TNS 1117 (alt)

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Traveller News Service 1117 - Alternate

TNS 1116


Date: 001-1117Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ In a ceremony held under the Moot Spire today, the Emperor Strephon confirmed two new archdukes of the Third Imperium: Lady Isis Arepo Ilethian was confirmed as Archduchess of Ilelish, and Duke Norris of Regina was confirmed as Archduke of Deneb. The ceremony proceeded according to established traditions, with the candidates receiving their circlets of office from the hand of the emperor.

¶ The ceremony was attended by the Emperor, the Empress, Princess Ciencia Iphegenia (a lifelong friend of the archduchess), and other members of the Imperial family, as well as other nobles and the quorum of the Moot. Ω

Date: 001-1117Aquitaine (Solomani Rim 1439)[edit]

¶ The following was received today from Aquitaine in the Solomani Rim sector, dated 244-1116.

¶ The Royal Ministry of Information today announced the betrothal of Queen Marie III to Ian Kellerman, one of the five Ephors of nearby Polyphemus. In a touching note, royal spokesman Jean d'Alembert stated that the Queen was "hopelessly in love" and was looking forward to the marriage. A date and venue for the ceremony have not yet been fixed. Spokesman d'Alembert declined to comment on the political implications of the match. Ω

Date: 001-1117Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Composer Dame Julye Lasczult-Sharama, whose Orchestral Suite #6 was performed at the archducal investiture today, has requested that the name of the composition be formally changed to Investuture Suite -- Holiday 1117 in honor of the occasion of its first public performance. Dame Julye reports that she was so moved by the ceremonies earlier today that she wants the composition to be forever associated with them.

¶ Dame Julye has created numerous compositions at the request of the Imperial family, and is currently reported to be working on a symphony honoring Emperor Strephon's upcoming golden jubilee. Ω

Date: 001-1117Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Selections from Emperor Strephon’s words at the investiture ceremonies on Holiday, 1117:

¶ To Lady Isis:

¶ ”You and my daughter were born on the same day, and since that time you have grown up together, here on this Capital of the Third Imperium, the greatest interstellar state seen by history. As young girls you were able to play and laugh, carefree thanks to the strength of its armed forces and the devotion to duty of its leaders.

¶ In a moment you will become one of those leaders, and cease to be the girl I knew. Looking at you, and back over the years, it seems as if my own daughter were becoming Archduchess, although I know an even more stern duty awaits her. And thinking of th is, Isis Arepo, I realize that with my immense pride is mingled sadness.

¶ Pride that you will be strong, as your father, my friend, Dulinor was.

¶ Pride that you will carry on his mission to lead his people, now your people, to a better future.

¶ Sadness that you will never again be that laughing girl.

¶ Isis Arepo, you will make decisions on which hang the lives and deaths of your people.

¶ Isis Arepo, your name will induce fear in our enemies, respect in our allies, and admiration in your subjects. But it will not induce love, as fathers love their daughters.

¶ Isis Arepo, you will die in the performance of your duty if the time comes, as your father died before you.

¶ In my hands I hold the circlet of your office, of your father's office: the Archduchy of the Domain of Ilelish. Once it touches your brow you will never be the same.

¶ Now, one last time, you are a daughter who can be loved by a father. Remember him, remember me, remember the sun-swept afternoons with Ciencia on the plains of Arbellatra.

¶ And now . . . “

¶ Here the Emperor placed the circlet upon Lady Isis’ brow.

¶ ”Now you are no one's daughter, and never will be again.

¶ I present Her Grace Isis Arepo Ilethian, Archduchess of Ilelish, the second of her line. Look upon her with admiration, pride, devotion, respect, and, if necessary, fear.”

¶ To Duke Norris:

¶ ”Norris Aella Aledon, Defender of the Imperium. "Defender of the Marches," I have heard them say, here at the the Capital, secure behind the walls of starships, ranks upon ranks of subsectors. "Defender of the Imperium," I say, and they will all learn it.

¶ What other duke in living memory has defended the Imperium from invasion by hostile empires? What other frontier has been fought over so many times in that same memory?

¶ Surely none of our nobles have ever done better by the tradition that we serve. Whatever else may be said of me, it is to my credit to have had your service, and you have my deepest gratitude, and the gratitude of 11,000 worlds, defended by the bulwark you have created and continue to man.

¶ The Imperium owes a debt to Your Grace, and to the strong, resourceful citizens you so ably lead. And the Imperium intends to pay that debt today, not by giving more to you, but by asking more from you.

¶ Rise to the leadership of a new Domain, young, vibrant, and strong.

¶ Rise to a greater level of service for which you have proven so prepared.

¶ Rise each day with the strength to carry the burden we place upon you with such faith, represented by this circlet of office I place on your brow . . .”

¶ Here the Emperor placed the circlet upon Duke Norris’ brow.

¶ ”Rise, Your Grace, Norris Aella Aledon, Archduke of Deneb, the first of your line.

¶ Rise with us to defend this crown of stars, this Imperium, in peace as well as in war. Keep the flame for us in the Marches, keep it burning brightly for all of our children, and our children's children.” Ω

Date: 003-1117Saxe (Solomani Rim 1437)[edit]

¶ The following was received today from Saxe/Solomani Rim, dated 254-1116.

¶ A hostile takeover of Saxe Transport appears to be an accomplished fact today, after the New Bavarian High Court refused to hear a legal challenge against the stock buyout engineered by Lysander Production, Incorporated. LPI spokesmen filed a press release today, assuring all interested parties that despite the buyout, Saxe Transport would continue to operate autonomously for the immediate future. Ω

Date: 006-1117Kukulcan (Solomani Rim 2835)[edit]

¶ Received 012-1117:

¶ After several days of planet-wide rioting, a press conference was held today by General Anton Marques, military chief of staff to the President of Kukulcan.

¶ He announced that President Orinda was in seclusion, recovering from injuries suffered when "insurgents" stormed the Presidential Palace late last night. General Marques further announced the suspension of civilian government proclaimed martial law in the areas most affected by rioting, and promised that order would be restored quickly. He vowed that the planet would get through these "difficult times," and that the armed forces stood ready to defend the people against "all enemies, foreign or domestic ." Ω

Date: 019-1117Fenris (Solomani Rim 1830)[edit]

¶ The following was received today from Fenris/Solomani Rim, dated 284-1116.

¶ The starship which arrived unexpectedly in-system today has been identified as the Crown Lines passenger liner Haven Princess, registered on Thetis in the Solomani Confederation. Imperial Navy spokesman Lieutenant Alexandra Inshar revealed that the ship had misjumped far from its normal route due to unspecified drive damage.

¶ Passengers and crew have been detained by Navy authorities, but will soon be returned to Confederation space. Lieutenant Inshar did not respond to questions seeking to confirm that the liner's damage was the result of hostile fire. Ω

Date: 021-1117Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Archduke Norris of Deneb is rumored to be considering an investigation into recent allegations made by retired Colonel Ruys de Bessier that members of the Imperial military are still being held prisoner within the Zhodani Consulate. Neither the Archduke nor his seneschal could be reached for comment, but a spokesman for the Archduke agreed to comment on the rumors without attribution.

¶ While Archduke Norris is reported to be concerned at the possibility that Imperials are still held by Zhodani, he feels that Colonel de Bessier was premature in releasing his suspicions to the press, and does not believe there is enough evidence to warrant an official investigation. Ω

Date: 035-1117Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Colonel Murnas De'Angelo, commander of the Ilelish Regiment of the Imperial Guard, announced today that the remaining three vacancies in the officer corps of the Ilelish Regiment (created by the resignation of a number of officers last year), have been filled by transfers from other units and promotions from within.

¶ Colonel De'Angelo made no further comment, but in response to a question said that the names of the officers involved are a matter of public record and " . . . any interested citizen can find them in the usual data banks." Ω

Date: 035-1117Medurma (Dagudashaag 2124)[edit]

¶ The following was just received from Medurma (Dagudashaag 2124) dated 240-1116:

¶ The body of Hiroshi Enera, former commander of the Ilelish Regiment of the Imperial Guard, was found in a highport hotel room earlier today, dead of a single pistol shot to the head.

¶ Colonel Enera and several other officers of the Ilelish Guard resigned under mysterious circumstances last year. Enera had spent a few weeks in Capital after his resignation and then booked a passage to his home on Dlan. Local authorities were unable to comment on the death, except to say that they are investigating it as a possible homicide, but that suicide cannot be eliminated as a cause. Ω

Date: 042-1117Vantage (Solomani Rim 1538)[edit]

¶ Speaker Willem Sandoval, representing Sequoyah (Solomani Rim 1337) to the Bootean League, today accused the government of Polyphemus (Solomani Rim 1537) of violating four sections of the League charter. "If the League fails to enforce its own rules in this matter, then Sequoyah will have no choice but to act in support of its own interests," he concluded. Ω

Date: 056-1117Aramis (Spinward Marches 3110)[edit]

¶ Anti-Vargr sentiment has now spread to this subsector capital. Only a small minority of the world's 620,000 inhabitants are Vargr -- most of them Imperial citizens -- but that hasn't stopped the hate group Superioriti from setting up an office in the underground city of Leedor. "We are not a hate group." Jesse Mathanaskan stated. "We are simply alarmed by the way the Imperium has begun to forget its historical role as a defender of Humaniti against aliens. We can't forget that the Vargr helped to bring down the First Imperium as surely as the Terran Confederation's wars. We don't want to see a repeat of that here."

¶ Nevertheless, some commentators, like Professor Austin Laskaris of St. Regina University, dismissed Superioriti as being insignificant. "Paying attention to these half wits is just what they want. They crave attention more than anything. My recommendation is to give them little heed and watch their support shrivel and die." Ω

Date: 056-1117Medurma (Dagudashaag 2124)[edit]

¶ The following was just received from Medurma/Sapphyre (Dagudashaag 2124) dated 260-1116:

¶ Police officials investigating into the death of Colonel Hiroshi Enera, former commander of the Ilelish Regiment of the Imperial Guard, have uncovered evidence eliminating any possibility that the retired officer's death was suicide.

¶ "Forensic analysis of the hotel room where Enera's body was discovered showed that at least two other individuals were present at the time of the death," a police spokesman stated. "We have evidence that Enera's fatal wound was not self-inflicted, evidence we are not yet ready to completely reveal as it will prove vitally important in the ultimate identification of those responsible." Officials have not yet revealed whether or not they have determined a motive for the Colonel's murder, and have cautioned against uninformed speculation. Ω

Date: 072-1117Karin (Spinward Marches 0534)[edit]

¶ Low-level rioting has erupted on this frontier world, after a political rally turned violent. Karin has been under military rule since the Fourth Frontier War and many of its inhabitants resent the policies of their Naval governor. The rally, organized by a coalition of local pressure groups, was intended to draw the eyes of the Spinward Marches to Karin's plight. "We do not condone violence." spokesman Shannash DeFreitas explained. "Our goal was only education. The military's to blame for this latest incident."

¶ Reports of the incident are contradictory. What is certain is that Imperial troops opened fire on a crowd of protesters outside the Naval governor's office, wounding several. The soldiers insist they retaliated only after they were fired upon. The protesters deny having initiated the violence, declaring the soldiers attacked them during a peaceful demonstration. Shortly thereafter, the soldiers rounded up those suspected of involvement in the incident and dispersed the crowd. No one was killed in the fighting, but eleven men and women were treated for injuries.

¶ Despite this recent clash, TAS has no intention of re-classifying Karin an Amber Zone at the present time. Travellers are nevertheless warned to beware of similar situations in the future. Ω

Date: 078-1117Mithras (Spinward Marches 1932)[edit]

¶ The Domain of Deneb's Office of Corrections administrative board today decided to continue its experimental treatment of criminals on the world of Mithras. Founded shortly after the Fourth Frontier War, Mithras is a prison world on which prisoners must cooperate to survive its harsh conditions.

¶ "We really are proud of what we've accomplished here." Warden Pavel Renko declared. "These prisoners learn to cooperate with one another and develop skills usable in the outside world. You wouldn't believe how many of these people go on to work for the Colonial Office in setting up new colonies."

¶ The prison on Mithras isn't without its critics, however. Some, like board member Edward Regis, see Mithras as nothing more than an "easy way to avoid the real roots of crime in the Imperium. Instead of shipping these people off to some world for 'treatment,' we should be looking at why they offend in the first place." Ω

Date: 080-1117Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Spokesman for the Imperial palace today revealed that Archduchess Isis of Ilelish and Archduke Norris of Deneb have both departed Capital for their respective homes at some unspecified time over the last few weeks. Both nobles left on Imperial Naval vessels, and the strictest security measures were implemented.

¶ "In view of the plot to assassinate Lady Isis uncovered last year by Naval intelligence," the palace press release stated, "the Imperial Navy convinced the Emperor that Isis and Norris should conceal the time of their departure and their intended route ." Officials refused to comment on the question of whether decoy vessels were used. Ω

Date: 080-1117Terra (Solomani Rim 1827)[edit]

¶ Imperial naval spokesmen confirmed today that major fleet maneuvers appear to be occurring within the Solomani Confederation. Imperial forces have been placed in a heightened state of readiness, but there appears to be no immediate cause for concern.

¶ Imperial Fleet Admiral Janos Fiorello appeared briefly before the press to quell any rumors. "If the Solomani come, we are ready for them. They know that. That's why I don't think they'll come." Admiral Fiorello declined to comment on the purpose for the maneuvers. Ω

Date: 083-1117Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ A press release from the Imperial Palace today confirmed that Grand Princess Ciencia Iphegenia left Capital with Archduchess Isis Arepo Ilethian at an unspecified time within the last month. "The Grand Princess and Archduchess are life long friends," the press release "and wished to spend a little more time together."

¶ The precise date of the pair's departure, the mode of their transport, and their exact itinerary remain a secret, for security purposes. Ω

Date: 119-1117Scandia (Solomani Rim 2628)[edit]

¶ A cross-border courier arrived today with word of a major development within the Solomani Confederation. The planet Kukulcan (Solomani Rim 2835) has declared itself a sovereign and independent world, severing all ties with the Solomani central government. The Confederation's response is unknown at this time. Ω

Date: 120-1117Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ The Imperial Navy has no reason to believe that the political situation within the Solomani Confederation is deteriorating, according to a tersely-worded press lease distributed today. This in spite of the news (received yesterday) that the planet Kukulcan (Solomani Rim 2835) has severed all connections with the Solomani Confederation.

¶ "We will continue to observe events in the region," the anonymous press release stated, "and will go to a heightened state of readiness if events make it necessary. We do not anticipate any repercussions for imperial citizens a this time, except for any who might be in the system involved. Ω

Date: 138-1117Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ The Imperial palace today announced that Prince Lucan has asked to attend the Imperial Naval Academy under a pseudonym, and that his unusual request has been granted. Prince Lucan was unavailable for comment, but a spokesman at the palace indicated that the prince was sincere in his wish to avoid any hint of favoritism, even to the extent of dispensing with any security arrangements other than those given any member of a noble family entering into the Imperial Navy. Ω

Date: 137-1117Laputa (Solomani Rim 2740)[edit]

¶ Official Release: Civilian traffic is hereby forbidden to enter the Kukulcan (Solomani Rim 2835) system until further notice. All such traffic is advised to detour via Goliad (Solomani Rim 2834) or Cyprian (Solomani Rim 2836) if they must traverse the region. All civilian vessels are required to obey the directives of Confederation naval traffic control.

¶ No ship of Imperial registry may enter Kukulcan Subsector while this order is in effect. Imperial ships violating this order and the territorial sovereignty of the Solomani Confederation are subject to being fired upon without notice.

¶ Long live the Cause.

¶ By order Brendan Grant, Fleet Admiral Ω

Date: 138-1117Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Imperial reaction to the news (received yesterday) that the Solomani Confederation has declared the entire Kulkulcan Subsector off-limits to vessels of Imperial registry has been subdued. Emperor Strephon has not commented so far, although sources at the palace report that he has received several briefings on the matter. A Naval spokesman declined to comment other than to state that the Navy will follow the situation as it develops. Ω

Date: 140-1117Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Unofficial sources indicate that the Solomani may have quite a problem dealing with Kukulcan (Solomani Rim 2835) recent declaration of independence.

¶ "The Confederation cannot allow the declaration to stand -- they have to do something." Remarked an unidentified source, "On the other hand, Kulkulcan is a populous and highly productive industrial world ... it could prove a tough nut to crack. The Confederation probably can't get together the resources for a direct assault -- not without taking resources from other hotspots. Sustaining a blockade will be enough of a strain."

¶ The source indicated Imperial policy will probably be to watch and wait, at least for the immediate future. Ω

Date: 146-1117Dlan (Ilelish 1021)[edit]

¶ In a report received from Dlan today, Imperial offices of all sorts report an increase in acts of petty vandalism since the anti-Imperial riots last year (265-1116), but since that time there have been no major violent outbreaks. A small number of Dlan's citizens feel that Imperial officials have not revealed the full details of the death of Archduke Dulinor, and speculation is rampant in some circles that Dulinor was assassinated. An alternate theory, which has numerous adherents here on Dlan, holds that Dulinor's death was an accidental result of the assassination of another passenger on the Archduke's gig. Ω

Date: 152-1117Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Security officers arrested a man outside the main offices of the Travellers' Aid Society who claimed he was Dulinor Astrin Ilethian, and demanded admission to the TAS Lounge so he could issue a press release denying he died last year in an explosion. He turned violent when refused admission, and law enforcement officers were summoned.

¶ Arresting officers held the man for a few hours before transferring him to a psychiatric facility. TNS reporter Nirka Kinshasha-Kinmon witnessed the arrest and reports "The man was clearly deranged. I interviewed Dulinor a few years ago, and this man does not resemble him in the slightest. Dulinor was taller, had all of his hair, and maintained a much higher level of personal hygiene."

¶ The man's name and the exact location of the facility where the man is being held has not been revealed to anyone other than Kinshasha-Kinmon, who will be allowed to interview the "Archduke" after his condition has been assessed. Ω

Date: 152-1117Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Over a year after the death of Archduke Dulinor, the Navy team charged with locating the party or parties responsible is unable to even name a suspect.

¶ Speaking unofficially, a member of the investigative team told TNS that while several leads are still being investigated, there is very little in the way of physical evidence because of the size and power of the explosion that destroyed the gig in which Dulinor was riding. Very little of the "black box" data survived, which caused, our source reports, some officials to speculate that the explosion had been carefully designed to destroy as much of the evidence as possible. Ω

Date: 189-1117Scandia (Solomani Rim 2628)[edit]

¶ Received 189-1117 from Scandia/Solomani Rim:

¶ Rumors of fleet action within the Solomani Confederation were apparently confirmed today. Captain Renna Tallgreen of the subsidized liner Polaris was interviewed by a TNS reporter regarding her expulsion from Solomani territory ten days ago. "We were just dropping off passengers at Ochre when the Solly Navy turned up and ordered us to refuel and head back for the border. Escorted us all the way to the jump point, too. They were very polite, but their turrets were trained on us the whole way."

¶ Imperial Navy spokesmen refused to comment on Captain Tallgreen's story. Ω

Date: 221-1117Boqueron (Solomani Rim 1311)[edit]

¶ First Citizen Etyenn III announced that his government has reached an historic agreement with the Boqueron Belt's three main rebel factions. A government of national reconciliation is to be formed within six weeks, beginning a process of popular reforms. Reaction in the belt's main habitats has been muted, as the citizens wait to see what substantive changes might follow the announcement. Ω

Date: 249-1117Ugarup (Solomani Rim 0502)[edit]

¶ A tense standoff at Ugarup Down starport was resolved after a series of negotiations between the Duke of Ultima and Lt. Colonel Aram MacKenzie of the Michigan Rifles. Through an intermediary, Duke Huang assured the mercenaries that he will make a public statement in their favor, regarding their dispute with the planetary government of Ugarup. With this guarantee, the Rifles stood down and began a peaceful evacuation of the planet. The Duke's huscarles immediately moved to secure the starport and critical locations within the Human Enclave. Ω

Date: 263-1117Quaver (Solomani Rim 1110)[edit]

¶ Director Mikal Kamsash resigned his office today, following weeks of widespread strikes and civil disobedience. He named no successor, and indeed most of the ruling High Council seems to have gone into hiding or exile. Members of the world's dissident Citizen's Committees have claimed control of the government, sparking celebration in several major habitat domes around the world. Ω

Date: 267-1117Gampin (Deneb 2820)[edit]

¶ Archaeologists from the Imperial University of Alpha Cygni excitedly announced what they called "a major find" on this world at the spinward edge of Deneb Sector. Evidence of human habitation from the Second Imperium was discovered in the Hanisan Canyon region of Gampin.

¶ According to Professor Eirik Lehoff, "The site is possibly the remains of a military encampment from around -1800 or so. We've found a number of artifacts -- weapons and vacc suits mostly -- that support this hypothesis. What's truly remarkable about it is that this supports the theory that exploration was ongoing even in the dying days of the Rule of Man." Ω

Date: 280-1117Pretoria (Deneb 0406)[edit]

¶ Admiral Sir Gerald NicDhiarmida, military governor of Pretoria, quashed rumors of a return to civilian rule for the subsector's capital. Pretoria has been under military jurisdiction since the Rachelean Revolts in 1010. Since then, there have been frequent calls for the establishment of a non-military government. Ronita Principe, spokesperson for Admiral NicDhiarmida, explained, "The situation is still unstable on Pretoria. Even now, over a century after the Revolts, there is substantial evidence that there remains a sizable minority who support the Rachele Society and its Vilani supremacist beliefs."

¶ Not surprisingly, this view is not widely held by Pretoria's populace. Armand Mitchel, a member of a pro-civilian pressure group found the Admiral's contention laughable. "The Rachele Society and its racist agenda are history. No one takes them seriously on Pretoria." Ω

Date: 287-1117Warinir (Daibei 0507)[edit]

Calim Yei-jei, the director of the Ministry of Justice's Daibei Sector office, today announced that the entire group of saboteurs responsible for the the so-called Ulane Hoax had been caught and arrested yesterday.

¶ On 091-1108 unknown perpetrators on Warinir penetrated the security of the Xboat system and introduced a number of unauthorized updates and additions.

¶ Although some people were inclined to regard the act, which became known as the Ulane hoax as a prank, authorities took the affair most seriously and instituted a criminal investigation that culminated yesterday after almost a decade. "This was no prank," Calin Yei-jei stated. "Such wanton acts of disruption strike at the very roots of the Imperium and must be dealt with accordingly." Ω

Date: 298-1117Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Observers of Imperial haut couture have seen the star of Vilani designer Eneri Makhiiruu rise in recent months, as increasing numbers of nobles wearing attire created by him are seen at various functions. Although no member of the Imperial family or its retinue has yet worn a Makhiiruu design, there are rumors that Empress Iolanthe thinks highly of him.

¶ For his part, Makhiiruu plays down these rumors. "I can't deny I’d be pleased to be patronized by the Imperial family, but it's more important to me that I have an outlet for my creative expression -– wherever that may be." Makhiiruu’s designs are heavily influenced by ancient Vilani styles of dress, some of them going back to the days before the Interstellar Wars when the Ziru Sirka was at its height. This has led some to predict a "Vilani renaissance" throughout the Imperium, as long-forgotten arts and designs find their way into popular culture. Whether such a prediction is true remains to be seen. Ω

Date: 302-1117Antares (Antares 2421)[edit]

¶ The office of Archduke Brzk confirmed that Sir Morteza Sengupta, poet laureate of the Domain of Antares, had passed away at the age of 141 after a prolonged illness. Sengupta is best known for his epic poem, the Buehneriad, in which he elegizes the Sylean explorer Philip Buehner, remembered for his recontact of many worlds in Antares sector before and during the reign of Cleon I.

¶ A memorial service for Sengupta will be held on his homeworld of Sarar (Antares 1115). He is survived by his wife and three daughters, one of whom, Sapna, is a talented poet as well. Ω

Date: 302-1117Margesi (Spinward Marches 1020)[edit]

¶Imperial officials have warned Republic of Gome authorities that the notorious Ine Givar terrorist "Snakehead" Ruddock was captured while attempting to use a shipping container to smuggle himself illegally into Margesi Starport. Port authorities believe the Ine Givar have been smuggling operatives into Margesi to disrupt talks between the Republic of Gome and the Kingdom of Evariidi.

¶Ruddock and a companion were arrested while attempting to cut their way out of the sealed, 4D-size, standardized cargo container. Also in custody is the crew of the Far Trader Queen Anne Bolyne. SPA is coordinating with INI in the investigation of the incident.

¶With more than 400,000 containers passing through Margesi each year, Sharuii Tsang, spokesperson for the port director, said that such infiltration tactics were almost impossible to police, despite the use of sophisticated neural detection equipment.

¶"The containers are sometimes transshipped in as little as six hours and we have over 1,000 passing through each day. By the time we realize there is something suspect, the containers are often on planet," he said. "The containers are so thick that the detection equipment is simply not reliable, so random checks are a waste of time," he said.

¶Tsang said SPA is relying on intelligence from the IISS and computer-generated analyses of shipping companies and cargoes to detect the illegal shipments. Ω

Date: 309-1117Deneb (Deneb 1925)[edit]

¶ Spokespeople for the household of Duke Alesksandr Lagaashiga today announced that the duke’s eldest son, Commander Justin Lagaashiga, would wed Countess Marie-Sophie Clivio of Usani (Deneb 2225). This announcement came after weeks of speculation that Commander Lagaashiga, a well-regarded officer of the Imperial Navy, would indeed formalize his long-standing association with Countess Marie-Sophie, whom he has known since they were both children. More importantly, the engagement will mark the beginning of an alliance of two powerful Denebian noble families, a fact not overlooked by commentators.

¶ As Professor Shannash Bamiidshaa of the Imperial University of Alpha Cygni explained it, “This marriage will be the culmination of decades of association between the Lagaashiga and Clivio families. How will it affect sector politics? Who can say? Yet, there’s no denying this is a major event, not only for Deneb sector but for the entire Domain.”

¶ No date has yet been set for the wedding, although it is widely believed it will take place in the middle of next year on Deneb where the head of the local branch of the Church of the Stellar Divinity will officiate, as is a common practice among many Denebian noble families. Ω

Date: 312-1117Chanad (Lishun 0935)[edit]

¶ Protests rocked Chanad's capital city of Unwalla today, resulting in ten deaths and dozens of lesser injuries. The protests were sparked by an unusual uprising of Irhadre jak'ut, members of the servant caste of the Irhadre minor human race native to Chanad. Uprisings like this are exceedingly rare on Chanad, a world renowned for its peculiar practices, including a form of ritual servitude known locally as the jak'aat mihal.

¶ "We do not believe this was a spontaneous uprising. The jak'ut are not "slaves" as many offworlders assume and they accept their status as necessary to the survival of the Irhadre people," explained Hagelaar Adalat, a spokesperson for Chanad's Ministry of the Interior. "The jak'ut caste makes up the bulk of the planetary bureaucracy and fills many other key positions on the planet. They would not involve themselves in violence unless influenced by offworlders, who do not understand our ways."

¶ Gam D'Aoust, local representative of The Warrant, a Lishun-wide group opposed to the jak'aat mihal, denied these allegations. "We're here to educate, not spark riots. If the Irhadre slaves -- and that's what they are -- finally saw fit to strike back at their oppressors, we can't be held responsible."

¶ A government investigation into the cause of the rioting continues. Ω

Date: 319-1117Urnas (Deneb 0609)[edit]

¶ Talks between the Ryanar Pact and Avenel Alliance broke down after weeks of failed attempts to jumpstart them. The two "nations" of this heavily populated balkanized world are, in fact, confederations of arcologies, each one self-governing. Unsurprisingly, coming to any agreement between these two confederations is a slow and time-consuming task, one that has tested the considerable skills of Imperial mediator Shan Pavan.

¶ "It's extremely frustrating." Pavan explained. "Although each confederation is united by a common ideology and mistrust of its opposite numbers, there's actually great diversity of opinion among the arcologies that make them up. Trying to sort through them to satisfaction of everyone is enough to test anyone's patience - even someone who's been a diplomat most of their lives, as I have."

¶ The conflict between the Ryanar Pact and Avenel Alliance stems from a dispute over resources on this mineral-rich world. Because of Urnas' small size and high population, land is highly valued, especially land rich in industrial crystals and lanthanum.

¶ "Nevertheless, I have faith these issues can be resolved." Pavan added. "Things may look bad now, but I don't think either side is ready to go to war over this. I think we'll see them back at the bargaining table within days. Ω

Date: 321-1117Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Grand Princess Ciencia Iphegenia has returned from her trip to accompany Archduchess Isis Ilethian part of the way back to Dlan. The details of the pair's itinerary remain classified, because of recent threats against the Archduchess' life. The Grand Princess' seneschal issued a statement for the press giving such details of the trip as security considerations allow, but the trip was uneventful, and the Princess declined to discuss specifics. Security considerations prevent revelation of the number and type of vessels included in the escort.

¶ The Imperial Navy has been especially conscious of security for the Imperial family since the assassination of Archduke Dulinor last year. Ω

Date: 221-1117Alphanor (Solomani Rim 0914)[edit]

¶ Count Hernando Gabriel de Castaneda y Orleans made a rare public announcement in which he condemned the growth of anti-Vegan violence on the nearby world of Esperance (Solomani Rim 1116). "I cannot emphasize enough," he said, "how deeply disturbed I am to learn that any humans would believe violence is a legitimate means of political discourse. The Vegans of Esperance are Imperial subjects, and I will not tolerate the efforts of anyone to suggest otherwise."

¶ Esperance is a balkanized world inhabited by humans and Vegans. Many of the world's human states have pro-Solomani leanings, creating an air of uncertainty on this high population world. This statement by Count Hernando suggests that the instability of Esperance has not gone unnoticed. Whether it will boil over into full-scale violence remains to be seen. Ω

Date: 221-1117Terra (Solomani Rim 1827)[edit]

¶ The Terran government has denied a travel visa to a Solomani diplomat, preventing her from attending an upcoming diplomatic conference of rimward states, Terran officials recently admitted. The diplomat denied the visa, Madeline Hefernin, explained that she had submitted an application several months ago and did not expect this turn of events. Hefernin accused the Terran government of “capitulating to irrational Imperial demands.” Representatives from the Imperium, the Solomani Confederation, and the Aslan Hierate are expected to send delegations to the conference, as well as many smaller states rimward of the Imperium. The visa was denied under a post Solomani Rim War Imperial proclamation that authorizes denying entry to an Imperial world if the visit is considered contrary to Imperial interests, Terran officials explained. Hefernin's personal assistant, Marcus Vezina, also was denied a visa.

¶ Observers of Imperial-Solomani relations suspect that Hefernin was denied a visa because of recent statements at a regional Solomani Party caucus in which she likened the Imperial nobility to “leeches” and called for support of pro-democracy movements within the Imperium. Terran officials refused to comment on these allegations, saying only that the order to deny Hefernin a visa had come through appropriate channels and was not as unusual as many have alleged. Ω

Date: 328-1117Ansenz (Antares 2425)[edit]

Ministry of Justice officials today revealed they have captured Roderick Panay, alleged leader of Black Lightning, a violent pro-Julian terrorist group. Panay and his accomplices were apprehended while attempting to plant an explosive device at the Badmarash Interstellar Starport. According to the Ministry, Panay’s goal was to "draw attention to the growing Imperial encroachment upon the autonomy of the League of Antares." The League of Antares is a small collection of semi-autonomous worlds within the sector. They gained their special status as a concession to the Julian Protectorate, who managed to seize the worlds during the Julian War. Since the War, the Imperium has vouchsafed the League’s autonomy.

¶ Nevertheless, pro-Julian terrorist groups have bedeviled Antarean officials for centuries. Black Lightning is only the latest -– and boldest –- to appear on the scene. Its members are humans and Vargr from the League who served in the Imperial military. While the Julian Protectorate has repeatedly denounced the actions of Black Lightning, some analysts suspect they may be receiving covert support from a faction within the Protectorate government. Whether true or not, the capture of Panay is a remarkable coup for the Ministry of Justice and certain to hamper Black Lightning’s operations in Antares. Ω

Date: 330-1117Ansenz (Antares 2425)[edit]

¶ A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice denied rumors that the recent capture of Roderick Panay was accomplished by a "mole" inside the Black Lightning terrorist organization. Panay was captured, according to the spokesman, "By good, old-fashioned investigative work, which included the use of surveillance devices of various sorts, as well as several covert operations which must remain classified, as the agents involved are still in the field, and still in some danger."

¶ In addition to MoJ agents, the spokesman said, officers of local law enforcement agencies were involved, as well as operatives from Imperial Navy intelligence. "The operation was a sterling example of good police work and counter-terrorist technique." Ω

Date: 339-1117Esperance (Solomani Rim 1116)[edit]

¶ Imperial Naval headquarters at Dingir (Solomani Rim 1222) today announced that Admiral Dame Maria Magdalena de Castaneda y Orleans, daughter of Count Hernando of Alphanor, had been appointed commander of the 1291st Colonial Fleet, attached to Esperance.

¶ "Dame Maria is well-known as a hardliner against the Solomani," explained Professor Giuseppe Scherloski of the University of Alphanor's political science department, "She's devoted to equitable relations between humans and aliens. Some people will see this as a message from the Imperium that mistreatment of its Vegan population will not be tolerated."

¶ Esperance is a high population balkanized world with both human and Vegan nations. Many of the human-dominated nations show pro-Solomani sympathies. Those sympathies have kept Esperance on the brink of world war for several years now, a situation that has worsened in recent months. Ω

Date: 342-1117Warinir (Daibei 0507)[edit]

¶ A former investigator for the Imperial Ministry of Justice's Daibei Sector office today stated that at least one of the saboteurs responsible for the so-called Ulane Hoax has eluded capture. Uhura Jai-Kiirumim, who resigned from the Ministry last year, believes that officials have been too hasty in dismantling the search for the data saboteurs.

¶ On 091-1108 unknown perpetrators on Warinir penetrated the security of the Xboat system and introduced a number of unauthorized updates and additions.

¶ In a statement to the press today, Jai-Kiirumim said, "I believe political expediency is overwhelming good investigative technique. The officials in charge of the investigation have ignored evidence indicating that at least one other person was involved."

¶ Officials for the ministry refused to comment on Jai-Kiirumim's allegations. Ω

Date: 348-1117Terra (Solomani Rim 1827)[edit]

¶ The Terran government reports that it has issued a limited visa to Solomani diplomat Madeline Hefernin, who was previously denied admission to the Imperium a few weeks ago. The visa will enable Hefernin to attend an upcoming diplomatic conference of rimward states.

¶ The details of the agreement are confidential, Terran officials say, but the government has agreed to allow both Hefernin and her personal assistant, Marcus Vezina to attend the conference provided they make no public statements while inside the Imperium and agree to limit their movements within the Imperium to such travel as is necessary to get them to and from the conference (which is to be held on Terra early next year). Ω

Date: 350-1117Hindahl (Old Expanses 1422)[edit]

¶ A coalition of the local nobility, headed by Duke Quentin Antosz, released their annual year-end report, in which they revealed that the Old Expanses sector has seen a record increase in trade and productivity over the past year. "Per Capita GSP has climbed to Cr 9,430 -- a 5% increase over last year." explained ducal spokesperson Orlando Bilaagan.

¶ The report also indicated that the sector's political situation was equally stable, with record declines in terrorism and anti-alien violence. The report suggested this was due to a successful education campaign that targeted the more radical factions of the Solomani Movement in Old Expanses.

¶ Given these successes, the report recommended that no changes in local government policies be contemplated. Although dismissed by critics as "self-congratulatory," the report was hailed by Duke Antosz as proof that "the Imperium works." Ω

Date: 352-1117Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ One of the Imperium's most treasured artistic resources, choreographer Sir Ganaarre Rudel died today, aged 146, after a long illness. Rudel founded the style of dance named after him almost 85 years ago, fusing moves from his native Nulinad (Empty Quarter 0338) with traditional Vilani and Solomani dances.

¶ Rudel had suffered from a number of ailments which prevented him from working since 1112, when his daughter Romura took over administration of the Rudel Dance Troupe, but she could not prevent him from attending every opening.

¶ Rudel was knighted for his artistic efforts in 1098 by the Archduke of Gateway, and was honored with a knighthood in the order of the Emperor's Guard in 1107, in honor of his many contributions to the arts. Ω

Date: 356-1117Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Sources close to the Archduke of Deneb today confirmed that before Norris left to return to his Domain he conferred with the appropriate authorities to establish a new order of knighthood, the Order of Deneb. Archduke Norris will create the first knights of Deneb with his Holiday proclamation from Mora (Spinward Marches 3124) on 001-1118, and the Emperor will simultaneously issue the formal announcement of the order's establishment from Capital.

¶ It is not known who the first knights of the new order will be, but if custom holds, the emperor will be the second (Archduke Norris himself will be the first knight of the order, again, if custom is followed). Our sources declined to comment further, saying that full details will be announced in a few days. Ω

Date: 358-1117Terra (Solomani Rim 1827)[edit]

¶ Relatives and friends of Jeffrey Long, former reporter for the Phoenix Sun news organization, today presented another petition for his release to the local offices of Archduke Adair.

¶ Mr. Long achieved fame several years ago for a series of articles looking into rumors of a condition known as 'hyperspace sickness," evidence for which Long alleges has been suppressed by a military and industrial cabal. Long is currently in protective custody in the prison ward of Phoenix Down Mental Hospital, and his family has long petitioned for his release into private care. Ω

Date: 360-1117Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ In a year that's already seen the rise and fall of numerous fads among the children of the Imperial nobility, yet another has taken hold: "ethnic" styles of dress. Many of these styles derive from cultures that have suffered serious declines over the centuries, such as the Darmine and the Rudukk. Does their return to prominence -- even if only in the annals of youthful fashion -- suggest a renaissance for cultures long submerged in the Imperial mainstream?

¶ "That's one interpretation" explained Professor Edvard Syrin, a historian at the Imperial Cleon Museum, "and it does have some plausibility. After all, Archduke Dulinor was a staunch advocate of local cultures within the Domain of Ilelish. He even worked to revivify Suerrat culture after centuries of disregard. Of course, such cultural renaissances occur for less political reasons too. We need only look at the recent popularity of Vilani fashion among the more outre members of the Imperial court. In the end, it's hard to assign a definitive answer to this question -- at least until we see if this proves to be more than another passing fad." Ω

Date: 362-1117Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Is Archduke Dulinor alive? Stories of "Dulinor sightings" are common on numerous worlds throughout the Imperium, despite the conclusion of the Imperial Navy that the former Archduke of Ilelish died in an explosion last year, a victim of murder by parties unknown. The stories lack any specific details in common -- sometimes Dulinor is said to appear before a small group and make a brief speech, sometimes he is a passenger aboard a small starship, sometimes a patient in a hospital ward. In every case, primary witnesses to the event cannot be found.

¶ "Everyone seems to hear these things second- or third-hand," says Doctor Simone Minori-Maasaaru, a retired professor of folklore at the University of Sylea at Capital. "Stories like this circulate after the death of many public figures, and my feeling is that they represent a form of wish-fulfillment among those who spread them -- people just don't want to admit that a popular figure is gone." Doctor Minori-Maasaaru is studying how the stories spread, and intends to publish her findings as a chapter in an upcoming book. Ω

Date: 363-1117Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Sources at the Archduke of Deneb's office on Capital confirmed today that the Archduke will announce the first knights of the Order of Deneb on 001-1118. The list of initial knighthoods will include Duchess Delphine of Mora, and will be announced at Mora, in the Spinward Marches.

¶ No other names were released, although the source indicated that they include notables from the Domain of Deneb, and will total several dozen. Ω

Date: 363-1117Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Professor Dympna Ehara-Wilkinson has been appointed to head the Department of Vilani Literature at the University of Sylea. Professor Ehara-Wilkinson has been on the faculty of the university for nearly a decade, and her appointment marks the first appointment of a non-Vilani to the position is well over four hundred years. The appointment is not without controversy among the more conservative members of the university faculty, who feel that a non-Vilani cannot properly appreciate the nuances of the literary tradition of Vland. The president of the university, however, feels the board of governors has chosen the best candidate for the job.

¶ "Dympna was the protege of the previous department head, retiring Professor Lishenni Ishuggi -- a member of one of the most oldest and most respected Vilani families, and no one who knows her can doubt her devotion to her field." Ω

Date: 364-1117Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ Informed sources today confirmed that the Imperial mint on Dlan (Ilelish 1021) will issue a commemorative credit coin in honor of the late Archduke of Ilelish, Dulinor Astrin Ilethian. The obverse will bear the Archduke's portrait, the reverse a stylized representation of the great reft, which dominates the night sky on Dlan. The design was personally chosen by Dulinor's daughter, Archduchess Isis Arepo Ilethian, and the dies were executed by artisans at the mint before her departure.

¶ The Archduchess has requested that several million of the coins be issued and released into circulation throughout the domain of Ilelish, in addition to the normal minting of specially polished and packaged coins intended solely for coin collectors. "My father was a man of the people," the Archduchess said, "and he would want all of the people if the domain to see and hold this coin, not just a privileged few."

¶ The Archduchess took the dies back with her when she returned earlier this year, and minting of the coin will commence on Dlan on 001-1118. Ω

Date: 364-1117Capital (Core 2118)[edit]

¶ The personal assistant for renowned sculptor Trow Shadii-Eriskany refused to confirm or deny that the controversial artist has received a commission to create a work celebrating the late Archduke Dulinor, killed last year in an explosion that investigators labeled "Murder by person or persons unknown."

¶ Shadii-Eriskany is widely know for her anti-Imperial treatment of her subjects, and her controversial approach to her art. Ω

TNS 1118

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