The Kel-Azaan Republic has closed its borders to the Kobarian Star Pact, causing significant travel disruption and leaving the Kobarian’s primary fleet stranded in an unclaimed enclave system.
Diplomatic relations between the two formerly friendly neighbors soured after the Kobarian Star Pact entered into a trade agreement with the Chinorr Combine, long standing rivals of the Kel-Azaan.
Defending the border closure, Kel-Azaan leader Strategos Krexax addressed the Republic’s Senate earlier this morning:
“The Kobarian cooperation with the Chinorr is unacceptable. Their actions have consequences and such we have closed our borders completely and absolutely until further notice. Hopefully now the Kobarian will learn the error of their ways.”
The move has caused travel chaos across the cluster, with all civilian trade ceasing. Several Kobarian science ships which were also in Kel-Azaan space when the blockade came into effect have also gone missing and it’s unclear if and when they will return to friendly territory.
Leader of the Kobarian Star Pact, Archon Tirran, decried the move in an impassioned press conference broadcast this afternoon. He stated:
“Come on! This is ridiculous. Our entire fleet is now stuck in that stupid enclave. Sure, we can scrap the fleet but it will take us over ten years to rebuild it completely - not to mention we’ve lost all but one science ship and and now have no access to unexplored space. Couldn’t they just have declared war on us and put us out of our misery?”
The Kobarian Fleet, named Suthnar’s Armada, is a 12.3k battle group which comprises 100% of the Star Pact’s military capabilities. It was investigating pirate activity in Aruz, an unclaimed system which neighbours Kobarian territory, but is only accessible through Kel-Azaan controlled hyperlanes. The fleet, although relatively advanced, is only fitted with Hyperdrive III engines and cannot use any other means of FTL travel.
Xenonion News spoke to Admiral Ereth of Suthnar’s Armada about the blockade on his fleet. He stated via a live broadcast:
“This is the first time this has happened to me as an admiral. All I can say is, yep, we’re well and truly stuck here. Every system I try and chart to I’m getting an error message ‘This system is not accessible - the Kel-Azaan have closed their borders to us.’ You’d think with this being space we could just fly in any direction we want, closed borders or not. But we can’t. It’s like the Kel-Azaan have put up an impenetrable invisible wall or something. I’m assuming it must be some advanced technology.”
Sources inside the Kobarian government have indicated that security services believe the timing of the border closure was a deliberate ploy to stymie the Star Pact’s military capabilites, effectively rendering core worlds defenceless, particularly to an attack by the Kel-Azaan.
Strategos Krexax condemned the accusations, stating that the Kel-Azaan fleet build-up along border systems was simply to ensure there were no “illegal border crossings.” He added, “it would be too bad if the Kobarians had to declare war on us to open the border… because they know our military power is superior to theirs…”
At present both space-nations have resorted to firing a volley of insults back and forth to each other via diplomatic channels.