Here are this week’s main stories.
Federal Shadow President Felicia Winters has appointed Isolde Rochester as the deputy leader of the Federation’s Liberal Party. The new Shadow Vice President is the matriarch of the powerful Rochester family, which includes the CEO of Core Dynamics and two Federal Navy officers. Vice President Rochester said she was honoured to accept the position.
Imperial senators supporting the isolationist group Nova Imperium have demanded that Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval acknowledge its figurehead, Hadrian Augustus Duval. Chancellor Anders Blaine responded by saying that Nova Imperium was a fringe organisation with no right to determine policy. The Emperor’s lack of response has led to accusations of weakness, with many calling on her to step down.
In other news, Simguru Pranav Antal has claimed that the nanomedicines developed by Vitadyne Labs were in fact developed in Utopia. In a statement, Simguru said the nanomedicines were never intended for use outside of Utopia, and demanded their immediate return.
The leaders of the Alliance and the Federation have commented on the rise of Nova Imperium. Alliance Prime Minister Edmund Mahon said the unrest afflicting the Empire would be a concern if it affected inter-superpower cooperation, while Federal President Zachary Hudson said the Federation would be forced to intervene if Nova Imperium came to power and the Empire ceased contributions to Aegis.
Meanwhile, the Federal Navy has requested a large shipment of Duradrive personal computers from manufacturer Herculean Machines. Maddox Hurd, the company’s CEO, said the request was a testament to the Duradrive’s reliability. Herculean has placed an open order for various commodities to fulfil the request.
Finally, twin initiatives to supply Imperial senator Simone Leatrix’s festivities have reached a successful conclusion. As the campaigns drew to a close, Senator Leatrix said she hoped the sight of her glittering mountaintop retreat would serve as an inspiration amid the current civil disquiet.
And those are the main stories this week.
Federal Shadow President Felicia Winters has appointed Isolde Rochester as the deputy leader of the Federation’s Liberal Party.
The new Shadow Vice President made a statement to the media:
“After a decade of serving in Congress, supporting both President Halsey and Shadow President Winters, it is an honour to accept this position. Many challenges face the Federation, and the Liberal Party is ready to meet them.”
The former deputy leader, Edgar Santiago, recently made the sudden decision to retire from politics and purchase a private luxury starship, despite not being known for extravagant spending.
Isolde Rochester is the matriarch of the powerful Rochester family, which includes the CEO of Core Dynamics and two Federal Navy officers. Rumours suggest that she called off the wedding of her son Ambasador Jordan Rochester when suggestions arose of Princess Aisling Duval’s infidelity.
Responding to public interest in Princess Aisling Duval’s fiancé, Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester, political journalist Cassia Carvalho has compiled a profile for The Imperial Herald:
“Jordan Rochester is now a household name throughout the Empire, though few were aware of him prior to his engagement to Princess Duval. But in the Federation, the Rochesters have been associated with success for over two hundred years.”
“The Rochester name can be traced back to self-made tycoon Apollo Rochester, who was the biggest landowner on Biggs Colony in the Altair system. Each generation since has strived for fame and wealth, and the expression ‘as rich as a Rochester’ has become common parlance.”
“The family matriarch is Isolde Rochester. She is a member of Congress, an influential figure in the Liberal Party and a staunch supporter of Shadow President Felicia Winters. Isolde raised five children, including Jordan, and it was her accomplishments that inspired her son to enter politics.”
“Jordan’s siblings chose different paths. The eldest, Jupiter Rochester, is an executive with Core Dynamics, with a personal fortune in the billions. Fifteen years ago he had his own celebrity marriage, to actor Tomas Turai. They now have two teenage children, daughter Kali and son Kalen.”
“Jordan’s sisters, Juno and Jocasta, have impressive Navy careers, holding the ranks of Vice Admiral and Post Captain respectively. Only Jordan’s younger brother, Jonah, has no title. He is believed to be the black sheep of the family.”
“Despite being just 34, Jordan has already made his mark. He has overseen several high-level negotiations on behalf of the Federal Diplomatic Corps and is now a trusted envoy, noted for his charm and tact.”
“His future will be interesting, to say the least. How will he balance being both a Federal statesman and an Imperial consort? And what are the wider ramifications of the Rochester dynasty aligning with the House of Duval? Even more so than his predecessors, Jordan Rochester has already ensured that history will remember his family’s name.”
Many key figures have contested Pranav Antal’s suggestion that humanity could lose the conflict against the Thargoids.
Federal Shadow President Felicia Winters commented:
“It’s surprising to hear such a dystopian prediction from the leader of Utopia! I know Antal’s heart is in the right place when he talks about preparing for the far future, but our focus should be on the present. The Thargoid threat has prompted an unprecedented level of inter-power cooperation, and this positive approach is what we must concentrate on.”
Admiral Aden Tanner made a statement on behalf of Aegis:
“Let me make this clear: our enemy may be powerful, but they are far from achieving victory. With our AX weaponry and new megaships, Aegis is leading an effective resistance against Thargoid forces.”
Further refutation came from Li Yong-Rui, CEO of the Sirius Corporation:
“With all due respect to Antal, his peculiar vision of humanity surviving as a mass of digital ghosts cannot be taken seriously. It’s not as if civilisation is on the edge of collapse – for most of us it remains business as usual. Our survival instincts and ingenuity will keep our societies functioning for a long time to come.”
The Federation has announced that the Bulwark Project has reached a successful conclusion. Scores of pilots supported the campaign by delivering commodities to Jahn Dock. These will be used to research the possibility of an automated Federal defence force.
As the campaign drew to a close, Federal Shadow President Felicia Winters released a statement:
“My sincere gratitude goes to those who supported this campaign. But I want to remind you that we’re still some way from a fully automated defence force. The Bulwark Project’s initial remit is simply to establish the economic and military feasibility of such an enterprise.”
Meanwhile, opponents have continued to voice concerns that it could lead to the development of artificial intelligence, which is outlawed throughout the galaxy.
Pilots who contributed to the initiative can now collect their rewards from Jahn Dock in the Momoirent system.
The Federation has launched an initiative to develop autonomous military hardware with which to fight the Thargoids.
Federal Shadow President Felicia Winters shed further light on the initiative, which has been christened the Bulwark Project:
"As the Thargoids' aggression escalates, it's essential that we find ways to minimise casualties while continuing to protect ourselves. Aegis is doing commendable work, but it needn't be our only line of defence."
Imperial commentators have criticised the initiative, however, drawing attention to long-standing conventions against the development of artificial intelligence. Shadow President Winters was quick to dismiss such concerns, saying:
"The purpose of the Bulwark Project is to investigate alternative defence strategies, not to develop machine intelligence."
The operation has received financial support from the Momoirent Central and Co, which has placed an open order for various commodities for use in the campaign.
The campaign begins on the 15th of February 3304 and will run for one week. If the final target is met earlier than planned, the campaign will end immediately.
Following disturbing reports of attacks on Federal ships in the Pleiades Nebula, the partisan rancour that often characterises Federal Congress has faded into the background as both Republican and Liberal members of congress rally around President Zachary Hudson. Rumours that the attacks were perpetrated by the Thargoids abound, prompting calls for increased military spending.
Emerging in the wake of the no-confidence vote that resulted in the expulsion of former Federal president Jasmina Halsey, the bellicose Hudson administration was seen by many as emblematic of the Federation's uncertain path into the 34th century. But the possibility of an alien incursion is rapidly smoothing over the political sore points.
Shadow President Felicia Winters has been careful to neither endorse nor condemn Hudson’s militaristic rhetoric. Meanwhile, both the Republican and Liberal parties have remained silent on the post-presidential career of Jasmina Halsey, whose advocacy for galactic peace contrasts sharply with the hawkish leader who ordered planetary bombardments against onionhead growers in the Kappa Fornacis system. In the political press, attention has focused on the fact that Halsey has become a close confidante of Alliance Prime Minister Edmund Mahon – another moderate voice on the intergalactic stage.
At a rally on Mars in the Sol system, Federal Shadow President Felicia Winters has addressed the escalating tension between the Federation and the Empire.
While careful not to criticise Federal President Zachary Hudson, Winters made her position on the ongoing Federal-Imperial conflict clear. Addressing citizens who had gathered to support her, the shadow president said:
"I may disagree with Edmund Mahon on a number of issues, but I share his views on the current political climate."
"Both the Federation and the Empire have access to tremendous military power, and a war between our two societies could have a disastrous impact on the galaxy. We must turn away from acrimony, and move towards mutual understanding and cooperation. It is not too late to change course."
Winters's words were warmly received by the assembled crowds.
Following the release of former Federal president Jasmina Halsey from the Clearwater Clinic, commentators from around the galaxy are asking the same question: What's next for Halsey?
According to political analyst Emilio Blythe: "If Halsey were to return to politics, it could spell trouble for Shadow President Felicia Winters. Winters's leadership of the Liberal Party has been questioned over the last few months, and Halsey could conceivably retake control of the party."
Meanwhile, members of the religious cult known as The Hands of the Architects are holding onto the hope that Halsey will take on the mantle of prophet, and lead them to 'communion with the Architects'.
Attempts to contact the former president have been rebuffed by her staff.
At a recent event at the Mars Business Society, Federal Shadow President Felicia Winters responded to a question concerning the hospitalisation of former Federal president Jasmina Halsey:
"It was clear from the outset that she'd experienced a traumatic event, and that it impacted her psychologically as well as physically. I hope she receives the treatment she needs."
When asked about Halsey's alleged mystical experiences, Winters replied:
"Frankly, I find the question distasteful. She has undergone a harrowing experience – an experience that would have affected even the strongest of us – and drawing attention to her so-called 'visions' is counterproductive to restoring her mental health."