Earth, Sol System, United Nations of the Earth
The United Nations of Earth (UNE) has been left reeling from a devastating attack by the Stellar Starfish Empire (SSE) on Friday, which saw the human planet of Centaurus Prime obliterated.
The brutal surprise offensive from the militaristic-xenophobic molluscoids began at around 17.00 GST, when several large fleets were detected on sensors entering the UNE's sparsely defended outer Centaurus sector.
The UNE's 3rd and 4th Rapid Response Fleets, on patrol in the region, reacted immediately to the incursion but were quickly overwhelmed and forced to take evasive action, sustaining significant losses in the process.
Emboldened by an initial swift victory, the SSE set a direct course to the Centaurus Sector's eponymous capitol, Centaurus Prime - a world of critical importance to humanity as it straddles a direct hyperlane gateway to UNE core worlds.
The remnants of the 3rd and 4th Fleets regrouped with reinforcements from the 2nd Fleet, and a defensive line was drawn at Centauri Prime in a bid to buy time for the UNE's primary 1st Fleet to arrive from Earth.
Counter-defensive measures provided futile however, as once again UNE fleets were overpowered by the SSE, which reportedly had access to novel 'Titan battleships' fitted with powerful perdition beams. Molluscoid ships sustained minimal damage in the ensuing battle, while the UNE fleets were decimated. Current figures estimate up to 15,000 human crew are dead or missing in action.
As Centaurus braced for planetary invasion, the SSE unexpectedly fired on the planet with a prototype Colossus-class planet destroyer, a weapon which has recently been controversially approved by the Galactic UN for military use.
Planetary damage was cataclysmic and absolute, with an estimated 2.3 billion xenos dead, the majority being human.
The SSE has since refused humanity's request for peace, and its ships have since been lost from sensors. Mandatory evacuations orders across all UNE outer worlds have been issued, and martial law is now in effect in core worlds. The 1st Fleet has drawn secondary defensive lines in Procyon.
The UNE General Assembly in Ulm has been suspended, with temporary emergency executive power being transferred to President Jeffrey Rossario.
Addressing the UNE on an all-net broadcast on Friday evening from a secure off-world location, Rossario stated:
"I send this message out to all those watching from Earth and beyond. Whether you're a farmer on New Eden, a scientist working on an research station or a soldier aboard a troop transport ship - do not waver. We will never forget Centaurus Prime, and we will never forgive.
In this time of need, remember our Human Oath. We solemnly swear to devote our lives and abilities to the United Nations of Earth. We will defend the Constitution of Man and further the universal rights of all sentient life, no matter the threat. From the depths of the Pacific, to the outer reaches of Centaurus, humanity will prevail."
The speech received rapturous applause from public broadcasts across human territories.
The attack has been roundly condemned by empires from across the galactic political spectrum, barring xenophobic species. Several xenophilic nations, including the Asuri Republics, Lyrian Polity, T'Valdra Allied Stars and Ubaric Techno-Union have pledged economic assistance to the UNE.
Perhaps most surprisingly the Commonwealth of Man (CoM), which was briefly known as the 'Imperium of Man' for a short period of time before a copyright suit from a parallel universe was filed, declared war on the SSE in "solidarity with humanity." The fellow human spacenation had previously been a longstanding rival of the UNE.
CoM leader Sidney Beauclair stated on Friday evening:
"We may not agree with the United Nations of Earth, but they are our brethren. These molluscoids are a threat to all humans, UNE or Commonwealth. We put aside our petty differences, and unity in the purity and supremacy of our species. Those space crabs aren't going to know what's purged them."
The Galactic UN's Security Council, which recently approved the use of planet-destroying weapons, held an emergency session on Saturday. It has urged "restraint" on all sides, and encouraged the UNE to invest in its own Colossus-class planet destroyer as a priority for "future deterrence."
Shares on the Space Exchange Index (SExI) have dropped sharply, and trading has been temporarily suspended.
> More accurate reporting from Ashley Easterbrook could not be possible.