Dino flu ‘Not Serious’ on V9
Dateline V9 Quadrant 7 3212.239
The colonial authorities on the Venerian world of V9 are reporting that the recent outbreak of the T34 strain of so-called Dino Flu is now completely under control. Health authorities are pointing out that ‘hardly anyone has died’ from the virus, and that the Republican Health Service has the situation completely under control. Reports are few from V9, but it would appear the virus entered the colony via trade ship crews carrying the disease. The Venerians are quite touchy about the subject of the effectivness of their border controls, especially with regard to serous disease – so naturally any criticism is muted in-system. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health said “Of course, we take the health of our citizens as being of paramount importance. Epidemic control is something we take as seriously as any other space-going polity, and we are glad to report that this minor outbreak of the disease was identified and brought under control thanks to the skill of our medical teams, the vigilance and public spirirt of the citizenry, and the medical data available from citizen’s implants. Yet another reason to counter the criticisms from outside the Republic of our implant policy as being against so-called ‘civil liberties’. Well if its the ‘liberty’ to die horribly from a virulent disease, then give me my chip any day.”
Crabston Prison Riot
Dateline Crabston Q3 3212.205
Colonial police have stormed a prison in the main city of Crabston Q3 after a massive riot broke out there. About 500 members of police and military forces entered Prison 17 to end the riot.
The violence was reportedly an act of retaliation by unidentified gang members after an inmate was stabbed. Local police told INN the situation was now ”under control” and investigations were ongoing. According to reports citing witnesses, hundreds of inmates were taken to a hospital with injuries that appeared to be from rubber bullets and stun guns.
Crabston deputy police chief Colonel Kent Unthank told INN that police had been ”forced to open fire”. ”Only three people were injured in the legs and taken to hospital,” he said. But local police told INN that the inmates suffered burn injuries possibly consistent with energy weapon discharges.
When the violence initially broke out rioting inmates reportedly hurled rocks at guards, set fire to an office and temporarily took control of the entire prison. The prison houses about 4,000 inmates, including a number of foreign nationals. It holds members of a Martian drug smuggling ring known as the “Xynam Nine” and convicted drug trafficker Korby Trizerpres. An MAFC Embassy spokesman in Crabston told INN’s correspondent that all 12 Martian prisoners there were safe.
Concerns have been raised over security at the Prison 17 which has seen other recent riots, including one only last year.
Transhumanist Legislation Promised
Dateline 116AL, Quadrant 7 3212.237
Following widespread protest from the transhuman community on 116AL, the local colonial government here has promised to conduct a review of legislation with a view to incorporate some sort of legal ban on unfair discrimination against cyborgs.
Political observers have commented that this may not result in any improvement in the situation, and transhumanist activists from the Tranhumanist Unity Front are declaring it a waste of time.
Meanwhile, the chief of colonial police on 116AL has warned that the authorities are taking a “zero tolerance approach to trouble-makers”. A COP spokesperson said “Look…we don’t care who you are, if you’re causing trouble for your fellow citizens then we will arrest you and we will put you through the courts”. Following the riots a couple of octants ago, over 3,000 protesters are still in custody awaiting processing through the legal system. They include the charismatic and outspoken transhumanist activist Frobisher Chakra. Chakra was arrested during a peaceful demonstration outside a police station, over an octant ago, according to the TUF. His arrest and continued detention remain controversial issues.
Our reporter has also discovered that there is now an unofficial policy of blocking entry to the system of anyone having personal modifications, or known to have transhumanist sympathies. Over the last four octants it has become known that if you are a cyborg or look like a cyborg, then the immigration staff on 116AL Station go over you and your luggage with a fine tooth comb and find any excuse to refuse entry. There are already several hundred people on the Station awaiting transport out of the system, and sources within the station management have told INN, unofficially, that station facilities are becoming overstretched.
Imperial Sentinels Volunteer to Protect the Empire
Dateline Weygand Q6 3212 225
Following vocal concerns regarding the cuts to the defence of the Earth Empire in Quadrant 6, a number of industrialists, shipping lines and concerned corporations have banded together to form what is being called the ‘Imperial Sentinels’. Under this scheme, a number of corporately-owned merchant starships and security consultants sign up to volunteer time, or a proportion of their time, to protect Earther systems from piracy, insurrection and alien attacks. So far this scheme has been funded exclusively from donations by concerned (if fabulously wealthy) citizens and corporations.
A spokesperson for the new organisation, Emir Ali Bey, said “It was only a short itme ago that the Empire was threatened once again by incursions from alien aggressors. And the scourge of space piracy remains with us. We all have a stake in Quadrant 6, and in these tense times the function of a citizen and a soldier are inseparable.”
This new initiative has been cautiously welcomed by Quadrant Governor, who, it is believed, has been arguing strongly but unsuccessfully for reinforcement of Q6 from the Imperial Navy. An Imperial spokesperson said “So long as this initiative involves legally authorised and registered ships and personnel and the actions of the organisation are conducted in full cooperation of the lawful authorities and the Imperial Navy, then it could, potentially, be a cost effective enhancement to our ability to meet evolving threats to the Empire here in the front line outer quadrants.”
The first offers for ships and services to the Imperial Sentinels include one armed merchant ship from Virgin Spaceways and two armed merchant ships from Lexcorp. Some private military contractors have also offered discounted services to the new organisation.
‘Alien Massacre’ Rumoured
Dateline Shi’ar Quadrant 0 3212.245
Human space has always abounded with rumours, old spacer’s stories and conspiracy theories. And it would appear that new ones are appearing all the time. The latest story that has been growing among the spacer community in Quadrant 0 is the ‘secret alien massacre’ in the Shi’ar system.
According to merchant crews who have been visiting the system, the ‘training accident’ reported in INN two octants ago, was nothing of the sort, and is, in fact, a huge cover-up for something much more sinister. The stories suggest that the Shi’ar fleet in fact fought a space battle with unknown aliens, destroyed their ship, and captured a number of them, who are, even now, being held in a secret location. The aliens in question are generally unknown, so the stories go, but they have been variously described as like the roaches, like foreunners or like shapechanging lizard men.
President Lilandra’s government – no stranger to controversy and attack (both political and military) have dismissed these stories as “plainly ridiculous”. Senior members of the Lilandra administration have even been suggesting, off the record, that the stories have been planted by Earther Intelligence Agents to discredit Shi’ar. Given Earth’s chequered history with the Shi’ar colony, this has some credence.
We asked the Earth government information office for a comment but no-one was available for interview. One unattributable source said “Shi’ar? Where’s that? We thought it was uninhabited”
Shi’ar has a history of internal corruption, and had been linked (by Earth at least) with piracy. Its economy has been struggling for many years. However, in the last year it has significantly increased its small fleet. Observers suggest this is a natural response to the embarrassing military defeat handed them by Earth some years ago.
Whatever the truth of the matter, a good conspiracy theory is always popular.
Colonial Referenda and Memberships – from our colonial correspondent
The following colonial worlds are planning referenda: AH022 Sector AH, Z162 Q8
Referenda have been held on the following worlds:
Result – voted to apply to join:
Calum Q1 T105 Greater Federation of Asteel
Drozac Q3 T105 Venerian Republic
Matok Q4 T105 Union of Xyon