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Xanusii News Service: From the Spur to Your Inbox!

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Welcome to the Xanusii News Service!

The Xanusii News Service is dedicated to ensuring that the Orion Spur has access to independent, unbiased, and professional journalism that helps us all understand the galaxy we live in today. We pride ourselves on crafting deeply-reported journalism that is backed up by our team of on-staff experts.


Our mission is simple: to seek the truth, and to help people understand the galaxy by uncovering it. The XNS believes that good journalism is key to ensuring a better and more fulfilling life for us all, and we strive to remain unbiased in our work to give our readers the best possible perspective on situations. Our core values — independence, integrity, and excellence — guide our mission, and every article we release.


Our staff are a key part of our mission and represent one of the most diverse news teams in the Orion Spur. Our diversity allows us to cover developing stories throughout the Orion Spur, no matter which nation they may be breaking in. From the Jargon Federation to Assunzione, the XNS will always provide the public with accurate, unbiased, and informative reporting.

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Mars: One Year Later

The Violet Dawn Explosion forever changed Mars, engulfing a large portion of the planet’s southern hemisphere. Millions died in the initial blast, and millions more in the ensuing chaos that erupted afterwards. Food shortages, overpopulation and ecological collapse are currently being experienced by Martians unable to escape the decaying planet. 


The Violet Dawn explosion brought with it the near-total collapse of Martian society itself. Arcologies across the Martian dunes lay in ruin, abandoned by their populations as phoronic flash fires continue to spur across regions with high concentrations of the toxic element. Resources previously deemed valuable have since become worthless, with water becoming an almost rare and exotic resource due to it being rationed and restricted by the Provisional Government of Mars that controls its access. 


The Provisional Government of Mars, which succeeded the previous civilian government after its collapse in the wake of the Violet Dawn Explosion, led by Governor-General Tereza Varzieva, has shown no interest in integrating itself into the Martian political landscape. It is content to control only the region around the northern ice cap — one of the last stable sources of water on Mars — along with, select arcologies, and off-world shuttle ports. Outside of PGM control, anarchy reigns. Criminal gangs and local warlords dominate what arcologies remain stable outside of the PGM’s mandate, and roving gangs of bandits take whatever they want from survivors by force.


Reports from Mars are sparse and often hard to confirm. Refugees indicate total chaos: arcologies collapsing, the Provisional Government’s territory launching indiscriminate airstrikes to maintain control of its region, and raging phoron fires capable of covering multiple square kilometers that turn sand to glass in their wake. To investigate these rumors for the Xanusii News Service. I, Laio Qi, an ace reporter with experience in multiple conflict zones including Adhomai, and my colleague, Odette Noyer, will do what no journalist has done before: sneak into the heart of the inferno, and report live from Mars.

Edited by NewOriginalSchwann
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Onwards to Mars

The journey that myself, Laio Qi, and my colleague, Odette Noyer, took to the surface of the Red Planet was anything but typical. Prior to the “Solarian Collapse,” of 2462, one would take an easy enough route: Xanu to Konyang, and then to Callisto, and then to the Martian surface. The main risks on this route were overzealous Solarian customs officers eager to give somebody from the Coalition a miserable experience at their border. While doubtlessly inconvenient at times, this route got somebody from the Coalition to Mars in a fairly short time without many risks. And it wasn’t even that expensive, assuming you didn’t try to buy a flight on a bluespace drive-equipped ship.


Of course that’s all in the past now: the current route from Xanu Prime to Sol is much longer, significantly more expensive, and often prone to unexpected risks. The easiest part of our journey was to get from Xanu Prime to the Republic of Biesel’s capital: the gates still functioned, and the price wasn’t terrible. More expensive than before thanks to the crisis, but a cost we were willing to pay for our story. Getting from Biesel to the Sol System was more difficult: much of the space around Biesel is a chaotic space known as the “Corporate Reconstruction Zone,” where underequipped Tau Ceti Foreign Legion – the Republic’s main fighting force – fight alongside corporate paramilitaries against pirates, Solarian mercenaries, and anti-corporate insurgents. 


Chartering a pilot was difficult, but we eventually found one: a former Solarian Navy pilot named Gao, who requested we only use his first name for our story. After we paid our “flight fees,” Gao took us – with few questions asked – from Biesel, through the Reconstruction Zone, and into the territory the Solarian Alliance still doggedly hangs onto. It took another bribe to get through the Solarian border patrols that police the space near the Alliance-Republic border. After this point our flying became relatively smooth, and the process of landing on Mars itself was, stunningly, a fairly simple manner. Kunlun, the current capital of the Alliance’s Martian government, remains a functional shuttleport, yet the signs of the Violet Dawn crisis are everywhere: signs indicating the way to “refugee processing” can be found throughout it, and the arcology itself is full of often-ramshackle refugee housing. Mars, to the people here, is still bleeding.


Myself and Odette, along with Gao, will remain on Mars for some time, reporting on the situation of both it and its people.

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BREAKING: Provisional Government of Mars to Attempt Restoration of Solarian Control

The Provisional Government of Mars has announced that it intends to bring the planet back into the fold of the Solarian Alliance in order to “stabilize the planet and restore order to regions south of the northern pole,” according to its Governor-General. Those arcogies that have remained independent of the Provisional Government of Mars lack formal or unified government and could not be reached for comment.  XNS reporters Liao Qi and Odette Noyer, presently in Mars, report a mixed mood on the ground. Some are overwhelmed with joy at the prospect of rescue and stability, yet many —particularly Mars’ “Red” nationalists — remain suspicious of the Solarian government and its intentions.


Governor-General Varzieva is currently the youngest planetary administrator within the entirety of the Solarian Alliance, having been promoted to the position shortly after the Violet Dawn Explosion in 2462. Her initial arrival on the Red Planet sparked controversy regarding the use of force on those that had been unable to flee the hazardous environment, with reports circulating of summary executions and group imprisonment — particularly of tajara. She has since managed to expand the oversight of the Provisional Government of Mars from Unified Kunlun to a significant region surrounding the northern icecaps - consisting of Mysterion, Marvinia, Chicago, and Draka. 


Sol System Provisional Governor Hendrik Strom has publicly applauded the strategies deployed on Mars, and recently hosted Governor-General Varzieva on Unity Station. He has denounced any notions of Varzieva’s supposed bias against the tajara, noting her actions are done to reinforce the Third Tajara Ban, originally established 2462. Sol’s interest in Mars marks a change in police by the military government currently ruling it, which has long ignored Mars.

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BREAKING: Provisional Government of Mars Establishes Control of Capon

Governor-General Tereza Varzieva has announced the end of formal resistance in the arcology of Capon, with the arcology’s militia commander formally surrendering following a three-day battle throughout the complex. Varieva thanked the Solarian government for sending additional units to support the Provisional Government’s forces. A dozen tajara captured during the battle within Capon have been detained pending deportation to the People’s Republic of Adhomai. 


Our reporters on the ground claim lack of a unified resistance in Capon, which has long been controlled by several warring gangs, allowed the provisional government to quickly seize control over it. Capon is located within the northern territories of the planet and is in close proximity to the northern pole controlled by the Provisional Government of Mars. The arcology has suffered from water supply issues since the Violet Dawn disaster in late 2462 and our ground reporter team has informed the XNS that the Solarian Navy has landed multiple dropships filled with water supplies for the arcology.


Governor-General Varzieva has announced that the seizure of Capon is “first step,” in bringing Mars back to normalcy, even if the turbulent environmental hazards pose a significant threat to the future of the planet. In other news, sources on Mars indicate that the  Robinson and Rama archologies have opted to formally surrender to the Solarian government, citing a critical shortage of water due to widespread phoron contamination of their aquifers. Our team on the ground, Liao Qi and Odette Noyer, are expected to arrive in the arcologies shortly.

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On the Ground at Capon


This is Liao Qi, reporting to you from the arcology of Capon. Last week, this arcology was the site of fierce fighting between Solarian and Martian forces over control of the arcology. Now it’s rapidly being transformed into a hub of Solarian Army activity, and Solarian Army forces seem set to launch further incursions into what they have deemed “lawless territories.” Myself and my colleague, Odette Noyer, have been able to interview several people who were there for what local residents are now calling the Battle of Capon.


“Honestly, I thought it would be worse. Taking it, I mean,” says Harvey McEwan, an enlisted soldier of the Solarian Army from Venus. “They weren’t very organized, the gangs we were fighting. Most of their guys gave up without a fight, ‘cause they don’t have enough water to keep going.”


“Why don’t they have enough water?” asks Odette Noyer.

“Phoron contamination, probably,” McEwan pauses for a moment. “Most of the engineers, the skilled technical staff, those guys? They ran north towards security, left everybody else to suffer the aftermath of the explosion, yeah? Fat lot of [CENSORED] [CENSORED], all this talk of ‘Martian solidarity against Sol,’ or whatever. Typical guy here just doesn’t wanna die of dehydration or phoron poisoning.”


Emma Madden, a resident of Capon, seems to share McEwan’s opinions. “Honestly? Mom and dad were always gung-ho [CENSORED] Martians, always talking about how we needed to band together against Sol ‘cuz they nuked us,”  Madden snorts and shakes her head, taking a moment before speaking again. “But like, come on, can’t they just look around? People in Capon’s been dying for nearly a year now, not like our [CENSORED] rah-rah Martian can-do [CENSORED] attitude helped us out.”


More from Mars as this story develops.

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Provisional Government of Mars Continues to Gain Ground

The Provisional Government of Mars has continued to establish its control arcologies across Mars. Larkadia, Arcturus, Azura and Red Gaia have either joined with the PGM willingly or surrendered following brief military engagements. The Solarian Navy has intensified its activities in low Mars orbit, despite accusations that its warships have injured and killed civilian refugees during its operations against armed “bandit gangs,” that control much of the non-arcology territory near the Martian equator. The Solarian Navy declined the XNS’s request for an interview.


Representatives of the Provisional Government of Mars have announced that despite repeated attempts to peacefully occupy the archologies, inhabitants of Red Gaia have “descended into rioting.” Despite attempts by the Solarian Army to re-establish control over Red Gaia, much of the arcology remains out of government control. Provisional Government representatives have called for the rioting to cease, claiming that an “tragically avoidable humanitarian crisis,” will occur if the PGM is unable to effectively supply aid to the arcology, which has become a refugees hub for much of non-PGM northern Mars.


The majority of the northern territories are currently occupied by the Provisional Government of Mars  and Hendrik Strom, interim governor of the Sol System, has congratulated Governor-General Tereza Varvzeiva for her successes. The Solarian Navy has announced that it plans to establish additional water extraction plants to be established on the northern poles of Mars, allowing for the facilitation of increased water extraction to fulfill the needs of the remaining arcologies.

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  • 2 weeks later...


On the Ground at Red Gaia


For the roughly past two weeks the arcology of Red Gaia – regarded by many interstellar observers as the least stable arcology following the Violet Dawn catastrophe – has been in a state of emergency due to uncontrolled rioting. Only yesterday at 04:00 GST was the state of emergency declared by the Provisional Government of Mars lifted, due to Solarian Army riot squad teams stating that they had “reestablished government control of Red Gaia in order to allow aid to be distributed.” Myself, Liao Qi and my colleague, Odette Noyer, are in the arcology today in order to bring you firsthand accounts of the arcology.


“Ultimately, I think the entire situation here is nothing more than tragic. The human suffering here, the entire disaster, it’s the price we as Solarians pay for not granting more of our attention to Mars,” says Doctor Han, a Solarian Army physician from Luna who declined to give her first name on account of security reasons. “The worst part of it is that so many of them – the Martians – would rather die than accept aid from us. It’s maddening!”


“Why do you think they’re refusing to accept aid?” asks Odette Noyer.


Han shakes her head. “I’m here to provide aid, and not qualified to give a political opinion. If you want one, you’ll have to speak to somebody other than myself or my staff.”


“I’ll tell ya why we don’t want no Blue Solarian aid,” says Maxwell Clarkson, a protestor now in Solarian Army custody. “It’s ‘cuz it was them who gone and blown up the whole damn [CENSORED] planet! I betyer just more Solarians, huh? Come to take and twist my words against Mars! Well, you can [CENSORED my [CENSORED] ya [CENSORED] [CENSORED].”


The interview with Clarkson was terminated at this point.


“They don’t wanna accept the aid because they think the Alliance blew the planet up. Some say it was deliberate, some say it was accidental. Don’t matter how, what matters to them is that the Alliance did it in their eyes,” says Mitchell Hansen, a Red Gaia policeman who has been on duty continuously for the last two weeks. “I mean, I ain’t a big fan of the Alliance at times. ‘specially Frost, but I’m not gonna candidly describe him on camera, don’t want you guys to have to bleep me out [laughs].”


“Why is Sol causing Violet Dawn a common theory?” asks Liao Qi.


Officer Hansen shrugs broadly. “It’s a justification. ‘We wouldn’t be killing one another over water if it weren’t for the Alliance,’ stuff like that. It’s a shame, honestly. Whole lotta dead Martians, and for what? Frost’s legacy? Martian independence?” Hansen sighs, pausing for a moment. “I just want it to be over.”

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Einstein Engines Contracted to Commence Terraforming


Having remained untouched by the sanctions placed against the other megacorporations following their leveraged actions against the Solarian Alliance, Einstein Engines has secured its position as the nation’s dominating corporate force, having just proved so after being awarded the contract for terraforming the scarred Marian surface.  Due to the relative stability of the northern territories across Mars, Einstein Engines will commence their terraforming initiatives within the archologies of Capon, Kunlun, Chicago, and Draka. 


With much of the freestanding sources of water having been contaminated with elements of Phoron, Einstein Engines has stated that it will, working alongside the Solarian Navy, introduce refinery plants designed to filter phoron from water. What will be done with the phoron “runoff” of these plants is unknown, but XNS sources indicate that it will likely be used as fuel for Einstein’s terraforming machines.


The elected archologies for the terraforming initiative will have the majority of their workforce directed to these refinery plants, as per the Provisional Government’s ability to redirect qualified workers to fields declare vital to national security while a region is under martial law. Whether or not the terraforming effort is successful remains to be seen. Decontamination of the water sources would be a critical first step towards rehabilitating the Martian environment, and our team on the ground — reporters Liao Qi and Odette Noyer — are currently en route to Kunlun, one of the arcologies selected for the program.

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  • 2 weeks later...


On the Ground at Kunlun


For many, the announcement of a terraforming operation on Mars was a breath of fresh air, and a ray of hope in the darkness of life on the planet after the Violet Dawn disaster. Many in Kunlun have suffered through a year of hardships: flight from the south as refugees, the loss of homes and relatives, water rationing, and martial law. To get the opinions of people on the ground at the center of the terraforming project I, Liao Qi, and my colleague, Odette Noyer, have flown to Free Kunlun from Red Gaia in a Solarian Army cargo plane in order to bring you firsthand accounts of it.


Personally? I’m glad to be here, helping Mars out of this mess,” says Arpit Kapil, an Einstein Engines technician employed by the terraforming project. “I’ve already lost one home, so I’m going to do anything I can to prevent somebody else from losing theirs.”


“What do you mean by that, that you lost your home?” asks Liao Qi.


Kapil pauses for a moment, considering his words. “I used to live in Biesel, before N-T took it over. My family had lived there since, uh, probably around colonization? A long time. My wife and I didn’t explicitly get kicked out, but we saw the writing on the wall. There was going to be no place for us in Biesel.”


“I’m glad that Einstein is here and trying to end the crisis. I just want it to be over,” says Martian Madeleine Wood. “All the suffering, all the pain. I don’t care about nationalism, or Sol, or whatever. I just want to be able to go back home to see my old house and tend to my father’s grave. What good is an independent Mars if we keep having to kill one another over basic necessities like food and water?”

“How much more have we gotta lose at this rate?” asks Martian Braxton McDonald. “Lost my son in the riots ‘fore Violet Dawn, lost my house durin’ it, lost my wife to poisoning after. What’s left for me, huh? What are we supposed to do?”

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  • 2 weeks later...


Peace on Mars?


BREAKING: The Provisional Government of Mars has declared that all arcologies outside of the Violet Dawn “hazard zone,” have been brought under its control. This ends a two month long campaign by Mars’ Governor-General to bring the Red Planet back under nominal Solarian control.


“All Solarians should view this as a victory for the Alliance,” says Amelie de Beauchamp, Provisional Government press director. “We’ve taken a situation on the verge of collapse — on the brink of mass starvation and death! — and turned it around. This isn’t just a victory for Mars. It’s a victory for every Solarian, including those suffering in the Wildlands or under illegal occupation elsewhere.


The Solarian Army has stated that it will retain control of Mars’ government “until the situation on the surface becomes more stable,” according to an Army spokesman. However, it has promised to return power to the hands of Mars’ people when it is reasonably able to.


“Lotta talk ‘bout how this is a victory for allaus, y’know? Big rah-hah Sol victory,” says Bill Kessler, formerly a resident of Red Gaia. “Dunno how they can go an’ talk ‘bout all this ‘victory fer liberty,’ an’ stuff while we gotta junta. But I ain’t gonna go runnin’ my mouth ‘bout the Army, y’know? Ain’t a good idea.”


What will become of Mars remains to be seen, but for many the worst seems to be over. The road to recovery, however, will undoubtedly be long. For XNS, I’m Liao Qi.

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  • 6 months later...



The camera cuts to a well-dressed woman appearing to be in her mid thirties sitting behind a desk. A screen proudly displaying the XNS logo is behind her. The label “COALITION TRANSLATION SERVICES” flashes briefly at the bottom of the screen.

“Hello, and welcome once again to the Xanu News Network! As always I am your host, Mariska van den Soeterik,” the woman begins in Freespeak. “Today we have a very exciting announcement from one of our star reporters, Liao Qi.”

The camera pans over, revealing the aforementioned star reporter. Qi is a fairly typical looking man, likely also in his mid thirties, and sits opposite Mariska.

“Thank you Mariska, I’m happy to be here.”

“First, let me congratulate you on your engagement!”

“Thank you,” Qi smiles politely, but shifts somewhat. Mariska’s expression barely changes from her previous smile.

“Now,” she clears her throat, “after your recent trip to Mars many people were eagerly looking forward to your next outing and you seem to have finally arranged one! Could you tell us a bit more?”

Qi immediately becomes far more animated. “Of course! As you and the rest of the XNS know we’ve been hard at work attempting to make inroads into a region which hasn’t been covered in depth: the ‘Solarian Wildlands.’”

“Right. And what are the Wildlands for our viewers, Liao?”

Qi nods. “In short they’re formerly Solarian regions which the Alliance essentially abandoned in late 2462, shortly after Violet Dawn, which weren’t able to join another nation like Konyang or Mictlan. Much of this area is ruled over by former officers of the Solarian Navy known as ‘warlords,’ who have a variety of motivations.”

“Right, that makes sense. And you managed to gain access to one of these warlords?”

“That’s correct!” Qi once again becomes animated, now done with his likely-rehearsed introductory speech. “It’s not quite a warlord in the traditional sense though.”

Mariska nods in response but otherwise allows Qi to continue.

“Now,” he clears his throat, “—sorry. What we were able to gain access to is the capital of a loosely-aligned group of systems in the Wildlands known as the ‘Middle Ring Shield Pact.’ The name comes from their location in the Middle Ring of the Alliance, most of which was lost. Nominally, they’re still part of the Alliance which made our access a bit difficult. But we’ve gotten it!”

“And where will you be going in this Pact?”

“We’ll be heading to the Solarian Republic of San Colette, its nominal capital. It’s a relatively stable system known for being a Solarian Navy stronghold and major transportation hub prior to the Collapse.”

“How has it managed to stay stable in the years since?”

“In the years since it’s been selling off parts of a strategic stockpile the Navy built prior to the Collapse, and is one of the few places with phoron-refining facilities in the Spur. It hasn’t reunified with Sol yet due to being wedged between warlords, but it’s one of the best places to see what daily life is like in a post-Solarian area.”

“That sounds fascinating!” Mariska appears to be genuinely excited. “When are you departing?

“Hopefully? By the end of the week.”

“Exciting news! That’s all the time we have right now Liao, so now let’s head over to our sports correspondent for the latest on the ongoing Jovian Football League.”

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XNS Exlusive: Liao Qi Arrives in San Colette

The camera zooms in on, as always, Mariska van den Soeterik, the dedicated host of XNS’ foreign news segment. Her augmented eyes glow slightly as she reaches across the table for her holo-paper.

“Good evening and welcome to XNS’ foreign news hour. I’m your host Mariska van den Soeterik. Today’s headlines include the appointment of Jee-072 as Konyang’s new representative to the Coalition following a scandal centered around her precursor’s alleged embezzlement of funds, the Solarian Navy’s continued rearmament, and our very own Liao Qi’s arrival in San Colette. We go now to Liao.”


The camera perspective switches over to an obviously pre-recorded segment of Liao Qi and his team proceeding through Colettish customs with a voiceover narrated by Qi.

“Getting to San Colette was in many ways more difficult than getting to Mars. The Wildlands are a constantly-shifting place of warlords, bandits, and various microstates left to fend for themselves by the retreat of the Solarian government from the region in 2462. Few systems are as stable as this one and many refugees flock to it, making the process of crossing into it even more complicated.”

Qi is shown talking to a middle-aged Colettish woman wearing an ID card in a professional skirt-suit for a moment before she calls over what is clearly a Civil Guard officer, who then begins speaking to Qi and indicates to him to follow him.

“This man, Captain Maximiano Penaloza, would prove to be a great help to us in our attempt to cross into San Colette. After informing him that we were journalists from the XNS he seemed surprised and asked to see our ID cards, which we provided to him. He then saw us through the gate and provided us with a guide, which he explained was a condition of our stay in San Colette.”

Penaloza is shown speaking into his phone for a moment and a younger Civil Guard officer, this one female and of a different rank judging by her uniform, walks through the door and has a brief conversation with him. She does not seem happy with the outcome. The camera then switches to her sitting across from Qi and looking less obviously displeased but still somewhat irritated. The officer shifts uncomfortably in her seat and begins speaking.

“I am Corvette Lieutenant Leticia de la Fuente, or simply Lieutenant de la Fuente. As an officer of the Colettish Civil Guard — our local military branch responsible for defending the Sovereign Solarian Republic of San Colette. For the duration of his stay here I have been assigned to Mister Qi’s news team as their government liaison.”

“Could you tell us a bit about yourself Lieutenant?”

The officer seems somewhat surprised, casting a perplexed gaze upon Qi before continuing.

“Well, there’s not a lot totally unique here. I’m from a military family in Nuevo Villaviciosa and joined the Civil Guard after finishing coursework at the academy, which was a bit before the Collapse.”

The camera then cuts to Qi and de la Fuente alongside Odette Noyer — longtime colleague of Qi — finally taking a shuttle down to San Colette’s surface. They appear to be traveling to Nuevo Villaviciosa as the Castrejon Space Elevator is visible out of a window. Qi once again narrates over the footage.

“San Colette, our destination, is now within our reach. For the Xanu News Service I’m Liao Qi, in San Colette.”


The footage cuts back to van den Soeterik who is, as always, at her desk.

“Tune into the Xanu News Service nightly for more information regarding Liao’s reporting in San Colette. Now we go to Xanu itself, where allegations of embezzlement have rocked Konyang’s delegation to the Coalition.”


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XNS Exclusive: The Castrejon Space Elevator

A towering monument to Solarian engineering, the Castrejon Space Elevator dominates the skyline of San Colette’s  shipbuilding center of Nuevo Villaviciosa. It’s impossible for us to miss on our ride down from an orbital customs station once used for tourism which now processes thousands of refugees fleeing violence in the so-called “Northern Wildlands.” Our guide, Civil Guard officer Leticia de la Fuente, is a local and has been provided to us by the government to guide us through the space elevator.

“What you’re looking at,” de la Fuentes points behind herself at the gigantic space elevator, “is the largest space elevator in the Alliance outside of the Inner Ring. Most of the Civil Guard’s ships are built here by Tiscareno y Volante Shipbuilding and almost all of the city’s industries are tied to it. Biesel almost got this thing shut down through the Collapse you know. The government had to step in to save it.”

“You think Biesel caused the Collapse?” asks Odette Noyer, standing off to the side of the camera.

“I don’t give political opinions while I’m in uniform, I only concern myself with the facts,” de la Fuentes shoots back. “If you want my thoughts on the matter, interview me during the weekend. We’re going to have to take a ferry to the elevator itself — it’s built off of the coast.”

Our boat ride was mercifully short, and we then rode up — though a fairly long platform and elevator ride — to a lower-level shipyard assembling the frame of a warship.

“What’ll be done with it after it’s assembled here?”

“Well Liao, it’ll be moved to a higher level for more work. What you’re looking at is the hull of a Castillo-class battleship. You might’ve seen the finished product in the gift shop below, although smaller.”

“How long until this one is finished?”

“At this stage? About two months. It’ll be used to defend our system from the SRF and League. Once we get enough? Maybe we can link back up with the Alliance and end this whole nightmare.”

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XNS EXCLUSIVE: San Colette’s Railguns

Liao Qi stands in front of a clear glass pane alongside de la Fuentes. In the distance is a Colettish defensive railgun station slowly orbiting the planet, tracking its railgun against an unknown object not visible from the window. A Colettish spacecraft detaches from the station and flies off towards an unknown point in San Colette’s orbit.

“You are some of the first foreign reporters to see a Civil Guard railgun fire,” de la Fuente flatly states to Qi.

“We’re honored that you’re showing us this, Leticia. You said it’s targeting a former SRF vessel?”

“Yes, that’s correct,” de la Fuente taps the upper right of the window, revealing a projection of a Yincheng-class cruiser covered in Solarian Restoration Front livery and obvious battle damage. “This vessel, the River Holford, was disabled by a Free Solarian Fleets patrol last month. Another skirmish with the SRF, like what we’ve been having for two years now.”

“How far away is it from us?”

“It’s slightly inside the Colettish Belt, so essentially on the edge of the system. Any further out and you’ll be in the asteroid field,” de la Fuente takes a moment to listen to something inaudible to the camera on her radio set. “They’re about to fire, bring the camera up here.”

Noyer, barely visible on the left side of the picture, seems to tap so being out on a PDA which causes the camera to shoot forward to the window. It centers upon the railgun as a PA system blares a countdown in Solarian Common. The railgun’s “barrel” begins to glow softly.


The railgun fires! While no noise is created due to the vacuum the railgun itself creates a flash of light as it shoots, and something shoots off into the distance at a barely-perceptible speed.

“Switch your camera to the screen!” de la Fuente shouts.

The camera quickly follows, revealing the derelict River Holford floating in space. A few seconds pass: one, two, three, four, and upon five something happens. With a flash something punches through the left of the light cruiser’s bow and punches out of the right of its stern a moment later. The ship lists to one side before an explosion amidship rips it in half with a flash. This explosion is followed by another, smaller explosion in its aft half which is then followed by a much larger blast in the vessel’s aft which essentially destroys the back of the ship. The camera lingers on the destruction before switching back to the three viewers.

“What you just witnessed, Mister Qi and Miss Noyer, was a ship cleaved in half by one,” she raises a finger for dramatic impact, “round which destroyed its magazine and reactor. If the SRF or League come for us, we will be ready.”

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BREAKING: Colettish Government Responds to State of Emergency

A few reporters, entirely from local stations aside from Liao Qi and his XNS associates off to one side, sit in front of an empty podium. After a minute or two a Colettish woman walks out and cracks open a binder. A subtitle identifies her as Adelmira de Noi, Presidential Liaison.

“Good evening. As many of you are already aware, the Alliance has declared a state of emergency on its border in response to Restoration Front movements.”

de Noi pauses for a moment, clearing her throat and adjusting her reading glasses.

“In my capacity as a spokesperson for the Sovereign Solarian Republic of San Colette I have gathered you here today to announce that we are ready to honor the defensive pact of our Alliance in the face of aggression by any actors. We stand ready.”

de Noi pauses yet again, though briefly.

“Additionally, I call upon the Alliance to intervene in the so-called ‘Northern Wildlands,’ in the bend of restoring order and territorial integrity. For too long have we suffered in anarchy. Unfortunately we have no time for questions today as the President has an urgent need of me. Any questions should be forwarded to the press office.”

de Noi flicks her mic off and says something to her Civil Guard escort, and promptly exits out of the door she entered through as cameras click and reporters shout questions.

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XNS Exclusive: The Immigrant Communities of San Colette

Act 1 Article 1 of the Amor Patriae arc

“Hello, and welcome once again to the Xanu News Network! As always I am your host, Mariska van den Soeterik. Today’s featured stories include the state of emergency in the northern Solarian Alliance, the Republic of Biesel’s increasing militarization, and our very own Liao Qi’s continued reporting from San Colette. We go now to Liao, who’s currently located in an area of San Colette commonly known as Little New Hai Phong.”

The camera switches to Qi, who is currently standing in front of a nondescript apartment building with Solarian script in the front. A reader of Solarian Common might be able to read the script as it consists of various ads for New Hai Phongese restaurants. Qi nods and begins speaking.

“Thank you Mariska. As you can see I’m currently standing in front of an apartment building in a district of Montblanc known as Little New Hai Phong. This area was settled by workers who immigrated here from New Hai Phong during the construction of San Colette’s defenses. We interviewed its current councilperson to find out how life has been in this area since the Collapse, and—“

The broadcast flickers and distorts then appears to cut out, revealing a moderately confused den Soeterik behind her desk. She takes a moment to compose herself — this appears to be unscripted.

“Well, ah, our apologies for this interruption. We’ll attempt to get Liao back on the network momentarily! For now, please enjoy these words from XNS’ sponsors!”

den Soeterik smiles and nods, then waves as the broadcast switches to an ad for an all-in-one Einstein-produced tool set.

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Act 1 Article 2 of the Amor Patriae arc


The camera flicks back on to reveal a grave looking den Soeterik.

“Grave news have just reached us from the Solarian Alliance which has confirmed that a state of war now exists between the ex-Solarian statelets known as the Middle Ring Shield Pact and the Solarian Restoration Front. We go now to Liao Qi, our reporter in San Colette.”

The camera switches to a somewhat shakier view of Qi than it had previously held. Qi is saying something inaudible to de la Fuente, who appears to be fairly upset with the situation. After a moment somebody turns the audio on halfway through de la Fuentes saying something. A loudspeaker can be faintly heard in the background and seems to be broadcasting an emergency alert.

“—surd that you want to come with me!”

“Look,” Qi responds. “Don’t you want your story to be told? We’re the only foreign reporters here, Leticia!” He then looks over at the camera, realizes it’s on  and begins speaking to it without losing a beat. “Mariska, as you can see San Colette is already reacting to the state of war. Just a moment ago we heard emergency broadcasts begin in Little New Hai Phong,” he points up and to his right at something out of frame. The camera follows, revealing the loudspeaker, “which are advising residents of a state of emergency which has just begun.”

“Will you be able to stay safe?”

Qi nods. “Yes, we should be. We’re planning to continue reporting to the best of our abilities, as XNS always does.” He looks over at de la Fuente, who does not look happy. This is a fairly normal expression for her, all things considered. “I’m working with the Civil Guard to see if we can cover their actions.”

“You are not going to the front line!” de la Fuente responds. “You’re to remain here where it’s safe, reporter.”

“How are we meant to cover your story if we’re stuck here, Leticia? San Colette’s story has to be told by someone, and we’re the only ones here!”

de la Fuentes looks at the camera out of the corner of her eye, then focuses on Qi. Her expression of neutral disapproval holds something else, but it’s hard to read. “We’ll discuss it later. That’s all I’ll say while you’ve got the camera rolling.”

Qi, looking totally undisturbed by this, turns back to the camera. “As you can see, we’ll attempt to cover it to the best of our abilities.”

The camera shifts back to den Soeterik, who nods. “We’ll let you get to it, then. Stay safe, Liao.”


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Act 1 Article 3 of the Amor Patriae arc

After the opening XNS jingle the camera pans to two individuals, one standing on either side of a screen displaying the Northern Wildlands. The male individual, standing on the right of the screen, begins speaking first.

“Good evening everyone, and welcome to this newly-established segment, the XNS Strategic Analysis Unit. I’m Ajit Gopal, one of your hosts.”

The female figure replies in tandem, “And I’m Delphine Deschamps. Our objective is to bring you live, objective and reliable updates on the situation in the Solarian Wildlands. We have also established donation numbers for relief efforts, which you will be able to see at the bottom of your screen.”

“Right,” Gopal replies, “Let’s take a look at the current situation, shall we?”

The holographic screen behind them changes to show a fairly decent situation for the Pact. They’ve lost a good amount of ground in the initial days, but their forces are not spread thin, and the Front’s advance has now slowed down considerably. Counting the number of fleets, the Front has almost an overwhelming numerical advantage. To the more perceptive viewers, the only thing keeping the Pact’s defense line in place is the amount of Pact-aligned FSF vessels, marked in a different color.

“The Front currently seems to have the upper hand,” Delphine says, “As we can see, the Pact’s line has now stabilized from the Aria system to the Rubicon system. The Free Solarian Fleets auxiliaries here in yellow are truly the Pact’s lifeline - if they were not here, it’s likely that their defense would have already fallen apart.”

“Exactly,” Gopal agrees, “One important thing to note is that the Free Solarian Fleets are actually more mobile than we calculated. We adjusted for an expected lack of phoron for their drives, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Our intelligence has reported that the Caravaggio - one of their cruisers - has actually managed to bring back a fair amount of fuel.”

“That’s interesting,” Delphine says, hemming, “So, now that they can actually maneuver around the enemy, they’ve switched to a more mobile defense overall. We’ll have to see how long their supplies last, though. They may have secured phoron, but it must be a small and finite supply.”

“Indeed,” Gopal confirms, “The short-term situation is looking well for the Pact, but the long–term situation is worrying. The numerical advantage is decisively on the Front’s side, and so is the materiel advantage. How will the Pact fare from now? Only time will tell. We thank our viewers for their cooperation, and we implore them to donate to relief efforts. Now, onto the next segment by Steve Beckenbauer, Kitchen Fantasies…”

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Act 1 Article 4 of the Amor Patriae arc

The camera flicks back from its commercial break to reveal a graying man in a black suit standing behind a desk marked with “ROHAN MAGAR - ALL-XANU REPUBLIC” in both Freespeak and Sol Common.

“This special meeting on the ongoing Wildlands crisis is hereby called to order. Gadpathur’s representative has the right to begin.”

The camera switches to a harsh-looking man in the uniform of a Gadpathurian cadre leader. His desk is marked with “PRAVIN THAMAN - GADPATHUR.”

“Thank you, Representative Magar,” Thaman stands, placing his glasses on to read from a leaflet of paper in his hands. “For centuries we Gadpathurians have struggled against the Solarian menace which destroyed our world. We have bled, fought, and died to ensure our Coalition shall never again fall to the Solarian menace, which now stands batterer but not beaten. I ask you now, my comrades-in-arms, to support a strong measure against the Solarian menace! I ask you to support an intervention in these so-called Wildlands to forever break Solarian power there!”

As Thaman sits, a murmur goes through the crowd. Magar narrows his eyes, seemingly quite displeased with something.

“Representative Thaman. In my capacity as chair of this committee I do not appreciate extreme deviations from prepared remarks. What is your aim with this suggestion beyond carrying on a planetary grudge?”

“It will allow us to keep our former Solarians secure through the creation of a demilitarized zone, Representative Magar.”

“With all due respect Representative Thaman, this zone would bring us into direct conflict with the Alliance if it opts to retake these territories.”

“Let them come,” Thaman quickly responds, staring down Magar. “We have beaten them before and we shall do so again.”

“Your suggestion is as absurd as ever. In my capacity as chairman I call the committee to order to vote on this matter. Konyang?”

The camera pans to two Konyangers: one of a fairly old man in a suit and the other is a middle aged woman wearing the uniform of a Solarian Navy flag officer, though the Solarian symbology has been replaced with Konyanger equivalents. The man, identified as “KWAN SEOK - KONYANG,” and the woman, identified as “CMDR. MI-HI GIM, KAF,” holds a brief whispered conversation before the man speaks briefly.

“Konyang does not support the suggestion.”

“Just what we should have expected from a former Solarian ambassador!” Thaman sneers, looking at the older man. “Commander Gim, surely you must see the reason for my suggestion, having lived repressed by Sol for some fourteen years?”

Gim looks at Thaman, appearing very irate. “I have nothing to say to you.”

“Another such outburst and I’ll have you expelled for the rest of this meeting, Thaman!” Magar shouts, exasperated. “To return to voting on your proposal, I assume you are in support of it?”

“Gadpathur will always support standing against the Solarian menace.”

“Right. The United Syndicates of Himeo.”

An older, and quite pale, man whose desk identifies him as “ABELARD DIRKSEN - HIMEO” rises to speak.

“The United Syndicates abstain.”

“Right. Assunzione?”

A middle-aged woman wearing the garb of a Luceian clergywoman rises to speak from a desk labeling her as “TEOFILA VIOLANTE - ASSUNZIONE.”

“The Republic of Assunzione calls upon our principle of neutrality and abstains.”

Magar scratches something down on a piece of paper and rises to speak.

“The All-Xanu Republic votes against this proposal. The final scoring is two against, one for, and two abstentions. The proposal fails to pass the committee and this meeting is hereby adjourned!”

Magar bangs a gavel next to him as the audio cuts and the camera fades out, but not before Thaman can be seen riding to his feet and yelling at somebody out of frame, pointing at them all the while.

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BREAKING: Corporate-Free League Launches Assault on the Middle Ring Shield Pact!

Act 1 Article 5 of the Amor Patriae arc

The camera opens on van den Soeterik, looking as professional as she always does. Her eye augments flicker softly as the camera focuses on her.

“Good evening, and welcome to XNS’ foreign news hour. As always I am your host Mariska van den Soeterik. We go now to a developing story from the Northern Wildlands, where an ongoing conflict in the region has just escalated. Liao?”

The camera cuts to Liao Qi outside a fairly nondescript Colettish building which could easily pass for anywhere else in the Spur if not for the sandbags covering its ground floor. Qi himself looks a bit haggard, as if he hasn’t slept recently, and is wearing a vest with “PRESS” on it in Sol Common alongside a helmet.

“As you’ve just heard, Mariska, the Anti-Corporate League, another Solarian warlord, has launched an attack against the Middle Ring Shield Pact, which is where we’re currently located. The government has issued an advisory against unnecessary interstellar travel across the Pact and has requested any civilian ships capable of moving large amounts of cargo to report to the nearest military station for conversion into auxiliary vessels.”

“It sounds pretty dire there.”

Qi nods. “Pact officials have called for unity in the face of adversity and the defensive line against the Front is holding, but many worry this new front puts the Pact in a very dangerous situation. Many people here are now asking themselves the same question: where is the Alliance?”

“Thanks for reporting on this Liao. Stay safe, okay?”

He nods again. “Always!”

The camera pans back to a serious-looking van den Soeterik, who begins speaking. “The XNS will strive to keep its audience updated on this developing situation. For now, a word from our sponsors.”

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XNS Defense Analysts Review the Wildlands Situation

Act 1 Article 7 of the Amor Patriae arc

After the opening XNS jingle the camera pans to two individuals, one standing on either side of a screen displaying the Northern Wildlands. The male individual, standing on the right of the screen, begins speaking first.

“Good evening and welcome to this special live edition of the XNS Strategic Analysis Unit’s reporting on the Northern Wildlands. I’m Ajit Gopal.”

“And I’m Delphine Deschamps. As you may be aware, the League of Independent, Corporate-Free Systems located here,” Deschamps gestures and Gopal taps the right side of the screen, causing a red section labeled LEAGUE to light up. “has recently invaded the Middle Ring Shield Pact,” Deschamps taps the middle of the screen, causing a section marked as PACT to light up, “which is currently at war with the Solarian Restoration Front located here,” she taps the left of the screen, lighting up a section labeled FRONT. “Rumors already indicate the Pact has begun to retreat. Ajit, has your desk been able to confirm any of these?”

“As of now, no. Most of what we have is open-source information from platforms such as Chirper, which Pact mercenaries have been known to frequently upload videos or images to such as this one.

Gopal hits a button on the side of the screen causing it to switch from a map to a photo of a Solarian Navy sailor holding a League helmet, done up in Coalition colors, with a bullet hole through its right eye. A caption below reads: “bol coalition bastards! send more rangers!!!! xoxoxo”

“As you can see Delphine, the helmet here is an example of Coalition-modified Solarian surplus provided to the League by certain member-states such as Himeo or Gadpathur.”

“When is that post from?”

“Yesterday. We’ve also seen rumors of Gadpathurian involvement but nothing solid yet.”

“Worrying. We inquired with the Gadpathurian consulate on Xanu and have as of yet received no response.”

“We’ll keep our eyes open.” Gopal then seems to pause a moment, lifting a finger to his right ear. ”— but for now the producers have told me we’re overdue for a word from our sponsors.”

“Oh,” Deschamps looks fairly disappointed at this. “I suppose we are. We’ll be right back, viewers!”

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LIVE: Pact Retreats Following League Assault!

Act 1 Article 8 of the Amor Patriae arc

The camera zooms in on, as always, Mariska van den Soeterik, the dedicated host of XNS’ foreign news segment. Her augmented eyes glow slightly as she reaches across the table for her holo-paper.

“Good evening and welcome to XNS’ foreign news hour. I’m your host Mariska van den Soeterik. Today’s top story is the retreat of the Middle Ring Shield Pact’s forces following a renewed assault by the League some have accused Gadpathur of supporting. We go now to Liao Qi, our reporter in the Pact’s capital of San Colette. Liao?”

The camera switches to Qi, who is currently standing near a road in front of a series of nearly identical prefab buildings next to his Civil Huard escort, de la Fuente. He nods, showing he’s heading van den Soeterik.

“The situation in the Pact has begun to look increasingly dire since the League’s invasion, and we’re currently standing outside one of the signs of this. Behind me is Refugee Facility 692,” he points over at the facility. “It was finished yesterday and is already being used to house Solarians displaced by the League’s recent offensive, which has already taken several Pact systems. The Pact and Free Solarian Fleets are performing what the government has described as a fighting retrea—“

“Look out!” an individual off-camera shouts, potentially camerawoman Odette Noyer judging by her voice. Qi is grabbed by de la Fuente, his Civil Guard escort, and pulled out of view as a number of vehicles bearing Civil Guard insignia on their sides and carrying large missiles scream down the road at a positively unsafe speed. After a minute the vehicles stop passing by and the camera shifts to follow them as they disappear into the distance. A dusty, and somewhat shaken-looking, Qi then reappears in front of the camera, looking dire.

“Liao?” Mariska asks. “Are you alright?”

Qi nods again. “Yeah. Yeah, I’m fine! I’m not sure what those trucks were, but the gover—“

“Those were anti-orbital missiles,” de la Fuente states, her usual expression of neutral disapproval broken by worry. She looks at Qi. “Give me your microphone.”


“Liao. Give me the microphone.”

Qi hesitates for a moment and then passes her the microphone, looking nearly as concerned as de la Fuente is.

“Hello,” the Civil Guard officer begins, looking both worried and nervous. “My name, uh, is Leticia de la Fuente. I’m, I’m an officer, here. In San Colette’s military. And I’m— I’m only 22, and I’m just a Corvette Lieutenant, but—“ she pauses. “I don’t know who’s listening to this, or if this will even be heard in Sol, but we need help! We’re fighting for the Alliance! We— we— you can’t just leave us to die here! This is our home, and we’re Solarian citizens! Just like you! Don’t— don’t just leave us!”

de la Fuente goes silent. Gone is the previously sour-faced Civil Guard officer assigned to Liao Qi and resenting it. She looks terrified, and like she’s about to break out into tears. Qi, breaking from his usual neutral news reporter routine, pulls the Coletter into a hug. She begins crying, and the camera lingers for a moment before switching over to a grim-looking van den Soeterik. She says nothing as the broadcast fades out into black.

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LIVE: Coalition Special Committee Discusses the Wildlands Crisis

Act 1 Article 10 of the Amor Patriae arc

The camera opens onto a meeting room on Xanu Prime filled with the same faces as the last meeting, almost all of which appear to be some form of irate. Thaman, Gadpathur’s delegate, is shouting something at his Konyanger counterpart.


“—that’s quite enough out of you!” Magar shouts, banging his gavel for emphasis. Thaman sits, and Magar turns to the Konyanger delegation. “Now, your evidence you wish to present.”


“Representative Magar,” Gim stands, holding a folder of papers and walking toward the chairman. “These documents contain communications between Gadpathur and the League intercepted by the Konyang Armed Forces. I’m certain you’ll find them quite interesting.”


As Gim places the papers down Thaman practically erupts from his seat, causing the Konyanger officer to react a bit too quickly for a human as she reaches for something which should be at her hip but is not there.


“How dare you treat this as if it is negative!” Thaman bellows, to confused looks by most aside from him. “Only Gadpathur is willing to intervene in the Wildlands, and we are not ashamed to do what is necessary!”


“You’re nothing but a fool!” Seok shouts back, pushing himself up from his chair. “You’ll bring us to the brink of another Interstellar War if the Alliance opts to intervene in the region!”


“Let the Solarians come! We will defeat them once again!”


“Representative Thaman, has Gadpathur forgotten the economic damage of the War?!” Magar shouts back, looking more irate than he ever has. “You must cease this madness at once!”


Thaman snorts, sneering at his counterpart.


“Your planet’s economic relations with the Solarians have made you weak, Rohan. Only we have the strength to do what is necessary!”


“I will see your planet expelled from the Coalition!”


“You will be no better than the Solarian!”


“Enough!” Violante stands, interrupting the screaming match. “By the Light of Ennoia are we granted the wisdom of cooperation and Coalition, and entrusted not to stray from this course. I implore you all to come to your senses and see no enemies are in this room — only misguided allies.”


Thaman considers this for a moment and promptly storms out of the room, slamming the door behind himself. His colleagues watch him leave with expressions of confusion.


“Most honorable chairman, I move to permit a recess,” Violante stated after a moment of awkward silence.


“Right,” Magar resumes, adjusting his glasses — perhaps out of reflex rather than any real need. “The committee is adjourned until further notice.”


A bang of the gavel signals the end of the broadcast.

Edited by NewOriginalSchwann
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Live Updates: War in the Northern Wildlands

Act 1 Article 11 of the Amor Patriae arc

Following the typical XNS jingle the camera focuses on a screen displaying the Northern Wildlands flanked by analysts Ajit Gopal and Delphine Deschamps. The right side of the map is more red than before, and the left is more black. The gray Pact-labeled chunk in the middle has shrunken slightly.


“Good evening!” Deschamps begins, “And welcome to another session of XNS analysis regarding the ongoing conflict in the Northern Wildlands. Today we’ll be focusing on two recent conflict zones confirmed through analysis by Amit’s team.”


“Right. The first one,” Gopal taps the screen and zooms into a section of the SRF-Pact Front. Various symbols marking FSF, MRSP, and SRF units can be seen. They seem to be concentrated around a single point. “—is the Victoria System, which is home to shipbuilding yards built by Hephaestus in the orbit of New Peoria. Currently it’s being effectively held by a mixed Pact-mercenary force against a Front assault, and has become a focal point of fighting in this area.”


“Due to the shipyards, right. Any other reasons?”


“There’s a couple. The most obvious one is the shipyards, which have to be either demolished or moved, and are presumed to be the main reason the Pact’s dug in so hard here. The other reason’s a less economic one: New Peoria’s got a warp gate leading straight to San Colette and has been a major hub for refugees fleeing the Front’s offensive for San Colette proper. The Pact can’t easily give it up and is likely trying to get as many people out as it can before they need to destroy it.”


“It sounds dire.”


Gopal nods grimly. “It’s a humanitarian crisis in the making. There’s another system like this on the League front you found, right?”


“That’s right. On the opposite front,” she taps the screen a few times and brings up a similar screen to the previous one, but with different borders and colors. “—we have Hudson’s Star. Before the Collapse it was a relatively prosperous industrial system with a heavy orbital mining industry, but that’s likely not what the League is intent on taking. They’re likely attempting to secure the Solarian Navy compound known as Baffin Station, which is rumored to contain repair facilities the League presently lacks.”


“Is it still intact?”


“Unfortunately, we don’t know. FSF vessels in the area have been unusually quiet compared to previous weeks of the conflict and nobody can speak as to the quality of the facilities, or if they’re even still intact! It wouldn’t surprise me if this is simply a stalling action by the Pact.”


“Well, that’s-“ Gopal reaches up to his ear again. “—something to discuss after a word from our sponsor, Einstein Engines! We’ll be back shortly.”


The crushingly disappointed face of Deschamps fades out and is shortly replaced with an ad for shell-safe nanopaste built on Konyang. What a deal!

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