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

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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Commonwealth of Man time travelled to annex medieval Earth, defeated by smallpox

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The Commonwealth of Man (CoM) utilized wormhole technology to travel back in time in an attempt to annex Earth during the medieval era, leaked documents have revealed.

The documents in question consist of an autobiography written by Corporal Marder, a Commonwealth expedition Soldier, and a journal from Spymaster Berengar, a medieval Earth noble from Ulm, Swabia.

Both accounts detail how Commonwealth forces lost the retrospective invasion of Earth owing primarily to a deadly smallpox outbreak, alongside an unexpected counter attack from a group of well-organized natives calling themselves ‘Aztecs’.

At present all communication with the expedition has been lost. The wormhole closed abruptly before any survivors could return, however somehow Marder and Berengar’s documents were successfully psi-faxed to Commonwealth leadership last week. The papers were marked ‘Ultra-Classified’ by the Commonwealth Bureau of Prompt Censoring (CBPC) but copies were obtained telepathically by a psionic Kettling pop, who just happened to be commuting near Unity.

Commonwealth Executor Sidney Beauclair has dismissed the documents as an elaborate hoax, however independent molecular analysis undertaken by Xenonion News appears to confirm their authenticity.

Marder’s poorly written and self-aggrandizing autobiography gives a detailed, if somewhat dry chronology on how Commonwealth leadership purchased novel technology from the Templin Institute trading enclave that allowed for highly advanced wormhole manipulation.


After successful trials of time distortion, Commonwealth command launched ‘Task Force Friendliness’, a covert expeditionary operation consisting of thirty corvettes and fifty assault armies, with the aim of invading medieval Earth and altering recent history to ensure the Commonwealth’s dominance over humanity.

After several chapters dedicated to discussing his good looks and humble personality, Marder described how the fleet successfully traversed the wormhole and were able to identify Earth in its high Middle Ages, equivalent to the human year 1066.

What followed was a ‘shock and awe’ campaign of heavy Corvette bombardment and rapid planetary invasion of key strategic locations across the planet in Europe and Asia. Spymaster Berengar’s city of Ulm was one such point of interest.

However, Commonwealth forces appeared to significantly under-estimate the ferocity of their genetic ancestors, and were met with a series of shock defeats early on. In particular Commonwealth infantry weapons proved ineffective against chain mail armour, and low flying Corvette point defence could not counter trebuchets. Marder lamented; “how many castles do these guys have?! We didn’t bring any siege weaponry.”

The Commonwealth went on to endure a gruelling 13 year long war of attrition against the native defenders, attempting to besiege several key sites but being continually interrupted by defending armies fighting them for short periods of time before fleeing.

By 1079 however the tide was beginning to turn. Berengar (pictured below) appeared to have been captured by Marder at this point, and the spymaster mused in his journal; “all is nearly lost, most of the council have been captured and the vassal levies have been raised for far too long. I am presumably to be thrown in the oubliette.”


However before the Commonwealth could deal a decisive blow to remaining medieval forces, a deadly smallpox outbreak ravaged the planet. Defending populations were able to isolate themselves in castles, while the invaders were exposed to an infection most modern medics have only ever seen in historical eyeStreams.

More surprisingly still, before Commonwealth forces could retreat offworld, a final unified offensive was mounted between the remaining European defenders and legions of armies from across the planet calling themselves ‘The Aztec.’

Commonwealth forces were utterly destroyed, and the fate of Marder and Berengar are unknown as both of their writings stop abruptly at this point. It is presumed they either both perished from smallpox, or were forced to become concubines for a local eccentric duke from Hesse.

In Berengar’s final words, he wrote of his sadness at the “pointless” loss of life on all sides, but voiced his hope that ultimately the Commonwealth invasion would only serve to integrate humanity future.

Interestingly, historical textbooks now refer to this failed invasion as one of the most important events leading up to the formation of precusor continental unions like the Holy Roman Empire that would ultimately become the United Nations of Earth (UNE) as we know it today.

Executor Beauclair (pictured below) again refused to comment on the Commonwealth’s failed incursion. When asked by reporters at a press conference this morning if she realised her actions had inadvertently led to the creation of the UNE in our current timeline, she became uncharacteristically silent before ordering the entire press pool for execution.

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The UNE has demanded a formal apology from the Commonwealth, while also thanking it for the pivotal role it played in its creation.

Marder’s autobiography and Berengar’s journal have both now gone on sale with major retailers across the galaxy. Both have been met with a lukewarm reception, with one reviewer calling the entire premise “tired and far-fetched.”

A sample of Berengar’s book, The Reaper’s Due, is available below.

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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.

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

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.

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

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!


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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Unfortunate admiral graduates with Fleet Logistician trait

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Image: Paul Bork graduates from Ulm Fleet Academy.

Image: Paul Bork graduates from Ulm Fleet Academy.

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

Area resident Paul Bork has apologized to family, friends and tutors after discovering he graduated from Fleet Academy with the Fleet Logistician trait.

Speaking to a packed press conference of local reporters, Bork stated:

"I'd like to take this opportunity to say sorry to everyone I know. I'm sorry this has happened. If I could take it back, I would. I hope you can all find it in your hearts to still see me as a person. I also hope this event has not damaged the reputation of our proud Fleet Academy."

Bork graduated from his 5 year admiralty degree earlier this week, believing this signaled his longstanding career aspirations had finally been realized.

Tragically, during the graduation ceremony he received the fateful news that would alter the rest of his life. He recalled;

"It had started out such a happy day. There I was in my gown with my family, who were so proud. I'd worked so hard and was so pleased with myself. But after I got my degree I suddenly got this pop-up in my eyeStream - 'You have gained the Fleet Logistician trait.' I thought it was a joke at first. But then I looked at it properly. I panicked. I thought it was a mistake. How could this be happening?"

Traits are lifelong distinguishing qualities bestowed upon leaders, including admirals. They are assigned initially at random, but over time will follow with experience. Bork explained;

"I just wish I could have got the Aggressive or Gale-Speed Traits. Heck, even a Cautious trait would have been better. Who wants to be a Fleet Logistician? That doesn't even do anything to fleet power! Sure, they say it reduces the maintenance of fleets, but you're not exactly going to be building 500 cruisers if you can't afford to maintain them in the first place."

Bork initially tried to reach out to classmates and former teachers for help, but they reportedly shunned him for fear of contracting the trait.

It is highly unlikely the Fleet Academy will place Bork in a admiralty role, however they have recommended him to consider a career in sector governing.

Bork's father, Raymond, also spoke to local reporters at the press conference;

"I never thought I'd see the day when I spent 500,000 energy credits to put my son through a 5 year degree which would allow him to be a... sector governor."

The press conference was cut short as local reporters hurriedly left to cover the breaking news story of an area pop's happiness dropping by 1%.

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