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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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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