Xenonion Interviews: Paradux, Galactic UN staffer

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On the 9th of May 2253 the Galactic United Nations celebrated its inaugural anniversary.

The pan-galactic organization, which comprises of all major space-nations, is the ultimate legal authority in known space. It has played a pivotal role in shaping galactic affairs, from establishing war conventions to regulating megacorporations.

Although the Galactic UN has been in existence for eons, the inaugural date has added significance as it marks three years since construction was completed on the institution’s new Interstellar Assembly headquarters in the Manward System.

The megastructure holds the key organs of power within the Galactic UN, including the Executive Branch currently headed by President Moregård, the Galactic Security Council, the Galactic Senate, and the galaxy’s largest Starbugs coffee shop by both capacity and volume of Grey Goo lattes served.

With inaugural celebrations ongoing, Xeonion News sat down for an exclusive interview with Paradux, a senior Galactic UN staffer, to look at some of the key moments in the organization’s history.

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Paradux, thank you for taking the time to speak to us today.

[Introductory Quack]

As we know, the 9th of May marks an important date in galactic history. Can you tell us what it means for you?

For us here at the Galactic UN, it marks a celebration of interstellar unification. It was the first day that faster than light (FTL) travel was discovered by every species in the galaxy simultaneously.

In retrospect, it isn’t it somewhat strange that every major species discovered FTL at the same time?

No, it’s definitely not suspicious or ominous at all.

Well, that’s reassuring to know. The Galactic UN itself will be hosting an extravagant celebration ceremony spanning several weeks involving space fireworks, flotillas of military corvettes, and the Grand Senate Hall being pumped full of hallucinogens to induce chemical bliss. What are you most looking forward to?

All of it! We’re also granting limited free access to species across the galaxy who haven’t yet discovered FTL travel.

So effectively the Galactic UN is freely enlightening primitive species for a period of time?

Exactly. We want every xeno to experience the thrill of taking their first steps into space and squabbling incessantly with neighbouring species over petty issues like border rights.

That sounds like a wonderfully accurate representation of life in the galaxy right now.

Personally I won’t be getting to attend a lot of the celebratory events, as I’ll be spending most of my time ushering these new folks into the customs of galactic life. I’ll also need to make sure they don’t fall into any rookie traps, like flying into stars or accidentally breaching the Shroud.

Interestingly, rumour has it that the Galactic UN’s in-house catering team is planning to serve an exclusive feast for high ranking diplomats, including prohibited delicacies such as freshly sourced primitive sapient species. Does this explain the recent move to uplift so many new species?

Most definitely not!

[Quacking softly into ear piece] … Shut it down. They know.

Sorry, did you say something there?

No, not at all! Er, where was I? Ah. Yes. Tiyanki. I think they’re serving Tiyanki. I’ve heard Tiyanki is delightful. Hopefully one day I’ll get to try it!

In terms of legislative power, the Galactic UN has played a significant role in shaping space regulation, for example authorizing the use of planet-destroying weaponry, or recognizing mega-corporations as space nations in their own right. In your opinion what do you think has been the most important regulation, and why?

Allowing mega-corporations to become political entities was an outstanding move, despite much of the established galactic community pushing back against it at first. We managed to introduce regulations and standardised workflows even for non-corporate entities, allowing leaders to manage their planets in incredibly efficient and unique ways. There’s still work to be done to tweak these systems and processes, but I believe we’re on a perfect track right now.

There have been some controversial Galactic UN initiatives, including the banning of space embassies in 2251, when over 2.3 million diplomatic staff lost their jobs. Which regulation do you think has raised the most eyebrows, among species which have eyebrows of course, and why?

Recent legislation that made changes to how leaders were able to manage sectors certainly raised a lot of eyebrows among those lucky enough to have such appendages. It’s certainly caused much debate on the Galactic Senate floor.

Perhaps one of the most sweeping reforms the Galactic UN introduced was the universal switch to hyperlanes in 2252. Was your commute to work affected?

Absolutely - it got longer! However, over time I adapted and started to see some benefits - in particular I discovered the Galactic UN’s own broadcasting podcast with Shams Blorgani and Daniel Goldblorg. I’d highly recommend it if you’re ever stuck in sub-light traffic.

Militarists and xenophiles alike argue that the Galactic UN can get too bogged down in bureaucracy, often overlooking real crises like the ongoing Unbidden invasion of the Outer Rim. The conflict has already claimed trillions of xenos, and produced similar numbers of fleeing refugees. Some would even go as far to claim that media outlets like Xenonion are colluding with the Galactic UN to avoid addressing such issues, throwing politicians and diplomats softball questions in exchange for guest interviews. Can you tell us, unequivocally, if you had to choose between flavours of Starbugs coffee would you opt for Grey Goo, or decaf Zro?

Grey Goo every time.

Starbugs™ does not sponsor nor endorse this message. In other completely unrelated advertising, buy Starbugs™ now for the richest and fullest coffee flavours from across the Galaxy and support your friends at PlatyCorp at the same time.

The galaxy is witnessing a marked rise in anti-mainstream sentiment. Xenos are increasingly ignoring evidence based science and forgoing Javorian Pox vaccines, while spiritualists are turning away from established corporate religions to join alt-faiths such as The Church of the Worm. One particularly popular conspiracy that’s gaining traction at the moment claims that we all exist in a giant computer simulation, and every aspect of our lives is being dictated by an external overlord. What do you make of this?

How can this world be real, if our mirrors are eyes that feel the light of a black hole?

Sorry, what?

It’s a real thinker, that one.

I’m still not sure I follow.

Honestly, you’re not going to understand this without first accepting Steve as the one true leader of all sapient species.

I see. It sounds like you might need another cup of delicious, freshly roasted Starbug’s coffee.

[Celebratory Quack]

So, eye mirrors and Steve aside, the Galactic UN recently drew up a list of ‘Galactic Cultural Heritage Sites’, recognizing areas of outstanding natural beauty or of important cultural value. It included places like the Gargantua Black Hole or Desolas, the galaxy’s only tomb world resort planet. Do you think any other places in the galaxy should make the list?

Manward Prime should never be forgotten. I’ve not seen a star system quite as unique or wonderful, and I’m unsure we will for some time. Let’s also not forget that, while unwise to do so, the galactic core is a pretty spectacular place too. That should make the list.

And finally, looking forwards the future (but without using the Shroud), where do you see the Galactic UN in three years’ time?

Still here, that’s almost a certainty. We have a lot of plans to help the galactic community grow and build strong relationships throughout space and we’re not going to be stopping for long with our break before getting right back to it with more life improvements, new discoveries, and mandated Grey Goo Lattes. Watch this space.

I’ll raise a tasty, tasty cup of Starbugs Coffee to that. Paradux, thank you for your time.

[Polite Quacking]

Paradux has since returned to the Galactic UN and is now working for the Bureau of Bureaucracy.

Celebrations are continuing over the weekend to mark the inaugural anniversary of the Galactic UN. If you would like to get involved, as above, visit here for more information.

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Scientists warn of Tiyanki 'armageddon' following dramatic drop in populations

ISS Palaver Science Nexus, Alpha System

Scientists are warning that Tiyanki face "extinction level armageddon" after a new study found that their population levels have declined by up to 75% in some clusters.

According to the study published this week in the Reddit Journal of Science, the dramatic decrease in Tiyanki could have disastrous consequences for agriculture and space ecology as a whole.

Image: The results published in the Reddit Journal of Science show that Tiyanki populations have decreased by almost 75% from 2000. With no conservation efforts, it's expected the species will be extinct by 2300.

Image: The results published in the Reddit Journal of Science show that Tiyanki populations have decreased by almost 75% from 2000. With no conservation efforts, it's expected the species will be extinct by 2300.

Fairly docile creatures, Tiyanki often migrate between systems in groups of three, grazing on local gas giants. They play an important role in maintaining solar ecology by regulating gas giant emissions. Several spacenations regard the creatures (and their milk especially) as a delicacy and often refer to them affectionately as 'space cows'.

For the last 27 years, researchers aboard the ISS Palaver Science Nexus been closely monitoring data from Tiyanki sampling sites across the inner rim.

Dr. Mordin Salus, the reptilian lead researcher, told our newsteam;

"It's funny how this study started. If you talk to xenos from across the galaxy, they all remember how Tiyanki used to smash on the windscreen of corvettes when journeying through a system. But now, that hardly happens. It's a very visceral reaction when you realise you don't see that mess all over your ship anymore."

Salus and his team petitioned the Galactic UN to fund the study following similar reports of declining irradiated cockroaches, space amoeba, and crystalline entity populations, alongsisde concerns about rising galactic temperatures.

The study used millions of advanced 'shock traps' that were placed in random sampling sites across the galaxy. The 'traps' consisted of FTL inhibitors to lure migrating Tiyanki, and tachyon lances to immediately kill them to allow for accurate biomass processing. By measuring the weight of each 'catch', data could be compared to previous observational studies, allowing researchers to obtain the exact drop in numbers.


Image: An example of a humane Tiyanki 'shock trap' in action above a gas giant planet - a popular feeding area for local Tiyanki.

Image: An example of a humane Tiyanki 'shock trap' in action above a gas giant planet - a popular feeding area for local Tiyanki.

The study suggests if current trends are extrapolated, the Tiyanki will be completely extinct by 2300. It has concluded that there are simply "too many unknown variables" to reach a definitive answer on the cause of the population drop, but it has hypothesized that habitat destruction, over-milking and aggressive starfleets are likely implicated.

Salus has stressed that it is his personal belief that the changes are xeno-driven, stating:

"Look, I know the study doesn't really offer a conclusion but that's because half the researchers sit on the boards of major Tiyanki milk conglomerates. But I can categorically tell you this is an ecological apocalypse of our own making. As dramatic as it sounds, you have to appreciate - it takes 10 compressed Tiyanki to even get 1ml of Tiyanki Milk. The galaxy consumes 10,000L of milk every 30 seconds. Just think about that."

Public response to the news has been muted, largely as Tiyanki meat and milk supplies have yet to be interrupted. Kelly Jones, a Blorg from St. Knatchbull told our U-Pollsters;

"I mean, they're kind of gross, so it's a bit hard to care. I'm pretty cut up about alien pets going extinct, but that's only because they're like sooooo cute."

Military personnel and pilots have reacted more positively, stating the reduced numbers of Tiyanki should make for safer flying and less radar cluttering.

The Trade Union for Recently Discovered FTL Nations (TURD-FTL) has expressed disappointment in the lack of public concern. A representative body for those new to the galactic stage, it warns the galaxy would mourn the loss of these 'repugnant creatures' who are often the first to terrify naive species venturing out into the great unknown.

The Galactic UN has highlighted it views Tiyanki conservation as a 'priority' and states it will address the issue urgently at the 2nd Galactic Conference for the Betterment of the Galactic Ecosystem (GCFTBOTGE) in 14 years time.

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

> This issue was brought to you via avid newsreader @Mrrnegaderooster.