Last week, the galaxy witnessed a truly audacious rescue.
While returning from Beagle Point, Commander Felix Macedonica found himself without sufficient germanium to synthesise a FSD injection and continue his journey home. Faced with the choice of spending the rest of his life 65,000 light years from home or destroying his beloved Lakon Type-6E and riding the escape capsule back to civilisation, Felix was in dire straits indeed.
At that moment, Commander Chiggy Vonrictofen was exploring the Zunou sector. When Chiggy picked up a weak sub-ether distress signal he quickly established a private link with Felix before appraising the system for asteroid belts and ringed planets that could potentially yield germanium. He then departed for Colonia to fit a mining laser and larger fuel tank.
With his ship appropriately equipped, Chiggy proceeded to cover the first 30,000 light years from Jaques in less than 13 hours, a wraith of speed and purpose. Stopping only to sleep, he finally arrived less than 48 hours after receiving Felix's first transmission.
The pair travelled to the nearest belt and Chiggy spooled up the mining laser as Felix watched the scanner. Nickel, iron, sulphur, manganese, phosphorus – the elements kept coming, but not the one they needed.
Despair started to creep in. Then it appeared, a word that brought with it a cascade of emotions: germanium. Felix swooped in and secured his freedom.
"Chiggy's efforts have left me speechless," said Felix. "His perseverance shows that the indomitable human spirit has no bounds."
Commander Mad Billy
Institute for Galactic Exploration and Research
A number of newsfeeds have reported that amateur explorer Commander Lewis has finally returned to human-inhabited space. After following the Distant Worlds Expedition into the void, the unfortunate traveller found himself alone in a damaged Asp Scout some 65,000 light years from civilisation.
A freak accident during the return trip resulted in the loss of most of Commander Lewis's food supplies, leaving him with only tea and an assortment of biscuits for the six-month journey home. After being treated for malnutrition and diabetes, Commander Lewis spoke to the media about his ordeal:
"The journey was a nightmare. I kept getting lost, and was haunted by images of long-dead 21st century actors. If it wasn't for my 1,000 friends on social media, I would have gone insane. I don't think I'll ever eat another biscuit."
Despite assertions from Admiral Maxton Price that Federal ships in Merope would not initiate conflict, a recent incident report tells a different story.
Apparently, a clearly marked Asp Explorer science vessel was shot down, without provocation, by Federal vessels above Merope 2 A. Rescue teams from Obsidian Orbital, responding to a distress call, found the smoking wreckage of the ship a short distance from a barnacle site guarded by a Farragut Battle Cruiser and a squadron of combat ships. The pilot – a captain in the Federal Auxiliary Navy – was only slightly injured. They said:
"A lone Asp with retracted weapons is no threat to a battle group, and the navy can't shoot whomever they want without jurisdiction. If one of my boys ignored the rules of engagement like that, I'd throw the book at them. Admiral Price can expect a formal inquiry from the JAG as soon as the paperwork is done."
The Federation has not issued an official response.
Recent reports indicate that a coalition of independent pilots has coordinated a mission to deliver meta-alloys to Jaques Station. A spokesperson for the group issued the following statement:
"We need your help, Commanders! Everyone's favourite cyborg barman Jaques has been discovered by Commander CLY in the Eol Prou RS-T D3-94 system."
"Pilots are gathering in Maia for what will be the longest single-stop trade run in galactic history. Their mission is to deliver meta-alloys to Jaques Station and repair the damage done by the Unknown Artefacts."
"In the interest of speed and efficiency, many pilots are flying Asp Explorers. Outfitting options vary between eight and 16 tonnes of cargo, and large fuel scoops are common among the intrepid rescue party."
"The mission's first waypoint has been designated as synufai pi-i c26-8. Further systems along the route will be announced soon."
Commander Andy B
Rose Trebek, leader of the Joint Security Taskforce, has announced that the operation to clean up the Orulas system has been an overwhelming success. According to Trebek, hundreds of combat pilots supported the initiative to disrupt the operations of the criminal Blue Hand Gang.
Trebek released a statement to the media in the wake of the campaign's success:
"We had two primary objectives: to clear the spaceways of Orulas, and to liberate the escape pods the criminals were transporting through the system. Thanks to the many brave combat pilots who supported the initiative, both objectives were successfully completed. The recovered escape pods have been delivered to Wilkes Orbital, and the occupants will now be returned to their families."
Asked about the system's future, Trebek was characteristically pragmatic:
"The pilots who contributed to this initiative have done an outstanding job, but the Blue Hand Gang hasn't been completely destroyed. We've won the battle, but the war is far from over."
In a system near the NGC 1333 nebula, over 1,000 light years from the nearest starport, a pilot by the name of Commander Santander has reported discovering two occupied escape pods. The Commander was surveying a previously uncharted system and cruising near the surface of a rocky-ice body when the readings were detected. The crash site could be clearly seen from altitude, so Santander went to investigate in his SRV. Fortunately, his Asp Explorer was equipped with a cargo rack.
In a transmission, the Commander said: "I don't know how long they've been on this rock, or if the pods are working. I can't do much for them here – my ship is fitted for exploration, not search and rescue. I'll get them to port and let someone else open them up."
Dr Arcanonn of the Canonn Interstellar Research Group has spoken out about the disappearance of Professor Ishmael Palin:
"I hope that the professor is safe, but I feel a growing sense that he is no longer with us. As was recently made public, I am currently in hiding because a credible threat to my life was received. My fear is that the dark forces that sought to end my life have intercepted Palin on his way to Maia b1ba."
"We were told that the Diamondback Explorer that made the 'high-speed pass' at Obsidian Orbital appeared to be looking for something. Could it have been looking for the professor?"
"We didn't always see eye to eye, but Professor Palin is – or was – a great scientist and he is sorely missed."
Commander Lord Zoltan
Speculation is rife at Obsidian Orbital this morning following a close-quarters encounter with an unidentified Diamondback Explorer. According to Chloe Anders, a member of the surveillance team at Christian Dock, the mysterious vessel came within 10 kilometres of the station while performing what was described as a "high-speed pass":
"I saw it approach and assumed it was about to submit a docking request, but instead it just started circling the station. It had an unusual designation – "S6: 7" – so I tried hailing it, but there was no response. Then our sensors lit up. I couldn't believe it – the damned thing was scanning the station! I told the weapons team to stand by, but the next thing I knew, it was gone."
Asked for her opinion of the vessel's purpose, Anders said: "I know it sounds crazy, but when I saw it circling the station like that, the only thing I could think was that it was looking for something."
Anti-meta-alloy protests have spilled into violence during the final day of Professor Ishmael Palin's request. Groups of protestors blockaded the entrance to Obsidian Orbital, and as talks between station personnel and the protestors broke down, tempers flared. One of those gathering meta-alloys for Professor Palin offered this first-hand account:
"I received a message from one of my wing-mates that things weren't looking good at Obsidian, but I had a full hold, so I had to go. As I dropped into Maia I saw that my ship's computer had put me about eight kilometres from the starport. Then I saw the Cutter coming at me with hardpoints deploying, and the next thing I knew I was taking fire!"
"My Asp isn't the best when it comes to a head-on fight, but I knew if I could get through the mail slot I would be fine. I boosted like hell and just managed to make it through. I lost my shields and about 50% of my hull, but I managed."
For the time being, it's a dangerous game in Maia.
Commander Manfred Winfred
According a statement from the Green Party of HIP 112974, the faction's recent appeal for onionhead has been successful. In the statement, a spokesperson confirmed the faction had received sufficient quantities of the drug to establish a new onionhead-trading operation:
"We're hugely grateful to all the traders who made deliveries to la Cosa City, and all the pilots who kept the traders safe by clearing the agitators from our spaceways. May this be the start of a long a profitable relationship between the Green Party of HIP 112974 and the galactic community."
The Green Party of HIP 112974 has confirmed that those who contributed to the appeal could collect their rewards from la Cosa City in HIP 112974.