Yesterday's peace talks between the Eranin government and Federation-leaning rebels collapsed into chaos yesterday.
An ambassador of the Independent Alliance was due to attend in support of Eranin but did not arrive - furious Eranin government officials accused the Federation of interference. It seems Ambassador Eliza Fernandez was delayed by customs en route to Eranin after the ship she was travelling in was caught with contraband Celebration Liquor on board at a Federal stop-and-search in the Opala system.
Silvia Calhoon, the Federal Representative from Aulin who chaired yesterday's peace talks, said:
"We offer our sympathy for Ms Fernandez being delayed, but government representatives need to lead by example. However, we are here to focus on mediation, and helping to settle the internal conflict between the Eranin government and a section of their people. We need both sides to sit down and talk. Sadly, the Eranin government did not stay long yesterday; we cannot achieve this noble goal if the Eranin government refuses to talk."
The Eranin government, who were yesterday rumored to be bankrolled by Imperial Senator Patreus, made no comment. However, shortly afterwards heavy fighting was reported in i Bootis as Eranin Defence Force ships attacked Federal Navy assets.
Reports are also coming in of strikes and sabotage disrupting the markets in Louis de Lacaille Prospect (LHS 3262), Romanenko Estate (Opala) and Moxons Mojo (Bolg) - all Federal systems.
In the last hour rebel ships have attacked in Asellus Primus and Wyrd, both Independent systems, supportive of the government in Eranin. The LP 98-132 anarchy is home to the Freeport starport, which was the source of many illegal weapons supplied to the Federation backed rebels and is currently subject to a civilian blockade.
Many Commanders have been mobilized in support of each side. The Faulcon deLacy Limited Edition Black / Wireframe paint job is being used by protagonists from each side as a method of indicating their participation, but disguising their allegiance.
The blockaders have come out as against the federation but still remain independent. We received this message from them outlining their intention to align themselves with the Eranin Defence forces:
"Greetings Commanders and citizens of LP 98-132,
We've had a chat, Treyshon and I; we have made up our minds about the current situation and feel that we can no longer ignore the escalating tensions. We've been carrying on as normal as if nothing is happening. Burying our heads in the sand, so to speak.
If the Federation manage to bring Eranin back into their oppressive fold we will start to see Federal influence creep into LP 98. This cannot be allowed to happen.
Therefore, as of right now, we are aligning ourselves with the Eranin Defence forces to push back against the Feds and FTPS is officially on hiatus from taxation duties.
Over the next couple of days we will be scanning all ships leaving Freeport and will destroy ANY vessels attempting to smuggle weapons out of Freeport, be them Elite Federation pilots or otherwise.
We will NOT tolerate any efforts to bolster the Federation's position in Eranin and the surrounding systems.
We are doing this as much for ourselves as for the pilots and citizens of Freeport that enjoy the free trade and everything else that comes from existing in an anarchic system.
We will not tolerate interference here.
Rise up now, never surrender!"
CMDR Star Noble's 'recruitment campaign' is increasing the numbers of privateers targeting Chango Dock.
During a routine scouting mission CMDR Qrunch Miner has discovered a huge Federation fleet Amassing at i Bootis B Unidentified Signal Source!
In combat news, CMDR Nemesis T Warlock is still racking up the Kills against the Feds whilst CMDR Erarda is coming out is force against Eranin.
CMDR Maeyae has become the top trader of liquor in a type 9, trading 20 times in one day, amassing over 8000 units and CMDR Jak sold Liquor in 13 different stations in just one day.
In response to the Eranin government's call yesterday for a wider spread of its now-infamous celebration liquor, there has been much activity involving large amounts of liquor in several systems.
Over 30 Commanders have taken liquor to Opala's Romanenko Estate. In LHS 3262, CMDR Waugh and CMDR Sophie-Beth have both been major contributors to the liquor flooding into Louis de Lacaille Prospect. CMDR Sandmann is also doing his best to help Bolg's Moxon's Mojo star port drown its sorrows.
In combat news, CMDR Nemesis T Warlock in his Anaconda has now hit the top of the Most Wanted list in Federal space, and CMDR Neon Raven and CMDR erarda have been busy disrupting the Independents.
The Freeport blockade is still active. The blockaders are yet to show their hand for one side or the other, leading our informants to the conclusion that this activity is genuinely an entrepreneurial protection racket rather than a smokescreen by one of the power blocs. There would therefore seem to be a significant risk of the blockaders being caught up in a scorched-earth policy by Federation black ops units looking to cover the tracks of all the illegal weapons they have had smuggled out of the Freeport anarchy.
Meanwhile, there are whispers of covert Federal activity in Asellus Primus and Wyrd.
There are still commanders such as CMDR Pheyes who are ambivalent about their allegiance and appear to be indiscriminate in their targeting.
Many more, however, appear to be aligning themselves strongly with one camp or the other. CMDR zenoic neatly summed up Eranin supporters' feelings.
"Freedom, yes. Freedom to trade legitimate goods, freedom from Federal sponsored terrorism, freedom from Federal bullying. Long live the Eranin revolution! 30 more years!"
CMDR Nemesis T Warlock in his Anaconda is rapidly catching up with CMDR BlueFalcon at the top of the Most Wanted list in Federal space, and CMDR Mark0 continues to uphold Independence for Asellus and Eranin.
CMDR DeGrimmy is taking it upon himself to arrange more organised activity.
"A group of pilots, myself included, will be taking the fight to the Federation by attacking their forces at i Bootis B. A broadcast will be available at 8pm BST (~5 minutes from posting). The USS can be found ~10Ls away from I Bootis B. If they are not stopped at Eranin, they will not stop at all. I found a bulletin at Federation occupied Magec earlier, asking for "Federation Patriots" to fight any independent system security force in return for a handsome sum of credits. This has to stop."
CMDR Ozric's assertion of:
"Better dead than red!"
Would seem to indicate that he is firmly on the side of the Federation-supporting rebels. CMDR 2H@RD 2H@NDLE is putting his lasers where his mouth is by heroically defending Federal assets in i Bootis with a Cobra, whilst CMDR Cryo is doing a similar job in Dahan.
The tension is cranking up and rumors are spreading like wildfire. CMDR MarktJones messaged:
"Getting dozens of 'Request Denied' responses from the station, at first I thought the traffic control had got their hands on some of the celebration liquor. But then I realised, the Federation has hacked the docking control system at Azeban City."
It seems yesterday's blithe denial by Imperial Senator Denton Patreus hasn't convinced all of you.
CMDR knowles2 says:
"The Empire senator sounds like he could barely keep a straight face during that interview. I wonder how long it will be until an Imperial fleet is spotted above Eranin to protect them from Federal aggression."
And of course there are those such as CMDR Lukozer, who are fiercely loyal to the Empire.
"Death to the Federation! My loyalties are with the Empire, but ... the independent systems get my support, particularly Eranin which seems to have some 'unofficial backing' from the glorious Empire"
We are working our data sources hard in order to bring you behind the scenes information on that spectacular Faulcon deLacy price deal which is throwing fuel on the fire of the Eranin / Federation tensions by militarizing both sides.
Who stands to gain from the Federation and a member of the Independent Alliance being embroiled in a struggle?
The Empire's well known Senator Denton Patreus visited our local area of space some months ago, and is known to have wined-and-dined key Eranin dignitaries onboard his sumptuous travelling embassy.
Senator Patreus, you will recall, is a popular figure who travels the galaxy with his substantial entourage in a giant white Imperial Cruiser, 'maintaining good relations' with numerous independent governments throughout human space.
One of our correspondents managed to grab a word with him yesterday as he hosted a banquet back in Imperial space, and asked him if he had any involvement.
"I visit dozens of systems each month. I have no idea what they are planning, but the notion that a Senator of the Empire would lower himself to dabble in local business like this is preposterous."
"The entry requirements for a system to join our wonderful Imperial fold are pretty high, and what looks like a civil war is hardly going to help their case."
Our correspondent was ushered out of the banquet shortly afterwards.
Commanders are getting heavily involved in the growing conflict between Eranin and the Federation over Eranin's 30th Anniversary of Independence.
Almost as many missions were flown in support of each side in the past 24 hours as in the whole of the weekend since Eranin's 30th anniversary. It is a similar story with Faulcon deLacy's continued incredible 50%-off deal continuing to take significant hauling capacity out of the systems and replacing it with the highly combat capable Cobra.
Supporters of the beleaguered Eranin government are running illicit Eranian and Wyrd celebratory liquor to Federal starports - Commander Kudlmudl's Sidewinder is the highest non-anonymous Commander with 17 liquor runs totalling 82 canisters. [LG] Khan has been putting his capacious Lakon Type 9 to good use in Eranin's service with 3,671 canisters of liquor illicitly shipped over the course of 12 trade runs.
There is also a healthy black market weapons trade in support of the Federation.
Commander Neon Raven is currently 'most wanted' at Azeban City (Eranin, Independent), and Commander BlueFalcon is 'most wanted' at Chango Dock (i Bootis, Federal). Each have over 450 kills to their name.
GalNet data feeds indicate that some Commanders are taking advantage of the growing confusion to indulge in indiscriminate slaughter - Commanders Germaniac and Pheyes are both wanted for significant numbers of kills in the i Bootis system, but are also towards the top of the table of most bounties collected in the same system.
Commander ZaphodBeeble has emerged as the public face of 'Freeport Tax and Protection Services'. Freeport is in the anarchic LP 98-132 system, and ZaphodBeeble and friends are operating what at first glance appears to be a straightforward protection racket.
Normally we would simply expect nature to take its course with such behavior, however with current levels of paranoia sweeping the systems we have to wonder whether there is some wider strategy at play. Will the erstwhile extortionists / enterprising entrepreneurs ultimately turn out to be yet another machination in the power play that is unfolding before our eyes?
It turns out that big deal that the Faulcon deLacy board was rumoured to be working on is a spectacular one. In a surprise move, prices of their Cobra Mk III craft have been slashed by 50% to 86,052 credits. FdL is also offering 100% of the trade-in value of your current ship when you switch to a Cobra Mk III.
It is a staggering move, that on the face of it makes no commercial sense - why would a company with a market leadership position give away all that profit? Have the FdL board gone soft in the head? Rest assured we are on the case and won't rest until we get to the bottom of the story on this one.
The net result, however, is a significant militarization of the ships out there - around two thirds of all trade-ins to the Cobra have been from trading ships like the Lakons and the ZP Hauler. That's an awful lot more combat capability flying round the galaxy.
After last week's stunning news of a free Eagle for all, Core Dynamics falls back to a more usual 13.6% market share.
Faulcon deLacy remains top of the pile and tightens its grip on the market even further with a 1.6% overall market share rise to 41.6%. We have been digging hard over the past week following the rumours of the FdL board doing a big deal. Although we haven't yet got the full story it appears that something huge is about to happen with the Cobra. Could this be linked to the 30 year anniversary tension between Eranin and the Federation?
Zorgon Peterson once again accounts for a solid 26% share this week.
Lakon sales remain static this week, and the company will hope today's news of the release of the Asp Explorer on 30 September will help stimulate interest in their range.