A prisoner convoy has been interdicted and destroyed in the Daibo system while en route to Koontz Asylum. Wreckage found in Daibo has been positively identified as belonging to the Imperial Cutter 'Diadem' and the Imperial Clippers 'Cypripedium', 'Velum', 'Monile' and 'Vestimenta'.
"Completely wiped out," said one pilot, who was one of the first to respond to the distress call. "By the time I arrived there was nothing but floating debris. We even found wreckage from escape pods. Someone wanted to make sure there were absolutely no survivors. Even the black boxes were blasted."
It has been confirmed that the convoy was carrying various political dissidents, convicted murderers and terrorists. Among them was the infamous Kahina Loren, recently found guilty of the attempted assassination of Admiral Denton Patreus.
"Maybe someone wanted to give her a merciful death," said the chief editor of The Imperial Citizen. "Better that than what awaited her at Koontz Asylum, for sure."
Plans to hold a memorial service for Loren in the Prism system have already generated angry responses. Princess Aisling Duval was quoted as saying, "A service for her? She was a murderer and a convicted felon! Her name should be struck from the record and never spoken again."
The independent audit of defunct technology company MetaDrive Inc. has now reached an end, and other than a few minor items the acquisition of all remaining assets has been completed.
One such item is the Imperial Eagle of the company's late chairman Femi Dakarai, which was owned by MetaDrive. In a strange turn of events, the ship was stolen by former MetaDrive employee Raan Corsen, who disappeared shortly after the audit began.
A number of files relating to Dakarai's affairs are also believed to be missing. A junior member of the audit team reported that a series of so-called 'exodus documents' could not be located. The employee was unceremoniously removed from the audit team shortly afterwards.
A spokesperson for BigSix, the auditor, provided a statement:
"The audit of MetaDrive is now complete, and contrary to previous misleading reports, we have all the documentation we need. It transpires the Eagle spacecraft stolen by Raan Corsen crashed somewhere in the Alioth system while fleeing security forces. The vessel was fully insured, so BigSix is not unduly concerned by its loss."
According to the Galactic Finance Times, analysis of the largest corporations in the Federation and the Empire reveals evidence of a significant economic downturn in the coming years.
"We're seeing poor revenue forecasts for a wide range of corporations, including big names like Sirius, Gutamaya and Core Dynamics," said a correspondent for the Galactic Finance Times. "They should be concentrating on marketing to leverage new product ranges, but instead they're diverting resources into intensive research and development. They're ignoring the traditional sales cycle, and we don't know why. It's perplexing."
Shareholders have seen poor returns on their investments in recent months, with stock prices dropping across multiple sectors, although this has given others a chance to pick up stock at bargain prices. Several of the pertinent corporations were contacted by the Galactic Finance Times, but none deigned to respond.
Despite the GFT's report, some commentators blame the downturn on the London Treaty, which was signed by the galaxy's three major powers in 3278 following the introduction of the frame shift drive. The treaty enforces strict tonnage limitations for capital ships, and was aimed at preventing an arms race, but in recent years it has come to be perceived as a barrier to economic development.
One option for investors looking for a risky but possibly lucrative venture is a start-up called MetaDrive Inc., a small company based in the Chi Orionis system specialising in hyperdrive research. The company is reported to be seeking investment.
In September, Gutamaya Shipyards released a new version of the enduringly popular Eagle. This month, the company has announced the launch of a new fighter designed specifically for the CQC Championship – the Imperial Fighter. Gutamaya has said that the small, manoeuvrable vessel will be ideally suited to close-quarters dogfights, and more than capable of going toe-to-toe with other CQC fighters.
As befits a ship created with the CQC Championship in mind, the Imperial Fighter offers a delicate balance of defence, firepower and manoeuvrability. The ship is more agile than the F63 Condor, which offers a similar spread of features, although it lacks the Condor's speed and hull strength. In terms of firepower, the Imperial Fighter matches the Condor with two small hardpoints.
The Imperial Fighter's specifications are not the only important factor, however. According the ship's designer, Pascal Roux, the vessel was created as a tribute to the late Emperor, Hengist Duval. In an interview with the Imperial Herald, Roux said: "What I admired most about the Emperor was his balance of elegance and strength, and the fighter represents my attempt to reflect those qualities."
The Imperial Fighter is due to be released for use in the CQC Championships in December, and will go on general sale in early 3302.
Last month, Gutamaya Shipyards marked Arissa Lavigny-Duval's coronation by temporarily lifting the rank-related restrictions on all Imperial ships. With the official coronation period now over, the company has announced that the restrictions on its ships will be reinstated on Monday.
Gutamaya Shipyards' latest vessel, the Imperial Eagle, is now available for purchase for any pilot holding the appropriate rank in the Imperial Navy, and positive consumer feedback is already flooding in.
Commander Corrigendum, operating in the Prism system, said: "The Imperial Eagle is a blast to fly. It handles beautifully and has looks to match. I was able to stick on the tail of an Imperial Courier during combat exercises. It's a great addition to the Gutamaya portfolio." Commander Stateira 'Starcloak' Eleshenar added: "I love my Eagle, so I was curious to see if Gutamaya could improve on Core Dynamics' classic design. Now I've taken it out a few times, I'm happy to say it retains all the sublime responsiveness of the Eagle, and packs a harder punch in combat."
When asked about the secret of Gutamaya Shipyards' success, lead engineer Ines Allende responded: "Elegance in simplicity. We kept the core design that made the Eagle Mk II great and simply tinkered with a few key elements."
Commander Stateira "Starcloak" Eleshenar
Jameson Memorial Review | Interstellar Press
New Combat Fighter from Gutamaya Shipyards
One of the defining characteristics of the Eagle Mk II is its peerless manoeuvrability, so when it was announced that the successor to the popular fighter would be less manoeuvrable than the ship it was replacing, eyebrows were raised. It seems, however, that there was little cause for concern, as while the new Eagle doesn’t quite rival its predecessor in terms of agility, it outclasses it in virtually all other respects.
Not only is the new Eagle faster than its predecessor, with a top speed of 300 and a boost speed of 400, it is also has a superior combat profile, boasting advanced armour and shields, and with the small hardpoint of the Mk II replaced with a medium hardpoint. These new features are supported by an improved power plant, although these enhancements do of course mean extra weight, resulting in a base jump range of 10 LY.
The other major change introduced with the new Eagle is that it has been manufactured by Gutamaya Shipyards rather than Core Dynamics, who produced the Eagle Mk II. The result, as one might expect, is a sleeker, more elegant vessel, albeit one that has retained the menacing profile of the earlier model. Additionally, the vessel has been produced specifically for the Imperial Navy, meaning that pilots will need to hold a rank of Outsider or above in the Imperial Navy to fly it.
The Imperial Eagle is expected to retail at 110,825 CR.
Last month, Gutamaya Shipyards temporarily lifted the rank-related restrictions on the Imperial Clipper and Imperial Courier, thereby allowing any independent pilot with an active rank in the Imperial Navy to purchase and fly one of the vessels. Following news of the Emperor’s assassination, however, Gutamaya Shipyards has decided to withdraw this offer, and to reinstate the default restrictions on all their ships.
In the early hours of this morning, a security alert was received from the Imperial suite where Senator Kahina Tijani Loren has been residing.
The entry to the residence was found to be locked, and no response was received from inside. Security personnel were authorised to break in.
The interior of the suite was found to be pristine, with no evidence of habitation. In-room holofac consoles were found not to have been used throughout the duration of the Senator’s apparent occupation. A search has revealed no sign of the Senator’s whereabouts.
Ambassador Cuthrick Delaney made a brief statement to the press. “Senator Kahina has previously empowered me to represent the Prism system on her behalf. I will do my best to discharge that duty according to her instructions. Senator Kahina is a very private individual, and has not sought my, or any other, counsel in the last month. We do not know where she has gone. Naturally we are concerned about her safety and would urge anyone who knows of her whereabouts to contact the authorities immediately. Her disappearance is very disturbing indeed.”
Reaction across the Empire was muted, but many have speculated that something underhand has happened to the visiting Senator.
“Doesn’t matter what Delaney says,” said a commentator from the Imperial Citizen. “Prism belongs to Patreus now, Kahina’s just abandoned it and all the citizens she professed to care about. She’s a coward and an irrelevance.”
“Did she get too close to the fires burning in the Empire?” asked Kazien Vantris, chief editor of the Imperial Herald. “Or is she pursuing some other objective? She was always determined and bold. Wherever you’ve gone, Lady Kahina, farewell.”
Lady Kahina’s Imperial Courier, the ‘Seven Veils’, still at the Capitol spaceport, was impounded and examined. It was found to be completely stripped of all valuable equipment, with the modifications made at Avalon shipyards discovered to be carefully crafted fakes.
Lady Kahina’s Imperial tiara was found in the cockpit, along with a small medallion bearing an ancient symbol on one side and the word ‘Salomé’ on the other.
The symbol is believed to belong to an organisation some refer to as ‘The Dark Wheel’.
Long Live the Emperor!
Senator Anders Blaine, Chancellor to Emperor Hengist Duval made a surprise statement on the steps of the Imperial Palace today. With obvious joy on his face he declared that the Emperor has awoken from his coma.
“It is with great pleasure I can announce that Emperor Hengist Duval awoke from his coma in the early hours of this morning. His physicians have completed extensive medical tests and declared him well on the way to becoming fit and healthy. They have advised a few days of rest and monitoring before he resumes his state functions.
As can be expected from our Emperor, he has expressed his intention to lead the senate in a few days time.”
The welcome news of the Emperor’s recovery has rapidly spread throughout the Empire and inspired impromptu celebrations in every level of Imperial society .
Amidst the well wishes a small number of the more cynical pundits have muttered that they will believe the good news when they see the Emperor in person. Most commentators though are simply overjoyed to hear of the Emperor’s return and hope that this will herald a new and more united future for the Empire.
As part of the celebrations for this news it was also announced that all independent pilots with an active rank with the Imperial Navy will be able to purchase the Imperial Courier and Imperial Clipper ships.