Stellar Starfish Empire

Tensions escalate after plantoid diplomat served as side salad, garnish unknown

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In a dramatic turn of events, the human United Nations of Earth (UNE) and mammalian Hilathian Union (HU) have today formally declared war on the plantoid Pseudotian Empire (PE).

Tensions between the area powers have been simmering following the breakdown of the Intergalactic Peace Conference on Earth last week. The UNE, hosting, had hoped to foster cooperation between its ally, the Hilathians, and their longstanding rival, the Pseudotians. Historically relations between the two species have been fraught as the Hilathians regard the Pseudotians as non-sapient plants, and a salad delicacy.

The conference was thrown into disarray after a Hilathian diplomat, Ava’tarin, was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and eating junior Pseudotian staffer Men-Ziesii just hours after delegates arrived. When UNE Enforcement Officers searched Ava’tarin’s accommodation, the remains of Men-Ziesii were found as a freshly prepared side salad. It is highly suspected she was garnished with something to enhance flavor, such as a light vinaigrette, however at the time of writing this remains unknown. A haul of plantoid cookbooks and xenophobic texts were also discovered.

The Pseudotians, led by High Chancellor Angiosa, withdrew in protest of her diplomats being eaten, an event which has since been nicknamed ‘The Nibbling’ by local media. This was followed by Pseudotian fleets amassing along Hilathian border systems.

However, in an astounding revelation, genetic analysis undertaken at Earth’s University of Ulm Science Academy identified the side salad to be a clone of Men-Ziesii, with the whereabouts of her original stem unknown.

As the UNE appealed for peace and gather more evidence, its science ship Fahrenheit was shot down by Pseudotian forces in neutral space while investigating unusual energy pulses. It has since emerged these readings were being produced from a mammoth new Titan flagship the Pseudotians had been concealing, The Grand Herald. Its technology is vastly superior to established knowledge, and it is unclear how the Pseudotians have come into possession of such an advanced ship design.

The UNE and Hilathians have since declared war on the Pseudotians, who their intelligence services claim deliberately planted the clone of Men-Ziesii close to Ava’tarin in the conference, expecting her to be eaten and then using this as the pretext to war with their new advanced weaponry.

In a dramatic address to the UNE General Assembly in Ulm, Acting President McConnely, covering for President Rossario who is currently touring potential golf resort sites in the Outer Rim, stated:

“… It is with a heavy heart that I am forced to announce that a state of war now exists between the UNE, its allies, and the Pseudotian Empire. Approximately 31 hours ago the INS Fahrenheit was destroyed with all souls lost. Within 6 hours, our recovery team was attacked by a hostile Pseudotian fleet. With the revelation that the Pseudotian diplomat purportedly ‘murdered’ on our soil was in fact a clone, it is now apparent that this situation was engineered as an act of espionage to justify war against the Hilathians and ourselves. I leave you tonight with the promise that we will meet this new enemy with the same resolve we have always held against the enemies of freedom.”

Image: Acting UNE President McConnely

President Angiosa refused to speak to Xenonion about the claims of espionage, however in a direct address to the Pseudotian Empire earlier this week she stated:

“These rodent xenos have shown nothing but disdain for our flowering garden. Yet again they have eaten another of our own. We are a proud species and we will not be farmed for food. I do not care if we have a slightly peppery taste that goes well with everything. I do not care if our leaves have an undeniably satisfying crunchy texture. PLANTOIDS ARE XENOS TOO. The time for talk is now clearly over. The only communications we shall now have are through The Grand Herald.”

Image: Pseudotian President Angiosa, foreground, distinguished from non-sapient vines in background.

Hilathian leader Ava’Chiou appeared on Xenonion News this morning, and was played the above speech by President Angiosa. He stated:

“Uh, can someone explain why the food is talking? Does it normally do that? What is it talking about? Intergalactic Peace Conference? The thing on Earth? But that was a food festival, was it not?! Wait… wait….”

Image: Hilathian leader Ava’Chiou

OVERDRAMATIC ANALYSIS: ASHLEY EASTERBROOK
The dust hasn't even settled yet on the opening volleys of this war, but it's already clear to see that there has been a massive breakdown in diplomacy between these three powers. There are many questions yet to be answered. Did the Pseudotians definitely plant a decoy 'snack' in the midst of the conference, knowing the Hilathians would be unable to resist taking a bite? Would they have done this without The Grand Herald? Where did it come from? What if the Hilathians have a point, and the Pseudotians are actually delicious? And most importantly of all, what garnish was used to enhance plantoid flavor? For now, it's a waiting a game. But the balance of power in the galaxy hangs precariously.

At the time of writing, local human media outlets are reporting that a joint UNE-Hilathian counter-offensive against the Pseudotians has failed, owing to the overwhelming strength of The Grand Herald. The threat level on UNE core worlds has been raised to Maximum for the first time since the destruction of Centaurus Prime last year by the Stellar Starfish Empire.

Ava’tarin has since been released from Enforcer custody, as UNE laws do not extend rights to cloned tissue. Ava’tarin refused to speak to reporters, but sources close to him state he is badly shaken by events and considering “avoiding salad that can feel pain” in future.

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This article was based on The Nibbling Series written by /u/BachInTime

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Galactic UN to change warscore system following legal challenge

Image: Chief Supreme Justice Di'anaross delivered the Galactic Supreme Court's verdict   on  Cevanti v. Bureaucracy.

Image: Chief Supreme Justice Di'anaross delivered the Galactic Supreme Court's verdict on Cevanti v. Bureaucracy.

Galactic United Nations HQ, Anward Space Station, Paravox System

The Galactic UN has confirmed a major overhaul to war resolution will come into effect later this week, following a ruling by the Galactic Supreme Court.

The Court's verdict concluded the highly publicized case of Cevanti v. Bureaucracy, wherein the Cevanti Empire (a space-nation of fanatic purifiers) pursued legal action against the Galactic UN, arguing the current warscore system had violated their basic xeno rights.

358 Supreme Justices unanimously ruled in favour of the Cevanti, highlighting the Galactic UN had indeed breached its own charter on Xeno Rights, referring to clause WF 234,127,790-B which states:

”All space faring space-nations have equal rights to purge and commit genocide, and should in their pursuit of doing so only be limited by their own morals and military success.”

The Court is still to deliberate as to whether the Galactic UN's actions are criminal. If this is found to be so, it would allow the Cevanti and other empires to fine the body billions of energy credits in compensation for years of lost purging.

The current warscore system (the ‘Universal Warscore System’ or UWS) was created in 2100 by the Galactic UN as a way of arbitrating over regional conflicts. It sets out a series of binding rules that all species must follow, regardless of ethos. These include publicly declaring predefined war goals before conflict, disallowing large empires to be completely annexed even with 100% warscore, and the enforcement of unbreakable peace treaties.

The Cevanti Empire infamously declared a protest white-peace in November 2250 against the Yndari Foundation in a war it was winning, but unable to decisively end after the Galactic UN ruled its warscore wasn’t high enough.

The UWS has long faced heavy criticism from militaristic and xenophobic empires who brand it as "unfair" and "inflexible" towards warmongering. However, this case marks the first time the legality of the UWS has been challenged.

The Galactic UN is now in the process of revising the UWS to ensure future wars are a more "reflective and user-friendly experience." This is expected to include an updated UI, more accurately scaled warscoring, and incorporation of the use of new Titan and Colossi ships.

Image: It is hoped the new warscore interface will make war "fairer, and more fun."

Image: It is hoped the new warscore interface will make war "fairer, and more fun."

The Stellar Starfish Empire, the only empire ever to have used a Colossus, welcomed the move, reporting its destruction of the United Nations of Earth (UNE) planet of Centaurus Prime had proven futile as the current UWS did not incorporate warscore for planetary destruction.

However, not all xenos approve of the UWS being updated. Kkom Pees of the Soovi Harmonious Collective told Xenonion News;

“On behalf of the Soovi and all other civilized space nations I must object to any changes that could be considered 'improvements' to the UWS. The last thing we want is to make it easier for warmongers to go on their killing sprees. Yet here the Galactic UN are changing it in favour of a more intuitive UI that actually allows empires to select systems of strategic interest directly from map view, rather than picking them one by one from an impractical list.”

The changes to warscore are expected to come into effect on Thursday February 22nd.

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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.