VICTORY AT ADOBE!
Mike Buckley, Martian Bureau Chief
NEW MARS, Q0
Reports are coming in of a major military victory against the invading alien menace by Martian forces at Adobe. An enemy ‘super-carrier’ and five of its supporting ships were destroyed, with only some smaller fleet elements escaping. The Martian Navy lost at least three ships, including two heavy cruisers. However, damage to the Q6 capital world has been quite extensive, with over 60,000 dead and major infrastructure wrecked. Two Martian Ground Force Divisions are currently engaged in ‘mopping up’ operations on-planet. However, remembering the Exterminator War, we can only be thankful that the toll was not worse.
EDITORIAL – WHO’S IN *YOUR* EMPIRE?
An opinion by Drakkir Hands, Vice-Chancellor, University of Old Mars
The beginnings of a new war against an alien menace has clearly prompted a lot of systems to decide that they are better off as part of a larger political body. This in itself is perhaps not surprising, but the scale of the flight to find a protective ‘big brother’ certainly is – the past eight octants have seen 39 worlds sign up for membership of larger alliances or empires, as compared to just 8 for the preceding eight octants. But behind that statistic, as impressive as it is, lurks other trends, some of them rather worrying.
Let’s take a look at who they’re joining, for a start. Earth has managed to hoover up 11 systems for its fast-growing Empire – nearly 30% of all of those systems, while Venus and its dynamic economy has received a surprisingly large 7, Mars and Xyon 5 each, the Esteelers and Centauri 2 each, Sirius just the one, and another one has joined the increasingly significant Free Worlds Alliance in Q1. But a huge FIVE worlds have joined the Eastern Defence Bloc (EDB) in Q7 during that time. The EDB is now the third largest entity in Q7; only the local Earth and GFA clusters are larger – the EDB is larger than the Martian or Venerian presence in Q7.
Perhaps in desperate times people seek extreme solutions. Placing yourself under the metallic heel of a cyborg empire is certainly extreme, and talking of extreme, guess how many of Earth’s 11 new colonies are in Quadrant 6? On average – it ought to be two, perhaps, maybe even three? You’re not even close… in fact a full NINE of the 11 new Earth members are in Q6, over 80% of them. INN reported last octant on the “Franchise Fascism” that is sweeping the quadrant, but the worry for Earth – and everyone else – must surely be: exactly how loyal are these worlds to Earth and the Emperor, and how loyal to Governor Armstrong instead? It’s a thought that must keep First Minister Ashanti awake at night. We have already seen an attempted secession by Venus’s Quadrant 4 in recent years. Will Earth’s Quadrant 6 be next? What lessons will both sides – secessionists and loyalists alike – have drawn from President Kudriavy’s response to the Venerian Q4 rebellion?
(Drakkir Hands, 78, was the MAFC Foreign Minister from 3200-3205.)
XYON ELECTION RESULTS ‘UNPREDICTABLE’
Brinna Childresse-Lao, Xyon Correspondent
The upcoming elections to the Union of Xyon’s Sanhedrin council are expected to be even more unpredictable this year as a result of changes to seat allocations due to the several new member systems and an overhaul of the method of representation by population. The council is growing by one third, and while this is likely to diminish the influence of some of the more conservative and traditionalist states of the Union, the interest is in how Prime Minister Dan Tassic’s ruling Maskalim-led coalition will fare. The coalition is down to 50% of the current Sanhedrin seats, although many of the numerous independents tend to vote with it. Tassic is one of the longest-service chief executives in human space, and his appointment – by the unelected Hakkanim council – means that this is unlikely to change. He is widely credited with steering a difficult course between the volatile world of Xyonist domestic politics and the demands of the alliances that the UoX is
part of, although some have criticsed him for appearing to take Xyon away from its traditional parternship with Asteel and closer to Earth. But while the main opposition Xyon Unity party has not held power since 3176, the shift in electoral seats means that the makeup of the new Sanhedrin could be very different, and a new ruling coalition may have to be formed.
MOVE TO NEW MARS A SNUB TO LONAW?
Henry Davenport, Chief Political Correspondent
The siting of upcoming Interstellar Summits continues to be a bone of contention in the diplomatic (and indeed undiplomatic) community.
The last summit voted to rotate hosts, as had been the case with the increasingly morbibund Treaty of Old London meetings, but the League of Non-Aligned Worlds (LONAW), supported by their newest member the Free Worlds Alliance, was keen to keep it at Gorilla.
While Centauri Chief Executive Virgil Atlantic has spoken in favour of the LONAW proposal in public, in private I am hearing that the GFA, which does not have a happy history of relations with LONAW, dating back to the first Gorilla Crisis, has felt that the LONAW has been overplaying its hand, and is determined to see the chair of the meetings continue to rotate.
Colonial Referenda and Memberships – from our colonial corespondent
The following colonial worlds are planning referenda: Fliegende AI, Fun Joint Q6, Malisky Q5, Yellow Spot Q8
Referenda have been held on the following worlds:
Result – voted to apply to join:
Union of Xyon
Hang It All Q2
UNion of Xyon
Eastern Defence Bloc
The following worlds have voted against holding a referenda on giving up their independence: None.