Former Federal president Jasmina Halsey held a public demonstration in the Alioth system yesterday in protest of the ongoing conflict between the Empire and the Federation.
More than 30,000 people attended the event, which lasted for several hours and occupied one of the main public plazas in Nerah City on Argent’s Claim.
A number of high-profile speakers and activists addressed the crowd, although Alliance Prime Minister Edmund Mahon was notable by his absence. Political commentators were quick to point out, however, that the demonstration could not have taken place without his foreknowledge, if not his explicit approval.
In an address to the crowd, Halsey said:
“As a 20th Century historian once wrote, ‘The underlying reason for war is always economic.’ This conflict has nothing to do with freedom or liberation – it is about resources. And I believe enough people have died to line the pockets of already wealthy individuals in the Federation and the Empire.”
“I speak now directly to President Zachary Hudson and Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval: It is not too late for you to listen to reason.”
Neither the Empire nor the Federation elected to respond to Halsey’s statement.
Reports have surfaced of mysterious attacks in the Maia system, where eyewitnesses claim to have found the remains of a number of Federal vessels.
According to reports, the damage to the ships’ hulls was not consistent with any known form of weaponry. Furthermore, several observers claim to have seen the so-called unknown ships at the wreckage sites. Attempts to intercept the ships were unsuccessful.
Chief of Federal Security Admiral Aden Tanner, who is understood to be investigating the mysterious ships, addressed the reports:
“These claims are certainly troubling, but I would remind you their veracity has not yet been verified, and I would urge the public to remain calm. Rest assured that we are investigating the matter.”
The Alliance has announced plans to construct a new outpost in the California Nebula and placed an open order for construction materials.
An Alliance spokesperson outlined the nature of the initiative:
“With the Federation and the Empire mired in hostility, it falls to the Alliance to pursue a more exploratory agenda. This new outpost will further that agenda by supporting our ongoing research in the California Nebula.”
“The Turner Research Group has generously offered to support this initiative, allowing us to reward pilots who deliver Geological Equipment, Micro-Weave Cooling Hoses, Building Fabricators and Energy Grid Assemblies to our base of operations at Darwin Research Facility in the California Sector BV-Y c7 system.”
The campaign begins on the 4th of May 3303 and will run for one week. If the final target is met earlier than planned, the campaign will end immediately.
Imperial despatches have confirmed that Commander Salomé, also known as Kahina Tijani Loren, was killed in the Arumclaw system on the 29th of April by a bounty hunter known as ‘Besieger’.
Salomé was escorted by several heavily armed vessels, but her Imperial Clipper ‘Seven Veils’ was nevertheless destroyed by weapons fire. Three commanders were seen fleeing Arumclaw shortly afterwards.
Surveillance reports indicate that Salomé’s co-conspirators – Raan Corsen, Tsu Annabelle Singh and Yuri Nakamura – remain at large.
Moments after Salomé’s destruction was confirmed, a transmission was detected in the Teorge system, leading to the discovery of a series of logs. The logs, which apparently date from 3275, contain nebulous assertions regarding a scheme from an unidentified super organisation to manipulate the Empire, Federation and Alliance.
A number of factions tried to defend Salomé and her allies as they travelled from 46 Eridani to the core systems. Imperial intelligence is reportedly trying to identify the factions that supported the conspirators, but anecdotal reports indicate that many have already fallen into disarray in the wake of Salomé’s death.
“She was a force of evil who attempted to sow the seeds of conflict among those who strive for peace,” said Princess Aisling Duval. “Her warmongering is at an end, and the galaxy is now a safer place. It’s just a shame that so many innocent lives were lost before she was brought down.”
Admiral Denton Patreus refused to address claims that the bounty hunter was in his employ, saying only, “Let that be an end to this sorry affair”.