Reports have been received from Imperial space that many Imperial pilots are defying the standing kill-on-sight order on Commander Salomé. The pilots pledging to support the disgraced senator are offering escort services and fuel, and have even promised to reward other Commanders willing to help.
"The issue is that we are not in possession of the facts," said Commander Jayridium, who is offering up to 50 times the listed bounty to anyone who can arrange a meeting with Salomé. "I am joining the effort to protect her. The truth must be heard!"
Commander Jayridium joins several others in an effort to help Salome – an effort that could make them outcasts.
Recent reports indicate that the Empire has expanded into the Pleiades, having established a number of outposts in the HR 1185 system.
Katherine Ryder, a freelance journalist and seasoned war correspondent, commented on the development:
"Things might have been quiet recently, but that doesn't mean the situation with the Empire and the Federation has improved. This is a cold war, after all."
"Regardless of claims to the contrary, this conflict is about one thing: meta-alloys. Both sides want Maia and Merope because of the barnacles they contain, and both sides will keep pushing into those systems."
"Eventually, one of two things will happen: one side will withdraw...or neither side will. In the latter scenario, war seems inevitable."
Politicians on both sides of the divide have urged the superpowers to engage in amicable talks and establish some kind of agreement over the meta-alloys, but such entreaties have so far fallen on deaf ears.
Former Federal president Jasmina Halsey has appealed for relief for the refugees currently at Dirichlet Orbital.
In a statement, Halsey said:
"Dirichlet Orbital has already become a haven for those fleeing the ongoing conflict between the Empire and the Federation. But if we are to provide these people with ongoing care, we will need the help of the galactic community. Fortunately, the Yum Kamcabi Purple Life Industry has volunteered to support a relief operation."
The Yum Kamcabi Purple Life Industry has pledged to reward pilots who deliver Natural Fabrics, Food Cartridges, and Basic Medicines to Dirichlet Orbital in the Yum Kamcabi system. Meanwhile, the Revolutionary Patani Labour has placed a kill order on all wanted ships operating in Yum Kamcabi, to counter the threat to trade routes.
The campaign begins on the 30th of March 3303 and will run for one week. If the final target is met earlier than planned, the campaign will end immediately.
Three of the five individuals responsible for the recent theft of meta-alloys from Darnielle's Progress have been positively identified, following analysis of starport security footage. Remarkably, one of the perpetrators has been acknowledged as Commander Salomé, also known as Kahina Tijani Loren.
Loren was sentenced to life imprisonment last year for the attempted murder of Admiral Denton Patreus, but when her convoy was destroyed en route to Koontz Asylum it was assumed she had been killed.
Responding to the news, Imperial authorities promptly placed a galaxy-wide bounty on Salomé to the tune of 500,000 credits.
Meanwhile, Princess Aisling Duval released a brief statement:
"Commander Salomé is a disgraced senator and a convicted murderer. She incites violence wherever she goes, and in the interest of public safety she must be stopped. I urge all those loyal to the Empire to deliver justice to this criminal."
Salomé's accomplices have been identified as former MetaDrive employee Raan Corsen – previously believed deceased – and former Junior Alliance operative Tsu Annabelle Singh. The Empire has placed sizeable bounties on both individuals.
Imperial military sources issued the following advice to those interested in pursuing these bounties:
"These individuals should be considered armed and dangerous. Make no attempt to communicate with them. Shoot on sight. Visual evidence of a target's death will guarantee the relevant bounty."
Salomé's current location is unknown, but she is believed to have fled the core systems.