TNS 1116 (alt)

From Traveller Wiki - Science-Fiction Adventure in the Far future
Jump to: navigation, search

Traveller News Service - 1116 - Alternate Version

Contents

Date: 131-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

⑆ FLASH FLASH FLASH FLASH FLASH FLASH FLASH FLASH FLASH ⑆

¶ Archduke Dulinor Astrin Ilethian was killed today when his personal gig was destroyed in a massive explosion of unknown origin. The gig was inbound to the palace from Dulinor's flagship, the cruiser Sargon, when it failed to change course in response to traffic control instructions, and then vanished in a massive fireball while in deep space.

¶ Craft were immediately dispatched from Sargon to search for survivors, and were soon joined by vessels of the Imperial Navy. Search and rescue operations continue, but searchers acknowledge that the extremely violent nature of the explosion make the possibility of any survivors increasingly small.

¶ The archduke was en route to an audience with the Emperor, the subject of which was not available at press time. Emperor Strephon has ordered the Imperial Navy to take charge of a full investigation of the explosion in cooperation with other authorities, and has ordered Sargon and her crew into quarantine at the Imperial Naval base at Capital for the duration of the investigation. Naval vessels are in the process of tracking down any and all vessels that were in the area and have ordered tapes of all communications to and from the gig subjected to the most rigorous analysis.

¶ The Emperor expressed his deep sadness at the news, and has sent a formal proclamation of his condolences to the people of the Domain of Ilelish and a private letter to Dulinor's wife and daughter. Funeral arrangements for the Archduke have not been announced.

¶ Also killed in the blast were the Archduke's Naval aide Volante Imprey, the crew of the gig, and a number of other individuals. A full list of victims is not available at this time. Ω

Date: 132-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ In a tersely-worded press release issued today, General Mueni Arap Rutan, commanding officer of the Imperial Guard, announced that Colonel Hiroshi Enera, commander of the Ilelish Regiment of the Imperial Guard, and three other officers of the same regiment have submitted their resignations to the Emperor, effective immediately.

¶ None of the officers could be reached for comment, and General Rutan refused to comment further except to say that the officers involved had all cited personal reasons for their resignations.

¶ The Ilelish Regiment was serving its normal month-long period as honor guards in the Imperial palace when the resignations occurred, and continues to serve in that position. No replacements have been appointed to the vacancies thus created - the regiment is currently the personal command of General Rutan. A political motivation for the resignations is suspected, but no comments from anyone involved have been forthcoming. Ω

Date: 137-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Informed sources at the palace say that Emperor Strephon will appoint two new Archdukes in the coming year: Lady Isis Arepo Ilethian will be appointed archduchess of Ilelish, succeeding her father, the late Archduke Dulinor. Duke Norris Aella Alledon will be appointed the first Archduke of Deneb. Ω

Date: 137-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Prince Varian Paulo Alkhalikoi, nephew of the Emperor Strephon, announced today that he has decided to leave Capital on an extended vacation from the Imperial court.

¶ "Life at the Imperial Court is a wondrous experience," said the prince, "however, I feel that I am missing an even more wondrous and varied experience to be had by getting away from the pressures of the palace and seeing more of the various societies and cultures that make up the Imperium. I hope to spend some time getting to know a few of the 11,000 worlds a little better." Varian announced no itinerary, but said he plans to try to travel incognito to the greatest extent possible.

¶ The Emperor has not commented officially on his nephew's announcement, but indicated privately that he feels that travel cannot but help to improve anyone's character. Varian's brother Lucan has chosen to remain at court, and refused to comment on his brother's announcement, other than to wish him a safe journey. Ω

Date: 140-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ In separate proclamations issued today, the Emperor appointed Lady Isis Arepo Ilethian of Dlan as Archduchess of Ilelish, and Duke Norris Aella Alledon of Regina as Archduke of Deneb. Formal investiture will take place at the palace on 001-1117. Both candidates will be present, and the Emperor will personally invest them with the regalia of their office, an unusual occurrence in view of the vast distances involved. Special task forces of the Imperial Navy have been dispatched to Dlan and Regina to escort the candidates to Capital. Ω

Date: 145-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Admiral Jori Mallory hault-Viswanath of the Imperial Navy's public relations branch announced today that the Navy was pursuing a number of lines of investigation into the explosion that killed Archduke Dulinor Astrin Ilethian fourteen days ago. "In cooperation with other agencies, we are concentrating massive resources on the investigation of the incident. We have recovered fragments amounting to over three-quarters of the gig (the largest massing over 8500 kilos, the smallest less than 200 grams) and are subjecting them to the most rigorous possible forensic examination. The gig's maintenance records have been fully examined, and every member of the crew of Dulinor's flagship Sargon has been interrogated. We have tracked down every craft that was in the near vicinity for twelve hours before and after the explosion. We are still not certain whether we are investigating an act of terrorism, a multiple homicide, or a freak accident."

¶ Asked about the possibility that the explosion was an assassination, Admiral hault-Viswanath remarked that while that possibility cannot be eliminated, there is no direct evidence of any assassination plot. "That is one of several lines of investigation being actively pursued." he said, "We have orders from the highest level to investigate every possibility, no matter how remote."

¶ Asked if remains of any of the victims of the massive explosion had been recovered, Admiral hault-Viswanath stated that while fragmentary remains had been found, none had been positively identified as those of the Archduke. Asked if this was unusual, other sources responded that in explosions of this size and power, it is unusual to find any remains at all, let alone anything substantial. Ω

Date: 152-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ The monthly changing of the guard at the Imperial Palace took place today, but palace watchers say the ceremony is a little late. Imperial guard uniforms all look pretty much alike, especially to those unfamiliar with them, but a local military enthusiast whose hobby is Imperial uniforms says the differences are like night and day, and to her trained eyes, the Antares guard has been on duty for almost three weeks.

&paral "It is fairly easy to pick out the Aslan, " says Minaro hault-Yunami, author of Uniforms and Equipment of the Imperial Guard, 1080-1110, "and the Marines are in maroon, so they stick out too. But the difference between Antares and Illelish is in certain details of the collar tabs and shoulder boards, which are pretty hard to pick out on the video screen." How does Minaro, who has access only to the same videos of the court as the rest of us ordinary citizens, know the difference?

¶ "Every day when the Emperor enters the Long Hall on his way to the Iridium throne, he is preceded by an honor party of the guard. On the first day of the week, the honor party always wears battle dress instead of the normal full dress uniform. The Illelish Guard's battle dress has a black stripe outlining their right plastron - the Antares Guard is blank. It's a subtle difference, but it's there for anyone with halfway decent eyes."

¶ What does it all mean? "It's a speculation, but I think the Ilelish Guard were pulled from duty so they could mourn their Archduke. It's highly unusual, but it's not completely unknown. The last time something like this happened was in the reign of Arbellatra in 632." Ω

Date: 158-1116Jewell (Spinward Marches 1106)[edit]

¶ After months of investigation, the Office of the Judge Advocate General for the Imperial Navy has dismissed charges of war profiteering brought against Gishan Ryan Khaasira. A spokesperson for the JAG Office stated that "we have found no evidence to support the accusations made by certain individuals concerning the activities of former Lt. Khaasira during the Fifth Frontier War. As such, our investigation has ended and we consider the matter closed."

¶ Gishan Khaasira is a former Naval intelligence officer who transferred to Supply after the ship on which he served, the Agidda, suffered heavy damage from a Zhodani attack. Khaasira then spent the remainder of the war working as an aide to the Quartermaster-General, Admiral Rafael Sukhamaran. It is because of the mysterious disappearance of several shipments of supplies during his tenure there that unnamed sources pointed the finger at him.

¶ While the JAG Office has now officially cleared Lt. Khaasira of all wrongdoing, he has elected to resign his commission from the Navy. Khaasira cited the deaths of his sister during the war and of his father recently as the reasons for his resignation. He intends to return home and use his skills to rebuild his family's merchant business after years of hard times. Ω

Date: 212-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ In-system space ship traffic was snarled today when the arrival of an unexpected Naval courier vessel was vectored to Capital ahead of all other incoming vessels, causing considerable dislocation in orbital traffic control.

¶ A spokesman for System Port Authority refused comment other than to state that the vessel had the highest military priority, and its commander insisted on being cleared for approach immediately. TNS reporters managed to locate the shift supervisor at Capital Far Orbit Control, who was somewhat more talkative on receiving assurances of anonymity.

¶ "The transponder indicated that it was an Imperial Navy vessel," the supervisor said, but when the neutrino signature analysis came through, I recognized it as an Imperiallines TI-class. Now, a Tango Ida with a Navy squawker, is a little unusual. I've worked this duty eight years, and I've only seen that twice...we have a lot of TI-class ships in and out of system, but normally they have civilian transponders. This one demanded clearance straight through to the Naval Base, and we had to give it to them on account of the transponder priority code, even though it meant I had to spend the next three hours unsnarling everything." When asked what he thought it all meant, the supervisor winked at this reporter, and said: "Somebody had something they wanted to get dirtside real fast, and they couldn't wait for the Xboat. Maybe Prince Lucan ordered some extra Tokay escenzia for one of his little parties. Ω

Date: 215-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Archduke Dulinor Astrin Ilethian will be honored at a memorial service to be held in the Hall of Nobles beneath the Moot Spire on 230-1116. Because Dulinor's body has still not been found, mourners may view a holographic representaion of the Archduke, which will lie in state in the Hall for 10 days prior to the ceremony.

¶ Emperor Strephon will deliver the main eulogy. The memorial service itself will incorporate aspects of the Dlani Virasan religion, but will not be a Virasan funeral service, as that will be held on Dlan, Dulinor's homeworld. Although not a follower of the Virasan faith, Dulinor was said to be deeply interested in its tenets, which state (among other things) that true believers must die a non-violent death on Dlan (Ilelish 1021) to attain true enlightenment. Ω

Date: 230-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ A memorial service for Archduke Dulinor Astrin Ilethian was held in the Hall of Nobles beneath the Moot Spire today. Emperor Strephon, his wife Iolanthe, his daughter Grand Princess Ciencia Iphegenia, and the emperor's nephew Prince Lucan were present. The Emperor delivered the eulogy, of which the following are selected excerpts:

¶ Dulinor was my friend. And Dulinor was a madman.

¶ Harsh words? No. Rather, a tribute.

¶ Great spirits are not normal, they are abnormal. In their ceaseless questing for a world which has not yet been but which they seek to bring about they show their alienation from the world around them. These aliens are those whom we call leaders, visionaries, prophets, poets, artists - madmen. Dulinor was one of them, and he stood at their head.

¶ What does it take to see the universe as it is and say it is not enough? To say that it can be another way that it has never been before? These are not the thoughts of a contented man, one who is well-adjusted to the world as he finds it. Well-adjusted is a compliment we throw around easily, but it is not a compliment that applies to a leader. Because leaders are never well-adjusted; they are always discontent, they always seek a universe that does not exist, and they strive to make that universe a reality. This striving is the opposite of being well-adjusted, it is madness.

¶ In all the years I knew him, Dulinor never ceased striving, and I loved him for it.

¶ Talent, we are reminded by the ancient philosopher, is the capacity for opposites. If so, then Dulinor was perhaps the most talented of us all. Cloaked in contradictions, like the black garb he wore, imposed upon him by a faith he did not embrace, he served and defied, agreed and challenged. He was unpopular, and indispensable. He went to his death believing in the course of his life, and not caring if others understood. His life and death are perhaps a warning to those of talent who would follow after him, that the candle that burns brightest burns briefest. Let all talented madmen remember that the life of service comes at great cost, but let them never shrink from it.

¶ Dulinor died in the blackness that he wore in life, and as in that life, never being fully of it, but also not rejecting it.

¶ We will not see his like again. Ω

Date: 231-1116Roget (Spinward Marches 0427)[edit]

¶ Mercenary and former member of an elite Darrian unit Htarlehtoir was today invested as ko (clan chief) of the Feiftiusaea Clan, one of four which jointly control Roget.

¶ This is an unusual clan in that it has both Aslan and human prides; Htarlehtoir is the first human to act as ko for any of the four clans. Ω

Date: 244-1116Dlan (Ilelish 1021)[edit]

¶ Sector Admiral Hutara Astrin Ilethian, brother of the late Archduke Dulinor of Ilelish, has announced that he is resigning his commission, effective immediately. In a short press release read by the admiral's newly-appointed aide, Lieutenant Tadashi Conacht hault-Musillo, the admiral stated that he is resigning in order to devote his full attention to the management of the family lands and business interests now that his niece has been appointed Archduchess in her father's place.

¶ The admiral stated that his niece would now be busy with government duties, and would no longer be able to devote the time necessary to keep the various Ilethian family interests running properly.

¶ Asked why the admiral had not made the announcement himself, the lieutenant stated that the admiral has been ill the last few days, and while he was well on his way to recovery, his doctors felt the added strain of a public appearance might delay his recovery. Ω


Date: 244-1116Sacnoth (Spinward Marches 1325)[edit]

¶ The University of Sacnoth today launched an appeal for funds to purchase rare Aslan artifacts. Professor Elke Ragnarsdottir, leading the appeal, said: "Unfortunately, neither the University nor the government are willing to provide fun ding, so we must appeal directly to the public."

¶ She continued, "These pieces are important because they may prove that Aslan ranged as far coreward as Mithril (Spinward Marches 1628), centuries before they were thought to have reached the Marches. This is a golden opportunity to learn more about them, but they need to be studied scientifically, and the best chance of that is for the University to acquire them."

¶ The artifacts were found on Mithril in 1106, and have since been in the hands of a private collector, who is now selling them to raise money for other projects.

¶ Other bidders are likely to include the Darrian government and Aslan traders. The Darrian Embassy declined to comment on why their government might want to buy the pieces.

¶ If she fails to acquire the pieces, Professor Ragnarsdottir plans to use whatever money is raised to mount an expedition to Mithril in the hopes of discovering more items at the original site. Ω

Date: 245-1116Dlan (Ilelish 1021)[edit]

¶ Puzzled citizens of Dlan who wondered why every entertainment channel was airing re-runs during prime-time last night now have an answer. An unknown agency reserved two hours of air time last night and cancelled a week or so ago, without telling anyone what the reservation was for.

¶ The Dlan Minister of Communication's office had no formal comment, but a high official in that office stated "Somebody's out several mega-credits. They reserved the time almost a year ago, and paid by a bank draft from a numbered account, then last week we got a message that cancelled the reservation and told us to run whatever we wanted. It was too late to try to sell the time elsewhere, of course, so we let individual regional managers decide."

¶ Speculation is rampant in the local entertainment industry, and guesses range from a new holofilm technique that didn't pan out to a massive (and very costly) practical joke. One rumor was a news flash of great importance, but no one can agree on what that might have been. Ω

Date: 262-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ After months of intensive investigation, the Imperial board of inquiry into the explosion of Archduke Dulinor's personal gig on 131-1116 is unable to physically confirm that Dulinor died in the explosion, or that he was even aboard the gig when it was destroyed. Officially, he is still listed as "missing, presumed dead." They have been able to confirm that the explosion was no accident. So far, this has been their only conclusion.

¶ "We have testimony from Sargon's crew that the archduke and his staff boarded the gig," said an unnamed source close to the investigation, "but we haven't been able to find a trace of remains - well, not his remains, anyway." According to testimony of several of the crew, Dulinor's flagship, the cruiser Sargon, launched the gig with the normal crew of two plus a port guide from customs, Archduke Dulinor and fourteen members of his personal staff, and three bodyguards plus assorted baggage for the party. The explosion was so powerful that not a single complete body has been recovered, although DNA and other evidence has accounted for sixteen of the nineteen passengers.

¶ "The pattern of the wreckage indicated three separate, simultaneous explosions, calculated to pulverize the entire passenger compartment," the unnamed source continued. "The explosions all originated in the compartments where baggage would ordinarily be stored." Dulinor's own standing orders, however, provide for constant supervision of the loading process by his bodyguards, and further require that the security staff who guard and oversee loading of the gig must accompany it when it departs. If these requirements were followed, it would seem that at least one of the perpetrators was killed along with the intended victim.

¶ The unnamed source emphasized that investigators are still not convinced that Dulinor was the target of the explosion, although "At this point . . . that's the way to bet." Ω

Date: 265-1116Dlan (Ilelish 1021)[edit]

¶ What started as a minor protest rally at the government center on Dlan escalated into a major civil confrontation between police and local citizens. A large crowd protesting what they called the Imperial Navy's cover-up of events surrounding Archduke Dulinor's death assembled without a permit and became hostile when ordered to disperse.

¶ More than 600 rioters ransacked offices of the Imperial Navy, the Imperial Interstellar Scout Service and the Office of Calendar Compliance, all located in the downtown Imperial office building. Local police and constabulary forces dispersed the crowds within a few minutes, using non-lethal crowd-control devices. Sixteen people, none of them police, were treated and released at local medical centers.

¶ The destruction apparently was haphazard. The Naval office, which suffered the heaviest damage, was primarily a public-relations and recruiting center. At the time of the riots, only civilian employees were present. Ω

Date: 270-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Prince Lucan Alkhalikoi, nephew of the Emperor Strephon, announced today that he will imitate his brother Varian and take an extended tour of the Imperium.

¶ "My brother and I often discussed taking a grand tour of the Imperium together," said the prince, "but we could never agree on the specifics, and when he departed earlier this year on his own, I felt compelled to remain at Capital for personal reasons. I have recently decided however, that I, too, must become more familiar with the Imperium, although I intend to do it in a different way than my brother."

¶ Prince Lucan went on to say that he has not yet completed plans for his trip, and that his itinerary remains open. He did confirm that he will delay his departure until after the archducal investiture ceremony on 000-1117, so that he may attend on behalf of his branch of the Imperial family.

¶ The Emperor had no official comment on his nephew's decision, but sources at the palace indicate he approves. Ω

Date: 282-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Commo Tech First Class Gani Riisha is having trouble getting his possessions back from the Imperial Navy. Gani Riisha was one of the crewmembers of Archduke Dulinor's flagship Sargon, and his possessions are, for some reason, relevant to the investigation into the explosion that killed the Archduke and several others on 131-1116.

¶ "They questioned me quite intensively," Riisha said, "because I was on duty on the bridge when the gig blew up. I expected them to want my signal logs and everything official, but why do they need my uniforms and my personal kit? They released me from custody after a few days, and they've been very generous in supplying me with replacement clothing and such, but there are a number of items of a personal nature I'd like to get back. They can't even tell me when I can expect to see them."

¶ Gani is not alone. While most of Sargon's crew members (and their possessions) have been released from custody, the Imperial Navy still retains the flagship itself, some of the crew's personal gear, and three members of the crew itself under tight security.

¶ The Imperial Navy Public Relations Office refuses to comment, other than to say that the personnel and items are necessary to the ongoing investigation, and that the crewmembers are not suspects at this time. Ω

Date: 289-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ The Imperial Navy has released several transcripts relating to the death of Archduke Dulinor in an explosion on 131-1116. The transcripts describe communications between the gig and inner-system traffic control, but also include selections from the gig's flight-data recorder.

¶ The gig's last response to traffic control was at 13:22:34-131-1116, when the gig's pilot acknowledged and carried out an instruction to alter course. A short time later (13:39:48-131-1116), traffic control issued a course correction instruction, but the gig did not acknowledge. The gig's navigational transponder ceased broadcasting at 13:41:06-131-1116, which is within seconds of the time the gig's flight-data recorder lost contact with all instruments, and approximately the time several other ships in the area reported a bright flash from the gig's coordinates.

¶ All in all, the data released confirms the Navy's contention that several near simultaneous explosions destroyed the gig, killing all aboard instantly. When asked about the gig's cockpit voice recorder, Navy spokesmen responded that the instrument was severely damaged in the blast, and that it was still undergoing reconstructive analysis. Ω

Date: 289-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ The gas-giant planet Plistii, in the Lunion subsector of the Spinward Marches, underwent a violent shudder beginning on 341-1115, causing some small concern for the inhabitants of Quiru (Spinward Marches 2321), one of Plistii's satellites. A panic among the world's 3,200 citizens was averted by quick-thinking MainLines Shipping officials, who were able to gain a few hours advance notice of the disturbance and stage an evacuation drill while the event took place.

¶ "We got everybody in one place, within sight of the emergency evacuation vessels, and then told them what was going on," said a company spokesman. "We gave everybody the day off with pay, and started playing dance music and serving food. It turned into a holiday, and had things turned sour we could have had everybody on the evac ships and out of there in a couple of hours."

¶ Details are still sparse, but the event appears to have been either a massive storm front in the gas giant, or else some kind of "gasquake" deep in the giant's liquid-hydrogen core. Company officials are monitoring the gas giant for further events, but so far nothing other than a few minor aftershocks has been detected. Ω

Date: 289-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ TNS sources learned today that Imperial Navy intelligence operatives may have foiled a plot to assassinate Lady Isis Arepo Illethian. Confidential sources suggest that a series of arrests on Capital and elsewhere in the sector were a result of a long-term undercover operation combating terrorist activity in Core sector. According to the sources, the purpose of the assassination was to galvanize anti-Imperial feelings in the Domain of Ilelish and spark a revolt there by blaming the assassination on Emperor Strephon.

¶ A spokesman for the Imperial Navy refused to comment on TNS reports about a plot, and would neither confirm nor deny the existence of any undercover operations in Core sector or elsewhere. The spokesman did state that both Lady Isis and Archduke Norris were traveling to Capital under a Naval escort, and that their precise schedules and itineraries were classified. Ω

Date: 324-1116Rhylanor (Spinward Marches 2716)[edit]

¶ Subsector law enforcement agencies and the general public were today warned by the Imperial Navy to be on the lookout for Miguel Casimir, also known as Casimir Clarke or Miguel Clarke, who is wanted for a variety of crimes including impersonating an Imperial officer, theft of Imperial property, piracy and murder.

¶ Commander Miles Cullan of the Imperial Navy said, "Casimir -- or whatever name he is now using -- recently escaped from a maximum security prison at a classified location, killing two guards in the process. We believe that he will attempt to dupe loyal citizens into hiding him by claiming to be the victim of a government cover-up. Do not be deceived, this man is a vicious animal. "

¶ Commander Cullan explained that because of the charges of piracy, the Navy has been asked to lead the investigation. He went on to say that the fugitive has escaped before, and on that occasion claimed to be a member of an Imperial Research Station, and that Imperial and megacorporate interests were pursuing him to suppress a radical new power generation technology he had developed after examination of Ancient artifacts. "Casimir may use this story again," said Cullan, "and let's be completely clear: There is absolutely no truth in it." Ω

Date: 331-1116Romar (Spinward Marches 2140)[edit]

¶ The ruling council of Romarr today authorized Spinward Spice & Spirits, LIC, to export 250 tons of dustspice without paying the normal duties and tariffs.

¶ This measure, which will allow SSS to undersell its competitors, is likely to save the troubled company from bankruptcy.

¶ A company representative, Captain Mark Spencer, denied charges of corruption or nepotism, stating the a business case for deferred payment of duty had been presented to the Council and accepted by them.

¶ When asked whether he thought the shipments were at risk from ihatei marauders, Captain Spencer replied that SSS would be hiring additional security staff. Ω

Date: 351-1116Nusku (Solomani Rim 1822)[edit]

¶ At the request of the Marquis of Nusku, the planetary Duma today ordered military protection for an archaeological dig on New Kodiak Island. Civilians with no connection with the scientific team have been barred from approaching or landing on the island.

¶ Duma spokesman Ian Direma stated that the Marquis had gathered information suggesting that the dig site was the focus of a conspiracy to loot archaeological relics. When pressed for details, Direma referred the journalists conducting the interview to Marquis Yushchenko's office. The Marquis could not be reached for comment.

¶ New Kodiak Island is known to have been the location of a minor command center for Terran forces during the Interstellar Wars period. The Reinhardt Foundation has been excavating the site for three years, thus far without any results of interest to the general public. Ω

Date: 354-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ The ships carrying Lady Isis Arepo Illethian and Duke Norris of Regina arrived in system today. TNS has learned that the fleets, which merged at some unspecified point along their respective paths, actually arrived in Core sector some time ago, and have spent the intervening period in security isolation at an unspecified location.

¶ A press conference is scheduled for next week, shortly before the ceremonies that will confirm Lady Isis as Archduchess of Ilelish and Duke Norris as Archduke of Deneb. Ω

Date: 356-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ The Imperial Navy has issued a report on its investigation of Archduke Dulinor's death, ending several months of speculation. The report concludes that Dulinor was killed on 131-1116 when the gig on which he was a passenger vanished in a massive explosion. The report further states that, in the opinion of the investigators, the explosion was intentional, and represents an act of assassination by a party or parties unknown.

¶ Investigators could not find any remains, but DNA extracted from tissues recovered from the wreckage was conclusively identified as being Dulinor's. The report also concludes that one or more of Dulinor's assassins also perished in the explosion, but is unable to reach any conclusion on whether this was a deliberate act of suicide.

¶ Unofficial sources close to the investigation state that there was considerable controversy among investigators as to whether the DNA finally confirmed as Dulinor's came from his body or from medical stockpiles carried as part of his luggage (many nobles travel with medical supplies cloned and cultured from their own tissues, but it is not known for certain whether Dulinor followed this practice).

¶ The complete text of the report was delivered to the Emperor yesterday, and will be released to the press after a copy has been delivered to Lady Isis, the archduke's daughter and heir. Ω

Date: 357-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Informed sources within the Imperial Ministry of Justice today confirmed that the formal search for the assassin or assassins of Archduke Dulinor will be conducted by a special team formed from members of the Imperial Navy, the Scout Service, and the Ministry of Justice, among others.

¶ No details as to membership were made available, but the sources indicated that the team will have nearly unprecedented investigative powers and will consist of top investigators from several agencies other than those named above.

¶ The team will report directly to the Emperor, and has already begun operations based on the Imperial Navy's investigation into the explosion of 131-1116, which killed the Archduke and the crew of his personal gig. Ω

Date: 360-1116Aristotle (Solomani Rim 1740)[edit]

¶ The Confederation Navy today announced the conclusion of their quadrennial SWIFT RETRIBUTION XXIV readiness exercise. "Civilian traffic in the Gemini Subsector may safely return to normal operations," said Commissioner Ignacy Aszykkrol , public affairs spokesman for Doan Naval Base. "We are aware of the inconvenience these maneuvers cause," he continued, "but the price of freedom is eternal vigilance." Commissioner Aszykkrol refused to comment on the nature of the exercise or the elements involved, saying only that the event had been "entirely satisfactory, good training and a complete success."

¶ Later, Lloyd's of London and the Traveller's Aid Society issued a joint bulletin rescinding the subsector-wide Amber travel advisory posted for Gemini Subsector on 060-1116. Ω

Date: 364-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Despite the Imperial Navy's conclusions to the contrary, a small number of people believe that Archduke Dulinor is still alive. Almost from the start, according to sources in the Ministry of Justice, reports of the Archduke's survival were received, although the vast majority of them could be dismissed by investigators after minimal investigation

¶ An anonymous source reveals that almost a thousand separate reports of "Dulinor sightings" were filed with the Imperial Navy, and that more than two dozen investigators were assigned to follow them up. Every report was found to be without factual basis , but this has not prevented the growth of persistent rumors that Dulinor either survived the explosion of Sargon's gig or was never aboard the vessel to begin with.

¶ "A lot of people see someone they think resembles the late Archduke," our source said, "and let their imaginations run away with them." Evidently, many of the "sightings" occurred almost simultaneously in locations separated by several parsecs. Even the most outrageous reports were completely investigated, our source assured us, and all of them proved to be ". . . a waste of time and resources." Ω

Date: 365-1116Lanth (Spinward Marches 1719)[edit]

¶ An Imperial board of inquiry has declared the 10,000-dton passenger liner S.S. Sundance lost with all hands. The Sundance, one of Al Morai's Sunfarer class of luxury express liners, has been missing since she failed to make her scheduled planetfall at Lanth on 118-1114, en route from Regina to Mora. She was carrying 3,084 passengers (2,054 in cold sleep), 577 crew, and 419 dtons of cargo when she left Ghandi (Spinward Marches 1815) on 110-1114. The loss is officially listed as "cause unknown; presumed misadventure."

¶ This ruling paves the way for the settlement of claims brought by Sundance's shippers and passengers' next of kin. Al Morai officials steadfastly deny allegations of improper maintenance or use of unrefined fuel as possible explanations for the ship's disappearence, citing their excellent operational record and impeccable safety rating from the Imperial Grand Survey.

Date: 365-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ The Imperial Navy has finally returned the personal possessions it impounded from Commo Tech First Class Gani Riishao earlier this year. Riisha was on duty on Sargon's bridge on 131-1116, when the gig containing Archduke Dulinor explod ed, killing all aboard.

¶ Gani received no explanation from the Navy, other than a short letter apologizing for any inconvenience he may have suffered, and inventorying his possessions.

¶ "Nothing seems to be missing," Gani said, "But they still haven't told me why the kept everything for so long. I'm more than a little curious."

Date: 365-1116Jesedipere (Spinward Marches 3001)[edit]

¶ A cell of the anti-Vargr group Superioriti has sprung up on this backwater world of the Spinward Marches. For the past ten years, Jesedipere has been home to an increasing number of Vargr refugees fleeing the depredations of the Kforuzeng corsair band. Because of the world's lack of a central government, clashes between its original human inhabitants and the Vargr newcomers are common. The rise of Superioriti will only exacerbate the situation.

¶ The commander of the local Scout base, Nanda Theiss, has attempted to act as a mediator between the groups, but to little avail. She stated that "the situation is worsening and I fully expect larger-scale violence to erupt if something is not done." Ω

Date: 365-1116Antares (Antares 2421)[edit]

¶ In a joint press conference at the archducal station of Cerise, Archduke Brzk and Adkhar Shirushi, head of the sector's Church of the Stellar Divinity, announced that the Star of Jyestha will be sent on tour throughout the Imperium. The Star is a religious artifact believed to have belonged to Jyestha Yerubid, the founder of the Church during the days of the First Imperium. As there are many autonomous churches of this faith throughout the Imperium, this gesture on the part of the Antarean church is of considerable importance.

¶ An itinerary and timetable for the Star's journey has yet to be completed, but both Archduke Brzk and Shirushi agreed that it would be present on Capital in time for the festivities surrounding the emperor's Golden Jubilee. Ω

Date: 365-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ In a short press release issued today, Prince Lucan, nephew of Emperor Strephon, announced that he has changed his mind about embarking on a tour of the Imperium.

¶ "My application to the Imperial Naval Academy has been accepted," said the prince, "and I will serve a term as an officer upon my graduation." Lucan explained that he had been too hasty in announcing his intention to embark on a grand tour, and decided, after considerable thought, that he did not want to imitate his brother Varian too closely. "I have always been taught that each of us must chart his own course." Lucan said, "and I finally concluded that I had been too hasty in my earlier decision."

¶ Emperor Strephon had no comment on his nephew's decision, except to state that he would support Lucan's decision. Ω

Date: 365-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ General Mueni Arap Rutan, commanding officer of the Imperial Guard, announced the appointment of Colonel Murnas De'Angelo as commander of the Ilelish Regiment of the Imperial Guard. The appointment of Colonel De'Angelo, former executive officer of the Antares Regiment of the Imperial Guard, finally fills the vacancy created with the retirement of Colonel Hiroshi Enera earlier this year. The regiment spent the intervening time under the personal command of General Rutan.

¶ There remain three other vacancies in the Ilelish Regiment, also created by unexpected retirements earlier in the year, but neither General Rutan nor Colonel De'Angelo would comment on how soon those positions would be filled. Ω

Date: 365-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Former Imperial Army Intelligence officer Colonel Ruys de Bessier alleged today that the Zhodani Consulate continues to hold POW's captured during the Fourth and Fifth Frontier Wars. Colonel de Bessier recently resigned from the Imperial Army citing "matters of conscience."

¶ During a hastily-organized press conference today, Colonel de Bessier presented what he described as "overwhelming evidence that many of our comrades continue to languish in Zhodani prisons. This is a travesty of civilized behavior, and I, for one , refuse to keep silent any longer."

¶ Colonel de Bessier maintains that from 2,000 to as many as 10,000 Imperial personnel are held at a number of locations within the Zhodani Consulate, and that seven of these locations have been "positively identified." Colonel de Bessier refused to disclose by what means these identifications were made.

¶ Imperial Military sources declined to comment on these allegations.

¶ A spokesperson for the Zhodani Consulate described the allegations as "laughable and lamentable" and "yet another impediment to lasting peace" but refused further comment. Ω

Date: 365-1116Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Speaking on condition that he not be quoted, a retired officer of the Imperial Interstellar Scout Service confirms that there may be a kernel of truth behind Colonel Ruys de Bessier's allegations that Imperial POWs are still within the Zhodani Consulate but that they are there of their own volition.

¶ "I won't even begin to summarize the reasons, but in almost every war a certain number of people perform what might be considered questionable acts and are hesitant about returning home . . . some of them take advantage of the chaos of war to assume new identities, others simply take a liking to their new home and decide not to leave." The officer stopped short of saying any Imperials were guilty of treason, but offered the following: "Imperial intelligence knows that a number of serving members of the Imperial military during the Fifth Frontier War were Zho sympathizers. I think that is pretty much what we have here."

¶ The officer concluded: "It doesn't make sense anyway . . . why would the Zhos keep POWs this long after the war? You can spin all sorts of crackpot conspiracy/espionage scenarios, but most of these are fodder for cheap action/adventure holos." Ω


TNS 1117

This article was copied or excerpted from the following copyrighted sources and used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author.