Reports are coming in from the Pegasi sector of scores of marked slaves being rescued by Imperial Commanders participating in the ‘United Offensive’. Acting in concert with members of the Sirius Corporation, Imperial Commanders are carefully extracting human cargo from Kumo Crew vessels. The cargo is then delivered to Sirius Corp Commanders, who fly them to safety for relocation. Unconfirmed rumours indicate that members of the Utopians are also joining the rescue and relocation efforts.
Spokesmen for the Kumo Crew have vehemently denied that marked slaves are anything but common criminals and degenerates, but one prominent case has received coverage on media circuits. Known only by her first name (for her own protection), former slave Aasha has become the face of the United Offensive.
"Imagine my surprise when I woke up from stasis in Comanga surrounded by pirates!" Aasha originally entered a two-year Imperial slavery contract as part of the Quivira settlement with Silver Universal PLC. "I thought it was the right thing to do", said Aasha. "I was a trained mechanical engineer and could fetch a shorter term than any anyone else in my family. The priates said that's what made me so valuable."
Imperial Slavers Associated reiterated its previously stated opposition to transporting slaves outside the Empire. They added that any Imperial slave rescued from the Kumo Crew, or any violation of their terms of service agreement, would result in that slave's contract being rendered null and void.
"I don't know the Commander who saved me", a tearful Aasha explained, "but I am so thankful to them, and the friendly folks at Sirius who helped me get to the relocation authority on Munshin."
After an exciting week it’s time for another report on the political manoeuvrings and struggles of the galaxy’s most prominent political players. Hostilities have flared up, so read on to find out who benefitted from the chaos and who has been a victim of it.
Arissa Lavigny-Duval used this week to recover from the turmoil her administration had fallen into, with her supporters preparing several systems for expansion and undertaking widespread fortification throughout her space. This impressive defensive effort has assured Arissa’s rise to the #1 spot in the GalNet rankings, despite the successful enemy undermining of Cook and He Xingo.
Aisling Duval has suffered an unexpected drop to #3 in the galactic rankings this week. An increase in hostile activity in Aisling’s space, and the successful enemy action in her system of Syntheng, has pushed her administration into turmoil. This downturn in the face of a relatively minor offensive on her space calls into question Aisling’s ability to maintain control over her rapidly growing sphere of influence.
Zemina Torval has struggled in recent weeks, and her drop in rankings is certainly understandable. The Senator had her control of nearly half a dozen systems successfully undermined, and her only expansion attempt, in Mannoda, failed. While Torval’s resource reserves and her supporters’ impressive fortification efforts were enough to stave off turmoil, she will be facing a difficult week if the hostilities in her space continue.
Denton Patreus has used the recent weeks to recover from the sharp drop in support his organisation has seen. With the Kumo Crew distracted and under pressure from Operation Davy Jones, and Federal corsairs focusing on Zemina Torval, the Senator’s forces surged ahead, rapidly expanding Patreus’ sphere of influence and securing a rise in the rankings for their ambitious leader. It remains to be seen if this impressive recovery can be maintained if Denton’s systems once again come under attack from his rivals.
Zachary Hudson had a successful week. With expansion paused due to recent turmoil, his supporters completed an impressive fortification program throughout much of the President’s sphere of influence. This meant that only one of Hudson’s systems was successfully undermined by the enemy, and it gives the Federation politician an impressive reserve of resources to draw upon.
Felicia Winters has had her space heavily infiltrated by enemy wings for weeks now, and her supporters always staunchly defended her systems. However, this past week saw a sharp increase in hostilities in the Shadow President’s powerbase, straining her modest forces. With her grip on much of her space undermined by rivals, Winters’ administration falls into turmoil, and it’s only through impressive effort from her supporters that just one of her systems is at risk.
Edmund Mahon has shown that his organisation has the ability to grow stronger even in the face of extreme difficulties. The Alliance politician’s rise to #2 in the GalNet rankings is well earned this week, with his resilience to heavy hostile action attributed to a successful fortification program and a series of expansions into highly profitable systems in the recent weeks. While both of those factors give Mahon a good reserve of resources to draw on, his enemies successfully undermined eight of his systems in what likely heralds a period of increased hostility, likely to tax the rapidly expanding organisation.
Li Yong-Rui’s Sirius Gov has retained its high galactic standing despite a sudden increase in attacks on its systems. While the ability of Li Yong-Rui’s supporters to withstand the added pressure is impressive, the successful undermining of two their systems and widespread hostilities throughout many of their border systems likely spell an end to a period of relative peace for the organisation. As tensions with Sirius’ neighbours flare up, the corporate government is sure to come under increased pressure from without.
Archon Delaine and his Kumo Crew continue to defend against the Imperial offensive – dubbed ‘Operation Davy Jones’ – which is now in its fifth week. While the pirate lord’s grip on his claimed territory has been severely challenged, with one of his expansion attempts stopped in its tracks and his control over more than a dozen systems undermined, there is yet no victory in sight for his attackers. With a relatively small powerbase and key systems fortified against aggression, the Kumo Crew remains unbroken, having avoided falling into turmoil and even securing one new system, Kakmbuta.
Pranav Antal has experienced an amazing surge in support in the recent weeks. Emboldened, his supporters claimed several new systems for Utopia, including Ewah, where a fierce battle with the local opposition forces took place. While attempts to claim the distant Sothis faltered and expansion into Lidpar was countered by staunch enemy action, it seems clear that Utopia will continue to grow at a quick pace. The one difficulty facing Pranav Antal’s organisation is somewhat lacklustre fortification efforts, which may expose Utopian systems to enemy action, should hostilities flare up.
For the first time in the history of Utopia, the famed Sim-Archive, located in Antal, is being opened to outside visitors.
The archive is a vast collection of memories stored as sims, allowing others to relive the experiences of Utopian pilgrims in the form of vivid virtual reality experiences. In the past, those sims have been used to educate Utopians and to reform dissidents within the community.
Today, pilots from across the galaxy can buy Utopian sims from the more limited, public section of the Sim-Archive. In a brief statement, Simguru Pranav Antal urged all-comers to travel to Antal.
"What we are offering to our brothers and sisters throughout the galaxy is an opportunity to learn, to experience, to live through the memories of thousands. From childlike wonder, through crushing terror, to unrestrained joy, the sims we offer are not just a means of entertainment, but the purest, most direct tool for achieving empathy and consensus."
It's time for another weekly report on the struggles of the foremost political powers in the galaxy. While several regions saw a more peaceful week, there have also been some big developments. Read on to find out who benefited, and who is tumbling down the rankings.
Arissa Lavigny-Duval has expanded her influence into another system with close to no opposition and fortified her space against some well-coordinated undermining by her enemies, all while providing the core of the fleet attacking Archon Delaine, showcasing her ability to project her power over the whole of inhabited space. With her administration rising to the challenge and recovering from recent turmoil, Arissa's territory is set to return to its previous growth.
Aisling Duval maintains her #1 spot in galactic rankings. This is partly due to her continuing growth at a time when some of her rivals are seeing internal difficulties, and partly because the Princess enjoyed a very peaceful week, with few reports of hostile activity in her space and no opposition to her expansions. With vast resources and an efficient PR machine at her disposal, Aisling is set to keep her galactic poll standing for the foreseeable future.
Zachary Hudson has lost standing this week, in part due to somewhat lacklustre expansion efforts, which saw one of his three attempted expansions stopped by hostile wings. However, the efforts of Hudson's supporters to fortify his vast territory have been remarkably successful, again showcasing the President's ability to withstand heavy undermining of his systems.
Felicia Winters has seen her space come under heavy assault this week. While Winters' supporters are by now extremely proficient at defending her space against enemy undermining action, two setbacks have hurt the Shadow President's ranking this week. The attempt to expand her influence into the system of Liburodo has been stopped by overwhelming enemy action, and Edmund Mahon's expansion into Lugh has contested Felicia's hold over several other systems, further taxing her administration.
Zemina Torval lost the support of several financial interests a few weeks ago, and continues to suffer from the after-effects of that, making another rise in the rankings unlikely for now. At the same time, however, Torval makes good use of limited resources, easily expanding to another system and fortifying much of her space. While the Senator continues to see only moderate enemy action in her space, she has once more suffered due to a focused strike against Tanghpon, which successfully undermined her control of that system.
Denton Patreus had a very successful week. While his supporters are still directing much of their attention to Operation Davy Jones, the Senator managed to expand his influence into two more systems, and successfully fortify and even outdo Archon Delaine in the hotly contested system of Cuchua, which both men have attempted to prepare for future expansion.
Edmund Mahon saw his quick rise to galactic prominence suffer some push-back this week. While his attempt to expand into Lugh was successful and his supporters successfully fortified his systems, the massive surge in enemy activity against the Alliance politician's forces may signal future difficulties, and his expansion into Lugh could trigger more conflict with Felicia Winters and Zachary Hudson. For now, however, Mahon's #3 standing is well deserved, and he enjoys a steady growth in support not enjoyed by his rivals.
Li Yong-Rui expanded into no fewer than five new systems this week. This, along with his successful fortification efforts, easily justifies his rise in galactic standings. Sirius Gov has so far seen few attempts by its rivals to stop its efforts, and it's not entirely clear how the corporation will cope once it's seriously challenged, but it's clear that Li Yong-Rui's organisation will not be returning to the bottom of the galactic ranking any time soon.
Archon Delaine is still in a difficult position, but his supporters have managed to limit the damage done by the Imperial attackers this week. While Operation Davy Jones succeeded in undermining the Kumo Crew's control of five key systems, better organised fortification efforts have actually left the pirate lord with more resources at his disposal than he had the week before. With no new expansions and the continuing assault by huge numbers of Imperial pilots, the pirate band is still in danger, but five weeks into the offensive they continue to resist and to test the resolve of their attackers.
Pranav Antal has spread the vision of Utopia into four new systems this week. This is an unprecedented surge for what has been one of the galaxy's less prominent powers. Utopians appear to credit this unexpected push to a new group of Commanders who are currently unidentified and not in communication with the rest of Pranav Antal's forces. If that force, nicknamed by some “The Many”, continues to support the Simguru, then Antal's rise to #9 in galactic rankings might yet be sustained. Further rise may be compromised by an ambitious attempt by Utopians to establish a commune in the distant colony of Sothis, which is sure to tax the organisation's scant resources.
It's time for another weekly report on the struggles of the foremost political powers in the galaxy. With ongoing hostilities throughout inhabited space, who has benefitted from the chaos, and who has lost favour?
Arissa Lavigny-Duval has mustered enough resources to continue expansion despite her focus on the Imperial offensive against the Kumo Crew. Arissa claimed HIP 32812 and Phracani almost entirely unopposed. At the same time, hostile wings have continued to undermine her territory, and while their efforts were largely contained, this disruption helped to push Lavigny-Duval into turmoil.
Aisling Duval claims the #1 spot in galactic rankings this week, after another round of rapid expansion. While Aisling's supporters succeeded in securing her systems against enemy incursions, the effort to claim HIP 95256 was stopped in a surprise opposition push that is variously blamed on either Mahon's pilots or other Imperials.
Zachary Hudson has for several weeks experienced severe efforts to undermine his control, but his supporters have consistently succeeded in fortification. However, while Hudson claimed two new systems, this week the President's enemies successfully undermined Hanggardi, pushing the administration into turmoil.
Felicia Winters saw her efforts to claim HDS 1065 and Potamoi fail, as Federal space continues to see heavy, regular infiltration by hostile Commanders. At the same time, the Shadow President managed to expand her influence to three new systems, and to counter undermining efforts by the means of well-coordinated fortification.
Zemina Torval saw another drop in support this week, reflected in the successful enemy undermining of Tanghpon and the failure of her expansion attempts into HIP 23824 and Mandhrithar. At the same time, remaining Torval associates made good use of their now-limited resources, securing Jamariges and shoring up vulnerable border systems.
Denton Patreus has had his supporters focus their efforts on just one system this week, expanding into Vaka and abandoning attempts elsewhere. This is likely due to many combat pilots pledged to the Senator focusing on the offensive against the Kumo Crew, which continues to take the pressure off Patreus' once-threatened systems.
Edmund Mahon expanded quickly this past week, just as he has for the last month. This allowed him to greatly expand his influence and climb the galactic rankings, but it presents the Alliance politician with a new problem. With Mahon's territory so spread out, fortification efforts are becoming increasingly difficult, and several systems have fallen into chaos following heavy undermining.
Li Yong-Rui has seen a growth both in territory and enemy action similar to Edmund Mahon's and with similar results. A combination of rapid expansion and increased undermining by hostile wings has thrown some of the Sirius Gov’s systems into a state of turmoil. While the situation is not as severe as for Mahon, thanks to extensive fortification, Li Yong-Rui’s troubles as a symptom of the same issues, an increasingly large territory policed by a stretched security force.
Archon Delaine put up a stern defence against the combined Imperial offensive into the Pegasi Sector for the past two weeks, but the first cracks have shown in the pirate crew's fortifications. Half a dozen of Archon's systems, including He Xians and San Muss, have been successfully undermined by Empire-aligned wings. While the pirate crew remains resolute in the face of the massive assault, securing two more systems this week, the pressure seems to only be increasing.
Pranav Antal successfully expanded into HIP 116213 after several failed attempts in the past. Speaking about the system a month ago, the Simguru called the planned new commune "an enlightened defence against the uncivilised horde". This provocative expansion was possible by the peace Utopia continues to see, with their space considered to be, in the recent weeks, one of the safest places in the galaxy, thanks to the relatively small organisation's non-threatening attitude towards its neighbours.
It's time for another weekly report on the struggles of the foremost political powers in the galaxy. With ongoing hostilities throughout inhabited space, who has benefitted from the chaos, and who has lost favour?
Arissa Lavigny-Duval has consolidated her existing power base this week and prepared for future expansion. Faced with no new systems to claim for Lavigny-Duval, her supporters directed her efforts to massively fortifying her systems and partaking in the Imperial offensive against Archon Delaine, set to continue for the foreseeable future.
Aisling Duval still expands her power-base at a rapid and consistent pace, claiming several new systems and the support of another Commander group, The 13th Legion. As quick as Aisling's rise to power has been, her efforts to expand towards Federation space have been blunted once more, when Winters' pilots halted her attempt to claim Ax Yac Baru.
Zachary Hudson managed to expand his influence into two new systems this week, despite seeing continued, massive challenges to his power through his controlled space. With a focus on fortifying his existing systems and relatively little attention given to expansion, Hudson might have issues claiming new systems in the coming weeks.
Felicia Winters continues to have supporters secure her space, with focused fortification stopping all attempts to seriously undermine her control of her systems. Her expansion continues to see mixed success, with several systems claimed but others successful opposed - most notably the attempt to claim Lugh.
Zemina Torval has seen a substantial drop in support this week, likely due to significant commercial concerns withdrawing financial support for the Senator's operations. Fortunately for Torval, this calamity coincided with a significant drop in enemy activity against her systems, allowing her to successfully fortify and expand despite her reduced following.
Denton Patreus is the big beneficiary of the combined Imperial offensive into the Pegasi sector. While he only enjoys modest levels of Commander support, he is able to continue to shore up and expand his sphere and influence, now that the Kumo Crew no longer puts pressure on his space.
Edmund Mahon rapidly expands his powerbase, claiming an amazing ten more systems this week. This quick growth brings Mahon's sphere of influence closer to that of several other groups, potentially exposing him to increased enemy activity in the future weeks, and spreading out his forces.
Li Yong-Rui of Sirius Gov continues to see his corporate government expand its influence at a very quick rate, pushing further towards both Federation space, and the territory of Archon Delaine, Pranav Antal and Edmund Mahon. While generally Sirius Gov sees little opposition to their expansion attempts, their attempt to claim Chounjemait this week has been stopped, presumably by Mahon's pilots.
Archon Delaine has seen his Kumo Crew weather the Imperial offensive with surprising fortitude. Despite massive enemy incursions, the pirate lord has claimed three more systems this week, albeit none of them Imperial. Due to Imperial attacks being focused on their border systems, the Kumo Crew was able to focus their fortification in a few areas and weather the storm, at least for now.
Pranav Antal continues to see the benefits of diplomacy and the Utopia's safe strategic position, seeing little in way of hostile activity. While only a small number of Commanders support the Utopian project, they were able to claim another system for the Simguru and to fortify their key systems against enemy incursions.
Another week has passed, and the great and powerful of the galaxy continue to vie for power and influence. Who has prospered? Who has struggled? Read on to find out.
Arissa Lavigny-Duval continued to expand at a rapid pace despite the fact that having her forces stretched thin and has lost the systems of Nunus and Varka. With little actual enemy activity, it's this over-expansion that spells trouble for the Senator’s future plans.
Aisling Duval continues to see huge levels of Commander support, and very little hostile action within her space. She continues to expand her influence at a staggering rate. However, in a first such failure to date, her supporters' attempt to expand into Sounti has been countered by Federal pilots.
Zachary Hudson continues to see extremely heavy enemy activity in the systems under his control, although countered by strong fortification. Hudson has attempted to secure four more systems this week, located within his current territory or in uncontested space.
Felicia Winters again had her pledged supporters successfully secure her sphere of influence in the despite massive incursions by hostile fleets. On the expansion front, Winters' results are more mixed, with Lambla and Carnoeck secured, but attempts to expand towards Imperial space firmly countered.
Zemina Torval continues to see a lot of enemy opposition to her expansion, particularly in the areas bordering Federation space. As a result, three of her expansion attempts have failed. However, Zemina Torval's influence has spread to several other systems, and her borders are well-fortified.
Denton Patreus is no longer in as dire straits as he was two cycles ago, having managed to secure and fortify most of his claimed space. His space continues to see significant hostile action, mainly in border systems. As a result, several of his expansion attempts have failed, although the Senator has managed to secure four new systems.
Edmund Mahon continued to shore up and expand his power base this cycle. While Mahon has seen extremely high levels of hostile activity in the strategically placed Bonitou, outside forces have not managed to compromise the security of his systems or stop his ambitious expansion attempts.
Li Yong-Rui of Sirius Gov is building a power-base in an area of inhabited space just as fine or better than Edmund Mahon's. While Akkadia and 39 Tauri, bordering the Federation, have seen high levels of hostile activity, overall this corporation continues to push its borders with little trouble.
Archon Delaine, the leader of the Kumo Crew has been subject to an Imperial counter-offensive this cycle. While the attempts to undermine his systems have been resisted, the pirate conglomerate's growth has been stopped this week. An aggressive expansion attempt into Cuchua, in Patreus space, and another into Matlehi have both been firmly countered.
Pranav Antal and his Utopia continue to have relatively modest political influence, slowly expanding in face of only minor enemy action and steadily shoring up the organisation's current borders. The exception is the Federation system of Ewah, where focused enemy response stopped the Utopian forces.
In their convictions that their interests coincide with each other, Commanders following Simguru Pranav Antal and those in the employ of Sirius Gov have agreed a non-aggression pact. They recognise each other’s right to exist, and to co-exist in harmony and in peace. Their ships are free to travel within each other's space.
All freelance Commanders wishing to sign the pact are welcomed in Lembava or Polevnic to do so and make sure that part of the galaxy will be more secure in the future.
This agreement has been made to seek the benefit of both their independent territories as a whole, to promote trade between the two powers and ensure the continued existence of civilization devoted to future prosperity rather than past tradition or present comfort.
The Utopians unveiled their plans to fight back against the pirates of the Pegasi sector today, at a meeting held aboard Yolen Hub in HIP 116213.
Simguru Pranav Antal was met with wild cheers from the gathered crowds as he spoke about the sector’s recent spate of conflicts with the Kumo Crew, the resultant economic downturn and Utopia’s plans for turning all of that around.
Outside the station’s no-fire zone, followers of the Simguru demonstrated the effectiveness of Utopian technology when a wing of ships equipped with Enforcer Cannons shredded an Anaconda in under a minute. A clear message to anyone who thinks the Utopians will let their communes be pillaged simply because their overall philosophy leans towards peace.
Thousands of Pegasi sector civilians were forced to evacuate their homes last week, following a series of brutal raids carried out in the name of Archon Delaine.
Some resilient residents have attempted to reach out to the Federation and Empire homeworlds for assistance, but so far, their pleas for help have gone unanswered. This leaves the question on everyone’s lips: who will stop the Kumo Crew?
Local business magnate, Pranav Antal, believes that his Utopians may well be able to provide an answer.
“Their greed, their jealousy… these are the things that drive the Kumo to try to own, control and destroy everything they see.”
“This desire for base things has led the crew down a dark path, one which has caused much pain for the people of Pegasi. We at Utopia understand their sorrow, their troubles, and we want to help.”
“Agents of Utopia are seeking to open a new commune in Hip 116213. Once approved, our engineers will begin the dangerous process of establishing an enlightened defence against the uncivilised horde.”