News From the Front

6 Months Later...

SEGMENT TRANSCRIPT:
PROVIDER: HUOXING ANSICAST NEWS
PROGRAM: THE SPHERE TONIGHT WITH JANE LI
TIMESTAMP: [2654.05.15 10.58.02]
Jane Li

 Today’s update on the War: it’s been almost six months since the Battle of Artemis III, and the Shohan have yet to make any comparably large attacks. Sources at Trafalgar are speculating that the large-scale fleet action they displayed at Artemis might have, in fact, been a large portion of their active ships. Commodore Shetley has been quite busy briefing the command staff at Trafalgar, as well as the localized fleet commands now stationed at Zanzibar and nearby worlds, and as such, has been regrettably unavailable for interview.

Local recruiting offices are reporting a significant increase in volunteers since the Artemis incident, propelled by outrage over the attacks, but the Fleet still has significant ground to cover in it’s efforts to rebuild. Many assets from both the Joint Earth Security Forces and the Alpha Centauri Space Navy are being called directly into service in the TSN as a whole to fill the gaps left by the Massacre of Artemis III. This has been known to happen during the Kriak Crusades, and is likely to continue until we can somehow find peace with the Shohan Assembly. Many voices in the Senate are already starting to doubt that such a peace is even possible after Artemis. They point out that while several Kriak crusades have been massive in scale, none of them have managed to compromise or occupy worlds nearly as populated. The status of the people living there, now under occupation, remains unknown. Senator Karsalia urges people to remember that, until Minerva, the Shohan were known by most as an almost wholly non-violent people, citing the lack of casualties in the “Great Humiliation” of the Chiron. Such thoughts are likely giving him some measure of hope for the health and safety of his constituents.

Some religious fervor has been seen spreading throughout the Core. Some have gone so far as to ask if the Shohan are God’s method of judging our decadence. High Cantor Samantha Turay has assured the followers of the Church of Humanity Ascendant that such questions, while understandable in such trying times, are not to be given merit. “To consider this invasion to be a judgment from the Divine would be an abdication of reason, and against the enlightened path upon which we all wish to walk.”

 

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Debriefing

SEGMENT TRANSCRIPT:
PROVIDER: HUOXING ANSICAST NEWS
PROGRAM: WAR FONTS
TIMESTAMP: [2654.03.14 03.01.48]
Gunther Frei

 What exactly happened at Artemis III?  We now have as complete a picture as we’re likely to get, and here’s what I can tell you:

Fourth Fleet was deployed near Artemis III to ambush any invader, with numerous contingency plans. All those plans disappeared in an instant, as multiple Shohan battle groups jumped into point blank range of most of the Fourth’s deployments. Apparently, Shohan FTL drives are not limited by grav shores.

Despite the sudden shock, Admiral Perez issued commands for the Fourth Fleet to retreat hoping to escape the sudden trap in which the Shohan had ensnared them. For a heart wrenching period of time, it seemed like we would be able to flee intact, as the Shohan fleet was strangely inert. But, on the cusp of our escape, the dreadnaughts began to open fire. Fourth Fleet fought bravely, but the protection afforded by their ship’s force fields was too great, and their guns too heavy; their hypercannons twisting entire squadrons into twisted wreckage as we sought escape.  Numbers were also against us, as the Shohan fielded far more ships than any estimate thought possible.  Admiral Perez, amongst many others, was lost in the initial wave of fire and Admiral Marikesh, the last surviving squadron commander, was gravely injured in the subsequent fire.

With the fleet in disarray, it fell to Captain Shetley to lead the retreat.  Shetley, since promoted and decorated, not only kept his squadron together but killed one of the enemy’s mightiest dreadnaughts when it made a critical misstep, jumping into close range of his squadron without its escorts. The Shohan may be tough, but they are not invincible. Their ships can be destroyed, their captains can make mistakes. In the aftermath of Artemis III, I'm sure this will come as heartening news to many. Commodore Shetley has been transferred to the strategic office, where he will teach his fellow officers how to slay the mighty dreadnought while he recuperates from his own injuries.  

On a personal note, my replacement leg has grown in nicely.  Many thanks to the medics aboard the Houyi who kept me alive, and the crew of the freighter Clydesdale who got me back to Hawking’s World for medical treatment and recuperation. My recovery has left me with a great deal of time for reflection, and I'm compelled to admit that I was dismissive of the peace efforts in the lead up to the war. Having seen the battle first hand, I was wrong. War might have been inevitable, but if there was a chance such a massacre could have been avoided, it deserved to be taken. I pray that all those escape pods I saw over Artemis III landed safely. 

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Star Charts

SEGMENT TRANSCRIPT:
PROVIDER: OUTBLACK ENTERTAINMENT
PROGRAM: STARBURST!
TIMESTAMP: [2653.12.28 18.22.17]
Amanda Kally

 

 Happy...ish Founding Day, spacers! Well, we’ve gone over a month without any dream-shattering travesties, so that’s good! If you’re capable space crew, and you’ve got the stomach for a fight, Admiral Hall’s office is quite thorough in reminding me to mention that the Fleet wants you! Keep in mind, that’s not just combat pilots they... we’re looking for, it’s also engineers, logistics, even cooks! It’s not all dreadnaughts and explosions, the news just makes it sound that way sometimes.

As you can see behind me, though, they’ve been so busy with the aftermath of the Battle of Artemis, that they haven’t put the shutters up yet! That’s the Houyi behind me, getting fixed up after it led the surviving ships out of the Battle, and made it back here. The survivors from those ships are almost all back to full health, and the word of the day is Intel! That’s what everyone’s talking about, but unfortunately, it makes for a pretty slow news day, since you all know what other word comes with Intel, right? But, what I can say is that Captain Shetley got himself a promotion out of the deal - super nice guy, by the way. Totally made time to talk to me, even in medbay. He’s been transferred back Coreward, and most folks here think fleet command is going to go to Admiral Marikesh.

In the meantime, however, the Fifteenth Annual “Race to the Gap” has been cancelled. Admiral Monowai says that with the repositioning of many fleet assets, he can no longer safely keep the checkpoints under watch. With Fourth Fleet in a ... restructuring period, Admiral Hall and Third are becoming the functional front lines down here. Admiral Karik and Second Fleet are also anticipated to re-base here. Hey! Maybe they’ll take my office, too! Headed down to medbay to donate some blood. If you’re in the area, med staffs here are still always looking for a hand. It’s... busy, to say the least. If you don’t have a taste for needles, fuel and other supply shipments are also in high demand here. Bigtime buildup going on behind me, and you’ll get guaranteed rates from the Navy on anything they can turn into a ship.
I’m Amanda Kally and that’s your intel laden starburst for tonight.

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Founding Day

SEGMENT TRANSCRIPT:
PROVIDER:
HUOXING ANSICAST NEWS
PROGRAM: THE SPHERE TONIGHT WITH JANE LI
TIMESTAMP: [2653.12.28 05.13.42]
Jane Li

 

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen... Citizens of the Sphere. In light of the events of just over a month ago, the traditional greeting of “Happy Founding Day” seems a vain and hollow gesture, but, nonetheless, we wish you all the best of fortunes in this upcoming new year. Of course we cannot overlook the misfortunes of recent months, and are embroiled in a massive conflict, but we cannot, and will not lose hope. The losses over Artemis were... staggering, to say the least, not to mention that such a major population centre is now under enemy occupation. The cause of the aggression remains unknown. What is known, however, is that Captain... rather, Commodore Shetley now, and the crews of the five ships he managed to get out of that failed engagement are providing invaluable intelligence for the rest of the TSN. His medical recovery is now complete, his promotion and commendations for heroism affirmed, and he is currently working directly with HQ at Trafalgar to find new, more effective ways of combating our enemy.

On the diplomatic front, officially, our allies in the Chiron Imperial Star League are not joining the war against the Shohan. However, many of them still remember the “Great Humiliation”, and several of their mercenary groups have taken contracts at greatly lowered rates from the TSN, specifically to fight the Shohan. Similarly many Chiron citizens, some former military, some aspiring to join the military, have migrated to the Sphere in order to join our Navy, for much the same purpose. So, while officially they are not at war, our allies are finding ways to support us in our time of need. Even the usually peaceful Teuthid are sending recruits in noticeable numbers, despite their world being nominally independent of the Sphere. The Hadiians and Mendicants, however, have had very little apparent interest in the affair. While their disinterest is all but expected, we can take comfort in knowing that the Kriak are remaining placid along the border zones with the Sphere.

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Aftermath

SEGMENT TRANSCRIPT:
PROVIDER: OUTBLACK ENTERTAINMENT
PROGRAM: STARBURST!
TIMESTAMP: [2653.11.20 17.09.37]
Amanda Kally

 

Spacers... It’s... Well, if you haven’t heard, get out from under that rock and open your eyes. The Shohan have hit Artemis III... and the fleet that was protecting it. We’ve lost the Jewel, and a good portion of Fourth Fleet, and this broadcast is getting cut short, as most coverage will be split between the Senate floor, the concordances of the High Cantor, and a mass at the Vatican. Personally, I... don’t have anything substantive I can add at this point. Whatever rituals you have for lost crew, I’d say go ahead and do those. There’s... a lot of lost crew by all indications...

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