Sol

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.

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!

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

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

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.

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!

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

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

I - Hyperlane traffic .png

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.

UNE president accidentally uploads mental state to Shroud

Image: UNE president Jeffrey Rossario delivers a keynote speech at the 200th Annual Congress in Ulm this year

Image: UNE president Jeffrey Rossario delivers a keynote speech at the 200th Annual Congress in Ulm this year

Earth, Sol System, United Nations of Earth

United Nations of Earth (UNE) president Jeffrey Rossario has been left red-faced this evening after it emerged he accidentally uploaded his entire mental state to the Shroud, a mysterious psionic dimension believed to be capable of holding more than 400 zetabytes of information.

It's not clear when or how President Rossario's mental state was uploaded, with officials in Earth's capitol Ulm stressing that all government personnel are expressly ordered not to back up any mental information to the Shroud due to its insecure cortical firewall settings. A special project has been issued to attempt to remove the information from the Shroud, but it has so far been fruitless. Until the required technologies have been researched, all of Rossario’s thoughts will remain continuously accessible to anyone with psionic capabilities or a TeleShroud enabled fax machine.

UNE fleet admirals have expressed concern that the president's knowledge of sensitive military and political information now could be freely floating in psionic-space, where it may be accessed by the other empires of the galaxy.

This follows in the wake of a political scandal involving former UNE governor and outspoken xenophobe Emilio Hermes, who inadvertently uploaded explicit mental imagery of himself with Blorg model Mercedes Romero to the Shroud last month, to the horror of both the Blorg species and his wife. Whether other UNE officials are at risk of accidentally connecting their minds to the Shroud or not is still being investigated.

President Rossario has so far refused to comment regarding the above. However, our newsteam was able to obtain his most recent mental state from the Shroud tonight, in which his stream of thought read:

"This is really, really awkward. Like seriously. God. How did this happen? I really hope they can't see what I'm thinking right now. Think unsexy thoughts. Think unsexy thoughts."
Image: President Rossario’s thoughts echo across the vast psychic dimension

Image: President Rossario’s thoughts echo across the vast psychic dimension

> More accurate reporting from Ashley Easterbrook could not be possible

Researchers discover a way to lead fleets up and down as well as just sideways

Image: Military strategists from all over the galaxy watch in awe as the United Nations of Earth demonstrates maneuvering in the third dimension.

Image: Military strategists from all over the galaxy watch in awe as the United Nations of Earth demonstrates maneuvering in the third dimension.

Earth, Sol System, United Nations of Earth

The United Nations of Earth (UNE) has stirred excitement at the 2250 PanGalactic Military Games by unveiling their latest military doctrine - vertical fleet maneuvers.

The tactic was developed by UNE Fleet Command earlier this year, but the specifics of how it works remain a closely guarded secret.

The public display has left other participating empires in shock as conventional warfare precedent held that ships could only fly from side to side.

Military strategists and scientists from across the galaxy have claimed the new fleet movements are "impossible" and "defy the known laws of physics."

Several Fallen Empires have formed a coalition against the UNE in protest, and are calling for unascended civilizations to join them in a "cleanse of the unpure."

Political pundits in Earth's capital Ulm have been quick to point out the so-called 'Horizontal' coalition has not declared war on the UNE, possibly due to concern that the new human military doctrine could outmaneuver even the most advanced xeno fleets.

When questioned if the UNE would use this as an offensive weapon, High Fleet Admiral A.K. Barr responded “What?! We would never…”

Recent reports suggest the PanGalactic Military Games may be postponed as the UNE begins 'defensive fleet exercises' near to Deneb, the capitol system of the human breakaway state 'The Commonwealth of Man.'

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