After a week of wandering in HIP 110620, the Jaques Starport is now making its way through HIP 110079. GalNet is still no closer to learning the reason behind the station's unexpected return, nor can we ascertain where the cyborg barman's ultimate destination may be.
A number of well known commanders from all walks of life have been seen coming in and out of Jaques, which is fast becoming a popular nightspot among young thrillseekers from the Empire, Federation and Alliance alike.
Now that his self-imposed exile has finally come to an end, Jaques appears content to simply wander the stars in the company of a people he once called his own, accompanied by the booming sound of a dark electric beat.
Piracy in Istanu reached unsurpassed levels as miners were forced to leave the troubled region. One anonymous worker said:
"It's out of control! These pirates won't let an honest miner do a day's job without gettin' shot at. We need more independent pilots to come help clean up this mess."
Bounty hunters have been spotting the 'Silver Comet' in Quiness. The last reported sighting was made by pilot Johanna Meister who has since disappeared, reinforcing the myth that 'anyone who sees the Silver Comet will die.'
A coalition of pilots of French origin (a country from ancient Earth, whose descendants still speak an archaic dialect) were planning to launch a violent coup aimed at gaining control of Lave station. Lord Ryan of Ugain was the first to reply about the threat.
"My family emigrated from Lave to the Empire back in the days of Walden! We won't let the system succumb to tyranny again!"
Huge discounts were offered in the Durius System. It is hoped that the sale will generate some much needed capital for the impoverished region, although how many credits will be directly spent on the Durius system remains unknown.
The Empire's Realm Keepers are a small, secretive group that has ambitious goals and a desire to increase its numbers. Based in Liaedin, a system deep in Federation space, the ERK want to turn more Federal space over to Imperial control. A representative said:
"We will help defend the citizens of the Empire. We need your skill and cunning toward the growth of the Empire. We are looking to develop skills in stealth combat. We will align ourselves with other Imperial factions or guilds. We will fight against Federation and Alliance scum."
Word circulated recently on the GalNet boards that a coalition of pilots of French origin (a country from ancient Earth, whose descendants still speak an archaic dialect) were planning to launch a violent coup aimed at gaining control of Lave station.
As home to one of the galaxy's finest flight schools, Lave holds deep sentimental value to many pilots from all walks of life.
Lord Ryan of Ugain was the first to hit back:
"My family emigrated from Lave to the Empire back in the days of Walden! We won't let the system succumb to tyranny again!"
Commander Ulysses Wolf, an Imperial Explorer, also hit back:
"We won't just stand by and let it happen!"
Many other pilots also voiced their discontent, suggesting that if a French Coalition did attempt a takeover they'd have more than just local Alliance Forces to deal with. President James Gibson of Lave couldn't be reached for comment.
The bounty hunter gossip columns are abuzz with a reported sighting of the fabled 'Silver Comet'. A long-standing superstition states that "anyone who sees the Silver Comet will die," and it seems this latest sighting will only serve to reinforce the myth. The report came from Quiness by pilot Johanna Meister, Deadly rank, who has since disappeared - last sighted in the Alioth system.
The Federal Navy dispatched a task force to investigate the mysterious comet's appearance in Quiness, although so far they claim to have uncovered no evidence to support Commander Meister's claim.
This news hasn't stopped independent hunters from getting curious. Silhar Bradeus, head of the Bounty Hunters Guild, has offered a hefty reward for any information on the Silver Comet or the location of missing pilot Johanna Meister.
An investigation into local pirate activity near the Alliance core systems has shown a focused gathering of cut-throat pirates in the Istanu system.
Miners operating in the area have been abruptly forced to leave or face death at the receiving end of high-powered beam lasers.
One local miner who wished to remain anonymous (due to future health reasons) had this to say about the situation:
"It's out of control! These pirates won't let an honest miner do a day's job without gettin' shot at. The Alliance aren't interested in doing anything about them! We need more independent pilots to come help clean up this mess."
Individual contractors are being informed that many bounties are up for grabs. For a point of contact, CMDR Jobedy of the Alliance Outskirt Fleet has taken lead and is forming a local militia to assist the innocent miners in reclaiming the system.
Commanders from all over the galaxy are making their mark. Many different Commander groups are beginning to form to show their faction allegiance, demonstrate against decisions made by the Galactic Super Powers, or calling for support of their cause.
Communism Interstellar is an emerging group with the stated aim 'to give all sentient beings a better life and a chance for immortality'. Once Communism Interstellar gathers enough members its ten step plan involves taking on every communism mission possible, trading between communist systems and inserting spies within every major community group.
The Elite Diplomatic Corps aims to pool its efforts to favour Alliance interests across the galaxy. In a statement, the group said:
"We are calling every Alliance pilot from AEDC (or other organisations that sympathise with the cause) in the STF 1774 region to help our fellow comrades."
Independent pilots' actions were also credited by Senator Patreus in helping to bring an early end to the hostilities in the Durius system as they came to a close and reducing the number of casualties suffered by both sides. The Senator's civic management teams are now in the process of taking over control of the system's government in preparation for its new status as an Imperial world.
The recent slide of Banki and BD+03 2338 into states of lawless anarchy caused some to accuse President Jasmina Halsey of completely mishandling the socioeconomic climate. Some claimed her missteps have left the Federation weaker than it has ever been before.
The Imperial wedding was delayed due to Hengist Duval's sickness. The markets did not notably change in reaction to this news, suggesting that the true state of the Emperor's health has come as no surprise to those in power.
Traders operating in systems across the galaxy have complained of an increase in illegal racing activity. A representative declared:
"These speeding ships are a menace! They perform dangerous manoeuvres at ridiculous speeds and that puts honest traders like us in danger."
The Buckyball Run continues despite the outcry.
Player faction The Mercs of Mikunn had humble beginnings, with two members working to spread the influence of The Dukes of Mikunn to nearby systems. By trading in slaves, the two brothers quickly managed to strengthen their hold on the system. Not content with their gains, the Dukes have turned to HR 7327 as their next target. The Commanders are rallying others to their cause, saying:
"The Dukes want your help. If cash is your thing, come to Mikunn for some Merc work. I don't call the shots, but I will be your liaison between you and the Dukes, serving only to coordinate. There are some serious credits to be made."
In recent days players flying through Kappa Tucanae have been turned away by Commanders claiming allegiance with player faction Emperor's Grace. Those refusing to leave were promptly destroyed. In a statement on their online channel, Emperor's Grace warned:
"A surge in Federal scum and Alliance cowards has become unbearable within our borders. It is your duty to protect all that our Emperor has fought so hard to provide us. Join now and show your love for our Emperor's Grace!"
The Purple Netcoms Holdings Corporation has declared itself as independent, and has called on Commanders to help the Sugrivik system secede from the Federation.
Call Hagen, the leader of the League of Nabatean Defence Party, called for a zero tax policy for citizens of the Nabatean system at an impromptu rally.
The slave revolt in Ongkuma was crushed thanks to Commanders' support for Senator Torval. The remaining rebels have been killed or captured, and the slave rebellion is over.
Financial forecasters are astounded at the volume of trading by the Crimson State Group in the Lugh system and are now predicting a boom for the group. This can only come as more bad news for the beleaguered system owners.
Despite the continuing 'Oniongate' protest on the steps of Congress, Admiral Vincent announced that surface bombing of Panem in the Kappa Fornacis system would resume, but this time with targeted, genetically engineered biocides to destroy the Onionhead crop.
Vice President Smeaton's death has been noted as suspicious, with the revelation that he had completed a clean full medical scan in his private scanner only an hour before his death.
Christmas celebrations and official public holidays have begun throughout Federal, Alliance and some independent systems.
In ancient times the date once marked the shortest day on Earth and developed into a key date for various ancient religions still observed by some. The now traditional Christmas celebration of commercial excess, parties and present-giving is in full swing.
In Imperial systems the focus of the present-giving celebrations is the New Year in the standard calendar, and of course Empire Day, the day after.
Onionhead stories are dominating the Federal media, with teenage criminality being highlighted. The coverage has increased demand for the narcotic in Federal space higher than ever.
Admiral Vincent has announced a program of crop destruction from low orbit around Panem.
"Dropships, launched from our orbiting Farragut class battlecruisers, have bombed large areas of crops. We used pinpoint modern weaponry and no human has been harmed in these attacks."
Local news reports show this not to be true. An entire family was found dead, overcome by the noxious fumes from the burning of the ripe crop in their field tent. The image of a burning warg (a deer-like creature with big eyes, probably imported as a pet by one of the settlers) running from a burning field, has spread through social media, especially within the Alliance, spreading hatred for Federal Forces.
The Imperial Palace has issued a statement saying that while the Emperor is unwell, it is not as serious as many commentators are suggesting. Nevertheless speculation is rife. The Chancellor, Senator Anders Blaine, has tried to quell the speculation.
"The great Emperor Hengist has not involved himself in the detail of politics for a long time. It is a terrible loss for us all that he is unwell, but even if the worst does come and our beloved Emperor passes away, we will have a coronation, we will have a spectacular ceremony and some great parties, but nothing will really change. The Senate and I will continue to run the Empire."
It is said that actions speak louder than words, and it has been noted that many shipyards throughout Imperial space appear to be concentrating on bringing numerous Imperial Interdictors run by key Senators to battle readiness with full squadrons of fighters. This is highlighted by the reduced number of new ships they are completing on the open market.
All five of the slaver Senator Torval's 'enforcers' – giant battle-hardened Interdictors – have left port, and her luxuriously equipped Majestic Class yacht "Xanadu", which still packs a punch, is ready to travel at a moment's notice. Senator Patreus's fleet is also mobilised, though this is not so unusual, but we expect some fireworks in the next few weeks.
Meanwhile in the Federation, another vote in Congress has gone against besieged President Halsey. She has been forced to remove her block on the Navy's latest budget. Shadow President Hudson declared this a major victory.
"Finally our once great Navy can operate again. Belatedly our heroes can return to full pay, and we can start to bring our fleet out of mothballs. Our Frontier States can once again see the justification for their taxes, and the powerful support we can bring to them."
We couldn't get a comment from the Alliance leadership, but we did manage to speak to a junior aide who wanted to remain unnamed.
"It's depressing they're at it again. I thought Halsey was better than that. Doubtless millions will die, and there's not much the Alliance can do except broker the odd meaningless set of peace talks after they've had at each other."