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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Born too late; the generation of scientists born after the entire galaxy was surveyed

Image: Fan-tal Sep, a Khell'Zen sociologist, is tired of working in an Level 1 Basic Science Lab.

Image: Fan-tal Sep, a Khell'Zen sociologist, is tired of working in an Level 1 Basic Science Lab.

Rihi, Niri System, Khell’Zen Star Bloc

123 year old Fan-tal Sep once dreamed of graduating from university and getting a government-funded science job so she could explore the stars.

But today she’s a generic sociologist in a basic science lab on Bhiranna. The government no longer runs any space exploration operations - because the entire galaxy was surveyed before she was born.

“I just wanted to have my own science ship”, said Fan-tal Sep looking wistfully at an old, incomplete, galaxy hyperlane map. “I wanted to make my empire proud, cracking anomalies and uncovering new worlds to colonise. But these days…  I guess there’s nothing for us.”

Some 200,000 scientists will graduate from Khell’Zen Academies this year, but formal space exploration is now out of reach for all of them. A select few will go on to run the prestigious Science Academies, even fewer will commandeer Science Ships to assist planetary research. The remainder will work in science labs, or switch careers.

Yinlu-up Dem, faction leader in Khell'Zen

Yinlu-up Dem, faction leader in Khell'Zen

“The scientists… they have no hope,” said Yinlu-up Dem, a faction leader in Khell’Zen. “Space exploration was the single coolest thing about being a scientist. You never knew what was going to happen, you could encounter a Dimensional Horror, or accidentally unleash Grey Goo. Now they’re just stuck planet-side, adding numbers to research statistics. It’s no life.”

Khell’Zen’s government has refused to comment on the situation. In the absence of official support, some 10,000 Khell’Zen scientists have poured into neighbouring Hesukar Dominion, a younger xenophobic space-nation who hasn’t fully explored the galaxy. Citizenship restrictions mean the majority are not recognised however, causing most to be enslaved and purged.

For Fan-tal Sep, it looks like her dreams won't be realised any time soon.

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Xenonion Answers: Everything you need to know about Hyperlane Switch Day

You're on your morning commute to work. You're running a bit late. Traffic looks pretty heavy. You're grateful you own a top-of-the-range wormhole enabled corvette. You pull up to the wormhole station in Omicron Persei. But wait? Why is the station being dismantled? What did that billboard just say about wormhole FTL engines not being legal anymore?

It sounds like you might have forgotten about Hyperlane Switch Day. It's been an entire galactic cycle in development, cost 150 trillion energy credits to implement, is expected to cause interstellar travel chaos - and comes in to effect later today.

Feeling unprepared? Don't fret. Xenonion Answers: Everything you need to know about Hyperlane Switch Day.

1. Hyperlanes will be the standard mode of FTL travel

As per the Galactic UN's Apocalypse Act, hyperlanes will now be the universal type of FTL travel for the galaxy, with basic warp drive and artificial wormhole technologies being banned. The switch is seen as a more permanent solution to the galaxy's transport woes of clogged hyperlanes, overused wormhole stations and warp-drive induced galactic warming. It is hoped that by redirecting existing infrastructure funds exclusively to hyperlanes, the network can be expanded. Hyperlanes were selected as they offer speedy point-to-point access, energy-free maintenance and natural chokeholds - giving the perfect locations to build space-tolls. Psychic diplomats are currently trying to convey the new legislation to the Prethoryn Scourge to avoid accidental acts of criminal space travel.

Image: Communicating the GUN’s demands is rarely easy.

Image: Communicating the GUN’s demands is rarely easy.

2. Expect more time traveling at sub-light speed

As part of the FTL rework, hyperlanes can now only be accessed at specific entry and exit points within systems. This means no more accessing hyperlanes from anywhere within a system when in transit - if your ship is not at a hyperlane gate, you'll need to travel at sub-light speed to get to it. This means a longer commute, but you're doing your bit for the galaxy as there's absolutely no way of getting around those space tolls.

3. Jump drives still exist - at a price

Mature space empires will still be able to fit ships with conventional or psionic jump drives, but will need to pay special taxes to the Galactic Department of Licensing for Conveyance (DLC). Otherwise they could just jump right over those space tolls. Newer jump drives also impact on the overall efficiency of a ship, requiring a longer recovery time after use - so try not to jump into unfriendly territory.

4. Ancient gateway structures are up and running

In a bid to encourage public transport use, the Galactic UN has repaired parts of the ancient Gateway Network for empires to use at a discounted rate. These mammoth relay nodes, believed to have been constructed by an ancient precusor race, effectively allow for hyperlane transport but over huge distances. All outlying relays converge directly on the Galactic UN Citadel-space station, and definitely weren't built to facilitate the end of the cycle. We have dismissed these claims.

Image: Promotional poster persuading empires to utilize the gateway network

Image: Promotional poster persuading empires to utilize the gateway network

5. Keep an eye on SpaceWeather alerts

With more traffic using the hyperlane network, it's likely more ships will be affected by environmental factors. Expect gridlock around black hole systems as gravity wells will slow down sub-light travel, and watch for hull scratches near neutron stars as they're known to interfere with shields. You can keep up to date with this through Xenonion SpaceWeather.

6. Update your map

As all space-nations shift to hyperlane use, the galactic map will be redrawn. The Schedi Nebula will stay where it is, but just be aware it may now be controlled by some ravenous Hive Mind rather than those cute xenophilic felines.

Instead of border pressure via colonisation or random frontier outpost construction, each individual system that a space-nation wishes to hold will now have to build a starbase directly in it. These new generation of frontier outposts can be upgraded to military or economic starholds, which inevitably means while you're queuing to use that new space toll you can get a drive-thru TacoBell.

Your map UI is also in for an update - the Galactic UN hired the Artisan Troupe Liberal Arts Space Station to develop a more aesthetic representation of empire borders, and the results look pretty pleasing to the eye. It's now much easier to get to a destination, being able to distinguish one amorphous blue blob empire from another.

Image: The Artisan Troupe have developed a more aesthetic representation of empire borders.

Image: The Artisan Troupe have developed a more aesthetic representation of empire borders.

7. Doomstacks no more

For the novice admirals among us, don't forget part of the Apocalypse Act includes banning the practice of space-nations merging all their fleets into so-called 'doomstacks'. Inspired by the Prosperous Independent Leader's Ensemble Faction (PILES) movement, the Galactic UN has recognised that an admiral's ability to efficiently command a fleet may perhaps be in direct proportion to the size of said fleet. Empires are advised to split their fleets into several smaller fleets under the command of multiple admirals. Don't worry, two-corvette households won't be affected.

8. No more corvette scouting

Henceforth only qualified personnel will be allowed to venture into unexplored space. Scientists have long since complained about so called “corvette scouting”, wherein military vessels probe unexplored systems to reveal any potential threats before manned science ships are sent there. Top scientists have long argued that corvette scouting takes away much of the excitement from their jobs, as they rarely are faced with any lethal hazards.

9. Watch for crime

Security analysts warn that the imposition of hyperlanes may cause a spike in crime. Traditional warp drive and wormhole technologies are expected to flood underground black markets like the notorious Steam Workshop. With border changes coming into effect, it is expected many more systems will be left unclaimed, creating ideal breeding grounds for space pirates.

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