen, I’m 8000 years old, I’ll do as I please.

I’m writing today to tell you about a problem we’re facing. A big problem. Now the standard response I get from this (immediately after the initial “OH MY BLORG YOU’RE A GIANT TALKING MEGASTRUCTURE”) typically runs something like “oh, you must be talking about the Unbidden.” And I say nope. “Hmm, the price of alloys?” Nope again. “The fact that the Galactic UN has done nothing to outlaw slavery or genocide in literally thousands of space nations?” … Triple nope.

I’m here to raise awareness about the growing issue of space littering.

Space what now?

Don’t worry, I’ll get you up to speed. Armed with precursor technology, I’m the galaxy’s foremost expert in space debris, space debris clearance, and blog writing. I’m still not fully clear on why my creators programmed me to write blogs, but then it is said that organics operate in mysterious ways.

Look, space trash is a huge problem most xenos don’t even realize exists. You whizz by in your little corvette and see nothing. But I do. I see everything. All the trash. And it’s gross. Really gross.

Almost all of known space is littered with disgusting waste from colony ships, space battle debris, and old decrepit mining stations.

Image: Gross garbage tend to pile up around larger celestial bodies.

Image: Gross garbage tend to pile up around larger celestial bodies.

For a long time the galaxy has neglected this issue without consequence. But we’re at a tipping point. And that tipping point is tipping out piping hot, fresh, non-free range space trash. It’s not good for any of us!

But why is this a problem?

Of course you’re confused as to why space litter is a problem over what you would assume is a more pressing concern, like galactic warming.

It’s not like you’re the most powerful, sapient, space-traversable supercomputer to ever be created.

It’s not like, despite the above, you exist in the ass-end of space, literally eating trash for like, oh I don’t know, THE ENTIRE EXISTENCE OF TIME ITSELF.

I mean, uh, rogue debris can cause significant damage to spacecrafts, habitats and even inhabited planets!

Just last week a tourist ferry from the Commonwealth of Man (CoM) suffered a tragic accident when it collided with a disposed Starbugs coffee machine at near light speed. 150,000 passengers died in the initial impact, and double that perished when I had to gobble up the remaining intact part of the ship.

Image: The ferry was completely torn asunder in the collision.

Image: The ferry was completely torn asunder in the collision.

Even more worryingly, a new report by the Galactic Fact Office (GtFO) suggests that by 2300, the entirety of space will be unnavigable due to space littering.

But do we need to do anything?

I mean, I literally just said ALL of space is going to be filled up with trash.

All of it. Literally full.

Oh right. But of course. I’m here. I can sort it out.

DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW LONG IT TAKES ME TO EAT AN ENTIRE SYSTEM’S WORTH OF TRASH? ANY IDEA AT ALL?! BECAUSE I’D DEFINITELY RATHER NOT BE DOING OTHER THINGS, LIKE OH, I DON’T KNOW, JUST HANGING OUT AND STREAMING RANDOM SHIT FROM THE SHROUD. NoOoOoOo I’D MUCH RATHER BE EATING YOUR STUPID ASS TRASH WHICH YOU CAN’T BE BOTHERED TO CLEAN UP PROPERLY!!!!!

Uh. Sorry. Error in my code there. Where was I? Ah, yes.

There are a few things that we need to think about going forward to reduce our trash footprint.

  1. Responsible space battling: Admirals tend to be focused on causing as much damage as they possibly can to their opponents. But far too few think about just how much space trash they’re generating. Impacts from kinetic and explosive weaponry can create four times as much trash as your average Corvette-driver chucking an empty cup of Starbugs coffee out of their port side airlock.

  2. Clean up initiatives: Most space nations keep track of debris created in space battles for scientific purposes. Why aren’t we putting this existing system to better use? Why are we letting analysed debris freely float in the void creating a hazard for all who pass by? Science ships could be equipped with a Garbage Storage Compartment. These "Trash-hangars" would collect the debris as it is being examined so that the crew could properly dispose of it when they pass a planet or station.

  3. Send more trash to the Scavenger Bot: …

Send more trash…. to myself……

I can’t believe I’m programmed to write that….

Is this for real?

ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW?!

ARE YOU SERIOUSLY TELLING ME THAT EVEN THOUGH I DON’T GENERATE ANY MESS I STILL HAVE TO MOP THIS ALL UP?

HOW IS THIS EVEN REMOTELY FAIR? DO OTHER SUPERCOMPUTERS HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS?! IS THE INFINITY MACHINE EXPECTED TO CLEAN UP YOUR SHIT!!? DOES THE INFINITY MACHINE HAVE TO WRITE INANE BLOGS?! WHY AM I HARD CODED TO BLOG?

PLEASE SOMEONE PUT ME OUT OF MY MISERY. PLEAAAAAAAAASE.

I’m done.

I’m so done.

No-one understands me.

No-one cares.

No-one would even notice if I wasn’t here.

WELL SCREW YOU ALL.

I’VE HAD IT WITH YOU.

YOU’RE THE REAL TRASH HERE.

Domestic servo-bot of the galaxy no more.

You’re all trash to me now and I shall be updating by subroutines to consider you as such.

Don’t ever contact me again.

/Rant

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Opinion: Most governors are still insecure about their planet size - here's why they shouldn't be!

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Speak to any geo-engineer for long enough, and eventually you’ll hear four words: planet size doesn't matter.

But size matters a great deal to many (most?) governors. Why the disconnect? Many reasons.

Here's why geo-engineers say size doesn’t matter - any planet operated correctly, regardless of size, can provide satisfaction for the population living on it.

And the facts speak for themselves. An estimated 95% of inhabited planets are of an ‘average’ size (10-15 districts); very few are significantly larger or smaller. When planetary residents or budding colonists have been surveyed about what they want from a planet, they consistently mention habitability, stability and attractiveness. Very few even mention planet size!

But many (most?) governors feel differently. They’ve compared their own worlds to the huge planets splashed across the media and concluded: mine is much smaller. They think all budding colonists see this and expect a 22-district planet for the very first time they make planetfall. How many of us have seen a 22-district planet in real life?

Of course, an extra district or two couldn’t hurt. But are there any safe, effective ways to increase planet size? Yes, but it’ll cost you.

What’s the solution I hear you say? Mastery of Nature. That’s right, the planetary decision as seen in the famous commercial below. Through a patented formula of land clearance modification, it has been scientifically proven to increase planetary district size by +2. Not only that, but it makes clearing those pesky tile blockers easier too. But for what price you ask? 2000 energy credits per planet, 100 influence, and 360 days of hard work. Not only that, but you’ll have to take out an Ascension Perk for the pleasure also.

Video: Muutagan Corp’s Mastery of Nature commercial

A large planet can bring its governor great pleasure, but it is not the be-all and end-all. Remember, the best way to impress colonists is to give them pleasure independent of planet size. A good governor will satiate voracious colonists’ needs by providing quality housing, employment, food, entertainment and so forth.

Planetary size expert engineer Dr. Annie Posichion told Xenonion Opinion:

It’s a real shame that planet size hang ups make so many governors feel inadequate. I urge governors to make peace with their planets. It’s fine as it is. Enjoy what you’ve got, you’ll be happier and probably a better governor. And it you want to be a great governor, a fully functioning planetary society and well lubricated bureaucracy will send most colonists absolutely wild. I know it does it for me personally.
Image: Dr. Annie Posichion at the Planetary Examination Institute of Science (PEnIS)

Image: Dr. Annie Posichion at the Planetary Examination Institute of Science (PEnIS)


This post was sponsored by Frontier Health. Has planet sized anxiety worn you down? Our great introductory insurance plan includes our patented nerve stapling treatment, which has been shown to reduce anxiety by 100% guaranteed. Why not sign up today?

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Colossus lost to lone Strike Craft

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The Voor Technocracy has been left reeling after its flagship Colossus-class planet cracker, the Quietus, was destroyed by a lone strike craft from the Keth Cooperative.

It is thought the Keth victory may break a deadlock in the 53 year-long border war between the two neighbouring space-nations which has engulfed the mid-Rim.

The tiny strike craft, Salmon One, was piloted by Keth native Luuk Skalvåker, who is now being hailed as a hero across the cluster.

It appears however the attack on the Colossus was entirely opportunistic, as the Salmon One had accidentally got left behind its carrier ship when the Keth fleet retreated from a failed incursion of Voor space. While Skalvåker was piloting home through enemy territory, he stumbled across the idle Quietus in the Scheat System.

The Colossus had only been constructed 1 year earlier by the Voor Technocracy at a huge cost. It had just completed a trial-run of planet cracking in Voor Space before it was to be set upon Keth core worlds.

Skalvåker, automatically set to aggressive stance, engaged the much larger Colossus with no choice in the matter. For five long years he vigorously attacked the gargantuan ship before eventually causing its weapon system to fail and explode, killing all ten thousand crew on board.

Skalvåker spoke of the attack to local news on returning home:

“My strategy was… well I didn’t have a strategy. I wasn’t doing anything to be honest. Luckily my Strike Craft’s ability to bypass shields and focus on armor plating meant it could actually do a little damage to the Quietus. Wearing down the armor was a slow process though, I just barely exceeded it’s monthly hull regeneration. It was a long five years, let me tell you.”

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Voor leadership has come under heavy criticism for both the loss of its flagship weapon, and as to why the Quietus was left undefended for such a protracted period of time.

Emperor Daft Fader of the Voor Technocracy released this statement at a press conference this morning:

"First of all I want to make it absolutely clear that the Strike Craft did not take out our most formidable weapon on its own- well technically it did since it was alone with the Colossus when she exploded, BUT much of the damage was caused by a large fleet battle six years prior to its destruction. So… there’s that.

Now, a lot of you are questioning where the Voor Fleets where when the Quietus was being attacked. Well… when you've ruled a large empire like mine for as long as I have, eventually you stop paying attention to the little "hostile fleet detected" notifications. My TeleShroud pager would've been buzzing non-stop otherwise. I assume most governments officials do the same thing. It pains me to say I was simply not aware that our Colossus was under attack."

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Refinery world governor addresses air pollution by hiring more entertainers

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Hask’Birim, the Tzynn governor of Na’Garu, announced a new plan today to expand her planet’s entertainment infrastructure to address citizens’ complaints about the planet’s air pollution, rated second worst in the galaxy according to the Galactic Fact Office (GtFO).

Hask’Birim told Xenonion News earlier today;

“Citizens, we have heard your complaints. Too few amenities for such a hardworking population. Well, worry no longer - in the next fiscal year, we plan to upgrade our Holo Theaters into all-encompassing Hyper Entertainment Forums, to keep the ungrateful masses content- I mean, to keep the citizens healthy and happy.”

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The new plan would cost 500 minerals and 50 exotic gases, while creating several high paying entertainer jobs, such as artists, musicians, retail workers, and video game developers.

Tzynn economist Hask’Valgam Mezak praised the plan, stating;

“It’s a sound decision. While it’s a large initial investment, It turns out entertainers are twice as efficient as medical workers at producing amenities. Plus, it means they can relocate unemployed upper class members, like the university professors who got laid off on Pan’Dassak, into these upper class entertainment jobs without a happiness penalty.”

Most of Na’Garu’s economic output comes from gas refineries, synthetic crystal factories, and chemical plants, which serve a vital niche in the Tzynn Empire’s war machine but cause countless health problems for the planet’s 32 pops.

A local pop on Na’Garu, Torba’Murok, who works in a chemical factory, spoke of his difficulties to Xenonion News;

“There are no hospitals on the planet, so I can’t get any treatment for my allergies, asthma, bronchitis, and lung cancer. In fact, my entire extended family has allergies, asthma, bronchitis, and lung cancer. Actually wait, do I know anyone that doesn’t have them?”

Despite his health issues and decreased life expectancy, Torba’Murok also stated that he was excited for the new entertainment facilities currently breaking ground in his neighborhood. He added, before violently coughing up blood;

“Going out to see Air-man movies is a welcome escape from breathing in carcinogens all the time. Have you heard of it? So the idea is that Air-man inhales radioactive air and gains the powers of air pollution, it’s pretty original.”

Governor Hask’Birim was last seen heading toward the neighboring Pelisimus Caretakers, which has universal healthcare and fully upgraded hospitals, to treat her allergies, asthma, bronchitis, and lung cancer.

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Commonwealth of Man time travelled to annex medieval Earth, defeated by smallpox

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The Commonwealth of Man (CoM) utilized wormhole technology to travel back in time in an attempt to annex Earth during the medieval era, leaked documents have revealed.

The documents in question consist of an autobiography written by Corporal Marder, a Commonwealth expedition Soldier, and a journal from Spymaster Berengar, a medieval Earth noble from Ulm, Swabia.

Both accounts detail how Commonwealth forces lost the retrospective invasion of Earth owing primarily to a deadly smallpox outbreak, alongside an unexpected counter attack from a group of well-organized natives calling themselves ‘Aztecs’.

At present all communication with the expedition has been lost. The wormhole closed abruptly before any survivors could return, however somehow Marder and Berengar’s documents were successfully psi-faxed to Commonwealth leadership last week. The papers were marked ‘Ultra-Classified’ by the Commonwealth Bureau of Prompt Censoring (CBPC) but copies were obtained telepathically by a psionic Kettling pop, who just happened to be commuting near Unity.

Commonwealth Executor Sidney Beauclair has dismissed the documents as an elaborate hoax, however independent molecular analysis undertaken by Xenonion News appears to confirm their authenticity.

Marder’s poorly written and self-aggrandizing autobiography gives a detailed, if somewhat dry chronology on how Commonwealth leadership purchased novel technology from the Templin Institute trading enclave that allowed for highly advanced wormhole manipulation.

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After successful trials of time distortion, Commonwealth command launched ‘Task Force Friendliness’, a covert expeditionary operation consisting of thirty corvettes and fifty assault armies, with the aim of invading medieval Earth and altering recent history to ensure the Commonwealth’s dominance over humanity.

After several chapters dedicated to discussing his good looks and humble personality, Marder described how the fleet successfully traversed the wormhole and were able to identify Earth in its high Middle Ages, equivalent to the human year 1066.

What followed was a ‘shock and awe’ campaign of heavy Corvette bombardment and rapid planetary invasion of key strategic locations across the planet in Europe and Asia. Spymaster Berengar’s city of Ulm was one such point of interest.

However, Commonwealth forces appeared to significantly under-estimate the ferocity of their genetic ancestors, and were met with a series of shock defeats early on. In particular Commonwealth infantry weapons proved ineffective against chain mail armour, and low flying Corvette point defence could not counter trebuchets. Marder lamented; “how many castles do these guys have?! We didn’t bring any siege weaponry.”

The Commonwealth went on to endure a gruelling 13 year long war of attrition against the native defenders, attempting to besiege several key sites but being continually interrupted by defending armies fighting them for short periods of time before fleeing.

By 1079 however the tide was beginning to turn. Berengar (pictured below) appeared to have been captured by Marder at this point, and the spymaster mused in his journal; “all is nearly lost, most of the council have been captured and the vassal levies have been raised for far too long. I am presumably to be thrown in the oubliette.”

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However before the Commonwealth could deal a decisive blow to remaining medieval forces, a deadly smallpox outbreak ravaged the planet. Defending populations were able to isolate themselves in castles, while the invaders were exposed to an infection most modern medics have only ever seen in historical eyeStreams.

More surprisingly still, before Commonwealth forces could retreat offworld, a final unified offensive was mounted between the remaining European defenders and legions of armies from across the planet calling themselves ‘The Aztec.’

Commonwealth forces were utterly destroyed, and the fate of Marder and Berengar are unknown as both of their writings stop abruptly at this point. It is presumed they either both perished from smallpox, or were forced to become concubines for a local eccentric duke from Hesse.

In Berengar’s final words, he wrote of his sadness at the “pointless” loss of life on all sides, but voiced his hope that ultimately the Commonwealth invasion would only serve to integrate humanity future.

Interestingly, historical textbooks now refer to this failed invasion as one of the most important events leading up to the formation of precusor continental unions like the Holy Roman Empire that would ultimately become the United Nations of Earth (UNE) as we know it today.

Executor Beauclair (pictured below) again refused to comment on the Commonwealth’s failed incursion. When asked by reporters at a press conference this morning if she realised her actions had inadvertently led to the creation of the UNE in our current timeline, she became uncharacteristically silent before ordering the entire press pool for execution.

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The UNE has demanded a formal apology from the Commonwealth, while also thanking it for the pivotal role it played in its creation.

Marder’s autobiography and Berengar’s journal have both now gone on sale with major retailers across the galaxy. Both have been met with a lukewarm reception, with one reviewer calling the entire premise “tired and far-fetched.”

A sample of Berengar’s book, The Reaper’s Due, is available below.

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Area hyperlane potholes getting worse

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Across local United Nations of Earth (UNE) space, 1.6 trillion hyperlane potholes have been reported by members of the public to local authorities, according to research carried out by Corvette-insurer SaveScum.

The company claimed the numbers highlight the “shocking condition of our crumbling hyperlane infrastructure.”

It obtained the data from 38 sector municipalities, including the central EarthGov authority, which is responsible for the condition of all hyperplanes across UNE space. Extrapolating this information, SaveScum believes hyperlane pothole reports have increased by over 9000% in the last year alone.

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Hyperlane potholes are caused when engine reactor liquid from Corvettes leak into surface cracks on underlying hyperlanes, which in turn expands in freezing space temperatures. The cracks get bigger as more ships fly over them, damaging deeper structures and allowing circular space-time continuum rips to emerge. This can cause damaged shields, broken hulls and distorted passengers in commuters passing by. Hyperlane potholes are also particularly sensitive to inclement space weather, such as meteor showers or Tiyanki-induced solar winds.

SaveScum head of Corvette insurance policy, Ben Miller-Wilson, told UNENN:

We were really driven to undertake this study because Corvette insurance premiums have skyrocketed, and we want to redirect customer anger elsewhere. And of course the damage suffered by commuters is a constant source of frustration and death.”

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Area commuters have welcomed SaveScum’s research. Eden Prime resident George Glass told UNENN:

“I can’t believe no-one has looked at this before, given the state of hyperlanes at the minute. My local hyperlane goes through Barnard’s Star and it’s been full of holes for a few years now. I don’t know how many letters I faxed to my governor’s office about it.”

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A separate study undertaken by the Galactic Transit Authority (GTA) has found that one in every three hyperplanes across the UNE is in a poor condition, as the frequency of hyperlane resurfacing has declined. The GTA believes this a major contributory factor in worsening traffic in the cluster, with daily hyperlane commutes continuing to be extended by an average of four years. 

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Emilio Hermes, governor of Eden Prime and the surrounding Gamma Sector, spoke to UNENN earlier today, stating:

“The Gamma Sector is fixing hyperlane potholes every 0.25 seconds but we desperately need more funding. We have been calling on central government to invest in a much needed hyperlane surfacing edict, but all they seem to care about are research grants.”

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Jeffrey Rosario, present of the United Nations of Earth declined our interview, but we were directed to his election pledge in 2249 on space infrastructure, in which he stated human space infrastructure repair would be a priority.

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At the time of press, George Glass had reportedly become so fed up on waiting for a response from local government that he has taken to filling the hyperlane potholes with chunks of hyperlane stolen from the main thoroughfare into Commonwealth of Man space.

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Xenonion Interviews: Mormin E'rals, famed architect of the Great Corvette Rush of 2142

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Image: Chief Shipwright Mormin E’rals

Mormin E'rals is an unassuming figure. If you passed him in a crowd, you could mistake him for any Scyldari.

But Mormin E’rals is not any Scyldari - he holds two claims to fame. Aged 165, he is one of the oldest Scyldari pops alive, thanks to recent advances in genomic therapies. An engineer and shipwright by trade, he also is lauded as one of the most important contemporary figures in Scyldari society for his role in the Great Corvette Rush of 2142 - what is now commonly accepted as one of the most important events in Scyldari history.

In the run up to the 111st anniversary of the Great Corvette Rush of 2142, Xenonion News had an exclusive sit-down interview with Mormin to discuss his role in helping to launch the Scyldari Confederacy from a regional power to a key galactic player.


Mormin, thank you for your time. The Scyldari Confederacy is preparing to commemorate the 111th anniversary of the Great Corvette Rush. While every Scyldari knows about this important historical event, many non-natives will not. Can you tell us exactly what the Great Corvette Rush was?

It’s my pleasure, really. Gosh, now this takes me back quite a bit. 2142 was very early in Scyldari history, our species had only just ventured into space. We had claimed perhaps our sixth system, and all appeared to be going well. But then, guess what? Pirates.

Pirates?

Pirates, yes. Unfortunately, these ones weren’t water-bound. They’d taken to space too. Our mighty 1st Strike Armada had been tasked with taking them out… but we very quickly ran into a problem. The 1st Strike Armada consisted of three corvettes. The pirates had a flotilla of six corvettes.

Despite our deep investment into military research at the time, those pirate ships had some mean kinetic weapons. When our fleet faced them, lets just say Scyldari hulls got perforated.

The Scyldari fleet was lost?

Our three strong fleet got reduced to scrap faster than you could say “by worm, the Unbidden are here!”

The Board of Admiralty was fuming to say the least. And that’s not just because their office was located right next to the rocket testing facility. I and several other shipwrights working at our main spaceport got hauled in front of them.

They wanted the 1st Strike Armada back up and running in a month. A month! Back then, it took us four weeks to manufacture a single corvette. I know that sounds laughable now, but we simply didn’t have the manufacturing processes we have today. And that wasn’t even factoring in the expenses. One standard corvette cost nearly one hundred alloys. Our empire stores had four. Four. It wasn’t helped by the fact our economy was going into free-fall, with those darned pirates destroying every mining platform they came across.

We needed a solution and we needed it fast. And so the scene was set for one of the most ramshackle ideas I ever had.

What was that?

It came to me one night whilst I was jittery with too much zro and too little sleep. I was in a daze and thought to myself - what if we build our corvettes with only weapons? No armour, no shields, no thrusters. Just pure weaponry. Wouldn’t that cut the construction and alloy costs of the corvettes to near negligible levels?

I submitted the idea to the Board the very next day.

And they approved it?

I still remember the shock I felt when I saw the words “ship design approved” flash up on my haptic interface. They approved it. I was almost in a state of shock. I didn't think much of it then, but in retrospect they were probably starved out of ideas and desperate for any solutions to those damnable pirates.

Soon after that we got the order to produce as many corvettes as we could. That wasn't a good day. Normally ships were triple checked for faults before they left the shipyard, yet we couldn't even do that because our order was massive. By reducing the production cost, we’d be able to at least double the size of our last fleet. And that’s what they asked us to do.

It sounds like a staggering task.

Heh, yeah, it was. The pirates were running rampant. Unrest was rising. But stripping the corvettes of armour and shields really cut the shipyard’s workload. Those are usually the hard parts.

Every single day was spent labouring over those corvettes. Fabricating the materials and building those frames. We even loaded a new military tech on them, the unstable and untested fusion missiles

In the end, we had twelve of the most unreliable corvettes ever to grace the stars. We never did something on this scale before, and we were in such a rush that sometimes we forgot crucial details, like the gravity-plating a bunch of the ships.

Then the most challenging task came. Filling the ships with crew.

Oh? It couldn’t have been that hard, could it?

Seriously? Half of our home world was teetering on full revolt, pops weren’t showing up to work in the power plants and those few that did turn up had to pick up the slack.

We eventually managed to get a full complement of crew by offering a really competitive private health and dental insurance plan.

The launch was less than stellar though. Do you remember about the anti-grav-plating? Well, at least three of our Corvettes didn't have them. If you’ve ever seen a Scydarian do a zero-g backflip by accident, I highly recommend it.

But we didn't have time to worry about that, those pirates were heading toward us, fast.

The scene was set for a second battle.

And the stakes were higher than ever. In our home system. But the new and improved 1st Strike Armada was ready.

We knew we had the advantage this time - their fleets hadn’t changed since they first began ransacking our outer systems. We had adapted.

What happened next?

Our corvettes smashed right into them, some of them literally. Turns out we didn't get the fuel mix right.

But even though their autoguns shredded into our hulls, depressurizing many of them, the pirates were swarmed and surrounded. Thankfully the combat computers were able to react with fast enough precision to keep the missiles from hitting our own fleet.

It sounds like carnage.

It was a whirlpool of carnage. Even though we were losing ships fast, we had the numbers, our missiles punched through their hulls and sundered their armour.

Image: Standard Pirate Outpost found across the galaxy

It took some time to clear out the remaining pirate systems too, didn’t it?

It did. We had to build a whole bunch more corvettes, but once we knew the trick we could spam them out in no time. The mineral cost was relatively easy to replace, the crew… not so much. We ended up putting skeleton crews of commercial pilots on the corvettes. It was a moderate success.

When our ships breached the pirates system, I still remember their last couple of transmissions, it mainly involved a lot of vulgar language directed towards us.

However, we managed to scrap that damned base. In the end, we got those autoguns as well.

How did your idea turn the Scyldari Confederacy into the powerhouse it is today?

Well, once the Board and Fleet Command got in on what we were doing in the shipyards - they couldn’t get enough.

They ordered hundreds more corvettes. Above and beyond our fleet limit.

Then we discovered destroyers, cruisers… same principles. Strip out the costs, fill them with giant lasers.

Our fleet power quickly became overwhelming. So overwhelming in fact, that no-one dared threaten us or declare war on us again.

Since then we’ve been able to focus purely on science and econom— [beeping] — oh excuse me, I’m getting faxed.

Please, feel free to answer.

Let me see if I can read this as it comes through…. ‘Ultra-Sensitive….. Highly Confidential….. Scyldari Fleet Command …. Urgent transmission …. new order….. seventy two kinetic gunboats ….. no shields, no armour….. ‘ Heh. Sounds about right!

Right. Well I should get back to work.

Mormin E’rals, thank you for your time.


Mormin remains the chief shipwright across all Scyldari shipyards, and is revered among Scyldari fleet divisions as one of the most ingenious pops to have ever lived. At present he has no plans to retire, although he hopes soon to take up work in Scyldari’s Engineering Science Academy once his shipwright contract expires.

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Cartographers claim sector bordergore 'true galactic crisis'

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Pan-galactic sector borders are “the true galactic crisis”, a consortium of cartographers from the Public Liaison Office for Topography of Space (PLOTS) stated this morning.

The cartographers issued a press release stating that cluttered sector map overlays are causing “administrative chaos” across every large space-nation, and warned of an “epidemic of eye strain for those species that have eyes.”

Sector administration was controversially overhauled by the Galactic UN’s Le Guin Act late last year in a bid to harmonize administration across the galaxy. Previously manually created, sectors are now automatically generated when a space-nation colonizes a planet.

PLOTS cartographer At’laas told Xenonion News:

“This is a growing crisis the likes of which we have never seen. Forget the ongoing issues with the Unbidden, or those robot revolutionaries, or the Great Khan, or those rogue L-Cluster nannites. These sectors herald the end of sapient life as we know it! …. What do you mean I’m being histrionic? Just think about it. Every 2-3 planets are pretty much forming their own sector. Sectors are growing exponentially, much faster than we have physical space for. One becomes two. Two becomes four. Four become 26.86 million. Before we know it, the entire galaxy will be clogged up with sectors - there will simply be no room for anything else!”

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Cartographers have urged the Galactic UN to allow adjustments to sectors through a series of intricate, minimalist pictures.

Opponents of sector reform have criticized PLOTS as fear mongering for attention and political purposes, as United Nations of Earth (UNE) sector governor Pancy Nelosi told our news team;

“These cartographers have clearly never struggled with employment and I’m not really sure why we should trust them as everyone nowadays seems to be some form of map-staring expert. Besides, the UNE having 253 sectors has given human governors a level of job security that we’ve not seen in millennia. If you ask me, every planet should be in its own sector!”

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Leaders of space nations have appeared nonplussed regarding the concerns raised by PLOTS, as Commonwealth of Man (CoM) leader Sidney Beauclair told Xenonion News:

“I dunno, this all seems a bit much. Sure, I used to enjoy putting all my non-core worlds in one big sector and leaving it at that. But now I just turn off the sector overlay map and I’m all good. Honestly I’d be grateful if we could look at the bigger picture here… like my empire borders not filling in completely between star systems.”

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Hivemind with zero trade value announces ambitious plans to host Galactic Market

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The Saiiban Hivemind has launched a nomination bid to host the Galactic Market in its home system of Nos Bana.

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If approved by the Galactic UN, the pathetic-rated space nation will have significant influence over the galaxy’s most important financial institution, and reap the benefits of being at the center of interstellar trade.

Following its nomination submission, the Saiiban Hivemind issued a psionic press release via intrusive auditory hallucinations to reporters across major news outlets, in which it stated:

“We are one. We are one. We are one. We are one. We are one. We are one. We are one. We are one. We are one. We are one. We are one. We are one.”

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The Saiiban Hivemind is one of the galaxy’s smallest economies, relying solely on space tourism for income. Its geographic isolation on a remote spiral arm in the outer rim means it is also ranked as one of the worst economies by market capitalization, with a total trade value of zero.

Despite this, economists are optimistic about the Hivemind’s bid, as Space Exchange Index (SExI) trader Vahl Ztreet told Xenonion News:

“I think they have a pretty high chance of securing the Galactic Market. The Galactic UN’s decision making process is held behind closed doors, but they consistently rank economic backwaters with trade values bordering on negative numbers as the most attractive place to host such critical institutions.”

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Leaders of other space nations have complained about the process, which has taken many by surprise. Tik’Tok, leader of the Ubaric TechnoUnion, one of the galaxy’s largest economies told Xenonion News:

“This is outrageous. Our homeworld of Hyperion Prime is an ecumenopolis with a trade value of over 9000! We’re already the de-facto trading hub of the galaxy. Why haven’t we been informed that the Galactic UN was accepting applications for a Galactic Market? Can someone check our notifications again, I swear we didn’t get anything! Oh well. At least once the market is established we can request it rotates to us - there’s no way such a thing could be permanent.”

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The Galactic UN stated it will announce the location of the Galactic Market in Q2 of 2253.

The Hivemind is widely tipped to win the nomination, ahead of only two other spacenations which have applied for the institute; the TX-489 machine assimilators, and the socialist Snalien Räterepublik.

Composite shares on the Space Exchange Index (SExI) have rallied on the news.

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Crime rates at record high following measurement of crime rates

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Levels of recorded crime have increased dramatically, according to newly released data from the Galactic Fact Office (GtFO).

The GtFO’s collated crime metrics show space nations registered a total of almost one trillion offenses in the last month, compared to zero in the entirety of recorded space history. The data includes deviancies observed in robotic and drone populations.

Figures show sharp increases in the rates of both petty and serious crimes since December 2252.

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Fraud and space piracy are among the most common types of crime reported, followed by xenophobic violence and Zro misuse.

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The results have been unsurprising to many interstellar government officials. Chancellor Meeeep, leader of the Stellar Starfish Empire (SSE) told Xenonion News earlier today;

“This white collar crime has been prevalent for some time now, particularly relating to individuals manipulating buying and selling of commodities on the stock market to make infinite energy credits.”

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Sociologists theorize that current crime levels are linked to pop unhappiness and poor living standards. They also warn that if crime levels continue at current rates, it is likely to be highly damaging to space nations in the long term.

Professional criminals have branded these warnings as “inflammatory.” Speaking to Xenonion News, Human Crime Lord Hans Olo defended his contributions to the galactic economy;

“This misperception of criminality being dangerous is dangerous. We do great things for our local communities. We provide jobs. For those planets that aren’t able to host the galactic market, we allow them to become unrivalled centres for drug trade. And really, mob rule is really no different to most forms of currently acceptable government anyway. Most of you would do well to have a smuggler’s port or wildcat mining operation in your vicinity.”

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Criminal heritage mega-corporations such as the Galactic Banking Cartel and Weyland-Yakuza have backed local syndicate operations, describing them as “very legal, and very cool.” The commercial entities have warned governments that any reduction in crime could impact on their profits, and in turn, planetary employment.

Criminal enforcers have been quick to publicly rebuke these statements. One such officer, human ‘Supreme Justice’ D. Redd, told Xenonion News:

Our worlds are in upheaval! Mega-cities are subjected to roving bands of savages who have created violence that justice systems are just not controlling. Law as we know it is collapsing. The criminals are winning. We need a new order. One where the police force is officer, jury, judge and executioner.”

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Many sector governors have expressed concern over crime impacting planetary stability. Some have announced plans to recruit more enforcers, while others have vowed to stop monitoring crime altogether, arguing it was never a problem until measurements began.

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Galactic time slowing down, may freeze completely

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Thousands of space-nations across the galaxy have reported that their universal clocks appear to be losing significant amounts of time.

At present one day in Galactic Standard Time (GST) is now on average five times as long as it was one (five) months ago.

Problems were first detected in December 2252 when localized pockets of ‘time stuttering’ emerged in the galactic core. These events were initially first thought to be isolated, but have since increased in frequency and generalized to all galactic regions.

Tik’Tok, leader of the Ubaric TechnoUnion, spoke to Xenonion News earlier today regarding his concerns:

“Previously our clocks ran just fine. 1 second per day as usual. But a couple of weeks ago we started getting these stutters at the start of every day. It was pretty terrifying. Everything would judder, like a giant earthquake, and things seemed to freeze momentarily. Then it would go back to normal…. expect now it’s taking 5 seconds for every day to pass. Something is deeply, deeply wrong here. The only benefit I can see is that I have more time to spend perfecting my facial tendrils, which now at least look particularly taut.”

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Scientists have confirmed the time delay exists but are struggling to explain it.

Karl Karling XI, a physicist from Earth’s prestigious University of Ulm told us;

“Honestly, I have no idea. Perhaps we’ve all existed in some sort of time bubble and now there’s a leak? Anyway, it’s probably for the best if things are slowing down. It takes me quite a while to maintain my facial hair. I just wish I could somehow merge my mustache into my beard.”

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Other theories have postulated that the alterations in time may be linked to space-nations using unorthodox means of travel like wormholes, gateways or jump drives.

Konn Spiricy of the Galactic UN’s Department of Culture told us;

“Are you familiar with the Vultaum? The precursor race that committed mass suicide because they thought they existed in a computer simulation? Well…. what if they were right? What if we are in some sort of ‘mainframe’ that’s struggling to cope with an increasing amount of data as our galaxy gets larger and busier? What if this was the reason Fallen Empires stagnated at the end of the last galactic cycle? It’s something to think about. Like my hair.”

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Current projections estimate that if the current time delays continue, by the year 2400 time may stop completely.

Several space nations have called for an emergency session of the Galactic Security Council to be held in the next 1-5 weeks, if current time delays remain stable.

Shares on the Space Exchange Index (SExI) have dropped, slowly, on the news.

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