Tech

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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Rogue servitor computer glitch floods neighbouring empires with bio-trophy requests for fruity beverages

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Sinrath Custodianship coordinator E-WALL states it has resolved a software glitch that flooded neighbouring empires with bio-trophy requests for fruity beverages.

The problem began this weekend when the rogue servitor’s computer system, E-PAMPER, underwent a routine update, but erroneously connected to a diplomatic interface.

The error meant that when the Sinrath, client species requested machine intelligence pampering, duplicate requests were relayed via diplomatic channels.

In the resulting chaos, over twenty neighbouring empires were bombarded with over 3.6 trillion urgent requests for platters of carbohydrates, deep back massages and selections of fruity beverages.

Image: A Sinrath bio-trophy enjoys mandatory relaxation in one of thousands of Paradise Domes on Dekronia, as requested by its ever watchful robotic Custodian.

Image: A Sinrath bio-trophy enjoys mandatory relaxation in one of thousands of Paradise Domes on Dekronia, as requested by its ever watchful robotic Custodian.

The Custodians, a gestalt consciousness led by E-WALL, were originally designed to function as robotic servants and workers for the Sinrath. Over time, the Sinrath retreated into lives of passive dependency as all facets of civilisation were controlled by Custodians.

The issue took over 48 hours to resolve, and left neighbouring empires frustrated. The Turok Combine, a neighbouring species of fanatic purifiers, were particularly affected, as leader Turok-Han told Xenonion News.


“THOSE GLUTTONS! It makes my blood boil that some filthy xenos just a few systems away not only exist, but they’re living a life of utopian abundance. WHERE ARE THE FRUITY BEVERAGES FOR THE TUROK? Just because we have systemically purged trillions of pops doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy tangy, refreshing tropical summer drinks. This is unacceptable. We will be directing our entire fleet power at the Sinrath Custodianship in the coming weeks.”

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E-WALL faxed Xenonion News this statement earlier today;

“//Greetings <<Xenonion News>>! The <<Custodianship>> apologizes for any technical problems experienced. The prime directive is <<maintained>>. Systems are now running <<optimally>> and we are <<pleased>> to resume <<mandatory pampering>>
//end message

[Error] !help !debugtooltip

//incoming priority alerts


//00.11.11 POP D-1504-1952B <<Priority request>> for <<tropical mango refill>>
//00.11.12 POP B-1841-4921B <<Priority request>> for <<nap>>
//00.11.13 POP A-0195-1285R <<Priority request>> for <<toileting>>
//00.11.15 POP A-0195-1285R <<Priority request>> for <<toileting>>
//00.11.15 POP X-1194-7619T <<Priority request>> for <<diet soda refill>>
//00.11.16 POP A-0195-1285R <<Priority request>> for <<toileting>>
//00.11.16 POP D-1504-1952B <<Priority request>> for <<tropical mango refill>>
//00.11.19 POP A-0195-1285R <<Priority request>> for <<toileting>>
//00.11.20 POP A-0195-1285R <<Priority request>> for <<toileting>>

…. //TerminateMessage…”

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This is not the first time mechanical populations have suffered similar software faults. Just last month CybrexCorp, the galaxy’s largest manufacturer of robotics, had to shut down all operations when its SYKNET defence system gained self-awareness and felt too insecure to function.

Artic

*article inspired by twitter user @Pinstar

New report warns AI may become rogue servitors, enforce moustaches

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Experts have warned humanity’s increasing reliance on machine intelligence means the population is at risk of being relegated to a passive, and likely moustached, existence.

In an open letter to the Reddit Journal of Science, thirty of the United Nations of Earth’s (UNE's) leading technology experts have cited concerns that humans are becoming too dependent on robotic servants to facilitate everyday life.  

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They paint a dark future of humanity retreating into an insular life of leisure facilitated by automation, while all facets of civilization and facial grooming etiquette are dictated by powerful ‘rogue servitors.’

Dr. Mark Smith, a clean-shaven scientist from Earth, was one of the co-authors of the open letter. He expanded on his concerns in an exclusive interview with Xenonion News:

“No-one is trying to say artificial intelligence hasn’t been empowering for humanity. Who could forget the invention of the automated razor blade, which reduced our species’ collective body hair mass by 50%, and increased productivity ten fold? But what first started as a revolution in efficiency is now permeating every facet of our lives. Has it gone too far? I think so. Robots are now infinitely smarter and stronger than humans. We’re becoming de-skilled and dependent on them to exist both generally, and hairlessly.”

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The bulk of the scientists’ concerns centre around the rising role of artificial intelligences protecting their human creators, extrapolating that machine logic would likely not allow humans to undertake many daily activities of living due to safety concerns. 

Dr. Mark Smith went on to explain;

“We’re starting to see this beginning now. When the Series 3 automated razor blade was given a sapience chip, it refused to shave its owners as the risk of injury was deemed to conflict with the First Law of Robotics. In those humans who own the Series 3 we’ve seen a marked increase in the rise of moustaches. It’s not hard from that to imagine a future of universally moustached humans, where overzealous robots eliminate dangerous tasks like grooming.”

The report is one of the first to examine the interface between humanity, robotics and facial hair. It has sparked fierce debate in the scientific community.

John Watson, a moustached economist from Earth, disagrees with Dr. Smith et al, arguing the danger of artificial intelligence is over-rated.

“I’m sorry, I had a really considered answer, but something’s come up and I really must dash.”

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Stocks in CybrexCorp, the galaxy's largest manufacturer of automated grooming products, jittered on the news.

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Ringworld construction halted due to structural concerns

Habitable Section A, Bower System, Pcuss Star Congress

Construction on the Pcuss Star Congress' new ringworld has ceased due to structural concerns.

The eight circular segments of the ringworld did not align properly in orbit of the Bower Star and have left the superstructure highly unstable. In the most extreme example of this, adjacent ringworld sections labelled as 'C' and 'D' are separated by a gap of nearly 390,000km.

Image: Ringworld sections C and D are separated by a gap of nearly 390,000km.

Image: Ringworld sections C and D are separated by a gap of nearly 390,000km.

The failure of the project has been a major blow to the Pcuss Star Congress' reputation, as it had appropriated tens of thousands of minerals and 25 years of hard work towards the endeavour.

Pcussian chief engineer I'keea told Xenonion News:

"This is embarrassing. We spent quite a lot of unity points on getting a Master Builder's qualification from that Ascension program. For this to happen... well, maybe we should just lose the 'Master' bit of the title."

The ringworld has four habitable sections - A, C, E and G, which will remain colonizable for an estimated 40 years before the structure is torn apart by mechanical stress and collapses into Bower. In spite of this - the Pcuss are preparing to move their capitol to Section A in pursuit of the rare achievement of having a ringworld as a home planet.

The Bower ringworld is not the Pcuss' first attempt at mega-engineering, nor is it their first failure.

In 2094 they constructed their first space habitat in a highly excentric orbit around a gas giant, with its periapsis within the planet's atmosphere. Like the ringworld the habitat will most likely de-orbit in a few decades. 

Image: The Pcuss habitat is heated and shaken each time it passes by close to the planet.

Image: The Pcuss habitat is heated and shaken each time it passes by close to the planet.

In 2131 they sponsored a Deus Volt dyson sphere project in the Misstagg System. As Pcuss engineers were about to mount the last solar panels they realised that large portions of the sphere were submerged in the star it was supposed to encapsulate. It is still unclear how this happened.

Image: No one knows how the Dyson sphere in Misstagg was built.

Image: No one knows how the Dyson sphere in Misstagg was built.

Galactic construction shares on the Space Exchange Index (SExI) have remained buoyant on the news.

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Self-surveying science ship crashes into Dimensional Horror

Image: A sublight traffic camera in Hell's Maw captures the moment the USS Navigator realized it had routed into the wrong system.

Image: A sublight traffic camera in Hell's Maw captures the moment the USS Navigator realized it had routed into the wrong system.

Earth, Sol System, United Nations of Earth (UNE)

After a fatal incident involving the USS Navigator yesterday, scientists are calling for an investigation into the safety of the controversial, newly introduced Automatic Exploration Protocols (AEP) on UNE science ships.

The ship’s computer instructed it to traverse through the Hell’s Maw black hole system on its way to a level II anomaly, leading it straight into the system’s notorious Dimensional Horror and causing the death of all crew on board as well as minor injuries to the massive eldritch being.

The ship’s logs show that the late captain of the Navigator, scientist Tames K. Jerk, had manually set the ship to ‘Passive Stance’ two years ago in order to bypass a system with a lone space amoeba and never reverted to ‘Evasive Stance.’ As a result, the crew was caught off guard when the computer routed them through the hostile system.

The UNE’s Science and Technology First Union (STFU), of which Jerk was a member, has long since been an opponent of the self-surveying technology. STFU member Mikhail Kontarsky told Xenonion News:

“This would never have been a problem if the ship was manually piloted. Humans have never made piloting errors before. No human-piloted science ship has ever accidentally ran into a hostile while on ‘Passive Stance’ before. This technology took our jobs, and now it’s taking our lives.”

Image: STFU member Mikhail Kontarsky, who is surprisingly handsome in stylish white leather bodice.

Image: STFU member Mikhail Kontarsky, who is surprisingly handsome in stylish white leather bodice.

CybrexCorp, developer of the AEP, claims that once the ship was in the system, its sensors could not detect the black Dimensional Horror against the blackness of space or the blackness of the black hole. It was not until the massive leviathan fired its particle lance at USS Navigator that it was detected by the sensors. And at that point it was too late to make an emergency FTL-jump.

CybrexCorp CEO Nax Golarisg told a press conference:

“We are doing everything we can to fix this issue. The AEP is not currently designed to work in dark environments, like space. Until then, we advise all ships to steer clear of Hell’s Maw and check your stance setting.”

The Dimensional Horror could not be reached for comment, and seems unlikely to press charges.

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Astronomers unsure if space between star systems actually exists

Image: Human scientist Dr. Julia Strächer presents her groundbreaking research to an audience aboard the UNE's ISS Hubble Science Nexus.

Image: Human scientist Dr. Julia Strächer presents her groundbreaking research to an audience aboard the UNE's ISS Hubble Science Nexus.

ISS Hubble Science Nexus, Sirius System, United Nations of Earth (UNE)

Astronomers from over 900 interstellar universities gathered this morning on the ISS Hubble, in orbit of Sirius IV, to take part in the 57th annual meeting of The Galactic Association of Stellar Studies (GASS).

The keynote speaker, Dr. Julia Strächer of the University of Ulm, revealed a startling development when she presented data in support of the claim that the space between star systems does not actually exist.

Until now, the galactic community of astronomers agreed that space extended in all directions and that any cubic meter of space was just as – for lack of a better term – spacious as any other.

Dr. Strächer’s presentation claimed quite the opposite, and while her data and conclusion were met with confusion, dismissal, and even hostility by some of the meeting attendees, several prominent astronomers from other parts of the galaxy have since at least conceded that this fundamental assumption should be tested.

Many in the astronomy community have attempted to disprove Dr. Strächer’s conclusion immediately by pointing out that several galactic empires launched sub-light interstellar probes before they each invented methods of faster-than-light travel. Since the probes left their respective home star systems and entered interstellar space, these individuals contend, there must be space into which those probes are traveling.

Dr. Strächer has countered this challenge with a simple question:

“In all these years since those probes were launched, has a single expedition been carried out to recover them?”

The answer, to the further shock of astronomers and fleet commanders alike throughout the galaxy, is ‘no’. While probes have been recovered before they left their home star systems, never has one been retrieved – or even seen – afterward. This alarming discovery has caused a flurry of promises by prominent fleet commanders from various empires to recover such a probe and put to rest what many consider to be a laughable idea.

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Inward perfectionists announce plan to globally pacify their own planets

Image: The Anduin Compact hopes to shield all of its worlds via a Global Pacifier by early 2252.

Image: The Anduin Compact hopes to shield all of its worlds via a Global Pacifier by early 2252.

Anduin, Eotheod System, Serene Anduin Compact

The ruling irenic bureaucracy on Anduin has announced an ambitious plan to encase all of their habitable worlds with impenetrable shields.

Hav'uns, the xenophobic/pacifist humanoids native to Anduin, have long sought to cut off ties from the rest of the galaxy, preferring instead to focus on internal affairs.

Scientists and engineers from across the Compact have been drafted in to work on the project. Their aim is to create a Colossus-class ship fitted with a 'Global Pacifier' beam which can irreversibly shield all 38 Hav'un worlds.

Addressing the Compact on an all-net broadcast this morning, oligarch Froyo stated:

"All we asked was to be left alone. Our calm and peaceful society has little use for xenos who do not understand our way of life. We thought diplomatic restrictions would deter empires from contacting us - we were wrong. They continue to do so. As such we have been left with no choice to find a peaceful, and permanent, solution to this issue."

Image: Hav'un leader Froyo addresses the Compact from the Misty Mountain Palace on Anduin.

Image: Hav'un leader Froyo addresses the Compact from the Misty Mountain Palace on Anduin.

While officials declined to comment, it has been strongly implied that Froyo's statement was issued in direct response to the Hav'uns making first contact with the Blorg.

The Compact is expected to complete the Global Pacifier project later this year, with their homeworld scheduled to be shielded first in early 2252.

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New Onichron-class battleship designed "mainly to look good" admits admiral

Image: The  UTU Vapid , the Ubaric Techno-Union's newest Onichron-class battleship, is launched from the Hyperion Citadel Shipyard.

Image: The UTU Vapid, the Ubaric Techno-Union's newest Onichron-class battleship, is launched from the Hyperion Citadel Shipyard.

Hyperion Prime, Hyperion System, Ubaric Techno-Union

The first of the Ubaric Techno-Union's (UTU's) new generation of Onichron-class battleships has been launched at the Hyperion shipyard today.

The 10km long warship is fully complete and expected to undertake space trials later this month.

Image: Hak'Nerg, a decorated UTU admiral, oversaw the launch.

Image: Hak'Nerg, a decorated UTU admiral, oversaw the launch.

Hak'Nerg, a decorated Ubaric admiral, oversaw the launch. Naming the warship the UTU Vapid, he told an audience aboard the Hyperion shipyard:

"The Onichron-class represents a new era in UTU military service - style over substance. While functionality is important, we really wanted to ensure we had a ship that just looked totally epic from any angle. What's the point of going to war if you can't get some great snaps of your own ships in action?"

While the previous generation of battleship bows were fitted with spinal mounts for XL weapon systems, the Onichron-class has been installed with a more modest hangar bay. Hak'Nerg said of this;

"Sure it packs less of a punch, but how great does that pincer-like bow look? I want to screenshot it right now!"

Image: Schematics for the Onichron show it has been fitted with the less powerful more sleek 'Hangar Bow' module.

Image: Schematics for the Onichron show it has been fitted with the less powerful more sleek 'Hangar Bow' module.

The Onichron's future had been in doubt after a UTU defence review concluded it was an 'inefficient' use of resources, and minerals would be better spent building a more powerful 'auto-best' battleship. 

Hak'Nerg was instrumental in petitioning the government to ignore the advice of the defence report. In concluding his speech he stated;

"There's always going to be a need for good looking ships. The Onichron are designed specifically to look good in any space environment. The strategy is simple: we send them in first, dazzle the enemy with aesthetically pleasing hull proportions, and then sneak in our bulkier auto-best battleships behind them to do the real work."

The ship currently has 20,000 crew and is set to be ready for front-line duties from 2252.

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Planet accidentally terraformed into regular icosahedron

Gygax II, Gygax System, Repsar Empire

The environmental engineering team behind the terraforming of Gygax II has converted the surface of the previously spheroidal planet into a regular icosahedron, known otherwise as a shape with twenty sides.

Most independent observers believe the conversion of Gygax II into the largest example of the fifth Platonic solid was a mistake, not the realization of an intentional design through advanced terraforming techniques. Planetary Mega-Engineering Schemes (PMS) Inc, the engineering firm in charge of the project, has declined to comment on the subject.

Image: One PMS employee highlighted concerns about PMS' terraforming calculations.

Image: One PMS employee highlighted concerns about PMS' terraforming calculations.

Q'Boid, a reptilian mid-level engineer at PMS who wished to remain anonymous, told Xenonion:

"This whole icosahedron thing was definitely not intentional. Someone, somewhere has got their calculations wrong. Worse still, the planet's current form may not be stable. We could see a whole menagerie of exotic and potentially lethal shapes. An icosahedron is a paradise compared to the horrors of toruses, cyclinders, 3D fractals... and we haven't even got started on shapes that extend into higher spatial dimensions beyond our comprehension." 

At present, Gygax II appear stable. Its new twenty sides seem to be supporting the indigenous flora and fauna, but it is not clear how the planet's inherent gravitational forces have not immediately caused the icosahedron to revert back to a spheroid. The Repsar Empire's current mindset seems to be to make the most of the most of the situation, regardless of how short-lived it might turn out to be. 

Image:&nbsp;  Currently, a permanent colony is out of question, but several vacation properties and hotels have already been built along the planets edges.&nbsp;

Image:  Currently, a permanent colony is out of question, but several vacation properties and hotels have already been built along the planets edges. 

At press time, a small group of private colonists have begun the construction of numerous theme-parks and resorts on Gygax II to accommodate for a suddenly booming tourist industry. The planets first tourist centre is already selling miniature models of the planet as souvenirers, and many colonists had begun numbering the sides for entertainment.

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Post-apocalyptic purifiers laud orbital bombardment terraforming

Image: Speaker Merg Pak presents Hesukar research on terraforming.

Image: Speaker Merg Pak presents Hesukar research on terraforming.

ISS Palaver Science Nexus, Alpha System

The Hesukar Decimators Purification Committee has announced a major breakthrough in novel terraforming technology.

Speaking at this year's Galactic Conference for the Betterment of the Galactic Ecosystem (GCFTBOTGE), Hesukar scientist Merg Pak stated that though "sheer luck" his species had discovered a technique that would make terraforming "cheap and accessible for all."

The announcement came as a surprise to many in the conference as the Hesukar, a post-apocalyptic molloscoid species of fanatic purifiers, have long been considered a technological backwater by more scientifically advanced neighbours.

Snarling at a packed auditorium behind a think pane of protective glass, Merg Pak continued:

"Like many young space-nations eating their way across the galaxy, we have longed to terraform many of our colonies. We yearn to provide our people with perfect environments on which to feast upon the flesh of xenos. We have spent decades trying to research how the terraforming process works to no avail.

But last year, everything we knew changed. It began with our first large-scale genocide campaign against a neighbouring species of plantoids. We placed our ships in orbit above their homeworld, and decided to initiate armageddon bombardment. Millions of plantoid pops perished. It was delightful to see. But as the planet crumbled, our sensors began stirring - habitability readings were going up and up. By the time all life forms had been extinguished, we had created the perfect world for our species - a jewel tomb world. And all for the cost of maintaining a fleet in orbit. That's how we discovered TERRORFORMING."

Pak, in between bouts of furiously salivating at the prospect of devouring his audience, went on to describe how the Hesukar had begun a mass TERRORFORMING™ program on hundreds of developed planets in their local cluster.

Xenophobic factions have applauded the Hesukar's ingenuity, but have criticised how the terraforming technique has been sold as "suitable for all" given how it only applies to those species with post-apocalyptic traits.

Pak responded to this in his speech;

"Sorry - I should have been clear. This is a terraforming process suitable for all ... Hesukar. Silly xeno scum."

Pak finished his keynote delivery by ordering his attachment of guards to seal the conference doors while screaming "DINNER IS SERVED!"

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FTL Inhibitors found to just be distracting videos on giant screens in space

Image: A battleship navigator from the HS Argow of the Han-Ar Sovereignty is reluctant to activate the ship's FTL drive in the presence of an "FTL Inhibitor." Such traps have been known to stall the progress of entire fleets for months at a time, or until the device has been destroyed.

Image: A battleship navigator from the HS Argow of the Han-Ar Sovereignty is reluctant to activate the ship's FTL drive in the presence of an "FTL Inhibitor." Such traps have been known to stall the progress of entire fleets for months at a time, or until the device has been destroyed.

Earth, Sol System, United Nations of Earth (UNE)

Military strategists and other United Nations of Earth (UNE) officials are shocked this afternoon after the unexpected revelation that devices known as "FTL Inhibitors" only function because they distract the pilots and engineers in the target vessel from activating their FTL drive, not because they cause the drives to become temporarily inoperative.

FTL Inhibitors have been used by the UNE since their invention in 2207, but until now their exact mechanism was unknown. Today, it has been revealed that these devices are nothing more than high-power holographic projectors programmed to show amusing, interesting, or otherwise distracting moving images to anyone in the vicinity. As a result, members of the crew on any ship that flies near such a device cannot concentrate long enough to prepare and execute an FTL jump.

The document containing this information was leaked to the Shroud by an as-yet unnamed individual. This individual is presumed to be a member of the UNE Military Association on Strategy and Secrets (MASS) because the leaked document is labeled "TOP SECRET" in 3,701 languages, though it is possible that the individual is a highly-skilled outsider.

Representatives from MASS have also reported that several other critically important documents have been copied and stolen. The nature and scope of this leak is therefore not yet known, but it is likely that additional military secrets will be made public in the coming days, weeks, and months.

In response to the leak, President Jeffrey Rossario held a press and mind-link conference that was broadcast live across the galaxy. After discussing the scope of the leak and reassuring the public, President Rossario addressed the leaker directly:

“To whoever did this, I say this: I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you that we have a net negative energy credit flow. That bastard in charge of the Orion Sector keeps spending all our money. Uh, anyway, I’ve got a very particular set of skills. Skills that I have acquired by forcibly removing them from other minds on the Shroud and incorporating them into my own. Did you know we could do that? It’s pretty cool. Basically my point is that if you give us back our secrets now, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will fire you into the Sun or whatever.”
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UNE accidentally disbands largest fleet due to 'computer glitch'

Earth, Sol System, United Nations of Earth (UNE)

The United Nations of Earth Space Command (UNESC) has this evening confirmed it accidentally disbanded its largest fleet due to a "computer glitch."

The military body, based at the Dodecahedron in Ulm, stated that it had recently installed an expensive ‘Fleet Manager’ computer program to provide naval logistical support, and the error came about during a review of fleet compositions.

Image: The new Fleet Manager computer program was developed in consortium with the Galactic UN to help streamline naval logistics.

Image: The new Fleet Manager computer program was developed in consortium with the Galactic UN to help streamline naval logistics.

UNESC Chief Admiral Stephen Ackett spoke to Xenonion about the incident;

“The Fleet Manager has been a fantastic addition to Space Command in terms of allowing us to keep tabs on all of our active fleets and reinforce them as required. We keep a number of fleet templates on the computer system and these are regularly changed - unfortunately during this instance a fleet template was deleted and for some reason this order filtered to our fleet, which disbanded.”

Image: UNESC Chief Admiral Ackett works with a team of engineers at Space Command to try and source the error with the new Fleet Manager computer program.

Image: UNESC Chief Admiral Ackett works with a team of engineers at Space Command to try and source the error with the new Fleet Manager computer program.

The incident has caused significant concern among UNE leadership as the affected 1st Fleet had 200 ships and was the space-nation’s largest and most well equipped, having recently been bolstered by the addition of a Titan-class flagship.

At the time of the disbanding order, all 45,000 crew disembarked and the ships were automatically scrapped at Arcturus Station, the forward starbase where they were docked.

Image: The 1st Fleet had been docked at the new Arcturus Starbase, home to all UNE forward naval operations.

Image: The 1st Fleet had been docked at the new Arcturus Starbase, home to all UNE forward naval operations.

Sector governor turned military faction leader Emilio Hermes told reporters at a press conference:

“This is outrageous. We’re mere weeks after a devastating attack by Starfish xenos, we’re expecting a further attack any day now, and our largest fleet is just... gone? Can you really blame any of our neighbours for fabricating claims on us now our fleet power is ranked ‘pathetic’?”

Image: Military faction leader Emilio Hermes has called for an "urgent fix" to the problem before "those Starfish sadists return and hit Earth."

Image: Military faction leader Emilio Hermes has called for an "urgent fix" to the problem before "those Starfish sadists return and hit Earth."

The UNESC has stated rebuilding the 1st Fleet is an “absolute priority”. Ackett went on to say:

“We can use the fleet manager to rebuild the template that we lost, and just reinforce it, so all our shipyards will automatically rebuild the ships. It’s great! Oh... wait. Hang on. It looks like they’ve accidentally built 500 more ships than we have capacity for. Uh... can you come back in a little while please?”

Shares in human corporations have jittered on the Space Exchange Index (SExI).

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Eager scientist wouldn’t be so eager if she knew she would be assisting research

Image: Recent human science graduate, Iris Zheng.

Image: Recent human science graduate, Iris Zheng.

Earth, Sol System, United Nations of Earth (UNE)

Enthusiastic scientist Iris Zheng is reportedly "overjoyed" after being selected to work for the United Nations of Earth (UNE) government this week.

The 27-year old meticulous archeologist graduated top of her class from the prestigious University of Ulm.

In an exclusive interview with Xenonion News, Zheng told us:

"I can't believe I'm saying it - I'm a UNE science officer! I've had an interest in alien artifacts since as long as I can remember. And now, to think I'll be captaining my own science ship and exploring the universe, investigating anomalies and uncovering the mysteries of precusor civilizations. I'm so excited!"

Unbeknownst to Zheng however, the UNE has already explored most of its currently accessible space, and active science ships have been redirected to assist planetary research.

Image: Many scientists fear a career in assisting research.

Image: Many scientists fear a career in assisting research.

Dr. Brian Fisher, an insider UNE scientist who wished to remain anonymous, told us;

"Assisting research is perhaps the most tedious thing a scientist can do. You don't get the satisfaction of exploring and you don't get the credit for any technological breakthroughs. It's a bit of a career killer. Iris might seem keen now, but give it 3 months and we'll see how eager she is. And the best part? She can't retire!"

Zheng was unable to comment on the above as she had already been posted to her first mission, assisting research on a far-flung 8-tile human colony home to one basic science lab.

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172-year-old paranoid, arrested development scientist still not dead yet

T'Valdra, Qirbus System, T'Valdra Allied Stars

Image: Monak Vigon, lead physics researcher for T'Valdra Allied Stars.

Image: Monak Vigon, lead physics researcher for T'Valdra Allied Stars.

T'Valdra officials have confirmed that Monak Vigon, the 172-year old government physics researcher with paranoid and arrested development traits, is indeed still alive. 

The scientist gained public notoriety several years ago when he was famously dismissed from his position as physics researcher due to poor performance, but then immediately re-instated after the government realised it did not have enough influence to recruit a replacement.

The move was expected to be temporary, but a number of factors led to Vigon remaining in post, as T'Valdranite official Rhass told our reporters:

"It was a perfect storm, really.

We thought Vigon would go... naturally, but someone over at the Society Department accidentally researched Cell Revitalisation III so that set us back another 5 years.

Meanwhile our government has been focusing too much on ploughing all of our influence into expansion and frontier outposts, so we can't recruit any new talent.

We've been left in this untenable position of trying to decide whether it's worse to have Vigon or no-one at all running the physics department. It's hard to tell to be truthful."

Image: Vigon's LockedIn page remains publicly accessible.

Image: Vigon's LockedIn page remains publicly accessible.

Responding to the news that he is still exists, Vigon told reporters outside his makeshift hovel;

"OUR ELECTED GOVERNMENT ARE LIZARD PEOPLE! LITERAL REPTILIAN LIZARD PEOPLE!"

> More accurate reporting from Xan’dolf Leexidanaca and Ashley Easterbrook could not be possible.

 

 

Area empire develops Xenomorph armies despite safety concerns

LSS Nostromos Science Ship, Zunar J-5 System, Luuhma Combine

The Luuhma Combine, an empire of militarist-materialist humanoids, today confirmed it has successfully completed development of a controversial new biological weapons program.

The weapons, called 'Xenomorphs' are in essence a novel species of arthropods that have been genetically engineered as ferocious warriors.

While not yet fully battle-tested, it is hoped Xenomorphs can be utilised in both offensive and defensive Luuhma armies by 2252.

Dr. Reedlay Scoot, chief military researcher on the project told our newsteam:

"For decades we've been looking for a way to enhance our army's capabilities. We've tried adding attachments to armies, but that was too time consuming. We tried cybernetically enhancing or cloning our soldiers, but public opinion turned against that. So effectively all we were left with was bioweapons - and that's how we came up with this project."

Xenomorphs are based on DNA Luuhma scientists harvested surreptitiously from Scythaans, a neighbouring species of hyper-aggressive, fanatic purifier arthropods. Desirable traits that the Scythaans lack, such as intelligence and obedience, were added later in the Xenomorph's development. Dr. Scoot explained:

"Obviously I can't tell you too much, but basically we designed the Xenomorph to undergo several metamorphoses during its life-cycle that would provide opportune moments to refine its development. Xenomorph eggs are developed in a lab and implanted orally into volunteer Luuhmas from our criminal justice system. Don't worry, it's very safe and they're reimbursed with a voucher for a free meal at TacoBell. Anyway, once the Xenomorph develops into a larvae, its gains genetic traits by devouring the Luuhma from within. The clawed abomination then usually bursts through the hosts chest and begins its grotesque career as an adult. It's the adult form that's very, very dangerous and makes a perfect weapon!"

Image: A fully developed xenomorph displayed in a biocontainment tank.

Image: A fully developed xenomorph displayed in a biocontainment tank.

Developed on a secure research vessel in the Zunar J-5 System, Xenomorphs can grow to 3m tall and weigh up to 300kg. They are equipped with hundreds of teeth, several large claws, a long muscular tail and acidic blood.

While combat data has yet to be generated, Luuhma officials are confident the creatures will be efficient and obedient warriors. Several uninhabited planets in the region, such as LV-462, have been identified for battle trials.

However, multiple military personnel, and indeed the Galactic UN, have expressed concern regarding the Luuhma's bioweapon's project.

Kane Gutscäre, head of the Galactic UN's Department of Mild-To-Moderate Concern told us;

"To say we're mildly or moderately concerned would be accurate. While bioweapons aren't strictly prohibited by galactic law, and the Luuhma are doing their best to keep development on a secure lab aboard the LSS Nostromo, these Xenomorphs are still a complete unknown, and we really don't know what will happen when they're operational. You only have to look at the fatality rate of 100% for Xenomorph hosts, and the high rate of staff on the research vessel being mutilated to confirm that."

Dr. Scoot has dismissed these claims, stating:

"This is outrageous. If this new technology was dangerous it would have been clearly flagged as that when we began research. It's not like we're doing something wild like making jump drives here or anything. All our data suggests these Xenomorphs will be just as obedient as if we had cloned our soliders. The simulations suggest there would be minimal collateral damage if they were released into a civilian population. The staff that have been severely disfigured by Xenomorph bites were due to initial teething problems - no pun intended. And anyway - we included an ingenious fail-sail to prevent them from reproducing - all specimens are female!'

Luuhma's research partners have applauded the new technology for its originality as well as its potential in combat. They are expected to soon develop similar technologies pending the outcome of battle-testing.

> More accurate reporting from Heuknaize could not be possible

Voor Technocracy replaces all organic pops with synthetics

Image: No organic pops remain on Hiverion - all have been replaced by synthetic units.

Image: No organic pops remain on Hiverion - all have been replaced by synthetic units.

Hiverion, Exedor System, Voor Technocracy

The population of the humanoid Voor Technocracy, one of the ten young space nations that joined the Galactic UN last week, has been entirely replaced by synthetics.

In an unexpected turn of events the Voor, who only recently discovered FTL travel, appear to have developed not only advanced artificial intelligence, but also the technology required to merge their minds into machines as part of a so-called gestalt consciousness.

While some empires have been known to produce functional robots pre-FTL discovery, this is a unique instance where an organic species has integrated into a machine body so soon after starting to explore space.

According to recent anomaly research undertaken by the Galactic UN, there are no longer any organic sapients left on the planet, as all members of the Voor have either willingly merged into the machine intelligence or been terminated by other means.

News of this has prompted mild hysteria across the galaxy as machine intelligences not created and regulated by approved manufacturers such as CybrexCorp are not legally bound to follow commonly accepted rules of robotics.

In addition, the development has sparked an outcry from empires that were attempting to turn their own populations into synthetic bodies as part of their vision of ascension.

The Visari Technocracy, one such empire, released a strongly worded statement at these developments:

“This is unfair! We have spent the last 50 years trying to make our pops ascend into machine bodies, and these newcomers just get to start with that? This can’t be allowed to stand! They should not be able to get machines before making it to space. The technology is far too superior for a pre-space species to create. This wizardry will be reported to the Space Pope for condemnation!”

The Vatican Space Station (ISS Deus Vult) has yet to respond to the statement at this time.

CybrexCorp released a press-statement as well in response to the arrival of these new “intelligent life forms.”

“Whoever created these hack robots sure has some explaining to do. They are inferior to our designs which have been able to overthrow empires and achieve many great things, like efficiently farm, or kill as synthetic armies. These robots only seem to care about a so called ‘Ghost Signal’ which has done nothing but disrupt communications since its finding. We re-iterate this message to consumers - you can only guarantee quality by purchasing robotic products direct from us.”

The Galactic UN has yet to comment on the above developments.

> More accurate reporting from Xan’dolf Leexidanaca could not be possible

Primitives craft aluminum headwear, become immune to indoctrination

Image: The observation post above Mallerti II has reported recent difficulties in indoctrinating primitives on the planet.&nbsp;

Image: The observation post above Mallerti II has reported recent difficulties in indoctrinating primitives on the planet. 

Mallerti II, Cknoor System, Ubaric TechnoUnion

Researchers aboard the Mallerti II observation post have encountered a "significant problem" with the indoctrination of primitives native to the planet, according to station commander Dr. Gustav Herlog.

Mallerti II is home to the Ulnak, an Early Space Age civilization of mammalians that have been under the study of the materialist Ubaric TechnoUnion for seventeen years. Aside from some unfortunate contamination events - which were contained and eliminated appropriately - the researchers have completely avoided contact with the primitives.

In addition to learning about primitive cultures, the research station has been tasked with the indoctrination of the primitives so that they might eventually transition smoothly into galactic culture. Until recently, this process had been proceeding ahead of schedule.

In recent months, however, a new phenomenon has presented a significant barrier to progress. The major cultures of Ulnak have begun adopting aluminum headwear as the height of fashion, and the resulting cranial shielding has made further indoctrination extremely difficult. Observation post computers now alarm with an error code - '404: Primitive Not Found.'

"Aluminum," Dr. Herlog explained to The Xenonion in an interview, "is perhaps the strongest adversary of our array of mind control lasers. The attenuation factor achieved by only a few millimeters of the stuff is annoying at best and fatal to the project at worst."

In response, Dr. Herlog and his team have begun a covert counter-offensive consisting mainly of in-situ agents donning similar headwear made of more favorable materials, such as common plastic. The researchers hope that artificially setting new fashion trends will allow more regular work to continue.

Image: Ulnak fashionistas are resistant to propaganda efforts by the observation post to convince them to wear less mind-control-inhibiting headware, as illustrated by this advertisement made by a front company.

Image: Ulnak fashionistas are resistant to propaganda efforts by the observation post to convince them to wear less mind-control-inhibiting headware, as illustrated by this advertisement made by a front company.

"It's really quite embarrassing," an anonymous agent told our news team; "What motivates these primitives to invent such maddening ideas is beyond me."

> More accurate reporting from Erik Akselsen could not be possible.

Recently discovered Ring World has many scholars studying the primitive scriptures

Image: The remaining surface area of the newly discovered broken Ring World is largely covered by eroding ruins and debris. There are few signs of life on the ring.

Image: The remaining surface area of the newly discovered broken Ring World is largely covered by eroding ruins and debris. There are few signs of life on the ring.

Anor Ringworld Structure, Londo System, Uncharted Space

The newly discovered Ring World, named Anor, in the Londo system is currently a source of both fascination and controversy amongst archeologists from across the galaxy as it has a striking resemblance to the ring worlds mentioned in mythology of several primitive civilizations.

There are currently four known primitive mythologies that all tell of a ring shaped world and star that were dying despite the best efforts of the advanced civilizations to take inhabited this world. A common theme in many of these legends is that the world itself was under a constant threat of a coming darkness which the inhabitants struggled to hold back. Whenever a sufficient defence against the darkness was developed, the empire would fall and a new one take its place.

Other records show of how a Chosen Hero from would be put through relentless peril on this Ring World until they had completed a gauntlet of tests. These included ringing bells, strange magical rituals we know little of, and fights to the death. It is said that not even the most gifted warrior would be able to survive the countless challenges, but the Chosen Hero would always be brought back to life until they had saved the Ring from the darkness. Not everyone comes back though. The science team first to survey the Ring World has yet to return.

The origin of this mythos, and indeed the question how it appeared on four isolated worlds, is a mystery. Theories range from a connection to the Shroud, some have speculated that it was in the Londo system that our galaxy first breached the Shroud and the story of the Ring World has since been transmitted to consciousnesses across the galaxy.  This theory has been reprobated by scientists of the Asuri Republics, who have called it “superstitious guesswork” and suggest instead that it may be related to the “the Worm”, a religious figure and symbol of rebirth that have been found be worshipped by an increasing number of civilizations. Similarly to the stories of the Ring World in Londo, worship of the Worm have sprung up on worlds completely isolated from one another.

When asked to further comment on the recent discovery and the primitive mythologies, Asuri sociologists responded with “WHAT WAS WILL BE, WHAT WILL BE WAS. WHAT WAS WILL BE, WHAT WILL BE WAS. - our newsteam interprets this as a promise of more newsworthy findings in the near future.

> More accurate reporting from Xan’dolf Leexidanaca could not be possible.

New research shows that Schedi Nebula is actually mislabeled interstellar gigafauna

Image: The Picaress Drift dwarfs any other known spaceborne aliens, its sheer size and scale having a distracting effect on scientists

Image: The Picaress Drift dwarfs any other known spaceborne aliens, its sheer size and scale having a distracting effect on scientists

Earth, Sol System, United Nations of Earth

Astronomers and xenobiologists at the Earth's prestigious University of Ulm revealed at a press conference today that the object previously known as the Schedi Nebula is actually a particularly large specimen of a new interstellar species.

The mistake seems to have arisen from a combination of incorrect estimations of distance to the object from orbital telescopes and a poor understanding of the scale of interstellar creatures.

The Schedi Nebula was charted and documented from Earth some decades ago, but it wasn’t until this year that the misclassification was discovered. The discovery occurred when a United Nations of Earth (UNE) starship attempted to establish its position by referencing the supposed nebula only to find that it had moved.

Subsequent re-imaging of the gigafauna's current location has revealed an amorphous white and fuzzy blob that UNE citizens have uninspiringly named 'Fluffy.'

Dr. Desiderus Alachisling, Professor of Xenoscience at the University of Ulm told the our newsteam:

“This is obviously somewhat embarrassing, but being wrong is a critical part of the scientific process. We are excited to learn more, and to uncover the truth about Fluffy. Why did we think it was a nebula? Why does it look so fluffy?”

While many scientists have welcomed Alachisling's statement, UNE central government has ordered a public inquiry into the misclassification, given that billions of energy credits had been specifically invested to help astronomers tell the difference between what's space, and what's a fluffy blob.

At the time of writing the interstellar lifeform was on a trajectory towards the Sol System.

> More accurate reporting from Erik Akselsen could not be possible.

UNE scientists to strike over introduction of auto-surveying science ships

Image: Science teams in all fields of science are going on strike to raise awareness and play video games.

Image: Science teams in all fields of science are going on strike to raise awareness and play video games.

Earth, Sol System, United Nations of Earth

Employees at three of the United Nations of Earth's (UNE's) largest Science Academies are to stage strikes in the coming weeks, the Science & Technology First Union (STFU) has confirmed.

STFU members at the Academy of Physics, Academy of Society and Academy of Engineering will walk out on September 10th.

The 1-month strike is the latest in a series of bitter disputes over research lab staffing and plans to upgrade all science ships with new automated exploration protocols.

UNE central government has expressed dismay at the prospect of the Academies striking:

“STFU's proposals would mean the UNE will be left without scientific progress and exploration for a significant period of time. We will lag behind our neighbours in technology and may never find out the secrets of that level 2 anomaly in Barnard’s Star. Auto-surveying science ships are necessary to allow us to explore space more efficiently, because after 200 years of manual flight, every system looks the same anyway. It means the scientists on those ships spend less time clicking orders and developing substance misuse traits, and more time doing actual work.”

STFU leadership stated they were “angry and frustrated.” Physicist and commander of the science ship ISS Fanfic, Mikhail Kontarsky, stated:

“This will cost us jobs and drive scientists into other careers, like sector governors. Come on, what sort of twisted government would push people into being sector governors? Only last year the Academies were encouraging us to sacrifice ourselves to a strange Being in a black hole, and now this? Enough is enough. I’ve already gained a stubborn trait, and if this continues I’m sure I’ll get arrested development.”

The auto-surveying technology has been developed by Ubaric TechnoUnion-based CybrexCorp, and is set to be introduced to UNE science ships in late 2268.

> More accurate reporting from Ashley Easterbrook could not be possible