Human civilisation spans hundreds of star systems and encompasses a wide range of cultures, but many people still share a number of traditions. One such tradition is Valentine's Day, a celebration of romantic love dating from the 5th Century.
With many choosing to mark the occasion by giving gifts to their significant other, retailers throughout the galaxy are preparing for a busy week. One of these retailers, Vestani Conservatives, has placed an open order for various commodities in anticipation of this hectic period. A spokesperson for the organisation said:
"We won't be able to fulfil our commercial obligations without the support of the galactic community, so we're offering generous premiums to pilots who deliver Thrutis Cream, Deuringas Truffles and Esuseku Caviar to our headquarters at Rose Terminal in the Vestani system."
The campaign begins on the 9th of February 3303 and will run for one week. If the final target is met earlier than planned, the campaign will end immediately.
Recent reports indicate that Wright City in the Elli system has fallen prey to a chemical-weapon attack.
The attack is believed to have been executed by the anarchist organisation Revolution Incorporated, which recently placed orders for a quantity of Toxandji Virocide, a rare pesticide. It is understood the group used the pesticide as the basis for a potent chemical weapon.
The impact on the starport has been catastrophic. Over a dozen individuals have lost their lives, and hundreds more are in critical condition. As a result, the starport has been closed until further notice.
System security forces have already started hunting for Revolution Incorporated, but with little physical evidence and few leads, the chances of bringing the culprits to justice are slim.
Each year, the Annual Galactic Games Organisation holds an elaborate gaming tournament known as the Gathering, enticing the rich and famous to a chosen system for a week-long party.
This year's event will take place at the Norman – Mavis's Bingo Palace starport in the Aramzahd system, chosen for its proximity to the lush planet of Guardinia. In addition to the games, there will be historical flight displays and presentations from many of the galaxy's premier ship manufacturers. System authorities have welcomed the event, which is expected to attract thousands of guests and bring in millions of credits.
In anticipation of the event, the Aramzahd Empire Party has placed an open order for Centauri Mega Gin, Giant Irukama Snails, Lavian Brandy, Tanmark Tranquil Tea and Witchhaul Kobe Beef. Pilots who deliver these commodities to Norman - Mavis's Bingo Palace in the Aramzahd system will be generously rewarded. The organisation has also placed a kill order on all wanted ships operating in Aramzahd, to ensure the safety of those attending the event.
The campaign begins on the 13th October 3302 and will run for one week. If the final target is met earlier than planned, the campaign will end immediately.
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.
The 'Rewired' news feed is known for its prodigious output, sometimes releasing hundreds of stories a day. But balancing such productivity with thorough fact checking is a tall order, and the feed's critics sometimes claim that at least half its output consists of redactions, corrections and apologies.
But despite these jibes, only the most obdurate critic would deny that Rewired has broken major stories in the past, its guerrilla style approach allowing it to react faster than some of its larger, more established rivals.
The channel's latest report will interest many of the galaxy's independent pilots:
"Word is that Broo Tarquin will now work with pilots who can bring her 50 units of Fugin Tea, instead of the 100 she used to ask for. And Didi Vatermann's only asking for 50 units of Lavian Brandy, which is a damn sight less than the 200 she previously insisted on. Seems it just got a whole lot easier to spec your ship."
The United Epsilon Indi Flag has announced that its campaign to decriminalise Indi Bourbon received the full support of the galactic community. Hundreds of pilots responded to the group's appeal for help, flooding Mansfield Orbiter with illegal rare liquors in protest against the Federal decision to restrict the sale of the popular bourbon.
Yulia 'The Needle' Kuriakova, a spokesperson for the organisation, released a brief statement:
"It is with great pleasure that we announce the reclassification of Indi Bourbon, thanks in no small part to the hundreds of Pilots Federation members who answered our call. Corporations need to learn that they cannot undermine long-held traditions just to line their own corrupt pockets. It is no small irony that those same officials accepted bribes to legitimise Indi Bourbon."
Rumours from the Epsilon Indi system suggest that the United Epsilon Indi Flag is recruiting independent Commanders for a campaign called 'Bribes 4 Bourbon'. In a series of illicit meetings with system officials, the organisation reportedly secured an agreement to revise the status of Indi Bourbon and make it a legal beverage.
Yulia 'The Needle' Kuriakova, a spokeswoman for the organisation, said:
"For almost a year, authorities in Epsilon Indi have prohibited the production of Indi Bourbon, which is classified as an illegal substance. Our plan is to bring vast quantities of illegal liquor Mansfield Orbiter to pay off the officials."
The United Epsilon Indi Flag has requested that Burnham Bile Distillate, Eranin Pearl Whisky, Leestian Evil Juice and Wuthielo Ku Froth be smuggled into Mansfield Orbiter. A temporary black market has been established to accept these commodities.
The Federation, meanwhile, has asserted that the campaign represents an act of economic malfeasance, and has accused the United Epsilon Indi Flag of inciting civil disobedience. But Epsilon Indi is no stranger to dissent: in November last year an explosive-smuggling operation organised by a group called Revolution Incorporated was uncovered.
The United Epsilon Indi Flag has promised to reward pilots who deliver rare liquors to Mansfield Orbiter in the Epsilon Indi system. The campaign begins on the 14th of April 3302 and will run for one week. If the final target is met earlier than planned, the campaign will end immediately.
The Federal campaign against Onionhead suffered a setback this week when its 'Hand in the Head' initiative received only modest support from the galactic community. Despite the best efforts of Federal campaigners, a competing scheme to support further research into the drug proved more popular with the public. But although the Federal campaign enjoyed only limited success, 'Onionhead tzar' Edward Bores remained bullish.
"It's true that we hoped to receive more support," said Bores, "but this is still a significant success. Thousands of tonnes of Onionhead have now been removed from circulation, weakening the criminal networks that thrive on the sale and distribution of this dangerous drug."
Meanwhile, the Altair Purple Mob, which organised the competing campaign, expressed its satisfaction at the outcome:
"Outlawing substances like Onionhead serves only to criminalise otherwise law-abiding citizens and put money in the pockets of criminals. Thanks to the galactic community, we now have the means to conduct further research into Onionhead and prove beyond doubt that not only is it harmless, it possesses considerable health benefits."
The ongoing Federal campaign against Onionhead has taken a new turn with the appointment of an 'Onionhead tzar', who will assume overall responsibility for eliminating the drug from Federal space. Edward Bores, a seasoned government official, has assumed the role, promising to employ "targeted measures" in the fight against the illegal narcotic.
At a press event, Bores marked his appointment with the announcement of an innovative new campaign:
"We are launching an initiative called 'Hand in the Head' designed to encourage Federal citizens to surrender any Onionhead in their possession. Individuals who deliver Onionhead to our headquarters at Grandin Gateway in the Altair system will be generously rewarded. At the end of the campaign, any Onionhead we have received will be destroyed."
Meanwhile, an organisation known as the Altair Purple Mob has launched a campaign to prove that the drug is harmless, with the ultimate aim of having it reclassified as a non-toxic plant. Like the Federation, the organisation has issued an appeal for quantities of the drug, but unlike the Federation, the Altair Purple Mob intends to study the plant rather than destroy it. A spokesperson for the organisation said:
"Legalising Onionhead would decriminalise its users, provide the Federal government with a new revenue stream, and destabilise the criminal network through which the drug is currently bought and sold. It's a no-brainer."
The competing campaigns are scheduled to begin on the 31st of 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."