News From the Front

Waiting Games

TIMESTAMP: [2653.07.28 14:25:56]
Gunther Frei


We know that colonies go silent when the Shohan invade. The Shohan place a high priority on destroying ansible relays in any system that falls under their sway. Fourth Fleet command gives the press and public regular briefings, but for all the words the end is the same, silence. The fleet is beating the bushes out here, finding a number of isolationist islander settlements and the odd smuggler drop, yet we stay clear of the three colony worlds where we know the Shohan can be found. The brass says they’re studying, always studying to make certain that the move we make is the right one. Do we have time for that?
At least one person isn’t waiting. William Tuft, of the agricultural giant Nutrigrow, has hired the private security contractor Blue Knight to retrieve his son from the occupied world of Prospero. William Tuft Jr. was on Prospero at the time of the attack, investigating the possible domestication of several native plant species. Admiral Perez cautioned against the rescue attempt, but the Blue Knight crew was undaunted. “We’ve slipped past naval blockades before. Admiral Perez is unaware of this, because we’re good at it.”

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Game Over Man

TIMESTAMP: [2653.07.27 18:02:13]
[UNKNOWN] - "Naveen Maneesh"


Sad news, friends... It’s cancelled! Repeat, the Tournament is off! In response to travel restrictions in the adjacent sector, local officials have deemed it a bad time to be inviting such an influx of off-worlders. I guess they don’t want all the tourist credits and good pub that would’ve come out of the event... or the launch of a big-time reporting career for yours truly. You can take the slugs out of the Core, but you can’t take the Core out of the panicked masses, I guess.
Maybach just recently applied for bankruptcy... seems that in addition to their stock issues and unsecured servers, they were also using the ZX-5 on a lot of their production models! Too bad, so sad. Just goes to show, info’s faster than light, blink and you’ll miss it!
Fresh word down from the beanstalk, folks: if you’re looking to join the panicking core slugs and get off-world, you’ve gotta act fast. Those slick execs and their made-up excuses took the fast train out, and the wake isn’t looking pretty. Word is, the fleet’s coming this way, meaning most of the heat exchangers are gonna be jam-packed. Frankly, anyone who wants out, I say go for it! Me? I’m staying right here, with my finger on the pulse of the info world, all for you folks! Keep it here, and I’ll keep it flowing!

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Burning the Midnight Oil

TIMESTAMP: [2653.07.26 02:46:01]
Amanda Kally


The shipyards are churning away here. All across the docks, heavy equipment is running, torches are welding, and workers are pulling double shifts to meet the increased demand. Ironically, the more demand increases, the less the Corporate Council is willing to disclose about who is specifically placing most of the orders. The secret’s not very well kept, though, as anyone with eyes out here on the docks can see the TSN logo emblazoned on most of the hulls. Most of the hulls that are taking shape are recognizable models, but rumors continue to persist of new projects in the works. Admiral Hall’s office and the Council, however, are making sure that such talk remains strictly rumor and conjecture.
Similarly, the rumored massed transfer orders to Fourth Fleet that seem to be getting processed through these docks are also being waved off as “nothing serious”. Despite the full restriction order recently placed on an entire sector - an act that has never yet been performed outside of a Kriak Crusade - Third Fleet offices are assuring the Corporate Council that the TSN has everything well in hand out in the Fringes. The restriction remains in full effect, so keep away, captains.
Those words hardly seem necessary, however, as freighters and transports continue to flow steadily out of the restricted sector, and are beginning to do so out of adjoining sectors, as well. The attack on Prospero has spooked the locals in more than a few places, and travel plans are definitely getting altered wholesale. Many heat exchange stations are already issuing red flags, saying they’ve got too many ships to keep up with the demand. Expect a spike in fuel prices once the market adjusts. In a related note, the Colonial Board is putting a moratorium on any current applications in or near the Inner Reaches, until the situation out there blows over.
I’m Amanda Kally and that’s your starburst for tonight.

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Senator Karsalia Speaks about Prospero

TIMESTAMP: [2653.07.19 17:16:43]
Jane Li


Tonight’s Top Story: A full military restriction has been placed on all civilian travel in Sector 4163. Pilots in the private sector are urged to avoid travel in or near the region to avoid both danger and suspicion. In a likely related story, the colony world of Prospero has been attacked, reports indicate that it is another act of Shohan aggression. Ambassador Davies and staff are still gone from Unity, and the TSN High Command at Trafalgar has given no official stance on these events. The two events, it seems, are directly related, and Fourth Fleet has been fully mobilized. A new recruiting drive is anticipated throughout the Sphere as unrest grows in the Reaches.
Reaction to these reports in the Senate has been mixed. Senator Kelley has joined the increasing number of voices pointing to this as an act of war by the Shohan, starting with Minerva and has gone so far as to cosponsor an official declaration of War against the Shohan Assembly. The motion was met with fierce opposition from Senator Karsalia and others who been holding out hope for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis. While many agree that this is vastly out of character with what we know of the normally reclusive species, events continue to point in this unpleasant direction. Despite his requests to resume attempts at diplomacy, Senator Karsalia joined the majority in sponsoring the emergency spending requested by the Fleet.
On the diplomatic front, the Chiron embassy has voiced the Star League’s sympathy for residents of that sector, and a few voices were allegedly agitating for a joint Sphere and Star League response to these acts. Reports on the Chiron embassy’s official stance, are, of course, conflicting.
Now joining us live is Senator Karsalia, fresh off the rather tumultuous debate on the Senate floor earlier today. Senator, thank you for coming on the Show tonight.
[Senator Karsalia] Thank you for having me, Jane. Always a pleasure to be on the ‘cast.
[Jane Li] Senator, in light of the Shohan’s continued attacks on Terran Sphere worlds, and their so far absolute refusal to answer any of our attempts at communication, a number of your colleagues have characterized your continued attempts to establish a diplomatic mission to the Shohan as “Quixotic” at best. Would you care to answer your critics?
[Senator Karsalia] Well, Jane, the fact of the matter is quite simple: With no diplomatic contact, we have no idea what their intentions are. We still do not even know what happened on Minerva that may have provoked the Shohan. My staff has been in regular contact with executives from BioGenesis in an attempt to determine the facts on the ground of Minerva, as it were. Our previous encounters with the Shohan had all been peaceful, and quite cordial. Without knowledge of what precipitated these incidents, we cannot have a cohesive plan of action for how to react.
[Jane Li] Do you believe there is a realistic chance at peace? Even after three, and possibly four colonies have been occupied by the Shohan?
[Senator Karsalia] I do, yes. We would do well to remember that there was hostile contact between the Shohan Assembly and the Chiron Imperial Star League, as well. While the Chiron refer to these incidents in … less than flattering terms... they did manage a peaceful end to the misunderstanding. This is why my colleagues and I feel a diplomatic mission must be sent.
[Jane Li] Yet, you still voted for the increased Naval budget.
[Senator Karsalia] Yes, Jane. Diplomacy is still the path I would prefer, but it would be foolish to deny that there have been … hostile contacts. Increased preparedness in the Fleet seems only prudent at this juncture. Preparedness, mind, not provocation. With the technological edge enjoyed by the Shohan, it would be unwise to act in a manner that would be construed as openly hostile.
[Jane Li] Senator, some of your critics have made comments in light of your recent vote expressing what they feel is a fundamental inconsistency in your position. Do you feel that you’re being inconsistent in working for this peace initiative while voting for one of the large increases in the TSN budget in recent history? Does simply being prepared really require nearly tripling the TSN budget?
[Senator Karsalia] In the face of external hostility, we must be prepared to safeguard the freedom of our citizens. Zhujiangin and Prospero have, unfortunately, proven that we were not yet ready. The TSN receives a budget during peacetime, as well, after all. As to the accusations of inconsistency in my position, I can only refer to the actions of several of my... esteemed colleagues, who not even a month ago were dismissing these attacks altogether as random acts of piracy or simple malfunctioning equipment, yet now feel it necessary to increase the budget and push for a war declaration. The magnitude of the budget increase was... surprising, I must say, and the numbers did seem to get inflated in the hands of certain Senators who handled the bill after myself and the Naval Affairs committee. Perhaps, after waking up to the seriousness of our current crisis, they were filled with... an abundance of caution.
[Jane Li] If I could take a step back to your earlier remarks, you claim you’ve been in contact with representatives from Biogenesis, yet you’ve also voiced support for those demanding a full investigation of Biogenesis’ operations on Minerva. Do you feel that they’re being less than forthcoming with you and your staff?
[Senator Karsalia] It is unfortunate, but my staff and I cannot discount the possibility. Given the severity of the present situation with the Shohan, it might cause a great deal of embarrassment to the company, should something be discovered. Given the lack of contact with Minerva, however, we do not know for sure. This, again, is one of the many reasons I believe a diplomatic mission must be sent.
[Jane Li] Senator, I see that we’re out of time. Once again, thank you for coming on the Show tonight.
[End Senator Karsalia Interview]

We’ll continue to keep an eye on the unfurling situation and bring you updates they happen.
Continuing with our program this evening: in other news, it turns out that the defending “Race to the Gap” champion, Zebulon Clarkson, will not be participating in this year’s race, after all. Rumours are circulating that this is due to the alleged tariff increases on gene mods, some of which may be sported by members of his crew. These rumours are unsubstantiated, and likely to remain so, as talk of the tariff issue has all but ceased on the Senate floor.

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Prospero Falls!

TIMESTAMP: [2653.07.18 02:58:07]
Gunther Frei


Prospero, one of the Terran Sphere's newest colonies, has been taken by the Shohan. Recon elements of the Fourth Fleet monitored the invasion, before falling back in good order to cover the refugees fleeing the colony. From the crews I’ve spoken with, morale remains fundamentally high although they are upset at the fate of Prospero and are eager to counter the renewed Shohan advance. So far, however, no orders have been issued. Fleet command is taking time to study this data, the most extensive gathered to date regarding the Shohan fleet capabilities. The continued silence from fleet command is troubling. Scuttlebut in the fleet is wondering what is so terrible above Prospero that an entire fleet fears to go there. A third world has gone silent. If these attacks were Kriak, we would have hit them back by now. Yes, the Shohan are powerful. But are they so powerful that we need to tiptoe around their aggression like frightened children?  
Civilian traffic is increasingly one way: away from sector 4163. Admiral Perez notes that while there is no cause for alarm, having fewer civilians in the region will simplify the sector's strategic considerations.  Some are people running from rumors. Most people, i fear, are running from the silence that follows wherever the Shohan fleet touches.

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