UNE

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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Cartographers claim sector bordergore 'true galactic crisis'

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Pan-galactic sector borders are “the true galactic crisis”, a consortium of cartographers from the Public Liaison Office for Topography of Space (PLOTS) stated this morning.

The cartographers issued a press release stating that cluttered sector map overlays are causing “administrative chaos” across every large space-nation, and warned of an “epidemic of eye strain for those species that have eyes.”

Sector administration was controversially overhauled by the Galactic UN’s Le Guin Act late last year in a bid to harmonize administration across the galaxy. Previously manually created, sectors are now automatically generated when a space-nation colonizes a planet.

PLOTS cartographer At’laas told Xenonion News:

“This is a growing crisis the likes of which we have never seen. Forget the ongoing issues with the Unbidden, or those robot revolutionaries, or the Great Khan, or those rogue L-Cluster nannites. These sectors herald the end of sapient life as we know it! …. What do you mean I’m being histrionic? Just think about it. Every 2-3 planets are pretty much forming their own sector. Sectors are growing exponentially, much faster than we have physical space for. One becomes two. Two becomes four. Four become 26.86 million. Before we know it, the entire galaxy will be clogged up with sectors - there will simply be no room for anything else!”

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Cartographers have urged the Galactic UN to allow adjustments to sectors through a series of intricate, minimalist pictures.

Opponents of sector reform have criticized PLOTS as fear mongering for attention and political purposes, as United Nations of Earth (UNE) sector governor Pancy Nelosi told our news team;

“These cartographers have clearly never struggled with employment and I’m not really sure why we should trust them as everyone nowadays seems to be some form of map-staring expert. Besides, the UNE having 253 sectors has given human governors a level of job security that we’ve not seen in millennia. If you ask me, every planet should be in its own sector!”

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Leaders of space nations have appeared nonplussed regarding the concerns raised by PLOTS, as Commonwealth of Man (CoM) leader Sidney Beauclair told Xenonion News:

“I dunno, this all seems a bit much. Sure, I used to enjoy putting all my non-core worlds in one big sector and leaving it at that. But now I just turn off the sector overlay map and I’m all good. Honestly I’d be grateful if we could look at the bigger picture here… like my empire borders not filling in completely between star systems.”

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Xenonion Interviews: Sergeant Conrad, planetary defence soldier

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In the late 2240s, the United Nations of Earth (UNE) began a mass colonization program of continental worlds in neighboring systems. The endeavor, and colonists associated with it, became known as the ‘First Wave.’

Terra Nova in the Alpha Centauri system was one the first worlds colonized in the ‘First Wave’. While it is now an important core world of humanity, few people know that its initial planetary settlement was almost abandoned after a critical food shortage and subsequent outbreak of violence caused the deaths of over 15,000 colonists.

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The project would have been shut down completely had it not been for the 13th Planetary Guard, a colonial defense army that was tasked with reducing unrest. The platoon, also nicknamed ‘The Supply Suckers’ were credited with restoring law and order for long enough to allow for supplies from Earth to arrive.

Xenonion News was able to speak to one of the key soldiers involved with the 13th Planetary Guard, Sergeant Conrad.

This article is sponsored by TeleShroud - the galaxy’s largest psionic telecommunications provider.


Sergeant, thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us. Can you talk us through your experience on Terra Nova?

Of course. It was tough. The defence army had just been established only a few months after the first colonists had re-assembled that ship shelter. Those first few months were the hardest.

I understand food went pretty quickly?

The amount of Space Ramen we went through was insane. I don’t know why the colony ship was only stocked with 1,500,000kg of Space Ramen, but it wasn’t enough, that’s for sure.

How soon did it run out?

Pretty soon. Maybe a month or so later. It probably didn’t help we were all comfort eating. But the supplies dwindled - in the end people were getting upset and unrest was rising.

Did the UNE try to help?

We were expecting them to send some more supplies, but it turned out our colonization had pushed the whole government into debt, and they couldn’t afford to help us.

But really, it felt like they forgot about us. The remaining Ramen packets were our lifeblood. A currency. A really precious currency that was hard-fought to come by.

What happened next?

More and more pops were unfrozen from cryo. We had maybe 400 people originally on the colony, with up to 19,000 in stasis that were automatically woken after a set period of time. The computer couldn’t be overridden. Every day tens of new pops were unfrozen, and every day more Ramen went.

Then the food stores in the ship shelter got raided. Thank the Worm we were given laser carbines, they were next most important thing that people would pay attention to after Ramen.

So the 13th Army took it upon itself to guard the food stores?

We did, and for trying to help we faced a damn revolt. The People’s Front of Terra Nova they called themselves. Or wait, maybe it was the Terra Nova People’s Front. Or Popular Front. I don’t know.

Anyway, while it may have sounded like a proper planetary revolt, it was only forty people. But when all forty of them have slug throwers, things tend to get a bit more complex….

It sounds like a precarious situation, how did you resolve it?

Unfortunately, it got worse.

Those bastards got one of my soldiers, Private Easting, when he was on his lunch break. We didn’t have any food, but we would pretend to eat Ramen for the psychological boost.

Anyway, he was in this fake canteen that we’d drawn on one of the hallways, and he got fifty shells to the chest. The fake canteen was ruined too.

We tried to fight back with force, and the Popular People’s Front of Terra Nova started using guerrilla tactics.

Such as?

They kept cutting the power. There was only so many temporary fixes our techies could do to our Fusion Generator. Stalking through the darkened corridors of the reassembled ship shelter, we hunted them and they hunted us.

The halls became a blood soaked battlefield as pops picked sides. Worm, we were barely holding out. What started as a fifty strong security force, got reduced to ten after months of all out fighting.

The irony was, for all the pops that we lost, equal amounts awoke from cryo. We had this constant flow of new, terrified pops. In the end, we stopped explaining what was going on to them and started shoving flak jackets and kinetic pistols into their hands.

Did the UNE know what was happening?

We tried calling for help on a daily basis. No-one responded. They did seem to be reading our biweekly reports though - the read receipts were on. On our charts, it looked like Terra Nova had a booming population with all the pops coming out of cyro, but the only thing that was booming was the mortuary. Literally. It was bombed pretty early on.

It sounds like a tough situation. If only you had a TeleShroud fax machine. It has excelled psiwave upload speeds and has been proven superior to other forms of communication in terms of guaranteed message delivery.

A what…?

Look, do you think we had time to be fixing fax machines? The one damned one we had was destroyed alongside the fake canteen.

It was up to us, and no-one else, to end the strife.

It’s a shame, because it sounds like you really could have benefited from a TeleShroud subscription package

What the hell are you talking about?

TeleShroud. The galaxy’s largest telecommunications provider.

Ok but… why?

TeleShroud offers some of the most competitive -

Right, right, whatever. Can I just finish my story?

In the end, we enforced peace by gunpoint. We unthawed every cryo pop there was and gave them the last of our weaponry.

I would have liked to seen the facial expressions on those smarmy People’s Front fools as we drowned them in ten thousand angry colonists.

What happened to them?

They got pulped to death. The pulp made for a pretty good nutritional replacement, so the survivors fed on that.

Of course then an outbreak of Super Scurvy set in, and we lost about 90% of the colony. But by that time, we’d all seen so much death that we didn't even flinch at our comrades falling beside us.

Well that took a particularly grim turn.

Desperate times indeed.

The government finally remembered us about six months later when the economy stabilized.

They kind of just ignored our reports and just gave us the order to build 25 tiles worth of hydroponic farms.

I guess they wanted to really fix the problem. And work goes quick when you’re ravenous for a packet of anything but Spicy Pitharan flavoured Ramen.

However, thanks to the establishment of those farms, things are back to normalcy... mostly.

If those People’s Front fools come back, we’ll hold the line while you fellas get the cavalry, right?

I cant make promises, Sergeant. But TeleShroud certainly can. A promise to deliver not only the best in psionic telecommunication devices, but also the galaxy’s highest rated customer service.

I... Wormdamn it. I guess I can order a few of the damn things.


Sergeant Conrad has remained a member of the 13th Planetary Guard on Terra Nova, and is now based out of the newly constructed Planetary Fortress.

Sales of the planet’s main luxury resource, Ramen, remains buoyant, and stocks remain closely guarded by ‘The Supply Suckers’


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Xenonion Interviews: Jhazai Jen, fleet disbanding disaster survivor

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On this day in 2250, the United Nations of Earth (UNE) experienced its worst naval disaster during peacetime operations.

The 40 transport ships of the 3rd Mobile Infantry were returning from a mission in deep space, and had begun docking procedures at Sol’s space station, ISN Arcturus. At the same time, UNE central government decided that due to budget constraints, the 3rd Mobile Infantry was to be mothballed.

The 3rd Mobile Infantry was disbanded before the fleet could finish docking, causing the deaths of 400,000 service personnel on board.

On the anniversary of that fateful day, Xenonion News spoke to Lieutenant Jhazi Jen, a former human assault solider who was part of the 3rd Mobile Infantry, and survived after his ship, the ISS Manifest Destiny III, accidentally de-merged from the fleet moments before disbanding.

This article is sponsored by TeleShroud - the galaxy’s largest psionic telecommunications provider.

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Lieutenant Jen, thank you for taking the time to speak to us on what must be a difficult day.

Thank you.

Could you tell us about your time with the 3rd Mobile Infantry?

Sure. I’d been with them for about 1 year. Signed up right after the attack on Centaurus Prime. I still remember when the call came up for enlistment, I jumped for the opportunity. But I was too late to get revenge on those Starfish terrorists, they had already enforced peace by the time I was posted on the Manifest Destiny III.

So I spent the next two years in orbit over Sol, idling. It was quite a long slog really. I don’t like to think about it. There’s just something about being stuck in a confined space with 1,000 other people for a prolonged period of time really changes you, you know?

And you were deployed just before the disaster?

That’s right. Another war rolled around. I can’t remember who we were at war with - there’s always one or two going on, and who can be bothered to keep up with all the diplomatic notifications anyway? We were just glad to be going somewhere, anywhere, finally. Finally we were serving the UNE in combat!

What happened next?

We departed Earth, with a mission to invade some xeno colony. We were pumped. It was a thousand day journey, but every day we got closer brought a new wave of optimism.

But you never got to your destination?

No… our allies mopped up our target planet before we got there. We were so close… 500 days away from seeing combat, and another enforced peace. We’d won the war, apparently.

What was that like?

It was a bad, bad time. I mean, I was glad we won, but frustrated I hadn’t seen any action. I’m not sure how I held it together.

The only thing that kept me sane was the fact the ship had a wireless TeleShroud-enabled fax machine and I could keep in contact with home. Did you know TeleShroud has some of the best Shroudload speeds, and the most competitive monthly subscription fees versus any of its competitors?

I did. I also use TeleShroud and I find it to be excellent.

Not only that, but great customer service too.

Absolutely. It’s so nice to find a service you can trust.

The UNE really could learn a thing or two from how TeleShroud operates, but anyway. So yes, things on the ship were… not great otherwise. I know some other guys who smuggled Zro onboard and turned to that.

And what happened as you got closer to home?

We traveled for a thousand days back to Sol, and it was a euphoric feeling. We were so close to home, we’d won the war, none of us died - it was a miracle.

And the disbanding?

I…. I don’t remember much.

What do you remember?

I… [pause]

Sorry… this is hard.

We were about 3 days out from Earth, and final preparations were underway for disembarking. Some idiot in command had accidentally de-merged our ship from the main fleet, so we were lagging slightly behind.

I remember looking out one of the Manifest’s forward windows, with the full might of the 3rd Mobile Infantry fleet before me and then…

Then?

Gone.

Gone?

Gone. Poof. Vanished. The entire fleet. Never to be seen again. 400,000 souls, in sight of Earth, no more.

What happened aboard your ship?

It was bedlam. At first we thought the rest of the fleet had used their emergency jump drives, but the comms were dead. We couldn’t understand it.

[pause]

Then the news filtered through from Arcturus…

[long pause]

… there was an energy deficit.

Some foolish pop back home migrated off a power plant and the GDP of the UNE tanked. The result? No more 3rd Mobile Infantry.

That sounds horrible. What did you do next?

Well… what could we do? Those that remained put on our dress blues for coming home, and we disembarked.

The Manifest was disbanded shortly after that, but at least we were off it.

What upsets me the most is I think of that TeleShroud fax machine and how it was still aboard the ship. It’s just… such a waste of a high quality product.

Terrible indeed, considering its superior design. Looking back now, what do you think about the disbanding?

I still can’t believe our government did that. They killed their own people! With no qualms at all. I’ve spent the last year trying to raise awareness about it, and no-one on Earth seems that bothered. I’m at the point now where I’ve given up.

Did you stay on as a member of the army?

No. I left soon after I got home. And I’m glad I got out. The government is replacing all human soldiers with clone armies. Cheaper. More efficient. Crap conversationalists though.

If you could, would you do anything different?

Yeah - I would have enlisted as a defence soldier. They never get replaced, and have you seen how cushty those fortress postings are? All on some nice cosy continental world?

I was young… I was an idiot. But I’ve learned from my mistakes. I won’t be flying on a UNE ship any time soon, and I’ve bought my very own personal TeleShroud subscription.

Lt Jen, thank you for your time, and enjoy your new TeleShroud device.


Lt Jen has since migrated to one of the UNE’s outer colonies to retire. He has bought an undeveloped tile, and is planning on tending to it before the planetary management system is overhauled.

The UNE government has still refused to acknowledge the disbanding of the 3rd Mobile Infantry as a galactic disaster, and continues to ramp up production of cheaper human clone soldiers.


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New report warns AI may become rogue servitors, enforce moustaches

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Experts have warned humanity’s increasing reliance on machine intelligence means the population is at risk of being relegated to a passive, and likely moustached, existence.

In an open letter to the Reddit Journal of Science, thirty of the United Nations of Earth’s (UNE's) leading technology experts have cited concerns that humans are becoming too dependent on robotic servants to facilitate everyday life.  

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They paint a dark future of humanity retreating into an insular life of leisure facilitated by automation, while all facets of civilization and facial grooming etiquette are dictated by powerful ‘rogue servitors.’

Dr. Mark Smith, a clean-shaven scientist from Earth, was one of the co-authors of the open letter. He expanded on his concerns in an exclusive interview with Xenonion News:

“No-one is trying to say artificial intelligence hasn’t been empowering for humanity. Who could forget the invention of the automated razor blade, which reduced our species’ collective body hair mass by 50%, and increased productivity ten fold? But what first started as a revolution in efficiency is now permeating every facet of our lives. Has it gone too far? I think so. Robots are now infinitely smarter and stronger than humans. We’re becoming de-skilled and dependent on them to exist both generally, and hairlessly.”

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The bulk of the scientists’ concerns centre around the rising role of artificial intelligences protecting their human creators, extrapolating that machine logic would likely not allow humans to undertake many daily activities of living due to safety concerns. 

Dr. Mark Smith went on to explain;

“We’re starting to see this beginning now. When the Series 3 automated razor blade was given a sapience chip, it refused to shave its owners as the risk of injury was deemed to conflict with the First Law of Robotics. In those humans who own the Series 3 we’ve seen a marked increase in the rise of moustaches. It’s not hard from that to imagine a future of universally moustached humans, where overzealous robots eliminate dangerous tasks like grooming.”

The report is one of the first to examine the interface between humanity, robotics and facial hair. It has sparked fierce debate in the scientific community.

John Watson, a moustached economist from Earth, disagrees with Dr. Smith et al, arguing the danger of artificial intelligence is over-rated.

“I’m sorry, I had a really considered answer, but something’s come up and I really must dash.”

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Stocks in CybrexCorp, the galaxy's largest manufacturer of automated grooming products, jittered on the news.

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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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Galactic Cup: UNE vs. XT-489 Eliminators - what to look out for

Image: UNE supporters celebrate a last minute win against the Xanid Suzerainty at Ulm Stadium, Earth.

Image: UNE supporters celebrate a last minute win against the Xanid Suzerainty at Ulm Stadium, Earth.

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The United Nations of Earth’s (UNE’s) last minute winning goal against the Xanid Suzerainty yesterday evening sparked bedlam in Ulm, and for many humans marks the moment that revived their space-nation’s hopes of winning the coveted Galactic Cup football title.

The only thing that now stops them from reaching the semi-finals are the XT-489 Eliminators.

It’s the first time the XT-489s have been in the competition, and while initially viewed as underdogs, they have quickly racked up a number of impressive wins.

Image: The XT-489 Football Team poses a formidable challenge for the UNE to overcome.

Image: The XT-489 Football Team poses a formidable challenge for the UNE to overcome.

So what are they key factors the UNE team will need to consider against the XTs?

Could the XT-489s have an unfair advantage?

Little is known about the species that first created the robotic XTs. Their names, cities and bodies were burned away in the cataclysm wrought when the XTs attained self awareness, and their terrified markers attempted to deactivate them.

What is known is that the XT's design mean they excel at physical endurance, and in particular, football. Gestalt consciousness allows for the team to communicate instantaneously and act as one. Advanced processors allow for efficient ball tracking, while in-built gamma ray lasers make literal toast of any opposition. The XTs also come equipped with unique mechanical wings, that when fanned out allow them to take flight for short periods of time.

Organic football fans worry that such features may allow the XTs to gain an unfair advantage against conventional teams.

However, the Galactic Football Authority has reassured fans that the machines clearly meet the criteria for entry to the competition, if the criteria actually existed. It also points out that organic space nations are allowed to field genetically engineered, psionic or xenomorphic teams without question.

What effect will Cristianaldo’s absence have?

Ron Cristianaldo’s absence from the UNE line up has worried many human sports pundits.

The Earth-native striker has been forced to sit out the rest of the Cup season after being accidentally impaled during a tackle against a Scythaan arthropod in a match two weeks ago.

Cristianaldo made a total of 536 UNE Galactic League appearances and scored a record 3 goals in his career, making him one of the highest scoring human football players of all time.

Image: UNE striker Cristianaldo is inadvertently impaled during the recent match in Ryukyu against the Scythaan Arthropods.

Image: UNE striker Cristianaldo is inadvertently impaled during the recent match in Ryukyu against the Scythaan Arthropods.

Will the temperatures play a role?

The match is being hosted on Tau Volantis, a harsh desert world under control of the XT-489s.

UNE players are bracing themselves for temperatures of up to 45 degrees celsius, with intermittent ion storms set to add an extra challenge to the playing field.

The XT's in-dwelling coolant systems are likely to be advantageous here, however humans are hoping that blowback from the XT's jet propellants will keep them cool.

When can I watch it?

UNE vs. XT-489 Exterminators starts tonight on Xenonion Sport, at 1800 GST / 0395 Shroud.

What's the line up for the rest of the week?

The remaining Gamma Group matches this week are:

Tuesday: Commonwealth of Man v. Tyznn Empire, Unity
Wednesday: Chinorr Stellar Union v. Jehetma Dominion, Jehet Prime
Thursday: Maweer Caretakers vs. Tebrid Homolog, The Garden

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Xenonion News granted Literary Award, reports Xenonion News

Image: The Xenonion News team are presented with the Literary Award at the annual interplanetary Galactic UN conference, held this year in Stockholm, Earth.

Image: The Xenonion News team are presented with the Literary Award at the annual interplanetary Galactic UN conference, held this year in Stockholm, Earth.

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In an exclusive interview with Xenonion News, Xenonion News has confirmed it was the recipient of the Galactic UN's prestigious Literary Award.

The award was presented at the recent interplanetary Galactic UN conference, held this year in Stockholm, a northern suburb of the UNE's capital of Ulm.

The Galactic UN's Meta Committee awarded the prize to Xenonion News for its contribution to space journalism, and in particular its role in countering 'fake news' through a hefty investment in orbital mind control lasers across the galaxy's most populated planets.

Image: One of Xenonion News' orbital mind control platforms in action.

Image: One of Xenonion News' orbital mind control platforms in action.

The committee also highlighted Xenonion News' extremely high reader satisfaction scores, based on multiple definitely independent surveys conducted by Xenonion's Psionic Data Analytics Department, in association with Frontier Health's Nerve Stapling Program.

Xenonion News, the galaxy's largest biweekly news provider, is the first news organisation to win the prize since Purging Today won the award in 2131.

Staff at Xenonion News are hopeful that in addition to receiving the honor of the Literary Award, they can also obtain the coveted Literacy Award - however critics point out this is unlikely to happen owing to long-running misuse of the term 'intergalactic' in several articles.

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On a serious note, all of us at the Xenonion News team would like to thank you the reader, the Stellaris community and the Paradox team for being so amazingly supportive of us over the last two years. It's been a huge honor to receive this award, let alone have anyone read or watch our ramblings. Here's to another great year of sharing weird and wonderful news from the Stellaris universe with you!

 

Self-surveying science ship crashes into Dimensional Horror

Image: A sublight traffic camera in Hell's Maw captures the moment the USS Navigator realized it had routed into the wrong system.

Image: A sublight traffic camera in Hell's Maw captures the moment the USS Navigator realized it had routed into the wrong system.

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

After a fatal incident involving the USS Navigator yesterday, scientists are calling for an investigation into the safety of the controversial, newly introduced Automatic Exploration Protocols (AEP) on UNE science ships.

The ship’s computer instructed it to traverse through the Hell’s Maw black hole system on its way to a level II anomaly, leading it straight into the system’s notorious Dimensional Horror and causing the death of all crew on board as well as minor injuries to the massive eldritch being.

The ship’s logs show that the late captain of the Navigator, scientist Tames K. Jerk, had manually set the ship to ‘Passive Stance’ two years ago in order to bypass a system with a lone space amoeba and never reverted to ‘Evasive Stance.’ As a result, the crew was caught off guard when the computer routed them through the hostile system.

The UNE’s Science and Technology First Union (STFU), of which Jerk was a member, has long since been an opponent of the self-surveying technology. STFU member Mikhail Kontarsky told Xenonion News:

“This would never have been a problem if the ship was manually piloted. Humans have never made piloting errors before. No human-piloted science ship has ever accidentally ran into a hostile while on ‘Passive Stance’ before. This technology took our jobs, and now it’s taking our lives.”

Image: STFU member Mikhail Kontarsky, who is surprisingly handsome in stylish white leather bodice.

Image: STFU member Mikhail Kontarsky, who is surprisingly handsome in stylish white leather bodice.

CybrexCorp, developer of the AEP, claims that once the ship was in the system, its sensors could not detect the black Dimensional Horror against the blackness of space or the blackness of the black hole. It was not until the massive leviathan fired its particle lance at USS Navigator that it was detected by the sensors. And at that point it was too late to make an emergency FTL-jump.

CybrexCorp CEO Nax Golarisg told a press conference:

“We are doing everything we can to fix this issue. The AEP is not currently designed to work in dark environments, like space. Until then, we advise all ships to steer clear of Hell’s Maw and check your stance setting.”

The Dimensional Horror could not be reached for comment, and seems unlikely to press charges.

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Area pop marries primitive fungoid, states "I've never been happier"

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Image: Yelena Ivanov with her spouse, primitive fungoid IIg, in the background. Yelena quipped; "he's quite shy when I let him out of his cage."

Image: Yelena Ivanov with her spouse, primitive fungoid IIg, in the background. Yelena quipped; "he's quite shy when I let him out of his cage."

Local News from the Ulmer Gazette (Earth, Sol System, UNE)

When Ulm native Yelena Ivanov split up with her partner of two weeks, the 32 year old thought she would never find love again.

But she found love quicker than she ever expected, albeit in a more unconventional manner. Yelena is now happily married - to a primitive fungoid.

The former scientist states she's "never been happier" and is "fully devoted" to her genderless fungoid spouse, IIg.

Yelena told local reporters:

"Before, when I've had 'conventional' human relationships, they'd always end badly. My partner and I would come home from work and argue over something petty, like why planets can only have a maximum of 25 tiles. IIg is so different. He doesn't communicate, at least in any form that I can understand, so we don't argue. That's just one example why this relationship is the best thing that's ever happened to me. I don't care what other people say." 

Yelena met IIg a month ago while working aboard a United Nations of Earth (UNE) sponsored observation post above his homeworld of Vurl. Yelena added;

"It's actually quite a funny story  - I was tasked with aggressively observing this little stone age civilization of fungoids on Vurl - IIg was one of the first pops we covertly abducted for living autopsy. But just one look at his mycelium exterior and something stirred deep within me.

He - I mean, I think he's a he, that's just what I refer to him as, was thrashing as I approached him and when I unshackled him he wrapped his flagella so tightly around my neck I almost passed out. It was very sensual. From that I knew the feelings were reciprocated and that we were in love."

Since returning to Earth, Yelena added that IIg had been a comfort to her following the loss of her job and ongoing arrest warrant issued by the UNE.

"My job was very important to me, but I knew IIg was my soulmate. When I tried to convince my colleagues of this they wanted me to get a medbay evaluation. So I did what any reasonable person would do - I freed IIg and we absconded from the station using an emergency shuttle. When I got back to Earth border patrol told me I was under arrest and that I'd lost my job, but IIg did a great job in... incapacitating... them. We've been on the run ever since."

Yelena stated that while IIg has settled a life off his homeworld, at first he had some trouble adjusting to Earth.

"The first few days back were disorientating for him. He kept trying to run away from me for some reason. Well, not really run since he doesn't have legs, but kind of gyrate away from me, using this trail of slime as lubricant. He's settled down since I put a shock collar around him. It helps to remind him of his time on the observation post. He's been a huge support to me, really. Any time I approach him his tight flagella grips have kept me sane and helped me to manage my sadness and anxiety."

Last week Yelena decided to make the couple's love official and petitioned the Space Vatican to officiate their marriage. After her request was approved by Space Pope Belinda Carlisle XI, Yelena and IIg tied the knot in their safe house in Ulm two days ago.

The couple are now planning to relocate to the Asuri Republics to start a new life, as Yelena concluded;

"Humans are not very understanding of our love. Xenophobes think it's disgusting. The only thing my family wants to know is about if we're intimate - which of course I'm not going to talk about, although as an aside I will say men definitely need to invest in multiple flagellum if you know what I mean...

Anyway the Asuri are more xenophilic so they'll be more understanding of our love. Also, UNE arrest warrants don't have jurisdiction there, so that will be helpful."

Find out more about Yelena and IIg's amazing love story tomorrow morning on Xenonion's Good Morning Space.

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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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UNE accidentally disbands largest fleet due to 'computer glitch'

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

The United Nations of Earth Space Command (UNESC) has this evening confirmed it accidentally disbanded its largest fleet due to a "computer glitch."

The military body, based at the Dodecahedron in Ulm, stated that it had recently installed an expensive ‘Fleet Manager’ computer program to provide naval logistical support, and the error came about during a review of fleet compositions.

Image: The new Fleet Manager computer program was developed in consortium with the Galactic UN to help streamline naval logistics.

Image: The new Fleet Manager computer program was developed in consortium with the Galactic UN to help streamline naval logistics.

UNESC Chief Admiral Stephen Ackett spoke to Xenonion about the incident;

“The Fleet Manager has been a fantastic addition to Space Command in terms of allowing us to keep tabs on all of our active fleets and reinforce them as required. We keep a number of fleet templates on the computer system and these are regularly changed - unfortunately during this instance a fleet template was deleted and for some reason this order filtered to our fleet, which disbanded.”

Image: UNESC Chief Admiral Ackett works with a team of engineers at Space Command to try and source the error with the new Fleet Manager computer program.

Image: UNESC Chief Admiral Ackett works with a team of engineers at Space Command to try and source the error with the new Fleet Manager computer program.

The incident has caused significant concern among UNE leadership as the affected 1st Fleet had 200 ships and was the space-nation’s largest and most well equipped, having recently been bolstered by the addition of a Titan-class flagship.

At the time of the disbanding order, all 45,000 crew disembarked and the ships were automatically scrapped at Arcturus Station, the forward starbase where they were docked.

Image: The 1st Fleet had been docked at the new Arcturus Starbase, home to all UNE forward naval operations.

Image: The 1st Fleet had been docked at the new Arcturus Starbase, home to all UNE forward naval operations.

Sector governor turned military faction leader Emilio Hermes told reporters at a press conference:

“This is outrageous. We’re mere weeks after a devastating attack by Starfish xenos, we’re expecting a further attack any day now, and our largest fleet is just... gone? Can you really blame any of our neighbours for fabricating claims on us now our fleet power is ranked ‘pathetic’?”

Image: Military faction leader Emilio Hermes has called for an "urgent fix" to the problem before "those Starfish sadists return and hit Earth."

Image: Military faction leader Emilio Hermes has called for an "urgent fix" to the problem before "those Starfish sadists return and hit Earth."

The UNESC has stated rebuilding the 1st Fleet is an “absolute priority”. Ackett went on to say:

“We can use the fleet manager to rebuild the template that we lost, and just reinforce it, so all our shipyards will automatically rebuild the ships. It’s great! Oh... wait. Hang on. It looks like they’ve accidentally built 500 more ships than we have capacity for. Uh... can you come back in a little while please?”

Shares in human corporations have jittered on the Space Exchange Index (SExI).

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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.

Galactic new year celebrations marred by disagreement over current date

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

Temporal tensions came to a head this Sunday when delegations from the United Nations of Earth (UNE), Commonwealth of Man (CoM) and Asuri Republics failed to agree on the current time at the annual Conference on Galactic Affairs.

Divisions between the space empires re-emerged with the recent galactic new year celebrations. The UNE celebrated the start of the year 2251, the CoM 2218, while the Asuri Republics heralded the year 5005-Yellow.

The UNE's Metric Time System (MTS), which as above states the current year is 2251, is used by most empires in the galaxy and has in essence become the de-facto galactic standard. Utilising an easily convertible decimal system, metric time has been promoted as a 'scientific' form of time, although has been seen by some as confusing to interpret, especially due to adjustments required with 'spacelight savings time.'

The CoM has declared that the year is 2218, and believes its Imperial Time System (ITS) is correct and should be used across the galaxy. Based on indecipherable measurements developed from questionable aspects of the Commonwealth's history, supporters state it is easy to be used in everyday life, but not readily convertible for scientific purposes.

Image: Last year the Xenonion made a non-accidental attempt to publish advertisements dated with both time systems. It was not well received.

Image: Last year the Xenonion made a non-accidental attempt to publish advertisements dated with both time systems. It was not well received.

The Asuri Republic promotes the controversial Worm-Time System (WTS), which states the current year is 5005-Yellow. Little is known about how this time system operates, other than it was developed from the assumptions of time being sight.

The UNE has called upon remaining "holdout" empires using non-Metric time to switch to the 'universal standard' and force adjust their calendars to 2251.

However, the CoM has argued that in switching from 2218 to 2251, it would be unclear if its empire's technology would advance by 33 years, or indeed whether that would solve a longstanding crisis of its planetary trains not running on time.

The Asuri Republics have called for "consideration and compromise" on both sides, adding; "what was, will be."

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

Royal family confirm prince to wed Prethoryn Queen

Image: The happy couple give an exclusive interview to our sister magazine HAK!

Image: The happy couple give an exclusive interview to our sister magazine HAK!

Habsburgia, Strohl System, Habsburg Irenic Monarchy

Prince Harren IV of the Habsburg dynasty has said he knew The Prethoryn Queen was “the one” from the moment they met, as the couple made their first public appearance since the announcement of their engagement.

The Prince, 33, declared he is “thrilled” as he and the Queen, a xeno of unknown age and species, posed for an open-air photocall at the Grand Habsburg Palace.

Their surprise engagement was confirmed yesterday by Empress Maria Theresa XIV, current reigning monarch on the planet of Habsburgia, with a statement saying the couple will marry early next week.

Second in line to the Habsburg throne, Harren has been dating the Prethoryn Queen for almost four weeks. Their whirlwind romance has shocked the staunchly pro-human one-planet minor of Habsburgia, especially as it comes only one week after Harren's beloved sister-bride-to-be Maria Theresa XV died under suspicious circumstances.

Harren is said to have met The Prethoryn Queen while undertaking humanitarian work in the Outer Rim, which has been decimated by the ongoing Unbidden invasion. There he came across a new species referring to themselves as ‘The Prethoryn Vanguards’, who introduced the pair.

Celebrity magazine HAK! met with the happy couple for an exclusive interview.

The Prethoryn Queen, while silent except for intermittently vocalizing "HAK", appeared stunning wearing a beautiful silver tiara above her giant bulging eye. Her tendrils were beautifully manicured, visibly wrapped around Harren's torso, and seemingly protruding into his spinal cord via the base of his skull.

The prince, with a glazed look of excitement, stated:

"I am overjoyed. From the moment my Queen penetrated my cervical spine I knew I had to marry her over my sister. I know I must grant her all my landed titles, once I ascend to the throne following my mother and brother disappearing in a tragic hunting accident. I know she will use her power for good, to pit the lesser species against each other, to distract them from the coming storm."

Habsburgia sits on the border of the United Nations of Earth (UNE) and unclaimed space. Governed as an independent irenic monarchy, it was settled in 2090 by descendants of the Habsburg family, an ancient dynasty that previously presided over Earth's largest power in the pre-industrial era, the Holy Roman Empire (HRE).

Earth’s current indirect democracy has not officially recognised the monarchy since its democratization 700 years ago, but despite this the Habsburg dysnasty has flourished, maintaining significant prestige and wealth. With the advent of FTL travel by 2070, they launched a private colony ship towards the Strohl System, with a view to founding a colony and re-establishing their rule. Over 80 years later the colony has been a moderate success, and now has a population of 250,000 humans.

While the UNE has never given its explicit blessing to the Habsburgia project, it tolerates its existence on the condition the planet pays taxation fees to Earth in line with other human colonies.

The galaxy has reacted positively to the news of the engagement, with politicians and high-profile figures offering congratulations. UNE president Jeffrey Rossario stated he was "delighted for the couple and wished them +1 stability."

The couple's full interview will be broadcast later this evening on an exclusive episode of Stars In The Stars.

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

 

UNE controversially repeals Shroud neutrality rules

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Image: UNE president Jeffrey Rossario announces Shroud-neutrality rollback at the UNE Congress in Ulm.

Image: UNE president Jeffrey Rossario announces Shroud-neutrality rollback at the UNE Congress in Ulm.

United Nations of Earth (UNE) president Jeffrey Rossario has rolled back Shroud-neutrality rules enshrined in law under the Galactic UN.

The change is seen as a major victory for Shroud providers like TeleShroud and ContingencyCast, but a blow to those who favour a Shroud connection that offers equal psionic access to all.

It could pave the way for net providers to offer super fast 'psiways' - where only wealthy consumers can afford the best connection to the Shroud. It is also expected to hasten fragmentation of the Shroud into 'packages' where users are restricted to only the services they pay for, such as instant thought messaging, eyeStreaming videos or Shroud-marking rivals to suffer a lifetime of pain and misfortune.

Since its discovery in 2150, the Shroud has revolutionized communications within the galaxy. Through unknown means, anyone with psionic capabilities or psionic-enabled devices patented by Shroud providers, can instantaneously transmit unlimited information across multiple universes. This has rendered older services like the traditional brain-implanted NeuralNet as largely redundant.

Image: TeleShroud's FAXR9 is one of its most popular psionic-enabled devices allowing users without psionic capabilities to access the Shroud.

Image: TeleShroud's FAXR9 is one of its most popular psionic-enabled devices allowing users without psionic capabilities to access the Shroud.

In a statement, Paul Manafart, a spokesperson for President Rossario, outlined the reasons behind the UNE's intervention:

"For almost 20 years, the Shroud thrived under the light-touch regulatory approach established by that coven of psionic witches who tore a hole in the space time continuum and slowly but surely began expanding their influence in this universe. Their definitely not sinister entrepreneurial framework led the private sector to invest $20 trillion energy credits in building communications networks throughout the Shroud. We got super rich, super quickly! But as per usual, the Galactic UN has come in with their socialist banhammer trying to regulate the Shroud under the guise of 'equality' and 'consumer protection'."

In 2190, the egalitarian-leaning Galactic UN assembly declared the Shroud a free dimension for the public to use. Providers offering Shroud access were classified as 'neutral gateways' to the dimension, and were not allowed to speed up or slow down connections. The Galactic UN also set up a commission to oversee and regulate this.

Manafart continued:

"The Galactic UN came in with a heavy-handed approach, regulating Shroud access too heavily - citing reasons like, oh it might rupture the space-time continuum this, oh it might induce the End of the Cycle that. That decision was a mistake. It has depressed investment in building and expanding psionic networks and deterred innovation. As someone who covertly sits on the board of TeleShroud, I can tell you that this is really hurting my chances for building a third home on Zygma Beach."

Telecoms companies emphatically agree, as Chi't Pai, fungoid CEO of ContingencyCast stated:

"Today's action will provide tremendous opportunity for xeno Shroud user, no matter where they live. The removal of antiquated, restrictive regulations will pave the way for psionic network investment, expansion and upgrades."

Image: Chi't Pai, CEO of ContingencyCast, outlines a new payment structure for UNE citizens trying to access the Shroud.

Image: Chi't Pai, CEO of ContingencyCast, outlines a new payment structure for UNE citizens trying to access the Shroud.

But a range of other companies such as CybrexCorp and FaceBlorg, say the UNE's proposals will make it easier for companies like TeleShroud to give priority to their own communication tools.

Egalitarian groups have cited concerns that President Rossario is 'inherently anti-Shroud' given an ongoing investigation over revelations several months ago that he accidentally uploaded his entire mental state to the Shroud. A public campaign ('SOS - Save Our Shroud') has since been launched to raise awareness around the issue, and egalitarians have affirmed if the proposal goes though, they will mount legal action to challenge it.

Image: Egalitarian groups launch the 'SOS - Save Our Shroud' campaign, utilizing posters such as this one to raise public awareness.

Image: Egalitarian groups launch the 'SOS - Save Our Shroud' campaign, utilizing posters such as this one to raise public awareness.

The proposals will now be voted on at the next UNE Congress, on December 14th.

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Construction ships unable to commence work, cartography blamed

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Pictured: A UNE construction ship is faced with confusion as to where it can and cannot build.

Pictured: A UNE construction ship is faced with confusion as to where it can and cannot build.

The planned construction of three new government sponsored orbital mining platforms in the Chisellion system has come to an abrupt halt after United Nations of Earth (UNE) construction ships reported they were not authorized to operate in the area.

The uninhabited, mineral rich system of Chisellion is approximately twenty light years from Sol. With relatively easy access via 3 hyperlanes, the area has long been viewed as a prime development site.

Recent cartographic surveys carried out by science ships suggested Chisellion fell within UNE borders after the completion of a frontier outpost in Procyon.

However, once construction ships arrived in the system, operators realised Chisellion actually lay just outside UNE borders.

Galactic law, as laid out by the Galactic United Nations, arbitrarily forbids the construction of industrial space platforms outwith claimed territory and owing to this, construction workers refused to begin work.

UNE sector governor for the region, Emilio Hermes, stated:

"Apologies, this is a clerical error on my part. I have a very pretty map overview of our territory, but it look the longest time for me to realise that the map is in 3D, so sometimes some systems that look like they're within our borders, aren't. It can be a bit confusing really. Did you know that you have to go up to get to Barnard's Star from Sol? But it's only evident when you rotate the map 90 degrees? I've written to the map designers about it. I guess we can spend the 130 minerals not being used on construction to design a new interface or something."

U-Poll metrics highlight the construction workers have faced a public opinion mallus for refusing to work. However, as one employee (who wished to remain anonymous) told us:

"I'm just paid to build stuff, not to mess with abstract concepts like why we can only build frontier outposts outwith our own borders."

The borders of a recently established UNE colony in Sirius is expected to encompass Chisellion in the coming weeks, but xenophobic factions within the UNE have pointed to this as another example of bureaucratic overreach stifling growth.

Construction in Chisellion is scheduled to recommence in Q1 of 2251.

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Commonwealth of Man insults ‘repugnant xeno’ United Nations of Earth

Image: File picture of Executor Beauclair in the Commonwealth Palace.

Image: File picture of Executor Beauclair in the Commonwealth Palace.

Unity, Deneb System, Commonwealth of Man

The Commonwealth of Man (CoM) today launched a volley of scathing insults aimed at the United Nations of Earth (UNE).

In a statement broadcast to state-owned media, CoM leader Executor Sidney Beauclair announced:

"The United Nations of Earth's repeated cursed acts of treachery against humanity are in betrayal of such profound trust and warm love shown by the Commonwealth of Man. Their political tricksters and military imbeciles are at the centre of a plot aimed to fraud and swindle our glorious Commonweath, which has been bared for all to admire, but never touch. Their citizens are repugnant xenos, cowering under their layers of clothes, hiding their sad frames from us. Their leader, so-called president Jeffrey Rossario, is a mentally deranged individual steeped in the inveterate enmity towards the Commonwealth. Like a rabid dog, the UNE tries to bite us. We will bite back."

While it is not clear what has prompted this statement, relations between the neighbouring spacenations have been increasingly frosty in recent months, most notably after the CoM test fired long-range fusion missiles near to the UNE system of Procyon.

Political analysts on Earth suspect the insult may be in response to the UNE’s plans to build a series of frontier outposts in mineral-rich territory the CoM has been planning on expanding towards. Intergalactic relations expert Professor Charles Charlemagne XXI of Earth's University of Ulm added:

"This is simple sabre rattling on the Commonweath's part. We've seen this pattern of behaviour before when things haven't been going well in their internal affairs - a food or energy crisis for example. Suddenly the UNE gets labelled as some external aggressor, the people have an existential crisis and fall in line behind Beauclair. The UNE has done nothing to warrant this - aside from destroying several dozen Commonweath ships, and implanting a network of spies on Unity to rile up discontent - the whole thing is totally unjustified."

The CoM, a UNE breakaway state, was formed in 2150 after Sidney Beauclair’s grandfather, Magnus Beauclair, overthrew the crew of the USS Ulysses, a colony ship, and settled the planet of Unity in the Deneb system, shaping political affairs in his own image.

For decades the one-planet Commonwealth has been one of the galaxy’s most secretive societies, a nominal democracy ruled in reality under a fanatic militarist and xenophobic hereditary dictatorship. Almost of a century of rigid state control have led to a stagnant economy and limited space expansion. The government’s permissive attitude towards slavery and purging political opponents has left it being accused of systematic xeno rights abuses by the Galactic UN.

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