Inward perfectionists attain inward perfection, now 'a bit 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 mass discovery of archeology sites

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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, a 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 responds to air pollution health concerns by hiring more entertainers

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Hask’Birim, the Tyznn 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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Leaked documents reveal Commonwealth of Man travelled back in time to annex medieval Earth; defeated by smallpox outbreak

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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.

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.

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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 pothole problems worsen, according to new survey

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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 Xenonion News:

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 Xenonion News:

“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 Xenonion News 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, Scyldari shipwright, and architect of the Great Corvette Rush of 2142

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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.

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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 warn that sector bordergore is 'the 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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Area 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 introduction of crime rate monitoring

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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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Xenonion Interviews: Ba'Sil, CEO of 'DaXenos Pizza

This week the Galactic UN’s Le Guin Act will formally take effect, allowing MegaCorporations to operate on parity with established space nations.

One such MegaCorporation eagerly waiting to expand is ‘DaXenos Pizza, an award winning FTL pizza delivery company based on the planet The Moon of Eye in the Amore System.

Chief executive officer of ‘DaXenos Pizza, Ba’Sil, spoke to Xenonion journalist Stalk of Honeydew about his experience running the one of the galaxy’s most beloved pizza companies.

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Ba’Sil, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to speak to us.

The pleasure is all mine.

‘DaXenos has gone from strength to strength, quickly rising in economic power to become one of the top service corporations in the galaxy. But despite this, it was only last year that your company discovered FTL travel after taking over the administration of your home planet. What has that journey been like?

It’s just been amazing. Really. If you asked me 10 years ago I would have laughed at the idea of a pizza delivery company running an entire planet, let alone planning to expand into space.

It’s an unusual circumstance to see a corporation buy out an established government, even more so a pizza corporation. How did that process come about?

I have to be honest, all the credit must go to our scientists in R&D. They spent years perfecting our delicious pizza recipes. Our profit margins have been incredible only thanks to a solid product range. And that’s how we’ve ended up where we are now.

And how did discovering FTL travel come about?

By accident actually. We initially weren’t thinking of expanding into space at all. But we had developed an orbital pizza delivery service, and that gave us the technology we needed.

And you quickly met neighbouring space nations?

Yes! And whilst we lagged behind in technology, we had pizza and lots of it. And it turned out our neighbours were hungry. Very hungry.

You have hundreds of different pizza types, but your Pan-Galactic Medley Deep Dish is one of the galaxy’s most popular. Where did that come from?

Ah, that’s my favourite pizza too. So tasty. Really the inspiration for that came with our journey to the stars and meeting the diverse array of creatures that existed out there. After we entered into a few migration treaties… well. We had our inspiration.

That’s a very diplomatic answer. Your homeworld has been famed for its hospitality; why then does the Galactic UN still class your corporation as fanatically xenophobic?

It’s nonsense. We’re extremely welcoming. I’m still offended the Galactic UN won’t rate us as xenophiles. I’ve lobbied for a review. We love xenos, just as much as we love pizza. They’re almost one in the same, in fact.

My understanding is you’re hoping to make your pizza range a luxury resource, which will be your unique selling point as a MegaCorp, is that correct?

Absolutely.

Do you think you’ll be able to muster the economic and military power needed to compete against other MegaCorps and established space nations?

We might not have the biggest ships, but they say a way to a xeno’s heart is through their stomach(s). One taste of our pizzas and… well, no-one will be declaring war on us.

Critics have claimed that your company is guilty of corruption and malpractice, including the systematic internment of migra—

Excuse me, I’m sorry, but I thought I was here mainly to talk about pizza?

In part, yes, but this is also a serious probing interview, and it would be negligent of me not to bring up legitimate longstanding concerns about your com—

I’m so sorry to interrupt you BUT LOOK! I BROUGHT PIZZAS WITH ME FOR THE WHOLE STUDIO TEAM TO TRY!

I’m sorry but this is unacceptable. You are clearly trying to divert from…. from…. I… oh that smells quite good….

It comes with a crystallized chemical bliss topping.

I…. I shouldn’t.

Just try some.

Mm…

Go on.

Ok. Maybe just one slice. Just one. [munching]

Well?

[long pause, chewing] Woaaaah. Deeeeeeelightful. Can I…. oh. Oh my. That’s so good. Yes.

Such high praise! It brings a smile to my face and warms my heart(s) to hear your feedback. This particular dish is peppered with a variety of Avians who we just entered into a migration treaty with.

Huh? I’m...not sure I follow. [munching some more] You sure do talk a lot you know.

Our test kitchens have found that the most pleasing flavors to the senses come from ingredients that are in the freshest condition. Also, formerly sapient.

Woah. Wait… Are you suggesting that you harvest, cook and eat all the various intelligent races of the galaxy?! Is that the special ingredient in the Meat Medley?!

Huh. Here. Have another slice of pizza. With some extra chemical bliss for good measure.

I respectfully decline your offer of further pizza, when you have just admitt— [sniffing] mm. How do you get it to smell so good? One more slice won’t hurt. [munching]

Another happy customer.

Now. I had some hard hitting questions to ask you.

Uh… I’m running out of pizza here.

…. Do you work out?

Phew. You had me there. I do.

[giggling amid unintelligible eating sounds] … you’re cute. Almost as cute as my last human guest. O-M-G. I should not have said that.

Have you ever tasted human?

[giddy] Hey! You! I’m asking the questions here! …. Wait. I haven’t. Ooooh, are they good?

Chewy and stringy with very little natural flavor. No good on a pizza.

Whaaaaaaaaaaa.

Human milk however makes for a delightfully buttery, sweet, cheese which pairs wonderfully with the salty, tangy flavor of Voxen milk cheese.

Your eyes are pretty. Can I have another slice?

Absolutely. Try this. Our two cheese blend with a herb crust. Oh and your kind makes up the sauce. A very versatile ingredient that’s featured on most of our pizzas.

I… I just ate one of my own kind? That’s… god…. what’s the word. Taboo? [laughing] I’m a cannibal! Wow. Oh… I feel a little dizzy. Hey. You’re cute. Maybe I can eat yooooou.

You may say ‘taboo’ but one bite of our pizza and you’ll be saying “tab-oooooh!”

[snorts] TAAAAAABOOOOOOO. Ha. Wow. Oh jeez. The whole room is spinning. [shakes body, corrects posture] Uh. Heh. I’m a little tipsy. So, uh… do you, uh, do you come here often?

This is my first time.

Wow. Me toooooo.

Don’t you work here?

[puts fingers on lips] Ssssssssshhhh, it can be our little secret.

Maybe you’ve had a little too much pizza.

MAYBE YOU CAN PUT ME IN A PIZZA.

I can almost certainly arrange that.

THEN YOU CAN EAT ME.

I’m not sure how I feel about this.

WE CAN BE TOGETHER FOREVER.

I… did you… how much chemical bliss did you get exactly?

[labile] ARE YOU BREAKING UP WITH ME? HOW COULD YOU?! I’M LEAVING. [dramatically runs out of room]

Well. Okay. What? Oh, the audio recorder is still running? Okay. Can I just finish the interview myself? Ok. Great.

So, readers. ‘DaXenos offers the best in pan-galactic pizza cuisine. ‘DaXenos pizzas are flash frozen and available at every major grocer and starbase where fine consumer goods are found!

[garbled crying can be heard outside interview room]


’DaXenos will be listed on the galactic stock exchange this Thursday under DAXP. If you’d like to know more about the company, you can follow @DaXenosPizza on Shroud-Twitter.

Stalk of Honeydew hasn’t been seen since the above interview. A quickly scribbled note left with the production queue indicated he planned to emigrate to Amore to “be at one with Ba’sil.”

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Galactic UN's economic overhaul to be implemented next month; economists warn they're still not really sure what that little resource icon that looks like a bar of soap is

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The Galactic UN has confirmed that its flagship pan-galactic economic overhaul legislation, the ‘Le Guin Act’, will come into effect early next month.

Primarily focusing on trade and corporate operations, the Act will also formalize the implementation of a new Planetary Management System (PMS 2.0) in lieu of planetary tiles.

While the proposal has been met with a mostly positive reaction by the galactic community, economists have warned that they need more time to prepare.

Aden Smyth, a leading economist from the United Nations of Earth’s prestigious University of Ulm told Xenonion News;

“I don’t think people realize how big a change this will be. For eons we have had three main resources - energy, minerals, and food. Now we’re going to have additional resources like volatile gases, motes and that one icon that looks like a bar of soap that I just can’t place. What does that soap thing do? How much will it cost? Will it become a new currency? See - if we can’t even work out the basics, this is likely to have serious repercussions for trade across the galaxy.”

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A subsection of the Le Guin Act, known as the ‘MegaCorp’ clause, it set to offer private corporations vast freedoms, including the rights to operate in essence as space nations.

Anti-corporate campaigners have strongly criticized this move. Curl Murks, a rather lubricated molluscoid, told our news team;

“It is madness to think the Galactic UN are actually condoning this thievery of the private sector! The addition of these new resources will only rob workers of their living wages and create friction between the classes. As a collective, we must ensure the invisible (non-corporate) hand guides empires away from this new system.”

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Other economists have not yet offered opinions on the situation as most have returned to educational institutions to update their economic qualifications, and these are not expected to be completed for another 5 years.

Aden Smyth concluded;

“The irony is by the time we finish fully studying all these new resources and principles, the entire economic system will have probably been overhauled several times so it will all be really out of date. There probably is some merit in just having unqualified economists who offer intermittent speculation. They’ll be in a much better place to advise us as to whether we should buy up shares in that soap thing.”

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Xenonion Interviews: Sergeant Conrad, a defence army soldier who helped quell planetary unrest

In the late 2240s, the United Nations of Earth (UNE) began a mass colonization program of continental worlds in neighboring systems. The endeavor, and colonists associated with it, became known as the ‘First Wave.’

Terra Nova in the Alpha Centauri system was one the first worlds colonized in the ‘First Wave’. While it is now an important core world of humanity, few people know that its initial planetary settlement was almost abandoned after a critical food shortage and subsequent outbreak of violence caused the deaths of over 15,000 colonists.

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The project would have been shut down completely had it not been for the 13th Planetary Guard, a colonial defense army that was tasked with reducing unrest. The platoon, also nicknamed ‘The Supply Suckers’ were credited with restoring law and order for long enough to allow for supplies from Earth to arrive.

Xenonion News was able to speak to one of the key soldiers involved with the 13th Planetary Guard, Sergeant Conrad.

This article is sponsored by TeleShroud - the galaxy’s largest psionic telecommunications provider.


Sergeant, thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us. Can you talk us through your experience on Terra Nova?

Of course. It was tough. The defence army had just been established only a few months after the first colonists had re-assembled that ship shelter. Those first few months were the hardest.

I understand food went pretty quickly?

The amount of Space Ramen we went through was insane. I don’t know why the colony ship was only stocked with 1,500,000kg of Space Ramen, but it wasn’t enough, that’s for sure.

How soon did it run out?

Pretty soon. Maybe a month or so later. It probably didn’t help we were all comfort eating. But the supplies dwindled - in the end people were getting upset and unrest was rising.

Did the UNE try to help?

We were expecting them to send some more supplies, but it turned out our colonization had pushed the whole government into debt, and they couldn’t afford to help us.

But really, it felt like they forgot about us. The remaining Ramen packets were our lifeblood. A currency. A really precious currency that was hard-fought to come by.

What happened next?

More and more pops were unfrozen from cryo. We had maybe 400 people originally on the colony, with up to 19,000 in stasis that were automatically woken after a set period of time. The computer couldn’t be overridden. Every day tens of new pops were unfrozen, and every day more Ramen went.

Then the food stores in the ship shelter got raided. Thank the Worm we were given laser carbines, they were next most important thing that people would pay attention to after Ramen.

So the 13th Army took it upon itself to guard the food stores?

We did, and for trying to help we faced a damn revolt. The People’s Front of Terra Nova they called themselves. Or wait, maybe it was the Terra Nova People’s Front. Or Popular Front. I don’t know.

Anyway, while it may have sounded like a proper planetary revolt, it was only forty people. But when all forty of them have slug throwers, things tend to get a bit more complex….

It sounds like a precarious situation, how did you resolve it?

Unfortunately, it got worse.

Those bastards got one of my soldiers, Private Easting, when he was on his lunch break. We didn’t have any food, but we would pretend to eat Ramen for the psychological boost.

Anyway, he was in this fake canteen that we’d drawn on one of the hallways, and he got fifty shells to the chest. The fake canteen was ruined too.

We tried to fight back with force, and the Popular People’s Front of Terra Nova started using guerrilla tactics.

Such as?

They kept cutting the power. There was only so many temporary fixes our techies could do to our Fusion Generator. Stalking through the darkened corridors of the reassembled ship shelter, we hunted them and they hunted us.

The halls became a blood soaked battlefield as pops picked sides. Worm, we were barely holding out. What started as a fifty strong security force, got reduced to ten after months of all out fighting.

The irony was, for all the pops that we lost, equal amounts awoke from cryo. We had this constant flow of new, terrified pops. In the end, we stopped explaining what was going on to them and started shoving flak jackets and kinetic pistols into their hands.

Did the UNE know what was happening?

We tried calling for help on a daily basis. No-one responded. They did seem to be reading our biweekly reports though - the read receipts were on. On our charts, it looked like Terra Nova had a booming population with all the pops coming out of cyro, but the only thing that was booming was the mortuary. Literally. It was bombed pretty early on.

It sounds like a tough situation. If only you had a TeleShroud fax machine. It has excelled psiwave upload speeds and has been proven superior to other forms of communication in terms of guaranteed message delivery.

A what…?

Look, do you think we had time to be fixing fax machines? The one damned one we had was destroyed alongside the fake canteen.

It was up to us, and no-one else, to end the strife.

It’s a shame, because it sounds like you really could have benefited from a TeleShroud subscription package

What the hell are you talking about?

TeleShroud. The galaxy’s largest telecommunications provider.

Ok but… why?

TeleShroud offers some of the most competitive -

Right, right, whatever. Can I just finish my story?

In the end, we enforced peace by gunpoint. We unthawed every cryo pop there was and gave them the last of our weaponry.

I would have liked to seen the facial expressions on those smarmy People’s Front fools as we drowned them in ten thousand angry colonists.

What happened to them?

They got pulped to death. The pulp made for a pretty good nutritional replacement, so the survivors fed on that.

Of course then an outbreak of Super Scurvy set in, and we lost about 90% of the colony. But by that time, we’d all seen so much death that we didn't even flinch at our comrades falling beside us.

Well that took a particularly grim turn.

Desperate times indeed.

The government finally remembered us about six months later when the economy stabilized.

They kind of just ignored our reports and just gave us the order to build 25 tiles worth of hydroponic farms.

I guess they wanted to really fix the problem. And work goes quick when you’re ravenous for a packet of anything but Spicy Pitharan flavoured Ramen.

However, thanks to the establishment of those farms, things are back to normalcy... mostly.

If those People’s Front fools come back, we’ll hold the line while you fellas get the cavalry, right?

I cant make promises, Sergeant. But TeleShroud certainly can. A promise to deliver not only the best in psionic telecommunication devices, but also the galaxy’s highest rated customer service.

I... Wormdamn it. I guess I can order a few of the damn things.


Sergeant Conrad has remained a member of the 13th Planetary Guard on Terra Nova, and is now based out of the newly constructed Planetary Fortress.

Sales of the planet’s main luxury resource, Ramen, remains buoyant, and stocks remain closely guarded by ‘The Supply Suckers’


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‘Slight Snafu’ incident sparks rise of #Cupitexit movement

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Following last week’s ‘Snafu Incident’ coming to light on the galaxy’s newsfeeds, the Dev Cluster’s Cupitor Technocracy is now once again the reluctant main character of galactic affairs.

A previously avid member of the federation headed by the humans of the UNG, the Cupitori state is now home to the new grassroots movement known as #Cupitexit, whose stated goal is to lobby for leaving said Federation and ending the war on The Dredge.

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Quite out of character for the typical introvert Cupitori, the leaders of the #Cupitexit movement are riling up emotions on the capital planet of the Technocracy by taking to social media.

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Kan Pisk, spokescupitori for the movement told Xenonion News:

“The 'Slight Snafu' incident showed us what happens when we outsource our independence. End the war - leave the UNG! #Cupitexit NOW!”

Despite overwhelming evidence of the contrary, the ever tight-lipped government officials of the Cupitor Technocracy refuse to comment on the movement other than by firmly denying its very existence.

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Councilcupitori Pi Kesklek told Xenonion News:

“It is a figment of imagination cooked up by sensationalist plantoid yellow press, and it is below the dignity of the Science Directorate to comment further on the issue.”

Speculations in the galactic community run wild as to what the consequences would be if the ambitions of the movement come to fruition.

Some experts argue that it would expose the relatively small and unprepared civilization to bloodthirsty neighbours such as the Bruggan Raiders and the Union of Supreme Synthetic Republics.

Others believe it will allow the Technocracy to open up previously unavailable trade routes and alliances with empires closer to both their borders and beliefs.

The shouting match continues and time will tell if the Cupitori choose to either isolate themselves, or be part of the galactic community. However, one thing is for sure: galactic affairs have never been this exciting!

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Cupitori scientist causes slight snafu

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The Cupitor Technocracy, a peaceful technocratic oligarchy in the Dev region of the Galaxy, today announced that for the past few years an experimental AI dubbed “The Mind” has been in control of 99.12% of the essential government systems directing everything from the state economy, to diplomatic communications and the armed forces.

The scientist responsible for the unleashing of the “The Mind” software, famous recombinant memetician Ki Kaskan, has been relieved of his duties until further notice.

Mr. Kaskan told Xenonion News:

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“It was an honest mistake, I was in the middle of enjoying a break after a long night of coding, when I splashed some coffee on the keyboard and accidentally hit the ‘upload’ button.”

Government officials of the famously introvert Cupitori people deemed it best to keep quiet about the mishap, as one government official who wished to remain anonymous, Ki Kesklek, told Xenonion News:

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“It would just cause a big ruckus [if we] would try to explain the implications of the take-over to the rest of the galactic community.”

The honest mistake did however cause major ramifications to both the Cupitori state and its neighbours when the apparently bloodthirsty AI voted yes in the Galactic Council to war on The Dredge civilization. Secretary of State Vesk Iman told our news team:

“We would never have voted yes to open conflict had we been in control. We Cupitori firmly believe in upholding the peace, and staying away from such… adventures.”


Other consequences of the accidental upload include opening the borders to the notorious crime syndicate ‘The Family’, the colonization of the worthless Tomb World of Ter Vosk and completely redesigning the economy to focus on military build-up instead of research institutes.

Control of the Cupitori governmental systems have however finally been re-established and the leaders are now lobbying to end the bloody war with The Dredge.

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Xenonion Interviews: Jhazai Jen, survivor the 3rd Mobile Infantry fleet disbanding disaster

On this day in 2250, the United Nations of Earth (UNE) experienced its worst naval disaster during peacetime operations.

The 40 transport ships of the 3rd Mobile Infantry were returning from a mission in deep space, and had begun docking procedures at Sol’s space station, ISN Arcturus. At the same time, UNE central government decided that due to budget constraints, the 3rd Mobile Infantry was to be mothballed.

The 3rd Mobile Infantry was disbanded before the fleet could finish docking, causing the deaths of 400,000 service personnel on board.

On the anniversary of that fateful day, Xenonion News spoke to Lieutenant Jhazi Jen, a former human assault solider who was part of the 3rd Mobile Infantry, and survived after his ship, the ISS Manifest Destiny III, accidentally de-merged from the fleet moments before disbanding.

This article is sponsored by TeleShroud - the galaxy’s largest psionic telecommunications provider.

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Lieutenant Jen, thank you for taking the time to speak to us on what must be a difficult day.

Thank you.

Could you tell us about your time with the 3rd Mobile Infantry?

Sure. I’d been with them for about 1 year. Signed up right after the attack on Centaurus Prime. I still remember when the call came up for enlistment, I jumped for the opportunity. But I was too late to get revenge on those Starfish terrorists, they had already enforced peace by the time I was posted on the Manifest Destiny III.

So I spent the next two years in orbit over Sol, idling. It was quite a long slog really. I don’t like to think about it. There’s just something about being stuck in a confined space with 1,000 other people for a prolonged period of time really changes you, you know?

And you were deployed just before the disaster?

That’s right. Another war rolled around. I can’t remember who we were at war with - there’s always one or two going on, and who can be bothered to keep up with all the diplomatic notifications anyway? We were just glad to be going somewhere, anywhere, finally. Finally we were serving the UNE in combat!

What happened next?

We departed Earth, with a mission to invade some xeno colony. We were pumped. It was a thousand day journey, but every day we got closer brought a new wave of optimism.

But you never got to your destination?

No… our allies mopped up our target planet before we got there. We were so close… 500 days away from seeing combat, and another enforced peace. We’d won the war, apparently.

What was that like?

It was a bad, bad time. I mean, I was glad we won, but frustrated I hadn’t seen any action. I’m not sure how I held it together.

The only thing that kept me sane was the fact the ship had a wireless TeleShroud-enabled fax machine and I could keep in contact with home. Did you know TeleShroud has some of the best Shroudload speeds, and the most competitive monthly subscription fees versus any of its competitors?

I did. I also use TeleShroud and I find it to be excellent.

Not only that, but great customer service too.

Absolutely. It’s so nice to find a service you can trust.

The UNE really could learn a thing or two from how TeleShroud operates, but anyway. So yes, things on the ship were… not great otherwise. I know some other guys who smuggled Zro onboard and turned to that.

And what happened as you got closer to home?

We traveled for a thousand days back to Sol, and it was a euphoric feeling. We were so close to home, we’d won the war, none of us died - it was a miracle.

And the disbanding?

I…. I don’t remember much.

What do you remember?

I… [pause]

Sorry… this is hard.

We were about 3 days out from Earth, and final preparations were underway for disembarking. Some idiot in command had accidentally de-merged our ship from the main fleet, so we were lagging slightly behind.

I remember looking out one of the Manifest’s forward windows, with the full might of the 3rd Mobile Infantry fleet before me and then…

Then?

Gone.

Gone?

Gone. Poof. Vanished. The entire fleet. Never to be seen again. 400,000 souls, in sight of Earth, no more.

What happened aboard your ship?

It was bedlam. At first we thought the rest of the fleet had used their emergency jump drives, but the comms were dead. We couldn’t understand it.

[pause]

Then the news filtered through from Arcturus…

[long pause]

… there was an energy deficit.

Some foolish pop back home migrated off a power plant and the GDP of the UNE tanked. The result? No more 3rd Mobile Infantry.

That sounds horrible. What did you do next?

Well… what could we do? Those that remained put on our dress blues for coming home, and we disembarked.

The Manifest was disbanded shortly after that, but at least we were off it.

What upsets me the most is I think of that TeleShroud fax machine and how it was still aboard the ship. It’s just… such a waste of a high quality product.

Terrible indeed, considering its superior design. Looking back now, what do you think about the disbanding?

I still can’t believe our government did that. They killed their own people! With no qualms at all. I’ve spent the last year trying to raise awareness about it, and no-one on Earth seems that bothered. I’m at the point now where I’ve given up.

Did you stay on as a member of the army?

No. I left soon after I got home. And I’m glad I got out. The government is replacing all human soldiers with clone armies. Cheaper. More efficient. Crap conversationalists though.

If you could, would you do anything different?

Yeah - I would have enlisted as a defence soldier. They never get replaced, and have you seen how cushty those fortress postings are? All on some nice cosy continental world?

I was young… I was an idiot. But I’ve learned from my mistakes. I won’t be flying on a UNE ship any time soon, and I’ve bought my very own personal TeleShroud subscription.

Lt Jen, thank you for your time, and enjoy your new TeleShroud device.


Lt Jen has since migrated to one of the UNE’s outer colonies to retire. He has bought an undeveloped tile, and is planning on tending to it before the planetary management system is overhauled.

The UNE government has still refused to acknowledge the disbanding of the 3rd Mobile Infantry as a galactic disaster, and continues to ramp up production of cheaper human clone soldiers.


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