Earth

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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Area hyperlane potholes getting worse

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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 UNENN:

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 UNENN:

“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 UNENN 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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Researchers hope to find 'fix' for Planetary Management System (PMS)

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The United Nations of Earth (UNE) Society Academy has announced the development of a new universal Planetary Management System (PMS) for governors, code-named 'PMS 2.0.'

It is hoped this new computer system will alleviate problems with the existing 300-year old Tile Interface Theory (TIT), which is currently used universally by space-nations to administrate planets.

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When the TIT was first introduced it was widely acclaimed for providing bureaucrats which a simple and intuitive overview of their planets, as Xenda'ar governor She'nar told us;

"I was TIT crazy to begin with. Couldn't get enough of it. It was fantastic - I could be at home, pretending to entertain my concubine's ramblings about our insipid domestic affairs, all the while ordering the construction of a basic farm on a Betharian stone deposit."

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However, over time, the system became increasingly criticized as 'inflexible' and 'constraining'. She'nar added;

"As my workload grew, TIT became problematic. There was no automation... by 2245 I was spending 38 hours a day clicking. Information became confusing. I couldn't even work out how many people lived on my planets. Did we ever find out what 1 pop equates to in real numbers?"

PMS 2.0 has promised to build upon the foundations laid by TIT, but improve administration flow by representing planets more dynamically.

She'nar went on to tell Xenonion:

"The data we are gaining from the UNE is absolutely astounding. The thought of PMS is no longer leaving me feel nauseous or bloated. PMS 2.0 now displays information on infrastructure, stability, approval ratings, worker types... it's amazing."

Proponents of TIT have argued PMS 2.0 is not without drawbacks - there is expected to be a significant spike in crime from the current rates of 0% when crime starts to be measured.

PMS 2.0 is still in developmental stages and is subject to changes, but the entire galaxy is eagerly awaiting its arrival.

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UNE begins work on Space Wall megastructure prototypes

Image: Construction of the UNE's 'Space Wall' formed a core tenet of President Jeffrey Rossario's contentious 2249 election campaign on Earth.

Image: Construction of the UNE's 'Space Wall' formed a core tenet of President Jeffrey Rossario's contentious 2249 election campaign on Earth.

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

UNE government contractors have started to build prototypes of President Jeffrey Rossario’s proposed border wall with space.

Building documents state that all eight of the living metal prototypes are to be on a similar scale to existing ringworld structures, and to span the entire length of the UNE’s border.

The Space Wall formed a core tenet of Rossario’s oft-fiery and tumultuous election campaign in 2249 against Karla Karling, wherein he pledged to harshly curb xeno migration.

Speaking at a political rally in Ulm this morning, Rossario told the audience;

“We have to do something about these xenos. There are too many. Too many. Look at the Blorg. They’re not sending us their best migrants. They’re sending Blorg that have lots of problems and they’re bringing these problems. They’re bringing Zro, they’re bringing unrest. Some, I assume are good Blorg. But most are not.

I tell you folks, the Space Wall will stop them. It’s going to be big, it’s going to be beautiful. The biggest and most beautiful megastructure you’ll ever see. We’ll have negative alien migration modifiers in the minus billions. Billions and billions in migration malus. It’s going to be great.”

Image: Construction of the Space Wall (with an insert of a prototype) is planned to be undertaken in three phases, with the UNE's border on the Stellar Starfish Empire (SSE) taking priority given their recent attack on Centaurus Prime.

Image: Construction of the Space Wall (with an insert of a prototype) is planned to be undertaken in three phases, with the UNE's border on the Stellar Starfish Empire (SSE) taking priority given their recent attack on Centaurus Prime.

Net xeno migration in to the UNE remains at a record high, bolstered by the recent influx of non-human refugees seeking safe haven from the ongoing Unbidden invasion of the Outer Rim.

Rossario’s ‘humanity first’ policy has remained highly controversial. His remarks have been panned by observers across the political spectrum, and have prompted fury from the Blorg ambassador on Earth who has demanded an apology from Rossario.

Despite this, his message appears to resonate strongly with human voters. This has been reflected in Rossario's rising approval ratings, which previously languished following several high profile scandals and ongoing corruption probes against his administration.

Image: Many of Rossario's political opponents, including faction leader Aimee Fleury, have spoken out against construction of the Space Wall.

Image: Many of Rossario's political opponents, including faction leader Aimee Fleury, have spoken out against construction of the Space Wall.

The influential human Prosperity Faction has been especially critical of Rossario’s Space Wall plans. Leader Aimee Fleury shared her concerns with Xenonion News:

“This is one of the most insane proposals I’ve ever heard, to be honest. To start, it’s a wall… it’s… pardon me, I just can’t stop laughing… It’s a wall… in outer space. A wall in S-P-A-C-E… A WALL…IN—sorry. They’ll fly over it. Under it. They could jump drive over it. Not even that… this will ruin our economy. The average megastructure takes 20-40 years to build, and upwards of 100k minerals to finance. And this won’t return anything to the economy. He could build a Dyson sphere, but he wants a wall?”

Image: Rossario's supporters, such as hat maker Ronald Gump, are extremely keen to see the Space Wall constructed.

Image: Rossario's supporters, such as hat maker Ronald Gump, are extremely keen to see the Space Wall constructed.

Rossario’s most ardent supporters, however, believe the Space Wall is the actualization of a long-held political fantasy, as human hat maker Ronald Gump told us;

“This is what we need! Keep xeno scum out of the UNE! Make Earth great again! Stupid liberal xenoflakes need to stop worrying about the cost of the wall - we’re going to make all neighbouring xenos, including that hostile Fallen Empire, pay for it."

UNE central government states it hopes wall prototype selection will be completed within the next five months.

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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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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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UNE reels from devastating molluscoid attack, Centaurus obliterated

Image: Breaking news of the attack on Xenonion eyeStreams.

Image: Breaking news of the attack on Xenonion eyeStreams.

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.

Image: A Xenonion News corvette captures the moment the 3rd and 4th Fleets depart from Centaurus Prime to engage the unknown molluscoid threat.

Image: A Xenonion News corvette captures the moment the 3rd and 4th Fleets depart from Centaurus Prime to engage the unknown molluscoid threat.

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.

Image: A departing shuttle pictures the horrifying moment the SSE fired a planet-destroying weapon on Centaurus Prime. Moments later, the planet was shattered.

Image: A departing shuttle pictures the horrifying moment the SSE fired a planet-destroying weapon on Centaurus Prime. Moments later, the planet was shattered.

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."

Image: President Rossario delivers an address to the UNE following the attack.

Image: President Rossario delivers an address to the UNE following the attack.

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."

Image: Sidney Beauclair of the Commonweath of Man issued a rare statement of solidarity with the UNE.

Image: Sidney Beauclair of the Commonweath of Man issued a rare statement of solidarity with the UNE.

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.

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

UNE military command demands transport fleets stop renaming themselves

Image: UNE commanders often have to ask themselves, “What the hell is going on?”

Image: UNE commanders often have to ask themselves, “What the hell is going on?”

Earth, Sol System, United Nations of Earth

High profile generals and admirals from the United Nations of Earth (UNE) have penned an open letter to President Jeffrey Rossario demanding he allocate extra government funding to help address the problem of troop transport fleets randomly renaming themselves.

The issue has reportedly been ongoing for decades, with UNE transport ships refusing to stick to their predefined numerical groups, often changing call-sign mid-mission, resulting in significant logistical difficulties for fleet command at the Dodecahedron in Ulm.

The letter, headlined by UNE general Laya Morgana, explains: 

“The idea that transport fleets have the autonomy to change their name at their own whim is unacceptable and completely undermines the idea military of command and hierarchy.

As commander of the UNE’s 1st Transport Fleet, I have had personal experience of the difficulties that can arise from this.

Most recently, I led a classified mission to secure a rogue automated TacoBell in the neutral zone that was serving vegetarian menus. Thankfully, the operation was a complete success, but on our return to Earth's starport, we were refused landing clearance as the Spaceport Authority did not recognise our callsign 'Transport Fleet XI.' And why would they? That callsign didn't exist when we departed as the 1st Transport Fleet.

Why is this happening? How is this happening? It took us three days to land as I had to go around manually re-coding our fleet name.

This is unacceptable. Myself and my fellow council of UNE generals and admirals demand extra funding to resolve this area of concern.

President Rossario, who is currently on his 3rd week of vaction in the Maralago System, has yet to respond.

> More accurate reporting from Ashley Easterbrook could not be possible

Humanity celebrates fairly inane orbiting event

Image: Breaking news alert - UNE hysteria over fairly routine orbiting event.

Image: Breaking news alert - UNE hysteria over fairly routine orbiting event.

A record number of 8.3 billion humans are set to celebrate a fairly inane orbiting event later today on Earth, the United Nations of Earth’s eponymous homeworld.

The locally termed ‘solar eclipse’ will see the orbit of Earth’s moon, Luna, line up directly between Earth and Sol, the system’s sun. Planetside, this gives the appearance of Sol being ‘blacked out’, dimming light momentarily.

Regarded as a minor space weather anomaly by the majority of other space-faring nations, humans have anticipated the event with fervent hysteria, with many on Earth planning on actually venturing outside and staring directly into blinding light to watch a temporary visibility change.

The response from across the galaxy has been scathing. The UNE’s longstanding rivals, the Bak’nerg, issued this statement earlier:

“It’s worrying to see a species that has achieved FTL fawn over something most pre-FTL species wouldn’t even bother worshipping for a pantheon. Our galaxy literally has apocalyptic Unbidden invaders, giant laser beams, space dragons, and yet the humans are more excited about this.”

Human historian Dr. Harvey Henry Harvey hit back however, stating:

“The eclipse is culturally significant to us, and that should be respected. Granted, I can’t really tell you why it’s significant to us, other than it’s a bit odd to see it being dark when we expect it to be light, but there you go. Humanity is known to have longstanding pointless ritualistic events and behaviours, like shopping and capitalism in general. If we want to burn our own eyes by having a gawk at the galaxy, let us do so. And anyway, the other aliens shouldn’t judge, half of them look like giant d*cks.”

The criticism comes at a time when the UNE’s political reputation in the local cluster is particularly delicate, following a string of recent scandals involving its sitting president, Jeffrey Rossario. Notably despite this, Rossario's opinion polls have actually improved today following the introduction of a mandatory 15-day 'Solar Eclipse Public Holiday' for all UNE citizens.

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

Exogeology study reveals theoretical maximum size of planets

Image: the University of Ulm’s SQuARES study reveals a surprising trend in the distribution of planet sizes. (SQuARES Study, Vol et al, Scientific Journal of Reddit, Aug 2250)

Image: the University of Ulm’s SQuARES study reveals a surprising trend in the distribution of planet sizes. (SQuARES Study, Vol et al, Scientific Journal of Reddit, Aug 2250)

Earth, Sol System, United Nations of Earth

A recent breakthrough in exogeology at the University of Ulm has born convincing evidence that planetary bodies in the universe cannot be larger than 25 squares.

Professor Julian Vol, Chair of the University of Ulm's Department of Physics and Astronomy, led the work of nearly 150 scientists from around the local cluster in the landmark Survey to Quantify Amount ofRectangles on Earth-like Surfaces (SQuARES) study. 

In an interview with the highly respected peer-reviewed Scientific Journal of Reddit, Prof. Vol said the following of the discovery:

"A leap forward like this one does not occur often in any area of science, and when it does it usually is the result of great effort. This pursuit of the truth has been no different. I cannot express how proud I am to have interacted with and coordinated so many great minds throughout the duration of this project."

The work by Prof. Vol and others was conducted over the course of 13 years and required first-hand data collection from nearly 75 star systems as well as remotely-collected data from 100,000 more. These data sets were processed by the Co-Orbital Computer (COC), a two kilometer sphere that orbits Sol at Earth's second Lagrange point.

The study was one of the most expensive ever undertaken in human history, with the COC costing 300 million energy credits alone to construct. Extra funding was allocated from the UNE's Ministry of Defence on the condition a series of 'scientific' XL Tachyon Lances could be installed on the COC.

The study has been criticised by some for its methodology and unclear definition of what exactly 25, or indeed 1 square means.

When prompted to explain this result in more detail, Prof. Vol responded:

"I'm not sure what you are asking. It is simply the case that planets quite literally cannot be larger than 25 squares. The unit is a sq or square. By definition 1 square would be 1/25th of a very big planet."

University of Ulm alumini have been quick to dub this result "Vol's Law", but Prof. Vol has insisted that this name be discarded in favor of something more descriptive, such as "The 25-Square Rule of Planetary Geology".

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

Taco Bell launches controversial new xeno-flavoured menus

Image: Taco Bell’s latest advertisement displaying the newest additions to its menu.

Image: Taco Bell’s latest advertisement displaying the newest additions to its menu.

Taco Bell, a human chain of fine-dining restaurants, has stirred controversy across the local cluster after announcing plans to serve sentient species in its updated gourmet menu.

Launching the contemporary cuisine from a press conference aboard Taco Bell's corporate space station, ISS Mexcellent, CEO Jale Peneo stated:

"Taco Bell has always been at the forefront of pushing the boundaries of our collective tastebuds.

You only have to look at our innovative history to see that - in 2100 we had the award-winning 7-Layer Domestic Cat Taco©. In 2150 we had the universally loved Double Opium Crunchwrap©. 

However, today marks the launch of a game changer.

Taco Bell is taking pan-galactic flavours to the next level with our Xenowrap© range- including the Chili Con Cutie©, Soylent Taco© and the highly anticipated Roasted Pre-Sent© .

Xenos have enthralled us since we discovered FTL. We've talked to them, traded with them, heck even waged war with them -- but have we ever really eaten them? Not until now!"

Taco Bell has already identified several planets in the neutral zone to begin domesticating and harvesting sentient and pre-sentient native species for mass consumption. Industry experts suspect pre-industrial species who cannot read or write, and thus sign disclosure forms, will be targeted.

The decision seems to be largely related to the Galactic UN passing the 'Unity resolution', which has enshrined the rights of omnivores to eat other species, if they are deemed delicious enough.

Xenophiles from across the galaxy have decried Taco Bell's new menu as "abhorrent" and "really overpriced."

Garden worlds such as New Eden and Horizon have also lobbied UNE central government to block the menu, due to fears that a shift towards so-call 'xenomnivorism' could damage their traditional genetically modified chicken-cow-sheep-horse chimera farming economy.

Our newsteam put these concerns to Peneo at the press conference, who replied:

"For those who have issue with eating Xenos, fear not, we have our vegetarian Plantoid Variety Pack©, which contains as many plant-things that feel pain as we could find."

Taco Bell shares rallied on the announcement.

> More accurate reporting from Ashley Easterbrook could not be possible.

Opinion: Don’t believe the scare stories - the toxic kelp diet worked for me!

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A sobering thought: summer is on the horizon, you've planned a trip to the ocean world of New Eden, but the diet you've been meaning to embark on since January has been on hold. You really don't want to expose those extra pounds to the world, but you do want to put on your swimsuit or exoskeleton and feel OK about it.

A radical diet like the toxic kelp program seems to be your only option. But wait, you say, isn't toxic kelp expensive, ineffective and highly dangerous? Sounds like you've been listening to medical propaganda!

Toxic kelp remains one of nutrition's best kept secrets when it comes to achieving rapid weight loss. Multiple celebrities from across the galaxy, including Blorg pin-up model Mercedes Romero, claim to use it regularly.

Image: Parasol's latest advertisement for their new Toxic Kelp product.

Image: Parasol's latest advertisement for their new Toxic Kelp product.

It works like this: you ingest nothing but 10kg of toxic kelp per day continuously for 5 weeks. If you can buy it concentrated from a cosmetic emporium, great. If you can't afford it, freshly grown toxic kelp from your nearest water supply will do (although be sure to source it upstream of the sewer outlet...)

The kelp has a specific neurotoxin that causes the gastrointestinal tract to shed its entire inner lining, meaning all those pesky weight inducing molecules like fat, water and blood pour right out of your tail end. And the best part? After a couple of days you'll be so weak you won't even have the strength to try and eat anything!

I tried this personally, and the results are astonishing. I lost over 70% of my body mass, and have several non-functioning organs (which is great as they can also be removed!). My friends and family say they don't even recognise me anymore, which can only be a good thing.

The medical community bias against toxic kelp is overwhelming. But of course, if something on the market threatened your business interests, you'd label it as "dangerous" and "largely fatal even in minute doses" too. I've taken toxic kelp for the last 3 weeks and I can categorically say I've only nearly died on six occasions - I haven't even died once. What do they know?

In this day and age you can only trust someone independent and impartial, like me, an underground toxic kelp retailer.

Try it today, and prepare to be the beauty you were always meant to be!

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UNE fleet admiral resigns over "unsafe" emergency warp protocols

Image: UNE Admiral A.K Barr pictured aboard the Citadel, Earth's primary military starport.

Image: UNE Admiral A.K Barr pictured aboard the Citadel, Earth's primary military starport.

Earth, Sol System, United Nations of Earth

Central government is tonight downplaying the shock resignation of Admiral A.K. Barr, one of the UNE's most decorated fleet admirals.

In an open letter to fleet command at the Dodecahedron in Ulm, Barr addressed several areas of concern ranging from "underpowered" space defence platforms, to the "outrageous" Great Space Wall plan recently set forth by embattled President Jeffrey Rossario.

Barr was especially critical of emergency warp protocols, the process ships use to rapidly evacuate from a system with overpowered foes. For both civilian and military UNE ships, this process can take up to 30 days, which Barr stated is "unacceptable."

He cited the recent tragedy involving UNE flagship Ariana Grande, wherein 300 souls were lost after the corvette mistakenly warped into a gas-heavy system during Tiyanki mating season. A recently published investigation found the ship's captain, rear admiral Jane Way, issued an appropriate immediate emergency warp order, but it took 30 days for the warp drive to fire. The agitated Tiyanki inflicted minimal damage to the ship's hull, but its warp drive could not be overriden, and the ship ran out of oxygen several days later.

Aged 112, Earth-born Barr is one of the planet's longest serving military personnel. Graduating at age 22 in the top percentile of his class at Fleet Academy in Ulm, he went on to captain some of the most famous ships in the UNE fleet, including the Bjork-class Yoko Ono.

His resignation comes at an extremely difficult time for the UNE government, which is still reeling from President Rossario's pending corruption investigation, and the recent loss of the human settled Terminus System to the Unbidden.

Central government as yet has not responded to Barr's letter, however it is widely expected they will try to placate concerns by allowing fleet crew to take two weeks vacation during 30-day warp periods, if encountered.

> More accurate reporting from Ashley Easterbrook could not be possible.

Outer Rim annihilated by Unbidden, SpacePope welcomes "overlords"

Image: Breaking news alert - Unbidden invaders attack Terminus.

Image: Breaking news alert - Unbidden invaders attack Terminus.

Earth, Sol System, United Nations of Earth

Extra-dimensional invaders, the so-called 'Unbidden', have seized control of the human colony of Hope in the Terminus System, crippling the UNE's rapid counter-defence efforts. 

Hope fell early in the early hours of this morning after seven minutes of planetary bombardment and ground invasion. Communications have been lost with the planet and initial reports suggest nearly all of the 10,000 colonists may have perished.

Terminus marks the 35th system to have fallen in the Outer Rim since the Unbidden began pouring into the nearby Omega System from a tear in the space-time continuum 28 months ago.

Since their arrival they have been indiscriminately hostile towards all organic life forms, and are unresponsive to diplomatic channels of communication.

The Galactic UN has called several times for the formation of an interstellar coalition to counter to threat, but has struggled to muster support from spacenations that are not in the immediate vicinity of the Outer Rim. During this time period the Unbidden have been able to proliferate unchecked, and have annihilated 17 space-faring species.

Terminus is the first and outermost human system to be attacked, even though the UNE previously opposed Galactic UN anti-Unbidden initiatives to focus on "other priorities" such as feral Tiyanki culling.

Both UNE central government and military command have stated they are "deeply concerned" about the developments in Terminus and described the situation as "probably worth getting involved in now."

Despite this, a number of human factions remain opposed to a military response. Human SpacePope Performance H. Metro II issued a decree from the Vatican Space Station, ISS Deus Vult, urging restraint in fighting back against the Unbidden:

"The Unbidden overlords are servants of RNGesus and the glorious rapture is upon us as taught in the Holy iBook. Come, children, let us embrace their XL matter disintegrators with open arms."

Galactic shares have fallen on the news, following the destruction of the Galactic Stock Exchange in the Quirrulan System by the Unbidden.

> More accurate reporting from Ashley Easterbrook could not be possible.

UNE president faces potential body cavity corruption probe, impeachment

Image: President Jeffrey Rossario delivers his biannual keynote speech to the UNE Congress in Ulm earlier this year.

Image: President Jeffrey Rossario delivers his biannual keynote speech to the UNE Congress in Ulm earlier this year.

Earth, Sol System, United Nations of Earth

Embattled United Nations of Earth (UNE) president Jeffrey Rossario is tonight in a further political quagmire after details emerged showing he inappropriately spent government influence to help him gain office and suppress political rivals.

The detailed information was contained in Rossario's consciousness and thought streams, which were inadvertently uploaded to the Shroud 3 weeks ago and freely accessible to anyone with psionic traits or a TeleShroud-enabled fax machine.

Rossario has so far refused to comment on the above.

UNE congresswoman Karla Karling of Earth's Francia District, who previously ran and lost against Rossario in the closely contested 2249 presidential election, made this statement:

"This is a deeply disturbing revelation, and one that shakes our very democracy to the core. While I accepted the election result at the time, it just didn't make sense to me. The U-Polls said we were going to win. 142 out of the last 143 sitting presidents have been Karlings. We were suppressed. Rossario is not fit to lead humanity."

Spending government influence for personal use is strictly prohibited by galactic convention.

The leak is a significant blow to Rossario's fledgling administration which has struggled to recover from a string of crippling crises, including the now dubbed 'ShroudGate' and Rossario's recent proposal to abolish universal healthcare to fund building a defensive SpaceWall around the Sol System.

A government ethics committee has convened in Earth's capital Ulm tonight to decide whether Rossario should face a formal corruption probe.

The Viper Probe, 1.6m in length and 3m in circumference, has 5 multipurpose arms which test rectally for levels of corruption in faecal matter. If positive, the results could pave the way for an impeachment charge.

> More accurate reporting from Ashley Easterbrook could not be possible

Major delays expected as hyperlane construction begins

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Earth, Sol System, United Nations of Earth

Interstellar traffic between UNE core worlds faces major disruption this weekend following closure of eastbound and westbound hyperlanes between Sol and Alpha Centauri as construction work begins on a new hyperlane expressway.

The project, approved in 2245, aims to improve lengthy commute times between the planets of Earth (Sol) and Horizon (Alpha Centauri) by completely demolishing Barnard's Star, a system which straddles the route and prevents direct travel.

The improvements are the latest in a series of 500 trillion credit infrastructure investments aimed at cementing Earth's rising status as a center of galactic commerce and corruption.

Barnard's Star is largely undeveloped owing to a lack of exploitable resources, and consists primarily of service space-stations, space-motels and a park-and-ride with capacity for 3 billion corvettes. It is notorious for interstellar traffic congestion, and is consistently ranked as the UNE's most polluted system.

Xenophilic conservationists have reacted angrily to the plans, warning construction would ruin important wildlife habitats for ancient mining drones and potentially disrupt pollution of 'historical significance'.

The Department for Galactic Transport (DfGT) has advised that a full environmental analysis has been undertaken, but the results were immediately scrapped at the prospect of 38 minutes being shaved off peak commute times.

The construction is expected to take 35,000 years, with diversions via Procyon in place. The DfGT will also provide extra capacity on local wormhole stations to help ease congestion.

> More accurate reporting from Ashley Easterbrook could not be possible.

Exciting new archeological findings on Earth

Earth, Sol System, United Nations of Earth

United Nations of Earth (UNE) archeologists have announced a major discovery of human proto-technology at an excavation site on the outskirts of Ryukyu, Earth's second largest city.

The objects of interest, several thin plastic discs, are believed to be a basic electronic storage units. Composite analysis confirms the discs are over 250 years old, dating back to the 1990s.

Image: One of the flimsy electronic storage units. This one has been dubbed “Phloppy” in honor of the human who first found it

Image: One of the flimsy electronic storage units. This one has been dubbed “Phloppy” in honor of the human who first found it

The find was made by accident last month, when construction workers clearing an industrial wasteland uncovered a semi-intact structure called 'Walmart'. After the significance of the site was realised, specialist archeologists were dispatched to what has now been confirmed as a human digital-age marketplace, the best preserved of its kind.

Though any historical discovery always captures the imagination, the sheer value of the haul has UNE arthropologists very excited, as Dr. Montana Jones of Ryukyu's Three Mountains University explained:

"These are first class historical documents. Digital age humans, although effectively a pre-sentient species by modern standards, were known to crudely record information electronically. And that information must have been important if they went to the effort of saving it. If we are somehow able to decode and translate this information, we may finally shed some light on what actually happened during that time period."

At the turn of the 21st century human rule stretched across Earth, although power was dispersed between several warring nation states. A series of large scale continental conflicts saw the Holy Roman Empire emerge as a global power under the stewardship of Ulm, which would ultimately democratically reform into a prototype world government - a precursor to today's United Nations of Earth.

Dr. Montana Jones continued:

"Advanced optical analysis show the discs are labelled with an unusual marking; 'XXX'.

What's fascinating about this is we think it's handwritten - a human practice that was common pre-2100, and it's using a variant of proto-English comprising of letters that were dropped from the updated 2200 alphabet. My colleagues in linguistics are currently investigating.

These discs are extremely rudimentary - electromagnetic pulsation suggests they may only have 0.0000012 zetabytes of information. Unfortunately our computer systems today are too powerful to comprehend information so small, and we may have to build a new system from scratch to allow it to interface with the discs."

The UNE's Social Science Academy has announced a special project into investigating the discs.

> More accurate reporting from Ashley Easterbrook could not be possible.