The Colonia Nebula is a relatively innocuous region of space encompassing the Eol Prou RS-T d3-94 system. It is also likely to become a major bastion of humanity in the years to come.
Public interest in the Colonia Nebula was piqued by the arrival in Eol Prou RS-T d3-94 of Jaques Station, which dropped into the system after making an unsuccessful attempt to jump to Beagle Point. In the weeks that followed, pilots started ferrying goods to Jaques Station to repair the damaged starport – an initiative that captured the imagination of the galactic community. The region soon became a focus for those who fear that a war between the Federation and the Empire may be looming, and who hope to escape it.
A coordinated campaign to establish a permanent outpost in the region, organised by the 80 DD-D 774-CE-2 faction, is already underway and a second is about to begin. The 80 DD-D 774-CE-2 faction has announced plans to establish an outpost in the Colonia Nebula, and has placed an open order for materials for use in the construction.
A spokesperson for the organisation said:
"A new beginning. A new tomorrow. That's what the Colonia Nebula represents. A chance to create an interstellar community free from the internecine conflicts that blight so much of inhabited space. With your help, we can make it happen."
The 80 DD-D 774-CE-2 faction has promised to reward pilots who deliver titanium, semiconductors and robotics to Jaques Station in the Eol Prou RS-T d3-94 system. The campaign begins on the 18th of August 3302 and will run for two weeks.
On the 30th of June 3301, Newton Dock in the BD-02 4304 system was quarantined due to the outbreak of a mysterious plague. This pathogen – named the Cerberus Plague – eventually spread to over 20 systems and claimed 100,000 lives.
Thanks to the support of the galaxy's independent pilots, a cure derived from Ceremonial Heike Tea was discovered and used to treat victims at Hart Station in the Bast System. The cure was then synthesised, mass produced and shipped to other affected systems. On the 10th of August 3301, the last affected systems were declared free of the Cerberus Plague.
In tribute to these pilots' heroic efforts, the Buckyball Racing Club is hosting a special event at Hart Station. The race will involve a scramble around nearby medicine-production facilities and a speed run to Brunel City in Heike.
Professor Ishmael Palin has shocked medical personnel at Wilkes Orbital by returning to work only hours after he received the antidote to the Cerberus Plague. According to Palin's doctor, the professor was eager to talk to Lea Tantaga, the molecular chemist who recently developed a material capable of countering the Unknown Artefacts' self-repair mechanism. The scientists' conversation resulted in the following statement from Professor Palin:
"The significance of Professor Tantaga's breakthrough is clear: the means to safely contain the Unknown Artefacts is now within our grasp. What we need now are quantities of meta-alloys so we can produce more of the UA-resistant material."
A conglomerate based in the Maia system has pledged to support the appeal by mass-producing the UA-resistant material, assuming sufficient quantities of meta-alloys are received. This will then be used to create special ship modules that can safely transport the Unknown Artefacts.
The Pioneer's Cooperative has placed an open order for meta-alloys, and has promised to generously reward pilots who contribute to the initiative. The campaign begins on the 24th March 3302 and will run for one week.
Authorities at Wilkes Orbital have announced that the recent appeal for Ceremonial Heike Tea has been a significant success. Personnel at the starport launched the appeal when they discovered that the individuals recently rescued from the Blue Hand Gang were infected with a strain of the Cerberus Plague.
The galactic community was unequivocal in its support of the appeal, resulting in a massive influx of deliveries to Wilkes Orbital. Governor Lawrence, the station's principal administrator, released a statement to the media:
"Thanks to the swift response of the galactic community, we are now in a position to treat those infected by the Cerberus Plague. The surplus Ceremonial Heike Tea will be stockpiled to ensure that any further outbreaks can be immediately neutralised."
Since news of the epidemic first broke, questions have been raised about how Professor Palin and his colleagues could have been infected by the pathogen. Drusus Kane, head of an Imperial counter-insurgency unit in the Achenar system, offered his opinion:
"The chances of these individuals being contaminated by accident are extremely small. I believe the abductors deliberately infected Professor Palin and his colleagues, possibly in order to disseminate the disease among the wider galactic population. Fortunately, on this occasion their plans were not successful."
Carl Simmons, chief medical officer at Newton Dock in the BD-02 4304 system, spoke at a health summit over the weekend. His keynote address was on the Cerberus plague.
"The original Cerberus plague spread to over 30 systems inside a month, putting billions of lives at risk," said Simmons. "It is unlikely we would have been able to eradicate the disease had the cure been discovered any later, as ceremonial Heike tea would not have been available in sufficient quantities. Trillions could have perished."
"We cannot afford to underestimate this new strain of Cerberus plague, and I urge the medical community to take the outbreak seriously. If Heike tea is not delivered in sufficient quantities, or if this strain proves resistant to the tea's effects, the consequences could be catastrophic."
The normally peaceful Wilkes Orbital has been the focus of considerable attention in recent weeks. First, the starport was at the centre of a campaign to drive the Blue Hand Gang from the nearby Orulas system. Then authorities at the station announced that the escape pods recovered in the operation contained Professor Ishmael Palin and the other members of his research team. Now it seems that the majority of those recovered from the criminals, including Professor Ishmael Palin, have been infected with a strain of Cerberus Plague, the deadly pathogen that claimed millions of lives last year.
Governor Lawrence, the principal administrator of Wilkes Orbital, has released a statement to the media:
"The situation is certainly serious, but it's important to keep things in perspective. At present, the disease is confined to those who were rescued from the Blue Hand Gang, so it should be perfectly possible to keep it contained. The pertinent task is to cure the infected."
Governor Lawrence was asked how he intended to proceed.
"This is a new strain of the Cerberus Plague, one we've never seen before. But it seems that Ceremonial Heike Tea, which was used to cure the original strain of the plague, is also effective against this version of the disease. We have therefore issued an open order for Ceremonial Heike Tea with which to cure the infected. Any surplus tea will be stockpiled in anticipation of further outbreaks, although I should stress that such a scenario is extremely unlikely."
The appeal for Ceremonial Heike Tea begins on the 17th March 3302 and will run for one week.
It has been over a month since personnel at Obsidian Orbital reported that meta-alloys had been used to alleviate the starport's ongoing technical issues. Since then, there has been widespread speculation that the meta-alloys might hold the key to eradicating the technological plague that has blighted so many starports in recent months. But the only attempt to verify the theory was brought to an abrupt end with the mysterious disappearance of Professor Ishmael Palin, who had been researching the meta-alloys.
A member of the technical team at Irens Dock in the Manite system, one of the latest starports to experience technical issues, commented on the situation:
"When I heard the news from Obsidian Orbital I expected people to start taking meta-alloys to the other affected starports, but that hasn't happened. Maybe people are being cautious - after all, we don't know for sure that the meta-alloys can help. But if you ask me, it's worth a shot."
The latest data on affected starports follows.
Starports where services have been suspended:
Ackerman Market, Eravate
von Bellingshausen Port, Almar
Haack Gateway, Halbangaay
Gabriel Enterprise, Harma
Gurragchaa Gateway, Warkushanui
Gaiman Dock, 49 Arietis
Weyn Dock, 64 Arietis
Korolyov Hub, Arawere
Lobachevsky Outpost, Pic Tok
Carter Port, Rhea
Starports experiencing technical issues:
Irens Dock, Manite
Bloch Vision, Loperada
Skvortsov Orbital, 63 G. Capricorni
Tall Enterprise, Ngalia
Love Ring, Evejitaka
al-Din Prospect, Alpha Centauri
Robigo Mines, Robigo
Saunders's Dive, Wolf 1301
Alexander Freeport, HIP 18843
Coats Hub, Warkushanui
Bond Hub, Varati
Hinz Hub, Ngobe
Tsunenaga Dock, Iapodes
Li Qing Jao, Sol
Ray Gateway, Diaguandri
Vizcaino Enterprise, Nganji
Talos 2, Peregrina
A remarkable discovery was made last week when non-human structures were found on a number of planets in the Pleiades Nebula. These 'barnacles', as the galactic community has christened them, produce a material known as meta-alloys, the exact properties of which are not yet known.
The discovery was followed swiftly by news that technical personnel at Obsidian Orbital – one of the starports affected by the mysterious malfunctions sweeping the galaxy – had apparently used meta-alloys to return the starport to some kind of normality. Naturally, this prompted speculation that the meta-alloys might hold the key to eradicating the technological plague that has blighted so many starports in recent months.
Professor Ishmael Palin, the former Federal scientist conducting research into the unknown artefacts, is evidently thinking along the same lines:
"The report from Obsidian Orbital is indeed encouraging, but there is still a great deal we do not know, including the cause of the malfunctions, or if the meta-alloys are indeed capable of countering them. That is why I am appealing to the galactic community to deliver as many meta-alloys as possible to my new research base at Obsidian Orbital. Only by amassing a substantial research sample can we know for sure whether or not the meta-alloys can be used to target this mysterious technological malady."
Professor Palin has pledged to reward all pilots who deliver meta-alloys to his base of operations at Obsidian Orbital in the Maia system.
Following yesterday's remarkable discovery of non-human structures in the Pleiades Nebula, starport markets have been inundated with meta-alloys – a mysterious material produced by the alien 'barnacles'. At present, very little is known about this commodity, but it seems it may have helped bring some stability to Obsidian Orbital, one of the starports affected by the mysterious malfunctions sweeping the galaxy. According to a recent statement, the station's technical team conducted an eleventh-hour experiment that, remarkably, seems to have improved things at the beleaguered starport:
"Things have gone from bad to worse recently, so when the meta-alloys started flooding in we thought...why not give it a shot? And somehow it seems to have worked. I don't know how the meta-alloys helped, exactly, but we think they're countering whatever it is that's causing the malfunctions. As soon as we have more concrete information, we'll let you know. For now we're remaining cautiously optimistic."
The exact cause of the technological 'plague' blighting the galaxy is still not known, so whether the meta-alloys represent a permanent solution can only be guessed. But many will be hoping that this breakthrough heralds the end of the mysterious malfunction epidemic.
Recent news that Obsidian Orbital had joined the list of malfunctioning starports caused dismay among the galactic community, as the public had played a significant role in the station's construction, but it seems that personnel at the starport are determined to keep it running. A member of the station's technical team released a brief statement to the media:
"The problems at the station have worsened over the past few weeks, but we're determined that Obsidian Orbital won't close. We're working around the clock, and burning through resources, but so far we haven't had to suspend any services."
Despite this achievement, station personnel stressed they had not found a solution to the technological 'plague' blighting the galaxy, which continues to affect starports throughout inhabited space.