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Fishery Upgrades Now Complete In Lakeside

 


 

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Local fishery units have finally completed their upgrade to class one fish breeding facilities on the shore of the city of Lakeside.



These new units will see an increase in fish yields of up to 23% as soon as next month. Units fabricated locally at Pieces Industries have been in the processes of being upgraded by a joint NanoTrasen-Pieces venture to boost fishing exports in the region, largely to supplement the continuous growth of Mendell City and its booming population. Harold Chapman, COO of Pieces Industries, told the press that "we at Pieces Industries are proud of what we have accomplished here today, providing enhanced services to our clients to ensure the perpetuation of their livelihoods and the continued growth of the city and of Biesel itself."


When questioned about the rumors of an acquisition deal between Pieces Industries and NanoTrasen Mr Chapman stated that "such talks are certainly not off the table."

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Craterview Boat Races Start Once Again



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After six years of Hiatus, Craterview Council has allowed the famous boat races to go on once again.



The Great Crater Race began forty-four years ago in 2405 as a homage to the traditions still taking place in Sol today. However, six years ago the races were banned amidst several cases of illegal betting and multiple accidents. This controversial decision was hotly contested by locals and foreigners alike.


"It is a complete shutdown of the cultural heritage of the people of Craterview and it's historical ties to the coastal cities of Terra past", commented Jane Hurdin, the lead yachtswoman for the NanoTrasen sponsored team The Blue Ferrets.


Jonas Uilman, the Mayor or Craterview when the ban was put in place, gave a statement at the time concerning the ban: "It is in the best case of both the city and it's people that the races be postponed for the time being, until regulations can be put in place to stop the unsportsmanlike behaviour exercised by many of the teams competing in our annual competition."


However yesterday, the local council released a press statement saying the official ban on the event has been completely lifted, though no officials would release comment as to the reason for this decision. Many fans and locals were delighted by the news with preperations already underway for the start whistle to blow once again in two weeks time.


Olly Merty, the team leader of the Combat Wombat team from the nearby town of Stoney gave a response concerning his opinion on the ban being lifted: "It's wonderful, absolutely wonderful. Once again we'll get to practice the heritage of our people, and to bring some fun back into the water of Craterview."

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A Day with the Queen



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A lovely aerial shot of Phoenixport, visible in the distance are the three 'bird' Talons that gave the city its namesake, and more recently the new home for its small Vaurca population.

By Alastair Lindin


This week at the Bieselitte we sit down with one of the more enigmatic figures of recent history, Ta'Akaix' Athvur'zekt'azi Zo'ra, one of the five Queens to the Zo'ra hive. For our readers unfamiliar with Vaurcan societies, the Queens are very important in that they are progenitors of every other Vaurca, and the pillars that their civilization is founded upon. We begin with an interview, taking place in a large subterranean chamber in the Alpha Talon district where Ta'Akaix' Athvur'zekt'azi Zo'ra shares her day to day with me in clear and perfect basic.


 

"How do you, as a queen start your day?"

"My days do not have an ending or beginning, rather that when my body needs to sleep, it fulfills this need while I oversee my children from the virtual. If you mean how I prefer to begin day cycles, I rather enjoy reading the news."

 


 

"So you enjoy the news?"

"Yes. Very much so. Written and digital media is fascinating. It provides ambiguity and emotion not normally found within our communication."

 



 

"Moving on, how do you feel about the overall situation of Vaurca within Tau Ceti?"

"I believe that much work still needs to be done if Tau Ceti wishes to meet the ideals it lauds to the rest of the Galaxy. I'm confident in President Dorn and my mother to do the right thing for all species, not just Vaurca."

 


 

"Back to topic, What it like? Your day to day?"

"From the movies I've watched of human culture, I'm sure that most humans believe I spend all day every day within an egg chamber or something. While such a thing does occur from time to time, my duties typically involve much more tedious tasks. Other Ta typically busy themselves with newborn, I spend much of my time within diplomatic and corporate meetings. Governments and Corporations want what my hive provides and business dealings with them often have far reaching effects, on entire populations, not just Vaurca. Other times, I task myself with learning your fascinating alien cultures."

 


 

"What is it about human culture that you enjoy?"

"Its ambiguity. So many things in your culture are based on assumptions. It may seem odd, but such things have never existed for Vaurca. It makes the entire concept absolutely fascinating. Entire parts of your culture seem to exist simply to obfuscate meaning or perspective."

 


 

"How do you mean?"

"Take for example this interview. You are writing my words down, my words have been obfuscated by your writing them, even if you choose to write them exactly as I say them. Even in your digital media, the filter exists, in that you cannot experience my words from my perspective and thought. This ambiguity is found in many areas of human culture, and I believe it's partly why we have taken a liking to human fashion.Humans made clothes to protect and obfuscate the naked human organism after all."

 



You can find the rest of the interview at our website, but as we concluded the interview I was taken with Ta'Akaix' Athvur'zekt'azi Zo'ra royal retinue aboard a short range shuttle in preparation of tonight's event. Meeting us there was Ta'Akaix' Athvur'zekt'azi Zo'ra personal tailor, The Stylist Formerly Known as Simon who had this to say about his royal employer

 

"It's a fascinating job, really.She provides so much to her people, and trusted me with designing an attire befitting someone of her status. I think the galaxy did the Vaurca a real wrong when they arrived, and it's up to us to make it right."

 

The days activities continued with a corporate luncheon, with some of the galaxies biggest players in attendance. We left Ta'Akaix' Athvur'zekt'azi Zo'ra's side at the conclusion of the days events,at the Coliseum opera house.The Coliseum troupe were performing the timeless human classic Giulio Cesare.Many of Biesels elites were in attendance, as was Ta'Akaix' Athvur'zekt'azi Zo'ra, wearing a lovely fashion design by Simon.

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Metropolis Man Makes House Out of Dionae!


 

Daniel Shylo, 76, a Metropolis-area bio-mechanical engineer and xenobotanist, has done something in private for the past months that he has finally come to the public about - He has built - or, GROWN, a home with his team of researchers in the middle of the Salt Desert. His new home, five hundred feet away from his brick-and-mortar private lab, is made of diona nymphs.



 

 

 

'Their name is To Taste From The Creek, and House the Grateful. We've grown them since we first took a sample from the Reade colossus, my team and I. Three months ago, they were only a worker - four nymphs, size of a person. Now, we estimate that Taste has about 300 nymphs - You can tell we've been feeding them well.'

 

 


The dionae house is fully furnished, and even has a TV, a toilet, and a sink. The gestalt grows its own lighting in the house, from small 'pods' that store energy and release ambient light when it is needed. The furniture is mostly made of the gestalt itself, but with minor additions. A table in the main living area has a marble top placed on a stack of nymphs, there are pillow cushions on a couch-shaped bundle of nymphs, and the toilet is just a chair of more diona with a hole in the middle - there is no need for plumbing, the gestalt simply absorbs the refuse! Gross, and cool!


 

House the Grateful co-operated really well with us, and it was less of a construction project and more of a friendship that grew with the house. House is not fond of people who it did not know when it was young, likely because they only knew us - and were not social. In the future,

if we do a project like this again, we will have it be public, so the gestalt may know social interactions better and enjoy the experiences of new people when it grows larger.

 


When asked if they would open Taste from the Creek to the public, they stated "We believe that Taste would not enjoy more people, and they seem satisfied with simply being what they are now."

 


-Growing a house of nymphs on your own is not recommended unless you are a trained professional.

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New Power Infrastructure Nears Completion

 



 

New energy distribution project nears completion as hundreds of miles of high voltage direct current cabling is laid between key cities across Biesel.


After a successful bid on the 'Biesel Energy Distribution Project' by NanoTrasen, the companies state of the art mobile power facility the NCV Ikon has docked with the new Mendell City Orbital Power Relay Platform and has been generating power for the city for the last few weeks. After completion of the infrastructure upgrade the Ikon will be able to feed power across a new planetary grid providing clean, cheap power for the citizens on Biesel.


Andrew Reynolds, Chief Relations Director of NanoTrasen told the press that "[NanoTrasen] is very happy with the current speed of the project. We could not wish for a more skilled and professional work force. I'd like to take this time to thank all our engineering teams across the Biesel Republic for their outstanding contributions to the company and to the people of Biesel."

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Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals Gaffe: Miranda Trasen Rebuffs Gift

 

Li Zeng-Hu, CEO of Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals, was left red-faced today. Early this morning Zeng-Hu stock prices on SOLDAQ enjoyed a sudden rise in value, jumping from 194 credits a share to 219 credits a share just before the market closed. This overtook NanoTrasen's share price of 199 credits a share.



Traditionally when a new mega-corporation beats a rival in share price, they send their competitor a gag gift. This time Li Zeng-Hu sent Miranda Trasen a 'Get Well Soon!' card with an attached photo of the market index, signed by himself and three of his company's Board members. Miranda Trasen recieved this card just minutes before the stocks closed for the day. Unfortunately for Zeng-Hu, the share price of their stock suffered a sudden plummet, falling to 192 credits a share mere seconds before trading ended. NanoTrasen's share price remained dominant at 200 credits per share.


Miranda Trasen sent back the card with a penned letter saying,

 

Thank you for the concern. We feel fantastic!


Signed, Miranda.

 

This incident has proven embarrassing for Zeng-Hu and has sparked a small storm across social media. Historically the mega-corporations have a long and colorful history of sarcastic or passive aggressive exchanges between their leadership. Last year Einstein Engines overtook Zeng-Hu Pharmacuticals in share value for three solid days, prompting Einstein Engines to send Zeng-Hu a 'Hang in there!' motivational poster.


One of the most famous gifts was Hephaestus Industries having its share price skyrocket to 218 credits in November of last year during NanoTrasen's own shares plummeting to 165 credits. Hephaestus remained the highest valued share prices for an entire week, prompting its CEO Titanius Aeson to mail Nanotrasen, Einstein Engines, and Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals signed 'Economics 101' textbooks. Famously, when NanoTrasen shares regained its market value Miranda Trasen released a photo of her using the textbook as a paperweight.

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"When Summer Came To Nazira" Becomes First Tajara-Directed Blockbuster

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Director Arzjun Haurjuhrl discusses the making of his new film, "When Summer Came To Nazira"

Director Arzjun Haurjuhrl's debut film has blasted into the number 10 spot for highest grossing films in Tau Ceti after it's opening weekend has seen 42 million credits in ticket sales across Biesel and Tau Ceti. Director Haurjuhrl also receives the honor of being the first Adhomai-based immigrant to direct a blockbuster hit in Tau Ceti.



The 2 hour and 12 minute film, When Summer Came To Nazira, follows the story of Haujarl Zakul, a young farmer living with his family outside the village in an ambiguous era before human contact. His childhood's defining moments are his mother buying him a short children's book from a wandering merchant that he grows to cherish. One day their cruel town nobleman, Raknur Jurlkzl has Zakul's family hanged for the crime of possessing a book while he is away gathering herbs. Zakul is driven from his farmstead at the age of 22 and meets a mysterious and embattled guerilla leader, Azanya Jazjurhl, who fights against the oppression of the nobles. He joins her cause and together they assemble a diverse group of Tajara from all walks of life with the goal of overthrowing their corrupt Lord. The climax of the movie, after Azanya has been captured by the evil Lord to be executed, has the freedom fighters storm the Lord's castle under the cover of night. Zakul eventually corners the Lord on his balcony high up in the castle, where Jurlkzl is holding Azanya hostage. He threatens to kill Azanya unless the rebels let him flee. Zakul reluctantly agrees, and lets the Lord slip away. Azanya chastises him for letting the man escape, but Zakul confesses he loves her and could not bear to see her killed. The town is liberated and its people begin to rebuild and discuss their hopes for the future. The movie ends on an uncertain note after jumping ahead weeks later, when a harried scout bursts into Zakul and Azanya's room announcing that Jurlkzl is marching on the town with an army from allied nobles. Zakul seems to address the audience directly when he solemnly declares that the people will only remain free if they have the will to resist the tireless forces of tyranny.


Critics have given the film mostly favorable reviews, citing the strength of its characters and a good balance between humor and realism. The special affects have also been praised, with most sequences using practical effects. Most of the shooting took place on location in Biesel's north pole, where miniature sets were constructed. To heighten the sense of immersion the audience would get from the actors, Haurjuhrl banned chairs from the set, leaving them literally on their toes.


The actors are also all first generation immigrants, a notable first for a Tau Ceti film. The actress UIazkahl Jamurl who played Azanya has already gained a cult following for the hardened action hero she played in the film. Miazurl Ajzal, who played the protagonist Zakul, has also been flirted as a favorite for any future awards from the upcoming Tau Ceti Platinum Globe awards.


The film has proven a significant hit with Tau Ceti's tajara population. Haurjuhrl has already been invited to speak at a film festival in Mendell City, where he spoke at length about his experiences as a Zhan living on Adhomai before moving to Tau Ceti.


"Haurjuhrl is an inspiration to all Tajara who move to Tau Ceti for a better life," a zhan Tajara told our reporter after the festival, "this one is very excited to see our culture gaining exposure here."


With a budget of 59 million credits, it's expected that the film will continue to rake in profits as it continues to play for the duration of the week.

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Tau Ceti Heat Wave Hits Biesel

 

A solar irradiance event from Tau Ceti is set to temporarily increase temperatures across Biesel upwards of 10°C over the next two weeks from today.

A freak solar irradiance event has triggered an increase in temperature across Biesel with Mendell City, Scottsdan and Ashton seeing temperatures as high as 37°C. Other regions are expected to see at least a minimal increase of 2-4°C.


Thought a dramatic increase, NanoTrasen science teams have confirmed that the event itself should only last for the next few weeks and that there should be no long lasting issues. Science teams have also been deployed to study the phenomenon.


In light of the increased levels of solar energy the NCV Ikon, based in orbit around Mendell City, has deployed all of its solar panel systems to take advantage of the event.

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Galaxy Cuisine, a Review



By Alastair Lindin


Today at the Bieselitte I travel to District Two on a gastronomic quest to locate a recently famous house of food, serendipitously called Galaxy Cuisine. Languishing in the dry-wet air at the beginning of April, the budding of life within Phoniex park backdrops my journey. Even with my hovercars windows up, I could smell the aromas of the park, a mixture of nectar and renewal, (aka pollen.) Beneath it all, however, I smelt the smoke of a wood stove, signaling to those that know, that I was close. Proceeding by hovercar around a corner at the perimeter of the park grounds, I saw it, a small holosign declaring this nestled nook Galaxy Cuisine. A three-story flat from the outside, it was only the subtle smell of a wood stove, combined with the sign and the not so subtle smell of mouth-watering delights that betrayed that this was, in fact, a restaurant. Outside, an assemblage of aliens came and went. The traffic not too thick, but rather steady. I've got a thought however that this may as well change after this article reaches circulation. So, apologies in advance, dear readers for the wait times you may suffer through.


Parking my hovercar, I joined with the throng of people heading inside. Dionae, Vaurca, Skrell, Tajara, Unathi and of course, yours truly, with some humans filed through, as the line crept forward, I thought to myself of the unfathomable distance and time separated each of the assembled species. Millions of years of evolution and chance, and yet through all of this, some order of the universe united us all here, attempting to secure a good meal. To me, the pursuit of a good meal should be a universal truth. Philosophical musing aside, once through the doors, It was like I was yanked off of Tau Ceti and dropped right into a Jargon Federation planet. Clearly, of skrellian design, the interior sported smooth, curved metal, juxtaposing the angular metal and stone exterior of the building. The inside was much larger than I expected, the back wall of the building yawning forward, the sleek metal guiding my eyes past every corner. I was quick to notice different 'sections', each housing a different species, in many cases. In one section, isolated by a clear wall of glass I suppose, a group of dionae and dionae nymphs chirped and chipped under multihued lights of different intensity. Between them was a metal table, and upon that table appeared to be a prepared animal carcass I didn't recognize but it looked somewhat like a pig. With a somewhat morbid fascination, I watched the nymphs masticate small bits of the creature's flesh, flicking bits of it with long tendrils extending from their head. The larger dionae simply watched, as if waiting.


A stilted feminine robotic voice jerked me from my pensive purveying of nymphian pork, and I turned to face a first generation baseline IPC. It was oddly dressed in what you might see a human diner waitress wearing from Terra's far past. Its faultless monitor showed a digital smile, and its matte red epoxy coating looked pristine, with none of the cracks you might expect to see from such a units age. It greeted me, and after introducing itself as Waitress Two, they asked if I preferred multispecies or humanity seating, motioning with one metal digit the stairs behind it. As she pointed, another IPC, this one solid blue, strode down, moving with mechanized precision, carrying a hefty tray. I parroted the former rather than the latter and was sat on the first floor.


After a spritely meal of a Tajara inspired plate of clam chowder, I spoke with some of the patrons. The building itself possessed a sub-basement, and going down I could find many Vaurca enjoying carefully prepared meals. Down here it seems there was a small separate kitchen, with a studious skrell overseeing activities in perfectly white chef attire. The owner of this fine establishment that I've been looking for, Gulupl'tulak Qulpatua'aud. After brief introductions, I was able to speak to them in an upper room of the building. I was surprised to see chalkboards, coating nearly every corner of this room, Gulup's office, as it were. Plastered on each were rows and rows of chemical calculations, and detailed protein diagrams. After we sat, Gulup answered my most obvious question, first.


"I do not like to rely on machines so much. It is easier to keep it in here," points to his head. "But chalkboards are a good second. Better than a machine."


"But your waitresses?" I inquired.


"Needed." Gulup paused a moment as if considering his next words. "Given the nature of my work, not many skrell would claim to be a food scientist, or work in its practical applications. Additionally, they are free. I receive a benefit from the government for employing them. Not that they could do much else than wait tables."


"I see. What do you think being a food scientist entails?" I said, finally getting to my prepared notes.


Gulup furrowed his forehead a moment before speaking." It means you develop protein chains that are palatable for different species."


And that's what you do, The uh, protein chains I mean? I inquired.


"Yes, Buyout offer of formula was made. Did sell. Practical applications of my formula require my and my employee's hands to work."


"How do you feel about the market? Theres been some rumors you could expand into a franchise?" I said finally.


"Perhaps. Unlikely to be easy without competition from Getmore. Will need to see data before commenting." At this, a beep was heard in the lower floors and he excused himself.


I found out later that a unathi had ordered an entire roasted thresh beast for their sons birthday and this brings me to the point of this article, and the end of my story. With all the uncertainty and violence in the world, with all the problems we face and discrimination that other non-humans may endure, its places like this that sell me on the idea that we can live together. That no matter what species receives light or darkness from the day and night cycles of this planet, we can all sit down and enjoy a meal. It doesn't matter at the dinner table if you are a skrell or a unathi, a synth or a tajara, a vaurca or a human or dionae. What matters, in all of these cases, is the food!

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A Sip of Vaurcaesian Culture



By Yunyi Peng-Walker


I was waiting in the line for what seemed like ten minutes with the Vaurca next to me. She was nearly towering next to me, but no taller than seven feet, with a light orange exoskeleton. Pretty peachy, I'd say.


"I understand you came quite a way here."

The Vaurca nodded, raising the blindfold over her largest set of eyes and cleaning at them with her fingers.

"Luthien izz a bit vhar, yes. But, our Queen hazz.. extended zzome efforts to your speciezzz, as Athvur hazz at the Aurora zztation.."

There were a lot of people crowded around this part of Phoenixport, people of all races and cultures. Flashy prosthetic arms played around with the same pockets as long, flowing capes, sitting well under the height of three massive leather-jacketed Unathi. It was a sight to behold, really. I looked back to my Zorane companion, herself dressed in just some gear straps and a cloak of some remarkably tough fabric. I admire her simplicity.


"So, Koth, for our readers at home on their tablets and holoscreens, what exactly goes into making a can of Zo'ra Soda?"

She clicked her mandibles together, making a frightening chittering sound before turning to me. Another step forward in line, we were getting close.

"Firzzt, we have the V'krexi. Thezze are very similar to your "wazzps" really. They can vhly very vhazzt, but for much longer dizztances and with much more zztrength if fed by their larvae. They zzecrete this nutritiouzz mixture, a little boozzt, tazztes a little bitter maybe. We mix that in with variouzz vhlavors. No k'oizzz or vhoron needed. I'm told our mozzt popular vhlavor izzz cherry. But, we have venom grazzz vhlavor, even k'oizz flavor."

"And these are drinkable by all species?"

"Of courzzze. We do have one vhlavor for ourzzelves, Drone Vhuel. Humanzzz.. don't react zzo well to such potenzzzy."

"What's your favorite, Koth?"

She wiggled her antennae, grinding her mandibles together in some kind of deep thought.

"I have had to tazzzte test many of vhlavors, there are about four that never zztuck, but the best is Klaxan Energy Cruzzzh, perzzzonally. Many of uzz enjoy High Octane Zorane Might."

We were finally there, at a single vending machine, no one behind us. Plenty of people in the crowd were sipping away at cans of all colors, and I must say they did look like they had more pep in their steps.

I looked at the list of flavors, finally settling on something called 'High Octane Zorane Might.' I swiped my PDA, took my can, and Koth and I sat down on a nearby bench, the steel letting out a faint croak under Koth's weight. The can was.. certainly intimidating, nearly six inches tall, three around.

I sipped.

The flavor was similar to having a freezing cold spear driven through the bottom of ones' mouth, except the spear is coated in acid laced with bees and salt. It was the most intense flavor I've ever had, and I've had Ras'val Clams. But a minute later, I was feeling wonderful. I felt like I could run from our bench to the frontier and back, and I wanted to.

"Yezz, I smell the adrenaline. The Queen of Corpzzes does not cut cornerzzz." She waved her antennae happily, sipping at a black can with navy highlights. Drone Fuel, as said. I think that's one flavor I can skip out on.

Editor's note: Queen of Corpses refers to Ta'Akaix'Xakt'yagz'isk Zo'ra


I went home satisfied, brimming with new energy. I think it's safe to say Zo'ra Soda, whether your skeleton is on the inside or the outside, will grow on you like k'ois.

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Halyconic Gardens, a Review

 

By Alastair Lindin


My review this week takes me to one of the more wealthier parts of the city outskirts. Plasteel highrises and residential concrete jungles give way to the lush countryside as we chewed the miles behind us. My cameraman and I move out of the interior of Mendell, indeed just outside of the city proper and bordering the Adica Nature Preserve. Along the way we pass what spare farmland Mendell bosts, with my hovercar crossing paths with several limousines. The further we went, the further we saw that the roads themselves were immaculate, with complex hedges of wild, alien animals indicating that we were approaching our destination. As we crested around the final corner a massive globe of silver glass lays before us, its gleam enshrouded in overhead cloud shadow. Greenery abounded where-ever I looked within the perimeter of the garden's grounds. They were lined with trees both alien and familiar. In each of their recesses complex, bas-reliefs depict birds in flight, crossing wooden leagues of sea, space, and forest in their foregrounds. This only drew my eyes for a moment, before my attention was stolen by the primal arboreal caricatures at the grounds center.


A giant green liger fought a thresh beast, their battle immortalized in leafy hedgework. They were both bound in vines, growing so finely that I had to strain my eyes to distinguish them. To my amazement, I could see these hedge animals move, the vines flexing and pulling like muscles. They moved in pre-programmed poses, endlessly mirroring the give and take of their mock battle. Staring at the hedge for another cycle of its poses, I hardly noticed that my hovercar had parked. It was only when it produced an annoying beep that it broke me from the deadly hedge dance that had enthralled me. Leaving my car, I took my place with the other event goers, eager to witness what ingenuity had built this marvel.


We did not need to wait long. Aliant Volvalaad met with each of us as the silver gates of the dome opened. Ushering us in, to say it was a sensory overload would be a disservice. White Hyacinths abounded between vines of an alien plant that unfurled its boughs as it rose from the ground, twisting and opening its leaves like a budding lotus. From just those open buds, a sweet-smelling aroma wafted from oversized fleshy purple fruits. Inchoate mass of primrose, corn and alien plants arise from bleeding trees, their white sap flayed with mushrooms. Beyond this, amber saffron tendrils entwined the path between the bucolic natural wonders, breaking the pale silvery light from beyond the dome between its sun-kissed lattices. Massive Zuzi fruits, tremendous chickpea pods, grapes of every color upon every vine, and blue tomatoes grew along the path, and our host eagerly baid us to pick what we wanted. I picked a vine of grapes and to my surprise, each individual grape tasted like a different thing. Heavy sour, sweet, savory aromas hit me at once in ever-changing degrees. From this, I could not help but feel sad, as with each passing moment of its tasting, this plant, this ambrosia left me wanting.I knew, then that it could not possibly get better, but I was wrong, it did. To say I was satisfied would be incorrect dear readers. As I found out later that, every plant within the dome was editable, and they were all different. Some even appealed to strictly meat-eating species. This, with an ample supply of wine, concluded my meal and its with this that I move to my final point.


Beauty is everywhere. It lays within the heart of every sentient and culture. Looking back at my visit I am ashamed to say I had expectations. That the face of the culture I was meeting effected my precognitions. To just see this place is an experience, one that I would be lesser without and in the end, All experiences are this way. There is beauty in all things, in all cultures and species but it is fleeting. To say that we as a galactic community focus on the negatives is an understatement. There is beauty underneath us all, and with just some effort, it can be brought to light.

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Recreational Narcotics Legalised

 


Congress has passed a bill championed by the Republican party and President Dorn to legalise the trade and consumption of the chemicals Mercury Mono lithium Sucrose (colloquially known as "space drugs"), and Psilocybin alongside the Ambrosia Deus plant and Reshi mushroom.


Long debated and controversial, the new bill aims to legalise the trade of these products under a chemical contract bid which has since been won by the NantoTrasen Corporation which will be providing a new range of products across Tau Ceti. President Dorn told press that "we've had many barriers put up by the Democrats but today the voice of the people triumphs. Rest assured that the Republican party has the best interest of all citizens at heart. You talk and we listen. Always." Andrew Reynolds, NanoTrasens Chief Relations Director gave a statement. "As always, NanoTrasen is committed to provided excellent, quality products at affordable prices to the citizens of Tau Ceti and we are glad we have been chosen to provide our new range to our customers here in Biesel. I think you'll be mighty pleased with our offerings."

 

OOC INFO

 

Yes this means you can smoke, eat and drink the space drug chem, the psilocybin chem, Ambrosia Deus and Reshi on station as you would do with alcohol. Like alcohol, being intoxicated out of your mind whilst trying to do surgery is going to get you brigged and IR'ed so fast your characters feet won't even touch the ground. Likewise stumbling around intoxicated may get you the big brig. Consider your character and be sensible when both enjoying drugs and punishing their excessive use. Security mains - i105 "Indecent Exposure or Hooliganism" should cover druggie weenies if required. Any security feedback is appreciated, let us (staff and CCIA) know how you get on.

 

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An Unexpected Dive into District 15

The first part of a 15 part series, excerpts are made available for our readers.

 

By Alastair Lindin

As the floor opened and lowered us down, the flamboyant and colorfully dressed orange tajaran led me across the outside perimeter of a misty ice-box half the length of the stadium. Wiping my hand across its glass surface to clear off the misty frost, I could see a roiling shape moving in the partially frozen water. Then, with a whistle and wink from Zapashy, the titan broke the surface and I stood in awe in the shadow of the arisen behemoth.- Lindin,  A Journey through the Districts

 

 

My review this week takes me to Zapashy’s Extra-Galactic Menagerie and Oddities, a Circus troupe originally from Adhomai. They are set to perform semi-regularly at the Trasen Memorial Stadium, a domed building right at the base of Nanotrasen Galactic Headquarters located in the heart of Mendel city itself. 

This review will be slightly different however, as it has come to our attention that many first time visitors to Mendell are often ignorant of the cities districts, domiciles, and drinking establishments. Eager to experience the city in this way on our way to the circus, my crew and I decide to use ground autos as opposed to hovercar. For our purposes, my producer had scheduled a ride to meet us at the Mendel-Phoenixport Ferryjet. This is our journey.

Lifting off from the Ferryjet not 50 feet from us is a fleet of hovercars. Some collected their owners or passengers as still more lifted off, their ionized trails of charged air speeding behind them as those first few race off into the pre-dawn city skyline. We sat waiting for what seemed like hours as the dock slowly emptied with only dock staff and seagulls for company. By the time our ride did show up, the Ferryjet and its synthetic and vaurcan operators were already on their way back to Phoenixport. 

Most of the crew was furious, but that anger subsided when we saw what we would be riding into town. Rolling up to us and squeaking to a stop, a worn out matte white van drove by a young unathi named Siddhas Isatayk greeted us.The sides of the van were painted in bright red ceti basic and sinta'unathi, declaring, ISATAYK TRUTH ACTION NEWS. Interrupting the letters at regular intervals were also pox-like bullet holes, large enough to fit a finger into.

 Noticing us, Siddhas simply racked his knuckles across his auto as one would a faithful beast of burden, “Armored, itsssss no problem.”  With this, and despite our previous frustrations, Siddhas' cheerful demeanor and apparent respect for our craft made us fast friends. As we started to chew the miles behind us it began to get brighter. The blue-blackness of Biesels night waning to herald the start of our adventure proper. 


Reviewing for the benefit of first-time readers or visitors to Mendel, we will be traveling through each and every district on our journey. Mendel is, unlike my Phoenixport, a city with a diverse economy, having 15 unique districts with extremely different communities and ways of life. The populations of each vary considerably as does the district's history. These articles should approximate an overview of each one for our readers, but as with all things, performing your own research is vital to discover what might interest you in Mendel, or any other city for that matter.

Our first stop is District 15, or the ‘Jie District.’ Nestled at the outskirts of Mendel proper, the history of the Jie District is an interesting one. It started off in 2279 as a refugee encampment for fleeing humans of the First Interstellar War. Known as Suo District then, the district traces this name back to  Sol Alliance admiral Wen Suo, who was said to have organized the displaced loyal Solarian colonists. It was renamed Jie District in 2402, after a Republic admiral who grew up in this district. 

Saying all that, our personal view of the district is about what you would expect. Mendel itself recognizes it as a humanly populated slum, and for what we could see in our travels through the district I can agree--partly.

 Despite being listed as a slum, there's a notable lack of advertisements and corporate branding light polluting the surrounding cityscape. Run down buildings do exist, and the narrow streets that churn through the district have local business signs that you would not see anywhere else in Mendel. Omnipresent throughout is the noise of hovercars overhead, drowned out only by the clamor of roadside businesses that pour out of the districts main street shabby facades. 

Speaking with the people of Jie district, it becomes apparent that enclaves of Alliance support abound here. All the local businesses use logos that are variations of Alliance imagery. Local radio and net signal the same, constantly providing updates on the status of the Alliance, as well as its political situation. The people also appear to harbor anti-corporate sentiments, as we were consistently asked by the people we spoke with if we were ‘corporate dogs’. 

After some searching and shopping, we were told by some friendly folks about the local dives, and so we found ourselves stopping at an Alliance themed bar named the ‘Seven-Suns.’ Despite the name and the current political situations in the Alliance, we were not otherwise bothered, and the atmosphere of the establishment, indeed the entire market row seemed homely.

“It's easy to tell who lives here. The people that live inner city, they are too used to having their face crammed with so much excess, so much bullshit that they don’t see others around them.”, one individual, we spoke to said. 

Alliance aside, the drinks were good and the people were welcoming. On our way out of district we stopped by a local monument at the district center, a statue of Admiral Wen Suo in full regalia. The statue is clearly old and well maintained, acquiring a patina that only the most stridently cared for monuments hope to acquire across the centuries. The grounds around it also show care, and its with that that I reach my closing statements. 

The people of Jin district harbor a distrust of the increasingly globalized nature of our galaxy. Championed by megacorps, places like Jin District would become rarer and rarer as the march of time wears on, but in defiance of this, they value their history. Jin’s History as refugees, soldiers, even admirals is not forgotten. The people of Jin as a community harbor long memories, and to make yourself a part of the community here is to gain the trust of generations prior. 

We close out of the Jin prefecture by merging on the Inter-District Highway, the smell of oil in the air growing stronger as we neared District 14, the Scrapheap. 
 

 

Continued excerpts of this article will be made available to our readers in our next issue. 

Edited by Bygonehero

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District 14, Scrapheap Revealed!

The second part of a 15 part series, excerpts are made available for our readers.

By Alastair Lindin

Situated in the middle of the stadium was an army of creatures and critters of every shape. Miniaturized and exaggerated their features were, with too sharp edges, too colorful hides, too perfect spacing between them the only thing belying their mechanical nature. The dead-eyed creatures animated themselves as Zapashy led me in, becoming a sea of whirring faux animals as they undulated, shouldering a burden into view. “From the Frozen Tundras of Das'narra, where even the fastest beast can freeze to a standstill... Watch and be amazed as these frozen beasts come alive! He brings to you the Terrific Technomancer..... Slava Kantemirov!" proclaimed Zapashy enthusiastically.

The whirring hoard parted as a costumed tajaran emerged from its recesses. Her dark blue tech suit caught an iridescent firelight. Her thin spider fingers began to glow as she cracked her knuckles in an odd fashion. Suddenly the mass lifted her, interlocking themselves to create a high platform far above us as she languidly eased her body to the edge of the summit. With a short bow, she fell, twisting in the air between, igniting an iridescence in her suit and fingers that reflected off the exposed metal of the mechanical mass that roiled all around her. Her suit alighted between them, dancing as a candle flame in gale wind. The woman beneath the flame was gone, leaving an ember of light that masked the cold visage of the creatures, softening their edges with the heat of living.- Lindin,  A Journey through the District's


Our Van plowed through the inter-district highway away from District 15. We became enshrouded in a yellow-grey pall that hung low in the air like a noxious miasma, choking the daylight overhead. Air quality warning signs lined the road as we went, signaling us to affix breath masks. Ochre-56A, our camera operator panned wide shots 
Across the industrial expanse, ensuring to get close up shots of District 14’s infamous junk piles. 

Little comes in the form of local regulation in the interstices between district 15 and 14. Here, expanses of land collect the trash of Mendell’s 18 million residents. When the city was built, its original planners had this district at its outermost edges. Networks of automation funneled the cities waste and recycling efforts here to keep its interior environs clean. This process still hasn’t changed, as every hour on the hour, automated trucks dump tons of waste into disorganized piles for kilometers in every direction around us. 

We exit off of the highway and into the well-worn streets of outer district 14. Our camera operator had told us of a place in the deeper scrap that acts as a haven of a sort for the districts synthetic populace. As we moved through, mounds of intermixed garbage gave way to corroded metal, its organic constituents having rotted long ago. 

The air took on a coppery perfume as we reached the area of town known locally as 99EST. All about us, the scrap piles receded into organized structures of rusted, corrugated metal and plastic. Painted signs adorned some of the buildings with the entire area festooned in archaic contraptions and automata of every kind. Among the community, hard at work robots create electrical contacts that make  the street stink with ozone as the midmorning air burnt in the light of their many welding torches. 

We traveled along the center of 99EST, and some of the locals explained that places in their community are ordered by the age in years of the surrounding metal.They went on to tell us we had entered from 23EST, the superhighway exit.  At the prompting of Ochre-56A, a friendly synthetic local named EE-DV119 showed us to another area of town they called the Oxidized Fanes. The driving was tough, and I could tell our unathi companion was on edge as we followed in the van through automated traffic. 

About an hour later, we finally were able to exit onto an empty road and into our secluded destination.  I can write to you with honesty, that the Oxidized Fanes are worth the trouble. They are, quite simply, beautiful. A hidden treasure that I would have not seen prior to this journey. Here, it seems that the synthetic community has gone to great lengths to re-create famous temples of countless faiths, all arranged in such a way that they all take up an equal amount of space. Emblematic of styles upon ancient Earth, Adhomai and Qerrbalak, these recreated buildings would give Phoenixport a run for its money were they not made of mostly scrap metal.

Congregants of these temples came and went, with some of the more recognizable robots going to multiple places of worship. EE-DV119 explained that these places give newer and older robots hope and support. That, some of the devout among the fanes search for broken and thrown away synthetics, giving them a chance at living a new life and to find meaning in that life by using the wisdom of their creators.

Eager to see more, we visited one of the newer market sections of the scrapheap,2EST. I personally expected odd market niches to spring up around robotic communities and I was not disappointed. Robotics reign king here, with their trades meaning in basic parlance separated into four different sub-groups within district 14. They are commonly known as, harddocs, softdocs, wetdocs and drydocs. As some of the locals put it, knowing which is which, and which one would just steal your steel is important.


We spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the synthetic communities of district 14. I saw a few organics in that time, but we did find a disturbing amount of robots that, for some reason or another tried to sell themselves to our crew. Ochre-56A explained this phenomenon as ‘servile programming’, likening it to one of the worst problems facing free synthetics today. Another problem we witnessed just before leaving was several synthetic businesses refusing G2 robots. It was then that I realized that any time we saw a G2 they were either heavily damaged, alone or with a human. From what our guide was willing to tell us, generation 2 synthetics are heavily discriminated against in some peoples of the district 14.

Discrimination or not, we didn’t let that stop us. I quickly paid our guide in batteries, eager to be going on our way past the Scrapheap and into 14’s large industrial park.This sector of the district actually comprised most of its actual landmass, with the area itself situated upon a high artificial plateau, buttressed by plasteel about its perimeter.  As we crested the top of the concrete hill overlooking Scrapheap, we saw ahead of us a forest of enormous fume stacks belching their contents into the upper sky. 

Eddying swirls of burning gases capped their apexes, intermixing into a sickly pallor that was the sky of District 14. The smells of garbage faded, replacing themselves with the tang of acidic chemicals. Ground autos choked the highway we traveled, itself parting the sea of pipes and stacks like a great metal ocean or asphalt blood vein that fed into the heart of the city. 

We saw factories of every kind, producing every product, mineral, or animal. Still more factories for every corporation, every chemical process and refinement scheme. Countless sieves that render the natural world to the machinations of our civilization, all concentrated here so that the rest of the city can insulate themselves from their existence. Shockingly, I saw several non-human organic workers parade around these mega-factories, some without safety equipment or air devices, exposing themselves to the wasting air for the prospect of a wage.

The stories that could be told here lay behind barbed fences and security checkpoints. The security guards themselves recite boilerplate responses to our inquires, catechisms fed into them by better paid corporate lackeys. Taking notes and pictures, we left the industrial parks, making our way beyond district 14 borders. Ahead, the economic sector of the city and the greater economic part of the Orion Spur awaits us, District 13.
 

Continued excerpts of this article will be made available to our readers in our next issue

Edited by Bygonehero

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Shuttle Crash in the Romanovich Cloud


On 12.08.2461 at 13:25 standard time, the merchant vessel Rubinsky collided with the cruise ship Dreamland in the Romanovich Cloud.

According to the flight recorder logs the escape pods of the merchant vessel have been ejected at 13:30. The captain of the cruise ship ordered an evacuation at 13:50 after the structural integrity rapidly decayed. An official investigation regarding the cause of the collision has been launched by the Biesel Transport Authority.

 

Due to the immediate action of nearby vessels, most escape pods were recovered quickly. However, some were not caught and landed on a nearby asteroid which houses the Aurora Station, a Nanotrasen research installation. One of the survivors of this tragedy was Ms. Katt, a PR manager of a smart home startup on Luna, who traveled with her associates to Tau Ceti on a business trip. Our reporter, John Miller, managed to secure an exclusive interview with her, which can be found below.

 

Suffice to say, that they were treated in the way that Aurora’s security forces are known for according to insider circles. As the first survivor managed to get inside of the station, gasping for air, she was "greeted" by a security officer.  The officer "retrieved" her and steered her to a questioning room without ever getting a medical doctor to check her for any injuries she might have sustained. Even after she explained that she was a survivor of a nearby shuttle crash, they threatened to charge her and her associates that arrived on the station shortly after with trespassing. The crew of the Aurora never even sent out any search parties to check for any additional pods. Only after they managed to talk with the chief medical officer, things started to clear up.

To quote Ms. Kate:

"Security didn't care at all. They didn't try to find more emergency pods, they didn't care where we came from, all they wanted was "getting us into their system" and "being able to identify us". Just another day, I guess. Humanity is completely irrelevant for them, apparently."

Mr. Pyres had the following to say about his treatment by the Aurora Crew:

"After such a traumatic experience, and with only a handful of us alive, you'd think that whoever gave us sanctuary would be kind, hospitable, and understanding. Especially with a figure such as Chang Ling involved. Except, even at the unfortunate loss of our friend and colleague Romanos Huang, we were commanded to be processed like petty criminals instead of simply asking us like normal people who we were and for whom we worked. Only one officer had the basic decency and courtesy to accommodate us, but she was scolded for treating us like human beings.  All because we simply couldn't have gathered our wallets with our identities during the meteor shower, and because we weren't in some manifest that Nanotrasen conjured."

Mr. Chang offered us the following statement:

"Nanotrasen's facility Aurora is the most backwater facility I've ever been to.  When our cruise liner crashed, we were treated like criminals a few moments after coming aboard by thugs dressed in Security gear!  The only real professional one there who knew what she was doing, was security cadet Erin Song and their Chief Medical Officer, Fernando Gonzales! The other officers just said we were technically trespassing and threatened to detain us, and they took a full hour to even get someone to talk to since their captain fell asleep on the job! The hospitality was terrible! Terrible!

Interview between award-winning field journalist, John Miller, and small business owner Cindy Katt:

Spoiler

 

J: Ms. Katt, if you would be so kind and introduce yourself to our audience

K: My name's Cindy Katt, I, I am the PR manager of a small startup company, based on Luna, specializing in smart home technology. I was on a cruise, coming from Sol, through Tau Ceti and back to Sol, together with one of our big, potential investors, Mr. Ling from Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals and his personal assistant, Mr. Pyre.

J: Do you know what lead to the evacuation of your vessel?

K: Well, it was...very chaotic. One moment everything was calm, then suddenly there were alarms and announcements being shouted, shutters going down...first it was said to be meteors, but from what I understand the navigation systems of our cruise liner malfunctioned and we crashed into another ship...

J: You must have been glad that you got out alive. What happened afterwards? - Did your escape pod get picked up by nearby vessels or did you end up somewhere else entirely?

K: Well, we...or I, ran, of course, trying to get to those emergency pods. I have no idea if they always....behave like they did so I went in, hit the red button and it just went way....Most of it is automated probably...anyway, after a short time there was an enormous....like, "whomp" and the pod came to a halt. After some time I finally put up the courage to use one of the explosive bolts to open a door....of course, after putting on my emergency suit. All I saw was black nothingness. It turned out that I landed on one of the larger asteroids of the asteroid belt in the Romanovich Cloud.

J: Isn't there a Nanotrasen installation in the area. The NSS Aurora, if I remember correctly?

K: Yes....and after a hard struggle I finally made it there. Or well, a part of it. What I learned was that I ended up at the construction site.

J: They didn't send out any search parties after the distress call?

K: I don't know if a distress call could be sent. It all happened so fast...they surely didn't expect me.

J: But they offered you assistance once they found out that you just landed in an escape pod?

 

K: ....you can hardly say that. I had no way of contacting them and the only door I saw was bolted shut so I did the only thing I could in this situation: Trying to smash a window to get inside, before my oxygen tank runs out. Of course, I hoped that some kind of emergency shutter would shut down after I was inside.

K: When I was finally inside, sweaty from the suit, barely having enough oxygen and after some deep breaths of air a security guard, in one of these bulky armored security voidsuits came and "retrieved" me. They pulled me into an elevator, not even asking who I was or where I was from or if I was injured! They said "come with me for questioning" and that's it. I was....baffled, honestly. It felt like they treated me like....just like some intruding party. I was then "questioned" by one of them, he at least had the courtesy to offer me some coffee.

 

J: That is quite intriguing. So instead of sending you a paramedic to get you checked out for any permanent injuries they sent over a security guard that manhandled you and moved you to an interview room?

J: Did they ever send one of their doctors to examine you?

 

K: None at all! I, of course, must say that I was not injured, but what if I was? They didn't even bother to get us at least a mandatory check-up or scan.

 

J: Oh well, did they treat your associates any better after you told them who you are and what just happened to you, or did they get the same "premium" treatment?

 

K: I only was told that gladly my business partners survived after the "interview" and as far as I know they received the same treatment. We were threatened, treated like intruders, they didn't even want to listen. They wanted to charge us for trespassing, can you believe that? We fought for our lives and they wanted to charge us for....well, not dying, I assume? It was comical, really. We didn't even have time to explain. The Administrator of the station "was not available" and until the Chief Medical Officer, Doctor Gonzales, I think was his name, we were treated like...hostiles almost. The Doctor finally started listening to us, after inviting us into his office, getting rid of these...officers. Security didn't care at all. They didn't try to find more emergency pods, they didn't care where we came from, all they wanted is "getting us into their system" and "being able to identify us". Just another day, I guess. Humanity is completely irrelevant for them, apparently.

 

J: Thank you for sharing this horrific experience with me, hopefully no one else has to go through something like that again.

 

K: Of course. Thank you.

 

 

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