University of Ulm

Tensions Escalate After Plantoid Diplomat Served as Side Salad, Garnish Unknown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image: Acting UNE President McConnely

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

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

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

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

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

Image: Hilathian leader Ava’Chiou

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

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

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

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

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Galactic Time Slowing Down, May Freeze Completely

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Thousands of space-nations across the galaxy have reported that their universal clocks appear to be losing significant amounts of time.

At present one day in Galactic Standard Time (GST) is now on average five times as long as it was one (five) months ago.

Problems were first detected in December 2252 when localized pockets of ‘time stuttering’ emerged in the galactic core. These events were initially first thought to be isolated, but have since increased in frequency and generalized to all galactic regions.

Tik’Tok, leader of the Ubaric TechnoUnion, spoke to Xenonion News earlier today regarding his concerns:

“Previously our clocks ran just fine. 1 second per day as usual. But a couple of weeks ago we started getting these stutters at the start of every day. It was pretty terrifying. Everything would judder, like a giant earthquake, and things seemed to freeze momentarily. Then it would go back to normal…. expect now it’s taking 5 seconds for every day to pass. Something is deeply, deeply wrong here. The only benefit I can see is that I have more time to spend perfecting my facial tendrils, which now at least look particularly taut.”

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Scientists have confirmed the time delay exists but are struggling to explain it.

Karl Karling XI, a physicist from Earth’s prestigious University of Ulm told us;

“Honestly, I have no idea. Perhaps we’ve all existed in some sort of time bubble and now there’s a leak? Anyway, it’s probably for the best if things are slowing down. It takes me quite a while to maintain my facial hair. I just wish I could somehow merge my mustache into my beard.”

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Other theories have postulated that the alterations in time may be linked to space-nations using unorthodox means of travel like wormholes, gateways or jump drives.

Konn Spiricy of the Galactic UN’s Department of Culture told us;

“Are you familiar with the Vultaum? The precursor race that committed mass suicide because they thought they existed in a computer simulation? Well…. what if they were right? What if we are in some sort of ‘mainframe’ that’s struggling to cope with an increasing amount of data as our galaxy gets larger and busier? What if this was the reason Fallen Empires stagnated at the end of the last galactic cycle? It’s something to think about. Like my hair.”

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Current projections estimate that if the current time delays continue, by the year 2400 time may stop completely.

Several space nations have called for an emergency session of the Galactic Security Council to be held in the next 1-5 weeks, if current time delays remain stable.

Shares on the Space Exchange Index (SExI) have dropped, slowly, on the news.

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Economists Unsure What That Little Resource Icon That Looks Like a Bar of Soap Is

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The Galactic UN has confirmed that its flagship pan-galactic economic overhaul legislation, the ‘Le Guin Act’, will come into effect early next month.

Primarily focusing on trade and corporate operations, the Act will also formalize the implementation of a new Planetary Management System (PMS 2.0) in lieu of planetary tiles.

While the proposal has been met with a mostly positive reaction by the galactic community, economists have warned that they need more time to prepare.

Aden Smyth, a leading economist from the United Nations of Earth’s prestigious University of Ulm told Xenonion News;

“I don’t think people realize how big a change this will be. For eons we have had three main resources - energy, minerals, and food. Now we’re going to have additional resources like volatile gases, motes and that one icon that looks like a bar of soap that I just can’t place. What does that soap thing do? How much will it cost? Will it become a new currency? See - if we can’t even work out the basics, this is likely to have serious repercussions for trade across the galaxy.”

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A subsection of the Le Guin Act, known as the ‘MegaCorp’ clause, it set to offer private corporations vast freedoms, including the rights to operate in essence as space nations.

Anti-corporate campaigners have strongly criticized this move. Curl Murks, a rather lubricated molluscoid, told our news team;

“It is madness to think the Galactic UN are actually condoning this thievery of the private sector! The addition of these new resources will only rob workers of their living wages and create friction between the classes. As a collective, we must ensure the invisible (non-corporate) hand guides empires away from this new system.”

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Other economists have not yet offered opinions on the situation as most have returned to educational institutions to update their economic qualifications, and these are not expected to be completed for another 5 years.

Aden Smyth concluded;

“The irony is by the time we finish fully studying all these new resources and principles, the entire economic system will have probably been overhauled several times so it will all be really out of date. There probably is some merit in just having unqualified economists who offer intermittent speculation. They’ll be in a much better place to advise us as to whether we should buy up shares in that soap thing.”

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Astronomers Unsure if Space Between Star Systems Actually Exists

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Astronomers from over 900 interstellar universities gathered this morning on the ISS Hubble, in orbit of Sirius IV, to take part in the 57th annual meeting of The Galactic Association of Stellar Studies (GASS).

The keynote speaker, Dr. Julia Strächer of the University of Ulm, revealed a startling development when she presented data in support of the claim that the space between star systems does not actually exist.

Image: Human scientist Dr. Julia Strächer presents her groundbreaking research to an audience aboard the UNE's ISS Hubble Science Nexus.

Image: Human scientist Dr. Julia Strächer presents her groundbreaking research to an audience aboard the UNE's ISS Hubble Science Nexus.

Until now, the galactic community of astronomers agreed that space extended in all directions and that any cubic meter of space was just as – for lack of a better term – spacious as any other.

Dr. Strächer’s presentation claimed quite the opposite, and while her data and conclusion were met with confusion, dismissal, and even hostility by some of the meeting attendees, several prominent astronomers from other parts of the galaxy have since at least conceded that this fundamental assumption should be tested.

Many in the astronomy community have attempted to disprove Dr. Strächer’s conclusion immediately by pointing out that several galactic empires launched sub-light interstellar probes before they each invented methods of faster-than-light travel. Since the probes left their respective home star systems and entered interstellar space, these individuals contend, there must be space into which those probes are traveling.

Dr. Strächer has countered this challenge with a simple question:

“In all these years since those probes were launched, has a single expedition been carried out to recover them?”

The answer, to the further shock of astronomers and fleet commanders alike throughout the galaxy, is ‘no’. While probes have been recovered before they left their home star systems, never has one been retrieved – or even seen – afterward. This alarming discovery has caused a flurry of promises by prominent fleet commanders from various empires to recover such a probe and put to rest what many consider to be a laughable idea.

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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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New research shows that Schedi Nebula is actually mislabeled interstellar gigafauna

Image: The Picaress Drift dwarfs any other known spaceborne aliens, its sheer size and scale having a distracting effect on scientists

Image: The Picaress Drift dwarfs any other known spaceborne aliens, its sheer size and scale having a distracting effect on scientists

Earth, Sol System, United Nations of Earth

Astronomers and xenobiologists at the Earth's prestigious University of Ulm revealed at a press conference today that the object previously known as the Schedi Nebula is actually a particularly large specimen of a new interstellar species.

The mistake seems to have arisen from a combination of incorrect estimations of distance to the object from orbital telescopes and a poor understanding of the scale of interstellar creatures.

The Schedi Nebula was charted and documented from Earth some decades ago, but it wasn’t until this year that the misclassification was discovered. The discovery occurred when a United Nations of Earth (UNE) starship attempted to establish its position by referencing the supposed nebula only to find that it had moved.

Subsequent re-imaging of the gigafauna's current location has revealed an amorphous white and fuzzy blob that UNE citizens have uninspiringly named 'Fluffy.'

Dr. Desiderus Alachisling, Professor of Xenoscience at the University of Ulm told the our newsteam:

“This is obviously somewhat embarrassing, but being wrong is a critical part of the scientific process. We are excited to learn more, and to uncover the truth about Fluffy. Why did we think it was a nebula? Why does it look so fluffy?”

While many scientists have welcomed Alachisling's statement, UNE central government has ordered a public inquiry into the misclassification, given that billions of energy credits had been specifically invested to help astronomers tell the difference between what's space, and what's a fluffy blob.

At the time of writing the interstellar lifeform was on a trajectory towards the Sol System.

> More accurate reporting from Erik Akselsen could not be possible.